Friday, October 29, 2010

Japan says succeeds in missile shield test with US

Japan says succeeds in missile shield test with US: "A Japanese naval destroyer fired an interceptor missile to shoot down a mock ballistic missile off Hawaii in a test of Japan's missile-defence system, the defence ministry said Friday.
The US Missile Defence Agency in a statement called the test a 'significant milestone in the growing cooperation between Japan and the US in the area of missile defence'.
The target was launched from a US navy facility on Hawaii at 0306 GMT, the Japanese defence ministry said in a statement."

Missile Defense Agency Selects Raytheon To Provide New Missile Defense Radar

Missile Defense Agency Selects Raytheon To Provide New Missile Defense Radar: "The Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon a $190 million fixed price incentive fee contract to construct, integrate and test a new Army/Navy Transportable Radar Surveillance (AN/TPY-2) radar. The AN/TPY-2 is the most capable and reliable radar currently deployed to defend against the ballistic missile threat.
'The AN/TPY-2 provides a critical Ballistic Missile Defense capability for the warfighter,' said David Gulla, vice president, National and Theater Security Programs for Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems.
'We continue to partner with MDA to drive more affordability across our programs and enable a more rapid delivery of solutions into theater. We will continue to partner with our customer community and identify opportunities for increased cost savings and efficiencies.'"

BBC News - Russia and US collaborate in Afghanistan drug raid

BBC News - Russia and US collaborate in Afghanistan drug raid: "Russian and US agents have taken part in a joint operation to destroy drug laboratories in Afghanistan, the head of Russia's drug control agency says.

More than a tonne of heroin and opium was seized during the raids, which took place on Thursday close to the border with Pakistan, Viktor Ivanov announced.

Mr Ivanov said the haul had a street value of $250m (£157m) and was believed to have been destined for Central Asia.

Correspondents say it is the first time there has been such a joint operation"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Army expanding its Special Operations force

Army expanding its Special Operations force: "The U.S. Army Special Operations Command will double in size by 2017, said its commander, compared to what it was before the war on terror.

The demand for Special Operations Forces (SOF), however, has almost quadrupled, said USASOC commander, Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., Tuesday during the first-ever panel on special operations at the Association of the U.S. Army's Annual Meeting and Exposition.

"The operations tempo for the force has skyrocketed," Mulholland said, later adding that not even the drawdown in Iraq has reduced the number of special operations Soldiers there. He said the deployment ratio for SOF is the highest in the Army, with Soldiers deployed more than they are at home station.

"We will never build enough capacity within the force to meet the demand for the skills and disciplines we bring," Mulholland said.

USASOC is adding a battalion to each of its five active-duty Special Forces groups, along with its two in the National Guard. The Ranger Regiment stood up a Special Troops Battalion a couple of years ago and additional companies are being planned for each of the Ranger battalions.

What was only a single active-duty civil affairs battalion a few years ago has grown to four battalions, now comprising a full brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C. And the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade plans to add a fifth battalion next year. In addition, plans call for adding a second active-duty CA brigade in the future.

Psychological operations underwent a change this month from PSYOPS to military information support operations, or MISO. The 4th PSYOPS Group became the 4th MISG and the 9th PSYOPS Battalion became the 9th MISB. In addition, the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review calls for more PSYOPS companies, but a USASOC spokesman said that growth depends on future funding.

Overall, the budget for U.S. Special Operations Command -- the joint organization of which USASOC is a part -- should triple by 2017, compared to what it was before Sept. 11, 2001, Mulholland projected. He also said USASOC actually comprises about half of SOCOM.

USASOC now has about 5,000 Soldiers and civilians deployed around the world in more than 50 countries. Small teams still train foreign militaries around the globe, but nowhere are SOF missions more in demand than in Afghanistan, Mulholland said.

Missions in Afghanistan range from high-end, direct-action against insurgents to working with tribal elders in villages, Mulholland said. SOF helped train the Afghan light infantry and they're now training the Afghan Special Forces. Every type of mission in the SOF quiver is being conducted nightly in Afghanistan, he said.

High in demand for night operations are the modified helicopters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Not enough MH-46s are available for the missions, and conventional aircraft must sometimes be used, officials said.

Over the next two years, USASOC plans to stand up an additional MH-47 company, said Brig. Gen. Kevin Mangum who recently transitioned from being deputy commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and U.S. Division-Center in Iraq to standing up a new Special Operations Aviation Command. Mangum said he arrived at Fort Bragg less than two weeks ago to stand up the new command.

"Our command will bring more capacity," he said, explaining that it will have responsibility for training, research and development, resourcing, and manning. What it will not do initially, though, is bring more helicopters to the fight, Mangum said. But he added that his command will free up the 160th SOAR to conduct its missions.

SOF is rubbing off on the conventional force, when it comes to capability and standards, said Lt. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, Army G-3/5/7. He said special operations forces set the standard and challenge the rest of the force to meet it.

SOF also provides innovation and inspiration to the entire force, said Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., now the J-5 for the Joint Staff and recently the corps commander in Iraq.

“They shared their stuff, they shared their people, they shared their experiences,” he said about SOF interacting with the general-purpose force. He added that SOF should no longer ever be considered a “niche” capability, explaining that they are now “fundamental.”

Maj. Gen. James L. Huggins Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said his Soldiers sometimes “bird dog” for SOF and often work together with special operations forces as a team. Some of his Soldiers eventually decide to cross over to special operations, he said, but added that SOF gives back to the regular force ten-fold.

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Mellinger of Army Materiel Command was also on the panel. He was a Ranger in the 1970s, and said young Soldiers back then looked at SOF differently. Now there is more trust and teamwork, he said, and young Soldiers look to Special Operations Forces for an example -- "for what right looks like," he said.

One proof that Special Operations has become more integrated into the regular Army is the existence of the SOF panel itself at the AUSA annual meeting, several of the panel members said.

"A lot of things that began in Special Operations are now ingrained into the Army," Mellinger added."

Army plans large manned-unmanned demo

Army plans large manned-unmanned demo: "The U.S. Army is planning a largest-of-its-kind demonstration - called Manned Unmanned Systems Integration Concept, or MUSIC - at Dougway Proving Ground, Utah, in September of next year, service officials said.

'It's going to be the largest single demonstration of interoperability between manned and unmanned systems ever conducted,' said Tim Owings, deputy project manager for Army unmanned aircraft systems.

The demonstration is aimed at analyzing the progress of evolving manned-unmanned teaming technologies. It will showcase level-4 UAS interoperability wherein Apache Attack helicopter pilots will have the ability to control the payload of a nearby UAS from the cockpit; the Apache pilots will also be able to view feeds from UAS systems in real-time from the cockpit as well.

During the exercise, the Grey Eagle, Hunter, Shadow, Raven and the Apache Block III will all be exchanging information and exchanging command and control while in flight, Owings said.

'The Block III Apache is going to take control of the UAS, point the payload and do a mission. All the other systems will see Apache video and Kiowa video. We will have a Universal Ground Control Station on the ground as well,' said Owings.

U.S. Preparing New Nuclear Offer for Iran, Officials Say -

U.S. Preparing New Nuclear Offer for Iran, Officials Say - "The Obama administration and its European allies are preparing a new offer for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, senior administration officials say, but the conditions on Tehran would be even more onerous than a deal that the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected last year.

Iran’s reaction, officials say, will be the first test of whether a new and surprisingly broad set of economic sanctions is changing Iran’s nuclear calculus. As recently as last summer, senior officials, ranging from the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, predicted that while the sanctions would hurt Iran, it was unlikely they would prove sufficient to force it to give up the major elements of its nuclear program.

A senior American official said Wednesday that the United States and its partners were “very close to having an agreement” on a common position to present to Iran. But the Iranians have not responded to a request from Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, to meet in Vienna in mid-November. Iran insisted that Ms. Ashton first tell them when sanctions would end, when Israel would give up what it called “the Zionist bomb” and when the United States would eliminate its nuclear weapons.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Russian military could be drawn back into Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian

Russian military could be drawn back into Afghanistan | World news | The Guardian: "Russia's military could be drawn back into the Afghanistan theatre for the first time since the Red Army was forcibly expelled by US-backed mujahideen fighters in 1989 under plans being discussed by Nato officials. The proposals precede a landmark alliance summit next month, to be attended by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev.
The officials said several joint Nato-Russian initiatives on Afghanistan were on the table. They include the contribution of Russian helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for Nato forces.
'The summit can mark a new start in the relationship between Nato and Russia,' said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary-general.
'We will hopefully agree on a broad range of areas in which we can develop practical co-operation on Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics.'
Rasmussen added: 'Russia is strongly interested in increased co-operation … Last December, when I visited Moscow, I suggested that Russia provide helicopters for the Afghan army. Since then Russia has reflected on that and there are now bilateral talks between Russia and the United States. I would not exclude that we will facilitate that process within the Nato-Russia council.'
Western diplomats said it was quite likely that agreements with Moscow on enhanced co-operation in Afghanistan on a range of fronts would be reached in time for the Lisbon Nato summit on 19-20 November."

