Killer Robots

Federal Homeland Security TSA VIPR Team & #VikingsDrone: Suspicious drone & Feds spotted at Vikings/Packers game

Things are a little strange at the Vikings/Packers Game today. A drone has been photographed hovering around the Metrodome fan plaza on the west side, and a Homeland Security / TSA "VIPR" team has been hanging around as well, indicating the federal government is shifting into "protecting" the major Spectacles at taxpayer expense.

My friend Nathan Hansen noticed the #VikingsDrone and the VIPR team, documenting & posting them on twitter @nathanmhansen. [Note: awhile back I did a 'lil client design work for Hansen.]

//// UPDATE 12:15PM Monday: According to @TCRover, a branch of the Pioneer Press, the drone was NOT operated by the government but rather some production company. The pic they say is from the crew flying it earlier: See https://twitter.com/TCRover/status/285560684245315585/photo/1 . Nonetheless we still need to deal with the impending prospect of government & contractor drones filling our airspace - and indeed this story has prompted others to discuss other sightings near government sites. //// 2:20PM update: It's annoying that they tried to tweet @ me last night but it never turned up in my timeline so I didn't find out until today. I would have much preferred to straighten it out immediately! Also, here's what's going on with drones in Oklahoma... Follow my friend @axxiom for more. ////

PHOTO sources: yfrog Fullsize - http://twitter.yfrog.com/h41hxevhj // yfrog Fullsize - http://twitter.yfrog.com/o0mkqkobj // yfrog Fullsize - http://twitter.yfrog.com/oemubbyj // VIPR Team: yfrog Fullsize - http://twitter.yfrog.com/odjd2ybj

odjd2ybj.jpeg h41hxevhj.jpeg

You can see the four rotors pretty well on these pics. It is comparable to the sports photography drone linked below as well - I figured it might just be a civilian hobbyist drone or some weird sports media project drone until the VIPR team was found by Hansen.

mkqkob.jpg mubby.jpeg

I am just delighted that the national government had to borrow more money at interest from the Federal Reserve System in order to send out these guys and their fancy flying spy robot to the Vikings/Packers game. We get the twin benefits of national debt slavery AND a surveillance state with nothing useful to do!

Our friends at WTFNews cranked out a quick post on this already: Unidentified Drone Spotted at @Packers-@VikingsFootball @NFL Game » WTF RLY REPORT

Let's Ban This Drone Operation in Minneapolis: Already Minneapolis activist Kurtis Hanna has suggested a petition to get drones banned on the city charter. (come to think of it, wouldn't it be good to get something like the White House petition site for the Mpls Charter Commission?) I will include some info below on this.

The Department of Homeland Security and the National Football League have a burgeoning relationship. Previously when I wrote up a post on the relatively new and totally off-the-radar Homeland Security Investigations division (basically their own militant version of the FBI, intended to reach BATF-level org status) they did a drill black helicopter landing on the Super Bowl field. [yes really - HSI is so new I must have been the first person to satirize its absurdities on the whole interweb!] See April 12 2012: Meet the new Boss in Town: ICE spawns... HSI Homeland Security Investigations, for great justice & cocaine cowboys | HongPong.com

The Super Bowl and World Series are also both declared National Special Security Events, which activates a fat block of overtime for many federal police agencies, much like the Republican & Democratic National Conventions. (However, since rioting at sports events is closer to the booze-soaked Id of the American public than more 'political' street upheavals, it doesn't meet the same heavy hand from federal & local police agencies) NSSEs generally feature Homeland Security, FEMA and the Secret Service operating at a high tempo, another thing that HSI & TSA are getting involved with as a 'filler force' if you will.

For Super Bowl NSSE info see: Super Bowl XLVI, NSSE & Big Sis - YouTube // www.secretservice.gov/press/pub0202.pdf on Bowl XXXVI // this crazy PDF: rnc08report.org/engine/uploads/1/Day-2-Breakout-2-NSSE-Carillo-Lowry-Lumley.pdf // Infowars » Indy Super Bowl: National Security State Protects Sports Fans from Prostitutes // National Special Security Events: 8. NSSE Fill-in Fact Sheet // Article Detail - Domestic Preparedness via LLIS.gov // etc

Federal VIPR teams: been popping up in all sorts of places. Here's the Wiki page. Wiki notes GAO attributes their existence to a Reaction to the shady Madrid train bombings. VIPR is trying to get at pro sports & local transportation (the Hiawatha light rail has a station close to where they were photographed) and wherever else they can normalize their presence. In this case the VIPR deployment apparently includes at least a half-dozen uniformed officers and at least one drone.

Additionally there was strange audio interference right before a commercial break in the first half, kind of like the sound a cell phone makes when its microwave signal induces noise in a speaker or electronics. However, I don't think game-day satellite transmissions go straight over-the-air from the Metrodome, as there aren't really satellite dishes around there I've noticed. Thus it seems unlikely to me that the one spotted drone would have glitched the transmission. Perhaps unrelated but also something you don't usually see. I blame Wisconsin FalseFlag types for this noise, whoever that might be :-P

SEE ALSO:

The drone does look similar to the one in this story. New use for drones: Sports photography - CBS News

Oh this is great. Perhaps the best link I've found in this. "PUT [VIPR] TEAMS TO WORK FOR YOU" VIPR teams and pipelines!! A "no cost resources for expanding and enhancing your security". Free oil goon security? Screw that: www.dleg.state.mi.us/mpsc/gas/download/2011SS-2-4-VIPR_Handout.pdf

May 2012: TSA VIPR Team Spotted at… Detroit Music Festival?? « TSA Out of Our Pants!

CNN Jan 28 2012: TSA rail, subway spot-checks raise privacy issues - CNN.com

VIDEO Blackburn Questions TSA Officials on VIPR Teams - YouTube

VIDEO TSA VIPR Teams in Greyhound Bus Station Tampa FL 02/16/2010

TSA deploys 'VIPR' teams throughout Tennessee to set up illegal security checkpoints on interstates - NaturalNews with a bunch of other links including: TSA-style full body pat-downs coming to an NFL stadium near you (Sept 2011) etc

6 USC § 1112 - Authorization of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams | LII / Legal Information Institute. So they are doing this about the Hiawatha light rail officially I would guess. This would also signify that Metro Transit would have some record of the situation if "consult" in Sec.4 has occurred

(a) In general

The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, may develop Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (referred to in this section as “VIPR”) teams to augment the security of any mode of transportation at any location within the United States. In forming a VIPR team, the Secretary—

(1) may use any asset of the Department, including Federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, canine detection teams, and advanced screening technology;

(2) may determine when a VIPR team shall be deployed, as well as the duration of the deployment;

(3) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with local security and law enforcement officials in the jurisdiction where the VIPR team is or will be deployed, to develop and agree upon the appropriate operational protocols and provide relevant information about the mission of the VIPR team, as appropriate; and

(4) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with all transportation entities directly affected by the deployment of a VIPR team, as appropriate, including railroad carriers, air carriers, airport owners, over-the-road bus operators and terminal owners and operators, motor carriers, public transportation agencies, owners or operators of highways, port operators and facility owners, vessel owners and operators and pipeline operators.

(b) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section such sums as necessary for fiscal years 2007 through 2011.

Process for City Charter Amendment for banning these drones: Sent along by Kurt Hanna who thinks that "10,791 valid signatures of Minneapolis residents who are registered voters in order to qualify for the ballot" based on the figure of 215,806 voters voting last time. Citizen petition timeframe link. BUT: How much time do we have to gather these signatures?

Some more info: Via Minneapolis City Charter: http://library.municode.com/HTML/11490/level2/SUHITA_CH.html

(1) The methods available for amending a home rule city charter are contained in Minnesota Statutes, Section 410.12 et seq., which provides as follows:

(1) 410.12 AMENDMENTS. Subdivision 1. Proposals. The charter commission may propose amendments to such charter and SHALL DO SO upon the petition of voters equal in number to five percent of the total votes cast at the last previous state general election in the city.Proposed charter amendments must be submitted at least 12 weeks before the general election. Only registered voters are eligible to sign the petition. All petitions circulated with respect to a charter amendment shall be uniform in character and shall have attached thereto the text of the proposed amendment in full; except that in the case of a proposed amendment containing more than 1,000 words, a true and correct copy of the same may be filed with the city clerk, and the petition shall then contain a summary of not less than 50 nor more than 300 words setting forth in substance the nature of the proposed amendment. Such summary shall contain a statement of the objects and purposes of the amendment proposed and an outline of any proposed new scheme or frame work of government and shall be sufficient to inform the signers of the petition as to what change in government is sought to be accomplished by the amendment.The summary, together with a copy of the proposed amendment, shall first be submitted to the charter commission for its approval as to form and substance. The commission shall within ten days after such submission to it, return the same to the proposers of the amendment with such modifications in statement as it may deem necessary in order that the summary may fairly comply with the requirements above set forth.

Subd. 2. Petitions. The signatures to such petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate petition there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof as provided by this section. A petition must contain each petitioner's signature in ink or indelible pencil and must indicate after the signature the place of residence by street and number, or their description sufficient to identify the place. There shall appear on each petition the names and addresses of five electors of the city, and on each paper the names and addresses of the same five electors, who, as a committee of the petitioners, shall be regarded as responsible for the circulation and filing of the petition. [........]

