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Archive for the ‘Tac Apps’ Category

Software Factory Helps Transform Army from Industrial to Information Age

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Anyone can submit a problem to the Army Software Factory.

To be clear, that is not just anyone at the factory, or in the formation, or anyone of a certain rank or office. Anyone in the U.S. Army can submit a problem to the Army Software Factory. It is an innovative concept but one that fulfills the promise of Army Futures Command.

When AFC was stood up in 2018, it was understood that it would not be business as usual. And when AFC opened the Army Software Factory in 2021, it was making good on that promise. The first-of-its-kind factory brings in rotating groups of Soldiers and Army civilians through a highly competitive application process and trains them in modern agile software development. Joshua Farrington of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, or AvMC, is one of those civilians chosen for a prestigious factory rotation. Farrington is currently in a three-year assignment at the factory located in Austin, Texas.

“Employees that accept a rotation with the Army Software Factory bring their unique perspectives and capabilities from their home organizations and share those ideas into our ecosystem which further widens our vision of what is possible,” said Maj. Christopher Bennett, product manager at the Army Software Factory. “In addition to building their collaboration skills, rotations of employees that come through the Software Factory will encourage innovation through context-sharing on problems and products. When more people see a greater variety of problems and pains solved by software across the Army, it helps build a repository of ideas more easily shared across teams to reference.”

The program starts with a 16-week boot camp. There are four different tracks — platform engineer, software developer, product manager and designer. Farrington is on the software development track.

When a problem is submitted, the factory has a team to vet it. They do interviews, an initial scoping, and then decide whether to accept the problem. Once a problem is accepted, the assigned team works with partners to build a web application to address the problem — providing the collaboration that Army Futures Command is striving to foster Army-wide. Currently, Farrington is working on an application that will assist the 101st Airborne Division in their air assault mission planning process.

Another innovative aspect of the factory is that it is “rank agnostic” with Soldiers solving problems for Soldiers — an experience that Farrington said has been personally beneficial.

“It has been impactful for me — working directly with a lot of Soldiers,” Farrington shared. “At AvMC, we were doing things for the Warfighter but I was not around the Warfighter. Now, here, I am on a team with three other Soldiers who have directly dealt with the problem we are trying to solve. My impact for the Warfighter feels a lot more tangible.

“I was a civilian at AvMC writing Army-related software and I just wouldn’t have the context on what the app was actually doing because I had never flown a helicopter. So a Soldier who actually understands the context of how an app is actually going to be used – it just makes it so much easier to make decisions. I think having more Soldiers writing software will be a huge asset to the Army.”

In the Army’s continuing mission to transform itself from the industrial age to the information age, the Army Software Factory is a key player in the future fight — one that will be as much in the virtual cloud as it is in the physical ones.

“One of the big purposes of the Software Factory is to increase the software that is in the Army’s technical capabilities,” Farrington said. “The talent is already there, the Software Factory is finding a way to make the most of it.”

By Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs

Six Industries Takes it to the Next Level with Tertia Optio

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Scotsdale, AZ May 23, 2022 The Tertia Optio, Hyper-awareness Enabled Battlespace, Advanced Digital Management and Networking System (HEBADMAN System) is a Mosaic Warfighter Network military infrastructure system including hardware support, software support and layered encryption in order to provide the warfighter, on all levels, with common operational cross-domain secure battlefield data enabling new levels of dynamic combat agility. It is a software networking suite designed for cell phone, internet of things (IoT) and desktop integration of military Command, Control, Computers, Communication, Cyber, Intelligences, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Networking (C5ISRNET) to provide a Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution enabling tactical and strategic information advantage, battlefield dominance, speed of command and maximizing mission effectiveness in the Mosaic Battlefield Environment.

It does this by leveraging the latest in cellular phone hardware technologies advancements to integrate them with the latest cutting-edge redundant encryption algorithms, advancements in geo-spatial technologies, and cloud computing capabilities couching them all in a server-side mission adaptable, user-managed, user interface, and customizable to mission requirements in dynamic combat environments.

The goal of this technology is to enable the warfighter and Commanders access to immediate actionable intelligence and capabilities to fight and win in increasing electronics dominated battlefields, while simultaneously eliminating digital information vulnerabilities inherent to use of private or unsecured mobile communications within a widely interoperable common information operating environment.

The system is nominally secured by end-to-end AES256 encryption, with cloud storage of encrypted signals until the target receiving device is available for download. This non-linear, elliptical curve encryption technology is considered secure by the US military for transmission of Top-Secret level signals. The data is then couched with-in a permissioned blockchain network, this decentralizes the network storage, maintains a permanent ledger and secures the already encrypted data. Then, and only then, is the data transmitted via Virtual Private Network (VPN) to the receiving nodes.

Features Included:

• Custom group building and tiering (operations): Enables units to be digitally structured in the system. A Battalion Commander could send directions to his whole Battalion simultaneously or pass down via the Chain of Command to all or a portion of his command, or in extreme cases could reach out directly to an individual Soldier via text or voice.

• Facial and fingerprint secure up-load (reporting): Using the High Value Identification (HVID) Module and a photo-capable, tactile capable phone, field sampling and upload of facial recognition features along with fingerprint scanning data to headquarters is completed in seconds for field identification of human high-value targets.

• HUMINT Contact Module (Reporting): Using elements from the HVID Module and the SPOTReporting modules, users are able to snap a photo of the individual(s) and their ID cards, fill out text space regarding said interaction and record the interaction which is then sent up the chain of command to be reviewed and filed.

• Contact reporting (reporting): Using the Contact Report Module, units in contact with the enemy can describe the enemy, their number and armaments, with accurate error-free location information instantly and silently. This module uses standard reporting formats such as; SALUTE, SALT and SPOT or user defined formats. Attached photos or video give Command an immediate visual snapshot of the contact situation.

• Medical Evacuation (support): The MEDEVAC Module allows service members on the ground to quickly and accurately, via dropdown menu, request Emergency Medical Evacuation, with no location transcription errors, silently. Using the touch-to-target function, this module also allows service member to select a requested pick-up zone away from their current location if they are moving rapidly in dynamic combat situations.

• Air support (support): The Close Air Support (CAS) Module allows service members to request CAS, select from a customizable menu the type of available CAS and using tap-to-target on the map request a specific target zone and approach vectors, additionally the target data could be sent and displayed on the aircrafts HUD for precise targeting or gun runs.

• Call for Fire Module (support): Similar to both the MEDEVAC and CAS functions, the Call for Fire uses a drop-down menu of the standardized Call for Fire request and tap-to-target functionality to request artillery support via their Tactical Operations Center (TOC). This streamlines the current multiple relay process where the request must be sent by radio after determining target’s location on a map the requestor radios their TOC, the TOC radio relays to the supporting Fire Direction Center (FDC), the FDC radio relays to the actual artillery squad who will aim and fire the gun. There are numerous opportunities for transcription errors in this system and it takes time. The Tertia Optio Call for Fire Module uniquely eliminates this problem by allowing the data to be sent through the system from the requestor to the gun crew in seconds, accurately and silently.

Six Industries also has just released for sale Emergency Management & Response (EMAR) to the Law Enforcement market as their Emergency Management System solution along the same vein as Tertia Optio. Contact Six Industries sales team at [email protected] to find out more information. Available in both Android and iOS today!

iTAK Now Available In Apple App Store

Thursday, April 7th, 2022

Team Awareness Kit (Tactical Awareness Kit in DoD) is the core of a suite of georeferenced imagery and communications tools that allow for scaled operational planning, data sharing, visualized elevation data, and target management. It’s been used for years on the Android platform but now it’s come to the iPhone.

If you use it at work, you can use it at home as well. If you haven’t used it, you’re going to use and share information in an entirely new way.

Regardless of the flavor of End User Device you use, Tactical Awareness Kit is designed to be used in the field. Protect your EUD with a Juggernaut Case.

Download iTAK here.

Here’s a press release from the developer who brought it from the Gov to the Apple App Store.

Syzygy Integration Releases iTAK in the App Store, a Cutting-Edge Situational Awareness App

PHILADELPHIA, April 7, 2022 // — Syzygy Integration, a company focused on providing next-generation situational awareness to those that protect the homeland, announced today that it was the sole developer of iTAK (iOS Team Awareness Kit / Tactical Assault Kit) that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released to the Apple App Store for public use. iTAK helps to enable situational awareness across law enforcement, humanitarian and disaster response, counterterrorism, search and rescue and many other operational needs. This initial public release includes chat, routes, drawing, digital pointers, spotted map, offline maps, data sync, video, QR code onboarding, and more.


Syzygy Integration LLC iTAK 2.0 App Store Release

Syzygy Integration approached the design and development of the iTAK application to make situational awareness intuitive and robust, allowing users of the systems to be fully functional without training. Syzygy built iTAK from the ground up, under contract from DHS’  Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Syzygy’s collaboration with S&T enabled close coordination with federal, state, and local law enforcement and first responders to truly refine the user experience to provide maximum capability across a suite of use cases.

“We are extremely proud of the innovative technology we are putting forward. We hope that this release will help first responders, law enforcement, and military operators with enhanced situational awareness when they need it most. Syzygy is rapidly expanding, and we expect to release additional groundbreaking apps soon,” said Syzygy’s President and Founder, Wesley Mitchell.

Syzygy has multiple roles open for career opportunities. Check out our website tinyurl.com/yt7yhfxm.

iTAK is available for download here on the App Store: apps.apple.com/us/app/itak/id1561656396

Cytta Corp Development of SUPR TAK Video Streaming Solution for Integration Into TAK – Tactical Assault Kit/Team Awareness Kit Well Underway

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

Tackling a $12.78 Billion Market with Proven Technology

LAS VEGAS, NV December 20, 2021 / Cytta Corp. (OTCQB:CYCA), a leader in video streaming solutions, announces the development program for their SUPR TAK full HD video streaming solution for the $12.78 Billion TAK/ATAK market. TAK is the Tactical Assault Kit for the military, the Team Awareness Kit for civilian applications, and ATAK (Android Tactical Assault Kit) when integrated into the U.S. and NATO’s preeminent battlefield management application. A Beta launch is expected in Q2 of 2022.

Mr. Gary Campbell CEO stated, “Cytta Corp’s. SUPR TAK development program will allow us to meet the demand for high quality video and audio throughput in demanding environments under stressful situations where life or death depends on the effectiveness of timely resource deployment and management. Currently, operators and users of these applications are being held back by the lack of quality video streaming abilities. The SUPR TAK video streaming technology that Cytta Corp. will deliver is proprietary and unique, creating a significant opportunity in the current market.”

The current TAK management application system that is utilized in 15 Department of Defense (“DOD”) programs and has a user base of over 380,000, does not sustain multiple, reliable full motion video (FMV) from live streaming assets and cameras in higher resolutions. Cytta Corp. will be able to solve the lack of quality video streaming that TAK faces with its SUPR video streaming by integrating the Cytta proprietary SUPR streaming technology. Beneficiaries of Cytta’s full resolution streaming capabilities and technology span federal, state, and local government departments as well as in the recreational environment with users that hike, research, and explore our world through various means. With more state and local agencies coming onboard, this will continue to expand in the government level sectors.

The Soldier System Market was valued at USD $12.78 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD $14.14 billion by 2023 according to ‘Soldier System Market, Industry Analysis and Market Forecast to 2023′.

Cytta was asked to develop the SUPR TAK, for the TAK/ATAK ecosystem, by various military partners like UK SOF, US Air Force, US National Guard, SOCOM, Border and Customs, and other Mil Spec users. By integrating Cytta’s patented SUPR technology capabilities, TAK will now be capable of delivering full resolution streaming over low-bandwidth with low-latency. All users will be able to utilize this exclusive solution that Cytta alone can provide

This is yet another unique and significant step forward for a Company already trusted by major players in the military, first responders and industry. This new SUPR TAK initiative will enhance integration of the Company’s proprietary technology and is in response to customer requirements. Cytta’s technology applications make a critical difference to the safety and operational effectiveness of personnel in the defense, first responder and security industries.

Brand New Tactical NAV App for Android Available

Monday, December 13th, 2021

After almost a year of non-stop development, the developer of Tactical NAV has finally finished the “brand new” Tactical NAV app for Android. He is a veteran himself and everything he does is based on his own experience and designed to help the men and women of the US military.

The great thing about the new app is that it’s a 100% direct translation of the iPhone app. And also, very soon, you’ll see real-time friendly and enemy force tracking (what the developer calls “troop tracking”) along with a landscape option, and many of the features that are available in ATAK.

Hopefully, the Android users out there like it as much as the iPhone users.

You can find the new Tactical NAV here play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tacnav.android

‘Can’t Miss’ Tactical Assault Kit Event Kicks Off Nov. 30

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Nov. 22, 2021) — The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)-led Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) Product Center, in partnership with the Army, will host the eighth annual TAK Offsite in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

TAK is a map-based software application that enables coordination among operational users in the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with features such as positioning data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows.

“The TAK offsite is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with mission partners across various operational use cases to share feedback, to expand the capability, and to continuously make the products better,” said Bill Newmeyer of the Army’s Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, where the TAK Product Center resides.

The C5ISR Center, part of Army Futures Command, supports the TAK development and user community by providing engineering expertise for the development and technical management of the core TAK software platforms as well as through participation in a Configuration Steering Board (CSB). Program Executive Office – SOF Digital Applications, part of USSOCOM, funds the product center, chairs the Configuration Steering Board and sponsors the TAK Offsite.

“The TAK community has grown from a dozen users to a hundred users to now over 200,000 users,” said Ryan McLean, TAK Product Center director. “As more users adopt TAK, we’ve continued to make TAK products more widely available. The TAK CSB amplifies and extends that growth through events such as the TAK Offsite.”

The TAK Offsite brings value to all stakeholders – users, developers, program managers, and even to people and organizations new to TAK. Real-world users attend and learn about new features and integration possibilities within TAK, while developers learn about how the TAK application programming interface (API) and core capabilities are constantly improving. Many program managers also attend the event to promote their initiatives that use TAK.

“TAK has been successful largely due to our open-architecture, open-source model that’s very developer-friendly,” said McLean. “That means staying synchronized with industry and listening to the needs of equipment providers and solution builders. TAK grows and improves not because of TAK alone, but because of TAK’s ability to break down the old barriers to system integration.”

As with previous years, the 2021 TAK Offsite will foster efforts to get more feedback to improve platforms and generate cross-team collaboration. This confluence of minds spurs the new waves of innovation in TAK development, integration, and use cases.

“This is a can’t-miss event for anyone developing situational awareness and geospatial capabilities. Anyone who attends should expect full immersion in the TAK community across four days packed with content,” said McLean. “If you use TAK, if you develop TAK, if you field capabilities that use TAK, or if you just want to learn about TAK, this is where you need to be.”

To register, attendees must create a TAK.gov account at tak.gov. Attendees may then register for the event under the Events page of TAK.gov. Questions should be directed to [email protected] with questions.

SMA to Young Army Leaders: There’s an app for That

Friday, November 19th, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston visited Army Futures Command’s Army Software Factory (ASWF) in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 28 to meet with Army civilian and Soldier coders who are developing the Army software of the future.

ASWF is a first-of-its-kind, integrated software development initiative to teach, develop and employ self-sustaining talent from all ranks within the military and civilian workforce.

Grinston’s visit was part of the Army’s “This is My Squad (TIMS)” initiative, designed to build unit cohesion, create foundational leadership skills to build up today’s Army and prepare young leaders for the Army of the future.

“It’s about engaged leaders who know their Soldiers and build cohesive teams that are highly trained, disciplined and mentally and physically fit,” Grinston said.

One important tool in the TIMS campaign will be the MySquad mobile app, in its early stages of development by coders at ASWF. When complete, the app is planned to be an easily accessible, mobile way to enable squad leaders to communicate with and direct their Soldiers in real time, no matter where they are.

“It’s this question: ‘How do we manage our time better?’” Grinston said. “We’ve heard this for years: you get last-minute taskings, I didn’t know to go to this meeting, whatever it is.”

“That’s what squad leaders said – I want an app that helps me manage time and taskings. That’s the whole point of the MySquad app.”

The MySquad app, like other software developed at ASWF, is software “for Soldiers, by Soldiers.” ASWF brings the end-users of their software — squad leaders, in this case — into the development process in regular and meaningful ways. These Soldier touchpoints help to pinpoint end-user issues that may otherwise be overlooked by developers.

Integrating Soldier touchpoints in software design speeds up the development process, drives requirements and ensures the Army and ASWF are meeting Soldiers’ tactical and operational needs.

Currently, Soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, are testing an early version of the app and providing feedback directly to the development team.

“What I like about tying it from Fort Hood to here is the Soldiers are using it, the Soldiers are developing it, and as we want the technology to change, we change it,” Grinston said.

ASWF coders link information from Soldier touchpoints into the next iteration of prototyping to verify the value of the new additions, then build that functionality into the next version of the app. New versions of the app are returned to the testers, who provide further information to facilitate ongoing improvements. This creates a Soldier feedback loop that informs software development and helps Soldiers become stronger, better organized leaders.

“I like the fact that we were in direct communication with the team developing the application, and they considered all of our complaints,” said Staff Sgt. Kerry Cartwright, a cavalry scout with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. “The developers listened to us and actually added those useful links as features.”

Grinston said that feedback is implemented immediately to see how it affects the overall functionality of the app. One example from the visit was incorporating the Golden Triangle — a tool leaders use to ensure that a Soldier’s friends and family can contact them in the event there is an issue with the Soldier.

“The Chief [of Staff of the Army] says ‘Here’s the Golden Triangle, we’ve got to connect these dots.’ In the app they’re all listed out with a button and you just hit the button to call them,” Grinston explained.

Though still in an early development phase, when complete, the MySquad app is planned to assist small-unit leaders in task tracking, counseling, event and appointment scheduling and training management.

Grinston said that taking these tasks from paper to the digital age will help leaders take care of Soldiers by providing better predictability in their schedules while improving overall readiness.

“It’s not ‘People First’ versus ‘Readiness’ — ‘People First’ is ‘Readiness,’ and this is a perfect example of that.”

Don’t look for MySquad at your app store quite yet, though.

According to Lt. Col. Vito Errico, ASWF co-director, “agile coding is an iterative process that allows us to continuously refine our software development by incorporating Soldiers’ input. We will continue refining and testing this app until it meets our high standards and our squad leader testers tell us it is fully ready for launch.”

Story by MSG Ben K. Navratil, Army Futures Command

Photos by Patrick Hunter

SOCOM-led Tactical Assault Kit Product Center Hosts Hybrid Workshop in Colorado Springs

Monday, November 8th, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) Product Center is hosting a hybrid (in-person and virtual) workshop to expedite the development and integration of situational awareness tools Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

The Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) is a map-based software application that enables coordination among thousands of users with features such as a position data, chat, mission planning and shared overlays. It is compatible with Android, Apple iOS and Windows.

The TAK offsite will offer an opportunity for stakeholders from across the Department of Defense (DoD), federal agencies and industry to exchange information and identify critical needs. The event will offer tracks for programmatic updates and training on the TAK platforms. A separate track for developers will be held virtually later this year.

“While programmatic briefs and demonstrations are important, feedback from previous TAK Offsites has been heavy on the value of hallway discussions and introductions between sessions,” said Mark Roberts, deputy director for the TAK Product Center. “This year’s hybrid event facilitates in-person meetings which are key to building strong, lasting relationships amongst community members while simultaneously enabling virtual participation from TAK users around the globe.”

As the central software development hub for all TAK efforts, including 13 federal programs of record, the TAK Product Center provides core development, software updates, cybersecurity and testing for an enhanced user experience.

To foster innovation, the TAK Product Center approved the public release of a non-military variant for federal and government agencies – known as the Android Team Awareness Kit-Civilian (ATAK-CIV) application – on Google Play and the open-source Standard ATAK Software Development Kit on TAK.gov.

“The crowd-sourced nature of the Team Awareness Kit (TAK) is unique among government materiel development programs. The TAK Product Center has proven that focusing on the user provides optimal solutions and wide adoption,” said Col. Paul Weizer, Program Executive Officer for SOF Digital Applications. “I expect open-source elements of the TAK software development/delivery model will become ubiquitous across government software program offices.”

Registration for the offsite is available at tak.gov/events/2021_Offsite until November 26th. Learn more about the event here:

By USSOCOM PAO

U.S. Army photo by SPC Joshua Cofield