TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Go Sport Fin

Sunday, May 9th, 2021

I have been around a lot of different end user diver groups of over the past couple of months and we always seem to talk about fins, and we have been discussing different designs and what is the best go-to fin. Now I have started to think of fins like shoes and I think you need more than one set for different types of water work. But if I was to pick one set of fins, I truly cannot say enough good things about the SCUBAPRO Go Sport fins. If you are in the military and you need a good fin for over the beach (OTB) operations, river and stream crossing, or diving, these fins do a great job! For OTB, where you might have to go through the surf, there is enough power to help you get through it. River and stream crossing, where you would have to carry them with you in the jungle or wherever, the pair weighs less than 1.5Lbs and are easy to don and doff with boots on, making getting in and out of the water easier. When used for combat swimmer operations, they are comfortable for long use and good for use in tight areas like around piers or ships. There are holes in the blade, which makes it easy to attach to your wrists when climbing a ladder if you want your fins with you if there is a strong current or coming out of the surf or attaching to your gear when patrolling.  Below they are attached to a Mystery Ranch patrol pack. The other picture they are attached to the famous SEAL Float coat used in patrolling the jungles of Vietnam (thanks Drew via Eric G). They also have the Matbock Skins on them.

A lot of the things I mentioned about that make them good for the military also apply for Public Safety Divers. They are outstanding for tight turns, like when you are doing a search grid. The fins are so light so they can be used in the summer when using a wetsuit or in the winter when using a dry suit. If you do plan on that make sure you get the right size for the winter bootie. You can always wear a winter bootie in the summer but trying to use a summer type bootie in the winter is never a good thing. They go on fast if you are a marine patrol unit and need to get into the water quickly.

Lastly, they are a great surface swim fin. For example, Go Sport Fins are the perfect option for PTs in ocean or pool swims. I used to have a CO who, anytime the weather was bad and the sea was rough, made us do ocean swims. He would say, ‘you have to train when the weather and surf are bad because you can’t choose when you will be on the water’.

SCUBAPRO GO SPORT FINS WIN SCUBALab testers choice award.

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Fast Rope Mitt

Friday, May 7th, 2021

You’ve waited and it’s finally arrived, the Fast Rope Mitt (FRM) is designed to be a minimalist, lightweight tool that can easily be transported on the Professional User and available for Fast Rope Insertion, the FRM can be used with or without the FirstSpear – Operator Glove (OG) and is constructed using the best in abrasion resistant, heat mitigating materials.

It’s cut and assembled to fold flat for transport in a typical Uniform Pocket; the FRM is low bulk and supports Short, Medium or Extended Fast Rope Insertions up to 90 Feet (27.4 Meters). Additionally, the FRM has an advanced two finger pattern that allows the User to rapidly expose his trigger finger to engage a firearm, this method is far faster than actually taking off a glove during extreme situations, the FRM can be pulled partially off and retained around the wrist by the second elastic strap across the back until time has become available to secure in through the reinforced retention loop at the cuff.

This glove is 100% Berry Compliant featuring all American “roper” cow leather and ultra-high performance Kovenex providing greatly enhanced cut, tear, and thermal resistance for Fast Rope Insertions. It’s ultra soft on the hand and double layered in key points with a firmer grain and texture on the exterior of the palm. Reinforced button holes allow for quick and easy carabiner or snap hook attachment.

As you would expect, FS used overbuilt construction techniques with highly advanced materials, all balanced for weight and performance for the most demanding end users. 100% American Made with USA materials. Currently available in S, M, L and XL with more options forthcoming.

For more information check out, www.first-spear.com/frm

‘Service. Strength. Sacrifice’: Special Tactics Training Complex Dedicated to Fallen STO

Friday, May 7th, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla.— In a split second while on a mission in 2015, U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Roland made the last leadership decision he would he would ever make. Without hesitation, he chose to protect his team and give them the best shot at overcoming an insider attack in Afghanistan, sacrificing his life in the process.

