High tech upgrade centralizes all military urinalysis monitoring at NORTHCOM
Meat gazing on a grand scale.
By W.E. Linde
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, Colo. – The Pentagon announced today the first-ever significant overhaul of the military’s approach to drug testing across the force. Rather than tying down mid-level NCOs to personally watch members’ members while urinating, each base will be enhanced with “smart urinals” and “smart commodes” that will be monitored in real-time from a bunker deep beneath the Cheyenne Mountain Complex.
Called LIVESTREAM, this high-tech marvel tracks the service member via continuous webcam surveillance, CAC sign-in, and near-instant analysis of urine for a dozen common drugs. The monitoring of the urination will be conducted by specialists trained for special duty from all military branches. Everyone certified by this training will have a new “career modifier” of “ICUP” added to their regular career AFSC/MOS/Rating codes.
“This is a tremendous advance not only in technology but also in process,” said Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan. “As important of a job as being a “wiener watcher” is, who really wants to do that? Now with LIVESTREAM, skilled technicians will take that responsibility, watching hours upon hours of urination to make sure no one is cheating the system.”
The idea for LIVESTREAM originated from the Corona Conference, an annual gathering of Air Force leaders in Colorado Springs where new ideas and concepts are discussed to chart the future.
“I’m not saying this concept came out of an informal discussion one evening after a lot of alcohol,” said Air Force Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown. “But I remember someone shouting from a bathroom stall at the Hyatt after a social gathering one night, saying something like ‘wouldn’t it be freakin’ great if we could make robots look at our pee? Wouldn’t it?’ Well, I brought that straight to the other service chiefs, and everything fell into place pretty quickly after that.”
One reason for the quick implementation was the fortuitous discovery of passionate program manager Terry McMillan, a recently retired Air Force Tech Sgt. who had just started up his own bed and breakfast in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
“Terry somehow heard about the LIVESTREAM initiative,” said Col. David Conning, commander of the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. “He contacted us and said he has all sorts of experience placing sensors to watch people urinating.” Conning paused then, as though struck by a thought. “That was kind of weird, now that I think about it.”
Although senior Pentagon leaders were initially concerned about how to allocate manpower to the LIVESTREAM command post, interest in volunteering for the new temporary duty was surprisingly strong.
“The first classes of Air Force and Army ICUP specialists are expected to flow in later this year,” said Conning. “In fact, there have been a disturbing number of volunteers.”
Conning appeared uncertain once again.
“I’m really not sure what to make of that.”
W.E. Linde (aka Major Crunch) writes a lot. Former military intelligence officer, amateur historian, blogger/writer at DamperThree.com. Strives to be a satirist, but probably just sarcastic. Twitter @welinde.