How Technological Innovation is Contributing to “Army Strong”

The history of warfare and international security is the history of technological innovation, and today is no exception.

-Klaus Schwab

The ability to work and learn from home as so many of us have been doing for nearly a year now was practically unheard of not so long ago. We may take the technological advances that make this possible for granted these days, but they are the result of years of innovation. A fierce determination by the United States Military to remain ready, relevant, and the world’s premier military force has brought about many of the technological advances we enjoy today, including the development of a little thing we like to call the internet. We are currently living in what the World Economic Forum has dubbed “the fourth industrial revolution,” one characterized by “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” This is occurring at a rate that has no historical precedent. The 2020 COVID-19 quarantines look nothing like those of 1918, for instance. At least in the technological sense.

The United States Army is no stranger to being on the cutting edge of technological advances. In fact, it’s one of the world’s foremost leaders. One only has to look at the most obvious ways they advance the technology cause: the development of the SB-1 Defiant and V-280 Valor aircraft, light tank prototypes, and the ever more ubiquitous autonomous aircraft otherwise known as drones. Of particular note is the Army ALIAS program, which aims to make aircraft such as the Blackhawk optionally piloted drones. With such capability, they could pick their own landing zones, fly at near ground level, and even pilot themselves better than with humans at the controls, according to Military.com.

It’s easy to point to such big-ticket items, with their wow factor, but equally impressive is the depth of attention the Army is paying to ensuring its technological dominance. For instance, the Army is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to implement the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army (IPPS-A), which combines more than 30 existing systems and allows soldiers to add trainings, language skills, and even hobbies to a central database that more accurately reflects their abilities. This type of technological upgrade will provide commanders with a real-time view of their forces and their capabilities, while also allowing them to identify and correct weaknesses.

Even gaming industry technology is finding a new purpose in the military. In 2018, the Army closed a $478 million deal with Microsoft that will provide Soldiers with 100,000 HoloLens headsets. This will allow for more refined and state-of-the-art training as well as have implications for real-world combat situations. Infantrymen and other troops will have heads-up displays they can use for a number of in-field applications with the potential for even more tech-savvy uses in the future. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Squad X Experimentation Program seeks to nest robots into the Army and Marine Corps to take over menial tasks, freeing up soldiers to focus on more important maneuvers.

Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, states “the distinction between war and peace, combatant and noncombatant, and even violence and nonviolence (think cyberwarfare) is becoming uncomfortably blurry.” The Army recognizes that the state of warfare has changed drastically in the last few decades. It’s currently looking to technology to create a product that would effectively “see through walls and dense foliage.” This technology will allow Soldiers to identify friend from foe, locate and track targets, and even allow tankers to see through their own armor to track enemy vehicles.

The Army is pursuing programs that will improve existing technologies and merge different technologies in innovative ways. One such example is utilizing AI and quantum computing to improve image recognition and target identification, thus allowing for the development of more autonomous weapons and cutting-edge systems. CHA is proud to be among those working to develop such technologies for our Armed Forces. Our Army has always been comprised of men and women of superior strength of character, working to protect our nation from threats of all kinds. Technological advances are simply giving them additional superpowers to ensure they remain “Army Strong” well into the next century.

November 24th, 2020|

CHA salutes our veterans

Cape Henry Associates (CHA) is proud to be a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSM) and we’re especially proud of the fact that 58 percent of our employees are veterans of the world’s premier military force. So as you can imagine, November is a significant month for us as we get a chance to honor those men and women who have put it all on the line to serve our country and who, after their active duty service has ended, choose to continue to serve by helping CHA develop and deliver some truly cutting-edge products that will continue to ensure America’s military strength and success.

In the past we have used this space to offer generic thanks to our nation’s military heroes (in our mind, EVERY man and woman who has put on the uniform, done the job, and more than earned the title “veteran”), to highlight specific veteran employees, and to just in general do our part to recognize the efforts, sacrifices, and patriotism of the less than 1 percent of our country’s population that answers the military call to service.

This year, we thought we’d do things a little differently. We asked our employees, both veteran and non-veteran, to tell us what they like best about working alongside CHA’s veterans. We expected certain answers (which we got) about how their knowledge of the military and the specific roles they played qualifies them to serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), but some of the answers surprised even us. Read on for some of the ways our veteran employees help us achieve our 99.5 percent on-time delivery rating, and how they make CHA the best place to work.

Several of our employees stated that our veterans help us because “their background allows us to utilize them as SMEs, which ultimately allows us to provide quality products.” They talked about how “our vets understand each other. They speak the lingo. This makes us uniquely qualified and adept at knowing not only the ‘what,’ but the ‘why’ behind our customers’ needs.” Our veterans added that it’s “nice to share stories and experiences. The problem with companies with mostly civilians is that civilians can be complacent to get a task done. With veterans we know how to work hard because we had to during our time in the service.” They told us how “having something in common right off the bat” helps them fit in with the CHA culture and be able to start producing quality work right away.

Everyone, veteran and civilian alike, told us time and again how the “strong sense of community and bonding” makes CHA a unique place to work. Veterans bring “commonality, understanding, and an incredible work ethic” to CHA that “ensures quality work.” “They know stuff,” said one civilian employee, “…they’re respectful, dependable, and mission-oriented.” They make it “fun to come to work” was also heard frequently.

The single word we most heard was “resourceful.” Veterans know how to work around and through obstacles. Another word we heard often was “teamwork.” Veterans are effective team members, with an “absolute passion to get the job done.” Everyone knows that teamwork is essential to CHA’s success.

What surprised us the most (though in retrospect, it shouldn’t have), was how often we heard that our veterans are the ones who contribute the most to the number one thing our employees love about working at CHA: our family culture. “The camaraderie” and the “strong sense of community and bonding” are attributes our employees find most endearing and most rewarding about our veteran work force.

So, to all our veterans, we salute you. Thank you for helping to make CHA the success it is and, more important, for fostering the type of community that engenders creativity, productivity, and success. For making us stronger by simply being who you are, and for the experiences you bring to the table, we are ever grateful. That you do so while making us laugh? Priceless.

November 10th, 2020|

Who in the world of CHA is Ed Myers?

We’re back and shining a spotlight on one of our favorite Cape Henry Associates (CHA) employees, Ed Myers. Well, they’re all our favorites, actually, which is why we like to take the opportunity to highlight them. If you haven’t met Ed, you really should, because he’s had an amazing career and is a stalwart as compliance director at CHA.

Ed started at CHA in January 2014, but you could make an argument that he’s been part of CHA from the very beginning. Prior to Charlie Arrants and Bill Allen starting CHA, Charlie and Ed worked together at the Center for Naval Engineering Excellence in Norfolk, Va. When Charlie and Bill decided to go after a big contract in the early days of CHA, they actually used Ed’s resume as part of the proposal. When they won (as a subcontractor), the salary they could offer Ed was so low that Charlie was embarrassed to offer it and instead mentored Ed in a different direction. So, after almost 31 years of active duty in the U. S. Navy, Ed started work with ITA International. Once sequestration hit in late 2013, Ed was let go from ITA. Charlie was on the phone that same afternoon, interviewing and offering Ed a job. Ed started at CHA in January of 2014 and the rest is the stuff CHA history is made of.

Speaking of Ed’s naval career, during that time Ed was a finalist for Fleet Master Chief Europe and a semifinalist for Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. He served as the senior enlisted leader for the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and at NATO Headquarters in Norfolk. He retired as a Command Master Chief (E-9). It’s no wonder Charlie and Bill wanted him at CHA as soon as they could manage it. Ed is proud of his naval career. Although he was offered a full ride at Carnegie Mellon University and a three-year scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy, they weren’t great options for various reasons. Instead, he made an appointment with his town’s Marine Corps recruiter. When he showed up 10 minutes late, the Gunnery Sergeant had gone to lunch. Not one to miss an opportunity, the Navy recruiter came over and said they covered for the Marine Corps when they went to lunch and “since they’re part of the Navy anyway,” why not just join the Navy? We’re pretty sure that recruiter took one look at Ed and knew what an asset he would be. Ed gave almost 31 years of remarkable service to our country.

