Tuesday, November 6, 2007

GD: "Unified Engagement", Robots Gone Wild, NGA +

“Unified Engagement” General Dynamics

GD to support Air Force wargame exercises

General Dynamics Corp. will assist the Air Force with wargame exercises under a new contract that could be worth up to $146 million.
General Dynamics Information Technology, a business unit of General Dynamics, won the five-year contract for the Air Force Simulations, Training and Experimentation Program.
General Dynamics will support planning and conduct of the Air Force Title 10 mid-term wargame, “Unified Engagement.” The company said it will perform the work primarily in Arlington and Hampton Roads, Va.
General Dynamics will provide staffing support to Air Force agencies to conduct concept development, analysis and assessments. The company also will assist with war and mobilization planning.
General Dynamics of Falls Church, Va., ranks No. 7 on Washington Technology’s 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors

Pentagon: Our new robot army will be controlled by malware
By Lewis Page
Published Tuesday 6th November 2007 14:36 GMT

A US defence department advisory board has warned of the danger that American war robots scheduled for delivery within a decade might be riddled with malicious code. The kill machines will use software largely written overseas, and it is feared that sinister forces might meddle with it in production, thus gaining control of the future mechanoid military.
The most eye-catching of the equipment mentioned is the lineup of the US Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) programme. FCS was originally supposed (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/images/fcs-2006.jpg) to include a wide range of deadly unmanned systems, including a small, possibly rocket-firing flying Dalek (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/24/us_army_dalek_thermobarics/), a heavily armed autonomous helicopter gunship (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/24/robochoppers_to_join_flying_hk/), and a robot tank packing guided missiles and cannon. There would also be intelligent sensor minefields, droid-mule transport systems and loads of other stuff; and all of it is supposed to be linked together by a data network. (cont...)

Local ports to use new federal IDs

WASHINGTON — Dockworkers in Tacoma and Seattle will be among the first in the country to use new federal identification cards that are meant to help protect the nation's ports from terrorist attacks.
The Transportation Workers Identity Credential (TWIC) ID card is a high-tech document required of any dock or transit worker with unescorted access to secure port areas.
Equipped with a chip, a swipable magnetic strip and tamper-resistant holograms, the new ID card is the first step in a long-awaited plan to better screen port employees and others with secure-area access.
"TWIC is designed to address all facets of the supply chain," said Mike Wasem, spokesman for the Port of Tacoma, which will begin using the cards this week. "Ultimately, it will affect longshoremen, truckers, PR guys, anyone who 'touches' cargo. The PR guy doesn't touch cargo, but he does have access to secure areas."
The program was ordered five years ago as part of homeland-security legislation. But so far, only two ports nationwide have the ID cards. The Transportation Security Administration, which oversees the program, plans to issue the ID cards in 39 additional ports, including Tacoma and Seattle, by the end of 2007 and in 147 ports by next fall.
New Book Underscores the Vital Role of Geospatial Technology in Homeland

Company: ESRILocation: Redlands, California, United States of America
Redlands, California—GIS for Homeland Security, a new book from ESRI Press, chronicles the value of geographic information system (GIS) technology in a growing arsenal of technologies used to protect the nation from natural disasters, diseases, and terrorist threats.
The book by Mike Kataoka, an ESRI Press editor and former journalist, describes in nontechnical language how GIS works as a core technology for gathering and analyzing intelligence; protecting critical infrastructure; responding to forest fires, hurricanes, and other catastrophes; and planning for bioterrorism or disease outbreaks.
“Homeland security intelligence is more about bits and bytes than cloaks and daggers these days,” Kataoka writes. “In a homeland security context, geographic information systems answer the key questions, starting with who and what are at risk.”
GIS for Homeland Security presents 15 case studies that demonstrate how public agencies and private entities are putting GIS to work on the front lines. One informative case study shows how the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, the state’s analysis hub for crime- and terrorism-related intelligence, uses a data fusion system powered by ESRI’s ArcGIS software and MetaCarta’s Geographic Text Search (GTS). Intelligence analysts can use geography as a filter when searching through documents including news articles, e-mails, and Web pages.
The book also profiles four GIS professionals who have put the technology “to the test under difficult, even dangerous circumstances.” Among them is Ron Langhelm of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who has used his GIS expertise to support recovery operations after earthquakes; hurricanes; and the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. (cont...)

US navy stages oil spill drill at Bahrain port
5 hours ago
MANAMA (AFP) — US naval forces in the Gulf said they carried out a crisis response exercise involving a mock oil spill on Tuesday at a Bahraini port.
The Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet said the drill was part of week-long exercises aimed at boosting its capacity to respond to crises. It linked the drills to potential disaster situations or oil spills, without mentioning military conflict.
Tuesday's exercise involved the use of helicopters to evacuate survivors and transport relief supplies.
"One cannot predict when or where a natural disaster is going to take place. But we can train to improve our response when a host nation requests our assistance," Rear Admiral Terence McKnight told reporters.
The exercises come as the White House ratchets up its rhetoric against Iran, warning of "World War III" if Tehran obtains atomic weapons.
Britain has announced it will send an aircraft carrier to the Gulf in early 2008, although it said the deployment was not linked to possible military action against Iran, which denies seeking an atomic bomb.


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