Tuesday, September 30, 2008
An operational version of the Active Denial System is shown. It is an invisible, counter personnel, directed-energy weapon
Wright-Patterson AFB OH (AFPN) Sep 30, 2008Air Force Research Laboratory officials here recently completed an extensive bioeffects research program for an invisible, counter personnel, directed-energy weapon known as the Active Denial System.
Data showed that millimeter waves do not promote cancer or cause reproductive problems, and researchers also defined skin and eye exposure thresholds, as well as levels at which effective repel occurs.
Results demonstrate that the Denial System, or ADS, can be used operationally while maintaining a significant safety margin, thus making the device a landmark nonlethal weapon.
The bioeffects research effort also assisted hardware developers in their design of the novel weapon. The ADS program marks the first instance wherein a nonlethal weapon was founded on bioeffects research occurring prior to, rather than subsequent to, the weapons development process.
AFRL officials have been involved in researching the operationally useful effects of millimeter waves for almost 20 years....
Northrop Grumman builds laser for AF
Northrop Grumman Space Technology delivered to the Air Force a high-energy laser that represents a milestone for the weapon's development in the South Bay, the Redondo Beach-based company said Monday.
Known as the Vesta II, the 2,000-pound laser is the first production-line, high-energy laser Space Technology has produced.
"It's the first time that mature (or proven) high-energy, solid-state laser technology has been packaged into a stand-alone, compact laser system that can be produced repeatedly at the company's `laser factory' in Redondo Beach," Northrop spokesman Bob Bishop said in an e-mail.
The delivery is important because it marks the transition from development of high-energy lasers to manufacturing, Bishop said.
In January 2007, Space Technology opened the Directed Energy Production Facility, its Redondo Beach facility to produce high-energy laser weapons.
The new facility was created to allow for volume production of high-energy lasers for air, sea and ground military uses.
Weapons in Space?
Of all the risky “transformation” initiatives championed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the one receiving the least media attention is the weaponization of space. Shortly before arriving for his second tour at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld chaired a commission calling for the U.S. government to vigorously pursue “the option to deploy weapons in space to deter threats and, if necessary, defend against attacks on U.S. interests.”
Bill would limit Homeland Security laptop searches
Illinois Plans For Pandemic
Representatives from various county health departments, hospitals and law enforcement agencies gathered to discuss their individual plans in the case of an influenza pandemic.
There Might Be a Financial Crisis, But the World's Arms Dealers Are Doing Just Fine http://www.alternet.org/story/100801/
Monday, September 29, 2008
KASHGAR, China — Just days before the Olympic Games began in August, a truck plowed into a large group of paramilitary officers jogging in western China, sending bodies flying, Chinese officials said at the time.
They described the event as a terrorist attack carried out by two ethnic Uighur separatists aimed at disrupting the Olympics. After running over the officers, the men also attacked them with machetes and homemade explosives, officials said. At least 16 officers were killed, they said, in what appeared to be the deadliest assault in China since the 1990s.
But fresh accounts told to The New York Times by three foreign tourists who happened to be in the area challenge central parts of the official Chinese version of the events of Aug. 4 in Kashgar, a former Silk Road post in the western desert. One tourist took 27 photographs.
Among other discrepancies, the witnesses said that they heard no loud explosions and that the men wielding the machetes appeared to be paramilitary officers who were attacking other uniformed men.
That raises several questions: Why were the police wielding machetes? Were they retaliating against assailants who had managed to obtain official uniforms? Had the attackers infiltrated the police unit, or was this a conflict between police officers?
“It seemed that the policeman was fighting with another policeman,” one witness said. All of the witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of running afoul of the Chinese authorities.
Chinese officials have declined to say anything more about the event, which was the first in a series of four assaults in August in which officials blamed separatists in the Xinjiang autonomous region. The attacks left at least 22 security officers and one civilian dead, according to official reports
SAIC to support Air Force research
MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has contracted Science Applications International Corp. for microwave components and other technologies in support of high-energy research.
U.S. company SAIC received a $49 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate, High Power Microwave Division. As part of the deal, SAIC will support the Air Force's pulsed-power research in an effort to further develop high-energy applications.
Officials say SAIC will provide microwave components, including portable and pulsed power, along with antennas and other technologies to advance the research primarily being conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.
"We are committed to exploring novel applications of pulsed-power technology to transition high-energy concepts from the laboratory to the war fighter to help defend America," John Fratamico, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager, said in a statement.
Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright
Manager, U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems
The U.S. Army wants to take the emerging network of its flagship modernization program, the Future Combat Systems (FCS), and develop across-the-force connectivity, linking small robots, sensors and UAVs to networked vehicles on the move
Aiming to secure a $3.6 billion budget request for 2009, FCS program officials are gearing up for a host of large developments in 2009 - the arrival of Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) Handheld Manpack Small (HMS), software-programmable radios able to move images and video across a network; a Milestone C procurement decision for the spinout technologies; and the beginning of testing with a new, high-bandwidth waveform called Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW)...
Indiana preparing for flu outbreak
The State Health Department plans to work with Purdue University's Healthcare Technical Assistance Program. Purdue's TAP Program will develop models to help rural hospitals better prepare for a pandemic.
The CDC awarded a total of $24 million to fund 55 projects in 29 states and local health departments.
Nuclear readiness high on StratCom chief's agenda
"We are putting focus on our three main lines of operation."In nuclear deterrence, Chilton is pushing Congress to fund the creation of a new generation of safer, tamper-proof nuclear weapons.And in space, the 53-year-old former astronaut who flew three space shuttle missions is seeking to boost U.S. intelligence on the satellites that potential adversaries have orbiting the planet.From its underground headquarters at Offutt, outside Bellevue, StratCom projects power that circles the globe and even reaches into space.StratCom remains the steward of the nation's nuclear arsenal, a mission it inherited from its predecessor at Offutt, the Strategic Air Command.But since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, StratCom's national security role has significantly expanded. It's now also charged with maintaining the nation's space assets and conducting military operations in cyberspace. And it plays a strategic oversight role in combating weapons of mass destruction, missile defense and global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, among other missions." (cont...)
PharmAthene wins anti-terrorism contract
PharmAthene Inc., a biodefense research company, has won a federal contract potentially worth $83.9 million to combat anthrax.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the Annapolis-based company a multi-year contract to develop and manufacture an anthrax vaccine. Specifically, the company, (AMEX: PIP) is working on a treatment that could be stored, transported and used without conventional cold temperatures and one that will require fewer doses for immunity to chemical and biological terrorism.
George Miller, manager of the Oakland County Health Division, said they will do the same this year beginning Oct. 6. Last fall's operation was the best yet.
"In five hours, we did about 12,000" people, Miller said.
Wayne County has 19 sites to deliver vaccines.
"Our goal is to have a capability of doing 66,000" people "per site in 48 hours," said Christine Hensley, emergency preparedness coordinator for Wayne County...."
Sunday, September 28, 2008
World War III codenamed "Joint Warrior" http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/09/28/world-war-iii-91466-21914726/
FIGHTER jets, infantry troops, destroyers and submarines will converge on Wales next month for one of the largest military exercises of all time.
The two-week exercise – codenamed Joint Warrior – is designed to recreate a scenario in which Britain and other sovereign nations go to war against a “state-sponsored terrorist movement” – using a vast array of lethal modern weapons.
Taking place between October 6 and October 16, it will provide coordinated training for all three UK Armed Services, plus forces from EIGHT allied nations.
New arms race between Russia and USA may trigger star wars http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/23-09-2008/106439-arms_race-0
“The arms race has already started, but Russia would like it to have a restricted character not to be spread in space,” Vice President of the Center for Political Technologies, Aleksei Makarkin said in an interview with Strana.ru website, commenting on Russia’s intention to bring draft resolution “Measures of Transparency and Strengthening Confidence in Space Activities” on the agenda of the UN General Assembly, which started working on Monday.
Friday, September 26, 2008
In 2006, the department asked the National Academies to review its Bioterrorism Risk Assessment tool — a presidential mandated program that assesses millions of potential bioterrorist attack scenarios, such as anthrax that is widely dispersed in a major city. For each scenario, it defines the likelihood of the attack happening and what the consequences would be.
Cubic to Conduct Disaster Training for New York City First Responders
New Contract With NYC Office of Emergency Management
SAN DIEGO, CA, Sep 25, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- Cubic Applications, Inc., the mission support services business of Cubic Corporation (CUB:
has received a contract valued at approximately $1 million from the New York City Office of Emergency Management to conduct All Hazards Exercises to train city personnel in responding to catastrophic events.
Cubic's Threat Technologies Division in Kingstowne, Virginia, started work in July on a two-year contract with three two-year options. Under the contract, Cubic will conduct exercises for police, fire, health department and other city personnel. The client will provide Cubic with parameters for each exercise, and Cubic will develop the scenarios. Cubic's first exercise under the new contract will take place in early 2009 and will feature a Weapons of Mass Destruction-related scenario. A future scenario could address hurricane preparedness.
