Policy and governance remain the biggest hurdles to interoperability among military services and their various allies and partners according to the joint/coalition panel held this morning at LandWarNet. Representatives from the British Armed Forces, U.S. Marine Corps, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense sat on a panel moderated by a U.S. Navy admiral from the joint staff to discuss the issues inherent in information sharing in coalition and disaster response missions.
Joint is the name of the game on the battlefield and at LandWarNet, as Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer for the U.S Air Force gave the final address of the conference this afternoon. The general said that he believes all future operations will be joint because the services are too small now to operate on their own. Everyone needs the synergy of the combined force to carry out their operations. To enable these partners, the military must continue to improve cyberspace operations. An Air Force study titled "A Day Without Space" examined what would happen if capabilities from space such as GPS and ISR were disabled. Gen.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, addressed media members at LandWarNet today during a roundtable focused on the recent Apps for the Army competition. Various competition winners also attended to share their experiences. Gen. Sorenson reiterated comments he made yesterday saying that this quick-development contest could serve as a precursor for rapid deployment in the future. He sees the process applying even to larger systems. The general also mentioned that in the future there could be a contest involving industry participation in which they are given guidelines but not many specific requirements.
The feel and focus of LandWarNet took on a slightly different feel this afternoon as retired IBM Chief Executive Officer Louis V. Gerstner took the stage to discuss institutional transformation. Rather than address military-specific needs, Gerstner explained how he worked to turn around IBM by changing the entire culture of the organization. He told listeners to take the lessons he imparted and apply them as appropriate to military needs. According to Gerstner, at some point successful organizations will face a time when outside influences demand a complete institutional transformation. Unfortunately, many will not be able to make the necessary adjustments and will ultimately fail.
The Army needs to fix its acquisition process and move good ideas to top leaders, according to Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, vice chief of staff, U.S. Army. Gen. Chiarelli delivered the morning address of LandWarNet today via teleconference, stating that he wants the ideas people have to make Army tools better. He also emphasized repeatedly the need to change acquisitions to keep up with technology changes and the enemy. The general said that because many of the United States' current enemies have no uniform or state sponsorship, people can underestimate their strength. "We don't talk enough about how very, very good the enemy is," he stated.
The U.S. Defense Department must secure the cyber domain to protect and defend its own information and U.S. citizens, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, USA, commander of U.S. Cyber Command said today during the opening address of LandWarNet 2010. Gen. Alexander also serves as the director of the National Security Agency. "Every link and system has vulnerabilities that we have to defend," he stated. Gen. Alexander organized his speech by comparing warfare in the past with the movie WarGames and cyberwarfare to the movie The Matrix. In the former movie, as in nuclear warfare, there is no good engagement option because of assured mutual destruction.
Increased situational awareness continued as the focus of importance here at LandWarNet. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, gave a high-level view of the current path of the Army enterprise, emphasizing that everything done comes down the requirement for shared situational awareness. All other pieces must support the effort to provide the warfighters with the information they need. To support soldiers and joint troops, the Army is working to test, field and deploy systems faster. Army leadership is standardizing processes, technologies and guidelines so industry can provide exactly what the military requires. The general also stated that industry is increasingly focusing on applications.
The solutions to the Army's network problems have no easy answers, according to opinions from the first panel here at LandWarNet. Leaders in industry addressed five questions about how to improve or address various facets of the Army enterprise, but rarely did any of the responses provide straightforward solutions. For example, employing plug-and-play capabilities can benefit the Army, but using this business model can result in "lowest common denominator" technology and stifle innovation, according to Barry R. Hensley, vice president of the Counter Threat Unit at SecureWorks. Elizabeth A. Hight, vice president, U.S.