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Army Leaders Gather for Annual Stryker Leader’s Summit

January 30th, 2023

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — U.S. Army leaders and Stryker industry experts and gathered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s American Lake Conference Center, Jan. 9-10, 2023, for the annual Stryker Leader’s Summit. The two-day event gave attendees the opportunity to discuss modernization and readiness for Stryker units throughout the Army.

The summit brought together Army leaders from various Stryker units, DoD civilians, and industry professionals. Static displays and demonstrations gave attendees an up-close look at the latest Stryker technologies and concepts.

“It’s important for us to take a day like today to understand where we’re going and what the way forward is for the Stryker,” said Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, commanding general of America’s First Corps. “I know that the answers are here in this room right now.”

Association of the United States Army President, retired Gen. Robert B. Brown, former commander of the United States Pacific, kicked off the summit with opening remarks. He spoke about his time in Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) and the modernization of SBCTs and Strykers since then.

“It’s a critical time going from modular brigade centric, to division centric, and really a return to [training for] full scale combat operations,” said Brown. “Despite all the buzzwords, all of the misunderstanding out there, there’s no question that multi-domain operations is the future.”

“The Stryker brigades are the only infantry-centric medium brigades in the Army,” Brown explained. “They have tremendous capability, enhanced lethality, mobility and networked mission command.”

The summit emphasized the Army’s 2030 Force Structure Initiatives and included key discussion on SBCT modernization and Stryker improvements. Leaders in attendance also discussed challenges, lessons learned and ways to maintain and improve readiness.

Guests in attendance also had the opportunity to observe some of the latest technology and Strykers. One of the Strykers being showcased was the Double V-Hull A1, which is equipped with 30mm weapons and an unmanned auto-cannon.

“The actual lessons will be learned from those on the ground closest to the problem,” Brown said. “They will come up with what future fight looks like.”

While the summit encouraged Stryker stakeholders to discuss updates and changes to the SBCT, members acknowledged that the Army’s number one priority, its people, are critical to the decision-making process.

“We’ve got to figure this out,” said Brunson. “And that innovation is going to come from deep down in our formations. It’s going to come from each unit,”

“We’re going to change or revolutionize the things that we have to do,” said Brunson.

Story by SPC Karleshia Gater

Photos by SGT Joshua Oh

Hill People Gear Presents: longhouse – Winter Locomotion 2023

January 29th, 2023

longhouse is a long-running video series from Hill People Gear. Six years ago, Evan Hill presented Winter Locomotion where he discusses getting around on snow and ice. If you haven’t watched that one, check it out before moving on.

Yesterday, they released Winter Locomotion 2023 which updates the gear Evan uses.

Major Order from the Bundeswehr: Rheinmetall to Modernize the Command and Control Equipment of the “Future Soldier – Expanded System” for 476 troops

January 29th, 2023

The German Bundeswehr has contracted with Rheinmetall to modernize the command and control equipment of its soldier systems. A total of 14 “Future Soldier- Extended System” platoon systems are to be delivered to the troops. These comprise equipment for 476 individual soldiers. Worth a figure in the mid-double-digit million-euro range, the order was booked in December 2022, shortly after the budget committee of the German Parliament appropriated funding from the country’s €100 billion special procurement fund.

The VJTF 2023 version of the “IdZ-ES” soldier system links dismounted troops to the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, which serves as their “mother ship”. For the German Army, the “System Panzergrenadier” represents a significant step in the process of digitalization. It offers two essential advantages. First, it is now possible for all mounted and dismounted personnel to access the same information. Second, they can disseminate this information between each other much more precisely, more quickly and in a more robust manner. Close networking of sensors and effectors of both the soldiers and infantry fighting vehicle minimizes the time between target detection and target engagement. Melding these capabilities into a total system of systems enables more effective tactical interaction between dismounted troops and their infantry fighting vehicle, in turn enhancing the combat effectiveness of mechanized infantry formations. As a longstanding partner of Germany’s armed forces, Rheinmetall leverages in-depth expertise gained in the IdZ-ES programme.

Viridian Now Offers E SERIES Green and Red Laser Sight Offerings for the Palmetto State Armory Dagger

January 29th, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – January 25, 2023 – Viridian Weapon Technologies continues to assert that human eyes see green better and is now shipping E SERIES™ Green Lasers designed to improve performance and provide rapid target acquisition for Palmetto State Armory’s Dagger compact pistol. The newer Green Laser joins Viridian’s Red Laser Sight as ultra-functional model-specific options for the popular handgun. Viridian also offers holsters to fit the PSA Dagger and laser combinations.

