Defense Operations Blog

Making Sure AI Is Ethical

June 17, 2021
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: dotshock/Shutterstock

The idea of responsible artificial intelligence is spreading far and wide across the U.S. Department of Defense and its surrounding ecosystem.

Signed JADC2 Strategy Provides 'Teeth' to Complicated Effort

June 7, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The new strategy for Joint All-Domain Command and Control will bring together the “disparate communities within DoD to work together for a common cause,” says Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber; and chief information officer, The Joint Staff (J-6), on Friday during a press conference at the Pentagon.

The approval outlines two key forums for deciding which service will supply solutions for joint all-domain operations.

Amid Budget Cuts, the Army Protects Future Capabilities

June 2, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
At Fort Carson, Colorado, modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles, known as Mission Enabling Technologies Demonstrators, and modified M113 tracked armored personnel carriers, or Robotic Combat Vehicles, were used for the Soldier Operational Experimentation (SOE) Phase 1 to further develop learning objectives for the Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) concept. Credit: Jerome Aliotta, CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center

The service will continue to pursue its modernization efforts and will provide a pay raise to its warfighters.

Data Centricity, Interoperability at the Heart of Network Modernization

May 21, 2021
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, highlights agency priorities and focus areas during a virtual luncheon session hosted Thursday by AFCEA's Central Maryland Chapter.

The path forward also centers heavily on more generic solutions that enhance industry's speed and effectiveness at innovation.

U.S. Army Faces a Myriad of Workforce Challenges

May 19, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USA (Ret.), senior strategic advisor at Deloitte Consulting, stresses that diversity is important for the Army to pursue when recruiting younger soldiers as well as with leadership. “Soldiers want the leadership to be attuned to this,” he says. “They want the leadership to look like them, whether it's gender, ethnicity, you name it. They want a diverse workforce.” Credit: Shutterstock/travelview

Recruiting and retaining warfighters for the multidomain battlefield requires laser focus, reconfiguring and more advanced systems, consultants say.

Asset Management Propels the Army’s C5ISR Readiness

April 21, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Capt. Zachary Schofield (center), USA, assistant product manager with Wideband Enterprise Satellite Systems, demonstrates an inflatable satellite antenna (ISA) to soldiers at Camp Humphreys, South Korea in 2019. The Army’s Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) has a global support program in place to ensure communications equipment readiness. Credit: Amburr Reese, CECOM Public Affairs, The Army’s Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) is relying on so-called C5ISR Lifecycle Analysis Teams to aid its asset management, explains Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo, USA, CECOM commander, speaking at AFCEA’S TechNet Augusta Solution Series virtual event on April 21.

CECOM is maximizing its communications equipment availability through a comprehensive effort.

Intelligence Takes On More Importance in Contested Space Environment

April 14, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying SpaceX’s Starlink L-23 payload launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, April 7. As the United States increases its posture in space, it needs better space intelligence to support its missions, experts say. Credit: U.S. Space Force photo by Airman First Class Thomas Sjoberg

Leaders call for robust situational awareness and a highly trained space intelligence cadre for warfighting in the space domain.

Contractor-Client Communications Key to Efficient Supply Chain Management

April 13, 2021
Effective supply chain management with government customers requires clear communications, says Zach Conover, general manager for Akima LLC’s subsidiaries Truestone, Lynxnet and Aperture Federal. Credit: Shutterstock

Pandemic-related supply chain issues require creative solutions.

Army Adds Multi-Domain Task Force and Fires Command in Europe

April 13, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Army 1st Lt. Nancy Gomez fires an M777 howitzer during a direct-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, Feb. 4, 2021. U.S. Army Europe and Africa will soon receive a new Multi-Domain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command, the Army has announced. Credit: Kevin Payne, Army

The task force will include field artillery; composite air and missile defense; intelligence, cyberspace, electronic warfare and space; aviation and a brigade support element.

