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Letter: Writer missed point about base security

Mr. Nelson clearly has no practical understanding of how Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) information is actually gathered.

Letter to the editor FSA
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In a recent letter from Scott Nelson that was posted April 23, titled "Don't worry Grand Forks, the Air Base is safe and secure," the writer seems to have missed the point entirely.

As a former service member with over a decade of active service as a warrant officer and stretching across two theaters of war and working at various echelons within the military, I can say, with a certain level of experiential authority, that Mr. Nelson misses the point and is woefully under informed regarding the security threat that is posed by this company setting up shop within 13 miles of Grand Forks Air Force Base (GFAFB).

Mr. Nelson clearly has no practical understanding of how Human Intelligence (HUMINT) and Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) information is actually gathered. There need not be a penetration of the base's perimeter for information and data to be collected on signals transmissions, airframe/equipment operations, and other useful data which could compromise not only operations here locally, but also abroad.

Furthermore, there seems to be very little understanding of things like second and third order impacts or effects. This is to say that data gathered here, from HUMINT and SIGINT sources can have significant and even lethal impacts further down the road. An adversary's ability to collect bits and pieces of data, even unclassified data, and aggregate them into a product can be utilized against our own troops in the field in a direct conflict with said adversary or be shared or sold to nefarious actors that we may become engaged with.

This isn't about spies over at a wet milling operation penetrating base defenses and blowing everything up; this is about gathering intel on the cutting edge systems that are in operation at GFAFB and other places like Cavalier Space Station and utilizing that information to disrupt our ability to conduct operations. At the crux of this issue is an inability for those involved directly with the project and those supporting it to shift from a micro perspective of things to a macro perspective and an inability or even a willful refusal to look at the open source data available illustrating numerous other instances where this sort of thing has occurred not only in our own backyard, but across the globe as well.

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