Tactical Tailor

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WTF Offering Solution Dyed, Coreless 550 Paracord

Friday, May 24th, 2024

WTF is excited to offer coreless, Berry & NIR compliant 550 paracord.  WTF’s paracord is made in the USA with solution dyed, INVISTA CORDURA® TRUELOCK™ yarn.  Solution dyed, as opposed to piece dyed, nylon yarn is inherently NIR compliant.  Excellent for zipper pulls, harness rigging, lacing, and more.  Because it is coreless, it’s more like a flat tubular webbing approx 2mm x 5mm as shown in the product pictures.

A coreless cord meters more consistently in automatic strip cutters and drastically reduces touch labor associated with gutting and heat sealing secondary ops.

Is it milspec?  Because PIA-C-5040 does not allow for solution dyed yarn, we can’t call this milspec.  This is otherwise made to as near milspec / PIA-C-5040 (superseding MIL-C-5040H) as possible.  If we didn’t use solution dyed yarn, it would be milspec.  In an ongoing effort for signature reduction, we chose solution dyed yarn for NIR compliance.

Not for life support or load bearing applications. wtfidea.com

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Remembrance

Friday, May 24th, 2024

As Memorial Day approaches on Monday, we at FS take time to reflect on the sacrifice’s on behalf of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The price of freedom isn’t free.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

USAF Units of Action: Air Task Forces Defined, First locations Announced

Friday, May 24th, 2024

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) —  

The Department of the Air Force identified six locations May 15, to host experimental Air Task Forces that will test new methods to generate more efficient, integrated deployable Units of Action.

As part of a pilot program, the following installations are expected to receive an ATF command echelon this summer, pending the successful completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process. This is a step toward forming the new Air Force combat wings as Units of Action.

• Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona

• Scott AFB, Illinois

• Joint Base San Antonio, Texas

• Dyess AFB, Texas

• Fairchild AFB, Washington

• Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina

“These pathfinding ATFs will work and train together throughout their AFFORGEN cycle to ensure they are at peak effectiveness on Day-1 of any deployment,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Allvin. “That’s a significant change from how we deployed over the last 20 years, but the threat has evolved and so must we. The first ATFs will also be learning organizations and shape our forthcoming Combat Wing design.”

Airmen assigned to the ATF will work and train together throughout the AFFORGEN cycle to deploy as Units of Action in fiscal year 2026.

During his Air and Space Forces Association conference keynote in September 2023, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall emphasized the urgency for the Air Force to adapt and innovate in response to growing global challenges with the announcement of ATFs. Clearly defining the force presentation model and rotational demands through the AFFORGEN cycle ensures the joint force receives Airmen prepared for high-end conflict.

Lt. Gen. Adrian Spain, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations, further elaborated during a panel on Air Task Forces and the Future of Force Presentation at the Air and Space Force Association’s 2024 Warfare Symposium Feb. 14.

“In all the ways that matter, this makes us better prepared,” Spain said. “During the Prepare and Certify phases of the AFFORGEN cycle, Airmen will develop into cohesive units, attuned to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This preparation is key to ensuring that, when deployed, these teams can operate effectively under pressure and achieve their objectives with precision.”

The Expeditionary Air Base model which first deployed in October 2023, served as a critical first step in the transition. The next step is to adopt a more modular organization of teams which generate together through the AFFORGEN cycle and deploy as a unit to maximize combat effectiveness, while minimizing risk to the base mission.

The AFFORGEN cycle is built to enable Airmen to train and exercise together before being operationally employed together as part of a team. While its implementation differs depending on the mission of each major command, the goal is to achieve a common lexicon, more individual predictability, and greater alignment of readiness generating activities such as large-scale exercises across the Air Force.

The introduction of ATFs marks a significant milestone in the journey toward modernization and readiness, laying the groundwork to ensure the Air Force maintains a competitive advantage over the pacing challenge.

“This force generation and force presentation model best articulates our capabilities and capacity to the Joint Force and in turn, improves the readiness of our Airmen,” Spain said.

What Airmen need to know about the Air Task Force

• ATFs will enter the AFFORGEN cycle during the reset phase in summer 2024 and will be prepared to deploy beginning fiscal year 2026

• ATFs will team, train, and deploy together throughout the AFFORGEN cycle

• Over time, the elements of the ATF will be incorporated into operational wings

Elements of an ATF

The ATF consists of a command element with an attached expeditionary A-Staff and Special Staff, Combat Air Base Squadron, and Mission Generation Force Elements with attached Mission Sustainment Teams.

The ATF’s A-staff includes a chief of staff who, along with the A-staff, assists with the commander’s interaction with higher headquarters and fulfills the commander’s responsibility to provide resourcing, policy, oversight, and guidance to the various forces under his or her command. The A-Staff is a standardized organizational structure, representing the following Air Force functions: A1 Manpower, Personnel, and Services; A2, Intelligence; A3, Operations; A4, Logistics and Engineering; A5, Plans and Integration; and A6, Communications. The ATF also has a Special Staff to provide staff assistance for the commander.

