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Archive for December, 2018

SCUBAPRO Sunday Air Consumption

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

It’s not uncommon for two divers to use different amounts of air, even if they are diving the same dive profile. Different factors will affect how much air you will consume until you learn good diving practices and buoyancy control. If you have been diving for a long time and you still go thru your air faster then the people around you, there are some things you can do to help improve your air consumption. Trying to conserve energy, controlling your breathing, and reducing your drag while diving. Planning your dive is the first step. Plan your dive to be underwater for the shortest amount of time as possible and not coming up and going off and then back on bag. If you are going to cover a lot of distance, turtleback for as long as possible to save as much air as you can.

Reducing Drag

Water provides enough resistance on your body, and it doesn’t help when you have on a bulky BC, that is sticking out like a parachute. Try and tuck away anything that hangs and floats behind you. You want your resting position in the water to be as close to horizontal as possible. This more streamlined profile results in less exertion during the dive Try and use retractors and quick magnetic clips on all gauges and hoses. They allow you to look at your gauges and when you let them go, they go right back into place. Lastly, try and keep a good body position keep your hands in front of or as close to your body as possible, and wear a BCD that fits appropriately. Some BCD has a bungee on them to keep them tighter and then when they need to be inflated; the bungee allows for that. This will significantly reduce your drag in the water and help you improve your air consumption.

Slow Down

This is why you have been taught to swim at a certain pace. Normally for combat swimmers 3 min/ 100yards. If you stay with your pace, this will help maintain your breathing rate. Your movement in the water should be minimal, try not to flail around with your arms or kick furiously. Keep each fin stroke as short as possible, as a broad stroke expends a lot more energy. Your legs use the most O2. The right pair of fins will help with this. The reason they make so many different types of fins is that everyone’s kick is different. Just because they are right for your swim buddy doesn’t mean they will be right for you.    

Relax

Be conscious of your breathing underwater. Try not to hold your breath or skip breaths. Sometimes when working and doing different things underwater, it will interrupt your normal rhythm and change your breathing without you noticing. Take slow and complete breaths, exhaling completely before inhaling. Stay warm. Know the water conditions you are going into and choose the right wetsuit thickness. Being cold drains more energy from your body that means you’ll use more air. Lastly, a quality regulator can also help make breathing more comfortable and easy to control. An old trick is to put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This will help slow you down and lets less air in (that is the theory). If diving closed circuit make sure your mouthpiece fits property if you are moving it around a lot or if it feels like it is being pulled out or fighting to keep it in it will affect your breathing. 

Lastly, try and dive more. As the military gets back into the water, and there are more opportunities to get into the water you will get better at it. Don’t wait until you are diving as part of your work up, try and get into the water as much as you can. Then when you are in the water try and do as much as you can to wear everything you usually would, so you can get used to it and set all your gear up correctly.  

www.scubapro.com

Blast From The Past: BDS – The Grey Uniform That Almost Was

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Long before Wolf Grey there was something else. In the early 1990s Army Special Operations Command experimented with a layered clothing system called Battle Dress System. Leveraging lessons learned from the original Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), it featured a Capilene Next to Skin layer, Fleece mid-layers including a bib and jacket, a Gore-Tex undergarment and an outer layer called the SOF BDU. The underlayers were all Black and eventually became the Lightweight Environmental Protection (LEP) component of SPEAR.

It was quite popular with those that used it, offering material and design improvements over ECWCS which was just beginning to see widespread fielding.

The SOF BDU was a solid grey combat jacket and trouser. These were essentially over garments that were intended to be worn as an outerlayer, over any combination of the other components depending on the weather. The material was new and consisted on Nylon, Cotton and Kevlar for increased abrasion resistance. The design of the jacket was unlike anything else in the inventory with large Napoleon pockets on the chest and a hood that could be stored in the collar. It also boasted pit zips for ventilation, a rank tab on the chest and pockets mounted on the sleeves. The pants were quite similar to the M1950 field trouser and incorporated thigh tapes designed to help stabilize the load in the cargo pockets. They also added a zippered lower leg opening in order facilitate donning and doffing.

Today, when readers learn about BDS and the Charcoal colored Gore-Tex undergarment they are surprised that it wasn’t the outer most layer but beginning in the mid-80s there were lightweight 3-layer undergarments available commercially. This was before ECWCS or other camouflage shells were commonly available. The Gore undergarments were used by a variety of troops and worn under their BDUs in order to maintain camouflage. It also gave them a lightweight waterproof breathable layer.

With its solid grey color the item was rejected, primarily due to institutional prejudice. When LEP was adopted finally adopted later in the decade, it was without the SOF BDU.

