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  • UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    2 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    UK: Magazine of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S): desider: issue 126, January 2019

    desider is the monthly corporate magazine for Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). It is aimed at readers across the wider MOD, armed forces and industry, and covers stories and features about support to operations, equipment acquisition and support. It also covers the work of people in DE&S and its partners in industry, and other corporate news and information. Published 1 January 2019

  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 31, 2018

    2 janvier 2019 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 31, 2018

    ARMY Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. LLC, Oak Brook, Illinois, was awarded a $92,551,470 firm-fixed-price contract for channel improvement project, entrance channel with extension, and dredging. Bids were solicited via the internet with two received. Work will be performed in Corpus Christi, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 operations and maintenance; general construction; and non-federal funds in the combined amount of $92,551,470 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston, Texas, is the contracting activity (W912HY-19-C-0002). BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Radford, Virginia, was awarded an $89,520,585 modification (0053 09) to contract W52P1J-11-G-0053 for operations and maintenance of Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Radford, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2010, 2016 and 2017 other procurement, Army funds in the combined amount of $8,929,605 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc., Kingsport, Tennessee, was awarded a $74,756,071 modification (P00678) to contract DAAA09-98-E-0006 for Building G-3 NQ/RDX recrystallization construction at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. Work will be performed in Kingsport, Tennessee, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 30, 2021. Fiscal 2018 other procurement, Army funds in the amount of $74,756,071 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. Honeywell International Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded a $20,335,554 modification (P00100) to contract W56HZV-12-C-0344 for hardware services. Work will be performed in Phoenix, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2019 other procurement, Army; and Army working capital funds in the amount of $20,335,554 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Michigan, is the contracting activity. STG Inc.,* Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $17,098,410 modification (P00011) to contract W91RUS-18-C-0007 for information technology support services. Work will be performed in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $17,098,410 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Melwood Horticultural Training Center Inc., Upper Marlboro, Maryland, was awarded a $9,986,235 modification (P00014) to contract W91QV1-18-C-0008 for base operations. Work will be performed in Fort Meade, Maryland, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $9,986,235 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE DynCorp International LLC, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $75,020,715 firm-fixed-price contract for rotary wing aircraft maintenance. This contract provides for services to support all management, personnel, equipment and services necessary to perform 811th Operations Group rotary wing flight line maintenance. Work will be performed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and is expected to be complete by June 30, 2024. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition and five offers were received. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $28,555, are being obligated at the time of award. 11th Contracting Squadron, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, is the contracting activity (FA2860-19-C-0005). (Awarded Dec. 27, 2018) Pinnacle Solutions Inc., Huntsville, Alabama, has been awarded a $20,562,123 firm-fixed-price modification (P00040) to previously awarded contract FA8621-16-C-6281 for support of the KC-10 training system. This modification provides for the exercise of the fourth year option and incorporates within scope changes to contractual requirements resulting from a mutual agreement of the parties, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $100,583,419. Work will be performed at Travis Air Force Base, California; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Fairfield, California. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2019. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $20,316,980 are being obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the contracting activity. *Small business

  • A year-end Q&A with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

    31 décembre 2018 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    A year-end Q&A with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

    By Charlie Pinkerton Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan spoke with iPolitics for a year-end interview. Here's what he had to say. Q: During your time as Canada's defence minister, what are you most proud of? A: The thing I'm most proud of is that our defence policy is focused on looking after our people. I've always said our Number 1 asset is our people; if we look after them, everything else will start to fall into place. I'll give you an example of this: putting the tax-free allowance in the defence policy; if you're deployed on an operation internationally, it's tax-free. That gives families back home tremendous flexibility with what they can do. That's one of the things I'm proud of. We also include families as part of our defence policy. We're seeing tangible results. We've done some work, we've got more work to do. As you can see, this is what I'm focused on. Those procurement projects — ships, jets — are absolutely important, right? But the thing is, if we don't look after our people, those ships and jets don't mean anything. And that's probably what I'm most proud of: turning into a reality our focus in the defence policy, which is to our people. Q: What do you regret during your tenure as defence minister? A: Sometimes things can't move as fast as you want. I wouldn't call it a regret, but you want to see progress as fast as possible, and sometimes you end up pushing so hard, like with procurement: Why aren't we moving faster? We have these questions, and we're reminded that we need to hire enough people to move on these files. And so it's a reminder — it's not a regret — to never put your people in a position to over-extend themselves. You need to have a holistic Canadian Armed Forces that will look after itself. This whole conversation of more teeth, less tail — I hate that. In reality, making sure your pension cheques are given on time is just as important. Q: Is there something you really want to accomplish during the time remaining in your mandate? A: It goes back to my first point: making sure we have enough momentum that we're able to start executing all the things that we want, and having the right number of people to be able to move our projects forward. Also, making it a reality that, from the time somebody joins the military, we're focusing on resilience and that they know the country has their backs. For example, with the Transition Group, we've ensured that no future government can ever take that focus away from the people ever again. Q: Whether you or someone else takes over in a year's time, what will be the most pressing issue he or she faces? A: For me, a Number 1 priority will be making sure the environment inside the Canadian Armed Forces is one that's inclusive, that's harassment-free, and I know it seems very idealistic to say this, but any other goal is unacceptable, because it leaves leeway for things, because when you create that environment, you'll be able to get the best potential out of your people at the same time. That's the challenge we're working on. General (Jonathan) Vance is aggressively dealing with this, and Operation Honour is showing results. To me, it's a challenge, and a challenge that has to be met, regardless of who's in this position. Q: Is there something you wanted to accomplish that was pushed aside by larger or more pressing priorities? A: There's one thing I was really looking forward to doing, which is learn French. I sort of underestimated the time required of the job. However, I am still committed to learning French. I do what I can in my own time, and I'll learn it when I leave politics, because I think it's important for all Canadians to be able to speak both official languages. Q: You're up for re-election. You've been defence minister for three years, which is a relatively long time. Aside from Peter MacKay, who held the job for about six years, you've had one of the longest tenures of the past 20 years. If re-elected, will you seek re-appointment? A: I got into politics because I wanted to represent the neighbourhood I grew up in of Vancouver South, and I was very privileged to have that honour. When it comes to the next election, my job is going to be to make sure I connect with my community in my riding. That's the Number 1 job that I'm fighting for: to become the member of Parliament for Vancouver South. If the prime minister thinks again that my skills are needed, regardless of portfolio, I'd be honoured and privileged to serve. Q: Considering you got into politics to represent Vancouver South, is there something that being defence minister prevented you from doing, and that, given another term, you'd like to take on? A: In Vancouver South, my focus has been a lot on the youth, and I've done a lot of things in the riding, but I always feel like I wish I could do more. I want people to know that I — a person who grew up in that riding — can do some interesting things, and reach this portfolio, and that every single (constituent) can reach the highest levels. So that's the one thing I wish I had a little bit more time to do. But at the end of the day, if I still had that time, I would still have that regret, because I want to make sure we inspire the next generation, because I see so much potential in them.

  • US Spies Want to Know How to Spot Compromised AI

    31 décembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    US Spies Want to Know How to Spot Compromised AI

    BY DAVE GERSHGORN What if you were training an AI, and an adversary slipped a few altered images into its study set? The US government's research arm for intelligence organizations, IARPA, is looking for ideas on how to detect “Trojan” attacks on artificial intelligence, according to government procurement documents. Here's the problem the agency wants to solve: At a simple level, modern image-recognition AI learns from analyzing many images of an object. If you want to train an algorithm to detect pictures of a road signs, you have to supply it with pictures of different signs from all different angles. The algorithm learns the relationships between the pixels of the images, and how the structures and patterns of stop signs differ from those of speed-limit signs. But suppose that, during the AI-training phase, an adversary slipped a few extra images (Trojan horses) into your speed-limit-sign detector, ones showing stop signs with sticky notes on them. Now, if the adversary wants to trick your AI in the real world into thinking a stop sign is a speed-limit sign, it just has to put a sticky note on it. Imagine this in the world of autonomous cars; it could be a nightmare scenario. The kinds of tools that IARPA (Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) wants would be able to detect issues or anomalies after the algorithm has been trained to recognize different objects in images. This isn't the only kind of attack on AI that's possible. Security researchers have also warned about inherent flaws in the way artificial intelligence perceives the world, making it possible to alter physical objects like stop signs to make AI algorithms miscategorize them without ever messing with how it was trained, called “adversarial examples.” While neither Trojan attacks nor the adversarial examples are known to have been used by malicious parties in the real world, researchers have said they're increasingly possible. IARPA is looking at a short timeline as well, expecting the program to conclude after a maximum of two years.

  • The Army’s ‘triad of opportunity’

    31 décembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    The Army’s ‘triad of opportunity’

    By: Mike Gruss Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford is quick to remind his audience that the United States Army is one of the largest organizations in the world. Crawford understands the scope because, as the service's top uniformed IT official, any way the Army wants to take advantage of the revolution taking place in information technology must go through his office. Crawford became the service's chief information officer in August 2017 and since then has focused on the move to the cloud, hiring staff and protecting data. “A lot of things that we're looking at are aspirational, but what I will tell you is institutionally we are fundamentally in a different place than we were just 12 months ago,” he said. Crawford spoke recently with C4ISRNET Editor Mike Gruss. C4ISRNET: Talk about the Army's enterprise network and the major muscle movements taking place. LT. GEN. BRUCE CRAWFORD: For about the last 18 months, the Army's been focused on the tactical network. We really needed to take a step back from 17 years of continuous combat and say, “Have we properly networked the soldier?” Of course, the answer was “No.” In terms of the enterprise, there are about three big pieces to it. One has to do with our data. It's not just about storing our data. How do we better protect our data? If you pay attention to a lot of the research, 90 percent of the data that exists in the world today has been generated just in the last 24 months. You combine that with investments in cloud. So today it's about $200 billion. By 2020-2021 it's supposed to go to about $500 billion. One of the big focus areas has to be shifting from defending our networks to how do we protect our data. C4ISRNET: What else? CRAWFORD: I call it a triad of opportunity: you have got cloud, identity and access management and credentialing. Once we put our data in a secure, accessible, elastic environment, then how are we going to make sure that we can authenticate who you are, but you can actually access that data? So, taking on the issue of identity, credentialing and access management is the second leg in that stool. Last, but certainly not least, is the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The real value of that data is your ability to analyze that data, to predict what some of the challenges may be. C4ISRNET: Do you expect to see two-factor authentication or biometrics being used on the battlefield? CRAWFORD: That technology is here today. The vast majority of our Guard and Reserve forces don't get a government-issued Blackberry. When they come to work, they bring their device. So why shouldn't they be able to leverage their personal device and get access to information that has been put behind a two-party authentication firewall? One of the efforts that we have ongoing is to do exactly that. We're looking at the next six months before we have that capability, at least able to test it and put it in the hands of soldiers. C4ISRNET: Some of those technologies will rely on the cloud. How does the cloud help the Army make decisions faster? CRAWFORD: Right now, the Army has 1,112 data centers. Our goal is to have about 296 centers by 2022. So, you've got to ask yourself, with cloud technology available, do we even need data centers? Being able to aggregate that data, allowing the deployed soldiers to not have to take servers to the battlefield with them. Giving them the ability to be lighter and more mobile and being able to access that data from anywhere they are on the battlefield. It's pretty powerful in terms of increasing their mobility and the survivability of their data. C4ISRNET: How does cybersecurity fit into the Army's modernization process? CRAWFORD: You've heard about this concept of multidomain operations. It's not moving from this domain to this domain to this domain; it's organizing ourselves as an Army and posturing ourselves as an institution to be lethal in all these environments at once if we had to. So this idea of cybersecurity is critical to that. It has to be a part of our DNA as we move forward. The vast majority of the intrusions and vulnerabilities are human error. Cybersecurity has to be a part of who we are. The position now is that every domain that you're operating in is a contested environment. That requires a culture change to remain lethal. C4ISRNET: We hear a lot about Agile and Waterfall development. What's needed across the Army to make sure that it happens? CRAWFORD: A shared understanding of the problem. We recognized software optimization was a problem. The Army's expending a considerable amount of resources just on software sustainment over the [Future Year Defense Program]. Recognizing that it's an issue and then pulling together key stakeholders, not just the services, but organizations like the [National Security Agency] or organizations like FBI and CIA, which can innovate at a pace much faster than we can. My No. 1 concern when it comes to software optimization has to do with the resiliency of the applications developed by industry. A lot of the applications, they work great in the lab. But when you put them on a network, especially our tactical network, and then you have to try and extend that to the disadvantaged user at the tip of the spear? A lot of the applications don't perform as well as they would in a sterile environment. Applications have got to be more resilient. C4ISRNET: The storage of data is a challenge, but also the integration between networks or databases. What are the steps you're taking to make sure that soldiers can get all the information they need? CRAWFORD: One of the efforts that excites me the most has to do with this idea of a common operating environment. You're going to take 19 disparate battle command systems and collapse them onto three specific environments — a handheld environment, a mounted environment and a command post environment — and each is going to have the same look and feel. Now think about the infrastructure. If you can collapse these systems — all with their own server farms, all with their own standards, all developed by different people, all from different organizations — if you can collapse those all onto a common operating environment, think of the things that you can divest of, but also think of the complexity. We really need to remove the burden of integration from the backs of soldiers. There is a lot of value in that, to include increased mobility for the soldier. C4ISRNET: What are some of the technologies that get you excited? CRAWFORD: The U.S. Army is the third-largest organization of any kind in the world. You've got to ask yourself, “Do we have total asset visibility? Do we have the ability to know what's on our network?” Enterprise license agreements and the things of that nature. Imagine the power of that, if you had 100-percent visibility — not just of your network from a cybersecurity perspective, but when it comes to a term that I am calling information technology accountability, or investment accountability. If you had 100-percent investment accountability, meaning you knew every time an IT dollar was spent, who spent it and was that done against one of your modernization priorities. C4ISRNET: Those are a lot of the same problems that we see in the business world. You're not starting from scratch. You can use commercial products. CRAWFORD: Absolutely. So, there are several things that we are looking to partner more closely with industry. It's the technologies that give us total asset visibility and reduce the number of tools, reduce the number of enterprise license agreements, help us with better visibility of cybersecurity. Then there's another that I'm really interested in: it's talent. Do we have the talent, right now on board, to deliver the technologies that the Army's going to need in 2028 and the answer is no. We're in a race for talent. We've got an effort called “Workforce 2028” that is looking at the 13,600 IT professionals ... We've looked and asked, “OK, what skill sets are really required, based on what we know now, in the next 5 to 10 years?” That's a tough one. C4ISRNET: What do you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months? CRAWFORD: I talked about a race for talent. That's really important that we posture ourselves to get the right people on the team. C4ISRNET: How do you measure that, though? CRAWFORD: Well, you've got to measure it in terms of knowing what skill sets you need, so there's some work that has to be done upfront and we're doing that work now. And you either began — you created a process to allow you to iterate and field the skill sets — or you didn't. It won't be that difficult to measure, but it's got to be an institutional approach. It's not just in the Pentagon. I want to be able to tell you a year from now that we have created a process or leveraged an existing process, because we've actually been granted some authorities by Congress and others over the last couple of years to better posture ourselves. The other thing has to do with protecting our data. Over the next four years, I want to put 25 percent of 8,000 existing applications in a cloud hosting environment. And I've created a process that allows us to do that. It's in support of and synchronized with where the DoD, Mr. [Dana] Deasy is going with the JEDI effort. We live in times now where status quo can no longer be the norm.

  • Budget Busters: What to Look For in 2019 and Beyond

    31 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Budget Busters: What to Look For in 2019 and Beyond

    By PAUL MCLEARY The release of the 2020 defense budget is still over a month away, and it's already been a wild ride. A look at what has happened, and what might happen next. WASHINGTON: If there's one complaint that has sounded a consistent across the Joint Chiefs and Pentagon leadership in recent years, it has been the lack of predictability in year-to-year funding. If there's one thing we have learned about President Trump, it's that nothing is certain until the very end. And even when there's a decision, it can be flipped, rehashed, tinkered with or forgotten about in the time it take to knock out a Tweet on phone. After two years of budget certainty in 2018-19, the 2020 submission was humming along at $733 billion — until it wasn't. In late October, the number plummeted (relatively speaking) to $700 billion, until the president was convinced by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — not yet on his way out at the time — to rocket it up to $750 billion. But even that number isn't certain. Most analysts see the 2020 submission settling around the $733 billion level. Visiting US troops at the Al Asad air base on Dec. 26, the president gave the latest vague update. “I mean, I want to see costs come down, too. But not when it comes to our military. You have to have the finest equipment anywhere in the world, and you have that — $716 billion. And this year, again, we're going to be — don't tell anybody because nobody else knows — even a little bit higher.” Whatever the number is, it appears likely that incoming acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will be the one to deliver and defend it on Capitol Hill in February, as Mattis has been told to leave by Jan. 1. It's unclear what effect the firing of Mattis will have on the process, or if there will be any significant strategic shifts for the department given the change in leadership. As budget guru Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies told me this week — specifically in reference to the Space Force, but it really applies across the entire budget — “the thing to keep in mind is that this is, so far, just the Pentagon's proposal to the White House. It's not clear if the White House is going to agree to this. The president has a way of sticking to his ideas even if his own administration recommends otherwise.” Here are a few of the stories we've done over the past months breaking down what is happening, and what might — might — happen next. Full article:

  • DARPA program blending robots in the squad to find and destroy threats

    31 décembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    DARPA program blending robots in the squad to find and destroy threats

    By: Todd South The agency that invented stealth technology, the internet, and the M16 has its sights focused on enhancing how the infantry squad works on the battlefield with robots, and advanced targeting and sensing gear. The Squad X program saw its first week-long series of tests at Twentynine Palms, California, this past year. At that event, Marine squads used air and ground vehicles to detect physical, electromagnetic and cyber threats, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency's program manager for their Tactical Technology Office, Army Lt. Col. Phil Root said that the first experiment in the program demonstrated “the ability for the squad to communicate and collaborate, even while ‘dancing on the edge of connectivity.'” Squad X Core Technologies program, or SXCT, is an ongoing effort to develop novel technologies that would “extend squad awareness and engagement capabilities without imposing physical and cognitive burdens,” according to a DARPA press release. They aim to speed the development of new, lightweight, integrated systems that provide infantry squads awareness, adaptability and flexibility in complex environments. That effort is to enable dismounted soldiers and Marines to more intuitively understand and control their complex mission environments, according to Root. Those efforts fit within wider work being done by the Close Combat Lethality Task Force, a group set up this past year to enhance close combat capabilities for infantry, special operations, scouts and some engineers. Root is also the program manager for Squad X Core Technologies. He laid out four key technical areas that the program is exploring: Precision Engagement: Precisely engage threats while maintaining compatibility with infantry weapon systems and without imposing weight or operational burdens that would negatively affect mission effectiveness. Capabilities of interest include distributed, non-line-of-sight targeting and guided munitions. Non-Kinetic Engagement: Disrupt enemy command and control, communications and use of drones. Capabilities of interest include disaggregated electronic surveillance and coordinated effects from distributed platforms. Squad Sensing: Detect potential threats at a squad-relevant operational pace. Capabilities of interest include multi-source data fusion and autonomous threat detection. Squad Autonomy: Increase squad members' real-time knowledge of their own and teammates' locations in GPS-denied environments using embedded unmanned air and ground systems. Capabilities of interest include robust collaboration between humans and unmanned systems. Some of those areas were previously explored in 2015 with DARPA's squad technology integration efforts. The tools used to detect threats in the experiments were newer, lighter, versions of previous capabilities. But the release did not provide detailed examples of the gear that Marines tested. “Each run, they learned a bit more on the systems and how they could support the operation,” said Root. “By the end, they were using the unmanned ground and aerial systems to maximize the squad's combat power and allow a squad to complete a mission that normally would take a platoon to execute.” The August event at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center was one of a number of experiments in communications, cyber, EW, loitering munitions and targeting that was conducted over the past year. Both Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, and CACI's BIT Systems are working for ways to enhance infantry capabilities using manned-unmanned teaming, according to the release. Marines testing Lockheed Martin's Augmented Spectral Situational Awareness, and Unaided Localization for Transformative Squads, known as the ASSAULTS system, used autonomous robots with sensor systems to detect enemy locations, allowing the Marines to target the enemy with a precision 40mm grenade before the enemy could detect their movement, according to the release. Small units using CACI's BITS Electronic Attack Module were able to detect, locate, and attack specific threats in the radio frequency and cyber domains. This is all part of larger efforts to put more detection and fires at lower echelons in both the Army and Marine Corps.

  • Defense Outlook 2019

    31 décembre 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Defense Outlook 2019

  • Air Force begins to roll out special cyber defense teams

    31 décembre 2018 | International, C4ISR

    Air Force begins to roll out special cyber defense teams

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Air Force is beginning to build specialized cyber teams across the service whose primary mission is to defend local installations and critical mission tasks from cyberattacks. These teams will ensure that a particular wing or smaller organization can complete their mission from a cyber perspective, Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner, commander of 24th Air Force/Air Forces Cyber, told Fifth Domain in a November interview. For example, Skinner said if a wing has an F-16 unit that's responsible for offensive counter air or defensive counter air support, mission defense teams will understand those weapon system and everything that goes into making those air sorties successful as a way to defend that mission from a cyber standpoint. As an example, an eight-man team at the 2nd Weather Group within the 557th Weather Wing monitors the network and recently discovered several “bogus” account requests. The commander, Col. Patrick Williams, said the team was able to figure out that many of the requests were either bots or foreign requests that “had no business being on that network.” By working with the Network Operations and Security Center to eliminate that activity, the number of requests dropped by 80 percent, a huge win, Williams said. He added this was done with just a nascent mission defense team given that the teams are just being filled out across the major commands now. Skinner said each major command is at a different point in activating the teams. In addition, Air Force leaders said the service hopes to achieve efficiencies within its entire IT and cyber defense enterprise. The officials pointed to the Air Force's “enterprise IT as a service” pilot, which examines what efficiencies can be gained by having commercial companies conduct the IT services as opposed to having airmen maintain the IT infrastructure. One benefit of such a move could be that it frees up personnel to spend more time on cyber defense. “Our core strategic theme is moving from IT focused delivery into mission defense teams,” Bill Marion, deputy CIO of the Air Force, said during a keynote presentation in early December. Skinner said the service will likely be able to “re-mission” workers from their IT positions and assign them to these more active defensive roles such as mission defense teams. These mission defense teams are different from cyber protection teams that the Air Force, and other services, provide to U.S. Cyber Command. “In my eyes the [mission defense team] is a [cyber protection team] lite,” Skinner said. "We're very proud of our cyber protection team training and I think that the more of that I can get with our mission defense teams, the more successful they'll be and then our cyber protection teams can be really focused on the high end, the big threats that we'll run into in a peer competition and peer adversaries.”

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