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Warrior Leader Rear Adm. Sean A. Pybus www.SOTECH-kmi.com

Commander Naval Special Warfare Command

Night Vision Review O Jordanian Center IED Detection/Defeat O Tactical Comms Systems

July 2012

Volume 10, Issue 5


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Special Operations Technology

July 2012 Volume 10 • Issue 5

Features

Cover / Q&A Tactical Comms Systems The adage that knowledge is power is especially true for warfighters, who must have accurate, up-to-the-second information on enemy locations, plans, movements, armament and more. Mobile communications can provide the winning edge. By Henry Canaday

4 IED Detection/Defeat Take a close look at the best, most advanced means of countering the number one killer of U.S. and coalition forces: the roadside bomb. By William Murray

16 Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus

10

Commander Naval Special Warfare Command

Special Section Night Vision We look at the newest hardware that allows special operators to own the night and stay ahead of an enemy that also is acquiring night vision capabilities. By Peter Buxbaum

Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 3 Whispers/People

19

14 Black Watch 27 Resource Center King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center

25

This state-of-the-art center in Jordan provides the ultimate for special operations warriors from around the world to hone their skills and demonstrate their extreme proficiency. The center recently hosted the 4th Annual Warrior Competition, where SOF from across the globe tested their mettle. By Jeff McKaughan

Industry Interview

28 Richard Cheek, DSL Director Business Development Deployed Resources


Special Operations Technology Volume 10, Issue 5 • July 2012

World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine Editorial Editor Dave Ahearn davea@kmimediagroup.com Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly harrisond@kmimediagroup.com Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis laurad@kmimediagroup.com Copy Editor Laural Hobbes lauralh@kmimediagroup.com Correspondents Christian Bourge • Peter Buxbaum Henry Canaday • Jeff Goldman • William Murray Leslie Shaver

Art & Design Art Director Jennifer Owers jennifero@kmimediagroup.com Senior Graphic Designer Jittima Saiwongnuan jittimas@kmimediagroup.com Graphic Designers Amanda Kirsch amandak@kmimediagroup.com Scott Morris scottm@kmimediagroup.com Kailey Waring kaileyw@kmimediagroup.com

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KMI Media Group Publisher Kirk Brown kirkb@kmimediagroup.com Chief Executive Officer Jack Kerrigan jack@kmimediagroup.com Chief Financial Officer Constance Kerrigan connik@kmimediagroup.com Executive Vice President David Leaf davidl@kmimediagroup.com Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan jeffm@kmimediagroup.com Controller Gigi Castro gcastro@kmimediagroup.com Operations Assistant Casandra Jones casandraj@kmimediagroup.com Trade Show Coordinator Holly Foster hollyf@kmimediagroup.com

EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE The latest congressional move to slash defense funding is both baffling and alarming: It would whack funds for a SOCOM program that lessens chances of combat operations—meaning the program actually helps to lessen military outlays. A third of the $251.6 million needed to support this work in fiscal year 2013 could be cut. Special Operations Technology asked Admiral Bill H. McRaven, SOCOM commander, if cutting spending for military information support operations (MISO) could result in SOCOM having to resort to using combat operations to attain U.S. goals. McRaven’s thoughtful and compelling answer is instructive. “Frankly, I’m Dave Ahearn Editor concerned about that,” he said. But the cuts aren’t final, and there still is an opportunity for them to be abandoned on Capitol Hill in favor of full and adequate funding. “We are working [with members of Congress] on the Hill to explain to them … why information operations are important,” he said. “There is this belief that … we are somehow conducting … nefarious operations to influence people,” McRaven noted. “And frankly, that’s not the case. Military information operations are about the truth.” An important point here is that MISO efforts aren’t conceived and executed in a vacuum, he continued. Rather, MISO work dovetails with broader U.S. policy, especially diplomatic efforts. The critical point here is, if MISO is harmed and reduced, then the United States may have to use kinetic force. And that would mean special operators would be placed in harm’s way, perhaps needlessly. Lawmakers should think long and hard before cutting funds for MISO. Separately, McRaven was asked about reports that assistance was provided to film makers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, who are making a movie about the brilliant raid that took out September 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The trouble with those reports is, McRaven observed, no one from SOCOM spoke with the filmmakers. But what if they did? A movie about military success can provide priceless armed forces recruiting opportunities. And such assistance has gone to other films and TV series: Act of Valor, Strategic Air Command, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Victory at Sea and myriad others.

Operations, Circulation & Production Circulation & Marketing Administrator Duane Ebanks duanee@kmimediagroup.com Data Specialists Arielle Hill arielleh@kmimediagroup.com Tuesday Johnson tuesdayj@kmimediagroup.com Summer Walker summerw@kmimediagroup.com Raymer Villanueva raymerv@kmimediagroup.com Donisha Winston donishaw@kmimediagroup.com

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WHISPERS

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

SOCOM, State Department Work Together in Overseas Areas

SOCOM Receives Proposal for Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 General Dynamics Land Systems submitted its proposal for the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV 1.1) program. The proposal was delivered to SOCOM headquarters in Tampa, Fla. A sample vehicle in support of the bid was delivered on May 30. The vehicle was designed and developed primarily at the General Dynamics Land Systems-Force Protection facility in Ladson, S.C. The GDLS GMV 1.1 vehicle is optimized to increase operator and occupant protection and survivability. It meets the diverse and challenging missions that special operations demand, including transportability, mobility, modularity and technology. The GDLS GMV 1.1 is designed for internal fixed- and rotarywing transport with a center-mounted engine that provides optimal weight distribution on the ground and inside an aircraft. It is a mission-ready, high performance vehicle that can be driven off an aircraft ready for use. The vehicle’s modular technology is rapidly configurable for a variety of special operations missions and operating environments. General Dynamics Land Systems performed extensive testing over a two-year period to validate the vehicle’s design and performance. The vehicle passed user trials at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona and the Nevada Automotive Test Center, and demonstrated its systems reliability during summer trials in the United Arab Emirates. The GMV 1.1 program includes plans to acquire up to 1,300 vehicles for special operations missions with requirements for air transportability, weapons capabilities and high mobility. Contract award is expected by January, with production expected to begin in 2013 and ending mid-2020.

Special Operations Command and the State Department are working well together in emerging nations, Admiral Bill H. McRaven, SOCOM commander, said. This can include working with special operations forces of other nations, forging ties of trust in times of peace that can be critical if conflict erupts. SOCOM coordinates its actions in each nation with the U.S. diplomats that work there, McRaven said during a news conference at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla. As well, SOCOM builds relationships with special ops forces around the globe during events such as the Special Operations Forces Exhibition & Conference in Amman, Jordan.

Jordan Armed Forces Command and Control Center Activated Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) announced it has successfully completed its contract to provide command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) support to the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) Joint Special Operations Command (JSOCOM). As part of the two-year contract, SAIC designed and equipped a new command and control (C2) center, and integrated C4I system upgrades for JAF JSOCOM. “We are honored to be part of this very important milestone. SAIC’s C4I engineering and integration capabilities will enhance JAF JSOCOM’s mission effectiveness in theater,” said Tom Baybrook, president of SAIC’s Defense Solutions Group. These upgrades streamlined JSOCOM’s ability to control and communicate with military assets during field operations. The C2 center will be a central location for JAF JSOCOM command officers to meet and evaluate real-time events. His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein attended the official opening ceremony, where he viewed a practical application carried out by a Joint Special Operations unit through a live broadcast to the new center. He was also briefed on the center’s capabilities and given a tour of the facility.

PEOPLE Major General Bennet S. Sacolick, commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., was named director, force management and development, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Brigadier General Christopher K. Haas,

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commander, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, was named commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C. Brigadier General Sean P. Mulholland, deputy director of operations, J-3, U.S.

Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., was named commander, Special Operations Command South, U.S. Southern Command, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Brigadier General Edward M. Reeder Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces

Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C., was named commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C. Army Colonel Clayton M. Hutmacher has been nominated for the rank of brigadier general. Hutmacher is currently serving as commander, U.S. Army Special

Operations Aviation Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. Brigadier General Steven W. Duff, Army National Guard, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, N.C., was named chief of staff, Kosovo Force, Pristina, Kosovo.

SOTECH  10.5 | 3


Special operators gain a galaxy of vital information at the edge. By Henry Canaday, SOTECH Correspondent U.S. ground forces are moving toward communication networks that will connect headquarters, small units and even individual warfighters very flexibly. Voice, data, pictures, videos and locations will be shared as needed, in or near real time, for a much clearer picture of both friend and foe. That’s the destination, but there are challenges. For example, there are the issues of security and doing without the infrastructure that makes civilian networks so powerful. And the gear to do it all must be rugged enough for combat, affordable under tight budgets and light enough to move nimbly in the field. Vendors are working hard to meet all these tough requirements. Iridium now has 66 low-earth orbiting satellites that provide complete pole-to-pole coverage, noted Scott Scheimrief, vice president of Iridium’s government division. The satellites’ altitude, 475 nautical miles above the surface, reduces delays and enables lower power and smaller form factors for ground equipment, compared with the 20,000- to 25,000-mile altitude of other satellite systems. The transceiver is about the size of a postage stamp. Iridium launched the Distributed Tactical Communication System (DTCS) in 2009 to enable push-to-talk, point-to-point voice and data communication in Afghanistan. DCTS now supports 6,000 tactical radios there. The next phase of DTCS, expected to be completed toward the end of 2013, will take the system globally. Scheimrief said Iridium works closely with several hundred communication partners, including the major manufacturers of military radios, to ensure its satellite network will continue to interoperate with both current and future communication devices, including multimode devices and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) smartphones using Android operating systems. 4 | SOTECH 10.5

Harris CapRock provides end-to-end solutions for comms on the move and on handheld devices, explained Jim Tran, vice president of defense and federal solutions. “We do en-route planning for satellite communication on the move, from aircraft, helicopters and vehicles,” Tran said. “They want to put as much as possible on iPhones, and we have applications for these to provide secure voice and other data.” The aim is to make communication lighter and leaner. “For example, instead of a 12-meter satellite communication antenna, we have an 18-inch one that weighs 31 pounds,” Tran said. The firm’s compact terminal offers a lightweight, portable manpack satellite solution for government and military users deployed in remote areas of operation. The innovative, user-friendly terminal is designed for highly mobile incidental operators and easily connects to the company’s CommandAccess network. Setup and operation are simple, and communication is ensured in adverse conditions. The terminal has advanced cooling, auto-assist pointing using logical frontpanel display and an internal compass and GPS. Harris CapRock’s CommandAccess is the industry’s first military-grade commercial satellite subscription service designed for deployment in remote areas, according to the company. Developed to augment the Wideband Global Satellite (WGS) program, CommandAccess gives customers with portable and man-pack terminals two-way broadband subscription services at guaranteed speeds up to 1 megabyte per second. It is available by site or as a private network, and start-up time is minimal. The company is distinguished by its end-to-end approach and loyal customers. “We are very good at service,” Tran said. “They never have to ask twice for assistance.” He said his company provides 98 percent of African Command’s bandwidth and all Marine Corps reach-back. www.SOTECH-kmi.com


AR Modular RF makes amplifiers that extend the range of tactical radios, explained Chris Heavens, vice president and general manager. “All of these are moving toward networked devices, and we can amplify any wave form, such as ANW2 [an ad-hoc, self-forming, self-healing networking waveform] and SRW [Soldier Radio Waveform].” “Firms that make radios do not always make the best amplifiers,” Heavens noted. “And customers want choices.” AR’s KMW1031 is a man-portable, 20-watt amplifier that doubles the range of a 1-watt amplifier on the radio. The 50-watt AR-50 is used on vehicles and has a satellite communication antenna. AR will introduce a new version of its portable 20-watt amplifier, smaller and lighter, including a port for a satellite antenna. “The soldier can carry the satellite antenna across his shoulders,” Heavens explained. “Then he just turns a switch … to go from line of sight to satellite with the same radio.” AR’s new high-power AR-125 will be a 125-watt amplifier approved for use with Harris radios for satellite communication. L-3 Communication Systems has fielded more than 10,000 ROVER [Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver] 3, 4, 5 and 6 devices, noted George Hill, vice present of business development. ROVER 3 and 4 receive only, while 5 and 6 transmit and receive. The 4 version added a band to receive from the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle while the 5 made other improvements. ROVERs can work with any manned or unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform that uses standard frequencies and wave forms. L-3 uses industry standards and publishes

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these for other firms to work with. The most common use of ROVERs is for full motion video and the latest models receive 10.7 megabytes per second. L-3’s Soldier ISR Receiver (SIR) is a tactical ROVER, designed to integrate into modular soldier systems to provide secure digital and analog reception from a variety of ISR assets. The ROVER 6 is the most capable device but best suited for vehicle mounting. Dismounted soldiers prefer the ROVER 5 or SIR, Hill said. L-3’s Network-Tactical (Net-T) is an internet protocol-based, fullduplex, wireless communication architecture that provides networking service and collaboration to tactical-edge users. “You can use this software to network together lots of different sensors,” Hill said. “We will develop tactical ROVERs, including transmit and receive, in much smaller form factors,” Hill predicted. “Soldiers do not want more weight or more batteries. SIR uses the same batteries as Thales or Harris radios.” Communications can be as critical in helping special operators to prevail on the battlefield as weapons and body armor. Knowledge is power, and comms systems can provide warriors with access to a database explaining how something the combatants just encountered is a threat. Or a link to nearby warfighters can provide a warning that an enemy is massing in an area ahead. A key point here is that not all SATCOMs are created equal, according to Tony Janetta, chief technology officer with L-3 Communications GCS, maker of the Panther manpack satellite terminal used by SOCOM personnel.

8/23/11 1:52 PM

SOTECH  10.5 | 5


It’s one thing to link to a satellite, Janetta observed. But it’s another matter to be able to download large amounts of data, video or other items swiftly, thanks to sufficient bandwidth. “The basic advantage … of the Panther from a tactical perspective is the data rate is much higher than [combatants] are used to seeing,” Janetta explained. “I don’t know of any other system that can get megabits literally to a foxhole. Tac Sat clearly doesn’t have that kind of bandwidth.” And, of course, in combat, speed can be critical, enabling warriors to access critical knowledge, “so you can start looking at pulling down things like real-time video, other ISR-type” assets, Janetta noted. The Panther is a true tactical comms instrument because “it’s run from batteries and can be carried by a soldier,” Janetta observed, “whereas most of the other terminals are too large to really be considered tactical.” This capability provides warfighters with “voice access to the NIPR and SIPRNet,” or Secret Internet Protocol Router Network “and higher classified networks,” Janetta said. As well, “the Panther terminal is capable of operation on the existing … Ku-band network, and also capable of certified operation on the WGS” Wideband Global SATCOM satellite system, he concluded. It can provide voice, video, data, emails and more. There are some 4,000 terminals in the field now. Persistent Systems LLC adhered to the maxim that more knowledge is critical in combat. In creating its Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network (MANET), the company believes that the more people that receive the information, the better. “[Wave Relay] is a network for tactical use that provides more bandwidth and throughput for the dismounted and mounted operators,” said Persistent Systems Director Adrien Robenhymer. With many current military comms systems, there can be only one transmitting radio and one receiving radio in a given communication, while other personnel have no access to that transmission. With Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay, multiple personnel can simultaneously receive information from a single warrior, a UAV or a satellite dish at the same time. “It doesn’t require any servers or back end infrastructure,” Robenhymer said. “It can be used with as little as two nodes up to an unlimited number of nodes.” “Even better, the individual units carried by personnel automatically form this network that brings critical information to the tactical edge,” he explained. “With Wave Relay you can bring in the information and distribute it to everyone, so that if you only have one video from an ISR asset, with one receiver, you can now bring that into the network, and it becomes distributed to everyone that’s in the network. So it gives you … a force multiplier,” he continued. “Many special ops organizations are using the system,” he said. “The system also can go on unmanned platforms, either ground robots or aircraft,” he added. If a link from one node to another is disrupted, the Persistent Systems solution automatically reroutes through other units in the self-forming network mesh. “At any point, our routing technology picks the best route to all the different nodes in the network.” This system is scalable and affordable, since it can provide a force multipler effect, taking information from just one point and providing it to multiple personnel. “SOF has expensive radios and transceivers, but they may only have one of them,” Robenhymer said. “So when they bring it in to the 6 | SOTECH 10.5

network, everyone has that capability. They are getting a multiplication of that asset to all the different operators.” Thales is showcasing its Modular Universal Battery Charger (MUBC), a man-portable solution that simultaneously charges multiple battery types and reduces weight, size, cost, complexity, repair, maintenance and logistics support. MUBC charges a wide range of military batteries and can add new batteries through software upgrades. The unit weighs less than 6 pounds, is small enough to be carried in a rucksack and rugged enough to be vehicle-mounted. Combined with an identical unit, it doubles charging capability from a single power source. MUBC allows charging in heavy rain without cover or in other harsh environments and can harvest power from solar panels or scavenge it from batteries and other sources. Thales’s AN/PRC-148 Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Multiband Inter/Intra Team Radio (MBITR) JTRS Enhanced MBITR (JEM) hosts all core waveforms and enables integration of enhancements, additional modes of operation, future wideband waveforms and capabilities available through software downloads. Thales said JEM is the smallest, lightest and most power-efficient multi-band, tactical, handheld radio covering the 30- to 512 megahertz frequency range currently in use. Programmable cryptography supports the National Security Agency’s (NSA) crypto modernization program and is certified to protect confidentiality of voice and data through top secret. JEM enables interoperability with legacy systems and rapid fielding. Thales’s AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio, co-developed with General Dynamics C4 Systems, is a low-cost, lightweight, rugged, networking handheld radio with SRW, embedded encryption and GPS. In January, Rifleman demonstrated networked communications and situational awareness to improve mission effectiveness in an operational assessment by the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Rangers liked the size, weight and transmit range of the Rifleman, which typically provides battery life up to 10 hours and better communication despite obstacles such as buildings and rugged terrain. TrellisWare Technologies offers a family of software-defined mobile ad-hoc network (MANET) radio products that are used in a wide range of applications. Vice President of Wireless Systems Jeff Harris said almost all TrellisWare equipment is very small but gives a squad the same abilities that are available on commercial devices. “They can handle messages, voice, data, video and locations,” Harris said. “The military does not care what wave form is used, they care what applications are enabled. They do not want to carry four different devices.” TrellisWare provides an infrastructure-less network that does not need towers, WiFi access points or fixed repeater stations. “It’s true MANET; it needs no infrastructure,” Harris stressed. “There is no fixed point where all the data has to [enter and exit].” Harris acknowledged that “there is no such thing as a Swiss Army knife in communications. But we enable certain kinds of applications based on your mission. So the mission optimizes the network, rather than the network dictating the mission.” Harris said MANET success depends on focusing on three basic elements: waveform, input-output and the physical layer. TrellisWare can handle Ethernet or Bluetooth WiFi. “And if there are new kinds of input-output, we can add interfaces.” The solution is also highly scalable. Previously, ad-hoc networks were limited to 30 to 50 nodes, due to management issues. But TrellisWare’s approach allowed use by 215 radios in exercises in 2010. “I do not know what the ideal size is: 200, 400 or 1,000,” Harris said. “But it is good to have choices.” All TrellisWare devices are rugged and use advanced 256-bit encryption. www.SOTECH-kmi.com


Connections made simple. Whether connecting with a single unit deep in the field or a large contingent back at base, defense and intelligence operations need more from their communications solutions. More innovation to support new applications and changing missions. More cost-effective solutions to weather tightening budgets. Harris CapRock makes getting more from your communications simple. We believe every customer mission is a Harris CapRock mission. That’s why we take pride in pioneering the latest in military-specific communications. Offering X-band managed services, quick-deploy man-pack terminals and even Ultra-High Frequency-based solutions, we anticipate our clients’ needs. And as the world’s largest commercial buyer of satellite capacity we’re even helping to shape the design of next-generation spacecraft. Leveraging more than a dozen self-owned and -operated international teleports and customer support centers and a global backbone network with more than 80 convenient points-of-presence, we put it all together to deliver global communications you can always count on. Connecting your operations just doesn’t get easier than that.

www.harriscaprock.com

© 2012 Harris CapRock Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. De’Yonte Mosley/Released)(100429-A-6285M-020)

ReLiAbiLiT y NeveR ReACHed SO FAR ™


Harris said the military increasingly focuses on convergence of radio communication and ISR sensors. “Traditionally, they had different devices doing each, but if you can solve the network problem, you can do both on one device. Now you can use same device for voice and for pulling in sensor data.” TrellisWare has handled convergence for individual elements, for example linking with robots and relays. “Now they are doing experiments to see how this fits in with tactics, techniques and procedures, to see where they can do this,” Harris explained. What makes TrellisWare different? Harris said his company’s waveform, Tactical Scalable MANET, includes a very robust physical layer. The company began with signal processing in harsh environments, and looked at the data problem differently. Other firms sought more efficiency and faster data rates. TrellisWare focused on robustness that works in closed spaces. The result is a highly scalable networking layer, capable of transparently reconfiguring itself as users move around, whether on foot, in vehicles or in aircraft. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems Sector has two key systems for mobile network communication, according to John Stanfill, director of ground communication systems. These are the Vehicular Intercom System (VIS) and the Smart integrated Vehicle Area Network (SiVAN). VIS is now in about 100,000 Army vehicles, where its active noise protection enables occupants to function for hours amidst interior noise that can reach 115 decibels and would, without suppression, be hazardous over more than a few minutes. VIS permits occupants to set up separate networks, for example between commander and gunner or between driver and squad leader. “It can also communicate with a tactical radio network to the outside world at the press of a button,” Stanfill said. SiVAN moves data among work stations and sensors in the vehicle according to VICTORY requirements. With new-generation radios, SiVAN will also be able to export data to command and control stations outside the vehicle. “SiVAN is plug-and-play,” Stanfill stressed. “When a new device is plugged into it, a self-discovery capability will self-install the new device.” This plug-and-play function may enable commanders to install one set of sensors for daytime missions, and then easily change to a different set for night-time duty. Windmill International developed and manufactures the KA-10 Suitcase Portable Receive Suite, explained Laura Dion, vice president, Specialty Products Division. The KA-10 offers automatic-acquire and automatic-positioning in less than three minutes in a small, lightweight and rugged package. It accesses the Global Broadcast Service (GBS) and can receive information at 45 megabytes per second. According to Dion, the KA-10 can access a wide variety of data: unmanned aircraft system video and imagery; weather, terrain, geospatial and mapping information; forward-looking infrared images; streaming video, web content and other large files. It runs on batteries for 10 to 14 hours all week with a solar kit. The highly portable KA-10 thus brings command-center information to combat teams or individual warfighters, especially in the austere locations where information is needed most. Dion said competitive terminals weigh about 60 pounds and require more power than the 32-pound KA-10. Moreover, the GBS satellite system the KA-10 accesses is governmentowned and “users do not have to pay per bit as with commercial satellite systems.” KA-10 systems are popular with special operations forces because they are low-profile, lightweight and easy to set up, with no tools or loose parts necessary. The KA-10 requires no communication 8 | SOTECH 10.5

specialist to set up. About 100 KA-10 systems are being used in fixed locations in Afghanistan now, and Windmill has fielded over 200 commercially. Windmill also makes the Solar Panel Power Accessory Kit for the KA-10. This light and portable kit weighs less than 11 pounds and its panel provides 110 watts at 24-volt output. It can recharge a 2590-series battery in eight hours or two in 10 hours and automatically recharges up to two 2590-series batteries powering the KA-10. A smart system switches power from solar to battery and back for continuous operation. Provided the panel is exposed to direct sunlight for at least 10 out of every 36 hours, the kit will power an unattended KA-10 for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Development of the KA-10 started in 2001 and Windmill sold its first unit to the Air Force. Since then it has won a Warfighter Rapid Acquisition Award to develop the KA-10 into the KA-20, which will be even lighter, weighing less than 20 pounds. Dion said Windmill’s KA-20 Rucksack Portable Receive Suite has completed environmental testing and will be available for government purchase next fiscal year. The KA-20 is an even more compact version of the KA-10, but still enables rapid set up and short signal-acquisition time and has a simple user interface. Also built combat tough, the KA-20 is ideal for use in low-visibility or urban areas where satellite-dish technology is unsuitable. Windmill is working to bring both the KA-20 and KA-10 under a Program of Record. The firm is also developing a lightweight, two-way dish system for first responders using auto-acquisition, to be introduced in September 2012. For the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) Handheld Manpack Small Form Fit program, General Dynamics C4 Systems provides the AN/PRC-154 Rifleman Radio and the AN/PRC-155 Manpack Radio. These two networking programs of record completed operational testing at the Network Integration Exercise 12.2 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., at the end of May. The PRC-154 forms secure, mobile, wireless networks over which warfighters can talk, text message, chat and send pictures. Weighing just 2 pounds, including battery and antenna, the PRC-154 is 20 percent smaller than current tactical handheld radios. The PRC-154 was recently used by elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The PRC-155 is a two-channel networking radio that connects line-of-sight legacy radios and modern JTRS radios using government waveforms including Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). The PRC-155 can thus link dismounted soldiers at the tactical edge with commanders both at regional headquarters and around the world. Weighing 9 pounds without the battery, and handling two channels, the PRC-155 can replace up to three legacy radios. It supports five waveforms now and there are plans to add another six. General Dynamics Fortress Technologies offers a set of products for the new mesh networks on the battlefield. In wireless mesh networks, links between the wireless nodes are formed with little or no user intervention, and optimal paths carry data from any point to another. Mesh networks can also reroute around failed nodes as long as a path is available. And mesh can scale up to very large network sizes. “Today’s high-bandwidth mobile communications depend on a resilient extended network, coupled with security and optimized ruggedization for use in mission critical environments,” stressed Janet Kumpu, business unit director of Fortress. Fortress’s “highperforming mesh architecture is highly scalable and able to connect to hundreds of nodes.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com


