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First-Ever State of Military Communications Study Finds Current Military Technology Falling Behind; Putting Missions at Risk
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- (Association of the United States Army Conference) -- In an era of constant technological advances, defense agencies are falling short of battlefield expectations when it comes to military communications technologies, according to a study released by Government Business Council (GBC), the research division of Government Executive Media Group, in partnership with Viasat Inc., a global communications company. Based on a survey of over 300 U.S. active military and Department of Defense (DoD) participants across the nation, this study investigated the role of military connectivity and evaluated the practicality and effectiveness of U.S. military communications technologies.

"Our survey reveals an alarming number of defense professionals who lack basic levels of connectivity needed to accomplish their objectives," said Daniel Thomas, director of the Government Business Council. "Respondents are vocal that changes must be made to the acquisition front and center, to keep pace with commercial innovations and equip users with vital battlefield capabilities. This is a clarion call to military leadership across the board."

Among others, key findings from the study include:

    --  Expectations of connectivity on the battlefield are high, but largely
        unmet68% of survey respondents say they expect the same level of
        connectivity and access to trusted and timely information on the
        battlefield as they get in the civilian world. However, less than half
        of respondents (46%) feel they have the level of connectivity needed to
        successfully execute their mission objectives. And 98% of respondents
        say they are disrupted to a point where they are left with a complete
        loss of connectivity on the battlefield.

    --  At risk of falling behind new threatsOnly 27% of respondents believe the
        DoD's budget priorities for communications technology allow the U.S. to
        effectively keep pace with escalating geopolitical threats.

    --  Organizations are facing significant barriers to network modernization
        effortsRespondents noted that the three biggest challenges facing their
        organizations' network modernization efforts are an inability to keep
        pace with commercial technology, procurement inefficiencies and limited
        funding. 70% of respondents feel that adopting new acquisition processes
        would allow their organization to update technologies at the speed of

    --  Emerging cloud-based systems, artificial intelligence and machine
        learning capabilities will be critical to future mission successOver 60%
        of respondents agree cloud-enabled technologies will play an
        increasingly significant role in enhancing and accelerating the U.S.
        military's decision-making capabilities. In addition, 81% of respondents
        agree it's critical for U.S. military forces to have access to a
        modernized end-to-end satellite and terrestrial networks to make
        cloud-enabled technologies and the Internet of Battlefield Things a
        reality across the battlespace.

From a partner perspective, Viasat believes senior leaders in the DoD are beginning to recognize this acquisition problem. These leaders are turning their focus toward transforming the status quo by adapting the DoD acquisition process and culture to address this issue and enhance technological capabilities across the battlespace. However, the State of Military Communications study findings illustrate much more needs to be done to ensure that battlefield communications technology is up to the challenge of assuring resilient, secure connectivity in the most demanding, high pressure situations and to provide the capabilities needed to deter complex, escalating, multi-dimensional threats from near-peer adversaries.

"The State of Military Communications survey, a first of its kind study, indicates the compelling need for enhanced communications technology to be delivered to our military forces on a much faster timeline so that warfighters have the same connectivity during their deployment as they have at home," said Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat. "Acquisition models must adapt to better leverage private sector technology, so that military connectivity can keep pace with accelerating private sector technology trajectories. By increasingly leveraging private sector capabilities in the vital technology sectors of satellite communications, tactical networking, cybersecurity and cloud-based systems, the DoD can maintain information dominance at the tactical edge, which is crucial to mission success across the current and future technology driven battlespace."

For a complete report of the study's results, click here.

About the Research
Government Business Council, the research division of Government Executive Media Group, in partnership with Viasat, launched the first-ever State of Military Communications survey, an in-depth study of senior military decision-makers. The study was fielded via online survey to a random sample of Defense One, Government Executive, and Nextgov subscribers. After qualification and screening of over 500 respondents, 330 defense leaders were included in the study, over 50 percent of whom wield authority at the highest levels of the military (including Senior Executive Service, GS-13 and above, and officers of equivalent rank).

About Government Business Council
As Government Executive Media Group's research division, Government Business Council (GBC) is dedicated to advancing the business of government through analysis, insight and analytical independence. An extension of Government Executive's 40 years of exemplary editorial standards, GBC produces over 100 research initiatives each year, studying influential decision-makers across all sectors in government to provide invaluable insights, thought leadership content and marketing intelligence for government contractors.

About Viasat
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are--on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit:, go to Viasat's Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.

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SOURCE Viasat, Inc.

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