Saturday, October 6, 2007
"Operation October" Oregon (TOPOFF4 State)
Elaborate bomb drill slated for Tuesday
Operation October, designed to simulate a countywide multiple explosives incident, will be launched in dramatic fashion.
At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a call will be received at the Yamhill Communications Agency dispatch center in McMinnville that a bomb has just gone off at the building across from the courthouse where the Yamhill County commissioners have their offices.
Local law enforcement and emergency medical personnel will respond, along with the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad, which will send its robots and other equipment into the building in search of any additional explosive devices.
Streets in the immediate area will be cordoned off, occupants of nearby buildings will be notified and the Yamhill County Jail will be locked down.
Three elementary schools - Carlton Elementary, Newberg's Mabel Rush and Sheridan's Faulconer-Chapman - will each be informed of reports a bomb has been planted in the building. Those schools will be evacuated.
John Boynton, the county's emergency manager, will be positioned at the Dayton Fire Hall, where the primary emergency operations center will be located. He will monitor activities at the commissioners office and each of the schools.
"This drill will best the communication, accountability and coordination of the participating local, county, state and federal agencies and the school districts," Boynton said (cont..)
‘Red Flag’ War Games
After Navy, IAF to give ammo to Left with joint exercise
"Malabar CY 07-2"
Joint naval exercise: SEATO in new format?
"Warrior 2007" China
China lifts veil on army exercise
Ten thousand Chinese soldiers were used in the latest in laser animations in combination with live action at the "Warrior 2007" exercises
When 'Physics Gets in the Way'
Dept of Homeland Security caused 'mini-DDoS'
A contractor for the US Department of Homeland Security has initiated "a mini denial of service" against thousands of security professionals, according to Marcus H Sachs, the director of the SANS Internet Storm Center, a community that monitors global security threats. (cont..)
Thales and Boeing Selected for FRES Integration Role
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) today announced that Thales UK in partnership with Boeing , through its Boeing Defence UK subsidiary, have been selected as the preferred bidder for the role of System of Systems Integrator (SOSI) for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) program. (cont..)
Science Applications Elects Tony Moraco As GM Of Space And Geospatial Intelligence Business Unit
Ariz. will be ‘target’ in terrorism attack drill (TOPOFF update)
LRTA holds anti-terror drill
JUST A DRILL The Light Rail Transit Authority simulates a bomb explosion for a "mass casualty incident drill" in its Cubao station. Here, members of the triage team, which determines the priorities for action in an emergency, tag victims inside a train cab.
40,000 Take Part in Valley Fire Drill
* I think this is tied to the TOPOFF 4 taking place in AZ
Charleston Police Train For Terror
Pandemic preparedness to be tested at Wilton mass vaccination drill
$450M for Contingency Response in the Philippines, and Beyond
*Guam TOPPOFF4 could be simulation for secret "Al Qaeda Pearl Harbour"
General Dynamics at Association of the United States Army Expo
WHAT: Displays at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition include firepower enhancements, force protection and soldier survival to networked communications systems. Also to be featured from General Dynamics, Falls Church, Virginia, USA, are systems for the Army’s Future Combat Systems and complementary programs, as well as products in production to sustain combat operations.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Questions Raised Over Terror Exercise (TOPOFF )http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071003/D8S1N7080.html
Participants perform their roles during a terrorism response exercise 04 April 2005 in New London, CT. The comprehensive drill, dubbed "TOPOFF 3" (short for Top Official), is part of a five-day exercise simulating chemical and biological terrorist attacks in the eastern US states of Connecticut and New Jersey. (Don Emmert, AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation is preparing for its biggest terrorism exercise ever next week when three fictional "dirty bombs" go off and cripple transportation arteries in two major U.S. cities and Guam, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press.
Yet even as this drill begins, details from the previous national exercise held in 2005 have yet to be publicly released - information that's supposed to help officials prepare for the next real attack.
House lawmakers were expected to demand answers Wednesday, including why the "after-action" report from 2005 hasn't been made public. Congress has required the exercise since 2000, but has done little in the way of oversight beyond attending the actual events.
Next week will be the fourth Top Officials exercise - dubbed TOPOFF. The program costs about $25 million a year and involves the federal government's highest officials, such as top people from the Defense and Homeland Security departments.
"The challenge with TOPOFF is not the exercise itself. It's to move as quickly as possible to remedy what perceives to be the problems that are uncovered," former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in an interview with AP this week.
Ridge, who launched his own security consulting company on Monday, said he's a big fan of the TOPOFF exercises. But he said "it's not acceptable" that the review from the 2005 exercise is still not released publicly.
The House Homeland Security emergency communications, preparedness and response subcommittee was holding a hearing Wednesday on the terrorism exercise program.
This year's TOPOFF will build on lessons learned from previous exercises, according to the Homeland Security Department, which runs the program. The agency said the Oct. 15-19 exercise would be "the largest and most comprehensive" to date.
According to an internal department briefing of next week's exercise obtained by AP, a dirty bomb will go off at a Cabras power plant in Guam; another dirty bomb will explode on the Steel Bridge in Portland, Ore., impacting major transportation systems, and a third dirty bomb will explode at the intersection of busy routes 101 and 202 near Phoenix.
Local hospitals and law enforcement agencies will be involved in the "attacks" by the dirty bombs, which are conventional explosives that include some radioactive material that would cause contamination over a limited area but not create actual nuclear explosions.
Missile defense system is up and running, military says
WASHINGTON: After a successful test last week, the tracking radars and interceptor rockets of a new American missile defense system can be turned on at any time to respond to an emerging crisis in Asia, senior military officers said Tuesday.
General Victor Renuart Jr., the senior commander for defense of United States territory, said that the antimissile system could guard against the risk of ballistic missile attack from North Korea even while development continues on a series of radars in California and the Pacific Ocean and on interceptor missiles in Alaska and California. (Cont..)
Counter-measures to be added to US missile defense tests: general
NORAD general urges Russia to file a flight plan before sending out bombers
Russia warns of arms war in space: report
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's military space commander vowed to retaliate with an arms race if any country started putting weapon systems into orbit, he said in remarks published on Wednesday.
"We need to have strong rules about space, to avoid its militarization and if any country will place a weapon in space, then our response will be the same," Space Forces Commander Colonel-General Vladimir Popovkin told the newspaper Trud.
Popovkin's remarks were the latest in a series of increasingly assertive statements from the Russian military, which is alarmed at what it sees as a growing hardware imbalance with the West (cont..)
Darpa hatches plan for insect cyborgs to fly reconnaissance
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Cyborg insects with embedded microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) will run remotely controlled reconnaissance missions for the military, if its '"HI-MEMS" program succeeds. Hybrid-Insect MEMS--a program hatched earlier this year at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa)--aims to harness insects the way horses were harnessed by the cavalry. (Cont..)
Driverless Truck Lurches Out of Lab
GE, NRL, SAIC Nab DNDO Awards To Develop Stand-Off Rad Detectors
Oct 03, 2007 (Defense Daily/Access Intelligence via COMTEX) --
DETC charts news PowerRating -- The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) this week awarded contracts to General Electric's [GE] Global Research Center, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and SAIC [SAI] worth a combined $33 million to develop Stand-Off Radiation Detection Systems (SORDS) that can automatically determine the type and location of radiation sources at distances much greater than current technology.
"The SORDS approach, if validated, could be used in a wide range of monitoring applications including border crossings, sea lanes and air surveillance," Vayl Oxford, DNDO director, said in a statement. "This program could create a significant increase in capability for monitoring the illicit movement or radiation sources." (Cont..)
Merger opens U.S. defense to China ("Red Storm Rising" Psyop)
Senate ends debate on authorization bill, but not on Iraq
Excerpt: "The House's measure slices $867 million from the Army's Future Combat Systems, about 25 percent of the Pentagon's fiscal 2008 request for the $160 billion program that forms the centerpiece of the service's technology transformation efforts. But the Senate, where lawmakers have largely supported FCS over the years, added $115 million to the program."
Homeland security drill planned at Georgia Highlands Bartow campus
‘Hostage’ Gives Eyewitness Account Of Grueling Urban Shield Exercise
Senate Again OKs $3B for Border Security
Ball State gets Homeland Security grant
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
PC program predicts fallout from terrorist strike
THE Federal Government has developed a computer simulation that predicts the fallout from terrorist strikes and natural disasters, including the potential number of deaths and the impact on water and electricity supplies.
The $20 million program, to be unveiled today, will be accessible by businesses and government and can provide immediate updates on disruptions to critical infrastructure and the central business district. It can assess the human losses and economic damage caused by a range of disasters such as bombings, earthquakes, the contamination of water supplies or attacks on the power grid or communications services.
The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, said the simulation had taken two years to develop and was based on confidential information provided by banks and communications, energy and water companies.
"Ultimately [this] will help build a more resilient business sector, which can bounce back in the face of adversity, ensuring less disruption to our way of life," Mr Ruddock said.
The program was used in the lead-up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meetings to provide information to security organisers about the impact of various attacks on 10 conference venues. Security authorities have also used the program to consider the impact of simultaneous bombings in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and the effect on gas supplies and ports from a tsunami hitting the North-West Shelf.
Mr Ruddock will today invite businesses and government agencies to apply to have scenarios tested by the program.
"These 'virtual insights' will feed into the decision-making processes of business and government and will contribute to more targeted and cost-effective policies," he said.
The program, which is being developed by researchers at Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO, is yet to incorporate information on transport, health services and food supplies.
In the United States, where a similar program is under development, researchers have warned it could pose a security risk because it could be hacked by criminals or terrorists.
The Herald understands the program will be stored in a secure facility, which has been approved by ASIO. "Electronic penetration is not possible," a project source said
Russia steps up bomber exercises near Alaska and Canada
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Russian warplane exercises around Alaska have become routine in the past few months, U.S. military officials said Monday, as the former Cold War superpower steps up flights from its Arctic bases.
Over the summer, Russian bombers have staged at least seven exercises in a buffer zone outside U.S. air space, each time alerting the U.S. through reports by Russian news agencies, said Maj. Allen Herritage, a spokesman for the Alaska region of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
U.S. and Canadian fighter jets, including F-15s, were dispatched each time to escort the Russian planes in the exercises, which ranged from two to six aircraft, Herritage said.
The latest exercise came Sept. 19 and involved two planes flying somewhere off the coast of Canada, Herritage said. They were met by Canadian planes from NORAD, which is jointly operated by the U.S. and Canadian militaries.
At least five exercises by the Russian Tu-95 Bear heavy bombers have taken place off Alaska's Aleutian Islands and other historic Cold War outposts, such as Cape Lisburne and St. Lawrence Island, according to NORAD records. All occurred beyond the 12-mile boundary that constitutes U.S. airspace.
"They used to have them from time to time, but not nearly in this frequency," Herritage said. "These exercises used to be more common during the Cold War."
The exercises come amid troubled relations between Russia and the West and are seen by some as intimidating moves by an increasingly assertive Russia, but Herritage said the exercises are not a cause for alarm.
"The recent exercises appear to be routine training activities," he told The Associated Press. "They are nowhere near U.S. airspace."
President Vladimir Putin announced in August that Russia was resuming long-range bomber flights over the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Russian Air Force officials could not be reached for comment after hours. They have repeatedly said that the planes were not violating any nation's airspace or any international agreements.
But in mid-September, British and Norwegian jets intercepted Russian military aircraft after they breached NATO airspace close to the U.K. and Finland. And on a handful of occasions this year, NATO nations, including Britain and Norway, have sent fighters to escort Russian bombers nearing their territory.
The RP-7 Robotic System
Hey, Dr. Chung, can I talk to you a minute?" Not an unusual greeting in a busy hospital hallway - unless Dr. Chung is actually at home, or on temporary duty in another city, or perhaps sitting in a café while on leave.
MAJ Kevin Chung, medical director for the Institute of Surgical Research\'s burn intensive care unit (ICU) at Brooke Army Medical Center, is accustomed to people addressing his image on an RP-7 robotic system while he is sitting at a keyboard in another location.
Universal Detection Technology Comments on the Upcoming TOPOFF 4 Exercises
LOS ANGELES, CA -- 10/02/07 -- Universal Detection Technology (http://www.udetection.com/) (OTCBB: UDTT), a developer and provider of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and radiological weapons, commented on the upcoming TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) that will test the responses of first responders to a simulated radiological (dirty bomb) attack.
Taking place October 15-19, 2007, the T4 FSE will feature thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat. The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance.
The TOPOFF 4 scenario begins as terrorists, who have been planning attacks in Oregon, Arizona, and the U.S. Territory of Guam, successfully bring radioactive material into the United States. The first of three coordinated attacks occurs in Guam, with the simulated detonation of a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), or "dirty bomb," causing casualties and wide-spread contamination in a populous area near a power plant. Similar attacks occur in the hours that follow in Portland and Phoenix.
"We will closely monitor the outcome of the TOPOFF 4 exercises as it will be an indicator of the government's needs in the fight against terrorism," said Mr. Jacques Tizabi, UDTT's Chief Executive Officer. "We have recently added radiological detection devices to our array of detection systems and will continue to grow our portfolio of detection systems," he added.
UConn gets federal grant for homeland security training
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut is getting more than 1.3 million dollars to launch a training program for homeland security officials nationwide. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is awarding the grant to the university's Center for Continuing Studies, which is developing the training program and will offer it through 2010. The program's will train 660 state and local homeland security officials from across the U.S. in leadership skills, planning, incident management and other areas (cont..)
Former Homeland Security Secretary Ridge launches security consultancy
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Tom Ridgehas formed his own private security consulting firm.The company, Ridge Global LLC, will offer a variety of consulting services, including what it calls "strategic business generation, global trade security, risk assessment and contingency planning, crisis management and communications, leadership guidance and change management, special event security and technology innovation and integration," according to a news release. (Cont..)
Monday, October 1, 2007
Navy's radio control supership
THIS is the shape of war to come — a supership to launch unmanned jets, submarines, tanks and boats by remote control.
By 2020 a new generation fleet of Royal Navy ships will replace tens of thousands of troops on the battlefield.
The Sun has been given exclusive blueprint images of this first prototype.
Dubbed the UXV Combatant — and nicknamed Mothership — the concept has been drawn up by UK arms giant BAE Systems.
It could be in service in 13 years — replacing the current fleet of Type 22 frigates.
The 8,000-ton Mothership is a cross between an aircraft carrier and the Navy’s newest Type 45 destroyer.
Its sleek, stealth design means it only shows up on radar as the size of a small fishing boat. Main weapons systems will be concealed, including the 75-mile range, 155mm gun with precision-guided shells.