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Fortress’s mesh products include the ES210 Tactical Mesh Point, which brings secure wireless communications to dismounted soldiers in a self-forming, self-healing, mesh network. The ES210 offers FIPS 140-2 compliant security and can be upgraded to NSA Suite B security. Worn by individuals or used with devices like cameras, unmanned vehicles and sensors, the ES210 is lightweight and delivers long battery life. Small and rugged, the ES210 has industry-leading radio range, delivers dependable performance and functions as both a wireless access point and bridge. The ES210 weighs just over two pounds, including battery, and is designed for a mean time between failure of 100,000 hours. Fortress’s larger ES520 Deployable Mesh Point provides secure voice, video and data communications for rapidly deployable kits and vehicle-based mesh networks. The ES520 delivers wireless communications in environments with no infrastructure through a selfforming, self-healing mesh network. Like the ES210, it has FIPS 140-2 security, upgradeable to NSA Suite B. Weighing less than 5 pounds, the ES520 can be mounted on walls or on masts. Fortress’s DS310 is a driverless PC plug-in card that delivers secure voice, video and data communications to users. A personal wireless or wired encryptor, the DS310 enables communication on the user’s own commercial off-the shelf device while users are on the move, up to Secret level. The 6-ounce DS310 can thus enable secure networks to stretch to tactical edges both efficiently and cost effectively by flexibly supporting COTS communication equipment. Rockwell Collins offers the TacNet Tactical Radio (TTR), a small form-factor Link 16 terminal. “Typically, users do not think of Link 16 for the individual soldier on the battlefield,” noted Tom Schamberger, principal marketing manager, Communications and Navigation Products, Rockwell Collins. “Link 16 used to be available only to large airborne and tactical fighter platforms or infrastructure-intensive ground stations. However, as Link 16 capability expands to non-traditional users, its operational utility grows. It remains the airborne data link which is jointly used across all services and available to coalition partners to provide a common operating picture. Soldiers need solutions that tie them directly to the platforms that provide them with close air support.” Rockwell’s TTR provides soldiers with access to the Link 16 network and the overall battlefield picture. It is small, light and requires no external cooling. It can fit and function inside a mobile ground vehicle, providing soldiers with direct access to the airborne network. “This enables command and control and coordinated fire power from airborne assets,” Schamberger said. Schamberger emphasizes TTR’s small size (182 cubic inches) light weight (10 pounds), and ability to function with no external fan cooling. With Ethernet interfaces it can interface with standard ground radios via gateways to the Link 16 network and vice versa. Rockwell is also delivering a sister product, TacNet Weapon Data Link, for air-to-ground weapons, which brings Link 16 digital capability to soldiers and enables them to direct weapons where needed as battle conditions change. Schamberger said Rockwell continues to miniaturize technology, embed more capabilities requested by users and reduce risks by exploiting commonality with certified and proven products in its communications portfolio. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at davea@kmimediagroup.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.

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SOTECH  10.5 | 9

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New anti-IED technologies emerge to counter cunning enemy.

By William Murray SOTECH Correspondent

security advisor in the George W. Bush White House, Crouch has Improvised explosive devices used by the Taliban in Afghanistan served in his QinetiQ position for nearly three years. may be less sophisticated than those used in Iraq, but vendors are Vendors working with U.S. military customers say there are sigcontinuing to meet a growing military need for lighter-weight and nificant differences between IED threats in Afghanistan and Iraq. In more mobile products and services to detect and destroy IEDs, which Afghanistan, one of these threats has “little to no metallic signature are responsible for a majority of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan and to detect,” Wald said. “They rely on simple pressure onto a wooden Iraq. U.S. military officials appear to be open to a variety of solutions plunger that detonates the device.” As the U.S. military becomes more from vendors. sophisticated in detecting and defeating IEDs, so do insurgents. “For With the remnants of a former military, the Iraqi resistance moveexample, the enemy is placing HME materials in a trash bag, then ment used IEDs that were sometimes triggered by infrared sensors, emplacing the package into a standard cooler and wrapping it in according to Mark Wald, vice president of business development for plastic in order to defeat some of our detection sensors,” Wald said. the National Security and Defense Division of Parsons Government “The IED threat between Iraq and Afghanistan is like comparing Services in Pasadena, Calif. In Iraq, IEDs have been primarily used as apples to oranges,” said Leon Ellul, training developer for a standalone insurgent threat, but in Afghanistan Tactical Electronics of Broken Arrow, Okla. “The Iraq IED the Taliban and other adversaries usually follow fight was mainly a military grade ordnance fight, meaning up on IED attacks with small arms fire or rocket the enemy modified large numbers of Iraqi military ordpropelled grenades, he said. nance into IEDs,” he said. An IED is a bomb fabricated in an improvised The insurgents’ roadside bombs clearly got the Penmanner using destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotagon’s attention, since JIEDDO, formally launched in technic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to February 2006, transformed what was initially a 12-perdestroy or incapacitate personnel or vehicles. An son Army homemade bomb task force into a 1,900 perIED is composed of a switch (activator), an initiator son organization that has spent more than $20 billion. (fuse), container (body), charge (explosive), and a JIEDDO’s job is to help quickly develop and fund ideas power source (battery). “Whether high tech or low Mark Wald for new technologies that could save military personnel tech,” Wald said, “These devices are deadly.” lives, although a Government Accountability Office report In fact, low tech measures have usually proven faulted JIEDDO officials for hiring too many contractors and not more effective at detecting and defeating IEDs before they cause harm, sufficiently measuring their performance. One of the organization’s according to published reports: trained dogs, local informants, and a challenges is that there are more than 100 anti-IED groups in DoD, trained Marine or soldier’s eye. No high tech tactic appears to have and it’s nearly impossible not to duplicate efforts. undisputedly emerged as a reliable means, in contrast, to consistently “With the exception of some high-end state-sponsored IEDs, detect and defeat IED attacks. Dogs that are trained to recognize fermeaning the explosively formed projectiles, the IED fight in Iraq was tilizer smells can help detect IEDs in Afghanistan, for example, since also focused on targeting U.S. personnel in the vehicles,” Ellul said. Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Some have also contended that the Iranian government is supplying officials estimate that 83 percent of IEDs used in Afghanistan are made IEDs to the Taliban in Afghanistan, but such assistance appears to be with calcium ammonium nitrate fertilizer smuggled in from Pakistan. limited, since most IEDs in Afghanistan are homemade, with most “There’s no silver bullet in the counter-IED fight,” said William fertilizer materials coming from Pakistan. Delaney, vice president of business development at Sierra Nevada “The IED threat in Afghanistan … is a fight focused on the soldier Corp., a Sparks, Nev.-based provider of electronic warfare and range that is dismounted on a foot patrol. The enemy uses IEDs to draw U.S. instrumentation services since 1983. “We think it’s evolving and forces into complex ambushes. Most of these IEDs are low tech and becoming more sophisticated,” he said, noting the use of radio-condifficult to detect and disarm,” Ellul said. “The difference from Iraq to trolled IEDs and the involvement of Iran in the Iraq theater. In some Afghanistan is that Iraq is somewhat of a modernized country with cases around the world, insurgents use initial IED attacks to distract, paved roadways, and soldiers were able to use large heavily armored disrupt and delay opposing forces, leading the way to further attacks vehicles to conduct C-IED [counter-IED] operations from a relatively to produce more casualties, destruction and fear. safe vehicle,” he added. “Afghanistan for the most part does not have a “There is no magic bullet,” echoed J.D. Crouch II, Ph.D., president highway system or roadways, which forces soldiers to get out of their of the Technology Solutions Group at QinetiQ North America in Resvehicles to conduct C-IED operations, placing them in a vulnerable ton, Va. “A layered defense is needed,” he said, adding that he thinks unprotected position.” the JIEDDO mission is “the right thing to do.” His company produces In addition to forensics investigation assistance to the U.S. milithe anti-IED Talon robot, with 3,000 units deployed in theater, with tary, Sierra Nevada provides electronic countermeasures to help take route-clearing missions being a top priority. A former deputy national 10 | SOTECH 10.5

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down bombers’ networks so that they are unable to finance their terror attacks and fulfill the logistics needs that such attacks usually require. Taking down IED networks is a major goal of JIEDDO’s Strategic Plan for 2012-2016. Sierra Nevada played a leading role rapidly developing and fielding the Air Force Gorgon Stare Wide-Area Airborne Persistent Surveillance program, which has become a leading tactical ISR capability for U.S. ground forces.  In the next phase of this successful program, Sierra Nevada will integrate processes of tracking algorithms from the ARGUS-IS [Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System]. ARGUS is a system of tools developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. One IED detection and defeat trend that Sierra Nevada officials are observing is the growing need for U.S. military operators to have standoff IED detection and the continued development of sophisticated countermeasures, according to Delaney. Since its 2005 founding, Thermal Matrix International has helped the U.S. military avoid the perils of the person-borne IED. Through infrared (IR) technology, Thermal Matrix’s technology helps operators with security needs detect the temperature of persons within a parameter of 50 to 100 meters so that the operator can have a better understanding of who within his parameter would be carrying a bomb, according to Chris Jadick, vice president of communications for Thermal Matrix International. Thermal Matrix’s system, designed for use by a single operator with setup in less than 10 minutes, can detect plastic, powder, liquid or gel explosives, which metal detectors do not reveal. Person-borne IED “attacks appear to be on the rise,” Jadick said. “It is the terrorist’s weapon of choice, [because] it’s relatively low cost, occasionally lethal, and insurgents can easily replicate it,” he said. “It’s an asymmetric attack: inexpensive, doesn’t require them to use a lot of human assets,” QinetiQ’s Crouch said. “IEDs can do a lot of damage, resulting in loss of life and psychological effects,” he said. “Terrorists will go to any length to achieve their objectives,” Jadick said. “Until we stop them, they will continue to do that.” An operator can carry the Thermal Matrix ACT Threat Detection System in an 18-pound rucksack, and operators need two or three days of training

to understand how to use it. In addition, operators can set up the IR sensor, the companion computer and a cable in about 10 minutes, according to Jadick. “Our ability to look out before a person can cause harm to the intended target” is a critical element of Thermal Matrix International’s value to the U.S. military, since the company’s services can help operators detect dangerous individuals before they can strike, Jadick said. “The feedback we’re getting [from operators] is that it’s easy to use and holding up extraordinarily well,” he said. Like Thermal Matrix International, Tactical Electronics officials are responding to a growing need for lightweight portable equipment for IED detection and defeat technologies, according to Ellul. “Most counter-IED operations taking place are dismounted foot patrols. A soldier can only carry so much equipment, food and water on his back,” he explained. “DoD has requested lighter and lighter equipment from the industry over the past few years.” Exelis Visual Information Systems, meanwhile, provides hyperspatial data to help U.S. military users with IED detection and defeat, according to Beau Legeer, vice president of product management at Exelis Visual Information Systems of Boulder, Colo., capitalizing on an increased demand for hyper-spatial imagery during the last 10 years. “Customers are looking to solve many problems using hyper-spatial imagery, including IED detection,” Legeer said. “We want to help them detect and solve their most complex problems,” including the need to form a common operating picture, working with many different types of sensors, such as drones, satellites and UAVs, he said. During a forensics investigation, for example, the firm can help operators and commanders better understand where an IED was placed, if it was buried, if it has any unique features and other key information, according to Legeer. The company has added new data types and technologies in recent years to help detect and defeat IEDs, and its application usually runs in the rear and moves to the front of a unit, as potential threats present themselves. Using technology that was commercialized in 1994, the company assists its military customers in coming up with a “signature analysis” for persons, animals and things, presenting the unique spatial

