Inside DOD


Amber Corrin

Inside DOD

By Amber Corrin

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DOD still struggling with best approach to social media

As the Defense Department works to embrace social media, it's weighing operational security against the increasing need to share information – or else be rendered obsolete.

According to one DOD official, the right policies will help the department evolve as a reputable and up-to-date source of the information the public craves in the era of the instant news cycle.

“With policy we can budget for and facilitate expansion. We can train the troops better, and then they can train their families. That’s good for the public,” said Jack Holt, senior strategist for emerging media at the DOD’s Defense Media Activity office.

Training is key to maintaining DOD’s security mandate as well. “Operational security isn’t a technical problem, it’s a people problem,” Holt told an audience at the FOSE conference.

A clear doctrine for sharing within the network is also necessary to foster necessary collaboration. “We aren’t trained to collaborate. Since kindergarten it’s been, ‘Do you own work.’

While the idea of working together is integral in social media, it can be a hard sell in the confines of DOD culture. “Sometimes the Public Affairs Office may say, ‘This is just more work for us.’ But the chief information officer says, ‘This is our policy and this is how we’re doing it.’ We have to come to grips with this new way of [moving] information,” Holt said.

Posted on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:25 PM1 comments


In the digital age, satellites are closing in on the crown

The Satellite 2010 conference, held March 15-18, offered a forum for vendors, govvies, contractors and military members to debate all that is satellite communications in the federal and commercial spheres.

On a stage just outside Washington, D.C., the new trends to watch for and lofty requirements to reach emerged: a continuing run for 3D; successful infiltration of ‘going green’ into the exosphere; and an ongoing tug-of-war over bandwidth and capacity.

But the most impressive discussions and new trends related to the military field. Here, satellites work alongside soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen, assisting in combat operations. Satellites are providing broad sight lines across huge swaths of theater and connecting tactical-level forces on the ground with the Pentagon and everyone in between. And satellite technology is integral to the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance the military heavily relies on.

In an era of unconventional warfare, the satellite represents today what radar did for the Allies in World War II: rapidly evolving technology offering an unprecedented and all-seeing view of movement throughout the combat theater.

Today’s defense satellite communications, as modeled at SatCom 2010, is net-centric and securely plugged in to the military’s Global Information Grid. The modern satellite offers global coverage with seamless regional transition. It provides visibility to all nodes in the management of the network.

In short, the satellite is rising as one of the most important tools in today’s fight. With such versatility and so many possible applications, there are myriad ways to harness its power. At SatCom 2010 this week, a record 9,500 attendees sought not only a piece of the pie but a way to contribute to the technological evolution — and to support the troops.

Posted on Mar 19, 2010 at 7:25 PM0 comments


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