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US Paratroopers Kick-Off Exercise Super Garuda Shield with Trilateral Airborne Operations

August 9th, 2022

BATURAJA, Indonesia — Paratroopers from 11th Infantry Division (Airborne), Tentara Nasional Indonesia and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force conducted trilateral airborne operations with the 36th Airlift Squadron during exercise Super Garuda Airborne 2022 in Baturaja, Indonesia on Aug. 3, 2022.

The operation is the kick-off event for Super Garuda Shield 2022. Part of Operation Pathways, Garuda Shield is a longstanding annual, bilateral military exercise conducted between the U.S. military and Indonesia National Armed Forces. The exercise reinforces the U.S. commitments to allies and regional partners, ensures joint readiness and bolsters interoperability to fight and win together.

The 2022 Garuda Shield exercise is significantly larger in scope and scale than previous exercises. Service members from Indonesia and the United States will be joined this year by those from Australia, Japan and Singapore. In addition to the active participants, Canada, France, India, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the United Kingdom are expected to join Super Garuda Shield as observer nations.

“We were really focusing on partnership,” said Lt. Col. Ben Wisnioski, assistant Army attaché, U.S. Defense Attaché Office Jakarta, Indonesia. “We focused on training, working with each other, and building significant rapport.”

Hundreds of distinguished visitors including Gen. Charles Flynn, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, watched as over 200 paratroopers jumped into the fields and dense tropical forests of Baturaja.

“It was the softest landing I’ve ever had,” said Wisnioski with a smile, as he pointed at his uniform, doused in thick mud.

The paratroopers then completed an airborne seizure, navigating through narrow bridges, marshes, and dense foliage to reach their objectives.

Following the parachute portion of the operation, representatives from the three armies participated in a wing exchange ceremony. Gen. Andika Perkasa, commander, Tentara Nasional Indonesia, and Lt. Gen. Kuzuki Ushijima, command chief of staff, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, pinned wings onto six U.S. Army paratroopers.

“We’re here for a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Green, 2nd Platoon, Apache Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 11th Infantry Division (Airborne). “We’re just here to let our partners know we’re here to help. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

In addition to the ceremony Soldiers from the United States, Tentara Nasional Indonesia and Australian Army, showcased weapon systems to the senior leaders and distinguished visitors.

Sgt. Alexander Clarke, mortarman with 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Division, explained the functions and capabilities of the M224, 60mm Lightweight Company Mortar System.

“It’s just breaking down our capabilities and what makes them the best that we’ve got,” said Clarke. “I think we’re super grateful to be able to train alongside the [Tentara Nasional Indonesia] and get to know them better. It builds that cohesion.”

Super Garuda Shield provides opportunities for Department of Defense experimentation and joint collaboration. The exercise increases readiness of both for all participating nations. With focus on specific tasks, tactics and procedures to conduct combined arms maneuver, air assault, aviation and mission command.

By SGT Nicholle Salvatierra

SK Customs Gives Back To Honor Those Who Have Served with a Limited Edition Purple Heart Commemorative Colt 1911

August 8th, 2022

HAYMARKET, Va. (August 5, 2022)—SK Customs® gives back to honor those who have sacrificed and served for our great nation by launching the 240th Anniversary Purple Heart Commemorative firearm on their behalf. This limited-edition design of the Government Model Colt 1911 Series 70 chambered in .45ACP has been created in honor of the Military Badge of Merit, the modern-day Purple Heart Medal and those who have received it.

The origins of the Purple Heart Medal trace back to August 1782 (240 years ago) when General George Washington issued the Badge of Military Merit. This medal was bestowed whenever any singular meritorious action was performed. In 1932, the award was reintroduced as the Purple Heart Medal to commemorate bravery and wounded soldiers. Today, the Purple Heart is awarded for a wide variety of injuries; this includes combat injuries and deaths, those wounded in acts of terrorism and other reasonings.

Highlights of the Custom Colt 1911 Series 70 include:

• Each pistol has been designed to display a custom medallion of the modern-day Purple Heart Medal set into bright white faux ivory grips.

• The slide contains custom 24K gold scroll, shading and inscription of the quote “SOME GAVE ALL, ALL GAVE SOME” dedicated to those who serve.

• The rear panel of the Colt 1911 displays George Washington’s Coat of Arms while the reverse has the quote of “A GRATEFUL NATION HONORS AND REMEMBERS”, both in 24K Gold.

• The top of the slide has been designed with an authentic purple sapphire front sight, modern day Purple Heart Medal, 24K gold ribbon, and George Washington’s Badge of Military Merit and signature.

• Further gold plating with high polishing has been placed along the slide, frame flats, slide, barrel and hardware.

• Each model has been engraved with a special edition number 001of 240 in 24K gold on the rear panel

In addition to these features, each pistol will also be accompanied by an uncirculated West Point Minted National Purple Heart Hall of Honor 2022 Proof Silver Dollar with the West Point “W” mint mark and a certificate of authenticity singed by the Director of the U.S. Mint.

