Editor’s Note: As AFCEA looks back on its long history, one of the pivotal decisions was to expand its reach more globally, which included formation of international chapters, creation of events in a variety of countries and establishment of an office in Brussels, Belgium, which would facilitate and grow European operations. Loren Diedrichsen had long seen the value of AFCEA in his work at Fort Monmouth and had been actively involved in that chapter. Upon accepting a post in Brussels, he combined his understanding of the AFCEA organization, his connections within NATO, and his knowledge of the technical community into a focus that would help AFCEA grow its European operations.
In addition to institutions such as NATO and the European Union (EU), one of the biggest players in North Atlantic defense is data, say European experts. Yet, nations often overlook the lessons generated by the private sector and not always pursuing effective investments in military information technology.
Those points were discussed at the AFCEA Europe Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) virtual event in late September. Maj. Gen. Erich Staudacher, GEAF (Ret.), AFCEA Europe general manager, offered that data increasingly sprawls into military mobility. He recited an old Latin saying that navigation is necessary, all the more in this sea of data.
As the military girds for a battlespace environment flush with big data, the COVID-19 coronavirus is forcing governments to adopt actions that can be applied to that requirement. Efforts underway to combat the virus are showing the way to data networking that can serve burgeoning civilian and military needs.
Just how these efforts constitute an exercise in synchronicity was explained by Terry Halvorsen, CIO/EVP, IT Mobile with Samsung Electronics. Speaking at the AFCEA Europe Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) virtual event in late September, Halvorsen described how combating the coronavirus has taken on warlike aspects that can be extended across the information technology spectrum.
New challenges facing the West have compelled NATO to refresh domestic capabilities that have long been overlooked, alliance leaders say. These capabilities focus largely on logistics, but they also encompass new areas of concern such as cybersecurity and the supply chain.
AFCEA is saddened to announce the death of Rear Adm. Dr. Sigurd Hess, GE N (Ret.), general manager of AFCEA Europe from 1998 to 2000. He passed away on June 14 in Rheinbach, Germany.
Prior to his time at AFCEA, the admiral served in the German Navy (Bundesmarine) for 41 years, including as commanding officer of the guided missile destroyer Mölders from 1975-1977, and in 1979 as commander of the Naval Task Force SEF 792. From 1993-1998 he served as chief of staff of the NATO-Headquarters Baltic Approaches in Karup, Denmark.
NATO’s power will grow as partnerships between governments and industry combine their strengths to increase security and bring about progress. The challenges nations face are as much about culture and people as they are about finding the right technologies and efficiently introducing them into the networking ecosystem.
More than 600 senior public and private sector leaders met at NITEC18 to learn about emerging capabilities, discuss digital transformation and collaborate to address the challenges NATO is facing today. The event took place in Berlin and was organized by AFCEA International in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Defence.