Inside the SCIF. Contributor Charles Simmins explains, “[T]he most important part of SCIF security are the users. What goes on in the SCIF should stay in the SCIF. . . . You cannot sneak written materials out of the SCIF in your socks or bring your cell phone in. And just as security challenges change over time, so, too, do SCIF restrictions. In an era of FitBits and Smart Watches, SCIF users are told to leave any transmitting devices at home. And if you’re looking for a window view – don’t expect to find it inside a SCIF.”

Status check. Editor Lindy Kyzer advises, “Whether you’ve obtained a security clearance in the past or currently hold one, knowing your clearance status – including expiration date, issuing agency and other details – is important both for your career progression and your job search. If you’re currently employed, checking on your clearance is easy – simply request your Facility Security Officer inquire about the status of your clearance.”


Reuters’ James Pearson and Tony Munroe report, “North Korea said it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen nuclear device on Wednesday, claiming a significant advance in its strike capability and setting off alarm bells in Japan and South Korea. . . . While a fourth nuclear test had been long expected, the claim that it was a hydrogen device, much more powerful than an atomic bomb, came as a surprise, as did the timing. It ensures that North Korea will be a key topic during the U.S. presidential campaign.”

Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe reports, “The Navy’s top officer released a new plan on Tuesday to stay ahead of potential adversaries at sea, saying the service must develop new concepts for fighting alongside the Marine Corps, reorganize two of its largest headquarters and reinvigorate how it trains leaders. Adm. John M. Richardson’s 10-page plan, titled ‘A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority,’ is meant to jump-start the Navy into better preparing for the future . . . .”

AP’s Susannah George reports, “Iran is a key ally of the Shiite-led government in Baghdad, has helped it in the fight against the Islamic State group, and supports powerful Shiite militias in the country. At the same time, as the fight against IS extremists enters its second year, Iraq is grappling with the worst political and security crises since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.”

The Long War Journal’s Bill Roggio reports, “The Taliban killed one American soldier and wounded two more as they fought alongside Afghan forces in the beleaguered southern Afghan town of Marjah in Helmand province . . . . The Taliban has laid siege to the town of Marjah for more than a month. The district of Nad Ali, which includes Marjah, is almost completely under Taliban control.”

Vice News reports, “Originally a Hindu, Dhar converted to Islam at the age of 19 — after 9/11, at a time when ‘Islam was the talking point in the media’ — changing his name to Abu Rumaysah. He was nicknamed Abu Usama . . . . Rumaysah went on to get heavily involved in street preaching and campaigning for Sharia law in Britain. He explained he lost many of his non-Muslim friends and family. ‘My cousins and my sisters, even they have been a bit distant from me as well, because of the lifestyle I lead’ . . . .”     


Nextgov’s Frank Konkel reports, “The Pentagon wants to bring one of the most important systems for sharing and delivering intelligence throughout the U.S. armed forces chain of command fully into the 21st century. In November, the Defense Department sought insight from industry for how it might modernize the aging Global Command and Control system with new technologies like cloud computing, big data techniques and visualization tools.”

Federal Times’ Carten Cordell reports, “Two years after the Federal Air Administration’s inspector general told the agency to strengthen oversight of spending related to an $859-million air traffic control contract, problems still remain. In an audit report released last month, the OIG found that the FAA has completed seven of the 10 recommendations made in a December 2013 report on the Air Traffic Control Optimum Training Solution contract.”

Military & Aerospace Electronics Editor John Keller reports, “Global demand for military radar systems should increase by nearly 20 percent over the next 10 years, driven by increased spending on innovative technologies, growing use of radar systems, and increasing demand for early detection and situational awareness, predict analysts at market researcher Research and Markets in Dublin. The global military radar market should increase from $13.1 billion in 2015 to $15.7 billion by 2025 . . . .”


The Daily Beast’s Shane Harris reports, “U.S. intelligence and security agencies are investigating whether Russian government hackers were behind a cyber attack on the Ukrainian power grid last month . . . . Computer security experts at the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Homeland Security Department are examining samples of malicious software recovered from the networks of a power company in western Ukraine, which said on December 23 that a large area of the country had been left without electricity due to “interference” in its systems.”

The Homeland Security News Wire reports, “Government agencies, along with state and local governments, could receive a helping hand from a computer network security tool developed by computer scientists and engineers at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The LLNL software-based technology, known as the Network Mapping System (NeMS), does not allow a rogue computer which has gained access to a computer network to use a company’s virus protection system. The goal is to uncover any unauthorized devices to ensure a company is not at risk.”

Business Standard contributor Ajai Shukla reports, “India’s home-grown fighter is set to debut on the international stage. The defence ministry has announced that the Tejas will perform aerobatic displays at the Bahrain International Air Show from January 21-23. . . . There will be high stakes at Bahrain for the IAF, DRDO and the Tejas’ manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). If the two Tejas fighters going to Bahrain are hamstrung by maintenance glitches, or their aerobatics performance is unimpressive, that would seriously jeopardise prospects for future exports.”

Related News

Ed Ledford enjoys the most challenging, complex, and high stakes communications requirements. His portfolio includes everything from policy and strategy to poetry. A native of Asheville, N.C., and retired Army Aviator, Ed’s currently writing speeches in D.C. and working other writing projects from his office in Rockville, MD. He loves baseball and enjoys hiking, camping, and exploring anything. Follow Ed on Twitter @ECLedford.