WL Gore & Assoc

Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

Pre-order “CCT – The Eye Of The Storm”

Monday, June 4th, 2018

img_0872.jpg

This premium 9×12 hardback ‘encyclopedia’ is filled with nearly 1,000 pages of now declassified CCT stories and hundreds of color photos; it will be a treasured addition to your library, office or man cave.

Celebrating eight decades of Air Force CCT history; this chronicle is filled with now declassified stories of CCT exploits.

CCT: The Eye of the Storm chronicles the exploits of Air Force Combat Control Teams (CCT). It is told in a series of short stories – many etched by a cocktail of blood, sweat and tears. The Combat Control story began in Volume I with the appearance of the first CCTs; i.e., command and control teams cobbled together by the WWII U.S. Army Air Force [USAAF] for Operation VARSITY. VARSITY, the airborne assault across the Rhine; was one component of a multifaceted ground invasion leading to the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 7, 1945. The CCT story continued in Volume II, detailing the 21st Century fight in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Included are several humanitarian missions; two missions of epic proportion in Haiti and Japan.

In this new book, subtitled Medal of Honor (MOH) the CCT chronicle continues, incorporating the two previously published volumes and adding stories of ongoing combat operations in Afghanistan; now America’s longest war. The earlier, self-published volumes targeted a limited military audience of USSOCOM forces, families and friends. This new book is an all-inclusive compilation offered in a single premium publication expected to reach a world-wide audience of US and allied military organizations, families, friends and military enthusiasts.

CCT has been a critical linchpin in thousands of operations over the course of the careerfield’s history, yet they are one of the least known Special Operations Force. Pre-ordering this book will help ensure their story is told.

This book isn’t cheap, but if you’re a true history buff, especially of SOF, this is a must-have volume. What’s more, it’s sure to increase in value.

www.mentormilitary.com/CCT-The-Eye-of-the-Storm-p/adc-cct

US Air Force Small Arms Update

Friday, May 11th, 2018

During the recent NDIA Armaments Forum in Indianapolis, the Air Force Security Force Center’s Col Enrico Vendetti addressed the audience on the USAF’s small arms program.

Essentially, the Air Force follows the lead of other services for many small arms programs. For instance, they are participating in both Modular Handgun System and Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle.

img_9637-1.jpg

However, there are times when the Air Force will develop unique capabilities. Col Vendetti briefed these three examples.

Remotely Operated Weapons

img_9636.jpg

As the Air Force adapts to new ways of projecting Air Power, its Security Forces must develop new ways to protect aircraft and other critical assets in austere environments just as well as it does at fixed bases. Additionally, those long established facilities continue to face new threats. These operational concepts are known as Distributed Operations and Adaptive Basing.

Security Force’s goal with this program is limit exposure to enemy fire and provide effects they’ve never had before.

Based on the US Army’s Common Remote Operating System (CROWS), the plan is to incorporate the M134 and FGM-138 Javelin missile. They’ll get 3,000 rpm and a range of around 1 km from the mini-gun and 2.5 km with the Javelin, which will also allow effective engagement of armored targets.

The capability must be self-contained. The plan is to employ the systems, preconfigured in containers as well as mounted on MRAPs. Containerized systems allow for simplified transport and set up.

They are interested in weapon stabilization technologies for this system. The Air Force also wants adaptability, having considered incorporating ground launched Hellfire missiles into the capability.

Improved Modular Rifle – Blue

img_9634.jpg

The Security Forces Center worked with USSOCOM and USMC to investigate improvements to the M4 carbine. During the evaluation, three different configurations were developed, Improved Modular Rifle – White for SOF, Red for the Marines and Blue for the Air Force. US Army Special Operations Command has adopted individual weapon components to extend the service life and improve their M4A1s. The Marine Corps selected a different path, choosing to purchase additional M27s Infantry Automatic Rifles. But the Air Force has chosen to move forward with the concept.

The systems evaluated under the effort are said to have included components from Geissele Automatics and Daniel Defense. Although the final configuration of IMR – Blue has not been disclosed, it will include an Upper Receiver Group, 1-8 Variable Power Optic and improved trigger group.

