Event Coverage

February 8, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
Lisa Shea Mundt, co-founder of The Pulse of GovCon, led the small business mergers and acquisitions discussion with (l-r) Kristjan Kornmayer, the senior director at the Chertoff Group LLC; Josh Heacock, director of CSP Associates; and Bob Kipps, founder, KippsDeSanto & Co.

Residential real estate isn’t the only hot market these days. While the pandemic has negatively affected hundreds of industry sectors, it has had little to no effect on mergers and acquisitions in the government contractor arena.

Experts in the fields of business strategy, transaction due diligence, finances and investments discussed the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) topic during a member-only AFCEA webinar presented in an “ask the expert” format. Lisa Shea Mundt, co-founder of The Pulse of GovCon, moderated the discussion about topics based on questions collected from registrants prior to the event.

September 3, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN (Ret.), gives the keynote address at the Women's Appreciation Reception during West 2018. Credit: Michael Carpenter

When Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN (Ret.), joined the Navy in 1989, she couldn’t program her VCR. Now she’s proud to say she can program a router. A history major who grew up in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from Boston University, she hoped to escape the cold weather when she joined the Navy.

“I want to live somewhere warm, I don’t even care what the job is,” Adm. Barrett admitted during the Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM virtual event. “So it was serendipity that somebody looked out for me and gave me a great job in communications on my first tour.”

March 2, 2020
By Beverly Cooper
Individuals from industry and government share their expertise on building high performing teams at AFCEA West: (l-r) Brandon J. Lester; J. Michael Whelan; Joe Rohner; Cayley Rice, Ph.D.; and Stephanie D. Tharp. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Certain baseline characteristics exist for successful teams, and the more an organization facilitates the development of such characteristics within their operations, the more effective the teams will be. Google’s Project Aristotle followed 180 teams for two years to identify these traits. A panel of Young AFCEANs discussed the results of this research from their own perspectives at WEST 2020, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and USNI.

January 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Air Force is facing a strategic inflection point in terms of how it pursues satellite communications in an increasingly contested space environment. The service launched its fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency mission aboard the Atlas V rocket by the United Launch Alliance on October 17, 2018, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, Space Launch Complex-41.  United Launch Alliance

Known as the SMC, the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, part of the service’s Space Command, is at the helm of the military’s satellite communications. Confronting a contested space environment and the need to innovate faster, the SMC is pursuing a reorganization involving its contracting and decision-making approaches to improve the nation’s defense-related satellite communications.

June 1, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer/G-6, engages the audience at the AFCEA Army Signal Conference in Springfield, Virginia. To modernize for the future, the Army is undergoing significant changes now, Gen. Crawford and other Army leaders indicate.

The U.S. Army’s ambitious modernization plan requires revamping the service’s technology development and acquisition processes to shape future combat capabilities.

Officials are creating a Futures Command with eight cross-functional teams (CFTs) to focus on six modernization priorities, including a more efficient and survivable network.

April 1, 2018
By Julianne Simpson
Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., USA, commanding general, U.S. Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, Georgia, offers welcoming remarks at AFCEA’s first Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium.

There are no military operations without cyber, and there is no cyber without trained professionals who can seize the high ground in that virtual domain. And with the cyber threat changing on a regular basis, those professionals must continually work to stay a step ahead of adversaries in all aspects of the discipline.

Education and training were the focal points of the first-of-its-kind Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium, hosted in January by AFCEA in Augusta, Georgia. The sold-out two-day event, also known as CERTS, connected military and government stakeholders with solution providers from academia, business and research centers.

April 1, 2018
By Ali Cybulski, Robert K. Ackerman and Beverly Cooper
The heads of the three U.S. sea services (from l)—Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, and Adm. John M. Richardson, USN—discuss the challenges they face in a town hall session moderated by Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), at West 2018.  Michael Carpenter

Money might buy badly needed fleet upgrades, but it won’t buy fixes for problems that have been building in the sea services over the past decade. Reforming technology acquisition, speeding up innovation and reclaiming combat supremacy will require shifting away from traditional approaches, said the chiefs of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard and other experts at the West 2018 conference, co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.

