Monday, May 31, 2010

Emirates seek F-35 as U.S. bolsters allies

Emirates seek F-35 as U.S. bolsters allies: "The United Arab Emirates is pressing Washington about buying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. So is Israel. That's part of the United States' dilemma as it seeks to bolster the military forces of its Arab allies to counter Iran.
The Americans also want their Arab friends, particularly the Persian Gulf states that neighbor Iran, to take more responsibility for their own defense at a time when the U.S. military is tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq."

US House approves annual military spending blueprint

US House approves annual military spending blueprint: "The US House of Representatives on Friday gave its final approval to a vast annual defense spending blueprint that includes a historic plan for letting gays serve openly in the military.
Lawmakers voted 229-186 to pass the legislation, a sweeping measure that lays out how to spend about 760 billion dollars that must be allocated in a separate appropriations bill.
The blueprint lays out a roadmap for the Pentagon to end restrictions that force gays to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face dismissal, contingent on a review due December 1 of its likely impact on current troops."

Friday, May 28, 2010

U.S. security focus on international help

U.S. security focus on international help: "The United States must strengthen international partnerships and rebuild its own economy to create a strong national security, President Barack Obama said in his first national security plan, which was released Thursday.
The strategy strongly emphasizes looking beyond military might to diplomatic tools and international collaboration to achieve U.S. security objectives.
'Our armed forces will always be a cornerstone of our security but they must be complemented,' the official strategy paper says. 'Our security also depends upon diplomats who can act in every corner of the world; ... development experts who can strengthen governance and support human dignity; and intelligence and law enforcement that can unravel plots, strengthen justice systems and work seamlessly with other countries.'"

Textron Tactical RPG Airbag Protection System Demos Maturity And Performance

Textron Tactical RPG Airbag Protection System Demos Maturity And Performance: "Textron Defense Systems has announced that the maturity and performance of its Tactical Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) Airbag Protection System (TRAPS) have been demonstrated through rigorous government testing completed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) under the Active Protection Systems Live Fire Test and Evaluation effort, which was mandated by Congress in 2008.
More than six weeks of OSD testing demonstrated the ability of two patent-pending countermeasure configurations of the scalable TRAPS architecture, which incorporates Textron Defense Systems' sensor technology, to identify and defeat RPG threats."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

X-51 Waverider makes historic hypersonic flight

X-51 Waverider makes historic hypersonic flight: "An X-51A Waverider flight-test vehicle successfully made the longest supersonic combustion ramjet-powered hypersonic flight May 26 off the southern California Pacific coast.

The more than 200 second burn by the X-51's Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne-built air breathing scramjet engine accelerated the vehicle to Mach 5. The previous longest scramjet burn in a flight test was 12 seconds in a NASA X-43.

Air Force officials called the test, the first of four planned, an unqualified success. The flight is considered the first use of a practical hydrocarbon fueled scramjet in flight.

'We are ecstatic to have accomplished most of our test points on the X-51A's very first hypersonic mission,' said Charlie Brink, a X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 'We equate this leap in engine technology as equivalent to the post-World War II jump from propeller-driven aircraft to jet engines.'

The X-51 launched at about 10 a.m. from here, carried under the left wing of an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52 Stratofortress. Then, flying at 50,000 feet over the Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range, it was released. Four seconds later an Army Tactical Missile solid rocket booster accelerated the X-51 to about Mach 4.8 mach before it and a connecting interstage were jettisoned. The launch and separation were normal, Mr. Brink said.

Four X-51A cruisers have been built for the Air Force and the (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) by industry partners Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Boeing.
Air Force officials intend to fly the three remaining X-51A flight test vehicles this fall, Mr. Brink said."

Airmen working to reduce energy footprint by 2015

Airmen working to reduce energy footprint by 2015: "Air Force officials set a goal in 2005 to reduce the energy facilities use by 2 percent. In 2007, officials modified these goals to an annual 3 percent reduction through 2015. Likewise, water-use reduction actions were initiated in 2008 to reduce water consumption by 2 percent each year until 2015.

The resulting 30 percent reduction of energy use and 16 percent drop in water consumption is a part of Executive Order 13423, which requires all Department of Defense services to reduce facility energy and water use.

In line with this directive, U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials are taking steps to reduce the energy footprint throughout the command. One of the key programs USAFE officials are seeking out is the use of more energy efficient vehicles.

'The Air Force goal is to have 35 percent of its vehicle fleet be energy efficient by fiscal 2015,' said Master Sgt. Rich Haines, who is assigned to the USAFE command fleet management support. 'USAFE is in line with that goal, and currently 12 percent, about 700 commercial light duty vehicles, of the 7,500 vehicle fleet use alternative fuels or are energy efficient.'

Nearly 60 percent of the command's fleet is made up of commercial light-duty vehicles such as sedans, six-passenger trucks, sport utility vehicles, etc., which require using high amounts of diesel or unleaded fuel. However, by 2015 USAFE officials should have 2,500 to 3,000 vehicles that use alternative fuels or are fuel efficient in the fleet."

Gates Orders Services To Adopt McChrystal's COIN Standards - Defense News

Gates Orders Services To Adopt McChrystal's COIN Standards - Defense News: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed the U.S. military services to adopt a set of counterinsurgency tools modeled after ones instituted in Afghanistan by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said a senior Pentagon official.
Gates on May 24 signed a directive ordering the services to 'take McChrystal's COIN training and proficiency standards ... and adapt those for the whole force,' Garry Reid, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combat terrorism, told Defense News May 25.
The idea is to take the kinds of COIN training and 'proficiency' standards that McChrystal, the top American general in Afghanistan, implemented there with his 'AfPak Hands' program."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LockMart Demos New Ambush Thwarting Push Vehicle Capability For Automated Convoy Program

LockMart Demos New Ambush Thwarting Push Vehicle Capability For Automated Convoy Program: "Lockheed Martin has developed a new push vehicle capability for its automated convoy program that will save lives in the fight against convoy ambush and IED attacks.
The Convoy Active Safety Technology system, which enables convoy vehicles to autonomously follow each other, demonstrated the push-vehicle feature recently. It allows the first vehicle to be driven autonomously, as compared to past system designs where the lead had to be under human control.
'CAST's push-vehicle capability directly responds to real life dangers that our troops are facing. It will prevent injury and loss of life in the forward vehicle, which most frequently bears the brunt of deadly ambushes and IED attacks,' said Glenn Miller, vice president of Technical Operations and Applied Research at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control."

