Page 1

World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine

Special Section

Global SOF Network

Team Leader Col. Stuart W. Bradin Chief Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team SOCOM

March 2013

Volume 11, Issue 2

PNT O SOCOM Funding O SOF Outlook O Key Requirements Bandwidth Challenges O Shelter Systems

Special Operations Technology Features

Cover / Q&A

Global SOF Network

SOCOM Funding

SOF Outlook

At a time of constrained resources and fraying at the edges, it makes sense to coordinate operations with SOF in allied and partner nations. While no command and control would be involved, network nodes could link special ops forces of many nations to create an effective whole greater than its parts. By Marc Selinger

Admiral Bill H. McRaven cautions that deep defense spending cuts can harm special operations readiness, missions and more. By Dave Ahearn

Where will special operators be fighting as this decade unfolds? We hear a comprehensive assessment from Michael A. Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low intensity conflict. By Dave Ahearn





As 21st-century warriors increasingly become e-combatants, their networking, intel, comms and other systems have the potential to clog the usable spectrum of the airwaves. Survey with us the solutions being advanced. By Scott Nance

Even as special ops units become more mobile than ever, their basic needs remain constant. See how warriors are provided with instant buildings where they can sleep, eat, shower, wash clothes, work at computer monitors and much more. By Dave Ahearn

Bandwidth Challenges

March 2013 Volume 11, Issue 2

Shelter Systems



22 12

Key Requirements


See what SOCOM needs now to support and enable the finest fighters in the world, ranging from transportation to systems detecting incoming enemy fire. By Dave Ahearn

Position, Navigation and Timing

GPS-provided electronic inputs are critical, used in a wide variety of military systems. It is vital that these signals aren’t jammed or distorted by the enemy. We examine systems that make all of that happen for the military. By William Murray

Industry Interview

2 Editor’s Perspective 3 Whispers/People 14 BLack WAtch 27 Resource Center

Chris Pehrson

Director of Strategic Development General Atomics Aeronautical Systems


Col. Stuart W. Bradin Chief Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team SOCOM

Special Operations Technology Volume 11, Issue 2 • March 2013

World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine Editorial Editor Dave Ahearn Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis Copy Editor Sean Carmichael Laural Hobbes Correspondents Peter Buxbaum • Henry Canaday • Jeff Goldman Hank Hogan • William Murray • Scott Nance Marc Selinger • Leslie Shaver

Art & Design Art Director Jennifer Owers Senior Graphic Designer Jittima Saiwongnuan Graphic Designers Scott Morris Eden Papineau Amanda Paquette Kailey Waring

Advertising Associate Publisher Scott Sheldon

KMI Media Group Publisher Kirk Brown Chief Executive Officer Jack Kerrigan Chief Financial Officer Constance Kerrigan Executive Vice President David Leaf Editor-In-Chief Jeff McKaughan Controller Gigi Castro Marketing & Communications Manager Holly Winzler Operations Assistant Casandra Jones Trade Show Coordinator Holly Foster

EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE There is no substitute for money, and nowhere is that plainer than in the common defense of the United States. Michael Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict, brought that point across with force and clarity. We asked him about the triple hit that will strike the military because of $487 billion of cuts over 10 years that are already established, another $500 billion of “sequestration” cuts that also loom, and further reductions because defense programs are being funded with a continuing resolution instead of the planned fiscal year 2013 budget. “We are going to be in a period of fiscal restraint,” Sheehan cautioned. Dave Ahearn Editor While he said that “we have to manage it” as best as possible and attempt “to do more with less,” nonetheless “it will have an impact” on the military. Admiral Bill H. McRaven, commander of SOCOM, estimated that just the continuing resolution alone will cost SOCOM $1 billion in the current fiscal year. [Please see page 13 in this issue.] A new 19-page report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service—U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress—delineates the problem. The February 6 report notes that even before the continuing resolution and sequestration cuts in SOCOM funding, the SOCOM budget for the current FY13 was essentially flat at $10.409 billion versus $10.477 billion in FY12. But with the immense cuts impending, many SOCOM programs may be seriously damaged, such as funds for programs that in prior years have included training with Eastern European SOF units and working with allies to counter powerful drug cartels. This comes just when demands for special operations missions are rising, during a drawdown of regular forces from Afghanistan, the report cautioned. Congress might wish to determine how DoD will employ SOF and the ability of SOF to take on new mission requirements, the CRS report stated. We would add that Congress as well should pass legislation to halt sequestration and avert the disaster that now is poised to strike DoD, and pass a budget in place of the damaging continuing resolution.

Operations, Circulation & Production Operations Administrator Bob Lesser Circulation & Marketing Administrator Duane Ebanks Circulation Barbara Gill Data Specialists Raymer Villanueva Summer Walker

KMI MedIa Group LeadershIp MaGazInes and WebsItes Border & CBRNE Defense

Ground Combat Technology

Geospatial Intelligence Forum

Military Advanced Education

Military Information Technology

Border Threat Prevention and CBRNE Response


Integrated Fixed Towers

A Proud Member of: Subscription Information

Special Operations Technology

ISSN 1552-7891 is published 10 times a year by KMI Media Group. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden. © Copyright 2013. Special Operations Technology is free to qualified members of the U.S. military, employees of the U.S. government and non-U.S. foreign service based in the U.S. All others: $65 per year. Foreign: $149 per year.

Border Protector

June 2012 Volume 1, Issue 1

Michael J. Fisher Chief U.S. Border Patrol U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Leadership Insight: Robert S. Bray Assistant Administrator for Law Enforcement Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service Transportation Security Administration

Wide Area Aerial Surveillance O Hazmat Disaster Response Tactical Communications O P-3 Program

Medical Military Training Military Logistics Military & Veterans Forum Technology Affairs Forum

Special Operations Technology

Tactical ISR Technology

U.S. Coast Guard Forum

Corporate Offices KMI Media Group 15800 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 300 Rockville, MD 20855-2604 USA Telephone: (301) 670-5700 Fax: (301) 670-5701 Web:


Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Missile Defense System Delivered Ahead of Schedule Northrop Grumman delivered the first of eight common infrared countermeasures (CIRCM) missile defense systems to the Army two months ahead of schedule. The company successfully completed acceptance testing with the Army on the first CIRCM suite of equipment and delivered a complete hardware set. This testing, which confirmed system performance, size, weight and power compliance, was completed two months ahead of schedule and validates the Northrop Grumman offering as capable and mature, according to the company. The system was delivered under a $31.4 million technology demonstration contract to develop the next generation of aircraft survivability equipment to defend helicopters against man-portable air-defense systems and other

heat-seeking munitions. The system is now scheduled to enter reliability testing. “With the growing proliferation of infrared threats, it is more important than ever that our troops have effective protection from these missiles,” said Jeffrey Palombo, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Land and Self-Protection Systems division. “This early delivery confirms the maturity of our CIRCM solution and is an important step toward getting this technology into the field. We will make certain that our CIRCM system performs beyond the Army’s expectations and remains ready to address evolving threat contingencies at a moment’s notice.” CIRCM is a lightweight, low-cost, highly reliable, laser-based countermeasure system designed to work with missile warning systems

for rotary wing, tilt-rotor and small fixed wing aircraft across the military services. Northrop Grumman is developing its solution with its partners Selex Galileo and Daylight Solutions.

PEOPLE Brigadier General Ferdinand Irizarry II, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C., has been assigned as deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, N.C. Brigadier General Brian J. McKiernan, commandant, U.S. Army Field Artillery School, U.S. Army Fires Center of Excellence, Fort Sill, Okla., has been assigned as deputy commanding general, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. Colonel Sean P. Swindell, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, assistant commander for Special Operations Forces, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition CommandAfghanistan, has been assigned as deputy commander, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. took command of the International Security Assistance Force, relieving Marine Corps General John R. Allen.

Michael Hardesty

The Northrop Grumman board of directors has elected Michael Hardesty corporate vice president, controller and chief accounting officer, effective immediately. Hardesty replaces Kenneth L. Bedingfield, who has been appointed vice president, business management and chief financial officer for the company’s aerospace systems sector.

HDT Global announced that R. Andrew Hove has been named president of HDT Expeditionary Systems Group. He assumes his responsibilities from Tony DiLucente, HDT Global chief financial officer, who has been leading the organization as acting president of ESG during the search for president. DiLucente will now resume his full-time duties as chief financial officer. Major General Norman J. Brozenick Jr., commander, Special Operations Command— Pacific, U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, has been assigned to be vice commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla. Brigadier General Marshall B. Webb, who has been selected for the rank of major general, director, plans, programs, requirements, and assessments, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt

Field, Fla., has been assigned to be commander, Special Operations Command—Europe/director, Special Operations, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. Brigadier General Scott A. Howell, deputy director of operations, J-3, Headquarters U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., has been assigned to be deputy director for special operations, J-37, Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Colonel Albert M. Elton II, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, commander, 27th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., has been assigned to be director, plans, programs, requirements, and assessments, Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

SOTECH  11.2 | 3

WHISPERS Radio Upgrade Will Help Pilots Locate and Rescue Combatants Boeing will upgrade Air Force Combat Survivor Evader Locator (CSEL) handheld radios with new capabilities to enable faster search and rescue of isolated personnel, and also will upgrade the CSEL ultrahigh frequency (UHF) base stations, under contracts valued at $13.6 million. “These new contracts confirm that Boeing is meeting our commitments to provide our military customers with world-class, next-generation communications capabilities,” said Boeing CSEL Program Manager Steve Capps. “CSEL provides the U.S. military with the strategic advantage of an easy-to-use, multifunction radio that has already played a critical role in numerous successful rescues involving downed combat forces and pilots.” Upgrading the CSEL UHF base stations will bring the CSEL network up to the latest Information Assurance standards that protect networks from outside intrusion. “There’s never been anything like CSEL for search and rescue,” said Air Force Lieutenant Matthew Renner, previously a CSEL test engineer with the Joint Program Office for Personnel Recovery at Hanscom Air Force Base. “These new capabilities can reduce rescue time and give isolated personnel another option to get home safely. The pilots we’ve worked with are really excited about it.” More than 54,400 CSEL radios have been delivered to the U.S. military to date.

Black Hawks to be Procured Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Conn., was awarded an $804.4 million firm-fixed-price contract change for the procurement of UH-60M and HH-60M helicopters. The contract also will fund associated engineering, program management, provisioning, technical publications, logistics support and related funding. Work will be performed in Stratford, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2014. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., manages the contract.

Special Ops Marine ATVs to be Up-Armored Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, Wis., was awarded a $7.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for installation of underbody improvement kits for the Special Operations Marine All-Terrain Vehicle. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of December 17, 2013. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Warren, Mich., manages the contract.

