Defense Operations Blog

The X-Band Question

November 2, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
United Launch Alliance's Delta IV rocket, carrying the Air Force’s WGS-9 satellite, launches from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 18, 2017. Although the Air Force has its sights on further WGS missions 11 and 12, they don’t include plans to support X-band capability. Photo credit: United Launch Alliance

How the U.S. military plans to sustain satellite-based X-band capability is still unclear.

Defense Industry Calls for STEM Talent

October 31, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
To meet the STEM employment gap, Barbara Borgonovi, vice president, Integrated Communication Systems, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, advises the military and the industry to alter how they identify, hire and retain talent. Credit: AFCEA/Katie Helwig

The gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers will only grow, defense leaders warn.

SPAWAR Has Its Work Cut Out for It

October 31, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
 Rear Adm. Christian "Boris" Becker, USN, commander of SPAWAR, speaks at MILCOM. Credit: Katie Helwig

In meeting the needs of a moving and growing global U.S. Navy, SPAWAR is facing challenges in fielding information technology from the seabed to space.

Army CIO Turns the Focus to the Enterprise

October 30, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army CIO/G-6, is turning his attention to the service’s enterprise. Credit: Katie Helwig/AFCEA

After helping shape the Army’s network modernization efforts, CIO Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford takes on the service’s information technology enterprise. 

Air Force Pursues SMC 2.0 Effort

October 30, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and commander, Air Force Space Command, offers that the SMC 2.0 effort is all about shifting SMC's cultural mindset to be more innovative in satellite communications. Credit: Katie Helwig/AFCEA

Lt. Gen. Thompson outlines the service's plans to improve acquisition, reorganize internal processes and harness innovation for the military's satellite communications.

U.S. Navy Embarks on Trident Juncture 18 NATO Exercise

October 16, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Last week, Canadian Forces Lt. Gen. Christian Juneau, deputy commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (l); Adm. James Foggo, USN, commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (c) ;and Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, commander of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters in Bodo, Norway, outline plans for Trident Juncture, one of the largest joint defensive exercise that NATO has ever held.

With Trident Juncture 18, NATO is conducting one of its largest exercises in recent history.

Identity is Crucial for Government IT, Says Federal CIO

September 26, 2018
By Shaun Waterman
Federal CIO Suzette Kent discusses the role of identity mangement in federal IT modernization during AFCEA’s Federal Identity Summit.

Suzette Kent tells AFCEA Federal Identity Summit identity management is central to digital infrastructure.

Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Spreads its Wings

September 19, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
To leverage innovative combat support equipment and technology, the two-year old Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) is now holding an annual Installations Weapon and Tactics Conference, modeled after Air Combat Command’s WEPTAC conference. This year’s event in San Antonio brought together senior Air Force leaders and mission support officials, and included an industry day organized by the Society of Military Engineers. U.S. Air Force photo by Malcolm McClendon, A C-17 Globemaster III from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 912th Aerial Refueling Squadron during a refueling mission over Arizona in July. Airmen of the future will be called upon to be more agile and be more versatile in their skill sets and capabilities, reports AFIMSC Commander Maj. Gen. Bradley Spacy, USAF. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan

The center looks to agility, advanced training and data analysis to support a more efficient Air Force.

Army Modernizing Training and Education for Cyber, EW

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence, moderates a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter, Maj. Gen. John Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence (far r), moderates a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army cyber, electronic warfare and signal schools consider new training and education methods.

U.S. Army Implementing Five CEMA Force Design Changes

August 23, 2018
By George I. Seffers
David May, senior intelligence advisor, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, speaks during a panel at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army's drive to better integrate multiple domains, including cyber, intelligence and electronic warfare, is leading to force changes.

Army Considering Artificial Intelligence Task Force

August 22, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer, addresses the TechNet Augusta confrence. Photo by Michael Carpenter, Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer, answers questions at the TechNet Augusta confrence. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army seeks to expand its expertise in both artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Army CEMA Teams Advance Information, Electronic and Cyber Warfare

August 6, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
After 10 rotations with brigades, the Army’s Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) teams are hitting their stride, Army experts explain at an Association of the U.S. Army event August 2. Photo credit: Anna Neubauer, Newly retired Maj. Gen. Patricia Frost, USA, and Brig. Gen. William Hartman, USA, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, discuss lessons learned from the establishment of the Army’s Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) teams. Photo credit: Anna Neubauer, Like the assimilation of other weapons, integrating cyber, electronic warfare and information warfare capabilities into the Army requires a warfighter’s mentality, says Col. Paul Stanton, USA, commander, Cyber Protection Brigade (l). Photo credit: Anna Neubauer

The U.S. Army’s efforts to bring capabilities into expeditionary forces is succeeding, Army leaders report.

