Wednesday, June 30, 2010

RIMPAC 2010 Officially Opens

RIMPAC 2010 Officially Opens: Top military leaders from 14 partner nations held a press conference to officially launch the 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise at Lockwood Hall on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam June 28.

Adm. Patrick Walsh, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT); and Vice Adm. Richard Hunt, commander, Combined Task Force welcomed the participating foreign navies as they announced the official start of the month-long exercise.

"For us to be able to hold this exercise today represents a substantial commitment by the countries that are participating and represented here," said Walsh. "Our goal is to ensure a reciprocal level of commitment in terms of training opportunities for those who are here."

The exercise will bring to together units and personnel from Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

"It's an honor to stand here before you with the leadership that we have from each of the 14 nations that are represented in the Rim of the Pacific exercise 2010," said Hunt. "Throughout the one month period, a tremendous gathering of like minded nations will be working together to secure the maritime domain in a way that we have not been able to achieve in the past. We really look forward to the exercise."

Walsh said that information sharing is a key enabler and a force multiplier which is one of the key points of the exercise.

"It gives us opportunities when we have the ability to communicate with each other to take full advantage of the respective capabilities that each nation brings to the sea," said Walsh.

During the exercise, participating countries will conduct gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as maritime interdiction and vessel boarding, explosive ordnance disposal, diving and salvage operations, mine clearance operations, and an amphibious landing.

Hunt said that the exercise will also emphasize littoral operations with ships like littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1), the French frigate Prairial (F 731) and the Singapore frigate RSS Supreme (70).

RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational maritime exercise, and will take place in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. The exercise is themed "Combined Agility, Synergy and Support," and marks the 22nd exercise in the series that originated in 1971.

First MUOS Satellite Successfully Completes Key Test Milestone

First MUOS Satellite Successfully Completes Key Test Milestone: "The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), directed by Team Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command's (SPAWAR's) Communications Satellite Program Office (PMW 146), completed a significant test milestone for the program's first satellite June 29.

A next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, MUOS will provide the warfighter with the latest mobile technology such as simultaneous voice and data, as well as improved service to legacy users of the current ultra high frequency (UHF) Follow-On system.

'Since the MUOS spacecraft's Critical Design Review in March 2007, we have overseen the manufacture and delivery of hundreds of components that make up the MUOS spacecraft,' said Navy Capt. Jack Nicholson, PMW 146's acting program manager."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U.S. and Afghan forces launch major assault in eastern province of Konar

U.S. and Afghan forces launch major assault in eastern province of Konar: "A force of about 700 U.S. and Afghan troops launched a major assault along Afghanistan's border with Pakistan in an attempt to destroy a growing insurgent haven and blunt rising violence in the area, senior Army officials said Monday.

The assault represents one of the largest in eastern Afghanistan in the past several years and reflects growing concern among U.S. commanders and Afghan leaders that Taliban insurgents are seeking to intensify pressure in the east as troops prepare for a tough summer of fighting in the south.
'The Taliban know we are bringing our surge of forces, and they realize they can't just let that happen, so they are pursuing their own surge,' said Maj. Gen. John Campbell, the senior commander in eastern Afghanistan."

"The U.S. and Afghan troops, flown in on Black Hawk helicopters, seized the mountainous high ground in Konar province's Marawara district in the pre-dawn hours Sunday and were soon attacked by a force of as many as 200 insurgents. Two U.S. troops died in the assault, and as many as 150 insurgent fighters were killed by the U.S. and Afghan troops in what U.S. officials said was one of the most intense battles of the past year."

Afghanistan: U.S. strategy may involve greater use of special operations forces -

Afghanistan: U.S. strategy may involve greater use of special operations forces - "U.S. special operations troops in Afghanistan have stepped up a campaign to kill or capture insurgent leaders, senior U.S. officials say, an effort that began in March and is likely to expand as Army Gen. David H. Petraeus looks for ways to show progress.
Senior U.S. military officials said the raids by special operations troops have killed or captured 186 insurgent leaders and detained an additional 925 lower-level fighters in the last 110 days. That would mark a rare success for American troops in a war that has otherwise gone poorly in recent months."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Directional Network System For US Fleet Forces Command

Directional Network System For US Fleet Forces Command: "Boeing has announced that it has proven the capability of its Directional NetWork System (DNW), the next generation of 100 megabytes-per-second+ mesh networking, during the U.S. Fleet Forces Command's (USFF) Trident Warrior 2010 (TW10) experiment off the coast of Southern California. DNW was the core system used in the operational tests, conducted June 14-16 by Boeing and the U.S. Navy.
The experiment demonstrated Boeing's ability to sustain network connectivity without satellite communications by using an airborne mesh network. This type of network provides multiple communications links between several platforms at more than 100 megabytes per second, ensuring reliable routing between any two users.
For the tests, DNW terminals were installed aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard off the coast of San Diego; at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton; at Point Loma in San Diego to simulate another ship; and inside a helicopter flying along the coastline. The tests demonstrated communications capabilities between all the terminals."

New Medical Weapons To Protect Against Anthrax Attacks

New Medical Weapons To Protect Against Anthrax Attacks: "The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States are fostering development of a new generation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications to protect people against the potentially deadly bacteria in any future bioterrorist incident.
That's the conclusion of a sweeping overview of scientific research on medical technology to combat the anthrax threat. It appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
In the article, Dimitrios Bouzianas notes that several existing antibiotics are available to combat an anthrax infection. However, the emergence of artificially engineered B. anthracis strains, resistant to multiple antibiotics (including the front-line agents ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and B-lactam antibiotics) has prompted researchers to pursue additional therapeutic options."

F-35 Navy Jet Confirms Carrier-Landing Strength Predictions

F-35 Navy Jet Confirms Carrier-Landing Strength Predictions: "A Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II carrier variant successfully completed testing in which it was dropped from heights of more than 11 feet during a series of simulated aircraft-carrier landings.
The tests validated predictions and will help confirm the F-35C's structural integrity for carrier operations.
The jet, a ground-test article known as CG-1, underwent drop testing at Vought Aircraft Industries in Grand Prairie, Texas. No load exceedances or structural issues were found at any of the drop conditions, and all drops were conducted at the maximum carrier landing weight.
The drop conditions included sink rates, or rates of descent, up to the maximum design value of 26.4 feet per second, as well as various angles and weight distributions. The tests were used to mimic the wide range of landing conditions expected in the fleet."