Cubic is a leading international provider of combat, homeland security and emergency response training. Cubic conducts CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosives) training exercises for the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency that involve U.S. military personnel as well as foreign governments around the world. Cubic has also supported emergency response exercises for the Department of Homeland Security
Downtown Berkeley ‘Urban Shield’ Drill Draws Fire
Friday, Sept. 13, was a typical day for residents of 1910 Oxford St. in Berkeley—except for the commotion of a heavily armed SWAT team racing up the back stairway of a neighboring University building on Berkeley Way. “It was definitely weird to see that many people mobilized and in full uniform,” said Elise Craig, who lives on the third floor of 1910 Oxford St. A radical animals rights group was holding several students hostage in a former laboratory, and the SWAT team was rushing to meet them with guns drawn. Sharp reports of gunfire came moments later—as officers in the parking lot below sipped coffee and bottled water. In reality, the operation was one of 24 terrorism-themed scenarios conducted in the Bay Area by 26 tactical teams as part of a continuous 50-hour event called Urban Shield. Hosted for the second year running by the Alameda County sheriff and sponsored in part by Department of Homeland Security funds and corporate sponsors, Urban Shield was billed as the largest Homeland Security drill in the nation. More than 1,600 officers from California and the East Coast took part in the scenarios, which included hostage rescue, school takeovers, airplane hijackings, dignitary protection, prison riots, industrial sabotage, and live shooter response. Homeland Security drills have become more frequent. On Sept. 23, a large-scale preparedness exercise took place in train stations across the East Coast.
City to conduct emergency drill (Metro DC)
The City of Laurel will conduct a multi-jurisdictional National Capitol Region Emergency Exercise that could impact traffic on Thursday, Oct. 2.
Cooperative Longbow / Lancer -2008 NATO exercise kicks off in Yerevan Sept. 29
Russia to build missile defence shield and renew nuclear deterrence
Russia is to build new space and missile defence shields and put its armed forces on permanent combat alert, President Medvedev announced today.
In a sharp escalation of military rhetoric, Mr Medvedev ordered a wholesale renovation of Russia’s nuclear deterrence and told military chiefs to draw up plans to reorganise the armed forces by December.
He said that Russia must modernise its nuclear defences within eight years, including the creation of a “system of air and space defence”.
The announcement puts Russia in a new arms race with the United States, which has infuriated the Kremlin by seeking to establish an anti-missile shield in eastern Europe. The US argues that the shield is aimed at rogue states such as Iran, but Russia is convinced that its own security is threatened. (cont..)
Russia offers Chavez nuclear help amid US tensions
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was to meet Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Friday after Russia risked Washington's wrath by offering the fierce US foe help developing nuclear energy.
The two were to meet in the city of Orenburg after hawkish Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Chavez in Moscow on Thursday that Russia was "ready to consider the possibility of cooperation in nuclear energy."
The countries have boosted ties in recent weeks following sharp US criticism of Russia's incursion into Georgia, with Moscow dispatching long-range bombers and warships to Venezuela for exercises near US waters.
Putin made the nuclear offer after Russia this week delayed talks with the United States and other powers on fears Iran is developing nuclear weapons, concerns critics say have been exacerbated by civilian nuclear technology provided by Moscow.
Chavez called for increased ties with Russia as a counter-balance to US power.
See related: Russian Moves Show Military Ambitions
Lessons learned from Cyber Storm II http://www.continuitycentral.com/news04174.htmlThe exercise, led by the United States Department of Homeland Security, allowed the governments and business sectors of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to put their e-security arrangements to the test. .....
Simulation to test Seward readiness for flu pandemic (AK)http://thesewardphoenixlog.com/news/show/3325
Camp Aachen preparing joint simulation command center http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=57650
The Romance of Laser Weapons http://www.counterpunch.org/mango09262008.html
Darpa's Math Quiz: Model the Brain, Find Biology's Laws, Solve Number Theory 'Holy Grail'http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/09/darpas-math-qui.html
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, calling the market turmoil ``an economic Pearl Harbor,'' said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion proposal to prop up the U.S. financial system is ``absolutely necessary.''
``The market could not have taken another week'' like last week, Buffett told CNBC today, a day after saying his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will buy a $5 billion stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ``I think it was the last thing Hank Paulson wanted to do, but there's no Plan B for this.''
Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke are pushing Congress to quickly approve the plan to remove illiquid assets from the banking system. Lawmakers have balked at rubber- stamping the proposal, with Democrats demanding it include support for homeowners and limits on executive pay and Republicans questioning the plan's reach and size.
Russia Proposes Space Weapons Ban http://www.kommersant.com/p-13268/r_527/arms_control_international_security/
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has proposed that he and his European counterparts work out measures to prevent arms from reaching space. “The time has come for specific negotiations, and it is very important that the countries that can make a contribution to deciding that question take part,” Lavrov said at a press conference after talks with Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin. Lavrov said that Russia intends to introduce a draft resolution into the UN General Assembly entitled “On Transparency Measures and Strengthening Trust in Space Activities
A provision in the 2009 defense authorization bill would prevent Boeing from overseeing the project once it moved from the research and development phase to mass production.