Navy Satellite System Approved for Expanded Operational Use

August 2, 2018
Posted by George I. Seffers
Marines from the 1st Marine Division test out the Mobile User Objective System at a Field User Evaluation in Camp Pendleton, California. MUOS is a satellite communication system that uses commercial cell phone technology on the battlefield. Marine Corps Systems Command will begin fielding MUOS in the fourth quarter of 2018. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Eddie Young

The authorization paves the way for “early-adopter” commands to use the system on deployment as early as this fall, primarily in the Pacific theater.

Army Futures Command Takes Shape

July 17, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
From left, Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy, Army Secretary Mark Esper, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville hold a briefing about the Army’s new Futures Command on July 13 at the Pentagon.

The new Futures Command, to be based in Austin, Texas, will implement service modernization and conduct experimenting, prototyping and testing.

Marine Corps Tactical Network Moves to the Air

June 29, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The addition of the U.S. Marines Corps’ networking on the move platform known as NOTM-A Increment II system onto the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will enhance the Marines’ abilities to communicate in the air. (U.S. Marine Corps photo courtesy of Chris Wagner)

The service is expanding its C4 capabilities to additional aircraft.

Marines Fielding Night Vision Goggles

June 18, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
A Marine with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit's Force Reconnaissance Platoon waits on the flight deck while training in the Pacific Ocean. Marine Corps Systems Command unveiled its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II that it is fielding to Force Recon and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines this year, with full capability next year. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish, USMC, Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division run during drills at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in January. The service is rolling out its new Binocular Night Vision Goggle II, which will help Marines operate more effectively in the dark. Photo credit: Cpl. Aaron Henson, USMC

Advanced helmet-mounted binoculars give Marines better situational awareness in the dark.

The Army’s Tactical Mission Command Computing Shapes Up

June 15, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
In April, various corps headquarters command and staff from several Army bases participated in the Multinational Warfighting Exercise (WFX) 18-4, taking a closer look the service’s tactical network and mission command capabilities, according to the PEO C3T., U.S. Army Project Manager Mission Command's (PM MC’s) Maj. Tim Forry explains new software features of the Command Post Computing Environment recently at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Server infrastructure and software advancements are supporting the Army’s tactical mobility, a key modernization target.

Collaboration Key to Multinational Transformation

June 8, 2018
By Maryann Lawlor
NCIA General Manager Kevin Scheid (2nd row, l) and AFCEA Europe General Manager Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), (2nd row, 3rd from r) congratulate the 10 winning participants in the 2018 NITEC Defence Innovation Challenge. Each company had five minutes to present their product to attendees. The competition drew 35 submissions. Photo courtesy of Chuck Helwig, NCIA General Manager Kevin Scheid (l) and AFCEA Europe General Manager Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), discuss NATO’s challenges and solutions during NITEC18 in Berlin.

Public and private sectors must commit to cultural change and encouraging innovation to truly transform support among allied nations.

New DOD CIO Dana Deasy Looks to the Mission

May 17, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Dana Deasy, the new DOD CIO (r), chats with Brig. Gen. Kevin B. Kennedy, USA, during the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium., Dana Deasy, the new DOD CIO, speaks at the AFCEA Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium.

New to the military, the Department of Defense information technology leader finds inspiration in the department's protection of the nation.

Artificial Intelligence Use in Command and Control

May 17, 2018
Kimberly Underwood
Panelists at the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium discuss AI in the C2 domain., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Business Systems George Duchak moderates a panel at DCOS., Col. Paul Craft, USA, director, Operations, J-3, JFHQ-DODIN, discusses AI and C2 during a panel at DCOS., Misty Blowers, director of research, development and strategy, Peraton Inc., discusses AI for defense at DCOS., Terry Carpenter, director and program executive officer, Services Development Directorate, DISA, discusses kinetic warfare at DCOS., Daniel Prieto, strategic executive, Google Cloud, discusses AI and machine learning during a panel at DCOS.

In order to use AI in the C2 domain, the military needs quality data and to look to commercial solutions, experts say.