Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
Shows & Panels
National Security Correspondent J.J. Green has traveled three continents covering intelligence, terrorism, and security issues. From Afghanistan to Africa, Iraq to Ireland, there isn't anywhere J.J. won't go, nor anyone he won't talk with, to get the stories affecting the defense and national security communities.
The Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy, and sailors at the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex and Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) successfully conducted the first flight test involving components of the Aegis Ashore system. During the test, a simulated ballistic missile target was acquired, tracked, and engaged by the Aegis Weapon System. The primary purpose of the test was to confirm the functionality of Aegis Ashore by launching a land-based SM-3.
A government report indicates more than 40 Pentagon weapons programs and nearly 30 other defense technologies have been compromised by cyber intrusions from China. The cybersecurity firm Mandiant issued a report last year alleging links between a secret Chinese military unit and years of cyber-attacks against U.S. companies. Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse Electric Co., Allegheny Technologies, U.S. Steel Corp., the United Steelworkers Union and Solar-World are just six companies the Justice Department says were victims of Chinese hacking. U.S. officials suggest there are many more amounting to billions of dollars in economic losses.
The Pentagon says Russia is not withdrawing its troops from the Ukraine border, despite Moscow's claim that the order to pull out has been given. Rear Adm. John Kirby says small numbers of Russian troops have gone back and forth to forward operating bases near the border, but the U.S. has seen no movement of Russian troops back to their home bases. NATO says Russia has 40,000 troops along the border.
The Pentagon has revealed the U.S. military fired or disciplined nearly 500 workers for sexual harassment. In a 12-month period, and nearly 13 percent of the complaints filed involved repeat offenders. The report on May 15th was the first such report on sexual harassment. It says there were 1,366 reports in the last year.
The Pentagon says almost 300 Marines have been moved to a naval air station in Sicily in response to the growing unrest in Africa. There is trouble in Sudan, the Central African Republic, Libya and Nigeria. The U.S. is using surveillance drones in the search for the kidnapped Nigerian girls. Officials say at least one Global Hawk surveillance drone is in use, in addition to manned MC-12 aircraft.
The Pentagon is using drones to help search in northeastern Nigeria for school girls kidnapped by the terror group Boko Haram, although they will not call them drones. Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren explains, "as a general rule we don't discuss our use of unmanned aircraft." He indicates there are security concerns, continuing, "there are sensitivities surrounding where they are based out of." Warren says they are being used to collect intelligence and conduct surveillance.
We are getting a clearer picture of how much help the U.S. is giving Nigeria to help in the search for almost 300 school girls kidnapped by terror group Boko Haram. The Pentagon says 16 DoD personnel are a part of a government-wide team of 30. The team includes planners and advisers already in Nigeria that have been redirected to assist the government. France, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, as well as representatives of Britain and the EU are all helping in the search.
The House Armed Services Committee is rejecting many cost-savings proposals from the Pentagon including closing excess military bases and retiring aging aircraft. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is displeased about this budget bill, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby. Hagel plans to talk to lawmakers again about the need for another round of base closings, which was also denied by the budget.
The Government Accountability Office said a recent report that the Department of Defense paid $150 per gallon for alternative jet fuel HEFA (hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) which is made from algae. That's more than 64 times the current market price for standard carbon-based fuels. The report indicated only a small amount of the fuel was purchased for testing.
The Pentagon says if Russian troops were really pulling back from the border with Ukraine, then "we would know," a spokesman told the Associated Press. He says that doesn't seem to be happening. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his troops have been moved away from the border region. Putin has also called on Ukraine's military to stop its operations against pro-Russia activists who have seized government buildings and police stations in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.
Iran says it will target U.S. aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf if a war breaks out. An Iranian military official says the country could sink a U.S. aircraft carrier like the USS Nimitz and that the country is practicing on a replica. A spokesman from the Pentagon says they have no doubt Iran could sink the replica it has built, but Col. Steve Warren says sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier is another matter entirely and he has no confidence in Iran's capability to sink one.
Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has released a $601 billion spending plan that saves the Cold War era U-2 spy plane from the chopping block and also would force the Pentagon to keep the A-10 Warthog in storage. It's all a part of a plan resulting in smaller military budgets after 13 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically, though, the plan also denies the Pentagon's request for another round of military base closures to get rid of unnecessary facilities and save $1.4 billion.
War isn't the only tragedy in Afghanistan. On Friday, a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried approximately one-third of a remote northeastern village, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers reportedly looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels and other equipment to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened the homes in its path.
The Pentagon has released its annual report on sexual assault. The report, which includes a multi-faceted strategy to prevent sexual assault, indicates that alcohol often plays a significant role in the commission of sexual assault. The report says alcohol impairs one's ability to identify a sexual assault threat and is sometimes used as a tool to reduce the victim's resistance or totally incapacitate a victim. The strategy against sexual assault includes five elements: prevention, investigation, accountability, advocacy and assessment of the program.
The Department of Defense provided Congress on Wednesday the April 2014 "Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan". It says although the Afghani security forces continue to make progress, four key high-end capability gaps will remain after the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission ends on Dec. 31, 2014: air support, intelligence enterprise, special operations, and Afghan security ministry capacity. International funding and coalition force assistance will be critical to sustaining the force going forward.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Egypt has made progress in its democratic transition, but must address "disturbing" developments if its government is to have the confidence of the Egyptian people and others. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was very explicit about his concerns. He said he would not approve sending funds to the Egyptian military, denouncing a "sham trial" in which a court sentenced 683 people to death.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke Monday by phone with Russia's Minister of Defense. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues related to the situation in Ukraine, with Sec. Hagel requesting clarification of Russia's intentions in Eastern Ukraine. Sergei Shoygu reiterated his assurance that Russian forces would not invade Ukraine. Sec. Hagel emphasized how dangerous the situation remains and expressed his desire to find a responsible way forward. Regarding recent actions by Ukrainian security forces, Sec. Hagel reiterated the right of the government of Ukraine to preserve law and order within its own borders.
Russian fighter jets flew into Ukraine several times last week. It's not clear what the intent was, but the aircraft may have been testing Ukrainian radar. The West has threatened additional sanctions against Russia if it continues its aggressive behavior in Ukraine.
The Pentagon sharply criticized Russia's latest announcement on Thursday, the Associated Press reports. DoD is concerned that Russia is, "starting military drills near the border with Ukraine and called on Moscow to take steps to lower, not escalate, tensions. Moscow has said the drills were a response to Ukrainian operations against pro-Russian separatists and NATO exercises in eastern Europe."
Petty Officer Mark A. Mayo will be posthumously awarded the Navy Marine Corps Medal on Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. Mayo, 24, was killed during a shooting incident at Naval Station Norfolk Monday, Mar. 24, where he was assigned to Naval Security Forces. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the United States Department of the Navy to the members of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Vice Admiral Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations, will present the award to Mayo's family in a private ceremony prior to the burial.