Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wire: North Korea Launches Rocket

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- Newswires reported late this evening that South Korea's presidential office has confirmed North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket launch from its east coast base.

The U.S. State Department also said that North Korea has launched a rocket.

The Associated Press reported that the Japanese government said North Korea launched what it claims to be a communications satellite Sunday.

Reports said the liftoff took place at 11:30 a.m. (0230GMT) Sunday morning from the coastal Musudan-ri launch pad in northeastern North Korea.

South Korea's presidential palace said it was too early to say whether the launch had been a technical success.

Japanese broadcaster NHK cites the Japanese government as saying the rocket flew over Japan and reached airspace over the Pacific Ocean. It said there were no reports of any debris falling on Japan.

The French news agency AFP reported that North Korea had said it intended to launch an experimental communications satellite -- an exercise that critics said would be a disguised ballistic missile test.

North Korea had said the rocket's first stage would fall in the sea 75 kilometres (about 50 miles) west of Japan, and the second stage would plunge into the Pacific.

North Korea pushed ahead with the launch despite mounting pressure to cancel a liftoff. President Barack Obama warned Friday the launch would be a "provocative" act.

AP reported that leaders from the U.S., South Korea, Japan fear North Korea;s long-range rocket test could be a first step toward putting a nuclear warhead on a missile capable of reaching Alaska and beyond.

News outlets earlier today reported that Obama, in a speech Sunday, would offer a plan for the reduction and disarmament of the U.S. nuclear deterrent arsenal and cut the development and implementation of missile defense systems.

This is a developing story.

(Report from multiple news media sources.)

AP UPDATE: LEAD: N. Korea launches 'satellite' despite international pressure+

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

OEF Summary, April 4, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 20 Insurgents in Helmand

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

KABUL, Afghanistan, April 4, 2009 -- Afghan national security forces, assisted by coalition forces, killed 20 insurgents during one of a series of continuing operations in the Kajaki District of Helmand province, April 3.

The combined forces were conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol in known Taliban stronghold in order to deny insurgents’ freedom of movement when they were ambushed by numerous armed insurgents with mortar and small-arms fire.

ANSF and coalition forces dismounted and pursued the enemy in their fighting positions. The combined forces returned fire with small-arms fire and called for close-air support destroying six enemy fighting positions and killing 20 insurgents.

Insurgents in the Kajaki District are known to be heavily involved in bomb-making, weapons smuggling, drug activity, direct attacks on Afghan and coalition forces and intimidation of the local people.

No ANSF, coalition forces or non-combatant injuries have been reported.

In other news, Afghan and coalition forces detained four suspected militants during an operation in Lowgar province to further disable the Haqqani terrorist network operating in eastern Afghanistan, April 3.

In Baraki Barak District, Lowgar province, approximately 80 km southwest of Kabul, a combined Afghan-coalition force raided a compound early this morning to remove a local Haqqani tactical commander responsible for direct-fire ambushes, kidnappings and improvised explosive device operations in Baraki Barak.

When the combined force arrived at the targeted compound, Afghan forces called for non-combatants to peacefully exit the buildings, with all occupants following the force’s directives. Without incident, four suspected militants were detained.

Four women and two children were protected with no damage to the compound and no shots fired.

In other operations yesterday, Afghan national army Commandos of 1st Company, 2nd Commando Kandak, 203rd Corps, assisted by coalition forces, captured a Taliban commander and three other insurgents in an early-morning raid of a compound in the Lagharah Valley of Khowst province.

The captured mid-level commander is responsible for facilitating suicide bombings and emplacing improvised explosive devices in the surrounding area. He is also known to have aided in direct ambushes and IED attacks on Afghan national police and coalition forces. The compound has been used in the past to launch attacks against the people of Afghanistan, including the ordered burning of a school in Seekuun village.

Three other militants believed to associate with and aid the Taliban commander were also detained.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

NATO Offers Police, Trainers, No Combat Troops for Afghan Mission

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- The Pentagon reported today that NATO allies have offered to finance and provide more security -- including 3,000 more personnel -- for the Afghan election in August, to send 300 additional military trainers and mentors, and 70 NATO embedded training teams to help grow the Afghan national army. Other pledges include $500 million for civilian assistance and $100 million in support of the Afghan army.

Many news services reported that NATO had pledged troops. The personnel NATO has offered would not be serving in combat roles.

