Science and Technology News

Friday, June 27, 2014

Dam Neck Explores Future of 3D Printing for Navy



By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Taylor N. Stinson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

DAM NECK, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy hosted its first Maker Faire, a series of workshops titled, "Print the Fleet," to introduce 3D printing and additive manufacturing to Sailors and other stakeholders attending the two-day event June 24 and 26 at Combat Direction Systems Activity (CDSA), Dam Neck, a Navy warfare center.

The Navy's event took place on the heels of the first White House Maker Faire, held June 18. The White House event showcased the work of entrepreneurs and forward thinkers from around the country, as well as students exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related skills.

"When you consider the cost and vulnerabilities of our existing Navy logistics and supply chains as well as the resource constraints we face, it quickly becomes clear that we have to reimagine how we do business," said Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics, during a video introduction.

"When advanced manufacturing and 3D printing becomes widely available, we envision a global network of advanced fabrication shops supported by Sailors with the skills and training to identify problems and make products."

The Navy aims to train Sailors with this expertise in the future, according to Cullom. Adopting 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing methods could drastically increase the speed of execution, improve readiness, decrease costs and avoid shipping parts around the world.

"Think of it as another tool in the toolbox," said Jim Lambeth, "Print The Fleet" lead at CDSA. "If there is a part needed and it doesn't exist in the inventory, we could design the part on demand and that will help us cut costs. This is one of the advantages additive manufacturing is going to bring to the Navy."

The Navy's vision is within days or hours of identifying a needed part on a ship, a model will be designed and uploaded to a database for printing, allowing for a more rapid response to the ship's needs.

Earlier this year, amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) installed a compact 3D printer on board for testing. Essex successfully printed sample parts as well as trained its Sailors on computer-aided design software.

"It's the biggest thing happening on the deck plate," said Capt. Jim Loper, concepts and innovations department head at Navy Warfare Development Center. "We put the printer on Essex specifically to get it in Sailors' hands so they could play with the technology and so we could learn the best way to use the printer."

A number of Navy labs ashore have a 3D printing capability. But at sea, being able to use 3D printing successfully within the dynamic environment of a high sea state will be a major milestone.

"The future of logistics is 3D printing," said Loper. "The quantity of supplies we carry on board could be reduced significantly if we 3D print those products on the ship. There really are no limits."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cybercom Chief: Partners Vital to Defending Infrastructure



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 – Building partnerships among the federal government, the private sector and academia is vital to bringing together capabilities in the defense of critical infrastructure, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command said yesterday.

Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, also director of the National Security Agency, shared his thoughts nearly 90 days after assuming command of Cybercom as he delivered the keynote address at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association cyber symposium in Baltimore.

“One of my first takeaways is cyber is the ultimate team sport,” he said. “There is no one single organization that has all the answers. There is no one single technology that will solve all of our problems [and] meet all of our challenges. This is a mission set that does not know clearly defined lines.”

The Defense Department, traditionally likes to use geography as one way to align its responsibilities to define its problem sets, the admiral said.

“Our networks just flat-out don’t recognize geography, which is one reason why U.S. Cyber Command is a little different,” Rogers said. “It is organized as a global command focused on a particular mission set.”

Rogers noted that DOD provides capabilities to support civil authorities in a wide range of scenarios almost every day all over the country.

“So cyber is no different in that regard,” he said. “But it’s different in the sense that it’s just something new.”

Rogers cited a recent meeting with the secretary of homeland security and the FBI director as one of the things he finds himself spending “a lot of time” doing: creating partnerships and relationships that help the U.S. government apply its capabilities to support the broader civil sector.

Cyber legislation “remains a very important part of this journey,” Rogers said, because while voluntary information-sharing has shown some progress, “it just has not gotten us where we need to be.”

“And I believe we have to come up with some vehicle to help the private sector deal with its very valid concerns about liability,” he added. “If we can’t bring this all together on a real-time basis, it’s like we’re fighting with one hand tied behind our backs. And it’s a losing defensive proposition to me.”

Rogers said being in a defensive mode means an organization is always responding and is “always behind the power curve in general.”

