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Posts Tagged ‘USAF’

USAF Security Forces Mandate Use of Safariland Holster

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Last week, the Security Forces Center which serves exercises functional oversight for the Air Force’s largest careerfield issued guidance to the community mandating use of the Safariland Modular Holster System consisting of the 6004/6005 holster with the Quick Locking System for all SF applications of the M9 pistol in the Drop Leg, Hip, or Chest position. The memorandum dated Apr 5, 2013 also revokes authorization to continue to purchase Blackhawk SERPA holsters.

Mandatory Purchase and Use of the Safariland Modular Holster System Memo

(Click Image To Download Memo)

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.

USAF RFI for FR Cold Weather Clothing

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Earlier this month the USAF’s 77th Aeronautical Systems Group at Brooks City-Base, TX released a Request For Information (RFI) seeking data on Fire Resistant Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) and Modified-COTS Extreme Cold Weather clothing. This is in anticipation of an Industry Day set for November. They are only looking for information on Berry compliant materials/capabilities or Berry waivered materials and information.

Interested parties should reply following the instructions found on www.fedbizopps.gov.

AFRL’s TRON

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

TRON

My first exposure to TRON was at SOFIC in conjunction with BAE’s Corona system. Since then I have been doing some research on this revolutionary Combat ID system. I post the article from February of this year from Associated Press as a backgrounder.

Originally published by Associated Press February 20, 2008

DAYTON, Ohio – When Taliban forces attacked a police checkpoint in central Afghanistan under dark of night in late 2006, special-operations Master Sgt. Andrew Martin called in air support and then slapped a high-tech cloth-like device on his helmet for protection.

Fresh from labs at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the device transmitted light from a powerful light-emitting diode, or LED, that pulsed through a fiber optic bundle, giving off infrared signals visible to pilots wearing night-vision goggles.

“The pilots were able to very quickly pick it up,” recalled Martin, who has since retired from the Air Force. “What didn’t happen was additional questions from the pilots asking me my location.”

The new technology – called Target Recognition Operator Notification system – was designed to easily identify friendly forces and avoid casualties from friendly fire.

Martin liked the equipment so much he used it on about 35 missions over six months. He said it is better than strobe lights, which can be mistaken for machine-gun fire, or reflective tape, which is difficult to see from the air.

“U.S. forces have been dogged by the difficulty of finding each other in the fog of battle,” said Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va. “What this new innovation allows is easy identification of friendly forces without helping the enemy do the same thing.”

Brian Hunt, an engineer with the Air Force Research Lab, said he and his team were approached in 2004 and asked to develop such a system. Working with Lumitex Inc. of Strongsville, the effort was part of a rapid-reaction program where researchers were given up to $100,000 and one year to come up with a product.

“A lot of different units saw the need for something like this, to be able to clearly determine friend or foe,” Hunt said.

The group produced 108 prototypes in six months. Each unit costs about $100.

Built in to the nylon-like cloth is a circuit board and a battery pack. The woven nature of the cloth emits light in a controlled way, creating a uniform surface.

The system can run 200 hours on two double-A batteries and weighs less than three ounces. It can be worn on tactical vests, around an arm or mounted to a helmet.

“You can put it anywhere,” Hunt said. “It’s got Velcro on the back. It sticks to everything.”

The circuitry also allows the system to flash at different speeds. That enables pilots to identify different groups of friendly forces and see which group is under attack, which group is trying to circle the enemy, and who the reinforcements are, among other things.

Mike Sedillo, support contractor at the research lab, said he would like to see the system in the hands of all U.S. forces in the battlefield and become standard equipment in air-crew survival kits.

Sedillo said researchers are working to upgrade the system so it will transmit light in other parts of the spectrum, making it more difficult for enemy forces to detect with conventional night vision technology.

“Friendly fire incidents in general are declining, but in counterinsurgency or counter-terror warfare it’s much harder to sort out our people from the other side because there are no front lines,” Thompson said. “This invention is well-suited to a world in which all the old features of battlefield like secure areas and front lines are missing.”

Copyright AP 2008, Photo Copyright AP 2008