23 May 2011
Monday Morning News Kick Off: Obama Honors CIA, Intelligence Community for Bin Laden Killing; Air Force Kicks Off Space Race; and Much More
Welcome to the Monday Morning News Kick Off from got geoint? As always, we hope you had a restful weekend spent with family, friends and loved ones. And, we are on the verge of Memorial Day weekend — that’s right…a three day weekend that is very special because it honors those who have served our great nation. So, while many are already thinking about the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we still have five days of productivity ahead of us. Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps this is the week where you will exceed all expectations and achieve your ultimate professional goals. It could happen. And, with the help of the MMNKO post, how could you go wrong? So, as we always say, fire up that second cup of coffee and read on. Happy Monday!
Obama Honors CIA, Intelligence Community for Bin Laden Killing
President Barack Obama thanked the spies and analysts of the Central Intelligence Agency last week for their persistence in helping U.S. forces track down Osama bin Laden and vowed to pursue every lead they develop from a trove of documents and computer files taken during the operation. The intelligence operation that led to bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan will be studied for “generations to come,” the president said at agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, outside Washington. “As you go about your work with incredible diligence and dedication every single day, I hope all of you understand how important it is, how grateful I am and that you have the thanks of a grateful nation,” he said. Read the full Bloomberg story here.
Military Spysat Nears Launch
A satellite equipped with a version of the U-2’s electro-optical still camera has been cleared for shipment to its launch site in Virginia, the U.S. Air Force said May 20. The Operationally Responsive Space-1 satellite, or ORS-1, will test the ability of commanders to control their own spy satellite and receive imagery with the same equipment used for the U-2. Currently, the military must request imagery through the intelligence community’s satellite-tasking process, in which a committee of experts decides where to point the National Reconnaissance Office’s orbiting cameras. ORS-1 had been scheduled to launch on May 30, but the launch will be delayed until “early this summer,” the Air Force said in a press release. Military officials have been reviewing the reliability of the Minotaur 1 launch vehicle following the March failure of a Taurus rocket, which was the second consecutive failure for a Taurus. The Minotaur has a better record, but both rockets are built by Orbital Sciences Corp., and military officials had said they wanted to be sure they had not missed a hidden link. Check out the full C4ISR Journal article here.
The Air Force Kicks Off a New Space Race
Since 2006, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing has had a monopoly on launching the biggest U.S. military and spy satellites into space. Now, at the urging of Congress, the U.S. Air Force is laying the groundwork to open the business to competition. There’s big money at stake. The Air Force is projected to spend $9.9 billion from fiscal 2012 through 2016 on its Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, which covers medium- and heavy-class satellites, according to service figures. That’s $3.5 billion, or 54 percent, more than a projection made last year for the same period. “We have seen a cost trend that we feel needs to be turned around,” Air Force Under Secretary Erin Conaton said in an interview. “One of my goals is that, in a year from now, we don’t see the same trend lines.” Read the full BusinessWeek story here.
Second Order Effects: Key to Enhancing Decision Making for the Intelligence Community
In the literary classic Beowulf, the main protagonist and title character answers the call from King Hrothgar to kill the evil monster Grendel. Successful in his quest, Beowulf kills Grendel and returns to the King’s castle, victorious. When the celebratory party is in full swing, Grendel’s mother appears seeking revenge. This is a prime example of a second order effect that is very analogous to what often happens in the intelligence community. Whenever a commander makes a significant decision, intelligence professionals often have to present possible second order effects, which can be positive or negative, for consideration. Often these second order effects are considered and acted upon by commanders. Be sure to read the full GIS Cafe post from Marv Gordner of MorganFranklin here.
Crazy Military Tracking Tech, From Super Scents to Quantum Dots
Scents that make you trackable, indoors and out. Nanocrystals that stick to your body, and light up on night-vision goggles. Miniradar that maps your location on Google Earth. You can run, but you’ll learn it’s hard to hide from a new range of military tech.The Defense Department calls it “tagging, tracking and locating,” or TTL, this business of finding and following high-value targets on the battlefield. Ever since SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden, we’ve learned a lot about the technology used by special operators to find and reach their targets, from stealth helicopters to biometric identification devices. TTL gear, though, ranks among the spookiest Special Operations’ extremely spooky arsenal. Read the full Wired Danger Room post here.