27 February 2009

CTWG: Saturday O Flights Rescheduled

Due to a forcast of strong and gusty winds the 28 February, Plainville O-Flights have been rescheduled to 14 March. Location is TBA.

Posted by CTWG PA, For CTWG VC and COS

Aerospace: Verticopter concept

USAF: AFA and CTWG talk about Airmen Support

Today I received an email from the Air Force Association Blog referring to its new mentor program for airmen and women. They are looking for support. So, we thought our readers might like to know how their prior service experience can help out new recruits as they navigate the sun, clouds, thunder and lightening of a career in the USAF. Please check out their blog and the mentoring program, both web addresses are in our links section.

It seems to us, an ongoing relationship between active airmen and women, and CAP personnel might be a win win for both.

Aerospace: Connectivity by Air

Hat tip, Neptunus Lex.

This is soooo cool. Watch the air traffic as it ebbs and flows across the world

Air Traffic Worldwide 24HR from kouko a on Vimeo.

Morale: The economic cost of service and maybe a little bit of hope for an O3.

“The orders came while Navy Lt. Adam Diaz was winding down a one-year stint in Baghdad: Report to the Navy Annex in Arlington for a new assignment in April. — Given the military lifestyle, the prospect of a move came as no surprise to Diaz, 31, who has spent his adult life in the Navy. The shock came when he spoke with his wife, Stephanie Diaz, about the value of the Jacksonville, Fla., home they bought in June 2006, near the height of the housing bubble. — “Hey, by the way,” she recalls telling him. “The house has been valued for about 50 grand less than when we bought it.”

“Upside down on $50k of equity before having to move for a new set of orders is a significant hit for a Navy O-3. Renting the house will probably cost him $300-$400 a month in uncovered cost. Walking away from the mortgage - as many other people in such situations will do - will make a seven year mark on his credit rating, but a potentially permanent mark on his security clearance.”

“Under (a new congressional) provision, the government will cover 95 percent of a loss if a service member is forced to sell. The government can also choose to acquire the title of a home by paying off the balance of a service member’s mortgage or paying the owner up to 90 percent of the home’s previous value. No dollar ceiling has been set.”

But the devil is in the details, this is only if you purchased your home in 2006 or before. If after 2006,“you should have known better.”
More here…

CAP: CAP Training with NORAD

NORAD training flights planned near D.C.
Thursday Feb 26, 2009 8:15:44 EST
WASHINGTON — A training exercise with flights is planned for Thursday and Friday in the Washington area for the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Continental United States NORAD officials say the flights will improve NORAD’s intercept and identification operations. The National Capital Region visual warning system will also be tested Thursday.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft and Coast Guard helicopters will fly during late night and early morning hours.

NORAD’s exercises are designed to ensure NORAD can respond rapidly to air safety threats.

If inclement weather is expected Thursday night or Friday morning, officials say the exercise will be delayed 24 hours.

DHS: FBI fears home grown attacks

WASHINGTON - A Somalian American man, who died in what is believed to be the first suicide bombing carried out by a U.S. citizen, appears to have been "radicalized" in the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller said yesterday.

The suspect, identified in news reports as Shirwa Ahmed of Minnesota, died in the bombing in northern Somalia in October. He was recruited while in the United States, and other Somalian Americans may have been "radicalized" as well, Mueller said.

The recruiting in the United States "raises the question of whether these young men will one day come home, and, if so, what they might undertake here," Mueller said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, a research group.
More here…

DHS: Mexico contingency plan called for

With a number of Mexican resort areas hit with narcoterrorist attacks, spring break should wait one. The Department of Homeland Security has more.

The Department of Homeland Security has contingency plans to rush additional personnel and other resources, including the U.S. military, to parts of the southern border if law enforcement agencies on the ground are overwhelmed by spillover effects from escalating criminal violence in Mexico, department officials say.

Several border states likewise are drawing up contingency plans, amid growing concern about possible cross-border effects of the violence in Mexico, which claimed more than 5,300 lives last year - double the number in 2007.
More here…

Aerospace: U2 Dragon Lady

26 February 2009

SAFETY: Danger on the roads

At most of the SARX, I often hear the warning, "flight itself is not inherently dangerous. Arrogantly taking it for granted or ignoring procedures and demonstrating a lack of attention to detail is deadly". All true. Another point often made is, "we are at more risk when driving to and returning from our meetings". PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE TOO!

Last night, this PA officer was returning from Wing eastbound on Rte 384 East toward Manchester. Unfortunately another driver was traveling WEST on 384 EAST at a very high rate of speed. Myself and two other vehicles made, in the scope of about 1-2 seconds, an identical decision to jink our cars to the right avoiding a multiple vehicle, head on crash with a closure rate of at least 140 miles per hour by a foot or two.

All things considered I will always listen to my training instructors!


25 February 2009

CTWG: 186th Composite Squadron

To All CTWG Officers

Commanders and CAC Reps - Please Also Share With Your Cadets

I am pleased to announce that CT-058, the CK Hamilton Composite Squadron, has recently moved from Plainville to the recently refurbished Southington Armory. True to our wing's tradition, they have also adopted the name of the resident Army National Guard unit. Accordingly, CT-058 has been officially redesignated as the 186th Composite Squadron.

Semper Vigilans... Semper Volans

Pete Jensen, Col, CAP
Connecticut Wing

24 February 2009

Aerospace: History, Vulcan 607

"We're short of fuel, but we've come this far," he told them. "I'm not turning back now." At 290 miles away from the target, 607 began a shallow descent towards Port Stanley.

Even now they could not be certain where they were. The inflight navigation system gave two different compass readings.

The Radar Officer, Bob Wright, and the Navigator, Gordon Graham, had split the difference. If they were on course, the computer would respond with the information needed for Wright to get the bombs on target but only when the radar was switched on again - seconds before the planned drop.
More here....

Aerospace: Galactic Garbage Dump

VIENNA – Think of it as a galactic garbage dump. With a recent satellite collision still fresh on minds, participants at a meeting in the Austrian capital this week are discussing ways to deal with space debris — junk that is clogging up the orbit around the Earth.

Some suggest a cosmic cleanup is the way to go. Others say time, energy and funds are better spent on minimizing the likelihood of future crashes by improving information sharing.

The informal discussions on the sidelines of a meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which began Feb. 9 and ends Friday, arose from concern about the collision of a derelict Russian spacecraft and a working U.S. Iridium commercial satellite.
More here...

CTWG: The newly named 186th moves to Southington tonight

The 186th will officially move into the Southington Armory tonight at aprox 7:30 PM. More to come...

Current Events: India moves ahead in Asian Space Race

India has approved a £1.7 billion (£1.1 billion) plan to launch its first astronauts into space by 2015.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will attempt to put two people into orbit 172 miles (275km) above the Earth for seven days.
More here...

20 February 2009

Morale: Pentagon Channel, The Grill Sergeant

Just had to show this. Yes we will play for gumbo!

Current Events: Pakistan's Predator Drone Base

We resisted posting this as the leaked information from Senator Diane Feinstein and the subsequent Google Earth photos were not confirmed by US Government sources, but now...

The United States has been using a base in Pakistan to station unmanned Predator drones that have been used to attack terrorist targets inside the country's tribal areas, a senior U.S. official told FOX News Thursday.

The confirmation contradicts a stream of previous denials from officials and comes after the Times of London published a Google Earth image apparently showing three U.S. drones at the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan as early as 2006.
More here…

DHS: Mexico has lost control of US border states

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 19 -- Mexican President Felipe Calderón on Thursday defended the deployment of the military in his fight against drug cartels, vowing that the army would continue to patrol cities until the country's weakened and often-corrupt police forces were retrained and able to do the job themselves.

In a speech commemorating the founding of the Mexican army, Calderón suggested that drug bosses had paid marchers who took to the streets this week to protest the army's presence in a dozen cities, where soldiers man roadblocks, search houses and make frequent arrests.
More here….

DoD: Sec Def to consider Russian concerns on Missile Defense

KRAKOW, Poland -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that Russian concerns will be taken into consideration as the Obama administration decides the fate of planned missile defense bases in Eastern Europe.

Gates said at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Krakow that Obama's team has not yet decided whether to continue the Bush administration's plans to put bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, a plan that has outraged Russia.

Washington maintains the planned sites are meant to defend the U.S. and Europe from possible missile launches from the Mideast, but Russia has said the system could upset the traditional balance of power. Russia has proposed working with the U.S. setting up a joint missile defense system.
More here…

SAFETY: Severe Turbulence Injures 50 on Tokyo-Bound Flight

TOKYO — Severe turbulence jolted a Tokyo-bound Northwest Airlines flight from the Philippines on Friday, injuring 50 passengers and crew members, a company spokesman said.

Four passengers were hospitalized, including one person with a serious neck injury, said Masashi Takahashi, spokesman for Northwest Airlines in Tokyo.

The 46 others, including seven crew members, received light injuries.
More here…

Current Events: Kyrgyzstan evicts USAF –maybe.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Kyrgyzstan ordered U.S. forces on Friday to depart within six months from an air base key to military operations in Afghanistan, a move complicating plans to send more troops to battle rising Taliban and Al Qaeda violence.

A top U.S. military official said, however, that neighboring Uzbekistan had granted permission for the transit of non-lethal cargo to Afghanistan — a small victory in the hunt for new supply routes.
More here…

19 February 2009

DoD: Freedom Watch Afghanistan

From the Pentagon Channel

Morale: USN The year in photos

We know its the Navy and not the Air Force, but in terms of brothers and sisters in service its good, real good. Every photo has a story, some made international or national news in 2008. Worth the few minutes to watch...here...

Morale: All kinds of heroes

There is a string of "military motivator" posters out there, when appropriate, we'll post em here.

18 February 2009

Current Events: Afghan Surge continues

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has approved adding about 17,000 U.S. troops for the flagging war in Afghanistan, administration, defense and congressional officials said Tuesday.

The Obama administration is expected to announce on Tuesday that it will send one additional Army brigade and an unknown number of Marines to Afghanistan this spring and summer. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official announcement.

About 8,000 Marines are expected to go in first, followed by about 9,000 Army troops.

The new forces represent the first installment on a larger influx of U.S. forces widely expected this year. Obama's decision would get several thousand troops in place in time for the increase in fighting that usually comes with warmer weather and ahead of national elections in August.

The additional forces partly answer a standing request from the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, who has sought as many as 30,000 additional U.S. forces to counter the resurgence of the Taliban militants and protect Afghan civilians.
More here....

Current Events: Syria asks to restore full diplomatic ties

Syria expects the US to send an ambassador to Damascus soon to make good on Barack Obama's offer to engage in dialogue with countries the Bush administration shunned, President Bashar al-Assad told the Guardian today.

Assad used a rare newspaper interview to set out his hopes for a new relationship with the US now the Bush era is over – one he hopes will see Washington act as the "main arbiter" in the moribund Middle East peace process. "There is no substitute for the United States," Assad said.

Referring to Obama's call for countries to "unclench their fists" , Assad said he believed the new US president had been referring to Iran. "We never clenched our fist," he declared. "We still talked about peace even during the Israeli aggression in Gaza."
More here...

17 February 2009

USAF: USNI Interview on Soft Power, with Lt Gen Norman R. Seip, 12th Air Force, Air Forces Southern Commander

In a USNI Blog exclusive, I (Jim Dolbow) recently interviewed Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern Commander, on the USAF’s role in Soft Power. Seip is a passionate and inspirational leader and these traits will serve him and our nation well as the 12th Air Force “builds, enhance, and strengthen partnerships…”

As you will see by our interview, the USAF is doing some great things in regards to Soft Power (political measures, foreign policy, exportation of cultural values, etc). Today’s post focuses on some general background information on soft power as well as funding issues.
More here…

Current Events: US Starts Afghan Surge

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Close to 3,000 American soldiers who recently arrived in Afghanistan to secure two violent provinces near Kabul have begun operations in the field and already are seeing combat, the unit's spokesman said Monday.

The new troops are the first wave of an expected surge of reinforcements this year. The process began to take shape under President George Bush but has been given impetus by President Barack Obama's call for an increased focus on Afghanistan.

U.S. commanders have been contemplating sending up to 30,000 more soldiers to bolster the 33,000 already here, but the new administration is expected to initially approve only a portion of that amount. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday the president would decide soon.

The new unit — the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division — moved into Logar and Wardak provinces last month, and the soldiers from Fort Drum, N.Y., are now stationed in combat outposts throughout the provinces.
More here…

CAP: Puerto Rico Wing assists in search for downed plane

PUERTO RICO -- Members of the Puerto Rico Wing are assisting the U.S. Coast Guard and the Puerto Rico State Emergency Management Agency in the search for a Cessna 206 reported missing early Feb. 9.

Local news sources have quoted witnesses who reported hearing something similar to an explosion, then seeing a plane going down north of the Quebrada Mala sector in the municipality of Quebradillas the previous evening.

The aircraft was traveling from La Romana, Dominican Republic, to San Juan International Airport with six people onboard. Oil and plane parts have been sighted, but so far no survivors have been spotted. An unidentified body was washed ashore.

Fifteen members of the Puerto Rico Wing continue to work along with the Coast Guard, the lead agency, and state agencies in the search effort. Lt. Col. Reynaldo Negron, the wing’s emergency services officer and commander of the Muniz Air National Guard Base Cadet Squadron, is serving as incident commander.
More here…

CAP: Utah Wing assists in lost snowmobiler search

UTAH – A Nevada couple missing for three days after failing to return from a snowmobile outing in southern Utah was found the afternoon of Feb. 11 after a search that included a Cedar Composite Squadron aircrew.

Randall Wendt, 52, and his wife, Vicki Wendt, 51, who had been reported missing Feb. 8, were found about 5 p.m. about one mile northeast of state Route 14 at its junction with state Route 148. Randall Wendt was released from Valley View Medical Center after treatment, while his wife was taken by Life Flight to Las Vegas for treatment of severe frostbite to her extremities, authorities said.

The Civil Air Patrol aircrew had mobilized the morning of Feb. 11 after receiving a call for assistance from Iron County Sheriff Search & Rescue. Iron County Sheriff Mark Gower had contacted the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center to request air support in the Cedar Breaks area of southern Utah.
More here…

16 February 2009

SAFETY: 1954 Ditching at sea, all souls survive

Marilyn Ogg watched news coverage last month of pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's successful ditching of a commercial airliner in the Hudson River, a passenger praised Sullenberger for being the first to ever pull off such a maneuver.

"I thought, That's not correct,'" Ogg said. "I almost e-mailed."

She would know. More than 50 years ago, her father saved all 31 passengers aboard Pan Am Flight 943 when he ditched a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser in the Pacific Ocean.

Capt. Richard Ogg was midway through a flight from Honolulu to San Francisco on Oct. 16, 1956, when, in the wee hours of the morning, the No. 1 engine began to sputter. Shortly after, the No. 4 engine failed, leaving the plane with just two.

The Stratocruiser was losing altitude. It wouldn't make it to San Francisco or back to Honolulu. Ogg had to ditch.

About 3:30 a.m. Pacific time Oct. 16, as the plane passed over the empty heart of the Pacific Ocean, Capt. Ogg, 42, a pilot for 15 years at Pan Am, turned on the plane's PA system.

"Sorry to wake you up," he told his passengers.

"We have developed engine trouble and may have to ditch."

Like Sullenberger, who saved all 155 people aboard his US Airways jetliner, Ogg and his crew stayed calm. Fortune would have it that a Coast Guard cutter, the Pontchartrain, was nearby. Ogg circled the ship for four hours as he burned heavy fuel and waited for daylight.

"We will try to stay aloft until daylight," he said over the radio.
More here...

15 February 2009

Current Affairs: Sunday SITREP

Headlines from around the world, in no particular order....

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi king shakes up religious establishment
GROUP OF 7: G7 members reject protectionism
MEXICO: Drug cartels behind northern protests
IRAN: Reformist candidate faces challenges
AFGHANISTAN: US Launches Key Afghanistan Talks
VENEZUELA: Chavez seeks ability to rule for life
CHINA: Military exercise sparks eathquake panic
IRAQ: Peace brings new meaning to Valentines day
PAKISTAN: Taliban declare a cease fire and American UN worker abducted
NORTH KOREA: Offering olive branches?
CAMBODIA: Khmer Rouge trials to start 30 years later

CTWG: Danbury Airport wants to get $1.2 million better

Thanks to the 399th for sending along this story! The air craft is CT Wing CPF 605 or “L,” which has the older CAP paint scheme.

Danbury airport officials planning to make more than $1M in improvements this year
Airport officials want to use about $1.2 million in state and federal money for improvements at the Danbury municipal airport in the coming year.

Airport administrator Paul Estefan said about $500,000 is already in place to reconstruct the intersection of the two runways. The last time the intersection was reconstructed, in 1987, the project took about a month to complete.
More here...

14 February 2009

DoD: It aint always over just because the rules say so

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Dr. John Burson balked when a skeptical Army staffer asked him to undergo a three-day physical exam to make sure he was fit to deploy as a field surgeon to Afghanistan.

“Look, I’m training to run a half-marathon,” replied Burson, 74, a retired lieutenant colonel. “You come down and check to see if I can make it.”

Burson won the debate and was declared fit for duty. The ear, nose and throat specialist from northwest Georgia wrapped up a weeklong training course this week at Fort Benning before his deployment Friday for a 90-day rotation with a unit of the 101st Airborne Division.
More here....

SAFETY: Gremlins, Army Air Force 1943

Aerospace: The Fab 50's!

Love that Scooter!

Aerospace: AERO India 2009

AERO India is in full operation from the 11th to the 15th of February. Organized by the Ministry of Defense, it will showcase Indian aerospace manufactures to the world.

Bangalore(IANS): Aero India 2009 took off to a roaring start on Wednesday with India flaunting its air power in a stunning aerobatics display by fighter jets, helicopters and jet trainers.

Billed as the biggest biennial event in South Asia, the five-day seventh edition of Aero India 2009 began on a sunny and breezy day from the Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Yelahanka, about 20 km from Bangalore.
More here...

Aerospace: New Manufacturing Plants Planned for Asia

The Asia-Pacific is seeing the emergence of new aerospace manufacturing plants amid the global economic slowdown as the region benefits from a shift in the supply chain networks of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to lower-cost regions.

Among the new aerospace manufacturing plants that are starting operations in the Asia-Pacific this year are Honeywell Aerospace in Malaysia, Rolls Royce in Singapore and Spirit Aerosystems in Malaysia.

The entrance of OEMs into the region would attract their suppliers from North America and Europe to the Asia-Pacific market, he says.
More here...

CAP: CAP Member is Air Force Air Traffic Controller of the Year

EGLIN AFB - Senior Airman Justin R. McElvaney, stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, was recently awarded Air Traffic Controller of the Year and has the distinction of being the youngest fully qualified air traffic controller ever certified at Eglin. He has also been selected as Airman of the Quarter for the 45th Test Wing, an award that he has won several times.

According to a news release, in addition to his U.S. Air Force career, McElvaney is a captain in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and serves as the Florida Wings' Group I Cadet Programs Officer. He was recently awarded the Florida Wing Cadet Program Officer of the Year. Capt. McElvaney now serves as a Search and Rescue Mission Pilot for CAP and flies regularly on CAP fire patrols over the 464,000 acre Eglin Range.
More here...

Aerospace: Prob not the best way to wash the undercarriage

Go here....

SAFETY: Airliner Crashes, landing gear fails

LONDON (AP) - A British Airways passenger jet carrying 71 people crash-landed at London City Airport on Friday evening, scraping across the tarmac after part of its landing gear failed, officials and witnesses said. One person was taken to a hospital with a minor injury.

BA Flight 8456 was flying from Amsterdam to London and the airline said in a statement the four-engine plane's nosewheel failed on landing. Emergency slides were deployed to evacuate the passengers.

British Airways said the Avro 146-RJ100 - made by BAE Systems - was carrying 67 passengers and four crew.

London firefighters said the plane crashed onto the runway around 8 p.m. (2000 GMT, 3 p.m. EST), and ambulance officials reported that four people were treated for minor injuries.
More here...

13 February 2009

SAFETY: Commentary on icing

Commentary by Neptunus Lex a recently retired USN F-18 Pilot, multi-cruise Squadron Commander and TOPGUN Instructor.

Known Ice
February 13th, 2009 · Flying
Military aviators tend to look at commercial airline flying as the “easy” life. The machines are very highly automated with redundant systems, the pay is generally very good (0r used to be), and the bed waiting on the other end comes with room service. You never have to throw yourself at the ground with high explosive ordnance under the wings, people rarely shoot at you and - at least for the Navy guys - the runway doesn’t move. Once you’ve put the jet to bed, your “real work” isn’t waiting for you on the ground. Get the machine safely on deck at your destination and your real work is done.

Sure, there’s a lot of responsibility. A commercial airline pilot “on the line” has the lives of many, many people in his hands. But if he takes good care of the life occupying his own seat - and he’s motivated to, the pilot is the first guy to the scene of most accidents - everyone else should be OK as well.

But the airline folks will fly into weather that military aviators wouldn’t brief in. They’ll shoot approaches well below the limits for a single-piloted aircraft. And they get paid for getting the pax/cargo to their destinations. If “get-there-itis” is a psychological hazard for a military pilot, for the airline guy, it’s an occupational one.

Take icing, for example. Anytime an aircraft is flying at or around the freezing level in conditions of visible moisture - clouds, rain, fog - ice can form on exposed surfaces. It can alter the aerodynamics of the wings and control surfaces, stop up pitot-static systems used to determine altitude and airspeed, and reduce engine performance, all of which can prove fatal, especially when low to the ground. Especially when on an approach to land, where the performance margins are most constrained.

Wind tunnel and flight tests have shown that frost, snow, and ice accumulations (on the leading edge or upper surface of the wing) no thicker or rougher than a piece of coarse sandpaper can reduce lift by 30 percent and increase drag up to 40 percent. Larger accretions can reduce lift even more and can increase drag by 80 percent or more.

FA-18 pilots are forbidden to fly in conditions of known ice, and if icing is encountered they must steer out of the weather, speed up and/or change to a safer altitude - anything to get the jet outside the critical 0° to +5° C band. When I browse through the online pages of controller.com and read of light aircraft equipped with “known ice” capabilities - wing boots, heating systems, de-ice fluids - I wonder to myself, who on earth would want that temptation? Who would want to have the option of flying into known ice?

It’s one thing to have an extra safety margin in pocket if the weather unexpectedly turns to squeeze. But a known ice certification carries with it at least the tacit implication that it’d be OK to fly into known icing conditions - a thought which my mind, conditioned by stern abjurations reinforced by bad memories - rebels against.

But the airline bubbas have a place to be, and sometimes that place is freezing cold, and sometimes there’s bad weather.

I don’t know whether the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 that flew into the ground near Buffalo last night went down because of icing. But I suspect that it did.

It’s a tragedy, either way.

CAP: Civil Leadership Academy 2009

Twenty-four of Civil Air Patrol's top cadets from across the nation are gaining a head start in their public service careers by participating in one of the nation's leading civic education activities, the Civic Leadership Academy, from February 21-28in Washington, DC.

The CLA, an academically intense, interactive study of US government in action, provides participants the opportunity to grow as citizens and young leaders through lessons in persuasive leadership, federal government, public service careers and American heritage.

"Civic Leadership Academy provides cadets an unrivaled opportunity to gain a well-rounded understanding of leadership, public service and the principles that guides our nation. This activity empowers our cadets to apply those principles in their own lives and to be thoughtful participants in our nation's future," said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter, CLA's founding director.

In addition to a blend of field trips, lectures, seminars and assigned readings from historic and modern sources., the cadets will visit the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Judiciary Building, the State Department, Arlington National Cemetery, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pentagon, legislative offices and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Lincoln memorials. They will also encounter VIP speakers onsite who will provide insights designed to deepen their understanding of government in action. Their CLA tasks will culminate with a final project – a presentation on their CLA experience they will give to their peers in their home squadrons.
More here...

CAP: Missouri Wing Mobilized to Fight Ice Storm

The Missouri Wing of the Civil Air Patrol was mobilized last month to provide disaster relief aid to Malden, an area affected by the ice storm, Tom Baker, public affairs officer for the Springfield-Branson Civil Air Patrol Squadron, said in a news release.
More here...

SAFETY: Commuter Crash - 49 Souls Lost - Possible Icing?

Forty-nine people died when a Continental Express airplane crashed into a house in Clarence Center shortly after 10:15 p.m. Thursday, setting off a huge fire that could be seen miles away.

The dead included 44 passengers, four crew members and a person on the ground.

A nurse at Erie County Medical Center said the hospital's second shift had been told to stay late to treat survivors but was sent home before midnight.

"There were no souls to bring in and treat," she said.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said there was little communication between the plane, Flight 3407, and the tower before the crash. Crew members aboard the flight from Newark Airport had not reported mechanical problems as they approached Buffalo.

The plane was a Bombardier Q400, a twin-engine turboprop with a passenger capacity of about 74.
More here...

USAF: C-5M Global Reach

2/11/2009 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- The Spirit of Global Reach arrived at Dover Air Force Base Feb. 9, putting itself in the history books as Team Dover's first C-5M Super Galaxy.

The Spirit of Global Reach is the first of three C-5Ms Dover will receive for operational testing and evaluation.
More here…

USAF: Praise for Special Operators

2/12/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Though the United States has the most technologically advanced armed forces in the world, the individual knowledge and skills U.S. special operators bring to the table are the keys to success against persistent conflicts enduring around the globe, the Air Force chief of staff said here Feb. 11.

Gen. Norton Schwartz told an audience attending the 20th Annual Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict symposium here that the Air Force is committed to innovation in its efforts to be successful in today's evolving warfare.

"No amount of technological sophistication will ever substitute for our (individual servicemembers), and that is especially true in this business of special operations," General Schwartz said. "All of us at every level in every service share a sacred duty to bring our best thinkers together on this hybrid, new form of conflict."
More here…

USAF: Good Conduct Medal Reinstated

2/12/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials have announced the reinstatment of the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary service by enlisted Airmen, here Feb. 11.

Reinstatement of the medal is effective Feb. 11, officials said.

The Air Force Uniform Board announced on Feb. 6, 2006, that the Good Conduct Medal would no longer be awarded. It was thought at the time that the award wasn't needed because nearly all Air Force members are exemplary performers. Previous awardees were permitted to wear the medal.

Meanwhile, the other armed services continued to award Good Conduct Medals to their enlisted members, said Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton III, chief of the Air Force's manpower, personnel and services directorate.
More here….

12 February 2009

SAFETY: Ready Room Gouge

Aerospace: Collision in Space

Artist rendering.

Iridium telecommunications satellite.

A commercial satellite owned by a U.S. company was destroyed in a collision with a defunct Russian military satellite in what NASA said was the first such accident in orbit, raising new concerns about the dangers of space debris.

The crash, which happened Tuesday in low-earth orbit, involved one of the satellites owned by closely held Iridium Satellite LLC and a crippled Russian military satellite that apparently stopped functioning years ago, according to U.S. government and satellite-industry officials.

The collision created two large clouds of debris floating roughly 480 miles above Siberia, and prompted space scientists and engineers to assess the likelihood of further collisions.

The accident could have implications for U.S. space budgets and policy, partly because it comes amid a Pentagon campaign to increase spending on systems to protect U.S. high-tech space hardware by keeping better track of the thousands of pieces of debris and other satellites circling the Earth.

As more and more satellites are blasted into orbit, the challenges of keeping them from hitting debris or each other are growing. Military planners also worry about enemies jamming, disabling or potentially even ramming U.S. satellites.
More here...

11 February 2009

CTWG: 399th Photos!

Some more photos from the 399ths combined 5 Mitchells, Change of Cadet Command and State Congressional Citation night.

Morale: The Chief Master Sergeant

This is in a Chuck Norris kind of vein, he was Air Force you know!

The Chief Master Sergeant
The Chief Master Sergeant doesn’t sleep with a night-light. The Chief Master Sergeant isn’t afraid of the dark. The dark is afraid of the Chief Master Sergeant.
The Chief Master Sergeant’s tears can cure cancer.
The Chief Master Sergeant has counted to infinity . . . twice!
The Chief Master Sergeant frequently donates blood to the Red Cross, just never his own.
Superman owns a pair of Chief Master Sergeant pajamas.
The Chief Master Sergeant has never paid taxes. He just sends in a blank form and includes a picture of himself.
If the Chief Master Sergeant is late, then time had darn well better slow down.
The Chief Master Sergeant actually died four years ago, but the Grim Reaper can’t get up the courage to tell him.
The Chief Master Sergeant refers to himself in the fourth person.
The Chief Master Sergeant can divide by zero.
If the Chief Master Sergeant ever calls your house, be in!
The Chief Master Sergeant doesn’t leave messages; he leaves warnings.
The Chief Master Sergeant can slam a revolving door.
The Chief Master Sergeant was sending an email one day, when he realized that it would be faster to run.
When the Incredible Hulk gets angry, he transforms into the Chief Master Sergeant.
When the Chief Master Sergeant exercises, the machine gets stronger.
Bullets dodge the Chief Master Sergeant.
The first solar eclipse took place after the Chief Master Sergeant challenged the sun to a staring contest. The sun blinked first.
The Real Chief Master Sergeant never used a question mark in his entire life. He believes that the interrogative tense is a sign of weakness.
Real Chief Master Sergeants do not have any civilian clothes.
There is no such thing as gravity. The Chief Master Sergeant just ordered everything to stay put.
Real Chief Master Sergeants do not remember any time they weren’t Chief Master Sergeants.
Real Chief Master Sergeants don’t know how to tell civilian time.
Real Chief Master Sergeants call each other ‘Chief Master Sergeant.’
Real Chief Master Sergeants’ greatest fear is signing for property book items.’
Real Chief Master Sergeants have pictures of DC-3s in their wallets.
Real Chief Master Sergeants do not own any pens that do not have ‘Property of U.S. Government’ on them.
Real Chief Master Sergeants do not get the mandatory flu shots.
Real Chief Master Sergeants do not order supplies, they swap for them. (Amen, brother)
Real Chief Master Sergeants favorite quote was stolen, paraphrased then used in the movie Ben Hur, ‘We keep you alive to serve this “command”.’ (They said “boat” instead of command – Navy, go figure…)
Real Chief Master Sergeants think excessive modesty is their only fault.
Real Chief Master Sergeants hate to write evaluations, except for their own.
Real Chief Master Sergeants turn in a 4 page brag sheet for their evaluation.
Real Chief Master Sergeants’ last station was always better.
Real Chief Master Sergeants know that the black tar in their coffee cup makes the coffee taste better.
Real Chief Master Sergeants idea of heaven: Three good 2Lts and a Wing Officer who does what he is told.
Real Chief Master Sergeants think John Wayne would have made a good Chief Master Sergeant, if he had not gone soft and made Marine movies.
Real Chief Master Sergeants use the term ‘Good Training’ to describe any unpleasant task such as cleaning out fuel bladders or having to sleep on your parachute and gear bag in the parking lot, because there was no room in the barracks.

CAP: Missouri Wing helps in wake of ice storm

The Missouri Wing of the Civil Air Patrol was mobilized last month to provide disaster relief aid to Malden, an area affected by the ice storm, Tom Baker, public affairs officer for the Springfield-Branson Civil Air Patrol Squadron, said in a news release.

More than two dozen senior and cadet Civil Air Patrol members arrived in Malden on Jan. 30 to perform health and wellness checks on residents in the area, Baker said. They checked residents for the need for medical treatment, and made sure they had food and water as well as some method of keeping warm during power outages.
More here...

Current Affairs: NK Ship movement may signal upcoming missile test

SEOUL – Chinese fishing vessels have moved out of waters near a disputed sea border between the two Koreas, a South Korean military official said on Wednesday, which could signal a North Korean missile test is imminent.

North Korea usually orders its vessels to stay out of Yellow Sea waters off its west coast when it conducts short-range missile tests. China is the closest thing the North can claim as a major ally and is the impoverished state's biggest benefactor.
More here...

10 February 2009


Col. Joseph S. King
Public Affairs Officer
Illinois Wing

ILLINOIS – Feb. 5 marked the fourth day of Civil Air Patrol’s support of disaster relief efforts in western Kentucky, where severe snow and ice storms left thousands of households without electricity, telephones or transportation.

CAP’s airborne reconnaissance, ground damage assessment and well-being visits to the hardest-hit areas were hampered early in the week by continued inclement weather. The past few days, though cold, were much more conducive to completion of aerial and ground missions, said Capt. Stephen Bishop, Kentucky Wing emergency services officer.

CAP officials said that of about 72 air missions assigned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to CAP, some 48 had been completed through the afternoon of Feb. 5. Most aircraft have flown out of Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah, and the Kentucky Wing Headquarters Mission in Frankfort has served as mission base.
Members of CAP ground search and rescue teams have been working alongside Kentucky National Guard troops in making door-to-door checks of residents’ welfare. A CAP high bird aircraft is being used to relay radio communications between National Guard command posts and their troops in the field.

With rugged terrain and limited cellular coverage, CAP provides the only link to the ground assets. CAP uses the same high bird to facilitate its communications as well.

The relief effort has involved volunteers, aircraft and communications equipment from the Illinois, Indiana and Ohio wings as well as the Kentucky Wing.

Current Affairs: President Regan remembered

Hat Tip to One Marines View...

REAGAN REMEMBERED - A bugler from the 3rd U.S. Marine Aircraft Wing Band plays Taps at the Ronald Reagan Memorial site after a ceremony honoring the anniversary of Reagan's birth at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., Feb. 6, 2009. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Torrey W. Lee.

09 February 2009

SAFETY: Walkin away

USAF: Top ROTC Students addressed by General Schwartz

by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

2/7/2009 - RESTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The top Air Force ROTC cadets from around the country gathered in the nation's capitol and met the top uniformed Air Force officer as guests of the George C. Marshall Foundation while attending a leadership and networking seminar Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

The cadets each were the recipient of the Marshall-Henry "Hap" Arnold Award from their respective detachment, awarded annually to outstanding senior cadets at each college and university with an Air Force ROTC program. Award winners are selected on the basis of integrity, leadership, scholarship, duty and physical conditioning.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz was the keynote speaker at the event. He provided insight and perspective to the cadets who are set to begin their careers as second lieutenants in the fall.

"There is nothing in the world as fun, fascinating and exciting as the possibilities and promise of a new career serving in uniform," General Schwartz said. "You are earning something of great worth through your hard work, development and dedication. I want you to be mindful of the great path you have ahead of you as you prepare for your commissioning."
More here....

USAF: Top ROTC Students addressed by General Schwartz

by Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

2/7/2009 - RESTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The top Air Force ROTC cadets from around the country gathered in the nation's capitol and met the top uniformed Air Force officer as guests of the George C. Marshall Foundation while attending a leadership and networking seminar Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

The cadets each were the recipient of the Marshall-Henry "Hap" Arnold Award from their respective detachment, awarded annually to outstanding senior cadets at each college and university with an Air Force ROTC program. Award winners are selected on the basis of integrity, leadership, scholarship, duty and physical conditioning.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz was the keynote speaker at the event. He provided insight and perspective to the cadets who are set to begin their careers as second lieutenants in the fall.

"There is nothing in the world as fun, fascinating and exciting as the possibilities and promise of a new career serving in uniform," General Schwartz said. "You are earning something of great worth through your hard work, development and dedication. I want you to be mindful of the great path you have ahead of you as you prepare for your commissioning."
More here....

USAF: US European Command starts up a cool web site

Hat Tip to our Brothers and Sisters over at Air Force Live!

Officials at U.S. European Command unveiled a new Web site that screams Web 2.0. Features include links to their presence on Youtube, LinkedIN, Facebook and more. We especially like their blog. Look for more from the Air Force in late Spring for our new Web site roll out. We'll discuss it here at Air Force Live when it's ready.

DoD: Cyber Security

As part of President Obama’s cyber security plan, the White House is planning on announcing that Melissa Hathaway, the current top cyber security adviser, will oversee a 60-day review of federal cyber security efforts. Insiders have stated that after this assignment, she will likely be offered the position of cyber czar. Hathaway serves as the cyber coordination executive at the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and was senior adviser to former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell. She is also as chair on the National Cyber Study Group, as well as a senior-level interagency body that played a lead role in the development of President Bush's Comprehensive National Cyber security Initiative.
More here...

Current Affairs: Bailout is raising tension

U.S. Taxpayers Risk $9.7 Trillion on Bailout Programs

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- The stimulus package the U.S. Congress is completing would raise the government’s commitment to solving the financial crisis to $9.7 trillion, enough to pay off more than 90 percent of the nation’s home mortgages.

The Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have lent or spent almost $3 trillion over the past two years and pledged up to $5.7 trillion more. The Senate is to vote this week on an economic-stimulus measure of at least $780 billion. It would need to be reconciled with an $819 billion plan the House approved last month.

Only the stimulus bill to be approved this week, the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed four months ago and $168 billion in tax cuts and rebates enacted in 2008 have been voted on by lawmakers. The remaining $8 trillion is in lending programs and guarantees, almost all under the Fed and FDIC. Recipients’ names have not been disclosed.
More here...

07 February 2009

USAF: Drill Team

USAF: AF Reaching out all around the world

From our friends at Air Force Live the Official Blog of USAF Public Affairs!

C-17 Reaches Across the Globe -- vlog
US Air Force C-17s recently delivered Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAPs) to the Marines in Afghanistan. Technical Sergeant Cohen Young (who wrote about his experiences in Sadr City, Iraq) was on board the flight for the mission with the 535th Airlift Squadron as part of the Defense Media Activity, Hawaii. Follow the above link to get the video of his experiences.
Posted by Paul F. Bove, Air Force Public Affairs.

CHAPLAIN: One for those who also serve, lest we forget...

Hat tip to BlackFive.net


So how come we dont "explosevly depress the extreme disasters" in the US?

Aerospace: Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system

The Boeing Company has successfully completed initial satellite testing and has demonstrated end-to-end mission functionality of the ground and space systems of the integrated Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system.

When launched in spring 2009, SBSS will revolutionize the nation's Space Situational Awareness with enhanced performance by providing around-the-clock visibility to detect distant space objects without interference from weather, atmosphere or daylight.

"The SBSS team is making good progress on the path toward launch," said U.S. Air Force Col. James Jordan, the Space Situational Awareness Group commander in the Space Superiority Systems Wing at the Space and Missiles Center in Los Angeles. "The flexibility and capacity of the SBSS system are critical to space situational awareness."
More here...

CAP: CAP Assists in Missing Snowmobiler Search

A young man and woman huddled over a trembling snowmobile engine for warmth as temperatures dropped and the sky darkened overhead. With no cell phone and little fuel left, the stuck snowmobile riders prayed they could make it through the night and someone would find them the next day. Hours after the engine had sputtered to a halt and they were shivering in the early morning after the sun came up, their prayers were finally answered.

Thanks to the help and hard work of rescue workers and snowmobilers dashing through the snow of the Big Horn Mountains Sunday morning, Chris Stockton and Jaylane Tennant of southern Montana have returned home safely.

The North Big Horn County Search and Rescue Squad received a report from the Sheriff’s Office at 7:45 a.m. Sunday of two snowmobile riders that had been reported overdue by family members. The only information they were given was that two individuals were riding tandem on one snowmobile and were lost – somewhere in the Big Horns off Hwy. 14A.

According to NBHSAR Captain Scott Allred, the search was authorized soon after. Snowmobile teams were staged at the Crystal Creek rest area and were on the ground searching at about 10 a.m. Rescue workers were joined by several Lovell citizens with snowmobiles, members of the Lovell Volunteer Fire Dept., crews from Bear Lodge and a Civil Air Patrol plane searching from the sky.
More here...

USAF: USAF PA in Tanzania

Senior Airman Daniel McKittrick celebrates with children Jan. 21 before a water project dedication in Magu, Tanzania. The project will provide clean drinking water to villagers in the region. Airman McKittrick is a public affairs broadcaster with the Combined Task Force - Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joseph L. Swafford Jr.)
Air Force Link

USAF: Bug Out at Elmendorf!

February 6, 2009: The U.S. Air Force is moving its aircraft from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, to escape an eruption by a volcano (Mount Redoubt). Volcanoes put out lots of gritty ash, which damages or destroys jet engines. A coating of ash, not to mention flying rocks and lava, is also bad for aircraft, and the equipment used to maintain them.
More here...

DoD Joint Forces - Knowledge Advanced Visualization Environment

(SUFFOLK, Va., - Feb. 5, 2009) -- A new laboratory being built at U.S. Joint Forces Command here will enable analysts and warfighters alike to "step into" data fields like those that bombard them during real-life missions.

The "knowledge advanced visualization environment," or KAVE, will expose many of the variables and "what ifs" associated with real-life operations, explained Army Maj. Caeli Hull, the command's deputy division officer for innovation and experimentation.

Users will don 3-D glasses before stepping into the 18-by-10-foot structure. State-of-the-art computer effects and multiple data feeds delivered through screens on all four walls and the floor will converge to create a realistic, three-dimensional environment.

Hull called the KAVE a big step forward in helping joint warfighters and planners view real-world operational data in innovative ways.
More here...

Current Affairs: It doesnt just happen in China

WASHINGTON — A Georgia peanut plant knowingly shipped salmonella-laced products as far back as 2007, at times sending out tainted products after tests confirmed contamination, according to inspection records released Friday.
More here...

Current Events: Deal or no Deal?

POINT: Senate Set to Vote Next Week on Stimulus After Accord on Cuts

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate is slated to vote early next week on an economic stimulus package totaling at least $780 billion that President Barack Obama said is needed to prevent the economy from sinking into a deeper recession.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, scheduled a key procedural vote for 5:30 p.m. Washington time on Feb. 9 after a dispute over the measure’s size was resolved yesterday. If the procedural hurdle is cleared, Reid said a vote on the bill would take place on Feb. 10.

If it passes, lawmakers will attempt to reconcile the Senate bill with an $819 billion stimulus bill the House approved last month. Democratic congressional leaders are pushing to deliver a final bill to Obama by the end of next week.
More here...

President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

COUNTER POINT: Congressional Budget Office Says stimulus will harm in long run

CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.
More here...

06 February 2009

Aerospace: Global Hawk

Hat Tip, One Marines view.

This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV that returned from the war zone recently under its own power (Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA). Not transported via C5 or C17...

Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage.

It's actually over 250 missions.... (And I would suppose 25 air medals).

That's a long way for a remotely-piloted aircraft.

Think of the technology and the required quality of the data link To fly it remotely.

Not only that but the pilot controlled it from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB.

Really long legs-- can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k.

The Global Hawk was controlled via satellite; it flew missions during OT&E that went from Edwards AFB to upper Alaska and back non-stop.

Basically, they come into the fight at a high mach # in mil thrust, fire their AMRAAMS, and no one ever sees them or paints with radar. here is practically no radio chatter because all the guys in the flight are tied together electronically, and can see who is targeting who, and they have AWACS direct input and 360 situational awareness from that and other sensors.

The aggressors had a morale problem before it was all over. It is to air superiority what the jet engine was to aviation.

It can taxi, take off, fly a mission, return, land and taxi on its own. No blackouts, no fatigue, no relief tubes, no ejection seats, and best of all, no dead pilots, no POWs.

CAP: President Obama Congratulates Spatz Award Winner

Presidential Meeting Surprises Recipient
One week after he took the oath of office, newly-elected US President Barack Obama was on Capitol Hill congratulating one of the Civil Air Patrol’s most accomplished cadets.

Much to the delight and total surprise of Cadet Col. David F. Hill IV and 14 members of West Virginia Wing's Martinsburg Composite Squadron accompanying him, Obama left a January 27 luncheon and meeting with Republican senators in the US Capitol to personally meet and greet each of the cadets and senior members gathered for Hill's official Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award presentation.

Named for a former Air Force general, the Spaatz award is Civil Air Patrol's highest cadet honor. US Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, and US Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, made the official Spaatz presentation in the Capitol... but shortly afterwards it was announced President Obama wanted to meet with the group.
More here...

05 February 2009

Current Affairs: President Obama to be tested

Cypriots unload Iranian ship carrying illegal arms for Hamas

Although defense minister Ehud Barak did not confirm that the Iranian ships on their way to the Gaza Strip carry arms for Hamas - in a radio interview Thursday, Feb. 5, DEBKAfile's military sources report that Tehran is preparing to send a number of arms vessels to break the blockade on Gaza, encouraged by the failure of the US, Egyptian and Israeli navies to confiscate the arms aboard the Cypriot-flagged arms ships now docked at Limassol.

The Iranians calculate that while not all the ships may get through the Israeli naval blockade, one would suffice. Our sources report that some are already on the way. They are expected to enter the Gulf of Suez and waters opposite Gaza over the weekend and try to drop their cargoes of weapons containers off shore. Israeli warships and spy planes are tracking them.

At a special conference Thursday, Feb. 5, prime minister Olmert, foreign minister Tzipi Livni and the defense minister agreed to Iranian arms ships must be prevented from unloading its cargo, even at the cost of a marine clash with Iran.

Barak also disclosed that the Cypriot authorities are unloading the Iranian arms ship Monchegorsk renamed Iran Hedayt in Limassol harbor having discovered it is in contravention of the UN Security Council sanctions resolution 1747 which bans Iranian arms exports.

DEBKA file's military sources disclosed it was carrying 10 containers of Iranian rockets and other weapons for rearming Hamas in the Gaza Strip in violation of Israel's terms for accepting a Gaza ceasefire last month. Cyprus reported to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on its findings in two inspections of the vessel but has not published them.

At stake now is the entire international effort to stop the Palestinian Islamists rearming – to which the US, Egypt and European nations are party.
More here...

Current Affairs: The touchless screen

MIT Researchers Turn Any Surface Into Touchless Screen

LONG BEACH, California -- US university researchers have created a portable "sixth sense" device powered by commercial products that can seamlessly channel Internet information into daily routines.

The device created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientists can turn any surface into a touch-screen for computing, controlled by simple hand gestures.

The gadget can even take photographs if a user frames a scene with his or her hands, or project a watch face with the proper time on a wrist if the user makes a circle there with a finger.

The MIT wizards cobbled a Web camera, a battery-powered projector and a mobile telephone into a gizmo that can be worn like jewelry. Signals from the camera and projector are relayed to smart phones with Internet connections.

"Other than letting some of you live out your fantasy of looking as cool as Tom Cruise in 'Minority Report' it can really let you connect as a sixth sense device with whatever is in front of you," said MIT researcher Patty Maes.
More here...

04 February 2009

CTWG: Northwest Hills Works the Museum Circuit!

On 18 January, the Northwest Hills Squadron assisted the Bradley Air Museum with their monthly open cockpit event by explaining aircraft history and directing the visitors. They will be performing the same service on 15 February.

Coming up in June (5th to the 7th), Northwest Hills will be providing flight line and static aircraft security as well as a parking detail at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum World War II Weekend, Reading Regional Airport, Reading PA.

CURRENT EVENTS: Russian 0-3 in Cyber Attacks

In January of 2009 the world witnessed the third successful cyber attack against a country. The target was the small country of Kyrgyzstan. The country is only about 77,000 square miles in size with a population of just over 5 million. The attackers focused on the three of the four Internet service providers. They launched a distributed denial of service attack traffic and quickly overwhelmed the three and disrupting all Internet communications. The IP traffic was traced back to Russian-based servers primarily known for cyber crime activity. Multiple sources have blamed the cyber attack on the Russian cyber militia and/or the Russian Business Network (RBN). RBN is thought to control the world's largest botnet with between 150 and 180 million nodes. These reports go on to say that Russian Officials hired the technically capable group to do this. It is widely believed that this group also played a substantial role in the Estonia Attack in 2007 and the attack on Georgia in 2008. The mechanism of attack was a fairly large botnet with nodes distributed in countries around the world. (DefenseTech Enemy among Us) One significant difference in the Kyrgyzstan attack is that most of the DDoS traffic was generated in Russia.

INTEL: One source reports that this attack was commercial -- insinuating the civilian organization (attackers) may have been paid to carry this out.

ANALYSIS: The commercial sourcing of the cyber attack is believed to have been done to put the Russian government an arms length away from the hostile act.
More here...

03 February 2009

OSINT: History not to be repeated

Back in the 30's (and earlier) nations competed all over the world for resources. In the case of Japan rising needs drove them both west and south in an attempt to create the Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere. In the case of todays resource crunches, military forces are starting to look at other ways to meet their needs. Thats learning from history - a thing seldom done.

Hat tip to Peter Johnson at Sikorsky Aircraft for spotting this.

Oil prices prompt search for fuel alternatives
Cost pressures on military budgets, caused in part by last year’s rocketing oil prices, are pushing the UK and other leading powers to consider alternative fuels and propulsion technologies.

Fuel costs accounted for $17bn of the combined budget for the world’s top 20 military spenders last year, and the sharp increase in the price of oil added $6bn to the bill, according to estimates in a Jane’s Industry Quarterly study last month.

The US, the world’s biggest military spender, spent $12.6bn, or 2 per cent, of its total budget on fuel.

In the UK, where rising oil costs added £120m-£130m to its fuel bill between 2006 and 2008, the government spent $1.06bn (£740m) last year.

France called off three naval exercises during the summer of 2008 as a result of escalating fuel costs.

“The burden placed on militaries by fuel demands is significant,” said Guy Anderson, editor of Jane’s Industry Quarterly. Even putting budgetary burdens aside, the reliance on petroleum products exposed militaries to the vagaries of the international energy markets and security concerns relating to dependence on foreign suppliers, he added.

In the UK, the Ministry of Defence last year set up an internal fuel forum to look at all aspects of fuel usage, including efficiency. Several initiatives are under way: expanding use of simulator-based training for armed forces; optimising fuel usage during live training (for example conducting fast-jet training without unnecessary underslung equipment); and improving fuel storage.

Separately, the Royal Navy says it recycles ships that are no longer seaworthy, where possible, and is in the process of installing updated waste disposal methods on ships.

The navy’s two new £4bn aircraft carriers, which are due to come into service in the next few years, will have diesel generators while current carriers are having “anti-foul coating systems” applied to their hulls to improve fuel efficiency.

Longer-term solutions are also on the horizon. The US defence department views hybrid electric drive as the most attainable military propulsion technology in the near term.

HED vehicles offer fuel savings of 30-40 per cent over diesel systems, according to Mr Anderson. But to be widely ready for military use in the next 15 years, the primary challenge for HED developers will be “to continue to keep development costs down while at the same time maturing the technology”, says Jane’s.

Another alternative is biofuels, such as biodiesel, which is a product of feedstocks such as soyabeans and palm oil. However, there are drawbacks to using biofuels in the military. Not least of these is that current biofuels are 25 per cent lower in energy density than military jet fuel.

Researchers are also trying to increase the endurance of unmanned aerial vehicles, a big growth area for the military and already used extensively for intelligence and surveillance.

According to Mr Anderson, the US is the only market even close to large enough to drive change.

SAR: Docs on skis

Due to ops in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in California is fast becoming the new Twentynine Palms. Among the training events there is the Cold Weather Medicine course.
More here...

AEROSPACE: North Korea prepares for missile launch

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea is preparing to test fire a long range missile capable of striking the United States, according to media reports in South Korea and Japan this morning.

The Yonhap News Agency in Seoul quoted South Korean officials who described satellite image showing a long cylindrical object being transported on a train through the North Korean countryside. The sinister object has been identified as a Taepodong-2, an intercontinental missile with a range of more than 4000 miles, capable of crossing the Pacific and striking targets in Hawaii or Alaska.

It is impossible to confirm independently reports from North Korea, one of the world’s most isolated and hardline dictatorships, where government of information is almost total. But the country is known to have an active missile programme, as well as nuclear warheads – although crucially it probably does not have the technology to mount a nuclear device on a long range missile.
More here...

AEROSPACE: Iran launches first satellite

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has successfully sent its first domestically made satellite into orbit, state radio reported Tuesday, another development in the country's ambitious space program that has worried many international observers.

The satellite called Omid, or hope in Farsi, was launched late Monday after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave the order to proceed, according to the radio report. State television also showed footage of what it said was the satellite blasting off in the darkness from an unidentified location in Iran.

The reports could not be independently verified by outside observers. Some western observers have accused Tehran of exaggerating its space program.

Iran has long held the goal of developing a space program, generating unease among world leaders already concerned about its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. One of the worries associated with Iran's fledgling space program is that the same technology used to put satellites into space can also be used to deliver warheads.

The satellite was taken into orbit by a Safir-2, or ambassador-2 rocket, which was first tested in August and has a range of 175 miles.
More here...

02 February 2009

SAFETY: Safety posters

The USN has a FLYING SAFETY web site that is chock full of safety posters - check it out.


MIRAMAR, Fla., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- COSPAS-SARSAT turns off satellite detection of the 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz emergency radio beacons today. In order to track the new 406 MHz generation of emergency radio beacons the US Coast Guard selected Becker Avionics' SAR MAN-PACK for ground operations. Becker Avionics' SAR MAN-PACK is a mobile, full featured Multi-Band Radio Direction Finder capable of operating in the Aviation VHF/UHF band, Marine band and COSPAS-SARSAT 406Mhz band. The SAR MAN-PACK provides an effective tool for near proximity searches such as in marinas, ports, harbors, parks or urban environments
More here...

CTWG: CT CAP Member flys on B24

Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Oxford: The flight, which also included a B-24 Liberator, a B-25 Mitchell and a P-51 Mustang, was sponsored by the Massachusetts-based Collings Foundation. That nonprofit organization restores World War II-era aircraft to their original condition and displays them at airfields across the country.

"Noah Beaulieu, a 14-year-old Southington resident and Civil Air Patrol member, saved four months’ worth of lawn-mowing money to fly on the B-24. When he landed, a smiling Beaulieu said it was definitely worth it."

“It was pretty fun,” Beaulieu said. “I wasn’t expecting how loud the wind was going to be, but after you get over the noise, it’s pretty fun.”
More here...

Current Affairs: Netanyau takes a stand

JERUSALEM - Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's leading candidate for prime minister, said Saturday that Iran "will not be armed with a nuclear weapon."

In an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV, Netanyahu said if elected prime minister his first mission will be to thwart the Iranian nuclear threat. Netanyahu, the current opposition leader and head of the hardline Likud party, called Iran the greatest danger to Israel and to all humanity.

When asked if stopping Iran's nuclear ambitions included a military strike, he replied: "It includes everything that is necessary to make this statement come true."
More here...