Thursday, April 29, 2010

Harvest HAWK Completes Phase One Testing

Harvest HAWK Completes Phase One Testing: "Harvest HAWK is a modular roll-on, roll-off weapons system for the KC-130J consisting of a Fire Control Console in the aircraft's cargo compartment, the Target Sight Sensor (TSS) mounted in the left under wing fuel tank and a launcher for four Hellfire missiles mounted on the left hand refueling pylon.
NAVAIR is working a complimentary effort to test and deploy the Standoff Precision Guided Munition (SOPGM) as a stand alone capability for Harvest HAWK. The 30 mm cannon, which will be mounted in the left side troop door, has been deferred to a later block upgrade."

Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines

Navy Policy Will Allow Women To Serve Aboard Submarines: "'Today, women earn about half of all science and engineering bachelor's degrees,' said Vice Adm. John J. Donnelly, Commander, Naval Submarine Forces. 'There are capable women who have the interest, talent, and desire to succeed in the submarine force. Maintaining the best submarine force in the world requires us to recruit from the largest possible talent pool.'

Implementing the policy change will begin by assigning three female officers in eight different crews of guided-missile attack (SSGNs) and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). The assignments involve two submarines on the East Coast and two on the West Coast, each of which is supported by a Blue and Gold crew. More living space is available aboard these platforms which will require no modification, permitting the Navy to move quickly on integrating female officers in submarines."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Navy Facility Studies Marine Mammal Behavior

Navy Facility Studies Marine Mammal Behavior: "The U.S. Navy is sponsoring research that seeks to better understand how marine mammals respond to human-made undersea sounds.

Some of that research is taking place at Navy acoustic ranges like the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Bahamas.

AUTEC's research is sponsored by the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Readiness Division.

'The goal of our program is to study animals in their natural environment through the application of passive acoustics, which means we listen for the vocalizations that are made by animals and then try to use detections of vocalization as a proxy for the behavior,' said Dave Moretti, the principal investigator for marine mammal monitoring on the Navy's ocean-listening ranges, in an April 21 interview on Pentagon Web Radio's audio webcast 'Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military.'

AUTEC usually employs hydrophones - listening devices similar to underwater microphones - for tracking submarines and other undersea vehicles. Now, the center is using hydrophones to listen to undersea creatures, like whales, said Moretti.

'We're trying to take the infrastructure of these facilities and apply it to passive acoustics for the study of marine mammals,' he explained."

F-16 drawdown begins at Spangdahlem

F-16 drawdown begins at Spangdahlem: "Six F-16 Fighting Falcons are scheduled to depart here April 27 as the first step for the 52nd Fighter Wing staff in the Combat Air Force Restructuring plan expected to save the Air Force approximately $355 million in fiscal 2010 and $3.5 billion during the next five fiscal years.

An additional six aircraft are scheduled to depart the base April 30.

'The Combat Air Force Restructuring plan is an initiative to retire approximately 250 legacy fighters across the Air Force so we can use the savings from those retirements to reinvest; to build a capabilities-based bridge to our fifth generation fighter fleet,' said Lt. Col. Aaron Piepkorn, the Spangdahlem Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century director and CAF Restructure project officer. 'Basically, it takes the money and reinvests it back into fighters, bombers, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, so they can upgrade their capabilities creating a smaller, more capable, more flexible, more lethal fighter force.'

The CAF restructuring plan is intended to create a wave of savings in costs and manpower positions Air Force-wide.

The six aircraft are the first of 21 that are scheduled to depart the base. The remainder of the aircraft will depart in increments scheduled to be complete by the end of May as part of CAF restructuring."

Italian navy, air force officials visit F-35 training wing

Italian navy, air force officials visit F-35 training wing: "Representatives from the Italian air force and navy visited the 33rd Fighter Wing here April 20 in an effort to check the progress of the first F-35 Lightning II integrated training center and learn more about this new coalition venture.

'Things are moving, and this program is becoming real,' said Rear Admiral Paolo Treu, the Italian director of naval aviation department and commander of the Italian fleet air arm. 'I'm grateful to Eglin (Air Force Base) for giving us this opportunity. A lot of work has been done. A lot of work has to be done.'

Italy's military is one of several partner nations that will be training joint strike fighter pilots and maintainers at the 33rd FW."

B-1 adapts, remains effective after 25 years

B-1 adapts, remains effective after 25 years: "The non-nuclear B-1 Lancer has adapted from a strategic mission to a close-air support role, and will continue to play an effective part in today's fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to leaders here.

While the remaining bombers in the Air Force inventory transferred to Air Force Global Strike Command, the B-1 has become the go-to airframe when combatant commanders want a show of force or support for ground troops.

'The predominance of what we are doing right now in theater is close-air support; non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and armed overwatch' said Col. Charlie Catoe, 7th Operations Group commander. 'We are supporting the troops on the ground.'

'The B-1's very flexible. What makes us very useful in the current fight is that we have a large payload, we can carry a varied amount of weapons,' Colonel Catoe said. 'If you need to go kinetic, you have a lot of choices on what you can do.'

Operating at approximately 20,000 feet, the B-1 waits or 'loiters' with up to 35 tons of precision-guided weapons. When ground troops encounter the enemy, the bomber's aircrew can engage in minutes because of the B-1's readiness and speed.

'We're fast for what you might think a bomber can do,' the colonel said. 'The loiter time is exceptional so we don't require as much tanker time to stay and hang around over the fight. Afghanistan is a good-sized country and we can dash back and forth across it as we need to, if somebody needs help in a hurry.'"

Airman contributes to advancement of Afghan women

Airman contributes to advancement of Afghan women: "Recent efforts by Airmen and their coalition partners have led to opportunities for women in Afghanistan to serve as commissioned officers in the Afghan National Army.

Lt. Col. Lisa Pike, assigned to the Air Force Manpower, Services and Personnel Directorate, contributed to standing up the first Afghan Female Officer Candidate Course during her recent deployment to Afghanistan.

Colonel Pike served as the chief of staff for the Combined Training Advisory Group-Army, a subordinate command of the NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command.

Colonel Pike said her mission focused on helping the CTAG-A train, advise, coach and monitor the Afghanistan National Army Training Center in order to establish a doctrine and education and training system capable of supporting the development of the ANA.

Creating the first AFOCC included working with female Afghans to discuss the course and outline requirements they will need to commit to in order to participate in the course."

Aircrew breaks C-17 record with heaviest airdrop

Aircrew breaks C-17 record with heaviest airdrop: "Members of the 418th Flight Test Squadron here set a record for the heaviest single payload ever extracted out of a C-17A T-1 during flight April 14 over Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

A 77,000 pound jumbo drop test vehicle was extracted out of a C-17 at 25,000 feet.

The JDTV is used to test the parachutes for NASA's Ares I launch vehicle's solid rocket booster.

NASA, in conjunction with Alliant Techsystems and the United Space Alliance, is providing a decelerator recovery system for the new five-motor segment solid rocket booster. This recoverable SRB is used in support of the Ares I space launch vehicle and is heavier than the current recoverable space shuttle SRB."

