IEEE Military Communications Conference
30 October – 3 November 2023 // Boston, MA, USA
Communications Supporting Military Operations in a Contested Environment

Technical Panels

Tuesday, October 31

AM Panel 1:  5G For Defense
PM Panel 2:  Emerged Tech - AI for Military Comms
PM Panel 3:  Beyond Fixed Spectrum Allocations - Technology to Enable increased flexibility in Commercial and DoD Spectrum Sharing

Wednesday, November 1

AM Panel 4: Operational Learnings from DoD's First 5G O-RAN Wireless Network Deployments
PM Panel 5:  Advancing Transmission Security (TRANSEC) for Secure Military Operations
PM Panel 6:  Realization of FutureG and 5G through close collaboration between DoD, Industry and Academia

Thursday, November 2

AM Panel 7: Tactical Cloud Solutions and Mission Partner Environments - USASOC's Modular Mission Environment

Tuesday, October 31
Time:  11:15 - 12:35
Room:  Arlington, 3rd Floor

Description:  This panel will tap into a wide range of experiences using 5G in Defense settings. Using commercial 5G cellular capabilities, NATO, EU, and US DoD test beds are experiencing promising results in unifying communications –including a wider array of devices and infrastructure, interoperability of components, compatibility of various partner systems, ability to add applications and capabilities on top of and into the network, and improved coverage with 5G and NTN. 

Panel Organizer:  Kelly Krick, Director, Mission Critical Networks Business Development Director, Ericsson


  • Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Pimentel, DoD
  • Michael Miller, Division Director - VT- ARC
  • David Mueller, Spectrum Solutions Architect, AT&T Defense and National Security
  • Lizy Paul, Director 5G mil
  • Armands Mierans, Innovation Lead, LMT-Latvia
  • Chris Yaw, VP End to End Solutions, Ericsson

Panel Moderator:  Kelly Krick, Director, Mission Critical Networks Business Development Director, Ericsson

Date: Tuesday, October 31
Time:  14:10 - 15:30
Room:  Arlington, 3rd Floor

Description:  The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential of ushering in groundbreaking capabilities that could revolution military communications and cybersecurity, fundamentally altering how armed forces conduct operations and collaborate during missions. With access to vast data resources and advanced computing capabilities, the US military can harness AI as a powerful "second brain," enabling swift and precise threat detection, intelligent crisis management, and proactive prevention of potential disruptions. AI's autonomous decision-making and generative capabilities fortify cybersecurity defenses, safeguard critical assets, and elevate situational awareness to unprecedented levels; empowering the military with unmatched agility and resilience in the face of modern challenges.  However, the US DoD is faced with a dichotomy where safeguards must be taken to ethically leverage these capabilities knowing fair well that the US DoD’s near peer advisories may not follow suit.  This panel will foster discussions on the latest advancements and opportunities of discriminative and generative AI in the military and cybersecurity domains. It will shed light on the proper mechanisms required to design and optimize future AI models for military applications, ensuring robust safeguarding mechanisms. The panel will delve into the collaborative efforts between industry, academia, and the government to develop cutting-edge AI technologies that meet the rigorous demands of the military’s mission focused operations. 

Panel Organizer:  Sheryl Genco, VP Advanced Technolgy Group, Ericsson


  • Sheryl Genco, VP Advanced Technolgy Group, Ericsson
  • Mary Schurgot, DARPO STO
  • Misty Blowers, CTO Datalytica Technical Support to the Deputy Director of DARPA Commercial Strategy
  • Tim O'Shea, Chief Technology Officer, DeepSig
  • Paul Tilghman, Senior director - Azure Spectrum Technologies, Microsoft
  • Alex Neefus, VP Systems Archecture, Nvidia

Panel Moderator:   Sheryl Genco, VP Advanced Technolgy Group, Ericsson

Tuesday, October 31
Time:  14:10 - 15:30
Room: Simmons, 3rd Floor

Description:  The panel will focus on existing methods of Spectrum sharing that have been used and the success they have had, the methods of sharing that are in development, and future ideas for how to more efficiently share the spectrum. With that the concerns of interference also emerge and the Group will discuss mitigations that could be employed.

Panel Organizer:  Joseph Molnar, Naval Research Laboratory


  • Eric Makara, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Joseph Weaver, Director, Spectrum Initiatives & Analysis OUSD(Research & Engineering) DCTO(Critical Technologies)/Applied Tech/Integrated Sensing & Cyber
  • Jeffrery Boksiner, Chief Engineer, Antennas and Spectrum Analysis Division US Army RDECOM CERDEC S&TCD
  • Jonathan Ashdown, Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Sastry Kompella, NEXCEPTA/ Chief Scientist
  • John Chapin, NSF

Panel Moderator:  Eric Makara, Naval Research Laboratory

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 11:15 - 12:35
Room:  Arlington, 3rd Floor

Description:  Both 5G and O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network, RAN, with open interfaces) are emerging mobile communication technologies for the United States to regain global competitiveness in the telecommunications industry while also enabling military communications infrastructure to modernize. The US Department of Defense (DoD) has invested heavily since 2020 to accelerate the implementation, foster innovation, and learn how to best operate these technologies in dual use operational environments. During this time it has been hotly debated within both the telecommunications industry and military if 5G and O-RAN are living up to expectations. Are their respective levels of maturity ready to replace closed proprietary wireless communications systems as a viable alternative and open approach to deterministic connectivity infrastructure. 

In the Spring of 2023 the first at scale end-to-end 5G standalone (5G RAN and 5G core) wireless system based on industry standard O-RAN interfaces became operational as part of the US DoD Research and Engineering (R&E) 5G program. The system was designed, built and operationalized using an ecosystem of US technology companies on commercial off the shelf (COTS) IP network as the hardware infrastructure. The 5G virtual RAN and core network functions (VNFs) are entirely in software allowing for modularity and deployment flexibility. Multiple vendor Radio Units (RUs) using both commercial and shared spectrum in low/mid bands using O-RAN 7.2x open interfaces. Coverage, connectivity and capacity is for both indoor and outdoor areas on a two mile wide operational airfield to include the flight line and three sizable hangars at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI).

This panel will discuss the architectural and design considerations utilized and developed to deploy this leading-edge communication network. Now that the system is operational, specific performance characteristics are available for comparison to traditional and legacy systems, theoretical versus actual results, progress towards the objectives and promise of 5G, and the maturity of O-RAN as a viable open system approach for military communication requirements and infrastructure. The virtualization of the mobile wireless infrastructure on a COTS IP network also provides a unique opportunity to extend existing security methods and best practices for this emerging capability.  Additionally, the data and metrics captured with this at scale deployment provides relevant input to current and planned applications that can take advantage of open systems to accelerate digital modernization processes and workforce usability.

Panel Organizer:  Kurt Jacobs, Mobile connectivity leader, JMA Wireless


  • Rajeev Gopal, Hughes Network System (TBC)
  • Kevin McFadden, Cisco Systems (TBC)
  • Monty Groff, Director of Engineering, Private Network Solutions, Dish Network (TBC)
  • Kurt Jacobs, JMA Wireless (TBC)

Panel Moderator:  Kurt Jacobs, Mobile connectivity leader, JMA Wireless

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time:  14:10 - 15:30
Room: Simmons, 3rd Floor

Description:  Secure transmission of sensitive and classified information is crucial in modern military operations. This panel brings together military, defense industry, and academia experts to explore the multifaceted aspects of TRANSEC. The panelists will address evolving threats to communication networks, including cyberattacks, data breaches, interception, and unauthorized access. They will identify critical areas for strengthening TRANSEC measures. The need for common TRANSEC nomenclature and definitions will be also addressed.

The panel session will focus on emerging technologies that enhance TRANSEC, such as encryption algorithms, secure protocols, authentication mechanisms, intrusion detection systems, etc. The panelists will explore their potential applications and discuss strategies for overcoming implementation challenges.

Collaboration and information sharing among stakeholders will also be emphasized. Partnerships between military, defense industry leaders, policymakers, researchers, and cybersecurity professionals will enable the development of comprehensive TRANSEC strategies encompassing prevention, detection, response, and recovery. Attendees will gain practical knowledge and innovative ideas to address TRANSEC concerns amid rapid technological advancements and an evolving threat landscape.

Panel Organizer:  Julia Andrusenko, RF Communications Engineer, Rampart Communications, Inc.


  • Keith Palmisano, Rampart Communications, Inc.
  • Jeffrey Harris, Rochester Institute of Technology and Open Geospatial Consortium
  • Jon Pelson, Rampart Communications, Inc.
  • Ritu Chadha, Senior Researcher at Perspecta Labs
  • Joe Pishock, Dir BD at OCEUS

Panel Moderator:  Keith Palmisano, Rampart Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, November 1
Time:  14:10 - 15:30
Room: Arlington, 3rd Floor

Description:  Perspectives on how DoD, Industry and Academia can successfully operationalize FutureG and 5G capabilities for military and dual-use applications by closely collaborating through all the phases - standardization, research, development, and test.

Panel Organizer:  Lizy Paul, Director, Lockheed Martin


  • Eric Burger, Research Director, Commonwealth Cyber Initative, Virigina Tech
  • Tom Rondeau, Principal Director for FutureG & 5G, DoD OUSD (R&E)
  • Bryan Lopez, Director, DON CIO Emerging Technologies
  • Jeff Reed, Virgina Tech
  • Sheryl Genco, VP of Advanced Technology Group, Ericsson

Panel Moderator:  Eric Burger, Research Director, Commonwealth Cyber Initative, Virigina Tech

Date: Thursday, November 2
Time:  11:15 - 12:35
Room:  Arlington, 3rd Floor

Description:  The Modular Mission Environment (MME) is a cross classification cloud environment that (1) supports combined joint mission command and control, (2) enables secure bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mission partner communication and (3) permits data to flow from DoD sensors, partner databases, and open-source sites into centralized data lakes to enable AI/ML processing tools.

Key Capabilities and Attributes:

  • Hardware and Transport Agnostic - This is a Bring-Your-Own Device ready environment.
  • Zero Trust – Exquisite access and control to data and decision support tools.
  • Global access to redundant geographic host locations – Enables forward posturing and rapid integration.
  • Tailorable, scalable, and episodic – Push to provision capability that can be easily created and torn-down.
  • Enables C2 for Targeting and Kinetic Operations - PLI, COT, Voice, and Message traffic ready.

The MME exists to enable information advantage and decision dominance, with emphasis on peer adversary competition, the DoD and ARSOF require an ecosystem to share data and enable advanced analytics and machine learning to operate to deliver insights unachievable by human analysts.

End State The Modular Mission Environment will provide a digital ecosystem for SOF, Conventional, Joint, and Partner Forces to enable analysis and automation of data obtained from the tactical edge, across echelons and classifications, in near real time.

Panel Organizer: LTC Ryan Kenny, US Army


  • Joseph Feldmeth, Director, Field Tech Operations & Development at Net Vision Consultants (NVC)
  • Bobby Kasrai, Principal Technical Specialist within the Data and Analytics vertical to the United States Special Operations Command for Microsoft
  • Richard Franko, Strategic Account Director to the United States Special Operations Command for Microsoft
  • CW3 Jay Aleem, Cyberspace Defense Technician for 112th Signal Battalion (SO)(A)

Panel Moderator: LTC Ryan Kenny, US Army


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