“My argument would be it’s the offensive piece that tends to have the easier job,” he said. “The defensive piece is really the hard work where partnerships, in particular, become so critical for us.”

Rogers also said he thinks Cybercom should assist its civilian counterparts in understanding how the federal government is organized to provide them cyber support.

“We are working our way through those steps right now,” he said, “but our ability to create those partnerships is critical to the future.”

The admiral also said he believes at some point in his time as commander of Cybercom, the nation will see efforts from another nation-state, group or set of individuals designed to cause destructive cyber impacts against critical U.S. infrastructure.

“I believe that will happen in my service lifetime,” he added. “So one of my primary focuses is how do you generate the capacity to stop that?”

DOD is going to be only one part of the effort, the admiral said.

“In the end, it’s about that broader set of partnerships,” Rogers told the audience. “They're going to be the key to our success.”

Social Media posts can have unintended consequences

by Airman 1st Class Jeff Parkinson
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


6/23/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- With social media on the rise, any post has the potential to go viral, which could be good or bad depending on the circumstances.

Anyone can view social media sites no matter the privacy setting. As Air Commandos, it's important to keep the Air Force Core Values in mind when posting.

Those who list the Air Force as their employer on their profile aren't only speaking for themselves; they are also representing the Air Force.

"When you list your employer and occupation, you then are representing it and can be held accountable for the things you post," said Staff Sgt. John Bainter, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs NCO in charge of social media. "If Airmen post inappropriate things or activities, they could have their core values questioned and can face disciplinary actions."

Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, distributed a social media policy on March 25, which was established to preserve operational security and maintain credibility.

Social media sites give AFSOC Airmen the opportunity to tell the Air Force story to a worldwide audience. However, these sites should be used responsibly.

"All AFSOC personnel are reminded that any time they post to social networking sites, even in a personal capacity, they are representing AFSOC, U.S. Special Operations Command and the Air Force," said Fiel in his policy letter. "You must use your best judgment at all times and avoid inappropriate and unprofessional behavior that could bring discredit upon yourself, your unit and the command."

According to Air Force Instruction 35-113, Airmen may not post any defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, abusive, profane, threatening, hateful, racially, ethnically, or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material.

In addition, AFI 1-1 states that Airmen who voice their personal opinions on social media sites should make it clear that they are speaking for themselves, not on behalf of the Air Force. Service members may not use their rank and service in situations where the context may imply official sanction or endorsement of their personal opinions.

"There are always consequences to what is written," Bainter said. "If you are about to post something that is questionable and may reflect negatively on the Air Force, you should review the guidance set forth in the AFIs.

"If you are still unsure, you should discuss the proposed post with your supervisor or the public affairs office," he added.

Ultimately, Airmen have the sole responsibility for what they post.

Aviano student rockets to robotics space camp

by Senior Airman Matthew Lotz
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


6/24/2014 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- On June 26, an Aviano Air Base middle school student will be one of 17 participants to attend the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Robotics Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Drew Gable, 12, son of Lt. Col. Daniel Gable, 31st Operations Support Squadron commander, and Mandi Gable, Department of Defense school tutor, was selected from 250 applicants to attend the academy.

"Drew is curious about everything and is constantly absorbing information like a sponge," said Mandi. "He treats life like a puzzle and just wants to figure out how the world works."

The 5-night program offers young engineers the opportunity to work in teams and explore real-world applications of science, technology, engineering and math.

Drew submitted for the contest back in March through the help of a yearly scholarship program offered by the Air Force Personnel Center.

"This camp will help me get better with math and technology and I know that will help me in school," said Drew. "Further into the future, I plan to use this experience to enhance the world's technology and make things safer and better, such as space travel and transportation here on Earth."

Drew's natural talent for engineering grew even more after he decided to join the robotics club at his school, which was advertised over the announcements one day. A few months later, he designed a robot that can automatically grade tests, much like the test-scoring machines used in schools.

"My big goal is to become exceptional in robotics," Drew explained. "I hope that with this camp this year, I can ultimately join the robotics team at the high school, even though I'm only a 7th grader."

Looking to the future, Drew claims that if he doesn't follow in his dad's footsteps and "cross into the blue," he wants to become a robotics engineer.

"Drew is growing and maturing so fast, but still maintains some childhood innocence," said Lt. Col. Gable. "He knocked our socks off by setting such a high goal and then achieving it so quickly."

On top of being awarded the opportunity to go to space camp, Drew was also recognized to participate in a Junior Leadership Seminar hosted by the Department of Defense Education Activity Europe, and won male 6th grader of the year at his school.

"I think next, I'm just going to move on in life and see how it goes," Drew laughed. "I'm going to continue to give myself a task and try to figure out a way to get it done quickly and efficiently using robots."

Friday, June 20, 2014

Is gaming a hobby or addiction?



By Senior Airman Levin Boland
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Much like other people from my generation, I grew up playing video games and now, I regret it.

From a very young age, I had multiple gaming platforms that allowed me to easily spend countless hours staring at the television. My education, physical fitness and social life suffered greatly. I had severe anxiety around other kids my age and was always that awkward, quiet kid falling asleep in the back of the class waiting for the day to be over so he could go home and play games.

When I played games, it was easy to get carried away and spend too much time in a virtual world of my choice where I could be anything and everything I wanted.

I always thought it was a harmless, easy way to forget about the stress of the day when I got home. All real-life problems would just disappear at the press of a button as I escaped into my own little world. Before I knew it, it was 2 a.m. and I spent the entire night playing a video game that has no positive effect in my real life.

Not being able to moderate your time in front of the big screen is a problem that has come to light over the past few years. According to a study conducted in 2009, the average time spent on media platforms for young adults in the United States is more than nine hours a day.

It is even beginning to be treated as an addiction like gambling and other eating disorders. There are in-patient and out-patient treatment centers that specialize in treating addictions to the Internet and gaming, and group therapy sessions for gamers who use the “12-Step Program” which is a set of guiding, spiritual principles that outlines a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion and behavioral problems.

Just like other addictions, it has been known to cause depression, suicidal ideations, serious health risks, financial issues and personal problems. Some recent cases have resulted in child neglect that has caused the death of the child.

When I spoke about this issue with other people, they seemed to not take this problem as seriously as some of the more common addictions. People do not understand how horrible conditions can get for individuals who are not able to moderate their time playing games. I believe this is because in our new generation with electronic means of entertaining ourselves like video games and the Internet have become a social norm that are used almost constantly in some way throughout the day.

I was set on a horrible path to failure, I felt like I wouldn’t spend enough time for my son and I would set a bad example for my son. I forced myself to change after my son was born in 2011. I went from hours on end every day to just a few minutes a day, and finally to nothing for months at a time.

I stopped for my family, but I should have never allowed myself to be that way in the first place. Some people are not able to stop so easily and I believe it can become an addiction, rather than a hobby.

Just like any other hobby, I am not trying to say it is wrong to play video games. I still love to play but it must be in moderation. I will never allow myself to go back to the way I once was.

Even if you don’t feel like you are addicted, but you consistently have that horrible gut feeling after spending hours playing video games and realizing your day has been wasted, ask Mental Health for some help to get back on the right track.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Changes Command



From Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs Office

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Timothy C. Gallaudet relieved Rear Adm. Brian B. Brown as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NAVMETOCCOM) in a traditional change of command ceremony June 18 at Stennis Space Center.

Gallaudet was promoted to the rank of rear admiral (lower half) just prior to the ceremony.

Brown said he felt "blessed and lucky" to have worked with the Navy's military and civilian oceanography workforce to perform a mission so critical to the warfighting effectiveness and readiness of the fleet and joint force despite personal hardships, organizational changes and challenged resources in the Navy.

"The changing nature of warfare and the demands of the information age have set us on a new path - the right path - towards fulfillment of Information Dominance for the Navy," he said.

Guest speaker Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, acknowledged the contributions that naval oceanography makes to naval operations and Information Dominance, including developing tools and techniques for optimizing use of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

"Naval oceanography is integral to nearly everything our Navy does," he said.

Gallaudet most recently served as the deputy oceanographer of the Navy on the Chief of Naval Operations staff in Washington, D.C.

He said that it was an honor to lead an organization that was founded by the "father of naval oceanography" Matthew Fontaine Maury and looked forward to the next naval oceanographic survey ship, USNS Maury (T AGS 66), becoming operational on his watch later this year.

Brown, who has been NAVMETOCCOM commander since August 2012, has been nominated for promotion and will move to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, where he will serve as deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command Space, U.S. Strategic Command. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his accomplishments during his tour at Stennis.

NAVMETOCCOM is comprised of approximately 2,500 officer, enlisted and civilian personnel stationed around the world. Naval Oceanography is the Navy's physical maritime battlespace authority, a critical partner across the full range of Department of Defense operations, delivering decision superiority, operational effectiveness and safety to our operational forces.

24th AF hosts ANG GO Cyber Summit

by 1st Lt. Meredith Hein
24th Air Force Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- 
Air National Guard leaders from across the country gathered in San Antonio June 4-6 for the ANG General Officer Cyber Summit. 
"A lot of this cyber summit is about relationship building," said Col. Tony Burris, ANG advisor to the commander, 24th Air Force.  "The partnership is truly here in the 24th.  That's the way it's built and it provides great opportunities for the future in cyberspace."
During the summit, ANG leaders from 10 states met to discuss the way forward for ANG involvement in the Cyber Mission Force and building the force structure, according to Col. Kelly Hughes, Chief, Cyber Warfare Operations Division for the Air National Guard.
"The Guard has been involved in the full spectrum of operations, training and qualifications with our active duty counterparts," said Hughes.  In addition, there have been evaluators from the ANG performing certifications for active duty members to improve training. 
"Bringing civilian talents into the cyber arena to support the mission of the active duty component allows the Air Force to gain the civilian expertise, training and qualifications for the parent service," said Maj. Gen. Tom Thomas, ANG advisor to the commander, U.S. Cyber Command.   
"The processes we have here mirror the kinetic world.  I have Guard and Reserve members aligned with active duty," said Col. Bradley Pyburn, 624th Operations Center commander.  "This is total force integration."
Total force integration has been a critical piece of conducting cyber operations in 24th Air Force, with approximately 10,000 members coming from reserve components. 
"One of our significant challenges is capacity," said Col. Paul Welch, 24th Air Force vice commander.  "How do we support the joint mission and bring capabilities to support Air Component Commands?  There is a wonderful partnership with the Air National Guard to help support that."
"We are constantly working with the Council of Governors, Congress, Cyber Command and the National Guard Bureau, trying to get everyone moving in one direction for the joint fight," said Maj. Gen. William Reddel, New Hampshire's adjutant general.  "Active duty, Guard and Reserve work together in other areas, and cyber is no different."
Training and exercises, such as Cyber Flag and Cyber Guard, allow for integration across all Air Force components, according to Brig. Gen. Paul Maas, ANG Assistant to the Commander, Air Force Space Command. 
"The Guard provides much needed capacity to support cyber operations, along with the experience and skillsets of civilians working in industry, academia and other government agencies," said Maas. 
Retention of this knowledge is a necessity to moving operations in cyberspace forward, especially for active duty members transitioning out of the Air Force, according to Brig. Gen. James Witham, ANG deputy director. 
"Do we want to lose that expertise altogether or retain it in the reserve components?  We have some of the industry leaders on the technology side who are also serving their country," said Witham. The reserve components provide the needed capacity to serve on both the national and state levels, according to the general. 
"Cyber operations are critical to our national security," said Witham.  "As you look at it through the critical infrastructure perspective, it gets more important to the states.  The presence in the reserve components is crucial."
Maj. Gen. J. Kevin McLaughlin, 24th Air Force commander, highlighted the importance of Total Force Integration. 
"The Air Force knows how to build a powerful Air Force cyber force with the right combination of active duty, Guard and reserve components.  We have created powerful total force constructs in other Air Force domains and we will absolutely continue to do so in the future in Air Force cyber operations."