The Combat Air Base Squadron is the ATF’s primary base operation support element and provides sustainment, protection, and/or airfield management. The ATF commander determines support requirements based upon deployment location and mission. A standard CABS consists of one Combat Service Support Team – Lead and one to two Combat Service Support Teams capable of supporting from several hundred to several thousand service members, depending on size. CSSTs consists of cross-functional teams each sourced from a singular installation.

The Mission Generation Force Element provides the combat capability of the ATF, for example, an expeditionary fighter squadron or an expeditionary special warfare squadron. The MGFEs train throughout the AFFORGEN cycle at home station as they do today and join their assigned ATF for specific training and certification events throughout the AFFORGEN cycle before fully attaching with the ATF for the available phase.

Mission Sustainment Teams pair with an MGFE to provide mission specific combat support functions to enable agile combat employment and other operations at a Forward Operating Site or more austere Contingency Location. MSTs provide sustainment and protection for the portions of a MGFE moving forward to one or more locations. The MSTs may be able to augment the CABS when at a Main Operating Base.

Where Combat Wings Come In

At the Feb. 12 Air and Space Force Association’s 2024 Warfare Symposium in Colorado, Kendall highlighted the need to evolve the Air Force’s approach to organizing, training, and equipping to maintain a competitive advantage in preparation for great power competition.

“We need these changes now; we are out of time to reoptimize our forces to meet the strategic challenges in a time of Great Power Competition,” Kendall said.

Air Force combat wings will be structured as mission ready Units of Action with the same basic framework as the ATFs. However, as opposed to only coming together during events in the AFFORGEN prepare/certify phase, these operational wings will have all the necessary elements stationed together at the same installation where they can train together on a day-to-day basis. Over time, the lessons learned from the ATFs will be incorporated into our combat wings, with the goal to move toward combat wings as the singular force presentation model for the Air Force.

Combat wings will evolve to deploy as fully trained teams leaving behind functional base commands prepared to continue operating the base in competition, crisis and conflict.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Busting Drones, 1st Cavalry Division Trains for the Modern-Day Battlefield in Europe

Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

BOLESLAWIEC, Poland – Picking up the Dronebuster, Spc. Edgar Galvan peers out into the open field waiting for the instructors to fly a practice drone. His eyes are locked onto the horizon and his hand is steady on the trigger. The drone quickly picks up into the sky, and it darts towards Galvan. He points, shoots, and the drone stalls.

The Dronebuster is a handheld, non-kinetic piece of equipment designed to counter small unmanned aerial systems (C-sUAS) used against U.S. military forces. It is the first time the 1st Cavalry Division is operating this equipment in the European Theatre.

Spc. Edgar Galvan, a 20-year-old Houston native with the Main Command Post Operational Detachment, 1st Cavalry Division, Texas Army National Guard, has never used any kind of counter drone equipment like the Dronebuster before. He has been in the Army for two years, serving as a Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst, or 35G.

“This is the first time I’ve heard about UAS, or unmanned aerial systems and the Dronebuster,” said Galvan. “I’ve never had any training for it.”

Together, Mobile Training Specialist for C-sUAS, Brien Conner, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Benjamin Richards, an Air and Missile Defense Systems Integrator from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, developed a comprehensive program for soldiers on how to operate the Dronebuster in real-time. Brien Conner, a U.S. Army retired first sergeant, provides training for nearly all U.S. Forces across region.

“We’re trying to improve the capabilities and readiness of this unit, in terms of being prepared for the drone threat that’s now prevalent on the battlefield,” said Conner. “The drone threat has completely changed. If the units are not preparing for that, we don’t want them to be caught off-guard.”

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Benjamin Richards previously organized similar training in Fort Cavazos, Texas, in the past year. He serves as the interface control officer, and he frequently plans hands-on training for soldiers.

“To get ahead and start training and educating our soldiers on how to operate the Dronebuster or mitigate drone threats, I thought it was a good idea to reach out early-on while we are still getting embedded within this region,” said Richards. “The Army is good at providing lessons and classes, but it’s really important for soldiers to get a piece of equipment in hand and be able to apply it as well as see how it works.”

The counter drone training spanned across two days and it consisted of classroom lessons in the morning, and hands-on Dronebuster training outdoors in the afternoon with the instructors. Spc. Edgar Galvan along with other soldiers practiced with the Dronebuster, seeing its capabilities as well as its limitations. After using the equipment, Galvan began to put his experience into perspective.

“Sitting through the training about the systems that are being used in this environment, it definitely feels like this training is very relevant to us right now because the enemy knows we are close by,” said Galvan. “When I first got hands on the equipment, it felt unreal.”

After the completion of the two-day training, Galvan realized the gravity of the situation and the importance of having the responsibility of knowing how to counter a drone at any given time.

