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Quiet Professionals

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

DUKE FIELD, Fla. — From an airfield that once served as the training grounds for the famed Doolittle Raiders, Citizen Air Commandos from the 919th Special Operations Wing, Duke Field, Florida, are working daily to deliver superior airpower around the world.

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Master Sgt. Joseph Kimbrell (left) prepares his equipment for a future C-145A training mission while Master Sgt. Brian Schultz assists Tech. Sgt. Matthew Massey with adjustments to his pro gear. All are special mission aviators assigned to the 919th SOW.

The “Quiet Professionals” of the 919th SOW offer specialized skills to Air Force Special Operations Command made even more distinct by the fact that this “part time” unit is providing a full-time capability for a mission that never stops.

“At any minute on any day, members of the 919th are likely helping to get equipment and special operations forces where the warfighter needs them most,” said Col. Frank L. Bradfield, 919th SOW commander. “While they’re doing that, others are providing surveillance of the battlespace ready to deliver precision strike capabilities to those who wish to do America harm. It’s a no-fail mission and one we’re proud to support.”

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Maj. Kevin Riegner, 5th Special Operations Squadron pilot, takes a few minutes for a photo prior to a recent U-28 training mission at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The 5th SOS is one of 13 squadrons assigned to the 919th Special Operations Wing at nearby Duke Field. The wing’s diverse mission and ability to fulfill a wide range of requirements for Air Force Special Operations Command places its members in high demand for critical operations at home and at distant points around the globe. (Master Sgt. Jasmin Taylor)

These 1,500 Reservists are part of the Air Force Reserve’s only special operations wing. They are fully integrated with their active duty counterparts in the 492nd SOW operating from a small base in a densely wooded area in the Florida panhandle.

The 919th’s members are focused with laser-like intensity on employing innovative practices and standards to support four distinct mission sets—enhancing partner nation capacity, training future AFSOC aviators, conducting Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations and performing specialized mobility—all geared toward increasing AFSOC’s efficiency and lethality.

COMBAT AVIATION ADVISORS

In a desolate and austere airfield thousands of miles from U.S. soil, a small team of Citizen Air Commandos is having a global impact by enhancing partner nation aviation capabilities, yet most Americans don’t even know they exist.

These combat aviation advisors, or brown berets, are highly trained in specialized skills needed for hands-on, adaptive, advisory missions with foreign military partners. Their goal: to conduct special operations activities by, with and through foreign aviation forces.

As one such team of CAAs prepared to land the last training sortie of a recent two-month mission in North Africa, many took a moment to reflect on the experience.

The mission involved 60 days of intense training and constant coordination with seven separate combat units. An unimaginable amount of collaboration and teamwork contributed to the success of this final sortie. Shoulder-to-shoulder with their foreign colleagues, the CAAs prepared their partner nation for their first simulated joint event between its air and ground forces.

CAAs are an elite group of carefully selected, well-experienced Airmen with diverse backgrounds.

They deploy in 16-member Operational Aviation Detachments which are comprised of 12 different Air Force Specialty Codes, specifically trained to assist the partner nation force with joint operations.

“The OAD composition allows the CAA team to be self-reliant and contains the diversity of skills required to problem-solve and be adaptive,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Griffith, commander of the 711th Special Operations Squadron.

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TSgt Brandon Bass, an aircrew flight equipment specialist CAA with the 711th Special Operations Squadron, practices individual tactics during a training exercise. (TSgt Jodi Ames)

From security forces and communications, to maintenance and sensor operators, the types of career fields represented by the CAA community are quite diverse.

“The impact of a small OAD on the security and stability of a nation should not be underestimated,” said Lt. Col. Warren Halle, 711th SOS assistant director of operations.

“Any type of operation lives or dies, sustains or fades by an integrated team effort,” said Halle. “Special operations forces Airmen have been well-educated that ‘joint’ is not just a buzz word. Joint operations lead to the gold standard of integration effectiveness.”

By design, the 919th’s CAAs are supported by an entire wing that lives and breathes that standard of integration.

ONE-OF-A-KIND FORMAL TRAINING UNIT

As a Reserve unit, the 919th SOW blends with its active-duty partners not only to accomplish the mission but also to support the training of future air commandos.

