Archive for the ‘US Armed Forces’ Category

US Military Cyber Defense

January 19, 2011

The US military is preparing for 21st Century electronic warfare and cyber terrorism. A joint US Cyber Command and four service cyber commands have been set up.

Their mission is to defend American military networks and civilian American infrastructure from cyber terrorism and from foreign government hackers.

More info at http://www.teamultimedia.com/cyber-defense.html

Wargame results continue to shape future

October 18, 2009

 






Wargame results continue to shape future forces, doctrine

 

More than 180 participants from combatant commands, key coalition partners, and a broad range of government agencies gathered in northern Virginia earlier this year to examine how joint force operations will unfold in the future.

The results of that wargame in May and June led U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (USJFCOM) Joint Concept Development and Experimentation (JCD&E) Directorate to find the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (CCJO) a conceptually sufficient framework for the future of joint operations.


USJFCOM, the services, other combatant commands and the Joint Staff developed the CCJO as a guide to how joint forces will operate in response to an array of future security challenges. 


The CCJO as a whole held up to the scrutiny of the experiment’s participants. , At the same time, the experiment uncovered several other conceptual areas that need further development, said Navy Rear Adm. Dan Davenport, JCD&E director.


“The CCJO held up very well to all the challenges presented and was determined, through the rigorous evaluation of the experiment to be sufficient to guide future force development,” he said.  “We did find areas where additional concept development is needed to further flesh out the ideas in the CCJO, and those will be the focus of future work we do here at Joint Forces Command and across DoD.”


Davenport said participants in the experiment’s blue force confronted many challenges as they examined particular areas.


“Some of these challenges were recognized in the wargame as potential game changers requiring a versatile joint force that is able to understand and adapt to the situation,” he said.  “None were show stoppers, and all the objectives that the blue force had to carry out were achieved.”


The wargame generated detailed insights and recommendations in several areas of challenge for the joint force, including a “whole of nation” approach will be required to deal with a complex and uncertain future environment, keeping a well-defined balance between military tasks and those performed by other agencies, both inside and outside the government. 


The idea of “whole of nation integrates academia, industry and other elements that need to be brought to bear to really, fully deal with many of the challenges,” Davenport said.


Other insights and recommendations include:



  • Situational understanding goes beyond situational awareness.  It requires an ability to interpret the implications of events and conditions, according to experiment organizers.  Joint forces need better tools and processes to frame problems and develop courses of action in complex and dynamic environments.
  • Joint forces need to be better prepared to operate in degraded or denied network environments.  Future enemies will increasingly take the fight into the cyber domain, and two goals are imperative, Davenport said.  “The first is the need to improve the capability of our systems to be resilient and redundant in the face of cyber threats and the [second is the] need to regularly train our forces to operate in degraded or denied environments.”
  • A comprehensive, flexible, culturally informed strategic communication capability is critical to future operations.  “Our joint force commanders need an effective, coherent narrative – with words matching actions – to achieve success and maintain domestic, international and allied support,” Davenport said.

Davenport said that USJFCOM’s staff is maintaining its “bias for action” and is actively transitioning the wargame’s results into action.


“Joint Forces Command remains committed to turning the wargame recommendations into action,” he said.  “We’re working with leaders and organizations across DoD to transition the results to drive enduring change.  In many cases, the action is already underway. 


 


Jacob Boyer


# END

Overhauling the KC-135 Tanker

March 8, 2009

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It’s looking like the KC-135 fleet will need an expensive re-skinning circa 2018, says Air Mobility Command boss Gen. Art Lichte. The projection was actually made in 2000 by an independent study of airlifter longevity, but the study has proved remarkably prescient, he noted and added that the prediction still looks valid. As it is, the KC-135s need a $7 million depot maintenance every five years, but the cost and complexity of each visit is growing significantly, Air Force Magazine quotes Lichte. The re-skinning would be a “major re-build” and wouldn’t buy very much in terms of extra years of use, since other aspects of the aircraft would still be Eisenhower vintage. Stepping up the pace at which the new KC-X tanker is bought would diminish the number of re-skins necessary, but Lichte restated the Pentagon’s position that buying two different tankers at once—the only way to skip the re-skins entirely since the more aircraft would be available sooner—is unaffordable, reports Air Force Magazine.

Air Force Perils

March 8, 2009

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The perils of flying aging aircraft was an issue at last February’s Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., and it remained on the mind of Gen. John Corley, Air Combat Command head, at this year’s event. During his presentation Friday, Corley reminded attendees that, this time last year, the Air Force was still in the midst of ascertaining what caused an F-15C to break apart in flight over Missouri in November 2007, and numerous F-15s remain grounded. This year, the rigors of age are continuing to plague the A-10 fleet, Air Force Magazine quotes the general. Corley said 108 A-10s—in a fleet of roughly 350—remain on the ground due to a systemic issue with wing cracks in the thinner winged variant of the aircraft. And, 53 more have yet to be inspected; probably 10 of those will end up grounded, too, he said.

First Woman Commands Special Operations Squadron

March 3, 2009

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An Airman from the 4th Special Operations Squadron became the first female flying squadron commander in Air Force Special Operations Command during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Florida on Feb. 20.

Lt. Col. Brenda Cartier assumed command of the 4th SOS, which employs the AC-130U Spooky gunship, from Lt. Col. Jim Rodriguez in a hangar packed with family, friends and colleagues.

“It’s a historic moment for us in AFSOC,” said Col. Dennis Pannell, 1st Special Operations Group commander, who officiated the ceremony.

Colonel Cartier is a fire control officer on the gunship with more than 4,000 flying hours, and previously served as the squadron’s operations officer under Colonel Rodriguez.

“She’s well prepared and well trained to take on this task, and we really look forward to her ability to lead this squadron in combat,” Colonel Pannell said.

Women at the front lines are no longer rare. For the story of some realy tough ladies, readThe Few. The Proud.: Women Marines in Harm’s Way

Colonel Rodriguez called the new commander his friend and confidant.

“She has tremendous patience, intellect and unending energy,” he said. “She will take this squadron on to new and greater things.”

Colonel Rodriguez served as commander for 22 months, during which time the squadron was constantly deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, added four operational aircraft and was named best flying squadron in AFSOC for 2007.

“Your leadership is clearly evident,” Colonel Pannell said. “While there is tremendous talent in the 4th [SOS], it takes steady and mature leadership to develop it. You’ve laid the foundation for many leaders of Spooky lineage.”

Colonel Rodriguez’s family members traveled from as far as Honduras to witness the ceremony. He received the Meritorious Service Medal for his tenure as squadron commander and operations officer.

Colonel Cartier said she was “very blessed” to take command of a squadron with such a rich history and such a relevant mission.

“When I arrived 12 years ago, the gunships were the newest weapons system, unproven in combat, but ready for action,” she said. “Today we are the longest continuously deployed AFSOC weapons system, and one of the most combat-experienced squadrons in Air Commando history.”

The 4th SOS has been deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom since Sept. 11, 2001, logging more than 1,800 accident-free combat sorties.

“We will continue to be challenged and called upon to support our nation’s efforts,” Colonel Cartier said. “I assure you I will give you the full measure of my commitment to ensure the 4th SOS remains the most feared and revered weapons system platform on the battlefield.”

Lauren Johnson

C-17 Aircraft Secures 30,000 Jobs

March 2, 2009

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Defense spending is a major contributor ro economic stimulus — and always has been. The C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft is a case in point.

The Air Force is now on contract to buy 15 more C-17s, bringing the planned inventory up to 205 airplanes. That means the new “last day” of C-17 production, barring further USAF orders, will be in late 2010, according to Jean Chamberlin, Boeing’s vice president for mobility programs.

Read the history of the Globemaster aircraft family
The company continues to spend its own money to “preserve an option” for the Air Force to buy more, based on the stated wishes of Congress, Chamberlin said at a Boeing briefing Feb. 17 in Arlington, Va.. Joining the defense-stimulus bandwagon, she said the C-17 is a good jobs program, employing 30,000 people in 43 states, mostly clustered in California, Texas, Missouri, and Connecticut. It puts $8 billion into the national economy and employs 650 supplier companies.

Continued USAF production is essential to keep the airplane attractive for export; 15 a year is the minimum economic quantity, Chamberlin noted. Countries that have expressed interest in buying the C-17, apart from those that have already acquired or ordered (Australia, Britain, Canada, Qatar, and a NATO consortium) include India, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

F-22 Raptor — Major Acquisition Unlikely

February 25, 2009

According to Air Force Magazine, US Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz is noncommital on continued F-22 Raptor fighter jet acquisition, but his words sound bearish. Here’s what Air Force Magazine writes:

The Air Force’s new acquisition objective for the F-22 likely won’t be officially announced until President Obama decides whether to certify the airplane as a critical defense program that must be kept going, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told Washington-based defense reporters Feb. 17.

See the F-22 Raptor in action: History – Modern Marvels : F/A-22 Raptor

Lawmakers in both houses have urged the President to continue Raptor production in the short term, pending another review of the necessary total number. Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has publicly stated the Air Force is looking at perhaps an additional 60 Raptors. Rumor has it that Mullen will make the final call.

Schwartz said the new number has been run through “an analysis which I feel is credible” and was arrived at “objectively.” He added that the Air Force is not afraid to revisit old assumptions and react to changes.

However, he dodged saying just what strategic considerations have changed that would make the F-22 less important in the future. The new number will be a “moderate risk” inventory, Schwartz said, and “I will be happy to defend the numbers when they become public.” However, he said there was “considerable skepticism about the validity” of the old Air Force target of 381 F-22s. “Maybe there will be equal skepticism of the new number,” he continued, “but it is my number and that is what we will use.”

February 24, 2009

At the acupuncture clinic at Andrews Air Force Base (Maryland), Col. (Dr.) Richard Niemtzow and Col. (Dr.) Stephen Burns run the service’s first full time acupuncture clinic. For them, acupuncture treatments are a full-time job.

The Air Force surgeon general announced recently that a pilot program to train a cadre of active duty physicians in the emerging discipline of medical acupuncture will begin in March. The two doctors are are at the forefront of the training.

“This is a unique course whose goal is to incorporate acupuncture into the practice of military medicine in the clinic and battlefield environments,” said Dr. Niemtzow.

The curriculum has been developed by Dr. Niemtzow and specialists at the Helms Medical Institute in Berkeley, Calif., and has been specifically designed for use in a military environment.

“It is in fact, the first course of this kind to be offered in the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Niemtzow. “The techniques that will be taught are time-tested and can be used to treat neuro-musculoskeletal pain as well as common functional and organic problems.”

Dr. Burns reinforces the value of acupuncture and its ease of application.

“Acupuncture may be performed using traditional needles. Or (physicians can use) electro-acupuncture or even laser acupuncture. It is just one more tool to help (them) do their job better”

Martha Lewis, a volunteer at the information center at Malcolm Grow Medical Center here, is a strong believer in acupuncture.

“My husband and I volunteer at the hospital,” she said. “And we kept seeing these folks come into the hospital barely able to walk down the hall. They would be on canes. Or have walkers. And then about 30 minutes to an hour later they would be back. But the change was amazing. They would have a spring in their step! And no walker or cane.

“Well we wanted to know what was going on and where were these folks going that the treatment made such an amazing difference,” Mrs. Lewis said. “So we stopped someone and they told us they were getting acupuncture. Well, I knew that whatever it was they were doing, I wanted some of that. So I tried it. And it gave me my life back!”

Mrs. Lewis says thanks to her treatments she can now can now get out and around. She has even been on cruises, something she never could do before due to her chronic pain.

“It really did change my life.” said Mrs. Lewis.

Airman 1st Class Christa Jessen from the Women’s Health Clinic here, was experiencing pain in the back of her legs. She came to the clinic and had battlefield acupuncture for the first time. She said she was skeptical before having it done.

“I had heard about this before,” she said. “I thought I would try it. But I had no idea it worked this well! This is fantastic!”

The smile on her face when she was told to walk really showed why this procedure could help doctors in the future. She was glowing.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Wilbur Peralta from 779 MDOS also swears by acupuncture. He was experiencing pain in his shoulders.

“They put the needles in one point on each side of the ear and the pain was immediately gone,” Dr. Peralta said. “I can’t believe in less than 10 minutes my pain is gone!”

For more on how acupuncture can help YOU, read: Acupuncture for Everyone: What It Is, Why It Works, and How It Can Help You

USS George H.W.Bush completes Sea Trials

February 23, 2009

See the ultimate book on the US Navy’s final Nimitz class aircraft carrier, the USS George Herbert Walker Bush (CVN 77): CVN-77 GEORGE H. W. BUSH, U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier (Colorful Ships #3)

Northrop Grumman  has completed builder’s sea trials of the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77).

Builder’s sea trials provide an opportunity to test systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time. The trials also include high-speed runs and a demonstration of the carrier’s other capabilities.

Read the complete article USS George H. W. Bush Completes Trials

U.S. Army Africa: What is it?

February 22, 2009

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U.S. Army Africa: What is it?

Based in Vicenza, Italy, U.S. Army Africa is America’s first and only All-Army team dedicated to achieving positive change in Africa. As the Army component to United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), U.S. Army Africa, in concert with national and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement with African land forces to promote peace, stability and security in Africa. As directed, the command deploys as a contingency headquarters in support of crisis response.

The transformation to U.S. Army Africa symbolizes America’s enduring commitment to Africa. With about 250 members in the command, the Army recognizes U.S. Army Africa’s current structure and size are inadequate and are analyzing options to increase the capabilities of the command. Regardless of size, U.S. Army Africa acknowledges the responsibility to create a world-class organization that is well-designed, expertly run and mission focused.

 

Just a few months ago, U.S. Army Africa had only a few members with operational experience and little knowledge of Africa’s history, geography and security challenges. Today, all of U.S. Army Africa’s primary staff officers and many of its junior officers and non-commissioned officers have participated in planning activities, staff talks, or exchange programs in Africa. The Command also embarked on a training and education program including week-long seminars from African experts to members of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and added African modules to the Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace program on-line.

Data: US Army