2010 Cyberspace Symposium: Keynote - Opening Remarks

By Col. Tom Gilbert, USAF, LTG John A. Dubia, USA (Ret.), The Honorable Dave Heineman | Omaha, Neb. | May 26, 2010


Welcome to the 2010 United States Strategic Command Cyberspace Symposium. I'm Colonel Tom Gilbert from the Global Innovation & Strategy Center, and I'll be your emcee for the next two days.

It is my privilege to welcome you to this year's Cyberspace Symposium. And for you out-of-towners not from the state of Nebraska, you brought beautiful weather with you. We just started our summer, I believe, and welcome to the beautiful city of Omaha, Nebraska.

I'd like to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to become part of this event. This is our second Cyberspace Symposium, and it's once again co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association International.

We have a great agenda lined up today and tomorrow. We have over 1300 people here from across the government, Department of Defense, international, industry, and academia. We have representatives from seven nations, over 130 government organizations, and 175 corporations and academic institutions. We have attendees at all levels from our most senior leaders to undergraduates in college.

It is a great opportunity to do what we call crowd-sourcing. We challenge you to engage panelists with your thoughts and questions. So let's roll up our sleeves, deep dive into the effort, addressing our theme, Ensuring Commanders' Freedom of Action in Cyberspace. With that, let's get started.

We are honored today to welcome the Governor of Nebraska, the Honorable Dave Heineman. He was sworn as Nebraska's 39th Governor on January 21, 2005, and was elected to his first full term in office in 2006 by a record margin. He's a native Nebraskan and no stranger to military service.

Governor Heineman is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. He served five years in the Army. He's also graduated from Army's Airborne and Ranger Schools.

Prior to becoming Governor, he served three years as Lieutenant Governor leading homeland security emergency preparedness efforts for the state. Economics and education vitality are his top priorities, and he's working closely with United States Strategic Command and private industry leaders to attract business opportunities to the defense industry. Please help me in giving him a warm welcome.


Colonel, thank you very much. And I can tell from the reception, there are a few Army guys out here in the audience. You may need to keep them in line before the day is over.

General Chilton and all of our distinguished military and civilian leadership who are here today and especially our international guests, we are delighted to have you in our great state.

I want to welcome you to the 2010 Cyberspace Symposium. And particularly for the men and woman who are here in uniform, I want to say thank you for your service to our country. We are very, very proud of you.

And as a veteran, I particularly appreciate the men and women who are serving in the United States Armed Forces today. The all volunteer forces that are the best forces we've ever had, and you are fortunate to be the leaders of these young men and women.

Now, especially to our Air Force friends who are here today, I just want to remind you in all my time in the United States Army, every time I got on an Air Force plane, I never landed with that plane. They always shoved me out the door as I was jumping from that perfectly good airplane. And as we used to say in the Army, for those of us who go to Airborne and Ranger Schools, every single jump was a night jump. Our eyes were closed, we were praying, and we want to thank the Air Force for the service you gave us.

You know, with the Strategic Space event we host each Fall and now the addition of this event, these are two dynamic events that bring military and private sector leaders together. And we are proud to have you in our great state.

And I want to share with you that Nebraska is very proud to be the home of the Strategic Command and its mission supporting our national defense. Offutt Air Force Base is an integral part of Nebraska's work force and has extraordinary potential for future growth, and we welcome that growth here in Nebraska. We have a very special relationship with Offutt.

Again, in this state and as I know throughout our country, we appreciate the men and women for what they do and the fact that they put their life on the line every single day for our freedom and our opportunities that we have in this great country.

We've launched a coalition of private and public partners working to seek new opportunities for supporting the missions housed at Offutt Air Force Base. We are committed to working with General Chilton to attract private sector contractors that support these missions, and we are pleased to do that.

Education is a very special priority for me. I believe it's the key for our future prosperity here in Nebraska and all across America, and we particularly are trying to work with education leaders in the state to ensure that Nebraska students are prepared for science and information technology careers in order to support cyberspace and other key elements of what you're engaged in.

We have tremendous resources here in Nebraska, and on behalf of our academic research and business interests, I think you'll find this event a very exciting opportunity to share information, to network, and get to know a number of people.

The challenge of securing and protecting the wealth of digital and online data is a critical one for every government agency, from the local level all the way up to our federal government and all military organizations that we have. As Governor, I've made it a priority to invest in our applications that allow our citizens to interact online with state agencies.

As I look around this room, I share with you, and I know you know this, but everyone younger than us never expects that they'll ever show up at a city hall or county courthouse or state office building. They're going to pull out their iPhone or iPad or whatever device it's going to be in the future, and that's how they're going to interact with government. That's how you're going to interact out there on the battlefield.

So in Nebraska we made that a priority, everything from hunting and fishing licenses to renewing your driver's license online. This year nearly 80 percent of all individual income tax returns were filed electronically. And for us what that means is it's more secure, it's more efficient, it's more cost effective.

We've developed a partnership with Nebraska's largest hospital networks that have developed an electronic exchange for medical records. This is one that I'm particularly interested in. I used to be the state treasurer of our state, but if you went online today and you wanted to find out how much money you had in your bank account, you could do it in 10 seconds. If you wanted to find out how much money you owed on a credit card or whatever you're charging here at this institution or at this cyberspace symposium, if you want to spend a little more money we appreciate that too, you can tell exactly how much you owe.

But today, if any of you had a health related challenge and tried to go online and find out anything about your medical records, nothing would show up. This is an area where we have to do better just like the challenges you have. So we launched this effort last year. We already have information now on more than 1.5 million patients. All of this provides greater convenience for users. It's more efficient for agencies and, in some instances, allows us greater integration of data among agencies.

And I'm sure that's a challenge for you, how do you integrate all of this data across many government agencies? This is nearing where all of us have to get better. We have too many silos. We've developed too many privacy policies that are silo-oriented instead of big-picture oriented. And of course, we deal a lot with state and local agencies relative to federal and state and local law enforcement.

Digital databases offer greater security, and control measures are important for that sense of information. Protecting that information is something we take very seriously, and it's an even greater challenge I know for you.

And how do we do all of this in today's information age where I know you deal with it every day just like we do, confronting the nuances of the information age from e-mail spam, and yet, how do we prevent security breaches and theft, and how do we protect these critical databases?

This is a challenge for all of us. Forums like this are going to provide a great opportunity for all of you to talk about how are we going to interact and deal with these issues and how are we going to solve those challenges. When it comes to securing information, there are no greater responsibility than protecting the civilian and military resources and personnel of the United States. Collaboration is key.

In Nebraska, we're very fortunate to have an outstanding model of collaboration, and that's very evident in our public and private partnerships, including the Global Innovation & Strategy Center in Omaha, the Peter Kiewit Institute, the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management housed at the University of Nebraska.

We also have a business community of more than 50 defense-related companies committed to partnering with military and government agencies, and we appreciate that. We have a very strong telecommunications sector and a growing technology sector.

If I could share a little with you about Nebraska, I'm very, very proud of our state right now. Frequently I've been on national TV lately and they've asked me, "Do you have something in your water that's different than the rest of the country since you're in such great shape?" And I share it with them that in Nebraska we believe in this very novel concept: We don't spend money we don't have. Our citizens haven't taken out a home mortgage they can't afford to pay off, our businesses haven't taken on debt they can't afford to pay off on a monthly or yearly basis, and at the state level, we balanced our budget.

So here we are in Nebraska, the third lowest unemployment rate in America at five percent, half the national average. 15 states are greater than 10 percent. We've been identified as one of the Top 10 best states for doing business. Recently, Forbes recognized Omaha and Lincoln as two of the Top 10 places in America for professionals and careers.

So we're proud of where we're at, where we want to head, and we want to do that working with the Strategic Command. We want STRATCOM to be successful, we want our defense companies to be successful, and we want to expand opportunities for Offutt Air Force Base to play a leading role in national defense in both the real world and the virtual world.

So as governor, I'm glad to have you in our state. And again, particularly for the men and women in uniform for those who serve, I just once again want to say thank you for your service to our country. It makes a real difference and we're very, very proud of you. Thank you.


Thank you very much, Governor Heineman. We are very honored to have you today.

At this time I'd like to introduce Retired General John A. Dubia, Executive Vice President of AFCEA International and our co-sponsor for the 2010 Strategic Command Cyberspace Symposium.

General Dubia and the folks at AFCEA have been an integral part in planning, organizing and now the execution of this symposium. And it goes without saying it's a monumental effort, countless hours, blood, sweat and tears that go into the planning and execution of this event. Without this cooperative team effort, we simply cannot have put it on.

Please welcome General John Dubia.


Thank you for the warm introduction to the great state of Nebraska. General Chilton, General Turner, flag and general officers, national and international, SESs and the great members of the non-commissioned officer corps of the United States Armed Forces.

On behalf of AFCEA International and our team here supporting this great event, Becky Nolan, my partner in crime here, Executive Vice President, Steve Tripoli, Senior Director of Events, and other members of the AFCEA team, we are honored to be the co-sponsor for this Cyberspace 2010, the second Cyberspace event.

The theme topics that are most relevant today and more importantly relevant to the future, you got a snapshot of that from the Governor. You're going to hear more about that from the Commander in Chief of the United States Strategic Command.

I want to highlight our international partners, so very, very key, and our industry partners with providing solution sets and capability sets to the men and women in uniform who were highlighted by the Governor this morning.

It's my honor to introduce someone who is no stranger to the great state of Nebraska nor to the United States Armed Forces and internationals, General Kevin Chilton, Commander, United States Strategic Command, Air Force Academy graduate, master's degree from Columbia, qualified on many airframes, United States Air Force commands throughout the Air Force and as highlighted in our perspective, a three-time space shuttle astronaut.

Absolutely outstanding achievements by this great Air Force officer who leads the United States Strategic Command in its efforts for peace in the United States and the free world.

Please join me in welcoming to the podium General Kevin Chilton, Commander, United States Strategic Command.