Each Mothership could carry up to 24 unmanned vehicles for different combat scenarios.
THE VIRTUAL WAR
Today, Sergeant First Class Paul Tidwell will deploy a squad of first-year Army ROTC cadets to Baghdad, Iraq where they will engage enemy insurgents on a blistering desert battlefield for the first time in their lives. Despite the daunting task, the sergeant's orders don't seem to unsettle the students, who munch on cookies prepared by Tidwell's wife as they sit before him in t-shirts and shorts. The students won't need to trade in their civilian clothes for boots and body armor. They will conduct the whole mission in the friendly confines of the West Duke building's subterranean computer lab.The program that makes it possible is called DARWARS Ambush!, an interactive computer combat simulator that is revolutionizing the way Army ROTC cadets train to become leaders at Duke. As the first Army ROTC program to utilize the software, Duke is demonstrating a definitive link between virtual training and real-life success on the battlefield.While interviewing for a job opening as director of the Duke-North Carolina Central University Army ROTC program in 2005, Lt. Col. Charles Hodges discovered ten computers collecting dust in a closet and saw the potential for innovation.At the time, Hodges was serving as an operations officer for the First Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash., and had been briefed on a computerized military simulator that was being used at the base to simulate convoy operations. DARWARS Ambush! had been created in the fall of 2003 at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, a wing of the Department of Defense responsible for the development of military technology, after the agency's director expressed concern about the growing number of ambushes occurring in Iraq. "I asked myself whether there was a way to train the voice in the back of the head of every service person how to identify ambushes, how to prepare for them, how to deal with them, and how to recover," Dr. Ralph Chatham, the DARPA project manager credited with the creation of DARWARS, wrote in an e-mail. "When I was given the unexpected gift of new money for the DARWARS program, I decided to find out."After six months of development, Chatham's team had created a networked, multi-user, computer simulation that allowed soldiers to move around in a shared, first-person perspective environment where they could carry out training and combat operations. DARPA had created a video game where there was more at stake than winning or losing-it was a tool intended to save lives by shaping better, more prepared soldiers.DARWARS caught on quickly, and by 2006 bases across the country and overseas featured more than 100 computers dedicated to training with DARWARS Ambush!. Over the course of the year, more than 20,000 soldiers, Marines and airmen trained with use of the program, Chatham wrote.(Cont..)
Northrop Grumman Showcases Integrated Security Solutions At National Homeland Defense Foundation Symposium V
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Oct. 1, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will highlight its homeland security and defense capabilities this week at the National Homeland Defense Foundation Symposium V.
The exposition will be held Oct. 2-4 at the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colo. The Northrop Grumman exhibit will be located at booth 401.
"Northrop Grumman provides extensive and uniquely tailored homeland security and homeland defense solutions that meet the critical needs of our nation's public safety agencies and emergency response personnel as well as our men and women in uniform," said Jerry Buckwalter, Northrop Grumman's vice president of Homeland Security. "Our demonstrations and presentations at the Symposium highlight the critical knowledge, processes and tools Northrop Grumman provides to the homeland security and homeland defense communities."
In the exhibit hall, Northrop Grumman will feature multiple homeland security and defense planning solutions that will be integrated together into a scenario-based demonstration. This demonstration will illustrate the ability to bridge various solutions from across the company into a common operating environment that can be used by both military and civilian organizations: * Emergency Preparedness Federation is a suite of training
simulation, control, interface and visualization tools that
offer comprehensive solutions to help planners, strategists,
emergency responders and post-disaster recovery teams prepare
for and handle emergency situations.
* Critical Incident Response System (CIRS) is a way to utilize
hardware and software technologies to enable planning,
engagement and management of emergency situations and complex
events. CIRS provides the capabilities necessary for
comprehensive command and control, integrating data from
* The Northrop Grumman Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN)
provides a distributed, collaborative, interactive environment
to test new systems, rehearse missions, perform engineering
analysis, mature concepts and mitigate risk through a
combination of live and virtual inputs. Equipped with a broad
range of platform models, communications systems, and extensive
data capture and analysis tools, the CWIN's modeling and
simulation infrastructure can access and display all
supporting technical and operational data to whatever level
the customer desires. Northrop Grumman will present a
maritime-homeland security defense vignette, which provides
an innovative and cost effective method to explore potential
solutions that include persistent intelligence, identification
* Mobile Chemical Agent Detector (MCAD) detects hazardous and
chemical agents early enough for soldiers and first
responders to take protective actions for themselves and
others. Working in real time, the MCAD detects, identifies,
maps and reports chemical agents within a 5-mile radius.
* C2 Framework is an internal research and development project
that uses a service-oriented architecture and provides a
low-cost mechanism for rapidly integrating data from multiple
legacy systems with little or no modification. This framework
provides a great deal of flexibility in transforming to an
integrated system and has tools to support the community of
interest functions that are essential for network centric
* The Global Disease Surveillance Platform (GDSP) and the
Pandemic Flu Simulation display an outbreak scenario of
infectious birds with a tracking system that demonstrates
how the current spread of pandemic flu in birds correlates
to specific geospatial factors, and how a "risk map" can be
developed to predict future outbreaks. An air travel analysis
application shows how quickly a highly contagious strain of
the flu can spread around the globe. A final application
demonstrates how geospatial analysis and satellite imagery
can help plan for the distribution of a limited amount of
flu vaccine in a major metropolitan area
General Dynamics (GD) Awarded $71 Million to Support Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security has awarded General Dynamics Corp. a task order to provide support and maintenance services for the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis. If all options are exercised, including a first-year option of $11.2 million, the award is potentially worth $71.4 million over 5 years
Under the task order, awarded under the DHS Enterprise Acquisitions Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions (EAGLE) contract, GD will provide services and support to information assurance, National Security Systems activities, systems engineering, architecture, governance, information assurance, and program management. (cont...)
Northrop Grumman and SAIC to Pursue Measurement and Signature Intelligence/Advanced Geospatial Intelligence (MASINT/AGI) Contract
RESTON, Va. and ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 1, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Defense industry leaders Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAI) announced today the formation of an industry-wide team to bid on the Measurement and Signature Intelligence/Advanced Geospatial Intelligence (MASINT/AGI) program competition for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The MASINT/AGI program will provide timely, tailored MASINT and AGI products, services, capabilities, and technical support to the operational, arms control and treaty monitoring, acquisition policy, scientific and technical intelligence communities, and to national defense policy makers.
The request for proposals and contract award are expected in 2008. Northrop Grumman will lead the team as a prime integrator with SAIC serving as the principal team partner.
"The state-of-the-art and emerging MASINT/AGI capabilities developed by Northrop Grumman, SAIC, and our other team members will help NASIC's growing customer set to execute timely, informed decisions or actions anywhere in the world," said Frank Moore, vice president and general manager of Missile Defense Division for Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector. "The Northrop Grumman team represents experienced and active members within the Air Force-wide Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance enterprise, including the Distributed Common Ground System, and is well positioned to provide a seamless integration in the National System for Geospatial Intelligence. Together, the Northrop Grumman-led team of highly experienced scientists, engineers, analysts and production specialists will strive to exceed the customer's expectations for MASINT/AGI program production, research and development, phenomenology and support of global operational challenges." (Cont..)
EMA wins SPAWAR C4ISR contract
Putin: From President to Prime Minister?
MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin, in a surprise announcement, opened the door Monday to becoming Russia's prime minister and retaining power when his presidential term ends next year.
The popular Putin is barred from seeking a third consecutive term in the March presidential election, but has strongly indicated he would seek to keep a hand on Russia's reins after he steps down.
Putin's remarks Monday at a congress of the dominant, Kremlin-controlled United Russia party hint at a clear scenario in which he could remake himself as a powerful prime minister and eclipse a weakened president (cont..)
U.S. delays domestic satellite spying program
President Bush Welcomes New Military Advisor
President Bush has taken part in a military ceremony honoring the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and welcoming his replacement. From the White House, VOA's Michael Bowman reports
From left: General Peter Pace, President Bush, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, 01 Oct 2007
Blackwater Employees Shot Civilians, Report Says
Joint Croatia-NATO military exercise begins
Flu Pandemic Exercise in Salem
The Marion County Health Department is asking all area residents in need of a flu shot to be a part of their flu pandemic exercise Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Evergreen Christian Church located at 1875 North Broadway in Salem. Health Department Spokeswoman Shelly Yoder says the more people who participate, the more help they will be to the Health Department (cont..)
Aerospace," According to White
Are air and space separate military environments? Or are they simply parts of a single "seamless continuum"—the aerospace—in which USAF operates? These seemingly academic questions have stirred fierce debate for five decades, with perceived influence, resources, and policy direction in the balance (cont..)
Moron of the Day
Phasers, the World Trade Center, And Discrediting the Left
Sunday, September 30, 2007
US trains Gulf air forces for war with Iran
The American air force is working with military leaders from the Gulf to train and prepare Arab air forces for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
An air warfare conference in Washington last week was told how American air chiefs have helped to co-ordinate intelligence-sharing with Gulf Arab nations and organise combined exercises designed to make it easier to fight together.
Gen Michael Mosley, the US Air Force chief of staff, used the conference to seek closer links with allies whose support America might need if President George W Bush chooses to bomb Iran.
Pentagon air chiefs have helped set up an air warfare centre in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Gulf nations are training their fighter pilots and America has big bases. It is modelled on the US Air Force warfare centre at Nellis air force base in Nevada.
Jordan and the UAE have both taken part in combined exercises designed to make sure their air forces can fly, and fight, together and with American jets.
Explosive growth doesn't satisfy Tucson's Raytheon
Tucson's Raytheon Missile Systems is on a roll.The company's Tomahawk and Paveway missiles are the weapons of choice for the U.S. military in Iraq.Its Standard Missile 3s and its Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicles are the backbone of an elaborate plan to defend the United States and its allies from enemy attacks
Raytheon Missile Systems, a unit of Waltham, Mass., defense contractor Raytheon Co., now is the world's largest supplier of guided missiles and the largest private employer in southern Arizona.Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and subsequent invasion of Iraq, Raytheon has racked up billions of dollars in new government contracts that have doubled company revenue to more than $4.5 billion a year.Louise Francesconi, Raytheon Missile Systems' forward-thinking president, isn't satisfied. She's obsessed with reinventing a peacetime role for the wartime powerhouse and new niches for the company inside an increasingly high-tech U.S. military.
Francesconi, 53, the defense industry's highest-ranking woman, has been on a mission to diversify Raytheon's products and make the company more responsive to its customers since she took the helm in 1996. With long-term contracts to supply and maintain weapons arsenals in the U.S. and dozens of foreign countries, Raytheon could cruise like one of its renowned Tomahawks. Instead, it is looking to leverage technology that can guide a missile to a target in space into a range of new products for national defense and space exploration.The projects include guidance systems for spaceships, protective force fields for airports, weapons that shoot light and radio waves, and satellitelike robots that seek out and ram enemy missiles in space.And those are just the projects the tight-lipped defense contractor can talk about."If anyone is going to invent us out of business, I want it to be us," said Michael Booen, Raytheon Missile Systems' vice president of advanced missile defense and directed energy weapons.
Mandates for change
Francesconi asserts that the company has no intention of abandoning the guided missiles that have been its bread and butter since industrialist Howard Hughes founded the business in 1951. But she adds that new technology, changes in the way wars are being fought and political pressure to rein in defense spending and get out of Iraq are mandates for change that the company can't ignore. When she thinks of the military's future, Francesconi sees directed energy weapons such as lasers and microwave beams, unmanned air, sea and land vehicles and smart missiles all linked and controlled by computers.
'Bike Shop' innovation
To come up with new products, Francesconi has created an "innovation tank" comprising two groups of about 650 people who are focused on developing new technologies for use on and off the battlefield.Many products are developed at a Tucson research facility she started called the Bike Shop. There, engineers and machinists develop prototypes of products and existing weapons that have been modified to meet the changing demands of urban warfare.Francesconi has been focusing Raytheon's sights beyond the Department of Defense.Raytheon sees a bright peacetime future for itself at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and is bidding on a key contract there that could get its foot in the door."The technology that literally allows us to hit a bullet in space with one fired on the ground certainly has applications in space," Booen said.Raytheon wants to build the avionics and guidance system for NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle that will carry astronauts into orbit when the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010. NASA is expected to award a contract for the Ares I rocket guidance system before the end of the year. "NASA is a perfect fit for us," Francesconi said.
Raytheon Missile Systems now consists of the amalgamated missile-manufacturing businesses of Hughes Aircraft, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Texas Instruments. Hughes bought General Dynamics' missile business in 1992 and Raytheon bought Texas Instruments' missile unit in 1997. Then Raytheon bought Hughes later in 1997 and consolidated the missile businesses in Tucson.While the U.S. Department of Defense is Raytheon's largest customer, about 25 percent of its revenue comes from foreign military sales that are either arranged or approved by the U.S. government.The ramp-up in defense spending after 9/11and subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been a boon to Raytheon."The growth has been unbelievable," said John Patterson, Raytheon spokesman. He noted that production of Raytheon's air-launched Paveway missiles went from a handful to more than 2,000 per month after 9/11.During that period, global employment has grown by 2,500, to 12,000, and in Tucson by 1,000, to 9,000. With a backlog of more than $5 billion in orders at the end of 2006, the trend is expected to continue - but not indefinitely.Not only is demand for its traditional products likely to diminish as the war in Iraq winds down, but Francesconi sees its primary customer, the Defense Department, becoming more cost-conscious."We have to produce products that do more and cost less," she said.
Changing wartime needs
The urban nature of the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq also is creating demand for smaller, more precision weapons that cause less collateral damage.As the U.S. military becomes more Internet-centric, or "netted," weapons are going to have to be able to communicate and do more than hit a target.The next generation missiles will be able to be reprogrammed from the ground and gather and disseminate information while in flight.Technology also is changing the nature of weapons. Instead of bullets, they will fire directed beams of light and radio waves.
So-called directed energy is a major area of research and development for Raytheon and a field where the company has taken the lead.The company's prototype laser weapons can destroy a mortar at 500 meters and, someday, may be able to take out aircraft and enemy missiles.Its Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection Systems is a protective microwave dome that covers large commercial airports and airbases and protects planes in the airspace from terrorist attacks. The microwaves scramble the heat-seeking sensors on shoulder-launched missiles, diverting them from the target.Another developing product called Silent Guardian is a focused radio beam that penetrates the skin creating an intolerable heating sensation. The sensation causes the targeted individuals to "instinctively flee or take cover."The company is developing a large-scale version for the military and a smaller one that could be used by law-enforcement agencies.
CACI to Expand High-Security Force
CACI International, an
Arlingtongovernment contractor, said yesterday it was buying Athena Innovative Solutions, an intelligence-analysis firm with a coveted supply of employees with security clearances but also a controversial past.
The acquisition, valued at $200 million, would give CACI, a developer of technology systems for the Defense Department, intelligence agencies and civilian agencies, a company in which 95 percent of the 600 employees hold top-secret security clearances.
The deal also represents a new phase for Athena, which was known as MZM and ran into trouble after it was linked to the bribery scandal of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a former Republican congressman from California who is serving eight years and four months in prison.
MZM's founder, Mitchell J. Wade, stepped down in June 2005 after reports suggested he did financial favors for Cunningham while the lawmaker pushed funding for military intelligence programs on which MZM worked. MZM was bought for an undisclosed sum in August 2005 by Veritas Capital, a New York private-equity firm that invests in contractors and defense companies. The company was renamed Athena. Wade pleaded guilty in February 2006 to four criminal counts in connection with the scandal.
"Nobody wanted to touch the company because of its cloud of problems," said Jon B. Kutler, chief executive of Admiralty Partners, a merchant bank in the aerospace and defense industry. Veritas "came in to take that risk and transformed the image of the company."
CACI, like other big contractors, has been on a buying binge, acquiring at least 20 companies since 2004 in the hunt for top-secret security clearances. "You can't duplicate the type of people that Athena has and the clearances it has," said Robert B. McKeon, president of Veritas. "It's a very tight market for these types of clearances. In one fell swoop to be able to buy a company with 600 of them is quite an achievement."
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the demand for such clearances has grown fast as the government outsourced more classified intelligence work. At the same time, the process for obtaining security clearance has grown arduous. A government report in February found that it took, on average, more than a year for top-secret clearance and six months for a lesser clearances. The report said it was "a totally unacceptable length of time" for the 1.9 million clearance requests each year.
CACI said its purchase of Athena is expected to close in November. Company officials declined to comment beyond a news release.
CACI, which had revenue of $1.8 billion in 2006, experienced an unexpected drop in business from the Pentagon and other federal agencies last year. Athena is expected to have revenue of $110 million this year.
QinetiQ Launches Unmanned Stealth Jetski
AN investment fund launched by the CIA, the US intelligence service, has made its first investment outside North America, with a stake in a British software firm.
In-Q-Tel, a fund which specialises in investing in technologies that can be adopted by the security and intelligence communities, has taken part in a £2.25m fundraising by Etherstack, a developer of software used in two-way radios employed by the military and the police
Software Takes Aim at Altered Photos
Providence holds emergency disaster (update)drillhttp://www.eyewitnessnewstv.com/Global/story.asp?S=7148100&nav=F2DO
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Emergency personnel from around Rhode Island are honing their response skills at a large-scale emergency disaster drill.
The drill beginning tomorrow morning at the Convention Center will simulate a full-scale emergency in which toxic chemicals are released into the air resulting in hundreds of injuries.
Nearly 300 people have volunteered to play the victims.
The state's Greater Providence Medical Response System, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Mass Casualty Drill plans will be put into action.
The drill involves first responders from Providence, Pawtucket, East Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Central Falls, West Warwick, North Providence and Johnston
Saturday, September 29, 2007
E-Weapons: Directed Energy Warfare In The 21st Century (older article, good refresher)
LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico -- There is a new breed of weaponry fast approaching--and at the speed of light no less. They are labeled "directed-energy weapons" and may well signal a revolution in military hardware--perhaps more so than the atomic bomb.
Directed-energy weapons take the form of lasers, high-powered microwaves, and particle beams. Their adoption for ground, air, sea, and space warfare depends not only on using the electromagnetic spectrum, but also upon favorable political and budgetary wavelengths too.
That's the outlook of J. Douglas Beason, author of the recently published book: The E-Bomb: How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Wars Will Be Fought in the Future (Da Capo Press, October 2005).Beason previously served on the White House staff working for the President's Science Advisor (Office of Science and Technology Policy) under both the Bush and Clinton Administrations.
After more than two decades of research, the United States is on the verge of deploying a new generation of weapons that discharge beams of energy, such as the Airborne Laser, the Active Denial System, as well as the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).
"History has shown that, without investment in high-technology, fighting the next war will be done using the last war type of technique," Beason told SPACE.com. Putting money into basic and long-range research is critical, Beason said, adding: "You can't always schedule breakthroughs."
A leading expert in directed-energy research for some 26 years, Beason is also Director of Threat Reduction here at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) - noting that his views are his own and do not represent LANL, the Department of the Defense, nor the Department of Energy.
Ripe for transformation?
Though considerable work has been done in lasers, high-power microwaves, and other directed-energy technologies, weaponization is still an ongoing process.
For example, work is on-going in the military's Airborne Laser program. It utilizes a megawatt-class, high-energy chemical oxygen iodine laser toted skyward aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Purpose of the program is to enable the detection, tracking and destruction of ballistic missiles in the boost phase, or powered part of their flight.
Similarly, testing of the U.S. Army's Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) in White Sands, New Mexico has shown the ability of heating high-flying rocket warheads, blasting them with enough energy that causes them to self-detonate. THEL uses a high-energy, deuterium fluoride chemical laser. A mobile THEL also demonstrated the ability to kill multiple mortar rounds.
Then there's Active Denial Technology--a non-lethal way to use millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy to stop, deter, and turn back an advancing adversary. This technology, supported by the U.S. Marines, uses a beam of millimeter waves to heat a foe's skin, causing severe pain without damage, and making the adversary flee the scene.
Beason also pointed to new exciting research areas underway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory: Free-electron laser work with the Navy and a new type of directed-energy that operates in the terahertz region.
Niche for new technology
While progress in directed-energy is appreciable, Beason sees two upfront problems in moving the technology forward. First of all, "convincing the warfighter that there's a niche for this new type of weapon," and secondly making sure these new systems are not viewed as a panacea to solve all problems. "They are only another tool," he added.
Looming even larger is the role of those that acquire new weapons. "The U.S. could put ourselves in a very disastrous position if we allow our acquisition officials to be non-technically competent," Beason explained.
Over the decades, Beason said that the field of directed-energy has had its share of "snakeoil salesmen", as well as those advocates that over-promised. "It wasn't ready for prime time."
At present, directed-energy systems "are barely limping along with enough money just to prove that they can work," Beason pointed out. Meanwhile, huge slugs of money are being put into legacy-type systems to keep them going.
"It's a matter of priority," Beason said. The time is now to identify high-payoff, directed-energy projects for the smallest amounts of money, he said.
In Beason's view, Active Denial Technology, the Airborne Laser program, the THEL, as well as supporting technologies, such as relay mirrors--are all works in progress that give reason for added support and priority funding.
"I truly believe that as the airborne laser goes, so goes the rest of the nation's directed-energy programs. Right now, it's working on the margin. I believe that there are still 'unknown unknowns' out there that are going to occur in science and technology. We think we have the physics defined. We think we have the engineering defined. But something always goes wrong...and we're working too close at the margin," Beason said.
Step-wise, demonstration programs that spotlight directed-energy weapon systems are needed, Beason noted. Such in-the-field displays could show off greater beam distance-to-target runs, mobility of hardware, ease-of-operation, battlefield utility, and other attributes.
Directed-energy technologies can offer a range of applications, from botching up an enemy's electronics to performing "dial up" surgical, destructive strikes at the speed of light with little or no collateral damage.
Beason said that one blue sky idea of his own he tagged "the voice from heaven". By tuning the resonance of a laser onto the Earth's ionosphere, you can create audible frequencies. Like some boom box in the sky, the laser-produced voice could bellow from above down to the target below: "Put down your weapons."
Regarding use of directed-energy space weapons, Beason advised that "we'll eventually see it."
However, present-day systems are far too messy. Most high-powered chemical lasers -- in the megawatt-class -- require onboard fuels and oxidizers to crank out the amount of energy useful for strategic applications. Stability of such a laser system rooted in space is also wanting.
On the other hand, look to advances in more efficient lasers--especially solid state laser systems--Beason advised. "What breakthroughs are needed...I'm not sure. But, eventually, I think it's going to happen, but it is going to be a generation after the battlefield lasers."
Yet, having the directed-energy source "in space" contrasted to shooting beams "through space" is another matter, Beason quickly added. Space-based relay mirrors--even high-altitude airships equipped with relay mirrors--can direct ground-based or air-based laser beams nearly around the world, he said.
"So you're using space...exploiting it. But you are going through space to attack anywhere on Earth," Beason said.
Late last year, speaking before the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., Beason told his audience that laser energy, the power sources, beam control, as well as knowledge about how laser beams interact with Earth's atmosphere are quite mature. The technology is ready to shift into front line warfare status.
"The good news is that directed-energy exists. Directed-energy is being tested and within a few years directed-energy is going to be deployed upon the battlefield," Beason reported. "But the bad news is that acquisition policies right now in this nation are one more gear toward evolutionary practices rather than revolutionary practices."
"Visionaries win wars...and not bureaucrats. We've seen this through history," Beason observed
Private contractors threaten U.S. democracy
Leaders back Manhattan as home for defense lab (KS)
As the formal public-comment window closed for a potential National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, six prominent Kansans — members of the state’s congressional delegation — made their support for the project known in a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Their conclusion: Kansas is the best home for the potential $450 million project.
"Kansas has demonstrated the research capacity, strong public support and necessary infrastructure to meet DHS’ requirements to fulfill and implement NBAF," members of the delegation said in their letter, released Friday. "We urge your careful consideration of both the Kansas proposal and look forward to ensuring the success of NBAF in Kansas."
Signing the letter were U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; and U.S. Reps. Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore, D-Kan.; and U.S. Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.
Four other sites also are in the running for the project, which is commonly referred to as NBAF: San Antonio; Madison County, Miss.; Athens, Ga.; and Granville County, N.C.
Plum Island, N.Y., which is home to the current Homeland Security lab, also is considered an alternative, although the site would have to be upgraded.
The new lab would be a top-security center where scientists would conduct research on plant and animal diseases, including those that could affect humans. Officials have said that the center could employ up to 500 research positions, spur an estimated 1,500 construction jobs and ensure an ongoing flow of federal research dollars, spin-off operations and related offerings expected to carry positive, long-term economic effects.
In Manhattan, Kansas State University has offered Homeland Security the use of the university’s new bioresearch lab, while the federal government would build the new 500,000-square-foot NBAF. (Cont..)
Boeing robo-copter lifts heavy load
DARPA, the Pentagon research bureau which likes to put the battiness back into battle-boffinry, is pressing ahead with its robot dog/packmule/mini-Imperial-Walker programme.
Partly-functional "BigDog" petrol-engined droid packmules have already been developed, but it seems the machines' controlling software isn't really up to dealing with rugged terrain. (Cont..)
Security Drill on Main CT Artery
State police and federal authorities conducted a homeland security drill Tuesday that caused a traffic backup on the Merritt Parkway and left Connecticut commuters wondering about the delay.Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, said the drill was conducted to test new equipment and communications between various municipal, state and federal agencies.The drill was conducted near Exit 41 on the southbound side of the parkway at about 11 a.m. It tied up traffic for at least two hours, as state police and men wearing camouflage reduced the roadway to one lane and appeared to be checking vehicles.
Emergency responders set to hold joint exercise with state (NM)
LAS CRUCES — Emergency responders from federal, state and local levels will be in Las Cruces starting today to plan for the worst.
The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will coordinate with several DoZa Ana County agencies — as well as the El Paso Fire Department — in a full-scale exercise to begin today and continue through the weekend near the old city landfill at 4755 E. Foothills Road in Las Cruces.
"It's as close to real life as you can get without destroying anything or hurting anybody," Las Cruces deputy fire chief Andrew Bencomo said.
The goal, sheriff's investigator Richard Chavez said, is "to demonstrate how important emergency preparedness is. It is also to make sure that our personnel is adequately trained to deal with a large-scale incident."
The training will be continuous over the the three days and will focus on how the participating agencies plan and execute their response.
The state's Homeland Security Department will also test its Joint Information Center, tasked with disseminating information to the public during disasters.
Officials will simulate a building collapse (cont..)
Top Army Commander Visits San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Sep. 28, 2007 (KGO) - One of the Army's top commanders came to San Francisco.
General George Casey discussed his vision for the soldier of the 21st century.
Wearing his usual Army fatigues and a relaxed demeanor, General George Casey spoke before members of the Commonwealth Club. Casey says right now the Army is out of balance, but not broken.
"When we are consuming our readiness as fast as we're building it that we can not get back the strategic flexibility and the readiness the country needs for future contingencies," said Casey, U.S. Army Chief of Staff.
Casey commanded the multi-national forces in Iraq from July 2004, until he became the Army Chief of Staff earlier this year. He says the Army's primary goal is retaining and preparing its all-volunteer force. So far this year, 250,000 soldiers have enlisted or re-enlisted.
"That's a quarter of a million folks. So there's a lot of people out there that still understand what's at stake here and are committed to the ideals that this country stands for," said Casey.
With regard to a future draft, Casey says the Army is not planning on one.
"The Army is doing nothing in our planning or forecasting that involves a requesting, a reinstatement of the draft," said Casey
The Army is investing heavily in future technologies, to the tune of $160 billion in 2006. It's called future combat systems or FCS.
"I've been out here visiting laboratories in Los Angeles and Santa Clara. It's exactly the kind of system we need for our soldiers to be empowered for the 21st century warfare," said Casey.
"We're trying to get to the point where we can take a little unmanned aero vehicle&fly that thing down the alley&and they can see what they're up against before they go down there. Find an IED, those kinds of things. That's powerful."
In response to direct questions about Iraq, General Casey said there is no question the troop surge is helping.
At the same time, the Army is planning to reduce its soldiers' 15-month deployments, so they come home sooner.
Army Shows Congress FCS 'Spin-out' Technologies
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 28, 2007) - Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. showed members of Congress equipment now being used in Iraq that incorporates technologies developed under the Future Combat Systems program.Gen. Casey and Secretary of the Army Pete Geren spoke to the House Armed Services Committee Sept. 26 about the need to reset and modernize the Army to improve its overall readiness."We are ultimately working toward an agile, globally responsive Army that is enhanced by modern networks, surveillance sensors, precision weapons and platforms that are lighter, less logistics-dependent and less manpower-intensive," Gen. Casey said.Research and development of such systems is well underway with the FCS program, Gen. Casey said, but he added that the Army needs the support of Congress to keep up the momentum. While major new FCS systems may not be fielded until 2012 with the new FCS Brigade Combat Teams, Gen. Casey pointed out that a number of new technologies "spun out" of the research are already helping Soldiers today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Micro Air Vehicle is shown here during an operational test flight with a military Explosive Ordnance Disposal team at China Lake, Calif. A similar UAV was shown to members of Congress Sept. 16 during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.
