Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#2138 Marine Links Serco’s Red Switch RAF Bypass to The Cake Boy Situation Room, Extortion 17 Wrongful Deaths

Plum City - (AbelDanger.net): United States Marine Field McConnell has linked Serco's bypass operations of the U.S. Defense Red Switch Network at RAF Oakhanger to the White House Situation Room which was allegedly used to allow a Down Low Club Cake Boy named Barack Obama to deny any responsibility for the wrongful deaths of 17 Navy SEALs, 29 other Americans and 7 unidentified Afghan commandos in the Extortion 17 helicopter crash of 6 August, 2011 in a battle space then owned by TF Warrior led by Lt. Col. Thomas S. Rickard.

"To this day, people in Chicago are still scared about being murdered for talking about Barack Obama being gay or about what goes on at Trinity United with the still-active "Down Low Club". Young, gay, black men are mentored into the club and are eventually paired up with often unattractive and difficult to deal with straight black women who never have boyfriends (since guys don't want to have anything to do with them). A friend of mine in the "Think Squad" of prominent black professionals I talk to regularly calls these women "heifers" and says it's very common for "cake boys" to be paired up with "heifers" so that "dummies are fooled" into thinking they are straight."

McConnell claims that Serco's National Security Adviser Maureen Baginski structured the White House Cake Boy Situation Room – and its equivalents at 4 or 5 star hotels around the world – so the likes of Obama could fool himself and others that he is or was in charge of operations such as the one where RAF Oakhanger allegedly imputed waypoints for the helicopter flight plan which took Extortion 17 into an ambush less than a mile from the base just vacated by Lt. Col. Rickard.

McConnell claims that Serco is operating the RAF Oakhanger Red Switch bypass within a global matrix of Cake Boy Situation Rooms in an attempt to replace heterosexual leaders of sovereign governments with homosexual pedophiles embedded in the self-styled Islamic State (IS or ISIS).

McConnell alleges that Serco coordinated the Extortion 17 ambush through a Cake Boy Situation Room at Camp Mirage, Dubai, UAE, where it appears to have deployed the Canadian airborne E/W expert Russell Williams to establish a trading post for jockey boys to entrap and extort of leaders of the Arab Gulf States who are now being blackmailed into funding ISIS pedophiles as they torture, murder and enslave heterosexual men, women and children throughout Syria and Iraq.

McConnell recommends that Serco shares be suspended until Abel Danger has completed its investigation into Red Switch bypassing of Cake Boy Situation Rooms and helped the families to prepare a class action suit for damages in re the wrongful deaths of the Extortion 17 victims.

Prequel 1: #2137 Marine Links Serco's White-House Cake-Boy Red-Switch Bypass to Navy SEALs TF Warrior Wrongful Deaths

Inside the White House: The Situation Room

Betrayal & Cover-Up: The Murder Of Seal Team 6

Výcvik Anglie - fire training center SERCO


"All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near."


"Extortion 17 Navy SEALs – Family Still Seeks Answers
Posted by / In Politics / July 17, 2013
The parents of Aaron Vaughn, one of the extraordinary men killed on 6 August, 2011 in Afghanistan, in the Op known as Extortion 17, appeared Tuesday night on Cowboy Logic Radio to speak about their continued search for answers in their son’s death. Aaron, son of Billy and Karen Vaughn, a Navy SEAL from SEAL Team VI DEVGRU, along with 16 other SEALs and 29 other Americans, was killed in a fiery Chinook crash that night in the Tangi River Valley. Sent to assist a group of Rangers, the crew of 38 consisted of Navy SEALs, other US Spec Ops forces, one US military war dog, and 7 Afghan commandos. One of the great mysteries of that night in 2011 involved the Afghan commandos. At the last minute, the men previously named and documented to board, were substituted with other men. In fact, the change was so late, that the wrong families were informed their sons had died and had to be told that actually their sons were alive. To this day, even after receiving all 1,250 plus pages of documents from the redacted, now declassified CENTCOM report, and reading them thoroughly, as well as meeting with several high level military officials, Billy and Karen Vaughn still have no answer as to who the Afghan commandos were that were actually on board the Chinook, whether or not they were true allies or suicide bombers, or who exactly issued the order to remove them and substitute the 7 who really flew that night with their son and other US servicemen to their deaths."