During the evaluation, Security Forces found that their shooters were accurate within 20 MOA of targets using the current M4 and M68 Close Combat Optic configuration. This measurement was based on the average capability of the shooters and not just the capability of the firearm, optic, and ammunition. With an IMR-Blue configured carbine, that improved to 3.7 MOA. That is a significant improvement that would get any commander’s attention. I applaud the USAFSFC for being open about this and working to address it.

This is my take on this initiative. If IMR-Blue is adopted in anything close to its developmental configuration, it will be a significant improvement for the M4 carbine. Not only will there be a modular rail with enough real estate for modern weapon enablers such as night vision and thermal optics as well as lasers, but it will make room for that rail by removing the traditional front sight post in favor of a low profile gas block. If they fully follow USASOC’s lead, it will be a Mid-Gas System. Considering the Air Force has a requirement for 50,000 carbines (40,000 for Security Forces and 10,000 for Battlefield Airmen and OSI), that’s something the other services should take note of, and consider upgrading their M4 fleets. Whether or not NGSAR is adopted, M4s will be in service at least until 2040.

GAU-5/A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon

img_9635.jpg

The GAU-5/A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon was created in response to a requirement from Air Combat Command for a collapsible carbine which could be packed in an ejection seat.

So far, over 3,000 M4 carbines have been shipped to the Air Force Gunsmith Shop for modification which includes installation of a folding pistol grip and a quick barrel connector. Each weapon will be packed with 120 rounds of ammunition.

Air Force Global Strike Command is receiving the first quantities.

USAF Security Forces Adopt TYR’s EPIC Male/Female Body Armor

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Last week, the Security Forces issued a memorandum adopting TYR Tactical’s EPIC Body Armor in both male and female variants.

F168F4B8-826B-4198-ADFD-0F718FE76FB8

EPIC was submitted as a candidate for the US Army’s Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection program, but the Army chose a government design instead which has just begun fielding, three years after selection.

Male EPIC

3AF361BA-F71A-41FA-B55B-297B9FEABEF8

Congratulations to the Air Force for adopting a great system and the first body armor designed specifically for females, rather than scaling a male system down in size.

Female EPIC

7A1BE2C4-3492-452B-B924-809A5D284EE2

Brothers in Berets: The Evolution of Air Force Special Tactics, 1953–2003

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. —
Air University Press new publication announcement:

Brothers in Berets: The Evolution of Air Force Special Tactics, 1953–2003 by Forrest L. Marion.

Relying largely on oral history interviews, this work explores the evolution and contributions of the Battlefield Airmen assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) special tactics units over 50 years.

“Their story deserves telling within the US Air Force and to the general public,” notes Gen John Jumper, USAF, retired.

Battlefield Airmen core competencies include performing duties primarily on the ground, often “outside the wire,” and under austere conditions—all skills needed for carrying the fight to the enemy on the ground. The AFSOC special tactics community is a small brotherhood of highly trained and equally dedicated warriors consisting of special tactics officers and combat controllers, combat rescue officers and pararescuemen, and officer and enlisted special operations weathermen.

Its members have proven themselves as force multipliers time and time again throughout their history in places like Somalia, Serbia, and the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Download our publications at www.airuniversity.af.mil/AUPress. Order publications by e-mailing aupress@us.af.mil or calling 334-953-2773 (DSN 493). Publications are also available at the Air University Press Bookstore, 600 Chennault Circle, Building 1405 (Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center), Maxwell AFB.

Combat Control Teams Used AR-15s As Early As 1965 In Vietnam

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

CMSgt Gene Alcock (USAF, Ret) has long served his country in both the Air Force and industry. These past years, he’s continued as a historian, documenting the history of the Combat Control Teams he served on. He recently shared this photo from 1965 which depicts one of the earliest uses of the AR-15 rifle in a combat setting.

USAF NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HQ, 2D AIR DIVISION (PACAF), APO SAN FRANCISCO, CA 93307

14 OCTOBER 1965 – BONG SON SPECIAL FORCES CAMP, RVN – CCT TSgt Stan Williams, 32, of Erwin, NC “talks in” a C-123 Provider of the 315th Air Commando Group during an airlift of Army of the Republic of Vietnam troops at Bong Son Special Forces camp. The army unit was heading for Tuy Hoa North, after spending more than two months in the field. Watching the aircraft land is TSgt Gene Adcock, 28, of Christopher, IL, another member of the team.

