Wednesday, December 30, 2009 / UK - Yemeni threat pushed up US agenda / UK - Yemeni threat pushed up US agenda: "The risk posed by al-Qaeda in Yemen has long been of concern to western intelligence services. In 2000 Yemeni suicide bombers killed 17 people when they struck the USS Cole. The US waged a largely successful counter-terrorism campaign over the next three years, using unmanned drones to kill key operatives. But in the past three years AQAP has been thriving again in eastern Yemen, amid the ravages of its civil war.
Today western intelligence chiefs believe the risk posed by Yemeni jihadism has become especially serious."

China News: China Willing to Spend Big on Afghan Commerce | China Digital Times (CDT)

China News: China Willing to Spend Big on Afghan Commerce China Digital Times (CDT): "S. Frederick Starr, the chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, an independent research organization in Washington, said that skeptics might wonder whether Washington and NATO had conducted “an unacknowledged preparatory phase for the Chinese economic penetration of Afghanistan.”
“We do the heavy lifting,” he said. “And they pick the fruit.”"

Jihadism and the Cold War --

Jihadism and the Cold War -- "The West won the Cold War; we can use some of the same tactics to defeat Islamic extremism."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

USAFE Airmen retool to enhance tradition of Building Partnerships

USAFE Airmen retool to enhance tradition of Building Partnerships: "The Airmen of U.S. Air Forces in Europe are charting new territory in tackling one of the Air Force's newest core functions: Building Partnerships.

The lesson that international partnerships are essential to success in war and peace is not new. The Office of the Secretary of Defense directed U.S. European Command to develop a theater campaign plan which explicitly places Building Partnerships at the forefront of U.S. military strategy.

To support the combatant commander, USAFE also developed a strategy that includes building partner capacity and cooperative relationships as priority focus areas on par with combating terrorism and force modernization."

Aircraft Ramp Opens at Camp Lemonnier

Aircraft Ramp Opens at Camp Lemonnier: "After more than nine months of work and $12 million in funding, a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules became the first aircraft to utilize a new apron at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), Dec. 22, marking the beginning of operational missions on the apron known as 'Enduring Ramp'.

'Initially, Camp Lemonnier was built as an expeditionary base with expeditionary hardware,' said Lt. j.g. John Woods, the air operations officer at CLDJ. 'The opening of this concrete ramp confirms that Camp Lemonnier is transitioning into an enduring role, thus naming the ramp Enduring.'

The apron is 219 meters by 126 meters and is designed to provide three parking spaces for C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as a parking pad for the CV-22 Osprey aircraft. Enduring Ramp will also support parking for aircraft as large as the C-17 Globemaster III and C-5 Galaxy."

US steps up anti-terror campaign in Yemen: report

US steps up anti-terror campaign in Yemen: report: "The United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against the Al-Qaeda terror network in Yemen, The New York Times reported late Sunday.
Citing an unnamed former top CIA official, the newspaper said that a year ago the Central Intelligence Agency sent many field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country.
At the same time, some of the most secretive special operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, the report said.
The Pentagon will be spending more than 70 million dollars over the next 18 months"

Monday, December 28, 2009

MC-12 arrives, heralds activation of 4th ERS

MC-12 arrives, heralds activation of 4th ERS: "The newest aircraft to the Air Force's inventory arrived Dec. 27, 2009, to Bagram Airfield. The MC-12 aircraft, tail number 090623, was the first of an undisclosed number of aircraft for the new 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here.

Following the MC-12's arrival, the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron was activated to carry out MC-12 operations in the Afghan theater of operations."

DOD leaders look at long-term effects of burn pits

DOD leaders look at long-term effects of burn pits: "Defense Department leaders have launched a study on the possible long-term effects of the smoke emitted from burn pits used in overseas locations such as Iraq.

Armed services medical officials are conducting studies on the health outcomes of individuals that have been deployed to identify any health conditions associated with smoke exposure.

Burn pit smoke can cause some acute health effects in some people, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Dec. 28. These can include eye irritation, upper respiratory ailments and coughing.

'To date, we don't have any information on any longer-term health risks that may be associated with burn pit smoke inhalation,' Mr. Whitman said.

This is the second study of the effects inhaling burn pit smoke may have."

Robots to shape wars of the future - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Robots to shape wars of the future - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Robots may one day be more effective than human soldiers on the battlefield and they may have a sense of ethics — even a sense of guilt, says a robotics expert who has done a study with the support of the Army’s research office.
Ethical robots that can use lethal force on the battlefield would adhere to international law and rules of engagement, Ronald C. Arkin told Army Times on Dec. 15. Arkin describes how this could work in his 2009 book “Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots.” He is with the Mobile Robot Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Here’s what the future of robots may hold:"

U.S. wants Pakistan to pursue Taliban-allied group --

U.S. wants Pakistan to pursue Taliban-allied group -- "As Pakistan forges ahead with its bid to uproot Taliban fighters from tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, its troops are bypassing an enemy that the Obama administration desperately wants confronted.

Rather than expand on its gains in South Waziristan and drive into North Waziristan to tackle the Haqqani network -- a wing of the Taliban that views U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan as its principal target -- the Pakistani military is now focusing its attention on driving Taliban militants from their strongholds in the surrounding tribal regions of Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber."

U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion -

U.S. Widens Terror War to Yemen, a Qaeda Bastion - "In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen.

A year ago, the Central Intelligence Agency sent several of its top field operatives with counterterrorism experience to the country, according a former top agency official. At the same time, some of the most secretive Special Operations commandos have begun training Yemeni security forces in counterterrorism tactics, senior military officers said."

Logistics planners converge on Kuwait to coordinate next phase of Iraq drawdown

Logistics planners converge on Kuwait to coordinate next phase of Iraq drawdown: "Logistics planners laid out their December 2009 to August 2010 drawdown strategies to senior Department of Defense officials during the Third Army and 1st Theater Sustainment Command co-hosted a 'rehearsal of concept,' or ROC drill. The lengthy process included briefings and discussions on a variety of topics ranging from weather predictions, threat trends, and customs operations, to the withdrawal timelines of specific units, classified plans for ammunition, and Army and Air Force Exchange Service store closures in Iraq."

U.S. troops testing British-style camo | Stars and Stripes

U.S. troops testing British-style camo Stars and Stripes: "British and American soldiers soon could be hard to tell apart if the U.S. Army adopts a camouflage pattern similar to one that the British have already picked out to conceal their troops in Afghanistan.
U.S. soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment in eastern Afghanistan are wearing new uniforms featuring the 'MultiCam' camouflage pattern"

Maritime - Austal Commences JHSV Construction

Maritime - Austal Commences JHSV Construction: "Austal has received authorization from the U.S. Navy to commence construction on the first of up to ten 338-ft Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV).

After Austal successfully completed the Production Readiness Review (PRR) and necessary DoD approvals were obtained, the Navy authorized Austal’s Mobile, Ala. facility to immediately begin construction of Fortitude (JHSV 1)."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan -

Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan - "Secretive branches of the military’s Special Operations forces have increased counterterrorism missions against some of the most lethal groups in Afghanistan and, because of their success, plan an even bigger expansion next year, according to American commanders.
Skip to next paragraph

The New York Times
Officers at Bagram Air Base expect a major fight in Marja. The commandos, from the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s classified Seals units, have had success weakening the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the strongest Taliban warrior in eastern Afghanistan"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fast-Track Field Experimentation Program Accelerates Delivery of Tools to the Battlefield

Fast-Track Field Experimentation Program Accelerates Delivery of Tools to the Battlefield: "A fast-track field experimentation (FX) program at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has significantly reduced the time it normally takes for new battlefield technologies to be vetted through the defense acquisition and field-testing/evaluation processes.

Warfighters typically have to wait several years for new technologies to wend their way through these lengthy procedures before they reach the battlefield. But that's changing.

Right now, for example, U.S. Marines on operations in Afghanistan are using a surveillance and situational awareness tool that didn't exist less than a year ago.

For that tool, called SIGEAGLE,"

NSWC Collaboration Leads to Rapid Technology Fielding

NSWC Collaboration Leads to Rapid Technology Fielding: "Warfighters on board riverine assault boats (RAB) supporting efforts in Operation Iraqi Freedom are now safer from radio-controlled improvised explosive devices (RCIED) because of collaborative efforts between two Naval Surface Warfare Centers (NSWCs).

NSWC Crane and NSWC Carderock teamed to complete Counter RCIED Electronic Warfare (CREW) system installations on RABs six months ahead of schedule. The systems prevent enemy RCIED detonation, providing significant protection to warfighters patrolling waterways in Iraq."

Unmanned Aerial Systems aid 1st AF mission

Unmanned Aerial Systems aid 1st AF mission: "Unmanned aircraft are currently used by the Air Force for long-endurance, medium and high altitude surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and operate primarily outside the borders of the United States in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

'We're working toward developing standardized policies and procedures―a necessary template―for all services to integrate and gain FAA approval for domestic UAS operations,' said 1st Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Garry Dean."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wasp Returns Home Wrapping up Southern Partnership Station-Amphib 2009

Wasp Returns Home Wrapping up Southern Partnership Station-Amphib 2009: "The Wasp-DESRON 40 team joined forces with Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) - South, SCMAGTF, Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) 405 and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to conduct CIT operations in the Caribbean. The month-long interoperability mission working alongside Haitian and Dominican Republic civil and military agents resulted in a disrupted flow of drugs through the Caribbean and to the United States.

'The key to the success of this deployment has been that the Wasp, as a fusion center, has allowed us to bring to bear several assets that were able to work with Joint Interagency Task Force-South, conducting CIT operations in the south. The benefit is that we've been able to operate in different regions of the Caribbean,' said Laco."

Additional Seabee Battalions Deploying to Afghanistan

Additional Seabee Battalions Deploying to Afghanistan: "Two battalions of Navy Seabees will deploy to Afghanistan in coming months as part of the 30,000 additional U.S. forces deploying to the region.

Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4 will deploy from Port Hueneme, Calif., and NMCB 133 will deploy from Gulfport, Miss. Each NMCB contains about 580 Seabees.

Seabees are a vital enabler required for the buildup of additional troops in support of President Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan. The Seabees' mission is to help provide infrastructure such as bases, berthing facilities, roads and airfields for the increasing number of U.S. forces in country."

Thunderbolts receive wing modification

Thunderbolts receive wing modification: "The A-10 Thunderbolt II will continue flying close-ground-support missions for the next two decades because of a reinforcement process wing replacement specialists call 'Hog Up.'

The phrase originated about a decade ago during an upgrade of the aircraft's avionics system, partially because of the A-10's 'Warthog' nickname. Specialists in the 309th Maintenance Wing's Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Hill Air Force Base, Utah, install steel straps and stronger fittings to the wings that give the A-10 an additional 8,000 flying hours"

Blind officer graduates Maneuver Captain's Career Course

Blind officer graduates Maneuver Captain's Career Course: "The first blind student to attend the Maneuver Captain's Career Course graduated with his class Tuesday in a ceremony attended by family and friends.

MCCC is a 20-week course that prepares captains for company commands and serving as staff officers at battalion and brigade level.

'When I came here, I was kind of skeptical of how I would be received, being the blind guy,' Capt. Ivan Castro said. 'I thank my cadre and classmates for their support. I learned a lot from my peers, and I hope I taught them something. We all have a cross to carry. You have to pick up the pieces and move on.'

Castro, who's served in the Army for 21 years, was injured during offensive operations in Yusifiyah, Iraq, Sept. 2, 2006, while deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division. Shrapnel from an 82mm mortar that landed five feet from his position on a rooftop struck Castro, a sniper reconnaissance platoon leader, and several others. The mortar killed two Soldiers in his platoon and left him blind. Castro also suffered a bilateral aneurysm, collapsed lung, pulmonary embolism, bone fractures and a nicked artery."

Stryker soldiers say commanders failed them - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Stryker soldiers say commanders failed them - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Once known as the breadbasket of Afghanistan, the Arghandab has become a killing field.
Battle has been joined in the valley because of its proximity to Kandahar city, a rich prize two miles to the east across a razor-backed ridgeline. Until this summer, insurgent control of the valley was unchallenged. Then 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, moved in, and the fight was on.
The vicious struggle in and around the Arghandab since the battalion’s arrival has killed 21 1/17 soldiers and more than 50 insurgents, led to a popular company commander’s controversial replacement and raised questions about the best role for Stryker units in Afghanistan."

Monday, December 21, 2009

US Congress uneasy over French warship sale to Russia

US Congress uneasy over French warship sale to Russia: "France's plans to sell a powerful warship to Russia, which has unsettled Georgia and other neighbors, has drawn fire in the US Congress where some warned against NATO arms sales to Moscow.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has introduced a non-binding resolution urging President Barack Obama to press Paris to cancel the transaction.
'France and other member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union should decline to sell major weapons systems or offensive military equipment to the Russian Federation,' the measure says."

US Senate approves 2010 military budget

US Senate approves 2010 military budget: "The US Congress on Saturday sent US President Barack Obama a massive annual military spending bill that funds current operations in Afghanistan and pays for the troop withdrawal from Iraq.
In a rare weekend vote, the Senate approved the 636.3-billion-dollar package, which cleared the House of Representatives 395-34 on Wednesday, by an 88-10 margin.
Obama is expected to send Congress an emergency spending measure of at least 30 billion dollars early next year to pay for his recently announced decision to send 30,000 more US troops to Afghanistan."

Look east for lessons in US Afghan surge

Look east for lessons in US Afghan surge: "an insurgent-infested valley near the Pakistan border.
'Yesterday we were under attack all morning. They shot at us with machine guns and (Russian) dashakas,' said the sergeant, decked out in new camouflage uniform and cradling an M-16, the US rifle slowly replacing the Kalashnikov.
US soldiers from the 1st battalion, 32nd infantry regiment climb to Outpost Tango to take pictures and coordinates so that next time the Afghans can call in US artillery or air strikes."

Fears for anti-Taliban push as graft fracas engulfs Pakistan

Fears for anti-Taliban push as graft fracas engulfs Pakistan: "A Supreme Court ruling quashing a corruption amnesty protecting politicians has thrown nuclear-armed Pakistan into turmoil as the nation's allies want it to focus on battling militants, analysts say."

Outside View: Jockeying for influence

Outside View: Jockeying for influence: "The Obama administration's decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 18 months after the start of the surge has already begun to bear fruit, but perhaps not in a way that was intended.
The strongest Taliban warrior in Afghanistan, Siraj Haqqani, whose fighters pose the biggest threat to U.S. forces, remains protected by Pakistan in a sanctuary in North Waziristan.
Jane Perlez of The New York Times reports that requests by the United States to crack down on the Afghan Haqqani Taliban have been rebuffed because Pakistan views it as contrary to its long-term interests in Afghanistan"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tools help warfighters test water for chemical, biological hazards

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Employees here are fabricating and populating more than 1,700 kits that will enable warfighters throughout the world to test water samples.

In August, Tobyhanna employees began fabricating components to be included in detection enhancement kits, which will provide military personnel with the tools to test a water sample for radiation, and chemical and biological hazards.

Tobyhanna personnel fabricate a variety of pieces for the kits, including cables and other components. Included in the kits are purchased commercial items and government-furnished equipment (GFE) from the customer, such as radiac meters and detectors, and check sources, which are used to ensure the radiac equipment is working correctly.

Soldiers and seamen will use a heater to evaporate a water sample, leaving behind a residue that is used for testing.

Over the summer, depot personnel accomplished a limited rate of production (LRP). Personnel from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., (the customer) provided employees in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate's Tank Thermal/Common Modules Branch with enough components to populate 100 kits each for the Army and Navy.

Russ Burnett, logistics management specialist, said the LRP was used to introduce the kits into the field, and that the same personnel will populate 1,058 kits for the Army and 645 for the Navy. He works in the Production Management Directorate's Manufacturing Systems and Support Branch.

"Since it is new workload, engineers had to determine the materials needed, and the hours and machines required to fabricate items," explained Stacey Taylor, production controller in the branch.

Personnel in the sheet metal fabrication branch are using a Strippit Computer Numerically Controlled punch press to produce parts for the probe stand. The machine allows them to produce 50 pieces per sheet of material.

Next, machinists in the machining branch engrave identifiable information into each piece. The machine allows personnel to etch eight pieces at one time.

Zigmund Pieszala, branch chief, noted that because of the irregular shape of the components specific engraving is required. Branch personnel will use the HAAS VF-11 computer numerically controlled milling center, which is outfitted with a table that holds the parts in place using a vacuum.

"This machine is also equipped with specialized accessory programs that will allow the machine to engrave the needed lettering to proper style and specifications very quickly," Pieszala added.

The items are blasted and finished by Systems Integration and Support Directorate employees in the Component Refinishing, and Finishing and Etching branches to ensure a smooth and durable product.

Burnett said they hope to begin populating and delivering kits before the end of the year, and plan on producing 100 kits each month, depending on the availability of GFE.

"This is slightly different workload than the large systems Tobyhanna is used to working on," Burnett noted, describing the kit as a "small, standalone, self-sufficient end item being used in the field."

Taylor added that depot employees are "directly touching" the warfighter by supplying these kits to them.

Tobyhanna is currently the only installation working on this program.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Caprioli (USAG Fort Huachuca)


Friday, December 18, 2009

Construction Commences on First Joint High Speed Vessel

Construction Commences on First Joint High Speed Vessel: "Workers at the Austal USA shipyard started fabrication of the first Joint High Speed Vessel Dec. 17 in Mobile, Ala.

'This is an important milestone for our program which brings us one step closer to delivering this critical asset to both the Army and the Navy,' said Capt. George Sutton, the Strategic and Theater Sealift Office program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. 'Considerable investments in the Austal shipyard, coupled with the implementation of proven commercial technology, gives me high levels of confidence in the shipyard's ability to execute the program.'

To pave the way for the start of fabrication, the JHSV program completed an extensive Production Readiness Review on Oct. 20. The ship's design maturity and readiness, the availability of materials and components, and the shipbuilder's ability to successfully start fabrication were all closely evaluated. Following the review, the Navy granted authorization for the company to begin construction.

Austal's recently constructed Modular Manufacturing Facility will eventually provide a five-fold increase in the company's existing construction capacity. This facility will have the ability to build both the Littoral Combat Ship and JHSV."

Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Independence

Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Independence: "The Navy officially accepted delivery of the future USS Independence (LCS 2) Dec. 18 during a short ceremony in Mobile, Ala. Independence is the second littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy, and the first LCS of the General Dynamics variant. LCS is a new breed of U.S. Navy warship with versatile warfighting capabilities, capable of open-ocean operation, but optimized for littoral, or coastal, missions."

Maritime Professional - Sanity prevails as US backpedals on box screening

Maritime Professional - Sanity prevails as US backpedals on box screening: "So the US Department of Homeland Security have finally wised up. It took them long enough, but eventually they have arrived at the conclusion that it will not be possible to meet their deadline for the screening of all import containers.
The magic was supposed to happen in 2012 when every ocean container travelling across sea to shining sea and being imported into the US, a huge portion from China, would enter the country having been screened at some point along the journey.
This, it now turns out, is impossible."

North Korean hackers may have stolen US war plans | World news |

North Korean hackers may have stolen US war plans World news "North Korean hackers may have stolen US war plansFiles outline South Korea and Washington's strategy in event of war on the peninsulaBuzz up!
Digg it
Justin McCurry, Friday 18 December 2009 12.41 GMT
South Korean tanks taking part in a military exercise near the demilitarised zone in 2000 to prepare for a possible North Korean attack. Photograph: Ahn Young-joon/AP
South Korea's military is investigating a cyber attack in which North Korean hackers may have stolen secret defence plans outlining Seoul and Washington's strategy in the event of war on the Korean peninsula.
The highly sensitive information, codenamed Oplan 5027, may have found its way into hostile hands last month after a South Korean officer used an unsecured USB memory stick to download it.
It reportedly contained a summary of military operations involving South Korean and US troops should North Korea conduct a pre-emptive strike or attempt to invade."

Iran helping the Taliban, US ambassador claims - Telegraph

Iran helping the Taliban, US ambassador claims - Telegraph: "Karl Eikenberry, a former commanding general in Afghanistan, said parts of the regime had transcended sectarian divisions within Islam to provide support for fundamentalist groups fighting Western forces in Afghanistan.
'Iran or elements within Iran have provided training assistance and some weapons to the Taliban,' said Mr Eikenberry."

Shooter-detection 'Boomerangs' helping in Iraq

Shooter-detection 'Boomerangs' helping in Iraq: "A new acoustic shooter-detection system called 'Boomerang' detects incoming gunfire in Iraq and alerts Soldiers to the shooter's location, allowing them to immediately return fire.

'It's an anti-sniper detection system,' said Pierre Jackson, an installer of Boomerang systems for the firm D3M.

'Basically, if someone is firing at you, it picks up exactly where they're firing from,' he said.

When a Soldier is on patrol, the device is passive. It signals Soldiers with an audible and a visual warning if it detects an incoming, supersonic round.

It relays the direction, distance, and azimuth to the shooter.

Training only takes a half-hour."

Nearing Arms Pact, U.S. and Russia Look Ahead -

Nearing Arms Pact, U.S. and Russia Look Ahead - "Obama administration officials had said prior to coming to Copenhagen that they did not expect to conclude the pact to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991, known as Start, until after this trip and possibly not until early next year. Start expired on Dec. 5; the two countries have been operating on an interim agreement since.
Negotiators planned to return to Geneva and continue working through the weekend. If they do not reach a final agreement by the beginning of next week, then they plan to break for the holidays and return in January.
But even if the two sides manage to bring home a deal in coming days as they hope, that will be the easy part. After Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev of Russia sign the new pact, they plan to send negotiators back to the table next year to pursue a far more ambitious agreement tackling whole categories of nuclear weapons never before subject to international limits."

Iraq to relaunch air force nearly 20 years after Kuwait war

Iraq to relaunch air force nearly 20 years after Kuwait war: "Iraq is to relaunch its air force which was decimated in the 1991 Gulf War and to train pilots for a squadron of 18-24 fighter planes, Defence Minister Abdel Qadr Obeidi announced on Wednesday.
Obeidi said at the reopening of the air force academy in Tikrit, in northern Iraq, that the facility would produce a new generation of pilots, navigators and ground crew.
'We are turning a new page in the history of the Iraqi air force,' the minister said as he attended the arrival of four US-built T-6A trainer aircraft piloted by Iraqi instructors."

Unmanned unit tested for psychological war

Unmanned unit tested for psychological war: "Most of the methods currently used in psychological warfare have been brought together in an unmanned system developed by Boeing and demonstrated for the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Psychological operations are crucial to wartime missions for combatant commands, but until recently such measures involved different approaches and comprised varying elements, from dropping conventional leaflets in battle zones to using audiovisual effects.
The system is also equally effective in civilian scenarios such as crowd control.
Boeing's Multimodal Unmanned Systems Operations"

US fixed problem with drones hacked by insurgents: Pentagon

US fixed problem with drones hacked by insurgents: Pentagon: "The US military has fixed a problem that allowed Iraqi militants to use cheap software to intercept the video feeds of US-operated drones, a defense official said on Thursday.
'This is an old issue that's been addressed,' the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters. The problem has been 'taken care of,' he said.
Pentagon officials sought to play down security concerns with US drones after the Wall Street Journal reported that Iranian-backed Shiite insurgents had used software programs such as SkyGrabber -- available online for 25.95 dollars (18 euros) -- to capture live video footage from the unmanned aircraft."

New U.S. bomber funding seen in 2011

New U.S. bomber funding seen in 2011: "The Pentagon's delayed funding for a new Air Force long-range bomber is likely to be included in its fiscal spending for 2011.
The on-again-off-again program has been in limbo since U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates froze it earlier this year, saying it should be assessed in the Defense Department's Quadrennial Defense Review, which reviews weapons programs every four years.
Initial assessments of that review, officials say, suggest the need for both manned and unmanned long-range strike capabilities."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Special operations forces battle away from spotlight - Washington Times

Special operations forces battle away from spotlight - Washington Times: "It's possible to glimpse special operations forces (SOF) only at the fringes. Recently, SOCOM invited The Washington Times to observe a special operations forces training event at Fort Irwin, in the Mojave Desert just east of Los Angeles. Before shipping off to East Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines or other conflict zones, commando units run a gamut of exercises meant to prepare them for the rigors of combat. Fort Irwin, home of the U.S. Army's sprawling National Training Center, is one of the last stops.
The role of special operations forces has expanded significantly since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as the U.S. military has gotten involved in an ever wider range of counterterrorism and nation-building operations. Since 2001, SOCOM's budget has tripled to nearly $10 billion annually."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Multinational wing completes first mission into Iraq

Multinational wing completes first mission into Iraq: "A recent flight into Iraq marks another unit milestone for the multinational Heavy Airlift Wing based at Pápa Air Base, Hungary.

The airlift mission into Iraq was the first by the wing, which comprises 12 member nations, and facilitated the deployment for members of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq.

'Each time we fly a mission into a different area of responsibility, it confirms the 12-nation commitment to support each other's national requirements without regard to whether an individual nation has troops involved in that area,' Col. John Zazworsky, HAW commander, said. 'Like each of our other missions to date, we flew this mission with multinational crew members in all crew positions.'"

U.S. steps up special operations mission in Afghanistan --

U.S. steps up special operations mission in Afghanistan -- "The U.S. military command has quietly shifted and intensified the mission of clandestine special operations forces in Afghanistan, senior officials said, targeting key figures within the Taliban, rather than almost exclusively hunting Al Qaeda leaders.

As a result of orders from Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and allied commander in Afghanistan, the special operations teams are focusing more on killing militants, capturing them or, whenever possible, persuading them to turn against the Taliban-led insurgency.

The number of raids carried out by such units as the Army's Delta Force and Navy's SEAL Team Six in Afghanistan has more than quadrupled in recent months"

Improved magazine increases weapons reliability

Improved magazine increases weapons reliability: "The Army has begun fielding a new 5.56mm 30-round 'improved magazine' that delivers a significant increase in reliability for M-16 and M-4 weapons.

Bolstering the already high reliability ratings of the M-16 and M-4, the improved magazine reduces the risk of magazine-related stoppages by more than 50 percent compared to the older magazine variants, according to officials at Program Executive Office Soldier.

Identified by a tan-colored follower, more than 500,000 of the improved magazines have been fielded to units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NASA technology may help bioterror fight

NASA technology may help bioterror fight: "Technology developed at NASA to guard against Earth-bound infections during space exploration may be used in finding ways to counter bioterrorism, new research indicated.
Los Angeles-based Universal Detection Technology is acting upon a Department of Homeland Security request for a research proposal aimed at detecting and containing harmful bioagents, such as anthrax, that can be used as bioterrorism weapons, the company announced.
Universal Detection Technology is a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats."

Japan to halt new missile defence spending: media

Japan to halt new missile defence spending: media: "Japan's centre-left government will likely freeze new spending on its joint missile defence system with the United States after the cabinet decided on budget cuts Tuesday, media reports said.
The cabinet's decision would probably delay the deployment of new Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptors (PAC-3) until after April 2011, said Kyodo News and other major media, citing unnamed sources."

