Massif Rocks!

Kongsberg Awarded Contract to Provide Remote Weapon Stations to the Canadian Army Worth 500 MNOK

May 27th, 2020

May 26, 2020 – Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has signed a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada for delivery of the Protector Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to the Canadian Army valued 500 MNOK. The PROTECTOR RWS will be integrated on Canada’s fleet of Armored Combat Support Vehicles. Canada signed their first Protector RWS contract in 2005 followed by additional contracts in 2012 and 2014.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has signed a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada for delivery of the Protector Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to the Canadian Army valued 500 MNOK.

“We are very pleased to be chosen again as the supplier of Remote Weapon Stations to the Canadian Army. This confirms the strong position of Kongsberg’s Protector RWS, and continues the close relationship between Kongsberg and the Canadian Army and General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada,” says Pål E. Bratlie, executive vice president, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

“In the midst of the most uncertain and difficult economic times in our lifetime, we are very pleased to win this order in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our business base is long-term and solid, with an order backlog that provides a strong foundation for continued operations into the future,” says Eirik Lie, President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

Kongsberg has, for more than two decades, been the leading global supplier of Remote Weapon Stations. Leveraging millions of hours of operational use in all conditions, based on 20,000 delivered systems for 23 countries. The Protector RWS has continuously evolved to meet increasingly demanding requirements, utilizing technological advancements in order to meet new threat scenarios.

The Canadian Army will receive the latest generation Protector RWS, a Remote Weapon Station prepared for wireless control, counter UAS capability, multi-sensor fusion, as well as other new functions required by the expanding user community. The systems for Canada will be produced in parallel with five other programs, creating synergies in supply base and project execution for the benefit of the customers.

Mandatory OCP Uniform Date Looms for USAF

May 26th, 2020

Effective June 1, 2020, the following items will be required when wearing the Operational Camouflage Pattern utility uniform in the Air Force: coyote brown boots, coyote brown T-shirt, U.S. Flag spice brown color criteria, spice brown officer rank, and green or coyote brown socks. As the deadline approaches, Airmen are encouraged to begin purchasing these items if not already owned. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman Amanda Lovelace)

Patagonia Macro Puff Quilt

May 26th, 2020

Based on their famous Micro Puff Hoody, the Macro Puff Quilt features a DWR treated Pertex Quantum shell and PlumaFill insulation which replicates the structure of down in a continuous synthetic insulation material that will keep you warm, even when wet. It measures 83” x 69” and incorporates loops at the four corners.

Available in Balkan Blue w/Classic Navy, Feather Grey w/ Dolomite Blue and Fire w/Forge Grey.

5.11 Begins Reopening of Retail Nationwide

May 26th, 2020

5.11 Reopens Retail Stores as COVID-19 Restrictions Subside

Irvine, Calif. (May 26, 2020) – 5.11, Inc. the global innovator of purpose-built apparel, footwear and gear, announced it is gradually reopening its United States-based retail stores in light of the restriction lifts surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). Each of 5.11’s 66 company-owned stores will be opening on a case-by-case basis in accordance with all federal, state and local health and safety protocols.

Nearly all of 5.11’s retail stores have remained open throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, but with limited operations serving First Responders and other members of our country’s critical infrastructure. All safety protocols put into place previously will be maintained, with several additional efforts including making hand sanitizer easily accessible for customers and employees, increasing cleaning throughout of the store of high traffic touchpoints, adding plexiglass partitions at checkout areas, and marking areas on floors to ensure proper social distancing. Continued health and safety precautions include:

• Conducting employee health screenings at the beginning of every shift
• Increasing cleaning and sanitization
• Providing face coverings for all employees
• Enforcing six feet or more of social distancing
• Limiting the number of employees and customers in the store at one time
• Maintaining reduced hours of store operations: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Sunday

“Character is most often shown in the most difficult times,” said 5.11’s CEO, Francisco J. Morales. “My pride for the character of the 5.11 team has never been greater. We are honored to have been able to serve our frontline workers throughout the difficult past several weeks and are happy to be providing safe shopping environments for all consumers to enjoy once again. Our Always Be Ready mantra has never had greater meaning, and we look forward to bringing our innovative, purpose-built products back to all of our retail patrons in the weeks ahead.”

To find a 5.11 retail store near you, please visit the store locator. Shop 5.11 anytime at Follow 5.11 on social @511Tactical.

Air Force Research Labs – Grand Challenges for Biotechnology

May 26th, 2020

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Air Force Research Laboratory announced its three Biotechnology Grand Challenges last month in efforts to spearhead innovation among small businesses for the specific needs of the Department of Defense.

These three challenges, which were chosen by AFRL’s team of biotechnology experts, seek advancements in the following: biosynthesis of monomers for aerospace thermosets, biosynthesis of high-density endothermic fuels, and human performance-enhancing probiotics.

“When AFRL’s team decided on these challenges, we were looking for ways to make big strides quickly in the area of biotechnology,” said Jill McQuade, AFRL’s biotechnology program manager. “Biotechnology is one of AFRL’s big bets, and is also one of the twelve Office of the Secretary of Defense’s modernization priority area.”

McQuade explained that the AFRL Small Business office put forth $3 million to fund this initiative, which will be divided equally across the challenges. Participants can then compete in two phases of initial evaluation, and then in a Pitch Day.

