Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Homeland Security, Exercise Initial Thunder, Terror Sim, + News

“Don’t lose sleep over the Patriot Act. Your government can demolish you in a thousand worse ways,”

Homeland security: More than just the Patriot Act

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Matt Packard, who is the state planning coordinator for the Colorado Department of Safety, joined a panel of experts in homeland security to talk to students at Front Range Community College in Longmont

LONGMONT — Soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, attorneys, FBI agents and local law-enforcement officers — all are working in the name of homeland security.
“There are many aspects of homeland security,” said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Matt Packard, who is a supervisor in the Colorado Information Analysis Center in Denver. The center collects and analyzes information regarding possible threats, then disseminates it to local agencies as needed, he explained.
Packard and four other men discussed their work Monday night during Front Range Community College’s seminar “Everything you always wanted to know about homeland security but were afraid to ask.”
The Patriot Act — passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as anti-terrorism legislation — became a topic of debate between two of the speakers and two students who questioned the power it gives the government.....

Firms to tackle terror simulation

A counter terrorism seminar for businesses is to be held for the first time in the Highlands.

Delegates will be asked to respond to a simulated terrorist attack designed by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, under its Project Argus scheme.
The event in Insches Church, Inverness, on 11 March will be hosted by Northern Constabulary and Grampian Police.
NaCTSO founder Richard Flynn will attend along with representatives of the emergency services.
'Not immune'
Police said an expert panel would answer any questions on dealing with an attack.
Chief Supt Bruce Duncan, head of operations at Northern, said: "Events in Glasgow last summer illustrate that Scotland is not immune from terrorism.
"Our aim is to ensure that the north of Scotland is as equally prepared and protected as anywhere else in the UK."

"Exercise Initial Thunder"

Mock 'dirty bomb' attack tests Canada's terror response

VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb 19, 2008 (AFP) — A mock dirty bomb explosion here Monday launched a week-long exercise to pit authorities and emergency responders against terrorists attacking Canada's west coast.
"We all hope Canada will never have to face a terrorist attack," said Ted Sykes of Ottawa's defence department, who also is director of Exercise Initial Thunder, Canada's largest ever such drill.
Sykes said the one-million-dollar exercise, encompassing a score of federal and local agencies, national police as well as Interpol, and including some 300 local "players," involves a series of scripted challenges.
The drills aim to test whether Canada's military technology is fit to face a terrorist challenge, and also test how well different responders cooperate with each other, said Sykes.
The operation is the largest counter-terrorism exercise to be held in Canada focused on radioactive, chemical or biological explosives, said a Department of National Defence statement.
It began here at the massive Port of Vancouver, and will move during the week to Esquimalt, a major Canadian naval base on Vancouver Island, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of here.
The week launched at 6:30 am (1430 GMT) Monday, when routine screening detected radiation emissions from two containers at the port.
Fire trucks, ambulances, police and border service officers, along with military scientists, thronged onto Ballantyne Pier, a secondary cruise ship facility adjacent to the container terminal.
"In real life, the radioactive emissions could have been detected in the container's country of origin, but in the (exercise scenario) it was detected in this city," said Sykes.
At mid-morning Monday, the script called for a simulated bomb to explode in one of the containers. At exactly the same time, a mock illegal human smuggling ring moved 12 fugitives past the container.
The pretend blast, which had a 300-meter (nearly 1,000 feet) radius, injured all 12 -- really health care workers volunteering to act out parts as smugglers moving illegal transients.
"They were unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Sykes, straight-faced.
All responders were measured for radiation exposure, and decontamination tents were set up to treat the illegal migrants, said Tim Armstrong, of the hazardous materials division of Vancouver's Fire Rescue Services.
Although two of the pretend casualties had life-threatening injuries by the end of the day only one person had actually died, said Sykes.
And true to form in this city known as "Hollywood North" for its active film industry, the identity of the dead person was predictable.
"It was the bad guy," said Sykes.

Weapons Debate Puts China in Focus

Companies Featured in This Article: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, United Technologies, BAE Systems
The perceived new military threat from China is a growing factor in a Pentagon debate over weapons spending.
In recent weeks, the Department of Defense has been roiled by an unusually fierce fight over the future of the F-22 Raptor, a $143 million jet produced by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. that the Air Force and others hope will uphold the nation's pre-eminence in the skies.
With the U.S. focused on fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, such weaponry for battling superpowers has been seen by some U.S. officials as less important to the wars of the future....

Lasers light the way to future of combat

Soldiers in the field own the night thanks to tests being run at White Sands Missile Range.
Soldiers will be able to see, coordinate, and fight better thanks to a new series of laser aiming and illumination devices being tested by the Material Test Directorate's Future Force Division Unmanned Vehicle/Soldier Branch

CSC names VP in Homeland Security business http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/stories/2008/02/18/daily12.html

A high-tech wish list
DARPA procurement plan shows Pentagon's IT research priorities


Among the most prominent technology areas that DARPA seeks to fund via the BAA are:
space and near-space sensors and systems;
strategic and tactical networks;
information assurance;
counter underground facilities;
weapons-of-mass-destruction defense;
small-unit operations;
maritime operations; and
core strategic technologies.