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Archive for the ‘SOF’ Category

Meet Callie – DoD’s Only Search and Rescue K9

Monday, August 19th, 2019


(Air National Guard photo by SSgt Darby Arnold, 134th ARW Public Affairs)

Meet Callie, a 26-month-old Dutch shepherd, is one of the newest additions to the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron in Louisville, Ky. She is the Kentucky Air Guard’s first member of the 123rd Search and Rescue K-9 program, making her the only search and rescue dog in the entire Department of Defense.

Callie’s handler, TSgt Rudy Parsons, is a Pararescueman with the 123rd STS, Kentucky Air National Guard.

Special Air Warfare And The Secret War In Laos

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Air University Press has released “Special Air Warfare And The Secret War In Laos: Air Commandos 1964-75”. Download your copy at media.defense.gov.

Ribbon Cutting for Utah Guard’s New Special Forces Readiness Center

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah —

The Utah National Guard’s 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) will held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly built Staff Sgt. Aaron Rhett Butler Special Forces Readiness Center, at 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 at Camp Williams.

This state-of-the-art building has been in the works for the past 10 years, and broke ground for construction on Oct. 17, 2017. It has been built by Jacobsen Construction of Salt Lake City, at a cost of $39 million. The more than 140,000-square-foot facility will serve as the administrative building, classroom building and main training and operations space for the 19th Special Forces Group Headquarters and 1st Battalion, 19th SFG (A). The project will not officially be completed until the end of September.

The building is dedicated to Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler who was killed in action on Aug. 16, 2017, while engaging with the enemy in Afghanistan. The loss of Butler reminds us that the focus of the 19th SFG (A) is to provide quality training to each service member, in preparation to defend the U.S. and free the oppressed in far reaches of the world.

The 19th SFG (A) is growing to become one of the largest major commands in Utah. The 19th SFG (A) originally constituted in the Utah National Guard on May 1, 1960 and enjoys a long and successful history as one of only two National Guard Special Forces Groups in the nation. Its unique mission, capabilities and unit cohesiveness have been demonstrated may times around the globe.  From its earliest exercises in the Republic of Korea to the continuing War on Terrorism, the Soldiers of the 19th SFG (A) continue to be a relevant asset to international defense initiatives while also being leaders in their respective local communities.

The armory employs approximately 120 full-time personnel and hosts more than 600 Soldiers every month for training.

MAJ D.J. Gibb, the Utah National Guard PAI initially prepared this report as a media advisory.

Army General, SOCOM Commander Emphasizes Character to New SEALs

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

The legendary toughness of the Navy’s SEAL teams was on display as the general in charge of U.S. Special Operations Command addressed the 57 sailors graduating from SEAL Qualification Training Class 322 in Coronado, Calif.

Socom Commander Army Gen. Richard Clarke opened his Aug. 2 address noting he felt fortunate to be addressing the graduating class.

“I am glad to break the streak as the first U.S. Army officer and the first U.S. Army Ranger to preside over a [SEAL qualification] graduation,” Clarke said. 

The class began training 15 months ago with 157 students. The physical and mental challenges the sailors faced whittled down the numbers and polished those who made it through to graduation.

“For each of you preparing to walk across this stage, it is an almost indescribable achievement,” Clarke said.

The new SEALs are a diverse group, hailing from 21 different states, the general said, telling the graduates the only thing they shared when the training began “was a desire to test yourselves, to experience a unique challenge, to be part of something bigger than yourselves and to put the needs of the nation ahead of your own.”

Clarke noted the new SEALs have charged through the surf many times in the past 15 months of training, but the next time they do it, it will be different — it will be as members of operational units. 

“Right now, around the globe, Navy SEALs — your teammates — are hard at work,” Clarke said. “SEALs have — and will continue to play — an active and vital role in our national security efforts.” 

SEALs continue to quietly and professionally set the conditions for their fellow service members to deter, disrupt and defeat any adversary, the general said. “You can be sure that we will continue to ask our SEALs to accept the most difficult missions,” he said. “This will challenge you in ways you cannot anticipate, and you need to be ready now.”

That these missions will require physical and technical competence is a given. But they will also require the SEALs to demonstrate character, the general told the graduates. “The themes of trust and of teamwork have been a large part of your training,” Clarke said. “Across the [Special Operations Command] enterprise, trust is our currency with the American people. It’s a powerful but fragile credibility that each of us must guard fiercely.”

“The American people trust that you — that we — will take on these challenges,” he added. “That we will not only win, but win with honor [and] with your values intact. Never allow a disordered loyalty to an individual or team to obscure the values, commitment and trust you share with your great Navy service, with Socom and with the nation.”

Clarke said the new SEALs will have lives in their hands, and that how they respond will affect their fellow citizens. Graduating from the SEAL Qualification Course is the first step. “We count your success here as assurance of your courage, your competence and, most of all, your character. I know that all of you are sufficient for the task,” he said.

The next time they have to wade into cold waters, Clarke said, he wants them to “wade into the unknown boldly, and keep your hands steady.”

The new SEALs are now part of this greater team of special operators who “share a common commitment to protect the American people, our prosperity and, most important, our way of life,” Clarke said.

BY JIM GARAMONE, Defense.gov

SOFWERX Novel Passive sUAS Detection and/or Tracking System

Friday, August 9th, 2019

What does 5 days, drones and $120K have in common? They all add up to SOFWERX’ fastest prize challenge to date. Submit your novel passive solution to detect and/or track sUAS 14 August at teamwerx.org/detect for your chance to win!.

