TechNet Augusta Solutions Series

May 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Data science and management are the first priorities when adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning, says the commander of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. Credit: agsandrew/Shutterstock

If the United States is going to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to maintain a technological advantage, data science capabilities are a must, says Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Gen. Barrett made the remarks while serving on a panel of women cyber leaders on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet August Virtual Event Series, held May 18-19.

May 19, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
 Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

Cyber education and training should begin not in college, not in secondary school, not in middle school, not in elementary school, but at home as soon as children are able to view or use social media, say some experts. This training is important not just to lay the groundwork for future cybersecurity professionals in a field starved for expertise, but also to instill good cyber hygiene habits that can be passed on to other family members.

May 19, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USA (Ret.), senior strategic advisor at Deloitte Consulting, stresses that diversity is important for the Army to pursue when recruiting younger soldiers as well as with leadership. “Soldiers want the leadership to be attuned to this,” he says. “They want the leadership to look like them, whether it's gender, ethnicity, you name it. They want a diverse workforce.” Credit: Shutterstock/travelview

The pandemic propelled an immediate shift to remote working, with the U.S. Army quickly adding to its digital infrastructure to support its personnel, with a 400 percent increase in remote network capabilities, reports Deloitte Consulting. Going forward, the service must now negotiate how to lead a workforce that in many cases wants to stay remote. The Army faces other challenges in recruiting and retaining soldiers and civilians, especially going into the era of multidomain operations, or MDO, the consultants say.

May 18, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel Belew, USMC, academics officer, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, speaking at AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta Virtual Series on May 18, reports that the service is working to incorporate an “always-on feedback loop” in which incremental change is incorporated in the academic cycle.

The U.S. Navy and Marines Corps are harnessing virtual platforms and advanced methods to teach cyber and communications skills. In some cases, the services are looking to a “blended model” of instruction from both industry and military cyber experts that produces multitudes of trained personnel for a single investment. Additionally, to create a powerful cyber force, technical training needs to be as realistic as possible, with high-fidelity cyber training ranges that can meet high standards for mission rehearsals and training on a daily basis and can be accessed anywhere in the world. 

May 18, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence (CCoE) at Fort Gordon, Georgia, is creating a new pilot program to allow soldiers to access training before deploying, when they are at their units or when they find they are lacking in a skill. It will also let managers know in which areas a soldier is strong, says incoming Command Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) at the CCoE, CWO 5 Paul Sankey, USA.

The U.S. Army is creating a pilot program for a limited number of Signal Warrant Officers to build certain skills that the service is identifying as being crucial for the future digital battlefield. The program, currently being developed by the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence (CCoE) at Fort Gordon, Georgia, will feature an online training platform for soldiers to access on-demand education when needed to support future signal, cyber and electronic warfare operations.

May 18, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command, delivers the opening keynote in Episode Three of the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series.

The U.S. Army is girding for battle in cyberspace by assembling a skilled force that it hopes will make the difference in the event of a conflict, its cyber commander stated. This force aims to be the decisive factor in any conflict in that domain.

The Army cyber workforce was the focus of the opening session for episode three of the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series, being held May 18-19. Delivering the opening keynote was Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command, who wasted no words in describing the importance of the human factor in cyber operations.

May 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
STEM education is a vital part of attracting a cyber-savvy workforce for civil and military service. Credit: Somjai Jathieng/Shutterstock

Every cyber warrior can be a cyber recruiter, according to panelists at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Event Series.
 
The United States faces a severe shortage in cyber personnel and in students willing to enter the cyber workforce. That shortage is even more acute in the government and the military, where talented personnel are often recruited by industry for higher pay and other incentives.
 

April 20, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Ahead of a deployment to Afghanistan, the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade concluded a training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, that included training on the new Integrated Tactical Network. Over the next two years, Army officials expect to make significant progress on the unified network concept, which will converge the tactical and enterprise networks. Credit: U.S. Army

Over the next couple of years, the U.S. Army will experience a significant shift in its approach to network modernization and will progress toward a unified network for both enterprise and tactical purposes, according to Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, the service’s deputy chief of staff, G-6.

Gen. Morrison made the comments earlier today during the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series. “That unifying architecture is something that the Army is working very, very hard on. Over the next two years, we will make a shift in the way that we’ve been approaching our modernization efforts,” Gen. Morrison stated.

