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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

2017 National Scout Jamboree – US Army Special Operations Recruiting Battalion 

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

During my recent visit to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, I got to check out some of the military support to the quadrennial event.  On hand was the US Army Special Operations Recruiting Battalion with their Special Operations Semi.

Inside were multiple simulators to give participants a taste of military skills. 

Additionally, SORB gave away the various components of this patch set throughout the day. 

Fuerzas Comando Update

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Team USA and Colombia are tied for first place in the CT Competition. There are 3 events left (Team week PT event, Obstacle curse and the ruck march).

Thanks Brendan for the update!

Fuerzas Comando 2017 – Day 3 Standings

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Fuerzas Comando is a skills competition between around 700 military and police Special Operations personnel from 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere. This year’s exercise is being hosted by Paraguay July 18-27.

USSOCOM Seeks Body Worn Sensors

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Not long ago, we mentioned Joint Threat Warning System, USSOCOM’s program of record for SIGINT collection systems. For ground-based collection, that is the AN/PRD-13(V)2. By default, it is also the system used by the US Army, which seems to have checked out of developing tactical SIGINT systems. Many capabilities which SOCOM adopts in the SI realm, also find their way into US Army LLVI.

USSOCOM, Special Operations Forces Acquisition Technology and Logistics (SOF AT&L), Program Executive Officer for Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation (PEO – SRSE), Program Manager for Joint Threat Warning Systems (PM-JTWS) recenty released an RFI to industry for Body worn sensor with low Size Weight and Power (SWaP). As communications systems become more sophiticated, so must the equipment designed to collect against them.

According to the RFI, the Program Manager is specifically interested in signals intelligence technologies, ideas and solutions which advance in the following Key Interest Areas:

1) Body worn sensor with low Size Weight and Power (SWaP)
2) Low profile DF antenna

JTWS is seeking potential solutions with the below criteria as initial guidance but not formal direction:

• Hardware:
o Software Defined Radio Threshold –
-Ability to conduct surveys of special/advanced Signals of Interests (SOIs)
-Provide Narrowband automatic signal detection
-Ability to search (scan) special frequency bands
-Ability to search (scan) operator created search parameters or tables
-The system shall have the ability to be sanitized upon command
-The system shall have the ability to be zeroized upon command
-Zeroize feature shall include a fail-safe device to prevent inadvertent zeroizing

o Software Defined Radio Objective –
-Survey capability between the frequency range of 3 – 6,000 MHz
-Provide Wideband automatic signal detection
-Allow for remote zeroization and sanitization

o Antenna Threshold –
-Multiple cables lengths and calibration tables for different operational environments
-Antenna repair kit
-Convenient antenna and cable kit
-Shall conform to platform specific requirements for use on a full range of platforms
-Man-packable antenna shall come with the ability to be mounted off the body for operations on-the-halt

o Dedicated SIGINT Communications Architecture Threshold –
-LOS Meshed Network / Self-Healing connectivity to support collaborative operations

o Dedicated SIGINT Communications Architecture Objective –
-Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Meshed Network / Self-Healing connectivity to support collaborative operations
-Low Probability of Interception (LPI) and Low Probability of Detection (LPD) waveforms

o Data Storage Devices Threshold –
-Removable, replaceable and separated from operating system storage
-Store a minimum of 100 GB of data storage in a removable form factor
-Clear identification markings for emergency destruction

o Data Storage Devices Objective –
-Encryption for data-at-rest
-Digitally record, catalog and store a minimum 500 GB of data in a removable form factor

o Environmental and EMI/EMC conditions
-Compliant with MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461F as required, or commercial requirements in accordance with operational platform

o Global Positioning System (GPS)
-Receive, display and metatag collected sensor data with GPS-based position, time stamp and/or platform navigation data from either internal or external source(s)
– ystem clock time synchronization to the sensor; if GPS loses synchronization the sensor time will be maintained until GPS is reacquired
-Comply with CJCSI 6140.01.

o Weight Threshold –
-Sensor shall weigh no more than 12 lb with batteries, less antenna(s) and ancillary cabling

o Weight Objective –
-Reduction of weight between 3 lb to 9 lb

o Batteries Threshold –
-Sensor shall be powered by hot-swappable MIL-SPEC batteries for a minimum of eight (8) continuous hours using batteries carried by the operator
-Sensor shall store a Hold Up Battery (HUB) in an effort to prevent loss of data during unexpected system power down

o Batteries Objective –
-Increase operating time on batteries to a minimum of twelve (12) hours

• Data:
o Sensor will detect, collect, locate and process multiple data types
o Sensor will output common audio and data formats
o Exchange of data utilizing File Transfer Protocol (FTP), IPV6 and Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP)
o Ability to exchange data with other sensors and networks

• GUI:
o Human Machine Interface (HMI) / Graphic User Interface (GUI) Threshold –
-Interface with RaptorX
-Display frequency spectrum type observation of signals (separable into up to three {3} spectral displays selectable by the operator)
-Ability to adjust the basic receiver tuning via a spectral display
-Selectable visual and/or aural indications of a newly detected signal within five (5) seconds of the signal’s presence
-Display status of all channels
-Ability to start or stop recording on any channel from the GUI
-Ability to convey sensor status in the form of a Built In Test (BIT), with corresponding error codes
-Support searching in both manual and automated modes
-Include frequency-spectrum separable for up to three spectrums between 3 – 6000 MHz
-Provide audio / graphic monitoring on spectral display with minimum update rate of 3 Hz.
-Adjustable basic receiver tuning via the spectral display (volume, frequency, squelch, span)
-Display results in near-real time across the JTWS family of systems
-Overall system and all subsystem visual output shall be on a single, common display, with screens for each subsystem or system function set selectable
-Provide enough display area to simultaneously view and manage user defined functions/features of sensor (i.e. higher resolution displays or enhanced user interfaces)
-Displays shall be readable in bright sunlight when in direct frontal view by the operator
-Equipment shall not disrupt operator user of night vision goggles when not viewing system display
-Variable brightness control from zero illumination to its maximum, sufficiently illuminated for nighttime operations and daytime operations
-Display emitter location data/results in real-time on a user defined map (e.g., Ellipse, Heat map, LOB, point target)
-Upon user request, display operator geographic location (GPS) and compass orientation to equipped sensors
-Transmit positional data across networks
-Display estimated signal source location on a moving map display
-Color-code or otherwise provide distinguishing display of each signal being tracked
-Displays shall be NVG compatible
-User shall be able to play back historical libraries with the ability to combine previous and current information
-Produce an output data stream compatible with current DOD geospatial mapping programs

o Human Machine Interface (HMI) / Graphic User Interface (GUI) Objective –
-Provide acquired information to onboard / off board (when selected by operator) processing elements for intelligence and Command & Control (C2) purposes (for both organic and external / off board force employment) and provide updates to onboard / off board Common Operation Picture (COP)
-User interface for mapping, audio control, sensor control and data manipulation

o Audio Processing real-time and post mission audio manipulation Threshold –
-User Interface (UI) shall provide audio controls for volume, frequency, squelch, span, noise reduction and advanced filtering
-Audio output compatibility with various interphone systems / headsets
-Provide reduction of signal noise to improve raw collection for audio quality and speech detection
-Provide selectable real-time filtering of audio
-Displays shall provide for dual audio outputs
-Displays shall route audio to operator(s) from any four simultaneous signals

o Audio Processing real-time and post mission audio manipulation Objective –
-Route audio to operator(s) from any four simultaneous signals, each present for at least two seconds; each audio stream 100% complete
-Quickly retrieve and play back a segment of audio data collected within the past 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds in order to further analyze the data
-Buffer real-time audio, so that upon resumption the operator will be able to recall missed audio during playback times
-Provide the user the option to post process audio for language identification, speaker identification, gender identification, speech detection and group identification via post mission analysis using audio processing software
-Provide the user the option to process audio in near real-time for Language identification, speaker identification, gender identification, speech detection and group identification. Also audio should be available via post mission analysis using audio processing software.

• Software:
o Information Assurance to comply to ICD 503 protection level 3, Integrity Level Of Concern (ILOC) medium, Availability Level of Concern (ALOC) medium or equivalent Office of the Director of National intelligence (ODNI) directives/publications

Remember, this is still just an RFI and the information will be used to inform requirements. However, if as a company, you don’t participate, the government may not be aware of a capability you can provide and won’t issue a requirement for it. They need to know the art of the possible. The Government requests submissions NLT 28 JUL 17.

For more information visit

USSOCOM Commander’s Reading List 2017

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Leadership in Complexity
Washington’s Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer (2006)

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders, by L. David Marquet (2013)

Six Simple Rules: How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated, by Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman (2014)

Adapting to Uncertainty
Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2014)

Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease, by Rafe Sagarin (2012)

Disruptive Technology
Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, P.W. Singer and August Cole (2016)

3D Printing Will Rock the World, by John Hornick (2015)

The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries, by Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan (2015)

Perspectives and Emergence
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World, by Tim Marshall (2016)

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia, by Peter Pomerantsev (2015)

Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, by Walter Laqueur (2015)

The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, by Michael Pillsbury (2016)

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, by Deborah Brautigam (2011)

A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind, by Michael Axworthy (2016)

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick (2010)

Special Operations from a Small State Perspective: Future Security Challenges, New Security Challenges, by Gunilla Eriksson and Ulrica Pettersson, editors (2017)

CSOR Wears Aku Pilgrims

Friday, July 14th, 2017

I like Aku Pilgrim boots and apparently so does the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR). In this DND photo of their recent Change of Command parade at Garrison Petawawa, we see new commander Lt-Col Andrew Vivian, outgoing commander Lt-Col Steven Hunter, and officiating officer Maj Gen Mike Rouleau, commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).

Update – SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System Solicitation

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Natick has issued an update to the pre-solicitation for the SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System.

“Final solicitation is estimated to be released end of July/beginning of August 2017. Proposals will be requested within 1-2 months of RFP release. The response date indicated for this notice is an estimate at this time.”

The new estimated response date, when proposals are due to the government, is Sep 15, 2017 12:00 pm Eastern which is a change from the original estimate of Jul 25, 2017 12:00 pm Eastern.

The SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet System will consist of a non-ballistic helmet system with modular accessories which will consist of a visor, ballistic mandible, non-ballistic (i.e. impact) mandible, and two piece ballistic appliqué. Additionally, the helmets require a variety of VAS Shrouds, Helmet Covers, Accessory Rails, Pads, Exterior Velcro sets, and Peltor Adapters.

The helmets will be offered in five sizes in Tan, Neutral Grey, AOR 1, AOR 2 and MultiCam.

The contract, when awarded will be valued at up to $95 million.

For full details, visit

1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) SOF Integration

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Green Berets of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) train with Soldiers from 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division during Exercise Bayonet Focus 2017 at Yakima training center, WA, June 19, 2017. ( U.S Army photo by Sgt. Brandon Welsh.)

Green Berets have a vast amount of knowledge and experience on and off the battlefield. Because of their mission set they are able to think outside the box and operate in a way that most conventional units cannot. Special Forces, have a broader mission set other than just direct action that include unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping. They have been through years of rigorous training to be experts in these missions. One could imagine the impact they can have while working side by side with a conventional Army unit. Private 1st Class Brennan Stubb, an infantryman assigned to C Company, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said working with Special Forces “make us more prepared, and it changes things up from conventional Army training to get a different perspective.” The 2nd Infantry Divison soldiers received advanced medical training in first aid and self-aid and were shown better techniques to put the injured on litters and the use of a sked (a stretcher that can be drug on the ground) that will help them in future training and deployed environments. It is important for Special Forces to train their conventional counterparts in the unconventional techniques that they go by so they can better understand each other on the battlefield, according to Stubb.

Members of the 1st Special Forces Group (A) cunducted a Key Leader Engagement during training exercise Bayonet focus 2017 at Yakima training center, WA, June 17, 2017. The KLE was conducted to enhance training with 1 SFG(A) and 7th infantry divsion. ( U.S Army photo Sgt. Codie Mendenhall.)

The conventional units show their support to Special Forces by providing them with support from the ground and air. During this training exercise Green Berets were supported by soldiers in Strykers from 2-2 SBCT as they drove around in their all-terrain vehicles conducting their operations throughout YTC. Having the ability to go out to YTC and conduct operations together has a huge advantage for both units. While speaking with Scott a team leader with 1st SFG (A) said, “It’s a good training venue for both organizations and because we both use it, it makes sense that we co-utilize the same area.” According to Scott YTC has all the good qualities of going to either Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana or National Training Center in California without the long travel that also resembles the type of environment that they might encounter overseas makes the training that they do that much more effective. Both units can accomplish the training they need all while saving time and money as they can convoy out to YTC in their Strykers or be bused out. Working side by side with the soldiers from 2-2 gives them experience that can carry over during a deployment either to the Pacific Region or Southeast Asia. “They have a better idea of how we are organized and what our mission is and specifically in a deployed environment there’s so many lessons learned, command relationships, who’s responsible for what, how to battle track each other and how to communicate very basic things that can have a big impact down range,” said Scott.

Story by Sgt. Brandon Welsh
1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)