The solutions to the Army's network problems have no easy answers, according to opinions from the first panel here at LandWarNet. Leaders in industry addressed five questions about how to improve or address various facets of the Army enterprise, but rarely did any of the responses provide straightforward solutions. For example, employing plug-and-play capabilities can benefit the Army, but using this business model can result in "lowest common denominator" technology and stifle innovation, according to Barry R. Hensley, vice president of the Counter Threat Unit at SecureWorks. Elizabeth A. Hight, vice president, U.S.
By mid-decade, the U.S. Army should be able to pull together all of its sensor and weapons systems into a single net-centric platform for air defense. This technological family reunion will foster an interoperability that makes future gatherings flow smoothly, both in theater and elsewhere. Like getting grandma and Uncle Joe wired into e-mail or Facebook, the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) program will connect Army forces for quicker data access, and faster action. In this issue of SIGNAL Magazine, Henry S.
The popularity and growth of social media networks and blogs offers federal agencies new tools to get their message to the nation's citizens. However, the openness of social media platforms also presents a security challenge. A panel of government and commercial media experts pondered the implications of widespread adoption of social media platforms at AFCEA's Homeland Security Conference. The U.S. military has recently adopted social networking as an extension of its public affairs activities. Col. Kevin V. Arata, USA, director of the Army Online and Social Media Division, explained that the service wanted to formalize how it approached social media.
Army Technology Live is the U.S. Army RDECOM's blog. Its purpose is to inform the public about Army initiatives and technologies and to showcase the work produced by the Army technology team. Pretty cool, right? Well, now the self-described "science and technology command" has launched a free iPhone application so that fans can have access to the blog anywhere and anytime. The app downloads current news features, including entries to the Army Technology Live blog, the official RDECOM Web site, job listings, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and more.
"We are in a dynamic environment with an adversary that's extremely adaptive. The only constant is change, and we have got to be able to adapt our TTPs [tactics, techniques and procedures] with enough agility to counter what we're facing on the battlefield as the war evolves."--Brad Mason, chief of Army Forces Command's G-3/5/7 Strategic Initiatives Division
Some people live and breathe the Army 24/7. Now anyone can be all Army, all the time with the U.S. Army iPhone app. Army soldiers and fans can get the latest news about the military branch thanks to the new application. The free tool lets users access the news sections available on www.army.mil, including full-length articles with photos. In addition to news, users can view Flickr photos, videos, the Army's social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the Army Live blog and much more. Soldiers can make sure they stay on top of their Army game by accessing Army fact files, uniforms, ranks, recruiter locations--even the Army song.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson, USA, chief information officer (CIO)/G-6 policy, and Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, USA, program executive officer, Command, Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO C3T), had a lot to say about innovation in the U.S. Army at the Gov 2.0 Summit last week.
As if the past eight years weren't enough, the U.S. Army is undergoing even greater changes as it retools to fight conventional and unconventional conflicts. Its Future Combat Systems program, which was to define the Army for the coming decades, is going back to the drawing board. The use of kinetic force is yielding some quarters to digital operations, and new specialties are changing the way soldiers prepare for new missions.
The U.S. Army Program Executive Office Soldier delivered 300 sets of the AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggles (ENVG) to the 10th Mountain Division, the first unit other than special forces to receive them. The ENVG incorporates image intensification and long-wave infrared sensors into a single integrated system. It has a thermal camera that increases mobility and situational awareness regardless of light, weather or battlefield conditions, and it offers faster threat recognition.
The U.S. Army is enhancing its mobile ground-based radars designed to detect incoming enemy artillery rounds. The AN/TPQ-37 Firefinder weapon-locating radar is a long-range system that is being deployed across the service to locate the sources of enemy mortar, artillery and rocket fire, and to relay that data for counterfire by friendly units. As part of the Army's Reliability Maintainability Improvement (RMI) program, the entire inventory of AN/TPQ-37 and AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder systems will be modified with a modular, air-cooled transmitter and new common radar processors.
U.S. Army attack helicopters operating in Southwest Asia now can receive video and data from unmanned aerial platforms, enhancing situational awareness and reducing sensor-to-shooter times. The Video from Unmanned Aerial Systems for Interoperability Teaming-Level 2 (VUITTM-2) capability provides the crews of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters with real-time streaming video and metadata shown on multipurpose displays. The VUITTM-2 can transmit both Apache and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) video via a mini-tactical common datalink to troops equipped with One System Remote Video Terminals. Army officials explain that the capability enables Apache aircrews to stream imagery to ground units such as Stryker vehicles on combat patrols.
The U.S. Army is establishing an Electronic Warfare (EW) 29-series career field for officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel that will cover topics ranging from information operations to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Approximately 1,600 EW personnel will be added to the Army during the next three years. The service is considering expanding the career field by as many as 2,300 in the near future.
Personnel in this career field will be considered experts in fighting the threat of IEDs. In addition, they will guide commanders in the effects of the electromagnetic spectrum on operations as well as counsel them about how friendly EW can support tactical and operational objectives.
A U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) is part of the joint mission of the U.S. Air Force 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. The new role marks the first operational mission for the BAMS UAS-a maritime derivative of the RQ-4 Global Hawk-although the aircraft has been used in noncombat roles. BAMS' arrival in Southwest Asia is the culmination of more than five months of a joint effort to stand up a maritime surveillance presence in the region. The move came when Navy officials responded to a Defense Department request for more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets in the area.
The U.S. Army has halted the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program because development costs have almost tripled to $942 million from $359 million. In addition, deliveries were scheduled to begin in 2009 but had been pushed back to 2013. Army officials say they need helicopters now and will re-evaluate the requirements for a reconnaissance helicopter. In the meantime, the service branch will put more effort into the existing Kiowa Warrior fleet. The Army will implement a safety enhancement program to standardize that fleet and improve its effectiveness in combat. The upgrades include improved sensors, weapons systems and survivability equipment.
The U.S. Army has taken delivery of equipment of the first increment of the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). This phase of the program builds on the former Joint Network Node network and offers high-capacity secure communications when warfighters are not in transit. Devices include network hubs, management suites and nodes. The 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team is training with the equipment to prepare for operational tests and evaluations. The second increment of the program will include an initial on-the-move broadband networking capability using satellite and radio links.