Defense Operations Blog

The Indo-Pacific Command Gears Up to Face Down China

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The USS Wilbur (l) conducts replenishment at sea with Japanese and French ships. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is expanding its exercise and training activities with allies and partners to boost its deterrent capabilities across the vast region.  U.S. Navy courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is improving its deterrence capability to confront an increasingly aggressive China.

Establishing a Space Force National Guard

February 24, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Joseph Lengyel (l), USAFG, chief of the National Guard Bureau, speaks with Col. Hall, USAG from the Louisiana National Guard during a 2020 tour of the state’s Public Safety warehouse supporting the COVID-19 response in Baton Rouge. The Space Force could have a guard component, but the Defense Department needs to complete a study on the viability. Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Toby Valadie

It still is a possibility to create a guard component for the new service, lawmaker says.

Allocating Combat Roles in a Joint Environment

February 22, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Another way specific joint warfighting roles and missions could be defined is through the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, says Air Force Chief Gen. Charles Brown (c). Gen. Brown recently visited Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, with David Foskey (r), 573rd Manufacturing Squadron director and Georgia Congressman Austin Scott (l) for an update on the base’s propeller overhaul for the C-130, a key aircraft for joint warfighting. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton, Key discussions at the Joint Staff level will examine how to allocate joint warfighting duties amongst the U.S. military services, says Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, the Joint Staff’s director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber, and chief information officer. Credit: Photo Courtesy of OCJCS Public Affairs

Top Pentagon leaders see ways to resolve who does what in joint warfighting.

The Army’s Electronic Warfare Efforts Take Center Stage

February 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army is in the process of building requirements for a broad portfolio of electronic warfare solutions, reports Col. Daniel Holland, USA, Army Capability Manager for Electronic Warfare, Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Georgia., U.S. Army soldiers from the then newly activated Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare and Space Detachment, known as I2CEWS, stand during a ceremony in January 2019 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington. The service has since grown the I2CEWS to a Battalion and is fielding them important electronic warfare tools. Credit: U.S. Army photo

The service is progressing in filling key capability gaps for operating in the electromagnetic spectrum.

U.S. Space Force Gathers International Allies

February 8, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. John Raymond, USSF, chief of space operations, is seeing increased cooperation among the new U.S. Space Force and international partners.

After the U.S. Defense Department elevated space operations to a Space Force on a par with the other military services, other nations are following suit and working with the force.

Defense Department to Deploy Counter-Drone Systems in 2022

February 3, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Military officials intend to counter-drone systems twice a year, with the first demonstration taking place in April, and fielding the first systems next year. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Department in April will demonstrate initial capabilities to fill any gaps in capabilities to counter small unmanned aerial systems and will begin fielding systems in 2022.

The Growing Communications Role of the Tanker

February 2, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost (l), USAF, who is now the commander of Air Mobility Command, greets the since retired Gen. Paul Selva, USAF, who was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before they flew the third and fourth delivered KC-46A Pegasus refueling aircraft in January 2019, from Boeing at King County International Airport in Seattle. Credit: DOD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James McCann, Once manufacturing deficiencies are handled, the Air Force’s new KC-46 aircraft will provide many advantages to the air fleet, says Gen. Jaqueline Van Ovost, USAF, commander, Air Mobility Command

The Air Force sees beyond the traditional roles for its tanker and cargo aircraft fleet.

Modernization Marches Forward

January 14, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
U.S. Army soldiers and Defense Department contractors collaborated at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, during Project Convergence 20 to initiate testing exercises for new multidomain operations weapons systems. U.S. Army photo by Daniel J. Alkana, 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Gearing up for takeoff, an extended range/multipurpose unmanned aircraft system is transported to testing zones during Project Convergence 20. Autonomous weapons systems can actively disperse hellfire missiles on enemy targets without physical U.S. forces present. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jovian Siders, 92nd Combat Camera Company, Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA (l), and Brig. Gen. Rob Collins, USA, discuss the U.S. Army’s current and future network plans to help industry understand the service’s requirements.

The U.S. Army continued to determine and develop the network it needs even while working within COVID-19 restrictions.

Unmanned Fleet Swells

January 13, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Ocean Sciences Division tests the Mantas unmanned surface vehicle’s ability to conduct a detailed survey near Panama City Beach, Florida. The Navy is relying on help from the NRL and other laboratories to build a cadre of unmanned vehicles as a fleet multiplier. Credit: NRL/Daniel Parry

The Naval Sea Systems Command is nurturing an effort to add unmanned vessels, improving autonomous capabilities and supporting open architectures to boost capabilities sharing across platforms.

New Pentagon Strategy Counters Small Unmanned Aircraft

January 7, 2021
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Caption: The U.S. Defense Department has released a new strategy for countering the proliferation of small unmanned aerial systems. The strategy is designed to provide the framework for addressing the threat to within the United States and internationally. Credit: Lobachad/Shutterstock

The strategy explains that the exponential growth of small, unmanned aircraft systems creates new risks for the Defense Department. 

Navy Seeks Swiftness

January 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
The Navy is exploring advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence handle the rapidly increasing amount of sensor data flooding naval intelligence systems. Credit: U.S. Navy photo

The U.S. Navy requires capabilities that can be integrated into the force rapidly to deter or defeat adversaries.

Nuclear C3 Looms Vital to Strategic Modernization

January 7, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
An unarmed Minuteman III launches during a developmental test at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, last year. The U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is modernizing both its weapon systems and their accompanying Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3). Credit: Air Force photo

Nuclear command and control is just as important as weapon systems for Strategic Command modernization.

The Holidays Present Additional Challenges for Veterans

December 23, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Army MSG Pavel “Pasha” Palanker, a 17-year combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient facing severe PTSD offers ways to handle stress during the holidays and pandemic. Photo courtesy of the AFCEA Gold Vault Chapter

Injured combat veteran offers crucial advice to fellow sufferers of trauma and all of us during the holidays and pandemic.

IoT Brings SATCOM Down to Earth

December 31, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S. military leaders intend to use new satellite constellations designed for Internet of Things purposes to enable greater SATCOM on the battlefield. To do that, Army researchers are developing advanced ground terminal technologies. Courtesy photo by United Launch Alliance

Technological leaps in ground station capabilities will enable the U.S. Army's modernization goals such as a more resilient network, long-range precision fires and air and missile defense.

Space Force on Its Way to 16,000 Personnel

December 18, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders, speaking at AFCEA NOVA's recent Information Technology Day, see the growth of the one-year-old U.S. Space Force as the service works to strike its own path from the U.S. Air Force.

The one-year-old service continues to steadily fill its ranks.

Defense Department Needs Tighter Control Over Battlefield Spectrum

December 16, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
A soldier attaches long-range radio equipment to a Humvee. A GAO report warns that adversaries could take control of the electromagnetic spectrum in the battlespace if the Defense Department doesn't establish effective plans and oversight of its EMS efforts. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo

The Defense Department must gain control of its electromagnetic spectrum processes if it is to maintain superiority over serious peer-rival threats, says a GAO report.

Experts Warn of Weaponization of Personal Data

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
The vast troves of personal data on U.S. citizens are now being weaponized by foreign adversaries, panelists TechNet Cyber. Credit: Meranna/Shutterstock

Action is needed to protect individuals and national security, say AFCEA TechNet Cyber panelists.

Providing IT to the Nation’s Highest Military Leaders

December 3, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Information Systems Agency's Joint Service Provider, which supplies crucial information technology to the nation's top military leaders, such as Gen. Mark Milley, USA, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, is looking for industry innovation in network and communications capabilities. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marisol Walker

DISA’s Joint Service Provider leads the charge to arm senior officials with innovative, yet steadfast communications and computing solutions.

Combatant Commanders to Review JADC2 Strategy Soon

December 2, 2020
By George I. Seffers
A Marine uses a radio during a field exercise at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017. A resilient network is a key component for the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept. The Pentagon is developing a strategy to enable JADC2. Credit: Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Carl King

AI, machine learning and automation are needed to make the vision a reality.

Seemingly Boundless Bombers Secure the Skies

November 20, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Two B-1B Lancer aircraft prepare to land during a Bomber Task Force deployment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in October. The move to that type of bomber mission has proven to be successful so far, says Pacific Air Forces leader Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, USAF.

U.S. Air Force Bomber Task Force effort is supplying more missions than before.