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The versatile Mark 6 1-6x20mm: For when it counts. With a 34mm maintube, daylight bright illumination and a CMR-W reticle, this scope is made for the world’s best warriors.


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ArmorSource Producing and Delivering the Light Weight Advanced Combat Helmet to the US Army

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ArmorSource LLC, the leading and largest manufacturer of basic and advanced ballistic helmets in the United States, started 2016 off by achieving the latest milestone in the Combat Helmet Industry when it delivered its first Lot of Light Weight Advance Combat Helmets (LWACH) to the U.S. Army. ArmorSource is scheduled to deliver 105,000 in this calendar year alone. Deliveries of the LWACH mark the continuation of an ongoing effort by the Program Executive Office Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM SPIE) to provide greater ballistic head protection to our troops at home and abroad. The LWACH delivers improved ballistic performance and is approximately 10% lighter than the ACH. ArmorSource’s LWACH milestone allows for Government stakeholders such as Director, Operational Test & Evaluation (DOT&E), Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and PM-SPIE to continue their pursuit of reducing the burden of weight placed on the neck and shoulders of the men and women in uniform while improving the overall ballistic protection.

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ArmorSource’s 120,000 s/f facility is one the most impressive combat helmet production operations in the U.S. Operations are non-stop due to the growing demand to support our local Law Enforcement agencies (SWAT and State Police) and our federal agencies as well (State Department, Marshal Service, FBI, DEA, ICE). In addition to supporting our allies like Australia with industry-leading products like the AS-501 High-Cut [left] (equipped with the ArmorSource boltless rail and boltless retention systems) and Italy with our boltless AS-501 UltraLightweight ACH [right]; we are equally proud of our 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) which supports countries like Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Mongolia, and dozens more with rapid delivery of high quality products available only from ArmorSource.

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ArmorSource looks forward to production of the Army’s newest Advanced Combat Vehicle Crewman Helmet (ACVC-H) [bottom left] which is set to be awarded in May 2016. If awarded to ArmorSource, deliveries of the already approved helmet will begin in the July/August timeframe and continue into 2017.

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Women in Combat


Defeating the Islamic State


By Dan O’Shea


Battlefield Medicine Lessons learned from years of combat help medics save more lives By David Perera

By Rob Guidry and Dan O’Shea

Special Ops in Africa A look at a new and rapidly evolving Special Operations mission


PTSD Inside the ongoing effort to improve treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder By Sara Michael

By John Pulley



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Tactical Photo Gallery


Final Frame






by CDR Dan O’Shea (SEAL) USN ret

he primary purpose of a nation’s military is The topic “Women in Combat – Integration or Segregation” to defend a country when attacked and to posed a heated debate – fight and win wars. Putting forth the best trained, equipped and prepared, battle• Will females be integrated seamlessly in the infantry tested Divisions, Brigades, Battalions and or special operations forces Companies down to the actual platoons or of Infantry and Special Operations • Will the segregation divide be too far and result in a Forces (SOF) that must deliver the lethal tip of the spear failed social engineering experiment? into the heart of the enemy should be the mission focus of the Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense In March 2016, the NY Bar Association hosted a panel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Every other priority should and broadcast on CSPAN, on that very title and topic. The be ancillary. Yet, today, our country’s national security opinions expressed gave insight to both sides of the debate, leadership focus is not about producing the most lethal and merits or faults of the opposing arguments. fighting force committed to defeating our enemies and The panel included LtCol Kate Germano, USMC who led winning our nation’s wars. Instead the service’s only all-female recruit it is integration of diversity within battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Germano argues that the the ranks and making the military Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, South Marine Corps “separate but gender neutral regardless of the Carolina. Germano argues that negative impact on standards, the Marine Corps “separate but equal” training program is unit cohesion and overall combat equal” training program is at the at the heart of the sexual effectiveness. Winning wars and heart of the sexual assault problem mission readiness has taken a assault problem plaguing the plaguing the military and why backseat to social engineering and there is a “fundamental respect military and why there is a political correctness. lacking between male and female.” “fundamental respect lacking She has gone on record stating that In 2013, when Secretary of Defense Panetta announced the the “hyper-masculinity” produced between male and female.” change in the US policy on combat by the traditional all male USMC exclusion for women, he stated, boot camp is a “weakness.” She “Let me be clear, if they can meet the qualification for the railed against the “sexism” of “lower expectations” that job they should have the right to serve regardless of creed, females are held to in boot camp and later on in their or color, gender or sexual orientation.” COL Ellen Haring, military careers. Her co-panelist, former Marine Infantry US Army Reserves, a West Point graduate from the first officer Elliot Ackerman also echoed her comments that class of females in 1984, had sued the Pentagon over the the Marine Corps needs to eradicate the hyper-masculine combat exclusion policy. Her arguments stated that the culture of the military that fundamentally believes women exclusion limited women officer promotions and pathway to are the weaker sex and cannot be the equal of a man general rank and major command in the infantry-dominated operating in a realities of ground combat. military. Upon hearing about the ban being lifted, she stated, Haring, Germano and Ackerman have advocates in “Nobody ever asked for special considerations or reduced high places within the halls the halls of the Pentagon standards, just let us compete at the standards as they exist.” and senior military ranks. Everyone from the SECDEF to


“Women should be given the same opportunity as the men to go fight and die for their country as long as they meet the minimum standard that are required of men.” the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have all gone on record stating that “women should be given the same opportunity as the men to go fight and die for their country as long as they meet the minimum standard that are required of men.” All of them declared that “standards would not be changed” to accommodate the integration of women into the male only Infantry and SOF ranks. The facts paint a different story. While the Army, Navy and Air Force SOF all caved on the critical issue, the Marines confronted the challenge head on by proposing to raise the physical fitness standards for women, integrating female marines into an all male infantry company, and allowing Female Marine and officers to attend the Infantry Officer Course or “IOC”. What were the results? In 2013 the Marine Corps tested training female recruits to meet the men’s minimum 3 pull-ups for their PFT. After more than a year, 55% of female recruits could not meet that minimum even though they were being trained to achieve it. Active-duty female Marines were given the option of doing pull-ups instead of the arm-hang, but after a year only 15% chose to do it. In 2014, the policy was rescinded because more than half of all incoming female Marines could not meet the standard and effectively failing the PFT and in theory – boot camp. The Marine Corps leadership ordered a $36 million study to test the combat effectiveness of an “integrated” Male-Female Coed Infantry Company going head-tohead with a traditional – all Male Infantry one. The female volunteers were top-performing female Marines from PFC to Sgt, they’d achieved or exceeded men’s minimum PFT standards and completed the Marines’ enlisted Infantry training. They were competing with average (not top performing) male Marines of the same range of ranks. What were the results of the year long study? “When negotiating the most basic and critical of combat tasks, overcoming obstacles and evacuating casualties, gender-integrated squads could not perform at the same level of their male peers. “ • “All male units were faster, more lethal and able to evacuate casualties in less time than coed elements. • “When negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance from their male peers to getting their packs to the top. • All male squads performed better than mix groups in 93 of the tasks evaluated. The integrated squad performed better than their all male counterparts on only two out of the 134 core infantry tasks tested.

• All male squads, the study found, performed better than mixed gender units across the board. The males were more accurate hitting targets, faster at climbing over obstacles and better at avoiding injuries. • Women undergoing entry-level infantry training were injured at “more than six times the rate of their male counterparts and at more than twice the men’s rate during combat task testing.” The study revealed that women as a general rule, even the top 10%, are physically are on par with the bottom 40% of men regarding physical capability. In theory, if you want to ensure that a unit consists of overall performance north of 50%, there would be no women who can meet the top half of standards expected in an infantry squad, much less a Special Forces Operation Detachment Alpha (ODA) or SEAL Platoon. In response to the study Secretary of Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus dismissed the findings and said the study was “flawed” due to the caliber and mindset of the volunteer participants and men leading it because of their “mindset”. SECNAV accused the male Marines, both the tested and the leadership, as having preconceived notions or “inherent bias against women.” Regarding the IOC experiment, the Marines had hoped for 90-100 female volunteers, yet to date only 30 tried to test their mettle. What were the results? 0-30 and only 1 percent of the women were even able to complete the Day One Combat Endurance Test or “CET”. The three women physically able to finish the notorious USMC Obstacle or O-Course had to drop out within a few days due to injuries (presumably suffered on the CET). No Female Marine officer made it to the end of the second week of the 12-week long course. Traditionalists see the 0-30 performance as a failed call to arms by progressives inside the Pentagon who are determined to have significant numbers of women in the infantry regardless of the outcome on the end result. These “diversity-minded” generals are on the lookout for standards they say are no longer relevant in today’s modern battlefield despite evidence to the contrary still ongoing in Afghanistan and Iraq. In alignment with the Obama administration directive to open all direct combat jobs to women, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen. Martin Dempsey went on record stating, “if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” Now known as the “Dempsey Rule” – “If women cannot meet a standard, senior commanders better have a good reason why it should not be lowered.” A year after the failure of any female Marine officer to successfully graduate IOC, Colonel Haring, questioned


