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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. 

Delay in Seven Days of Security

There will be a delay in the December 7th Seven Days of Security - an update will be posted ASAP.

Seven Days of Security

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Maine Senator Susan Collins, speaking about her proposed bill to change defense security clearance procedures.

Staff Comment: Happy Friday! We’re still experimenting with a standard format for Seven Days of Security, let us know via e-mail how this weekly update could be better for you. Any other comments are appreciated.

Maine: (including some updates from late last week)

Much is happening at Bath Iron Works as they look ahead at a potential deal with the Saudi Arabian Navy, worth ~$20 billion to build two new ships.

Also at the Bath shipyard, Chuck Hagel made an appearance to survey the new DDG-1000, a brand new “stealth destroyer” and to speak about the ship’s role in new US geopolitical interests.

Finally, Bath Iron Works was granted a tax break by the City Council of ~$3.7 million to build a new outfitting hall.

Maine Senator Susan Collins has become embroiled in a debate over the future of US drone transparency. Sitting on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Collins has opposed mandating that the US publish the number of civilians killed by US drone strikes. The relevant text can be found here.

Rhode Island:

Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies will be hosting a conference titled “Big Transparency for the NSA: Perspectives on Spying and Privacy” on December 4th. The conference will be made up of two panel discussions.  

A former US Navy contractor has been jailed on a 10-year sentence after being found guilty of leading a money funneling operation which stole funds from Navy operations,

Connecticut:

Accompanying Maine’s Bath Iron Works, General Dynamic’s Electric Boat station, a submarine contractor for the US Navy, was awarded $17 mil. for nuclear and non-nuclear submarine repairs and maintenance on Nov. 22nd.The maintenance will be reserved specifically for submarines stationed at Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, CT. This monetary award is the latest in a recent trend given to Electric Boat.

New Hampshire:

The 157th Air Refueling Wing of the New Hampshire Air National Guard recently cut the ribbon on a newly established Operations Group operations facility (No article, see first photo caption here). USAF Operations Groups coordinate pilot activities and work as the hub of pilot-HQ communications.

Massachusetts:

Boston’s Mayor-elect Martin Walsh has taken a stand in opposition to a federal mandate which requires local law enforcement authorities to share finger prints with ICE (Immigration Customs and Enforcement). He is currently under fire from Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson. Instead, Walsh favors the TRUST act, which limits the information local law enforcement can give to federal authorities.

Vermont:

Vermont’s Emergency Management Agency has put forth a new Emergency Management Plan, recently approved by FEMA. The plan updates Vermont’s preparedness policies in the hopes of ensuring more funding from FEMA should a disaster occur.

National/International:

After a long wait and some secret talks, Iran and the United States have negotiated a first stage agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.

Taking a “Human Rights” spin, a UN resolution, backed primarily by Brazil and Germany, aims to put pressure on the US and Britain in lieu of spying revelations.

Microsoft, after assessing the NSA damage to Google and Yahoo, plans to develop - quickly - increased digital security for itself.

The House Intelligence Committee passed legislation this week to continue the finance and protection of surveillance agencies. Among the highlights, Langevin (D) added lines to punish leakers, while Shiff’s (D) proposal to increase transparency around drone strikes was shot down. 

A decision is nearing on whether or not to split up the NSA and US Cyber Command, and to appoint a civilian director to the NSA after Alexander’s retirement in March. 

The Karzai blockage of the Bilateral Security Agreement hasn’t changed much since last week. Karzai has only added demands of the US such as release Afghani prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and the halting of all US house raids. At stake is potentially billions of dollars in US military aid.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party headed by Imran Khan has named the top CIA drone program chief of Pakistan in response to drone strikes which killed Pakistanis earlier this week. The CIA has declined to comment,

Drone protests in Pakistan have frozen US and NATO supply lines in an effort to end drone strikes in the nation. Approximately 1,500 trucks have been stuck in the Northwest provinces for three days as of the 27th.

Seven Days of Security

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Taliban Graffiti located in Helmand Province, Reuters, Nov. 2010.

-   The United States and Afghan governments have reached agreement on a proposed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), yet to be voted on by the Loya Jirga. The latest known draft text of the BSA can be found here

-   Hamid Karzai advocated that the proposed BSA only be signed by the next incoming Afghan president, which, at earliest, could happen six months from now. For reference, the BSA document comes out of a mandate from the 2012 Strategic Partnership Agreement.

-   …Then, Karzai changed his mind and has stated he won’t sign the BSA. 

-   Differing views are coming from Loya Jirga representatives and provinces, and some local voices are heard in this Al Jazeera short.

-   Among the BSA discussion, Samantha Power, a US official has stated that the US “has nothing to apologize for" regarding the occupation.

-   Kabul villagers have found the bodies of six private contractors who’s work focused on building police compounds and checkpoints.

-   Flight Sergeant Dave Myers introduces the US Navy’s new  P8-A anti-surface/subsurface aircraft at the Dubai airshow. 

-   Despite warnings, the US Navy awarded lavish contracts to Leonard Glenn Francis, now accused of fraud. 

-   Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo are at odds over their respective proposals to tackle military sexual assault. Gillibrand supports a change in the powers of commanders to prosecute, putting more decision making in the hands of military legal prosecutors, while McCaskill would have them keep their current power.

-   The US and European Union have recently concluded a “Justice and Home Affairs” meeting. The meeting is the second of its kind this year and was conducted over issues such as cybersecurity, data protection, counter-terrorism, and more.

-  The original, extensively redacted FISA court order which created a precedent for massive NSA overextension has been released.

-   The mess of NSA backstabbing continues as one document reveals the potential for the NSA’s authorization to spy on the citizens of Britain without their government’s consent.

Massachusetts:

-   Discussing development opportunities, US Army Chief of Staff General Odierno visited Massachusetts on Nov. 15th. He met with Governor Patrick’s Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force. Of particular interest to Odierno was the Natick Soldier Systems Center, one of only two research stations like it in the nation.

Connecticut:

-   Major General Martin, Commander of the CT National Guard has announced the return of 600 soldiers from Afghanistan, the first of which arrived on the 17th.