SIGNAL Extras

March 25, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Is there an app for that? If you want news about the Navy, there is.

The U.S. Navy has launched a multiplatform mobile app to connect sailors and families with relevant and updated content.

March 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Middle and high school student teams from 14 states will gather next week for CyberPatriot, a culminating competition in which they will be tested defend computers against cyberattacks.

After months of preparation, the CyberPatriot event on March 28 will test students on their defensive measures and skills to trounce cyber and computer vulnerabilities, a much-needed emerging skill in the cybersecurity industry.

February 21, 2014
By George I. Seffers

When I first contacted the Pentagon public affairs office for an interview on the Better Buying Power initiative ("Transforming Defense Acquisition From the Inside"), I was willing to interview any subject matter expert they could line me up with.

November 7, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman

Big Data increasingly is viewed as the future of knowledge management, aided and abetted by the cloud. And, it would seem to be a perfect fit in the field of intelligence.

But two longtime experts in intelligence take opposing views on the utility of big data for intelligence. Lewis Shepherd, director and general manager of the Microsoft Institute, believes in big data serving a valuable role throughout intelligence. Mark Lowenthal, president and chief executive officer of The Intelligence and Security Academy, views it as just another overhyped fad that could divert energy away from what really matters in intelligence.

May 3, 2013
By Beverly Cooper

Budget sequestration has made obtaining government-mandated training more difficult—this despite government requirements that individuals earn continuing education units (CEUs) and certification maintenance units (CMUs)”to keep current in their professions. Many of the opportunities in the past were centered around large-scale, efficient training that could certify more people by bringing groups together. However, travel restrictions have complicated this centralized collaboration.

March 20, 2013
By George I. Seffers

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) began working on its Yourcloud solution about two years ago and expects to have the cloud computing solution in place by year's end. You can read more about this in "U.S. Nuclear Agency Enhances Cybersecurity With Cloud Computing
." 

July 27, 2012
By Rachel Eisenhower

The world is buzzing about the Summer Olympics in London, and a new website from the American Forces Press Service is helping fans track some very special athletes. Located within the U.S. Defense Department's official website, the special Olympic report features profiles, articles and images of service members competing in the games. The site will be updated throughout the events, so check back frequently as the competitors take on challenges from skeet shooting to wrestling and more.

June 12, 2012
By H. Mosher

Every day at airports around the country airplanes land and take off with a rhythm and flow we don't really appreciate until--usually--something disrupts it. But think about all the times you've been waiting at an airport and just watched the people come and go, quietly and with no fanfare.

On May 23, 2012, blogger Chris Muller was sitting at an airport, waiting for his flight, when an attendant announced the arrival of an Honor Flight of World War II veterans and asked if anyone would mind greeting them as they passed by.

May 9, 2012
By Robert K. Ackerman

After several months of drafts and comments, the U.S. Navy now has released the request for proposal (RFP) for its Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. The 1,100-page RFP provides guidance for prospective bidders on a contract that likely will total 4.5 billion dollars.

Capt. Shawn P. Hendricks, USN, is the program manager for PMW-205 Naval Enterprise Networks. He says that the RFP's size is what makes it stand out among other RFPs. "It's enormous," he states, "and they [bidders] will have to eat it one bite at a time. Yet, at the end of the day, it all has to work together."

May 4, 2012
By Henry Kenyon

Better networks mean more opportunities for cybermarauders-and greater difficulty for network defense experts, noted the deputy commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, USMC, described many of the command's security needs to the audience at AFCEA NOVA Naval IT Day on May 3.

Atop the command's list is better situational awareness in cyberspace. The general cited knowledge about network health, adversary space and "the gray area in between" as the criteria for successful cybersituational awareness.

December 24, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

The staff at AFCEA headquarters wishes everyone a safe and joyous holiday season. HQ offices will be closed on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 26 and 27,  as well as on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. See you next year!

November 24, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

AFCEA International wishes everyone  a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Our U.S. office will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the holiday. What are you thankful for today?

