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Contents 12





Letter from the Publisher

Procurement and Operations



Eyes and Ears in the Sky How the Pentagon is trying to feed the nearly insatiable demand for ISR


The Robby Miller Story Medal of Honor recipient never held back, in life or on the battlefield By Tom Breen


By Jackie Spinner

By William Matthews

Office of Naval Research

Marine Corps Systems Command Tight budgets heighten the ongoing challenge of equipping every Marine for combat By James Kitfield


The Social Network Getting the Army’s disparate IT networks to communicate is no easy task

Budget Battle 2012 The major winners and losers in the proposed $553 billion Defense Department budget



EXCLUSIVE: End Game in Iraq An on-the-ground report from the area once known as the “Triangle of Death”


By Rich Tuttle

By Rich Tuttle


Winning Ways How the Air Force tries to help small contractors win its business By Tony Mecia

Inside the brain trust driving decades of scientific innovation in the sea services By Philip Ewing S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D



D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 1 0

Contents 69




On the Homefront ‘12 Procurement preview


Just Say No U.S. Border Patrol uses tactics old and new to stop drugs from crossing the border


By Elaine S. Povich

Air Force: The B-3? By Nick Adde


Army: Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle


Telemedicine Communications technology expands the reach of Army medical professionals

By Matthew Cox

By Amy McCullough


Marine Corps: M777 Howitzer By Matthew Cox



Dedication By Gary Willliams

Navy: F-35 JSF By John T. Bennett

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S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D



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WRITERS: Nick Adde

Philip Ewing

Tony Mecia

John T. Bennett

James Kitfield

Elaine S. Povich

Tom Breen

William Matthews

Jackie Spinner

Matthew Cox

Amy McCullough

Rich Tuttle

Dedicated to the Memory of

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THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE FOUNDATION A 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization.

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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The opinions expressed within this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher. Defense Standard LLC assumes no responsibilites for the advertisements or any representations made in this publication. Defense Standard LLC in unable to accept, or hereby expressly disclaims, any liability for the consequences of inaccuracies or omissions of such information occurring during the publishing of such information for publication. Disclaimer: Neither the Department of Defense nor any other United States Government agency has approved, endorsed or authorized this publication in any form. No such inference is suggested, promoted or communicated in any manner.

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Publisher’s Note


n Washington, it’s a spring tradition as hallowed as cherry trees blossoming and tulips blooming – the beginning of the budget cycle. And Congress is in no mood this year to go tiptoeing through the tulips. The defense acquisition world lives and dies by the annual budget process, which seems to get more painful every year. Defense Secretary Robert Gates points out he has cut $300 billion in long-term spending over the last two budget years, but his proposed $553 billion budget is unlikely to sail through Congress unscathed. Truth be told, an argument can be made for virtually every defense program in there, as well as several that didn’t make the cut. Twenty years after the first Gulf War changed everything, and nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks changed everything again, we know how quickly the best-laid budget plans can be changed by tomorrow’s reality. In this issue we take a look at the early winners and losers in the 2012 defense budget, from the canceled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle to expanded unmanned aerial systems, and what to expect as the budget makes its way through Congress. Expect a bumpy ride. Talk about bumps. Try being commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, charged with “equipping the warfighter to win” in an austere budget environment. Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley talks with James Kitfield about switching priorities from rushing equipment to the battlefield to “maximiz[ing] the value of every dollar” spent on procurement. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, personally went to bat to preserve funding for research like that conducted by the Office of Naval Research, which we profile in this issue. Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, the chief of naval research, talks with Philip Ewing about the impact Navy scientists have on the battlefield. We also return to one of our favorite topics – military heroes. In this issue we look at the life of Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, a Green Beret who last

fall was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for sacrificing himself to save the lives of nearly two dozen other U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers. “Where would we be without Robby?” wonders an officer whose life he saved. Indeed. Meanwhile, we wondered what the military mission in Iraq looks like now that the combat mission has officially ended. Award-winning journalist Jackie Spinner embedded with Army troops in Iraq to learn the answer, and tells us what she found on the ground in the former “Triangle of Death.” Hint: Think logistics. Our boots-on-the-ground focus continues with two reports from Rich Tuttle. In one, this veteran reporter looks at what the Pentagon is doing to improve vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets for ground and air combat troops. In the other, he reports on what the Army is doing to better integrate its IT systems to improve combat operations. Industry participation is vital to both efforts. That industry participation includes small business, which won $9.1 billion in Air Force contracts alone in fiscal 2010. Tony Mecia reports on the Air Force Office of Small Business Programs and how its hard-working contract officers are trying to help small businesses increase their share of the procurement pie -- no matter how big, or small, that pie turns out to be. We hope you enjoy this issue. Let me know what you think.

David Peabody PUBLISHER

S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D




standing proud to the end By Tom Breen

ot far from Chicago, the good people of Wheaton, Ill., are gearing up this spring to dedicate a bridge in memory of favorite son Robert James Miller, the 24-year-old Army Special Forces warrior and recent Medal of Honor recipient who spent much of his life in the Chicago suburb. Three years ago he single-handedly faced down as many as 100 Taliban insurgents in northeastern Afghanistan, sacrificing himself to save more than 20 American and Afghan National Army forces. For Miller, a gregarious soul who could not be slowed down after taking his first steps at 7 months old, the bridge serves as a lasting and fitting metaphor for his own remarkable personal



D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

journey, one that propelled him from the heartland to no-man’s land. And at the end, after dying a hero’s death, the final journey of this young Green Beret known as Robby took him to the quietude of All Faiths Memorial Cemetery in Casselberry, near Orlando, Fla., not far from where much of his family now lives after migrating from the Midwest, and where 200 people gathered early this year to witness the unveiling of a Medal of Honor marker commemorating his unimaginable valor. Said Adm. Eric Olson, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, as Miller’s headstone was being unveiled Jan. 22, “Robby was tough, skilled, smart. ... He knew what he was doing and what mattered.”

Miller On the day he died, Miller knew exactly what he was doing and what mattered. What mattered on that subfreezing day of Jan. 25, 2008, was carrying out a mission to hunt down insurgents and help protect his teammates and innocent villagers in the treacherous Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border. As he had for so many days before this one, Miller, a member of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg, N.C., had trekked with his U.S. and Afghan teammates along trails framed by snowcapped mountains and sinking valleys, engaging villagers here and there, always casting a wary eye in search of marauding Taliban insurgents. It was cold and quiet, nothing eventful. In a flash, though, as each of our combat warriors knows, the mundane can erupt into a fiery inferno of weapons fire and explosions. It was that way for Miller and his teammates -- first walking along still and motionless trails, then confronting hell on earth. The mission that day held deep significance for Miller. Even as a child, he thought of evil and how ordinary people were de-


stroyed by it, reflecting on dictators ranging from Cambodia’s Pol Pot to Hitler. Some of his early friends were children of Cambodian refugees, and his interest in Hitler grew from his parents’ work in Germany during the Cold War, and from a paper he did for an eighth-grade history class in Wheaton, built around an interview with a German Navy veteran. So now, years removed from his eighth-grade history assignment, here he was, a 24-year-old Special Forces weapons specialist, confronting evil in his own way, trudging along the snow-packed trails of Kunar, conducting a mission to “clear a valley of insurgents who had been attacking Afghan forces and terrorizing villagers,” as President Barack Obama said when bestowing the Medal of Honor in October. As the U.S.-Afghan team members trudged through the snow, they confronted an insurgent compound, quickly “un-

S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D


BORN: Oct. 14, 1983, Harrisburg, Pa.

MILITARY BACKGROUND: Enlisted as an Army Special

DIED: Jan. 25, 2008, in Kunar Province in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.

Basic Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.,


in January 2004; from the Special Forces Qualification

A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group

Course in September 2004, and from the Special Forces


Weapons Sergeant Course in March 2005. He graduated

FAMILY: Parents Philip and Maureen Miller,




Training Course in September 2005. After receiving his Special Forces tab and being promoted to sergeant, he was assigned to Company A, 3rd Battalion, 3rd

EARLY YEARS: Grew up in the Chicago suburb





Emerson Elementary and St. Michael

Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. He received the Ranger Tab during the summer of 2007 after his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Parish School, and graduating from

DEPLOYMENTS: Deployed to Afghanistan to support

Wheaton North High School in 2002.

Operation Enduring Freedom from August 2006 to March 2007, receiving two Army Commendation Medals for valor.

SPORTS AND HOBBIES: Gymnastics, cooking, music of all

Returned to Afghanistan for a second tour in October 2007,

varieties, surfing, and just about anything that grabbed his

where he served as a weapons sergeant until his death


under fire on Jan. 25, 2008.

leashing their fire and calling in airstrikes,” Obama said, and then moved in to assess the battle damage. But the team then found itself under attack from as many as 100 insurgents bursting out from the countryside. As point man, with the attack under way, Miller remained at the front, ordering his men -- in English and in the Afghan dialect of Pashto -- to pull back. Then he suddenly veered toward the enemy himself, throwing grenades, firing his weapon, providing “suppressive fire and calling out targets the entire time,” his teammates now say, to protect his men and to allow teammates to haul Army Capt. Robert Cusick, who had been shot through the lung, to safety. As some of his team safeguarded Cusick, now a major, Miller remained in the open, exposed to enemy fire, wounded twice in the chest yet still firing at Taliban guerrillas falling around him, a young Achilles at the front, life ebbing away, but his personal resolve growing as his blood drenched the snow. “If it wasn’t for Robby,” Army Staff Sgt. Nicholas McGarry told reporters later, “there probably would be a lot of us dead or wounded; he saved us all from that. I looked to my right to see where he was. I literally saw him charging the enemy.” Cusick, the wounded commander, said later, “It’s men like Robby who make the U.S. military special. I’m able to talk to you guys because of Robby Miller. That’s what makes this country so great ... men like Robby who are willing to die for their friends.” Adds Miller’s dad, Phil, “The mission, his teammates, the people of Afghanistan and American values -- all of

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11


and Patricia; and brothers Thomas, Martin

Attended the University of Iowa for a year.



it meant everything to Robby.” In all, Army officials who recommended Miller for the Medal of Honor -- the rarest and most prestigious of American combat awards -- estimate he killed or wounded as many as 50 insurgents and saved the lives of many of his teammates. As in any battle, or any military endeavor for that matter, Sgt. Miller did not stand alone. His battlefield ethos was duplicated by the rest of his teammates, especially by those who ran in to attempt to save him as the holocaust flamed on. “The relentless fire forced them back, but they refused to leave their fallen comrade,” Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, said last October during a Hall of Heroes induction for Miller at the Pentagon. “When reinforcements arrived, these Americans went in again, risking their lives, taking more casualties, determined to bring [him] out of that valley. And finally, after fighting that raged for hours, they did. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. Such is the ethos of our American soldier and such was the ethos of [Miller] and his team.” To some, Casey’s words might ring hollow, sloganeering of sorts, but to Miller they were words to live and die by. A warrior fights on to the very end if need be, for values and friendships that go far beyond one’s self. A friend from back in Wheaton, Bobby Kaye, recalled in interviews, “In high school, he was driven. It was ... like he was driven by more than himself.”

Source: Defense Department



Oviedo, Fla.; sisters Joanna, Mary, Therese

and Edward.

t. aff Sg iller t S y Arm ames M J obert

Forces candidate Aug. 14, 2003, graduating from Infantry

Medal of Honor Citation


or conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on 25 January 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle’s turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support. Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket

propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team. While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller’s heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army. Source: The White House

PHOTOS: Courtesy of U.S. Army


hat was the way his family always viewed him, beginning a few months after his birth when he was walking at seven months, to his days in school when he drove himself to learn other languages including German and Latin, and to his gymnastics training. In fact, he practiced so relentlessly at Wheaton North High School that his coach forced him to go home at night so the lights could be flicked off. This was one determined guy, someone who could be impatient and critical when detecting mistakes, but someone always respected for his relentless energy. So knowing how determined and tough their son was, his family tried not to worry. Yet even the toughest among us can be cornered by a fierce enemy. On the day of the 2008 battle that took Robby’s life, the Millers in Florida were immersed in the routine of another ordinary day. Phil was in and out of the house, working at his job as an engineer, and his wife Maureen was at home. Suddenly, like a Florida lightning bolt, uniformed military officers walked to the Millers’ door. “We knew why they were there, without even talking to them,” Phil says. Maureen and Phil can talk easily, with enthusiasm and joy, about their son’s accomplishments and dreams, and even can talk in a measured way about the day he gave his life. But it is the day the military men walked up to their doorstep, in the mildness of a Florida winter, they cannot discuss. Born in Harrisburg, Pa., in the fall of 1983, Miller moved with his family to Wheaton as a youngster. It was there he grew up, went to elementary, middle and high school, not certain what the future might hold but enamored of U.S. and world history, as well as the military. He was influenced by his parents’ experiences in Berlin and Russia during the Cold War, Phil as an Army translator fluent in German, and Maureen as a Russian-language expert who also could speak German. By the time

Miller, a Green Beret who inherited his parents’ aptitude for learning other languages, was on his second combat tour in Afghanistan when he sacrificed himself to save 22 other U.S. and Afghan soldiers in January 2008.

