Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Answers to Top Questions about Army Combat Fitness Test Equipment Fielding

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

WASHINGTON — As Army Soldiers start preparing for the new Army Combat Fitness Test, behind the scenes Army logisticians are also preparing to distribute more than 36,000 equipment sets to conduct the new test.

At a recent Facebook Live event, watched by more than 150,000 viewers, Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston encouraged all Soldiers across each component to begin training now. The Army released a training guide with exercises from the Field Manual to help Soldiers successfully prepare with or without the equipment (training guide: www.army.mil/e2/downloads/rv7/acft/acft_training_guide_final).

Equipment will begin arriving to Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard units in January 2020, with issue of the equipment complete by May 2020 — at least five months before the test is slated to become the Army’s official physical evaluation.

During the Facebook Live event, viewers posted more than 2,700 questions and comments — many concerning equipment. Here are answers to the top six questions that were posed related to fielding the ACFT equipment:

Q1. What pieces of equipment are required to conduct the new test?

A1: A complete set of ACFT equipment includes deadlift hex bars with weights and collars, nylon drag sleds with straps and plates (each weighted with two, 45-pound plates), one 10-pound medicine ball, and two 40-pound kettle bells. Units also will need a location to do leg tucks and a 2-mile run.

Q2. Who will get the equipment first?

A2: The Army has established a regional approach. The first units to receive AFCT equipment will be in the southeast region of the United States. This will be followed by units in the Southwest, OCONUS, Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest.

Q3. Will Reserve and Guard units, or Active units in remote locations, have to wait longer for their equipment?

A3: No. Distribution is based on geography, not by component. In fact, seven Reserve battalions, seven Guard units, one recruiting battalion, and one ROTC battalion were part of the initial 63-battalion pilot test to evaluate and solve logistical challenges involved with remote locations. The Army has several remote locations across all components to include more than 1,500 recruiting stations, overseas assignments, Reserve and Guard unit locations, fellowships and training assignments that take Soldiers far from normal military base support. Additionally, training programs and equipping strategies are being developed in close coordination with all components.

Q4. Who is responsible for fielding the equipment?

A4. The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) will serve as the lead to distribute equipment. U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), with the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT), have worked hard to develop the program. Army G-4 is providing policy and program guidance.

Q5. What resources will be provided until the equipment arrives?

A5. Soldiers do not need to wait for the equipment to start training to improve their flexibility, mobility, agility, and core strength. The Army released a training guide with exercises from the Field Manual to help Soldiers successfully prepare with or without the equipment (training guide: www.army.mil/e2/downloads/rv7/acft/acft_training_guide_final). The Army has also established Mobile Training Teams that will conduct site visits and provide training to units across the Army. In addition, the Army has produced training videos and online resources, which can be found at www.army.mil/ACFT.

Q6. Can a unit use equipment we previously purchased for training and testing?

A6. Units can use equipment they have on hand for training, but not for testing. Standardization is important, particularly on items like the sled, hex bar, and 10-pound medicine ball. For example, if the ball the unit has is bigger than the standard ball, it may be too large for Soldiers to grip and impact the test. Once the equipment is fielded, units will be able to order replacement parts through GCSS-Army.

By Ms. Ilene S Zeldin (G4)

Jeff Gonzales, Field Notes Ep 48: Active Shooter Considerations for Those Who Carry

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

SureFire Field Notes is a multi-segment informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Jeff Gonzalez discusses considerations for concealed carry holders during active shooter scenarios.

Jeff Gonzales heads Trident Concepts, LLC a reality based company specializing in personal protection tactics and training for armed and unarmed conflicts. Their motto is “Concepts that meet reality.”

