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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Dallas PD Robot

For John, BLUFRestoring a little sanity to the discussion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Source is the web magazine War on the Rocks and the Author is Air Force Colonel Mike “Starbaby” Pietrucha.  Colonel Pietrucha was an instructor electronic warfare officer in the F-4G Wild Weasel and the F-15E Strike Eagle, with 156 combat missions.  He also had two additional combat deployments in the company of U.S. Army infantry, combat engineer, and military police units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here is the lede:

I knew as soon as I saw the headline that the “killer robot” articles would start.  That the use of a compact remote-controlled vehicle to selectively eliminate a dangerous, armed killer in a protected position would cause science and technology writers everywhere to collectively gasp and head to their keyboards.  There, they would engage in a spinning whirlwind of predictive doom, calling for new regulations, stoking fears of hordes of government-controlled killer robots, and speculating on the future of civilization.  But all the hyperventilating over this by technologists obscures the fact that robotic devices have been used to deliver deadly explosives for decades — almost 100 years, if you count the Kettering Bug.  Rather than focusing on the robotic delivery of the explosive, it is more useful to understand this as the directed application of a precision-guided munition (PGM) under conditions that clearly called for one.
And the concluding paragraph:
Unfortunately for them, police departments are not routinely equipped with precision weapons.  Fortunately for them, they had the vision and flexibility to build and employ one on the fly, thereby accomplishing everything we demand from a police department under very trying circumstances.  It is very easy, when taking casualties, to lose some element of discipline or control and do far more damage to the surroundings than necessary to contain the threat.  The Dallas Police Department did not set loose a killer robot. They emplaced a charge using a precision method that posed the least risk to their force.  The Dallas police should be commended for their restraint, discipline, and ingenuity in the face of chaos, confusion, and death.  Essentially, they used a PGM under conditions wherein that was exactly the proper response.  My hat’s off to them.
Yes, the Dallas Police held it together during a very trying circumstance, with officers taking effective incoming fire.  And, they showed good ingenuity under stress.

Regards  —  Cliff

  In the Air Force, and Naval Aviation, everyone has a "tactical call sign".  "Starbaby break right!" is easier to get out than "Rambler 2 break right!", and that if you remember you are Rambler Flight this morning and Starbaby is flying the number two position in your flight of four, this morning.
  And, as is standard, The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force or any part of the U.S. government.
  And the next President should consider appoint Dallas Police Chief Brown to a responsible position in the Department of Justice.

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