Ed currently works directly for CHA’s CEO, John Jackson. He primarily researches various certifications and requirements that cross department/divisional boundaries. He cuts through all the legalese and translates it into English for the rest of us. He tracks progress toward completion of certification requirements, and coordinates with various elements while providing much needed oversight and subject matter expertise on ISO, quality, and risk management. His favorite CHA contract that he’s been part of is the Philippine Coast Guard training curriculum. He was recently named a U.S. Subject Matter Expert to the ANSI/ASQ Technical Advisory Group 176 on Quality Management System Documentation and will serve as the ASQ Tidewater Section 1128 Leadership Committee Chairperson.

We asked Ed what he likes most about CHA and he said without a doubt, it’s “the fact that, while not always possible in the world of government contracting, we take care of each other as best we can.” The leadership “genuinely cares about their employees” and tries everything they can to keep them employed no matter what. This was truly evident when COVID-19 caused a need to convert to telework. As a high-risk individual, Ed was forced to work from home. (He is a throat cancer survivor – just ask him about how much he appreciated working for CHA through that – he’ll tell you how quickly CHA went from a work environment to a family one.) The transition was seamless. As great as teleworking is, he definitely prefers working from the office where he can more naturally interact with his work family. With leadership that is “actively involved in doing what is best for the company and its employees,” Ed sees CHA going great places in the next five years. Ed thinks we’ll be actively involved in AI and virtual training and will expand our reach in these areas past the U.S. Navy and even past DoD contracts.

Ed’s a born leader and we benefit from that every day. His leadership style is very much in keeping with his core personality: he’s a coach in the best sense of the term. He wants his team to think about how to get something done and is happy to let them try inventive ways as long as they “aren’t too out there,” while providing them with the right tools and latitude to see things through. “There are times,” he says, “when as a leader you must make the hard decision,” but doing that too often tends to breed resentment “and possibly a lemmings-just-following-orders mentality.” Ed doesn’t want that for anyone at CHA. Creativity leads to the innovations we’re striving for and if he can help that by coaching his team to “victory,” then that’s what he’ll do.

Ed believes we should live for today because anything could happen tomorrow…whether that’s an amazing opportunity or a global challenge such as COVID-19. “Have fun,” he says, “but don’t be the one caught short if the proverbial bus happens to find you.” It’s all about learning how to be decisive and living with the consequences of your decisions, good and bad. There’s always something to learn, whether you’re right or wrong. Bottom line: Life is good! It really is, Ed, and we’re glad you’re living yours here with us at CHA!

September 28th, 2020|

CHA and C-ARTS featured again

The latest issue of Military Simulation and Training (MS&T) magazine is out and features an article on C-ARTS. We are incredibly proud of the role we played in the design and implementation of this high velocity learning environment that is already providing ready, relevant learning to our nation’s Sailors. CHA and its partners remain dedicated to creating the most advanced products to assist our clients in surpassing their expectations.

August 19th, 2020|

CHA’s Chuck Wythe headed to I/ITSEC

Cape Henry Associates (CHA) Chief Revenue Officer Chuck Wythe plans to again represent CHA at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Fla., in December.  He will also chair the I/ITSEC paper presentation session on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, “Unmanned, Unarmed, and Artificially Intelligent.” This is the second year Wythe will chair the paper presentation session.

I/ITSEC is the largest conference of its type and takes place annually in Orlando. At this time, I/ITSEC is still planning to hold the conference Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, 2020, but attendees and interested parties are encouraged to routinely check the I/ITSEC website for updates on COVID-19 and I/ITSEC announcements.

August 11th, 2020|

Who in the world of CHA is John Jackson?

John Jackson is our intrepid chief executive officer (CEO) and as such, a crucial part of the success Cape Henry Associates (CHA) has enjoyed over the last few years. John has been with CHA for six years now. He began his CHA career in 2014 and was named chief operating officer in 2015. He has occupied the CEO’s office since 2017.

John is a 12-year Navy veteran who served as an Electrician’s Mate and Nuclear Field A School instructor as well as a Navy diver. John’s military service was something he always planned on doing, though he originally thought he’d serve with the United States Air Force. But every time he went to visit the recruiter’s office, the Air Force recruiter was nowhere to be found. The Navy recruiter was happy to step in each time and talk with John about the Navy. The Air Force’s loss was the Navy’s gain and John’s experience in the Navy has transitioned well to his abilities to further CHA’s commitment to bringing top-notch training and manpower capabilities to our military services.

One of the things John most loves about his post-Naval career choice of CHA is the atmosphere. It’s a true entrepreneurial environment with people who make it a joy and a privilege to come to work. With that kind of vibe, John can rest easy, assured that CHA will continue to produce cutting-edge products that will keep our armed forces the very best in the world.

John’s seen a lot of growth in CHA during his six years here. He cites maturity as one of the areas we’ve seen the most progress. By that he means that our organization has become even more disciplined and process-oriented since his arrival. From ISO certification to compliance with PMI and export standards, CHA has become a true contender in the military contractor field. CHA has a depth that few other small contracting companies can boast and continues to strive to add to its knowledge base as well as its ability to offer a wide-range of products and services.

When asked about his leadership philosophy, John was quick to point out that he views his position as that of a coach. If he can provide an environment where those he works with feel they have the freedom to make decisions while backed by the guidance of those who may have a little more experience, then that translates into everyone feeling they have contributed to and own CHA’s successes. When everyone is vested in the success of a product or service outcome, it frees them to dream bigger and better the next time around while gaining confidence in their own abilities.

John’s favorite CHA memory so far has been the SBIR purchase in 2015. That has catapulted CHA into so many critical success stories and given us a solid foundation from which to grow. With a “coach” like John as our CEO, we know CHA will continue to garner recognition as a top military contractor and solutions provider as well as grow into our full potential, all while producing state-of-the-art products and services for our clients.

July 30th, 2020|

Advancing technology in our Armed Forces

The United States military has a long history of being on the cutting edge of technology. Some of their advancements have become such everyday parts of American life that we tend to forget they were once created or improved by the military. Such household staples as duct tape and superglue have their origins with the military. GPS, digital cameras, and weather radar are all things we use on a daily basis that had their beginnings as military technologies. Widespread use of penicillin and ambulances grew out of military needs as did canned food, an invention created from necessity by the French military during World War I as a way to transport large amounts of food for soldiers on the ground. Epinephrine auto-injectors (think: EpiPen®) are derived from a technology developed first for the U.S. military. Not to mention computers, microwave ovens, the space program, blood banks, or the now ubiquitous internet. It’s getting harder to remember a time before the internet. Without its 1977 forefather, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), our 2020 COVID-19 quarantine would look a lot different.

The U.S. military does not rest on its laurels; research and development of new, innovative technologies is constant. Not surprisingly, a large effort exists to improve manpower and training. In its Sailor 2025 initiative, the U.S. Navy identified ready, relevant learning as critical to staying on the forefront in the new century. As a result, the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS)—a High Velocity Learning Environment (HVLE)—came about with heavy input from Cape Henry Associates (CHA). This state-of-the-art mobile training system brings training to the Sailor, rather than requiring the Sailor to come to it. Outfitted with cutting-edge classrooms; reconfigurability for optimal use; and 3D, augmented reality (AR), and traditional teaching methods, C-ARTS is the future of military training and already in use. The U.S. Army is also invested in AR technology to offer improvements in combat training such as better efficiency and providing Soldiers with the advantage in training and response times. The 2017 “Training and Doctrine Command” document states that “the priority in the near term is to increase situational awareness and lighten the Soldier’s physical load, which will improve combat effectiveness.” By embracing AR and artificial intelligence (AI) innovations, the Army will ensure continued leadership on the battlefield as well as back home, treating Soldiers returning from combat with such conditions as PTSD.

