Worldâ€™s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine
SOCOM Program Management Updates
SOF Enhancer Adm. Bill H. McRaven Commander Special Operations Command
Rapidly Deployable Networks O SOF Light Vehicles Robotics Technology O Global SOF Training
Volume 11, Issue 4
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Special Operations Technology Features
May 2013 Volume 11, Issue 4
Cover / Q&A
2013 SOCOM Program Management Updates Leaders of SOCOM procurement programs provide an up-to-the-minute assessment of where each program stands, and how it will help special operators perform the most difficult job on the planet.
Global SOF Training
Before any special operator is sent into harm’s way, it is crucial that the warrior be fully prepared, knowing what the enemy will do and how to defeat the foe. Take a tour of some advanced training systems that provide combatants with a cutting edge. By scott nance
Admiral Bill H. McRaven
Rapidly Deployable Networks
Knowledge is power, and that is especially true on the current battlefield. Check out some of the comms systems that create instant networks, funneling urgent information to combatants, including voice comms, airborne ISR video, cartography, information on blueforce locations and much more. By Marc Selinger
Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 4 Whispers 6 People 14 BLack WAtch 59 Resource Center
Test drive the rich array of vehicles that can transport special operators, permitting rapid off-road travel that avoids roadside bombs while yielding the range needed for lengthy missions. By Dave Ahearn
Tremendous advances have been instituted in the past decade in the capability of robotics systems to detect, classify and defeat IEDs, the leading killer of U.S. and allied personnel in theater. See how these humanoid assets deal with IEDs, while removing combatants from harm’s way. By Dave ahearn
SOF Light Vehicles
Industry Interview Robert M. Miller Vice President Ceradyne Inc.
Commander Special Operations Command
“To improve the culture, we need to improve how we communicate with one another, we need to truly adopt innovative processes and we need to foster a working environment that is based on trust.” - Admiral Bill H. McRaven
Special Operations Technology Volume 11, Issue 4 • May 2013
World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine Editorial Editor Jeff Campbell email@example.com Managing Editor Harrison Donnelly firstname.lastname@example.org Online Editorial Manager Laura Davis email@example.com Copy Editors Sean Carmichael firstname.lastname@example.org Laural Hobbes email@example.com Correspondents Peter Buxbaum • Henry Canaday • Jeff Goldman Hank Hogan • William Murray • Marc Selinger Leslie Shaver
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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE The new defense strategic guidance, released by the president and secretary of defense just over a year ago, emphasized the rebalance to the Pacific while focusing on counterterrorism and irregular warfare capabilities. In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee intelligence, emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee, Michael A. Sheehan, assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low-intensity conflict, expanded on defense strategy, and spoke to the role of U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in that context. Sheehan called SOF talent management “the single greatest thing we could do to prepare our SOF for the expanded mission set of the future operating environment.” That talent has grown since 9/11. In fact, he said, mission require- Jeff Campbell Editor ment growth and persistent global engagement have resulted in “the largest expansion of SOF personnel, force structure, budget and enablers since Vietnam.” He said that expansion will help support U.S. Special Operations Command Commander Bill H. McRaven’s vision of a global SOF network. In both this issue of Special Operations Technology and this month at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, operators and industry representatives have a unique opportunity to hear more about the admiral’s vision. As the new editor of SOTECH, I’m excited to help SOCOM tell its story. My previous experience includes writing for the Defense Transportation Journal and serving as a U.S. Navy journalist. U.S. Army Transporters say “nothing happens until something moves.” We’ll find out how true that slogan is for special operators next month with features like “Logistics at the Edge” and “SOF Sustainment Programs.” First, let’s all get brought up to speed with the 2013 Program Management Updates. From the executive office for fixed wing to the technology and industry liaison office and office of small business programs, SOF acquirers’ fiscal year 2012 accomplishments and future support plans are all encapsulated here. This issue is also full of features, including the latest in Robotics Technology, and SOF global training and tactical vehicles. A highlight of this issue of SOTECH, remarks by Admiral Bill H. McRaven, commander, SOCOM, echo his House testimony. In it, he noted that SOF provides precisely the type of military capabilities required at this time, citing “the value of a small force with a light footprint,” rather than a huge force that can cause widespread collateral damage.
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Army Gaining UAVs with Gimbaled Payloads AeroVironment announced it received $13.8 million in incremental funding from the Army for continued performance of a contract for RQ-11B Raven systems. The overall contract provides a not-to-exceed value of $65.5 million. This order includes new miniature gimbaled payloads and initial spares packages, and is funded from the Army’s fiscal year 2012 procurement budget. Delivery of systems, spares and payloads is scheduled for completion by July 25. “The proven Raven small unmanned aircraft system continues to serve our soldiers reliably, wherever and whenever they require immediate airborne situational awareness,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager, unmanned aircraft systems. “Like all our customers, the Army’s needs continue to evolve, and we continue to deliver enhanced solutions to ensure that our troops maintain their battlefield advantage. The Mantis suite of gimbaled payloads is the latest example of a valuable capability enhancement to protect those who protect us.” The RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft system is a 4.5-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery wirelessly to a portable ground control station for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares.
Man Transportable Robotic Systems to be Obtained IRobot Corp., Bedford, Mass., is being awarded a $28.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract for procurement of man transportable robotic system production systems and other items. The award includes depot-level repair parts, spare kits, depot repair services, parts supply, training, engineering enhancements, configuration management and approved accessories. The system is a small robotic vehicle used by EOD technicians to conduct remote reconnaissance, render safe, and/or dispose of explosive devices.
Work will be performed in Bedford, Mass., and is expected to be completed by April 2014. No funding will be obligated at the time of the award. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division, Indian Head, Md., manages the contract.
Companies Team on Air Defense Platform MBDA and Thales are teaming on the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) for the Future Local Anti-Air Defence System the companies announced. The core Team Complex Weapons air defense missile development program spurred the teaming arrangement between MBDA and Thales UK’s Belfast site. Over the last year, as part of ongoing activity to develop the U.K. complex weapons (CW) supply chain and to realize the complementary skills of Thales, the two companies have been exploring opportunities to work together on CAMM, drawing on the missile design and manufacture capabilities in Northern Ireland.
4 | SOTECH 11.4
Work placed with Thales Belfast on this important development project now exceeds £1 million and has also opened up opportunities for a further £8 million of manufacturing work in the next phase of the project. Thales is involved in a number of aspects of the CAMM demonstration project, with work now covering the assessment and modeling of the thermal management within the missile, structural analysis work, and the use of precision manufacturing capabilities to make a number of the missile components. Steve Wadey, MBDA executive group director technical and managing director UK, commented, “This is a significant milestone between MBDA and Thales Belfast, demonstrating a new
business relationship utilizing CW capabilities across the U.K. in the most effective way for the benefit of our customers.” Alex Cresswell, executive vice president for land and air systems at Thales, said, “The companies are now planning to build on this successful start in the next few months by putting in place a single overall enabling contract to facilitate the efficient placement of future work. This illustrates the commitment of both MBDA and Thales to work together to benefit our complex weapon customers.” The companies are now exploring a number of areas of likely cooperation across other projects and throughout the product life cycle.
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Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Acquisition of UAVs Facilitated Northrop Grumman received an undefined contract award valued at more than $71 million for its Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system from the Air Force. Issued by the Global Hawk Systems Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the award is an add-on to a previous Lot 10 contract for block load and production acceptance infrastructure. “This contract modification covers a 22-month period of performance from March 2013 through the end of December 2014, bridging the current Lot 10 contract through completion,” said George Guerra, vice president of the Global Hawk program for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector. “It will provide engineering support for the production and final acceptance
testing of the Lot 10 aircraft and sensors,” he continued. “This contract will enable us to continue to provide our troops with Global Hawk’s unmatched intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for both domestic and international missions.” The scope of the contract includes support for program management, engineering and flight operations necessary to complete Lot 10 aircraft and sensor deliveries, which will include two Block 30 systems (air vehicles with enhanced integrated sensor suite and Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload [ASIP] sensors), two Block 40 systems (air vehicles with Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program [MP-RTIP] sensors), and three ASIP retrofits (sensors installed and flight tested in aircraft purchased in previous lots). Lot 10 deliveries are
scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The Global Hawk program received the coveted Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award in 2012 for demonstrating the most improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness. In fiscal year 2012, Global Hawk operated at a mission-capable rate of nearly 78 percent, exceeding the U.S. Air Force’s requirements for 19 consecutive months. Accumulating nearly 90,000 total flight hours in support of missions throughout the world, Global Hawk can fly for more than 30 hours at an altitude over 60,000 feet. The aircraft provides decision-makers with near real-time ISR and warfighters with unmatched communications relay capabilities.
SOCOM Advances Sensor Capabilities for Naval Aviation Navmar Applied Sciences Corp., Warminster, Pa., is being awarded an $18 million costplus-fixed-fee delivery order that will facilitate development of advanced sensors and systems supporting SOCOM naval aviation missions. The delivery order will work against a previously issued basic ordering agreement for engineering, integration, system maintenance/ repair services and training for the continued development of advanced sensors and systems. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pa., and is expected to be completed in March 2015. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., manages the contract.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Losey is currently serving as commander, Special Operations Command, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany.
Rear Adm. Brian Losey
Rear Admiral (lower half) Brian L. Losey, who has been selected for the rank of rear admiral, will be assigned as commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, San Diego.
6 | SOTECH 11.4
Navy Captain Timothy G. Szymanski was chosen for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Szymanski is currently serving as staff operations and planning officer, Naval Special Warfare Command Detachment, Virginia Beach, Va.
Navy Captain Michael T. Moran was chosen for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Moran is currently serving as military assistant to the under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Washington, D.C. QinetiQ North America announced the appointment of Gary Slack as president and chief operating officer. Slack joined the company in August
2012 as executive vice president and chief financial officer, and will continue to serve as CFO on an interim basis. Prior to joining QNA, Slack spent 13 years with BAE Systems. The 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command held a change of command ceremony aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., where Lieutenant Colonel Michael A.
Brooks, who held the battalion’s top leadership position for more than three years, relinquished command to Lieutenant Colonel John J. Lynch. Denis Ranque, former chairman and chief executive officer of Thales Group, was elected chairman of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. N.V. board of directors. Tom Enders was reappointed as EADS chief executive officer.
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In tight budget times, sim systems save funds versus live training. By Scott Nance SOTECH Correspondent Advances in simulation technology—and innovative ways of using that technology—are improving the training available to special operators and other military personnel. And they are doing so in a manner that also saves the U.S. military money at a time the Pentagon faces severe budget crunches. “Our current customers are Generation X-box … they’re going back playing Call of Duty, playing everything [along] those lines … so industry is driving the graphics. We’re, of course, going to adapt those graphics into what we’re doing” in developing training systems, said Heath Shaw, subject matter expert for virtual live fire training at Meggitt Training Systems, a supplier of training and simulation equipment to the U.S. military and other customers. Improved simulation technology offers higher fidelity and enhanced immersion to those using the systems, Shaw said. That higher fidelity allows a special operator using the technology, for instance, to truly see an enemy combatant’s body armor or lack thereof, and identify if he is wearing weapon systems, “so they can have true command and control on the ground,” he said. Simulators have become much better over time, so that today they “very, very directly mimic what they [would have] in an aircraft,” for example, said Vance Edwards, director of operations for northwest Florida at Visual Awareness Technologies Consulting, which provides simulation and training services and support.