New military hotline directly links top brass to U.S.
$20M project, called Defence Red Switch Network, to be used in times of war, crisis
David Pugliese, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, January 14, 2006
Canada is installing a hotline that will allow military brass and politicians to talk with their American counterparts during a time of war or in any other crisis.

About $20 million is being spent on what is called the Defence Red Switch Network. The communications system is already running in some locations, including the defence minister's office and other undisclosed sites for the military's senior leadership. The system will provide a link for the Canadian government to various U.S. military headquarters as well as the North American Aerospace Defence Command, the joint U.S.-Canada alliance that monitors air and space approaches to the continent.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there was criticism that senior Canadian officials, including then-prime minister Jean Chretien, were out of the communications loop during the initial stages of the terrorist strike.

The Citizen obtained documents on the red switch network under the access to information law, but Defence Department officials censored almost all details. They claimed releasing the material would be "injurious" to the defence of Canada, its international relations, as well as the detection of subversive or hostile activities.

The newspaper, however, found the details of the supposedly secret network, including its cost to taxpayers, on the department's own public webpage. Details of a similar system that would allow U.S. President George W. Bush to communicate with his top level commanders was also on a Pentagon webpage.


Canadian military officials were not available to explain why information about the network is considered secret when such details have already been put out in the public domain by both the U.S. and Canada.

The red switch network is considered secure, meaning that it has technology to prevent its transmissions from being monitored or intercepted. Presumably the Canadian system can link up with the president's network.

Martin Shadwick, a strategic studies professor with York University, said such a system makes sense in that Canada and the U.S. share a common goal in protecting North America. He noted that similar communications systems existed during the Cold War.

But analyst Steve Staples said the hotline is another example of the growing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries and the increased involvement of the Canadian Forces in American-led operations. "This system just allows the Canadian military and government leaders to get their orders from Washington more quickly," said Mr. Staples, an analyst with the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute.

The Citizen requested information on the red switch network almost four weeks ago, but military officials have not been available to comment.

But according to the Defence webpage, the network "allows access to the U.S. system (Forces wide) and will enhance north/south and internal connectivity -- particularly during times of crisis."

According to a Pentagon site, the network provides the president, secretary of defence, joint chiefs of staff, combatant commanders and selected agencies with secure voice communications up to the top secret level. The system is for use during war and other emergencies. Other U.S. defence and federal government agencies can access the network if they have approval from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, according to the site."

Col. Russell Williams' double life?
Top officer facing murder charges commanded Canada's largest air base, flew top diplomats
February 8, 2010
The commander of one of Canada’s largest military bases is in a prison cell today, accused of murdering two Ontario women—including a fellow service member—and sexually assaulting two others.

Col. Russell Williams, a career air force officer, was the top man at CFB Trenton, the same Ontario base that has welcomed home the flag-draped caskets of every Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan. But on Sunday night, police slapped him with another label: serial predator.
 A self-described “avid golfer, keen photographer, fisherman and runner,” Williams enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1987 after earning an economics and political science degree from the University of Toronto. He received his flying wings in 1990 and two years later was posted to 434 (Combat Support) Squadron in Shearwater, where he flew the CC144 Challenger in the electronic warfare/coastal patrol role. He was subsequently posted to 412 (Transport) Squadron in Ottawa, where he continued to fly the Challenger, this time hauling VIPs. Promoted to major in 1999 and lieutenant-colonel in 2004, he also served as commanding officer at Camp Mirage, the ultra-secretive forward logistics base that the government has never officially acknowledged, but is widely reported to be in Dubai. In January 2009, he was posted to the Canadian Forces Language School in Gatineau, Que., for a six-month period of French training, his last step before Trenton.”
"[British Company Serco – under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in the United Kingdom for Crossed Key tagging of prisoners – operates Defense Red Switch Network for United States!] … Building a State-of-the-Practice Data Communications Network To create a state-of-the-practice data communications network required Serco to engineer different solutions for each of the AFSCN's [Air Force Satellite Control Network] unique locations. Each ground station around the world had to be surveyed in order to develop detailed installation plans, project support agreements and testing plans.