Live-Fire Demo Showcases Future Weapons

Live-Fire Demo Showcases Future Weapons: "The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division rolled out more than 30 weapon systems - including pistols, rifles, sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers - for a special live-fire demonstration Tuesday at Red Cloud Range.
The weapons, including new sniper technology, weapons upgrades and an air burst rifle prototype, represent 60 percent of the Army's small arms strategy, said Lt. Col. Thomas Henthorn, chief of the small arms branch."

Program officials empower Afghan citizens to protect against threat of IED attacks

Program officials empower Afghan citizens to protect against threat of IED attacks: "A new program backed by Afghan National Security Forces and Combined Joint Task Force-82 empowers Afghan citizens to take a stand against improvised explosive device attacks.

'Operation Jaeza,' or 'reward,' gives Afghans a protection from enemy actions targeting innocent people, said Afghan Maj. Gen. Abdul Khaliq, the commanding general of the 203rd Corps, Afghan National Army, during a press conference on the subject at a forward operating base in Paktya province, recently.

The program was implemented four weeks ago and has already produced $48,000 in rewards in just the past week. People in the Paktika, Paktya, Khowst and Ghazni provinces produced leads on the location of the IEDs themselves, their makers or distributors of IED-making materials."

C-27J training operations center opens

C-27J training operations center opens: "Air Force, Army and community officials celebrated the opening of a new cargo plane schoolhouse Dec. 9, here.

The C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft Schoolhouse will be used to train pilots of the C-27J, the new cargo plane used to reduce the need for ground convoys in dangerous areas.

After years of development by the Army, the C-27J Spartan program has shifted to the Air Force, but will be a joint program and both Army and Air Force pilots and loadmasters will attend the school."

NASA WISE Delta II launch successful

NASA WISE Delta II launch successful: "Mission planners are celebrating Vandenberg's final launch of the year following the successful launch of a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 Dec. 14 at 6:09 a.m.

The rocket carried NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer satellite.

With confirmation of the payload's delivery into orbit and signal acquisition, the launch was pronounced a success.

'This is our final launch of the year,' said Col. David Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander and the launch decision authority for this mission. 'With eight successful Western Range launches for this year, I'd say we have had an outstanding year."

Navy Laboratory Supports Maritime Strategy Through Health Diplomacy

Navy Laboratory Supports Maritime Strategy Through Health Diplomacy: "A U.S. Navy laboratory in Egypt, initially developed in the 1940s to protect the health of U.S. service personnel by doing local research and disease surveillance, has evolved into a notable public health presence in the region where it operates.

Created as part of the U.S. Typhus Commission to prevent a Typhus epidemic among troops and refugees during World War II, U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3) spurred the Egyptian government to invite the U.S. Navy to continue their partnership on disease research and detection along with Egyptian scientists.

NAMRU-3 has since developed into the largest overseas military medical research facility in the world and plays a key U.S. foreign policy role in terms of medical diplomacy."

Major challenge for Pentagon is getting fuel to U.S. troops in Afghanistan -

Major challenge for Pentagon is getting fuel to U.S. troops in Afghanistan - "As the number of U.S. and coalition troops grows, the military is planning for thousands of additional tanker truck deliveries a month, big new storage facilities and dozens of contractors to navigate the landlocked country's terrain, politics and perilous supply routes. And though Obama has vowed to start bringing U.S. forces home in 18 months, some of the fuel storage facilities will not be completed until then, according to the contract specifications issued by the Pentagon's logistics planners.
'Getting into Afghanistan, which we need to do as quickly as we can possibly do it, is very difficult because . . . next to Antarctica, Afghanistan is probably the most incommodious place, from a logistics point of view, to be trying to fight a war,'"

Leadership course for new lieutenants nixed - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Leadership course for new lieutenants nixed - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "A program designed to immerse new lieutenants in basic soldiering skills has come to an end less than four years after it began.
Basic Officer Leadership Course II, known as BOLC II, began in June 2006 as a sort of basic training for lieutenants before they were shipped to their officer basic courses.
The shortages of captains and majors that have kept units from manning their officer billets at 100 percent forced the Army to look at how it was moving lieutenants through the pipeline.
BOLC II kept as many as 8,000 second lieutenants in some sort of basic officer training at any given time. The six-week course was creating a bottleneck"

General wants troops ready for 'complex human terrain'

General wants troops ready for 'complex human terrain': "U.S. troops need to be prepared to operate in a 'complex human terrain' when they arrive in Afghanistan, the commander of International Security Assistance Force Joint Command said here today.

Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez took over the job just two months ago. He commands U.S. troops assigned to NATO and troops of 42 other nations for daily operations throughout Afghanistan.

'Now that we know where [U.S. troops] are going and when they are coming in, I think we'll be able to make them well-prepared for what they need to do,' he said during an interview with reporters traveling with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The general said the long pole in the tent is situational awareness for the troops coming in. 'It's tougher to do than the actual training itself,' he said."

Commentary: President Petraeus?

Commentary: President Petraeus?: "U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus is already being auscultated by GOP scouts parsing the potential field. They recall how Gen. Dwight Eisenhower clinched his presidential campaign with 'I shall go to Korea' to end an unpopular war. Once in the White House, he gave the U.S. economy a formidable booster shot -- and ordered up the interstate highway system. It became the largest public works project in history and the largest highway system (46,876 miles) in the world.
Americans are fast losing interest in promoting democracy abroad. They see China, with the world's most modern infrastructure, steadily gaining ground in the superpower stakes. Only 10 percent of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations' 642 members say they think democracy around the world should be a U.S. priority, and only 35 percent say the United States should strive to improve living standards abroad. Almost half the general public says the United States should 'mind its own business internationally, and let other countries get along the best they can on their own.'"

Fighting IED Attacks With SCARE Technology

Fighting IED Attacks With SCARE Technology: "University of Maryland researchers have developed and successfully tested new computer software and computational techniques to analyze patterns of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations and predict the locations of weapons caches that are used by insurgents to support those attacks."

US mulls Predator strikes in Pakistani cities: report

US mulls Predator strikes in Pakistani cities: report: "Senior US officials are pushing to expand CIA drone strikes beyond Pakistan's tribal region and into a major city in an attempt to pressure the Pakistani government to pursue Taliban leaders based in the city of Quetta, The Los Angeles Times reported late Sunday.
The newspaper said the prospect of Predator aircraft strikes in Quetta signals a new US resolve to decapitate the Taliban. But it also risks rupturing Washington's relationship with Islamabad."

Makin Island Completes First CSSQT, Harrier and AAV Ops

Makin Island Completes First CSSQT, Harrier and AAV Ops: "Sailors and Marines aboard the Navy's newest Amphibious Assault Ship returned to port Dec. 10 after completing three combat critical training evolutions.

During its 11-day underway, USS Makin Island's (LHD 8) focus was on conducting successful Combat Systems Ships Qualification Trials (CSSQT), its first Harrier flight operations and first operations with Amphibious Assault Vehicles.

Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Combat (C5) Department performed four missile shoots against low altitude/high velocity targets and four Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) shoots throughout the underway.

'This was the ship's initial CSSQT evolution, testing all Combat Systems weapon systems against multiple targets,'"

Monday, December 14, 2009

US special forces train Yemen army as Arab state becomes al-Qaeda 'reserve base' - Telegraph

US special forces train Yemen army as Arab state becomes al-Qaeda 'reserve base' - Telegraph: "US special forces have been sent to Yemen to train its army amid fears the unstable Arab state is becoming a strategically important base for al-Qaeda."

Taliban stalls key hydroelectric turbine project in Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian

Taliban stalls key hydroelectric turbine project in Afghanistan World news The Guardian: "An enormous hydroelectric turbine dragged at huge cost by British troops through Taliban heartlands last year may never be installed because Nato has been unable to secure a 30-mile stretch of road leading to an isolated dam in northern Helmand.
The daring mission to deliver 220 tonnes of equipment to the Kajaki dam in Afghanistan in September 2008 was hailed as one of the biggest success stories of the British Army's three-year deployment in Helmand.
Two thousand British troops took part in the five-day convoy through enemy territory, which was launched because the main road leading to the dam was too vulnerable to Taliban attacks"

Powerful lawmakers clash over $3 billion Army contract - Washington Times

Powerful lawmakers clash over $3 billion Army contract - Washington Times: "In a classic example of how hometown interests rule on Capitol Hill when money is at stake, Texas and Wisconsin lawmakers are slugging it out over whose state takes home a disputed $3 billion defense contract.
The trouble started in August when Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp. won the contract to build medium-sized trucks for the Army, beating out BAE Systems, which held the contract for 17 years and manufactures the vehicles in Sealy, Texas. BAE formally challenged the decision, and the Texas delegation in Congress soon entered the fray."

Maritime - U.S. Navy Releases Pricing for LCS3 & 4

Maritime - U.S. Navy Releases Pricing for LCS3 & 4: "As a result of the Navy's change in acquisition strategy for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, the Navy can now release the pricing for LCS 3 and LCS 4 awarded contracts.

The total value of the LCS 3 contract, awarded to Lockheed Martin Corporation on March 23, was $470,854,144 which includes ship construction, non-recurring construction and additional engineering effort, configuration management services, additional crew and shore support, special studies and post delivery support.