S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D


PHOTO: D. Myles Cullen

and later the Afghan diaRob was born in 1983, Maureen lect of Pashto. Added to his and Phil had returned to the states, German and Latin, he was a continuing to raise their family of multilingual wonder, friends eight first in Pennsylvania, then Iland family say. (Each Green linois and later in Florida. Robby Beret must demonstrate acuwas the second-oldest. men for language, mastering Of their children, Robby, at least one foreign tongue named after two grandfathers who and often more.) By the time served in World War II, was the he returned to Afghanistan for one always trying to break free, his second combat tour beeven as a toddler, determined to ginning in the fall of 2007, he explore the world around him. He President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor had become fluent in Pashto. also had an early interest in other posthumously to the parents of Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller – Phil Back in the states, shortly cultures, Maureen says. When he and Maureen Miller – Oct. 6, 2010, during a ceremony in the after the fierce battle in Kunar was young, his mother tutored East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Province, the Millers were Cambodian women in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital, where the family lived for a time. Her told their son might be nominated for an award.  As Maureen puts son quickly picked up Cambodian words, and made friends with it, “We heard officially from the military within days of Rob’s death that he had been put up for a high award, but because of our the youngsters. He possessed an early facility for German, too. Recalls Mau- state of mind at the time, and our lack of familiarity with higher reen, “[Because] Phil was a German translator for the Army, and awards, we didn’t ask what the award was.” Later, one of their son’s commanders at Fort Bragg told them since I also knew German, we would speak to each other in German when our children were young, and we didn’t want them to Robby was up for the Medal of Honor,  but it was not until last understand us. Of course that motivated them to want to learn Ger- summer they received a call from the casualty assistance officer man, and they gradually picked up some.’’ Even as a child, Robby that DoD had been trying to reach them and wanted to know if was determined to expand the horizons of his own culture, a qual- they could take a call. “We thought it would be some low-level ity he took with him years later to the mountains and valleys of bureaucrat and were not expecting at all a call from the White House,” she says. “Once we picked up the phone and heard that Afghanistan. But before Afghanistan came his adolescence. Moving through school in Wheaton, he did well, but not al- the president wanted to speak to us, we [knew] what it was for.” For the next couple of minutes, the Millers talked with the ways as well as he could have, primarily because his curiosity seemed stifled sometimes by a classroom structure. “He gave it his president, who invited them to Washington in October for the all if he was interested, but not so much if he was not,” his father medal ceremony. For the Millers, going to the White House and says. That is a trait he shared with several other recent Medal of accepting Robby’s Medal of Honor was their way of honoring not Honor recipients, men whose potential gushed out of them once only Robby and another son, Tom, who has joined the Army, but all the troops serving throughout the world. they donned military uniforms. As they look back, they now think of a son who not only With high school behind him, he entered the University of Iowa, trying out for the gymnastics team but falling short. Gymnastics rose in combat, but one who shined as an informal ambashad intrigued him as a child, and he spent countless hours becoming sador of sorts for American values. He spoke Pashto, he rode good at it, winning numerous awards in high school. Yet even with horses across the Afghan countryside, he shared meals with his skills, he could not make the Iowa team, and started thinking villagers, and even showed Afghan troops a video of snowabout life beyond college though he only had a year behind him at the boarding, telling them, if the war stopped, they too could snowtime. Like so many other men of his age, he also felt the pull of 9/11 board along the ranges. Along the way, as with many Green and enlisted in the Army in 2003 at age 19. Berets, he certainly turned himself into a Renaissance man of sorts, prepared to fight, but always leading, learning and broadt was the Army Special Forces that beckoned him, drawn in ening himself in a strange new culture, even in the face of imby the outfit’s never-ending challenges along with its lore, minent danger. We can see him now, bubbling with energy and tradition, valor, intellectuality and physicality, a “special resolve: One moment, he is riding a horse through a village, smilplace for a special person,” his father says. In short, Special Forces ing and waving to the local folk, and the next he is confronting evil helped satisfy his relentless desire to drive himself physically -- as and sacrificing himself without hesitation. That is the way it is with warriors and their families: One he repeatedly demonstrated in gymnastics -- as well as his unwavering intellectual curiosity, especially through the unit’s emphasis second, the world is normal and predictable. The next second, on language skills. He learned French as his required language, it is not. J



D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

more than a moment for the his-

Special Forces men

tory books, Miller’s gift to the men

sit down for a few

of Company A was life -- with all

beers every now and then, they talk



hen this band of

urtesy of the

Fayettevill e Observe r

“Whe r e wo u l d w e b e wi th o u t h im ? ”

its roses and all its thorns.

about the “what ifs,” remembering a

In Afghanistan that day in

day that binds them forever, the day

2008, Cusick, a native of Upper

that stays in their guts. When they talk,

Darby, Pa., near Philadelphia,

it is as if they can see their Green Beret

was leading about a dozen

buddy, Staff Sgt. Robby Miller, walking


into the room, all smiles, bubbling

dozen Afghan army troops

with confidence, ready to talk and

through the countryside when

talk into the wee hours, the kind of

a fierce firefight with as many

guy you really want to know better.

as 100 Taliban insurgents ensued.



Maj. Rober t Cusick cr edits Mille his life whe r for saving n he lay w ounded b y enemy fir e in Afghani stan.


Miller also was the kind of guy who

Cusick went down, shot through the

he has tasted combat over and over,

went down shooting in January 2008,

lung, facing certain death if help did

with one tour in Iraq and four in Af-

taking as many as 50 Taliban guer-

not reach him.


rillas with him in Afghanistan, saving

“Robby, who always was my go-to-

“My wife and I are looking at op-

the lives of more than 20 Americans

guy, held them off so I could get help

tions,” he says. “If I leave, maybe I will

and friendly Afghan forces, none of

-- so I could get medevac’d out of

be a teacher. I like the idea of that.

whom can forget for an instant what

there. They tell me I didn’t have much

Robby would like that too.”

he did.

time left if I had been left out there.

But right now, Cusick remains very

“Every day now, I kiss my two kids

Everybody was firing at the enemy,

much in the Army, training Special

goodbye in the morning, and I thank

but it was Robby who kept them

Forces recruits and using Miller’s ac-

Robby for my being able to do that,”

back, dying for us.”

tions not only that day but through-

says Maj. Robert Cusick, 31, now a

Recovered from his injuries, Cu-

out his service career as an example

Special Forces instructor with the

sick has remained in the service,

of just how special, how selfless, a

Army Special Operations Command

even with “retained” shrapnel still in

Green Beret can be.

at Fort Bragg, N.C.

his chest. “How do I repay a guy like

As he rebuilds his life, Cusick

that?” he asks. “I guess by just living.”

stays in touch with Miller’s parents --

Reflecting on his ties to Miller -- immortal bonds in his mind -- he says,





“they’re great people” -- and with

“I’m Catholic, and I have a strong

promoted from captain to ma-

other members of his old unit, meet-

faith. Because of that, I really believe

jor and reassigned, although he

ing every once in a while over beers.

I am going to see him again some-

forever will remain a fighting man from

day. Then I can thank him. Some of

Company A. Now, with his wife and

us could be dead if it wasn’t for him.”

two kids at his side, the Special Forces

For his actions, Miller was awarded

officer is approaching his 10th year

the Medal of Honor posthumously

in the Army, uncertain whether he

last year. More than a medal though,

will make it a career. In his 10 years,

And when they sit down, the conversation starts only one way. “It’s always about Robby. Where would we be without him?” – Tom Breen S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EXCLUSIVE on-the-ground report

end game in Iraq With combat ops over, Army logisticians wage the war’s final battle ONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE KALSU, Iraq -- Army Lt. Col. David Athey surveys the empty weapons cages stacked against a section of concrete wall at this U.S. military installation in northern Babil province, an area of Iraq called the “Triangle of Death” until a few years ago. The grisly nickname was a reflection both of where Kalsu was situated, at the nexus of a deadly insurgency, and of what U.S. forces were focused on at the time, fighting to quell the rampant violence plaguing Iraq. But it’s a calm morning in late December as Athey, Tiger Squadron commander for the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, inspects the cages, trying to decide what equipment to leave for the Iraqi army and what U.S forces will keep. “I want to give it to them as I’d want to receive it,” Athey tells his soldiers after touring the portion of Kalsu that the 3rd ACR is converting into an Iraqi army post. The area includes a vacant maintenance shed with birds nesting in the rafters, rows of empty tents and abandoned concrete bunkers stamped “I MEF US MC,” for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which 18

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

PHOTO: Spc. Adrian Muehe


By Jackie Spinner

No longer needed to support major combat operations, mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, awaited shipment to Kuwait from Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq.

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EXCLUSIVE on-the-ground report

(LEFT): A soldier looks over the balcony of a $1.4 million primary school the United States constructed in Hussainiyah. (RIGHT): U.S. Army Sgt. Travis Livesey and Iraqi policemen arrange unexploded ordnance for disposal on Crazy Horse Range in Ramadi, Iraq. The disposal mission was part of Operation New Dawn, which marks the end of combat operations in Iraq by U.S. forces.

used to occupy this base 30 miles south of Baghdad. A virtual who’s who of U.S. units has passed through Kalsu, starting with the New York Army National Guard, which named the base in honor of Buffalo Bills player Bob Kalsu, who was killed in Vietnam. Others followed from the Oregon Army National Guard, the 82nd Airborne Division, the Washington Army National Guard, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the Mississippi Army National Guard, the 4th Infantry Division, the 25th Infantry Division, the 3rd Infantry Division and the 172nd Infantry Brigade. During the various deployments since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Kalsu has transformed from a forward operating base into what it is now a contingency operating site supporting the U.S. mission to advise and assist the Iraqi government and security forces in preparation for American troops to leave at the end of this year. A key part of that mission under Operation New Dawn involves what is happening here at Kalsu, where soldiers are training Iraqi security forces and converting this unused portion of the base for their use. Figuring out what to do with the empty weapons cages is just one component of a huge logistics operation involving 40,000 pieces of rolling stock and 2 million pieces of equipment on 85 bases. “We still have a year,” Maj. Gen. Edward Cardon, deputy commanding general of support for U.S. forces in Iraq, says in a late-December interview at the American Victory Base Complex outside of Baghdad. “We can do a lot in a year. We’ve built a plan to continue to do our missions as along as possible and then transition.”


his is what the war in Iraq looks like at the beginning of 2011. The U.S. operation here may not get the headlines it once did and the American presence may no longer be as visible on the streets of Iraq, but 50,000 troops are still deployed to Iraq. 20

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

Although the U.S. combat mission formally ended on Aug. 31, the military units that remain still wear body armor and carry weapons. Twenty-one troops died and 112 were wounded in Operation New Dawn between Sept. 1, 2010, and March 13, 2011, according to the Defense Department. Since March 2003. 4.442 troops have died and more than 32,000 have been wounded. Tourists aren’t yet lining up to visit the ancient ruins of Babylon not far from COS Kalsu. But, confides a U.S. official with the Karbala Provisional Reconstruction Team who is not authorized to speak to the press, “At this point we’re trying to build things and not destroy things.” In late December, for example, the 3rd ACR opened a primary school in a rural area of Hussainiyah. The $1.4 million project has 12 classrooms and space for nearly 500 students. “You have this visible sign of American commitment and partnership to the future development of Iraq,” Army Brig. Gen. Randal A. Dragon, the outgoing commanding general for support for U.S. forces in southern Iraq, says in an interview at the school opening. American forces are wrapping up their remaining civil construction projects this spring, opening youth centers, schools and medical clinics. Most of the regional construction teams, a combination of military and civilian diplomatic officers, are scheduled to complete their work by the end of June, but the U.S. State Department, through the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, is expected to maintain a significant presence in Iraq even after the troops depart. “While the security agreement mandates complete withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of 2011, what is important is the long-term relationship we will have with Iraq beyond that milestone,” says Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, spokesman for U.S. forces in

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EXCLUSIVE on-the-ground report

For instance, the Iraqis have all the tents out there. They figured out how to get their life support out there. Now it’s not exactly the way we would do it, but they are doing that. The more they do these sort of things, you’re going to see these very cumbersome systems become more normalized.” As allowed by Congress, the U.S. military is turning over light weapons and a lot of contract-managed, governmentowned equipment, including housing containers, airconditioning units, generators and furniture -- items whose value isn’t worth the cost of shipping them back. “And if we did,” Cardon asks, “what would we do with it?” Once the equipment is turned over to the Iraqis, the United States no longer has a say in how it’s used or even whether it is used. A state-of-the-art hospital combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad, which was at the forefront of treating battlefield injuries, remains shuttered since the Iraqis assumed control of it in 2009, primarily because Iraq does not have experienced trauma surgeons to run it. No one knows for certain what happened to the donated equipment that was inside. “Sometimes there is a challenge because when we transition, the Iraqis start moving it all around to their U.S. soldiers park more MRAPs at the Camp Adder motor pool. The U.S. own bases,” Cardon says. “For someone coming in Army is building a military camp for the Iraqi army just outside of Camp Adder. from the outside and not realizing what happens, it could look like they just destroyed this place.” In fact, the U.S. military is trying very hard to let the Iraqis investments and enduring security relationships.” Because of that, the logistics part of the military operation in make the calls, even if the outcomes aren’t necessarily what the 2011 is complicated. It’s not just a matter of shipping everything Americans would have liked. Some of that is a result of the political back to the United States, or even to Afghanistan. First, U.S. reality on the ground. This is no longer an occupied country, and officials have to figure out what the Iraqis can use. The U.S. State Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has made it clear that he is in Department also needs equipment for its sustained mission. Some charge and that the U.S. forces and diplomats remain by invitation. military commanders privately wondered in December whether the However, some of it is also the result of experience learned in Iraq, diplomats could handle the large-scale logistics of that transfer and especially in the early stages of the war, or even in other places maintenance, an operation traditionally managed by the Defense when the U.S. military has tried to apply its standards and its culture without input from local leaders. Department. U.S. forces are working closely with the Iraqis, particularly the Army, to help improve their logistics and support systems, which t a military camp the U.S. Army is building in Nasiriyah, they must if they have hope that the donated equipment will be just outside the gates of Camp Adder, Army Capt. Brendan maximized. McNichol, a battalion engineer with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “There’s a lot of reports that say it’s not very good,” Cardon 4th Infantry Division, discusses base latrines with retired Iraqi army says of the Iraqi army’s support systems. “We have a concerted Gen. Ali Abbas. effort with logistics, but this has to be within their system. From The two men walk to a berm on the edge of the camp where a my observation we’ve done a lot of training. We have a lot of crane lifts a latrine off the back of a flatbed truck. “No piss tubes,” warehouses that have parts. We have some departments that can McNichol says. “That’s not how they do it.” It seems like a small fix stuff ... but the connectivity on an Iraqi system needs a little detail, but it’s the kind of detail that the Iraqis want to control. This bit more work. We often focus on maintenance, but it’s more than will be their base. They will train here, eat here, sleep here and maintenance. It’s ammunition. It’s the ability to sustain themselves. relieve themselves here. PHOTOS: Jackie Spinner

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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> EXCLUSIVE on-the-ground report

(LEFT): Soldiers were briefed at then-Contingency Operating Base Adder before leaving on their final convoy out of theater last year, the last combat brigade to leave Iraq. Postcombat, the base is known as Camp Adder.

PHOTO: Sgt. Kimberly Johnson

(BELOW): “We’re the backside support to assist the Iraqis,” says Lt. Col. David Walker, chief of the 10th Iraqi Army Security Transition Team, which is part of the 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division.

PHOTO: Jackie Spinner


Basically, they want to do it their way. “We’re the backside support to assist the Iraqis,” says Lt. Col. David Walker, chief of the 10th Iraqi Army Security Transition Team, which is part of the 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division. “This is a very competent Iraqi battalion. We are not going to let the effort fail.” To assist at the military camp it is helping build, the U.S. Army use sophisticated GPS survey equipment to allow the Iraqis to design the camp to their specifications while noting the various angles and pitches that were not apparent just by looking at the landscape. The U.S. Army also has loaned heavy equipment to move gravel and provided guidance on power generation. “They’re doing an excellent job,” McNichol says, surveying the site, where in late December, Iraqi soldiers fill sandbags for the tents to provide protection from rains, reinforce gun positions at the entrance and move dirt for berms around the perimeter. “I feel confident for the officers in charge of this camp. This is their fingerprints all over it. I’m here to help them any way I can. I’m confident when I leave they will be able to handle it. I’m just here to help them get this off the ground.” 24

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

Abbas welcomes the partnership with the Americans. He says the new Iraqi army will be as strong as the old one under Saddam Hussein, but with a different style of leadership. “As long as the Americans are here we will benefit from their experience,” he says in Arabic. “When they leave, we’ll teach from that experience.”

or many of the U.S. troops finishing deployment here in 2011, the Iraq story has come full circle. Some are in Iraq on their third or even fourth deployment. Since 2003, they have spent more time in the sands of Iraq than they have on American soil. They have seen the Iraqi army demolished and recreated to what many who have followed the transition closely say is a competent military. The 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment was one of the first units deployed to Iraq in 2003. It is now the only remaining combat-size brigade under Operation New Dawn. “It’s a different mission, but it’s still an important mission to close out the right way,” says Col. Reginald E. Allen, commander of the 3rd ACR. From a year or two ago, the changes seen in the Iraqi army are significant, Allen says. “The Iraqi army is more professional. The police forces are better. They have much better capacity. They’re still heavily politically influenced. Politics is still the major driver of instability.” For example, Allen says, the security forces in Babil province still tend to enforce laws based on sectarian influences. The heavily Shiite forces have no problem going after Sunni insurgents, but they are often less willing to investigate and track corruption among Shiite groups, he explains. “We keep telling them that is going to come back to haunt them,” he says. “It may not be until after we’re gone, but it will haunt them.” As for Allen, when the 3rd ACR departs this summer, he hopes it will be “victorious.” Victory, he adds, is “leaving here with honor, respect and our duty intact and leaving an Iraq that is self-sufficient and has a relationship with the United States.” J Jackie Spinner is an independent U.S. journalist based in the Middle East. She covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a staff writer for The Washington Post.

Proposed defense budget includes some big winners – and some big losers By William Matthews

PHOTO: Ensign Ashleigh S. Teitel

The Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is the most costly casualty of budget tightening for 2012. Cancellation of the highspeed, 40-ton ocean-skimming armored vehicle would save $12 billion.


ome defense budget analysts are calling it “the age of austerity.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates calls it the end of the “culture of endless money.” So you might think the U.S. military took a big financial whack in the 2012 budget President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Feb. 14. Not so. Defense spending continues its upward climb. It’s a pretty healthy increase, too – 4.3 percent, or $23 billion. The “base budget” for 2012 is $553 billion, compared with $530 billion for this year. True, the 2012 figure is $13 billion less than Gates projected a year ago. But amid the fierce budget combat raging in Washington, defense has largely escaped collateral damage. Others weren’t so lucky. The Commerce Department gets a 36.7 percent cut; the Justice Department loses 24.3 percent; Agriculture is trimmed by 12.4 percent. Gates worked hard to avoid cuts like that. When he unveiled the new budget at the Pentagon, he stressed how much military spending he has already cut. “Over the last two defense budgets, we have reformed and rebalanced the department’s spending habits and priorities, curtailing or canceling troubled or excess programs that would have cost more than $300 billion if seen through to completion,” he said. Gates has killed costly programs such as the F-22 stealth fighter, the Transformational Satellite, a new helicopter fleet for the president and the Army’s Future Combat Systems. He pushed the services to cut $100 billion worth of spending on low-priority programs over the next five years so they can spend that money on more urgent needs, such as a new


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interceptors intended to defend Europe against ​long-range Iranian missiles. • $7.5 billion to modernize Army tanks and fighting vehicles and to buy heavy and medium trucks and light tactical vehicles. • $2.3 billion for improving cybersecurity and to enable planning by the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security for better cybersecurity across the U.S. government. • $2 billion for long-range strike programs. The bulk of this money goes into long-range missiles, but the most interesting item is $197 million to begin work on a new long-range, nuclear-capable penetrating bomber. That’s a high priority for the Air Force, whose newest bombers – B-2s – are teenagers, and whose oldest – B-52s – are Perturbed that the Joint Strike Fighter has repeatedly gone over its budget and fallen behind approaching 50 years old. The new bomber schedule, Gates called for restructuring the program, reducing aircraft buys in 2012 and put“will have the option of being remotely ting the trouble-plagued vertical landing version on probation. piloted,” Gates said. And it will be built “using bomber for the Air Force, more ships for the Navy and upgrades to proven technologies” in hopes of avoiding cost overruns and delays.  Army tank and fighting vehicles. Gates also boasted that he has cut • $1.5 billion for chemical and biological defenses. That includes $78 billion from planned defense spending over the next five years, new vaccines and treatments and new technologies to develop and largely through “overhead reductions and efficiencies” and “shifts in manufacture medical countermeasures. economic assumptions.” • $190 million for the Navy’s next-generation jammer. This isn’t a By curtailing Pentagon spending himself, Gates has so far avoided lot of money, but it’s an important program to those who believe the cuts imposed by a newly deficit-conscious Congress. In addition to Navy must be able to fight in “an anti-access environment” where the $553 billion base requested for 2012, the Defense Department adversaries have increasingly sophisticated anti-aircraft and anti-ship wants $118 billion to keep fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, for total weapons, such as China.    spending of $671 billion. • $1.1 billion extra for shipbuilding. Gates says money the Navy That’s less than the current total of $691 billion, and the difference saved through efficiencies will buy an additional Littoral Combat is due to lower war spending as operations in Iraq wind down. This Ship and a mobile landing platform ship. That pushes the 2012 total year the war costs are about $160 billion.  to 10 ships at a cost of $14.9 billion.     hile the focus has been on cuts, efficiencies and austerity, hese 2012 budget winners only tell part of the story. To cut there are some clear winners in the 2012 budget. The $13 billion from the budget Gates had expected to be able to budget includes: submit, there also have to be budget losers. • $4.8 billion for unmanned aerial vehicles, about a 10 percent The Marine Corps seems to be taking the biggest hit. Gates wants increase. Pentagon comptroller Robert Hale says the investment to cancel the Corps’ expeditionary fighting vehicle, put its troubled is necessary to meet an “almost insatiable demand on the part next-generation combat jet on probation and shrink its ranks by of our combat commanders” for intelligence, surveillance and 15,000 to 20,000 Marines. reconnaissance capability. The budget includes three Global Hawks, A key question is how much cutting and canceling will Congress 48 Reapers, 36 Gray Eagles, as well as additional Fire Scouts, permit? In the past, most lawmakers have been reluctant to cut defense Shadows and Ravens. There is also $300 million to buy 12 manned spending, but in the current budget climate, that could change. MC-12 surveillance aircraft. On the table in the budget proposal: • $10.6 billion for helicopters, including continued buys of CH-47 • $12 billion could be cut by pulling the plug on the expeditionary Chinooks and UH-60 Blackhawks for the Army; MH-60Rs, MH- fighting vehicle – EFV – but that would leave the Marines with 60Ss, and MV-22s for the Navy and Marine Corps; and CV-22s for decades-old amphibious assault vehicles and only a vague promise the Air Force. that the Pentagon will start designing a new Marine Personnel Carrier. • $10.7 billion for ballistic missile defense, up from $9.4 billion Still, the EFV has been budget-cutting bait for years. Since work this year. That includes $628 million for land-based Aegis missile on the vehicle began 15 years ago, the EFV has been plagued by



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performance failures, development delays and cost increases. The per-vehicle price has ballooned from $5 million in 1995 to $17 million today, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., assistant Marine Corps commandant, told the House Armed Services Committee in January. It’s an 80,000-pound armored troop carrier designed to plane across the water at up to 29 miles per hour, then travel on land at up to 45 miles per hour. The EFV’s flat bottom enables it to skim over the water from ship to shore at high speed, but the flat hull proved to be a serious vulnerability on shore where improvised explosive devices now are expected to be a weapon of choice. When the Corps looked at its budget and the cost of needed repairs and replacements for war-damaged equipment, Dunford says, “We found that the EFV The Army’s main contribution to spending restraint was canceling the SLAMalone ate up 50 percent of our overall procurement RAAM – a surface-launched anti-aircraft missile. dollars. To put that in some perspective, the EFV • $7 billion could be cut over the next five years by increasing fees program was 573 vehicles, and we’ve got 43,000 vehicles in our fleet for Tricare, the military’s health insurance plan. Enrollment fees were today.” The EFV is “simply unaffordable.” But the EFV generates thousands of jobs in states such as set in 1995 at $460 a year and haven’t changed since. Meanwhile, Michigan and Ohio, so it has some staunch supporters in Congress. private-sector insurance plans have skyrocketed so that comparable Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, calls the plan to cancel t​he EFV “a benefits cost about $5,000 a year, Gates says. Because of the price wrongheaded move that’s bad for the Marines and for western Ohio.” difference, military retirees who now have civilian jobs often forego • $1.3 billion cut from the Joint Strike Fighter. The Marines’ short private insurance and remain on Tricare, at substantial cost to the takeoff and vertical landing variant of the JSF is being put “on the military. So Gates wants to increase Tricare fees for working-age equivalent of a two-year probation,” Gates announced, because the retirees, which he says will save $7 billion over five years. That’s a touchy proposal for some in Congress. Says Rep. Scott plane suffers “significant testing problems.” The plane appears to need major redesigns, which could add “yet more weight and more Rigell, R-Va., “It is widely understood when you enlist in the armed cost to an aircraft that has little capacity to absorb more of either,” services that you’re going to get lifetime health benefits.” Raising Gates says. If after two years the plane isn’t “back on track in terms of Tricare fees “is a breach of trust.” performance, cost and schedule, then I believe it should be canceled,” n the longer term, even more will need to be cut, Gates he says. says. To live within budgets that have been planned for By contrast, the Air Force and Navy variants of the JSF “are proceeding satisfactorily,” he says. But because of development the next half decade, the military will have to get smaller. The delays, Gates says he plans to buy 32 planes in 2012 instead of 43 “so Marines are hit hardest, with a reduction of 15,000 to 20,000 we get a year further into the development before we really begin to starting in 2015. That could mean a 10 percent cut in end ramp up production.” The Marine Corp variant’s problems are good strength. The Corps now is 202,100 strong. The Army is scheduled to cut 27,000 out of its end news for Boeing, which will be able to sell the Marines more F/Astrength of 569,400, or about 5 percent. These cuts depend 18EFs to make up for delayed delivery of JSFs. • $1 billion cut from the Army’s surface-launched anti-aircraft SL- on substantial winding down of the war in Afghanistan by the AMRAAM missile. Costs are out of control, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, end of 2014, Gates says. Personnel cuts could eventually save the Army’s vice chief of staff, told the House Armed Services several billion dollars a year. Cuts in uniformed personnel are Committee. Once priced at $300,000 apiece, each missile now costs to be accompanied by cuts in contract workers. Gates wants more than $1 million – so much that the Army could only afford contractors to be cut by 10 percent a year over the next three 100 of them. “And quite frankly, we saw changes in the threat from years. That could eliminate as many as 240,000 jobs and save the time that that program had been conceived,” Chiarelli says. The $6 billion.   While he’s willing to slow the upward spiral of defense Army wants to spend the SL-AMRAAM money on more relevant spending, Gates warns against actual defense cuts. “I want to Patriot missiles and counter-rocket and counter-mortar weapons. • $3.2 billion cut by terminating the non-line-of-sight launch emphasize that while America is at war and confronts a range system.  It’s one of the last surviving remnants of the Army’s Future of future security threats,” he says, “it’s important not to repeat Combat Systems program, which died from cost growth and technical the mistakes of the past by making drastic and ill-conceived cuts to the overall defense budget.” J problems in 2009.



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By Philip Ewing says the origins of the agency came from an incident that not only showed western seapower was behind the curve technologically, but cost thousands of lives – the 1915 sinking of the liner Lusitania by a German U-boat. “It was pretty much like a Sept. 11-like incident in its day,” he says. “It was viewed as every bit as horrific at the time. And it was one of the things that plunged us into the war” – World War I. So the Navy needed a way to defend against the new submarine threat, and the Naval Research Lab was born. That led to ONR, and the Navy has been leading the way in cuttingedge research ever since. ONR found a way to make batteries for the Talon robots used by Marine Corps explosive ordnance teams to check out improvised explosive devices last longer and cost less.

PHOTO: Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Granger Jr.


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(LEFT): Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Nevin Carr piloted the Office of Naval Research’s experimental ship, the Sea Fighter, off Florida in 2010. Navy engineers use the Sea Fighter to test new technologies and systems before they’re ready for use in the fleet.

​ONR has helped give the world radar; helped with the creation of the atomic bomb; sponsored expeditions that have reached the deepest depths of the ocean and found the Titanic; and hit many other technological milestones. In the 21st century, it has helped develop life-saving agents to help stop soldiers’ blood loss and advanced virtual-reality trainers to help Marines hone their skills before they see combat. And in an era when commanders in the field can’t get enough of the surveillance data provided by unmanned aircraft, ONR led the way there as well, Carr says. In fact, in 1928, its Navy engineers put a wireless transistor in a biplane and flew it around without a pilot, creating one of the earliest unmanned aircraft in history. “It was a little ahead of its time,” he says, “and the [War Department] wasn’t biting.” ​ NR’s researchers still use science to solve problems at every level of military operations. In Afghanistan, for example, SEAL special operators complained that the eyewear they used against the blinding desert sun was no good once they entered gloomy houses or caves, so they either had stop to change lenses, wasting time, or take them off altogether, losing essential protection for their eyes. So ONR’s Tech Solutions department developed the FastTint Protective Eyewear, which quickly changes shade to match the light in a given environment. Program manager Stephanie Everett says in an ONR announcement that the goggles go from light to dark or back in less than half a second, so a SEAL can step out of a bright Afghan afternoon and into a dark room without pausing or risking his eyes. On the other end of the scale, senior Pentagon commanders worry about a new grade of advanced anti-ship missiles now



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PHOTO: Courtesy of U.S. Navy

(BELOW): ONR continues to set world records for powerful experimental weapons like its electromagnetic rail gun, which can shoot a projectile at Mach 7 using no gunpowder.

said to be under development in China. The weapon is said to take off like a ballistic missile, fly up into outer space, then plunge down toward its target at sea and go after it just over the wavetops at supersonic speed. Although the Navy’s cruisers and destroyers have the most advanced missile defense systems in the world, commanders worry even they might not be enough to handle such a new weapon. But what if U.S. warships had a laser? ​ONR’s Free Electron Laser is just such a technology – one, in fact, that might change warfare at sea. Conceptually, lasers are a commander’s dream: They never run out of ammunition, they can zap targets almost instantly (no matter how fast a missile or aircraft is flying, a laser goes the speed of light) and advocates say these qualities could help them stop battles from happening altogether. Why waste missiles on a ship that can just zap each one, no matter how many or how fast they


are? “We’re nearing the limits of our ability to hit maneuvering pieces of metal with maneuvering pieces of metal,” Carr says. But skeptics invariably respond with a quip: Lasers are the weapons of the future and they always will be. Since the 1980s or before, technologists have promised a new era of laser warfare, and yet it always seems to be 10 or 15 years down the line. They and other advanced gadgets always seem to need more funding for more research. And in a time when political leaders in Washington are preoccupied with America’s deficit, some military officials worry that these frustrations with science and technology, as represented by ONR, could fall into budget cutters’ crosshairs. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried to preempt this sensibility in a February budget hearing before the House Armed Services Committee. He told lawmakers to resist the temptation to cut military research budgets just because it didn’t seem like they give an immediate payoff. “Sometimes [science and technology] become very easy targets,” he said. “You need the innovation. You need the 38

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PHOTOS: John F. Williams

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Spencer Mickler

(BELOW): ONR is working on a Navy initiative to develop a fossil fuel-free aircraft carrier strike group by 2016.

(ABOVE): Maj. Andrew Floyd from the ONR models the revolutionary Fast Tint Protective Eyewear that rapidly transitions between clear for indoors, blue or amber for low light and dark gray for daytime use, in addition to shielding a warfighters’ eyes from ballistic impact, laser light and 100 percent of ultraviolet rays.

kind of investment for the capabilities of the future that really starts there. ... There has been, you know, a very focused effort to make sure that that is sustained. And in the totality of the budget, it’s not a huge amount of money, but its long-term leverage is almost off the charts.” Carr says he’s mindful about the need to balance these kinds of dynamics – what will pay off, what won’t, and that ONR is set up to give the most possible value for its roughly $2 billion annual budget, with a wide range of projects. “It’s not all glitzy megawatt death rays,” Carr says. Even the sailors and Marines who ultimately use its science may not actually see a lot of what ONR gets asked to do.  “Every year we’re delivering between 20 and 30 of those technologies that go into programs of record, many of which are at use in Afghanistan and other theaters,” he says. “They’re just inside other programs. It’s better canopy for an aircraft, a better wave-form for radios or jamming pods, better ways of tracking submarines, energy solutions for the Marines. Our technology is over there today in a lot of forms.”   nergy – using less of it, getting from a different source, or combinations thereof – is one of ONR’s biggest priorities today. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in 2009 surprised the naval world when he announced that by 2016 he wanted the Navy to field what he called “a Great Green Fleet:” An aircraft carrier strike group that would operate completely independent of fossil fuels. The carrier itself would be nuclear-powered, as would its


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PHOTO: Mass Comm. Spc. 2nd Class Christopher Menzie

submarine escort, and the group’s other ships, including cruisers and destroyers, would use alternative fuels and advanced new engines. The group’s aircraft, including its fighter jets and helicopters, all would burn alternative fuels. It was a very ambitious goal, particularly because the algae-based biofuels the Navy needs to use are now astronomically expensive. Enter ONR. Navy researchers are also trying to figure out how to incorporate biofuels into the Navy’s regular supply chain, so that when a fleet oiler goes to rendezvous with a destroyer, it can pump petroleum fuel oil or biofuel without its equipment or that of its “customer” ship knowing the difference. Last year, the Navy saw the debut of an F/A18 fighter jet dubbed ​“the Green Hornet,” which made the service’s first flight on alternative fuel. The Marines, too, want to get smarter about using energy. In their camps and bases in Afghanistan, they get electrical power from gas or diesel generators, which creates the need for long supply convoys that can become targets for Taliban insurgents. So if the Marines burn less fuel, commanders believe, American taxpayers not only will save money, fewer Marines will be hurt or killed guarding fuel shipments to forward bases. This is why ONR is helping develop portable, Marineproof solar panels, as well as ground vehicles that can operate on biofuel or use hybrid engines, like a Toyota Prius. And there also are energy projects designed to make life safe or easier for individual Marines, Carr said. For example, many of today’s ground troops need to carry a small Radio Shack’s worth of electronic gear, including tactical radios, laptops and GPS navigation equipment. Something as simple as smaller, more powerful batteries mean that a Marine has to carry less weight in the field, saving him that much fatigue on a long patrol. Another ONR innovation wasn’t just convenient, Carr says. It has quite literally kept Marines out of danger. Troops in Afghanistan use a small, remote-controlled robot called the Talon to investigate improvised bombs. If a patrol spots some suspicious litter in the road or what looks like a freshly dug patch, they’ll unpack the robot and drive it forward to pick up the bomb, if there is one, and move it safely away without the need to endanger a human team. But the Talons’ batteries were not working well, Carr explains. They wouldn’t hold a charge, and the robot might die or Marines might lose control of it in the middle of a tense situation. So the Marine Corps came to ONR and asked for help. “We were able to find some batteries, adapt them for use and make them last longer and cost less,” Carr says. “It’s not high science, but we were able to apply some technology and do some good on a quick turn.” J

PHOTO:Mass Comm. Spec. 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien


(TOP): ONR researchers are working on incorporating biofuels into the Navy supply chain, including jet fuel for the service’s fleet of F/A-18 Hornets. An F/A-18 dubbed the Green Hornet made the maiden biofuel flight last year. (BOTTOM): SEAL special operators, like these training in California, complained that they were wasting time changing their eye protection when going from the bright outdoors to dark buildings or caves, so ONR developed eye protection that quickly changes its tint.

Pentagon works to feed nearly insatiable hunger for valuable battlefield ISR


By Rich Tuttle

s the U.S. prepares to begin withdrawing forces from Afghanistan this summer, it will actually increase the number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets there to help cover the withdrawal. At least that’s the approach being taken now in Iraq, and Pentagon officials think the same scenario will play out in Afghanistan. In Iraq, the message from U.S. commanders is loud and clear: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, is a key enabler during the transition to Iraqi forces taking over the country’s national security. The American eyes and ears in the sky allow U.S. forces to manage the risk to their own declining numbers and give Iraqi forces more confidence to pick up more missions, says one defense official who asks not to be identified. “It has been very, very important.” In Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command has not yet formulated a plan to draw down ISR, he says, but the assumption is that it will be 40

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one of the last capabilities the U.S. pulls out of that country. In fact, the overall number of ISR assets assigned to Afghanistan has increased modestly in recent months, the official says. Tethered aerostats fitted with video cameras have been in particular demand because of their effectiveness in the role of force protection at remote U.S. outposts. Top commanders are personally calling for more. They also want more of the C-12 twin-turboprop aircraft operated by the Army’s Task Force ODIN. ODIN -- for Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize -- has earned the praise of commanders in Iraq for detecting buried roadside bombs and fingering “high value” enemies. About 20 C-12s have been flying in Iraq. Another 20 are operating in Afghanistan, where they have earned similar kudos.


ssets like the aerostats and the ODIN planes are operated by the military services and government agencies, but a Pentagon organization with leadership from the very top -- the ISR Task Force -- has been instrumental in getting such systems into action. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates formed the ISR Task Force in April 2008 to quicken and expand delivery of ISR capabilities to Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been closely involved ever since. He

PHOTO: Courtesy of U.S. Army


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A Hawker Beechcraft MC-12 of the Air Force's Project Liberty at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

said the normal Pentagon processes weren’t working fast enough to give theater commanders the ISR they needed. The assumption was that if they had enough ISR, they would be able to perform their missions with greater speed and safety. The ISR Task Force, a hybrid organization of the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, presses other parts of the U.S. defense apparatus to provide more capability faster, and clears the way when roadblocks are encountered. In 2008, for instance, when the Air Force wanted more Predator unmanned aerial vehicles, it became clear that the real problem was not more hardware but inefficient manning. Gates made several visits to training sites to help determine how many more should be established, and the task force freed up funding for more simulators to speed the throughput of pilots and analysts. That same year, the task force found money for the Air Force’s Project Liberty, an initiative to field 37 C-12s with ISR capabilities. The first plane made it into combat six months after the idea was formulated – lightning speed by Pentagon standards. Hawker Beechcraft had built 37 by 2010, and 30 are now in Afghanistan and Iraq. The others are being used to train crews. The ISR Task Force stepped in again in 2008 when Army brass wanted to replicate ODIN’s Iraq success in Afghanistan. It helped with funding and greased bureaucratic wheels, and ODIN quickly became operational in Afghanistan.


n terms of acquisition dollars, Liberty and ODIN are the two big projects that have been speeded by the ISR Task Force. Precise numbers are hard to come by, but hundreds of millions of dollars are said to have been spent on ODIN alone. Army officials say it’s been well worth the cost. 42

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ODIN pre-dates the ISR Task Force. Established by the Army in 2006 at Fort Hood, Texas, it was sent to Iraq that year. Its C-12s and unmanned aerial vehicles, flying from Tikrit, worked with such armed aircraft as AH-64D Apache and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters. The result, says Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.), is that more than 3,000 insurgents have been captured or killed and IED attacks against coalition forces have fallen off. He says that from August 2006 to December 2010, coalition deaths attributable to roadside bombs decreased by 85 percent while the number of troops wounded by IEDs fell by 52 percent. This, he says, is “due in large part to Task Force ODIN and the capability delivered by ISR.” In Afghanistan, ODIN “is operating very successfully in multiple locations,” says Christian Keller, product director in the Army’s Observe Detect and Identify office. He declines to give examples. “It’s hard to get into some of the specifics over this line and in this forum,” he says in a telephone interview. However, “whether it’s been the support to the numerous capture of high-value targets, whether it’s been the finding of IEDs and avoiding issues there,” or providing ground units with a “forensic back-tracking capability” -- keeping an eye on an area, noting any changes that might indicate a freshly buried bomb, and then tracking the evidence back to a bomb factory -- ODIN’s contributions have been significant. “One of the major things ODIN does is provide the units in the field that dedicated support,” Keller says. “While they’re doing their mission that aircraft is overhead, whether it’s an unmanned platform or manned platform. ... Every week we hear more and more positive things about what’s coming out of the ODIN systems to support both theaters.”

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those in Afghanistan, and the effect on ODIN planes is twofold, Keller says. First, there’s more strain on the airframes themselves; some C-12s had already logged 10,000 to 20,000 hours before the Army obtained them. They are not operated over the high terrain in the far northeast part of the country, which blocks line-of-sight communications, requiring that planes be fitted with satellite communications gear. The majority of ODIN C-12s fly night as well as day missions, but only some fly in all weather conditions. Contractor as well as Army pilots fly the planes. The Army chose Boeing in December to build a successor to the C-12-carried MARSS, called Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, or EMARSS. But other bidders – L3, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- protested to the Government Accountability Office. A GAO ruling was expected in midMarch. Keller says the protest does not affect his work. “I’ve got my head down, I’m executing the ODIN program, supporting the guys in the field.” And Task Force ODIN in Afghanistan and Iraq “are not waiting on EMARSS,” he says. “That’s beyond what we’re focused on now in supporting the current war-fight.” EMARSS would have about the same capability as MARSS, but would be more effective, Keller says. It would use bigger communication pipes and be more efficient in terms of bandwidth usage. It would also put the Distributed Common Ground System, or DCGS, on the aircraft, boosting intelligence capabilities. There are some differences in the communication links used by MARSS and the Air Force’s Project Liberty, but they have “very similar capabilities,” Keller says. The fact that there are still unmet ISR requirements in Afghanistan seems to be offsetting such apparent overlaps. These are presumably further avoided by flight scheduling. This daily task is carried out by the International Joint Command. It allocates flights to each of the regional commands, which then manage their own battle operations. Helping to make sure things stay on track back at the Pentagon are weekly reports by Lt. Gen. John C. Koziol, director of the ISR Task Force, to Gen. James E. Cartright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Koziol also briefs Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers, as well as Ashton Carter, the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. But while people at the Pentagon have been working to increase the effectiveness of ISR -- and Gates emphasizes the importance of meshing air, ground and space assets -- battle commanders have not been shy about stating their needs. “The theater’s been very, very aggressive” in this area, a defense official says. The push originates with infantry commanders who are “really, really savvy on how to use ISR.” In fact, the official says, a big reason for the rapid growth of ISR is the importance such systems assume when smart commanders integrate them with the way they fight -- a change from just a few years ago. “These eyes and ears become part of their real-time operations, and don’t just solve a static intel question.” J

Shorts SD360 planes like this one have been modified by the U.S. Army to carry the Task Force ODIN "Constant Hawk" persistent surveillance payload.

ODIN is “adding platforms and capabilities consistently” in Afghanistan, Keller says, and could shift some assets to Afghanistan following the drawdown.


number of efforts are being carried out under ODIN. C-12s fitted with the Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (MARSS) fly imagery and signals intelligence missions in Afghanistan. Other C-12s, flying in Iraq on similar missions, carry the Airborne Reconnaissance Multisensor System (ARMS). Sierra Nevada Corp. of Hagerstown, Md., is the prime contractor for MARSS and ARMS. “Constant Hawk” missions -- persistent surveillance of large areas for anti-IED forensic analysis -- are flown by C-12s in Afghanistan and by Shorts 360 planes in Iraq. L3 Communications is said to be the prime contractor for Constant Hawk in Afghanistan, while Jorge Scientific Corp. of Arlington, Va., is prime in Iraq. BAE Systems is supplying the Airborne Wide Area Persistent Surveillance Sensor, or AWAPSS, apparently for Constant Hawk. “Highlighter” flights, also intended to detect changes in a scene, are carried out by C-12s. General Atomics is the prime for Highlighter. A dedicated ODIN ground station, called ARST, for Aerial Reconnaissance Support Team, analyzes imagery, including from full-motion video. One is in Iraq and four are in Afghanistan, but more are likely to be added there. Radiance Technologies Inc. of Huntsville, Ala., is the prime contractor. The flying conditions in Iraq are relatively benign compared with 44

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Equipping Marines with everything they drive, shoot or wear just got a little tougher By James Kitfield

Marines like these on security patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, rely on Marine Corps Systems Command to outfit them with the best combat gear money can buy. Now, the command will have to do so under even tighter budget constraints.


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ith its release of the fiscal 2012 Defense Department budget in February, the Obama administration signaled an end to a decade-long defense buildup. For the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, total military spending is set to shrink, from roughly $708 billion in fiscal 2011 to $671 billion in 2012. For the individual armed services the budget plan also indicates that for the first time in history the United States will cut defense spending in a time of war. The challenges of waging war in a time of austerity are felt acutely at Marine Corps Systems Command. Along with U.S. Army ground units, Marine Corps task forces have borne the brunt of a decade of counterinsurgency warfare. As the smallest and least well-healed of the armed services, the Marine Corps also operates on tight margins that can amplify the pinch of declining budgets. The Marine Corps’ unique amphibious and expeditionary nature also make it heavily dependent on weapons that have recently felt the budget ax, to include the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and the VSTOL (Vertical and/or Short Take-off and Landing) version of the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. All of which greatly complicates Marine Corps Systems Command’s mission of outfitting Marines with “literally everything they drive, shoot and wear,” as its website proclaims. “Over the last decade of conflict, we never lost sight of the priority of supporting the fight and getting equipment out to individual Marines faster, faster, faster, which meant that schedule was the big driver and we didn’t have to worry as much about money,” Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command, told Defense Standard. “Now Defense Secretary [Robert] Gates has told the acquisition side of the house that we have to maximize the value of every dollar, and we have implemented a

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lot of efficiency initiatives in terms of procurement. Going forward, not only will we have to meet tight schedule and time requirements in terms of fielding equipment, we also have to consider value and make good business decisions that save money for the American taxpayer and the Marine Corps. That’s a game-changer for us.”


ll of the services have taken to heart Secretary Gates’ insistence that their top priority must be winning today’s conflicts. Given the Marine Corps ethos of “every Marine a rifleman,” that has meant putting state-of-the-art warfighting capabilities into the hands of each Marine on the ground in Afghanistan. “While the Navy might think first about acquiring Systems Command will have to rethink how to accomplish the Corps’ amphibious a ship, and then putting a gun on it, and then putting assault mission with the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program, a sailor behind the gun, the Marine Corps is a little which was intended to replace the nearly 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicle. different in that the individual Marine is our primary weapon system, so our focus is on making that individual more Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programs. System Command effective,” says Kelley. In an age of counterinsurgency, with extremely engineers and developers have worked with their Navy, Air Force and decentralized operations and a 360-degree battle space, that focus has Army counterparts to adapt small UAVs such as the Wasp, Dragon led Systems Command to give junior officers and small units the Eye and Raven-B to the specific demands of Marine Corps units. “Our systems engineers did some remarkable work in developing kind of command-and-control, reconnaissance and surveillance, and intelligence-gathering capability that was once reserved for higher terminals that allow us to take the video feeds from those small UAVs and put them into the hands of the war-fighter on the ground,” Kelley headquarters. As an example, Reginald Brown, head of radar programs at says. Because each of those small units is part of a tightly integrated Systems Command, notes that the demand for radars that support and self-contained Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), every ground combat operations spiked as a result of operations in Iraq and decision on introducing new equipment ripples throughout the Afghanistan. “One system that we found was in particular demand organization. “All the equipment we develop and buy has to be tightly coupled in our expeditionary units was the lightweight counter-mortar radar,” says Brown, referring to a radar that allows ground units to aim their and integrated with all the other systems in the MAGTF,” said Kelley. “So when a Systems Command engineer looks at those UAVs, he counter-fire on the same trajectory as incoming enemy rounds. In the past, key wartime decisions were generally made at a very automatically thinks how can we integrate it with the MAGTF’s high level, so Systems Command would typically invest in command- aviation command-and-control system? How will our intelligence and-control equipment with an eye to putting it in a combat operations folks access the information? How can the commander of the ground center commanded by a general officer. By contrast, Kelley notes, in combat element get terminals to his deploying units? Coordinating all counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan the challenge of that is a challenge.” has been to keep junior officers and small units plugged into the ith U.S. forces scheduled to exit Iraq by the end of the information grid even as they roam farther and farther away from year, and start drawing down in Afghanistan beginning higher headquarters. “Because junior officers and individual Marines can make this summer, the Marine Corps is already anticipating rebalancing decisions today that have not just a tactical, but rather a dramatic the nation’s expeditionary “Force of Choice.” For Systems strategic impact, the emphasis is on equipment that pushes the kind Command, that means helping the Corps shed a lot of weight put of information to them that years ago only generals could access,” on to protect its forces from the improvised explosive devices Kelley says. “So as we think about the weight, price and value of a (IEDs) favored by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only then piece of equipment in terms of improving situational awareness, we do can the Corps truly reclaim its status as a rapidly deployable so with an understanding that commanders are increasingly pushing “middleweight” to the Army’s “heavyweight” armor forces. As the Joint Program Executive Office for acquiring MRAP key decisions to lower-level units and leaders.” A good example of Systems Command’s determination to enhance (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles for all the services, the intelligence-gathering capability of small units is its array of for instance, Marine Corps Systems Command has watched



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as the heavily armored vehicles have caused its MAGTFs to erhaps the most difficult tension Systems Command must steadily gain weight and become more cumbersome to deploy. resolve, however, is between declining resources and “We have three main areas we are focusing on as part of our the imperatives of winning a tough fight in Afghanistan while responsibility to help the Marine Corps lighten the weight of the reconfiguring the Marine Corps for the future. As just one example MAGTF,” said John Burrow, executive director of Marine Corps of how a decade of war has dramatically escalated costs, the price of Systems Command. “First, in terms of systems engineering, outfitting an individual Marine has risen from just $1,000 in 2000 to we view the individual Marine as a system unto him or herself, $7,000 today. and we’ve made significant progress in lightening the load the One way to get that cost down is to avoid any unnecessary individual Marine has to carry. Second, duplication of effort in equipment development, and we are reducing the size and weight of our to look for economies of scale. Both require that equipment and making it more energySystems Command work closely with the Army and efficient. Third, we view both the Marines other services in developing common equipment, My boss likes to say that the and the equipment as interdependent such as ammunition, armor and even combat helmets. components of a fully interoperable “When I came to Systems Command in 2006, was never defined by any MAGTF, and we’re constantly looking at I found a culture that was attuned to meeting the particular ways to integrate components and systems urgent needs of our warfighters,” says Burrow. more efficiently as a means to shed weight “Given that our budget has always been less robust PROGRAM , but rather by the and increase the MAGTF’s overall warthan our sister services’, that required us to work fighting effectiveness.” closely with the Army and the other services to that we bring to the Adds Kelley: “There’s always a tension leverage their investments. So this tension between between heavy and light in this business, getting equipment into the hands of Marines as fast and with the increase in MRAPs for force as possible, and getting value for every dollar, is a protection we have been getting really healthy tension in our view.” heavy. Now the Marine Corps leadership Some of the major weapons systems the Marine considers it critically important that we Corps relies upon to maintain its edge in amphibious - Brig. Gen. Frank Kelley start getting our weight down.” and expeditionary operations, however, are threatened As part of that diet, Systems Command by the budget ax. The decision by Britain late last year officials also work closely with the Marine Corps Warfighting to dramatically cut back its planned purchase of the VSTOL version Laboratory to develop innovative concepts designed to make of the Joint Strike Fighter, for instance, has raised concerns about the MAGTFs lighter and more rapidly deployable. New, lighter- future affordability of that aircraft, which the Marine Corps is counting weight composite materials are being tested, for instance, as on as the replacement to its VSTOL Harrier “jump jets.” possible substitutes for heavy armor for vehicle protection. Gates’ recent decision to cancel the Expeditionary Fighting Systems engineers are also exploring new manufacturing Vehicle also strikes at the Marine Corps’ core amphibious mission of techniques and structural designs for forward operating bases assaulting beaches from the sea. The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle that could help MAGTFs shed pounds. Different force structure is essentially a floating tank designed to ferry Marines from ship to configurations are likewise being tested in hopes of discovering shore. It was designed to replace the service’s fleet of slow, lightly better, more efficient ways to fight than with the traditional armored Amphibious Assault Vehicles, many of which are nearly 40 squad fire team. years old. Systems Command is also looking at ways to make MAGTFs While Marine Corps leaders have not publicly fought the both more energy efficient and self-sufficient as a way to lighten cancellation of the EFV program, which was over budget and behind their load. That requires new equipment and systems that use schedule, they continue to argue the need for the kind of amphibious fewer heavy batteries that have to be transported and thrown assault capability that it represented. “To me, for our military to stay away. It also means giving Marines the capability to make relevant in today’s world we need access, and amphibious capability potable water rather than having them drag it around behind provides that access,” says Kelley. While arguing that an amphibious them in cumbersome logistics tails. assault capability is a vital element of U.S. national security, however, If Marines have the ability to make water, Kelley says, they Kelley notes that it was not wholly dependent on the Expeditionary don’t have to carry it around the world, put it on convoys Fighting Vehicle program. that are vulnerable to IEDs, or make MAGTF re-supply “My boss likes to say that the Marine Corps was never defined by predictable by requiring scheduled water deliveries. “So there any particular weapons program, but rather by the capabilities that is a constant tradeoff between weight and mobility, and we’re we bring to the fight,” said Kelley. “That’s a pretty good description experimenting with a lot of new concepts to get that really of how we in the Marine Corps and at Systems Command think tough equation right.” about acquisition.” J






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The Social

The Army wages battle to get its mish-mash of IT networks talking with one another

PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Army

By Rich Tuttle


he U.S. Army’s network integration initiative is prompting big shifts in the way the service fights and in the way it acquires information technology -- and it’s all aimed at getting the right information to soldiers at the right time. The initiative, which merges current Army networks into a single network, springs from the ashes of the Future Combat Systems program. Launched in 2000, FCS was supposed to allow Army forces to defeat any enemy on any conventional battlefield. The 15 brigade combat teams chosen to receive FCS gear would use a robust network for superior situational awareness, and strike from standoff distances. But there were problems. The chosen BCTs wouldn’t be fully equipped until 2025; costs were rising dramatically to nearly $18 billion; and the battlefield was changing from the football-like scenario of the Cold War to the soccer-like scenario of Iraq and Afghanistan where there were no front lines. Commanders there wanted better command and control, and better intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; they wanted it over a network for soldiers at the company, platoon and even squad level, where it was vital to make informed, split-second decisions; and they wanted it now. They also wanted soldiers to be able to send information easily back up to the battalion and brigade. And that wasn’t just for combat. Sorting the good guys 52

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A soldier tracks battlefield movements updated by sensors from a battalion tactical operations center during a 2010 exercise.

from the bad guys in an apparently peaceful village required the same capabilities. In Afghanistan, “there is a huge pent-up demand for this kind of wideband capability down at the mobile edge of the battlefield,” says Dennis C. Moran, vice president of government business development for Harris Corp.’s RF Communications Division. Harris supplies the PRC-117G radio to the Army and Marine Corps. The -117G, says Moran, a retired Army major general, is increasing the effectiveness of ground forces. With all these factors in mind, the Army decided to extract pieces of the FCS network that could make a difference, as well as some of the FCS sensors and unmanned vehicles, and send them quickly to units that need them the most. Meanwhile, in 2009, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates killed FCS, stressing affordability and the importance of fighting today’s wars.


2009 effort at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands, N.M. -- the Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (EIBCT) evaluation -- proved the viability of connecting soldiers using portions of the FCS network. But it showed only that the terrestrial layer of a new tactical network would meet expectations, says Army spokesman Paul Mehney. Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli wanted to know how it would tie into aerial and space communications layers.

PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Army

The Brigade Combat Team Network Integration Exercise, conducted at Fort Bliss and White Sands last July, showed that the tiein would work, what a completely integrated brigade combat team network would look like, and how it could solve the problem of disrupted communication links. Such disruptions occur in urban environments in Iraq, and in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. It wasn’t perfect, Mehney says, but the Army understood it was on the road to defining a baseline network for today’s battles -- as well as potential future battles at any point on the warfighting spectrum -- and that it could Soldiers of the Army Evaluation Task Force set up a tactical operations center. They begin to grow and incrementally used unmanned systems and sensors, all networked, to conduct a series of simulated deploy the network. Some units operations at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. began to get systems early this year. Maturation and identification of gaps will continue, helping to systems will be deployed as part of the 2017 network. define an “objective” network planned for 2017. These events are not mere technical assessments, but part of a A Pentagon review in January gave the go-ahead for, among continuing series of operational evaluations by soldiers who have other things, low-rate initial production of the second and final been to Afghanistan and Iraq. The combat soldiers will help ensure brigade set of Network Integration Kits, or NIKs -- hubs that “that we’ve got an integrated network from the [tactical operations connect network layers and provide an early ability to transfer center] to the commander on the move to the dismounted soldier sensor and communications data to and from a brigade’s tactical that is seamless, so that our soldiers can get the information that wheeled vehicles. they need when they need it and where they need it,” no matter Congress’s Government Accountability Office says the Army what the environment, says Col. John Morrison, LandWarNet/ has proceeded with some low-rate production efforts despite Battle command director. acknowledging “that the systems and network were immature, The importance of capacity and interoperability are stressed unreliable, and not performing as required.” by Col. Michael Williamson, deputy program executive officer Indeed, there has been skepticism in Congress about Army for networks in the Program Executive Office (PEO) Integration, plans. Some on the Hill have asked the service to be more specific which is responsible for making sure the integration works. in laying out its strategy for network acquisition and war-fighting. Another PEO – Command, Control, Communications, Tactical, or Others have questioned individual elements. The House Armed C3T -- handles integration of hardware and software of specific Services Committee, for instance, has questioned the cost and systems. Williamson says the network must be robust enough to performance of the NIK. The Army says it’s meant to be a “bridge” grow and contract as needed. to newer kits. “If you were to look back” to last year, says Morrison, “what The WikiLeaks saga has prompted still others to express you would see is a bunch of individual programs that were on concern about the security aspects of merging a number of their own timeline, that were going to do different things inside the networks. It’s a sensitive subject. “The discussion of preventing a network. And what we weren’t doing is bringing that entire network ‘WikiLeaks’ challenge starts to get into classified information, and together, putting it into what we call a ‘capability set’ package, and we’re not going to go there,” a spokesman for the Army’s Training giving that to a formation so it was an integrated capability. Since and Doctrine Command says in an e-mail. “Even in any kind of we had all these programs on their own independent course, we generalities.” TRADOC’s Future Force Integration Directorate is really weren’t doing true network integration. We switched the apparently looking at the issue. paradigm to where we aligned our programs,” bringing them all together for evaluation by the AETF and ultimate deployment. t’s probably also getting attention at the Army Evaluation Because systems will be run through AETF before they are Task Force at Fort Bliss. The brigade-size AETF tested and put in the hands of soldiers, there will be “a real multiplier effect,” evaluated FCS, and is now the Army’s focal point for integrating Williamson says. a new network with combat units. It has already run a number of network evaluations, and more are scheduled for this year and next. losely linked to the AETF events is a new step -An event slated for late 2012 will help the Army decide which synchronizing the process of acquiring network systems



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A soldier with the Army Evaluation Task Force works in a tactical operations center during an exercise. Soldiers used the network there to communicate with different units at all levels of command, and share information such as voice and text chat, and still and video imagery. PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Army

broader Army strategy of the same name -- Brigade Combat Team Modernization -- laid down by the Army to update the BCTs. The Army itself is in charge of integrating the network into BCTs. Boeing and SAIC lead an industry team consisting of BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, iRobot, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and two Textron units, Overwatch and Textron Defense Systems. Other companies are also involved. Harris, for instance, is developing waveforms for radios. Moran says it will respond to the BAA. In addition to being prime on BCTM, Boeing also has the lead on BCTM’s Network Integration Kit, which has several components. One is the System-of-Systems Common Operating Environment (SOSCOE), which allows computer systems to talk to each other and give all soldiers the same picture of the battlefield. Like the NIK itself, SOSCOE isn’t the final word. The Army is close to coming up with a standard for a common operating environment that will factor into the upcoming BAA, Mehney says. It “will basically help industry compete, and it will also help industry to know what architecture to build from.” A single, standard architecture is key to network integration for several reasons, one of which is assurance of network access. When he was in Iraq as a battalion commander, Morrison says, his most reliable communications system was an IraqNA, an Iraqi cell phone. “It wouldn’t come disconnected from the network so frequently. It was literally my land line, depending on where I went.” But, he says, “Think of a world [with an integrated network] where I’ve got a common architecture on my truck but with multiple means, whether it’s satellite, whether it’s a terrestrial link” or an airborne link. “If one of those links goes down, I’ve always got that backup piece and the common backbone that allows me to operate just like the Internet, and now I’m able to go ahead and contact whoever I need to contact” without disconnects. A standardized network architecture will allow the Army to be more like industry in terms of taking advantage of changes in technology, Morrison says. A standardized architecture will mean that new technology can be put more easily into the hands of soldiers, who will almost certainly come up with ways to make it even more effective. “You look at how industry is doing [information technology] and then you look at how the Army was doing IT, and we were continuously shooting behind the duck” -- taking too much time to field various systems, Morrison says. “What we want to do is hit the duck.” J

with the cycle of the Army Forces Generation, or ARFOGEN, process, under which existing formations are changed into modular units, then trained, equipped and deployed. Williamson calls this is “a fundamental shift that says we’re going to align those programs, do the integration work, and deliver that integrated capability to those units before they deploy. That’s huge.” Under past procedures, the burden of integrating new systems was often an ad hoc affair that fell to a unit’s communications officer. Morrison stresses that having a network “capability set” that meets ARFORGEN’s requirements is “absolutely critical,” and that coordination with AETF evaluations is equally important. Once the AETF evaluations define a baseline for the network’s architecture, new capabilities can be systematically put into the hands of soldiers earlier. This, he says, is “going to fundamentally change the way” the Army does IT acquisition, and possibly even other kinds of acquisition. Gates’ emphasis on budget cuts might affect the network integration initiative, but Mehney says the Army is committed to the plan, and is “approaching it with efficiencies in mind.” He mentions the benefits of synchronizing ARFORGEN with acquisition of stalwarts of the developing network, whose own networks are being merged into the new one. They include Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2), Warrior Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) and Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). He also notes a plan for increased reliance on industry competition. Such efficiencies, Mehney says, are “right in line with what the [Defense] Department’s emphasizing to the services.” A first step in meshing acquisition with ARFORGEN will come in late winter or early spring when the Army issues a “broad agency announcement,” or BAA, to industry. Its purpose will be to elicit technology that could meet network requirements. The service will assess the technology, put it in the hands of AETF soldiers this summer, and pick what it needs.


number of companies are already working with the Army. Boeing Co. -- which was the FCS prime contractor -- is prime contractor for the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) program. This is linked to the 2009 EIBCT evaluation at Fort Bliss. The network integration effort is linked to the 56

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PHOTO: Courtesy Intelligent Software Solutions

Air Force helps mom-and-pop companies compete with the big boys for lucrative By Tony Mecia military contracts

ne of Judith Croxton’s most rewarding professional moments started last fall, when she took an urgent call from a colleague in Nebraska. Croxton, a small-business specialist with Shaw Air Force Base’s 20th Fighter Wing in South Carolina, listened as her counterpart described the problem: A contractor hired to do a job had fallen through, and they had only three days left in the fiscal year to find a replacement. Did Croxton know any firms that could bid on the work? Croxton immediately thought of a Virginia woman she had met months earlier who owned a small business that might fit the bill. Croxton called her, and within hours, the woman was on a plane to the Nebraska base. She won the contract. “That was a cool story,” Croxton says. “It was a really bad situation that turned out really good.” As the Air Force and other services continue pushing to expand opportunities for small businesses, much of the effort on the ground falls to specialists such as Croxton who are spread throughout the Air Force’s contracting network. It’s not glamorous work. They spend their days talking to prospective contrac-


D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

PHOTO: Airman Allen Stokes

PHOTO: Courtesy Shaw Air Force Base


(LEFT): Judith Croxton talks with a smallbusiness owner about contracting opportunities. Croxton is one of more than 100 small-business specialists spread throughout the Air Force’s contracting network. (TOP RIGHT): Intelligent Software Solutions won a $300 million contract to provide the Air Force with software that helps manage information from databases. Small businesses are increasingly competing against larger businesses for sophisticated contracts. (BOTTOM RIGHT): Lt. Col. Christian Robert climbs into the cockpit of an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Air Force buyers say small businesses can often compete for repairs, service and other contracts connected to complex weapon systems such as F-16s.

tors, arranging forums and helping educate businesses and even buyers on sometimes complex regulations that aim to improve the odds of small firms winning government contracts. Although technology and Internet databases have made finding out about potential government work easier than in the past, examples like Croxton’s show that personal connections remain surprisingly important to learning about available contracts – and having a chance to land them.


verall, the share of contracts the Air Force commits to small businesses has stayed steady over the last several years. Although some subgroups such as women-, minority- and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses have experienced big increases, the total share of money going to small businesses was 16 percent in 2010 – only 2 percentage points more than in 2004, according to figures from the Air Force Office of Small Business Programs. Small businesses accounted for $9.1 billion in contracts in 2010. Air Force personnel who work with small businesses say there are plenty of obstacles to increasing those numbers. Some programs are so large – such as the $35 billion aerial refueling tanker project awarded to Boeing in February – that only the biggest businesses have the resources to tackle them. Some businesses that might be able to perform the work are put off by government contracting requirements. But beyond that, a lot of the problem lies in trying to match the capabilities of a small business with the specifications of what the Air Force needs. 60

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

PHOTO: Courtesy Shaw Air Force Base PHOTO: Airman Allen Stokes

PHOTO: Courtesy Shaw Air Force Base

(LEFT): Members of Shaw Air Force Base’s 20th Contracting Squadron work closely with small businesses to match them with contracting opportunities. (TOP RIGHT): Shaw’s small-business specialist Judith Croxton (center) and a member of the 20th Contracting Squadron talk with a small business owner about contracting opportunities. (BOTTOM RIGHT): An F-16 sits under a protective cover. Small businesses have opportunities to provide the Air Force its protective aircraft shelters, among other products and services.

Croxton jokes that a big part of her job is trying to make “an eHarmony match” between Air Force buyers and small businesses. Sometimes those matchmaking efforts pay off. Croxton’s 42-person unit, the 20th Contracting Squadron, handles the purchasing for Shaw, including the 20th Fighter Wing. When buyers sought a company to build shelters to keep the F-16s out of the heat on the flight line, they found multiple small businesses that could handle the work. So they restricted the bidding to small businesses owned by disabled veterans – which the law says receive special priority – and one of them won the $1 million-plus contract. It’s an example of buyers steering bids toward small businesses that otherwise might have gone to larger firms. Other times, though, the specifications exclude small businesses: “You can only get Motorola radios from Motorola,” Croxton says.


t Hill Air Force Base in Utah, Lisa LeDuc, the base’s director of small business programs, spends much of her time meeting potential contractors and educating Air Force buyers and project managers about the capabilities of small businesses. At a base that handles major weapons systems including intercontinental ballistic missiles, she sometimes runs into the attitude that only larger companies can handle sophisticated work. She says small businesses can compete in plenty of areas, such as engineering consulting, that go beyond traditional smallbusiness strongholds such as construction and lawn maintenance. “Program managers go with who they know and who they’re



16.2 15.3 14.6 16.3



9.32 10.25

D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

Source: Air Force Office of Small Business Programs









2009 62


Air Force Dollars Obligated to Small Business (in billions)


For details on doing business with the Air Force, visit

Air Force Dollars Obligated to Small Business (in %)




GRAPHIC: Samantha Gibbons



comfortable with,” she says. “Until we can show them there are other businesses that can do the job, they’re somewhat reluctant at times.” Sometimes, those misconceptions are overcome. At Hill, Oklahoma-based CymSTAR – a small business owned by disabled veterans – last year won a $6.1 million contract to provide a training system for refueling tankers. It was one of the top five small-business contracts in the Air Force. Carl Houghton, vice president of strategic initiatives for Colorado-based Intelligent Software Solutions, says his company ran into the same attitudes before it won a five-year, $300 million contract in 2009 to provide software that organizes military databases. The company grew and became competitive on larger contracts after years of winning smaller contracts and proving the success of its software. Personal connections helped, too: Company officials got to know junior officers on jobs years ago, and as they were promoted and moved around, they spread the word that the company did good work. “We’d engage some of these people when they were captains,” Houghton says. “Everywhere they’ve gone, they’d say, ‘Let’s bring in these ISS guys.’ ” ISS started with four employees 13 years ago, but it has recently grown to 550 employees and no longer counts as a small business. As for LeDuc, she helps organize regular events that introduce small companies to Air Force buyers. She says there’s more awareness now than there used to be about the importance of finding small businesses. “Probably in the past few years, the support for small business is more than it ever has been,” she says. “We’re probably working harder trying to make sure small businesses are getting a fair piece of the federal pie.” Fred Lange regularly takes small-business owners to Hill to visit LeDuc and her contacts. As director of Utah’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center, funded by the state and federal government, he works with more than 1,000 Utah small businesses to land government contracts. “We introduce small companies to her, and they develop a rapport with her or some of her people,” he says. “Having those personal relationships is a must.” J

