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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who has worked in the Pentagon or on almost any military installation can attest to wireless connectivity problems. Whether dealing with a dearth of cellular service, inadequate Wi-Fi or security blockers, service members and civilians have felt the frustration of not being able to access information or communicate effectively.
Air Force officers in charge of creating air tasking orders have long developed mission plans at air operations centers, known as AOCs, or centralized hubs in a specific command. The Air Force is looking at diversifying and decentralizing how and where those plans are created to add depth and resiliency to the process. This may be needed as designing air battle plans against potential peer threats will only grow in complexity in the future, experts say.
The U.S. Army is going for a clean sweep in its efforts to modernize its network. Instead of taking an item-by-item approach, the service is striving to modernize its entire network enterprise by introducing new and compatible technologies from bases to battlefields.
“The Army is going to be doing a huge modernization, and the network is on the priority list,” says Col. Enrique Costas, USA, project manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS). “And we are going to achieve a lot of these successes with the help of industry and our sister services—it’s a joint fight and it’s a joint environment.”
On May 23 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known as MIT, announced that it had signed an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to carry out fundamental research on artificial intelligence.
The MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator program is aimed at bringing rapid prototyping, scalability and the use of advanced algorithms and systems into Air Force operations.
“MIT and the U.S. Air Force have signed an agreement to launch a new program designed to make fundamental advances in artificial intelligence that could improve Air Force operations while also addressing broader societal needs,” a university official stated.
Cyber is fundamentally changing the national security landscape. David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and author of The Perfect Weapon, used his keynote address on day two of the AFCEA-GMU C4I and Cyber Center Symposium not to explain what is happening, but why this is happening.
To illustrate the new age of weaponizing information, Sanger described the differences between Watergate and the hack of the DNC in December 2016. The Russians didn’t have to do anything the Watergate hackers did.
On May 17, the 53rd Wing of the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida celebrated the establishment of its new 87th Electronic Warfare Squadron that will join the wing’s 53rd Electronic Warfare Group.
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army, suggests the possibility of an Internet of Strategic Things in addition to the Internet of Tactical Things.
“We’ve had some really good discussions about the Internet of Things. That was a thing a couple of years ago. And then we started talking about the Internet of Tactical Things. I think what’s on the horizon is more of a discussion of the Internet of Strategic Things,” Gen. Crawford told the audience on the second day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2019 conference in Baltimore.
When the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) request for quotes was released last month, it gave industry a way to leverage a variety of cloud solutions in support of defense missions. The goal of this enterprise cloud strategy is to help the Department of Defense (DOD) standardize, centralize and save money, as well as to enhance DOD capabilities. It is a path toward a multivendor, multicloud environment, according to Kevin Tate of the DOD Office of the Chief Information Officer.
The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency, and as such, is charged with supplying key information technology to warfighters and civilians around the globe. The agency provides voice, data, video, spectrum, computing and other communication capabilities to combatant commands, the Joint Staff, the services, offices and agencies in Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
By definition, the Defense Information Systems Agency Mission Partner Engagement Office’s role is to engage with customers. So it makes sense that the office is working to improve how it helps the myriad of Department of Defense and intergovernmental employees that need the information services provided by the combat support agency known as DISA.
Communications requirements are changing in tandem with new modes of military battlefield requirements. Until a few years ago, voice had been the predominant communications medium. Variable message format messages were adopted as the digitally aided close air support standard, however even with a concerted effort by the U.S. Defense Department to standardize requirements, there continues to be longstanding issues with interoperability, including significant loss of key data and slow refresh rates.
The requirement to partner with allied nations and share a classified network will only grow in the coming years, leaders say. In combined exercises, engagements or missions, coalition partners need to be able to connect digitally to share communications, resources and information to strengthen defenses and partnerships. At the Pentagon, the Joint Staff is working to improve coalition systems and how the U.S. can connect securely to those networks outside of the national networks, one expert shares.
“The Army is engaged in a protracted struggle to out-innovate our future competitors, and right now, we are not postured for success.”
This statement kicked off congressional testimony by four senior U.S. Army leaders, including now-Gen. John Murray, USA, commanding general of the new Army Futures Command (AFC). The command’s mission is to “out-innovate” our rivals.
I think this statement succinctly captures the paramount challenge of being hidebound by bureaucracy, fragmented efforts, conventional processes and, most importantly, an acute intolerance of perceived risk.