Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

UF PRO – K9 Care Under Fire

Monday, December 9th, 2019

UF PRO continues their video training series with a lesson on caring for a wounded K9 while under fire.

Sign up for a K9 morale patch offer.

Air Force Research Labs Enhances Safety of Survival Specialists Through Wearable Health Monitoring Technology

Friday, December 6th, 2019

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio –An Air Force Research Laboratory team recently delivered version 2.0 of the Survival Health Awareness Responders Kit (SHARK) to U.S. Air Force instructors at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland Camp Bullis, a 28,000-acre site in Texas, used to train Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialists.

With SHARK, sensors embedded in shirts transmit key metrics including heart rate and estimated core temperature from smartphones to a server. As students undergo physical endurance tests during extended periods of isolation, the system allows instructors to monitor this data in real-time, and issues alerts for heart rate spikes and significant increases in temperature. Since the device identifies the user’s location, medical personnel can quickly respond to those in need of care.

2nd Lt. Matthew Dickinson, a biomechanical engineer within AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing (HPW), says that SHARK 2.0 is user-friendly and more secure. He explains that instructors and students alike are pleased with the streamlined setup process and the new web interface.

The commander of Detachment 3, 66th Training Squadron, Maj. Toby Andrews, said he appreciates that SHARK “gives [instructors] real-time alerts on the health and well-being of students.” The system “truly eases my mind as a commander,” he said since it “allows us to provide preventative care [in cases] that could otherwise lead to serious medical situations.”

Prior to SHARK, instructors checked on trainees at regular intervals to ensure their well-being. In certain cases, they administer ice baths to students with elevated body temperatures, said Tech. Sgt. John Garcia, a SERE instructor. However, since the introduction of this monitoring technology, zero ice baths have been required because the system alerts instructors before students reach what they call “the danger zone.”

To develop version 2.0, the SHARK team enlisted the help of Cedarville University students majoring in computer science. Loren Baum, who now works full-time in 711HPW, improved the code for his senior design project.  He optimized the software, added functionality, enhanced the security measures and streamlined the startup process.

Baum explains that the team moved SHARK from the mobile app arena to the web to make the system useable in a wider variety of scenarios. With the new approach, instructors simply log into a website from any computer to monitor students’ health status instead of launching an application, which requires installation and manual upgrades.

The team simplified the startup process with Quick Response (QR) codes that automatically input students’ information when scanned, Baum said. This measure reduced the total setup time from one hour to five minutes, and makes it easier for students and instructors to begin a new session.

In June 2019, the team traveled to JBSA-Camp Bullis and conducted initial tests with version 2.0. Once the team integrated additional software improvements, SERE instructors officially launched the upgrade in September.

The SHARK team continues to work with other squadron key leaders to address related needs. One such application involves using the included heart rate variability measurement to provide real-time feedback regarding students’ reactions to various training stressors.

This data would enable instructors to evaluate the effectiveness of interrogation techniques and determine the extent to which they affect individuals, said 1st Lt. David Feibus, a former software team lead, who is now a student at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

While SHARK is useful in various situations, Air Force instructors currently rely on this tool to offer “strenuous exercises in the safest manner possible,” said Ted Harmer, a 711HPW engineer who also leads a medical readiness personnel recovery training research team. When administering physical tests, instructors must achieve the purpose of the training and minimize negative impacts, whether they be physical or emotional, he explains.

Leadership from AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing originally learned about this need for additional safety measures during a visit to the USAF Survival School at Fairchild Air Force Base. School personnel explained that they needed a more proactive solution to monitor students’ health and performance during their rigorous training missions. Due to the ongoing research and development of wearable monitoring technologies in the 711HPW, experts decided the SERE training environment was another place this monitoring technology could improve the safety of SERE students and enhance their training program.

“Going in, we knew we needed a broad range of skillsets,” said Dr. James Christensen, a product line lead within the 711HPW. He explains that to produce an effective system, the team relied on expertise in wearable devices, electronics, software development, communications, human factors and physiology.

“We pulled together capabilities from several different parts of the organization to assemble the sensors, develop the software to pull sensor data together, and then build the communications capability to then send that data and be able to monitor it continuously and remotely.”

Following the initial design and development, the team arranged field tests with end-users. Several team members lived with JBSA-Camp Bullis instructors for one week to test SHARK 1.0 in 2018. Now, a year later, an upgraded system is in the field.

In the meantime, the SHARK team is also working with other groups who are interested in acquiring this technology including firefighters, NASA scientists and U.S. Army Special Forces. Members are currently exploring a version of the system that the Department of Defense Fire Academy can use under fire protection gear to prevent heat injuries.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Randall Moss and U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Davis, loadmasters assigned to the 16th Airlift Squadron, sort through survival equipment during a survival, evasion, resistance, and escape exercise August 21, 2019, in North, South Carolina. SERE specialists assigned to the 437th Operations Support Squadron conducted this exercise in order to identify potential areas of improvement in both SERE training and equipment provided to aircrew in case of a potential isolating event. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Duncan C. Bevan)

SureFire Field Notes Ep 50: How to Grip a Handgun with Robert Vogel

Friday, November 29th, 2019

SureFire Field Notes is a multi-segment informational video series with tips and techniques from subject matter experts of all backgrounds. In this episode, Robert Vogel of Vogel Dynamics discusses the proper technique in gripping a handgun for fast and accurate shooting.

If you have an idea on a suggested topic, be sure to drop us a line in the comments section!

Robert Vogel is a professional marksman, competition shooter, and National/World champion. He is the only Law Enforcement Officer ever to win World and National Championships in the Practical Pistol Disciplines of IPSC, IDPA and USPSA.

www.vogeldynamics.com

www.surefire.com

Pat McNamara Trains 10th Mountain Division in Marksmanship

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Army Special Operations Veteran and Retired SGM, Pat McNamara recently trained elements of the 10th Mountain Division in various aspects of marksmanship. Fortunately for all of us, they’ve shared some of the training on YouTube like this clip.

Max Talk 46: Video (Night Vision) HEAT Night Operations Class

Monday, November 25th, 2019

This is the forty-fifth installment of ‘Max Talk Monday’ which shares select episodes from a series of instructional videos. Max Velocity Tactical (MVT) has established a reputation on the leading edge of tactical live fire and force on force training. MVT is dedicated to developing and training tactical excellence at the individual and team level.

This video was taken on the second night of the HEAT Night Operations Class in November 2019, using a ‘student cam’ equipped with an ANVRS camera.

More information on this class can be found at maxvelocitytactical.com/tactical-classes/h-e-a-t-night-operations

Class prerequisites are:
HEAT 1 Combat Tactics
HEAT 2 Combat Patrol

Max is a tactical trainer and author, a lifelong professional soldier with extensive military experience. He served with British Special Operations Forces, both enlisted and as a commissioned officer; a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Max served on numerous operational deployments, and also served as a recruit instructor. Max spent five years serving as a paramilitary contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan; the latter two years working for the British Government in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Website: Max Velocity Tactical

YouTube: Max Velocity Tactical

US Army Updates Worldwide Military Equipment Playing Cards

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Despite the age of phone apps, cards still serve as a memory aid for Soldiers who can use them as flash cards or to play traditional card games.

During the Cold War, the Army had decks of playing cards decorated with line drawings of Soviet aircraft, tanks, APCs and other vehicles they might face on the battlefield.

Over the years the Army has responded to changing threats by issuing new decks of cards to educate Soldiers. For instance, many of you will remember the cards depicting the Iraqi leadership during the beginning of OIF.

Developed by the Army Training and Doctrine Command G-2 (Intelligence), these “Worldwide Equipment Identification” cards depict images created by Army Training Support Center graphic artist Robin Hicks.

Earlier this year, in July, the Army distributed 9,800 decks emblazoned with Chinese vehicles. They were out in just three weeks. Since then, the Army has handed out an additional 30,000 decks of Chinese cards and another 38,000 of Russian cards as well as 33,000 tailored with Iranian equipment.

As a supplement to the physical cards, TRADOC created a digital card memory game Soldiers can access on their devices. The application can be downloaded from a QR code available on each deck or the TRADOC App Gateway.

Ravenswood Awarded $555M Contract to Support Army National Guard Training Program

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Army Contracting Command–Orlando has awarded Ravenswood Solutions an indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for support to the Army National Guard’s (ARNG) eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) program.

The single award contract will have a potential value of $555 million and will provide planning, operations, and sustainment for the XCTC program through October 31, 2024.

The mission of the XCTC program is to provide a highly realistic, fully instrumented, and intensive live training event for brigade combat teams, functional, and multi-functional brigades. The scope of the ARNG’s XCTC program involves training as many as three brigades simultaneously at multiple locations using a government-provided instrumentation system that tracks and records location and time-synchronized training events.

“Ravenswood Solutions gives our all to provide best-in-class products and services to our troops,” said Dan Donoghue, President and CEO of Ravenswood Solutions. “We are honored to be chosen to continue to support this critically-important training to our nation’s Guardsmen.”

More than 21,000 troops will train at XCTC exercises in 2020.

T.Rex Arms – Chameleon Variable Threat System

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Centerville, TN — There’s a problem in many shoot/no-shoot scenarios and CQB training. Students’ minds are not learning effective target discrimination, largely due to a lack of appropriate training tools. Most training relies on repetitive paper targets. The same bad guys. The same good guys. The same hostages, poses, clothes, and weapons. Students learn to react to an image that is imprinted on their minds, instead of using their minds to think, analyze and identify. This is not effective target processing.

This is why T.Rex Arms has developed the Chameleon Variable Threat System. These fully randomized humanoid paper targets ensure that students will never see the same target twice. Effectively identifying threats based on visual criteria is a skill that every armed citizen needs to master, whether civilian, military, or law enforcement. This is the next generation of target identification training for Live-Fire and Simunition scenarios.

The Chameleon targets are generated using 3D models and a customized animation rig for realistic poses, objects, and textures, supporting an incredibly wide array of randomized target variables:

• Thousands of unique poses depicting specific body language, weapon manipulations, hostage takers, hostages, neutral poses, non-weapon actions, traps, and threats.

• Dozens of clothing styles with infinite color variations and insignia, and random glasses, hats, and mask combinations, as well as various law enforcement uniforms.

• Thousands of combinations of hair and beard styles, with infinite hair colors and lengths.

• Custom tattoo library, skin aging, and infinite body types and skin tones.

• Parametrically-driven facial features and facial expression system.

• A large library of realistically detailed long guns, handguns, melee weapons, tools, non-weapon items, body armor, bomb vests, etc.

• Randomized camera angles from the front, back, and side, adding further variations to the pose library.

For each category of target, we are rendering tens of thousands of unique images, making it impossible to memorize the targets in a shoot house. Every target is a completely different image of a unique person that will need to be analyzed every time. The variety of options available allow trainers to set up any scenario, and the highly detailed characteristics of targets allow for additional training opportunities such as graded after-action reports, suspect descriptions, weapon identification, and more.

On top of each unique target image we’ve placed a simple two-part scoring zone which is invisible at distance. These hitboxes are calculated in true 3D space to take actual vital organs and skeletal systems into account, and are occluded by the target’s own limbs and held objects. The final product is printed on standard 24” x 36” matte 20lb paper, with additional 3” and 5” utility targets for other drills, and corner target description text so trainers can easily find the targets they need for a given scenario.

Tubes of threat and non-threat targets can be ordered from www.trex-arms.com today, or the Chameleon Software can be used to generate large custom orders. Custom orders can be made up of any percentages of any target type, threat category, and camera angle.

Contact targets@trex-arms.com for more information about customized targets, and how to use them to combat training complacency.