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FirstSpear Friday Focus – Three Color Desert Sherpa

Friday, July 19th, 2019

We saw a few teasers earlier this week and we now have the first look at an awesome new Sherpa in three color desert now available only in the FirstSpear web store. 1000D construction, moveable interior dividers, removable padded pistol inserts, built with premium hardware and made the FirstSpear way right here in the USA. Grab one while you can!

www.first-spear.com/sherpa-7446

Tyndall AFB leads way in authorizing shorts on flight line

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. —

Working any job on the flight line can be an arduous task, but scorching heat and thick humidity can easily raise the temperature to triple digits along the long strip of pavement before sunrise.

Chief Master Sgt. Brent Salvadori, 325th Maintenance Group (MXG) superintendent, devised a way over the past 18 months to keep Airmen comfortable in the heat, without sacrificing mission accomplishment.

The 325th MXG Airmen are officially approved to wear shorts on the flight line when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees outside of a climate controlled area.

“When asked the question, ‘Should I?’ my response is simple, ‘It’s what my Airmen want, and this is what Chiefs do,” said Salvadori. “We make things happen for our Airmen. This who we are, and this is what we do.”

The idea originated from the 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in southwest Asia, said Salvadori. The AMU was permitted to wear shorts while they were deployed and upon return Salvadori reached out for the local guidance authorizing Al Dhafra’s shorts to integrate them at home station. 

“After review, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” said Salvadori. “It was a long journey, as with any time you try to change something this drastic. But, when you peel the onion back, our fellow aircraft maintenance contractors and depot civilians have been wearing shorts in the same industrial environment while performing the same maintenance actions. So, why not Airmen?”

The shorts are incredibly beneficial and serve as a cooler alternative to wear during the day while the heat and humidity is unbearable, said SrA Michael Conard, 325th MXS Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman.

Through this effort other bases, such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, Beale AFB and Edwards AFB in California and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina are utilizing this idea for their flight lines.

This new attempt at innovation for flight line Airmen embodies their motto of #AWESOME: Always With Excellence Supporting Our Mission Everyday.

By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum, 325th Fighter Wing

USAF Officer Training School Braces For “Godzilla” Class

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

I attended a reasonably sized OTS class in 1996. We were organized into only three trainee Squadrons and we lived in the dorms which I later stayed in for Squadron Officer School. Even though here were only two to a room, it was pretty tight.

In the early 2000s, OTS got its own compound out on the old flight line at Maxwell AFB. Even so, I don’t know how they’re going to house a class this size.What’s more, OTS is set up in a “inmates running the asylum” scheme. This requires the upper class, which is halfway through OTS, to assume many of the duties normally fulfilled by a training cadre. If the upper class is substantially smaller than the lower class, supervision will suffer. Granted, over half of the new OTs will be prior service, but even then, the number of those right off the street will be larger than an average class.

The undertaking is so big, as of last week, many did still not yet have orders to attend OTS.

It’s going to be a tough go; for everyone involved. I wish everyone good luck!

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. —

This past March, Air University’s Officer Training School celebrated the graduation of its largest class in school history: 340 officer trainees. Just a few months later, though, the radar is reading a class more than twice that size.

What is being dubbed the “Godzilla” class, OTS Class 19-07 will push the school to its maximum capacity by tipping the scales with the expected arrival of 800 officer trainees in mid-July.

OTS is considered the “shock absorber” for Air Force officer accessioning, said Lt. Col. Erick Saks, 24th Training Squadron commander. The school works with the Air Force manpower directorate and Air Force Recruiting Service to meet any projected shortfalls in the number of commissioned officers from the service’s other commissioning sources — Air Force ROTC and the Air Force Academy — based on the needs of the Air Force.

For the Godzilla class, OTS nearly tripled the typical number of seats allotted for active duty line officers, going from about 170 to 500, the majority of the increase. The 800 officer trainees coming in will be split between OTS’s two training squadrons, the 24th TRS and Det. 12. Previously, each squadron typically received a class of 250-300 OTs.

OTS leadership, however, does not expect the increase in trainees to cause a decrease in quality of training.

“It’s not just about getting numbers out, it’s about making sure our trainees leave here with the skills they need to be great officers,” said Capt. Kaitlin Daddona, 24th Training Squadron assistant director of operations for training. “That’s what we’re really focusing on with this many people in one class.”

In order to make sure operations continue to run smoothly, communication and coordination have been key in preparation of the class, Daddona said.

With the abnormally high number of trainees coming in, otherwise routine aspects of the OTS schedule, such as meal times and lectures, have required more forethought and planning due to the nature of the beast.

Communication and coordination are important, especially when there are only six military training instructors to take on Godzilla.

Master Sgt. Bobby Johnson, OTS MTI, said that tackling this monster of a class will help develop himself and his team into “masters of controlled chaos” and make them gain the ability to problem solve while in the presence of hundreds of future Airmen.

Molding almost a thousand civilians into Air Force leaders at once can sound like a daunting task, but the OTS team sees it as an opportunity to become laser focused on cohesion and developing into better leaders right alongside their very own Godzilla.

“The best part of this has been being able to open up those lines of communication so that we can connect and build relationships with the partners that we have, whether it’s here on base or within Montgomery,” said Daddona.

The team at OTS believe that they are up to the task, but they fear the class will take a major toll on the school’s facilities.

Capt. Curan Clonch, 24th TRS assistant director of operations for standardization and evaluations, said that the facilities are going to take the biggest hit from Class 19-07.

“We can anticipate all of the things that may happen, but there’s not much we can do as far as preventative maintenance,” he said.

While the hype of this class has created a paradigm shift in the OTS staff’s mindset, the school’s goal remains the same.

“Even though Godzilla seems like a terrifying beast, we recognize the importance of getting these officers through and giving them the training that they need,” said Daddona. “As long as our trainees are leaving pumped and ready to be officers, then we did our job.”

By Senior Airman Alexa Culbert, Air University Public Affairs

US Army Experiments With Robotic Combat Vehicles

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Soldiers to operate armed robotic vehicles from upgraded Bradleys

AUSTIN, Texas — Soldiers are slated to fire at targets next year using a platoon of robotic combat vehicles they will control from the back of modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

The monthlong operational test is scheduled to begin in March at Fort Carson, Colorado, and will provide input to the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center on where to go next with autonomous vehicles.

The upgraded Bradleys, called Mission Enabler Technologies-Demonstrators, or MET-Ds, have cutting-edge features such as a remote turret for the 25 mm main gun, 360-degree situational awareness cameras and enhanced crew stations with touchscreens.

Initial testing will include two MET-Ds and four robotic combat vehicles on M113 surrogate platforms. Each MET-D will have a driver and gunner as well as four Soldiers in its rear, who will conduct platoon-level maneuvers with two surrogate vehicles that fire 7.62 mm machine guns.

“We’ve never had Soldiers operate MET-Ds before,” said David Centeno Jr., chief of the center’s Emerging Capabilities Office. “We’re asking them to utilize the vehicles in a way that’s never been done before.”

After the tests, the center and Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, both part of Army Futures Command, will then use Soldier feedback to improve the vehicles for future test phases.

“You learn a lot,” Centeno said at the International Armored Vehicles USA conference on June 26. “You learn how they use it. They may end up using it in ways we never even thought of.”

The vehicles are experimental prototypes and are not meant to be fielded, but could influence other programs of record by demonstrating technology derived from ongoing development efforts.

“This technology is not only to remain in the RCV portfolio, but also legacy efforts as well,” said Maj. Cory Wallace, robotic combat vehicle lead for the NGCV CFT.

One goal for the autonomous vehicles is to discover how to penetrate an adversary’s anti-access/aerial denial capabilities without putting Soldiers in danger.

The vehicles, Centeno said, will eventually have third-generation forward-looking infrared kits with a target range of at least 14 kilometers.

“You’re exposing forces to enemy fire, whether that be artillery, direct fire,” he said. “So, we have to find ways to penetrate that bubble, attrit their systems and allow for freedom of air and ground maneuver. These platforms buy us some of that, by giving us standoff.”

PHASE II, III

In late fiscal year 2021, Soldiers will again play a role in Phase II testing as the vehicles conduct company-level maneuvers.

This time, experiments are slated to incorporate six MET-Ds and the same four M113 surrogates, in addition to four light and four medium surrogate robotic combat vehicles, which industry will provide.

Before these tests, a light infantry unit plans to experiment with the RCV light surrogate vehicles in Eastern Europe next May.

“The intent of this is to see how an RCV light integrates into a light infantry formation and performs reconnaissance and security tasks as well as supports dismounted infantry operations,” Wallace said at the conference.

Soldier testing for Phase III is slated to take place mid-fiscal 2023 with the same number of MET-Ds and M113 surrogate vehicles, but will instead have four medium and four heavy purpose-built RCVs.

“This is the first demonstration which we will be out of the surrogate realm and fielding purpose builts,” Wallace said, adding the vehicles will conduct a combined arms breach.

The major said he was impressed with how quickly Soldiers learned to control the RCVs during the Robotic Combined Arms Breach Demonstration in May at the Yakima Training Center in Washington.

“Soldiers have demonstrated an intuitive ability to master controlling RCVs much faster than what we thought,” he said. “The feedback from the Soldiers was that after two days they felt comfortable operating the system.”

There are still ongoing efforts to offload some tasks in operating RVCs to artificial intelligence in order to reduce the cognitive burden on Soldiers.

“This is not how we’re used to fighting,” Centeno said. “We’re asking a lot. We’re putting a lot of sensors, putting a lot of data in the hands of Soldiers. We want to see how that impacts them. We want to see how it degrades or increases their performance.”

The family of RCVs include three variants. Army officials envision the light version to be transportable by rotary wing. The medium variant would be able to fit onto a C-130 aircraft, and the heavy variant would fit onto a C-17 aircraft.

Both future and legacy armored platforms, such as the forthcoming Mobile Protected Firepower “light tank,” could influence the development of the RCV heavy.

With no human operators inside it, the heavy RCV can provide the lethality associated with armored combat vehicles in a much smaller form. Plainly speaking, without a crew, the RCV heavy requires less armor and can dedicate space and power to support modular mission payloads or hybrid electric drive batteries, Wallace said.

Ultimately, the autonomous vehicles will aim to keep Soldiers safe.

“An RCV reduces risk,” Wallace said. “It does so by expanding the geometry of the battlefield so that before the threat makes contact with the first human element, it has to make contact with the robots.

“That, in turn, gives commanders additional space and time to make decisions.”

By Sean Kimmons, Army News Service

SPARTANAT – Corvus Defensio puts Micro piggyback on Trijicon

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

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The Corvus Defensio Aimpoint Micro assembly fulfills one of our long cherished wishes. With regard to optics systems for assault rifles and semi-automatic rifles, we have long been convinced by so-called “piggyback” solutions for many different reasons. Since nothing can replace a classic red dot sight without magnification – and parallax free at best – in close range and any lighting condition, modern rifles in sports and military are most likely seen with these kind of sights. But in both areas, these weapons can be used effectively up to 500 meters. Here (and in the area of target identification also at closer distances), however, magnifying optics are of greater advantage. One approach is to use variable magnification optics, which can typically be magnified from 1-3x up to 1-10x and used as a red dot sight at simple magnification. The disadvantage of these systems, however, is usually that even with 1x magnification it must be targeted through an optical lens system, including effects such as exit pupil, correct eye relief, sometimes slight distortions and the so-called “eye box” (the picture is only visible in a limited area). Furthermore, each time the magnification is to be adjusted, the support hand must be removed from the weapon to operate any kind of lever.

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With piggyback systems one can combine the advantages of both “optics worlds”. But these solutions bring various disadvantages. In most cases, the height of the piggyback mounted red dot sights is too high to ensure a neat attack with at least the touch of the chin to the stock. In addition, the red dot sights used are almost exclusively mini red dots based on the principle of open construction (eg Docter Sight, RMR, MRDS, etc.). This makes them particularly susceptible to contamination, as even a small foreign body over the exit point of the light beam causes the point to be invisible.

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Corvus Defensio now dares claim to have developed a solution for the most compact, elegant, robust and reliable Red Dot / Optic combination. For the first time it is possible to combine our personally favored optics of both worlds, namely a Trijicon TA33 Compact ACOG with an Aimpoint Micro (H and T models, version 1 and 2 as well as Holosun derivatives) with the lowest possible height. These advantages are particularly evident when this combination is used with a Steyr AUG with the special Corvus Defensio housing rails, as this further reduces the overall height.

