Defense Operations

July 1, 2022
By Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, USA (Ret.)

John Sherman, the Defense Department’s chief information officer, recently explained to members of Congress that when it comes to the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract, the department needs to “move with a sense of urgency” while also taking the time to “get this right.”

June 30, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines assigned to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency stand in formation during a Marine Corps ceremony held on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, last November. The U.S. Marine Corps’ new doctrine on information is meant to reach Marines of all levels about the importance of harnessing and protection information in modern day warfighting. Credit: U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Jacqueline Clifford

The U.S. Marine Corps issued their eighth doctrine, MCDP 8, Information, on June 29. The policy lays out a clear alignment for Marines to harness and protect information on the modern-day battlefield.

June 29, 2022
By Diego Laje and Nuray Taylor
President Joe Biden meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and other NATO leaders during its summit on June 29 in Madrid, Spain, to iron out the United States’ continued contributions to the security of the alliance. Credit: NATO

President Joe Biden announced an expansion of U.S. forces and cyber capabilities to Europe in support of NATO.

"NATO is strong, united, and the steps we're taking during this summit are going to further augment our collective strength," Biden said during the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday.

A new cyber cooperation action plan is also expected from this summit, covering political, military and technical levels.

June 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers

With information operations (IO) in the world stage spotlight, the U.S. Air Force sees a growing need for experts in the field and is taking steps to expand training opportunities with the 39th Information Operations Squadron (IOS).

The 39th IOS, located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, trains Air Force personnel in information and cyber operations, including both offensive and defensive cyber skills. The unit conducts qualification and advanced training to provide mission-ready information and cyber warfare operators for all Air Force major commands.

June 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
A 173rd Airborne Brigade soldier conducts a radio check during an exercise at the Hohenfels Training Area, Germany. New satellites will extend the range of many tactical communications systems beyond line of sight, providing global reach. Sgt. Henry Villarama, USA

The three-year-old Space Development Agency, which was charged with rapidly developing a successful National Defense Space Architecture, is on track for providing increased global tactical connectivity to the warfighter through the widespread, legacy Link-16 radio capability.

April 23, 2013
George I. Seffers

Ace Technology Partners LLC., Arlington Heights, Ill.; CDW Government LLC., Vernon Hills Ill.; CounterTrade Products Inc., Arvada Colo.; FedStore Corp., Rockville Md.; General Dynamics IT, Needham Mass.; Intelligent Decisions Inc., Ashburn Va.; Iron Bow Technologies LLC., Chantilly Va.

May 24, 2022
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Warfighters from or attached to the Air Force’s 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron relied on a Chevrolet SUV, commercial and government off-the-shelf components, and their ingenuity to achieve operation of the first-ever truly mobile command and control capabilities during the Black Flag 22-1 exercise at the base’s Nevada Test and Training Range on May 12, reported Senior Airman Zachary Rufus from the 57th Wing Public Affairs Office. Credit: Senior Airman Zachary Rufus

U.S. warfighters at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. recently achieved operation of true on-the-move command and control, or C2, capabilities during the Black Flag 22-1 exercise at the base’s Nevada Test and Training Range, reported Senior Airman Zachary Rufus, USAF, from the 57th Wing Public Affairs Office. Airmen from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, or TES, leveraged existing commercial and governmental components and integrated the technology into a commercial sport utility vehicle, or SUV, essentially creating the first-ever mobile tactical C2 vehicle, Rufus noted.

May 11, 2022
By George I. Seffers
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to information warfare. Daniel Wussow/Shutterstock

A group of senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) from the various military services argued against a one-size-fits-all approach to information warfare.

An audience member at the AFCEA Cyber Education Research and Training Symposium challenged the high-ranking NCOs on a perceived need for joint, standardized training. The questioner pointed out that the services do not even use the same terminology. For example, the Marines have a concept for information maneuver, the Army is developing an information advantage strategy, and the Air Force and Navy both prefer the term information warfare.

But the panel disagreed a unified program is needed or beneficial.

May 11, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, Army Cyber Command, addresses CERTS 2022.

