TYR Tactical

RE Factor Tactical – Marking Panel

February 18th, 2019

I know I mentioned this when it first came out, but they did such a great job with it, I wanted to bring it up again.

The RE Factor Tactical Marking Panel is an 18 x 11″ VS-17 Panel designed to aid you in marking your location. The panel comes with four removable bungee tie downs that allow the panel to securely attach to a pack or any other item. In addition, there are four rare earth magnets that allow the panel to be stuck to a vehicle or metal platform. The magnets can sustain winds up to 55mph allowing the panel to be stuck to a vehicle while in motion.

Lastly, they’ve screen printed a 6 x 11″ American Flag to the center for quick recognition. On the reverse side is a 4 x 2″ Velcro patch that can be used for IR patches.

www.refactortactical.com/collections/tactical-accessories/products/marking-panel

You Never Know Where They’ll Show Up

February 18th, 2019

We handed out a lot of patches at SHOT Show but haven’t seen them turn up in any photos yet. It’s really cool to see one of the original cloth SSD logo patches from Mil Spec Monkey.

Thanks Ryan!

Soldiers Learn Arctic Survival from Northern Neighbors

February 17th, 2019

MANNING PARK, B.C., Canada — Lights from headlamps in the distance dart across the blue snow horizon, mirroring the shooting stars above in the brilliant Canadian winter night sky. Through the darkness, Canadian Army Reserve Soldiers lead the way towards camp, breaking trail with their snowshoes through six feet of untouched snow.

Nearly 40 Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, traveled to British Columbia, Canada, Jan. 24-28, 2019, to participate in the Westie Avalanche Exercise alongside the Royal Westminster Regiment (RWR), 39th Canadian Brigade Group (CBG).

Westie Avalanche is an introduction to arctic warfare focusing on winter survivability, cold weather tent operations, and light infantry winter mobility. The purpose of the exercise is to build winter survival skills while cultivating relationships between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies.

“Through active participation in light infantry engagements we continue to build our ability to conduct our mission in any environmental situation alongside partner NATO nations,” said Oregon Army National Guard Lt. Col. Kyle Akers, commander, 2-162nd Infantry Battalion.

Akers emphasized that 2-162nd Infantry Battalion Soldiers must be effective and ready to serve in any condition or terrain. However, Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers don’t often get a chance to train in adverse winter conditions, an environment Canadian Soldiers are familiar operating in.

“It’s one thing to be able to tactically operate, but it’s another thing to be able to sustain yourself throughout prolonged operations in arctic conditions,” said Canadian Army Reserve Maj. Greg Chan, commander of Alpha Company and operations officer for the RWR. “We thought it would be a good exercise to invite elements of 2-162 up here and showcase some of the skills that we have and share our knowledge with you.”

DIFFERENT ANGLES ON INTEROPERABILITY

Canadian Lt. Col. Chuck MacKinnon, commander of the RWR, emphasized the importance of understanding different interoperability perspectives.

“The U.S. is our partner and the reality is we both end up operating together in places around the world,” said MacKinnon. “Our armies are now intermingling so much, and what I found overseas is that we approach the same problem with two different perspectives. Understanding what we both bring to the picture and how we think differently is a huge advantage.”

The Oregon and Canadian Soldiers gained real-world interoperability experience by fully integrating with their peers. Each Oregon Soldier was paired with a Canadian Soldier to encourage the exchange of knowledge and skills.

“With Soldiers on both sides being integrated, they’re more likely to learn those different perspectives in a very short period of time,” said MacKinnon. “They both get to understand the different language we have: cultural references, acronyms, and terminology, having different equipment, understanding how the different command and rank structures work.”

SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER

The Canadian and U.S. Soldiers worked shoulder-to-shoulder and camped together in combined ten-man infantry squads, known as toboggan or tent groups.

“They all integrated at every level and I think there was great sharing of information,” said Chan. “They [U.S. Soldiers] got to experience some of what Canada has to offer, but also learned a lot of the critical Soldier skills to survive in a winter environment.”

Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Eric Givens, training noncommissioned officer with Delta Company, 2-162nd Infantry Battalion, said the Oregon and Canadian infantrymen worked really well together.

“It was just as if we were Canadians,” said Givens. “Being integrated into their daily operations felt like I was part of the Canadian Army.”

The Oregon Guard Soldiers spent the first day of training, Jan. 25, at the Chilliwack Armoury becoming familiar with the Canadian Army’s arctic tent/toboggan kits, and learning proper procedures for tent group operations.

“They were open to informing and teaching us; giving us ample time to get hands-on experience with their equipment,” said Givens.

The Soldiers received classes on cold weather clothing and gear in which the objective is to stay comfortably COLD: Clean, Overheating (avoid it), Layered, and Dry. The forecast for the weekend predicted highs around 30 degrees Fahrenheit and lows dipping down below 20. The Soldiers packed their rucksacks and assault packs in preparation for their frozen adventure, only taking what they could manage to carry on their backs.

“You pack to survive, but you also have to count out your weight per pound,” said Givens. “You have to decide if you want to be uncomfortable while moving, carrying more weight, or uncomfortable while stationary and packing fewer layers and thermal barriers.”

On Friday evening, the Canadian-U.S. formations were bussed to E.C. Manning Provincial Park where they had to establish a hasty campsite. The Canadian Soldiers blazed a trail through the snow with snowshoes and toboggans as though they were walking on clouds. The Oregon Soldiers’ boots sank deep through the soft snow as they were weighted down with heavy rucksacks.

“We were all cold and tired, but we laughed and made jokes about it, and at that moment you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Givens. “As infantry Soldiers, there was camaraderie in sharing the misery of being cold together.”

CAMARADERIE IN THE COLD

Together, the U.S. and Canadian Soldiers worked under the cover of darkness to stake down their tents in the snow and set-up camp. Relief from the cold finally came when the tents were up, the stoves and lanterns were lit, and the Soldiers could finally cram together in their sleeping bags.

“Even though we wore different flags, I was cold, and they were cold too,” said Oregon Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Dionicio Vega, with Charlie Company, 2-162nd Infantry Battalion. “Everyone was dying to get that stove lit and that was our most important task. Once it was lit, there was a level of comfort and peace that came over.”

The Soldiers didn’t stay “cozy” for too long. Tag, “you’re it” … as their buddy woke them up in the middle of the night for a turn at pulling fireguard, manning the stove and lantern. That “tag” from their buddy came again too soon the next morning as they were woken up early to begin the day’s events.

Over the course of the next two days, the units rotated through winter mobility training, including cross-country ski lessons and snowshoeing. Several Soldiers had experience downhill skiing and snowboarding, but many of them had never been cross-country skiing and were surprised to learn how strenuous it can be.

“Cross-country skiing really slowed us down,” said Vega. “I don’t want to do that again, but I was a real fan of snowshoeing and I will probably buy my own and pick it up as a hobby back home.”

Most of the Oregon Soldiers had never been snowshoeing before this experience. Their introduction to it was a 12-kilometer march along a steep, narrow path that winded around frozen Lightning Lake. Canadian and American Soldiers took turns hauling the toboggans up and down the peaks and valleys of the mountain path, shadowed by towering trees drooping with the burden of heavy snow.

“We were simulating an infantry movement, as close as possible, but without weapons,” said Givens. “The Canadians set the pace and we were hustling.”

There was little time to rest their aching muscles as the winter survival lessons continued on through the evening. Instructors from the 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group (4th CRPG) taught the Soldiers how to make a fire in winter conditions, tips for survival food, and how to construct snow shelters. The 4th CRPG assists the Canadian Armed Forces with national security and public safety missions in sparsely populated, coastal and isolated areas of Western Canada.

“The instructors training us in these techniques are some of the best in the world,” said 1st Lt. John Rohrer, intelligence staff officer for 2-162nd Infantry Battalion, who volunteered to lead the U.S. Soldiers for this mission. “It was some of the highest quality training, learning how to survive in arctic conditions from winter survival experts who work for the Canadian government in the far north.”

Part of the exercise included establishing a tactical bivouac in austere conditions. As the sun went down over the camp on Saturday night, January 26, the Soldiers were instructed to forego their tents and build their own survival shelters where they would be sleeping in the snow for the night. The sharp winter night air stung their lungs as they feverishly dug through the snow to make arctic beds.

