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Archive for the ‘Army’ Category

American, British Nuclear Experts Conduct Counterproliferation Exercise in United Kingdom

Saturday, August 20th, 2022

SELLAFIELD, England — American Soldiers from Nuclear Disablement Team 2 conducted nuclear counterproliferation training with personnel from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense during an exercise in May.

The exercise was the first time one of the U.S. Army Nuclear Disablement Teams, or NDTs, have trained in the United Kingdom.

Nuclear Disablement Team 2 is one of three NDTs from the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives (CBRNE) Command, the U.S. Department of Defense’s premier deployable all hazards formation.

As a part of the 2018 Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review, the NDTs provide advanced forensics and attribution capabilities in support of overseas and domestic missions.

NDTs directly contribute to the nation’s strategic deterrence by staying ready to exploit and disable nuclear and radiological weapons of mass destruction infrastructure and components to deny near-term capability to adversaries and facilitate elimination operations.

In addition to the NDT 1 “Manhattan,” NDT 2 “Iron Maiden” and NDT 3 “Vandals,” the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland-based 20th CBRNE Command is home to 75 percent of the active-duty Army’s explosive ordnance disposal technicians and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialists, as well as the 1st Area Medical Laboratory, CBRNE Analytical and Remediation Activity and five Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordination Teams.

From 19 bases in 16 states, Soldiers and civilians from the 20th CBRNE Command take on the world’s most dangerous hazards in support of joint, interagency and allied operations.

Maj. Neal J. Trump, a nuclear operations officer from NDT 2, said the nuclear disablement team began planning for the exercise in 2020 but COVID-19 postponed it.

In May 2022, the exercise took place at multiple locations in the United Kingdom. NDT 2 participated during the first half of the month at the Sellafield site in northwest England and at the Weeton Barracks about an hour from Manchester, England.

“The exercise as a whole validated the Department of Energy Mobile Packaging Teams in the receipt and processing of material collected from nuclear facilities and also integrated the participation of personnel from the Department of Energy’s Plutonium and Uranium Verification Teams,” said Trump, an Iraq veteran and former infantry officer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who has commanded Soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division and 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (Old Guard).

The exercise offered a unique training opportunity for NDT 2 to characterize an industrial-scale reprocessing facility and to recognize the equipment and materials used there, said Trump.

In addition to seven Soldiers from NDT 2, four Soldiers from the other NDTs were able to participate in the exercise.

“This exercise presented a truly unique training experience for NDT 2 that will pay dividends for a long time to come,” said Trump. “Since there are currently no commercial reprocessing facilities for spent nuclear fuel operating in the United States, conducting training at Sellafield exposed team members to a portion of the nuclear full cycle that we rarely have the opportunity to work in and at a scale that nobody had witnessed before.”

Trump said the NDT Soldiers were able to conduct a reconnaissance and characterization of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant, as well as perform sampling operations of highly accurate simulants from large negative pressure gloveboxes.

“The most enduring effect of the exercise, however, will likely be the excellent relationships we developed with Sellafield personnel that we hope to leverage for further training opportunities in the future,” said Trump.

During the exercise, NDT Soldiers refined procedures for detecting nuclear material and collecting gamma ray spectra, as well as packaging simulated samples of nuclear material to transfer to the NNSA’s Mobile Plutonium Facility.

“Perhaps most importantly, the exercise allowed the team to further develop our relationship with the subject matter experts employed by Department of Energy and NNSA. We hope that our participation in this exercise will open the door to future collaboration between the NDTs and the NNSA,” said Trump. “The highlight of the exercise, from my point of view, was the degree of interagency partnership building that was able to occur.”

At Sellafield, representatives from the NNSA’s Uranium Verification Team and Plutonium Verification Team not only observed the training but also participated in discussions about how both organizations can better support one another in the counterproliferation fight.

NDT 2 Soldiers also used the U.S. Department of Energy’s reach-back process while in the United Kingdom to send requests for information to a U.S.-based team of subject matter experts who were able to provide technical guidance in support of the NDT characterization of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant.

“At the conclusion of our training, NDT 2 prepared and presented an exploitation brief to senior members of the 20th CBRNE Command and leadership of the NNSA’s Nuclear Compliance Verification and Mobile Packaging programs,” said Trump. “This interaction further served to demonstrate the capabilities of the NDTs to key interagency partners and acted as a relationship-building venue between key [Department of Energy] professionals and NDT personnel.”

Glen L. Jackson, the White Team lead from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, said the NNSA, U.S. Department of Defense, U.K. Ministry of Defense, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and countless other mission partners came together to coordinate and deconflict the numerous training activities occurring simultaneously.

Jackson added that meticulous planning ensured that each organization could achieve their respective training objectives while also supporting the broader goals of the exercise.

The National Nuclear Security Administration is responsible for the monitoring, verification, removal and securing of high-risk nuclear and radiological materials and equipment around the world that pose a potential threat to the United States and the international community.

“Overseas deployment exercises provide the opportunity to practice not just these missions but also the foundational logistics required to execute them through the integrated and collaborative efforts of NNSA and Department of Defense,” said Jackson, who has served as a contractor at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for 31 years.

Jackson was also the White Team leader when 20th CBRNE Command NDT personnel participated in Exercise Relentless Rook at the Savannah River Site in 2021.

Jonathan P. Spencer, a manager at the Sellafield site, said joint training exercises give his site invaluable opportunities to share knowledge and learn from the other participants.

“While Sellafield’s challenges are different in many ways to the challenges faced by the NDT, there are some similarities,” said Spencer. “Seeing how other teams approach tasks like characterization, sampling and radiation and contamination control is very instructive. There are many learning points from the exercise which will help inform our work in the future. Finally, Sellafield recognizes the important role the NDT performs and takes pride in being able to play a small role in the NDT training and exercise program.”

Spencer, who has worked at Sellafield Ltd. for 12 years, credited the success of the exercise to advanced planning done by NDT 2 Team Chief Lt. Col. Ronald C. Lenker and Maj. Neal Trump with his Sellafield team, including Astelle Batty and Gareth Bawden.

“It was evident that the attention to detail resulted in the successful running of the exercise,” said Spencer. “Due to the nature of work on the Sellafield deployments, such as this exercise while on paper may appear simple in reality are not straightforward.”

The exercise was the first at the Sellafield site’s new Glove Box Training Facility.

“It was a great pleasure and honor for Sellafield Ltd to host this visit within [the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant] and our Glovebox Training Facility,” said Spencer. “It was a particular highlight to see NDT members calmly, methodically and professionally tackle the very challenging scenarios we created for them in this new facility.”

By Walter T. Ham IV

American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense Team to Pursue U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck Program

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense Team to Pursue U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck Program
American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI), a leading developer of tactical wheeled and tracked combat vehicles and systems has formed a strategic collaboration with GM Defense LLC (Washington, DC), to compete in the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck (CTT) program. The CTT program seeks to identify a replacement platform for the Army’s Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles.

The Army expects to execute multiple Prototype Projects before determining whether to proceed to initial production that could entail purchase of approximately 5,700 vehicles at a value of around $5 billion. A Request for Prototype Proposals for the first phase was issued in late June with an expected Contract Award in December of 2022.

Rheinmetall, with its subsidiary Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV), is a global leader in tactical military truck development and manufacturing. The Group’s HX family of trucks have been sold to 20 customers globally including an active Allied user group consisting of Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Rheinmetall recently unveiled its HX3, next-generation series of truck with advances in power, mobility, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and an open systems architecture with pathways to hybrid technology incorporation, leader follower driving, and autonomous operations. The militarized HX3 series incorporates substantial commercial technologies reflecting Rheinmetall’s joint venture with MAN Truck & Bus which streamlines logistics and sustainment burdens and provides benefits in vehicle upgrades. An Americanized HX3 forms the basis of what the American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense team will offer the Army in the first phase of the CTT program. Combined with an open architecture, the commercial backbone of the HX3 will support persistent modernization and allow for increases in capability as technologies mature. This will reduce obsolescence issues and overall lifecycle costs.

