Europe is nervous. A nationalistic and revanchist Russia threatens security, and post-Cold War downsizing of U.S. forces across the continent leaves it vulnerable. At one point, 300,000 soldiers stationed in Europe were tasked with the mission of deterring the Soviet Union. Today, that number hovers around 30,000. It is no surprise, then, that senior U.S. and allied military leaders have placed a renewed emphasis on strengthening NATO and improving its battlefield capabilities. One of the most effective ways to fortify the alliance is through unit-level partnerships.
Brig. Gen. John E. Novalis II, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff operations, Multinational Corps Northeast, NATO, Poland.
Brig. Gen. Charles S. Corcoran, USAF, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, operations, Headquarters Allied Air Command, Allied Command Operations, NATO, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Brig. Gen. Gary W. Johnston, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, intelligence, Resolute Support Mission, NATO; and director, J-2, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. Scott E. Brower, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, communications, Resolute Support Mission, NATO, Operation Freedom's Sentinel, Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. Carl A. Alex, USA, has been assigned as deputy chief of staff operations, Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command-Brunssum, NATO, Netherlands.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has published a draft report titled "The Internet of Things: Promises and Perils of a Disruptive Technology." The report urges governments to take a more proactive role in defining the future of the Internet of Things (IoT).
"Policy makers, including national parliamentarians, need to start to proactively shape an IoT environment that remains open, innovative and secure. We have to find the right balance," the document states.
The global onslaught of new information technology is forcing NATO members to find ways of helping the alliance build a supporting infostructure comprising innovative technologies and capabilities. But acquisition constraints, which can be serious barriers in individual countries, are even more complicated for a security alliance composed of 28 governments.
Partnering with industry has been a go-to method for NATO, but now it is heavily emphasizing this approach. Leaders of active member nations say it is the best hope for speeding up the acquisition of information technologies that serve both alliance and member needs.
The NATO Communications and Information Agency will preview details of 40 upcoming business opportunities at its annual industry conference NITEC17 to be held April 24-26 in Ottawa, Canada. Agency officials intend to put 40 contracts out to tender in the next 18 to 24 months as part of a €3 billion ($3.26 billion) technology refresh.
Various program officials will discuss tangible opportunities coming to market, including international competitive bids in the following areas:
Several nations are studying the potential military benefits of Internet of Things technologies, including a variety of inexpensive commercial sensors and smart city capabilities. Their investigation likely will include three proof-of-concept demonstrations, the first of which is planned for May in Finland.
NATO support for the ongoing study of military applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) falls under the auspices of the agency’s Science and Technology Organization (STO) and its Collaboration Support Office (CSO). The study is part of the Collaborative Program of Work of the Information Systems and Technology Panel.
Poland’s Military University of Technology leads the study. The country’s Research and Academic Computer Network (NASK), Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and Gdansk University of Technology also are involved.
Other participants include:
• NATO’s Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and the Allied Command Transformation (ACT).
Col. Patrick J. Donahoe, USA, has been assigned as director, CJ-35, Resolute Support Mission, NATO, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan.
When NATO recognized cyberspace as a “domain of war,” the designation committed all alliance members to provide military support for “crisis-management operations.” The move speaks volumes.
NATO Allied Command Transformation and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency launched yesterday an independent project to research options for streamlining NATO’s cyber capability development and acquisition processes. The final report from RAND Corporation is due in January.
As NATO grapples with mounting security threats—both conventional and irregular—the concerned alliance is tussling to deliver a unified strategy for information warfare and dominance in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberspace technologies exploiting its vulnerabilities.
The enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks dominated discussions and presentations in June at the annual NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia.
A nation that once was part of the Soviet bloc now finds itself on the front lines of unrest in Ukraine, territorial disputes in the Black Sea and state-sponsored attacks in cyberspace. Romania, now a stalwart member of NATO and the European Union, is playing an increasing role in cybersecurity, both regionally and internationally. It is passing a national cybersecurity law and reaching out to assist other nations, directly and indirectly, with cyber defense.
Sweeping changes are on the horizon for one NATO agency as it reshapes its software acquisition processes and embarks on a task to create what officials call an in-house “software factory.”
The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency wants to overhaul the way it buys software after inspections revealed acute shortcomings that led to several program cost overruns and delays, says Paul Howland, chief of command and control services for NCI Agency, which serves as NATO’s information technology and command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) provider, including cyber and missile defense.
Industry said, “Show me the money,” and NATO obliged.
Officials shared several key business initiatives to meet future NATO needs during the three-day NITEC 2016 cyber conference, informing industry members about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of upcoming business opportunities and contract work.
Cybersecurity reaches far beyond processes to make doing business easier—it’s the “game changer” to counter real consequences that threaten everyday life, said Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense.
“Cyber attacks are no more science fiction,” Suder said. “They are real and will become even more critical in the future. The trajectory [of safeguarding networks] is not going in the right direction.”
NATO is dangling roughly 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funding for future cyber-based initiatives to match—and then surpass—the increasingly sophisticated attacks against its 28-member alliance, officials announced Tuesday on the inaugural day of the NITEC 2016 conference.
Increased Russian aggression, instability in Europe’s south, the Syrian refugee crisis and evolving cyberthreats all have contributed toward new strategic realities, but also jockey for the same pot of limited financial resources—mobilizing the alliance to strengthen collaborations with industry for vital solutions.