Army.mil, 28 July 15, C. Todd Lopez
“Do you have a map in your car? When was the last time you looked at a compass? Imagine a day when we don’t have that technology such as the Global Positioning System, better known as GPS. These are the things we worry about,” Capt. James McColl said. Both McColl and Capt. Justin Lanahan are cyber officers, part of the newly created 17-series Army branch. They both participated in a week-long “hackathon” in Arlington, Virginia, July 20-24, in support of continued development of “Plan X,” a four-year, $120-million program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. Plan X attempts to, among other things, make it easier for humans to visualize a network and its components, to automate the task of identifying as hostile or benign the anomalies that might appear on that network, to provide intuitive symbology that accurately conveys to users the status of various components of a network, and to make it easier for even inexperienced users to take action to prevent hostile parties from gaining access to and causing damage to a network.
Jane’s Defence Weekly, 28 July 15, Daniel Wasserbly
The US Navy’s (USN’s) electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) programme is moving ahead through several lines of effort, and officials are considering ways to apply the system to land-based air defence. In the near term, the USN’s fifth and newest Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), USNS Trenton , is to host the first at-sea demonstration of the EMRG sometime in 2016, but the navy is also working to develop a GPS-guided Hypervelocity Projectile (HPV) that can be steered towards targets, and hopes to integrate a ‘repetitive rate’ firing the railgun for trials at sea in 2019, according to Rear Admiral Bryant Fuller, deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering at Naval Sea Systems Command. He spoke during a 28 July Directed Energy Summit in McLean, Virginia.
Northwest Navy Life News, 28 July 15, Lt. Chris Burke
The command of the “Lancers” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131 changed during a recent ceremony at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. During the ceremony, Cmdr. Will Pressley relieved Cmdr. Dave Fields at the squadron’s commanding officer. Fields reported to VAQ-131 as the squadron’s executive officer in 2012 and assumed command of the Lancers in April 2014. During Fields’ tenure, the Lancers earned the 2014 Retention Excellence Award, Blue Medical “M” and Blue “H” Silver Eagle Award, in addition to transitioning 183 personnel to the EA-18G Growler.
Reuters, 28 July 15, Andrea Shalal
The U.S. military has made strides in developing lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons, and could soon use them more widely, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday. The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to scale up the technology for larger weapons, develop tactics for their use, and ensure sufficient funding. “Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense,” Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment.
Military Times, 29 July 15, Oriana Pawlyk
Officials are working to determine the cybersecurity risks that may have affected an unclassified email system at the Pentagon.The email system used by the Joint Staff as well as by hundreds of civilian and Defense Department personnel was taken down over the weekend after an unspecified threat was detected, CNN reported Tuesday. “Joint Staff unclassified networks for all users are currently down,” spokeswoman Col. Valerie Henderson told Military Times on Wednesday. “We continue to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks across our networks. With those goals in mind, we have taken the Joint Staff network down and continue to investigate.”
Defense Systems, 31 July 15, Defense Systems Staff
The Navy has awarded a $97.3 million contract to Exelis for the latest version of the onboard electronic jammers used to protect carrier-based F/A-18C/D Hornets from surface-to-air and air-to-air radar guided threats. The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Md., awarded the deal under the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) program, which provides a suite of electronic warfare tools for protection of strike aircraft. The contract calls for delivery of 46 full-rate production Lot XII AN/ALQ-214(V)4/5 systems, with deliveries to be completed by December 2017.
Australian Aviation, 29 July 15, Unattributed
The first EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft for the RAAF has been rolled out in a ceremony at Boeing’s St Louis facility on Wednesday. The aircraft, A46-301, had already made its first flight on July 13, but was formally presented in front of RAAF and US Navy representatives, Boeing employees and the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon. “It will be a magnificent addition to the Australia Defence Force’s joint operations, and I predict it will have one of the biggest strategic effects for the ADF since the introduction of the F-111 in 1970s,” newly-retired Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown, representing current CAF Air Marshal Leo Davies, told the ceremony.