GM Defense is a rapidly expanding, wholly-owned subsidiary of global technology powerhouse General Motors (GM) – one of the largest automotive producers in the world, delivering 2.2 million vehicles in 2021 alone, and remains the largest commercial provider of military vehicles in history. As GM’s purpose-built government-facing entity, GM Defense will bring its formidable manufacturing capabilities and technological excellence to the CTT team, leveraging GM’s innovation and portfolio of commercial technologies to advance customer capabilities. Having been selected to deliver the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the Army under an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract, GM Defense understands rapid prototyping, agile design and engineering, and rapid delivery.

The CTT Program is a rapid prototyping effort that uses a middle tier acquisition strategy and OTAs to enable the Army to quickly procure and test tactical truck prototypes to replace its family of heavy tactical trucks. The Army is seeking a modern platform featuring advanced driver safety systems, increased off-road mobility, cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence, improved survivability, and fuel efficiency among other emerging technologies. The program will enable the Army to replace legacy vehicles like the Palletized Load System (PLS), Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), M915 Line Haul Tractor, and other platforms in the current heavy and medium tactical wheeled fleet. A truck with maximum commercial elements, able to perform military missions, and that can bring commonality amongst mission roles are top priorities for the Army in the program.

“American Rheinmetall Vehicles is a committed partner to the Army, bringing next-generation capability, technology and competition to high priority Army modernization programs like CTT. GM Defense shares our commitment, and together our team will provide a transformational truck to support the Army and its Soldiers,” said Matthew Warnick, Managing Director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles. “General Motors has a century of experience supporting the Department of Defense with a remarkable heritage in design, engineering, and manufacturing. GM Defense continues that heritage with the ability to rapidly develop and deploy advanced technologies, bringing an important capability to the American Rheinmetall Vehicles team and our exceptional CTT offering,” said Warnick.

“On the heels of successfully delivering the ISV to our Army customer, GM Defense is excited to join American Rheinmetall Vehicles on the CTT program to deliver another exceptional mobility solution for our Soldiers,” said Steve duMont, President of GM Defense. “This strategic collaboration enables GM Defense to continue showcasing our advanced capabilities, leveraging GM’s innovation and proven commercial technology. With American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ HX3 as the starting point, I’m confident that together we will deliver a winning solution that meets or exceeds the Army’s requirements and provides a platform for growth and technology insertion to support our warfighters well into the future,” continued duMont.

HX3 Common Tactical Truck (HX3-CTT)
Technology for the future: The HX3-CTT features an advanced, interchangeable protected cab design, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and drive by wire operation. The new open systems electrical architecture allows rapid integration of leader follower and autonomous capabilities that focus on protecting our most valuable combat asset – the Soldier.

Common Platforms and parts to support a family of vehicles: The HX3-CTT is the new, next-gen variant of the globally successful HX family of military-off-the-shelf tactical trucks. It possesses an extremely high level of commonality and modularity across variants: cargo, load handling systems, tankers, and line haul tractors. With an HX family that can scale from 4×4 to 10×10, the HX can meet any military need.

Commerciality in its DNA: The HX3-CTT leverages best-in-class advances in commercial truck technology, safety, fuel efficiency, and emissions reduction. Ruggedized for the stresses of military service, the HX family provides an “off the shelf” capability. This commercial backbone reduces obsolescence risk/cost, expands parts availability, and reduces sustainment demands.

Allied Interoperability: The HX family of trucks have been sold to 20 customers globally including an active Allied user group consisting of Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, creating common global supply chains, training opportunities, and integrated operations among key allies operating around the world.

Armor Formations are Next for the Army’s Capability Set Designs

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — First came boots, then wheels and now tracks.

The Army’s Integrated Tactical Network, or ITN, continues to expand its capabilities across formations, as demonstrated during the ITN Armor Formation Field-based Risk Reduction Communications Exercise held in multiple locations across Aberdeen Proving Ground in mid-August. The exercise was designed to inform capability set, or CS, 25.