System Aids 160th SOAR Helo Maintenance Honeywell completed installation of its health and usage maintenance system (HUMS) technology for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment’s (SOAR) fleet of MH-47G Chinooks. Zing HUMS is a scalable system of onboard sensors that captures vehicle health data on mission-critical components and suggests maintenance procedures to increase readiness for the entire fleet and decrease vehicle maintenance costs. Honeywell has also signed an agreement to provide the Zing HUMS technology to the unit’s entire fleet of MH-60M Black Hawks, making Honeywell the primary provider for onboard HUMS. Zing HUMS collects, processes and interprets data generated by the various components or subsystems on a helicopter, including engines, gearboxes and other dynamic components, and then analyzes the results to identify what needs to be fixed on the helicopter to save time, resources and money. Through Zing HUMS, maintenance crews can run diagnostic performance tests of a helicopter on the ground using a laptop interface into the HUMS system. The HUMS software can then flag potential performance issues for maintenance crews before and 4 | SOTECH 11.2

after a helicopter takes flight—saving time, fuel and possible operational downtime. With Zing HUMS’ accurate airspeed and rotorsmoothing algorithms, operators can now achieve recommended maintenance operating specifications in as few as three flights, reducing overall time and resources spent for keeping fleets agile. Zing HUMS can be used on both helicopters and propeller-driven fixed wing aircraft, providing customers with the ability to run real-time performance diagnostics to monitor potential maintenance issues and ensure maximum operational usage of aircraft. Beyond the 160th SOAR, Honeywell’s Zing HUMS technology has also helped the U.S. military increase the availability and reduce maintenance costs of its rotorcraft fleet including the following: • • •

A 66 percent reduction of U.S. Air Force mission aborts due to vibration over five years 71 Chinook helicopters avoiding 2,957 maintenance man-hours from 2007 to 2008 A 30 percent reduction in mission aborts on AH-64 Apaches

Air Force to Obtain Four CV-22 Ospreys in FY13 The Air Force will obtain four more CV-22 Ospreys under a contract awarded to the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, Amarillo, Texas. Including another 17 MV-22 Ospreys for the Marine Corps, the contract modification totals $1.4 billion. In addition, this modification provides funding for long lead components required for the manufacture and delivery of 19 fiscal 2014 lot 18 MV-22 Tiltrotor aircraft for the Marine Corps and three fiscal 2014 lot 18 CV-22 Tiltrotor aircraft for the Air Force. Work is expected to be completed in September 2016. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., manages the contract.

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

SOCOM Moves to Develop and Test System for Submersible General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp., Groton, Conn., was awarded a $44.3 million letter contract to develop and test the user operational evaluation system for a dry combat submersible. Such craft can whisk SEALs unseen underwater from ship to an ashore objective. The pact includes designing, constructing, testing, and delivering a complete, commercially-classed prototype dry combat submersible system. The design and construction work will primarily be performed in Italy. The government testing will be performed at a location to be determined within the United States. This contract is expected to be completed by December 2015. General Dynamics and Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, produce Virginia class attack submarines jointly in Groton and Newport News, Va.

Contract Will Support Shadow TUAS AAI Corp., Hunt Valley, Md., was awarded a $203.6 million cost-plusincentive-fee contract for modification of an existing contract to procure logistics, operations and sustainment support for the Shadow tactical unmanned aircraft systems. Work will be performed in Hunt Valley and Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2013. One bid was solicited, with one bid received. The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., manages the contract.

Ladder Is Lightweight, Quiet in Operation The Armadillo Tactical Ladder System is lightweight and quiet in operation, according to J.B. Allred, president of Armadillo Tactical Gear in Upstate New York. After extensive design, testing and evaluation, Armadillo Tactical Gear is announcing full-scale production of the Armadillo Tactical Ladder System, designed for rapid deployment in situations where agility, strength, and quiet operation are paramount, such as special forces applications. The key advantage is that Armadillo’s carbon-fiber construction makes it extremely lightweight—one-third the weight of a conventional aluminum ladder. It is light enough to be moved quickly and quietly, but is rated strong enough to safely support 350 pounds, according to the company. The 12-foot segmented design can also break down into three to five smaller ladder segments. The tactical ladder system was developed after Allred and his team were informed by special operations personnel that the weight of conventional ladders was a significant impediment to being able to move quickly and quietly during a mission. So the Armadillo team designed the Armadillo Tactical Ladder System as a versatile, multifunction tool for special operations professionals. The system also transforms into a bus assault platform, temporary bridge, medical litter, and other functions. Armadillo Tactical Gear continues to receive positive feedback from a wide range of special operations professionals, some of which led to adjustments in the system’s design to expand beyond the primary use as a ladder. “Because we are manufacturers as well as designers, we work with current and potential clients to customize extension and expansion kits for the system,” Allred explained. “It’s really a multi-purpose system which can replace a range of single-use products.”

Air Force Gains Seven Special Ops MC-130J Multirole Aircraft Lockheed Martin was awarded an $889.5 million Air Force contract modification to procure 13 C-130 series multirole aircraft, including seven special operations MC-130Js. The aircraft execute infiltration and exfiltration missions, resupply special operators, and render aerial refueling for special ops helicopters and the CV-22 Osprey tilt rotor.

Under the overall contract change, the Air Force will acquire seven MC-130Js, four HC-130Js, one KC-130J and one C-130J. Work will be performed at Marietta, Ga., by July 31, 2015. The contract is managed by AFLCMC/ WLNNC, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Separately, Lockheed Martin delivered an MC-130J Commando II to Cannon Air Force

Base, N.M. Aircraft 5714 is the 15th of 27 MC-130Js to be assigned to the Air Force Special Operations Command since initial contract award in 2008. The Commando II supports such missions as in-flight refueling, infiltration/exfiltration, and aerial delivery and resupply of special operations forces.

SOTECH  11.2 | 5

Companies devise strategies, technologies to fill comms requirements. By Scott Nance SOTECH Correspondent of sales and marketing at XTAR, which provides satellite commuThe digital revolution that’s become commonplace in the nication services in the X-band frequency. civilian world—where everyone expects high-speed connectiv“Without enough satellite bandwidth, many airborne ISR misity on their smartphones, tablets and other devices in order to sions cannot proceed. There is regular anecdotal evidence that this share video and maintain constant connectivity with family and has occurred in the past,” he said. “Additionally, the laws of supply and friends—has begun to take hold within the U.S. military. And, as demand have caused U.S. government users to face extraordinary costs is often the case, special operators are leading the way. for bandwidth in certain regions of the world. Broadband communica“Wherever the special forces go and whenever they go, they are tions is no longer a luxury for military users. This is especially true for looking for broadband. … They are the guys pretty much leading special operations users, whose missions demand the highest levels of the edge for getting broadband whenever and wherever they can support and responsiveness.” get it,” said Bob Varga, vice president of marketing with the Global U.S. forces, particularly special operations forces, Mobile Broadband division of ViaSat, a provider of often require access in remote parts of the world with satellite-based communications gear and services limited infrastructure, Varga said. “Part of the chalfor the military. lenge is to have the terminal technology—and to get But that demand for access to advanced sensors, access to satellites—but also to set up private networks video, videoconferencing and other applications is where the action is,” he said. requiring ever-larger amounts of data bandwidth. Providing that access also means making sure Indeed, bandwidth requirements have about doutroops have gear that doesn’t create burdens related to bled every 18 months, Varga said. “size, weight and power,” said Dan Narey, director of Bandwidth demands will only continue to grow, business development at ND SatCom, a satellite comas the video that special operators use is upgraded munication equipment supplier. “At the end of the day, from standard definition to high definition. the soldier wants the smallest package that requires “With high definition, you can now read license Andrew Ruszkowski the least amount of power, that gives him the most plates, can tell if a person is holding a rifle versus flexibility as far as moving around,” he said. a rake—and if you get close enough, you can start doing identiAlso, not all satellites are created equal, and Varga agreed that can fication of individuals,” Varga said. “HD is going to be replacing create high costs for access for U.S. forces. standard definition across the board, especially with [special “The larger-capacity satellites tend to be over large population operators].” areas. That means that if you’re operating in some remote part of the Satellite bandwidth is an essential element of many highworld—say Africa—then you’re not going to have as many choices priority missions, according to Andrew Ruszkowski, vice president 6 | SOTECH 11.2

and you’re not going to have as much capacity available,” he said. “So another challenge is finding the right satellite, working with the operator, and then getting capacity with an extended period of time. It’s very costly to go out and try to buy time for a month, or a week. The bandwidth is a lot less expensive if you can make longer-term commitments.” Managing costs is key because paying for expensive missioncritical bandwidth at a time of tight budgets can have a “trickle-down effect” in which important non-war-fighting items such as repair and logistics “get short-shrift,” said Gasper Gulotta, senior director of professional services at TeleCommunication Systems, a mobile communications technology provider. “Funding the warfighter, you need to. You don’t want to leave them without what they need to do the job, but somebody’s paying the price,” he said. It’s also important for providers to help their military customers find their “acceptable bandwidth and then understanding their operating environment, and designing solutions that meet those requirements,” Narey said. However, sometimes it can be a challenge to get a customer to determine what that minimum bandwidth requirement is, Narey added. “It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg discussion a lot of times. What do you need? And then the question comes back: ‘How much can you do?’ It can be kind of a circular discussion when it comes to requirements and capabilities. At some point, somebody’s got to make some assumptions and put some stakes in the ground and start writing requirements, and then building solutions for those requirements,” he said.

Limited Spectrum The hunger for more and more bandwidth translates into a need for access to the precious commodity of radio spectrum, which has become more challenging as the troops have to share that spectrum with commercial phone operators, TV stations and other militaries worldwide. “It comes down to spectrum management, and how you slice and dice that spectrum out,” said Rob Johnston, director of Army business development at L-3 Communication Systems-West, a provider of networked communication solutions for intelligence collection, imagery processing and satellite communications for the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Allocating that cluttered spectrum leaves the U.S. military with a big challenge. “They’ve got to figure out which unit’s going to get which part of the spectrum, how much of the spectrum they need [and] what’s their priority. Not only that, but they’ve got to think about adjacent units,” Johnston said. “If you have one guy in Spot X and the next guy right over in Spot Y, they might not be completely de-conflicted. Not only do you have to make sure you’re not [conflicted] in your space, but make sure you’re not clobbering someone next door to you.” Spectrum allocation challenges become magnified when U.S. forces work alongside coalition forces. “What [part of the bandwidth] we might use for command and control of a UAV, they might be using on a radar, or may be using on their radios. You’ve got to de-conflict that stuff,” said Dave Jenny, vice president of Navy and international programs at L-3 Communication Systems-West. SOTECH  11.2 | 7

Available spectrum is becoming even scarcer as governments in the United States and worldwide auction off more and more of it for commercial purposes. For instance, the tactical environment in Afghanistan has become so “enormously crowded” that Raytheon Network Centric Systems was asked to reconfigure its communications systems to work within that nation’s TV spectrum, said Lucas Bragg, the company’s senior manager of advanced programs. Initially, that was a workable solution as nobody else was using that spectrum, at a time that Afghanistan was rebuilding and establishing TV stations was not a priority, Bragg said. “Now we see a number of TV stations coming online right in the bandwidth that we’re using,” he added. Moreover, the government in Afghanistan auctioned off more spectrum right in the range the U.S. military was using, in the upper UHF band, Bragg said. “This is kind of a worldwide problem, and it’s a really challenging problem for the U.S. Army, as we basically have a policy of going to war in a coalition environment. There’s only so much spectrum, and everyone’s using the same spectrum,” he said. “When we go into a foreign country, or just support another country, we’re all sharing this extremely limited resource. The environment is getting worse and worse with time.” Also, Raytheon is demonstrating a high data-rate networking system in Korea, with a “bandwidth problem that’s even worse than everything that we’ve seen to date,” Bragg said.

Technology to Keep Pace Although the demands for bandwidth will continue to increase, technology will continue to improve to maximize bandwidth available, Johnston said. Indeed, companies already are developing a variety of technological solutions to maximize the bandwidth available for the warfighter. Many of L-3’s data links are more than 40 megabits per second, which “seems like a lot, but the customers want more,” Johnston said. The company is developing technology to offer 100 gigabits per second, he said. “That’s a huge evolutionary jump,” he added. Raytheon is designing its gear to be “enormously efficient with bandwidth,” Bragg said. “This is a key: efficiency of your system in the use of the limited bandwidth they will give you,” he said. Raytheon uses 1.2 MHz segments across different portions of spectrum “and I’ll be able to join it together and make it look seamless to the user,” Bragg said. “One thing is: whatever little bits I can get, I can pull together to give you the bandwidth you need to run the system.” Raytheon also strives to field systems to be as efficient as possible in reusing available bandwidth. As its network re-transmits data across the network, after two “hops” between radios, Raytheon systems will recapture the bandwidth, Bragg said. “The result is while all of our competitors have to use four or five different independent networks, and hook those together to cover a brigade area—let’s say 50 by 70 kilometers—we do that in a flat network,” he said. “They’re using roughly four to five times the bandwidth that the Raytheon radio uses. That’s hugely impressive when you look at how a system uses available spectrum.” 8 | SOTECH 11.2

XTAR’s satellites provide greater flexibility than most commercial satellites based on steerable satellite beams that can be repositioned at a moment’s notice, if necessary, to deliver capacity to an area of need, according to Ruszkowski. “Of greater importance, XTAR works with our customers to understand their applications and requirements. This close collaboration often enables us to adjust the sensitivity of our transponders to best suit those requirements,” he said. “For example, [airborne ISR] applications would require a sensitive transponder setting to allow large data rates to be transmitted from an aircraft with a small antenna and limited uplink power. Another user with larger ground-based terminals may require a less sensitive transponder to maximize the bandwidth efficiency of the transmission.

Dynamic Spectrum Access Transmitters that work across multiple bands are another solution, so that a radio can dynamically switch to whatever spectrum might be unused at any given time. “It becomes a more complicated system to operate, so that’s why we’re working on a lot of cognitive agents so that the radio itself will sense the environment, figure out a good place to be able to transmit, and then transmit in that area,” Jenny said, describing a cognitive agent as software within a “smart radio” so that its operator wouldn’t have to worry about switching frequencies himself. Such dynamic spectrum access is possible because—while a given spectrum segment may be allocated to some other user, such as commercial phones—it may not be actually in use, said Bragg, who also works with the concept in Raytheon systems. “Everybody’s been assigned the spectrum, so it looks like there’s no more spectrum available. But if you go out there and listen … most of the time, it’s dead,” he added. Dynamic spectrum access grew out of work initially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Bragg said. “What we’re able to do is be told, ‘Use this area, but don’t step on anybody else,’ because it’s not really yours. You’re using it for free, for a little bit. When anybody [else] comes back up, you have to leave” and jump the transmission to another unused part of spectrum. Such technology introduces newer, advanced radio waveforms, but the challenge there is to design them in a way that won’t require replacing the military’s existing inventory of radios, Jenny said. “What we’re trying to do is design these waveforms that can work on the hardware the military already has,” he said. Being able to dynamically access spectrum also helps overcome jammers in theater, but such changes in frequency management are creating new issues in terms of spectrum policy. Although dynamic spectrum access has been demonstrated, it’s not yet in wide use because of policy and management concerns about using spectrum which is legally owned by someone else. “When you’re making these types of leaps and changing how you approach something, there are a lot of policy [and] procedure [issues] that have to be caught up to where the technology goes,” Jenny said. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

Special operators gain quickly assembled civilized quarters in harsh areas. By Dave Ahearn SOTECH Editor From the frigid hardships of Valley Forge in the Revolutionary War, the living conditions of American combatants have seen a steady arc of betterment over the past two centuries, and 21stcentury shelter systems mark a major further advancement for special operators. Whether it is snug and warm sleeping facilities in bitterly cold climes, or clean air-conditioned office spaces amidst the dirt and dust of the desert theater, shelter systems are eliminating one of the harsh realities that can make war hell. Shelter systems mean that a patch of ground in a remote nowhere can, in just hours, become a modern village with dry, pleasant spaces in buildings that rise effortlessly, like apparitions.

Deployed Resources To well serve special operators, one must be as swiftly mobile as they are, and that extends to their living and working quarters. That is the view of Richard Cheek, director of business development with Deployed Resources. “We provide expeditionary mission focus,” Cheek explained. “We are a mission-focused company. We tailor our response and our capabilities to the special forces community.”

Deployed Resources designs its solutions so that special operators swiftly receive a complete package ready to meet all their shelter needs, without any great effort to erect a community in a barren area, he said. “We provide all aspects of life support to special operators,” he said. The company can provide complete shelters, including the structures and contents, or it can provide interiors to shelter structures provided by other companies, he added. “Our equipment is easily integrated with any other shelter.” “Deployed Resources supplies a variety of shelters from hardwall, modular packages with expandable footprints to engineered tents in various sizes,” he noted. Shelter systems meet a wide array of combatants’ needs: sleeping facilities; offices and communication centers; kitchens and mess halls; showers, toilet units and shaving facilities; laundry units; vehicle garages and repair shops; and much more. “We have containerized kitchen units [where] we can prepare 1,000 Class A meals,” he stated. “We have portable laundry units. We have billeting units. We have office units.” Should the company not have a standard shelter to meet a specific requirement, “then we can modify it,” he said. “We’ve had SOTECH  11.2 | 9

instances where they wanted all European electric stations, or they wanted all electric [heating] units and not propane. We can build a barber shop, if you want.” Even when special ops organizations are prepared to move into new permanent-construction buildings, shelter systems may have a role to play, providing living and working space temporarily until the new buildings are completed, he said.

DRASH With DRASH (deployable rapid assembly shelter) systems, the key is the ease of swift assembly in the field, according to Trent Baer, DRASH business development leader. “They are preassembled so you do not encounter field assembly” requiring use of spare parts, Baer observed. And when it is time to break camp and disassemble DRASH buildings, they can fold up compactly, “down to about 2 percent of their expanded volume,” he disclosed. DRASH shelters are provided by DHS Technologies. Special operators collapse a deployable rapid assembly shelter in Kuwait. [Photo courtesy of Sergeant Nathan Hutchison] Used by all the armed services, DRASH portable buildings have been compact when stowed, but highly rugged when laid down for use. deployed in widely varying environments, ranging from Vehicles, even tanks, can drive on it. desert conditions to the Arctic Circle, from plains to Mount Everest, he said. And those occupying the buildings have been comfortable no matter where they are, thanks to highly effective Strategic Solutions shelter insulation, Baer added. The company is more than a provider of easily portable Rather than go for a soft-sided structure such as a tent, or structures, he noted. Rather, it creates systems that address the a rigid structure such as a cargo container, special operations multiple needs of modern warriors, especially the need for elecforces (SOF) may want a hard-walled system that still can be coltrical power. lapsed like a tent for shipping or storage. A special ops organization can use its own generator capaThat’s where the Strategic Solutions Unlimited (SSU) Expedibilities, or a local electrical utility grid, to power its shelters. Or tionary Pod Construction (EPC) can fill the requirement, accordDRASH can provide multiple generators in a network called a ing to Todd Burns, director of business development. microgrid, an intelligent power technology that cuts fuel con“Our shelter system is a unique system when you compare it sumption and waste, he said. This is more efficient than using to a fabric or tent type of shelter or a containerized [structure] one standalone generator, a 1950s technology. And top-quality made of metal,” Burns said. “Our EPC shelter system is uniquely insulation in DRASH structures means they require less energy suited to the expeditionary requirements of SOF.” to heat and cool them. The less fuel used by generators, the fewer While a metal container offers rigid walls, the SSU shelter fuel convoys must travel roads in theater where the enemy may system offers rigid walls that are insulted to an R-26 value. It target them. also offers the capability to collapse into a compact package for DRASH shelters can fill a wide array of needs, including serstorage or shipping like a tent—and that means a cost savings vice as medical facilities or for personnel combating pandemics. for special operations organizations in a time of defense funding Further, the shelters can provide a wide variety of square austerity, Burns observed. If an item that is transported takes footage, since they are designed to be completely interoperable up less space, it costs less to transport via airplane, truck, rail with each other, Baer stressed. Two or more shelters can be or ship. combined to form larger spaces. That gives special ops organiza“It can be shipped at a lower cost than a steel, non-collapsible tions the flexibility “to facilitate a wide variety of missions and structure or container,” Burns said. requirements,” he said. Another cost-saving feature in the SSU EPC shelter is the To further the complete-system approach, DRASH provides excellent insulation properties of the walls, leading to decreased lighting fixtures in its shelters, and soft flooring. Or special ops heating and cooling costs as well as sound insulation. The EPC personnel may opt for a hard flooring system that is lightweight, system provides a thermal factor of R-26. 10 | SOTECH 11.2

“It’s a very energy-efficient structure when assembled,” he said. That means not only lower energy bills for the Pentagon, but also greater comfort for special operators occupying the shelter—“a comfortable environment inside that allows for an ideal workspace or sleeping quarters.” The company can provide shelters meeting a wide array of special operators’ needs, “whether it be sleeping quarters or an office space,” he added. It’s easy for special operations personnel to assemble the shelter, using just a hex wrench to erect the building panels and a Phillips screwdriver to install the HVAC system. “Our pods are modular and range in size and function from a two-person [unit] up to a 20-person fully contained forward operating base (sleeping quarters, planning bay, latrines, laundry rooms and kitchen) that fits on 10 Air Force 463L pallets. The modularity of our design allows us to meet any specific need,” he said. There is also a wide array of options that can be put in the structures: increased IT and supporting electrical outlet, special communications gear and more. Further, high-capacity HVAC units can easily maintain the necessary temperature for sensitive electronic equipment or perishable supplies, he observed. That outstanding performance is on display in theater, in the cold Afghan winters, he emphasized. The insulation and HVAC system work so well that a shelter interior can be “50 degrees in extremely hot conditions, or we can keep it pretty warm in a cold environment, up to 90 degrees” inside.

The SSU shelter also is flexible in its electrical power needs. The shelter is able “to operate off either 110 or 220 [volts] generator or prime power, so it can plug into nearly any power source. That’s the intent of this system, to be truly deployable for any mission. And depending on the energy demands, if the environment allows for it, it can run off solar power as well.” That flexibility is critical for special ops units, since they can be sent to conduct missions in any corner of the world, he observed. Finally, he said, “SSU pods provide the ability to airdrop a rigid walled set of buildings that don’t require any material handling equipment”—each panel can be moved by hand—“which provides a more secure and better working environment than tents or metal boxes, and has been U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center tested and safety approved.” Clearly, each provider of shelter systems offers easily transportable, comfortable, clean buildings that ease the strain of war for the nation’s cardinal combatants. Special operators can have all this in different forms of shelters from different makers, with the common denominator that after they execute one of the toughest jobs on the planet, they can then retreat to livable, refreshing redoubts. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

SOTECH  11.2 | 11

Osprey-transportable vehicle, shot sensor mulled.

By Dave Ahearn SOTECH Editor SOCOM and other military organizations are moving forward on meeting critical needs of those who stand in harm’s way, in documents filed in Fed Biz Opps. In one initiative, SOCOM outlined a requirement to obtain a non-developmental vehicle that can be transported inside a V-22 Osprey. The tilt-rotor aircraft interior is significantly smaller than the MH-47 Chinook helicopter. Several existing military vehicles are small enough to fit inside an Osprey, so they would meet the SOCOM need for a non-developmental vehicle. 12 | SOTECH 11.2

ATV Corp., a unit of Phoenix International, makes the Prowler that easily fits into an Osprey, according to Amos Deacon Jr., chief executive officer of both firms. They did pioneering work, without government funding, putting rack and pinion steering and accelerator and brake pedals on vehicles in this class, Deacon continued. He focused on the latest version of the vehicle, the Prowler C2, which ATV introduced in March 2013. It can sail along at 70 mph, thanks to a 973 cc electronic fuel injection engine that boasts four valves per cylinder (two intake, two exhaust).

The power plant is liquid cooled, with an electric starter. For driver comfort, there is a tilt steering wheel, slide-adjustable bucket seats and a seating suspension feature. There is a fully automatic CVT transmission that can shift between two- and four-wheel drive, power steering, roll over protection, a 1,500-pound payload and 2,500-pound towing capacity, and a low center of gravity, tight turning radius and high ground clearance, Deacon noted. Not only does the Prowler two-seater with side-by-side seats fit into the Osprey,

it bolts out of the aircraft as soon as the ramp is lowered at the rear of the plane, he explained. Immediately, the roll cage is up and snaps into place with no tools, so the Prowler and its crew are ready to fight, he said, adding, “It’s just click-click. No tools.” Another key Prowler feature is “an auxiliary 24-volt system for people who need a lot of commo,” he continued. “We were the first people to put run-flat tires on” a vehicle of this type. And ATV Corp. offers a turbo-diesel engine that offers less exhaust

noise and no smoke. “They give you a little bit more range,” he concluded. There are other V-22 internally transportable vehicles, according to their manufacturers, such as the Flyer vehicle—from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and Flyer Defense. And General Dynamics Land Systems has developed a ground mobility vehicle (GMV) 1.1 set of wheels that is a candidate for the SOCOM GMV 1.1 competition, as is the Flyer. The narrow-track version of this GDLS ride will fit into a V-22, the company announced. The FedBizOpps filing cites a “requirement … for a minimum basic quantity of two vehicles each with the ability to purchase eight additional vehicles.” A draft request for proposal (RFP) has been posted. When a final RFP is filed, contractors’ proposals will be evaluated based on criteria in the RFP. The draft RFP doesn’t commit the government to procure anything. There is a small-business standard involved. Another warfighter need involves swiftly alerting combatants to enemy fire and pinpointing the source of that fire, with the military seeking information about these systems. The Army Contracting CommandAberdeen Proving Ground Belvoir Division is seeking sources on behalf of the RDECOM CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate for a hostile fire detection system. The intent of this market research is to identify potential sensor capabilities and system solutions for the development of a hostile fire detection (HFD) system suitable for vehicles and fixed sites. Information is needed about HFD systems capable of detecting a hostile-fire event and determining the location of the event in an operationally useful timeframe. This request for information (RFI) addresses standalone HFD systems without integration into an active protection system. However, HFD systems that provide additional situational awareness capabilities such as an imaging system are of interest, as are HFD capabilities that can be incorporated into existing systems. Sensors of all modes, such as acoustic,

electro-optic infrared or radar, are of interest, as are systems comprised of more than one sensor mode. The primary threats of interest for this RFI are small arms (.50 caliber and smaller), rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and antitank guided missiles (ATGMs). Secondary threats include medium caliber arms (20 mm to 40 mm) and recoilless rifles. The HFD system must be able to detect and locate shot events at ranges up to the maximum effective range and beyond of these weapons. Classification of the threat type as small arms, RPGs or ATGMs is desired. The government seeks information on a single technical approach suitable for both wheeled and tracked vehicles. At a minimum, the HFD system on a stationary platform should be able to display the azimuth and elevation to the location of the hostile fire event within seconds of the event. It is highly desired that the system should have this capability for moving platforms and that the range to target or geolocation, such as latitude and longitude of the hostile-fire event, be provided by the system. In addition, the government is interested in systems that can also be integrated with existing surveillance systems at fixed sites. A low false alarm rate is important to the overall effectiveness of the HFD system. Technical approaches to minimizing the false alarm rate, as well as any supporting analyses or data to quantitatively verify false alarm performance, should be provided. The government is interested in integrated, system-level approaches that could be ready for a minimum technology readiness level 5/6 demonstration in fiscal year 2015. An explanation of component and system maturity is required; if TRL levels are used, the contractor must provide brief reasoning for choosing the listed level. Sources possessing potential solutions are invited to submit a white paper not to exceed 15 pages in length describing their capabilities and system concepts. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

SOTECH  11.2 | 13


What’s Hot in Special Operations Gear

Water Purification System

Infrared LED Light Tower

Aegis Defense

Larson Electronics

A water purification system creates potable water from polluted sources without using chemicals or power such as electricity. Aegis Defense—in partnership with Evoke LLC and Qore Systems LLC—has developed and redefined lightweight personal water purification systems, the companies announced. The system uses coated panels to kill pathogens. It recently met the U.S. Army Health Command NSF Protocol PL248 standards for removing the type of microbiological contaminants from drinking water likely to be encountered during military operations. WaterQore is a first of its kind non-chemical and energyfree, cost effective solution to provide safe drinking water anywhere, anytime, using any container, they stated. The solution offers the military a more efficient and effective way to provide soldiers critical field support with a military lightweight personal purification system. Using Qore Systems’ patented technology AMOSIL-Q, waterborne pathogens are eliminated through a bonded film fluid purification system. This process employs a mechanical kill through cellular disruption as pathogens contact the WaterQore media. AMOSIL-Q bonds to the WaterQore media’s complex architecture, covering it in trillions of microscopic “spikes” which adhere to a mesh surface. The entire solution requires no energy associated with traditional filtering and chemical disinfecting techniques. It safely and effectively kills germs, viruses, bacteria, algae, and protozoa. Amosil-Q technology works by electro-statically attracting germs, then shreds them apart. Once the germ makes contact with the Amosil-Q molecule, it is drawn down to its core where the pathogen is forced to implode and die. With the WaterQore system, contaminated water from virtually any source is placed in the WaterQore media-filled hydro bladder of a soldier’s storage unit. The media displaces less than two ounces of the bladder’s capacity. WaterQore treated mesh is made of 100 percent recyclable polyethylene (PET) mesh. The media’s unique tetrakaidecahedron (linked buckyballs) architecture creates a 14-sided multi-faceted surface allowing for a large surface area in a small volume. This allows for maximum contact on all Amosil-Q coated surfaces, enabling rapid destruction all pathogens. The WaterQore media stays active for up to six months, regardless of the water quantity passed through the system. Water stays purified while in storage without the need for power or chemicals. WaterQore, which provides a static microbial disinfection against pathogen reinocculations, purifies water within 15 minutes, is lightweight, displacing only 2 ounces of water, and works in a one-step purification process.

Extended height: 8 feet Weight: 48 pounds Endurance: 27-55 hours Charging: 120-volt AC wall outlet/12-volt vehicle

14 | SOTECH 11.2

Larson Electronics announced the release an infrared LED light tower designed to provide fully portable operation in a compact and powerful design. The WAL-LED3W-4S-IR Infrared LED Light Tower produces invisible infrared light intended for use with night vision equipment and devices, and features a collapsible tower and case with rechargeable battery for fully portable operation. The light tower is as easy to carry and transport as suitcasesized luggage, yet provides high-infrared illumination without the need for external power sources. This light tower can be set up in less than 30 seconds to provide an immediate source of high-power infrared illumination. When fully collapsed and closed this unit is approximately the size of a carry-on suitcase and weighs only 48 pounds. An included collapsible handle and case mounted wheels provide transport around the deployment area. The case is a heavyduty pelican-style unit that holds all of the operational equipment inside when closed and provides full protection against damage from impacts and contaminants. In fully deployed configuration this unit will withstand 65 mph winds, even with the tower extended to its full 8 feet in height. The operating assembly consists of four high-output infrared LED light heads mounted atop a collapsible tower that can be raised from 3 to 8 feet in height to produce wide area coverage of large sites. An integral AGM sealed lead acid battery provides fully portable power and will run the unit for up to 55 hours on a single charge. The infrared LED light heads are mounted to the tower with adjustable tension hinges which allow operators to easily position them as needed without tools. Each LED is controlled by a separate switch, allowing

operators to run all of the lights together or independently depending upon the amount of infrared illumination needed and desired battery run time. Operators can choose to independently power one or both sets to provide either 55 hours of operation with only one set, or 27 hours of operation with both. The infrared LED emitters on this light tower produce light that can only be viewed with night vision equipment. This unit also features the ability to be charged from a standard 120 VAC wall outlet, or from vehicles and equipment with 12-volt electrical systems. Added versatility comes from an included cigarette plug outlet that allows operators to use this unit as a source of portable power. The mast is constructed of aluminum and operates similar to a camera tripod. Operators can extend the mast anywhere from 3 to 8 feet. “The WAL-LED3W-4S-IR offers operators the ability to deploy powerful, covert infrared lighting where it is most needed,” said Rob Bresnahan with Larson Electronics “With a cloudy, moonless night, operators with standard night vision equipment have nothing to work with. This battery powered mobile infrared lighting system creates a long range, wide field of 940-nanometer or 850-nanometer lighting, which enables them to gain an advantage or render medical assistance without detection.”

Compiled by KMI Media Group staff

Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology Oshkosh Defense

Modes: Remotely controlled or autonomous Vehicles controlled: Three to five Safety features: Electronic stability control, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and electric power-assist steering. Oshkosh Defense announced the international debut of its Oshkosh TerraMax unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technology, which is available to support militaries globally. The TerraMax UGV technology provides a solution to two primary needs of today’s military customers worldwide. It helps reduce the threat to warfighters from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on battlefields by increasing a driver’s situational awareness or removing a driver from the vehicle entirely. It also serves as a force multiplier by allowing one operator to supervise three to five UGVs from a safe distance. All this comes at a time when militaries are facing force reductions. “Crew protection is a crucial priority for militaries as they modernize their vehicle fleets,” said Serge Buchakjian, senior vice president and general manager of international programs for Oshkosh Defense. “Our TerraMax technology gives forces the option to complete missions in dangerous situations with fewer troops. Our UGV technology has been extensively tested and refined, using input from troops and leveraging our more than 90 years of experience mobilizing military forces worldwide.”

Designed as a scalable kit that can be used on any fielded tactical wheeled vehicle, the Oshkosh TerraMax UGV technology enables vehicles to complete planned missions in full autonomous mode or by “shadowing” a leader vehicle. Oshkosh is demonstrating the TerraMax UGV technology’s operator control unit, a user-friendly control interface that provides the usability and functionality capabilities that troops need for operations in the field. The TerraMax UGV technology is highly sophisticated but was developed with the user in mind and for ease of control. Troops can be trained to operate vehicles remotely or in full autonomous mode in only a few days. Vehicles equipped with the TerraMax UGV technology retain their original payload and performance capabilities and can operate for extended periods of time—day or night, through dust and adverse weather—without enduring the fatigue that can afflict human operators. Oshkosh also is transitioning technologies from the TerraMax UGV system to provide active-safety features for the manned operation of vehicle fleets, including electronic stability control, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and electric power-assist steering.

Technology Award Presented Raytheon Raytheon BBN Technologies has been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for “sustained innovation through the engineering of first-of-a kind, practical systems in acoustics, signal processing, and information technology.” President Barack Obama presented the medal in a White House ceremony. The medals are the highest honors that the U.S. government bestows upon scientists, engineers and inventors. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation recognizes individuals and organizations for making lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and for helping to strengthen the nation's technological workforce. Raytheon BBN President Ed Campbell accepted the award on behalf of the organization. “Raytheon BBN Technologies has been a unique organization since its founding,” Campbell said. “I am honored to represent the men and women who, over the decades, have given

their intellectual energies to solving some of the important technological challenges facing our nation. For the president of the United States to recognize our work with a National Medal, that is the ultimate honor for our company.” Raytheon BBN’s legacy of innovation in the areas recognized by the award includes identifying flight patterns to reduce jet engine noise in residential areas, reducing submarine noise underwater, and devising software for battlefield simulations, communications and computer networks. Through the years, Raytheon BBN has been at the forefront of innovation. The organization developed packet switching and, with DoD funding, launched the ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, in 1969. Recently, Raytheon BBN has developed Boomerang, an acoustic sniper location system that has been widely deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Raytheon BBN has also helped to eliminate language barriers

by developing a handheld translation device called TransTalk that allows U.S. soldiers and aid workers to converse naturally with local people in other countries. SOTECH  11.2 | 15

Team Leader

Q& A

Improving SOF Support to the Geographic Combatant Commands

Col. Stuart W. Bradin Chief Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team SOCOM

Colonel Stuart W. Bradin was born October 11, 1961, in South Carolina into an Army family. Bradin began his military career as an armor cavalry scout in the South Carolina National Guard and was commissioned through The Citadel ROTC program on May 12, 1984, as an Armor officer. After serving three years in Germany as the Deputy J3 [deputy director of operations] for Special Operations Command Europe [SOCEUR], he was tasked with establishing a new NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters. The NATO Special Operations Coordination Center [NSCC] was established in December 2007, and on March 1, 2010, the NSCC was designated as the NATO Special Operation Headquarters, where he served as the chief of staff until June 2011. Currently he is serving as the chief of the Operational Planning Team [OPT] tasked with making SOCOM a global combatant command. The OPT is focused on giving SOCOM greater authorities as well as establishing a new command structure with greater presence in the National Capital Region, a new training and education component command. Bradin’s conventional assignments include duty as a platoon leader and troop executive officer with the 3rd Squadron 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment Bad Hersfeld, Germany. In 1992 he was selected to become a Latin American foreign area officer and received a master’s degree in Latin American studies from San Diego State University, and subsequently served in the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia. In 2000 he attended the School of the Americas Command and Staff Course. As a follow-on assignment he was assigned to the School of Advanced Military Studies as one of the authors for the Army first version of FM 3.0, the Army’s operations manual. Subsequently he was assigned to the Command and General Staff College as a SOF instructor with a mission to form the Special Operations Program. His previous special forces assignments include service with elements of Joint Special Operation Command, SOCEUR, and extensive service with the 7th and 10th Special Forces Groups [Airborne]. As a captain he served in the 3rd Battalion 7th SFG[A] in the Republic of Panama, where he commanded several SFODA [“A-Team”]. In 1st Battalion, 10th SFG[A] he served as a 16 | SOTECH 11.2

battalion operations officer [S3] as well as the company commander of the counterterrorist unit designated as the CINC’s In Extremis Force. He has participated in Operation Just Cause, served tours as an adviser in El Salvador and Peru, and is a veteran of multiple unconventional and other special operations with 10th SFG[A] in the Balkans and numerous locations in northern and central Africa. He recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan as director of the Special Operations Fusion Cell—a multinational joint interagency task force with 14 nations and eight agencies supporting NATO SOF.

Q: Thank you for taking time to speak with us. What brought about the creation of the Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team and what is its mission? A: When Admiral [Bill H.] McRaven took command [of SOCOM] in August 2011, he began an assessment of how to posture SOF to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Sections 164 and 167 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code charge the SOCOM commander with building a strategy that responds to national defense guidance set forth by the president of the United States and the secretary of defense in the National Military Strategy, Defense Strategic Guidance [DSG], Capstone Concept for Joint Operations [CCJO],

Mission Command, the Chairman’s Strategic Direction to the Joint Force and other national military strategy documents. The DSG directs the Department of Defense to build partnerships and relationships, and globally posture the joint force. We refer to Admiral McRaven’s response to that guidance as SOF 2020. The commander’s vision is a globally networked force of U.S. special operations forces, interagency [organizations], allies and partners that are able to rapidly or persistently address regional contingencies and threats to stability. Building trust with partners—both interagency and partner nations—is the foundation that must be in place to ensure the vision’s success. Special operations forces over time and through persistent engagements will continue to build trust with partner nations and interagency partners. To quote the admiral, “You can’t surge trust.” A trusting relationship must be in place when it is needed. The admiral’s assessment prompted him to form three operational planning teams [OPTs] to focus on his stated priorities or lines of operation. He formed an OPT that focuses on winning the current fight and another that focuses on preserving the force and families. The third is the Global SOF Network OPT, of which I am the chief. The goal is to enhance SOF and SOCOM support to the GCCs [geographic component commands]. In order to accomplish that, he tasked the OPT with developing a plan to make the theater special operations commands [TSOCs] the hubs of a SOF network that supports the GCCs. The commander’s guidance also directed the OPT to determine the how the TSOCs should be manned and equipped to successfully perform that mission while providing increased SOF support to their GCC. The admiral also tasked the OPT with strengthening the relationships with interagency partners to build interagency support for the GCCs and TSOCs. Q: What is SOCOM’s relationship with the TSOCs and how will it allow the command to influence things like manning and equipping? A: The first part of your question is very timely. Up until February the TSOCs were under the combatant command [COCOM] and operational control of the GCCs. The Joint Staff’s Forces For Unified Command Memorandum and Assignment Tables is the document that assigns forces provided by the services to combatant commanders for normal operations. Under the previous “Forces For” and Section 167 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code, all SOF in the U.S. are under the COCOM authority of SOCOM, while those SOF assigned to the TSOCs were under the COCOM of the GCCs. In other words, the responsibility to organize, train and equip SOF assigned to the TSOCs fell to the GCCs. Since the vision focuses on enhancing the TSOCs in order to improve SOF support to each GCC, the most effective and efficient way to accomplish that is by making SOCOM responsible for resourcing the TSOCs and ensuring the readiness of all SOF. The command recommended changes to the Forces For document to give SOCOM COCOM of TSOCs and forward-deployed SOF, with the GCCs retaining operational control of those forces. The recommended changes would only affect the 6 percent of SOF that were not stationed in the United States.

The combatant commanders and service chiefs and secretaries concurred with the recommended changes and the secretary of defense signed the 2013 Forces For on February 11, giving SOCOM COCOM of the TSOCs. The newly signed Forces For will enable SOCOM to work with the GCCs to more fully understand their requirements and then build and resource a TSOC that meets those requirements. Q: What was the process SOCOM used? A: As I said earlier, after taking command, Admiral McRaven initiated a comprehensive strategic assessment in order to determine how best to position SOF for the future. To set the stage, let me begin with the strategic context. The environment we face today and the environment we that was used in the assessment and subsequent exercises is based on the premise that there is no such thing as a local problem. Key terms SOCOM used to characterize today’s threats are: • • • •

Networked adversaries Trans-regional Accelerating pace of change Seams in ungoverned spaces

We in the U.S. military use geography to define operational areas. Increasingly, geographic boundaries mean nothing to the security challenges we face. Threats and potential threats to the nation’s security move easily from one region to another, paying no attention to boundaries. So what were once local problems and threats have become regionally and globally networked. As new members join the networks, the networks are diversifying their activities, resulting in the convergence of threats that were once distinct. Using this strategic context, SOCOM conducted several rigorous rehearsal of concept [ROC] drills in order to identify and validate the GCCs’ SOF requirements and inform the SOCOM program objective memorandum [POM] preparation. [The POM is used to help draft a defense budget.] The first ROC drill took place in April 2012 and looked at what would be GCC’s SOF requirements if there were no constraints. They could have as much as they ask for. During the second ROC drill held on July 12, 2012, geographic combatant commanders or deputy commanders validated their SOF requirements. During a third ROC drill on October 17-18, 2012, the commander discussed his intent for sourcing the validated requirements as well as developing an agreed-upon baseline structure for all TSOC headquarters. The ROC drills highlighted the fact that a decade of involvement in two wars had led to a suppressed “demand signal” from the GCCs and their TSOCs. What that means is, in prior years they had limited their requests for assets and manpower since they felt unlikely to get what they asked for. The ROC drill process proved to be a powerful tool to determine SOF global requirements. The command is going to institutionalize the GCC/TSOC ROC drill into a yearly process. Q: Where does the global SOF network come into play? A: To address problems nations once thought were local problems, they increasingly must adopt a global perspective. The GCCs consider U.S. security interests, issues and challenges within their SOTECH  11.2 | 17

region. As a functional combatant command, SOCOM has the responsibility to consider issues that cross regions and have global implications. The command can most effectively do that by working through a global network and the problems can be addressed most effectively using a global network. In response to strategic guidance and in the context of the global security challenges, SOCOM is positioning SOF to support the GCCs with a globally networked force of SOF, interagency, allies and partners. Q: Can you explain the global SOF network? A: SOCOM is partnering with the GCCs and working through the TSOCs to build a global SOF network that will not only include the U.S. military but our U.S. government interagency partners and regional partner-nation SOF as well. This effort reflects a renewed emphasis on the need for a globally networked approach to deterrence and warfare and the CCJO’s premium on partnering. The adage “you need a network to defeat a network” still holds true, and the Global SOF Network enables more missions than just directaction, counterterrorism missions. In an era of increasing responsibilities and competing priorities, it is important to build a network that proactively anticipates threats and enables cooperative security solutions in cost-effective ways—both at home and abroad. The nodes of the global SOF network include: the GCCs, TSOCs, special operations commands forward, regional SOF coordination centers [RSCCs], special operations liaison officers [SOLOs], partner nations, logistics, Global Mission Support Center, SOCOM-National Capital Region, special operations support teams [SOSTs], and command, control, communication, computers and intelligence, or C4I. Let me address the specifics of some of the nodes. The RSCCs will be key nodes in this network. The RSCC concept began with the creation of the NATO SOF Headquarters [NSHQ] in 2007. When it was created, the NSHQ included a staff of 19 people—18 Americans and one Norwegian. It has since grown to a staff of 220 people and focuses on training, education and the exchange of information. In 2007, 300 NATO SOF deployed to Afghanistan, and there are now over 2,200 NATO SOF from 26 nations deployed to Afghanistan. On December 12, 2012, the NSHQ inaugurated a new state-of-the-art facility in Mons, Belgium, not far from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Working with the GCCs and partner nations, we would like to apply this model of cooperation to other regions. We recognize we cannot take a cookie-cutter approach to this, and one model will not fit all regions. So the RSCCs will be tailored to regional objectives. While focused on regional objectives, the overarching goals of the RSCCs will be to improve regional SOF capabilities through training and education, coordination, information sharing and interoperability among regional partners. RSCCs will improve partner-nation relationships and build trust through meaningful and sustained engagements. For the RSCCs to be successful, regional partner nations and the USG interagency must be active participants. The United States cannot operate alone and be successful. The nation relies on a wide array of partnerships. Our partner nations include countries with whom SOF regularly holds training exercises, those where SOCOM has liaison officers, and those who have sent liaisons to SOCOM headquarters. 18 | SOTECH 11.2

In the case of the latter, Admiral McRaven has encouraged interested nations to send representatives to SOCOM headquarters, and has worked to break down barriers to information sharing so that partners can be fully integrated into the SOCOM staff. SOCOM currently has foreign representation on staff from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and the Netherlands. Just as the commander has encouraged partner nations to send representatives to SOCOM headquarters, the command has made an investment in providing liaison officers to partner nations. Special operations liaison officers [SOLOs] are in-country SOF advisors to the U.S. country team. They advise and assist partner-nation SOF in the development of partner-nation SOF activities and synchronize activities between the host nation and the United States. There are SOLOs in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, United Kingdom, Jordan, Poland, Colombia, France, Turkey, Kenya and Italy. Given the strong emphasis on partnerships in Admiral McRaven’s vision of the global SOF network, SOCOM has sought to thicken relationships with interagency partners in the national capital region. SOF does not perform a single mission around the world without collaboration with other U.S. government agencies. SOCOM presence in the national capital region includes the Washington office in the Pentagon, a legislative affairs office, and SOSTs who serve as SOCOM liaisons within government agencies. SOSTs are one- to three-person teams who work with our interagency partners in the national capital region. They comprise the liaison network tasked with facilitating better synchronization of DoD planning for global operations against terrorist networks and other emerging national security concerns. SOSTs represent SOCOM in 19 locations. Q: What is SOCOM-NCR? A: SOCOM’s presence in the National Capital Region includes the Washington office in the Pentagon, the legislative affairs office and Special Operations Support Teams. In the past, SOCOM’s presence in Washington, D.C., has lacked a central focal point. To address this issue, the command has established the SOCOMNational Capital Region Office. All the disparate SOF elements are being administratively consolidated under the SOCOM vice commander and the SOCOM-NCR. SOCOM-NCR is intended to serve as the focal point for coordination, collaboration and synchronization of global SOF operations with interagency [U.S. Department of State and other U.S. government agencies including law enforcement and the intelligence community]. Specifically, SOCOM-NCR will ensure the perspectives and capabilities of relevant interagency and international mission partners are incorporated in all phases of SOF planning efforts. The result will be integrated and synchronized operational approaches to complex security challenges. The SOCOM-NCR is also intended to eliminate redundancies and increase organizational efficiencies. Q: Thank you. Is there anything you would like to add? A: The only thing I will add is, the initiatives I have discussed are first and most importantly aimed at improving SOF and SOCOM support to the GCCs. The GCCs are SOCOM’s customers. O

Special Section

Allied team creates a multiplier effect for SOF intelligence worldwide. By Marc Selinger SOTECH Correspondent than 1,200, giving U.S. users access to more than 10,000 NATO The U.S. Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation and International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan (ISAF) Systems (U.S. BICES) is hardly a household name, but it has intelligence products annually and providing connectivity to played a major role in helping the American military, including 65,000 NATO and ISAF users worldwide. special operations forces, share intelligence information with Overseen by DoD’s Office of the Under Secallies for years. The Department of Defense is now retary of Defense for Intelligence, U.S. BICES looking at a wide range of ways to improve this has “become one of the most widely used C4I capability. information systems among the operations and General Dynamics Information Technology, intelligence communities,” the company said. It the research and development, operations, main“brings a fused, all-source intelligence focus to tenance, training and support contractor for U.S. current crisis situations with the capacity to supBICES, said the information technology system port future operations and exercises.” gives near real-time battle information to U.S. and DoD documents indicate U.S. BICES helped allied forces, supporting threat analysis, target support NATO airstrikes, rebel troop movements recommendations, and indications and warning. and logistics flows during Operation Unified ProIt said it has expanded the program over the past Adm. Bill H. McRaven tector in Libya in 2011. U.S. BICES has also 12 years from 60 U.S. BICES workstations to more

SOTECH  11.2 | 19

Special Section

provided such capabilities as full-motion video and video teleconferencing to U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

SOCOM At the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium in Washington, D.C., in January, SOTECH asked Admiral Bill H. McRaven, SOCOM commander, to detail the impact of U.S. BICES. He explained that U.S. BICES has been a vital supporter of the communications needs of the NATO SOF Coordination Center. The center was established in 2007 in Belgium and is now known as the NATO Special Operations Headquarters. “Nineteen of our allies are currently assigned to the NATO SOF headquarters, and there are actually another couple of non-NATO alliance countries that are working with us as well,” McRaven said. “So we had to have a system that was outside CENTRIXS [the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System], which was the NATO platform for communicating, that would allow us to pass information, to do video-teleconferences, those sorts of things. U.S. BICES kind of stepped up to the plate and said, ‘Hey, we can provide you some seed money on this, we can help you develop this system.’ So it has been very successful with our NATO and non-NATO allies who are supporting us in Afghanistan and other places.” SOCOM, based at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., is now looking at how to migrate that system to more countries. Allies that want to participate will have to fund a link to the system, the admiral said. “We have offered it to everybody that wants to join us,” McRaven said. “Last May, 96 nations attended the International SOF Week down in Tampa. We extended the offer to them that, ‘Hey, if you want to have any part of this informal network, let us know and we’ll hook you up with the BICES folks.’” The International Special Operations Forces Week conference focused on “Building the Global SOF Partnership” and included a half-hour combat capabilities demonstration involving aircraft, boats and vehicles outside the Tampa Convention Center. U.S. special operators participated with SOF partners from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Norway, Poland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

BICES-X More changes could be in the works for U.S. BICES. The Air Force has announced that DoD is considering competing the program, now called U.S. BICES-eXtended (BICES-X), for continued program management, operation and development. “US BICES-X is an extension of U.S. BICES services and capabilities to support warfighter partner-nation requirements beyond NATO and the European environment,” said Army Lieutenant Colonel James O. Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman. The government in October 2012 issued a request for information to determine who in industry could meet its requirements. At an industry day the following month in Chantilly, Va., program officials indicated they would like to make a 20 | SOTECH 11.2

The United States is working to extend BICES, linking many disparate individuals in what is now called BICES-X. [Photo courtesy of DoD]

The goal is to link U.S. forces with partners across the globe. [Photo courtesy of DoD]

host of improvements to the system, including “access to or implementation of new applications” and “improved user interfaces and interoperability.” They also envision building a U.S. BICES-X test facility to support rapid prototyping, simulation, exercises, training and analysis. The officials acknowledged there are a host of potential roadblocks to these improvements, including budget constraints and a “dynamic environment.” The November 8 industry day attracted about 125 attendees, the government said. Companies that each sent five attendees, the maximum allowed, included AOS, BAE Systems Information Solutions, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics Information Technology, L-3 Stratis, Lockheed Martin, ManTech International, SAIC, Sotera Defense Solutions, SRA International and World Wide Technology. Asked by a reporter to discuss the potential competition, these companies either declined or did not respond. O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

Admiral McRaven says funding cut by 23 percent, harming SOF. By Dave Ahearn, SOTECH Editor Funding for special operations is about to plunge, with roughly one dollar in every four disappearing from SOF budgets, thanks to existing budget reductions, the automatic sequestration cutbacks and a budgetary continuing resolution (CR) that freezes funding at old, lower fiscal year 2012 levels rather than higher FY13 amounts. That was the somber assessment that Admiral Bill H. McRaven, commander, SOCOM, provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee as senators asked whether the bitterly austere fiscal situation confronting the Department of Defense will impact special ops. Special operations funding is being hit by “a perfect storm,” he replied. “It’s about a 23 percent cut in SOCOM’s available resources,” McRaven estimated. While he is ensuring that readiness of special ops units forward deployed will be maintained, the cuts are damaging the training base back home. “We are beginning to create a [SOCOM] readiness problem if we don’t resolve the CR and/or have an opportunity to manage the sequestration money,” he told the committee. Under sequestration, funding for programs is cut across the board, automatically, by the same amount, with no regard for which programs are critical and which can be deferred. The funding cuts “over a 10-year window will cut us by about $10 billion,” McRaven said. That is roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of funding for SOCOM and its units. That translates to roughly a 10 percent reduction in readiness and capabilities, he cautioned. At present, McRaven heads what many see as the finest fighting forces on the planet. But McRaven said the cuts will harm U.S. special operations capabilities, with effects ranging from reductions in deployments to aircraft upgrades. In a cavernous Hart Senate Office Building hearing room, senators expressed concern that the most elite U.S. fighting force may be harmed by spending cuts, and McRaven indicated their fears are well founded, with those cuts impacting special operations both currently and later. “Make no mistake about it, the sequestration—and on top of that, the continuing resolution—will have a dramatic impact on special operations now and in the future,” the admiral said. Despite the difficult situation, he added, “The president and the secretary [of defense] charged me to manage the best force I can to provide combat-capable special operations troops forward to the combatant commanders. I will do absolutely the best I can to ensure that I am providing those forces for them.” While McRaven indicated he will strive to ensure cuts don’t compromise critical missions, the reductions will hit home eventually.

“We tend to have to mortgage a little bit of the future” in attempting to ameliorate the effect of cuts now, he said. But just because major dislocations may not be easily seen doesn’t mean they aren’t going to happen. “It will not be apparent, I don’t think, to the combatant commanders or to the American people—the effect that these cuts are having on special operations—for several years,” he testified. But in reality, “As we begin to cut back on our flying programs, as we begin to cut back on our recruiting base, as we begin to cut back on some of the modifications that we’re going to do on our helicopters, as we begin to cut back on the deployments,” real damage will occur. “Before long, there is an effect—a global effect, frankly, with the reduction in the capability of the special operations forces,” McRaven predicted. “Now, I can’t tell you when that line is going to come—when we’re going to hit that mark where now, the forces that I’m deploying are not the quality of forces that the American people expect. “But make no mistake about it, as we move forward with these sequestration cuts, and if the CR stays in effect, we will hit that line sooner than later.” Aside from those eventual problems, McRaven also cited difficulties that the cuts already are causing. “The problems are current,” he said. “I don’t want to lead you to believe that the cuts that we’re incurred now, that we’re accepting now, are not affecting the force now. They are. I’ve cut some of my deployments by about 20 percent in some cases, 60 percent for some of my less forward units. So the effect—it is having an effect now.” And, he warned, the damage will only worsen the longer the CR and sequestration remain in force. “That effect will be magnified as we go forward into the future,” he predicted. Beyond the deleterious impact of cuts in financial support for special operations, there also is an additional impact as budget cuts and the CR affect the major services, which provide support for a huge number of special ops missions, McRaven added. “I get a tremendous amount of my support from the various services, and that will absolutely affect the special operations capability of this nation,” he said. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

SOTECH  11.2 | 21

parts of the world,” he said. Still, he added, While extensive—sometimes “the primary area of concern for me has unwanted—attention has been focused on been—since 1996 … that mountainous area special operations forces in Afghanistan between Afghanistan and Pakistan.” That and Pakistan, where operations will conis the area where al-Qaida leadership still tinue, it is clear that SOF also will be resides, he said, though “we’ve really diminfocused on many other regions as well. ished that.” That was a key point that Another major area of Michael A. Sheehan, assistant concern where the terrorsecretary of defense for speist group exists is in Yemen, cial operations/low intensity Sheehan stated, citing an conflict (SO/LIC), made in attack on a U.S. Navy ship outlining the status of a new there. The enemy piloted defense strategy for SOF and what appeared to be a garbage other elements of the Departscow close to the USS Cole, ment of Defense. Sheehan a destroyer, as it lay peacemade his comments before fully at anchor in the harbor the National Defense IndusMichael A. Sheehan in Aden in 2000, well before trial Association SO/LIC Symthe September 11 attacks. posium in Washington, D.C. A bomb on the boat detonated, blasting For example, Sheehan pointed to critical a huge hole in the side of the destroyer. areas such as Somalia and Yemen in sketchThe attack left 17 sailors dead and 39 injured. ing out future challenges facing U.S. special “Yemen has always been a place of persisoperators, providing examples of how the tent al-Qaida presence, and will remain [so] new defense strategy is working. for a long time,” he predicted. “In Yemen, [terrorist activity] was Further, Yemen has been a spawning threatening,” including the enemy moving ground of other terrorist attacks, Sheehan to “re-establish capabilities that were very observed, including the attempted Christmas problematic,” he noted. But over the past Day 2009 destruction of an airliner in Detroit year, “We’ve made great progress in Yemen.” by the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Similarly, he has seen “the same thing in Abdulmutallab. The group poses a threat that Somalia” with al Shabaab, the al-Qaida affiliis “a major concern to us,” since it was able ate there, and its associates facing difficulties, to reach “the U.S. homeland.” Still, Abdulhe noted. mutallab’s bomb failed to explode, and he The forces of freedom have been “pushwas subdued by crew and passengers. ing them to the hinterlands,” he reported, There also was a failed attack in 2010 although the militants in al Shabaab “haven’t in Times Square in Manhattan, where a car gone away,” he continued. “They are a persisbomb failed to detonate. The bombing was tent group.” attempted by Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani “We know that al-Qaida is always evolvnative who became a U.S. citizen living in ing, metastasizing, showing up in different 22 | SOTECH 11.2

Bridgeport, Conn. He was trained to carry out the attack by operatives in Pakistan. While some said the attack failed because New Yorkers in the square were lucky, “I think it was more than luck,” Sheehan said. First, Shahzad wasn’t trained by al-Qaida experts, but rather was trained by Pakistani operatives. Further, “he also had no network to support him. He was by himself,” to avoid possibly turning for support to someone who might be an FBI informant. “He also wasn’t a suicide bomber.” Yet another area of concern, Sheehan related, is East Africa, where al-Qaida launched bombing attacks in 1998 on U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. The enemy “will remain there for a long time,” he said. But U.S. personnel have managed to batter the foe for many years, and success has been evident in that the enemy has not mounted numerous attacks on the U.S. homeland, he said. Yet another area with new and evolving threats is Syria, Sheehan reported. Syria has seen two years of violent uprisings against President Bashar al-Assad, where al-Qaidaassociated groups have joined the uprisings. Adding to the list of trouble spots is North Africa, Sheehan said, in two areas including the Sahara. This centers on such places as Libya and northern Mali. He explained that al-Qaida groups are adept at hijacking rebellions and turning them to power grabs for the terrorists. Areas where they are active span a swath of the continent ranging from Cairo, Egypt, and across the Maghreb that sweeps westward through North Africa, and also down to the Sahel, an arid semi-tropical area, and down to Nigeria, he observed.

Sheehan assesses where SOF will face challenges from terrorists.

By Dave Ahearn SOTECH Editor “In many ways, al-Qaida is attempting to rebrand itself and diversify into Africa,” Sheehan said, seeking to find a sanctuary free of government forces where they can operate. That can include setting up terrorist camps, conducting small arms and explosives training for operatives complete with detonating munitions, and moving operatives from the West into those camps. “Across currently the whole northern part of the continent, [there are] myriad groups that have become very problematic,” he said, in a deadly mix of terrorist groups, weapons and funding from various areas. Sheehan also addressed tactical considerations. A hallmark of the past decade of war has been the ever-greater U.S. employment of precision strike capabilities. By using carefully calibrated munition yields, U.S. forces have made great strides toward resolving a major challenge. The enemy has purposely positioned itself so that any U.S. counterattack may cause collateral damage, placing American forces in a bad light in world opinion. For example, the enemy may lurk next to a Muslim mosque, so that coalition attacks on the enemy may damage or destroy the mosque. Or the enemy may hide in a building housing innocent women and children, so that any U.S. air strike with large-scale munitions may kill innocents. U.S. and coalition forces have adopted new strategies of precisely targeting only the enemy forces and facilities without harming civilians or sensitive structures, using small munitions that won’t cause widespread damage.

This has been a success story in the long war. At the same time, Sheehan cautioned, “In the long term, we recognize that we can’t solely rely on precision strike,” he said. For example, the United States must focus on denying the enemy sanctuary. And blue forces must be able to control borders to keep out insurgents. Another important role for SOF is in training, advising and assisting friendly forces, not only allied special ops personnel but also friendly general purpose forces, he said. Shifting to fiscal affairs, Sheehan expressed gratitude to White House and congressional leaders for providing solid financial backing. “The Congress has been very supportive … since 9/11,” he said, both in the Republican George Bush administration and in the succeeding Democratic Barack Obama administration. Congress has been a very important and productive partner of the executive branch in providing the funding and the authorization to support the global campaign against al-Qaida and its affiliates, Sheehan emphasized. This support “will be increasingly important for SOF in the future,” and “it’s an authority we really want to work hard with the Congress to protect.” For example, funding authority to aid partner nations in Africa to push back on the al-Qaida threat is critical, he indicated. Congress has shown “a great deal of wisdom, in my opinion, in providing these authorities … to give us the tools to do these [kinds of] operations over the last few years. And I think we have been very

successful” in prosecuting the effort against the enemy. He said there are always risks in working with a partner nation, that its forces may not be properly funded or equipped or that those forces may not comply with the rule of law and respect for human rights, committing acts that would embarrass the United States. There also is, of course, the ever-present risk of injury or death confronting special operators, he continued. And an additional risk is that special forces, in taking a course of action, could actually make matters worse. Here, Sheehan counseled, SOF should be like physicians adhering to the popularized version of the Hippocratic Oath: first, do no harm. For example, in pursuing a counterterrorism objective, SOF should avoid being pulled into other, unrelated conflicts, he advised. Sheehan pointed to “a whole myriad of risks involved, whether you are training conventional forces or elite counterterrorism forces.” And there is a risk in becoming involved with a force that then goes in the wrong direction, he said. It is critical, he added, that U.S. SOF warriors understand these risks. Finally, Sheehan voiced a strongly positive view of the defense industrial base. “The partnership that we’ve had with the private sector … has been so important to our success,” he said. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

SOTECH  11.2 | 23

GPS to combine military robustness with civilian accuracy. By William Murray SOTECH Correspondent Small vehicles, large vehicles, aircraft, even desktop computers: GPS is no longer just a niche application for position, navigation and timing, according to three vendors. In addition, military users are looking increasingly for robust systems that are less susceptible to jamming and spoofing while also being highly accurate in field use for positioning and targeting. “GPS is embedded in all sorts of systems,” said Peter Soar, business development manager for defense and military at NovAtel, an original equipment manufacturer in Calgary, Alberta. When military users need high-precision military navigation alignment, for example, they use GPS-enabled technology. In addition, UAV systems and landing systems use GPS, and it is integrated in the critical national infrastructure. “The trend is to put GPS in everything,” said Brian Paul, defense business development manager at GPS Source in Pueblo West, Colo., a veteran-owned small business. “They’re bringing wireless GPS signals into the team room, the aircraft hangar, the cockpit, on mounted infantry, and into cargo aircraft for improved situational awareness,” he said. 24 | SOTECH 11.2

means that open-signal receivers have been used in many applicaGPS Source focuses on the design and manufacture of GPS signal tions,” according to Soar. And although the accuracy of the signals distribution equipment for ground vehicle and aircraft platforms for is consistent, specialist civil receivers are optimized for accuracy smaller vehicles. whereas military receivers are usually optimized for robustness, he “Military systems tend to be robust but are often not as accusaid. As a result, many systems in use, such as UAVs, which need rate” as civilian systems, which find it easier to use enhanced accuracy for cueing sensors and landing, use high-end civil receivaccuracy techniques, Soar said. When users need a high level of ers like the NovAtel OEM628 and OEM615 multi-constellation precision, such as in agriculture and the oil and gas industries, then receivers. “We anticipate that the waivers to use nonprecise position, navigation and timing systems make military receivers are coming to an end, and we are sense, according to Soar. But the civil systems can seeing emerging demand for a system with both the be prone to jamming. Vendors are working to marry robustness of a military receiver and the accuracy of the two capabilities—robustness and precision. “The a precise navigation receiver,” Soar added. grace period is over,” Soar said of the time when Steve Spaulding, business development manager military users could have used less robust systems, for antenna programs at ITT Exelis in Bohemia, N.Y., since civilian oversight of military leadership is less is seeing the military use anti-jam (AJ) GPS techtolerant of mistakes in military operations. “There’s a nology “more and more to protect valuable assets,” much stronger drive toward keyed military systems,” with the Navy adding adaptive processors to AJ GPS he said. Some systems include cryptographic keys. receivers on “everything they fly,” with the Air Force Military doctrine is to use keyed military receivPeter Soar also using GPS “on everything.” ers where possible. “Cost and restricted availability

SOTECH  11.2 | 25

“To ensure accurate platform location and timing for other onboard systems despite interference” is what military services are using GPS technology for in the context of position, navigation and timing systems, according to Spaulding. The traditional use of GPS has been for navigation, but can be expanded to include local team blue force tracking or situational awareness in the field. These days, Army purchasers are looking to add GPS capabilities to SINCGARS (Single-Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System) radios to combine network services for use in situational awareness. There’s also an increased interest in using position navigation and timing systems, which are becoming lighter and more energy efficient, for dismounted soldiers, according to Mark Fournier, director of programs for micro-electronics and antennas at ITT Exelis. “Most soldiers wear armor and flack jackets,” he said. “Putting on a GPS antenna [imposes] additional weight.” From what Spaulding has observed, there was previously a “tradeoff cross between best performance and cost.” The amount of volume purchases that the military is making with AJ GPS systems enables military buyers to acquire systems at a discount, according to Spaulding. “Over the next 20 years, lower cost, better performance and improved … ruggedization” will characterize GPS anti-jam technology, in addition to “expanded … frequency ranges and bandwidth.” Some soldiers in foreign military services have used privately purchased civilian GPS systems, according to Soar. “Each lance corporal and above in some armies probably has one,” he said. “It’s not just a robustness thing,” he said of the value of GPS receivers. “It’s navigation coherence” as well. A privately purchased GPS receiver may be using a subtly different mapping frame than the military receiver, which could cause trouble in activities like targeting. In addition, there are many flavors of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) in operation, since the Chinese and Russian systems are operational, the European version is developing and several other countries have their own regional networks or augmentation systems. Given this situation, multi-constellation receivers that one can use in conjunction with multiple satellite systems throughout the world are particularly valuable, Soar said. “They are not as good for robustness as keyed military systems,” he said. “But they are better than any [GPS] receiver you can buy at a Radio Shack.” The half-built European Galileo satellite network holds promise, according to Soar. GPS comes, broadly, in two types: civil and military. “Currently the civil system uses one frequency, L1, upon which the coarse/ acquisition code is transmitted, and the military system uses two frequencies, L1 and L2—and the L2 frequency carries a special encrypted military signal called Precise (Encrypted) Code,” Soar explained. “The normal way of accessing the military signal is to use a receiver enabled with a selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM). The specifications and the hardware are, of course, ITARcontrolled.” He referred to the International Trade in Arms Regulations, which control export from the United States of militarily sensitive technologies, and the export of systems using those technologies. “And a SAASM receiver is more expensive than a civil equivalent,” Soar continued. GPS is being modernized as well, with the addition of a civil frequency, L5, and the advent of the new military signal, M-Code. 26 | SOTECH 11.2

The NovAtel hybrid receiver, OEM 625S, uses civil multi-constellation GNSS and military GPS. It has a SAASM on board, which gives users the best features of both systems, according to Soar. “We can protect against the threats that are out there” with anti-jam antennas as well, Soar said of NovAtel. In addition to offering protection against jamming and spoofing, NovAtel enables its military operators to offer electronic protection, electronic support and electronic attack. NovAtel’s GAJT anti-jam unit is designed as a retrofit for armored vehicles; it contains all the electronics in a simple package that will protect the existing GPS receivers on-board the vehicle. A version for UAVs is expected to be available this year. The Tactical Assured GPS Regional program at Aberdeen Proving Ground shows that the Army is “taking navigation warfare seriously,” Soar said. Commercial technology can satisfy the position navigation and timing systems needs for some military users, while there’s a “rapidly maturing need for formal GPS requirements” that has led to a request for information, he said. “Particularly in targeting, there’s a lot of use of GPS in the Army,” Soar said. “We can’t accept collateral damage any longer,” leading to further pressure for targeting accuracy in the fire support teams, according to Soar. Through geo-referencing technology, the pilot in his cockpit and the colonel at headquarters can see the same picture. The military services need robust and precise targeting applications to reduce unneeded casualties and increase lethality during strikes, according to Soar. “Because of the way we operate, position and navigation which are both robust and accurate are very important.” “Systems that didn’t need GPS before, such as laptop computers, are now using GPS,” Paul said. “It’s extended beyond navigation and positioning.” GPS Live Inside technology enables users to distribute formatted messages using GPS technology to more than just human devices. Helicopter operators can use GPS for surveying and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to Paul. Perhaps in a first-generation deployment of GPS, “tens of vehicles” in a military service would use the technology, said Paul. These days, companies such as GPS Source are selling thousands of units to fit MRAPs and HMMWVs, in addition to the special forces communities, with wireless signals to operators providing actionable data, according to Paul. GPS Source partners with systems integrators and also sells directly with the military. The Army is currently evaluating solutions for an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for a Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) Distributed Device to support blue force tracking that could be worth as much as $6 million, said Paul. Through Program Executive Officer Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors, moreover, the Army is testing DAGR-distributed devices at Aberdeen Proving Ground. O

For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Dave Ahearn at or search our online archives for related stories at

SOTECH RESOURCE CENTER Advertisers Index Aegis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 Deployed Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2

Persistent Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Calendar April 30-May 1, 2013 AUSA Braxton Bragg Symposium Fort Bragg, N.C.

May 14-16, 2013 SOFIC Tampa, Fla.

July 11-12, 2013 Warrior Expo East Virginia Beach, Va.

November 5-6, 2013 SOFEX Fort Bragg, N.C.

May 7-9, 2013 SpecOps West Warfighter Expo Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash.

June 18-20, 2013 Soldier Equipment & Technology Expo & Conference (Fort Bragg) Fort Bragg, N.C.

July 30-August 1, 2013 Military Vehicles Conference & Exhibition Detroit, Mich.

December 14-17, 2013 Special Operations Medical Assoc. Conference (SOMA) Tampa, Fla.

SOTECH  11.2 | 27


Special Operations Technology

Chris Pehrson Director of Strategic Development General Atomics Aeronautical Systems standard cameras for operation in daylight and advanced night imaging technology to collect imagery under darkness.

Chris Pehrson is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and serves as director of strategic development for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

Q: What’s new in full-motion video and weapon systems?

Q: Could you tell us about your UAS products and services? A: Our company delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft [RPA], tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic [EO] surveillance systems for military and commercial applications worldwide. Our Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Gray Eagle, and the new Predator C Avenger and Predator XP. We also manufacture a variety of solid-state digital ground control stations, including the next-generation advanced cockpit GCS, and provide pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. Our Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures and integrates the Lynx multi-mode radar and sophisticated Claw sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. We also develop and integrate other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develop emerging technologies such as directed energy and specialized sensors for government applications. Q: Which systems/products do SOF currently use? A: The battle-proven Predator and Predator B/Reaper provide SOCOM and other customers with unmatched multi-mission, state-ofthe-art situational awareness. Our company continues to expand Reaper’s capabilities with a new Block 5 variant, providing increased effectiveness, improved multi-mission flexibility and even greater reliability. Block 5 Reaper is designed for increased electrical power, automatic takeoff and landing, increased gross takeoff weight and the capability to carry heavier payloads or additional fuel. Numerous new communications capabilities will be available in Block 5, including 28 | SOTECH 11.2

dual ARC-210 VHF/UHF radios with wingtip antennas, enabling simultaneous communications between multiple air-to-air and airto-ground parties; secure data links; and an increased data transmission capacity. In addition to RPA, the special operations customer seeks next-generation sensor capabilities to remedy challenges associated with persistent situational awareness, target development and identification of potential threats such as IEDs, to name but a few. As an example, our Highlighter airborne EO sensor system provides unprecedented highresolution 3-D imagery to ground forces and delivers near real-time tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination for unprecedented situational awareness. The result is indispensable, lifesaving intelligence. Q: Can you describe your technologies? A: Customer demand for RPA and sensors, particularly our Lynx multi-mode radar, continues to grow. Lynx is a long-range, widearea surveillance sensor that is particularly valuable to our customers for detecting timesensitive targets, IEDs and moving contacts. It features photographic-quality resolution, delivers an all-weather capability capturing imagery day or night, and provides a maritime wide-area surveillance capability. Derived from our proven day-only Highlighter EO system, our company’s Nightlighter system delivers around-the-clock, ultra high-resolution imagery to detect IEDs or other anomalies along roads and other routes of travel. Its imagery also can be processed rapidly into precision, wide-area, 3-D relief maps of terrain and structures that are of high value to both mission planners and the warfighter. The system uses both

A: Equipped with full-motion video technologies, our Predator/Gray Eagle-series aircraft provide persistent situational awareness for the warfighter. These platforms have amassed over 2 million flight hours to date with 90 percent of that time spent in combat in defense of the warfighter. To provide even more capability and quality, our RPA platforms are in the process of being upgraded with day/night HD video. We realize that our R&D in RPA and surveillance sensors can save lives on the battlefield and help safeguard our nation’s borders. As such, we innovated and funded development of Predator B/Reaper and Avenger, the first weaponized, jet-powered remotely piloted aircraft, both of which continue to attract interest from a growing list of prospective domestic and international customers. Our R&D investments in sensor and laser technologies are delivering equally compelling results. We are developing the High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System, as well as other sophisticated EO sensors. From Predator/Gray Eagle-series aircraft to advanced sensors, we provide our customers with persistent situational awareness capabilities. We are dedicated to providing long-endurance, multi-mission aircraft integrated with next-generation, highly sophisticated sensor packages. Q: Where is UAS technology headed? A: Affordability, reliability and multi-mission flexibility will likely remain key discriminators in future aircraft and sensor acquisitions. Our company will continue to deliver products that meet these and other discriminating requirements of our customers. We remain dedicated to supporting the warfighter with transformational RPA and sensor technologies that provide critical battlefield advantages. O

April 2013 Volume 11, Issue 3

Next Issue

Cover and In-Depth Interview with:

Col. John R. Evans Commander 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) Special Section SOF Aviation Aviation assets are a critical component in special ops missions, such as supporting combatants heading to a mission. Review with us the immense array of aerial platforms serving these outstanding warriors.

Features MC-130J Profile

The UAV Fleet

Tour with us the new MC-130J special ops tactical aircraft, a multi-tasking miracle of many missions, from troop transport to logistics resupply asset and refueling station of the sky.

From tiny craft to substantial platforms, special ops uses remotely piloted assets as eyes in the sky and more.

Non-Standard Aviation These aircraft may look like civilian planes, but they provide SOCOM with military capabilities including intra-theater airlift and logistics support. We check out these unusual birds.

SOFIC Preview Take an advance look at the World Series of special ops trade shows, the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla., on May 14-16, 2013. See who will exhibit new platforms and check out the list of first-rank speakers.

Airborne ISR Payloads The systems that special operators use to gain a bird’seye view of the enemy are awesome, and include tiny cameras that can provide video filling a huge screen on the ground. See the systems that operate aloft to make a life-saving difference on the ground.

Bonus Distribution: Quad-A

Insertion Order Deadline: March 21, 2013 | Ad Materials Deadline: March 28, 2013

A Revolutionary Weapon in Water Purification. WaterQore ’s revolutionary purifying process is simple, chemical-free, rapid and highly efficient. ®

WaterQore uses patented Amosil-Q technology to safely kill germs, viruses, bacteria, algae and protozoa by shredding them apart on contact. ™

Amosil-Q stands for Anti-microbial Organo Silane Quaternary. It is a bonded non-leaching nano-technology that ruptures a pathogen’s cell membrane – destroying it on contact. WaterQore is a revolutionary chemical and energy-free way to transform contaminated water into safe drinking water with the ability for long-term, pathogen-free storage from virtually any water source.

WaterQore Delivers.

WaterQore treated mesh

+ Purifies water within 15 minutes

cover over fill-hole: Reduces large particles and turbidity.

+ Easy one step purification process + 6-month operational life + 12-year proven dry shelf-life + Meets 135 liter volume requirements + Resistant to shock, heat and freezing + Displaces only 2 ounces of water + Lightweight - only weighs 70 grams + Not affected by turbidity {cloudiness} + Eliminates bio-film on media surfaces

WaterQore within the

hyrdo-bladder: Provides a static microbial disinfection and safe storage against pathogen reinoculation, bio-film and fungus formation in water.

SOTECH 11-2 (Mar. 2013)  
SOTECH 11-2 (Mar. 2013)  

Special Operations Technology, Volume 11 Issue 2, March 2013