When it comes to the transition for C4I systems to cloud computing architectures, both the challenge-and the promise-boils down to "getting the right information to the right individual at the right time-and [doing] it securely." Teri Takai, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks, and DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO), offered her thoughts on the path to cloud computing as the keynote speaker to the AFCEA Solutions series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and George Mason University C4I Center.
As so often happens in the military, it's not unusual for top-level officials to be asked to stand in for their busy bosses. So it was Col. Michael Jones, USA (Ret.), the chief of emerging technologies, CIO/G-6, who found himself delivering the day two keynote address at the AFCEA Solutions Series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I Center. In his talk regarding the G-6's strategic vision for managing information technology resources ""from the Pentagon to the warfighter in theater," Jones noted the most recent challenge to the U.S. Army: the explosive growth of mobile devices, such as iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android tablets.
Additional headlines, bullet points, and takeaways from the AFCEA "Solutions" series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I conference, held May 24th-25th at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.:
All too often, the topic of cyber presents a negative view of vulnerabilities and attacks, but cyber has a positive role to play in national defense, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command.
The U.S. Marine Corps is at the heart of the Defense Department’s efforts to get the Joint Information Environment (JIE) up and running. Although the department has been working to create the secure network operating environment for several years, frustration has risen about a lack of progress, explained Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Nally, USMC, the Marine Corps director for command, control, communications and computers (C4) and chief information officer. Speaking at AFCEA NOVA’s 12th annual Naval IT Day, the general bluntly noted that after two years of work, “we’re still at PowerPoint,” and this frustration has prompted the Corps to put forward its own unification plan.
The U.S. Navy is establishing new teams to run cyber operations and help defend Defense Department networks as a service extension of U.S. Cyber Command. These teams are part of a centralized defensive and offensive cyber capability that is beginning to take shape within the Defense Department, said Kevin Cooley, command information officer for the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet.
Speaking at AFCEA NOVA’s 12th annual Naval IT Day, Cooley explained that the Navy is standing up 40 cyber national mission teams totaling some 2,000 personnel. All the teams will be up by the end of fiscal year 2016. These teams will function as units based on mission orders from the U.S. Cyber Command, Cooley said.
At a time when more and more computers are interconnected across the globe and more and more people are trying to exploit their vulnerabilities, the U.S. Army is shifting to meet the cybersecurity challenge. Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA, the first commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, told keynote luncheon attendees at the TechNet Land Forces East conference that his new command is an integral part of the Army's shift to an active defense of the Internet. At the same time, it is also transitioning to a joint information sharing environment within the Defense Department, which will allow the services to more readily exchange important information as needed to support combatant commanders.
Using resources available on the global network, three developers raced the clock to create solutions to a security problem as part of the third PlugFest competition. The winners were announced Thursday during the final day of TechNet Land Forces East in Baltimore. Third place went to Morakot Pilouk with ESRI Incorporated in Thailand, who delivered a solution that verified whether a data source at the far end of a network was malicious or harmless. Steve Guerin received second place. He used SIMTABLE, a device to create 3-D maps, combined with input from smartphones held by warfighters in the field, to develop a situational map of a wildfire in Afghanistan.
Along with all the other tools at their disposal, U.S. Marine Corps commanders now have complete cyber resources as part of the traditional Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operational doctrine, said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Marine Corps. The general spoke during the Aberdeen Chapter luncheon at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Wednesday. Gen. Mills, who admitted to being "an old infantry guy," nonetheless put his cybersecurity resources to good use during his 2010 deployment leading Marines in Afghanistan.
Maryland is home to key cybersecurity agencies, such as the United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, and the Baltimore Convention Center provides a fitting venue for the nearly 4,000 attendees of the TechNet Land Forces East conference, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said prior to the event's opening luncheon.
What concerns Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, is that the people under his command are "not trained to a standard needed to protect our systems." Alexander delivered the afternoon keynote address to the TechNet Land Forces East conference, which opened today in Baltimore. At a time when McAfee reports the number of reported cyberattacks rose 44 percent last year, Gen. Alexander is worried that various components of military cyber command forces train differently from others. "Signal command trains to defend," he said.
