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Volume 18, Number 16, April 14, 2004

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U.S. President Speaks To America and the World

Speaking in a live telecast from the East Room of the White House on April 13th, U.S. President George Bush addressed America and the world in a one hour broadcast which began with a seventeen minute speech. Bush reaffirmed the U.S. will stay in Iraq until its mission is completed.

"As a proud, independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation, and neither does America. We're not an imperial power, as nations such as Japan and Germany can attest. We're a liberating power, as nations in Europe and Asia can attest as well. 

  • America's objective in Iraq is limited, and it is firm.
  • We seek an independent, free and secure Iraq. 
  • Were the coalition to step back from the June 30 pledge,
  • America's objective in Iraq is limited, and it is firm.
  • We seek an independent, free and secure Iraq. 

"Were the coalition to step back from the June 30 pledge, many Iraqis would question our intentions and feel their hopes betrayed. And those in Iraq who trade in hatred and conspiracy theories would find a larger audience and gain a stronger hand," Bush added.

"We will not step back from our pledge. On June 30, Iraqi sovereignty will be placed in Iraqi hands...."

Speaking of the recent increase of insurgency in Iraq, Bush said,  "None of these acts is the work of a religion. All are the work of a fanatical political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the Middle East and beyond. They seek to oppress and persecute women.

  • "They seek the death of Jews and Christians and every Muslim who desires peace over theocratic terror. 
  • "They seek to intimidate America into panic and retreat, and to set free nations against each other. 
  • "And they seek weapons of mass destruction, to blackmail and murder on a massive scale."


"...Our coalition has the means and the will to prevail. We serve the cause of liberty, and that is always and everywhere a cause worth serving." - U.S. President George Bush - April 13, 2004

U.S. 9/11 Commission Hearing: April 13, 2004

The U.S. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission), was created to be an independent bipartisan commission created by U.S. congressional legislation and the signature of U.S. President George W. Bush in late 2002. The commission  is chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.

In the course of conducting its investigation the Commission yesterday heard from crucial CIA, FBI witnesses as well as the current and former U.S. Attorneys General.  

Read the full testimony of crucial FBI, CIA and AG witnesses set out in separate pages:

Former FBI Director | FBI / CIA Counter Terrorism | Former Attorney General Reno | Attorney General Ashcroft

Expensive Loonie Bites: AIAC Survey Result

An expensive dollar, poor U.S. Air Carrier performance and shaky federal R&D support leaves industry less optimistic. That's the consensus of fifty-one Canadian aerospace businesses representing in total some 37,500 Canadian employees. 

The second quarterly 'Business and Employment Conditions Survey' results have been released by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). The report  makes note of changes since its first study three months ago suggesting that, "expectation of an improving outlook for business through 2004 and into 2005 reported in December 2003, appears to have stalled." 

"While business conditions in 2004 were seen to be on the upturn by some 67 per cent of our respondents in 2003Q4, this dropped to 61 per cent in 2004Q1. More troubling, the proportion expecting "no change" rose from 21 to 31 per cent. Similarly, when asked about their outlook for employment over the coming year, the proportion seeing an increase fell from 58 per cent to 31 per cent over the same period; those expecting no change rose from 37 per cent to 53 per cent. Finally, the sales outlook weakened with 16 per cent expecting lower sales compared with 7 per cent last quarter. Better sales were expected by two-thirds of respondents in late 2003; now only 51 per cent expect better sales.

"The survey again indicates that the United States is seen as the most promising growth market. Forty-two per cent of respondents expect to see their sales growth occurring only in the U.S. Those expecting Canada and U.S. together comprised 9 per cent, while those seeing Canada alone comprised 16 per cent. In other words, fully two-thirds see North America as their market for growth. This was down about 10 percentage points from the previous quarter largely because the respondents indicated they were looking to other markets. It is too early to tell whether, in fact, businesses are actually going to diversify their sales beyond North America", concludes the AIAC's report.

Ten factors that can affect the business environment were set out in the survey. While respondents could select multiple factors, the most frequently selected negative factor was the "high value of the Canadian dollar" ( 43 of 51). Foreign political trends was checked 27 times and "domestic political trends" got 24 responses. "These factors" says the report, "are interlinked".

The $0.75USD Loonie has been troublesome for a wide range of industry sectors. But the higher valued dollar is particularly hurtful for the aerospace industries which with waning prospects in the domestic market seek to grow exports, particularly to the United States. Whereas at the average dollar value for the past decade a U.S. buyer got a huge bang for their greenback, that effect is substantially dwindled by the sharp climb in the past year. The higher dollar degrades competitiveness on international markets and for firms whose technology forces long lead times, comes for some at a time when significant portions of development and production start costs are already absorbed making pricing harder to tune to the changed circumstances.

"A major adverse impact on Canadian businesses" is how Herbert Grubel, Professor of Economics Emeritus at Simon Fraser University and Senior Fellow of The Fraser Institute describes the high-value Canadian dollar which spiked upwards early in 2003 as the U.S. greenback headed south.

"Just imagine the problems faced by firms that set their strategies on the basis of a 60-cent dollar", says Grubel in a report for the Fraser Institute. "A firm that in 2003 expected to export products worth US$10 million and expected to get Cdn $16.6 million for it, at a 77-cent dollar will get only Cdn $13 million. The Cdn $3.6 million difference in revenue will mean lower profits or even a loss," adds Grubel.

Although most of the financial elite in Canada are shy on predictions, the AIAC suggests "a currency at about U.S. $0.74 for the year, compared with U.S. 64 cents in 2002 and U.S. 72 cents in 2003. Little change is expected throughout the next three quarters."

U.S. Homeland Security Selects Northrop Grumman for $350M HSDN

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced a contract to initiate the implementation of the Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN). The HSDN will provide DHS officials with a modern IT infrastructure for securely communicating classified information. When completed the HSDN will be a private, certified, and accredited network that will fully support the mission goals of the department.

DHS has selected Northrop Grumman to design, implement, and operate the HSDN. The General Services Administration (GSA) made the award through the GSA Millennia contract at a potential value of over $350 million if all options are exercised by the end of 2005.

"The Homeland Secure Data Network will provide DHS personnel and their partners with a 21st century information technology infrastructure for securely communicating classified information," said Homeland Security Secretary Ridge. "The HSDN lays the foundation to consolidate five legacy wide-area networks down to one network for both classified and unclassified information, leading to one infrastructure -- the first phase of which will be completed by the end of this year."

The HSDN will significantly enhance DHS' capability to interact with other classified networks while simultaneously eliminating the department's dependence on networks external to DHS. Looking to the future, the HSDN will be designed to be scalable in order to respond to increasing demands for the secure transmission of classified information among government, industry, and academia crucial to defending America from terrorist attacks.

Sikorsky S-92 Completes Milestone in FAA Icing Certification

Last month, Sikorsky Aircraft's S-92 helicopter successfully completed the artificial icing portion of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) icing certification programme, positioning the aircraft for the final all-weather operations certification phase.

The aircraft has completed over 80 percent of the test requirements for icing certification, and has begun natural icing trials with several successful natural icing events flown to date. The S-92 will seek out a wide range of natural icing conditions in the months ahead.

Sikorsky used specialized equipment from the U.S. Army's Aviation Technical Test Center. A CH-47D Chinook icing tanker and a C-12G King Air-instrumented icing scout traveled from Fort Rucker, Ala., to Marquette to assist in the testing.

"The tanker tests validate the design capabilities of the main rotor and tail rotor ice protection system. The system behaved flawlessly in both continuous and intermittent maximum icing conditions," said Robert Flemming, Chief of Icing Technology for Sikorsky.

"Modern digital control of the rotor ice protection system provides improved aircraft performance and greater safety. The S-92 is equipped with a full set of instrumentation for in-flight monitoring, and the recorded data can be processed further during post-test analysis. The digital control system is fully integrated into the S-92's glass cockpit and includes system monitoring and diagnostic capabilities."

Based on the thousands of deiced helicopters that Sikorsky has delivered in the past 30 years, the S-92 rotor deice system has heating elements in the rotor blades that are controlled by redundant computer systems and powered by redundant electrical generators. The system precisely times the power to the blades to automatically shed ice away from the main and tail rotor.

The S-92 deice system has already completed tests in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Stratford, Conn., and artificial icing tests while tied down with the rotor turning in the enormous environmental hangar facility at Elgin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

The S-92 previously completed cold weather, engine inlet and snow tests and is already certified for operation in these conditions.

Sikorsky has sold more than 20 S-92 aircraft worth in excess of $340 million. In addition to the confirmed sales, Sikorsky also says it has 17 options and four deposit agreements for the S-92, in all making the S-92 the firm's most successful new product launch.

Superbird-6 Set For Launch Tomorrow from Cape

A Boeing-built communications satellite that will serve the Asia-Pacific market is scheduled to launch on Thursday, April 15, from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida.

Known as Superbird-6 the spacecraft was designed and manufactured by Boeing for Space Communication Corporation (SCC) of Japan to provide telecommunications and data services to customers in Asia. Launch is scheduled to occur within a 33-minute launch window that opens at 8:45 p.m. EDT (12:45a.m. April 16 GMT).

Superbird-6 allows SCC to continue meeting the strong demand for business telecommunications services throughout Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Superbird-6 is the third satellite Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS) has built for SCC.

"Superbird-6 benefits from a long heritage of innovations and recent improvements in our design, assembly and test processes that have enabled us to provide robust transmission technologies for emerging high-data-rate services," said David Ryan, president of Boeing Satellite Systems International, a wholly owned subsidiary of BSS. "This satellite carries a payload with 23 active Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders for high-data-rate communications that will provide television news gathering, distance learning, Internet access, VSAT and other services to customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region."

Slated to occupy an orbital slot at 158.0 degrees East longitude, Superbird-6 will provide business telecommunication services to customers in Japan. The spacecraft's Steerable Ka-band Spot Beam also will enable SCC to provide higher data rate Ka-band service to areas across a broad swathe of the Pacific region including Japan, Australia, Micronesia, Hawaii, Taiwan, Korea and New Zealand.

Boeing's customer, Space Communications Corporation (SCC), is a Japanese satellite communications service company. SCC was established in 1985 by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO), and other Mitsubishi Group Companies. SCC now operates four communications satellites named Superbird-A, B2, C, and D in four orbital slots, by which SCC is providing stable and high quality telecommunication services to a wide range of customers.

Washington AFCEA Conference: 

DoD Ready to Assist in Event of Homeland Attack


By Gerry J. Gilmore American Forces Press Service 
The Defense Department stands ready to assist authorities at the federal, state and local levels in the event of another terrorist attack on the homeland, a senior DoD official said here April 8. 

In prepared remarks delivered to Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) members, Peter F. Verga said the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense "is responsible for DoD's support to civil authorities for domestic incident management," such as during attacks on the homeland. 

Verga, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, noted that another DoD entity, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, "is responsible for DoD's support to the State Department, which has the lead for foreign consequence management." 

In the event of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological attack on the United States, Verga said, the Joint Task Force Civil Support in Norfolk, Va.; the Joint Task Force Consequence Management East at Fort Gillem, Ga.; or the Joint Task Force Consequences Management West at Fort Sam Houston, Texas -- all under U.S. Northern Command -- "would be available to provide command and control of forces in support of civil authorities." 

"We are working to strengthen DoD and civilian capabilities and surge capacity to address multiple, simultaneous CBRN attacks in the United States," Verga said. 

Another important element defending the homeland involves intelligence and information sharing, Verga pointed out. To this end, he noted DoD is working closely with the FBI, CIA and other members of the intelligence community "to maintain maximum awareness of potential attacks against and emerging threats to the United States." 

For example, DoD is "a full partner" in the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, Verga said. The TTIC, he noted, is "a multi-agency joint venture" created in May 2003. It "integrates terrorist-threat related information, minimizing any seams between analysis of terrorism intelligence collected overseas and inside the United States, to form a comprehensive threat picture." 

Each day, Verga continued, TTIC "coordinates terrorist threat assessments with partner agencies," including DoD, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, CIA and State Department. 

In a terrorist attack on America, NORTHCOM - which defends land, air and sea approaches to the United States -- would also provide support to U.S. civil authorities, Verga noted. 

This, he explained, would include "military support to civilian law enforcement agencies, military assistance for civil disturbances, and incident management operations in response" to an attack using weapons of mass destruction. 

The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, he noted, monitor sea approaches to America and "patrol international waters and our territorial seas." 

DoD's role in border security involves providing support, particularly to the Department of Homeland Security, "when appropriate," Verga said. DoD maintains quick- and rapid-reaction forces for this purpose, he added, and these Army and Marine forces would operate under NORTHCOM's command and control. 

Verga said DoD maintains "excellent" working relationships across the Department of Homeland Security. For example, he cited the 64 people assigned within DHS who provide critical intelligence and communications specialties. 

DoD also has an around-the-clock presence in DHS's operations center "with direct connectivity back to DoD for rapid response." 

This year, Verga said, DoD is enhancing its partnership with DHS by establishing a liaison office within DHS headquarters. 

The Defense Department also is developing a "comprehensive" homeland defense strategy for the 21st century, Verga said. That plan, he noted, will "provide the framework for pursuing operational capabilities to prepare for tomorrow's challenges." 

DOD to AFCEA: Seeking Technology For Use In Combating Terrorism

The Defense Department is seeking out technology suitable for use in combating terrorism.

In fact, much of the progress in the war on terror has come from technological developments, Peter F. Verga noted to attendees at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) luncheon. 

Verga, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, explained that DoD invests almost $100 million annually in the Technical Support Working Group a department-run forum that gathers "information on new ideas that may be useful in the war on terrorism." 

Some TSWG-sourced ideas, Verga noted, include blast-resistant building designs, countermeasures against explosives and weapons of mass destruction, personal- protection equipment, and equipment for military and civilian emergency- response teams for chemical incidents. 

"All of those ideas started and were put through the TSWG process," Verga said. 

Verga noted another DoD initiative, the Combating Terrorism Technology Task Force, was formed within a week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. That task force first found suitable technologies to employ for homeland defense and in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, he said. 

Now, he continued, the task force is identifying and accelerating technology -- such as explosives detection devices -- suitable for protection of troop convoys moving along roads in Iraq. 

Verga said he also works closely with the Department of Homeland Security's undersecretary for science and technology, helping to find technology that can be used by state and local first responders, such as night-vision and thermal- imaging devices, information-sharing systems and biometric identification systems. 

"All of those are technologies developed for DoD purposes that are relevant and have applicability in the homeland security mission," he concluded. 


Copyright © 2004 MPRM Group Limited. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 13 2004

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