First US Patriot missile battery in Poland: embassy

First US Patriot missile battery in Poland: embassy: "A battery of US surface-to-air Patriot-type missiles arrived Sunday at a Polish military base, the first such deployment on Polish soil, the US embassy in Warsaw said Monday.
'An American Patriot Air and Missile Defense Battery arrived on Sunday at Morag, home of the 16th Mechanized Battalion of the Polish Land Forces, located in north-east Poland,' said a statement published Monday on the embassy's website.
'The U.S. 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, also known as the Rough Riders, will unload 37 train cars of equipment on Monday,' it said.
Some 100-150 US troops based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, are to service the battery in Poland and train Polish soldiers to operate it, the statement said."

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast -

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast - "The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents.
The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate"

Airmen neutralize threat to Bagram Airfield

Airmen neutralize threat to Bagram Airfield: "Members of the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, with assistance from Soldiers and Marines, repelled an early morning attack May 19 here.

The attack began with indirect fire that caused no significant damage, said Lt. Col. James Lowe, the 455th ESFS commander.

Indirect fire is the use of rocket-propelled grenades, mortars or other explosive devices to engage an area.

'We started receiving small-arms fire and our perimeter security teams identified movements at several points along the perimeter fence,' he said.

Once the Airmen gained positive identification on enemy positions, they engaged the enemy to neutralize any threats on the installation, he added.

The base was attacked from several positions as small teams of enemy combatants began to throw grenades, launch rocket-propelled grenades and continued small-arms fire toward the perimeter, Colonel Lowe said."

Sea Services Release Naval Operations Concept 2010

Sea Services Release Naval Operations Concept 2010: "Similar to the collaborative signing of the Maritime Strategy, 'A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,' the Chief of Naval Operations and Commandants of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard released the Naval Operations Concept 2010 (NOC 10), which guides implementation of the strategy and describes how, when and where U.S. naval forces will contribute to enhancing security, preventing conflict and prevailing in war.

NOC 10 describes the ways with which the sea services will achieve the ends articulated in the Maritime Strategy, signed in October 2007.

'The Naval Operations Concept charts more precisely how our naval forces can and do put into motion our Maritime Strategy,' said Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations. 'Free from territorial boundaries, naval forces can responsively maneuver to meet global needs and challenges when and where they happen.'

NOC 10 states who the naval forces are, what they believe, where they operate, what they provide the nation, and what capabilities they employ to meet the demands of a complex, evolving security environment. NOC also describes how naval forces use the sea as maneuver space and are employed across the range of military operations."

Navy Releases Roadmap for Global Climate Change

Navy Releases Roadmap for Global Climate Change: "The Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, released an overarching roadmap on May 21 that will guide Navy policy, strategy and investment plans related to a changing global climate.

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

'We must ensure our Navy is fully mission-capable and ready to meet national requirements in the future. That responsibility includes anticipating the impact of changing climatic conditions on mission requirements, force structure and infrastructure,' explained Rear Adm. Dave Titley, director of Task Force Climate Change and Oceanographer of the Navy."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Air-Sea Battle: The Other Future

Air-Sea Battle: The Other Future: "Tuesday morning, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments presented its report on the 'air-sea battle' on Capitol Hill, introduced by Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Thune. The report and associated presentation are worth a detailed read. Let's just say that the ideas are far reaching and suggest a future for the US military that's very different from its 'boot centric' present.

The air-sea battle idea raises some fundamental questions. The biggest, certainly, is that of the approach of the US and its allies to China.

ASB concepts can be applied to conflict with Iran and a few other remote hypotheses, but it really makes no sense except in the context of China"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

NewsSomali Piracy: INTERTANKO Calls for More

NewsSomali Piracy: INTERTANKO Calls for More: "Given the global strategic importance of keeping the international shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean open, INTERTANKO calls on governments to step up their involvement and make it more effective.

The tanker industry appreciates the efforts of the naval forces, that have been protecting international shipping in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean from Somali-based pirates, for their involvement and support, and acknowledges their impressive record in reducing successful pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden in particular. In parallel, many ship owners, ship managers and seafarers have also been making sacrifices and commitments to keep the world’s energy and chemical trades flowing.

However the effectiveness of this work is being diminished by the inability to bring pirates to justice and to prevent them from returning to operation after capture and release, and by the recent extension of piratical activity far into the Indian Ocean.

Reflecting what INTERTANKO’s Chairman Capt Graham Westgarth recently called “a significant degree of frustration,” the Association’s Members are therefore now urging Governments to step up their involvement and commit to the maintaining of international sea lanes with concerted efforts to find real and workable solutions to enable them to fight piracy more aggressively and effectively by:
• increasing naval and other appropriate military support, and by adjusting their rules of engagement for naval forces - rules which should be robust enough to tackle piracy head-on;
• ensuring effective powers are granted and are in place to arrest, detain and bring to justice all those who operate on the high seas outside the law."

Gates establishes U.S. Cyber Command, names first commander

Gates establishes U.S. Cyber Command, names first commander: "Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced May 21 Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander's appointment as the first commander of U.S. Cyber Command, officially establishing the Initial Operating Capability for the new command.

The announcement comes immediately following General Alexander's promotion to receive his fourth star during a ceremony at Fort Meade, Md.

'Given our increasing dependency on cyberspace, this new command will bring together the resources of the department to address vulnerabilities and meet the ever-growing array of cyber threats to our military systems,' Secretary Gates said.

USCYBERCOM possesses the required technical capability and focuses on the integration of cyberspace operations. The command's leaders are charged with pulling together existing cyberspace resources, creating synergy that does not currently exist and synchronizing war-fighting effects to defend the information security environment."

Aviano officials tap into Earth's energy

Aviano officials tap into Earth's energy: Construction has begun at Aviano Air Base (Italy) to build a $680,000 geothermal plant here, the first of its kind in U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

'Aviano (AB officials are) actively leaning forward on numerous utility and energy-saving initiatives,' said Lt. Col. Bo Bloomer, the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron commander. 'The geothermal plant is one cutting-edge technology that we're bringing to the base. We are excited to bring the first geothermal technology on Aviano (AB), and we're excited about the savings that will come.'

