2 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
Winter 2012 DEFENSE STANDARD 3
Tribute to General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
Procurement and Operations 12
Cyber Assault Forging a Unified Defense Against a 21st Century Threat. By Rich Tuttle
US Marshal's Service
The Growing Involvement of US Military in Homeland Security Operations.
Federal Law Enforcement Officers on the Hunt for Criminals Worldwide.
By Bryant Jordan
By Elaine Povich
The Drug Enforcement Agency
Growing Responsibilities entail Port and Border Security.
Men and Women on the Front Lines of a Battle Encompassing More Than Drugs.
By Sara Michael
By Elaine Povich
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On the Homefront 44
US Border Patrol Personnel and Technology on the Ground Amid Ever-Increasing Challenges.
Louder than Words
By Elaine Povich
Service Spotlights 35
Air Force: B-3 Next Generation Bomber By Nick Adde
Army: Army Green By Sara Michael
Marine Corps: M777 Howitzer By Matthew Cox
Navy: F35 Joint Strike Fighter By John Bennett
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On the Cover Joe Lustig of Tactical Tailor is pictured on the cover. Cover design by Matt Cerra.
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Photo: Tech. Sgt. Rob Jensen
A crew chief from the 46th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron completes post flight inspections of an RQ-1 Predator, Sept. 15, 2004, at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The Predator is a remotely piloted vehicle that provides real-time surveillance imagery. U.S.
Homeland Security By Bryant Jordan
Eleven years after terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States is finding the technologies of military combat and support ops increasingly important for homeland security.
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etter eyes and ears on and over the borders, sharper ways to detect threats that are unseen: These are the missions, and the Defense Department is or will be spending millions of dollars on systems that have a role in both a theater of war and the U.S. borders. There are things old – fixed-wing, manned aircraft used by the Air National Guard to ferry people and supplies – and things new, such as unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor activities along the border. And there are tools for revealing the hidden or invisible -- systems for X-raying cargo containers and for detecting chemical, nuclear and biological agents. The National Guard, which was “homeland security” before there was a department for it, soon is receiving the new Joint Cargo Aircraft, a multipurpose plane whose advocates in both the Army and Air Force promoted it in part because of its utility in any domestic crisis.
Photo: U.S. Army
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Hobbs uses a Z backscatter van to scan a suspect vehicle during a training exercise April 23 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The 820th Security Forces Group owns two of the $1.2 million vehicles, which interpret reflected X-rays to create highly detailed images of low-density materials such as explosives or drugs. Sergeant Hobbs is an 820th SFG sensor technician.
The Guard, in fact, received the JCA before active-duty forces, said James Burkhardt, vice president for JCA Programs for L-3 Communications, which, along with Boeing, is a U.S. partner in the aircraft, a C-27 Spartan built by Italian company Alenia Aeronautica. “Whether the National Guard flies those in support of the Global War on Terrorism or they are called up for domestic purposes, those aircraft will be available to serve that [mission],” Burkhardt said. Or, in the event of a Katrina-type disaster, “this would be a much greater capability afforded the National Guard in order to get supplies in, do medevac and those types of things.” A total of 40 planes were built and delivered between 2008 and 2011 under the five-year. Spotting Hidden Dangers
ilotless aircraft represent another area where combat and combat support assets have found a homeland security mission. The Predator B first was tested for border security in 2005. Since then, says the Congressional Research Service, Congress has appropriated more than $60 million to the Department of Homeland Security for UAVs.
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Today three Predators, which in Iraq conduct both surveillance and combat ops, currently overfly the southern U.S. border. DHS had a total of six in the hands of the Border Patrol by the end of 2008, including one operating along the northern border with Canada. Christopher Ames, director of business development for Predator manufacturer Atomics Aeronautical Systems UAV of San Diego, one of the UAVs will be flying missions over the Gulf of Mexico, with the CBP working in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard. “They’re quite keen on this as a system to inhibit and track illicit activity and protect the homeland,” Ames said. For the hidden dangers – people, weapons or explosives stashed away in trucks or cargo containers – the Pentagon’s use of mobile X-ray scanners also has spilled over into homeland security. Joe Reiss, director of marketing for Billerica, Mass.-based American Science and Engineering, said the company’s mobile scanning system, called a Z-Backscatter Van, is being used in combat theaters and at American ports. The military has found the ZBV helpful in discovering vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. The so-called “backscatter” system for capturing images detects some materials that traditional X-rays
can miss, according to the company. These include elements found in explosives such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen. The vans can do the job while driving past another vehicle, cargo container or truck, or remaining stationary while a vehicle passes it by, said Reiss. In 2005 U.S. Central Command and the Marine Corps spent a combined $48 million for 41 of the vans, according to AS&E.“The Z Backscatter Van is at this point the largest-selling container vehicle inspection vehicle,” Reiss said. On the home front, Customs and Border Patrol is using the vans on the borders and at American ports, he said. Just last fall, in fact, CBP agents in West Palm Beach, Fla., using a ZBV to randomly scan cars and trucks bound for Haiti discovered $852,000 in cash stashed away in a rear quarter panel and bumper of a 1997 Toyota RAV4. Unlike regular X-ray machines, which reveal high-density items such as metal, the ZBV scanners also capture low-density or organic substances – in this instance money wrapped in plastic bags and black tape, according to the CBP.
Unmanned Ground Reconnaissance program to give military units mobile tools to detect invisible threats. The plan envisions systems mounted aboard Stryker contaminant detection vehicles and subsequently to the Future Combat System’s unmanned ground vehicle, according to the Army. One aspect of the program is about to go real world – use of a specially equipped robot to collect and process possible contaminants in areas deemed too dangerous to send in soldiers. The one-time explosive ordnance disposal robot, retrofitted and tested at Fort Richardson, Ala., is going to be deployed to units in Afghanistan and Iraq in the fall, according to the Army. Now, when soldiers put on their “Level A” contamination suits – which have limited mobility and vision and are generally uncomfortable, according to the Army, they have limited time to access the scene and complete their mission, “When they get into a Level A suit, they only have 45 minutes to go downrange to do what they need to do, depending on how they breathe,” Herschel Deaton, CBRN programs technical staff for Concurrent Technologies Corp. at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., said Threat Detection Devices in a statement after a demonstration of the robot in Alaska. “The robot will give you four hours downrange he Army, meanwhile, is spearheading the to be able to do all of the site characterizations and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear sampling that needs to happen.” Photo: U.S. Army
Engineers from the 18th Engineer Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, deploy a robot to search for improvised explosive devices at the National Training Center, Calif.
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PHOTOS: Michael De Nyse
RIGHT: Petty Officer 1st Class Tyler Weeks, inspects a Remote Operated Vehicle. BOTTOM: Petty Officer 2nd Class Artem Sidelnikov, deploys a Remote Operated Vehicle to demonstrate its capabilities. ROVs are used to scan the hull of vessels in an effort to detect anything suspicious or possibly harmful from entering Ports.