WOMEN IN COMBAT in an online OpEd why the Combat Endurance Test is “a valid measure of occupational suitability” and argued that the CET “serves as an initiation rite and not a test of occupational qualification,” and “was a structural barrier that was erected,” against women. As a result of the 0-30 track record and advocates like Dempsey, Haring, Germano and many others, the Corps is under tremendous pressure to lower the entry bar for future Infantry officers and to integrate enlisted boot camp like the Army, Navy and Air Force. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus ordered the Commandant of the Marine Corps to integrate MCRD Parris Island within weeks but only backed off after the outcry it sparked and under congressional pressure. Mabus has also ordered the Navy and Marine Corps to remove the term “man” from any traditional occupational specialty like “rifleman” or “infantryman,” and replace them with more gender-neutral terms. Against this prevailing tide of emasculating the military and “Gender-Norming” or lowering the bar so women can pass the course, the Marines are fighting to hold the line to “Gender-Neutral” standards, the male baseline. Are there women out there that can make it through the Green Beret Qualification or “Q-Course” or Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL or “BUD/S” training as it stands now? To date, not one has made it past two weeks of Marine Infantry Officers Course. If the IOC trials are any indication, the answer is ‘no’. Yes, three women have made it through the rigorous Army Ranger School but only after repeated failures and recycles or 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th chances. Does a soldier get a “recycle” in combat? If the standard is three phases, Darby (Ranger Indoc), Mountain and Florida (Jungle) over 61 days, then shouldn’t that be the standard for assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment, a front-line combat unit? One female Ranger School graduate took six months to complete a two month long course. Since when did the “minimum” and repeated failures become the standard for any military unit, much less for our most storied warriors like the Rangers and the Marines? When the empirical evidence and anecdotal experiential data alone prove combat unit integration has seriously negative impacts on readiness and to women, how will putting women directly into the ranks of 18-24 year old infantry grunts or an elite unit like a 12-man Special Forces (SF) A-Team affect unit cohesion? Individuals that argue that placing young women into the ranks of the most physically fit, aggressive, Type A- Alpha Males in our military arsenal is going to reduce incidents of sexual harassment and assaults are ignoring the laws of attraction and the unintended consequences of sexual dynamics. A Rand Study polling operators from across the special operations spectrum from Army Rangers, SF, Navy SEALs, Marine Special Operations/Raiders and Air Force Para-


rescue/Combat Controllers found 85% fundamentally opposed to the integration of women directly into their units for a myriad of concerns. The fundamental conviction by an overwhelming majority of our “rough men” who have shouldered the burden of killing the likes of al Qaeda, the Taliban and now the Islamic State up close and personal believe a women on their team would be a detriment rather than as asset. Unit cohesion is not about liking each other. It’s about mutual trust for survival. If there is sexual tension between members or between leader and subordinate, that trust for survival vanishes. The pending Equal Opportunity or sexual harassment complaints, something unheard of in a team room before, will be predictably destructive and detract from training for and executing deadly combat missions. Sexual harassment or assault is unacceptable. It is, however, predictable when the sexes are mixed, training is tough and hands-on, and tensions are high. It’s a problem these units don’t currently face that this policy is adding to them. Others will decide to leave the service and not make it a career if lowered standards and forced integration become the new standard within the ranks of our new no longer “special” operators. These warriors are the top one percent in the military today – they hold themselves to the highest standards and expect the same of every one on their team. There will be no pride in achieving standards they know have been “gender-normed” down. It is not about disliking or disrespecting women, but first-hand knowledge of what the job requires. Anything that diminishes that trust and capability can mean the difference between survival and death on the battlefield. Why do our current political and military leaders continue to ignore empirical and objective evidence when it doesn’t align with their fantasy world that men and women are created equal? Men and women are different –recognizing that is not “Sexism” - it is a fact of life. What LtCol Germano USMC calls “hyper-masculinity” as a weakness in male Marines today is what the Germans at Belleau Wood referred to as “Devil Dogs” in the trench warfare of WWI. It’s the very element that wins wars. It was the embodiment of the Marine Corps ethos that stormed the beaches of Tarawa, and raised the American Flag over Iwo Jima. I would surmise that another Marine Corps Infantry officer and legend of the Second Battle of Fallujah, Major Doug Zembiec, KIA in Iraq 2007, who stated “My Marines fought like lions” would argue that decreasing “masculinity” in our fighting units most likely to see combat would be a mistake. Lowering the overall standards to meet a diversity recruitment metric that can’t even fulfill marginal numbers hardly seems justified no matter what social justice argument one makes, especially in an era of a decreasing Defense Department budgets and increasing worldwide

“Does putting women directly in combat units improve the fighting lethality, combat capability, and overall unit cohesion?”

PHOTO: Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

U.S. Army Pfc. Kristina Batty dons a headscarf to meet with female Afghan villagers in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. Battym a medic assigned to the  82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, is joining Female Engagement Team members to discover what females of the village need.

threats. Is the pathway for the first female Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne going to be littered with other stories about hundreds of her female peers whose military careers were cut short due to injuries incurred at multiple times the rate of their male counterparts on the same career trajectory? Is her “success story” going to overshadow the debilitating injuries? Will it justify the increased caseload at VA hospitals, disability claim payouts and ultimate cost to U.S. taxpayers? Will it justify a skyrocketing increase in lifelong debilitating injuries for the women themselves? Beyond these uncomfortable truths, the greatest failure and betrayal by senior military leadership as expressed by many current and former 11B’s (Army Infantry), 0311’s (Marine Infantry) and “operators” is the feeling that, besides the Marines, our own leadership wearing a Trident, Green Beret or Ranger Tab, did not defend the warrior culture that has won every war, or even make a stand against the political correctness or social engineering effort that they believe will

destroy the unique warrior ethos of the brotherhood. The civilian leadership may have no real perspective or first hand experience in a platoon space, but the men wearing stars do. Integrating infantry and SOF units by gender means more Americans will die in combat and our enemy will have a better chance to prevail on the battlefield. It has been more than two years since SECDEF’s historic announcement about lifting the ban and it begs much deeper analysis than it has received, especially from Congress who controls policy over the military. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Maybe the question they should have asked in the first place is: “Does putting women directly in combat units improve the fighting lethality, combat capability, and overall unit cohesion?” If the answer isn’t an indisputable “YES” across the spectrum then why are we doing it?


Defeating the Islamic State Online by Rob Guidry and Dan O’Shea

PHOTO: Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhug


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While the American-led bombing campaign has been he Islamic State (IS) inspires, recruits, and grows in strength via social media effective at degrading IS troop strength, it has done little every day. Every month, thousands of to stem the tide of foreign fighters willing to join the extremist movement. Statistically, it new adherents has been shown that for every fighter from the Arab While the American-led killed by a laser-guided bomb, many world, Europe, bombing campaign has been more are inspired to join the cause. Asia, Africa and even here in America are seeking effective at degrading IS troop In the first few months of allied airstrikes, four thousand Jihadist to join the movement and swear strength, it has done little fighters joined the conflict, the same allegiance to its leader - Ibrahim number of combatants that coalition Awad Ibrahim al-Badri alto stem the tide of foreign Samarrai, better known as Abu forces claimed to have killed. Senior fighters willing to join the US officials have admitted that, Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Islamic extremist movement. “the numbers are not moving in our State is winning on the battlefield favor,” raising real concerns that of ideas, perhaps even more so current IS recruitment can (and will) than on the ground in Iraq-Syria. As much an Internet phenomenon as it is a military force, sustain its ranks for years, if not decades. Bullets and laserthe Islamic State idea must be combated in equal measure guided munitions alone will not defeat the Islamic State. as the Coalition bombing campaigns seeking to drive IS fighters back from territorial gains made since the group You cannot kill an idea with a bullet. You can only established a Caliphate foothold in 2014. Defeating IS kill an idea with a better idea. online via social media will be the critical first step in turning the tide against this violent extremist group. Until The Islamic State or “ISIS” - an acronym denoting the the West gets better at leveraging social media to counter Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also commonly referred to as the IS message, IS will continue to draw zealots from more the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - rose from the than 80 countries around the world. IS will continue to find ashes of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), a predominately Middle and recruit young converts willing to travel to Iraq-Syria or Eastern – Arab terrorist organization. In 2010, AQI had only launch attacks on their home soil as evidenced in Brussels, a few hundred hardcore Jihadists still fighting in isolated Paris, as well as San Bernadino, California. pockets of Iraq. IS is not the first extremist group to use the






DEFEATING THE ISLAMIC STATE ONLINE Internet effectively to recruit and spread their message; but, IS has mastered online propaganda to a degree heretofore unseen. IS has creatively and innovatively exploited the concerns, aspirations, and frustrations of the many millions who feel that their ideas and opinions have been unheard and unheeded. Following the original “surge” of forces into Iraq under a joint counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism strategy, AQI leadership was eliminated or imprisoned. Parallel efforts on the part of American military leadership to engage in quiet reconciliation efforts with the Sunni tribes of Al Anbar in the 20072008, also helped to defeat the initial AQI presence. This diplomatic and military effort led to Iraq’s tribal “Sahwa” (Arabic for “Awakening”) and the creation of the Sahwa alIraq (SAI) - a cooperative Sunni political movement and also the Sons of Iraq (SOI) who fought back against AQI. By late 2011, President Obama described al Qaeda as having been “decimated,” “on the path to defeat,” and announced that “America’s war in Iraq” was over, removing the last of the remaining American armed forces in Iraq by the end of the year. Down but not out, the surviving Al Qaeda leadership now had the time, space, and opportunity to rebuild as well as rebrand their organization.

How did the Islamic State rise like a phoenix from the ashes of Al Qaeda in Iraq? By 2014, the Islamic State counted in their number more 30,000 fighters who quickly routed the US-trained Iraqi Army from strategic cities including Ramadi and Mosul. IS, unlike AQI, captured large swaths of territory and established an Islamic Caliphate, enforcing strict Islamic or Sharia law over a region the size of the United Kingdom (81,000 square miles). But ow did IS really rise like a phoenix from the ashes of AQI? Simply, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi answered with what the disenfranchised Sunnis of Iraq and the majority Sunni population of Syria were clamoring for – someone willing to address their grievances, concerns, aspirations and frustrations. The Shia majority in Iraq was ruling over the previously Sunni-dominated country via dictate from Baghdad, fueling sectarian division while the Shia-Alawite minority in Damascus was ruling Syria with the same partisan iron first. The Islamic State exploited


Sunni dilemma to incredible lengths and simply delivered the same message noisily in public that the local populace quietly voiced on social media; Self-Determination, Recognition, and Reunification for the Sunni. Under the IS banner, Sunnis were able quickly to reassert tribal influence and dominance in Eastern Syria and Western Anbar Iraq. Did the average residence of Raqqa or Ramadi prefer to live under strict Sharia law? No, but it was better than the alternative offered by the partisan Shia regime of Iraq’s President Maliki or Syria’s President Bashir al-Asad. A remarkably effective terror campaign of slickly produced, Hollywood quality, horror moviestyle videos, depicting apocalyptic, end-of- times images and themes often masking the underlying broader movement of Sunni’s toward rejection of Shia rule, shared globally via social media spread their brand like wildfire. Beyond the graphic beheadings and executions, the propaganda addressed local, tribal, national and sectarian grievances in a way that the West was not able to see. But why was the West not able to see? Because we were busy watching for clues within the videos to find, fix and finish Islamic State executioners and fighters and not answering the larger questions, WHY and HOW are these snuff films useful recruiting tools?

The decisive terrain is the human terrain. How do we turn the tide and counter a siren’s call that most in the West find abhorrent yet a message that caters to extremists within our midst? As with every counterinsurgency challenge, the decisive terrain is the human terrain of the general population. The needs of the local populace or “grey force” must become the center of gravity - addressing the concerns, aspirations and frustrations of the “grey force” must become the battlefield objectives. The ammunition for winning must be a solution that is a better idea than what the Islamic State is offering. We need to spend less time focused solely on what Blue Force (Friendly) Green Force (Host Nation) Red Force (Enemy) think and more about what the Grey Force (Population) wants, needs, and desires. Social Media blogs, Facebook, Twitter, as well as Instagram, provide a treasure trove of information and gauge on population sentiment on any topic.


PHOTO: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Thomas L. Rosprim


Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Michael D. Stevens chats live with U.S. Navy Facebook fans from a desk at the Pentagon.

Defeating the Islamic State “Idea” with a Better Idea In the last days of 2010, a man in Tunisia burned himself to death in protest to his treatment by local police, and while unusual, his act would have gone mostly unnoticed, but for the spread of ideas and information by electronic form. His immolation was broadcast nearly live on social media and caused three days of riots in the capital that spread beyond Tunisian borders. His single act was merely a subtle push on an exposed wall; the wall of old social order and the crumbling of generations of established rule began like falling dominoes across the Middle East. Why did his act lead to the Arab Spring? Why was his act so powerful? In fact, it wasn’t powerful at all. What was powerful was the ability of previously disconnected masses to connect in new and immediate ways, and to discover similarities of concerns, aspirations, and frustrations, and lash out by the billions in the form of ideas and opinions previously unheard. “You can’t kill an idea with a bullet,” but you can kill an idea with a better idea, and the need for a better idea and “change” is paramount. To those who argue that the IS is mastering social media, consider a different perspective; the IS is merely residing in social media and exploiting it while opposing entities are 28 DEFENSE STANDARD Summer 2016

only visiting it from time to time. Treating IS messaging as US versus THEM, Coke versus Pepsi, IS versus Return to the Old Social Order is an approach that ignores the real emerging power in these troubled regions – namely, a population of almost a billion unsettled people with smartphones and access to the World Wide Web. The IS is not creating a new idea; they are exploiting existing ideas, trumpeting and coopting the concerns, aspirations and frustrations of people who are demanding a change of almost any kind. The Islamic State is abusing a growing desire for hope and change, two powerful motivations that can easily be commandeered with intelligent marketing and messaging. So how do we defeat the IS idea with a better idea? First, we have to have one…. one that speaks to the people - the same populace influenced and targeted by the Islamic State marketing campaign.

The Center of Gravity is the Human Terrain. How do you map Human Terrain? A simple data fetch of social media blogs, forums, message boards, and social networking sites would provide night vision goggles into Grey Force opinion on any number of topics. The ability to observe and track sentiment in a native language, geospatial rendering of data, as well as social media post location

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DEFEATING THE ISLAMIC STATE ONLINE mapping, allows real-time monitoring and near real-time that contain oil, may have been a better idea and stronger analysis on multiple topics and themes that impact our hedge against the Syrian Regime than the disastrous Free Syrian Army effort to train US-back rebels to simultaneously decisions every day. Who are these people in Iraq-Syria to whom the Islamic fight the Islamic State and the Syrian Army of Bashar al-Asad. State is speaking? Let’s start with the core Sunni population that shelters and enables IS to operate as force multipliers Defeating the Islamic State Online. within their midst. Iraq and Syria alone contain approximately 30 million Sunni, who, in their vision of the current situation, All of these are merely ideas, but they are ideas that stand are trapped between Damascus and Baghdad. Since Sunni a clear chance to be a better idea than Islamic State reality control neither Baghdad nor Damascus and have little hope for the peoples now suffering under their strict Islamic Law of doing so, the IS plays to their ultimate desire for Self- regime. IS leadership, even when removed, is replaced by Determination. At present, neither the West nor any regional more IS leadership, but better ideas (coupled with a few powers are offering any degree of self-determination to this strategically placed JDAMs and sniper bullets) can defeat broader Sunni population. Thus, the first part of a good idea them. Each country visited by the Arab Spring has the to defeat ISIL might sound like a same underlying issues, concerns, path to Sunni self-determination. aspirations and frustrations, and IS leadership, even when Recognition – this is also something a desire to part from the social removed, is replaced by more that the broader Sunni population orders of the past. Like the man desires and they remember the IS leadership, but better ideas in Tunisia who burned himself past when they controlled Iraq’s to death in 2010, ideas can be capitol city and national treasury. (coupled with a few strategically ignored, or they can be nurtured, Even if this recognition comes only spread and leveraged for our placed JDAMs and sniper as a semi-autonomous state within benefit. Perhaps we should take bullets) can defeat them. the broader Iraqi state structure, it the time to listen more to the beats the current idea of sustained general population, and a little disenfranchised Sunni tribes. less to the antagonists within the Reunification – with the Sunni population in Iraq-Syria. Islamic State’s marketing ranks. To defeat the extremist None of the Iraq-Syria tribes recognize the borders drawn ideologies of the Islamic State online, we need to listen to more than 100 years ago by dying empires at the end of the the concerns, aspirations and frustrations of the population colonial era. The idea that a Sunni State (within Iraq) would they are recruiting to develop a stronger message that will freely fight for (at their risk and military effort) any land stop young men and women willing to join the Jihad. across the Sykes-Picot Syrian border, including Syrian lands

Robert E. (Rob) Guidry is founder & CEO of SC2 Corp. His military experience includes combat service in Afghanistan and Iraq as a special operations officer, and senior strategist, and in Central America as a reconnaissance pilot. He continues to serve as a US Army Reserve Colonel as Commander of a USAR brigade. He is a graduate of the Air War College, the U.S. Army War College, and holds an MBA and Master’s Degree in National Security Strategy.


Dan O’Shea, a former Navy SEAL Commander and combat veteran with more than two decades experience in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, O’Shea holds a Masters in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego Business School. A frequent terrorism analyst for the CNN, MSNBC, Fox and the BBC. Currently, he is the Chief Operating Officer of Sc2 Corp based in Clearwater, FL and an Associate Editor for DEFENSE STANDARD.




es n i h ce s lia sen y a om , pre Pulle S in ing John e by cu grow s re ut e b g ta all, s ho sm g n t on i r Da ligh



A Malian commando leader discusses his plan of attack with a member of the U.S. 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) prior to leading his platoon on a raid of an “enemy� outpost, the culmination of weeks of specialized training as part of a recent military training engagement conducted north of Bamako, Mali.











n the evening of Jan. 24, 2012, President into an area near where the hostages were being held, Barack Obama inched his way through according to press accounts. The team included members of a throng of Washington’s power elite, SEAL Team 6, the Navy unit that had killed Osama bin Laden shaking hands with lawmakers and in Pakistan the previous May. The rescuers hiked about two colleagues who had gathered in the miles in the dark to a compound where gunmen with access House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to to nearby explosives held the two international aid workers, hear the president deliver the annual Jessica Buchanan, an American, and her Danish colleague, State of the Union address. Reaching his then-secretary of Paul Thisted. Armed kidnappers had abducted them Oct. 25 defense, Leon Panetta, the president paused and offered near Galcayo, Somalia, and were holding them for ransom. congratulations. The rescue team took and returned fire, killing nine “Leon, good job tonight,” the president said, his remarks abductors. None of the rescuers was killed or injured. captured by live microphones. “Good job tonight.” Helicopters spirited the freed hostages onto waiting Hours before the world would understand the meaning helicopters and on to safety in Djibouti, presumably to of that exchange, the secretary and the president tacitly Camp Lemonnier, the primary base of operations for U.S. acknowledged a successful hostage-rescue mission executed Africa Command in the Horn of Africa. that evening by U.S. Special Operations forces in Somalia. As Obama praised “the extraordinary courage and the president made his way to the lectern, elite troops who capabilities of our Special Operations Forces.” Indeed, at had just freed an American citizen and her Danish colleague a time of budget constraints at the Pentagon, the Obama were still mopping up after the mission. administration favors an enhanced role for Special The daring rescue and its acknowledgement by the Operations. Not only do such forces provide more bang for Defense Department and the White House the following the buck than the overwhelming blunt force of traditional day focused renewed attention on Special Operations Forces troops, Special Operations appear particularly well suited to operating on the African continent, a military contingent the political and logistical challenges of Africa. whose profile has grown in recent years. In the past decade, According to a March 23, 2012, report by the Africa has evolved from an afterthought of American Congressional Research Service, “U.S. Special Operations security and national interests to an area of intense concern. Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress,” U.S. Increasingly, defense experts are viewing Special Operations Command “is the use of Special Operations Forces seeking expanded authority to deploy In October 2011, about in Africa as a cost-effective, politically and position SOF and their equipment two weeks before the acceptable means for looking after in an effort to achieve greater autonomy hostages were abducted, and increase presence in … Africa” and American interests on the continent. “As long as there is a major threat the president authorized elsewhere. to the U.S. homeland from groups In October 2011, about two weeks operating in places like Somalia and deployment of 100 troops, before the hostages were abducted, the Yemen, combined with a political president authorized deployment of 100 primarily Special Ops inability to send in large numbers of primarily Special Ops forces, to forces, to central Africa. troops, American forces, dealing with this kind central Africa. Their mission, which of threat is ripe for only one kind of U.S. continues, is to expedite the capture or military force, and that is Special Operations,” says Seth G. killing of Joseph Kony, the notorious leader of the Lord’s Jones, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp. and a Resistance Army, which for decades has terrorized central former representative for the commander of U.S. Special Africa, murdering citizens and exploiting children whom it Operations Command to the assistant secretary of defense has forced to bear arms and work in the sex trade. To that for special operations. “I don’t see their operations tempo end, the Americans are training local militaries in Uganda, declining in North Africa or East Africa any time in the the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. foreseeable future. “It could increase.” Among other known threats in Africa are Al-Shabaab, he surgical precision with which the Special an Islamist militia with links to al Qaeda; al Qaeda in the Operations team executed the hostage rescue in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is primarily active in the Somalia illustrates why elite troops are invaluable in north and west of the continent; and Boko Haram, which in Africa. 2011 bombed the U.N. headquarters in the Nigerian capital, On the night of the rescue, a team of commandoes from Abuja. different branches of the military parachuted from airplanes Large swaths of Africa are marked by political unrest




