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Archive for the ‘ISR’ Category

Marine Corps Enhances Forensics Capability to Make Gathering Data Simple

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

The Marine Corps is enhancing an existing forensics exploitation capability used to differentiate between friend or foe on the battlefield.

The Corps is updating the Expeditionary Forensics Exploitation Capability, or EFEC, with newer IT technology. The EFEC is a portable forensic laboratory used by Law Enforcement Battalions to recognize, collect, analyze, preserve and store data.

The EFEC was fielded in 2013. Since then, the Identity Operations Team at Marine Corps Systems Command has decided to update the some of the system’s IT equipment.

“We’re making the IT equipment more adaptable for today,” said Sarah Swift, Identity Operations Team Lead. “We’re moving at the speed of relevance.”

Maj. David Bain, EFEC project officer, believes employing more up-to-date equipment can benefit Marines on the battlefield.

“We want to improve the lethality of Marines in the battlespace by collecting and sharing data faster than we were previously able to,” said Bain.

The EFEC is organic to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and capable of exploiting forensic material to support forensically enabled intelligence. This includes device and digital media analysis, latent and patent print, DNA, and the collection and identification of other elements that can be forensically tied to activities.

The Identity Operations Team is working to integrate the EFEC with other intelligence systems to give Marines the ability to gain insight and information of immediate tactical value on the battlefield.

“EFEC complements and integrates with the other Identity Operations capabilities, such as Identity Dominance System-Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Intelligence Agency Identity Intelligence Analytical Cell, or MCIA I2AC,” said Swift.

The MCIA I2AC reviews the IDS-MC and EFEC user’s submissions and other collected data to provide direct support to the submitting Marines. The I2AC rapidly produces analysis reports and related products for persons of interest and shares this information, with the collected data, throughout the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Enterprise.

MCSC is assessing science and technology agile acquisition efforts now to develop and field the next increment of EFEC capabilities by fiscal year 2021.

“Marines want more expeditionary, rugged and lightweight equipment with fewer pieces, and we are making that happen with the EFEC,” said Bain.

The Importance of EFEC

EFEC is a portable, expeditionary forensic exploitation laboratory that includes four collection kits. These kits provide squad-level tactical forensic collection capability for proper collection and preservation of evidence.

“The EFEC currently includes a chem kit, lab kit, media kit and site kit,” said Bain. “Together, the kits enable Marine operators to gather important forensic information on site to determine if a person of interest is a suspect or an ally.”

The chem kit allows operators to detect and identify hazardous and forensically relevant chemicals. The lab kit helps Marines process digital evidence, and the mobile kit helps to analyze and recover information from mobile devices.

Lastly, the site kit enables the operator to gather key forensic information, such as taking fingerprints and preserving liquids, at any location of interest.

MAGTF expeditionary forensics is one of three pillars within the USMC Identity Operations Strategy 2020 Implementation Plan. To fulfill the Marine Corps Operating Concept, MCSC continues to seek and provide Marines relevant, innovative and rapid solutions to enhance warfighting capabilities, Swift said.

“It’s important that MCSC continues to advance with technology and we stay agile with our incremental acquisition approach to evolve current capabilities,” said Swift.

Story courtesy of MARCORSYSCOM. Matt Gonzales contributed to this story. Photos by Pfc. Kindo Go.

The GUHOR Stick!

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

GUHOR Stick? What the heck is a GUHOR Stick and what does it have to do with SSD? Well, as some of you may know, I spent the first half of my career in the Army MI business, primarily as a SIGINTer. Since the Army in its infinite wisdom decided to dismantle and then stovepipe its IW capability over the past 25 years, I feel it’s important to revisit the history of the SIGINT business as it is recreated in the form of Cyber Electro Magnetic Activities, or CEMA.

The GUHOR Stick is one of the most important tool ever invented for the traffic analyst (TA). Solutions to the most intricate communications networks often began with this simple device.

No self-respecting TA was ever without one close at hand. Like the six-shooter of the old West, the analyst kept it at his or her side, always ready to draw- circles, boxes, and lines.

The GUHOR Stick, in its most recent and best known iteration, is merely a 6? by 1.5? clear plastic template. Its prime purpose is to facilitate the drawing of communications diagrams, although its secondary uses are endless. It comes equipped with a large circle at one end to draw control terminals, a smaller circle at the other end for outstations, and a small rectangle in the center for communications relays and collective (CQ) calls. The straight edges are used to connect these stations and show communications paths. With this tool, a #2 pencil (with extra erasers), some graph paper, and several pencils of various colored leads, the analyst of old was fully prepared to face any communications adversary.

GUHOR Stick! But where did this strange name come from? Putting my analytical skills to work, I set out to research the issue. To my surprise, there was a higher than expected number of individuals who had heard the name. Most were seasoned veterans from a mixture of professions, including linguists, reporters, managers, executives, and, naturally, traffic analysts. But there was more than a little discussion about what this device was and where its name originated.

The early returns were mixed, however. I was still searching for the definitive word. It was at this point when I began to get responses from members of a Communications Analysis Association (CAA) interest group.  A number of seasoned veterans recounted their GUHOR experiences and, in a number of colorful responses, gave me what I believe to be the true scoop.

GUHOR Sticks as traffic analysis tools have been around for decades. Some CAA respondents remembered seeing or using them in one form or another from at least the early 1960s. Even so, a couple of questions remain unanswered. Who invented it?  Why was it given this curious name? Someone out there knows. If you can solve the mystery, we (Station HYPO) are ready to hear a good story.

All this discussion about GUHOR Sticks may be moot. These devices are few and far between these days. The GUHOR Stick does not have a federal stock number. They were made in batches at NSA by special order; however, they are fast becoming collector items. With the advent software, many analysts are using computer graphics to diagram their targets. The traditional circles and lines on paper are becoming passé. Most GUHOR Sticks that are found are being employed for many a sundry task-not for crafting the intricate networks of old, but for drawing nondescript lines and symbols unrelated to the trade of traffic analysis.

Those on field duty in the Pacific used a similar device which they called a “pooka-maker.” Pooka is a Hawaiian word for “hole.”

Source: NSA CRYTPOLOG July, 1994 (MDR Case #54778)

Edited by Mario Vulcano

To read more history, visit Station HYPO.

MOHOC Cameras issued National Stock Numbers

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

US Defense Logistics Agency assigns MOHOC’s first two NSNs

Seattle, WA. MOHOC, Inc., creator of the world’s first military-optimized helmet cameras, has been awarded two NATO/National Stock Numbers (NSNs) for its MOHOC® Camera and MOHOC® IR Camera (infrared model) by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) following requests from multiple NATO Member States.

“We are excited to offer our customers the contracting ease and logistical convenience that comes with NSNs,” commented John Prosser, MOHOC Director of International Sales. He added, “For governments or user groups who are not yet familiar with MOHOC® Cameras, the award of NSNs provides the credibility of knowing major NATO customers saw fit to codify our equipment into their procurement systems.”

Already widely used by Special Forces and tactical law enforcement for training and live operations, the NSNs mark a significant milestone as MOHOC® Cameras are increasingly adopted by conventional military and first responders. The products are cataloged as follows:

MOHOC® Camera
Part Number: MHDBK
NSN: 5836-01-672-5757
NSN Item Name: Camera – Recording, Video

MOHOC® IR Camera
Part Number: MHIRBK
NSN: 6635-01-671-1512
NSN Item Name: Camera – Infrared, Industrial

Aquabotix Joins Information Warfare Research Project Consortium

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

• Aquabotix becomes a member of the Information Warfare Research Project (“IWRP”) consortium.

• Will gain access to the US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Other Transaction Authority agreement, valued at US$100 million.

• A faster path to contracting with the U.S. Government. 

UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (the “Company” or “Aquabotix”) is pleased to announce that it has been accepted as a member of the Information Warfare Research Project consortium (“IWRP” or the “Consortium”), a consortium focused on advancing information warfare capabilities to enhance United States Navy and United States Marine Corps mission effectiveness.

Aquabotix was approved to join IWRP as a demonstrated technology leader with competencies in autonomy, assured communications, and battlespace awareness – all key focus areas for the consortium. As a member of IWRP, Aquabotix will gain access to US Space and Naval Warfare (“SPAWAR”) Systems Command’s Other Transaction Authority (“OTA”) agreement previously awarded to the Consortium. The aggregate amount of this particular OTA across the Consortium is US$100 million over the next three year period, and the OTA will be used as a vehicle to advance information warfare technologies and innovation delivery to the U.S. fleet. The OTA enables the Consortium members to engage in a broad range of activities advancing such technologies and allows for the delivery of new technology faster and more efficiently than traditional U.S. federal acquisition requirements might permit.

In a release made last month by the United States Navy, Rear Adm. C.D. Becker, commander of SPAWAR Systems Command was quoted as stating, “The IWRP OTA will accelerate acquisition and bring non-traditional sources, research and development labs, and industry together to provide new, innovative information warfare solutions.” SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Deputy Executive Director, Bill Deligne, was also quoted remarking on the use of OTAs, stating, “This mechanism is faster and more attuned to getting something quickly that we want today, as opposed to traditional federal acquisition. […] While speed is a critical element, reaching beyond the traditional DoD industrial base, further into the commercial sector to capture new, innovative solutions, is also a key element of the IWRP.”

Whitney Million, Chief Executive Officer of Aquabotix commented, “It is a privilege to be joining other industry leaders in the IWRP. We anticipate participation in this consortium will provide access to key partners and customers while enabling rapid research and prototyping using non-dilutive funding options under the OTA to support our goal of continuing to develop innovative and leading-edge solutions and product offerings for the U.S. and allied governments.”

USSOCOM Solicits Technology for Hyper-Enabled Operator and SUAS Experimentation Candidates

Monday, August 20th, 2018

The United States Special Operations Command regularly hosts experiments intended to allow industry and academia to interact with operational personnel to identify technologies to enhance SOF capabilities.

This RFI is for TE 9-1:

Date: 5 through 9 November 2018

Themes: Hyper-Enabled Operator and SUAS

Location: Avon Park Air Force Range, FL

Experimentation Focus: The primary intent of this event is to highlight technologies that support USSOCOM’s Hyper-Enabled Operator concept and SUAS.

Technology areas to explore during the event include the following:
1 Information Edge. Ability to process data from wide array of sensor networks, communications channels, or partnered forces into information that is decision quality information.
1.1 Edge computing. Ability to derive useful information at the point of collection through sensor fusion and forwards processing without reliance on high- bandwidth, long haul communications.
1.2 Information visualization. Tailored information visualization that provides the right information, to the right element, at the right time. Includes tailored Heads Up Display (HUD), audio, haptic feedback, and predictive information management to identify and present relevant information during each phase of an operation.
1.3 Data transport with reduced vulnerability to intercept and detection, including optical and non-RF solutions.
1.4 Cross domain data access. Systems to securely run advanced data analytics across data sets on different domains.

2 Next generation Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR). Technologies of interest include the ability to:
2.1 Find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze.
2.2 Without owning the air domain.
2.3 Includes the space and/or cyber domains.
2.3.1 Exploit the cyber domain and digital patterns of life on social media to support ISR missions.
2.3.2 Includes high-altitude persistent solutions between traditional air and space.
2.3.3 Exploit the space domain to “fix and finish,” to include on-demand payloads.
2.4 Ability to exchange data with distant sensors to perform Time Difference of Arrival/Frequency Difference of Arrival geolocation.
2.5 Enabled by advanced automation advanced standoff multi-modal
biometrics, real-time sensor fusion, action detection, and “smart systems” that tailor collection focus and fidelity based on requirements.
2.6 Small, low power autonomously emplaced ground sensors capable of meshed operation and long-dwell. Tailorable sensors including electro optical, infrared, Hyper Spectral Imaging (HSI), LIDAR, electronic warfare, and others capable of contributing to biometric analysis from 200-1000 meters.
2.7 Precise time and position correlation to full motion video.
2.8 In modular payloads that permits installation across full range of SUAS in the next section.
2.9 Leveraging Human Language Technologies (HLT) to:
2.9.1 Reduce operator workload.
2.9.2 Reduce communications bandwidth requirements.
2.9.3 Increase probability of detecting specific speakers.
2.9.4 Increase effectiveness of unfamiliar languages.

3 Small Unmanned Aerial Systems.
3.1 Expeditionary ISR. Family of group 1-2 UAS’s, featuring modular
payloads, open architecture, small footprint and minimum logistics support. 4.3.1.1 Line of Sight (LOS) and beyond LOS data link.
3.1.2 Accurately locate targets.
3.1.3 Runway independent launch and recovery.
3.1.4 Two sensor capable, (e.g. high definition full motion video, electro optic/ infrared, electronic warfare, signals intelligence, HSI, LIDAR).
3.1.5 Autonomous operation, including meshed swarm capabilities.
3.1.6 Alternative power through environment (power lines, renewable, etc.).
3.2 Unmanned aerial blood delivery system. System must be vertical takeoff and landing capable (VTOL) or runway independent. USSOCOM will provide a blood surrogate for the event.
3.2.1 Systems should be capable of transporting a minimum of 10 pounds of blood.
3.2.2 The cold chain must be maintained and monitored throughout flight. Blood must be kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius from time of loading, transit, delivery, and unloading. Systems using passive cooling are preferred.
3.2.3 Consideration must be taken to minimize shock to blood payload for any proposed delivery concept.
3.2.4 System must have an operational range of 100 or more miles. Command and control of the aircraft must be maintained at all times.
3.3 Nano VTOL UAS
3.3.1 Extremely small, lightweight Nano VTOL UAS with a takeoff weight of 75 grams or below are desired with the following characteristics. 4.3.3.2 Day and night imaging capability.
3.3.3 Autonomous flight modes.
3.3.4 Indoor flight capability with augmented collision avoidance,
operator in the loop control.
3.4 Micro VTOL UAS
3.4.1 Small, lightweight micro VTOL UAS with a takeoff weight of 750
grams or below are desired with the following characteristics. 4.3.4.2 Day and night imaging capability.
3.4.3 All-weather capability.
3.4.4 Autonomous flight modes.
3.4.5 Autonomous indoor flight capability with collision avoidance. 4.3.4.6 Operation in Global Positioning System (GPS) denied environment and confined spaces (including subterranean).
3.5 Small Fixed Wing UAS
3.5.1 Hand launchable or VTOL fixed wing UAS with no launch or
recovery equipment (bungee, net, etc.) is desired with the following characteristics.
3.5.2 VTOL configurations not to exceed 3.5 kg takeoff weight. 4.3.5.3 All-weather capability.
3.5.4 Day and night imaging capability.
3.5.5 Autonomous flight modes with GPS denied capability. 4.3.5.6 Minimum of 90 minutes endurance at sea level.

4 Managed signature. Technologies of interest are those that help avoid physical detection by acoustic, thermal, radar, visual, optical, electro-magnetic, virtual, and near infrared means.
4.1 Technologies which help manage digital presence within the realm of social media.
4.2 Technologies that assist in providing resistance to biometric tracking.
4.3 Technologies that exploit publicly available information to obscure or deceive to deny information about actions and intentions.

5 Next generation Military Information Support Operations (MISO). Technologies should be operable in limited or denied connectivity environments.
5.1 UAS/drone supported broadcasts.
5.2 Linguist expertise and regional dialects.
5.3 Demographic and culturally adaptive.
5.4 Operable in multiple spectrums, e.g. microwave, IR, etc. 4.5.5 Real time feedback.
5.5.1 Biometrics and patterns of life. 4.5.5.2 Data analysis.

6 Human Performance and Biomedical. The optimization of SOF operator’s ability to perform at very high levels for long durations, process information and make the right decisions in a timely manner, while operating in extreme environments, under high levels of stress will significantly improve their operational effectiveness. SOF requires the capability for far-forward austere casualty care to sustain critically injured personnel until they can reach the next higher level of care. SOF medical personnel place a premium on medical technologies that are small, lightweight, ruggedized, modular, multi-use, and designed for operation in extreme environments. The equipment must be easy to use, require minimum maintenance, and have low power consumption. Drugs and biologics should not require refrigeration or other special handling.
6.1 Enhanced cognitive performance

The deadline for nomination package(s) is 10 September, 2018 at 12:00 Noon Eastern Time.

Future experiments include:

TE 9-2 Sensitive Site Exploitation/Hyper Enabled Operator, 25-29 March, 2019, at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, IN.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

ARCYBER provides Soldiers with Array of Capabilities for Battlefield, Commander Says

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

WASHINGTON — A misconception of U.S. Army Cyber Command’s mission is that it’s only about defensive and offensive cyber, said Lt. Gen. Stephen G. Fogarty. But equally important, he said, are other “tribal members” of ARCYBER — signals intelligence, electronic warfare and information operations.

Fogarty, commander of ARCYBER, spoke Thursday during an Association of the U.S. Army-sponsored forum on cyber warfare.

PFC Nathaniel Ortiz of the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade sets up deployable cyber tools overlooking the mock city of Razish at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., May 5, 2017. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Bill Roche)

ARCYBER needs to provide the combatant commander with an entire array of options from each of those communities that will provide him or her freedom of movement on the battlefield and deny the same to adversaries, Fogarty said. “We want to present multiple dilemmas to the enemy, not just cyber.”

Fogarty added that next week he’ll convene a meeting with leaders in ARCYBER to discuss the roles each of them play and how they can more effectively be utilized in the future, such as by better synchronizing their efforts.

U.S. Army Cyber Command is a relatively new organization, stood up just eight years ago, he said. Over the course of that time, particularly within the last two years, ARCYBER has been able to assess what it has gotten wrong and right so far.

ARCYBER operators “are in the fight every day,” he explained, and in the last two years that fight has heated up as peer adversaries acquire new technologies and capabilities and test those of the U.S. and its allies.

That high-intensity fight has enabled ARCYBER to accelerate its learning and evolve much more quickly than ever before, he said. The backbone of that effort has been the excellent ARCYBER workforce.

Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, Army chief information officer/G-6, said he wants to ensure that the ARCYBER workforce of 13,600 individuals has the right skills and training to meet the higher demands that will be placed on them as they defend the U.S. network and work to disrupt the network of the enemy.

NETWORK MODERNIZATION

Today’s effort to modernize the network is the largest in 35 years, Crawford said. In the early 1980s, he said, the Army was just getting a grasp of how software and the Internet would fundamentally change the character of warfare. The Army’s network modernization effort now is being led by two cross functional teams: the Assured Position, Navigation and Timing team and the Network team.

Advances in information technology, particularly within the last two years, mean that the Army must get a grasp on how this new technology can shape the modern battlefield and how to best take advantage of that by working closely with partners in industry and academia, he said.

Crawford said that if he had to pick the top three IT developments that will shape the nature of war, they are cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and identity, credential and access management.

Peer adversaries, he said, are working hard on developing these three as well, and some have even suggested that whoever reaches a breakthrough in AI first will obtain world dominance.

ThirdBlockGear – Genesis of the Observer Kit

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Mogadishu, Somalia, July 2011 – Somalia was in the midst of an ongoing civil war and a severe famine, brought about by a drought and a lack of governance. The famine ultimately kills over two hundred thousand civilians. The capital city, Mogadishu, was largely controlled by the UN-recognized Transitional Federal Government, supported by African Union troops. The Islamic extremist insurgent group, Al-Shabab controlled pockets of the city, and tribal in-fighting continued. While the city itself, the airport, and nearby port, were mostly controlled by the TFG, Al-Shabab, controlled the surrounding countryside. Fighting was ongoing, despite the humanitarian crisis killing thousands. We were tasked with evaluating if, and how, civilian aid organizations could respond to the humanitarian crisis and deliver desperately needed food, water, and medicine.

While this was not my first experience with overseas travel, conflicts, humanitarian work, and civ-mil partnerships, this was my first time totally unsupported in a place where the nearest decent hospital was the next country over, there was no infrastructure, such as phones or electricity, and we were completely surrounded by the enemy. There was no QRF, no support, no logistics, and no security beyond what the local TFG could provide. We needed to bring everything required to sustain ourselves and collect the information needed. I knew there wouldn’t be a Best Buy or even a tourist camera store in-country. And we had to keep it all under 20kg (UN flight weight restrictions), go through commercial security and customs in various airports, and be easily carried (didn’t expect luggage trolleys, turns out there weren’t any).

The plan was for a three week trip, basing out of Nairobi, Kenya while sorting transit in and out of Mogadishu, which was still sketchy. For some reason neither Orbitz nor Expedia had flights or good hotel recommendations for Mogadishu. We expected at least two weeks in Somalia. So pack two weeks of clothes, toiletries, food, water, coffee, power, comms, technical data collections gear, etc. 20kg. Cool. No problem. Right? The working model in my head was, sustainment gear stowed at the safe house and essential mission and “Oh Shit” gear carried with me in a backpack. Recharge batteries at night, do processing and uploading then, etc. What is it they say about plans of mice and men? Fortunately, I wasn’t wholly unprepared or completely wrong in my planning, but a lot of frustrating shortcomings were discovered. So now I’ll highlight the Lessons Learned that drove me to develop the Observer Kit:

1) Power, Power, Power. Looking back, my “conservative” guess about worst-case availability of infrastructure turned out to be a bit optimistic. The nature of the physical threat, the security precautions demanded, as well as the ops tempo also threw my preparations a curve ball. Working overseas is not the same as camping or hiking. Solar is great. Particularly when there is little-to-no power infrastructure. But when you are working, you are on-the-go, constantly getting in and out of vehicles, and not always the same ones. The safe house we were staying in was great. They even occasionally ran a generator for a few hours a night to give us a little power. How many outlets do you think are going to be free and how soon till a surge breaker trips? Just imagine how many others are struggling with their power budget.

2) Backpacks suck. Being constantly on the move, in and out of vehicles, walking through crowded areas, and needing quick access to your gear make the backpack form factor far less than ideal. Again, working overseas is not the same as camping. In uniform you have a plate carrier or vest rig and probably a belt where constant use items can be grabbed quickly and easily. The camera, voice recorder, or GPS sitting in your backpack, does you no good in a vehicle or on the move. You have no visibility or control over the pack on your back in a crowded market or street. And few backpacks have things like pockets for satellite antennas that need constant view of the sky. Which brings me to my next point:

Communications are critical. Mogadishu is one of the more extreme environments but disasters, conflicts, or mass scale events can also make communications difficult. We had a single (!) satellite phone for emergency use and expected to have access to some other communications networks. We needed to connect with people who sometimes had no local phone or SIM card at all. Most carriers blocked international calls. Keeping track of the different carriers required to talk to different people and the multiple phones was another complication. And my wife was Not Happy with me going dark for long stretches. If the team got separated, who had the sat phone? Over the years there have been other Lessons Learned in this category but these got me started.

4) Semper Gumby. You’d be amazed at the Opportunities To Excel found in these environments. Being able to solve, hack, or improvise around problems that wouldn’t exist back home can have a dramatic impact on effectiveness. Things like copying and moving data that would normally be as simple as emailing someone a spreadsheet or photocopying some pages can be serious obstacles to operations. Fixing (or sometimes breaking) things in a pinch, is needed more often than you’d suspect. The Marine credo “Forever Flexible” or “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome” should be taken to heart.

5) Hygiene helps. Hygiene and comfort are more difficult than you expect, but are worth tackling if you can keep it fast, light, and compact. Keeping you effective so that you can accomplish your goals is worth some effort. Time is often more scarce than running water, however.

Conclusion. At that time we were purely a consulting company with no interest in manufacturing or selling gear. The week I returned I started looking everywhere on the market for solutions and improvements. Nothing quite fit the requirements. So I reached out to a friend who runs Zulu Nylon Gear to make a custom sling bag for us and proceeded to hack, tweak, and customize the kit around this new wearable platform. Over the years it’s been refined and refactored countless times. Experiences in diverse climates like the Philippines and Iraq drove comfort tweaks. Constant heavy use and new offerings on the market improved capabilities and features. I’m proud of what’s been built and have had a lot of requests from other users in the field to purchase our kits. So now we are offering them to the general market. Everything we sell is gear that we rely on and use in the field ourselves. Take a look at our SSR Kits and our Observer System or ping us for other custom solutions.

Observer Kit in the Philippines, doing wide area assessment after Typhoon Yolanda, NOV 2013

thirdblockgear.com

This is the final bag design.

Air Force Specialty Code 14F – Information Operations Officer

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

In mid-May Chief Of Staff of the Air Force, Gen Dave Goldfein awarded four officers the new Information Operations occupational badge. Although it’s hard to see in this photo, it features a Trojan Horse, long associated with deception in war. In fact, the practitioners of this field, also have a new Air Force Specifically Code, 14F to go along with the badge. In the past, these functions were performed generally by Intelligence Officers (AFSC 14N), unrated Staff Officers (16G), and Behavioral Scientists (61B) based on ad-hoc training for duty positions.

This is an officer AFSC which uses information-related capabilities to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp the decision making of selected audiences to create desired effects.

Currently, part of their qualification includes attending Military Information Support Operations aka PSYOPS training with the Army at Ft Bragg, as well as Courses in Tactical Deception and Operations Security.

However, the Air Force is standing up a new schoolhouse at Hurlburt Field, Florida, which is coincidentally the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command. A new 15-week course will come online in 2019 and focus specifically on the Air Force application of IO.

The careerfield itself remains small, but there are multiple IO Squadrons within the Air Force which conduct a wide variety of intelligence functions. This is sure to lead to confusion about the specialized focus of the 14F AFSC.

Photos via CSAF twitter feed.