Smoking Pot

The Pentagon recently selected some interesting technologies for the foreign comparative testing program, which evaluates technologies from around the world for defense requirements.

The neat toys include Canada's Driver's Vision Enhancer, a thermal imaging system; a Multi-Bandwidth Submarine Antenna from the Uni.ted Kingdom; and Norway's Tactical Geographic Information System, which is described as battle-space software. And from Germany, there's environmentally safe Floating Smoke Pot Components, which sounds vaguely illegal. DOD spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin explains it this way: "It is an environmental-friendly, nontoxic, noncarcinogenic smoke-producing filler in a floating smoke pot for use in low-light battlefield situations and training exercises."

NIMA Town Hall

National Imagery and Mapping Agency officials are discussing the future of 600 information technology employees whose jobs will be outsourced to a joint venture of Chenega Technology Services Corp. (CTSC) and ASRC Communications Ltd., both owned by native Alaskan corporations. One thing is certain: The work will not move to Alaska. Charles Brower, vice president of marketing at Arctic Slope Regional Corp., and Jeff Hueners, chief executive officer for CTSC, said their companies are in remote parts of Alaska where supplies have to be flown in at considerable expense. Milk costs about $7 a gallon, gasoline $4 a gallon. The work will continue to be done by the federal workers who have been doing it. Shareholders in Alaska receive dividend checks to help with basic subsistence, and those dividends should rise with the award of the $2 billion contract. Hueners and Brower said they are keeping workers informed through a series of town hall meetings and have heard few complaints. The Three R's of UXO

The Pentagon has developed a restricted- access Web site to warn troops of the risks of handling unexploded ordnance, or UXO. The site ( requires a military e-mail address and password for access. According to a Defense.Link article about the site, last year two men joyriding in an impact area at Camp Shelby, Miss., found unexploded anti-tank rounds, which they gave to two boys. One of the rounds exploded, killing one boy and severely wounding the other.

Pentagon officials decided to restrict access so that only professional safety officers will be able to deliver the site's central UXO message: Recognize, Retreat, Report. To ensure a consistent, accurate message, "we need professionals to deliver it," said Gary Abrisz, assistant for safety in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health.

Woods To Exit AFCEA

Al Edmonds, chairman of the board for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, said Norm Wood will remain president and chief executive officer of AFCEA until Sept. 30 or until a replacement is named. AFCEA is forming a search committee to fill the position. War on Drugs

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center is being enlisted to help fight the war on drugs. The Navy acquisition command, in support of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is soliciting proposals for research into tech.nologies that will improve information management among federal and state law enforcement agencies as they try to reduce the supply of illegal drugs. Spawar also hopes to reduce the demand for drugs through research into technologies that will support drug-abuse prevention and treatment and improve the understanding of the effects of drugs.

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