To say that the Army’s network needs an update is an understatement. The 1.1 million user-network has, among other things, 17 mission command systems—all “stovepiped,” designed never to interact together. Some of the systems were used in the early 2000s to fight a static war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Faced with aging equipment and vehicles from a bygone era, the Army is set to modernize by standing up a new command to transform its acquisition processes, among other things. It is one of the Army’s most significant restructuring efforts in the last 40 years. The need for modernization is coming from an "eroding" competitive advantage, and the evolving needs of a modern—and future—battlefield.
“We do not have time to waste,” implored Gen. Mark Milley, USA, U.S. Army chief of staff, at the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on October 9. “Our challenges are growing in scale and are in every domain of warfare: land, maritime, air, cyber and space.”
The U.S. Army Contracting Command has awarded Cape Henry Associates (CHA) a three-year, $49 million hybrid contract to mature an advanced Human Systems Engineering (HSE) Lighthouse framework and discrete functional modules. The company's Lighthouse product will be used in Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPT) analysis, requirements definitions, and production of training systems. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 11, 2020. U.S.
The U.S. Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) and Army Game Studio are introducing an online multiplayer game that enables soldiers to help design the future battlespace. Called Operation Overmatch, the technology allows warfighters, research personnel and leaders to configure future concepts of vehicles and equipment, execute missions and complete objectives in a virtual complex environment.
Operation Overmatch was created with the help of Early Synthetic Prototyping (ESP), a process and set of tools that facilitates the radical transformation of development and acquisition decisions by designing and assessing emerging technology in a game environment.
A team at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory has created four generalized linear models to predict the number of cyber intrusions a company or government will experience on its network. To design the models, the team used empirical data about successful cyber intrusions committed against a number of different organizations obtained from a cyber defense services provider that defended the organizations’ networks.
Leidos, Reston, Virginia, has been awarded an $8,811,831 modification (P00018) to contract W909MY-15-C-0031 for operations and maintenance of the Aerial Optical Change Detection system. Work will be performed in Bridgewater, Virginia; and Bagram, Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of January 25, 2018. Fiscal year 2017 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $8,811,831 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity.
AT&T Corporation of Oakton, Virginia, has been awarded a $35,796,074 firm-fixed-price contract to provide integrated voice, video, instant messaging/chat, presence, and screen sharing. Bids were solicited via the Internet with seven received. Work will be performed in Oakton with an estimated completion date of September 14, 2022. Fiscal year 2017 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $35,796,074 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-17-C-0041).
The U.S. Army has awarded a five-year, $182 million managed cybersecurity services contract to Fairfax, Va.-based InfoReliance LLC and Reston, Va.-based McAfee to enhance and modernize host based security and analytic technologies across the Army’s Endpoint Security System (AESS). The capabilities will be delivered under a managed platform as a service (PaaS) model for "near real-time situational awareness on a global basis," according to the companies. "The new platform will minimize the Army’s attack surface, increase endpoint protection and drive the automation of key reporting metrics to the U.S.
The Army awarded the Boeing Company of Mesa, Arizona $202,200,000 modification (P00009) to contract W58RGZ-16-C-0023 for 22 Apache AH-64E helicopters. Work will be performed in Mesa and completed by December 31, 2021. Fiscal year 2017 other procurement (Army); and other procurement (Army) advanced procurement funds in the combined amount of $200,200,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
L3 Technologies Incorporated of Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded a $69,348,326 cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price Army contract for procurement of manned and unmanned teaming hardware and technical and engineering support in support of the Apache attack helicopter. One bid was solicited with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of August 31, 2018. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-17-D-0070).
The Army has awarded a five-year contract to Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) to deliver licenses and support of Virtual Battlespace 3 (VBS3), a comprehensive desktop training package based on commercial video game technology, for the Army's Games for Training program. The software provides a virtual learning environment for land, air and sea training and mission rehearsal applications. The system includes a content library, scenario development tools and after action review capability.
General Dynamics Land Systems Incorporated, Sterling Heights, Michigan, has been awarded a $310,582,092 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for the design, development and integration of multiple engineering changes into the Abrams Tank M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3. One bid was solicited and one bid was received. Work will be performed in Sterling Heights; Lima, Ohio; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and Tallahassee, Florida, with an estimated completion date of February 28, 2024. Fiscal year 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $12,500,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-17-C-0188).
Moog Incorporation in Elma, New York, has been awarded an estimated maximum $48,000,000 fixed-price with price redetermination, requirements contract for miscellaneous aircraft components in support of various weapon system platforms. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1). The sole-source contract has a five-year base and one five-year option period. Locations of performance are New York and California, with an August 22, 2022, performance completion date. Using military services are Air Force, Army and Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2017 defense working capital; and depot-level reparable funds.
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc., Stamford, Connecticut, has been awarded a maximum $768,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for digital imaging network picture archiving communications system products and maintenance. This is the fourth contract competitively awarded under the open solicitation SPE2D1-15-R-0004. This was a competitive acquisition with eight offers received. This is a five-year base contract with one five-year option period. Maximum dollar amount is for the life of the contract. Locations of performance are Connecticut, and other U.S. areas, with an August 21, 2027, performance completion date.
The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is creating a virtual MK-19 trainer that will help shorten training set-up time and decrease ammunition costs, according to the Army. Researchers at the ARL in Orlando, Florida, are merging the weapon with existing hardware and software algorithms to create a training experience that blends real-time vision with virtual reality.
Once it is ready for full use in the field, the training platform will help soldiers expedite training on the weapon.
The concepts proven by the MK-19 trainer represent “the future of training for soldiers,” said Dean Reed, software developer and team lead at the ARL in Orlando.
The network the Army has is not the network it needs to confront the changing face of warfare, says Maj. Gen. (P) Bruce Crawford, USA, who took over as the service’s chief information officer/G-6 nine days ago.
Gen. Crawford told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta audience the service confronts a confluence of strategic circumstances, with several major efforts all coming together at the same time. Those circumstances include the evolution of the threat, global instability that creates greater demand for ground forces, the rapid pace of technology evolution, the speed at which decisions must be made on the battlefield and emerging doctrines.
U.S. Army officials who play various roles in modernizing the network say doing so offers multiple benefits, including saving money, improving cybersecurity and offering greater flexibility on behalf of warfighters.
The officials made the comments while serving on a network modernization panel on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2017 conference.
The Russian military has been using a clever—and lethal—propaganda technique against Ukrainian soldiers. They spam the soldiers’ cellphones with demoralizing messages and then take advantage of the resulting confusion to geolocate the soldiers’ cellphone signals and launch an attack.
Gen. Baker: You're never going to be able to emulate [in training] the gut-wrenching emotions of Russian-style messaging.#AFCEATechNet
— George Seffers (@gseffers) August 9, 2017
Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA (Ret.), former director of command, control, communications and computers/cyber for the Joint Staff, paints a dire picture of future warfare. The next war, he says, will begin with wave after wave of cyber and electronic warfare attacks that our nation is not prepared for. Although the Army is making strides in training the cyber electromagnetic activities (CEMA) force, the service may not be able to address all scenarios in a training environment.
As the Army’s forward deployed footprint has grown smaller in places such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the demand for sensors capable of sending data back to the United States for processing has increased significantly. While those sensors provide valuable information, they also place a heavy load on the service’s networks, said Mark Kitz, chief engineer, Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S).