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Archive for the ‘Parachuting’ Category

Happy National Airborne Day

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017


When did you earn your wings?

Filson Presents “Fighting Fire With Fire” Honoring The US Forest Service

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

Filson produced this video in honor of the US Forest Service’s 112 years of commitment to our nation.

They’ve also introduced a line of products which includes clothing, bags, and this watch. If you’re interested, they are at www.filson.com/usforestservice/collection.

Finally, Filson has assembled a photo essay captured by photographer Cole Barash of the USFS. Visit www.filson.com/usforestservice to check it out.

US Army Conducts Airdrop Testing Of Integrated Head Protection System

Friday, August 4th, 2017

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Successful implementation of new body armor technology requires more than just engineers designing prototype systems in a lab. Feedback from Soldiers who will be using the technology is critical to ensuring that the U.S. Army continues to field world-class technology for its fighters.

The new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) is configured with mandible and visor without ballistic applique for "Rough Terrain" static line parachute jump operations. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

The new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) is configured with mandible and visor without ballistic applique for “Rough Terrain” static line parachute jump operations. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Recently, Airborne Soldiers here played a vital part in the feedback process when they recently jumped with a groundbreaking new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) during operational testing.

Soldiers from the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, geared up to work with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate to test the new armor.

1st Lt. Christopher Lillie, assistant jumpmaster with the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, wears the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) helmet with mandible, while shouting commands to position the number one jumper in the door of a C-17 aircraft. (Photo Credit: Barry Fischer, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

1st Lt. Christopher Lillie, assistant jumpmaster with the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, wears the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) helmet with mandible, while shouting commands to position the number one jumper in the door of a C-17 aircraft. (Photo Credit: Barry Fischer, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

“Operational Testing is about Soldiers. It is about making sure that the systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight,” said Col. Brad Mock, director of ABNSOTD.

The IHPS is one of the six components of the Soldier Protection System (body armor), providing a larger area of protection for the head and face, and includes a system to measure head trauma.

Soldier configured with the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) without the mandible, while wearing combat equipment. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Soldier configured with the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) without the mandible, while wearing combat equipment. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

According to Leon L. Price, a test officer with ABNSOTD, the purpose of operational test using Airborne paratroopers is to collect data to evaluate the suitability and safety of the IHPS when worn during static line Airborne operations.

Overall, IHPS is only a little lighter than the current Army Combat Helmet, while including numerous accessories, like a mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails and a modular ballistic applique (not attached during airborne operations).

Soldier configured with the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) with the mandible, while wearing combat equipment. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Soldier configured with the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) with the mandible, while wearing combat equipment. (Photo Credit: Rebecka Waller, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

During the test, Soldiers participated in New Equipment Training, which included familiarization, fitting, and suspended harness. All this was followed by a live parachute jump from a C-17 high performance aircraft at 1,250 feet above ground level over Fort Bragg’s Sicily Drop Zone.

“I gave fair, honest and comprehensive feedback on the IHPS helmet,” said Cpl. Samuel Emling, a Combat Engineer with the 57th. “I enjoyed the testing. The test personnel were extremely professional.”

Soldiers from the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, exit a C-17 aircraft over Sicily Drop Zone, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while performing operational testing wearing the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). (Photo Credit: Jim Finney, Combined Technical Services, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Soldiers from the 57th Sapper Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, exit a C-17 aircraft over Sicily Drop Zone, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while performing operational testing wearing the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). (Photo Credit: Jim Finney, Combined Technical Services, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

“Soldiers and test units have the ability to impact the development of systems by training while executing doctrinally-realistic missions, and then provide direct input to the combat developer of the system,” said Lt. Col. Vinny Intini, executive officer at ABNSOTD. “Their feedback is invaluable.”

Test Manager Steve McNair, of Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, said the Army is expected to field 7,000 systems to separate brigades during fiscal year 2018 before moving to full rate production for fielding across the force.