April 21, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Capt. Zachary Schofield (center), USA, assistant product manager with Wideband Enterprise Satellite Systems, demonstrates an inflatable satellite antenna (ISA) to soldiers at Camp Humphreys, South Korea in 2019. The Army’s Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) has a global support program in place to ensure communications equipment readiness. Credit: Amburr Reese, CECOM Public Affairs

The U.S. Army’s Communications and Electronics Command, or CECOM, located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is engaging in a robust asset management program to make sure command, control, communications, computing, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) technologies are ready for troops around the world, said Maj. Gen. Mitchell Kilgo, USA, CECOM commander.

April 20, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Leaders from the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, including Gen. Garret Yee, Gen. Paul Fredenburg and Joe Wassel, found that the close working relationship of the two organizations was crucial in responding to the SolarWinds malware attack.

Facing an unprecedented malicious cyber event, the Defense Information Systems Agency, known as DISA, and the Joint Force Headquarters Department of Defense Information Network, or JFHQ-DODIN, sprang into action, leaning on their respective round-the-clock operations, their supply chain management postures, and relying on its industry, Defense Department and government partnerships, leaders say.

April 20, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: U.S. Army photo

U.S Army improvements in networking capabilities are showing significant progress toward goals in the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system, say officers tasked with improving tactical connectivity. Yet along with these gains comes the realization that other challenges must be met to ensure an effectively networked force in the future.

February 16, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The Army's Synthetic Training Environment is one of three initiatives using data to modernize the service's training capabilities. Credit: U.S. Army

Gen. Paul Funk II, USA, commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), outlined three training modernization priorities during his keynote speech at a February 16-17 AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series event. The initiatives include developing a prototype of the Army Training and Information System, updating ranges and training aids, and linking live, virtual and constructive training.

February 17, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Army soldiers support the U.S. Cyber Command. Army cyber activities are ramping up to reach across the Defense Department with improved capabilities. Credit: Steven Stover, 780th Military Intelligence Brigade

The U.S. Army is applying its cyber expertise across the defense spectrum as it blends tactical and strategic capabilities while helping the departmentwide cyber mission. This ranges from operational activities to training, and the effort spans both defensive and offensive cyber missions.

Some of these points were explained in day 2 of the first episode in the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series, airing February 16-17. Col. John Transue Jr., USA, director, Army Capability Manager (ACM) Cyber, described how the separation between tactical and strategic capabilities is blurring as the Army applies elements of one to the other.

February 17, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
With the advent of smart cities, the Chinese have become very adept at aggregating data to find U.S. special forces operating in the Far East, “as well as all the way back here at home,” warns Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, Commanding General, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C.

The U.S. Army’s 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is looking to fill vital cyber and communications gaps, but with technologies tailored to its unique missions, said Maj. Gen. John Brennan, USA, commanding general, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The command is the largest divisional element in the Army, with soldiers that serve in special forces, psychological operations groups and battalions, civil affairs groups and information warfare groups and for the national mission force that operates mostly with the Joint Special Operations Command units.

February 16, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Soldiers observe an impact zone during an international exercise. The Army's PEO IEWS is developing innovative capabilities to improve battlespace-wide situational awareness as part of its effort for multidomain operations. Credit: U.S. Army photo

The U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) is striving for an entire new generation of technology-based capabilities to help the service achieve multidomain operations (MDO). And unlike previous developmental models, the office is moving toward collaborative capabilities in a multisystem approach.

Helping in this effort is the office’s creation of a new PEO IEW&S Integration Directorate. This recognizes that signals intelligence (SIGINT), electronic warfare, intelligence and cyber operations constitute a single element of Army MDO requirements.

February 16, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
The U.S. Army is in the process of building requirements for a broad portfolio of electronic warfare solutions, reports Col. Daniel Holland, USA, Army Capability Manager for Electronic Warfare, Cyber Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Over the last several years, the U.S. Army has worked pointedly to build up its electronic warfare capabilities. From the early days of only having small groups of electronic warfare soldiers that ventured to counter radio-controlled improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army has since retooled its efforts. The service is pursuing a broad campaign of development, is continuing to identify capability gaps and has successfully fielded more advanced tools to operate and dominate in the electromagnetic spectrum.