Monday, August 25, 2014

Officials Expand Space-tracking Website



By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 – Defense Department officials announced additions to its space situational awareness program’s Space-Track.org website.

In a recent telephone interview with DoD News, Air Force Maj. Gen. David D. Thompson, U.S. Strategic Command’s director of plans and policy at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, said the release of new high-quality positional information on space debris of an unknown origin will help owner-operators better protect their satellites from these objects and ultimately create less space debris.

“We run a predictive program that shows where the objects are, where they will be in the future, and the potential for these objects to run into each other,” Thompson said.

Thompson explained that most of the debris that is considered “objects of unknown origin” resulted from launches or space collisions, but has not been definitively identified by source.

Thousands of space objects

The Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California currently tracks more than 17,000 objects in space on a continuous basis, Thompson said. Among those objects, he said, about 1,100 are active satellites currently conducting operations.

The average person has a lot more invested in space than he or she may realize, Thompson said.

“We have more than 30 GPS satellites on orbit today providing global navigation and positioning for the world,” the general said.

With modern smart phones offering so many diverse functions, the loss of connectivity and functionality could cripple a fair amount of consumers in the United States and abroad.

“Networks that run those and the timing required to keep them all in sync is enabled through the global positioning system that every U.S. citizen and just about every advanced global citizen depends on,” Thompson said.

Yet it is the other approximately 16,000 objects -- the ones not active and/or of unknown origin in space -- that JFCC Space and Stratcom are most concerned with.

Objects present collision threat

Many objects, ranging from at least the size of the human fist to as large as the international space station, which is slightly larger than a full-sized soccer field, continue to pose a collision threat in space, Thompson said.

“There is also a high volume of debris smaller than the average fist that [JFCC Space] cannot track that are also on orbit today,” he said.

With old satellites and debris orbiting at thousands of miles per hour, the probability of a collision poses a threat to the continuing mission of operational satellites.

Exchange of space information

While some active satellites are not maneuverable, JFCC Space officials said they try to inform the owners of all satellites that they may want to take action to reduce the likelihood of collision.

“Exchanging information allows spacefaring organizations to take action to reduce the risk of a collision that could generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of additional space debris,” said Lt. Gen. John W. Raymond, JFCC Space commander. “JFCC Space shares information globally because it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure the safety of the space domain.”

An example of space cluttering occurred in 2007, Thompson said, when the Chinese conducted an anti-satellite weapons test and almost immediately created 1,500 new objects that pose a risk to satellites in orbit.

Stratcom tracks space objects

And after the collision of an inoperable spacecraft with a commercial communications satellite in 2009, Stratcom took on the role for the world in keeping track of such objects and providing that warning to others to prevent the situation from worsening, Thompson said.

“We have the assigned responsibility for planning and conducting space operations,” said Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, Stratcom’s commander.

“By sharing previously unavailable information on space objects, we’re helping nations that operate in space to do so safely and effectively,” Haney added. “It is one way we fulfill our assigned space mission for the U.S. and its allies, while also protecting capabilities important to citizens around the world.”

Yet it is a mission that extends beyond the average civilian.

Warfighters depend on satellites

Joint warfighters depend on advanced warning such as missile launch or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance from satellite systems, Thompson said.

“It’s understanding what’s there [in space], what [the object] is doing, and how it poses a threat to our military mission, to our ability to support joint forces and contribute to the global good,” the general said. “While space is a very big place, there are a lot of things up there.”

As such, for several years, JFCC Space has been responsible for monitoring, coordinating and synchronizing space operations for the Department of Defense.

“We are the single point of contact for U.S. military space operational matters,” Raymond said. “We are not, however, the only ones who operate in that environment.”

Many organizations in space

Many public, private, commercial and other governmental organizations conduct space operations.

“Space is not owned by anyone, it is used by all and we strongly support responsible and safe use of space and transparency of operations that go on in space,” Thompson said.

Reversing congestion and pollution in space, he said, is a complex task.

“We are talking decades or centuries before the environment will clean itself naturally so we have to share and act responsibly with this precious resource because it’s important to all of us,” Thompson said.

ALCOM gets Alaska Renewable Energy tour

by Alaskan Command Public Affairs

8/22/2014 - FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Hot springs that generate geothermal energy, pellets to replace wood in fireplaces and turning garbage into an energy source were all things members of Alaskan Command learned when they visited the 9th Annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power in Fairbanks Sunday.

Air Force Lt. Col. Adrian Crowley and Air Force Maj. Jason Toole attended the site visit with Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz to learn more about renewable energy research and needs in Alaska.

"It's important for the Defense Department to look at renewables and alternative types of energy because of the amount of consumption we have," Crowley said. "We want to be good stewards of the environment, reduce our operating costs, and ensure energy resilience ... and these visits help us understand how we can do that."

The annual fair is hosted by the Chena Hot Springs Resort where the director harnessed and now uses geothermal power to operate a year round greenhouse.

"We were given a $3 million grant to study geothermal energy and bring it to Alaska," said Bernie Karl, director of the Chena Hot Springs resort. "And we've been able to do it. Working with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, we built the furthest north year-round production greenhouse in the world. When it's negative fifty degrees outside at Chena Hot Springs, we're still growing lettuce, tomatoes and other various crops in our temperature-controlled greenhouse."

Alaska is a prime laboratory for energy research, because even though the state produces oil, delivery to the far flung corners of the state is difficult and expensive.

According to the director of the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Gwen Holdmann, Alaska provides a living laboratory because energy needs can be very sudden, very dramatic and very destructive. "Here in Alaska, we are technology agnostic. We use whatever works because we have to."

Examples of that innovation by Alaskans can be found all over. In Igiugig, the population of 60 installed a hydrokinetic energy device and has the cleanest dump in the state because it has found ways to use methane and to recycle.

"Surfing is a major pastime in Yakutat, and they have found a way to harness wave energy," Holdmann said. "The 750 residents of St. Paul Island have gone 15 years using wind energy without a battery. The airport is run completely on that energy. They also use black blades to help shed ice on the turbine because the sun is attracted to it in the winter. That has significantly cut down on energy costs for them."

Kodiak Island's energy is now 100 percent renewables and Cordova's power system is totally underground.

Twelve percent of the world's microgrids reside in Alaska. There are more microgrids in the nation's 49th state than anywhere else in the world.

Energy Secretary Moniz reiterated the department's Revolution Now initiative to bring alternative and renewable fuels to the United States.

"These initiatives are important because there is substantial warming at some latitudes," he said. "In Alaska, there is real innovation going on here because there are difficult energy issues in remote villages. Renewable technology could help mitigate some of that disruption."

The defense department has an important mission to conduct homeland defense, civil support, and mission assurance in Alaska to defend and secure the United States and its interests. This responsibility requires effective and efficient sources of energy to ensure success. Renewable energy offers the DoD opportunities to diversify their energy portfolio in Alaska while also potentially providing more cost effective ways to produce energy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stewards of the Sea: Gettysburg Partners With Marine Biologists



By Ensign Tommy Changaris, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- A team of Navy-trained marine biologists embarked aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) Aug 18-22.

The team of marine biologists trained Gettysburg's Sailors and assessed their ability to spot sensitive marine life in the ocean. The team stood underway watches on the bridge wings with binoculars and radios searching for and documenting marine mammals.

"Our effort here is designed to ensure the crew is well-trained and is a role model for Navy stewardship of the ocean" said Jen James, marine biologist. "Our presence and training will only strengthen the training and awareness of the crew."

Navy marine biologists are required to assess the effectiveness of Navy lookouts in a global effort to ensure ships train and operate to their fullest capabilities while remaining in compliance with environmental regulations.

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Davone Osbyward, was one of the lookouts who underwent training and observation and said the training he received inspired him to become a better steward of the environment.

"There is so much information out there about marine life and the easy steps we in the Navy can do to help protect it," said Osbyward. "It was a really eye-opening experience."

Despite their short time on board, the team was impressed by how quickly the crew rallied around them.

"The entire crew has been fully engaged and supportive of our presence from the beginning," said Andrew Dimatteo, marine biologist. "They really did everything they could to ensure our trip was a success."

Cmdr. Nathan Scherry, executive officer aboard USS Gettysburg, said the marine biologists were extremely excited to be onboard and perform their assigned task.

"This was such a positive experience for both parties involved" said Scherry. "We received valuable training emphasizing the importance of keeping our environment safe while still being able to fully conduct our mission at sea."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Energy Stars: Space Command team wins national award

by Auburn Davis
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs


8/22/2014 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- The United States Department of Energy and the Federal Interagency Energy Management Task Force announced Headquarters Air Force Space Command and the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron Energy Team are the recipients of the 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for outstanding achievements in energy, water and fleet management during the 2013 fiscal year.

The Energy Team consists of Todd Wynn, Tim Pugh, Monte McVay, Fox Theriault, Vistasp Jijina, Chuck McGarvey, Jim Dowdy, Air Force Space Command directorate of Installations, Logistics and Mission Support, Maj. Tony Muro and Lt. Col. Brian Smith, AFSPC directorate of Plans and Requirements, Martha Wilkinson, AFSPC directorate of Air, Space and Information Operations, Jim Jacobsen and Randall Pieper, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, and Andy Roake, AFSPC Public Affairs.

