Posts tagged ‘Coast Guard’

CYBER SECURITY: Coast Guard Commandant Discusses Cyber Strategy

Cyber Hygiene.

U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command Seal

U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command Seal

In a world where North Korea can hack a movie production company’s internal communication and employee data as an act of revenge and diplomatic pique and U.S. authorities are looking into cyber spying on a Major League Baseball team — possibly by another team — it should come as no surprise that another U.S. government agency is upping its cyber defense game.

The U.S. Coast Guard has developed a cyber strategy to guide its priorities over the next 10 years. Those priorities include: defending U.S. cyberspace and the Coast Guard’s network; recognizing cyberspace as an operational domain and defend the Coast Guard’s information and communication networks while developing capabilities to detect, deter and defeat malicious activity in cyberspace; protecting the information system infrastructure that the national Maritime Transportation System relies on, which has economic and national security implications.

Admiral Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard’s commandant, outlined the strategy this week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank. He noted that all aspects of modern life have been enhanced – but often made dependent — on information technology from mobile phones to data storage facilities. And that has made numerous entities, including the nation’s Maritime Transportation System vulnerable to a wide range of cyber attacks by adversaries ranging from terrorists and hostile nation states to transnational organized crime cartels and disaffected or sloppy IT workers.

A key defense, Zukunft said several times  was “cyber hygiene,” following safety practices when using government, corporate or personal computer systems. That includes not sharing passwords or using easily corruptible devices like thumb drives.

Zukunft noted that the nation’s security and prosperity is critically reliant on a safe and secure maritime domain, which, in turn is dependent on safe and reliable communications and digital networks. But the Coast Guard faces a daunting task. The two-year-old Coast Guard Cyber Command has just 70 members compared to the thousands at the Defense Department’s cyber unit. The cyber strategy notes that a recent report to Congress indicates an 1,121-percent rise in cybersecurity incidents reported to government agencies from 2006 to 2014. The report, by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) cites a significant rise in the compromise of sensitive information which could adversely affect national security, public health and safety.

June 18, 2015 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

MARITIME DOMAIN: Navy Unmanned Aircraft; Railgun Testing; Securing the Hemisphere

News Ahoy!

XB47B unmanned aircraft on board the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman by Alan Radecki)

X-47B unmanned aircraft on board the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman by Alan Radecki)

The Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition at the Gaylord Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland draws to a close Wednesday (April 15).

Your 4GWAR editor has been helping out the Seapower magazine team with their daily show news publication.

Here’s a sample of what we’ve been seeing.

The Navy’s unmanned demonstrator aircraft for showing how drones could be integrated into the busy flight deck of an American aircraft carrier is facing its last challenge.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) says that unmanned aircraft system (UAS), known as the X-47B, (see photo above) will soon start testing its ability to refuel in the air.

To see the full story, click here.

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Here are some other stories on the Seapower website:

Electromagnetic Railgun’s First at-Sea Test Set for Summer 2016

The first at-sea test firing of the Navy’s electromagnetic railgun is slated for late summer 2016, a Naval Sea Systems Command official said April 14.

The rail gun, which uses high-powered electromagnetic pulses instead of chemical propellants to fire projectiles that can move at seven times the speed of sound, will be mounted on a joint high-speed vessel to fire over the horizon at a target anchored in the water, said Capt. Mike Ziv, program manager for Directed Energy and Electric Weapons Systems.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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Larger Fire Scout a ‘Great Fit’ for the Navy

The larger version of the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has completed 297 test sorties and is slated to begin initial operational testing and evaluation in 2016, the Navy program manager said April 13.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout, is larger, faster, longer and farther-flying than the MQ-8B, with increased endurance and will reduce the burden of manned aircraft, Capt. Jeff Dodge told a briefing at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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Coast Guard Sees Combatting Crime Networks as Key to Hemispheric Security

The U.S. Coast Guard says it’s not enough to seize thousands of pounds of cocaine at sea or even arrest the people transporting illegal drugs by boat. Instead, it’s crucial to defeat the transnational organized crime (TOC) networks behind the illicit commerce in narcotics and people, according to the Coast Guard’s Western Hemisphere Strategy.

“Last year alone. the Coast Guard took 91 metric tons of cocaine out of the [trafficking] stream,” Lt. Cmdr. Devon Brennan told a briefing on the first day of the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition. He noted that is three times the amount of drugs seized by all U.S. law enforcement agencies “including along the southwestern border.”

To read more of this story, click here.

Cocaine seized in Central American waters.  (U.S. Navy photo)

Cocaine seized in Central American waters.
(U.S. Navy photo)

April 14, 2015 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment

MARITIME DOMAIN: Sea-Air-Space Expo This Week

Three-Day Maritime Conference.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly)

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly)

Future challenges and current needs for the sea services – the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard – will be the hot topics this week at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo at National Harbor, Maryland.

Top officials, including Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Admiral James Winnefeld Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft, Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford and naval commandants from Singapore, Australia and Japan will be among the speakers at the three-day event that starts Monday (April 13) across the river from Washington, D.C.

Big names in the defense and maritime industries like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, L-3, General Dynamics, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Austal and BAE Systems will exhibiting their latest products for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Components of the services like the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) will also ne detailing their plans and equipment requirements in the coming fiscal year.

Your 4GWAR editor will be there too, as part of the small army of reporters covering the goings on for the Navy League’s Seapower magazine and its daily show publication. We’ll be focusing on unmanned aircraft and the Coast Guard’s strategic plan for the Western Hemisphere among other assignments.

If you can’t make it to the Gaylord Convention Center, you can catch the latest news at the Seapower website and on Twitter at @seaairspace and @SeapowerMag

U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Ed Early

(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Ed Early)

April 13, 2015 at 12:12 am Leave a comment

HOMELAND SECURITY: Four Day Conference Kicks off in Washington

Homeland Security Week.

Customs and Border Patrol photo

Customs and Border Patrol photo

Border management and immigration, cyber security and emergency response and disaster relief will be among the topics discussed as the four-day Homeland Security Week conference opens Monday (October 6) at th Washington Convenion Center.

Government officials scheduled to attend include  U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michal Fisher, Randolph Alles, the head of the Air and Marine Office at Customs and Border Protection and the chief technology officer at the Department of Homeland Security,  Wolfe Tombe. Experts from government, academia and industry will be participating in panel discussions and roundtable sessions. Companies in a wide range of the security industry including thermal imaging, radar, video cameras, law enforcement equipment and information technology security will be in the exhibit hall.

Maritime security, battling transnational organized crime — particularly in the areas of narcotics and money laundering — and weapons of mass destruction  will also be discussed at the event, sponsored by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA)

Your 4GWAR editor will be there catching up with old colleagues and sources. Here’s a story we got out of last year’s event.

Customs and Border Protection photo

Customs and Border Protection photo


October 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (February 14, 2014)

Balancing Act

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Troyer)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew Troyer)

A U.S. Marine and two South Korean marines attempt to flip a boat as they conduct amphibious operations drills during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014, Asia’s biggest military exercise, at Hat Yao in Rayong,Thailand.

The exercise is designed to advance regional security and effective response to regional crises through a multinational force created out of the nations that share common goals and common security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.

The exercise also reaffirms the commitment by the United States and Thailand to their 181-year-old alliance and regional partnership in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year’s participants come from the U.S. and Thailand, but also Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

For the first time, China will participate with a tiny contingent in the exercise, the Straits Times website reported. Beijing has had disputes with several nations — including the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam — over territorial boundaries in the South China Sea.

The Cobra Gold drills started in 1982 and have developed in to the largest multinational military exercise. China has been an observer since 2002 but has never been invited to take part before, according to

The U.S. Marines participating in the exercise come from the 3rd Marine Division’s 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion.

February 14, 2014 at 12:46 am 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (November 15, 2013)

Rapid Response
 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman)

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman)

A U.S. Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, prepares to drop supplies at what’s left of Tacloban Airfield in Tacloban, Leyte province, Philippines, (November 14) in support of Operation Damayan,” the name of U.S. military relief and rescue activities in the Philippines. The helicopter in the photo above is assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25.
Tacloban and the surrounding area were extremely hard hit by Typhoon Haiyan, with more than 2,000 reported dead and millions of Philippinos forced to flee their home as waters rose during Friday’s storm. Since the storm moved on, scarce supplies like food and water, have been coming into the Philippines at a pretty steady rate, but relief work around Tacloban has been hampered by the utter destruction of roads and other infrastructure. Thousands have been rendered homeless thanks to Haiyan.

November 15, 2013 at 1:31 am 1 comment

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT: FAA Releases Initial Plan for Drone Flights in U.S. Skies

FAA Roadmap

The U.S. military has flown thousands of drones like this hand-launched U.S. Army RQ-11, but commercial use is restricted in U.S. airspace  (Army photo  by Spc. Michael J. MacLeod, U.S. Army)

The U.S. military has flown thousands of drones like this hand-launched U.S. Army RQ-11, but commercial use is restricted in U.S. airspace
(Army photo by Spc. Michael J. MacLeod, U.S. Army)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released its initial plans Thursday (November 7) for gradually integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace of the United States.

The FAA, an agency of the Transportation Department, has been studying unmanned aircraft — also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or simply drones — for years, trying to figure how to let aircraft without a pilot on board make their way into a domain already crowded with commercial airliners, private planes and jets, military aircraft, skyscrapers, bridges, radio towers, power lines and stormy weather.

As an early step in that process — expected to take 15 years — the FAA issued its first annual Roadmap outlining the steps needed to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s airspace. The roadmap addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures “that will be required as demand moves the country from today’s limited accommodation of UAS operations to the extensive integration of UAS” into national airspace in the future, according to an FAA statement that accompanied release of the 71-page roadmap that tackles such issues as operator training, air traffic control challenges and national security issues. The FAA also released the 26-page UAS Comprehensive Plan to safely accelerate working civil UAS into the nation’s airspace system.

While the military has made extensive use of drones for reconnaissance, surveillance and attack over the last dozen years, UAS are strictly limited in their operations in U.S. airspace. Research institutions, government agencies and law enforcement must first obtain a waiver, known as a certificate of authorization — which allows, but sharply restricts the areas where non-military UAS flights can take place. The agriculture, energy and scientific communities already have developed numerous uses for UAS, but are limited in their use by the FAA — as are local police and fire/emergency departments.

Drones large and small on display at the August AUVSI Expo in Washington. (4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

Drones large and small on display at the August AUVSI Expo in Washington. (4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

Other groups, however, have voiced privacy and civil liberties concerns about widespread use of drones — large and small — in U.S. skies, especially by law enforcement agencies.

The Associated of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), the main industry group, estimates that  UAS technology will create more than 100,000 jobs and generate more than $82 billion in economic impact in the first 10 years after drones are integrated into the national airspace.

Full disclosure: 4GWAR editor John M. Doyle writes freelance articles for AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems magazine.


November 8, 2013 at 12:00 am 1 comment

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