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Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

Admiral Inman’s Rules

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

Bobby Ray Inman is a retired Navy Admiral. An Officer Candidate School graduate and the first Naval Intelligence Officer to earn four stars as a Flag Officer. During the 1970s and into the early 80s, ADM Inman served as Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence. Interestingly, he held these last two posts simultaneously for a period, pushing the two agencies to work more closely. He did this by sending memos back and forth to himself, approving them as he went along.

In response to the Beirut bombings of the US Embassy and Marine Barracks, ADM Inman chaired a commission on improving security at U.S. foreign installations.

Some SSD readers may know him for sitting in the Board of Directors of Academi, a corporation formerly known as Blackwater.

His list of rules are well known within the Intelligence Community and may seem at first glance only suited for senior officers working in Washington. While some are specific to that unique arena, many should be implemented immediately upon starting a career and consistently throughout.

1. Conservation of enemies.

2. When you are explaining you are losing.

3. Something too good to believe probably is just that, untrue.

4. Go to the Hill alone.

5. Wisdom in Washington is having much to say and knowing when not to say it.

6. Never sign for anything.

7. The only one looking out for you is you.

8. If you think your enemy is stupid, think again.

9. Never try to fool yourself.

10. Never go into a meeting without knowing what the outcome is going to be.

11. Don’t change what got you to where you are just to get to the next place.

12. Intelligence is knowing what the enemy doesn’t want you to know.

13. Nothing changes faster than yesterday’s vision of the future.

14. Intelligence users are looking for what is going to happen, not what has already occurred.

15. It is much harder to convince someone they are wrong than it is to convince them they are right.

16. For Intelligence Officers in particular there is no substitute for the truth.

17. By the time intelligence gets back to a user with the answer the question usually has changed.

18. Always know your blind spots, get help to cover them.

19. The first report is usually wrong, act but understand more is to come and it will be different.

20. You can never know too much about the enemy.

21. Tell what you know, tell what you don’t know, tell what it means.

22. Tell them what you are going to say, tell them, then tell them what you told them, they might remember something.

23. Never have more than three points.

24. Never follow lunch or an animal act.

25. Believe is correct, intelligence officers never feel.

26. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

27. Boredom is the enemy, not the time to any briefing.

28. If you can’t summarize it on one page, your can’t sell it to anyone.

29. Always allow time to consider what the enemy wants me to think, is he succeeding or am I?

30. If you can’t add value, get out of the way.

SOFWERX – 3D Geospatial Tech Sprint Series

Friday, December 27th, 2019

On 24-28 February, SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM Program Executive Office for Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation (PEO-SRSE), will host a 3D Geospatial Tech Sprint to further automate production and dissemination of 3D geospatial data.

Selected software engineers and developers will be afforded the opportunity to collaborate with others to combine their tools for assessment and integration during the week-long event. Selectees will receive an $8,000 stipend for participation in the Tech Sprint.


Submit your technology for review, related to the technology focus areas, to be considered for attendance.

Submit NLT 27 January 11:59 PM EST

For full details, visit

TacJobs – The Ranger MI Bn

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

In addition to Military Intelligence in each of the Ranger Battalions and Regimental headquarters, the 75th has a dedicated Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Benning.

US Army Develops TITAN System To Tie ‘Deep Sensing’ To Long-Range Fires

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Army plans to use one of the largest exercises in Europe since the Cold War to pilot new tactical space technology that will help Soldiers carry out mission command on a multi-domain battlefield.

An initial prototype of TITAN — Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node — will be tested during the Defender-Europe 20 exercise next spring. The exercise is set to have about 37,000 U.S. and European troops training in 10 nations across the continent.

The TITAN system, which is a scalable and expeditionary intelligence ground station, leverages space and high altitude, aerial, and terrestrial layer sensors to provide targetable data to fires networks. It also provides multi-discipline intelligence support to targeting, and situational awareness and understanding for mission command.

Today, the Army has roughly 100 tactical ground stations, 13 operational ground stations and a few other dissemination vehicles to inform battlefield commanders, said Brig. Gen. Rob Collins, Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors, or PEO IEW&S.

But “some of those are more specific to the echelon,” he said Oct. 16 at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition. “They’re not necessarily tailorable, easy to use or expeditionary as we want them to be.”