The 5th SOS is home to the formal training unit for all Air Force special operations platform education, where they provided instruction on eight different platforms and conducted 6,800 student events in fiscal 2018 alone.

“This schoolhouse mission is a lot more diverse than any other FTU,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Kimbrell, CAA instructor and evaluator for the 5th SOS. “We are teaching the entire CAA aspect of the mission which considers the OAD team to be the weapon system.”

The training conducted by members of the 5th SOS is critical to the accomplishment of the AFSOC mission.

“We are the only FTU in the only special operations wing in the Reserve and we provide the preponderance of AFSOC with its aviators,” said Kimbrell. “We are the tool that sharpens the tip of the spear.”

THE SUN NEVER SETS ON THE 919TH

Not only does the 919th sharpen the spear, wing members also launch it. The 2nd SOS offers round-the-clock support to the warfighter through remotely piloted aircraft missions, taking the fight directly to the enemy.

“RPA missions continue to be the number one most requested capability of combatant commanders around the world,” said Col. Roland Armour, 919th SOG commander. “RPAs are in high demand and ours operate on a 24/7 basis.”

Another 919th unit, the 859th SOS, similarly runs a global mission that never rests. The 859th flies an aircraft not found anywhere else in the Air Force inventory, the C-146A Wolfhound.

Offering light and medium airlift capabilities, the Wolfhound allows the 919th to reach forward deployed special operations forces in locations large aircraft simply cannot.

“Within the past 12 months, the 859th SOS has provided crucial airlift for the AFSOC mission in more than 40 countries and four combatant commands contributing vital airlift for nation building and stabilization across the globe,” said Armour.

Meeting the unique demands and needs of special operations airlift missions requires constant innovation and problem-solving. More often than not, the 919th’s aerial delivery specialists must figure out how to conform a load to meet the requirements of the air commandos down range.

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TSgt Bradley Moore, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, returns from loading Army airborne soldiers into a C-17 Globemaster III at Duke Field, Florida, in preparation for their qualification jump. The 919th SOLRS provides integrated logistical support to the 919th Special Operations Wing, 7th Special Forces Group and Air Force Special Operations Command. (MSgt Jasmin Taylor)

“We are capable of dropping anything, anytime,” said Senior Master Sgt. Clarence Greene, 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron. “Most aerial delivery shops drop standard loads, such as water and basic supplies, but with us it could be anything from a radio to a motorcycle…anything to support the air commandos on the ground.”

SPECIAL SUPPORT FOR SPECIAL OPS

The unique platforms and missions at the 919th SOW have required the unit to adapt a culture of “outside the box” thinking reflected in every facet of its operations.

Even functions as “basic” as aircraft maintenance have had to be tailored to the Duke Field mission. The aircraft flown and maintained at the 919th SOW are commercial aircraft requiring specialized training not offered through traditional pipelines.

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TSgt Michael Resseguie, 919th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, manufactures washers for the C-146A Wolfhound on the OMAX Jetmachining Center at Duke Field, Florida. The 919th SOMXS provides round-the-clock maintenance support for the 919th SOW’s global mission. (Capt Monique Roux)

“One of the unique ways our unit ensures we are providing the most relevant training for our Airmen is through our in-house training program,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Tomi, 919th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “We sent a cadre of maintenance personnel to receive training from the [aircraft’s] commercial manufacturer and that cadre came back and developed a school house specific to our mission.”

The 919th’s security forces and communications Citizen Airmen have also had to adapt to the unique needs of special operations forces.

“Our agile combat support demonstrates the expeditionary nature of the 919th SOW,” said Lt. Col. Kelly Gwin, deputy commander of the 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group.

One critical component of that agile combat support is the Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element, a mission managed by the 919th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron. DAGRE members are specially trained to meet the unique security and force protection demands of special operations forces, supporting AFSOC’s global mission.

Its global mission also requires constant and reliable communication, often in unfamiliar and rapidly changing environments while air commandos are engaging the enemy. To tackle that challenge, the 919th Special Operations Communications Squadron consistently pushes the barriers of communications technology.

“They train, maintain and deploy some of the most technologically advanced cyber systems in the Air Force,” said Gwin.