Geothermal is one method of obtaining renewable energy by using the Earth's temperature to either heat up or cool down liquid, usually water."

"With the geothermal system, we will be able to eliminate the boiler that currently heats the hot water," he said. "With this, we can save the gas being used to heat the water. We are not going to spend any money to heat the water anymore."

During the summer, electricity costs for the air conditioning system will be eliminated. This is accomplished as the geothermal plant has the capability to cool down the air conditioning system's refrigerant."

Friday, May 21, 2010

German Frigate Deploys with Truman Strike Group

Truman Strike Group Deploys: "The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG) deployed May 21 for a six-month deployment, to the 5th and 6th fleet areas of operations, in support of maritime security operations.

The HST CSG includes Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 10; the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75; Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3; Commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 26; the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Ross (DDG 71) and German Frigate FGS Hessen (F221).

Missions of the HST CSG focus heavily on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, which help establish conditions for regional stability."

Chiarelli: GCV usually will not weigh its max - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Chiarelli: GCV usually will not weigh its max - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Days before industry proposals were due, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli provided new details about the Ground Combat Vehicle program, saying the new vehicle could weigh up to 70 tons, but only if the threat environment required it.
“We’re looking at a vehicle that ranges in weight between 50 and 70 tons,” Chiarelli said Wednesday at the Army’s armor conference.
He said he’s been involved in some heated discussions lately about the GCV and the debate “always comes down to the weight of the vehicle.”
Critics point out that at 70 tons, the GCV would be the heaviest infantry fighting vehicle in existence and as heavy as the Abrams tank. Chiarelli said the extra weight in armor protection would be used only when needed.
“We’re not talking about a 70-ton vehicle, we’re talking about a 70-ton vehicle when we need it,” Chiarelli said."

Gates concedes fight against 1.9% pay raise - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Gates concedes fight against 1.9% pay raise - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates waved the white flag Thursday over the House Armed Services Committee’s decision to boost the Pentagon’s basic pay raise request for fiscal 2011 by half a percentage point, saying he would not recommend a presidential veto if the proposal is included in the final defense spending bill.
“I want change,” Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. “But I’m not crazy.”
The bill that came out of committee this week included a 1.9 percent raise in base pay effective Jan. 1. Congress has added one-half point to every Pentagon basic pay raise request since 2000 in an effort to narrow a perceived pay gap between average military and civilian wages."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NORAD, US NORTHCOM Welcomes New Commander

NORAD, US NORTHCOM Welcomes New Commander: "North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) from Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart held a change of command ceremony on Peterson Air Force Base May 18.

Navy Adm. James Winnefeld took command from Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart in a ceremony on Peterson Air Force Base May 18.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Canadian Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk, were on-hand to oversee the passing of the commands' colors to Winnefeld.

'It is a tremendous honor to have taken command of NORAD and U.S. NORTHCOM,' Winnefeld said. 'I can think of no greater responsibility or honor than protecting our people and our way of life, and I take this to be a sacred trust.'

Introducing the new commander, Gates said America and Canada were fortunate to be receiving a NORAD and U.S. NORTHCOM commander like Winnefeld.

'It is our nations' good fortune to have another proven leader and warrior ready to lead this vital organization,' Gates said. 'He led the USS Enterprise through Operation Enduring Freedom immediately after the attacks on 9-11. As a carrier strike group commander, he supported Operation Iraqi Freedom and conducted maritime security missions in the Persian Gulf. With this singular resume, I can think of no better officer to assume the vital duties of defending our nation, responding to natural disasters when called upon and partnering with Canada, Mexico and our Caribbean neighbors in securing our borders and our sovereignty.'

Coming from an assignment as Director for Strategic Plans and Policy on the Joint Staff, Winnefeld has also commanded the U.S. 6th Fleet and the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group."

X-51A Waverider flight planned for May 25

X-51A Waverider flight planned for May 25: "Weather permitting, Air Force officials said the X-51A Waverider will make its first hypersonic flight test attempt May 25 after it is released from a B-52 Stratofortress off the southern coast of California.

The unmanned X-51A is expected to fly autonomously for five minutes, powered by a supersonic combustion scramjet engine, accelerating to about Mach 6 and transmitting vast amounts of data to ground stations before breaking up after splashing down into the Pacific, as planned. There are no plans to recover the flight test vehicle, one of four built.

'In those 300 seconds, we hope to learn more about hypersonic flight with a practical scramjet engine than all previous flight tests combined,' said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Propulsion Directorate here."

101st commander: Summer crucial in Afghanistan - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

101st commander: Summer crucial in Afghanistan - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "The Army’s 101st Airborne Division is heading to Afghanistan this summer in a critical year to show progress in the face of increased attacks, the division’s commander said.
The division wrapped up its flag in a case during a ceremony Wednesday at Fort Campbell, the final step before taking over NATO operations in the eastern region of the country. This is the division’s fourth deployment since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.
Nearly 20,000 soldiers will be in Afghanistan this year and most will be stationed in areas in the eastern region near the Pakistan border. Some of the units will also be part of an offensive this summer in Kandahar, the biggest city in the south."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No easy task: Making the Afghan Special Forces - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

No easy task: Making the Afghan Special Forces - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Here on the outskirts of Kabul, a single Special Forces A-team has been charged with a responsibility unprecedented since the Vietnam era: creating an Afghan Special Forces organization from scratch.
The establishment of the Afghan National Army Special Forces, the first members of which graduated from their qualification course May 13, is part of a larger trend toward a more traditionally “indirect” counterinsurgency approach on the part of elite Afghan units trained by U.S. Special Forces. The 7,000-strong Afghan Commando Brigade — the country’s premier infantry force — is expanding beyond its core “direct action” mission set aimed at killing or capturing insurgents and now conducts disaster relief operations and what the military terms “key leader engagements” with tribal and village elders.
The Commandos and ANA Special Forces are also gaining trained information operations soldiers under the Afghan Information Dissemination Operations program while a plan to develop a special operations civil affairs program is in its infancy.
But it is the ANA Special Forces program — to which Army Times was granted exclusive access — that is the biggest indicator of a strategic shift in the role played by Afghanistan’s burgeoning special operations forces."