SPECIAL OPS IN AFRICA and ever-shifting alliances, making it a fluid and slippery environment in which to gain a solid footing. The four major geographic areas of concern for Special Operation Forces Africa, part of U.S. Africa Command, are the Horn of Africa, northwest Africa, the Gulf of Guinea and a catchall category referred to as “the rest of Africa.” Political instability and ungoverned spaces bedevil the region. Somalia and other parts of the continent are essentially lawless vacuums of authority, fertile ground for the proliferation of pirates, drug traffickers, international terrorists and other criminal enterprises. Countering pirates is largely the provenance of conventional forces, but Special Operations troops have intervened to defuse crises caused by pirates. In 2009, Navy SEAL snipers killed three pirates who had seized the cargo ship Maersk Alabama and taken its captain hostage. It was the first seizure by pirates of a ship flying under the American flag since the early 19th century.


elying on Special Operations to promote American interests in Africa is a relatively recent strategy. For more than half a century after World War II, the United States defined Africa primarily as a recipient of humanitarian aid. The 1993 Battle of Mogadishu debacle,

which inspired the Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern Warfare book and movie, began as a humanitarian mission. As recently as 14 years ago, politicians and policy analysts in the United States had declared Africa to be of little or no concern, either strategically or in terms of national security. Sept. 11, 2001, marked a profound shift in thinking. Subsequent geopolitical trends have further redefined Africa’s importance to the security of the United States and its national interests. Rich in natural resources, the continent provides as much oil to the United States as do Persian Gulf countries. Yet the United States’ strategic interests in Africa go well beyond what is extracted from African soil, says J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center. The continent has a fast-growing population and booming economic growth, including six or seven of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Within a few decades, Africa will become home to approximately 20 percent of the global population. The continent is close enough to Europe to affect the security of U.S. allies there. And should a conflict impede the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, it would be imperative that oil tankers continue to pass through the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Meanwhile, China is attempting to establish influence in Africa, not to mention

A Senegalese army company marches past the official party following a recent special operations joint exercise in Theis, Senegal. U.S. Africa Command sponsors exercises with several partner nations in north and west Africa to build military interoperability and improve the skills of friendly special operations forces. PHOTO: Master Sgt. Jeremiah Erickson


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India, Brazil and other emerging powers that seek to be SOCAFRICA later absorbed the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trans–Sahara (JSOTFTS). players on the continent. “It’s in our national interest to begin viewing Africa in terms of security, natural resources and economic he primary focus of Special Operations on the opportunity,” says Pham, acknowledging that realities on continent is foreign internal defense, which involves the ground shift frequently. “It’s not black and white. It’s training local military forces, thereby denying safe exactly the type of situation where the training [of Special havens to terrorists, extremists and outlaws. That training Operations Forces], the capacity for understanding nuance involves intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and operating unconventionally as well as tactics for conducting raids certainly are skills that are very useful.” against enemies. “It’s more than shooting “It’s in our national In light of those shifting economic a gun,” says Jones. “It’s sophisticated and political threats, U.S. Africa interest to begin viewing tactical operations.” Command (AFRICOM) separated Africa in terms of security, Special Operations Forces also target from European Command in 2008 and kill known terrorists. Saleh Ali Saleh natural resources and to become a freestanding combatant Nabham, a senior al Qaeda leader, died in economic opportunity.” a 2009 Special Operations raid in southern command. As part of the realignment, Special Operations Command Africa Somalia. Senior defense and intelligence (SOCAFRICA) was stood up as a leaders, among them Panetta, have said functional sub-unified command for AFRICOM, both based that al Qaeda’s demise in Pakistan has shifted the terrorist in Stuttgart, Germany. network’s attention to Africa. James Clapper, the director of With the formation of SOCAFRICA, the command national intelligence, testified to Congress that “absent more gained authority of the Special Operations Command and effective and sustained activities to disrupt them, some regional Control Element – Horn of Africa – which supplied the 100 affiliates, particularly al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and special operators involved in the Kony training mission. al-Shabaab in Somalia, probably will grow stronger.”



SPECIAL OPS IN AFRICA PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Matthew Hannen

Navy SEALS deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa practice special purpose insertion/extraction from an HH-60 helicopter.

The African strategy, for now, is to leverage relatively small numbers of Special Operations forces as a primary means for stabilizing the continent’s hot spots, and jumpstarting economic development in underdeveloped regions. The alternative is continued instability and growing threats to U.S. interests and security. Determining the number of U.S. Special Operations Forces in Africa is all but impossible. Pham estimated fewer than 200 in 2012, but John Pike, director of, suggests that “the actual numbers are substantially greater” than DoD will acknowledge. He also suspects the CIA provides significant numbers of irregular commandos. However many special operators are there, the need for them is expected to grow. “If [the threat to U.S. interests in Africa is] left unaddressed you could have a network that ranges from East Africa through the center and into the Sahel and Maghreb, and that I think that would be very, very worrying,” Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of AFRICOM, told defense writers in September 2011,


according to an account published by Stars and Stripes. “I’d like more Special Operations Forces now.” Having endured a decade of brutal war against an entrenched enemy in Afghanistan, the military is eager to avoid a similar scenario in Africa. “AFRICOM is at the cutting edge of a significant problem set,” says Air Force Col. Richard Samuels, deputy commander of SOCAFRICA, in a January 2012 webcast posted online by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. “If we don’t do anything about it now, it’s going to be a more significant problem later.” Special Operations’ unique capabilities are ideal in such an environment, he indicates. “If we can get in there with a very small, light, lean footprint now, we will probably be able to shape the future in such a way that it’s less violent, more secure for the populace and eventually well-governed,” he says. “But we need to get after that now. We can’t wait until the safe haven has been established.”


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Transforming Precision Lase it. Range it. Engage it. Wilcox introduces the RAPTAR™ the next generation in laser and rangefinder technology.


ilcox Industries is a leading innovator in the tactical equipment sector, creating unique products with unmatched performance, durability and value. With over 30 years of manufacturing experience, we have created products that directly impact the safety of service members. Decades of Innovation Wilcox pioneered the introduction of laser aiming devices for small arms with our first US patent for a laser device attached to a handgun in 1994 known as the Night Stalker. The Night Stalker offered an IR and visible marker, pulse feature to pulse the laser beam as well as a straight red laser. As a safety feature, the Night Stalker would turn off when the rounds were completely expended from the weapon. Using 2 AAAA batteries, the Night Stalker would offer the operator 10 hours of continuous


By Adrienne Irizarry, Wilcox Industries use. Since 1994, we have amassed numerous patents – many have defined today’s small arms fire control and laser aiming technologies. One step in our product evolution was the Power Grip. At the time of release, the Power Grip brought high performance to a new level incorporating multi-functional aiming lasers and a SureFire® tactical flashlight together in a compact package. The laser module offered three laser selections, a programmable LCD interface and could be operated on the Power Grip Multi-Aiming Device (MAD) or mounted directly onto a MIL-STD-1913 weapon rail. The flashlight module delivered a xenon bulb for visible flood illumination. It also offered a removable IR filter cover to provide instant IR flood illumination. The innovation of the Power Grip led to advances that inspired

Sponsored Content the creation of the Day/Night Sight. Operators were having difficulty with accuracy during night time combat. The Day/Night mount increased the hit probability and accuracy for both day and night shooting with 40mm M203 and M203 Q.D. grenade launchers. It mounted directly to the barrel to provide increased accuracy. The mount easily attached and detached from the grenade launcher to enhance mission flexibility. When the device was not in use, it stored in a collapsed position to protect the unit and retain sight settings. The Day/ Night sight was the beginning of Wilcox’s presence in the arena of fire control systems.

The system mounts, without the use of special tools, onto MIL-STD-1913 rails with the Wilcox Cam-Lock Mounting System™. There were 3,800 RAAMs purchased through the FIST program and are NATO codified.

The Day/Night Sight evolved into the LAW Trajectory Mount (LTM.) The unique design of the LTM secured to the LAW by means of a tube clamp and ratchetable strap for ease of mounting and removal when not in use. The LTM incorporated a digital display indicating the distance to target and ergonomically adjustable control of the firing mechanism. This revolutionary unit overcame obstacles that operators were facing at the time as well as providing cost savings. The device offered a shrouded release button preventing accidental release of the LTM from the LAW.

We specialize in a holistic systems approach to what we offer and strive to set new industry standards in quality and workmanship, providing you the toughest, most effective tactical gear you need to do your job without compromise.

The advancements developed to bring RAAM to fruition became the template for developing RAPTAR and the series of RAPTAR systems, which like their predecessors, are pioneers in laser rangefinding technology. Why Wilcox?

From precision manufacturing to precision range finders, you can trust that Wilcox hits the mark. Gone are the days where you throw away a unit when the red laser burns out. The RAPTAR systems are all built in the same housing for integrated

RAPTAR-Lite™ is ideal for close quarter combat scenarios.

Between the rigorous quality testing and user feedback during the products’ evolution, significant advances were made to our technology and were the foundation we used to develop the Rapid Acquisition Aiming Module (RAAM™.) This was the first time a laser and a rangefinder were packaged together into one device. The RAAM is a fire control system specifically designed for underslung grenade launchers. It uses an internal ballistic computer and data from sensors as well as a laser rangefinder to calculate the trajectory of a round. The motorized gimbal features a visible red laser for boresighting and low light engagement as well as an IR laser for nighttime. All the displays dim and can be viewed using night vision goggles.


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Intuitive controls on the pressure pad adjust laser intensity from 1 to 7 with ease.

logistic service (ILS.) What does that mean for you? Repairable. If a component of your system stops working the unit is serviceable and this extends the life of your investment.

allow for dexterous adjustments of laser intensity, going from 1 to 7 on the fly, putting the control back in your hands and not dictated by equipment limitations.

The family of RAPTAR systems all offer a laser safety key. This safety feature means a trained person, like an armor, can use a key and turn the intensity of the laser up and down based on the operator’s training to prevent injury. In a mission scenario, the last thing an operator wants to worry about is if they are pressing the right buttons to get their equipment to perform as they intend. The intuitive controls on the pressure pad

Equipped for Excellence


Wilcox’s engineering and manufacturing teams work hard to extend the capabilities of our laser ranging and aiming products. We do extensive testing for beam quality, beam divergence, laser co-alignment bore-sight retention and distance for our rangefinders.

Sponsored Content Beam Quality Our near IR adjustable divergence illuminator for the RAPTAR projects a uniform spot down range from 1mrad to 105 mrad. This illuminator, co-aligned along with the aiming laser, mitigates the ability of the laser to be seen by the unaided eye. When using night vision goggles our laser/ illuminators greatly enhance an operator’s acuity at night. This vision enhancement is especially valuable at extended ranges. Our illuminator, in concert with NVGs, increases situational awareness, dramatically reduces target acquisition times and allows target discrimination and reduction of a halo effect, maximizing the engagement distance of the effective range of the weapon.

