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The Voice of Military Communications and Computing

GSA 8(a) STARS II Users Guide

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June 2012

Volume 16, Issue 5

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Military Information Technology

June 2012 Volume 16 • Issue 5


Cover / Q&A NetOps Bring “Brain” Power


The tools referred to as Network Operations are among the many capabilities of Warfighter Information Network-Tactical Increment 2, which underwent a key operational test in May. By Amy Walker

Social Media Analytics


Technology helps defense and intelligence analysts uncover important topics and trends in social media, which can provide early alerts about potential crises, military conflicts or natural disasters. By Karen E. Thuermer

Taking on Big Data


The explosion of “big data” has led to the need for technologies that can keep up with and make sense of the huge volumes of data being collected. By Peter Buxbaum

16 Captain Shawn P. Hendricks Program Manager Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office U.S. Navy

SATCOM for the Disadvantaged


Operational use of the latest of the military’s series of cheaper, quicker-to-use and safer ultra high frequency satellite systems should commence in October. By William Murray

Interoperability Champion


Technology and information policy have to be in sync in order for coalition operations to work smoothly, according to Air Force Brigadier General Gregory Brundidge, the outgoing director of command, control, communications and war fighting integration for EUCOM. By Harrison Donnelly

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Editor’s Perspective


Program Notes/People


Data Bytes




Resource Center

8(a) STARS II Users Guide

The General Services Administration’s recently established 8(a) STARS II program, a small business governmentwide acquisition contract, helps agencies meet goals for working with small business.

Industry Interview

28 Tim Leehealey Chief Executive Officer AccessData

Military Information Technology Volume 16, Issue 5 • June 2012

The Voice of Military Communications and Computing Editorial Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis Copy Editor Laural Hobbes Correspondents Adam Baddeley • Peter Buxbaum Cheryl Gerber • Karen E. Thuermer

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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE In addition to concern over cyber-attacks, security specialists have long known about the potential dangers posed to networks and weapons systems posed by counterfeit chips and electronic systems. So it was a little disheartening to see a recent report from the Senate Armed Services Committee warning that the flood of counterfeit parts, largely made in China, has continued. The panel’s investigation found some 1,800 cases of bogus parts involving more than 1 million items. The ersatz electronics ended up in key avionics and ISR systems, and could have compromised performance in life-and-death situations. Harrison Donnelly Reflecting such concerns, Congress last year added a provision calling Editor for aggressive countermeasures by the Department of Defense and its suppliers. But, while placing primary blame on the Chinese government for failing to curb counterfeit manufacturing, the Senate report found fault with the responses of both government and industry. For example, the report contends, DoD has only limited knowledge of the extent of the counterfeit issue and has not adequately reported to the Government-Industry Data Exchange (GIDEP) program, which is supposed to collect such information. Moreover, contractors in some cases are able to recover costs resulting from their own failure to detect fake electronic parts in their own supply chains, which would seem to encourage laxness. As for industry, the report found that defense contractors were relying too heavily on unvetted independent distributors to supply electronic parts that may have changed hands several times between when they were made and when they were installed in an airplane or helicopter. While some companies tested parts aggressively—for example, by using strong solvents to check that brand markings were authentic—others were getting by with just basic functional testing. The panel held out one ray of hope, noting that sharing information on suspect parts to the GIDEP could stop counterfeiters in their tracks. But it also pointed out that only 271 reports were submitted to the office in 2009 and 2010.

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Defense Users Flock to Secure Collaborative Platform The Department of Defense in May reached a historic milestone in its efforts to collaborate and share information using social media behind the firewall, as the 200,000th unique user registered on milSuite, the military’s secure collaborative platform. MilSuite is a DoD enterprisewide suite of collaboration tools that mirror existing social media platforms such as YouTube, Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter. The milSuite user community includes more than 200 flag officers across DoD, including eight Army four-star generals, as well as nearly 20,000 field officers. Through milSuite, these senior leaders can share their best practices with an enterprisewide community, as well as leverage existing knowledge

to improve current processes and reduce duplicative efforts. Currently, milSuite comprises four tools: milWiki, a living knowledge bank with more than 14,000 military encyclopedia entries; milBook, a professional networking tool and collaborative space which hosts more than 2,500 working groups; milBlog, a place to share and comment on internal news and events; and milTube, a video-sharing capability. The tools are integrated through a common user profile and linked by a Google search appliance. Approximately 55,000 new accounts have been added on the platform since the launch of milSuite enterprise edition in 2011, which enabled registration through a Common Access Card.

The Army’s Military Technical (MilTech) Solutions Office, assigned to the Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, developed the product and has led the effort to institute its use. As milSuite continues to expand, MilTech Solutions is working with Army and DoD leadership to begin offering milSuite as an official enterprise product. The next generation of milSuite, version 4.0, is planned for release later this year. The upgrade will include enhancements, including integration with Microsoft SharePoint, the ability to leverage widgets across milSuite and a developers’ area that will provide application programming interfaces to extend milSuite products through external resources.


Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Marine Corps Major General Jon M. Davis has been nominated for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general, and assigned as deputy commander, U.S. Cyber Command.

Officer/G-6, has been assigned as deputy commander, 335th Signal Command (Theater Operational Command Post) (Forward), Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Major General Stuart M. Dyer, U.S. Army Reserve, who has been serving as commander, 335th Signal Command (Theater), East Point, Ga., has been assigned as chief integration officer, Army Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6.

Major General Brett T. Williams, who has been serving as director of operations, deputy chief of staff, operations, plans and requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, has been assigned as director, operations, J-3, Headquarters U.S. Cyber Command, Fort Meade, Md.

General Robert A. Carr (Ret.) as corporate lead executive for company business in Fort Meade and Aberdeen, Md. Carr reports to Jack Dorsett, vice president of cybersecurity and command, control, computers and communications, Corporate Government Relations. Carr had a 31-year career with the Army, having most recently served as the director, Defense Counterintelligence and HUMINT Center, Defense Intelligence Agency.

Army Major General Mark W. Perrin has been assigned as deputy director, Signals Intelligence Directorate, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md. David Helfgott

Major General Steven W. Smith, U.S. Army Reserve, who has been serving as chief integration officer, Army Office of the Chief Information

Brig. Gen. Robert A. Carr (Ret.)

Northrop Grumman has appointed Army Brigadier

David Helfgott has been named president and chief executive officer of Inmarsat Government. Prior to joining

the company last year, Helfgott had held positions that includes president and chief executive officer of DataPath, and president and CEO of SES Americom Government Services. L-3 Communications has appointed Dr. Craig Reed and John Heller to the L-3 Services Group’s (LSG) executive leadership team. They will report to Tony Smeraglinolo, currently executive vice president of LSG, who will be appointed Engility’s chief executive officer upon completion of the spin-off of the company’s government services businesses in engineering, technical, training and operational support. Reed and Heller will assist with the implementation plans for the Engility spin-off and then transition to Engility once the transaction is complete.

MIT 16.5 | 3

NetOps Bring “Brain” Power

Tools play key role in Army test of Warfighter Information Network-Tactical on-the-move communications.

By Amy Walker

Managing the many facets of the Army’s tactical communications network is a daunting task for a communications officer. But the network’s next major upgrade provides a new suite of integrated monitoring tools that will make that job a whole lot easier. These tools, referred to as Network Operations (NetOps), are among the many capabilities of Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2, which underwent a key operational test in May. “Network Operations is the brain of WIN-T Increment 2 at the hub,” said Major Stephen Dail, the S6 communications officer for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (2/1 AD). “All of the planning before the network goes to the field, and all the configurations and maintenance while it’s in the field, run through Network Operations. But more importantly, when we’re out in the field we have to make sure it ‘talks’ correctly and quickly, both at the halt and now with WIN-T Increment 2, on the move.”

4 | MIT 16.5

12.2 NIE Systems Under Test/Evaluation and Demonstrations System Under Test 1. WIN-T Incr 2 2. JTRS HMS 2 CH MP 3. JENM System Under Evaluation Aerial Tier 1. Dynamic Airspace Updates to Cockpit 2. Mode 5 IFF Soldier Connectivity 3. ITT Soldier Radio Rifleman (IND) NETOPS 4. Warfighter Initialization Tool 5. CISCO Identity Service Engine (IND) 6. Lockheed Martin C2 Web Fusion (IND) 7. RASKL 8. Tactical Key Loader Mission Command & ISR 9. Fires PFI/PSS SOF 10. Ringtail common Tactical Vision (IND) 11. JBC-P Vehicle Multichannel Radio 12. BAE GMR Low Swap (IND) (lab technical assessment only) 13. Northrop Grumman SDMD (IND) (lab technical assessment only) Non-Network 14. Modular Universal Battery Charger

15. Expeditionary Soldier Power System 16. Swipes 17. Central Cooling Company Command Posts 18. DTECH CoCP (IND) 19. TCS SNAP Impact Baseband (IND) 20. TCS SNAP Light Lite (IND) 21. Rockwell CoCP (IND) 22. L3GDS L-3 GCSHawkeye (IND) 23. Klas Telecom ESRDock KP4700 (IND) Cross Domain Solutions 24. Advatech Pacific TACDS (IND) 25. Northrop Grumman Sentinel CDS (IND) Tactical Routers 26. DRS TS Tactical Router (DDU) (IND) 27. Agile Comm (IND) 28. GDC4S V2 5900 Tactical Router (IND) 29. DTECH Tactical Router (IND) 30. Klas Telecom ESRDock (IND) Operational Energy 31. CP30 C3PO 32. DRS TS Vehicle OBVP (IND) 33. DRS CHAMMP (IND) Other 34. TEMPUS PRO 35. Electronic Casualty Report

36. Blue Sky Mast (IND) 37. TCN-Lite Demonstrations • GCV Vehicle Variants • JLENS • Fires Network • EMBMS • NETZERO Tactical Edge (REF) • VSOP NetZero (REF) • Harris SRW Applique Side Falcon • ACES/JACS • C12 • RAM Warn • P-OIC CS 13 Baseline • WIN-T INC 2 (SUT) • JTRS HMS 2 CH MP (SUT) • SMART-T • RIFLEMAN RADIO (End User Device) • NETT WARRIOR • Mission Command Capabilities • DCGS-A • SINCGARS • AN/PRC-117G • NetOps Capabilities • Sidehat 20W • Sidewinder • Harris AN/PRC-152A • SINCGARS PLI As of April 6, 2012

Type of System Definitions Capability Set Baseline Systems: A set of systems that have been determined to be part of the Army’s baseline. An assessment will be conducted during an NIE to evaluate the endto-end performance of these network baseline capabilities prior to fielding; however, there may not be a DOTMLPF assessment on each system. The CS baseline system(s) may be part of an overarching network evaluation. These systems must also meet all delivery, integration and training requirements to participate in the event. Carryover: A system that has previously participated in the NIE with positive results and has been identified for continued participation. Carryover systems may have already been determined as part of the Army’s Network Baseline. These systems will not receive an evaluation. These systems must meet all delivery, integration, and training requirements to participate in the event. Demonstration: A system that has been identified to participate in the NIE that has minimal impact on NIE resources. These systems

will require little or no training, test or integration resources. Evaluations can be done on these systems; however, results are not formally submitted to the Army via the DOTMLPF report. These systems must meet all delivery, integration and training requirements (if applicable) to participate in the event. System Under Evaluation: A system that has gone through the Agile Process Candidate Evaluation Process and been approved by a GOSC, G-3/5/7 and BMC to participate in the NIE and receive a DOTMLPF assessment. The system must meet all delivery, integration and training requirements to participate in the event. System Under Test: A system that has been approved by the TSARC to undergo a formal operational test during the NIE. The system will be fully instrumented to collect test data for this operational test. The system must meet all delivery, integration and training requirements to participate in the event.

MIT 16.5 | 5

WIN-T Increment 2’s NetOps was put to the test in May during the WIN-T Increment 2 initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), which was conducted in conjunction with the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.2. The bulk of the IOT&E was held at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M., with 2/1 AD serving as the maneuver element. However, to truly stress and test the network, WIN-T Increment 2 nodes were also spread across 2,000 miles of the United States, and the test involved more than 4,000 soldiers and civilians. From the initial planning stages to execution, NetOps has played play an integral role in the event. “WIN-T Increment 2 NetOps is going to give S6s, like Major Dail, the tools they need to manage the network,” said Colonel Ed Swanson, project manager for WIN-T. “The S6 has to be able to plan, operate, monitor, respond and defend the network. NetOps will give that S6 the network operating tools to successfully support the commander’s intent and all mission requirements.” From a NetOps perspective, Dail believes that the biggest enhancement WIN-T Increment 2 brings to the battlefield is an improved common operating picture. Inside a tactical operations center (TOC), WIN-T Increment 2 NetOps displays maneuver elements on the battlefield (such as dismounted infantry, fires or aviation) on a large screen for easy monitoring. Not only does it display a system’s geographical position, but also network strength and how well the system is working, Dail said. “With WIN-T Increment 2 NetOps, you can put all that together and get a new single common operating picture, which for the S6 is great because we can tie that into the maneuver and definitively say, ‘Here’s how we can support you, and here’s what our issues are,’” Dail said during the conclusion of the recent WIN-T Increment 2 new equipment training at Fort Bliss.

