Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘CEMA’ Category

First-Ever Multi-Domain Effects Crews Increase Readiness at Fort Huachuca

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Senior leaders from across the Army converged on Fort Huachuca on Feb. 13, to observe a new development in Army Modernization: the successful conclusion of the 1st Multi-Domain Effects Battalion’s inaugural exercise, conducted on the newly built 1st Lt. John R. Fox Multi-Domain Operations Non-Kinetic Range Complex.

Throughout the day, the 1st MDEB demonstrated a wide array of non-kinetic effects, highlighting the significance of this milestone in the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force’s path to become fully operationally capable.

The Multi-Domain Effects Battalion, assigned to the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, has the mission of employing non-kinetic effects to deter adversary aggression in the Pacific.

The commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Maj. Gen. Anthony Hale, hosted the visiting party, consisting of almost 50 general officers and senior leaders, to demonstrate the effects of a collaborative effort to create realistic training and to test Army crews on using technologies and hardware that no military on earth has ever before fielded.

“This is a great opportunity for Fort Huachuca to show our unique capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum on the 1st Lt. John R. Fox range,” said Hale. “We have 700 acres of training area, we have 1,500 square miles of restricted airspace, and since we are surrounded by mountains, we can keep the electrons in our range complex. And this really allows the MDEB to come out here and really test their capabilities to train on their systems that they are going to deploy with into theater.”

Completion of this range complex marks the culmination of two years of collaborative effort, starting when the Chief of Staff of the Army approved Fort Huachuca for a planning task to develop the first multi-domain operations-capable range.

“We have been testing equipment for the Army and for the joint force for over 70 years now we are bringing this training capability, not only to the Army, but to the joint force,” said Hale. “The MDEB is training their teams on their equipment that they will deploy with into theater and use. As we do that in the joint environment, that makes everybody better in our warfighting capabilities.”

Soldiers training on this new range complex emerged with an enhanced understanding of multi-domain operations and their important role in the Pacific region, ultimately to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“This will certainly be a key component of our training program as we move forward,” said Brig. Gen. Bernard Harrington, commander of the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force. “As our Soldiers go through this training, they are rehearsing their individual and small unit tasks in preparation to deploy forward in theater and operate in a real-world environment.”

This exercise is a major milestone, and a critical part of a massive Department of Defense effort to modernize the force and prevent future conflicts.

“The Army and the Department of Defense is taking on the largest modernization effort in the last four decades,” said Peter Don, Senior Technical Advisor for USAICoE and Fort Huachuca. “We realized that as we modernized our kit, our capabilities, and our formation, our ranges were not keeping pace and would not allow us to work through the next generation of weapon systems, collection systems, and also have us work through our warfighting functions and concepts. So, we wanted to create an environment and a range and a training area that would allow us to train and certify our Soldiers on their weapon systems, but also explore and expose different technology that will allow us to adjust how we need to fight.”

Story by LTC Derek Wamsley, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force

Photos by SFC Henrique De Holleben

Department of the Air Force to Conduct Hackathon

Monday, February 6th, 2023


The Department of the Air Force will conduct its next “BRAVO” hackathon March 20 – 24, 2023, this time at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Any American citizen may apply, regardless of whether they currently work for the Department of the Air Force. Applicants are required to apply online here. Applicants should apply by Feb. 15.

Attendees are not required to hold a security clearance. However, certain spaces, use cases, and datasets may require a U.S. secret security clearance or higher. Organizers may request additional information for clearances that applicants possess. Applicants may apply as an employee for the U.S. government, a U.S. government contractor, or a U.S. citizen either affiliated or unaffiliated with a company.

A hackathon is an innovation event commonly employed by technology companies in which teams develop prototypes working around the clock in response to enterprise challenges associated with data. Prior BRAVO projects have produced multiple prototypes and inventions influencing major Defense Department programs.

Federal government employees and federal contractors representing federal organizations are encouraged to share sponsoring use cases, data, or infrastructure relevant to the primary mission of the Department of Defense for use at this event by contacting [email protected].

“Across the previous hackathons, we have honed methods to build and fight with classified and protected data of increasingly larger size and varied origin,” said Stuart Wagner, chief digital transformation officer for the U.S. Department of the Air Force and hackathon organizer. “Hurlburt Field will prototype joint use cases, data and software infrastructures from combatant commands and various military departments.”

In January 2022, the department ran BRAVO 0, its first department-wide classified innovation hackathon with Air Force weapons system data at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. BRAVO 1 Canary Release grew the effort when in July 2022, the department ran its second hackathon simultaneously at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Patrick Space Force Base, Florida; and Eglin AFB, Florida, with about 300 hackers.

BRAVO allows participants to rapidly commingle and run open-source software and data otherwise unapproved for production with classified or protected data.

“BRAVO moves from the traditional DoD development model operating at the unclassified level where we push code up to protected environments, to a permissive development model on protected data, which we refer to as ‘Dev High,’” Wagner said. “This enables developers to build weapons’ capabilities and calibrations directly with the data at lower cost compared to traditional prototyping pipelines and at a rate faster than an adversary is likely to build countering capability. This event will test how ‘Dev High’ scales to joint multi-domain use cases.”