1550nm wavelength and is not detectable with currently fielded I2 night vision equipment. Our rangefinder has a maximum range of 5km. It has repeatable 1-meter measurement accuracy, against standard NATO targets at 2,000 meters. RAPTAR rangefinder technology permits stealthy and rapid target engagements, day or night, at extended ranges. RAPTAR™

Beam Divergence We have designed and built unique optical trains, with selected lenses and components, which allow precise beam control of our aiming lasers. We specify a 0.5 mrad maximum divergence angle. With this precision, our aiming lasers for man sized targets are tactically effective to 1,000 meters. Laser Co-Alignment We designed and built custom optical alignment devices and test stations, with enhanced CMOS cameras and state-of-the-art analytic software, to streamline the checkout processes. Our equipment quickly verifies laser power, beam quality, divergence and alignment. Our coalignment specifications for our laser, illuminator, and rangefinder ensure that our products will perform to the most stringent customer requirements. Bore-Sight Retention Accuracy and repeatability are the most important performance aspects of our laser aiming devices when mounted to a weapon. We guarantee accuracy of our laser devices to 1mrad or less, from bore-sight zero. Performance demands of our weapon mounted systems continue to evolve. Rangefinder Our compact laser optical bench operates at

RAPTAR-S™ brings long distances in range. With a stateof-the-art ballistic solver, this unit is designed for optimal performance and accuracy.)

Wilcox’s Rapid Targeting and Ranging module (RAPTAR™) boasts a lightweight, integrated technology system. The RAPTAR is designed to be mounted to a wide variety of weapon platforms with MIL-STD-1913 RIS/RAS and STANAG-4694 rails. The RAPTAR offers an Infra-Red (IR) laser, visible laser, IR flood and laser range finder (LRF) in one compact, rugged, all weather package. Equipped with precision windage and elevation adjustors, the entire laser suite is controlled as one is less than 0.3 MRAD. Unlike any current system in the field, the RAPTAR can be repaired, upgraded and expanded with emerging technology maintaining its edge over for the life of the product. The RAPTAR is available in a high power version Summer 2016 DEFENSE STANDARD 43

Sponsored Content designed for military application as well as an eye safe version using a low power Class 1 IR laser that features a <0.7mw rating which is eye safe and not restricted for civilian use by the FDA. It is progressive technology for combat operations. RAPTAR-Lite™ The RAPTAR-Lite™ is an exceptional value offering both visible and IR aiming lasers, a variable focus IR Illuminator all precisely controlled with adjustors for each plane - azimuth and elevation. Like the RAPTAR, all lasers are co-aligned within 0.3 MRAD and the entire laser suite moves as one. Built to withstand the demands of your mission, this compact, all-weather package is complete with a 300 lumen SureFire® Flashlight. The RAPTAR-Lite is available in three versions with different laser options for military, law enforcement and civilian use in mind. The eye safe version uses a low power Class 1 IR laser with a <0.7mw rating. With a flashlight adjustment range of 30 lumen up to full power of 300 lumen, this system offers versatility of use in close quarter combat situations. RAPTAR-S™ The RAPTAR- Saber (RAPTAR-S™) takes our RAPTAR family of laser rangefinders to the next level. Offering all the proven technology of the original RAPTAR system, the RAPTAR-S features an applied ballistic solver for precise accuracy at extremely long ranges. Our partner nVisti has been instrumental bringing this state-of-the-art ballistic solver to fruition. nVisti Tactical Innovation is comprised of industry leaders in the field of small arms fire control systems with expertise in laser range finders, ballistics, wind measurement and digital imaging. Through nVisti’s partnership with Applied Ballistics and Accuracy 1st, the company has been responsible for the development and integration of the ballistics, firmware and software for our RAPTAR-S weapon-mounted laser range finder. Applied Ballistics developed its core solver to address the need for a universal ballistics core to act as a common baseline ballistic solution for systems integrators, analytics, and tactical applications. The solver is designed for optimal performance and 44 DEFENSE STANDARD Summer 2016

accuracy. The computations achieve nearly the accuracy of a full 6 degree of freedom model using a three degree of freedom (3DOF) modified point mass numerical solver considering all environmental conditions including average cross-wind or a crosswind profile. The solver calculates accurate fire control solutions for long range rifle shooting. It accounts for all major and minor trajectory variables including the use of measured G7 BC’s and even the option to use custom drag curves for over 400 bullets. The output is shown in MILs, MOAs, or even an ACOG BDC reticle. Included within the system is a ballistic calibration feature allows user to ‘train’ the software to match a specific rifle based on observed impacts at long range. Combined with the over 400 custom measured bullet drag curves (available for syncing via Android or PC), shooters have everything the need to make a much more precise trajectory calculation than any other software available. Included within the RAPTAR-S, the Applied Ballistics solver measures temperature, pressure, humidity, inclination, cant, heading to the target, and GPS coordinates. By using these sensor readings and the custom drag curves, the solver is capable of producing ballistic solutions that are accurate to within 0.1 mils through the subsonic range of the bullet’s flight. Our intuitive fire control system accounts for all contributing environmental variables including Coriolis, spin drift and aerodynamic jump. The system is expandable with emerging technology producing cost savings throughout the life of the system. The data this system is capable of is easily accessible with an intuitive user interface taking all the guess work out of long range applications. Wilcox has a proud heritage of innovative thinking that provides state-of-the-art technological solutions to meet the needs of servicemen and women. We are proud to offer small arms systems that enhance the use of a weapon. Every feature of our products are designed with the end user in mind. Our small arms systems are compact. We provide intuitive laser systems that give you superior aiming control and are built to withstand the most grueling weather and combat conditions. Your mission is our mission.


Features: •Computer-Controlled Consistency •Portable with two-man carry •Enclosed Media Chamber Benefits: •Shorter Turnaround Time •Significantly Lowers Expenses •Localized Repairs of Small Damage Additional Information:



time, resources, money saved with new technologies

tems get misplaced and countless hours are spent on inventory in the armories, tool rooms, and ALSE storage facilities of our military and other agencies. While billions are spent making sure the latest and greatest technology is being developed, purchased, and implemented, a simple pen and paper is the obsolete technology being utilized to monitor accountability and inventory of our nation’s equipment. After losing countless hours waiting to check out, check in, and track down missing tools, former military personnel decided to take action. Now employed by Avion Solutions, these personnel were “presented with an opportunity to reduce this nonproductive time by automating current business regulatory processes using Automated Information Technology (AIT), as was chartered by (at the time) PMJAIT,” stated Jim Hardy, AIT Program Manager for Avion Solutions. Formed in January 1992 in response to the aviation engineering and analytical needs of the U. S. Army Aviation community, Avion Solutions Inc. has been providing engineering, logistics, and software solutions to the U. S. military for over 20 years, and has also expanded into additional software and biometric solutions with wide commercial applications. Avion Solutions continues its extensive support for PEO Aviation, RDEC, AMCOM functional elements and related organizations, across all engineering and technical logistical lines from its headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama. Avion’s asset tracking systems include TRMS (Tool Room Management System), ARMS (Arms Room Management System), and ALSE (Aviation Life Support Equipment). These systems utilize Item Unique Identification marks (IUIDs) and distinct marks – small, two dimensional markings - which are scanned during the issue, receipt or inventory processes to automate current business procedures. When the marks are scanned, the item is automatically attached to the person checking it out, reducing human errors, allowing the leadership to view inventory at a glance, and providing 100% inventory accountability with historical records. As an optional upgrade to asset tracking, biometric capabilities will provide 99.9% positive identification accuracy. Avion has partnered with Hitachi to utilize their finger vein technology, which uses near-infrared light to detect the pattern of blood in a user’s veins. The device then stores the image and is able to recognize the user to give it access at the appropriate level. Because the biometric identifier is internal (finger vein) as opposed to external (finger print), the biometric data will be less prone to damage or deterioration due to injury or age. Avion’s additional capabilities with finger vein readers include physical access and visitor management.

While asset tracking and biometrics have wide-ranging applications, Avion also offers a unique shot peening solution, addressing a very specific need within the aviation community. Supported by funding from a Small Business Innovative Research contract, Avion teamed with SONATS, a French-based technology company, to adapt existing revolutionary ultrasonic shot peening technology to meet the critical safety standards of the U. S. Army. Shot Peening is a surface enhancement for metallic components that significantly increases their service life. Instead of using air to excite the media, Ultrasonic Shot Peening (USP) excites the media ultrasonically at a frequency of 20 kHz. With conventional shot peening, disassembly is often required, and the conventional shot peening booth size limits the components that can be peened. However, USP is a mobile solution which does not require complete disassembly and can be moved to treat a component wherever it is located. The newest additions to Avion’s vast portfolio debuted in 2015: Energy Solutions and Unmanned Aerial Systems. While there are many movements to become more energy efficient, few include an economic analysis to see which ones make sense. Buying all new light fixtures could save a business $100 annually, but if it costs $100,000, then there aren’t any real savings involved. Avion has discovered this void in the energy efficiency movement and is aiming to fill it with a five-pronged approach, including Benchmarking, Billing Analysis, Energy Audit, Action Plan, and lastly, to ensure a client sees savings, At Avion’s own Measurement and Validation. headquarters, they optimized their HVAC system, installed a 50 kW photovoltaic solar system, converted exterior lighting to LEDs, and increased their ENERGY STAR® score from an abysmal 2 out of 100 to an ENERGY STAR® certifiable 75 in just over three years. In Small Unmanned Aerial Systems, Avion has received a Section 333 Exemption from the FAA to begin commercial operations for data collection. The program is led by two former Army Aviators, and in addition to data collection, Avion is also offering Training and Consultation Services as well as Customization Services. Data can be gathered with one of or a combination of the following: infrared cameras, high-resolution cameras, 2D mapping, and 3D mapping. For those aiming to begin a UAS program of their own, such as law enforcement, Avion can assist with on-site or web-based training as well as regulatory support to assist with the process of applying for and receiving an FAA Section 333 Exemption. Once a program is ready for takeoff, Avion’s Customization Services can assist with payload integration, rapid prototyping, and test and evaluation.

I was returning from “Iraq, my family was waiting, and it took me three hours to return my weapon.


Avion has enjoyed continued success and sustained growth over its two decades of operation through the provision of quality, dedicated, innovative, and timely responses to customer requirements. The firm currently employs over 150 engineering and technical personnel. A professional product and engineering service organization, Avion specializes in technical and operational solutions through the application of research, analysis, computer and software technology. Our growth and success is based upon employing dedicated and knowledgeable employees who provide high quality service and deliver on-time performance. Avion is dedicated to providing the most efficient, high quality solutions to our customers in order to fully satisfy and exceed re quirements and expectations in a cost-effective manner. We measure our success by the success of our customers in performing their mission. In addition to the home office in Huntsville, AL, Avion employees are stationed at: Redstone Arsenal, AL; Fort Campbell, KY; Clarksville, TN; Fort Bragg, NC; Chesterfield/St. Louis, MO.

The Avion Solutions Advantage Engineering Logistics Software Development Test and Evaluation Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Energy Solutions Biometrics

Career Opportunities at (256) 721-7006 4905 Research Drive NW Huntsville, Alabama 35805




PHOTO: Capt. James Orth

Army Maj. Steven Kohne performs an oral dental exam on a mule for the equine care class during the 351st Civil Affairs Command Veterinary Training Conference at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. The commandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s veterinary officers attended the conference to share best practices with their peers within the command. Kohne is a veterinary preventive medicine officer assigned to the 440th Civil Affairs Battalion.

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BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE Lessons learned during years of combat lead to life-saving technological advances

PHOTO: Markus Rauchenberger

By David Perera

U.S. Army Capt. James McCampbell, assigned to Europe Regional Medical Command, moves through a smoke-filled Combat Testing Lane during U.S. Army Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Expert Field Medical Badge Competition in Grafenwoehr, Germany.



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A pilot study of the use of kaolin-impregnated gauze (QuikClot Combat Gauze) for packing high-grade hepatic injuries in a hypothermic coagulopathic swine model. Sena MJ, Douglas G, Gerlach T, Grayson JK, Pichakron KO, Zierold D. J Surg Res. 2013;183(2):704-709.


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PHOTO: Gertrud Zach


U.S. Army Capt. Christopher Harris applies first aid to a simulated casualty during U.S. Army Europe Expert Field Medical Badge examination in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

ir Force pararescueman Jason quickly when unprotected. They could stuff gauze Cunningham saved at least 10 lives on bandages into wounds and apply pressure, but in many an Afghan mountaintop in 2002 after cases they could only watch someone with curable wounds their MH-47 Chinook crash-landed die. Better body armor helps, of course, but it also has under heavy fire while on an ill-fated concentrated devastating wounds to the arms and legs. rescue mission during Operation “When somebody gets blown up, they can have Anaconda. He sometimes two, three, maybe all continued treating the wounded even four extremities terribly injured or Finding ways to stop after being shot through the lower back amputated in the field, and they will the bleeding in the by a bullet that would drain the life bleed to death before they get to us,” out of him before a medevac helicopter battlefield is a top priority said Air Force Maj. Gary Vercruysse, a could get to the chaotic scene. of military medicine and theater hospital trauma surgeon who Senior Airman Cunningham had been deployed in Balad, Iraq. posthumously was awarded the Air private industry partners. But new options now available to Force’s highest honor, the Air Force battlefield medics are beginning to Cross, in recognition of his bravery change that. and sacrifice. But Cunningham’s death also stands as a A second-generation blood-clotting bandage coated reminder that blood loss continues to kill soldiers, sailors, with coagulant material can stop the bleeding. Medics airmen and Marines who could have survived if the can now carry blood in heat- and cold-resistant boxes that bleeding had been stopped on the battlefield. allow them to give transfusions on the battlefield. And a Similar scenes played out in the streets of Mogadishu new generation of redesigned tourniquets is saving limbs in 1993 when soldiers were pinned down by Somali -- and lives. gunfighters, in Vietnam before the choppers could land, “The simplest of devices sometimes makes the greatest in wars stretching back millennia. difference,” said Col. Dallas Hack, director of the Army One problem was medics couldn’t carry sufficient Medical Research and Materiel Command’s combat amounts of blood for frontline care because blood spoils casualty care research program.





edics and battlefield doctors have a slew of technologies improving the odds of survival. Forward surgical teams have laptop-sized digital imaging systems. Rugged anesthesia machines much smaller than hospital versions put soldiers under for surgery. Wounds vacuum-sealed rather than sewn shut let surgeons treat battle casualties with a series of operations instead of a single, stamina-testing marathon surgery. New pain-blockers relieve suffering without risk of addiction. Databases track soldiers’ treatment from the front line to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and the hospitals in the United States, giving each physician fingertip access to their patients’ record of treatment. But the major cause of preventable death remains blood loss. Finding ways to stop the bleeding in the battlefield is a top priority of military medicine and private industry partners. After the casualties of Operation Anaconda, the Army was newly determined to solve the problem of blood transportation. Walter Reed Army Institute of Research officials tasked industry with finding a way to transport blood under extreme temperatures and keep it fresh for 24 hours. The transport mechanism had to maintain an internal temperature between 33 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit while the ambient temperature cooled to minus 4 degrees or heated up to 104 degrees. It also had to weigh no more than 6 pounds and contain no active machinery. First-year medical students at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences treat a wounded patient brought into a battalion aid station during Operation Kerkesner, at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.

“They showed us pictures of these soldiers – it’s like they’re carrying a house. Every ounce counts,” says George Flora, co-founder of Minnesota Thermal Science, a startup company formed specifically to develop a bloodtransportation solution. The small company decided at first to concentrate on designing a temperature-resistant box. It didn’t quite work, in part because the prototype used water as a cooling agent. “They came back and told us we were half a [Celsius] degree too cold,” Flora recalled. The company went to work on a new solution, this time developing a proprietary fluid that would keep the internal box temperature stable. The key was to find a fluid resistant to temperature change – it takes 136 units of heat measured in British Thermal Units to convert liquid water to steam – and that would freeze at a precise temperature. Following months of experimentation, the company sent the institute a new prototype. It worked. “Then they said, ‘George, can you make it last 48 hours?’” Flora says. Later, they asked for a 72-hour model. The next generation keeps blood fresh up to 93 hours in extreme cold and 82 hours in extreme heat. “We gave them as much as we could get in a 6-pound box,” Flora says. In 2003, Army Special Forces officially adopted the company’s box for blood transportation. In 2004, the Army named the company’s work one of the preceding year’s 10 greatest inventions. Throughout the process, the company worked closely with the Walter Reed Institute, Flora says. They did whatever they could to assist, “so that we were informed and that we weren’t just being shoved on some back shelf.”

A PHOTO: Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andre Nicholson


similar story of collaboration underpins a secondgeneration blood-clotting bandage called Combat Gauze, manufactured by Wallingford, Conn.based Z-Medica. The story begins with Z-Medica’s first product aimed at staunching blood loss, granules of a volcanic mineral applied directly into wounds. Revolutionary when introduced to the battlefield in 2002, Z-Medica’s product was 100 percent effective at stopping hemorrhage. But it had nasty side effects, including second-degree burns caused by the physical reaction between the mineral and water molecules. Then, in 2003, University of California-Santa Barbara scientist Galen Stucky got a call from the Office of Naval Research. A chemist dedicated to studying interactions between inorganic molecules and organic matter, Stucky had research experience with the Z-Medica mineral. Navy researchers wanted to know if he could do something about the heat reaction, ideally within six months. Stucky went to work and came up with a solution relatively quickly. “But we paid a price for that,” he says.


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The new product was only 80 percent to 90 percent effective, a large enough margin of fallibility to send Stucky on a new round of government-funded research. To come up with a better solution, he would have to understand exactly how to best trigger the cascading effect of blood clotting. Stucky wasn’t the only researcher examining how to induce clotting, but other efforts focused on blood proteins, a more expensive route. Stucky and his team of researchers zeroed in on investigating the properties of metal oxides. “Once we understood what were the key parameters, then we were able to say, ‘OK, I know what kind of material we need.’” That turned out to be a common clay mineral called kaolin. Coming up with a solution wasn’t just a matter of laboratory experimentation. Promising products found by Stucky’s team were sent to the Naval Medical Research Center for animal testing. “The in vivo tests are very expensive and they’re time-consuming. Consequently, we had to be careful that we gave them good suggestions,” he says. Meanwhile, Z-Medica was working on the problem as well. “It was also an issue that we were asking caregivers to pour granules into a wound, which was never done,” says Bart Gullong, chairman of the Z-Medica board. The presence of granules in the body made wound healing

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awkward and there was the danger of pouring in too much, causing severe burns. The company responded by packaging granules into a “tea bag,” then into a sponge. After Stucky hit on kaolin, however, Z-Medica managed to impregnate the clotting agent directly into gauze. “The gauze was a brilliant way to go,” Stucky says. And, he adds, there’s no way he could have devised it himself. “I can come up with something on the bench stoop but that isn’t going to do the soldier any good on the field. It’s got to get to him, somehow, in a useful form. I’m not set up here to do packaging, do marketing or do manufacturing,” he said.


sk military doctors for an important battlefield medicine innovation and one of the first things they’ll mention is the tourniquet, first used in battle in the 1800s but eventually falling out of favor. But 7 percent to 10 percent of battlefield deaths in Vietnam and Somalia were caused by profusely bleeding arm or leg wounds and could likely have been averted by use of a tourniquet, according to the Defense Department. “They had a Army tourniquet from World War II, used it for 50 years, and the reports from World War II said they didn’t work so well,” says Col. John Kragh, an Army


BATTLEFIELD MEDICINE Medical Corps orthopedic surgeon and proponent of the devices. Mounting groundswell support for tourniquets, intensified by soldiers’ tendency to buy them through the Internet because the military’s basic training strap-andbuckle unit clearly fell short, led to a re-evaluation. In 2004, the Army Institute of Surgical Research decided to test commercially available products. It recommended acquiring the Combat Application Tourniquet, distributed by Greer, S.C.-based North American Rescue Products AT. The CAT, invented by former serviceman Mark Esposito of Golden, Colo., is designed for single-handed application so a soldier can put it on himself. The Army surgeon general facilitated widespread re-introduction in 2005. Now, the CAT is part of every soldier’s standard field issue. The device consists of an inner and outer band: The outer band wraps the tourniquet around the wounded limb while a rod tightens the inner band to cut off circulation. “The bad devices aren’t commonly used any more, and the effective ones are issued,” Kragh says. The Combat Application Tourniquet won an Army Greatest Invention of 2005 award. When Kragh was deployed to Bagdad’s Ibn Sina Hospital in 2006, he used a reusable, pneumatic tourniquet made by Vancouver, British Columbia-based Delfi Medical Innovations during surgery. He communicated often with Delfi about ways the company could improve the product – small changes, he says, that nonetheless made a big difference. For one thing, a cap on the pneumatic bladder fell off easily. “It being the same color as the floor, you couldn’t see it,” he says, and the surgical team wasted time scrambling for it on the floor when a patient was bleeding to death. Kragh recommended that the cap be attached with a leash. He also wanted the tourniquet to open with less force. “They changed the [clamp] arc to be gentler, so there’s less force, more roll, to open up the tourniquet,” he says. “They were fairly minor things, so we were able to get them out within a few months,” says Delfi President Mike Jameson.


f many of today’s advances sound prosaic – even though they’re anything but – potential advances sound like the stuff of science fiction. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency signed a contract with Siemens Healthcare to develop a portable device that would staunch deep limb wound bleeding using ultrasound waves – a kind of high-tech tourniquet. A cuff-like device would first search for bleeding and then send a concentrated dose of high-intensity

ultrasound waves prompting quick coagulation. Focused ultrasound has already proven effective during animal tests. The directed energy raises tissue temperature, causing it to shrink and small blood vessels to collapse. Tests show tissue can be safely heated to between 158 and 194 degrees Fahrenheit within 30 seconds. The device’s acoustic properties also appear to push blood away from the injured area. DARPA has already developed automated bleed detection algorithms. Meanwhile, SRI International of Menlo Park, Calif., wanted more DARPA funding to move forward with what could be the most futuristic medical addition to the battlefield: a robot doctor. “Ideally the system would be completely automatic, autonomous, making its own therapeutic decisions,” says Thomas Low, SRI director of medical devices and robotics. With $12 million in DARPA funding, SRI conducted a twoyear research and development project ending in March 2007 before lobbying for “substantially more” funds, Low adds. The idea of a robot medic – which SRI and DARPA call a “Trauma Pod” – becomes a lot more believable when it’s described as a machine that recognizes patterns and does something simple as a result, such as putting a needle to a target. “This is not blue sky,” Low says. “We can address a number of serious battlefield injuries, temporarily. We’re not trying to do definitive surgery. We’re not trying to install on a machine the intelligence of a surgeon.” Still, a robot could probably do better with some frontline procedures than a soldier operating under highstress conditions, Low says. He cites a cricothyrotomy as an example; it involves puncturing a large-bore hollow needle into a patient’s neck when the airway is obstructed. Frontline medics are somewhat reluctant to perform a cricothyrotomy “and don’t do particularly well under fire,” he says. But a robot given an image of the airway can do so easily. “It’s putting a needle to a target, based on imagery.” The first two years of the project were just the first phase of a research and development effort that could last up to a decade, Low says. The Trauma Pod team successfully demonstrated a surgical procedure being controlled remotely by humans. Robots already exist in the surgery theater, Low notes. And, he says, automated external defibrillator devices in public places let laymen treat heart attacks with electric shocks by monitoring a victim’s heart rhythm and firing at the right moment. “Certainly it’s better than the alternative of dying,” he said.

US Marine Corps (USMC) Lance Corporal (LCPL) Martinez, Golf Company, 2nd Battalion (BN) 3rd Marine Regiment, pretends to apply a tourniquet during Squad Competitions in preparation for the Super Squad Competition. (right)


PHOTO: LCPL Brandi M. Carter


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: PTSD : VA steps up its game to improve treatment of post-combat trauma

By Sara Michael

PHOTO: U.S. Army



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Col. Michael J. Roy (left), who oversees exposure therapy at Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, Md., conducts a demonstration with Sgt. Lenearo Ashford of a combat simulator used in PTSD treatment.

s the notion of a front line of through personalized, evidence-based programs. Through combat has changed, so too has the early intervention efforts, the VA has sought to connect understanding of how battle affects veterans with effective programs and ensure they receive service members. Troops engaged in the proper treatment. A veteran seeking PTSD treatment from the VA submits direct firefight aren’t the only ones who may experience trauma, and a a claim seeking an evaluation, which is conducted by a VA clinician and includes collecting information about the single event isn’t the only culprit. Similarly, the understanding of post traumatic stress event that could have resulted in PTSD. Before the rule change, the VA tried to substantiate disorder (PTSD) has evolved, prompting the Department of experience and confirm that it “Over time, we have come the Veterans Affairs to make regulatory occurred when the veteran was in to realize that PTSD can be the military. Health administrators changes in July to ease the burden of proof for receiving covered mental triggered by other kinds of then determined whether the patient suffered a service-connected trauma. health treatment. “This is about that step -- looking “Over time, we have come to stressful life experiences that at the evidence that an event actually realize that PTSD can be triggered can’t be boiled down to a occurred while the person was in the by other kinds of stressful life single incident.” military,” Zeiss says. “Previously if experiences that can’t be boiled someone was claiming a combatdown to a single incident,” says Dr. Antonette Zeiss, the VA’s deputy chief for mental health related PTSD, they had to produce very rigorous evidence,” services. The VA’s recent rule change regarding the claims such as an after-action report, a medal or a description of process for PTSD treatment coverage is “a response to the event. Not only is that information extremely difficult to a growing understanding of warfare, and a growing produce, but the combat experience is not that cut and understanding of PTSD,” she adds. The VA’s extensive nationwide network of medical dried. And soldiers not engaged in active battle may still centers provides PTSD treatment for the nation’s veterans experience stress.


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Soldiers often have delayed reactions to traumatic events that may take years to manifest. Post-tramatic stress disorder occurs in five to 25 percent of service members who have been deployed to combat zones, with combat frequency and intensity being the strongest predictor of the condition.

“Streamlining this process will help not just the veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, but generations of veterans who have previously ‘borne the battle’ for our nation,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki wrote in a USAToday op-ed explaining the change. Some veterans who weren’t eligible for benefits may now be eligible, and those who have hesitated to submit claims may decide to do so, Zeiss says. The VA will be tracking the effects of the new rule. Tom Tarantino, an Iraq veteran and legislative associate for the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, calls the change “monumental,” reflecting a recognition of how wars are fought and who may experience stress or trauma. For example, medics, truck drivers and other support members may have a hard time proving specific traumatic incidents occurred, Tarantino says. “More people are going to have access to more care and benefit from this change.”


lthough the change may open the doors for more veterans to receive PTSD treatment through the VA system, it doesn’t impact the treatment programs themselves, officials say. Each veteran entering the VA system is screened for mental health conditions, including PTSD. The screenings can lead to further evaluations. For the first five years after separation, a veteran is screened annually, says Stacey Pollack, director of the trauma service program at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “We all know there is a huge stigma for people coming forth, so by making screening a part of our standard practice, we are able to get people into treatment and find out who needs to be referred,” Pollack says. PTSD is caused by exposure to a direct or indirect threat of death or serious injury. Symptoms can include recurring thoughts of the traumatic event, or stressor, reduced involvement in work or outside interests, emotional numbness, anxiety and irritability. According to the VA, the


disorder can be more severe and last longer when the stress is a human-initiated action, such as war. The VA relies on two evidence-based treatment methods for PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure. Both focus on the trauma, Pollack says, with the veteran talking or writing about his or her traumatic experience in a structured environment. These two treatment options were determined as the most effective based on an extensive Institute of Medicine (IOM) study commissioned by the VA a few years ago, says Thomas Berger, senior policy analyst for veterans’ benefits and mental health issues at the Vietnam Veterans of America. The institute reviewed more than 2,700 programs, many of which lacked scientific evidence or a connection to veterans. “Those are the two treatment programs that pass with flying colors by the IOM,” says Berger. “Clearly, unless the evidence is there based on the IOM report, then we don’t know if the other stuff is good or not.” Although the VA is always considering innovations in PTSD treatment, officials want to make sure the programs are being researched, and are based on strong evidence, Pollack notes. “PTSD is treated much better today than, say 25 years ago,” she says. Cognitive Processing Therapy involves learning about the symptoms and becoming aware of thoughts and feelings. The goal is to look closely at how the trauma is affecting the veteran, and then help him look at it differently. The patient learns the skills to question or challenge the thoughts. Prolonged Exposure treatment centers on the exposure to the thoughts and feelings that cause the distress, and practicing in real-world situations the patient may have avoided, such as driving after a roadside bomb experience. The patient also talks about the trauma memory extensively with his therapist. The duration of the treatment depends on the veteran, and whether he or she is suffering from a recent stressor or one that has gone untreated for 40 years, Pollack says. Some veterans fare better than others, often

“It would be great if we had research out there to let us guide particular patients toward particular treatments and know a better algorithm to see what works for who.” because they consistently pursue the treatment course or are dedicated to the process. The stigma about receiving mental health services may surface in the beginning, she says, but often a vet will quickly start to see a difference. “They can see week to week how their symptoms are going down and they are feeling somewhat better,” she says. The decision on which course of treatment is most appropriate is based on clinician judgment and patient preference. However, the VA is researching whether one is a better fit for certain patients, Pollack says. “It would be great if we had research out there to let us guide particular patients toward particular treatments and know a better algorithm to see what works for who.”


oving forward, one challenge for the VA is to ensure that clinicians, both within the system and in the private sector, are well-trained on the treatment programs, Pollack says. More than 3,700 VA mental health professionals are trained to provide the two therapies, according to the VA. The administration also has a mentoring program that works with personnel at treatment sites to improve care. The mentors make sure the clinicians are up on the latest research and best practices. Similarly, many veterans seek treatment outside of the VA system, Pollack notes, and it’s important that non-VA programs and clinicians also are current on treatment and research. Indeed, the treatment network for veterans extends far beyond the VA. Dozens of community-based organizations

are providing so-called “wrap-around” care for veterans who need additional support, either as VA contractors or as independent groups. “The VA is more of a medical model, [which] relies on organizations to provide benefits advocacy, housing [assistance], employment and training -- all that wraparound care they simply can’t handle,” explains Colleen Corliss, communications manager at Swords to Plowshares, which provides transitional housing and other services to veterans in the San Francisco area. The nonprofit is one of about 50 groups that make up the Coalition for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, a partnership of organizations that offer care and support. Veterans will still go to the VA center to access mental health treatment, and more intensive medical care, Corliss explains, but community groups can fill in some gaps. Ensuring a veteran seeks treatment at all can be a struggle, officials say. The stigma around mental illness among the military is still quite strong. Thomas Hall, a Vietnam veteran and national PTSD / Substance Abuse Committee chair at Vietnam Veterans of America, says his organization and others are working to shift the notion of what is considered a strong service member. Someone who is truly mission-ready takes care of every weapon and equipment he will need in battle, his mind included, Hall says. “It seems incongruous that someone would be punished or ridiculed for pulling maintenance on that equipment,” he says. “You’d do the same with other weapons. Clear head, and clear mind, and be ready.”

PHOTO: U.S. Army

Dr. Michael J. Roy, who oversees the “Virtual Iraq” PTSD exposure therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., conducts a demonstration of the virtual reality treatment.


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INITIALLY DENIED, DAV GETS AIR FORCE VETERAN’S CONDITION SERVICE-CONNECTED By Steve WilsonDAV GETS AIR FORCE VETERAN’S INITIALLY DENIED, CONDITION SERVICE-CONNECTED Military changes your She tookservice the vaccines theeveryone, Air Forcewhether prescribed She took the vaccines the Air Force prescribed before her deployment. She drank the water the military time in uniform was four years or 24 years. before herindeployment. Sheand drank the water military provided Iraq. She lived worked wherethe she was But, the important thing to remember is one provided in Iraq. She lived and worked where she was in told. Following orders enabled her to survive her tour told. Following orders enabled her towhile survive her armed tour in Iraq, she didn’t expect would alsoinlead to cancer maybut be entitled to benefi tsthat earned the Iraq, but she didn’t expect that would also lead to cancer after she In returned home.shows most veterans don’t forces. fact, history after she returned home. know earned these ts.bilateral Many have the Dr.they’ve T. Danielle Russell is benefi fighting breast T. doesn’t Danielle Russell fighting breastof cancer. She first filed a claim with thebilateral Department “butDr. that apply toisme” mindset. cancer. She first in filed a claim with the Veterans Affairs 2013, believing theDepartment cancer wasof The transition from military life is often challenging Veterans Affairs in 2013, believing the cancer was connected to her military service. A VA doctor disagreed, connected to her military service. A VA doctor disagreed, as any veteran will most likely attest. As our armed blaming it on genes. blaming it on genes. forces continue the on, current massivecostly drawdown, the Russell pushed undergoing treatment. Russell pushed on, undergoing costly treatment. days of having extra sets of hands at the workplace A family doctor herself, she continued helping others Aare family doctor herself, she continued helping others gone. In fact, the men and in uniform have while battling the cancer. One ofwomen her patients was Michael while battling the cancer. One of her patients was Michael Michelotti, supervisor of less” DAV’sfor National Office in been “doing more with quite a Service long time. Michelotti, supervisor of DAV’s National Service Office in Montgomery, Ala. Montgomery, Ala.uncommon for transitioning service So, it’s not “When Dr. Russell told me her story, that she had members up to their date, with Russell told meseparation her story, that she had been“When told that her cancer was hereditary, I asked her been toldduties that her cancer was hereditary, I asked her military interrupting separation briefi ngs and about her family history,” Michelotti recounted. “I offered about her time. familyThe history,” Michelotti“Ioften offered full anxiety of separation toplanning help. After a little while, she accepted. We did a lot of to help. After a little while, she accepted. We did a lot of only realized as a veteran and his or her family is research.” research.” leaving the base for theatlast time on active Russell was based a camp built on aduty. landfill in Russell was based at a camp built on a landfill in Baghdad. Little is known about what types of waste This is happening day as types the men and Baghdad. Little is knownevery about what of waste went into that landfill before the war. During her went intoofthat landfill before war. hang During women America’s armedthe forces upher their deployment, was also also aa burn burn pit pit site. site.Through ThroughDAV’s DAV’s deployment, ititthe was uniforms for last time and many are not even successful legislative efforts in 2009 and 2010, Congress successful legislative efforts in 2009 andearned. 2010, Congress remotely aware of the they’ve There’s agreed exposure tobenefi burnts pits’ fumes anddebris debris agreed that that exposure to burn pits’ fumes and no all-encompassing list provided by the Department was toxic and harmful to service members exposed was toxic and harmful to service members exposed toto them. Multiple casesorof ofa veterans veterans becoming and even of Veterans Affairs respective state where a even them. Multiple cases becoming illilland dying because of exposure have been reported in DAV veteran residesofthat spells have out what ts the dying because exposure beenbenefi reported in DAV Magazine over the past decade. Magazine the for past veteran isover eligible ordecade. how to access them. When home, Russell’s Russell’s oncologist oncologistbrought brought When returning returning home, up an eye-opening study. Plastic disposablewater waterbottles bottles This where DAV can Plastic help. disposable up an is eye-opening study. that used on aa massive massive scale scale inin Iraq Iraqfor forall allU.S. U.S. that were were used on DAV offices and representatives can be found in personnel chemicals such as as bisphenol bisphenol (BPA), personnel contain contain chemicals such AA(BPA), every can state. We know federal and state benefi ts which become verywhat harmful when exposed tointense intense which very harmful when exposed to veterans have earned and, more importantly, we know or heat over over periods periods of oftime. time.InInIraq, Iraq, or even moderate heat pallets water are stored and moved around thecountry country how toofaccess those benefi ts.moved DAV mobile service pallets stored and around the for before being being consumed, consumed,usually usuallyleft leftinin for days or weeks before intense direct sunlight. sunlight. intense heat and direct

Dr. Dr. T. T. Danielle Danielle Russell Russell is is proud proud of of her her Air Air Force Force service. service. After After she she Dr. T. Danielle Russell proud of for her her Air Force service. After she returned home, DAV there when developed cancer. returned home, DAViswas was there for her when she she developed cancer. returned home, DAV was there for her when she developed cancer.

According to Johns Hopkins University researcher, According to chemicals Johns Hopkins researcher, Dr. Rolf Halden, calledUniversity phthalates are sometimes Dr. Rolf Halden, chemicals called phthalates are sometimes added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle. “Phthalates are environmental contaminants that are environmental can“Phthalates exhibit hormone-like behaviorcontaminants by acting as that endocrine can exhibit hormone-like behavior by endocrine disrupters in humans and animals,” acting Haldenassaid. “If you disrupters in humans animals,” Halden said. “If of you heat up plastics, youand could increase the leaching heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food.” phthalates from the containers into water and food.” One of the most common effects is cancer, especially One of the most common effects is cancer, especially breast cancer. offi ces cancer. travel all over the country to provide benefits breast After Michelotti interviewed Russell, it became counseling and claims assistance to veterans who After Michelotti interviewed Russell, it became apparent to him the VA’s denial in 2013 was flawed. Russell can’t come to us. apparent to him the VA’s denial in 2013 was flawed. Russell turnedout outtotohave havenonohistory historyofofcancer cancer family. She turned in in herher family. She Finally, DAV has partnered with RecruitMilitary, had not inherited this terrible disease; the denial was based had not inherited this terrible disease; the denial was based which is an organization dedicated to matching on an inaccurate assumption. on an inaccurate assumption. veterans to employers who are seeking veteran talent. January2016, 2016,they theysubmitted submitted new documentation InInJanuary new documentation DAV is sponsoring 60-75 veteran career fairs per year showing cancer metastasized to Russell’s lungs. A few showing cancer metastasized to Russell’s lungs. A few days later, theVA VA granted 100-percent service connection to help veterans and their 100-percent families find meaningful and days later, the granted service connection forlling bilateral breastcancer. cancer.The TheVAVA also granted service fulfi employment. for bilateral breast also granted service connectionfor forlung lungcancer canceratat100 100 percent. connection percent. If you’re a veteran who has questions about “Iam amgrateful grateful thatDAV DAVwas was there with through that there with meme through benefi“Its earned through service, visit to this,”she shecontinued. continued.“Mr. “Mr.Michelotti Michelotti a bulldog. argued this,” is is a bulldog. HeHe argued find a service showing office in your area. after If youregulation. or someone relentlessly, regulation wellrelentlessly, showing regulation after regulation. SoSo wellyou know isknows a veteran or ains transitioning service trained, he knows theins and outs. I don’t want think trained, he allallthe and outs. I don’t want to to think wherewe’d we’d bewithout without DAV’s help.” member andbe are looking for employment outside where DAV’s help.” the military gates, go tofrom youare aresuffering suffering fromananillness illness injury that may If Ifyou oror injury that may bebe employment-resources/. connected don’t hesitate to to contact connectedtotoyour yourmilitary militaryservice, service, don’t hesitate contact yourlocal localDAV DAVNational NationalService ServiceOfficer Officer your at at find-your-local-office. find-your-local-office. DAV.ORG/veterans/employment-resources


CeCe Mazyck

I AM A VETERAN AND THIS IS MY VICTORY. “My victory was finishing my education.” After 38 jumps, CeCe was injured in a parachute accident. Her veterans benefits allowed her to follow her dream and earn a degree. Every year, DAV helps more than a million veterans of all generations—connecting them to the health, disability, and education benefits they’ve earned. Help support more victories for veterans. Go to Summer 2016 DEFENSE STANDARD 71

A paratrooper conducts a parachute landing fall during airborne operations as part of Exercise Saber Junction 16 near Grafenwoehr, Germany.


PHOTO: Gertrud Zach


A U.S. Army paratrooper participates in training operations with Italian and British paratroopers during Saber Junction 16 near Hohenfels, Germany.


PHOTO: Sgt. Kenneth D. Reed


Airmen pull a C-130 Hercules during a competition at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The airmen are assigned to the 374th Maintenance Operations Flight.


PHOTO: Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez


Army Capt. Zakary Long jumps out of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter into Victory Pond during a helocast event as part of the Best Ranger Competition at Fort Benning, Ga.


PHOTO: Senior Airman Colville McFee


Air Force Capt. Daniel Stancin applies face paint during survival, evasion, resistance and escape training at Yokota Air Base, Japan.


PHOTO: Senior Airman Delano Scott


A Marine Corps recruit practices the forward thrust technique during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program session at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. The recruit is assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.

PHOTO:â&#x20AC;&#x2026;Lance Cpl. Angelica I. Annastas 82 DEFENSE STANDARD Summer 2016

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DEFENSE STANDARD 2016 Summer Edition  


DEFENSE STANDARD 2016 Summer Edition