SIGNAL Online Exclusive

May 11, 2022
By George I. Seffers
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to information warfare. Daniel Wussow/Shutterstock

A group of senior noncommissioned officers (NCOs) from the various military services argued against a one-size-fits-all approach to information warfare.

An audience member at the AFCEA Cyber Education Research and Training Symposium challenged the high-ranking NCOs on a perceived need for joint, standardized training. The questioner pointed out that the services do not even use the same terminology. For example, the Marines have a concept for information maneuver, the Army is developing an information advantage strategy, and the Air Force and Navy both prefer the term information warfare.

But the panel disagreed a unified program is needed or beneficial.

May 11, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Cyber educators highly encourage those who have previously worked or are currently working in cybersecurity to teach part time. Shutterstock/4LUCK

A panel of cyber educators today encouraged subject matter experts in the military and industry to teach cybersecurity part time.

The panel enthusiastically embraced the suggestion from an audience member at the AFCEA Cyber Education Research and Training Symposium on May 11 in Augusta, Georgia.

May 11, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, Army Cyber Command, addresses CERTS 2022.

The U.S. Army is seeing a successful integration of cyber operations and electronic warfare operations but could more effectively add information operations to the mix, according to Lt. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, Army Cyber Command.

In her first public speaking engagement since taking charge at Army Cyber Command, Gen. Barrett offered the morning keynote speech at the AFCEA Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS) on May 11 in Augusta, Georgia.

May 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Paul Craft, USA, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber School, speaks on a panel at CERTS 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army in the past 30 days kicked off 10 Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps focused specifically on students interested in cyber careers. The service also has offered the first direct commission to a lieutenant colonel in the cyber realm and will soon do the same for a full colonel.

Brig. Gen. Paul Craft, USA, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber School, told the audience at the AFCEA Cyber Education Research and Training Symposium (CERTS) in Augusta, Georgia, that the new Junior ROTC efforts are important for the Army and for the nation. “That’s a big thing for the U.S. We now have multiple focused Cyber Junior ROTC programs in our nation, and they will expand over time.”

May 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
CERTS 2022 panelists discuss cyber training for the services.

A panel of cyber experts discussing the pros and cons of dramatically expanding joint cyber training among the military services and other agencies agreed the pros outweigh the cons.

The panel discussion took place on the second day of the AFCEA Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS), May 10, in Augusta, Georgia.

Moderator Robert Kazimer, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, told the audience he intended to ask provocative questions but that on the subject of joint training the participants agreed.

May 9, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, speaks at CERTS 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The United States needs to add computer skills to elementary education, and the military needs to broaden its cyber training. That was the gist of the message from Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, during his opening remarks on the first day of the AFCEA Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS), May 9, in Augusta, Georgia.

May 9, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, former commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command, participates in a panel at CERTS 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

A ransomware attack on a major maritime corporation could have affected its vessels in the Mid-Atlantic region, causing a U.S. Coast Guard officer to take extra precautions, according to Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, USCG, former commander, Coast Guard Cyber Command.

Adm. Ryan left his position at Coast Guard Cyber Command last week and is now the deputy for operational policy and capabilities at Coast Guard Headquarters.

May 09, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Joyce Corell, senior technical advisor to the national cyber director, addresses the audience at CERTS 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) is planning a cyber workforce development summit that could take place as early as June, and it could be accompanied by a White House strategy on cyber workforce development, reports Joyce Corell, senior technical advisor to the national cyber director.

The ONCD was formed on January 1 of last year under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. It was initially recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a panel authorized by Congress.

ONCD officials are working with the secretaries of labor, education and homeland security as well as congressional offices and other “government stakeholders” on the workforce development summit, Corell reported.

May 5, 2022
By George I. Seffers
This flag waving over JamX previously soared over Ground Zero beginning two days after September 11, 2001.  The JamX event, coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security, offers lessons learned for enhancing tactics, techniques, procedures, technologies and training to counter electronic signal jamming that could interfere with military and emergency response missions. Photo provided by the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) counter-jamming exercise known as JamX 2022, which was conducted April 25-29 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, served two purposes: to assess the effectiveness of resilient communications training for operational and technical personnel and to assess technologies designed to identify, locate and mitigate spectrum interference and measure the impact of that interference on communications networks.

April 26, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Recent lessons learned from the Defense Information Systems Agency's Thunderdome program include the need to move more quickly to implement zero trust on the Defense Department's classified network known as SIPRNet. Credit: ArtemisDiana/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) intends to double down on the security of its classified networks in the coming months as it experiments with the zero-trust prototype known as Thunderdome.

Julian Breyer, DISA’s senior enterprise and security architect, reported a change in priorities while discussing Thunderdome during a panel session at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, April 26.

April 1, 2022
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Air Force’s 39th Information Operations Squadron is expanding its courses to meet increased demand for expertise in the information realm.  Credit: DeymosHR/Shutterstock

With information operations (IO) in the world stage spotlight, the U.S. Air Force sees a growing need for experts in the field and is taking steps to expand training opportunities with the 39th Information Operations Squadron (IOS).

The 39th IOS, located at Hurlburt Field, Florida, trains Air Force personnel in information and cyber operations, including both offensive and defensive cyber skills. The unit conducts qualification and advanced training to provide mission-ready information and cyber warfare operators for all Air Force major commands.

March 29, 2022
By George I. Seffers
A Bradley Fighting Vehicle acts as surrogate for testing advanced running gear technology for the future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle. The Army continues funding the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program with its 2023 fiscal year budget request. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mark Schauer

In a March 29 telephonic roundtable discussion with reporters, U.S. Army officials provided additional details about the service’s technology priorities in the 2023 budget request that reduces research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) dollars by 5.5 percent from 2022.

The Army released its $178 billion budget request Monday. The overall request includes a modest increase of $2.8 billion over the 2022 appropriations and balances current readiness and the continued transformation toward the Army of 2030 as the service strategically pivots from two decades of focus on counterterrorism to an Army ready to meet the challenges posed by more sophisticated adversaries, such as Russia and China, Army officials say.

March 28, 2022
By Shaun Waterman
The recently passed Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) requires critical infrastructure operators to swiftly report substantial cyber incidents. Credit: Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

There’s a wind of change blowing through federal cybersecurity policy. The new SEC proposal for mandatory disclosure of cybersecurity incidents by publicly traded companies is one straw in that wind. The Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (CIRCIA) is another. But it’s a pretty hefty straw.

March 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Netflix’s Simian Army of software production tools offers a potential model for the Defense Department to mimic. Credit: Wiratchai wansamngam/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Defense might learn a thing or two about the software-defined world from non-defense industry companies such as Netflix and Mazda, Jason Weiss, chief software officer, U.S. Defense Department, recently suggested to the AFCEA Cyber Committee.

Weiss, who serves on the committee, relayed an incident from Mazda that he said keeps him up at night. The incident was reported by BBC News in a February 10th article.

February 17, 2022
By George I. Seffers
Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, speaks at WEST 2022. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Information operations is one of the critical elements to the U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, Adm. Samuel Paparo, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told the audience at the WEST 2022 conference and exposition hosted by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute in San Diego February 16-18.

July 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical and the C5ISR Center integrate Stryker vehicles with the C5ISR/Electronic Warfare Modular Open Suite of Standards (CMOSS) capabilities during the Network Modernization Experiment (NetModX) 2021 from May to July, 2021 at the C5ISR Center’s Ground Activity, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. Credit: U.S. Army photo by Kathryn Bailey, PEO C3T

The U.S. Army for the first time has demonstrated during its Network Modernization Experiment the integration of three capability cards—one for positioning, navigation and timing, another for mounted mission command, and a third for the TSM tactical communications waveform. The capabilities are associated with the service’s open suite of standards and were integrated onto a Stryker combat vehicle.

February 10, 2022
By George I. Seffers
New communications technologies integrated onto armored vehicles during the U.S. Army’s Armored Formation On-The-Move Network Pilot could enable the service to eliminate large-tent tactical operations centers in favor of distributed command capabilities.

The U.S. Army is conducting a pilot program to evaluate new and emerging commercial network on-the-move technologies integrated onto armored vehicles. The new equipment dramatically improves communications capabilities and could potentially eliminate the need for big-tent tactical operations centers (TOCs).

October 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, USA, deputy director, J-6, and Joint All-Domain Command and Control Cross-Functional Team chair, discusses JADC2 at AFCEA’s TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The Joint All-Domain Command and Control Cross-Functional Team (JADC2 CFT)  is adding a sixth working group to examine and resolve data transport issues and also intends to develop a scorecard to help assess how well systems conform to the Defense Department’s joint all-domain warfighting goals.

Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, USA, deputy director, J-6, and JADC2 CFT chair, broke the news on both fronts during a keynote presentation at the TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, and during an exclusive interview with SIGNAL Magazine following his presentation.

October 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, U.S. Amy deputy chief of staff, G-6 addresses the audience at TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Army seeks to enhance the effectiveness of local cybersecurity defenders—and ultimately the joint force cyber warriors—by revamping organizational design, fielding the best technologies and improving training, Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, U.S. Amy deputy chief of staff, G-6, told the audience at the TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore.

“Here’s my thesis: we have a lot of folks that are doing cybersecurity work, but we are not optimized across the entire joint force to conduct cybersecurity operations,” Gen. Morrison declared.

October 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Stephen Wallace, DISA’s chief technology officer and director of the agency’s Emerging Technologies Directorate, addresses TechNet Cyber in Baltimore. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is assessing the possibility of using process automation bots to perform a variety of mundane tasks, saving substantial time for the agency’s human employees.

The agency has been working with robotic process automation (RPA) tools for about three years for finance-related tasks and is now assessing the use of automation bots for other purposes, according to Stephen Wallace, DISA’s chief technology officer and director of the agency’s Emerging Technologies Directorate.

October 27, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Miter, USAF, a 274th Air Support Operations Squadron joint terminal attack controller, controls aircraft during Exercise Bold Quest 20.2 at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in October 2020. Led by the Joint Staff, Bold Quest is a multinational exercise being used to demonstrate joint all-domain command and control capabilities.  U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joel Pfiester

The U.S. Defense Department is poised to advance its joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) vision with an array of major accomplishments in the coming months. Those achievements include the completion of an implementation plan, a practical demonstration of JADC2 capabilities, the fielding of initial technology and a series of briefings to allies.

October 15, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Soldiers assigned to the 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment train with howitzers in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Enhancing the ability to harness myriad data streams is instrumental to modernizing the Army’s fires mission thread for future battlefield operations. Photo by Army Spc. Josselyn Fuentes

As part of its effort to modernize the fires mission thread, the U.S. Army is overhauling two systems critical to providing sensor data to weapon systems to more effectively engage battlefield targets.

Those two systems are the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) and the Joint Automated Deep Operations Coordination System (JADOCS), which will be replaced by the Joint Targeting Command and Coordination System (JTC2S). The updated systems will provide critical information to weapon systems through the data fabric being developed under the Rainmaker project.

September 28, 2021
By George I. Seffers
DISA supports JADC2 in more ways than many people might realize, according to Brian Hermann, the agency's program executive officer for services development. Credit: Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency’s Thunderdome project may be the new kid on the block supporting the Defense Department’s command and control vision, but the agency’s legacy systems also could prove pivotal.

“I think there’s more to DISA’s role in JADC2 than is obvious,” says Brian Hermann, program executive officer for services development at the agency commonly known as DISA. Joint all-domain command and control, or JADC2, focuses on data to allow warfighters to make faster decisions than potential adversaries.

August 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Vladimir Putin has said that whichever country controls artificial intelligence will rule the world, but experts now question who will be the first to master quantum-enabled artificial intelligence. Credit: By Pavel Chagochkin/Shutterstock

As China, Russia, the United States and others race to gain an advantage with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, quantum-enabled AI may be the next evolution, according to a panel of experts at the August 16-19 AFCEA TechNet conference in Augusta, Georgia.

The panel of women experts included moderator Carrie McLeish, director of federal capture, SANS Institute; Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, ARNG, deputy commanding general, ARNG U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence; Arlene Espinal, vice president, Analytics, Automation, AI and Innovation Capabilities Office, ManTech; and Gokila Dorai, assistant professor, School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) officials do not plan to try to force others in the Defense Department or military services to use its zero-trust solution known as Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a fledgling program that offers a range of capabilities, including secure access service edge (SASE), software-defined area networking (SD-WAN), identity credential access management (ICAM) and virtual security stacks.

SASE, which is pronounced “sassy,” is a technology package that includes SD-WAN, firewall as a service and cloud access security broker. While SASE has been implemented across much of the commercial world, it has not yet been widely adopted by the government.

August 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019.  Photo by Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

The U.S. Defense Department has entered the first phase of delivery on a sweeping capability known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), a once-in-a-generation modernization of the military’s approach to commanding forces.

Department officials aim to deliver a minimal viable product that includes an array of capabilities, such as a fundamental platform, identity control access management, zero-trust cybersecurity and data transport capabilities, according to Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, USMC, director for command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Staff/J-6. Once the minimal viable product, also known as an MVP, is in place, the department can continue to add capabilities.

August 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Shutterstock/Pachenko Vladimir

The U.S. Army needs to conduct five essential tasks to achieve the kind of information advantage that will allow commanders to make faster, more effective decisions than their adversaries. Those tasks are to enable decision making, protect friendly information, inform and educate domestic audiences, inform and influence international audiences and conduct information warfare.

The tasks were approved as part of a larger “logic map” during a February forum of one-, two- and three-star generals, according to Brig. Gen. Paul Craft, USA, commandant, U.S. Army Cyber School. Gen. Craft moderated a panel during the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists at TechNet Augusta 2021 discuss how to achieve a unified network. Photo by Michael Carpenter

In order to make the unified network vision a reality, the Army will need to adopt an array of technical capabilities, including 5G, zero trust cybersecurity, software-defined networks and data fabric.

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Jennifer Swanson, director, Software Engineering Center, Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) and CW5 Linc McCoy, USA, CECOM’s command chief warrant officer, have a fireside chat during TechNet Augusta 2021.

Just a few years ago, the U.S. Army was sending compact discs with software updates through the mail, a process that could take weeks or even months in some cases, but its software sustainment efforts have improved dramatically and continues to do so, according to Jennifer Swanson, director, Software Engineering Center (SEC), Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).

August 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command, addresses the audience at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. military services may take slightly different paths to achieving information advantage but will likely reach their desired destinations, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, USA, commander, U.S. Army Cyber Command.

Gen. Fogarty made the comments during a morning keynote presentation on the second day of AFCEA’s TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Panelists discuss cybersecurity and cooperation among nations during TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

It may take a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, but it can take a whole society to keep a country secure.

The term “whole-of-government” has been popular since at least the early 2000s to describe a multidepartment, multiagency effort to gain an advantage or keep the nation secure. The term has been used, for example, to describe counterterrorism efforts.

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Brig. Gen. Paul Stanton, USA, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

Within this decade, commanders of combat units will have to plan and execute information activity, according to Army officials speaking at the August 17-19 AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia.

Appearing via video, Lt. Gen. Ted Martin, USA, commander, Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, said the new doctrine being drafted “as we speak” by Army officials “is forcing us to move into the future, and part of that future is information advantage.”  

August 17, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, deputy chief of staff, G-6, speaks at TechNet Augusta 2021. Photo by Michael Carpenter

The U.S. is in the final stages of developing its unified network plans, according to Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, deputy chief of staff, G-6.

Gen. Morrison made the comments on the first day of the 2021 AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in Augusta, Georgia, the organization’s first in-person conference since the coronavirus pandemic.

August 13, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The DARPA Subterranean Challenge is expected to hold its final event in September. The program already led to advances in underground robotics technology that could be used immediately, the program manager says. DARPA photo.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterranean Challenge, an effort to develop robot technologies capable of performing underground, is expected to host its final contest next month, but the program has advanced robotics technology that already are being used.

The program aims to develop technologies to rapidly map, navigate and search complex underground environments such as human-made tunnel systems, urban undergrounds and natural cave networks. The challenge run by the agency commonly known as DARPA might be described as two challenges in one since it focuses both on physical and virtual robot technologies.

August 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The Network Coverage Overlay can be used to maintain a communications link with robotic vehicles. Credit: U.S. Army CCDC C5ISR Center photo/Dan Lafontaine

U.S. Army researchers are developing spectrum visualization technology that offers an array of benefits, including the ability to maintain contact with—and control of—remotely controlled vehicles on the battlefield.

Officials assessed the Network Coverage Overlay (NCO), which has been nicknamed “Nico,” during the recent Network Modernization Experiment at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

July 29, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A new threat-based strategy and a reorganization at the Defense Intelligence Agency will help the agency more effectively share intelligence on competing countries such as China and Russia. Credit: helloRuby/Shutterstock

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) will release a new threat-based strategy very soon and is undergoing a reorganization to create a Directorate for Global Integration, says Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, USA, the agency’s director.

“We have some changes at DIA that are cooking right now. The first is a new strategy. That is a strategic approach that includes intelligence advantage, a culture of innovation, allies and partnerships, and an adaptive workforce,” he says.

June 30, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Security and artificial intelligence enabled by cloud computing and DevSecOps are top capabilities needed for integrated networking for the U.S. naval forces, including the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Credit: U.S. Coast Guard photo

Security and artificial intelligence are two of the top technological capabilities needed to fully integrate the networking for U.S. naval forces, including the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, according to experts serving on a panel during the West 2021 virtual conference.

The panel included Rear Adm. David Dermanelian, USCG, assistant commandant, command, control, communications, computers and information technology; Jennifer Edgin, assistant deputy commandant for information for the Marine Corps; and Vice Adm. Jeffrey Trussler, USN, deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare and director of naval intelligence.

June 29, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Navy SEALs conduct dive operations training in the Atlantic Ocean, May 29, 2019. A proposed reserve force of combat-ready, active-duty special operators could allow the Navy Special Warfare Command the agility it needs to respond to the full spectrum of missions around the globe while experimenting with new tactics, techniques and procedures. Credit: Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jayme Pastoric

Rear Adm Hugh Wyman Howard III, USN, commander, Navy Special Warfare Command, made the case today that keeping a combat-ready active-duty force in reserve for combat or contingency operations around the world will provide opportunities for greater experimentation with tactics, techniques and procedures.

May 27, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Defense Department's shift from network centricity to data centricity is a bona fide paradigm shift, according to a panel of experts. Credit: SergeyBitos/Shutterstock

The U.S. military’s concept for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) begins with intelligence data, and data-centric operations will require profound changes, according to a panel of experts.

May 19, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Data science and management are the first priorities when adopting artificial intelligence and machine learning, says the commander of U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command. Credit: agsandrew/Shutterstock

If the United States is going to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to maintain a technological advantage, data science capabilities are a must, says Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, USA, commander, U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Gen. Barrett made the remarks while serving on a panel of women cyber leaders on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet August Virtual Event Series, held May 18-19.

May 18, 2021
By George I. Seffers
STEM education is a vital part of attracting a cyber-savvy workforce for civil and military service. Credit: Somjai Jathieng/Shutterstock

Every cyber warrior can be a cyber recruiter, according to panelists at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Event Series.
 
The United States faces a severe shortage in cyber personnel and in students willing to enter the cyber workforce. That shortage is even more acute in the government and the military, where talented personnel are often recruited by industry for higher pay and other incentives.
 

April 20, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Ahead of a deployment to Afghanistan, the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade concluded a training rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Polk, Louisiana, that included training on the new Integrated Tactical Network. Over the next two years, Army officials expect to make significant progress on the unified network concept, which will converge the tactical and enterprise networks. Credit: U.S. Army

Over the next couple of years, the U.S. Army will experience a significant shift in its approach to network modernization and will progress toward a unified network for both enterprise and tactical purposes, according to Lt. Gen. John Morrison, USA, the service’s deputy chief of staff, G-6.

Gen. Morrison made the comments earlier today during the TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series. “That unifying architecture is something that the Army is working very, very hard on. Over the next two years, we will make a shift in the way that we’ve been approaching our modernization efforts,” Gen. Morrison stated.

April 15, 2021
By George I. Seffers
An F-35 Lightning II receives full from a KC-135 Stratotanker. The Army's communications exercises, which are being held in preparation of Project Convergence 21, are evaluating the ability of the different services to pass data from one to the other. The F-35, for example, may be used to pass information to ground forces as part of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ben Mota

The U.S. Army is conducting a series of major tests on the interoperability of joint all-domain command and control (JADC2) technologies prior to the Project Convergence 2021 experiment this fall.

Army officials are leading a series of communications exercises, commonly referred to as COMMEXes, in its new Joint System Integration Laboratory (JSIL). The lab uses a realistic and scalable tactical network architecture comprised of current and future tactical radios, software applications and transport systems to provide a system-of-systems integration and testing environment for emerging communications and networking technologies, according to an Army fact sheet.

March 30, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The Defense Intelligence Agency is prepared to release a new module for its Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS) that will automatically track foreign military forces. By HaseHoch2/Shutterstock

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), which is responsible for providing intelligence on foreign militaries, is prepared in the coming weeks to release a new capability for the Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS). The new module, known as Order of Battle, will provide insights into foreign military forces.

March 26, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier helps set up a tactical command post to test communications in Germany, July 8, 2019. The Army is releasing a flurry of documents, including a pending posture statement, outlining its modernization plans for 2035. Credit: Army Sgt. Patrick Jubrey

U.S. Army officials expect soon to release a multidomain operations (MDO) posture statement that will complement both the new MDO vision document released by the Army Chief of Staff and the posture statement from U.S. Cyber Command.

The MDO posture statement will detail how the Army intends to achieve its MDO vision for 2035. It will be released soon, possibly as early as April, according to Army officials conducting a March 26 telephonic media roundtable.

March 8, 2021
By George I. Seffers
A soldier fires an FGM-148 Javelin during live-fire training in Jordan, Aug. 27, 2019, as part of Eager Lion, a major U.S. Central Command exercise that aims to integrate forces in a multilateral environment. The Joint Communications Support Element supports all of the combatant commands, special operations forces and other departments and agencies and is modernizing to meet the demands of multi-domain operations. Credit: Army Spc. Shadrach Hicks

The Joint Communications Support Element (Airborne), which stays on standby to deploy anytime and anywhere within 72 hours, is modernizing for multi-domain operations.

March 4, 2021
By George I. Seffers
China is often first in the information operations competition, keeping the United States and its allies and partners in the Asia Pacific on defense. Credit: andriano.cz/Shutterstock

With its rapid-fire information operations campaign, China effectively outguns the United States and its partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region, according to three military officers from the United States and Australia.

March 2, 2021
By George I. Seffers
Paratroopers secure their location in preparation for the extraction of senior Afghan and coalition military leaders following a key leader engagement in southeastern Afghanistan, December 29, 2019. Complex policies for connecting networks and sharing data remains a significant barrier for working with allies and coalition partners, military officials say. Credit: Army Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea

With a new Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) strategy document wending its way through the Pentagon, multiple high-ranking officers indicate that complex networks and related policies related remain the top impediment to working with allies and partner nations.

The strategy is being spearheaded by Lt. Gen. Dennis Crall, the director of command, control, communications, computers/cyber, and the chief information officer for the Joint Staff, J-6. According to Brig. Gen. Robert Parker, USA, J-6 deputy director for the Joint Staff, the document has been sent to the chief of staff and vice chief of staff for approval and could land on the desk of the secretary of defense in the coming days or weeks.

February 24, 2021
By George I. Seffers
U.S. intelligence community personnel may be more vulnerable while telecommuting during the pandemic, but so are U.S. adversaries, experts point out. Credit: enzozo/Shutterstock

Like the rest of the world, the U.S. intelligence community has been forced to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic, which offers opportunities, but then again, U.S. adversaries are working from home as well, which may offer opportunities, intelligence experts pointed out during a February 23 AFCEA Intelligence Committee webinar.

The online event included Melissa Planert, director, Tradecraft and Technology Group, Analysis Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and Reid D, an innovator in secure government in the United Kingdom who did not want to be fully identified.

February 16, 2021
By George I. Seffers
The Army's Synthetic Training Environment is one of three initiatives using data to modernize the service's training capabilities. Credit: U.S. Army

Gen. Paul Funk II, USA, commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), outlined three training modernization priorities during his keynote speech at a February 16-17 AFCEA TechNet Augusta Virtual Solutions Series event. The initiatives include developing a prototype of the Army Training and Information System, updating ranges and training aids, and linking live, virtual and constructive training.