Worldâ€™s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine
Special Section: Urban Combat Gear
Leading Persuader Col. James C. Brown www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Commander 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne)
Volume 10, Issue 8
Ruggedized Computers O Biometrics O Expeditionary Logistics Camouflage and Concealment
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Special Operations Technology
October 2012 Volume 10 • Issue 8
Cover / Q&A Expeditionary Logistics
When a warfighter needs something—whether it’s more ammo or the next meal, a UAV or a vehicle for an off-road mission—it has to be there on time, every time. See how this critical job is accomplished. By Hank Hogan
Special Section Urban Combat Gear
Examine the latest in gear for special operators deployed in urban areas, and how that gear helps them perform. Look over everything from uniforms to boots, and more. By Dave Ahearn
16 Colonel James C. Brown
Check out the latest in computers that can take rough treatment in theater while providing warfighters at the edge with information on enemy locations, maps, ISR data streams and more. By Henry Canaday
Commander 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne)
We examine cutting-edge technologies to identify suspicious persons and members of blue forces, systems that can save lives by picking out bad guys. This technology tour includes explanations of how systems work. By Marc Selinger
Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 3 Whispers/People 14 Black Watch 27 Resource Center
Camouflage and Concealment
When the enemy can’t see a special operator, that provides the operator time to take out the enemy. Let us show you the latest technologies in camo and concealment and how they help save combatants’ lives. By Peter Buxbaum
28 Johnathan Blanshay CEO Revision Military
Special Operations Technology Volume 10, Issue 8 • October 2012
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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE The CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft has lived up to its promises to provide special operators with swift insertion and extraction over long distances at high speed. “I think it’s as advertised: faster, longer range, delivering the force,” Garry Reid, principal deputy assistant secretary, special operations and low intensity conflict, told Special Operations Technology. There are “clearly plenty of examples of the speed and the distance advantages of that platform, not only for SOF, but also for conventional forces as well,” Reid added. To be sure, he noted, “We’ve still got some chalDave Ahearn lenges of getting it integrated” into various forces. Editor The Osprey is twice as fast and offers three times the range of some helos. On another key issue, we asked how Admiral Bill H. McRaven, SOCOM commander, is progressing with his attempt to ease the burden of service on special operators and thereby lessen fraying of the force. The force generation effort started under SOCOM Commander Admiral Eric T. Olson, and Admiral McRaven continued it. “Getting the system put in place to put some more predictability into the op tempo, deployment tempo,” for special operators, Reid noted. And McRaven has instituted other initiatives in his concern for the force that he leads, Reid continued, such as the effort for preservation of the force and families, “and pre- and post-deployment services and engagements,” Reid observed. McRaven has advanced “a range of programs that he’s getting off the ground that we’re supportive of and we’ll see unfold here in the next several years,” Reid said. We also asked about training for special operators. “As you come out of Afghanistan [and daily mission] demands, we have to make sure we are addressing other skills that maybe have not been front and center in what we do,” Reid replied. “We have great initiatives in the command. Again, Admiral McRaven is heavily invested in the quality of the operator.” Major General Bennet Sacolick, who was commanding general at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, “where he did great things,” now will be standing up the Force Management Directorate at SOCOM to address those issues, Reid concluded.
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SOCOM to Acquire up to $250 Million Language Training MultiLingual Solutions, Rockville, Md., is being awarded a $5,000 minimum, $250 million maximum value, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for foreign language, regional expertise, and cultural training to students from Special Operations Command’s four service components. The work will be performed in various CONUS and OCONUS locations. The contract period of performance will be a 12-month base period from September 17, 2012, through September 16, 2013, with two consecutive 12-month option periods. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., manages the contract.
AFSOC to Gain Remotely Piloted Aircraft Support Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) announced it was awarded a prime contract by Air Force Special Operations Command to provide remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) ground control station (GCS) and combined operations center (Combined Ops Ctr) support. The single-award cost-plus fixed-fee contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options, and a total contract value of $35 million. Work will be performed primarily at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M., Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, and Hurlburt Field, Fla.
Medevac Operations to Receive Support
AFSOC to Gain Remotely Piloted Aircraft Asset Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Phoenix, Ariz., was awarded a $28.16 million firm-fixed-price contract for construction of the Special Operations Forces Hangar/Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Work will be performed in Clovis, N.M., with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2014. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with five bids received. The Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, N.M., manages the contract.
Under the contract, SAIC will provide support and maintenance of current and future RPA GCS and Combined Ops Ctr, including security and logistics support and air combat control. Teammates include Battlespace Flight Services LLC; Summit Technology, and Woodbury Technologies. “We look forward to continuing to provide the United States Air Force Special Operations Command with remotely piloted aircraft ground control station and combined operations center support to sustain its vital mission on the war on terrorism,” said John Fratamico, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager.
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 Black Hawk helicopters. An initial delivery order of $1.7 million was received.
PEOPLE Rear Admiral (lower half) Thomas L. Brown II will be assigned as director, military support, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Springfield, Va. Brown is currently serving as commander, Special Operations Command, U.S. Southern Command, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. Rear Admiral (lower half) Colin J. Kilrain will
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.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
be assigned as assistant commander, operations, Joint Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. Kilrain is currently serving as U.S. defense official/Defense Attaché Mexico, Brownsville, Texas. Captain Scott B. J. Jerabek, who has been selected for the rank of rear admiral (lower half), will be assigned as reserve deputy commander, Naval Warfare Development
Command, Norfolk, Va. Jerabek is currently serving as deputy commander, Maritime Expeditionary Security Group One, San Diego. Lockheed Martin executives Marillyn Hewson, executive vice president of Electronic Systems; Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Space Systems; and Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Information Systems & Global Solutions,
were named by Fortune magazine in a listing of the 50 most powerful women in business. EADS has announced the composition of the new top-level Group Executive Committee of company leaders, including Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS North America; and Fabrice Brégier, CEO of Airbus and Günter Butschek, chief operating officer of Airbus.
SOTECH 10.8 | 3
Expeditionary Logistics New technology ensures special operators’ needs are met.
Even though armies—and special operators—not only march but often fly today, Napoleon’s observation about stomachs still holds. Thus, what’s being done to ensure that every special operator has what is needed when it’s needed is critical. The task of expeditionary logistics is getting easier, thanks to lighter gear, better tracking of assets, easier-to-assemble structures and other advances. A survey reveals some of these innovations and indicates where things are headed. While specializing in intelligence service and support, Fayetteville, N.C.-based Strategic Solutions Unlimited Inc. also offers a modular expeditionary shelter system, said Todd Burns, director of business development. These rigidwalled units come in standard offerings ranging from one to many pod configurations. 4 | SOTECH 10.8
By Hank Hogan, SOTECH Correspondent
The former measures 7 by 8 by 8 feet and can be used as an office, billeting or communications. The larger variants can be configured in a T with over 3,000 square feet of space. All arrangements benefit from pod basics, Burns said. “It’s very, very durable and built to withstand austere, harsh environments such as Afghanistan or Iraq. The system comes with an environmental control unit.” That environmental control is aided by the R-26 insulation value of the rigid walls, a logistics benefit because it reduces the amount of fuel needed for heating or cooling. What’s more, the electrical system is built to standards so that it can be hooked up to prime power, a generator or a renewable energy source, if and when one with a suitably small footprint is available. Doing so will cut the need for resupply convoys even further.
The modular construction of the pod also means less shipping space is required, Burns said. That can be an important logistics benefit. While the walls offer some blast protection, they don’t provide ballistics protection, he said. A pod, though, is sturdy enough to handle the load of such protection, if it is added. A single pod weighs 1,500 pounds, and when disassembled two will fit on a standard 463L pallet for transport by air or other means. Upon arrival, three people can put together a single pod typically in 30 minutes or less, according to the company. The interior is wired, with outlets, passthroughs, and often computers, monitors and digital video recorders. Units can be plumbed, either by Strategic Solutions Unlimited or www.SOTECH-kmi.com
U.S. Army Photo
Photo by SFC David D. Isakson USA
RESPONSIVE GLOBAL SERVICES AECOM stands ready to support SOCOM’s campaign to take SOF global with our extensive worldwide maintenance, management, and logistics services. We have gained local knowledge and global perspective from our operations in 130 countries; including hostile and remote locations. Contact us at AGS-BD@AECOM.com
NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org.”