The team developed an energy-lowering strategy focused on the top two energy intense installations, which are high-efficiency exterior lighting and fleet fuel.

They garnered a $15.3 million project to connect Clear Air Force Station to an electric grid, saving 659,561 MBTU of wasted energy and $1.5 million annually.

The team also spearheaded $9 million in energy initiatives at Thule Air Base, Greenland, improving energy efficiency of 15 megawatt power plant and 4 energy intensive facilities; saving 636,000 gallons of Jet Propellent-8, 25,088 MBTU and $2.9 million annually.

They led the Air Force in executing a $4.9 million strategic purchase of 6,600 Light Emitting Diode fixtures to replace street and parking lot lights at installations across Air Force Space Command; saving 80,978 million MBTU and $1 million annually.

AFSPC was first to establish Ethanol-85 infrastructure at all installations and fully implement Biodiesel throughout the fleet, which is an Air Force benchmark.

The energy team launched the Department of Defense's advancement of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) technologies at Los Angeles Air Force Base, which was the first federal facility to replace entire general purpose fleet with PEVs.

Comprehensive energy and water conservation efforts led AFSPC to a 29 percent reduction in facility energy intensity, 46 percent reduction in water intensity, 11 percent reduction in fleet petroleum consumption and a 50 percent increase in alternate fuel from their respective baseline years.

Combined efforts and teamwork of the team exceeded all Executive Order 13514 and Energy Independence and Security Act goals.

The Federal Energy Management Program will honor the award winners in Washington DC later this year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Philadelphia University Girl Scout STEM Summer Camp visits NAVSSES



By Kate Hogarth, Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station Public Affairs

PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division (NAVSSES) hosted more than 30 girls from the Philadelphia area on Aug. 15 as part of a summer camp, where the students presented their projects, toured the test sites and learned about internship opportunities.

This is the third year NAVSSES has teamed up with Philadelphia University and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania for the two-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) camp sponsored by the National Defense Education Program.

Irene Katacinski, deputy of Small Business Programs, organized the camp with help from NAVSSES employees Morgan Watson, Cleao Henderson, Cara Mazzarini, Britney Gray and Brandy-Mickel Rambus.

"Volunteering for STEM programs is a great outlet for me. Between travel for work and being at my desk, it is a really refreshing experience to be able to see kids excited when it comes to STEM," said Henderson, from the Power Transmission Branch. "It takes me back to where I started with my passion and my love for engineering."

Rambus, with the Technology Deployment Branch and camp volunteer for the past two years said, "It is a great opportunity to expose young ladies to engineering, science and thought provoking innovation."

Gray, with the Technical Manuals Branch, visited the camp at the Philadelphia University campus to introduce the middle school-age girls to the SeaPerch Challenge. "My goal was to try to get them excited about the challenge," Gray said. "I think this is a great opportunity for girls this age to get exposed to engineering. I love to see the way they absorb everything and how quickly they take to things, it is really awesome."

This was the first time the camp was exposed to the SeaPerch Challenge. The girls were divided into teams of four and formed companies. According to the challenge, each company had to - build a self-powered underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), compete their ROV against the other teams, present a poster to include company information and design, engineering and manufacturer processes and explain how they worked as a team.

While at NAVSSES, the campers explained their SeaPerch projects to a panel of NAVSSES judges. "I like to take things apart and put them back together to see how they work," camper Loren Smith said. "I loved SeaPerch, it was so much fun."

Fused into the camp's curriculum is an energy debate. The girls are divided into teams and given an energy resource to defend. "They get very passionate about their energy source," Rambus said. "It is good to see them get behind what they were talking about and see their different personalities come out. They get really spirited about it."

Mazzarini, with the Sustainment and Modernization Branch, spoke to the girls about going to college, opportunities for engineers and what it is like to work at NAVSSES.

"I was fortunate I had someone push me into engineering," Mazzarini said. "I try to give back by encouraging other people to consider engineering and kind of be that push for someone else."

During the closing ceremony, Science and Engineering Apprentice Program (SEAP) students spoke to the campers about Navy internship opportunities, their learning experiences at NAVSSES and encouraged the campers to apply to the program.

"As an engineer there are a lot of venues where you could use your degree and your engineering skills to have a positive impact on the world," Mazzarini said.

The Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. It is the Navy's principal test and evaluation station and in-service engineering agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rogers: Cybercom Defending Networks, Nation



By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

FORT MEADE, Md., Aug. 18, 2014 – U.S. Cyber Command continues to expand its capabilities and capacity, Navy Adm. Mike Rogers said Aug. 14.

The U.S. Cyber Command commander and director of the National Security Agency was speaking during an interview at the NSA headquarters building here.

“The decision to create [U.S. Cyber Command] was a … recognition of a couple things. No. 1, the increasing importance of the cyber domain and the cyber mission set in Department of Defense operations in the 21st century,” Rogers said.

Such a command would add to the department’s ability to protect and defend its networks, and give policymakers and operational commanders a broader range of options, he said.

The second consideration involved DoD’s mission to defend the nation, coupled with the potential of nation-states, groups and individuals to conduct offensive cyber activities against critical U.S. infrastructure.

In that scenario, the admiral said, defense officials thought it was likely the president would “turn to the secretary of defense and say, ‘In your mission to defend the nation, I need you to do the same thing here in the cyber arena against this mission set critical to U.S. infrastructure, and I need an organization capable of doing that.’”

These conditions led the department to realize the need to create a traditional warfighting organization capable of executing a spectrum of cyberspace missions, Rogers said.

And, he added, they knew they needed to do so “with a dedicated professionalized workforce. This is not a pickup game where you just come casually to it.”

Rogers said he focuses on five priorities for Cybercom.

These are to build a trained and ready cyber force, put tools in place that create true situational awareness in cyberspace, create command-and-control and operational concepts to execute the mission, build a joint defensible network, and ensure Cybercom has the right policies and authorities that allow it to execute full-spectrum operations in cyberspace.

Making progress is important to Rogers, who characterized his ultimate goal as bringing U.S. Cyber Command to a level where it’s every bit as trained and ready as any carrier strike group in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility or any brigade combat team on the ground in Afghanistan.

“My objective during my time as the commander, first and foremost,” the admiral said, “is to ensure that we have brought to fruition the operational vision in cyber … [to make sure] it’s something real, it’s something tangible, and it is operationally ready to execute its assigned missions.”

That is happening as Cybercom brings its warfighting capability online, with the services generating a total cyber mission force of about 6,000 people by 2016, all trained to the same high standard and aligned in 133 teams with three core missions:

-- The Cyber National Mission Force, when directed, is responsible for defending the nation’s critical infrastructure and key resources.

-- The Cyber Combat Mission Force provides cyber support to combatant commanders across the globe; and

-- The Cyber Protection Force operates and defends the DoD information network, or DoDIN.

Defending the DoDIN is the focus of a partnership in progress with the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA.

The agency provides command and control and information-sharing capabilities and a globally accessible enterprise information infrastructure to warfighters, the president and national leaders, and other mission and coalition partners.

DISA, Rogers points out, is also a combat support agency.

The agency reports to acting DoD Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen, and its director is Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr.

“I have always believed … that we need to integrate operations and networks and our defensive workforce into one team,” Rogers said, “and that you are more effective in operating a network and in defending a network when you do it with one integrated approach.”

As a result, Rogers’ team decided they needed to create a relationship with DISA, he said, adding, “At the moment there’s no formal [command and control] line between us, but we’re in the process of creating one.”

As part of that process Rogers collaborates with Halvorsen and Hawkins.

“What I think we need to do,” he said during their meeting, “is create an operational construct that creates a direct linkage [between] U.S. Cyber Command, DISA and U.S. Cyber Command service components.”

It’s critical that the relationship includes the service components, Rogers said, “Because, under the current network structure today, those networks are largely run by [the] services. So we’ve got to create a relationship between DISA and the services that is very operational because you’ve got to maneuver networks, you’ve got to react to changes, and you can’t do that in a static kind of environment.”

He added, “We're in the process of doing that and I expect to roll it out in the fall. … You’ll hear it referred to as JFHQ DoDIN,” he said, or Joint Force Headquarters DoD Information Networks.

Rogers said that he, Halvorsen and Hawkins agree, this is the future of DISA.

“[DISA] will operate on the networks. They'll be part of our defensive effort so they will be out operating on the networks just like us,” he added.

“One of the core missions is the defense of the DoDIN,” Rogers said. “The forces associated with that mission will be assigned to DISA, to the services [and] to the combatant commanders.” So, he added, DISA will have some operational control over the cyber mission force to help execute their mission.

Another of Rogers’ priorities for Cybercom is to help develop a common situational awareness of “what’s happening in DoD networks,” he said.

