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Brownells Debuts Products, Hosts Celebrities at SHOT Show 2022

January 17th, 2022

 GRINNELL, Iowa (January 13, 2022) – Brownells invites SHOT Show attendees to visit booth #13066 in the recently-renamed Venetian Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 18 through 21, to see the newest products and meet notable industry personalities.

Brownells products announced at SHOT Show 2022 include:

MPO 1-6X Donut

Brand new for 2022 is the latest addition to the Match Precision Optic scope line, the MPO 1-6X Donut.

With an illuminated circle reticle inspired by the classic optic on the original Austrian StG 77 rifle, the MPO 1-6X Donut has high-quality Japanese glass and comes with a throw lever installed for fast changes between magnification settings.

An LPVO ideal for use on AR-15s and other modern rifles, the MPO 1-6X Donut makes quick targeting simple and intuitive and has wind-hold hash marks on each side of the circle reticle.

The Donut should be in stock and available for purchase shortly after SHOT Show, and will come by itself, or packaged with a Brownells 30mm cantilever scope mount for Picatinny rail.

• MPO 1-6X Donut scope           #080-001-408          $439.99 retail

• MPO 1-6x Donut w/Mount        #080-001-426          $499.99 retail

Brownells BRN-180 Folding Stock

Designed to replicate the contours of the original AR-180 folding stock, the black polymer Brownells folding stock attaches to any Picatinny rail segment, such as found on the rear of BRN-180 lower receivers.

It folds to the left to not obstruct the ejection port and should be available for purchase by March 2022.

• Brownells BRN-180 Folding Stock            #080-001-438                $199.99 retail

Gen 2 BRN-180 Sport Upper

In stock and shipping now, the Gen 2 BRN-180 Sport upper was previously unveiled during the 2021 Black Rifle Friday event.

Optimized for use with modern optics and red dot sights, the BRN-180 Sport has a truncated charging handle different from the original AR-180 style charging handle. It also lacks a dust cover to function properly with the new charging handle.

• Gen 2 BRN-180 Sport Upper               #078-000-722                $899.99 retail

Industry & Celebrity Appearances

Tuesday, January 18

• 10:00-10:10     Springfield Rob Leatham & Brownells Keith Ford

• 11:30- 11:45    PWS Dean Sylvester BRN-180 detailed overview

• 2:00-3:00         Larry Zanoff ISS Hollywood Weapons

Wednesday, January 19

• 11:00-11:10     FM Products Paul Noonan & Brownells Paul Levy

• 1:30-2:30         Garand Thumb

• 3:00-3:10         Geissele Nick Serena & Brownells Steve Ostrem

• 4:15-4:25         Brownells Keith Ford, BRN-180, MPO 1-6X and Brownells stock overview

Thursday, January 20

• 10:00-11:00     Larry Zanoff ISS Hollywood Weapons

• 1:30-1:40         S&W Vince Perreault & Brownells Steve Ostrem S&W CSX & Super Carry

• 3:00-3:10         Magpul Jon Canipe & Brownells Keith Ford

To learn more and to keep up with SHOT Show 2022, visit the Brownells SHOT Show page.

AFCLC Launches New Introduction to China, Russia Courses with Certificates on Culture Guide App

January 17th, 2022


The Air Force Culture and Language Center recently added Introduction to China, Introduction to Russia Culture courses, and a video library to its newly updated, free Culture Guide mobile app. The addition of the courses moves lock-step with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown Jr.’s strategic initiative, Accelerate Change or Lose, outlining four Action Orders and focusing on people, decision-making, competition, and adapting to change.

Airmen and Guardians will receive a Certificate of Completion ready to upload to their training record for credit when completing a course.

During his speech at the 6th Annual Air University Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Symposium in October, and later quoted in Air Force Magazine, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall highlighted the importance of understanding Chinese culture for integrated deterrence.

“Collectively, we Americans lack an adequate understanding of Chinese culture,” Kendall said. “We run a significant risk of misinterpretation and missed signals when we project our own perspectives upon Chinese actions and communications.”

In less than 60 minutes, each course gives service members the baseline general attributes of the cultures of the nation’s strategic competitors. An outline of the courses includes:

Introduction to China: The new China Culture course consists of two informative segments. Part 1 introduces the concept of culture, social behaviors, and how they define a culture’s native belief system. In Part 2, the user engages the 12 Domains of Culture concerning China, the nation’s history, religion, socio-political relations, and more.

