Circuit check


Army Signal Command redesignates to Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. The Army redesignated U.S. Army Signal Command Oct. 1 to U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command.

The new command is composed of organizations from the former ASC, including its tactical and strategic units worldwide, and realigned operational-staff elements formerly under the Army’s chief information officer.

ASC’s commander, MG James Hylton, is now NETCOM/9th ASC commander. Plans call for NETCOM/9th ASC to be headquartered at Fort Huachuca. However, the command will maintain a presence in the National Capitol Region and will operate regional offices at Fort Monroe, Va.; Rock Island, Ill.; Fort McPherson, Ga.; and Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

BG Velma "Von" Richardson is NETCOM's deputy commander and is stationed in the National Capitol Region.

The redesignation of ASC to NETCOM/9th ASC was directed under the secretary of the Army’s Headquarters Department of the Army Realignment Task Force. The new command is a direct reporting command to Army headquarters under the oversight of the Army’s chief information officer, LTG Peter Cuviello, the deputy chief of staff/G-6. The G-6 administers the Army’s overall infrastructure for information technology and information management.

NETCOM/9th ASC will operate, maintain and defend the Army’s communications networks. It will be responsible for the technical integration of the disparate capabilities for command, control, communications and computers Armywide. It will provide an “infostructure” responsive to the Army’s warfighting missions through one strategic-communications network to forward-deployed forces.

“By creating an enterprise-level infostructure, the Army is now postured to execute the functions critical to information management,” Hylton said. “These include functions associated with network operations, management and defense, information-dissemination management and information assurance. Centralization of authority over these functions will ensure secure, dependable and timely communications across the Army from the foxhole to the White House.”

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DISA, National Science Center sign memorandum of understanding

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Defense Information Systems Agency commemorated the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the National Science Center July 30. The ceremony, held at DISA headquarters here, marks the beginning of a partnership between the two organizations.

DISA and NSC are combining their resources to attract America’s youth to math, science and technology careers. In this technological age, the demand for employees in these fields exceeds the available talent. NSC and DISA realize that college is too late to peak youths’ interest in technical fields and plan to start earlier.

“Compelling research shows without a doubt that if you’re going to capture the minds and energies of American youth today in math, science, engineering and computers, you have to do it in middle school,” said MG David Bryan, DISA’s vice director. “If you miss them, you catch very few later.”

NSC works to improve technical literacy and to encourage an interest in math and science careers among youth. DISA, responsible for the command, control, communications and information systems serving the Defense Department, will be able to expand the NSC focus to include more information technology.

NSC’s headquarters, “Fort Discovery,” is located in Augusta, Ga., and serves as a family-oriented math and science center of more than 270 interactive exhibits. It’s also the base of several national educational-outreach programs.

Shannon Teates, a DISA employee working to implement the partnership, says that DISA intends to not only become involved in NSC’s existing programs but also help establish new programs and initiatives with an IT perspective.

“A major initiative is setting up a technology-oriented camp for kids,” said Teates. Children at the camp would learn things such as how to build a website or create a robot.

DISA, NSC officials sign memorandum DISA and NSC officials sign a memorandum of understanding to partner in youth math, science and technology programs. From left are Shannon Teates, DISA/NSC program ambassador; Phyllis Hendry, NSC's president; and MG David Bryan, DISA's vice director.

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One-of-a-kind Signal company to provide rapidly deployable, high-tech capability

by Sue McKinney and SGT Kelly McCargo

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command here activated the only strategic and tactical Signal-network installation and restoration unit in the Army – 518th Signal Company (Tactical Installation and Networking) – Oct. 16.

The company is a bi-component, split-based company comprising active-duty and Reserve Component personnel. It consists of a headquarters and two platoons co-located with two primary NETCOM/9th ASC units – 93d Signal Brigade at Fort Gordon, Ga., with one platoon attached to 11th Signal Brigade headquartered here – and will support units worldwide.

