Author Archive

Relatively Unknown U.S. Intelligence Agency with 16,000 Employees   Leave a comment


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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency, under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) in support of national security. NGA was known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) until 2003.

NGA headquarters is located at Fort Belvoir in Springfield, Virginia, and operates major facilities in the St. Louis, Missouri area, as well as support and liaison offices worldwide. The NGA campus, at 2.3 million square feet (214,000 m2), is the third-largest government building in the Washington metropolitan area after The Pentagon and the Ronald Reagan Building.

In addition to using GEOINT for U.S. military and intelligence efforts, the NGA provides assistance during natural and man-made disasters, and security planning for major events such as the Olympic Games.

 

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NGA Campus East is the headquarters of the agency. The building features trapezoidal windows, color-coded interior sections, and is bisected by an atrium that is large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty.

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National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)

NIMA was established on October 1, 1996, by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.[18] The creation of NIMA followed more than a year of study, debate, and planning by the defense, intelligence, and policy-making communities (as well as the Congress) and continuing consultations with customer organizations. The creation of NIMA centralized responsibility for imagery and mapping.

NIMA combined the DMA, the Central Imagery Office (CIO), and the Defense Dissemination Program Office (DDPO) in their entirety, and the mission and functions of the NPIC. Also merged into NIMA were the imagery exploitation, dissemination, and processing elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office.

NIMA’s creation was clouded by the natural reluctance of cultures to merge and the fear that their respective missions—mapping in support of defense activities versus intelligence production, principally in support of national policymakers—would be subordinated, each to the other.[19]

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With the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 on November 24, 2003, NIMA was renamed NGA to better reflect its primary mission in the area of GEOINT. As a part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, all major Washington, D.C.-area NGA facilities, including those in Bethesda, Maryland; Reston, Virginia; and Washington, D.C., would be consolidated at a new facility at the Fort Belvoir proving grounds. This new facility, called the NGA Campus East houses several thousand people and is situated on the former Engineer Proving Ground site near Fort Belvoir. NGA facilities in St. Louis were not affected by the 2005 BRAC process.

The cost of the new center, as of March 2009, was expected to be $2.4 billion. The center’s campus is approximately 2,400,000 square feet (220,000 m2) and was completed in September 2011.

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NGA employs professionals in aeronautical analysis, cartography, geospatial analysis, imagery analysis, marine analysis, the physical sciences, geodesy, computer and telecommunication engineering, and photogrammetry, as well as those in the national security and law enforcement fields.

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The NGA is one segment of the vast United States Intelligence Community.

The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities considered necessary for the conduct of foreign relations and national security of the United States. Member organizations of the IC include intelligence agencies, military intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis offices within federal executive departments. The IC is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who reports to the President of the United States.

Among their varied responsibilities, the members of the Community collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage. The IC was established by Executive Order 12333, signed on December 4, 1981, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

 

C.I.A. Headquarters

 

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Sixteen agencies:

Agency Parent Agency Federal Department Date est.
Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States Air Force Defense 1948
Intelligence and Security Command United States Army Defense 1977
Central Intelligence Agency none Independent agency 1947
Coast Guard Intelligence United States Coast Guard Homeland Security 1915
Defense Intelligence Agency none Defense 1961
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence none Energy 1977
Office of Intelligence and Analysis none Homeland Security 2007
Bureau of Intelligence and Research none State 1945
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence none Treasury 2004
Office of National Security Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration Justice 2006
Intelligence Branch Federal Bureau of Investigation Justice 2005
Marine Corps Intelligence United States Marine Corps Defense 1978
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency none Defense 1996
National Reconnaissance Office none Defense 1961
National Security Agency/Central Security Service none Defense 1952
Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy Defense 1882

Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) Headquarters

 

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National Security Agency (NSA) Headquarters

 

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The U.S. intelligence budget (excluding the Military Intelligence Program) in fiscal year 2013 was appropriated as $52.7 billion, and reduced by the amount sequestered to $49.0 billion. In fiscal year 2012 it peaked at $53.9 billion, according to a disclosure required under a recent law implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The 2012 figure was up from $53.1 billion in 2010, $49.8 billion in 2009, $47.5 billion in 2008, $43.5 billion in 2007, and $40.9 billion in 2006.