“We were already in our tents warming up and finally getting a chance to eat, so we weren’t too excited to get back out in the cold,” said Vega. “But as soon as we got out there, all of us started working together on one task and we knocked out the first snow cave in 45 minutes. We immediately started working on another one.”

Vega said making snow shelters alongside the Canadian Soldiers ended up being his favorite part of the entire exercise because it was unique.

“Many of us were doing this for the first time and we only had 40 minutes of training on it,” said Vega. “We asked for the Rangers’ expertise and the Canadian sergeants’ experience and it felt good to know that we were doing it right.”

Clouds of steam hung in the air above their heads with every breath and every word spoken on that frigid, sleepless night. The goal was to build the Soldiers’ confidence, to recognize that they can endure extremely cold weather conditions.

TACTICAL TRAINING IN A NEW ENVIRONMENT

“From a tactical perspective, it’s always good to enhance Soldiers’ skills and situational awareness in an unfamiliar environment,” said Rohrer. “You’re forced to learn a new skillset, such as awareness for how to manage and regulate your body heat. The more times you do that, the better you get at the mechanism of adapting and the learning curve won’t be as steep the next time.”

Givens, with ten years of service and two deployments (Iraq and Afghanistan), said he has a newfound confidence that he can operate in any conditions and any climate after this training.

“I feel like I can confidently challenge different weather and elevations now, and maybe even go backpacking in extremely cold weather at Mt. Hood or Mt. Bachelor,” he said.

The training was also a chance to develop and/or refine standard operating procedures (SOP) for winter operations. Soldiers representing every company in the 2-162nd Infantry Battalion participated in the exercise with the objective to take their new knowledge and experience back to their units and train others.

“Unknowingly, the Canadians taught us to trust our own equipment,” said Givens. “We never had the chance to use our [Extreme Cold Weather System] equipment to its full capability and this was the perfect opportunity to test it. So, I plan to develop a cold weather SOP with everything I’ve learned for the Soldiers in my unit.”

Working and living together in austere cold weather conditions, the U.S. and Canadian Soldiers discovered they have more commonalities than differences with their Pacific Northwest neighbors. Many of them made new friends that they plan to stay in touch with.

“The two militaries are pretty similar, at the end of the day we are just guys, doing the same job,” said Canadian Army Reserve Cpl. Riley Turner, with A Company, RWR. “Being around staff sergeants and seeing different leadership styles was a good learning experience. We worked well together and I made new friends [pointing towards Vega].”

Vega agreed saying, “We are the same, there’s really no difference. Two armies can come together. We may be different armies wearing different flags, but we all came together at end of the night joking about the same things and we overcame some stereotypes. So, I feel more Canadian and hopefully, Corporal Turner feels a little more American.”

A COMMITMENT TO BUILDING READINESS

The Oregon Soldiers said they want to continue this relationship with their Canadian partners and are looking forward to more opportunities to train with them again in the future. A sentiment the leadership in both the 2-162 and RWR also share.

“This unique opportunity and relationship will help posture our units for future engagements with our different platoons and companies across the formation,” said Akers. “We are committed to building readiness and an enduring, mutually beneficial partnership with the RWR and the 39th CBG.”

“It’s a great opportunity for members of the RWR to work with a partner nation and just be better infantry Soldiers and better prepared for future deployments,” said Chan. “The more interoperability training that we can do always benefits our troops. It helps them become familiar beforehand, so the first time we’re working together is not when we’re deployed overseas.”

This was the second time that the 2-162 Infantry Battalion and RWR have partnered-up for a bi-lateral training engagement. In April 2018, the two units jointly planned and executed a multi-day infantry exercise known as “Cougar Rage” at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

“These training opportunities have turned out to be very beneficial lessons for both organizations, as well as the troops participating. You can’t put a price on its value,” said Canadian Army Reserve Maj. Pavel Dudek plans officer for the 39th CBG. “We want to continue this relationship with our Oregon National Guard partners and expand on it. We hope it will be enduring in nature.”

By SFC Class April Davis

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February 17th, 2019

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The Armored Group, LLC and TerraHawk, LLC Introduce New Partnership and Patented Products for Armored and Unarmored Vehicles

February 17th, 2019

New partnership brings industry leaders together to elevate protection for dangerous surveillance scenarios

(Phoenix, AZ – (DATE) The Armored Group, LLC (TAG), a leading worldwide provider of armored vehicles, and TerraHawk LLC, the developer of rapid mobile surveillance tower systems, have joined forces. TerraHawk will be rebranded as TerraHawk built by TAG Specialty Vehicles. The company will offer SWAT teams, border patrol teams, private security teams and others in high-risk situations armored and unarmored vehicles outfitted with protective elevated surveillance towers. These towers provide viewing from high vantage points giving responders better sight lines which may be critical to positive resolutions.

The TerraHawk mobile surveillance tower enables a single law enforcement officer to operate the observation capsule which may be raised up to 25-feet and offering 360 visibility, enabling law enforcement to observe a situation that would otherwise be blocked from sight. The system allows it to be rapidly and effectively deployed to different areas, thereby disrupting the ability of criminal elements to entrench in new locations.

The tower is fitted with long range, HD, thermal or infrared cameras that provide real-time surveillance enabling officers to immediately respond and react to criminal activity, as well as provide video footage to aid in immediate witness testimony.

Other key specs of the TerraHawk Surveillance System include:

• 13-foot body base length; interior height 90”; 90” exterior width

• 60” double narrow pan formed rear doors with rotary locks and paddle handle

• Exterior LED clearance lights; LED stop/tail/turn lights recessed in the rear apron

• 4 LED interior dome lights in cargo area; 5 LED dome lights in each compartment

• Scissor lift in the body, mounted to truck frame and capsule

• Lift controls in capsule and truck cab

• Automatic leveling legs in each corner of the body

• Electronic systems include: redundant power systems for operation of hydraulic equipment; emergency and primary generator and battery systems; ground area surveillance camera systems to cover rear and sides; scene lights, weather vane/wind speed alarm, battery management system to manage battery power with alarm

• Fitted with 2 fire extinguishers, AC/heat system, shore power plug with a transfer switch, reflector kit behind the passenger seat and first aid kit

• Multiple battery charging systems including generator, shore power or chassis alternator

For over 25 years The Armored Group, LLC has been designing and manufacturing both armored and unarmored vehicles that protect first responders, military and others that need the highest level of protection in highly dangerous situations. TerraHawk has that same goal, by working together they can provide secure, elevated surveillance options from armored and unarmored vehicles. This gives first responders a better vantage point to observe and record criminal activity without ever leaving the vehicle.

“Together TAG and TerraHawk provides next-level protection while gaining access to criminal activity from an elevated surveillance capsule. The patented pass-through platform within the vehicle ensures constant protection while enabling personnel to record criminal activity in real time. We are honored to help our first responders stay safe in a variety of scenarios and will continue to develop vehicles and other products that help them do their jobs and go home to their families every day,” said Robert Pazderka, president and founder of The Armored Group, LLC.

For more information, please visit www.armoredcars.com.

Steel Alive & Hudson Tactical Exhibit At IDEX 2019

February 17th, 2019

www.steelalive.io

Steel Alive has partnered with Hudson Tactical, a division of Hudson Supplies as an authorized distributor of our revolutionary smart reactive target training system, Steel Alive®.  Please be sure to stop at IDEX 2019 Booth FT-10 in hall 1.

About Steel Alive

Warsaw, Poland-February 14, 2019 – Steel Alive®

Smart shooting targets for everyone! Have you ever thought about digitizing your shooting? Measuring your speed and reaction time digitally with an App? Tactical training drills, and competing with other shooters with or without an instructor? All of that is in your smartphone right now. You can even play combat scenarios! A first-person shooter game is brought directly to your shooting range!  The Steel Alive system brings the shooting experience to the 21st-century. You no longer have to measure your skills and reaction time manually. A set of Smart Target Devices along with a multicolor LEDs strapped to ordinary steel plate makes the training more enjoyable and beneficial.  Master your shooting abilities with complex drills and customizable training scenarios. Have fun with your friends by playing multiplayer games. Finally, compare your stats and become the best shooter in the world. For information and sales inquiries please contact: sales@steelalive.io Phone: +1 (813) 609-8868

Steel Alive target unit mounted to back of steel, shown with master control unit and LED indicator lights.

About Hudson Tactical

Hudson Tactical is a division of Hudson Supplies Inc, celebrating their 40th anniversary. Hudson Tactical manufacturers and distributes tactical equipment and gear to a network of worldwide clients, distributors, and dealers. We are the exclusive worldwide master distributor of FastMag®, now available in various camouflage patterns and new Gen IV for Pistol now available. Stop by Booth FT-10, Hall 1 at IDEX 2019. Also showing the new Trilobyte lights from Adventure Tactical. IDEX is the only international defence exhibition and conference in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and takes place 17-21 February 2019 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Hudson Tactical will be showcasing the Steel Alive Smart Target System in Booth FT-10, Hall 1 at IDEX 2019.

www.hudsontactical.com

Airmen Test Resolve During Air Assault Assessment

February 16th, 2019

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. —

Cadres from the 820th Base Defense Group (BDG) evaluated approximately 37 Airmen during an Army Air Assault Assessment (AAA), January 28-31, here.

The assessment measured each Airmen’s readiness to determine who would be selected to attend the 10-day Army Air Assault School (AAS), at Fort Campbell, Ky. The BDG is one of the few units within the Air Force that sends their Airmen to AAS to enhance their personal readiness and also reinforce their unit’s lethal capabilities.

“Everything we learn at AAS is a part of our mission scope within the BDG,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Groomes, 822d Base Defense Squadron (BDS) training instructor and cadre team member “It’s rare to find an Army school that’s curriculum falls under our umbrella, so the more experience we can get for our Airmen the better off the BDG can be downrange.”

The AAA provided Airmen with an opportunity to challenge themselves personally and to self-assess their physical and mental readiness to perform in high-stress situations.

“The reason I wanted to go to AAS was to test myself and to prove that I could get through something so difficult,” said Senior Airman Jeffrey Lewis, 822d BDS fireteam leader. “You always hear of how superior the Army Air Assault School is and how physical it is. I saw this as a milestone to achieve and an opportunity to improve.”

In order to be eligible to attend the school, Airmen have to complete a wide array of tests consisting of: rappel tower operations, ruck layout and sling load inspections, the Army physical fitness test, an obstacle course and finally a 12-mile ruck march.

“There are very few opportunities for Airmen to go to AAS and the BDG is one of the only units that gives their Airmen the chance to attend, so I wanted to take advantage of that,” said Groomes. “It’s a great opportunity for Airmen to [assess] themselves and learn what things they need to improve, not only physically, but mentally to push through.”

While still having to pass all proficiency tests, Airmen were required to perform constant remedial physical training throughout the duration of the assessment to test their physical and mental resiliency.   

“The biggest thing I needed, to get through (the assessment), was a strong drive and motivation,” said Lewis. “Being self-aware and keeping my mental composure through very intense situations was key.”

Cadres already know the physical and mental demands it takes to complete AAS, so during AAA they implemented strenuous measures to help simulate what an Airman should expect at Fort Campbell.

“We intentionally try to make the assessment more rigorous than the school to better prepare our Airmen for success when they arrive there,” said Staff Sgt. Ulysses Ortiz, 820th Combat Operations Squadron unit trainer and lead cadre team member. “We have very few slots at the schoolhouse, so we only want our most deserving Airmen to go.”

Of the 37 Airmen that started the assessment, approximately 10 were deemed qualified for AAS.

Upon completing the assessment, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Zavala, 822d BDS squad leader, explained what it took to finish the assessment and how attending Army Air Assault School will benefit not only himself but other Airmen’s careers in the future.

“The biggest thing it took for me to push through the AAA was just channeling that inner drive that motivated me to train so hard for it in the first place,” said Zavala. “I wanted to lead by example and Air Assault will add more tools to my toolbox, which gives me the ability to explain and elaborate those things to my Airmen coming in from [technical] school to help them succeed.”

By A1C Eugene Oliver, 23d Wing Public Affairs

9mm Pistol Survey and Custom Glock 19 Giveaway

February 16th, 2019

Bachstein Consulting LLC, a leading engineering firm in the firearms industry, is conducting a survey, seeking information about what end users prefer in a quality full-size 9mm handgun.

Those who complete the survey may enter a drawing to win a custom Glock 19 with your choice of laser engraving and cerakote finishing, thanks to a partnership with 2A Engraving and 603 Coatings.

Take there survey here.