While the Defense Department has improved its real estate inventory data, it still lacks complete and accurate information in how some of those assets are being used, preventing officials from identifying opportunities to consolidate unused of underused facilities, congressional investigators said.
As part of its efforts to combat rising cyber threats and attacks, the Army is launching the Cyber Protection Brigade and could start a new cyber branch as soon as the second week of October, an official said.
Known as Capability Set 13, or CS 13, the toolkit "combines data radios, mission command capabilities and handheld devices networked across waveforms and mobile satellite communications systems to transmit voice, data and video for enhanced situational awareness."
The Navy said it received patents for more inventions in 2013 than many Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, citing a trade group report released this summer.
The Army will notify 500 majors over the next month that they must leave the military due to a drawn down in force strength, an Aug. 1 Army statement says. The cuts are part of a process to reduce the Army to an end strength of 490,000 by the end of 2015. The active Army will further reduce its end-strength by 20,000 Soldiers in both 2016 and 2017, the statement says.
The U.S. Army is developing pocket-sized drones for soldiers, potentially providing individual squads with the ability to safely look for enemies around the corner or in a nearby building.
Army researchers are looking into ways to make food for soldiers using 3-D printing, a July 18 Army statement says. The research is coming from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to help with the Combat Feeding Directorate.
The Army is establishing a standard marketplace where soldiers can acquire servers, ruggedized laptops and other tactical communications hardware in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
If sequestration continues, the Army will have to shrink its forces to 420,000 active duty soldiers, which would be too small for the service to do its job effectively, said Army Under Secretary Brad Carson at a June 26 Institute of Land Warfare event. If the military were to get involved in a major operation with those force numbers, he said it would be stretched so thin that the ratio of soldiers at war and those in the United States would be about equal.
Despite some positive developments in implementing an open systems approach to product development, congressional investigators found that the Defense Department faces several challenges, namely a preference to purchase proprietary systems.