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Archive for the ‘CEMA’ Category

HENSOLDT Supplies Radio Reconnaissance System to NATO Countries

Friday, September 10th, 2021

Comprehensive situation picture through mission-proven COMINT technologies

Taufkirchen/Germany, 10 September 2021 – The sensor solution provider HENSOLDT is supplying a mobile system for tactical radio reconnaissance to two NATO countries. A corresponding order worth a two-digit million Euro sum has now been signed.

The system for monitoring and analysing enemy radio traffic includes digital broadband receivers, compact direction finders and high-performance software for real-time signal evaluation. The core elements of the system are integrated into armoured vehicles or designed to be portable so that troops can be supported directly in the theatre of operations and detect threats at an early stage.

“Responsive and accurate analysis and classification of radio traffic is essential for a complete tactical picture of the situation,” says Celia Pelaz, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of the Spectrum Dominance Division at HENSOLDT. “Our mobile and robust system provides the assurance that troops can rely on the support of the most powerful COMINT techniques in the field.”

HENSOLDT has been active in the electromagnetic spectrum dominance market for decades. The company has developed COMINT and ELINT sensors and provides integrated systems capable of reconnaissance and jamming to the German Armed Forces and other NATO countries. 

US Army Revamps Cyber Doctrine to Support Joint Warfighters

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Army plans to update its cyber operations doctrine, as it continues to march toward a more data-driven joint environment, a top Army cyber officer said last week.

Once published, the updated field manual, FM 3-12, will outline how the service plans to integrate its cyber operations mission into the larger vision of a modernized Army, said Brig. Gen. Paul T. Stanton, commander of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence.

Although no timeline was given on the document, Stanton said during the AFCEA TechNet conference on Aug. 17 that his team was moving quickly. The doctrine was last revised in 2017.

“The [new doctrine] is being drafted as we speak,” said Lt. Gen. Ted Martin, commander of the Army Combined Arms Center, in a pre-recorded video.

Martin said the doctrine, which stems from the National Defense Strategy of 2018, will continually evolve to keep pace with new technology and help the Army increase its lethality against near-peer threats.

Despite being a cyber-based field manual, Stanton said the entire Army could benefit from it and not just cyber operators.

For example, at the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, Soldiers can adapt the document in their classrooms to explain how cyber can be used by them, he said.

The major role cyber plays in the future is also why leaders across the Army need to be on board with how to use it, he added.

“If there’s one theme across all this, it’s that we are driving operations for commanders,” Stanton said. “Commanders are the ones that make the decisions [and] commanders are the ones that develop the course of action and scheme of maneuver.”

In the future, all commanders will have to know the ins and outs of the Army’s cyber doctrine and cannot “bury their heads in the sand and say, ‘I can’t understand the science,’” he said.

“We can help abstract away some of the complexity of the science, but our commanders have to understand the fundamentals because this is a huge part of how we’re going to fight in the future,” he continued.

Even with knowledgeable leaders, achieving an information advantage through cyber is not possible without a unified network supporting it, he said.

To bring about a unified network, the Army is looking to use the latest technologies such as 5G capability, zero-trust cybersecurity and pulling data from the cloud.

No place where information advantage is more critical than on a joint battlefield, Stanton said, where warfighters may need to collaborate against a potential adversary.

Multi-domain operations will require data to be pulled from several locations. By pulling information, it “implies that my tactical edge assets are combined with my operational [and strategic] assets,” Stanton said.

“I have to move the right data to the right place at the right time inside the decision cycle of the adversary, so that I can maintain [the] information advantage,” he continued. “I can’t do that without a unified network.”

A common operational picture that brings together data from the tactical, operational and strategic levels helps enable commanders to make quick decisions, he said.

However, being able to pull the data isn’t enough. Army officials “have to protect that information,” Stanton said. “We’re pushing hard toward a zero-trust environment and an architecture to support and apply zero-trust principles across the entire Department of Defense Information Network.”

While the future of cyber warfare continues to change, Martin said that with the help of junior leaders, “we can get it right.”

