Months after reports of “rats rotting on a reservoir gate, a desiccated frog clinging to a reservoir ladder and another rodent carcass" in the drinking water at California’s Camp Pendleton scared the living bejesus out of Marines, Corps officials insist that the base's water supply is officially feces-free.
No shit: "There was no fecal matter found in Camp Pendleton's base water system," Camp Pendleton spokesman Marine Capt. Luke Weaver told Task & Purpose in a statement, almost exactly one year after an Environmental Protection Agency inspection found the base water systems "lacked adequate supervision and qualified operators for treatment and distribution" to its 55,000 customers.
A series of issues: The shit and dying animals aren't the only issues facing the Pendleton water supply: A January 2018 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune found, among other things, a lack of inspections by both Corps personnel and defense contractors and "broken or nonexistent water level indicators," both of which make monitoring the purity of sweet, sweet, drinking water a major problem.
Not totally clear yet: Weaver said that of the 49 samples taken from Camp Pendleton's southern water system for testing this past April, only three showed the presence of coliform bacteria that, usually found in the digestive track of warm-blooded animals, is associated with the presence of feces. "The standard," he said, "is that no more than 5 percent of the total number of samples collected per month test positive for that bacteria."
But not for the reason you think: Don't worry, according to the Corps; those sketchy samples are the result of "aging sample point infrastructure and improper disinfection of the infrastructure prior to sampling," not the persistent presence of turds in your drinking water: "The drinking water is safe and compliant."
For what it's worth, "aging infrastructure" should be just as concerning as the dead rodents and brown buoys in the Camp Pendleton water system. Keep in mind that it took nearly four years to get the residents of Flint, Michigan, clean drinking water after evidence of lead poisoning first came to light — and state regulators won't be able to fully replace lead pipes across the state until 2040. But lead is better than shit, I guess!
A small unmanned aerial vehicle built by service academy cadets is shown here flying above ground. This type of small UAV was used by cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, during a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored competition at Camp Roberts, California, April 23-25, 2017. During the competition, cadets and midshipmen controlled small UAVs in "swarm" formations to guard territory on the ground at Camp Roberts. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Drones have been used in conflicts across the globe and will play an even more important role in the future of warfare. But, the future of drones in combat will be different than what we have seen before.
The U.S. military can set itself apart from others by embracing autonomous drone warfare through swarming — attacking an enemy from multiple directions through dispersed and pulsing attacks. There is already work being done in this area: The U.S. military tested its own drone swarm in 2017, and the UK announced this week it would fund research into drone swarms that could potentially overwhelm enemy air defenses.
I propose we look to the amoeba, a single-celled organism, as a model for autonomous drones in swarm warfare. If we were to use the amoeba as this model, then we could mimic how the organism propels itself by changing the structure of its body with the purpose of swarming and destroying an enemy.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are escorted by observer controllers from the U.S. Army Operational Test Command after completing field testing of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) Sept. 24, 2018. (U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry)
The Army has awarded a $575 million contract to BAE Systems for the initial production of its replacement for the M113 armored personnel carriers the service has been rocking downrange since the Vietnam War.
President Donald Trump has formally outlined how his administration plans to stand up the Space Force as the sixth U.S. military service – if Congress approves.
On Tuesday, Trump signed a directive that calls for the Defense Department to submit a proposal to Congress that would make Space Force fall under Department of the Air Force, a senior administration official said.