He was a decorated and respected US Navy SEAL and has worked in a variety of environments and capacities through out the globe. He brings to the company not only his hard & soft skills, but also his ability to manage and exploit the staff to best serve the interests of the company and their clients. Their goal is not simply to train you, but to better prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

He has also finished authoring the book Combative Fundamentals, An Unconventional Approach, now available for retail purchase. Presently, the book is keeping pace as a best seller and is considered by most to have set the high-water mark as an excellent resource. A must have for serious shooters across the board.

www.tridentconcepts.com

www.surefire.com

USAF Uniform Transition to OCP On Schedule

Monday, October 14th, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — Trainees entering into Basic Military Training at the 37th Training Wing the first week of October were the first group to be issued the new Operational Camouflage Pattern uniforms.

When Air Force officials announced last year they were adopting the Army OCP as the official utility uniform, they developed a three-year rollout timeline across the force for the entire changeover. Last week put them on target for issue to new recruits entering BMT.

“Each trainee is issued four sets of uniforms with their initial issue,” Bernadette Cline, clothing issue supervisor said. “Trainees who are here in (Airmen Battle Uniforms) will continue to wear them throughout their time here and will be replaced when they get their clothing allowance.”

The 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Initial Issue Clothing outfits nearly 33,000 BMT trainees every year and maintains more than 330,000 clothing line items.

“We partner with Defense Logistics Agency who provides the clothing items upfront to be issued,” Donald Cooper, Air Force initial clothing issue chief said. “Then we warehouse and issue to the individuals’ size-specific clothing.”

After taking Airmen feedback into consideration, the uniform board members said they chose the OCP for the improved fit and comfort and so that they will blend in with their soldier counterparts’ uniforms in joint environments, according to Cooper.

“Right now, if someone deploys, they’ll get it issued,” Cline said. “And now that everyone is converting over to this uniform, (the trainees) already have the uniform to work and deploy in.”

Following the timeline, the OCP should now be available online for purchase as well.

The next mandatory change listed on the timeline, to take place by June 1, 2020, will be for Airmen’s boots, socks and T-shirts to be coyote brown. Also, officer ranks to the spice brown.

Switching from two different types of utility uniforms to just one, multifunctional uniform could also simplify life for the Airmen.

“I think the biggest value is going to be the thought that they aren’t required to have two uniforms anymore once they convert to a uniform that is for deployment and day-to-day work,’” Cooper said.

For more information on uniform guidance, visit www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance.

Story by Lemitchel King, 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Photo by Capt Monique Roux

SCUBAPRO Sunday – US Navy Birthday

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

On 13, OCTOBER 1775 the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating official establishment the Continental Navy. They voted to outfit two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise for three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores meant for the British army in America. Throughout the War of Independence, the Continental Navy sent to sea more than fifty armed vessels. The Navy’s squadrons and cruisers seized enemy supplies and carried correspondence and diplomats to Europe, returning with needed munitions. They took nearly 200 British vessels as prizes, and some of the British Isles themselves, contributing to the demoralization of the enemy and forcing the British to divert warships to protect convoys and thier  trade routes. But with the end of the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Navy was disbanded. Then with threats to American merchant shipping by Barbary pirates from four North African States, in the Mediterranean, President George Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794 the act authorizing the construction of the Navy’sNavy’s first six frigates ? Congress passed a resolution to establish a national navy that could protect U.S. commercial vessels from attacks by Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean and nearby Atlantic waters.

Engineered Viruses Could Protect Soldiers, Fight Antibiotic Resistance

Friday, October 11th, 2019

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Antibiotic resistance is a one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Army scientists have developed a new weapon to combat super-bugs, which could protect Soldiers and fight resistance.

Bacteriophage, a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria, kill bacteria through different mechanisms than antibiotics, and they can target specific strains, making them an appealing option for potentially overcoming multidrug resistance. However, quickly finding and optimizing well-defined bacteriophages to use against a bacterial target is challenging.

Researchers at the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, identified a way to do just that. The U.S. Army established the institute in 2002 as an interdisiciplinary research center to dramatically improve protection, survivability and mission capabilities of the Soldier and of Soldier-supporting platforms and systems.

