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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

Show Me A Leader

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

AFSOC showing what it’s all about.

Live Fire – USSOCOM Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG)

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

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I recently had the opportunity to fire the newly selected USSOCOM Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG), built by SIG SAUER. It’s based on an MCX upper receiver group and is designed specifically to work with the suppressor attached. The suppressor is considered integral to the design. However, the direct thread suppressor is removable by the operator, for cleaning and maintenance. The weapon is also capable of firing without the suppressor, however there is no muzzle device. In that case, there is a gas selector, which will most often be used to deal with ammunition issues.

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For the units receiving SURG, they’ll mate it to their issue M4A1 carbine lowers, giving them access to the MCX piston driven upper.

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Here’s a video of me firing SURG in fully automatic mode. The upper is paired with a SIG full-auto M400 lower receiver due to availability at SIG Academy. You’ll also notice the adapter knuckle which allows the MCX upper to fit on an AR lower. Don’t take anything away from my smiling demeanor, I always look like that. And yes, it is front heavy; every firearm equipped with a suppressor shares this trait.

Although it’s not the intent, even after several magazines, the suppressor shroud could still be touched with the barehand. All the same, I don’t recommend you do this at home. Lots of variables are going to influence how hot the barrel, suppressor and shroud become and how quickly.

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Instead, what this does demonstrate is that the shroud will mitigate injury and damage to equipment caused by a hot suppressor. It’s success is a combination of design and materials. There’s plenty of room for the heat to dissipate, and the Aramid cord wrap resists melting or sticking to other surfaces.

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Due to SOCOM concerns, SIG is still being tight lipped about performance data, but it had to meet some very stringent selection criteria, which I went over when the upper was selected in August.

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Once the SOCOM contract is fulfilled, SIG plans to offer SURG for commercial sale. However, don’t expect it to come cheap.

AFSOC Seeks Information On Personalized Tourniquet Systems Blood Flow Restrictor

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Hurburt Field’s 1st Special Operations Contracting Squadron has issued a Sources Sought Notice, for Market Research purposes only, for potential sources of developing and/or providing equipment similar to the Owens Recovery Science personalized Tourniquet System or an equivalent product.

The equivalent product must be able to control/restrict blood flow to limb for rehabilitation of damaged/weak muscle tissue, include timer controls to automatically maintain pressure or deflate when time has expired, safety alarms to warn of cuff over and under pressurization, and must measure occlusion in mmHg (standard blood pressure measurement: systolic/diastolic pressure).

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

SOFWERX Forming SOF/Service/OGA Council for Innovation and Agile Acquisitions

Monday, September 10th, 2018

SSD readers are innovators and a quite a few of you currently serve in a variety of roles. SOFWERX is looking for innovators and is forming a council at their facility in Tampa, Florida, consisting of SOF, Military Service and OGA representatives.

The purpose is to increase and accelerate capabilities to the warfighter using agile acquisition processes and the SOFWERX platform:
• Cross leveraging networks & expertise to find best of breed and buy down risk
• Creating non-traditional technology opportunities
• Generating efficiencies through leveraged funding
• Applying flexible business methodologies
• Advancing cross cutting, high yield capabilities

For additional information visit www.sofwerx.org/council.

SOFWERX – Illicit Finance Group

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

One of the most effective tools to counter transnational threats is the ability to identify and interrupt their financial networks.

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Illicit Finance (IF) is at the forefront of the international agenda. Governments, academia, and the financial services industry worldwide are joining forces to combat fraud, money laundering, tax evasion, cryptocurrency, international bribery, and human trafficking.

On Wednesday, 3 October, from 11:00 AM-1:30 PM, SOFWERX will host an Illicit Finance meeting where representatives from the Department of Defense, law enforcement, institutions of higher education, and the financial services industry come to share information and discuss joint-collaboration efforts at hand.

Those interested in participating should visit www.sofwerx.org/illicitfinance.

USSOCOM Solicits Technology for Hyper-Enabled Operator and SUAS Experimentation Candidates

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The United States Special Operations Command regularly hosts experiments intended to allow industry and academia to interact with operational personnel to identify technologies to enhance SOF capabilities.

This RFI is for TE 9-1:

Date: 5 through 9 November 2018

Themes: Hyper-Enabled Operator and SUAS

Location: Avon Park Air Force Range, FL

Experimentation Focus: The primary intent of this event is to highlight technologies that support USSOCOM’s Hyper-Enabled Operator concept and SUAS.

