The modernization, proliferation and commoditization of electronics make contending with peer and near-peer adversaries more difficult, according to Chuck Hoppe, director of science, technology and engineering at the U.S. Army’s Combat Capability Development Command C5ISR Center. “For every good thing we bring out of technology, someone inevitability wants to use it for nefarious purposes. That has been the biggest change in the past 20 years, and it’s what made things significantly more deadly and lethal,” he says.
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Speed is of the essence as the U.S. Army works earnestly with industry to equip the force with the latest tools to combat cyber attacks. Yet rapid acquisition must be weighed against wasteful haste as the service aims to deliver combat-effective capabilities without breaking stride.
These capabilities include a revamped tool suite, a portable cyber defense system and advanced cyber situational awareness. At the forefront of these efforts is the project manager, defensive cyber operations (PM DCO), part of the Army’s Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems.
The Integrated Tactical Network is the name of the Army’s envisioned future network, and integration is the name of the game for one of the service’s premier research and development centers.
The mission for the newly named Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center remains largely the same, but seamless integration of those eight closely related technology areas is now a primary focus, according to Michael Monteleone, who directs the C5ISR Center’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate.
A future iteration of artificial intelligence would measure a soldier’s cognitive and physical state and trigger actions that would support, or even save, the individual in combat. These actions might direct the human on a different course, or ultimately initiate activities that complete the soldier’s mission or protect the individual in combat.