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Archive for April, 2022

Innovation, Technology and Gaming Collide May 24-29 at FORCECON 2022

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

SAN ANTONIO —

Airmen and Guardians from across the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force are invited to take part in FORCECON 2022: Innovation – Technology – Gaming, an interactive industry and academia collider event and gaming competition being held at the Tech Port Center and Arena here May 24-29, 2022.

Air Education and Training Command and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center personnel, in partnership with and hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio’s SBDC Center for Government Contracting, will participate in a two day event with industry May 24-25 to share the service’s current force development, innovation and installation management gaps and challenges in a concerted effort to change design processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency. The collider event is part of a deliberate action to align efforts with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr.’s Action Order – Airmen, focused on developing the force, and Action Order – Bureaucracy, which outlines the need to speed up decision-making processes with a goal of allowing more space for innovation.

“We must widen our network of collaborators to accelerate the ways we develop the force,” said Col. Thomas Wegner, AETC’s Director of Analysis and Innovation. “We know that, for the Air Force to outpace an adversary’s decision cycles, we have to increase the speed and efficiency with which we work with industry. The private sector is an integral partner to meet some of our most pressing talent development and operational priorities.”

During the AETC Innovation Day and the Force Development and Installation & Mission Support Industry Day, Airmen will have the chance to learn how to connect with industry and small business advisors, as well as learn from both the AFWERX and Defense Innovation Unit teams. Additionally, the winners of the AETC iChallenge will be announced May 24 and AETC’s Detachment 23 will host a special presentation outlining how they support and assist with force development initiatives across the Air Force enterprise.

FORCECON 2022 will also feature the Air Force Gaming team hosting the Armed Forces E-Sports championships May 28 (featuring Halo Infinite) and the Air Force Gaming Minor League Worlds Championship May 29.

The goal for AETC is to modernize force development with commercially available solutions, strengthen military, industry, and academia relations in order to accelerate change, foster successful teaming with Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and synchronize efforts across major commands and service innovation entities. 

During the event, AFIMSC looks to collaborate on technologies in the following focus areas that support augmented reality/virtual reality/extended reality; artificial intelligence/machine learning; data transformation; operationalizing small unmanned aerial systems for installations; and robotic process automation.

The United States Air Force Gaming League is an inclusive organization of Air Force and Space Force for all ages, ranks, and backgrounds.  USAFGL has established a unified hub for community and competition, to allow Airmen and Guardians to build resiliency through competitive leagues while promoting retention, teamwork, and mental well-being for service members around the world. 

By Dan Hawkins, Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Cold War Capabilities – Special Atomic Demolition Munitions

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

Special Atomic Demolition Munitions, or SADM were a class of man portable nuclear weapons developed during the Cold War. They were intended to be hand emplaced and used to deny, block, and canalize the enemy. Deployed primarily in Western Europe, the thinking was that they could be used to cut off high speed avenues of approach for Warsaw Pact forces. The US Army created a Military Occupational Specialty, 12E (SADM Specialist) that’s sole function was to employ those devices along with an associated MOS 55G to maintain them. They were expected to hand emplace the XM129 and XM159 Atomic Demolition Charges with yields ranging from 10 to 1,000 tons of TNT. Although the devices could be left unattended after it was set via a timer, there was also a Field Wire Remote Control System (FWRCS) to send safe/arm and firing signals to the weapon via a wire for safe remote detonation of the weapon. But as you can imagine, thats an awful lot of wire.

12E which was an Engineer MOS was eliminated in 1986 and the Soldiers reclassified into new MOSs as the devices were removed from service. I attended DLI with quite a few of these NCOs.

Additionally, both Navy SEAL and Army Special Forces teams were trained in their emplacement in denied areas although particulars of these mission sets remain sensitive. For example, the SFOD-As were known as Green Light Teams with many of the members having the so-called “dual cool” qualification of MFF and SCUBA. Interestingly this declassified film featuring NSW personnel features Para-SCUBA operations.

Soldiers Trained on Inflatable Satellite Antenna

Saturday, April 30th, 2022

U.S. ARMY GARRISON HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea — The Ready First Brigade will be prepared to order vital parts and supplies thanks to training received on the Combat Service Support Very Small Aperture Terminal, or CSS VSAT, an inflatable satellite antenna this past week.

Soldiers of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, from Fort Bliss, Texas, were taught how to set up and operate the Army’s new inflatable satellite antenna, or ISA.

For Army logisticians who sustain their units with critical supplies, repair resources and parts, one of their most important tools is the CSS VSAT, a mobile satellite terminal found at every MSC within Eighth Army.

Eighth Army was the first unit to receive ISA systems. It is a lightweight, versatile satellite terminal, which Soldiers can set up and connect to a satellite to conduct logistics operations in the field. Soldiers can order anything from vehicle parts to medical supplies.

“In the [supply support activities], we support the requisition process of parts for customers, so in order for us to do that we have to put the order in the system of record, GCSS-Army, we depend on this internet connectivity that the ISA provides,” said Cpl. Faustina Fetalaiga, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT, 1st AD. “This week we learned how to set up and operate the ISA and how to get the right azimuth to get the correct signal, so we are able to use the internet to order parts when we go to the field.”

For a week, the students from various 1st ABCT units from Camp Humphreys and Camp Casey took classroom lessons and later set up their ISA systems, which then connected to a satellite above Earth. The goal is to have each Ready First Brigade Soldier able to return to their units and set up and employ the ISA.

The class was taught by instructors from the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command Logistics Training Team.

The ISA system looks different than the legacy version; its dish sits inside a 1.2-meter inflatable ball. The ISA is more expeditionary than the legacy version because it only weighs approximately 150 pounds and packs into just two cases. It is designed so two Soldiers can set up the ISA in less than 30 minutes, compared to more than 45 minutes for the previous system, according to U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.

“The ISA is more compact, you can pack it up very quickly and bring it to another location if you need to move,” said Sgt. Tony Harrington, Sustainment Automation Support Management Office noncommissioned officer in-charge for 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st ABCT, 1st AD.

Harrington is an information technology specialist team leader who will help fix any issues Soldiers have with the ISA in the field.

“The legacy VSATs back in the states come in big boxes that you have to carry around to different places,” Harrington said. “We learned the setup and tear down process for the ISAs and my team and I have a lot of experience with the legacy VSATs so we’ll be able to troubleshoot any connectivity problems with the ISA if needed; it’s almost the same process.”

Harrington added the training is good for the Soldiers because it will help them set up the ISA properly and limit the amount of trouble calls his team gets so he’ll be available to help other Soldiers with troubleshooting issues.

Despite its appearance, the ISA will not pop like a balloon if punctured. The new system is also designed to withstand interference because wind tends to travel around its round shape as opposed to an exposed satellite dish. The ISA also can operate in additional spectrum bands, according to U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command.

According to David Moody, 19th ESC, Logistics Management Specialist instructor, Eighth Army and U.S. Army Pacific are the only U.S. Army units to use the ISA right now. He and his team have been conducting continuous training on the ISA since it arrived and are fulfilling Eighth Army G4’s request to have rotational brigade Soldiers trained to set them up for success.

“I was asked back at Fort Bliss if I wanted to attend this class before we deployed,” said Fetalaiga. “This class has been great and I appreciate the civilian instructors. I’m glad I told them I wanted to attend.”

By Kenji Thuloweit

Photos by PVT Lee, Hee-won

DroneShield Releases a Ground-breaking Firmware Release for its C-UAS Devices

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Virginia and Sydney (April 26, 2022) – DroneShield, an Australian/US global leader in Artificial Intelligence based platforms for protection against advanced threats such as drones and autonomous systems, has commenced a release of a ground-breaking software update across the global fleet of its C-UAS portable, vehicle/ship based and fixed site devices, deployed with military, intelligence community, Homeland Security, law enforcement, critical infrastructure and other users.

Enrolled devices receive quarterly firmware updates of the proprietary DroneShield RFAI Artificial Intelligence engine, with periodic quarters being major enhancements, such as this 2Q22 release.

Major upgrades include:

• Site Install Wizard – the new ‘Spectrum Viewer’ mode, in which C-UAS detection devices scan the deployment area for optimal sensor placement, and

• the “Machine Learning in the loop” option to enhance the RFAI engine from the data received by the user. These features were added in response to the end-user requirements.

DroneShield RfPatrol body-worn C-UAS device with enrolled firmware upgrades

Angus Bean, DroneShield Chief Technology Officer, commented, “DroneShield offers unparalleled C-UAS performance as the original pioneer in this sector. Ongoing R&D programs sustain the cutting-edge nature of our products, protecting and serving our user community. We are excited about the enhancements to the performance of our deployed fleet of devices, developed, field-tested, and rolled out in a highly expedient manner.”

The updates will be rolling out across DroneShield devices globally in the next week, with heightened urgency given the continuous widespread use of drones in Ukrainian and Middle Eastern conflicts. The technology upgrade is validated by deployments with the US Air Force and Australian Army.

Additional information about the system can be found at www.droneshield.com.

Check Out The Latest From BE Meyers At SOFIC

Friday, April 29th, 2022

If you’re interested in meeting with the team at 2022 SOFIC, please email [email protected].

Mystery Ranch Introduces Women’s Harnessing to Fire Packs

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Mystery Ranch surveyed 150 men and women to help improve their pack harnesses. Out of this effort came a new female fit harness for their Wildland Fire Fighting packs.

www.mysteryranch.com/womens-fire-harnessing

TacJobs – Production Assistant at Black Triangle

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Available Position: Production Assistant I

Position Location: Chesapeake, VA 

Position Availability: Permanent / Full-time

Us: Growing small business innovating in a niche defense industry.

You: Strong attention to detail, highly motivated, and task oriented. Prior experience is not required, however a basic competency and ability to learn and retrain skills is a must. Work is done with tools ranging from hand tools to light machinery. Training on all tools used in the production of our products will be provided.

Pre-employment screening is required prior to employment.

Please send resume and/or inquiries to [email protected]

ZEV Technologies Announces Their Official Partnership With Christian Craighead

Friday, April 29th, 2022

ZEV Technologies announces their official partnership with Christian Craighead, the famed SAS veteran known for saving lives and leading the offensive against a terrorist attack in Africa in 2019. The partnership will consist of critical feedback from Craighead in developing the newly released Core Combat line of handguns and the soon-to-be-released line of Core Combat Rifles. Craighead himself will be receiving a special signature line of products, the first of which will be the Craighead OZ9.

“Team ZEV is more than excited to have Christian on board to help us develop our Combat line of firearms. Being a master at his craft allows us to transfer that knowledge and apply it to design, resulting in industry-leading innovation.”

– Dan Groce, Director of Brand Engagement

www.zevtechnologies.com