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The Corvus Defensio TA33 APM mount allows direct attachment of Aimpoint Micro and Holosun red dot sights to Compact ACOGs of the TA33 series with mounting bumpers originally designed for Trijicon’s RMR series. Attachment of an Aimpoint Micro still allows ACOG height adjustment control and can be fitted with a clear, hinged Aimpoint protective cover to prevent dirt from entering the assembly and obscuring the ACOG’s eyepiece. Like all our products, the assembly is made of high quality 7075 aluminum and is milled from solid and hard anodized.

This is a direct link to TA33 APM photo Montage from Corvus Defensio.

CORVUS DEFENSIO: www.corvusdefensio.com
SPARTANAT: www.spartanat.com

Brigantes Presents – High Angle Solutions -Steripen Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

When working in remote areas, accessing fresh, clean water is not always achievable. When on exercise or being on deployment, having this access is essential to ensure vital operations aren’t inhibited by illnesses caught from bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

The SteriPEN adventurer is the solution to this problem. Ultraviolet (UV-C) light rays safely purify clear water by destroying 99.9% of the pathogens mentioned above. (including Giardia and Cryptosporidia) When the treatment is complete, LED indicators flash to let you know that the water is safe to drink, ensuring clean water from any source within a matter of minutes.

Adventurer Opti is powered by two CR123 batteries making it a lightweight water purification system and keeping it operating effectively in even cold environments. The long-lasting UV lamp provides purifies up to 8,000 litres. Works in containers with a minimum 1.75 inch diameter opening. (Like Nalgene wide-mouth bottles one litre bottles. The SteriPEN doubles up as an integrated LED flashlight for added convenience. By holding down the activation button for three seconds, it will illuminate the darkness making the device easy to work even in the darker hours.

One caveat with ultraviolet purification is that it only works in clear water. Murky water blocks the UV light and prevents it from killing contaminants. If dealing with murky or cloudy water you will need to pre-filter with a product like the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter or similar device. 

For international sales contact international@brigantes.com

For UK sales contact warrior@brigantes.com

SPARTANAT: Outer-Limits EXPERIENCE WEEK For Combat Divers

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

The diving equipment company outer-limits is not only providing solutions for special forces they also lures them in to the mountains. There, at a lake, an international, professional clientele gathers to introduce the latest devices for working underwater. We were there last year and show you everything for Combat swimmers and amphibious forces.

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The EXPERIENCE WEEK of outer-limits usually pushes operators to their limits. At least as far as the weather is concerned. Traditionally, it is rather cold and rainy. Last year, due to climate change: warm and sunny. The dive center on the lake offers ideal working conditions, the container serves as material store, the tent as an exhibition hall for the latest diving equipment.

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Who works, should keep it easy. Every gram counts. RolaTube masts are made of composite material and can be rolled up easily. It does not always has to be an antenna.

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outer-limits designed adapters and grappling hooks for the top, as well as an ultra-light flexible fabric ladder to make the boarding if not a snap, but a pleasure.

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Advanced Scuba Diving Solutions are offered by SHARK MARINE. With floating GPS antenna, so the connection does not break off, as well as with DNS function for navigation without any surface connection.

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The outer-limits EXPERIENCE WEEK is also very popular among special forces because the latest equipment can not only be viewed, but also experienced. Here it goes with sharkmarine directly into the water.

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Into the water, perfectly equipped by outer-limits: divers with SIELMIMANO MK4 rebreather, outer-limits RIPSTOP drysuit and outer-limits tarable and submersible backpack. The Ops-Core BUMP helmet, the SCUBAPRO diving goggles with the tactical HUD, in addition with the navigation aid DIVE TABLET 2 from SHARK MARINE. Perfectionists are using fins with the new, stick-on camouflage strips in Multicam by SCUBAPRO.

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Breaching is not just on land. Here are the underwater chrushing and spreading tools from LIBERVIT. It is a hydraulic system that operates completely independently off the surface. LIBERVITis the only manufacturer worldwide that offers such a surface-independent system.

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The whole thing is complemented with a classic set of crushing and spreading tools from LIBERVIT.

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Everything is ready for your use on the peaceful lake: crushing and spreading tool from LIBERVIT.

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Off to the water and try it out personally.