The two-day exercise, which began Wednesday at a complex of the Russian oil company LUKoil, was designed to simulate a terrorist attack on critical energy infrastructure in Russia.
Soldiers capture a mock enemy building at the Chingchuankang Air Force Base during a Han Kuang exercise drill in Taichung yesterday. Taiwan launched a week of low-key military drills on Monday, axing a live-fire display as the island seeks better ties with its wary political rival, China.
Air-sea-land military drill held in northeast China
BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- A unit of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held a military exercise lasting several days in which it tested the synergistic command and battle capabilities of the navy, army and air force, the PLA Daily reported on Wednesday
RESIDENTS TO RECEIVE SHOT IN THE ARM - GA (Drive Thru)
According to Health Department officials, there will be 10 of the flu shot clinics conducted in Northwest Georgia. The drill in Dade County is different from the others in that the flu shots will be given in a drive-thru situation. Dade is the only county out of the 10 holding flu vaccination drills that will be a drive-thru. ....In a real pandemic flu situation, all of Dade County’s estimated 16,000 residents will need to be vaccinated within a very short time, so the drill will help in assessing any problems that might be encountered.
FAHC infectious disease expert preps for pan flu (VT)
BURLINGTON – A Fletcher Allen Health Care infectious disease expert and his team are preparing the hospital for the possibility of an influenza pandemic, said state Health Department officials.The tools Grace and the hospital have developed to combat a bioterrorism attack are now being used in the event of a pandemic influenza....
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Moscow, already angry at NATO's support for Georgia after Russia's military conflict with the Caucasus state, has accused the Western alliance of trying to poach its traditional allies.
Oil-rich Kazakhstan, which has manoeuvred carefully between Russia and the West, used Tuesday's war games with NATO to call for closer ties with the military bloc
Amtrak and the Transportation Security Administration deployed officers from about 100 local police departments to 150 train stations in 13 states and the District of Columbia during the morning rush on Tuesday in a drill to familiarize law enforcement personnel with the rail system and to practice working together. An Amtrak spokesman said some travelers were asked for identification and some were told to open their bags for inspection.
Most preventive screening looks for explosives or metals that pose a threat. But a new system called MALINTENT turns the old school approach on its head. This Orwellian-sounding machine detects the person — not the device — set to wreak havoc and terror.
MALINTENT, the brainchild of the cutting-edge Human Factors division in Homeland Security's directorate for Science and Technology, searches your body for non-verbal cues that predict whether you mean harm to your fellow passengers.
It has a series of sensors and imagers that read your body temperature, heart rate and respiration for unconscious tells
The exercise includes local law enforcement officials, emergency management agencies, health care workers and hospitals and is designed to discuss county preparedness plans and ways in which the state will provide resources in the event of an influenza pandemic.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The world economic crisis must be fought like the war on terrorism, the Chancellor is preparing to say.
"Just as one government alone cannot combat global terrorism, just as one government alone cannot deal with climate change, one government alone cannot deal with the impact of globalisation," Mr Darling will say.
"This is a global problem – and it will require global solutions."
In an interview on Sunday, Gordon Brown said the Government would push for an "international regulator" to oversee the web of international financial activity that individual national governments are unable to command on their own.
Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction
``We are seeing deals that are highly opportunistic and speedily arranged, where targets are distressed,'' said Marco Boschetti, co-head of global mergers and acquisitions at the Towers Perrin consulting firm in London.
Goldman Sachs, granted permission Sept. 21 to transform into a bank holding company, may raise capital to buy assets assuming it finds the right opportunities, said company spokesman Lucas van Praag in New York
China paper urges new currency order after "financial tsunami"
The commentary in the overseas edition of the People's Daily said the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEH.P: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) "may augur an even larger impending global 'financial tsunami'."
The People's Daily is the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, and the overseas edition is a smaller circulation offshoot of the main paper.
Its pronouncements do not necessarily directly reflect leadership views, but this commentary by a professor at Shanghai's Tongji University suggested considerable official alarm at the strains buckling world financial markets.
China's central bank earlier this week cut its lending rate for the first time in six years, a move analysts said was aimed at bolstering the economy and the battered stock market.
"The eruption of the U.S. sub-prime crisis has exposed massive loopholes in the United States' financial oversight and supervision," writes the commentator, Shi Jianxun.
"The world urgently needs to create a diversified currency and financial system and fair and just financial order that is not dependent on the United States."
“The St Andrew flag, the flag of the Russian Navy, is confidently returning to the world oceans,” Igor Dygalo, a spokesman for the Russian Navy, said. He declined to comment on Russian newspaper reports that nuclear submarines were also part of the expedition.
