Air Force leaders to get NSA-approved smart phones

Top Air Force personnel will soon be sporting new secure smart phones. The service signed a contract for 300 General Dynamics Sectera Edge phone-PDAs, which are equipped with built-in Suite B encryption, according General Dynamics.  

Intended for senior leadership at the air staff and major command levels, the smart phones are part of a broader Air Force plan to integrate Secure Mobile Environment – Portable Electronic Devices (SME-PED) into its consolidated enterprise network.

Already in use across the federal government, the Sectera Edge is the first SME-PED with National Security Agency certification for classified voice and data, according to General Dynamics. The device can access commercial WiFi and cellular networks and safely communicate with classified and unclassified government networks. It also can send and receive both classified and unclassified phone calls and emails.

The device can also synchronize data with a user’s computer to access calendar, address book, calculator, notepad and other capabilities similar to a personal digital assistant, the company said.

The Sectera smart phones can operate on both Global System for Mobile Communications and Code Division Multiple Access commercial cellular networks. The phones are also interoperable with more than 350,000 fielded Secure Communications Interoperability Protocol devices.

The SME-PED program was launched by the NSA to provide the government with a handheld communication device that can securely access classified data. SME-PED smart phones are produced by General Dynamics and L-3 Communications.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

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