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Homeland Defense Watch

April 8, 2011

President Obama's decision to assign U.S. Northern Command the lead role for the Arctic in the 2011 edition of the Unified Command Plan will simplify command and control in the region, a senior defense official said today.

The plan, signed by Obama on April 6, lays out the missions, responsibilities and geographic areas of responsibility of the combatant commands. The plan makes NORTHCOM the advocate for Arctic capabilities and puts the Bering Strait and the North Pole in the command's area of responsibility.

March 17, 2011

The Army is one step closer to flying unmanned drones in U.S. airspace using ground-based radars now that the Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration signed a memorandum of agreement last week that lays out what data the military department needs to collect.

February 3, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security's science and technology shop has released a $40 million broad agency announcement soliciting white papers to boost cybersecurity in both federal networks and the Internet at large.

January 27, 2011

The Defense Department recently wrapped up an exercise testing interagency defenses against a state-sponsored military threat and will run another exercise this spring pitting those defenses against man-made or natural disasters.

January 21, 2011
The Coast Guard awarded Northrop Grumman an $89 million contract for long-lead time materials for the fifth National Security Cutter last week.
January 14, 2011
The commandant of the Coast Guard stressed last week that the service is still committed to funding all eight National Security Cutters in the class, despite past delays and speculation in the blogosphere that the class could be truncated.
December 23, 2010

The head of
U.S. Army North predicts that his command will not see funding cuts in the
upcoming president's fiscal year 2012 budget, and might receive additional
financial support for increased staffing.

December 23, 2010
The Coast Guard's efforts at modernization may take another blow under the continuing resolution passed by Congress last week, which makes provisions to sustain the service's operations, but does not include increased funds for acquisition.
December 17, 2010

Department of Homeland Security is planning a large-scale drill to determine
the nation's preparedness in responding to a potential nuclear terrorist
strike, according to the head of U.S. Army North.

December 16, 2010

The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today downplayed a second consecutive test failure of the Pentagon's ballistic missile defense system, stating that the United States has enough interceptors in the field to protect itself against threats.

“I'm not the least bit concerned that we don't have a capability to defeat, should we need to, that rogue threat that the system's been designed against,” Gen. James Cartwright said during a news conference today. “We have more than enough interceptors to do that.”

December 10, 2010
Forces in the U.S. Southern Command area of operations have less than half the resources they need to meet their drug interdiction goals, according to a Fourth Fleet and SOUTHCOM official.
December 9, 2010

Due to unexpected cost increases, the Coast Guard has been forced to dip into long-lead materials for its fifth National Security Cutter to pay for NSC-4, and may be forced to deal with operational gaps with both the NSC and Offshore Patrol Cutter, according to an acquisition official.

December 9, 2010

Acquiring high-tech cyber capabilities fast enough to adequately defend U.S. networks from attack remains challenging, according to Gregory Schaffer, the assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.

December 9, 2010

The cybersecurity memorandum of agreement between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security is being implemented through "day-to-day" collaboration, rather than talks confined to major events, according to a senior DHS official.

December 9, 2010

The National Cyber Incident Response Plan implemented earlier this year will be adjusted due to lessons learned from the exercise Cyber Storm III, according to Gregory Schaffer, the assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.

December 3, 2010

The Missile Defense Agency has released a final request for proposals for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense development and sustainment contract that includes a decision to change the effort's performance period from 10 years to seven.

November 30, 2010

The Coast Guard today awarded Northrop Grumman a contract worth about $480 million for the fourth National Security Cutter.

The fixed-price contract includes long-lead materials for the fifth and sixth vessels in the class, as well as an option for the construction of NSC-5.

According to Coast Guard spokeswoman Maureen Schumann, NSC-4 is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.

November 18, 2010

Federal agencies that use unmanned drones have been instructed to complete detailed studies laying out and prioritizing their operational needs to fly the aircraft in U.S. skies.

November 18, 2010

Within the next five years, the Defense Department plans to more than double the number of certificates the military has to fly unmanned drones in the national airspace, according to a report recently submitted to Congress and obtained by Inside the Pentagon.

November 11, 2010

To help integrate unmanned drones into the national airspace, a committee comprised of Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration representatives is calling for standardized guidance for requesting access, procedures for how the unmanned aircraft will respond to problems, and the establishment of a sense-and-avoid system, according to a report recently submitted to Congress and obtained by Inside the Pentagon.