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Army Scientists Create Innovative Quantum Sensor – Covers Entire RF Spectrum

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

ADELPHI, Md. — A quantum sensor could give Soldiers a way to detect communication signals over the entire radio frequency spectrum, from 0 to 100 GHz, said researchers from the Army.

Such wide spectral coverage by a single antenna is impossible with a traditional receiver system, and would require multiple systems of individual antennas, amplifiers and other components.

In 2018, Army scientists were the first in the world to create a quantum receiver that uses highly excited, super-sensitive atoms–known as Rydberg atoms–to detect communications signals, said David Meyer, a scientist at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. The researchers calculated the receiver’s channel capacity, or rate of data transmission, based on fundamental principles, and then achieved that performance experimentally in their lab–improving on other groups’ results by orders of magnitude, Meyer said.

“These new sensors can be very small and virtually undetectable, giving Soldiers a disruptive advantage,” Meyer said. “Rydberg-atom based sensors have only recently been considered for general electric field sensing applications, including as a communications receiver. While Rydberg atoms are known to be broadly sensitive, a quantitative description of the sensitivity over the entire operational range has never been done.”

To assess potential applications, Army scientists conducted an analysis of the Rydberg sensor’s sensitivity to oscillating electric fields over an enormous range of frequencies–from 0 to 10^12 Hertz. The results show that the Rydberg sensor can reliably detect signals over the entire spectrum and compare favorably with other established electric field sensor technologies, such as electro-optic crystals and dipole antenna-coupled passive electronics.

“Quantum mechanics allows us to know the sensor calibration and ultimate performance to a very high degree, and it’s identical for every sensor,” Meyer said. “This result is an important step in determining how this system could be used in the field.”This work supports the Army’s modernization priorities in next-generation computer networks and assured position, navigation and timing, as it could potentially influence novel communications concepts or approaches to detection of RF signals for geolocation.

In the future, Army scientists will investigate methods to continue to improve the sensitivity to detect even weaker signals and expand detection protocols for more complicated waveforms.

The Journal of Physics B published the research, “Assessment of Rydberg atoms for wideband electric field sensing,” in its special issue on interacting Rydberg atoms. Army scientists David H. Meyer, Kevin C. Cox and Paul D. Kunz led this research, as well as Zachary A. Castillo from the University of Maryland. This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

By US Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

US Army G-2: Intel, Cyber Soldiers ‘Duking It Out’ Daily With Enemy

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army’s senior intelligence officer likened intelligence and cyber Soldiers to those in the combat arms since they fight on networks everyday with adversaries.

“Our intelligence professionals and our cyber operators are duking it out,” Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier said. “I kind of think of ourselves, cyber and military intelligence, as sort of combat arms. I know it’s hard to get your head around that, but we’re the ones who are kind of doing that right now.”

Berrier spoke Wednesday as part of the Association of the U.S. Army’s breakfast series on threats the Army is facing in today’s era of great power competition.


Since the end of the Cold War, the general said Russia has transformed its army to be smaller with new capabilities that it has been able to test in operations in nearby countries.

Using those lessons, he said Russia now uses those capabilities in Syria, which include air and air defense, precision targeting, special operations and contract forces, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR.

The capabilities have also created standoff for Russia as it presses back against NATO presence in Europe, he said.

“We’re watching that very, very closely,” Berrier said. “[We] don’t think [Russia] wants to get in a toe-to-toe fight with the U.S. [It] wants to be regionally dominant and to be a global player.”


In the Pacific, he said China aims to be a global economic hegemony by 2049, and at same time gain military parity with the U.S. to push American forces out of the region.

“It really [wants] to establish a new world order,” Berrier said. “They are jealous of the economic system that we have.”

The general added that China would one day like to see its currency, the yuan, replace the U.S. dollar as the global currency.

To achieve its ends, China has started to militarize islands in the South China Sea, creating an effective defensive line.

China “would like to control everything out to the first and second island chain and just keep us out,” Berrier said.

Similar to Russia, China has reorganized its army to be smaller with new capabilities in air and air defense, space and ISR using intellectual property it illegally obtained.

“Much of the modernization that [its] been able to accomplish is with technology that [was] stolen from us and our partners,” Berrier said.

China has also carried out a reversal of the Marshall Plan, he said, by going into countries struggling financially and paying off their debt and building infrastructure. As a result, China then sort of owns that country and can place forces and capability inside of it, he said.

“We’ve seen this play out across Africa, we’ve seen it play with our Middle Eastern partners, we’ve seen it play in South America,” he said.

The general noted that by doing this China is also trying to connect markets to its own.


The U.S. Army’s modernization priorities and multi-domain operations doctrine is currently tackling these near-peer threats, he said.

“The modernization that we’re doing for Russia and the modernization that we’re doing for China really will do the same thing for us in both theaters,” he said.

The Army is putting together multi-domain task forces that have I2CEWS — intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare and space capabilities — that will allow Soldiers to punch through enemy frontlines.

They “will help us in that boxer stance and be able to get inside, penetrate the ability that they have to keep us out,” he said.

Once complete, multi-domain operations will be backed up by “multi-domain intelligence.”

“So if you want to do MDO, you have to do MDI,” he said. “And in MDI in the future it’s all about the data and how we process and how we pull [artificial intelligence] into that.”

Army intelligence plans to have three layers of upgraded capabilities at the terrestrial, aerial and space levels.

At the terrestrial level, brigades will receive more capability that combines signal, intelligence, electronic warfare and cyber assets.

In the air, he noted, the Army will need a new platform that goes higher and can sense deeper.

And for space, the Army looks to work with its partners to take advantage of assets, whether they’re owned by the government or commercial satellites, to carry out long-range precision fires in coordination with aerial and terrestrial systems.

“Think of this sensor grid, from space to mud, that is connected through multi-domain intelligence using and fusing data at the speed of combat operations,” he said.

Known as TITAN, the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node is a scalable and expeditionary intelligence ground station that leverages space, aerial and terrestrial sensors.

A TITAN space prototype, which is expected to be delivered by fiscal year 2022, is being developed to provide targetable data from these sensors to fire networks.

“TITAN is going to be the ground station that replaces a number of these systems that we have today [and] is central to all of it,” he said.

Story by Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

Photos by Bill Roche, US Army & Luc Dunn, AUSA

SOFWERX – SOF Space, Cyber Space and Electromagnetic Spectrum Rapid Capabilities Assessment

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

In conjunction with USSOCOM, SOFWERX will host a SOF Space, Cyber Space and Electromagnetic Spectrum Rapid Capabilities Assessment (RCA) 27 April – 01 May 2020 in Tampa.

The goal of the event is to develop and produce a “Technology Road Map” to provide a system/subsystem level breakdown of technology partners, their technology maturity, risk and provide insight for deciding next steps, such as technology investment opportunities.

Twenty (20) selected participants will be afforded up to $5,000 for the week to offset travel costs and provide for a modest stipend for their participation.

Request to Attend NLT 26 March 11:59 PM EST. For will details, visit www.sofwerx.org/rca2.

NetWars Competition Test Knowledge, Skills of Military Cyber Warriors

Sunday, December 29th, 2019

WASHINGTON — Loud music blared throughout the crowded hall of the Washington Hilton as cyber professionals from the military, industry and academia launched into the final day of the NetWars Tournament of Champions, Monday.

NetWars is a suite of interactive learning scenarios designed to provide training and assess the cyber proficiencies of personnel, according to the SANS Institute, the organization responsible for the competition. Individual and team competitors that won other NetWars event over the past two years were invited to the final tournament in Washington, D.C.

“We have organized the NetWars Tournament of Champions for about six years now,” said Ed Skoudis, the creator of NetWars. “The idea was to bring together the ‘best of the best,’ and have them compete in a fun … but competitive [environment.] This year is our biggest Tournament of Champions ever,” he said.

The Army was represented well during this year’s NetWars competition, said Matthew O’Rouke, an intelligence specialist with the 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber) at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

As the team captain of “Nation_State_Alchemy,” O’Rouke was joined by Sgt. Andrew Beat, a cyber-operations specialist assigned to the 782nd MI Bn., and Carl Peterson, Chris Maloney, and Neil Klissus, Department of Defense civilians within the U.S. Cyber Command community.

During the competition, O’Rouke and his team huddled over their laptops as they launched a series of attacks or bolstered their defenses during the “castle versus castle,” part of the competition, also known as “level five.” Teams had three hours to increase their scores from the previous day of competition.

The day prior, Nation_State_Alchemy quickly sailed thought the first four levels of the competition to be amongst the first to reach level five. The initial stages included a series of cyber-related exercises that increased in difficulty and corresponded with a fictional-based scenario, O’Rouke said.

At level five, participants set up and managed their “castle” — a virtual server — during a capture-the-flag-type competition, O’Rouke said. In each castle, teams managed four Linux- and four Windows-based services, which included a “digital-text string,” known as their flag.

After they set up their castle, teams could then attack another team’s services and take down an enemy’s flag, put up their flag, or even take down a team’s services altogether.

“Ideally you want to automate as much as possible and get your services set up and automatically defended,” Peterson said. “Then you want to get your attacks set up and get them firing automatically against another team’s systems.”

NetWars scoring servers periodically check the status of each castle. Teams are awarded points based on their uptime or the number of flags the team has across the online play space.

Ultimately, Beat said, NetWars turns into this giant “cyber-knife fight.” Teams try to maintain a 100% uptime by defending their castle, as they branch off to try and take over another team’s services.

“There is certainly a potential upside to aggressive play; however, defense is easier to maintain,” Peterson said.

In this competition, understanding how a team exploited a system can provide an ample opportunity to build a proper defense, O’Rouke added. Further, a team can leverage a known weakness to breach another team’s system.

“Attribution is a challenge, just like in the operational environment,” Peterson said. “Based on the types of attacks we are seeing and the data they leave behind — their flag — we can start to associate each of these attacks with different threat actors.”

Through it all, NetWars provided teams an opportunity to practice their techniques, tactics, and procedures in an open-source competition against a real and thinking adversary, Beat said.

“Ten years ago, we started NetWars — and no offense, the U.S. military personnel just did OK,” Skoudis said. “This is U.S. military, and we face some significant adversaries — OK is just not good enough.

“Now, whenever we run a NetWars event, whether it’s the Tournament of Champions or anything else, the U.S. military is well represented among the winners,” he added. “I do think that shows the investment in those skills is paying off, and cyberspace is a dangerous place, and we need our military forces to be ready to defend the country.”

In total, around 500 people participated in this year’s tournament, in varying levels of competition. Nation_State_Alchemy placed third in the event and is planning to apply the lessons learned in future contests. A second joint-Army team, Whiskey_Business, placed fourth in the tournament.

“One big takeaway: no matter how hard you defend, the attackers will go after the weakest link,” Peterson said. “The teams we were up against didn’t focus on us. They focused on the less prepared teams in the play space.”


As Nation_State_Alchemy and Whiskey_Business competed in the Tournament of Champions division, the team “Crabby_Patties,” led by Capt. Michael Milbank, represented the overall Army in the 2019 NetWars Services Cup competition.

Milbank joined other members of the U.S. Army Cyber Command’s Cyber Protection Brigade out of either Fort Gordon or Fort Meade, Maryland, including Capt. Braxton Musgrove, Chief Warrant Officers 2 Michael Edie and Michael Shue, Warrant Officer Christopher Watson, and Staff Sgt. Buffye Battle.

“Being placed in a contested environment with actual adversaries offers us a chance to test new strategies, enhance our tactics, and rehearse our procedures so that we are more effective and adaptive in real-world scenarios,” Milbank said. “Our team is incredibly thankful to SANS for putting together this competition and thankful to the Army for providing the training and opportunity to allow us to be successful.”

Teams representing the Navy, Air Force, the Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard also participated in this year’s competition. The Air Force was the overall winner, followed by the Navy and Coast Guard, respectively.

“The [services] are always competing with each other for fun, so we decided to have a commander’s cup for cyber,” said Daryl Gilbertson, SANS DOD national account manager “The cup travels with the winning team … and it gives the [cyber team] some notoriety. Their names are actually engraved on it … it’s a big deal.”


Cadets from the Army Cyber Institute at West Point, New York, also participated in this year’s Tournament of Champions. Joining the cadets was their instructor, Capt. Daniel Hawthore, an assistant professor and deputy at the Cyber Research Center, who placed third overall as a first-time solo player.

West Point qualified for this year’s event by beating the other academies during a SANS training event and tournament last spring, Hawthorne said. The team pressed hard and broke into level four before the close of the competition.

“Anybody who sat in one of my classes will tell you I’m very passionate about the field,” Hawthorne said. “I’m watching these cadets take off. They’re going to go further than I have.”

By Devon L. Suits, Army News Service

National Guard Disrupts Cyberattacks Across US

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

WASHINGTON — The National Guard is ready to mobilize its cyberdefenses in case of a potentially devastating domestic attack.

“When I first joined the National Guard, cyber was not part of our vocabulary, but certainly now it is one of our daily battlegrounds,” said Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel. “Our adversaries and non-state actors use cyber activity to target personnel, commercial and government infrastructure and the effects can be devastating.”

Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, talked about the Guard’s cybermissions and capabilities during a media roundtable on Nov. 5 at the Pentagon.

Lengyel said cyberattacks have occurred at both the federal and state levels.

Earlier this year, a number of school districts and agencies in Louisiana and Texas suffered ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.

With the help of the Guard, schools opened on time and agencies were able to get back to work, Lengyel said.

“[Ransomware] is obviously a new and emerging kind of enterprise. We are able to access superb civilians and skill sets, and they can bring capabilities that the military sometimes does not have,” Lengyel noted.

In Texas, 22 counties were attacked with ransomware during June, disrupting local service, said Army Maj. Gen. Tracy R. Norris of the Texas National Guard.

Norris said Texas’ department of emergency management called the Guard, and officials assessed the attacks with a team of Guard soldiers and airmen.

“It was a joint team that went out to assess [the damage],” she said. “From there, they picked different places to go [in] the counties for the recovery process. We thought it was bad in the beginning, and it couldn’t have been much worse.”

“We already had a team in place and sent them out to assess, and we then aligned the team [based on] what the assessment showed,” Norris said.

Lengyel said the Illinois Guard is forming a cyber task force to assist the state of Illinois, as the need arises.

The Illinois task force will involve Guard soldiers and airmen performing cyber, information technology and other military functions.

Indiana recently started a cyber battalion, and personnel will be trained to military standards for use in a domestic response capacity if they need to be, Lengyel said.

“So, this will be part of the cyber mission force that will be part of the Army mission that, if needed, can be federalized and mobilized to do cyber activity for the U.S. Army or the U.S. Cyber Command,” Lengyel said. “And when they’re not mobilized, we can do our homeland mission.”

Lengyel said many of these Guard members have cyber-related civilian jobs. He said it’s an example of how the varied skill sets of Guard members contribute to national defense.

“They can do things working in national defense they can’t do in their civilian careers,” he said of Guard members.

Other attendees included vice director of domestic operations, National Guard Bureau; National Guard adjutant generals from Washington and Illinois; and the National Guard advisor to the commander of U.S. Cyber Command.

Story by Terri Moon Cronk, Defense.gov

Photos by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathon Alderman, Wyoming Air National Guard and U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens, North Carolina National Guard

TacJobs – The Ranger MI Bn

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

In addition to Military Intelligence in each of the Ranger Battalions and Regimental headquarters, the 75th has a dedicated Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Benning.

Netline Strengthens Its Presence In Asia-Pacific With A New Contract To Protect Head-Of-State Convoy

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

The company has also secured follow-on orders worth $8 million to supply its C-IED system, the C-Guard RJ, in both portable & vehicular configurations, to a state police force in Asia.

November 11, 2019 – Netline Communications Technologies Ltd. – a leading developer and manufacturer of high-end electronic warfare and spectrum dominance solutions – is strengthening its presence in the APAC region, with several new contracts recently signed in this market.

One significant contract is a program to provide the C-Guard Reactive Jamming (RJ) Vehicular System, a vehicle-installed system that provides counter-IED (improvised explosive device) protection, to head-of-state motorcades in a Southeast Asian country. This unique solution both detects the threat and provides an immediate response, preventing remote detonation of radio controlled IEDs by transmitting jamming signals around the entire convoy. The system will be delivered by the end of the year.

Other contracts signed by Netline include follow-on orders for the supply of both vehicular and ManPack (MP) C-IED systems, to a state police force in Asia. In its MP configuration, C-Guard RJ is carried by frontline forces in a single backpack unit, preventing attempts to activate IEDs around tactical forces when on the move.  

IEDs, such as roadside bombs, are activated by radio-controlled devices (cell phones, walkie talkie, etc.), and have become a common threat in today’s asymmetric warfare, as they are easy to make. Delivering benefits that include superior reactive jamming capabilities, wide coverage, simple operation by ground forces within a specific radius, and compliance with a wide range of Mil-STDs and radiation safety regulations, Netline’s C-Guard family of reactive jamming systems provide a real-time counter-IED solution.

“We are pleased to further establish our presence in Asia, both with new contracts and business, and by securing follow-on orders from existing customers,” says Yallon Bahat, CEO of Netline. “Both our new and repeat orders are an indication of our customers’ satisfaction with Netline’s technology and products. We appreciate the cooperation with the different security agencies in these countries and believe this cooperation will be extended to additional future projects, enabling our customer to align their EW security strategy with the rapidly evolving threats, by using Netline’s high-end, advanced EW technology.”


TacJobs – Navy Information Warfare

Sunday, October 27th, 2019