Defense Department

Cyber Command puts its philosophy into action — Defense Systems

The establishment of a Cyber Command (Cybercom) this year — delayed nearly a year by congressional resistance in approving the nomination of Army Gen. Keith Alexander as its commander — marks an important milestone for the Defense Department’s cyber operations, according to observers in the security field.

Although the efforts of the individual services to transform their cyber defense and operations structures have been under way well before the beginning of 2010 — including the 24th Air Force, the cyber component of the Air Force’s Space Command, which achieved full operational status Oct. 1 — the establishment of Cybercom at Fort Meade, Md., raises the visibility and emphasizes the importance of cyber as a domain for all of DOD.

Cyber Command puts its philosophy into action — Defense Systems.

Air Force, Cyberdefense and Information Assurance, Defense Department, DISA

In C4ISR Journal – Cyber Defense Overhaul

U.S. defense officials are insisting that by reorganizing their cybersecurity strategy to give new powers to the director of the National Security Agency, they are not attempting a power grab. The military will continue to focus on protecting its own networks, they said, rather than expanding the military’s role to protecting civilian-run electrical and transportation networks.

Still, the changes the Pentagon has announced for the next 16 months will be significant. The heightened role of the NSA will be reflected in a fourth star. From now on, the NSA director will be either a four-star admiral or general, and this person will lead a new U.S. Cyber Command, dubbed CyberCom, wrote Defense Secretary Robert Gates in a June 23 memo to military leaders.

Read the rest at:  Cyber-overhaul – – Military Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance.

Army, Contractors & Vendors, Defense Department, tech

SecDef Gates speaks of the importance of ISR technology at AUSA

Deployable wind power demo at Oshkosh booth, AUSA

Deployable wind power demo at Oshkosh booth, AUSA

The latest technology for soldiers –and some technologies that are still at best “under development” — were on display in the cavernous expo halls of the Washington Convention Center this week at the Association of the US Army Annual Meeting. Meanwhile, Army leaders discussed the future of the service, including force structure and modernization.

Secretary of Defense Gates spoke on the first day of the conference, praising the Army’s NCOs and outlining the challenge facing the Army going forward.

“The challenge I posed to the Army two years ago was to retain the lessons learned and capabilities gained in counterinsurgency and irregular warfare,” Gates said. “From all I’ve seen, heard, and witnessed, that certainly has taken place. In fact, today’s Army bears but a passing resemblance to that of eight years ago – a force mostly designed to repeat another Desert Storm. The Army we have is a supremely adaptable and flexible force – able to deploy rapidly, operate with more autonomy, and slide along the scale of the conflict spectrum to confront very different types of threats.”

Gates cited the technological changes in the Army. “There have been tremendous advances in our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities – advances that have led to an unprecedented fusion of intelligence and ops on the ground. Other communications improvements have led to much greater command and control, and more tools to improve this further are getting out to the field. The Army has recognized that the most important part of its procurement strategy is the network as opposed to the platform. In coming years, there should be revolutionary breakthroughs in the ability of our troops to see themselves and other allied forces – even if the inevitable fog of war and resourceful enemies prevent us from ever achieving total

The Qinetiq MARS armed recon robot, at AUSA

The Qinetiq MARS armed recon robot, at AUSA

situational awareness.”

He also pointed to changes in operational concepts that have come from the field. “One of the most important is the Advise and Assist Brigade – the AAB – that has three main functions: traditional strike capabilities, advisory roles, and the enablers and command and control to support both functions. In July, I visited the first AAB deployed to Iraq. I was impressed with the ability to retool a standard brigade combat team in only a few months and with relatively small force augmentation. By the end of next year, we plan for the Iraq mission to be composed almost entirely of AABs, and the expectation is that, some time down the road, the same will be true in Afghanistan.”

Gates also said that the Army needed to institutionalize the view that advisory positions are not “second-tier jobs”. “The advisory, train, and equip mission is a key role for the Army going forward, given that America’s security will increasingly depend on our ability to build the capabilities of other nations. These capabilities are all the more necessary considering the steep human, political, and financial costs of direct U.S. military intervention.”

Army, Contractors & Vendors, Defense Department, Harris, Marine Corps

Harris ships its 100,000th JTRS-approved handheld radio

From the release:

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company,today is delivering its 100,000th Falcon III(R) AN/PRC-152( C ), a multiband handheld radio that is providing improved secure real-time communication between deployed forces at all levels during combat and crisis.

The software-defined AN/PRC-152( C ) is the most widely deployed JTRS-approved radio. Currently in use by all branches of the DoD, many allies and U.S.
federal agencies, the radio was funded by Harris Corporation and is being procured under the JTRS Enterprise Business Model. This development work has also yielded the only JTRS-approved wideband networking radio available today, the Falcon III AN/PRC-117(G).