Successful Demonstration Of Naval S-Band Radar Testbed

Successful Demonstration Of Naval S-Band Radar Testbed: "Northrop Grumman Corporation has marked a significant milestone in the development of advanced surface warfare radars with the successful live outdoor testing of the company's S-band radar testbed.
Northrop Grumman successfully conducted live outdoor testing at the company's Linthicum test range, tracking aircraft and other targets of opportunity with its S-band radar testbed, while demonstrating key advanced S-band radar technologies, including distributed receivers and digital beam forming.
Northrop Grumman's S-band radar is being developed to provide the U.S. Navy with significantly enhanced capabilities to detect, track and engage ballistic missiles while simultaneously performing anti-air warfare in high clutter environments.
Such a capability is critical to meeting the Navy's increased requirements to provide integrated air and missile defense for both the United States and its allies."

Pulsed Fiber Laser Hits Record Power Level For Space Missions

Pulsed Fiber Laser Hits Record Power Level For Space Missions: "A pulsed fiber laser Northrop Grumman Corporation is developing for future space-based environmental missions has surpassed power output requirements by producing more than 170 watts of average power with nearly perfect beam quality.
This type of fiber laser has the advantages of high efficiency and compact size, and is scalable and adaptable for a variety of space missions, including spaced-based 3-D imaging, altimetry and optical remote sensing using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology, according to Robert Burke, vice president for civil and military systems at Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
'This is a significant milestone in preparing fiber laser devices for space LIDAR systems,' Burke said. 'The compactness and high efficiency of this technology positions us well in our efforts to offer our customers space-qualified laser products that enable more cost-effective LIDAR systems.'"

Northrop Grumman Awarded Phase Two Fiber Laser Contracts With DARPA

Northrop Grumman Awarded Phase Two Fiber Laser Contracts With DARPA: "Northrop Grumman has surpassed Phase I goals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Revolution in Fiber Lasers (RIFL) program that seeks to mature fiber laser technology. As a result, the company has received a contract for Phase II.
'This is an important step in the maturation of fiber laser technology,' said Dan Wildt, vice president of Directed Energy Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. 'By surpassing Phase I goals, we are in an excellent position for success in Phase II. Success in Phase II will create a powerful springboard for scaling fiber lasers to weapons-class performance levels.'
With a 1 kilowatt (kW) single mode fiber amplifier, the company demonstrated a near-perfect beam quality of better than 1.2 and efficiency better than 30 percent, twice the program's goal of 15 percent."

USAREUR announced base closures for Mannheim, Heidelberg - News - Stripes

USAREUR announced base closures for Mannheim, Heidelberg - News - Stripes: "A wave of long-planned installation closures will begin this summer in Mannheim and Heidelberg in Germany, but many of the most significant realignments will not happen until 2014 or 2015 — roughly two years later than earlier projections.
In all, 22 U.S. Army Europe installations will be turned over to the German government between 2010 and 2015 as the Army moves forward with efforts to streamline costs and consolidate troops at main operating bases, the Defense Department announced on Wednesday.
USAREUR headquarters at Campbell Barracks will begin its relocation to Wiesbaden in 2012 with completion expected by 2014. Installation Management Command-Europe, meanwhile, will relocate at the same time to either Wiesbaden or possibly Sembach, according to USAREUR.
“If all goes as planned, this is as concrete as it’s going to get,” said Bruce Anderson, a USAREUR spokesman.
In Germany, there will be an overall population reduction of 7,378 people — 1,446 soldiers, 1,505 U.S. government civilians and 4,427 family members — according to USAREUR."

Plans eyed to move Landstuhl hospital - Germany - Stripes

Plans eyed to move Landstuhl hospital - Germany - Stripes: "The Defense Department is trying to move swiftly with plans to relocate the largest U.S. military hospital overseas from its Army post in Landstuhl to a site adjacent to Ramstein Air Base.
The department hopes to complete a preliminary design and have a projected budget for the new facility ready by February, when Congress is scheduled to review proposed annual defense spending, said U.S. European Command spokesman Navy Lt. Cmdr. Taylor Clark.
But the move is not a done deal, he said. Congress could choose not to provide funding, or problems could arise in the design phase, two possibilities that could force DOD to back away from moving the hospital to the community of Weilerbach, Clark said."

List of base closures in Germany - News - Stripes

List of base closures in Germany - News - Stripes: "The U.S. Army will turn over 23 sites to the German government in the next five years. The closures are part of a scheduled move of U.S. Army Europe headquarters to Wiesbaden, Germany.
The return of the sites is planned as follows:"

Russia pushing for control of fuel supplies to crucial US airbase - Telegraph

Russia pushing for control of fuel supplies to crucial US airbase - Telegraph: "The Russian and American governments are discussing a bilateral government deal, under which Russian state-controlled oil companies Rosneft and Gazpromneft would supply kerosene directly to the Manas Transit Centre, a crucial logistics hub for the war in Afghanistan.
'Ultimately it's in the security interests of Russia for the US to be using this base for its operations in Afghanistan, but under a very, very strict mandate,' said Ana Jelenkovic, Central Asia analyst at Eurasia Group."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

McChrystal comments shock spec ops officers - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

McChrystal comments shock spec ops officers - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "Special operations officers who have worked closely with Gen. Stanley McChrystal declared themselves “shocked” and “floored” by comments attributed to him and his staff in a Rolling Stone article that has jeopardized his position as senior military commander in Afghanistan.
But the officers differed on whether President Obama should fire McChrystal for the comments, which included the general and his aides joking disparagingly about Vice President Joe Biden and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who is the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and a McChrystal aide referring to National Security Advisor James Jones, a retired Marine general, as “a clown” who is “stuck in 1985.”"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Inexpensive Land Mine Detection System Built Using Off-The-Shelf Components

Inexpensive Land Mine Detection System Built Using Off-The-Shelf Components: "Anyone who is an online shopper and humanitarian might find this research project appealing. Physics professor John Scales is working on a low-cost, human-focused, high technology effort to stop the devastation of unexploded buried land mines with a novel acoustical/microwave detection system.
The work is described in the Journal of Applied Physics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).
In a project sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Army Research Office, Scales, his collaborator Martin Smith, and students at the Colorado School of Mines have built a new system using microwave-based sensors to detect vibrations the ground (or other structures) remotely"

Monday, June 21, 2010

FGS Hessen Detaches from Truman Carrier Strike Group

FGS Hessen Detaches from Truman Carrier Strike Group: "German frigate FGS Hessen (F221) detached from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group June 19 following successful operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR).

