Executive Spotlight: Todd Probert, President of Operations for National Security and Innovative Solutions With CACI International
Todd Probert President of NSIS CACI International
Todd Probert, president of National security and innovative solutions (NSIS) for CACI International and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient recently spoke with ExecutiveBiz about his efforts to stimulate CACI’s growth initiatives in the national security space, the challenges his clients face, the latest initiatives involving e-warfare for the U.S. military, and lesser-known initiatives that CACI develops so that you are not in the technology sector.
“I think my 30 years of diverse experience really position me well. I have a unique mix of engineering knowledge combined with positions leading defense business and technology organizations. And that really fits in well with what we’re focusing on here at CACI. ”
ExecutiveBiz: After you became Head of National Security at CACI in August 2020, how did you manage to bring your experience to the role and stimulate the company’s growth initiatives in the national security sector?
“It’s a very exciting time to be in CACI. The team in our sector has a rich legacy of missionary experience, building technological solutions designed to meet some of the most difficult challenges in the national security space. We like to say that everything we do is “mission driven”, which means that our focus and vision is solely on the challenges of our clients.
We have some of the best and smartest who do some of the hardest things for the intelligence community and DoD customers around the world, in almost any environment. And our acquisition and investment strategies are aligned so that we build technological qualities organically through research and development, but also through investment from outside. Together, this mix sets us apart and will stimulate our continuous growth.
I think my 30 years of diverse experience really positions me well for this role. I have a unique mix of engineering knowledge combined with positions leading defense business and technology organizations. And that really fits in well with what we’re focusing on here. Our portfolio is dedicated to harnessing the rich technological heritage of acquired companies such as Bell Labs and Mastodon and using decades of software expertise to offer software tools and capabilities that meet the market where it is today, but also where it will be. in the future .
Much of this is our collaboration with almost every national laboratory and DARPA. These people are the real founders of technology for our nation. We spend a lot of our time on research and development. We deal with difficult challenges and we do them well. I think we are making a difference on a national scale. “
ExecutiveBiz: What are the biggest challenges facing your client’s national security in terms of modern technology? How do you manage customized and innovative solutions to help them “complete their missions?”
“There are many challenges that our military faces today when you look at it from a technological point of view.
I have just returned from CyberQuest, one of the Army’s leading experimental activities. This gave me a new focus on today’s challenges. One of the most memorable demonstrations was a simulated command post. He showed how fighters and military leaders manage the modern war in 2021.
One of the most striking reasons I’ve had is that the amount of information coming to a soldier today is extremely daunting. Each soldier is a sensor that connects to a wider network of things and is covered by potential cyber threats on the battlefield. In recent years, we have seen this challenge emerge, but the complexity and scale of it is growing at a pace we must face.
We are dealing with information in a completely different sense in 2021. Information must provide the military fighter with information about the situation so that he knows what is in front of them and how to respond with the best possible information in real time. Information is already a weapon.
Cybersecurity is something we need for defense, but also as effects used as part of an integrated approach to fires. You also need to take into account the kinetic evolution of war and figure out how to mix information warfare in the environment.
We are not technologically limited in terms of the sensor and CACI is really building very sophisticated sensors for electronic warfare and radio frequency. The process of organizing all the information that comes to the modern soldier, especially at the speed of software against an enemy with similar abilities, is a significant challenge for our fighters. At CACI, I think we are uniquely suited to provide these opportunities.
The classic way to market is a lot of intellectual property locked in a unique platform. CACI is fundamentally different in this respect, because we are one of the first to adopt a true open architecture. The hallmark of my team is that they create value every day. We do not slap big names on intellectual property on the things we produce. Our focus is to lean in and work closely with our clients. “
ExecutiveBiz: What are the key initiatives that CACI is working on to address e-war and the electromagnetic landscape for the US military and intelligence community?
“I would say that one of the biggest things we need to know about CACI is that we are global signal intelligence experts. We spent a lot of time and effort perfecting this and bringing it to a focal point. We position ourselves to allow the software to logically log in and build to adapt. However, when you are in EW space, these are waveforms. This is how you use these waveforms and feel these same waveforms.
We are experts in intelligence on foreign signals. Our men and women work through the intelligence community to listen to threat signals. After listening to these threats, we can decode what they are doing. It’s amazing how they look at a decrypted telemetry stream and say, “Hey, this is video data,” or this is a “thermal point,” or “this is a command point.” We have a lot of in-depth expertise in what the signals themselves are based on.
We are world experts in all cellular matters. As 5G technology continues to advance, it spans the entire spectrum, so when you overlay 5G, it goes from literally kilohertz, down to a millimeter wave, so in the 30 GHz range. Our extensive experience in this spectrum allows us to understand how to use surveillance against this spectrum and to use communications in the spectrum.
In addition, we direct small-factor software-defined radio stations with a small factor. In today’s world, this is essential. There are all sorts of ways to get inside, get stuck and beat the radio.
To prevent this, you need to understand your spectrum, react and communicate. You want to go around a frequency or work with some other waveform dimension to protect your communications.
Soldiers need a device that is multi-mission. They must be able to feel and communicate with the environment. Today we send devices. We have recorded programs from the community for special operations that we are moving to large military capabilities. ”
ExecutiveBiz: Are there any product offerings that CACI is developing that you think the market is not aware of?
“CACI is a world leader in anti-drone technology. For decades, we have detected, tracked and defeated threats from drones of all kinds. Unmanned systems have become a challenge not only for our military fighter, but also for many environments and missions. Many people are concerned about drones and how people use them.
We have the largest footprint of unmanned systems at the moment – over 700 systems worldwide. Because of this experience, no one else can compare to the way we enter signals. We have a library with hundreds of threat alerts. These threat signals are everything from what is called “Group One”, which is a radio barracks or amateur drones, to “Group Five”, which is a system of a nation state. We understand the signals, operations and telemetry of an unmanned system.
The other system that we think has really grown as a product of the COVID-19 pandemic is what we call the Remote Maintenance Kit. We have worked with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology, which we combine with a communication platform to allow us to deploy our field support representatives. The old way of doing things before Covid was to send people around the world to do maintenance, installations and operations.
COVID prevented this old way. So now we send the kit forward. We get great returns only when sending a communication platform with VR / AR glasses sets. The challenge is to ensure secure communication. We have worked with our clients to do just that, instead of sending our people around the world. Now we can put things virtually.
Finally, we currently have perhaps the best laser communication capability at the moment, this is approximately a five-pound system, so the smallest system anyone has targeted for space operations, for which we have spent a sufficient amount of our internal R&D is evolving. Our systems target the emerging Space Development Agency and a number of other space efforts. ”
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