defense operations

November 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
U.S. Air Force Airmen prepare an F-22 Raptor for takeoff at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, in September. The Air Combat Command is taking steps to ready the Air Force for multidomain operations.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sarah Dowe

On the battlefield of the future, warfighters will need to be extraordinarily interconnected to weapon systems in the air, sea, space, land and digital realms. To support operations across these multiple domains, warfighters will have to rely on advanced command and control capabilities and vigorously employ cyber defenses to its weapons and systems.

October 10, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force has reactivated a flight test squadron to take on testing of the next-generation bomber. Credit: Graphic courtesy of the Air Force

Air Force leaders at Edwards Air Force Base in California held a reactivation ceremony on October 4 for the 420th Flight Test Squadron, which will fall under the Air Force Test Center's 412th Test Wing. Notably, the squadron will be conducting analysis of flight and ground testing of the service’s next-generation bomber, the B-21 Raider, a key future weapon system for multidomain operations.

September 18, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Speaking yesterday at the Air Force Association’s ASC 2019 conference, Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, USAF, commander, U.S. Space Command, and commander Air Force Space Command, explains that the new combatant command will comprehensively train combat-ready space warfighters.

The U.S. military’s 11th combatant command, the U.S. Space Command, which the Defense Department stood up on August 29, is taking shape. Led by Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, USAF, who is also the commander of the Air Force Space Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, the Space Command has a singular focus of protecting and defending the space domain, Gen. Raymond explained.

The commander spoke with reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference on September 17 at National Harbor, Maryland.

September 26, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force is conducting a new program, called Air Force Explore, to find “remarkable” ideas to apply to persistent awareness, resilient information sharing and rapid, effective decision-making, among other areas. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Janweb B. Lagazo

Calling it a unique new call to action, the U.S. Air Force is searching for transformational solutions that advance the principles of its Science and Technology 2030 strategy. The service’s effort, called Air Force Explore, is soliciting solutions from interested parties nationwide, according to an Air Force statement.

August 23, 2019
Kimberly Underwood
The Air Force is standing up a new Information Warfare Numbered Air Force this fall, which will help support the service and the U.S. Combatant Commands, says Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, commander, Air Combat Command, at an Air Force Association event on August 23.

The U.S. Air Force is in the process of standing up a new Numbered Air Force (NAF) within the Air Combat Command, which will bring together the service’s information warfare capabilities.

Last year, the service announced it was moving its 24th Air Force, which specializes in cyber operations, and its Cyber Mission from the Air Force Space Command to the Air Combat Command. The Air Combat Command (ACC) is in the process of merging those cyber components with its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities from the 25th Air Force, which will all be under the new Information Warfare NAF, explained Gen. Mike Holmes, USAF, commander, ACC during an Air Force Association breakfast event on August 23.

August 23, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Timothy Chung, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), briefs SIGNAL Magazine and other reporters on August 20 during DARPA's Subterranean Challenge at a coal mine research facility in Pittsburgh.

In a dark, wet and rocky research coal mine in western Pennsylvania, teams from around the globe put their robotic systems to the test in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s, or DARPA’s, latest contest. The agency designed the Subterranean Challenge, also known as the SubT Challenge, to spur the advancement of technologies that work well underground, including autonomous and other robotic systems, which could benefit first responders and the military, explained Timothy Chung, program manager, Tactical Technology Office, DARPA, to the media in attendance at the event.

July 18, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Col. Dylan Morelle (l), USA, demonstration officer, Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team and Spc. Cody Palmer, USA, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, demonstrate the Army’s One World Terrain platform.

The U.S. Army is adding powerful digital tools to its training and readiness processes that will allow soldiers to fight in dense urban environments, megacities and subterranean areas.

June 1, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s distributed planning software tool, known as RSPACE, offers some automation to Air Force planners developing air missions. Credit: BAE Systems

Air Force officers in charge of creating air tasking orders have long developed mission plans at air operations centers, known as AOCs, or centralized hubs in a specific command. The Air Force is looking at diversifying and decentralizing how and where those plans are created to add depth and resiliency to the process. This may be needed as designing air battle plans against potential peer threats will only grow in complexity in the future, experts say.

February 6, 2018
by Kimberly Underwood

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can be used by DOD to gain a competitive advantage, especially in cyberspace operations. While the technology has made it easier for the military to operate and communicate, “It has also a unique set of challenges with dependencies and vulnerabilities for the department, our nation, our economy and our everyday lives,” said Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and commander, Joint Force Headquarters–Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN). The admiral presented the keynote luncheon address at the AFCEA Rocky Mountain Cyberspace Symposium on February 5 and spoke to SIGNAL Magazine.

October 31, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
 Rear Adm. Christian "Boris" Becker, USN, commander of SPAWAR, speaks at MILCOM. Credit: Katie Helwig

To be the Navy the nation needs, the service must grow, leaders have decided. As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress approved the Navy’s growth to 355 ships.

October 16, 2018
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Last week, Canadian Forces Lt. Gen. Christian Juneau, deputy commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (l); Adm. James Foggo, USN, commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples (c) ;and Lt. Gen. Rune Jakobsen, commander of the Norwegian Joint Headquarters in Bodo, Norway, outline plans for Trident Juncture, one of the largest joint defensive exercise that NATO has ever held.

Between October 25 and November 7, 50,000 military participants from 31 nations will conduct a defensive live exercise in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea. One of the largest exercises ever, the NATO event, Trident Juncture 18, is meant to ensure that NATO forces “are trained, able to operate together and ready to respond to any threat from any direction,” according to a statement from the alliance.

May 17, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
John Pellegrino, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Strategic Integration) speaks during the AFCEA DC Chapter's IoT Summit. Photo by Mike Carpenter

The U.S. military must be able to rapidly leverage both technologies and new policies surrounding the Internet of Things—not to keep pace with industry, one official said, but because U.S. adversaries already have figured out how to adapt and capitalize on what’s available.

“The enemy is capable … and we have to be able to do that,” Maj. Scott Cuomo, USMC, said Tuesday at an IoT Summit hosted by the AFCEA DC Chapter.