NATO's cyber-brains gaze at the future of war

NATO's cyber-brains gaze at the future of war: "Behind the walls of a high-security lab, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's top cyber-minds are trying to predict the evolution of conflict in an Internet-dependent world.
While they play down disaster-movie scenarios of total meltdown, experts warn cyber-attacks will be part and parcel of future fighting.
Tallinn is home to a cutting-edge unit known in NATO-speak as the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. The city is the capital of Estonia, whose flourishing hi-tech industry has earned it the label 'E-Stonia'."

Kandahar push depends on politics: Afghan official

Kandahar push depends on politics: Afghan official: "Afghanistan will not allow foreign troops to move against the Taliban in Kandahar unless they guarantee that civilians will be protected and governance pushed into target areas, an official said Sunday.
NATO and US troops have been waging operations against the Taliban in the southern province of Kandahar for the past few months, following a major offensive against rebels in Marjah, in neighbouring Helmand province.
Military officials have said operations in Kandahar and its capital of the same name will escalate as more troops arrive from 'shaping,' or preparatory activities, with the aim of eradicating the militant threat by August."

US wants Russia to match future US tactical nuclear cuts

US wants Russia to match future US tactical nuclear cuts: "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Thursday on NATO to press Russia to match any future move by Washington to reduce its estimated 240 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe.
In a dinner speech to fellow NATO members in Tallinn, the capital of the former Soviet state of Estonia, she also urged the alliance to embrace missile defence as an integral part of NATO's deterrence against new threats.
In the post Cold War era, these perceived threats from nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, US officials say, come no longer from Russia but from states like Iran and Islamist militant groups like Al-Qaeda."

Japan PM rules out 2006 deal on US base

Japan PM rules out 2006 deal on US base: "Japan's premier ruled out a plan for a new US airbase on Okinawa island Saturday, on the eve of a mass rally against the planned facility, in a row that has soured ties with Washington for months.
The centre-left Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama last year launched a review of a 2006 pact to move an unpopular US base from a crowded city area of the southern island to a quieter coastal area, where locals also oppose it."

Elite U.S. Units Step Up Effort in Afghan City Before Attack -

Elite U.S. Units Step Up Effort in Afghan City Before Attack - "Small bands of elite American Special Operations forces have been operating with increased intensity for several weeks in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan’s largest city, picking up or picking off insurgent leaders to weaken the Taliban in advance of major operations, senior administration and military officials say.
The looming battle for the spiritual home of the Taliban is shaping up as the pivotal test of President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy, including how much the United States can count on the country’s leaders and military for support, and whether a possible increase in civilian casualties from heavy fighting will compromise a strategy that depends on winning over the Afghan people."

Friday, April 23, 2010

First Minotaur IV Lite launches from Vandenberg

First Minotaur IV Lite launches from Vandenberg: "VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Members from the 30th Space Wing here launched the first Minotaur IV Lite launch vehicle at 4 p.m. April 22 here.

The rocket carried the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2.

The Minotaur family of launch vehicles are provided by the Orbital/Suborbital Program 2 and managed by officials from the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center's Space Development and Test Wing's Launch Test Squadron located at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M."

Air Force officials launch Atlas V carrying X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

Air Force officials launch Atlas V carrying X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle: "45th Space Wing here launched a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle carrying an X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at 7:52 p.m. EDT April 22 here.

The X-37B, making its first space flight, will provide a flexible space test platform to conduct various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components and associated technology to be efficiently transported to and from the space environment where it will need to function.

A number of new technologies will also be tested on the X-37B itself.

'If these technologies on the vehicle prove to be as good as we estimate, it will make our access to space more responsive, perhaps cheaper, and push us in the vector toward being able to react to warfighter needs more quickly,'"

Air Force F-35 completes first test flight

Air Force F-35 completes first test flight: "The Air Force version of the F-35A flew for an hour April 20 from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, becoming the seventh F-35 Lightning II to fly.

AF-2, the conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, is the Air Force's version of the Joint Strike Fighter. This fifth-generation fighter is the first one to carry an internal GAU-22/A 25-millimeter Gatling gun weapon system.

'The first flight of AF-2 is a significant achievement for the F-35 program, the U.S. Air Force and our international partners who will operate the F-35A,' said James 'Sandy' Sandstrom, Lockheed Martin's F-35 U.S. Air Force program manager. 'This aircraft is configured to test and verify the multiple weapons loads that will deliver fifth generation combat capability to the warfighter."

U.S. Faces Choice on New Weapons for Fast Strikes -

U.S. Faces Choice on New Weapons for Fast Strikes - "In coming years, President Obama will decide whether to deploy a new class of weapons capable of reaching any corner of the earth from the United States in under an hour and with such accuracy and force that they would greatly diminish America’s reliance on its nuclear arsenal.

Yet even now, concerns about the technology are so strong that the Obama administration has acceded to a demand by Russia that the United States decommission one nuclear missile for every one of these conventional weapons fielded by the Pentagon. That provision, the White House said, is buried deep inside the New Start treaty that Mr. Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev signed in Prague two weeks ago.

Called Prompt Global Strike, the new weapon is designed to carry out tasks like picking off Osama bin Laden in a cave, if the right one could be found; taking out a North Korean missile while it is being rolled to the launch pad; or destroying an Iranian nuclear site — all without crossing the nuclear threshold."

Army Eases Into Modernization | AVIATION WEEK

Army Eases Into Modernization | AVIATION WEEK: "The U.S. Army’s newest iteration of its modernization plan cleared a major hurdle on Dec. 22, when it was approved to begin Low-Rate Initial Production of the first increment.
The Increment 1 package—formerly part of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program axed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates last April (DTI July/August 2009, p. 19)—includes a network integration kit, small unmanned ground vehicle, Class I unmanned aerial vehicle, unattended ground sensor and the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS)."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Army networks MRAPs, M-ATVs

Army networks MRAPs, M-ATVs: "The U.S. Army has outfitted a handful of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, more commonly referred to as MRAP, vehicles with Network Integration Kits designed to give the bomb-defeating vehicles the ability to share real-time information such as sensor data from robots and UAVs while on-the-move in combat, service officials said.

While NIK technology can be outfitted on most Army vehicles, MRAPs were chosen because of their high demand in Afghanistan, said Maj. Gen. Keith Walker, director of the Future Force Integration Directorate, Fort Bliss, Texas.

To date, five M-ATVs, and six MRAPs have been outfitted with NIKs, Army officials said; The MRAPs with NIKs will deploy to Afghanistan with the first unit equipped with Increment 1 technologies which includes the battlefield network, Unattended Ground Sensors, Class 1 UAS, and the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV).

