Synergy Strike Force: Pentagon Field Operations for Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid

Synergy Strike Force operates under DoD directive 3000.05 to support humanitarian relief and stabilization efforts in post-conflict environments, such as those in Afghanistan today. The group is comprised of specialists with various technical skills who carry access to a wide range of social networks, and our operators function in the same capacity as special forces operatives. They live and work "outside the fence" on long-term deployments to the region, integrating with the local population, assimilating with them in culture, appearance, and in their native language. However, as an independent, autonomous unit under assignment from the Pentagon, the OSD, and under interagency intelligence community programs, the personnel assigned to the task force can also come from outside the formal boundaries of the US Government.

Project initiatives include the provision of free and resilient power, water, communications and Internet access; solar-powered, amorphous, ad-hoc distributed intelligent cellular and radio communications systems, medical supplies, education, open-source mapping and hyperspectral and multispectral satellite resources to protect endangered civilians worldwide. One example of program success: the initiative provided more than two million Internet-enabled cell phones to Afghan youths, enabling them to take part in the global dialogue.

The project puts boots on the ground to save lives every day in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, in other Mideast and South Asian countries, extending operations to South America, with trained DIA, USAF and OGA officers who assimilate seamlessly with the local population in the field and in their native environment. The program is coordinated by former Principal Assistant Secretary of Defense Lin Wells II, PhD, who served as Chief Information Officer for the DoD.

Over coming decades, widespread armed conflict is anticipated to continue to diminish—however, natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis are anticipated to rise in frequency as a result of the impact of widespread environmental instability, giving rise to resource shortages in primary affected populations worldwide. Admiral Wells II currently serves as the Force Transformation Chair for the entire US Government, leading a whole wing of the Pentagon to take America’s military forward in this transition—to transform combined US forces from an efficient war-fighting machine into a unified force for disaster relief and humanitarian aid response teams in critical hot spots and third-world countries around the world.

After syncing up with the group we helped provide operations support at NDU, the Pentagon and in the desert at Black Rock City, Nevada, where our camp provided the high-speed internet communications backbone for the core of the city via microwave internet field relays to the most proximate nearby town of Gerlach. In previous years, critical injuries, such as broken bones, required the immediate and costly response of a helicopter medivac team to airlift the victims to the nearest main hospital in Reno, Nevada. The communications access provided by our team allows medical personnel and experienced X-ray technicians stationed on-site to locally diagnose these injuries, reducing the incident costs arising from inevitable accidental casualties.

The collective of Black Rock City itself serves as a large-scale technology, behavioral psychology and social network testbed, providing the world’s only experimental incubator for the study of a post-scarcity economy. Rapid advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, neuroscience and cognitive technology—enabled by the rapid technological progress of Moore’s Law doubling in computer processing power, speed and complexity—will converge to confer radical changes to our society over coming decades.

The subject of the post-scarcity economy is of intense scrutiny to government leadership and to intelligence organizations around the world—who would seek to justify their continued existence in perpetuity through the transitions enabled by this technological convergence—as concurrent advances such as those in nanotechnology and three-dimensional printing will make currency and corporations wholly obsolete. Why go to the store to buy a computer, electronics or pharmaceutical drugs, when the open-source plans to manufacture and print them are widely available on the Internet? Witness the contemporary impact to the music and movie industries.

Major industry associations, such as the RIAA and MPAA, are embroiled in a losing power struggle to counter an existential threat to their foundations and their very existence—that threat of rampant music and Hollywood film piracy—which is enabled by widespread internet use and the widespread advent of file sharing technologies. The post-scarcity economy was a principal thesis in my Chair Report from the UNISCA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, "Converging Technologies: The Future of the Global Information Society," distributed to principal government leaders around the world at UNISCA, the United Nations and the Executive Office of the President, and selected as recipient of the Information Security Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Policy from RSA in 2004.

After side-by-side field assignments in Black Rock City, under operational mandate "Beta at Burning Man, not in Baghdad," we facilitated program demonstrations at the Pentagon and National Defense University for Operation STAR TIDES, a humanitarian aid initiative, in Washington, DC.


San Francisco | One Year Later
Reflections on Mobile Monday: Space — May 30, 2011

Kwela Hermanns, global curator for THNK, a European think tank that provides international leadership seminars to senior executives from Fortune 500 companies worldwide, also founded in a collaboration with Chris Anderson, founder and curator of TED, was in attendance as I shared my vision that fateful day. Having arrived a bit late, she was seated all the way to the back of the audience. Yet more than a year after that final conference, she’d come all the way to San Francisco from Amsterdam to seek me out.

She told me she remembered the talk just like it was only yesterday. She said it brought her to tears—that it was one of the most gifted and brilliant talks she'd ever heard. She said I conveyed spiritual concepts, like a transformational shift in global human consciousness, like no one she'd ever heard before, seamlessly interlacing physics and technology with consciousness and spirituality, catalyzing the next paradigm shift in human evolution. She felt I'd conveyed the Overview Effect—the profound spiritual transformation experienced by astronauts on seeing the Earth from space—to the audience as if they were there firsthand, able to reach out and touch the stars.

We shared this conversation on a beautiful sunny day, sipping coffee on the patio of a café in downtown San Francisco, surrounded by people colorfully dressed up as their favorite superheroes. It was Superhero Day, a citywide festival and shared celebration. She’d traveled from Amsterdam to invite me to lead four-day seminars at her global center to guide interactive sessions on the future of spaceflight and the future of humanity together with industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, who would speak on the future of social networks and how they have the power to bring us closer together to see each other’s perspectives, and Aubrey de Grey, the world’s most prominent anti-aging researcher, who would speak on the future of aging and society, with his fervent belief that the first person to live to 1000 has already been born.

I asked her again: "Mark Zuckerberg, and Aubrey de Grey. The three of us, representative of key developments that will wholly transform humanity’s future?" She answered in the affirmative. I replied, “That’s quite esteemed company.” She reaffirmed the sentiment. “You haven’t yet realized the greatness of your potential. I have.” She said she’d seen a clear vision of that potential from her seat in the back row of the audience that day, and she was only doing her small part to bring that future into our world.

Spencer Grow took on a more cheerful and lighthearted tone in our prior discussions, extolling it as “brilliant and lofty prose in the spirit of the age—waxing eloquently on nature, physics and life in the universe.”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us. It's in everyone, and, as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. 
                         — Marianne Williamson

— with thanks to Kwela Hermanns and Spencer Grow —


Tunable photon-ion entanglement enables quantum networks Nature | Innsbruck In Nature 485 and concurrent KurzweilAI press coverage, Rainer BlattTracy Northup, and Andreas Stute have constructed an interface for quantum networks that is both efficient and freely tunable—the first interface between a single ion and a single photon. "Whenever we have to transfer quantum information from processing sites to communication channels, and vice versa, we’re going to need an interface between light and matter," explains Northup. "This technique has two significant advantages over previous approaches that have entangled atoms with light: the efficiency with which we produce entangled photons is quite high and in principle could be increased to over 99 percent. But above all, this setup allows us to generate any possible entangled state.”


Inaugural NASA Quantum Future Technologies Conference NASA Ames Research Center

NASA scientists joined the best quantum technology experts from academia, government and industry to identify new and exciting opportunities in space exploration, aeronautics, earth and space science where quantum technologies can have the greatest impact.

Conference topics included next-generation quantum experiments for measurements of time and distance, navigation, field sensing, and gravity wave detection; scalable quantum computing architectures and algorithms; quantum key distribution for practical secure transmission over long distances, including fiber channels, earth-satellite links, and space-based communications networks.

Collaborations forged from this conference led to our invited submission to NIAC, OCT and DARPA under QUINESS mandate to create the world's first global quantum teleportation network: Astronaut Development and Deployment of a Secure Space Communications Network, with colleagues Rupert Ursin, Colin Williams, Paolo Villoresi, and Vikram Sharma.

See also: World’s-first demonstration of Earth-to-space quantum teleportation

Conference Website
Live Videoconference Stream

February 3, 2012 | Videos and presentations are now online at the conference website.

With special thanks to Pete Worden and Gabe Durkin.