Whereas the Army’s CS21 provides ITN capabilities to dismounted troops and CS23 brings mounted to dismounted ITN connectivity for Stryker Brigade Combat Teams, CS25 will bring fully mounted ITN capabilities to multiple armor vehicle variants.

The result will be on-the-move communications in armor formations that are less dependent on command posts.

Led by the Product Manager Capability Set Development, under the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications-Tactical — or PEO C3T — the exercise featured vehicle integration, in partnership with the DEVCOM Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center’s Prototype Integration Facility; personnel safety and electromagnetic testing, with support from the Aberdeen Test Center and capped off by a fires support communications thread exercise, with support from the fires community.

“In CS23, we saw the benefit of early integration prototyping used on the Stryker combat vehicles” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Judy, product manager for capability set design, assigned to PEO C3T. “We plan to leverage those same activities for CS25 with the introduction of new Armored platforms used by the Armored Brigade Combat Teams.”

This exercise is not the first time the Army experimented with integrating network capabilities onto Armor vehicles. In February of this year, PEO C3T conducted a pilot to evaluate new and emerging commercial network on-the-move technologies integrated onto armored vehicle platforms with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, to help inform CS25 capabilities.

The pilot focused on bringing high-bandwidth, satellite communications capabilities into armor formations above battalion.

Future plans are emerging to combine the ITN and satellite capabilities into one combined pilot, which will help inform holistic network designs from brigade to division level.

Gaining lessons learned is the primary benefit to the Army’s capability set process, where developers build capabilities based on each previous capability set. The process has been especially beneficial as the Army advances ITN integration from Stryker to armor formations, as engineers are reusing components already designed to integrate into small spaces.

The communications thread portion of the event featured a representative fire support element relaying a call for fires by passing data, not voice, through the fires chain.

“For the first time, we are testing the Warrior Robust Enhanced Network TSM secret and below waveform as a substitute to using [single channel ground and airborne radio systems]” said Wayne Rush, Systems Engineer for Product Manager, Capability Set Development.

The Warrior Robust Enhanced Network, or WREN, TSM is a commercial waveform integrated into the radios and dismounted Soldier end-user devices.

Using WREN, the dismounted Soldiers, in the role of forward observers, used precision fires-dismount software to send the call for fires to the fire support team at the company headquarters in the M113A3 armored personnel carrier. They then sent the request to the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System in the squadron fire support element M1068A3 armored personnel carrier, which relayed the final order to fire to the mortar fire control system housed in the M1064 mortor carrier vehicle.

“The goodness of this is that we are providing an alternate digital fires thread for squadrons to conduct digital fires,” Rush said. “We’re trying to prove range message completion rates and speed of service over operationally relevant distances using WREN [secret and below] on the test course.”

A representative from the Army Capability Manager Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was present to collect data, which will provide to [Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System] and precision fires-dismount software developers critical data for future software requirements modifications. A Picatinny Arsenal representative was also on hand to assess WREN’s performance for the final step in the fires chain process.

Instrumented results will inform the CS25 armored brigade combat team network basis of issue in support of FY25 fielding. Follow on efforts to the Armor Formation Field-based Risk Reduction include the CS25 Preliminary Design Review in 2023, which will set the stage for initial capability set integration and the CS25 Critical Design Review in 2024, which will solidify the designs for fielding.

“The capability set process is working,” Judy said. “Our continued armor vehicle integration efforts are a yet another shining example of the way the Army should be approaching integration and pilot efforts to inform design.”

By Kathryn Bailey, PEO C3T Public Affairs

Testing of the Army’s First Autonomous Vehicle Speeds Ahead

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Imagine the possibilities of a self-driving vehicle on the battlefield.

Engineers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, or AvMC, don’t have to imagine it, they are building it. The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher takes a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — or HIMARS — and modifies it with hardware and software to be controlled remotely and driven autonomously.

“[The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher] represents a significant and exciting modernization improvement for the Army,” said Christi Dolbeer, director of DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Technology Development Directorate. “Adding autonomy to drive mobile launchers and increasing the firing power of those launchers represents a powerful combination. I am very proud of the DEVCOM AvMC and DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center teams working together to give Soldiers even greater capabilities.”

While it resembles the self-driving cars in the news, the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher — or AML — will have capabilities that those vehicles will never possess — but also challenges. Regular autonomous autos operate on established roadways, they aren’t navigating a sometimes treacherous terrain. They also aren’t being fired upon by enemy combatants. Then there is the matter of size.

“We are talking about putting a 36,000-pound vehicle in an area where there will be humans running around,” said Lucas Hunter, AML project manager for AvMC. “Tesla and other companies are working on vehicles that can sense cars in front of them and behind them; they have these nice stripes on the road that tell it, ‘I am getting out of my lane.’ Well, we are driving through open country, we don’t have stripes — we have holes, we have cliffs.”

AML in its current incarnation will look notably different than the final system as the existing cab will eventually be eliminated from the vehicle. Later iterations will also boast a new launcher and increased firing power.

AML was conceptualized as a tool to increase mass fires and “thicken the force,” but what exactly does that translate to in theater?

“AML applies a wingman concept to the Soldiers we already have on the battlefield,” Hunter said. “That spreads out capabilities. So more targets have to be addressed by the enemy. At the same time, it increases the number of rounds that our Soldiers have available which keeps them in the fight longer. With HIMARS, once they fire their six rounds, they have to reload. If you add 12 more, now they are able to support frontline troops three times as long.”

How this new capability will be utilized is currently being explored by the Fires Center of Excellence and the Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Office. Concept testing was conducted in 2021 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to demonstrate how the wingman concept might look, emulating a mission with the Precision Strike Missile — the missile being part of the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fire cross-functional initiative and also in the AvMC portfolio.

For Hunter, AML marks not just a landmark paradigm shift for Army battlefield technology, but for the world of robotics itself. With the strides already made in breaking the manual chain and developing the robotic applique kit, it is easy to forget that AML has only been in existence since February 2020.

“There are all kinds of situational awareness challenges that the robotics industry is just now starting to look at,” Hunter said. “AML, which will be called HIMARS Increment 2, has to be able to travel wherever it is told to travel. It has to be able to tell, ‘Hey, there is a cliff right here.’ It has to be able to recognize whatever terrain it is on.

“This is a career field in robotics — how to enhance that situation awareness and do so in passive manners. We need sensors that collect situational awareness data without emitting detectable energy like light or sound. Because you don’t want this to light up like a Christmas tree when the enemy is looking.”

By Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs

Ground Soldier Technology Workflow, Integration, and eXperience (GS-TWIX)

Monday, August 15th, 2022

The Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG), Natick Contracting Division, on behalf of US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command – Soldier Center (DEVCOM-SC), anticipates awarding a Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) contract for the Ground Soldier Technology Workflow, Integration, and eXperience (GS-TWIX) effort.

The Ground Soldier Technology Workflow, Integration, and eXperience (GS-TWIX) effort develops ground Soldier-centric information technology across the operational spectrum of hardware, software, network, and data as well as integrates same to optimize the ground Soldier’s ability to shoot, move and communicate according to the Army Modernization Priorities. GS-TWIX will impact multiple DEVCOM Soldier Center efforts and collaborations including Sensored Soldier, Nett Warrior, Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), Soldier Integration Facility (SIF), Joint Program Executive Office (JPEO) Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRND), OUSD Research and Engineering (R&E) 5G Tactical Applications for Small Units in Distributed Operations (5GTA-SUDO). These are detailed below:

Sensored Soldier

The goal of Sensored Soldier is to enhanced Multi Domain Operations (MDO) through mission information integration. This task has three sub-tasks that shall provide an interconnected tool suite of actionable decision tools by the end of FY25. First, the Leader Planning & Decision Tools sub-task shall guide Small Unit leaders in the maneuver planning for optimal Soldier physiological, equipment electrical power, network health, and protection using remote sensing drones. Second, the Soldier Equipment Sensing and Integration sub-task Shall provide Soldier Sub-system operational usage status to Small Unit leaders and provide equipment status sensing across the Squad workflow. Lastly, the Remote Sensing and Integration sub-task shall provide hardware, software, network, and data components that provide a Small Unit with a standoff capability to sense threats, maneuver, and communicate same to Small Unit leaders This sub-task shall 1) integrate remote sensing systems and sub-systems, 2) optimize user experience of remote squad sensing components, 3) optimize remote sensing MDO across the Small Unit workflow. Sensored Soldier tasks will transition to Nett Warrior, IVAS, or other Ground Soldier Systems Program of Record (PoR). Contractor shall provide DEVCOM – SC COR a technical report on Sensored Soldier activities in accordance with CDRL A002 after a technology assessment/demonstration. Contractor shall also provide DEVCOM – SC COR an annual final report on Sensored Soldier activities in accordance with CDRL A005 on an annual basis.

Nett Warrior and Ground Soldier System

The contractor shall provide comprehensive and wide-ranging support to the PdM GSS for evolving, maturing, and maintaining NW V3.X system in the areas of software engineering, system engineering, cybersecurity, system architecture, and integration.

The Contractor, in conjunction with the PdM GSS NW SETA contractor, shall ensure the work has a migration path to the NW program record and/or NW Future Initiatives, if the capability needs time to mature. If the Contractor and PdM GSS NW SETA contractor have divergent views on how to ensure a successful transition to the NW program of record of these requirements or how work is divided between both parties, then the Contractor shall promptly notify PdM GSS (GSS Tech Director / NW Chief Engineer) so any required Government clarification / direction can be provided to both parties. The Contractor shall develop solutions that allows application developers to store and distribute information in their own data format. However, the contractor shall leverage server services already provided by the larger TAK ecosystem rather than developing their own server system. Contractor shall provide DEVCOM – SC COR a technical report on Nett Warrior and Ground Soldier System activities in accordance with CDRL A002 after a technology assessment/demonstration. Contractor shall also provide DEVCOM – SC COR an annual final report on Nett Warrior and Ground Soldier System activities in accordance with CDRL A005 on an annual basis.

Ground Soldier Systems Integration

The contractor shall provide technical services for CCDC SC, IVAS, and other government agencies in areas of advanced concepts for information portrayal, sub-system integration, and data analytics: Similar to the IVAS-Soldier Integration Facility (SIF), CCDC SC Mission Information Team requires the development of information portrayal system that interacts with project objectives, project tasks, and both lab and field experimentation operations that includes Nett Warrior-based Soldier worn sensors, ATAK-platoon based sensors, and NW & ATAK web based sensors. Contractor shall provide DEVCOM – SC COR a technical report on Ground Soldier Systems Integration activities in accordance with CDRL A002 after a technology assessment/demonstration. Contractor shall also provide DEVCOM – SC COR an annual final report on Ground Soldier Systems Integration activities in accordance with CDRL A005 on an annual basis.

CBRND Integration with Ground Soldier Systems:

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) seeks to design, prototype, test, and document promising wearable capabilities integrated into a single system. The wearables system includes the following components: assistive automation capabilities; wearable, subcutaneous, and implantable devices; cyber secure and scalable wired and wireless architectures; and visualization and decision support tools. The contractor shall provide sub-systems that advance the human integration and current technology for lightweight, integrated wearable systems; Soldier integrated displays and body-worn systems that enhance the Soldier survivability, and situational awareness on the battlefield. Special interest areas include unique human systems integration of data and power systems, miniaturization, increased durability and reliability, and components having low power as well as new power solutions that meet Soldier-portable system requirements for survivability and situational understanding. Specific examples of body- worn system capabilities include: data devices, integrated electronic modules, inter- connections in fabrics, wearable battery technologies, combat identification, tactical engagement simulation capability, system voice control, State-of-the-Art unique interfaces, haptics, neuro-physiological, and physiological/medical sensors and data management, Soldier integration of individual/team weapon system sensors and controls. Contractor shall provide DEVCOM – SC COR a technical report on CBRND Integration with Ground Soldier System activities in accordance with CDRL A002 after a technology assessment/demonstration. Contractor shall also provide DEVCOM – SC COR an annual final report on CBRND Integration with Ground Soldier Systems in accordance with CDRL A005 on an annual basis.

5G Tactical Applications for Small Units in Distributed Operations (5GTA- SUDO)

The goal of 5GTA-SUDO is to demonstrate the operational impact of a 5G bandwidth improvement to the Integrated Tactical Network (ITN). This task shall develop and demonstrate in an operationally relevant environment, at the Battalion & Company echelon level, multiple ground Soldier tactical applications. Tactical applications shall include 96 hour out load, sensitive site exploitation, sensor to shooter Full Motion Video (FMV) applications, edge device management, ITN multi-network/Primary, Alternative, Contingency, and Emergency (PACE)) router, image product distribution, robotic systems integration and other 5G-based applications. All applications shall be integrated with the software code base and hardware system for either Nett Warrior or IVAS. Contractor shall provide DEVCOM – SC COR a technical report on CBRND Integration with 5GTA-SUDO activities in accordance with CDRL A002 after a technology assessment/demonstration. Contractor shall also provide DEVCOM – SC COR an annual final report on 5GTA-SUDO in accordance with CDRL A005 on an annual basis.

GS-TWIX specifically seeks to design, develop, and analyze solutions associated with small unit ground Soldier systems and devices as they impact Soldier sub-systems integration, Soldier workflow, and Soldier experience. Historically, Small Unit systems were electronic in nature. Currently, Small Unit systems span the mechanical, electrical, software, network, and data engineering spectrum. Furthermore, the operational space for these solutions is also diverse covering warfighter functions spanning lethality, maneuver, communications, logistics, and protection.

The GS-TWIX effort in FY22 to FY26 will focus on equipment, systems, software, network, and data flow throughout the Soldier workflow as it relates to ground Soldier systems to address optimization in warfighter functions such as lethality, maneuver, communications, logistics, and protection.

The contract will consist of a one year base period and three (3) one year options. This acquisition is a 100% Small Business Set-Aside.

Proposals are due August 21, 2022 by 5:00PM EST (sic).

See the full details here.

DEVCOM Command Sergeant Major Barker Inducted as Distinguished Member of Army Rangers

Monday, August 15th, 2022

FORT BENNING, Ga. – DEVCOM’s senior Noncommissioned Officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Bryan D. Barker, was recently inducted as a Distinguished Member of the Army Rangers. Formally known as the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army Rangers are the service’s premier light infantry and special operations force within the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

“It is an honor to work side-by-side with Command Sgt. Maj. Barker, who exemplifies the qualities of a good Soldier. This is a well-deserved award, and I commend him on his induction into this elite group,” said Maj. Gen. Miles Brown, DEVCOM commanding general.

Barker was named a Distinguished Member of the 75th Ranger Regiment during a July 19, 2022, ceremony at Fort Benning, Georgia. Soldiers are named as distinguished members of the 75th Ranger Regiment for their outstanding accomplishments while assigned to the unit. The 75th Ranger Regiment consists of five battalions, located at Fort Benning, Georgia; Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Barker served with the 75th Ranger Regiment from 1996-2012, in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. He served in multiple positions ranging from rifleman to platoon sergeant to operations sergeant major. Officers and NCOs in the 75th Ranger Regiment are required to attend Ranger School, which is an intense 61-day combat leadership course. It has been called the “toughest combat course in the world,” and “the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school in the Army.”

“I am the product of leaders who came before me in the 75th Ranger Regiment who invested in my development and shaped me into the man and leader I am today. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve during pivotal times in the history of the Regiment, and I am honored and humbled to be inducted into the company of my heroes,” Barker said.

