Nuclear C2, Search and Rescue Technologies, Responder Radio Interoperability

Topics in this issue include nuclear C2 modernization, DTRA biodefense funding, 9/11 health bill fight in Congress, and nuclear air-launched cruise missiles.

Connecting, Protecting, and Informing the Next Generation of First Responders

Using both commercial and custom components, Lincoln Laboratory’s prototype NGFR sensor system integrates new capabilities, such as drone operations and indoor position tracking, and new devices, such as body sensors and heads-up displays, with the Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS), a command-and-control architecture developed by the Laboratory in collaboration with S&T to provide decision support to first responders. MIT Lincoln Laboratory >>

Nuclear Command & Control System: Modernization Necessary to Keep President Informed

The Air Force in particular needs more money to modernize nuclear networks since they have been in place since the Cold War and meet the risks of growing complexity of the security environment. USAF is working towards upgrading the system to support the current intercontinental ballistic missile program as well as the future Ground-based Strategic Deterrent likely to be deployed circa 2030. Lexington Institute >>

NYPD, First Responders Want Congress to Keep Money Following for 9/11 Health Bill

The New York Police Department commissioner, flanked by police and firefighters, pushed Congress on Thursday to keep dollars flowing to a health program for first responders and others who got sick working in the rubble of the Sept. 11 attacks. Commissioner William Bratton noted that the House and Senate were holding hearings on the evolving terrorist threat to the United States, but the country still hadn’t paid its debt to the first responders of 9/11. Star Tribune >>

Who Got Biodefense Funding from DTRA This Year?

A list of contracts awarded under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Chemical and Biological Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HDTRA1-14-CHEM-BIO-BAA from November 2014 through December 2015. Global Biodefense >>

US to Develop Machines to Destroy Chemical Weapons in the Field

The Pentagon is going to develop two prototypes of machines that can destroy chemical weapons on the spot and avoid the complex logistics of transporting such arsenals. Defense News >>

Adjusting NATO’s Nuclear Posture

The new Polish government caused a stir last weekend when deputy defense minister Tomasz Szatkowski said during an interview with Polsat News 2 that Poland was taking “concrete steps” to consider joining NATO’s so-called nuclear sharing program. The program is a controversial arrangement where the United States makes nuclear weapons available for use by a handful of non-nuclear NATO countries. Federation of American Scientists >>

DHS S&T Establishes Advisory Panel to Help Ensure Radio Interoperability Among First Responders

Project 25 aims to solve the issues that first responders face as manufacturers often use different technical approaches that make their radios unique, and, thus, potentially incompatible with other systems. P25 CAP is a formal, independent process, created by DHS and operated in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, for ensuring that communications equipment that is advertised as P25 is actually compliant. HS Today >>

Do More Nukes Really Mean More Nuclear Crises? Not Necessarily

Thirty-two years ago, during what military historians call the “1983 war scare,” the United States and the Soviet Union arguably came closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. A newly-declassified 1990 report by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, published in October by the National Security Archive, makes this case. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Contradicting Reports on Nuclear Effect of Turkey-Russia Tension

Ongoing tension between Ankara and Moscow may have spread into area of Turkey’s multibillion dollar nuclear plant project in Akkuyu, with some media reports suggesting that the planned plant will be canceled. Reuters quoted Turkish energy officials as saying on Dec. 9 that Russia’s Rosatom stopped work at the site in Akkuyu in southern Turkey, as relations between Moscow and Ankara continue to deteriorate after the Nov. 24 downing of a Russian jet by Turkey. Hurriyet Daily >>

Who Needs a New Nuclear Air-Launched Cruise Missile Anyway?

The U.S. military is about to embark on a modernization program to sustain the strategic nuclear triad. The program will generate a huge “bow wave” of spending requirements in the 2020s. One big problem: The Pentagon has no idea how to pay for it. The Obama administration and Congress should simplify the issue by shelving the Long-Range Stand-off Weapon (LRSO). Brookings >>

Human Skin Detection Technology for Improved Security, Search and Rescue

Color-image based systems are excellent at locating people in aerial search and rescue operations, but fall short when it comes to discerning between actual human skin and objects with similar hues. To remedy this, researchers at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) have developed a novel two-dimensional feature space which uses the spectral absorption characteristics of melanin, hemoglobin and water to better characterize human skin. >>

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