the end customer. As for who that might be, it’s any organization going into an austere environment and wanting more than a tent but less than a permanent structure, Burns said. The Berg Co. of Spokane, Wash., is also involved in providing shelter, manufacturing both hard and soft-sided products. The company does more than simply make shelter systems, said Director of Business Development and Strategy Julie Tilleman. “Our value as a supplier is that we work closely with our customers to design, manufacture and integrate camps.” Thus, their shelters come in different configurations intended for varying applications, ranging from a command post to a kitchen. Berg also provides the pumps, bladders, hoses and other gear needed to distribute fuel and water throughout a camp. The company also supplies berms designed to contain any spill. Work is underway aimed at reducing the expeditionary logistics footprint, Tilleman said. For example, improved shelter insulation and increased energy efficiency will minimize the need to bring in fuel, as will the use of solar, wind, biomass and other renewable sources. Other fuel-demand reductions will come from smarter grids and more intelligent power distribution The other big ongoing development area focuses on water. Here, some of the techniques being incorporated in the next generation camp include recycling shower or laundry water. A technology being considered is making water on the spot out of thin air or from other sources. Air contains moisture, in greater amounts as humidity rises, and systems can remove that water from ambient air. “Our goal is to provide a level of comfort that is efficiently sustainable,” Tilleman said of these efforts. Deployed Resources of Rome, N.Y., also provides shelters in the form of turnkey life support areas. To date, the company has supplied support services in the continental United States. However, the company has sold product globally and is starting to push into OCONUS for support functions, according to Business Development Director Richard Cheek. At one time, Cheek was a civil affairs officer with special operations forces. He recalls there was a need for life support and not just for billeting. “We always had to have facilities for our pre-mission training, administrative facilities. 6 | SOTECH 10.8
Aviators and pilots needed to sleep comfortably so that they could have proper crew rest,” Cheek said. Deployed Resources answers this need with a series of units built out of standard ISO containers, the 20-foot long enclosures used in commercial freight shipping. The containers are outfitted for a variety of applications, such as kitchen, shower, bathroom and laundry units. Others are equipped for office work. In going this route, the company considered using advanced materials. In the end it decided that a modified standard container was a more costeffective yet still sturdy solution, A shipping container is hoisted into place by a rough terrain carriage handler. [Photo courtesy of DoD] Cheek said. needed for the recurring task of inventorying Going forward, the company is emphaand managing calibrated items. sizing greater energy efficiency. Deployed “They took a four-day inventory process Resources will adapt available technology in and turned it into a one-day inventory promeeting such needs. cess,” said Jim Hardy, Avion Solutions’ AIT Although not providing shelter or logisprogram manager. tics products, software from Avion Solutions Having been developed under governof Huntsville, Ala., helps ensure that what is ment contract, the software has no licensing in theater isn’t lost or misplaced. The comfees for government users. Avion Solutions pany originally developed these web-based makes its money via training fees and by tools for the aviation community. However, charging to implement the software. The the software has applicability in many logissoftware is flexible enough so that it can be tics functions. Indeed, variations intended tailored without too much trouble for specific for arms rooms, tool rooms or other asset unit logistics functions. management already exist and more versions For instance, tools that need calibration are being developed. can have this scheduled within the system. As for how it works, consider a tool room. That enables planners to account for this and In the past, checking out tools would be done eliminate the problem of tools having to be manually using a spreadsheet, with the borpulled out of use in the middle of a mission. rower printing information: serial number, The software also allows for a portion of description, his or her name, and then sigthe database to be separated from the rest, nature. Checking tools back in would mean such as might be needed when a unit is thumbing through what might be pages and deployed and takes a set of tools or weapons pages of scribbled-on printouts, looking for along. When the deployment is over, the the right item. With Avion Solutions softitems can be checked back in. ware, processing the entire transaction can be Montreal-based Norduyn has its own handled with a scanner and common access advanced technology that is being applied to card, provided the tool in question has been a logistics problem. In this case, it involves properly labeled with a suitable 2-D barcode composites, the blended materials that give to uniquely identify the item. The result is aircraft components strength without burthat what had been a manual task now can be dening them with weight. Norduyn has automated, removing the chance for human fashioned containers out of aluminum and error. composites. The savings possible in logistics funcThe new technology is lighter than the tions with such an automated setup can be old, to the tune of 20 to 40 percent. That significant. For instance, the 160th Speweight reduction impacts logistics. When a cial Operations Aviation Regiment, which is cargo plane is loaded, it can handle a certain based in Fort Campbell, Ky., uses the softvolume and a given weight. With older ware, and that drastically shortened the time www.SOTECH-kmi.com
TURN-KEY FOB/COB/COL SUPPORT SHOWERS & RESTROOMS KITCHENS / DFACs LAUNDRIES SHELTER SYSTEMS Temporary power WATER SYSTEMS LOGISTICS SUPPORT ProJECT MANAGEMENT
www.deployedresources.com COST EFFECTIVE - ISO 9001:2008 CERTIFIED - QUALITY DRIVEN - VETERAN OWNED
technology, the weight limit is often hit first. The lighter composite containers change the equation. “By reducing the weight, we give the possibility to cubing out before weighing out,” said Patrick Phillips, director of business development at Norduyn. In other words, a container will be filled to its full space volume before reaching the weight limit. What’s more, the composite container is stronger than the traditional variety. For instance, it is able to withstand major impacts of 10,000 pounds or more and still be usable. That means that when 10 containers are shipped out, all 10 arrive on site, ready to be deployed and used to get material where needed. In contrast, a corresponding set of traditional containers might only end up with eight being deployable, Phillips said. A final benefit from an expeditionary point of view is that the composite containers are field repairable through the injection of epoxy and other means. Thus, if a unit is damaged, it can be fixed, meaning that no gear needs be left behind or shipments shuffled due to a lack of containers. The company has fielded 240 containers, with some being used by Canadian Special Operations Forces command. The units are configurable at either the unit level or by a third party. The same technology is being applied to another, often overlooked but vital, part of logistics: pallets. The current incarnation is made out of aluminum skin surrounding a core of balsa wood, which is lightweight when dry but not when wet. Also, being made of wood, the pallets can be damaged. Pallets made out of composite weigh perhaps 40 percent less, and weigh the same in pouring rain or a sunny day. They also are field repairable. The Air Force recently certified them, and they could soon be helping get needed gear and items to special operations forces, Phillips reported. Once palletized goods are delivered, they have to be offloaded. The process can be challenging, and Boulder, Colo.-based Stratom Inc. has a solution: Let a robot do it. The robotics and unmanned vehicle company is developing a system that can quickly offload an aircraft, said President and CEO Mark Gordon. When asked how much faster a robot would be, Gordon said, “We haven’t done a study yet, but you’re talking about a multiple—probably 10 at least.” The exact magnitude of acceleration depends upon the application, he added. 8 | SOTECH 10.8
Soldiers carrying mortar rounds off of a plane do so individually, with one round at a time coming out of the aircraft. A robotic system could do the same task in a mass manner, limited only by its ability to lift up the ammo. In that case, it might be faster than a team of humans by a factor of 10 or more, thereby reducing exposure for personnel and the aircraft. For other goods, the advantage of the system might not be as pronounced, although it would be very similar, Gordon said. Stratom has demonstrated some of this technology and is planning to move forward with the project, building upon its current unmanned ground vehicle offerings. The robot will either be operated remotely or it could be semi-autonomous, moving between two points selected with a click on a screen. The new system is at least a couple years out. Some of the items that remain to be done before it can be deployed are further software development and the provision of ability to move over rugged terrain, Gordon said. Unlike some other firms involved in military logistics, Aecom of Los Angeles has a global presence, with about 45,000 employees around the world. The company doesn’t make vehicles or aircraft, but it does provide a variety of professional services. For instance, Aecom Government Services handles expeditionary camp logistics support, as well as other logistics and maintenance services in theater. Currently, there are over 5,000 company personnel doing so in Afghanistan. Despite its size, the company is agile when it comes to response time, said Bill Hughes, operations manager for Aecom Government Services. In part, this is because it can leverage its existing facilities and contacts. Looking forward, that ability to respond quickly could be enhanced if equipment and material were quietly prepositioned in places of likely need. It’s a case of doing strategic logistics work in advance. In speaking of this and Special Operations Command, Hughes said, “We’re interested in supporting SOCOM by perhaps establishing some discrete, secure strategic preposition sites, where they can push special operations forces’ unique and support equipment forward to potential regional hotspots.” O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
Special Section: Urban Combat Gear
Urban Combat Gear New materiel supports special operators in a difficult combat zone. By Dave Ahearn SOTECH Editor
In some ways, an urban area can pose a severe threat to special operators, with a risk of the enemy suddenly appearing over the top of a roof or firing through a window. Every corner, every courtyard poses fresh danger. Fortunately, there is gear that can help warriors who must wage urban combat in towns where the foe can strike in an instant, then blend back into the local population. The attack may leave behind a wounded or badly burned American operator.
SOTECHâ€ˆ 10.8 | 9
For example, IED blasts may cause special operators to suffer severe burns. Also, a CENTCOM report in 2009 found that insurgents have access to and use weapons with white phosphorous, a substance that can cause deep second- and third-degree burns. Suicide bombers in crowded urban streets detonate belt bombs that can cause third-degree burns among U.S. and friendly forces. Other suicide bombers drive trucks filled with propane containers that erupt in searing fire. The threat is worsened by the fact that in urban areas, special operators may not see the enemy headed toward them until the last second, unlike situations often seen in open rural areas where an approaching vehicle or individual can be spotted from afar. And in constricted, crowded areas where buildings line roadways, there is less opportunity to avoid IEDs by going off road.
Fire Resistance But protection is available. For example, Newark, Del.based W.L. Gore & Associates, maker of Gore-Tex fabric, has developed Pyrad, which provides heat and flame protection for lightweight fabric used in outer wear, according to Tim Quinn, W.L. Gore product specialist for special operations programs and Marine Corps programs. “Most [military] outer wear is not flame resistant,” he explained. Or, clothing that is flame resistant may have been treated with other aramid fibers, he noted. But Pyrad can make lightweight, comfortable fabric flame resistant. Quinn rolled a video showing a mannequin clothed in a typical nylon uniform, and another mannequin wearing Pyrad-treated clothing. Each is exposed to flame for a few seconds, then the flames are stopped. While the Pyradtreated uniform immediately ceased burning, the nylon material continued to burn and drip hot liquid. The mannequin with the Pyrad clothing showed only two percent body burn, whereas the mannequin with the nylon uniform showed severe, extensive burns, Quinn observed. W.L. Gore also provides fabrics helping urban special operators in other ways, he said. For example, one Gore product can provide comfort on chilly evenings, with PrimaLoft insulation, Quinn continued. Another threat that can suddenly materialize in a densely developed urban area is an enemy who throws a canister of chemical agent or gas toward U.S. forces. W.L. Gore provides an answer with Chempak, a selectively permeable fabric that lets water droplets such as sweat leave the uniform, while simultaneously blocking
10 | SOTECH 10.8
entry of dangerous chemical agents from enemy weapons, he noted. “It breathes, and allows that water vapor out [of the uniform], but it doesn’t allow chemical-biological agents to get in.” “These suits integrate well” with gas masks, he added. To gain multiple benefits, he said, “you can use a flameresistant uniform, with chem-bio-resistant under wear, to get the best of both worlds.” W.L. Gore also makes footwear fabric used to make boots. The company responded to warrior needs for something to offset the searing heat of densely settled urban areas, Quinn emphasized. Currently, boots are made with an inner fabric layer, a Gore-Tex bootie. But now, W.L. Gore offers a singlelayer construction, with the Gore Tex fabric built into the outer-layer boot in the Extended Comfort Footwear, Quinn said. As added benefits, the new boots are lighter and highly breathable, providing comfort in extended climate ranges, including summer, Quinn continued. There also is the Tora Bora boot for cold-weather climes.
Hot Climate Boots Danner, of Portland, Ore., makes boots for various climates, such as the Melee 8-inch tan and the Multi-Cam, according to Taylor Towne, public relations coordinator. The Melee 8-inch footwear comes in both a Gore Tex version and in a mesh-lined hot climate version, she observed. The Multi-Cam also comes with a mesh lining. With a nylon shank, a boot can be “very comfortable and breathable,” she said. The company also provides boots in black. The Melee is designed to be an agile boot, with enough room for a foot to spread out while carrying weighty objects. The midsole provides a cushion and helps to act as a shock absorber, For special operators fast-roping into a village square or onto a house rooftop, there is a Vibram-4 rubber compound to help slow a special operator’s descent down the rope.
Good Traction To help ensure solid footing when climbing over window sills or other urban obstacles, Bates provides a boot with a stiff Vibram sole that features a 90-degree angle in the arch and heel, which also helps to guard against slipping while negotiating rocky terrain in mountains, according to Andrew Fowler, director of sales. Bates boots are worn, for example, by Army combatants.
SOTECH_Sky's the Limit:Layout 1
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While some boots may cause heat buildup and discomfort for warriors’ feet, Fowler noted that some boots boast a panel on the side that vents heat and increases breathability. A Gore Tex lining can be integrated into the footwear, he said.
Keeping Hydrated It’s important for special operators to remain well hydrated, because otherwise they risk performing at less than peak condition. But in many urban areas in theater, local water supplies may be contaminated with micro-organisms, sewage or chemicals. A solution comes from Darley Defense, in two easily-carried suitcase-like containers that can transform unfit water into clean, pure and potable liquid. There are filters that remove the largest impurities, then further filtration to remove bacteria and viruses, including reverse osmosis technology, explained George McCullough, director of sales and business development, defense division. Further purification is provided by ultraviolet ray lights and ozone in the water. “This can provide 1,200 gallons per day,” which works out to a company-sized group of combatants, considering that each warrior consumes about seven gallons daily, he said. Other Darley PuriFire units can produce up to 12,000 gpd. The water purification system runs on battery power, and the battery can be recharged from various sources, including solar systems, he observed.
Pelvic Protection While improvised explosive devices have claimed more lives of U.S. and allied combatants in Afghanistan and Iraq than any other cause, the IED threat is even worse in impacted urban areas, where vehicles can’t be driven through open terrain to avoid IED-infested roads. Some warriors riding in military vehicles have survived IED blasts, but with grievous wounds, including wounds to the pelvic area. To counter that, BCB International—based in the United Kingdom with offices in St. Petersburg, Fla.—invented Blast Boxers, drawers that help to shield the pelvic area, according to BCB CEO Peter W. James. Made with DuPont Kevlar fiber, Blast Boxers are available in Tier 1, as an undergarment, or Tier 2, outer wear worn over the uniform: Chaps are the shorts version, and Breeches are the long version. “Whilst it won’t prevent injury [to the groin], it will significantly reduce the severity of injury,” James said, compared to the trauma experienced by a person who is not wearing Blast Boxers. “It is doing its job.” “Blast Boxers are now a U.S. Army-permitted clothing, but it’s not a uniform” item at this time, he stated. That means that a warrior isn’t issued Blast Boxers by the Army as part of standard uniforms, but the warrior can request to be issued a pair if headed to a combat zone. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
What’s Hot in Special Operations Gear
New Systems Showcased SAIC Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) demonstrated its cutting-edge solutions for developing and integrating advanced mobile multi-intelligence technology supporting geospatial intelligence, geographic information systems (GIS) and imagery data production. The systems were highlighted at the GEOINT 2012 symposium. Stu Shea, SAIC chief operating officer and United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “Advanced mobile capabilities continue to drive the future of defense and national intelligence. GEOINT 2012 is an ideal opportunity to showcase how SAIC’s market-leading mobile technologies are shaping the future of national intelligence.” SAIC presented several systems: • AIMES Video Processing Systems, SAIC’s next-generation motion imagery exploitation tool: The full motion video exploitation system was created to solve the tough challenges faced by today’s motion imagery analysts. • GeoRover Software Products: providing customer-focused tools for Esri ArcGIS, which allow greater speed, higher efficiency and overall productivity for the end user’s desktop applications. • Geospatial Solutions: technology to support geospatial intelligence, GIS and imagery data production and dissemination for the federal government and commercial customers. • Advanced Analytics Suite: provides automated capabilities, an open architecture, and a standardsbased framework necessary to support activitybased intelligence. These capabilities include content management, sensor management, automated fusion and data integration.
New S-ATV Unveiled for Unconventional, Recon Missions Oshkosh Defense
Expanding its portfolio of light military vehicles, Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, is unveiling its new Special Purpose All-Terrain Vehicle (S-ATV) designed for unconventional and reconnaissance missions. The vehicle was displayed at the Modern Day Marine trade show at Quantico, Va. Oshkosh also displayed its Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV), which was selected for a contract award for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle engineering, manufacturing and development phase. “We have developed a broad range of high-performance light vehicles to offer warfighters next-generation capabilities for future battlefields,” said John Bryant, vice president and general manager of joint and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “Our L-ATV and S-ATV platforms, coupled with an array of Oshkosh-developed HMMWV upgrade solutions, demonstrate exciting innovations. The off-road mobility, crew protection and reliability that are hallmarks of our heavy, medium and MRAP platforms have been leveraged in different ways across these light vehicles to meet a range of operational needs.” Oshkosh specifically designed the S-ATV based on emerging worldwide requirements for forces performing unconventional and reconnaissance missions. The S-ATV utilizes Oshkosh’s battle-proven off-road technologies and expertise to travel across rugged, remote and urban terrains at high speeds. The vehicle is available in multiple weight and protection configurations.
Exfil Helmet Now Released Team Wendy Material: carbon fiber Structure: hybrid sling/polymer Blunt impact: 10 feet per second, 150G max Speed of round: 17 feet per second Team Wendy announced the release of the Exfil, the first carbon fiber helmet made with the company’s latest liner technology. The helmet is a comfortable, lightweight and highly customizable tactical bump helmet, the company stated. Partially developed through collaboration on a U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center program, Team Wendy’s Exfil helmet features a hybrid sling/polymer structure impact management system that
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offers multi-impact safety. Blunt impact performance exceeds current military requirements (10 feet per second, 150G max) and offers improved protection against impacts up to 17 feet per second. “With the Exfil, we have developed a comfortable, lightweight and highly customizable tactical bump helmet that offers an unmatched level of protection,” said Team Wendy CEO Jose Rizo-Patron. “The EXFIL delivers on the Team Wendy mission: Innovate to Protect.” For every Exfil sold through December 31, 2012, Team Wendy will donate $10 to the Military Child Education Coalition, an organization dedicated to ensuring inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Stalker Unmanned Aerial System Lockheed Martin/LaserMotive Power: Laser Transmitter: Ground-based Receiver: Photovoltaic Range: 600 meters Lockheed Martin and LaserMotive have completed a series of flight tests of the Stalker unmanned aerial system (UAS) to further validate the performance of an innovative laser power system. These tests mark the first-ever outdoor flight of a UAS powered by laser. Stalker is a small, silent UAS used by special operations forces since 2006 to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. In a recent wind tunnel test, the UAS demonstrated 48 hours of continuous flight powered by this innovative laser system. “This series of proof-of-concept tests took place in a remote desert location where environmental factors like wind and heat were constants. Not only did we demonstrate that the laser powered Stalker could perform well in this type of environment, we flew during both day and night without incident,” said Tom Koonce, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Stalker program manager. “Ultimately we hope to provide our customers with remarkably long endurance to extend and expand the mission profiles possible for a small UAS like Stalker.” For the demonstration, the Stalker was fitted with a lightweight photovoltaic receiver and on-board power management hardware. The ground-based laser transmitter was based on LaserMotive’s hardware developed for its winning entry in the 2009 NASA Centennial Challenge.
Newly Introduced Falcon III RF-7800H Radio Receives Initial Orders Harris Corp. Weight: 4 kilogram Frequency: 1.5 MHz to 60 MHz Encryption: Citadel and AES Locator: internal GPS Harris Corp. received initial orders totaling $5.6 million for its newly introduced Falcon III RF-7800H highfrequency wideband manpack radio. The RF-7800H is the first HF radio to add wideband data capabilities, allowing users to transmit tactical images and other large data files over beyond-line-of-sight links. The radio offers data rates that are 10 times greater than current HF manpacks. This enhancement is significant, the company stated, because it provides warfighters greater capabilities to transmit data in obstructed line-of-sight mission environments such as mountains and urban terrain. “These initial orders highlight the broad applications for the RF-7800H in a range of different tactical scenarios and operating requirements,” said Brendan O’Connell, president, International business unit, Harris RF Communications. “The RF-7800H lightens the soldier’s load while delivering streamlined command and control and a more informed force. In addition, this new HF radio, combined with Harris’ new RF 3590 ruggedized tablet, supports the use of current and future C4ISR multimedia apps for international and DoD customers alike by enabling secure voice and high bandwidth data communication over thousands of kilometers.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Advanced Dual-Aperture Rifle Scope Introduced Leupold Length: 12 inches Weight: 34.2 Magnification: 1x to 18x Leupold introduced the next generation in long-range and close-quarter hybrid battlefield optics with the Dual Aperture Gunsight Riflescope (DAGR). Leupold’s DAGR System integrates the Leupold Mark 6 3-18x44 mm riflescope with the close quarters battle-proven Aimpoint Micro T-1. Warfighters can go from 1x to 18x in a fraction of a second with this system. With an overall length of less than 12 inches and weighing just 34.2 ounces, the Leupold ECOS-O solution delivers an incredible field of view and rapid target acquisition at an unmatched length and weight. “Combat troops have traditionally had to choose longrange accuracy or close-quarter speed when selecting optics,” said Chris Estadt, director of military business development for Leupold & Stevens. “Leupold’s DAGR System has responded with a shorter, lighter and faster optical system with unprecedented magnification range in a compact size.” In order to increase combat effectiveness, Leupold engineering redesigned the elevation turret to reduce the centerline distance between the two optics to 1.75 inches. This greatly increases the speed of target acquisition for CQB engagements. The DAGR system was recently submitted as the solution for the Miniature Day/Night Sight Enhanced Combat Optical Sight–Optimized (ECOS-O) government request for proposals. This system will be available for consumers in 2013.
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Civil Affairs Soldiers Gain Intelligence, Win Support for United States Col. James C. Brown Commander 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) Before assuming command of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne), Colonel James C. Brown served as commander of the COMISAF Advisory and Assistance Team that supported the commander of the International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), providing tactical through strategic level input to directly inform [Marine General John Allen, International Security Assistance Force commander’s] decision-making and planning processes. Brown’s military experience prior to becoming a Civil Affairs officer includes: platoon leader in Korea; aide-de-camp and company command with U.S. Army Recruiting Command; and combat experience on General H. Norman Schwarzkopf’s personal staff in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. As a civil affairs officer, Brown has served as a team leader, operations officer, theater plans officer and commander of C Company, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne). He led his company to provide civil affairs support into Afghanistan as part of Joint Special Operations Task Force–Dagger, during the initial phase of Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2001 through April 2002. He was then assigned to Third U.S. Army as the chief of plans for the civil and international military operations directorate—contributing to the plan for comprehensive operations in Iraq. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Brown advised the Kuwaiti government in running their Humanitarian Operations Center that coordinated the international humanitarian community’s response and limited the effects of combat operations on the people of Iraq. He was then assigned to the U.S. Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute where he contributed to U.S. government strategic and interagency stability operations planning initiatives. Brown then commanded the 97th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), where he focused special operations civil affairs support to mitigate and prevent conflict within U.S. Pacific Command. He then served as the deputy commander of the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne). Brown’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in business management from Lynchburg College and a Master of Science degree in international relations from Troy State University. Brown also served as the Senior Service College Military Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Star Medals and six Meritorious Service Medals. Q: As you move ahead in your new command, can you share with us some of your key goals? 16 | SOTECH 10.8
A: The Civil Affairs Regiment continues to meet the needs of our nation in ambiguous environments across the globe. The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (Airborne) has earned a modest level of respect due to the hard work and effort of its soldiers. The senior leaders of the Army and within Special Operations Command recognized this, and we are in the process of standing up a second active duty brigade, the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade, to support our general purpose forces. It is critical that the 95th and 85th Civil Affairs Brigades work together to ensure that supported commanders continue to receive the same superior CA support across all the operational missions. [Lieutenant General Charles T. Cleveland, commander, U.S. Army Special Operations Command] has USASOC looking through 2022 to ensure our command is prepared to meet the needs of our nation. The 95th CA Brigade (A) will continue to play a significant role in the future of the nation’s premier special operations force. It is my goal to ensure that CA is postured to meet our current missions and prepared to meet the challenges of the future. Q: Natural disasters have caused immense destruction and human displacement, such as Hurricane Isaac’s multi-billion-dollar flooding damages in the United States, and a deadly earthquake in Italy that www.SOTECH-kmi.com
damaged historic buildings. What have been some key recent humanitarian relief missions of the command?
understanding. It is these enduring relationships that will continue to contribute to preventing conflict in the future.
A: The 95th CA Brigade remains prepared to meet immediate challenges associated with a humanitarian assistance [HA]/disaster response mission. We supported the international humanitarian relief efforts in both Bangladesh in 2007 and Haiti in 2010. In both cases, our mission was to coordinate, synchronize, track and assess HA operations. The critical tasks included establishing a Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center; assessing host nation disaster response capacity; conducting interagency/international planning; and serving as primary Joint Task Force Interface for the international humanitarian community. In both cases the 95th CA Brigade directly contributed to increasing the velocity of the international response.
Q: Are there any new systems that you would like to acquire to further personnel training?
Q: What role do language and cultural training missions play with the 95th? A: Language and cultural understanding are core to the CA mission. Our soldiers thrive in uncertain situations primarily due to their understanding of the operational environment. CA soldiers must research and study the areas where they operate. This gives them an advantage in building relationships and trust with our partners. Our missions are dependent on gaining situational awareness, and through our interactions with the population, building situational
A: The 95th CA Brigade (A), along with the other units within USASOC, has been continuously deployed since 2001 in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries. General Cleveland and [SOCOM Command Sergeant Major George Bequer], and the leadership team within USASOC, recognize this and are working hard to preserve our force and their families. These programs are critical as we continue to operate at a high operational tempo. Q: In ongoing budget deliberations, $487 billion worth of defense program reductions over a decade are being legislated. How have these reductions affected your command? A: The 95th CA Brigade (A) is not immune to budget reductions. We continue to work to maximize effectiveness of our training programs and operate with fiscal responsibility. We will continue to emphasize the importance of critical training and we will continue to field the best trained Civil Affairs soldiers in the world. Q: Another $500 billion of cuts over 10 years may occur, beginning in January. Do you know how those reductions might affect the 95th?
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A: Any response here would be speculation, but the 95th and USASOC will continue to be challenged with operational missions during this budget reduction process. My team will continue to conduct essential training until the money runs out, then we will have to reassess training and operational support. Q: Without naming specific villages or individuals, can you cite examples where civil affairs personnel worked in Afghanistan with local leaders and civilians, and thereby fostered positive views of the United States and its military? A: ISAF has continued to adapt to meet the complex challenges within Afghanistan. Our civil affairs teams have played a significant role within the village stability operations platforms across the area of operation. While our special forces solCivil affairs soldiers from the Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command carry a pallet of medical supplies in a humanitarian diers have focused on the security line of mission. [Photo courtesy of DoD] effort, our CA soldiers have led the goverlook toward military requirements in 2022. By analyzing complex nance and development missions. Working by, through and with the challenges together, the professionals within this community and village leaders, our teams have worked to bring sustainable security the networks/resources they represent will exponentially increase our to the people of Afghanistan. We are working both from a top down understanding and effectiveness to meet all requirements. and bottom up perspective to support the government of Afghanistan. Q: In which nations are civil affairs personnel chiefly deployed? A: The 95th Civil Affairs Brigade (A) remains deployed in support of all five of our geographic combatant commands. We are working to build enduring relationships in an effort to prevent conflict and improve regional stability. Q: Do you expect the number of personnel in the 95th to increase or decrease over the next five years? A: We continue to meet the challenges of growing our small regiment. We will not meet the approved force structure for our two active duty brigades until 2017. Q: What specific capabilities in the command would you like to create or expand over the next five years? A: We are working hard to develop an information-sharing solution with our partners within the civil-military community. Sharing information is critical to every operational mission. The issue is complex. The stakeholders include the military, our U.S. government partners, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Each of these elements collects different data in different formats to meet different requirements. This challenge is compounded by advancements in technology and no unity of command or effort. Although difficult, this is not impossible. It requires opening lines of communications and working together to define the problems, and then we can work to develop integrated solutions. In line with the communication issues, establishing a unified civil military community of interest would be of great value as we 18 | SOTECH 10.8
Q: Are there requirements for civil affairs missions that currently arenâ€™t being met? A: The demand signal for CA continues to exceed the mandated CA-directed force growth within the active component and reserve component, thereby causing CA to prioritize efforts to most effectively deploy a high demand resource. Through multiple efforts and optimizing the training base, CA is posturing itself to meet the demand signal in the coming years. Q: Are there significant areas of the 95th Civil Affairs mission that we have overlooked? A: The previous leaders of this brigade have all done a phenomenal job of meeting the operational priorities that faced the brigade. By remaining agile and adaptive the brigade will continue to meet the operational challenges. Q: Finally, do you have any closing thoughts about the men and women in the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, and the work they perform each day? A: I could not be more proud to serve with a group of soldiers. These soldiers are professionals who understand the significance of their mission. They are a strategic resource and along with my Command Sergeant Major Tony Duncan, I will do all I can to ensure they are resourced and trained when we leave the brigade. I will not deploy one soldier without knowing that they will make a difference in support of our national security strategy. I owe that to the supported commanders, but most importantly to the soldiers and their families. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Hardened electronics serve
hardened warriors at the edge.
By Henry Canaday SOTECH Correspondent
Personal computers and similar devices have become essential tools for warfighters. And like other tools, weapons and the warfighters themselves, these high-tech devices must be extraordinarily rugged to survive and do their jobs. Panasonic’s Toughbook line of computers started out in law enforcement, explained Tim Collins, senior director of Panasonic Solutions for the federal government. They then moved into military uses where they encounter temperature extremes, dust, water and shock impacts, and still yield very low fault rates.
“PC magazine reported that in the first year, 20 percent of laptops needed a repair,” Collins said. “For Toughbook it was 2 percent.” The Toughbook CF-31 is the company’s stalwart. “It does it all,” Collins said. “The Marines tried to break it by running over it with a HMMWV and could not do it.” Not only is the CF-31’s chassis rugged, but it has ruggedized components, Intel chip sets and embedded wireless. Panasonic just added the CF-19, a Toughbook laptop convertible to a tablet, “for those who need touch or pen entry,” Collins explained. In tablet
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mode, the CF-19 can be operated by logistic and materiel personnel. Panasonic has also added another rugged tablet, the H2, for flight-line maintenance mechanics who need a keyboard on the display and a lightweight device to load maintenance diagrams and manuals. Panasonic has delivered thousands of CF19s and CF-52s to SOCOM over the last five years. The Toughbooks are put in insertion kits that are used to stand up local area networks with servers and client computers in the field. Panasonic is now introducing the CF-53, a high-performance, very rugged PC. “You can throw it on the ground or roll it like bowling ball,” Collins said. All Toughbooks meet MIL-STD-810G. Collins stressed that, unlike many manufacturers, Panasonic makes its computers in its own factories. Panasonic will introduce another Toughbook tablet, with a 7-inch screen, in April 2013. It will be Android-based. Toughbooks handle videos and have builtin GPS and wireless. Panasonic also makes a very rugged patrol camera that stabilizes images during movement and can produce fish-eye, upright images if the user falls to the Marines with laptops work on providing comms opportunities between training sites six miles apart. [Photo courtesy of DoD] ground. “The GD2000 is a handheld computer best suited for misJoe Trickey, rugged mobility marketing manager, explained that sions where small size and light weight are essential,” Stelmat Dell has two rugged products, the semi-rugged Latitude E6430 ATG said. The GD2000 delivers the full power of a Windows-based and the fully rugged E6420 XFR. Both conform to military specificaoperating system to manage mission-critical applications such as tion 810G and the EMI 461F standard for use on flight lines. “The situational awareness and has a long battery run-time. “The GD2000 biggest difference is protection against ingress of dust and water,” makes thumb typing and other computer functions easy,” Stelmat Trickey said. The XFR meets the highest IP65 ingress rating, the noted. Clamshell design protects the screen and keyboard from ATG does not. The company recommends the XFR for SOCOM as bumps, drops and other hazards such as rain. the most durable choice. The GD300B is a wearable Android-based computer that interDell’s rugged models have the same core image of drivers, softfaces directly with tactical radios including the AN/PRC-154 Rifleware and operating system, “so you can manage all the drivers the man. It delivers smart-phone like functionality including situational same,” Trickey said. “It makes them easy to deploy, and we are the awareness applications such as the Tactical Ground Reporting leaders on this.” System. The GD300B has GPS, a direction-finding compass, camera Dell is moving to an i7 processor for plenty of processing power. and signal that vibrates to indicate incoming messages. Stelmat The XFR has a 14.1-inch display, and Dell is looking into smaller said this is the only rugged, body-wearable Android computer on form factors with a clamshell. It is also looking into ruggedized tabthe market today. lets, improved connectivity, advanced polymers to improve impact The GD8200 is a full-size, fully-rugged notebook computer used resistance and better batteries to extend endurance. when mobility is less important than full processing power and a Trickey expects more convergence between notebooks and tablarge screen. lets. “They will be much more versatile and able to do digital forenGetac’s most popular model remains the Getac B300, said Marsics—for example, facial recognition and fingerprinting.” keting Director John Lamb. “We have those deployed heavily in Dell has also introduced the Tactical Mobile Data Center. “In the Afghanistan.” The Getac X500 is also quickly becoming popular, and old days you had to pack IT up in boxes, take it out of boxes, set it up the Navy has ordered a large number. and test it,” Trickey explained. “That takes time.” With Dell’s ISU-86 The X500 combines the flexibility of the B300 with the customcontainer, glucose-cooled and ready for transport, servers and other ization and input/output (I/O) expansion features of Getac’s A790 equipment can be set up and tested on racks at base, shipped to theand the battlefield-command-size screen of its M230. “The power ater and set up in a few minutes. “You are ready to go, with a better of the X500 makes it one of the most powerful rugged computers time on target,” Trickey stressed. The new system was developed built to date.” with SOCOM, which has several units. “For years, Getac has had some of the most advanced display General Dynamics C4 Systems produces several Itronix-brand technology for outdoor viewing,” Lamb said. “Our QuadraClear computing products currently used by special forces worldwide, displays produce an effective contrast rate more than seven times according to Mike Stelmat, chief technology officer. 20 | SOTECH 10.8
greater than that of the average competitor model.” He adds that Getac’s fully rugged computers have the industry’s best five-year bumper-to-bumper warranty. Under the DuraCOR brand, Parvus designs rugged black-box mission computer systems that are embedded inside military ground vehicles and aircraft. Under the Zypad brand, Parvus designs lightweight, wearable computing devices that can be worn on the wrist of warfighters or attached to tactical vests, utility belts, pockets or backpacks. “These rugged computers provide standard PC functionality, with Intel processor, solid-state storage, Ethernet, serial, USB, video, audio, optional WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS,” explained Marketing Director Mike Southworth. They are in a hardened rugged form factor, sealed to IP-67 against dust and water and qualified to military standards for extreme vibration, shock, thermal, humidity and altitude. Parvus rugged PCs combine powerful graphics and multi-core processing with ultra-reliable mechanical robustness and modular I/O expansion. They offer extreme environmental and electromagnetic interference performance per MIL-STD-810G, which specifies thermal, shock, vibration, dust, water and humidity protection, as well as MIL-STD-461F. The units are fanless, without moving parts and optimized for minimal size, weight and power. They typically enable systems to be configured with mix-and-match I/O functionalities, including the possibility of combining mobile network router, Ethernet
switch, mission computer and communication interfaces in a single box. To ensure reliable operation, Parvus computers are designed with filtered, transient-protected power supplies so they operate despite the power irregularities from voltage spikes and surges experienced onboard vehicles and aircraft per MIL-STD-1275 and MIL-STD-704. Parvus’s rugged processor systems deliver new capabilities for command and control, image processing and surveillance requirements. “Mobile ad hoc networking and Ethernet switching technologies from Cisco Systems can be integrated with multi-core Intel CPU processing to enhance situational awareness for the war fighter,” Southworth said. The company recently announced its latest mission computer, the DuraCOR 80-40, based on Intel’s second and third-generation Core i7 processors, with removable rugged solid-state storage, a high-speed, stackable PCI-Express bus architecture and a modular interlocking chassis. “We are seeing an increased interest in this type of product and have recently been designing several combat-mission computers that are soldier-worn,” said Jim Shaw, executive vice president engineering of the Crystal Group. A backpack Crystal computer that is also useful in unmanned aerial vehicle applications is the RE0412, a 4-pound computer capable of accepting an i7-3770S Ivy Bridge CPU with 512GB solid-state hard drive and a PCIeX4 in an X16 mechanical slot. “This product has successfully
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passed MIL-STD-810 vibe, shock and MIL-STD-461 testing,” Shaw noted. “This ultra-lightweight unit is the flagship of several wearable computers Crystal Group is designing for this market.” Shaw said weight and performance distinguish Crystal’s new designs. “Crystal Group is blazing the trail with hardware that can support the mission computing needs. Software applications like Falcon View tend to get bogged down on an Atom platform and create sluggish performance. When your mission involves terrain, maps, communications and bullets, you really need the compute performance that keeps you and your team out of harm’s way. Crystal Group’s RE0412 delivers that performance.” Sealevel Systems provides a rugged docking station for military laptops, but is best known for its I/O work and for customizing solid-state computers that can work in rugged spaces and tough environments, according to Earle Foster, vice president of sales and marketing. “We started about nine years ago in solid-state computing and are very well known for our customized solutions,” Foster said. For design of ruggedized computer systems, Sealevel is now using COM Express systems, which combine the advantages of commercial off-the shelf (COTS) and custom-designed products by using a COM Express module with a custom I/O carrier board. “This architecture provides the freedom to exactly match the system I/O and mechanical requirements while providing an easy upgrade path for the core processing functions in order to extend the system’s lifecycle,” Foster explained. “Because complex functionality is sourced
off-the shelf, designs can be done much faster and with less expense than a traditional custom design.” Also relevant to tactical computing needs, COM Express technology provides the ability to design for shock and vibration tolerance. “Implementing COTS technologies usually requires some type of cabling to locate the I/O connectors in the system enclosure,” Foster said. “The cable connections create potential failure points, especially in high-vibration, high-shock environments such as military vehicles. A custom carrier board can be designed to the exact mechanical dimensions to allow I/O connectors to be soldered directly to the printed circuit board in such a way as to allow external access without cabling, improving overall system ruggedness and mean time between failures.” Foster said Sealevel can thus use COM Express to develop highly rugged tactical computing systems tailored to very specific needs, and do so affordably and quickly. The new COM Express approach promises the advantages of custom, the convenience of COTS. Data storage is becoming increasingly important as sensors and other tools generate massive data feeds. Ridgeline Technology is the Susie Nettleton exclusive reseller of the N2 Group’s email@example.com ruggedized external hard drives, tactical redundant array of independent disks (RAID) and multi-bay battery chargers that support the majority of rugged laptops used by SOCOM and other DoD operators, said Susie Nettleton, CEO of Ridgeline and president of N2. The company also distributes rugged laptops, printers, keyboards and other accessories made by major manufacturers like General Dynamics, Panasonic, Getac and DRS. Based on a long association with SOCOM, Ridgeline assembles solutions to complex requirements from the ground up, according to Nettleton. “One issue on today’s battlefield is the amount of data produced by all the sensors. Our RAID and external hard drives are a perfect fit for this task.” Ridgeline’s preparedness for massive data from mapping and video application is seen in its deployment of fourth-generation N2 DataBookPro external rugged hard drives and multi-bay battery chargers, which support terabyte storage for maps, imagery and ISR videos. The charger offers two- and 10-bay charge capabilities, while DataBookPro has connectivity options for rugged tablets and laptops. Ridgeline’s newest technology, N2’s N2TRS-4 ruggedized tactical RAID system, responds to SOCOM identifying limitations in commercial RAID, such as inability to handle massive sensor data and inadequate performance in harsh environments. “N2’s rugged tactical RAID system solved this weak link in SOCOM flyaway kits with 4 terabytes of storage and military standard ruggedized design,” Nettleton said. The Ridgeline CEO sees SOCOM and other soldiers moving from laptops to tablets. “We plan to produce products that enhance storage and battery capabilities of these tablets,” Nettleton said. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
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Advanced tech helps combatants identify an elusive enemy. As the U.S. military has fought two major wars over the past decade, it has increasingly used biometrics data to help it identify counterinsurgents who don’t wear uniforms and tend to blend in with the noncombatant population. Now the Department of Defense, industry and academia are looking at ways to take biometrics capabilities to the next level in coming years. The Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA), co-located in Clarksburg, W.Va., and Crystal City, Va., coordinates biometrics activity across DoD. Formerly the Biometrics Task Force, BIMA defines biometrics as “measurable physical and behavioral characteristics that enable the establishment and verification of an individual’s identity.” These characteristics include fingerprints, palm prints, and facial and iris patterns. “Biometrics can tie an individual to past acts and aliases or can be used to permit access to facilities and data,” the agency explained. “At enrollment, the person offers a live biometrics sample, such as a fingerprint, that is scanned electronically, processed and stored. The images are then searched and used to confirm the person’s identity at a future time. When the individual presents his or her biometric sample again, the computer searches for a match against the stored template.” BIMA’s main database, the Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS), grew to 6.4 million records as of September 30, 2011, and continues to grow at a rate of more than 1.5 million a year, according to the agency’s fiscal year 2011 annual report. The U.S. military has used biometrics to identify about 3,000 enemy combatants www.SOTECH-kmi.com
in Afghanistan, according to an April 2012 report on defense biometrics by the Government Accountability Office. BIMA said the database has been particularly helpful in countering improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. troops use the database to trace fingerprints to those who made and detonated the IEDs. For instance, in July 2011, Special Operations Command detained a man after his fingerprints matched those taken from several IED events. The eventual count reached 33 events. “This super hit, which marked a record number of IED events traced to one individual, demonstrated steady improvement in the BIMA’s ability to connect the dots in pursuit of the most elusive and dangerous adversaries,” the agency wrote in a command brief. BIMA said increasing the accuracy of ABIS data is a priority, whether it’s through better training of those submitting biometrics data or encouraging contractors to make more reliable and user-friendly devices. An industry team led by Falls Church, Va.-based Northrop Grumman is charged with continuing development of the database. Northrop Grumman’s teammates include Booz Allen Hamilton, Science Applications International Corp., Six3 Systems, SRA International, E&M Technologies, New-Bold Enterprises, Ultrascan Corp., MPL Corp. and STS International. Improving biometrics data-sharing with non-defense agencies is also a BIMA goal. “Full interoperability” with the Department of Homeland Security is projected for late 2012. And BIMA is building a biometrics technology center in Clarksburg that it plans to share with the FBI’s Biometric Center of Excellence. The Biometrics Technology
By Marc Selinger, SOTECH Correspondent Center is expected to open in fiscal year 2014. The GAO recommended that DoD expand leadership training in biometrics and make the transmission of biometrics data more timely. In its April 2012 report, the congressional watchdog agency wrote that military leaders are not currently trained to use biometrics effectively, pick personnel for biometrics collection training or staff biometrics operations with trained personnel. The GAO also said that “multiple servers, mountainous terrain and mission requirements in remote areas … can prevent units from accessing transmission infrastructure for hours to weeks at a time.”
HIIDE and SEEK The U.S. military uses more than 7,000 electronic devices to collect fingerprints, iris scans and facial photographs in Afghanistan, the GAO said. In Afghanistan, U.S. forces gather biometrics data on non-U.S. people at roadside checkpoints and base entry control points, and during patrols and other missions. Collection tools include the Biometrics Automated Toolset, which consists of a laptop computer and peripherals to collect fingerprints, scan irises and take photographs, and two handheld devices, the Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment (HIIDE) and the newer Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit II (SEEK II). HIIDE and SEEK II each have a fingerprint collection surface, iris scanner and camera, but the 4-pound SEEK II has extra features, including a built-in keyboard to enter biographical and other information, SOTECH 10.8 | 23
and coatings and plastic shields to minimize the impact of direct sunlight and foreign materials when capturing fingerprints and iris scans. Cross Match Technologies, which builds SEEK II, also offers the 7-ounce Quad Reader peripheral to verify electronic passports, drivers’ licenses and other credentials. The company, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has delivered about 10,000 devices, many of which are replacing HIIDE. “The majority of the 10,000 are for the United States, but quite a few are going to foreign militaries and foreign border control agencies,” said Mike Oehler, the company’s SEEK product manager. U.S. customers for SEEK II include the Army, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Marines, Navy and special operations forces. Oehler said he does not have permission to identify additional U.S. customers, as well as foreign customers. Cross Match is also using its own funds to develop a next-generation SEEK. The newest device will be lighter and smaller and include more kinds of biometrics, including video and voice, Oehler said. The company plans to begin selling it in the second quarter of 2013.
fears that iris images will be misused, according to Clifton. “There are some people reluctant to have their irises identified,” Clifton said. “They think ‘Big Brother’ right out of the box. In reality, it’s just a picture of an eye, like a picture of a face.” Other challenges include increasing standoff ranges and making batteries for mobile systems lighter, smaller, more powerful and longer lasting.
Northrop Grumman and IntegenX, of Pleasanton, Calif., are under contract with BIMA to further develop and supply a system that automatically produces DNA profiles from cheek swabs and other human samples in less than 90 minutes. Profiles generated by IntegenX’s RapidHIT 200 Human DNA Identification System are compared to existing records or added to databases. The teaming arrangement “combines IntegenX’s expertise in DNA processing with Northrop Grumman’s DNA-based detection/ identification systems and manufacturing of military-grade electronics to bring rapid DNA processing to the field,” said Alan Leckenby, Iris Recognition vice president of identity and business solutions for Northrop Grumman SRI International, which Information Systems. makes the Iris on the Move In tests conducted since family of biometric identificaMay 2012, IntegenX has suction systems, is building a processfully created DNA profiles totype for the Army Research from more than 3,000 samLaboratory that will provide ples, company spokeswoman an “off-axis” capability, or the Maurissa Messier said. Proability to recognize someone duction is now ramping up, with just a partial shot of the with deliveries to unspecified person’s iris, said Mark Clifgovernment customers havton, vice president of the comMark Clifton ing started in August 2012. pany’s products and services “IntegenX is the first to division. The company, based show that DNA-based human identification in Menlo Park, Calif., expects to finish the can be accomplished in less than two hours prototype in the fall of 2012. using on-site equipment, instead of taking “Off-axis capture makes the iris recogni12 to 15 hours in a laboratory environment, tion system easier to use,” Clifton said. “A conferring significant tactical advantages in subject is not required to remain still or various DoD operational scenarios,” said Bob look directly at the camera. This capability Barrett, manager of IntegenX’s human idenenhances biometric identity authentication tification business unit. in the field.” SRI has already developed for the Army Research Lab a prototype of the handheld Academia RapID-Cam, which provides facial and iris recognition and registration, has a standoff BIMA continues to collaborate with acarange of about 6 feet and can be used outdemia to advance the state of the art in biodoors as well as indoors. metrics. It funds research at such universities Demand for SRI’s products is growing, as Carnegie Mellon, Clarkson and West Virbut challenges remain, including overcoming ginia. Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab, for example, 24 | SOTECH 10.8
is working on long-range iris identification and the generation of 3-D face models from 2-D images. “BIMA keeps abreast of cutting-edge research at these institutions through biometrics technology demonstrators that may one day become operational applications to supplement the agency’s current portfolio of modalities,” the agency wrote in its annual report. BIMA is also a member of the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), a government-industry-university partnership in Morgantown, W.Va., that promotes advances in biometrics technology. At Southern Methodist University, the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education, headed by former Navy acquisition chief Delores M. Etter, has a biometrics research program that is “developing new computer algorithms for iris recognition, and evaluating these for performance and speed,” according to the institute. The program includes collaboration with the U.S. Naval Academy.
Future Despite broad interest in biometrics, the future of such capabilities is unclear. The Army, Marines and Special Operations Command, which are the leading collectors of biometrics data, have taken different approaches, according to the GAO. “To date, neither the Army nor the Marine Corps has institutionalized biometrics as a formal program of record, which would make biometrics a permanent capability,” the GAO wrote. “However, the Special Operations Command has a sensitive site exploitation program of record that includes biometrics.” BIMA Director Thomas Killion acknowledged that “a period of fiscal austerity looms” throughout DoD and the rest of the U.S. government, but he expressed optimism that policymakers will recognize the value of biometrics to warfighters and keep such efforts adequately funded. “As decision-makers reshape the future of many programs,” Killion said, “I believe that biometrics will remain an enduring capability and potentially become a program of record.” O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
New patterns, technologies make warriors invisible to enemy eyes. By Peter Buxbaum SOTECH Correspondent Once upon a time, the U.S. Army thought it could use a single camouflage pattern for all seasons and all environments. Its selection of the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) as its standard combat uniform in 2004 did not end well. The Army introduced UCP as a means of reducing the amount of equipment and uniforms that soldiers needed to carry, but it didn’t do what camouflage is supposed to do: conceal U.S. warfighters and their equipment and vehicles from enemy eyes. Then the Army got smart and decided not only to scrap the UCP, but to embark on a holistic, forward-looking approach, so that it would be ready with camouflage uniforms for whatever contingency the future might bring. That was a departure from the Army’s past approaches, which focused on designing camouflage for specific areas of operations. In July 2010, the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier issued a request for information, asking industry to submit camouflage patterns that the Army could consider for its next-generation family of camo. The RFI specified that patterns would have a common design geometry with clothing adaptations colored for woodland, desert and “transitional” environments, and a fourth multi-terrain pattern adapted for use on personal equipment like rucksacks and armored vests. The transitional uniform is meant to allow soldiers to use the same gear as they move from one micro environment to another. In October 2011, the Army selected four industry vendors plus the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) to continue to develop a family of camouflage patterns. NSRDEC was later removed from the competition. The effort entered the second phase of selection www.SOTECH-kmi.com
with this downselect, which involves field evaluations of the submitted products. The four industry winners were ADS Inc., Brookwood Companies Inc., Crye Precision LLC, and Kryptek Inc. Field testing of the four competing sets of camouflage patterns is now ongoing, with a decision expected before the end of this year. Meanwhile, other companies continue to develop camouflage that can shield warfighter equipment and optics from enemy detection. Other innovations include systems that make changes of camouflage easier and new fabric systems that claim to almost completely obscure the wearer from enemy view. Disruption adds a level of confusion to the scene by tricking enemy eyes to skip over the camouflaged warfighter. Cramer has designed camouflage for ADS that provides blending and disruption attributes based on a study of fractals. “Fractals are the holy grail of camouflage patterns,” said Cramer. “A fractal is a repeating geometric shape found in nature. These are shapes the human brain catalogs subconsciously and will tend to ignore more so than a traditional camouflage pattern.” Cramer’s company HyperStealth created a fractal-based camouflage uniform for the Jordanian military in 2003. “The uniform blends and disrupts the human target,” said Cramer. “The key finding was that the camouflage masked the movement of soldiers as they move across a field. That is difficult to do with existing patterns.” For the U.S. Army competition, Cramer designed a pattern called US4CES based on still-secret fractal elements. “We put the best fractal elements possible as the base of the pattern,” said Cramer. SOTECH 10.8 | 25
The only drawback came from the Army’s requirements themselves. “They wanted identical patterns for each of the four environments but with different colorations,” Cramer explained. Another contract winner, Kryptek Inc. of Fairbanks, Alaska, is a small company with only four employees. “We were very fortunate, considering the size of our company and the magnitude of the competition,” said Butch Whiting, the company’s CEO. “We have a unique product which is pushing the envelope in terms of fabrics and how dyes are applied to fabrics.” Unlike camouflage garments used for civilian applications such as hunting, which use a heat transfer mechanism to apply patterns to fabrics, Kryptek’s military camouflage uses a wet screen methodology. “The reason is so you can embed infrared and night-vision goggles defeat mechanisms in the fabric itself,” said Whiting. “It involves a combination of the kinds of dyes that are used and how they are applied.” The camouflage patterns Kryptek developed for the Army competition took their inspiration from how camouflage netting appears when it is stretched over a vehicle. “We were going for a 3-D effect,” explained Whiting. “Three-D allows you to be absorbed into the environment. This is above and beyond what is being done in the tactical camouflage industry. In the first phase of testing, our patterns performed very well against the baseline patterns and I’m confident they will continue to perform as well as we move to the field trials.” Concealing warfighters is not the only task consigned to camouflage. Their equipment needs to be camouflaged too. Camouflage netting can help conceal a vehicle while it is parked, noted Trevor Kräcker, president of Defense Logistics Services, but it must be removed once the vehicle gets underway, rendering the vehicle and its occupants vulnerable. DLS has developed adhesive vinyl polymer materials that can be affixed to vehicles and other equipment to obscure their identification by enemies. “They are like bumper stickers on steroids,” said Kräcker. “The camouflage uses large dispersal patterns to prevent a vehicle from being seen by the enemy.” The DLS materials, much like the uniform camouflage being sought by the Army, come in different patterns from desert to jungle and can be easily switched and layered if vehicles or equipment are transferred from one environment to another. “Let’s say a team has been operating in the jungles of Colombia and then is moved to North Africa for a mission,” said Kräcker. “While on the plane they can change the camouflage to a desert pattern. If you know you are going to be deployed to different areas, you can multilayer the camouflage so that when you stop to refuel you can tear off one layer of camouflage and have the next layer ready for the next mission.” Camouflage must also deal with the issue of the glint emanating from warfighter optics. Reflections from optics can generate a signature that can give away warfighter locations. “We put camouflage on people and vehicle surfaces to enable them to blend in with the background,” said Peter Jones, chief executive officer of Tenebraex. “The military uses binoculars and rifle sites to target and observe. The problem is that the ordinary glass on the front of the optics can reflect the sun and give away a location.” This reflection has played a historically decisive role in combat, from the battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War to battles 26 | SOTECH 10.8
for Guadalcanal and Stalingrad during World War II, according to Jones. The famous Israeli eye-patch-wearing general Moshe Dayan lost his eye when a Syrian sniper saw reflections of the sun from his binoculars. “The traditional way to shield an optic from glint is to use a long, tubular lens shade,” said Jones. “The problem is, if a shade is long enough to effectively shield the optic from glint, it can be too long and bulky for practical use in the field.” Tenebraex anti-reflection devices (ARDs) work by clustering a large number of tiny tubes into a honeycomb grid. “With this geometry, there is no reduction in the field-ofview and light reduction is only on the order of 15 percent,” said Jones. “Any loss in resolution is imperceptible and glint is eliminated.” Tenebraex ARDs have been applied to the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) and the M68 Close Combat Optic. “Tenebraex ARDs also act to shield the interior of an optic from the sun’s rays, reducing internal glare and making for a clearer view when looking toward the sun,” said Jones. “They work well on visible light optics such as rifle scopes and binoculars as well as on night vision optics and thermal sights.” Tenebraex also produces vehicle anti-reflection screen, a grid of vanes mounted in front of a windshield. “From the inside of the vehicle, it is like looking though an open venetian blind,” said Jones. “From the outside, reflections are suppressed or eliminated.” Future camouflage uniforms are likely to be considerably different even than those being proposed in the Army’s current competition. They are likely to move from conventional printed fabrics to incorporate adaptive technologies. DLS is working on an adaptive camouflage product for vehicles, with a prototype expected to be unveiled in December. “We will release it soon,” said Kräcker. “With this product, you won’t have to stop the vehicle to strip off a layer of camouflage. All the operator will have to do is push a button and the pattern on the skin of the vehicle will change to whatever is required. The vehicle camouflage will be adaptable to a change in area of operation with a push of a button.” Quantum Stealth, which was first announced in 2010, is a cloaking technology that bends light around a target. “Part of the Quantum Stealth technology is based on quantum mechanics and the prototype material has demonstrated the ability to actually cloak targets as visually undetectable,” said Cramer. “Tests have shown that it reduces shadow by 95 percent on water and land.” The product has received good reviews, according to Cramer, from former military personnel who have tested it. As for the Army camouflage competition, it is expected that the field testing and evaluations will be completed by November, at which point the Army program office will brief the chief of staff. A final decision of the new and improved Army camouflage patterns should be forthcoming before the end of this year. O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
SOTECH RESOURCE CENTER Advertisers Index AECOM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 www.aecom.com AR Modular RF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
LGS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 www.lgsmobile.com
Chandler May Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Magpul. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 www.magpul.com Persistent Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
CTC Defense. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2 www.ctcdefense.com Deployed Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Skedco. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
SOFEX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Esri. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 www.esri.com/sot
Calendar October 22-24, 2012 AUSA Annual Meeting Washington, D.C. www.ausa.org
November 6-7, 2012 SOFEX Fort Bragg, N.C. www.sofex.org
December 3-6, 2012 Special Operations Summit Tampa, Fla. www.specialoperationssummit.com
December 15-18, 2012 Special Operators Medical Association Conference Tampa, Fla. www.idga.org
SOTECHâ€ˆ 10.8 | 27
Special Operations Technology
Jonathan Blanshay CEO Revision Military Q: Revision Military has been introducing ground-breaking soldier protective systems since 2001. Can you describe those systems and how their development evolved? A: Early on we determined there was a niche market for ballistic, protective eyewear for the soldier that was rugged enough to stand up to the rigors of the battlefield. Over time we determined that additional protection was needed for the face, including the jaw—thus, the Batlskin front mount, visor and ballistic mandible guard were designed and developed to attach to the helmet. In doing the design work for the facial protection system, it was only natural that Revision should explore new composite technology that could provide a lighter weight and increased ballistic protection helmet solution. Q: There are several manufacturers in the protective eyewear field. How do Revision’s various eyewear systems stand apart from your competitors? A: The Sawfly Spectacle is ideal for everyday wear and long hours in the field; it stands up to high speed ballistic fragments and offers the spectacle-level environmental protection required. The Desert Locust Goggle provides additional ballistic and environmental protection as the situation dictates use. The goggles also offer superior ballistic protection from blast and fragmentation as well as additional protection against ocular hazards such as sand, wind, dust and flying debris. Both systems provide excellent interoperability with NVGs [night vision goggles], weapons optics and thermal imaging equipment. They are also both on the U.S. Army authorized protective eyewear list and proudly 100 percent made in the United States, and each system can be outfitted with laser protective lenses to protect against a broad range of battlefield threats. Q: The U.S. military recently purchased the Batlskin Modular Head Protection System. What benefits does the system deliver? 28 | SOTECH 10.8
A: Revision’s Batlskin Modular Head Protection System addresses the soldier’s need for a single, integrated head protection system that’s scalable and adaptable to the realities of modern warfare and enables the soldier to up-armor his basic helmet shell by adding a ballistic visor, mandible guard, or both. The multipurpose front mount is universal and lightweight, offering greater stability than current NVG mounts. It provides the mechanism for mounting advanced protective equipment including the visor and mandible guard. The high-threat mandible guard provides lightweight blunt force, blast and ballistic protection for the lower jaw. Its durable, low-profile design is engineered for rapid attachment and removal while on the run. The three-position visor is an optically correct face shield that can be worn one of three ways—locked, vented or up. It is designed to provide maximum field-of-view and is scratch, fog and chemical resistant. Q: Revision Military recently completed the purchase of MSA’s North American ballistic helmet business. How will this acquisition position your company to better serve customers? A: When MSA announced that they were looking to divest themselves of their U.S. military helmet business, the timing proved right. We were developing highly-specialized, polyethylene composite helmet shells.
While demand is growing for these, aramidbased helmets manufactured by MSA are the current technology. Having both aramid and polyethylene helmet manufacturing capabilities will enable Revision to meet current program requirements while also aiding customers in their quest for lighter-weight, higherperformance head protection solutions of the future. Being able to manufacture and deliver [advanced combat helmet] ACH-style helmets—the platform upon which Revision’s Batlskin Modular Head Protection System is carried—will allow Revision to deliver completely integrated and fully modular head and face protection packages to its North American and global customers. Q: What new technologies do you see coming online in the next five to 10 years, and how will those technologies impact Revision’s product line? A: Two technological areas we believe will be important are personal augmentation systems and adaptive power systems. Ergonomic personal augmentation technologies that allow for supported ease of movement whether traversing rugged terrain or doing repetitive movements can lessen muscle fatigue and help prevent severe strain and injury. As soldiers become more dependent on powered devices, it’s important to minimize excessive battery weight and consumption. A single, well integrated power system that’s adaptive in nature—switching and providing power to equipment as needed—will be critical. Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? A: I would like to take this opportunity to thank the SOF community for their ongoing service and outstanding efforts in very difficult situations around the world. The commitment, capabilities and leadership of SOF are exemplary, and we all greatly appreciate their continuing hard work. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com
November/December 2012 Volume 10, Issue 9
Cover and In-Depth Interview with:
Col. Clayton M. Hutmacher Commander U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command
SPecial Section: Surgeons’ Roundtable The Future of SOF Medicine By repeatedly stepping into harm’s way, special operators are at high risk of suffering grievous wounds. But medical technology offers signal advances that can prevent loss of life. We feature a roundtable with SOF component command surgeons.
Features • Special Operations Medical Gear In the golden hour after a special operator is wounded, innovative medical kits and medical devices dramatically improve survivability.
• Rapidly Changing SOF Gear and Technology Examine the advanced technology in critical gear employed by special operators.
• Cockpit Innovations The glass cockpit is evolving rapidly, bringing greater safety and predictability to pilots and passengers alike, providing clarity in brownout landings, terrain avoidance advances and more.
Bonus Distribution SOMA • Special Operations Summit East • AUSA ILW Aviation Symposium & Exhibition
Insertion Order Deadline: October 26, 2012 • Ad Materials Deadline: November 2, 2012
Mission Informed, Mission Controlled Fuse sensor data with geography to deliver ISR to the edge of the battlespace. With EsriÂŽ Technology, you can analyze and view information in a common operational picture, transforming ISR data into accurate, actionable intelligence to support your mission.
Learn more at esri.com/sot Copyright ÂŠ 2012 Esri. All rights reserved.