Barker assumed responsibility as the command sergeant major for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, or DEVCOM, on June 18, 2021. DEVCOM, which comprises eight reporting units and three regionally aligned international elements, is the Army’s largest technology developer. The command consists of 27,000 Soldiers, civilians and contractors who leverage cross-cutting technology to solve complex problems and rapidly deliver next-generation capabilities to Soldiers.

As the senior DEVCOM NCO, Barker oversees the NCOs who are located across the command. Many of these NCOs work with DEVCOM’s scientists, engineers, technicians and analysts, sharing their experiences and challenges with technology and equipment in the field. He serves as a top advisor to the DEVCOM commanding general, focusing on building cohesion across the DEVCOM team while increasing lethality and survivability of combat capabilities developed for U.S. Soldiers.

Before joining DEVCOM, Barker was command sergeant major 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Barker joined the Army in June 1996 and served various positions as an Infantryman throughout his career. His overseas assignments include a tour in Germany, with deployments to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Ukraine. His other deployments include six combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, eight combat deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and one deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Resolute Support.

By Argie Sarantinos, DEVCOM Headquarters

Close Combat Lethality Task Force Hosts Artificial Intelligence for Small Unit Maneuver Working Group

Saturday, August 13th, 2022

FORT BENNING, Ga. — The Department of Defense Close Combat Lethality Task Force hosted the Artificial Intelligence for Small-Unit Maneuver working group July 27 – 28 at Fort Benning.

The purpose of the working group was to establish a joint artificial intelligence community of interest to identify capability gaps, review existing AI initiatives and synchronize AI focus areas to improve lethality across DOD, and specifically, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and special operations close combat small-unit formations.

Participants included academic experts, representatives from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office and operational end-users from the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command communities, each possessing a unique skill set on how to leverage AI for their specific missions.

“We are transforming the joint force by integrating next-generation technologies and war-fighting concepts,” said U.S. Army Col. Shannon Nielsen, director of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force. “[This] enhances our ability to compete globally, deter adversaries, and win on all-domain battlefields at the small-unit level.”

During the working group, participants discussed current and future AI initiatives and opportunities to synchronize Artificial Intelligence for Small-Unit Maneuver efforts to gain technological and resourcing efficiencies.

The Artificial Intelligence for Small-Unit Maneuver working group will continue to meet monthly with members of the joint AI community of interest to identify, prioritize, and advocate AI programs and DOD investment strategies to improve close-combat lethality.

By Alexander Gago

82nd Airborne Troops Test Army’s Next-Generation Combat Goggle

Friday, August 12th, 2022

FORT BRAGG, North Carolina — 82nd Airborne Division Paratroopers helping the Army make decisions on its newest program to provide Infantry Soldiers with a mixed reality headset.

Working toward a future when cloud services, squad radios, and necessary combat information can be combined and visualized on a set of futuristic goggles, Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team are rehearsing combat missions under sweltering 100 degree-plus heat, high humidity, and even a few thunderstorms.

According to Program Executive Office Soldier, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) may one day integrate next generation 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution digital sensors to deliver a single platform that improves Soldier sensing, decision making, target acquisition, and target engagement.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said during first looks at IVAS, “Remember early satellite phones from the 1980s that wealthy people had in their cars? They were big and clunky and now we have iPhones. It took us some time to get there.”

Capt. Roberto Huie, commander of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 82nd Airborne Division, said seeing the location of all his Soldiers wearing the system is a huge benefit.

“Such a system will significantly improve reaction time for unit leaders who make decisions under the stress of battle,” he said.

The Opposing Force Commander, Capt. Phillip Johnston of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), 82nd Airborne Division, said the test gave him an opportunity to train his company, with nine separate missions to plan, rehearse and execute.

“We trained at a level of we have not seen previously in the Army,” he said. “It was invaluable to have an outside look into the Company from the Operational Test Command without having the pressure of graded evaluations that normally come with training events.”


Story by LTC Jerry L. Jones Jr., Test Officer, Maneuver Test Directorate, U.S. Operational Test Command

Photos by Mr. Nicholas Robertson, Visual Information Specialist, U.S. Army Operational Test Command