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THE DROPZONE

U.S. Drones are Under Attack pg. 6 1


Table of Contents Introducing Cadet Worsham - Page 4 U.S. Drones are Under Attack‌. Page 6

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Table of Contents Introducing Cadet Robinson - Page 10

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Introducing Cadet Worsham

Cadet Worsham was born in Charleston, SC 1992 and has lived in Charleston for twenty-one years. He attended O’quinn Elementary School followed by twelve years at Porter-Gaud School where he graduated and received a High School diploma. At Porter-Gaud, Cadet Worsham participated in the school’s swim team, attended Military History club events, led a Lower School chess club, and competed in the High School chess club, where he shared chess champion title in 2011. He was musically involved in the school’s concert, jazz, and praise bands through Middle and High School. For School musicals, Cadet Worsham provided accompaniment as a percussionist and helped with stage crew setup. He volunteered with Race for the Cure, along with Pet Helpers where he was elected as the 2010-2011 Pet Helpers Service Leader. Outside of school, Cadet Worsham has helped with Saint Michaels Church Praise band as a musician and technician and has volunteered with helping lead youth events. He has also helped with leading worship at Camp Saint Christopher for Middle School and High School retreats. Following his years at Porter-Gaud School, Cadet Worsham enrolled at the College of Charleston where he joined the Club Swim Team, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Campus Crusade, and University Choir. Sophomore year, having had an interest in preservation of history, old structures, and Medieval History, Cadet Worsham selected Historic Preservation and Community Planning as his Major. Due to his many years of experience with piano, voice, and percussion, Cadet Worsham decided to Minor in music. Over his first two years in College, Cadet Worsham became increasingly interested in Air Force ROTC after having experienced taking flying lessons in Cessna 150’s and 172’s, and having talked with a retired Air Force Colonel about leading and flying.

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Beginning his Junior year, Cadet Worsham enrolled in Air Force ROTC cross-classes at Charleston Southern University. His future desire is to commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force where he would then like to pursue a career in piloting an A-10 Thunderbolt and possibly leading a squadron of Airmen. He has no prior experience in the military and therefore is going to Charleston Southern University to participate in the AFROTC program where he will begin a military career as an officer. Cadet Worsham currently serves as the Fall 2013 semester Cadet Wing Historian, Communications Officer, and Website Officer for AFROTC Detachment 772 at Charleston Southern University. Cadet Worsham’s parents have lived in Charleston, SC for twenty-two years. His father, born and raised in Jeffersonville, Georgia attended Georgia Southern University where he graduated with Bachelor of Science, and graduated from the Medical College of Georgia with a Medical Degree and residency in Pediatrics. He currently works as a Pediatrician at Charles Towne Pediatrics and has been in his field of work for thirty-six years. He also served as a head doctor of a clinic for the U.S. Air Force at Spangdahlem, Germany Air Force base for three years. Prior he was stationed at Chanute Air Force base in Illinois for two years. His mother, born and raised in Oklahoma, is recently retired from the Charleston Symphony where she performed as a oboist as well as played the English Horn for twenty-one years. She attended Peabody Conservatory and graduated with a Masters degree in Oboe performance. Outside of school, Cadet Worsham has helped with Saint Michaels Church Praise band as a musician and technician and has volunteered with helping lead youth events. He has also helped with leading worship at Camp Saint Christopher for Middle School and High School retreats. Other hobbies of Cadet Worsham include swimming, running, biking, ultimate Frisbee, surfing with friends, chess, photography, flying Cessna aircraft, crossbow hunting and archery, camping and hiking in the mountains, and playing music in a band with friends.

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U.S. Drones are Under Attack

By Rory Benz 6


It seems that just recently U.S. drone strikes have become a center of attention for the media. During the August, Edward Snowden released classified documents stating that Al-Qaeda members have begun to discover ways to interfere with American unmanned aircrafts, in ways such as; shooting them down, interfering with infrared devices and remotely hijacking the aircrafts. Al-Qaeda is hoping to exploit vulnerabilities of a weapon that has inflicted a high number of defeats among the terrorist group. Although there is no evidence that Al-Qaeda has shot down or even interfered with a drone so far, the U.S. intelligence community is keeping a close eye on the terrorist group to ensure they do not succeed in their mission. Al-Qaeda leaders are hoping for a major breakthrough in their efforts to take down the drones, beings that the unmanned aircrafts have accounted for the deaths of 3,000 terrorist group members. These actions taken by the drones and their pilots have driven Al-Qaeda operatives and other militants to take extreme measures to limit their movements in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places. United States Intelligence agencies have stated that Al-Qaeda faces significant challenges in formulating effective ways to hinder the operations of. Although U.S. officials have said drones do have flaws in the satellite links and remote controls that enable the vehicles to be piloted from thousands of miles away. 7


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In 2010 CIA officials noted in a report that Al-Qaeda was placing special emphasis on recruiting technicians or engineers with expertise in missile technology. During the same year authorities in Turkey arrested a member of AlQaeda who was developing plans to shoot down NATO surveillance drones in Afghanistan. The suspect, a 23-yearold mathematics student, was using software to conduct ballistics research for drone attacks. Today there is still unease among U.S. agencies about Al-Qaeda’s determination to find ways that will counteract drones. There has been one instance where Al-Qaeda had hacked into a predator and shadow drone. This took place in the year 2009. The insurgents hacked into the video feeds of the drones using typical at-home software that someone could buy off the shelf at Best Buy. The reason this happed was due to the lack of attention given to encrypting the video streaming data links. Fortunately this breaching of a drones video system was caught very early on. Air Force officials said they would work to encrypt all video feeds from its predator drones and have this fixed by 2014. Al-Qaeda is a sophisticated group of intelligent people that the United States might always have to watch out for. As for right now it seems that the United States is staying one step ahead in the on-going fight with drone interference. 9


Introducing Cadet Robinson I can’t remember who gave the closing remarks at the 2011 South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics graduation ceremony. I don’t know why she was chosen or what the theme of her speech was. All I remember is her final statement. “You all left your homes to come here because you were driven to succeed. You wanted more. My hope for you all is that no matter what you do in life, you don’t lose that drive.” Her statement took me back to my very first day at South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. (GSSM) At sixteen years old, I was leaving home to attend one of the top twenty high schools in the nation where I would be challenged daily, both academically and emotionally. I needed that challenge. I needed to be among students who were just as driven as I was and teachers who would push us to achieve nothing less than excellence. Excitement was the only emotion I was capable of feeling, so when my mom started crying as she hugged me goodbye, it was hard for me to understand.

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“I knew I’d have to let you go eventually, but I just wasn’t expecting it to be this soon,” she said. “I guess I should have known, though. You’ve been ready to go since the day you were born.” When she’d said that, I couldn’t help but laugh. She was right. I’d started that trend early with my three-month-premature arrival into the world. Then I’d tried to convince my mom to let me skip two grades in elementary school when I was offered the chance, but she’d refused. I had gone to my first career day as the President of the United States, and now, I was leaving home two years sooner than expected. I’d grown up in the small town of Kershaw, South Carolina with one baby sister, Rachel. My parents went through a very messy divorce when I was six and, although I was very young at the time, I remember the fighting, the power struggles, the child advocates and the negative accusations on both sides. Eventually my parents settled on joint custody. My mom became a full-time college student and worked 40 hour weekends, so she was always busy. My dad moved in with our grandparents and began struggling with alcoholism and behavioral issues. As a result, Rachel and I spent a lot of time with our grandparents and our aunt and uncle. Rachel was only three, and eventually, I became her role model and her sole confidant. Because I took this role so seriously, I grew up a lot faster than most children. 11


Cadet Robinson Throughout my childhood and early adolescence, I began to focus on patterns of behavior in people around me, the consequences of their actions and the role their thought processes played in their decisions. I asked questions, analyzed everything and realized that I wanted more from life than what I had seen thus far. I wanted out of Kershaw, and more than anything, I wanted my life to mean something to the rest of the world. I’d seen what happened when people lived for themselves, and I decided that my goal in life was to live for something more important than me. I didn’t know exactly what my purpose was at the time but I knew that the only way to contribute on such a large scale was to bring everything I had to offer to the table. I began to push myself to be the best in every way I could. Everything was a competition, and my biggest competitor was myself. If I failed at anything, the only option was to try again, and I was harder on myself than anyone else ever could have been. When I got the offer to apply to the GSSM in my sophomore year of high school, I couldn’t wait to get started, and when I had received my acceptance letter, it felt like everything I had been working toward was finally starting to become a reality. Those closing remarks on graduation day, however, reiterated that Governor’s School had only been the first step in my journey. I committed to College of Charleston in my senior year of high school because I’d received enough scholarship money to pay for my tuition in its entirety. I initially became a biochemistry major because I felt like it would challenge me academically and my choices upon graduation would not be limited, but still, I wanted more. 12


I began looking at my options. I had considered joining the military before, and I had even applied to West Point in high school and had received a letter of assurance, but I had decided against it. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the military would provide me with the opportunity to challenge myself constantly and to spend my life serving my country and its people. I found out about the AFROTC program at CSU by talking to my Honor’s College advisor. While I haven’t decided exactly what I want to do in the Air Force, I truly do believe that I’m where I’m supposed to be, and I’m excited to see what the future will offer.

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Integrity First Service Before Self Excellence in All We Do

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September dropzone 2013 pdf