Army vows to change way it buys weapons - Yahoo! News

Army vows to change way it buys weapons - Yahoo! News: "The U.S. Army needs to dramatically improve the way it buys weapons to ensure that equipment for soldiers is still relevant when they finally get it, the service's No. 2 uniformed officer said on Tuesday.
'We have to look at the entire system and how we do things, and take into account the rapid technological change that we're seeing today,' Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli said at the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference.
'I don't understand how we can take 8 to 10 years or even longer and put something on the street and have it be relevant,' he told reporters after delivering an even more blunt assessment to a panel discussion: 'I'm a firm believer that it's going to take the big bang theory.'
Chiarelli and other top Army acquisition officials said they are already changing the system to 'buy fewer things more often' and leverage rapid technology changes, especially given mounting pressures on the U.S. defense budget."

Pacific Integration key to Army strategy

Pacific Integration key to Army strategy: "As part of Pacific Integration, Eighth Army in Korea will alter its name next year and fall under U.S. Army Pacific.

"One team, combat ready" sums up Pacific Integration, according to USARPAC Commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, whose area of responsibility extends from Hawaii to India and from Alaska to Australia, with about 60 percent of the world's population. He spoke with several reporters at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition Oct. 25.

In a nutshell, here's what PI will do: By late summer 2011, the Eighth U.S. Army in Korea -- a sizeable organization with a large sustainment command -- will become the Eighth U.S. Field Army and integrate into USARPAC, Mixon said, "But the reality is that transformation has already been going on now for several years," he said. "It's not like flipping on a light switch. It's a process."

If a conflict were to occur right now on the Korean peninsula, Mixon said Eighth Army would "focus on the fight, which I believe would be intense, while we provide logistical support and additional troops, not only for the peninsula but elsewhere, as it could become a regional conflict. So instead of having two Army service components, we now have one, more capable force."

The PI transition is mostly completed, he said. "We already have overlapping responsibilities with Eighth Army should anything happen."

Growing the force throughout the Pacific is another aspect of PI, that has "been below the radar the last several years," Mixon said. He cited the formation of airborne, squadron, maneuver enhancement and aviation brigades in Alaska and the reorganization of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii from a light to a medium division, along with increased manpower there for a stryker brigade, heavy brigade combat team and medium aviation brigade.

To move this beefed-up force quickly around half the globe, he acknowledged, requires close coordination with the Navy and Air Force for ships and transport aircraft.

How does PI bode for America's allies?

"In addition to reinforcing our long-term relations with allies such as Japan, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines, we're reaching out to India, Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries," Mixon said, citing Vietnam as an example where military exchanges are increasing, along with Army medical support.

The general said multilateral, not bilateral exercises with Asian countries, will be the blueprint for the future, citing the example of the annual Cobra Gold exercise in Thailand, where a number of Pacific-rim and other nations participated or observed.

PI is also providing better utilization of LandWarNet, the global information connectivity necessary for intelligence sharing.

"A greater sharing of intelligence is now occurring," Mixon said, providing an example of improvised explosive device threats, where armies throughout the Asia-Pacific and other areas "share intelligence on the types of IED threats and pass them along to trainers so they can deal with the type being used. We stood up a counter-IED task force a year ago and we're already doing support," he noted. He said there's a real threat of IEDs in India, southern Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, "and, should war break out, on the Korean peninsula."

In addition to potential for conflict in Korea, there are other areas of concern, he said, noting Abu Sayyaf, an Islamist separatist group in the southern Philippines, known for carrying out terrorist attacks; and more recently, the Islamist terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, based in Pakistan, but active in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and allegedly in the Chicago area, where two of its members were arrested in November.

How will USARPAC interact with China?

"We're hopeful that in the near future we'll have an army-to-army relationship. The 25th ID Band performed in China and Russia and we're hopeful it'll open the aperture a bit," Mixon said. "I'd like to take a trip there myself to talk to some of the senior leadership and investigate how we can work with them."

What's uppermost on Mixon's wish list?

"Families," he said. "The last nine years have been difficult on Soldiers and Families. Senior leadership is trying to extend dwell time to 18 months to two years. This would allow more time to train, take care of Families, recoup from injuries; we always need more time."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U.S. Army Aiming to Release Ground Combat Vehicle Request - Defense News

U.S. Army Aiming to Release Ground Combat Vehicle Request - Defense News: "The U.S. Army still aims to release its Request for Proposals for the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program close to the original 60-day deadline that was announced when the old request was canceled in August, according to the Army chief of staff.
'I think we'll be pretty close to that,' said Gen. George Casey during a news briefing with reporters at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army."

Iran training Taliban fighters to use surface-to-air missiles | Washington Examiner

Iran training Taliban fighters to use surface-to-air missiles | Washington Examiner: "Iranian military advisers have been training Taliban fighters in Afghanistan on the use of surface-to-air missiles, a potential game changer in the war if insurgents can use such weapons effectively, several current and retired military officials told The Washington Examiner.

"We know the [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] has been training Taliban fighters in the use of surface-to-air missiles," said a military official in Afghanistan with knowledge of the situation. "As of the moment it is uncertain whether the Taliban has access to the weapons systems necessary to utilize this training against the coalition."

That is the key question -- whether the Iranian government or other supporters of the Taliban have so far supplied the weapons necessary to conduct significant attacks against U.S. or coalition aircraft in the region, military sources said. The Iranians reportedly possess Chinese portable surface-to-air missiles of the type that would threaten coalition aircraft.


Monday, October 25, 2010

U.S. Navy Completes First Test of New Warhead for Tomahawk Block IV Missile - Oct 24, 2010

U.S. Navy Completes First Test of New Warhead for Tomahawk Block IV Missile - Oct 24, 2010: The U.S. Navy completed the first live test of the Joint Multi-Effects Warhead System (JMEWS), meeting all performance objectives for the new warhead for the Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missile.

The JMEWS program is designed to deliver a warhead that will give the Tactical Tomahawk Land-Attack Missile all of the same blast-fragmentation capabilities that make it a formidable weapon today and to introduce enhanced penetration capabilities into a single warhead.

"This static test of the JMEWS program brings this powerful capability one step closer to potential integration into the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile, delivering enhanced capabilities to the operationally proven system," said Captain Dave Davison, the U.S. Navy's program manager for the Tomahawk Weapon System. "This first test demonstrates that the program is on schedule and moving forward as planned."

During the August 16 test, the warhead detonated, creating a hole large enough for the follow-through element to completely penetrate the concrete target and pass through two witness plates.

"The future of the Tomahawk Block IV missile includes a series of affordable enhancements to make the system more capable for the warfighter," said Gary Hagedon, Raytheon's Tomahawk program director. "JMEWS is the first of the planned system enhancements, and this test demonstrates that we have the right team in place to deliver these capabilities."

Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.

The Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile provides an expanded array of operational capabilities while reducing acquisition, operations and support costs. The missile has a two-way satellite data link that enables it to respond to changing battlefield conditions.

The strike controller can divert the missile in flight to preprogrammed alternate targets or redirect it to a new target. The controller can also command the Tactical Tomahawk Block IV missile to loiter over the battlefield until a target is identified as well as reprogram JMEWS fuzing for optimal lethality against this newly identified target.
The missile also can transmit battle damage imagery and missile telemetry information via the satellite data link.

Raytheon Tests New Weapon Designed for Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Oct 22, 2010

Raytheon Tests New Weapon Designed for Unmanned Aircraft Systems - Oct 22, 2010: "Raytheon successfully flight tested Small Tactical Munition, a new weapon specifically designed to be employed from unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). STM is a 13-pound guided bomb that is approximately 2-feet long, making it the smallest bomb in the Raytheon family of weapons.

The bomb's dual-mode, semiactive laser seeker and GPS-inertial navigation system enable the weapon to engage both fixed and moving targets around-the-clock, regardless of weather conditions.

"Current combat operations have highlighted the need for extremely small, precise weapons that are optimally designed for remotely piloted aircraft," said Bob Francois, Raytheon vice president of Advanced Missiles and Unmanned Systems. "STM is part of a portfolio of weapons that meets the warfighter's need in this area."

Raytheon flight tested two STM weapons on two separate passes from a Cobra™ UAS. The GPS-INS guided the weapons to a mid-course position where the semiactive laser seeker precisely guided the weapon to the target, achieving all test objectives.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Northrop Grumman Highlights State-of-the-Art Maritime Systems at Euronaval 2010, Paris

Northrop Grumman Highlights State-of-the-Art Maritime Systems at Euronaval 2010, Paris: "Northrop Grumman will display a wide array of its state-of-the-art ship and marine navigation, airborne mine countermeasures, mission modularity systems and other capabilities and products at the international naval defence exhibition, Euronaval 2010 in Paris.

