Science and Technology News

Friday, November 17, 2017

Brain Injury Sufferers Find Benefits in Music Therapy Program

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Cailtin Russell Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska, Nov. 16, 2017 — Past and present service members and family members suffering from traumatic brain injury can now take part in a Creative Forces music therapy program here, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Defense Department that's designed to help them recover and rehabilitate.

According to the American Music Therapy Association website, music therapy is the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

Creative Forces music therapy began in April as a resource to support and provide training to community art providers and invest in research on the impacts of art-based interventions such as the music therapy program hosted here.

For people with TBI, music therapy can be instrumental to rehabilitation. Music therapists use evidence-based techniques to stimulate speech, movement and cognitive emotions in patients.

"I joined the music therapy group after finding out about it from the TBI clinic," said Army Staff Sgt. Sean Young, Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment training room noncommissioned officer. "With TBI, I started losing memory and overall comprehension, but with music therapy I'm able to play the guitar and remember riffs without thinking about it."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say about 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from a TBI each year and that 85,000 people suffer long-term disabilities.

Benefits for TBI Patients

Music therapy is an opportunity for people suffering from TBI to express emotions, promote insight and awareness, and strengthen neuropathways to restore memory, attention, concentration and multitasking.

"The Creative Forces music therapy program assists with the needs of military patients and veterans who have been diagnosed with TBI, as well as their families and caregivers," said Danielle Kalseth, 673d Medical Operations Squadron creative arts therapist/music therapist. "Not only do we provide clinical services, we want to provide patients and their families access to the arts in the community."

The music therapy program currently helps 30 patients rehabilitate from TBI, with new referrals every week. Patients who receive music therapy can participate in group or individual sessions, or a combination of both.

The program enables TBI sufferers to engage in a meaningful activity with others who are experiencing the same issues.
"Music therapy helps with more than just my memory; it helps with my mood too," Young said. "On days when I'm in a bad mood, playing the guitar is a great way to change that."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cybercom Challenges Industry: Be Agile, Precise

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md., Nov. 15, 2017 — At U.S. Cyber Command’s first-ever industry day, leaders from across the command briefed nearly 400 members of private industry about the command’s acquisition priorities at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Arthur Lundahl Conference Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Oct. 27.

Speakers included representatives from acquisitions, requirements and operations directorates, and the day opened with remarks from Navy Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Cybercom’s commander.

‘We Have to be Great’

“We have to be lean and agile as we execute our programs,” Rogers said in a video. “We cannot keep the United States safe into the future, especially in the rapidly changing domain of cyber, using a firehose approach. We have to have the precision of a microsurgeon. We can’t just be good, we have to be great. And, we can’t be great without partnerships.”

He also challenged the attendees to be creative in the solutions they bring to the table to help defend the nation and stressed that communication would be the key to success.

Other leaders echoed Rogers’ comments, including Dennis Bartko, the director of the command’s Capabilities Development Group.

Sharing Information

“Our objective [for industry day] is pretty simple: to share information with you so we can work together as a team to enable the Cyber Mission Force. Nothing works in this domain without partnership,” Bartko said. “I believe that communication is the lifeblood of teamwork, and like Admiral Rogers said, communication needs to go both ways.”

Bartko also laid out his expectation and vision for how the command would use its new limited acquisition authority granted by Congress, which allows Cybercom to execute contract actions up to $75 million per fiscal year until Sept. 30, 2021, for rapid tool development, IT services and other capabilities related to cyber operations.

Cybercom will continue to rely on the military departments and federal agencies to write and execute contracts for the remainder of its capabilities development budget, Bartko said.

“We’re probably not going toward long-term big projects,” he noted, which is what people tend to think of defense contracting. “We’re likely going to leverage a DEVOPS model instead.”

DEVOPS, or development operations, refers to a model of development popular in the software and technology world that aims to limit the time between concept and implementation. This allows for increased adaptation and in-stride modifications.

The director of the command’s resources and capabilities integration directorate, Army Brig. Gen. Karl Gingrich, said this approach was driven by Cyber Mission Force requirements.

Operational Tempo to Increase

“The CMF reaching [full operational capability] will drive resources because our operational tempo will increase,” he said. “We will need to leverage automation, innovation and a rapid development approach. Requirements are dynamic so solutions need to be responsive.”

Tony Davis, previously the acting Command Acquisition Executive at Cybercom, helped the command create the processes and programs needed to execute its new acquisition authority. While Davis has returned to U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida, he stated he sees a bright future for the new acquisitions office.

Davis said the cyber acquisitions model requires agility and flexibility, particularly in prototyping, where products will be delivered “in weeks or months, not months or years.” The challenge then, he said, is how to get the capability into the hands of the warfighter to test it.

Davis stressed the need for competition in this space and a commitment to working with small businesses.

Cybercom currently has small business and competition advocate functions to ensure the integrity of the competitive process. It also plans to use part of its acquisition authority to create an unclassified collaboration venue where businesses and academia can help tackle tough problems without needing to jump over clearance hurdles, which can often be a barrier for small businesses and researchers.
Command officials said that ultimately partnership, outreach and teamwork will make Cybercom more agile and capable in its ability to defend the nation.

Criminal Justice Technology in the News

Law Enforcement News

Cellphone App Changing the Way Janesville Police Solve Crimes
GazetteXtra, (11/10/2017), Frank Schultz
Since implementing use of the P3 app in 2015, police in Janesville, Wis., have seen an increased number of tips come in to the department. The app allows anyone to send in a photo or a screenshot, and has been used by students to report several possible incidents in schools. The app replaced an earlier text-a-tip program that was not very successful.
Link to Article

FBI Wants to Consolidate Its Data Centers, So It Is Launching a New One
FedTech, (11/10/2017), Phil Goldstein
The FBI recently broke ground on a new $100 million, 100,000-square-foot facility in Pocatello, Idaho, that will serve as the center of the bureau's operations in the Western United States. The FBI plans to consolidate operations and reduce the number of centers it operates in the western half of the country as part of efforts to optimize infrastructure.
Link to Article

Stop the Bleeding: Police Use Tourniquets to Save Their Lives and Others, (11/11/2017), Sarah Cassi
After a recent incident in which a Pennsylvania state trooper used the tourniquet he carried on his belt to save his own life, several Lehigh Valley departments have become interested in providing the devices to their officers. In addition, some officers are already buying tourniquets for themselves. All Pennsylvania state police officers are provided with the tourniquets, which they have used on civilians and other officers in addition to themselves.
Link to Article

This App Tracks Drug Overdoses in Real Time
PBS News Hour, (11/14/2017)
In summer 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration's Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team created a smartphone app that allows emergency responders to enter the time and location of drug overdoses into a regional mapping database. Use of ODMAP has since spread to more than 250 agencies located in 27 states, and it is the only free tool available that performs this function. This piece looks at how agencies can benefit from its use.
Link to Article

Corrections News

News 12 Investigates: Thousands of Illegal Cell Phones Found in SC Prisons, (11/07/2017)
This investigative piece focuses on the ongoing problem of illegal cell phones in South Carolina prisons and the state's efforts to secure permission to block cellular signals in its correctional facilities. Inmates often use cell phones to continue criminal activities while incarcerated.
Link to Article

Anti-drone Systems Could Keep Contraband Out of Ohio Prisons
State Scoop, (11/08/2017), Colin Wood
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction may begin using DroneDefender or a similar technology, according to published reports. The technology disrupts the signal to the drone and causes it to land. There have been more than a dozen recorded attempts to smuggle contraband into Ohio correctional facilities using drones.
Link to Article

Drones Dropping Drugs, Contraband Into NorCal Prisons
CBS SF Bay Area, (11/07/2017)
After a drone carrying meth crashed onto the grounds of Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas, Calif., in October, officials in Santa Clara County have begun efforts to stop the use of drones to smuggle contraband into correctional facilities. A team from station KPIX 5 set about replicating modifying a drone for contraband deliveries, and found it surprisingly easy, according to this report.
Link to Article

Fundraiser Helps Incarcerated Parents and Their Kids
25 News, (11/11/2017), Sarah Jaeger
This piece looks at the efforts of a group called Motherly Intervention to help children whose parents are incarcerated. The group provides meals, homework assistance, tutoring in math and computer technology, and transportation, and helps coordinate visits to correctional facilities.
Link to Article

Congress Is Looking to Stem the Illegal Flow of Cellphones Into Jails, Prisons
USA Today, (11/09/2017), Michael Collins
A rising rate of inmates using contraband cellphones to coordinate crimes from inside correctional facilities has led to a bipartisan Congressional effort to stop the devices from coming into jails and prisons. A letter signed by 52 House members and senators asked the Federal Communications Commission to coordinate a meeting among corrections officials, major cellular providers and the FBI.
Link to Article

SC Prison Attack: Culture of Chaos
FITSNews, (11/12/2017)
This article includes a video clip posted from inside a South Carolina correctional facility. The 90-second clip shows a brutal attack by several inmates on another one. The piece says this is part of a growing culture of violence inside South Carolina prisons.
Link to Article

Man Accused of Running State-wide Prostitution Ring From Texas Prison
My SA, (11/09/2017), Caleb Downs
A Texas prison inmate allegedly has been running a statewide prostitution ring from inside his cell. The inmate faces charges of aggravated promotion of prostitution and compelling a child to prostitution. He allegedly used a contraband cell phone to recruit teenage girls to become prostitutes.
Link to Article