The head of Britain's armed forces has accused NATO allies of "failing to resource" the military mission in Afghanistan, as UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to send as many as 1000 more troops to the country.

At this weekend's NATO summit in Strasbourg, Brown and President Barack Obama tried to persuade France, Germany and other European allies to put more troops on the front line to fight the Taliban.

European governments refused to deploy more combat troops, and offered only police officers to train the Afghan security forces.

Carrying out the mission in Afghanistan are roughly 32,000 NATO forces in Afghanistan, complemented by about 38,000 American troops with the deployment of additional forces to begin in late spring.

(Report from an article by John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service and newswire sources.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Living History: 1st Weather Satellite Launched 49 Years Ago

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
The world's first meteorological satellite launched April 1, 1960, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., atop a Thor missile. The satellite was the Television Infrared Observation Satellite, or TIROS I. (Photo illustration by Mike Carabajal.)

Living History:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- On April 1, 1960, the Television Infrared Observation Satellite, or TIROS I, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., atop a Thor missile. It was the world's first meteorological satellite. The launch of TIROS I marked the first day it became possible to observe the Earth's weather conditions on a regular basis, over most of the world from the vantage point of outer space.

The satellite was rocketed into space aboard a Thor-Able launch vehicle. It was basically a cylinder with 18 flattened sides to mount solar power cells. The satellite was approximately 42 inches in diameter, 22 inches high (including the projecting television camera lens), and had a launch weight of approximately 283 pounds including fuel for small solid rockets to control the satellite's spin over time.

For comparison, the latest generation the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-15 satellite is 74 inches in diameter, and 165 inches high in its "folded" launch configuration, and weighs 4,920 pounds (2231.7kg) at liftoff.

(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)

Tags: , , , , , ,
Global Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wire: No North Korea Rocket Launch Saturday

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- Newswires reported this morning that North Korea will not hold a planned rocket launch Saturday.

United Press International noted that after holding an emergency meeting of security ministers in the office of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, an unnamed official said it had been deemed unlikely that Pyongyang would immediately launch the rocket, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea had been expected to fire the rocket Saturday after monitoring equipment at launch site had been spotted and its official news agency released a statement that the launch was imminent.

Reuters reported that Japan's government apologized on Saturday for mistakenly announcing that North Korea had launched the rocket.

"We caused a great deal of trouble to the Japanese people. This was a mistake in the transmission of information by the Defence Ministry and the Self-Defence Forces," Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters, using the formal name for Japan's military. "I want to apologise to the people from my heart." according to the Reuters report.

An article posted on the AsiaOne News Web site based in Singapore speculated that poor weather and planning may have forced North Korea to delay the launch.

This is a developing story.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, April 3, 2009

Video: Pushing Back the Taliban, Part 3 of 5: Pressing the Enemy

video

News readers click here to watch the video.

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 -- Embedded above is part three of a five part video series that follows British and Estonian soldiers as they fight the Taliban on the outskirts of Ali Nadi. Scenes include troops engaged in live fire with the enemy. (Produced by Josh Fortune; NATO TV. Length: 6:43. Originally titled: Taking the Fight to the Taliban.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wire: Obama Fails to Win NATO Troops for Afghan Mission

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 -- Newswires reported late today that President Barack Obama failed to win the NATO troops that he wants for Afghanistan.

The Times Online noted that while Obama dazzled the Europeans on his debut international tour, the continent’s leaders turned their backs on the U.S. president.

The Times reported the following news:
Gordon Brown was the only one to offer substantial help. He offered to send several hundred extra British soldiers to provide security during the August election, but even that fell short of the thousands of combat troops that the U.S. was hoping to prise from the Prime Minister.

Just two other allies made firm offers of troops. Belgium offered to send 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12. Mr. Obama’s host, Nicolas Sarkozy, refused his request.

The derisory response threatened to tarnish Mr. Obama’s European tour....
This is a developing story.

More from the Pentagon when news becomes available.

(Report from a commercial news media source.)

Source: Barack Obama fails to win NATO troops he wants for Afghanistan

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Living History: US Navy to Honor Discovery of North Pole

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
In this 2008 file photo, the fast attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) breaks through the ice at the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first submarine polar transit by the USS Nautilus (SSN 571) in 1958. Providence is en route to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility from its homeport in Groton Conn. (U.S. Navy photo by Yeoman 1st Class J. Thompson.)

Living History:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 -- The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) is conduct a wreath-laying ceremony April 6 at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rear Adm. Robert E. Peary and Matthew Henson's discovery of the North Pole.

"The Navy and Civil Engineer Corps have long recognized the perseverance and integrity Rear Admiral Robert Peary displayed during the many attempts it took for his team to reach the North Pole in April 1909," said Virginia Bueno, director, public affairs and communications, NAVFAC.

Many members of the Peary and Henson families are planning on attending the ceremony along with other renowned explorers that share the same ambitions as Peary and Henson.

Not only is Peary revered by the United States Navy for his historic quest but is also a hero to the world's exploration community, including British explorer Tom Avery, who in 2005, successfully retraced Peary and Henson's trek to the North Pole in 37 days. Avery and his North Pole team will attend the wreath-laying ceremony.

The appeal of being the first to reach the harsh and dangerous North Pole was sought after by hundreds of explorers in the 1800's and earlier. That desire to be the first, however, was put to an end when a United States Navy Civil Engineer, Robert Peary, and Matthew Henson reached the real geographic North Pole on April 6, 1909.

Their amazing feat took several years of planning and trials to create the historic event - an event that created quite a stir in the world of exploration.

Today, the two explorers and their 18 years of attempting the seemingly impossible are dedicated through monuments all over the world. From naval ships, monuments and high schools, Peary and Henson's names are recognized as the trailblazers to reach the North Pole.

(Report from a Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs news release.)

Tags: , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

US Airpower Summary, April 3, 2009: Reapers Protect Coalition Forces

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
An Air Force MQ-9 Reaper from the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron takes off March 13 from Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, for a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.)

Dispatches from the Front:

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 3, 2009 -- Coalition airpower integrated with coalition ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations April 2, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

In Afghanistan, a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet and an Air Force MQ-9 Reaper dropped guided bomb unit-12 and 38s on anti-Afghan compounds near Kajaki Dam. Several enemy gunmen, who had been firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at a coalition patrol from the structures, were killed in the strikes. The aircraft also provided overwatch to the convoy and provided tactical surveillance.

During a second engagement taking place in the area around Kajaki Dam, Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles and A-10 Thunderbolt IIs dropped GBU-38s and performed strafes, targeting enemy personnel with RPGs and automatic weapons. The A-10 destroyed an enemy lookout tower with one of its bombs as an F-15E hit a gunman hiding behind the berm of a small irrigation water pool. Coalition ground forces followed up the airstrikes with a ground attack.

Near Lashkar Gah, an Air Force F-15E executed a show of force, expending flares in order to help a coalition unit break away from enemy gunfire. When the enemy's shooting continued after the fly-over, the F-15E strafed the hostile forces with its guns. An F/A-18E also flew a show of force mission, suppressing enemy fire from another enemy position.

In Musa Qala, a Strike Eagle employed a GBU-38 to destroy an anti-Afghan forces bunker built inside a residential compound. Enemy personnel inside were shooting at coalition troops when the position was blown up.

An Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber and F-15E fighters worked alongside Army AH-64 Apache gunships, attacking enemy forces in response to their firing on coalition soldiers in the Sheykhabad area. The B-1B destroyed hostile firing positions with its GBU-38s as the Apache hit an enemy mortar position and surrounding enemy strong points. Then the Apache pulled back, allowing the F-15Es to drop GBU-12s on more enemy positions. The aircraft continued to observe the area after the fight, tracking fleeing enemy personnel as coalition ground forces moved in.

Joint terminal attack controllers assigned to coalition units verified the success of these missions.

In total, 82 close-air-support missions were flown in support of ISAF and Afghan security forces, reconstruction activities and route patrols.

Nineteen Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 30 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions integrated and synchronized with coalition ground forces, protected key infrastructure, provided overwatch for reconstruction activities, and helped to deter and disrupt hostile activities.

Twenty-four Air Force and Navy ISR aircraft flew missions as part of operations in Iraq. In addition, three Air Force and coalition aircraft provided tactical surveillance and reconnaissance.

Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft and C-17 Globemaster IIIs provided intra-theater heavy airlift, helping to sustain operations throughout Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.

Approximately 150 airlift sorties were flown, 600 tons of cargo were delivered and about 3,600 passengers were transported. The airlift included approximately 47,400 tons of aerial resupply cargo airdropped over Afghanistan.

Coalition C-130 crews flew as part of operations in Afghanistan or Iraq.

On April 1, Air Force aerial refueling crews flew 39 sorties and off-loaded approximately 2.8 million pounds of fuel to 204 receiving aircraft.

(Report from a U.S. Air Force news release.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

OEF Summary, April 3, 2009: Troops in Afghanistan Kill 5 Enemy Fighters

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 – Afghan and coalition forces killed five enemy fighters in operations yesterday and overnight in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, military officials reported.

The overnight operation in the province’s Nad Ali district, targeted a mid-level Taliban commander responsible for attacks against Afghan civilians and coalition forces, including a suicide-bomber attack on the Musa Qala Bazaar and an attack on coalition forces that killed 12 Afghan civilians in Musa Qala, both in December.

Upon arriving at the targeted compound, assault forces killed two guards who attempted to engage them. Afghan forces called out for all noncombatants to leave the compound, and two armed militants who didn’t comply were killed during the assault on the building they occupied. Forces removed AK-47 assault rifles, shotguns and chest racks from the compound, preventing militants from using them against civilians or Afghan and coalition Forces.

Five men, 10 women and 21 children were protected during the operation, with no collateral damage reported to the compound, officials said.

In northern Helmand yesterday, a combined force on a combat reconnaissance patrol was attacked by insurgents with small-arms, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire. The combined forces closed in on enemy fighting positions and returned fire, killing one attacker.

In a separate incident, a coalition forces convoy vehicle struck a roadside bomb, damaging an ambulance carrying medical personnel and supplies on its way to deliver humanitarian aid to villages in Helmand’s Kajaki district. No injuries were reported.

(Compiled from U.S. Forces Afghanistan news releases.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Pentagon Announces Afghanistan Force Deployment

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, Feb 17, 2009 -- The following news release made available Friday afternoon by the U.S. Defense Department is the text of a statement announcing an upcoming Afghanistan force deployment:
The Department of Defense announced today the deployment of approximately 4,000 additional service members to Afghanistan, pursuant to the President's approval of the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategic review. These forces will be assigned to the ongoing training and mentoring mission in Afghanistan. Approximately 3,300 soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, from Fort Bragg, N.C., along with approximately 700 additional training and support personnel will deploy to Afghanistan in the spring and through the summer of 2009, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The United States remains committed to disrupting, dismantling and defeating al-Qaeda and its extremist allies. The deployment of this additional unit will aid in the training and development of the Afghan National Security Forces.
(Report from a U.S. Defense Department news release.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Pentagon Issues Press Procedures to Photograph Servicemember Remains

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 -- Journalists will be granted access to Dover Air Force Base, Del., to view the dignified transfer of the remains of service members returning from overseas.

This new policy is effective on April 6, 2009. Media will be notified of and permitted to view transfers when the family consents to such coverage.

Notification of dignified transfers will be sent via email as promptly as possible. Due to the expedited return of casualties from overseas and the requirement to gain family consent for media coverage, notification may often be on short notice and at all times of the day or night.

The notification email will include the date and time of the dignified transfer, the time and location media representatives will be required to meet with the AFMAO Public Affairs officer to be escorted onto Dover Air Force Base as well as the identification of the deceased service member to include name, rank, military service, home town and theater where death occured.

Dignified transfers take place at all hours and in all weather conditions. Media members will be required to transport themselves to Dover at the place and time specified in the notification email for escort onto Dover Air Force Base. News media will be required to adhere to established ground rules at Dover Air Force Base while recording the event.

Notification of dignified transfers at Dover Air Force Base will be emailed to journalists who register with the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center Public Affairs office at the following email address: AFMAO.PA@Dover.af.mil. Media representatives are required to provide the following information in their email:

  • Full Name
  • Media organization with which credentialed
  • Email address (Note: initial and any follow up notifications will be done by e-mail)
  • Name, phone number, and email of immediate supervisor for credentialing verification

Due to space and logistic constraints at the site of the dignified transfer, if a significant number of media outlets express interest in covering the dignified transfer, media members may be required to pool coverage. AFMAO Public Affairs will notify media as early as possible if pooling will be required.

For further information regarding access to coverage of a dignified transfer, media may contact the AFMAO Public Affairs office by email at AFMAO.PA@Dover.af.mil.

(Report from a U.S. Defense Depratment news release.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

OIF Update, April 3, 2009: Troops Strike Roadside Bombers in Iraq

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

BAGHDAD, April 3, 2009 -- A Multinational Division Baghdad air weapons team engaged four armed men who were spotted planting a roadside bomb north of Taji, Iraq, last night, military officials reported.

The attack left one of the would-be bombers dead and wounded two others.

The men, believed to be members of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group, were seen emplacing an object in the road, near a critical road junction, with lookouts posted several meters away. The largely rural area north of Baghdad has been the scene of several attacks in the past few months, officials said.

A quick-reaction force from 56th Striker Brigade Combat Team moved to the scene after the strike and found one of the men dead. Two others were found wounded in a nearby empty house, and four assault rifles were recovered. The fourth man was not found.

Coalition soldiers provided first aid to the wounded men and medical evacuation under guard for further treatment at a coalition forces medical facility. They turned the body of the man killed over to local authorities for identification.

Initial investigation revealed that at least one of the men had served in the Sons of Iraq program, officials said.

"Hostile acts will be engaged,” Army Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Multinational Division Baghdad commander, said. “While we value our Sons of Iraq brothers, these men had broken faith with their fellow Sons of Iraq, the Iraqi people and us."

The two wounded men will be taken into custody, pending investigation by Iraqi police, officials said.

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Pentagon: State Dept. Calls North Korean Missile Launch 'Counterproductive'

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, April 3, 2009 -- A potential North Korean test launch of a three-stage missile would have a negative impact on efforts to lessen tensions in the region, a U.S. State Department official told reporters here yesterday.

Senior U.S. diplomats have urged North Korea “to desist from launching any type of missile,” spokesman Robert Wood said at a news conference.

The North Koreans insist that their Taepodong 2 missile that is expected to be launched in the coming days is carrying a communications satellite for peaceful purposes. North Korea’s neighbors South Korea and Japan are alarmed at the possible launch. The North Koreans conducted an unsuccessful missile launch in 2006 when their rocket briefly passed over Japanese territory.

“It would be counterproductive,” Wood said of the possibility of the North Koreans conducting another missile test.

“It’s provocative. It further inflames tensions in the region,” Wood emphasized.

International diplomats have employed Six-Party Talks to persuade North Korea to jettison its nuclear weapons program. Arms control experts believe that a nuclear-armed North Korea would ratchet up tensions and prompt a nuclear-arms race across the region.

“We want to see the North get back to the six-party framework and focus on denuclearization,” Wood said.

President Barack Obama met with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak yesterday at the Group of 20 international economic summit held in London.

Before meeting with Lee, Obama told reporters he was concerned about global economic issues, as well as defense, peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Afterward, a senior U.S. official said Obama and Lee had “a fair amount of discussion on the North Korean issue.”

Officials estimate the North Koreans could test their missile within the next few days.

A North Korean missile launch would be a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, the U.S. official told reporters, noting that the United States and South Korea would consult closely about how to respond firmly at the U.N. if the launch occurs.

“I don’t know anyone at a senior level in the American government who does not believe this [North Korean missile] technology is intended as a mask for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during his March 29 appearance on the “Fox News Sunday” TV news show.

China, Russia and other countries also are concerned about a potential North Korean missile launch, Wood told reporters.

“And, we have continued to call on the North to not undertake provocative acts that only inflame the situation in the region,” Wood said. “And, we’re going to continue to do that, and our allies have certainly done that.”

(Report by Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Combat Camera: Aboard USS Chafee, USS John S McCain, April 3, 2009

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
PEARL HARBOR (Feb. 24, 2009) The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) is guided out of the harbor by tugboats assigned to Naval Station Pearl Harbor as she departs for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael A. Lantron.)

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
DONGHAE, Republic of Korea (March 12, 2009) Cmdr. Heedong Choi, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), holds a press conference with Korean media on the ship's bridge. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bobbie G. Attaway.)

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
PEARL HARBOR (Jan. 12, 2009) Sailors aboard the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) stow a mooring line as the ship heads to sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist David Rush.)

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 2, 2009) A large harbor tugboat assists the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) as it moors abreast of the guided-missile USS Hopper (DDG 70) as McCain returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka from a scheduled underway. McCain is one of seven guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Barry Hirayama.)