In the first phase of this competition, small business participants will submit white papers with their concepts, said McQuade. During the second phase, a panel of experts will select which white papers will move forward in the competition. Then, those selected to continue in the competition will be given two weeks to enter into an agreement with a company of their choice that can scale up production and manufacturing. Finally, these teams will participate in a Pitch Day, presenting a one-hour pitch of their concept and scale up strategy with their manufacturing partner to the AFRL team. The winners of the competition will be funded in various layers by accomplishing certain milestones over the course of one year from each Pitch Day.

Pitch Days will be in July, August and September for each of the challenges, and could potentially be virtual due to social distancing guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only will these challenges expedite innovation, but they help small businesses by narrowing down specific needs, McQuade explained. “These challenges can show the broader science and technology community as well as the research and development community how biotechnology can successfully be used as a tool to develop innovative solutions to current hard problems.”

For more information about the three Biotechnology Grand Challenges, visit

Gina Marie Giardina, Air Force Research Laboratory

TacJobs – CTOMS Seeks Graphic Designer and Video Editor

May 26th, 2020

CTOMS is seeking a graphic designer and video editors for immediate employment. Apply through their website or via Indeed.

Talent Management Key to Filling Future Specialized Multi Domain Operations Units for Army

May 26th, 2020

POINT MUGU, Calif. — The Army is hunting for top talent to fill the ranks of specialized units for multi-domain operations, following the first one standing up last year in Washington state.

In 2019, a mixture of the Army’s space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities was activated as a cohesive unit called the Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, and Space Battalion — or simply I2CEWS.

The battalion has become “the centerpiece of the Multi-Domain Task Force,” Gen. John M. Murray, commander of U.S. Army Futures Command, said Tuesday during the Association of Old Crows virtual EMS Summit.

Located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, the battalion combines non-lethal Army capabilities with kinetic capabilities, such as missile defense. The I2CEWS operates in support of U.S. Army Pacific, and AFC has “plans to stand up more as we begin to experiment with this formation,” Murray said.

The Multi-Domain Task Force is a model of how the Army envisions joint-warfighting on future battlefields against near-peer competitors, like Russia and China. Before the Army activates additional formations, though, Murray said it will first need the right talent to fill the ranks.

“The No. 1 thing is finding talent, and I’m convinced we have some of that talent already in our ranks,” Murray said. “And we’re going to have to go into our recruiting pools to find some of that talent. The Army is already beginning to explore innovative ways in talent management.”

Some innovative talent management programs include the Assignment Interactive Module 2.0, or AIM 2.0. The information system is a way for officers to build detailed resumes and take part in a market-style hiring system for their next assignments as organizations post specific positions they are looking to fill.

Talent management will also be part of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army, or IPPS-A, a web-based human resources system already adopted by the National Guard, that will soon integrate the Army’s personnel, pay and talent management functions into one secure web-based application.

Much like how traditional battlefields will change under the information age, the Army will also recruit talent differently. For example, Murray explained, “Thirty-eight years ago, when I was offered a four-year Army ROTC scholarship, they couldn’t care less what I majored in.

“So, I picked the easiest major I could find,” he admitted. But today “we’re offering [cadets] a six-year scholarship to come out with a degree the Army needs, and if they can’t meet our requirements, then they’re not going to join the Army.”

The Army has taken other steps to attract and keep cyber talent, such as hosting cyber hackathons, boosting pay and incentives, and direct commissioning.

But “the most attractive way to retain our cyber warriors is the thrill of the mission. To be honest, [cyber warriors] are doing things they could not do outside the Army without spending time in jail,” Murray said, regarding cyber warfare missions.

Cyber warriors direct and conduct integrated electronic warfare, information, and cyberspace actions. They are responsible for the aggressive defense of Army networks, data infrastructure, and cyber weapons systems.

For Murray, who is responsible for leading a team of more than 24,000 Soldiers and civilians in the Army’s modernization enterprise, helping shape the Army’s future force is personal.

The four-star talked about his eight grandchildren, especially one granddaughter who, he believes, will one day be “an infantry commander wearing airborne and Ranger tabs.” It’s her generation he’s working for, he said, not “old Soldiers like me.”

Murray wasn’t the only one with that mindset.

“I use some of the same equipment my father used, and my nephews are now flying some of the same equipment that I flew,” said Lt. Gen. Neil Thurgood, director of hypersonics, directed energy, space, and rapid acquisition.

“We need our grandchildren to fly new and modernized equipment as we continue to go forward,” Thurgood added. “So to those of us that have aged a little bit in the process of our careers, it is personal, because we spent that time with our Soldiers, and we spent that time with our families.”

In the end, that’s really what AFC and “the whole team, to include our acquisition partners, brings to our Army, delivering solutions that our Soldiers need when they need it,” Murray said.

“This is about our kids and our grandkids that will defend this great nation going into the future,” he added. “That’s really what personalizes this mission for me, and that’s a heavy rucksack to carry.”

By Thomas Brading, Army News Service

You Never Know Where They’ll Show Up

May 26th, 2020

Longtime reader JK was recently instructing the TCCC portion of an advanced skills course at MJCTC at Camp Blanding. He took this photo at the memorial and it’s a great tribute to those who’ve gone before. Thanks!