Furthermore, to assure communications reliability between the ground station and the operational control nodes, Serco also had to conduct a complete circuit testing exercise.

After completing the survey, Serco's team continued with their due diligence, for developing and implementing a state-of-the-practice solution, by conducting circuit, system verification and integration, installation and checkout testing for each of the ground stations, including those located at Diego Garcia, in British Indian Ocean Territory, the Royal Air Force Base in Oakhanger, England 
[functions treasonously transferred to Airbus] and the Anderson AFB, in Guam.

In developing this enhanced voice and data communications network, Serco’s team engineered and implemented an ATM backbone and secure voice system for each of the AFSCN ground stations. The installed network was based on a Wide Area Network (WAN) architecture utilizing IP based network capabilities and proprietary secure communication technologies such as KG-75s, KG-84S and KIV-7s. Serco ensured Defense Red Switch Network connectivity and operations throughout the AFSCN."


February 4, 2012
Does Obama really lack cool phones?
In April last year, US president Obama told some fundraisers that he was disappointed by the communications equipment he found in the White House:

"I always thought I was gonna have like really cool phones and stuff," he said during a Q&A session with contributors at a fund-raising meeting in Chicago on April 14, 2011.

"We can't get our phones to work." Acting out his exasperation, he said: "Come on, guys. I'm the president of the United States! Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen."

Obama made these remarks after the press pool had left and may not have realized some reporters back at the White House could still hear his comments. The president was probably responding to a question about bottlenecks in technological innovation and he used his White House experience as an example.

A lot of people would probably like to believe these remarks of the president, symbolizing the outdated state of the federal government. But in fact, what Obama said, isn't quite true.
In 2006-2007 president George W. Bush had the White House Situation Room completely renovated, providing it with state-of-the-art communications facilities. Since then the real Situation Room has all the phones and videoscreens and other stuff, which was before only seen in movies.
Also, when Obama took over the office in January 2009, he found quite a cool phone on the presidential desk in the Oval Office: an Integrated Services Telephone 2, or IST-2. This is a so called red phone (I'll explain that term in a later blog post) capable of making both secure and non-secure calls from one single instrument:




Not a cool phone? An IST-2 telephone on Obama's desk, March 29, 2009
(White House photo by Pete Souza)
The IST-2 was installed in the White House in 2007. It's a phone specially designed for the US Defense Red Switch Network (DRSN), which connects the president and the Pentagon with all major military command centers. These new phones were part of an upgrade of the communications system, which became necessary after some serious communication problems occurred during the 9/11 attacks.

Therefore, the problems caused by outdated equipment should have been solved under president Bush. This would leave nothing to complain about for Obama anymore.

But there's an other interesting fact. Only a few weeks before Obama made his aforementioned remarks in April 2011, the rather rare IST-phone had just been replaced by two more ordinary sets:


The Cisco 7975 and the Lucent 8520 on Obama's desk, July 31, 2011
Also on the desk appears to be the 
iPad Obama got from Steve Jobs in May 2011
(White House photo by Pete Souza)
Now we see a Cisco 7975G Unified IP Phone (with expansion module 7916) behind a Avaya/Lucent 8520T on Obama's desk. This Lucent phone is from the most widely used business phone series worldwide, but is dating back to the mid-nineties. The Cisco 7975G is a VoIP (Voice over IP) telephone, and as such also one of the most widely used.

Both are high-end multiline models, with many functions and large displays, with the Cisco one even having a full colour touchscreen. This phone is also "cool", not because of having the military grade specifications or the exclusiveness like the IST-2, but because the phone (and its ringtone in particular) became an almost iconic item from the highly popular tv-series 24:

A Cisco 7970 IP Phone used in the CTU operations center in the tv-series 24
(screen cap by www.24tv.de)
This series, which was broadcasted between 2001 and 2010, shaped people's imagination of the presidency and was in many ways a forerunner of reality. For example there was a popular black president (David Palmer) years before Obama was elected, and much of the fancy communications equipment from the series, like video teleconferencing, was implemented in the real White House Situation Room in 2007. And now the real president also has the same cool Cisco phone as the heroes used in the tv-series.