January 1, 2018
By Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.)
Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist addresses the audience at TechNet Europe 2017 in Stockholm.

The increasing hybrid military threat in Europe is becoming more closely related to developments in cyber technology. Cyber can both favor hybrid warlike activities and bolster situational awareness and swift reaction. Defending a modern society, which depends heavily on social media and critical infrastructure, requires a well-trained and prepared cyber defense force.

January 1, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
As part of its information technology modernization effort, the U.S. Army aims to harness agile software development and cut software patching costs and software lines, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army’s chief information officer (CIO)/G-6, at MILCOM 2017 in Baltimore.

The U.S. Department of Defense is seeing the nation’s adversaries use capabilities better than the American military, but change is underway. In particular, the Army recognizes that it must dust off some of its aging procurement processes and leverage commercial technology to regain an advantage over its enemies, said Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army’s chief information officer/G-6, at the MILCOM 2017 conference in Baltimore.

January 1, 2018
By Beverly Cooper
Resilience is an enabler, but it is not just one thing. It involves making progress with redundancy, sensors, computing capacity, bandwidth and connectivity, says Brig. Gen. Paul H. Fredenburgh III, USA, director, Command, Control, Communications and Cyber (C4), PACOM (r), in a panel discussion exploring international issues.

Mission assurance and resilience can be interpreted differently, but having relevant tools and capabilities, developing solid multilateral partnerships and employing a trained work force are critical requirements for meeting many mission objectives. Equally important is the ability to convert data into actionable knowledge to support decision making in a way that can respond flexibly in a variety of scenarios.

October 18, 2017
By Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.)
AFCEA Regional Vice President Harri Larsson (l) speaks with Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist at TechNet Europe 2017 in Stockholm.

The increasing hybrid military threat in Europe is becoming more closely related to developments in cyber technology. Cyber can both favor hybrid warlike activities and bolster situational awareness and swift reaction. Defending a modern society, which depends heavily on social media and critical infrastructure, requires a well-trained and prepared cyber defense force.

October 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers and Maryann Lawlor
Speaking at TechNet Augusta 2017, Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, said the multidomain battlefield of the future will include more robots, unmanned convoys and pilotless ships and aircraft as well as cyber and other transformational capabilities.

Evolutionary threats, global instability and the rapid pace of technological change are influencing the U.S. Army’s next steps for planning, training and fighting. Although the service has made significant network improvements for more than a decade, its leaders agree that more progress is needed to operate in the contested environment of the future.

August 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

Conquering cyberthreats that pose a national security risk means pairing cutting-edge technology and leading-edge talent, according to U.S. Defense Department experts.

The department’s technology wish list, discussed during the Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium (DCOS), touches on a number of disruptive areas, including machine learning, biometrics, the cloud, what officials are dubbing “software-defined everything,” and solutions to improve mobility and identity protections. Experts shared the challenges and solutions of leveraging technology and talent at the AFCEA International event June 13-15 in Baltimore.

August 1, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO at Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute, speaks at the AFCEA-GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium in May at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

In its ninth iteration, the AFCEA-GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium brought together leaders in academia, industry and government in May at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to address important topics in command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) technology. The two-day program focused on increased autonomy and spectrum management, among other subjects.

July 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Gen. Denis Mercier, FRAF, discusses the importance of interoperability among member nations at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario.

The road for NATO to achieve communications interoperability must be paved with innovation and effective cybersecurity, top leaders recently said. Only then can the alliance fulfill its missions and continue to function as it faces a wide range of threats in a time of tight budgets. 

However, identifying technology needs and incorporating them is easier said than done. NATO and its 28 member nations still lack a concrete plan to rush new capabilities into alliance and national systems. Intricate procurement processes compound the absence of cooperation among contracted firms, while cyber adversaries continue to improve and broaden their methods.

May 24, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Dr. Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, speaks at the AFCEA/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

Autonomous functionality is increasing. The evidence is everywhere from drones and self-driving cars to voice-controlled devices such as IBM's Watson and Amazon’s Echo. The key to successfully transitioning to these increasingly autonomous systems for the military and defense industry is trust, said Dr. Paul D. Nielsen, director and CEO, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

May 24, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

Managing spectrum, much like other national resources such as water, natural gas and land, is a growing issue due to the number of users. Now more than ever, with growing cybersecurity threats, it's important to outline a national approach to spectrum utilization for both the U.S. economy and the federal government.

May 25, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, speaks at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

The world of spectrum is exploding and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants in. Paul Tilghman, program manager, Microsystems Office, DARPA, believes that collaborative use of spectrum can make this scarce resource available to everybody but many challenges exist.

“We are not nimble right now with spectrum. We need to move away from worrying about spectrum availability and think about how we can automate it,” Tilghman said during his morning keynote address at the AFCEA/GMU Critical Issues in C4I Symposium.

May 24, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, addresses attendees during the 2016 Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium. Photo by Michael Carpenter

If they play their cards right, conference attendees can get much more out of attending an event than just listening to the who’s who of this career field or that. At this year’s Defensive Cyber Operations Symposium, or DCOS, open ears can also lead to open opportunities. Not only do attendees get the chance to listen to experts, they can enhance careers by receiving continuing education units.

Currently, 21 continuing education sessions will be offered during the three-day symposium, hosted by AFCEA International. It takes place June 13-15 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore.

May 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman

U.S. laws and the lack of a firm national cybersecurity policy are restricting the Army’s actions in its around-the-clock battle against dangerous cyber adversaries. The service lacks the authority to engage in activities that truly resolve digital conflicts, although it could earn the authority through its ongoing efforts. The Army is challenged to both streamline its fight against cyberthreats and exploit continually changing technologies.

April 27, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
People young and old—and even golden retriever Biscuit—reached out to welcome World War II and Korean War veterans arriving at Reagan National Airport as part of the Honor Flight program.

For some, networking is the most intangible yet valuable AFCEA benefit. I first met Vice Adm. Nancy Brown, USN (Ret.), in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She was a rear admiral at the time assigned to the Pentagon, but a temporary relocation of offices spared her group some of the horrors of the attack on the Pentagon.

I was interviewing her for a story on the Navy’s creation of a new restricted line designation for naval officers: the information professional community. “One reason we are doing this in the Navy is that the Chief of Naval Operations and senior people know the importance of technology,” she had said. Yes, that was in 2001.

April 26, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ernest J. Herold, deputy assistant secretary general for defense investment at NATO, discusses the changes NATO is—and must be—undergoing in the acquisition realm during NITEC 2017 in Ottawa.

NATO is undergoing needed change and striving to spend more on vital projects, but it must ramp up these efforts to be successful, said a former U.S. Army veteran who is the deputy assistant secretary general for defense investment at NATO. Ernest J. Herold told the Wednesday audience in his keynote address at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa that NATO needs to adapt to survive. In recent years, the balance has tilted in favor of collective defense, but further changes are necessary.

“For NATO to remain relevant, it needs to adapt to the changing security environment and its challenges,” he stated.

April 26, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Corinne Charette, senior assistant deputy minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector, Canada, describes how her country is an emerging source of cyber and space technologies at NITEC 2017.

A new generation of secure space satellites will both serve Canada and contribute to NATO innovation, said a government official. Corinne Charette, senior assistant deputy minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Sector, Canada, told the audience at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa that the country will benefit both socially and economically from the new orbiters looming just over the horizon.

Charette emphasized that these satellites, which will represent cutting-edge space technologies, will have effective cybersecurity. That cybersecurity may originate in Canada, as she noted the country has a burgeoning high-technology industry.

April 25, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
A panel explores acquisition innovation at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa.

Useful methods of encouraging innovation in military cyber must be consolidated to achieve success, according to high-technology executives. Speaking on the second day of NITEC 2017 in Ottawa, this panel of experts outlined useful measures of boosting innovation, and then warned they must be part of a larger overall effort.

April 25, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Mark Anderson, president of Palo Alto Networks, describes cybersecurity threats and solutions to the audience at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa.

Cybersecurity has not kept up with changes in the realm that opened the door to the security challenges facing networks today, said a Silicon Valley executive. Mark Anderson, president of Palo Alto Networks, told the audience at day two of NITEC 2017 in Ottawa that new approaches to security and network architecture must be implemented to turn the tide against cyber adversaries.

“The past decade, there have been tectonic shifts in the IT [information technology] landscape that created the perfect storm,” Anderson said. He mentioned several activities—and lack of key actions—that enabled adversaries to take advantage of their own burgeoning skills to penetrate networks nearly at will.

April 25, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Several leaders from academia and industry accept awards for the NCI Agency's Defence Innovation Challenge.

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has named 10 innovations as the best of its Defence Innovation Challenge, which is designed to spur new solutions to agency challenges. The agency announced and presented the awards at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa. The winners, representing both industry and academia, are:

Radionor Communications (Norway): Long-range wireless communications: resilient terrestrial long-range or rapidly deployable, scalable IT infrastructure

Larus Technologies Corporation (Canada): Service management automation and analytics

April 24, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
Glen F. Post III, CEO and president, CenturyLink, describes the difficulty in building a network of trusted peers at NITEC 2017.

U.S. cybersecurity firms have discovered the value and the difficulty of building a stable of trusted peers, but extending that principle to the multinational status of NATO will be as challenging as it is important, according to a U.S. technology firm leader experienced with both government and industry. Glen F. Post III, CEO and president, CenturyLink, told the first-day audience at NITEC 2017 in Ottawa that his firm serves its customers by relying on trusted partners who can support the company as needed.

April 1, 2017
By Julianne Simpson

Making innovation the prime driver of the U.S. defense community will require an ongoing, long-term effort, defense experts say. Known as the third offset, this endeavor is more of a methodology than an objective, they explained at a recent two-day conference.

AFCEA International, along with Second Front Systems and Business Executives for National Security, held the inaugural Offset Symposium February 14-15 in San Francisco to improve connections between venture capitalists and government innovators. The forum at the Marines’ Memorial Club aimed to advance the work of building the ties that bind innovative technology clusters such as Silicon Valley and the national security community. 

April 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz
Service chiefs (l-r) from the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps discuss critical issues they are confronting. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The gravest national security threat to the United States is a product of its own making.

By far, concerns emanating from the cyber domain outrank conventional conflict hazards posed by the Chinas, Irans, North Koreas or Russias of the world, military leaders said in February during West 2017 in San Diego.

January 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, Defense Department chief information officer, warned during the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu that cracking down too severely on the insider threat has a downside. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Synchronizing cyber with other domains—air, land, sea and space—is still a challenge, but the situation is improving, Lt. Col. Mark Esslinger, USAF, U.S. Pacific Command Joint Cyber Center, asserted during the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference November 15-17 in Honolulu.

Col. Esslinger served on a panel of cyber experts. Panelists agreed that the authorities to conduct cyber operations—along with policies, doctrines, tactics, techniques and procedures—still need to be defined. “The cyber mission force is still maturing, and the combatant commands are learning to integrate their capabilities,” Col. Esslinger offered.

December 1, 2016
By Mandy Rizzo
Panelists discussing cyber issues at TechNet Europe 2016 include (l-r) Dr. Phil Jones, Airbus Defense and Space; Dennis Pieterse, CGI; Peter Rost, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity GmbH; Christoph Erdmann, Secusmart GmbH; and Brig. Gen. Hans Folmer, NEA, Netherlands Defense Cyber Command.

AFCEA Europe’s second-largest flagship event, TechNet Europe, featured the latest topics in cybersecurity and command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). This year’s conference, held October 3-5 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, was organized under the patronage of the Netherlands Ministry of Defense in cooperation with AFCEA’s The Hague Chapter and welcomed more than 200 attendees from 17 countries.

December 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander, Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Networks, addresses cyber-based network issues at MILCOM 2016 in Baltimore. Photos by Mike Carpenter

Even as the U.S. Defense Department’s designated Cyber Mission Force reached the key milestone of initial operating capability in October, operators still are struggling to figure out “fighting in the cyber domain,” said Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, USA, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency. Leaders are looking to strike the perfect balance between the competing priorities of speed, security and cost.

