Airman worked quickly to save Kenny Chesney's life
4/27/2008 — SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AFPN) — An Airman assigned to the 20th Communications Squadron has been credited with saving the life of country music star Kenny Chesney on Saturday at the Williams-Brice Stadium in the nearby state capitol of Columbia.
"We received actionable intelligence that terrorists would remotely log in to kill Mr. Chesney," said Maj. Gen. William T. Lord, the commander of Cyberspace Command. "Their objective was to crush him with a remote-controlled hydraulic lift." The lift normally elevates Mr. Chesney into view of his audience, and the dramatic effect makes it a critical infrastructure in his stadium events.
By coincidence, a member from each military service had been invited to appear on stage during the Brooks & Dunn portion of the show as part of a salute to America. Representing the Air Force was Sr. Airman Patricia C. Frosting, whose primary mission was to prevent laser pointer attacks against anyone on stage. If time and circumstances permitted, she was also authorized to temporarily take the stage with the other military members.
"We contacted 'Patty Cake' (Airman Frosting's official call sign) and told her that Mr. Chesney's life was in extreme danger," explained General Lord. She agreed to be 'read in' to Cyberspace Command's highly classified United Service Organization Musician Performance Protection Project, or 'USO-MP3' for short. "Our folks quickly passed along the actionable intelligence to Airman Frosting, who used her backstage pass to gain local access to the hydraulic lift control panel."
General Lord revealed that "she confirmed our worst fears — that the terrorists had acquired full remote control of the lift using a deadly 'zero day' exploit." Airman Frosting coordinated with AFCYBER officials to regain positive control of the stage lift.
The situation grew tense when a cyber battle erupted as Mr. Chesney started to rise up on the platform. Airman Frosting acquired just enough local access to save Mr. Chesney's life. Unfortunately, when the terrorists realized they could no longer assassinate the country music legend, they made a last-ditch effort to trap his right foot in the device.
The hydraulic lift crushed Mr. Chesney's toes so badly that a doctor had to cut off his boot after the show. But thanks to Airman Frosting's efforts, the singer was able to perform his entire musical set in front of a sold-out crowd.
Mr. Chesney asked Airman Frosting to come on stage immediately after the concert ended, where he publicly kissed her in gratitude. "When he kissed Airman Frosting," General Lord said, "he was also kissing every member of Air Force Cyberspace Command."
This is not the first time a critical infrastructure has been used to attack U.S. musicians. One hundred people died when terrorists hacked their way into the Stage Controls And Disk Albums (SCADA) circuitry used by the glam-metal group "White Snake." Rock group "Styx" went on hiatus after hackers reprogrammed a "Mr. Roboto" stage prop so it would attack guitarist Tommy Shaw.
Colonel Dennis M. Layendecker, the commander and music director of the Air Force Band, invited Airman Frosting to join his unit as a combat controller for Cyberspace Command's new band mission, which will achieve initial operating capability in October. "We'd love to have her behind the scenes," he said, "keeping laser pointers out of our eyes and stopping terrorists who try to hack into the flashpots and other critical infrastructures we use on stage."