So, as we have seen, Obama didn't really tell the truth. The story he told the fundraisers was true during the beginning of the Bush administration, but not during his. Obama actually has some quite cool phones at his disposal, but maybe the only thing is that he just doesn't realize that ;-)

 
Links



- Report on CBS News: 
Obama laments lack of "cool phones" at the White House
- About the renovation of the 
White House Situation Room
- Pictures of more "Obama Phones" at 
Cryptome.org
- Dutch article about Obama's gadgets at 
ZDNet.nl
- Extensive German fanpage of the 
24-series"

"A Handover Gone Wrong: How COP Tangi Was Lost
This is the tale of a transition gone wrong. It’s the story of a combat outpost lost to the enemy. Most importantly, it is a stern warning to the coalition and the Afghans involved. If readiness, capacities and capabilities of the ANSF aren’t factored into the equation, if conditions on the ground are ignored due to strategic or political pressure and if the ANSF are left without without coordinated follow-up support by the coalition, the whole transition effort is put into jeopardy.

Based on a Washington Post article report and my own experiences, I recently provided some analysis and commentary on the situation in the Jalrez valley. As noted, the strategic importance of this region cannot be understated. It’s not a coincidence that the last major offensive of the war, involving an entire U.S. combat brigade, is taking place just south of Wardak in Ghazni province. This influx of additional troops to the area, which was cast as a second-rate theater during the height of the troops surge, will enable the coalition to mount a number of large-scale clearing operations and solidify any gains in the process. However, once the deployment of those troops comes to an end, it if far from clear if the ANSF are ready to fill the gap.

In Wardak, U.S. troops levels are already thinning. As a consequence, the capacity of the coalition to provide material and operational follow-up support to the ANSF is reduced significantly. This, combined with the apparent lack of readiness on behalf of the ANSF to sustain themselves has already led to the loss of one combat outpost (COP) in the Tangi valley, almost immediately after it was handed over. This puts the capacity of the ANSF to hold other outposts in contested areas into doubt. In any case, it is worth taking a closer look at the surrounding circumstances of this handover gone wrong. Even though the transfer of COP Tangi was not part of the transition process that is led by the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal Board (JANIB), the case perfectly illustrates the challenges that lie ahead.

Why does the case of COP Tangi matter? Shortly after COP Tangi was handed over, the ANP who were tasked with holding it abandoned the base. As a consequence, insurgents took over and continued to operate in the area more freely than ever. Coalition forces still patrolled in the valley, but they weren’t able to make up for the lost ground and the inability of the ANSF to keep it. Insurgents controlled the area now.

In July 2011, three months after it was abandoned by the ANP, a CH-47 Chinook was shot down by insurgents at a distance of less than a mile from the outpost. 30 U.S. troops, among them several Navy SEALS, and 8 Afghans perished. Even though it’s pointless to speculate, it is entirely within the realm of possibilities that with COP Tangi still under U.S. or ANSF control, the mission to insert the SEALS and their Afghan counterparts wouldn’t have been deemed necessary in the first place.

From U.S. to ANP to Taliban hands in a matter of days
The transfer of COP Tangi from U.S. military control to the ANSF and more specifically the ANP was scheduled to take place in April 2011. A glowing U.S. Army press release offered a few yet crucial details on the effort. It cited Lt. Col. Thomas S. Rickard, commander of TF Warrior, which was the battlespace owner at the time:

"As we lose U.S. personnel, we have to concentrate on the greater populations,” said Rickard.
"U.S. forces will still patrol the area,” said Rickard. “We are going to continue to hunt insurgents in Tangi and prevent them from having a safe haven."