The U.S. Army is seeing a successful integration of cyber operations and electronic warfare operations but could more effectively add information operations to the mix, according to Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, Army Cyber Command.

In her first public speaking engagement since taking charge at Army Cyber Command, Gen. Barrett offered the morning keynote speech at the AFCEA Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS) on May 11 in Augusta, Georgia.

May 9, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, former commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command, participates in a panel at CERTS 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A ransomware attack on a major maritime corporation could have affected its vessels in the Mid-Atlantic region, causing a U.S. Coast Guard officer to take extra precautions, according to Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, former commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Adm. Ryan left his position at Coast Guard Cyber Command last week and is now the deputy for operational policy and capabilities at Coast Guard Headquarters.

May 4, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
In late May or June, the U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 2 is standing up another new squadron, the 15th Space Surveillance Squadron, which will uniquely conduct traditional space domain awareness operations at the Ground-Based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance (GEODSS) system that sits at 10,000 feet atop Maui’s Mt. Haleakalā, as well as perform cutting-edge research and development. Photo courtesy of Bike Maui @bikingMaui

The U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 2 has been working over the last year or so to revamp itself in preparation for providing enhanced space domain awareness. The Delta, which is headquartered at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, with space domain awareness functions at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Maui, Hawaii; Huntsville, Alabama; and the Naval Support Facility in Dahlgren, Virginia; is now comprised of four squadrons, up from two.

May 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
U.S. and Japanese military aircraft participating in Cope North 2021 fly near Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. The annual exercise serves as a keystone event to enhance U.S. relations with regional allies and partners and promote security and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Air Force Senior Airman Duncan C. Bevan

The resurgence of COVID-19 during the multinational military exercise known as Cope North offered an opportunity for innovation and proved U.S. allies and partner nations in the region continue to make strides on interoperability, according to Col. Jared Paslay, USAF, who leads the Pacific Air Force Agile Combat Employment Joint Integration Team.

April 28, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Sharon Woods, director of DISA's Digital Hosting and Computing Center, shown during a panel discussion at TechNet Cyber 2022, also updated reporters on the status of Stratus, a hybrid, on-premise cloud computing program to replace milCloud 2.0 during a media roundtable at the event.  Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is delivering the first application under its fledgling cloud computing program known as Stratus.

Stratus is a hybrid, on-premise cloud computing program in the prototypical stages. It is intended to replace milCloud 2.0, which got the ax after DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, initiated a strategic assessment of programs. Officials looked for best value capabilities and wanted to be introspective and “really honest about how we deliver the best value capabilities to the warfighter,” Sharon Woods, director of DISA’s Digital Hosting and Computing Center, told reporters during a media roundtable discussion at the AFCEA TechNet conference in Baltimore April 26-28.

April 28, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Michelle Lee, director, Threat Intelligence at Lumen Technologies (l) and Caroline Kuharske, acting chief data officer, Defense Information Systems Agency, converse during a sesison at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

As the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) embraces a more data-centric vision, the agency is developing policies for enhanced data management and identifying necessary technical capabilities to support agency operations, and improved decision making and operability for warfighters, said Caroline Kuharske, DISA acting chief data officer, on April 27 speaking with Michelle Lee, director, Threat Intelligence at Lumen Technologies, during AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore.

April 27, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Raj G. Iyer, Army chief information officer, speaks to the audience at TechNet Cyber 2022 in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

As with the U.S. industrial base, commercial market and defense sector, the cyber threats to U.S. Army networks are increasingly complex and persistent. The service’s chief information officer, Raj Iyer, along with its key communication and network leaders, are positioning the Army’s information technology infrastructure and strategically aligning its cyber posture to protect against future attacks.

Issued a year ago, the President’s Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation's Cybersecurity, required federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, to enhance their cybersecurity and software supply chain integrity. This order has helped propel digital security, Iyer noted.

April 27, 2022
By Sandra Jontz
DISA officials discuss the agency’s priorities during a panel discussion at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Meeting technology priorities—at cost, at speed and using what’s already in inventory—coupled with better workforce development initiatives were some of the headline objectives of center directors from the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA.