24th SOW Mission Video

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Comprising the Special Tactics Force, Air Force Special Operations Command’s 24th Special Operations Wing is dedicated to tactical air-to-ground integration force and is the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

Leupold & Stevens Submits GAO Protest On USSOCOM’s S-VPS Program

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Earlier this week, optics manufacturer Leupold & Stevens submitted a GAO protest of the U.S. Department of the Navy Surface Warfare Center Crane Division’s recent contract modification published on 18 July 2019, to the internal reticle under Solicitation No. N00164-18-R-JQ30 (“the Solicitation”) and Contract No. N00164-18-D-JQ30 (“the Contract”) for Miniature Aiming Systems-Day Squad-Variable Power Scopes (Second Focal Plane) to Sig Sauer, Inc. For this solicitation, Crane is working on behalf of United States Special Operations Command as their office of primary responsibility for lethality. SOF weapons and accessories as well as Visual Augmentation Systems are procured by Crane.

Leupold asserts that Crane improperly modified its contract with Sig Sauer and that the changes made to the contract were so substantial that the contract should be terminated and a new competition conducted for the modified requirements. The additional funding of the contract modification is so much when added to SIG’s winning bid that Leupold feels someone else would have been awarded the contract instead of SIG.

While the SIG Optics TANGO6T is at the heart of this action, it’s important to point out that the protest has nothing to do with performance. That hasn’t even been actually assessed yet as neither SIG nor Nightforce have delivered any production samples to the government. This is because USSOCOM decided to integrate a new reticle into S-VPS, the Tremor8.

When the program was created, a different reticle had initially been considered, but due to the adoption of 6.5 Creedmoor, SOCOM decided they wanted a bullet drop compensator reticle. Todd Hodnett had envisioned a new Tremor reticle and this was adopted, but in concept only. The reticle was sketched out on a napkin and included settings for 5.56 M855A1 as well as the new 6.5 CM round. Even when the optics had been selected and contracts awarded, the Tremor8 still did not exist. Just recently, months later, the reticle has finally been certified. Now that it has been certified, Nightforce and SIG can integrate the reticle into their scopes and deliver samples to the government for acceptance testing.

Both Nightforce and SIG will have to pay a license fee to include that reticle in the scopes the government will purchase, even though Nightforce shares an owner with Tremor8 creator Horus.

SIG’s winning submission to S-VPS (SFP) incorporated a proprietary wire reticle. While this was selected, SOCOM later decided they wanted an etched, illuminated Tremor8 reticle.

The additional cost of the integration of the Tremor8 into the SIG TANGO6T is what Leupold is protesting. Did the government violate its own requirement when it selected the SIG optic as submitted, or did the government select a product based on its own requirement and then direct the vendor to make changes which were costly? That is the heart of the question at hand. GAO will investigate the matter and make a determination. Possible outcomes are the status quo, a new solicitation, no procurement at all, or SIG being paid for at least a portion of the contract and a new solicitation being issued.

Read the redacted protest letter
here.

NSWC Crane Hosts First United Kingdom Light Weapon Design Course for Expeditionary Professionals

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

CRANE, Ind. – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) hosted Expeditionary professionals for its first Light Weapon Design Course led by Cranfield University, a postgraduate university based in the United Kingdom that specializes in defense technology.

“This is the first time the Light Weapon Design has been brought to Crane,” says Adam Parsley, a Division Manager at NSWC Crane. “The Small Arms Weapon Systems Division was able to really enhance the learning experience for all the students with the access we have to weapons, ammunition, and the firing range.”

Parsley says the Light Weapon Design Course teaches the fundamentals of weapon operation and design.

“It focuses on the development of light weapons, or small arms, and their design and operation today,” says Parsley. “Through this course, our Expeditionary employees will better understand the reasoning behind design parameters – heat dissipation, durability, signature, recoil – and will have better concepts of how to design and test weapons.”

Chris Shaffer, an engineer at NSWC Crane, took part in Cranfield’s Light Weapon Design Course. Shaffer says these highly specialized courses from Cranfield help with workforce development.

“These courses offer Expeditionary professionals the opportunity to gain unique, hands-on experience,” says Shaffer. “They can take the engineering concepts, ideas, and skills they learned in undergrad and apply them to military devices. For these jobs in Expeditionary Warfare, the workforce needs specialized knowledge.”

Students from other commands traveled to NSWC Crane to participate in the course.

“The Light Weapon Design Course was fantastic,” says Erin Thompson, a Weapons Team Engineer at Marine Corps Systems Command. “I learned so much that will be directly applicable to my job and make me more effective for the Marine Corps. Chris Shaffer and the Crane team were great and the access we were afforded to the weapons was incredibly beneficial.”

“I thought the class was really well done,” says Elizabeth Palm, a Test Officer at US Army Cold Regions Test Center. “Adam and Chris did a great job coordinating with Cranfield to be able to offer so much hands-on time with a variety of weapons, especially the foreign ones. And of course any chance to get out on the range is always a good day!”

Cranfield University is in its second year of offering Masters of Science courses at Crane. The Light Weapon Design Course is the seventh Cranfield course since its inception.

“Cranfield offers courses in weaponry, munitions, sensors, and communications that most colleges and universities just don’t have,” says Parsley. “They also have packaged these courses in this condensed, one-week format that is optimal for the working professional who wants to pursue an advanced degree.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications