Multi-Domain Operations: Becoming Today’s Swiss Army Knife

Defense News recently released their annual Outlook . If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a great read consisting of a few dozen essays by world leaders looking at the trends and issues, like multi-domain operations, that will most impact the global defense industry.

This year, one essay in particular jumped out at me. General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, wrote an insightful article about multi-domain operations. His analogy of lanterns from the Revolutionary War is very apt, and it helps put into perspective the challenges we face today. Perhaps this quote from his essay is most concise:

“Whoever figures out how to quickly gather information in various domains and
just as quickly direct military actions will have the decisive advantage in battle.”

When General Goldfein talks about multi-domain, he is referring to the military’s work on land, at sea, in the air, in space and in the electromagnetic and cyberspace realms. Traditionally, most defense forces have focused on one domain at a time – in silos. Hence, why we have the Army (for land), Navy (for sea) and Air Force (for air). But domains are not mutually exclusive. They need to work interactively in order to gain the most benefit. As was quickly discovered as early as WWI, air supremacy can significantly improve land operations.

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Embedding Data Center Compute Capability at the Tactical Edge with Open Systems Architectures

At a high level, the vast majority of contemporary compute processing hardware may be divided into two domains: powerful data center processors and smaller, embedded devices. Embedded devices have the support of their data center big brothers via a network connection, giving them access to big data applications.

This approach works for many applications, but not all. Remotely accessed military tactical clouds require data center-like capabilities without data center support. This is achieved by embedding data center processors into military platforms using open system architectures (OSAs) and is ushering in next-generation military mission capabilities.

 military tactical clouds require data center-like capabilities without data center support

 

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RF & Microwave

Electronic Protection: An Overview of Electronic Warfare Part 5

In the first post of this series, we discussed the history of electronic warfare as it was being developed during WWII. While much has changed in the last 80 years, one constant remains true—the cat-and-mouse game to develop the superior technology that grants the owner control over the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS). When one nation deploys a new radar system, its adversary begins work on the technology to jam the radar. This prompts the first nation to modify their radar system with new features to protect it from the jammer, which brings us to the final topic in this series—electronic protection.

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RF & Microwave

Electronic Attack: An Overview of Electronic Warfare Part 4

Who remembers that scene in the movie Spaceballs where Lone Starr jams the enemy radar using raspberry jam, causing it to lose the “bleeps, the sweeps, and the creeps”? While Mel Brooks does show what electronic warfare can do, the details aren’t exactly accurate. In this post, we will clear up some of these details in our discussion on electronic attack.

M. B. (Director). (1987). Spaceballs. United States: MGM.

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Key Takeaways from the 55th Annual AOC Symposium and Conference

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how quickly technology progresses. It’s only been about a decade since Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. And today, between checking email, navigating to a new restaurant, sharing photos with family and turning the lights on or off in my kid’s room, it’s hard to image life without a smart phone.

Let’s go back in time to the year 1992—about 15 years before the iPhone and the beginning of the Joint Strike Fighter program. While the earliest prototypes flew in late 2000, it wasn’t until 2006 that the F-35 had its first test flight. Then, in 2011, almost two decades after the program began, the first production aircraft rolled off the assembly line. While this was a very long development time when compared to smart phones, no one would trust a smart phone with their life. That said, the digital revolution of the last decade is finding its way to the electronic warfare (EW) industry, and it’s forcing us to change how we deploy EW systems.

This new and continually changing reality was on everyone’s mind at the recent AOC Symposium and Conference held in Washington, DC. The symposium theme, “Winning the Electromagnetic Spectrum Domain: A Culture and Mind Shift”, captured the sentiment clearly.

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The Three C’s of Talent Attraction

As we embark on the digital age of recruiting we must, more than ever, ensure we are delivering on the key elements of talent attraction that serve to optimize hiring manager satisfaction, while also providing a best-in-class experience for the candidate. Having careers in both agency (3rd party) recruiting and the corporate world (scale operations, early career, executive recruitment, sourcing and leadership) for 15+ years, I have found successful recruiting organizations have the following three elements ingrained in each of their recruiters to serve at a high level on a consistent basis.

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Veterans at Mercury Systems Series

Veterans @MRCY: Dennis Vied

Dennis Vied, Lieutenant (retired), a native of Wyatt, Missouri, began his service in the US Navy after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1960. Reporting to the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) aircraft carrier, he served as an Assistant Navigator and Radar Navigation Officer with collateral duties as Officer of the Deck and CIC (Combat Information Center) watch standing.

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Veterans at Mercury Systems Series

Veterans @MRCY: Tim Willis

Timothy Thor Willis, Electronics Petty Officer (retired), grew up in the Trinity Mountains of Northern California. He was studying psychology in San Diego when the attack of 9/11 occurred. When this devastation hit the country, Tim felt compelled to do something and joined the US Coast Guard in 2002. After completing Basic Training in Cape May, New Jersey, he attended various electronics schools and specialized training courses. Tim was then stationed on the 378′ High Endurance Cutter “Rush” out of Honolulu, Hawaii (WHEC-723) for three years.

Timothy Thor Willis, Electronics Petty Officer (retired), Veterans at Mercury

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Veterans @MRCY: Mike Schneider

Mike Schneider, Colonel (retired), was a soldier for over 30 years and held a variety of US Army and Joint Command and Staff positions at all echelons of the Department of Defense. He served in operational assignments in Europe, the Pacific, the Middle East, and throughout the United States, commanding multiple units at the company level, an air assault battalion, and an airborne brigade. Mike served in a variety of strategic and operational planner positions at US Army Pacific, Multi-National Force Iraq, and both the Joint Staff and Army Staff in the Pentagon.

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Veterans at Mercury Systems Series

Veterans @MRCY: Mark Bruington

Mark Bruington, Captain (retired), served in the US Navy for 28 years as a Naval aviator. Before joining the Navy, he received a BS in Physics from San Francisco State University.

In his initial assignment with the A-6 Intruder attack aircraft, he supported a deployment for Operation Southern Watch in the Persian Gulf on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Following the retirement of the A-6, he transitioned to the F-14 Tomcat where he joined multiple squadrons all deploying aboard the John C. Stennis (CVN-74), mainly supporting Operation Southern Watch.

Mark then attended US Naval Test Pilot School where he was assigned to the Strike Test Squadron in Patuxent River, MD, flight testing both the F-14 and F/A-18 aircraft. During his time on shore duty, he received an MS in Systems Engineering from John Hopkins University. Following the events of 9/11, Mark once again deployed aboard the USS Stennis during Operation Enduring Freedom, flying missions in direct support of US and coalition ground forces in Afghanistan.

Veterans at Mercury - F-14 from the USS Stennis
Mark launching on a mission over Afghanistan in an F-14 from the USS Stennis

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