“We commemorate our nation’s heroes who have served and sacrificed their lives for our great Nation,” said Khiabani. “I am elated to pay tribute to those have served by releasing this stunning limited-edition firearm and our SK Give Back initiative.”

SK Customs has partnered with and will be donating a portion of the proceeds raised by the sale of this Limited-Edition production to Purple Heart Homes and Purple Heart Integration Project in addition to a pistol to each foundation for their upcoming fundraisers.

Firearm enthusiasts and gun collectors can begin pre-ordering the custom Government Model Colt 1911 Series 70 for $2,900. Shipping begins Q4 of 2022.

To learn more about SK Guns®, and SK Customs®, visit   ? 

B&T USA Partners with MSR Distribution

August 8th, 2022

Tampa, FL (August 7, 2022) – B&T USA adds firearms supplier MSR Distribution to its network of distribution partners. MSR Distribution will provide B&T USA’s diverse product line to its growing network of retailers.

“MSR Distribution has established itself as a well-respected reseller of top-tier firearms and accessories” said Jon Scott Vice President of Sales, B&T USA. “We continue to forge strong relationships with our existing network of dealers and distributors; our partnership with MSR Distribution furthers that reach by ensuring B&T’s products are more accessible to our growing base of customers.”

“The B&T brand possesses an outstanding pedigree that positions it at the very top of the market segments it chooses to compete within, and we’re excited to offer our vendors the opportunity to carry such a high-quality, technologically advanced product line relied upon by professionals around the globe” said Ross Botha General Manager, MSR Distribution.

LMS Gear Announces MUD Women Denim W1

August 8th, 2022

Fresh from their factory in Portugal the MUD Women Denim W1 are now available, all sizes in stock.

In addition to the classic 5-pocket silhouette, the M.U.D. W1 has 4 additional hidden pockets including 2 additional front pockets inside the regular front pockets and a generously cut pocket for larger items like magazines is set above the two back pockets.

Made from a denim with the following content: 78% Cotton, 2% Elastane and 20% Polyester with Kevlar thread.

For sizing they recommend the following due to the higher elasticity: If you like it a little tighter fitting should take a size smaller waist. If you want a relaxed fit, stick to your normal size.

Photo by @epiggroup.

Kalashnikov-USA and CMC Triggers Join Forces to Launch New AK 2.0 Trigger

August 8th, 2022

Pompano Beach, Florida August 6, 2022 – Kalashnikov-USA (KUSA), the premier manufacturer of AK-pattern firearms in the United States, has joined forces with CMC Triggers, the Texas-based pioneer of drop-in triggers, to offer a new, single-stage, nonadjustable precision trigger offered with either a 3.5- or 2.5-pound pull weight. As with other CMC triggers, the internal components are made from 8620 alloy steel and S-7 tool steel. The chassis is made from 7075-T6 aircraft grade anodized aluminum.  CMC’s superb machining, polishing and fitting results in a crisp trigger with a clean break and positive reset.  Tested extensively in KUSA rifles, the new AK 2.0 trigger provides positive ignition with a wide variety of ammunition.  Offered with a flat trigger bow, it is designed to be a drop-in fit with other AK pattern rifles having correctly aligned and dimensioned trigger and hammer pins.  Available for purchase on KUSA’s website, the MSRP is $189.99.

Mystery Ranch Gunfighter SB

August 8th, 2022

Coming this Wednesday, August 10th is the latest in Mystery Ranch’s Special Blend series of limited run packs, the Gunfighter SB.

The current iteration of the Gunfighter just came out earlier this year. The SB version is offered exclusively in MultiCam Black with features found only in this variant.

In Memoriam- Carl Fulmore

August 8th, 2022

I often find myself overwrought by the news that so many of my friends have succumbed to cancer and I am deeply saddened by the passing of my long-time friend Carl Fulmore.

I can come to no other conclusion than that service to his nation took Carl from us at so young an age. Just two years older than me, Carl and I shared many common experiences. We both started our careers as enlisted Soldiers and both earned commissions. We both served in Long Surveillance units in Germany and both served in Special Forces units. Carl was an operator in 10th Group and I was an enabler in 3rd. But Carl and I shared something even deeper and that is a dedication to protecting American service members. Even after his service in PEO Soldier, Carl continued to work in the Soldier protection realm in industry. Carl shared his legacy of service with his son who serves in an Air Force community I hold dear. May the Lord protect all of his family.

What hit me so hard about his sudden passing is how stoic he was as a man. Cancer has culled our community, taking many a man in his prime. He didn’t complain. Carl, like so many of his contemporaries deserved more. He ended up giving his all for his nation. A bullet didn’t strike him down, but they got him, all the same.

Read a brief, and very humble biography of a man I place among giants here.

Air Force Units Support Navy Valiant Shield Exercise

August 8th, 2022

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 505th Command and Control Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and Beale AFB, California, supported the U.S. Navy’s ninth iteration of exercise Valiant Shield 22.

