Thursday, November 1, 2007

Operation Net Assessment SWS Update, DHS + News

Modeling, simulations aiding military planners






Orlando — The use of high-tech modeling and simulation support is taking on increasing importance and sophistication in global military decision-making, Air Force Gen. Lance Smith said in a closing keynote address at this week’s MILCOM conference. “The lines between experimentation, training and operations are blurring,” said Smith, who is commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command/North Atlantic Treaty Organization Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. Analysts are taking increasing advantage of a combination of technology tools to assemble high-resolution, three-dimensional models of prospective battlegrounds, using near real-time data, to aid warfighters in planning and simulating attack routes in Iraq. The modeling capability relies largely on Light Detection And Ranging topographic mapping technology. LIDAR sensors measure elevations by transmitting laser pulses to a target and recording the time it takes for the pulse to return to the sensor receiver. The readings are combined with Global Positioning System and inertial measurement unit data. The data can quickly be converted into 3-D visual renderings that capture the precise elevations and locations of a variety of topographic features, including buildings, trees and other objects. The models can then be enhanced, using color coding and other mapping tools, to identify strategic elevations and routes. What’s changing is the increasing ability to combine combat or air strike simulation software with virtual constructions based on actual field data. Moreover, the simulations can now be distributed to, and conducted by, participating coalition partners anywhere around the globe. The result, said Smith, is that training is becoming more dynamic as the “synthetic world” increasingly resembles current battle conditions. But a new form of modeling is also being developed for military planning, Smith said, under a pilot program called Operation Net Assessment. The program, led by the US Joint Concept Development & Experimentation Directorate (J9), attempts to gauge the core social, economic, political and infrastructure dynamics in a given area or region. Using high-performance computers and a market analysis model reportedly developed at Purdue University, the program can simulate a variety of scenarios and help commanders “anticipate” possible outcomes if, for instance, they removed or failed to remove an influential warlord. Smith cited an example of when a new hospital was constructed in a village south of Baghdad. It turned out there were virtually no nurses in the region to support it and the hospital went unused. Operation Net Assessment’s modeling tool might have helped coalition forces identify more appropriate choices. As many as 100 workers are now at work at J9 developing such a database for use in Afghanistan. These and other modeling tools will be important as military commanders continue to confront unconventional enemies, Smith suggested. “It is difficult for me to envision getting into a conventional war, with tanks on tanks or huge air-to-air fights, where the merits are how many planes you shoot down,” said Smith. “What we saw in Lebanon is the model for the future.”


Department of Homeland Security proposes water security measure
http://www.komotv.com/news/national/10930801.html


The Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new measure to help tighten security in the waterways in western Washington as well as around the country.The proposal would require all boaters to carry an I.D. card with them at all times on the water in order to help the Coast Guard maintain a list of chronic offenders and ward off larger threats that may sneak in through the Port of Seattle. "We deal with threats in our own lives every day. This is one more component, that we shouldn't overreact to, but we can't ignore," said A.D. Vickery with the Seattle Fire Department. (cont..)
Real emergency preempts citywide disaster drill (CA)
Canyon Lake’s Emergency Preparedness Committee has been preparing for a citywide disaster drill; however, members faced the real deal during the recent fires when they were called upon to head an evacuation center in Temecula. On Tuesday, October 23, Nancy Carroll, chairman of Canyon Lake’s Emergency Preparedness Committee, got word from the American Red Cross that volunteers were desperately needed to help evacuated members of the Pechanga tribe gathering at the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Within an hour, Nancy, her husband Jay, and three other committee members were on their way to set up the center.

Russia, China have blocked tough Iran sanctions: U.S.

VIENNA (Reuters) - Russia and China have been blocking tough U.N. sanctions against Iran, the United States said on Thursday, adding there would be a push to impose them if Iran did not halt nuclear activity within two weeks.
But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was "not worried at all" about additional sanctions, dismissing them as ineffective.
Nicholas Burns, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, said China and Russia had been stalling a new United Nations Security Council resolution since late March.
The five permanent powers on the U.N. Security Council plus Germany will meet in London on Friday to weigh broader sanctions. Increased saber-rattling between Iran and Washington is stirring fears of war if diplomatic pressure fails.


Conferees agree to boost funding for Navy shipbuilding (FCS)
"In other programs, conferees trimmed $200 million from the Army's Future Combat Systems. The size of the cut reflects a compromise between the Senate's approval of the Pentagon's $3.7 billion request for the Army's key technology transformation program and the House's decision to cut $406 million."
Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley Transcript, Part Two (DEW)




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