After departing their homeport of Wilhelmshaven, Germany and completing interoperability exercises last fall, Hessen deployed with the Truman Carrier Strike Group May 21 from Norfolk, Va.

'It was a great opportunity to work with Hessen,' said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10. 'The work our Sailors did together will strengthen both the personal and professional bonds between our navies. They are true professionals and take pride in everything they do.'

While in the U.S. 6th Fleet AOR, Hessen participated in a number of exercises, including the 100th anniversary of French naval aviation and a visit from the German minister of Defense.

'In both training ashore and operations at sea, Hessen impressed us with her air defense warfare capability and her superior seamanship and hospitality,' said Lt. Cmdr. J.B. Benson, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 operations officer.

For Lt. Heinz Moeller, the German navy liaison officer to CSG 10, the experience of working with the strike group was a rewarding one.

'I loved being a member of team Truman,' said Moeller. 'I enjoyed talking with Sailors in passageways, on the bridge, during meals everywhere. I felt very welcomed.'

'Hessen was not merely a symbolic addition to an existing U.S. carrier strike group. She was fully integrated, early in the training phase, and she performed superbly,' said Capt. Pete DeMane, deputy commander, DESRON 26. 'It was an honor to sail with such a formidable combatant.'"

Navy Official Discusses Climate Change Investment Strategy

Navy Official Discusses Climate Change Investment Strategy: "A number of recent strategic Defense Department documents have recognized that the changing climate may affect national security and military operations later in the century.

This is particularly true for the globally deployed U.S. Navy, and investments to address climate challenges may need to be made, the service's oceanographer said during a 'DoDLive' bloggers roundtable June 18.

'We're going to have to fold these challenges into a tight fiscal budget,' said Navy Rear Adm. David W. Titley, who also serves as director of the Navy's Task Force Climate Change. He explained that it is important not only to know what investments are right to meet future requirements, but also to know when to make them."

"We want to basically pace the threat," Titley said. "We don't want to get into a tail chase over climate change, but at the same time, ... we do not want to spend ahead of need, spending for things that may not be required for years or decades later."

Titley explained that to define the scope of needed investments the Navy will conduct capabilities-based assessments, which he described as foundational studies to determine the requirements for such things as force structure, infrastructure, command and control and communications. "We're doing one of these capabilities-based assessments for climate change in general, and another one focused specifically on the Arctic," Titley said.

Titley said the assessments were timed to coincide with the Navy's program objective memorandum for fiscal 2014.

Brigade transfer of authority marks reduction in forces

Brigade transfer of authority marks reduction in forces: "A transfer-of-authority ceremony between the 17th Fires Brigade and 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division was held in the chapel on COB Basra June 17, 2010.

The ceremony marked a significant reduction of forces in Iraq as Col. Steven Bullimore, 17th Fires Brigade commander, relinquished control over operations in Basra Province to Col. James Rainey, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division commander. With the departure of the 17th Fires Brigade, the number of maneuver brigades in U.S. Division-South drops from three to two."

U.S. Army Chief Of Staff Wants Lighter GCV - Defense News

U.S. Army Chief Of Staff Wants Lighter GCV - Defense News: "Gen. George Casey said he thinks the future replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle needs to be much lighter than the estimated 70 tons program officials are projecting that the new GCV will weigh.
'I keep saying, 'Look, man, an MRAP [mine-resistant ambush-protected] is about 23 tons, and you're telling me this is going to be 70 tons, which is the same as an [M1] Abrams. Surely we can get a level of protection between that, that is closer to the MRAP than it is the M1,' ' Casey said June 7. 'It's not going to be a super heavyweight vehicle.'
Casey's comments come less than a month after Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said at the Armor Conference at Fort Knox, Ky., that the GCV would weigh 50 to 70 tons.
Critics point out that a 70-ton GCV would be the world's heaviest infantry fighting vehicle. By contrast, the heaviest vehicle for the Marine Corps is the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, an amphibious armored personnel carrier. Still in development, it is expected to weigh 38 tons.
The Bradley can weigh up to 36 tons."

Military in Iran seen as taking control - Washington Times

Military in Iran seen as taking control - Washington Times: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Sunday that Iran's government is becoming a military dictatorship, with religious leaders being sidelined and, as a result, new sanctions could pressure Tehran into curbing its illegal nuclear program.
'What we've seen is a change in the nature of the regime in Tehran over the past 18 months or so,' Mr. Gates said on 'Fox News Sunday.'
'You have a much narrower-based government in Tehran now,' he said. 'Many of the religious figures are being set aside.'
The defense secretary said Iranians 'appear to be moving more in the direction of a military dictatorship.'"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Academy's wave energy research faces major test in 2011

Academy's wave energy research faces major test in 2011: "If a U.S. Air Force Academy scientist's idea is proven correct, his research could tap into energy from ocean waves that could supply a large chunk of the world's electricity needs.

A typical North Atlantic deep ocean wave is about 126 meters long and 3.5 meters tall, which could yield 100 kW per meter in the direction of the wave crest, according to Dr. Stefan G. Siegel's computer simulations.

The idea of harnessing power from ocean waves isn't new. The problem is creating a system that can survive in the open ocean. A cycloidal wave energy converter, based on the type of propellers on ferries and tugboats, is the focus of Doctor Siegel's wave energy converter research project.

Next summer, his work will be put to what he calls 'a make or break test' in Oregon State University's giant wave tunnel.

'If the big test at Oregon State is a success, I think we can slowly transition this project from what is right now basic research and a very novel idea to more applied research and finally to industrial development,' said Doctor Siegel, an Academy Department of Aeronautics research associate. 'If we can get efficient energy out of the wave tank out there, I believe we can also do that in the ocean.'"

Water survival course moves from Florida to Fairchild

Water survival course moves from Florida to Fairchild: "In response to the Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Air Force water survival courses have temporarily relocated to Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state.

Training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., was suspended indefinitely June 4 when oil was discovered inside the training area used by Detachment 2 of the 66th Training Squadron.