Introduction to Russia: The new Russia Culture course consists of two intricate parts and takes about 40 minutes. The first half introduces conceptions and philosophies related to culture in general. Then, in Part 2, the course introduces Russia as a nation, its multifaceted history, and explores the socio-political climate that encompasses the federation in the 21st century.

The new video library includes education content for integrated deterrence organically produced and curated by AFCLC. Currently, the library consists of Introduction to the Air Force Culture and Language Center, Korean Peninsula History, and Quadrilateral Initiative.

“The concept of official education delivered through a mobile app completely untethered from government IT systems has never been done before,” said Howard Ward, AFCLC director. “At Air War College and Air University, we take pride in being the Air Force’s global classroom. The way to accelerate learning is through mobile devices, where learning can occur anytime, anywhere, and through delivery methods familiar to Airmen, Guardians, Total Force, and members of other services. To accelerate change in learning at enterprise scale, the path to an Airman or Guardian’s mind begins in their pocket.”

AFCLC’s Culture Guide app is available to all military service members and civilians through the App Store and Google Play and it is safe for Department of Defense mobile devices. More than 20,000 individuals are already utilizing the app, and for those individuals, an automatic update to Version 2.0 is now available.

By Mikala McCurry and Lori Quiller, Air Force Culture and Language Center Outreach Team

In Memoriam – Dick Kramer

January 16th, 2022

Artist Dick Kramer passed away late last week. He was well known for his pencil drawings of military, law enforcement and first responders.

He will be missed. May He Rest In Peace.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Australian Z and M Special Units WWII

January 16th, 2022

Growing up the movie “Attack Force Z” one of my favorite movies and still is. I have always wanted to an old school WW2 operation doing an insert by Klepper kayaks and blow-up a ship in a harbor or a bridge. You know like Cockleshell heroes or Attack Force Z  

SOE-Australia (SOA) was a WWII Special Forces and covert operations organization operating in the Pacific theater behind Japanese lines. It was made up of men and women from Australian, British, New Zealand, Canadian, South African, Indonesian, Timorese and Malay. SOA fought a secret, undercover war against the Japanese occupying force on the islands north of Australia. With the success of the British SOE unit in the European theater, Winston Churchill ordered that a similar unit be formed in the pacific. SOA was made up from many different units like the Royal Australian Navy’s  Coastwatcher’s, a propaganda unit the Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/SIA), a Dutch East Indies intelligence unit (NEFIS), the United States’ Philippine Regional Section (PRS, operating in the southern Philippines) and an Australian/British Special Operations group, which was to carry out missions behind enemy lines. The SOA took part in hundreds of covert operations against the Japanese and were directly responsible for eliminating thousands of enemy troops and sinking tons of ships and supplies, they paid a high price with more than eighty SOA commandos losing their lives. To maintain security, the SOA was given a cover name – Inter-Allied Services Department (IASD, mostly referred to as the ISD). It had British SOE agents that had escaped Singapore and the Dutch East Indies before it fell to the Japanese. That helped get it up and running.

SOA operators could operate in parties as small as two men, ISD Operatives faced overwhelming odds against a barbaric and increasingly desperate enemy. They conducted similar operations as many other SF groups in WWII. From Jedburgh’s type of missions (training indigenous guerrilla forces) to conduct direct action missions and raiding targets of opportunity. They also performed special reconnaissance missions close to enemy forces behind the lines.

The ISD men kept quiet about their exploits for over 50 years, and even today, the full story has never really been made public. The whole story of ISD operations during WWII is one that has been largely overlooked and misunderstood for the past 75 years. One of the main reasons for this is the misunderstanding that ISD was named Z or M Special Unit. The Z and M just referred to their administrative arm of the units. Z Special Unit was also used for requisitioning stores and transport through Australian Army channels. There are cases where Colonels were removed from transport aircraft to make room for ISD Corporals. Such was the administrative power of the Z Special Unit. So, this is how it was broken down, for Australian Army personnel and civilians assigned to ISD, and later to SRD, and as such, Z Special Unit appears on the service records of every Australian soldier who was assigned to either of those organizations. Another reason for some of the confusion is that in early 1943 the SOA was giving a new code name the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD), and the term SOA was only to be used at the highest level. Z Special Unit does not appear on the service records of RAAF, RAN or British, NZ, Canadian, or South African personnel assigned to ISD or SRD since they weren’t enlisted in the Australian Army. However, Z Special Unit or Z Force became a common term in the post-war years, even among SRD Veterans. Although it is historically inaccurate to refer to the Special Operations as Z Special Unit. So, where do M Special units fit in? During the war an Allied Special Forces Reconnaissance Team under the command of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD.) It was the successor of the Coastwatcher’s unit. Raised in Queensland, Australia, in 1943, the unit operated behind enemy lines for long periods in the Pacific theatre, collecting intelligence such as enemy troop movements and shipping details. It was disbanded at the end of the war in 1945.  

