Three years ago, the Navy established its Information Warfare Enterprise and took steps to bolster its information warfare, or IW, given rising threats from adversaries. To support persistent surveillance of the maritime and information battle space, the service is now supplying IW expertise within meteorology, oceanography, intelligence, cyber, cryptology, network, space and electromagnetic spectrum operations, reported Vice Adm. Kelly Aeschbach, USN, commander, Naval Information Forces.
The Department of the Navy (DON) has set a course to add a “large number” of air, surface and subsurface unmanned platforms to operate in all domain alongside manned systems. In March, the Navy and the Marine Corps published the Unmanned Campaign Framework to guide their investments in and integration of unmanned platforms. The service should not stray from this effort, despite cultural, operational and funding barriers, said a panel of experts, led by moderator Capt. George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.), director, Strategic Assessments and Technical Futures, Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, speaking at the virtual West 2021 conference.
The Transportation Security Administration is in the market for small businesses that offer security technology. Because large companies quickly buy out a great deal of startups, the organization’s Small Business Programs office is looking at new ways to diversify this marketplace by facilitating investments.
Adequate funding is one of the biggest roadblocks for entrepreneurs who want to sell to government agencies as well as the tallest hurdle for the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) program to overcome. Many small businesses just don’t have sufficient capital to keep their doors open through the lengthy process between requests for information and contract awards.
When COVID-19 started ravaging the U.S. travel industry economically, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA's) contracting and procurement division had to put gear into place to prevent the spread of the virus in environments that are literally the hub for millions of customers every day. Bill Weinberg, the assistant administrator for contracting and procurement, who began at the agency this month, understands the organization must continue to move quickly to ensure both the security and the safety of both its passengers and the agency’s workforce.
The U.S. Air Force is pursuing an overarching effort known as SMC 2.0, spearheading agile acquisition, reorganizing internally and working to define a hybrid flexible architecture for satellite systems to better protect the United States. The support of X-band capability, however, is unclear, leaders say.
For the Navy, use of satellite based X-band frequency is a vital defense component; the service’s continued reliance on X-band will extend well into the future. For example, the Navy is pursuing improvements to its active phased array X-band radar under its Future X-band Radar program that aims to create a next-generation technology by 2027.
While the U.S. Air Force will always have purpose-built and single-provider satellite communications, it wants to move into more flexible constructs that would allow warfighters to jump between multiple providers, frequency bands and systems.
Between 1.5 and 3 million cyber professionals will be needed worldwide by the year 2020 according to various studies. However, the majority of individuals currently entering the field are male; estimates are only 5 percent to 11 percent of professionals entering technical fields are women on a global basis. It is critical to bring more women into cyber fields not only to fortify the cyber workforce with more talent but also to apply the power of diversity that leads to better solutions.
The U.S. Army is ahead of the Navy and Air Force in adopting and integrating the multiple battle domains, but is still analyzing how best to apply it the battlefield.
When it comes to the transition for C4I systems to cloud computing architectures, both the challenge-and the promise-boils down to "getting the right information to the right individual at the right time-and [doing] it securely." Teri Takai, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks, and DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO), offered her thoughts on the path to cloud computing as the keynote speaker to the AFCEA Solutions series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and George Mason University C4I Center.
As so often happens in the military, it's not unusual for top-level officials to be asked to stand in for their busy bosses. So it was Col. Michael Jones, USA (Ret.), the chief of emerging technologies, CIO/G-6, who found himself delivering the day two keynote address at the AFCEA Solutions Series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I Center. In his talk regarding the G-6's strategic vision for managing information technology resources ""from the Pentagon to the warfighter in theater," Jones noted the most recent challenge to the U.S. Army: the explosive growth of mobile devices, such as iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android tablets.
Additional headlines, bullet points, and takeaways from the AFCEA "Solutions" series conference, "Critical Issues in C4I", sponsored by AFCEA International and the George Mason University C4I conference, held May 24th-25th at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.:
All too often, the topic of cyber presents a negative view of vulnerabilities and attacks, but cyber has a positive role to play in national defense, said Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, USA, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command.