November 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
The rapid evolution of technology complicates analysts’ work in gauging how developments will affect national security, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says at the Intelligence & National Security Summit.

The United States has strengthened its homeland security in the 15 years since terrorists attacked the nation, and significant work to reform the intelligence community means the critical agencies now communicate better with each other than ever before. Yet the world remains a perilous place, and security likely will worsen in the near future. U.S.

October 6, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Students check in for the one-day West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference 2016, held in March at George Mason University's Arlington, Virginia, campus.

High school students should begin now to voice interest to participate in an annual ethics and leadership program that seeks to equip students with skills to process and handle difficult life situations.

Each year, the West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference (WPLEC) draws roughly 200 juniors in the Washington, D.C., area for a day of learning, camaraderie, solving ethical dilemmas and even having some fun, program founders say. Faculty members from 46 area high schools also attend, with some earning continuing education credit for participation.

October 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Participating in the panel session “Building and Securing the Cyber Mission Force” at AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta 2016 are (l-r) Brig. Gen. Robert J. Skinner, USAF, deputy commander, Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network; Brig. Gen. Maria B. Barrett, USA, deputy commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters–Cyber; Brig. Gen. Welton Chase Jr., USA, commanding general, 7th Signal Command (Theater); and moderator Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, USA (Ret.), senior vice president, CGI.

U.S. military officials in recent years have preached the need for a convergence of capabilities, including cyber and electronic warfare, into fully integrated operations. That need gains urgency as it becomes increasingly clear that Russia already has made significant progress toward that goal.

At the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2016 conference August 2-4 in Augusta, Georgia, Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, then-commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, reported Russian Federation forces are employing a “full range of information warfare capabilities to effectively find and fix their opponents.”

September 9, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
James Clapper, director of national intelligence, leads off a day of discussion at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Intelligence and National Security Summit 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 1

Quote of the Day:

“I look forward to the day when we talk about winning in the information space.”—Brig. Gen. Michael Groen, USMC, director of intelligence, U.S. Marine Corps

 

The U.S. intelligence community is striving to increase public trust concurrent with improving national security domestically and overseas. While those two tasks might seem complementary, achieving them may require contradictory activities. Looming over these challenges is the greater need for effective cyber operations, both offensive and defensive.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, moderates a panel featuring Rep. Devin Nunes (R, CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman and ranking member respectively of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as they open Day 2 of the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

Intelligence and National Security Summit 2015

The SIGNAL Magazine Online Show Daily

Day 2

Quote of the Day:

“It’s time we held government accountable.”—Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global Strategies

 

The U.S. intelligence community must bring its complementary skills to bear against adversaries that are changing the playing field and the rules of confrontation. These foes range from criminals to terrorists and nation-states, and their goals run the gamut from profit to destruction of the Free World.

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (l), talks about NATO’s enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks during a panel discussion at NITEC 2016 cyber conference held in Tallinn, Estonia, in June.

As NATO grapples with mounting security threats—both conventional and irregular—the concerned alliance is tussling to deliver a unified strategy for information warfare and dominance in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberspace technologies exploiting its vulnerabilities.

The enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks dominated discussions and presentations in June at the annual NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

August 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is on a mission to adopt innovation in an array of areas, including technology and acquisition. Officials hammered home that point during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21-22. Creativity feeds the maturation process, and in some ways, pits innovation against tradition.

July 27, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Much attention has been focused on recent achievements by women who crack or break traditional glass ceilings. In its recent series on Women in STEM, SIGNAL has highlighted many of these achievements.

We’re keeping this momentum of women in power going—and next week in Georgia, AFCEA International will host its first Women in STEM panel at TechNet Augusta.

July 1, 2016
By Beverly Mowery Cooper and Sandra Jontz
Vint Cerf, touted as one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’ and now vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, speaks at the AFCEA International/George Mason University Critical Issues in C4I Symposium held in May.

Innovative acquisition is the oxymoron that should drive needed change in government buying circles. Value and relevance to meet critical needs drives innovation and the ambition to be out in front of the threat, not behind it. But innovation also demands risk, and to gain ground, experts must tweak the notoriously risk-adverse government’s acquisition process that plays a central role in making technological progress possible. A key issue is where the right amount of risk can intersect with the rewards of innovation.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

The rapidly changing nature of cyberspace is driving government and industry further into each other’s arms, but even that newfound relationship may not be sufficient to ensure U.S. force supremacy and protect the nation’s critical infrastructure from attack. Both sides must retool their approaches to doing business with each other if the military is to achieve its aims.

May 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. James Holmes, USAF, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements for the Air Force, talks about the rise of Russian and Chinese military and technological advancements that threaten U.S. superiority in both air and cyberspace during AFCEA’s TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

In time, the capacity and capability of the U.S. Air Force’s cyber mission force will evolve to the point where the service might delay, disrupt and even destroy adversaries’ systems through non-kinetic means. But that day has not quite arrived, said Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, USAF, assistant deputy chief of staff for operations for the U.S. Air Force.

April 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and former NATO supreme allied commander Europe (r), hosts a luncheon town hall with (2nd from r-l) Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; Adm. Richardson; and Vice Adm. Charles D. Michel, USCG, vice commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.

Possible foes are advancing in capability at the same time that the U.S. Navy, facing shrinking resources, needs to increase its reach. The disturbing trend for the sea services is that they are losing their technological edge just when they are being asked to do more with less. This harsh reality has the Navy and the Marine Corps looking to innovation to help them restore their advantage against increasingly diverse and deadly threats.

March 1, 2016
By Jürgen K.G. Rosenthal
Discussing key issues at the conference are (l-r) Dr.-Ing Karsten Schulz, Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB); Dr. Jürgen Geisler, Fraunhofer IOSB; Michael Mundt, Geosecure Informatik GmbH; and Stefan Hefter, IBM Deutschland. Photography by Jürgen K.G. Rosenthal

Urbanization, migration and disaster relief are topics that are ubiquitous in the 21st-century news media. Frequently, critical or crisis-related aspects are in the foreground. These include megacities out of control, migration flows triggered by economic and violent conflicts, and inadequate or delayed disaster relief.

However, most crises in the context of conurbations, migration and environmental disasters are not short-term developments, but evolve over the long or medium term. Governments and nongovernmental organizations must deal with these phenomena promptly and permanently, address them publicly and face up to the challenges resulting from them.

November 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
The six directors of the individual U.S. intelligence agencies outline vital issues at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit.

A family of threats ranging from nation-states to individuals acting on behalf of a terrorist group challenges the U.S. intelligence community as it tries to prevent kinetic and digital attacks on the homeland. Traditional arenas such as terrestrial battlespaces have been joined by cyberspace as both targets and media for adversaries bent on damaging or destroying allied military forces or civilian infrastructures.

October 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, takes to the whiteboard to illustrate dysfunctional stovepipes that keep military disciplines from sharing information and missions.

The U.S. military’s struggle to carry out effective cybersecurity measures sets the stage for a massive cultural shift that leaders say will better protect critical networks against cyber adversaries who are only getting better and smarter.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The exponential growth of network connectivity, evidenced by cloud computing and the Internet of Things, has its counterpart in cyberthreats. These new capabilities will provide myriad opportunities for cybermarauders to wreak untold damage for profit or international gain. And, the government is falling further behind as it does not even meet the security criteria it recommends for the commercial sector.

September 10, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Republicans and Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are divided on party lines over the Iran nuclear arms deal. Even though both parties have access to the same data, they view it through their own prisms and interpret it differently, according to the chairman and ranking member of the committee.

September 9, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The U.S. intelligence community must commit to greater transparency if it is to regain the public trust that is vital for its continued support, said the director of national intelligence (DNI). James Clapper, opening the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit being held in Washington, D.C., September 9-10, told the packed audience that the community "must show it is worthy of America’s trust." The U.S. public expects it, he stated.

Not that this approach is without risk, he added. "Our adversaries also have learned a lot from our transparency, but it’s worth the cost,” the DNI emphasized.