“You don’t have to be a general to come up with this doctrine,” Martin told the crowd. “I feel that the best ideas are out there in the audience right now, because at [U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command] — victory starts here.”

By Thomas Brading, Army News Service

USAF Cyber Careerfield Discusses New Training Baseline

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021


The 81st Training Support Squadron hosted the Cyber Operations Specialty Training and Requirements Team conference at Keesler Air Force Base, July 19-23.

“The conference was held to ensure the upcoming evolution from cyberspace support to cyberspace operations is a smooth transition, eliminate training deficiencies and maintain the health and welfare of the entire career field at the highest standard,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Storer, 81st TRSS cyberspace support force development noncommissioned officer in charge. “It impacts the entirety of the cyberspace support career field by creating baseline requirements for training.”

The conference included cyberspace support career field managers, functional managers from each of the 10 major commands, including Guard and Reserve, representation from Space Force Cyber, technical training school houses and qualifications flight to determine the training requirements for the most elite cyber operations troops going forward.

“The STRT and Training Planning Team meetings are an essential part of the Air Force, and encompasses each career field, major command and learning program’s representatives,” said Chief Master Sgt. Victor Cordero Jr., Air Force cyberspace support career field manager. “This is a historic conference, advancing the Career Field Education and Training Plan, future training requirements and establishing formal training requirements for Air Education and Training Command aligned to the new transition.”

As a result of the conference, a partnership was formed between Air Combat Command and AETC to reimagine training that works the way Airmen work in order to develop the 30,000 total force cyber Airman capable of conducting the build, secure, protect and defend mission on the Air Force network enterprise.

“Future conflicts will be fought and won in cyber, and we need to develop and deliver a mission-ready cyber force armed for tomorrow’s fight,” said Chief Master Sgt. Patricia Ford, ACC support functional manager. “The capability of our cyber Airmen will be the deciding factor between mission success and mission failure.”

By SrA Kimberly L. Mueller, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Warrior East 21 – Rohde & Schwarz

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

Rohde & Schwarz offers a wide variety of signal
monitoring, collection, and processing equipment and software such as the R&S MNT100 seen above. It can monitor between 600 MHz and 6 GHz but there receivers for other bands as well. Here, it is paired with a DF antenna.

Units and agencies can procure Rohde & Schwarz products by contacting Atlantic Diving Supply.

HENSOLDT Demonstrates Airborne SIGINT capabilities

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

Taufkirchen, 27 July 2021 – Technologies and deployment modes of airborne signal intelligence (SIGINT) have been successfully demonstrated by sensor solution provider HENSOLDT during a test flight campaign at Hohn Air Base in Schleswig-Holstein.

The aim of the six test flights carried out together with GFD GmbH on a Learjet was to give representatives of the German customer an overview of available technologies and their growth potential. The findings are to be incorporated into the planning of future SIGINT capability on a wide variety of flying platforms. 

In a so-called “expansion stage 1” of the demonstration, which was financed from company funds, the localisation, bearing, tracking and recording of signals was demonstrated, which located and tracked transmitters with frequencies in the communications range in scenarios of tactical signal reconnaissance. For the demonstration, a system concept was developed and realised that achieved a maximum of bearing accuracy and speed.

A later planned “expansion stage 2” of the demo campaign will highlight monitoring and pattern recognition procedures, possibly using AI techniques. Among other things, the findings are to be incorporated into the further development of the modular HENSOLDT product family KALÆTRON Integral® for the realisation of the future scalable ELINT reconnaissance container, which can be used on various platform types – including drones.

HENSOLDT HAS BEEN active in the electronic reconnaissance market for decades. The company has developed COMINT and ELINT sensors for the German Armed Forces and other NATO forces, among others, and integrates them into EW systems for the Air Force, Army and Navy.

Task Force Phoenix in the Fight Against RCIEDs

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were a deadly threat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, causing the majority of casualties in both conflicts. IEDs remain a threat today for coalition forces in Iraq and Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.

The U.S. military developed several countermeasures to protect both mounted and dismounted service members from this threat.

Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Warfare (CREW) systems provide protection by jamming signals that detonate radio-controlled IEDs (RCIEDs). The Duke Version 3 and CREW Vehicle Receiver Jammer (CVRJ) vehicle-mounted systems, and the Thor III and MODI II dismounted systems, have been effective in protecting service members from the RCIED threat.

Since 2010, an Electronic Warfare Operations (EWO)/CREW system course had been taught by contractors at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The class was offered to service members from newly arrived units that employ CREW systems in convoys and on patrols. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class has not been taught for the past 10 months.

“Due to travel restrictions, we were unable to offer the same level of training,” said Capt. Jefferson Wilkes, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) for the U.S. Army Central Command Readiness Training Center (ARTC). ARTC is responsible for providing training support to coalition tenant units in Kuwait.

“The EWO/CREW Specialist Course allows Soldiers who rely on CREW systems, as they come in theater, to stay proficient in the operation and maintenance of the systems to increase survivability of their units across the AOR (Area of Responsibility),” Wilkes said.

Illinois National Guard Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony Meneely and Florida National Guard Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 4 Douglas Montgomery are Electronic Warfare Technicians who arrived in theater in April 2021 with Task Force Phoenix—a combat aviation brigade responsible for full-spectrum aviation operations for Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Meneely, Montgomery, Electronic Warfare NCO Sgt. Ismael Pulido and OIC Maj. Jeremy Tennent are Task Force Phoenix’s Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) cell. They are responsible for ensuring that friendly radio-wave emitting equipment is safe and secure, and they advise the Task Force’s command staff on adversary electromagnetic jamming.

After they arrived in theater, they soon learned that the EWO/CREW class was not being taught.

“This equipment is vital on a contested battlefield where RCIEDs are a threat,” Meneely said. “Soldiers were not getting proper training for the CREW devices for their vehicles that were headed north.”

Meneely and Montgomery had the skills and expertise to teach the class. They contacted Capt. Wilkes and Lt. Col. Willard Lund, director of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). DPTMS is responsible for all training in Kuwait. Meneely, Montgomery and Tennent made an offer to Wilkes and Lund to restart the class, update it and teach it.

“They were fully supportive,” Meneely said of Wilkes and Lund. “They’ve been helping us insurmountably with materials, equipment and general support.”

“Chief Meneely, Chief Montgomery and Maj. Tennent identified a training gap along with a resourcing gap,” Wilkes said. “They worked with us to make connections across the AOR to stand up a new program. As a result, they were able to update all of the systems and offer training for them.”

Meneely, Montgomery and Pulido, a California National Guard Soldier, welcomed their first class at Camp Buehring on July 12. Tennessee National Guard members Spc. Curtis Hicks and Staff Sgt. Thomas Daniel, from the 1-181st Field Artillery Battalion, and Virginia National Guard Soldier Staff Sgt. Richard Recupero, from the 29th Infantry Division, were the first graduates of the four-day course.

“We taught them the fundamentals of electronic warfare and the 10-level maintainer tasks for CREW systems,” Meneely said. “Upon completion of the school, the CREW maintainers can load, operate, troubleshoot and fix deficiencies in the systems. They will go back to their units responsible for ensuring all their CREW systems will be mission capable.”

Staff Sgt. Daniel said the course gave him vital training on the CREW systems that his battalion employs. “Our security force rolls out with these systems,” he said. “We’ll be in charge of doing the testing and reporting for the systems for the battalion.”

“I think the class went well,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to continually adjust the course and update it based on assessments, feedback and emerging threats.”

Meneely and Montgomery said they will be hosting additional classes as needed for incoming units. They also plan to establish a counter unmanned aerial system (CUAS) academy at Camp Buehring.

Story by MAJ Jason Sweeney, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade

2nd MarDiv Conducts EW Training

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment (1/2), 2d Marine Division, conduct Electronic Warfare Operations at Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 14, 2021. 1/2 is tasked as the 2d MARDIV’s experimental infantry battalion to test new gear, operating concepts and force structures. The unit’s findings will help refine infantry battalions across the Marine Corps as it continues to push toward the end state of Force Design 2030. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl Noah J. Ralphs)

Training the Next Generation of ‘CyberCops’

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

New University of Houston Program Recruits ROTC Students
as Future Gatekeepers of Cyber Security

HOUSTON, July 22, 2021 — Not so long ago, a strong password felt mighty enough to keep you safe and your computer data private. But we now live amid heightened risks in malware, phishing, spearphishing and denial-of-service attacks. Even scarier, it is possible for computer terrorists to wreak global havoc by commandeering your personal computer – yes, your own computer – without you suspecting danger until it’s way too late.

Sound frightening? It can be. But in this game, the good guys have critical skills, too.

The fall 2021 CyberCops program – funded by $250,000 grant from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research and sponsored by the University of Houston with cooperation of the University of Houston-Downtown and Texas Southern University – will introduce the critical field of cybersecurity to students recruited from the three participating universities’ ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) programs.

In recent headlines, accusations of cyber aggression by unfriendly foreign powers reveal how high the stakes are.

Rakesh Verma, computer science professor at the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, leads the new CyberCops training program.

“The Department of Defense is interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how those fields intersect with the needs of defense. They want students who plan on taking up careers in defense to have that kind of training and background,” said Rakesh Verma, computer science professor at the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “Because these are ROTC students, the expectation is they will enter into a D.O.D. agency. But there are a lot of opportunities in the private sector, too, for people coming out with cybersecurity backgrounds.”

In the CyberCops program, students will study how to protect data, networks and computers as they also learn another critical lesson: Always stay a step ahead.

“The students will gain expertise in the intersection of a number of fields, including data science, machine learning and cybersecurity. They will have a semester of classroom training then spend about 10 weeks in my lab on the University of Houston main campus. There, they will study models on statistics, machine learning, natural language processing and data mining,” Verma said.

The term natural language processing refers to programming that “teaches” computers to understand not only the digital language of computers but also written and spoken words in various languages – English, Chinese, Russian and others.

Just how bad are the hackers, terrorists and just plain thieves who troll the internet? Don’t underestimate them, Verma warns.

As an individual, you may be at risk of:

Ransom demands – Your data is locked. “Your computer’s been hacked, and all the data encrypted. Then you might receive a demand to pay a certain number of bitcoins to get it back,” Verma said.

Thieves – Your identity is stolen. “These are criminals whose goal is to make a lot of money quickly,” Verma said. With special software, they enter the dark web where each set set of stolen credit card information sells for about $5, a Social Security number for around $10.

Zombies – And we’re totally serious here. In cybersecurity circles, a zombie is a computer that’s under the control of an attacker. If a cyber terrorist commandeers your computer, all you can do is watch your screen helplessly while someone – on the other side of the world or maybe next door – swiftly moves through the internet with your identity, perhaps with the aim of infiltrating a commercial or government network, or conducting a denial-of-service attack

Risks are greater for government agencies and businesses. In early July, Microsoft announced discovery of the PrintNightmare hack and urged all Windows users to immediately install an update. The U.S. government and its allies later said the hackers were hired by China’s government or its representatives.

Two months earlier, the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack resulted in a five-day shutdown, fuel shortages in the Eastern U.S. and a ransom of $4.4 million. Eventually all but $2.1 million of the ransom was recovered.

Several companies have faced spearphishing, which targets one individual inside an organization. For example, by weaving in facts easily found on a company’s website, attackers can craft an “urgent” email convincing enough for a trusted employee to move money.

Knowing how to fight the threat is not always easy, especially with deceptions, fake news and social engineering specifically designed to avoid detection. “You have to put yourself in the shoes of the attacker. Think like an attacker and find the weaknesses.” Verma said.

For the six gifted students recruited for the new program, an exciting future may start with CyberCops training on the UH campus. And for your own data, security may someday depend on the critical lessons they learn there.