On-the-Move Network Similar to a home Internet connection, WIN-T Increment 1 provides soldiers with high-speed, high-capacity voice, data and video communications to battalion level units while halted. WIN-T Increment 2 provides an on-the-move network that reaches down to the company level for the first time. WIN-T Increment 2, which also introduces numerous additional capabilities, is a critical piece of Capability Set 13—the first integrated group of network technologies out of the NIE and Agile Process that will be fielded to brigade combat teams starting in fiscal year 2013. The initial NetOps tool package will be fielded as part of WIN-T Increment 2, with further upgrades to be fielded as part of WIN-T Increment 3. Depending upon location, the S6 will most often work with the brigade from a stationary position inside a TOC, where he or she will establish a network operations and security center (NOSC) with the NetOps equipment. A WIN-T Increment 2 tactical communications node will be attached to the NOSC to provide connectivity to the network. In this configuration, the S6 can monitor all of the different units, whether stationary or on the move, said Staff Sergeant Joseph Campos, a senior network controller for 2/1 AD. “Our job is to make sure the network is at peak performance,” he said. 6 | MIT 16.5

“WIN-T Increment 2 NetOps provides us the tools and reports what we need to improve the network. It really does simplify [our job].” Being able to watch the physical location of a node on a map, see how it is moving, and how it is dropping and gaining links enables S6s to help brigades or battalions troubleshoot any issues. Often they may think they have a problem, when in reality they just need a better connection, said Staff Sergeant Heath Jewett, a network operations chief for 2/1 AD. “The Increment 2 NetOps tools vastly improve our ability to troubleshoot, reduce the time a network is down, or reduce the time we have to consolidate and get the problem fixed,” Jewett said. “And that truly and honestly is what we need to be able to do—provide that network service without interruption.” Since the new WIN-T Increment 2 equipment enables onthe-move communications, the NetOps map overlays allow the S6 to track the platforms containing the equipment in transit, to view any interference and come up with ways to adjust for it. “It allows us to plan for every worst-case scenario and have the fix already out there,” Campos said. “If we see that there’s going to be a mountain range in the way, we can set up a tactical relay tower in order to relay transmission, make the [lineof-sight] shots more reliable, maintain connectivity, and give the soldiers what they need.” First Lieutenant Jason McElroy, an assistant battalion S6 for 2/1 AD, said he likes the tools that allow him both to actually look at the configurations that are currently running, and to have the ability to compare any changes to the network, such as changes made by an operator down at the unit level. “It gives us the ability to understand what somebody was trying to do [to fix an issue] or realize, ‘Hey, what you tried doing didn’t work; you need to go back to your other configuration,’” McElroy said. “Having those snapshots gives us the ability to ensure the network is going to stay more stable, instead of just letting operators start changing things without having a safety net. We can stop [any issues] before they spread across the network.” WIN-T Increment 2 NetOps will provide better situational awareness to the force, Campos said. The S6, and inevitably the commander, will know where their units are, where they’re moving to, and what their capabilities are. “We can monitor them in real time, see if they’re up, if they’re down, and see what we need to do to maintain communications, instead of having them drop out of communications and possibly be put in harm’s way,” Campos said. “That’s the thing I like most about it, that we can always be ready to help them out in that critical situation.” O Amy Walker is a staff writer for Symbolic Systems, supporting Project Manager PM WIN-T and MilTech Solutions, which are assigned to the Army Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical.

For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly at or search our online archives for related stories at

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Social Media Analytics Technology helps defense and intelligence analysts uncover important topics and trends in the data and understand their meaning.

By Karen E. Thuermer MIT Correspondent

allows end users to focus the majority of their time on Social media offers great opportunities for underthe mission instead of on data mining.” standing the pulse of a population: reactions to events, Such analytical technology must effectively manopinions on important issues, political sentiment, calls age social media data in all its forms, be it structured, for protests and much more. Social media also provides unstructured and/or semi-structured, including both early alerts for defense, intelligence and homeland video and audio content. security analysts about potential crises such as the next “For military and intelligence applications, the Arab Spring, military conflict or natural disaster. same needs apply—all the way from the military If there has been a recent event, and individuals recruiter, who finds publically available data on recruitwho live in a certain region are now angry at U.S. ment issues important, to the frontline soldiers who troops, the extent of their anger or displeasure can want to know what the current sentiment is toward increase or decrease over time. Knowledge of those Tony Jimenez U.S. military presence in a specific town or region,” said ebbs and flows could help improve the safety of those Tony Jimenez, president and chief executive officer of troops. MicroTech. “Social media data requires analysis that is often beyond “Those of us watching on TV may think it is not so bad, whereas the capability of an individual or even a group.” social media may show some very influential individuals with negative The issue is sifting through the plethora of data to get to actionable perceptions who are influencing others to think as they think,” said information. Rebecca Garcia, director, SAS Federal National Security Group. “This In addition to public or external conversation information for could jeopardize the safety of U.S. personnel if they are not aware of operations, internal operations can benefit from social media analytics this line of thinking.” as well. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project But the sheer volume of the data can make it difficult to process now indicates that 65 percent of all adult Internet users are now using and analyze. “Additionally, the amount of noise in the data—informasocial networking sites. tion irrelevant to the problem at hand—can be staggering,” said Dr. “The military is a very large operation and could certainly incorRobert McCormack, associate director of the analytics, modeling and porate social media into reaching out and engaging with service simulation division at Aptima. personnel via this medium that is now becoming so prolific,” Jimenez Disentangling key memes of interest from the ocean of noise is a remarked. “Analysis of service personnel concerns, trends and issues, difficult undertaking. The overwhelming profusion of user-generated, in the proper mindset, could yield far greater efficiencies and mission publicly accessible content, like that from tweets, on blogs and in success.” many online communities, demands an automated solution. Consequently, social media analytics provides yet another opporEnter advanced analytic technologies. These technologies help tunity for increased efficiency and support of operations with informafind important topics and trends and help those who have a need to tion discovery from the wealth of publicly available data. know understand their impact on the population. There are obvious global applications for social data analytics, as was evident with events last year in Egypt and Libya, as well as the Search Algorithms natural disasters in Japan and Haiti. The first global news about the breach of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound came from a neighA number of companies currently offer advanced analytic techbor’s tweets. Social media networks have provided original on-thenologies for social media. scene reporting of planned protests, demonstrations and operations. Northrop Grumman, for example, offers a tool that uses algo“This technology’s potential to harness the ocean of publically rithms to search through publicly available information and then available information on the Internet makes it particularly useful in narrows that data into predetermined subjects, categories and other social media applications,” commented Sean Love, geospatial business criteria. “That information is then sorted, providing the end-user with development director for Northrop Grumman. “Being able to hone data that is relevant, focused and manageable,” said Love. in on specific information on a specific topic, without having to wade Northrop Grumman’s tool is designed to alert officials of potential through petabytes of data, saves a significant amount of time and crises, conflicts and social trends. 8 | MIT 16.5

Aptima is developing a technology called EpiHosted Solution demiological Modeling of the Evolution of Messages (E-MEME), which combines advanced analytic Lastly, Social Media as a Service (SMaaS) offers a techniques from natural language processing (NLP) hosted solution that is unique from other MicroTech with core concepts from epidemiological modeling. solutions. SMaaS can be tailored to fit the needs of an E-MEME applies NLP methods to scour large sets of organization and the functionality needed, be it inInternet data sources and documents, extracting the depth search and discovery, concept analysis, targeted key memes and topics propagating through blogs, analytics, and/or system alerting—all on specific topics news sites and real-time social platforms like Twitand issues of interest. ter. These techniques are used to characterize and “It’s particularly useful if you’re moving more Rebecca Garcia quantify topics being discussed, such as “protests” and toward an IT management strategy that allows for “elections.” maximum flexibility, or you’re unable to make an Mathematical epidemiological models plot how investment in new equipment,” Jimenez said. “We such ideas proliferate and spread among populations offer analytics services aimed at providing a detailed both geographically and over time. “Epidemiology electronic narrative with reporting on a daily, weekly provides us a starting point for understanding the or monthly basis, highlighting topics and issues of problem, as well as a wealth of models and techniques interest to you.” for formally analyzing the data,” McCormack said. The MicroTech Social Recon products manage On one level, McCormack explained, the aim and parse through data in all its digital formats. This of E-MEME is to provide the intelligence analyst includes topics and related searches done without a with better information on the current situation of requirement for manual tagging, and able to overcome interest based on what is happening in social media, linguistic and language issues presented through the blogs and news. “If they are interested in protests, increasingly interconnected world. “For example, peofor example, E-MEME will provide prevalence of that ple often use different words (different semantics and Robert McCormack topic in the media broken down by several dimensyntax) to express the same idea,” Jimenez explained. sions, such as locations, groups or media type,” This problem becomes especially pronounced in he said. a social media environment like Twitter, where the In addition, E-MEME provides information on language is more conversational, replete with familiar past trends on topics, allowing an analyst to see, for expressions, slang and varying emotional undertones example, if talk of protests in a particular location is like sarcasm, excitement and disappointment, and on the rise. “Beyond that, the epidemiologically based stated so briefly that context is difficult to discern. The models will provide the ability to measure susceptibilissue can be especially challenging in multilingual ity of different populations to various memes, based on countries where online data can be in a number of historical data and other factors,” he said. other languages. Additionally, intelligence analysts will be able to “Our Social Recon analysis tools provide perform “what if” analyses, such as measuring the results that are understandable and actionable,” he potential spread of memes or the likelihood that a continued. Sean Love particular region will adopt an idea. The tools can immediately provide contact with MicroTech, which offers solutions to establish an those who raise concerns, as well as permit engageeffective social media practice, has found it helpful to offer scalable ment with them via the same social media tool with which they used social media solutions in several different sizes and configurations to comment or discuss a topic on the social web. that address the wide array of needs and requirements across govern“Likewise, those who offered incorrect or negative comments can ment agencies, using a number of different hardware/software apps. also be contacted using our Social Recon tools and become engaged in “Social Recon Mobile offers essential social media capabilities a dialogue on whatever issues arise,” Jimenez said and includes software and hardware on a portable, easily transferable The tool can also identify cluster areas where a popular belief may cart for rapid deployment and virtually instant social media mining be incorrect or there may be a proliferation of misinformation. capability,” Jimenez said. SAS Social Media Analytics (SMA) provides ways to look at specific Social Recon MicroPodd includes an accompanying mobile topics of interest, decrease the amount of irrelevant information, and MicroPodd component that affords greater storage and more capabilinclude the sentiment of an individual or millions of people. The tool ity. This option offers a plug-in solution to existing infrastructure. can take information from any number of blogs, Twitter, Facebook “Analysts can easily monitor and track what you deem important or other publicly available social media sites of interest. Queries for from their current locations and workstations,” he said. specific topics or keywords can be set by the analyst, and the tool will Social Recon MicroCenter is a permanent solution, custom built continue to provide information 24 hours a day. onsite, with additional social mining capability that allows a deep dive “When the analyst arrives at work they have new, up-to-the minute across the social media community. information and continue to receive updates throughout the day,” “As data centers continue to be virtualized, consolidated and Garcia said. made more efficient, this option affords a decided competitive advanThe SMA solution offered by SAS also allows for multiple individutage to those leveraging their own facilities for the creation of the als to interact with the data based on similar areas of interest. Analysts social media functionality,” Jimenez said. can further manage the data being received through tools that can

MIT 16.5 | 9

refine searches on the fly as they see information that is more or less relevant to their needs. “There is also the capability to geo-locate the information,” Garcia added. “SAS is partnering with AGI to provide geospatial information to users based on the location of the social media user. This can be a critical asset to the warfighter when trying to assess a threat to troops or rescue someone who is in trouble and is unable to utilize traditional communication channels.” SAS can analyze sentiment in 28 languages natively, with the 29th language, Farsi, in Beta testing. Languages are not translated into English but are assessed in their native form, which provides much more accurate sentiment scoring. “This is critical when assessing possible threats, since changes in mood can be subtle,” Garcia explained. SAS is working with existing customers to build mood states for those who need to know when subtle changes occur. “It’s rare for a person to go from very positive to very negative sentiment based on a single event,” she remarked. “So mood states allow for assessment of changes in opinion or feeling towards a topic over a period of time. This can help personnel in other countries be better informed about how specific behaviors or actions could create a positive or negative response among the civilian population.” The goal would be for military members to have more positive interactions with civilians based on greater insights into their culture or based on past reactions to similar interactions.