The steps necessary to achieve the Air-Sea Battle strategy may induce long-sought major changes in U.S. military force structure. Yet, some aspects will require game-changing decisions and shifts in priorities. Two retired flag officers-Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, and Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, outlined how Air-Sea Battle will affect the force at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Gen. Deptula said that Air-Sea Battle has the potential of becoming an integral part of U.S. national strategies. And. Adm.
Treating people properly and ensuring that they receive the support that they need may be the key to attracting and retaining good personnel in the military, according to a panel of experts at Joint Warfighting 2012. Addressing the topic of how the services can meet future expectations and challenges, the panelists largely agreed on the measures that are necessary to ensure a satisfied and effective force for the coming times of change. Maj. Christopher Bowers, USA, of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, emphasized that the quality of leadership is a major factor. Telling leaders to "Lead the way you want to be led," he warned against toxic leaders poisoning the atmosphere for personnel.
The technology of replacing lost limbs and senses has advanced dramatically because of urgent needs arising from the wars in Southwest Asia. Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, described some of these advances to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012. He related how one veteran who lost all four of his limbs volunteered for an experimental program to embed a computer chip in the side of his skull. With that chip in place, he was able to control a mechanical limb remotely-the prosthetic arm was in a corresponding laboratory thousands of miles away.
An aging U.S. population and a younger population in tropical areas may pose troubles for U.S. national security in the near future, said a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 that the different priorities of both groups could put the United States at risk. In the United States, an aging population that averages 44 years old has different priorities than it did a generation ago. This group is tending to focus more on health care than on activities such as defense and education.
Bring your own device policies and information technologies efficiencies were big topics during the final day of the 2012 Defense Information Systems Agency Mission Partner Conference. During Thursday's panel session, Cora Carmody, chief information officer (CIO), Jacobs Engineering, discussed them both and the money the company has saved through implementation. Jacobs embraced a bring your own device attitude that allows employees to use personal platforms, including tablets, with the understanding that they are responsible for certain costs and for keeping the devices safe.
Technology leaders in the military services all seem to agree on the need for better governance, increased efficiencies and working together. That is, until they get into specifics. The U.S. Defense Department chief information officer (CIO) panel at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference this morning heated up quickly as representatives from the different services argued over what was necessary in the military information technology world and why. The discussion became especially lively as it turned to enterprise email. Teri Takai, the department's CIO, and Michael Krieger, the deputy CIO/G-6 of the U.S.
The U.S. Defense Department must move to a single identity management system, the department's chief information officer said today at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference. Teri Takai stated that enterprise email is a driver of that system but acknowledged that the bigger concern is the identity management rather than whether all the military services embrace the email migration. Despite arguments among members of a military chief information officer panel earlier in the day, Takai said she is glad the discussion came up because people need to understand that finding the right solution for identity management is difficult.
Economic winds are causing clouds to shift, or at least requiring organizations to shift their data to them. Mark Hurd, president, Oracle Corporation, kicked off Wednesday of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference by focusing on the financial reasons that drive information to the cloud and the need to reallocate money toward innovation. Information technology (IT) professionals, and the groups who use their services, are dealing with a situation full of data, legacy equipment and lots of challenges. The resulting complexity equals higher costs, yet over the next eight years IT budgets are expected to grow by only 1 to 2 percent, Hurd said. "Complexity has become the enemy," he stated.
The demand for bandwidth via satellite communications is unlikely to diminish as the U.S. continues to decrease the number of troops at war in the Middle East, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, Jr., USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) told journalists during a media roundtable today at the DISA Mission Partner Conference. However, the way that bandwidth is used operationally is expected to adjust. Possible evolutions are dependent on emerging technologies, the general explained, citing as an example the demand for high-definition and full-motion video even on mobile devices. Various military groups are running pilot programs to decide which mobile platforms and operating systems will best meet their needs.