Defense Department

March 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
A 10th Mountain Division soldier keeps an eye out for enemy activity from an observation post outside Forward Operating Base Tillman in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. If military researchers are successful in unplugging the sensors required to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance around forward operating bases, they also might spur commercial Internet of Things technologies.

U.S. Defense Department researchers are meeting some goals ahead of schedule in their work on a program that may help make the Internet of Things a reality for the military and the rest of the world.

March 1, 2017
By William Allen
Adversaries and near-peer competitor nations are catching up to the United States when it comes to technology. In some cases, they are overmatching U.S. military systems, a threat that has propelled the Defense Department to launch its third offset strategy to spur innovation.

For many years, the U.S. military owned the night. The Defense Department could assert that the nation held the defining edge in nocturnal warfighting capability, thanks to massive acquisition efforts in night vision optics and weapons platforms for troops. Regaining that edge means the military must rely more on private-sector solutions that are as lethal as they are profitable.

January 9, 2017
 
Perdix microdrones launched from F/A-18 Super Hornets demonstrate advanced swarming capabilities, including collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.

The U.S. Defense Department announced today that in October 2016 it successfully demonstrated one of the world’s largest microdrone swarms at China Lake, California. The demonstration consisted of 103 Perdix drones launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The microdrones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.  

The Naval Air Systems Command and the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) are partnering on the effort. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter created the SCO in 2012 to boost Defense Department innovation.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer.

“We would be completely stupid if we didn’t take advantage of hybrid cloud environment,” Halvorsen said while addressing audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

He went on to say the department will have a cloud solution providing a set of basic enterprise services, such as email, chat, video and file share. “They will be modeled after commercial, and it will be probably in partnership with a commercial provider,” he said.

August 18, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The U.S. Defense Department unveiled Thursday a bold information technology and cybersecurity road map that modifies its approach on several efforts in the rapidly changing environments. The guide positions the department’s IT infrastructure and processes for a broad impact, in addition to hopes of greater security and scrutiny, said its chief information officer, Terry Halvorsen.

August 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A Louisiana Army National Guard chief communications plans officer trains members of the Cyber Defense Incident Response Team to defend the state’s cyber assets in November 2015. Photo courtesy DOD

Information technology modernization has reached a precipice within the federal government as agencies struggle to manage many moving parts and jockey for the same pot of money and talent. Add to the fray the results of a new survey showing an alarming reliance by federal agencies on outdated information technology systems.

March 29, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the FAA's Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen, discusses the program's progress during AFCEA's TechNet Air symposium in San Antonio.

It has taken about 15 years, but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is greeting the 21st century.

The U.S. government pledged a commitment to build an efficient air traffic control system that allows for technological and procedural improvements, and provides a system as efficient as possible for travel, says Pamela Whitley, deputy assistant administrator for the agency’s Next Generation Air Traffic Management System, or NextGen.

May 19, 2015
 

Terry Halvorsen has assumed the permanent role of chief information officer for the Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.

April 23, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter delivers a lecture, "Rewiring the Pentagon: Charting a New Path on Innovation and Cybersecurity," at Stanford University in California on Thursday. The lecture highlights the Pentagon's new cyber strategy and innovation initiatives.

The Pentagon’s new cybersecurity strategy for the first time publicly addresses the department’s option to resort to offensive cyberwarfare tactics as a means to safeguard the military’s information networks.

The Department of Defense Cyber Strategy, the second in four years, guides the development of the military’s cyber forces toward a strengthened cyber defense and cyber deterrence posture—and plans to hold in its arsenal offensive cyber capabilities.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The Online Show Daily: Day 3

The final day of AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 kicked off with a solemn remembrance of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that rocked the nation. The conference then, necessarily, moved on to the future.

September 11, 2014
By George I. Seffers

Senior military leaders will try next week to hash out differences on the command and control (C2) of the Joint Information Enterprise, or JIE, said Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Bowman made the remarks while addressing the audience at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014 conference, Augusta, Georgia.

June 5, 2014
 

Bob Work has been confirmed as deputy secretary of defense, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

 

Michael Dumont has been assigned as deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia), Washington D.C. 

August 30, 2013
By Paul Christman and Jamie Manuel

 
Recently at the AFCEA International Cyber Security Summit in Bethesda, MD, Army Maj. Gen. John A. Davis, Senior Military Advisor for Cyber to the Under Secretary of Defense, said  “Cyber partnerships such as those with the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency and external partnerships such as those with industry, international allies and academia represent a transformation in the way DOD approaches cybersecurity.”
 
For years, the U.S. Defense Department, not surprisingly, took a “do it alone” posture when it came to sharing information and protecting its networks and communication infrastructures from security attacks.
 

February 19, 2013
George I. Seffers

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), Laurel, Md., is being awarded a five-year, sole source, cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, task order contract for research, development, engineering, and test and evaluation for programs throughout the Defense Department.

July 12, 2012
 

On Wednesday, the Defense Department (DOD) issued its long-awaited cloud computing strategy. Officials also announced in a memo from Teri Takai, chief information officer for the DOD, that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will oversee the new strategy as "enterprise cloud service broker." The designation means that all department components are required to obtain cloud-computing capabilities through DISA or to obtain a waiver from Takai's office as the DOD's designated review authority.

May 8, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The free DCO Connect app allows U.S. Defense Department personnel and contractors to host and attend meetings from Android devices and tablets. The mobile initiative is an extension of the existing Defense Connect Online (DCO) program, launched in 2007 by Carahsoft Technology Corporation and Adobe to provide Adobe Connect Web conferencing and Cisco XMPP solutions. Currently, more than 650,000 users across the Defense Department use the system, which supports an average of 40 million Web conferencing minutes and 30 million chat messages per month.

April 23, 2012
 

The U.S. Defense Department has revamped its Telework Program for the civilian work force. Leaders at each Defense Department component now are required to promote telework within their organizations and to take all possible steps to overcome artificial barriers to program implementation. In addition, they must authorize telework for the maximum number of positions without compromising mission readiness and integrate telework into continuity-of-operations activities. These alterations to the former telework policy evolved out of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.

February 2, 2012
By H. Mosher

The U.S. Defense Department has awarded $18 million to six programs to reduce the energy demand of future expeditionary outposts. The assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs will administer the funds, which are granted programs aimed at developing and rapidly transitioning energy technologies for the combat force. Defense Department-led teams representing the military services and the Department of Energy will receive the money but are seeking support and innovation from small businesses.

August 24, 2011
By Rita Boland

Teri Takai, the chief information officer (CIO) of the U.S. Defense Department, elucidated the roles of her agency this morning at LandWarNet, explaining that her duties include looking for efficiencies across the department, leading the way for effective spectrum allocation and working with international partners to create standards. Moving forward, the CIO will separate from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration to become its own entity. Takai emphasized the need for an integrated look at technology, not a service by service or combatant command by combatant command approach, later remarking on the importance of standardized environments to effective military operations.

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