Navy Contribution to JADC2 Is Key Service Program

April 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Operations officers stand watch in the combat information center of the USS John S. McCain as the destroyer transits the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. Navy's contribution to the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system is a high priority for Adm. Michael M. Gilday, USN, the chief of naval operations. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

Among the top three initiatives on the Navy CNO's list is the service's effort on behalf of JADC2.

NORTHCOM and NORAD Send Demand Signal to the Defense Department

April 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Glen Vanherck, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and commander, U.S. Northern Command speaks to reporters on March 31, emphasizing the need to increase the commands’ domain awareness by adding over-the-horizon radar capabilities, space assets and undersea capabilities to provide additional awareness of near-peer adversary threats.

Experiment by U.S. protectors highlights the need for information dominance.

Open Architecture Systems Will Be the Contract Discriminator

March 29, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Last July, pilots from the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, train on the newest version of the Apache AH-64 helicopter during training conducted by Apache Program Manager, Program Executive Office Aviation (PEO Aviation). The PEO is standing up a new office to leverage open architecture systems on its aviation platforms. Credit: PEO Aviation photo by Capt. Joshua Hughes, USA, 1-229 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion.

Adhering to open architecture will be the way of the future, as will digital engineering, Army leaders say.

Army Poised to Release MDO Posture Statement

March 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019. The Army is releasing a flurry of documents, including a pending posture statement, outlining its modernization plans for 2035. Credit: Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

The pending multidomain operations posture statement will outline what the Army is doing now to achieve its vision for 2035.

China Advances Dominance and 5G Interests in the Western Hemisphere

March 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The United States already is losing positional advantage to China in the Western Hemisphere, in our own “neighborhood,” warns Adm. Craig S. Faller, USN, commander, U.S. Southern Command, testifying before Congress on March 16.

U.S. leaders warn of the country’s considerable efforts to seek a global advantage and push its 5G and information technology to dominate in the region.

First Air Force to Support U.S. Space Command

March 12, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group takes off June 18, 2019, from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The First Air Force, based at Tyndall will now be providing command and control in support of the U.S. Space Command. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie

Under a restructuring effort, the Numbered Air Force will be the future air component the command.

JADC2 Is a Cornerstone of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command’s Future

March 11, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Speaking at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Cyberspace Symposium on March 9, Maj. Gen. Kevin Huyck, director of operations, U.S. Northern Command, says the data-centric capabilities of Joint All Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, are a clear tool to not only defeat adversaries, but also to deter and deny actions before ever needing to engage in battle.

Defense of the homeland will be improved through a clear all-domain picture.

Joint Communications Team Plans for Multi-Domain Ops

March 8, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier fires an FGM-148 Javelin during live-fire training in Jordan, Aug. 27, 2019, as part of Eager Lion, a major U.S. Central Command exercise that aims to integrate forces in a multilateral environment. The Joint Communications Support Element supports all of the combatant commands, special operations forces and other departments and agencies and is modernizing to meet the demands of multi-domain operations. Credit: Army Spc. Shadrach Hicks

The Joint Communications Support Element (Airborne) is modernizing to enhance its ability to provide communications support in a contested, multi-domain operations environment.

China First to The Microphone on Info Ops

March 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
China is often first in the information operations competition, keeping the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific on defense. Credit:

Unlike the United States and its partners and allies, the authoritarian regime in China quickly spins messages with the entire government speaking as one party. 

INDOPACOM Increases Emphasis on Communication

March 3, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat sails alongside the USS Nimitz as a U.S. Navy helicopter lands on the flight deck. The United States and its Indo-Pacific allies are working to improve their communications interoperability as they face growing challenges in the vast region. Credit: U.S. Navy

Communications is more important than ever as the United States and its allies face new challenges in the vast Indo-Pacific region.

Policy Remains Biggest Hurdle for Interoperability

March 2, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Paratroopers secure their location in preparation for the extraction of senior Afghan and coalition military leaders following a key leader engagement in southeastern Afghanistan, December 29, 2019. Complex policies for connecting networks and sharing data remains a significant barrier for working with allies and coalition partners, military officials say. Credit: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

“Our competitors are cheap. We will win with our partners if we’re good and fast. We will lose if we’re not.”