Open Source Pitfalls The primary advantage of open source data is the rate at which it refreshes. New information is constantly available. By the same token, the sheer amount of available data is a challenge. “While technologies are being developed to ‘slim down’ how much data an end user is faced with, the data set is growing exponentially every year so those technologies must adapt to keep pace with that,” Love said. Additionally, given inequalities in access to technology, social media does not necessarily provide a representative picture of the population at large. Some of the specific issues currently being addressed in the research community include analysis of multiple foreign languages and the unique idiosyncrasies of particular types of social media. With respect to analysis of foreign languages, at a basic level the statistical techniques used for deriving topics are language independent. “But, there are definitely difficult issues that arise when dealing with foreign languages,” said McCormack. “Tools like Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish can give you a rough sense of the discussion, but fail to convey the more subtle nuances of more idiomatic languages.” This is an active area of research across the NLP community. Spelling and lexical variation across different forms of media also poses a significant challenge. In Twitter especially, misspellings, abbreviations and stylistic spelling variations all make standard normalization techniques difficult. Automated clustering techniques become necessary in this case. Garcia adds that there are other issues as well, such as how individuals can create new identities on blogs, Twitter or other sites. Individuals or groups can mask their identity and location based on security settings. “Anyone can say anything about any person or subject, and it does not have to be accurate or true,” she said. “This type of information 10 | MIT 16.5

source requires confirmation and careful assessment of possible impacts if the comments are found to be even partially untrue.” There are also the challenges of perception. Many individuals can witness an event and perceive very different things based on their angle of observation and personal bias. Since social media is a forum where there is no real filter for bias, angle of observation or desire to mislead, Garcia noted, such a powerful tool must be used prudently. The analyst must make value judgments based on his or her experience, understanding and knowledge. Social media is one data source, and is not more definitive than any other single source of data. It may be less definitive, depending on the reliability of the individual who is providing the information. “Since that could be anyone in the world, the veracity of comments will likely be as divergent as the honesty of each individual on the planet, and still relies on our ability to correctly interpret the message,” she said.

Future Direction Over the next five years, there will be a large number of new tools and approaches to leveraging that ever-increasing data set as more and more customers latch on to social media exploitation as a viable means for information gathering and analysis, Love predicts. Jimenez contends that mobile and social applications will continue to grow and devices with increased capabilities will proliferate. “Augmented reality capabilities, such as geographical knowledge augmentation—where for example you can hold your phone up and see what stores, restaurants, and/or installations are in a certain direction—exist now, but they will become far more accurate and useful as the industry matures and evolves,” he said. Social media is also starting to penetrate the enterprise. Organizations are implementing social communication tools both internally and externally in an effort to be better informed and break down silos that hinder growth and efficiencies. Organizations experiencing demographic changes and shifts to younger generations have already adopted these types of tools as a method to engage and communicate in ways that these individuals have already adapted and understand. McCormack contends that as the Department of Defense and intelligence community move into more open source analytics, there will be an increase in demand for advanced analytics capable of answering both strategic and tactical questions. “In terms of technology, we’ll start seeing increases in the use of distributed and cloud computing for dealing with the massive amounts of real-time streaming data,” McCormack added. “Adapting the analytic techniques, from the statistical language models to the dynamic trend analysis models, to these environments will likely be an active area of research.” Finally, a lot of current work is focused on retrospective analysis of events in social media (such as the Arab Spring), due to the nascent analytical techniques. “The true test of these tools in the next five years will be to see if they can usefully predict trends in social media before they become yesterday’s news,” he said. O

For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly at or search our online archives for related stories at

Taking on Big Data The military needs technologies that can keep up with and make sense of the huge volumes of data being collected.

By Peter Buxbaum MIT Correspondent The continued exponential growth in computer processing power and the even faster growth in storage density have combined to create the IT watchword of the day: “big data,� which in turn has led to the need for technologies that can keep up with and make sense of the huge volumes of data being collected. Military and intelligence applications represent some of the best examples of how data growth is overtaking the capabilities of human beings and machines to handle it. The problem is multifaceted and involves the development of both the hardware and software necessary to process massive data streams, and increasingly, the human talent necessary to turn enormous volumes of data into strategic assets. The proliferation of data is due largely to the spread of devices that generate and store data. One good example involves mobile data traffic. According to Cisco Systems, mobile data traffic is growing at 92 percent annually and will reach 6.3 exabytes (that’s 6.3 billion gigabytes) in 2015. For the military, the explosion of data derives from the myriad

of sensors and communications devices it has deployed over the last few years. The U.S. military has hundreds of intelligence feeds used to support operations in the field. The military is aware of the potential uses of these massive amounts of data, and wants to apply analytics to the data it has collected. Among other things, this means correlating contemporaneous data from different feeds to seek out the most relevant and valuable data regarding threats and missions. Many companies are tackling various aspects of the problem. They are developing the hardware and software necessary to handle the large volumes of data, and tackling the problem of organizing accumulated unstructured data in order to derive value from them. Another key issue focuses on the best ways to link databases so that decisionmakers can get unified views of the various kinds of data being collected. There is also the human element: getting the right people to look at the data so that the best possible decisions can result from all of the data analysis. MIT 16.5 | 11

become pervasive, enormous volumes of “It’s the age-old problem of information data will devastate the software stack,” he overload,” said David Gutelius, chief social said. “The volume aspect of big data is still scientist at Jive Software. “There are now far underappreciated.” too many channels of information to moniFuture volumes of data from sensors, for tor, all of which put out relevant signals for example, could involve the accumulation of particular tasks. The challenge has become hundreds of millions of digital events per to make the most out of all of these signal second, Hoskins noted. sources to do the job. It’s far too much for Military decision-makers are mindful of humans to do alone, and in the case of the the problems but also of the potential of big military the stakes could mean life or death.” data. They want to be able to make decisions “The military wants to keep the data based on analyses from coordinated multiple coming in from sensors and networks,” said streams of data. Mike Hoskins, chief tech“It’s not just dealing with nology officer at Pervasive large volumes of informaSoftware. “Today’s military tion,” said Gutelius. “The idea operations require that comis to take data from different manders respond quickly,” sources to derive new insight added Patrick Dreher, a from the combination. For senior technical director at instance, images taken over DRC. “There is an enormous an urban area combined with amount of front line data some interesting chatter on that needs to be collected and a social media channel could shared. But commanders are Mike Hoskins motivate commanders to task drowning in data and they need to be able to extract use- a lightweight drone to survey particular areas of the city. ful information from data.” You can harness one signal source to task another asset.” Velocity and Variety Hoskins believes that the element of time is going to be key in deriving meanThe big data problem is not limited to ingful analyses and predictions from large the volumes of data being collected. Experts volumes of data. The ability to correlate two say the challenges also revolve around the events happening at the same time will, in velocity and the variety of the data. Hoskins’ view, be important in gleaning “The speed at which we are generating intelligence from the data. data means that the volume of data collected “You might be looking for a red truck,” in the last two years is equal to that collected he explained. “But it may be more sigsince the dawn of time and up until two nificant when the red truck is spotted at the years ago,” said Christian Hasker, director same time another data feed shows another of product development at Quest Software. event is going on or when an object is mov“Various systems are producing variing in cyberspace. Temporality is going to be ous types of data stored in data silos,” said important in the ability to draw conclusions. Dreher. “If you want to use data to develop This is all about predictions and [where you a unified view of the battlespace by applying will] spend your finite resources.” analytics, you have to be able to normalize the data and coordinate data being collected in time and space. You can’t have a data Cloud and Collaboration Tower of Babel.” Another aspect of data variety is the fact Another problem associated with big that much of the data being accumulated data, especially when it comes to the miliis unstructured, including everything from tary, is that it is often difficult or impossible, text documents and PDF files to Twitter due to the scarcity of bandwidth, to push the feeds. “To mine this data and glean inteldata collected by sensors back to the rear to ligence out of it takes different techniques be processed and analyzed. This raises the from those we traditionally had at our dispossibility that data could be processed far posal,” said Hasker. forward with only a reduced data set being But Hoskins also warns that it is importransmitted back to headquarters. tant not to neglect the problem of the The issue of how and where to prosheer volume of big data. “As we are instrucess large data sets is one of the big data menting the universe and sensor networks problems that DRC is addressing. In 2010, 12 | MIT 16.5

DRC worked with the Army to build and deploy a cloud-based intelligence system called Rainmaker to Afghanistan. “The solution is set to become the foundation for their next generation infrastructure,” said Dreher. “It is literally a cloud in a box that is deployed in a shipping container to sites in the United States and overseas.” The Rainmaker cloud includes more than 1,800 processing cores as well as a petabyte of data storage. “It is being leveraged to not only consolidate current Army applications into the cloud, but also to provide massive data processing and analytics to meet Army intelligence operation needs,” said Dreher. DRC developed an architecture that accounts for the diversity of the data models employed throughout the intelligence community, allowing for unified storage and integration of structured data. Rainmaker has been successfully implemented at Army bases in-theater to improve communication among intelligence, tactical, counternarcotics and counter-terrorism initiatives. “For example, when Afghan drug lords finance Taliban insurgents, data from one database can be combined with Taliban financing data from an Army database inside the cloud, allowing analysts to make timely, critical connections and stay one step ahead of insurgents,” Dreher explained. Jive Software approaches big data from the perspective of how to get people to more effectively collaborate on problems. “Our software focuses on challenges to collaboration across different organizations,” explained Gutelius. “There has been a lot of interest since 9/11, and especially after the 9/11 commission’s report, in helping government agencies collaborate across silos.” Jive has developed a big data machine learning architecture, which takes into account the attributes of personnel, what they have worked on, who they are connected to and how their jobs have changed over time. The architecture is able to filter through signal sources in a dynamic way to recommend potential collaborators as well as sources of information that could help with an analyst’s task. “Our approach to big data mining involves making recommendations for actors to collaborate more effectively,” said Gutelius. “We can help networks address emerging needs and we have enough predictive power to make those kinds of matches on the fly. This lightens the load on analysts

Another approach to ingesting unstructured data comes from a company called Splunk, which captures streams of machine data from sources such as websites, comUnstructured Data munications, networking and IT infrastructures. “These sources generate massive Alion Science & Technology focuses on streams of data every second in an array of how to marshal analytics around unstrucunpredictable formats that are difficult to tured data. Unstructured data refers to any process and analyze by traditional methods number of numerous sources of data, such or in a timely manner,” said Stephanie as documents and social media feeds, that Davidson, the company’s federal sales direcare not formatted for traditional relational tor. “What we do is make all machine generdatabases. ated data more visible and useful.” “The biggest challenge to applying anaSplunk turns machine data into lytics to enterprise data is to define metadata NoSQL—a format that diverges from that around unstructured data,” said Erik King, found in traditional relational databases. an Alion senior vice president. Metadata is “Splunk collects machine data from whera term for descriptive tags that allow data to ever it’s generated in real time,” said Davidbe searched. son. “It stores and indexes all “Then the possibilities of the data in a centralized are limitless,” King added. location and keeps it secure. “You can make connections The NoSQL data can be between different pieces of searched, browsed, navigated, information among differanalyzed and visualized. You ent departments and agendon’t have to create schemas cies to gain better situational or filters for different data awareness on the battlefield sources. Once in Splunk, you or make better decisions on can search, monitor, report homeland security.” and analyze your data, no But before metadata can Erik King matter how unstructured, be applied to unstructured large or diverse it may be.” data, terminology used across Splunk deals with unstrucdifferent organizations needs tured data by automatically creating a small to be standardized. Creating an ontology index of the data, allowing it to be searched means developing a shared understanding in a Google-like fashion, based on key words of terms as it is used by different people and distinct identifiers. “That’s the secret and organizations. These understandings sauce,” said Davidson. are developed through exchanges among The Splunk approach has numerous participants from different organizations in applications, being applied in the military communities of interest. mainly to deal with network compliance “Ontologies allow you to create mapand security. pings between concepts,” said King. “You can then broker the semantics of how terms are used in different organizations and Beyond the Warehouse marry that back to data content.” Alion is working on such an ongoing Quest’s thrust in the big data space project involving the Air Force, Federal focuses on figuring out how to apply analytAviation Administration (FAA) and National ics to diverse data sets stored across a variety Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. of servers. “The traditional way of apply“The project deals with airspace and the ing analytics to data,” explained Hasker, fact that different military and civilian orga“was to build a data warehouse and take nizations share airspace and have different relevant data out to of one system and put ways of describing assets and conditions,” into another system, the warehouse, so that said King. “They need to be able to broker you could report on it. With big data, that between those big data sets so that it can approach doesn’t make any sense. You want be shared among the community. When to leave the data where it is, but get a single the project is completed, the Air Force and view of all data sources to apply analytics.” the FAA will be able to query a common Quest’s sweet spot is in a piece of infrasystem to discover conditions within a given structure called a virtual data access layer. airspace.” “Instead of viewing data in a single system,” and allows them to spend more time doing what they do best: making judgment calls.”

