Saturday, September 20, 2008

DHS, Russia, China, + Taiwain Defense Drills + News

U.S. Homeland Security To Utilize Physiological Screeners To Pinpoint Terrorists

Upper Marloboro, MD. (AHN) - The Homeland Security Department is pilot testing at a Maryland airport a prototype of a physiological screener to spot terrorists. The model bio-scans air travelers.
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.
Sirens wail for city defense drills (China)

AIR-RAID sirens roared across Shanghai early yesterday as a widespread civil defense exercise took place in the city. The sirens sounded in a 23-minute span from 10am in all districts except Pudong and Hongqiao airports and places where the national judiciary and certified public accountant exams were being held.The drill was intended to enhance people's sense of national defense and to test the city's 1,200 or so air-raid sirens. Residents were expected to do nothing but listen and remember three different alarm signals.Evacuation drills were also conducted in residential complexes with more than 26,000 people involved, said Liu Nanshan, director of the Shanghai Civil Defense Office.

Medvedev approves plan for Stability-2008 drill (Russia)

"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."

MND mobilizes reservists for military drill (Taiwan)
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) has called up an unspecified number of the
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.

Exercise tests border readiness (CA/US)
An explosion at a Sweetgrass rail yard kicked off a cross-border exercise Thursday morning designed to test the response of agencies on both sides of the 49th parallel with a mock terrorist attack.
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.....

Soon, multi-nation war games (India)

Answers About Emergency Preparedness, Part 2

"Assuming that a pandemic will sicken a minimum of 1/4 of the N.Y.C. population over a period of about eight weeks, and that about half of those taken ill would require prompt hospitalization, this means that during a pandemic, every day, at least 1/500th of the total population of New York City will be seeking admission and will need care (assuming they survive) for a period of days to weeks (possibly to months). How do you propose to handle the gap between beds available and beds required? "

Senate passes $612 bln defense spending bill

Inside the DARPA-esque Singapore Military Bot Contest
"The DSTA's goal is to improve robotic artificial intelligence so it can build machines to perform dangerous tasks — reconnaissance, surveillance and the handling of hazardous materials — that American robots already can. .."

Homeland Security 3.0: Making It National

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