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Homeland Defense Watch

October 28, 2010

The Army is still trying to "work out the kinks" with the Federal Aviation Administration on what data requirements should be included as part of the approved certificate of authorization to fly unmanned drones in the national airspace using ground-based, sense-and-avoid technology, according to an Army official overseeing the program.

October 28, 2010

The Department of Homeland Security's science and technology shop plans to release a broad agency announcement soliciting cybersecurity research and development proposals.

October 22, 2010
Poor maritime domain awareness in the Arctic will hamper the Navy's ability to operate in the region should it be called on to do so, according to Stephen Caldwell, director of the office that handles maritime security issues within the Government Accountability Office.
October 21, 2010

A Defense Department airspace integration plan aims to have full operational capability for unmanned drones to use ground-based, sense-and-avoid systems by 2013 and airborne sense and avoid by 2018, a Pentagon source told Inside the Pentagon.

October 13, 2010

The Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security today announced new plans to enhance cooperation in a bid to better protect critical civilian and military computer systems and networks from cyber attack.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Defense Secretary Janet Napolitano last month inked a memorandum of agreement between the two departments that aims to “align and enhance America's capabilities to protect against” cyber threats to computer networks considered crucially important to the nation, the two cabinet officials said in a statement issued today.

October 6, 2010

Increased recruitment of Western operatives to carry out attacks in America and Europe has stymied U.S. intelligence officials and reflects the ability by international terrorist organizations to adapt to counterterrorism measures, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

September 24, 2010

The Defense Department should elevate the importance of its homeland-security mission to make it equal with warfighting as a means of ensuring that Pentagon planners set aside enough forces to support civil authorities in the aftermath of a catastrophe on U.S. soil with chemical, biological, or nuclear agents, according to a commission chartered by Congress.

September 10, 2010
The Navy will terminate 50 remaining legacy shore-based networks on the continental United States by the end of fiscal year 2010, according to a service document sent to Inside the Navy by the office that handles the Navy's intelligence and information technology, on Sept. 8.
September 10, 2010
The head of United States Northern Command plans to put a greater emphasis on maritime activities and domain awareness, he told reporters at a breakfast last week.
September 10, 2010

Pentagon officials and their counterparts at the Federal Aviation Administration must expedite efforts to set up the necessary protocols to allow unmanned aircraft operations above the continental United States, a senior military official said this week.

Adm. James Winnefeld, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said the lack of such agreements has left command officials unable to address “some pretty important needs” concerning homeland security via unmanned aerial operations, he said.

September 9, 2010

The top Pentagon official overseeing the defense of the United States believes light-attack aircraft could play a beneficial role in the homeland defense mission.

To that end, Adm. James Winnefeld, the commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, is contemplating creating a requirement for such an aircraft. The four-star believes the aircraft, when paired with higher-flying, faster aircraft such as the F-16 fighter, could fill critical capability gaps in the Air Sovereignty Alert mission conducted by the Air National Guard.

August 27, 2010
The Coast Guard will do its best to bring in assets that were formerly part of the Deepwater acquisition program on budget, according to commandant Adm. Robert Papp, but the four-star conceded that factors beyond the service's control may inflate costs.
August 27, 2010
The Commandant of the Coast Guard says that he may have short-term solutions to the shortage of ice breakers in the service's fleet, but has yet to discuss with the White House whether to extend the lives of the existing icebreakers or build new ones from scratch.
August 12, 2010

The Defense Department and the Federal Aviation Administration are working on a plan to integrate unmanned drones into the national airspace by relying on ground-based, sense-and-avoid technology among other solutions, according to DOD sources.

July 30, 2010
Cost baselines for four of the assets in the Coast Guard's ill-fated acquisition program -- including its largest planned buy, the Offshore Patrol Cutter -- have not been re-examined since the service took over the project from Integrated Coast Guard Systems three years ago, according to the Government Accountability Office.
July 23, 2010
The Coast Guard has announced its schedule moving forward with the Offshore Patrol Cutter, which is expected to make up the largest portion of its acquisition budget.
July 21, 2010

The Pentagon's acquisition executive has established a standing advisory panel to regularly assess the vulnerability of U.S. military weapons to attack from an electromagnetic pulse designed to cripple microcircuits and electronic systems.