The world is on the verge of a space-based global mesh network that could provide full-motion video of the entire planet, and that could pose problems for the military.
The U.S. Army is overhauling its relationship with technology providers to incorporate a new class of capabilities that will enable survivable, protected, intuitive, standards-based, interoperable, sustainable and, above all, highly mobile networks. To obtain these types of technologies, the service plans to assume a position where it is articulating its intent, a process that’s being described as “adapt and buy.”
More than 2,000 miles away from the path of devastation cut by hurricanes Irma and Maria, network engineers at the Rock Island Arsenal Integrated Network Operations Center (INOC) work around-the-clock to support the relief efforts of American aid workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Operated by the Army’s product lead for Defense-Wide Transmission Systems, the INOC establishes and supports satellite (SATCOM) communications links for a wide range of missions.
The network the Army has is not the network it needs to confront the changing face of warfare, says Maj. Gen. (P) Bruce Crawford, USA, who took over as the service’s chief information officer/G-6 nine days ago.
Gen. Crawford told the AFCEA TechNet Augusta audience the service confronts a confluence of strategic circumstances, with several major efforts all coming together at the same time. Those circumstances include the evolution of the threat, global instability that creates greater demand for ground forces, the rapid pace of technology evolution, the speed at which decisions must be made on the battlefield and emerging doctrines.
U.S. Army officials who play various roles in modernizing the network say doing so offers multiple benefits, including saving money, improving cybersecurity and offering greater flexibility on behalf of warfighters.
The officials made the comments while serving on a network modernization panel on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2017 conference.
As the Army’s forward deployed footprint has grown smaller in places such as Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the demand for sensors capable of sending data back to the United States for processing has increased significantly. While those sensors provide valuable information, they also place a heavy load on the service’s networks, said Mark Kitz, chief engineer, Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S).
Lt. Gen. Paul Funk II, USA, the commander of III Corps, which is preparing for war, called for a network with simplicity as a core requirement.
— George Seffers (@gseffers) August 8, 2017
Even though the U.S. Congress is poised to significantly boost the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2018 budget—to include surpassing what the White House seeks in defense spending—the lack of predictability still hampers long-term fiscal planning.
McKean Defense Group LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is being awarded a $15,295,418 two-year option under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost reimbursement multiple award contract (N66001-16-D-0203) for technical support services for afloat, ashore and airborne networks and information systems. Support includes assessing network requirements; designing system architecture; network modeling, simulation, and testing; network technology and prototype development; network security; information assurance and certification of networks; and network management.
Silos are products of the inherent lack of ability for teams to communicate with one another. Not because they don't want to, but because they can't. They don't have the communication skills, the soft skills, the same user experiences, the same motivations, experts report.
Leidos Incorporated, Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $6,547,341 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for innovative research and development in the area of Heterogeneous Networking and Advanced Communication Technologies Development and Demonstration. This award is the result of a competitive Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency broad agency announcement, with 28 offers received. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity (N65236-14-C-2821).
Harris IT Services Corporation, Dulles, Virginia, has been awarded an $8,207,316 modification (MG0620) to previously awarded contract FA8771-04-D-0003 for network support services. The Space and Missile Systems Center Contracting Directorate, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, is the contracting activity.
HighAction LLC., Fairfax, Va.; Soft Tech Consulting Inc., Chantilly, Va.; Unitech Consulting LLC, doing business as Chameleon Integrated Services, Saint Louis, Mo.; and NOVA Corporation, Chambersburg, Pa., were each awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Defense Information Systems Agency Information Technology Enterprise Support Services (DESS). The awardees under this contract will provide support services to operate, maintain, and modernize DISA's Information Technology enterprise. The total amount of all orders placed against these contracts shall not exceed $404,095,000 over the 66-month period.