Technology is not just limited to the training arena, but is found in the weapons systems the U.S. military continually develops and improves. The U.S. leads the world stage in technologically savvy military machines, such as the Army’s SB-1 Defiant and V-280 Valor aircraft. Light tank prototypes and more autonomous aircraft are in development, helicopters in particular. The Air Force owns and operates drones and has recently announced plans to test their new AC-130J laser system designed to make disabling weapons systems easier. Robots, augmented reality headsets, and hypersonic missiles are further examples of some of the technology being tweaked for military use.

As the internet and new technologies become more widely used, public sector tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon have joined the defense contracting circle. Microsoft’s $480 million deal to provide HoloLens technology to military members was hailed as a game changer and it currently offers its Azure cloud services and IT consulting and support services to Department of Defense (DoD) agencies. Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the official cloud provider for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and works as a computing subcontractor for the DoD. Security, of the utmost importance for the U.S. military, and advances in AI are projected to be areas of great advancement over the next 10 to 20 years.

Beyond weapons systems, training, and security, developments in medicine are continually being made to include biological and chemical factors, and already artificial clotting agents are deployed with Soldiers to minimize blood loss from battle injuries. Within the next 15 years progress should allow alterations in military members’ immunology to protect against chemical and biological warfare. Handheld portable medical stations are also planned for the future.

Battle management software is being developed and improved every day. The military requires large amounts of data to be captured, analyzed, and available for decision-makers in as close to real-time as possible, and CHA has been involved in efforts to advance that capability. For more information on this project, check out the case study on the CHA website.

The future will see many more advancements likely beyond our current imaginings. Technology is critical for the military and always has been. We can expect things like human exoskeletons, modular and armed robotics systems with crowd control capabilities, and autonomous watercraft not requiring physical crews. Our military seeks to be ever vigilant in developing technology to meet the needs of the nation it serves, and whatever the technology needs, CHA stands ready to create or refine the solutions.

July 14th, 2020|

FAS2T-RIF1 case study released

Cape Henry Associates (CHA) has released another case study, this time detailing its efforts on creating Fast Autonomous Sort, Search of Threats, and Exploitation of Captured Media (FAS2T-RIF1). In collaboration with frequent partner KOVA Global, CHA engaged its proprietary FogLifter turnkey environment to create a product allowing the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) the ability to ingest and process large amounts of data with the latest machine learning algorithms for expedited processing of intelligence artifacts.

June 22nd, 2020|

CHA, beyond C-ARTS

The last couple of years have been exciting ones at Cape Henry Associates (CHA). We saw the Carrier-Advanced Reconfigurable Training System (C-ARTS) stand up from start to finish in an impressive 18 months! Since the first C-ARTS High Velocity Learning Environment (HVLE) went into service, the United States Navy has seen significant strides forward in its training technology capabilities, ensuring it will stay the premier naval force for decades to come.

While we are, rightfully, quite proud of C-ARTS and the success it’s had, CHA isn’t just about HVLEs. We offer a wide range of services and products. We thought we’d take a few moments to review what we offer beyond the truly impressive HVLE system, powered by CHA’s own Lighthouse technology stack. HVLE falls under our Training Services branch, which provides our customers with the most innovative training available today. From training devices to courseware development to instructional systems and SMART classroom design and installation, CHA is your go-to shop for all training needs.

Our proprietary software, Lighthouse, is the star of our Data Science and Analytics department, which can capture and integrate diverse datasets while providing analysis almost instantaneously. With Lighthouse, CHA can guarantee our clients success against adverse odds.

One of the more exciting areas at CHA these days is our Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning department. Powered by NVIDIA NGC, our mobile AI framework is capable of rapid ingestion and processing of a wide variety of data with flexible visualization options. As we move more and more into a technologically savvy world, our AI and Machine Learning department will keep you abreast of the latest technology advances.

Engineering and Logistics is robust at CHA. Using Lighthouse, CHA ensures mission readiness with a variety of services and support options. From maintenance systems analysis to maintenance gap analysis to providing Safe Engineering and Operations (SEAOPS) manuals as well as system installation, our Engineering and Logistics department has much to offer.

Requirements Analysis provides tools to accurately and efficiently identify potential problems, leading to state-of-the-art readiness for our customers. From manpower validation studies to billet saturation analysis and everything in between, our Requirements Analysis tools ensure agility and strength.

Finally, our Research and Disruption department never sleeps. This is the driving force behind our innovative and cutting-edge technology. Here is where exciting developments such as Lighthouse and C-ARTS first start, before being honed and refined. If you have a problem you’re having difficulty solving, or if you just need something better than you already have, check out all the ways CHA can help. CHA has multiple products and services ready to push your organization forward with ongoing success.

May 7th, 2020|

Who in the world of CHA is Jay McGovern?

Jay McGovern is a Navy veteran who proudly served for 13.5 years before a significant knee injury sidelined his military career and (luckily for us) brought him to Cape Henry Associates (CHA). Jay started as an analyst here, and held several positions before landing in his current role as Project Management Office Director. He feels all he’s learned during this time serves him well in his current position, where he leads a team dedicated to ensuring all awarded projects remain within scope and come in at or under budget.

Jay grew up in a military town and comes from a military family. He doesn’t know a time when he didn’t have a plan to enlist and serve his country in the military. He joined when he was 22 and parted from the Navy as an E-6. Jay wanted to find a company that would allow him to continue to serve our active duty forces and feels fortunate to have found a like-minded business that would allow him to continue the life of service he’d always lived. Twelve years later, Jay will tell you his favorite thing about CHA is our dedication to the warfighter, particularly our commitment to deliver ready, relevant training to the point of need in customizable ways. Jay believes this critical training is vitally important in order to mitigate knowledge atrophy and to build a set of career and life skills that will help our active duty military members long past the time of their military service.

Over the course of Jay’s time at CHA, he has observed an organic growth toward providing high-quality, state-of-the-art services across the entire spectrum of Manpower, Personnel, and Training (MPT) requirements. “Our desire is to develop training curriculum that is well received by the government,” Jay emphasizes, and this is something he is passionate about. CHA, according to Jay, is committed to ensuring our warfighters are equipped with the very best training possible. “We desperately want to ensure that commands are getting the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and with the right skills,” he says. That commitment is why Jay has stayed with CHA.

While the company has become a go-to for military services in the areas of MPT, Jay wants to see us reach out to those in the civilian sector who could benefit from our services. Ideally, he’d like to start with providing services to local and state entities who are tasked with providing for the welfare of our citizens. Jay sees expanding into local and state government sectors as a natural outgrowth of CHA’s service-oriented mindset.

Besides the services and unique technologies CHA offers its clients, Jay loves working with his fellow employees. “I have truly enjoyed the people that I have been so very fortunate to work with and for,” he states. “They look at problems from a unique viewpoint and offer dynamic solutions. They are not afraid to seek the input of others to gather diverse opinions and implement a solution that is workable within the constraints placed.” For Jay, this is an extension of the kinds of working relationships he first developed in the Navy and he loves the growth and learning that come with these relationships here at CHA. The best memories Jay has of CHA are of the people with whom he works. Besides meeting some incredible people and forming lasting professional relationships with them, Jay says, “I have learned to be a better person from each of them.” If that isn’t the very definition of the kind of healthy workplace we at CHA strive to achieve, we don’t know what is. It’s people like Jay who have worked to make CHA the success it is. Just like Jay, CHA is better for having the good fortune of hiring him 12 years ago!

May 1st, 2020|
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