The voyage to join the Venezuelan Navy for manoeuvres came only days after Russian strategic nuclear bombers made their first visit to the country. Hugo Chávez, the President, said then that the arrival of the strike force was a warning to the US. The vehemently antiAmerican Venezuelan leader is due to visit Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian President, in Moscow this week as part of a tour that includes visits to Cuba and China.
Designer claims to have cracked century-old snag
Senate Boosts Funding for Laser Weapons
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The model works like a lie detector machine by indicating large fluctuations in body temperature, pulse and breathing which are likely indicators of anxiety often exhibited by a terrorist or criminal. The prototype, called Future Attribute Screening Technology, scans passengers as they pass through a set of cameras.
According to Jennifer Martin, Homeland Security consultant, the FAST picks up things often not detected by human eye.
The department is on its second year of testing the system targeted to last five years. Over 2,000 screeners have been trained by the Transportation Security Administration to observe travelers and question those who appear to be agitated or nervous.
But agitation or nervousness must not be linked with criminal intent, warned Timothy Levine, Michigan State University expert on deceptive behavior. One possible cause of agitation is learning of a flight's delay. "What determines your heart rate is a whole bunch of reasons besides hostile intent... This is the whole reason behavioral profiles don't work," Levine told USA Today.
The FAST is one of the measures the Homeland Security has put in place to tighten security in U.S. ports of entry. Last week the department announced it granted $29 million to the New York City Police Department, which will attempt to prevent a radiological or nuclear attack in the Big Apple through the enhancement of regional capabilities to detect and stop illegal radioactive materials.
"the Stability-2008 drill will be held from Sept. 22 to Oct. 21. The scenario of the exercises was developed with the involvement of a broad range of Russian authorities and the Defense Ministry of Belarus.
The exercises will practice the deployment of armed forces, the rollout of troops to localize and stop armed conflicts, terrorist operations, and to mitigate natural and man-made disasters.
According to the press service of the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the purpose of the exercises is to examine the combat capability of the two countries' troops in order to ensure the security of the Russia-Belarus Union State."
nation's reserve troops for a 2008 military mobilization drill, code-named "Tung-shin (Common Goal) No. 20," in the Taiwan area starting this morning.
In the scenario that began around 8 a.m., participants were asked to respond to a nerve gas bomb that exploded in a rail car carrying dangerous goods, including chlorine.....
Thursday, September 18, 2008
China's destruction of one of its defunct weather satellites in January 2007 showed the Chinese military's ability to attack satellites, the report said. The United States and former Soviet Union demonstrated that capability in the 1980s.
"The risks inherent in space conflict, where vital U.S. interests are at stake, suggest that preventing space conflict should be a major U.S. security objective," said the report by technology and security consultant Bruce MacDonald.
Raytheon Solipsys Releases VECTOR Simulation and Training Tool http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/080917/new059.html?.v=65
A wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN - News) has expanded its solution set for command and control, homeland defense, surveillance and air traffic management.
Raytheon Solypsis has released a new simulation and training tool -- Virtual Environment for Collaborative Training and Operational Readiness (VECTOR).
"VECTOR provides the user with a simplified operator interface to create real-world scenarios in a matter of minutes," said Mark Trenor, president of Raytheon Solipsys. "With VECTOR, the user can design coordinated simulations at both tactical and strategic levels."
VECTOR delivers a dynamic environment for developing and executing training, operational readiness evaluation, and testing activities. It is fully interoperable with all of the latest Raytheon Solipsys-based software systems and incorporates industry standard Distributed Interactive Simulation interface to facilitate streamlined integration with other existing and future third party applications.
"An example of an application could be quickly creating a scenario that includes pre-recorded traffic with specifically tailored scripts," Trenor said. "Another use could be to take manual control of scripted objects to create stressful situations for an operator to further enhance the training experience," Trenor added.
Raytheon Solipsys is a business unit of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. Its product solutions have been deployed worldwide since 1997, supporting command and control applications for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and in international air surveillance and defense systems.
Russia ratchets up US tensions with arms sales to Iran and Venezuela
Russia's strategic aircraft, the Tu-160 or White Swan, the world's largest supersonic bomber. A pair of them touched down in Venezuela this week as Moscow announced big new arms sales
Russia defied the United States yesterday by announcing plans to sell military hardware to Iran and Venezuela.
The head of Russia’s state arms exporter said that he was negotiating to sell antiaircraft systems to Iran despite American objections. Russia has already delivered 29 Tor-M1 missile systems under a $700 million (£386 million) deal with Iran in 2005.
“Contacts between our countries are continuing and we do not see any reason to suspend them,” Anatoli Isaikin, the general director of Rosoboronexport, told the RIA-Novosti news agency at an arms fair in South Africa.
Reports have circulated for some time that the Kremlin is preparing to sell its S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. The missiles have a range of more than 90 miles (150km).....
Military conducts anti-invasion drills (Ukraine)
RIVNE, Ukraine: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko oversaw military exercises yesterday aimed at preparing to fight off an invasion amid growing tensions with Russia.
Military Industrial Complex 2.0 (limited hangout from criminal In These Times)
Cubicle Mercenaries, Subcontracting Warriors, and Other Phenomena of a Privatizing Pentagon
Mock Terrorism Training Held (PA)
During a panel sponsored by the FCC in Washington, D.C., Thursday, representatives from telecom carriers and ISPs discussed what steps they’ve been taking to prepare for the mass outbreak of a disease such as influenza, and also described the needs and challenges they would have to meet to keep communications up and running during a major global crisis. The most important tool at ISPs’ disposal during a serious pandemic, panelists agreed, was that of network management.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.
Ardmore Firefighters Team Up with Weapons of Mass Destruction Unit for Drill
Wednesday in Ardmore, The National Guard's 63rd Weapons Of Mass Destruction Team out of Norman, paired up with local emergency responders to conduct a mock drill. The drill involved a chemical release in The Ardmore Convention Center with a large group of people inside. KTEN's Hailee Holliday reports.
Ardmore firefighters say this is the first time they have gotten the chance to work with the mass destruction team and claim the scenario was important to practice in case it were to happen here.
Authorities with The National Guard say the team trains with emergency responders around the state, each time having a different scenario.
Nation Inadequately Prepared for Severe Pandemic, Says NGA
States are making significant progress toward safeguarding their citizens against an influenza pandemic, but the nation as a whole remains inadequately prepared for a severe pandemic outbreak according to a new report by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). The report, Pandemic Preparedness in the States: An Assessment of Progress and Opportunity, presents an overall appraisal of the current level of pandemic preparedness in the states and offers recommendations for improvement in five areas.
"Even though this issue largely has fallen off the public's radar, states recognize that successfully managing a pandemic outbreak requires a sustained effort to combat the threat in all sectors of the economy and in society as a whole," said Chris Logan, program director of the NGA Center's Homeland Security and Technology Division. "The conclusions of this report serve a vital national service: they demonstrate both the extent of our readiness as well as the gaps in our current preparedness."
Seven Years after 9/11, U.S. Still Lacks Good Continuity Plan
"There has been no significant action to ensure that if Congress is wiped out or left without a constitutionally mandated quorum, it can be reconstituted quickly. The previous Republican Congress passed a woefully inadequate, poorly drafted bill to expedite special elections that is almost farcical; the Democratic Congress has neither repealed it, amended it nor offered any realistic alternative. The Republican House jammed through a clearly unconstitutional rule unilaterally changing the constitutional definition of a quorum, a change that was rejected by every major constitutional scholar who was asked; the Democratic Congress inexplicably left it in place.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 has no relevance to the challenges and potential disasters of 2008 and beyond. But we have had a single hearing of relevance over the past seven years, and no action whatsoever. The Supreme Court has no succession plan at all in place--despite the fact that if there were a disaster, and real questions raised about what is appropriate and constitutional, the court would or should play a critical role as arbiter. Once again, nothing done over seven years.
We are approaching an inauguration that will be historic in many ways--and also the single most vulnerable day for our constitutional system. The plans to ensure that the worst-case scenario there will not turn into an even worse scenario for the country and its future? Zero. Happy seventh anniversary..."
Military aircraft to conduct training exercises over D.C. (NORAD)
Technology Critical To Modern Warfare
Success in future warfare conflicts will depend largely on how quickly and how effectively different technologies can be implemented in the battleplace.
Laser weapons are among the advanced technologies being incorporated into next-generation weapons systems. In addition, dynamically guided missile systems, unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will take part in a not-so-distant future battlefield where opposing forces will ultimately try to save soldiers’ lives by squaring off against each other’s technologies.
For example, Northrop Grumman (http://www.northropgrumman.com/) is playing a major role in the development of the US Army’s High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD). The mobile, solid-state laser weapon system will be mounted on a tactical ground vehicle as a weapon against rockets, artillery, and mortars. The firm has performed the preliminary design review requirements for the HEL TD’s beam control subsystem ahead of schedule, according to the timing established by a first-phase contract awarded a year earlier by the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command. Northrop Grumman is now prepared to complete the design, assembly, and integration of the beam control system, leading up to a test in 2010. .....
Central Intelligence Agency director Michael Hayden says al-Qaida remains the top priority for U.S. intelligence agencies. Speaking in Los Angeles Tuesday, Hayden said Iran and North Korea also remain threats because both have the capability of producing nuclear weapons. Mike O'Sullivan has details from Los Angeles.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Rajab Safarev added in his interview with one of Russia’s state satellite TVs, “Russia can pave the path for Iran’s membership at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the framework of its new level of ties with Iran.” He added, “If Iran would become a SCO member, the SCO would become the third most influential, most powerful international body after the United Nations and the European Union.” Safarev said, “I even believe the SCO would rank second, next to the UN, from competence point of the view, after Iran’s membership.” The Russian political analyst added, “The SCO would also get stronger following Iran’s membership, because its member states would be the owners of two thirds of the world’s energy sources which gives them a great financial power.”
