A unanimous vote to pass legislation for a Cybersecurity and Infastructure Security Agency (CSIA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has taken place in the U.S. House of Representatives.

DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced in a press release statement by  Homeland Security, “ the cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and we need to ensure we’re properly positioned to defend America’s infrastructure from threats digital and physical”.

Nielsen expressed gratitude to the House of Representatives and recognized the hardworking men and women of the NPPD for carrying out cybersecurity missions. The vote, which occured on November 13, is an important stand toward creating a federal government agency.

“The CISA Act (H.R. 3359), which passed the Senate in October and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, would reorganize DHA’ National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into a new agency and prioritize its mission as the Federal leader for cyber and physical infrastructure security”.

Under Secretary Christopher Krebs, NPPD, remarked in the press release,  “Elevating the cybersecurity mission within the Department of Homeland Security, streamlining our operations, and giving NPPD a name that reflects what it actually does will help better secure the nation’s critical infrastructure and cyber platforms.  The changes will also improve the Department’s ability to engage with industry and government stakeholders and recruit top cybersecurity talent.”

On a recent positive 5-day trip to the United States of America, the first woman Defense Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, was warmly welcomed to the Pentagon, by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, to discuss continued partnership initiatives that will further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation between the two countries.

India and America, boast themselves on being two strong nations with the same democratic values. Amicably connected, there is “growing mutual trust”, and a desire to support one another in the way of committed ‘Military-to-military cooperation”.

Sitharaman highlighted that a “strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defense relationship”. She also valued the U.S. – India relationship in terms of co-development, and industry collaboration, as well as co-production and scientific collaborations.

Mattis emphasized the United States’ appreciation for India’s leadership as a “stabilizing force”. His focus directed emphatically towards the significance of India promoting peace and security, around the world.

On behalf of their respective countries, the two Defense Ministers signed the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA). This allows India to receive advanced military hardware from the U.S.

Encouraged by the talks, Sitharaman, expressed confidence in the responsiveness to India’s sensitivities by the Trump Administration. 

After the official talks in Washington DC, Sitharaman signed a condolence book with respect to former U.S. George H W Bush,  at the State Department before laying a wreath beside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Sitharaman was scheduled to travel to visit the Defense Innovation Unit of the Department of Defense in California before heading towards the Indo Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii.

Dell, the U.S based computer hardware company is investigating an incident that cited a detection of unauthorized intrusion, on November 9th, which has attempted to extract Dell.com customer information from its systems.

In a press release Dell spokesperson said, “our investigations found no conclusive evidence that any (information) was extracted”. Customer names, email addresses and hashword passwords are the main concern. It is not known how many accounts  were affected by the security breach. Dell has initiated a reset password alert to customers.

Regular services of Dell have not been disrupted, and other sensitive customer details such as payment cards were not targeted by the hackers.

Legal forensic experts alongside law enforcement professionals are probing deeper into the matter and customers are advised to review all financial accounts and statements stored in the Dell.com system.

Northern California’s Camp Fire in the town of Paradise, was reported to have been the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. As the death toll rose daily, officials continued to find human remains in the burning rubble, which has claimed the lives of close to 100 people, thus far. Unfortunately, the search  is ongoing.

Fire crews, with approximately 5,600 personnel involved in the fight, were over whelmed at the “shocking speed”, the Camp Fire raged through the town. Reports of 260 commercial buildings and more than 9,800 homes destroyed caused government officials to scratch their heads.The California Department of Forestry and FIre Protection report 149,000 acres have been burned.

As the people from the town of Paradise, Butte County, California come to grips with this devastation that has painstakingly shaken their lives to the core, the greatest thanks go to the rescue teams. All the fire fighting ground troops, who worked laboriously throughout, despite losing their own possessions, are held in high esteem by the grieving nation.

Often overlooked in the mission, are pilots of the firefighting planes, who fly tirelessly overhead with Bae-146 (British Aerospace), retardant bombers, and have to make split-second decisions on where to rain down their fire retardant materials from overhead.

Air tankers carry gallons of water and fire retardant material that is usually red in color. The substance is released from the plane, to hit the spot of the fire for a few reasons: to slow it down and to mark it so the fire ground troops can locate it so they can reach the area. The chemical retardant also contains phosphate fertilizer that cools the fire.

Neptune Aviation is one such company that supplies these types of aircraft to deal with wildfires of this magnitude. Whether on an “Exclusive” contract or a “Call When Needed”, contract, it is reported that Neptune  Aviation employs the “ a dedicated team of world-class pilots, mechanics, and engineers”, who have unmatched dedication and experience, to deal with such ravaging wildfire situations. 

The United States Forest Service partners with Neptune Aviation, to fearlessly pursue any out of control fire hazard, directly from the skies, for over 25 years. Although mostly restricted to day flying, their role in assisting the fire ground troops to harness the California Camp FIre, is vital to the rescue mission.