TITAN aims to consolidate much of those capabilities to better provide “deep sensing” information from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from all domains.

It also ties deep sensing to long-range precision strike options to defeat enemy anti-access/aerial denial environments, officials said.

An industry day is scheduled for Dec. 4 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to further discuss the way forward with TITAN.

A TITAN space prototype is expected to be delivered by early fiscal year 2022.

“How do you bring those ground stations together in one platform, or a series of platforms, that are modular, scalable and [with] open systems architecture,” said Willie Nelson, director of Army Futures Command’s Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing Cross-Functional Team.

Collins said they are looking for a modular “Lego approach” for the system that will go through an iterative testing process, starting with the Defender exercise.

It is then expected to be rolled out in another exercise in the Pacific region to get additional user feedback later next year, Nelson said.

TITAN will fit into the Army’s Multi-Domain Task Forces being built up in the Pacific and in Europe. The system will work with the task force’s unit called I2CEWS, which stands for intelligence, information, cyber, electronic warfare and space.

It will “absolutely be part of that task force to be able to see deep and target deep,” Collins said. “It’s going to be a key capability, key enabler.”

TITAN will also play a large role in the Army’s space strategy, in which one of its main areas is battle management command and control.

“It’s leveraging both commercial and military capabilities to be able to provide eyes and ears on the battlefield for our Soldiers and our platforms,” Nelson said.

Since the sensors will compile massive amounts of data, TITAN will need to rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to sift through it.

“As we start pulling in all this data, there’s going to be a significant and overwhelming amount for our intelligence Soldiers to be able to process,” Collins said.

The goal will then be to quickly deliver easily-digestible data to Soldiers in combat and to their systems.

“We just don’t collect this data for the sake of collecting it,” Collins said. “We collect it so that we can distribute that to kinetic, non-kinetic weapon systems and for commanders to be able to make decisions on the battlefield.”

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

Remote Sensing Network Will Advance Safety and Security Applications in the Arctic

Friday, October 25th, 2019

Copenhagen, Denmark, October 22, 2019 – A new consortium of international companies, called IRSA Development Group (IDG), was announced October 1, 2019, at DEFSEC Atlantic in Halifax, Canada. IDG consists of international companies with expertise in selected technology domains to bring the world an advanced remote sensing network.

Integrated Remote Sensing for the Arctic (IRSA) is a scalable, civilian, all-domain system-of- systems remote sensing solution designed to provide more persistent monitoring of the Arctic. The network comprises satellites, high altitude long endurance (HALE) drones, medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones, small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), sea-surface and sub-sea platforms, and ground stations. Technology development for each segment, and their integration, is underway. Initial IRSA services are expected to be available to clients in early 2020.

“We are excited to be part of the IDG collaboration and the development of IRSA. The potential benefits of the IRSA system range from enhancing safety and security applications to supporting Northerners in their response to climate change. The agile team is made up of international leaders in their respective technology areas,” says Paul Adlakha, Managing Director of LOOKNorth at C-CORE.

Recognizing the need for more persistent remote sensing, robust communication and data connectivity in the Arctic, Boeing Defense, Space, and Security (BDS) began an intensive study in 2015, mapping the challenges and identifying gaps in designing and creating a solution to address them. Since then, Boeing has invested in establishing an international consortium to develop the technologies, products and services that can provide that solution through the IRSA program.

“This project is another testament to the reputation of Boeing’s industrial programs and the path for future growth it can provide our partners,” says Maria Laine, Vice President, Boeing International Strategic Partnerships. “Projects like this underscore our commitment to provide opportunities for innovation and technology collaboration around the globe to develop advanced capabilities.”

Trillium Engineering

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Trillium Engineering was founded in Hood River, Oregon, in 2013 by three engineers with experience in EO/IR sensor development, up to 8″ in size.

They are vertically integrated, with both in-house development and production. They specialize in stabilization control and GPS INS, integrating highly accurate geopointing along with h.264 video encoding. While the H.264 encoding standard might blur imagery, the newer H.265 is a more efficient compression. For instance, you’ll see 20-50 MBs with WiFi and .5-1 MBs for UAS operation.