September 20, 2011
By Max Cacas

At a time when the European Union and the United States are both facing moderate to severe austerity in the years ahead, it's more important than ever to do more with less.

Claude-France Arnould, chief executive of the European Defense Agency (EDA), told the European Institute's Transatlantic Roundtable on Defense and Security Affairs that the effects of the financial crisis in most EU nations has begun to hit "full force," and the defense ministries of many EU members are experiencing cuts of between 15 and 25 percent in some cases.

March 30, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

Through the Department of Defense National Survey of Employers, the department hopes to better understand the benefits and challenges of employing members of the National Guard and Reserve. Now that the survey has reached its halfway point, the defense department would like all employers who received the survey to respond, as their feedback is needed to develop future Guard and Reserve policies.

February 14, 2011
By Henry Kenyon

The Defense Department's FY 2012 budget proposal features $2.3 billion for improved cyber capabilities, according to figures released this afternoon. Key elements of that funding include $0.5 billion for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to invest in cyber technologies. Funding also will be provided to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for cyber identity, monitoring and enforcement.

The budget will increase funding for training cyber analysts, for improving Global Information Grid (GIG)-wide situational awareness, for developing pilot programs for supply chain risk management and for improving intrusion detection and analysis.

December 15, 2010
By H. Mosher

Back in October, AFCEA's Professional Development Center hosted a series of speakers talking about issues facing today's leaders. The Executive Leadership Series lives on in video form, as SIGNAL Editor in Chief Robert K. Ackerman spent a few minutes with each of the speakers prior to their presentations. The result is Lens on Leadership, six short videos in which each speaker shares wisdom from his or her area of expertise.

November 15, 2010
By H. Mosher

This month's SIGNAL Connections poll is out, and we're curious:

Feel free to add your comments below.

November 10, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

From phishing scams to virus attacks, new cyberspace threats emerge daily, and the U.S. Air Force Space Command has turned to education to organize, train and equip forces to handle these digital threats.

October 7, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Department of Treasury recently announced an end to the sale of paper savings bonds through employer-sponsored payroll savings programs. It's all part of a larger push by the department to save more than $400 million and 12 million pounds of paper in five years.

The department encourages participant to register for electronic savings bonds with TreasuryDirect. By opening a free account, they can set up an online savings program and purchase electronic savings bonds or other Treasury securities through direct deposit from their pay or from their checking or savings account.

October 6, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

In less than 30 days, the U.S. Defense Department will dish out 11 prizes for innovative solutions to real-world challenges facing digital forensics examiners. And it's not too late to join the fight against cyber crime. Submissions for the 2010 Defense Department Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge will be accepted until November 2.

September 29, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

The trend to house information technology infrastructure off site moved a step forward recently when Philadelphia Technology Park opened in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Despite the name, the area is not a collection of buildings where people experiment with scientific ideas. Rather, the complex offers a secure, redundant data center to accommodate technology from multiple groups including companies, universities and nonprofit organizations.

September 27, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

Absentee Voting Week begins today and ends on October 4, 2010. Under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, all citizens who have not received their absentee ballot in the mail can go to the Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) website to cast their votes.

September 15, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Dr. Werner Dahm, chief scientist, U.S. Air Force, recently discussed the findings of the Air Force Technology Horizons effort. The four-volume document compiled and released this year focuses on Air Force science and technology efforts in the coming decade and beyond. Volume one of the series is publicly releasable (PDF link).

September 13, 2010
By planetrussell

Blake Hall is a man on a mission: to help U.S. military personnel use "Web 2.0" Internet technologies to help one another and themselves. Hall's no stranger to demanding missions. A decorated former U.S. Army Captain and Airborne Ranger who led a scout platoon in Iraq, he relates how the first time he ever led a combat mission, his battalion commander laid his hand on his shoulder and said ominously, "Hall, don't screw it up." And based on the overwhelmingly positive, initial response to his and his co-founders' new, veteran-owned web venture, TroopSwap.com, an online community and marketplace for active duty U.S. military, reservists, veterans and their families, that battalion commander would be more than proud.