(1) Subd. 3. May be assembled as one petition. All petition papers for a proposed amendment shall be assembled and filed with the charter commission as one instrument. Within ten days after such petition is transmitted to the city council, the city clerk shall determine whether each paper of the petition is properly attested and whether the petition is signed by a sufficient number of voters. The city clerk shall declare any petition paper entirely invalid which is not attested by the circulator thereof as required in this section. Upon completing an examination of the petition, the city clerk shall certify the result of the examination to the council. If the city clerk shall certify that the petition is insufficient the city clerk shall set forth in a certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the committee of the petitioners of the findings. A petition may be amended at any time within ten days after the making of a certificate of insufficiency by the city clerk, by filing a supplementary petition upon additional papers signed and filed as provided in case of an original petition. The city clerk shall within five days after such amendment is filed, make examination of the amended petition, and if the certificate shall show the petition still to be insufficient, the city clerk shall file it in the city clerk's office and notify the committee of the petitioners of the findings and no further action shall be had on such insufficient petition. The finding of the insufficiency of a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose. (Back)

(1) Subd. 4. Election. Amendments shall be submitted to the qualified voters at a general or special election and published as in the case of the original charter. The form of the ballot shall be fixed by the governing body. The statement of the question on the ballot shall be sufficient to identify the amendment clearly and to distinguish the question from every other question on the ballot at the same time. If 51 percent of the votes cast on any amendment are in favor of its adoption, copies of the amendment and certificates shall be filed, as in the case of the original charter and the amendment shall take effect in 30 days from the date of the election or at such other time as is fixed in the amendment.

An amusing side question: is this "magick" security theater? Security Theater of course works most "effectively" at materializing psychological phantoms with an audience at a Spectacle. This is the perhaps the principle Stimulus Effect intended by Homeland Security & its general orientation around 'visuals' which is not that different than Ceremonial Magick, which is [arguably] anything that generates a certain sense-impression in the mind of Observers.

metrodome-national-guard.jpeg

Another old backstory: In 2010 some people noticed they were using government photos of MN National Guard riot control gear from the deployment at the 2008 Republican National Convention under the NSSE system for recruitment propaganda on the Metrodome. RNC '08 Report: Our News: National Guard advert on Metrodome, proposed site of 2012 DNC, depicts soldiers deployed against protesters during 2008 RNC. Your tax dollas at work!

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...
VIA: http://publicintelligence.net/why-is-socom-lying-about-domestic-drones/

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.

Related material:

  1. Police Expanding Domestic Use of Drone Aircraft
  2. U.S. Officials Lying About Civilian Deaths From Pakistan Drone Strikes
  3. DoD Current and Future U.S. Drone Activities Map
  4. Rebuild Your Local Economy With the Drone Industry
  5. White House Refuses to Inform Lawmakers About Drone Operations
  6. U.S. Flying Drone Missions From Civilian Airport in Ethiopia
  7. Lost-Links and Mid-Air Collisions: The Problems With Domestic Drones
  8. Pakistani ISI Asks CIA to Stop Drone Strikes

And the latest from Oklahoma:
VIA: https://news.okstate.edu/press-releases/1697-governor-mary-fallin-joins-...

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."

FAA Sets Large ND Drone Training Airspace - Federal Register Makes It So

The plan to convert America, and the world, into a hellish dystopia patrolled by killer flying robots continues apace with a fine fanciful scheme for flying more drones around North Dakota. It is apparently controlled by the FAA Minneapolis office to some extent.

PublicIntelligence.net reported more on the drone scheme at http://publicintelligence.net/dod-us-drone-activities-map/

According to their data, doom bogies to keep an eye on include:
Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND Air Force Global Hawk, Predator - Future
Camp Ripley, MN Army Shadow - Current
Fargo, ND Air Force Predator - Current
Ellsworth Air Force Base, SD Air Force Predator - Future

Via the crucial Cryptome.org : http://cryptome.org/2012/06/faa062012.htm

20 June 2012

FAA Sets Large ND Drone Training Airspace

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 119 (Wednesday, June 20, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36907-36914]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15008]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 36907]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 73

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0117; Airspace Docket No. 09-AGL-31]


Establishment of Restricted Areas R-5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-
5403C, R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F; Devils Lake, ND

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action establishes restricted area airspace within the 
Devils Lake Military Operations Area (MOA), overlying Camp Grafton 
Range, in the vicinity of Devils Lake, ND. The new restricted areas 
permit realistic training in modern tactics to be conducted at Camp 
Grafton Range while ensuring the safe and efficient use of the National 
Airspace System (NAS) in the Devils Lake, ND, area. Unlike restricted 
areas which are designated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations 
(14 CFR) part 73, MOAs are not regulatory airspace. However, since the 
restricted areas overlap the Devils Lake East MOA, the FAA is including 
a description of the Devils Lake East MOA change in this rule. The MOA 
change described herein will be published in the National Flight Data 
Digest (NFDD).

DATES: Effective Dates: Effective date 0901 UTC, July 26, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colby Abbott, Airspace, Regulations 
and ATC Procedures Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

History

    On November 28, 2011, the FAA published in the Federal Register a 
notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Restricted Areas R-
5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-5403C, R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F in the 
vicinity of Devils Lake, ND (76 FR 72869). Interested parties were 
invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written 
comments on the proposal. In response to public request, the FAA 
extended the comment period for 30 additional days (77 FR 1656; January 
11, 2012). There were 43 comments received in response to the NPRM with 
42 opposing various aspects of the proposal and one comment supporting 
the proposal as published. All comments received were considered before 
making a determination on this final rule. The following is a 
discussion of the substantive comments received and the agency's 
response.

Discussion of Comments

    One commenter contended that the 500 feet above ground level (AGL) 
base for R-5402 would impact low level, aerial operations such as crop 
dusters, wildlife and agricultural surveys, and emergency medical 
access. The FAA recognizes that when active, R-5402 would restrict 
nonparticipating aircraft from operating within its boundaries. To 
mitigate impacts to the aviation activities described above, the United 
States Air Force (USAF) has agreed to implement scheduling coordination 
measures to de-conflict laser operations and accommodate access by 
local farming, ranching, survey, and medical aviation interests when 
they need to fly in or through R-5402, when it is active.
    Another commenter noted that VFR traffic would have to 
circumnavigate active restricted airspace resulting in increased time 
and distances flown. The FAA acknowledges restricted area airspace 
segregates nonparticipating aircraft from hazardous activities 
occurring inside the restricted area and that, on occasion, 
nonparticipating aircraft affected by the restricted area will have to 
deviate from preferred routings to remain clear. The lateral boundaries 
and altitudes of the restricted area complex were defined to minimize 
impacts to nonparticipant aircraft, yet still support the military in 
accomplishing its training mission. The subdivided configuration of the 
restricted area complex, the altitude stratifications, and the entire 
restricted area complex designated as ``joint use,'' affords 
nonparticipant aircraft access to the portions of restricted area 
airspace not in use by the military to the greatest extent possible.
    One commenter expressed concern that segregating airspace for new 
types of aircraft sets a dangerous precedent. The FAA agrees and 
maintains its policy to establish restricted area airspace when 
determined necessary to confine or segregate activities considered 
hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. The FAA considers UAS 
operations to be non-hazardous. However, the FAA recognizes that some 
UAS platforms have the ability to employ hazardous ordnance or sensors. 
Since the MQ-1 Predator [UAS] laser is non-eye safe and will be used 
during training sorties flown by the military, its use constitutes a 
hazardous activity that must be confined within restricted area 
airspace to protect nonparticipating aircraft.
    Two commenters suggested that Special Use Airspace (SUA) should be 
ceded back to civil control when not in use. The FAA proposed that the 
restricted areas be designated as ``joint use'' airspace, specifically 
to afford the highest level of access to NAS users and limit this 
access only when necessary. This rule provides that when the restricted 
areas are not needed by the using agency, the airspace will be returned 
to the controlling agency, Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control 
Center, for access by other NAS users.
    Another commenter recommended that the proposed restricted area 
airspace be developed for concurrent use. The FAA considered the 
commenters use of ``concurrent use'' to mean ``sharing the same 
airspace, at the same time, between participating and nonparticipating 
aircraft.'' As noted previously, restricted areas are established to 
confine or segregate activities considered hazardous to 
nonparticipating aircraft; such as dropping bombs, firing guns/
missiles/rockets, or lasing with a non-eye safe laser. Concurrent use, 
as described above, would not be prudent in such an environment as it 
constitutes an unacceptable risk to nonparticipating aircraft.
    Twenty-two commenters stated that the proposed restricted areas 
should

[[Page 36908]]

have been developed in conjunction with the North Dakota Airspace 
Integration Team (NDAIT), a group formed to find solutions to UAS 
integration into the NAS, as well as coordinate UAS activities state-
wide. To clarify, the focus of this proposed action is consideration of 
establishing restricted areas to support hazardous military training 
activities, not UAS integration into the NAS. The FAA notes that the 
NDAIT was not established until after the USAF airspace proposal was 
submitted to the FAA and many of the NDAIT members took the opportunity 
to submit comments on the proposal.
    One commenter stated that the proposed airspace should be 
environmentally assessed for the broad array of military aircraft that 
would be expected to employ in conjunction with UAS. The FAA agrees and 
has confirmed that the Environmental Impact Statement for the bed down 
of the MQ-1 Predator at Grand Forks Air Force Base (AFB) addresses 
other aircraft that would likely train with the UAS in the proposed 
restricted area airspace complex.
    Another commenter stated that the proposed restricted area airspace 
would eventually be activated almost full time as is the current 
Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over Grand Forks AFB. The TFR 
referred to by the commenter is contained in the Special Security 
Instruction authorized under 14 CFR 99.7 for Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) UAS operations conducted from Grand Forks AFB. 
Although the TFR is active while the CBP UAS is flying, it allows 
airspace access by non-participant aircraft using procedural separation 
rules. The restricted areas proposed by this action are being 
established with specific times of designation, to support the 
hazardous non-eye safe laser training conducted by the USAF. The times 
are described by ``core hours'' and also may be activated by NOTAM to 
allow for training periods outside the core hours, i.e. at night.
    Twenty commenters argued that the proposal is contrary to FAA 
policy, in that it is designed for the sole purpose of separating non-
hazardous types of VFR aircraft. The FAA has established this 
restricted area airspace to confine the MQ-1 Predator employment of a 
non-eye safe targeting laser, which is hazardous to nonparticipating 
pilots. This laser training for UAS pilots must be contained in 
restricted areas to confine the hazardous activity, as well as protect 
non-participating aircraft flying in the vicinity of the restricted 
areas. Even though the Predator operations in the restricted areas will 
normally occur in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), the UAS will 
be on an IFR flight plan in accordance with U.S. Air Force 
requirements.
    Two commenters requested that the FAA establish a formal, annual 
review process and public report on the use and impacts of any 
designated airspace associated with UAS activity in Grand Forks, ND. 
The request to establish a formal annual review process with public 
reporting on use and impacts falls outside the scope of this proposed 
action. However, the FAA has a Restricted Area Annual Utilization 
reporting program already established to assist the FAA in managing 
special use airspace areas established throughout the NAS. These annual 
utilization reports provide objective information regarding the types 
of activities being conducted, as well as the times scheduled, 
activated, and actual use, which the FAA uses to assess the appropriate 
use of the restricted areas.
    Nineteen commenters recommended that proposed restricted airspace 
have a ``sunset'' date. The restricted areas are established to confine 
hazardous non-eye safe laser training, which will continue as long as 
the Predator UAS are operating from Grand Forks AFB. Technology 
developments to integrate UAS into the NAS with manned aircraft, as 
well as military Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) maturation 
may provide an opportunity to reconfigure the restricted area airspace 
at a future date, but the requirement for restricted area airspace will 
exist as long as the non-eye safe laser training is conducted.
    One commenter recommended a requirement for equipping the UAS with 
forward viewing sensors that would enable the UAS to comply with 14 CFR 
part 91 see-and-avoid rules. While the FAA is working with the industry 
to develop see-and-avoid solutions for the safe and eventual seamless 
integration of UAS into the NAS, this suggestion is outside the scope 
of this action.
    One commenter asked that the proposal be tabled until the FAA 
publishes its final Order/Advisory Circular regarding UAS operations in 
the NAS. The Order/Advisory Circular address the integration of UAS in 
the NAS, which is separate from the action of establishing restricted 
area airspace to confine hazardous non-eye safe laser training 
activities. This action is necessary to support the military's training 
requirement beginning this summer. The FAA is completing this airspace 
action separate from its UAS NAS integration guidance development 
efforts.
    Several commenters recommended that instead of creating new SUA for 
these activities that the USAF use existing restricted areas or the 
airspace subject to flight restrictions under Sec.  99.7 SSI and used 
by the Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP) at Grand Forks AFB. The 
FAA advocates the use of existing SUA and requires proponents to 
examine all reasonable alternatives, prior to considering the need to 
establish new SUA. In this case, the USAF conducted an extensive 
analysis of alternatives and considered criteria including proximity to 
Grand Forks AFB, existence of a suitable air-to-ground range for laser 
targeting, and air traffic density both en route and at the training 
complex. The Beaver MOA in north central Minnesota is approximately 
three times as far as the proposed airspace, has much heavier air 
traffic density, and has no air-to-ground gunnery range. The Tiger MOAs 
in north central North Dakota are the same distance as the proposed 
airspace, have favorable air traffic density, but have no air-to-ground 
gunnery range. The airspace in the vicinity of the existing CBP Sec.  
99.7 SSI flight restriction would be closer, but has much higher 
traffic density and complexity, and has no air-to-ground range. 
Additionally, there were no useable restricted areas within reasonable 
distance of Grand Forks AFB for consideration. The FAA believes the 
USAF considered and analyzed the alternatives to this action and that 
establishing new SUA is the only reasonable option.
    One commenter suggested that the restricted area complex be moved 
north of Devils Lake. The FAA notes that the USAF studied an 
alternative of establishing restricted areas in the Tiger North and 
Tiger South MOAs, located north of Devils Lake, ND. While proximity to 
Grand Forks AFB and the air traffic density compared favorably to the 
proposed airspace area, the lack of an air-to-ground gunnery range 
suitable for hazardous laser training made this option operationally 
unfeasible. The FAA accepted the USAF's consideration and analysis of 
this alternative and proposed establishing the restricted areas set 
forth in this action.
    One commenter recommended that the proposed airspace be moved to 
another state as it would impact flying training in the vicinity of 
Grand Forks. This airspace proposal resulted from Congress' Base 
Realignment and Closure Commission of 2005 decision to retain Grand 
Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota for an emerging UAS mission. As 
addressed previously, Beaver MOA in north central Minnesota is the 
nearest SUA outside of North Dakota. It was approximately three times 
the distance from Grand Forks AFB, has much higher

[[Page 36909]]

air traffic density airspace, and has no air-to-ground gunnery range 
for hazardous laser training. The FAA recognizes the proposed 
restricted areas could impact civil flight training, largely conducted 
by the University of North Dakota and east of the proposed complex. 
Additionally, nearly all civil flight training activity that currently 
occurs in the vicinity of the restricted areas would take place below 
the proposed R-5403 footprint. Whereas the floor of R-5402 goes down to 
500 feet above ground level (AGL), its cylinder footprint was reduced 
to a 7 NM radius around R-5401 and the Camp Grafton Range to mitigate 
impacts to these civil operations. This airspace action provides a 
reasonable balance between military training requirements and 
accommodation of non-participant flight training.
    Three commenters stated that the vast size of the restricted area 
complex is not necessary. The restricted areas being established by 
this action provide the minimum vertical and lateral tactical 
maneuvering airspace required for UAS operators to accomplish target 
acquisition prior to attack, and then contain the non-eye safe laser 
during firing. The restricted area complex was configured to confine 
two UAS operating on independent mission profiles at the same time, 
while minimizing airspace impacts to non-participating aircraft. As the 
UAS training flight transitions from one phase of the mission profiles 
to another, unused segments will be deactivated and returned to the NAS 
consistent with the FAA's Joint Use Airspace policy. The subdivided and 
stratified configuration of the restricted area complex enables the 
USAF to only activate the restricted areas needed for their training 
sorties while leaving the rest of the complex inactive and available 
for NAS users. The FAA believes the segmentation and stratification of 
the complex will enhance civil access to those parts of the complex not 
activated for USAF training requirements. Actual procedures for 
restricted area activation and deactivation will be defined in a Letter 
of Procedure between the using and controlling agencies.
    Two commenters asked if the USAF could find a less cluttered area 
with more suitable weather for MQ-1 Predator operations. The FAA 
acknowledges that weather challenges will exist for the MQ-1 Predator 
operations at Grand Forks AFB. The decision to base Predator UAS at 
Grand Forks AFB, however, was mandated by Congress. The restricted 
areas proposed by this action were situated and proposed in the only 
location that met the USAF's operational requirements of proximity to 
launch/recovery base, low air traffic density, and availability of an 
existing air-to-ground gunnery range suitable for the hazardous non-eye 
safe laser training activities.
    One commenter contended that Alert Areas are more appropriate for 
UAS training activity. Alert Areas are designated to inform 
nonparticipating pilots of areas that contain a high volume of pilot 
training operations, or an unusual type of aeronautical activity, that 
they might not otherwise expect to encounter. However, only those 
activities that do not pose a hazard to other aircraft may be conducted 
in an Alert Area. Since employment of the non-eye safe laser carried by 
the MQ-1 Predator UAS is an activity hazardous to non-participants, an 
Alert Area is not an appropriate airspace solution.
    Two commenters stated that the Air Force is proposing restricted 
areas as a means to mitigate for lack of see-and-avoid capability for 
UAS operations. They noted, correctly, that the Air Force could use 
ground-based or airborne assets to provide see-and-avoid compliance 
instead. FAA policy dictates that restricted areas are established to 
confine activities considered hazardous to non-participating aircraft. 
As mentioned previously, the focus of this action is establishing 
restricted areas to support hazardous military training activities, not 
UAS integration into the NAS. As such, the FAA does not support 
establishing restricted areas as a solution to overcome UAS inability 
to comply with 14 CFR Part 91 see-and-avoid requirements. The FAA is 
establishing the restricted areas addressed in this action to confine 
the hazardous non-eye safe laser training activities conducted by the 
USAF.
    One commenter stated that new restricted airspace should be offset 
by reallocation of unused SUA elsewhere in the NAS. The proposed 
restricted areas fall almost entirely within the existing Devils Lake 
East MOA. When activated, the new restricted areas will be, in effect, 
replacing existing SUA. Although the regulatory and non-regulatory 
process for establishing SUA is not directly linked to the restricted 
area and MOA annual utilization reporting process, the FAA does review 
restricted area and MOA utilization annually. If candidate SUA areas 
are identified, the FAA works with the military service to 
appropriately return that airspace to the NAS.
    Seventeen commenters stated that Predator pilots can get the same 
training through simulation. The FAA cannot determine for the USAF the 
value of simulated UAS operator training over actual flying activities. 
The USAF is heavily investing in Live, Virtual, and Constructive (LVC) 
training options. As the commenters infer, the migration to a virtual 
training environment would be expected to reduce the demand for 
activating R-5402 and R-5403A-F. However, actual employment of the non-
eye safe laser will still be required for both training proficiency and 
equipment validation. This action balances the training airspace 
requirements identified by the USAF as it matures its UAS capabilities 
with the airspace access requirements of other NAS users.
    Twenty commenters addressed the increased collision hazard due to 
air traffic compression at lower altitudes and around the periphery of 
the proposed complex. The FAA recognizes that compression could occur 
when the restricted areas are active; however, the actual impact will 
be minimal. The FAA produced traffic counts for the 5 busiest summer 
days and 5 busiest winter days of 2011 during the proposed times of 
designation (0700-2200L) from 8,000 feet MSL to 14,000 feet MSL. Totals 
for all IFR and known VFR aircraft ranged between 4 and 22 aircraft 
over the 17-hour span. Volumes such as this are easily managed by 
standard ATC procedures. To enhance non-radar service in the far 
western part of the proposed complex, the FAA is considering a separate 
rulemaking action to modify V-170 so that it will remain clear of R-
5402 to the west. On average, four aircraft file V-170 over a 24-hour 
day. Lastly, the FAA is nearing completion of a project to add three 
terminal radar feeds, from Bismarck, Fargo, and Minot AFB, covering the 
restricted area airspace area into Minneapolis ARTCC. These feeds will 
improve low altitude radar surveillance and enhance flight safety 
around the proposed restricted areas.
    One commenter argued that the proposed airspace should be limited 
to daylight hours only. While daytime flying is usually safer in a 
visual see-and-avoid environment; when it comes to the military 
training for combat operations, darkness provides a significant 
tactical advantage and UAS must be capable of operating both day and 
night. While the USAF has a valid and recurring requirement to train 
during hours of darkness, the USAF was able to accept a 2-hour 
reduction in the published times of designation core hours from ``0700-
2200 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in advance,'' to ``0700-2000 daily, by 
NOTAM 6 hours in advance.''

[[Page 36910]]

    Another commenter sought details on the UAS lost link plan. 
Although the lost link plan is not within the scope of this action, the 
FAA does require detailed procedures for UAS lost link situations for 
all UAS operations. These procedures will be similar to those in place 
today for UAS operations across the NAS. The servicing ATC facility and 
UAS operators closely coordinate lost link procedures and will 
incorporate them into the implementing Letters of Procedure (LOP) for 
the restricted areas established in this rule.
    Two commenters commented that the proposed restricted area complex 
stratification and segmentation was confusing and would lead to SUA 
airspace incursions. The FAA promotes stratifications and segmentation 
of large SUA complexes to maximize the safety and efficiency of the NAS 
and to enable more joint use opportunities to access the same airspace 
by non-participating aircraft. Sub-dividing the complex permits 
activation of a small percentage of the overall complex at any one time 
while still providing for a diverse set of training profiles during UAS 
sorties, which is especially well-suited for long duration UAS training 
missions. Additionally, enhanced joint use access eases compression of 
air traffic in the local area; thus, increasing flight safety.
    Nineteen commenters noted that UAS will not be able to see-and-
avoid large flocks of birds using migratory flyways, which could create 
a hazard for personnel on the ground. Both Grand Forks AFB and the 
University of North Dakota flight school, located at the Grand Forks 
International Airport, have conducted extensive research into bird 
strike potential and prevention. Their research found that more than 90 
percent of bird strikes occur below 3,500 feet AGL and that there are 
predictable windows for migratory bird activity, which are adjusted 
year-to-year based on historical and forecast weather patterns. Also, 
bird strikes are nearly twice as likely to occur at night compared to 
the day. The USAF has long standing bird strike avoidance procedures 
specifically customized for Grand Forks AFB, which will be optimized 
for UAS operations. Other mitigations include having the bases of the 
restricted airspace well above most bird activity, conducting most 
training during daylight hours, and adjusting UAS operations during 
seasonal migratory activity. These mitigations conform to both civil 
and military standard bird strike avoidance measures that are in place 
across the NAS.
    Eighteen commenters contended that persons and property under the 
proposed airspace would not be protected from the non-eye safe laser 
training. The USAF conducted a laser safety study in 2009 for the Camp 
Grafton Air-to-Ground Range. This range, where the laser targets will 
be placed, lies within the existing R-5401. The study examined laser 
and aircraft characteristics, topography, target composition, and 
employment parameters, and determined that the proposed airspace would 
adequately protect persons and property outside the footprint of R-
5401. Personnel working at the range will use proper protective gear 
should they need to access the target areas during laser employment 
periods. The FAA has reviewed and accepts the USAF's laser safety 
study. The restricted areas established by this action are designed to 
allow laser employment without hazard to persons and property in the 
vicinity of R-5401.
    Two commenters stated that it is dangerous to mix UAS with visual 
flight rules (VFR) air traffic. UAS are permitted to fly outside 
restricted area airspace in the NAS today and in the vicinity of VFR 
aircraft, under FAA approved Certificate of Waiver or Authorization 
(COA). Specific to this action, UAS operations will be occurring inside 
restricted area airspace that is established to confine the hazardous 
non-eye safe laser training activities; thus, segregated from 
nonparticipating aircraft.
    One commenter said that VFR pilot violations will increase and 
those less informed will pose a safety hazard. The FAA interpreted the 
commenters use ``violations'' to mean SUA airspace incursions. VFR 
pilots must conduct thorough pre-flight planning and are encouraged to 
seek airborne updates from ATC on the status of SUA. The FAA finds that 
the restricted areas established by this action pose no more risk of 
incursion or safety hazard than other restricted areas that exist in 
the NAS.
    Two commenters observed that the NPRM failed to identify how UAS 
would transit from Grand Forks AFB to the proposed restricted areas. 
The FAA considers UAS transit and climb activities to be non-hazardous; 
therefore, establishing new restricted areas for transit and climb 
purposes is inappropriate. While UAS transit and climb activities are 
non-hazardous, they are presently atypical. Therefore, specifics on 
transit and climb ground tracks, corridor altitudes and widths, and 
activation procedures will be accomplished procedurally and consistent 
with existing COA mitigation alternatives available today. The 
establishment of restricted areas airspace is focused on the hazardous 
non-eye safe laser training activities.
    Twenty four commenters noted that the proposed restricted areas 
would block V-170 & V-55 and impact V-169 & V-561. The FAA acknowledges 
that the proposed restricted area complex will have a minimal impact on 
three of the four Victor airways mentioned, depending on the restricted 
areas activated. The airway analysis began with V-170, which runs 
between Devils Lake, ND, and Jamestown, ND, with a Minimum En route 
Altitude (MEA) of 3,500 feet MSL along the effected segment of the 
airway. An average of four aircraft per day filed for V-170. R-5402, 
when active, impacts V-170 from 1200 feet AGL to 10,000 feet MSL. The 
FAA is considering a separate rulemaking action to modify V-170 by 
creating a slight ``dogleg'' to the west, which would allow unimpeded 
use of V-170 below 8,000 feet MSL regardless of the status of R-5402. 
Impacts to V-170 above 8,000 feet MSL are dependent upon which 
restricted areas are active.
    V-55 runs between Grand Forks, ND, and Bismarck, ND, with an MEA of 
8,000 feet MSL along the affected segment of the airway. An average of 
7 aircraft per day filed for V-55. Activation of R-5402, R-5403A, R-
5403B, or R-5403C would have no impact on V-55. The FAA raised the 
floor of R-5403D to 10,000 feet MSL and reduced the blocks for R-5403D 
and R-5403E to 2,000 feet each to allow ATC more flexibility to climb/
descend IFR traffic on V-55. The FAA is also considering establishing a 
Global Positioning Satellite MEA along the affected segment of V-55 to 
allow properly equipped non-participating aircraft to fly the V-55 
ground track, but at a lower altitude.
    V-561 runs between Grand Forks, ND, and Jamestown, ND, with an MEA 
of 4,000 feet MSL along this segment of the airway. An average of two 
aircraft per day filed for V-561. When activated, the southeast corner 
of R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F encroach upon V-561 from 10,000 feet 
MSL-11,999 feet MSL, 12,000 feet MSL-13,999 feet MSL, or 14,000 feet 
MSL-17,999 feet MSL, respectively.
    V-169 runs between Devils Lake, ND, and Bismarck, ND, with an MEA 
of 3,500 feet MSL along this segment. The nearest point of any 
restricted area is 5 nautical miles (NM) from the centerline of V-169. 
Since Victor airways are 4 NM wide; the restricted areas do not 
encumber the use of V-169.
    The FAA acknowledges potential impacts to users on Victor airways 
V-55, V-170, and V-651 by the restricted areas established in this 
action.

