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The series of earthquakes that rocked Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California on July 4 and 5 of this year will end up costing the service more than $5 billion to return the essential weapons and aircraft testing facility to mission capable status.
Now it looks like those quakes have foisted a new cost on another service: critical testing time for a mothership-deployed swarm system eerily reminiscent of those damn Protoss carriers from StarCraft.
Hot on the heels of the Marine Corps's head-to-toe overhaul of infantry rifle squads, a handful of grunts at the Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California recently conducted field testing alongside a handful of autonomous surrogate vehicles engineered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Squad X Experimentation program.
Only a few have gone through the extensive background checks needed to access Plum Island, where a secretive branch of the U.S. government runs exercises to prepare for all-out cyber war.
The speck of land in the Long Island Sound, owned by the Department of Homeland Security, is largely deserted. The main attractions are a defunct lighthouse and a center that studies infectious animal diseases.
It is also the perfect setting for the U.S. government to stage mock cyber attacks on the power grid.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is reportedly interested in a new wirelessly-connected contact lens recently unveiled in France, the latest in the agency's ongoing search for small-scale technology to augment U.S. service members' visual capabilities in the field.