Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Weaponized Space, FEMA Pandemic X, "Cyber Storm II" + News

Kehler: 'The future of Space is now'
-- "Air Force Space Command performs a national, and in some cases, an international space mission," said Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the new commander of AFSPC. "The space capabilities we provide today are embedded in all of our combat operations," he said. "They're also embedded in our military operations, short of combat, across the board. In fact, we cannot fight the way America fights today without space capabilities." A central piece of this is the nation's intercontinental ballistic missile mission. "When it comes to nuclear weapons, perfection remains the standard," said General Kehler. "That's been the case since I was a young missileer, and that hasn't changed today. It's imperative we maintain that focus of perfection in all of our activities surrounding nuclear weapons, which remain the foundation of our defense." The general also stated his concern about the need for increased focus on protecting U.S. space capabilities in a contested environment. "Today, space has become a contested environment," the general said, "and we know that in any conflict our adversaries will try to deny us use of those space capabilities. We're taking steps to prepare for that. Not only are we working to improve our space situational awareness, but we're addressing the vulnerabilities we know (cont...)

FEMA To Host Joint Influenza Pandemic Exercise
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be hosting a joint federal-state exercise to strengthen contingency plans for an influenza pandemic. Operation PANEX '07 is the first functional exercise of its type in this country designed to determine best practices for a coordinated multi-agency response to an outbreak.
The participants will involve key federal agencies including the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Defense (DOD) in partnership with their counterparts in the six New England states. The operation is part of an ongoing development opportunity to exercise established procedures and coordinated plans of action for disseminating public information and resource allocation.
FEMA Region I Administrator Art Cleaves underscored the importance this exercise plays in preparing for an event of this nature.
"It is imperative that we, the responsible federal (and state) agencies, consistently come together to engage in coordinated response planning," said Cleaves. "Obviously, in the event of an influenza pandemic, which is the focus of this exercise, it will require a sophisticated and aggressive course of action."
A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. A flu pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges for which people have little or no immunity, and for which there is no vaccine. The disease spreads easily person-to-person, and can sweep across the world in a very short time. The 'Spanish Flu' Pandemic of 1918-1919 killed between 30 and 50 million globally; an estimated 675,000 Americans were among the dead.
State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) will be activated and participating federal agencies will work with state and local health officials and emergency managers to respond to the simulated event. In the event of an actual influenza pandemic, DHS has primary responsibility for coordinating the overall federal response. FEMA's role would be to coordinate the identification, mobilization and deployment of federal resources to support the life-saving and life-sustaining needs of the states and their populations.
"The goal is to assess our strengths and weaknesses and identify areas that need improvement," said Cleaves. "Exercises like this are a vital component to maintaining a proactive approach to emergency management."

Cyber Storm II
DHS planning Cyber Storm II exercise in March
A Department of Homeland Security official said Cyber Storm II, a national cyber security exercise, is slated for March 2008.
In comments before the New York Metro Infragard Alliance Security Summit on Tuesday, Greg Garcia, assistant secretary of cybersecurity and communications at the DHS, said planning is underway for a March 2008 cyber security exercise, dubbed Cyber Storm II. Here’s what Garcia said:
At the national level, we are actively planning for the March 2008 national cyber exercise, Cyber Storm II, which follows the highly successful cyber storm I held in February 2006. This exercise examines our response and coordination mechanisms against a simulated cyber event affecting international, federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector.
By organizing and executing an exercise such as cyber storm, DHS is able to test our planning, information sharing and response to attack scenarios, assess our strengths and weaknesses in those areas, and learn how to improve response capabilities.
I am thrilled that the financial services sector, through the financial services ISAC, is once again fully engaged in the planning and execution of the cyber storm exercise.
Their participation in the exercise demonstrates their firm commitment to cyber preparedness and I hope sends a signal to other sectors that cyber security measures need to be taken seriously.
Garcia reiterated that the DHS needs cooperation with private enterprise on cybersecurity since companies own 85 percent of the nation’s infrastructure

Secret military nanotechnology development
Nanowerk Spotlight) Given past revelations of previously top secret military technology programs there is a good chance that some 'black' projects somehwere tinker with advanced nanotechnology applications. But, you keepers of military secrets, relax. This Spotlight is not a piece of investigative journalism into the world of military black projects. It is the first in a series of eight scenarios that have just been published by the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) - and we here at Nanowerk have posted the entire nanotechnology scenario project on our site. CRN's scenarios depict various versions of a near-future world into which transformative manufacturing concepts may emerge. Across eight separate storylines, an international team of policy, technology, and economic specialists organized by CRN imagined in detail a range of plausible, challenging events - from pandemics to climate crises to international conflicts - to see how they might affect the development of advanced nanotechnology over the next 15 years. Please keep in mind that this and the others seven scenarios are NOT predictions but fiction. CRN intends the scenarios to provide a springboard for discussion of molecular manufacturing policies and societal responses. While each scenario can be understood individually, the real value of the process comes from the comparison of multiple scenarios. A strategic response that appears robust in one scenario may be dangerous in another; an organization, community, or polity using these scenarios to consider how to handle the emergence of molecular manufacturing should strive for responses that are viable across multiple scenarios.

Most in military believe a war with China will come
More than 50 percent of military personnel believe there is going to be war between Taiwan and China -- numbers the Ministry of National Defense's General Political Warfare Bureau said yesterday were a good sign.

U.S. Army Establishes Project Office for Gaming
GamePolitics has reported on an article in the Training and Simulation Journal Online, describing the new TPO Gaming as focusing on "integrating videogame graphics into Army simulations for soldiers and small-unit leaders. "We will focus on the visualization piece of those technologies, not so much the entertainment piece," said TPO Gaming Director Col. Jack Millar. The office is intended to offer game-based training options not currently available in commercial game software. "I haven't seen a game built for the entertainment industry that fills a training gap," Millar said

QinetiQ awarded contract for Watchkeeper UAV evaluation

Military Flights Scheduled for Odd Hours
December 11, 2007 - 10:46am

No comments: