Category: Marine Security

Fugitive LAPD rookie once had a ‘straight arrow’ reputation

The haunting last image of Henry Solis in the United States was taken by a security camera at the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border. It shows the rookie Los Angeles police officer, dressed in blue jeans and a brown leather jacket, looking up at the camera as his father escorts him into Mexico. Authorities allege the photo captures an escape plan swiftly hatched after Solis, 27, fatally shot a man after an argument near downtown Pomona’s nightlife district on March 13.

Solis called his father, who told authorities he drove his son 800 miles to El Paso, according to an affidavit. Solis, authorities said, vowed never to be seen again. Now, as police hunt for the fugitive, friends and family are left trying to understand how a young man who served as a Marine in Iraq and spoke excitedly about patrolling the streets of Los Angeles could be a murder suspect on the run.

They remember a charming, clean-cut man who politely addressed women at bars as “miss” and had little sympathy for cops who broke their oath. Even authorities are struck by the contradictions. “We consider him armed and dangerous,” said FBI Special Agent Scott Garriola, noting that several weapons Solis had access to are missing. “I don’t know if there’s a threat to the general public at large. His past behavior doesn’t indicate that other than that one night.” Fueled by a desire to serve Maria De Lourdes Solis was 19 when she gave birth to Henry shortly after midnight on July 29, 1987, at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, according to his birth certificate.

He grew up in Boyle Heights and the Antelope Valley, according to federal officials and his Facebook page. He also spent significant time in San Elizario a small city along the Rio Grande just outside El Paso where his dad purchased two modest homes, according to property records. In the summer of 2005 as his peers celebrated high school graduations Solis enlisted with the Marines.

He was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom for a seven-month tour of duty, part of President George W. Bush’s troop surge, according to his military record. He was promoted to sergeant in 2009, and Garriola said Solis served in several foreign countries as a member of the Marine Security Guard, an elite unit charged with protecting classified information at American embassies and providing security to diplomatic staff.

It was a prestigious post befitting a “straight arrow” like Solis, according to a Marine who served with him in several countries and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “He wasn’t like a normal college kid going out, getting drunk and taking selfies,” he said. “He was driven.” Solis left the Marines in 2011, and during the next year, he told friends on his Facebook page that he had moved to El Paso and was taking classes at a community college there, with plans to transfer to a university.

Obangame Express 2015 Concludes in the Gulf of Guinea

Maritime forces from Gulf of Guinea nations, Europe, South America, and the United States and several regional and international organizations concluded the multinational maritime exercise, Obangame Express 2015, March 27. Obangame Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), was designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices and tactical interdiction expertise to enhance the collective capabilities of Gulf of Guinea nations to counter sea-based illicit activity.

Exercise Obangame Express, now in its fifth year, is one of four U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa-facilitated regional exercises. The exercise is part of a comprehensive strategy by U.S.

Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S.

6th Fleet and AFRICOM to provide collaborative opportunities amongst African forces and international partners that addresses maritime security concerns. The exercise sought to leverage the Code of Conduct for West and Central Africa, which provides a regional framework for cooperation and information sharing. The exercise lasted nine days and included a two-phase underway portion that encompassed a regional framework, and then transitioned to an emphasis on national patrols.

The Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) exercised information sharing practices during the event. Specific skill sets exercised included boarding techniques, search and rescue operations, medical casualty response, radio communication, and information management techniques. The maritime security challenges threaten global trade and the economies of the countries in the region, requiring collaborative effort to combat, stated Ghana Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur. “We have some examples of the impact of the collaborative efforts between local stakeholders and the sub-regional partners that confirm the value of partnership.

It is for this reason I am calling on the participating navies especially those from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Economic Community of Central African State (ECCAS) to use this exercise as a foundation to enhance their cooperation to ensure a safe maritime security environment.

Vice Adm.

James Foggo, Commander, U.S

Vietnam’s Submarines to Counter China? – MarineLink

Vietnam’s new submarines could alter the balance in the South China Sea quite dramatically, say maritime security analysts. Vietnam and China have long contested claims over the Spratly and Paracel islands, including last year’s dispute over China’s attempted oil drilling and clashes between Vietnamese fishermen and Chinese boats. As Beijing presses territorial claims in the South China Sea, Vietnam is arming itself for a potential air and sea confrontation with its larger neighbor.

Despite the difference in size between the two nations, particularly in terms of military power, Vietnam is not backing down. A “confrontation in the South China Sea could be more devastating than any wars, any confrontations that you have seen in the region,” said Hoang Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnamese Institute for Foreign Affairs and Strategic Studies. China’s claim to more than 80 percent of the South China Sea threatens 70 percent of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, Tuan said.

Vietnam’s recent acquisition of three new 636MV attack submarines has cast the spotlight on the burgeoning regional submarine race in the South China Sea. Experts hold that once Vietnam s submarine force is fully capable of combat, it is very likely to carry out the so-called regional denial activities along its coastline and its military base in the South China Sea. As the Kilo-class submarines imported from Russia are successively commissioned, Vietnam will soon pose an effective maritime deterrent to China on the South China Sea.

This will force China to think twice when it challenges this much smaller neighbor on issues concerning the disputed waters. Vietnam s confrontation with China has attracted patrons. The United States, India, and Japan, seeking to rein China in, have made overtures to Vietnam.