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SOTECH  10.5 | 11


properties such as body temperatures, contrasted against the natural background. “The algorithm is created in almost real time,” he said. Parsons provides the U.S. Army Counter Improvised Explosive Device–Defeat (CIED-D) training and training support to soldiers on 23 installations, specifically supporting the Army’s home station training in IED-D tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) employed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Parsons assists Army units as they plan their training scenarios and tailor IED-specific training aids and devices, simulators and simulations to support each Army unit’s overall training objectives. Parsons provides training support by setting up IED simulations that train and test unit IED-D skills using the most current TTPs (both friendly and enemy) while assisting the installation with the layout, operations and maintenance, and reset of home station training lanes that support IED-D live training. “Incorporating UAV and robotics into home station training programs ensures the units are proficient in their use and [cognizant of] their respective capabilities,” Parsons Wald said. “The increased use of route clearance patrols (RCPs) has located and removed many IEDs, which has undoubtedly saved numerous lives and increased our ability to maneuver in the battlespace. RCPs have the ability to detect and neutralize threats they encounter (staying left of the blast), clearing routes designated by the commander in order to facilitate freedom of movement of coalition forces. With the new and emerging technology, all patrols and units have increased IED detection and defeat capabilities.” Parsons’ Zeus Laser Neutralization System, usually positioned on top of a HMMWV, is capable of neutralizing IEDs through focusing a laser on the outer casing of the target munition. The laser heats the explosive filler until ignition, resulting in rapid combustion or deflagration of the explosive material, which disables the target munition, regardless of the type of fusing used. The low-order explosion that results leads to less collateral damage and protects explosive ordnance disposal personnel and equipment, according to Parson. The U.S. military has used the Zeus Laser Neutralization System for area and route clearance missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Zeus Laser Neutralization System completed missions on more than 2,000 miles of roadways during these deployments. In addition, Parsons claims a 98 percent success rate with its Zeus II system, with more than 2,200 ordnance items neutralized, according to T. Wilson, director of business development for Parsons Government Services’ National Security and Defense Division. The Zeus II functions well for operators in maintaining a secure parameter from 25 years to 300 yards away. “It’s affordable and uses less power,” he said. The Zeus system has been in development for more than 20 years. “The enemy has observed U.S. operations for many years now and is very adaptive to our operations,” Tactical Electronics’ Ellul said. His company has been in business for more than 13 years, providing wireless camera systems, EOD detection tools, and high level counter-IED training. The typical enemy in “Afghanistan uses simple materials and items we as Americans would not recognize as IED components—for example, the use of a simple AA battery core as a non-metallic IED firing contact. The use of extremely long command wires and nearly no metallic IEDs has proven to be a very difficult problem in locating and detecting IEDs in Afghanistan.” Tactical Electronics is deeply rooted in the counterterrorism field, and the firm is active in special operations and IED/weapons of mass destruction. “As a company, we have grown by maintaining strong relationships with the special operations forces and explosive ordnance disposal communities while continuing to foster 12 | SOTECH 10.5

relationships with first responders at the federal, state and local levels,” Ellul said. Just as insurgents can engage in innovations, so can organizations such as JIEDDO and contractors help U.S. operators test and deploy new technologies and approaches to detect and defeat IEDs. “There will always be innovation coming from the enemy. They are always looking for innovative ways—how to make the IED, how it explodes and how they are triggered,” QinetiQ’s Crouch said. “We rapidly innovate 80 percent solutions to give us better speed to the customer,” said Crouch. “The last 10 percent of engineering is usually 25 percent of the cost,” and can lead to deployment delays, he added. Putting new technologies and approaches in the hands of operators, such as robots that weigh less than 10 pounds, allows those users to test the anti-IED technologies. “If you’re going to deploy smaller forces, it doesn’t make sense to deploy technologies that involve a lot of time and cost.” In one initiative with anti-IED applications, QinetiQ had supplied Bobcat loaders to the U.S. military and converted them into unmanned vehicles. Another potential example of innovation could be the Lockheed Martin-supplied Squad Mission Support System (SMSS), deployed in Afghanistan by the U.S. Army Rapid Equipping Force, but the convoy vehicle took more than a decade to develop. The largest autonomous vehicle deployed with infantry, the SMSS has the promise of reducing soldier loads. The 11-foot long unmanned ground vehicle can haul a half-ton worth of soldiers’ gear, according to Lockheed Martin’s Craig Vanbebber. The SMSS Block I variant has a range of 125 miles and features three control options: supervised autonomy, teleoperation or manually driven. The SMSS sensor suite allows it to lock on and follow any person by recognizing their digital 3-D profile (captured by the onboard sensors), and it can also navigate terrain on its own by following a trail of GPS waypoints. The Army can transport the SMSS with CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters, and the SMSS can also supply portable power. The Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment Spiral G plans to conduct further tests on the SMSS in November. IEDs are clearly not a challenge restricted to Afghanistan and Iraq. Officials have noted that 2011 IED attacks in Kenya, Nigeria and Somalia conducted by al-Qaida-affiliated groups have shown an increased sophistication, including trying to create greater force through an explosion to penetrate armor. According to JIEDDO’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, between January 2011 and November 2011, IEDs killed 12,286 people in 6,832 bombing incidents in 111 countries. Of those, 28 people died in 490 incidents inside U.S. borders, according to the plan. IED use has expanded to Norway, Thailand and the United States in incidents such as the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in 1995 and the failed Times Square bombing in May 2010. It would be easy, if one focused exclusively on news reports about coalition casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, to think that U.S. military forces weren’t making progress in detecting and defeating IEDs. “You normally only hear of the IEDs that are effective against coalition forces, and you don’t hear about the ones that are found and safely removed,” Parsons’ Wald said. “Units are becoming more involved in the entire process, in large measure due to the frequency of unit deployments over the past decade, creating a better understanding of how to detect IEDs, where to look, and what to anticipate.” U.S. military forces are adopting different approaches in Afghanistan and Iraq. “In Iraq, IED detection is focused on change-in-yourwww.SOTECH-kmi.com


environment detection, observing what has changed in the area which potentially reveals where IEDs could be located,” Wald said. This would seem to play into the strengths of UAVs as sensors that collect data and note changes in areas of focus. “In Afghanistan, change detection in the environment is not the biggest factor. Soldiers quickly acclimate to their area of operations and become familiar with the terrain, but understanding of the enemy, their strengths, weaknesses and tactics is more important in detecting and countering the IED threat,” Wald said. “Soldiers who have multiple deployment experience are ensuring those that don’t are well trained, alert, observant and take the initiative when countering the IED threat.” In Afghanistan, military personnel training is clearly a key issue in defeating IEDs, and there are distinct differences in approach between Afghanistan and Iraq. “The threat is ever evolving and changes between areas of operations (AO),” Wald said. “What we see as the norm in one AO may be totally different than what we see in another, from the composition to the method of initiation of the device. We use current threat TTPs in our training using information from sources such as: Center of Army Lessons Learned, Real-time Analysis and Publishing of IED Data, and first-hand information from the soldiers to enhance our training, making it as current as possible while tailoring it to the unit’s specific mission,” he said. “We use both current theaters of operations and areas where emerging threats and TTPs are being used. Working closely with CI2C [Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Integration Cell] and

unit leadership, Parsons C-IED defeat professionals assist units by clarifying the FORSCOM [Forces Command] task units include in their training plans,” Wald said. “We are staying engaged with Fort Leonard Wood’s IED Defeat Directorate as well, and share lessons learned, the most current TTPs, and the experiences of soldiers and units returning from theater. We assist the commanders [in developing] training scenarios in an effort to allow them how to accomplish their mission while operating in an IED environment. We research changes to TTPs, equipment, new training requirements, training aids, any other information we can use to improve their training.” Regardless of technological advances or contractor contributions, defeating IEDs comes down to well-trained soldiers and Marines, according to Wald. “Whatever tactics, techniques and procedures, or advanced technology is used today, it still comes down to the individual soldier’s ability to detect the device,” Wald said. “A soldier that is well trained on target detection and IED-D is our last line of defense left of the blast. The upgrades of our weapons platforms, detection equipment (employment and use), and personnel protective equipment have saved countless lives.” O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at davea@kmimediagroup.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.

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SOTECH  10.5 | 13


BLACK WATCH

What’s Hot in Special Operations Gear

New Riflescope Built for Shooting Speed and Versatility Leupold Designed by Leupold’s Tactical Optics Division for optimal versatility and efficient performance, the Mark 6 3-18x44 mm M5B2 riflescope comes in a small, light package well-suited to military, law enforcement and competitive shooting applications. Less than 12 inches long, the scope has a powerful 6x zoom range that provides an expansive field of view and rapid target acquisition at lower magnifications, as well as long-range target engagement at higher powers. Reticle options include the new CMR-W 7.62, which enables both speed and long-range precision for shooters using 7.62 carbines and other battle/ patrol rifles. The Mark 6 3-18x44 mm riflescope also features new M5B2 adjustments: • • •

0.1 mil-per-click elevation adjustments (M5) that allows for easy and precise corrections Auto-locking pinch and turn (B) to eliminate accidental movement in the field Two-turn (2) zero stop elevation dial with a tactile revolution indicator, providing 20 mils of travel (10 mils per revolution) while eliminating under- or over-rotation of the dial

“Our new Mark 6 3-18x44 mm riflescope sets a new benchmark for size and performance. It’s all about smaller, lighter, faster with this scope,” said Kevin Trepa, vice president, tactical division for Leupold & Stevens Inc. Other key features: • •

• •

Leupold’s Xtended Twilight Lens System delivers superior light transmission and edge-to-edge image clarity throughout the entire zoom range; DiamondCoat 2 further enhances light transmission and provides scratch resistance that exceeds mil-specs Quick-change bullet drop compensation rings allow the scope to be matched to virtually any ammunition for long-range shooting precision Locking fast-focus eyepiece Rugged 34 mm maintube creates more than 28 milliradians of total elevation adjustment

In addition to the CMR-W reticle, the Horus H-58 reticle is available as an option. Mark 6 3-18x44 mm riflescopes have a matte black finish and are filled with an Argon/Krypton gas blend, making them secondgeneration waterproof, fog proof and shock proof. Covered by the Leupold Mark 4 Warranty, the scopes undergo arduous environmental and impact testing to ensure they meet the highest quality standards for durability and dependability. 

Small and light: 11.9 inches long; weight is 23.6 ounces Wide field of view (linear): 36.8 feet (3x)—6.3 feet (18x) at 100 yards

Guided Rocket Performs Well in Testing BAE Systems The BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) scored its first-ever penetrating guided-rocket shots with the M282 warhead during recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., the company announced. Army and Navy representatives deemed the shots successful. APKWS can engage targets at close range and penetrate complex targets, according to the company. “This weapon, now deployed in Afghanistan, continues to prove it is a precise, rapid-fire missile system, available at one-third of the cost and one-third of the weight of the existing inventory of laser-guided weapons,” said John Watkins, director of precision guidance solutions for BAE Systems. “These tests demonstrated APKWS’ ability to hit targets at close range and penetrate complex targets in urban terrain, which is vital when supporting troops on the ground.” Using inert M282 warheads with unmodified flight software, APKWS engaged six targets 14 | SOTECH 10.5

from airborne helicopters at ranges of 1.5 to 4 kilometers. All six shots hit the target less than two meters from the laser spot. During two live warhead ground shots, APKWS rockets with the M282 warheads penetrated a triple brick wall and an M114 armored personnel carrier. Using standard M151 warheads, APKWS engaged targets from airborne helicopters at ranges of 1.1 and 1.2 kilometers. APKWS engaged four additional targets with M151 warheads at various ranges and off-axis angles from 0 to 14 degrees. All six APKWS shots with M151 warheads hit the target less than 2 meters from the laser spot. Based on these results, the system’s off-axis performance was verified and its short-range performance expanded from the threshold specification of 1.5 kilometers down to 1.1 kilometers. The weapon was fired for the first time in combat operations in Afghanistan from AH-1W and UH-1Y helicopters supporting U.S. Marine

Corps ground forces in March. The system’s semi-active laser guidance section integrates with existing 2.75-inch (70 mm) rocket motors and warheads to provide precision engagement of soft and lightly armored targets and very low collateral damage. This highly-precise, cost-effective weapon system can be fired from any helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft that can launch 2.75-inch rockets. BAE Systems fired its first APKWS from a fixed wing aircraft, a Hawker Beechcraft AT-6C, in January. APKWS is qualified on the AH-1W and UH-1Y helicopters, and BAE Systems anticipates that the U.S. military will expand its use to other platforms, including the MQ-8B Fire Scout and the armed MH-60B. Special operations units use many of these aircraft. APKWS was fired against both stationary and moving targets prior to operational use in theater. www.SOTECH-kmi.com


Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Thermal Device Weapon Sight Simulator Launched American Technologies Network American Technologies Network launched an interactive thermal device simulator for its Thor thermal weapon scopes, available for use on the ATN website. The idea for the thermal device simulator was propelled by the 2012 Shot Show and was the brain child of ATN’s technology and product guru, Scott Henry, who wanted the ability to demonstrate the Thor weapon sight beyond the confines of the show. He envisioned something that could be viewed online, while portable enough for dealers to install or link from their own websites. The simulator allows anyone to try out the Thor weapon sight on their own computer or iPad. Future plans for the simulator include various Android devices and smartphone applications that will be available to stores that sell ATN products. Marc Vayn, ATN’s CEO, has called the simulator and its future models a cutting edge sales tool that, until now, has not existed within the industry.

Fused Reality Sim System Provides Safe Training Systems Technology Inc. Systems Technology Inc. (STI) released Fused Reality, a mixed reality visual system providing fusion of augmented reality, virtualized training, haptics and gesture technologies. Fused Reality bridges the gap between the physical world and a custom virtual environment used for cabin crew training, portable gun training, ground vehicle training, in-flight training/ evaluation and other military training and evaluation environments. STI launched Fused Reality publicly following a successful in-flight simulation evaluation system recently tested by pilots from the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and NASA Dryden Flight Research Center. “We are very excited to be able to offer the U.S. armed forces a more technologically advanced alternative in military and in-flight training without risking the safety of the pilot and disruption of the aircraft vehicle or surrounding ecosystem,” said David R. Landon, STI CEO. “The Fused Reality technology has proven to be a game-changer with its advanced engineering and deployment of one of the most disruptive technologies offered to the military and aerospace industry, all at a

Foldable Combat Litter QinetiQ North America QinetiQ North America is developing a lightweight, compact, foldable personnel litter for tactical casualty evacuation. Weighing only 8 pounds, the litter is a substantial improvement in portability. It folds to a compact package with dimensions of 18.6 by 8.7 by 3.5 inches and can be carried in a rucksack. These dimensions are half the folded volume of existing designs. Folding out to a full 78 by 22.7 by 6.5 inch litter, the lift has a design payload of 900 pounds. This QinetiQ North America innovation has rapid folding and unfolding easy-to-lock hinges for quick deployment and efficient storage. 

very significant cost savings over currently fielded systems.” The Fused Reality technology can be used with equal effect in both ground based simulation and in-flight. While airborne, the Fused Reality system allows pilots to perform difficult and risky flight maneuvers such as aerial refueling with a refueling tanker, close formation flying, precision offset landing, and more. By utilizing this innovative technology, pilots can perform operational tasks in a safe environment, since the other aircraft and/or the physical environment is simulated. In addition, the system is more cost effective as there is no need to fly additional aircraft for the in-flight evaluation mission and multiple tasks can be performed during a single sortie. Fused Realty is a flexible and extensive system that can be used and adapted to any training scenario. From mechanics to medics, from pilots to ground crew, the technology has the power to increase the effectiveness of any training scenario. New applications in development for Fused Reality include ambulance interior simulators, In-flight refueling simulators and motorcycle simulators, amongst other industry initiatives.

Gun Pod Being Introduced for Close Air Support Dillon Aero Dillon Aero is introducing a new, one-of-a-kind minigun pod specifically designed for use on small fixed wing aircraft, such as the Embraer Tucano or Hawker Beechcraft AT-6, and rotorcraft that fly close-air support missions. Engineering development will continue through 2013. Customer deliveries are slated to begin in 2014. The minigun pod is easily installed with minimum integration required. Other key features and capabilities include: • • • • • •

3,000 rounds per minute 7.62 mm NATO ammo 100 percent self-contained gun, unit, magazine and battery power Mounts on standard 14-inch NATO rack Integral bore sight adjustment Estimated total weight is 190 kg (380 pounds fully loaded)

“Dillon miniguns are known for their ability to achieve more bullets on target and are a more effective alternative to .50 caliber gun pods,” said company Vice President Chris Dillon. “The new minigun pod offers this capability to more operators.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com

SOTECH  10.5 | 15


Warrior Leader

Q& A

Special Ops Quality is High, Set to Improve Further in Coming Decade

Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus Commander Naval Special Warfare Command

Rear Admiral Sean A. Pybus assumed command of Naval Special Warfare Command on June 30, 2011. He is a career Naval Special Warfare (NSW) SEAL officer with multiple joint special operations duty assignments. He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and received a regular Navy commission through Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps. Pybus has served in SEAL, underwater demolition, special boat, and SEAL Delivery Vehicle tours within NSW, and has held operations positions at Joint Special Operations Command and Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Command tours include units in Panama, Germany and Bahrain, as well as duty as commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 1, San Diego. As a flag officer, he has served as J-3, Center for Special Operations, SOCOM, 2007-2009. He reported to Naval Special Warfare Command from his previous assignment as commander, Special Operations Command Pacific. He has participated in special operations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2), Legion of Merit (2), Meritorious Service Medal (3), and various other awards. He is also a 1998 Distinguished Graduate of the Naval War College with a master’s degree in strategic studies. Q: How has your first year in command been? A: We have an experienced, capable team at NSW headquarters. Among the force, the quality of our commodores and commanding officers has never been better, and the same goes for our senior enlisted advisors. Our operational elements continue to excel in their missions in Central Asia and around the world. Enablers such as electricians, logisticians, cryptologists and intelligence analysts are some of the best the Navy has to offer. So, the quality and performance of NSW has made it easy for me to represent this force in 2011 and 2012. We’ve made process adjustments to reduce uncertainty and anxiety, such as firming up deployment lengths; issuing PCS [permanent change of station] orders sooner; and communicating with the force and families more frequently. These measures have been well received by the community, and I 16 | SOTECH 10.5

feel good about where we are and where we’re going. On the other hand, we’ve grieved for 24 men who gave their lives on deployments over the past year. We experienced the largest-ever loss of SOF operators in one event on August 6, 2011 [when a CH-47 Chinook was shot down]. Stress and fatigue have to be monitored closely after so many deployments. But I’ve never been more proud of NSW, the way our people step forward for their teammates, families and the families of the fallen. Then they re-focus on their missions. The bottom line for me, there is no place I’d rather have been the past year than right here, representing NSW. Q: How is NSW different today than 10 years ago, pre-9/11? A: When then-Rear Admiral Eric Olson commanded NSW in 2000, he changed our deployment paradigm from SEAL platoons to an NSW squadron model, with organic C2 and enablers organized under SEAL O-5 leadership. This was prescient. Soon after 9/11, NSW was sending versatile, capable NSW squadrons forward quickly to meet or deter the al-Qaida threat. We’ve retained this effective model over the past decade. However, the selection, depth and quality of pre-deployment training has improved dramatically. The level of experience throughout the force today www.SOTECH-kmi.com


also has increased our mission readiness and effectiveness. There is no question that today’s SEAL teams and our special warfare combatant-craft crewman [SWCC] detachments are much better prepared and more capable than 10 years ago. It helps, too, that NSW has always encouraged innovation and experimentation—I think this has accelerated changes in the force for the better. A prime example of this was the establishment of two support activity commands six years ago, with a primary mission to find and follow targets of interest in support of NSW squadrons fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. These commands are now providing exponential increases in capability for us by exploiting high-technology and deep analysis, and connecting that with more traditional SEAL finish skills. Ninety percent of NSW finish operations today are cued up by support activity cross-functional teams working with their assigned squadrons. We’re much more capable today than 10 years ago, and we’ve added modest capacity. But we haven’t changed who we are. And the quality of new operators coming from our training center is extremely high. All of this bodes well for the next decade. Q: How do you assess the future of undersea mobility for SEALs? A: Naval Special Warfare is the maritime component of SOCOM, and the special operations force of the Navy, so we’re uniquely obligated to always have the ability to conduct special operations on or under the water. Our current platforms and future

investments reflect this obligation. Although much of the force has been operating far inland for a number of years, NSW has kept its underwater skills sharp, and has maintained strong interoperability with the Navy’s submarine fleet. Our wet-boat SEAL delivery vehicles have been improved and should remain our workhorse platform into the 2020s. We and SOCOM remain very interested in dry-boat technology. Costs are prohibitive in new undersea systems, however, and funds are scarce in today’s tight fiscal environment, so we’re still in research and development, not procurement. But if movie director James Cameron can dive five miles into the Marianas Trench in a man-pod, I think technology is moving very fast, and will ultimately get less expensive. What I’m most excited about in the undersea SOF realm is a series of discussions that senior leaders of NSW and the submarine force are having, to consider what we want to be doing together 10-15 years from now. Agreement and commitment among community leaders will drive teaming and solutions at all levels, for future capability. Q: How about maritime SOF surface mobility—are you concerned about the age of your craft or the physical pounding that crews have endured on their missions? A: We are nearing SOCOM approval of a maritime mobility roadmap for NSW, which will focus on several lines of craft and capability, and stabilize our maritime mobility spend plan. This

THAT WAS THen. MobiliTy noW.

Roger. Troops are advancing by sea.

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is good news. Unfortunately, we’re several years late getting to this point. Our 80-foot MK-V patrol craft retire this year, and there are no craft ready to take their place. We’re just beginning a combatant craft-medium program that will deliver mission boats beginning three years from now. In the interim, NSW will use high-speed assault craft bought from an existing program to mitigate the MK-V loss and add multi-mission capability in selected deployment areas around the world. Rigid hull inflatable boats are still the mainstay of our deployed surface mobility, and their versatility, reliability and air delivery capability will keep them in the mix for many more years. As it regards the health of our combatant craft crewmen, we’re absolutely committed to using technology and designs that minimize pounding and g-forces in the cockpit or crew compartment. Human factors will be part of any selection criteria for craft we purchase, and we’ll upgrade shock absorption and performance in the craft we currently have to minimize adverse physical effects for our crews and troops. Our sports trainers and physiologists are also doing a great job preparing SWCCs for superior and sustainable physical service on our craft. Q: What other platforms or equipment would allow SEALs to more easily perform missions? A: ISR systems remain critically important for find-fix-finish and force protection. NSW elements are using the Aqua-Puma as our small, organic system and it performs well. But we lack a program of record for a medium UAV that can operate higher, longer and farther with multi-sensor payloads. Scan Eagle is a system we’re using year-to-year and sometimes under contract, and we really like its versatility and capability. In my opinion, it’s literally the bird in the hand that I want to turn into a program. Scan Eagle is a good expeditionary medium ISR system that can work from land or afloat, with a variety of ever-developing sensor payloads. I’m going to continue to advocate for proven systems like Scan Eagle that should be moved into a program line for funding. Q: Concerns have been expressed about fraying around the edges, after high op tempos for special operators over the past decade. What steps have you taken to help reduce stress on NSW and their families? A: Pressures and stresses in our SOF communities and their families are real. Recognition of this fact is the first step towards delivering better physical, mental and moral fitness for our warriors. NSW is strongly aligned with [SOCOM Commander Admiral Bill H.] McRaven’s priority to preserve our force and families, and we’re investing people, programs and facilities into our effort to keep SEALs, SWCCs and enablers totally fit and formidable for years to come. I mentioned previously several of the process changes we’ve made in NSW to bring more predictability to our men and women. We’re being very careful not to over-commit the force. Simultaneously, we’re working hard to make professional counselors available for those who could benefit from assistance. The Navy has given NSW more medical professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists, and additional chaplains are providing spiritual guidance. SOCOM is also supporting all of their components with care coalition liaisons and access to VA resources. In addition, NSW has a family support program with full-time employees to steer resiliency resources and information 18 | SOTECH 10.5

to our operational teams and their families. A password-protected family website keeps the community posted on important happenings and contacts. With Force Master Chief Stephen D. Link, I try to visit our geographic concentration areas several times a year to talk and listen to our members and their families. I think that frank and frequent discussion reduces anxiety, gives voice to particular issues that we can confront, and builds trust and strength. With all the work that lies ahead for NSW and SOF, it is imperative that we do everything we can to not only preserve our people, but enhance them for the long run. We’re going to continue to build resiliency and deliver assistance, and improve our people to do more, know more, and be healthier in mind and body. Q: We have seen lots of media attention focused on SEALs this past year. Could you give us your thoughts about this? A: I’m very proud of what NSW has accomplished, and I’m absolutely mindful that we don’t do anything by ourselves—other components and agencies and partners deserve much of the credit for operational successes. But the media has turned a bright spotlight onto the SEALs in particular, and in response, we’re trying to be polite and poised, but prefer to move back into the shadows. The opening of Act of Valor, a movie made to help Navy and NSW recruiting, came out recently, which added to the SEAL frenzy, and too many of our former operators are choosing to write books, raising our public profile even higher. It’s been a perfect storm of sorts for SEAL media exposure. In an effort to reduce our media profile, I’ve asked commanders to carefully consider each of their engagement opportunities, and do those that are necessary and proper, but step away from public events that may have little return for NSW. When Force Master Chief Link and I talk to our warriors, we remind them of their professional obligation to protect classified information, in and out of uniform. We talk about the vulnerability of our families, and how important the protection of personal data is to this community. My staff and I are riding out the media storm as best we can, and attempting to return to a lessvisible, quietly professional posture. Much of my concern with this SEAL fixation from the public is its effect on NSW’s relationships with our sister SOF components—I don’t want those relationships to suffer. NSW cannot be seen to devalue humility and secrecy within the SOF community—we must maintain the trust of our fellow joint warriors. But we must also understand that the nature of today’s communications environment has radically changed in coverage and complexity. I’m grateful to our public affairs staff that helps us work through these challenges in respectful and credible ways. Q: Do you have closing thoughts about NSW or command? A: I’d like to acknowledge my fellow component commanders at USASOC, AFSOC, MARSOC and JSOC, as well as their command teams, for the advice, assistance and camaraderie they share with NSW. It’s the highest privilege to serve in SOF with such leaders and organizations, and we want to pull our share of any requirements set before the joint SOF team. I also want to thank Admiral Bill and Mrs. Georgeann McRaven, and Command Sergeant Major Chris and Mrs. Lisa Faris, the SOCOM command team, for their leadership specifically directed towards preservation of the force and families. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com


Special Section

Rapid innovation means special operators own the night.

By Peter Buxbaum SOTECH Correspondent

The purpose of both of these capawarfighter's view to be transmitted to the U.S. forces, together with their indusbilities, said Wesley Motooka, president, rear for instant evaluations and subsequent try partners, must constantly enhance war integrated sensor systems at L-3 Commuanalysis. Improvements have also come in fighting capabilities in order to keep ahead nications, is to be “able to find potential the areas of size, weight and power, making of adversaries and potential foes. Back in threats, identify them positively, establish the equipment easier to carry and operate. the 1990s, the night vision capabilities of what their intent is, and provide informaToday’s night vision technologies provide the U.S. military were unmatched. U.S. tion for follow-up action.” warfighters with the ability to detect and forces were able to track and engage tarMost night vision devices provided to identify potential threats, regardless of gets after the sun went down, while the today’s special operators are image intenthe weather or environmental conditions, adversaries were unable to respond. Since sifying technologies that must use some helping to ensure they comthen, night vision equiplight source, according to Motooka. Howplete their missions and come ment has become increasever, thermal technologies are progressing home safely. ingly common among to the point where they too can be incorNight vision encompasses militaries and other armed porated into equipment toted by individual two capabilities and two techgroups around the world. warfighters. nologies. Electro-optical senThe ability of U.S. This is being brought about by sors—similar to the kind used forces to own the night enhanced performance of less-expensive, in commercial digital camwith night vision technoluncooled thermal devices. Until recently, eras—allow warfighters to ogies has been upgraded high-performance infrared detectors discern threats in lighted and in recent years to make required their own cooling apparatus to be low-light situations. Infrared sure that the good guys Clay Wild carried with them. These were expensive, sensors pick up the heat proare ahead of the game. bulky, and consumed a great deal of power, file emitted from the objects Advances in electro-optimaking them inappropriate for soldier sysbeing viewed and display images without cal (EO) and infrared (IR) technologies, tems. Uncooled systems were less expenthe aid of any light at all. and their early and rapid adoption by sive and easier on power, There are advantages and organizations such as Special Operations but also less sensitive. applications for the image Command, enable U.S. forces to identify, These infrared detecintensifying, or low-light, systrack and engage targets by day and night, tors are now being tems as well as the thermal, and in difficult environmental conditions, integrated with image or infrared, sensors, depending quicker and more accurately than ever intensifying night vision upon the mission. “Thermal before and in ways that shield warfighters products. “When you sensors are very good at detectfrom harm. Above all, these capabilities far combine the two you ing people or vehicles,” said outstrip anything that can be fielded by have the capability of Clay Wild, director of business U.S. adversaries. exacting more informadevelopment at Sofradir-EC. Recent innovations in night vision tion to find threats and “The contrast of a person or technology have included the fusion of Steve Shimer where they are hiding,” vehicle against the background electro-optical and infrared sensors to prosaid Motooka. is extremely high. But you can’t vide warfighters with enhanced data on “We typically break down these caparecognize a face or make out the details their surroundings and on potential tarbilities into refractive or reflective techor license plate or markings on a vehicle. gets. Today’s night vision goggles allow nologies,” said Steve Shimer, advanced Thermal and image intensification are information overlays to be transmitted systems manager for tactical solutions at complementary technologies.” to the eyepiece, as well as permitting the www.SOTECH-kmi.com

SOTECH  10.5 | 19


Special Section Ball Aerospace & Technology. Reflective capabilities refer to the visible or near-IR that requires external illumination, while refractive technologies, such as mid-wave and long-wave infrared, capture the natural heat emitted by bodies, vehicles and other objects. “Refractive technologies don’t need illumination and work similarly whether it is day or night,” said Shimer. “But if you want to see what a target really looks like, if you want to determine facial features, for example, you need to be working more in the visible than the IR light bands.” Chris Adams In the last few years, there has been a trend toward developing systems that fuse both capabilities. “Thermal night vision tubes were once analog devices and now have become digital,” said Chris Adams, president of Adams Industries. “That makes it possible to combine them with electro-optical sensors. It also enables data gathered by IR devices to be transmitted and stored. That is where everyone is headed right now.” Digital night vision applications have become more sensitive in recent years and have become more accepted by U.S. military forces. “They were originally eschewed by the military because they were not as sensitive as analog night vision tubes,” said Adams. “The advantage of digital is that you can transmit the data to a hard drive. There is still a loss in performance with the digital devices but they are catching up. The digital systems make up for that by being electronic.” At the same time, there have been improvements to the size, weight and power of night vision devices. “We have made our night vision goggles a little smaller and a little lighter and have made improvements to power consumption,” said Nick Bobay, vice president and general manager of the ITT Exelis night vision business area. Ball Aerospace’s night vision products are used on platforms such as the Predator drone for surveillance and targeting. Ball’s products fall in the visible, near-IR spectrum. 20 | SOTECH 10.5

The SENVG is designed to accommodate “Determining the intent of a potential enhancements for future network integratarget is a big thing,” said Shimer. “If tion.” someone is observed out there you just The SENVG was designed with feedcan't shoot him. You need to observe his back from soldiers, according to Bobay. actions to understand what he is doing. “We made them smaller and lighter and Once you determine he is a threat or has with a better interface to the helmet,” he hostile intent then you can take him out. said. “The fused image has a color display Surveillance mode is used to determine so the operator can see a more lifelike picintent. Once you determine hostile intent ture. In addition, the goggles can be conthe device can also be used for nected to the battlefield network so that targeting.” the operator can have color display overThe difference in the use of laid on top of the IR and image intensified night vision devices for surveilfused image. The goggles can also import lance or targeting is a question of video footage from the network so that the accuracy. “It has to be much more soldier can have a display in front of him.” accurate when it is tied to a weapNetwork connectivity also allows input ons system,” said Shimer. from a shot detector to be displayed inside The U.S. Army recently qualithe goggles, so the solider doesn’t have fied an ITT Exelis goggle that to remove the goggle and look at another allows soldiers to detect and idendevice. “All of this provides warfighters tify potential threats while mainwith increased lethality and survivability,” taining a secure position in various said Bobay. environmental conditions during nightThe SENVG also uses less power. “This time missions. The Army awarded Execan save the Army $100 lis the first of two production million in battery costs options for the Spiral Enhanced alone,” said Bobay. “Less Night Vision Goggle (SENVG). batteries also mean less This contract award is valued at weight the soldier has to approximately $49.5 million for carry.” Exelis is also in over 3,800 units. the process of developThe SENVG contract is the ing applications to make follow-on iteration to the ENVG the display and solider contract first awarded to Exelis awareness better. in 2005. Since 2008, the comA major advancepany has delivered the majority Nick Bobay ment in visible, nearof the 9,000 ENVG goggles and IR spectrum technology is scheduled to complete delivhas been in the development of solid eries this summer. “Exelis was the first state detectors. Older image intensicompany to field sensor fused night vision fier technologies applied high voltage technology,” said Bobay. “The ENVGs have to incoming photons and projected given Army soldiers enhanced situational those emissions against a phosphorous awareness during challenging operations.” screen. The newer solid state technolSENVG features the company’s latest ogy using complementary metal-oxide night vision technology that fuses thersemiconductors cuts down on the noise— mal and light amplification. This system that is, the extraneous photon activity combines an image intensified tube and characteristic of the image intensifyinfrared micro-bolometer into a compact ing devices. The solid state devices have monocular that weighs less than 2 pounds. been in the market for around two years. “We have proved our sensor fused capa“This technology allows devices to work bility in the field, and we are ready to deliver with lower levels of light and it makes the next round of enhanced night vision the accuracy of the device better,” said goggles to the U.S. Army,” said Bobay. “The Shimer. night vision team leveraged our design In addition to enhancing the perforand manufacturing experience to create mance of night vision devices, compaa sensor fused goggle that provides the nies have also been working at making soldier with greater situational awareness them more rugged and efficient. Adams and improves command execution and Industries recently introduced a new night rapid decision-making on the battlefield. www.SOTECH-kmi.com


Special Section vision goggle called the Sentinel, which, made of solid aluminum, is lighter and tougher than its predecessors. The company has also introduced a new aviation mount for night vision goggles that can withstand significantly more abuse than previously, as well as ruggedized battery packs for the night vision equipment. “We can’t design these devices to be indestructible,” said Adams. “But we try to get as close as possible. That is almost as valuable to the warfighter as the technology itself. You can have the best technology in the world, but if the device breaks on the second day you may as well have left it at home.” The night vision products that Sofradir-EC supplies to the special operations community are add-on image intensifying and thermal components that can be integrated into standard Canon, Nokia, Panasonic, and other still and video photography equipment. “These allow users of photo equipment to adapt to nighttime conditions,” said Wild.

www.SOTECH-kmi.com

Sofradir-EC’s image intensifying components are integrated into commercially available photography equipment by controlling communications between the lens and the body of a digital camera. This method of night vision amplifies the available light to achieve better vision by focusing available light on the photo cathode of an image intensifier. This process energizes electrons on the cathode and they are then transmitted to a green phosphor screen. The energy of the electrons makes the phosphor glow and the image is displayed on the attached photographic camera or video device. Sofradir-EC’s primary product for the military night vision market is called AstroScope, which has been on the market for several years. The AstroScope is a 3.5-inch attachment that connects the camera body to the front lens. The adapter maintains continuity with lens functions such as zoom, image stabilization and focus. “So you’ve added a 3.5-inch device between the lens and the camera body but the other features of

the camera are maintained,” said Wild. “And, of course, you can operate in darkness.” Sofradir-EC upgrades AstroScope continually as camera manufacturers upgrade their capabilities. “AstroScope needs to integrate with existing … still and video cameras that are being used to gather intelligence,” said Wild. “Camera manufacturers are highly competitive and introduce upgrades to optics and reductions to size and power … on their cameras every year. We have to refresh the adapters so we can fit all of the digital SLR [single lens reflex] cameras as well as the video cameras. We maintain adapters that will fit all the camera bodies that are used in services. As DoD operators upgrade their cameras we have to make sure that we have the attachment so that they can embrace the night vision capabilities. We are trying to continue to upgrade AstroScope to [accommodate] combat cameramen and intelligence gatherers who need to record video and imagery at night.”

SOTECH  10.5 | 21


Special Section The AstroScope system relies on a Gen III Central Intensifier Unit (CIU) that produces bright green images that can be recorded by the attached host digital platform. The CIU improves low-light performance by eight to 10 F-stops. “We have upgraded the image intensification core as the core technologies have been upgraded,” said Wild, noting that Sofradir doesn’t manufacture the core technology. “We buy that and we have embraced the latest Generation 3 Pinnacle technology like that used in night vision goggles,” he said. An invisible infrared laser illuminator is also available as an accessory for capturing scenes in complete darkness. “The AstroScope system is the highest performance design available for night vision photography,” said Wild. “It requires no special setup, calibration, or operator training. AstroScope enables high-performance lenses to shoot full-frame images at distances beyond 1,000 meters.” The AstroScope night vision system is available for use on a variety of common professional and consumer camera plat-

forms such as Canon and Nikon digital SLR cameras, many Canon, Sony and Panasonic camcorders including HD models, as well as C-mount security cameras. The AstroScope can also be used as a handheld pocket scope for quick nighttime viewing. “We have come up with a pretty versatile system that installs in about three minutes and maintains all the capabilities of the lenses,” said Wild. “For those that have embraced it working in combat zones, [they] have given us rave reviews and have said terrific things about it. As the image intensification cores continue to improve we will integrate those into our products. We will adjust to any new camera technologies that are introduced each year. Camera manufacturers continue to evolve in capabilities and lens improvements; we will make sure we are compatible with those upgrades.” Night vision equipment is not limited to devices that allow warfighters to see in the dark. They also include products that allow them to be seen. These include active devices such as strobe lights and passive

devices such as reflective patches and panels worn by troops and applied to vehicles. “Strobe systems are placed on individuals or vehicles and broadcast a signal not visible to the human eye,” explained Steve Bronson, director of business development, Cejay Engineering. “Viewing the signal requires an infrared device which detects the heat signature of an object.” Passive markers include reflective materials in the flag patch worn on a soldier's shoulder or on the infrared reflective sheeting with which vehicles are equipped. “An infrared viewer detects the cool image conveyed by the reflective material,” said Bronson. There are a number of advantages to the use of reflective material on the battlefield, according to Bronson. “You need to give deploying troops quick and easy instructions,” he said. “It needs to be failure-proof and it needs to be supported in a number of different environments.” The system is also conducive to coalition operations. “Not all of our allies are

SYSTEMS IN THE NIGHT Aero Dynamix C-23 Sherpa Illuminated Cockpit Systems: NVIS-compatible edge lit panels, instrument overlays, internal instrument modifications, and external lighting View: A balanced cockpit optimized for both nighttime and daylight readability performance Shown: The NVG cockpit for the C-23 Sherpa Concept: Integrated night vision lighting solution

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Adams Industries Sentinel Night Vision Goggle Weight: 570 grams Dimensions: 11.5 cm L x 8 cm T x 10 cm W Effective Range (km): Dependent on image intensifier tube choice Wide Field of View: 40 degrees standard; 50 degrees WFOV model Power Supply: 3V L onboard and/or remote battery pack Intensifier: Various options available for both domestic and export markets.

22 | SOTECH 10.5

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ITT Exelis Spiral Enhanced Night Vision Goggle—SENVG Weight: Less than 2 pounds (907 gm) including helmet mount and batteries Endurance: Over 7.5 hours of fused operation life on 3 AA lithium batteries System: 18-mm image tube Field of View: 320 X 240 microbolometer - I2 ≥38O - IR ≥28O Diagonal Power: I2 Resolution (1E-3 fl), 1.14 cy/mr

Intevac Digital Fused Binocular Goggle

3

Field of View: Minimum of 40° horizontal per eye (100% overlap) Focus Range: 41 cm to infinity Battery Life: ≥ 4 hours Weight of Binocular: 600 grams Video Overlay: Accept RGB or DVI video input (40° FOV maximum) Zoom: 2X and 4X electronic zoom capability Multi-spectral Fusion: A+B, adjustable by user

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Special Section The latest Cejay innovation is the Phoeon the same page with technology,” said nix Junior 123 beacon, so named because Bronson. “Many of them don’t have the it uses a CR123 battery. “It is arguably the budgets to invest in the kind of technology smallest infrared marking that the U.S. does.” beacon on the market,” Infrared beacons were first said Bronson. “It has the developed after Operation Dessame intensity and brightert Storm in order to reduce ness of the original Phoenix fratricide. Cejay Engineering Junior but it comes in a produces a number of differmuch smaller package.” ent beacons that use different The Phoenix Junior 123 kinds of batteries and that feameasures 2.25 inches by 7/8 ture different characteristics. inch and comes equipped For example, the Neptune is with a clip so that it can operational as deep as 100 feet be fastened to warfighters’ of salt water. Others include Steve Bronson equipment. The beacon is different color lights and varialso innovative in that the battery is stored ous flashing frequencies and/or steady beam inside the unit itself, for ease of activation. transmissions. For storage, the battery is placed upside Cejay’s original model, the Phoenix down. To activate the beacon, the battery is Junior, is the size of an ice cube, uses a reversed. nine-volt battery, and can be pocketed by a “The beacon can last 400 hours on just warfighter. Bronson said he has seen warone battery,” said Bronson. “For a SERE fighters use cord, Velcro and duct tape to [survival, evasion, resistance, escape] kit attach the beacon to their helmets, vests or there is nothing as small or as covert as the other gear. These days, most Cejay beacons Phoenix Junior 123.” A SERE kit consists of come with their own carrying cases.

7

N-Vision Optics NVPR Night Vision Platform Rotated

5

Waterproof: 66 feet submersible Dimensions: Reduced silhouette Mounting: Integrated helmet mounting system Handling: Ergonomic design in stowed and deployed positions Modes: Greater operational flexibility Power Usage: Automatic shut-off in stowed position

L-3 Warrior Systems BNVD Weight: 450 g (1 pound) including AA battery Dimensions: 4.2inches L x 4.2 inches W x 3.4 inches H Field of View: 40° ± 2° (horizontal & vertical) Objective Focus: 18 inches to infinity Eyepiece Diopter: -0.5 ± 0.1 (factory setting) adjustable from +2.0 to -2.5 Battery Type: (1) AA lithium Image Intensification: U.S. manufactured MX-10160 Gen III variable gain tubes Waterproof: 66 feet immersion for 2 hours

6

8

Night Vision Depot Binocular Night Vision Device Weight: 598 grams Dimensions: 5 inches L x 5 inches W x 3 inches H Human Detection Range (on green grass): 325 meters (starlight conditions) Field of View: 40 degrees Power Supply: (1) AA Battery for 40 hours average Intensifier: Gen III ITT Exelis Pinnacle

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the survival, evasion, resistance and escape apparatus assembled by special operations personnel. Cejay will soon be introducing a beacon that will feature flashing infrared as well as standard red, white, blue, amber and green lights. The beacon will be powered by either AA or CR123 batteries. “No other jump zone or drop zone marking device will have that kind of versatility,” said Bronson. Next generation uncooled thermal devices will boast significantly increased range and resolution, according to Motooka. “With the old generation of devices, you could see somebody there and something dark in front of him,” he said. “With the emerging technology, you will definitely be able to tell it is a rifle.” These advances have been accomplished by cramming greater numbers of pixels into a smaller package that is more power efficient. “You need something that is small enough and light enough to work with,” said Motooka. “We are working on ways of optimizing performance, weight and battery life.”

Sofradir AstroScope 9350 Weight: 1 pound Dimensions: 7 inches x 2 inches Effective Range (km): >1-10 km Wide Field of View: Variable Power Supply: Integral Intensifier: High performance thin filmed third generation

SOTECH  10.5 | 23


Special Section working to reduce the costs of these items from $30,000 to $7,000. We are basically taking the SWIR image from the 150 nanometer range and converting it to another range that can be viewed with a much less expensive sensor.” At Exelis, future night vision devices will be like smartA squad of U.S. Navy SEALs participate in special operations urban combat training. The training exercise familiarizes special operators with urban environments and tactical maneuvering during phones today: they night and day operations. will have apps available to be downloaded to them. The apps could run on the goggles Adams Industries is working on reducthemselves or on a smartphone-like device. ing the cost of short-wave infrared (SWIR) “These apps will have the capability to devices, which are best used immediately maximize the flow of information to and before dawn when other night vision from the warfighter,” said Bobay. “The idea equipment is less effective. is to give the war-fighter usable real-time “SWIR is a big thing in the miliinformation to make actionable decisions tary right now because the best time to instantly.” attack is pre-dawn,” said Adams. “We are

24 | SOTECH 10.5

FLIR Systems announced it has been awarded an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract from the Army to support the medevac program. The contract is valued at $38 million and is for spare components for Star SAFIRE II stabilized multi-sensor systems that are installed on the Army’s fielded medevac Blackhawk helicopters. An initial delivery order of $1.7 million was received. Work under this contract is expected to be performed out of FLIR’s facility in Wilsonville, Ore., with deliveries expected to be completed within five years. “The Army’s medevac program has saved countless lives and we are proud to continue as a key element of its mission,” said Earl Lewis, president and CEO of FLIR. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at davea@kmimediagroup.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.

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Training with the best in a world-class facility.

By Jeff McKaughan KMI Media Group Editor-in-Chief The King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) in Amman, Jordan, was founded on the basis of Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s vision for an international counterterrorism center of excellence. Himself a former commander of Jordanian Special Operations Command, King Abdullah II was the driving force behind the concept becoming reality. The 25-square-kilometer site that KASOTC occupies offers an incredible array of training opportunities for just about any direct action you could imagine. There are specific facilities constructed for urban combat and aircraft assault (with a full scale Airbus A330), a method of entry building and site, a five-story close quarter combat building, numerous firing ranges, a commando tower, and a driving track. Support facilities include on-site housing for up to 800, a full-service dining facility, conference and after action, and classrooms, laundry, 300-seat auditorium, gift shop—basically, a fully contained small base. “This is an amazing facility; I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Captain Ryan Cooper, U.S. Marine Corps and team leader of one of the 24th Marine expeditionary units’ teams. “The quality of the ranges with the different facilities and scenarios offered, all in one location, is really remarkable. I’d love to have something like it to use in the States.” Most recently, the special-operations-focused Eager Lion exercise was held in Jordan, with KASOTC being the focal point. The www.SOTECH-kmi.com

exercise brought together more than 12,000 participants from more than 19 countries on five different continents. In reality, although this was perhaps the largest exercise that KASOTC has been a part of, the facility rarely has down time. “Last year, I can honestly say that there was probably not one week that the facility was not in use by someone,” said C.K. Redlinger, KASOTC’s then-manager of business development. “It was not necessarily always JAF [Jordanian Armed Forces], but we had European nations, we had Asian, we had African, we had tons of Western forces here. Our calendar was continuous all the way through. It was the best year we’d had to date, and I think this year will probably top it. Summer seems to be our busiest time of the year, because that’s when the exercises come into play, like Eager Lion, but throughout the summer it’s very solid all the way through. The tempo is very high here.” ViaGlobal has a contract with the Jordanian Armed Forces to provide the training and also assist in managing the facility. There is a component cadre of ViaGlobal employees there. “We have about a dozen instructors who come from a variety of units; we have a lot of U.S. guys, we have several British guys, we have some Canadians and our newest guy is from Sweden. Jordanian staff come from various units like the 71st, the Royal Guard for example,” said Redlinger. As for the actual site, most of the major construction is complete at the facility. “Everything from here on out is value added; SOTECH  10.5 | 25


it’s new programs, it’s ideas that we have that we graduate into actually breaking new ground,” said Redlinger. Last year, a lot of the construction was based on housing and accommodations. KASOTC found that because they were so busy last year, while the training grounds were being used, they were frequently running out of places to house people. As a result, they went from being able to accommodate 500 people to now more than 1,000. One recent addition was the start up of a canine training program. “We plan on it being a phenomenal training program for the whole region and then branching out to the rest of the world,” explained Redlinger. Already initially operational with a small kennel, handlers and trainers, KASOTC is constructing a larger kennel to further develop the concept. There are still plans for a maritime facility somewhere along the Gulf of Aqaba, with the real estate perhaps already identified, but no real timing has been made available yet.

Warrior Competition “This year, Warrior Competition has been bigger and better for us,” said Redlinger. “Last year we had 22 competitive teams from probably six or seven countries. This year, on the first day of competition, we thought we had 35 but three of them dropped off at the last minute, so we ended up with 32 teams from about 17 different nations on four continents. We were very excited about that.” Redlinger explained that the competition actually limited the number of teams this year to 35. On the sponsor side, he estimated that there were 23 or 24 sponsors that had the chance to showcase their products. For the weapons companies the location was especially good, as they could not only show their weapons to actual operators from around the world, but those operators could test fire them on the ranges right there. Warrior Competition lasts for six days, with four days of actual events. The first three days are team based, with the last day being individual events. Was this year’s competition the same as last year? “I don’t think we’ve gone two years in a row with exactly the same program,” said Redlinger. “The foundation remains, but we will tweak things. We try to improve them. As well as the competition has gone [this year], I think the training staff will have an AAR [after action review] and say, ‘I think we should do this, it’s more streamlined,’ and so on. But for the most part, the program has remained the same since the first year.” What about Warrior Competition 2013? “I’ve been hit up a lot in the last couple days by folks who are either interested in sponsoring next year, or some people that even want to put teams in next year that didn’t have teams this year,” said Redlinger. “I’m already looking forward to the after action review that we conduct so that we can chart this thing forward, start formatting it, get the dates out, and then start moving forward. Maybe if we expand our staff, we can take more than 35 teams next year.” Of the 33 teams this year, there were four from the United States. The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit Force Reconnaissance Platoon (and former champions of the Warrior Competition) had two teams. Separately, a team was fielded by the Alameda [California] County Sheriff’s SWAT, and Team Raptor was a combined Army Special Forces and Navy SEAL team. SOTECH asked Captain Cooper how 24th MEU went about picking the teams to compete. “Because of the extremely physical 26 | SOTECH 10.5

nature of the events and the high level of marksmanship required to compete, the abilities and training of this group of Marines made them the natural choice for the competition,” said Cooper. “Within the platoon, the team leaders [staff sergeants] selected their teams based on both shooting ability as well as physical ability.” Different from some of the teams in the competition, the Marines did not have the chance to train specifically for the events of the Warrior Competition. “We actually didn’t train for the competition specifically at all,” explained Cooper. “All of our pre-deployment training was focused on skillsets that we need for the missions we are called on to perform while deployed: amphibious operations, diving, parachuting, recon and surveillance, raids, and maritime VBSS [visit, board, search and seizure]. While the advanced shooting skills and physical requirements of these missions, and the associated training, crosses over to a degree, we weren’t able to focus on event-specific training like many other teams did. Essentially, once we got to KASOTC we jumped into the fray and made the most of things.” “Train as you fight” is a common mantra for U.S. forces. SOTECH asked for an impression of the event as a reflection of the types of combat training Cooper and his team were used to. “Most of the events were centered on competition style shoot and shooting under physical stress,” he said. “As a Marine Corps unit focused on combat operation, we train to precision shooting under duress. Climbing a 30-foot caving ladder onto a moving vessel while wearing 50-plus pounds of gear, then having to engage targets in tight, confined spaces demands such training. Adapting to situations is something we do well as Marines in general, so adapting to the competition style shooting—as opposed to combat shooting—wasn’t too hard, although we came into the competition with different expectations. We thought there would be more combat style shooting events—greater requirements for wearing kit and body armor, for example. Our guys, and some of the other teams, had trouble doing well in timed events as they were ducking behind cover to reload magazines in pistol events, while competition shooters from other teams have no such habits.” Most competitors echoed the same thoughts when asked about the benefits of special-operations-specific events like Warrior Competition. “It’s not just to compete against the best in the world, but to interact with them,” said Cooper. “Sharing tactics and techniques and ideas, and watching how different teams attacked different events was really terrific. It’s the only time I’ve seen such a broad mix of war fighting professionals in one location, and developing relationships with them was a great experience. Not just during the course of events, but we spent many nights playing soccer games with participants from 10 or so different countries; that camaraderie is important.” Any advice for future teams? “Get fast and be light, and practice shooting small, small targets,” said Cooper. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at davea@kmimediagroup.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.

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The advertisers index is provided as a service to our readers. KMI cannot be held responsible for discrepancies due to last-minute changes or alterations.

SOTECH RESOURCE CENTER Calendar

Advertisers Index Adams Industries Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 www.adamsindustries.com AR Modular RF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 www.arworld.us/propvideo FLIR Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 www.flir.com/gs G4S International Training Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . 24 www.g4siti.com Harris CapRock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 www.harriscaprock.com L-3 GCS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2 www.l-3com.com/gcs

LGS Innovations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 www.lgsinnovations.com/mobility Panasonic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C3 www.panasonic.com/business-solutions Parsons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 www.parsons.com Persistent Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 www.persistentsystems.com Sensors Unlimited-Goodrich ISR Systems. . . 11 www.sensorsinc.com

Next Issue

July 11-12, 2012 Military Vehicles Exhibition and Conference Detroit, Mich. www.militaryvehiclesexpo.com July 12-13, 2012 Warrior Expo East 2011 Virginia Beach, Va. www.adsinc.com/warriorexpo July 23-25, 2012 Night Vision Systems Summit Washington, D.C. area www.nightvisionevent.com

August 2012 Volume 10, Issue 6

Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Lieutenant General Eric Fiel

Commander Air Force Special Operations Command

Special Section Unmanned Aerial Systems

Examine the latest in the myriad unmanned aircraft that can do it all, from providing intelligence on the enemy to putting steel on targets, without placing a pilot in harm’s way.

Features Man Packable UAVs for 2013

These aerial systems are incredibly small and light. But their value is tremendously outsized, as these ISR platforms send live full-color video or other data back to special operators.

SOF Training and Mission Readiness

It is critical for special operators to attain peak proficiency before embarking on the high-risk missions they execute. Advanced training systems provide them with a winning advantage over a dangerous enemy.

Hydration Systems-Potable and Portable

Because special operators often must move through austere terrain with polluted streams and lakes, they are at risk of contracting debilitating diseases. But treatment and storage systems ensure the water they drink is safe and clean.

Shotguns, Grenade Launchers and Smart Ammo

Take a tour of the latest in systems that enhance the basic rifle or carbine, allowing the special operator to pack an added punch.

Bonus Distribution TechNet Land Forces • 7th Night Vision Systems

Insertion Order Deadline: July 16, 2012 • Ad Materials Deadline: July 23, 2012

www.SOTECH-kmi.com

SOTECH  10.5 | 27


INDUSTRY INTERVIEW

Special Operations Technology

Richard Cheek, DSL Director Business Development Deployed Resources LLC long-term lease facilities via O&M [operations and maintenance] funds to enable a site to be active while waiting for MILCON funds to become available.

Richard Cheek is the business development director of Deployed Resources and a demonstrated senior logistician. He retired from the U.S. Army after serving in infantry, airborne, civil affairs and special forces assignments throughout his career.

Q: Are there any new services DR is developing that will benefit the warfighter?

Q: Please provide some background on Deployed Resources. A: Deployed Resources [DR] is a warfighteroriented, safety based, quality driven, veteran-owned small business that has been the premier provider of turnkey temporary life support areas for over 10 years. Our full time, licensed, certified staff is sourced from the military, construction, engineering and hospitality industries, designing and implementing the latest innovations in temporary life support services. Operating in strict adherence to our ISO 9001:2008 certification and in concert with Army Net Zero initiatives, we strive to set industry trends in safety, performance, and sustainability. Currently performing in compliance with ISO 14001, we will be the first “green” base camp provider in the fall of 2012. Continuing to do more by using less, [we are] always on alert about our environmental impact. Q: How does DR work with and support the special operations community? A: From concept to completion, we provide comprehensive life support services to include mobile laundries, mobile showers and restrooms, command centers, billeting facilities, and temporary water, power and sewer systems to the special operations community. This augmentation to their organic life support has kept this highly skilled, highly specialized community mission focused, increasing warfighter morale and training retention. Q: Can you describe some of the unique products and services DR provides? A: DR manufactures our equipment based on the ISO CONEX [shipping container] platform to include showers, kitchens, laundries, 28 | SOTECH 10.5

berthing, latrines, sinks and boiler plants. This creates a modular, scalable, quickly deployable approach to whatever our customer’s requirements may be, in whatever the timeframe, as we organically maintain assets to accommodate 25,000 personnel, CONUS-wide. DR can custom-fabricate containerized support equipment to meet our customer’s ever-changing needs. DR also provides turnkey support services to handle all logistical aspects of a mission, such as operations at FOB Freedom at Camp Mackall or showers and latrines delivered to Bagram Air Base to support the facility build up. Q: As our military faces the prospect of significant budget cuts, how can DR help its customers find cost-saving solutions to fulfill their mission? A: We own all of our equipment and selfperform our work; we are not a broker. This means there are no unneeded layers of cost or overhead added to our pricing. Additionally, this independence allows our customers to turn us on, turn us off, ramp us up, ramp us down, only paying for the days used and numbers served. This organic capability and organic manufacturing allows us this flexibility. We have the long-term philosophy of developing sustainable relationships and we practice this by being proper stewards of our customers’ assets and working with them in developing cost efficient and highly proficient support. Another unique aspect of DR is our ability to be a cost-effective bridge to training and operations locations MILCON [military construction] delays. We can provide

A: At DR, we enhance the training experience by improving the morale of the warfighter via hot showers, nutritious meals, climate controlled billets. Our mission as a company is a simple one, yet an important one: to be the premier provider of life support services. We handle these needs so the warfighter can focus on what’s really important: the mission at hand. Q: What has DR done to differentiate itself from your competition? A: In addition to our personnel and equipment differentiators, at DR we do not hesitate to invest in developing technologies to integrate into our systems. We have developed a proprietary Integrated Field Reporting System [IFRS] that enables immediate reporting capabilities from the field to all management and customer stakeholders via the internet. IFRS allows selected personnel to easily monitor staff, suppliers/subcontractors, site weather data, material deliveries, and facility capacity and occupancy status of ongoing projects. New directives, requirements, and changes to all staff on both the contractor and client side are logged here, ensuring real-time communication with no lag time. IFRS identifies safety meetings and incidents [if any] and environmental compliance activities. IFRS is fully integrated with our asset tracking software, Deployed Resources Asset Tracker [DRAT] to provide detailed information in each daily report regarding physical assets on site including quantities, descriptions and individual asset identification codes. Daily interaction with IFRS and DRAT allows all personnel to stay abreast of the latest information available and is truly a communication tool of exponential value. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com


Panasonic recommends Windows® 7.

Access mis mission-critical information anywhere. Fully-rugged Panasonic Toughbook® mobile computers, powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor. Keeping you yo combat-ready with industry-leading reliability is how we’re engineering a better world. panasonic.com panasonic.com/business-solutions Toughbook 31 Toughbook 19 Toughbook U1 Ultra

Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, Intel vPro, Core Inside and vPro Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. Toughbook notebook PCs are covered by a 3-year limited warranty, parts and labor. To view the full text of the warranty, log on to panasonic.com/toughbook/warranty. Please consult your Panasonic representative prior to purchase. Panasonic is constantly enhancing product specifications and accessories. Specifications subject to change without notice. ©2012 Panasonic Corporation of North America. All rights reserved. Mission-critical_ FG_FY12-4

SOLUTIONS FOR U.S. MILITARY


BECAUSE IT’S NOT JUST YOUR JOB, IT’S YOUR LIFE. Enhanced perception & awareness can save lives. FLIR continues to pioneer innovative security & force protection sensor systems that enable you to see the unseen. When lives are at stake you need clear, accurate information you can trust.

www.FLIR.com/gs

© 2012 FLIR Systems. Inc.


SOTECH 10-5 (July 2012)