The 100,000th radio was presented to the U.S. Army in a ceremony at Harris RF Communications facilities in Rochester, New York. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, joined Harris RF management and employees to celebrate the milestone.

“Congress, the DoD, Harris and the JTRS Joint Program Executive Office share
an unwavering commitment to get urgently needed networked communication
solutions to the field as quickly as possible,” said Dana Mehnert, Group
President, Harris RF Communications. “Harris Corporation is supporting this
imperative by delivering the JTRS-approved AN/PRC-152( C ) and the AN/PRC-117G manpack. These radios are in full production and are helping our armed
services field JTRS capabilities to address real-world missions today while providing the upgradeability to adapt to future standards and requirements.”

The multiband, multimission Falcon III AN/PRC-152( C ) radio is available in handheld and vehicular “grab-and-go” configurations and provides advanced communications interoperability to U.S. and allied forces, as well as federal agencies. The radio has significantly advanced the speed and reliability of voice-and-data communications on the battlefield.

Air Force, Cyberdefense and Information Assurance, Defense Department, Joint Combatant Commands, Space, tech

Three questions on cyber and space for SecDef at Air Force Association event

MODERATOR:  You commented on 24th Air Force.  And would you also comment on the standup of U.S. Cyber Command and your expectations of how the services will organize and present a full range of capabilities to this new command?

SEC. GATES:  I think all of the services have really readily embraced the reality that this is — this is important and vitally — and vital to us for the future.  Each of the services is establishing its own cyber organization, such as the 24th.

All of the — I have — I’ve asked each of the service chiefs to consider as a first priority filling the billets in the cyber schools. We were not filling all of those billets, and clearly the demand for trained people in each of the services in this area is critically important.

I think everybody understands this is a huge potential vulnerability for us because of our dependence on the electronic world for communications, for everything we do.  And I think Cyber Command really is a recognition of the need that — the U.S. Cyber Command as a subunified command under STRATCOM.

I think the reason it’s really important is the need to integrate the different elements from exploitation to defense and so on all in one place so that we have a unity of effort in this respect, and then working with the individual service components.  So I think that we’ve made a lot of institutional and structural progress over the past year to 18 months in getting ourselves better organized to deal with a threat that is only going to grow in the future.

MODERATOR:  And, sir, this is a follow-up on that.  You’ve described well what we’re doing within the department. But how will operations in cyberspace be coordinated between the Department of Defense and other civil and national agencies?

SEC. GATES:  Well, I’m sort of speaking a little out of turn here because I can’t speak for the administration as a whole, so I’ll just give a personal opinion.  I think the notion of being able to replicate NSA for the civilian side of the government is wholly unrealistic.  We lack the human capital as well as the dollars to be able to do it; and, frankly, we lack the time to be able to do it. You just couldn’t create another NSA in a year or two.  This is a 10- or 20-year project.

So I think we have to figure out a way.  I think that the concerns of people — of all of us concerned about civil liberties and so on have to be taken into account.  My own personal view is that one way to do this would be to double-hat a deputy secretary or an undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and have that person also be a civilian deputy at NSA, you know, and then figure out a way to put some firewalls in that make sure that the authorities that we have that we can use for going after foreign threats do not spill over into the civilian world.

But clearly the need to address this issue and the vulnerability of the dot-com world in this arena, I think, has to be addressed, and better sooner than later.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, sir.  And the next question has to do with our growing reliance on space.  And our services and certainly our nation and the world continue to rely heavily and even more so on our space capabilities.  Now, what we are doing to address the potential threat to our space assets that have been appearing over the past several years?

SEC. GATES:  Well, this is a — this is a worry for me, and especially once the Chinese demonstrated their anti-satellite capabilities.  They are working on them.  Clearly, the Russians have some capabilities in this area.  Others may have in the years ahead and maybe in the not-too-distant future.

So I think we have to look at it in a couple of ways.  How can we make what we do put in space more survivable?  But also, what kind of alternatives can we develop in the atmosphere to be able to provide us at least short-term substitutes for space assets should they be denied to us?  And I would tell you we’re not — we’ve made some good progress, but we’ve got a long way to go in this area.

Air Force, Boeing, Defense Department, EADS, Policy

Gates– Just say no to “corporate food fights” on tanker procurement

Audio:Gates on Air Force KC-X competition:   This morning, in an address to the Air Force Association conference, Secretary Gates announced that the  Air Force will be the contracting authority for the KC-X Tanker, but with with oversight from contracting officials at the Department of Defense. He expects the release of the Draft RFP for the KC-X Tanker “soon”. “We are committed to the integrity of the selection process and cannot afford the kind of let downs, parochial squabbles and corporate food fights that have bedeviled this effort over the last number of years.”