“I think I benefitted personally by doing this,” said Spec. Aaron Adams, another Combat Engineer with the 57th. “It helps me with being comfortable jumping with new equipment. I enjoyed participating in the testing because we were the only Airborne unit to do so.”

Soldiers participate in suspended harness training to ensure the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) is suitable when performing canopy control and emergency procedures during operational testing. (Photo Credit: Michael Zigmond, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Soldiers participate in suspended harness training to ensure the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) is suitable when performing canopy control and emergency procedures during operational testing. (Photo Credit: Michael Zigmond, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

“OTC is the U.S. Army’s only independent operational test organization,” Mock added. “Any time Soldiers and their leaders get involved in operational testing, they have the opportunity to use, work with, and offer up their own suggestions on pieces of equipment that can impact development of systems that future Soldiers will use in combat.”

“Operational testing is OTC’s opportunity to contribute to readiness; anything less compromises the Army’s ability to provide the forces that fight and win the Nation’s wars,” added Intini.

Bobby Salazar, from Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, discusses proper fitting of the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) during New Equipment Training. (Photo Credit: Michael Zigmond, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

Bobby Salazar, from Program Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, out of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, discusses proper fitting of the new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) during New Equipment Training. (Photo Credit: Michael Zigmond, Audio Visual Production Specialist, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)

The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission is about making sure that systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which Soldiers train and fight. Test units and their Soldiers provide feedback, by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems with which Soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.

The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based ABNSOTD plans, executes, and reports on operational tests and field experiments of Airborne and Special Operations Forces equipment, procedures, aerial delivery and air transportation systems in order to provide key operational data for the continued development and fielding of doctrine, systems or equipment to the Warfighter.

Leapfest 2017

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

www.leapfest.com

Corps Completes Final JPADS Delivery to Marines

Friday, June 30th, 2017

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia— Marine Corps Systems Command fielded the last of 162 Joint Precision Airdrop Systems to the fleet in April, turning the page from acquisition to sustainment of the system for the Corps.


Marine parachute riggers with 1st Marine Logistics Group and a crew chief with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron-22 (VMX-22) prepare to deploy a palletized load from above 10,000 feet during the Joint Precision Airdrop System testing Aug. 1, at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground. The JPADS systems use GPS, a modular autonomous guidance unit, or MAGU, a parachute and electric motors to guide cargo within 150 meters of their target points. Marine Corps Systems Command fielded the last of 162 JPADS to the fleet in April, turning the page from acquisition to sustainment of the system for the Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reba James)

When the JPADS 2K was introduced to the Marine Corps in 2008, it opened the door to a potentially life- saving capability for Marines on the ground and in the air. In 2013, the Corps upgraded to the 2K-Modular which included an improved modular autonomous guidance unit called the MAGU. JPADS 2K-M improved accuracy over traditional airdrops while simultaneously enabling aircraft to conduct drops at higher altitudes and longer distances from the drop zone.

“JPADS brings an important capability to Marines,” said Capt. Keith Rudolf, Aerial Delivery project officer with Marine Corps Systems Command’s Ground Combat Element Systems. “It’s not the answer for every situation, but the main goal is to keep people off the roads in an [improvised explosive device] environment or when small units are in locations that are not easily accessible by traditional logistic means.”
JPADS is ideal for cases where it is easier and safer to deliver equipment and supplies to ground units from the air versus using a convoy, Rudolf said.

“An average combat logistics patrol in Afghanistan that’s running behind a route clearance platoon may travel at only five to six miles an hour,” he said. “Depending on how much supply you have on there, you may have a mile worth of trucks that are slow-moving targets. [JPADS] negates a lot of that.”

The system also helps keep aircrews out of harm’s way.

“From the aircraft perspective, [JPADS] can be dropped from up to 25 kilometers away from the intended target, while still landing within 150 meters of the programed impact point,” Rudolf said. “Throughout testing, the systems often averaged much greater accuracy. That means the aircraft does not have to fly directly over a danger zone where they could be engaged with small arms or enemy threats on the ground. They can fly outside of that and because the system is autonomous, it will fly its best path down to where it needs to go.”

SOFWERX Seeks Teams To Develop A K9 O2 Mask For HAHO Jumps

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Jump The Dog: Canine Oxygen Mask for High Altitude High Opening (HAHO)

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OpenWERX provides the general public with monthly opportunities to collaborate on innovative approaches relevant to SOCOM and other federal government agencies.

Prizes: First place: $6,000 – Second place: $4,000 – Third place: $2,000

OpenWERX Challenge-Jump the Dog

Open the description PDF here.

Here are some measurements that can be used as a guide to help develop the proper sizes for the masks:

– The average for a standard Belgian malinois is a nose length of approximately 4? with a circumference of approximately 10?.

– Variations in sizes should be able to accommodate nose lengths from 3? up to 5?, and circumferences of 8? up to 13?.

It might also be useful to do an Internet search for “how measure for a muzzle”, and other information about what will be comfortable for a dog (i.e. how much extra space to provide for the dog so as not to force their mouth completely shut). This site is an example.

Each team will create a video (10 minutes or less) presenting their concept to SOFWERX. The video will be viewed by the judging panel prior to the event. The teams will attend the OpenWERX event 1 June virtually or in person to answer questions by the judging panel.

June 1 Schedule
5:30-5:55 PM Networking (At SOFWERX)
5:55-6:05 PM Introductions
6:05-6:10 PM Air Bud Q&A
6:15-6:20 PM Summit Oxygen USA Q&A
6:20-6:25 PM Canine Performance Sciences Q&A
6:25-6:30 PM DKE Labs Q&A
6:30-6:35 PM Hack Tampa Q&A
6:35-6:40 PM Whiz-bang Q&A
6:40-6:45 PM Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers Q&A
6:45-6:50 PM The Shade Tree Mechanics Q&A
6:50-7:00 PM Tampa Technik Q&A
7:00-7:05 PM Birch Bunch
7:05-7:10 PM Break
7:10-7:15 PM Rossini Design Group Q&A
7:15-7:20 PM Frontier Labs Q&A
7:20-7:25 PM O.T.H.ER Team Q&A
7:25-7:30 PM Mako Design Q&A
7:30-7:35 PM Tampa Deep Sea Xplorers – Team Red Q&A
7:35-7:40 PM (MooLabs) Q&A
7:40-7:45 PM Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. Q&A
7:45-7:50 PM Quiet Professionals Q&A
7:50-7:55 PM IAG HAHO Dog Q&A
7:55-8:30 PM Judging
8:30 PM Prizes Awarded
9:00-9:15 PM Next Challenge Announced

USAF Standing Up MFF Parachutist Course For Battlefield Airmen

Thursday, April 13th, 2017


(USAF photo by Capt Jessica Tait)

Despite a couple of delays, the US Air Force is closing in on standing up a Military Free Fall Parachutist qualification course for its Battlefield Airmen. Like the US Navy’s course, it will be run by contractors, and the curriculum will be certified by USSOCOM and USASOC as well as AETC. Unlike the USN course, students will not earn their Static Line parachutist qualification, but will already be graduates of the Ft Benning course upon attendence of the AF MFF course. Students will meet all of the standards of the Army MFF course, but it will be conducted at a contractor facility, utilizing contract aircraft.

MFF training is an initial skills course that provides academic, ground, vertical wind tunnel/simulation, and military freefall training to first time jumpers that meets United States Special Operations Command/United States Army Special Operations Command (USSOCOM/USASOC) curriculum requirements.

Sister service parachute training has been stood up due to limited availability of course quotas for the Army MFF course. The Navy has been using a contractor run course for over a decade and added S/L training to their parachutist course because the Ft Benning curriculum lasts three weeks. While NSW primarily conducts MFF parachute ops, they certify their students in S/L procedures within the first few days of their training course.

Final contractor proposals are due on 2 May, 2017. Hopefully, we’ll see a pilot course before the end of the fiscal year.

Which One Were You?

Monday, March 27th, 2017