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TNVC Night Fighter 2022 Training Schedule Announced

Monday, October 18th, 2021

TNVC is proud to announce our 2022 Night Fighter Training Schedule!

For the 2022 Training Year, we have instituted a couple of small changes.  We have changed the name of our level 2 class from “Armed Professional” to “Night Fighter 201”. While the content of the class will not drastically change, we wanted to make the course a little more focused and applicable to open enrollment students. Law Enforcement and Military professionals will still get a lot out of this class—the change in the course is primarily in name only. Additionally, we were able to add another location for this course at our Oklahoma venue.

While the listed classes have been locked in for 2022, we are continuing to look at other locations and venues for all three of our classes, so keep watching as classes may be added throughout the year.  

We have also updated our Frequently Asked Questions page with more information and details to include the training locations we go to and answer some common inquiries.

As we wrap up our 2021 training schedule, we want to thank you for all the support.  We enjoyed having all the students we did in the classes; we had lots of fun times and made new friends along the way.

You can always contact us for any specific questions you have, and we will be happy to help you make decisions prior to coming to class.

If you do not have equipment, but still want to train, we will offer limited night vision rentals at each venue.  These offerings sell out quickly, so again sign up early if you intend to rent gear. Complete information about the TNVC rental gear program can be found here:

tnvc.com/shop/tnvc-night-fighter-rental

2022 Training Schedule

NIGHT FIGHTER 101:

• March 5 – 6, 2022 – The Sawmill, Laurens, SC
• March 26 – 27, 2022 – Badlands Tactical, Grandfield, OK
• April 9 – 10, 2022 – Pro Gun Club, Boulder City, NV
• April 23 – 24, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• April 30 – May 1, 2022 – Great Falls, MT
• September 17-18, 2022 – Great Falls, MT
• October 1 – 2, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• October 22 – 23, 2022 – Badlands Tactical, Grandfield, OK
• October 29 – 30, 2022 – Pro Gun Club, Boulder City, NV
• November 5 – 6, 2022 – The Sawmill, Laurens, SC

NIGHT FIGHTER 201: (Formerly called Armed Professional)

• April 22 – 24, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• September 16-18, 2022 – Great Falls, MT
• September 30 – October 2, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• October 21 – 23, 2022 – Badlands Tactical, Grandfield, OK

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY:

• March 4, 2022 – The Sawmill, Laurens, SC
• March 25, 2022 – Badlands Tactical, Grandfield, OK
• April 8, 2022 – Pro Gun Club, Boulder City, NV
• April 21, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• April 29, 2022 – Great Falls, MT
• September 15, 2022 – Great Falls, MT
• September 29, 2022 – Alliance, OH
• October 20, 2022 – Badlands Tactical, Grandfield, OK
• October 28, 2022 – Pro Gun Club, Boulder City, NV
• November 4, 2022 – The Sawmill, Laurens, SC

See All Training Classes: tnvc.com/shop/category/training-classes

See you on the range!

If you have any questions that you would like to see addressed in future newsletters, or follow ups to this letter, feel free to email us at: [email protected].

You can also look at our frequently asked questions page for answers to our commonly asked questions: tnvc.com/night-fighter-training-faqs

Performance Upgrade: Rheinmetall Presents New High-Roof Version of the Fuchs/Fox Wheeled Armored Transport Vehicle

Monday, October 18th, 2021

Rheinmetall has developed a new version of the Fuchs/Fox wheeled armoured transport vehicle. Featuring a high roof, the new variant of this battle-tested 6×6 vehicle enables a wide array of capabilities covering the full operational spectrum. Designed for maximum mobility, the new high-roof version of the Fuchs/Fox can serve in roles ranging from tactical operations centre to armoured field ambulance. Rheinmetall is presenting a demonstrator configuration of the armoured field ambulance on 14-15 October 2021 at the Congress of the Gesellschaft für Wehrmedizin und Wehrpharmazie, a German NGO dedicated to military medicine and military pharmaceuticals, which takes place in the Rhein-Mosel-Halle convention centre in Koblenz.

The high-roof Fuchs/Fox demonstrator’s modernized exterior design and greater height are particularly striking. The interior volume now measures twelve cubic metres, with headroom increased to 1.60 metres from the previous 1.26 metres. The armoured field ambulance version of the new high-roofed Fuchs/Fox can carry four wounded personnel, two lying down and two seated. Furthermore, the vehicle is equipped with an advanced 360-degree panoramic vision system. Featuring fusion and a daytime/night-time capability, it is identical to the system used in the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. This substantially enhances the crew’s situational awareness. A NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture-conformant connection to additional sensors or a weapons station is possible, as is the use of virtual reality goggles, which enable the crew to “see” through the armour.

In a manner analogous to the Puma, the Fuchs/Fox is also able to communicate with dismounted forces, including medics in this case, who are equipped with a special variant of the Future Soldier – Expanded System (IdZ-ES) soldier system. Thanks to uniform command-and-control technology, “Future Medics” will have access to the same situation information as the troops they support.

Moreover, the modernized Fuchs/Fox features a new, more powerful engine, a new transfer case, a new brake system and a digital electrical system. All these things improve the vehicle’s off-road performance and make it easier to operate.

The high-roof Fuchs/Fox demonstrator was developed at the Rheinmetall Landsysteme in Kassel in the German state of Hesse, the vehicle’s birthplace.

Numerous variants of the Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle have formed part of the Bundeswehr inventory ever since 1979, with over a hundred once deployed in Afghanistan. Thanks to its operational versatility and high reliability, the Fuchs/Fox has always been popular with the Bundeswehr. Throughout its service life, the vehicle has been continuously perfected.

To date, some 1,600 Fuchs/Fox vehicles have been built. Today the armed forces of numerous nations place their trust in multiple variants of this tried-and-true system, including armoured personnel carriers, mobile command posts and vehicles specially configured for an NBC detection role.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Salvage Divers of the USS Cole, the Untold Story of the Navy Divers Who Recovered the Fallen, Help Save the Ship

Sunday, October 17th, 2021


Detachment Alpha of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 aboard the USNS Catawba with the USS Cole and the MV Blue Marlin in the background. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

On the morning of Oct. 13, 2000, Chief Warrant Officer Frank Perna and his team of US Navy divers were sipping cappuccinos at an open-air coffee shop, enjoying a beautiful Italian morning in the Port of Bari, when the distinct ringtone of Perna’s cell phone cut the casual banter and light mood.

The divers, deployed with Detachment Alpha of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 aboard the USNS Mohawk, turned their attention to their officer in charge as he picked up the phone and listened intently. Mike Shields, now a retired master chief master diver, could tell the call was serious.

“I understand,” Perna said into the phone before hanging up. “We will be ready.”

Less than 24 hours earlier, the USS Cole, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, was docked in Yemen’s Aden harbor for a planned refueling when al Qaeda suicide bombers in a small boat packed with at least 400 pounds of explosives steered their craft into the Cole’s left side. The blast ripped a 1,600-square-foot hole in its hull, killing 17 American sailors and wounding 39.


Aqueous Film Forming Foam flame retardant floats on top of the water, preventing any fuel from igniting near the damaged left-side hull of the USS Cole in October 2000. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

A skilled diver with extensive experience in underwater salvage and recovery operations, Perna had worked on several high-profile dive operations. He participated in salvage and recovery operations for Trans World Airlines Flight 800 and the USS Arthur W. Radford after its collision at sea with a Saudi Arabian container vessel.

Perna looked up at his team, who stared back with anticipation.

“The USS Cole was damaged from an explosion while in port,” he told them. “We are going to Yemen to assist the crew in recovery and salvage of the ship.”

The 12 men who composed Detachment Alpha launched into planning and preparing for a daunting mission: They would locate missing sailors, assist in stabilizing the ship, recover evidence, and perform structural inspections of the Cole after a terrorist attack.

“We immediately started pulling resources and gear to support several different diving and salvage scenarios,” Shields told Coffee or Die Magazine recently. “Because we were going to be somewhat isolated in Yemen, we knew everything we brought had to serve several purposes.”


The USS Cole (DDG-67) is towed by the Navy tug vessel USNS Catawba to a staging point in the Yemeni harbor of Aden to await transportation by the Norwegian-owned, semi-submersible heavy-lift ship MV Blue Marlin. US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Don L. Maes.

The next day, the hand-picked team of Navy divers landed in Yemen with all the necessary dive systems to support the numerous planned and unplanned tasks of diving into and under a critically damaged ship. They loaded their gear onto two flatbed trucks and departed the airport with a sketchy Yemeni military escort. As they passed through several military checkpoints, Perna and his team began to feel the gravity of the situation.

When they arrived at the port, most of the team went to work setting up gear and readying a dive site near the ship while Perna and his senior leaders went to assess the damage. The sight shocked them. The ship was blackened by the explosion, listing slightly to the left, and without electrical power. The only light was from the green glow of the pier lights.

“Our first glimpse of the ship that night will be forever fixed in our minds,” Perna told Coffee or Die.

As Shields took in the damage and saw the Cole’s battle-weary crew members sleeping on mattresses scattered randomly on the ship’s weather decks, his shock turned into determination.


Sailors from the USS Cole rest on the helicopter deck in Yemen, Oct. 13, 2000, the day after a suicide bomber attacked the ship in the port of Aden, Yemen. US Navy photo by Jim Watson.

“Get in the water,” he thought. “Get the Cole back.”

On the morning of Oct. 15, 2000, the divers began the first phase of their mission. Several sailors were still missing in the flooded spaces below, and the men of Alpha Detachment had to get them out and repair or salvage what they could as soon as possible.

With flooding in the ship still posing a significant threat to electrical and engineering spaces, time was not on Alpha’s side. They determined which areas of the ship to search, identified a centralized location to set up a dive station, and planned how to safely enter the spaces they needed to reach. They boarded the Cole, set up gear, and began diving from inside the flooded spaces.

With the utmost care and respect, the Navy divers recovered missing Cole sailors. When a sailor was recovered, the divers paused their work to observe a moment of silence and honor the dead. They draped a flag over each fallen soul and escorted them down the pier to be taken back home.

“It’s a very heavy feeling in your heart to see one of your own covered in the flag,” Perna said. “It’s hard to check your emotions and refocus attention back to the task at hand, but you’ve got to push it back down because we’re doing a dangerous job.”


Gunner’s mate Petty Officer 2nd Class Don Schappert prepares to enter the lower levels of the flooded engine room assisted by hull maintenance technician Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett Husbeck. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

In addition to recovering the fallen, Alpha had to stop the flooding into the only engine room that was still operational. Reaching the damaged area required navigating through 50 feet of razor-sharp mangled steel, reduced visibility, and a thick layer of engine fuel building on the surface of the water. To get in and out of the water, the Navy divers had to travel through a layer of oil that they worried might catch fire if something sparked. The team deployed a fire retardant over the surface as a preventive measure.

Shields, who was familiar with the layout of the Cole from conducting routine maintenance on the ship the previous year, was one of two divers who suited up, went below the surface through an auxiliary shaft, and made their way slowly to the engine room. They couldn’t see anything and kept bumping into loose gear and debris floating around the spaces.

Making things even worse, the divers’ life-giving tether lines of air, communication, and light power — their “umbilicals” — were constantly hanging up or snagging on unknown obstructions. With every valuable foot gained, the divers had to stop to free themselves.

“We were blindly feeling around for landmarks that would take us to where we thought the flooding was coming from,” Shields recalled.

Using memories of what the engine room would have looked like, Shields and his dive buddy felt around and found landmarks to orient themselves by, eventually finding the cause of the flooding. They filled it with a 3-inch braided ship’s mooring line covered in a thick layer of electrical putty.

“We filled in the crack and effectively stopped all flooding,” Shields said.

Stopping the flooding saved the ship from sinking and prevented what could have been a total loss.


Mike Shields descends into a flooded engine room through a ventilation shaft on the USS Cole in October 2000. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

The next day, the Cole’s diesel generator stopped running, and members of the dive team had to locate and secure the damaged piping and reroute pressure through alternate channels back to the generators. Navigating underwater in the damaged area again proved challenging. Bulkheads were blown inward, all non-watertight doors had broken from their hinges, filing cabinets lay scattered across the deck, and visibility was reduced to less than 3 inches.

The Navy divers spent a lot of time rerouting valves controlling pressure, fuel, oil, or air to their secondary and tertiary systems to help offset the ship’s left-side listing. With the major flooding stopped and the Cole stable, the team focused on reviewing and assessing the massive opening the blast had ripped in the left side of the ship’s hull.

“It was nothing less than devastating,” Perna said. “The most disturbing sight was the extensive damage inside the ship. The blast from the explosion had torn 30-35 feet into the center of the ship.”

The explosion was so powerful that the deck had blown upward and fused onto the bulkhead where an office once sat. Crew members who’d been eating on the mess decks reported that the blast’s power created a visible wave that traveled across the deck.

The divers created a staging area just aft of the blast area on the Cole’s left side so they could easily access the outside space and assist the FBI and several other agencies in gathering information and documenting evidence for future investigations.


Hull maintenance technician Petty Officer 2nd Class Brett Husbeck, left, and engineman Petty Officer 2nd Class Mike Shields, right, conduct dive operations in a flooded engine on the USS Cole. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

Outfitted with thick rubber wetsuits, dive knives, and iconic yellow Kirby Morgan MK 21 diving helmets, divers splashed into the hot Persian Gulf water and entered the blast area.

“Everything was surreal about diving on board and into a ship with an extensive hole in the side of its hull,” Perna said. “The fact that you can dive inside the ship, turn around, and see the sunlight cascading into the enormous space is beyond explanation.”

On Oct. 17, 2000, Navy divers prepared to search the flooded main engine room, which suffered extensive damage in the blast and was essentially a total loss. Confirming primary and secondary routes with engineers and the crew, Perna and his team devised a plan to move through the ship’s ventilation-shaft system to access the previously unreachable space.

Before entering the cramped shaft, divers wrapped fire hoses around their umbilicals for protection, modified their gear to slim down their profiles, and slipped into wetsuits to protect themselves from the environmental hazards of fuel, oil, and razor-blade-like steel. The divers inched their way to the main engine room, a feat Perna and Shields likened to John McClane crawling through the ventilation shafts of Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.


Damage to the USS Cole. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

Watching closed-circuit video systems, engineers from the Cole and the USS Donald Cook guided the Navy divers as they moved through sheared bulkheads, buckled decks, broken pipes, and wires that created an immense “spider web” of destruction. Metal shavings sparkled as the divers’ lights scanned the engine room.

“We could feel the change in densities between fuel and water,” Perna recalled. “Everything fouled our umbilicals in the engine room. Pieces of broken equipment fell from the overhead as we disturbed their delicate balance.”

In that unforgiving, stifling space, the men of Detachment Alpha recovered three more missing sailors.

Over the following 10 days, from Oct. 18 through Oct. 28, the Navy divers recovered personal items from the flooded spaces and sifted through the fine sand on the seafloor for anything that might have belonged to the fallen. They searched every flooded compartment, including areas deemed too dangerous to enter safely, recovering all remaining missing sailors and assisting FBI investigators in collecting evidence. The divers inspected every inch of the blast area, looking for evidence of the explosive device. The FBI was keenly interested in anything that might help its investigation to identify the terrorists or the composition of the bomb.


A diver descends a ladder in the flooded engine room. Photo courtesy of Mike Shields.

The Navy divers also worked to mend damaged areas of the Cole and helped prepare the ship for its journey back to the United States. They relieved pressure in the main structural supports by drilling holes at the ends of the significant cracks, alleviating stress and preventing the damage from spreading. Once the necessary repairs were made, the team prepped the ship for a journey out to sea.

The challenge was to keep the ship from listing over to the left side. The Cole’s crew worried that the repairs made to stop the flooding might be damaged once in the open ocean.

“We had the idea to hedge our bets and have some contingencies in place if something happened,” Shields said.


The USS Cole is towed from the port of Aden, Yemen. Photo courtesy of the US Navy.

They ran several hydraulic pumps to the critical spaces and had discharge lines over the side in case a space started to fill with water.

On Oct. 29, the USS Cole slowly moved away from the pier with a small crew aboard to monitor the ship. Supported by tugboats and a tow line from the USNS Catawba, the Cole made the journey from the coast of Yemen to the MV Blue Marlin, a 700-foot-long Norwegian heavy-lift transport ship 23 miles out at sea.

When the Cole reached the Blue Marlin, the Blue Marlin partially submerged its lower deck and floated it under the damaged Cole. Once in place, the ship slowly rose to the surface, gently lifting the Cole from the ocean and resting the mighty ship on the Blue Marlin’s deck.


The MV Blue Marlin transports the USS Cole from Yemen following the attack on the ship in 2000. Photo courtesy of the US Navy.

With the Cole on the Blue Marlin, Shields and his divers checked the ship for flooding once more and found that their work had held. Shields gave the thumbs-up to higher, climbed the side railing, and dove into the ocean, swimming back to his team on the Catawba.

The entire docking evolution took nearly 24 hours to complete. With the Cole securely aboard the Blue Marlin’s deck, they made the trip back to the United States.

The Navy divers’ contributions were instrumental, Perna said. In a small amount of time, the team got the diesel generator back online, rerouted the ship’s air system, set up and operated emergency dewatering equipment, and provided air recharging service to the FBI and explosive ordnance disposal divers.


The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole arrives for a scheduled port visit to Souda Bay, Greece, July 19, 2012. The Cole, home-ported at Naval Station Norfolk, is on a scheduled deployment and is operating in the US 6th Fleet area of responsibility. US Navy photo by Paul Farley.

“No one person can accomplish them alone,” Perna said. “I was grateful to have such a fine and experienced diving and salvage team. I am indebted to and extremely proud of the divers in Detachment Alpha who made it all possible.”

The Detachment Alpha divers safely conducted 37 dives with more than 76 hours of subsurface work during the Cole operation. The ship was fully restored to service within 18 months of the attack in Yemen. The men of Detachment Alpha played a vital role in the operation that ensured the USS Cole’s ability to sail freely today.


A US sailor visits the USS Cole Memorial on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the ship. Seventeen sailors were killed, and another 39 were wounded in the attack. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert.

The Men of Detachment Alpha:

CWO3 Frank Perna
ENCS (MDV/SG) Lyle Becker
BMC (SW/DV) David Hunter
ETC (SG/DV) Terry Breaux
HMC (DV) Don Adams
HT2 (DV) Don Husbeck
GM2 (SS/DV) Roger Ziliak
STG2 (SW/DV) Donald Schappert
IS3 (DV) Greg Sutherland
EN2 (DV) Mike Shields
BM2 (DV) Mike Allison
GM3 (DV) Sean Baker

This is reposted with permission from Jayme Pastoric

Beez Combat Systems Offering APTUM MICRO X AK in Bawidamann’s Soviet Woodland BiColor Camo

Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Bawidamann has resurrected the Soviet Woodland BiColor and teamed up with Beez Combat Systems to provide the APTUM™ MICRO X AK in the once popular 1989 Russian camouflage pattern. The Soviet Woodland BiColor is an extremely popular camouflagepattern among members of the AK community.

The APTUM™ MICRO X AK by Beez Combat Systems supports three AK47 magazines and is designed to work as either a micro chest rig or a plate carrier placard. The APTUM™ MICRO X AK offers the wearer extreme modularity at an affordable price.

The APTUM™ MICRO X AK by Beez Combat Systems supports three AK47 magazines and is designed to work as either a micro chest rig or a plate carrier placard. The APTUM™ MICRO X AK offers the wearer extreme modularity at an affordable price. 

Available at www.beezcombatsystems.com.

AUSA 21 – XM1176 System

Friday, October 15th, 2021

Rheinmetall is developing the XM1176 System which provides programmable high velocity 40mm rounds which increase first round hit probability and can be used to defeat targets in defilade.

In this photo you can see the fire control system to the right. It communicates with the computer attached to the weapon at the lower left and then sends the solution to the round as via the IR transmitter mounted above the barrel.

The system can store up to six air burst munition profiles. Additionally, there is a 75m arming distance and internal self-destruct mechanism.

TacJobs – U.S. Elite Government Seeks Client Service Representative

Friday, October 15th, 2021

U.S. Elite (www.US-EliteGear.com) is looking for a Government Client Service Coordinator (CSR) to serve our Government & Group business, serving Military, Law Enforcement, contractors and others. Starting salary is in the range of $45-50 k, depending on experience and qualifications, with a generous 401k plan. We  are looking for a long term fit in our Team, who aligns with our purpose and core values. We pride ourselves on our training & development, and you’ll be able to grow within this position to the level of your capabilities. This position requires a service-oriented mindset, such that the right candidate must thrive in an unstructured, fast paced, highly entrepreneurial environment. Remote work acceptable but prefer someone who can spend time as needed in our Hawthorne NJ command post.

Mission – to serve our existing Government clientele to the highest standards and coordinate every step of the process from quote preparation to order management to final delivery and sale to after-sale service

Outcome

• Promptly respond to client requests for quotes (phone & email)

• Generate price quotes that optimize our opportunities for wins, balanced with making a profit 

• Client, vendor and shipper interaction, as required

• Document client profiles and material information for future reference

• Adhere to and create / improve U.S. Elite systems & SOP’s

• Support outside sales

• Special projects that serve U.S. Elite’s Gov & Group clients

Critical Competencies 

• Outstanding people and communication skills – verbally and written

• Proficient with spreadsheets and competent with software 

• Highly organized, and able to juggle multiple priorities with attention to detail

• Excellent analytical skills along with basic financial literacy

• Shine with minimal supervision, and create order in an unstructured environment

• Extraordinary client care skills

• Team player

• Stay calm & cool, even when a situation goes off the rails (it happens once in awhile, just part of the business)

• Committed to consistent improvement and self-development

• Knowledge of tactical equipment, military/federal agencies, and/or government contracting a plus

About U.S. Elite – ‘Outfitting Modern Man with a Tactical Mindset’, U.S. Elite is a fast growing multichannel dealer of premium outdoor and tactical gear brands. We pride ourselves on our reputation, with a 12 year track record of outstanding client satisfaction, as evidenced by our 4.8 out of 5 star rating over 10,000 independent reviews. We are a CVE-Verified Service Disabled Veteran Small Business with a GSA contract (Schedule 84). We are a small but tight Team, aligned on delighting our clientele (and having some fun along the way).

Next Steps – no phone calls or walk-in’s please – just email [email protected]. We’d like to see your resume along with a cover letter explaining why you’re interested in this position and why you believe you’d be a good fit for us. It will be helpful if you provide compensation history / expectations. Only exceptional applicants will receive feedback.

FirstSpear Friday Focus: NEW Performance Briefs with Fly (2-Pack)

Friday, October 15th, 2021

• 100% American Made with American Materials, Berry Compliant
• Ultra-lightweight flex grid blend with fly opening
• Moisture Wicking / Anti-Microbial
• Low profile comfort waistband
• Enhanced front panel for extra support
• Pack of 2

Our feature-rich performance briefs are back and now with a fly. Constructed from a flex grid polyester/spandex blend allows the Briefs to be extremely lightweight and breathable which translates to all-day comfort! Superimposed flat seam technology and a soft brushed elastic waistband that won’t roll over and stay where you want it. The flex grid is a four-way stretch design with exceptional antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. Extra room built into the front panel for extra support along with fly. Sold as a two-pack in graphite and black.

To check out the performance briefs, go to www.first-spear.com/performance-briefs-1.

Safran Optics 1 Donates to Travis Mills Foundation

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Recently, Safran Optics 1 donated $10,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation which supports recalibrated veterans and their families through various programs that help these heroic men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Safran Optics 1 encourages others to donate to this worthy cause.