Center for Security Policy Honors Sen. Ted Cruz, State of Texas and Heroes of Hurricane Harvey at Annual Keeper of the Flame Dinner
Keeper of the Flame Award Recognizes Those Who Devote Public Careers to Propagation of Democracy and Respect for Individual Rights Around World
Washington, D.C. – November 16, 2017 – Last evening, the Center for Security Policy honored Sen. Ted Cruz, the state of Texas for its “outsized contribution to the common defense” and the heroes of Hurricane Harvey at the 2017 Keeper of the Flame Award Dinner in Washington, D.C.
At the event, Sen. Cruz was presented with the Keeper of the Flame Award, which was inaugurated by the Center for Security Policy in 1990 to recognize individuals who devote their public careers to securing freedom and promoting peace through strength. The Award both acknowledges the past contributions of its recipients and reminds others who share their commitment to liberty of the work yet to be done.
“Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been a lifelong and tireless freedom fighter, in no small measure because his family knows firsthand what it is like for liberty to be extinguished,” said the Center’s founder and president Frank J. Gaffney. “Thanks to this abiding inspiration, Sen. Cruz has been renowned throughout his distinguished career of public service and private legal practice for his passionate commitment to the U.S. Constitution, to its prescription for limited government and opportunity for all and to its defense against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Ted Cruz has amply demonstrated the qualities that the times require and that make him a true Keeper of the Flame.”
In the U.S. Senate, Cruz has led the fight in Congress to reestablish and enable the practice President Ronald Reagan called “peace through strength.” He has, in particular, distinguished himself as a champion of rebuilding and reequipping our armed services; enhancing U.S. missile defenses, including in space; countering the potentially catastrophic menace posed by electromagnetic pulse attacks; and exposing the stealthy “civilization jihad” being waged in this country by the Muslim Brotherhood.
A native of Houston, the senator has been deeply engaged in the heartbreaking and inevitably protracted effort to restore that vital city and its region savaged by Hurricane Harvey. The spirit of Texas so evident during and after that horrific storm is a reminder of the outsized contribution the state makes to our country, its economy, its people and their security.
Previous recipients of the Keeper of the Flame Award include: President Ronald Reagan; Vice President Dick Cheney; Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and James Schlesinger; House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Sens. Jeff Sessions, Joe Lieberman, James Inhofe and Jon Kyl; Reps. Duncan Hunter Sr., Bill Young, Peter King, Howard “Buck” McKeon, Michele Bachmann and Frank Wolf; and Generals Richard Myers USAF, Jim Conway USMC, Jack Keene USA and Peter Pace USMC.
The 2017 Keeper of the Flame Award Dinner included an invocation by former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Lt. Gen. and Rev. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.), as well as musical performances by Gunnery Sgt. Jessie Jane Duff, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.). Reps. Louie Gohmert, Steve King and Brian Babin also made moving remarks.
The evening included the presentation of the 2017 Patriot Award winners—Jim Amos, Trayce Bradford, Diana Denman, Catherine Engelbrecht, Kevin Freeman, Debbie Georgatos, John Guandolo, Hon. Bob Hall, Phil Midkiff and Rep. Chris Stewart—as well as the honoring of the heroes of Hurricane Harvey, represented by first responders from Galveston County, Texas, which was for a time completely cut off from its neighbors due to heavy rain: Michael and Sharon Lambert and Dawn Keller. (Just one of the incredible stories of these heroes can be found below.)
Since its founding in 1988, the Center for Security Policy has been “Promoting Peace through Strength” as a time-tested formula for American security, rooted in the recognition that the world is a safer place when U.S. military, financial, economic, intelligence, diplomatic and informational capabilities are second-to-none.
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions and resource needs that are vital to American security. It seeks to ensure that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by appropriate officials, policy experts, opinion leaders and the general public. The Center has worked to great effect in the establishment of successful national security policies through the use of all elements of national power—diplomatic, informational, military and economic strength. The philosophy of “Peace through Strength” is not a slogan for military might but a belief that America’s national power must be preserved and properly used for it holds a unique global role in maintaining peace and stability.
The Center’s mission is to identify opportunities and challenges likely to affect American security, broadly defined, and to act promptly and creatively to ensure that they are the subject of focused national examination and effective action.
To interview Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy, contact Beth Harrison at 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 610.5841096, ext. 102.
A Summary of Heroic Action by First Responder Dawn Keller
(Provided by Galveston County Office of Emergency Management)
“At the request of Galveston County, TEXSAR, Texas Search and Rescue, pre-staged assets at the Kemah Volunteer Fire Department in anticipation of significant flooding from Hurricane Harvey. On the night of August 26, TEXSAR team leader Dawn Keller lead her water rescue team to rescue an 87-year-old blind man who was in a home that was rapidly flooding. The team of seven secured the gentleman in their high clearance vehicle and tried to make it to safety. They became stranded at the H-E-B fuel pumps in League City and were unable to continue. As the flood waters continued to rise and the winds of Harvey howled, Dawn was given the news that an additional 15 inches of rain was due in the next few hours. No resources were available as all roads were impassable and the winds too high for air assets. No rescue would be coming. Dawn’s team donned their personal floatation devices, secured their boat and locked themselves into their vehicles to ride out the storm. They held onto their car window hammers as the waters rose and listened to the blind man’s stories of his days as a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer.
