TechNet Augusta 2019 Coverage

August 23, 2019
By George I. Seffers
C5ISR Center computer scientist Zach Kjellberg tests position, navigation and timing (PNT) system at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The center is developing new PNT technologies in support of Army modernization efforts. Credit: Dan Lafontaine, CCDC C5ISR Center PAO

Potential adversaries studied the U.S. military’s former joint warfare known as LandAirSea, and developed long-range, or standoff capabilities to counter that strategy. To counter the standoff concept, the U.S. Army has developed a multidomain operations strategy, William “Chuck” Hoppe, director, Science, Technology and Engineering, at the Army’s Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, explained on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2019 conference.

August 23, 2019
By George I. Seffers
The Multi-Function Electronic Warfare-Air Large program will integrate an offensive electronic warfare pod onto an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system. It, along with two other programs, offers the Army an opportunity for interoperability. Credit: U.S. Army

The U.S. Army is enjoying a renaissance period for cyber and electronic warfare (EW) technologies and has a chance to lay a foundation of interoperability in cyber systems, says Col. Kevin Finch, USA, program manager for electronic warfare and cyber within the Program Executive Office-Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors.

Col. Finch made the comments on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. AFCEA added an extra day to the annual conference to highlight procurement and acquisition.

August 22, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Maj. Gen. Neil Hersey, USA, commander, of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, speaks at TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Maj. Gen. Neil Hersey, USA, commander, of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, said the center could potentially change its name, but that close cooperation among the centers of excellence essentially already provides the benefits of an information warfare center of excellence.

The change—if it happens—would follow the lead of the Army Cyber Command. Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, who leads Army Cyber Command, has been pushing to change the name to Army Information Warfare Operations Command. The service’s centers of excellence fall under the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

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 23, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Sgt. Gabrielle Hurd, 237th Military Police Company, New Hampshire Army National Guard, shows her team the route they will take before embarking on an overnight hike to the summit of Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, during an Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular Soldier Touchpoint in July. PEO-Soldier incorporates soldier feedback into the ENVG-B product and many others which helps the Army integrate the current needs of soldiers with the Army’s future, multidomain battlefield. Photo by Patrick Ferraris

Brig. Gen. Anthony “Tony” Potts, program executive officer (PEO)-soldier, recently signed a new standard for 256-bit encryption for individual soldier systems. That is an increase from 128-bit encryption.

And since beginning the job about 18 months ago, he has stopped the once-common practice in the PEO-Soldier shop of signing cybersecurity waivers for the individual soldier equipment being developed. Furthermore, he is building a “robust capability” Risk Management Framework, which essentially specifies security controls for a system that involves organizational risk.

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 20, 2019
By George I. Seffers
A DISA panel discusses how the agency is delivering capabilities to warfighters at AFCEA TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) continues to add capabilities available to warfighters and to the broader Defense Department community.

The agency has created a lot of buzz in recent months with a number of initiatives involving cloud capabilities, mobility and biometrics. Officials serving on a DISA panel continued that trend at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2019 conference in Augusta, Georgia.

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 Beverly M. Cooper
The AFCEA Women’s program convened a panel of cyber experts that included (r-l) moderator Col. Laurie Moe Buckhout, USA (Ret.), Corvus Group LLC; Gisele Bennett, Florida Institute of Technology;  DeEtte Gray, CACI International Inc.; Nancy Kreidler, director, cybersecurity and information, assurance, Army CIO/G-6; and Annette Redmond, acting deputy assistant secretary for intelligence policy and coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Data is a strategic asset, but the human factor is the greatest unsolved issue in cybersecurity. Much progress has been made in securing technology, but today, it is not just the technology but also how you factor in human behavior. Security is not just about protecting the widget or fixing the algorithm because you must factor in behavior and external sources as well.

A panel of five women, all whom have excelled in cyber-related careers, took on some of cyber’s most pressing issues at TechNet Augusta.

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 21, 2019
By Beverly M. Cooper
Small business experts discuss techniques to develop good partnerships during a small business panel at AFCEA TechNet Augusta. Moderating was (r) Brian Moore of EWA Government Systems. Panelists were (l-r) Rufus Gates, U.S Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command; Col. Laurie Moe Buckhout, USA (Ret.), president and CEO, The Corvus Group; Roy Rucker Sr., CEO and founder, TRECIG LLC; and Dawn Ross, chief information officer, Grimmer Technology and Operations. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Developing partnerships with diverse companies, especially to gain niche capabilities, is one of the ways small business can be competitive, even on prime contracts. But when small businesses do partner with multiple subcontractors, experts recommend certain steps, not only to protect the business but also to be seen in a positive light by acquisition officials.

Sharing their recommendations, a panel of small businesses and contracting officials came together at AFCEA TechNet Augusta to provide their advice on building and maintaining successful partnerships.

August 20, 2019
By Beverly M. Cooper
Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command, sketches a graphic to detail his talk during AFCEA TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Today’s military operates in a congested and contested cyber environment, and to have the advantage over its adversaries, the military must be able to integrate a variety of cyber-connected elements. Keeping the advantage depends on the ability to balance the level of precision required, to operate with speed, to accept nonconventional means and to tolerate less-than-perfect solutions. In an environment just short of war, there is no place for bureaucracy.

August 20, 2019
By George I. Seffers
Air Commodore Elanor Boekholt-O’Sullivan, Royal Netherlands Air Force, speaks about the cyber work force during a panel at AFCEA TechNet Augusta. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Members of an international panel of cyber experts recommend recruiting personnel some might consider misfits in the cyber realm.

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.