Coast Guard: Port Security Takes on New Urgency After Sept. 11 By Sara Michael
efore the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan returned to San Diego last fall after a six-month deployment, a high-tech Coast Guard system combed the waters for potential threats and monitored the area to keep it clean. Using sonar and roving vehicles, the Underwater Port Security System detects and tracks intruders, basically serving as underwater eyes and ears for the Coast Guard. This portable system is just one of several tools the Coast Guard has added to its arsenal since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in a push to meet a changing security threat and keep a close watch on the nation’s ports and coastline. In addition to adding cutting-edge technology, the Coast Guard has undergone major organizational shifts since 9/11 to better position the agency to respond to its shifting role. “Port security isn’t just about the pieces of hardware,” said Kenneth McDaniel, deputy division chief for the maritime security
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counterterrorism division in the Coast Guard’s Office of Counterterrorism and Defense Operations. “It’s about the total programmatic approach to providing underwater security. That includes public awareness campaigns, working with other law enforcements, and then it goes to the other end of the spectrum of new high-tech technology we deploy.” With each Underwater Port Security System costing about $1 million, putting one at each of the nation’s sea ports wasn’t an option. Instead, the Coast Guard developed six mobile systems that can be deployed in higher-threat situations, McDaniel said. In 2006, for example, the system was used to comb New York City’s East River before President Bush visited the United Nations General Assembly. When not deployed for a specific event, the systems are placed anywhere around the country. The system has two components, developed with a combination of government and commercially available technologies.
The first part, the Underwater Inspection System, uses divers or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to inspect the water, as well as piers and ship hulls. The ROVs are used when it is too dangerous or difficult for the divers to hit the water. “If I secure a pier for an important event, the first thing I have to do is make sure someone hasn’t put a bomb under that pier before the event started,” McDaniel said. An Echoscope, a device developed by New Yorkbased firm Coda Octopus, enables the ROVs to navigate structures in turbid waters and produces 3D sonar images. The technology, packaged for the Coast Guard as one part of the overall system, was developed to be easily used by one person and with minimal training, said Angus Lugsdin, senior vice president of market development for Coda Octopus. The technology allows the Coast Guard to ensure that an entire area has been scanned, resulting in GPSreferenced data and video, making it safer and more efficient than relying on divers alone, he said. “It’s 18 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
making the operations significantly easier,” he said. The second piece is the Underwater Anti-Swimmer System, which uses sonar to monitor under water around specific targets such as piers or vessels and “gives us that invisible fence in the water,” McDaniel said. “Once we complete the inspection we consider that spot sanitized or clean, and we need to make sure it stays clean.” The anti-swimmer system, parts of which are developed by Seattle-based Kongsberg Underwater Technology Inc., uses sonar to detect structures under water. “You have more eyes in the water; it’s a wide swath,” said Jeff Condiotty, program manager for the underwater security systems at Kongsberg. The idea with the Underwater Port Security System is to avoid using divers for monitoring, McDaniel said. Once dive teams are in the water, it’s harder to track and detect unwanted activity, and even harder to then dispose of explosives.
PHOTOS: Melissa Hauck
Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) 91105 patrols the San Francisco Bay in a 25foot Response Boat Homeland Security craft. MSSTs are a relatively new U.S. Coast Guard anti-terrorism team established to protect local maritime assets. It is a United States Coast Guard harbor and inshore patrol and security team that includes detecting and if necessary stopping or arresting submerged divers, using the Underwater Port Security System.
he Coast Guard’s tools for assessing and monitoring the water around the ports and harbors fulfill requirements outlined in the 2002 Maritime Transportation and Security Act, a broad, sweeping measure that called for shoring up port security. The act created Maritime Safety and Security Teams, which protect ports and shorelines, and prompted the Coast Guard to develop security plans and surveillance systems. The law also required the Coast Guard to ensure more vessels are equipped with identification transponders, as well as build up the capability to track inbound and outbound vessels. Most domestic and foreign commercial vessels are now equipped with Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders, an international standard and technology that transmits ship name, course, speed, registration and other information. The transponders make it easier for the Coast Guard to communicate with ingoing and outgoing ships and build histories on the vessels, such as where they have been and what they are carrying. “It helps us begin to understand any potential threats 19 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
or risks,” said Commander Keith Ingalsbe, the Coast Guard’s project manager for the Nationwide Automatic Identification System. Now the Coast Guard is pulling all that AIS data together into the NAIS, which broadens the scope and adds coverage. Previously, there was no complete picture of what was out in open waters, Ingalsbe said. The first phase, completed in September 2007, provided data reception at 58 ports, allowing the Coast Guard to track more than 6,000 vessels and 50,000 messages a day, Ingalsbe said. In January, the Coast Guard awarded a contract, potentially valued at $68 million, to Northrop Grumman to build the core of NAIS for nationwide receive and transmit capabilities, the second phase of the program. The main part of the contract, valued at $12 million, will be to build this core data exchange in three sectors: Delaware Bay, Hampton Roads, Va., and Mobile, Ala. Future phases will expand the coverage nationwide. “They didn’t have the capability to put it all together,” said Mike Twyman, vice president of the Northrop Grumman Information Systems’ Integrated Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence systems operating unit. “This really now provides the foundation.” Quicker Response
he 9/11 terrorist attacks, and subsequent disasters like Hurricane Katrina, made clear the need for a more efficient command structure in the Coast Guard to ensure personnel were ready to respond. Over the last several years, the Coast Guard merged operational field commands into what are called sectors, which brought together duties such as maritime safety, search and rescue and law enforcement
PHOTO: Kelly Newlin
Boston-based Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team 10 (MSST 91110) deploys the Integrated Anti-Swimmer System at the Coast Guard base in Boston’s North End. This system, which uses Remote Operated Vehicles, adds a new layer of defense to the Coast Guard’s port security capabilities.
previously handled by separate operational groups. The sector reorganization integrated command and control functions under a local commander, Coast Guard officials said, to improve training, customer service and control of assets in each of the more than 30 sectors. “It allows the Coast Guard to really coordinate and speak to the community with one voice,” said retired Vice Adm. James Card, who spent about 40 years in the Coast Guard. In the summer of 2007, the Coast Guard stood up the Deployable Operations Group, or D.O.G., which brought together tactical response personnel under one command, rather than being supervised by several districts spread across the country. D.O.G. forces are made up of about 3,000 personnel from 12 Maritime Safety and Security Teams, as well as the maritime security response, tactical law enforcement, port security and national strike teams. These specialized forces, under the command of Rear Adm. Thomas Atkin, can be rapidly deployed anywhere. “They took some of those lessons learned and said, ‘We can do this better,’ ” D.O.G. spokesman Lt. Commander Charles Hawkins said of the response after Katrina, adding the Coast Guard was already leaning toward deployable units after 9/11. “It has streamlined the organization and given everybody a common focus,” said Ray Brown, a retired Coast Guard captain who works as an adjunct professor of homeland security at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H., and a consultant for Total Security Services International Inc. “I think that they are proactive and their presence is seen and that is good.” As the Coast Guard shuffles commands and adopts high-tech tools, officials work to balance the need for 20 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
security with the need to keep the ports prosperous, said Rear Adm. James Watson, director of the Prevention Policy Directorate, which develops and monitors maritime security programs. Much like airport passenger screening, maritime security initiatives cost the public and the industry, Watson said. “That’s been a big challenge,” he said, noting that the years after 9/11 were a time of growth in the maritime industry. One answer to this struggle is better technology, Watson said, which will streamline inspections and give the Coast Guard greater communication with other agencies and the industry. “That increases safety and security, and it also can be used to facilitate commerce,” he said. Coast Guard officials also have to consider the changes in perspective with the actual threat to the nation’s ports, McDaniel said. “You have to apply the appropriate amount of resources to the threat,” he said, adding that other low-budget tools like public awareness and outreach to port and harbor stakeholders also can be effective security measures. “Our enemies are smart, thinking people,” he said, “And we have to be smart, thinking people and use all of our assets and resources.” The nature of the Coast Guard’s organization – illustrated in the motto Semper Paratus, or “Always Ready” – has served the agency well in adapting quickly to the post 9/11 environment, said Card. “All of these organizational changes has allows the Coast Guard to be more nimble, more responsive,” he said. “A lot of things have changed in the Coast Guard, but the main character of serving the public stays the same.”
PHOTO: U.S. Army
Forging a unified defense against a 21st century menace By Rich Tuttle
s sophisticated cyberattacks on U.S. government and private information networks increase – more than 37,000 in fiscal 2007 alone -- the Obama administration is taking a step toward consolidating U.S. reaction to such attacks on military networks. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with protecting federal government networks and the private sector is responsible for defending its own information systems. In the U.S. military, cyber capabilities exist today in several quarters, but the idea is to put the lines of command under one organization, the proposed U.S. Cyber Command. But CyberCom, which would protect U.S. military information networks -- and probably also go on the offensive in cyberspace -- has hit a speed bump on Capitol Hill. The Senate Armed Services Committee, one of several congressional panels that must approve establishment of the command, “has raised a number of detailed questions regarding the [Defense] Department’s plans for U.S. CyberCom,” says a spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command, the military lead for defending DoD information systems. CyberCom would report to StratCom. The committee wants to know, among other things, about CyberCom’s “relationship to the National
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Security Agency,” which protects U.S. networks and produces foreign signals intelligence information, according to the StratCom spokesman. And, he says, the committee has “indicated that it would like all answers provided before considering” Obama’s nomination of Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander as the first commander of CyberCom. Alexander is the current director of the NSA. If he is confirmed as the CyberCom chief, he would get a fourth star. Asked if StratCom had an idea of when Senate Armed Services would act -- by spring, for instance -the spokesman said, “We don’t. We’re pretty much at their schedule. When they say they’re ready to do this, we’ll get in gear and go do it.” Getting CyberCom up and running is important, says a former StratCom commander, retired Air Force Gen. Eugene E. Habiger. He says in a paper published Feb. 1 by the Washington-based Cyber Secure Institute that cyber threats against the U.S. are serious and increasing. But he also says in an interview that Congress “is not being very responsive” to Obama’s initiative, “and I think that’s a mistake.” One concern on the Hill, he says, is that the new command would have too much power, although he disagrees with those assessments. It’s also a rice bowl issue, he says, because CyberCom would be based
PHOTO: U.S. Army
An Army Civilian logs in to a U.S. government computer with a Department of Defense identification card. Common Access Card logons are one way of protecting sensitive government networks.
at Fort Meade, Md., which is already the site of the NSA. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he wants his state to the “national epicenter” for cybersecurity. The military’s response to such initiatives hasn’t been very proactive, which may have further slowed the approval of CyberCom. Habiger, who commanded StratCom from 1996 to 1998, thinks CyberCom will be established in time. But a stately pace would be nothing new, according his paper, “Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: The Need for a New U.S. Strategic Approach.” The U.S. government, he writes, “has responded slowly and certainly without a sense of urgency to the evolving cyber threat.” President Clinton took “the first major step” with a presidential directive in 1998; President Bush signed a homeland security directive in 2003. But “real progress in reducing our cyber vulnerabilities has been limited,” he writes. “Fortunately, the ultimate wakeup call has not been delivered, and unfortunately is it not a matter of if, but when that call is delivered to our doorstep.” Some cyber events have gotten the Pentagon’s attention. One came in November 2008, according to the current StratCom commander, Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton. 22 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
“It didn’t get a lot of press, but we all know the consequences of it,” he said at a conference in November 2009. “We all saw the messages,” which banned the use of thumb drives. Infected thumb drives apparently allowed a lengthy intrusion into the networks of U.S. Central Command and other vital military organizations. DoD earlier this year said thumb drives can be used again, but in a limited way and with a number of restrictions. Chilton described ways to defend against intrusions -changing the culture of thinking of information networks merely as a convenience, for instance, and holding people accountable for their actions on networks. But the government and the public use the same systems. “The military and private sector are no longer different,” says security technologist and author Bruce Schneier. “Everybody uses the same computers, the same operating systems, the same network protocols, the same routers, the same servers. It’s all the same stuff.” And the public has a relaxed attitude toward security, which Habiger calls dangerous. Having “an insecure computer ... is as irresponsible as ... leaving a loaded bazooka lying around,” he says. Mandiant, a St. Louis-based information security company, says “Advanced Persistent Threat,” or APT, attacks on U.S. government and industry networks have been occurring for years. It describes them as orchestrated, sophisticated and perpetual, and says “they have systematically compromised computer networks” across the board. “The APT hides in plain sight and avoids detection by making outbound connections using common network ports and services, providing remote access to critical infrastructure controls and sensitive information.” Many such attacks are attributed to China and Russia. Defense companies are ahead of companies in other areas of the private sector and are taking steps to become stronger. BAE Systems, for instance, has named an executive to head its cyberwarfare and cybersecurity business in the U.S. John Osterholz says “the networks that previously carried [vital] information can become weapons themselves. It’s a whole new world.” Northrop Grumman last summer opened a Cyber Security Operations Center in Maryland that it says will protect company and customer networks and data. Lockheed Martin is developing workforce initiatives to fill the need for “a certified and trained cyber security workforce,” and Boeing’s Intelligence and Security Systems unit showed defensive cyber
security capabilities in a recent demonstration at its Arlington, Va., facilities.
There may be evidence of other U.S. cyberattacks. A U.S. Advanced Persistent Threat, for instance, could help finger the whereabouts of al Qaeda leaders and he best defense against cyber attacks, Habiger result in their deaths by drone attack. CIA Director says, is systems designed from the ground up to Leon Panetta was candid but may not have been telling be secure. While some military and most intelligence the whole story when he said in a public forum last systems are secure, many public and business systems May that, “Very frankly, [drones are] the only game in are designed for functionality, not security, and are town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt the al therefore vulnerable. Merely patching systems that are Qaeda leadership.” more and more complex just makes things worse. he sensitivity of a cyberattack capability may have Secure systems, Habiger says, would allow defense been one reason Panetta’s predecessor, Air Force by denial, not retaliation, as advocated by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Countries or individuals that Gen. Michael Hayden, was circumspect when asked engage in cyberattacks should face consequences and about drone attacks on Pakistani territory shortly before international condemnation,” she said in a January he left office in January 2009. “I’m not going to talk about anything operational, and I’m not confirming or speech in Washington. But Habiger says that’s a Cold War approach that denying how any of this happens, we’re not getting into doesn’t apply today. One problem is that if the U.S. uses that,” according to a CNN report. But he added that he cyber weapons to strike back at a cyber attacker, the result believed al Qaeda leaders had come to view Pakistan’s might be a devastating infection of its own systems. tribal regions as “neither safe nor a haven.” “There just hasn’t been enough thinking out there” A cyberattack capability also may be one of the on this subject, Habiger says. “The military doctrine reasons that tactical warfare itself has changed. has not been established.” One reason is that the “The thing most people tend to miss here is that cyber domain itself is only about 20 years old, and the there’s a major shift in the tactical war. The tactical war military’s involvement has not been robust, largely used to be planned months in advance and executed because its traditional focus has been on kinetic kills. very methodically,” says John Delay, director of strategy Doctrine and concepts of operation, therefore, lag for Harris Broadcast Communications. “But today it’s behind the technology. like playing a whack-a-mole game. You want to be Still, some U.S. defenses are in place. For instance, watching when the guy comes up out of the ground networks of the Central Intelligence Agency, the so you can whack him.” Delay was talking about how National Security Agency and similar organizations video feeds from drones help in the new way of war, feature “air gaps” between machines -- physical but a cyber component also seems likely. separations that make it virtually impossible to infect Similarly, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary an entire system. Roughead may have been referring in part to a cyber And the U.S. apparently launches its own cyber attack capability in comments last November to the attacks, although this is a touchy subject. Brookings Institution in Washington. One of the “I will tell you, [military officials] will not talk about big changes that characterize the wars in Iraq and that because it’s very sensitive in terms of revealing Afghanistan, he said, is “the fusing of information and your capability,” Habiger says. “But there is a capability, intelligence into operations in ways that we’ve never and the specifics of that you’ll probably never read seen before.” about in the open literature.” His appreciation for the military effects possible in The U.S. is fighting three wars -- in Iraq, in the cyber domain is apparent in his reorganization Afghanistan, and against al Qaeda -- and the cyberattack of Navy Headquarters to establish the Office of capability probably is being used in all of them. In fact, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information in the run-up to the Iraqi troop surge of 2007, then- Dominance. The new office, under recently confirmed President Bush is now reported to have given the Vice Adm. David J. “Jack” Dorsett, subsumes the two NSA the green light to use cyberwarfare against the former offices of intelligence and command, control computers and cell phones of Iraqi insurgents planting and communications. It merges the Navy’s unmanned roadside bombs. The effort is said to have done more to systems and cyber operations -- another hint that such turn the tide of the war than the surge itself. systems already work together.
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PHOTOS: U.S. Marshals
US Marshal waits outside of a home after an attempt to serve a warrant was unsuccessful. Deputy Marshals arrive at Oxford Airport, 3:00 p.m. September 30, 1962
U.S. Marshals Service By Elaine S. Povich
They’ve come a long way from the Gunfight at the OK Corral
lash-bang! “Police! Get on the ground!” When officers from the U.S. Marshals Service issue that command, a fugitive from justice is about to be apprehended. The oldest branch of law enforcers in the United States, marshals rode with George Washington and brought the law to the Wild West. Today they protect federal judges, relocate federal witnesses and transport prisoners. But their marquee service is tracking down fugitives, and these days their tools are sophisticated software and surveillance, the Internet and television, rather than horses and Peacemaker revolvers. In the past year, the Marshals Service apprehended more than 36,400 federal fugitives. They also coordinated state and local law enforcement teams that arrested about 90,800 state and local fugitives. The marshals currently lead 75 district fugitive task forces and seven regional fugitive task forces. The coordination among law enforcement agencies results in less duplication and gives local officials more reach,
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while allowing the marshals to take advantage of local knowledge. They pride themselves on getting the “worst of the worst.” One who surely fit that category was Paul Merhige, who has been charged in the Thanksgiving Day 2009 killing of his twin sisters, a 79-year-old aunt and a 6-year-old cousin, Makayla Sitton. According to the Marshals Service, an investigation showed that Merhige had been planning the attack for a long time. After the shooting, law enforcement officials in Jupiter, Fla., called in the marshals. Together, the agencies began tracking Merhige’s movements prior to the shooting. They obtained a bank photo taken at an automatic teller machine, and noted his car’s make and model. They erected billboards in the Jupiter area, since Merhige was not known to like to travel very far. Then they brought in the big gun, Fox TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” program. Makayla’s father, Jim Sitton, who worked at a Florida television station, taped a segment about his
fugitives might be running. “In almost every case there has to be a little bit of physical surveillance,” Sorukas said, noting that the FBI, state and local authorities also generally are involved. “If a Seattle police officer has arrested this guy three times before, you don’t want him too close, but he can ID the guy.” That’s apparently what happened in another classic fugitive case – this one across international borders and the Pacific Ocean. Kenneth John Freeman, a former law enforcement officer and body builder from Seattle, was charged with child abuse and possession of child pornography. The abuse involved his daughter, Kylie, and it had apparently occurred in 2001. The girl didn’t tell anyone until 2006, when she was watching the movie “Forrest Gump,” with her mom and stepfather. The scene in which a young girl was mistreated by her father brought back terrible memories for Kylie, and she decided to file charges. As Seattle area law enforcement worked on the case, Freeman fled. The Benton County Sheriffs Office asked for the Marshals Service’s help. Together they began to piece together the regular habits of Freeman, who by then was married for the third time. The law enforcement team relied on tracking the full scope of financial activity, which goes beyond credit-card transactions to things like use of prepaid calling cards. PHOTOS: U.S. Marshals
daughter’s death. One night in January, an employee at the Edgewater Lodge in the Florida Keys saw a promo for the show and recognized Merhige as a guest. He then went out and looked at Merhige’s vehicle, according to the marshals, and called authorities. The marshals sprang into action. William Sorukas, chief inspector for domestic investigations, picks up the story from there: “We did physical surveillance. We wouldn’t want to knock on the door and have him be across the street. We wanted to get into the place as quickly as possible, disorient him and take him into custody. When we can do things on our terms, when he doesn’t know we’re coming, things generally go smoothly.” The marshals set off a “flash bang” device, which makes noise and emits a blinding light, into Merhige’s room. Then they stunned him with a Taser gun and brought him out. “America’s Most Wanted” recorded the event, including Merhige’s admission that he didn’t know why he had done what he had done (without actually admitting any guilt). He’s awaiting trial and local authorities have asked for the death penalty. Marshals use a combination of techniques to chase down fugitives, ranging from sophisticated data banks that can track every financial transaction a fugitive makes to on-foot surveillance. Officials say they combine the bank data with law enforcement records and other secure files to get a handle on where
The United States Marshals Service has teamed up with state, county, local and other federal law enforcement agencies across the nation to identify, investigate and apprehend violent offenders, gang members, sex offenders and drug dealers wanted on felony charges throughout the United States. Deputy U.S. Marshal displays cocaine that was found hidden in a truck load of onions. The drugs were seized as part of the FIST IX operation.
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U.S. Marshals Service By the Numbers
• 94 U.S. marshals, one for each federal court district • 3,345 deputy U.S. marshals and criminal investigators • 1,503 staff and detention enforcement officers • 94 districts; 218 sub-offices; 3 foreign field offices • 204 FBI 15 Most Wanted fugitives captured since 1983 • 874 fugitives extradited or deported from 65 countries in fiscal 2009 • $2 billion+ in seized assets under management Source: U.S. Marshals Service
These types of investigations sometimes require court orders, sometimes subpoenas and most times cooperation from banks and other financial institutions. Sometimes, according to Sorukas, if a fugitive is using a stolen credit card, “it’s advantageous for us not to shut it down.” That way, they can track the fugitive’s movements. Without being specific about the techniques used in the Freeman case, which also was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” marshals eventually tracked him to China by monitoring the movements of Maleka May Freeman, his third wife. Since the United States has no extradition treaty with China, the officials were temporarily stumped. But then Freeman decided in May 2007 to travel to Hong Kong, which does have extradition reciprocity with the United States. He was arrested as soon as he crossed the border, and was sentenced to 50 years in 2009. Maleka Freeman also pleaded guilty to making false statements. In 2001, Congress authorized the establishment of regional fugitive task forces, under the direction of the U.S. Marshals Service. The Washington, D.C., capital area regional task force, for example, includes the surrounding states of Maryland and Virginia. There currently are only seven such task forces, but the marshals are hoping to expand their enforcement model. Those areas without a regional task force still have district task forces that cover a smaller area. Marshals also have less visible roles. They stand guard over federal courthouses. They serve legal documents. They transfer prisoners from place to place. And they set up new identities and residences for more than 8,200 federal witnesses under their protection. Mostly, they blend into the woodwork in these instances. 27 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
Usually, you don’t hear about them, except in passing. The service has a specially trained tactical unit under its Special Operations Group at Camp Beauregard, a Louisiana National Guard base. Marshals also make up an integral part of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, which sometimes track down and capture terrorists. Their tracking skills fit perfectly with the FBI’s antiterrorism mandate. The Marshals Service’s own integrated task forces are modeled similarly to the JTTFs. While trying sometimes to be inconspicuous, the marshals can sometimes break quickly into the news. In Camden, N.J., marshals showed their muscle in February by sweeping up 52 fugitives in a coordinated 10-day operation. Rather than going at the fugitives one at a time, they mounted the sweep to show their muscle. “We’re going after the worst of the worst,” U.S. Marshal James T. Plousis told the Camden CourierPost. “Occasionally we run a bigger sweep to send a message to criminals and the public that we’re still here.” Dennis O’Brien, supervisory inspector of the U.S. Marshals Service, based in New Jersey, said there were 60-70 warrants out for fugitives, with the nexus of their presumed locations in Camden. Marshals worked up profiles and tried to figure out where they might be hiding. “With (just) our resources we wouldn’t be able to conduct this venture” Orlando Cuevas, the Camden police inspector, told the paper. Marshals got some instant press and even quicker action following a recent prisoner escape. The prisoner, Raymond Taylor, who was serving three life terms for shooting his ex-girlfriend and her two teenage daughters, walked out of a Baltimore prison. He had switched identification cards with another inmate who was scheduled to be freed. The local authorities wasted no time in getting the Marshals Service involved. Taylor escaped on a Thursday afternoon. By Friday morning marshals had cornered him in West Virginia and arrested him. A woman there was charged with harboring a fugitive in her home. “Most fugitive work is reactive,” Sorukas said. “That’s the hardest part to deal with here. You have to wait for an act to occur and there’s a victim. We do prevent further acts. Most fugitives “generally do not become model citizens,” he added. “They steal a car, they break into a home to gather the necessities of life to continue running. It’s very, very difficult for people to remain fugitives for long.”
PHOTOS: Courtesy of DEA
DEA takes the fight to terrorists, gun-runners and drug lords By Elaine S. Povich
hen DEA undercover informants walked into international arms dealer Monzer al-Kassar’s home in Spain, a white marble mansion with a 12-car garage, it was the capstone of a deadly decades-long game of cat and mouse that Kassar had played with law enforcement agencies worldwide. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was the one to finally get him. Until the DEA got into the act in 2007, alKassar had eluded Spanish authorities for years, scoffed at international efforts to tie him to the 1985 Achille Lauro cruise ship terrorist killing, sold anti-ship cruise missiles to terrorists, cooked meals for co-conspirators and flaunted his wealthy and ostentatious lifestyle. Two undercover DEA operatives, with years of work and investigation behind them, struck a phony $8 million deal with al-Kassar which ultimately led to his arrest and extradition to the United States. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison. When the DEA was created by President Richard Nixon in 1973, its mission was to combat “an all-out global war on the drug menace.” Initially, it was a relatively small, specialized outfit, with 1,470 agents and a budget of less than $75 million, a pittance in law-enforcement circles. By 1974 it had expanded into 31 countries. Today, the DEA has 5,235 special
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agents, a budget of more than $2.3 billion and 87 foreign offices in 63 countries. Yet much of its work is unknown or unheralded. That’s par for the course when you are an agency that operates in such shadowy spaces.
he DEA basically has two inextricably intertwined missions – stopping the flow of illegal drugs and of illegal arms. Those missions necessarily take it outside the borders of the United States, where much of such trading goes on. In al-Kassar’s case, “he was an international arms trafficker,” said Mike Sanders, DEA special agent and public affairs officer. “He was apprehended and tried in Spain for his involvement in the Achille Lauro (cruise ship hijacking, in which American Leon Klinghoffer, 69, was thrown overboard in his wheelchair), but he got off in a Spanish court of law after several witnesses met unhappy ends. One fell out of a window and died, Colombian drug dealers kidnapped the children of another, a third refused to come to Spain.” “There’s a history of people getting squashed by garage doors and falling out of balconies with him,” said Brian Dodd, the DEA supervisor on the al-Kassar case. But the DEA never let go of al-Kassar. Little by little, the agency accumulated more evidence. Then, when terrorist Abu Abbas,
DEA arrests Monzer al-Kassar after a long and tedious undercover sting on month date year.
PHOTO: Courtesy of DEA
also known as Muhammad Zaydan, was captured by American forces in Iraq in 2003, the DEA was asked to see what connections could be established between Abbas and al-Kassar -- particularly in the Achille Lauro case, which Abbas was thought to have masterminded. “When Abu Abbas died in custody (in 2004) we decided al-Kassar was a really bad person in his own right and continued on,” said Dodd. Later, according to Sanders, the DEA looked at al-Kassar from the standpoint of supplying not only arms to terrorist groups around the world but also to the FARC, or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, a paramilitary revolutionary group the U.S. labels as a terrorist group. “They were going to use those arms to fight the Columbian government and the United States,” Sanders said. The investigation was dicey, but the agency recruited a couple of Hispanic-looking informants to make inquiries about arms with al-Kassar. After some cloak-and-dagger meetings in which the arms dealer was recorded, they were ready to go in for the kill. The informants’ names are masked and some of the details are classified, but Sanders says the informants “made introductions, talked about selling them some arms, talked about surface-to-air missiles. Once he took the bait, the investigation rocked on for six or eight months, until he was arrested.”
ost of the DEA’s work involves so-called “humint,” short for human intelligence, such as undercover agents, informants and other law enforcement operatives. “Our bread and butter are informants,” Sanders says. When they do use high-tech equipment, like the recording devices employed in the al-Kassar case, the equipment tends to be singularly focused, such as cell-phone global positioning tracking devices
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or pin register devices that capture keystrokes on dialed telephones. In an ongoing international arms dealer case, former Soviet KGB agent Viktor Bout was brought down by the DEA and accused of selling leftover arms from the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and “turning it into cold, hard cash,” Sanders said. Bout is accused of selling armaments to the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hezbollah, among other groups. The Nicolas Cage character in the movie Merchant of Death is supposedly modeled after Bout. Cage’s character, Yuri Orlov, muses about arms in the world, speculating that one in every dozen people in the world now carries some kind of weapon, and he wants to figure out how to arm the other 11. Movie lore is that the tanks used to make the movie were loaned by a Czech arms dealer who wanted them back so he could sell them to another country, possibly Libya. According to the DEA, that was just about what Bout was up to. He roamed the world looking for clients, but eventually was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and charged with selling arms to help carry on wars in Afghanistan, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Sudan, according to the Treasury Department. But the DEA and other agencies were thrown a curveball in the Bout case when Thailand refused to extradite him to the United States to stand trial. He has been sitting in Thailand for two years, but recently the United States made another attempt
ith all the arms dealers being chased down across the globe, it might be easy to forget that the DEA was primarily chartered as a drug enforcement agency. It makes drug busts almost daily in the United States, but is involved in overseas drug busts as well. Two of the biggest-selling drugs, cocaine and heroin, have their origins overseas. Poppies, the source of heroin, are grown in Asia, especially Afghanistan. Most cocaine comes from Mexico and Colombia. DEA agents now work alongside American troops in Afghanistan in a law-enforcement mission. Even methamphetamine, which used to be the province of U.S. motorcycle gangs and small-town amateur cookers, is mostly manufactured overseas these days. That’s largely due to a law passed in 2006 that made the ingredients in methamphetamine – ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine – harder to get. That’s the law that put Sudafed and other nonprescription antihistamines behind the counter and required ID to be presented for purchases. A collection of guns the DEA confiscated during a normal operation.
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“Small towns in Iowa were the worst,” the DEA’s Sanders said. Iowa seizures went from more than 2,000 in 2003 to just 192 in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available. “Mexican drug traffickers saw a need that we had cut off,” he said. “There are huge meth-amphetamine labs on both sides of the border. Several on the south side of the border were pumping out meth like crazy.” But Mexican authorities are now acting to curb the availability of the nonprescription drugs as well, the DEA said. Sometimes the DEA is brought into investigations that involve other law enforcement agencies. Recently, a New York City police officer was indicted for allegedly participating in a drug robbery crew that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York had previously indicted and charged with more than 100 armed robberies of narco-traffickers in New York. DEA and the other agencies alleged that Emmanuel Tavarez, an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, arranged for the robbers to pose as police officers. The indictment alleges that he outfitted the crew members with full police gear and staged arrests of drug traffickers using fake arrest and search warrants. Then they took away the drugs and the money. Officials found guns, handcuffs, pepper spray, plastic tie-wrap handcuffs, gloves, duct tape and a wooden club. It was another mission accomplished for the DEA. DEA PHOTOS: Courtesy of
to extradite him. He was indicted on a series of new charges, including illegally buying American cargo planes to carry weapons to warring countries in Africa and the Middle East. Bout “allegedly made a career of arming bloody conflicts and supporting rogue regimes across multiple continents, even using the U.S. banking system to secretly finance a private fleet of aircraft,” according to Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. As for the reasons Bout is still in Thailand, Dodd would only say, “There’s a lot of intrigue there, we just have to wait.”
‘13 AIR FORCE Preview
B-3 or Not B-3
Air Force forges ahead with next-generation bomber By Nick Adde
photo: Zachary Hada
he Air Force continues moving officials slashed the planned size of the Armed Services Committee last year, forward with plans to procure fleet to 20. then-Defense Secretary Robert M. a new long-range bomber to Costs will remain at $550 million Gates told lawmakers that the Air augment and ultimately replace the per aircraft, Gen. Norton Schwartz, Force wants a stealth bomber that can aging fleets of B-52s, B-1s and B-2s the Air Force chief of staff, assured carry air-to-air missiles, a payload through at least the 2040s. reporters at a February Pentagon ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds, Air Force civilian and military breakfast. “If it doesn’t, we don’t get a and an active electronically scanned leaders have a clear vision about the program,” Schwartz said, according to array (AESA) radar system, which plane’s primary mission – to carry Air Force Times. uses electronic beams to identify, track nuclear and non-nuclear payloads, Maj. Gen. David Scott, the Air and target adversaries. and fly either manned or unmanned. Force’s then-director of operational Scott offered some more detailed insight The Obama administration budgeted capability requirements, said last year as to what those requirements would $197 million on bomber stipulate. Development development in fiscal 2012. will proceed, he said, with The bomber remained in the a keen eye focused on fiscal 2013 defense budget, budget constraints and which called for spending finite combat-mission about $292 million in fiscal requirements. “We’re not doing ‘Battlestar 2013 and another $6 billion Galactica.’ It will [rely upon] through 2017. The current current technology. We timetable calls for buying 80 don’t want to make this so to 100 aircraft for about $550 costly that we can’t afford it,” million each in fiscal 2010 Scott said. dollars, with the bomber Rather, the new plane reaching initial operational would assume a role in a capability by 2020. In the budget document wide network of warfighting A variety of munitions are lined up on the flightline released in February, assets known as the “family near parked B-1B Lancer bombers during an according to DoD Buzz, of systems.” Maj. Gen. operational readiness exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 15, 2012. the Air Force says the new Alfred Flowers, the Air bomber “will not need the Force’s budget chief, said in same capabilities that were planned that it was too soon to say what the a February 2011 budget briefing. “The for the [previously canceled] Next new bomber would look like. “It will bomber is the centerpiece, but there’s Generation Bomber” because it be subsonic, probably. It depends on ISR (intelligence, surveillance and will “incorporate many subsystems what industry tells is what it can and reconnaissance) … electronic attack (engines, radars, other avionics) and cannot do,” Scott said. and communication capabilities that technologies that are already proven.” Industry, for its part, had been would be part of this family system.” Because the bomber will rely on waiting for specific guidance from The new bomber would send a strong “proven technologies” and evolve with the Air Force before moving forward. message to potential adversaries, who new threats as the legacy B-52 fleet “Until the program is further defined, “are always trying to get ahead of us,” has done, acquisition costs will be well there isn’t much to say,” Chris Haddox Scott said. “If we don’t [build the new below that of the B-2 stealth bomber, of Boeing Co. said last spring. “We are bomber], are we ready to accept the the Air Force says in the budget awaiting the requirements of a new notion that we’re not a global power? document. The B-2 cost more than bomber from the customer.” I’m not sure we’re ready to do that.” $2 billion per plane after Pentagon During a hearing before the House --Julie Bird contributed to this report.
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‘13 ARMY Preview
Service plans to win the war against waste By Sara Michael
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Paris Caper
he Army is shooting to have all Defense Department” to go green, to solicit the private sector for at of its installations produce at says Alan King, the Army’s director of least one or two renewable energy least as much energy as they use, energy partnerships. Some projects, opportunities each quarter. part of its “net-zero” initiative pursued like a solar power initiative at Fort Some changes already are under in partnership with the Environmental Irwin, Calif., can cost up to $2 billion. way, such as phasing out energyProtection Agency. eating incandescent light “We are really talking about our bulbs. By opting for more responsibility to the environment efficient compact florescent and the resources we have available,” bulbs, the Army can use says Katherine Hammack, assistant as much as 75 percent less secretary for installations, energy electricity and reduce waste and the environment. by buying fewer bulbs. Army officials want to have five At Fort Irwin, the Army installations meet the net-zero partnered with Clark Energy goal by 2020, with another 25 of Group of Arlington, Va., the more than 150 installations and Acciona Solar Power of on board by 2030. Water and Henderson, Nev., through waste reduction goals will be an enhanced-use land lease included. “Our broad vision is to build a 500-megawatt that when it’s fully implemented, solar power plant. The first it will be a model of sustainability phase is a 20-megawatt plant, and quality of life and an example expected to handle much to the nation,” she says. of the base’s 28-megawatt How each installation achieves power needs. Similarly, the Army has the net-zero goal depends on the partnered with developer Actus base. Some posts are working Lend Lease to build green with local universities, utility homes on military installations, companies and innovators to find including two zero-energy the right strategy, Hammack says. That means measuring the homes at Fort Campbell, Ky. success of the program — and the The company will be comparing budget — will depend on each Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the the energy use to that of two project at the various bases. The Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, traditional homes, says Bruce ambitious plan isn’t without its speaks with Capt. William Branch, a company Anderson, an executive general challenges, among them hefty up- commander with 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored manager for Actus Lend Lease. front investments. But through Division, about operational energy solutions The goal is 54 percent less unique funding structures and at Network Integration Evaluation 13.1. energy consumption. The government “starts partnerships with developers, the Army is able to share the cost. “We wouldn’t have the expertise to the program correctly,” Anderson “Because of the appropriated maintain and operate it, or the base says. “Then [it’s a matter of bringing] in private assets and private dollars to money we get, there really isn’t a operations funding to keep it up.” new funding stream in the Army or The idea was to develop a plan really push it.”
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‘13 MARINE CORPS Preview
Lightweight gun provides plenty of bang for the buck
By Matthew Cox
Photo By: Lance Cpl. Paris Caper
he U.S. military’s new, can put the M777A2 anywhere they When the program began in the lightweight 155mm howitzer want on the battlefield. mid-1990s, BAE’s gun soon became may one day be able to tell “It’s uniquely suited for known for its durability. Marines in gun crews if it has been fired too long Afghanistan, where it’s been light particular were impressed that they without a break. enough to be lifted into high-altitude couldn’t break it during testing, BAE Officials at BAE Systems, the maker forward operating base locations,” officials maintain. So far, the Marines of the M777A2, say they are working says Christopher Hatch, deputy have fielded 380 M777A2s, and have a on improvements that could equip program manager for the Army and requirement for 511, Gonzalez says. The the gun system with an electronic Marine Corps Lightweight 155mm Army has fielded about 300 M777A2s thermal warning system. “It tells them Joint Program Office at Picatinny and plans to buy a total of 418. the gun is getting too hot,” says Geoff Arsenal, N.J. “We can’t lift an M198 BAE officials, who plan to produce the M777A2 for both services into Gonzalez, M777 integrated project into those places.” 2013, say the program has team leader at Global gone “fantastically well.” Combat Systems and “It is one of the few Weapons at BAE Systems. The Marine Corps, programs I have been like the Army, has been involved with where replacing its heavy M198 we have never missed a 155mm towed howitzer delivery,” Gonzalez says. with the M777A2 for “The feedback I have about 15 years. The received is it is extremely Corps has budgeted $21.6 reliable, extremely maintainable and million for fiscal 2012 extremely accurate.” and plans to complete The M777A2 is the fielding the lightweight latest version of the gun in 2013. But the work at BAE system. Produced in 2009, is nowhere near done. In A 155mm round soars from the barrel of a M777 A2 it features a digital fire addition to the electronic Lightweight Howitzer during an artillery demonstration control system that helps thermal warning system, by Artillery Instructor Battery, Combat Instructor crews calculate wind speed, Gonzalez’s crew continues Company, Instructor Battalion, The Basic School on meteorological conditions to work on improvements Nov. 28 on Range 4. and even the Earth’s to the M777 series such a rotation for delivering hydraulic power pack that would help Because of its lower weight, two accurate fire. raise and lower the gun instead of M777s can fit into a C-130 Hercules It can fire the precision-guided tactical airlift aircraft, versus only Excalibur munition up to 24 miles troops having to do it by hand. The M777A2 weighs 9,700 one M198, says David Branham, who with far better accuracy than pounds, significantly less than the manages congressional and public traditional artillery shells. That makes 16,000-pound weight of the M198. affairs for the Marine Corps Program the gun safer to use in populated The weight savings comes from using Executive Office Land Systems. Unlike areas, Branham says. titanium and aluminum alloys in all the M198, the M777 also can be airlifted The Canadian army has 16 of the major structures except the by helicopters such as the Marine M777A2s in service in Afghanistan. Corps CH-53E, CH- 46E and CH-53Ds Australia has also signed a foreign steel gun tube. The lighter weight should mean as well as the new MV-22 Osprey tilt- military sales contract to purchase the M777A2. that Marine and Army combat units rotor aircraft, Branham says.
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‘13 NAVY Preview
Navy still wants 700 jets, but hedges its bets
By John T. Bennett
PHOTO: Courtesy of Lockheed Martin
espite program delays and Despite the recent developmental fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy cost overruns, the U.S. Navy problems, industry officials and and Marine Corps. is standing by plans to buy analysts say the F-35 will be a big step None of the three variants has almost 700 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters forward in air-to-ground, air-to-air, officially entered the full-rate -- but service officials also will intelligence-gathering, electronic- production phase, and it remains purchase more F/A-18E/F fighters warfare and other missions. unclear when the program will pass just in case. “The leap in warfighting capability that milestone; the program is still in Defense Secretary Robert Gates in will be profound – more than just the development and test flight phase. January responded to new technical an evolutionary advance,” says The first C variants are being built as problems with the Marine Corps’ Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin part of “low-rate initial production lot F-35 variant by placing it on two years’ Aeronautics’ vice president for F-35 4,” according to Lockheed Martin. probation. The program could be in business development. “Because In recent years, as the Pentagon’s danger if problems with the F-35B of its [low-observable] stealth, the director of operational testing and variant aren’t solved by then. evaluation notes in a late 2010 He also shifted the tri-service report, software problems, program’s purchasing schedule design flaws and delays in testing by shifting the Marines’ vertical have plagued the program. take-off-and-landing variant to As a hedge, the Navy has in the last of the three. its last two budgets purchased This was the latest blow to a additional Boeing-made F/Aprogram increasingly besieged 18E/F fighters. by software and design flaws “With the Super Hornet available now and at a good that have led to massive cost price, it makes for an irresistible overruns and years of delivery hedge against further F-35 delays. Some defense-sector delays,” says aviation analyst sources say Navy leaders are Richard Aboulafia of the not committed to the Lockheed Martin-made F-35, but service Cmdr. Eric Buus pilots the F-35B Joint Strike Teal Group. “After all, if you Fighter test aircraft BF-2 as it completes don’t have enough planes to and program officials so far are the first test flight for the short takeoff and sticking by the F-35 in public. vertical landing variant with an asymmetric fill carrier decks, the budget cutters might go after a The Department of the Navy weapons load. carrier. Much depends on the is slated to buy 680 carrierlaunched and vertical take-off-and- F-35 will be able to operate in high- [Marines’] F-35B. If it doesn’t survive landing F-35s. The service is mulling threat environments that current- its probationary period, that removes how many of each model it will generation fighters can neither some of the commonality draw for the [Navy’s] F-35C.” ultimately purchase, but is seeking penetrate nor survive.” $78 million in 2012 funding for O’Bryan says the first production- Still, there will come a time when model F-35Cs will be delivered to the buying more F/A-18E/Fs will no the program. longer make sense, Aboulafia says. The Navy is conducting flight tests Navy next year. on the first test model, CF-01. The Because the Pentagon and almost At that time, “the F-35C will likely next two test models are slated to a dozen allies decided to build be [the] only option” after 2016. “It’s be delivered to the Navy next year, three variants, proponents say the been seriously delayed, it’s more according to Lockheed Martin. The operational and lifetime costs of the expensive than planned,” he says, “but Navy model is slated to be operational U.S. military’s entire F-35 fleet will be it's still the future.” cheaper than pursuing new multirole And that future is near. in 2014.
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Patrol By Sara Michael
he pitch-black darkness of the vast land stretching along the southern U.S. border can seem like a planetarium scene with nothing but a blanket of stars lighting the way. That’s how Bobby Brown, a business development executive for the electronic systems division’s homeland security group at Telephonics Corp., described ground zero in the U.S. battle against illegal immigration. “You can’t see your hand in front of your face.” Add to the darkness a rocky desert terrain, and a picture emerges of the treacherous obstacles U.S. Border Patrol agents face in their efforts to prevent illegal immigrants and smugglers from making it into the country. Telephonic’s mobile surveillance systems, equipped with a full suite of sensors, are among the many technologies agents are now armed with to better protect the borders. From miles of physical fence to a network of cameras and sensors both mobile and mounted on towers, Border Patrol agents are utilizing a combination of tools to supplement expertise and intelligence gathering. “As the technology advances, it makes our job easier,” said Michael Reilly, an assistant chief and spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol. In the years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Border Patrol’s mission has shifted, placing
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higher priority on preventing terrorists crossing into the country, along with the traditional goal of halting illegal immigration. As the mobile law enforcement arm of the Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol agents are tasked with patrolling 6,000 miles of land borders with Mexico and Canada and 2,000 miles of coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. An agency that began 88 years ago with 450 agents has swelled to more than 18,000 agents, growing exponentially in the last eleven years. The agency partners with other law enforcement agencies and the military to police the land between border check points, land that varies widely in terrain and threats. Border Fence
erhaps one of the most well-known impediments to illegal border crossing is the more than 600mile fence stretching along parts of the border with Mexico. This “tactical infrastructure,” which also includes roads and lighting, is part of the Border Patrol’s Secure Border Initiative, launched four years ago as a multiyear physical and technological infrastructure program. Boeing is the prime contractor.
PHOTO: Gerald L. Nino
CBP agent watches people as they gather next to the Mexican/American border in Imperial Valley CA.
With the fence nearly completed along the southwest border, the Border Patrol has shifted its focus to the technology arm, known as SBInet, said Border Patrol spokeswoman Jenny Burke. In 2012, the Border Patrol planned the first operational deployment of a series of towers manned with cameras, radars and sensors to monitor the border and communicate information. “It’s a more cost effective manner, rather than having a Border Patrol agent stationed every couple of feet,” Burke said. The new surveillance systems are all linked for an “overarching view,” she said. The towers, being deployed by Boeing, will be set up in the Tucson and Ajo sectors in Arizona to cover an expanse of 53 miles, Burke said. Later, the entire Arizona border could be covered by similar towers, she said. Meanwhile, Boeing was awarded a $20 million task order to deploy video cameras along the northern border. These remote video surveillance systems won’t be integrated like the system in Tucson, Burke said. But the project will allow the agency to see how this technology fares in drastically different and equally harsh northern environment.
which was awarded a $15.2 million contract in 2007 to build 30 mobile surveillance systems. The company recently finished upgrades to those initial systems, said Mark Supko, vice president of business development at the electronic systems division of Telephonics, based in Farmingdale, N.Y. The Mobile Surveillance System includes several technologies, such as radar that scans for targets and day and night cameras, which the agent can direct to a specific location once something is detected. Before, eyeing the expanse was like looking through a straw, Supko said. Now, agents can rely on the radar to do the scanning, then slue the camera to the location. “You can cover a much wider front with one person,” Supko said. “Some movement is people, deers, cows. Now they can classify that automatically. If [the objects] are humans, they can see what they are carrying. They can actually take a look and see what’s there.” Border agents can put this sensor suite in the back of a vehicle and use the cab as a rolling command and control center, said Brown. The agents “really do become a part of the surrounding terrain,” he said. “You can work a spot for a day, a halfday, a week, and then you can move it at will. The coyotes or the drug smugglers are never aware of where the [mobile surveillance systems] are.” Agent Mobility Another critical piece of technology is thermalhether traveling by horseback, all-terrain vehicle imaging technology for night vision -- a far cry from or on foot, Border Patrol agents must be highly the old night-vision goggles Reilly recalls agents using mobile and still able to closely monitor activities at when he joined the Border Patrol 18 years ago. the border. Enter the units developed by Telephonics, Today, agents use the Recon III, a handheld,
PHOTO: Gerald L. Nino
The U.S. Mexican border, U.S. is on the left side of the photo.
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High tech equipment atop this pole is used to see and hear illegal immigrants attempting to cross into the U.S.
invisible to the naked eye that will allow others using the night goggles to see the laser pointer, and therefore the object. “An agent is mobile, and he can go where he thinks the best route is,” said Reilly, who served as a field operations supervisor in Tucson and a supervisory agent in Del Rio, Texas, before transferring to headquarters in March. “He can fit it in his camelback, hike up a mountain or hike up a hill and decide where he’ll set up. It gives us the ability to get to those remote areas.” Changing Threats
photo: James Tourtellotte
binocular-style tool developed by Flir Systems Inc. that lets them see at night while staying highly mobile, said Bill Klink, vice president of security and surveillance business development for the Wilsonville, Ore.-based company. More than just night-vision goggles, the thermal-imaging technology can discern even the most minute temperature changes and represent those gradients in a black, white and gray image. Everything gives off heat, Klink said, so agents can clearly identify what they are seeing. When mounted to platforms on trucks, thermalimaging cameras can offer a long-range view of up to eight miles, said Klink. “The farther away you can see them, the more reaction time you have,” he said. When using the technology as the Recon III handheld goggles, which cost about $70,000 each, agents can see some two to three miles away, he said. The units can be outfitted with range-finder radar that measures the distance from the object. Patrols can send out a beam 48 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012
few weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Border Patrol counted about 9,600 agents among its ranks. That number had swelled to nearly 18,700 by the spring of 2009, Reilly said. With double the staff, the Border Patrol is better able to patrol the vast and diverse regions between ports of entry, adapting to the constantly changing techniques of smugglers and illegal immigrants, he said. The Border Patrol is able to station more agents on the northern border, Reilly said, and continue to stay on top of the constantly changing tactics used by smugglers. In fiscal 2007, agents arrested nearly 877,000 people illegally entering the country, and seized more than 14,200 pounds of cocaine and more than 1.8 million pounds of marijuana, according to the agency. New agents now also receive an anti-terrorism course during training, which provides an understanding of terrorist organizations, weapons and tactics, said Border Patrol spokesman Steven Cribby. The Border Patrol’s special operations groups such as the Tactical Unit (BORTAC) and the Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) teams, formed in the mid1980s, continue to expand in scope and capabilities to address growing threats, Cribby said. BORTAC members have operated in 28 countries, in training and advisory missions, counter-narcotics missions and patrol operations, among others, he said. The teams help prevent terrorism through planning and tactical deployment. “Our law enforcement posture has changed since 9/11 from an immigration enforcement agency to an all-threats agency,” said Cribby. “We strive to prevent all threats from entering the country by gathering intelligence and continually reevaluating and updating our technology.”
PHOTO: Daniel Barker
The guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) is moored at its homeport at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The new destroyer is named in honor of Lt. (SEAL) Michael P. Murphy, who was posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honor for his actions in combat as leader of a four-man reconnaissance team in Afghanistan.
50 DEFENSE STANDARD Winter 2012