September 1, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

We own the night. It's the U.S. Army's slogan that encapsulates their strength when it comes to night-vision technology. And as part of the Army's push to encourage the next generation of engineers and designers, a group of local teachers got to see first hand through the eyes of a soldier.

Five science teachers from Fort Belvoir Elementary School attended Knowledge Day at Fort Belvoir. The event aimed to engage educators in Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) programs in the hopes that they would take the knowledge and excitement back to the classroom. But this group quickly learned they wouldn't just be playing with high-tech toys-they were "investigating and experimenting" with some serious equipment.

August 18, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower
Apply Now for CyberPatriot III

Apply Now for CyberPatriot III

The Air Force Association (AFA) is now collecting applications for CyberPatriot III-a nationwide competition that aims to educate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to foster the next generation of national security professionals in the United States.

July 29, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Social media use by federal employees and contractors increased dramatically in the last year, but many people still wonder if it is safe and business savvy to jump in to online networking, according to a recent survey.

July 22, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The U.S. Defense Department's hub for all things social media has undergone a serious facelift, complete with tips, tricks and lessons on how to share information responsibly and effectively.

The Social Media Hub was redesigned to help members of the Defense Department community understand what constitutes proper use of Internet-based capabilities. The new site contains learning resources, detailed department policies and procedures, and social media guides for each military service branch.

July 21, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

The dust from Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration 2010 (CWID) has barely had time to settle, but plans for CWID 2011 have already begun. One of the first steps is the event's Industry Day, which begins at 8:30 a.m. on August 17 at The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, Linthicum, Maryland.

July 8, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower
U.S. Cyber Command Logo

U.S. Cyber Command Logo

UPDATE: According to Wired.com, a Danger Room blog reader jemelehill cracked the code this afternoon. It's USCYBERCOM's mission statement translated into 32 characters with an MD5 cryptographic hash.

The new U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) logo is getting a lot of attention and not just because of its design. A golden ring around the edge features a 32-character code:

June 14, 2010
By H. Mosher

Readers who enjoyed SIGNAL's special supplement to its June edition honoring the Signal Corps' 150th anniversary will also want to "like" the U.S. Army Signal Regiment on Facebook to see photographs from various celebrations of the occasion as well as numerous historical photos submitted by fans.

This week, we'll be adding several sets of photographs to Flickr to join the Chief Signal Officer/Chiefs of Signal collection.

June 8, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

The recently formed Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program (IATAP) announced last Friday it plans to collect and review oil spill response solutions.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Research and Development Center has been providing on-site support for the oil spill response and issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) along with interagency partners calling for the submission of new technology solutions. The BAA requested white papers addressing several key problem areas: sensing and detection; wellhead control and submerged response; traditional and alternative technologies; and damage assessment and restoration.

June 4, 2010
By Rachel Eisenhower

Over the next two days, hackers from across the globe will team up on nearly every continent for the second Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) event aimed at finding solutions to real-world problems caused by natural disasters. It's a 48-hour marathon of competitive computer coding with the best and brightest developers in Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; Nairobi, Kenya; London; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Sao Paolo, Brazil.

May 28, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

The SIGNAL staff and all of AFCEA extend our gratitude to our military members and veterans this weekend and always. Thank you for your service to our great nation.

April 15, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

SIGNAL Magazine and AFCEA extend heartfelt sympathies to the Polish people for the loss of President Lech Kaczynski, Gen. Franciszek Gagor (PAF), chief of the Polish Armed Forces General Staff, and other leaders. We stand with the Polish people during this time of grief. Just two months ago, Gen. Gagor shared his views on the future of Poland's military with SIGNAL readers in a special report on Poland.

April 15, 2010
By H. Mosher

This month's SIGNAL Connections survey asks readers to weigh in with the main reason they joined AFCEA. Feel free to discuss the value of your AFCEA membership here, whether your affiliation is as an individual member or a corporate associate. And if you have suggestions on benefits you'd like to see, share them here as well.

