New Defense Secretary Arrives at Pentagon, Convenes COVID Meeting

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PENTAGON—Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III arrived at the Pentagon today and hit the ground running, greeting the senior staff and then immediately heading into meetings on combating the coronavirus. The Senate confirmed Austin at 11 a.m.; the vote was 93-2. He arrived at the Pentagon around noon and was “administratively sworn in” soon afterward.

Austin chaired a COVID-19 briefing attended by Deputy Secretary David L. Norquist, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, members of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Staff, DOD COVID-19 Coordinator Max Rose, the acting service secretaries, the service military chiefs and combatant commanders. The Senate and the House of Representatives waived the requirement that a defense secretary must have been retired seven years before assuming the position. Austin assured congressional leaders that he fully believes in civilian control of the U.S. military.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Austin addressed this issue. “I was a general and a soldier, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “But today, I appear before you as a citizen, the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, and I’m proud of that, too. If you confirm me, I am prepared to serve now as a civilian, fully acknowledging the importance of this distinction.” Austin, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., retired from the Army as the commander of U.S. Central Command in 2016.

In some of his first acts, Austin is contacting allies and partners around the world to assure them of America’s security commitments. His first call to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, is proof of the importance Austin places on allies.

Conquering COVID tops the immediate list of missions, but Austin also must configure the department to face China, which he called America’s “pacing threat” in his testimony. He also must consider the actions and strategy of a resurgent Russia. Iran remains a U.S. concern in the Middle East, and U.S. troops are still deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. North Korea is a wild card in the Indo-Pacific.

Threats from violent extremism remain. Although the physical caliphate of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has been eliminated, remnants of the group are still dangerous, DOD officials have said. Other groups, which share the toxic ideology, exist in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Austin also must keep his eyes on the future, continuing to build a department that has the capabilities needed to deter any foe and, if deterrence fails, to defeat that threat.

Source and photo: Pentagon

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STEM Conference honors Army CIO as 2020 Black Engineer of the Year

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WASHINGTON — Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, U.S. Army, who was sworn in as the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) on Aug. 1. 2017, was awarded the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for his outstanding efforts to mentor the next generation of American scientists, technologists, and engineers.

As the Army’s chief information officer and G-6, Lt. Gen. Crawford reports both to the secretary of the Army as CIO, and also to the chief of staff of the Army as G-6.

He sets the strategic direction of the Army network and supervises all command, control, communications, and computers (C4) and Information Technology (IT) functions. He also oversees the Army’s $12.2 billion IT programs, manages enterprise IT architecture, establishes and enforces IT policies, and directs the delivery of C4IT capabilities to support war-fighters and business users.

As the G-6, he advises the Chief of Staff of the Army on the network, communications, signal operations, information security, force structure, and equipping.

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JROTC photo at BEYA2020 courtesy Neal Daniels, Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he was commissioned through South Carolina State University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program on May 28, 1986, after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

ICYMI | bdpatoday 02.15.20During his 33 years of service, LTG Crawford served in leadership positions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. In previous assignments, he served as commanding general, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), director of C4/Cyber and Chief Information Officer, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), commanding general, 5th Signal Command (Theater); and G-6, U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Each year, the annual BEYA Conference hosts award ceremonies for people who create innovation and inspiration, opening up opportunities for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Black Engineer of the Year awards are made based upon peer-reviews of hundreds of nominations submitted by organizations and employers across the country.

— Sources, photos, and original articles: blackengineer.com and bdpatoday

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AT&T and U.S. Air Force Academy Collaborate to Explore Advanced Technologies

VIENNA, VA — AT&T and the U.S. Air Force Academy are working together on networking services and advanced technology capabilities. They entered a 5-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) aimed at boosting the Air Force’s use of modern technology at a pace more like the commercial sector.

“Networking is a platform for innovation and mission support,” said Lt. Col. Michael Chiaramonte, director of Air Force CyberWorx at the Air Force Academy. “With access to AT&T’s resources, we plan to advance our academic and research objectives. By leveraging public-private partnerships with AT&T and our other industry partners, we improve our understanding and use of technology and, ultimately, improve the Air Force’s mission capabilities.”

The collaboration aims to:

  • Offer knowledge and commercial best practices of cybersecurity, Internet of Things, and other AT&T-led innovations for the Air Force Academy faculty. Such innovations include Smart Base solutions, software-defined networking and 5G.
  • Provide hands-on demonstrations for Academy cadets.
  • Ensure AT&T has greater insight into the vision and technology needs of the U.S. Air Force.
  • Explore opportunities beyond academic interests.

airforce-pilot“Our work with the U.S. Air Force Academy will be much like an action-oriented academic ‘think tank.’ We’re here to help the Air Force keep pace with commercial innovation and pinpoint their current and future technology needs,” said Rocky Thurston, Client Executive VP, AT&T Public Sector.

Part of the Air Force’s larger mission

Partnerships fuel the Academy research program. There are 19 centers and 2 institutes, as well as cadets, faculty and industry all working together for the benefit of tomorrow’s Air Force. CyberWorx was established in 2016 as a public-private design center focused on cyber capability. It combines Air Force, academic and industry expertise with state of the art technology and innovative thinking to solve operational problems.

— Source: AT&T

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Cyber ROTC

The House Passes Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Policy Bill

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Wednesday,  May 18th, 2016, to add billions to a list of Pentagon weapons programs and training, then signed off on a $583 billion Pentagon budget. The final vote was 277-147.

cap-domeH.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, also calls for the establishment of ROTC Cyber Institutes. Mock wars in cyberspace, new technologies, new challenges, training, and recruiting new talent remain mission priorities.

See Section 562 subtext below.
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…SEC. 562. ESTABLISHMENT OF ROTC CYBER INSTITUTES AT SENIOR MILITARY COLLEGES.

(a) In General.—Chapter 103 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

usafa-cyber§ 2111c. Senior military colleges: ROTC cyber institutes

“(a) Program Authorized.—The Secretary of Defense may establish cyber institutes at each of the senior military colleges for the purpose of accelerating the development of foundational expertise in critical cyber operational skills for future military and civilian leaders of the armed forces and the Department of Defense, including such leaders of the reserve components.

“(b) Elements.—Each cyber institute established under this section shall include each of the following:

“(1) Training for members of the program who possess cyber operational expertise from beginning through advanced skill levels, including instruction and practical experiences that lead to cyber certifications recognized in the field.

“(2) Training in targeted strategic foreign language proficiency designed to significantly enhance critical cyber operational capabilities and tailored to current and anticipated readiness requirements.

“(3) Training related to mathematical foundations of cryptography and cryptographic theory and practice designed to complement and reinforce cyber education along with the strategic language programs critical to cyber operations.

“(4) Training designed to expand the pool of qualified cyber instructors necessary to support cyber education in regional school systems.

“(c) Partnerships With Department Of Defense And The Armed Forces.—Any cyber institute established under this section may enter into a partnership with any active or reserve component of the armed forces or any agency of the Department of Defense to facilitate the development of critical cyber skills.

“(d) Partnerships With Other Schools.—Any cyber institute established under this section may enter into a partnership with one or more local educational agencies to facilitate the development of critical cyber skills under the program among students attending the elementary and secondary schools of such agencies who may pursue a military career.

“(e) Senior Military Colleges.—The senior military colleges are the senior military colleges in section 2111a(f) of this title.”.

(b) Clerical Amendment.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
“2111c. Senior military colleges: ROTC cyber institutes.” …

— U.S. Air Force Academy photos
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