Session 1:
State of C4I :  Critical Aspects

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“Command and Control (C2) and Communications
–New C4ISR and Operational Implications “

Dr. Linton Wells

Executive Advisor for the GMU C4I Center

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May 18, 2016 at 15:30


New elements of new C4ISR will include massive data feeds from multiple sources (many UNCLAS), big data analytics, new displays and sensemaking approaches, the increased use of open source/open standards capabilities, and the need to promote unity of action in situations when there’s no unity of control.

Cyber and Electromagnetic Warfare are converging in ways that will profoundly impact C4ISR at tactical and operational levels.This will pose significant challenges for personnel. On the one hand, they will need to have new sets of qualifications and be comfortable with new technologies. On the other hand, they will have to be able to function and improvise when data flows are cut off. In the future, the velocity of change in this field will mean they’ll need to adopt continuous, life-long approaches to learning, supported by point-of-need content delivery.


DR. LINTON WELLS II serves as Executive Advisor for the GMU C4I+Cyber Center. Dr. Wells is a Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at National Defense University. Previously he was the Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at NDU. Dr. Wells completed more than 51 years of service with the Department of Defense in June 2014, including duty as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information (NII) as well as for Command, Control, Communications & Intelligence (C3I). He also served as Assistant Secretary (acting) and DoD Chief Information Officer. In 26 years of naval service he commanded a destroyer squadron and a guided missile destroyer.

“Computer/Cyber Technologies and Intelligence “

Joseph Witt

Senior Director of Engineering at Hortonworks

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May 18, 2016 at 10:30


In the IoT and Big Data worlds ‘real-time’ and ‘streaming’, dominate the conversation. The key questions are how quickly can data be ‘streamed’ and how ‘real-time’ can an insight be for the business or mission. The fast access to data and the ability to make real-time insights are indeed hard problems. But the eye must stay on the prize; faster insights so that an action(s) can be taken. That action can be to stem a threat, change what is being collected, seize an opportunity, and so on. The key point is that ‘real-time’ is not just collecting data from the edge where it is captured or processing it at the core where it lands. It is about how quickly can enterprise systems change behavior based on what the collective enterprise has learned. At the NSA end-to-end agility is critical and the project it released as open source to the Apache Software Foundation, now known as Apache NiFi was designed to facilitate this.

The talk will describe the core features and philosophy behind the project and how they relate to critical command and control functions and data provenance to establish trust in the data leading to higher confidence decision making in ever decreasing time windows.


JOSEPH WITT, Senior Director of Engineering at Hortonworks, spent more than ten years at NSA working in the Information Assurance and Technology Directorate. During that time Joe had the opportunity to see a broad range of technical challenges facing the NSA, the IC at large, and identified a critical gap in dataflow. While at NSA he created a project called Niagara Files which the NSA later released via the Technology Transfer program to the Apache Software Foundation. The software now known as Apache NiFi automates the flow of data between systems while providing mechanisms to help ensure privacy protection.