The United States is looking to sell maritime patrol planes to Vietnam, while Japan is providing ships.

India is training submariners for Vietnam s fleet of brand-new submarines.

Maritime Training Academy Announces Diploma in Maritime sk© Security SAVER SALE

The Maritime Training Academy announced the launch of its new diploma in maritime security today. The Surrey, UK-based distance learning center said the diploma in maritime security will commence April 1st, 2015 and will consist of 11 modules including ISPS code, Passenger Vessel Security, Superyacht and Private Yacht Security. It will cover preventative measures and security procedures as well as event responses.

All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students are also required to sit a final examination in either April or October 2016. There is also the opportunity to attend two tutorial seminars, one mid-way through the course and one immediately before the examination.

Tutors and support staff are available to offer student guidance whenever required.

This diploma compliments the Maritime Training Academy s other 10 diplomas and 12 short courses that have been developed over the last 10 years.

Garamendi Introduces Bipartisan GPS Backup Bill

Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, introduced the bipartisan National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R.

1678. H.R.

1678 would require the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Secretary of Transportation, to establish and sustain a reliable, land-based positioning and navigation system that will complement and backup America s Global Positioning System (GPS) for military and civilian uses. It would take advantage of the government s existing and underused long-range navigation system infrastructure, known as LORAN .

GPS is much more than a LCD screen on your dashboard. It s a technology used for much of our nation s critical infrastructure and by almost every major industry in America, as well as the military, law enforcement, and first responders, Garamendi said. We are increasingly reliant on the precision, navigation, and timing services that GPS provides.

From land navigation on cell phones to a timing source for our national infrastructure, we need a reliable backup system to GPS. The National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Resilience and Security Act of 2015 is a bipartisan bill that would establish a system to backup GPS, making our nation s geopositioning infrastructure more resilient to threats both natural and nefarious. A backup system could also reach places that GPS currently cannot, such as inside many buildings.

This would help first responders and law enforcement more effectively protect the public, he added. The backup system required by H.R.

1678 would step in when GPS signals are corrupted, degraded, unreliable, or otherwise unavailable. It would take advantage of the government s existing and underused long-range navigation system infrastructure.

Unlike GPS, which relies on satellites, LORAN is ground-based, making it less susceptible to atmospheric interruption. Our reliance on satellite based GPS signals for PNT data is a growing national economic and security liability because GPS signals can easily be jammed, spoofed, degraded or corrupted. The terrestrial PNT system would use enhanced long range signals (eLORAN) from 19 towers around the country, each with approximately a 1,000 mile range providing overlapping fields from which a device can derive its location.

An eLORAN back up system would be Made in America , creating good jobs here in America. It would utilize remaining LORAN infrastructure and provide a secure and reliable cybersecurity insurance policy for pennies on the dollar for what is expended annually to fund GPS. The bill is supported by a bipartisan coalition of House Members, including the current Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), the former Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank Lobiondo (R-CA-02), and the Ranking Member (top Democrat) of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04).

A prolonged disruption of the GPS system would cause a serious disruption to the American economy and threaten U.S. national security. The U.S.

atomic clock, accurate to one second in 300 million years, also serves as the base timing source for this backup GPS capability. This exceeds the timing needs of modern cell phones, creating an infrastructure backbone that is prepared to handle the evolution of consumer and industry electronic communications in the years ahead. Since 2004, the Federal Government has recognized that the absence of a reliable backup system for GPS is a glaring economic and security threat to the United States, and has reaffirmed its interest in developing an eLORAN as a reliable, land-based backup for GPS signals.

H.R.

1678 enables this important work to move forward.

US Marines, Tanzanian Rangers train to fight trafficking – defenceWeb

Written by US Africom, Friday, 27 March 2015 Fifteen U.S. Marines and Sailors assigned to Theater Security Cooperation Team-Six, Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, conducted small unit tactics training with more than 40 Tanzanian park rangers at the Selous Game Reserve in Matambwe, Tanzania, at the beginning of this month. The Marines and Sailors began the training programme with two days of weapons handling procedures and combat marksmanship training, followed by the basic weapons skills they use for their American M4 and M16 assault rifles, and then demonstrated those techniques on the park rangers rifles.

Weapons handling is a fundamental piece of everything that both we and the Rangers do, said 1st Lt. Nathanial Kaine, the officer in charge of the team. This review allows us to have a common foundation on which to build the rest of our training.

The Tanzanians broke into smaller groups and worked with the Marines and Sailors on other more in-depth skills that will enhance their counter-illicit trafficking capabilities. We are very interested in each other, both operationally and culturally, said Lance Cpl. Jeremy Cuthrell, the primary instructor for the weapons handling and combat marksmanship classes.

They seem to grasp everything perfectly and quickly. The Marines and Sailors of SCT-6 will continue working side by side with the Tanzanian park rangers through courses on patrolling, offensive tactics, land navigation and mounted operations to aid the rangers battle against illicit trafficking. The stronger our relationships are, the better we will be able to convey information, and it will be more likely for the park rangers to emulate the Marines and their conduct.

The second, real benefit is building lasting relationships, noted Kaine.

I think the beginning of our training set a very positive tone.

It was interesting seeing the two groups getting to know each other while becoming friends, said Kaine. ….