Blog Posts for 2016

April 4, 2016 | 0 comments

The Pentagon plans to flesh out satellite imagery partly by crowdsourcing data transmitted from soldiers venturing into loosely charted spots. "Every soldier is a sensor," said Jennifer Ivey, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Geospatial Center. "Wherever they are sent to do their mission, they collect data to improve situational awareness." Because satellite connectivity can be too spotty to obtain high-fidelity images of remote locations for spies, some intelligence officials say they welcome the expansion of social mapping. More at

March 30, 2016 | 0 comments

By Greg Smith

When disaster strikes near the sea, U.S. naval forces are often the first available to execute humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HA/DR) missions. With due regard to the suffering, destruction and loss caused by these disasters, it is possible to note that in many ways these tragedies become opportunities for U.S. naval forces to prepare leaders for combat operations. HA/DR involves a greater sense of urgency and higher stakes than scheduled exercises and training. Especially for the junior officers who participate, HA/DR operations enhance understandings of joint, combined, and interagency coordination and provide an opportunity to develop judgment through prudent risk-taking. HA/DR operations entail unique, unscripted collaboration with joint and interagency partners. With unity of effort and time as the common enemy, military and civilian organizations cut through red tape and temporarily set parochial interests aside. For leaders at every level, the result is a fundamental and significantly-improved understanding of the capabilities of the “others” with whom they have worked, operated, planned, and communicated during the HA/DR operation. More at

March 28, 2016 | 0 comments

New data has revealed that 1.4 billion people in South Asia, or 81 percent of the region’s population, are acutely exposed to at least one type of natural hazard and live in areas considered to have insufficient resources to cope with and rebound from an extreme event. Poor governance, weak infrastructure, and high levels of poverty and corruption amplify the economic and humanitarian losses associated with significant natural hazards events – and these factors will exacerbate the consequences of natural disasters especially in Africa, a continent which hosts eight out of the nine countries most vulnerable to natural hazards.

March 21, 2016 | 0 comments

A new study by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, published online March 17 in the American Journal of Public Health, found that recycled water has great potential for more efficient use in urban settings and to improve the overall resiliency of the water supply. More than 1 in 9 people around the world, about 750 million, do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and the problem is expected to worsen in step with rising greenhouse gas concentrations, population increases and climate change. UCLA notes that the study expands on a 2014 assessment in which the researchers offered recommendations for saving water while also protecting and promoting public health.

In the new report, the UCLA researchers compare California’s current water conservation efforts with two other options: banning landscape irrigation and expanding the use of alternative water sources, such as recycled water. The authors found that increasing the use of recycled water would have the greatest potential to reduce water and energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The study also identified several potential public health benefits of using more recycled water, including improving municipalities’ ability to maintain green spaces and decreasing air pollution, which in turn would reduce the occurrence of respiratory disease.

“Expansion of recycled water use has a tremendous potential to positively impact health,” said Hilary Godwin, a co-author of the study and a UCLA...

March 18, 2016 | 0 comments

U.S forces are in Southeast Asia for Angkor Sentinel 2016, an annual bilateral exercise with Cambodia that focuses on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. The drills — sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces — kicked off earlier this week with a ceremony at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu Province near Phnom Penh, an Army statement said. Angkor Sentinel is scheduled to wrap up March 25 with a “combined situational training event." The exercise showcases some of the best things militaries can accomplish for their nations and citizens, Julie Chung, chargé d’affaires for U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, said in the statement.

“Angkor Sentinel’s activities will include training and exchanges covering humanitarian assistance, disaster response, first aid, engineering, explosive ordnance disposal, countering improvised explosive devices, transporting people and supplies, and developing leaders,” she said. “Any country, including both Cambodia and the United States, will be a better, safer place to live [when] military people … are skilled in those functions.” U.S. participants include 8th Theater Sustainment Command, 130th Theater Engineer Brigade, 8th Military Police Brigade, 303rd Explosive Ordnance Battalion, Idaho Army National Guard, 18th Medical Command, Asia Pacific C-IED Fusion Center and 413th Contracting Brigade.

Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman III, commander of 8th Theater...