Pentagon Sends Blimps to Battle Roadside Bombs in Afghanistan - AOL News

Pentagon Sends Blimps to Battle Roadside Bombs in Afghanistan - AOL News: "A type of aircraft dating back more than 100 years, blimps were used in World War I to drop bombs and conduct reconnaissance over enemy territory. Now, updated versions are making a comeback in military operations in Afghanistan.

As troops face a deadly escalation in roadside bombings, the U.S. military is responding with a new surveillance system featuring tethered, sensor-equipped blimps to protect forward operating bases by monitoring the ground below.

Alison Miller, Sky Sentry LLC / U.S. Army
The Pentagon is sending blimps, like the one pictured, to Afghanistan to serve as surveillance systems for roadside bombs.
The unmanned airships, also called aerostats, are just one of the technologies the Pentagon is rushing to Afghanistan in the hopes of battling the rise in homemade bombs, which continue to be the top killer of U.S. and allied troops fighting the Taliban insurgency. In the Persistent Ground Surveillance System, these lighter-than-air vehicles are equipped with day and night cameras and combined with a ground control station."

Poland to unveil US Patriots missile batteries on May 26: ministry

Poland to unveil US Patriots missile batteries on May 26: ministry: "Poland will unveil its first US Patriot-type missiles battery at a military base in the northern town of Morag on May 26, a Polish defence ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
'Ceremonies associated with the first rotation of the Patriot missile battery will be held Wednesday, May 26, in Morag', spokesman Janusz Sejmej said in a statement.
Asked by AFP, the defence ministry's press service declined Tuesday to provide further details.
The Polish military base at Morag, in the Mazurian Lakes region, is some 250 kilometres (150 miles) north of Warsaw and just 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the border with Russia's Kaliningrad territory."

U.S. trains Africans to fight al-Qaida

U.S. trains Africans to fight al-Qaida: "U.S., Dutch and Spanish special forces are training African soldiers how to fight al-Qaida in the Sahara as regional states establish a joint counterinsurgency command to coordinate an offensive against the jihadists.
For years, al-Qaida groups have exploited the political and ethnic rivalries between the regional states to dodge from one country to another when things got too hot.
The Americans and their allies have long urged these governments to join forces against the jihadists or risk have them turn the vast ungoverned spaces in the Sahara into a sanctuary from which to launch large-scale attacks while operating with narcotics smugglers and other criminal elements based in the unpoliced desert wastes."

START places no limit on US missile defense: Clinton, Gates

START places no limit on US missile defense: Clinton, Gates: "The new START arms control treaty imposes no limits on US missile defense weapons despite concerns voiced by Russia, President Barack Obama's deputies told lawmakers on Tuesday.
At a senate hearing on the START treaty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates sought to counter criticism from some Republicans that the agreement could undermine US plans for missile defense."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NATO must be ready to intervene anywhere: experts' report

NATO must be ready to intervene anywhere: experts' report: "NATO must be ready to intervene externally, experts said Monday, proposing a new doctrine for the alliance, as well as ensure the security of its 28 member states internally, as it has done since 1949.
'In the coming decade, NATO will have four central inter-related military missions,' the experts' group said in its 'New Strategic Concept' for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Among these is to 'deter, prevent and defend' against aggression so as to ensure the political independence and territorial integrity of all 28 NATO member states, conforming to the alliance's original 60-year-old mission.
The experts also call for cooperation with partners to protect the treaty area against unconventional security challenges.
But the report also insists on the need to send out military missions beyond the treaty area 'when required to prevent an attack on the treaty area or to protect the legal rights and other vital interests of Alliance members' -- the sort of expedition already seen in Afghanistan, a mission provoked by the extraordinary September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001."

First American flies Mi-35 HIND in combat

First American flies Mi-35 HIND in combat: "KABUL, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- An Air Force major from the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Combined Air Power Transition Force here is the first American Mi-35 HIND attack helicopter pilot to fly in combat.

Maj. Caleb Nimmo, an Afghan National Army Air Corps pilot adviser, began flying in 2000. In the last ten years, he has flown UH-1 Hueys for the Air Force and the Marine Corps, T-6 Texans as an instructor pilot for the Undergraduate Pilot Training at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., and the MV-22 Osprey.

The Mi-24 is the Russian HIND attack helicopter. The Mi-35 is the export version of the Russian Mi-24 HIND attack helicopters."

Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program -

Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program - "President Obama’s plans for reducing America’s nuclear arsenal and defeating Iran’s missiles rely heavily on a new generation of antimissile defenses, which last year he called “proven and effective.”

His confidence in the heart of the system, a rocket-powered interceptor known as the SM-3, was particularly notable because as a senator and presidential candidate he had previously criticized antimissile arms. But now, a new analysis being published by two antimissile critics, at M.I.T. and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the new weapon. "

Monday, May 17, 2010

New XM25 and M240 due to hit war zones soon - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

New XM25 and M240 due to hit war zones soon - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Special Forces soldiers will take the XM25 to war this summer for an operational test of the Army’s first shoulder-fired, smart rifle.
The XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System is an offshoot of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon program the Army began in 1994 to maximize ground-soldier firepower.
The futuristic-looking XM25 is capable of shooting air-bursting 25mm projectiles out to 750 meters.
With its boxy stock and oversized sighting device, the XM25 resembles the weapons carried by actors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in the 1997 movie “Men in Black.”
The weapon’s target acquisition system calculates the range to a target with a push of a button and transfers the data to the electronic fuse built into the 25mm round. When fired, the projectile is designed to explode directly above a target, raining shrapnel down on an enemy crouched behind cover."

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles a New Addition to CARAT Thailand 2010

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles a New Addition to CARAT Thailand 2010: "Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2010 provides a unique experience for the U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy (RTN); but this year, a new technical aspect was added, as the Puma All Environment (Puma AE) evolutions were conducted for the first time.

