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Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Category

SOFWERX – SOAR Helmet System Capability Assessment Event

Monday, June 10th, 2019

SOFWERX is holding a SOAR Helmet System
Capability Assessment Event
, 13-14 August 2019. The goal is to identify a new, lightweight, low profile Rotary Wing aircrew helmet for use by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment which solves the capability gaps below.


Helmet system capability gaps include, but are not limited to:
• The proposed helmet system must meet the performance requirements of Section 3.7 of the Purchase Description Aircrew Integrated Helmet System, HGU-56/P (AIHS) dated 1 November 1996, with the updated modifications identified in the Improved Rotary Wing Helmet Technology Readiness Test (TRT) Protocol dated 29 March 2019.
• The helmet system must provide significantly improved head mobility and field of view compared to the existing HGU-56/P. The helmet system must allow the AH/MH-6 Little Bird pilot the ability to visually see the pilot-side skids without having to position his upper body outside of the cockpit.
• In the opinion of the operator, the helmet system must remain comfortable and stable for a minimum of 8 hours of continuous use. This includes when being used in conjunction with a Night Vision Device (NVD), oxygen delivery system, and CBRN mask.
• The helmet system must integrate and still meet the performance requirements when used with the following items
o Aircraft Internal Communications System (ICS) of the AH/MH-6 Little Bird, MH- 60M Blackhawk, and MH-47G Chinook; Objective of a digital headset that is compatible with the digital output of the ICS, and does not require an inner-ear solution (e.g. ear bud)
o AN/PRC-148 Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR), AN/PRC-152A Multiband Handheld Radio (MBHHR), and AN/PRC-163 Multi-Channel Handheld Radio (MCHHR)
oAquaLung Portable Helmet Oxygen Delivery System (PHODS) with nasal cannula and full mask option
o M45 Aircrew CBRN mask,Joint Service Aircrew Mask–Rotary Wing (JSAMRW) MPU-5
o Aviator’s Night Vision Imaging System – 6 (ANVIS-6) with up to 640 grams of total weight
o FirstSpear Aviation Body Armor Vest
o Elbit Common Helmet Mounted Display(CHMD)
• The helmet system should have the option of an easily attachable/detachable
maxillofacial system that provides environmental and impact protection.
• The system must be designed with snag-free cabling for all items requiring cables.
Cabling and connectors shall be durable and designed for repeated use and flexing.
• The helmet system must be maintainable at the unit level with readily available
replacement parts.

Successful demonstrations may be considered for follow on production awards to replace ~1300 helmets.

Interested parties have until to submit. Visit for full details.

Now That’s What I Call Aerial Fires

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

NAVAIR Approves Massif’s Hellman Combat Pant and Advanced Quarter Zip Combat Shirt

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Massif’s Hellman Combat Pant and Advanced Quarter Zip Combat Shirt are NAVAIR approved.  As a recent SOA list addition, these new items are interchangeable with the approved Massif 2 Piece flight suit to give Aircrews the flexibility to pick and choose flight gear based on mission and environment. This is huge for Naval Aircrews as this is the first time a Combat-Style pant with integrated knee pad has been approved for flight use. Navy and Marine Corps helo crews spend lots of time on their knees and this move is bringing much needed relief.


Massif has done a great job of working with various communities like naval and Marine Corps aviation to not only boost performance, but also preventing injuries.

Hellman Combat Pant


 *   Sigma 4 Start Fabric powered by DuPont Nomex and DuPont Kevlar
 *   Integrated/removable Crye Precision Airflex Kneepad
 *   Intuitive Hand Pockets and utility pockets built with comfort and usability in mind
 *   Dual entry cargo pockets
 *   Available in Sage Green, Tan, and OCP

Tech sheet and sizing chart can be found at

Advanced Quarter Zip Combat Shirt


 *   Proprietary 4 way stretch fabrics now fielded in over 7 million combat shirts
 *   Superfabric covered elbows offer protection and abrasion resistance
 *   Ultra lightweight collar and zipper
 *   Adjustable cuffs and thumb loop for secure fit
 *   Advanced breathability and wicking properties
 *   Available in Sage Green, Tan, OD Green, Black and OCP
 *   Women’s fit available in Sage Green and OCP

Tech sheet and sizing chart can be found at

AFSOC Combat Aviation Advisors

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

USAF MSgt Joseph Kimbrell, a Combat Aviation Advisor with the 5th Special Operations Squadron, prepares to load a motorcycle onto a C-145A “Combat Coyote” for a training mission.

The C-145A is capable of moving non-standard cargo into remote locations, usually inaccessible by larger, more traditional cargo aircraft.

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.

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.”

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.


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.

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.


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.”


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.

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.”


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.

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.


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.


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


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

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.”