SPIRIT OF COOPERATION

Support for special operations forces is the backbone of the 919th SOW mission of providing America’s citizen air commandos…anytime…anyplace.

Another OAD is just weeks away from commencing its next mission. RPAs are flying in undisclosed areas, providing valuable protection for joint coalition partners who are constantly under attack. New pilots are getting ready to join the AFSOC team. And somewhere in a remote and austere location, Airmen are receiving much-needed relief and supplies.

The Doolittle Raiders would be proud.

By Capt Monique Roux, 919th SOW public affairs office. Published in Citizen Airman magazine.

German K-ISOM Announces Special Operations & Special Mission Aircraft Book

Monday, November 26th, 2018

Available now for pre-order, “Special Operations & Special Mission Aircraft” by Christian Rastaetter and edited by Sören Sünkler.

With special emphasis on airdrop, you’ll learn the basics of airborne counterinsurgency (COIN), special forces mobility, electronic warfare, tactical and strategic airlift, and psychological warfare.

Contents:

002 introduction

010 counter insurgency (COIN) from the air: special aircraft for tactical support of special forces on the ground – introduction

018 Paramount Group AHRLAC / Mwari / Bronco II

024 Air Tractor IOMAX AT-802 Archangel / L3 AT-802L Longsword / THRUSH 510G T-Bird

033 Beechcraft AT-6 Texan II / AT-6B Wolverine

042 Cessna AC-208 Combat Caravan / ORBITAL ATK AC-208B Eliminator

046 Embraer Emb-314 / a-29 super tucano

062 Pilatus PC-6 / PC-7 / PC-9 / PC-12 / PC-21

086 textron air land scorpion

076 transport aircraft for special tasks (Multi Mission / special mission aircraft) – Introduction

080 Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules

106 Textron Cessna 208 Grand Caravan EX

108 Beechcraft King Air 350

116 mlw emb KC-390

126 dornier do 328 / C-146 a wolfhound

130 pzl m-28 breeze / C-145 a skytruck

140 facets of electronic and psychological warfare from air – introduction

143 electronic warfare and reconnaissance from air / Airborne C4ISR

164 psychological warfare & propaganda from air / airborne psyops

174 armed transport aircraft to support special forces on the ground (gun ships)

178 Lockheed Martin AC-130 / KC-130

202 Douglas AC-47 spooky / Basel Bt-67 fantasma

207 AIRBUS ORBITAL ATK ACC-235 / AIRBUS ACC-295

219 Leonardo Computer-27 J p

226 Antonov to-72 p

229 of and actuators for special mission aircraft

244 case study: COIN aircraft in bush – example Colombia

250 case study: electronic warfare to support SOF elements in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria – example task force Odin

253 glossary

256 imprint

Price: 44 euro

ISBN 978-3-9815795-7-4

Delivery begins on 7 December, 2018.

Contact: Bestellung@K-Isom.Com

Rocky S2V Styles Approved for Aviation Use by US Army

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Two of Rocky’s (NASDAQ: RCKY) popular S2V military footwear styles have been approved for aviation use by the U.S. Army, providing new sales opportunities for the company’s commercial military division. Both S2V styles conform to U.S. Army standards for safety and performance and are approved for use while performing crew duties, effective October 2018.

“Rocky has a long history of producing military footwear, and we continue to work with servicemen and women in each branch to create the industry’s most reliable, safe and highest-performing boots,” said Mark Dean, VP of Rocky’s Commercial Military and Pubic Service Divisions. “The aviation use designation for our Rocky S2V styles is attributable to the quality materials, durability and performance they provide to members of the U.S. Army.”

The addition of the S2V footwear to the Army’s approved for flight list opens new markets to the brand and makes a new option of premium footwear available to servicemen and women at bases with flight operations located throughout the world.

RKC050, the hot-weather version of the S2V, and RKC055, the cold-weather version, are fire resistant, water resistant and feature a proprietary high-walled Vibram outsole. RKC055 includes 400 grams of 3M™ Thinsulate™ Ultra insulation and a Berry compliant waterproof liner for optimal cold-weather performance.

Both styles are made from flash and water-resistant leather and 1000 Denier CORDURA®. Rocky’s Roll-Stop Ankle Stability™ system and the Rocky AirPort™ footbed with Aegis microbe shield make the S2V styles both incredibly safe and comfortable.

All of the styles are Made in the USA, Berry compliant and available in coyote brown in compliance with the Army’s uniform standards.

For more information on the flight approved S2V footwear and additional specific features for each style, visit www.RockyBoots.com.

Schiebel Establishes Australian Base To Serve Pacific Region

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Vienna, 3 September 2018 – Schiebel, the market leader in Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), has founded Schiebel Pacific Pty Ltd (SPL) to provide the Pacific region with a permanent and comprehensive programme, logistics and sales hub.

The Schiebel Group, with already established Defence contracts in the region, sees considerable further potential in Australia and in the region at large, and as such is committed to developing a lasting and mutually beneficial presence. Strategically located between Canberra and Sydney in the Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Schiebel Pacific Pty Ltd (SPL) is perfectly positioned to support and service existing contracts as well as to provide a base for continued growth. This new additional Schiebel company is an essential step to supporting and contributing to local industry, both in the civil and defence sectors, and as such bringing jobs and revenue to the region in the fast growing market or robotics.

“Establishing a permanent base in Australia, managed and run by Australians, is a logical next step for Schiebel as the Pacific region is of significant strategic interest to us,” notes Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group. “We already have a strong working relationship with customers in the area and are committed to growing our footprint, delivering outstanding support for our current contracts, providing end-to-end servicing to potential clients, and backing local value creation.”

www.schiebel.net

Existing USAF Huey Bases To Receive Replacement Aircraft

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force announced today that each UH-1N Huey location will receive replacement aircraft.


A UH-1N Huey helicopter prepares to land at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Air Force bases currently flying the UH-1N will receive upgraded aircraft sometime between 2020 and 2032. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Air Force is replacing the UH-1N Huey 46-year-old fleet by procuring new replacement aircraft to support four missions – Nuclear Deterrence Operations, Continuation of Government Operations, Survival School support, and Test and Training.

Current UH-1N Huey locations include Eglin Air Force Base’s Duke Field, Florida; Fairchild AFB, Washington; FE Warren AFB, Wyoming; Joint Base Andrews-Naval Air Facility Washington, Maryland; Kirtland AFB, New Mexico; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and Minot AFB, North Dakota.

The Air Force UH-1N Huey replacement program supports the Defense Department’s principal priority to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent that safeguards the homeland, assures allies and deters adversaries. The replacement for the UH-1N Huey will feature significant improvements in the areas of speed, range, endurance, payload capacity and survivability.

Each stateside active duty UH-1N Huey location will receive replacement aircraft pending the outcome of the environmental analysis.

The 2016 Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved the purchase of new aircraft to replace the 46-year-old UH-1N Huey fleet. A contract award for the new aircraft is anticipated later this year with deliveries planned for 2020-2032.

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

SOFIC 18 – Petzl Helo Adjust

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

The new Helo Adjust is a releasable, adjustable restraint device designed for use in military and law enforcement helicopters.

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It features an aluminum adjuster which makes it easy adjust one-handed. Additionally, the EASHOK OPEN includes an automatic locking feature. Finally, the snap shackle allows quick release disconnect.

Available July, from www.petzl.com.

AT – 802U Multi-Mission Aircraft On Display At SOFIC 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

OLNEY, Texas – Air Tractor, Inc. announced today its participation in the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), 21-24 May 2018 in Tampa, Florida.

During the conference, Air Tractor’s AT-802U Multi-Mission Aircraft will be on static display adjacent to the Channel Entry and Sail Pavilion at the Tampa Convention Center. This first-of-its-kind exhibition will allow SOFIC attendees direct access to the aircraft’s wide array of mission systems, sensors and armament. Air Tractor representatives will be on hand to provide information about the AT-802U to help conference participants gain an appreciation of its best-in-class payload and endurance.

“We are very enthusiastic about our participation in SOFIC. The AT-802U Multi- Mission Aircraft, along with the AT-802L Longsword, are both uniquely able to contribute to USSOCOM and AFSOC foreign internal defense (FID) and combat aviation advisor (CAA) missions, as well as direct action missions against our nation’s most dangerous terrorist threats,” said Jim Hirsch, President of Air Tractor.

While at SOFIC, the AT-802U will display its multi-sensor payload capability and will be configured with electro-optical infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radar and signals intelligence sensors. Each of these can be simultaneously employed on the Air Tractor – L3 Aerospace Systems AT-802L Longsword and integrated on its highly agile and interoperable L3 ForceX Widow Mission Management System. The advanced interoperable sensor configuration on display at SOFIC will include:

• Horizon Technologies’ Flying Fish XPOD (Sat-phone SIGINT System) with integrated L3 Wescam MX-15 EO-IR sensor

• Thales I-Master GMTI SAR

• BAE Systems Tactical SIGINT Payload

• Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS-A) EO/IR sensor with new mounting pylon designed specifically for the AT-802U

Even while carrying all these sensors, five additional wing stations will be loaded with precision munitions. This configuration effectively meets the operational needs of US Special Operation Forces and US partner nations. Additionally, the AT-802U is specifically designed for austere field operations and benefits from Air Tractor’s existing international sustainment system.

Drawing on a 50-year heritage of rugged, reliable, and cost-effective made-for- the mission aircraft, the AT-802 Multi-Mission Aircraft Series is a versatile aerial solution for managing evolving security environments. From illegal border crossings, narcotrafficking and wildlife poaching, to food security and wildfires— the AT-802U provides unrivaled versatility, performance and value.

more about Air Tractor and the AT-802U Multi-Mission-Aircraft and the AT- 802 aircraft series, follow us online:

www.airtractor.com and www.802u.com

Arnold Defense Returns to Nashville’s Army Aviation Summit with Next Generation Rocket Launchers

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Nashville, April 25, 2018: Arnold Defense, the US St Louis-based international manufacturer and supplier of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, is displaying its ultra-light LWL-12 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System at the 2018 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, from April 25- 27.

Arnold Defense is the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers; the Company has manufactured more than 1.1 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers and allies. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures rocket launchers that can be customized for any size, weight, capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or at sea.

UH-60MAWS, equipped with Arnold Defense’s M261 rocket launcher (image courtesy of Arnold Defense)

Arnold Defense’s rocket launchers are designed and built with combat-proven technology and they comply with U.S. airworthiness and safety standards. The Company’s products include the ultra-light LWL-12 (on display on a UH-60 Black Hawk on the L3 WESCAM stand 1607) that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg) empty. Other core products include the 19-round M261 which is commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher are used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser are used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide. The A-10 Warthog is being upgraded to include the Arnold LAU- 131/AA fitted with laser-guided rockets, making the A-10’s combat capability more effective than ever. Additionally, the FA-18 is undergoing an upgrade program involving the LAU-131/AA, for which tests are currently taking place.

Traditionally, 2.75-inch rocket systems have been used as an area suppression weapon, ordinarily deployed by aviation assets. The Arnold Defense team is currently developing the FLETCHER smart, laser-guided launcher system, which will be available during 2018. A special forces, vehicle-mounted FLETCHER prototype, unveiled in 2017 at both AUSA and DSEI, utilizes the advancement of laser- guided rocket technology to meet the modern demands of air, land and marine-based, mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare, for special and conventional forces.

Chris Frillman, Arnold Defense’s Program Director Weapons Systems said: “After a busy year, where Arnold Defense has been introducing our combat-proven rocket launchers in various parts of the world, it is now good to be back on home turf. The Army Aviation Summit is close to our hearts and our roots and we look forward to meeting many old friends here, as well as making new ones ”. He added: “We like to say that the sky is NOT the limit. Through our experience and innovation, we are developing the next generation of laser-guided weapons systems for missions on land, sea, and air. Working together, we protect the warfighters of today and tomorrow, just as we have for the past half-century.”

Meet the Arnold Defense team on stand 1042, where you can fire virtual rockets from an Arnold Defense LWL-12 via an Apache combat flight simulator video game. Arnold Defense staff are on hand to explain their systems to visitors and specific briefings/interviews can be facilitated.

See Arnold Defense’s LWL-12 rocket launcher on a UH-60 Black Hawk on L3 WESCAM’s stand 1607.

www.arnolddefense.com