VS field training exercises are biennial, joint exercises focused on enhancing integration between the U.S. forces by conducting joint domain operations at sea, on land, in air, and in cyberspace.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command headquarters staff forward deployed a joint-force headquarters to Andersen AFB, Guam, for the 12-day exercise.  VS 22 provided a venue to support the demonstration of USINDOPACOM’s forward presence in the Western Pacific, while supporting the test of current and new technologies and platforms, to advance critical areas such as multi-intelligence, artificial intelligence, and long-range fire experiments.

The exercise took place in the Joint Region Marianas area of operations including Palau, Naval Base Guam, Andersen AFB, and the off-shore Mariana Island Range Complex, with some training events also occurring in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The exercise balanced real-world assurance with competitive overmatch for the theater’s rapid procurement campaign strategy.

“This exercise was the perfect opportunity to conduct integrated deterrence, which was the cornerstone of our approach,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robb Chadwick, VS 22 Joint Exercise Control Group director.

For this year’s event, the USINDOPACOM commander sponsored the first ever live-fly kickoff of Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, best of breed demonstration, where the service components were given the opportunity to execute their own vision using current technology to turn concepts into reality.  JADC2 is the Department of Defense’s vision for a future command and control construct that connects the battlespace cross every domain. 

605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 3, Airmen at the Common Mission Control Center, Beale AFB, informed the USAF’s approach to realizing its contribution to JADC2, the Advanced Battle Management System, during VS 22.  The CMCC’s direct support to combatant commanders provides the most comprehensive situational understanding of operations while allowing them to synchronize multi-domain effects. 

“These demonstrations are critical to the transformation and dissemination of targeting and intelligence information to achieve the goal of sensor-to-shooter connections,” said USAF Lt. Col. Mikita Brown, 605th TES, Det 3 commander, Beale AFB, California.

During the exercise, the CMCC enhanced real-world situational awareness by feeding the joint force through detecting, locating, tracking, and directing engagement of units at sea, on the land, in the air and in cyberspace.

The CMCC provided capabilities for improving critical C2 and battlespace awareness functions which include: over the horizon target custody across distributed C2 nodes, decreasing the time required for Electronic Order of Battle updates, and rapid dissemination of enemy locations from emerging and traditional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, or ISR, capabilities such as the MQ-9 Reaper and the Raytheon Multi-Program Testbed, or RMT-727. 

“The CMCC’s Open Mission Architecture was critical to allow the correlation of multi-intelligence data to the U.S. Army Multi-Domain Task Force and U.S. Marines Corps Expeditionary Fire Battalions,” said Brown. “The CMCC successfully conducted operational test of the operational prototype to identify areas of acceleration while measuring the accuracy provided by its machine-to-machine technology during complex ISR collection and targeting problem sets centered on USINDOPACOM’s larger JADO [joint all-domain operations] initiative.”

Brown continued, “Valiant Shield 22 made vital steps forward for both JADC2 stakeholders, allowing them to see advanced demonstrations in an operationally realistic environment.  Incorporating CMCC technology into a modernized C4I [command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence] architecture expanded operational options to disseminate timely access of exquisite ISR feeds into multi-domain CTPs [Common Tactical Pictures] and CIPs [Common Intelligence Pictures] for machine-to-machine solutions.”

Additionally, the 505th CCW participated in VS 22 from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, where the 705th Combat Training Squadron, also known as the Distributed Mission Operations Center, quickly and effectively responded to a USINDOPACOM commander requirement to support Valiant Shield 22 with joint live, virtual, and constructive capabilities. 

In a first-ever proof of concept which was directly applauded by the U.S. Navy INDOPACOM commander, the DMOC integrated joint LVC capabilities into the exercise by hosting an E-8 JSTARS crew from the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron and an MQ-9 crew from the 89th Attack Squadron, connecting them to the exercise through the USN’s Continuous Training Environment.  These crews were able to successfully track and engage enemy shipping, greatly contributing to the overall goals of the exercise. 

“The 705th CTS’s accomplishments during Valiant Shield were providing realistic ISR and tactical kinetic actions utilizing MQ-9 and JSTARS [Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft] in the maritime environment,” according to USAF Lt. Col. Michael Butler, 705th CTS commander, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. “We incorporated Chat, Link-16 tracks and electro-optical video which greatly enhanced C2 processes in JWAS [Joint War at Sea] operations against threats including high-end Level 1 and 2 surface combatants.”

Butler continued, “In recognition of the DMOC’s seamless short-notice integration both operationally and technically into a combatant commander exercise architecture, Admiral Aquilino [U.S. Navy INDOPACOM commander] added “Joint” to Joint War at Sea.”

The planning for the Valiant Shield 2024 execution has already begun; incorporating lessons learned from VS 22 will enhance USINDOPACOM joint forces’ ability to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

By Deb Henley

505th Command and Control Wing

Public Affairs