The instructors at Det. 2 teach students how to survive in cases where the aircrew has to abandon their aircraft over water. The course covers a variety of open-water scenarios, from how to land in water with a parachute, to surviving the elements and procuring food. Up to 55 students a week attend the three-day course, held 48 weeks out of the year, said Lt. Col. Christopher Tacheny, the 66th TRS commander."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Al-Qaida in Iraq adopting Taliban tactics - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times

Al-Qaida in Iraq adopting Taliban tactics - Army News, news from Iraq, - Army Times: "An al-Qaida in Iraq front group claimed responsibility Thursday for an unusual attack more typical of the Taliban in Afghanistan — a commando-style assault in which suicide bombers wearing military uniforms stormed the Central Bank during rush hour in Baghdad.
The hours-long attack differed from the Iraqi terror network’s trademark car and truck bombings, a shift in tactics as the group struggles to regroup after being routed in a series of U.S.-Iraqi offensives.
Experts said the complex nature of the attack suggested the group’s new leadership could be taking cues from the Taliban’s success with similar operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Al-Qaida in Iraq has been blamed for many of the deadly suicide strikes that have targeted the Foreign Ministry and other government institutions over the past year.
Sunday’s violence differed because it involved bombings as well as an effort by suicide bombers to force their way into the building while battling with security forces. Such attacks were common during the sectarian violence that nearly pushed Iraq to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007, but they were usually blamed on Shiite militias or other groups."

Army testing fuel cell technology for Abrams tank

Army testing fuel cell technology for Abrams tank: "The U.S. Army is testing fuel cell technology for an auxiliary power unit which can bring more electrical power on board an Abrams tank, service officials said.

The APU is designed to convert JP8 diesel fuel into hydrogen and then generate electricity through a fuel cell; fuel cells involve a chemical reaction wherein electrical current is generated by the breaking down of a hydrogen atom, said Steven Eick, chemical engineer, Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

The idea is to give an Abrams tank -- and ultimately other combat vehicles -- the ability to accommodate more on-board electricity such as more computing, battle command technologies, sensors and other electronics by adding fuel cells.

'Currently it is only being tested in a lab but it is being designed for the Abrams. Right now this is a prototype which will increase in its power density as it gets developed. Once it proves itself out in the lab - the intent is to install and test it in an actual vehicle,' said Eick.

'Our goal is to generate more on board power to help support radios and other equipment.'

Army engineers are also experimenting with fuel cell technology used to drive non-tactical vehicles, Eick said."

US to retake control of S.Korea war games amid tensions

US to retake control of S.Korea war games amid tensions: "US forces will regain control over a major annual military exercise with South Korea amid rising tensions with the North following the sinking of one of Seoul's warships, officials said Thursday.
Seoul's defence ministry said the Combined Forces Command led by US General Walter Sharp will retake control of the computerised war game called Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) from this year.
In 2008 and last year the South's military took control of the exercise, to prepare for a scheduled transfer of wartime command in the military alliance."

Romania, US start talks on missile shield: official

Romania, US start talks on missile shield: official: "Bucharest and Washington have launched negotiations on US plans to deploy elements of a new missile shield in Romania, officials said Thursday.
'I am happy to announce the formal start of negotiations on Romania's participation in the US anti-missile defence system in Europe,' Romanian junior foreign affairs minister Bogdan Aurescu told a press conference.
Romania was officially invited in February by US President Barack Obama to be part of the missile shield.
The Balkan country will host SM3-type medium-range ballistic missile interceptors, which should be operational by 2015."

Iran could fire 'hundreds' of missiles at Europe: Gates

Iran could fire 'hundreds' of missiles at Europe: Gates: "US intelligence has shown Iran could launch an attack against Europe with 'scores or hundreds' of missiles, prompting major changes to US missile defenses, Pentagon chief Robert Gates said on Thursday.
President Barack Obama in September cited a mounting danger from Iran's arsenal of short and medium-range missiles when he announced an overhaul of US missile defense plans.
The new program, called the 'phased adaptive approach,' uses sea and land-based interceptors to protect NATO allies in the region, instead of mainly larger weapons designed to counter long-range missiles."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Army testing new JLTVs

Army testing new JLTVs: "The U.S. Army and Marine Corps are using the newly built government prototypes of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to refine program requirements through rigorous ballistic, performance and reliability testing.

It's all part of an effort to field a next-generation tactical vehicle that can hit speeds of 70mph, withstand roadside bombs and other threats, drive through off-road terrain and fly through the air beneath a CH-47 Chinook or CH-53 helicopter, service officials said.

'The whole purpose of this TD (technology development) phase is to get the requirements right,' said Brett Johnson, JLTV chief engineer.

The three contractor teams for the current 27-month technology development phase -- BAE-Navistar, Lockheed-BAE and General Tactical Vehicles -- each delivered seven prototype vehicles engineered to reach an unprecedented blend of performance, payload and protection."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Top officer sees military caution as backfiring -

Top officer sees military caution as backfiring - "Commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan have been reluctant to launch more secret operations because of an excess of caution about violating military rules and international law, a top Army officer says.
The tentative approach to 'deception operations' has cost the U.S. military opportunities to weaken the enemy without firing a shot, said Army Lt. Gen. Michael Oates, commander of the Pentagon's task force to counter improvised explosive devices.
The anti-IED task force has advocated dismantling insurgent networks as an effective way to combat improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
Earlier this year, Marines in Afghanistan's Helmand province read announcements over a loudspeaker to trick insurgents into thinking their specially modified roadside bombs couldn't be found by U.S. minesweepers.
As a result, the insurgents didn't bother hiding them well and Marines were able to easily find the bombs, said Marine Maj. Don Caporale, an information operations officer.
'We started finding all kinds of mines with this (modification), which, of course, was a complete hoax,' Caporale said."

Questions on Afghan strategy touch nerve in Pentagon | Reuters

Questions on Afghan strategy touch nerve in Pentagon | Reuters: "Downbeat news reports and second-guessing in Congress about the course of the war in Afghanistan have touched a nerve in the Pentagon, where some worry the negativity is undercutting public sentiment before President Barack Obama's strategy even has a chance to work.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is among those to privately voice concerns about a wave of pessimism that they believe stems partly from embedding journalists solely with military units in Afghanistan's south, where fighting is fiercest. Some officials talk of changes to make embeds go elsewhere too.
The Pentagon's growing sensitivities put a spotlight on what some see as increasingly shaky support for a six-month-old war strategy that hinges on surging U.S. forces into the restive south, heartland of the Taliban, before starting a gradual withdrawal in July 2011, conditions permitting."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sixth Fleet Commander Remains Committed to Global Alliances, Maritime Ops

Sixth Fleet Commander Remains Committed to Global Alliances, Maritime Ops: "U.S. Navy 6th Fleet's commander reaffirmed the Navy's commitment to global alliances and ongoing maritime operations, specifically in the Europe-Africa region, during a media roundtable June 14 at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

'International partnering with our allies is an effort we've been committed to for a long time,' said Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. 'It is critical to our safety and security. We're working and conducting exercises with our friends around the world to better understand how we both conduct business.

'Right now, we're performing an exercise called Baltic Operations 2010 (BALTOPS) which is a 6th Fleet combined maritime and land exercise in the Baltic Sea, involving our Sailors and Marines on the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and NATO forces of our coalition,' said Harris. 'We're doing an amphibious demonstration with the U.S. Marines in Estonia and a maritime pre-positioning force offload in Latvia. The mission is to promote mutual understanding, confidence and cooperation.'

Harris was also pleased to report that deployed carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) recently celebrated the French Navy's 100 year anniversary of naval aviation.

Harris said his attention is focused on France and other allied European nations and their assistance in ensuring maritime safety and security of African waters."

SSBN Successfully Launches Multiple Ballistic Missiles

SSBN Successfully Launches Multiple Ballistic Missiles: "USS Maryland (SSBN 738) (Gold) conducted two Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Test (FCET) resulting in the successful flight of two Trident II D5 missiles, June 8 and 9.

The missile flights of FCET-42 and FCET-43 mark the 131st, 132nd, 133rd and 134th consecutive successful Trident II D5 and provide valuable information on operational reliability, accuracy, and performance factors of the missile system.

The Trident II D5 fleet ballistic-missile is the latest generation of submarine launched ballistic missiles following in the success of the Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programs; providing increased firepower, flexibility, and assurance to the strategic deterrence mission."

Friday, June 11, 2010

News Analysis - What Marja Tells Us of Battles Yet to Come -

News Analysis - What Marja Tells Us of Battles Yet to Come - "Each day, American foot patrols move through farmers’ fields and irrigated villages. And each day some are ambushed or encounter hidden bombs. The patrols turn into gunfights in withering heat, or efforts to dismantle the bombs or treat the wounded. Casualties accumulate with the passing weeks, for Americans and Afghans alike.
A few months ago, Marja was the focus of a highly publicized assault to push the Taliban from a stronghold and bring Afghanistan’s densest area of opium production under government control. The fighting remains raw.
What does it mean?
Is the violence a predictable summer fight for an area the Taliban and those who profit from the drug economy do not want to lose; in other words, an unsurprising flare-up that can be turned around? Or will Marja remain bloody for a long time, allowing insurgents to inflict sustained losses on American units and win merely by keeping the fight alive?"

Key Kandahar offensive faces delays: US commander

Key Kandahar offensive faces delays: US commander: "The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan said on Thursday a make-or-break operation in the south will move at a slower pace than initially planned, amid a shortage of Afghan security forces and a wary local population.
General Stanley McChrystal and other senior officers had previously said operations around Kandahar -- the birthplace of the Taliban -- would climax this summer with an influx of American forces, but have begun scaling back their statements.
'I do think it will happen more slowly than we originally anticipated,' McChrystal told reporters in Brussels.
His forecast echoed comments by his deputy in southern Afghanistan, suggesting the Kandahar area is presenting a bigger challenge than NATO commanders had expected."

Unifying U.S. national security

Unifying U.S. national security: "There's general agreement that the United States' security agencies need to be more unified to keep Americans safe, a fact on display at a congressional subcommittee meeting this week.
What the experts and members of Congress cannot agree on is how to bring about that kind of reform.
'The national security system must be modernized to meet the challenges of the 21st century,' said James Locher III, head of the Project on National Security Reform, a government-funded think tank.
'The task will be monumental but there is no alternative.'
Unlike military threats during the Cold War, new challenges the United States might face include an influenza outbreak, natural disasters or unstable states around the world that could become home to extremists. The military, diplomats, aid workers, law enforcement and many other agencies have to work in tandem to address these issues.
But the current system, based on the 1947 National Security Act, separates the departments and leaves little formal room for shared planning and action."

Boeing To Demonstrate UAV Cooperative Control Technologies

Boeing To Demonstrate UAV Cooperative Control Technologies: "Boeing has received a three-year, $9.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to further develop and demonstrate technologies that will enable multiple small unmanned aerial vehicles to coordinate with each other and a manned airborne control station to more safely and effectively carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The Foxhunt Multi-Small Unmanned Aerial System Cooperative Control Demonstration will leverage Boeing's networked systems expertise and technology advancements to directly support an emerging and challenging U.S. Air Force need.
'The focus of the Foxhunt program is the airborne control of a varied mix of unmanned aerial vehicles,' said Patrick Stokes of Boeing Research and Technology, the company's advanced, central research, technology and innovation organization, who will manage the research effort."

Myanmar nukes would destabilize region: US

Myanmar nukes would destabilize region: US: "Myanmar risks destabilizing Southeast Asia through its pursuit of weapons, although it is not yet clear whether the military regime is developing a nuclear program, a US official said Thursday.
A senior army defector, in a recent documentary broadcast on Al Jazeera television, said the junta has been seeking nuclear weapons and developing a secret network of underground tunnels with help from North Korea.
Scot Marciel, the State Department official in charge of Southeast Asia, said that the United States was still assessing the allegations about Myanmar -- also known as Burma."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Current Strategy Forum Focuses on Networks, Partnerships and the Emerging Global Order

Current Strategy Forum Focuses on Networks, Partnerships and the Emerging Global Order: "The 61st annual Current Strategy Forum (CSF) at the Naval War College (NWC) explored the theme of 'The Global System in Transition: Networks, Partnerships and the Emerging Global Order' during a two-day event, June 8 and 9.

Distinguished keynote speakers and panelists, including sea service leaders, discussed foreign policy in the emerging global order, strategic leadership opportunities for the United States, and the role of maritime services in supporting the nation's key objectives throughout the world."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trident Warrior 2010 Aims to Improve Military Technology

Trident Warrior 2010 Aims to Improve Military Technology: "Trident Warrior 2010 (TW10), an annual sea trial experiment, that focuses on at-sea experimentation of approximately 100 critical maritime technologies, will be held at commands in San Diego and Hawaii June 14-16.

The primary goal of TW10, the largest and most complex afloat experiment to date, is to improve information dominance capabilities, maritime warfighting policy and procedures, and interoperability between U.S. and coalition partners. The experiment is designed to answer detailed analytical questions about the technologies in order to quickly get them into the hands of the warfighter.

Sponsored by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, and directed by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, TW10 participants also include Space, Naval Warfare Systems Command, Naval Postgraduate School, ships and aircraft from the U.S. Navy and Air Force, program executive offices, and system commands. Multinational participation includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, France, and Chile.

TW10 will assess the land and sea-based technologies organized into nine specific focus areas including networks, coalition, information operations, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare/fires, information assurance/cross domain solutions/distance support, information transport, and maritime domain awareness.

Overall, the results of TW10 experimentation aim to impact future doctrine and enhance the technologies, ultimately allowing the warfighter to keep ahead of its adversary in the rapidly changing environment."

French, US Aviators Conduct Interoperability Exercises

French, US Aviators Conduct Interoperability Exercises: "USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) conducted interoperability exercises with the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91) June 4-7.

Some of the exercises the aircraft carriers conducted include carrier qualifications (CQs) and a Rafale F3 jet engine swap-out in Truman's hangar bay.

Charles Rivkin, U.S. ambassador to France, three French rear admirals and media had the opportunity to witness the joint training during a visit to the Truman on June 7. The group observed as F/A-18 Super Hornets and Rafale F3s conducted multiple passes on the Truman flight deck.

It was the ambassador's first experience aboard a U.S. carrier.

'It is truly an honor to be here and to observe the way our two countries work together,' he said. The ambassador looks forward to continuing the French-U.S. relationship during a formal reception on board Truman when the ship moors in Marseille.

Truman Sailors also noticed the similarities between the way the French and U.S. squadrons operate.

'Their aircraft are completely different, but at the same time they're compatible with our systems and way of doing things,' said Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (Equipment) (AW) David Aponte.

Standardization and similar procedures are what enable the two navies to work closely together, according to Lt. Jeff Burch of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 37, one of the F/A-18 squadrons embarked on board Truman."

French Squadron Performs Jet Engine Swap-Out on Board Truman

French Squadron Performs Jet Engine Swap-Out on Board Truman: "As part of interoperability operations with the French Navy, a maintenance crew for the French aircraft Rafale F3 performed a jet engine swap-out on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) June 4.

The Rafale, a fourth generation fighter jet capable of performing both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions embarked aboard CVN Charles de Gaulle (R 91), was conducting carrier qualifications on board Truman.

'The French have conducted many carrier qualifications (CQs) with U.S. aircraft carriers in the past. However, this is the first time that an engine swap-out with a foreign navy has been done on a U.S. carrier,' said Cmdr. Tim Hill, the VFA-32 executive officer and air wing liaison for French interoperability exercises. 'This is a big step in working towards the ability to operate a French squadron on a U.S. carrier.'

According to French Navy Cmdr. Henri Mahe, the chief maintenance officer for Charles de Gaulle, the Rafale was specifically designed for performance and for efficient maintenance. The seven-man French navy maintenance team from the Rafale squadron 12F completed the engine swap-out in three hours.

Hundreds of Truman service members transiting the hangar bay stopped to take photos and to see the Rafale up close.

Among the onlookers was Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Heather Martinez, who was standing watch in Truman's primary flight control tower when the Rafale landed. Martinez stated she was impressed by the maneuverability of the aircraft and by the ease with which the jet was recovered.

'We followed the same procedures we do when recovering our own aircraft,' said Martinez. 'It went very smoothly.'"

Multiple Nations Participate in SEASWITI 10-3

Multiple Nations Participate in SEASWITI 10-3: "Ships from various regions of the world gathered off the eastern coast of Florida to participate in the Southeast Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Integration Training Initiative (SEASWITI) exercise 10-3 held June 4-9.

Capt. Aaron Jacobs, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 24 and his staff embarked USS Mahan (DDG 72) to coordinate and execute the training exercise.

Ships from different countries including the U.S., the United Kingdom and Peru were involved in the weeklong exercise. The overall mission of SEASWITI was to provide a learning forum in the Southeast region to enhance the effectiveness and quality of anti-submarine warfare training by coordinating assets, knowledge and technology.

'SEASWITI is exactly what it sounds like,' said Lt. Matthew Maples, DESRON 24's submarine operations officer. 'It is a weeklong coordinated multi-platform ASW exercise which also incorporates non-ASW events such as gunnery exercises, counter piracy and more. The main goal of SEASWITI is to increase ASW readiness and proficiency throughout the fleet, helping to ensure that we are ready to counter any threats, should they arise.'

During the week, ships from three different nations worked together to perform ASW and other warfare tasks, including having a chance to spot and track real submarines.

'This is a very valuable training opportunity that allows our Sailors to get a chance to work with the real thing,' said Cmdr. Kurt Mondlak, Mahan's commanding officer. 'This training is better than just looking at pictures because you have different properties involved when you track a real sub.'"

Defense leaders laud air-sea battle concept initiative

Defense leaders laud air-sea battle concept initiative: "The air-sea battle concept being developed by Air Force and Navy officials exemplifies the closer, more integrated relationships the military needs in order to confront future challenges, top Pentagon leaders said.

The new concept is 'a prime example of how we need to keep breaking down stovepipes between services, between federal agencies and even between nations,' said Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Speaking at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation and commissioning ceremony May 26, Admiral Mullen urged the cadets to embrace this spirit as they launch their military careers.

'The military owes it to our commander in chief and to the American taxpayers to operate effectively and efficiently across the battle space,' he said.

This requires that the services 'integrate our efforts with each other and with our civilian counterparts' and 'work seamlessly with old allies and new friends,' Admiral Mullen said.

It also requires the services to 'keep pace with a flatter, faster and more inter-connected world,' he said.

Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations, and Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, both have teams fleshing out details of the plan that will promote closer cooperation between their respective services.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates called the concept one of the 'more innovative strategies and joint approaches' the military needs in facing the future."

Global Hawk takes northern route, improves efficiency

Global Hawk takes northern route, improves efficiency: "Staff Sgt. Ryan Conversi's eyes remain focused on a pair of industrial-strength laptop computers as the time approaches for the next launch of an RQ-4 Global Hawk on the Beale Air Force Base flightline.

One of the computers is a vehicle test controller and the other contains Sergeant Conversi's technical orders. Both help the 12th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief communicate with the operator as he prepares for the Global Hawk's next journey over Canada on the way to a forward operating location in Southwest Asia.

Since April, when the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron's Global Hawks began flying the northern route, maintainers have noticed an ability to get the aircraft serviced and back into the forward operation location more efficiently. The aircraft previously flew from Beale AFB to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., before continuing the route to Southwest Asia. The aircraft must return to Beale AFB for critical routine maintenance, so the new route decreases the time required to transport aircraft between the two locations.

'We're constantly swapping aircraft out for maintenance to provide the forward operators with fresh aircraft,' said Capt. Gary Toroni, the 12th Operations Support Squadron flight commander. 'The ability to fly through Canada also affords us the opportunity to not only have the aircraft out there in a short time period, but also bring them back so we can do service and maintenance and be able to get them forward-deployed.'"

Airmen participate in Unified Engagement 2010

Airmen participate in Unified Engagement 2010: "TALLINN, Estonia (AFNS) -- U.S. Air Forces in Europe officials joined representatives from seven other countries here to participate in Unified Engagement 2010, which started June 7 and continues through June 11.

The Unified Engagement seminar is the fourth Building Partnership Seminar USAFE officials have conducted with European partners as a transformation war game to explore future combined warfighting concepts and capabilities.

The U.S. delegation led by Gen. Roger A. Brady, the USAFE commander, is working with counterparts from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden to strengthen relationships, and improve interoperability and future cooperation.

'These meetings have been good for us and our allies and have proven productive and valuable,' General Brady said. 'These sessions serve as effective discussions and are opportunities to share ideas, and for military professionals, particularly air forces, to share their perspectives.'

General Brady said the relationships established and the work accomplished at the seminar will allow everyone to come together quickly in crisis and effectively face the challenge.

'Because of training seminars like Unified Engagement, the U.S. Air Force and our partners worldwide are better prepared for future operational challenges,' the general said. 'Estonia is a great NATO partner and they are graciously hosting this meeting.'"

U.S. military participates in Berlin air show

U.S. military participates in Berlin air show: "90 U.S. military aircrew and support members from bases in Europe and the U.S. are participating in the International Aerospace Exhibition 2010 Berlin Air Show, here June 8.

Air Force officials are showcasing the B-1B Lancer, C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, C-5 Galaxy, KC-135 Stratotanker and B-52 Stratofortress to an expected 200,000 visitors to this year's air show.

'Our participation here contributes to a number of U.S. security and foreign policy interests,' said Col. Steve Vlasak, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe director of safety. 'It promotes standardization and interoperability of equipment with our NATO allies and other potential coalition partners, and highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to the security of Europe. The U.S. participation enhances the U.S. and German military-to-military relationship as well as fosters good relations and better understanding among nations.'

Touted as having the largest participation in its 100-year history, the Berlin air show features 1,153 exhibitors from 47 countries, including the U.S., presenting advanced technology."

Airmen join international community at Anatolian Eagle

Airmen join international community at Anatolian Eagle: "Airmen of the 493rd Fighter Squadron integrated with nearly 1,000 airmen from five countries and NATO June 7 when Anatolian Eagle started at Third Main Jet Base in Konya, Turkey.

The Blue Force, consisting of airmen from the United States, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Turkey and NATO, will perfect their large force employment skills against the Red Force aircraft piloted by Turkish pilots.

The exercise is an opportunity for each air force to prepare itself for future operations.

'If there's ever another (Operation) Allied Force, these are the people we're going to fight with side by side,' said Lt. Col. Connor Blackwood, the 493rd FS director of operations at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. 'This exercise is our best opportunity to test our ability to integrate with them.'

'This is a way for us to test our tactics and learn from our multinational partners,' said Italian air force Lt. Col. Andrea Amadori, the 132nd Squadron commander. 'It's good for us to see we're standardized and prove we can deploy, fight and win together.'

For the Airmen involved in the exercise, the training benefits from a combat standpoint are just as important as large-scale, multinational integration. It's an opportunity for 493rd FS pilots to train from a purely offensive stance.

'We're the first ones in and the last ones out,' said Capt. Neils Barner, the 493rd FS weapons and tactics chief. 'Our primary purpose is to push out in front (of the air-to-ground team) to kill the red air so the close-air-support mission is successful. This (exercise) enables us to really push those skills to the limit as we support our partners in air-to-ground and (suppression of enemy air defenses) missions. We don't have the assets at home to come close to this type of training.'"

Groundbreaking "Green" Roof Project Begins at NS Norfolk

Groundbreaking "Green" Roof Project Begins at NS Norfolk: "Continuing to execute energy conservation initiatives, Naval Station Norfolk will kick-off one of the Navy's first 'green' roof project June 10 at 10 a.m.

A 'green' roof is a concept where a building's roof is partially or completely covered with vegetation that is planted over the roof's waterproofing membrane.

Green roofs benefit the environment by filtering and retaining pollutants held in rainwater runoff thus improving the water quality that enters into sanitized sewer systems. Additionally, runoff is reduced resulting in reduced storm drainage system loads, while also reducing the phenomena of heat island effect, as well as filtering air pollutants that are deposited from the atmosphere and storing the carbon dioxide, which mitigates smog formation."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

High-tech radar maps defeat camouflage

High-tech radar maps defeat camouflage: "To the untrained eye, U.S. Army radar-generated maps may look like a bird's-eye view of a city at night; however, these images contain useful intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information that reveal concealed objects by penetrating foliage, buildings and some terrain while overcoming camouflage, concealment and deception techniques.

These maps, which highlight boundaries not visible to traditional electronic sensors, are made possible by the U.S. Army's Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter Concealment Enabled Radar, or TRACER. Developed by the Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications and electronics center, TRACER is a mid-range, long wavelength synthetic aperture radar system that provides all-weather persistent surveillance."

Monday, June 7, 2010

IED beam could change face of war -

IED beam could change face of war - "The military has developed technology that uses a high-tech beam to detonate hidden IEDs, an insurgent weapon responsible for the deaths and maiming of thousands of U.S. servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some in the military caution that widespread use of the weapon could cause civilian casualties when the beam triggers improvised explosive devices.
'This is an offensive capability that will change the face of this war,' said Marine Gen. James Mattis, head of the U.S. Joint Forces Command that looks to transform military capabilities. Mattis, a supporter of the technology, acknowledged that civilians could be killed if the weapon is activated over widespread areas. But ultimately the technology would save lives, he said. 'A lot more innocent people are going to die if we don't do it,' he said."

US military aims to save 100 billion dollars over five years

US military aims to save 100 billion dollars over five years: "The Pentagon announced a major cost-cutting initiative Friday, which it hopes will slash 100 billion dollars from its tight operating costs over the next five years, a senior US defense official said.
But with the world's most advanced military waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Defense Department said there was no intention of reducing force numbers in the US Army, Navy, or Air Force, and that the Pentagon's most expensive acquisition project ever -- the F-35 fighter jet -- would not be cut.
'Most of the savings are intended to be achieved by shaving overhead and tightening efficiency, with the billions saved there shifted to operational costs and force modernization,' Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told reporters."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

CIA Fight Against Communism Bolsters Radical Islam : NPR

CIA Fight Against Communism Bolsters Radical Islam : NPR: "The CIA's determination to roll back communism during the Cold War inadvertently allowed radical Islamists to gain a foothold in Europe, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson.
A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West details the Nazis' attempts to create a fifth column within the Soviet empire by becoming allies with Muslim minorities living in the Soviet Union."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Airmen upgrade GPS constellation

Airmen upgrade GPS constellation: "Airmen from the 2nd Space Operations Squadron and from the 19th SOPS took control of the Air Force's newest GPS satellite following its launch into orbit May 28 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The GPS IIF SV-1 satellite represents a substantial upgrade for the GPS constellation. Thanks to improvements with the cesium-based atomic clocks used for timing, the satellite is expected to provide more accurate navigation signals than those of its predecessors.

The new IIF satellite also will broadcast two new signals: a jam resistant military code signal and a third civil signal known as the L5.

This latest addition is part of an ongoing modernization effort for the GPS constellation by Air Force officials.

'We're continuously replacing satellites in the constellation to ensure GPS remains the world's gold standard for position, timing and navigation,' said Lt. Col. Mike Manor, the 2nd SOPS director of operations. 'The GPS constellation is made up of 24 slots in space surrounding the earth where we place our satellites. This slot scheme and satellite placement ensures GPS users receive the most accurate navigation data at any time, at any place around the entire globe.'

With the addition of the IIF SV-1, the GPS constellation now consists of 31 operational satellites. The idea is to keep newer satellites covering the primary slots. As the older satellites age, Air Force operators will move them out of the constellation and replace those primary slots with new vehicles."

Army testing green laser kits in Afghanistan

Army testing green laser kits in Afghanistan: "The Army's Program Executive Office Soldier is fielding several Green Laser Escalation of Force, or GLEF, kits to units in Afghanistan for operational assessment.

The GLEF systems are mounted as an accessory to Common Remotely Operated Weapon Stations or CROWS, the turret system that provides Soldiers the ability to employ cameras, sensors and weapons from inside the protection of an armored vehicle. The non-lethal green-light laser gives Soldiers an interim step before escalating force while conducting daily operations.

'Protecting civilian populations is critical to our success in fighting insurgencies,' said Col. Douglas Tamilio, project manager for Soldier Weapons. 'Green lasers have proven safe and effective as a non-lethal tool that sends a strong message without the need to employ deadly force.'

The GLEF system emits a wide band of green light that temporarily disrupts a person's vision so that driving a vehicle or aiming a weapon becomes difficult if not impossible. One application would be to warn civilians away from checkpoints and other areas where their safety is at risk. At closer distances, the lasers provide an immediate, nonlethal capability to deter aggressive actions.

'The human eye is four times more sensitive to green light than to red light during the day and far more sensitive at night,' explained Maj. Michael Pottratz, program manager for Crew Served Weapons. 'The effect is the same as looking at the sun for a fraction of a second. The lasers send a warning signal across language and cultural barriers to keep innocent people from entering into harm's way.'"

Army testing rugged, autonomous robot vehicle

Army testing rugged, autonomous robot vehicle: "The U.S. Army's Autonomous Platform Demonstrator, or APD, is a 9.6-ton, six-wheeled, hybrid-electric robotic vehicle currently undergoing developmental and mobility testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; the demonstrator vehicle represents the state of the art in unmanned ground vehicle mobility technology.

With its advanced hybrid-electric drive train, the 15-foot-long vehicle, being developed by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC, can achieve speeds of over 50mph.

When equipped with its autonomous navigation system, the APD is configured with GPS waypoint technology, an inertial measurement unit and computer algorithms which enable it to move autonomously at speeds up to 50mph while avoiding obstacles in its path.

'The vehicle has obstacle detection and avoidance technology,' said Dr. Jim Overholt, senior research scientist in robotics, Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The mobility testing is aimed at advancing and developing the robot's ability to maneuver at higher speeds while maintaining extreme terrain-ability at lower speeds."

EADS has partners for US bid: CEO

EADS has partners for US bid: CEO: "EADS, the European aerospace giant, has found the US partners it needs for its bid for a major US Air Force tanker contract, chief executive Louis Gallois said Wednesday.
'We have the complete team of partners we needed for sensitive equipment but we don't give the names because we don't want to put them under pressure,' he told reporters in London.
EADS had previously held talks with US companies Raytheon and L-3 and the US arm of British firm BAE Systems.
Gallois remained confident that EADS had a bid that could beat US rivals Boeing to the 35-billion-dollar (29-billion-euro) deal to supply the US Air Force with 179 aerial refuelling tankers.
He insisted EADS' design -- a militarised version of the A330 aircraft made by Airbus -- was the 'best airplane'."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

AFP: US military suspends refueling at vital Kyrgyz base

AFP: US military suspends refueling at vital Kyrgyz base: "The US military has stopped flying aerial refueling tankers out of Krygyzstan as the government there presses to renegotiate a fuel contract for a major US base, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The Manas air field, a vital hub for the US-led force in Afghanistan, was 'still operational' but flights for KC-135 refueling aircraft had been suspended amid talks with the Kyrgyz government, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters.
'We are negotiating with them adjustments under the current fuel contract,' Whitman said. By halting KC-135 flights out of Manas, 'that's a significant way of conserving fuel,' he said.
Asked if Bishkek was demanding a higher price for jet fuel, he said: 'It's sufficient to say they're not proposing reducing the cost of the fuel.'"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Navy Laser Destroys UAV In A Maritime Environment

Navy Laser Destroys UAV In A Maritime Environment: "Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), with support from Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren, for the second time successfully tracked, engaged, and destroyed a threat representative Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) while in flight May 24 at San Nicholas Island, Calif.
This marks the first detect-thru-engage laser shoot-down of a threat representative target in an over-the-water, combat representative scenario.
A total of two UAV targets were engaged and destroyed in a maritime environment during the testing, the second series of successes for the U.S. Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) Program."