Simulation Saves Money At a time when special forces have to pinch pennies with the rest of the military, simulating an aircraft rather than putting one in the air is just one way simulation saves money, Edwards said. “The cost for flying aircraft is extremely expensive. Just sitting in an aircraft and flying it takes quite a bit of money. It takes crew time, it takes maintenance, it takes the actual ordnance that somebody would drop,” he said. “If you could do that from a virtual standpoint and the guy who is on the ground who is receiving the training doesn’t know the difference … then you get a tremendous amount of training out of something like that without having to spend the dollars of putting an aircraft in the air.” 8 | SOTECH 11.4
This is not the only example of how simulation saves precious dollars. David Robinson, marketing and communications manager at Raydon, cited his company’s system for unstabilized gunnery training as an example. A special operator, he said, may need to be trained to use an Mk 19 grenade launcher. “It’s not like you can go to the range and just start firing off these 40 mm grenades—they’re kind of limited here in the United States. So what’s the best way to train? You can use this to train up your skills and actually go through all of the core competencies that you need without actually firing it,” he said. That saves ordnance and fuel because the training can be conducted without putting a crew in an actual vehicle, Robinson said. “That way when you get to the real vehicle, you’ll be more productive,” he added. Raydon took eight of its .50 caliber weapon training simulators in the back of a semi-trailer truck to Fort Carson, Colo., where a unit was doing live—not simulated—gunnery training, Robinson said. One group of trainees trained on the Raydon simulators for a week prior to its live-fire exercises, he said. When time came for live fire, this group had a 97 percent first-time pass rate, he said. A second test group test fired without simulator training, and had about a 47 percent first-time pass rate, Robinson said. “That means over half failed on that,” he said. Becoming more skilled via simulation saved money, he said. “By the time you actually do your live fire, you’re making it count— you’re actually hitting your targets and you’re doing it the first time through,” he added. The state-of-the-art of computer graphics and databases are much more closely in line today than in the past, Edwards said. “In the past, with older simulations you could build a very detailed, high-resolution database, but a simulator wouldn’t be capable of rendering it. They’ve gotten to a point now where they’ve gotten a lot better,” he said. The U.S. and foreign militaries have put ample effort into developing graphics software and creating multiple simulation templates for training special operators and other personnel, Shaw said. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
“They’ve already built specific battle areas, and they can use our small-arms trainer to then train in those areas and do a fullmission profile with areas they’ve already had custom-built for them,” Shaw said. “So if they are going into a specific area, they can go into their war room and then do all their rehearsals and everything all the way to include indirect fire … medevac, insert and egress, and actions on the ground.” This provides users a much higher sense of realism and much more real-world-like experience, he said. Shaw cited Meggitt’s Indirect Forward Air-Control Trainer (IFACT), a laptop-based deployable simulation system. “We’ve actually had teams in-theater, in Afghanistan, that built certain templates and practiced their missions there on the simulator, and then ran the live missions with true fidelity,” he said. The system also can incorporate a head-mounted display, Shaw said. “If you’re calling in a bird over off your right … you have one guy act as a pilot in the loop, so that way you can have that troop-on-the-ground to pilot interaction.” To further add to the realism, the weapons used for training in Meggitt’s systems all started out as live weapons, Shaw said. This means “there is zero loss of how I change a magazine, how I clear a malfunction, optics-up—everything is identical to a live weapon because they start as live weapons,” he said. To accomplish this, Meggitt takes an M-16 off the shelf, dismantles it, puts pneumatics and electronics inside, so that when the trigger is pulled the electronics send a signal that the hammer has fallen with a magazine inside with rounds, and then sends burst of air to the bolt, drops the bolt back, pulses a laser and deducts one round, Shaw explained. “Then our system applies true ballistics, so if I’m shooting something 1,000 meters [away] but I’m only six feet away from the screen, my rounds are always going to fall out in the dirt out in the middle of nowhere,” he said. Known as BlueFire, Meggitt’s system simulates a variety of different weapons, including AT4 anti-tank rounds, Shaw said. “When I went to Iraq, for example, as a Marine I trained on this simulator [and] I knew I fired more AT4 rounds than most people ever had in live fire,” he said. “It works identically. There’s 100 percent transfer from shooting an AT4 rocket on the simulator to shooting it outside the city in Iraq.” Although ever-higher fidelity in simulation can make a big difference in many cases, there are trade-offs, Edwards said. Simulators either can be extremely expensive, high-end, fullmotion system such as the ones the Air Force Special Operations Command uses, or they can be something as simple as a laptop, he said. “There’s a trade-off between how much fidelity you need to do the mission versus what the specific mission is,” he added. Training a joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) is a situation where less fidelity can be more appropriate, Edwards said. “A guy who’s called for fire out on a range, he doesn’t need an extremely complex simulation system to support him,” he said. “All he really needs is some very knowledgeable people on the other side that understand either fixed wing close-air support … or some of the other types of missions that they would use in order to properly simulate the environment for the guy on the ground. It could be very cheap like that. Now, if you’re an air crew though, and you’re trying to simulate going into a specific combat situation and you’re trying to simulate air crew-type activities, 10 | SOTECH 11.4
you need a much higher fidelity type of a simulation, such as the AC-130 gunship simulators that they use over at AFSOC.” However, training can mix different personnel using higher- and lower-fidelity simulators to good effect, Edwards said. “If you have an air crew that is working in a sophisticated, fullmotion simulator, part of their training needs have to do with their interaction with guys on the ground. If you have to simulate their interactions instead of having actual interaction, then you have a loss of training. But if I’ve got a real JTAC who’s talking to a real air crew, then they both get the benefit of the person on the other end and get a lot of synergy out of the training,” he said. Another key benefit of training via simulation is that it enables units in geographically separate areas to be brought together “in order to have a good, robust training environment—even if everybody’s not sitting at the same training area,” Edwards said. It also provides militaries—particularly those overseas—with training capabilities they otherwise would lack. “We even have some countries that don’t even have anything larger than a 300-meter outdoor range. Now we’ve built them an indoor range that they can now train out to 1,000,” Shaw said. “So their snipers can get complete utilization and true movement of human characters and walking, running, doing vehicle engagements with .50 cals—all those things that they would not get to do on a live range.”
Simulation for Lease It’s not only the technology, but also how it gets into warfighters’ hands that can save money—and time. Often it can take several years for the military to be able to procure a new training system between the time Congress appropriates the funds to the time it comes into actual use, Robinson said. “By the time it gets out it there, three to five years have passed.” By then a simulator already will be out of date. He said that when he retired from Army in 2007, his unit still trained soldiers on the Commodore 64-based system, the same as he trained on in 1985. “What Raydon’s done is we have simulators in our own fleet that we can offer as a lease for renting,” he said. “For a fraction of the [purchase] cost … of these simulators … all you do is pay for the training.” Raydon will transport its simulators to a unit for its use, Robinson said. “The soldier doesn’t have to come to the simulator; the simulator comes to you.” The unit pays only for the time the simulator is there, “then it comes back to us,” he said. “You’re saving all of this money. You’re getting the training now, instead of in three to five years. You’re not spending these millions of dollars on something that probably will become outdated in the next year,” he said. “That’s kind of like a win-win. As they look at trying to cut back on their budget, we think simulation should really take off here because you can get the top-notch simulators at a fraction of the cost, only when you need it. … We think the environment is right—you have to think outside of the box: How can I do all this training now that I don’t have these training dollars?” O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Jeff Campbell at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
Comms systems provide critical networking for warfighters, even in difficult terrain. By Marc Selinger, SOTECH Correspondent After more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and other remote places, U.S. and allied forces continue to look for ways to improve their communications capabilities in the field. Warfighters are particularly interested in networks they can rapidly deploy to geographically large areas with limited infrastructure. Defense contractors say they are striving to meet this demand with a wide range of products. “The world has become a complex collection of databases, connected by a web of networks,” said Chris Motlenski, an account manager with TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) Government Solutions Group. “Connecting to these networks from remote environments is critical for the modern-day warfighter. The vital information our warfighters need varies from secure unmanned aerial vehicle video feeds to terrain mapping data, weather, tactical threat notifications, bio records, etc.” Besides TCS, the contractors that are delivering these capabilities include General Dynamics, Harris, LGS Innovations and Lockheed Martin.
LGS Innovations Several “tactical, first-in” Department of Defense organizations are testing LGS Innovations’ new Rapidly Deployable Network (RDN 9910) on air, land and sea platforms, said Kevin Kelly, chief executive officer at LGS Innovations. RDN 9910 is about the size of a small printer and operates autonomously or as part of a larger network. “The RDN’s small size, weight and power requirements allow for easy deployment on ground vehicles, remote locations and unmanned aerial vehicles,” Kelly said. RDN 9910 is based on fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) technology, which “enables the use of situational awareness, friendly force tracking, sensors, biometrics, video and other highbandwidth battlefield applications,” Kelly explained. “The RDN 9910 provides the LTE network warfighters need so that their voice, video and data systems run more efficiently and without delay or degradation,” he continued. “Conventional tactical networks do not offer the bandwidth available on LTE networks, so the RDN enables the tools that our warfighters are anxious to employ.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com
TCS TCS recently introduced the R2M 2450, the first of a family of deployable, mobile, ad hoc network (MANET) devices that enables all warfighters on the battlefield to become a node on the network and seamlessly share critical information. “The TCS R2M 2450 MANET allows all deployed soldiers, vehicles, boats, aircraft or virtually any platform to become part of a selfforming, self-healing mesh network, where each node is always connected to every other node,” Motlenski said. “Without requiring any warfighter interaction, each R2M 2450 dynamically shares voice, data and video across the network. This enables them to send and receive real-time, updated, mission-critical information for total situational awareness. For example, a warfighter collecting forensics bio data can be linked through the mesh network, transmit the data back to the headquarters and rapidly receive positive or negative confirmation.” R2M 2450 integrates the Persistent Systems dual band MANET radio with an advanced Cisco router. Connecting an R2M 2450 to a SNAP VSAT—or secure internet protocol router/non-classified Internet protocol router access point (SNAP) very small aperture terminal (VSAT)—“provides extension of the reachback access to every node on the net, to every warfighter on the battlefield,” Motlenski said. The company’s SNAP VSAT terminals are being used in theater by the Army and Marine Corps, with over 800 terminals currently deployed in U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. TCS has also provided SNAP systems to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for reachback to the SOF Information Enterprise.
General Dynamics General Dynamics C4 Systems, along with Lockheed Martin and other industry partners, is in the midst of providing rapidly deployable networks to the Army through the four-increment Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). WIN-T Increment 1, which is fielded by 210 active duty, reserve and National Guard units, provides Internet-like connectivity, including voice, video and data, and is housed on the back of an expandedcapacity HMMWV. The new WIN-T Increment 2 builds on WIN-T 1 by adding an on-the-move capability. SOTECH 11.4 | 11
“The Army’s highest priority is the network, and WIN-T is the cornerstone tactical communications system that provides a single integrated framework, or backbone, for the Army’s battlefield networks,” said Sandra Wheeler, vice president of tactical networks for General Dynamics C4 Systems. Initial fielding of WIN-T 2 began in spring 2012 at Fort Bliss, Texas, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and at Fort Campbell, Ky., with the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters. At press time, WIN-T 2 was being fielded to two brigade combat teams in the 101st Airborne, and the 10th Mountain Division’s 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams were training with Increment 2 at Fort Polk, La., to prepare for deploying to Afghanistan. “WIN-T Increment 2 has shown the value of high-speed communications for commanders who need robust, reliable communications and situational awareness,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “Commanders can now make faster, more informed decisions using real-time information while moving with their soldiers, rather than being tethered to command posts.” Based on an initial operational test and evaluation in May 2012, the Pentagon directed the Army to improve WIN-T 2’s reliability, maintainability and survivability and demonstrate those improvements at a follow-on operational test and evaluation (FOT&E). A positive FOT&E is expected to clear the way for full-rate production to begin. WIN-T 2 is part of Capability Set 13 (CS 13), the Army’s new communications network, which also includes handheld radios and other devices.
12 | SOTECH 11.4
“The new network has arrived at a critical time,” Army spokesman Paul Mehney said. “As U.S. forces continue to draw down in Afghanistan, they will turn over many of their forward operating bases and other infrastructure to local forces, gradually losing fixed network locations. CS 13 systems will provide mobile satellite and robust radio capability for commanders and soldiers to take the network with them in vehicles and while dismounted as they conduct security assistance and advisory missions.” WIN-T Increment 3 will add Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft as communication relays to extend the network’s reach. At press time, WIN-T 3 was scheduled to undergo a design review in June 2013 and operational testing in 2018. Increment 4 will provide access to next-generation protected communication satellites.
Harris Harris provides rapidly deployable networking to military customers through its AN/PRC-117G and AN/PRC-152A wideband tactical radios, which operate waveforms that automatically form radios into networks. “Harris’s networking radios ensure that all team components stay together, even when widely dispersed,” said Joe Adams, senior account manager at Harris RF Communications. Harris has delivered these radios to DoD, including the Army, and about a dozen U.S. allies. The 117G and 152A are both part of the Army’s CS 13 package. SOCOM began fielding the AN/PRC-117G in 2009 and added the AN/PRC-152A in December 2012.
Harris continues to invest in network improvements that provide SOCOM and other customers with easy connectivity that doesn’t require user intervention. For instance, in late 2012, Harris released enhancements for the AN/PRC117G and AN/PRC-152A that provide faster data speeds and extended communication ranges. “These enhancements incorporate feedback directly from the Sandra Wheeler special operations community,” Adams said. Users of the Harris radios benefit from enhanced information security, Adams said. Both the AN/PRC-117G and AN/PRC-152A are National Security Agency Type-1 certified for voice and wideband data transmissions. The company is also developing new radios that address special requirements. In March 2013, it introduced the RF330E Wideband Team Radio, a lightJim Quinn weight, body-worn radio that connects the individual operator to the network. The radio’s battery can operate more than 14 hours without recharging.
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The KMW1031KT is the lightest, most compact 20-watt booster amplifier kit for military transceivers. The entire kit weighs less than 2.5 lbs. But it’s a real heavyweight when it comes to performance, durability, and ease of use. It covers the 30 – 512 MHz frequency and is SINCGARS, HAVEQUICK, IW, HPW and DAMA capable. It supports all 5 watt tactical radios such as Harris AN/PRC-152, Thales MBITR AN/PRC-148 plus others. The KMW1031 can be powered by a single battery or a 12 or 24 volt vehicle system. The portable, waterproof kit includes everything needed to boost radio signals: Amplifier, antenna, RF cables, battery cable and tactical vest pouches for both the amp and antenna. It couldn’t be easier. Or more dependable. To learn more, visit us at www.arworld.us/propVid or call us at 425-485-9000.
Lockheed Martin’s new Whetstone communications system is a “network in a box” that is compact enough to be easily integrated into virtually any type of vehicle, said Jim Quinn, vice president for C4ISR systems for Lockheed Martin. “The Whetstone system offers the potential for each vehicle to be a network node without having to return to a depot for extensive installation of communications equipment,” Quinn said. It also eliminates “the need for vehicles to be tailored specifically for mobile communications.” Whetstone is designed to provide voice, data and video to small units as well as meet the communications needs of a brigade combat team command post. “The kit can push various types of broadband data, such as satellite imagery, down to small, company-level units that lack wideband connections,” Quinn said. “Depending on the customer’s needs, the Whetstone system can also include communications link to satellites, the enhanced position location reporting system, the single channel ground and airborne radio system and ultra high frequency/very high frequency line of sight.” Developed on Lockheed Martin’s own dime, Whetstone was tested at DoD’s 2011 Joint Users Interoperability Communications Exercise and is generating customer interest, according to the company. “As a result of its participation in the exercise, the Whetstone system was designated at Technological Readiness Level 7, which means that the technology is sufficiently proven and can be immediately incorporated into vehicles,” Quinn said. “Currently, we are working to provide the Whetstone system internationally, and we hope to begin fielding the systems later this year.” O For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Jeff Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
Other ar divisions: rf/microwave instrumentation • receiver systems • ar europe The Battle Tested logo is Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM. Off. # 3,821,099. Copyright© 2013 AR. The orange stripe on AR products is Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM. Off.