Casimir stickiness, at present, is so imperceptible and tiny that it can be detected only by the use of special microdetection apparatus featuring solid golden balls. Nonetheless it genuinely exists. Indeed some boffins have previously speculated that one might - by the use of a cunningly crafted sheet of nanofabbed "left-handed metamaterial" - reverse the effect, fashioning a Casimir repellor platform and so causing objects to levitate on "literally, nothing". This would be achieved using the fabled, perhaps infinite, potentially universe-imploding "zero point energy" which has been widely speculated upon.
But the possibly goldenballs-powered hover ship - or even the more realistic unbelievably-thin-bacofoil frictionless ice-rink solution - has remained in the realm of theoretical conceit thus far, for lack of backing.
Now, however, that has changed. Legendary US bonkers-boffinry bureau DARPA* has decided to fund research into manipulating or reversing the Casimir effect. It's possible to theorise that the DARPA chieftains' interest has been piqued by the implicit possibilities for levitating bakeware, which would be so useful for the agency's known nutritional requirements.
The DARPA of geospatial (NGA)
http://www.gcn.com/print/27_23/47149-1.htmlWhen you think of NURI, think of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency...but only for geospatial projects.
NURI stands for NGA University Research Initiatives. NGA, of course, is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a combat support agency at the Defense Department.
The NURI project has been operating since 1997 and has already awarded 103 grants to researchers at more than 60 universities to investigate topics related to geospatial intelligence. Each grant is for three years and generally amounts to $150,000 per year.
This year’s awards (GCN.com, Quickfind 1201) range from one for a research project on “Spaceborne Magnetic Gradiometry after Swarm: Novel Approaches to Mapping the Earth’s Magnetic Field Employing Nonlinear Magneto-Optical Rotation Sensors” to a project titled “Purpose- Aware Dynamic Graph Models for Representing and Reasoning about Networks.”
Seem like a long way from digital mapping? Actually, no: Geospatial intelligence involves a lot more than mapping. NGA has distilled its research road map into these six broad topic areas:
Acquire: Including sensor networks, detection of moving objects.
Identify: Spatiotemporal data mining.
Integrate: Image data fusion, reuse and preservation of data.
Analyze: Visualization, process automation vs. human cognition.
Disseminate: Multilevel security.
Preserve: Grid computing for geospatial data, reuse and preservation of data.
Burlington Participates in Pandemic Experiment http://www.wcax.com/global/story.asp?s=9020204
* I attended this press conference to ask if there were contingency plans for forced quarantines and vaccinations, and if so were any private military contractors involved in the planning.....
Burlington is one of nine test markets in the country taking part in a flu pandemic preparation exercise.
The experiment will focus on prevention-- like hand washing-- and what to do in case of an outbreak.
Health authorities say preparing is crucial because it's not a question of if we will have another major flu outbreak, but when.
"Knowing how often these things tend to cycle, we've had the three in the last century, and it's been long enough since the last one-- we are due. And I think the other thing that people have in mind is the avian influenza, or bird flu," said Dr. Wendy Davis, Vt. Health Commissioner.
Driverless, Self-Guided Vehicle Successfully Spends 25 Minutes On The Road
The Department of Homeland Security is announcing the funding Tuesday as part of an experimental effort called Secure the Cities. The program aims to keep radiological material -- a key component for a so-called ``dirty bomb'' -- from getting into major population centers
Monday, September 15, 2008
Terrorism Fear Could Create Psychosomatic Epidemic, Feds Warn http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/terrorism-fear.html
Americans' fear of a terrorism could create a mass outbreak of a psychosomatic illness -- even in the absence of any real attack -- -- creating a fake epidemic that could overwhelm hospitals attempting to treat real victims.
Adding to the confusion, the symptoms of a mass pyschogenic illness look much like symptoms of an anthrax attack, avian flu outbreak or chemical attack.
At least that's what the feds warned hospitals in a nonpublic 2006 communique recently published by the government sunshine site Wikileaks.
Call it a contagious psychosomatic illness -- though the feds preferred to label the phenomenon "psychogenic illness," defining that as: (cont...)
U.K. Report Finds Emerging Threats In Space
Disruptive technologies such as directed energy weapons and the use of electro-magnetic pulse are being identified as "emerging issues" for space security in a key U.K. industry report.