“You see a one-of-a-kind unit – it’s a multicomponent company ... and there is no other unit in the Army with their extraordinary capabilities for strategic installation of tower, data, video and wire systems,” said COL Daniel Gerstein, 93d’s commander, at the Oct. 16 ceremony. “The unit provides rapid Global Information Grid installation, reinstallation and restoral. Their mission statement speaks volumes about their mission and its significance.”

Integration of the Reserve Signal brigade and Signal battalion support at Fort Gordon ensures availability and retainability of trained Signal Reserve personnel.

“In accordance with chief of staff of the Army guidance, our active and Reserve Component integration azimuth is focused on total integration of active and Reserve Components into a seamless force,” said Elizabeth Patten, deputy assistant chief of staff, G-3 (operations) at NETCOM/9th ASC headquarters here.

The 518th Signal Company is a rapidly deployable, highly skilled, highly technical unit that will be capable of providing support to any established joint task force, Army service-component command, theater Signal command (Army) and the warfighting combatant commanders. It’s designed to deploy in teams, sections or platoons to provide immediate support where needed.

“The Army and the joint communities have critical requirements for rapid installation and restoration capability supporting strategic, tactical and sustaining-base communication infrastructures,” said Patten. “The 518th is designed to fill this requirement.”

The 518th Signal Company will be able to restore or install critical pieces of the Defense Satellite Communications System and the Defense Information Switching Network. The company will provide software-application expertise, network installation and administration and information-systems and network-security support, as well as information-management quick-response teams to the warfighter worldwide.

“The 518th is part of an ever-changing Signal mission with the current mindset to ‘move information, not people.’ This mandates a highly mobile, modular and flexible organization capable of providing early-entry information technology,” said MAJ Bruce Holland, 56th Signal Battalion’s executive officer. The 56th Signal Battalion is part of 93d Signal Brigade.

“This one-of-a-kind unit would have been ideal to have when the Pentagon was hit Sept. 11 [2001],” said Patten. “It could also have been deployed to install and restore communications during [Operations] Enduring Freedom, Stabilize (East Timor), Joint Guardian and Joint Force.”

The 518th was initially formed on paper in October 1933 as 1st Radio Intelligence Company. It has been deactivated and reactivated five times since then, with the last inactivation coming in September 1993. The company has been equipped with state-of-the-art satellite-communications technology as part of its mission to be a rapidly deployable unit that can immediately install satellite communications, automation, videoteleconferencing and official-mail-distribution support.

Ms. McKinney is assigned to U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command/9th Army Signal Command’s public-affairs office at Fort Huachuca.

SGT McCargo is 93d Signal Brigade’s public-affairs noncommissioned officer.

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Army contractor wins British queen’s award for enterprise

by Stephen Larsen

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – A member of the Army’s contractor team that produces the Vehicle Intercom System was among 131 United Kingdom firms honored with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious award for business performance.

The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, representing Queen Elizabeth II, presented the award in August to BAE Systems, Land Platform Communications Division, at BAE’s facility in Blackburn, Lancashire. BAE was a first-time winner in the international-trade category.

Charles Penta of the project manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems here – who manages the VIS program for the Army – received a replica of the Queen’s Award, which is now on display at PM DCATS’ offices at Fort Monmouth. PM DCATS, part of the program executive office for Enterprise Information Systems headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va., has to date fielded more than $200 million worth of VIS systems.

“Without a doubt,” said Penta, “we (the Army) have 18,000 systems out there – or 21,000 if you include the light-vehicle variant used in humvees.”

Penta was asked to speak at the Lancashire ceremony. He congratulated BAE and its employees for their achievement and thanked them for the quality of their product. Noting that VIS has provided increased voice and data communications in the high-noise environments of vehicles such as tanks and Stryker Interim Armored Vehicles for brigade combat teams, Penta lauded the system as a “major advance” in vehicular digital intercommunications.

“The product has operated beyond our expectations,” said Penta. “Our soldiers in the field love it – and that’s the most important comment you can ever receive. Compared with its predecessor, the VIC-1, it’s the most dramatic improvement we could do for them.”

