July 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter and a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer patrol the Hawaiian Island operational area. All three sea services are modernizing amid budget constraints. Credit: MC2 Christian M. Huntington, USN

Despite fiscal restraints and force reductions, the sea services are positioned to improve their capabilities in the coming years. This assessment comes from no less than the commanders of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard, who also described the role that technology will play in building their services’ future

May 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
An F-16 Viper takes off at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in March 2020. F-16 Vipers from the 20th Fighter Wing have played a primary role in demonstrating agile combat capabilities in joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) experiments. Leaders from the Joint All-Domain Strategist course visited Nellis in March to learn firshand from the military’s JADC2 efforts.  U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Gutierrez

To prepare, operate and fight in joint warfare against near-peer adversaries across all domains will take adroit leaders who provide effective decisions in near or real time. The Air Command and Staff College, or ACSC, has set a course to do just that: prepare leaders to thrive and fight with joint operations in a contested environment on a global scale using joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2. Leaders in the class learn to plan and execute multidomain operations against possible threats on land, sea, air, space and cyberspace to lead through the challenges of the expected future operational environment in 2030 and beyond.

April 5, 2021

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $7,842,572 modification (P00012) to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N0001920C0037). This modification exercises options to provide deficiency investigations and corrections to the fielded Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) Development Labs and development of capabilities to be added to the ALIS in support of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program for the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and non-U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in March 2022.

April 23, 2020

United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut, is awarded an $111,131,635 modification (P00019) to a previously-awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm, cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost reimbursable contract (N00019-18-C-1021). The modification exercises an option for the production and delivery of four Prat & Whitney (PW) F135-PW-600 propulsion systems for the Marine Corps to be installed in F-35B short take-off and vertical landing aircraft.  Work will be performed in East Hartford, Connecticut (51.7%); Indianapolis, Indiana (38.8%); and Bristol, United Kingdom (9.5%), and is expected to be complete by July 2022.

February 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
A U.S. Marine with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, fast ropes from a MV-22B Osprey during drills in November at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Technologies fielded by the service’s Command Element Systems must be lightweight and effective for expeditionary forces.  U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Kirk, USMC

A Marine Corps of the future with a “reinvigorated Fleet Marine Force” and a strong Marine Expeditionary Force requires robust command and control and other advanced communications technologies, says the service’s top leader. As such, the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Command Element Systems is pursuing advanced satellite communications, electronic warfare, biometrics and other solutions.

June 6, 2019
By Kimberly Underwood
The DevSecOps software platform being deployed by the DOD Enterprise DevSecOps Enterprise Initiative will enable software fixes in minutes and automate testing and security, among other capabilities, says Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer, U.S. Air Force, co-lead of the Initiative.

The Defense Department is pursuing an aggressive software development program, called the DOD Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative. The effort is focused on bringing automated software tools, services and standards to DOD programs so that warfighters can create, deploy and operate software applications in a secure, flexible and interoperable manner, explained Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer, U.S. Air Force, co-lead of the DOD Enterprise DevSecOps Initiative. The program is a joint effort of the DOD’s Chief Information Officer, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and the services, he said.

March 14, 2019
By George I. Seffers
During a February 14 fireside chat at the West Conference, Lt. Gen. Lori Reynolds, USMC, deputy commandant for information, U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters (c), and Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, DISA and commander of the Joint Forces Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (r), reflect on the challenges facing women in the military. DeEtte Gray, president of U.S. operations, CACI International and chairwoman of the AFCEA board, moderated the event. Credit: Michael Carpenter

Women face special challenges in the military and in technical careers. Those challenges are magnified for military women who are also in technical careers, but two successful military officers who have overcome those challenges have some words of support for those following in their footsteps.

November 16, 2018

CSRA LLC, a General Dynamics Information Technology Co., Falls Church, Virginia, is awarded a $64,664,646 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.  This contract provides project management and engineering support for Navy and Marine Corps land, sea, and air platforms with a responsive, efficient, and reliable means to collect, detect, assess, identify, exploit, neutralize, and disseminate products to the U.S. and its interests. The procurement supports the execution of systems engineering activities to meet current and future electronic warfare mission information engineering capabilities and security protection needs for Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division integrated product teams.

June 27, 2018
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, alongside Iraqi security forces, fire artillery at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border. The annual Cyber Quest experiment, which focused this year on cyber situational understanding, is designed to evaluate prototypical technologies and deliver systems to warfighters sooner. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

U.S. Army officials conducting the third annual Cyber Quest experiment, which ends today, will issue a report in about 30 days that will determine which of the systems involved will transfer to programs of record. The exercise consists of an array of systems, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, that help provide situational understanding of the cyber and electronic warfare realms.

April 9, 2018

Lumbee Tribe Enterprises,* Pembroke, North Carolina, is being awarded a not-to-exceed ceiling $22,000,000 five-year, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in support of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, Quantico, Virginia. Support services will include advisory and assistance, science and technology, and research and development. Work will be performed in Stafford, Virginia (50 percent); and Quantico, Virginia (50 percent), and the ordering period is expected to be completed by April 6, 2023. No funds will be obligated at the time of award.

February 9, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
Sea service leaders addressing challenges and opportunities in a town hall format are (l-r) Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; Adm. John M. Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations; Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; along with moderator Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

West 2018 SIGNAL Magazine Show Daily, Day 3
Quote of the Day:

February 8, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
From l-r, Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, commandant, U.S. Coast Guard; Gen. Robert B. Neller, USMC, commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; and  Adm. John M. Richardson, USN, chief of naval operations, discuss sea service challenges and opportunities in a town hall forum moderated by Adm. James G. Stavridis, USN (Ret.), dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard all are targeting badly needed upgrades using funds proposed in the latest defense budget. But money alone won’t solve problems that have been building for more than a decade. And, potential adversaries have changed the international security game with new forms of combat that will require shifts in focus away from traditional approaches.

June 6, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
On the beaches at Camp Pendleton, Cory Stephanson, president and CEO, Broadband Discovery Systems Inc., launches a sensor-laden drone that collects data about buried mine materials while Dr. Rosemarie Oelrich, scientist, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock, monitors the information on a handheld Android device.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and industry have combined a one-pound quadcopter and Android technology to create an innovative way to detect buried and submerged mines remotely. The Mine Warfare Rapid Assessment Capability (MIW RAC) system features an ultrasensitive magnetometer sensor system to help sailors and Marines approaching a beachfront rapidly locate mines or other hazards prior to landing.

December 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman
A Marine Corps F-35B taxis during night flight operations at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona. With its advanced sensor suite, the F-35B may assume an additional role serving warfighters on the ground as an information source for the Marine Corps Enterprise Network.

The U.S. Marine Corps is working to network its force for connectivity on the move in all domains—land, sea, air, space and cyberspace. With all these elements required to work together during operations, the Corps is tasked with establishing this networking en masse instead of piecemeal. Information elements and capabilities as diverse as streaming video and cybersecurity must be integrated so that no weak links hamper operations anywhere in the battlespace.

October 7, 2015

The General Services Administration Federal Systems Integration and Management Center has awarded ManTech International Corporation, Fairfax, Virginia, a contract to provide cyber range services to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and United States Marine Corps (USMC). The contract has a 1-year base period and three option years, with a value of $250 million. This award expands services and capabilities to enhance cyber workforce operational tactics, techniques, and procedures across agencies.

June 1, 2015
By Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.)

Throughout its rich history, the U.S. Marine Corps has developed many significant warfighting concepts that remain valid today. With adjustments for unforeseen new technologies and capabilities, these forward-looking concepts serve the Marine Corps and the nation well.

The amphibious force represented by the Marine Corps offers both a warfighting and a cooperative engagement capability that provides the nation with many broad options across a full spectrum of operations—from humanitarian to diplomatic, through several levels of conflict.

December 21, 2012
George I. Seffers

ViaSat, Carlsbad, Calif., is being awarded a $12,770,380 firm-fixed-price delivery order for Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVTs). The MIDS-LVT provides secure, high capacity, jam resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army platforms. This delivery order combines purchases for the U.S., the government of Oman, under the Foreign Military Sales Program, and the Government of Germany, under the MIDS Program Memorandum of Understanding. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity. 

November 17, 2012
George I. Seffers

Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC., Clearwater, Fla., is being awarded a $6,506,292 cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for the upgrades of 40 microprocessor hardware boards in support of Navy, Air Force, and other U.S. services, military helicopters, rotorcraft, and low/slow fixed wing aircraft. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.

December 17, 2012
George I. Seffers

Carestream Health Inc., Rochester, N.Y., was issued a modification exercising the fourth option year modification, a fixed-price with economic-price adjustment contract with a maximum $62,360,703 for imaging systems, subsystems, and components. Using military services are the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and federal civilian agencies. The contracting activity is the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa.


Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., USMC, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of general and assigned assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

May 10, 2012
By George Seffers

Blue Tech, San Diego, California; CDWG, Vernon Hills, Illinois; Countertrade, Arvada, Colorado; Dell, Round Rock, Texas; GTSI Corporation, Herndon, Virginia; Intelligent Decisions, Incorporated, Ashburn, Virginia; Iron Bow Technologies, Chantilly, Virginia; ITG/EPLUS, Falls Church, Virginia; NCS Technologies Incorporated, Gainesville, Virginia; and World Wide Technology Incorporated, St. Louis, Missouri, are each being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple-award contract for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computer systems, including ruggedized and non-ruggedized desktops and laptops, as well as servers and other associated computer equipment and accessories.

April 7, 2011
By George Seffers

Ocean Systems Engineering Corporation, Oceanside, California, is being awarded a $12 million task order for engineering and scientific support for networking and satellite communications. The scope of this statement of work is to provide engineering and technical support, on-going acquisition support, financial support, logistics support, website development and management, manpower, personnel, and training analysis report development and assessment, manpower, personnel, and training plan, development and support, administrative support and managerial support. The U.S.

October 26, 2010
By George Seffers

General Dynamics Information Technology, Needham, Massachusetts, is being awarded a $9 million task order MU30 under the U.S. Air Force network-centric solutions contract for dense wave division multiplexing transport networks. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Camp Pendleton, California, is the contracting activity.

July 30, 2010
By George Seffers

Insitu, Inc., Bingen, Washington, was recently awarded a contract valued at more than $43 million for the engineering, manufacture and development of the small tactical unmanned aircraft system/Tier II unmanned aircraft system III for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.