Monday, February 21, 2011

Raymond Davis Works for CIA - Was Former Special Forces and Security Contractor

Officials have confirmed that Raymond Davis, arrested in Pakistan for shooting and killing two Pakistanis who were trying to rob him, is an independent contractor working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Davis is a former member of U.S. Army Special Forces and was at one time a security contractor working for Xe Services supporting the CIA.  Many retired or former members of Special Forces work under contract for the agency in a variety of roles.  Davis was reportedly assigned to Lahore, Pakistan and was operating there as part of the CIAs Global Response Staff.  The Global Response Staff is responsible for providing security for agency employees and facilities around the world.  Read more in "U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA", The Washington Post, February 21, 2011 and in "Raymond Davis Is CIA Contractor and Former Blackwater, U.S. Officials Say", ABC News, February 21, 2011.

Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) Lightens Load for Warfighters in Afghanistan

The secretive Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) based on Fort Meade, Maryland conducts research, provides instruction, and advises military organizations and units in Afghanistan.  The AWG is composed of members of the armed services and are from a variety of units; however, many of their members are Special Forces Soldiers.  One of their special projects is to lighten the load that infantrymen carry in Afghanistan.  The mobility of the Soldier is dramatically reduced due to the large assortment of military gear worn and carried.  The gear is considered "essential" to military leaders for safety and force protection - and mission accomplishment.  Granted, some of this equipment is "high-speed, low-drag, and lightweight"; but 100 lbs of lightweight gear still weighs 100 lbs!  Body armor and helmet are one of the heaviest items worn.  Then there is the additional stuff like water, ammunition, radios, batteries for the radios, GPS systems, night vision devices, medical supplies, emergency signaling devices, knee pads, elbow pads, food, and more.  It doesn't take much for a Soldier to end up carrying 100 pounds of gear when he goes on patrol.  Now put this Soldier into a mountainous terrain like the Korengal Valley in northeastern Afghanistan and you have a problem.  The enemy, who knows the terrain, can scoot around in sandals, a weapon (which he can cache until needed), and some ammunition.  He might have one person in his patrol who carries a light radio.  Our infantrymen are simply out-maneuvered on the battlefield when they are on foot. 

Read more about what the Asymmetric Warfare Group is doing to help out the Soldier in "Lighting the load for soldiers", Standard-Examiner, February 19, 2011.  Click on the following link to learn more about the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) -

Friday, February 18, 2011

MG Joseph Votel to Head up Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)

MG Joseph Votel has been nominated by President Obama to head up the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  Vote will replace Navy Vice Admiral William McRaven - whose next job is unknown.  Info from the Fayetteville Observer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

MARSOC Has New Job Specialty MOS for Special Operators

The Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) has been given the green light for keeping many of its MARSOC trained operators.  MARSOC now has a new MOS for its operators which will allow them to stay with MARSOC as a career instead of rotating back to a Marine line unit.  This will be a huge jump forward for MARSOC as it will be able to keep special operators with unique skills, language expertise, and valuable specialty training (HALO, combat diver, explosives) within its ranks.  Many in the Special Forces community saw this lack of a special operator job specialty as a limiting factor on the professionalism of Marine special operators.  Read more in "Amos OKs new MOS for MARSOC", Marine Corps Times, February 14, 2011.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project Lawrence - Special Operations Beefs Up Language Program

USSOCOM is embarked on an effort to increase its operators' language proficiency.  To do this U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEALs are increasing their language training courses.  In addition, SOF are creating female engagement teams or Cultural Support Teams made up of females with some specific military occupational specialties.  Read more in "Wanted: More 'Lawrences of Afghanistan' and Female Special Operators", National Defense, February 8, 2011.

Vickers Before Senate for Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Nomination

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2011 – Two of President Barack Obama’s nominees for key Defense Department posts appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee today as part of their confirmation process.

Michael G. Vickers, nominated to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence, and Jo Ann Rooney, the president’s choice to be principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, both pledged to support Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ “efficiency initiatives” to cut unnecessary expenditures and redirect the savings to support the wars and warfighters and their families.

Vickers has been assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict since 2007. In that time, he noted, his office saved money by paring down joint intelligence operations centers, which had grown to include thousands of personnel at every command, as well as streamlining other efforts."
Read the rest of the article in "Senate Considers Nominees for Pentagon Posts", U.S. Department of Defense, February 15, 2011.

Read his biography at the link below.


Inquest on Death of British Aid Worker (Norgrove) in Afghanistan Finds Use of Grenades a Mistake

An inquest has determined that an elite SEAL unit tasked with the rescue of British aid worker Linda Norgrove from Afghanistan Taliban was flawed.  The biggest mistake was the use of grenades during the raid - which was the cause of death of Norgrove.  Read more in "Mistakes by US special forces led to death of aid worker Linda Norgrove, inquest finds", The Telegraph, February 15, 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Locksmith Links, Tools and Resources

Our companion website - SecurityInfoNet - has published a new page entitled "Locksmith Resources, Links, Tips, Guides and Information"

There are links to all aspects of the locksmithing world to include locksmith associations and organizations, locksmith directories, manufacturing and product listings, educational opportunities, books on locksmithing, locksmith tools, magazines, history of locksmithing, locksmith blogs, locksmith museums, home security products, and frequently asked questions. 

Check the page out at the link below!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Border Security Expo 2011

The 5th Annual Border Security Expo will be held in Phoenix, Arizona from February 15-16, 2011.  This is the nation's leading conference on international border security.

See a listing of terrorism, defense, and security conferences for 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

TechSec Solutions - Feb 13-15, 2011 in Florida

The TechSec Solutions conference will be held in Delray Beach, Florida on February 13-15, 2010.  The conference will discuss the impact of IP on the security marketplace and show you the advances in security technology.  Highlights include cloud computing, school security integration, retail intelligence, wireless security, and more.

Click here to view other security conferences for 2011.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Silk Underwear May Protect Soldiers from IEDs

"Talk about a sensitive mission: The Army is experimenting with heavy silk underwear to find a way to protect soldiers' groins and abdomens from bombs that they step on in Afghanistan, where militants have been planting improvised explosive devices by the thousands. Protection of troops' lower bodies has become a priority in the past year as more soldiers and Marines patrol on foot to push out Taliban fighters and protect villagers, the Pentagon says." 
Read the rest of the article in "1st-class protection for privates", USA Today, February 3, 2011.