SOTECH 11.4 | 13
What’s Hot in Special Operations Gear
SOF Tactical Communications
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Solar Power Adapters Iris Technology Corporation
The special operations forces (SOF) tactical communications (STC) system, as an element of SOF’s larger command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) architecture, must support a diverse set of operational conditions and concepts. However, there are common operating principles and requirements that are shared by all SOF forces. Operations are principally characterized by small units operating in a highly decentralized fashion. SOF personnel operate in all environmental domains—ground, maritime, air. They operate in restricted propagation environments such as dense urban areas, underground structures and in maritime vessels. Alternatively, SOF can operate in isolated areas, distant from other friendly forces, and with no existing C4ISR infrastructure. Because SOF normally operates in small, strategically-placed teams, they must be capable of leveraging key national and defense C4ISR assets for both the information and intelligence they need for mission planning and/or execution.
As part of a sources sought, SOCOM has defined performance requirements for STC capability consisting of five softwareprogrammable and hardware-configurable communications devices. The five basic STC devices are the manpack (MP), high frequency (HF), handheld (HH), individual (IND) and the mobile computing device (MCD) devices. The MP, HF and HH can each be configured in three platform variants: ground, airborne and maritime. Two HH variants are required: urban and maritime, both of which shall be configurable as a component in all platform packages. The devices provide the flexibility and adaptability necessary to support the wide range of SOF unique mission requirements.
Iris Technology Corporation, a Southern California-based defense contractor specializing in tactical power systems and spacecraft hardware, has been awarded a $7.8 million order under a previously awarded contract from Marine Corps Systems Command. The order is for the procurement of 1,563 solar power adaptersgeneration II (SPA II) in support of the program manager, expeditionary power systems. SPA II is a family of mobile solar power and power distribution products for tactical and remote environments. The StarPower controller at the heart of SPA II receives power from one or more solar panels, a variety of batteries, or vehicles, and allows the user to charge batteries and distribute power to tactical equipment. The 400 W power handling capability of the StarPower module enables usage ranging from man-portable backpack kits to combat outpost electronics suites. SPA II is the next-generation version of the highly successful Iris Technology Solar Portable Alternative Communications Energy System (SPACES). SPACES has been proven to be highly effective, with more than 2,000 fielded. “We have made major technological advancements in solar harvesting, battery charging, and power management in this next generation StarPower controller,” said Iris Technology Chief Technology Officer Dr. Carl Kirkconnell. “Marines will be able to carry fewer batteries for the same missions, increasing their mobility, effectiveness, and ultimately keeping them safer in the fight. We are honored to be able to bring this mission-critical capability to the U.S. Marine Corps.”
Precision Targeting System BAE Systems BAE Systems has been awarded a $15 million contract to support the U.S. Army’s Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) program with the company’s new Handheld Azimuth Measuring, Marking, Electro-optic imaging & Ranging (HAMMER) precision targeting system. The contract initiates a three-year engineering and manufacturing development phase for HAMMER with the JETS program. “This lightweight precision targeting system allows dismounted combat operators to locate and mark targets in all weather and lighting conditions, with the precision required for GPS-guided and laser-guided munitions,” said Dr. Mark Hutchins, director of targeting programs at BAE Systems. “With BAE Systems’ strategy to grow our electronics systems offerings, we look forward to working with the Army on this next-generation product.” Working with several industry partners, BAE Systems developed the product to support the missions of today’s warfighter while significantly 14 | SOTECH 11.4
reducing collateral damage and friendly fire incidents. Building on the company’s already-fielded target reconnaissance infrared geolocating rangefinder system, the HAMMER architecture enhances precision targeting capabilities by adding a compact laser marker and a non-magnetic compass. BAE Systems teamed with Elbit Systems of America to provide a laser marker based on laser target designators they have developed and fielded with the U.S. Marine Corps. When fielded as part of the JETS program, the HAMMER system will help soldiers distinguish friends from foes with satellite positioning and surveillance information, and allow them to rapidly receive, transmit and coordinate targeting data. “Precision targeting is a critical capability within our military,” Hutchins added. “We will continue to provide dismounted soldiers and operators with the most cost-effective, compact and precise targeting equipment available.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com
U.S. special operations command Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center 2012 was another exciting year for the Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) and our acquisition professionals, the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Acquirers. It was a year chock full of initiatives, challenges and changes, and in keeping with the Center’s hallmark of excellence, our team of military, civilians and contractors accomplished every mission. Acquisition remains a demanding profession within a complex landscape of dynamic budgets, requirements, processes, laws and oversight. The SOF Acquirers’ persistence and resiliency to navigate obstacles and adapt to new rule-sets is remarkable and just one of the amazing characteristics of our team. Through collaboration with the services and our industry partners, SORDAC continues to have a direct impact on the success of the SOF operator, and I could not be more proud to be associated with such a dedicated group of professionals. I am most proud of our shared bond with the SOF operator. It’s a resolute commitment to provide rapid and focused acquisition, technology and logistics support to the operational force through a synchronized effort with the USSOCOM Commander’s Lines of Operation. The Program Executive Offices managed extensive, multi-billion-dollar portfolios composed of hundreds of programs in such areas as fixed and rotary wing aircraft, surface and subsurface maritime platforms, C4 systems, ISR, weapons, body armor, visual augmentation systems, ground mobility platforms, ammunition, service contracts, contracted logistics and much more! Equally as impressive were USSOCOM J4’s operational and strategic support to SOF worldwide and the Procurement Directorate, which awarded more contracts under SORDAC authority than in any year past. These achievements reflect our pride in ensuring special operations forces are outfitted with the finest kit, technology and equipment, and none of this would have been possible without the superb support from the rest of our SORDAC workforce. SOF Acquisition is truly a “team sport.” As you read our PEOs’ and directors’ articles and consider their many impressive accomplishments, it’s my hope that you sense the pride our SOF Acquirers have in supporting the brave men and women who selflessly sacrifice for our nation. Accelerate the Force! James W. Cluck Acquisition Executive U.S. Special Operations Command
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Program Executive Office for Fixed Wing Air Force Colonel Michael J. Schmidt leads the Program Executive Office for Fixed Wing (PEO-FW). Its mission is to deliver special operations (SO)-peculiar manned and unmanned fixed wing airpower capabilities to effectively enable special operations forces (SOF). To meet this mission, PEO-FW partners with the SOF operator and various development and support organizations to synchronize acquisition activities to field an array of advanced technology sensors, defensive countermeasures, advanced avionics and mission training systems. This process ensures SOF fixed wing aircraft can accomplish missions in expected threat environments and address supportability challenges of an aging legacy fleet. SOCOM’s manned and unmanned fixed wing aircraft provide the backbone for SOF airborne mobility, aerial refueling support, airborne precision engagement and aerial surveillance capabilities. They provide critical infiltration and exfiltration, and they resupply capabilities for SOF in and out of hostile territory through weapon systems such as the MC-130J Commando II, MC-130P Combat Shadow, MC-130H Combat Talon II and CV-22 Osprey aircraft. The AC-130H Spectre, AC-130U Spooky and AC-130W Stinger II provide critical precision engagement and close-air support. Various manned and unmanned systems deliver real-time aerial surveillance of the battlefield for the individual soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and task force commander. The low-density, highdemand nature of the SOF 18 | SOTECH 11.4
fixed wing fleet is a key driver in the acquisition approaches used to continue to improve and sustain the force. The high operational tempo of these aircraft requires innovative means to incorporate capability and sustainment improvements while ensuring adequate aircraft availability.
C-130—Backbone of the SOF Fixed Wing Fleet PEO-FW continues to face the mounting challenges of sustaining the low-density, high-demand legacy SOF C-130 fleet while simultaneously satisfying roadmaps for modernization. PEO-FW manages numerous SOF C-130 sustainment, modification and modernization programs. SOCOM, in conjunction with the Air Force, is procuring 37 new MC-130J aircraft through a joint program with Air Combat Command’s combat search and rescue community to recapitalize the aging MC-130E/P tanker fleet. A total of 13 MC-130J aircraft were delivered in the fourth quarter of 2012, which included the first aircraft that will be converted to an AC-130J. In addition, a competitive contract was awarded in 2012 to provide terrainfollowing radar capabilities on MC-130J aircraft. In 2011, SOCOM began a program to replace the aging AC-130H gunship fleet with new AC-130J aircraft. The AC-130J program will modify MC-130J aircraft with the precision strike package. This program completed a successful Milestone B review and began engineering and manufacturing design in 2012
in preparation for the first aircraft modification scheduled for 2013. Ongoing operations continue to stress the legacy SOF C-130 fleet. In 2012, SOCOM and Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Ga., implemented a new program to replace obsolete mission computers on the AC-130U and the MC-130H aircraft. The new mission computers will begin fielding in 2014. The center wing box replacement (CWR) on the AC-130U and MC-130H aircraft also continued in 2012. To date, 11 AC130Us and 17 MC-130Hs have had their center wing boxes replaced. An additional two AC-130U and two MC-130H aircraft will complete the CWR modification in 2013. A consolidated, low-cost modification program also continues in 2013 to address ongoing obsolescence and other sustainment issues across the SOF C-130 fleet.
AC-130W Stinger II— SOF’s Precision Strike Aircraft The Stinger II is equipped with a modular precision strike package (PSP) with enhanced electro-optical/infrared sensors, a trainable 30 mm cannon, the stand-off precision guided munition family of missiles, and a networked battle management system. These modifications provide Stinger II the capability to execute close-air support and armed overwatch missions in support of deployed forces. In addition to supporting immediate combat operations, the Stinger II’s modular PSP provides a risk reduction platform for SOCOM’s AC-130J
program. The PSP combatproven capability will provide the initial combat capability for the AC-130J. The Stinger II platform continues to serve as a test bed for risk reduction activities and the evaluation of future enhanced capabilities. In 2012, the Stinger II team added the GBU-39/B small diameter bomb (SDB) capability to the PSP suite of weapons, enhancing the system’s lethality and survivability by providing a weapon with a higher-yield warhead and increasing the stand-off range for certain engagements. The team also showed the potential to add even more capability by successfully demonstrating engagements using a laser-guided SDB variant, the Hellfire missile, and a 105 mm gun. Two Stinger II aircraft were continuously deployed in 2012 in support of combat operations.
CV-22 Osprey— SOF’s Long-Range Insertion Platform The CV-22 fulfills the requirement for high-speed, long-range insertion and extraction of SOF in hostile or denied territory in a single period of darkness. The range, altitude and speed of the CV-22 provide flexibility, unpredictability and less dependency on staging bases or refueling assets. As a result, the CV-22 can self-deploy worldwide to satisfy current combat operations and higher authority taskings. CV-22s have deployed to multiple locations around the globe and have been actively supporting Operation Enduring Freedom since 2010. SOCOM has delivered 31 of the programmed fleet of 50 CV-22s. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
COMBAT DEPLOYED • The most sophisticated, reliable, and capable aircraft in the U.S. Army’s UAS inventory
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Leading The Situational Awareness Revolution
The unique characteristic of the CV-22 is its ability to take off and land like a helicopter; however, once airborne, its engine nacelles tilt to convert the aircraft into a high-speed, high-altitude turboprop airplane. The CV-22 is tailored for special operations missions through an enhanced electronic warfare suite, specifically the AN/ AAQ-24 Directional Infrared Countermeasure (DIRCM), the AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC), and the AN/APQ-186 Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) multi-mode radar. The DIRCM system provides active protection against infrared homing missiles. SIRFC counters threats through its missile-warning receivers and jammers and provides realtime threat information to the aircrew through a dedicated display unit in the cockpit. The TF/TA radar provides the aircrew with the ability to mask the aircraft by flying low and taking advantage of surrounding terrain. To further enhance aircraft and crew survivability, the CV-22 includes a GAU-18 .50 caliber or M-240D 7.62 mm ramp-mounted weapon system. The CV-22 is powered by two turbo shaft engines that produce 6,150 shaft horsepower each, which enable a cruising speed of 230 knots. The CV-22 is a flyby-wire aircraft that provides twice the speed, three times the payload, five times the range, and more than twice the altitude of a conventional CH-46 helicopter.
U-28A In response to an escalating need for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), PEO-FW procured six 20 | SOTECH 11.4
Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in 2005. These aircraft were modified with a suite of military communications and sensor equipment and were subsequently fielded as U-28A aircraft in 2006. The aircraft was selected for its versatile performance and ability to operate from short and unimproved runway surfaces. Weight reduction and mission enhancement modifications were implemented on these aircraft in 2007, extending their operational range and effectiveness. Nine additional aircraft were procured in 2007 for subsequent delivery during 2008. Through DoD supplemental funding in 2008, SOCOM procured another six aircraft to meet increased operational demands and standardize the entire fleet. The final aircraft delivered in January 2010, and the fleetwide modifications were completed in September 2010. As part of an Air Force Special Operations Command force restructure, the NSAV PC-12 aircraft will be converted to the U-28 configuration. Funding for converting the first six aircraft was sourced, and the contract was subsequently awarded in September 2012.
RC-26B SOCOM partnered with the National Guard Bureau to support SOF objectives for overseas contingency operations. Six RC-26B aircraft were expeditiously modified and fielded with a SO-peculiar communication and sensor suite. These aircraft provide critical, manned persistent ISR capabilities for SOF operations. Two aircraft support a training mission in the continental United States, and four assets are continuously deployed for immediate realworld operations. In 2012, the
aircraft moved from Iraq to Afghanistan; SOCOM is currently in the early planning stages of divesting this asset back to its original role within the National Guard Bureau by September 2013.