Penta said the VIS provides clear, noise-free communication between crew members inside combat vehicles and externally over as many as six combat net radios. It provides digital data distribution, voice-activated switching, a redundant architecture to mitigate battle damage and a built-in test capability.

VIS headset VIS headset. PM-DCATS has, to date, fielded more than $200 million worth of VIS systems.

Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, Baltimore, Md., and BAE jointly developed VIS, first procured by the Army in 1993. The Army awarded Northrop Grumman a new five-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity follow-on contract in February to continue supplying VIS. BAE is a subcontractor under the contract.

Mr. Larsen serves as PEO-EIS-Fort Monmouth’s public-affairs officer.

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Tobyhanna meets surge requirement for Army, Air Force satellite systems

by Anthony Ricchiazzi

tobyhanna army depot, Pa. – Technicians here have cut the time to repair and test satellite terminals by up to 50 percent.

They’ve been carrying out a quick turnaround schedule for the AN/TSC-93C and 85C satellite terminals for the Army, and the AN/TSC-94 and 100 for the Air Force.

“We started this surge requirement after the 9-11 terrorist attacks last year, repairing terminals for units at Fort Bragg [N.C.], Fort Stewart [Ga.] and Germany,” said Bill Telesco, chief of the Tactical Multiband Systems Division, Satellite Communications Systems Directorate. “We’ve completed eight so far.”

Stanley Maros works on satellite terminal Stanley Maros begins stripping an Army AN/TSC-85 satellite terminal at Tobyhanna to prepare it for repair and testing.

The terminals are usually repaired in about 120 days, but the requirement is 60 to 90 days, no matter what the terminal’s condition. They’re located worldwide and provide video, data and voice communications.

Stanley Maros, electronics integrated-systems mechanic, TMS Division, said the depot has always had accelerated schedules but they’ve increased since Sept. 11, 2001.

“All the components are checked and repaired, down to the wiring racks,” said John Morelli, electronics mechanic leader. “This surge requirement is ongoing, so we’ll be working on it into the foreseeable future. The systems will be used until about 2012.”

Mr. Ricchiazzi is assigned to Tobyhanna’s public-affairs office.

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Northern Command setup becomes clearer

by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON – When U.S. Northern Command stood up Oct. 1, the new organization in charge of homeland defense had a “combatant command” of a small number of specialized units.

Combatant command gives combatant commanders the authority to organize, train and operate units. It’s different from operational control, which allows commanders to use forces that have been trained and are supported by someone else.

When the command unfurled its flag at Peterson AFB, Colo., Air Force GEN Ralph Eberhart had COCOM of the joint-forces headquarters homeland security. The JFHQ is based at Norfolk, Va., and now comes under U.S. Joint Forces Command. The headquarters has 130 civilian and military personnel assigned.

Other units will come under operational control of the new command if they’re needed, Defense Department officials said. “If there’s an incident, other units may come under command of Northern Command,” said one official. “This would be much the same as units coming under the control of U.S. Central Command when needed.”

In addition to becoming the commander of U.S. Northern Command, Eberhart commands the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Wearing his Northern Command hat, he has operational control of U.S. contributions to the joint U.S.-Canadian defense organization.

The JFHQ homeland security coordinates the land and sea defense of the United States. In addition, the command serves as the liaison with lead federal agencies and supports those agencies in the event of an attack. The headquarters will work with other agencies on prevention of attacks, military response if an attack is successful and military aid to such agencies as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Two subordinate units to the JFHQ also transferred to the new command Oct. 1. These were the Joint Task Force Civil Support and Joint Task Force 6.

JTF-Civil Support is based at Fort Monroe, Va. Established in 1999, the JTF supports civil authorities in the event of an attack on the United States. The 160 task-force members coordinate military support requested by civilian authorities.

JTF-6 is based at Fort Bliss, Texas. The JTF is the Defense Department’s counterdrug support unit. It provides resources to local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies. Since it was established in 1989, the JTF has helped more than 430 federal, state and local agencies in more than 5,300 missions. Officials said the JTF’s counterdrug mission will remain, but its mission will probably expand into other border security realms.

