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17 Aug 2009

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Monday Morning News Kick Off: Covert CIA Training in Public, Mapping the World and ManTech Wins DIA Contract

Added by Category: Daily Intelligence Brief

Happy Monday. We hope you all had a restful weekend and are ready to kick it into gear this week. Who knows this could be the most productive/successful week of your career. That big contract could finally come through; or that promotion could become a reality; or that contact you met at GEOINT 2008 last year could provide you with that career-changing opportunity. So, aren’t you feeling pumped up (no case of the Mondays, right) about getting the work week started. Well, the Monday Morning News Kick Off post is designed to jump start this most excellent week. As always, grab that coffee and scroll down.

DIA Contracts for Ongoing A-Space Support
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has awarded a follow-on contract to ManTech International to support an intelligence community common workplace program. ManTech was contracted to continue working on the Director of National Intelligence and Defense Intelligence Agency’s Analytic Space, or A-Space program. As many of our reader know, the A-Space program, similar to a Web 2.0 social networking technology, is a collaborative workspace designed for intelligence community analysts to connect with each other and securely access mission critical data.

NASA Falling Short of Asteroid-Detection Goals
It’s a good thing that NASA tracks asteroid that could potentially crash into earth. Not sure what we would do if a massive one was coming our way, but that’s not the case, right? Well, without additional funding, NASA will not meet its goal of tracking 90 percent of all deadly asteroids by 2020, according to a report released recently by the National Academy of Sciences. The agency is on track to soon be able to spot 90 percent of the potentially dangerous objects that are at least a kilometer (.6 miles) wide, a goal previously mandated by Congress. But don’t fret, an asteroid this size is estimated to hit the earth once every 500,000 years. So, when did the last one hit earth?

CIA, FBI, Secret Service Role Playing and Training in Public
We came across this very interesting article on the Washington Post about how, for training purposes, the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and the Capitol Police stage covert dramas in and around the capital where they train. Basically, they hire actors to be the bad guys and officials say the scenarios help agents and officers integrate the intellectual, physical and emotional aspects of classroom instruction. Most exercises are performed inside restricted compounds. But they also unfold in public parks, suburban golf clubs and downtown transit stations. Who knew?

Ex-Pentagon Spokesman Kenneth Bacon Dies
Kenneth H. Bacon, a former journalist and Pentagon spokesman who devoted his last years to highlighting refugees’ problems and urging policymakers to find solutions, died Saturday morning at his summer home on Block Island, R.I. He was 64 and a resident of Washington. The cause of his death was complications of melanoma. Bacon, as an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration, was the spokesman for the Defense Department during NATO’s campaign to end the violence in Kosovo in 1999.

Mapping the World, One Street at a Time
Even as GEOINT professionals, many of us often take for granted the consumer GPS technologies that have become a part of our daily lives. But the reality is that, especially for car navigation systems, someone has to do the actual mapping of all those side streets. Well, Tele Atlas is the company behind many GPS systems that does just that and here’s a great article in CNN about the company and what it does.

Satellite Imagery Shows Devastation Caused By California Forest Fires
Satellite imagery from the recently launched UK-DMC2 satellite shows forest fires in the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Maria at 11:10 local time on the 12th August. California is currently experiencing widespread forest fires, which has lead to evacuations in two areas. Last week, Bloomberg reported that more than 1,900 fire fighters were battling the blaze that has burned at least 48,457 acres in the Los Padres National Forest area of Santa Barbara County. Read more here.

Happy Monday!!

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