Technology areas to explore during the event include the following:
1 Information Edge. Ability to process data from wide array of sensor networks, communications channels, or partnered forces into information that is decision quality information.
1.1 Edge computing. Ability to derive useful information at the point of collection through sensor fusion and forwards processing without reliance on high- bandwidth, long haul communications.
1.2 Information visualization. Tailored information visualization that provides the right information, to the right element, at the right time. Includes tailored Heads Up Display (HUD), audio, haptic feedback, and predictive information management to identify and present relevant information during each phase of an operation.
1.3 Data transport with reduced vulnerability to intercept and detection, including optical and non-RF solutions.
1.4 Cross domain data access. Systems to securely run advanced data analytics across data sets on different domains.

2 Next generation Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR). Technologies of interest include the ability to:
2.1 Find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze.
2.2 Without owning the air domain.
2.3 Includes the space and/or cyber domains.
2.3.1 Exploit the cyber domain and digital patterns of life on social media to support ISR missions.
2.3.2 Includes high-altitude persistent solutions between traditional air and space.
2.3.3 Exploit the space domain to “fix and finish,” to include on-demand payloads.
2.4 Ability to exchange data with distant sensors to perform Time Difference of Arrival/Frequency Difference of Arrival geolocation.
2.5 Enabled by advanced automation advanced standoff multi-modal
biometrics, real-time sensor fusion, action detection, and “smart systems” that tailor collection focus and fidelity based on requirements.
2.6 Small, low power autonomously emplaced ground sensors capable of meshed operation and long-dwell. Tailorable sensors including electro optical, infrared, Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI), LIDAR, electronic warfare, and others capable of contributing to biometric analysis from 200-1000 meters.
2.7 Precise time and position correlation to full motion video.
2.8 In modular payloads that permits installation across full range of SUAS in the next section.
2.9 Leveraging Human Language Technologies (HLT) to:
2.9.1 Reduce operator workload.
2.9.2 Reduce communications bandwidth requirements.
2.9.3 Increase probability of detecting specific speakers.
2.9.4 Increase effectiveness of unfamiliar languages.

3 Small Unmanned Aerial Systems.
3.1 Expeditionary ISR. Family of group 1-2 UAS’s, featuring modular
payloads, open architecture, small footprint and minimum logistics support. 4.3.1.1 Line of Sight (LOS) and beyond LOS data link.
3.1.2 Accurately locate targets.
3.1.3 Runway independent launch and recovery.
3.1.4 Two sensor capable, (e.g. high definition full motion video, electro optic/ infrared, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, HSI, LIDAR).
3.1.5 Autonomous operation, including meshed swarm capabilities.
3.1.6 Alternative power through environment (power lines, renewable, etc.).
3.2 Unmanned aerial blood delivery system. System must be vertical takeoff and landing capable (VTOL) or runway independent. USSOCOM will provide a blood surrogate for the event.
3.2.1 Systems should be capable of transporting a minimum of 10 pounds of blood.
3.2.2 The cold chain must be maintained and monitored throughout flight. Blood must be kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius from time of loading, transit, delivery, and unloading. Systems using passive cooling are preferred.
3.2.3 Consideration must be taken to minimize shock to blood payload for any proposed delivery concept.
3.2.4 System must have an operational range of 100 or more miles. Command and control of the aircraft must be maintained at all times.
3.3 Nano VTOL UAS
3.3.1 Extremely small, lightweight Nano VTOL UAS with a takeoff weight of 75 grams or below are desired with the following characteristics. 4.3.3.2 Day and night imaging capability.
3.3.3 Autonomous flight modes.
3.3.4 Indoor flight capability with augmented collision avoidance,
operator in the loop control.
3.4 Micro VTOL UAS
3.4.1 Small, lightweight micro VTOL UAS with a takeoff weight of 750
grams or below are desired with the following characteristics. 4.3.4.2 Day and night imaging capability.
3.4.3 All-weather capability.
3.4.4 Autonomous flight modes.
3.4.5 Autonomous indoor flight capability with collision avoidance. 4.3.4.6 Operation in Global Positioning System (GPS) denied environment and confined spaces (including subterranean).
3.5 Small Fixed Wing UAS
3.5.1 Hand launchable or VTOL fixed wing UAS with no launch or
recovery equipment (bungee, net, etc.) is desired with the following characteristics.
3.5.2 VTOL configurations not to exceed 3.5 kg takeoff weight. 4.3.5.3 All-weather capability.
3.5.4 Day and night imaging capability.
3.5.5 Autonomous flight modes with GPS denied capability. 4.3.5.6 Minimum of 90 minutes endurance at sea level.

4 Managed signature. Technologies of interest are those that help avoid physical detection by acoustic, thermal, radar, visual, optical, electro-magnetic, virtual, and near infrared means.
4.1 Technologies which help manage digital presence within the realm of social media.
4.2 Technologies that assist in providing resistance to biometric tracking.
4.3 Technologies that exploit publicly available information to obscure or deceive to deny information about actions and intentions.

5 Next generation Military Information Support Operations (MISO). Technologies should be operable in limited or denied connectivity environments.
5.1 UAS/drone supported broadcasts.
5.2 Linguist expertise and regional dialects.
5.3 Demographic and culturally adaptive.
5.4 Operable in multiple spectrums, e.g. microwave, IR, etc. 4.5.5 Real time feedback.
5.5.1 Biometrics and patterns of life. 4.5.5.2 Data analysis.

6 Human Performance and Biomedical. The optimization of SOF operator’s ability to perform at very high levels for long durations, process information and make the right decisions in a timely manner, while operating in extreme environments, under high levels of stress will significantly improve their operational effectiveness. SOF requires the capability for far-forward austere casualty care to sustain critically injured personnel until they can reach the next higher level of care. SOF medical personnel place a premium on medical technologies that are small, lightweight, ruggedized, modular, multi-use, and designed for operation in extreme environments. The equipment must be easy to use, require minimum maintenance, and have low power consumption. Drugs and biologics should not require refrigeration or other special handling.
6.1 Enhanced cognitive performance

The deadline for nomination package(s) is 10 September, 2018 at 12:00 Noon Eastern Time.

Future experiments include:

TE 9-2 Sensitive Site Exploitation/Hyper Enabled Operator, 25-29 March, 2019, at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, IN.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

2018 Special Operations Forces Warrior Industry Collaboration & JSOC Capabilities and Technology Expo Solutions Event

Friday, August 17th, 2018

The Program Executive Office Special Operations Forces Warrior (PEO-SW) and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) will be holding “Industry Collaboration Days” on 24-25 October 2018. The purpose of this event is to provide industry with an opportunity for a focused engagement with members of PEO-SW and JSOC to share ideas that facilitate the delivery of innovative capabilities to Special Operations Forces (SOF).

SOFWIC will be held on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 at the Tampa Marriott Westshore and the JCTE Solutions Event will be held on Thursday, October 25th, 2018 at Building 501E, MacDill AFB, FL 33621.

SOCOM is interested for a variety of technologies supplied by SSD readers. There won’t be a test, but you should expect to see formal requirements generated for many of these items.

In order of priority by commodity area:

(1) Ground Mobility
a. Drivetrain and Locking Differentials Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV 1.1) – Technology that will allow for transaxle replacement to increase reliability.
b. Suspension/Shock technology (GMV 1.1/LTATV/GMV 1.0)
(i) Vehicle – Suspension system related upgrades/replacement to increase performance, durability, and reliability.
(ii) Occupant – Vehicle occupant technology that improves the isolation between the input from the terrain and the corresponding input to an occupant.
c. Lifecycle Cost Reduction Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle (LTATV), Non-Standard Commercial Vehicle (NSCV), Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV 1.0 and GMV 1.1) – Novel approaches to reduce the lifecycle costs (namely production and sustainment) associated with braking, suspension, and other vehicular systems. Current C4ISR components (antennas, mounts, cables, etc.) are expensive and long lead in nature. The Government is targeting reduced costs, improved lead times, and equivalent capability to our current SOF suite of C4ISR (LoS, SATCOM, ECMS).
d. 360 Degree Situational Awareness MRAP-All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) – Armored vehicles provide protection, but at the expense of situational awareness around the vehicle. Seeking an affordable, durable, and efficient solution to enable all occupants in the vehicle to have visibility around the vehicle.
e. Payload Enhancement (GMV 1.1/LTATV) – solutions that enable the vehicle to carry more payload without significantly degrading performance.
f. Tow Bars (GMV 1.1, GMV 1.0, M-ATV) – Low Cost, lightweight, rapidly attached/utilized, rugged, durable tow bars for use on the medium and heavy family of vehicles (10k-40k lbs).
g. Battery Technology (NSCV, GMV 1.1) – Mature 12 Volt battery technology for cold temp start and/or reduced size without degrading Cold Cranking Amperage or AMP hours. Mature battery technologies that can withstand cold start scenarios down to -50 F and also extend the timeline for silent watch. Reducing size, but not performance, is ideal as well. Certified for flight is required.
h. Purpose Built NSCVs (Modular Purpose Built Chassis or common purpose built drivetrain for SUVs and Trucks) – Cost effective solutions for reduced logistics or to allow vehicles that are commercial in appearance to be reset at the end of the lifecycle instead of disposed of and re-procured. This would also allow different bodies to be interchanged on a common chassis to reduce logistical costs. The concept of Purpose Built is governed by the fact that vehicles are not modified commercial vehicles, but rather purpose built vehicles with little to no reliance on commercial vehicles. Vehicles are anticipated to be designed to mimic late model vehicles typically found in central Asia (e.g., Toyota Hilux, Toyota Land Cruiser 200, and Toyota Surf); armored against ballistic threats; 10 year vehicle life (minimum); vehicle designed for one or more resets; 4 wheel drive with heavy duty brakes and suspension to accommodate gross vehicle weight; full skid plates and running boards; diesel engines; and left hand drive.
i. Enhanced Tire Technology, including both airless and other non-pneumatic solutions (GMV 1.1, LTATV) – Novel approaches addressing wheel/tire assemblies to allow for better suitability in soft soils and other asymmetrical or unconventional warfare environments. Tire technologies to allow for a broader range of environmental terrains (sand, mud, and rock), to include non-pneumatic types.
j. Light Vehicle Safety Improvements and Accessories (LTATV) – Improvements to general safety items to include (but not limited to): seating, roll cages, stability control, driver assist functions, etc.
k. Lightweight Armor (NSCV, GMV 1.1) – Novel lightweight and cost effective technologies that can replace current heavy transparent and opaque armor solutions on vehicle platforms. Heavy armor drives adverse mobility, reduced vehicle durability, and increases in related support component costs.
l. Low Cost, High Output Alternators for NSCVs – Targeting both 12V and 28V dual alternator combinations, along with high output single 12V and dual 12V solutions. The 28VDC alternator shall have a minimum of 130A (at 28VDC) output (80A at idle) and shall fit within the current engine compartment. Any single high-output alternator shall have a minimum 260 Amp (12 Volt DC) output rating at idle and engine operating temperature of 220 degrees F. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to determine the availability of solutions to replace the existing package within NSCVs, allowing flexibility for future growth, and to clear real estate in the engine compartment if we can achieve our requirements with a lower cost and smaller solution.
m. Driver Cognitive Workload Reduction (LTATV/GMV 1.1) – means of reducing driver cognitive workload in lone driving, or convoy driving situations up to and including solutions that eliminate the need for a driver altogether.

(2) Visual Augmentation Systems (VAS):
a. Signature Reduction technologies for Targeting Laser (Out of Band and Notional Laser) – Laser designation technologies that are able to be perceived through typical and widely fielded Image Intensification technologies. Notional laser could exist only in virtual reality and be perceived through an integrated augmented reality display inside an eyepiece of Night Vision Goggles (NVG).
b. Head-mounted Devices- Looking for weight saving technologies or novel methods to move weight off of the head.
c. Hand Held Devices- Seeking size, weight, and power enhancements on handheld VAS commodities.
d. Weapon Mounted Devices Seeking size, weight, and power enhancements on weapon mounted VAS commodities.
e. Power management, virtual reality (portable).

(3) Ammunition and Weapon Systems (A&W):
a. Signature reduction for Small Arms- Sound, Flash, and Thermal.
b. Machine Gun Suppressor capable of surviving high volume/rate of fire.
c. Intermediate Caliber (.338NM) – Long Range Machine Gun 2000m to include new tripod, long range- ruggedized optics, and polymer ammunition.
e. 6.5mm Sniper Support Rifle.
f. 6.5mm Assault Machine Gun.
g. Suppressor for MK27 Gen 4.
h. Thermal Beacon Technologies (Mid Wave Thermal Spectrum) range >10NM.
i. Precision Variable powered optics capable of acquiring targets at 50-1500m and beyond.
j. Precision Aiming laser with built in range finding (up to 2000m), ballistics, and environmental sensing capable of blue tooth and Near field communications.
i. Organic Strike Assets capable of providing precision fires on ranged targets (1k-50k).

(4) Soldier Protection, Survival, and Equipment Systems (SSES):
a. Armor – Novel technologies and designs that decrease weight while increasing level of protection.
b. Lightweight Rifle Protection Ballistic Helmet – Current lightweight ballistic helmets are limited to 9mm and fragmentation protection due to the weight required to achieve rifle protection. Seeking lightweight ballistic helmet that defeats the 7.62x39mm MSC projectile at muzzle velocity.
c. Special Operations Eye Protection – Laser protection (visible and IR); ability for a single lens to adapt to various lighting conditions near instantaneously.
d. Extremity Protection for Extreme High Altitude – Airborne operations are conducted at extreme high altitudes with air temps below -40 C. These temps can lead to vasoconstriction in the extremities. Seeking active heating capabilities to reduce likelihood of vasoconstriction and maintain dexterity during these airborne operations and throughout all phases of the mission.
e. Logistics – FIAR compliant internet accessible web application (certified mixed/feeder system) for the Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) program capable of property accountability, warehouse management, logistics/supply functions, financial, and personnel management data to include the conversion of measurements to sizes using an approved algorithm for Special Operations Forces-Peculiar (SO-P) individual equipment. Integration with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) logistics enterprise is mandatory.

(5) Tactical Combat Casualty Care Medical Systems (TCCC):
a. Novel FDA approved technologies that apply to individual casualty care and casualty evacuation.
b. Active Cooling and Heating Whole Blood Storage Container – As SOF medics transition from crystalloid and colloid to whole blood for traumatic hemorrhagic resuscitation they are facing major logistical challenges due to the limited temperature range for storing and transporting whole blood far forward on the battlefield. Seeking portable active cooling and heating storage container capable of holding 1-2 units of blood within the FDA regulation temperature range for 4-5 days. The light weight container should be small enough to fit inside of or attached to the current USSOCOM Medic Aid Bag and be powered by standard commercial batteries commonly found in a deployed environment.
c. Handheld Battlefield Ultrasound – SOF medics have a requirement for a handheld ultrasound device capable of use in a battlefield environment. Due to the space and weight limitations within the Special Operations medical aid bag, the battlefield ultrasound should be limited to a single universal transducer which can be used for a range applications. The single universal transducer must be durable enough for the battlefield environment and able to function on the Android operating system.

(6) Electronic Counter Measures (ECM):
a. Increased battery power density providing the same equipment operating life at a size/weight reduction of up to 50%.
b. High performance multi-band antennas that can be used for electronic countermeasures systems, communications systems, and other functions while reducing SWAP on platforms/operators.

(7) Counter – Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS):
a. Passive radar – radar detection that operates in a passive/promiscuous mode rather than active emitting. Ability for multiple/simultaneous detections.
b. Auto Pilot detection – detection of non-RF telemetry like Pixhawk, Mavlink, etc. autopilot drone modes. Small, lightweight, low power solutions.
c. Detection – detecting drones using LTE cellular technology.
d. Kinetic Defeat – small, lightweight kinetic/hard kill solutions.

(8) Find, Fix, Finish, Exploitation, and Analyze Capabilities (F3EA).

Interested parties must respond by Aug 31, 2018 5:00 pm Eastern. Visit www.fbo.gov for full details.

Trijicon Awarded $7.6 Mil for USSOCOM Miniature Aiming System – Day Optics Program

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

USSOCOM has selected the Trijicon solution for their Miniature Aiming System – Day Optics Program. Under MAS-D, there are four different systems: Handgun Reflex Sight, Close Quarters Sight, Squad Variable Power Scope and Precision Variable Power Scope.

This award is for the Handgun Reflex Sight (HRS), which is designed for rapid day and night pistol target engagements. It incorporates an illuminated dot or shape imposed on a Wide Field of View (WFOV) lens to increase the speed of target acquisition when maneuvering in confined spaces, or in extremis if the primary weapon malfunctions.

With Trijicon winning it is based on their RMR Type 2 and will assuredly be mounted to SOCOM’s Glock 19s.

The RMR’s Aiming Dot features eight adjustable brightness settings including 2 NV and 1 super bright. It’s powered by a CR2032 battery which lasts up to 4 years at a brightness setting of 4 out of 8. Additionally, it automatically adjusts to ambient lighting conditions after 16.5 hours and there is a lockout feature for the buttons. It is also waterproof to 20m.

Trijicon Inc., Wixom, Michigan,* is awarded a $7,626,587 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period for handgun reflex sights for the miniature aiming system – day optics program. The handgun reflex sight is a low profile, wide field of view, passive sight for rapid day and night pistol target engagements in confined spaces, while prisoner handling, or in extremis after the primary weapon malfunctions. Work will be performed in Wixom, Michigan, and is expected to be completed by August 2023. Fiscal 2018 defense procurement funding in the amount of $1,158,052 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with three offers received.  The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N0016418DJQ25).

The award was decided on best value. SOCOM plans to field over 14,000 of these optics to its various components.