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An enormous amount of resources is provided to U.S. intelligence. These are life-long professionals who have the best interests of the country at heart. The president-elect should maybe listen to what it has to say.


Posted January 8, 2017 by markosun in Espionage

World’s Largest Miniature Airport in Hamburg, Germany   Leave a comment


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The world’s largest model airport has opened at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany, which is also home to the world’s largest model railway landscape.

The model airport is based off of Hamburg’s Fuhlsbüttel International airport.

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In the past years, embedded between Knuffingen and Switzerland, Miniatur Wunderland’s latest layout arose – our passenger airport. After more than 6 years of construction, it was inaugurated on May 4th 2011, at last. The development of the Airport began in June 2005, already. In 2008 the planning phase was finalized, and the final building plans were worked out.
Since the 22nd of August 2008 the plan was lying on the layout base, initiating the construction phase, officially. The layout arose right in front of our visitor’s eyes. Not only for aviation and technology fans, the impressive Airport is the new Wunderland highlight. Up to 40 different aircraft (from Cessna to Airbus A 380) are taxiing independently on this Airport to the gates. They are also being moved back from the gates by push-back vehicles in order to taxi to the runway. There they are accelerating and taking off or landing respectively. Each aircraft is equipped with original lights and original, realistic turbine sounds at least in the take-off phase (otherwise the noise level would be unbearable).

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Posted January 7, 2017 by markosun in Aviation

The German Styled Armies of South America   Leave a comment


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The Chilean Army comes by its German influences and traditions honestly, from a decent-sized influx of German immigrants during the second half of the 19th century, most of whom settled in the southern part of the country, centered around Puerto Montt, where the weather is cooler and wetter, and where dairy farms and breweries now abound. But it didn’t end with Chile. Bolivia, Columbia and Argentina all used German advisors, techniques and uniforms. Right up to the present day.

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(Bolivian soldiers with stahlhelm M35 helmets and M16 assault rifles.)

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(Argentine soldiers with Casco M38 helmets in the mid-1940s.)

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Former US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman general Mike Mullen with Chilean honour guard 2012.

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Chilean army 2014

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German Waffen SS troops 1944

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(Bolivian troops with stahlhelm M35 helmets and Chinese-made HN-5 surface-to-air missiles in the early 2000s.)

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(Colombian troops on the streets of Bogota in the 1948-1949 time frame.)

Traditions are hard to break, especially military tradition.

Not to be left out of the equation, the U.S. changed their military helmets in the early 1980’s. The Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) is the United States Army’s current combat helmet. Although very different from the German helmets, the U.S. helmet does have a similar look.

Soldiers practice house-breaching techniques in their desert combat uniforms. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)


Posted January 7, 2017 by markosun in Military

Harbin festival: China’s ice-and-snow city   Leave a comment


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The northern Chinese city of Harbin is hosting its annual ice-and-snow festival – one of the largest of its type in the world.

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Eighteen couples braved the cold to get married at this year’s festival, before ice-skating together.

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Posted January 7, 2017 by markosun in Art

Jackson Browne – Stay – Live   Leave a comment



I always liked the way two other singers join in and belt it out during this song.

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 17 million albums in the United States alone.

Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded several notable songs throughout his career including “These Days”, “The Pretender”, “Running On Empty”, “Lawyers in Love”, “Doctor My Eyes”, “Take It Easy”, “For a Rocker”, and “Somebody’s Baby”. In 2004, he was both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Posted January 7, 2017 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Bear wasn’t allowed to open a bar tab   Leave a comment


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Somewhere in backwoods Russia

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When the bar owner found out the bear was broke

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Posted January 6, 2017 by markosun in Animals

What would happen if the president of the United States goes insane?   Leave a comment


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“For a president not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to, the myriad intelligence agencies, from defense intelligence to the CIA, is absolutely mindless.”

“The idea that you may know more than the intelligence community knows – it’s like saying I know more about physics than my professor. I didn’t read the book, I just know I know more.”

Vice President Joe Biden referring to Donald Trump during a PBS interview on January 5, 2017

If Trump ultimately becomes erratic and irrational while in office, what can be done?

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There is a very clear procedure in the US Constitution for this (the 25th Amendment):

 

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

As such, upon such notification, the Vice President would assume the duties of the office until the President submitted a notice that he was able to resume them.  If at that time, the VP (and a majority of the Cabinet) disagrees, then Congress must vote.  It’s not *technically* an impeachement (no criminal issue), and critically, *BOTH* houses must vote via a 2/3 majority (as opposed to an impeachment, where the House is only a Majority vote to refer charges to the Senate) in order to remove the President.

Trump’s tweets keep getting more buffoonish and crazy by the day. This man is not necessarily insane. But Trump’s reality is not evidential reality. He lives in his own fantasy world, and believes the swirl of false thoughts in his mind is the real world. He takes misinformation to a whole new level, he believes untruths, or does he? Maybe this is just a fun roller coaster ride for Donald, and he really just doesn’t give a crap. As president of the U.S. this is very dangerous.

Actual Trump quotes:

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Posted January 6, 2017 by markosun in Espionage

B-2 Bomber Flyover of the 2017 Rose Bowl   Leave a comment


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On Jan. 2, 2017, B-2 Spirit “Spirit of Kitty Hawk” with 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, opened the 103rd Rose Bowl Game game, between the Big Ten Conference Champion Penn State Nittany Lions and the Pac-12 Conference Champions the University of Southern California Trojans, at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, California with the traditional flyover.

The top air-to-air image showing the Stealth Bomber during the flyover (from above) was taken by Mark Holtzman, a photographer and pilot, founder of West Coast Aerial Photography, a company specialising in aerial photography based in Los Angeles.

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The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy penetration strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.

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General characteristics

  • Crew: 2: pilot (left seat) and mission commander (right seat)
  • Length: 69 ft (21.0 m)
  • Wingspan: 172 ft (52.4 m)
  • Height: 17 ft (5.18 m)
  • Wing area: 5,140 ft² (478 m²)
  • Empty weight: 158,000 lb (71,700 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 336,500 lb (152,200 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 376,000 lb (170,600 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × General Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofans, 17,300 lbf (77 kN) each
  • Fuel Capacity: 167,000 pounds (75,750 kg)

Armament

  • 2 internal bays for ordnance and payload with an official limit of 40,000 lb (18,000 kg); maximum estimated limit is 50,000 lb (23,000 kg).
  • 80× 500 lb class bombs (Mk-82, GBU-38) mounted on Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA)
  • 36× 750 lb CBU class bombs on BRA
  • 16× 2,000 lb class bombs (Mk-84, GBU-31) mounted on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA)
  • 16× B61 or B83 nuclear bombs on RLA (strategic mission)
  • Standoff weapon: AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

Posted January 5, 2017 by markosun in Aircraft, Aviation

TV Channel 222 has had the Holiday Fireplace going 24/7 for six Bloody Weeks!   Leave a comment


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Shaw TV’s ‘The Frame Channel’ is a perpetual scenery saturated experience. It usually shows great landscapes, beaches, rivers, popular city locations, famous bridges and meadows with fluffy sheep etc. It is for people who just want to let their minds relax. Come the holiday season the channel narrows its focus. It only shows a fireplace all the bloody time. The same fireplace all the time. Over and over and over. Sometimes a lumberjack’s arm appears in the bottom left corner of the screen and adds a log or two to the fire.

To watch this fireplace for more than 3 minutes would be strange behaviour. A person would have to be on some really good 1980’s acid to get their senses warped enough to get immersed in the looped fireplace for any length of time. Either that or a pyromaniac with a 70 inch wall screen and no money to fill his jerrycan with gasoline. Hopefully The Frame channel discontinues the perpetual flames by Valentines Day.

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Posted January 5, 2017 by markosun in Television

A Rare Situation where a Girl gets to Ride her Pet   Leave a comment


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Hannah Simpson, of Southland, New Zealand, rides a 7-year-old dairy cow most days. It started when her parents said she wasn’t allowed to have a horse, the then-11-year-old got creative. Now she and Lilac race across fields and master jumps, as documented on Simpson’s Instagram page. Simpson, who works at a dairy farm, says she’s tried to ride other cows but has only had one other that could jump. While Simpson admits she was a particularly adventurous kid when she started, she wouldn’t necessarily advise other people to try riding cows.

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In the United States some rodeos have cow riding for women. These are not docile dairy cows, but mean ornery spinster cows. Hannah should consider joining the circuit. 

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Posted January 5, 2017 by markosun in Animals, Offbeat