Thursday, July 26, 2007

AU War Games, OR "TOPOFF", + Psyops

Major Wayne Gough and Captain Paul Graham from Combat Training Control, check the location of Australian soldiers and United States Marines during exercise Talisman Sabre 07. (Official photo by Corporal Chris Moore, 1st Joint Public Affairs Unit, Commonwealth of Australia)

U.S. Joint Forces Command supports Exercise Talisman Saber 2007

Working across oceans, USJFCOM flexed a multinational training network on the Suffolk, Va.-based Joint Training and Experimentation Network while linking together exercise participants in Australia and at U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii during Talisman Saber 2007, one of Australia's largest military training events.

(SUFFOLK, Va. - July 26, 2007) -- U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) linked training networks for both Australia and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) as the command supported Exercise Talisman Saber 2007 (TS07), which wrapped up earlier this month.
Talisman Saber is a biennial series of training exercises designed to conduct collective training and exercise interoperability between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and U.S. forces in the Pacific region. It is one of Australia's largest military training events.
USJFCOM connected the Joint Training and Experimentation Network (JTEN) and Australia's Defence Training and Experimentation Network (DTEN), allowing USJFCOM, USPACOM and the ADF to continue work on the U.S. / Australian bilateral Joint Combined Training Capability (JCTC).
JTEN, the communications network for Joint National Training Capability (JNTC), provides a rapidly reconfigurable network which supports joint training exercises, experimentation, and the evaluation of new warfighting concepts in support of the U.S. Department of Defense's Training Transformation program.
The link allowed U.S. and Australian forces to link simulation networks so they could train together in a live, virtual and constructive environment (L-V-C). Live portions of the exercise took place in various locations in Australia, including the High Range Training Area in Queensland (cont..)

Top Officials" (TOPOFF) exercise (update)

Oh my god oh my god oh my god! We're all going to DIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
Okay, fine. Maybe not immediately. I mean, we're all going to die eventually, but you can't help but get a little paranoid from all of city council's recent gloom and doom. It's like the Grim Reaper—or Condi Rice in those patent leather dominatrix boots—has been writing the council agendas, and it's starting to freak me out.
For instance, during Wednesday, July 25's afternoon agenda, city council was expected to discuss an item called "Adopt Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Incident Annex to the Basic Emergency Operations Plan." Eeeep!
And it only gets worse from there. The first line in the resolution reads, "WHEREAS, the Portland Urban Area possesses numerous features and facilities identified as potential terrorist targets." Christ! What? Where? Is it the tram? Powell's City of Books? Voodoo Doughnut? The Zoobombers' bike rack?
At any rate, the resolution is aimed at creating a coordinated plan between city bureaus in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive "incident." Since city bureaus have a little bit of a reputation for being isolated and not working together, this plan will head off any weird territorial disputes in the case of an incident. (Mayor Tom Potter should be kicking himself for not thinking of this argument during the "strong mayor" campaign.)
It's all a lead up to the "Top Officials" (TOPOFF) exercise planned for this October, in which a simulated terrorist attack—a dirty bomb—will go down here in Portland, and leaders from all levels of government, plus groups like the Red Cross, will pretend to respond to the pretend catastrophe.
But, if we're all going to pretend to die, at least city council is going out in an uproariously characteristic way—by celebrating the hell out of itself. By Wednesday morning, the mayor and all the commissioners will have been awarded as "Blue Works businesses" for "their leadership in waste-reduction, recycling and sustainable purchasing practices." (Seriously?) Hopefully, an emergency responder will be on hand to triage the commissioners' wrists from the violently gratuitous, self-congratulatory backslapping that is guaranteed to happen.
Something else council can slap its back for: Finally holding evening sessions, so that community members who work during the day can witness firsthand what happens in the hallowed halls of city government. They've been holding them once a month on Wednes—oh, wait, no they haven't. The last evening session council held was in February; the rest have been canceled, including one last Wednesday.

Psy Ops: A war of ideas

Col. Curtis Boyd and his commanders last week spent an afternoon discussing the definition of psychological operations.
For Boyd, who commands the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the answer is simple.
"Everybody has a different way of looking at it, but if you really want to get your head around it, it’s marketing," he said. "We inform a foreign (*and US. MSM) audience of the good things and bad things about activities in the name of them for their future." (Cont..)
* my insertion in italics

First responders in the Triad for emergency drill

GREENSBORO - Dozens of first responders from across the state were in the Triad on Thursday. Guilford County leaders held an emergency preparedness drill.
The scenario: an alarm goes off at the Pleasant Ridge Road post office in Greensboro.
A biological contaminate has been detected. Officials fear dozens of workers may have been exposed to anthrax.
A bio-hazard team is mobilized. Victims are decontaminated and moved to another location for treatment. Thankfully it wasn't real.
"This drill is teaching others as well as allowing our own staff to practice what it would be like to dispense medications to a large group of people," said Lynne Beck with the Guilford County Dept. of Public Health.
According to Beck, more than 100 first responders from across the region participated in Thursday's exercise, manning triage tables and evaluating patients. (Cont..)

Russia & China to hold joint war games in August (update)

Sept. 11 Security Bill to Include Protections for Citizens Who Report Suspicious Activity,2933,290674,00.html

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