April 27, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Danielle Metz, chief information technology strategist, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Defense Department, speaks at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Chief technology officers, especially those across the military or government, have a complicated task of pursuing technology modernization necessary to improve cybersecurity, user experiences and mission capabilities. To have digital modernization efforts that are repeatable and scalable, however, requires a holistic understanding of an organization’s information technology landscape as well as the business and people processes, advised Danielle Metz, chief information technology (IT) strategist, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Department of Defense, speaking at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference on April 27.

April 27, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The Department of Defense needs to begin to prepare now for future quantum-resistent cryptological algorithms that will need to be quickly upgraded into existing IT infrastructure to protect against adversarial decryption, warns Deepak Seth, DISA’s chief engineer, Emerging Technologies Directorate. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States is developing new algorithms to protect against the adversary’s future—powerful quantum computing that will be able to break into currently encrypted systems and data. Led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, seven advanced algorithms are being considered for use as standardized methods. The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, is working with NIST and Defense Department leaders to implement the quantum-resistant cryptography solutions, when ready, into military use, said Deepak Seth, DISA’s chief engineer, Emerging Technologies Directorate.

The chief engineer spoke on April 27 at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, being held April 26-28.

April 26, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Emerging leaders in industry discussed the trends influencing the future of artificial intelligence in the cyber realm during a panel discussion at AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2022 in Baltimore. Credit: Fit Ztudio/Shutterstock

A panel of artificial intelligence (AI) experts from industry discussed some of the technology’s promise and perils and predicted its future during an AFCEA TechNet Cyber Conference panel April 26 in Baltimore.

The panelists were all members of AFCEA’s Emerging Leaders Committee who have achieved expertise in their given fields before the age of 40. The group discussed AI in the cyber realm.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Panelists (l-r) Cmdr. Kathryn McCabe, RAN, vice director for C4, INDOPACOM; Rear Adm. Brett R. Sonter, RAN, deputy director, Maritime Operations-Australia, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and Brig. Gen. Alan Lister, RM, J-5 deputy director for policy, INDOPACOM, discuss coalition operations at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

The United States is building partnerships and alliances throughout the Indo-Pacific region, and trust issues are the thorniest hurdle to overcome. Officials in many countries work with the United States to iron out technological incompatibilities, and some countries actually purchase U.S. communications and information systems to ensure a degree of interoperability. But with information increasingly the currency of battlefield success, information sharing based on trust may hold the key to successful coalition operations.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Col. Peter “STIX” Chiou, USAF, chief of Integrated Warfighting Networks, Air Force Chief Architect Office, describes the new Integrated Warfighting Network at a briefing at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The U.S. Air Force is seeking to overcome the networking issues all the services face though the development of a new architecture that would create an all-encompassing information environment, a program expert said. This network would provide for all the warfighter’s data needs while ensuring security through redundancy and complexity.

April 14, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, USA, chief of staff of INDOPACOM, describes the command's requirements at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) is approaching the future with a wish list connected by the common thread of data. This list includes expected needs in the vast region, but it also features new approaches to maintaining peace and security throughout the region.

This list was offered to luncheon attendees by Maj. Gen. James B. Jarrard, USA, chief of staff of INDOPACOM, on the third and final day of TechNet Indo-Pacific, held in Honolulu April 11-13. Its theme of “From Data to Dominance” fit perfectly with Gen. Jarrard’s presentation.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Gen. Charles A. Flynn, USA, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, describes Army challenges in the vast region at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

The world’s largest ocean, surrounded by dozens of countries, faces threats that ultimately will be resolved by land forces. And these land forces face considerable challenges in which solutions may be defined by technology.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, DISA director, describes how the agency is meeting Indo-Pacific region challenges at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Dave Livingston photo

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is viewing the Indo-Pacific region with a high level of priority as it modernizes information systems across the defense realm. Two significant adversaries pose serious threats that are technology-oriented, both in terms of advantages and disadvantages, and the agency must address those while replacing outmoded systems.

April 13, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Clearfield, USMC, deputy commander, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific, gives the opening keynote on Day 2 of TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

With a more diverse set of missions looming in its ongoing transformation, the U.S. Marine Corps is looking at a broad range of technologies to empower individual Marines in a host of capabilities. These can range from kinetic warfighting to sensor data management, including security operations.

Most of these new technologies will come from the commercial sector, as it is advancing the state of the art in information systems faster than government. However, military concerns will be taken into account to ensure fidelity for Corps systems.

April 12, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, describes the solution to the ongoing threat to the international rules-based order at TechNet Indo-Pacific. Credit: Tony Grillo photo

Decision superiority is the key to defeating two serious attempts to overturn the international rules-based order, said a U.S. fleet commander. Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, described how the threat is coming from two directions in two different timelines, but both are serious and must be answered with a large-scale approach.

Adm. Paparo’s remarks came in the opening keynote address at TechNet Indo-Pacific, being held in Honolulu April 11-13. With its theme of “From Data to Dominance,” the event emphasized the importance of digital operations in the highly dynamic and challenging Indo-Pacific region.

April 7, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Makenzi Austin, a marine science technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20), stands on the deck waiting to pull in a scientific instrument during operations in Baffin Bay in October 2021. U.S.C.G. Cutter Healy’s crew annually deploys to the Arctic to conduct missions including icebreaking operations and support of oceanographic research by the science community. Global warming has extended the operational season of the Arctic. U.S. Coast Guard

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has interrupted the meeting of the governing bodies that oversee coordination in the Arctic region, leaving discourse at a standstill, leaders from Arctic nations report. The unfortunate effect of global warming that has increased the polar ice melt is also making the Arctic region more navigable, and as such, the region is growing in geopolitical importance. To ensure open access and safe operations, several entities help govern the region but are not able to do so during the war.

April 1, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Alaska Air National Guard tech sergeant tests his radio communications in harsh conditions. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is speeding up efforts to incorporate transformational technologies into all aspects of defense information systems. U.S. Air Force

The Defense Information Systems Agency is trying to accelerate the pace of change by incorporating transformational technology into its operations. Emerging capabilities such as 5G will find their way into DISA services, but the agency also is partnering with industry to develop and leverage new capabilities to meet burgeoning operational needs.

April 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The Commonwealth of Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is seeing the geopolitical environment shift in its Indo-Pacific region.

The Commonwealth of Australia, the sixth largest country in the world, is seeing the geopolitical environment shift in its Indo-Pacific region. As a result, it is bolstering its military and technological capabilities. It is building sovereign capabilities as well as leveraging emerging solutions through its important partnerships, explains Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

April 1, 2022
By Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, USA (Ret.)

The word “trust” is used so often within the national security and defense community that some might consider it cliched or devoid of meaning. Trusted allies. Trusted partners. Trusted data. Community of trust. Culture of trust. Zero trust.

But let me tell you firsthand what trust means to me.

March 22, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Panelists discuss military use of 5G at a AFCEA DC luncheon.

As U.S. and global telecommunication carriers deploy more and more fifth-generation wireless network infrastructure, or 5G, in America and around the world, U.S. defense officials are examining the use cases for military applications of 5G such as autonomous vehicles; support of deployed warfighters; smart bases, warehouses and logistics; and cloud-related applications.

One feature that may be ideal for Defense Department use is network slicing, experts say. The ability to separate or “slice” a 5G network into subnetworks for designated users at specific security levels could prove to be versatile, explained Neal Ziring, technical director, National Security Agency (NSA), speaking at AFCEA DC’s recent 5G Luncheon.

March 8, 2022
posted by Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Col. Ryan Loucks, USAF, and Capt. Corbin Boodee, USAF, assigned to the 68th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, RAF Fairford, England, fly a B-52H back to base following an integration mission with NATO allies. Credit: USAF Tech Sgt. Corban Lundborg

The U.S. Defense Department announced yesterday that it would be sending more troops in support of NATO’s eastern flank amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The warfighters will provide key air refueling mission support as well as command and control capabilities.

“These additional personnel are being positioned to respond obviously to the current security environment caused by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, USN (Ret.), the Pentagon’s press secretary. “And certainly to help reinforce and bolster deterrence and defense capabilities of the NATO alliance.”

March 2, 2022
Kimberly Underwood
Gen. James Dickinson, USA, commander, U.S. Space Command, testifies to Congress over the growing threat in space from the People’s Republic of China, which has added considerable adversarial capabilities, especially in the last year.

Top leaders responsible for defending the United States told Congress yesterday that the current and expected future global threat environment demands an all-encompassing strategy, one that involves strategic nuclear deterrence capabilities through a modernized nuclear triad, but also through an integrated cyber, information warfare and kinetic defense.

March 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Sgt. Maj. Troy E. Black, USMC, 19th sergeant major of the Marine Corps (r), waits to board an MV-22B assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in January. Maj. Black hosted a Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Force Level Summit that included a demonstration of the service’s expeditionary advanced base operations concepts. In support of such concepts, the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is positioning itself to provide solutions for Marines

This year, the number one priority of the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s leadership is to prepare a comprehensive recommendation to the service’s commandant, Gen. David Berger, USMC, on the future infantry battalion construct. This encompassing task is needed to properly align aspects of the Marine Corps to succeed in a near-peer environment as a more integrated part of the U.S. Navy, and one that is more operational with joint partners and allies. The lab’s other priorities center around solutions needed to execute peer adversary warfare.

February 17, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Information operations is one of the critical elements to the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told the audience at the WEST 2022 conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18.

February 17, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
The ability to conduct Joint all domain command and control is absolutely essential to face the threat from China, leaders say. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Watson, 25th ASOS Radio Frequency Transmissions craftsman, left, briefs Gen. Ken Wilsbach, Pacific Air Forces commander, center, and Chief Master Sgt. David Wolfe, PACAF command chief, about joint all-domain command and control capabilities at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, April 23, 2021. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Wilson

The U.S. military services are embarking on a widespread effort to connect all sensors to all shooters in every domain. This concept of Joint All-Domain Command and Control is challenging but remains vital given our adversarial threats, leaders said today speaking at AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute’s WEST 2022 conference and exposition held in San Diego February 16-18. 

February 18, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at WEST 2022 explore new strategy approaches for the Navy. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A WEST conference and exhibition panel discussion designed deliberately to be provocative questioned whether the U.S. Navy’s strategy permits the kind of innovation necessary to vie with peer competitors such as China.

Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau, USN (Ret.), president, Naval Postgraduate School, moderated the discussion. The panel also included Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., USN (Ret.), former vice chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Bran Ferren, co-founder and chief creative officer, Applied Minds LLC; and Steve Blank, adjunct professor, Stanford University and senior fellow for innovation, Columbia University.

February 18, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rear Adm. Kurt Rothenhaus, USN, program executive officer (PEO) C4I, speaks at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Those in charge of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) for the U.S. Navy are tapping their own assets to solve issues brought about by the implementation of new systems. More data means more work for warfighters without some kind of technological assistance, and greater capabilities on the edge could be vexing if sailors and Marines are hindered by operational burdens.

February 18, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
The three sea service chiefs describe their resource challenges in the final panel at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The sea services face tight funding, limited assets and broader missions as they re-tool for growing and more diverse challenges around the world. Not only must they allocate their resources carefully, they also must establish new procedures with greater efficiencies so they can fulfill a larger mission set.

February 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rear Adm. Douglas Small, USN, commander, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, describes aspects of Project Overmatch at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Project Overmatch, the U.S. Navy’s major networking project that will be its piece of the Defense Department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system, will draw heavily from commercial technologies and capabilities, according to a leading Navy officer. Rear Adm. Douglas Small, USN, commander, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, allowed that unclassified aspects of Overmatch will have a decidedly commercial flavor.

February 17, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces, describes the Navy's information warfare thrust at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Having embraced information warfare, the U.S. Navy is incorporating it into more platforms and operations as the sea service expects it to play a major role in future combat. Both technology and expertise are increasing their presence, and training is adjusting accordingly.

February 17, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) appears on a video screen above fellow panelist Elbridge A. Colby (l), co-founder and principal, the Marathon Initiative, and panel host Adm. William F. Moran, USN (Ret.), former vice chief of naval operations, in the opening session of day 2 at WEST 2022 in San Diego. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States must abandon ambiguity and declare its intentions to stand up to aggression or face its consequences sooner than many think possible, leading experts say. Their warnings largely concerned the Indo-Pacific region, but the principle can apply worldwide as threats are growing and challenges to peace and security are becoming more overt.