“Just like the [rifle] range, everyone is a safety,” said Galvan. “Everyone here in this environment is a drone fighter. While it may not pertain to my job specifically, it is important to know how to use the Dronebuster, because you never know when you find yourself in that situation.”

By SSgt Jasmine McCarthy

OSI / Ocean State Innovations is Attending OPERATOR EXPO Ottawa, Ontario – Canada

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

OPEX is a 2-day event (May 29th & 30th) focused on supporting the operational requirements of Military, Law Enforcement and Corrections end-users in Canada. Looking forward to working with our existing customers and securing new business relationships.

We will have our entire products line available. If attending, contact: peter@osinnovate.com

Combined Special Forces Selection Course a First for Australia

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

For the first time, Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) has run a combined selection course, allowing ADF personnel to apply for either special forces (SF) operators or SF integrators – such as medics, signallers or engineers.

About 250 candidates from across the ADF travelled to Bindoon Training Area in Western Australia for the 2024 Special Forces Common Selection Course, to be assessed for service based on personal and professional attributes.

They will then be selected for reinforcement training for SOCOMD core capabilities as SF operators or SF integrators.

Commanding Officer ADF School of Special Operations Lieutenant Colonel A said the significant weight of effort the command has put into orchestrating common selection demonstrated the importance it placed on finding the right people.

“We select people for service in SOCOMD using an attribute-based assessment, where the course builds in intensity and applies pressure to ensure the candidate’s true character can be observed,” Lieutenant Colonel A said.

“The Special Forces Common Selection Course is the main effort for SOCOMD for the month of May, with all SOCOMD units working together for the planning and execution of this key force-generation activity.”

During the first week, before sunrise, candidates woke to conduct a timed 20km pack march, already feeling the effects of sleep deprivation and fatigue. 

Senior directing staff from Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) J said the fatiguing nature of the program was developed purposely and collaboratively across the command to align with real-world demands of special operations.

“Fitness levels and cognitive behaviours are observed throughout the course, and the data points we collect enable candidates to have a genuine opportunity to demonstrate leadership and collective or individual skills,” WO2 J said. 

“This also ensures all of SOCOMD’s candidates go through the same experience during selection no matter the role they apply for.”

At the end of the course, successful candidates will move into the reinforcement cycle or specialist training.

Story by Major Roger Brennan

Tactical Tuesday: Revamped Recon Tactical Pant

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

The Vertx® Recon Pant has evolved into the Recon Flex and Recon X Pant – revamped tactical pants engineered to conquer your mission requirements. Crafted from a lightweight stretch mini-ripstop fabric (Recon X made with No Melt No Drip fabric), they deliver uncompromising durability and performance. Their athletic fit ensures maximum comfort without sacrificing a professional appearance.

Our redesigned cargo pockets are deeper, providing ample storage capacity for all your mission-critical gear. The adjustable kneepad panels with hook and loop closures allow you to cinch them down effortlessly, ensuring a secure fit and unrestricted mobility.

The Recon Flex Pant is available in OD Green, while the Recon X Pant is available in Navy, Ranger Green, and Scorpion. Gear up with confidence, knowing that our pants are built to withstand the toughest challenges, keeping you prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Marine Corps Set to Receive New Light Assault Weapon System

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. — Marine Corps Systems Command is pleased to announce the acquisition of the M72 Light Assault Weapon Fire from Enclosure Munition. The M72 LAW Fire from Enclosure (FFE) is a compact, lightweight, single-shot weapon system.

It incorporates an improved launcher featuring an enhanced in-line trigger mechanism and improved sling design. The M72 FFE comprises two configurations: the M72A8 anti-armor and the M72A10 multi-purpose, anti-structure munition. The M72A8 contains a high-explosive charge warhead that improves armor penetration, while the M72A10 provides Marines with increased capability for eliminating structures.

The M72 FFE is designed to deliver versatility and reliability, enabling Marines to counter threats effectively in close-range combat. Its performance is optimized for urban environments, vehicles, and complex terrain, ensuring operational effectiveness in these challenging scenarios.

The M27A FFE variants will replace the current LAW weapon system capability. The new system
allows Marines to fire multiple shots daily from inside a room and has less flash and back blast than an M9 pistol. The reduced visibility increases the lethality and safety of Marines.
“This new capability removes the Marine from exposure to enemy engagement by introducing the FFE capability, said Mr. Scott Adams, Product Manager, Ammo.

“The FFE and the reduced thermal signature provides the Marine with an added layer of protection.”

The MCSC team worked closely with their Army counterparts to procure this new capability. All
shoulder-fired rocket ammunition is procured through the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command,
the Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition. This enables the services to combine orders to realize cost savings by leveraging economic order quantity prices.

The M72 FFE rocket underscores the Marine Corps’ ongoing efforts to lighten the warfighter’s load and increase lethality. PdM Ammo expects to begin fielding the M72A FFE in calendar year 2024.