“This is a crucial development in the battle against these superbugs,” said Dr. James Burgess, program manager, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, Army Research Office, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. “Finding a cure for antibiotic-resistant bacteria is particularly important for soldiers who are deployed to parts of the world where they may encounter unknown pathogens or even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Wounded Soldiers are even more susceptible to infections, and they may come home carrying these drug-resistant bugs.”

In this study, published in Cell, MIT biological engineers showed that they could rapidly program bacteriophages to kill different strains of E. coli by making mutations in a viral protein that binds to host cells. The results showed that these engineered bacteriophages are also less likely to provoke resistance in bacteria.

“As we’re seeing in the news more and more now, bacterial resistance is continuing to evolve and is increasingly problematic for public health,” said Timothy Lu, an MIT associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of biological engineering and the study’s senior author. “Phages represent a very different way of killing bacteria than antibiotics, which is complementary to antibiotics, rather than trying to replace them.”

The researchers created several engineered phages that could kill E. coli grown in the lab. One of the newly created phages was also able to eliminate two E. coli strains that are resistant to naturally occurring phages from a skin infection in mice.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a handful of bacteriophages for killing harmful bacteria in food, but they have not been widely used to treat infections because finding naturally occurring phages that target the right kind of bacteria can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

To make such treatments easier to develop, Lu’s lab has been working on engineered viral scaffolds that can be easily repurposed to target different bacterial strains or different resistance mechanisms.

“We think phages are a good toolkit for killing and knocking down bacteria levels inside a complex ecosystem, but in a targeted way,” Lu said.

The researchers wanted to find a way to speed up the process of tailoring phages to a particular type of bacteria. They came up with a strategy that allows them to rapidly create and test a much greater number of tail fiber variants.

They created phages with about 10 million different tail fibers and tested them against several strains of E. coli that had evolved to be resistant to the non-engineered bacteriophage. One way that E. coli can become resistant to bacteriophages is by mutating LPS receptors so that they are shortened or missing, but the MIT team found that some of their engineered phages could kill even strains of E. coli with mutated or missing LPS receptors.

The researchers plan to apply this approach to target other resistance mechanisms used by E. coli and to develop phages that can kill other types of harmful bacteria.

“Being able to selectively hit those non-beneficial strains could give us a lot of benefits in terms of human clinical outcomes,” Lu said.

The Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies engages in fundamental, multidisciplinary nanoscience research relevant to the Soldier. In collaboration with Army and industrial partners, this focused nanoscience research creates opportunities for new materials, properties and phenomena that will directly advance modernization efforts. As an Army University-Affiliated Research Center, the institute’s contract is administered and overseen for the U.S. Army by the Army Research Office.

______________________________

The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more effective to win our Nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

FirstSpear Friday Focus – 10×12 Padded Plate Backer

Friday, October 11th, 2019

FirstSpear has just announced the 10×12 padded plate backers are back in-stock. Very popular plate carrier add-on the padded plate backer is an ultra lightweight non-ballistic insert designed to go inside your plate bag on the body side of the plate. Sold in packs of two, one side features deep channels to maximize airflow and increase comfort with minimal bulk. Works with nearly any vest that accepts soft armor or plate and can be used in multiple configurations based on user needs.

100% American made, in-stock and now shipping.

www.first-spear.com/platforms/platform-accessories/10×12-padded-plate-backer-non-ballistic

US Army’s PS Magazine Shifts To Fully Online Information Portal

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Effective Nov. 1, PS Magazine will undergo its most significant transformation ever. Its 64-page, cartoon-illustrated magazine will cease production, replaced with a fully online, mobile-friendly information portal. The URL for this resource is www.psmagazine.army.mil .

In order for PS to keep pace with today’s readers, its web portal will provide the same valuable information as the traditional magazine but at a much quicker rate. All articles will continue to be vetted by technical experts for accuracy and still have to be approved for public release prior to them being posted.

But, instead of taking up to five months to get maintenance and supply information published, it will take a matter of days to a few weeks. Also, the portal’s robust search functionality will enable readers to target and access the information they need, right when they need it.

The mobile friendly web portal will take the place of the current smartphone app, which could be cumbersome to navigate and read depending on the device. The app, available in the Apple and Google stores, will be discontinued at the end of 2019.

While the cartoons were fun and helped to make PS Magazine iconic, they took time to create, render, and revise, and they were never as important as the information they helped to convey. While the cartooning will largely disappear, the magazine’s signature characters such as Master Sgt. Half-Mast, Bonnie, Connie, Blade and Cloe will continue their “service” as guides to maintenance and supply information on the new web portal.

Despite this significant change, the core mission of the magazine remains the same: to deliver timely and accurate maintenance and supply information to Soldiers and maintenance personnel (both military and civilian) that enables them to enhance their readiness and the readiness of their units and fleets. Integral to this mission is responding to Soldier and reader inquiries.

The PS Magazine staff will continue to respond to these inquiries, which number over 1,000 annually.

PS Magazine will also keep its designation as a technical bulletin (TB-43-PS-Series). Each quarter, it will compile all articles published online within that quarter and submit the compilation to the Army Publication Directorate for authentication.

During the next six to 12 months, PS Magazine will primarily focus on providing timely and accurate readiness information to its readers. Longer-term, the magazine will explore ways to bring additional relevant content to its audience. This content will include training videos, links to other related websites, and profiles of Soldiers and units exemplifying a culture of readiness.

By Robert Hill & Carol Jones, ASC RSA-Detachment

Primary Arms Glocktober Built for EDC Giveaway

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Primary Arms has launched their Glocktober 2019 giveaway series. Taking place throughout the month of October, Primary Arms Glocktober will see four different lucky winners take home a weapon built by PA and then outlined start to finish in their blog.

Primary Arms says, “This month, we’re kicking off our Glock category with 4 full weeks of giveaways and content. Every week, we’ll be highlighting a new pistol giveaway, each with its own specialized purpose. In addition, we’re launching new exclusives and planning sales later in the month to give you the best bang for the budget.”

See the P.A. Whiskey-5 here.

Parts in Week One’s giveaway include:

Polymer 80 Compact Serialized Frame
POF USA Glock 19 Gen 3 Stripped Slide RMR Ready
Trijicon RM06
-Night Fision Tritium Suppressor Sights
CMC Glock 19 Trigger
-P80 Magwell
-CMC Threaded Glock 19 Barrel

As for the EDC (Every Day Carry) component, Primary Arms explains,

“Carrying a firearm, whether open or concealed, is an act that demands practice, commitment, and—above all—wisdom.

You never know where trouble lies. No amount of cunning or perception can immunize you from the unpredictable. Self-preservation calls for a full toolset, and understanding each tool requires constant practice and preparation. The ideal result is avoiding any need for force application.

If the situation does call for force though, you want to be darn sure that it’s properly applied.

We can’t convey the complexity of self-defense in one blog. As we said, it’s a lifetime skill that relies of the calm, clear mind of its practitioner. That said, we can teach you a bit about setting up a firearm for everyday carry.

Everyday carry (EDC) describes both concealed and open carry of a firearm. While every state has its own laws and regulations, the fundamentals of EDC remain the same. A carried firearm will always be a tradeoff between comfort and performance. Large firearms are better for personal defense but uncomfortable to carry. Compact firearms are easier to carry but compromise on capacity and ballistics. It’s a sun and moon relationship that has no perfect answer.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t make an awesome carry pistol.”

Read the article in its entirety and/or enter the contest, here:

www.primaryarms.com/blog/Glocktober-Built-for-Carry

Read all Primary Arms articles on SSD.

Connect with Primary Arms: @primaryarms on Instagram; /primaryarmsllc/ on Facebook.