Northern Command will have direct coordinating authority with the U.S. Coast Guard. In the event of attack, Joint Forces Command will provide any additional forces Northern Command may need.

Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.

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DoD ‘OK’ in radio bandwidth transfer to private sector

by Gerry Gilmore

WASHINGTON – The Defense Department retains access to valuable radio bandwidth needed for national security, although the government gave up a segment July 23 to facilitate growth in the U.S. telecommunications industry.

The Department of Commerce announced its plan July 23 called the “3G (3d generation) Viability Assessment.” DoD and some other government agencies will transfer 45 megahertz of radio bandwidth to the private sector. The frequencies will come from the 1710-1755 mhz range.

One of the challenges in developing the 3G plan was how to reallocate bandwidth without impairing DoD’s network-centric warfare and information-superiority missions, according to Commerce Department officials. Military transformation calls for quantum leaps in the use of computerized information technology that depend on wireless systems.

However, the bandwidth transfer won’t hurt DoD’s missions, said Steven Price, deputy assistant secretary of defense for spectrum, space, sensors and C3 (command, control and communications) policy.

“We welcome the findings in the 3G viability plan and believe the plan supports national-security needs,” Price noted. He noted the plan “requires some changes” to certain military systems, but said DoD doesn’t lose because it will have access to more bandwidth if needed.

DoD will relocate its affected systems to other bandwidths before December 2008, according to the Commerce Department.

Commerce officials said the 3G plan also calls for the private sector to gain another 45 mhz of bandwidth from the 2110-2170 mhz range, used by nongovernment entities.

Mr. Gilmore writes for American Forces Press Service.

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Leader transitions

Multi-billion dollar reachback programs get new leadership

by Stephen Larsen

FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. – Two programs that provide the forward-deployed Army reachback to its continental-U.S. infrastructure received new leadership here July 9.

COL Lee Price became the project manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems. William Smith became project manager, Defense Communications and Army Switched Systems.

As PM DCATS, Price is responsible for managing programs valued at more than $2 billion that support the Army, joint services, National Command Authority and combatant commanders. These include the AN/GSC-52 (satellite terminal) modernization program, Multiplexer Integration and Digital Communications Satellite Subsystem Automation Systems, the Defense Department’s Teleport program, Wideband Antijam Modem Systems, the Objective Defense Satellite Communications System Operations Center, Wideband Gapfiller Satellite System, Vehicle Intercom System program, defense-wide transmission systems and command-center upgrades.

As PM DCASS, Smith is responsible for managing programs, valued at $2.8 billion, that provide troops deployed around the world access to sustaining-base information systems. These include the Outside Cable Rehabilitation program, Digital Switched Systems Modernization Program, Common-User Installation Transport Network, the Army’s Defense Information Systems Network Router Program, as well as upgrades of telephone switched systems and networks in Korea, Japan and Europe.

Mr. Larsen serves as PEO-EIS-Fort Monmouth’s public-affairs officer.

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Signal units

Iowa National Guard Signal unit tests multiplexers for homeland defense

MERRIMACK, N.H. – The Iowa National Guard’s 234th Signal Battalion and the Iowa Communications Network designed and oversaw testing that checked how to bridge commercial and tactical networks toward enhancing homeland-defense communications capabilities. The tests used equipment provided by Codem Systems, Inc., a leading supplier of internetworking equipment for military and commercial networks headquartered here.

The test also demonstrated a solution for saving the National Guard some training time and recurring costs.

“Our goal is to better employ tactical communications during disaster-response and homeland-security missions by linking forward command posts back to state or national command posts or emergency-operations centers,” said LTC Rusty Lingenfelter, 234th Signal Battalion’s commander. “The key to providing this capability is a tactical-to-commercial interface such as Codem provided.”

The homeland-defense capability demonstrated was the ability to extend existing T1 voice and data circuits from a stable infrastructure site to a deployed emergency location. In the testing scenario, a T1 circuit from the ICN in Des Moines was assigned voice, video and router traffic and passed over existing fiber to the 234th armory in Cedar Rapids. The T1 was then routed into the Codem TTI-1000, which enabled the circuit to be passed over existing tactical transmission equipment.

