Seven Days Of Security: Sept 13-19

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Chaff is set off during the Chinese Han Kuang military exercises. Credit:
REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

Connecticut:

Pratt and Whitney’s F135 engine has completed USAF qualification testing

Maine:

King and Collins have backed the Obama administration’s bid to arm and train the Syrian National Council.

Massachusetts:

The family of Glen Doherty, a US Navy Seal killed in the Beghazi attack is suing the insurance company covering his plan for refusing to pay.

Textron Systems, a MA based military contractor, tested their new G-CLAW precision missile successfully at the Yuma Proving Ground. Textron has also announced their joint appearance with Bell Helicopter at NATO Days and a new training center in Florida.

Raytheon Company has begun production of a new TALON laser-guided missile under a $117 Million contract for the United Arab Emirates.

Rhode Island:

Rear Admiral Michael Jabaley took command of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport on Friday.

Senator Reed voted to back Obama’s strategy to arm the Syrian National Council.

The Army Reserve’s 1st Brigade Military Intelligence is leaving Newport and headed to Arizona.

SECNAV Mabus announced that the key to global economic stability is cooperation among the world’s 112 navies at the 21st International Seapower Symposium. A strong navy is quite in line with the muddled pivot-to-Asia.

Vermont:

SECNAV Mabus announced a new US Navy attack submarine to be titled the USS Vermont from the shores of Lake Champlain at the cost of $2.7 Billion. The sub will be built at General Dynamics Electric Boat in CT.

Welch voted against the Obama plan to arm the SNC.

National:

A FOIA request has prompted the CIA to release its internal journal.

GQ explores the largely unknown stories of male survivors of Military Sexual Assault.

Lockheed Martin is attempting to close a deal with the USAF that will lower the cost of new F-35s by 2-4%. The deal comes as a massive $400 billion pricetag for re-vamping USAF squadrons hovers over the DoD in the coming years.

Too often, US veterans are misdiagnosed with a personality disorder, discharged, and locked out of VA services.

International:

Blog find: Offizeier.ch has put out a three part series analysis on IS.

France lands its first blows against IS. Simultaneously, the Obama administration and DoD leadership seem to bumping into disagreement regarding what may really be needed to fight IS. This disagreement comes as congress authorizes arming CIA-vetted Syrian National Council. Requests for additional troops in Iraq will need to go through the SECDEF before heading to the Obama administration.

Russia and Egypt have signed a $3.5 Billion arms deal.

US and Canadian fighter jets intercepted Russian military aircraft outside of US/Can sovereign airspace in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Friday.

The Obama administration refused to give Ukraine the status of “non-NATO ally” on Friday.

Shia Houthi rebels have advanced into Sanaa, Yemen, after weeks of unrest.

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Seven Days of Security: Sept 6-12

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Mehdi Army members battle IS fighters near Tikrit. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Connecticut:

Pratt and Whitney have signaled they’ll have found the “root cause” of the F-35 engine failure by the end of September. 

Maine:

Senator Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I), have both backed Obama’s IS strategy.

Massachusetts:

Raytheon Company has received a $109 million contract from the US Army Aviation and Missile Command for the support of Patriot Missile Defense Systems managed by the US Army and Foreign Militaries. This comes amidst the Ukrainian crisis and concerns over missile defense in Europe.

General Dynamics has announced a merger of their Advanced Information Systems branch out of Pittsfield, MA and C4 Systems to create a new GD Mission Systems.

New Hampshire:

Pease Air National Guard base and the 157th Air Refueling Wing have been selected as the first ANG unit to run a main operating base for the KC-46A Pegasus. The Pegasus will arrive in early FY2018.

Rhode Island:

Rhode Island’s congressional delegation, all Democratic Party members, have issued statements of support for Obama’s IS strategy.

National:

Two F/A-18 Hornets crashed on Friday after a collision above the Pacific. One pilot has been recovered, the other is still missing.

Obama embarks towards war with ISIS despite congressional approval or heed towards the War Powers Resolution.

"Zelda", an advice columnist with the NSA’s internal newsletter, is explored by The Boston Globe.

Yahoo announced on Thursday that it had been approved to release documents from the US Government forcing it, under the penalty of $250,00 a day in fines, to release Yahoo users’ data.

Obama revealed his plan to combat IS on Wednesday.

Gen. John Allen (Ret.) has been selected to coordinate Obama’s plan to combat IS. Allen has recently been serving as Kerry’s security adviser.

Remote Control has released a report on US SOCOM contracting, highlighting the use of private contractors in the many US SOF operations around the world.

International:

Russia is securing the necessary contracts to place military bases in foreign nations such as Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Singapore. This marks a significant expansion of RF force.

The Russian Navy completed the first test of its Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile on Wednesday. Two more tests are schedule, one in October and another in November.

In an odd moment, Obama expressed relatively positive sentiments for Bashar al-Assad on Thursday (after his IS speech). Obama told a delegation of Eastern Christian patriarchs, to their astonishment, that “We know President Bashar al-Assad protected Christians in Syria”. This comes as Obama’s IS strategy hints towards increased cooperation with the Assad regime.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with regional players in Saudi Arabia to promote Obama’s IS strategy on Thursday.

Al-Shabaab, Somalia’s extremist group which recently suffered the loss of their leader from a US airstrike, has simply named a new leader, Ahmad Umar.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (a kind of eastern NATO) poked at the missile defense programs of the US on Friday.

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Seven Days of Security: August 30 - September 5

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An Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) photographed in Ukraine by Reuters/Maxim Shemetov.

Connecticut:

Pratt and Whitney/United Technologies Corp have agreed to a contract to fix problems with the F-35’s engine which grounded aircraft earlier this summer. This follows a long and problematic history of the F-35 since debut. 

Maine:

MEGA Industries, a military and avionics equipment manufacterer based out of Gorham, ME has recently received a $1.2 Million contract to build nucear fusion reactor parts for a research facility in France.

A major hack of credit card data stored by Home Deport Inc. has affected stores in major Maine cities, as well as across the nation. The US secret service is reported to be involved in the investigation, which regarding complex consumer data investigations is normally the primary federal agency involved.

Massachusetts:

Raytheon Company and US Air Force have completed three weeks of tests of their new Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB-II) Guided Test Vehicle (GTV). The unique capability of the SDB-II appears to be its ability to make targeting decisions regarding wheeled or tracked land vehicles. The SDB-II comes at the cost of $700 million in research and investment.

Following a recent promotion,Brigadier General Steven Vautrain will be leaving command of the 439th Airlift Wing stationed out of Westover Air Force Reserve Base. He has held command since August 2011.

US Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) Special Agent Catherine Tobin of Hanscom AFB was awarded the Julie Y. Cross award for exceptional courage or heroism or unusual stamina and willingness to go beyond the call of duty. She was awarded based on her counterintelligence field work in Kabul, Afghanistan under OEF.

Rhode Island:

US Navy EOD based out of Rhode Island have removed five crates containing hundreds of military explosives from Lake George in New York. How the explosives found their way there is unknown.

SECDEF Hagel, during the Defense Innovation Days conferenced held in Newport, RI earlier week signaled that defense technology innovation is key to maintaining US military dominance. He announced plans to further incorporate small businesses into the defense industrial system. Defense Innovation Days is a conference held by the Southeastern New England Defense Industrial Alliance.

National:

The Army National Guard will cut back of drills nationwide due to a lowered deployment schedule, where soldiers were paid from an alternative Pentagon fund. 

DoD announced new General Officer assignments on Tuesday.

How will Obama’s sought coalition of the willing to counter ISIS fall together?

International:

On Tuesday, another Islamic State video surfaced showing the murder of US journalist Steven Sotloff and threatening the life of an assumed David Cawthorne Haines, a UK citizen. Two week earlier, the IS fighter who murdered James Foley had threatened the same for Sotloff.

The leader of Al-Shabaab may have been killed during a US UAV airstrike on the militants in Somalia earlier this week. US UAVs regularly fly over eastern Africa and into the southern Arabian Peninsula.

Ukrainian military personnel abandoned Luhansk Airport after clashes with opposition troops, including a column of RF tanks.

The Russian Federation is taking steps to develop a responsive military doctrine in light of the predicted NATO expansion meeting in Wales on the 4th. The re-build-up continues.

Early on Wednesday news broke that Obama has authorized 350 US troops to Iraq for the protection of the Us embassay, the Baghdad airport, and the US counsulate in Erbil.

Are US and German Special Operations Forces already on the ground in Iraq to combat Islamic State fighters?

Kiev has announced a cease-fire in the southeast.

Expanding

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Seven Days of Security: August 23-29

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The 131st Fighter Squadron is attached to the 104th Fighter Wing, MA Air National Guard, and lost Lt. Col. Fontenot on August 27th after an unknown emergency instigated a crash.

A long bout of no electricity and a busy summer had closed down NENATSEC, but over the next few weeks I’ll be trying to bring things back up to speed. Glad to be back!

Connecticut:

United Technologies, a Connecticut-based Aerospace defense contractor, notes growing success with a project profit estimate of $65 Billion in 2014. United Technologies is one of several defense contractors operating within the state.

Maine:

Bath Iron Works, a defense contractor operating out of Bath, Maine, continues a string of high-level contract deals in the past year with a potential contract with the US Navy worth over $100 Million. The contract would secure Bath Iron Works as the support provider for littoral combat ships, a light-and-fast cruiser used to access entry in assymetrical warfare environments.

Undoubtedly spurred by the NSA spying revelations, the University of Southern Maine has unveiled a new cybersecurity lab for students. 

Massachusetts:

A F-15C Fighter Jet from the 131st Fighter Squadron/104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard, suffered an inflight emergency and crashed in rural Virginia on the 27th. The pilot, Lt. Col. Morris Fontenot Jr., was apparently killed upon impact. 

Protesters in Springfield, MA spoke up about the militarization of police and the events of Ferguson, MO on Thursday. An estimated 75 protesters connected the national issue of police brutality to their home city. 

Smith and Wesson, a defense contractor in Springfield, MA. noted a $39.2 Million loss in quarter profits from last year. The contractor cited a lack of consumer demand of the multiple firearm types they produce. 

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) saw some of her progressive credentials challenged by Massachusetts residents critical of her support of Israel’s occupation and war in the Gaza strip. She continued to promote her support of Netanyahu’s war.

Raytheon, a defense contractor operating out of Waltham, MA., delivered upgrade aerospace avionics equipment to the US Navy on Wednesday. Raytheon designed and delivered the equipment through the RAM program, a US-German aerospace technology development collaboration. RAM technologies, however, find their way to nations across the globe.

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire-based Republican hopefuls for the US Senate debated ISIS over the air on Wednesday, laying out visions of surgical strikes and arming the Kurdish Peshmerga.

Rhode Island:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has been announced as the keynote speaker at next month’s “Defense Innovation Days” conference. The conference is hosted by the New England Defense Industry Alliance, a group of private military corporations. The conference will take place at the Newport Marriott hotel, September 3rd, 2014.

Hagel will also be hosting a meeting at the US Naval War College exploring the DoD’s role in National Security. Live coverage will be provided through the DoD, no questions will be taken by media or civilians.

Jack Reed (D-RI), a member of the Senate Armed Forces committee, will meet with Obama on Friday and expects to discuss ISIS and the Russian troop movements within Ukraine. 

National:

If cash flows are any indicator, the US won’t remain far from the battles of northern Iraq. 

Admiral William McRaven comments in his outgoing days that “We are in the Golden Age of Special Operations”, alluding to the rise of SOCOM (see: Jeremy Scahill). McRaven has been replaced by General Joseph Votel, most recently the commander of Joint Special Operations Command.

The prosecution rests over the ongoing Blackwater trial regarding the killing of civilians in 2007 at al-Nisoor square by Blackwater mercenary personnel.

Surely taking a note from Senator Gillibrand (D-NY), California has removed military sexual assault prosecution and trials from the national guard’s chain of command

International:

Erdogan has become Turkey’s new President

While Ukraine seeks NATO protection, Putin isn’t taking Western accusations lightly, despite the difficult-to-dispute presence of RF soldiers in Ukraine (again).

The Guardian has posted one out of a two part series covering the armed resistance factions opposing ISIS.