Euronaval 2010 will be held at the Paris-Le-Bourget exhibition centre from 25 to 29 October 2010 and includes the maritime sector and those industrial activities associated with state actions at sea. The Northrop Grumman exhibit is at location D-22, and an online media kit is available at

"The challenges faced at sea demand solutions that increase awareness of the maritime domain," said Dave Perry, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Naval & Marine Systems Division. "With our expertise in design, development and production of navigation and control systems, radar systems, airborne surveillance, and mine countermeasures, Northrop Grumman is an industry leader at using innovative technology to counter increasingly sophisticated sea-based threats."

Highlighted will be Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine's latest generation of navigation, ship control and radar technology.

The company's VisionMaster FT and warship electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) will be on display configured to demonstrate how the system is able to provide effective operational support required for watchkeeping and command teams on smaller vessels. VisionMaster FT provides a highly integrated fully networked suite of marine radar and electronic charting systems designed to form the backbone of the modern ship's integrated bridge.

Other capabilities which will be highlighted are the maritime domain awareness (MDA) coastal surveillance system and the new SeaGuard XBCR x-band coherent radar for small target detection and situational awareness.

Navigation systems on show will include Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine's new MK39 Mod 4 ring laser gyro (RLG) inertial navigation system for naval vessels. The MK 39 Mod 4 RLG provides the same high accuracy geographic position information, with or without GPS, and precise attitude heading data of its predecessors but in a smaller, more cost effective unit.

Northrop Grumman's world leading capabilities in airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) will also be featured including the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye programme has enhanced the E-2 mission system with new more powerful avionics providing continuous 360-degree scanning capability to detect, track and defeat cruise missile threats at extended range.

Northrop Grumman's airborne surveillance capability will be highlighted with a model of the MQ-8B Fire Scout, the vertical unmanned aircraft system (VUAS) multi-role UAV currently under development with the US Navy for littoral intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Northrop Grumman's airborne mine countermeasures programmes will be highlighted with a display of the AN/AES-1 airborne laser mine detection system (ALMDS).

The Northrop Grumman ALMDS, in low rate initial production for the US Navy, is an airborne mine countermeasures, wide area surveillance system, designed to detect, classify and localize floating and near-surface moored sea mines. ALMDS uses its pulsed laser light and streak-tube receivers, day or night to image in 3-D, the entire near-surface of the ocean. The system is housed in a pod that is mounted on the port side of an MH-60S helicopter. ALMDS is a key component of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package. Northrop Grumman is the LCS Mission Package Integrator for the US Navy.

Related to that, Northrop Grumman will be discussing mission modularity concepts, some of which are derived from the US Navy LCS Mission Package concept for potential application for other navies. A model of the MCM Mission Module will be on display.

The Modularity Concept and derived Mission Packages offer a truly transformational option for naval forces that require the flexibility provided by a modular system. Mission Packages and Mission Modules can be adapted to meet specific mission needs. NATO is currently examining mission modularity architecture for the design, installation and operation of modular mission equipment packages for humanitarian and disaster relief, anti-piracy and harbour defence missions.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Iraq War Logs Detail Iran’s Aid to Militias – Iraq War Logs - Wikileaks Documents -

Iraq War Logs Detail Iran’s Aid to Militias – Iraq War Logs - Wikileaks Documents - "Scores of documents made public by WikiLeaks, which has disclosed classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, provide a ground-level look — at least as seen by American units in the field and the United States’ military intelligence — at the shadow war between the United States and Iraqi militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

During the administration of President George W. Bush, critics charged that the White House had exaggerated Iran’s role to deflect criticism of its handling of the war and build support for a tough policy toward Iran, including the possibility of military action.

But the field reports disclosed by WikiLeaks, which were never intended to be made public, underscore the seriousness with which Iran’s role has been seen by the American military. The political struggle between the United States and Iran to influence events in Iraq still continues as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has sought to assemble a coalition — that would include the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr — that will allow him to remain in power. But much of the American’s military concern has revolved around Iran’s role in arming and assisting Shiite militias.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Joint STARS demonstrates key network-enabled weapons capability

Joint STARS demonstrates key network-enabled weapons capability: "An Electronic Systems Center team is wrapping up work on a demonstration here aimed to greatly improve network-enabled weapons capabilities for joint forces.

The Battle Management Directorate's E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System Modernization Branch has been participating in the Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration.

"The capability developed in this JCTD will provide a quantum leap in a commander's ability to conduct surface warfare with increased lethality to enemy forces and increased survivability of friendly forces," said Brittany Ridings, a JSuW program manager.

The Navy-led JSuW JCTD demonstrates the military utility of having multiple joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets control anti-ship weapons against surface combatants at stand-off ranges.

"This work for Joint STARS began in August of 2008," said Ms. Ridings. "That was when the combined government and contractor team began to develop and integrate the prototype Link 16 Network Enabled Weapon software into the existing software architecture on the E-8 Joint STARS test platform."

From there, the team went through a graduated series of test events involving recorded data, distributed dynamic laboratory testing, ground testing and integration flights -- all leading up to the final operational utility assessment flights.

OUA flights were successfully completed in September at the Point Mugu Sea Range in California. The specific role for Joint STARS was as a command and control node as well as a third party source to transmit in-flight target updates to guide Navy stand-off weapons to their target.

Using the Link 16 Network Enabled Weapon software, messages were exchanged regarding targeting, command and control, identification and weapon-fly out information. During three days of testing, Joint STARS successfully completed 13 runs with two Navy F/A-18 Hornets, two Joint Standoff Weapons and two instrumented target ships.

"From the Joint STARS perspective, the demonstration was completely successful, as we were able to meet all objectives," Ms. Ridings said. "We transmitted a series of in-flight target update messages that were received and positively acknowledged, and the simulation indicated that the weapon would hit its target effectively."

Navy leadership was also pleased with Joint STARS' accomplishments.

"The fact that JSTARS performed almost flawlessly is a testament to the exceptional efforts by your team . . . and will help bring this critical, net-enabled weapons capability to the warfighter," said Navy Captain Carl Chebi, the Precision Strike Weapons program manager.

Army sees potential in adaptive battlefield network

Army sees potential in adaptive battlefield network: "Maneuvering through thick woods, in rugged terrain or in urban confines, Soldiers risk losing radio connectivity and the ability to communicate.

The intelligent, self-healing Wireless Network After Next (WNaN) tactical network could prevent that danger by adapting to changing circumstances to keep communications intact.

"As you move from one area to another, it automatically determines the best frequencies to utilize and the best path to utilize to maintain communications," said Mr. Terry Claussen, deputy director of the PEO C3T Special Projects Office (SPO) evaluating WNaN. "The technology shows great potential, but we still have to look at it from the operational perspective."

That is the purpose of the present Army evaluation at Fort Benning, Ga. There, Soldiers with the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Experimental Force are conducting a series of operations to gauge WNaN's performance in a realistic battle environment. Along with earlier results from laboratory settings, the findings will be incorporated into a final WNaN evaluation report. The Army's Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications - Tactical (PEO C3T), to which the SPO is assigned, and other Army organizations will then craft recommended transition strategies for incorporating the technology into the Army's plans.

Along with its ability to sense and jump to the available part of the spectrum, WNaN can also recover from signal disruptions and delays. It does so by storing information on interim network nodes until a connection can be found. WNaN could also eliminate the need for Soldiers to stop and manually adjust frequencies during operations, and could be "very valuable" at the company level because it offers more than the typical voice communications that exist for fires teams today, Claussen said.

"It also provides data, and can provide position location information to higher-level headquarters, which improves the leadership's ability to understand where their teams are at and allows them to better maneuver those teams, and also to reduce potential fratricide," Claussen said.

WNaN also leverages commercial parts in an effort to minimize radio costs, he said.

At Fort Benning, Soldiers are testing WNaN in missions including a movement to contact, a deliberate attack, a reconnaissance followed by a hasty attack, a raid and a cordon and search, said Mr. Harry Lubin, chief of the experimentation branch of the Maneuver Battle Lab there. The settings mimic various combat environments - urban, wooded, rolling terrain - and even the sounds and smells of battle are pumped in.

Standing in for the enemy is a contracted "red force" also overseen by TRADOC, Lubin said.

"They actually put people on the ground to ensure that the enemy is fighting using the current tactics," he said. "So it is very credible. It's very realistic."

Members of the Experimental Force, a 61-man "company-minus," are well-prepared to evaluate the WNaN technology because they have experienced combat deployments as well as previous experiments at Fort Benning, Lubin said. Every step of the way, the Soldiers' verbal feedback is collected and matched up with audio and video capture from the missions, as well as technical data generated by the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES).

The emerging information collected on WNaN's performance will be briefed to Army senior leaders at a VIP day in early November, Claussen said. Soldiers will also share their initial impressions with the VIPs, after demonstrating an assault on a mock village, Lubin said.

"The urban environment provides a number of challenges for communications systems that capabilities of the WNaN system should help us provide a solution to," he said.

Prior to the Fort Benning assessment, WNaN demonstrated its potential during field evaluations conducted this summer by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The PEO C3T supported those evaluations, culminating with a demonstration of a 52-node network at Fort Devens, Mass. that highlighted WNaN's high voice quality, frequency agility and message completion.