When morning light illuminated the parking lot, it looked like the waters were filled with bodies. It took Dawn’s team a few minutes to realize that what they saw was really the neighbors swimming in from the adjacent subdivision in their bed clothes. Desperate citizens saw the generated lights at the H-E-B fuel station and came looking for help. Dawn called her TEXSAR CEO, Justen Noakes, who is Director of Emergency Preparedness for H-E-B. Mr. Noakes had the local H-E-B manager wade into the store and open it up for Dawn and her TEXSAR team. Using the resources available at the H-E-B and their clinic, Dawn organized a refuge of last resort. When assets were finally available, Dawn was sent high water vehicles from the 712th National Guard Unit from Ellington field. Under Dawn’s direction, TEXSAR and the National Guard rescued, triaged, treated and transported nearly 500 people and 78 pets in League City.
Upon completion of her mission in Galveston County, Dawn coordinated and lead a group of volunteers from TEXSAR, OXY and IsraAid to support an American Legion Post shelter that was in dire straits in the City of Wharton. Along with medical and disaster response personnel, Dawn coordinated the delivery of diabetic and medical supplies for the stranded and isolated population of Wharton.
Because of Dawn Keller’s leadership and experience, hundreds of Harvey victims became survivors.”
Dawn Keller’s Professional Biography:
Dawn Keller has more than 25 years of experience in the disaster response arena, including wilderness rescue/tactical medical response. Originally from the Linville Gorge Wilderness area of North Carolina, she has extensive deployment experience in various environments, countries, and circumstances. Dawn has served on the Special Operations Response Team in North Carolina, taught survival training for the United States Armed Forces, and now serves as the Texas Search and Rescue (TEXSAR) West Texas Division Supervisor. Deploying nationally and internationally, Dawn’s response has included Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the catastrophic flooding of Central Texas and Wimberly in 2015, Hurricane Andrew in Florida, and Hurricane Floyd and subsequent flooding of Eastern North Carolina. She has responded to more than 30 hurricanes/typhoons since Hurricane Hugo in 1989, evolving from swift water rescuer to special operations lead for state, federal, and joint task force international disaster response. Her depth of skill in swift water rescue, ground search, wilderness/disaster medicine, and high angle/helicopter evacuation are matched by her depth of compassion and commitment to helping those in need. When not volunteering her time in service, Dawn resides in the Permian Basin of West Texas where she is the Domestic HES Training Lead for Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY).
Center for Security Policy Commends Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Urges FERC to Create Incentives For Electric Grid Resilience
Washington, D.C. – October 24, 2017 – Yesterday, the Center for Security Policy submitted detailed comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in support of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s September 28, 2017 directive that ordered fast-track FERC rule-making for the purpose of enhancing resilience and reliability at the nation’s coal and nuclear power-generation facilities. The Center has long warned that the grid is highly vulnerable to enemy action or naturally occurring events. It therefore welcomed Sec. Perry’s efforts to mitigate that vulnerability by requiring the storage of 90 days-worth of fuel on-site. Such a step could help key elements of our bulk power generation and distribution system come back from blackouts caused by polar vortexes, solar storms or even attacks on the grid from America’s foes.
The Center’s submission enumerated recent examples of what can happen to non-resilient power grids and the critical infrastructures they support when such threats eventuate. Mr. Gaffney noted that the costs of a lack of resiliency have been powerfully underscored by recent, devastating terrestrial storms like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
In the Center’s FERC comments, its President and CEO, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., observed:
It is apparent that Secretary Perry shares our urgent concern to ensure system restoration at electric power generation facilities as one key step in increasing electric grid resilience. Because the Secretary specified coal and nuclear power generation in his proposed rulemaking, he has received criticism by those who favor other sources of power generation, ranging from renewables to natural gas.
We suggest that the Secretary, and FERC, consider methods by which all businesses and organizations involved in electric power-generation, electric power transmission and electric power-distribution can be financially incentivized to build resilience into their operations.
Mr. Gaffney offered a number of illustrative and creative methods by which FERC, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Commerce (DOC) and/or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) could provide incentives for not only American electric utilities’ coal and nuclear power plants, but for others like renewable energy companies and petroleum refineries to build resilience into their operations.
The Center for Security Policy urges FERC to fulfill its duty to serve the public interest by applying the spirit of Secretary Perry’s directive to the entire energy industry so as to enhance both grid adaptability and prompt recovery when blackouts occur, which may make all the difference in securing our Republic, as well as its critical infrastructures.
Washington, D.C. – August 24, 2016 – Emergency planner, Jim LeBlanc, has written a ground-up guide of practical steps that individuals and families can take to prepare for long term black outs. Much more than just an emergency preparedness book, Real Risk Management for the Electric Grid gives context. The government has identified specific hazards that can take down the U.S. electrical system over large areas for long periods of time. Thinking through how to prepare your family and community is just the first step to preventing the possibility of a long term black out.
Real Risk Management for the Electric Grid explains the flawed approach of big government to prevent major long-term black outs and how individual awareness is the building block for business and local emergency preparedness that will lead in helping communities understand that it is far better to prevent a long term black out than to try and recover from one. Those who adapt the skills and critical thinking inspired by Jim LeBlanc’s book will be the people who help our policy makers understand why it is so important to secure the nation’s electrical grid.
“Jim Leblanc’s “Real Risk Management” provides a comprehensive explanation of wide-area electromagnetic threats, risks to our individual and corporate survival, effective solutions, and the political roadblocks to achieving national, state and local preparedness. The monograph provides excellent advice to citizens on personal preparedness and advocating for government and industry programs to protect life-supporting infrastructures. It is an excellent reference for citizens, public officials, and infrastructure services executives.”
Professor Emeritus, James Madison University
Congressional EMP Commission
“Real Risk Management for the Electrical Grid gives practical information for individuals and families. If everyone were to use the checklist Mr. LeBlanc gives in the back of the book and follow his practical advice throughout the book, they would be better prepared than if they merely followed the typical advice of having food and water for three to five days. I especially liked Mr. LeBlanc’s suggestion to obtain “how to” books on pre-electric society such as the Foxfire Book Series. Being prepared for long term electric grid outage would prepare people for other emergencies.”
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
For more information, contact Tommy Waller, Director of Special Projects at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Green Bay, Wisconsin – July 8, 2016 – Recent attacks and solar storm events have underscored the vulnerable nature of the U.S. electric power grid to physical attacks, cyber-attacks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, geomagnetic solar storm events. At present, more than eleven comprehensive studies have detailed the serious consequences of these high-impact threats. Specifically, during this period of increased solar storm activity and growing unpredictability amongst geopolitical rivals, the U.S. electric power grid’s vulnerability to high-impact threats are a clear and present danger to physical, economic, and societal fabric in Wisconsin and the United States more generally.
Tune in tonight at 7pm (Central Time) at WLUK-TV FOX 11 for a round table event with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and several national security experts as they address critical security concerns regarding these high-impact threats and their capability to cause a state, regional, or nationwide critical infrastructure collapse.
Weekend’s Series of Coronal Mass Ejections from Sun Warn of Fragile Electrical Infrastructure
A Statistical Study of Insurance Claim Data Shows Hidden Damage from Solar Storms
Washington, D.C. – Semptember 12, 2014 – In June this year, leading space weather scientists released new data in Space Weather Journal on the effect of solar weather on the North American electrical grid. Scientists have long warned that a large Coronal Mass Ejection could have a similar effect as a High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. That is because the sun regularly is shooting off geo-magnetic storms in every direction. It is only a matter of time before one of those flares hits the earth straight on with exactly the same EMP – type of effect as if it were a nuclear bomb detonated above the earth’s atmosphere. The resulting waves could take down most of the nation’s electric grid permanently.
The new data shows that even lower scale solar weather has a great cost to consumers and investors.
What’s interesting about these claims is that they are not just related to the high-voltage networks associated with transmission grids. Instead, much of this equipment is connected to the low voltage power distribution network. “The claims statistics thus reveal that large-scale geomagnetic variability couples into the low-voltage power distribution network,” they say. That has never been revealed before.
Authors of the report include William Murtagh, program co-ordinator for the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado and Carolus Schrijver at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto.
The study can be found at Cornell University Library at: www.arxiv.org/abs/1406.7024 Assessing The Impact Of Space Weather On The Electric Power Grid Based On Insurance Claims For Industrial Electrical Equipment
The Secure the Grid Coalition promotes protecting the electrical grid from all hazards. Today marks the release of the second of a series of public service announcements by the Coalition conveying both the security threats and the real life impacts, often unimagined, of a prolonged loss of power.
The Secure the Grid Coalition promotes protecting the electrical grid from all hazards. Measures required to harden the grid from EMP and solar weather are similar. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy and a member of the Secure the Grid Coalition made comments in regard to this weekend’s solar storms as well.
The United States and, indeed the Earth, are facing potentially catastrophic destruction as a result of an intense solar storm. It is a certitude that it will happen yet we have not taken steps to protect our electric grid against such effects. The only question is when. Both this weekend’s solar storms and the insurance claims report from the Space Weather Journal remind us that the grid is not hardened to protect customers and investors from the effects of even regular solar weather. Hopefully, this will be a catalyst for the sorts of protection that is already long overdue.
That is the determined purpose of the Secure the Grid Coalition.
For more information, contact Tommy Waller, Director of Special Projects at: email@example.com