The test demonstrated the ability to quickly deploy military assets in domestic emergencies and provide critical communication between affected areas and the commercial infrastructure. The tests were part of ongoing proof-of-concept testing to establish optimum emergency communication procedures in Iowa.

Different tactical and commercial interfaces connected by the TTI-500/1000 systems can also be used to enhance National Guard training. “The TTI-500/1000 allows the National Guard unit to install and train a deployed tactical network over existing T1 lines,” said a Codem spokesperson. “This enables the National Guard unit to increase actual time spent training by overcoming physical distance, making better use of time usually spent convoying. Also, this capability saves resources such as fuel and maintenance on vehicles.”

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142d Signal Brigade fields Tactical Message System

by CPT Brian Hagood

FORT LEWIS, Wash. – Eight soldiers from 142d Signal Brigade recently participated in an operational testing exercise here nicknamed JUICE (for Joint User Interface Communications Exercise) of the Tactical Message System. The 142d, a multicomponent brigade based in Alabama, was first to field and test TMS.

The exercise was designed to validate TMS in a tactical environment and verify backward compatibility to existing secure mail circuits. More specifically, soldiers verified TMS setup, teardown and packing procedures, and they tested the durability of TMS transit cases by driving on improved and unimproved surfaces in a cargo humvee.

“Being a multi-compo command with a presence here at Fort Lewis is quite a privilege,” said LTC Anthony Cottles, 142d Signal Brigade (Forward) officer in charge at Lewis. “Vendors often ask us to field-test various pieces of Signal equipment. It helps them to know Active Component and Reserve Component soldiers will test the equipment. This organization [142d Signal Brigade] defines AC/RC integration in today’s Total Army.”

The testing, which included normal operations under field conditions, was validated by the Army’s Operational and Test Command at Fort Lewis.

TMS is the Army’s solution to extend the Defense Message System into the tactical environment. TMS is composed of a group of laptops and a router operated from transit cases. TMS’ mission is to provide area-control-center service to the tactical environment. TMS will replace the five-ton-truck-mounted AN/TYC-39 Automated Digital Network message switches and will provide new email-based messaging functionality that permits writer-to-reader messaging based on public-key-infrastructure signed and encrypted message technology.

TMS provides the essential messaging backbone for the battlefield with three scalable equipment suites. A TMS set is comprised of one TYC-24 Version 2 (unclassified), one TYC-24 Version 3 (secret) and one TYC-24 Version 4 (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) suite. A complete TMS section includes two TMS sets operated by 12 military-occupation specialty 74B soldiers (two per suite). Each TMS suite consists of three transit cases, one cargo humvee and one two-kilowatt generator. Each TMS version is capable of operating independently of the other suites and is set up inside a Signal-unit tent.

TMS will operate in all battlefield environments and support all types of military operations. TMS operates over the Army’s existing tactical high-speed data network-enabled Area Common-User System (mobile-subscriber equipment, triservice tactical equipment and tactical local-area network, for example). TMS is capable of directly interfacing to sustaining-base military networks such as non-secure Internet protocol route network, secret Internet protocol route network and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

Two TMS sets are provided for divisions, corps and most echelons-above-corps units to provide continued service during unit movement by moving one TMS at a time. TMS is doctrinally deployed in pairs, so each supported user’s local groupware server is connected to two TMSs or TMS equivalents so that single TMS movements don’t interrupt service to supported users.

The transit-case design is flexible to operate from different locations. One advantage to the transit-case solution is that it allows each security domain to be transported separately if air cargo space is limited.

CPT Hagood is a Regular Army officer assigned to Headquarters 142d Signal Brigade in Decatur, Ala., as the S-3 operations officer.

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Signal conference defines world-class vision for U.S. Army Europe communications

by Robert Kramer

MANNHEIM, Germany – With an emphasis on 5th Signal Command communications-transformation initiatives, 2d Signal Brigade here hosted a two-day network-operations service center and network-service center conference Sept. 5-6.

