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.
"At the end of the day, it's all about effects," Lt. Gen. Carroll Pollett, USA, director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), said during his LandWarNet address this morning. Focusing his remarks on the enterprise, the general emphasized the need for partnerships to enable success on the battlefield and other world situations. Moving forward, enterprise leaders and users will have several issues to address, including how to leverage the classified and unclassified domains to create a common operational picture. The need for warzone advantages are unlikely to diminish. "I think in the future we're going to be in persistent conflict," Gen. Pollett stated.
LandWarNet 2011 took on a naval twist this morning as Adm. William McRaven, USN, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), took the stage to discuss his view of communications. The leader quickly pointed out the relevance of SOCOM at a largely U.S Army conference, explaining that members of his command are inherently joint and interagency. He then cleared up any confusion that special operations are always kinetic by emphasizing that engagement activities are a critical part of missions. Adm. McRaven also said that SOF warriors represent a major value to the country. "I like to think we're the most cost effective capability the U.S. government has out there," he stated.
Policy and governance remain the biggest hurdles to interoperability among military services and their various allies and partners according to the joint/coalition panel held this morning at LandWarNet. Representatives from the British Armed Forces, U.S. Marine Corps, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense sat on a panel moderated by a U.S. Navy admiral from the joint staff to discuss the issues inherent in information sharing in coalition and disaster response missions.
Joint is the name of the game on the battlefield and at LandWarNet, as Lt. Gen. William T. Lord, USAF, chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer for the U.S Air Force gave the final address of the conference this afternoon. The general said that he believes all future operations will be joint because the services are too small now to operate on their own. Everyone needs the synergy of the combined force to carry out their operations. To enable these partners, the military must continue to improve cyberspace operations. An Air Force study titled "A Day Without Space" examined what would happen if capabilities from space such as GPS and ISR were disabled. Gen.
The Army needs to fix its acquisition process and move good ideas to top leaders, according to Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, vice chief of staff, U.S. Army. Gen. Chiarelli delivered the morning address of LandWarNet today via teleconference, stating that he wants the ideas people have to make Army tools better. He also emphasized repeatedly the need to change acquisitions to keep up with technology changes and the enemy. The general said that because many of the United States' current enemies have no uniform or state sponsorship, people can underestimate their strength. "We don't talk enough about how very, very good the enemy is," he stated.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, addressed media members at LandWarNet today during a roundtable focused on the recent Apps for the Army competition. Various competition winners also attended to share their experiences. Gen. Sorenson reiterated comments he made yesterday saying that this quick-development contest could serve as a precursor for rapid deployment in the future. He sees the process applying even to larger systems. The general also mentioned that in the future there could be a contest involving industry participation in which they are given guidelines but not many specific requirements.
The feel and focus of LandWarNet took on a slightly different feel this afternoon as retired IBM Chief Executive Officer Louis V. Gerstner took the stage to discuss institutional transformation. Rather than address military-specific needs, Gerstner explained how he worked to turn around IBM by changing the entire culture of the organization. He told listeners to take the lessons he imparted and apply them as appropriate to military needs. According to Gerstner, at some point successful organizations will face a time when outside influences demand a complete institutional transformation. Unfortunately, many will not be able to make the necessary adjustments and will ultimately fail.
The U.S. Defense Department must secure the cyber domain to protect and defend its own information and U.S. citizens, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, USA, commander of U.S. Cyber Command said today during the opening address of LandWarNet 2010. Gen. Alexander also serves as the director of the National Security Agency. "Every link and system has vulnerabilities that we have to defend," he stated. Gen. Alexander organized his speech by comparing warfare in the past with the movie WarGames and cyberwarfare to the movie The Matrix. In the former movie, as in nuclear warfare, there is no good engagement option because of assured mutual destruction.
Increased situational awareness continued as the focus of importance here at LandWarNet. Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, the chief information officer/G-6 of the Army, gave a high-level view of the current path of the Army enterprise, emphasizing that everything done comes down the requirement for shared situational awareness. All other pieces must support the effort to provide the warfighters with the information they need. To support soldiers and joint troops, the Army is working to test, field and deploy systems faster. Army leadership is standardizing processes, technologies and guidelines so industry can provide exactly what the military requires. The general also stated that industry is increasingly focusing on applications.
The solutions to the Army's network problems have no easy answers, according to opinions from the first panel here at LandWarNet. Leaders in industry addressed five questions about how to improve or address various facets of the Army enterprise, but rarely did any of the responses provide straightforward solutions. For example, employing plug-and-play capabilities can benefit the Army, but using this business model can result in "lowest common denominator" technology and stifle innovation, according to Barry R. Hensley, vice president of the Counter Threat Unit at SecureWorks. Elizabeth A. Hight, vice president, U.S.
Apps for the Army Competition Wraps Up
LandWarNet closed with a keynote address by Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army's vice chief of staff. Outlining his views on command and control, the general noted that the Army is in a critical time of transformation and conflict. He added that the service has undergone rapid change during the last eight years.
The general noted that a critical lesson learned from the past several years is that vital technological and operational changes are made on the ground by soldiers at the tip of the spear. More data is now available to warfigthers than ever before, but it must be made available to a variety of personnel across all echelons, he said.
Wednesday's events at LandWarNet began with a talk by Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC, NATO supreme commander transformation, and commander U.S. Joint Forces Command. The general opened by saying he is passionate about command and control (C2), but added that C2 is an important capability that extends beyond technology. "No matter how brave your soldiers are, they're going to catch RPG's in the chest if you don't get C2 correctly," he cautioned.
The theme of this year's LandWarNet conference and symposium is leveraging the global network enterprise to enable full spectrum operations to the warfighter. Gen Carter F. Ham, USA, launched the event by discussing the Army's need to leverage the network and cyberspace to enable command and control. He explained that this was a historic time for Army signals as the service establishes a new unified command devoted to cyberspace.
Because this is a very dynamic time for the signals community, he said that communications personnel must be fully engaged in the enterprise from the beginning. Signals personnel help build and maintain the systems on which full spectrum operations rely.