The U.S. Marine Corps is at the heart of the Defense Department’s efforts to get the Joint Information Environment (JIE) up and running. Although the department has been working to create the secure network operating environment for several years, frustration has risen about a lack of progress, explained Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Nally, USMC, the Marine Corps director for command, control, communications and computers (C4) and chief information officer. Speaking at AFCEA NOVA’s 12th annual Naval IT Day, the general bluntly noted that after two years of work, “we’re still at PowerPoint,” and this frustration has prompted the Corps to put forward its own unification plan.
The U.S. Navy is establishing new teams to run cyber operations and help defend Defense Department networks as a service extension of U.S. Cyber Command. These teams are part of a centralized defensive and offensive cyber capability that is beginning to take shape within the Defense Department, said Kevin Cooley, command information officer for the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet.
Speaking at AFCEA NOVA’s 12th annual Naval IT Day, Cooley explained that the Navy is standing up 40 cyber national mission teams totaling some 2,000 personnel. All the teams will be up by the end of fiscal year 2016. These teams will function as units based on mission orders from the U.S. Cyber Command, Cooley said.
At a time when more and more computers are interconnected across the globe and more and more people are trying to exploit their vulnerabilities, the U.S. Army is shifting to meet the cybersecurity challenge. Lt. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, USA, the first commanding general of the U.S. Army Cyber Command, told keynote luncheon attendees at the TechNet Land Forces East conference that his new command is an integral part of the Army's shift to an active defense of the Internet. At the same time, it is also transitioning to a joint information sharing environment within the Defense Department, which will allow the services to more readily exchange important information as needed to support combatant commanders.
Along with all the other tools at their disposal, U.S. Marine Corps commanders now have complete cyber resources as part of the traditional Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) operational doctrine, said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills, USMC, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and commanding general of the Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command, U.S. Marine Corps. The general spoke during the Aberdeen Chapter luncheon at the TechNet Land Forces East conference in Baltimore on Wednesday. Gen. Mills, who admitted to being "an old infantry guy," nonetheless put his cybersecurity resources to good use during his 2010 deployment leading Marines in Afghanistan.
Using resources available on the global network, three developers raced the clock to create solutions to a security problem as part of the third PlugFest competition. The winners were announced Thursday during the final day of TechNet Land Forces East in Baltimore. Third place went to Morakot Pilouk with ESRI Incorporated in Thailand, who delivered a solution that verified whether a data source at the far end of a network was malicious or harmless. Steve Guerin received second place. He used SIMTABLE, a device to create 3-D maps, combined with input from smartphones held by warfighters in the field, to develop a situational map of a wildfire in Afghanistan.
Maryland is home to key cybersecurity agencies, such as the United States Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, and the Baltimore Convention Center provides a fitting venue for the nearly 4,000 attendees of the TechNet Land Forces East conference, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said prior to the event's opening luncheon.
What concerns Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, Commander of U.S. Cyber Command, is that the people under his command are "not trained to a standard needed to protect our systems." Alexander delivered the afternoon keynote address to the TechNet Land Forces East conference, which opened today in Baltimore. At a time when McAfee reports the number of reported cyberattacks rose 44 percent last year, Gen. Alexander is worried that various components of military cyber command forces train differently from others. "Signal command trains to defend," he said.
The steps necessary to achieve the Air-Sea Battle strategy may induce long-sought major changes in U.S. military force structure. Yet, some aspects will require game-changing decisions and shifts in priorities. Two retired flag officers-Lt. Gen. David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, U.S. Air Force, and Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, USN (Ret.), former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, outlined how Air-Sea Battle will affect the force at Joint Warfighting 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Gen. Deptula said that Air-Sea Battle has the potential of becoming an integral part of U.S. national strategies. And. Adm.
Treating people properly and ensuring that they receive the support that they need may be the key to attracting and retaining good personnel in the military, according to a panel of experts at Joint Warfighting 2012. Addressing the topic of how the services can meet future expectations and challenges, the panelists largely agreed on the measures that are necessary to ensure a satisfied and effective force for the coming times of change. Maj. Christopher Bowers, USA, of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, emphasized that the quality of leadership is a major factor. Telling leaders to "Lead the way you want to be led," he warned against toxic leaders poisoning the atmosphere for personnel.
