and fed directly into networks all
the way down to regimental or battalion level. That’s a significant
change. It’s not instant, but it’s very
close, and it takes up a lot of bandwidth.
receive the appropriate level of training to be combat
ready. As an example, we are now looking across the
Marine Corps at which military occupational specialties require advanced information assurance training.
An infantry battalion in Iraq is dealing with data that
was unimaginable five years ago. Their combat operations
centers not only need e-mail and Web-browsing, but also
rely on voice-over-IP, live video feeds from UAVs
(unmanned aerial vehicles) and real-time common operating pictures.
We are fielding the equipment to make these operational requirements a reality, and by focusing our training
on network and data concepts, as opposed a specific piece
of equipment, we have effectively reduced delivery time
and allowed the commander more effective command
and control sooner.
We didn’t have UAVs in Desert Storm. The imagery
would be taken off a jet aircraft and then there’d be a
videotape that you’d have to hand to someone. If they
wanted to hand it to someone else, they’d have to take
a VHS tape and drive it somewhere and give it to someone with a player. Now it’s downloaded automatically
Speaking of increasing bandwidth, what are some satellite
that are being explored by
the Marine Corps?
ALLEN: The robustness of the networks depends on having all types
available: satellite and terrestrial.
The redundancy of the network
itself helps to reduce the threat and
make it more robust.
The Marine Corps continues to
look for new ways to leverage limited capabilities offered by the current satellites and the ever-growing
demand of beyond-line-of-sight
communications. The current and
future capability of the Marine
Corps is a delicate balance of a
variety of communication platforms that will provide worldwide
access to the Defense Information
Services Network (DISN). As such,
there should not be an overreliance
on low-density items such as
The Marine Corps must take advantage of communications payloads that may reside on any number of
mobile platforms to include unmanned aircraft systems.
Therefore, the Corps will continue to modernize terrestrial infrastructure capabilities and ground radio systems to support the future net-centricity requirements.
With more dependence on networked computers, it seems likely to open the door to cyber
attacks. Is this happening? Where do they originate? And what is being done to stop them?
ALLEN: Marine Corps network defenders identify
hundreds of thousands of suspicious network events
every day that indicate possible compromise or infection of systems. Compared to 2006, this year will most
likely conclude with an 80 percent increase in the
number of significant incidents investigated. To me,
this means that the enemy is more active and, also, that
we are getting better at detecting suspicious activity.
Determining the true source of the attacks is difficult
since hackers utilize “hop” points worldwide to attack