[[Page 36911]]

However, based on the 13 total average daily flights filing for V-55, 
V-170, and V-651 in the same airspace as the proposed restricted area 
complex (V-169 is not affected by the proposed airspace), the impacts 
of the restricted areas on the three affected airways is considered 
minimal. These aircraft have air traffic control procedural 
alternatives available to include vectoring, altitude change, or re-
routing as appropriate.
    Nineteen commenters found that transcontinental and local area 
flights would be forced to deviate around restricted areas, increasing 
cost and flight time. The FAA understands that when the restricted 
areas are active, non-participation aircraft will have to accomplish 
course deviations or altitude changes for avoidance, which can increase 
distances flown and costs incurred. For this action, the FAA and USAF 
worked together to define the minimum airspace volume necessary to meet 
USAF training mission requirements and maximize airspace access to 
other users of the NAS. Reducing the overall size and internally 
segmenting and stratifying the complex have reduced course deviation 
distances and altitude changes required by non-participants to avoid 
active restricted areas. Additionally, the USAF as agreed to 
temporarily release active restricted airspace back to ZMP for non-
participant transit during non-routine/contingency events (i.e. due to 
weather, icing, aircraft malfunction, etc.). Air traffic in this part 
of the NAS is relatively light and the level of impact associated with 
establishing the restricted areas in this action is considered minimal 
when balanced against valid military training requirements.
    Twenty-four comments were received stating that four hours prior 
notice is insufficient lead time for activation by NOTAM, with most 
recommending that the prior notification time be increased to six 
hours. The FAA recognizes that many aircraft today have flight 
durations long enough that flight planning before takeoff may occur 
outside of the 4-hour window. Restricted areas provide protected 
airspace for hazardous operations with no option to transit when 
active, so changes in airspace status after flight planning would have 
an impact on routing or altitude. These impacts could be reduced by 
increasing the NOTAM notification time; therefore the proposed time of 
designation for R-5402 and R-5403A-F is amended to ``0700-2000 daily, 
by NOTAM 6 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM.''
    One commenter stated that the SUA should be limited to published 
times of designation or times that can be obtained through an Automated 
Flight Service Station (AFSS) or ZMP. The times of designation for the 
restricted areas conforms to FAA policy and provides military users the 
operational flexibility to adjust for unpredictable, yet expected 
events, such as poor weather conditions or aircraft maintenance delays. 
By establishing the restricted areas with a ``By NOTAM'' provision for 
activations, the AFSS will receive scheduled activation times at least 
6 hours in advance and can provide activation information when 
requested. Additionally, ZMP can provide the most current restricted 
areas status to airborne aircraft, workload permitting, as an 
additional service to any requesting IFR or VFR aircraft.
    Nineteen commenters contended that local and transient pilots would 
avoid the restricted areas regardless of the activation status. The FAA 
understands that some pilots may opt to avoid the vicinity of this 
proposed airspace complex; however, pilots have multiple ways to obtain 
SUA schedule information during preflight planning and while airborne 
to aid their situational awareness. Daily SUA schedules will be 
available on the sua.faa.gov Web site, NOTAMs will be issued at least 6 
hours prior to activating the restricted areas, and AFSS will brief SUA 
NOTAMS upon request. Airborne updates will also be available through 
ZMP or AFSS. Lastly, the USAF will provide a toll-free phone number for 
inclusion on aeronautical charts that will enable NAS users to contact 
the scheduling agency for SUA status information; similar to what is in 
place for the Adirondack SUA complex in New York.
    Two commenters requested that the FAA chart an ATC frequency for 
updates on the restricted areas. The FAA has frequencies listed on both 
the L-14 IFR Enroute Low Altitude Chart and the Twin Cities Sectional 
Aeronautical Chart already. Upon review, the VHF frequency listed on 
the IFR Enroute Low Altitude Chart near where R-5402 and R-5403A-F 
restricted areas will be established was found to be different than the 
frequency listed on the Sectional Aeronautical Chart listing of SUA for 
the existing R-5401 (which R-5402 and R-5403A-F will overlay). The FAA 
is taking action to correct the discrepancy so that matching 
frequencies are charted.
    Seventeen commenters stated that the NOTAM system is generally 
inadequate to inform users of SUA status, and the number of components 
to this restricted airspace would lead to intricate and confusing 
NOTAMs. The restricted area complex is comprised of 7 individual areas 
and structured to minimize complexity and maximize nonparticipant 
access when not required for military use during certain phases of a 
training mission. The overall complex configuration, with seven sub 
areas, is a reasonable balance between efficiency, complexity, and 
military requirements. The NOTAM system is designed to disseminate many 
types of aeronautical information, including restricted area status 
when activation is ``By NOTAM'' or outside published times of 
designation. Because of the ``By NOTAM'' provision in the legal 
description times of designation, activation NOTAMs for R-5402 and R-
5403A-F will be included in verbal briefings from AFSS, upon pilot 
request.

The Rule

    The FAA is amending 14 CFR part 73 to expand the vertical and 
lateral limits of restricted area airspace over the Camp Grafton Range 
to contain hazardous non-eye safe laser training operations being 
conducted by the emerging UAS mission at Grand Forks Air Force Base 
(AFB); thus, transforming the range into a viable non-eye safe laser 
training location. Camp Grafton Range is currently surrounded by R-
5401; however, the lateral boundaries and altitude are insufficient to 
contain the laser training mission profiles and tactics flown in combat 
operations today. This action supplements R-5401 by establishing 
additional restricted areas, R-5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-5403C, R-
5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F, to provide the vertical and lateral 
tactical maneuver airspace needed for UAS target acquisition prior to 
attack, and to contain the non-eye safe laser during laser target 
designation training operations from medium to high altitudes.
    The restricted area R-5402 is defined by a 7 nautical mile (NM) 
radius around the center of R-5401, with the northern boundary adjusted 
to lie along the 47[deg]45'00'' N latitude. The restricted area 
altitude is upward from 500 feet above ground level to, but not 
including 10,000 feet MSL. This new restricted area provides a pathway 
for the non-eye safe laser beam to transit from R-5403A, R-5403B, and 
R-5403C (described below) through the existing R-5401 and onto Camp 
Grafton Range.
    The restricted areas R-5403A, R-5403B, and R-5403C share the same 
lateral boundaries, overlying R-5402 and layered in ascending order. 
The northern boundary of these R-5403 areas, as described in the 
regulatory text, share the same northern boundary as R-5402, the 
47[deg]45'00'' N latitude. The

[[Page 36912]]