Applicants looking to participate may do so in one of three roles. The “Hacker” role is open to all applicants and expects project builders with varying skill sets and experience, including software development, data science, machine learning, design and user interface/user design, data visualization, product management or warfighter subject matter expertise.

The “Subject Matter Expert” role is open only to government and government contractors and supports multiple teams with specific expertise or knowledge about a use case or dataset offered at the event. Any federal organization is eligible to supply a use case or dataset for consideration.

The “Supporter” role is open only to government and government contractors and provides administrative support to the event by running security, facilitating supplies delivery, organizing social events, and facilitating the delivery of science fair materials and attendee check-in.

Organizations providing infrastructure support include the “STITCHES” Warfighter Application Team, the Navy Project Overmatch program, Project Arc, Office of the Secretary of Defense Advana Edge and Air Force Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office. All five U.S. military services and U.S. Special Operations Command provide use cases and data.

The BRAVO hackathon series is named after “Project B,” a 1921 series of joint Army-Navy target exercises based on Army Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell’s then-controversial claim that bombers sink battleships. Also styled after Project B, BRAVO hackathons are designed to allow government, academia, industry and citizens to test and validate bold ideas using real DoD data, Wagner said.

Story by Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Photo by TSgt Tabatha Arellano

Cyber Focus Unveiled at Justified Accord 23 Final Planning Event

Thursday, December 29th, 2022

NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. and Kenya military planners gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 5-9, to finalize plans for U.S. Africa Command’s largest East Africa military training exercise.

Justified Accord 23, or JA 23, scheduled from Feb. 13-24, is led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa. This multinational exercise brings together more than 20 countries from three continents to increase partner readiness for peacekeeping missions, crisis response, and humanitarian assistance.

JA 23 will feature the following events: An African Union academics course, a multinational field training exercise, a live-fire exercise, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief projects, as well as training on defensive cyber capabilities.

This is the first-year cyber elements will be included in the exercise.

“Cyberspace is an increasingly important aspect of our daily lives and it effects both our civilian and military operations,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kendra Tippett, chief of plans and exercises (G6), SETAF-AF.

“It is critical we understand the threats in cyberspace and effectively defend against them,” she added.

Tippett explained how this year’s exercise will provide U.S. joint forces the opportunity to work with African partners in the cyber domain. Specifically, multinational forces including Kenya and Uganda will focus on key cyber aspects such as incident identification, threat intelligence, artifact collection, containment and eradication.

Kenya will host activities primarily in Nairobi and Isiolo, while Uganda, Rwanda and Djibouti will provide venues for additional exercise events.

“Working together in cyberspace with our African partners and sharing our best practices will ultimately enhance our ability to defend against malign actors who seek to degrade critical infrastructure and impede military and civilian operations,” Tippett said.

SETAF-AF, based in Vicenza, Italy, is U.S. Africa Command’s lead agent for planning the Justified Accord exercise series conducted annually in East Africa. SETAF-AF is responsible for coordinating all U.S. Army activities in Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa. Activities include military readiness exercises across the continent, hundreds of security force assistance engagements, crisis response and enduring posture support. These engagements strengthen partner networks in Africa, build partner capacity against regional and global security threats, and provide strategic access for U.S. forces in contingency operations.

For the latest photos, videos and articles from past and present iterations of the exercise, visit www.dvidshub.net/feature/JustifiedAccord.

By CPT Joe Legros

SLNT – Faraday Sleeves

Friday, November 4th, 2022

I met SLNT at SOFIC where they were exhibiting in the new products pavilion.

SLNT manufactures bags with a particular emphasis on Faraday bags of various sizes. A Faraday bag works as a portable Faraday cage, blocking electronic emissions both into and out of your device including Cellular, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, RFID, NFC, EMR, EMP, and EMF.

Of both personal and professional interest are the Faraday Sleeves which are sized to accommodate key fobs, phones/End User Devices, tablets, and laptops. There are even versions that not only block emissions, but also integrate PacSafe anti-theft technology to prevent a would-be thief from cutting open the bag.

In addition to their website, SLNT products are available via GSA Advantage.

Join The Army Security Agency

Saturday, October 15th, 2022

Existing officially from 1945 to 1977, the ASA was an army within the Army whoch conducted Signal Intelligence. Later, it was subsumed into the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command with field elements assigned directly to Corps, Divisions, Seperate Brigades and Armored Calvary Regiments as well as Army Special Forces units. During the Cold War, ASA Soldiers had to enlist for three years to join the organization. The only draftees in the units were service support Soldiers. This is an Army recruiting pamphlet for ASA.

Flipper Zero – Cyber Tool Disguised As A Toy

Saturday, July 30th, 2022

Sold as a Multi-tool for Geeks, Flipper Zero started out as a Kickstarter campaign and has transitioned to a full-time product with pre-orders currently open.

In a nutshell, Flipper Zero is used to probe access control systems, RFID, radio protocols, and debug hardware using GPIO pins. Use it for hardware exploration, firmware flashing, debugging, and fuzzing.

It is controlled with the 5-Position directional pad with common scripts and functions are available from the menu. Or, you can connect to Flipper via USB. There is an LCD screen, which is visible in sunlight and has an ultra-low power consumption of 400nA with the backlight turned off.

It features a sub-1 GHz transceiver which is the operating range for a wide class of wireless devices and access control systems, such as garage door remotes, boom barriers, IoT sensors and remote keyless systems.

Additionally, it has an integrated 433MHz antenna, and a CC1101 chip, which makes it a powerful transceiver capable of up to 50 meters range. It also uses 433 MHz to communicate with other Flippers.

It does lots more. Read up on its capabilities at flipperzero.one.

Low-Cost Tech Shaping Modern Battlefield, SOCOM Commander Says?

Thursday, July 28th, 2022

ASPEN, Colo. — In his 38 years as a soldier, across theaters ranging from the Middle East to Europe, the commander of Special Operations Command says he never had to look up. But those days are ending.

“I never had to look up because the U.S. always maintained air superiority,” Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke said during a discussion Friday at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado. “We won’t always have that luxury,” he added.

Low-cost quadcopters and larger unmanned aerial vehicles are disrupting the status quo as militaries and insurgents increasingly rely on them, the general said.

“When Russia is running out of them for Ukraine, and they’re going to Iran to go buy more, [that] should cause us all a bit of concern because you can see how valuable that they can be in the future fight,” he said.

U.S. and partner forces have largely focused on ways to defeat enemy drones after takeoff, but Clarke said there is also a need for interagency discussions on ways to disrupt supply chains to prevent them from taking off.

But first, there must be a discussion on norms and authorities for their use, he said. With a “very low” cost of entry for some of the small unmanned systems, the general said some countries may want to use drones to move patients or supplies. Medical transport vehicles are protected under the Geneva Conventions.

Chemical, Biological Weapons

Clarke said the Defense Department has charged Socom with looking at another threat that is inexpensive to produce and use — chemical and biological weapons.

ISIS used chlorine and mustard gases in Iraq and Syria, he said. Russia has used chemical weapons against its political allies — on its own soil and elsewhere, Clarke added.

“The fact that someone in the basement in Mosul [Iraq] with a few lab sets can do this,” proved that it’s a simple process to create these weapons, the general said. Chemical and biological weapons are a terrorist weapon system, he said, and ISIS and al-Qaida will continue to use them because they instill fear.

“As we go into the future, we have to be prepared for that eventuality … and look for methods to continue to combat it,” Clarke said.

Cyber Threats

Though U.S. officials have said government and other critical systems are receiving daily cyberattacks, the general said he’s equally concerned with the way adversaries are using cyber to exploit the information space.

Malign actors are spreading misinformation and disinformation online, and these have had an impact on elections, he said.

Misinformation is false or misleading information — a mistaken breaking news announcement, for example. Disinformation is meant to intentionally deceive the recipient.

Clarke said cyber gives adversaries a quick route to spread false information that can damage the U.S. cause.

“The message, if you look at the internet and what is happening from the African countries, its U.S. sanctions against Russia are causing food shortages in Africa,” the general said. “So we’re being blamed for people in Africa not getting to eat. … We have to look at what is on the internet and get the truth out about what is happening. And I think we have to be able to do that as a government a little bit faster than what we’re doing today.”

By Claudette Roulo, DOD News

US, Moroccan Special Forces Team Up For Inaugural Cyber Training

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

TIFNIT, Morocco – U.S. Army Soldiers with 3rd Special Forces Group (SFG) Tactical Information Support Center, Expeditionary Cyber Team 2, and Royal Moroccan Special Operations Forces (SOF) teamed up to conduct prototype cyber effects training during African Lion 22, June 26, 2022.

African Lion 22, U.S. Africa Command’s largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, June 6 – 30, is a critical opportunity for members of the joint team to build and test their strategic readiness to deploy, fight and win in a complex, multi-domain environment. The cyber training collaboration was the first of its kind and sought to discover how low equity cyber solutions can expand options for key decision makers at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

The cyber effects training included hands-on cyber lab demonstrations using commercial tools and comparing them to less accessible high-tech devices. The lead 3rd SFG trainer described the hands-on training as an ‘opportunity to take cyber security to the field and into the mind of each Service Member in a combat situation.’

3rd SFG endeavors to learn, iterate, and eventually offer flexible cyber options at scale while maximizing the indigenous approach through partner forces.

“By actually shifting the focus of training to the modern combat environment, which is now becoming rapidly digital, you create a more potent, lethal force, moving into the future,” stated a member of 3rd SFG.

Building an understanding of multi-domain digital activities would allow U.S. and partner forces to work with more sustainable equipment and better understand digital threats to their missions.

U.S. Africa Command is ready to provide the necessary resources to advance mutual interests and respond to crisis in Africa because of successfully forged and maintained partnerships and demonstrated operational success.

African Lion 22 is a joint all-domain, multi-component, and multinational exercise, employing a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants and set the theater for strategic access. More than 7,500 participants from 28 nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces.

Story by Charli Turner, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa

Photo by SFC Katie Theusch, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa