Posts Tagged ‘Military’

US Southern Command Partnership Programs Strengthen Region

December 8, 2008
USS Kearsarge

USS Kearsarge

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For the past two years at U.S. Southern Command our approach to security cooperation with the 45 nations and territories of Latin America and the Caribbean has been simple — “real and vibrant partnership for the Americas,” writes SOUTHCOM commander Admiral James Stavridis in the Miami Herald.

We try to do this while supporting and complementing the activities conducted by the State Department, Agency for International Development, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Coast Guard and others. So looking back over the past two years, is there real and vibrant partnership in the Americas?

I’ll start with an ongoing example of cooperation and commitment that we call Continuing Promise 2008 — a training and civic assistance mission that partners regional and U.S. military personnel with other U.S. government agencies, partner-nation government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, like Project Hope and Operation Smile to train and contribute to our hemisphere.

Read Adm. Stavridis’ entire article

DOD Delays Policy Talks with China until Obama Takes Power

November 24, 2008

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The Pentagon has dropped plans to conduct high-level talks with China in the twilight of the Bush administration, according to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman.

Read more at Inside defense (paid subscription required)

Military Space Portfolio Safe Under Obama Administration?

November 21, 2008

Space programs should be safe from possible defense spending cuts under an Obama administration, though some high-profile programs that have suffered numerous delays with immature technology could be in jeopardy, military analysts told Inside the Air Force. (paid subscription required)

US, Serb military chiefs to cooperate despite Kosovo split

October 21, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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BELGRADE (AFP) — US and Serbian military chiefs agreed Monday on the need to build military cooperation between the two countries and work for regional stability despite deep differences over Kosovo’s independence.

US Admiral Michael Mullen, the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to visit Belgrade since General Omar Bradley in 1951, sought to press Serbs to continue support for an European Union mission that is providing police and judges to Kosovo, US officials said.

Mullen said he had a frank discussion with Serbia’s military chief, General Zdravko Ponos, “about where we stand with respect to the country of Kosovo.”

“And yet on the military side there is much work we are doing and can do to ensure we have a safe and stable region,” Mullen said at a news conference following the meeting.

The United States was the first of 45 countries to recognize Kosovo after the province unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February. It ignited a furious reaction in Belgrade where protesters set fire to part of the US embassy compound.

NATO fought a short but bloody war in 1999 to stop Serb attacks on Kosovo’s majority ethnic Albanian population, giving Serbia the distinction of being the only European country to be bombed by NATO, still a source of resentment here.

When Mullen touted the lessons learned by the US military in more than six years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a reporter asked what lesson it had learned from bombing Serbia.

Read the entire AFP article

The Green Path to Victory in Iraq

October 17, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Amid rampant attacks from insurgents in 2004, some US commanders in Iraq began to shift strategy to include fixing environmental problems like clogged sewer lines, growing trash piles, and polluted drinking water.

That green-warrior approach to winning “hearts and minds” seemed to help. Attacks fell dramatically in Baghdad neighborhoods when troops restored clean water. “Fence sitters” in the conflict sided with US forces.

Read the full article at CSM

Solar energy research could reduce energy needs

October 12, 2008
Solar energy could be a powerful solution to the energy needs of the future for military and commercial entities.

However, scientists point out the constant need for power, not just when the sun is shining.

Funding support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is enabling a Massachusetts Institute of Technology team led by Dr. Daniel Nocera to investigate new methods to store solar energy.

Dr. Nocera is known for his breakthrough research in artificial photosynthesis. This technology has the potential to power an entire building for one day using only a few gallons of water and light energy from the sun.

Dr. Nocera is the first to admit that this is not a new concept, but the key to his research has been finding a technique that is cheap, efficient and easy to manufacture.

After ruling out several lower energy options, Dr. Nocera’s team chose to pursue photosynthesis, which naturally stores energy when splitting the bonds of water to produce oxygen and nature’s chemical equivalent of hydrogen, or NADPH. Using this model, he sought to develop an artificial photosynthesis that split water molecules into oxygen and molecular hydrogen (rather than NADPH) without the costs and harsh conditions that accompany existing commercial electrolyzers.

Using cobalt as a catalyst and phosphate as a proton acceptor, Dr. Nocera is able to demonstrate a method for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules under environmentally friendly conditions.

In the water-splitting experiment, the team places an electrode in phosphate-buffered water containing cobalt. When they apply electricity, oxygen evolves from one side in a thin amorphous film containing phosphate and cobalt while hydrogen evolves simultaneously from the other side.

Because the catalytic film forms in situ, or in the reaction mixture, a self-repair mechanism is implied. In this case, meaning that as oxygen evolves, cobalt is thought to cycle through different oxidation states as it attaches to phosphate and then to the electrode. The results indicate that any cobalt that falls off the electrode appears to reattach to another phosphate, activating it for another catalytic cycle.

The ultimate goal of this research is to have buildings serve as their own power stations. Given the ready availability of both cobalt-phosphate catalysts and solar-generated electricity, it would be possible to use any excess daytime electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. These products could be immediately stored and then recombined at night with fuel cells to power buildings as well as plug-in ground vehicles.

Molly LaChance (AFNS)

Remote-control warriors suffer battle stress at a distance

August 19, 2008

The Air National Guardsmen who operate Predator drones over Iraq via remote control, launching deadly missile attacks from the safety of Southern California 7,000 miles away, are suffering some of the same psychological stresses as their comrades on the battlefield.

Working in air-conditioned trailers, Predator pilots observe the field of battle through a bank of video screens and kill enemy fighters with a few computer keystrokes. Then, after their shifts are over, they get to drive home and sleep in their own beds.

But that whiplash transition is taking a toll on some of them mentally, and so is the way the unmanned aircraft’s cameras enable them to see people getting killed in high-resolution detail, some officers say.

In a fighter jet, “when you come in at 500-600 miles per hour, drop a 500-pound bomb and then fly away, you don’t see what happens,” said Colonel Albert K. Aimar, who is commander of the 163d Reconnaissance Wing here and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But when a Predator fires a missile, “you watch it all the way to impact, and I mean it’s very vivid, it’s right there and personal. So it does stay in people’s minds for a long time.”

He said the stresses are “causing some family issues, some relationship issues.” He and other Predator officers would not elaborate. Read the entire article at Boston.com

Obama or McCain — Next American Present Will Demand More From Europe

July 30, 2008
Whether Barack Obama or John McCain, the next US President will demand a lot more from Europe — more troops for Afghanistan, more money for international peacekeeping, more presence for the global war on terror, and a lot more investment in European military capabilities. Read a European take on the US presidential race and future US-European relations.

Alternative energy project under way at Robins AFB

July 29, 2008

A C-141B Starlifter aircraft leaves four plumes of exhaust behind it as it prepares for an airdrop during Operation Deep Freeze over Antarctica. Sunlight from the horizon turns the contrails blood red. Get Bloodsmoke on your Teeshirt, Golf-Shirt, or Jersey today at The Military Chest.

The Defense Logistics Agency kicked off its fuel cell forklift pilot project here July 24 at the Defense Depot Warner Robins. It is part of an effort to find alternative energy sources and reduce America’s growing dependence on energy imports.

The DDWG, in collaboration with the DLA Research and Development Program, held the kickoff to introduce the second in a series of pilot projects to demonstrate the use of hydrogen fuel cells in forklifts that move vital supplies daily in support of the warfighter.

Concurrent Technologies Corp., is the lead contractor for the two-year demonstration program to retrofit 20 forklifts with hydrogen fuel cells. The hydrogen-to-power forklifts will be reformed on site from natural gas. A mobile refueling station will refuel the forklifts for daily warehouse operations.

Concurrent Technologies Corp., will team with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Hydrogenics to complete the retrofit process, which will replace traditional batteries.

According to Dan Markiewicz, Concurrent Technologies Corp. director of advanced energy programs, one immediate operational benefit will be the elimination of the need to recharge batteries.

Previously, the recharging process meant removing a battery, putting it into a charging station to let it charge, then cooling off after the charge period, and then replacing at the end of the charging period. That process will be replaced with a much shorter process done by the mobile refueler.

The natural gas reformer, hydrogen fueling station system and dispensing module will be 15-by-18 feet and produce up to 2,000 standard cubic feet per hour of 99.999 percent pure hydrogen at 125 pounds per square inch gauge. The storage capacity will be 150 kilograms of hydrogen at 7,000 psig.

Leo Plonsky, DLA Research and Development program manager for hydrogen and fuel cells, noted the project’s importance.

“There are a lot of technologies out there, but you have to transition them from the laboratory to the warehouse floor,” Mr. Plonsky said. “What we’re doing is taking technologies that are almost ready for that transition and pumping in a little R&D money so that we can transition into something that can be useful to the DOD.”

Mr. Plonsky said by helping the facilities here in terms of improving their operations, the nation’s alternative energy policy is being helped by reducing its dependence on imported fuel and helping the environment.

Col. Debra Bean, 78th Air Base Wing vice commander, said she is excited to see the program move forward.

“We all live with the same federal mandates to find an alternative fuel for our transportation,” she said. “What you are doing here helps us reduce emissions and deal with the environmental challenges of batteries and processing and storage.”

The vice commander renewed the wing commitment to any resources needed to make the project a reality and said it will certainly pay benefits that will far exceed any contributions made by the wing.

Lanorris Askew (AFPN)