The Fort Benning evaluation will conclude in mid-November, and a briefing on WNaN to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army is tentatively planned for March 2011, Claussen said.

Between the DARPA tests and the thorough evaluation at Fort Benning, officials hope to provide a complete picture of WNaN's performance - including its potential for large-scale distribution to Soldiers. Theoretically, its advanced routing protocols can support scalability to thousands of nodes, allowing widespread deployment in dense environments.

"The current challenge is the more radios you add to a network, the harder it gets to pass information," Lubin said. "WNaN is just the opposite, in theory, in that as you add radios the network expands. That's really revolutionary."


Thursday, October 21, 2010 News Article: Operational Reserve Makes Business Sense, General Says News Article: Operational Reserve Makes Business Sense, General Says: "Department stores hire temporary workers for the holiday crunch time, then lay them off when the demand wanes in early January. Given the opportunity, commercial airlines would love to pay their pilots only while they’re in the cockpit, taking them off the clock –- and off the payroll –- once they land.

“You could run a pretty profitable airline if you could find somebody willing to do that,” Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, the top Army Reserve officer, told American Forces Press Service. “We [in the Army Reserve] are kind of [like] that airline, because we say, ‘You pay us when you use us, and then when you’re not using us, we go back to our civilian jobs.”

That’s the concept Stultz will advance in a white paper that makes a business case for maintaining an operational Army Reserve for the long term after the current conflicts conclude.

Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and now New Dawn have demonstrated the capabilities the reserve components bring to the military, Stultz said. Particularly important, he added, have been the “enabling capabilities” resident in the Army Reserve: logistical, engineer, military police, medical and civil affairs support.

“We as a military have come to the realization that we can’t fight an extended conflict without the reserve,” Stultz said. “We’ve built an army that is dependent on having access to the reserve when it needs them and with the expectation that it is going to be trained and ready –- that it’s not going to be in a strategic posture.”

But Stultz expressed concern that the military, looking for ways to cut costs and reap a “peace dividend” once the troops leave Iraq and Afghanistan, might try to turn back the clock and reinstitute a strategic reserve. Such a plan would be penny-wise but pound-foolish, he said, because it would cheat the United States out of an important, battle-tested and cost-effective resource and deprive it of valuable opportunities to advance its security strategy around the world.

Like seasonal workers, reservists get paid only when they are in training or mobilized. As a result, Stultz reasoned, mobilizing or deploying a reserve-component soldier costs a fraction of what it costs to maintain an active-component soldier.

As the Army institutes the Army Force Generation model -– one designed to provide combatant commanders a steady, supply of trained and ready units, while providing troops predictability about deployments -– Army Reserve soldiers will be on tap to deploy for one year in every five.

Once these Army Reserve units are no longer required in Afghanistan and Iraq, Stultz said, he sees other big opportunities for putting their capabilities to use. While serving as a standing contingency force, ready to be called as needed, they also could help the United States amp up its theater engagement and theater security strategy around the world.

The Army Reserve already supports many of these efforts: medical support and engineering missions in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa and aboard U.S. Southern Command’s Continuing Promise and U.S. Pacific Command’s Pacific Partnership medical missions.

“If you go to Southcom and talk about their engagement strategy with Central and South America and the Caribbean, they will tell you that one of the most effective tools they have is the medical support that they provide,” Stultz said. “Where do they get that medical support? Right now, it is reserve units providing the majority of it.”

Army Gen. William E. “Skip” Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, and Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, appear to agree. Both related in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March that they welcomed the additional capabilities an operational Army Reserve could continue to contribute to their security activities.

Stultz said combatant commanders get excited when he suggests these possibilities.

“What if in the future –- when these units are in the [Army Force Generation] model and when there is no requirement for them in Iraq and Afghanistan –- I could give you these units for 90 days at a time?” he asks, rather than the current two or three weeks.

“Their eyes light up,” he said. “They say, ‘Now you are talking about really expanding our horizons as far as engagement strategy, if we were able to build a strategy around that capability.’”

That approach could be used to fine-tune reserve-component skills, while putting no additional burden on the active force, he said.

“We as a country have got a security engagement strategy, and we have this contingency force that is sitting there and is a great return on investment,” Stultz said. “That is what we are trying to get at.”

When considering the future posture of the Army Reserve, Stultz noted another important consideration: the troops themselves. He’s convinced that after playing key roles in an operational reserve, they’ll never be satisfied reverting to their long-abandoned “weekend warrior” status.

“We have transitioned our personnel and our mentality to an operational reserve,” he said. “We have created an environment and culture that [the soldiers] want to be part of and that they feel good about.”

Stultz said he’s told the Army leadership and others there’s no turning back.

“We can’t go back to a strategic reserve –- one, because you can’t afford it, the nation needs us; but two, we can’t go back because the soldiers we’ve got signed up to be utilized,” he said.

“What we’re saying is, an operational reserve makes sense,” Stultz said. “It’s the right thing for the military, it’s the right thing for the nation, and it’s the right thing for the soldier.”


Army testing diesel-electric truck

Army testing diesel-electric truck: "ThThe Army is now testing a new Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck, or HEMTT A3 -– a 35,000-pound, diesel-electric-powered truck able to improve fuel economy by 20 percent and transport up to 100 kilowatts of exportable power.

The HEMTT A3 is now going through 20,000 miles of durability and performance testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The testing is designed to assess capabilities such as max speed, grade climbing and fording, officials said.

The truck was also displayed in the Pentagon courtyard Oct. 15 by Oshkosh Defense as part of an Energy Awareness Month display.

"The Army operational and tactical need to reduce dependence on consumable fuels is a continuing science and technology challenge across the Soldier, Ground, and Air domains,” said Dr. Marilyn M. Freeman, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research & technology.

The diesel-electric HEMTT A3 uses a diesel engine to power a generator – which in turn sends electrical power through cables to small motors on each of the axles. An ultracapacitor is used to store energy.

“We have an A/C induction generator that takes the place of an automatic transmission on a conventional truck. We have power cables that run from the generator to inverters or drives that control the electric motors,” said Stephen Nimmer, director, engineering and programs, defense technology development, Oshkosh Defense.

The testing at Aberdeen will also examine the truck’s extreme-weather starting ability, checking to see if the truck functions as intended at below zero temperatures and extreme heat conditions such as 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

“At cold and hot temperatures we made sure the truck could export A/C power. At 125 degrees Fahrenheit, we evaluated the air-conditioning system to cool the cab to a certain level over a certain period of time,” Nimmer said.

The durability and performance testing are aimed at preparing the HEMTT A3 for formal production.

“We have gone into Aberdeen TRL (technology readiness level) 7. When we finish the testing we will have satisfied ourselves that the technology has matured to a TRL-8 level and we will be ready for full rate production and operational evaluation,” said Nimmer.

The HEMTT A3 has also been configured to power up a Phalanx weapons system to provide area protection. On Sept. 28, the Army’s Counter Rocket Artillery Mortar program, known as CRAM, facilitated a successful live-fire demo at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.

“The truck was exposed to rocket-propelled mortars and it had a perfect record of mortars tracked versus mortars intercepted. In the case of the Phalanx, we have hard-wired our generator to the Phalanx weapon electronic control system,” Nimmer said.

The truck was at the Pentagon as part of Energy Awareness Month efforts that officials said were aimed at highlighting scientific progress in areas related to energy efficiency and energy security.

“Our goal is to be strategically positioned with our partners in the research, academic and industrial communities to capture and evaluate new energy technologies whenever and wherever they occur,” said Freeman.

General: K-9 teams find IEDs better than $10 billion tech gear - Washington Times

General: K-9 teams find IEDs better than $10 billion tech gear - Washington Times: "The Army general in charge of defeating roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan says the most effective tool is "two men and a dog," even though the military has spent nearly $10 billion on new detection and clearing technologies.

Lt. Gen. Michael L. Oates said his task force is surging anti-bomb resources — human and technological — into Afghanistan to support the expanded U.S.-led coalition troop presence there. But he acknowledged that he has more work to do to find ways to measure how effective their efforts are.

Gen. Oates' task force, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), was established five years ago and has spent $16.6 billion — about $9.4 billion of it on technology to detect and neutralize homemade bombs that can be built and hidden in a variety of ways.

Gen. Oates said technology, like the electronic frequency jammers used in Iraq to prevent bombs from being detonated by cell phones or TV remotes, has been successful, but the highest detection rates were still achieved using K-9 units and trained handlers.


Coalition Routs Taliban in Southern Afghanistan -

Coalition Routs Taliban in Southern Afghanistan - "American and Afghan forces have been routing the Taliban in much of Kandahar Province in recent weeks, forcing many hardened fighters, faced with the buildup of American forces, to flee strongholds they have held for years, NATO commanders, local Afghan officials and residents of the region said.

A series of civilian and military operations around the strategic southern province, made possible after a force of 12,000 American and NATO troops reached full strength here in the late summer, has persuaded Afghan and Western officials that the Taliban will have a hard time returning to areas they had controlled in the province that was their base.

Some of the gains seem to have come from a new mobile rocket that has pinpoint accuracy — like a small cruise missile — and has been used against the hideouts of insurgent commanders around Kandahar. That has forced many of them to retreat across the border into Pakistan. Disruption of their supply lines has made it harder for them to stage retaliatory strikes or suicide bombings, at least for the moment, officials and residents said.


Lockheed Martin Completes Preliminary Design for Next Generation Long-Range Surveillance Radar | Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Completes Preliminary Design for Next Generation Long-Range Surveillance Radar | Lockheed Martin: "The U.S. Air Force has approved Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] preliminary design for its next-generation mobile, long-range surveillance and ballistic missile defense radar.

The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) will serve as the principal ground-based sensor for long-range detection, identification, tracking, and reporting of aircraft and missiles for both the Air Force and the Marine Corps. The system will replace the Air Force’s AN/TPS-75 air search radar. The Marines are also evaluating the system as a replacement for its AN/TPS-59 ballistic missile defense radar.

“The new radar’s open architecture will allow it to easily adopt emerging technology, expanding the system’s viability well beyond the typical 20-year life of today’s sensor systems,” said Mark Mekker, director of Lockheed Martin’s ground-based surveillance radar. “In this budget environment, we are focused on providing the most-advanced, most-affordable solution to address customer requirements.”

The Air Force approved Lockheed Martin’s first capability demonstration of significant systems-level technology in March 2010. The company will conduct a second radar capability demonstration later this fall to prove that its design meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Defense’s stringent requirements for technology readiness.

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $25 million, 20-month 3DELRR technology development contract in May 2009.

The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, which is leading the acquisition for 3DELRR, has said it intends to award one contract by early 2012 to complete the 3DELRR technology development and engineering manufacturing development phase.

Once deployed, 3DELRR will be the primary ground-based sensor for the Air Force’s Joint Forces Air Component Commander through the Ground Theater Air Control System and the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Commander through the Marine Air Command and Control System.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pentagon wants to develop a flying Humvee -

Pentagon wants to develop a flying Humvee - "With its armored doors and bulletproof windows, the burly Humvee has been a stalwart ground transport for the U.S. military.
But now the Pentagon thinks the hulking vehicle should also be able to fly.
On Tuesday, Pratt & Whitney's Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park announced that it had been awarded $1 million to design a propulsion system for a flying Humvee.
Don't scoff — there is good reason for an airborne truck, defense officials say"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Army emphasis on energy security evidenced by new senior-level office

Army emphasis on energy security evidenced by new senior-level office: "The Army solidified its focus on energy security, Oct. 1, by elevating it assistant secretary of the Army-status.

At the start of the fiscal year, the office formally known as ASA (Installations & Environment) became ASA (Installations, Energy & Environment). The name change, by order of Secretary of the Army John McHugh, illustrates the growing importance placed on energy security and sustainability by the Army.

"This change is good news and helps emphasize a culture of energy security and sustainability in line with President Obama's identification of energy as a key priority," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for IE&E. "In addition to the re-naming, we have updated our mission statement to reflect our responsibility to provide strategic direction for Army installations and facilities in all matters relating to infrastructure, energy and the environment, to support global Army missions in a cost effective, safe, and sustainable manner."

Energy security means the Army maintains the ability to provide deployed forces, global installations and individual Soldiers with reliable and uninterrupted access to power and fuel.

Today, both natural and man-made threats place installations and operational forces at risk to energy disruptions both overseas and in the United State -- where the nation's aging and fragile commercial power grid is vulnerable to natural disasters, cyber-attacks, accidents or physical attack.

"The U.S. Army is actively working to conserve energy and to seek alternative energy sources to support our war fighting efforts and to provide a more cost saving environment on our installations worldwide," said Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal.

Installations such as Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., are already working to improve energy security. There, efforts have focused on increasing energy performance and reducing water consumption for two large boiler plants, including installing energy-efficient equipment and heat recovery systems; switching fuel from oil and propane to natural gas; rebuilding the non-potable water system; and improving heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, including energy monitoring and control systems.

The project at Picatinny Arsenal saved more than 110 billion BTUs of energy, 19 million gallons of water, and more than $889,000 in costs in fiscal year 2009. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by more than 6,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Picatinny was recently awarded a Federal Energy and Water Management Award.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Senior Pentagon official: Military must reduce use of fossil fuels

Senior Pentagon official: Military must reduce use of fossil fuels: "The Defense Department's current reliance on expensive, difficult-to-transport and finite fossil fuels affects cost-reduction efforts as well as war-fighting operations, a senior Pentagon official said.

"Certainly, for current operations and for the future, one of the things we're really focused on is reducing demand, (which is) reducing our consumption, because no matter what kind of energy we're using, the amount of energy we're using causes us problems in practice -- particularly in the kinds of fights we're fighting today where so much of our logistics train is in the battlefield," said Sharon Burke, the director of the department's operational energy plans and programs, in a recent "DoDLive" Bloggers roundtable.

Operational energy is the energy used to move, train and sustain weapons, forces and equipment for military operations, Ms. Burke said, who discussed Pentagon officials' plans to reduce and reform operational energy consumption.

In her recently created position, Ms. Burke's job, she said, is to look into current operational energy usage and find ways to lower total fossil fuel consumption and to work toward incorporating alternative and renewable energy sources into the fighting force.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, she noted, have said that failure to find new, sustainable energy sources will soon pose a threat to national security.

As military installations have worked to become more "green" over the past few years by incorporating alternative power sources and electric vehicles, Ms. Burke said, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have renewed interest in reducing fossil fuel usage for military operations.

For example, recent insurgent attacks on NATO fuel convoys near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have reinforced the military leaders' concern that alternatives to using fossil fuels must be developed, she said.

"I think the recent NATO supply convoy attacks really got people's attention and brought home to people what the risks are, and what ... a worst-case scenario is," Ms. Burke said. "And I think it also illustrated the range of possibility here -- that if we improve the way we use energy on the battlefield -- and of course, 70 percent of the energy the department uses is operational energy -- it'll allow us to shift some resources from tail to tooth."

The first order of business, she said, is curbing the demand for fossil-based fuels. At a recent DOD-sponsored energy forum, Admiral Mullen described the "old" military mentality when it came to fuel as "burn it if you got it." Ms. Burke said that mentality has to be changed before any real operational reform can happen.

For example, Ms. Burke said, use of biofuel-blended JP-8 jet fuel will be part of the solution because of its prevalence in war zones. However, she added, the solution is wider ranging.

"Whether we're putting it (jet or diesel fuel) in generators to turn it into electricity to power computers and communications gear, or whether we're putting it into vehicles, almost all the fuel we use on the battlefield is petroleum-based," she said. "So we have to focus on it. But no matter what kind of energy it is, we have to find a way to use less."

Ms. Burke said a big part of her office's role is to seek innovative ideas for battlefield-ready products. Marine Corps units, she said, have started deploying with solar-powered generators. Meanwhile, she added, the Army is implementing use of better-insulated tents and water-recycling technology to save energy, and the Air Force has worked for many years to incorporate alternative and renewable fuel sources into their operations.

Ms. Burke said she wants to ensure the services don't lose any vital tools as they pare down fuel consumption. It's important to get usage levels -- and therefore, costs -- down, she said, but not as important as providing enhanced capability to troops in the field, which new energy technology can do.

"We're certainly mindful and responsive to the larger energy security situation for the whole nation, but our job is the national security mission of this department," Ms. Burke said. "How does energy and the future for energy make that possible, or make that more complicated? Our job is to look at that. Our job is to improve defense capabilities."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Northrop Grumman Begins Flight Testing New B-2 EHF Satcom Hardware

Northrop Grumman Begins Flight Testing New B-2 EHF Satcom Hardware: "Northrop Grumman has begun flight testing the new computing hardware and communications infrastructure that will eventually allow the B-2 stealth bomber to send and receive battlefield information by satellite more than 100 times faster than today.
Since Sept. 1, the company has conducted a series of test flights using a B-2 test aircraft stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The flight test program is part of Increment 1 of the U.S. Air Force's B-2 extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications program.
Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2 Spirit, the flagship of the nation's long range strike arsenal, and one of the world's most survivable aircraft systems. The B-2 is the only combat-proven stealth platform in the current U.S. inventory.
'The flight test program has demonstrated that the EHF Increment 1 computer upgrade system has reached a maturity level that allows us to conduct test sorties beyond the Edwards AFB local area with confidence,' said Ron Naylor, Northrop Grumman's director of the EHF Increment 1 development program."

LockMart To Continue Maritime Surveillance Systems Contract For For Sub War

LockMart To Continue Maritime Surveillance Systems Contract For For Sub War: "Advanced acoustic processing and tracking capabilities provided by Lockheed Martin will enhance underwater surveillance and help increase situational awareness for the U.S. Navy fleet.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a follow-on contract from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command to provide technology updates and new concepts to detect and track submarines. This contract extension is valued at $24 million.
'For more than 10 years we have provided the Navy with innovative automation technology to counter asymmetric threats and conduct anti-submarine warfare,' said Jim Quinn, vice president -of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense.
'The capabilities we are providing will help detect, track, and localize undersea threats faster and more accurately"

US presses allies on missile shield

US presses allies on missile shield: "The United States urged NATO allies to invest in a missile shield and avoid harmful budget cuts at a meeting of defence and foreign ministers clouded by the war in Afghanistan.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Robert Gates made the plea, echoed by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, amid French reservations about the anti-missile system.
'The studies have been done, the data are well-known and the affordability is clear,' Gates told alliance ministers. 'It is time for a decision.'
The ministers gathered at NATO headquarters to discuss a new 'strategic concept' that will shape the 28-nation alliance's vision for the next decade to face new threats including missiles from 'rogue' states and cyber assaults."

Sunnis in Iraq Allied With U.S. Quitting to Rejoin Rebels -

Sunnis in Iraq Allied With U.S. Quitting to Rejoin Rebels - "Members of United States-allied Awakening Councils have quit or been dismissed from their positions in significant numbers in recent months, prey to an intensive recruitment campaign by the Sunni insurgency, according to government officials, current and former members of the Awakening and insurgents.

Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency.

The defections have been driven in part by frustration with the Shiite-led government, which Awakening members say is intent on destroying them, as well as by pressure from Al Qaeda. The exodus has accelerated since Iraq’s inconclusive parliamentary elections in March, which have left Sunnis uncertain of retaining what little political influence they have and which appear to have provided Al Qaeda new opportunities to lure back fighters.


U.S. and Afghanistan Begin Critical Assault Near Kandahar -

U.S. and Afghanistan Begin Critical Assault Near Kandahar - "Hundreds of Afghan and American troops on Saturday made an air assault into the horn of Panjwai, a wide area that has served as the main base for the Taliban threatening Kandahar city, Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the commander of coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, said.

The assault, involving about 800 Afghan soldiers, is the most critical part of the Kandahar operation, a movement progressing since August to push the Taliban out of the city and surrounding districts, and to cut infiltration routes.

“So far, it is a work in progress,” General Carter said. “There is not a huge amount of population there and there have been a few minor engagements, a few caches have been found. And I don’t think we will know how successful it has been for probably another 24 to 48 hours.”


Friday, October 15, 2010

NATO near adoption of U.S. missile shield

NATO near adoption of U.S. missile shield: "U.S. and NATO officials said Thursday that they expect the military alliance to formally participate in the Obama administration's plan for a missile defense shield over Europe, scheduled to be activated next year.
NATO is scheduled to vote at a summit in Lisbon next month on whether to make missile defense a formal part of its mission. If it does, European alliance members would plug their individual defense systems into a broader missile shield that the Obama administration is building to guard against potential attacks from Iran.
The United States would foot most of the bill for building and operating the shield over Europe. The combined cost for other NATO members to link into the system is projected to be about $200 million over 10 years, Rasmussen said."

Test center fuses old, new technology for light attack

Test center fuses old, new technology for light attack: "DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. (AFNS) -- Test pilots and engineers here are learning what happens when high-tech systems are combined with low-tech airframes for a new, cost effective, light-attack aircraft.

Light attack, a revitalized concept in the Air Force, addresses the need for an airplane that offers surveillance as well as strike capabilities and walks the line between remotely piloted aircraft and high-performance fighters.

In appearance, Hawker Beechcraft AT-6Cs resemble the fighters of yesteryear with single engine propellers and shark-face nose art. They are, in actuality, one possible candidate for Air Force light attack aircraft and the latest project for Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center officials based at Tucson International Airport.

Lt. Col. Keith Colmer, a developmental test pilot and director of engineering for AATC, deployed to Iraq in early 2008, where he flew numerous close air support missions in F-16 Fighting Falcons.

During more than 100 combat hours, he served as an eye in the sky for Army elements but he said he rarely engaged the enemy on their behalf.

"Right now we are paying a high cost to fly an F-16 in terms of fuel and wear and tear for missions that don't require the full capabilities of the airplane," said Colonel Colmer, who leads AATC's light-attack program. "With fourth generation fighters nearing the end of their service life, a light-attack platform could take on these kinds of missions and lighten the load."

The test center, which conducts operational tests on behalf of the Reserve, is manned by a team of active-duty, Guard, Reserve, civilian and contractor members who field low-cost, low-risk, off-the-shelf improvements for aircraft and weapons systems.

Officials said the center's unique efficiency is perfect for building and evaluating a light-attack aircraft.

"In keeping with our '80 percent of the capability for 20 percent of the cost' motto, we took existing technology from the A-10 (Thunderbolt II) and F-16 and inserted it in the AT-6," Colonel Colmer said.

Mounted next to the AT-6's manual flight controls, levers, cables and pulleys are mission computers, situational awareness data links, radios, helmet-mounted cueing systems, hands-on stick and throttles, threat countermeasures and armament pylons typically found on current fighter and attack aircraft.

"We learned a lot from initial testing earlier this year and made several adjustments," Colonel Colmer said. "The testing this month is about bringing in testers from around the Air Force; A-10 and F-16 pilots from Edwards (Air Force Base, Calif.), Nellis (AFB, Nev.), and Eglin (AFB, Fla.)"

"Overall, pilots are coming back after flying it excited about light attack," Colonel Colmer said. "They're enjoying the sorties and the aircraft's capabilities. Almost everyone has a list of things they would like to change, but that's what we expected. Now we'll take their input and make it a better aircraft."

Maj. Jesse Smith, an A-10 pilot from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis AFB, flew the modified AT-6 during a simulated combat search and rescue sortie Oct. 7.

"It's easy to handle," Major Smith said. "They took some of the systems and avionics from the A-10, so that made it easier for me to step in. Based on the scenario we had today, we were able to go out and execute."

"It's not the answer for everything, but if you look at what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's a good concept that can save money."

To buy and operate a light-attack aircraft costs pennies on the dollar compared to an A-10 or F-16.

For the A-10 or F-16, the cost per flying hour is around 15,000 to 17,000 dollars for fuel and maintenance.

Test center officials say the AT-6 is currently running at about 600 dollars per hour.

Though light attack is not viewed as a replacement for jets, Airmen here are finding out that the two-seat turboprop can fill a number of roles.

Pilots are examining the AT-6 as a companion trainer to give them a firsthand look at close air support from the air.

Combat controllers and tactical air control party members are also evaluating the aircraft as a possible trainer.

"Right now in the (joint terminal attack control) community, there are not enough sorties to keep them trained," Colonel Colmer said. "One thought is that this type of aircraft could be based with their units so they could get more practice with controlling an aircraft that adequately replicates an A-10 or F-16. They could even fly more often to gain a sense of a pilot's perspective."

In domestic operations it could support border security, counter drug and homeland defense.

For state missions, during fires, floods or other disasters, it could use sensors to map out an area for responders.

Additionally, officials believe a light-attack platform can help build partner nation air forces that lack the funding and the need for jet-powered aircraft.

"It's exciting to be a proponent for light attack in this early stage when the possibilities seem endless and we can demonstrate what one of these airplanes could do," said Colonel Colmer, who emphasized that light attack is not yet a procurement program.

Usually, testing occurs after an aircraft is purchased. In this case, Colonel Colmer and his team have a unique opportunity to help develop and refine a set of technologies and weapons for a light-attack airplane and give decision makers a clear picture before they buy a platform.

"For the last 18 months, we've been working on requirements and technologies to integrate on the aircraft," Colonel Colmer said. "Future iterations of tests will integrate Hellfire missiles, Aim 9 Sidewinders and various other weapons.""

Record year of deployed mobility airdrops continued to build in September

Record year of deployed mobility airdrops continued to build in September: "Mobility Airmen completing airdrops for Operation Enduring Freedom during September surpassed the 40 million pounds-delivered mark for 2010 -- building on what is a new record year for airdrops for OEF.

Numbers tracked by air mobility planners at Air Forces Central's Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Southwest Asia show that from January through September 2010, Airmen completing airdrops in Afghanistan delivered 40,200,000 pounds. That's nearly 8 million pounds more than was airdropped than in all of the former record year of 2009 -- 32,267,606.

The airdrop figures for Afghanistan for 2010, through September, include 3.4 million pounds in January, 3 million in February, 3.2 million in March, 4.2 million in April, 4 million in May, 6 million in June, a new monthly record of 6.4 million pounds airdropped in July, 6 million in August, and 4 million in September. At an average of just over 4.4 million pounds a month -- that's like airdropping more than 970 full-size pickup trucks every month from aircraft such as the C-17 Globemaster III or the C-130 Hercules.

In all of 2006, only 3.5 million pounds of supplies were airdropped for OEF. Since airdrop tracking started in 2005, the amount of material airdropped has nearly doubled every year since, statistics show. The increase in the 2010 numbers may be because of the Afghanistan surge of an additional 30,000 troops, which took place between Dec. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31. Another part of the success and increase in airdrops in Afghanistan might also be because of the innovations in improving airdrops over the last several years.

For example, the Low-Cost, Low-Altitude, or LCLA, airdrop platform -- the latest in airdrop platforms -- became operational in March 2010. The LCLA concept, completed mainly by C-130 Hercules aircraft, is more accurate than traditional, higher-altitude methods.

An LCLA airdrop on a C-130 is accomplished by dropping bundles weighing 80 to 500 pounds, with pre-packed expendable parachutes, in groups of up to four bundles per pass. The drops are termed "low-cost" to reflect the relative expense of the expendable parachutes compared to their more durable, but pricier, nylon counterparts. "Low-altitude" alludes to the relative height from which bundles are released from the aircraft.

There's also the Joint Precision Airdrop System, or JPADS, that guides airdrop bundles to their drop zones using the Global Positioning System technology, and the Improved Container Delivery System, or ICDS, that allows for improved precision by factoring in the altitude, wind speed, wind direction, terrain and other circumstances that might affect the drop.

Reports show, for example, a C-17 can carry up to 40 CDS bundles for a combat airdrop mission. Each of those bundles are often built by U.S. Army parachute riggers who jointly work with the Air Force airlift community to get them delivered to ground troops in remote regions of Afghanistan.

Col. David Almand, director of the Combined Air and Space Operations Center's Air Mobility Division, said in a Sept. 16 story that in August, mobility Airmen airdropped a record number of CDS bundles with more than 3,800 delivered. He also said in the same story that, records or not, airdrops are highly important to those troops on the ground.

"These airdrops are critical to sustaining ground forces at austere locations where other means of re-supply aren't feasible," Colonel Almand said in the story. "This continued sustainment of our warfighting forces is key to counter-insurgency operations, which require persistent presence and logistics."


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Maritime Professional - China Buys into U.S. Energy Market

Maritime Professional - China Buys into U.S. Energy Market: "Chesapeake Energy and CNOOC Limited executed an agreement whereby CNOOC International Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, will purchase a 33.3% undivided interest in Chesapeake’s 600,000 net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Eagle Ford Shale project in South Texas. The consideration for the sale will be $1.08 billion in cash at closing, subject to adjustment. In addition, CNOOC Limited has agreed to fund 75% of Chesapeake’s share of drilling and completion costs until an additional $1.08 billion has been paid, which Chesapeake expects to occur by year-end 2012. Closing of the transaction is anticipated in the 2010 fourth quarter.

Officials publish cyberspace operations doctrine

Officials publish cyberspace operations doctrine: "The LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education approved and published the newly developed Air Force Doctrine Document 3-12, Cyberspace Operations.

Maj. Gen. David S. Fadok, the LeMay Center's commander, said cyberspace operations are critical to effective operations across the range of military operations.

"The Air Force is a key member on the joint warfighting team and is dedicated to developing and presenting highly skilled forces to joint force commanders who can deliver decisive effects in, from and through cyberspace," General Fadok said.

The doctrine outlines Air Force cyberspace operations and their importance. A few items discussed in the new doctrine include: cyberspace fundamentals, command and organization information, and the design, planning, execution and assessment process.

The document also defines cyberspace operations as the employment of cyber capabilities, where the primary purpose is to achieve objectives in or through cyberspace. Such operations include: computer network operations and activities to operate and defend the global information grid. The global information grid includes owned and leased communications and computing systems and services, software (including applications), data, security services, other associated services and national security systems.

"Today, our society relies on technology and cyberspace more than ever, and this medium must be secure," General Fadok said. "The joint warfighting team, including the Air Force, must lead the way in cyberspace to ensure we maintain a distinct advantage over our adversaries in this contested domain."

For more information on AFDD 3-12, visit the LeMay Center's website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 News Article: 2010 Proves Banner Year for Recruiting News Article: 2010 Proves Banner Year for Recruiting: "The military services had a banner year for recruiting and retention in fiscal 2010, Defense Department officials said here today.

The services met their overall numbers, and exceeded qualitative goals, said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

The Army had the highest recruiting goal with 74,500 new soldiers, and it recruited 74,577. The Navy had a goal of 34,180 sailors and recruited 34,140. The Marine Corps recruited 28,041 young men and women on a goal of 28,000. The Air Force recruited 28,493 airmen, topping a goal of 28,360.

All of the reserve components made their fiscal-year goals, with the exception of the Army National Guard. The Army Guard intentionally missed its recruiting goal in order to stay within end-strength limits.

The services also set quality records with 100 percent of the recruits in the Army and Marine Corps having a high school diploma. In the Air Force, the percentage with at least a high school diploma was 99 percent and in the Navy, 98 percent.

However, the services are not taking this success for granted, Stanley said.

“Recruiting is always going to be a challenge,” he said. “It’s still a challenge.”

While the high unemployment rate has helped spur recruiting, it was not the biggest reason young men and women decided to join the military, Stanley said.

“As we look at where we are right now in terms of the challenges facing us, it’s more to it than the economy,” he said. “To a person -- serving their nation, doing it with honor, being patriots -- seems to be the recurring theme that comes up every time we look at and talk to those who are wearing a uniform today, and we’re still proud to have that in our active and our reserve components, and our Guard.”

Stanley said the propensity of Americans to enlist is higher than it has been in the past. Still, he said, there are difficulties. Only three of every 10 Americans in the prime recruiting group of 17 to 24 years of age are even qualified to enlist, he added. Many candidates, he said, are disqualified for medical, educational or conduct reasons. Also, he added, the military and private industries are in competition for these prime recruits.

“We know that as the economy turns, our business will get a little tougher,” said Maj. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., the commander of Army Recruiting Command. “But I believe if we set the conditions now in the Army like we're trying to do and focus on quality of life, taking care of our soldiers and our families and focusing on those tools that allow them to recruit in difficult environments, then we’ll be okay.

“But the bottom-line premise for all services,” Campbell continued, “will be that three in 10 is the number that we’re going to have to choose to look at in 17-to-24-year-olds.”


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Secretary Gates seeks expansion of U.S.-Vietnamese cooperation

Secretary Gates seeks expansion of U.S.-Vietnamese cooperation: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates noted the level of cooperation in the military relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam and said he sees potential for that relationship to expand even further Oct. 11 during a speech at Vietnam National University.

Secretary Gates said collaborative efforts provide opportunities to build knowledge and trust between the two nations' defense institutions.

Secretary Gates said he and Vietnamese Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Phung Quang Thanh agreed last year to establish a mechanism to allow senior representatives from their countries' defense ministries to discuss the full range of bilateral, regional and global security issues of common interest. The first Defense Policy Dialogue held here in August was "the capstone achievement" in the growing cooperation between the two militaries, he added.

"This dialogue brings together senior-level leaders to advance our defense relationship through regular and open discussions -- conversations that we look forward to continuing in Washington, D.C., next year," he said. "While we do not and will not always agree, it is critical that we remain willing to discuss these differences -- for example, on human rights issues -- candidly."

Going forward, Secretary Gates said, Pentagon officials are increasingly looking to establish new areas of cooperation.

"First, we are working to expand our collaboration on humanitarian assistance operations and to support Vietnam's own development of greater capabilities in this area," he said. "For example, the United States Pacific Command has responded to a Vietnamese request for assistance and is working with the government of Vietnam to construct medical clinics in Thua Thien Hue province, build schools and centers for disabled children and provide relevant training for Vietnamese doctors."

The hospital ship USNS Mercy has conducted two medical engagements in Vietnam since 2008, Secretary Gates noted, providing treatment and surgery for hundreds of patients. The ship's medical staff worked with their Vietnamese counterparts on approaches to treatment, he added, and technicians repaired 35 pieces of medical equipment worth $4 million.

Disaster relief is another area with potential for expanded cooperation, the secretary said. Noting that recent flooding in Vietnam's central provinces left more than 50 people dead and forced 20,000 more to leave their homes, Secretary Gates expressed condolences to those affected and said the U.S. stands ready to help the Vietnamese government in its response efforts. He pointed out that collaboration on disaster relief already is well under way.

"An important component of disaster relief is search and rescue operations," he said. "Over the past few years, 45 Vietnamese military officers have been certified as combat lifesaver instructors through the U.S. Army here in Vietnam and are now sharing their expertise with many more. This year, we look forward to hosting two Vietnamese officers at our Search and Rescue Operations and Planning School for the first time."

Secretary Gates cited maritime security as an area of mutual concern for the U.S. and Vietnam, and said two U.S. ship visits in the past year demonstrate progress in maritime cooperation between the two nations. He said he is pleased that Vietnam has participated in several regional maritime exercises, and he expressed the hope that Vietnam will participate in future exercises.

The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam is important not only to the two countries, but also to the region, Secretary Gates said.

"Today, Asia is home to some of the most dynamic, rapidly evolving democratic nations in the world -- especially here in Southeast Asia," he said. "Southeast Asian nations sit astride key global trade routes, are home to diverse ethnic and religious populations, are playing a leading role in promoting Asian regional institutions, and, increasingly, are stepping forward as vital security partners on a range of regional and global challenges."

Core issues in the region such as trade, natural disasters, territorial disputes, terrorism and piracy require multilateral cooperation, Secretary Gates said, and strong bilateral relations among all Pacific nations -- critical on their own -- build the trust and familiarity necessary for multilateral institutions and initiatives to work.

Growing beyond the past means discarding Cold War ways of thinking about U.S. defense strategy and Asia's overall security architecture, Secretary Gates said. Vietnam has been a leader in promoting multilateral cooperation, he added, citing Vietnam's chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year as an example.

"In fact, Vietnam's vision to push forward on such collaboration is one reason I'm here today," he said. "The inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Defense Minister Meetings Plus Eight is (Oct. 12). This meeting represents a historic and very welcome move to a higher level of regional security dialogue, with defense ministers formally coming together for the first time to build tangible cooperation on a range of issues.

"By allowing us to more regularly exchange views and develop operational infrastructure for future efforts," he continued, "this forum will build trust and transparency regionwide. It is an important manifestation of the commitment of all our governments to a secure and peaceful future for Asia."

Today's level of military cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam builds a foundation for the next generation of military leaders in both countries, the secretary said. Next year, he told the audience, Vietnam plans to send an officer to the U.S. National War College and another officer to the U.S. Naval Staff College.

"The generation rising now has little or no personal memory of a time when our nations weren't friends," Secretary Gates said."

Japan, U.S. affirm cooperation on disputed Senkaku Islands | The Japan Times Online

Japan, U.S. affirm cooperation on disputed Senkaku Islands | The Japan Times Online: "Japanese and U.S. defense chiefs agreed in their talks Monday that their countries will jointly respond in line with a bilateral security pact toward stability in areas in the East China Sea covering the Senkaku Islands that came into the spotlight in disputes between Japan and China, according to Japanese officials.

The officials said Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates also affirmed the need for strengthening collaboration with countries in the region over the situation in the East China Sea.
Kitazawa reaffirmed with Gates the policy to implement an accord reached in May to transfer the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within Okinawa and told him of the Japanese Defense Ministry's proactive stance toward reviewing the country's policy of banning arms exports, the officials said.
Kitazawa, an advocate of reviewing the policy, said earlier that the arms export ban has prevented Japan's defense industry from participating in joint international technological development, potentially putting it at a disadvantage in the race for defense business.
During their talks, Kitazawa told Gates that Japan is grateful the United States has stated that the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are covered by the Japan-U.S. security pact, the officials said." News Article: Gates Receives, Accepts Invitation to Visit China News Article: Gates Receives, Accepts Invitation to Visit China: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today that he has accepted an invitation from his Chinese counterpart to visit Beijing.

Gates told reporters traveling with him that Gen. Liang Guanglie issued the formal invitation during a bilateral meeting today, though the timing of the visit remains to be worked out.

The Chinese military suspended its military-to-military relationship with the United States earlier this year over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Gates called today’s meeting a “good forward step” conducted in a friendly spirit, and added that he emphasized to Liang in today’s meeting his long-held belief that the dialogue between the two militaries should be sustainable regardless of any ups and downs.

“I outlined to him why I believe it’s important that, indeed, when there are disagreements, it’s all the more important to talk with each other more, not less,” Gates said, “and [noted] the need for strategic dialogue on everything from nuclear weapons and strategy to missile defense and outer space security, as well as areas in which we can cooperate.”

The secretary added that he pointed out in the meeting that matters such as arms sales to Taiwan shouldn’t disrupt the relationship between the U.S. and Chinese militaries, because they are political decisions that don’t rest with the secretary of defense.

“If there is a discussion to be had,” he said, “it is at the political level.” And at that level, he noted, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have publicly advocated a sustained and reliable military relationship between their countries.

“Having greater clarity and understanding of each other is essential to preventing mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes,” the secretary said. “I believed it in the dialogue with the Soviet Union over 30 years, [and] I believe it’s important with China as well.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said he couldn’t put a timetable on when Gates would visit Beijing, but “our desire is to do this as soon as possible.”

Gates and Liang are in the Vietnamese capital to attend the inaugural meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and eight other countries with a stake in the region.


U.S. Alarmed by Harsh Tone of China’s Military -

U.S. Alarmed by Harsh Tone of China’s Military - "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the two militaries suspended talks with each other last winter, calling for the two countries to prevent “mistrust, miscalculations and mistakes.”

The Pentagon is worried that its increasingly tense relationship with the Chinese military owes itself in part to the rising leaders of Commander Cao’s generation, who, much more than the country’s military elders, view the United States as the enemy. Older Chinese officers remember a time, before the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 set relations back, when American and Chinese forces made common cause against the Soviet Union.

The younger officers have known only an anti-American ideology, which casts the United States as bent on thwarting China’s rise.

“All militaries need a straw man, a perceived enemy, for solidarity,” said Huang Jing, a scholar of China’s military and leadership at the National University of Singapore. “And as a young officer or soldier, you always take the strongest of straw men to maximize the effect. Chinese military men, from the soldiers and platoon captains all the way up to the army commanders, were always taught that America would be their enemy.”

The stakes have increased as China’s armed forces, once a fairly ragtag group, have become more capable and have taken on bigger tasks. The navy, the centerpiece of China’s military expansion, has added dozens of surface ships and submarines, and is widely reported to be building its first aircraft carrier. Last month’s Yellow Sea maneuvers with the Australian Navy are but the most recent in a series of Chinese military excursions to places as diverse as New Zealand, Britain and Spain.

US airbase threatened in Kyrgyzstan as Russian-backed parties poised to take power - Telegraph

US airbase threatened in Kyrgyzstan as Russian-backed parties poised to take power - Telegraph: "The staunchly nationalist Ata-Zhurt party had taken a clear lead by Monday afternoon in what international observers from the OSCE called a 'vibrant' election which 'reflected the will of the people of the Kyrgyz Republic'.
Ata-Zhurt has made closing the Manas Transit Centre, a key US presence in the mountain republic of 5.5m people, a central part of its political programme. The previous government had vowed to keep it open."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Confidence Of BMD System For US Homeland Lacking

Confidence Of BMD System For US Homeland Lacking: "Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA),, has released a statement on the shortcomings of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system in its ability to protect the U.S. homeland. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the field of missile defense in the world. His comments are the following:
'The protection of the United States from the threat of ballistic missile attack is a critical national security priority' was a statement released by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates earlier this year. Secretary Gates' statement was part of the introduction of the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR), the Department of Defense's current policy on missile defense. That policy lists six priorities, with the number one priority being 'The United States will continue to defend the homeland against the threat of limited ballistic missile attack.'
Of the $8.24 billion or 1.2% of the 2011 Defense budget requested by the President for the Missile Defense Agency, 16.3% or $1.35 billion of it goes towards the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system that is responsible for protecting our homeland against ballistic missile attacks."

Vietnam holds largest military display in years

Vietnam holds largest military display in years: "Thousands of goose-stepping soldiers marched past the tomb of Vietnam's founding president Ho Chi Minh on Sunday for the country's largest military display in years.
The parade, part of a ceremony for the city of Hanoi's millennium celebrations, is a display of national pride that also sends a subtle message to Vietnam's giant neighbour China with the two sides in dispute over territory in the South China Sea, an analyst said.
A cross-section of society including workers, youth, ethnic and religious groups joined the parade, which officials said involved almost 40,000 people.
'A lot of blood flowed... to have a Hanoi as we have today,' President Nguyen Minh Triet told the gathering."

After setbacks, US tries to forge military ties with China

After setbacks, US tries to forge military ties with China: "A meeting between US and Chinese defence chiefs in Hanoi on Monday offers Washington a chance to improve fragile relations with Beijing's military and make the case for a more "reliable" dialogue, US officials said on Sunday.
The scheduled talks between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie, on the sidelines of an ASEAN conference, are the first between the countries' top military officials in a year and mark the latest attempt by the United States to forge a security dialogue with Beijing.

China has repeatedly broken off ties with the American military due to unhappiness with US policies, including arms sales to Taiwan, much to the frustration of US officials who argue a more regular dialogue would reduce tensions.

US officials played down expectations for the meeting, saying it was merely one step in a broader, delicate effort that would take time to pay off.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Donilon Replaces Jones in National Security Job -

Donilon Replaces Jones in National Security Job - "On Friday, Mr. Obama announced the appointment of Thomas E. Donilon, the principal deputy national security adviser, who is a Democratic Party stalwart who has advised two previous Democratic administrations. The long-rumored departure of General Jones, a retired Marine commandant who never struck a close bond with his boss, does not necessarily signal a big swing in administration policy, partly because Mr. Donilon has been running the show for months.
But it does portend a bigger voice for Mr. Obama’s political and civilian advisers. While Mr. Donilon is steeped in national security, his political skills and connections to Capitol Hill are well known enough that he was rumored just weeks ago to be a candidate to succeed Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff"