Leaders in multiple military organizations need increased awareness of the dangers that arise from the systems used daily in training, deployment and garrison environments. The attacks these settings face are becoming more advanced and more specific as cyber attackers’ capabilities continue to improve. To mitigate the potential risk to military systems, the networks’ individual components must be identified and understood particularly at a time when component parts are manufactured outside the United States.
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, USA, has been assigned as the 16th sergeant major of the Army (SMA).
Brig. Gen. Mark S. Bennett, USA, has been assigned as commanding general to U.S. Army Financial Management Command, Indianapolis.
Brig. Gen. James J. Gallivan, USA, has been assigned as chief of staff, U.S. Army Futures Command, Austin, Texas.
The current process for mission command modernization is not keeping pace with technology, which will dramatically impact the future battlefield. Despite massive technological advancements, the U.S. Army continues to struggle with the upper tactical internet. The service’s current technology fails to provide a near instantaneous, resilient, on-the-move communication capability and is at risk of being outpaced by both industry and potential adversaries.
The Warfighter Information Network–Tactical program delivered a digital transformation, enabling maneuver elements to move faster and provide commanders with vital battlefield information in near real-time. Its flexibility facilitated communications in Iraq’s urban environments and Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain. Although a powerful improvement over Mobile Subscriber Equipment, the technologies are not powerful enough to combat adversaries wielding cyber capabilities.
The U.S. Army will be ditching some programs, re-engineering others and seeking innovative technologies to fill networking requirements created by a new operational reality, say the service’s information technology experts. Having a deliberate period of acquisition now, the service is able to incorporate flexibility and innovation into its plans to meet new requirements.
Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, a division known as ASA(ALT), joked that this July was a slow month for the U.S. Army. When in fact, the service is pursuing the establishment of its fourth command. “Everybody knows how busy the Army is,” the general said. The new Austin, Texas-based Army Futures Command—the location of which was announced last week by Army leaders at the Pentagon—will be spearheading the service’s modernization efforts.
Brig. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle, USA, has been assigned as commandant, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Sustainment Center of Excellence, Fort Lee, Virginia.
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.”
The U.S. Army has partnered with NATO and other coalition nations to enhance operational readiness in a series of multinational exercises this year focused on interoperability. The drills enable national militaries to assess and adjust the interoperability of their capabilities long before meeting adversaries in the battlespace.
The Army is looking to combine electronic warfare capabilities with intelligence and cyber capabilities, military leaders reported December 13 at AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare discussion, The Future Force Build and Integration of Electronic Warfare and Information Operations Fields into Cyber. AUSA hosted the event at its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as part of its Hot Topic event series.
Col. Susan K. Arnold, USA, has been assigned as assistant judge advocate general for military law and operations, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
Earl G. Matthews has been selected for appointment to the Senior Executive Service and for assignment as the principal deputy general counsel for the Army.
Telephonics Corp., Farmingdale, New York, has been awarded a maximum $23,294,344 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Chinook weapon system communication equipment. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1) based on Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is New York, with a July 31, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2017 through fiscal 2020 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama (SPRRA1-17-D-0145).
Beginning later this year, the U.S. Army will be updating mission command network software and hardware across 400 Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard units. The goal is to reduce more than a dozen mission command network software and hardware versions to one standard baseline. As a result, system complexity in the command-post environment will be mitigated, allowing for easier network initialization and sustainment.
Open standards are easy to love. With a common, defined computing system, anybody can port their applications to them and the software syncs beautifully, simplifying upgrades and providing flexibility in customers’ choice of supplier. One U.S. Army crack at open standards provides a good example of the expectation, which was to correct the problems created by the bolted-on approach of field equipment on vehicles. Unfortunately, like far too many of such standards, the Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability, or VICTORY, falls flat on implementation.
The U.S. Army is well on its way to meeting federal goals for reducing or consolidating data centers, an effort that already has saved the service $56 million, officials state.
The Army has cut the number of centers across the force by about 38 percent, according to a report released February 6. Part of the consolidation plan calls for closing 1,157 Army Enterprise Data Centers. The goal over the next eight years is to bring the number to 10. Six will be located outside of the continental United States. The other four will be housed at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The U.S. Army is rolling out a new cybersecurity career management program that could let qualified civilians bypass prerequisites and be commissioned directly into the service with a rank up to colonel.
The Defense Department has directed all military services to research the idea and submit findings by 2020 to determine if a pilot program should be implemented across the department. But Brig. Gen. Patricia Frost, USA, director of cyber for the Army’s G-3/5/7, explains that the Army decided to respond to the high demand for cyber experts more quickly. “We’ll see if the other services do something similar,” she states.