Firefighters agree to participate in weekend terror drill (update)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. --Providence firefighters have reversed course and agreed to participate in a statewide terror drill this weekend.(cont..)
Friday, September 28, 2007
Washington state deputy veterinarian Dr. Paul Kohrs walks past cattle in his protective suit Thursday on a farm near Monroe. Kohrs was participating with multiple agencies in a drill.
MONROE -- It starts with a sick cow. It continues with specially trained FBI agents walking through cow patties searching for evidence of a terrorism attack on a Monroe dairy farm.It is what the FBI calls agroterrorism -- when bad guys use viruses to attack the food supply instead of crashing airplanes into skyscrapers. It is a real threat and needs to taken seriously, experts said Thursday."We don't want to get caught unprepared," FBI Special Agent Peter de laCuesta said.FBI agents joined National Guard troops, officials from the state Department of Agriculture and others Thursday for the first agroterrorism training exercise in the United States.It happened on the Werkhoven Dairy Farm south of Monroe.The drill was meant to bring officials from different government agencies together on a working farm to practice for a real attack."We need to help people know what to look for," said Mark Kinsel, a state epidemiologist.Biological agents, such as those that cause foot-and-mouth disease, are highly contagious, easily portable and could potentially devastate the economy, de laCuesta said.From field to fork, one in six American jobs are tied to the food business, he said. The beef industry alone contributes more than $182 billion to the U.S. economy, $3.6 billion in Washington, officials said."Bioterror is a major risk. As a cattleman, I'm extremely sensitive," said Dale Reiner, a board member of the Snohomish County Farm Bureau. "All it takes is one cow."Thursday's drill started with a simulated report of a Monroe cow infected with foot-and-mouth disease. In keeping with the scenario, state veterinarians started sounding the alarm while anti-terror experts in Washington, D.C., began gathering intelligence about a possible attack near Seattle.As the training exercise played out, two men were arrested in a Seattle warehouse and teams were deployed throughout the region, including Monroe.On Thursday, a SWAT team entered the Seattle warehouse, bomb-sniffing dogs searched Seattle's Qwest Field and agents dressed in hazardous material outfits collected evidence at the Monroe farm."When I look around and see how susceptible we are to that kind of terrorism, I can't imagine why (a drill) hasn't happened sooner," Reiner said. (Cont..)
250 Participate In Anti-Terrorist Drill In Dublin
DUBLIN, Calif., Sep. 28, 2007 (KGO) - A first of its kind anti-terrorist drill is getting underway in Alameda County. 250 members of law enforcement from across the state are involved in a Homeland Security operation called Urban Shield.
There will be helicopter drills at a base camp in Dublin and they will get to practice their fire arms training at a gun range there. However, most of the activities will take place far away from Dublin and you might even see them in your community (cont..)
TOPOFF 4 (update)
Huge homeland security exercise to be staged in Chandler
Federal authorities will descend on Chandler's historic Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in October to stage one of the largest homeland security exercises in the country, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials announced this week. Top Officials 4, or TOPOFF 4, will run Oct.15-19 and involve various federal agencies along with representatives from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, officials said. "San Marcos was a facility that could accommodate the needs of the exercise," said Michael Murphy, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Health Services, who is assisting in communications for the exercise
The hotel offered the government discounted per diem rates, Murphy said. All the rooms will be occupied by participants of the exercise. The exercise will also take place in Oregon and Guam, and combined will involve more than 15,000 participants, including the Chandler Fire Department, in a full-scale, simulated response to radiological dispersal-device attacks, FEMA authorities said in a statement. The devices are unconventional weapons that a terrorist might use to destabilize a community. A "dirty bomb" is one example. The operation will focus on mass decontamination, long-term recovery, prevention and intelligence.
Russia promises retaliation if weapons deployed in space
MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is ready to take appropriate measures if weapons are deployed in space, the commander of the Russian Space Forces said Thursday.
"Should any country deploy weapons in space, then the laws of armed warfare are such that retaliatory weapons are certain to appear," Col. Gen. Vladimir Popovkin said.
He said Russia and China have drafted an international declaration on the non-deployment of weapons in space and sent it to the UN.
"It is necessary to establish the rules of the game in space," he said, adding that the deployment of weapons in space could have unpredictable consequences, since such weapons are "very complex systems."
"A sizable war could break out," the commander said.
He said space must not be the sphere of interests of any one country.
"We do not want to fight in space, and we do not want to call the shots there either, but we will not permit any other country to do so," he said.
Popovkin also said that Russia has an integrated missile attack warning system, covering the country's entire territory.
Russia to carry out 308 counter-terrorism drills this year
Alabama City Reopening Fallout Shelters
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - In an age of al-Qaida, sleeper cells and the threat of nuclear terrorism, Huntsville is dusting off its Cold War manual to create the nation's most ambitious fallout-shelter plan, featuring an abandoned mine big enough for 20,000 people to take cover underground.
Others would hunker down in college dorms, churches, libraries and research halls that planners hope will bring the community's shelter capacity to 300,000, or space for every man, woman and child in Huntsville and the surrounding county.
Emergency planners in Huntsville - an out-of-the-way city best known as the home of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center - say the idea makes sense because radioactive fallout could be scattered for hundreds of miles if terrorists detonated a nuclear bomb.(cont..)
US Video Shows Simulated Hacker Attack
A government video shows the potential destruction caused by hackers seizing control of a crucial part of the U.S. electrical grid: an industrial turbine spinning wildly out of control until it becomes a smoking hulk and power shuts down. (Cont..)
Governor criticizes firefighters' planned terror drill protest
Excerpt: "The drill is funded by a $50,000 federal grant and involves a hypothetical terrorist attack at the Rhode Island Convention Center."
UIC Plays Host To City's Emergency Drill
Former 8th Air Force head outlines space, cyberspace needs
US-RP Phiblex and Talon Vision exercises
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Military recruiters sponsor Halo 3 release party
Manchester – By 9 p.m. more than 100 gamers, some with parents in tow, had gathered at the GameStop for a "Halo 3" release party, and plenty more were expected by midnight, when the wildly popular X-Box game would officially go on sale.
There was only one glitch in the festivities -- a "Halo 2" tournament was delayed after the chain store's district manager, Suzan Shockley, announced that nobody under 18 could participate. Top prize: a copy of "Halo 3."
"I'm sorry, but it's a company rule. We take the game ratings seriously," she said. "Our store manager misunderstood the rules of the tournament."
The futuristic combat game is rated M for Mature for "blood and gore, mild language and violence," which means you have to be 17 to buy it, or a parent has to buy it for you.
Fortunately, the Air Force was on hand to save the day.
As co-sponsor of the gaming event, local Air Force recruiters were manning party central outside in the strip shopping center parking lot off South Willow Street, where underage gamers who had fled the store in despair flocked for pizza, Mountain Dew and a chance to play "Halo 2" on a split screen from the back of a pimped-out military SUV.