Unlike its sister unit, M Special Unit wasn’t as well known for direct action missions. Z Special Unit was comprised of about 81 members and generally inserted via small boat, submarine, or airplane and conducted quick hit and run missions. They would also conduct intelligence-gathering operations. M Special Unit, on the other hand, operated behind enemy lines for extended periods and did long-range intelligence collection; as such, they tried to go undetected and, as such rarely engage the enemy.  

Also, all personal assigned to ISD were still listed as attached to the parent unit they came from. The reason for this was to help maintain secrecy. It was also used as a way to hide the funding for the ISD. As one of the best ways to keep something secret is never to show that money is going to them. The units never had an official insignia. You will often see a Z of M with a dagger through it. This was not made until 1970 and unfortunately, is mistaken for the units WWII symbol. 

One of ISD/SRD’s most famous Operations was called Jaywick. They used a 68-ton wooden ship. British authorities had seized the Kofuku Maru in Singapore following Japan’s entry into the war. In 1943 she was renamed Krait and assigned to the SRD. The objective of Operation Jaywick was for SRD members to attack Japanese shipping in Singapore. SRD commandos paddled into Singapore harbor in kayaks and attached limpet mines to Japanese enemy shipping. The stealthy raiders sank seven ships and about 39,000 tons of supplies and equipment before escaping home to Australia. By the time they returned nearly seven weeks later, the crew of 14 had carried out one of the most successful clandestine raids in Australian history. Throughout the war, the 70-foot wooden-hulled boat involved in the Jaywick raid, MV Krait, sank more shipping than any other ship in the Australian navy.  

In a subsequent mission to Jaywick called Operation Rimau, the raiding party was detected by the enemy, hunted down and executed. Seventeen of SRD members lie in graves at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. In Operation Copper, eight men landed on an island off New Guinea to disable enemy guns before the Allied landing. Discovered by the Japanese, three commandos were captured, tortured, and executed. Four others escaped and fled out to sea, but only one made it home.

No matter what their name was or what they are called now, the units of WWII are the forefathers of today’s Special Forces in Australian and New Zealand and helped end the war.

The 2022 SHOT Show Bingo Card

January 16th, 2022

Milrem Robotics Awarded Contract to Support the Development of the Italian Army’s Robotics Program

January 16th, 2022

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) awarded the European leading robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) developer and system integrator Milrem Robotics a contract to provide RAS Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) Services to the Italian Army.

The scope of the multi-year campaign is to explore RAS technology in order to update the Italian army’s RAS strategy and outline an implementation roadmap for the introduction of unmanned systems and related technology into service.

Milrem Robotics will support the Italian army in developing a clear path to how RAS technology, systems and architectures can generate operational advantages and ground armed forces benefits when operating in urbanized environments.

“Milrem is proud to be selected as the partner for supporting the Italian Armed Forces in one of the most advanced and challenging RAS CD&E initiatives in the world. This program is well in line with our core competencies as a system integrator for autonomous and robotic technologies,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

The Italian CD&E level of ambition is to exploit prototyping skills and technological capabilities to demonstrate future operational benefits and finally, to identify short to mid-term (5-15 years) transformational initiatives for the development of operational RAS capabilities.

The scope of the cooperation is to capture, analyse and deliver decision support data from all stages of the experimentation process, stemming from field activities, war-gaming, modelling and simulation, innovative technologies, etc., that will respond to the challenges set forth by the problem statement.

The deliverables of the contract include a Command and Control (C2) System, an autonomy engine, systems integration of 3rd party capabilities, several unmanned ground and air vehicles and a variety of sensors and effectors.

Milrem Robotics is the leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer and systems integrator. The company is known for its THeMIS and Multiscope Unmanned Ground Vehicles and the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle. The THeMIS supports dismounted troops while the Multiscope is intended for civilian use such as forestry and firefighting.  The Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle is a wingman for mechanized units.

Milrem Robotics is the leader of a consortium that was recently awarded 30.6M (EUR) from the European Commission’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to develop a European standardized unmanned ground system (UGS).

During the project, titled iMUGS, modular and scalable architecture for hybrid manned-unmanned systems will be developed to standardize a European wide ecosystem.

Arc’teryx LEAF – SHOT Show 2022

January 15th, 2022

Arc’teryx LEAF will be exhibiting at the 2022 SHOT Show from a new location at the Caesars Forum. They’ll be showcasing their entire system-of-dress, purpose-built for the most demanding Special Forces and Tactical Law Enforcement end users. From Jan 18-20, LEAF will be having its customary Happy Hour starting 16:30hr. If you are around, drop by to say hello! They are at Booth #75417. 

Revision Announces New Laser Eye Protection Designed for Aviators at the 2022 SHOT Show

January 15th, 2022

Essex Junction, Vermont (January 15, 2022) – Revision Military, the world leader in ballistic and laser protective eyewear systems, announces a new laser eye protection solution optimized for aviator protection and awareness. Developed with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Revision’s CALI-C lens formulation offers eye protection that protects against common handheld laser hazards while performing in a cockpit environment.

Above: CALI-C is being offered in two configurations tailored for either fixed-wing or rotary-wing environments: The Aviator SF-2 frame (left) offers a lightweight metal frame with dual lenses – low profile and ideal for a fixed-wing cockpit. The StingerHawk® frame (right) offers a single wrap-around lens for maximum coverage, ballistic protection, and anti-fog performance for rotary-wing cockpits.

“Each year the FAA reports a higher rate of laser strikes against aircraft, putting aviators at risk,” said Revision CEO Amy Coyne.  “Over the past decade, Revision has been partnered with AFRL on laser eye protection solutions for the military.  This CALI-C formulation represents a real solution that gives aviators peace of mind while operating in low-altitude operations, keeping them safe and reducing the impact of laser hazards on their mission.”

The CALI (Commercial Aviation Low Intensity) solution was developed by AFRL in collaboration with Revision Military and successfully tested and evaluated by Washington State Patrol pilots.  The Personnel Protection Team at AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate is headed by Dr. Matthew Lange, who says “Simply put, the lenses maximize protection while minimizing the impact to the cockpit.”

Above: Flight Officer Cameron Iverson of the Washington State Patrol tested CALI laser protective lenses formulated at Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. (AFRL courtesy photo)

The ideal cockpit laser eye protection solution offers the following:  a wide range of protection given the variety of laser hazards; lenses that don’t interfere with the cockpit instrument panel yet transmit enough light to be worn at night when most laser incidents occur; and are easy to don and doff featuring frames that integrate with cockpit head borne equipment (headsets, helmets, etc).  Therefore, a set of laser protective eyewear designed for a ground-to-ground laser hazard isn’t ideal for the cockpit.  The CALI-C solution was developed to maximize aviator protection and situational awareness – solving the challenges of laser eye protection in a cockpit environment.

Revision research scientists look to design formulations that consider the specific end-user environment and needs. Both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft have the benefit of altitude, which means a reduction in the rate of eye damage, but a heightened threat of distraction, disorientation, and flash blindness as laser light can fill a cockpit with bright light in an instant. The CALI-C formulation takes this into account by offering a wide band of protection without compromising light transmission – a critical point given most aviation laser incidents happen at night.  

CALI-C is being offered in two configurations tailored for either fixed-wing or rotary-wing environments: The Aviator SF-2 frame offers a lightweight metal frame with dual lenses – low profile and ideal for a fixed-wing cockpit. The StingerHawk® frame offers a single wrap-around lens for maximum coverage, ballistic protection, and anti-fog performance for rotary-wing cockpits. Both configurations of the CALI-C formulation are restricted for sale to aviation end users only. Please contact [email protected] for more information. Additional background information about the laser hazards for aviation, and the development of the CALI-C product can be found here.