Taking a Counter Intelligence Look at the Light Attack Aircraft Competition
2012-08-19 by Ed Timperlake
A group of special operations warriors and intelligence agents have had enough.
In speaking out about the politicization of Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence (TS/SCI) they are bring much need sunlight to a stop a dangerous and deadly practice.
These shadow warriors in service to America are the personification of Winston Churchill’s great line (often attributed to George Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
Leaking, operational tactics, techniques and procedures, (TTPs) earned by American blood is beyond acceptable and must be stopped.
The OPSEC team are doing their fellow warriors a tremendous service.
They are reaching back to fellow members of the military and law enforcement who have been deeply involved in counterintelligence.
A powerful warning has gone out through America: knock it off or there will criminal consequences.
We are a nation at war and leaking TTPs and letting classified technology wind up in the hands of those who will kill us must be stopped.
The reach back to U.S. Counterintelligence organizations includes; the US National Counterintelligence Executive, the FBI, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, USAF Office of Special Investigations and Army Intelligence and Security, (INSCOM) and their 902nd Military Intelligence Group.
It is a good team with many unheralded success and a few significant failures along the way. CI professionals will be the first to point out that when a collector AKA “spy” or even worse a U.S. double agent is caught (think Hansen, Anna Montes, Ames and folks like Ron Montiperto) it actually represents a failure because they had already compromised security.
Early warning on possible breaches of classified information and technology is critical.
That is happening right now with regard to the LAA case.
Much has been written about the USAF Source Selection process to field a light attack aircraft or LAA for the Afghan Army Air Force. USAF Chief of Staff “Nordie” Schwartz has left and one of his legacies is responsibility for the failure to procure rapidly and field and important significant tactical aviation aircraft to support U.S. and allied forces fighting in Afghanistan has been totally bungled with improper influence. This is in spite of the clear call to do so several years ago by General Mattis.
Thankfully, the enter administrative record will be under review by a Federal Judge and the American people, who paid for the process, and we will eventually get full transparency on the process.
Selecting the LAS aircraft is not a partisan issue: it is a national security issue that happened on this Administration’s watch and all the tragic mistakes made by the Air Force must be addressed and rectified.
But now with Hawker Beechcraft, in bankruptcy and looking at PRC suitors the entire matter has taken a very bad turn.
It is time for a Counterintelligence preliminary investigation be opened to protect highly classified programs.
The classified programs in danger are life saving for all troops in combat but especially the special operations community.
Not only are TTPs being leaked but also the question of sensitive aviation technology that enables TTPs is vulnerable to PLA intelligence collectors is on the table.
Lets look at the evolving case requiring CI attention-Taken from HBC press statements.
“The AT-6 is the sum of the Air Force’s proven T-6, A-10C mission system and MC-12W sensor suite, which offers the Department of Defense logistics and cost efficiencies that no other aircraft in the competition can match.”
So what is the MC-12W “sensor suite”?
The MC-12W is a medium- to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. The primary mission is providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, support directly to ground forces. The MC-12W is a joint forces air component commander asset in support of the joint force commander.
However, Chairman Boisture is quibbling in print, as a USAFA Grad he knows the meaning of that word, when he tries to distance HBC commercial “green C-12s” with classified technology.
“But Hawker neither makes nor installs any classified electronics on these planes, Boisture said: It just builds a ready-to-customize airframe that both commercial and military customers can kit out as they wish.”
Thus, when it suits their marketing purpose HBC commingles classified MC-12 technology with their prototype AT-6 and when it complements almost a 2 billion sell-out deal to the PLA they know nothing about “gambling going on in the casino.”
But for a potential CI damage assessment it is now getting much worse.
Inside the Army – Sebastian Sprenger 08/13/2012
Army officials have declined to say what led to an apparent change of heart about the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System, raising questions as to who advocated for the construction of two additional aircraft under the already-canceled program.
Somewhere along Senate legislative action the need for two additional C-12 planes costing $70 Million were added to the Army budget. The ironclad rule on the Hill is that not a single word in legislation ever occurs by accident. A human being added $ 70 Mil to buy two more classified planes.
As Inside The Army points out;
The committee’s summary of its bill, released July 31, talks only of an increase in funds to “complete development” of the EMARSS program. In the FY-13 budget submission earlier this year, Army officials announced the program’s cancellation, claiming the move would lead to savings of $1.2 billion. The service still requested $47 million to finish up work under the development contract and the four planes it would yield.
The practical result of the “mystery” of more C-12s is twofold.
First, it adds value to the HBC bankruptcy financial work out.
Secondly, it greatly increases the potential exposure of the China deal to intelligence gathering. If the deal goes through who knows the background of the new owners wondering the factory floor?
HBC has proudly announced the merger of ITAR protected and classified technology from the MC-12 to the AT-6.
Now in getting public funds to produce two additional C-12s, even claiming they are “green.”
Engineers from the PLAAF have the potential for a real close look at the structural configuration, power design, antennas, and work station configurations of a very capable combat proven intelligence gathering airframe.
One can simply not ASSUME that Superior Aviation (the PRC company buying HB) will not gain critical insight into the platform and it’s capabilities.
Unless this possibility is clearly taken off of the table, it is possible that someday the Special Ops teams staying in Afghanistan can have the Taliban hiding in the Hindu Kush and being fed intelligence from a Chinese MC-12 “knock-offs” staying on their side of the Afghan border.
Or perhaps US Special Ops teams are required in a UN mission to stop genocide by addressing bad guy clients of Chinese aviation technology exports like some nasty people in Sudan. Or it could be a PLAAF asset in the South China Sea.
Just like the danger of TTP TS (SCI) political leaks being made public by OPSEC, the POSSIBILITY of leaking U.S. technology for money must be investigated.
It is now time for the US Army, INSCOM and their 902nd Military Intelligence Group to send a CI team in to review this entire process.