WASHINGTON: For those who aren’t part of the insular space community, you need to know that the National Space Symposium is the most important conference on space issues in the world. Everyone goes: the intelligence community; the Air Force; Army; Navy; industry; allies; even senior Chinese officials show up fairly regularly these days. Some 9,000 people attend in a good year.
But this year no one from NASA – that’s right, those people who gave us the Moon landings, Mars Rover, Voyager and are sort of synonymous with space — will attend NSS at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs next month. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The head of Air Force Space Command worries that tightening defense budgets and looming force structure cuts could reduce his critical space and cyber capabilities.
“Because these capabilities are so vital, and the need to maintain local and global capabilities, space and cyber capability doesn’t really scale well with force structure reductions,” Air Force Gen. William Shelton said Wednesday. “You either maintain global coverage or you don’t.” Keep reading →
Defense Department and intelligence community officials have been talking about open source software as the next great thing for government technology programs for years. Why all the love? Speaking at a recent industry gathering, government officials described what they like about the software: it’s affordable, flexible, and can be quickly modified by developers because they don’t have to pay the licensing fees associated with commercial software.
The government began using open source software (OSS) in the late 1990s, the Pentagon’s associate director for information enterprise strategy and policy, Dan Risache said at the recent Red Hat Government Symposium. In the last few years, more agencies have used it as they discovered its advantages. He sees this as a major step in the government transforming itself into a leaner, more agile entity — at least where IT is concerned. Keep reading →
Everyone knows the global zombie apocalypse is coming soon. I’m here to tell you the military acquisition community needs to take it as seriously as the CDC does. If we’re going to survive the Day / Night / Return / Dawn / Shaun of the Living / Evil / Walking Dead, we’re gonna need some rules. For the convenience of my fellow military technologists, I respectfully offer the following:
Rule 1: Small Business
More than 1.05 million people are employed in the US aerospace and defense industry. These individuals are often found in big companies and are regularly described as having “big brains.” This concentration of larger than average cranial volume makes these companies prime zombie targets. The most reliable projections indicate complete zombification of all major defense contractors within 28 hours of the initial outbreak. Keep reading →
In a move toward a more efficient National Reconnaissance Office, analysts for the agency operating the nation’s spy satellites are on the verge of getting their information through a top-secret open-source cloud environment housing intelligence data.
Jill Singer, the agency’s chief information officer, offered the latest details on the project at this week’s Red Hat Government Symposium in Washington D.C. Keep reading →
The Air Force provides the essential capabilities that make America’s joint operations possible and has been involved in nearly every military operation overseas since 1991. As the Pentagon delves into the details of the 2014 budget, getting the Air Force budget right is critical to ensure that the nation can count on its indispensable role in a time of shrinking resources.
Our adherence to the idea of a joint force has led to a roughly equal cut of spending among the services. This is not the optimum allocation of scarce resources in coming years if our national strategy is to maintain global presence and communications, as well as to fight cost-effectively and be capable of defeating modernized militaries. Keep reading →
ORLANDO: The United States has boosted into orbit new spy satellites that mark “the most significant change to our overhead architecture in at least three decades,” said the head of military intelligence, Mike Vickers.
Vickers also said these National Reconnaissance Office’s satellites comprise “a truly integrated system of systems for the first time.” Sadly for you, dear reader, the well-known leader of the first war in Afghanistan – the one against the Soviets – did not share any other details. Instead, he delivered his speech and left the conference at speed. Keep reading →
ORLANDO: Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and Cyber Command, told a standing-room-only crowd at the annual Geoint intelligence conference last year that the NSA and its sister intelligence agencies could save one third or more on their information technology costs by moving to the so-called cloud.
Given that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said last year that the intelligence budget cuts over the next decade would be in the “double digits” — our best information is that the cuts are around $25 bilion over a decade — the pressure is on for Alexander to deliver. Keep reading →
OSD recently appointed a new acting deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for space policy, and, assuming he keeps the job beyond January, he (or his replacement) might consider shifting his attention to some of the very difficult challenges facing space programs in the Defense Department.
First among those would be efforts to build military space systems that better serve the joint fight. We have long known that our dependence on space ensures that adversaries will try to negate its advantages. Russia and China have been exploring various ways to do so, and India has announced that it, too, perhaps for other reasons, is interested in developing anti-satellite capabilities. Making sure that military missions depending on space will be assured is one of the loud imperatives in the current US National Space Policy. Keep reading →