To honor the fallen Special Tactics Officer’s actions and courageous leadership, the 24th Special Operations Wing along with friends and family hosted a dedication ceremony in Roland’s honor May 6, 2021 at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“Today I have the privilege of dedicating the Roland Field Leadership Training Complex,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Allen, commander of the 24th SOW. “It’s particularly meaningful to dedicate this training site to Matt as he spent years of his life honing his leadership expertise.”

The wing chose to dedicate one of the Special Tactics Training Squadron facilities used for training and assessing Special Tactics Officers just like Roland.

“It means everything to be a part of his legacy,” said one of the young STOs attending the ceremony and finishing the training pipeline. “I think he embodies a lot of what a lot of people in our position are trying to do and why we joined. Guys like him paved the way for us and have shown us an example of who we should strive to be like. We’re honored to be walking in his footsteps and everyone who came before us.”

In the audience were also several distinguished guests, friends and family members of Matthew Roland including his sister, nieces, fiancé, mother and his father, U.S. Air Force, retired, Col. Mark Roland.

“Matthew was a patriot, he believed in his nation and was dedicated to service,” said Mark. “He loved serving as a STO and leading his team. This complex is a testament that he was good at what he did and respected for how he did it.”

Matthew Roland graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2010 and then entered the rigorous Special Tactics Officer training pipeline to earn the coveted red beret. His last assignment was at the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Members of the fallen Airman’s former squadron watched as the Roland family unveiled the new sign to the Roland Field Leadership Training Complex followed by the Special Tactics tradition of memorial pushups.

“He never quit, he never gave up. Be strong in the face of adversity,” said Mark. “To us, this complex dedicated to selecting and training Special Tactics Officers represents three things that Matthew valued…service, strength and sacrifice.”

As a Special Tactics Officer, Roland was a qualified battlefield commander prepared to lead reconnaissance, strike and recovery missions, as well as a military static-line and free fall jumper, an Air Force combat scuba diver, and a joint terminal attack controller. For his actions during his deployment, Roland was posthumously awarded the nation’s third highest honor for valor, the Silver Star medal, in June of 2016.

“At his core, [Matthew] was concerned with loving and protecting his family, being a leader in our Air Force and living out his warrior ethos,” said Allen. “If there was a hardship, he’d endure it. If there was a burden, he’d help lift it. If there was a challenge…he’d meet it.”

For future Special Tactics leaders, the complex will forever stand as inspiration to the selfless leadership and determination Roland displayed throughout his time in service.

Special Tactics is the Air Force’s most highly decorated community since the Vietnam War specializing in global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery. Since 9/11, Special Tactics Airmen have received one Medal of Honor, 12 Air Force Crosses and 50 Silver Star Medals.

Photos by SrA Miranda Mahoney and A1C Amanda Flower-Raschella, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Mike Pannone Discusses the Benefits of a Pistol Caliber Short Rifle (PCSR)

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Mike Pannone, Director of Training, B&T USA examines the features and advantages of a Pistol Caliber Short Rifle (PCSR), or submachine gun based system, such as B&T’s APC9 PRO, for law enforcement and military applications occurring within confined spaces, or within spaces where size savings are important.

About Mike Pannone/CTT Solutions

Mike is a former operational member of U.S. Marine Reconnaissance, Army Special Forces (Green Beret), 1st SFOD-D (Delta) and the Asymmetric Warfare Group. He is an active USPSA pistol shooter holding a Master class ranking in Limited, Limited-10 and Production divisions. Mike has participated in stabilization, combat and high-risk protection operations in support of U.S. policies throughout the world as both an active duty military member, and a civilian contractor. Mike also worked as the primary firearms instructor for the Federal Air Marshal program in Atlantic City, as well as the head in-service instructor for the Seattle field office. He has spent countless hours on the range and in the classroom with military units, LEO and operational personnel sharing his vast combat and practical experience to increase proficiency and organizational success.