western boundary lies approximately 14 NM west of R-5402 along the 
99[deg]15'00'' W longitude and the eastern boundary lies approximately 
7 NM east of R-5402 along the 98[deg]15'00'' W longitude. Finally, the 
southern boundary is established to remain north of the protected 
airspace for V-55. The restricted area altitudes, in ascending order, 
are defined upward from 8,000 feet MSL to, but not including 10,000 
feet MSL for R-5403A; upward from 10,000 feet MSL to, but not including 
14,000 feet MSL for R-5403B; and upward from 14,000 feet MSL to, but 
not including Flight Level (FL) 180 for R-5403C. The additional lateral 
and vertical dimensions provided by these restricted areas, in 
conjunction with R-5401, R-5402, R-5403D, R-5403E, R-5403F, establish 
the maneuvering airspace needed for UAS aircraft to practice the 
tactical maneuvering and standoff target acquisition training 
requirements necessary for the combat tactics and mission profiles 
flown today and to contain the hazardous non-eye safe laser, when 
employed, completely within restricted airspace.
    The areas R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F also share the same lateral 
boundaries, adjacent to and southeast of R-5403A, R-5403B, and R-5403C, 
and are also layered in ascending order. The northern boundary of these 
R-5403 areas, as described in the regulatory text, shares the southern 
boundary of R-5403A, R-5403B, and R-5403C. The western boundary point 
reaches to the 99[deg]15'00'' W longitude and the eastern boundary lies 
along the 98[deg]15'00'' W longitude. Finally, the southern boundary is 
established to lie along the 47[deg]15'00'' N latitude. The restricted 
area altitudes, in ascending order, are defined upward from 10,000 feet 
MSL to, but not including 12,000 feet MSL for R-5403D; upward from 
12,000 feet MSL to, but not including 14,000 feet MSL for R-5403E; and 
upward from 14,000 feet MSL to, but not including Flight Level (FL) 180 
for R-5403F. The additional lateral and vertical dimensions provided by 
these restricted areas, in conjunction with R-5401, R-5402, R-5403A, R-
5403B, R-5403C, and the Camp Grafton Range, establish the maneuvering 
airspace, standoff target acquisition, and hazardous non-eye safe laser 
employment training completely within restricted airspace, as noted 
above.
    During the NPRM public comment period, it was realized that the 
proposal section of the NPRM preamble described the southern boundary 
for the proposed R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F to lay along the 
47[deg]30'00'' N latitude, in error. However, the regulatory text in 
the NPRM correctly described the southern boundary for these proposed 
restricted areas to lie along the 47[deg]15'00'' N latitude. This 
action confirms the southern boundary for R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F 
is along the 47[deg]15'00'' N latitude.
    Restricted areas R-5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-5403C, R-5403D, R-
5403E, and R-5403F are all designated as ``joint-use'' airspace. This 
means that, during periods when any of the restricted airspace areas 
are not needed by the using agency for its designated purposes, the 
airspace will be returned to the controlling agency for access by other 
NAS users. The Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center is the 
controlling agency for the restricted areas.
    Lastly, to prevent confusion and conflict by establishing the new 
restricted areas in an existing MOA, and having both SUA areas active 
in the same volume of airspace at the same time, the Devils Lake East 
MOA legal description is being amended in the NFDD. The Devils Lake 
East MOA amendment will exclude R-5401, R-5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-
5403C, R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F when the restricted areas are 
active. The intent is to exclude the restricted areas in Devils Lake 
East MOA individually as they are activated. This MOA amendment will 
prevent airspace conflict with overlapping special use airspace areas.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    Changes to Federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct 
that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon 
a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation 
justify its costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. 
L. 96-354) requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of 
regulatory changes on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act 
(Pub. L. 96-39) prohibits agencies from setting standards that create 
unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In 
developing U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider 
international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis 
of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of 
the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that 
include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, 
local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with 
base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's 
analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a proposed or final rule 
does not warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement 
to that effect and the basis for it to be included in the preamble if a 
full regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. 
Such a determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning 
for this determination follows:
    As presented in the discussion of comments section of this 
preamble, commenters stated that there could be the following potential 
adverse economic impacts from implementing this final rule: the rule 
will block V-170 and V-55 and limit the use of V-169 and V-561; VFR and 
local area flights will be forced to deviate around restricted areas, 
increasing cost and flight time; and the 500 feet AGL floor for R-5402 
will affect low level aerial operations such as crop dusters, wildlife 
and agricultural surveys, and emergency medical access.
    With respect to the first potential impact, as discussed in the 
preamble, the FAA acknowledges that users of Victor airways V-55, V-
170, and V-561 could be potentially affected when the restricted areas 
established in this action are active; however users of V-169 will not 
be affected at all. Users of V-170 from 1200 feet AGL to 8,000 feet MSL 
would be affected only when R-5402 is active. The FAA's has determined 
that there is an average of 4 flights per day between Devils Lake, ND, 
and Jamestown, ND. Of these flights, 90 percent are general aviation 
flights (many of them University of North Dakota training flights) and 
10 percent are military or air taxi flights. The potential effect on 
users of V-170 could be offset by several actions. One action would be 
to modify V-170 by creating a slight ``dogleg'' further west of R-5402 
to allow unimpeded use of V-170 below 8,000 feet MSL regardless of the 
status of R-5402. The FAA estimates that this ``dogleg'' would add 
about 5 miles to the length of the flight between Devils Lake and 
Jamestown. Another action would be for air traffic control to either 
vector the aircraft west of R-5402 or climb the aircraft to 8,000 feet 
MSL to avoid R-5402. V-170 above 8,000 feet MSL, V-55, and V-561 can 
still be used by the public, even during military training

[[Page 36913]]

operations, if the nonparticipant aircraft flies at a different 
altitude than the altitudes the military is using at that time. The FAA 
has determined that these adjustments will result in minimal cost to 
the affected operators.
    With respect to the second potential impact, with the exception of 
R-5402, the public will not be required to deviate around the 
restricted areas, even during military operations, as long as the 
nonparticipating aircraft flies at an altitude above or below the 
altitudes that the military is using at that time. The FAA has 
determined that these altitude adjustments will have a minimal effect 
on cost.
    With respect to the third potential impact, the USAF has agreed to 
implement scheduling coordination measures for R-5402 that will 
accommodate access by local farming, ranching, survey, and medical 
aviation interests. Further, when any of the restricted areas are not 
needed by the USAF for its intended purposes, the airspace will be 
returned to the controlling agency, Minneapolis Air Route Traffic 
Control Center, for access by other NAS users; providing considerable 
time for these interests to perform most of their aviation activities 
in a timely manner. The FAA has determined that these potential 
disruptions in public aviation will have a minimal effect on cost.
    The FAA has, therefore, determined that this final rule is not a 
``significant regulatory action'' as defined in section 3(f) of 
Executive Order 12866, and is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objectives of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the businesses, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions 
subject to regulation. To achieve this principle, agencies are required 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration.'' The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, 
including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear.
    The FAA received two comments from small business owners and a 
comment from the North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association 
(NDAAA), representing agricultural aviation operators. The comments 
from the business owners expressed concerns about the availability of 
airspace and that they would be diverted from their normal flight 
plans, thereby increasing their costs. As previously stated in this 
preamble, however, these routes will not be closed even during military 
operations--they can be flown by nonparticipant aircraft so long as 
those aircraft are not at the altitudes being used by the military. The 
NDAAA comment that agricultural aircraft are frequently ferried at 
altitudes greater than 500 feet applies only to those aircraft in R-
5402--not in any of the other areas. As previously noted, the agreement 
with the USAF and the fact that there are no restrictions in R-5402 
when it is not being used by the military will minimize the potential 
economic impact to agricultural aviation operations in this airspace.
    While the FAA believes that one air taxi operator, a few small 
business operators, and a few agricultural aviation operators 
constitute a substantial number of small entities, based on the 
previous analysis, the FAA determined that the final rule will have a 
minimal economic impact.
    Therefore, as the acting FAA Administrator, I certify that this 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards. The FAA has 
assessed the potential effect of this final rule and determined that it 
will have only a domestic impact and therefore no effect on 
international trade.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement 
assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or final 
agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or more 
(in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate 
is deemed to be a ``significant regulatory action.'' The FAA currently 
uses an inflation-adjusted value of $143.1 million in lieu of $100 
million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, 
the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

Environmental Review

    Pursuant to Section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (NEPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations 
implementing NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and other applicable law, 
the USAF prepared and published The BRAC Beddown and Flight Operations 
of Remotely Piloted Aircraft at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North 
Dakota'' dated July 2010 (hereinafter the FEIS) that analyzed the 
potential for environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
creation of Restricted Areas R-5402, R-5403A, R-5403B, R-5403C, R-
5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F. In September 2010, the USAF issued a 
Record of Decision based on the results of the FEIS. In accordance with 
applicable CEQ regulations (40 CFR 1501.6) and the Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) between FAA and Department of Defense (DOD) dated 
October 2005, the FAA was a cooperating agency on the FEIS. The FAA has 
conducted an independent review of the FEIS and found that it is an 
adequate statement. Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.3(a) and (c), the FAA is 
adopting the portions of the FEIS for this action that support the 
establishment of the above named restricted areas. The FAA has 
documented its partial adoption in a separate document entitled 
``Partial Adoption of Final EIS and Record of

[[Page 36914]]

Decision for the Establishment of Restricted Areas R-5402 and 5403.'' 
This final rule, which establishes restricted areas R-5402, R-5403A, R-
5403B, R-5403C, R-5403D, R-5403E, and R-5403F, will not result in 
significant environmental impacts. A copy of the FAA Partial Adoption 
of FEIS and ROD has been placed in the public docket for this 
rulemaking and is incorporated by reference.

FAA Authority

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's 
authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the 
FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the 
airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient 
use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority 
as it establishes restricted area airspace at Camp Grafton Range, near 
Devils Lake, ND, to enhance safety and accommodate essential military 
training.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

The Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

PART 73--SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

0
1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 
24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.


Sec.  73.54  [Amended]

0
2. Section 73.54 is amended as follows:
* * * * *

R-5402 Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 
98[deg]47'19'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 98[deg]31'25'' 
W.; then clockwise on a 7 NM arc centered on lat. 47[deg]40'31'' N., 
long. 98[deg]39'22'' W.; to the point of beginning, excluding the 
airspace within R-5401 when active, and R-5403A when active.
    Designated altitudes. 500 feet AGL to, but not including, 10,000 
feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.
* * * * *

R-5403A Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 
99[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 
47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point of 
beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 8,000 feet MSL to, but not including, 
10,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

R-5403B Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 
99[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 
47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point of 
beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 10,000 feet MSL to, but not including, 
14,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

R-5403C Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 
99[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]45'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 
47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point of 
beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 14,000 feet MSL to, but not including, FL 
180.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

R-5403D Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 
98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point 
of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 10,000 feet MSL to, but not including, 
12,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

R-5403E Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 
98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point 
of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 12,000 feet MSL to, but not including, 
14,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

R-5403F Devils Lake, ND [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 47[deg]35'39'' N., long. 
98[deg]15'00'' W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 98[deg]15'00'' 
W.; to lat. 47[deg]15'00'' N., long. 99[deg]15'00'' W.; to the point 
of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 14,000 feet MSL to, but not including, FL 
180.
    Time of designation. 0700-2000 daily, by NOTAM 6 hours in 
advance; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Minneapolis ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Air Force, 119th Operations Support Squadron, 
Hector International Airport, Fargo, ND.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 14, 2012.
Paul Gallant,
Acting Manager, Airspace, Regulations and ATC Procedures Group.
[FR Doc. 2012-15008 Filed 6-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P

Democrats' hypocrisy in our sick & violent decade -- Harpers: Eye of the Drone

Latest: Drone blitz on Pakistan enters third straight day | World news | guardian.co.uk - up to 27 people dead in strikes that began on Saturday. The US has jeopardized its Afghanistan campaign by refusing to apologize for the November 2011 cross-border 'friendly fire' incident which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. (Also: Drone wars and state secrecy – how Barack Obama became a hardliner | World news | The Observer)

We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, unaware of the consequences:

Then, three days later, the CIA announced that it had eliminated "four militants". In truth there were only two victims: Tariq had been driving his 12-year-old cousin to their aunt's house when the Hellfire missile killed them both. This came just 24 hours after the CIA boasted of eliminating six other "militants" – actually, four chromite workers driving home from work. In both cases a local informant apparently tagged the car with a GPS monitor and lied to earn his fee.