Developed by Aerovironment, the Puma AE is a lightweight, man portable, mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fitted with tiny high-resolution cameras, providing operators real-time video of people and places on the ground, and can be used for maritime patrols, special operations teams and in search and rescue or disaster response operations."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Institute uses ink-jet cartridges to 'print' skin for wounded soldiers - Nextgov

Institute uses ink-jet cartridges to 'print' skin for wounded soldiers - Nextgov: "Researchers at Wake Forest University have found a way to use everyday ink-jet printers to quickly create skin for soldiers with life-threatening burns from the battlefield.
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine have figured out how to use sterile ink-jet cartridges and printer heads to bioprint skin cells in three-dimensional patterns, building up the tissue in layers, said Dr. Anthony Atala, director of the institute said in an interview.
Using modified ink-jet printers has greatly accelerated the method of growing tissues, which in the past has been laboriously done by hand. Burns account for about one in 10 war wounds, so the demand for speed has driven research in skin grafting. The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine funded the Wake Forest project"

Army: System to guide battlefield robots passes test - Nextgov

Army: System to guide battlefield robots passes test - Nextgov: "The Army successfully completed a critical design review of an autonomous navigation system powered by a supercomputer that can react much like a human does in analyzing surroundings, and plans to use the tool in the next generation of armed robotic vehicles, a program official said on Wednesday.
The system is one of the few surviving remnants of the Army's ambitious $160 Future Combat Systems that was supposed to field smart, networked vehicles, but last year Defense Secretary Robert Gates canceled the manned ground vehicles portion of the program which was the foundation of FCS.
The advanced navigation system applies doctoral-level smarts to guiding a robotic vehicle on a battlefield, said Lt. Col. Jay Ferreira, program manager for the Unmanned Vehicles Integration Office for the Army's Brigade Combat Team Modernization project, said during a press briefing."

Pentagon rethinking value of major counterinsurgencies | McClatchy

Pentagon rethinking value of major counterinsurgencies | McClatchy: "Nearly a decade after the United States began to focus its military training and equipment purchases almost exclusively on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. military strategists are quietly shifting gears, saying that large-scale counterinsurgency efforts cost too much and last too long.
The domestic economic crisis and the Obama administration's commitment to withdraw from Iraq and begin drawing down in Afghanistan next year are factors in the change. The biggest spur, however, is a growing recognition that large-scale counterinsurgency battles have high casualty rates for troops and civilians, eat up equipment that must be replaced and rarely end in clear victory or defeat."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Small Units, Big Problems? | AFCEA SIGNAL Scape

Small Units, Big Problems? | AFCEA SIGNAL Scape: "Following the Gen. Patreus VTC at the Joint Warfighting Conference was a group of experts discussing small unit excellence who took a serious look at what troops on the ground face today and in the future. Few deny that the all of the services are at least looking at operating in smaller groups—a la special operations units—to fight in environments like Afghanistan. The panelists agreed that outdated processes that govern the U.S. Defense Department need to be changed. From training, to personnel and acquisition, to the term “lessons learned,” the U.S. military organization is still designed to fight WWI scenarios against today’s adversaries, they concurred.
Col. Thomas X. Hammes, USMC (Ret.), proposed that what the U.S. military will have in the future is a smaller budget and worn out equipment. One of the reasons this is particularly disturbing is that much of the equipment in use by most warfighters today was only available to special operations units in the past. Once the budget has been reduced, however, commanders will have to decide what is needed and what is just nice to have."

Reality Check: Effects of a Digital Meltdown | AFCEA SIGNAL Scape

Reality Check: Effects of a Digital Meltdown | AFCEA SIGNAL Scape: "Led by Vice Adm. Herbert A. Browne, USN (Ret.), AFCEA International’s former president and CEO, the final panel on Wednesday took on one of the toughest topics yet: fighting through a digital meltdown. But panelists were stand-offish about tackling this topic head on. Instead, they referred to how well prepared the U.S. military is to defend against attacks, how equally dependent adversaries are on technology as well and how warfighters on the tactical edge already are operating without dependable network connectivity.
Robert Carey, DON CIO, questioned whether the entire network could be taken down. Today, the military is far better equipped than it ever has been in this arena, he stated. “This focus and talent helps us fight this war and handle effects that could occur. We have now created the cadre to fight this that didn’t exist two years ago, but it does exist now,” Carey said.
The network also is more resilient than it ever has been, so while the effects of a cyberattack would be significant to those affected, in the world scope, they would be small, he added. The military must get its arms around what this meltdown is in both scale and scope. Comparing it to the ability to steal a car that hosts every security device available simply by using a tow truck, Carey emphasized that if an adversary wants to break into a system, a break-in will occur. Consequently, the focus should be is on risk management." News Article: Intelligence, Countering Bombs Get Centcom Focus News Article: Intelligence, Countering Bombs Get Centcom Focus: "VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., May 12, 2010 – Countering roadside bombs and improving intelligence efforts are among 10 capabilities the military needs to improve on in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, Centcom’s commander said here today.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus shared what he said is his annual list of Centcom capability shortfalls as the keynote speaker at the 2010 Joint Warfighting Conference here:"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

AT&T Webmail

AT&T Webmail: "The paper, “Biofuel combustion chemistry: from ethanol to biodiesel,” examines the combustion chemistry of compounds that constitute typical biofuels, including alcohols, ethers and esters.
Biofuels, such as ethanol, biobutanol and biodiesel, are of increasing interest as alternatives to petroleum-based transportation fuels. According to Hansen and Westbrook, however, little research has been done on the vastly diverse and complex chemical reaction networks of biofuel combustion.
In general, the term biofuel is associated with only a few select chemical compounds, especially ethanol (used exclusively as a gasoline replacement in spark-ignition engines) and very large methyl esters in biodiesel (used as a diesel fuel replacement in diesel engines). The biofuels are oxygenated fuels, which distinguishes them from hydrocarbons in conventional petroleum-based fuels.
While much discussion surrounding biofuels has emphasized the process to make these alternative fuels and fuel additives, Hansen and Westbrook are the first to examine the characteristic aspects of the chemical pathways in the combustion of potential biofuels."

Anti-IED Effort Needs Fewer Restrictions: Oates - Defense News

Anti-IED Effort Needs Fewer Restrictions: Oates - Defense News: "VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Deployed commanders need greater flexibility and fewer restrictions in sharing tactical information about deadly enemy devices with allies, a key U.S. general said here May 11.
'We have got to knock down the barriers that deny the free flow of technology and information with our coalition partners,' Army Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Organization, told a morning audience at joint warfighting conference.

'We disable ourselves by an inability to share information,' Oates said. 'At the tactical level it is absolutely essential.'"

Anti-IED Effort Needs Fewer Restrictions: Oates - Defense News

Anti-IED Effort Needs Fewer Restrictions: Oates - Defense News: "VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Deployed commanders need greater flexibility and fewer restrictions in sharing tactical information about deadly enemy devices with allies, a key U.S. general said here May 11.
'We have got to knock down the barriers that deny the free flow of technology and information with our coalition partners,' Army Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Organization, told a morning audience at joint warfighting conference.
Related Topics
Land Warfare
'We disable ourselves by an inability to share information,' Oates said. 'At the tactical level it is absolutely essential.'"

France wants to strip down NATO command

France wants to strip down NATO command: "One year after rejoining NATO military command, France wants to see the alliance's headquarters cut down in size, officials in Defence Minister Herve Morin's office told AFP on Tuesday.
French officers feel the Atlantic alliance's 12,500-strong command staff is too large and its structures too unwieldy for 21st century combat.
Paris officials have contacted NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates urging that plans be drawn up to abolish redundant and overlapping command structures, they said."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 Program Begins Sea-Based Flight Testing

Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 Program Begins Sea-Based Flight Testing: "Raytheon's Standard Missile-6 begins sea-based flight testing this month, paving the way for initial operational capability (IOC) in 2011.
'With its over-the-horizon protection, SM-6 increases the surface Navy's battlespace against air and cruise missile threats and offers protection for coalition forces ashore,' said Frank Wyatt, Raytheon's vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. 'These sea-based flight tests clear the way for Raytheon to deliver a critical capability to the warfighter by 2011.'
SM-6 takes full advantage of the legacy Standard Missile airframe and propulsion elements while incorporating advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of Raytheon's Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile. The merger of two proven technologies enables SM-6 to employ both active and semiactive modes."

US Navy's Dual Band Radar Achieves X- And S-Band Milestone

US Navy's Dual Band Radar Achieves X- And S-Band Milestone: "For the first time, the U.S. Navy has successfully tracked targets with a multiband radar featuring a common radar suite controller.
This milestone, which took place at the Navy's Engineering Test Center, Wallops Island, Va., was accomplished through the use of an engineering development model of the Dual Band Radar (DBR) developed by the Navy's prime contractor, Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), and its subcontractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The DBR tracked a target simultaneously at both X- and S-band frequencies. This is the most advanced naval radar in the world and will provide advanced surveillance and ship missile-defense capabilities for the Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000) and Ford-class aircraft carrier (CVN 78) in both deep water and littoral environments."

Iranian missiles could target W. Europe by 2014: IISS

Iranian missiles could target W. Europe by 2014: IISS: "Iran could target western Europe with missiles by 2014, although it would take at least twice as long before they could hit the United States, experts said in a report published Monday.
Tehran is more than a decade away from developing a missile capable of reaching the US east coast, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said in a report on Iran's ballistic missile capabilities.
The London-based group said Iran was making 'robust strides' in developing ballistic missiles 'in tandem' with its efforts to expand its nuclear capabilities.
'The two programmes appear to be connected, with the aim of giving Iran the capability to deliver nuclear warheads well beyond its borders,' it said."

Boeing Unveils Unmanned Phantom Ray Demonstrator

Boeing Unveils Unmanned Phantom Ray Demonstrator: "Boeing has unveiled the fighter-sized Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system, a test bed for advanced technologies.
'We are on a fast track, and first flight is in sight,' said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works. 'Phantom Ray is on schedule to fly in December, about two years after this project began. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Boeing and the Phantom Ray team.'
Phantom Ray is scheduled to begin taxi tests this summer. The first flight in December will be followed by up to nine additional flights over approximately six months."

U-2 Dragon Lady: Airmen discuss their continued push for operational success

U-2 Dragon Lady: Airmen discuss their continued push for operational success: "In the first three months of 2010, Airmen supporting the U-2 Dragon Lady deployed operations with the 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing flew nearly 200 combat sorties in support of operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. When averaged out in flight time, that means a U-2 is flying in the AOR 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In those 200 missions, U-2 Airmen supported more than 70 'troops in contact' events where deployed ground forces were supported by the U-2's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, said Mr. Ralph Jackson, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing historian. 'The U-2 has also provided tens of thousands of real-time imagery to assist the ground forces on on-going operations,' he said."

Second SBIRS HEO Payload Achieves TI Operational Acceptance from NSG

Second SBIRS HEO Payload Achieves TI Operational Acceptance from NSG: "The National System for Geospatial Intelligence announced recently that the second Space Based Infrared System Highly Elliptical Orbit payload and associated ground system has been operationally accepted for the Technical Intelligence mission.

'With the successful completion of HEO-2 TI Mission Acceptance, we applaud the efforts of AFSPC, the SBIRS Wing, and the system developers supporting this effort,' said John Sherman, NSG OPIR program director. 'Due to the dedication and support of these organizations to the TI mission, the NSG can take full advantage of these essential capabilities.'

This completes an extensive planning, testing and coordination effort between the NSG, Air Force Space Command, and SMC's SBIRS Wing. These activities allowed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, on behalf of the NSG, to validate that SBIRS meets the TI Community's need for accurate, timely, reliable and unambiguous TI data for use in intelligence production."

Schriever wargame set to begin

Schriever wargame set to begin: "The Space Innovation and Development Center will conduct the sixth Schriever Wargame at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., starting May 7, 2010.

The Schriever Wargame, set in the year 2022, will explore critical space issues and investigate the integration activities of multiple agencies associated with space systems and services.

The objectives of the wargame will center on: 1) Investigating space and cyberspace alternative concepts, capabilities and force postures to meet future requirements, 2) Examining the contributions of space and cyberspace to future deterrent strategies, and 3) Exploring integrated planning processes that employ a whole-of-nations' (comprehensive) approach to protect and execute operations in space and cyberspace domains.

Although the details of the scenario remain classified, the game stresses space planning and deterrence in the context of a future global conflict. This wargame builds on the challenges associated with U.S. and allied space systems highlighted during the previous five wargames.