The ‘Eyes’ Have It; Army, Navy Researchers Agree to Train Tech Tools Based on Warfighter Gaze

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — Imagine future American warfighters in the midst of a mission leveraging technology to maintain a new level of situational awareness. This may be possible thanks to a new suite of software tools that tap into what a Soldier or sailor sees and feels.

U.S. Army researchers developed a suite of tools under a decade-long research program that focused on how brain function and eye tracking can be used to predict  situational awareness.

Researchers developed software to exploit gaze and physiological data and provide real-time estimates of human situational awareness using a systematic collection of measurements via what they call the lab streaming layer, or LSL. This data collection ecosystem addresses analytic difficulties when combining information from different types of sensors.

It also offers the capability of synchronizing physiological data from a suite of sensors that monitor eye tracking, breathing patterns and other physiological responses during experiments designed to mimic realistic mission events.

Researchers use the software to quantify, predict and enhance squad-level shared situational awareness with Tactical Awareness via Collective Knowledge, or TACK.

“We can know exactly when and what someone looked at when we use TACK software tools and the physiological changes happening concurrently including what their pupil size was, as well as heart, brain and many other sensors,” said Dr. Russell Cohen Hoffing, a research scientist supporting TACK who works at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory’s western regional site in California.

Cohen Hoffing said he extensively relies on TACK tools and LSL to do data collection and analysis. He’s bringing together DEVCOM ARL colleagues with researchers from the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory and the Naval Research Laboratory to find synergy and collaborate on experiments for multi-domain operations.

A new suite of software tools enables Army research and technology development using Soldier-borne technologies to assess Soldier performance and improve human-autonomy teaming.

“The ability to integrate USAARL’s realistic helicopter pilot simulations with TACK’s dismounted environment, which can incorporate multiple humans in virtual or augmented reality scenarios alongside intelligent agents, is currently not possible but would be necessary to do virtual experimentation around a multi-domain Army-relevant scenario,” Cohen Hoffing said. “We could simulate helicopter pilots dropping off dismounted team.”

Researchers developed LSL as part of the lab’s Cognition & Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliance, which is the Army’s flagship basic science research and technology transition program in the neurosciences. It’s a multi-aspect data acquisition and synchronization software backbone that has been adopted by an industry partner, Neurobehavioral Systems, Inc., for integration into their commercial stimulus presentation tool.

LSL has also become a key integration and synchronization technology for a number of laboratory projects, including large-scale research efforts supported by

Army-wide programs designed to address expected challenges within multi-domain operations. A growing number of academic labs around the world use LSL to create a unified ecosystem for human sensing, Cohen Hoffing said.

Dr. Jonathan Touryan, Army researcher and collaborative alliance manager of this decade-long research team, now leads TACK, which aims to improve warfighters situational awareness in teaming contexts that involve both Soldiers and intelligent agents like autonomous aerial and robotic systems.

“Obtaining and maintaining situational awareness in complex, dynamic environments is a critical component to ensuring force protection and mission success,” Touryan said. “Maintaining situational awareness is everyone’s responsibility.”

Army and Navy researchers are focusing efforts to determine what to do with the data once it’s been collected from the sensors.

“Without meaningful analysis of pupil size, for example, it is just a number of millimeters at any given time point,” Cohen Hoffing said.

Researchers at USAARL and NRL are beginning to integrate LSL into their research pipeline because it offers an easy method to synchronize sensors in a standardized format that is shareable, he said.

Researchers at DEVCOM ARL used physiological sensors like electroencephalograms, or EEG, to detect electrical activity in brains to build a human-interest detector. They also plan to create a way to estimate other states relevant to situational awareness like cognitive load and exploration or exploitation.

“This new research efficiency will allow laboratories to move away from previous efforts spent on making custom software to synchronize other sensors,” Cohen Hoffing said. “Relying on LSL will allow them to focus on run experiments which aim to understand and interpret the sensor data and infer human states.”

DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army’s corporate research laboratory, ARL is operationalizing science to achieve transformational overmatch. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more successful at winning the nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the Army Futures Command.

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

New Army Technology Stops Traumatic Bleeding Without Requiring Wound Compression

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Stopping Bleeding Saves Lives on the Battlefield

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A new medical technology stops traumatic bleeding without requiring wound compression for Soldiers on the battlefield. Hemorrhaging is a leading cause of preventable death for Soldiers in combat.

The simplicity, potential for deployability and proposed affordability of this technology under development allows Soldiers to carry a life-saving solution in their pocket.

Through a project funded by the Defense Health Agency Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, program, Hybrid Plastics, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Vanderbilt University and Ichor Sciences developed StatBond, which treats uncontrolled bleeding from noncompressible areas of the body that include the groin, trunk, armpit, neck and internal organs. Currently, there is no battlefield treatment for such bleeding because these injuries are not responsive to the compression dressings currently carried by Soldiers and medics.

The Defense Health Agency supported the research and development of this device as a part of an SBIR contract, with technical oversight provided by the Army Research Laboratory, an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM.

“This technology provides a new capability to stop bleeding under austere conditions,” said Dr. Robert Mantz, a chemistry branch chief with ARL at its Research Triangle Park location. “It’s encouraging to see the potential applications of breakthrough basic science research being put into the hands of Soldiers.”

The research team identified that visco-liquid hemostatic agents could be an alternative treatment to compression. The liquid characteristic provides for deep penetration into a wound channel, and the immediate suppression of fluid loss.

“The breakthrough nature of the device lies in the ability of the hemostatic gel to flow deeply into penetrating wounds, and immediately seal against fluid loss, thereby allowing the natural blood clotting cascade to happen against the surface of the gel,” said Dr. Joe Lichtenhan, vice president of Technology, Hybrid Plastics, a Mississippi-based nanotechnology company. “It is really remarkable this device works without compression. It offers the potential for Soldiers to self-treat or to provide non-medic buddy care.”

The technology behind the development is based on proprietary silicon-like formulations developed by Hybrid Plastics. The Royal Society of Chemistry journal Dalton Transactions (2017) published preliminary findings of their research.

In addition to treating traumatic bleeding injuries, StatBond can also be used to treat lung punctures, eye injuries, burn wounds and prevent infection. Bleeding may not be associated with these types of injuries, but they all commonly have a need to prevent fluid loss and maintain tissue viability. For these injuries, Statbond seals the damaged tissue against further fluid loss while retaining oxygen transport to the injury, which aids in tissue preservation and supports the natural healing process and tissue regeneration.

Statbond is undergoing FDA registration and packaging development. For civilian use, it will be packaged in syringe form while warfighters are anticipated to be provided the device in the form of a durable pocket carry squeeze pack.

In contrast to the basic research programs managed by ARO, this program focuses primarily on feasibility studies leading to prototype demonstration and productized testing for specific applications. The SBIR program funds research and technology development with small businesses using a three-phase process.

With the success of Phase I and II, the Army awarded the research team a Phase III contract to the team to further mature the technology. As part of the award, the team will advance the device’s manufacturing readiness level to pilot line capability and the Department of Defense will conduct medical investigations on its performance and potential for deployability for treatment of battlefield polytrauma.

“We are committed to bringing advanced medical technology and devices to the wounded warfighter,” Lichtenhan said. “We anticipate the technology will become available for use by physicians in 2022 and potentially carried by soldiers by 2025.”

By U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Hurlburt Squadron Provides C2 Advisors to Operational-Level Commanders

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla-With global competition heating up, the need to maximize the agility of U.S. Air Force operational command and control has never been more pressing. Fortunately, the USAF’s Operational Command Training Program is a foundational piece of its current C2 training architecture.

The OCTP team is a powerful tool designed to support every Air Component Command around the globe, yet too many operational level leaders are unfamiliar with the program and its value in optimizing mission success.

The OCTP team is made up of graduated C2 leaders who provide operational-level commanders with subject matter expertise, confidential peer-level advice, mentoring, training, and performance feedback. They’re not evaluators and the fact they’re not evaluators makes them a no-risk, candid resource for operational leaders.

