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, with operators functioning alongside and in the same capacity as special forces operatives.

These specialists 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—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 Department of Defense.

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.

Linton Wells II, as former DEPSECDEF and DoD CIO, serves as US Force Transformation Chair, leading a wing of the Pentagon to take America’s military forward to meet this transition—to transform the United States armed 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.

The group further provides operations support at National Defense University (NDU), the Pentagon, and in the heart of the desert in 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—then 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,” program demonstrations were conducted at the Pentagon and at National Defense University in conjunction with Operation STAR TIDES in Washington, DC.

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