Hasker said, “you can leave data where it is and virtualize it in a single view.” Pervasive’s Hoskins said the company has been working on big data problems for several years and is taking both a hardware and software approach. “The big idea is to adopt a new generation of massively parallel data intensive applications that utilize all processing cores all of the time,” he said. Parallel computing deals with the processing of large data sets through software that divides processes into many small tasks, each of which is handled separately by many processing cores, and then later reassembles the calculations into a single result. Pervasive is tackling the problem by using the massive computing power of multicore processing and by developing software that can both handle the separate data flows and maximize the utilization of the processing cores. “We buy commodity servers with 16, 40 or even 48 cores,” said Hoskins. “Each of these cores is a supercomputer in itself. A server with 40 cores is massive, but is crippled by big data if it is running 30-yearold, single threaded software.” Pervasive’s DataRush software employs the concept of data flows, which help programmers develop algorithms that execute parallel computations. “This is a good match for the massive data volumes that applications must process,” said Hoskins. “To adapt to the growth in the volumes of data to be processed and to leverage commodity, parallel hardware, data-intensive algorithms must be designed to be able to execute in parallel.” The big data phenomenon is still in its early stages. “In the future, data will be as important as computational capabilities. Data is increasingly emerging as a strategic asset,” said Dreher. “In three to five years, government organizations and intelligence agencies will be solving more and bigger problems using big data,” said Hasker. “Comparing data across feeds at the same time is a huge idea,” said Hoskins. “Big data is the most disruptive thing I’ve seen. It will shake the tree violently and what emerges over the next five years will not be recognizable.” O

For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly at or search our online archives for related stories at

MIT 16.5 | 13

DATA BYTES Platform Peers Into Organizational Security Posture

EIQnetworks has developed the first platform that gives true infrastructure-wide visibility into a large organization’s security posture. Using the latest release of eIQnetworks’ SecureVue, security information analysts can perform complex correlation and forensic searches over long time periods. For example, analysts can now receive alerts when a valuable server is the target of a

reconnaissance scan, then experiences failed login attempts, and then experiences a configuration change any time within the next 90 days, even if no security events are present in the system’s log file. This allows organizations to be much more proactive in identifying activity that may be associated with advanced persistent threats. SecureVue’s multidata cross-correlation capabilities

and next-generation forensic search engine distinguish it as the only solution in the industry that provides true situational awareness. EIQ’s SecureVue is the industry’s first platform to combine next-gen security information and event management, security configuration auditing, compliance automation and contextual forensic analysis in a single solution.

Defense Connect Online Releases Mobile App Capabilities Carahsoft Technology Corp. and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Defense Connect Online (DCO) team have announced the release of the DCO Connect app on Google Play. Based on Adobe Connect Mobile technology, the DCO Connect app allows DCO users to host and attend meetings from their Android devices and tablets. Launched in 2007 by the Carahsoft|Adobe team, DCO leverages Adobe Connect web conferencing and Cisco Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol solutions to provide advanced web conferencing, presence and awareness, and chat capabilities. The new mobile app capabilities give DCO users even greater flexibility to fulfill the many different use cases DoD personnel have for 14 | MIT 16.5

collaboration while operating in a mobile environment. These capabilities include: two-way video from forward- or rear-facing camera; host or attend meetings; integrated Voice Over IP audio; chat; bandwidth efficient; notes; participant management; polls; slide/imagery sharing; and tailored-to-touch interfaces.

Task Order Funds Support for DoD Cyber Crime Center Lockheed Martin will team with the DoD Cyber Crime Center (DC3) to thwart cyber criminals. The company has been selected to deliver a full range of technical, functional and managerial support to the DC3, which provides vital assistance in the investigation of criminal, counterintelligence and counterterrorism matters, as well as cybersecurity support to Defense Industrial Base partners. The work will be conducted through a task order awarded by the General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center under the General Services Administration Alliant Contract. The task order has a ceiling value of $454 million if all options are exercised.

DISA Orders Managed Capacity and Transport Services The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has issued initial task orders to Level 3 Communications to provide dedicated fiber cable operations and maintenance support, and IP-based infrastructure under a 10-year contract with a maximum value of $410.8 million. Under the terms of the contract, Level 3 will provide DISA with managed capacity and transport services, fiber support, IP infrastructure and professional support to connect Department of Defense locations.

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8(a) STARS II Users Guide

Table of Contents 2

A Call to Action


8(a) STARS II: Bringing Down the Barriers


In a memo to DoD acquisition leaders last summer, Richard Ginman, director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, urged DoD contracting officials to use GSA’s 8(a) STARS II, as well as other governmentwide acquisition contacts, to maximize small business prime contracting opportunities.

GSA executives involved with 8(a) STARS II recently spent some time discussing the benefits of the program for DoD customers and how it fits into their broader strategy for serving military needs.

Brief Guide to GSA 8(a) Stars II Ordering Excerpts from the 8(a) STARS II Ordering Guide offer a quick overview of the program’s procedures and the types of services that can be ordered.

Publisher’s Note KMI Media Group, publisher of Military Information Technology, produced this 8(a) STARS II User’s Guide based on information obtained from the General Services Administration. The magazine, which is published 11 times each year, reports on a wide range of C4 issues. The Rockville, Md., company also publishes Border & CBRNE Defense, Ground Combat Technology, Geospatial Intelligence Forum, Military Advanced Education, Military Logistics Forum, Military Medical & Veterans Affairs Forum, Military Training Technology, Special Operations Technology, Tactical ISR Technology and U.S. Coast Guard Forum. This catalog was designed by the KMI Art Department. © Copyright 2012

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8(a) STARS II Users Guide | MIT 16.5 | 1

8(a) STARS II Users Guide

8(a) STARS II: Bringing Down the Barriers Small business program’s enhancements make it an even more valuable tool for military and other federal procurement. By Harrison Donnelly, MIT Editor

The General Service Administration’s (GSA) recently established 8(a) STARS II program, a small business governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC), represents an evolution of an already successful program, with enhancements designed to make it an even more valuable tool for military and other federal agencies, according to key GSA officials involved in the initiative. Launched last summer as a follow-up to 8(a) STARS, 8(a) STARS II provides federal customers with flexible access to IT services and solutions from a diverse pool of small business partners. With a $10 billion program ceiling and a five-year base period with one, five-year option, 8(a) STARS II allows for long-term planning of program requirements while strengthening opportunities for 8(a) small businesses. Services available through the contract include IT helpdesks, cyber-security, custom computer programming, computer operations maintenance, and a wide variety of additional IT service solutions. With its 584 participating companies, 8(a) STARS II not only offers easy, costeffective ordering from vetted IT service providers, but also helps agencies meet socioeconomic goals for working with small business—a goal and strategy endorsed last summer in a memo from Richard Ginman, director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy [See memo, page 2].

4 | MIT 16.5 | 8(a) STARS II Users Guide

“The Department of Defense and other federal agencies should look at 8(a) STARS II because it’s an easy contract to use,” said Steve Triplett, GSA Small Business GWAC Center director. “The value proposition that the 8(a) STARS II contract brings to the table is that you can accomplish your IT mission for simple to complex solutions. It’s a good contract for not only DoD, but the civilian world as well.” This is actually the third GSA small business GWAC working with the 8(a) community, Triplett continued. “It’s been an evolution from companies that traditionally have been locked out of the federal acquisition arena to a full embrace.” The original STARS ran for more than seven years, and has done well over $4 billion worth of business, he noted, from more than 40 federal military and civilian agencies. “It’s a remarkable achievement, and it speaks volumes about people’s belief in the 8(a) small business companies’ ability to deliver quality services.” GSA led the way in 2007 by utilizing the GWAC for its GSA Infrastructure Technology Global Operations acquisition initiative worth more than $200 million, demonstrating the capacity of small business to perform large, complex IT requirements.

8(a) STARS II Users Guide The industry partners on 8(a) STARS II have some big shoes to fill. They also have a tremendous amount of resources available to help them become successful partners for the government. Not only did the original 8(a) STARS contract generate billions for small business, but also many industry partners have grown to become successful large businesses and serve as mentors for new 8(a) STARS II contractors.

Customer Feedback In designing STARS II, GSA made a number of significant changes to its predecessor in response to customer feedback. “Given the success of the previous program, STARS II has a brand name and following,” said Misty Claypole, 8(a) STARS II contracting officer. “What we tried to do is build on the past successes with the previous 8(a) contracts, using feedback from customers and industry to figure out what works best and make it better with each version.” The 8(a) STARS II GWAC builds upon the successes of 8(a) STARS, and offers additional benefits. They include: • A longer period of performance—a total of up to 10 years, compared with seven for STARS. This allows agencies to procure long-term solutions for their IT services requirements.

• Another new feature is the program’s use of two constellations, or “tiers,” of industry partners. All of the industry partners on the contract are technically proficient contractors offering competitive pricing. Industry partners in Constellation 2 were required to possess a recognized industry quality credential. • Geographic pricing based on regional cost differences was also a feature added to the 8(a) STARS II GWAC. The prior contract, 8(a) STARS, had nationwide rates. STARS II, however, has geographic pricing in 34 different geographic localities, with 141 labor categories in all, as well as government on-site pricing and contractor off-site pricing.

Evaluation and Awards STARS II participating companies were selected through a detailed evaluation process that sought to balance careful scrutiny of each firm’s capabilities with the overall goal of expanding small business access to federal opportunities. “Part of the nature of the 8(a) program is to be inclusive and provide as many opportunities for these companies to get work within the federal procurement system as possible,” said Claypole. “In the evaluation process, we looked at the past performance of the companies



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8(a) STARS II Users Guide | MIT 16.5 | 5

8(a) STARS II Users Guide and at how they manage contracts and work as an 8(a) firm. A majority of the companies that are coming through really have their act together in terms of what it means to be an 8(a) company, and in their maturity.” “Without a doubt, I think we did an outstanding job at looking at the industry partners that eventually were awarded the STARS II contract. We believe that there is a place on the contract for the more sophisticated companies, and also an entry level. The whole thing is about providing these small businesses with the opportunity to grow and serve, which is a powerful combination. Not everyone who came through the door was given a contract. There are a lot of companies out there that would love to be on the STARS II contract,” said Triplett. The 8(a) STARS II GWAC program is part of the Integrated Technology Services portfolio led by Assistant Commissioner Mary Davie. 8(a) STARS II is available for use by all federal and military organizations. Agencies may choose to manage the task order in-house, also known as a directed order, or enter into an agreement with an assisted services organization (such as GSA’s Assisted Acquisition Service) to handle the procurement on their behalf. Understanding the need to transition current customers to the new GWAC, the 8(a) STARS II team has been actively conducting

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6 | MIT 16.5 | 8(a) STARS II Users Guide

orientation sessions via webinar and at GSA Expo and other events this past year. Warranted contracting officers interested in obtaining the required delegation of procurement authority to use the contract should visit for more information. A brief training session is required prior to use of the contract. For those customers interested in determining if their requirement is a good fit for the contract, they may request a free advanced scope compatibility review from the Small Business GWAC Center. During the scope compatibility review process, a team of contracting officers from the Small Business GWAC Center reviews the statement of work and provides guidance to assist the contracting officer in preparing the request for proposal. The Small Business GWAC Center can also assist an agency with requesting a capability statement from the firms on the 8(a) STARS II GWAC. Capability statement requests are often conducted as part of market research to determine whether a small business can successfully perform the work if the requirements are unique or extensive. Looking ahead, Triplett offered this vision: “When I think about the future, what I see is GSA and the Small Business GWAC Center working to create communities of interest, where we bring together all the people who are responsible for tearing down barriers or advocating for inclusion and use of small business contracts throughout the government. When we get to the place where we all come together to collaborate, we are going to build contracts that are more inclusive and bring more small businesses to the federal market, to offer their capabilities and expertise to meet the needs of the federal government customers. The only thing that small businesses need is the opportunity to demonstrate what they can achieve. We look for creating more opportunities for small business, and for delivering great benefits for the government and the taxpayers.” O Further information on 8(a) STARS II is available from the GSA Small Business GWAC Center, which can be reached at 1-877-3278732, via email at, or at For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly at or search our online archives for related stories at

8(a) STARS II Users Guide

Brief Guide to GSA 8(a) STARS II Ordering (Editor’s Note: Following are excerpts from the 8(a) STARS II Ordering Guide. The complete guide is available at www.gsa. gov/8astars2.)

Introduction The 8(a) STARS II GWAC (STARS II) is a competitively awarded, multiple-award, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract for requirements associated with four North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes:

NAICS 541511

Custom Computer Programming Services

NAICS 541512

Computer Systems Design Services

NAICS 541513

Computer Facilities Management Services

NAICS 541519

Other Computer Related Services















Each functional area (FA) is tied to a NAICS code: NAICS 541511 is FA 1; NAICS 541512 is FA 2; NAICS 541513 is FA 3; and NAICS 541519 is FA 4. There is a different population, or “pool,” of industry partners in each FA. In planning for and determining that an order is a good fit for STARS II, the analysis should span the prospective order’s full life cycle potential. In addition to FAs, STARS II includes two constellations, or “tiers.” Constellation One industry partners were determined to be technically proficient with competitive pricing, while Constellation Two industry partners were determined to be technically proficient with competitive pricing, and also possessed a minimum of one specified industry credential: Capabilities Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level II or above, in Services or Development; International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2000; or ISO 9001:2008.