“This team is plugged into AOCs and headquarter staffs around the world. They see what works, what doesn’t work, and they share those great ideas and lessons learned everywhere they go,” said Lt. Col. Kari Mott, 705th Training Squadron director of operations, Hurlburt Field, Florida.


Chartered in 2000 by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, OCTP is the USAF’s senior operational-level C2 training program, operating under the 505th Command and Control Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and consists of highly qualified expert-senior mentors and operational C2 observer trainers.

The majority of the senior mentors are retired general officers with experience as commanders of Air Force Forces, Joint Force Air Component Commanders, and Numbered Air Force Commanders. They support joint training exercises, USAF BLUE FLAG exercises, U.S. Army Warfighter exercises, as well as, advanced academics courses such as the JFACC course and senior-level Air Operations Center and staff courses.

The operational C2 observer trainers bring a wealth of experience in operations and planning from the O-6 perspective, as former AOC directors, AOC division chiefs, and/or AFFOR staff principals.

The number of observer trainers has varied over the years, but grew exponentially in 2018 as the USAF recognized a significant shortfall in C2 competency and expertise.  As a result, Air Combat Command tripled the size of the cadre, allowing the senior advisor team to support the full spectrum of air component leadership requirements, to include supporting multiple overlapping events and other C2 development initiatives.

The current cadre of observer trainers include a mix of government civilians and contractors with extensive active duty and reserve experience in flying operations, logistics, intelligence, and non-kinetic operations, among other specialties. Their main focus is working with AOC and air component division leaders, but they also work at the team level and with directors of Mobility Forces, directors of Cyber Forces, and directors of Space Forces.

“Despite a small pool of candidates with the necessary experience and skillsets, we assembled an exceptional team of professionals,” said Mott.

But their expertise goes well beyond just working in the air components.

“The depth of our observer trainers is truly amazing,” said Robin Kimmelman, OCTP flight lead, 705th TRS. “Our team includes former operational commanders, weapons school, and School of Advanced Air and Space Studies graduates. They’ve worked as DIRMOBFORs, in Checkmate, on joint staffs, and at the Air Staff, and they all possess the been-there-done-that leadership experience in AOCs, headquarters staffs, and on joint task forces. In other words, in terms of operational command and control, if you name it, someone on our team has probably done it.”

The 705th TRS is responsible for administering the OCTP program, fully mixing the team into its overarching operational C2 training mission. 

“Observer trainers provide knowledge and best practices honed across all AORs to help commanders and staffs improve their processes to meet emerging problem sets,” said Lt. Col. John Christianson, 705th TRS commander, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Operational Exercises

On the road during exercises, senior mentors and observer trainers work closely together to support their training audience. Through daily meetings and other interactions, these subject matter experts are able to influence decisions across the air component to ensure the exercise participants are getting the most out of the exercise. If the participants are heading in the wrong direction, the team is there to help guide them back on course using their practical experience to drive learning, while passing personal lessons to help today’s leaders avoid past mistakes.

“What I enjoy most about my job is interacting one-on-one with a division chief during a short pause in the action to share a how I worked a situation similar to the scenario he faces…what worked and what blew up…it is always great to see that little nudge turn into a golden nugget that is forever learned by the training audience,” said William Murphey, operational C2 senior advisor for air mobility, 705th TRS.

The OCTP teams typically support exercises that include heavy AOC and AFFOR involvement, such as BLUE FLAG, Pacific Sentry, Austere Challenge, and Vigilant Shield, along with high-level training events in the Republic of Korea.

What’s Ahead

The OCTP team delivers much more than just exercise support. Throughout the pandemic, the OCTP team remains engaged through a myriad of other support activities, providing continued value to air components around the globe. 

