Troops Can Be Tracked and GPS Can Be Interrupted

Troops Can Be Tracked and GPS Can Be Interrupted

We Say: There are two sides of the same coin with new wearable technology like FitBit, Jawbone, and other tracking devices used by anyone, but especially military personnel worldwide. SecDef James Mattis is considering banning them and smartphones, tablets, or other trackable devices from the Pentagon. While that is a legitimate concern, how the military can conduct its operations in the face of cybersecurity threats may cause the shutdown of GPS signals throughout the West during ongoing military exercises. Is the inconvenience to civilian users and possible air traffic control going to be a critical drawback for both sides? Stay tuned.

Wearable tech could be a challenge for US military, experts say

Republished from StarsAndStripes, by Seth Robson, February 2, 2018. Image credit: image not covered by license. Contributor: Tom Shumaker.

Bright lines on a “Global Heatmap” published online by a popular fitness app show plenty of people working out inside U.S. bases near the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

They’re a sharp contrast to the expanse of black on the map to the north. Communists, it seems, don’t often wear fitness trackers outside of the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.

Revelations this week that servicemembers’ devices can be tracked, and even identified, inside secure facilities worldwide have prompted a Pentagon review. It’s simple for anyone to conduct their own analysis of activity at U.S. bases using the fitness app maker Strava’s online map. […]

Republished from CLICK HERE to read the original.

DOD “Red Flag” exercise ushers in GPS jamming season across West

Republished from ArsTechnica, by Sean Gallagher, February 8, 2018. Image credit: Gov image not covered by license. Contributor: Tom Shumaker.

For much of February—and in some places, well into March—the US military will be jamming signals from the Global Positioning System as part of training exercises over vast swaths of the Western United States, as well as in smaller areas surrounding major military facilities across the US.

A major source of the GPS jamming will be Red Flag 18-1, the first phase of the air war games staged every year from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, with events ranging as far north as the Seattle air traffic control area. Electronic warfare aircraft, including the Navy’s EA-18 Growler and the Air Force’s EC-130 Compass Call, will play a role in shutting down the satellite navigation system for everything within as large as a 450 nautical mile radius.

The jamming will be restricted for the most part to periods between 11 pm and 2 am Eastern Time. This is when commercial air traffic is at its least dense, so the impact on air travel should be negligible. But the exact times may vary.

And jamming tests for other exercises during the same period—including some at or off the coast of Navy nuclear sub bases at Bangor in Washington and Kings Bay, Georgia—may have an impact on commercial shipping and fishing vessels. […]


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Retired from the Air Force in 1991 after 22 years of service as a public affairs officer and broadcast management officer.
Entered Air Force active duty as a second lieutenant in August, 1969 with a commission from the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC).
Served as a base public affairs officer at three bases: Laredo AFB, Texas, 1969-1971; Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Base , 1974-1975 and Hahn Air Base, Germany, 1975-1979.
Retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

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