Homeland Security Archives
The threat of shoulder fired missiles being fired at commercial airliners has worried Homeland Security and aviation officials as well as many in the flying public for years, ever since 9/11 and incidents such as the failed 2002 terrorist attack on an EL AL airliner in Kenya.
Much of the effort has been focused on finding ways to build countermeasures onto the commercial airliners themselves, such as missile detection and laser systems to thwart such missiles which usually seek out a aircraft’s heat signature.
But there’s consideration being given to using unmanned drones like those the military and Central Intelligence Agency have used to great effect in Iraq and Afghanistan. airports as they kept a lookout for anti aircraft missiles.
Here’s an excerpt of a in which Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated such a countermeasure. It wasn’t on a drone exactly but the company believes the technology could be installed on the pilotless aircraft.
Sept. military, demonstrated a high altitude defense that could be installed on unpiloted drones to protect airports against shoulder fired rockets.
From heights exceeding 50,000 feet, the system successfully detected, tracked and directed a laser to intercept a target missile, Jack michael kors outlet Pledger, Northrop’s director of infrared counter measures, said in an interview today. The system worked in all three tests at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico on Sept. 8 and 9. A fourth test was scrapped when the target malfunctioned. Homeland Security Department to show the feasibility of using unmanned aircraft above airports to defeat shoulder launched, heat seeking missiles fired at commercial aircraft. For the demonstration, Northrop modified the Guardian countermeasure system it has tested on jetliners for 13 months.
It’s obvious what’s in it for the company. The use of unmanned drones for this aircraft security purpose would open up a whole new market for its pilotless guardian angels.
Today, on the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States, President Bush will take a short ride to the Pentagon to acknolwedge the opening of the first national monument to the victims of 9/11, and the candidates for president Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack OIbama will make an unprecedented joint appearance at “Ground Zero,” site of the assault in New York.
Obama and McCain plan to do what would have been unthinkable for the two antagonists in the 2004 campaign, when Bush made “the lessons of Sept 11” central to his campaign for reelection: Make a joint appearance at the site of the felled World Trade Center. In the last presidential election, the traumatic assault on the American homeland and the sense of threat it evoked was at the forefront of the clash between the two parties.
Republicans staged their 2004 convention in New York in September, as close to the time and place of the main attack as possible, emphasizing Bush’s leadership following the attacks and arguing he would do a better job protecting the country than his opponent. Democrats tried to counter with a war hero, Massachusetts michael kors outlet Sen. John Kerry.
“Security Moms” were the voters of the moment and the campaign’s most memorable TV ad featured wolves gathering in a dark forest.
One election later, the Sept. 11 attacks and the feelings of vulnerability they stirred maintain a powerful influence on the national psyche.
But seven years after the skyscrapers collapsed, the fear is less raw.
There have been no more terrorist attacks on American soil. The nation is fatigued by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have stretched on far longer than expected. A troubled economy, rising gas prices and deteriorating home values loom larger among everyday anxieties. And the incumbent who ran for re election as protector against an existential enemy is one of the most unpopular presidents ever.
“Among the most important differences between this election and the last is the 2004 election was fundamentally about 9 11. This election does not feel like it,” said Democratic strategist Howard Wolfson, who was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In fact, the race for president is essentially tied at the moment even though polling data suggest that McCain enjoys a stronger advantage over Obama in public confidence that he would better defend the country against a terrorist attack than Bush held over Kerry.
The Homeland Security Department is giving us a sense of Secretary Michael Chertoff’s itinerary today. Suffice it to say that he is going to be showing the DHS flag a lot in Louisiana in the next few hours.
He’ll be making at least three stops, in Houma, New Orleans and Baton Rouge to look at Hurricane Gustav preparations.
Compare this to what he did three years ago before Hurricane Katrina. The closest he got to New Orleans before that storm was Atlanta.
Then FEMA director Michael “Brownie” Brown also faulted Chertoff after the fact for ordering him to stay in Baton Rouge instead of letting him go into New Orleans to see first hand the destruction.
Obviously, Chertoff isn’t making the same mistake twice. He’s going beforehand to the city directly in the path of imminent storm. Here’s a press release from the Homeland Security Department.
STATEMENT BY HOMELAND SECURITY PRESS SECRETARY LAURA KEEHNER
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is on his way to Louisiana to observe preparations in anticipation of Hurricane Gustav. He will first travel to Houma, where he will observe final special needs evacuations and then meet with local officials at the emergency operations center. Secretary Chertoff will then travel to New Orleans, where he will michael kors outlet observe evacuation activities and meet with Mayor Nagin and other local officials. Secretary Chertoff is then expected to travel to Baton michael kors outlet Rouge, where he will meet with Governor Jindal and stay through the storm.
Additional details on times and locations for media availabilities are forthcoming.
We continue to remind Gulf Coast residents about the importance of taking precautionary measures to prepare for an emergency situation or evacuation as Gustav approaches our shores.
The FBI takes it on the chin from the Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine today for “serious deficiencies that have resulted in large backlogs and questions about the reliability of the resulting information” on citizen and immigration application name checks.