Defense Operations

August 22, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Synthetic Training Environment will assess soldiers in enhancing decision-making skills through an immersive environment. U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Damon "DJ" Durall

International partners and allies are showing interest in the U.S. Army’s Synthetic Training Environment, or STE, which will combine an array of technologies such as gaming, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality to converge live, virtual and constructive training.

August 22, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army’s PEO for command, control and communications-tactical, speaks at TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Engaged in a concerted modernization effort, the U.S. Army is making strides in overcoming a persistent challenge—interoperability, according to Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army’s program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical.

The Army’s network modernization plan and strategy calls specifically for officials to “define and develop the Mission Partner Environment to improve network joint interoperability and coalition accessibility.” Simply defined, interoperability is the ability to effectively communicate or share data with international partners and allies or even with other U.S. military services.

August 22, 2019
By Beverly M. Cooper
Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, USA, STE cross-functional team director, Army Futures Command, addresses the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The second revolution in training for the Army environment is underway with the Synthetic Training Environment (STE) (see video below), which will be the first holistic training strategy for the Army, according to Maj. Gen. Maria Gervais, USA, STE cross-functional team director, Army Futures Command. The first revolution occurred in the 1980s with the live combat training centers, she said during a keynote address at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference.

August 21, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Gregory Garcia, the Army’s deputy chief information officer/G-6 and chief data officer, speaks at TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

U.S. Army officials expect in the coming weeks or months to release a data strategy that will be closely aligned with its existing cloud strategy and are also building an enterprise cloud office, according to Gregory Garcia, the Army’s deputy chief information officer/G-6 and chief data officer.

Garcia made the remarks during an address and fireside chat on the second morning of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

“We have a data strategy that’s going to be processed in the next weeks and months. That’s going to get after making sure data is visible, accessible, understandable and interoperable,” he said.

August 21, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Christopher Eubank, USA, commandant, Army Signal School, speaks on a panel at AFCEA TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The future Army signal soldier will possess a more well-rounded skillset and be better able to solve problems for warfighters, according to Brig. Gen. Christopher Eubank, USA, commandant, Army Signal School and 39th chief of signal.

Gen. Eubank made the comments while serving on two panels and in a short interview with SIGNAL Magazine during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2019 conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 20, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Gen. Paul Funk, USA, commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, speaks at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A U.S. Army strategy document currently being developed and due to be published this year will emphasize the need to dominate in the information realm, Gen. Paul Funk, USA, commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), told the audience on the first day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 19, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sailors stand watch in the Fleet Operations Center at the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet. The Navy has created a new special assistant position to coordinate service cyber efforts ranging from strategy to security. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo)

The U.S. Navy is creating a new position emphasizing a cultural and operational change in cybersecurity to deal with increasing online threats that have already plagued the service and its contractors. The new position, special assistant to the secretary of the Navy for information management, will be established and filled in the next couple of weeks with a cyber expert from private industry, says Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly.

August 1, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers participate in live-fire training during Exercise Saber Guardian in Varpalota, Hungary on June 5. U.S. Army Europe and Romanian land forces lead Saber Guardian, which is designed to improve the integration of multinational combat operations. Army Spc. Joseph Knoch

The Integrated Tactical Network is the name of the Army’s envisioned future network, and integration is the name of the game for one of the service’s premier research and development centers.

The mission for the newly named Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center remains largely the same, but seamless integration of those eight closely related technology areas is now a primary focus, according to Michael Monteleone, who directs the C5ISR Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.

August 1, 2019
By Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cory Jodon, USA
Spc. Dillon Anton, USA, and Spc. Matthew Perry, USA, 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Combat Aviation Brigade, set up and validate a Combat Service Support Very Small Aperture Terminal (CSS-VSAT) in preparation of Combined Support Exercise at Storck Barracks, Germany.

For more than a decade, the U.S. Army has been improving the Logistics Information Systems Network, which is specifically designed to sustain and maintain warfighters deployed across the globe. However, although the technology has far exceeded the service’s goals, today’s management practices are almost identical to those used when the network was created in 2004. With the increase in cybersecurity policies and advances in capabilities, the need for highly trained, designated network and systems administration personnel has become abundantly clear, and the requirement for better management processes even more evident.

August 1, 2019
By Lt. Gen. John R. (Bob) Wood, USA (Ret.)

The U.S. Army is facing one of its biggest changes in history. Along with the other services, the Army is studying the model of multidomain operations, or MDO, and is developing its concepts to deal with a changing threat environment that challenges U.S. force supremacy around the globe.

July 31, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The United States is keeping a close eye on adversaries in the Indo-Pacific Region, says Gen. Charles Brown, USAF, commander, Pacific Air Forces, speaking at yesterday’s Mitchell Institute event in Arlington, Virginia.

The U.S. Air Force’s role in the Indo-Pacific region of the world is complex given the current atmosphere and threat environment. The region is host to 44 percent of the world’s trade and 60 percent of the world’s population. And for the United States, four of the five major challenges and threats identified by the National Defense Strategy and the National Security Strategy are in the Indo-Pacific region, including revisionist powers China and Russia, said the commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces, Gen. Charles Brown. The four-star general, whose area of responsibility is the Indo-Pacific, is also air component commander for the U.S.

July 24, 2019
By Steve Orrin
To reap the benefits of AI, the Defense Department must first tackle challenges with people, processes and infrastructure. Credit: Laurent T/Shutterstock

When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), the Department of Defense (DOD) has put a firm stake in the ground. The department’s AI strategy clearly calls for the DOD “to accelerate the adoption of AI and the creation of a force fit for our time.”

June 28, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Gen. David Goldfein, USAF, chief of staff of the Air Force, speaking at the Mitchell Institute Strategic Deterrence Breakfast event on June 26, warns of increasing posturing of Russia and China in the Arctic region.

With Russia and China pursuing “rapid and comprehensive” nuclear weapon modernization efforts, instead of denuclearization, the United States must remain vigilant in its commitment to update its defensive tools to protect the nation, said Gen. David Goldfein, USAF, chief of staff of the Air Force.

The chief of staff spoke at the Mitchell Institute’s Strategic Deterrence Breakfast Series on June 26. He confirmed the necessity of the United States’ nuclear deterrence triad, the combination of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), ballistic missile submarines and the aircraft bomber fleet, which serve as the backbone of our national security.

July 18, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Col. Dylan Morelle (l), USA, demonstration officer, Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team and Spc. Cody Palmer, USA, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, demonstrate the Army’s One World Terrain platform.

The U.S. Army is adding powerful digital tools to its training and readiness processes that will allow soldiers to fight in dense urban environments, megacities and subterranean areas.

July 17, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Dana Deasy, the Defense Department’s CIO, pictured speaking at AFCEA’s 2018 Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium in Baltimore, is stressing the role of cloud and artificial intelligence as part of DOD’s new Digital Modernization Strategy. Credit: Michael Carpenter

On Friday, the Defense Department released its DOD Digital Modernization Strategy, aiming to greatly improve the military’s digital environment. The strategy aims to modernize the DOD’s joint information enterprise environment by advancing its fixed and mobile networking capabilities,; DOD-wide enterprise information technology (IT) services, coordinated technology refresh efforts, joint cybersecurity capability and access to data.

July 15, 2019
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Using the Army’s cyber-enabled Counter-Unmanned Aerial System, soldiers were able to detect and counter small drones during training. Credit: U.S. Army

Soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3/1 CD) recently tried out a cyber-based prototype that complements electronic warfare systems designed to combat enemy drones, the Army has revealed in an online article.

Using the Army's enhanced cyber-enabled Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) capability, soldiers were able to detect and counter common, small drones during their training. The new prototype alerted soldiers to the presence of a drone and provided a means to target it, for protection across the brigade.

July 1, 2019
By Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, USA (Ret.)

Just about everybody who has worked for the Defense Department has encountered this: A new technology is deployed—a software application, new hardware, a piece of gear or a tool—and after using it, people discover it falls short of expectations. Perhaps it was difficult to operate. Or maybe it didn’t do what was needed. Or it might have done what was needed but did it poorly. Or it worked well enough for some use cases and not others.

July 1, 2019
By Anders Klintäng

There has been a quiet revolution in the television industry thanks to the vision of Adde Granberg, chief technology officer and head of production at Swedish Television SVT.

When we watched Lindsey Vonn retire in February of this year after an amazing career as an alpine skier, a quiet revolution happened behind the cameras. What looked like a normal, well-produced live TV event on the surface was, in fact, the world’s first remotely produced large-scale live TV production. In the world of live TV production, this is almost considered a quantum leap.

June 19, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh
The Wave Relay MANET assists the CRS(I) in communications by eliminating the need for fixed infrastructure. It is helpful for applications that require complete mobility. Photo credits: Persistent Systems.

The U.S. Army chose New York-based Persistent Systems Wave Relay mobile ad hoc networking technology (MANET) to equip the Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS(I)) program of record. The company will be part of the QinetiQ North America (QNA) team supporting the CRS(I) program. The Army made the selection in March, the company reported.

Weighing less than 25 pounds, the CRS(I) is a backpackable robot that dismounted users can carry with sensor suites for viewing and detecting threats to improve situational awareness on the battlefield.

June 19, 2019
Posted by Gopika Ramesh
A U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal is assembling an AN/PRC-117G radio on the flight deck of an amphibious assault ship. The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) adds updated firmware to the radio, giving warfighters more advanced satellite communications.” Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tawanya Norwood.

The U.S. Marine Corps recently began using a next-generation narrowband satellite communication system called the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) to help warfighters in connecting to networks on the battlefield and communicate in a tactical environment.

MUOS works by using antennas that let Marines access SATCOM networks while also providing them with secure and nonsecure internet access. The system applies to both mobile or stationary marines and was fielded in the first quarter of 2019. It includes updated firmware to the AN/PRC-117G radio system and one of three antenna kits.

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