ANSF will soon run COP Tangi, and TF Warrior will increase operations in Chak [district]. If this trend continues, within a few years, local residents in Chak will be able to look solely toward other Afghans for security and guidance, said Rickard. [...]

"The Afghan National Police have already demonstrated their resolve by placing permanent check points at each end of the valley." [...]

"The MOD (Ministry of Defense) and the ANA (Afghan National Army) made the decision to move forces into Chak,” said Rickard.

As it turned out, things didn’t go according to plan. The Tangi Valley became exactly what it wasn’t supposed to be: A Taliban safe haven. The New York Times reported that Taliban seized ground around the COP almost as soon as it was transferred to the ANP:

Within days of the transition, the Taliban raised their flag near the outpost, said a NATO official familiar with the situation. Afghan security forces remained in the area but were no match for the Taliban, the official said.

Alam Gul, who was chief of the local council in Sayed Abad district at the time reported what happened next:

They [the U.S. military] took their expensive equipment, but left other items, like freezers, Gul said. The Taliban retrieved the items and had a yard sale, he said. Afghans from the surrounding area came to shop.

As the plan to readjust the focus on another district seems to have originated within the ranks of the ANA, it is unlikely that the ANP gave up the base due to a strategically motivated decision. After all, there were no plans to close down the base. It is likely they simply abandoned it out of fear or a lack of capacity. Ultimately, leaving responsibility for this outpost to the ANP without ensuring it would remain under their control is to be considered a failure. In any case, if a base is almost taken over just days after being transferred to the ANSF, then this warrants a closer look.

What went wrong with the handover of COP Tangi?

COP Tangi was set up to establish a presence in the valley with the goal of denying the insurgents terrain and to reach out to the local population. In retrospect, the establishment of COP Tangi was a sign of the times. It was set up when troop levels began to rise in 2010 and a population-centric COIN doctrine was being touted as the key to stability by General Stanley A. McChrystal, who had assumed the post of COMISAF in 2009. Three years later, transition or Afghanization are being touted as the way to the exit and steadily declining troops levels render the maintenance of a combat outpost in a sparsely populated yet highly hostile area unfeasible.

In 2011, after about three years of continuous fighting in the valley and against the backdrop of reduced force levels and a transition-process that was well underway, it became evident that in the long run, it wouldn’t be sustainable to keep COP Tangi any longer. Lt. Col. Rickard, the commander of TF Warrior clearly stated the rationale behind handing over the outpost – a desire to focus operations on a more populated district, as stipulated by population-centric COIN doctrine. He claims the decision to readjust the focus had originated somewhere within the ANA chain of command and the MoD in Kabul. While this decision was most likely born out of strategic necessity, it may also be seen as a subtle admission that efforts to reach out to the population and bring stability to the area hadn’t gone anywhere in the Tangi valley.

It is unlikely that in the run-up to the handover of COP Tangi, Lt. Col. Rickard wasn’t fully aware of the composition, capability and determination of the insurgent forces in the area. After all, the Tangi valley had been an insurgent hub ever since troops from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division first entered and subsequently established a presence in the area in 2009 – 2010. For most of those who followed their footsteps, including Rickard’s men, the deployment was a constant battle against a determined insurgent force. The enemy wasn’t the unknown factor in this equation. It was the ANSF.

An interesting aspect of this story is the fact that the ANP and not the ANA were chosen to take over responsibility for COP Tangi. Usually, the ANP are equipped with light to medium firearms and weapons such as AK variants, RPKs, PK machine guns, RPGs and occasionally, a truck-mounted DShK machine gun. Generally, they don’t have any armored vehicles. After all, they are a police force, tasked with regular police work, at least on paper. Fighting battle-hardened and determined insurgent forces isn’t their purpose, though even more often than not, this is exactly what they do.
It makes sense to put the ANP in charge of checkpoints or police stations within territory that is controlled by the ANA and coalition forces, thus enabling those forces to maneuver on the enemy. In the case of COP Tangi, it is puzzling the ANP were placed in charge of an outpost that lay in the center of heavily contested territory. One possibility is the lack of ANA troops to hold the outpost – after all, they were scheduled to deploy to a neighboring district. Another possibility is that the ANA chain of command was seeking a convenient way not to do what they were supposed to: To shoulder security responsibility for this particular stretch of land. Placing the ANP in charge would be an easy way out.  It is noteworthy that there have been long-standing tensions in Wardak between the ANA, the ANP and the NDS due to their overlapping mandates and tasks, but more importantly due to their different political affiliations. Of course, while entirely conceivable, this possibility can’t be corroborated and thus remains in the realm of speculation.

Different possibilities, same outcome: The ANP lose COP Tangi
Regarding the botched handover, there are several distinct possibilities. First, Lt. Col Rickard and his staff knew the ANP weren’t up for the task of holding COP Tangi, either due to a lack of capacity or will. In that case, he most likely would have raised the issue with his chain of command, who in turn would have alarmed the Afghans at some point with the intent to get them to reconsider moving their troops elsewhere. However, it was still decided the ANP would take over responsibility. As his statements above indicate, it was clear to Rickard that a prolonged presence in the valley was no longer feasible. Leaving the outpost to the ANP was a risk he was either forced or willing to take. Engaging in a photo-op while touring the base with the individual who would shortly after cede it to the Taliban might either be interpreted as a brazen move or as an indicator of his cluelessness that trouble was afoot. In either case, the issue leaves Rickard in a bad light.

The second possibility is equally unsettling. Lt. Col. Rickard and his staff actually thought the ANP were able to hold the outpost. This sounds odd at first, but it is a real possibility. U.S. Army commanders use the Commanders Unit Assessment Tool or CUAT to rate the individual ANSF units they’re mentoring or partnering with. Basically, it is a document that features different quantitative and qualitative metrics to rate an individual military unit or security force. It replaced the overly qualitative and inaccurate Capability Milestone (CM) rating system. While it has a higher potential that the CM rating system, it still has its flaws.

Most importantly, the CUAT doesn’t amount to an unbiased and independent assessment tool. Essentially, it reflects the performance of the ANSF as perceived by their U.S. counterparts. Any CUAT may very well be tweaked to reflect more positive results than reality would actually merit. The context is that U.S. military field grade officers are under a lot of pressure to report positive news to the higher-ups in the chain of command if they are to advance their career. The temptation to put a spin on virtually every aspect that is reported to superiors or the press is omnipresent. The overly positive tone in the press release as cited above may serve as such an example. This tendency, coupled with a sense of detachment from reality on the ground can lead to flawed assessments and ultimately, to mistakes. The bottom line is: Whatever rating system was used to assess the ANP at COP Tangi, there is a real possibility this assessment was flawed, thus leading to the very real belief among U.S. commanders the ANP would be able to hold out.

To make one thing abundantly clear: I am not implying any wrongdoing on behalf of Lt. Col. Rickart and his subordinates. There is absolutely no evidence Lt. Col. Rickard and his staff have engaged in any deceitful activities. I am merely pointing out facts and possibilities that are based on my knowledge and my experiences as a reporter who has spent a significant amount of time with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

And there is a third and rather unflattering possibility. Lt. Col Rickart may have been hoodwinked by Abdul Ghafoor Aziz, the ANP district police chief. Sayed Abad district is fraught with countless land and water rights conflicts that pit different clans and tribes in this area against each other. Consequently, the post of district police chief is akin to navigating mine fields on a daily basis. According to this grotesquely glossy press release, Abdul Ghafoor Aziz has held this position sine 2010, which is enough time to figure out if the forces he commands can prevail against the Taliban.
It can be assumed Col. Ghafoor knew what lay ahead once he was left with responsibility for COP Tangi. If he abandoned the post on his own or with the knowledge of his chain of command remains unclear.

ANP abandoned a mission it shouldn’t have been given in the first place
One dynamic that can be observed here as well as elsewhere is that as soon as insurgent pressure reaches a certain threshold, the ANSF tend to cave in and cede ground. The bottom line is, once ground is ceded, insurgents almost immediately filter back in and take control, rendering any venture into the territory a dangerous mission for the ANSF and coalition forces. No matter how smoothly the transition process may be going – if the end state is to have the ANSF in control of territory, then it is already evident this goal will not be attained in all of Afghanistan.