More than 50 soldiers and civilian employees from Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg attended the conference at Taylor Barracks here.

The conference’s purpose was to train attendees and discuss issues that will lead to standardizing all communications services. Soldiers and civilian employees rotated through leadership-training classes, technical training and briefings on communications-transformation issues.

Dan Schaaf teaches information-dissemination class Dan Schaaf of 5th Signal Command teaches a class on information-dissemination management, a relatively new but critical component of network operations, to members of 2d Signal Brigade during a conference at Taylor Barracks in Mannheim, Germany.

The 5th Signal Command has established six network-operations service centers and 21 network-service centers throughout the European theater. With 21 network-service centers positioned throughout all major U.S. Army Europe military communities, the command maintains world-class theater access to the Global Information Grid.

“The Army is in the midst of high-velocity change. We’re transforming theater information services through standardized, one-stop, customer-focused support,” said COL Hubert Newman, 2d Signal Brigade commander, in describing the network-service center vision.

The vision’s core element is “to be the best customer-service provider of information-technology and -management services in the world” and to have “innovative and versatile soldiers and civilians who enable theater access to the Global Information Grid, delivering the right information, in the right format, at the right time, to the right place, to the warfighter.”

“The 2d Signal Brigade has accelerated change and its transformation to meet new world-communications challenges of a dynamically changing European theater,” Newman said.

The 2d Signal Brigade’s transformation is based on developing standardized local network-service centers with uniform tactics, techniques and procedures for strategic-communication support throughout the European theater. This includes all types of communication for U.S. Army Europe’s soldiers, including voice (Defense Switched Network, commercial and red phone), data (secure and non-secure), e-mail, video (training and documentation), messaging (Defense Message System), official mail, publications, printing and records management.

Mr. Kramer works for 2d Signal Brigade, 5th Signal Command, in Mannheim.

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Of interest

Army game debuts at exposition

by Jayson Sawyer

LOS ANGELES – The official U.S. Army Game was launched May 22 at the 2002 Electronic Entertainment Exposition held at the convention center here. E3, the interactive gaming industry’s annual worldwide convention, is the largest annual show of its type in the world, and the largest of any type to take place in the largest city on the nation’s West Coast.

The Army Game is designed to be a strategic communications tool to portray the Army to the public in an entertaining, informative and engrossing fashion. Tailored to a computer- and Internet-savvy target audience, it was conceived as a way to create awareness of and intrigue about the Army, its soldiers, training, environment, culture, values and combat operations.

The game, which is being distributed to the public for free, consists of two major game modules: “Soldiers,” a single-player, two-dimensional role-playing and career-building piece, and “Operations,” a three-dimensional first-person action training and combat simulation that features both single-player and Internet-connected multi-player scenarios.

“The game is an educational tool,” noted SSG Marisol Torres, a software analyst with the Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis. “It lets the community know and understand what the Army is like. You get to build the soldier from the ground up, instilling the Army values that are important: leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. You get to go through basic training. You get to go to airborne school. You follow your career path as you see fit within the game. It gives a more realistic view than all the other games that are out there as far as what the Army has to offer.”

A game-support website,, contains more information on the game, including how to receive it. It’s available for download from the Internet and via free CD-ROM. Because of the “Teen” rating by the Entertainment Standards Rating Board, the Army will only consciously distribute the game packages to people aged 13 or older.

The game-support website is a joint effort among the game project managers, the game developers at the Naval Postgraduate School and information-technology contractors at U.S. Army Recruiting Command headquarters.

Mr. Sawyer is assigned to Recruiting Command’s public-affairs office. This article was excerpted from Recruiter Journal’s July 2002 edition.

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency combats information overload

by Jim Garamone

ARLINGTON, Va. – In the civilian world, it’s called “information overload.”

That’s when so much information is coming in that the receiver cannot separate the wheat from the chaff.

In the military, information overload can get you killed. That’s why the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency set up the Information Exploitation Office.