February 17, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

For my article in the February 2010 edition of SIGNAL Magazine, titled "Research in the Final Frontier," I interviewed members of the Defense Department's Human Spaceflight Payloads Office and Space Test Program about the experiments they help put into space. The projects impressed me, as did the sources' firm belief in the importance of what they do to help warfighters.

January 7, 2010
By Katie Packard

Wondering how you can get your business' news published in one of SIGNAL's publications? Executive Editor Maryann Lawlor will be hosting an event at West 2010 for PAOs, business development managers and PR folks to help you learn how. "The Secrets Behind Getting News Published" in SIGNAL's media will be held Wednesday, February 3, at 9 a.m. PST.

Interested in learning more? Want to attend? Contact Maryann for details.

January 6, 2010
By Katie Packard

"Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military" is a weekly podcast from the U.S. Defense Department that highlights the importance of science and technology to modern military operations and the DOD. Interviews with scientists, administrators and operators are conducted to inform listeners about the cutting-edge research and development happening within the defense community.

December 22, 2009
By Katie Packard

A fallen soldier has been honored in an unusual way. Lance Cpl. Ryan McCurdy, USMC, was killed by a sniper in Fallujah, Iraq, in January 2006 when he attempted to save a comrade who was also injured. In recognition of his sacrifice, a portable armored wall system has been named "McCurdy's Armor" in his honor. The system is a rapidly deployed protective structure that is easily configurable to meet various force levels. Also in his memory, the Ryan McCurdy Activity Center has been established. A percentage of all future sales of McCurdy's Armor will be donated to the center, which will help provide a safe place for children in Cpl.

October 8, 2009
By Rita Boland

The first American Heroes Challenge will take place in Las Vegas Nov. 7-8, 2009. The event features four-man teams comprised of military, law enforcement and security personnel who will compete in a six-stage, live-fire firearms and tactics competition. Each stage is named in honor of a fallen American hero. The contest is designed to test technical, tactical and physical skills as well as the ability to evolve with the mission.  The American Heroes Challenge organization is a nonprofit created to benefit and honor members of the military, law enforcement and first-responder communities through the challenge event.

September 30, 2009
By Kent Schneider

Constant reorganizations and realignments occur in every government and every alliance. A major study is ongoing in NATO to determine the alliance's direction. In the United States, the creation of the new joint Cyber Command and the Air Force's new Global Strike Command are recent examples of significant change.

Many who are directly affected by such changes have worked with governments to facilitate the efforts. With that in mind:

September 16, 2009
By Katie Packard

Storytelling can be a powerful communication tool, and it is one that Andrew O'Keefe uses in his novel The Boss to show people how to be a better manager. The book's protagonist, Lauren, tries to succeed at her job as a marketing professional while under the leadership of a team of terrible bosses.

O'Keefe has more than 25 years of human resources experience, including a decade as an HR executive at IBM. After years of hearing nightmare stories about awful bosses, he decided to put those stories to good use and wrote his novel.

September 4, 2009
By Rita Boland

The Outback Steakhouse Annual Golf Classic is raising money for the American Freedom Foundation for the second year in a row. The foundation supports veterans and their families by raising money and awareness for veterans' organizations. The non-profit group has a special focus on welfare and education issues facing troops wounded or disabled in action and the families of veterans killed in action during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The 17th annual golf event will be played Monday, October 5, 2009, at  Cannon Ridge Golf Club  in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Last year, the classic raised $75,000.

March 18, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Last October, AFCEA and U.S Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) hosted SOUTH 2008, a conference focused on operations in SOUTHCOM's area of responsibility. Coverage of the event appeared in the December edition of SIGNAL in the article Narcotics and Terrorism are Linked, Pose Threats to Hemisphere. Adm. James Stavridis, commander of SOUTHCOM, played an integral role in the success SOUTH, and gave a keynote address during the event.

July 9, 2008
By Henry Kenyon

AFCEA and SIGNAL Magazine join all Americans in welcoming back our three countrymen who were rescued from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) terrorists in Colombia last week.

Northrop Grumman, their employer, has updates on their return, including a statement from the former hostages and links to Department of Defense images, here.