Sounds familiar...

Yemen sets sail for fail: U.S. drone targets in Yemen raise questions - The Washington Post -- killing people that have not even a trace of evidence of any plot against the United States. But perhaps in the aftermath their relatives will...

The appalling news of the Obama Kill List -- reminiscent of LBJ's riffling through aerial photographs to select bombing targets in Vietnam, the archetypal example of losing any control over strategy for the addiction to powerful, violent tactics -- has disturbed many but also illustrated the sick hypocrisy of the mainstream 'left' in our country. If Cheney and the gang were up to this, they would be up in arms, but now you don't get a peep. Shocked I tell you.

I sent all kinds of tweets last weekend to press and attendees at the 2012 DFL State Convention to see if I could get any responses about the drone kill list, and none of these jokers had the gumption to even answer me. No one's touching kill lists this year with a ten foot pole. However I did net a few mainstream liberal twitter followers, silent and cowardly on the important issues they may be.

See also a bunch of shilling, summarized: The Media on Obama’s ‘Kill List’ | The Dissenter

As usual, the tactic itself is of course destined to backfire and create generational-scale hatred of our country. This is one of those "doomed to repeat it" things the military-industrial complex is so goddamned good at -- it's almost like their business model depends on perpetual violence. Clever heads are recognizing this: It may seem painless, but drone war in Afghanistan is destroying the West's reputation - Telegraph (UK)

Supporters of drones – and they make up practically the entire respectable political establishment in Britain and the US – argue that they are indispensable in the fight against al-Qaeda. But plenty of very experienced voices have expressed profound qualms. The former army officer David Kilcullen, one of the architects of the 2007 Iraqi surge, has warned that drone attacks create more extremists than they eliminate. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Britain’s former special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, is equally adamant that drone attacks are horribly counter-productive because of the hatred they have started to generate: according to a recent poll, more than two thirds of Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy. Britain used to be popular and respected in this part of the world for our wisdom and decency. Now, thanks to our refusal to challenge American military doctrine, we are hated, too.

Anyway I wanted to share the full text of Eye of the drone (Harper's Magazine) because it's one of those pieces which ought to reach through the shells of indifference to state violence we all build up - it cuts right to the sick nature of the decade we live in.

Thanks to Harper's for getting this piece out there -- for those that died and were deemed terrorists for their proximity to targets, "up to no good" because they gathered in their own communities to work on their problems.

From statements made in February by the families of victims and survivors of a March 17, 2011, drone attack in the village of Datta Khel in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan. The statements were collected by the British human rights group Reprieve and were included in their lawsuit challenging the legal right of the British government to aid the United States in its drone campaign. More than half of all deaths from U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan have occurred in North Waziristan. Translated from the Pashto.

I am approximately forty-six years old, though I do not know the exact date of my birth. I am a malice of my tribe, meaning that I am a man of responsibility among my people. One of my brother’s sons, Din Mohammed, whom I was very fond of, was killed by a drone missile on March 17, 2011. He was one of about forty people who died in this strike. Din Mohammed was twenty-five years old when he died. These men were gathered together for a jirga, a gathering of tribal elders to solve disputes. This particular jirga was to solve a disagreement over chromite, a mineral mined in Waziristan. My nephew was attending the jirga because he was involved in the transport and sale of this mineral. My brother, Din Mohammed’s father, arrived at the scene of the strike shortly following the attack. He saw death all around him, and then he found his own son. My brother had to bring his son back home in pieces. That was all that remained of Din Mohammed.

I saw my father about three hours before the drone strike killed him. News of the strike didn’t reach me until later, and I arrived at the location in the evening. When I got off the bus near the bazaar, I immediately saw flames in and around the station. The fires burned for two days straight. I went to where the jirga had been held. There were still people lying around injured. The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces of flesh that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.

The sudden loss of so many elders and leaders in my community has had a tremendous impact. Everyone is now afraid to gather together to hold jirgas and solve our problems. Even if we want to come together to protest the illegal drone strikes, we fear that meeting to discuss how to peacefully protest will put us at risk of being killed by drones.

The first time I saw a drone in the sky was about eight years ago, when I was thirteen. I have counted six or seven drone strikes in my village since the beginning of 2012. There were sixty or seventy primary schools in and around my village, but only a few remain today. Few children attend school because they fear for their lives walking to and from their homes. I am mostly illiterate. I stopped going to school because we were all very afraid that we would be killed. I am twenty-one years old. My time has passed. I cannot learn how to read or write so that I can better my life. But I very much wish my children to grow up without these killer drones hovering above, so that they may get the education and life I was denied.

The men who died in this strike were our leaders; the ones we turned to for all forms of support. We always knew that drone strikes were wrong, that they encroached on Pakistan’s sovereign territory. We knew that innocent civilians had been killed. However, we did not realize how callous and cruel it could be. The community is now plagued with fear. The tribal elders are afraid to gather together in jirgas, as had been our custom for more than a century. The mothers and wives plead with the men not to congregate together. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews. People in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone. They do not want to become the next target.

Bonus points: Steve Clemons: What Happens When They Get Drones?

Wisconsin gets the FreedomWorks - Yoshimi beaten by evil robots

We drove around Madison listening to the Flaming Lips -- that day, the evil robots won... Working for the city - she knows it's demanding to defeat those evil machines...

~~ Yoshimi was definitely a public employee in that song ~~ it all makes sense now ~~

Sometimes a press release sums up the agenda, don't it.

I am definitely looking into the related networks of schemerz - if you have more references send em over via twitter, the contact link, email hongpong@hongpong.com etc. Or leave a comment.

It's all coming from an interstate network of usual suspects but I don't really think people have it fleshed out.

*******

FreedomWorks Launches Campaign Against Abuses of Union Power

Multi-state effort will weaken organized labor headed into 2012

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, on behalf of hardworking taxpayers all over the country, FreedomWorks announced a major campaign targeting the rampant abuse of power that organized labor has engaged at the state and federal level to impact elections and the public policy making process.

For far too long, public employee unions have leveraged vast political dollars through forced membership dues and corruption to serve their own special interests. Their agenda has principally rewarded elitist union bosses while hurting small and medium size businesses as well as the American taxpayer.

FreedomWorks campaign targeting the Unions will build on momentum of successful efforts that the group has helped to foster in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee. In these states the forces of organized labor have already been dealt a severe blow thanks to conservative, limited government reforms that will gut their power and political clout. In the process, Leftist Unions are spending millions to try and combat the Right in these states; dollars traditionally spent in election years to try and elect pro-Union candidates.

The budget for the first phase of the campaign is $5.6 million, and will include organized grassroots rallies and protest activities to counter union events in addition to paid TV and online video ads. The primary focus of the campaign will begin in Ohio, with Wisconsin, Tennessee, with other states soon to follow.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented, “Union intimidation and strong-arm tactics have hijacked the public policy-making process for years. Thanks to the rise of the Tea Party however, the momentum is now on our side and conservatives and independents are ready to go toe-to-toe with organized labor. Our campaign this year will serve to not only put constructive reforms in place that curb abuses of public employee union power and protect taxpayers, it will drain the Unions’ political coffers headed into a critical election year.”

For more information on the campaign and to view the ads, visit http://www.BargainingOurFuture.com/.

Contacts

FreedomWorks
Jackie Bodnar, 202-942-7652
jbodnar@freedomworks.org

Permalink: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110317006261/en/FreedomWorks-Launches-Campaign-Abuses-Union-Power

California rolls out heat cannon torture weapon Active Denial System, "When space age death rays are outlawed only outlaws will have space age death rays"

Oh Shit!!!

Let's explain how the mass torture weapon deployment rollout program works in the global scientific dictatorship. First the weapons are used on brown people in the field by the military, then on military prisoners, then on domestic prisoners. Then on protesters, then on random people. This is all part of a psychological conditioning process, intended in part to induce traumatic conditions in protesters & others. The good news is that when they bring this microwave cannon to the 2012 Democratic & Republican conventions, it can be defeated by tinfoil.

Here was the 60 Minutes segment earlier - *surprise* now it's in prisons. Your insane federal grant programs at work.

Pentagon Tests High-Frequency Ray-Gun On Mock Anti-War Protesters @ Yahoo! Video

L.A. jail tests 'intolerable heat' beam on brawling inmates – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs. Great comment that "When space age death rays are outlawed only outlaws will have space age death rays" on this thread. Also something like a microwave generator w. battery pack could probably work at close ranges.

c1main.la.aid.jail.jpg

Officials at a Los Angeles County jail plan to test out an invisible heat-beam weapon originally developed by the military as a way to subdue brawling inmates by making them feel "intolerable heat."

The technology, called an Assault Intervention Device, is a non lethal-weapon developed by Raytheon Company. It originally was scaled down for use at the jail.

The device "emits a focused beam of wave energy that travels at the speed of light and produces an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the targeted individual moves away from the beam," according to Raytheon's website.

Deputies have tested the device, which is controlled by a jail officer using a joystick.

"We believe that technology can help solve problems facing the corrections community, including addressing issues of inmate violence," Sheriff Lee Baca said during a news conference. "The Assault Intervention Device appears uniquely suited to address some of the more difficult inmate violence issues without the drawbacks of tools currently available to us."

"This device will allow us to quickly intervene without having to enter the area and without incapacitating or injuring either combatant," Baca added.

Officials say they hope the device can help quell inmate assaults and reduce prison violence. Its use will be monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice and Pennsylvania State University.

The device was installed and is being tested at Pitchess Detention Center at the L.A. County jail in Castaic, California.

That jail was the site of a 200-inmate brawl this weekend in which inmates threw rocks and debris at officers, who were attempting to stop them from entering a restricted area, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

KTLA reported the brawl lasted for an hour before tear gas and non-lethal weapons were used. CNN is awaiting comment on whether the new Assault Intervention Device was employed during the brawl.

Raytheon Company: Features: Active Denial System //

Active Denial is a revolutionary non-lethal protection system that employs millimeter wave technology to repel individuals without causing injury. The system provides a zone of protection that saves lives, protects assets and minimizes collateral damage. Active Denial emits a focused beam of wave energy that travels at the speed of light and produces an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the targeted individual moves away from the beam.

Raytheon has produced and delivered three Active Denial Systems to the U.S. Air Force customer. Raytheon has also built one Silent Guardian™ system that is roughly 1/3 the size and power of the other Active Denial Systems.

Active Denial and Silent Guardian are part of a family of Directed Energy solutions produced by Raytheon. Those solutions include the Vigilant Eagle Airport Protection System, Laser Area Defense System and Direct Infrared Counter Measure Systems.

Active Denial System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The Active Denial System (ADS) is a less-lethal, directed-energy weapon developed by the U.S. military.[1]It is a strong millimeter-wave transmitter primarily used for crowd control (the "goodbye effect"[2]). Some ADS such as HPEM ADS are also used to disable vehicles.[3] Informally, the weapon is also called heat ray.[4] Raytheon is currently marketing a reduced-range version of this technology.[5] The ADS was deployed in 2010 with the United States military in Afghanistan, but was withdrawn without seeing combat.

Pentagon nixes ray gun weapon in Iraq - Democratic Underground // Battlefield Laser Weapons Are Becoming A Reality For Pentagon Planners! - Science and Technology -Research, computers, social science, chemistry, biology, astronomy, physics, mathematics, AI - Page 2 - City-Data Forum//

Augh to hell with this...

Too many Toys for the Boys: incompetent counterintelligence lets sneeky Chinese run rampant in U.S. security systems

Lately it's become pretty clear that 'they' are running a lot of domestic surveillance and data mining schemes - a huge wasted effort that enriches contractors while making policymakers paranoid. In other words, it's the boondoggle from hell, the logical trap of building the biggest possible haystack in order to theoretically have all the needles.

A profitable venture, ominous, sexy, whatever gets these people off & convinces them it's real. I'm pretty sure Booz Allen Hamilton is making a ton of money on this. SAIC too. Anything to keep the contracts rolling.

Dumb, corrupt contractor ventures like MZM's Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) and TALON will keep cropping up, and they have to get exposed and cut off from their juicy funding as rapidly as possible.

These systems have a voracious appetite for data, which, regardless of quality, gets spit out as 'actionable intelligence.'

Once they get these dumb Microsoft Fusion Centers set up, we're truly fucked because desk jockey chumps will be grepping everyone's email for keywords and then scurrying around. (Here's the google search from the Orwellian Hell coming soon to your state: the modular MS Fusion Center)

In one key juncture, the U.S. military bombed the shit out of Iraqi automobile repair shops because some Arabic keyword was like 'bomb' or something. This is what happens overseas: mindless machines spitting out shitty data leading to lots of pointless death.

Meanwhile, it's clear that via systems like MAIN CORE, all kinds of dumb things, including huge volumes of inaccurate data, get funneled into super-databases that they never tell the judges about. (the programming language to filter these illegal data inputs is called Hancock, by the way).

Whenever it feels like The Man or the various machines doing voice recognition against domestic communications are possibly running against me, I'd point out that the black boxes and/or interested agents that their systems totally suck.

Or rather: it's easy to spy on Americans. It takes some goddamn skill to keep foreign intelligence agencies from playing with all the toys, and even stealing the marbles.

I wish these people would leave us all alone, sure, but it's really even worse that their fancy gear is thoroughly penetrated by foreign intelligence agencies and miscellaneous bad actors. How lame is that?

One of the better tacks I've taken over the years on my website is how, for example, networks of foreign spies have manipulated America's intelligence pipelines and thus, the foreign policy. That's where many things, including the arms trade, the Sibel Edmonds scandal, and likely even 9/11, all really come around to.

(complaints about foreign actors can be directed to Marc Grossman, Richard Perle and the usual suspects... If anyone takes on the American Turkish Council, then we'll know someone actually gives a damn.)

Another fine example is how various Israeli firms are all over the telecommunications and DOJ wiretapping system, but at the same time they tend to leak the secret DOJ data out to their buddies among the Russian-Israeli mafia, as FOX News, of all places, documented to an absurd level of detail back in 2001. (i believe the choice wiretapping penetration is in part 3 or 4). Way to go Amdocs & Comverse Infosys.

In any case, everyone gets a piece of this action. So here's my message to the ELINT geniuses: kick the fucking Chinese hackers out of your shitty Wintel boxes (and counterfeit routers!, more) before you keep spying on us.

Because your dragnet is also catching all the competitive commercial data they want too. Sooo... please quit forking everything over to China. Thanks.

National Journal Magazine - China’s Cyber-Militia

Corporate IT Security Strategy - Briefing Center

China's Cyber Attacks Signal New Battlefield Is Online: Scientific American

China Targets U.S. Computers For Espionage, Report Warns -- Network Security -- InformationWeek

Report: China stealing 'vast amounts' of data from U.S. computer networks - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

Report: U.S. Influence Will Fade By 2025, National Intelligence Council Predicts Scare Resources, Loose Nukes, A Rising China - CBS News

Seriously, people. Is Panopticon Professionalism too much to ask!?!!

It's unconstitutional, but above all, it's an embarrassment.

Flying killer robots; Russians up to something

UK Register: USAF seeks control of aerial kill-bots:

Everyone knows about the current rise of the aerial killer robot. These machines are now in operation across the US military, and have already reaped a deadly harvest in Southwest Asia.

But the big deathbot battle isn't, in fact, in Iraq of Afghanistan; it's between the various branches of the US armed services, regarding who will be in charge of all the new flying slaughter machines and spy-eyes.

The United States Air Force (USAF) has been engaged for at least two years now in an attempt to seize control of almost all US military drones and flying kill-bots. The USAF was arguably left at the starting line in this rapidly-growing death-tech arena, perhaps due to the natural reluctance of human pilots to see their jobs automated out of existence.

Both the US Navy and Marines have strong aviator subcultures, of course, and even the US Army has huge numbers of helicopter drivers, but only in the USAF is the aircrew dominance total.

USAF generals are often vocally sceptical about unmanned aircraft, and the USAF has so far failed to move forward with serious, heavy, jet-powered drone combat aircraft.

Even its prop-driven Predator-B/Reaper hunter-killer, thus far the heftiest aerial death-droid in operation, must be handled remotely by a fully-qualified human pilot and sensor operator.

Yikes. Relevant article I can't find a fulltext of, but very sweet: The Coming Robot Army: America's future killing machines. Sweet in an evil way. It was pretty creepy how all these military-industrial pitchmen kept talking about Hollywood-oriented styles and prospects for more wars with fewer casualties. Far more cash for the military-industrial complex, they're circling it like vultures.

Doonesbury has had a thing about shady Beltway lobbyists working for brutal dictators, a subject of a sweet undercover story in Harper's by Ken Silverstein. Sorry, pay only :(

Bush wants the money.

Russian Tu-95 bombers cruised over to Guam in a new example of Russians acting like Russians.

Paul Craig Roberts is an old conservative guy who's turned way against the Bush administration, going far enough to warn of staged false-flag 'Gulf of Tonkin' style incidents to start a war with Iran. "Uncle Sam, your banker will see you now" and "US Hegemony Spawns Russian-Chinese Military Alliance."

I just posted a huge summary of the MnDOT bridge collapse documents at Politics in Minnesota. I will repost it here later. That is all right now.

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