SIG Sauer Academy

Peenland Camo Nut Sack from On Station Apparel

December 6th, 2019

Based on a mispronunciation of ‘Pineland’ the Peenland Camo was developed by On Station Apparel to honor their SF brothers. Fittingly, it is fashioned into a nut sack.

Get yours at www.onstationapparel.com/products/peenland-camo-nut-sack.

Air Force Research Labs Enhances Safety of Survival Specialists Through Wearable Health Monitoring Technology

December 6th, 2019

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio –An Air Force Research Laboratory team recently delivered version 2.0 of the Survival Health Awareness Responders Kit (SHARK) to U.S. Air Force instructors at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland Camp Bullis, a 28,000-acre site in Texas, used to train Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialists.

With SHARK, sensors embedded in shirts transmit key metrics including heart rate and estimated core temperature from smartphones to a server. As students undergo physical endurance tests during extended periods of isolation, the system allows instructors to monitor this data in real-time, and issues alerts for heart rate spikes and significant increases in temperature. Since the device identifies the user’s location, medical personnel can quickly respond to those in need of care.

2nd Lt. Matthew Dickinson, a biomechanical engineer within AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW), says that SHARK 2.0 is user-friendly and more secure. He explains that instructors and students alike are pleased with the streamlined setup process and the new web interface.

The commander of Detachment 3, 66th Training Squadron, Maj. Toby Andrews, said he appreciates that SHARK “gives [instructors] real-time alerts on the health and well-being of students.” The system “truly eases my mind as a commander,” he said since it “allows us to provide preventative care [in cases] that could otherwise lead to serious medical situations.”

Prior to SHARK, instructors checked on trainees at regular intervals to ensure their well-being. In certain cases, they administer ice baths to students with elevated body temperatures, said Tech. Sgt. John Garcia, a SERE instructor. However, since the introduction of this monitoring technology, zero ice baths have been required because the system alerts instructors before students reach what they call “the danger zone.”

To develop version 2.0, the SHARK team enlisted the help of Cedarville University students majoring in computer science. Loren Baum, who now works full-time in 711HPW, improved the code for his senior design project.  He optimized the software, added functionality, enhanced the security measures and streamlined the startup process.

Baum explains that the team moved SHARK from the mobile app arena to the web to make the system useable in a wider variety of scenarios. With the new approach, instructors simply log into a website from any computer to monitor students’ health status instead of launching an application, which requires installation and manual upgrades.

The team simplified the startup process with Quick Response (QR) codes that automatically input students’ information when scanned, Baum said. This measure reduced the total setup time from one hour to five minutes, and makes it easier for students and instructors to begin a new session.

In June 2019, the team traveled to JBSA-Camp Bullis and conducted initial tests with version 2.0. Once the team integrated additional software improvements, SERE instructors officially launched the upgrade in September.

The SHARK team continues to work with other squadron key leaders to address related needs. One such application involves using the included heart rate variability measurement to provide real-time feedback regarding students’ reactions to various training stressors.

This data would enable instructors to evaluate the effectiveness of interrogation techniques and determine the extent to which they affect individuals, said 1st Lt. David Feibus, a former software team lead, who is now a student at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

While SHARK is useful in various situations, Air Force instructors currently rely on this tool to offer “strenuous exercises in the safest manner possible,” said Ted Harmer, a 711HPW engineer who also leads a medical readiness personnel recovery training research team. When administering physical tests, instructors must achieve the purpose of the training and minimize negative impacts, whether they be physical or emotional, he explains.

Leadership from AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing originally learned about this need for additional safety measures during a visit to the USAF Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base. School personnel explained that they needed a more proactive solution to monitor students’ health and performance during their rigorous training missions. Due to the ongoing research and development of wearable monitoring technologies in the 711HPW, experts decided the SERE training environment was another place this monitoring technology could improve the safety of SERE students and enhance their training program.

“Going in, we knew we needed a broad range of skillsets,” said Dr. James Christensen, a product line lead within the 711HPW. He explains that to produce an effective system, the team relied on expertise in wearable devices, electronics, software development, communications, human factors and physiology.

“We pulled together capabilities from several different parts of the organization to assemble the sensors, develop the software to pull sensor data together, and then build the communications capability to then send that data and be able to monitor it continuously and remotely.”

Following the initial design and development, the team arranged field tests with end-users. Several team members lived with JBSA-Camp Bullis instructors for one week to test SHARK 1.0 in 2018. Now, a year later, an upgraded system is in the field.

In the meantime, the SHARK team is also working with other groups who are interested in acquiring this technology including firefighters, NASA scientists and U.S. Army Special Forces. Members are currently exploring a version of the system that the Department of Defense Fire Academy can use under fire protection gear to prevent heat injuries.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Randall Moss and U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Davis, loadmasters assigned to the 16th Airlift Squadron, sort through survival equipment during a survival, evasion, resistance, and escape exercise August 21, 2019, in North, South Carolina. SERE specialists assigned to the 437th Operations Support Squadron conducted this exercise in order to identify potential areas of improvement in both SERE training and equipment provided to aircrew in case of a potential isolating event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Duncan C. Bevan)

Further Faster Designs – Super B

December 6th, 2019

Super B, is Further Faster Designs’ modern answer to the venerable poncho liner.

They combine Climashield Apex insulation with 1.1 oz per square yard micro rip-stop DWR shell material and a built in toggle and draw cord system that allows the user to configure it as a sleeping bag or draped around the shoulders as a static layer for camp/patrol base activities.

Tgey offer two insulation weights, 2.5 and 3.6 oz per square yard so the user can make decisions based on the time of year and weather. The Super B is rectangular, enabling the draw cords, one located on a short end and another mid-way on one of the longer ends.

furtherfasterdesigns.com/products/super-b-2

They tell me they have other products in varying stages of production with a new product launch planned for our Pop Up Preview booth at this year’s SHOT Show. 

SOFWERX – Family of Special Operations Vehicles Autonomous and Automated Mobility Capability Collaboration Event

December 6th, 2019

The SOFWERX Family of Special Operations Vehicles Autonomous and Automated Mobility Capability Collaboration Event will be held 19-20 February 2020. Request to Attend NLT 10 January 2020.

USSOCOM is looking for Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to help explore, define and prioritize future desirements for cutting-edge autonomous and automated vehicles in tactical environments.

Interested SMEs are encouraged to request to join us on 19-20 February, as we collaborate on the art-of-the possible to:

• Explore tactical SOF Autonomy and Automation Mobility within 0-5 year gaps

• Analyze and define future concepts 

• Prioritize operational use cases to develop future SOF requirements 

This event will be a compelling opportunity for the leading minds in autonomous and automated vehicles to better understand and influence the future needs of SOF Autonomous and Automated Mobility operations.

For more information, visit www.sofwerx.org/fosov.

FirstSpear Friday Focus – ACM MID 400 Shirt

December 6th, 2019

Today we are getting another look at FirstSpear’s USA Merino wool packages.

In previous weeks we saw the lightest weight package ACM-BASE 100 which FS uses in a variety of their lighter weight garments like the field shirt and beanie/neckie. Today we will be looking at the next level up, ACM-MID 400. What makes this merino package so unique is that it is a dual layer material, not a blend. Using a super fine polyester on the interior and merino wool layer on the exterior, this material combo does some very incredible things. When the user sweats or gets wet the poly layer will quickly wick away moisture from the body and transfer it to the absorbent wool layer.

Once the moisture permeates into the wool layer it allows the poly to dry very quickly which helps avoid the typical stink you find with other synthetic layers, additionally wool is naturally antimicrobial which makes it incredibly difficult for the garment to produce bacteria that causes odors in all synthetic base layers. Furthermore, once the moisture is absorbed into the wool layer it will keep the user insulated and warm even when wet. These features provide for exceptionally high performance garments using ACM-MID 400. Today we will get a look at one of the more popular garments using this dual layer material, the FirstSpear Mid Shirt.

The Mid Shirt is super tough and ultra soft with a 2/3 length front zipper that allows extra ventilation when you really warm up. The high collar keeps your neck covered and is great for when you are working with a sling.

Like most FS products the Mid Shirt is Berry Compliant (100% American Made with 100% American Materials) and is available in Black, Charcoal, Commando, Manatee Grey, and Sand.

www.first-spear.com/mid-shirt-acm-mid-400

75th Anniversary of Menton Day

December 6th, 2019

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina – Seventy-five years ago, on December 5, 1944, the combined U.S.-Canadian First Special Service Force (FSSF) paraded one final time at their Villeneuve-Loubet camp, near the town of Menton, in southeastern France.

The FSSF was an elite commando unit activated in July 1942 to attack hydroelectric plants in Nazi-occupied Norway. Consisting of a headquarters, three combat regiments, and a service battalion, the unit prepared for combat with a rigorous program of physical fitness, close combat fighting, airborne, demolition, mountaineering, amphibious, and winter warfare training.

Commanded by U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Robert T. Frederick from July 1942 to June 1944, the FSSF earned the nickname the ‘Devils Brigade’ by the German Army for their aggressive night patrols defending a section of the Anzio beachhead in Italy.

Despite its effectiveness, a manpower crisis in the Canadian Army led to the unit’s inactivation. Having become a ‘band of brothers’ during combat operations in Kiska, Italy, and Southern France, the FSSF soldiers assembled at 1400 hours for a somber farewell. The order announcing the Canadian’s departure was read, followed by remarks from the commander, Col. Edwin A. Walker, the roll of the fallen, prayers, and a playing of taps. After the FSSF colors were sheathed, the order was given: “All Canadians fall out!” The 620 Canadian soldiers paraded, and received a salute from the Americans.

A Canadian sergeant from the 2nd Regiment remarked years later, that “It was the saddest day of my life, I think…Canadians were falling out that I thought were Americans and Americans were standing still who I thought were Canadians…There was no nationality in that bloody unit.”

The next day the Canadians boarded trucks taking them to ships bound for Italy. The FSSF Canadian veterans were reassigned to their parent unit, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, or sent home based on overseas time served. Most American veterans volunteered for an airborne division, or were assigned to the 474th Infantry Regiment (Separate).

Commemoration of Menton Day on December 5, began thirty-five years ago when Army Special Forces honored its lineal connection to the FSSF. Over the years, various headquarters and units have observed Menton Day. Since September 11, 2001, some unit activities have grown to a week. Now, the 1st Special Forces Group, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, has a memorial wreath laying, physical fitness competition, range day, a U.S.-Canadian parachute jump, and formal ball with a noted guest speaker.

Since 2006, Canadian Army Special Operations Forces (CANSOF) in their distinctive uniforms, tan berets, and badges incorporating a FSSF V-42 fighting knife, are seen at Menton ceremonies in the U.S. These ceremonies keep soldiers of both nations connected to their history and serve as a reminder of a tremendous legacy. The 1st Special Forces Regiment and all U.S. Army SF groups trace their official lineage to the FSSF.

-USASOC-

By Robert Seals, USASOC History Office

Happy Holidays from HLC Industries

December 6th, 2019

Now Available For Pre-Order – “NATO Special Forces”

December 5th, 2019

From K-ISOM, the same people who brought you “Special Operations & Special Missions Aircraft” comes “NATO Special Forces” a current look at a military force that has taken 70 years to create. The book is 206 pages and packed with high quality photographs.