The NIKs, now being built onto MRAPs and M-ATVs at Fort Bliss, Texas, are engineered with technology that can receive and distribute data, voice, video and images across the force using multiple high bandwidth waveforms; they consist of software-programmable Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) such as the Ground Mobile Radios (GMR), a'dual-enclave' Integrated Computer System (ICS) built to handle classified and unclassified information, and a Blue Force Tracking display screen. The software and operating systems are connected through use of a middle ware called System of Systems Common Operating Environment (SOSCOE)."

US Army Preparing For Mountainous, Battalion-Sized Test

US Army Preparing For Mountainous, Battalion-Sized Test: "The U.S. Army is planning a rigorous, large-scale Limited User Test, or LUT, of its Increment 1 Early Brigade Combat Team technologies at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., later this year. The evaluation will test robots, sensors, UAVs and a battlefield network in Afghan-like mountainous terrain.
Spanning a 35-kilometer area, the 2010 LUT will be more than five times larger than the 2009 LUT which tested the same technologies on the company level scale in the five-kilometer area known as Adobe Village.
'We had a company-sized test last year - a very small footprint in Adobe Village. This year we have a battalion and we have added two more villages,' said Maj. Gen. Keith Walker, director of the Army's Future Force Integration Directorate, Fort Bliss, Texas. 'In 2011 we will spread the brigade a good 70 kilometers.'"

Official Details Results Of US Missile Review

Official Details Results Of US Missile Review: "Ballistic missiles are an increasing threat to the United States and the Defense Department must keep up with them, the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy said.
James N. Miller, speaking about the department's Nuclear Posture Review April 20 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said several nations are developing nuclear, chemical or biological warheads for their missiles."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Army Comes Up Short In Artillery Firepower | AVIATION WEEK

Army Comes Up Short In Artillery Firepower | AVIATION WEEK: "The U.S. Army needs a new self-propelled artillery system. Though it plans to keep BAE’s Paladin PIM howitzer in service until 2050-60, the Army was also planning to add the Non-Line-of-Sight-Cannon (NLOS-C), a self-propelled tracked howitzer that was part of the discontinued Future Combat Systems (FCS) program (see related story on p. 30).
There is now nothing between the 30-ton Paladin, armed with a 155/39-mm. M284 gun, and the towed M777 lightweight howitzer, which weighs 4.2 tons, and uses M284-derived M776E2 ordnance. The 21-ton, 155/38-mm. NLOS‑C would have combined firepower, mobility and protection.
This is the second major artillery program the Army has lost in recent years. The XM2001 Crusader self-propelled howitzer, a 43-ton system with a 155/56-mm. XM297E2 gun, was cut in Fiscal 2002.
Army artillery is now undergunned and overexposed."

Army engineers break ground on U.S. military's largest distribution center in Europe

Army engineers break ground on U.S. military's largest distribution center in Europe: "U.S. military and German community leaders broke ground March 30 on a 250,000-square-foot logistics distribution center that seeks to consolidate under one roof the main logistics operations of the Defense Distribution Depot Europe.

When complete in 2012, the new warehouse and administrative center will replace several 1960s-era facilities that do not allow for high-rise, mechanized storage and that are dispersed over a warehouse campus, meaning that much of the work - including container stuffing and air-pallet building - is done outside, said Col. John Kem, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District, which will oversee the construction."

Military leads march to shrink US carbon 'boot print': study

Military leads march to shrink US carbon 'boot print': study: "From solar-powered water purification systems in Afghanistan to a Navy jet fueled in part by biofuel, the US military is taking a lead role in shrinking the US carbon 'boot print,' an independent report said Tuesday.
The US Department of Defense accounts for 80 percent of the US government's total energy consumption energy needs, and most of the energy it uses currently comes from fossil fuels, the report by the Pew Research think tank's Project on National Security, Energy and Climate says.
But moves are afoot in all branches of the military to change that."

Sniffer detects airborne chemical risks

Sniffer detects airborne chemical risks: "A new sniffer sensor that can spot suspect chemical content or residue is winning support from the military, which plans to use it on unmanned aircraft, a U.S. company said.
Ionfinity, a security technology subsidiary of the alternate energy company Viaspace, said it will receive an additional funding of $786,000 from the U.S. Navy for a contract awarded earlier to develop the sensor.
Chemical sensors can have both defense and civilian use but Ionfinity's sniffer has caught the attention of the military that sees defense potential of the device. Ionfinity said it was informed by officials the Navy exercised an option for the provision of the funding for an extra duration of development for 18 months. Ionfinity so far has received nearly $1.3 million under the Navy contract."

NATO, Russia in secret talks over missiles

NATO, Russia in secret talks over missiles: "NATO wants to invite Russia to join in building a massive missile defense shield over Europe, a plan that, for the first time, could bring the former Cold War enemies together for a military project.
Confidential talks between Washington and Moscow on a new concept for the missile shield have already started, NATO spokesman James Appathurai told journalists in London last week. The fresh initiative got under way after both powers signed a nuclear disarmament treaty in Prague this month."

As al-Qaida expands, enter Ilyas Kashmiri

As al-Qaida expands, enter Ilyas Kashmiri: "Amid the growing concerns of Western intelligence services that al-Qaida appears to be building up its capabilities in Yemen and Somalia, the focus is increasingly on one man in the jihadist leadership: Mohammed Ilyas Kashmiri.
He commands al-Qaida's elite and infamous Brigade 313, named after the number of supporters who stood with the Prophet Mohammed in a seventh-century battle and defeated a far larger force.
Kashmiri's hand has been seen in a recent spate of attacks and planned operations in India, including the November 2008 carnage in Mumbai; Pakistan; Afghanistan, including the suicide bombing of a CIA base; and as far afield as the Caucasus and Denmark."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NewsArming Vessels to Combat Piracy

NewsArming Vessels to Combat Piracy: "A top Navy commander suggested that commercial vessels should arm themselves when traveling through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast. Navy Adm. Mark P. Fitzgerald, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa and of NATO’s Allied Joint Task Force Command Naples, told Pentagon reporters that the scope of the piracy problem is too great to be policed by military vessels alone.

“We could put a World War II fleet of ships out there,” Fitzgerald said, referring to the Gulf of Aden and the Mozambique Channel off the Indian coast, “and we still wouldn’t be able to cover the whole ocean.”"

Pentagon planning more oversight of war-zone contractors

Pentagon planning more oversight of war-zone contractors: "The Defense Department said Monday that it plans to improve oversight of contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq by hiring more contracting specialists and providing additional training to government employees who supervise work performed by outside firms.
Pentagon officials told a congressionally appointed panel monitoring federal spending on contracts in the two war zones that years of attrition in the department's acquisition workforce have hampered oversight, particularly as defense budgets have skyrocketed. The Army's contracting workforce, for example, is only 55 percent of what it was in the mid-1990s, while the dollar value of contracts overseen has jumped from $11 billion to $165 billion, officials said.
'The Army is reversing this 15-year steady decline in its workforce,' said Lt. Gen. William N. Phillips, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology. 'We project recovery will take at least 10 years.'"