The total value of the LCS 4 contract, awarded to General Dynamics - Bath Iron Works on May 1, was $433,686,769"

Langley officials take first step toward Joint Base Langley-Eustis

Langley officials take first step toward Joint Base Langley-Eustis: "Officials from the 1st Fighter Wing here will release two of its four groups to the soon-to-be-established 633rd Air Base Wing Jan. 7; the first step toward the congressionally directed Joint Base Langley-Eustis that begins initial operational capability next month.

The purpose of the 633rd ABW is to optimally organize Langley Air Force Base as the supporting component to Army Fort Eustis in the joint base model.

'We are proud of the relationships we have built with our counterparts at Langley AFB and the work we have accomplished thus far,' said Army Col. Glenn Grothe, the Fort Eustis garrison commander. 'While this is a significant accomplishment, we are continuing our momentum through the implementation phase of the process."

Friday, December 11, 2009

X-51A WaveRider gets first ride aboard B-52

X-51A WaveRider gets first ride aboard B-52: "The X-51A Waverider was carried aloft for the first time Dec. 9 by an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress
over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The test was a key milestone in preparation for the X-51 to light its supersonic combustion ramjet engine and propel the WaverRider at hypersonic speed for about five minutes, before plunging into the Pacific Ocean."

McChrystal: 5 Years Before Afghans Control Security : NPR

McChrystal: 5 Years Before Afghans Control Security : NPR: "The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghnaistan is sketching out the way he wants to win. General Stanley McChrystal speaks of a long-term commitment to the country.
McChrystal used 21,000 reinforcements this year to grab control of parts of southern Afghanistan. He wants to do more with thousands more troops expected in the coming year."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Air Force officials launch satellite to enhance military communications

Air Force officials launch satellite to enhance military communications: "Air Force officials successfully launched a new-generation military communications satellite from here at 8:47 p.m. EST Dec. 5 when a Delta IV rocket carried a Wideband Global SATCOM into space.

WGS satellites are designed to provide high-capacity communications to U.S. military forces and the satellites will augment and eventually replace the Defense Satellite Communication System that has been the Department of Defense's backbone for satellite communications over the last two decades."

Cryptologists in Monterey Preview Navy's Newest Numbered Fleet

Cryptologists in Monterey Preview Navy's Newest Numbered Fleet: "The selected deputy commander of the soon-to-be reconstituted U.S. 10th Fleet/Fleet Cyber Command, addressed more than 70 prospective Navy linguists studying at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) on Dec. 2 at the Presidio of Monterey.

Rear Adm. William E. Leigher spoke to Sailors attending DLIFLC as an 'A' school for the cryptologic technician (interpretive) rating, about the role of the Navy's newest numbered fleet and the effects it will have on future fleet operations and the Navy's cryptological community.

'I have watched cryptology evolve over the last 20 years from a very tight and small field to a community that will lead what the Navy does in the Information Age,' Leigher said. 'We are going to be much more involved in defining the operations that we take part in.'"

Petraeus says U.S. will expand counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan war -

Petraeus says U.S. will expand counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan war - "The United States will step up its counterterrorism activities in Afghanistan as part of President Obama's new strategy as it seeks to 'kill or capture' insurgents outside densely populated areas and those deemed unlikely to change sides, Gen. David H. Petraeus said Wednesday.
This Story
U.S. counterterrorism efforts set to expand in Afghanistan
Special Report: Obama's War
The chief of the regional U.S. Central Command told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that 'additional mission force elements' would be sent to Afghanistan in the spring"

Medevacs for troops get faster in Afghanistan -

Medevacs for troops get faster in Afghanistan - "During the past year, the U.S. military reduced from 100 to 42 minutes the average time it takes for a badly wounded servicemember in Afghanistan to reach a hospital, even as the casualty rate tripled, according to military commanders.
Five new field hospitals were constructed to reduce flight distances, and the number of medical evacuation helicopters was tripled to 36 from 12"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bin Laden capture or death is key to defeating al-Qaida, US general says | World news |

Bin Laden capture or death is key to defeating al-Qaida, US general says World news "Capturing or killing Osama bin Laden is key to defeating al-Qaida, the US army commander in Afghanistan said yesterday.
Testifying before the US Congress, General Stanley McChrystal said Bin Laden was an 'iconic figure' whose survival emboldened al-Qaida as a franchising organisation across the world.
'It would not defeat al-Qaida to have him captured or killed, but I don't think that we can finally defeat al-Qaida until he is captured or killed,' he said."

Gates warns US may have to bankroll Afghanistan for 20 years - Times Online

Gates warns US may have to bankroll Afghanistan for 20 years - Times Online: "The West may have to bankroll Afghanistan’s security for 20 more years, President Karzai warned yesterday, as Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, promised not to abandon the war-ravaged country.
Despite serious concerns over the credibility of Mr Karzai’s Government, particularly its ability to root out corruption, Mr Gates said on a visit to Kabul that America’s military withdrawal would be spread over several years.
Aid money, he added, could last for decades. Diplomats have warned that future financial support depends on Afghan efforts to purge government corruption."

Russia on its mind, Georgia makes hefty Afghan contribution - Telegraph

Russia on its mind, Georgia makes hefty Afghan contribution - Telegraph: "By agreeing to deploy nearly 1,000 troops to Afghanistan, Georgia is making investments in its own security against its giant neighbour and former ruler, Russia."

2 studies: PTSD is chemical change in brain - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

2 studies: PTSD is chemical change in brain - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Two new studies seem to provide more evidence that post-traumatic stress disorder is a chemical change in the brain caused by trauma — and that it might be possible to diagnose, treat and predict susceptibility to it based on brain scans or blood tests.
In one study, Christine Marx, of the Duke University Medical Center and Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, wondered why PTSD, depression and pain often occur together.
Researchers already knew that people with PTSD show changes in their neurosteroids, which are brain chemicals thought to play a role in how the body responds to stress."

National Guard key to president's Afghan agriculture initiative

National Guard key to president's Afghan agriculture initiative: "The National Guard continues to make a significant contribution to developing agriculture in Afghanistan, one of the initiatives that President Obama discussed Dec. 1, in his speech to the nation.

'We will ... focus our assistance in areas - such as agriculture - that can make an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan people,' the president said in a televised speech made from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Eight National Guard Agribusiness Development Teams are currently on the ground in Afghanistan, and more teams are preparing to deploy, Guard officials said."

U.S. firms warned against bioterror threat

U.S. firms warned against bioterror threat: "U.S. businesses that trade in DNA have been warned to stay on guard against abuses leading to bioterrorism.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines for the trade in customized DNA sequencing that, if abused, can lead to bioterrorism, with unforeseeable consequences
DNA sequencing refers to methods used by scientists to determine the order of the nucleotide bases in a DNA molecule. Manipulation of the DNA sequences is usually fraught with risks and can be the stuff of nightmare scenarios, with large population clusters exposed to bioterrorist attack."

US Air Force confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' drone

US Air Force confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' drone: "The US Air Force on Tuesday confirmed for the first time that it is flying a stealth unmanned aircraft known as the 'Beast of Kandahar,' a drone spotted in photos and shrouded in secrecy.
The RQ-170 Sentinel is being developed by Lockheed Martin and is designed 'to provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces,' the air force said in a brief statement.
The 'RQ' prefix for the aircraft indicates an unarmed drone,"

US forces on track to leave Iraq despite attacks: Mullen

US forces on track to leave Iraq despite attacks: Mullen: "US forces remain on track to begin withdrawing from Iraq in large numbers next year despite coordinated suicide attacks on Tuesday that killed 126 people, the top US military officer has said.
Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told reporters that while the withdrawal of US forces in Iraq were 'on a balance' with the buildup in Afghanistan, nothing that has happened so far would upset plans."

Iraqi army wants U.S. help past withdrawal - Washington Times

Iraqi army wants U.S. help past withdrawal - Washington Times: "A senior Iraqi military official says the Iraqi army wants to continue a long-term training relationship with the United States beyond the 2011 deadline for a U.S. troop withdrawal.
Gen. Nasier Abadi, vice chairman of Iraq's army, told The Washington Times that Iraqi commanders would welcome continued training by U.S. forces despite the withdrawal deadline set late last year.
Gen. Abadi said the relationship would depend on next year's Iraqi elections."

Pentagon names units that'll deploy first in Afghan 'surge' | McClatchy

Pentagon names units that'll deploy first in Afghan 'surge' McClatchy: "The Pentagon on Monday announced which troops would be among the first of the 30,000-35,000 additional troops to head to Afghanistan.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates began working on the orders last week on the flight back from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., where he'd watched President Obama announce the new strategy.
In all, the Pentagon announced Monday the deployment of 16,200 troops."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Army Technology - EADS Light Utility Helicopters Set for US Army

Army Technology - EADS Light Utility Helicopters Set for US Army: "The US Army has awarded a contract to EADS North American Defense to provide 45 UH-72A light utility helicopters and associated medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) equipment.
Under the $247.2m contract, EADS will also provide 30 MEDEVAC mission equipment packages, 30 MEDEVAC B-kits, 30 hoist B-kits and four personnel mission equipment packages."

Solar Energy Powers Marines on Battlefield

Solar Energy Powers Marines on Battlefield: "The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Advanced Power Generation Future Naval Capabilities program introduced technology that allows U.S. Marines to harness the power of the sun to help power their field equipment.

A year ago, U.S. Marines operating in the Arabian Desert only viewed the sun as the source of the region's relentless heat. Today, the sun fuels the Ground Renewable Expeditionary ENergy System (GREENS), a 300-watt, photovoltaic/battery system that provides continuous power to Marines in the field.

ONR began exploring the GREENS idea in fall 2008 in response to a Marine Corps requirement from Iraq for an expeditionary renewable power system."

Media Attention Dramatizes Somali Piracy

Media Attention Dramatizes Somali Piracy: "Retired Rear Adm. Terence 'Terry' McKnight, the past commander of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) for counterpiracy operations, spoke last week at lunch time lecture at the National Naval Museum. The admiral surprised the audience by saying that the piracy problem in the Gulf Aden is 'over publicized.'

'We are fighting wars on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan with hundreds of thousands of troops involved. Yet world attention, particularly media attention, is drawn to Somali piracy in the Gulf Aden, which is a very minor problem in the large scheme of things,'"

Russian and Coalition Task Forces Discuss Counter-Piracy Operations

Russian and Coalition Task Forces Discuss Counter-Piracy Operations: "The Combined Task Force 151 commander met with his Russian counterpart Dec. 2 aboard USS Chosin (CG 65) to discuss counterpiracy efforts in the region.

Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, CTF 151 commander, and Capt. 1st Rank Evgeny Irza, commander of Russian Task Force 680, coordinated their counter-piracy mission during meetings.

Both task forces are operating in the Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden, which was established in 2008 to provide international shipping a safe route from piracy."

U.S. leaves in Iraq equipment that it may need in Afghanistan

U.S. leaves in Iraq equipment that it may need in Afghanistan: "Under new authority granted by the Pentagon, U.S. commanders in Iraq may now donate to the Iraqis up to $30 million worth of equipment from each facility they leave, up from the $2 million cap established when the guidelines were first set in 2005. The new cap applies at scores of posts that the U.S. military is expected to leave in coming months as it scales back its presence from about 280 facilities to six large bases and a few small ones by the end of next summer.
Some of the items that commanders may now leave behind, including passenger vehicles and generators, are among what commanders in Afghanistan need most urgently, according to Pentagon memos."

Surge To Strain Supply Lines - Defense News

Surge To Strain Supply Lines - Defense News: "With presidential orders to surge 30,000 troops into Afghanistan at 'the fastest possible pace,' in early 2010, U.S. logisticians and planners are scrambling to coordinate the movement of units and tons of materiel over thousands of miles into an exceedingly prohibitive environment.
Although military logisticians had been prepping for months against the possibility of a surge, detailed planning began only after President Barack Obama announced the new strategy Dec. 1. Senior leaders say it's too early to estimate the price tag of moving the new forces rapidly into a landlocked Asian country."

Afghan surge poses logistical headache for US military

Afghan surge poses logistical headache for US military: "President Barack Obama's order to surge 30,000 troops into Afghanistan presents the US military with a giant logistical challenge as it faces some of the most forbidding terrain in the world.
With few paved roads and a vast, rugged landscape, moving soldiers and equipment into Afghanistan 'is a bigger challenge than certainly was the case in Iraq,' Defense Secretary Robert Gates said last month."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Transportation officials confident in Afghan deployment

Transportation officials confident in Afghan deployment: "U.S. Transportation Command officials are confident they can accomplish the mission of delivering 30,000 U.S. troops and their equipment to Afghanistan when they are needed.

Planners at the command based at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., are working with operations specialists at U.S. Joint Forces Command and U.S. Central Command to fulfill President Barack Obama's decision to deploy the troops to Afghanistan in the first half of 2010."

Dover C-5Ms complete test in surge operations

Dover C-5Ms complete test in surge operations: "The C-5M Super Galaxy team has completed another stage of operational test and evaluation with the conclusion of surge operations at Dover AFB. The surge operations consisted of 31 days of delivering essential cargo and flying sorties nonstop, from Dover AFB to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, without refueling to test wartime contingency operations.

'Our maintainers spent the last 12 months training for this big game. Not only are they hitting a home run with regards to operational test and evaluation, but they hit a grand slam during the surge. The C-5M is a strategic airlift revolution -- proven by successful completion of the Dover to Incirlik surge,'"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Germany extends Afghan mission, no new troops for now

Germany extends Afghan mission, no new troops for now: "Germany currently has around 4,300 troops in Afghanistan, the third-largest contributor to a 110,000-strong international force after the United States and Britain.
The Bundestag lower house voted 445 deputies out of 594 in favour of the motion, which will ensure that German troops stay in the strife-wracked country until at least December 2010."

Iran builds navy to hold vital strait

Iran builds navy to hold vital strait: "As tensions with Iran rise again, the Islamic Republic is reported to be expanding its naval power in the oil-rich Gulf and the Arabian Sea to be able to command the chokepoint Strait of Hormuz, the only way in or out of the Gulf.
Closing that strategic waterway to maritime traffic, especially the 15 or so supertankers that sail through it every day delivering the world's oil supplies, would trigger an economic crisis that could cripple the painful efforts to recover from the global financial meltdown of 2008."

MDT Tiger Light Protected Vehicle - Army Technology

MDT Tiger Light Protected Vehicle - Army Technology: "The MDT Tiger light protected vehicle (LPV) is a mine protected light all-terrain vehicle manufactured by the Arotech Corporation's (Arotech) MDT Armor Division. It was launched by Arotech on 5 October 2009 at the annual meeting of the Association of the US Army (AUSA).
It is based on the commercially off-the-shelf Dodge Ram 5500 platform that was launched at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show. The vehicle can carry a crew of between six and nine members."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Convoy 911

Convoy 911: Joint unit extends battlespace communication
As coalition convoys travel through Iraq, C-130 Hercules aircraft circle overhead, listening to ground radio traffic and ready to respond to any request for assistance from those convoys.

Keeping those C-130s flying is the mission of the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines from the 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron joint airborne battle staff detachment. The unit provides immediate and reliable command, control and communication support for operational and strategic ground convoy movements.

"We provide the overhead security and are basically the 911 for the convoys out there, in case they need help," said Capt. Craig Barrington, the JABS detachment commander.

"Communication is the life blood of any operation," he said. "It can make the difference in operational success or failure."

Represented by all four Defense Department service branches, the four- or five-member aircrews simultaneously listen to five radio channels, identifying calls for assistance. When required, the teams transmit voice communications from the convoys in need to the appropriate ground stations.

"We are here to provide communication links between convoys and their respective headquarters," Captain Barrington said. "This is accomplished through radio relay, significant event reporting and, if needed, the ability to react to life-threatening situations."

While embodying the "one-team, one-fight" mantra, each military branch contributes differently to the mission.

"The Air Force typically provides the aircrew experience, communications technicians and officer leadership for the detachment," said Maj. Brian Neff, a former Multinational Corps-Iraq JABS commander. "The Navy provides a wealth of communication experience, as well as the enlisted leadership. The Army and Marines both offer a unique experience, as many have previously deployed as (communications) operators in convoys, and now they are deployed in support of this mission."

Knowing what their counterparts on the ground are going through gives some Soldiers and Marines with the 777th EAS a special dedication to the job.

"I take the job seriously, knowing that I was on the other end before," said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Gene Gibbs, a communications operator. "I believe my experience supplies me with a greater dedication to duty. When we get a phone call from a Soldier or any coalition force on the ground, I treat it as if I'm on the ground."

While the crewmembers relate to their comrades below, they appreciate the value of the JABS mission.

"I know (ground convoys) can be nerve-racking at times," said Army Sgt. Michael Wisdom, a communications operator. "I've been on the road, but never in a situation where I've needed life support. But knowing that this team could provide emergency relief like that at a moment's notice is the highlight of the job."

According to Lt. Col. Sean Bordenave, the 777th EAS commander, the constant flow of 13-hour, dusk-till-dawn missions couldn't happen without the successful assimilation of the difference service branches and their specialties.

"From the perspective of a commander, the thing I've found absolutely unique here is the teamwork," Colonel Bordenave said. "From the maintenance team generating the aircraft and working those last-minute maintenance issues, to the air battle staff and crew getting prepped for and flying some very long missions, it is absolutely phenomenal."


A.J. Allmond (AFNS)


Department focuses on F-35 costs, fair tanker competition

Department focuses on F-35 costs, fair tanker competition: "Pentagon officials are working to halt spiraling costs in the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft program while ensuring competition for a new refueling tanker remains fair to all contenders, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here Dec. 2.

Mr. Lynn told the Aerospace and Defense Conference audience he's concerned about both 'cost and schedule challenges' associated with the next-generation fighter aircraft that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates calls 'the heart of the future of our tactical combat aviation.'"

Afghanistan, Iraq Drive QDR

The Quadrennial Defense Review under way within the Defense Department will be unlike any other: the first to be driven by current wartime requirements, to balance conventional and nonconventional capabilities, and to embrace a "whole of government" approach to national security, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here Dec. 2.

"This is a landmark QDR," Mr. Lynn told aerospace executives at the Aerospace and Defense Conference.

"And it comes at a time when the nature of war is changing in ways that we need to adapt to. ... The QDR seeks to identify these changes and the challenges they present to our security," he said. 

The fiscal 2010 budget provided an important running start to the QDR, Mr. Lynn said. Difficult funding decisions made during the budget process reflect President Barack Obama's and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' strategic priorities, he said, and the QDR will build on this as it projects the way ahead.

Unlike previous QDRs, the current review puts the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center, Mr. Lynn said.

"Secretary Gates has made clear that the conflicts we're in should be at the very forefront of our agenda," and set the priorities, Mr. Lynn told the executives. "He wants to make sure we're not giving up capabilities needed now for those needed for some unknown future conflict. He wants to make sure the Pentagon is truly on war footing."

The upcoming QDR also will reflect the changing nature of war and the threats the United States faces, he said.

Lethality no longer is directly related to a potential adversary's capabilities, Lynn said. Insurgents and nonstate actors pose a threat once considered possible only at the highest ends of the lethality spectrum. The lines between conventional and conventional threats become increasingly blurred, Mr. Lynn said, as low-end actors gain access to high-end capabilities.

That demands that U.S. forces be agile enough to respond to low- and high-end as well as hybrid threats, he said. "They need what Secretary Gates has called the portfolio of military capabilities, with maximum versatility across the widest spectrum of conflict," he said. "This includes the ability to fight irregular conflicts."

So the upcoming QDR will seek to institutionalize both irregular warfare capability and an ability to stand up to other new and emerging threats, Mr. Lynn said, including cyber-threats, anti-satellite technologies and other asymmetric tactics that challenge U.S. conventional dominance.

With some 15,000 computer systems and 7 million computer devices, the DOD makes a tempting target to cyber-terrorists and more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations to hack into them, Mr. Lynn said.

"This is not an emerging theat. It's not a future threat. The cyber threat is here today," he said.

In response, Mr. Lynn said the QDR will address better ways to deter attacks on DOD systems while promoting an internal culture of responsibility that helps to safeguard information technology.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lynn said, the upcoming QDR will be linked to an unprecedented degree to a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review under way within the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

That review "takes a hard look at the role of civilian instruments in our foreign policy," Mr. Lynn said, and has big implications for the DOD.

"How we enroll all dimensions of our national power to avoid military action, or to ensure its success, are vital questions -- questions with both policy and institutional ramifications," he explained. Conducting the two reviews in concert will provide the administration more powerful, better coordinated interagency tools and approaches, he said.

For the Defense Department to adapt to be ready to respond to the broad range of potential threats requires a hard look at fixing shortcomings in its acquisition system, Lynn told the group. That's particularly true with multiple competing funding priorities during a time of constrained resources.

"A modern, effective acquisition system should deliver savings and speed: savings to taxpayers, speed for warfighters," he said. "And as we all know, today's acquisition system often does neither."

Mr. Lynn expressed confidence that an overhaul already under way, and to be an important part of the upcoming QDR, will accomplish what countless past efforts haven't. Secretary Gates has made acquisition reform a top priority. The president has firmly, and publicly, supported the effort. Congress passed landmark acquisition reform legislation. And change is taking place within the DOD to bring more expertise, discipline and constraint to the process.

"For the first time in decades, the political and economic stars are aligned for a fundamental overhaul of the way the Pentagon does business," Mr. Lynn said.

Afghanistan, Iraq drive landmark defense review

Afghanistan, Iraq drive landmark defense review: "The Quadrennial Defense Review under way within the Defense Department will be unlike any other: the first to be driven by current wartime requirements, to balance conventional and nonconventional capabilities, and to embrace a 'whole of government' approach to national security, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here Dec. 2.

'This is a landmark QDR,' Mr. Lynn told aerospace executives at the Aerospace and Defense Conference.

'And it comes at a time when the nature of war is changing in ways that we need to adapt to. ... The QDR seeks to identify these changes and the challenges they present to our security,' he said."

China Christians sent to labour camps: rights group

China Christians sent to labour camps: rights group: "Police in northern China have sentenced five Christian church leaders to two years of 'education through labour' after they protested against a police raid on their church, a rights group said Wednesday.
The punishments came after a Shanxi province court last week sentenced five other leaders of the same church to up to seven years in prison for trying to protect the unregistered church from demolition, said ChinaAid, a US-based Christian rights group."

Army Wants 'Stryker of the Future'

The U.S. Army
TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems
a $203 million contract to design the Stryker of the future.  The Army
announced an initial $42.6 million increment of this award on Nov. 25.

"Strykers have performed exceptionally well for the U.S. Army over more than
25 million miles of combat experience," said Mike Cannon, senior vice
president of Ground Combat Systems for General Dynamics Land Systems.  "This
contract reflects the Army's desire to build on that strong performance by
incorporating the latest crew-protection technologies, as well as more
power, mobility, agility and information connectivity, into a platform that
will continue to be a critical part of the Army's force structure through
the foreseeable future."

Cannon said the modernization program will significantly increase the
capabilities of the Stryker fleet and assure compatibility with the light
and heavy forces. The award continues the Stryker modernization program,
initially awarded to General Dynamics in 2008.  Work will be performed in
Sterling Heights, Mich.

Under the contract, the Army and General Dynamics will develop designs and
build a demonstrator to assess options for continuing to enhance
survivability, power, suspension, mobility and lethality, and the
integration of new technologies - core enabling capabilities - for the
Stryker.  Mobility enablers include analysis of adding a 450 horse power
diesel engine, upgrading the suspension system and driveline to carry a
60,000-lb. payload, larger tires and a new braking system.  Work also
includes design of a digital architecture system that connects new command,
control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance technologies, to ensure soldiers continue to have access to
the best available situational-awareness and mission systems.

The Army has seven Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, three of which are deployed
in combat zones: two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. To date, General
Dynamics has delivered nearly 3,000 vehicles and trained more than 19,000
soldiers in their use.

Stryker Brigade Combat Teams have operated with historically high mission
availability rates in Iraq

since October 2003, demonstrating the value of a force that can move rapidly
as a cohesive and networked combined-arms combat team, Stryker is a family
of eight-wheel drive combat vehicles that can travel at speeds in excess of
60 mph on highways, with a range of 312 miles.  Stryker operates with the
latest C4ISR equipment and an integrated armor package to protect soldiers
against improvised explosive devices, rocket propelled grenades, and a
variety of infantry weapons.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Inaugural Class Graduates from International Course

Inaugural Class Graduates from International Course: "Eight chief petty officers (CPOs) and warrant officers from India, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua-New Guinea, Philippines and Samoa, along with three U.S. Navy CPOs, graduated from the first International CPO Leadership (ICPOL) Course at a ceremony aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., Nov. 19.

The course, part of the International Maritime Enlisted Leadership and Development Assistance (IMELDA) Program, was coordinated through the Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity (NETSAFA)."

BBC News - Nato makes 'substantial' troop pledge for Afghanistan

BBC News - Nato makes 'substantial' troop pledge for Afghanistan: "Nato's secretary general has said members will do 'substantially more' to contribute to the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said non-US Nato countries would provide at least 5,000 extra troops, and 'probably a few thousand on top of that'."

Northrop, Airbus threaten to pull out of tanker bid: Pentagon

Northrop, Airbus threaten to pull out of tanker bid: Pentagon: "Northrop Grumman and Airbus have threatened to withdraw from the competition for the multi-billion-dollar contract to build a new US military tanker aircraft, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
'The (Defense) Department regrets that Northrop-Grumman and Airbus have taken themselves out of the tanker competition and hope they will return when the final RFP (request for proposal) is issued,' Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement."

Device can track people without sensors

Device can track people without sensors: "The world's first device capable of tracking multiple people without attached sensors is here, and scientists see in the invention opportunities for more efficient military training and warfare readiness."

MC-12 reaches 1,000th combat mission

MC-12 reaches 1,000th combat mission: "JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (AFNS) -- Members of the 362nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here, recently reached 1,000 combat sorties in the MC-12W aircraft only five months after arriving in-theater.

Currently operating only at Joint Base Balad, the MC-12 is one of the Air Force's newest platforms for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It's not just an eye in the sky, it also serves as a complete collection, processing, analysis and dissemination system.

The modified aircraft system consists of sensors, a ground exploitation cell, line-of-sight and satellite communication datalinks, and a robust voice communications suite, all with manpower for 24-hour operations."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Army Technology - GPS-Guided Mortars Used to Fight Afghan Insurgents

Army Technology - GPS-Guided Mortars Used to Fight Afghan Insurgents: "The US Army will shortly deploy precision mortars to the field in Afghanistan to fight insurgents hidden in mountain ridge lines and other high positions.
As part of the army's accelerated precision mortar initiative (APMI), three companies, including Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) are competing to develop a 120mm precision mortar compatible with the M120 system."

Video: Special forces in Afghanistan push British troops over 10,000

Video: Special forces in Afghanistan push British troops over 10,000: "Britain had about 500 members of special forces active in Afghanistan, Gordon Brown disclosed yesterday.
The Prime Minister acknowledged the presence and numbers of the SAS and other special groups as President Obama gave the go-ahead to a surge of at least 30,000 US troops that he hopes will change the dynamics of the war.
Mr Brown confirmed that an extra 500 British troops would be deployed this month, taking the number of troops above 10,000."

Helicopter revitalization program launches final refurbished Black Hawk

Helicopter revitalization program launches final refurbished Black Hawk: "The UH-60A Recapitalization Program kicked off during 2002 with the induction of the first A-to-A aircraft at Corpus Christi Army Depot. The first was delivered in 2003 marking the culmination of a successful partnership between Sikorsky Aircraft and the depot.

'Completion of the last UH-60 A-to-A aircraft is certainly a milestone of amazing success,' said Col. Joe Dunaway, commander of Corpus Christi Army Depot. 'More importantly it marks the next chapter of the Army's continued journey to recapitalize the entire UH-60A/L fleet.'"

Army to display flexible technology

Army to display flexible technology: "'Imagine replacing glass-based displays with light-weight, rugged flexible displays using minimal power,' DiMichele said. 'The lighter the load, the more efficient the warfighter.'

Officials said the Army is studying reflective and emissions technology for the screens to be integrated in 'human-portable applications,' which will let Soldiers see the screen without backlighting. 'This will be designed to not give away a location of a Soldier while on a mission,' DiMichele said.

By replacing the current liquid crystal glass-based display, the amount of battery power used drops by at least half, and the display is less likely to break while on a mission."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Obama offers new role for Pakistan -

Obama offers new role for Pakistan - "President Obama has offered Pakistan an expanded strategic partnership, including additional military and economic cooperation, while warning with unusual bluntness that its use of insurgent groups to pursue policy goals 'cannot continue.'"

U.S. Cool to Surge in Afghanistan's Own Force -

U.S. Cool to Surge in Afghanistan's Own Force - "The Obama administration has soured on a call from its top commander to double the size of the Afghan police and army, reflecting the White House's continued skepticism about the Afghan government even as the U.S. prepares a surge of troops into the country, people familiar with the matter say."

‘Multi-National’ to drop from U.S. unit names in Iraq | Stars and Stripes

‘Multi-National’ to drop from U.S. unit names in Iraq Stars and Stripes: "One of the last vestiges of the 'coalition of the willing' in Iraq will soon be retired.
As part of a consolidation of its command structure ahead of next year’s planned troop reductions, the U.S. military will drop the 'Multi-National' name from its unit designations starting in January. The last non-U.S. troops, from the United Kingdom, Australia and Romania, left Iraq in July.
Under the plan, the top two levels of the U.S. command, known as Multi-National Forces—Iraq and Multi-National Corps—Iraq, will be merged and renamed U.S. Forces—Iraq."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Three Combined Task Forces Meet in the Gulf of Aden

Three Combined Task Forces Meet in the Gulf of Aden: "Three commanders of counterpiracy task forces met Nov. 21 to discuss future efforts and to welcome their newest member.

Rear Adm. Scott Sanders, commander, Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, transferred from USS Chosin (CG 65), flagship of CTF 151, on an APECS II Lynx helicopter (Mk 95) from the Portuguese frigate Alveras Cabral, to meet with newest member Commodore Jose Pereira de Cunha, NATO commander, Combined Task Force 508 and Commodore Pieter Bindt, force commander of European Naval Force Somalia Combined Task Force 465.

The CTF leaders meet monthly to discuss and coordinate current and future operations off the coast of Somalia."

Navy Releases Roadmap for Future Arctic Operations

Navy Releases Roadmap for Future Arctic Operations: "The vice chief of naval operations has released a new roadmap that will guide Navy policy, strategy and investments related to a changing Arctic.

The Arctic roadmap was developed by the Navy's Task Force Climate Change, a matrixed organization that includes representatives from various staff and program offices and the operational fleet, with the collaboration of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

'As the Arctic Ocean continues to show a long-term trend in sea ice decline, the potential for increased human access and activity in the region will some day likely require a greater Navy presence there to protect national interests,' said Rear Adm. Dave Titley, oceanographer of the Navy, who is leading the task force.

Although the Arctic remains a challenging environment, the potential for resource extraction, like oil, gas, and minerals, and the attraction of significantly shorter shipping routes, will likely attract commercial interests."

Singapore celebrates Peace Carvin V partnership with U.S. Air Force

Singapore celebrates Peace Carvin V partnership with U.S. Air Force: "The U.S. government and the Republic of Singapore celebrated their partnership during the Peace Carvin V inauguration of the F-15SG fighter detachment Nov. 19 at Mountain Home.

The ceremony honored the PC V F-15 detachment known as the U.S. Air Force's 428th Fighter Squadron. The unit will operate up to 12 F-15SG fighter aircraft at the base, and feature Singapore and American Airmen working side by side.

The detachment of approximately 16 U.S. Air Force, 250 Republic of Singapore air force personnel, and 95 contractors to include pilots, weapons system officers and ground crew, will implement air-to-air and air-to-ground training and development programs. A core group of fully qualified F-15SG air and ground crew will bring the F-15SG fighter aircraft up to full operational capability by 2012."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2nd Infantry Division debuts Warfighters' Simulation system during exercise

2nd Infantry Division debuts Warfighters' Simulation system during exercise: "The 2nd Infantry Division recently became the first U.S. Army division to use the Warfighters' Simulation system during a command post exercise in South Korea.

Training with other units from the 8th U.S. Army and Republic of Korea Army, the 2nd ID used the WARSIM system during Warpath II/III Oct. 5 - 16 and Nov. 6 - 19, respectively.

'The division was chosen, first and foremost, because Korea is one of the premier locations where we focus on full spectrum operations,' said Lt. Col. Irvin Pete, exercise chief for 8th Army's Training and Exercises directorate. 'Integration of simulations into our training plan is not only a good idea, but has always been a necessary tool used to drive both joint and Army command post exercises.'"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mullen sees operational structure in Guard's future

Mullen sees operational structure in Guard's future: "The National Guard's transformation from a strategic reserve to an operational force since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, should continue beyond the current conflicts, the nation's top military officer told Guard leaders Nov. 19.

As operations in Iraq and Afghanistan change over the next few years, the Guard should not be allowed to revert to being simply a strategic reserve, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an audience at the National Guard's Joint Senior Leadership Conference at the National Harbor."

International Expedition Investigates Climate Change, Alternative Fuels in Arctic

International Expedition Investigates Climate Change, Alternative Fuels in Arctic: "Scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) organized and led a team of university and government scientists, September 15-26, 2009, to initiate methane hydrate exploration in the Beaufort Sea and determine the spatial variation of sediment contribution to Arctic climate change

Utilizing the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea as a research platform, three cross-shelf transects were surveyed and sampled off Alaska's North Slope at Hammerhead, Thetis Island and Halkett representing three regions of the Alaskan shelf. The expedition integrated expertise in coastal geophysics, sediment geochemistry, dissolved and free methane fluxes through the water column and into the atmosphere, sediment and water column microbiology and biogeochemistry and detailed characterization of the sub-seafloor geology.

'The objective of the sampling is to help determine variations in the shallow sediment and water column methane sources, methane cycling and the subsequent flux to the atmosphere"

Rocket Science Leads to New Whale Discovery

Rocket Science Leads to New Whale Discovery: "Rocket science is opening new doors to understanding how sounds associated with Navy sonar might affect the hearing of a marine mammal – or if they hear it at all.

The same type of large industrial sized X-ray scanners that NASA uses to detect flaws in the space shuttle's behemoth solid fuel rockets is now allowing scientists to peek inside the giant head of a whale. The scans are providing detailed three-dimensional replicas of a whale's hearing anatomy using a breakthrough method developed by Dr. Ted Cranford, a marine biologist sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division (N45)."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Air Defense Push Inspired by 9/11 Gets a 2nd Look -

Air Defense Push Inspired by 9/11 Gets a 2nd Look - "The commander of military forces protecting North America has ordered a review of the costly air defenses intended to prevent another Sept. 11-style terrorism attack, an assessment aimed at determining whether the commitment of jet fighters, other aircraft and crews remains justified."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

China ramps up espionage against US: study

China ramps up espionage against US: study: "China is sharply stepping up espionage against the United States as the rising Asian power grows more sophisticated in cyber warfare and spy recruitment, a report to Congress warned Thursday.
'China is changing the way that espionage is being done,' said Carolyn Bartholomew, the chair of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
In its wide-ranging annual report to Congress, the commission reported a steep rise in the disruption and infiltration of websites of the US government"

Boeing Receives Contract To Develop Miniature Weapon Technology

Boeing Receives Contract To Develop Miniature Weapon Technology: "Boeing has received a $500,000 U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory contract on Sept. 30 for the first phase of a program to demonstrate miniature weapon technology for use on unmanned airborne vehicles (UAV).
'UAVs are increasingly called upon to perform strike operations, and this weapon technology is designed specifically for those missions,' said Carl Avila, director of Boeing Phantom Works' Advanced Weapons and Missiles.
'The concept behind this technology is designed to generate very low collateral damage and allows warfighters to engage a variety of targets, including those in a suburban terrain environment.'"

BAE Precision Targeting System Begins Final Testing

BAE Precision Targeting System Begins Final Testing: "BAE Systems has entered the final phase of testing on its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a technology that increases the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of airborne weapon systems.
The tests seek to confirm the production readiness of the APKWS rocket and its ability to meet Navy and Marine Corps requirements, including safely launching from a helicopter, and reliably acquiring, tracking, and hitting laser-designated targets.
In the most recent testing, a laser-guided rocket fired from a U.S. Marine Corps Cobra helicopter hit a stationary target."