Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Disruptive Tech’ Category

Every Crisis Is An Opportunity

Friday, April 6th, 2018

Opportunity is everywhere. Thanks Nick for reminding me.

Innovation Showdown awards top prizes to Bounce Imaging, Veterans MFG and DetectaChem

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

COLLEGE STATION – Three companies won the top prizes in the “Under Fire Response Innovation Showdown,” an event which drew 20 innovative public safety technologies to College Station and Disaster City®. The winners were Bounce Imaging, Veterans MFG and DetectaChem. They were among the nine companies who made it to the final round in the two-day competition, and demonstrated their technologies for first responders at Disaster City.

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The Product Development Center at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) hosted the event, which invited 20 companies from 11 states and Switzerland to pitch their products before a panel of judges on March 8-9 and compete for cash prizes.

First place winner was Bounce Imaging of Buffalo, NY, which has developed a softball-sized, 360-degree camera that first responders could toss into a hostage situation or other hostile event to give them an inside view of the incident.

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Veterans MFG of Katy, TX, has developed lightweight body armor and bullet-resistant products for first responders.

DetectaChem of Stafford, TX, has a product that detects trace amounts of a drug using a swab kit and a smartphone application, allowing responders to analyze a drug sample in the field.

In addition to the top prizes, three companies were awarded in-kind services by Esri, Paragon Innovations and Ricochet Manufacturing. The companies who won those awards are RSQ Systems, HAAS Alert and Veterans MFG.

Many company spokespersons said they were excited about the opportunity to showcase their product’s capabilities in front of potential users of the technology.

“It was an open forum for a wide variety of technologies,” said Caleb Holt, Manager of the Product Development Center. “The event focused on technologies that are targeted to provide first responders with a way to complete their tasks faster, more efficiently and/or safer for both the responders and citizens.”

He said the goals of the event were to expose first responders to emerging technologies that they could use in the real world to make their jobs easier and safer, to show companies the resources and facilities available at TEEX’s Disaster City, and to build the Product Development Center’s network of partners throughout the industry and first responder communities.

The next Under Fire event is being planned for March 2019.

About the TEEX Product Development Center

The Product Development Center, a center within the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, helps manufacturers, product developers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and businesses move products from an idea or concept to the global marketplace. The Center serves as a gateway to the engineering expertise, experienced market analysts, laboratories, and real-world facilities of The Texas A&M University System in order to ensure a product or technology stays on the path to commercialization. Using the proven process of THINK | BUILD | SELL, the PDC helps companies develop methodologies, recruit subject-matter experts, assess partnerships, and test and evaluate their products. The Center also offers TEEX TESTED™, a third-party, unbiased testing and validation that a technology performs reliably in real-world conditions.  teexpdc.com

FirstSpear Friday Focus – Disruptive Technology

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

In January 2012 FirstSpear introduced the first production tactical vest with a laser cut MOLLE compatible platform along with Tubes, a new standard for rapidly donning and doffing ballistic protection.  Since then the technology has been fielded with assets of the United States Department of Defense, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies and early adopters from the international special operations community.

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Ronnie Fowlkes, VP Business Development – “Everyone said the technology wouldn’t work when we first released it and thought we were crazy when we said we were discontinuing MOLLE permanently. Now, everyone else is trying to catch up and move this direction.”

Today, we take a look at some of these vests after more than five years of continuous field use.

Lieutenant Dan Colasanto heads up the Garland Police Department and SWAT Team and was one of the first teams to test, evaluate, and field the original Strandhögg plate carrier system more than 5 years ago. Those original vests are still in service with the Garland PD today. According to Dan, “Through heavy use and long continuous hours we have had zero issues with the carriers and they have exceeded our expectations.”

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Letter
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Garland SWAT Vest

We have been FirstSpear customers since the company started. The 6/12 system provides superior performance and durability compared to other carriers I have used in my 25 years of service in law enforcement and 22 years of SWAT. –Lt. Dan Colasanto – Garland Police Department

Tubes single hand operation was a game changer all on its own and the perfect complement to 6/12. When the two technologies are used together they can afford the operator about 40% reduction in weight compared to vests with the same features.

With increased demand from end users and adoption by operators within the US DOD, FirstSpear has agreements in place with industry leading manufacturers and OEM partners to license FirstSpear laser cutting technology and integrate Tubes into systems supporting the warfighter, law enforcement and security professionals. An enormous amount of energy was put forth to bring these disruptive technologies to the front lines and FS welcomes additional equipment manufacturers to expand upon the success of Tubes and laser cutting technology for their own equipment solutions.

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Scott Carver, President & CEO – “After years of investment and development in new technology, we’ve demonstrated lighter weight, improved performance, and now real world durability at a level never seen before. In an effort to get this technology to the men and women who need it as rapidly as possible, we are actively working with other domestic manufacturers to help them integrate laser cutting and Tubes in to their vest systems.”

FirstSpear was founded in 2010 by a team of former service members and industry professionals dedicated to building the most advanced load bearing equipment and armor platforms for todays armed professional.

Army Developing Expeditionary Cyber-Electromagnetic Teams to Support Tactical Commanders

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — U.S. Army Cyber Command is deploying Expeditionary Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities Teams to support tactical commanders at National Training Center rotations, and the CEMA operations have tried to replicate real-world operations support through the cyberspace domain.

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Sgt. Camille Coffey, a cyber operations specialist from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations as part of the Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below (CSCB) program during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

CEMA is an Army initiative designed to provide tactical commanders with integrated cyberspace operations, Department of Defense Information Network operations, Electronic Attack, Electronic Protection, Electronic Warfare Support, Spectrum Management Operations, Intelligence, and Information Operations support/effects.

According to Maj. Wayne Sanders, the ARCYBER CEMA Support to Corps and Below chief, success for the brigade combat team in the cyberspace domain begins at the D-180 planning conference — 180 days before the unit’s NTC rotation.

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Spc. Victorious Fuqua (at the computer), and Staff Sgt. Isaias Laureano, both cyber operations specialists from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations, while Spc. Mark Osterholt pulled security, during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

“The biggest thing for the D-180 are the key leader engagements,” said Sanders. “[At those conferences] we can inform the brigade commander about what types of CEMA support we can provide to help him shape conditions for his battle to be able to close with and destroy the enemy.”

Sanders said while he doesn’t foresee BCTs executing their own cyberspace operations organically, he does expect the commander and the staff to have an initial understanding of the CEMA environment and to provide their higher headquarters with a cyber effects request form. He said that if the brigade plans for an expeditionary CEMA capability to be brought out to support their operations correctly “then we can provide that for them.”

“If you’re looking at this from a real-world perspective, if they identify that they are going somewhere in the world — somewhere they would need additional capacity that they may not have coverage for — they can submit that through a CERF, as a request for forces,” said Sanders. “And the beauty of the Expeditionary CEMA Teams is their scalability and reach back.”

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Sgt. Camille Coffey (at the antenna), and Spc. Victorious Fuqua, both cyber operations specialists from the Expeditionary Cyber Support Detachment, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion (Cyber), from Fort Gordon, Ga., provided offensive cyber operations as part of the Cyber-Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) Support to Corps and Below (CSCB) program during the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, National Training Center Rotation 18-03, Jan. 18 – 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM))

Sanders explained the ECT concept originated from the Chief of Staff of the Army, who directed the Cyber Support to Corps and Below Pilot in 2015. The pilot tasked ARCYBER to assess the best package of equipment, capability, authorities and personnel to support a BCT.

“That’s why, out of the DOTMLPF-P (Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy) came the need for a force that provides the authorities, the senior and master level expeditionary cyber operators, and a quick turn cyber development capability, that doesn’t exist right now in the Army,” said Sanders. “It provides infrastructure support personnel that can provide the same thing as having people on the ground.”

Sgt. Maj. Jesse Potter, the operations sergeant major for the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber), said that although this is the ninth rotation since 2015, it has been an iterative process to best replicate real-world operations, and more is being learned each time a rotation is conducted.

“We’ve learned that we were a very large logistical burden to the rotational training units. We learned our lessons about the CEMA capability that we can provide to a rotational training unit, and at the same time we were reducing the logistical requirement to provide that capability,” said Potter.

“Eventually, we concluded that an expeditionary mindset, based on the commander’s request for cyber effects, is best fitted with a plug and play capability,” he continued. “Meaning, we need to identify the personnel that fit those requirements, ensure the teams are self-sufficient with a reach back capability to reduce the logistical footprint, in both a flyaway kit, light capability, to a more robust sustained operation, whether in a peer or near-peer environment, permissive or non-permissive environment.”

Potter also said another area ARCYBER is looking at was CEMA support at the division and corps levels. “What’s missing, what’s next, are the division and corps level exercises,” he said. “Enabling the education of the commanders [is] through the institutional arm of the Army, which is primarily the mission of the Cyber Center of Excellence. That is what the CCoE is working toward –incorporating CEMA into all aspects of the PME (Professional Military Education).”

“And then for the higher level exercises, just like we’ve done for the NTC rotations, how does the staff enable cyber based effects that supports the commander’s objectives, and what can they gain from having the cyberspace capability that they currently don’t have?” Potter continued. “Because at the same time, that education will benefit the brigade combat teams.”

Furthermore, ARCYBER is not just looking at the development of the ECT structure and incorporating that support at the division and corps levels — the command is also determining the organizational structure to command and control those ECTs.

“Regarding the ECT structure…you have individuals, put together as a team, predominantly from four separate organizations across three MACOMs (Major Commands) — ARCYBER, Intelligence and Security Command, and the Cyber Center of Excellence,” said Potter. “Moving to an organizational structure whereby the ECTs are part of a larger unit as the force structure solution means we no longer have an organization that’s made up of a hodgepodge of people, further exasperating the issues that we have with the rotational training unit.”

Potter and Sanders said that’s where they are now. Organic ECTs, all assigned to the same unit, and subordinate to ARCYBER will provide the Army with an expeditionary CEMA capability.

ARCYBER used the lessons learned from the past nine NTC rotations to determine the optimized force structure they are proposing to the Army to stand up an organization with all those separate elements that were under different commands, to fall under one command with CEMA capabilities tailored to meet the tactical commander’s objectives.

By Mr. Steven P Stover (INSCOM)

SOFWERX – ThunderDrone Rapid Prototyping Event Tech Expo

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

SOFWERX will host the second ThunderDrone Rapid Prototyping Event Tech Expo on 29 January to 1 February 2018. ThunderDrone is a USSOCOM initiative dedicated to drone prototyping, which focuses on exploring drone technologies through idea formation, testing, and demonstrating efforts that are being conducted collaboratively with the Department of Defense’s Strategic Capabilities Office at our SOFWERX facility in Ybor City, Florida. This initiative is attracting collaboration from small businesses, industry and interagency partners, academia, innovators, all U.S. military services and warfighters. The current event will focus on Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-SUAS) and welcomes selected participants to showcase their capabilities that address any part of the C-SUAS kill chain. ThunderDrone has particular interest in solutions that provide hard-kills (permanently defeat drones), but will assess all new, novel, and provocative technologies.

The deadline to submit technologies for the current Tech Expo is 22 December 2017.

Further details regarding the event and submission information are located at www.sofwerx.org/thunderdrone.

HENSOLDT Successfully Demonstrates UAV Countermeasures

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Hamburg, 6 December 2017 – As part of a major product demonstration on the Airbus airfield in Hamburg-Finkenwerder, HENSOLDT, the leading independent sensor house, provided proof of the excellent performance of its Xpeller counter-UAV system when it comes to protecting airports and critical infrastructure.

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HENSOLDT demonstrated counter-UAV measures using a combination of radar, RF and optical sensors and a targeted jammer to representatives from the police, industrial companies, airport operators and armed forces. For this, the individual elements of the system were positioned in such a way as to ensure optimum surveillance of the whole area. This involved seamlessly integrating Xpeller into the airfield’s infrastructure and proving its compatibility with all the other local systems. Xpeller also managed to reliably detect UAVs starting from different locations. The visitors considered it to be a particular success that the HENSOLDT system was able to reliably detect even extremely small UAVs at a distance of several kilometres and to identify them as threats.

The modular Xpeller product family includes various sensors such as radar, camera and radio frequency detectors as well as direction finders and jammers. Xpeller uses sensors to detect and identify a drone and assess its threat potential at ranges from a few hundred metres up to several kilometres. Based on real-time analyses of the control signals, a jammer then interrupts the link between drone and pilot or interferes with its navigation. The modular Xpeller system concept relies on the selection of individual devices from the product family depending on customer requirements and local conditions.

QinetiQ Emulates Drone Threat for Royal Canadian Navy

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

30 November 2017 – QinetiQ Target Systems (QTS) has introduced a new service to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) by emulating the threat posed to large naval vessels by small multi-rotor drones.

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The live demonstration was carried out in November 2017 from a Halifax-class frigate under the C$8.5M Unmanned Targets Repair, Overhaul and Engineering contract, awarded to QTS in 2015.

QTS flew its Snyper multi-rotor target alongside Lockheed Martin’s Indago quadcopter using QinetiQ’s Universal Target Control Station (UTCS), which facilitates the operation of multiple unmanned systems from a single command centre.

The RCN has operated fixed wing aerial targets and marine surface targets using QinetiQ’s UTCS for more than 20 years, but the introduction of rotary wing targets is a first for the service.

Peter Longstaff, Managing Director, QTS, said: “Commercially available technologies, like off-the-shelf drones, are becoming more advanced and more accessible to those who wish to use them to cause harm. QinetiQ simulates these new and emerging threats to help the armed forces understand how to protect their people and assets. This is part of our global strategy to modernise test and evaluation by introducing innovative and advanced capabilities that help nations maintain their advantage over potential adversaries. In Canada, we are committed to supporting the Department of National Defence in achieving its vision of being strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.”

Simon Nadeau, DNR-2 Unmanned Systems Section Head Commander, RCN, said: “The information and results obtained during the demonstration are vital for the RCN’s development of remotely piloted systems use at sea, and the evaluation of ships’ critical defence systems. We are very pleased with the support that QinetiQ Target Systems provided to us during this demonstration.”

The Snyper target is one of several QinetiQ technologies designed to help customers tackle threats from small unmanned aircraft, including the Obsidian detection system and the laser weapon currently in development by the Dragonfire consortium that will be capable of destroying drones mid-flight.

2017 Defense to Response Technology Program Winners Announced

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Product Development Center has announced the 2017 Defense to Response Technology Program winners. D2R searched for Department of Defense funded technologies to enhance public safety and homeland security. D2R is the Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative’s Technology Transition Program that will identify three technologies, annually and provide $110,000 worth of services.

Applied Research Associates, Inc. Non-Pyrotechnic Diversionary Device

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The Non-Pyrotechnic Diversionary Device (NPDD) is intended to address and overcome the shortcomings and regulations with traditional or conventional incendiary flashbang devices on the market today.

The NPDD may be desirable to law enforcement teams that need to operate in environments where pyrotechnic-based flashbang technologies are a poor or nonexistent choice. In addition to operational use, the NPDD could be a cost-effective training tool for law enforcement personnel who utilize incendiary flashbangs but desire to reduce health risks such as breathing hazardous fumes, severe burns or dismemberment.

DetectaChem LLC, MobileDetect Test for Fentanyl ID

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MobileDetect from DetectaChem is the next evolution of products following DetectaChem’s top-selling SEEKER line of handheld automated colorimetric detection devices. DetectaChem’s detection engine that powers the MobileDetect app enables automated colorimetric detection with a smartphone as an orthogonal approach in presumptive testing of substances of interest.

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With the growing opioid epidemic and the dangers of Fentanyl and Carfentanil, every police officer and first responder needs a cost effective and safe way to detect the presence of these substances so they may identify them and handle them appropriately.

Southwest Synergistic Solutions E/T (Emergency/Tactical) Light

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The technology was originally developed at the request of a Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) medic who was carrying four bags of chemical lights to triage patients. The E/T light combines four colors red, yellow, green, blue or infrared red, green, blue into one combat proven, lightweight, durable, illuminated marker that functions in all austere environments.

The E/T light has countless applications for emergency responders such as tagging team members, patients and equipment. In addition to first responders there are uses in hunting, kayaking, fishing, back-up lighting, camping, scuba diving and boating.

For more information about Defense 2 Response or Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Product Development Center visit www.teexpdc.com or www.facebook.com/teexpdc.