Constellations To select the applicable constellation for each order opportunity, the following guidance is provided: If the government determines that there is a clear need or perceived benefit to the government expected from one of the specified industry credentials, the opportunity belongs in Constellation II, otherwise the opportunity belongs in Constellation I. The contracting office will select the applicable constellation and functional area for each order opportunity during acquisition planning. The table to the left shows the constellations and FAs.

Ordering from STARS II Access to the STARS II GWAC

STARS II is intended to support federal agency information technology (IT) requirements. The geographical scope of coverage is worldwide and organizational scope of coverage includes those entities authorized in GSA Order ADM 4800.2G. In the context of STARS II, IT encompasses requirements having a principal purpose/core work grounded in one of the four NAICS codes, from the 2007 NAICS, tied to the STARS II scope. Therefore, it is beneficial to be familiar with the NAICS code definitions and guidance on selecting a primary NAICS code for procurement. STARS II’s scope generally provides flexibility at the order level to include ancillary services and/or equipment that the government determines to be integral and necessary to the IT services-based solution. STARS II’s scope is agile and will automatically keep pace as IT evolves within a STARS II NAICS code’s parameters.

Orders are issued by warranted OCOs who have received a written Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) issued by a STARS II procuring contracting officers, making them ordering contracting officers. OCOs who support their own agency are involved in direct acquisitions, while those who support other agencies are engaged in assisted acquisitions. A memo from the Office of Management and Budget dated June 6, 2008, titled “Improving the Management and Use of Interagency Acquisitions” addresses these subjects, and establishes that using a GWAC, such as STARS II, is presumed to be in the government’s best interest. Direct Acquisitions. Under this scenario, the customer agency is responsible for its own acquisition and program management activities. Assisted Acquisitions. In this scenario, an agency may elect to have an assisted acquisition organization provide full or partial acquisition program and/or project management services through the order life cycle. The scope and terms of the assisted acquisition 8(a) STARS II Users Guide | MIT 16.5 | 7

8(a) STARS II Users Guide support are directly arranged by the customer agency with the assisted acquisition organization agency, which in turn will support the customer’s STARS II requirements with an OCO holding a STARS II DPA. Note: OCOs should follow agency policy regarding any additional justification required such as why the contract vehicle is best suited for the acquisition and the cost effectiveness of the acquisition.

Delegated Procurement Authority

Following is the list of military organizations that have been granted Delegations of Procurement Authority to use the 8(a) Stars II program. Air Force Air Force TRANSCOM Army Army Corps of Engineers Defense Commissary Agency Defense Finance and Accounting Service Defense Human Resource Activity Defense Information Systems Agency Defense Intelligence Agency Defense Logistics Agency Defense Security Cooperation Agency Defense Security Service Defense Threat Reduction Agency Department of Defense Education Activity Marine Corps Navy TRICARE Management Activity U.S. Coast Guard Washington Headquarters Services

It is a best practice for a DPA to be in place before a STARS II opportunity is competed (in the case of competitive order opportunities) or negotiated (in the case of directed order opportunities). A DPA is required prior to awarding and for administering orders. While a DPA can only be granted to warranted federal contracting officers, all individuals on the acquisition team are encouraged to participate in DPA training. No work may be performed, no debt or obligation accrued, and no payment may be made, except as authorized by a bonafide written order signed by a duly warranted federal contracting officer with status as a STARS II OCO. While failure to follow the DPA requirement is not a violation of law or regulation, it unnecessarily increases procurement risk (e.g. training provides quality assurance and promotes consistency). There are various ways to receive STARS II DPA training: 1) via conference call; 2) through on-site training for large groups; 3) webinar; 4) video teleconference; or 5 ) by reviewing and understanding the STARS II Ordering Guide.

Requesting a DPA through the GSA STARS II Website after Completing DPA Training To request a DPA from the GSA STARS II website, please visit the Delegation of Procurement Authority section of the website found at To initiate the request, complete and submit the DPA Request Form. A representative from the Small Business GWAC Center will typically respond within 24 hours of the request.

DPA Portability DPAs do not transfer with an OCO. Should an OCO transfer agencies or offices within an agency, that OCO should request a new DPA be issued from the Small Business GWAC Center. However, OCOs do not need to retake DPA training to receive a new DPA.

Order Types

Authorized order types available under this GWAC are:

Delegation of Procurement Authority (DPA) Federal contracting officers who wish to use STARS II must receive a STARS II overview training and DPA. This training provides an overview of the STARS II key features, establishes a clear set of roles and responsibilities between the STARS II PCO and the OCO, orients the prospective OCO to the contract, and opens the two-way dialogue between the future OCO and the GWAC PCO. Completion of this overview training will lead to a written GSAissued DPA which authorizes the warranted Contracting officer to become an OCO. The DPA process recognizes a necessary and useful division of labor between the STARS II PCO and OCO. The DPA serves to establish clear roles and responsibilities, foster open communications and promote beneficial contract use. The DPA delineates between those OCO responsibilities derived from the OCOs warrant and those originating in the DPA itself. 8 | MIT 16.5 | 8(a) STARS II Users Guide

• • • • •

Fixed-Price Family (FAR 16.2) Time & Materials (FAR 16.6) Labor-Hour (FAR 16.6) Hybrid blends Incentives (FAR 16.4)

Time & Materials and Labor Hour If not using a Fixed-Price order type, FAR 16.601(d)4, 12.207(b)(i)(C) and 12.207(b)(ii) require contracting officers to prepare a determination and findings that no other contract type is suitable.

Hybrid blends Some orders may have work containing a combination of contract types, i.e., fixed-price, time and materials and laborhour. The OCO is responsible for identifying the applicable

8(a) STARS II Users Guide

order type(s), and making the order terms clear within the RFQ or RFP and resulting order.


Plan the acquisition



Define and document requirements


Consider scope compatibility review


Follow competitive or directed process, as applicable


Evaluate quotes or proposals (competed) or offer (directed)


Document decision and manage award processes


Administer order

The OCO must evaluate and determine the appropriateness of all incentive terms and develop a surveillance plan to implement and monitor an award-fee, incentive-fee, or awardterm in accordance with FAR 15.4 and FAR 16.4.

Order Process

Once a DPA is granted, the OCO follows their internal process for planning and funding the requirement, gaining any necessary approvals and documenting the order. The OCO is responsible for acquisition planning and conducting due diligence as directed by FAR and agency policy and regulation. The process of order award can be configured to agency needs, provided it is consistent with the STARS II GWAC, customer agency policy and the FAR.

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8(a) STARS II Users Guide | MIT 16.5 | 9

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SPAWAR Acquires C4I Systems Intelligence Support The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific has awarded five indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, cost-plus-fixedfee contracts to provide C4I systems engineering support to include command and intelligence systems analysis, concept definition, interface requirements, and system development and design for implementation, integration, interoperability, documentation, upgrades and training. All awardees will compete for task orders during the ordering period. The three-year contracts

include one two-year option, which, if exercised, would raise the potential value of each contract. Following are the companies to receive awards, along with their initial and maximum contract amounts: Accenture Federal Services ($25.3 million, $43.4 million), Science Applications International Corp. ($23.5 million, $40.2 million), Booz Allen Hamilton ($20.8 million, $35.6 million), FGM Inc. ($16.4 million, $28.0 million), Scientific Research Corp. ($15.0 million, $25.5 million).

Wireless Solution Supports Navy 4G/LTE Pilot Cambium Networks, a provider of wireless broadband solutions, and Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems (BATS Wireless), a developer of advanced wireless wide area network (WWAN) provisioning systems, have announced that enhanced wireless point-to-point (PTP) radio and antenna tracking solution is being incorporated as part of a mobile communications networking project being led by Oceus Networks. The systems will be piloted by the Navy, providing onboard and ship-to-ship broadband data and communications. The project is the first Department of Defense operational deployment of Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) and is based on Oceus

Networks’ Xiphos family of mobile 4G LTE network solutions. In providing a combined PTP and WWAN provisioning solution, Cambium and BATS Wireless deliver customers a fully ruggedized wireless network solution that can be used for a number of ship-to-shore, inter-ship or intra-ship broadband applications, from defense deployments to oil and gas industry communications needs. For the Oceus implementation, ruggedized selfoptimizing network nodes can be placed aboard ships, installed in tactical warfighter vehicles, or mounted on aerial platforms to be used wherever secure and quickly provisioning high-speed voice, video and data communications. (See MIT, April 2012.)

Solution Set Aids Project Management Teams Hippo Solutions has launched 360° Team Works, a new set of solutions to make project management teams better. It includes new and updated tools, training and consulting offerings that complement existing tools and capabilities, and helps project management teams work better by focusing on the most important part of a project organization: its people. Offerings in the 360° Team Works

solution set include tools to fill in the gaps of a client’s existing offerings (such as by adding tools for project analytics, labor resource management reporting, or a full project work platform), training to teach teams to work better together instead of simply learning a skill or a tool, and consulting to provide the resources and expertise to break through nagging teamrelated barriers.

New Imaging Products Offer Security and Mobility HP has announced 15 new imaging and printing products, services and solutions with enhanced productivity tools, new security solutions and expanded mobility offerings to enable organizations of all sizes to capture, connect and communicate more securely and efficiently. The new offerings include a new HP Officejet printer, four new HP LaserJet printers and an HP Scanjet professional-quality documents and fast print speeds, along with the ability to extend the office beyond its physical location; 10 new and enhanced workflow solutions, applications and security offerings to increase efficiency, improve business processes and help businesses control and secure information-management processes; and HP Digital Workflow Integration Services, an extension of HP Managed Print Services, which deliver powerful solution capabilities resulting in access to information by integrating back-end systems for real-time business-process optimization, and providing customers a single point of contact to manage the engagement.

Regional Fiber Optic Network Offers Remote Data Access Fujitsu has been chosen by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, to implement a multi-node regional fiber optic network allowing researchers to access and share critical data residing in remote data centers. NIAID’s selection of the Fujitsu Flashwave 7420 Metro/Enterprise WDM Platform, Netsmart 1500 Management System and professional services will ensure the agency benefits from tunable bandwidths reaching 40Gb per second performance; sub-microsecond latency; multiprotocol, multi-application support; remote monitoring and management; and valuable training. Flashwave 7420 is a scalable Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing-based transport solution engineered for high-performance, low-latency networks. The Netsmart 1500 carrier-class management system allows NIAID to remotely monitor, manage, provision and maintain the Flashwave 7420. The solution facilitates network reliability and visibility through performance data tracking and graphing, bandwidth capacity reports and instantaneous alarm reports, as well as real-time fault isolation and resolution. MIT 16.5 | 15

Network Helmsman

Q& A

Building the Navy’s Next-Generation Network Capt. Shawn P. Hendricks Program Manager Naval Enterprise Networks U.S. Navy Captain Shawn P. Hendricks was appointed the program manager of the Naval Enterprise Networks (NEN) Program Office in February 2011. In this role he is responsible for the program management of Department of Navy’s (DON) two largest IT networks, the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) and its successor, the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN). Hendricks is a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in systems engineering. Commissioned an ensign in 1989, he went on to earn his Wings of Gold upon completion of Naval Flight Officer training in September 1990. He was then ordered to the “World Watchers” of VQ-1 in Agana, Guam, as an electronic warfare officer. After completing his first fleet tour, Hendricks was selected to be a student at the Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md. Following graduation in 1994, he served as the developmental test team lead in the ES-3A Shadow Program Office until 1996. After departing Patuxent River, he was assigned to “The Shadows” of VQ-5 Detachment 5 in Misawa, Japan, where he was the detachment operations and training officer while deployed on the USS Independence. Following his tour in Japan, Hendricks was selected to become an aerospace engineering duty officer, and ordered to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He graduated in September 2000 with a master’s degree and an engineer’s degree in aerospace (avionics) engineering with a follow-on tour as the officer in charge of SPAWAR Space Field Activity, Detachment Denver. Between February 2004 and March 2006, Hendricks served as both the deputy program manager for Tomahawk advanced projects and the integrated product team lead for the Tactical Tomahawk Torpedo Tube Launch development program. From March 2006 to April 2008, he served as an executive officer at the Defense Security Cooperative Agency. Prior to his current role, Hendricks served as the principal deputy director for reconnaissance systems in the National Reconnaissance Office. Hendricks was interviewed by MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly. Q: Your office recently released the final request for proposals (RFP) for NGEN. Could you outline the schedule for this initiative going forward, all the way to full implementation? A: We released the final RFP on May 9, and gave the offerors a couple of weeks to come back with their bidders’ questions. Those came back recently, and we’re planning to put out 16 | MIT 16.5

responses to those questions soon. Final proposals will be due July 18. Then we will go into our source selection process, which we’re scheduled to complete in February 2013. At that time, we will award a contract or contracts to begin executing the transition plan. We will be fully off the NMCI Continuity of Services Contract and onto the NGEN contract by April 2014. Q: How are the contracts organized, and what types of services will be available to users? A: If you remember back to the days before the Navy Marine Corps Intranet [NMCI], which is the largest enterprise network in the world with 400,000 end-user devices and over 800,000 accounts, there was a disaggregated group of networks with varying levels of security and service to the customer. Some networks were very modern and secure, while others were handme-downs. NMCI took those disaggregated networks, of which there were thousands, and turned them into a unified architecture, where you had a common level of security and service across the Navy and Marine Corps enterprise. What we didn’t get with that was an understanding of the specific pieces that make up a network—whether it was email,

data center or help desk. How much does it cost, how many people does it take to run it, and what are its contributions to the underlying services that are delivered? We didn’t have a complete understanding of any of that. So we’ve broken NMCI up into segments, and further divided it into services. One segment is transport, which you can think of as the wires, fibers, routers and switches that are on the base and local area networks. For wide area network services, we connect with the Defense Information Systems Agency and utilize their capabilities. The other segment is enterprise services, which you can think of as the things that deliver what the end-user mostly sees—help desk, email, data centers, video teleconferencing, Voice over IP, and deployments of end-user devices. We also have a hardware segment, which is the hardware behind the wall plug and the hardware on people’s desks, and a software segment that delivers the software required by end-users to be produc- The Navy operates the largest enterprise network in the world. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class tive and the software required to operate Joshua J. Wahl] the network. A: There has never been a contract like this in government that So we now have a model, under what’s called a FAR Part we can find—not one of this size, and certainly not one that 15-type contract, that gives us insight into the pricing of the takes into account that the network serves over 800,000 users “eaches” that make up the network. Now we’ll have pricing on every day and cannot afford to go down for even a few minutes. the transport and enterprise services costs as well as the costs We felt that it was important to solicit the latest that industry of each of the 38 services inside that. We’ll also have insight has to offer: their innovations and thoughts on how to make into their performance as it relates to total network perforthis technically acceptable in a cost-effective manner. If we’re mance. Before NMCI, we started with a bunch of disaggregated asking them to do something that will drive price higher, we networks, which we had no idea what the costs were. Now we want to know. If we were asking them to do something that have one large network, which we know what it costs, but not wasn’t physically possible, we wanted to know. We started with what the pieces of it cost, or how they fit together. Under NGEN, our acquisition concepts back in June 2011, of which we had we’ll understand what the pieces cost and how they fit together, three. We released a draft RFP in September, and then updated which will enable us to compete pieces and parts as it makes sections L and M, which are the instructions to offerors and the sense—whether because of a technology or performance reagrading scale by which they would be evaluated, in December. son, or because another government entity has another viable We released a second draft in March 2012, and the final version solution that we want to adopt across the entire Department in May. of Defense. The RFP competes the transport and enterprise Throughout that time, we have adjusted, changed and services portions separately, but we have reserved the right, responded to the questions and statements that industry has based on price, to award either one contract to one provider to made. I’ve met with dozens of industry partners, from the largsupply both transport and enterprise services, or two contracts est to the smallest. We want to make sure that we put an RFP to separate providers. on the street that they can bid on. In response to the last draft RFP, we got 170 comments, none of which were “show stopQ: What are the requirements in the contract for small pers,” although we did make some adjustments. I reviewed the business participation? questions from bidders that we got at the end of May, and I was impressed at how little we are going to have to change based A: We have a very aggressive small business target—35 percent on those comments. They were mostly clarifying comments, of the total contract value is designated for small business, and and I didn’t find anything in 140 of them where we had really small business participation is one of the elements in the award missed something. They were good comments, and in a docufee pool. So I think we’re on the leading edge of encouraging it. ment this size there is always going to be stuff that you could tweak. In general, after the process that we followed, from the Q: What steps did you take to ensure that vendor input is acquisition concepts all the way through the delivery of the taken into account throughout the process, and why was that final RFP and the bidders’ questions, the questions have gotten an important goal?

MIT 16.5 | 17

more straightforward and less nuanced. That’s a testament to the improvements the team has put in the product all along the way. Q: What is your strategy for achieving full and open competition? A: Part of it has been the industry information and engagement, and making sure they understand what we’re asking. This is a commercially available service. Lots of companies provide IT services throughout DoD, federal government and industry. We think there are certainly people out there who are more than capable of doing the work. We have purchased the lion’s share of the infrastructure—routers, switches, cables—and computer hardware, so we’ve limited the initial industry investment. Industry’s upfront cost is relatively low, because the government will own the infrastructure architecture. We have purchased, from the incumbent, the intellectual property that goes along with how the network operates. We have a corpus of 450,000 documents that we have made available to industry bidders. We started publishing the documents last June, and they were all available by September. We’ve given them access to every document that we have from the incumbent, which represents all the information about the entire network. By owning the infrastructure, purchasing the government-purpose rights to the intellectual property, providing the intellectual property to industry in a timely manner, responding to their questions and giving them feedback upfront, early and often, we have leveled the playing field as much as is reasonable. Q: How do you respond to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and other critics that the Navy is not pursuing the most cost-effective procurement strategy?

Q: What lessons from NMCI have been uppermost in your mind as you work to implement its successor? A: It’s a huge network of 800,000 users, but you have to serve them one at a time. You can’t treat your user class as a group, but as individuals, because to them it is an individual thing. It’s personal. It’s what they use to get their job done, and they can’t be successful without it. So when it doesn’t work, they don’t work. Communication is going to be key as we move forward, and setting reasonable expectations for what things will look like in the future. In general, most people can deal with change if you communicate with them. The analogy I’d use is when you are at the airport waiting for your plane to depart. You line up so that you are far enough forward in the queue that you will be able to get your carryon in the overhead compartment. The plane isn’t at the gate yet, but the boarding time hasn’t changed. Then they tell you it’s going to be five more minutes, and then five more minutes, until an hour has gone by. Then they tell you the plane hasn’t left its previous stop. If you had told me that, I wouldn’t have had to wait all that time, but could have gone for a cup of coffee. All they had to do was tell you about the delay when they first knew, which was a long time before they told you the plane was going to be an hour and a half late. The lesson is that you have to give people some control back. We’ve learned to do that better, and it’s going to be critical, as we go into NGEN, that we do that very well, because there will be some things that will feel different. My goal is that users won’t notice anything. But setting a reasonable expectation, we have to say that there are going to be some areas that will be slightly different, here’s what it will look like, and here’s what we’re doing to make it as user-friendly as possible. Q: What role will cloud computing play in NGEN?

A: The GAO report was issued on March 11, 2011, two weeks after I took over. I’d respond first that NGEN is about more than just the most cost-effective solution. We had operational requirements that we had to meet, one of which was to ensure that the Navy had appropriate command and control of the network. Another tenet was that we wanted to maximize competition, because we believe that through competition we would be able to get further savings by continually competing the elements that made sense to compete. We wanted to learn the pieces and parts that made up the network. The analogy I use is that when you buy a carton of eggs or a gallon of milk, what you care about is the eggs and milk. But you are also buying the container they come in. As the person responsible for providing the most cost-effective network, I care about the container cost, because I want to make sure I’m not getting ripped off on the container when what I really care about is the milk. I want to have a container that protects my eggs well enough that they don’t get broken, but not so well that the eggs cost a fortune. Without the contract that we’ve structured, we didn’t have that insight. All of those things contributed to the strategy that we put in place, which wasn’t to design the cheapest network possible. It was to make it cost effective, make sure it meets Navy needs for command and control, and provide competition and security. With the way we’ve structured it, we do those things. 18 | MIT 16.5

A: You could argue that NMCI is already a private cloud. We have shared resources across the network, and we can get things as a service, which is really the definition for me of a cloud: all things as a service, and buy what you want when you want it. If you look at the RFP, we give companies an opportunity to increase the virtualization on the network. I’m sure that as the maturity of public and private data centers as a service matures and becomes accredited, those sorts of solutions will be brought forward. For me, it’s more about the “what” and less about the “how.” I want a place to store my data or host my applications, and how you do it, as long as it’s in a secure and cost-effective manner, is less important. I look forward to the innovative solutions that drive down costs without compromising network performance or security. Q: How does the contract provide for cost savings using virtualization? A: The network exists and meets requirements now. The day the contract is awarded, the network will still run and have requirements, and won’t have changed at all. We don’t have a huge infusion of cash that we’re going to put into the network. We have a sustainment budget, which allows for modernization of obsolete technology over time. As technology evolves, more

virtualization happens, and you can get more for less through a continuous refresh cycle. It’s not as fast as if you did it all at once with upfront capital, but it will happen. The 62-inch high definition television you bought two years ago cost about $2,000. You can buy that today for half the price, and for $2,000 you can get a 72-inch, 3-D model. The same thing is true with networks. What you paid $1,000 for before, you can get for less today, or you can get an increased capability for the same amount. That’s how we’re looking at modernizing and using virtualization. What we want is a network that operates securely and provides the appropriate level of services to our customers. How the providers do it, and how they drive price down, could well involve virtualization. But I’m going to wait to see what they bring to the table, because that’s the expertise that they have. We think we’ve made it worth their while, both through the source selection criteria of lowest price technically acceptable, and through the shared savings clause we have in the contract. It provides an opportunity after contract award that if they see a better way to do things that saves money, we’re going to let them share in the savings—the elusive win-win situation. Q: What security issues do you see as most challenging for NGEN? How are you working with U.S. Cyber Command and 10th Fleet to guard against cyber attacks?

A: We are subject to all the rules and regulations for any network that connects to the Global Information Grid. We work daily to ensure compliance with those now, and we will continue to be diligent with our security efforts. I had a long teleconference with Fleet Cyber Command and Navy NETWARCOM about these types of issues, so we’re definitely working closely with them on securing the network. That’s of the utmost priority. Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? A: This is hard work, but it’s pretty mundane. With satellites, missiles and airplanes, you get to go fast and see rockets launched. But we’ve had rats eating fiber-optic cable in Jacksonville, Fla. It was a recurring problem, so we had a big dispute over who was responsible for replacing stuff eaten by rats. I never dealt with that when I was launching satellites. The team that we have at PMW 205 did the work, and they should get all the credit. I want to say thank you to them, because I didn’t do much. I talked a lot and went to a lot of meetings. But I didn’t do the work—they did, and they did it in spite of criticism. They never missed a deadline, although deadlines did change as a result of other circumstances. They worked nights and weekends. The RFP is an 1,100 page document, and it’s good, and I’m proud of them. O

THAT WAS THen. MobiliTy noW.

Roger. Troops are advancing by sea.

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MIT 16.5 | 19

SATCOM for the Disadvantaged New Navy program offers satellite communications for users engaged in support functions and operating in remote locations.

By William Murray MIT Correspondent

which is the fourth in a series of military reconnaissance and Operational use of the latest of the military’s series of communications satellites. cheaper, quicker-to-use and safer ultra high In June and July, meanwhile, Navy personfrequency satellite systems should commence in nel will test TacSat-4 at the Trident Warrior October. The attention that this joint, Navy-led 2012 exercise as a part of the U.S. Fleet Forces system has received points to the growing need Command’s new fleet experimentation program, for satellite service for lower priority, disadvanwhich focuses on submarine, ship and sea-totaged U.S. military users who are on the move shore Marine and SEAL communications. and need reliable satellite communications. The In an advanced TacSat-4 capability that military drawdowns in Afghanistan and Iraq have results in lower staffing needs, personnel using a only seemed to accentuate this need. pair of ground radios can convert radio frequency The Army Space and Missile Defense Battle signals to Internet Protocol for use with SIPRNet Laboratory in Colorado Springs, Colo., is testing at the Virtual Mission Operations Center for Tacthe Navy’s Tactical Microsatellite-4 (TacSat-4) Mike Hurley Sat-4, a command-and-control Internet-based with a focus on land-based communications, software application fielded from the Mission Operations Center according to Mike Hurley, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at NRL Blossom Point Ground Station, Md. section head for spacecraft development. He oversees TacSat-4,