The Space Innovation and Development Center will conduct this wargame on behalf of Air Force Space Command headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Approximately 350 military and civilian experts from more than 30 agencies around the country as well as from Australia, Canada, and Great Britain, will participate in the wargame."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Marine’s New Armored Amphibian May Get The Gates Treatment | Defense Tech

Marine’s New Armored Amphibian May Get The Gates Treatment | Defense Tech: "Under sunny skies at Quantico, with a crowd of several hundred well wishers and the Marine Corps museum as a backdrop, the Marines displayed the latest prototype of their swimming armored personnel carrier, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV). They unveiled it not quite 24 hours after Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly questioned the very need for the costly new vehicle.
In one of his now trademark policy shifting speeches, this one at the Navy League’s annual conference, Gates pointed to the tracked amphibian as one of two examples, the other being carriers, of weapons that fall into a yawning gap “between the capabilities we are pursuing and those that are actually needed in the real world of tomorrow.” His view is that real world is unlikely to see the need for the very niche capability provided by the EFV: transporting Marines at high speed from over the horizon onto heavily defended beaches. The EFV is not that much of a departure from the original Amtrak, which was designed to crawl over coral in the face of formidable Japanese defenses."

Gates speech on military cuts; call for sharp cuts in speech on VE-Day anniversary at Eisenhower library -

Gates speech on military cuts; call for sharp cuts in speech on VE-Day anniversary at Eisenhower library - "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Saturday that he wanted to sharply cut the military bureaucracy and rein in expenditures on armed forces healthcare and departmental overhead as part of an effort to tame runaway Pentagon spending.
Speaking at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library here, Gates presented a roadmap for what might be his last months in office and his final major Pentagon reform push. Gates said his priority was to flatten a hierarchical military command structure and eliminate military offices and agencies that have little direct role in fighting the nation's wars.

Outlining the case for sharp cuts in the number of admirals and generals, Gates repeatedly invoked President Eisenhower's admonishment to spend what it takes to defend America's interests 'and not one penny more.'"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Petraeus on the 'new generation of terror' - Andrea Mitchell Reports-

Petraeus on the 'new generation of terror' - Andrea Mitchell Reports- "The extremists in many cases would like to be transnational organizations, not just active in Pakistan, but indeed active elsewhere. Al-QaIda, of course, is foremost among them. Lashkar-e-Taiba, who carried out the Mumbai attack, another organization with — transnational goals and activities. And it may be that the Pakistani Taliban has some of these as well. Hakimullah Mehsud has claimed, at various times, credit for some of these once wrong. But again, that — that's in character, if you will, for extremist groups.

Because the way they — they generate resources and the way they get recruits — the way they can proselytize — is, indeed, by successful, high profile — operations."

Uncertain future for National Guard - Jen DiMascio -

Uncertain future for National Guard - Jen DiMascio - "About 66,000 members of the Guard are deployed overseas, and the administration this week approved sending 6,000 guardsmen to the Gulf Coast to help with the oil spill. Guardsmen are already in Tennessee to help with flooding and in Boston to assist in water purification, and politicians are clamoring for the Guard’s presence along the country’s Southwest border.
Since World War II, “we’ve probably never been more ready or able to meet the challenges of our state mission or our federal mission,” Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast this week.
It’s a remarkable turnaround for the Guard."

Army chief of staff will decide soon on troop increase (5/6/10) --

Army chief of staff will decide soon on troop increase (5/6/10) -- "Army Chief of Staff George Casey said on Thursday he expects to make a decision before the end of June on whether to temporarily increase the size of his force by another 7,000 troops.
Last year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced a decision to boost the Army's ranks by up to 22,000 soldiers to meet the immediate demands of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Casey has been weighing whether he can make do with adding just 15,000 soldiers to the force, which is winding down its operations in Iraq as it focuses more heavily on Afghanistan."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

NATO chief calls for anti-missile system for Europe

NATO chief calls for anti-missile system for Europe: "Linking up anti-missile systems to protect NATO's European nations would cost under 200 million euros (250 million dollars) over 10 years, the alliance's secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday.
'We have a sufficient intelligence to know that we're faced with a real threat, with Iranian aspirations as regards missile technology and nuclear programmes,' Rasmussen told a press conference at NATO headquarters.
'For this additional cost of less than 200 million euros over 10 years you'll get full coverage geographically as well as protection against the threat we can envisage today,' he added.
'It is not a big cost"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Servicemembers begin immersion training in Afghanistan

Servicemembers begin immersion training in Afghanistan: "CAMP JULIEN, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- The first class of U.S. military servicemembers and civilians in the new AfPak Hands program arrived here last week to continue training at the Counterinsurgency Training Academy Afghanistan.

AfPak Hands is a new, 'all-in' language and cultural immersion initiative developed last summer and stood up in the fall by Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The program is billed as a new way to build trust with the military and local populations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

International Security Assistance Force officials are using the program in an effort to build better long-term relationships with the Afghan and Pakistan people, governments and militaries.

In Afghanistan, AfPak Hands will help ISAF officials accelerate the continual transition of more responsibility to the country's government and security forces."

Officials declassify nuclear stockpile details to promote transparency

Officials declassify nuclear stockpile details to promote transparency: "U.S. officials released newly declassified details about the country's nuclear stockpile May 3, including significant progress made in dismantling warheads, in an effort to promote transparency and help stem nuclear proliferation.

The United States had 5,113 warheads in its nuclear weapons stockpile as of Sept. 30, a senior defense official told reporters on background.

That represents an 84-percent reduction from the end of fiscal 1967, when the U.S. nuclear arsenal was its largest, with 31,255 warheads, the official said. The current stockpile is 75 percent lower than when the Berlin Wall fell in late 1989, and the United States had 22,217 warheads.

Officials are making continued progress in dismantling nuclear warheads, with 8,748 dismantled between fiscal years 1994 and 2009 and several thousand more currently retired and awaiting dismantlement, the official noted. Meanwhile, the number of non-strategic nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal dropped about 90 percent from Sept. 30, 1991, to Sept. 30, 2009.

'For those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments,' Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told the U.N. conference on the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, May 3 in New York. 'And they send a clear, unmistakable message.'

A senior defense official expressed hope that it would set a standard for the rest of the world, including China, to be more transparent about their nuclear weapons programs."

B-1 radar replacement mod completes first flight

B-1 radar replacement mod completes first flight: "After five years of development and ground testing, the B-1 Lancer bomber radar replacement program successfully completed its first test flight April 20, launching from Edwards and landing as planned at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The Radar Reliability and Maintainability Improvement Program upgrade is required to avoid fleet grounding because of radar component obsolescence.

'The current B-1 APQ-164 radar has multiple parts that are becoming obsolete and unsupportable,' said Bill Wu, RMIP program manager. 'We are replacing them with the modern components so our customer can repair and operate the radar system, which is critical to B-1 operations.'

In addition to the hardware effort, the program upgraded most of the radar software from a 1970s era Jovial to the modern supportable C++ computer language."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

U.S. military growing concerned with Obama's Afghan policy | Washington Examiner

U.S. military growing concerned with Obama's Afghan policy | Washington Examiner: "The Obama administration's plan to begin an Afghanistan withdrawal in 2011 is creating growing friction inside the U.S. military, from the halls of the Pentagon to front-line soldiers who see it as a losing strategy.
Critics of the plan fear that if they speak out, they will be labeled 'pariahs' unwilling to back the commander in chief, said one officer who didn't want to be named. But in private discussions, soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan, or recently returned from there, questioned whether it is worth the sacrifice and risk for a war without a clear-cut strategy to win.
Retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Timothy Haake, who served with the Special Forces, said, 'If you're a commander of Taliban forces, you would use the withdrawal date to rally your troops, saying we may be suffering now but wait 15 months when we'll have less enemy to fight.'
Haake added, 'It plays into ... our enemies' hands and what they think about us that Americans don't have the staying power, the stomach, that's required in this type of situation. It's just the wrong thing to do. No military commander would sanction, support or announce a withdrawal date while hostilities are occurring.'"

Special Forces look to smoke jumpers for new parachutes | Stars and Stripes

Special Forces look to smoke jumpers for new parachutes | Stars and Stripes: "Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group recently got a chance to try out the Army’s new MC-6 parachute, which they say will be put to good use when dropping into tight combat zones in Afghanistan.
The MC-6 is more maneuverable than the aging MC-1, which has been used by Special Forces soldiers for years, and the Stuttgart-based soldiers are the first unit in Europe to train with the new chute.
When searching for a new parachute that could drop them into a small landing area, Army Special Forces looked to the smoke jumpers, who are tasked with descending into the heart of Rocky Mountain forest fires, said David Roy, program leader for the MC-6.
“The U.S. forest services have been using this canopy for about 16 years now,” Roy said. “They use it to get into postage-size drop zones in the Rockies as they go to put out fires.”
Plus, the small drop zones and high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains are very similar to the conditions faced by airborne soldiers in Afghanistan,"

US naval power threatened by new weapons: Gates

US naval power threatened by new weapons: Gates: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday said new weapons threatened US dominance of the high seas and questioned the US Navy's reliance on costly aircraft carriers and submarines.
Anti-ship missiles and stealthy submarines could undermine the US military's global reach, putting carriers and American subs at risk, Gates said in a speech to retired members of the US Navy.
'We know other nations are working on asymmetric ways to thwart the reach and striking power of the US battle fleet,' Gates said.
He cited the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah, which had used anti-ship missiles against Israel in 2006, and Iran's arsenal of missiles, mines and speedboats that he said were designed 'to challenge our naval power in that region.'
The US military's 'virtual monopoly' in precision guided weapons was 'eroding' and the spread of missiles jeopardized Washington's means of 'projecting power,' he said."

Multipurpose Green Decontaminants For Terrorist Attack Sites

Multipurpose Green Decontaminants For Terrorist Attack Sites: "Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.
A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS' Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research, a bi-monthly journal."

Northrop Grumman And Bell Helicopter To Develop Vertical Unmanned System

Northrop Grumman And Bell Helicopter To Develop Vertical Unmanned System: "Northrop Grumman and Bell Helicopter have joined forces to develop and demonstrate Fire-X, a new medium-range vertical unmanned aerial system (VUAS).
The Fire-X system integrates the mature unmanned systems architecture developed in the U.S. Navy's MQ-8B Fire Scout program with the Bell 407 helicopter, an FAA-certified helicopter that's been in commercial service since 1996.
Fire-X represents Northrop Grumman's entry in an anticipated competition by the U.S. Navy in 2011 to demonstrate a new medium-range UAS."

Monday, May 3, 2010

State of the art equipment bridges the gap

State of the art equipment bridges the gap: "tested a new bridging system April 28, 2010, at Fort Richardson, Alaska, to help the military travel across a wide variety of terrain quickly.

Testing of the Lightweight Modular Causeway System took place over two days during Arctic Edge 2010, making it the first time this system has been used in this fashion.

'This bridge has been in development for almost six years,' said Donald Resio, a senior scientist and technical manager for the development team. 'The terrain, the unit and the exercise scenario are perfect to test the capabilities of this system.'

The LMCS is a hybrid fixed bridging system and floating causeway system. It consists of 10 by 20 foot modular sections with inflatable pontoons attached that are pieced together to form the bridge."

New gear upgrades comms in war zone - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

New gear upgrades comms in war zone - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "The Army’s newest tactical network gear promises to keep combat units connected everywhere they go — much like the popular cell-phone ad promise.
Communications experts will soon put the latest version of the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical through its final test phase before fielding it to combat units beginning in 2013.
WIN-T Increment 2 will give brigade combat teams the equivalent of a broadband Internet connection designed to keep commanders plugged in whether they’re in a command post or on the move.
The collection of line-of-sight or terrestrial radios and satellite communications radios, antennas, routers and network management hardware and software form what’s known as a “self-healing” network. The high-bandwidth, terrestrial radios form the primary connection, and they are backed up by lower-bandwidth satellite radios whenever terrain or other factors block connectivity, said Col. Chuck Hoppe, program manager for WIN-T.
“The network pushes everything to terrestrial first; when ... [that link] goes down, the network automatically establishes a sat-com link so you are never out of the network,” Hoppe said.
When the interruption clears, Increment 2 “breaks down the sat-com link,” he said."

US and Russia agree on START nuclear treaty annexes

US and Russia agree on START nuclear treaty annexes: "The United States and Russia have concluded negotiations on three annexes to the protocol of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that sets major cutbacks in their nuclear arsenals, the US State Department said Friday.
'These Annexes contain the technical information and detailed procedures that will be used in implementing the New START Treaty verification regime,' department spokesman Philip Crowley said in a statement."