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
PACIFIC OCEAN (April 1, 2009) Search-and-Rescue Swimmer Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Antonio Rodriguez, from Los Angeles, signals he is ready to be lowered to line handlers during a forecastle recovery exercise aboard guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). McCain is one of seven guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Byron C. Linder.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

US Air Force: Spherical Battlespace is New Theater of Operations

Focus on Defense

Focus on Defense:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 3, 2009 -- The world is no longer flat and information is no longer static. Neither can military operations confine focus to one area of a conflict while remaining oblivious to interconnections with the larger picture. It is time the view of the battlefield is turned upside-down. This is the message of the commander of Air Force Space Command.

Speaking before a crowded conference hall here March 31 at the 25th National Space Symposium, Gen. C. Robert Kehler laid out his vision of the redefined theater of operations -- the spherical area of operations.

"I am going to define that as an area starting at the geostationary distances from the earth and extending down," General Kehler said. "I think for far too long we have looked at our conception of future battlespace by standing on the ground and looking up. I think that might be the wrong way to look."

While the concept of always seeking the high ground is as old as military doctrine itself, seeking to understand this newly defined area is a daunting task.

"The spherical battlespace is constantly changing as on-orbit objects transverse across a volume that is 6,000 times larger than the airspace of the earth below," General Kehler said.

The seemingly trivial decision of what domain to cover, in fact, results in a great degree of study and debate on the extent of a given space that should be covered by a single asset.

"In our headquarters, we're combing through the different layers of space, high altitude, air and terrestrial to better understand how a degree of adequate redundancy and complementing capability can be achieved to preclude an over-investment in one domain which creates vulnerability for our operating forces," said Army Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and commander of Joint Functional Component Command-Integrated Missile Defense of U.S. Strategic Command.

While the connection between space and cyberspace may be unclear to many outside of these career fields, to those within the space community, the connection is clear.

"Nearly 100 percent of the product from space is information," said Col. Sean D. McClung, the director of Air University's National Space Studies Center.

To this end, the vital cyberspace link to troops in the field is connected via space assets.

"Space capabilities provide intelligence that would otherwise be lost, warnings that would otherwise be undetected, and communications that would otherwise be impossible," General Kehler said.

Perhaps one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle to get right, though, is the determination of how many assets are required from private industry at a given point in time and how to balance the need for increased bandwidth in a contingency against the need for operational security.

"You have to have a way to talk about capacity reallocation and reprioritization. When you get into a real hot battle what happens is, unless you have already planned it, there is no capacity," said Richard DalBello, vice president of legal and government affairs at Intelsat General Corporation, the largest provider of satellite services in the world. "If this stuff is not worked out in advance, it is not going to be worked out in a conflict."

Likewise, with respect to space-based assets, the ability to determine with certainty and react in a timely manner to threats in their orbital paths is still in its infancy.

"Straight-line thinking no longer works; objects are always in motion," General Kehler said. He further advocated for better situational awareness in both space and cyberspace.

The effort to build a national space situational awareness, or SSA, architecture is underway, though it is not yet up to full operational capability. Currently, "we have space situational awareness, (but) it is not as good as we would like it to be," said Col. Dustin A. Tyson, the chief of the Space Control Division at the Pentagon's National Security Space Office.

The future goal with the development of a national SSA architecture, according to Colonel Tyson, is to "evolve SSA from what we have a tendency to do today, forensic, to predictive knowledge." Once this critical process is complete, the military will be one step closer to having advanced warnings of possible collisions in space rather than investigating the cause in the aftermath. In the spherical area of operations, that determination is made at 11,000 meters per second.

(Report by by Capt. Ben Sakrisson, Air University Public Affairs.)

Tags: , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Video: Taking the Fight to the Taliban, Part 2 of 5: The Village

video

News readers click here to watch the video.

Dispatches from the Front:

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2009 -- Embedded above is part two of a five part video series that follows British and Estonian soldiers conducting patrols and gathering information in order to become familiar with the area and conditions before undertaking their mission against the Taliban. (Produced by Josh Fortune; NATO TV. Length: 6:44.)

COMBAT CAMERA More Combat Camera Imagery on THE TENSION

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Global Tags:
, , , , , , , , ,

Labels: , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button