Archive for July, 2011

Diggerworks – Cracking the ‘Nut’

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This is officially my favorite Soldier Modernization briefing of ALL time. From the organization named Diggerworks, to the title of the briefing, this is just great. It also gives us some great glimpses into the Australian Defence Force’s fielding of the Enhanced Soldier Combat Ensemble in MultiCam.

Diggerworks is a “virtual organisation comprising agencies involved in soldier combat systems (SCS).” And, it is important to note that, “Diggerworks is not Land 125 rebadged.” This means they aren’t giving the program a spiffy new name but rather adding value by including more stake holders in the discussion.

Their mission is simple –

Diggerworks is to identify options and deliver integrated soldier combat systems solutions in order to enhance the capability of the warfighter

Moreover, they are working on Adaptive Acquisition which is something we’d like to see more of here in the US.

Adaptive Acquisition

– “Buy less more often”
– Enable change to happen quicker
– No longer is everyone to be equipped the same
– The close combatant is to be treated differently

Be sure to check out the entire briefing:

Cracking the Nut

New Images of Propper’s in TAC.U Combat Shirt A-TACS

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The new A-TACS TAC.U Combat Shirt by Propper will be available beginning September.

The design features pocketed shoulders that allow for the addition of extra padding, Velcro on the rear of the collar for nametape, zippered pockets on the sleeves, thumb holes and loop fasteners on the cuffs, pouches on the outside of the elbows for padding, and gusseted underarms. The sleeves are manufactured from a 65/35 poly/cotton “battlerip” ripstop weave, and the body of the shirt has a 60/40 knitted cotton/poly mix. It is currently available for pre-order through several A-TACS retailers and is expected to begin shipping in September.

For more information, visit

LTC Lucas Assumes Charter for PM Individual Weapons

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Yesterday, LTC Shawn Lucas (right in the photo above) assumed the charter for Program Manager Individual Weapons from LTC Chris Lehner who had held the position since September, 2008. LTC Lucas comes to his new position with a wealth of small arms experience having served as a Systems Coordinator for Small Arms and most recently as a Program Analyst for Soldier/Maneuver Systems in the Army G-8, Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate.

A change of charter is akin to a change of command in a troop unit. The ceremony was officiated by COL Scott Armstrong, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, (left in the photo above). Earlier this month, COL Armstrong assumed the charter of PM Soldier Weapons from COL Douglas Tamilio. This is an exciting time to be working in Army small arms with dual pathed strategies for improvements to the existing M4 carbine as well as the search for an entirely new Individual Carbine.


ADS Withdraws IPO

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

ADS Inc announced earlier today that it has withdrawn its Initial Public Offering of common stock due to “adverse market conditions.”

For the Ladies – Sniper Girl

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The Women’s Tactical Association has introduced a line of Shirts, Hats, and Accessories featuring Sniper Girl. They are now available at their Cafe Press store.

The primary mission of the WTA is to promote and encourage training and education among female Law Enforcement in an effort to enhance and refine skills in the areas of firearms, combat mindset, tactics and fitness.

Just a Reminder

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Here, we see Soldiers from the US Army’s 1/158th Long Range Surveillance and Australian 51st Far Queensland Regiment, Norforce and the Pilbara Regiment as a joint Australian/U.S. surveillance unit at Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia, during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.

Australian Defence Force photo by ADF Lance Corporal Mark Doran/Released

Since it looks like PEO Soldier programs are on the chopping block, we thought this photo would be a great reminder to all as to why there is a Army Camouflage Improvement Effort. All we see these days are photos out of Afghanistan with Soldiers sporting the effective OCP. Don’t forget, it’s a big world out there and in most of it, UCP is still the uniform of the day.

Stay the course. Select and field effective camouflage for our troops.

Revision to Develop Next Gen Helmet

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Recently, Revision was awarded a three-year contract with the U.S. Army’s Natick Labs Soldier Systems Center worth $1,990,340 to develop a next generation helmet. Although you probably consider Revision just an eye pro company, they have been hard at work developing other protective products. For example, take the Eye Shield and Maxillo Facial Protection they showed at the 2009 AUSA conference.

According to a press release from the office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), “The new helmet will integrate both ballistic impact protection and blast protection from rotational forces that are believed to contribute to the relatively high number of brain injuries suffered by soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The helmet will have built-in communications systems, include enhanced chemical protection for the wearer, and will integrate a protection for the jaw and lower face.

Breaking News – Nett Warrior Purchase Cancelled

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Nett Warrior was the Army’s latest, in a long line of digitization efforts designed to increase the situational awareness of the Soldiers. But, earlier today we received reports that Nett Warrior, the culmination of over 20 years of development and testing, has been cancelled in favor of a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) based handheld device combined with a Soldier radio. Numerous reports have recently mentioned experiments using the Android operating system on board the Joint Battle Command-Platform, developed by MITRE Corp. Apparently, they’ve paid off. Look for an RFQ on this piece soon.

This decision will come as a blow to three major defense contractors who have not traditionally participated in the Soldier Systems industry: Rockwell Collins, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. All three were contenders for the production version of Nett Warrior and all three invested a great deal of capital in preparing for this program. What’s just as bad are the countless small business vendors who had partnered with these companies who will have to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks.

One question comes to mind. Is this the first casualty of the new defense budget environment or a preemptive move by new PEO Soldier BG Camille M. Nichols to cut some chaff and protect the rest of her portfolio of programs from the budget axe?

While it’s not really all that surprising from an operational standpoint that Nett Warrior was cancelled, there has been a great deal of Congressional interest in the concept as it has transitioned from one program to the next over the past 20 years beginning with Land Warrior. You can go back a few more if you include SIPE (Soldier Integrated Protective Ensemble). It will be interesting to see if Congress once again breathes life into this program considering the number of jobs it represents.