Communications requirements are changing in tandem with new modes of military battlefield requirements. Until a few years ago, voice had been the predominant communications medium. Variable message format messages were adopted as the digitally aided close air support standard, however even with a concerted effort by the U.S. Defense Department to standardize requirements, there continues to be longstanding issues with interoperability, including significant loss of key data and slow refresh rates.
Confronting adversaries on a more complicated battlefield requires advanced tools for a U.S. Army more comfortable operating in the traditional domains of land, sea, air and space. The new Cyber Situational Understanding program of record, however, will give the U.S. Army an increased understanding with actionable information of the cyber domain, explained Portia Crowe, chief, Cyber Engineering at the Army’s Program Executive Office Command Control Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T).
Crowe headed up the AFCEA Aberdeen Chapter’s 4th Annual C4ISR Cyber Panel on March 6 and spoke to SIGNAL Magazine in an interview.
Quantum Spatial Inc., Petersburg, Florida (FA4452-19-D-A001); Geographic Information Services Inc., Birmingham, Alabama (FA4452-19-D-A002); Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, Virginia (FA4452-19-D-A003); Woolpert Inc., Dayton, Ohio (FA4452-19-D-A004); and KFS LLC, Huntsville, Alabama (FA4452-19-D-A005), have been awarded multiyear indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a combined cumulative face value of $46,564,206. The contracts will provide geospatial tasks and support functions for improved shared situational awareness and decision making across the various echelons of military hierarchy including individual level, installation level, and management headquarters level.
Federal mandates and economic concerns are pushing businesses and government agencies to migrate their IT services to the cloud. As a result, decision makers must consider how to proceed in a way that meets compliance requirements in a timely, affordable and secure fashion.
Two data migration experts at experienced commercial organizations recently offered their advice to organizations that are just beginning on the data migration trail or are well on their way but hitting a few bumps in the road.
The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency has begun a program to address an emerging conflict in a nebulous area between peace and conventional warfare. Dubbed the “gray zone,” actions in this space occur slower and are executed more subtly using social, psychological, religious, informational, cyber and other means to achieve physical or cognitive objectives with or without violence.
Canadian Commercial Corp., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is being awarded a $49,551,053 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of Military Sealift Command Situational Awareness System program Electro-Optics Sensor system (MSC-EOS). The MSC-EOS Systems will be operated on Military Sealift Command and other Navy or Coast Guard maritime platforms. The MSC-EOS System’s primary mission is to provide enhanced visual imagery to augment existing electronic sensors.
U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) entered into an agreement with the Belgium Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO) to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information. The arrangement is expected to enhance awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of spaceflight operations.
Maj. Gen. Clinton E. Crosier, USAF, USSTRATCOM director of plans and policy, signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing the arrangement on February 7 at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Elke Sleurs, Belgium’s secretary of state for science policy, signed on January 31 in Brussels.
Sotera Defense Solutions Inc., Herndon, Virginia, was awarded an $11,036,371 modification (P00007) to contract W911NF-16-C-0005 for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research and development effort titled, “Technology Demonstrations and Assessments Using a Data Science Approach to Situation Understanding for Counter Insurgency Operations.” Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of January 20, 2019. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,995,881 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, is the contracting activity.
Fulcrum IT Services LLC, Centreville, Virginia, has been awarded a $168,155,289 ceiling cost-plus-award-fee task order under the General Services Administration (GSA) OASIS Small Business Pool 4 contract to provide the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) with strategic planning, research, analysis and training services in support of JIDO’s Global Situational Awareness (Global SA) and Communities of Action (CoA) missions.
Vencore Labs Inc. - Applied Communication Sciences, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, has been awarded an $8,169,720 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for software and reports. Contractor will provide research, development, demonstration and delivery of a machine-intelligence for advance notification of threats and energy-grid survivable situational awareness software system. Work will be performed at Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and is expected to be complete by July 27, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 70 offers received. Fiscal 2016 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $1,353,354 are being obligated at the time of award.
BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems Integration, Technology Solutions-Advanced Information Technologies, Burlington, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $9,402,650 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for software and reports. The contractor will provide development and integration of the latest advancements in machine learning that benefit this effort as well as architectural enhancements that increase the flexibility and agility of applying analytics to solve space situational awareness problems and take full advantage of high-performance computing capabilities and multiple forms of visualization of the reasoning performed by the analytics involved in this effort.
I recently was privileged to attend the Global Force Symposium and Exposition hosted by the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and held at the Von Braun Conference Center in Huntsville, Alabama. As with all such events sponsored by the AUSA, this gathering offered an opportunity to hear from senior Army leaders about the challenges they face in addressing the ongoing budget cuts forced by the 2011 Budget Control Act and the additional pressures created by sequestration—or the threat of it.
DRS Network & Imaging Systems LLC, Melbourne, Florida, was awarded a $9,508,881 firm-fixed-price, foreign military sales contract for purchase of various quantities of embedded diagnostics parts to support production of 150 M1A1 tanks to a situational awareness configuration. Work will be performed in Huntsville, Alabama, with an estimated completion date of November 19, 2017. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Fiscal 2010 other funds in the amount of $9,508,881 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Tank and Automotive, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-16-C-0048).
Across the entire Defense Department, situational awareness is mission critical. Real-time understanding of mission activities and the information delivered by intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, in particular, is crucial for military commanders to make key decisions.
To ensure that ISR systems provide mission-critical information, the information technology infrastructure must run flawlessly—relaying collected data to people quickly and accurately.
How do you ensure successful information flow? And just as important, how do you increase real-time visibility across traditionally siloed systems run by different teams and monitored and managed by different products?
General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Michigan, was awarded a $358 million firm-fixed-price undefinitized foreign military sales contract (Morocco) for conversion of 150 M1A1 vehicles to the M1A1 situational awareness configuration. Work will be performed in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of February 28, 2018. One bid was solicited with one received. Fiscal 2010 other procurement funds in the amount of $11,390,194 were obligated at the time of the award. The Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity (W56HZV-15-C-0232).
Scientific Research Corp., Atlanta, has been awarded a $41,849,660 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the Digital Integration for Combat Engagement Program. The contractor will provide commercial services for 25th Air Force 24/7 global situational awareness, which is connected to every combatant commander capable of moving near real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to warfighters. Location of performance will be determined on individual task orders and are expected to be complete by February 29, 2020. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with two offers received.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released a proposal to secure the border entitled “Blueprint for Southern Border Security.” The proposal calls for a broad mix of technologies, including radar, manned or unmanned aircraft, aerostats and unattended ground sensors. The technologies deployed should be as varied as the terrain.
The U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, announced today it has entered into a new space situational awareness (SSA) data-sharing agreement with the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). The agreement, which was signed August 9, provides EUMETSAT with higher quality and more timely space information tailored for its organization’s specific purposes in exchange for satellite-positional and radio-frequency information.
Boeing will continue helping improve situational awareness for U.S. Navy surface combat ships under a $46 million exercised option of its Ship's Signal Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) Increment F contract. The funding, to Boeing subsidiary Argon ST, covers seven systems over 18 months, representing the third lot of full-rate production units. Argon has delivered a combined total of more than 80 SSEE systems since 2000. Increment F improves on the E’s antennas, signal acquisition, and direction finding, facilitating increased data collection and better identification of potential threats.
Pacific Defense Solutions LLC, Kihei, Hawaii is being awarded a $9,724,737 cost plus fixed fee contract for space situational awareness research and development. The contracting activity is Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.