Some of these efforts included development and publication of handbooks for AOC commanders, battle staff directors, and division chiefs, with more forthcoming in 2021. The team also created dozens of pre-exercise academic lessons and presented multiple advanced academic lessons for operational C2 leaders, both virtually and in the classroom at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

“While we plan to expand these C2 initiatives, we hope that 2021 also allows us to go back out on the road and continue our work face-to-face with air component teams in the field,” said Christianson.

In the meantime, business continues to grow for the senior advisor team, as their expertise is specifically demanded in support of Joint All-Domain C2 events, Chennault, Doolittle, and Schriever Wargames, and agile combat employment development and exercises. This direct, high-level, interaction continues to ensure each senior advisor remains current and relevant in terms of on-going C2 challenges and emerging concept development. Pulling from their collaboration within these venues, observer trainers share the latest information and benchmark details with peer operational C2 leaders in the field.

OCTP Tri-fold

For more information about the OCTP observer trainers, contact the team at: [email protected]

Debbie Henley, 505th Command and Control Wing (ACC) Public Affairs

SCUBAPRO Sunday – The Battle of the Coral Sea, May 4-8, 1942  

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

The Battle of the Coral Sea is known for being the first Naval battle where the two opposing forces never met. It was the birth of the aircraft carrier. No surface ships sank another ship in this battle. It was also one of the Allies’ first victories in the war in the Pacific. It did come at a hefty price for the Allies, at a loss of 1 aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington CV-2, 1 Destroyer USS Sims DD-409, 1 oiler USS Neosho AO-23, 69 aircraft and 656 people killed; the USS Yorktown was also significantly damaged. The Lexington was so severely damaged that the U.S. sank it with torpedoes the day after the battle. The Japanese lost 1 Light strike carrier (Jeep Carrier), 1 destroyer, 3 small warships, 97 aircraft, and 966 people killed.

The Allies learned of the intended plan of the Japanese to seize Port Moresby in New Guinea. The Japanese wanted to take control of the Coral Sea and use it as a staging base to invade Australia. When the Japanese landed at Tulagi on May 3, carrier-based U.S. planes from a Task Force 17 struck the landing group, sinking one destroyer and some minesweepers and landing barges. Most of the naval units covering the main Japanese invasion force that left Rabaul, New Britain, for Port Moresby on May 4 took a route to the east, where they clashed with TF17.

On May 5 and 6, 1942, opposing carrier groups sought each other and, on the morning of May 7, Japanese carrier-based planes sank a U.S. destroyer and an oiler. Allied planes sank the light carrier Shoho and a cruiser. The next day Japanese aircraft crippled the U.S. carrier Lexington and damaged the carrier Yorktown. U.S. planes crippled the sizeable Japanese carrier Shokaku so bad that it had to retreat away from the battle. So many Japanese planes were lost that the Port Moresby invasion force, without adequate air cover and harassed by Allied land-based bombers, turned back to Rabaul.

The four-day engagement was a strategic victory for the Allies. The battle, which U.S. Adm. Ernest J. King described as “the first major engagement in naval history in which surface ships did not exchange a single shot,” foreshadowed the kind of carrier warfare that marked later fighting in the Pacific War.

My Stepfather was on the Lexington during this battle. He was a Water Tender (today’s Machinist’s Mates) in a boiler room when a Japanese torpedo slammed into it. After they abandoned the Lady Lex, he spent the next month and a half making his way back to San Diego before he could get any new clothes and a new sea bag. Like every good sailor, he went out and got drunk, lost his seabag and was arrested by shore patrol. He ended up in the brig and had to rent a seabag so he could get out because without a full seabag he would have had to stay in jail. He was one of the most significant people in my life and one of the biggest reasons I joined the Navy. He joined in 1939 and had great pride in being in the Navy. He had left Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1941, so they could bring planes to Midway. He was supposed to get out in early 1942, but stayed in for the duration of the war.

A little over two years ago, the USS Lexington was found at the bottom of the Coral Sea, and she was seen for the first time since she was lost so long ago. God bless all the sailors and airmen who are still interned in her and never had a chance to be someone’s Stepfather or live their lives.