The Air Force recently hosted a large exercise in the United Kingdom’s North Sea airspace, the Defense Department reported on June 5. The service’s 48th Fighter Wing held the exercise to continue the advanced training of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa and NATO partners given the persistent and growing near-peer threats in the region.
The implications of 5G for the U.S. Defense Department are profound. Among the plethora of capabilities it will provide—enabling the Internet of Things, low latency, higher bandwidth—5G could be used to run a multilevel secure coalition communications system.
With the U.S. Defense Department’s pursuit of Joint all-domain operations and the integrated command and control technologies needed to support activities across sea, land, air, space and cyberspace, the Army is looking at how to move beyond its first year of experimentation. The service is working to put in place a more sustainable approach to assessing and experimenting with Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, capabilities, to support large-scale combat operations through each warfighting domain.
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a $25,439,155 firm-fixed-price delivery order to contract FA8621-15-D-6266 to provide C-17 training devices and spares for the NATO Airlift Management Program located at Papa Air Base, Hungary. The training system will consist of one C-17 Weapon System Trainer (composed of an air vehicle station with an instructor operator station (IOS) and a loadmaster station with an IOS, a learning center complete with computer-based training systems, core integrated processor task trainer, courseware and initial spares to support these items for two years. Work will be performed at Papa AB, Hungary, and is expected to be completed June 1, 2022. This award is a sole-source acquisition.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Solutions was awarded a multi-year contract by the U.S. Army 409th Contracting Support Brigade-Theater Contracting Command. Under the Third Party Logistics Europe Wide Movement contract, the company will provide transportation of personnel and cargo and procurement of material handling equipment to the U.S. government, NATO and non-NATO partners throughout the European Command area of responsibility, supporting the 21st Theater Sustainment Command and Theater Movements Center, headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The contract runs from May 2020 until May 2023, with an estimated value of $49 million, and is on a task-order basis.
An ad hoc group of international defense and national security experts are brainstorming the future in a two-day online symposium analyzed by tools from the world’s most well-known artificial intelligence (AI) computer. Titled “Securing the Post-COVID Future,” the event is exchanging ideas from among active duty military and civilian expertise. Findings during the 50-hour nonstop event are being evaluated by tools from the Watson platform, IBM’s question-answering computer that bested Jeopardy!’s top two champions in a competition a few years ago.
NATO is doubling down on cyberspace defense with increased partnerships and new technology thrusts. Information exchanges on threats and solutions, coupled with research into exotic capabilities such as artificial intelligence, are part of alliance efforts to secure its own networks and aid allies in the cybersecurity fight.
The threats the alliance networks face constitute relatively the same ones confronting other organizations. NATO faces the double challenge of securing its own networks and information assets, as well as helping its member nations improve their own national cyber resilience.
NATO is evolving to adapt to present-day threats, and part of that strengthening means improving the deployment of forces to the European continent from allied nations. The organization’s new Joint Support and Enabling Command, known as JSEC, is taking on that role. The new command is in the process of building itself up, defining doctrine, forging relationships, and developing the necessary personnel and information technology infrastructure to support its operations.
Dumfries, Virginia-based ALEX - Alternative Experts, LLC announced on April 1 that is was awarded a Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate contract. Under the measure, the company will support the Joint Non-lethal Weapons Directorate by providing subject matter experts to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and to eight U.S. Combatant Commands across the globe, related to human effects scientific support and range coordination.
The United States and NATO are facing greater threats from the Russian Federation, and a growing interest from China, in the waters of the North Atlantic and the Arctic, warned Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, USN, who spoke Tuesday at AFCEA International and IEEE’s MILCOM conference in Norfolk, Virginia.
The dual-hatted commander oversees both the U.S. Navy’s Second Fleet and NATO’s new Joint Force Command Norfolk. To combat rising threats and provide stability, both commands must improve their operational abilities in these northern waters, he said.
NATO is accelerating its efforts to input innovation into its operational capabilities. This effort is aided both by industry and academia and by different nations that bring new technology applications to the alliance table. But even the best ideas are encountering speed bumps, and adversaries are moving quickly to exploit their own technological advances.
NATO’s Science and Technology Organization took notice of the military potential of same-frequency simultaneous transmission and reception, or SF-STAR, capability employed with full-duplex radio technology, and in 2017 formed an exploratory team to examine the potential use in tactical communications and electronic warfare.
Carlsbad, California-based Viasat upgraded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) ultra high frequency (UHF) satellite communications (SATCOM) control stations to comply with the new integrated waveform baseline. The upgrade will provide NATO with improved interoperability, scalability and flexibility across legacy and next-generation platforms, according to the company.
Members of an international panel of cyber experts recommend recruiting personnel some might consider misfits in the cyber realm.
Horizon Technologies announced on May 9 that is would be supporting two major NATO end users by providing the company's FlyingFish Airborne Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system. The contracts total more than £14 Million over the next few years, according to John Beckner, CEO. “These orders are significant because they include new fixed and rotary-wing platforms as well as new government end users. The units were ordered for immediate delivery and will be used as part of NATO and FRONTEX missions,” he said. The U.K.-based company offers exportable DO-160G airborne-qualified satellite phone SIGINT systems for a wide variety of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft.
NATO is taking a comprehensive approach to building a cyber policy that would deter adversaries, defend its member nations and provide key capabilities in multidomain operations. This approach to the alliance’s cyberspace strategy takes into account resilience, counter-cyber activities and operational capabilities in both civilian and military elements.
Yet when it comes to NATO cyber policy, much remains to be established. With 29 member nations all having different needs and different approaches to cyber operations, the alliance has not yet arrived at a fully functional policy. It continues to seek input from its nations while incorporating necessary capabilities amid continuing changes in the cyber domain.
The requirement to partner with allied nations and share a classified network will only grow in the coming years, leaders say. In combined exercises, engagements or missions, coalition partners need to be able to connect digitally to share communications, resources and information to strengthen defenses and partnerships. At the Pentagon, the Joint Staff is working to improve coalition systems and how the U.S. can connect securely to those networks outside of the national networks, one expert shares.
Trident Juncture 2018, a large-scale NATO military exercise, wrapped up late last year. But in the weeks since, the alliance has been doing something it has never done before by using big data science to help inform lessons learned from the exercise.