The technology of replacing lost limbs and senses has advanced dramatically because of urgent needs arising from the wars in Southwest Asia. Former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, described some of these advances to the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012. He related how one veteran who lost all four of his limbs volunteered for an experimental program to embed a computer chip in the side of his skull. With that chip in place, he was able to control a mechanical limb remotely-the prosthetic arm was in a corresponding laboratory thousands of miles away.
An aging U.S. population and a younger population in tropical areas may pose troubles for U.S. national security in the near future, said a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. James E. Cartwright, USMC (Ret.), the inaugural Harold Brown Chair in defense policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the audience at Joint Warfighting 2012 that the different priorities of both groups could put the United States at risk. In the United States, an aging population that averages 44 years old has different priorities than it did a generation ago. This group is tending to focus more on health care than on activities such as defense and education.
Bring your own device policies and information technologies efficiencies were big topics during the final day of the 2012 Defense Information Systems Agency Mission Partner Conference. During Thursday's panel session, Cora Carmody, chief information officer (CIO), Jacobs Engineering, discussed them both and the money the company has saved through implementation. Jacobs embraced a bring your own device attitude that allows employees to use personal platforms, including tablets, with the understanding that they are responsible for certain costs and for keeping the devices safe.
Economic winds are causing clouds to shift, or at least requiring organizations to shift their data to them. Mark Hurd, president, Oracle Corporation, kicked off Wednesday of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference by focusing on the financial reasons that drive information to the cloud and the need to reallocate money toward innovation. Information technology (IT) professionals, and the groups who use their services, are dealing with a situation full of data, legacy equipment and lots of challenges. The resulting complexity equals higher costs, yet over the next eight years IT budgets are expected to grow by only 1 to 2 percent, Hurd said. "Complexity has become the enemy," he stated.
Technology leaders in the military services all seem to agree on the need for better governance, increased efficiencies and working together. That is, until they get into specifics. The U.S. Defense Department chief information officer (CIO) panel at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference this morning heated up quickly as representatives from the different services argued over what was necessary in the military information technology world and why. The discussion became especially lively as it turned to enterprise email. Teri Takai, the department's CIO, and Michael Krieger, the deputy CIO/G-6 of the U.S.
The U.S. Defense Department must move to a single identity management system, the department's chief information officer said today at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference. Teri Takai stated that enterprise email is a driver of that system but acknowledged that the bigger concern is the identity management rather than whether all the military services embrace the email migration. Despite arguments among members of a military chief information officer panel earlier in the day, Takai said she is glad the discussion came up because people need to understand that finding the right solution for identity management is difficult.
The demand for bandwidth via satellite communications is unlikely to diminish as the U.S. continues to decrease the number of troops at war in the Middle East, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, Jr., USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) told journalists during a media roundtable today at the DISA Mission Partner Conference. However, the way that bandwidth is used operationally is expected to adjust. Possible evolutions are dependent on emerging technologies, the general explained, citing as an example the demand for high-definition and full-motion video even on mobile devices. Various military groups are running pilot programs to decide which mobile platforms and operating systems will best meet their needs.
The last 10 years brought huge changes to information technology (IT) and the next decade will bring many more, according to Dr. Pradeep Sindhu, vice chairman, chief technology officer and founder of Juniper Networks. "[We are] in a world where networking is playing an increasingly important part of IT," he stated during his presentation at the 2012 Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference.
Cloud computing and security were the hot topics during the first full day of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Mission Partner Conference. Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, Jr., USAF, director of the agency, said efforts are ongoing to synch different cloud efforts within the U.S. Defense Department and the intelligence community. He also stated that DISA is tucked in tightly behind the department's chief information officer in the cloud arena. In a presentation immediately following the general's, AT&T's Chief Security Officer Edward Amoroso touted cloud as a way to improve cybersecurity.
This morning, Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins, Jr., USAF, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), saved everyone the trouble of asking by quickly stating the worries that keep him up at night. The combination of Moore's Law regarding technology advancement every 18 months, Metcalfe's Law stating that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of its connected users and Downe's Law of Disruption is his primary concern, he stated during the opening address of the 2012 DISA Mission Partner Conference. The final law states that though technology changes exponentially, social, political and economic systems change incrementally.
Your network is not secure and your firewalls are blocking nothing. That scary statement was a key message of Dr. Edward Amoroso, chief security officer of AT&T, during his address this morning at the 2012 DISA Mission Partner Conference. "When it comes to cybersecurity we are way out of balance," he stated. He shared that in the last few weeks botnet attacks have seen a dramatic increase, but security professionals cannot confirm which attacks come from two kids in a basement and which might originate from hostile militaries trying to steal specific information. Without that knowledge, the private sector often doesn't know if it should pass collected intelligence to the government.
One of the most critical pieces of the U.S. Army's Baseline Information Technology Services (ABITS) effort is measuring data, including customer satisfaction data, said Brig. Gen. Frederick Henry, USA, deputy commanding general of the service's Network Enterprise Technology Command. Gen. Henry made the remarks while addressing the audience at TechNet Land Forces Southwest 2012 in Tucson, Arizona.
The U.S. military needs to develop a career field that will encompass the entire career of cyber warriors, said LTC Gregory Conti, USA, who directs the Cyber Research Center at the U.S. Military Academy.
"We need to create a career field from private all the way through general officer," Col. Conti suggested at the TechNet Land Forces conference in Tucson, Arizona. He added that cyber is not just a two or three-year assignment and that cyber warriors need to know they have a future in the military. Furthermore, military members with cyber expertise need to have leaders with greater expertise, and the military must grow those leaders.
When the hacker activist group Anonymous broke into Booz Allen Hamilton's networks and stole thousands of email addresses, the company was embarrassed, and that's exactly what Anonymous wanted, said Joseph Mahaffee, the company's chief information officer.
Mike Krieger, deputy chief information officer for the U.S. Army, told the audience at TechNet Land Forces Southwest 2012 on Wednesday that he had hoped to provide them with the URL for the Army's report to Congress concerning Enterprise Email.
Congress had asked the Army to review the Enterprise Email approach to "see if it is the right thing to do." The report has to be approved by the secretary of the Army, but it has not quite reached his desk as of March 28. Krieger said he hopes to be able to provide the report very soon.
In the intelligence business, it's common for people to think everything is all about the data, when really it's about getting the data to the warfighter, said Phillip Chudoba, assistant director of intelligence for the U.S. Marine Corps, at AFCEA's TechNet Land Forces Southwest 2012.
Government may have been in the slow lane to accept social media as a viable conduit for sharing information, but agencies are now coordinating their efforts to ensure messages going out to the public can be trusted. Members of a panel discussing its uses at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference said the technologies that facilitate ubiquitous communications among the public are merely another change in generations of changes. The key is that the same principles that govern reliable news reports and privacy and civil liberties protections apply whether the public is depending on newspapers, broadcast, Facebook, Skype or Twitter, they agreed.
In a time when government agencies and industry must tighten their belts, it may be a cloak that saves the security day. While discussing best practices in securing the cloud at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference, panelist Tim Kelleher, vice president of professional services, BlackRidge Technology, shared details about his company's approach to stopping cybermarauders in their recon tracks. The technique is called cloaking, and Kelleher used caller ID to describe how his company's solution could improve cybersecurity not only in future environments but in current networks as well.
Amazing anecdotes kept the audience entertained during the lunch session at the AFCEA International Homeland Security Conference. The experts spoke about a serious subject: cyberwar. But the stories about their hands-on experiences in learning how to fight cyberwars, how they've fought cyberthreats and what they believe is needed to prepare future cyberwarriors kept conference attendees enthralled. Among the panelists was Maj. T.J. O'Connor, USA, 10th Special Forces Group (A), S-6. While attending the U.S. Military Academy, Maj. O'Connor had some time on his hands that led him to learn how best to defeat cyberattacks.
Although not claiming victory, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made some serious headway in improving cybersecurity, according to panelists discussing the topic at the DHS 2012 Information Technology Industry Day in Washington, D.C. Experts said the threats have not disappeared but rather have changed, and various DHS agencies have been learning how to better handle them. Alma Cole, chief systems security officer, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, described today's cyberthreats in a way the other panelists agreed with.