Iranian missile may be able to hit U.S. by 2015 - Yahoo! News

Iranian missile may be able to hit U.S. by 2015 - Yahoo! News: "Iran may be able to build a missile capable of striking the United States by 2015, according to an unclassified Defense Department report on Iran's military sent to Congress and released on Monday.
'With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States by 2015,' said the April report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters."

US summons Syria diplomat over Hezbollah arms transfer

US summons Syria diplomat over Hezbollah arms transfer: "The United States summoned a senior Syrian diplomat Monday and demanded an 'immediate' end to arms transfers to Hezbollah, criticizing any such shipments as an impediment to peace.
'The most senior Syrian diplomat present in Washington today, Deputy Chief of Mission Zouheir Jabbour, was summoned to the Department of State to review Syria's provocative behavior concerning the potential transfer of arms to Hezbollah,' department deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid said in a statement.
He said the United States condemns the transfer of any arms, 'especially ballistic missile systems such as the Scud, from Syria to Hezbollah.'"

Biometrics make headway with distance ID

Biometrics make headway with distance ID: "Biometric technology has taken new strides toward identification of moving people at distances of up to 10 feet, making all previous biometric technologies for establishing identity seem outmoded or in need of upgrading.
Sarnoff Corporation, the company behind the innovative technology, said the award-winning 'Iris on the Move' system had demonstrated that it was capable of verifying the identity of up to 30 people per minute.
Analysts said the new system would make significant changes in the way biometric identification machines operated at airports and security checkpoints."

Israel mulls buying more F-15s, F-16s

Israel mulls buying more F-15s, F-16s: "Israel is mulling the purchase of more Boeing F-15Is or Lockheed Martin F-16Is to fill the operational gap caused by the growing delays -- and soaring price tag -- of the ill-starred F-35 stealth fighter the air force wants to buy.
Jane's Defense Weekly reported the Israeli air force is considering the acquisition of one squadron -- 18-24 aircraft -- if the delay in developing the F-35, also known as the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, is prolonged.
Alternatively, if the delays become too problematical, the IAF may postpone its procurement program and retain aircraft such as the F-16A, which it had planned to phase out once it received the initial batch of F-35s."

Ability of Iraqi army worries U.S.

Ability of Iraqi army worries U.S.: "Concerns about the Iraqi armed forces' ability to maintain stability amid the political uncertainties triggered by the March 7 parliamentary elections have heightened the possibility the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces by August could be delayed.
The loyalty and professionalism of the Iraqi armed forces and security services were found to be badly wanting in the horrendous sectarian bloodletting after the 2003 invasion. Whole battalions defected to the insurgency.
But over the last two years or so, they have done a credible job in picking up the slack as U.S. military strength began to draw down."

First LM/USAF HC-130J Combat Rescue Tanker Rolls Out

First LM/USAF HC-130J Combat Rescue Tanker Rolls Out: "Lockheed Martin have rolled out the first of a new fleet of HC-130J combat rescue tankers for the U.S. Air Force's Air Combat Command (ACC). Maj. Gen. Thomas K. Andersen, director of requirements, Headquarters ACC, spoke at the ceremony.
'Personnel recovery is one of the Air Force's core missions and vital to what we do in defense of America. The mission is demanding and we are grateful to those [employees] of Lockheed Martin assembled here that have given us a world-class aircraft ready for the demands of the mission,' Andersen said."

Monday, April 19, 2010

From Bacteria to Electricity: The Future of Green Energy

From Bacteria to Electricity: The Future of Green Energy: "Showcasing its energy research initiatives for an Earth Day event on April 22 at the Pentagon, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) will highlight the microbial fuel cell, a device with the potential to revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.

These fuel cells convert naturally occurring fuels and oxidants in the marine environment into electricity, offering a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels.

The fuel cell can be a viable power source for long-term operation of autonomous underwater unmanned vehicles, in-water sensors, and devices used for surveillance and monitoring the ocean environment.

Named as one of Time magazine's 'Top 50 Inventions for 2009,' the fuel cell, with its powerful return of clean energy, can potentially reduce carbon emissions in the environment and change the way we fuel our vehicles and supply power to our homes."

DESRON 15 Ships Improve Warfare Capabilities during Multi-Sail Exercise

DESRON 15 Ships Improve Warfare Capabilities during Multi-Sail Exercise: "Multi-Sail is a Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15-led exercise specific to the FDNF that enables ships the opportunity to train in several areas of surface, air and anti-submarine warfare. Ships participating included USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Stethem (DDG 63) and the Hawaiian-based frigate USS Reuben James (FFG 57). John S. McCain was the command ship for the exercise with DESRON 15 staff embarked.

'The whole purpose of the Multi-Sail is to provide a focused time for each ship to improve their warfighting readiness by accomplishing training and certifications in multiple warfare areas. We do that by bringing resources into the AOR (Area of Responsibility) that are not typically available to our forward deployed ships,' said DESRON 15's Commodore, Capt. Charles Williams."

Top US lawmaker slams France-Russia warship deal

Top US lawmaker slams France-Russia warship deal: "France should abandon its proposed sale of four advanced warships to Russia, which could inflict 'irreparable damage' on NATO and transatlantic ties, a top US lawmaker warned Friday.
'This sale threatens to shake the NATO alliance to its core, bolstering Russia's offensive military capabilities as it intensifies its campaign of intimidation against neighboring countries,' said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Writing in The Hill, a newspaper focused on the US Congress, the Florida lawmaker urged her colleagues to back a non-binding resolution she authored declaring 'unequivocal opposition' to the transaction."

US Afghan commander: 'We have too many contractors'

US Afghan commander: 'We have too many contractors': "The US commander in Afghanistan said Friday that the military is wasting money by employing too many private contractors to do jobs better done by soldiers or local Afghans.
'We have created in ourselves a dependency on contractors that is greater than it ought to be,' General Stanley McChrystal told an audience of French officers and military experts at France's defence university in Paris.
'I think we've gone too far. I think that the use of contractors was done with good intentions so that we could limit the number of military. I think in some cases we thought it would save money. I think it doesn't save money.'"

Friday, April 16, 2010

New unmanned spacecraft set to launch

New unmanned spacecraft set to launch: "Air Force officials are scheduled to launch the U.S.'s newest and most advanced unmanned re-entry spacecraft April 21 at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla.

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will provide a flexible space test platform to conduct various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components and associated technology to be efficiently transported to and from the space environment where it will need to function.

The X-37B will also prove new technology and components before they are committed to operational satellites.

The OTV is the first vehicle since NASA's shuttle orbiter that has the ability to return experiments to Earth for further inspection and analysis."

LockMart JAGM Undertakes Limited Dirty Battlefield Countermeasure Tests

LockMart JAGM Undertakes Limited Dirty Battlefield Countermeasure Tests: "Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-To-Ground Missile (JAGM) team has successfully completed an extensive series of static, tower-based and captive-carry flight tests of its tri-mode seeker in a limited dirty battlefield/countermeasure rich environment at Redstone Arsenal, AL.
The tests successfully validated the capability and technological maturity of the Lockheed Martin tri-mode seeker, a critical element to a low-risk, on time, on-budget fielding of the JAGM system.
JAGM's three seeker modes are semi-active laser, imaging infrared and millimeter wave radar. The seeker was tested against both active and passive countermeasure systems including white and red phosphorous, fog oil, smoke, millimeter wave chaff, flares, camouflage netting and mobile camouflage systems.
Test results demonstrated all three sensor modes successfully communicated and worked collaboratively to effectively address and defeat each countermeasure and obscurant."

Solar furnace could save Earth

Solar furnace could save Earth: "White Sands Missile Range test facilities are being used by scientists to develop methods for saving the world.

While the White Sands Missile Range Solar Furnace was originally built to test the survivability of Army systems and materials against the nuclear threat of the cold war, the facility is serving other purposes as well.

While initially designed for research and testing relating to nuclear survivability in July 2009, the furnace was used to test a theory on saving the world. A threat that has quietly hung above earth for millions of years in that of a meteorite large enough that its impact with earth would result in a disaster of a magnitude that it would cause the extinction of humanity.

The theory, presented by Purdue University Geophysicist Jay Melosh, was that should a meteor be spotted approaching earth then a spacecraft equipped with a system similar to that of the solar furnace could be launched to intercept the meteor.

Once it arrives at the meteor the spacecraft would deploy its system and use the power of the sun to superheat a spot on the meteor. The heat would cause that spot on the meteor to melt and fracture, throwing off small bits of debris; the force of which would act like a small rocket slowly pushing the meteor and changing its course."

Fire Scout Returns from First Operational Deployment

Fire Scout Returns from First Operational Deployment: "The MQ-8B Fire Scout, a Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV), returned from its first operational deployment April 15.

The VTUAV was embarked aboard USS McInerney (FFG 8) during their recent six-month deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Area of Responsibility.

Fire Scout is an autonomously controlled helicopter used by McInerney to scan waters for drug smugglers.

Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (AW/SW) Stephen Diets, the fleet liaison for Fire Scout and one of the first enlisted air vehicle operators (AVO), said Fire Scout has the advantage of being able to hover unlike traditional Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

McInerney is the first ship to support Fire Scout-one of the Navy's newest unmanned flight technologies.

'It's one of the Navy's newest systems, we brought it to bear on the mission, and it has challenged us to think in new ways to accomplish our goals,' said Cmdr. Paul Young, McInerney's commanding officer.

McInerney is the first ship to make a drug bust using a VTUAV with a drug interdiction April 3. Fire Scout was on a post-maintenance check flight when the operators spotted suspected narcotics smugglers.

'We got the first Fire Scout drug bust on the deployment, it was very exciting, and it's mostly thanks to all the hard work by the air detachment's maintainers,' said Diets."

Commander, NAVEUR/NAVAF Discusses APS, Counterpiracy

Commander, NAVEUR/NAVAF Discusses APS, Counterpiracy: "The commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR)/U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) attended a roundtable discussion at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., April 15.

As Commander, NAVEUR/NAVAF, Adm. Mark Fitzgerald is responsible for providing overall command, operational control and coordination of U.S. Naval forces in the European Command/Africa Command Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Fitzgerald discussed the U.S. Navy's Africa Partnership Station (APS) mission.

'Africa Partnership Station is not a U.S.-sponsored operation,' said Fitzgerald. 'We try to bring in as many nations as we can. Last year we used a Dutch ship, a Belgian ship and three U.S. ships and other land-based operations all under the banner of APS to build the capacity and capabilities of the navies in Africa.'

APS is an international security cooperation initiative aimed at building and strengthening long-term relationships and global maritime partnerships through training and other collaborative activities with Africa, which will improve maritime safety and security.

Fitzgerald also discussed U.S. and allied efforts to help counterpiracy and other irregular and transnational threats, enhancing stability and securing freedom of navigation for the benefit of other nations."

US Army predicts shift to nearly all unmanned aircraft by 2035

US Army predicts shift to nearly all unmanned aircraft by 2035: "US Army aviation will shift over the next 25 years to operating mostly unmanned aircraft that will take on new missions, including cargo re-supply, and be equipped with new sensors and weapons, including small lasers.
The army's dramatic shift to a nearly all-unmanned flight over the next three decades is encapsulated in the UAS Roadmap, which was unveiled by Gen Peter Chiarelli on 15 April at the Army Aviation Association of America's annual convention in Fort Worth, Texas.
'The UAS roadmap is not -- and I repeat, is not -- a budget or acquisition policy document,' says Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the army. 'It is a long range strategic vision.'
The army UAS centre of excellence will update the roadmap every two years so it can adapt as new technology and requirements materialize, he says.
The strategic blueprint leaves unanswered several immediate questions about army aviation. For instance, the army intends to replace the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior with a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft, but the document does not clarify the near-term strategy, which remains under review.
But the roadmap nonetheless outlines a series of ambitious objectives for army aviation. The US Air Force roadmap, by contrast, foresees manned aircraft remaining the principal strike aircraft over the next 30 years.
But the army envisions that technology and a changing culture will allow unmanned aircraft to expand beyond the surveillance and communications relay missions mostly performed today.
By 2035, the army's UAS roadmap predicts unmanned aircraft also will fly nearly all missions for attack, armed reconnaissance and cargo re-supply."

US plans full European missile shield in 8 years | Reuters

US plans full European missile shield in 8 years | Reuters: "U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems will cover all of Europe by 2018, a senior Pentagon official said, laying out an ambitious target for defending against a perceived threat from Iran.
'One hundred percent,' Bradley Roberts, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, said in reply to a question at a hearing of a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee Thursday.
Roberts said the Obama administration was putting 'proven' sea-based and land-based missile shields into Europe as quickly as possible as part of a revised shield announced last September to any Iranian ballistic-missile strike.
Full coverage of NATO territory in Europe would be achieved around 2018, he said, when a second land-based site is to be established in northern Europe for updated Raytheon Co (RTN.N) Standard Missile-3 missile interceptors."

Army Chief of Staff outlines future for ROTC top cadets

Army Chief of Staff outlines future for ROTC top cadets: "Gen. George W. Casey, the Army’s top officer, said he expects American troops to spend at least the next decade thwarting threats around the world.

“These are ruthless men and women,” he said, referring to terrorist groups and non-state organizations intent on furthering their agendas through violence and intimidation.

“They’re going to have to be beaten. It’s going to be a long-term struggle.”

Speaking to Army ROTC’s top cadets on the campus of Washington and Lee University, Casey outlined the Army they will soon join, detailed the transforming force and spotlighted the environment that will challenge the new officers’ mettle. This was the third year the chief of staff has addressed Marshall winners."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finn-German-U.S. Project To Study Naval Shock Requirements - Defense News

Finn-German-U.S. Project To Study Naval Shock Requirements - Defense News: "Finland is expected to ratify a tri-partite agreement with the United States and Germany in June to establish a multiyear research project to develop shock requirements and anti-impact design methods and tools for surface ships.
The Eduskunta, Finland's national parliament, is expected to approve funding for the $10 million research cooperation project in May. Costs will be shared equally among the participating nations.

'This is a research project that doesn't include any ship design or any future surface combatant design. The goal of this project is to develop shock requirements, design methods and tools for surface ships. The new program will not be connected to any naval vessel program, but the data and results of the project will help in future ship design,' said Capt. Pekka Kannari, the head of the Finnish Naval Research Institute (FNRI)."

Lynn details Defense Department's space strategy

Lynn details Defense Department's space strategy: "From the commander in chief in the White House to an Airman manning an observation tower on Afghanistan's border with Pakistan, space is the domain that ties them together.

Space provides critical capabilities for the Defense Department and the organization must change its space strategy as the situations and conditions change, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at the National Space Symposium here.

Speaking to about 4,000 civilian and military space experts April 14 at the Broadmoor Hotel complex, the deputy secretary outlined the Defense Department's strategy to address the changing space environment.

Space gives the department four critical advantages, he said: to strike precisely, to navigate with accuracy, to communicate with certainty and to see the battlefield with clarity."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nuclear summit told how Georgia 'foiled plot to sell weapons-grade uranium' | World news | The Guardian

Nuclear summit told how Georgia 'foiled plot to sell weapons-grade uranium' | World news | The Guardian: "Georgian security forces have foiled a criminal plot to sell weapons-grade uranium on the black market, the country's president told a gathering of world leaders yesterday.
The revelation brought a sense of urgency to the Washington summit on nuclear security, where Barack Obama called on the rest of the world 'not simply to talk, but to act' to destroy vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear material, or to safeguard them against theft by terrorists.
Last night, the US president welcomed an announcement by his Russian counterpart to shut down his country's last plant producing plutonium, in the Siberian, formerly closed city of Zheleznogorsk. Obama said it demonstrated 'Russia's leadership on nuclear issues'."

Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, threatens to block Nato offensive - Times Online

Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, threatens to block Nato offensive - Times Online: "The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has cast doubt over Nato’s planned summer offensive against the Taliban in the southern province of Kandahar, as more than 10,000 American troops pour in for the fight.
Karzai threatened to delay or even cancel the operation — one of the biggest of the nine-year war — after being confronted in Kandahar by elders who said it would bring strife, not security, to his home province."

Kyrgyzstan to extend US lease on key airbase | World news | The Guardian

Kyrgyzstan to extend US lease on key airbase | World news | The Guardian: "supporters. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Kyrgyzstan's interim government will extend the lease of a US airbase vital to the war in Afghanistan, the country's acting president said today .
Roza Otunbayeva said the agreement allowing the US to use the Manas base would be prolonged after the current one-year deal expires in July.
'It will be automatically extended,' she said, without specifying how long the extension would last.
The US base at the capital's international airport provides refuelling flights for warplanes over Afghanistan, and serves as an important transit hub for troops."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lockheed Martin Completes Live Tracking Aegis Exercise

Lockheed Martin Completes Live Tracking Aegis Exercise: "Lockheed Martin has identified and tracked numerous live targets for the first time using its new Multi-Mission Signal Processor (MMSP). The MMSP is intended to help combine next-generation Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and Anti-Air Warfare capabilities in an open combat system architecture for the U.S. Navy.
'By combining the proven SPY-1 radar and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense signal processing capability, we will provide cost-effective and space-efficient warfighting improvements for the U.S. Navy,' said Allan Croly, director, Naval Radar Programs, for Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Sensors business unit."

Lockheed Martin Submits Littoral Combat Ship Proposal

Lockheed Martin Submits Littoral Combat Ship Proposal: "A Lockheed Martin industry team submitted its proposal for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) fiscal year 2010-2014 contract to the U.S. Navy.
Lockheed Martin is one of two industry teams competing for the contract. The Navy will award the winning team a fixed-price incentive fee contract to provide up to 10 ships as well as combat systems for five additional ships. Two of the 10 ships would be acquired in fiscal 2010 and the rest via options through fiscal 2014."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pentagon buys MRAPs with improved suspension

Pentagon buys MRAPs with improved suspension: "The Pentagon has ordered more than 1,300 new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs, with newly built independent suspension systems designed to improve the blast-protected vehicles' off-road performance in Afghanistan.

The improved suspension is aimed at providing better off-road capability in the rough Afghan terrain. The reconfigured MRAPs are being sent based on feedback from theater commanders and results from ongoing testing, according to Barbara Hamby, MRAP Joint Program Office spokeswoman.

The improved suspension is also being built into the designs for several variants of battle-tested MRAPs. The lighter weight, more mobile MRAPs, which also have improved suspension systems, are slated to arrive in Afghanistan alongside Category I MRAPs that have been configured with a new suspension system.

The contracts, approved in a January memo from Pentagon procurement chief Ashton Carter, ordered 1,050 MaxxPro Dash vehicles from Navistar International, 250 RG 31 MRAPs from General Dynamics Land Systems, Canada, and 58 RG 33 MRAPs from BAE Systems. An order for 1,420 more MRAP All Terrain Vehicles was placed with Oshkosh Defense."

US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015 | Business | The Guardian

US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015 | Business | The Guardian: "The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.
The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.
'By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day,' says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis."

US Army Moves Ahead with Stryker Hull Modification

US Army Moves Ahead with Stryker Hull Modification: "General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI received a $58.3 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a modified hull design for the US Army’s Stryker vehicles to improve performance and survivability in Afghanistan.
The Stryker has come under criticism for its performance in Afghanistan since the first Stryker brigade was deployed there in the summer of 2009. The Stryker vehicles have been faulted for their lack of maneuverability on rough terrain and vulnerability to IEDs.
During US Senate testimony earlier this year, Gen. George Casey said that the US Army was planning to modify the Stryker vehicle with a double V-shaped hull designed to deflect IED blasts from below…"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Karzai, McChrystal on the road again in show of unity

Karzai, McChrystal on the road again in show of unity: "President Hamid Karzai and the head of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan on Sunday made another public show of unity, to bolster the Afghan leader's position before key military offensives.
Karzai and General Stanley McChrystal met about 250 tribal elders and lawmakers in northeastern Kunduz province, which has seen a significant increase in Taliban attacks since early last year.
It is the second time in as many weeks that the pair have headed into the heart of the Afghan countryside to meet local leaders and comes a day after the general showed Karzai around NATO's heavily-fortified Kabul headquarters."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fire Scout Scores First-Ever Drug Bust with McInerney

Fire Scout Scores First-Ever Drug Bust with McInerney: "During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.

McInerney launched one of its two embarked Fire Scout's to test different functions and settings when it acquired a suspected narcotics 'go-fast' on radar. The Mission Payload Operator completed testing and received permission to pursue.

Over the course of three hours, Fire Scout monitored the go-fast with McInerney. With its state-of-the-art optics and extremely small profile, Fire Scout was able to maintain an unprecedented covert posture while feeding real-time video back to McInerney.

Fire Scout proceeded to capture video of the 'go-fast' meeting with a fishing vessel for what appeared to be a refueling/logistics transfer. McInerney and its embarked USCG LEDET moved in and seized approximately 60 kilos of cocaine and caused the suspected traffickers to jettison another approximately 200 kilos of narcotics."

First Lockheed Martin Mission Systems F-35 Enters Flight Test

First Lockheed Martin Mission Systems F-35 Enters Flight Test: "The first mission systems-equipped Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter flew for the first time today, ushering in what will be the most powerful and comprehensive sensor package ever to fly in a fighter.
During the flight, F-35 Test Pilot David Nelson climbed to 15,500 feet (4,700 meters), verified engine response at varying throttle settings, performed a series of flight-qualities maneuvers and checked the operation of the aircraft's mission systems. The flight out of Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant began at 10:04 a.m. CDT and concluded at 10:59 a.m.
'Today's flight initiates a level of avionics capability that no fighter has ever achieved,' said Eric Branyan, Lockheed Martin F-35 deputy program manager.
'The F-35's next-generation sensor suite enables a new capability for multi role aircraft, collecting vast amounts of data and fusing the information into a single, highly comprehensible display that will enable the pilot to make faster and more effective tactical decisions.'"

US retiring nuclear Tomahawk missiles

US retiring nuclear Tomahawk missiles: "The United States will retire its sea-based nuclear Tomahawk missiles within a few years, believing it has other ways to defend Northeast Asia, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.
The elimination of the missile -- supported in the past by some policymakers in Japan and South Korea -- was part of a policy shift announced Tuesday by President Barack Obama's administration to reduce the role of nuclear weapons.
'The timeline for its retirement will be over the next two to three years,' James Miller, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told a news conference."

Gaming technologies improve Soldier readiness

Gaming technologies improve Soldier readiness: "The U.S. Army is implementing the latest in computer simulation and gaming technology to train soldiers in counter-insurgency, detecting roadside bombs and treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Computer simulations of Baghdad neighborhoods, bomb-making facilities insurgent ambushes and IED attacks are conditioning soldiers for combat. The games -- developed through a partnership between the Army and the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) -- involve a unique blend of story-telling, creativity and cutting-edge computer technology designed to realistically portray complex, fast-changing scenarios.

The partnership is one of the Army's University Affiliated Research Centers where research and development dollars are invested to advance technology for the armed forces. 'We are sponsored by the Army to be a crossroads between academic research in the areas of virtual reality, graphics, virtual humans, mixed reality, and intelligent tutoring. We provide that academic expertise and it is a crossroads between that and the entertainment industry. It is leveraging the technologies to create applications that are more engaging and more effective as training tools than what has been seen before,' said Randall Hill, executive director, USC ICT.

Gaming technologies from USC ICT have been used in major Hollywood films. For the past ten years USC ICT's graphics lab has been developing technologies to realistic represent the subject in a digital format, Hill said.

Urban Sim

Urban Sim is the main counter-insurgency training game. It places soldiers in portions of Baghdad and confronts them with dynamic, interconnected combat-zone circumstances"

Army confronts battle to globalize its network resources -- Defense Systems

Army confronts battle to globalize its network resources -- Defense Systems: "It’s been more than a year since Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Sorenson, the Army’s chief information officer, began evangelizing his strategic vision for how the Army’s networks should work: each soldier gets one user account, one e-mail address, one phone number, and one set of software tools that work regardless of the soldier's location. But realizing that vision continues to be a steep uphill climb.
In its current form, the Army’s LandWarNet is still a collection of fragmented networks with distributed operational controls, different configuration management schemes and often incompatible tools.
The Army has separate information technology operations — directorates of information management (DOIMs) at 447 locations in the United States. They support 19 different commands and agencies."

U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent

U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent: "U.S. military officials say the intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Prompt Global Strike weapons, are a necessary new form of deterrence against terrorist networks and other adversaries. As envisioned, the conventional missiles would give the White House a fresh military option to consider in a crisis that would not result in a radioactive mushroom cloud.
The Prompt Global Strike program, which the Pentagon has been developing for several years, is already raising hackles in Moscow, where Russian officials predict it could trigger a nonnuclear arms race and complicate President Obama's long-term vision of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. U.S. military officials are also struggling to solve a separate major obstacle: the risk that Russia or China could mistake the launch of a conventional Prompt Global Strike missile for a nuclear one."

Military can't find its copy of Iraq killing video

Military can't find its copy of Iraq killing video: "The U.S. military said Tuesday it can't find its copy of a video that shows two employees of the Reuters news agency being killed by Army helicopters in 2007, after a leaked version circulated the Internet and renewed questions about the attack.
Capt. Jack Hanzlik, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said that the military has not been able to locate the video within its files after being asked to authenticate the version available online.
'We had no reason to hold the video at (Central Command), nor did the higher headquarters in Iraq,' Hanzlik said in an e-mailed statement. 'We're attempting to retrieve the video from the unit who did the investigation.'
It's the latest twist in a three-year saga that raises questions about the rules of engagement in battle and the safety of journalists sent to cover wars."

BBC News - US approves killing US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

BBC News - US approves killing US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki: "The US government has authorised the capture or killing of radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, currently based in Yemen, officials have confirmed.
The cleric, who is a US citizen, is being targeted for his involvement in planning attacks on the US.
Mr Awlaki was linked to the attempted bombing of an airliner bound for the US and a shooting on a US Army base."

US offers 'stabilizing role' to allies: Clinton

US offers 'stabilizing role' to allies: Clinton: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged Tuesday that the United States would maintain a 'stabilizing role' for its allies after issuing a new policy restricting the use of nuclear weapons.
'For generations, the United States' nuclear deterrent has helped prevent proliferation by providing our non-nuclear allies in NATO, the Pacific, and elsewhere with reassurance and security,' Clinton told reporters."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

USDA, Navy Highlight New Partnership to Power Navy Fleet with Biofuels

USDA, Navy Highlight New Partnership to Power Navy Fleet with Biofuels: "The deputy secretary of agriculture and the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment kicked off an energy forum April 6 in Honolulu to look at ways to increase biofuels production and meet the Navy's renewable energy needs.

The forum, led by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, was the first of several scheduled energy forums.

The forum comes as a result of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) recently signed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of the Navy (DoN) to encourage the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems."

Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms -

Obama Limits When U.S. Would Use Nuclear Arms - "Discussing his approach to nuclear security the day before formally releasing his new strategy, Mr. Obama described his policy as part of a broader effort to edge the world toward making nuclear weapons obsolete, and to create incentives for countries to give up any nuclear ambitions. To set an example, the new strategy renounces the development of any new nuclear weapons, overruling the initial position of his own defense secretary.
Mr. Obama’s strategy is a sharp shift from those of his predecessors and seeks to revamp the nation’s nuclear posture for a new age in which rogue states and terrorist organizations are greater threats than traditional powers like Russia and China.
It eliminates much of the ambiguity that has deliberately existed in American nuclear policy since the opening days of the cold war."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Air Force, Army officials partner to improve interoperability

Air Force, Army officials partner to improve interoperability: "Officials from the Army's I-Corps Air and Missile Defense Detachment moved into 5th Air Support Operations Squadron facilities here in late March and now Soldiers and Airmen will work side-by-side strengthening the joint teamwork that will be critical in combat.

This is the first time a Corps-level air and missile defense detachment has been fully integrated with an air support operations squadron in garrison, according to base officials.

The merger is the outgrowth of the units' numerous joint accomplishments while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and will build upon the close relationships forged during the yearlong combat deployment."

Wounded Soldiers Have Increased Odds of Survival -

Wounded Soldiers Have Increased Odds of Survival - "The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, medical experts say, are still emerging. One legacy is new ways to control bleeding before soldiers lapse into comas or their vital organs shut down. Thanks to new clotting agents, blood products and advanced medical procedures performed closer to the battlefield, wounded American soldiers are now surviving at a greater rate than in any previous war fought by the U.S.
The rising survival rate, now touching 95% for those who live long enough to get medical treatment, is in turn introducing new problems caring for patients with serious and chronic injuries, including multiple amputations and brain damage. The cost of treating such lasting injuries will be borne by the U.S. medical system for decades to come.
On the medical front lines, however, military doctors often focus just on keeping wounded soldiers alive. In Afghanistan, troops are protected by new generations of armored vehicles, bulletproof vests and helmets that often keep them from getting killed outright in firefights. That leaves doctors and medics to face a dire range of war wounds"

Multiple Drug Seizures Highlight Freedom's 4th Fleet Deployment

Multiple Drug Seizures Highlight Freedom's 4th Fleet Deployment: "The Navy's first littoral combat ship (LCS), USS Freedom (LCS 1), completed its operational deployment April 4 for U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet (C4F) in the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Area of Responsibility (AOR).

During its 47 days operating in the region, Freedom conducted counter-illicit trafficking patrols in the Caribbean Sea and off the coasts of Central and South America, in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, USSOUTHCOM and U.S. Coast Guard.

In a considerably short time in the AOR, Freedom and its embarked units successfully made four major drug interdictions, seizing more than five and a quarter tons of cocaine and capturing 13 suspected drug smugglers and two 'go-fast' small boats."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Multinational wing feeds Afghanistan surge

Multinational wing feeds Afghanistan surge: "The Heavy Airlift Wing, comprising 12 nations, recently moved 2.1 million pounds of equipment essential to surge operations supporting the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

The international wing has been part of the operation to move more than 6 million pounds of basic expeditionary airfield resources, or BEAR materiel, to build six forward operating bases supporting 3,500 people in austere settings.

'The HAW received the requirement and planned these airlifts that are running 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week,' said Lt. Col. Brad Johns, HAW liaison officer at the 603rd Air Operations Center. 'Here we call them HAWsome.'"

Friday, April 2, 2010

Casey rolls out plan for 21st century Army

Casey rolls out plan for 21st century Army: "Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. asked the crowd of about 2,000 how they were doing and after a hearty 'Hooha' response, he proceeded to tell them how they were doing.

Casey iterated statistics and time lines for the present while laying out a future for Soldiers of the 21st century, unveiling the Installation Management Command's campaign plan during the Association of the United States Army's 2010 Army Installations Symposium & Exposition, March 29.

'What you do is so important to the long-term health of this force,' Casey said, adding he wanted to personally deliver the operational context of the plan and stressed leadership focus on change as the Army moves forward."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Going to war? We’ve got an app for that - Times Online

Going to war? We’ve got an app for that - Times Online: "The iPhone is going to war. US military chiefs are considering plans to deploy Apple’s products widely on the battlefield in an attempt to give soldiers a technological edge over insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Soldiers on patrol could soon be using the iPhone to share up-to-the-minute maps of enemy hotspots, view video from drones or check photos of insurgent sympathisers."

Iraq: The Wrong Type of Sand - At War Blog -

Iraq: The Wrong Type of Sand - At War Blog - "On the very long and expensive list of materials that the American military had to ship to Iraq since 2003 — many of which it is now shipping out again — one might not have expected to find sand.
Yet there it is.
This might seem strange for a country that is 10 parts sand to 1 part water, 1 part oil and 0.1 parts electricity. Counterintuitive. Absurd, even.
However, American commanders overseeing the drawdown of forces and equipment currently under way from Iraq confirm that Iraqi sand was deemed inadequate for the blast walls that have become perhaps the defining visual feature of post-invasion Baghdad and other cities, stretching for mile upon mile around government ministries, airports, military bases and other important buildings."

President Remarks on Navy's Biofuel Program

President Remarks on Navy's Biofuel Program: "President Barack Obama announced March 31 his administration's future plans on energy security to include the Department of Navy's (DoN) biofuel program inside Hangar 3 at Joint Base Andrews, Md.

These plans include strategic efforts by the Department of Defense to enhance energy production and promote clean energy innovation. As part of the Navy's Energy Strategy, the Navy is developing the critical protocols needed to certify alternative fuels for use in Naval Tactical systems.

During the president's announcement, an F/A-18 'Green' Hornet and a Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) which are a part of the DoN's biofuel program were in the background displaying demonstrating progress toward the current administration's energy goals.

'Our military leaders recognize the security imperative of increasing the use of alternative fuels, decreasing energy use, reducing our reliance on imported oil, making ourselves more energy-efficient,' said Obama. 'That's why the Navy, led by Secretary of the Navy Ray] Mabus, who's here today, has set a goal of using 50-percent alternative fuels in all planes, vehicles, and ships in the next 10 years.'

Using alternative fuels and being energy efficient is primary piece of Mabus' energy reform targets for the DoN."

ONR-Guided Technology Tracks Assets Inside of Ships

ONR-Guided Technology Tracks Assets Inside of Ships: "The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding emerging technology that will allow wireless surveillance not only of ships and aircraft, but also the tracking of people and high value assets inside the ships.

To help the Navy keep thorough tabs on its environment, ONR sponsors work in advanced electronics that ratchets up the Navy's ability to do just that. Precise At-Sea Ship System for Indoor-Outdoor Navigation (PASSION) enables wireless position tracking of both the external and internal environment of naval vessels."

ONR-Guided Technology Tracks Assets Inside of Ships

ONR-Guided Technology Tracks Assets Inside of Ships: "The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is funding emerging technology that will allow wireless surveillance not only of ships and aircraft, but also the tracking of people and high value assets inside the ships.

To help the Navy keep thorough tabs on its environment, ONR sponsors work in advanced electronics that ratchets up the Navy's ability to do just that. Precise At-Sea Ship System for Indoor-Outdoor Navigation (PASSION) enables wireless position tracking of both the external and internal environment of naval vessels."