Tuesday, November 13, 2007

5 Year Massive Attack Simulation, DARPA, Drill....

Massive attack simulation to involve every stateU.S. engaging in 5-year 'game-play' exercise for terror attacks, major disasters

Excerpt: "...Pino explained that the current RDD scenario of VS08/TOPOFF4 has been designated as National Planning Scenario No. 11.
"We will exercise all 15 of these national planning scenarios in the construct of the national exercise program over a period of years," he explained. "A perfect example is that last May, we conducted a national exercise as a precursor to this one, where we exercised against national planning scenario No. 1; that is, a nuclear detonation in a major metropolitan city."
From May 10-18 in Ardent Sentry 07, USNORTHCOM, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, exercised the detonation of an improvised nuclear device in Indiana.
USNORTHCOM's Joint Task Force Civil Support deployed in the exercise more than 2,000 active-duty military personnel and some 1,000 National Guard personnel to Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuchk Urban Training Area, simulating an attack on Indianapolis.
Pino explained that each year at least one exercise will be designated a national level event, in which multiple state and local jurisdictions will be involved.
"That one national level event will be coupled with four 'Top Official Seminars' per year," Pino explained. "In the Top Official Seminars, we will take those national planning scenarios and discuss them in a seminar format with the principals and department heads in a table-top discussion environment.
"The issues that surface from those seminars will then be fed into the planning process for the national level exercise we will conduct," he continued. "It's a learning process in which we say, 'Okay, we talked about this as a potential challenge. We worked on what we believe is a proper answer to that challenge. Now we exercised it to validate that it, in effect, did accomplish the effect that we were after.'"
Pino also explained that the national exercise program is constructed to coincide with the four-year cycle of a presidential administration.
"So, in the first year of a president's administration," Pino explained, "we will have a ramped-up training program for the new administration on all the duties they are going to have in their homeland security and homeland defense responsibilities."
Pino laid out how the exercise cycle would work in conjunction with a presidential term.
"So, in the first year of a president's administration, like in 2009, the scenario will be one of the terrorist-related national planning scenarios. Then in 2010, the second year of this upcoming presidential administration, the exercise will be a natural disaster, perhaps a major hurricane or a major earthquake, affecting multiple jurisdictions."
He continued: "The third year will be an overseas Department of Defense-centric or humanitarian assistance to another nation state during a large-scale natural disaster, or a counter-insurgency-type operation, because we need to work national security too; this is a national exercise program.
"Then in the fourth year of a new administration," he concluded, "we will have domestic terrorist events as the foundation of that exercise."
Pino further specified that in each specific national exercise, different training objectives are identified.
"As I mentioned," he continued, "the planning for this exercise started 14 months ago. We identified certain exercise objectives we wanted to focus upon. Because this is a strategic national Top Officials exercise, our focus is working linkages and relationships and information-sharing between a strategic theater commander, a combatant commander – in this case NORAD-USNORTHCOM – and the national political leadership in Washington."
Therefore, Pino, explained, VS08/TOPOFF4 "has placed very little focus downward to operational forces on the ground or tactical units on the ground."
"We never intended to move very many actual forces around in this exercise," he said. "But, we designed the exercise to involve three venues – one in a U.S. territory that allows us to work those challenges of working a territory, the other two venues in Oregon and Arizona."
Pino also explained how the exercises were designed to involve FEMA regions nationwide.
"We have 10 FEMA regions throughout the nation," he explained. "A particular FEMA region is assigned the responsibility for a certain number of states, to provide disaster response and support. But FEMA Region 9, in this particular case, also has the responsibility for our territories in the Pacific. Oregon is FEMA Region 10, out of Seattle, and Arizona is FEMA Region 9, out of Oakland."
"Our goal," he concluded, "is to exercise the full scope of national planning exercises – ranging from natural disasters, to terrorist events, to health emergencies such as epidemic flu, such that each FEMA region and all the states have the opportunity to work through emergency exercises within the planned exercise cycle."
Master-control cell
The master-control cell of the national planning exercise is in the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia," Pino pointed out.
"USNORTHCOM has representatives there in Virginia in that master-control cell," he said. "Then you have the venues in Guam, Oregon and Arizona, with on-site control groups that are linked by satellite to the master-control cell. The day-to-day game-playing takes place in the JIASC interagency environment where information is processed and decisions are made."
The objective of the exercise, Pino said, is to "drive the action forward by providing the injects on real world systems."
"Inside the white cell, we have representation from every element of NORTHCOM," he said. "You'll notice there's an intelligence seat, a public affairs seat; there an operations seat, there's an inter-agency seat.
The chief controller from the War Fighting Center, Steve Zakaluk, is Pino's chief manager.
Zakaluk, Pino said, built every aspect of the exercise for NORTHCOM, working in partnership with the War Fighting Center.
"We react to what the players are doing to create the next day's and next two-day's environment to make sure we are moving in the right direction," Pino said.
He explained how the exercises are designed to benefit from lessons learned as the exercise is gamed.
"The most important piece of exercising is to observe your performance," Peno stressed. "What tasks need to be accomplished to satisfy the requirements of the plan? Then, what are the standards you are measuring yourself against?
"We bring together a significant number of subject matter experts from throughout the Department of Defense to work with us to observe our performance during the exercise," he continued, "to identify accomplishments and challenges."
"These experts then report back to me with all their observations," he explained. "Then what I will do is take every single one of these observations, and I build a 'lesson-identified' on that observation. From there, we put in place a corrective action program to fix that issue, and then we will revalidate it on a future exercise."
Observer-trainers then, he said, are working with each of the staff elements to identify the value of standards and conditions of the tasks that are supposed to be performed.
"Then we have analysts and subject matter experts in specific domains like intelligence, operations, planning, interagency synchronization, etc.," he continued, describing an interactive feedback loop at the heart of systems and operations planning science.
"They observe our performance and report back to me on their observations," Pino explained, "and then the analysts give us a perspective on their analysis of particular trends that are going on. Then we take that information from these guys, and we feed it into that 'lessons-learned' corrective-actions program for the next planned exercise."
Built into the national exercise program, therefore, is a "corrective-action program," Pino stressed.
"We identify a challenge, an issue, something that didn't go right, and it is fed into the Homeland Security Council," said Pino. From there, the Homeland Security Council assigns a department among the interagency partners designated to fix the problem and reports back to the Homeland Security Council."