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Indigo Tactical offers special fins for emergency responders. The shutter looks like a ski boot

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or can work with Velcro. The upper part is screwed to the fin, which is available in different sizes. The lateral stiffening parts are available in different degrees of hardness.

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Knowing where to dive is one of the key challenges. UWIS from Finland has a practical solution for it.

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The GPS system, triangulates the position of the diver and can be used where to prepare the dive.

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The UWIS transmitter floats in the water.

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The UWIS Tablet shows the exact position of the diver.

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The complete, practical system comes in a suitcase.

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Combat swimmers do not always have to rely on their physical condition: SUEX offers a variety of DPV’s and DPD’s (Diver Propulsin Vehicles and Diver Propulsion Devices) and DTC (Dry Tube Containers). These devices allow approaches from up to 25km away.

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Ready for use: In front of the water a dive container with 30 liters (there are also 40, 80 and 120 liters), which is moved by combat swimmers with DPVs. SUEX is the world leader in the design and manufacturer of these specialized military devices. outer-limits is Senior Consultant of SUEX and responsible for international authority business as well as for training and education. Incidentally, the diver wears SCUBAPRO scuba diving goggles with the tactical Galileo HUD (Heads-Up Dive Computer), a full dive computer with GPS.

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This is “heavy duty”: a diver equipped with the DEEP SEA system returns ashore. The DEEP SEA helmet is made of carbon, thereforeit is much lighter than other models. The production takes place in Switzerland at COMPOSITE Beat Engel.

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The camouflage pattern from outer-limits is called chameleon. outer-limits dry suits are the ideal, durable workwear for amphibious special forces. Some drysuit models are also FR / flame retardant and have a minimized IR signature.

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Always ready for action: the rebreather Mk4 CSC TWIN from SIEL/OMG has also been tested extensive. SIEL / OMG offers, as well as others, A-MAG and LOW-MAG versions. Enclosed the outer-limits drysuit suit for special forces in NATO green.

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Quiet activity at the mountain lake. All special equipment is thoroughly tested.

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Special production of a weapons bag from outer-limits for an international special unit. The weapon with optics is packaged waterproof during the dive. In case of emergency, glove penetration guarantees that the operator can shoot from the shell.

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If you go diving, you need rock boots. Altama OTB Maritime Assault have prevailed internationally for easier tasks. They are also available at outer-limits.

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On the lake: SR TACTICAL from Germany. Produced in cooperation with outer-limits an amphibious plate carrier, and also a weapon light which is submersible.

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At the end of an outer-limits EXPERIENCE WEEK day, it´s getting quiet on the lake.

outer-limits is the international distributor for all those companies who presented their products at EXPERIENCE WEEK. All the equipment shown and the corresponding training are available via outer-limits. Contact: office@outer-limits.at

Outer limits on Internet: www.outer-limits.at

SPARTANAT: www.spartanat.com

Task Force Dagger Assists Department of POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Repatriating American Casualties from the Battle of Saipan

Monday, July 15th, 2019

From the hand of Mark Stephens, USA (Ret):

It is my honor to be a part of something so humbling this 75th Anniversary of events that occurred in 1944 during WWII. Out of respect to the families and a much deserved notification process I am not at liberty to discuss our mission in great detail but what I can say is we are returning to Saipan to look for and excavate WWII losses from the Battle of Saipan. We will be excavating a site possibly associated with a F6F-3 Hellcat that was found by our team last year. Several Hellcats were lost during 1944 and we are hoping to excavate and correlate the site with a loss with the hopes of a recovery. Also we will be searching for a B-29 that went down with the entire crew on a mission in 1944. It will involve magnetometer, side scan sonar, and ROV investigation followed by shallow to deep CCR (rebreather) target diving.

The mission is a continued collaboration and teaming of the Department of POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), East Carolina University Marine Archeological Department (ECU) and Task Force Dagger Foundation (TFDF). The TFDF team will be made up of some of our leadership/staff and SOF members that need Mission, Purpose and Focus. These three words, implemented, are incredibly important and impactful to those the foundation serves and supports.

We have received support from many in industry and other great Americans. These types of missions need to continue. It’s great to see so many knowing we can never forget! This is a promise our country made to everyone that has or is serving in our military.

www.taskforcedagger.org