20 | MIT 16.5

Funded by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the TacSat-4, meanwhile, appears to have passed its initial test Secretary of Defense, the $150 million program commenced in the Polar and Artic regions. In Kodiak, Alaska, the U.S. Coast in 2006, with the Naval Research Guard is testing TacSat-4 for use in Laboratory and Johns Hopkins Unicommunicating with helicopters in versity’s Applied Physics Laboratory harsh conditions. building the satellite. U.S. Strategic Earlier this year, the Coast Command and U.S. Special OperaGuard Cutter Healy successfully tions Command had determined in experimented with TacSat-4 by September 2005 that communicacommunicating from the Bering tions on the move would be the focus Sea off Alaska’s western coast to of TacSat-4. By that point, TacSat-4 Coast Guard Island, Alameda, Calif. already had science and technology Returning from an escort and icefunding. breaking mission to Nome, Alaska, The TacSat-4 spacecraft cost assisting the Russian tanker Renda $75 million, and the launch cost is delivery of emergency fuel to the $43 million, excluding launch delay town, the Healy was approximately costs, according to Hurley. Ground 260 nautical miles south of the Arcsystems, operations and user support tic Circle during the test. costs are additional. The Marine Corps is also par“We’re working with users on ticipating in the planning by testevaluation and training,” Hurley ing TacSat-4 on portable ground said. equipment. The Air Force Space and Mis“There are so many different sile Systems Center successfully kinds of SATCOM and how peolaunched the first 10-channel Tacple use them,” Hurley said. Whip Sat-4 spacecraft on a Minotaur IV antenna radios, for example, which rocket in Alaska on September 27, are very rugged and lightweight, are 2011. It is a 450-kilogram spacecraft hard to connect to geosynchronous satellites, but TacSat-4 may help TacSat-4 is the fourth in a series of military reconnaissance and communications with 25 MHz channels and a coverage satellites. [Photo courtesy of the Naval Research Laboratory] area 3,700 kilometers in diameter. them. NRL has scheduled additional launches planned at six-month increments to provide near continuous coverage worldwide, in Antenna Connections some cases augmenting geosynchronous satellites. Hurley estimated that each TacSat-4 satellite will have a The age-old problem for U.S. forces is the challenge in three-year life cycle, which in part accounts for the urgency of communicating while on the move with anyone outside their the task to successfully field TacSat-4. “The operational testers immediate line of sight. Part of TacSat-4’s appeal is that perare getting good results,” he said. sonnel in rugged terrain can communicate back to their headThe Canadian and U.K. defense ministries, among other quarters without having to walk into open area, stop and erect interested international partners, are also evaluating TacSat-4 an antenna and point it to the equator. Personnel have to take during the first year of user evaluation and training. these steps to communicate with geosynchronous satellites. TacSat-4 works very well for voice and for some data comTacSat-4 doesn’t require antenna pointing and can work with munications applications, according to its NRL program manexisting satellite radios. ager. “In theory, we can do data and video,” Hurley said. “With Most military satellites are geosynchronous ones that hover 56 kilobits per second, it’s not good for regular video, and it near the equator, and they lack the signal strength to commuwould have to be compressed” to 1MB and 200KB files, he said. nicate with omnidirectional antennas. TacSat-4’s satellite has a highly elliptical orbit with an altitude of 12,000 kilometers on one side of the orbit and an altitude of 700 kilometers on Sophisticated Components the other, however, allowing personnel in both valleys and at high orbits to use them, in addition to those in between Although relatively low cost and easy to field, TacSat-4’s those extremes. In order to serve users in different locations, satellite has sophisticated components. TacSat-4’s coverage area may be moved within 24 hours. For example, Space Micro created the X-band amplifier There are two profiles of TacSat-4 users, according to used on the TacSat-4 satellite under a subcontract with Orbital Hurley. One class of users are those who are low priority Sciences Corp. In addition to launch delays, Space Micro had satellite communications users, such as logistics, so they to overcome challenges having to do with radiation, reliability can get knocked off transmissions in favor of higher priorand power amplification within a thermal design, according to ity users, such as special operators. A second class is users in David Czajkowksi, Space Micro’s chief operating officer. remote areas such as Afghanistan or in urban areas around the Czajkowski noted that TacSat-4 was Space Micro’s first RF world where it is difficult to receive and send geosynchronous contract, and company officials greatly appreciated the opporsatellite communications. tunity to show their abilities, which has created opportunities

MIT 16.5 | 21

“The technical challenge can be overcome. A bigger chalfor his company with other organizations. “Someone had to lenge in some cases is matching the acquisition approach with take a risk,” he said. “The satellite community likes to use the technical requirements, finding the right proven providers.” contract vehicle and assure performance that the The primary TacSat-4 payloads are the Comend-user expects,” he said. munications Experiment dual mode UHF and X-band multi-channel transponder for Blue Force Tracking and communications on the move, and X-Band Growth Praxis’ Spacecraft Communications Payload for data exfiltration. Meanwhile, the first commercial satellite comFor all its benefits and the amount of planning pany to provide service to the X-band frequency, that has gone into its development, TacSat-4 also which is an international frequency reserved for has limitations. Radiation tolerance is stumbling governments worldwide, including diplomatic, block for low-cost satellites such as TacSat-4. A humanitarian, military and humanitarian operaAndy Beegan single TacSat-4 communications satellite has a tions, reports an increase in its U.S. military work four-hour orbital period, moreover, but it prowith the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and duces an average coverage of two hours over a Iraq. given region, with up to three passes possible in “The boots on the ground are being replaced a day. by airborne ISR and other kinds of mobile sysTacSat-4 would require additional funding tems,” said Andrew Ruszkowski, vice president of and demonstrated demand to reach its potential. sales and marketing at XTAR. A constellation of four satellites with overlapping XTAR holds a GSA Schedule 70 contract and coverage in the northern latitudes could provide provides satellite coverage for a geographic area 24-hour, seven-day-a-week coverage for TacSat-4 from Denver east to Singapore. “There is a shift users. in the kinds of applications being used,” he said, Bandwidth is not a problem, though, for satsince the U.S. military still has a need to collect Andrew Ruszkowski ellite giant Inmarsat, which among other hybrid intelligence and surveillance data from far-flung satellite and terrestrial services can offer up to locales, with fewer operators to do the work. 800 Kbps L-band solution to the small terminals Ruszkowski noted that XTAR’s U.S. military that characterize disadvantaged DoD users. Inmarsat’s new business during the first half of government fiscal year 2012 satellite constellation of Ka satellites is compatible with the was stronger than it has been for at least the last two years, Wideband Global SATCOM System. despite the military pullout from Iraq and drawdown from Disadvantaged DoD users with video capture needs can use Afghanistan. “Their operational requirements are high,” he multiple megabytes, according to Andy Beegan, chief operatsaid, so such U.S. military users can’t tolerate being knocked off ing officer for Inmarsat Government, which provides secure, from military satellite systems as non-priority users. reliable mission-critical telecommunications to U.S. military XTAR’s Ruszkowski said that one group of significant XTAR and civilian organizations. Inmarsat Government can also users is testers and trainers. “We’re taking up the slack that work with video applications such as video sensors from ISR started to occur six to 12 months ago” with the drawing back platform, video conferencing and video requirements for wireof U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan and Iraq, he said. less devices on the edge. Inmarsat has three Ka-band satellite Some military customers like the X-band frequency because launches scheduled between 2013 and 2014. its satellites are 4 degrees apart, making it more accommodatInmarsat Government is seeing an increased volume of dising to users with applications that could cause interference on advantaged DoD users utilizing its services for ISR. “ISR is first the satellites, according to Ruszkowski. The C- and Ku-band and foremost a driver for high-bandwidth applications,” Beegan satellites, meanwhile, are 2 degrees apart, making interference said, with mobility applications also being an important factor from applications more likely and the satellites less tolerant of leading to increased demand. user errors, such as when a small antenna or mobile antenna is “By leasing commercial satellites such as Inmarsat and mispointed, which might be more common for smaller satellite delivering the connectivity end-to-end with embedded security terminal users. and managed service, disadvantaged DoD satellite communicaSystems integrators usually bundle XTAR’s services while tions users can obtain significant cost efficiencies, enabling working with U.S. military customers in providing broader DoD organizations to fulfill their missions at significantly less solutions, and in some cases the integrators also work with cost,” Beegan said. geosynchronous commercial satellite providers. Ruszkowski “To have high bandwidth in small terminals, they have to be reports that video, telecom networks and information technolcost effective,” he said. ogy are three broad uses of the X-band frequency for the U.S. Given the priority assigned to special operations forces as military, while logistics and point-to-point communications are the primary, mission-critical satellite users for ISR in the field, also popular applications. O other users such as logisticians ordering parts are not priority users, and therefore are disadvantaged. “Commercial industry For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly is usually a good place for them to start,” Beegan said of disadat or search our online archives for related stories at vantaged needing more reliable service. 22 | MIT 16.5

Tomorrow never comes? Actually, it already has. Someday, they say, you’ll get all the bandwidth, coverage and security you need—without having to cobble together a fragile network of providers. Well, welcome to “someday.” Inmarsat Government is the first company to provide true global, end-to-end, mission-critical telecommunication services. We were forged from three leading companies you already know: Segovia, number-one in managed network services. Stratos Government Services, a top technology provider. And Inmarsat, the leader in mobile satellite services. At Inmarsat Government, the industry’s most experienced professionals will create and manage your network with the leading satellite and terrestrial infrastructure. And the support of a select group of capable industry partners. We’ll take charge from end to end, throughout the lifecycle—

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Interoperability Champion Technology and information policy have to be in sync in order for coalition operations to work smoothly, says outgoing EUCOM J-6. (Editor’s note: As director of command, control, communications and war fighting integration, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Air Force Brigadier General Gregory Brundidge has had extensive experience with the knotty problems of information sharing and network interoperability involved in coalition operations. Brundidge, who is retiring, recently spoke with MIT about his perspectives on coalition interoperability. Following are his edited remarks.) EUCOM has been a leader in coalition operations. What lessons did you learn about international interoperability as a result of the several joint exercises and operations you worked on there? Clearly, from the standpoint of how we operate today, the focus on coalition operations is paramount. As far as lessons learned, we’re still learning. But overall for coalition operations, you have to go into it with the attitude that it’s a team sport. Every country that wants to participate in an operation is bringing a set of strengths and weaknesses that we have to mold together to deliver the desired operational capabilities for the coalition force commander. In that, you take all of the comers, including those who come with a lot and those who come with very little. But all of them are coming into the coalition willing to put whatever forces, capabilities and resources they bring into the operational mix. You have to be committed to operating together. If there isn’t an intense desire to overcome the disconnects in interoperability, then you have problems in getting the coalition to operate smoothly. One of the big things we learned through our exercises was that practice pays off. It is essential 24 | MIT 16.5

to practice like we operate. The more we can do things like Austere Challenge, Combined Endeavor and the various warfighter interoperability experiments and exercises, which bring countries together and give us the ability to practice with existing and future technologies, the better we can do it when we have to do it for real.

How can policy and technology work together to strengthen coalition operations? The two are like two sides of the same coin. We have the need for the information technology, which gives us an infinite ability to solve the problems of information exchange. Industry has done a wonderful job of delivering the things we need to overcome protocol problems. On the technical side of this, we have no shortage of solutions for how to move information between players. The challenge lies in information policy, information security, and information-sharing and exchange policies that govern how you use that technology. The two have to be in sync in order for coalition operations to work smoothly. Unfortunately, the IT side of the equation has outpaced our ability to write information policy. Our challenge is getting the two to be mutually supportive. Right now, you can’t in most cases

imagine a technical exchange scenario that industry, working with other countries, can’t solve. It’s just that once you provide that exchange medium, you still have to decide what [you are] allowed to share across that connection. That’s where the policy comes in, in that we can make things available very easily to our coalition partners. But we have to balance that against the policy of whether it is allowed. It’s a challenge. As new technologies come into our capability mix, the question gets asked about the requirements to leverage that technology to improve information sharing. We’re not waiting until the point of need to figure that out—instead, we’re thinking about solving those problems ahead of time. It’s still in its infancy, but I think we’ll catch up the policy side. On the other hand, the technology is moving so fast that it’s going to be rare that we ever have the policy out ahead of the technology.

What role did information interoperability play in the recent NATO campaign in Libya? The very things I just talked about manifested themselves. We had to deal with starting out as essentially a U.S. operation, with AFRICOM in the lead. EUCOM played a supporting

role, in providing certain resources and capabilities to ensure that the networks and information exchange requirements were met, primarily among the U.S. and a couple of Western European nations. Then, the whole operation transferred to NATO. In that transfer, we had to work several things, such as how the alliance would exchange information and communicate for that operation. Fortunately, in this case we had the NATO secret, wide-area network, which was basically available to all NATO operations. Since this was a NATO operation, we didn’t have the challenge of figuring out how to communicate once the partners came together. It was already an alliance-based network, for an alliance operation. So we avoided a major hurdle in that, but we did have another challenge. We had three nations—Jordan, U.A.E. and Qatar—that wanted to show their support for this operation but aren’t NATO members. They wanted to be part of some of the aerial operations. With those in the mix, we had to figure out how to communicate. A lot of the solutions we came up with were manual, because you can’t come into the NATO network unless you’re a NATO member. So we put some stopgap measures in place. A lot of things were “air gapped” in order to get information to the coalition partners. That wasn’t debilitating in this particular operation, but you can imagine scenarios where air-gapping equipment would slow things down significantly. Even in Europe, there are nations that aren’t members of NATO, such as Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. They didn’t play a major role in this operation, but the Swedes wanted to participate, and we were able to use some of our existing technologies to incorporate them.

How about coalition information security? Where do you put the balance between cooperation and security? It’s a constant tug of war. When you get down to the issues of information sharing policy, the big catches in that policy are the ones that deal with security—what can you and can’t you release? It’s all about ensuring that what we think is sensitive information, for the purposes of the U.S. government, NATO or something else, can get to the point where it can be shared with a coalition partner. That brings you to the discussion about what is operationally prudent to do. What I’ve learned so far in Europe, and from my experience in Iraq, is that when there is an operational need that conflicts with policy, we do everything we can to meet those policy requirements. But at the end of the day, the commander in charge has the leeway to release information in the case of operational necessity.

For information security from the standpoint of encrypting it and protecting it, once you start operating, we have already worked the right steps to ensure that the technology facilitates the exchange. It’s making sure that those in the loop are authorized, and that we have the right policy exception or waivers. The tug of war will always be there, even within NATO. Some countries will share as a NATO partners, but might not share in a bilateral situation.

IT and cyber efforts. We have to maximize unity of effort as we operate, looking at the things we’re trying to do individually and ask how to pool our energy and do it together. We also have to minimize the boundaries, where we’ve drawn a line around what we say is ours. Those boundaries create problems in cyberspace, because it doesn’t acknowledge their existence. We have to minimize those, while also harmonizing capabilities and synchronizing technology.

What are some of the key cybersecurity challenges facing EUCOM?

You served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications and Information Systems, Multi-National Force-Iraq. How would you describe the key lessons for the U.S. military about communications and information systems as a result of operations in Iraq?

In the cyber-domain that we operate in today, there are constant scans and probes—everyone is looking at networks to see where the vulnerabilities are that can be exploited. Our challenge is ensuring that in any environment, we have the ability to protect the key cyber-terrain that belongs to the theater, which we have to control in order to successfully operate. If you’re going to try to protect everything all the time, you probably will not succeed. But if you focus on the things that are critical to operations, then you can at least ensure that if there are problems, you are able to give the commander the means to operate. In terms of how we prepare for that, the big thing is to make sure we have the right, cyber-trained workforce, capabilities in terms of tools and systems, and the effective processes, procedures and policies to make it all work together.

What about interoperability among the services and with other U.S. agencies and nongovernmental organizations? More and more, it’s the comprehensive approach today, where several agencies and services are involved in operations. It’s a fact of life, just like coalition operations. We have to be prepared in our network operations to ensure that those all can work together. The trouble that we have is that all those things evolved individually, with agencies developing information capabilities to support themselves. Now that we’ve put them into an environment where they must operate together, the challenges are inherent in getting systems to connect. Even between agencies, there are policy issues that have to be reconciled. Usually, it’s easier when we’re all from the same country, but you’d be surprised how many things have to get clearance from one agency to another because of classification and compartmentalization. Those things are going to be there until you solve them. So there are several things within the U.S. government that we’ve jumped on the bandwagon to do on interagency and interservice

I was in Iraq in the sixth year of OIF, and it was eye-opening. You would think that by the sixth year of an operation, you would have integrated your networks and gotten everyone on a single joint environment. Not so. I showed up in November 2008 and traveled to the major bases. You could go to a base like Balad, and there were two separate networks—an Air Force network and an Army network, with duplicated switches and capabilities. The big take-away for me was that we can go to war more efficiently if we look at how to do ‘purple’ networking. Let’s build joint networks so that they all work together, and can deliver services to joint operations instead of each military service tending to its own. Of course, there will be unique things for each service, which should be where the services concentrate. But there’s no reason to duplicate email, directory services and network operations, for example. We can support the joint network with the same vigor we do for the individual services, but do it for the joint team. That was a huge lesson for me, and a reason why I’m so adamant that we can do cyber better—we just have to break down the barriers and stovepipes that we’ve build up because of the way we’re funded. There were also significant challenges for the people working with the Iraqis as part of the coalition. They wanted to share information with us, and we with them, but it was very hard to do at times. Frequently, the commander at the battalion or brigade level made a decision, for a particular operation, to get a waiver to share some information because it was operationally necessary to do so. I came away from Iraq more determined than ever to get serious about doing joint network operations. It’s not an option any more. O For more information, contact MIT Editor Harrison Donnelly at or search our online archives for related stories at

MIT 16.5 | 25


Commercial Off - the - Shelf Technology

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Security Solution Offers Integrated Communications Quintron Systems has integrated its AccessNsite interoperable security management solution with its voice communications technology to form a new UC3 Unified Command, Control & Communications solution for emergency, safety and security operations centers. The Quintron UC3 management suite provides unified access control, alarm monitoring, secure credential management, video surveillance

Operating System Releases Tracks IPv6 “Shadow Networks” PacketShaper version 9 from Blue Coat Systems is a new software operating system release for Blue Coat PacketShaper appliances that introduces the industry’s first network-, application- and content-level visibility and control for IPv6 “shadow networks” which have, up until now, run undetected on existing corporate IPv4 networks. In addition, the new software enables scalable performance of up to 8 gigabits per second to meet increased network demands with more video and other rich media, large software downloads and other network application traffic. PacketShaper version 9 adds IPv6 application and content visibility to the most powerful real time classification engine available today, with granular understanding of 700+ applications and tens of millions of websites categorized into 84 content categories. PacketShaper appliances are an increasingly critical tool for businesses and organizations to use in understanding the application traffic on Internet gateways and WAN links, managing the performance of applications across those networks and in providing awareness of security threats and compliance issues.

26 | MIT 16.5

and live voice communications. This mission critical system enables users to participate in live command and control conferences in real-time from anywhere in the world regardless of the voice system, media or technology at their disposal, including their workstation or laptop computers, cell phones, satellite phones, land lines, PBX extensions, radios of any type and on any frequency. The AccessNsite

integrated security management platform provides operators in security and safety operations centers the information necessary to evaluate unauthorized facility access and alarm events and other types of sensor triggers. When UC3 is deployed, the command center operator is automatically connected to designated incident responders through optional settings in the system configuration.

Security Information Manager Designed for Satellites The RT Logic subsidiary of Kratos Defense and Security Systems has released CyberC4:Alert, the first security information event manager designed specifically for satellite networks and operations. CyberC4:Alert provides network administrators and information security officers with real-time situational awareness and incident response for cybersecurity situational awareness and mission assurance. The continued integration of IP-enabled equipment throughout satellite and ground control environments is introducing more attack points and vulnerabilities to mission operations and sensitive information. CyberC4:Alert constantly monitors for cybersecurity threats by gathering security event data from across the satellite

network to provide situational awareness. A correlation engine with user-defined rules and policies prioritizes events by their severity, alerting users of system threats, performance issues, and compliance violations through a flexible drill-down dashboard. This all-in-one Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process-compliant application is designed for use on military, government and commercial SATCOM environments. 

Tablets Feature Data-at-Rest Encryption Solution for Android Panasonic has agreed to bundle and pre-load Mocana’s FIPS-certified Android security software on Panasonic’s new line of midsized tablets. The Panasonic BizPad 7-inch and the Panasonic BizPad 10.1-inch tablets will come pre-loaded with Mocana VeloDAR Encryption software, the industry’s most advanced data-at-rest encryption solution for Android. While the Android OS has some built-in encryption capability, most enterprise customers require even more. Mocana’s VeloDAR Encryption, which will be included on every Panasonic BizPad tablet, is a highly optimized data-at-rest (DAR)

encryption solution that leverages Mocana’s government-certified FIPS 140-2 Level 1 cryptographic engine, NanoCrypto. VeloDAR is designed to extend and enhance Android OS data-at-rest encryption capabilities to create a truly secure platform, better suited for sensitive and mission-critical enterprise environments. Purpose-built for smartphone and tablet environments, VeloDAR is the most advanced data-at-rest security solution on the market for Android OEMs. VeloDAR features a FIPS 140-2 level 1 certified encryption engine with AES-CBC 128-bit or AES-XTS 256 bit cryptography.

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Calendar June 25-27, 2012 Cyber Warfare and Security Summit Arlington, Va.

August 27-29, 2012 Air Force Information Technology Conference Montgomery, Ala.

June 25-27, 2012 Command and Control Summit Alexandria, Va.

September 17-19, 2012 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exhibition National Harbor, Md.

July 10-12, 2012 TechNet Land Forces—South Tampa, Fla.

September 25-27, 2012 Modern Day Marine Quantico, Va.

August 14-16, 2012 TechNet Land Forces—East Baltimore, Md.

October 29-November 1, 2012 MILCOM Orlando, Fla. MIT 16.5 | 27


Military Information Technology

Tim Leehealey Chief Executive Officer AccessData Q: What types of products and services does your company offer for the military and other customers? A: I would break those up into two basic categories. The overarching principle is enabling the military and government to conduct digital investigations of any kind. The first category of investigations is wrongdoing at an individual level, whether criminal or terrorist activity or just a misunderstanding. They use our tools to look at the digital evidence on cell phones, computers or other devices to figure out what actually happened. The more exciting part of the business, which is really booming, is the ‘flashlights’ that the government uses in the cybersecurity world. You can build walls, going to companies like Symantec or McAfee to build an encryption and firewall fortress around your information. But people usually figure out how to get around or through those walls, in which case you need to be able to investigate what is actually happening on the network. We provide a platform, CIRT, that integrates AccessData’s technologies— computer forensics, network forensics, large-scale data auditing and malware triage. This allows government agencies to see everything happening across the enterprise through a single pane of glass. ‘Have we been hacked?’ ‘Is there a malicious process on our network?’ It’s those types of questions that this platform enables you to answer. You can use detecting tools like ArcSight to give you the first strand of the ball of string, but our technology allows you to follow the string and ultimately figure out where it leads. Q: What are some of the ways that company’s products are or could be used by the military? A: I can’t talk about specifics of any individual customers, but what customers in general are doing is taking this 28 | MIT 16.5

technology, deploying it in whatever configuration that suits their particular needs, and then fundamentally integrating it into their incident response process. That can come in the form of technological integration, specifically with tools such as ArcSight, so that when an alert is triggered, our tool is configured to automatically act on that alert and generate investigative information that allows the user to figure out the extent of the incident and remediate. It can also be integrated into their human incident response process, in which people are trained so that when they see an alert on one of the many alerting tools out there, they use this tool to first look at the specific end nodes and network devices that are generating the alert, and then use other features within the CIRT platform to determine the extent of the incident, if there is one. In the industry, that is called root cause analysis. Q: What new products and services relevant to military and government customers do you hope to bring to the market in the future? A: We talk about three basic areas. The first is further integrating our technology into these alerting, blocking and other security technologies, so that it is fully integrated, and you don’t have people looking at the ArcSight solution and then, based on that alert, switching to the AccessData solution to perform

root cause analysis and response. We want to be able to have the tool field the alert and conduct an intelligent investigation on its own, at least in a preliminary sense. The next stage is making the tool easier and more powerful to the end-user. We will never remove the human from the incident response process. If you remove the human responder, because you’ve created a great algorithm or set of mechanisms, the attacker can easily modifies his or her attack to account for whatever predetermined set of responses you have put together. The essence of the idea that drives AccessData is that if you can write it, or figure it out ahead of time, then they will adjust to circumvent the protection. So we continue to explore how people are using our tools in different ways and taking advantage of the capability. There are many steps in investigations, and we’re trying to speed the investigator along to their goal. The last piece is, from a technologist’s perspective, potentially the most interesting—the alternative vectors of attack that we have to start considering, or alternative sources of information. We have done a lot more in terms of fundamentally integrating reverse engineering technologies into our products, because the malware has gotten that much more sophisticated. Using our malware analysis technology, which is currently part of the CIRT platform, you can identify suspected malicious code, confirm that it’s bad, then drill down to identify the code’s behavior and intent. This is a first pass analysis—or triage—that allows incident responders to take action right away when necessary, without having to wait for a malware team to perform the traditional analysis. We are continuing to develop this functionality in the product, so we can expose more sources of information. And we’re integrating support for new devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to keep up with the various vectors of attack. O

July 2012 Volume 16, Issue 6


Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Major General Robert S. Ferrell Commanding General Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM)

Features • Virtual Storage

A recent inquiry from the Army has highlighted growing interest in virtualized storage, in which physical storage from multiple devices is pooled into what appears to be a single storage device.

• Real Time Operating

Secure real time operating system software and security tools are finding growing uses in using classified data.

• Partner Communications

Communications companies are eager to help provide the radios and other technology the U.S. will leave with local forces when the pullout from Afghanistan is completed.

• Soldier Cybersecurity

Engineers at Army CECOM are exploring new strategy and technology for combatting the increasing menace of cyber-attacks.

Bonus Distribution TechNet Land Forces South July 10-12, 2012 Tampa, Fla.

Insertion Order Deadline: June 22, 2012 | Ad Materials Deadline: June 29, 2012

SECURE THE WEB while giving government visibility and control

Accelerate agency networks with WAN OPTIMIZATION

Blue Coat is a leading provider of Web security and WAN optimization solutions. We offer solutions that provide the visibility, acceleration and security required to optimize and secure the flow of information to any user, on any network, anywhere.


Implement manageable, flexible and mobile CLOUD SERVICES – anywhere in the world

MIT 16-5 (June 2012)  

Military Information Technology, Volume 16 Issue 5, June 2012

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