The latest E SERIES Green and Red Laser Sights are made for the conceal and carry owner who wants power and affordability. The E SERIES Green Laser Sight is essential for daily carry, offering the most laser power legally available on the market. With this improved precision and visibility, one can be confident in their aim when it matters most. That’s why we call it essential.

Furthering the commitment to everyday carry—Viridian also offers Kydex holsters handcrafted in Minnesota. The PSA Dagger Model can be worn outside or inside the waistband and features advanced Kydex thermoforming techniques. These holsters are tested in the harshest conditions to ensure the user’s firearm/laser (and/or light) system is safe and secure when its needed most.

“The E SERIES line continues to be a priority and very popular with our customers and partners,” said Viridian President and CEO, Brian Hedeen. “Palmetto State Armory’s Dagger is a very popular concealed carry option, and our green and red lasers make it that much more versatile for personal protection. When you factor in the fact we also have model-specific holsters made right here at our HQ, it’s easy to see why more people are relying on us to complete their comprehensive EDC system.”

E Series Green Laser Sights are designed to easily fit onto the pistol’s trigger guard, hold up to the toughest conditions and provide more than one hour of battery life with a constant laser. These sights offer user-controlled activation and are powered by 1/3n batteries. They’re easy to mount, include tools in the package and have an auto-off feature that kicks in after five minutes.

The Dagger is a compact pistol that maintains Palmetto State Armory’s value and delivers with ergonomics and controllability. The Dagger offers a smooth fire due to its single-action striker-fired trigger mechanism and fast draw that is free of snags due to a smooth edge design. Quality is ever present in the Dagger’s stainless steel and advanced polymer composition with additional diamond-like carbon coating on the slide for further strength. The Palmetto Dagger has many options for upgrades with aftermarket offerings such as the Viridian Essential Green Laser Sight, Viridian Essential Red Laser Sight or the Kydex holster.

These sights are backed by Viridian’s seven-year warranty and have been designed to fit the Palmetto State Armory Dagger model and many more popular handgun models.

All specifications and information one the full Viridian lineup is available at ViridianWeaponTech.com.

Zama Middle High School Holds its Largest Marksmanship Match in Years

January 29th, 2023

CAMP ZAMA, Japan – More than 70 cadets are competing in a two-day marksmanship match, the largest of which to be held at Zama Middle High School in years.

The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps competition, which ends Saturday, includes cadets from all eight Department of Defense Education Activity high schools across the country.

“This year is unique because we’re [inviting] all of the Japan schools,” said retired Sgt. Maj. Danny Davis, a Zama JROTC instructor who helped organize the invitational event.

In the competition, varsity and junior varsity students will compete by firing pellet rifles at paper targets inside the school’s gym in three positions: prone, standing and kneeling.

Events like these typically have been held virtually in recent years due to the pandemic. Zama’s event was the second in-person match after MC Perry High School hosted the first one of the winter season. Davis said the Zama match has more cadets and is the largest held at the school in at least the past five years he has been there.

“It’s a team effort,” he said of the event, which has 20 target lanes for competitors. “Our teams set up the range and will tear it down tomorrow.”

Sophomore Kristaleen Fugrad, captain of the Zama varsity team, said these events can be tense but still enjoyable.

“I’m shaking a lot,” she joked of when she prepares to zero in on a target. “It’s fun and kind of nerve-racking at times.”

Fugrad, who said she and others practice these skills for hours after each school day, said her team has invested a lot of time into the sport, so they don’t want to back down during competitions.

“It’s good to compete against others and for bragging rights,” she said.

Sophomore Daniel Denson, a fellow team member, said the “will to win” helps keep him motivated.

“We definitely don’t want to be at the bottom,” he said. “We want see ourselves at the top.”

He said the events are also a great opportunity to meet cadets from other schools.

“Since this is just a JROTC sport, it’s nice to see other people who have the same interests as us,” he said.

Marksmanship is about more than hitting a bullseye on a small, black round target. While the in-person event may bring some extra pressure, Davis said cadets must stay disciplined and focused.

“It’s about taking your time and patiently shooting,” he said, adding cadets learn how to manage their time and stress as well as pay attention to detail. “There are a bunch of life skills they can learn in shooting.”

Competitors plan to travel to South Korea early next month to vie in the Far East marksmanship match.

To see results of the most recent match, visit www.orionresults.com/zama.

By Sean Kimmons, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs

5.11 Collaborates with Sega to Celebrate the Release of Company of Heroes 3 with a Sweepstakes Prize Package

January 28th, 2023

Fans of the legendary strategy franchise can enter to win 5.11 gear and digital game codes

Costa Mesa, Calif. (Jan. 27, 2023) – 5.11 Tactical, the global innovator of Purpose-Built Gear™, has teamed up with leading video game publisher Sega and developer Relic Entertainment to celebrate the release of the highly anticipated video game Company of Heroes 3 with a special sweepstakes prize package featuring 5.11 gear and digital game codes.

The enter-to-win sweepstakes will offer fans of the legendary strategic video game franchise a chance to win a robust 5.11 prize package valued at more than $2,500 and comprised of some of the latest 5.11 gear and technical apparel in addition to digital game codes for Company of Heroes 3.

Entries will be accepted from Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, to Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. To enter, or for more information, customers and players can visit www.511tactical.com/companyofheroes. No purchase is necessary, multiple entries are possible, must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident to enter.  

“We’re thrilled to team up with Sega and Relic Entertainment to celebrate the launch of such a great video game,” said 5.11 Tactical’s CMO, Debra Radcliff. “We can’t wait for the game to launch and to send this outstanding prize package to the lucky winner of the sweepstakes.”

The latest installment of the fan-favorite franchise, Company of Heroes 3 is set in the Italian and North African theaters of World War II and offers players a dynamic strategy campaign, historic RTS missions, classic multiplayer action, and much more. It will be available for PC on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, and is due to be released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S and X later this year.

“Company of Heroes 3 is the perfect blend of action, tactics and strategy. That’s why we are very excited to partner with 5.11 Tactical, a fantastic producer of sleek and incredibly robust tactical gear and apparel. We’re looking forward to seeing fans of both brands get involved with this awesome sweepstakes giveaway!” said Sega’s Brand Manager, Andy Bergin.

To learn more about a 5.11, its product offering or its latest events and sweepstakes, visit www.511tactical.com.

ePIG Group Presents: The Three Little Pigs (auf Deutsch)

January 28th, 2023

Just in case you think I didn’t get anything done during SHOT Show.

linkin.bio/epiggroup

Vielen Dank meine Fruende. Bis bald!

PACAF Visits Kunsan AB, Validates Next-Gen Aircrew Protection

January 28th, 2023

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) —

Pacific Air Forces recently deployed a joint team of representatives and subject matter experts to Kunsan Air Base, conducting the major command’s first test and validation of counter-chemical warfare tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTP.

These tests are part of the Next Generation Aircrew Protection program, designed to ensure aircrew have proper chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear, or CBRN, protective equipment and that CBRN measures are modernized to meet emerging threats while maintaining peak human performance.

“Current aircrew and pilot CBRN protective equipment are effective but restrictive and burdensome, thus hindering combat effectiveness,” said Chief Master Sgt. Charles Hall, PACAF aircrew flight equipment major command functional manager. “The Air Force realized this in late 2021 and early 2022 and set aside about $16 million to conduct research on aircraft, ground and air testing across various platforms to collect quantitative and qualitative data.”

Armed with the data, researchers refined existing TTPs to better equip aircrews, like Kunsan AB’s, with the tools necessary to continue the ‘Fight Tonight’ mission.

“Wing commanders have an associated risk attached to nearly every decision they make,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ryan Rios, PACAF AFE command manager. “With the integrated data and refined TTPs, wing commanders now have additional information to help them make those tough decisions and continue executing their mission should a CBRN event occur.”

The TTPs are the brainchild of Col. Daniel Roberts, who now serves as 97th Medical Group commander at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

“Risk is ever-present,” Roberts said. “Looking at combat operations in a chemical environment brings the question to mind; ‘How does one balance and right-size risk to improve combat effectiveness?’ Thinking this way allowed us to improve human performance and the ability of our ground crews to turn aircraft in an effective manner so our combat forces are ready when called upon.”

The program’s tests and validations affected several base agencies to include the 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons, 8th Operations Support Squadron AFE, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management, 8th Maintenance Group and the 8th Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering flight.

Participating Airmen tested the updated CBRN TTPs safely and efficiently by stepping, launching and recovering a flying mission in a simulated chemical filled environment.

The PACAF team is scheduled to validate every installation within the MAJCOM and ultimately will establish standardized PACAF-wide counter-chemical warfare aircrew protection measures. Efforts like this help ensure Kunsan AB maintains maximum combat readiness capabilities to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.

By SSgt Isaiah J. Soliz, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs