Entries in Training (6)


Satellite Images Appear to Show US Bin Laden Op Training Ground

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A civilian satellite captured what appear to be clear, overhead images of the North Carolina mock-up of Osama bin Laden’s compound used by SEAL Team Six to train for the top secret mission to take out the al Qaeda leader.

The images, posted on several satellite imaging websites as well on the map function for the search engine Bing, show what looks like a brand new, mostly open-air building complex in the rural town in North Carolina that is strikingly similar to the layout of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

One satellite imaging website, TerraServer, provides DigitalGlobe images from different dates, apparently showing that the building was constructed sometime after Jan. 14, 2011, as reported at the anti-secrecy website Tuesday. While one image reportedly taken from Feb. 15 shows several vehicles at the complex as well as what appears to be a construction crane, another from just two months later, April 30, shows no vehicles at all and the complex apparently abandoned.

[See Images of the Training Compound HERE]

The next day, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a daring raid by American troops.

The final available satellite image of the compound, from November 2011, shows it has been completely leveled.

The book No Easy Day, which was written by a former Navy SEAL on the mission under the pseudonym Mark Owen, revealed that the elite team repeatedly practiced overtaking bin Laden’s home at a look-a-like complex in North Carolina.

“Nestled in a remote part of the base, the practice compound was built to scale using plywood, chain-link fence, and shipping containers,” Owen writes. “The level of detail on the mock-up was impressive. The construction crews at the base had planted trees, dug a ditch around the compound, and even put in mounded dirt to simulate the potato fields that surround the compound in Pakistan … The construction crew didn’t ask why and never said no.”

The CIA, which led the intelligence side of the bin Laden mission, declined to comment and the Department of Defense did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this report.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Navy Training Mine Washes Ashore in Miami

File photo/ Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Beachgoers on Miami Beach got a scare Monday when they discovered what looked like a Navy mine that had washed ashore.

That’s exactly what it was, an inert Navy training mine known as an MK-57 that had likely separated from its anchor offshore. The four- to five-foot-long devices are painted white with red stripes, which Dougherty says identifies them as training devices.

“There were no explosive components on the device,” said Bill Dougherty, a spokesman for the Navy’s Southeast region.

Dougherty credited beachgoers with doing the right thing in taking precautions around the device.

“We give people the message that when they find something like that on the beach, step away from it,” said Dougherty.  “Contact the police and they’ll contact us, and we’ll send our experts to check it out and take appropriate action.”

Miami Beach Fire and Rescue evacuated the beach around 56 Street and Collins Avenue until investigators could determine whether the device posed a safety hazard.

Dougherty said that once the device was identified as an inert training mine, a Navy team arrived to take it to a Navy facility in Fort Lauderdale.

According to Dougherty, Florida has various offshore training areas that are used to help Navy personnel identify mines in the water. He says it’s unclear how the mine ended up on the beach. "We don’t really know how it broke loose.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


FBI Muslim Training Material ‘Inappropriate’ and ‘Offensive’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(QUANTICO, Va.) -- Controversial training material about Islam provided to a small pool of FBI agents at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. were inappropriate and offensive, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress on Thursday.

The briefing documents, first revealed by Wired’s Danger Room blog, emphasized that mainstream Muslims are violent, and included a graphic that shows that Muslims who are, “Pious and Devout” have tended to be more violent historically than Christians or Jews.  The briefing slides noted, “Jihad is motivated by the strategic themes and drivers in Islam,” while another described the prophet Mohammad as a “Cult Leader.”

The FBI has previously said that the use of such training materials was quickly halted.  But Mueller expressed his concern about the training materials Thursday, appearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Questioned by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., about the training materials, Mueller said, “I think that’s a very valid concern.  And as I have pointed out, I think this is an unusual, very unusual occasion.  And this particular instance the individual who gave the training -- reports of what had been in that training came to -- came up from the students and we took action to assure that that inappropriate, offensive content was not provided to others."

“I think these are isolated incidents, and in the course of that review we’ve had outreach to academicians and others to assist us in reviewing the materials and assuring that that offensive -- that offensive content does not appear,” Mueller said.  “We have 34,000 employees and we do a great deal of training.  We understand the sensitivity and the importance of assuring that that training that we give to our persons are appropriate...I  believe these were unusual circumstances, but we are doing everything we can to do a top-to-bottom review of that training to assure we eliminate any of it.”

Mueller said that the FBI needed diverse training for FBI agents to identify future threats.

“It should not be based on religion; it should not be based on religious characteristics.  But, nonetheless, we have an obligation to identify those particular characteristics that might give us a warning as to a person who will undertake an attack against the United States," he said.

“It’s not necessarily the international terrorism side alone,” Mueller said of the range of threats the FBI faces.  “We have militants within the United States...and there’s a certain amount of investigation that has to be done to enable us to identify those persons who would undertake the attacks against the United States.  But we want to assure, and I assure you that we want to do it in such a way that is consistent with our values."

“Our outreach over the years has been very successful, I think, in bridging the relationships with the Muslim-American community.  And this is, I think something that’s unfortunate, and we’ve addressed it,” Mueller said in defense of the FBI’s outreach to Muslim-Americans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Atlantis Crew Trains, Readies for Final Space Shuttle Flight

NASA TV(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) -- The four astronauts who will take part in NASA's final space shuttle mission next month are in Florida this week training and readying for their launch.

Space shuttle Atlantis' crew -- Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim -- arrived at the Kennedy Space Center Monday night to kick off their pre-launch countdown rehearsal.  Since then, the astronauts have practiced landings and emergency escape procedures, and have inspected the payloads inside the shuttle's cargo bay, according to NASA.

Speaking to reporters from the launch pad on Wednesday, Ferguson said, "I don't think that the full magnitude of the moment will really hit us until the wheels have stopped on the runway.  I'm not sure words will really be able to capture for the crew and for the entire shuttle workforce just how much the shuttle program has meant to us for the last 30 years."

Atlantis' flight, set for July 8 at 11:26 a.m. EDT, will be the final one for the space shuttle program.  The four-person crew will embark on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pilots to Get New Training: 'Most Substantial Change...In Two Decades'

Valueline/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Federal aviation officials proposed new rules Wednesday for pilot training, following a crash in western New York.

Pilot error contributed the deadly crash of Continental flight 3407 outside Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009. When the aircraft experienced an aerodynamic stall, the captain performed the wrong maneuver. Investigators at the time said pilots need better training. Now, more than two years later, FAA Administrator Randy Babbit said they will get it.

Pilots will receive better training on how to recognize and recover from stalls and aircraft upsets, Babbit said, calling the overhaul “the most the last 20 years.”

“Under this proposal, flight crews would have to demonstrate, not just learn, critical skills in “real-world” training scenarios,” the FAA said in a statement. “Pilots would be required to train as a complete flight crew, coordinate their actions through Crew Resource Management, and fly scenarios based on actual events. Dispatchers would have enhanced training and would be required to apply that knowledge in today’s complex operating environment.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mark Kelly Resumes Training for Endeavour's Final Mission

Photo Courtesy - NASA [dot] gov(HOUSTON) -- Astronaut Mark Kelly resumed training Monday in preparation to command space shuttle Endeavour when it takes off for its final mission in April.

Kelly decided he would leave the side of his wife, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, last Friday after tending to her throughout every step of her recovery.  Giffords has been hospitalized since Jan. 8, when she was shot in the head during a shooting rampage in front of a Tucson grocery store.

"I am looking forward to rejoining my STS-134 crew members and finishing our training for the mission," Kelly said.  "We have been preparing for more than 18 months, and we will be ready to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station and complete the other objectives of the flight.  I appreciate the confidence that my NASA management has in me and the rest of my space shuttle crew."

The space shuttle will take off for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station on April 19, in what could be Kelly's last flight in space.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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