Homeland Security RAPS; Oklahoma jumps into Homeland Security drone program as Special Operations Command (SOCOM) lies over domestic drones
Basically drones are going into all kinds of state programs, including an interesting pilot program called DHS Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) Program between Homeland Security and the Oklahoma National Guard. But first this sketchy nationwide coverup going on...
The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is lying about what's going on. Obviously some agenda directed this behavior in USSOCOM. Special Operations Command is becoming its own authority (see this post on SOCOMs and lawless corporate global government).
Developing quick, eh? Last post: http://hongpong.com/archives/2012/06/20/faa-sets-large-nd-drone-training...
A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has provided statements to publications in New Hampshire and Oregon indicating that information regarding domestic drone activities provided by Public Intelligence is inaccurate, despite confirmations from the offices of two U.S. Senators. Following our publication last week of a map of current and proposed Department of Defense drone activities within the U.S., several journalists with local publications around the country wrote articles regarding drone activities that were listed in their area. David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph wrote about the listing of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington as the site of a USSOCOM drone activity involving small unmanned aerial vehicles including the Raven and Wasp. Corey Pein of the Willamette Week wrote about a planned USSOCOM drone activity in Portland that was listed as utilizing the same types of drones.
When each of these reporters contacted USSOCOM for information on the drone activities in their area, a spokesman stated that the information provided in our map, which was constructed from several public U.S. Air Force presentations from 2010 and 2011, was incorrect. The spokesman, deputy public affairs officer Ken McGraw, went so far as to tell the Willamette Week that “U.S. Special Operations Command does not have nor will it have [a drone] base in Portland.” McGraw provided the Nashua Telegraph with a nearly identical statement that USSOCOM “does not have a [drone] base in Mt. Washington” and added that “US Special Operations Command does not issue the Raven or Wasp. Those two UAVs are Army pieces of equipment.”
Both of the statements provided by USSOCOM have now been found to be demonstrably false following further investigation of public documents and confirmations of drone activities from the offices of two U.S. Senators. In New Hampshire, a local newspaper has now confirmed with the office of Senator Kelly Ayotte that in 2010, Navy Special Operations Forces utilized areas around Mt. Washington to conduct training operations using Wasp and Raven drones. David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph was further able to confirm via Army Lt. Col. James Gregory that similar exercises were also conducted in 2009 using the same types of drones.
In Oregon, the Willamette Week was able to confirm with the office of Sen. Ron Wyden that drones are currently stored in Portland for several military units in the area. Though the location is not primarily used as a launch site, the spokesman for Sen. Wyden’s office stated that “in the event of a natural disaster or other legitimate need” drones could be flown out of Portland. An April 2012 report to Congress on the DoD’s use of drones lists 110 sites around the country that are described as “potential UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] basing locations” along with the proposed drones that will be flown at each of the locations. The list includes several sites in Oregon, including Portland which is specifically listed as being under the control of USSOCOM and utilizing Wasp, Raven and Puma AE drones.
While some of the confusion surrounding the military’s domestic use of drones is likely due to terminological issues, such as what constitutes a drone base as opposed to an activity, these issues should not prevent the military from providing accurate information when queried by members of the press. In each of the statements provided by USSOCOM, their involvement in domestic drone activities is denied or misrepresented, preventing any meaningful exchange from taking place. If the military wishes to counter controversy from the increasing integration of drones into domestic airspace, then it may help to not make statements to press that are inaccurate or disproved by publicly available congressional reports.
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And the latest from Oklahoma:
GOVERNOR MARY FALLIN JOINS DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, OKLAHOMA NATIONAL GUARD TO ANNOUNCE NEW UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS PROGRAM IN OKLAHOMA
Thursday, 28 June 2012 19:06
Release from Office of Governor Mary Fallin
Governor Mary Fallin today joined officials from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the Oklahoma National Guard in announcing that Oklahoma has been chosen as the test site for the DHS Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) Program. The program will research and test Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), focusing on possible applications for first responders, including search and rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping.
Work is expected to begin this fall at Oklahoma State University's Multispectral Lab (UML) test site near Lawton, Oklahoma. The program will be operated by UML and takes advantage of the restricted airspace around Fort Sill, a U.S. military base also near Lawton. The Oklahoma National Guard will be a key partner with both DHS S&T and the UML as the RAPS program develops.
RAPS is expected to represent a $1.4 million investment in Oklahoma in the first year of operations with potential for significant growth in future years. The program is expected to last at least three years.
Fallin said the announcement represents an exciting development for Oklahoma, and a major success for the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council assembled by her in 2011 and headed by Secretary of Science and Technology Stephen McKeever.
"Aerospace is one of the most important sectors of Oklahoma's economy, supporting over 150,000 jobs around the state and accounting for more than $12.5 billion in industrial output each year," Fallin said. "Within that industry, unmanned aircraft systems represent the fastest growing part of the aerospace sector. For that reason, Oklahoma is committed to becoming the number one place for UAS operations, research, experimentation, design and testing in the country. Today's announcement represents a big step in that direction."
"Not only does UAS research attract investment and jobs to the state of Oklahoma, but it allows us to be part of an exciting new technology that will help our first responders as they work to save lives and keep our citizens safe. My thanks go out to all the parties involved in this exciting new project, especially Dr. McKeever and the other members of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Council."
Dr. John Appleby of DHS S&T, a senior program manager at the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency Science and Technology Directorate and the director of RAPS, said that he was impressed with the potential for UAS development in Oklahoma.
"After visiting more than a dozen sites in various southwestern and western states, I have selected Oklahoma as the venue for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety Program, with the intent to begin flying at Fort Sill as soon as possible," said Appleby. "I continue to be impressed by the quality of UAS ideas and approaches in Oklahoma, the high level of experience and subject matter expertise concerning this technology and the breadth of available resources in the state needed for the program."
Adjutant General Myles Deering of the National Guard said UAS technologies have the potential to provide invaluable assistance to guard members in first-responder scenarios.
"Whether it's responding to severe wildfires, floods or other state emergencies, the ability of the National Guard to react quickly to events on the ground is one of the most important factors in preventing loss of life," said Deering. "The use of unmanned aerial systems can help the Guard to gain quick tactical awareness, locate individuals who may be in immediate danger and respond accordingly. It also allows us to do all this at a fraction of the cost of manned aircraft and without putting Guardsmen in danger."
McKeever said today's announcement was a precursor to more work in the field of UAS.
"Our hope is that today's announcement is just the beginning," McKeever said. "When it comes to UAS technology, the possibilities are nearly endless. We expect UAS to be the wave of the future in the aerospace industry, and Oklahoma will continue to be on the cutting edge of this exciting new technology."