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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

A Mile In A Defender’s Boots

Friday, July 30th, 2021

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – The 374th Security Forces Squadron hosted the fourth iteration of the 374th Mission Support Group training day on July 21, 2021, where Airmen from other MSG squadrons learned about the SFS mission.

The training was conducted as part of the group’s focus to enhance Yokota’s Agile Combat Employment capabilities, which allows for a faster response to contingencies with a smaller footprint.

“In a combat situation, you have all these different career fields that don’t necessarily work as a singular unit,” said Master Sgt. Charles Bell, 374th SFS superintendent of plans and standards evaluation. “The ACE concept will take care of that. It could be a maintainer, who knows just the basics of security forces, coming to assist us. Or it could be a security forces member, going to the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron to help them refuel and get the jets off the ground.”

The all-day event took place at SFS headquarters, where participants were able to get a little glimpse into the day-to-day life of a defender. The day was filled with hands-on exercises, in place of lectures.

“There is a lot of stuff we can teach by PowerPoint but the readiness comes when we actually apply it,” Bell said. “This training gets our trainees excited while at the same time showing them what we do.

“One of the trainings we hosted was the Multiple Interaction Learning/Training Objective systems, which are ‘shoot, no shoot’ scenarios,” he added. “We also conducted baton training, where the trainees had to fight a simulated combatant. And to top it off, there was taser training and oleoresin capsicum spray for any volunteers who were up for the challenge.”

According to Senior Airman Tyler Gutierrez, 374th SFS training instructor, the training allows members to learn how to react to high-stress situations while in a safe, controlled environment.

“I think this type of training is very important,” said Gutierrez. “With us all being in the military, it is imperative that we rely on each other, especially in a deployed environment or during contingency operations.”

The MSG will rotate the training within their squadrons every month. Each time the training will become more detailed, further producing more effective and capable Airmen.

Story by Senior Airman Brieana Bolfing, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Task Force Phoenix in the Fight Against RCIEDs

Thursday, July 29th, 2021

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait — Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were a deadly threat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, causing the majority of casualties in both conflicts. IEDs remain a threat today for coalition forces in Iraq and Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.

The U.S. military developed several countermeasures to protect both mounted and dismounted service members from this threat.

Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Warfare (CREW) systems provide protection by jamming signals that detonate radio-controlled IEDs (RCIEDs). The Duke Version 3 and CREW Vehicle Receiver Jammer (CVRJ) vehicle-mounted systems, and the Thor III and MODI II dismounted systems, have been effective in protecting service members from the RCIED threat.

Since 2010, an Electronic Warfare Operations (EWO)/CREW system course had been taught by contractors at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. The class was offered to service members from newly arrived units that employ CREW systems in convoys and on patrols. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class has not been taught for the past 10 months.

“Due to travel restrictions, we were unable to offer the same level of training,” said Capt. Jefferson Wilkes, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) for the U.S. Army Central Command Readiness Training Center (ARTC). ARTC is responsible for providing training support to coalition tenant units in Kuwait.

“The EWO/CREW Specialist Course allows Soldiers who rely on CREW systems, as they come in theater, to stay proficient in the operation and maintenance of the systems to increase survivability of their units across the AOR (Area of Responsibility),” Wilkes said.

Illinois National Guard Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anthony Meneely and Florida National Guard Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 4 Douglas Montgomery are Electronic Warfare Technicians who arrived in theater in April 2021 with Task Force Phoenix—a combat aviation brigade responsible for full-spectrum aviation operations for Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve.

Meneely, Montgomery, Electronic Warfare NCO Sgt. Ismael Pulido and OIC Maj. Jeremy Tennent are Task Force Phoenix’s Cyberspace Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) cell. They are responsible for ensuring that friendly radio-wave emitting equipment is safe and secure, and they advise the Task Force’s command staff on adversary electromagnetic jamming.

After they arrived in theater, they soon learned that the EWO/CREW class was not being taught.

“This equipment is vital on a contested battlefield where RCIEDs are a threat,” Meneely said. “Soldiers were not getting proper training for the CREW devices for their vehicles that were headed north.”

Meneely and Montgomery had the skills and expertise to teach the class. They contacted Capt. Wilkes and Lt. Col. Willard Lund, director of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). DPTMS is responsible for all training in Kuwait. Meneely, Montgomery and Tennent made an offer to Wilkes and Lund to restart the class, update it and teach it.

“They were fully supportive,” Meneely said of Wilkes and Lund. “They’ve been helping us insurmountably with materials, equipment and general support.”

“Chief Meneely, Chief Montgomery and Maj. Tennent identified a training gap along with a resourcing gap,” Wilkes said. “They worked with us to make connections across the AOR to stand up a new program. As a result, they were able to update all of the systems and offer training for them.”

Meneely, Montgomery and Pulido, a California National Guard Soldier, welcomed their first class at Camp Buehring on July 12. Tennessee National Guard members Spc. Curtis Hicks and Staff Sgt. Thomas Daniel, from the 1-181st Field Artillery Battalion, and Virginia National Guard Soldier Staff Sgt. Richard Recupero, from the 29th Infantry Division, were the first graduates of the four-day course.

“We taught them the fundamentals of electronic warfare and the 10-level maintainer tasks for CREW systems,” Meneely said. “Upon completion of the school, the CREW maintainers can load, operate, troubleshoot and fix deficiencies in the systems. They will go back to their units responsible for ensuring all their CREW systems will be mission capable.”

Staff Sgt. Daniel said the course gave him vital training on the CREW systems that his battalion employs. “Our security force rolls out with these systems,” he said. “We’ll be in charge of doing the testing and reporting for the systems for the battalion.”

“I think the class went well,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to continually adjust the course and update it based on assessments, feedback and emerging threats.”

Meneely and Montgomery said they will be hosting additional classes as needed for incoming units. They also plan to establish a counter unmanned aerial system (CUAS) academy at Camp Buehring.

Story by MAJ Jason Sweeney, 40th Combat Aviation Brigade

SureFire Field Notes Ep. 64: Practical Shooting with Matt Pranka

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

SureFire Field Notes is an informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Matt Pranka discusses the importance of competitive shooting and relevance to tactical shooters.

Matt Pranka is the owner of Xray Alpha, has 26 years of military experience in Special Operations and is a USPSA Grand Master in production Division.

Xray Alpha instructors has spent decades being sent to all of the hot-beds of action, hunting the enemies of the United States.  We actively put our training to the test on a regular cycle.  We continue to work in this capacity and will consistently be putting ourselves into the fray. Xray Alpha training is driven from the passion of its founder to relay timely and effective training and tactics to the individuals that use them to save others, protect their family, and protect this nation. This isn’t something we want to do for fun or a quick buck, we are driven to give back as something we must do.

Special thanks to Route 66 Shooting Sports Park and the Norco Running Gun IPSC Club.


SOARescue x Haley Strategic Partners M3 Med Mag Mount

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

We are proud to introduce the M3 Med mag mount a collaboration between SOARescue & Haley Strategic Partners.

SOARescue is a premier provider of lifesaving equipment and training for the military, law enforcement, and the responsible armed citizen. The M3 is a mounting platform for the low-profile med mag developed by SOARescue.

The Med mag is designed to be the most versatile individual trauma kits available in a small streamline package. IFAKs can get bulky and the genesis of the Medmag came from a need to have a medical kit that could fit in the mag pouch on an officer or soldier. The mount is reloadable with a wide variety of inserts currently offered by SOARescue. If there is a need for a specific type of medical kit you can swap the components within seconds.

The M3 is constructed of laser cut squadron laminate for durability and strength while also having a heavy woven elastic portion for retaining tourniquets, chemlights, sharpies and needle decompression needles.

Get it in Coyote, Black and MultiCam.

Get it at SOARescue or Haley Strategic Partners.

Bird’s-eye View Could be Key to Navigating Without GPS

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A bird’s-eye view may take on new meaning thanks to Army-funded research. Scientists found that a protein in bird’s retinas is sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field thus guiding its migratory patterns. That finding could be key to Army navigation of both autonomous and manned vehicles where GPS is unavailable.

For decades, scientists have been investigating how animals such as birds, sea turtles, fish and insects sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use it to find their way.

Researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Oldenburg, supported through a co-funded effort of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research Global, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research were the first to demonstrate that a protein in birds’ retinas is sensitive to magnetic fields and may be a long-sought sensor for biological navigation.

The team discovered that the magnetic sense of migratory birds such as European robins is based on a specific light-sensitive protein in the eye. The research, published in Nature, identified the protein that the scientists believe allows these songbirds to detect the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field and navigate their migration.

“This research not only demonstrated that cryptochrome 4 is sensitive to magnetic fields, but importantly also identified the molecular mechanism underlying this sensitivity,” Dr. Stephanie McElhinny, a program manager at the laboratory. “This fundamental knowledge is critical for informing future technology development efforts aimed at exploiting this mechanism for highly sensitive magnetic field sensors that could enable Army navigation where GPS is unavailable, compromised or denied.”

The researchers extracted the genetic code for the potentially magnetically sensitive cryptochrome 4 and produced the photoactive protein in large quantities using bacterial cell cultures. The team then used a wide range of magnetic resonance and novel optical spectroscopy techniques to study the protein and demonstrate its pronounced sensitivity to magnetic fields.

The team showed that the protein is sensitive to magnetic fields due to electron transfer reactions triggered by absorption of blue light. They believe that these highly-specialized chemical reactions give the birds information about the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field, which acts like a magnetic compass.

“While more research needs to be done to fully understand how cryptochrome 4 senses the weak magnetic field of Earth and how this is ultimately translated into signals that are understood by the migrating bird, this new knowledge is an exciting first step toward potential navigation systems that would rely only on the magnetic field of Earth, unaffected by weather or light levels,” McElhinny said.

Because the magnetic field modifies the cryptochrome protein in a measurable way, cryptochrome proteins or synthetic molecules that mimic the mechanism of cryptochrome’s magnetic sensing could be used in a future navigation device.

Detectable changes in the protein would be decoded to indicate the strength and direction of the magnetic field, and thus the navigational position on Earth.

Proteins like cryptochrome consist of chains of amino acids. Cyrptochrome 4 contains four tryptophan amino acids that are organized in series. According to the research team’s calculations, electrons hop from one tryptophan to the next through the series, generating so-called radical pairs which are magnetically sensitive.

To prove this experimentally, the team from Oldenburg University produced slightly modified versions of the robin cryptochrome, in which each of the tryptophans in turn was replaced by a different amino acid to block the movement of electrons.

Using these modified proteins, the Oxford University chemistry groups experimentally demonstrated that electrons move within the cryptochrome as predicted in the calculations and that the generated radical pairs are essential to explain the observed magnetic field effects.

The team also expressed cryptochrome 4 from chickens and pigeons, which do not migrate. The researchers found that the protein is more magnetically sensitive in the migratory birds than either the chickens or pigeons.

“We think these results are very important because they show for the first time that a molecule from the visual apparatus of a migratory bird is sensitive to magnetic fields,” said Professor Henrik Mouritsen, Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences at Oldenburg University.

But, he adds, this is not definitive proof that cryptochrome 4 is the magnetic sensor the team is looking for. In all experiments, the researchers examined isolated proteins in the laboratory and the magnetic fields used were also stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field.

“It therefore still needs to be shown that this is happening in the eyes of birds,” Mouritsen said.

Such studies are not yet technically possible; however, the authors think the proteins involved could be significantly more sensitive in their native environment.

In cells in the retina, the proteins are probably fixed and aligned, increasing their sensitivity to the direction of the magnetic field. Moreover, they are also likely to be associated with other proteins that could amplify the sensory signals. The team is currently searching for these as yet unknown interaction partners.

“If we can prove that cryptochrome 4 is the magnetic sensor we will have demonstrated a fundamentally quantum mechanism that makes animals sensitive to environmental stimuli a million times weaker than previously thought possible,” said Peter Hore, professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford.

Operation in a GPS-denied environment is a U.S. Army goal.

The Army has to be prepared to operate in environments where the technology has been degraded or denied by enemy action, officials said.

In additional to the Army, Navy, and Air Force, the European Research Council also supported this research. The collaboration is also a key part of a Collaborative Research Center funded by the German Research Foundation.

2nd MarDiv Conducts EW Training

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment (1/2), 2d Marine Division, conduct Electronic Warfare Operations at Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 14, 2021. 1/2 is tasked as the 2d MARDIV’s experimental infantry battalion to test new gear, operating concepts and force structures. The unit’s findings will help refine infantry battalions across the Marine Corps as it continues to push toward the end state of Force Design 2030. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Cpl Noah J. Ralphs)

Contact Revision for Your EOFY Needs

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Essex Junction, VT: The Revision team is standing by and ready to help fulfill last minute End of Fiscal Year buying needs with special promotions, and product in stock, ready to ship. We are featuring select Laser Protective Eyewear product, as well as our NSN eyewear kits. Contact our sales team to discuss promotions, kit configurations and quotes at [email protected] or (800) 383.6049

See Mechanix Wear’s New Berry M-Pact Glove at Warrior East

Monday, July 26th, 2021

Mechanix Wear introduces two new M-Pact® protection gloves that meet the Berry Amendment requirements. The new line of Berry Amendment M-Pact® products are built with materials sourced and sewn in the USA and continue to deliver the same rugged protection expected from any Mechanix Wear M-Pact® glove.

Built with advanced G-Form® SmartFlex™ padding technology the Berry Amendment M-Pact® gloves deliver lightweight, flexible impact protection against the many hazards that today’s armed service and law enforcement personnel face in the field.


• G-Form® SmartFlex™ advanced padding technology that stiffens, absorbs, and redistributes the energy from an impact to minimize potential injuries

• Quick-drying and breathable mesh keeps hands cool and comfortable

• Digital-textured goat skin leather palm infused with a moisture management technology reducing absorption of water and sweat while staying soft and form fitting

• Touch screen compatible

• Ergonomically designed and vibration reducing palm patch

• Molded silicone wrist strap for secure fit

• Carabiner loop for storage and drying

Be the first to see them at Warrior East in booth #606, July 29 & 30 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.