Super Bowl Fans: Leave Your Drone at Home

Federal Aviation Administration

Press Release

February 01, 2023

FAA designates Phoenix Area a ‘No Drone Zone’ for Super Bowl LVII.

State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., is a “No Drone Zone” for Super Bowl LVII. Drones will be restricted during the following times and days:

Game Day, Sunday, Feb. 12

  • Restrictions begin at 11 a.m. MST within two-nautical-miles around the stadium up to 2,000 feet in altitude. 
  • The restrictions expand at 3:30 until 9 p.m. MST to a 30-nautical-mile radius and up to 18,000 feet in altitude. 

Before Game Day

  • Restrictions for downtown Phoenix will be between McDowell Road, W. Lincoln Street, North Ninth Street and North Ninth Avenue. Those will be up to an altitude of 1,000 feet from Feb. 9 – 12 between 6 a.m. and midnight daily.

Additional details are available in the Super Bowl LVII Flight Advisory

Drone operators who enter the TFRs without permission could face drone confiscation, fines that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution. 

Detailed information for general aviation and drone pilots is available on the FAA’s Super Bowl LVII webpage.  

Department of the Air Force to Conduct Hackathon

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

January 31, 2023

WASHINGTON (AFNS) –  The Department of the Air Force will conduct its next “BRAVO” hackathon March 20 – 24, 2023, this time at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Megan Runyan, Quinn Seys, and Parker Brown, 416th Flight Test Squadron weapons integration engineers, work together for data solutions during the Data Hackathon at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Nov. 3, 2021. The event was Air Force Test Center’s first Data Hackathon, solving data problems sponsored by U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, with a goal to broaden the solution reach to have a bigger mission impact. (U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tabatha Arellano)

Any American citizen may apply, regardless of whether they currently work for the Department of the Air Force. Applicants are required to apply online here. Applicants should apply by Feb. 15.

Attendees are not required to hold a security clearance. However, certain spaces, use cases, and datasets may require a U.S. secret security clearance or higher. Organizers may request additional information for clearances that applicants possess. Applicants may apply as an employee for the U.S. government, a U.S. government contractor, or a U.S. citizen either affiliated or unaffiliated with a company.

A hackathon is an innovation event commonly employed by technology companies in which teams develop prototypes working around the clock in response to enterprise challenges associated with data. Prior BRAVO projects have produced multiple prototypes and inventions influencing major Defense Department programs.

Federal government employees and federal contractors representing federal organizations are encouraged to share sponsoring use cases, data, or infrastructure relevant to the primary mission of the Department of Defense for use at this event by contacting SAF.CN.BRAVO@us.af.mil.

“Across the previous hackathons, we have honed methods to build and fight with classified and protected data of increasingly larger size and varied origin,” said Stuart Wagner, chief digital transformation officer for the U.S. Department of the Air Force and hackathon organizer. “Hurlburt Field will prototype joint use cases, data and software infrastructures from combatant commands and various military departments.”

In January 2022, the department ran BRAVO 0, its first department-wide classified innovation hackathon with Air Force weapons system data at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. BRAVO 1 Canary Release grew the effort when in July 2022, the department ran its second hackathon simultaneously at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Patrick Space Force Base, Florida; and Eglin AFB, Florida, with about 300 hackers.

BRAVO allows participants to rapidly commingle and run open-source software and data otherwise unapproved for production with classified or protected data.

“BRAVO moves from the traditional DoD development model operating at the unclassified level where we push code up to protected environments, to a permissive development model on protected data, which we refer to as ‘Dev High,’” Wagner said. “This enables developers to build weapons’ capabilities and calibrations directly with the data at lower cost compared to traditional prototyping pipelines and at a rate faster than an adversary is likely to build countering capability. This event will test how ‘Dev High’ scales to joint multi-domain use cases.”

Applicants looking to participate may do so in one of three roles. The “Hacker” role is open to all applicants and expects project builders with varying skill sets and experience, including software development, data science, machine learning, design and user interface/user design, data visualization, product management or warfighter subject matter expertise.

The “Subject Matter Expert” role is open only to government and government contractors and supports multiple teams with specific expertise or knowledge about a use case or dataset offered at the event. Any federal organization is eligible to supply a use case or dataset for consideration.

The “Supporter” role is open only to government and government contractors and provides administrative support to the event by running security, facilitating supplies delivery, organizing social events, and facilitating the delivery of science fair materials and attendee check-in.

Organizations providing infrastructure support include the “STITCHES” Warfighter Application Team, the Navy Project Overmatch program, Project Arc, Office of the Secretary of Defense Advana Edge and Air Force Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office. All five U.S. military services and U.S. Special Operations Command provide use cases and data.

The BRAVO hackathon series is named after “Project B,” a 1921 series of joint Army-Navy target exercises based on Army Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell’s then-controversial claim that bombers sink battleships. Also styled after Project B, BRAVO hackathons are designed to allow government, academia, industry and citizens to test and validate bold ideas using real DoD data, Wagner said.

McCarthy to Remain in Speaker Race Despite Opposition

By Bernard Lawson, The Chicago Times

January 04, 2023

WASHINGTON – Republican Kevin McCarthy is determined to remain in the race for the Speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives despite rising opposition from his own party.

In a historic day Tuesday, McCarthy lost three straight votes in the House to form a majority to give him the gavel.  20 Republicans opposing McCarthy’s Speakership bid broke from the other 202 Republican members failing to bring the 218 votes needed to elect a new Speaker of the House.  The last time the House failed to elect a new Speaker in the first vote was in 1923.

U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy

The 57-year-old McCarthy, of California, has said he will remain in the race, yet the House will now reconvene at 12:00 pm on Wednesday to give the Republican caucus time to explore other candidates, including Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana.  McCarthy later told reporters that he has the support of former President Donald Trump, who had called to wish McCarthy luck.

Despite a possible agreement between McCarthy and opposing Republicans prior to the first vote, McCarthy’s defeat in three consecutive ballots is the result of Republicans not believing he is strong enough to proceed with investigations into the Biden administration or challenge Democrat policies.

Documents Released Related To JFK Assassination

By Sumner Jacobs, The Chicago Times

December 16, 2022

WASHINGTON – The US National Archives released thousands of documents Thursday relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963.  The documents were released on the order of the White House.

Photo taken on November 22, 1963 in Dallas the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Photo: Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News.

The document dump consists of just over 13,000 documents relating to the assassination and are not expected to yield any new insight into the assassination.  Kennedy was shot once in the head and clean through the throat while traveling in an open top limousine through Dallas on November 22, 1963.  According to the official record, Kennedy was assassinated by lone gunman and communist Lee Harvey Oswald.

Known communist and traitor: Lee Harvey Oswald.

According to the National Archives, the documents released on Thursday focus on Oswald’s movements and contacts that were being tracked by the Central Intelligence Agency.  The trove of documents also show that the CIA opened a 201 file or “personality file” on Oswald in December of 1960 after his 1959 attempt to defect to the Communist led Soviet Union.

In 2017, President Donald Trump declassified documents relating to the assassination with instructions to have the remaining documents released on a rolling basis.  According to the CIA, 95 percent of the documents in their archive associated with the assassination have been released.

Orion Capsule Splashes Down To Earth From Moon

By Harold W. Reid, The Chicago Times

December 12, 2022

SAN DIEGO – NASA’s Orion capsule splashed back down on Earth in the Pacific ocean Sunday after making an uncrewed mission around the Moon.  The Orion spacecraft splashed down off the coast of Mexico’s Baja California at 9:40 am (PST).  The 25-day mission included tests that saw Orion travel some 270,000 miles away from Earth.

“This was a challenging mission, and this is what mission success looks like,” NASA’s Artemis I mission manager Mike Sarafin said at a press conference.

According to NASA, Orion plunged back into Earth’s atmosphere for a 20-minute descent to test its heat shield in temperatures up to 5,000 F degrees.  Reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere causes friction that slowed Orion down from 24,500 mph to 325 mph until parachutes were deployed to brake Orion’s speed down to 20 mph before splashdown.

Artemis I blasted off to the Moon on November 16 from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the Orion spacecraft atop NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the successor to the mighty Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo missions to the Moon.  It is hoped that the Artemis program will lay the foundation for returning astronauts to the lunar surface in order to establish a lunar base that will eventually springboard crewed voyages to Mars.  NASA engineers are expected to examine data from the Artemis I mission in order to plan Artemis II’s crewed flight around the moon in 2024. NASA expects a crewed lunar landing in 2025 with Artemis III.

NASA did admit that Orion had some communication blackouts and an electrical issue during the mission around the Moon, but said that overall the mission was a success and exceeded expectations.

House Scraps COVID Vaccine Mandate For US Military

By Sumner Jacobs, The Chicago Times

December 9, 2022

WASHINGTON – The US House of Representatives passed a $858 billion national defense bill that will also end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for members of the US military.  As threats from both Communist China and the Russian Federation increase, this will be the second time in two years that the House has exceeded defense spending requests by the Biden administration.  The House bill passed by 350-80 votes and will now go to the Senate where it is expected to be passed.

The bill will require Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to rescind his August 2021 order that mandated vaccines for US military personnel.  Earlier in the week Austin had vowed to keep the mandate in place.

According to many House members, the vaccine was hampering recruiting and retention of military personnel.  Defense Department data revealed that some 8,000 active-duty service members were discharged for refusing to take the vaccine.  However, senior military leaders have argued that the vaccine was only one of many that are required to be taken by military personnel in order to maintain health standards.