The radio vehicle pictured is the MRC-94. The weapon, an Armalite AR-15 and a B- 2 air traffic control light are shown on the ground at the right wheel.
(Air Force Photo by SSgt B. W. Cook)

USAF OCP Transition Update

Friday, March 16th, 2018

As you know, Airmen have been wearing Operational Camouflage Pattern and MultiCam for years. Unfortunately, it’s been based on either duty position or command of assignment. Everyone else has been saddled with that travesty of a camouflage pattern, Digital Tigerstripe, since 2006. Lately, I’ve been hearing lots of chatter from industry that an announcement of an Air Force-wide transition to OCP was imminent. These slides discuss the issue.

EC99C744-6F96-465B-A82E-EE25CE8A02B7

4161B41A-B0AD-40D1-ADDB-6E90F4C5D154

AB8C4B4C-310A-4E01-8DD5-3AA1C4CD1199

4ADB2243-EA91-4B29-BC52-D49900479C86

FB1BC33D-D921-4CCE-BCE6-264D407C6B77

It looks like the long pole in the tent remains buying the Legacy ABU inventory from Defense Logistics Agency. They still don’t know how much it will cost or how they’ll pay for it. This same issue held up transition from Woodland/Desert to Digital Tigerstripe.

An interesting aside is that Airmen call ACUs.”, “OCPs” because they don’t understand the pattern is OCP while the uniform is the Army Combat Uniform. I guess they’ll have to refer to it as the Airman Combat Uniform.

Briefing courtesy of www.facebook.com/AirForceForum.

132d Wing Members Enhance Deployment Readiness at Sentry Aloha

Monday, March 5th, 2018

I’m sharing this story by the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Wing PAO for two reasons:

1. My father was a full time Guard guy (technician) at the 132nd Fighter Wing while I was growing up, so I have a personal interest.

2. The Wing has given up its F-16s and now conducts ISR, as a ground control station for UAS. When they had fighters, it made sense for the Wing to deploy to other locales, in order to familiarize themselves with the operating environment and practice wartime tasks. Now that they don’t have airplanes, it’s interesting to see the Wing’s personnel still conduct exercises at other bases.

Des Moines, Iowa —

Hawaii. A beautiful island paradise full of scenic ocean and mountain views, pleasant tropical breezes and piña coladas. What the members of the 132d Wing were preparing for though is anything but pleasant. Throughout the beautiful island, gas masks were being donned, weapons readied, sleeves rolled up, boots muddied and sweat falling as Iowa Air Guardsmen prepared themselves and others for hazardous and deadly situations.


Master Sgt. Patrick Kazeze, 132d Communications Flight, takes inventory of computer equipment February 13, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d CF Airmen inventoryed equipment, disposed of outdated computer hardrives and performed maintenance on underground network cables. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

Approximately 69 Airmen of the 132d Wing deployed to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii, February 10-23, 2018 for Exercise Sentry Aloha to develop their deployment readiness skills alongside their active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard counterparts.

Airmen from civil engineering, emergency management, fire emergency services, communications, security forces, force support squadron and medical all trained in a variety of environments and scenarios with local active duty and guard members.


Master Sgt. Matt Henning, 132d Wing Command Support Staff, acts as a casualty during an active shooter drill at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The drill was conducted to measure the response time and readiness of emergency personnel. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

The Emergency Management (EM) team trained approximately 466 active duty, Guard, and Reservist Airmen in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) attack survival skills. The training included proper use of CBRN equipment, simulation of different disaster scenarios, decontamination training and self-aid and buddy care (SABC).

“Getting to see the different perspective each instructor brings really helps pinpoint better ways to help people survive, especially those deploying,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachel Albee, 132d Wing Emergency Management.

Tech. Sgt. Rachel Albee, 132d Wing Emergency Managment, instructs Hawaii Airmen in proper decontamination tactics February 13, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d EM trained approximately 466 active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)
Tech. Sgt. Rachel Albee, 132d Wing Emergency Managment, instructs Hawaii Airmen in proper decontamination tactics February 13, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d EM trained approximately 466 active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

EM had access to equipment and facilities unavailable their home station which allowed them to effectively train Airmen for disaster scenarios. The efforts of EM were instrumental in deployment readiness of the Hawaii Airmen and were greatly appreciated.

“They integrated well with our flight members and provided much needed support in the readiness surge getting Airmen deployment ready,” said MSgt. Kareem Fuertes, emergency manager, 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard.


Master Sgt. Randy Warden, a combat arms training and maintenance (CATM) instructor, 132d Security Forces Squadron, gives instructions to shooters February 14, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The CATM team oversaw the weapons training and qualification for deploying Hawaii Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

Instructors from the 132d Security Forces Squadron’s combat arms training and maintenance (CATM) team oversaw the weapons training and qualification for deploying Hawaii Airmen. The training was conducted in new, state of the art indoor range which allowed for a greater diversity of shooting scenarios and allowed for faster qualification time.


Hawaii Air National Guard Airmen fire M-4 carbines during weapons qualification February 14, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii.The 132d Security Forces CATM team oversaw the weapons training and qualification for deploying Hawaii Airmen. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

“It was great being able to see how it works and talk to the CATM group here to find out the pros, cons and all the maintenance that is needed if we were able to obtain one,” said Tech. Sgt. Savannah Page, CATM instructor, 132d SFS.

The 132d Medical Group trained on administrative systems and also worked real world medical operations at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. The training included a rare hands-on Aerovac training mission, the on and off loading of patients in critical condition from aircraft. The training, which most ANG members seldom receive except in deployed locations, presented many challenges which the 132d MDG used to prepare themselves for future missions.

“The biggest obstacle for the training is the unpredictability of the actual flights,” said Staff Sgt. Kelsey Searls. “Aircraft availability, stability of the patients, weather, paperwork; all of it can change the flight times at any moment, making training on actual aircraft and running live missions, sometimes impossible to get during an annual training tour.”

132d Communications Flight Airman from the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard open up a manhole cover while working on underground cables February 22, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d CF Airmen inventoryed equipment, disposed of outdated computer hardrives and performed maintenance on underground network cables. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)
132d Communications Flight Airman from the 132d Wing, Iowa Air National Guard open up a manhole cover while working on underground cables February 22, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d CF Airmen inventoryed equipment, disposed of outdated computer hardrives and performed maintenance on underground network cables. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

132d Communications Flight worked on a variety of projects on base including inventorying equipment, disposing outdated computer hard drives and tapes as well as prepare underground network cables for use in base operations. They also upgraded the base’s computer systems and software.

“It was great getting to work with new people in a total force integrated environment,” said Senior Airman Ben Trotter, spectrum operations technician, 132d Communications Flight. “We provided manpower which organized their assets as well as training for us which will make us a more efficient communications flight.”

Communications Flight Airmen disposed of over 200 computer hard drives, inventoried and processed in approximately 250 computers, updated the software on 40 computers and fixed approximately five thousand feet of network cable.


Staff Sgt. Megan Newton, services, 132d Force Support Squadron, makes a pie in the Hale Aina Dining Facility, February 14, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The 132d FSS Airmen provided five thousand meals for base members. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly)

The 132d Force Support Squadron’s services Airmen provided meals at the Hale Aina Dining Facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The Airmen were able take inventory of the produce and supplies of the dining facility which helped them gain more knowledge of accountability systems.

“Working hand in hand with the active duty was rewarding as was the mutual exchange of ideas and knowledge of the services field which will make our shop better,” Chris Newton, services shift leader, 132d FSS.

The services Airmen also helped prepare a special meal for the base in honor of Black History Month. In total, the 132d FSS served approximately five thousand meals to active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen. They also conducted the physical training tests of approximately 500 Airmen.


U.S. Navy and Air Force security forces rush towards the scene of a shooting during an active shooter drill February 15, 2018, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. The drill was conducted to measure the response time and readiness of emergency personnel. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert Shepherd)

Sentry Aloha exercises are held to provide the Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense agencies an opportunity to execute current, realistic, integrated training specifically designed to develop combat operations and skill sets.

By Staff Sgt. Michael J. Kelly, 132d Wing Public Affairs

83rd ERQS Pararescuemen Conduct Weapons Training in Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, 455th Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, conduct weapons training Feb. 21, 2018. Pararescuemen conduct training on all aspects of combat, medical procedures and search and rescue tactics to hone their skills, providing the highest level of tactical capabilities to combatant commanders. (U.S. Air Force Video by SrA Nathaniel Stout)