Intercepts

Quixotic Power; Don't Fear the Sniper; Cyber Battles; Card Crackdown; Praise, But...

Quixotic Power

Sand and heat in the Middle East have had crippling effects on the military during Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the constant desert wind is actually solving many problems.

Windmills have been set up as a reliable power source for information technology equipment, said Maj. Forrest Burke, chief of logistics information management for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.

"The wind is always blowing in the desert," Burke told the Interceptor. "Some people say, 'Why don't you use solar power?' Well, the sun goes down. The wind never stops."

But those sometimes powerful gusts also churn up sand and dust and knock over tents and satellite dishes, said Army Maj. Gen. Rip Detamore, commander of the 335th Theater Signal Command at Camp Doha, Kuwait, which supports all Army land component communications as well as CFLCC and its subordinate elements in southwest Asia.

"We haven't had any losses with environmental problems," Detamore said. "Our soldiers are doing tie-downs with the equipment...and not taking any shortcuts."

Don't Fear the Sniper

The Future Combat Systems program is still in its infancy in terms of actual product development, but prototypes of several systems have shown promise in simulations and live-fire tests.

According to James Montano, a program director with Boeing Co.'s Phantom Works, one system could some day act almost as a personal Patriot missile.

The active protection system uses sensor technology that would enable the destruction of incoming ballistics with a ballistic weapon of your own — literally hitting a bullet with a bullet.

Montano told the Interceptor that the system has already been tested successfully several times. He said one such test involved simultaneously firing two rocket-propelled grenades at a vehicle. The system detonated both devices.

Cyber Battles

As coalition forces continue to engage the enemy throughout Iraq, the number of battles being fought in cyberspace also has risen, according to Army information assurance officials.

Army Col. Mark Spillers, a reservist in the 335th Theater Signal Command and information assurance program manager in the CFLCC communications office at Camp Doha, said there has been a slight increase in cyberattacks against coalition systems since Operation Iraqi Freedom began, "but all along there have been pretty active attempts."

"These could be casual [probes], and sometimes we don't know if it's hackers trying to come in or simple scans," Spillers said during a March 29 phone interview. If a device is thought to be compromised, it is immediately isolated, taken off the network and scanned for viruses, but "we've done well to prevent that from becoming a problem."

The command's Detamore said there were spikes in attempts on the war's first day, "but nothing systemic on sources that tied back to the enemy."

"With anything with cyberwarfare, the enemy is all around and we're constantly working to stay one step ahead of them," Spillers said. "Sensors are constantly monitoring for scans or intrusion attempts against us."

Detamore, also a reservist, echoed that and said the command has "enhanced our protective stance" since the war began, but declined to provide further details.

Card Crackdown

In response to continuing waste, fraud and abuse of government-issued travel cards, Army officials have decided to crack down even harder. The Defense Department had already restricted how widely the cards are circulated in an effort to rein in servicemen and women and DOD employees who have racked up unauthorized charges.

Now, using the government travel card when changing duty stations will no longer be permitted, and Army officials said nonauthorized use will incur harsher penalties.

In addition to discontinuing use of the travel card during permanent change-of- station moves, a memorandum from the Office of the Secretary of the Army states that users must deactivate their cards before departing a duty station, unless they will be on temporary duty while en route.

Other changes to the travel card program, effective immediately: Commands and activities should not use the card to pay for conference registration fees; charge cards of mobilized reservists will be transferred to active-duty agencies and deactivated until use is required; and cardholders are not required to use their cards for travel expenses associated with mission deployments.

Praise, But...

Who would guess that "General Accounting Office," "praise," "financial management" and "DOD" could appear in the same breath?

GAO last week lauded DOD's policies to reduce payment recording errors. GAO cited "significant reductions" in discrepancies and said DOD used methods that were "either consistent with or better than those used for prior reporting on these issues."

But, of course, GAO did have a "but...." The report noted that DOD's troubled financial systems have a long way to go before they are ship-shape.

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

NEXT STORY: Telemedicine system does its part

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.