“What we’re all about is finding and killing bad guys on the battlefield,” said office director Dick Wishner. “We’re focused on land and surface targets.”

There is any amount of information a servicemember needs. The services collect data in a number of ways, from satellites to communications intercepts to human intelligence to remote sensors. Part of the rationale for setting up the office is the “military gets a lot of data but not enough information,” Wishner said. “What we’re trying to do is extract information out of this huge stream of data.”

But even with all the information coming in, Wishner doesn’t claim that everything is known. “I’m not trying to imply that all the data we need is available,” he said. “We actually have a shortage of high-quality sensors.” The office will work with offices inside DARPA and the services to develop new sensors.

Wishner said the office is particularly focused on what the military is finding to be the norm: situations where service members have restricted rules of engagement.

“You can’t shoot at somebody you think is a bad guy unless you can verify there are no neutrals or good guys in the weapons splash radius,” he said. “So we’re invoking the new sensor technology to do very precise target identification and make sure we don’t make any mistakes.” The technology would take an image, identify it as friend or foe and give that information to the servicemember.

“We don’t want people trying to make an identification from a screen,” Wishner said. “By the time they see it, the vehicle is already labeled with what it is.”

He said the office would work to speed up reaction time. He said the services now have similar deliberate planning processes. “The Air Force has something they call ‘find, fix, target, track, engage and assess,’” he said. “That’s a fine methodology, but there are segments between these that take too long.”

Wishner said the office is looking to synchronize everything “so that when you find a guy who’s potentially a threat, we can precisely identify him quickly. Then we’ll have a shooter platform nearby that can launch a weapon and destroy him if we deem he’s a bad guy.”

He said the office would work with warfighters and service laboratories to ensure the products are real, usable and needed. The office will also address other problems like pinpointing targets under foliage and the problems entailed with finding enemies in urban environments.

Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.

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Officers may qualify for joint-duty credit

by Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON – Officers who served at joint-task-force headquarters in nine operations can qualify for retroactive cumulative joint duty credit, Joint Staff officials said recently.

The 2002 National Defense Authorization Act allowed the Defense Department to give officers credit for time served. To be eligible, officers must be on active duty; majors or lieutenant commanders or above; and served at least 90 consecutive days on the JTF headquarters staff.

The nine operations are:

  • Operation Northern Watch (northern Iraq) from Aug. 1, 1992 to the present;

  • Operation Southern Watch (southern Iraq) Aug. 27, 1992, to present;

  • Operation Able Sentry (Macedonia) June 23, 1993, to Feb. 28, 1999;

  • Operation Joint Endeavor (Yugoslavia) Dec. 25, 1995, to Dec. 19, 1996;

  • Operation Joint Guard (Yugoslavia) Dec. 20, 1996, to June 20, 1998;

  • Operation Desert Thunder (Kuwait) Jan. 24, 1998, to Dec. 15, 1998;

  • Operation Joint Forge (Yugoslavia) June 20, 1998, to June 10, 1999;

  • Operation Noble Anvil (Italy) March 24, 1999, to July 20, 1999;

  • Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo) June 11, 1999, to present.

  • Officers who believe they qualify can apply for credit via the JTF joint credit request page at

    Mr. Garamone writes for American Forces Press Service.

    Acronym QuickScan
    3G – 3d generation
    AC – Active Component
    ASC – Army Signal Command
    COCOM – combatant command
    DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    DISA – Defense Information Systems Agency
    DoD – Department of Defense
    E3 – Electronic Entertainment Exposition
    ICN – Iowa Communications Network
    IT – information technology
    JFHQ – joint-forces headquarters
    JTF – joint task force
    Mhz – megahertz
    NETCOM – Network Enterprise Technology Command
    NSC – National Science Center
    PEO-EIS – program executive office for Enterprise Information Systems
    PM-DCASS – project manager for Defense Communications and Army Switched Systems
    PM-DCATS – project manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems
    RC – Reserve Component
    TMS – Tactical Message System
    TMS – Tactical Multiband Systems
    UK – United Kingdom
    VIS – Vehicle Intercom System

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