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’12 AIR FORCE Preview

The B-3? Air Force starts planning its next bomber


By Nick Adde

PHOTO: Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

he Air Force is moving forward ing the requirements of a new bomber from don’t want to make this so costly that we can’t afford it,” Scott says. with plans to procure a new long- the customer.” Rather, the new plane would assume a During a hearing before the House Armed range bomber to augment and ultimately replace the aging fleets of B-52s, Services Committee last year, Defense Sec- role in a wide network of warfighting assets B-1s and B-2s in the inventory through at retary Robert M. Gates told lawmakers that known as the “family of systems,” which the Air Force wants a stealth bomber that Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers, the Air Force’s least the 2040s. Air Force civilian and military leaders can carry air-to-air missiles, a payload rang- budget chief, alluded to in a Feb. 14 budget briefing. have a clear vision “The bomber is the about the plane’s pricenterpiece, but there’s mary mission – to ISR (intelligence, surcarry nuclear and nonveillance and reconnaisnuclear payloads, and sance) … electronic atfly either manned or tack and communication unmanned. capabilities that would The Obama adbe part of this family ministration’s prosystem,” Flowers says. posed 2012 defense The new bomber budget, now under would send a strong consideration by Conmessage to potential gress, calls for spendadversaries, who “are aling $197 million on ways trying to get ahead bomber development of us,” Scott says. “If in 2012, and $3.7 we don’t [build the new billion fiscal 2016. bomber], are we ready The timetable calls to accept the notion that for buying 80 to 100 we’re not a global powaircraft and reaching The B-2 Spirit bomber, now nearly 15 years old, is the youngest heavy bomber in the Air Force fleet. Service officials are working on plans for a new bomber that er? I’m not sure we’re initial operational cacould handle the long-range bombing mission for the next 30 years or more. The ready to do that.” pability by 2020. administration is calling for spending $200 million in development costs over the Mark Gunzinger, a It is too soon to do next four years. former B-52 pilot who anything other than now is a senior fellow speculate what the bomber will look like, Maj. Gen. David ing from 20,000 to 40,000 pounds, and an at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Scott, the Air Force’s director of operational active electronically scanned array (AESA) Assessments (CSBA), a Washington, D.C.capability requirements, said in a Feb. 17 radar system, which uses electronic beams based think tank, makes a similar point in a September white paper. roundtable discussion at the Pentagon. “It to identify, track and target adversaries. “The Defense Department’s challenge Scott offers some more detailed insight will be subsonic, probably. It depends on what industry tells is what it can and cannot as to what those requirements would stipu- is to sustain the nation’s long-range strike late. Development will proceed, he says, strategic advantage,” Gunzinger writes. do,” Scott says. Industry, for its part, is waiting for spe- with a keen eye focused on budget con- “Fielding a bomber fleet with the range, cific guidance from the Air Force before straints and finite combat-mission require- persistence, and onboard systems needed to defeat fixed and mobile targets located deep moving forward. “Until the program is fur- ments. “We’re not doing ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ within denied areas is an essential element ther defined, there isn’t much to say,” says Chris Haddox of Boeing Co. “We are await- It will [rely upon] current technology. We to meeting this challenge.” J

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’12 ARMY Preview

Extended Range Vehicle

Uses diesel for speed, electric for stealth


By Matthew Cox

PHOTO: Courtesy of TARDEC

“The hybrid truck world is starting to he Army is working on a hy- rough terrain. But when the diesel engine brid electric vehicle for its is turned off, it has up to eight miles of take off,” Van Amburg says. “The Army gets it because deployed cost of fuel is special operators, but this bat- “stealth range.” “You can’t hear any noise,” Truong really damn high.” tle wagon is no Toyota Prius. Quantum Technologies began workThe Clandestine Extended Range Ve- says. “As soon as they get to a certain hicle (CERV), made by Quantum Tech- range from the objective, they can switch ing with TARDEC on the CERV program in 2008 to build a lightweight hybrid nologies Inc., is designed to be a highly to the stealth mode.” vehicle for Special Opdeployable vehicle caerations Command that’s pable of sneaking up on compact enough to be the enemy. “The vehicle carried aboard the V-22 could roll up next to Osprey aircraft, Mazaika you and you wouldn’t says. That meant it could even hear it,” says Dave be no bigger than 60 inchMazaika, chief operates wide and 60 inches ing officer for Quantum tall, making for a vehicle Technologies. that is slightly longer and Quantum has built lower to the ground than a six test prototypes for standard Jeep. the Army’s Tank AuIt also had to be able to tomotive Research, perform in rough terrain. Development and En“This thing can jump off gineering Center (TARsand dunes, and climb 40 DEC). The future of the percent grades,” Mazaika CERV is still uncertain says. in the face of shrinkThe CERV has to ing defense budgets, The Army Special Operations Command is interested in the lightweight weigh less than 5,200 but Quantum officials hybrid Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle. Quantum Technologies has pounds, so there is no maintain that the excite- built six prototypes for testing by the Army’s Tank Automotive Research, exterior armor, doors or ment generated by this Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC. windows. new vehicle will be hard “It’s a different mission,” Mazaika Program officials would not comment to ignore. Because of its unique design, the Pen- on how much money has been spent on says. “It wasn’t intended to be a Joint tagon will likely buy hundreds of these the CERV and remain tight-lipped about Light Tactical Vehicle,” the Pentagon’s highly specialized vehicles, Mazaika its future. Hybrid electric vehicles, how- planned replacement for the Humvee. ever, are nothing new. Toyota has sold The vehicle is capable of speeds up to 85 says. The CERV runs on a 100-kilowatt about 2 million of its popular Prius mod- miles per hour, but it would have to creep along when operating in stealth mode, motor and a 7-kilowatt lithium-ion bat- el. The CERV program demonstrates Mazaika says. “Obviously the faster you tery pack. The vehicle has a 1.4-liter diesel engine, but it’s there only to keep how the concept continues to hold value go and the higher power you use, it’s gothe batteries charged, says Phat Truong, in the face of high fuel costs, says Bill ing to shorten your range.” It can travel silently for about eight electrical engineer and CERV program Van Amburg, senior vice president for CALSTART Inc., which develops ad- miles over rough terrain, but “if you are manager for TARDEC. With all components running, the ve- vanced transportation technologies such just cruising around on asphalt roads, it would be a lot more,” he says. J hicle has a range of about 300 miles over as hybrid-electric vehicles.

S p r i n g 2 0 11 D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D


’12 MARINE CORPS Preview

M777 Howitzer

Lightweight gun provides bang for the buck


By Matthew Cox

PHOTO: Courtesy of PEO Land Systems

he U.S. military’s new, light- where it’s been light enough to be lifted copters such as the Marine Corps CHweight 155mm howitzer may into high-altitude forward operating base 53E, CH- 46E and CH-53Ds as well as one day be able to tell gun locations,” says Christopher Hatch, dep- the new MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, crews if it has been fired too long with- uty program manager for the Army and Branham says. When the program began in out a break. the mid-1990s, BAE’s gun soon Officials at BAE Systems, the became known for its durability. maker of the M777A2, say they Marines in particular were imare working on improvements pressed that they couldn’t break that could equip the gun system it during testing, BAE officials with an electronic thermal warnmaintain. So far, the Marines ing system. “It tells them the gun have fielded 380 M777A2s, and is getting too hot,” says Geoff have a requirement for 511, GonGonzalez, M777 integrated projzalez says. The Army has fielded ect team leader at Global Combat about 300 M777A2s and plans to Systems and Weapons at BAE buy a total of 418. Systems. BAE officials, who plan to The Marine Corps, like the produce the M777A2 for both Army, has been replacing its services into 2013, say the proheavy M198 155mm towed howgram has gone “fantastically itzer with the M777A2 for about well.” 15 years. The Corps has budget“It is one of the few programs ed $21.6 million for fiscal 2012 I have been involved with where and plans to complete fielding we have never missed a delivery,” the lightweight gun in 2013. Gonzalez says. “The feedback I But the work at BAE is nohave received is it is extremely where near done. In addition to reliable, extremely maintainable the electronic thermal warning The Marine Corps expects to have the lightweight M777 and extremely accurate.” system, Gonzalez’s crew contin- A2 fully fielded in 2013. The M777 weighs in at just less The M777A2 is the latest verues to work on improvements to than 5 tons, compared with the 8-ton M198 howitzer it is sion of the system. Produced in the M777 series such a hydrau- replacing. The weight savings come from titanium and aluminum alloys. 2009, it features a digital fire conlic power pack that would help trol system that helps crews calraise and lower the gun instead of Marine Corps Lightweight 155mm Joint culate wind speed, meteorological controops having to do it by hand. The M777A2 weighs 9,700 pounds, Program Office at Picatinny Arsenal, ditions and even the Earth’s rotation for significantly less than the 16,000-pound N.J. “We can’t lift an M198 into those delivering accurate fire. It can fire the precision-guided Exweight of the M198. The weight savings places.” Because of its lower weight, two calibur munition up to 24 miles with far comes from using titanium and aluminum alloys in all of the major structures M777s can fit into a C-130 Hercules better accuracy than traditional artillery tactical airlift aircraft, versus only one shells. That makes the gun safer to use in except the steel gun tube. The lighter weight should mean that M198, says David Branham, who man- populated areas, Branham says. The Canadian army has 16 M777A2s Marine and Army combat units can put ages congressional and public affairs for the M777A2 anywhere they want on the the Marine Corps Program Executive in service in Afghanistan. Australia has Office Land Systems. Unlike the M198, also signed a foreign military sales conbattlefield. “It’s uniquely suited for Afghanistan, the M777 also can be airlifted by heli- tract to purchase the M777A2. J

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F-35 JSF

Navy still wants 700 jets, but hedges its bets


By John T. Bennett

PHOTO: Courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Despite the recent developmental entered the full-rate production phase, espite program delays and cost overruns, the U.S. Navy problems, industry officials and analysts and it remains unclear when the program is standing by plans to buy say the F-35 will be a big step forward will pass that milestone; the program is almost 680 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters -- in air-to-ground, air-to-air, intelligence- still in the development and test flight but service officials also will purchase gathering, electronic-warfare and other phase. The first C variants are being built as part of “low-rate initial production lot missions. more F/A-18E/F fighters just in case. “The leap in warfighting capability 4,” according to Lockheed Martin. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in In recent years, as the Pentagon’s January responded to new technical will be profound – more than just an director of operational problems with the testing and evaluation Marine Corps’ F-35 notes in a late 2010 variant by placing it on report, software two years’ probation. problems, design flaws The program could be in and delays in testing danger if problems with have plagued the the F-35B variant aren’t program. solved by then. He also As a hedge, the shifted the tri-service Navy has in its last program’s purchasing two budgets purchased schedule by shifting the additional BoeingMarines’ vertical takemade F/A-18E/F off-and-landing variant fighters. to the last of the three. “With the Super This was the latest The Navy is publicly sticking by the carrier variant of the F-35 fighter. The Hornet available now blow to a program first test model, CF-01, has been delivered to the Navy. and at a good price, it increasingly besieged by software and design flaws that have evolutionary advance,” says Steve makes for an irresistible hedge against led to massive cost overruns and years O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ further F-35 delays,” says aviation analyst of delivery delays. Some defense- vice president for F-35 business Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. sector sources say Navy leaders are not development. “Because of its [low- “After all, if you don’t have enough committed to the Lockheed Martin-made observable] stealth, the F-35 will be able planes to fill carrier decks, the budget F-35, but service and program officials so to operate in high-threat environments cutters might go after a carrier. Much that current-generation fighters can depends on the [Marines’] F-35B. If it far are sticking by the F-35 in public. doesn’t survive its probationary period, The Department of the Navy is slated neither penetrate nor survive.” O’Bryan says the first production- that removes some of the commonality to buy 680 carrier-launched and vertical take-off-and-landing F-35s. The service model F-35Cs will be delivered to the draw for the [Navy’s] F-35C.” Still, there will come a time when is mulling how many of each model it will Navy next year. Because the Pentagon and almost buying more F/A-18E/Fs will no longer ultimately purchase, but is seeking $78 million in 2012 funding for the program. a dozen allies decided to build three make sense, Aboulafia says. At that The Navy is conducting flight tests variants, proponents say the operational time, “the F-35C will likely be [the] on the first test model, CF-01. The next and lifetime costs of the U.S. military’s only option” after 2016. “It’s been two test models are slated to be delivered entire F-35 fleet will be cheaper than seriously delayed, it’s more expensive to the Navy next year, according to pursuing new multirole fighter jets for the than planned,” he says, “but it’s still the future.” Lockheed Martin. The Navy model is Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. And that future is near. J None of the three variants has officially slated to be operational in 2014.

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O N U.S. ramps up border interdiction efforts to stop the drug scourge at its source


ig a little deeper, beyond the smart uniform and the always-searching eyes of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, and you’ll find a law enforcement professional who just might be part Native American Indian tracker and part electronic science geek. It’s the combination of ancient skills and modern equipment that makes Border Patrol agents, and their affiliated agency, such aces at tracking down illegal drugs and drug dealers on the border with Mexico. The two nations have significantly ramped up drug interdiction and border security efforts over the past two years, beginning with the Southwest Border Initiative, which doubled the size of the Border Patrol to more than 20,700 agents – double the number of agents in 2004. In addition, a special $600 million appropriation approved by 72

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Congress last summer added new agents, new communications and, especially, new equipment. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the increased emphasis on the border serves as a blunt warning to Mexican drug cartels: “Don’t even think about bringing your violence and tactics across this border. You will be met by an overwhelming response,” she said in a speech in earlier this year in El Paso, Texas. “And that message extends to anyone considering coming across that border illegally – whether a smuggler, a human trafficker, or an unlawful immigrant seeking work. There are more Border Patrol agents on that border than ever before. There are more customs officials. There is more technology. Do not throw in your lot with the cartels or the criminal organizations – because the likelihood of getting caught -- and the consequences of doing so -- are higher than

PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Border Patrol

By Elaine S. Povich

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(LEFT): Among the Border Patrol’s tools is the Telephonics MSC Integrated Command Center, which uses the company’s ThreatSTALKER C2 software.

PHOTO: Courtesy Telephonics Corp

PHOTO: Courtesy Telephonics Corp

(BELOW): Some 34 Telephonics MSS systems are deployed along the Southwest border.

ever before,” she said. That ramped-up activity includes more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, a doubling of personnel assigned to Border Enforcement Security Task Forces, and an increase by a factor of five the number of border liaison officers to work with Mexican agents in a coordinated effort. Despite all that, the border is a very dangerous place. Early in 2011, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata was killed and his partner Victor Avila wounded in an attack in the northern Mexico state of San Luis Potosi. U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials, working together, arrested several Mexican drug gang members in the killing – another example of the cross-border teamwork.

PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Border Patrol


Agents working the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector patrol 262 miles of largely open desert terrain.


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n many cases, drug interdiction is more a matter of sleuthing than gunfire, and can start out with something as simple as flattened grass or overturned rocks. And sometimes, the interdiction relies on sophisticated sensors and cameras mounted on a custom-modified pickup truck, making it look like a cross between a television satellite truck and a rolling police command center. “We do a lot of driving and looking at the sand,” says Border Patrol Agent Jason Rheinfrank of Tucson, Ariz., noting that ancient Indian tracking methods are incorporated into the patrol’s search techniques. “We are looking for foot signs or anything out of the ordinary that shouldn’t be there. If a rock is kicked over, you can see the dirt stuck to the bottom of the rock; you can still see the moistness of it from the dew. All those disturbances in the environment – they are going to smash the grass down,” he says. “I’ve seen them (drug smugglers) take rolls of carpet and put them on the bottom of their shoes” to try to mask their movements. It doesn’t work, he says. “They leave no footprints, but they leave foot signs.” On the other end of the technology spectrum is the integrated Mobile Surveillance System. Mounted on a flatbed or a pickup truck, the MSS includes a night-vision laboratory, Advanced Radio Surveillance Systems ground surveillance radar, a night-vision camera and a day-vision camera, all mounted on a pan-and-tilt system. The cameras move independently of the radar and look at individual targets while the radar is doing its own job. On the kit itself, no matter where it is mounted, a mast raises and lowers the cameras. In addition, the system includes a generator, battery system and computers for command and control. The whole collection can go on a trailer, pickup truck or on the ground. If it’s in a truck, the vehicle is turned into a command and control center with a passenger seat that rotates and faces toward the rear. Dual screens show day and night imaging and the radar map. If the operator clicks on the map, the cameras swing around to zoom in on the area. A laser designator can paint the images, without the targets ever noticing they are being electronically followed. “The other advantage it has is to detect whether they (the smugglers) have weapons,” says

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PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Border Patrol


The MSS can survey a 180-degree swath of land in about 10 seconds and detect a border incursion more than 10 miles away.

or Border Patrol agents, whether the group is carrying weapons can determine how they make their approach to apprehend the drug smugglers. It’s sometimes a better method than relying on individual trackers following smugglers on foot. “I tracked a group one day for 14 hours,” says Rheinfrank, recalling his efforts to run down smugglers. “I ran out of water. I called a helicopter crew in the town nearby and asked for water. I had to climb up on the top of a mountain to get the water. The helo dropped the water and told me there was a group two or three hundred yards ahead of me – that was my group.” Rheinfrank and his fellow agents like the variation in their days – “every day is different” he says, particularly with the increased activity on the border. In a single day in February, Border Patrol agents in California arrested a man wanted for sexual assault and stopped a woman from smuggling cocaine with an estimated value of $800,000. The sexual assault arrest came when Juan Carlos Orozco, 32, was stopped at the border trying to get into the U.S. without immigration documents. When he was identified, the computer matched him with an arrest warrant in Los Angeles for sexual assault on a minor. Later that same day, Border Patrol agents stopped a red Nissan Sentra driven by a 24-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen. A canine team sniffed the vehicle and alerted agents to possible drugs inside. A search found cocaine. “It’s not uncommon. We do catch sex offenders and drug offenders, not on a daily basis but for the most part on a weekly basis,” says Jonathan Creiglow, public affairs officer for the Border Patrol sector that includes Calexico and El Centro, Calif. “We do catch illegals every day. We process them, fingerprint them, and hand them over to the proper authorities,” whether that is Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration or the FBI. All in a day’s work, he says, when patrolling an area with beefed up surveillance, border fence, vehicle barriers and other equipment used to monitor the border.

PHOTO: Courtesy U.S. Border Patrol


A person in distress can press a red button to set off the beacon on towers located in remote areas along the border. The beacons alert the Border Patrol that someone needs immediate assistance.


D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

BP officials work on land, sea, and air and have disparate missions. In El Paso in February, CBP agents working the port of entry made seven marijuana seizures during one weekend, stopping approximately $2.2 million worth of the drug. In addition to the mobile surveillance units, remote video surveillance cameras, mounted on tall towers right on the border, watch out for disturbances around the clock. “The reason you have seen so much success in the past 10 years is because we have more personnel on the line than we did 10 years ago – more agents, more fencing, and on top of the fencing we have technology,” says Rheinfrank. “There are sensors all over the place.” There are also Predator drones that continuously patrol the border. “They can get a good visual and if they see any illegal activity, we can respond,” he adds. But while the high-tech devices are snagging dozens of drug smugglers and illegal immigrants on a daily basis, it’s still sometimes the low-tech “Indian tracker” methods that result in apprehensions. Agents relate tales of drug smugglers rigging up a zip line with fishing line from a baseball field’s lights into a house. Then there’s the tale of the sewer scuba diver drug smuggler. An agent Rheinfrank knew from the Border Patrol Academy was on bicycle patrol when he stopped over a manhole cover. He heard noise coming from below, reached down with his baton and pried the cover off. “He looked down and there was a guy in scuba gear pulling bundles of marijuana through the sewer system,” says Rheinfrank, who was teamed with the agent that day. “I showed up and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’” The scuba smuggler was promptly arrested. J

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By Amy McCullough

PHOTO: Chrystal Smith

roops returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are using military-issued cell phones to keep track of doctor appointments through secure text messages. Soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder now can talk to psychologists electronically from austere forward operating bases in Afghanistan. And doctors back home are using technology to scan the brains of combat veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury, often catching and treating injuries that might Capt. George Mallory sits for a private telemedicine video conference have gone undetected. at the Wiesbaden Health Clinic with Lt. Col. Jennifer Humphries, director Technology is enabling the Defense Department to extend of Soldier and Family Medical Services at the Europe Regional Medical access to medical specialists based at distant sites, provide long- Center in Heidelberg. term care to Guardsmen and reservists recuperating back home, and save millions of dollars by reducing travel costs and time away from the work station, says Col. Ronald Poropatich, deputy director of the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research onsider the transcranial Doppler program -- a low-cost, Center at the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at non-invasive way to detect abnormal blood flow following Fort Detrick, Md. TATRC is the Army’s primary point of contact for a traumatic brain injury.  telemedicine-related research and development. The Defense Department’s Military Health System says nearly In fiscal 2010, the Army supported roughly 30,000 telehealth 200,000 troops have been diagnosed with some type of traumatic encounters, including 19,000 for behavioral health issues such as brain injury since 2000, including just over 2,000 cases that are post-traumatic stress disorder, 2,000 for traumatic brain injuries, and considered severe. About 30 percent of troops suffering from seroughly 1,500 for remotely conducted medical evaluation boards. vere TBI in the past five years experience cerebral ischemia, or a Poropatich estimates that during the same time period the Army decreased supply of blood to the brain caused by spasms of the sursaved more than $3 million in temporary-duty costs for the Pacific rounding blood vessels, Poropatich says.  and European region alone. The service saved another $2 million by The transcranial Doppler program was created “in response to conducting medical evaluation boards from a distance. Although esti- the numerous complaints (the Army) has received from soldiers exmating telemedicine savings is not an exact science, he says that early periencing difficulty with everything from slow or slurred speech, detection frequently prevents long-term effects that are expensive to to definitively slowed reaction times, to difficulties in simply walktreat. ing,” according to the 2008 press release announcing the original “We are trying to essentially establish a capability to extend expert contract award. “Because the soldiers frequently found that their providers and subject-matter experts by reaching out to other provid- symptoms were not apparent until weeks after exposure to a blast, it ers in care of patients at distant sites,” Poropatich says. “We’re adding was initially difficult for the military physicians to identify the root more and more telehealth product lines into the inventory and we are cause of their problems.”  reaching out to primary-care providers and including other specialty Now, medical professionals record an ultrasound image of the care applications.” brain and the surrounding blood vessels right at the patient’s bed-



D E F E N S E S TA N D A R D S p r i n g 2 0 11

High quality, cost-effective patient-centered care starts here “Soon after head injury (> 12 hours), global CBF is reduced, sometimes to ishemic levels. Between 12 and 24 hours, CBF increases and the brain may exhibit supranormal CBF. Cerebral blood flow values begin to decrease again several days following head injury, and in some patients these reductions in CBF may be associated with marked increases in large vessel flow velocity, which can be revealed on TCD ultrasonography and suggest vasospasm.” TCD is useful to follow the changes in cerebral blood flow following traumatic brain injury and allows for early intervention. SONARA digital Transcranial Doppler systems offer advanced vasospasm monitoring with:

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side, often in the intensive care unit. The images are sent to Sentient Medical Systems in Baltimore, Md., where civilian specialists conduct a quantitative assessment of the blood flow velocity in the brain. Sentient provides its professional feedback and immediately writes up a report, which appears on the patient’s chart for the local doctor to review. The company now provides its services to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., National Naval Medical Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, says Alex Razumovsky, director of Sentient NeuroCare Services. Poropatich says he believes the Doppler imager is the “ideal modality for following long-term effects” after a traumatic brain injury. The Army is looking to expand the capability at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, which is often the first stop outside the field for troops wounded in battle. Telehealth is not just for patients severely wounded in the wars.

The Army’s new telehealth program offers soldiers the opportunity to converse through an encrypted transmission to discuss behavioral health issues through an encrypted transmission.

The Army also is starting to use such technology for pre- and postdeployment screenings. In December it evaluated roughly 300 soldiers returning from Iraq using telehealth capabilities rather than face-to-face screenings. The service expects those numbers to increase in fiscal 2011, Poropatich says. Meanwhile, the service is boosting its telebehaviorial health capabilities in theater. Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division in eastern Afghanistan and the 10th Mountain Division in the south are using telehealth capabilities to talk with psychologists and psychiatrists without leaving the front lines. The Army expects to stand up a total of 16 sites in the eastern half of the country and another 14 in the south. There are two active sites now in Iraq with another 22 sites slated to go live by March 1. Another four telebehaviorial health sites are planned for Kuwait, Poropatich says.  80

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“Whenever possible face-to-face is always ideal, but we don’t have neurologists at every one of our hospitals. … We have wonderfully smart doctors, but the reason we have specialty doctors is to take care of these special problems and telemedicine is how it augments that care,” he says. “We are just trying to fill a clinical need where there isn’t that specialty care available.”


he Army has extended telemedicine capabilities throughout the United States and across all five Army regional medical commands, mimicking and expanding a program established at Walter Reed in 1995. The hospital, one of the primary sites for treating war casualties, has been using telehealth for behavioral health and headache consultations for years, Poropatich says. In 2007, the Army requested additional funding to expand telehealth capabilities to the remaining four regional medical commands in Texas, Hawaii, Germany and Washington state. It received the funding a year later and has since stood up similar capabilities at about 90 different sites. In February, the Army also was launching a telepain capability at Walter Reed. Specialists there will work with troops at Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Meade, Md., and at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Once the program is operational, doctors can put troops in front of a video camera and connect them with experts who can help treat pain related to anesthesia, surgery or other causes. Poropatich says the Army does nearly 4,000 remote consults a month, many of them related to psychological health and traumatic brain injury. However, it also provides a lot of dermatology consults for deployed troops. Of those 4,000 consults, nearly 2,300 are done from Walter Reed, he says. “It’s hard to get a dermatologist to make a house call when you are in Afghanistan,” says Jonathan Linkous, chief executive officer of the American Telemedicine Association. “When you are deployed to some parts of the Middle East, there are strange skin rashes and diseases that we do not have over here. A physician may not be able to identify what it is unless (he) is a specialist, but it’s a fairly easy thing to identify and treat by using pictures and digital images.”  The Army also is using cell phones to connect soldiers -- mostly Guardsmen and reservists in the eastern U.S. suffering from mild traumatic brain injury -- to their community-based warrior transition units. Officials at those units send secure text messages that include wellness tips, appointment reminders and other announcements to soldiers recovering at home, Poropatich says. Soldiers also can use the cell phones to keep in contact with their platoon sergeants while they are recuperating. Other applications include sending diabetes patients video clips to improve compliance with medications and glucose monitoring, or helping heart patients monitor their weight following surgery. Poropatich says the Army’s telemedicine network just started reaching full operational capability in the last six to nine months.  “I think it’s encouraging what’s been done,” Linkous says.  “There are a lot of cases where you can get medical help from a distance just as well as when you are sitting in an office.” J


In Memory Of

maj. richard “dick” winters January 21, 1918 - January 2, 2011

Our nation lost another World War II military hero Jan. 2 when Maj. Richard “Dick” Winters, 92, lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease. A highly decorated veteran of both World War II and Korea, Winters was best known as the commander of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army’s famed 101st Airborne Division -- the Band of Brothers. E “Easy” Company successfully parachuted near Sainte-Mariedu-Mont, France, in the early hours of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944. Later that day Winters led his 13-man platoon in a perfectly executed attack against 50 German soldiers defending a battery of 105mm howitzers shelling the causeways that served as primary exits from Utah Beach, just south of the village of Le Grand-Chemin. During the assault he captured a map detailing all of the German defenses surrounding Utah Beach. What became known as the Brécourt Manor Assault is still taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as a textbook example of how to assault a fixed position. The then-Capt. Winters was recommended for the Medal of Honor for his brilliant leadership and selfless sacrifice at Brécourt Manor. But because a quota system limited each division to only one Medal of Honor, Winters was presented the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Omar Bradley, commander of the First Army. Winters and “Easy” Company subsequently fought across France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and were involved in the Battle of the

Bulge near Bastogne, France, and Operation Market Garden, a major air assault in the Netherlands. Born on Jan. 21, 1918, in Ephrata, Pa., Winters enlisted in the Army on Aug. 25, 1941, and underwent basic training at Camp Croft, S.C. Selected to attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga., he was commissioned a second lieutenant on July 2, 1942. Featured in a number of books and the popular 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, Winters retired from the Army in January 1945 and became a regular guest lecturer at West Point. Following the release of Band of Brothers, an intensive letter-writing campaign began to upgrade Winters’ Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor, but a bill introduced in 2009 by U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, D-Pa., never made it out of committee. In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Winters was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, American Defense Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, EuropeanAfrican-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three service stars and arrow device, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, French Croix de guerre with palm, French Liberation Medal, Oorlogskruis with palm, Belgian World War II Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Medal of the City of Eindhoven, Combat Infantryman Badge and the Parachutist Badge with two combat stars. This issue is dedicated in his memory.

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Senior Airman Stephen Held, a crew chief with the 391st Fighter Squadron, takes a break under an aircraft during a snowstorm at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. PHOTO: Senior Airman Renishia Richardson


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