The commander highlighted the need for speed and agility in the cyber arena, adding, “If you can’t visualize what you’re doing … you’re not going to be fast or as agile, and thus arguably not as effective as you need to be.”

Rogers said, “As an operational commander I am used to the idea of walking into a command center, looking at a visual depiction that through symbology, color and geography enables me to very quickly come to a sense of what's happening in this space. We are not there yet in the cyber arena.”

Establishing situational awareness in the cyber realm is a combination of technology and capability, the admiral said, and determining what knowledge is needed and what elements contribute to that.

“Is what U.S. Cyber Command needs to know about what's going on in the network world the same thing as a strike group commander needs in the Western Pacific? The same thing an Air Force air wing needs in Minot, North Dakota? The same thing a brigade combat team needs in Afghanistan? It will vary, so we've got to create a system that you can tailor to the needs of each commander,” he said.

Rogers noted there are many ongoing efforts to improve situational awareness, pointing out the need to work collaboratively to fix the problem.

“We do have some tools right now,” he added. “They’re just not as mature and comprehensive as I'd like them to be.”

Cyber is foundational to the future, the admiral said, and he often comments to his fellow operational commanders that cyber is a mission they have to own.

“The wars of the 20th century taught most warfighting professionals that, no matter what you do, a good foundational knowledge of logistics is probably going to stand you in good stead,” Rogers explained.

In the 21st century, he added, operational commanders may find that, regardless of their mission, they will need a sense of what’s going on in their networks, where they’re taking risk, and the impact of network structure and activities on their ability to execute the mission.

“It’s not something you turn to your communications officer … or your CIO and say, ‘I don't really understand this. Go out and do some of that for me.’ That isn't going to get us where we need to go,” the admiral said.

Rogers elaborated on the need for Cybercom to be ready.

During his time as Cybercom commander, he said he expects that a nation-state, group or individual will attempt to engage in offensive, destructive capability against critical U.S. infrastructure, from the power grid to the financial sector.

The Presidential Policy Directive for Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience outlines 16 designated U.S. Critical Infrastructure sectors.

Rogers says he tells his team they have to be ready to respond to such a call. But for an attack on the United States, Cybercom will support the Department of Homeland Security, which is the lead agency for broader security protections associated with critical infrastructure, and partner with the FBI, which is the lead agency for domestic attacks and law enforcement.

“Our biggest focus really is going to be bringing our capabilities to bear to attempt to interdict the attack before it ever gets to us,” the admiral said.

“Failing that,” he continued, “we'll probably also have some measure of capability that we can provide to work directly with those critical infrastructure networks to help address the critical vulnerabilities and where the networks could use stronger defensive capability.”

To prepare for such interagency collaboration in the event of a domestic cyberattack, the command trains as it will fight, Rogers said.

“In the military I'm used to the idea that you train like you fight. So we exercise [and] we replicate the things we think are going to occur in a combat scenario,” the admiral said. “I want to do the exact same thing with the same set of teammates I'm going to operate with if we get the order to do so.”

The department and Cybercom already do internal exercises, he said, as well as ongoing interagency exercises such as Cyber Guard, in which elements of the National Guard, reserves, NSA and Cybercom exercise their support to DHS and FBI responses to foreign-based attacks on simulated critical infrastructure networks.

The whole-of-government exercise, completed June 17, was designed to test operational and interagency coordination and tactical-level operations to prevent, mitigate and recover from a domestic cyber incident.

Cyber Guard is a good example, Rogers said, “but I want to build on that. DHS and FBI were there but I think we can do even more.”

Information sharing and partnerships with the critical infrastructure sectors is an important aspect of enabling Cybercom to more effectively interdict and stop an attack, if directed to do so by the president and defense secretary, he added.

The cyber threat is growing increasingly complex, the Cybercom commander said, and a more diverse set of actors is involved in the mission set, “from nation-states that continue to increase their capabilities, to groups, to individuals.”

In broad terms, he added, “you don’t see a crisis in the world today that doesn’t have a cyber aspect to it.”

For that reason and others, the ultimate construct of U.S. Cyber Command must be flexible, the admiral said.

“If you want to develop full-range capabilities and generate the maximum flexibility for their application, you’ve got to build a construct that recognizes we’re going to be supported sometimes, we’re going to be supporting other times, and sometimes we’re going to be doing both simultaneously,” Rogers said.

In one scenario Cybercom might be helping the commander in the Pacific, he said, and “at the same time we might be driving efforts to secure the U.S. financial infrastructure … and trying to support U.S. Central Command.

“It’s just the nature of things,” Rogers said, “because cyber is so global and so foundational.”