Was there anything that could have been done to keep COP Tangi? Technically, the answer is yes. With a sustained coalition presence, the outpost would have never been lost in the first place. Due to the strategic realignment as initiated by the ANA chain of command and the drawdown of coalition forces, this was never really an option. Consequently, the ANP lost the outpost. If their readiness to assume responsibility was either misjudged or of secondary concern remains unclear. In any case, the capacities and capabilities of the ANSF should be the primary concern before additional security responsibility is handed over.

There is a chance that with proper coordination and sustained follow-up support, the ANP would have considered holding COP Tangi. As it turned out, the rather vague promise of future coalition patrols wasn’t enough to make the ANP keep its end of the bargain. An embedded coalition adviser team could have made a difference here, providing access to communications, surveillance, close air support and coalition backup should things heat up. As it seems, the ANP at COP Tangi were left high and dry. Coalition forces who hand over security responsibilities are well-advised to ensure material and operational follow-up support is provided or they risk the ANSF losing ground to the enemy.

In the end, holding COP Tangi against all odds – the prowess of the insurgents in the valley was well known to both the U.S. military and the ANSF – was a task the ANP should have never shouldered. Most likely, it was a task it never wanted. They knew they wouldn’t be able to hold out very long, so they bailed. In the end, the failure to hold this outpost enabled the insurgents to establish control over the area. The consequences became brutally clear three months later. 38 made the ultimate sacrifice; less than a mile from outpost away.

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RAF Oakhanger was the home of No 1001 Signal Unit, responsible for supporting satellite communications services for the British Armed Forces worldwide. The unit was made up of four sub-units; Space Operations, Ground Operations, Telemetry and Control and Support with subordinate detachments based at RAF Rudloe ManorRAF Colerne and RAF Defford. Command and Control of the system was conducted from Oakhanger, with a planning unit based at Rudloe Manor, co-located with No1 Signal Unit and Controller Defence Communication Network. The Colerne and Defford detachments provided a ground anchoring capability for the communications spacecraft. The Defford detachment was managed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, later QinetiQ.

Space Squadron was responsible for flying a constellation of Skynet satellites, up to the fourth iteration of six space vehicles which supported ArmyRoyal Navy and Royal Air Force units. The space vehicles were controlled on a permanent basis from Oakhanger with command and control traffic being passed from one of the three ground stations. Space Squadron also controlled the flight of space vehicles on behalf of NATO, with an earth station at the nearby NATO ground terminal. The constellation comprised geosynchronous satellites, providing Earth coverage and higher power coverage over Northern Europe.

Ground services took responsibility for planning the routing of traffic via the space vehicles, from a number of locations in the United Kingdom to either stationary ground terminals such as GermanyCyprusAscension Islandand the Falkland Islands or tactical ground terminals, mounted in ships or vehicles and operated by Tactical Communications Wing, 30 Signal Regiment, 16 Signal Regiment, 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron or the Royal Marines Signal Squadrons.[2]

Current use[edit]

Support to British military satellite communications was outsourced to EADS Astrium subsidiary companyParadigm Secure Communications in 2003 in a Private Finance Initiative arrangement. The station was subsequently decommissioned, closed and handed over to Paradigm at that time. Paradigm Secure Communications is now known as Astrium Services.
The three sites are now designated Telemetry & Command Station Oakhanger, Satellite Ground Station Oakhanger and Satellite Ground Terminal F4 (operated on behalf of NATO). The sites are now used to support the Skynet 5 constellation."

 Yours sincerely,



Field McConnell, United States Naval Academy, 1971; Forensic Economist; 30 year airline and 22 year military pilot; 23,000 hours of safety; Tel: 715 307 8222

David Hawkins Tel: 604 542-0891 Forensic Economist; former leader of oil-well blow-out teams; now sponsors Grand Juries in CSI Crime and Safety Investigation


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