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Posts Tagged ‘Battlefield Airman’

Black Diamond Wearable Modular Tactical System Chosen by USAF for Dismounted Close Air Support

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Under a Firm Fixed-Price Contract the US Air Force has chosen the Black Diamond Advanced Technology‘s Modular Tactical System (MTS) as their next-generation US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Operator Control System (OCS). Used by Special Operations Forces and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, the Battlefield Air Operations (BAO) OCS is a wearable solution, incorporating a tactical vest with power management and a rugged computing device, designed for dismounted Close Air Support operations and communications control.

A component of the BAO kit, the MTS is a wearable, combat-enabled tactical communications tool providing situational awareness and blue force tracking. It also functions as a precision strike tool that facilitates control of multiple mission-critical peripherals on a central display, eliminating battery and equipment redundancies and lightening the load on the operator.

With the MTS at the core, the overall solution reduces the time required for the JTAC to prosecute a target and increases accuracy and efficiency by allowing the operator to maximize the existing radio and air-asset capabilities during dismounted operations.

I was able to try out a version of the MTS last year. It is an impressive system that is integrated directly into an armor carrier. What really impressed me was that it is right there in front of you and you don’t have to pack up a laptop to move. You can quickly transition back and forth between the screen and your surroundings to maintain situational awareness.

You can run it through the paces as well at this week’s Warrior Expo East. Additionally, ADS Inc offers the MTS for units and organizations that require on the move computing but who are not part of this program of record.

Warrior Expo EAST
July 12 1030 – 1600 EDT
July 13 1030 – 1500 EDT
Virginia Beach Convention Ctr
Virginia Beach, VA

Got a Great Idea or Product to Help USAF Battlefield Airmen or Security Forces?

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The Air Force has extended the response date for their Tactical Capabilities for Battlefield Airmen and Security Forces Broad Agency Announcement through 30 October of 2012.

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For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘Battlefield Airman,’ they are essentially the USAF’s ground forces.

Certain ground combat capabilities are an Airman’s responsibility and require unique surface operations that are integral to the application of air and space power. To meet this responsibility, the Air Force recognized the need to organize, train, and equip a force of Battlefield Airmen (BA) capable of delivering distinctive expertise in a ground combat environment with unequaled firepower, accuracy, responsiveness, flexibility and persistence. These BA include Combat Control, Pararescue, Tactical Air Control and Battlefield Weather professionals. BA provide skill sets not commonly found across the Air Force and typically operate in combat zones outside the perimeter of Air Force bases, often in the deep battle space.

Naturally, Security Forces are the Air Force’s security troops and the provide air base ground defense as well as law enforcement support. They also happen to be the largest enlisted career field in the Air Force. Additionally, Security Forces in particular holds great influence over how the rest of the Air Force’s personnel are armed and equipped for personal protection and collective air base defense.

For the purposes of the BAA, “Research includes scientific study and experimentation directed at developing technologies, components, and quick reaction capabilities (QRC). This work includes tactical level Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), threat intercept, and force application capabilities for Battlefield Airmen and Security Forces. Potential areas of interest include tactical level targeting applications such as wireless network applications, line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communication links, remote sensing, remote switching, target tagging, tactical command and control of ground forces, tactical electrical energy, small Unmanned Aerial Systems, and general improvements in situational awareness, targeting, force protection/fractricide prevention, and damage assessment.

But, having said that, there are 10 research areas of interest and most if not all are within the purview of the companies that read SSD -

RESEARCH AREA 1 – FORCE PROTECTION ENHANCEMENTS
RESEARCH AREA 2 – PERSONAL EQUIPMENT
RESEARCH AREA 3 – C4 SYSTEMS AND RELATED SOFTWARE
RESEARCH AREA 4 – OPTICS AND DISPLAYS
RESEARCH AREA 5 – NAVAIDS AND SENSORS
RESEARCH AREA 6 – TACTICAL ENERGY
RESEARCH AREA 7 – CLANDESTINE MOBILITY
RESEARCH AREA 8 – MEDICAL
RESEARCH AREA 9 – TACTICAL METEOROLOGICAL SYSTEMS
RESEARCH AREA 10 – ALTERNATE MEANS OF INSERTION AND EXTRACTION

To give you an idea of what types of things they are interested in, here is the description of the Personal Equipment research area.

The goal of this work is to perform basic and applied research in the area of personal equipment items to improve the capabilities and effectiveness of the battlefield airman. The objective is to conduct research which could eventually lead to the development of personal garments, body armor, eye protection and mission related personal items. Research in garments that will aid in camouflage, disguise, deception and concealment while preventing contamination and/or injury or exposure to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) threats may be proposed. In addition, research in the area of enhanced personal performance through improved nutrition, supplements and sustenance may also be proposed.

Full descriptions for all research areas are available at the link.

In all cases, the first step is a white paper. For full details visit www.fbo.gov.

Battlefield Airmen on the Job

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

We like seeing official Air Force photos of Battlefield Airmen applying airmanship to the tasks at hand. In this case we see U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stacy Maxey, a command air mobility liaison officer with Task Force CROM, giving a landing zone safety officer course U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Romanian army personnel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Lagman, Afghanistan.

You will note the combination of AF Digital Tigerstripe, Army UCP and Army OCP (MultiCam) clothing and equipment on the Airmen in the photo. Expect this to be the norm for at least the near future as deploying Airmen transition to OCP.