February 16, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Commanders from the three sea services describe their requirements in a panel discussion at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are looking at different but sometimes complementary needs as they gird to meet new challenges. Success may rely on abandoning old ways of operation along with incorporating new technologies, said leaders from the three services.

February 16, 2022
By George I. Seffers
While U.S. forces in the Indo-Pacific region are adapting quickly, the pace of change should be faster to compete with China, officials say. Photo by Michael Carpenter

U.S. military officials in the Indo-Pacific region agree that to compete with China, U.S. naval forces should adapt more quickly.

Asked specifically by an audience member at WEST 2022, the conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18, whether the military is adapting quickly enough for China, multiple members of a panel agreed that the answer is “no.”

February 16, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Vice Adm. Jeffrey E. Trussler, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare and director of Naval Intelligence, describes the rising tide of information warfare at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Navy is using and oozing information in nearly every aspect of its operations as it strives to maintain dominance in an ever-challenging environment, according to its information warfare and intelligence leader. Vice Adm. Jeffrey E. Trussler, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare and director of naval intelligence N2/N6, described an info-centric world in which the Navy dominates and is dominated by data used to prevail over increasingly capable adversaries.

February 16, 2022
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. Harry Harris Jr., USN (Ret.), former commander of U.S. Pacific Command, describes the status of rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region to the opening keynote audience at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Alliances are the greatest strength the United States possesses as it confronts increased tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, said a former combatant commander for that area. And they must be buttressed by unambiguous words and actions by the United States before critical actions erupt.

February 11, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. David Thompson, USSF, vice chief of Space Operations for the U.S. Space Force, speaks to industry about the importance of digital engineering, especially in capability presentation, at AFCEA NOVA’s Space Force IT Day on February 10.

The young U.S. Space Force is determined to be a military service that is based on a digital culture. Leaders are requiring all guardians—including the officers themselves—to have digital aptitude. The service put itself on a path to have a digital headquarters, with a vision of cutting-edge tools, analytics and low bureaucratic burdens. The lofty goal of digital operations centers driving joint all-domain solutions that support the military in, from and to space, is to gain advantage through an interconnected infrastructure, explained Gen. David Thompson, USSF, vice chief, Space Operations, Space Force.

February 7, 2022
By John Speed Meyers, George Sieniawski, Thomas Pike and Jacqueline Kazil
Cybersecurity experts envision a decentralized group of U.S. government employees loosely working alongside both open-source software developers and industry software engineers to ensure the security of open-source software. Credit: farisazhar/Shutterstock. Edited by Chris D'Elia

Open-source software components now often comprise at least 80 percent of modern software applications, according to the best available estimate. They run the web servers that allow you to read this article, form the core of the mobile apps you use, and even help stealthier corners of government accomplish their missions—supporting U2 Dragon Lady missions, for example.

February 1, 2022
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Marines with the 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 use a CH-53-E to lift an M777 Howitzer in Hawaii in January. The Marine Corps is developing a different kind of regiment, called the Marine Littoral Regiment, to perform expeditionary, advanced base operations. Credit:  USMC, 1st Battalion

The U.S. Marine Corps is focusing its activities to support more expeditionary warfare to guard against near-peer adversaries, such as China and Russia. The service’s work is all part of a greater force construction effort, which includes a new infantry battalion construct that leaders are developing to be capable of operating in a more globally distributed fashion in a contested maritime environment. One particular warfighting group that the service is creating is the so-called Marine Littoral Regiment.

February 1, 2022
By Lt. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, USA (Ret.)

The sea services of a maritime nation are vital to its national security, and no nation’s sea services are responsible for a greater area of operations than those of the United States. Flanked by the world’s two largest oceans that it can no longer hide behind, the United States faces peer rivals that pose challenges to the United States and threats to the international norms from all directions. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are modernizing their operations and equipment to confront this new threat, but they face a diverse set of challenges that continue to change as technologies and capabilities evolve.