British space industry lobby group U.K. Space will formally launch its "Space Secures Prosperity" report Sept. 16. The study is intended to highlight the extent to which the U.K. is dependent on space systems to support its military and security capabilities. Many of these systems, the report stresses, are foreign. U.K. industry wants to see the government step up its investment in military space.
In examining potential emerging threats to space infrastructure the report notes: "Disruptive technologies -- including electromagnetic pulse and directed energy weapons -- will continue to be developed and proliferate, with implications for the protection of vehicles, ground stations, and data-streams."
It goes on to add: "It is feasible that illegal organizations will seek to disrupt states ability to exploitýýý the use of space by threatening not only the ground stations themselves, but also the communications links between them and their satellites."
7 countries plan Black Sea naval exercises
CONSTANTA, Romania: A Romanian military official says seven countries including the United States will participate in naval exercises beginning this week in the Black Sea.
Lt. Col. Florin Jipa says a total of 1,300 service members will take part from the U.S., Ukraine, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Latvia and Sweden. All countries but Ukraine are NATO members.
Jipa says the exercises, called "Jackal Stone," run eight days from Sept. 16 to Sept. 24.
Russia's Baltic Fleet starts week-long exercise
Russia's Pacific Fleet holds live firing drills in Far East
VLADIVOSTOK, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - A naval task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet has started scheduled exercises involving live firing in the Sea of Japan, a fleet spokesman said on Monday. (Russian Navy modernized - Image gallery)
"For the next few days the warships will conduct a series of training exercises, which mainly involve live firing at simulated targets," the source said.
He said the Admiral Vinogradov and Marshal Shaposhnikov large ASW ships will practice on Monday AA artillery and SAM firing at a target drone.
"During the next stage of the exercise, the ships will fire anti-ship missiles at a surface target," the source said.
The current drills are the third in a series of combat training exercises conducted by the Pacific Fleet in the past month. Two previous exercises off Russia's Far East coast involved over 50 warships and submarines, along with naval aircraft and naval infantry.
Russia also announced last week that strategic submarines from the Russian Pacific Fleet would conduct test launches of ballistic missiles at the Kura test site in Kamchatka on September 15-20.
Iran Air Force Holds Extensive Drill
TEHRAN, Sept 15--Iran's air force and defense units staged air defense exercises on Monday aimed at testing equipment and boosting readiness, news agencies reported.Dozens of aircraft took part in the maneuvers which was held in half of Iran's 30 provinces, and fought an imaginary enemy attacking Iran's air defenses.Military analysts say Iran's real ability to respond any attack could be with more unconventional tactics.The commander of Iran's aerial defense, Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani, said the exercise was staged to increase military readiness, Fars news agency said.Mighani emphasized that the enemies would receive a serious response for any aggression and we would surprise them and make them regretful.
"Steppe Eagle 2008"
Kazakhstan, NATO hold joint military exercises
Lockheed Martin Looks To Nanotechnology
Materials that could regenerate when they are damaged and sensors that could be applied like spray-paint are two of the futuristic technologies Lockheed Martin is looking at in nanotechnology, said Sharon Lee Smith, director of advanced technology for Lockheed's electronic systems business and for corporate engineering and technology.
Lockheed's nanotechnology work is in the research and development phase, but advances in the molecular-level science are important to all of Lockheed's business segments, whether for providing stronger, lighter materials for the company's aeronautics division or sensors for its electronics systems division, Smith said during a presentation at the Emerging Tech Forum. The forum focuses on nanotechnology and networking opportunities to commercialize nanotechnology.
As an example of a need for the potential of materials to "self-heal" that could come from developments in nanotechnology, Smith pointed to the high-altitude airships Lockheed builds that are used for surveillance on the U.S.-Mexico border. The ships are often shot at, and Lockheed has to periodically take them down to patch holes, Smith said. .....
FEMA to help fund emergency ops centers
Homeland Security to direct cybersecurity initiative
Officials to discuss flu pandemic preparedness (VT)
`Flu Fatigue' Poses Public Health Threat, WHO Says (Update1)
In Defense of SAIC
"EM: SAIC was founded in 1969 and in many ways enables the United States to actually have a modern military. If a modern military force is about command, control and intelligence, then SAIC helps build the systems that allow all of that to function well and in real-time. Just looking at recent contract wins gives you a sense of the breadth of what they do..." Like mastermind 9/11's
CSC pulls in Missile Defense Agency work
CSC will provide technical and program support to site of the Missile Defense Agency around the globe under a $22.2 million contract.
Under the contract, CSC will provide specialized technical and programmatic, advisory and assistance services, the Defense Department said Sept. 12.
The Falls Church, Va., systems integrator will conduct the work at various agency sites in the United States and abroad, DOD said. The work is expected to be finished by Sept. 30, 2009. The Missile Defense Agency office in Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting authority.
GVSU to take part in disaster drill today (MI)