Vietnam-era NZSAS

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

Fine study of a New Zealand SAS patrol member, c1969/70; the noticeably clean ERDL uniform suggests that the photo was taken at the start of the mission. His web gear is M1956 with at least one low-slung SASR pouch; hung from his harness are M33 “baseball” (predecessor to the M67), M18 smoke and M34 white phosphorus grenades. Note the special SASR patrol gloves. His SLR has typical modifications: most obviously, the removal of the carrying handle, sling swivels and flash suppressor.

Late and well-worn equipment set used by a New Zealand SAS man, shown from the rear to illustrate personal modifications. The M1956 belt and suspenders are unchanged except that the former is fitted with a Davis quick-release buckle. The four Australian M1956 “large pouches” have all been modified by the removal of the metal slide keepers and addition of cloth belt loops. The outer pair are configured to hang low; the one on the right has a small leatherette pouch for a sharpening stone stitched to its side. Two canteens are worn: at right an unmodified M1956, at left a British 44 Pattern fitted with belt loops to ride higher than usual. All components have been camouflage-painted in greens, browns and black.

For more information on Vietnam-era SOF, visit instagram.com/studies_and_observation_group

Mil-Spec Monkey Needs Your Input

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Mil-Spec Monkey is considering doing a run of CYOA packs in an Urban1 color scheme. What do you all think, like the wolf and black on the left, or get more wild with light grey, wolf, and black on the right?

Futures Command‘s 2018 Modernization Stories

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

FORT MEADE, Md. — The Army has initiated many changes to help modernize the service, bolster readiness, and increase lethality.

Below is a list of some of the biggest modernization stories that impacted the force in 2018. (Links to the original stories follow this article.)

FUTURES COMMAND FINDS HOME

In July, senior leaders announced that Austin, Texas would be the new home for Army Futures Command.

Selected from about 150 competing locations, Austin offered a growing community of professionals within the science and tech industries. Further, the city hosted academic institutions with thousands of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Back in October 2017, the Army announced its intent to create a new command to drive the service’s modernization efforts. Army Futures Command was heralded as one of the most significant Army reorganization efforts since 1973.

In August, Army senior leaders converged in Austin to unveil AFC’s new headquarters in the University of Texas System building.

During the assumption of command ceremony, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley unfurled and presented the Army Futures Command flag to Gen. Mike Murray, the newly-appointed AFC commander.

Closing out the year, AFC unveiled its new “golden anvil” shoulder sleeve insignia and distinctive unit insignia, harkening back to former Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personal coat of arms.

MULTI-DOMAIN BATTLE

Army leaders recently released “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028,” which outlines possible solutions to counter and defeat layers of stand-off created by adversaries.

Referred to as MDO Concept 1.5, the new pamphlet published by U.S. Training and Doctrine Command refines the force’s Multi-Domain Battle concept released last year.

The concept asserts that over the years adversaries have studied how the U.S. military operates. Emerging technologies — such as artificial intelligence, hypersonics, machine learning, nanotechnology, and robotics — have also changed the character of war.

The release of TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1 serves as a first step in the force’s doctrinal evolution, officials said.

MARKSMAN RIFLE & NIGHT BINOCULAR

This fall, the Army began fielding the new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle to the first selected units. A limited-user test of the SDM-R is also underway now at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The rifle is based on the Heckler and Koch G28E-110 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or CSASS, and provides infantry, scout, and engineer squads the capability to engage with accurate rifle fire at longer ranges.

Additionally, this year the Army tested a new binocular with a wireless connection to rifle sites. The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular, or ENVG-B, is scheduled for release to selected units sometime in fiscal year 2019.

The new device has both night vision and thermal-sensing capabilities and stereoscopic binocular depth perception, providing Soldiers with an illusion of depth on a flat image.

During testing, Soldiers had a 100 percent improvement in weapons qualifications, along with a 300 percent increase in detection of targets in day and night environments, and a 30 to 50 percent decrease in the time taken to shoot a target.

Soldiers that tested the new ENVG-B considered it to be “a game changer.”

IMPROVED GHILLIE SUIT

The Army is working to replace its current Flame Resistant Ghillie System, which Soldiers consider to be bulky and somewhat uncomfortable at higher temperatures.

The new Improved Ghillie System will be modular and may be worn over a Soldier’s field uniform. Soldiers should be able to take apart the IGS and use pieces as needed.

The goal is for the IGS to cost less than the current $1,300 FRGS, and still have flame-resistant properties.

HYPERSONICS

The Army is working to develop unique hypersonic weapons, similar to precision technology currently in development by the Air Force and Navy.

Hypersonic weapons move five times faster than the speed of sound and are designed to potentially deliver a precision-guided airstrike anywhere in the world within an hour.

While the Army establishes its hypersonic program office, representatives from the Army and other services will continue to work together to develop the military’s hypersonic weapons capability.

Currently, the joint team is working to create a standard “hypersonic glide body” to provide a means to deploy a hypersonic weapon.

IP MANAGEMENT POLICY

Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper recently approved the new Intellectual Property Management Policy to support the force’s readiness and modernization efforts.

Before the new policy, the Army lacked a coordinated strategy to secure IP rights and fulfill its long-term sustainment goals. Previous examples of the acquisition process have shown that the Army often requests either too little, or too much IP.

The new policy attempts to kick off a cultural change within the Army and create a proactive approach to IP management and acquisition.

IMPROVEMENTS TO COMMAND POST TECHNOLOGY, MISSION COMMAND

The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center revealed 15 Soldier-vetted technologies this year designed to improve command post capabilities.

For the past three years, CERDEC’s expeditionary Mission Command Science and Technology Objective has worked to improve command post infrastructure.

Overall, the new technologies will make it quicker and easier for Soldiers to both setup and tear down a command post and will help improve command post connectivity, agility, and scalability.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

In the future, the Army could employ artificial intelligence to help process and simplify information, augment current or future systems, or enhance an operator or commander’s decision-making process.

Although the employment of artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, AI could aid Soldiers on the battlefield by providing leap-ahead technologies to help the force survive and win, according to Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville.

For example, AI capabilities could control robotic loader and firing mechanisms or provide targeting recognition capabilities to support Soldiers in ground combat. Further, AI could help determine the best time to perform maintenance or replace parts.

Overall, AI is one of the Department of Defense’s top priorities. The development and implementation of AI will be a critical component of other DOD priorities such as hypersonic weapons, and autonomous ground and air unmanned systems.

NEUROSTIMULATION

The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center has been experimenting with neurostimulation at the Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences in Medford, Massachusetts.

Volunteers in the program have shown an increase in ability or attention span, improved navigation performance, or enhanced motor skills when participating in a series of controlled tasks within a testing environment.

Further, Soldier participating in the program shortly after initial-entry training have shown signs of accelerated learning. This increase in learning has the potential of closing the gap between low and high performers on specific tasks.

NETWORK

Strengthening the Army’s network against increasing cyber threats, all while making it accessible across each level of the Army, has become a crucial point of emphasis for Army leaders.

With network modernization as a top priority, the Army has set initiatives to develop an integrated network to win battles in peer-contested environments and work toward joint coalition interoperability.

Moving forward, the Army plans to scale the integrated network to brigade-sized formations. The service will start fielding formations in 2020.

By Devon L. Suits, Army News Service

Arc’teryx Veilance – Modular Layering

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

Glock Armorer’s Bench with Larry Vickers and Jeff Cahill Now Available Streaming

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Columbia, SC, December 20, 2018 – Panteao is happy to announce the release of Glock Armorer’s Bench with Larry Vickers and Jeff Cahill. The Glock Armorer’s Bench video will give you a detailed look and thorough understanding of the Glock pistol. Larry Vickers, from Vickers Tactical, and Jeff Cahill, owner of Tango Down and a certified Glock armorer, review the different Glock variants, nomenclature of the pistol, field disassembly, cleaning and lubrication, reassembly and safety function check, cycle of operation, maintenance and troubleshooting, magazine maintenance, complete detailed disassembly, a wide range of accessories, and a look at customized versions of the Glock. If you own a Glock or are in the market for one, this video is a must watch.

Glock Armorer’s Bench with Larry Vickers and Jeff Cahill is available streaming for Panteao subscribers. It can be watched online via a PC or Mac, on a smartphone or tablet using the Panteao Make Ready Android and iTunes apps, or on television with the Panteao Make Ready channel on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. For more information on how to stream the Panteao videos, visit: panteao.com/streaming-video-ways-to-watch

The video will also be available on DVD and Digital Download formats, shipping January 8th. For more information on this title, visit Panteao at: panteao.com/product/glock-armorers-bench

Army Begins Fielding Joint Light Tactical Vehicle

Friday, December 28th, 2018

In 2008, I worked on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle proposal. Over a decade later, the Army will begin fielding this vehicle which took lessons learned from the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) systems fielded beginning in 2007, and applied them to a replacement for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV).

Based on a recent Army Systems Acquisition Review Council decision, the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division will Ve the first unit equipped and should receive it’s full complement of about 500 new JLTVs by the end of March 2019.

In a recent Army press release, COL Mike Adams, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team commander said, “We are very excited to get these trucks into the hands of our Soldiers. It’s an honor to be chosen as the first unit to receive such an improved capability, and I look forward to getting it into our formations.”

Overall, the Army plans to field 49,099 vehicles across its Active, Reserve, and National Guard components, and the Marine Corps more than 9,000. The Air Force will also field the JLTV.

The JLTV will be fielded in two variants and four mission package configurations: General Purpose, Close Combat Weapons Carrier, Heavy Guns Carrier, and a Utility vehicle.