Information insecurity

Information insecurity

New DOD cell focuses on protecting unclassified data. But if data is unclassified, why do we need to protect it? by Mr. Andrew Fulton, Mr. Keith Ramsey and Mr. Thomas Quigley When it comes to protecting classified information, military personnel, civilians and contractors know the rules by heart. And if they don’t, required annual or semiannual retraining reminds everyone of the rules. But for at least one category of unclassified information, those rules become murky. This sometimes overlooked aspect of maintaining U.S. technological superiority is a growing concern as global access to the internet increases and cyberattacks become more sophisticated and commonplace. In February, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick M. […]

Shifting gears

Shifting gears

How RDECOM is responding to the new modernization imperative. by Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins Central to the Army’s future is the decision by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and then-Acting Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy to adopt a new modernization model, with the main focus on making Soldiers and Army units more lethal to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) part in this mission is to provide the research and development (R&D) for technologies that will enable the Army to dominate on the battlefield. To support the new modernization model, the Army asked […]

5 Things you didn’t know about U.S. Army foreign military sales

5 Things you didn’t know about U.S. Army foreign military sales

By Adam Genest and Jim Stocks Many in the Army acquisition community have heard of foreign military sales (FMS), but few know just how large and important FMS is to our Army and our nation. Here are the top five things you should know about Army FMS: FMS is Big Demand for American-made weapons has and will continue to be high, with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency reporting that the U.S. sold more than $33 billion worth of military goods and services last year alone. The U.S. Army consistently represents the majority of those sales among the various military departments and agencies within DOD, with last year’s total coming in […]

The Top Five Lessons I Learned While Working at Amazon.com, Inc.

The Top Five Lessons I Learned While Working at Amazon.com, Inc.

By Lt. Col. Rachael Hoagland When people learn that I spent a year as a Training with Industry Fellow at Amazon.com, Inc. I get asked, “Did you meet Jeff Bezos? Did you get to work on the drones?” Or, “You must have seen some really cool technology.” Yes, I attended quarterly all hands with Jeff Bezos but we never had a one on one conversation. No, I did not work on the drone project. Yes, I did see some really cool technology. Every time someone asked one of the questions I had already been asked a hundred times I asked myself what it was that I was really learning. The […]

Ostrowski outlines Army’s plan to streamline acquisition

Ostrowski outlines Army’s plan to streamline acquisition

By Michael Bold FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Jan. 24, 2018)—Warning that “we have no choice but to get engaged in changing the culture,” Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski outlined the Army’s plan to speed acquisition during Wednesday’s roadshow here. The Army Acquisition Workforce’s focus, said Ostrowski, the principal military deputy to the Army acquisition executive, has to always be the U.S. Soldiers in harm’s way: “I’ve got to get that capability out there faster. I’ve got to think of innovative ways to do so. And I’ve got to make it such that Soldiers are as force-protected, as lethal and as situationally aware that we can possibly make them because we owe that […]

ASA(ALT) Principal Military Deputy Challenges Army Acquisition Workforce

ASA(ALT) Principal Military Deputy Challenges Army Acquisition Workforce

WASHINGTON — Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, the Principal Military Deputy to Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) (ASA (ALT)), met with members of the ASA(ALT) staff at the Pentagon Jan. 22 to discuss initiatives to streamline the acquisition process and change the culture in order to improve efforts to deliver timely capability to the Soldier. The so-called “Road Show” has taken Ostrowski to Army Program Executive Offices (PEOs) nationwide, to inform the 39,000 member workforce about how the acquisition process is changing and why these changes are being made. “The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) and the NDAA FY16, what did they […]

Driving out “the Stupid” Leveraging IT Lessons Learned from DOD and Industry

Driving out “the Stupid” Leveraging IT Lessons Learned from DOD and Industry

By Col. Richard Haggerty Imagine yourself as the Project Manager (PM) of an Acquisition Category (ACAT) III basket portfolio who has just been tapped to lead an ACAT I Special Interest cyber-Information Technology (IT) program with direction from Congress to immediately deliver capability to all Cyber Mission Forces (CMF) across the Department of Defense (DoD). Additionally, your first task as the PM is to brief Congressional members and staffers on your plan to execute this program, despite a lack of personnel, a defined requirement document, or an acquisition strategy. What do you do? A good place to start is an assessment of applicable Lessons Learned. Unfortunately, these lessons all point […]

Army Opens First-of-its-Kind Training System for Wideband Satellite Operators

Army Opens First-of-its-Kind Training System for Wideband Satellite Operators

By PM DCATS Public Affairs Fort Gordon, Ga.—The U.S. Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence (USACCoE) unveiled the Army’s first-of-its-kind Wideband Training and Certification System (WTCS) here on Jan. 11. Students attending the USACCoE’s Satellite Systems Network Coordinator Course will use WTCS to apply classroom learning to simulations generated from real-world events. Soldiers training on WTCS will soon staff the Army’s Wideband Satellite Communications Operations Centers (WSOC) located at five military installations worldwide. At the WSOCs, operators perform satellite payload management tasks for the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation of satellites, delivering world-class, resilient, assured, secured, and reliable strategic communications capability worldwide for the U.S. Army, all of DoD, other government […]

World-Class Technology, According to Plan

World-Class Technology, According to Plan

By Ms. Argie Sarantinos-Perrin Information-gathering drones swarm the air as unmanned Army vehicles push just ahead of infantry Soldiers into a mega-city overflowing with people, vehicles and high rises. Army cyber warriors fight a silent battle for the city’s internet of things while an unmanned warship shoots down an aircraft, which explodes in the air, creating a massive fireball and a barrage of fragments that plummet to the ground. Meanwhile, the first artillery crew to the battle is trading targeting and friendly forces information with Air Force bombers and Navy gunners. The technologies in this future multi-domain battle scenario may seem far-reaching, but the Army’s primary science and technology arm, […]

Holding all the ‘ACE’s

Holding all the ‘ACE’s

How one Army product office used strategic acquisition to drive competition and improve readiness in a specialized market dominated by two vendors. by Ms. Kimberly Davidson and Mr. James Christophersen Late on a January afternoon in Texas in 2015, gunfire shattered the typical silence and echoed through the halls of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical clinic at Fort Bliss. In a scene too familiar to Americans today, active shooter alarms sounded in the William Beaumont Army Medical Center and two nearby schools—thousands of innocent people were suddenly in danger. Within two minutes of the first shots, a handful of first responders entered the building. Behind the scenes, multiple […]