"Operation Bold Step"
Training exercise involves 15,000 troops
Later this week, the Naval Station Norfolk-based USS Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier strike groups will link up with a British carrier, the U.S. Air Force and various NATO aircraft off the East Coast for a training exercise.
A total of 15,000 troops from three countries will participate.
Dubbed Operation Bold Step, the exercise is meant to "provide realistic training…for U.S. and coalition forces that close replicate the operational challenges routinely encountered during military operations around the world," according to a Navy press release.
The exercise will also act as refresher training for troops who recently returned home from various deployments and act as the certifying event for the Harry S. Truman strike group. Certification gives the group the green light to deploy.
"Participating forces will train using equipment and systems that incorporate the latest advances in technology," according to a U.S. Navy press release, "and will support the full range of capabilities that may be required in geographic areas."
TANDBERG and SAIC Sign Strategic Joint Marketing Agreement
RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TANDBERG, a global leader in visual communication, announced today that it has signed a joint marketing agreement to provide collaboration solutions and services with Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE:SAI), a leading provider of scientific, engineering, systems integration and technical services and solutions. Under the agreement, the companies will jointly pursue business opportunities – offering integrated video-based collaboration solutions. Working together, TANDBERG and SAIC intend to deliver robust, enterprise-wide communications solutions that combine TANDBERG’s world-class videoconferencing technology with SAIC’s equally high caliber of integration, consulting and support services.
TANDBERG and SAIC are joining forces to support government agencies’ increasing requirement for end-to-end, integrated collaboration solutions. Combined, TANDBERG videoconferencing technology and SAIC consulting, integration and support will offer organizations solutions that enable both day-to-day and emergency situation communications, including continuity of operations, robust telework programs and overall remote collaboration. Through this agreement, TANDBERG and SAIC will empower their customers to implement advanced intelligence gathering and analysis tools, as well as knowledge management applications and employee training programs.
Conference studies homeland security
The focus switched from solar- and wind-powered generators to simulated terrorist attacks and squealing tires.
Government officials and business executives on a 2 1/2-day mission in West Virginia to explore new homeland security initiatives moved to the Summit Point Raceway on Monday to learn about antiterrorism training.
This week's conference hosted by Discover the REAL West Virginia Foundation is designed to lure more private companies involved in homeland security to West Virginia.
Led in part by U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the conference started Sunday in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and participants on the trip were expected to travel to Morgantown, W.Va., Clarksburg, W.Va. and Fairmont, W.Va., to learn about other security-related industry in the state.
Some participants in the mission have built high-security facilities in other states, and officials with at least one of the companies said Sunday they are considering expanding in West Virginia.
Summit Point Raceway, a car racing track, in recent years has expanded into antiterrorism training through an organization known as BSR.
Recognized internationally for its work, BSR has a predominant share of the federal government's business and its clients include White House agencies, the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI, according to the organization.
Rockefeller said Monday morning at the track that there needs to be more private sector investment in homeland security. (Cont..)
UPDATE: House Panel OKs DoD Budget, Cuts Big Army Program
Putin Orders Boost in Military, Spying
MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin vowed Wednesday to strengthen Russia's military capability and step up spying abroad in response to U.S. plans to build 1. missile defense sites and deploy troops in Eastern Europe.
"The situation in the world and internal political interests require the Foreign Intelligence Service to permanently increase its capabilities, primarily in the field of information and analytical support for the country's leadership," Putin said at a meeting with senior military and security officers in remarks that were posted on the Kremlin's Web site.
The Foreign Intelligence Service is a successor agency to the KGB.
Putin did not identify specific nations as targets, but officials in the United States and Britain have said recently that Moscow has intensified its spying in those countries.
Putin said U.S. plans to station troops in Eastern Europe and Washington's intention to base missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic pose security challenges for Russia. Washington says the facilities are necessary to protect the U.S. and Europe from missiles launched by Iran or other rogue states
Strange objects found at airports
WASHINGTON -- Airport security officers nationwide have been alerted by federal officials to watch for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft, based on four curious seizures at airports since September, including in Texas.
The unclassified alert was distributed Friday by the Transportation Security Administration to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and law enforcement agencies.
The seizures at airports in San Diego, Milwaukee, Houston and Baltimore included "wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cellphone components and dense claylike substances," including block cheese, the bulletin said. "The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern."
Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for "ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components."
NBC Nightly News, which first reported the story, posted the bulletin on the Internet.
A federal official familiar with the document confirmed the NBC posting's authenticity but declined to be identified by name because it has not been officially released.
On Tuesday, TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe said: "There is no credible, specific threat here. Don't panic. We do these things all the time."
The bulletin said that the passengers carrying the suspicious items seized since September included men and women and that initial investigation had not linked them with criminal or terrorist organizations. But it said that most of the passengers' explanations for carrying the items were suspicious and that some are still under investigation.
Online: TSA statement, www.tsa.gov/press/happenings/intelligence_ bulletin.shtm
Baltimore, Sept. 16: A couple's checked baggage contained a plastic bag with a block of processed cheese taped to another plastic bag holding a cellphone charger.
Houston, Nov. 8: The checked baggage of a U.S. person -- either a citizen or a foreigner legally in the country -- contained a plastic bag with a 9-volt battery, wires, a block of brown claylike minerals and pipes.
Milwaukee, June 4: A U.S. person's carry-on baggage contained wire coil wrapped around a possible initiator, an electrical switch, batteries, three tubes and two blocks of cheese. The bulletin said block cheese has a consistency similar to that of some explosives.
San Diego, July 7: A U.S. person's checked baggage contained two ice packs covered in duct tape. The packs contained clay rather than the normal blue gel.
Darpa, NIST Evaluate Military Translation Computers