FOX News, 29 July 15, Unattributed
It sounds like a scene from a disaster movie – mass power failures, plane crashes, satellite disruptions, and train derailments. These are some of the threats modern society would face in the case of a massive solar storm, according to a new document released by the U.K. Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. The “Space Weather Preparedness Strategy” outlines the disturbances that could be caused by unpredictable solar weather. The most striking find from the report is the fact that a country would have only a 12-hour warning period before the storm would hit the planet. The worst possible scenario would be a coronal mass ejection of plasma from the sun, during which the corona – that bright glow seen encircling the sun during a total solar eclipse – detaches, shooting off X-rays and high-energy particles directly to the Earth.
War on the Rocks, 30 July 15, Michael Jacobson
In their recent testimony before Congress, both Gen. James Dunford, likely the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Mark Milley, nominee for chief of staff of the Army, identified Russia as the greatest military threat to the United States and its allies. The reemergence of Russia as a credible military threat is cause for the U.S. military to reevaluate and refocus its operating concepts — which in turn influence doctrine, equipment, and ultimately plans. The Army Operating Concept is the service’s self-developed vision of how the Army plans to fight and win its future wars. The latest version, “Win in a Complex World,” was released in October 2014 and has been praised within the Army because it is widely understood as an adept refocus of the Army on its core mission: fighting and winning wars, while continuing to provide the president options for other possible contingencies. However, this praise comes as the Army has lost much of the premiere combat effectiveness and much of its technological overmatch against Russia and China. The Army’s combined arms proficiency, the ability to synchronize all facets of tactical combat power into an unstoppable wave, atrophied during more than a decade’s worth of concentrated focus on ongoing counterinsurgency operations in southwest Asia. This degradation can be seen in the poor performance ratings of maneuver brigades at combat training centers since the reintroduction of “decisive operations” — which the Army defines as those that directly accomplish a specified mission (as opposed to “shaping” and “sustaining” operations) — into training environments in recent years.
Avionics Today, 27 July 15, Mark Holmes
Earlier this year, Harris bought Exelis in a deal worth almost $5 billion. This should lead to improvements in terms of what Harris can offer in Electronic Warfare (EW), a key target for the company. Andy Dunn, vice president of business development at Harris, told Avionics Magazine that, under the new structure, the company will be in a better position to provide innovative EW solutions. “There are many similarities between the two cultures (Harris and Exelis). We are both extremely technology and innovation driven, with an investment in research and development that is much greater than the industry average. Combined, the new company employs around 9,500 engineers and scientists. [Both companies] provide complementary technology payloads for space-based weather satellites. From a EW perspective, we continue to look at ourselves as dominating the electromagnetic spectrum,” says Dunn.
Defense World, 28 July 15, Unattributed
CACI has won a multi-million dollar ongoing contract to provide rapid response technical forensics and exploitation support for the US Army CERDEC’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate (I2WD). US Army’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) awarded contract under the Rapid Response Third Generation contract vehicle, increases the size and scope of CACI’s work for this customer in its Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) market area.
Significant hurdles remain for the Senate’s proposed cybersecurity legislation, which is competing with at least two other issues for a vote before recess.
National Journal, 28 July 15, Kaveh Waddell
After a pair of massive cyberattacks compromised the personal information of more than 22 million people, most of whom work or worked for the government, lawmakers saw an opportunity to push for cybersecurity legislation that has been stuck in Congress for years. Despite the calls for urgency, passing a bill won’t be easy.
MSNBC, 29 July 15, Steve Benen
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tried to hold a hearing on the international nuclear agreement with Iran, but the discussion wasn’t especially fruitful. It was clear the hearing, such as it was, was pretty far off track when Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, “Do you know what EMP is?” Today, evidently, it was Sen. Ted Cruz’s turn. CRUZ: Secretary Moniz, I want to turn to a different question. The single greatest threat to the United States if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon is an Electromagnetic Pulse. A nuclear weapon detonated in the atmosphere over the Eastern seaboard could kill tens of millions of Americans. On July 23rd in testimony before Congress, you told the United States Senate you hadn’t read the Congressionally mandated Commission on EMPs and that you didn’t know what an EMP was.
ELECTRONIC WARFARE EVENTS
11-13 August 2015, Crane Indiana: 7th Annual EW Capability Gaps and Enabling Technologies
Operational & Technical Information Exchange
6-8 October 2015, Aberdeen Maryland: Inaugural Cyber Electromagnetic Activity
December 2015, Washington, D.C.: 52nd Annual AOC International Symposium and Convention