I am particularly impressed with the HD25-XV, which is an EO only configuration, integrating a 3.5x optical zoom visible camera. Now get this, it’s a gimbaled camera weighing just 325g.

Much of their work is directly with OEM UAS producers. For example, the Trillium HD-45 sensor has already been integrated on the Lockheed-Martin Stalker.

However, Trillium can also provide sensors as upgraded payloads for already fielded platforms. In this case, they prefer whenever possible, to work directly with the customer in order to engineer a proper installation. Considering their sensor payload weights and sizes, there may be additional room for extra batteries, or an additional sensor.

To be sure, Trillium’s gimbaled EO/IR sensors are fantastic, but they combine them with intuitive software. They offer a 3D map GUI called Skylink which will run on Samsung tablets and handhelds. It allows control of the gimbal. Additionally, their feed is MISB compliant and will interface with ATAK.

To learn more, visit

Logos Technologies Unveils New Platform-Flexible Multi-Modal Sensor Pod at AUSA

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Pod combines wide-area hyperspectral capability with wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) and high-resolution imagery

The Multi-Modal Sensor Pod combines wide-area, hyperspectral, and high-resolution sensors into a single podded system, with real-time onboard processing and storage. (Graphic: Business Wire)

FAIRFAX, Va.–Logos Technologies announced today that it will be exhibiting for the very first time its airborne, platform-flexible Multi-Modal Sensor Pod (MMSP) at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Meeting and Exposition, on October 14-16.

Mounted on planes, helicopters and Group 3-5 unmanned aircraft systems, the MMSP houses:

• A wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system,

• a wide-area hyperspectral imager,

• a high-resolution spotter, and an

• onboard embedded processor for real-time processing and storage.

The three MMSP sensors work in partnership, with autonomous cross tasking, to deliver comprehensive, multi-layered information in real-time.

“This is invaluable and a great force multiplier to the warfighter,” said Doug Rombough, VP of Business Development for Logos Technologies, “because it greatly reduces the number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties needed over a target area, saving time, saving platforms and saving equipment.”

As part of the MMSP, the WAMI system can image a city-sized area in medium resolution, enough to detect and track every mover within the vast scene, while the narrow-field high-resolution spotter can be cued to monitor 10-plus locations automatically, providing identification-quality imagery.

The hyperspectral imager provides additional information by scanning the scene for unique spectral signatures of camouflaging netting, explosive stores, tank hulls or any other relevant targets. The MMSP hyperspectral imager covers an area 15 times larger than that of traditional hyperspectral sensors.

“The MMSP covers an area in real-time as well as records, tags and stores up to eight hours of imagery for review by analysts while the pod is still in the air. It does all of this while fitting in a package that weighs less than 100 pounds (45kg),” Rombough said.

In addition to the MMSP, Logos Technologies will also be exhibiting the following lightweight WAMI systems:

• the Redkite platform-flexible pod,

• the Redkite-I for the Insitu Integrator,

• the Kestrel Block II for aerostats, as well as

• the Multi-Modal Edge Processor.

For more information on Logos Technologies and its innovative sensor products, please visit Booth 1467, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C., or the company website:

CIA’s Mi-17 Helicopter Comes Home

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Final Mission of a Valiant Workhorse

Fifteen days after the attacks of September 11th, 2001—on President George W. Bush’s orders—the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deployed a small team into Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley. Its mission: to launch U.S. operations against al-Qaida and its Taliban supporters. JAWBREAKER, as the operation would be called, was the United States’ first response to those attacks, and stands as an exemplar of the extraordinary capacity of CIA and the broader U.S. Government to respond swiftly and decisively in defense of the country. The JAWBREAKER team of seven Agency officers, three aircrew and two Afghan partners boarded a Russian-made, CIA-modified, Mi-17 heavy-duty helicopter on what would become a historic flight.

The Search for 10,000 Pieces

Robert Byer, CIA Museum director and curator, opened the ceremony by thanking attendees for joining CIA in celebrating what he described as an “incredibly auspicious day that has been many years in the making.” He briefly recounted the story of how the Mi-17 helicopter came to rest on CIA campus as a “macro-artifact” in CIA Museum’s growing collection. A macro-artifact, Mr. Byer explained, simply means that “we couldn’t fit it inside the building.” 

“In 2006, CIA museum began working on an exhibition about the Agency’s role leading up to Operation Enduring Freedom,” Mr. Byer explained. What began as a small collection of photographs and artifacts from those involved in the early response to 9/11 quickly grew to include flight kits, cartography and even a cockpit instrument from the Mi-17. “The aircraft was ubiquitous in the part of the world,” he said. “Rugged and dependable and described by those who flew aboard as ’10,000 parts all trying to come apart at once,’” he explained to laughter from the audience.

In the fall of 2018, Mr. Byer and the rest of the CIA Museum staff reunited that single cockpit instrument with the remaining 9,999 pieces of the Mi-17 with its delivery to CIA campus. “With today’s dedication,” he said, “we now have the full story of CIA’s response to those attacks on American soil. It [the exhibition] serves as a bookend to its 911 counterpart,” Mr. Byer said referring to the 9,000 pound rust-colored steel column on the Southwest side of CIA’s Original Headquarters Building that was recovered from World Trade Center 6 in New York City.

Today—exactly 18 years after the members of operation JAWBREAKER set foot in Afghanistan—CIA had the distinct honor of commemorating that mission with the dedication of the Mi-17 that shuttled team JAWBREAKER over the “Hindu Kush and into history.” Adorned with the tail number 9-11-01, the fully-restored Mi-17 helicopter is nestled amongst the trees in a large green space to the northeast of CIA’s Original Headquarters Building. The rocky landscape on which the helicopter sits was designed to mimic the Afghan landscape in which the helicopter served so well. Hundreds gathered at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to see the helicopter in its final home and hear from the Agency officers who played a significant role in the success of CIA’s first response.

To Right a Terrible Wrong

Mr. Byer welcomed Gina Haspel, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the stage to introduce the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Gary Schroen, who delayed his retirement to lead Operation JAWBREAKER in 2001. “Today’s ceremony is a celebration of the daring spirit that defines the Central Intelligence Agency,” Director Haspel said. She explained the importance of teamwork in the pursuit of success. “Gary and his team were at the tip of the spear, and at every step of the way there was an Agency family, here at Headquarters and across the world, who had their back.”

Director Haspel spoke of the courage and motivation of the JAWBREAKER team in their pursuit to “right a terrible wrong.” Her hope for this helicopter is that it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made in defense of freedom and that visitor’s “gain a deeper appreciation of what it takes to keep our country safe and free.”

Business as Usual

Director Haspel introduced Mr. Schroen, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, as “a living legend and inspiration to every CIA Officer” and thanked him for his 50 years of service to the CIA.

Mr. Schroen took the stage to generous applause, a clear indication of the respect and admiration he commanded from those in attendance. He thanked Director Haspel for her remarks before launching into his recollection of the time, the operation and the sequence of events that led to his team landing in Afghanistan just two weeks after the attacks on American soil. “It’s an awkward looking piece of machinery,” he began. “But don’t be fooled – the Russians built it for utility and service, rather than looks and style.” He described the helicopter as a workhorse “designed to take a punishment,” which was exactly what the CIA needed.

He recounted the shudder of the helicopter as it began its ascent over the 14,500-foot Anjuman Pass and into Panjshir for the first time—a recollection that would make even the most valiant palms a bit sweaty. “We were very heavy,” he admitted. Between the passengers, weapons, fuel, ammunition and all of the other equipment, the team was pushing the helicopter’s payload to its outer extremes. “It wasn’t ‘business as usual,’” Mr. Schroen recalled. “But looking around the compartment, you would think it was – no one was dwelling on the danger we were in.”

Echoing Director Haspel’s comments on teamwork, Mr. Schroen noted that the success of the team was not theirs alone, but that of the “heroic efforts that this organization [CIA] made in getting the JAWBREAKER team ready.” He pointed to a number of officers and offices across the Agency that were instrumental to navigating the many processes needed to get JAWBREAKER airborne. He also credited the foundation which had been laid years prior, namely the relationships built with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, which would help JAWBREAKER navigate the unfamiliar territory.

Mr. Schroen concluded by expressing a simple hope that “we can all on occasion take a look at old 9-11-01 sitting out here, and remember that the seemingly impossible is in fact achievable.”

I often think there are things I’ll never get to share on SSD and then the CIA publishes something like this.