New Hampshire's elected officials joined the state's military leaders to welcome home a medevac unit that recently returned from Afghanistan. The 169th MEDEVAC unit went to Afghanistan in September 2012. Made up of National Guard units from New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Missouri, the group became known as "Jigsaw'' to reflect the merger of different units. The medics performed 471 lifesaving missions and carried 427 patients to higher levels of care. Soldiers in the unit, which returned in August, earned several medals including Bronze Stars. The ceremony was at 11 a.m.
A full decade into the drone war in the Middle East, we’re still asking questions: what does an unmanned military mean for the future of warfare? Who chooses who lives and who dies? What does it mean to pull the trigger on a target half a world away?
And what is like being a veteran of the drone war?
Matthew Power is a freelance print and radio journalist and a contributor to GQ Magazine, where he wrote a profile of former drone operator and Airman First Class Brandon Bryant.
In a new book, Bacevich claims that Americans have failed their soldiers and their country, by entering conflicts he calls “unwinnable”. A U.S. Army veteran, Bacevich also examines the disconnect between those who fight the wars and the rest of the country. He says national defense must return to idea of “We the People”.
The "military-entertainment complex" has been quietly developing for decades. The Pentagon helped sponsor the first personal computers, a few big-budget hollywood films and funded the M.I.T. graduate students who created the first video game, called Spacewar!, in 1962. And for decades, the military has used video games and digital simulations to train troops.
The U.S. Army-developed video game America’s Army was originally invented as a means of re-branding the military in the eyes of teenagers. It is now the Army’s go-to tool and has even worked its way into public school lesson plans. Corey Mead is Assistant Professor of English at CUNY’s Baruch College, and author of War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict.
With all great innovations comes the potential for mischief. With so much of our social, commercial, and government infrastructure already online, it’s highly likely that we’ve all been targeted by cyber-attacks, even if we haven’t directly felt their results. Cars, computer cams, ATMs, databases, and power grids can be hacked. In a recent high profile case, a week before one of the world’s most elite hackers was scheduled to demonstrate how to interrupt pacemakers and implanted defibrillators, he was found dead in his apartment. A team at the University of Texas Austin recently experimented with a technique they call “GPS Spoofing.” While that may sound like a YouTube comedy series, “GPS Spoofing” could be used to deadly serious effect. Todd Humphreysis an assistant professor with the Aerospace Engineering department at UT Austin.
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen came to UNH on Monday to ask University researchers and local law enforcement what the US Armed Forces Committee can learn about sexual assault from the civilian community. She says she’s hoping the information will help inform her colleagues as they shape sexual assault policies in the 2014 Military Defense Authorization Act.
I think we will get a good bill past.
But, Shaheen says, the question is whether the committee will require that sex crimes be investigated by non-military prosecutors.
At any given moment invisible information is traveling all around you. There are two obvious examples: radio waves…or if you’re listening online, the wireless signal emitted by your router. Researchers at MIT have been experimenting with these signals and they’ve developed a type of radar that uses Wi-Fi signal that can be seen – and used to detect movement and even see through walls. Dina Katabi, is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and she spoke with us about her new project, what she’s calling “Wi-Vi.”
A soldier from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards (1WG) rests following intense fighting with Taliban insurgents in Helmand, Afghanistan during Operation Panchai Palang 2(Op Panthers Claw). Photographer:Cpl Dan Bardsley RLC
In the US and around the world, researchers working for the armed forces are setting their sights on the human need to recharge, something increasingly perceived as a fatal flaw when missions demand pilots and soldiers stay awake and alert for days at a time. Here to discuss the fight against fatigue is William Saletan, national correspondent at slate.com where he covers science, technology and politics.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Chinese hackers had gained access to the designs of more than two dozen US weapons systems, including combat ships, aircraft, and missile defense systems. Although China denied the claims in the Defense Department report cited by the post, that country’s government announced earlier today that they have plans to conduct China’s first “digital military” exercise next week. President Obama and the Pentagon have increasingly addressed concerns about government-backed Chinese hackers in recent months, and next week, the president is scheduled to discuss cyber security with China’s president.
Testimony by victims and military officials in front of congress this month has shed light on the scope of sexual assault in the military service. Men and women who sign up for military service put their lives on the line for our country. Yet a woman serving in the military is more likely to be sexually assaulted than killed by enemy fire.
Until about two weeks ago, active duty armed service members could count on $4,500 a year to help pay for college tuition. But with the military suspending the benefit because of sequestration, Southern New Hampshire University is trying to bridge that gap.
Later this week 110 members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard will mobilize in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. The 237th Military Police Company will train in Texas for several months before departing to Khost Province.
77 of the soldiers are deploying for the first time. But others are on their second and third; one is one his fifth deployment.
It’s those repeated deployments that have been a signature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – and a researcher at UNH, they could take a toll on servicemembers’ families.