Russian Nuclear Subs Prowling Again

This article in the Washington Post describes the increased presence of Russian nuclear-armed submarines off the coast of the US, reflecting the same levels of presence that occurred during the height of the Cold War. With the decay of the Soviet bloc in the early 1990s, all of us hoped and thought that the Cold War is over. So much for hope. The Russians and Putin are right back in the same game, and maybe worse.

Before every Looking Glass mission, our intelligence briefing would include the status of Soviet nuclear-armed submarines and their locations. Typically, there were 3-4 that would lurk a few hundred miles off the East Coast. In those positions, they could strike Washington DC and New York City in 4 mins. Meaning, we had very little time to assess, decide, and react if under attack. After the Air Force, I spent two years as a civilian consultant to the Pentagon, working for TRW, studying this scenario and developing the policies, procedures, plans and computer-aided decision …

Communicating During and After Nuclear Exchange

There is an intricate, complex network of redundant methods for communicating during the pre-, trans-, and post attack period of a nuclear war. As the Airborne C3I Officer aboard Looking Glass, it was my team's responsibility for managing this network and communicating over it.

One of those networks is associated with High Frequency (HF) radio communications. Here's a summary of that network, pasted below from here.

United States Air Force High Frequency Global Communications System (HFGCS) (Updated 2014) HFGCS History HFGCS used to be GHFS. GHFS (Global High Frequency System) began on 1 June 1992, when it was created out of two earlier HF networks, the GIANT TALK used by the Strategic Air Command, and the Global Command and Control System (GCCS), used by the rest of the Air Force. This change reflected the reorganization of the Air Force following the end of the cold war, with SAC becoming part of United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM), TAC becoming the Air Combat Comm…

Thoughts on Veterans' Day, Nov 11, 2016

I was too young to fully grasp this event-- not quite 3 1/2 years old-- but I do remember when our family was notified, in Japan. It's the earliest memory I have as a child.

It was in early in the morning. We were in the kitchen. Dad was sitting at the kitchen table. I crawled into his lap-- he was wearing a white t-shirt, his face cradled in his hands, sobbing. I was trying to make him feel better, not fully understanding why he was crying so hard.

Election of Donald Trump 2016

Again, this is a post that is intended primarily for our children, Anna and Luke, as a record of events and thoughts in their father's life that they might find interesting.

Closing thoughts on this weird day, Nov 9, 2016:

I voted for Hillary because Trump behaved in a way that was counter to every fiber of my upbringing. My Dad was a die-hard Reagan fan when Reagan was governor of California. Dad died before Reagan was elected President. That would have been a big moment. Mom followed Dad's lead when it came to politics, but after he died, she followed her own path of independence. Party didn't matter to her anymore. Morals and ethics mattered and she hated Trump because of that, before it was easy. Dad would have hated him because he was vile and crude to women, including his daughters...and because he was a city dude from New York, when dude meant dude.

I feel no remorse for Hillary's loss. I didn't like her anyway. She is the prototype career politician that is…

Story for Anna and Luke: My Old Denim Jacket

I've had this Lee Storm Rider jacket since I was a sophomore at Durango High School, purchased in the fall of 1975. Most every boy in high school at that time, wore a denim jacket. This one is insulated with a flannel liner, which made it very warm in those Durango winters, when winters were deep and cold, not like today.

Dad bought it for me at Basin Co-op. I only wear it about once or twice a year now; don't want it to fall apart. The left cuff has damage from battery acid-- from jump starting our tractor. I remember Dad warning me to clean it thoroughly as soon as possible, otherwise, it would "eat it away like cancer."

The jacket was stolen while I was at a party during college, probably in 1981. About a month after the party, I saw a fellow wearing it in downtown Durango at a bar-- The Sundance Saloon. I politely approached him, though I was pretty tense. He claimed the jacket was his. I said, "I'm pretty sure it's mine and if it's mine, there&#…

Hacking Into Our Voting Systems

In 1993, Ron Gault and I met with the Federal Election Commission after our NSA-contracted team at TRW identified several very easy ways to hack into the then-emerging computerized voting systems. We warned the FEC about the possibility of election fraud and manipulation. Their response was interesting: (1) We don't regulate or certify voting systems; that's up to each state to manage; and (2) There are always errors in counting votes. We recognize there are inaccuracies but those inaccuracies are small compared to the total number of votes, and would therefore not impact the outcome.
Fast forward to the Gore/Bush runoff in Florida, where a few votes most definitely mattered. Fast forward again to today, and the sophistication of Russian hackers, as described in this Wall Street Journal article, "U.S. Intelligence Chief Suggests Russia Was Behind Election-Linked Hacks."
Our computerized voting systems are still an unregulated, unprotected hacker's dream. Their o…

Memory for Anna & Luke: October 2011 with Grandma Sanders

I took this picture five years ago to the day, between Dunton and Rico, Colorado.

Oct 6, 2011 was my first day moving back home, after leaving Durango in 1983 for the Air Force. Coming back home was an easy, yet scary decision, not knowing exactly how I was going to earn a living or what it meant to my career. But it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. God took over.

This day was the first time that my mom, Ruby Sanders, had been on that road in over thirty years, since my dad, Doyle Sanders, died in 1978. She had lived alone ever since, but was always busy, loving and outgoing. I moved back to spend time with her while she was still healthy. Two and a half years later, she died in her sleep, in her bed, in her home of over 60 years, where our family was raised.

I spent a lot of time growing up, with my dad, hunting and exploring in these mountains, meadows and flats in the west fork of the Dolores River. When Mom and I saw this scene on this drive, it felt like a s…