DARPA spies on analyst brains; hopes to offload image analysis to computers

As things currently stand, computers have some pretty severe limitations when it comes to image analysis, as they frequently misidentify the basic components of an image. That leaves humans the undisputed champs at recognizing significant features of photographs. From a military and intelligence perspective, this is a big problem: it's easy to obtain images, meaning trained image analysts are the big bottlenecks when it comes to intelligence. To avoid this problem, DARPA is working on developing a human/machine hybrid process to speed the screening of image data.
The work takes advantage of the fact that the brain does a lot of work in filtering visual information before making the conscious mind aware of what has been seen. This can take the form of weeding out distractions, generating associations, and identifying features that may be worthy of further attention. All of these process happen even if images are only visible for fractions of a second.
The DARPA program funds Honeywell to work with academic researchers to listen in on the brain's internal conversation to help filter out those images that aren't worth detailed analysis. Trained analysts are fitted with electrodes that monitored their brain activity, and then shown stacks of 50 images in rapid succession.

Ex-Walter Reed Chief to Run Fort Detrick

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- A two-star general who was fired as the head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center amid reports of shoddy treatment of wounded soldiers will oversee U.S. biological weapons defense research as commander of Fort Detrick, the Army said Tuesday.
War costs could top $1.6 trillion, panel says http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/war-costs-could-reach-16/story.aspx?guid=%7B7A493DBF-174B-4AC9-AF03-CDAF02BD5638%7D

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could cost the U.S. economy $1.6 trillion through 2009, about double the amount directly requested by the Bush administration so far, according to a report released Tuesday by Democrats on the House-Senate Joint Economic Committee.
The report includes costs not included in the administration's funding requests, including the interest on money borrowed to finance the war, an estimate of the impact on oil markets, and costs tied to treating the wounded and disabled and other related costs.
Those costs, when added to direct funding of $607 billion, push total costs for the Iraq war to $1.3 trillion, the report said. If spending in Afghanistan is included, costs could reach $1.6 trillion by the end of fiscal 2008. The report estimated that both wars could carry economic costs of $3.5 trillion between 2003 and 2017.

Emergency simulation today at Kimberly-Clark in Neenah

1 comment:

Steve said...

Fema is terrible.