T.J. Abbott, 13, propped a cell phone between his left ear and shoulder while his rapid-fire fingers unloaded a plasma grenade, via wireless controller, onto a lanky alien who came into range from behind a tree in a desolate virtual village.
"Nice kill," said an electronic voice.
Abbott and his friends, R.J. O'Brien, Jorge Rojas and Sean Collins, all eighth-graders at Southside Middle School, have been waiting since the 2004 release of "Halo 2," when they were just a bunch of little kids, for this moment.
"We're getting up at 5 a.m. to play it," said O'Brien, who considered taking a day off school after a late night at the launch party. "But then I couldn't talk about it in school."
For more than a year now, gamers who have loved the first-person shooter aspect of "Halo" have been salivating over all the high-tech improvements promised by Microsoft in its final incarnation.
Pre-sales of "Halo 3" beat all previous records by hitting the million mark two months before the game's release, said Darrell Kiley, a GameStop employee and member of the National Guard.
Sales are expected to be unmatched.
That's thanks to heightened anticipation fueled by a mass-marketing campaign that has included a host of strategic TV trailers and key sponsors -- from Mountain Dew and 7-Eleven, to NASCAR, Pontiac and Burger King.
And of course, having the U.S. government on board doesn't hurt.
"This is going to be huge," said Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Christopher Johnson, who got to the site about an hour before the party to set up. He took a break from attaching wings to a replica of a mini F-22 jet.
"We expect a big showing. We have the same demographic as they do," he said, nodding toward the video game store across the parking lot, where kids were already starting to mill around inside. "Our target market is identical to that of video game stores," Johnson said.
He said last month's Air Force/GameStop tailgating bash for the launch of "Madden '08" netted two new recruits.
He said he has yet to hear anyone object to the marketing marriage between the military and adolescent video-gamers.
"I was warned when I got to New Hampshire that it was a very liberal, not exactly pro-military environment, but so far I haven't had any negative feedback," Johnson said.
Joe Turcotte of Derry, a veteran of the Iraq war and member of the New Hampshire chapter of Iraqi Veterans Against the War, said there are those who feel the practice of using simulated war games as a recruiting tactic isn't the best way to enlist new soldiers.
"The whole idea of serving your country out of patriotism gets lost. It cheapens the honor and sacrifice when you turn it into a video game," Turcotte said. "We are proud of our service to our country, but there's something about this that just doesn't seem right."
He feels having military recruiters at the biggest video game launch in history is over-the-top marketing.
"I would like to know if there's a disclaimer, if they're warning kids that their actual combat experience may vary," he said. "War is not a game."
Terrorism simulation will have real explosions, fires
Downtown Wichita will be rocked by explosions, fires and mass casualties next month.
Elsewhere in the city, terrorists may hold a school hostage.
But it will only be a drill.
Emergency service agencies from more than a dozen counties will converge on Wichita to take part in a full-scale terrorism simulation and training from Oct. 13 to 21.
The exercise will be capped by a 48-hour simulation with actual explosions and fires unfolding in more than one location around the city, officials said.
The mass casualty disaster simulation is being sponsored by the University of Kansas Medical Center and the South Central Kansas Homeland Security Council, and financed in part by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
Dozens of people acting as victims will await rescue in rubble left behind by a terrorist attack on buildings on the northwest corner of Washington and Waterman. A demolition crew on Tuesday tore down part of a building that will be used in the simulation.
"This is just an unprecedented opportunity to have real-time training in a scenario that's as realistic as you can get," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state's adjutant general and director of Kansas Emergency Management.
A wide range of emergency personnel -- firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency management, doctors and medical technicians -- will take part in the simulation after several days of training at locations around Wichita.
"Victims" will wear moulage, realistic body make-up depicting injuries, officials said. Medical personnel will "treat" victims caught in the rubble. (Cont..)
Anthrax drill unites agencies, shows potential problems
Imagine a outbreak of anthrax. How can help be given to residents without cause mass confusion and widespread panic?Several area agencies worked together Wednesday, Sept. 19, at the Hancock County Fair Grounds in Augusta to run through a mass medication dispensing drill for an outbreak of anthrax.The practice drill included the Hancock County Health Department, Hancock County ESDA, Augusta Fire Department, West Point first responders and about a dozen community volunteers. Students from Southeastern High School played community members who drove to the fair grounds to receive medications.Public information officer Melita Finney of the health department began the day with a media session at Augusta City Hall. She read a prepared statement outlining the anthrax outbreak and the steps citizens needed to take to receive medication.The instructions stipulated no one was to leave their vehicle. People were also to know their family medical history, to note any medications they were on or give any conditions like allergies.(Cont.)
Bank exercise plans for disaster
What if bird flu mutated into a disease that could be passed readily from human to human? What if it was brought to the United States by an infected traveler and quickly spread to pandemic proportions?
And what if financial life had to go on - transactions essential and mundane needed to be conducted - despite the dire nationwide circumstance?
Sometime after the next three weeks, you can ask the U.S. Treasury Department.
A total of 2,725 banks and other financial institutions across the country - including several in the Eugene-Springfield area - have volunteered to take part in a federal exercise to highlight the risks a pandemic would present and the readiness of the financial services sector to weather such an outbreak. The drill began Monday and will run through Oct. 12. (Cont..)
Australia to take part in U.S. anti-terrorism exercise
CANBERRA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock announced on Wednesday Australia will take part in a U.S. counter-terrorism exercise for the first time next month.
Exercise Top Officials 4 in Arizona, Oregon and the U.S. territory of Guam, or TOPOFF 4, is the fourth in a series of exercises hosted by the United States.
The exercise is aimed at testing U.S. preparedness and response systems in relation to a simulated terrorist incident.
Australian government agencies will join Canada and the United Kingdom in this year's exercise.
"Australia has a comprehensive counter-terrorism exercise program to test our arrangements at a national level," Ruddock said in a statement.
"TOPOFF 4 will allow our Australian security agencies to test their responses in conjunction with some of our international partners," he said.
"Taking part in a large scale international exercise allows Australia to continue to strengthen our national preparedness while also expanding international coordination mechanisms," he said.
During the exercise, personnel from Australian agencies will beembedded with U.S. agencies as they respond to simulated attacks.
Australia will also work with the three countries to respond toconsular issues arising from the attacks.
County agencies drill for disasters
Anthrax spores. Hostages in the schools. Terror hits home. Sort of.On Sept. 22, the county's public safety personnel including police and firefighters, and school officials participated in the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's Region II Full-Scale Exercise (cont..)
Phoenix to conduct 'World's Biggest Fire Drill' on Oct. 4
SAIC homeland security work may jump 20 pct in 2008
Department of Defense begins building on Belvoir expansion
Fort Belvoir, Va. Department of Defense officials broke ground at Fort Belvoir on Tuesday, kicking off a massive set of construction projects that will eventually accommodate thousands of new workers on the base.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, plans to bring 8,500 workers to the installation’s Engineer Proving Ground over the next four years. The shift is part of the 2005 round of federally mandated Base Realignment and Closure adjustments and is expected to add a total 19,000 new jobs to Belvoir’s work force.
The NGA, headquartered in Bethesda, is a highly secretive intelligence agency whose mission is to collect and analyze geographic data for national security purposes. The new $1.4 billion facility at Belvoir includes 2.4 million feet of administrative and support space and will house all of the agency’s eastern operations. The construction is scheduled to be completed in 2011.
From the Start, the Space Race Was an Arms Race