Defense Operations Blog

U.S. Military Network Modernization Efforts Go Smaller, Simpler and Standardized

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Panelists discuss modernizing U.S. military networks at MILCOM 2016. Photo by Mike Carpenter

Efforts to modernize U.S. Marine Corps networks might have begun when the service worked to blur the lines between garrison and tactical networks, when nearly two decades of continuous war left the military with little opportunity for modernization beyond what troops needed immediately on the battlefield.


Autonomous Systems to Surge for Defense Operations

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
The U.S. Navy’s MQ-25 Stingray is one example of the Defense Department's pursuit of autonomous systems.

Over the next decade—if not sooner—the U.S. Defense Department wants more of its military systems to operate autonomously, capable of independently determining the right course of action no matter the situation. The Defense Science Board predicts the department will get there. 

Monitoring Tactical Wi-Fi Networks

By Joe Kim

Ensuring that deployed U.S. troops can communicate and exchange information is critical to the military’s missions. That said, there are numerous challenges in deploying the high-speed tactical networks that make this communication possible. How, for example, do you make sure these networks are available when needed? What is the best way to maintain data integrity? The accuracy of the data—such as troop location—is just as important as network availability.

Nominations for DON IM/IT Excellence Awards Due December 5

October 3, 2016
Maryann Lawlor

Nominations are now being accepted for the DON Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) Excellence Awards. Submissions are due by December 5.

DARPA Launches New Podcast Series

September 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

DARPA is hearing voices. And now, so can you. The Defense Department's renowned research arm has launched a new podcast series, Voices from DARPA.

After Active Duty: Making Connections

September 19, 2016
By George I. Seffers

Former Navy lieutenant Ryan Cox is a non-techie who thrives in a technical world. His secret to success: connecting wherever he goes.

Consolidation Requires a Whole New Level of Network Monitoring

By Joe Kim

There is no escaping the barrage of technology and devices ever-present in our modern lives. Consider that many middle school kids today are iPhone-wielding and Fitbit-wearing youngsters. The public sector workplace is no different. Federal IT professionals must consider the sheer volume and variety of devices connecting to their networks—from fitness wearables to laptops, tablets and smartphones, with a dash of IoT and cloud for good measure. 

After Active Duty: Making it Happen

August 29, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.), receives her second star. The retired general says she was glad to find the same can-do attitude in industry as in the Army.

Maj. Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.), vice president, Defense and Intelligence Group, Unisys Federal Systems, says she respects people willing and able to accomplish the mission regardless of obstacles.

After Active Duty: A Marine in Transition

August 15, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Master Gunnery Sgt. Arthur Allen III, USMC (Ret.), ponders his next career move after transitioning from the U.S. Marine Corps following a decorated 31-year career.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Arthur Allen III, USMC (Ret.), left active duty this past summer after a 31-year career that included deployments to Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. He does not yet know what his next professional position will be, but he knows his life after active duty will include volunteer work.

Not Your Mama’s Army Depot

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Army's organic industrial base helps equip the force with a wide range of equiment, including Stryker vehicles.

The workload for the Army’s organic industrial base facilities—depots, arsenals and ammunition plants—is nearly the same as it was prior to conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, Tobyhanna Army Depot is an Army center of excellence for C4ISR, electronics, avionics and missile guidance and control. The Air Force has designated Tobyhanna as its technical repair center for C4I and tactical missiles, and the Marine Corps has declared it the source of repair for their newest radar.

Supporting Readiness Worldwide

August 4, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Dennis Via, USA, commander, Army Materiel Command, discusses the worldwide threat and the need for cybersecurity at TechNet Augusta.

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) is modernizing and deploying pre-positioned stocks in Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific to ensure the service can rapidly and effectively respond to threats as they occur. Those so-called activity sets include the latest in communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment.

U.S. Navy Communications Satellite Experiences Post-Launch Difficulty

August 2, 2016
The MUOS-4 satellite launched last year; the MUOS-5 satellite experienced a difficulty on its way to its geosynchronous orbit and has been delayed.

A new U.S. Navy communications satellite, which launched in late June, experienced a difficulty on its way to its geosynchronous orbit and has been delayed, a Navy official says. 

After Active Duty: The Importance of Mentorship

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Then-Col. Kevin Nally, USMC, took command of the Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, Twentynine Palms, California, in 2009. Retired Brig. Gen. Nally, who now serves as the chief information officer, U.S. Secret Service, stresses the importance of mentorship.

When asked about the highlight of his career, retired Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, USMC, could provide a lot of different answers. The highlight, in his eyes, was mentoring young Marines and “passing on my knowledge and what I’ve learned from others so that they don’t make the same mistakes and have the chance and the resources to succeed.”

After Active Duty: A Student Never Forgets

July 25, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Carlos Rodolfo, PRT NA (Ret.) has spent years supporting students, in part through AFCEA, after being recognized for his own student accomplishments.

Rear Adm. Carlos Rodolfo, PRT NA (Ret.), was studying science and electrical engineering in 1974 at the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School when AFCEA recognized him for being the top student in his class. That moment sparked a lifelong commitment to the association and its efforts to promote education.

Getting Military Communications Battlefield Ready

June 2, 2016
By Joel Dolisy

No one needs reliable connectivity more than the nation’s armed forces, especially during the heat of battle. But reliable connectivity often can be hampered by a hidden enemy: latency and bandwidth concerns. The Army is working a network solution and has laid out a communications blueprint that other defense organizations can—and should—emulate, writes SolarWinds' CIO Joel Dolisy.

Value and Speed in Acquisition Grow Through Flexibility and Innovation

May 20, 2016
By Beverly Mowery Cooper
Lt. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., USAF, military deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, spoke at the AFCEA International/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

The Air Force can move down the cost/schedule curve to benefit value delivered to the warfighter, and the key is communications and dialog, said Lt. Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., USAF, military deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, during his address to the AFCEA International/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Cultural Changes Needed in Both Government and Industry

April 21, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The key to incorporating advanced capabilities in the U.S. military lies not so much in technology as it does in cultural changes in government and industry that will clear the way for innovation to take hold.

Digital War Defines the State of Cyber Today

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The bad guys have gotten badder as military cybersecurity experts face a war in the virtual environment.

DISA Reorganization Addresses Contracting Challenges

April 20, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

Government-industry cooperation, all the more important in tight budget times, is being redefined in DISA with an agency reorganization aimed at contracting and delivering services more efficiently.

Space and Cyber Domains Combined Create 'Synergistic' Safeguards, General Says

March 24, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, USAF, director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition for the U.S. Air Force, discusses future programs at AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium., Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, USAF, says many future programs will help the U.S. regain space superiority.

Every military operation conducted around the world is enabled by space as well as cyber operations. “As it is with cyber, and as the world is certainly witness to, our space domain is critically important,” said Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, USAF, director of space programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition for the U.S. Air Force.