China and the United States are hindered in their efforts to build trust by cultural differences that exacerbate misunderstandings between the two nations. A panel of China experts at West 2012 in San Diego outlined several unintentionally contentious areas between the Pacific powers, but it did not have solutions for all of the challenges. Vice Adm. John M. Bird, USN, director of Navy Staff and former commander of the Seventh Fleet, said that China and many in Asia view the world differently than the United States does, especially when it comes to values. "We fall victim at our peril when we try to apply our mindset to them," he warned. "For example, our idea of deterrence is their idea of containment.
Support for naval operations is not unusual among U.S. Navy officials, but Undersecretary of the Navy Robert O. Work made a cogent argument that the 21st century will be the maritime century. Speaking at the Thursday morning plenary address at West 2012 in San Diego, Work explained that the need for global reach mandates a strong and versatile maritime force, and the U.S. Navy is being structured to meet future challenges. Work stated that the center of gravity of the new defense strategy is a true maritime strategy. New basing agreements extend the Navy's reach and provide support for a plethora of potential missions.
Enemies attacking in cyberspace and budget cutters slashing defense programs are the premier threats to the U.S. military, according to a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), warned a luncheon audience at West 2012 in San Diego that cyber is an existential threat to the nation. "We don't have many existential threats any more; cyber is one," he said, adding, "I understand that the enemy is as good as we are." The other significant threat to the U.S. military is possible budget sequestration cuts. Adm. Mullen described the current budget crunch as "a long time coming." He and other planners saw the potential problem looming nine years ago.
Despite looming budget cuts, the ability to provide information to the individuals conducting operations is a priority. Fielding technology fast is not only essential, but can help ownership costs, according to Pat Sullivan, a representative of the program executive office, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (PEOC4I) addressing a standing-room only crowd at the SPAWAR theatre during West 2012. The kind of work done within SPAWAR will take less of a cut proportionally than rest of Defense Department, he said. But he added that industry needs to pull together to reduce configurations.
The future of U.S. Navy shipbuilding may depend on savings realized elsewhere in the sea service, according to a panel at West 2012 in San Diego. With shipbuilding constituting only about 10 percent of the Navy budget, other cost savings may be necessary for the Navy to build the ships it needs to meet new strategic realities. Ronald O'Rourke, a specialist in naval affairs with the Congressional Research Service, urged the Navy to cut costs in other areas while applying smart procurement lessons to shipbuilding. Traditional lessons include having requirements up front, managing risk by not trying to do too much, accepting 70-80 percent solutions and providing stability for industry.
The U.S. Defense Department will "do its part" to bring the U.S. fiscal house in order, said a member of the Joint Staff. Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, USN, director, the Joint Staff, said that the nation's financial crisis is a "strategic vulnerability" for which the department must join the rest of the country in belt tightening. "We need to do two things: spend less and bring in more revenue," the admiral declared in the kickoff address at West 2012 in San Diego. He noted that after World War II ended, the huge national debt built up by that conflict was largely owned by the American people. Now, however, foreign nations own a substantial amount of existing debt.
Where the 20th century was the age of airpower, the 21st century will be the age of cyberpower, according to the U.S. Air Force's chief information officer (CIO). Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, told the closing keynote luncheon audience that the growth in cyberspace's importance is outstripping even its own metrics for progress. What he referred to as "Android's Law" has accelerated Moore's Law when it comes to change. Mobile devices are driving a global cultural change, he offered, and that change is breaching barriers and crossing into new territory. For example, social media was the tipping point in recent revolutions, the general pointed out.
Tasked with patrolling millions of square miles of water over vast ocean distances, the U.S. Coast Guard is looking to augment its surveillance forces with unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). These craft would serve to alert cutters to what lies over the distant ocean horizon. Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, USCG, the commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, told the final breakfast audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 how the vast area of responsibility across the Pacific Ocean tasks Coast Guard operations. Many isolated islands and atolls are U.S. territory, and their fish-rich waters constitute more than a million square miles of U.S. exclusive economic zones.
The new technologies that are enabling elements of the critical infrastructure to operate more efficiently also are making them more vulnerable to devastating cyberattacks. Advanced mobile connectivity and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems have created fertile ground for cybermarauders to target key aspects of the infrastructure a number of ways. These were the findings of a panel comprising a number of experts from Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2011 in Honolulu. Rear Adm. Paul Becker, USN, the PACOM J-2, described how the use of SCADA industrial control systems was a primary threat to the infrastructure.