Life of a Warrior Pt. 3 – Photos and Documents

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Life of a Warrior Pt. 2 – US Wings and Beyond

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China’s Military Weaknesses Revealed

China has been quickly expanding the amount of money that goes into its military every year. The constant jump in GDP has been a cause for concern for most of the countries surrounding China as well as their allies in the west, specifically the United States of America. China has been butting heads particularly with countries like Japan and Taiwan over various islands and territories that all the countries claim are theirs throughout history and the sudden jumps in military spending are adding more tensions to a region already fraught with it. Even with US support and all countries in the region working together against it, China’s military has grown enough that it would still be a force to be reckoned with.sgt_hack_pla

However, a new report by a congressional study that was released to Congress’ U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has shed light on a number of issues still plaguing the PLA (People’s Liberation Army). While none of these are meant to take away from the growing force, abilities, and threat of the Chinese armed forces, they do show that the country still has a fair amount to work on if it wants to ever match up to the forces of the US and its allies. The report was written by 7 experts in China at the Rand Corporation and is meant to give the US military valuable information that could help defeat China in future wars. While many of the weaknesses listed were already known to the US and its allies, some newer ones were found that could lead to further planning if a war every breaks out.

Among the weaknesses found were many that were known and expected. Problems such as quality issues within the ranks of foot soldiers were brought up again, as were issues with poor command structure meant to deploy those troops. Other issues include corruption from the top of the hierarchy all the way to the bottom that could seriously impede strategy and deployments as well as equipment and logistics. One of the major issues found is the PLA’s inability to conduct joint operations between the different military wings (naval, air, and ground). This inability, coupled with the fact that there is an issues with the training, care for, and integration of advanced weapons, means that the PLA is further hampered in it’s abilities to react quickly in encounters off of mainland China. China also has weaknesses in its cybersecurity, allowing the possibility for electronic sabotage and cyber warfare aimed at its technologically advanced machines and equipment. While this all points to weaknesses, there is no denying that China is still a force to be reckoned with and that probably won’t change anytime soon.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Agent Orange Veteran Payment Program

Since it’s inception, the Agent Orange Veteran Payment Program has been helping veterans deal with the ramifications and illnesses that come from being exposed to agent orange, a defoliant used in the Vietnam war that has had massive ramifications for people who’ve come into contact. Sgt. David Hack has volunteered his forms and certificates to show that he is receiving benefits and to help inspire those who haven’t come forward yet to do so and receive the help they so truly deserve. No one should suffer alone.

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US Army Begins Developing Robotic Insects

One of the most common trope in science-fiction is robots and using robots as ways to maintain surveillance and learn new information about both friends and enemies. While many ideas and technologies in science-fiction are too improbable or too advanced for what we have at the moment, the idea of robotics has been steadily gaining traction and there is current research into developing a number of robotic technologies that could be used by our military and security forces for a number of different reasons ranging from fire-support and shielding during combat to stealthy reconnaissance on enemies.

As the future continues to become the present, the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has announced that they are getting closer and closer to having developed a working robotic insect that could be used for surveillance and stealth. The recent completion of a pair of tiny robotic wings that measure only 3-5 centimeters means that the the likelihood of robotic insects being used for defense purposes has increased dramatically. While actual flight still hasn’t been tested, the researchers were able to create lift using the tiny wings and that’s the first step towards a working prototype. The wings are made of lead zirconium titanate (also known as PZT) which can create motion when under an electrical field or an applied voltage for a specific purpose.

The researchers who created the wings have also designed functioning motors that measure only 2-3 millimeters and a series of robotic legs for a robot that would look like a millipede. While the fact that there are wings and a motor are huge steps towards the creation of a fully functioning robotic insect, the researchers at ARL still say they are 10-15 years away from creating one that will fully work. The algorithms needed to get the robot to fly and act like a true insect are still ways away and there are a number of other aspects that need creating and fine-tuning. That being said, with a number of other organization working towards the same end goal (including Harvard University), there is a chance that the groups will work together to have this ready for use sooner than expected. Either way, this sort of technology will revolutionize intelligence gathering in warfare.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Cyber Attacks Will Only Get Worse in the Future

Cyber attacks, while once a thing in science-fiction novels and any sort of tv show or movie, have become more and more frequent these past few years. It seems like barely a week goes by without a new story breaking about how some bank or business has been hacked and personal information has been breached and stolen. There are also the constant articles about cyber security firms constantly finding shocking vulnerabilities in many of the technologies that we take for granted and use every day; does everyone remember the heartbleed bug that affected basically the entire internet? Just to make sure that there was no one left who isn’t nervous about their online security, a recent survey of security experts shows that we haven’t even started to experience what cyber warfare is like and the worst is most definitely to come.

A recent Pew Research Center poll has 61% of security experts agreeing that we are going to see “widespread harm” resulting from a cyber attack in the coming years, as in by 2025. Now what does “widespread harm” mean? I’m glad you asked. The experts meant that there were good chances of us dealing with significant loss of life, of property, damage, or theft in the tens of billions of dollars. Obviously these are all terrible things and if they happen then people around the country, and probably the world, will be very negatively affected. While the remaining 39% thought that this sort of damage could be avoided, they pointed out that it would most likely be due to a Cold War-esque situation of mutually assured disruption. The experts also point that that many times cyber threats are exaggerated by those who would profit the most from people preparing and buying cyber defenses. While that may be true, the majority of experts still believe that this sort of damage will happen. Hopefully security experts in the government have read this report and are taking the possibility seriously. The USA has the greatest military in the world and we should have the cyber protections and ability to attack to back up our physical forces.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

The National Guard Has It’s First Cyber Protection Team

As anyone who has read the news these past few months and years knows, it seems like the United States of America and it’s businesses and security services are under constant attacks from hackers all over the world. Hackers that have been traced to Russia, China, and potentially other countries have struck at banks for social security information, companies with government contracts for blue prints and plans, and governmental services themselves in an attempt to gain access to secure servers. While not all of the attacks have succeeded, enough have that it got many people wondering why there seemed to be no protection against this sort of thing and whether the US government was engaged in any sort of cyber warfare or counter-cyber activities. Now, we have a public answer to our questions; the first cyber protection team for the National Guard just graduated and are ready to begin protecting out electronic interests from hostile agents. While this was probably already happening, this is the first public acknowledgement to that effect.

This cyber defense team is the first of a total of 11 cyber defense teams that the government is planning on building in the future. They will be fully integrated into the current efforts to both secure important data and prevent hostile hacking attempts that are currently underway. Made up of men and women from both the civilian as well as the military sectors, these cyber defense teams will work closely with private and public businesses as well as governmental agencies and security services to enhance current electronic defenses, probe for existing weaknesses in said defenses, and then create solutions to prevent those weaknesses from being exploited. The National Guard already responds to a variety of national and natural disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes. Adding the protection of our cyber front simply makes sense and they will bring the same level of quality and dedication to it.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

Army Researchers Work To Make Night Deadlier

It’s funny to think about science fiction and the modern military going hand-in-hand and being inspired by the other. Science fiction has it’s visions set in a future that is frequently dystopian and full of warfare, chaos, and technologies that aren’t even near to what we have today. That being said, Army researchers frequently find inspiration for technological breakthroughs in the words of science fiction authors. One of the most famous futuristic warriors is Predator, an alien who fights on a code of honor (unarmed means unharmed) and uses advanced technology, such as cloaking and infrared technology, to observe it’s enemies in both day and night. Night has always been one of humanities greatest fears, the dark can hold all sorts of enemies and the ability to see clearly in it is paramount for soldiers who are hunting enemies and trying to avoid civilian casualties.

Soldiers and Predators work in the same way: see a target, make sure it’s a target, eliminate target. This is obviously far more difficult when it’s dark out and frayed nerves are even further on edge, hence the need to comprehensive and accurate night vision and infrared technology. Using the Predator as a source of inspiration. scientists have been working to replicate the infrared technology it uses so effectively in the films to track and hunt prey. The Night Vision Electronics Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is the group in charge of inventing and implementing these new technologies and they have been doing a fantastic job. The current night vision/infrared technology is incredibly impressive, allowing soldiers to detect and locate threats far in advance of actual contact.

If you’d like to read more, the link is here.

New Technology Means More Protection and Less Armor.

One of the best weapons in a soldiers arsenal is agility and being able to move quickly. However, history has shown us that armoring is also incredibly important and that these two desires usually tend to clash. Being heavily armored means that you’re more likely you are to survive an attack, although this comes by sacrificing speed and the ability to move quickly. However as technology continues to advance, people are realizing that speed doesn’t need to be sacrificed for the sake of armoring. New materials and technologies are allowing for increased protection with minimal weight.

Due to the fact that armor-piercing technology is advancing faster than armoring technology (which comes with the added cost of a lot of weight), companies are looking for ways to increase protection while simultaneously avoid adding absurd amounts of weight to both soldiers and vehicles. While heavily armored knights and cataphracts have been replaced by tanks, scientists and tech experts are focusing on the same problems that have been plaguing armies for millennia, how to increase deployment-speed and maneuverability without sacrificing armor and survivability. Finally, there seems to be an answer around the corner. DARPA has created Ground X-Vehicle Technology (GXV-T) that promises to reduce vehicle size and weight, reduce the number of crew needed, and reduce the noticeable signatures that the enemy can use to find soldiers while also increasing vehicle speed and increasing the type of terrain they can be used on. It seems as though the future is arriving.

If you’d like to read more, the link is below:

http://www.defencetalk.com/new-ground-x-vehicle-technology-program-aims-to-protect-with-less-armor-60378/