Non-Standard Aviation The non-standard aviation (NSAV) mission provides dedicated intra-theater airlift and contractor logistics support for the geographic combatant commander’s theater special operations commands. The NSAV program, along with the derivative Aviation Foreign Internal Defense (AvFID) program, delivered 21 light aircraft [11 Pilatus PC-12s and 10 C-145As (formerly M-28 Skytrucks)] and 17 medium aircraft C-146As (formerly Do-328s) to support command mobility requirements worldwide. All NSAV aircraft are modified with a common suite of military communications equipment. Light aircraft funding and deliveries began in 2008 and continued through 2012. Of the 21 light aircraft, all 11 PC-12s have been procured and delivered to the 318th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base (AFB). NSAV initial operational capability was met when two of the PC-12s successfully deployed with full contractor logistics support in mid-2008. The C-145As have been delivered to Cannon AFB (five) and Duke Field, Fla. (five). An additional five M-28s were ordered in 2012 and will be delivered to Duke Field by October 2013 after mission modifications. The four C-145As at Cannon will move to Duke in May 2013, and the entire fleet will
officially transfer from NSAV to AvFID. The C-146A aircraft procurements began in 2010. Of the 17 medium C-146A aircraft, 12 aircraft have been procured and five more are on contract. Twelve C-146As have delivered to the 524th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB; the remaining five C-146A aircraft will deliver in 2013.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), from the small hand-launched UAS (SUAS) to the larger Air Force MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper systems, support many different ISR requirements across the SOF component commands. The SUAS is comprised of two variants, the RQ-20A PUMA All Environment and the RQ-11 Raven-B. Both variants provide SO-peculiar capabilities for real-time reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition. The Medium Altitude Long Endurance Tactical, or MALET, platforms are SO-peculiar variants of the Air Force MQ-1s and MQ-9s. These platforms are equipped with capabilities to support SO-peculiar missions and personnel. UASs are proving their value in a wide range of current combat operations by providing SOF with surveillance platforms, the ability to see over the next hill or corner, and “eyes in the sky” to protect them from improvised explosive devices. SOCOM continues to develop and field advanced unmanned airborne capabilities in support of ongoing operations around the world. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Munitions and Emerging Technology PEO-FW procures and integrates stand-off precision guided munition (SOPGM) variants for use on the AC130W Stinger II, AC-130J and other aircraft. The SOPGM provides a small, lightweight precision-guided weapon for irregular warfare. The Griffin missile is a SOPGM that utilizes a common launch tube and a government-developed Battle Management System; the Griffin is procured as a commodity product. An improved Block II, fielded in 2011, provides increased reliability and has been successfully used in combat operations. A laser small diameter bomb (LSDB) and Hellfire have been demonstrated on an AC-130W, and a contract has been awarded to integrate an LSDB onto the platform by the end of 2013. PEO-FW’s emerging technology effort identifies and evaluates novel technology applications to ensure SOF aviation forces maintain
their technological edge in a rapidly changing world. The activity seeks enhanced operational effectiveness through enhanced air vehicle, sensor, weapon and communications technologies. PEO-FW uses advanced concept technology demonstrations, joint capability technology demonstrations, cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), and foreign comparative tests to evaluate new technologies, to rapidly transition new capabilities to the field. Specifically, PEO-FW is managing a CRADA to explore technologies to increase firstpass lethality and conducted several studies in 2012 to improve mission management and systems on C-130 aircraft.
Directional Infrared Countermeasures Program— Protecting the Fleet Infrared guided missile systems have become the adversary’s weapon of choice due to their passive nature
(i.e., low probability of detection prior to launch), simple operation, low cost and availability. At least 80 nations on six continents employ infrared guided surface-to-air missiles that can be carried and launched by one person. To address this evolving threat, SOCOM teamed with the United Kingdom to execute a cooperative acquisition program with merged requirements. The AN/AAQ-24 DIRCM system, the first successful program of its type, ensures fast, accurate threat location through on-board missile warning sensors. DIRCM was designed in modular fashion to allow multiple installation configurations on a wide range of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. The front-end production qualification and performance certification phase of the effort was completed in early 1999, and final installation occurred in 2004. The success of the DIRCM system is self-evident. The Air Force requirement has grown to well over 400 aircraft, resulting in the transition of
program management and sustainment responsibilities for all common components to the Department of the Air Force. SOCOM transferred sustainment responsibilities of the SOpeculiar components to Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in the third quarter of 2012.
Aircrew Training Systems—Training the Fleet Aircrew training system acquisitions address training needs for the Air Force Special Operations Command’s multiple C-130 variants, as well as the CV-22 and U-28A. Additional aircrew training systems are being studied to address non-standard aviation and small unmanned aircraft systems. A current priority is the MC/AC-130J simulator program to develop and procure capability to support MC-130J and AC-130J aircrew training. Along with a front-end weapon system trainer for the pilots, this program procures an AC-130J mission training device that will support training back-end gunship
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SOTECH 11.4 | 21
aircrew. It will also deliver a simultaneous independent operations capability for AC-130J, allowing the frontend and back-end devices to operate either simultaneously as one interoperable training system or independently as two separate training capabilities. This capability enhances aircrew collective training, individual training and overall training management flexibility, resulting in greater training throughput and proficiency for mission crews. The Simulator Block Update (SBUD) program
ensures operational availability and relevancy of fixed wing aviation training capabilities through procurement of training device modifications and sustainment via contractor logistics support. This program procures modifications to sustain legacy training devices and replace obsolete subsystems to maintain fidelity, enhance reliability and maintainability, and ensure operational availability. In addition to upgrade procurements, the SBUD program sustains the operational availability of aircrew training devices and
overall training management through contractor logistics support.
Special Operations Mission Planning Environmentâ€” Preparing the Fleet The Special Operations Mission Planning Environment (SOMPE) program is a computer-based suite of software products developed in response to SOCOM userspecified needs for rapid and accurate SOF time-sensitive planning. SOMPE products enable detailed mission
planning using imagery, digital terrain/nautical/ man-made structural data, two- and three-dimensional mission views, threat positions, weapon system ranges, friendly positions, weapon system performance data and limited environmental data. Looking forward, SOMPE program objectives are to address SOCOM air, ground and maritime operator mission planning gaps, enable a three-dimensional planning environment in a network disconnected environment, and migrate to a modern software architecture.
Program Executive Office for Rotary Wing Army Colonel Douglas H. Rombough leads the Program Executive Office for Rotary Wing (PEO-RW), responsible for providing the special operations forces community with the most advanced vertical lift capability available to the U.S. military. PEO-RW has placed emphasis on rotary wing transformation, with the initial focus on commonality of platforms and inventory reduction from 11 different platforms to three newer, more capable platforms while accommodating programmed growth in numbers. The rotary wing fleet now consists of the MH-47G Chinook, three different models of the MH-60 Black Hawk and the A/ MH-6M Little Bird. Significant emphasis has been placed on the pre-program science and technology efforts in preparation for planned programs to address aircraft survivability issues in an effort to provide the most capable rotary wing aircraft to the best aviators in the world today, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). 22 | SOTECH 11.4
PEO-RW continues its focus on rotary wing transformation with growth in numbers and an increase in the capabilities of an already capable fleet of aircraft. Various mission equipment programs address increased payloads, lethality, survivability and situational awareness while decreasing crew workload. Additionally, PEO-RW is looking to the future vertical lift efforts by participating in the Army-led future vertical lift integrated product team and the Under Secretary of Defense Science & Technology-led Future Vertical Lift Science & Technology Working Group. Along with the Technology Applications Program Office at Fort Eustis, Va., the PEO-RW mission is primarily accomplished by integrating special operations (SO)-peculiar mission equipment packages onto proven Army helicopter platforms. This acquisition strategy supports the SOF operator while providing SOCOM with a cost-effective method of supplying a SOF platform capable of completing worldwide
SOF-unique missions. Both the Army and SOCOM benefit from the partnership of merging Army and SO-peculiar components and technologies.
MH-47G Chinook The venerable MH-47G Chinook is the heavy lifter of the SOF rotary wing fleet. With a maximum gross weight of 54,000 pounds and the ability to travel at more than 150 knots, the MH-47G provides SOF with a proven durable workhorse that fulfills a variety of missions around the world. The MH-47G was deployed in fiscal year 2007 and is currently supporting deployed SOF in multiple locations. The SOF MH-47 Chinook program team ordered the first of an additional eight new-build G-model aircraft consisting of a zero-time monolithic machined airframe and new dynamic components. The new-build Chinook will have the same extendedrange fuel tanks, improved transportability provisions,
advanced aircraft survivability equipment and a new cockpit structure with the Common Avionics Architecture Systems. Based on the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, work is continuing on the MH-47G program, which will increase the total number of MH-47Gs to 69 by 2015. The Block 2.3 upgrades continue with the acceleration of the digital automated flight control system, which provides considerable assistance in reducing pilot workload, especially in situations of degraded visibility.
MH-60M Black Hawk Complementing the MH47G is the medium lift MH60M Black Hawk. The SOF Black Hawk supports two configurations: a troop transport configuration and a defensive armed penetrator (DAP) configuration. The DAP aircraft provides armed security for the MH-47G and MH-60 aircraft. The MH-60M modernization program continues delivering new-build MH-60M www.SOTECH-kmi.com
ÂŠ 2013 Lockheed Martin Corporation Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force. No endorsement expressed or implied.
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aircraft and achieved a limited air worthiness release and initial operating capability in 2012. Once the replacement of aging MH-60L/K aircraft is completed, the MH-60M will provide a pure fleet of 72 MH-60M SOF Black Hawks to the 160th SOAR. The MH60M program will complete its transition to a common MH60M fleet in 2016. The MH-60M SOF modernization program takes Sikorsky’s new-build UH60M aircraft from the Army and modifies them with SO-peculiar mission equipment. The MH-60M aircraft will feature common avionics architecture systems, the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures, wide-chord rotor blades, active vibration reduction, and the improved electro-optical sensor system. The most significant modification, however, is the incorporation of two 2,500 shaft horsepower engines, which will give the aircraft a high/hot capability unmatched by any H-60 variant currently fielded. As the MH-60M is fielded, the 160th SOAR will continue phasing out the current MH60K/L fleet.
A/MH-6M Little Bird The A/MH-6M Little Bird program transforms a civilian aircraft into the Mission Enhanced Little Bird through a series of SO-peculiar modifications, including an improved tail boom and tail rotor drive system, a full complement of weapon systems, an enlarged aft cargo door, an increase of the maximum gross weight to 4,700 pounds, and Mark IV rails. The Little Bird is fully configurable and is capable of serving in an attack or assault role. The aircraft is in the final stages of an upgrade to 24 | SOTECH 11.4
Block 2.0 configuration, which provides an improved mission processor, transponder, Ethernet data bus, embedded global inertial navigation system and new ergonomic crashworthy seat. The Block 3.0 upgrade began in 2012 and addresses improved cockpit avionics, airframe structures and rotor systems. The serial block upgrade acquisition strategy is designed to extend the service life of the A/MH-6M while analyzing the long-term alternatives for replacement.
Mission Equipment PEO-RW continues its focus on a variety of rotary wing mission equipment improvements to include continued fielding of the suite of integrated radio frequency countermeasures, reduced optical signature emissions solution, the aviation occupant ballistic protection system, and the hostile fire indicating system. Additionally, PEO-RW has strong ties to the SORDAC Directorate of Science and Technology to manage pre-program science and technology efforts concentrating on future requirements to software, sensors and electronic equipment. These efforts provide a jumpstart for new programs, often allowing them to start at a more mature level of development than originally planned. PEO-RW also works with service acquisition offices as part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense-led rotorcraft aircraft survivability equipment experiments using the three Maverick unmanned aircraft to allow for difficult and/or dangerous activities to reduce the risk to pilots and operational aircraft. PEO-RW’s partnership with the Helicopter Survivability Task Force (HSTF) has been a great success and has led
to other joint efforts with the Army for modifying servicecommon items to meet specific SOF requirements. In addition to the focus on aircraft survivability equipment upgrades, PEO-RW has addressed critical avionics systems and continues to upgrade the mission processors for each aircraft’s control display units and multifunction displays. This effort will support the common avionics architecture systems by upgrading the processing power from a Power PC 750 to a Power PC 7448, and it will provide flexibility to add complex software programs that will aid in route selection and flight in degraded visual environments. The SOCOM Degraded Visual Environments (DVE) program is a combination of science and technology efforts to address aircraft operations and obstacle avoidance under reduced situational awareness conditions. The FY13 DVE program of record will develop a technical solution to one of the most pressing issues in rotary wing aviation. The program addresses various aspects of reduced situational awareness common to all rotary wing aircraft operations, and SOCOM’s effort is part of a larger effort being conducted by the individual services with significant coordination from the HSTF. SOCOM continues development of a synthetic vision backbone using digital terrain data and undefined sensors. Additionally, the command is sponsoring technology demonstrations of sensors, like LADAR, to expand the overall solution to the DVE challenge.
Silent Knight Radar The Silent Knight Radar (SKR) program provides
SOCOM with an affordable replacement for today’s aging terrain following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) multi-mode radars employing Cold War radar technology. The required capabilities of SKR include TF/TA capability with a low probability of intercept and detection feature, color display of weather and weather intensity, high-resolution display of prominent terrain features, and detection and location of other aircraft and ships. The SKR program addresses issues of increased performance requirements, commonality across the SOF aviation community and legacy system obsolescence. The program completed a successful developmental test readiness review and subsequently initiated developmental flight testing on the MH-47G aircraft, which was quickly followed with parallel testing on the MH-60M aircraft. To date, developmental flight testing continues on schedule and will continue into 2014. The low-rate initial production decision is planned for early/mid FY13.
Rotary Wing Simulation Rounding out the rotary wing portfolio is the family of simulators supporting SOF platforms and missions. PEORW, along with the SOF Training Systems Product Manager, provides the 160th SOAR with high-fidelity, full-motion training systems for the MH-47E, MH-47G, MH-60K, MH-60M and A/MH-6M aircraft that support SOCOM requirements. The combat mission simulators (CMS) provide aircrews a real-world capability to practice, validate and verify tactics, techniques and procedures to support training and mission www.SOTECH-kmi.com
rehearsal. Additionally, the aquatics training device provides for aircrew emergency egress training in a variety of environmental conditions. The simulators are continuously updated to reflect the
latest aircraft modifications and to ensure SOF aircrews are provided training systems that are reliable, technically advanced and concurrent with the operational aircraft on the flight line.
The MH-47E CMS continues with the upgrade to an MH-47G CMS, and the MH-60K upgrade to MH-60M is scheduled to start in 2013. The upgrades will parallel the induction of newer-model
aircraft into the fleet and accommodate increased training requirements while taking advantage of the latest simulation technology and processor advancements.
Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Warrior Army Colonel Joseph A. Capobianco leads the Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Warrior (PEO-SW), a capabilitiesbased office. The mission of the PEO is “to provide rapid and focused acquisition of SOF-unique capabilities to SOCOM operators conducting decisive SOF activities and global operations against
terrorist networks.” The organization comprises acquisition professionals charged with developing and fielding SOF capabilities spanning a wide spectrum of functional war fighting commodity areas. The PEO team plans and implements acquisition, contracting and logistics activities enabling operators to perform missions with the very best
target engagement; ground mobility; weapon systems and specialized munitions, demolitions and ammunition; visual augmentation; operator survival and support; tactical combat casualty care; and counter-proliferation across the global SOF enterprise. Capobianco, and his team of 11 joint and direct reporting program managers, operating
within a disciplined, dynamic and fast-paced acquisition environment, continue to rapidly move capabilities to the SOF operator. The PEOSW staff directly support and participate in planning, programming and budgeting resources to develop and field innovative solutions to meet a broad range of combat needs. As a resource sponsor, the
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SOTECH 11.4 | 25
PEO provides execution oversight for a $2.8 billion budget (fiscal years 2013â€“2018) consisting of 114 programs and subprograms. When possible, the PEO pursues non-developmental items and commercialoff-the-shelf technologies as the most responsive means of expeditiously infusing emerging capabilities into ongoing combat operations.
Ground Mobility The program manager for the family of special operations forces vehicles (PM-FSOV) is responsible for cradle-tograve management of the SOF ground mobility fleet. This fleet is divided into four classes of vehicles: light, medium, commercial and heavy. Whenever possible, PM-FSOV leverages vehicles provided by the services and modifies them with special operations (SO)-peculiar components to maximize capability while minimizing expenditure of limited Major Force Program-11 funding. When there is no suitable service-common platform available to modify, PM-FSOV will develop, integrate, produce, deploy, train and sustain a SO-peculiar ground mobility platform that provides SOF a highly mobile capability for them to complete their most demanding missions. Overall, PM-FSOV is managing in excess of 4,600 SOF-configured vehicles that support SOF operations around the globe. The all-terrain vehicle (ATV) provides individual allterrain mobility to deployed SOF for a myriad of special operations missions. These vehicles are internally transportable within rotary wing assets and provide mobility to fully equipped SOF operators. ATVs enable them to rapidly maneuver in terrain not easily 26 | SOTECH 11.4
navigated by larger, heavier vehicles. They fulfill an enduring capability need by enabling operators to efficiently manage and transport their combat load. In 2013, PM-FSOV will field 30 ATVs as part of a life cycle management strategy. In October 2013, ATVs will be removed from the ground mobility portfolio and will be managed at the component level. The lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicle (LTATV) incorporates a side-by-side seat design and provides a lightweight, all-terrain capability to allow SOF to undertake operations across a wide variety of missions with increased mobility and maneuverability. The LTATV is internally transportable by CH-47 rotary and V-22 variant aircraft. It carries two personnel and can be used for a multitude of operations spanning logistic support to casualty evacuation. It also provides a high degree of speed and mobility over rough terrain. PM-FSOV expects to re-compete the LTATV contract in 2013. To date, PM-FSOV has fielded 858 LTATVs and expects to field an additional 250 this year as part of a life cycle management strategy. The non-standard commercial vehicle (NSCV) is a passenger-type commercial vehicle modified with ballistic protection, mobility enhancements, communications, navigation and night vision equipment. This type of capability allows SOF to conduct low-profile operations in support of a multitude of SOF missions. NSCVs provide SOF with the capability to conduct missions where a low visual signature is preferred, or the vehicles must be maintained on the local economy. NSCV was established as a program
of record and will award contracts for armored and unarmored vehicles to allow for continued production and fielding. To date, PM-FSOV has fielded 353 NSCVs and will field an additional 42 this year. The ground mobility vehicle (GMV) is a mediumclass wheeled tactical combat vehicle that provides general support to numerous SOF activities. The M1165A1B3 HMMWV is the current base vehicle with standardized SOF-specific modifications, including enhanced C4ISR capabilities. To date, PM-FSOV has fielded 1,259 GMVs and will field an additional 34 this year. In September 2011, SOCOM approved a capability production document update to provide SOF with a new and improved variant of a medium-class vehicle. This update, referred to as GMV 1.1, sets the stage to replace the SOF-modified, service-common HMMWV. Different configurations of the vehicle will be available to support a variety of combat, combat support and combat service support roles. PM-FSOV is currently in source selection and reviewing multiple vendor proposals, leading to a single award for production of the new vehicle in 2013. A significant key performance parameter driving vehicle design is meeting an internal transport capability in a CH-47 helicopter to infiltrate and exfiltrate previously denied terrain. PM-FSOV is in the sustainment phase of the mine resistant ambush protected, or MRAP, life cycle. To date, 618 RG-31s/RG-33s/RG-33 auxiliary utility vehicles have been fielded to SOF operators. These vehicles provide operators with protection against improvised explosive
devices; they also enable direct action support by hosting an offensive capability in the form of an integrated remote weapon station. In the last year, PM-FSOV completed a block upgrade for the existing RG-33 fleet, which included the installation of an improved suspension system for enhancing ground mobility, and they completed other engineering changes that emerged as requirements from the deployed operators in the field. The MRAP all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV) provides a mineresistant all-terrain vehicle capability specifically for the conduct of small unit combat operations in highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments. SOCOM determined approximately 30 modifications must be made to the vehicle to provide a SOF platform with greater protection and mobility, including a larger windshield, improved gunnerâ€™s platform, rear cargo access door, cargo bed protection and several other safetyrelated items. PM-FSOV has fielded a total of 462 of these SOF variant M-ATVs. The team is in the process of completing a survivability upgrade, which includes underbody improvement armor on the existing M-ATV SOF fleet.
Visual Augmentation Systems The program manager for target engagement systems (PM-TES) is responsible for the acquisition, product improvement, modification and sustainment of visual augmentation systems (VAS). This commodity area provides SOF operators with an ability to conduct missions while operating at night and during periods of low visibility when battlefield www.SOTECH-kmi.com
obscurants or bad weather are encountered. By minimizing the effect of these adverse conditions, VAS enables continuity of fire control, surveillance and land navigation while performing mounted and dismounted operations. The VAS commodity area focuses on materiel solutions for head-mounted goggles, weapon-mounted night vision sights and day scopes, handheld imagers, ground vehiclemounted systems for drivers and crewmembers, and laser range finders and designators to ensure the accurate delivery of precision-guided missiles and munitions. Emerging requirements include a capability need for sensor and clip-on fusion devices, expanded field-of-view color night vision goggles, an
upgraded handheld imaging system that weighs 50 percent less than the current capability, digital technology, SOF VAS accessory kits, SOF VAS countermeasures and a handheld target location device. This team awarded a new five-year indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity scope contract to purchase an improved scope for the precision sniper rifle. This scope is also interchangeable with the MK13 for long-range shooting. The delivery/fielding of approximately 1,000 scopes continued throughout FY12. During 2012, PEO-SW fielded 1,334 head-mounted night vision goggles, 1,659 clip-on thermal imagers and 315 laser markers. During 2013, the PEO expects to field
a new binocular night vision device that will provide the operator with a smaller, lighter night vision goggle than the existing AN/PVS-15A. Additionally, the PEO expects to field a spot-on-target device for viewing the handheld laser marker laser spot.
Weapon Systems PM-TES also develops, acquires and manages weapon systems that provide SOF with highly reliable and accurate direct action offensive capabilities to increase the combat effectiveness of operators. The MK13 MOD5 is part of the family of sniper weapons systems. This weapon provides a sub minute of angle accuracy out to ranges of 1,200 yards
while firing a caliber .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge. During FY12, the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command realigned funds to procure an additional 78 rifles to achieve their current basis of issue (BOI) of 138 weapons. The MOD5 is in revision to a MOD7, which will incorporate a new stock with additional rail space and the family of muzzle brakes and suppressors flash hider and sound suppressor. The combat assault rifle (CAR) family of weapons includes the 40 mm enhanced grenade launcher modules, the MK17 CAR heavy (7.62 mm) assault rifles, and the MK20 (7.62 mm) sniper support rifles. The CAR program achieved the goal of caliber
SOTECHâ€ˆ 11.4 | 27
modularity by fielding a 5.56 mm conversion kit for the MK17. This kit enables the MK17 to fire either 5.56 mm or 7.62 mm ammunition. Also, this kit, in conjunction with the MK17s Force on Force Kit, allows the use of the Armyâ€™s M1071 marking round for training. In FY12, the total number of CAR weapons fielded to the SOCOM component commands included 459 each MK13 40 mm enhanced grenade launcher modules; 3,076 each MK17 CAR heavy (7.62 mm) assault rifles; and 531 each MK20 (7.62 mm) sniper support rifles. During FY12, overseas contingency operations procurement funds supported the procurement of additional quantities of MK13s (279) and MK20s (163) for the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Also, during FY12, AFSOC increased their MK17 BOI and procured an additional 157 each MK17s. With the increased BOIs, the CAR is scheduled to reach fielding completion by the third quarter of FY13. A precision sniper rifle (PSR) requirement (rifle and ammunition) exists to increase the effective engagement range of SOF snipers to 1,500 meters and beyond. The PSR is envisioned to replace the existing M24 and MK13 sniper systems for anti-personnel engagements for the Army Special Operations Command. Contract award(s) for the PSR is/are scheduled for the second quarter FY13. A future increment will seek to replace the M107 and MK15 heavy sniper rifle for anti-materiel engagements. The program has previously fielded the PSR scope for use on existing sniper rifles via a successful SOCOM foreign comparative test program. During FY12, the weapons accessories program fielded 28 | SOTECH 11.4
16,422 weapon sights, consisting of magnified day optics, close quarter battle sights, clip-on night vision devices and visible lights. The program also fielded 5,693 laser systems. The integrated fire control program is an approved Defense Acquisition Challenge effort that kicked off in FY11. The goal for this program is to provide a low-cost modular and, preferably, integrated fire control for the M2HB, M2A1, MK47, M240, MK19 and MK44 mini guns. Contract award for this effort was in the fourth quarter of FY12. The enhanced combat optical sight-optimized (ECOS-O) kicked off in early FY12 with the writing of a capabilities production document to highlight the required performance characteristics of the system. A competitive request for proposal was issued in July 2012, with an award scheduled for early 2013. The technological objective of the ECOS-O is to provide not only a rapid, short-tomid-range, deliberate aiming capability (as in the current red-dot reflex, day optic sight and articulated telescopes, respectively), but also an extended long-range, positive, rapid aiming and identification capability exceeding the effective range of the ammunition and weapon platform. This expanded engagement/ identification zone capability is desired in a single tactically compact ECOS-O subsystem, eliminating the need for two different optical sights by providing a single sight capable of both types of aiming. The weapons accessories team also initiated and executed acquisitions, as part of SORDAC Directorate of Science and Technology efforts, focusing on out-of-band technologies for the thermal
collimated laser aiming device (TCAD). The concept of this device is to provide SOF operators the ability to illuminate and point at potential targets in all light conditions in a wavelength that will not be compromised by adversaries with night vision equipment. Three contracts were awarded in FY12 for the development and delivery of prototype systems that provide this capability. Deliveries of prototype systems from three vendors are scheduled for February 2013. With the award of the two family of muzzle brakes and suppressors (FMBS) contracts in September 2011, the program in FY12 initiated the fielding of these components. The objectives of these items are to provide current commercial-off-the-shelf signature suppression capability, specifically to minimize flash, sound and thermal signature for the following weapons: M4A1 carbine, MK13 sniper rifle, MK46 lightweight 5.56 mm belt-fed machine gun, M249 5.56 mm belt-fed machine gun with para barrel, and the M240B 7.62 mm belt-fed machine gun. In FY12, the program used the current MK46/M240 suppressor and MK46 flash hider to answer a combat mission needs statement for the M249. Another major accessory is the rail/upper receiver group for the M4A1 carbine. During FY12, the program fielded approximately 3,105 each 10.3-inch M4A1 upper receiver groups and 1,869 each 14.5inch upper receiver groups to SOCOM component commands. Fielding will continue in FY13 with 10.3-inch upper receiver groups. With the approval of the Small Arms Signature Reduction (SASR) Capabilities
Development Document in August 2012, the FMBS program began to look beyond the commercial market into the next generation of suppressor technology. This is an R&D program and will be conducted in a phased approach. During FY12, a solicitation was issued and a contract award was made in September. The objective is to provide revolutionary advancements in flash, sound and thermal suppression over current commercial off-theshelf solutions. In addition, advancements in the areas of durability, maintainability, overall size, weight, etc., will be considered. The development effort will begin with the belt-fed machine guns and then transition to the assault rifles, sniper rifles and then pistols.
Ammunition/ Demolition The program manager for munitions (PM-Munitions) develops, acquires and manages SO-peculiar ammunition, demolition and breaching devices that provide SOF operators with a multitude of mission performance capabilities. This dynamic and challenging commodity area develops ammunition and munitions that enable operators to maintain precision and accuracy at greater stand-off ranges against high value targets (personnel and materiel). PM-Munitions procured approximately 68 million rounds of 56 different types of munitions, including domestic and foreign small caliber ammo, shoulder-fired multi-purpose anti-armor anti-personnel weapon system (MAAWS) and lightweight assault weapon (LAW), cannon cal ammo for the AC-130 aircraft, demolition items, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
pyrotechnics and flares, and hand grenades. The SOF small caliber ammunition purchases included the MK318 5.56 mm round, the MK319 7.62 mm round, the MK316 7.62 mm Special Ball Long Range round, and the MK248 .300 WinMag sniper round that extends the range of the current MK13 MOD5 rifle from 1,200 to 1,400 yards. All rounds provide the SOF operator with better accuracy, insensitivity to extreme temperatures, reduced visible signature and consistent terminal ballistic effects over service-common small arms rounds. PM-Munitions fielded more than 10,000 rounds of MAAWS ammunition. The MAAWS is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, recoilless, line-of-sight, reloadable, anti-armor, anti-structure and anti-personnel weapon system. The MAAWS development effort includes a cannon caliber training round used to maintain operator proficiency while not having to consume the more expensive 84 mm combat round. The LAW development activities added a fire-fromenclosure capability that will allow operators to fire both the M72A7 anti-armor and M72A9 anti-structure rounds from confined spaces. This improvement will also dramatically reduce the firing signature of the projectiles as they leave the weapon, helping to conceal the location of the shooter. This enhancement program will transfer to the Marine Corps in 2013 and become Navy/Marine Corps common. The improved flash bang grenade development effort is under way with funding from the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons program to improve the currently fielded flash bang devices. This program www.SOTECH-kmi.com
will increase the visual flash incapacitation, remove all the perchlorate oxidizers from the payload, and decrease the smoke output while keeping all other grenade parameters the same. The removal of the perchlorates will ensure that DoD is in compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Soldier Protection, Survival and Tactical Combat Casualty Care The program manager for SOF survival, support and equipment systems (PMSSES) is responsible for the R&D, testing and acquisition of the protection, individual equipment and casualty care improvements for our SOF warriors. The SOF Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) program provides individual and personal protective equipment for special operations. The program designs, develops, adapts, fields and sustains equipment that is employed by SOF operators to increase their survivability, mobility and effectiveness. The operator platform must be extremely adaptive in reacting to the ever-changing battlefield environment and threats and must allow for frequent technology insertions. Accordingly, SPEAR individual and personal protective equipment is designed, developed or adapted to provide greater force protection to ensure survivability across all operational environments, unburden the operator, increase operational maneuverability, sustain high operational tempo and reduce lifecycle costs. SPEAR products are designed and developed to provide an integrated modular system for the SOF operator.
Recent Office of the Secretary of Defense ballistic test initiatives have been integrated into the SOCOM acquisition process and several mission-specific protective systems are now available. Optimization of signature management and camouflage initiatives is underway to provide multi-spectral protection for SOF operators. These and other technology advancements are part of the continuous product improvement efforts to improve the survivability and individual equipment for operators. During 2012, PEO-SW fielded 769 sets of body armor plates; 1,550 sets of soft filler inserts; 1,422 sets of soft filler; 75 modular supplemental armor kits; 396 clandestine body armor systems; 221 MICH helmets; 4,257 future assault shell technology combat helmets; 701 VAS mounts; 389 eyewear protection kits; 4,414 body armor vests; 7,546 load carriage systems; 8,930 back packs; 15,333 protective combat uniforms; 3,807 modular glove systems in various camouflage patterns, including AOR 1, AOR 2 and multi-cam; and 7,565 MICH communications systems. The SOF Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) program provides for individual first-aid kits, combat medic kits and casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) sets. During 2012, the program manager fielded 3,220 operator first-aid kits and 192 combat medic kits. Another high-priority requirement for medical care at the point of injury includes a CASEVAC set, which provides SOF with an organic capability to extract, stabilize, mobilize and transport from the point of wounding to the point of definitive medical treatment. The fielding and deployment
release for the TCCC CASEVAC set was approved in June 2012, initiating fielding. During 2012, the program manager fielded 42 extraction kits, 37 mobility kits, 21 transport kits and 21 sustainment kits. The SOCOM Acquisition Rapid Response Medical Team for the TCCC and CASEVAC programs received the 2012 Better Buying Power (BBP) Efficiency Award for their breadth of accomplishments in executing BBP efficiency initiatives and ability to shorten acquisition time and reduce life cycle costs.
Medical Systems The program manager for medical systems (PM-Medical) is responsible for product improvement, fielding and sustainment of a full spectrum of medical devices and equipment enabling SOF personnel to treat and sustain the force. SOCOM continues to focus robust efforts in the medical R&D arena to discover new lifesaving technologies that can benefit our SOF operators at the point of injury, often in remote, denied areas. PMMedical was responsible for the design and development of a combat- ready clamp and an abdominal aortic tourniquet: two medical devices to achieve, within the “golden hour,” lifesaving hemorrhage control on wounds in the groin and abdomen areas that were previously considered non-treatable by combat medics at the point of injury on the battlefield. The abdominal aortic tourniquet was designed, developed and tested and later selected by Popular Science for their prestigious “Innovative Invention of the Year,” published in their June 2012 edition. PM-Medical SOTECH 11.4 | 29
played a significant role in the successful preparation and award of several significant contracts in support of the Preservation of the Force initiative to field human performance and behavioral health specialists throughout all of the SOF components to help mitigate the effects of prolonged war. PM-Medical also executes a dedicated medical research and development program called MedTech. Working in conjunction with senior military medical leaders throughout SOCOM, PM-Medical gathers medical capability gaps and funds those R&D projects that have the most promise for providing significant impact on SOF operations. During FY12, MedTech managed 12 projects, running the gamut from a novel battlefield hemostatic device to a peak health and performance project for combatant craft crewmen and to a respiratory muscle training project to assist dismounted SOF operations at high altitude.
Program Executive Office for Maritime Navy Captain Timothy J. Kelly leads the Program Executive Office for Maritime (PEO-M), an office dedicated to providing special operations forces operators with operationally effective and sustainable surface and subsurface maritime mobility platforms and equipment. PEO-M manages over $750 million of Major Force Program-11 (MFP-11) dollars over the current Future Years Defense Plan. PEO-Mâ€™s MFP11 management responsibility includes wide latitude of control and decision-making authority for all budget activities, regardless of whether the 30 | SOTECH 11.4
SOCOM program is managed within the PEO or by a program manager in a military department. PEO-Mâ€™s portfolio includes 16 surface and subsurface acquisition programs and subprograms, with the Naval Special Warfare Command, or NAVSPECWARCOM, as its primary customer.
Undersea Programs Undersea programs include the SEAL delivery vehicle, dry deck shelter, and a variety of related subsystems and pre-planned product improvement programs. New acquisitions under development include the shallow water combat submersible (SWCS) program, dry combat submersible (DCS) program, and dry deck shelter (DDS)/ SSGN replacement studies. SWCS is a new wet submersible program (SWCS Block I) capable of operating from an existing DDS and will replace the legacy SEAL delivery vehicle. The SWCS will be able to operate from future large ocean interfaces or surface ships and will provide the capability to conduct undersea missions in support of theater and national taskings. The primary method of launch and recovery will be from a DDS on board a host submarine, but alternative methods are available. The SWCS program completed three key accomplishments in 2012: a preliminary design review, a software critical design review, and the fit checking of a full-scale model of the SWCS vehicle inside a mock-up for the DDS. SOCOM has a long-term goal to develop and field an affordable dry submersible system. The DCS program is commencing in the technology development phase with
two user operational evaluation system (UOES) commercial prototype submersibles. Both UOES submersibles are currently under construction. After delivery, the UOES submersibles will commence developmental and operational testing. SOCOM will use the prototype designs and test results to plan a DCS acquisition program to begin in late fiscal year 2015, with lead system construction to commence in FY16.
Surface Mobility Programs Surface mobility programs include the Naval Special Warfare rigid inflatable boat (NSW RIB), special operations craft-riverine, patrol boat-light, maritime craft air deployment system, security force assistance craft and combatant craft forward looking infrared systems as well as a variety of related subsystems. Surface mobility programs are managed by the Program Manager Surface Systems (PMSS) office. PMSS has cradle-to-grave management responsibility for inservice NAVSPECWARCOM combatant craft systems. PMSS duties include program acquisition strategy and planning; decision risk analysis; scheduling; funding profiles; resource allocation throughout the planning, programming, budgeting and execution system; design and engineering; production; fielding; and systems integration. The office also explores the commercial market for new technologies, foreign technologies and non-developmental items that offer innovative alternatives for current and future acquisitions. The PMSS staff
has the inherent capability to manage systems acquisition for engineering, procurement, program control, configuration, test, manufacturing and integrated logistics support. Currently, the office is responding to SOF requirements for new, more capable combatant surface craft to replace legacy systems and meet future demands. PMSS has three new acquisition programs in the next year: the combatant craft assault (CCA), the SEAL insertion observation and neutralization (SEALION), and the combatant craft medium (CCM) MK1. The CCA program is the interim platform solution that will bridge the gap between the phasing out of the NSW RIB and the introduction of the CCM into the SOF inventory. The SEALION will provide a specialized infiltration, insertion, extraction and exfiltration in support of SOF core tasks. The CCM MK1 program will replace the legacy NSW RIB at the end of its service life. Additionally, it will function as an interim replacement for the MK V special operations craft. The CCM MK1 will be a multi-role surface combatant craft with the primary mission of inserting and extracting SOF in low-to-medium threat environments. CCM MK1 is envisioned as an essential step in providing a modern, clandestine, agile, adaptive and operationally capable maritime craft as a force multiplier within the SOF structure.
Additional Roles PEO-M actively participates in small business innovation research, joint capability technology demonstrations, and special operations special technology processes, which www.SOTECH-kmi.com
are administered by SORDAC’s Directorate of Science and
Technology. To fulfill these requirements, PEO-M serves
as an interface among the end user, doctrinal proponent,
developer, test evaluator and the SOCOM staff.
Program Executive Office For Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation Douglas J. Richardson, senior executive service, leads the Program Executive Office for Special Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Exploitation (PEO-SRSE). This PEO is responsible for the acquisition, fielding and sustainment of intelligence systems for special operations forces that contribute directly to SOCOM priorities to deter, disrupt and defeat terrorist threats and sustain and modernize the force in persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). The current and projected threats to our national security continue to evolve in response to the increased technological sophistication and effectiveness of our fielded capabilities. PEOSRSE acquisition strategies have evolved as well—relying primarily on innovative contracting approaches, robust systems engineering processes, evolutionary technology insertions and a prudent balance of cost, schedule and performance requirements. PEO-SRSE’s broadly scoped system acquisition responsibilities include technical collection, intelligence support and identity operations, supported by a uniquely organic and focused research and development program. Responsiveness, with technical depth and program management excellence, is accomplished through product line expert matrix support of SRSE program managers. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Tagging, Tracking and Locating Systems Tagging, tracking and locating systems and enabling technologies provide SOF with critical tools to enhance situational awareness for the planning and execution of SOF missions. These capabilities allow SOF to find, fix, exploit and analyze targets, such as enemy personnel and mobility platforms, through the emplacement of sophisticated tagging and tracking devices that feed into an integrated command and control architecture. The fielded portfolio of tagging/tracking, close-target audio and video tracking, optical tracking and close-target reconnaissance systems is continuously adapted and updated to meet dynamic SOF operational requirements across all theaters of operation.
information and intelligencegathering operations. The austere location force protection kit provides a mobile, scalable and modular solution in support of village stability operations missions, increasing situational awareness of surrounding areas. Operations planning and decision-making capabilities are further enhanced with real-time and near real-time capture and transfer of imagery and data and state-of-the-art information display and processing to support rapid, seamless
transition from “find” to “fix” within a mission cycle.
Biometrics and Forensics Systems Biometrics and forensics system equipment provides SOF with the capability to efficiently collect, examine and exploit sensitive sites while performing timely laboratory analysis of evidence in the theater of operation. Biometric tools are also used to gather and store information on captured combatants
Sensor Systems The Tactical Video System/Reconnaissance Surveillance Target Acquisition (TVS/RSTA) program provides systems in support of ground ISR that equip SOF with enhanced stand-off capabilities for both manned and unmanned special reconnaissance missions. Capabilities within the portfolio range from man-in-the-loop still/video cameras and data transmission devices to fully automated, programmable unattended and remote ground sensors and observation posts emplaced by SOF operators that support SOTECH 11.4 | 31
Distributed Common Ground/ Surface System– Special Operations Forces
Afghan National Army special forces and coalition special operations forces distribute candy, art and school supplies, and hand-crank radios to the children and families during a presence patrol. The forces visited three villages in the area to distribute items and ask about the living conditions and needs of the villagers. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
and other persons of interest and to verify the identities of local nationals seeking employment or access to foreign and domestic bases and installations. The collection of forensic evidence with the identity verification of personnel detained onsite produce actionable intelligence that expedites SOF decision-making processes on the ground. Exploitation analysis centers are an in-theater mobile forensic capability that provides advanced forensic analysis of evidence collected onsite.
Joint Threat Warning System The Joint Threat Warning System (JTWS) provides SOF with a family of signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems that enable SOF operators to provide their operational commanders with direct and 32 | SOTECH 11.4
applicable force protection, threat warning, target identification and enhanced situational awareness information. The JTWS family of systems is configured into four variants: •
Ground SIGINT Kit, a lightweight mobile/ body-worn and teamtransportable static system with remoting and reach-back capability configurations for SOF ground forces; Air, which provides SIGINT equipment for the Air Force Special Operations Command; Precision geo-location, a SIGINT system that provides accurate locations for various signals of interest; and Maritime, which provides situational awareness information for the SOF MK V patrol boat.
JTWS uses an evolutionary acquisition strategy with spiral development based on the latest improvements in technology. JTWS provides systems that are integrated and, as a result, a single interface controls multiple capabilities. It has common software; therefore, the program develops solutions once and then exports those solutions to all variants. Because it is upgradable, JTWS eliminates stovepipes and delivers a new software/hardware system that works in the existing environment. JTWS is scalable, allowing operators to task/ organize equipment based on mission and anticipated signal environment. Additionally, JTWS addresses power and weight challenges by using low-weight, alternative power sources and busing conformal antennas and wireless devices.
Distributed Common Ground/Surface System– SOF (DCGS-SOF) provides a globally responsive, broad set of end-to-end fixed site command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) and mobile/ tactical tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination (TPED) capabilities for SOF-collected ISR data. DCGS-SOF is a system of systems integrated across the SOF information environment and with DoD DCGS. It is focused on developing solutions that will satisfy both current and future special operations-peculiar capability gaps and provide essential organic net-centric, collaborative and distributed ISR TPED capabilities for SOF. DCGS-SOF will enable SOF to take full advantage of all available strategic, theater and tactical ISR data and exploitation support systems. It is being developed and implemented as part of the DoD DCGS family of systems and evolving joint networkcentric enterprise. DoD DCGS is the processing and exploitation component of the ISR enterprise. Key to this capability is the mandated DCGS integration backbone, which provides a common standard technical infrastructure to enable required joint integration and interoperability across DoD.
Integrated Survey Program The Integrated Survey Program (ISP) supports Joint Chiefs of Staff contingency www.SOTECH-kmi.com
planning by conducting comprehensive technical surveys worldwide where U.S. citizens or national interests may be at risk. The ISP surveys produce detailed tactical planning data on high-threat locations and supply the necessary information to support operational planners in formulating their tactical plans to conduct permissive or non-permissive evacuations and/or hostage rescue missions. The ISP supports the short-notice, quick turnaround of critical operational planning data during ongoing crises and contingency operations. The program consists of two subsystems: data survey system (DSS) and production system (PS). DSS consists of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and government offthe-shelf (GOTS) software and hardware that comprise items such as digital still and video cameras, laptops, global positioning systems, rangefinders and common software applications. PS consists of integrated COTS and GOTS applications and hardware fielded to the SOCOM Intelligence Directorate. The ISP production responsibilities are in part delegated under the DoD Intelligence Production Program.
Counterproliferation Analysis and Planning System The Counter-proliferation Analysis and Planning System (CAPS) program produces engineering assessments of hostile nation and non-state
actor weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, facilities and activities. Assessments address DoD priorities and are used in ongoing updates to DoD contingency plans to counter WMD threats. These assessments leverage engineering competencies to analyze proliferators’ weapons production capabilities and processes at multiple levels, identify detectable signatures of proliferation, and communicate information to decisionmaking agencies through DoD’s computer architecture. Assessments are continuously updated to retain relevancy and support contingency planning. The CAPS program supports DoD and partner agency activities to understand and categorize WMD proliferation activities at multiple levels throughout the world.
Special Operations Forces Planning, Rehearsal and Execution Preparation Special Operations Forces Planning, Rehearsal and Execution Preparation (SOFPREP) provides enhanced geospatial intelligence data and 3-D scene visualization databases to support SOF operators worldwide. As a focal point for the gathering of sophisticated geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) source data and the generation of databases, SOFPREP integrates applications to support SOF mission and training preparation systems. GOTS/COTS systems acquire
and consolidate elevation, feature, maps, imagery and other source data required for database production. Systems validate the geospatial accuracy and certify the use of data in the completed databases and datasets. GEOINT and 3-D scene visualizations are also archived for use in contingency planning, humanitarian assistance and response to natural disasters. Geo-specific training databases use common database, Medallion, and VITAL formats for SOF simulators. SOFPREP helps SOF units set the course and understand the area of operations before they get there.
Technical Support Systems The Technical Support Systems Office acquires and sustains common items and supporting systems and services that have application across the entire PEO-SRSE product portfolio. These enabling capabilities include data dissemination architectures, integration facilities, power and antenna subsystems, cabling, concealments, miniaturization and anti-tamper measures. PEO-SRSE also oversees and manages the identification and leveraging of critical enabling technologies under its Rapid Capability Insertion Program Office, which include Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP), Special Reconnaissance Capabilities (SRC) and Clandestine Tagging, Tracking and Locating (CTTL) programs.
The key to PEO-SRSE’s success in this area is constant contact with the user and acquisition communities of interest, including their involvement in project selection and transition planning. The TENCAP program is an intelligence systems R&D rapid prototyping effort focused on national and commercial space systems. TENCAP seeks to improve the combat effectiveness of SOF operators by leveraging service and national agency development efforts on space-based intelligence and communications technologies and systems. The SRC program identifies, integrates and operationalizes new capabilities to perform persistent surveillance and clandestine preparation of the battlespace against a variety of targets and mission requirements. SRC develops and delivers unattended ground sensors and other TTL systems to satisfy SOF operator-defined capability gaps. The CTTL program exploits emerging technologies to locate and track targets or items of interest. CTTL is a science and technology development and prototyping program that is unique in its focus on SOF operator-defined capability gaps and selection of highly promising technology solutions. TENCAP, SRC and CTTL resource the foundation of future capabilities that will transition into PEO-SRSEmanaged programs of record as evolutionary technology insertions.
Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications and Computers Anthony J. Davis leads the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Communications and Computers (PEO-C4). PEO-C4 manages the research,
development, acquisition, fielding and sustainment of C4 systems that collectively form
the SOF information environment (SIE). The SIE is an extension of the Department of SOTECH 11.4 | 33
Defense network that provides additional special operationspeculiar capabilities and extends those capabilities to remote, austere locations. It allows garrison and tactical special operations forces users to reach back to access national assets, allowing SOF elements to operate with any force combination in multiple environments. PEO-C4’s portfolio consists of 16 programs with a budget of over $3.7 billion across the Future Years Defense Plan. It includes three primary capability areas: 1) enterprise networks, 2) transport systems and 3) tactical communications. PEO-C4 will continue to focus on the integration of state-of-the-art technologies and standardization throughout the SOF community. An additional priority includes ensuring voice, video, data and services—regardless of the source—can be properly accessed, processed and stored, and made available immediately to worldwide SOF users through enterprise services. PEO-C4’s efforts emphasize the utilization of commercial off-the-shelf products and the leveraging of DoD and other government agency programs to supplement SOF capabilities.
Enterprise Networks The Enterprise Networks division is responsible for designing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the garrison and tactical network automation infrastructure systems. The division manages five programs: Special Operations Command Research, Analysis, and Threat Evaluation System (SOCRATES), C4 and Intelligence Automation Systems 34 | SOTECH 11.4
(C4IAS), Media Production Center (MPC), MISO-Print (MISOP), and Civil Information Management Data Processing System (CIMDPS). The SOCRATES program is the SOF extension of the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) network and is used to develop, acquire and support garrison automated intelligence system requirements for SOF organizations worldwide. The C4IAS program is the SOF extension of the Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR) network and Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) network, and it is used to acquire and support garrison command, control, and collaboration requirements for SOF organizations worldwide. The MPC program is part of the military information support operations (MISO) capability to develop, produce, distribute and disseminate MISO products to overseas target audiences. It provides fixed and deployable multimedia production and editing capabilities with options for imagery, audio, animation and audio/video products of varying degrees of technical complexity and operational responsiveness. The MISOP program consists of a family of systems for creating, editing and producing MISO printed materials. It consists of four variants with varying print volume and deployable capabilities as determined by mission requirements. The CIMDPS program provides an automation capability to assist active civil affairs and others engaged in civil/military operations to collect, process, analyze, maintain, mine, and deliver
civil information and analysis products in support of military operations. The Enterprise Networks programs are an important contributor to realizing some of the SOCOM chief information officer’s key initiatives for efficient and effective delivery of enterprise services to all SOF users worldwide, including consolidation of services to reduce total ownership costs. The programs operate in an evolutionary technology insertion mode through incremental development, acquisition and implementation of next-generation technology solutions.
Transport Systems The Transport Systems Division is responsible for developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the SIE transport systems. It manages five programs: SOF Deployable Node (SDN), Product Distribution System (PDS), Joint Base Station/Radio Integration System (JBS/RIS), Tactical Local Area Network (TACLAN), and Scampi. The SDN program fields scalable wideband satellite (SATCOM) command and control (C2) packages to support the employment and deployment of SOF operational elements ranging from liaison and pilot teams through Combined Joint Special Operations Task Forces. Access to the SIE is provided by tri-band or quad-band SATCOM antennas that include very small aperture terminals, international maritime satellite broadband global area network packages, microsatellite terminals, beyond line and line-of-sight extension capabilities, and the mobile SOF strategic entry point. Basebands provide access to
unclassified and classified enclaves that support voice, data, video teleconferencing and full motion video access. Variants include specific intelligence support terminals and SATCOM-on-the-move for ground mobile, maritime and airborne platforms. The PDS program provides the SATCOM transport path for the worldwide MISO architecture. PDS consists of fixed, heavy, medium and light internet protocol presence variants. Each variant is used at different levels of command, from the media operations complex to the tactical MISO teams, to link planners with review/approval authorities, production facilities and dissemination elements. The JBS/RIS program interfaces, enhances and combines multiple single-channel radios into one integrated C2 suite. JBS/RIS consists of a full-scaled deployable transit case variant, a deployable downsized transit case variant, and a fixed-base station variant. All variants are capable of integrating existing and future radios and are compliant with the Joint Tactical Radio System. The variants will enable the SOF operational commander to exercise reliable, effective and efficient C2 functions regardless of area of operation. Moreover, the system provides the SOF commander and staff with the capability to send and receive voice and data between the SOF operator and higher headquarters, liaison officers, coalition partners and other government agencies. The TACLAN program is the tactical equivalent to garrison NIPR, SIPR and JWICS infrastructure and equipment. It is used primarily to develop, acquire and support www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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tactical command, control and collaboration requirements for SOF operational commanders and forward deployed forces. The program consists of suites, mission planning kits, field computing devices, coalition local area network segments, and full motion video kits. The Scampi program is the telecommunications system that enables garrison and deployed SOF to access the SIE. It provides real-time voice, data, full motion video and video teleconferencing capabilities on various classification levels for all SOF. Scampi provides the ability to disseminate information between SOCOM, SOF deployed forces, component commands and major subordinate units, theater special operations commands, and selected government agencies and activities directly associated with SOF.
Tactical Communications The Tactical Communications Division is responsible for acquiring, fielding and sustaining the tactical
communications segment of the SIE. These tactical communications systems provide the critical C2 link between SOF commanders and SOF teams deployed globally. They also provide interoperability with all services, various government agencies, air traffic control, commercial agencies and coalition forces, allowing SOF to operate with any force combination in multiple environments. The division manages seven programs: Blue Force Tracking, Joint Tactical C4I Transceiver System, SOF Tactical Communications, Mobile Computing Initiative, Advanced Special Operations Management System, Fly-Away Broadcast System, and NextGeneration Loudspeaker System. The Blue Force Tracking program is a family of devices used to remotely track and monitor friendly forces and enhance C2, threat warning, force protection, situational awareness, battlefield visualization, counter-fratricide, combat search and rescue, and combat identification. The Joint Tactical C4I Transceiver System program
is a family of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance receivers that receive full motion video from a wide variety of unmanned aircraft systems for all platforms and dismounted soldiers. The SOF Tactical Communications program provides next-generation SOF communication systems (handheld, man-pack, high frequency, and individual radios). Capabilities include real time, hostile and friendly force information, line of sight and beyond line of sight communications, and access to situational awareness in the form of intelligence inputs, broadcasts and networks. The Mobile Computing Initiative program provides a seamless environment where the user is able to work and be productive on the SIE, whether in the office or on an operation, without affecting any of the forces’ abilities to conduct business and accomplish the mission by providing devices, tools and applications. The Advanced Special Operations Management System program is a software/
hardware package developed for gathering and disseminating operational information in support of multi-spectrum special operations. The package allows SOF to gather, analyze and report information quickly and easily to accomplish the mission. The Fly-Away Broadcast System program provides a modular and highly deployable radio and television broadcasting system able to transmit on a wide range of frequencies and spectrums, including AM, FM, SW, VHF and UHF, and in both digital and analog formats with software-defined radio technology. The Next-Generation Loudspeaker System (NGLS) program is a family of loudspeaker variants, each optimized for a specific operational environment, which can transmit live or recorded audio messages to diverse sets of target audiences in a variety of tactical environments. The NGLS program team has fielded three loudspeaker variants: NGLS-D (Dismounted), NGLS-M (Mounted) and Scatterable Media.
Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Support Activity Army Colonel Timothy D. Chyma leads the Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Support Activity (PEO-SOFSA) based out of Bluegrass Station in Lexington, Ky. PEO-SOFSA is responsible for executing SOCOM’s largest service contract vehicle, which provides a wide range of tailored contractor logistics support services to the command’s special operations forces service components and operators worldwide. 36 | SOTECH 11.4
Their mission is to support the SOF community through the execution of contracting, financial management and operations oversight to ensure dedicated, responsive and costeffective contractor logistics support services. PEO-SOFSA partners with both the SOF operator and the SOFSA prime contractor to ensure best value logistics services and products are being provided to meet the mission-critical, time-sensitive needs of the SOF community.
PEO-SOFSA awarded more than $520 million in fiscal year 2012 funds to meet current and future Department of Defense logistics requirements. PEO-SOFSA oversaw the execution of more than 250 task orders during this timeframe, with the majority of work in support of aviation repair/ modification, logistics teams, life cycle sustainment management (LCSM) and supply/ warehousing. Any DoD organization may use the SOFSA
contract for their LCSM needs. For the 10th consecutive year, the amount of SOF funded efforts outpaced the number of non-SOF funded programs, accounting for approximately 85 percent of the fiscal year total workload. The SOFSA indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract offers the full spectrum of services recognized under the elements of LCSM and includes design interface; sustaining engineering; supply www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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support; maintenance planning and management; packaging, handling, storage and transportation; technical data; support equipment; training and training support; manpower and personnel; facilities and infrastructure; and computer resources. In addition, the SOFSA manages nearly 2 million square feet of administrative, production and storage space as well as 3.8 million units of property valued in excess of $2.5 billion. Examples of SOFSA work performed today include
MH-60M kits and aircraft production; A/MH-6 repairs and modifications; MH-47G modifications; C-130 refurbishments; International Organization for Standardization inspections; family of special operations vehicles modifications and maintenance support; deployment of logistics support teams worldwide; SOF personal equipment advanced requirements supply operations; and joint operational stock program support. PEO-SOFSA oversees the contractor’s support to meeting all the contractual small
business goals, all of which were met or exceeded in 2012. PEO-SOFSA completed the planning of significant facility upgrades and received approvals from the state of Kentucky in 2012. These improvements will be accomplished in phases over the next three years and will enable the SOFSA to handle retrograde activities from Afghanistan and the alreadygrowing SOFSA workload. To support its PEO customers, the team established the sustainment management division from existing manpower
resources and will concentrate on pre-award activities that are needed for long-term sustainment acumen and to build consistent processes for all customers. The improvements are designed to ensure PEOSOFSA remains the center of excellence for SOF logistical support and to provide a capability to rapidly meet SOF contractor logistics support service requirements when the service depots lack the capacity or responsiveness required for its mission taskings and readiness standards.
Directorate of Resources and Analysis Theodore W. Koufas leads the SORDAC Directorate of Resources and Analysis (SORDAC-RA). Its mission is to improve the ability of the acquisition executive, program executive officers, directors and program managers to modernize and sustain special operations forces. The directorate
is composed of two divisions: Acquisition Policy and Analysis and the Technology and Industry Liaison Office/Office of Small Business Programs. The divisions are responsible for acquisition policy, program analysis and rapid acquisition support; industry/small business interface; and center
tasking and development of strategic planning initiatives. SORDAC-RA also includes five staff elements: personnel/manpower support, security support, system safety engineer/ developmental test support, facilities support, and center tasking and operational support. The staff elements provide
critical, specialized support, including workforce development; information security and operations security oversight; safety policies and guidance support; center facilities maintenance and modification activities oversight; and center taskings (internal and external) and other operational support.
Joint Acquisition Task Force-Agile Dagger Jack J. Duran leads the Joint Acquisition Task ForceAgile Dagger (JATF-AD), an organization specifically designed and chartered to provide rapid and agile acquisition support to address emergent, in-theater capability caps. JATF-AD has a varied portfolio; the team’s support ranges from providing in-theater repair and modification for special operations forces to the evaluation and development of new technologies.
Mobile Technology and Repair Complex This effort provides forward deployed forces the ability to rapidly react to battlefield 38 | SOTECH 11.4
needs in hours—when it counts the most. During fiscal year 2012, the number of mobile technology and repair complex (MTRC) locations increased from eight to 13. DoD civilian engineers and contractor technicians, trained in a wide variety of craftsman’s skills, completed more than 400 creative modifications and 1,800 work order repairs and maintenance of equipment at the point of need. They performed admirably and with great impact, despite an austere and hostile environment. As the knowledge of this capability has spread across the theater, it is being requested by special mission operations commanders and redirected within the
theater to meet those unique needs. MTRC teams have received laudatory comments from the field for the support they have provided.
Special Applications for Contingency The Special Applications for Contingency (SAFC) collaborates with various program executive offices and components to develop payloads that address critical gaps. During FY12, the team developed a payload for the Puma unmanned aircraft system; it has performed exceptionally well during testing and user evaluations, and two components will receive equipment in
2013. SAFC is now developing a ground variant of the payload and will demonstrate capability late next year. The team is also developing high-definition payloads that will support more than one class of UAS. SAFC is integrating multiple payloads onto a Shadow UAS in support of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Program Office, with testing scheduled for completion sometime in 2013.
UAV Flight Demonstrations (Maverick) This effort provides for the maintenance, flying and aircraft modification to support www.SOTECH-kmi.com
customer-provided payloads, and the engineering and integration necessary to support developmental data gathering and evaluations. JATF-AD provides airframe integration support, as required, to mount, power and control systems including camera, radar, weapons, radio, sensor systems, and components such as camera controllers/optics sensors and communications systems into manned and unmanned platforms. During FY12, the Maverick system continued to be a valuable asset to the hostile fire indicator system (HFIS) community and PEO-Rotary Wing. In HFIS events, the Maverick UAS is integrated with HFIS sensors, and in a precise, measured environment, is targeted for proximity fire from a variety of foreign weapons that may be encountered by manned vertical take-off and landing assets in theater. Much closer miss distances are achievable with the Maverick UAS versus manned aircraft, giving the sensor developers a more robust test of their equipment. The Maverick system team completed a couple of key deployments/demonstrations, including Rotorcraft Aircraft Survivability Equipment Experiment, which is an Office of the Secretary of Defense experiment, chartered to advance HFIS technology. They also conducted BlackDart Counter-UAS Experiment, at Point Mugu Naval Air Station,
Students in sea air and land qualification training navigate the surf off the coast of Coronado during a maritime operations training exercise. The 26-week program takes students from a very basic level, to a more advanced degree of technical and tactical operations. The Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. special operations forces and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
in August 2012. BlackDart is a DoD-wide experiment designed to demonstrate and assess counter UASs. Maverick was the first rotary wing UAS aircraft to participate in a BlackDart event. The Maverick Team has been asked to return for the BlackDart 2013 event.
KIBOSH Non-Lethal Weapons This program was initiated, in coordination with PEO-SOF Warrior, to fulfill
a joint SOF requirement to stop vehicles or remove personnel from enclosed spaces by providing a 40 mm delivery round and various non-lethal payloads. In FY12, the program successfully designed, developed and tested the Kibosh type-S delivery round for a secondary target set. During this timeframe, the program also developed and tested non-lethal light, electro-muscular disruption, sound, marking and obscuration payloads. JATF-AD
conducted assessments of two primary vendors; payload capabilities were identified and prioritized to meet customer needs, and testing evaluations and user assessments were conducted at various government and contractor facilities. Assessments encompassed round and payload performance when fired from an M203-class 40 mm grenade launcher. Based on these assessments, one vendor was chosen to proceed to the next round of development.
Directorate of Science and Technology Lisa R. Sanders leads SORDAC’s Directorate of Science and Technology (SORDAC-ST). Its mission is to develop the technologies and new capabilities needed by the special operations forces www.SOTECH-kmi.com
operator. SORDAC-ST continues to pursue concepts and technologies that energize a “think ahead, push forward” approach to supporting SOF through development of technology roadmaps
coordinated with program executive offices, component commands and SOF user community support, and through maintained research and development collaboration with international
partners. SOCOM, inherently joint in all it does, is in a unique position to leverage and apply service and department S&T efforts to field new and improved capabilities on the battlefield. SOTECH 11.4 | 39
S&T Organization— Supporting the SOF Operator SORDAC-ST has aligned the directorate to provide better linkage between technology discovery, S&T support and SOF material acquisition efforts. SORDAC-ST supports SOCOM’s new strategic planning process through the identification of transformational technological opportunities and/or technology refresh for insertion into ongoing programs of record to support the SOCOM commander’s lines of operations priorities, operational concepts, and capabilities development. SORDAC-ST also manages SOCOM’s small business innovation research (SBIR) projects, international partnerships and technical experimentation, and supports the DoD foreign comparative testing, defense acquisition challenge and rapid innovative fund programs. This organizational structure provides increased levels of S&T engineering expertise to respond to high-priority, unforeseen and/ or time-sensitive emerging requirements.
S&T Priorities Operational enhancements focus on rapidly inserting new technologies and capabilities into the battlefield; these enhancements take hardware and software items and adapt, modify, integrate and assess their ability to rapidly meet SOF operational needs. Acquisition programs transition equipment and capabilities from successful S&T projects; SORDAC provides them to the SOF operator. SORDAC-ST has implemented a collaborative technology development process through the Special Operations 40 | SOTECH 11.4
Advanced Technology Collaborative. This development aligns the SOF PrioritizedIntegrated Gap List with technology enablers and developers, focuses ongoing efforts across the S&T enterprise, and identifies additional innovation required to address these gaps. Many organizations’ R&D activities often overlap SOF interests—this new process improves coordination and collaboration among various research organizations to efficiently deliver technology to overcome SOCOM’s technology challenges. Through comprehensive technology assessments, SORDAC-ST assesses SOF’s critical capability and technology needs and develops strategies to meet them. SORDAC-ST has now focused on increasing its pursuit of a technology development strategy for the mid-to-far term (three to 20 years). SOCOM, as a combatant command, develops an annual S&T integrated priority list that outlines its broader capability needs to the DoD research and engineering community. SORDAC-ST is coordinating with SOCOM PEOs and component and theater special operations commands to develop advanced visual augmentation systems, lasers and beacons; improved SOF comprehensive signature management; scalable effects weapons and improved precision munitions; anti-access/area denial (A2/ AD) technologies; energy and power improvements for SOF; advanced antennas, communications networks and transmission capabilities; mobility platform improvements; and sensors, including tagging, tracking and locating (TTL) technologies and systems. SORDAC-ST develops, coordinates and integrates technology roadmaps with each
SOCOM PEO to improve the ability to select, manage and transition projects funded by core research, SBIRs, through leveraged funds from external organizations and international project arrangements. These roadmaps guide SOCOM resourcing to meet multiple SOF requirements, critical gaps, and needs while increasing the potential for technology transitions.
Technical Experimentation and Demonstrations SORDAC-ST continues to sponsor tactical network testbed (TNT) events conducting technical experimentation to provide focus for industry’s emerging technologies and capabilities to support SOF. Technical experimentation creates synergy among industry partners and academia and connects SOF operators to developers. Demonstrations showcase SOF-related technologies, assess military utility and help develop complementary concepts of operations. Demonstrations often leverage resources from different sponsors and serve to accelerate technology insertions into acquisition programs. SORDAC-ST is an active participant in the DoD’s joint capability technology demonstration program and also conducts independent advanced technology demonstrations.
Small Business Innovation Research SORDAC-ST manages SOCOM’s SBIR program, which supports the full spectrum of the directorate’s high-priority commodity areas. The SBIR program stimulates technology innovation in small businesses,
awarding contracts to discover, develop and rapidly insert new capabilities to solve SOF needs. SORDAC-ST awarded 25 SBIR Phase I/II efforts in fiscal year 2012 and plans to award 30 Phase I/II SBIR efforts in FY13.
International Capabilities Development SORDAC’s International Capability Development Office collaborates with special operations foreign partners on the development of special operations-peculiar capabilities. Considering approved requirements, equipment modernization and technology challenges, the office’s objective is to synchronize efforts through the synergistic combination of the collective technical experience, talent and resources to provide the world’s best capability for our respective SOF. SOCOM’s international efforts focus on more mature technologies that can become rapid capability insertions, leveraging partner nation R&D capacity through mutual collaboration.
Comparative Technology Office The SOCOM Comparative Technology Office is responsible for three congressionally mandated research, development test and evaluation programs that test and field mature defense technology to SOF: foreign comparative testing, defense acquisition challenge and rapid innovative fund.
Capability Transition SORDAC’s top priorities are to support the commander’s lines of operations: Win the current fight through timely, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
tailored and effective support of SOF critical and urgent needs; expand the global SOF network by expanding the necessary SOF global infrastructure and capabilities in synchronization with theater special operations command evolution; preserve the force/families by providing solutions which preserve the force and families; and Provide responsive resourcing by implementing new ways to improve responsiveness to the SOF enterprise. SORDAC-ST is working closely with the SOF user community, PEOs and the Joint Acquisition Task Force to provide a more rapid, successful transition of technologies into acquisition programs of record. SORDAC-ST will serve as the enabler for the center to fulfill future SOF operator needs, and it is well positioned to support the future strategic vision by aligning longer-term technology development efforts with capabilities needed for that future state.
A Marine special operations team member assists with security while Afghan local police receive their first payments in Helmand province, Afghanistan,. Afghan local police complement counterinsurgency efforts by assisting and supporting rural areas with limited Afghan National Security Forces presence, in order to enable conditions for improved security, governance and development. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps]
Directorate of Acquisition Comptroller Margaret A. Iverson leads the SORDAC Directorate of Acquisition Comptroller (SORDAC-AC), a flexible, surge-capable organization dedicated to supporting the procurement, delivery and sustainment of SO-peculiar equipment from cradle to grave. The directorate prepares all acquisition budget submissions, analyzes the organization’s financial health and reports trends, and recommends funding-related
courses of action to the acquisition executive, program executive officers and directors. SORDAC-AC also oversees the development, integration and presentation of briefings to congressional staffers and reviews all congressional requests for information (RFIs) to ensure financial aspects and programmatic impacts are considered. In FY12, the directorate managed a “checkbook”
worth $4.1 billion, processed more than 5,000 financial documents in support of the day-to-day mission, and supported the development, submission and defense of SOCOM’s FY13 president’s budget request. There has been a renewed emphasis on automated processes, both updating existing systems like the financial execution module and creating new tools for tracking cost of doing business and the congressional
RFIs. Future enhancements include an automated funds distribution and tracking system as well as an automated calculation and reporting of new travel and services caps. Portal-based visual management tools provide all stakeholders visibility and transparency into financial management processes that enable the center to accomplish its mission of providing SO-peculiar equipment and materials to the SOF operator.
improve the efficiency and oversight in the administration of all SOCOM service contracts. Additionally, the
office supports SOCOM, component commands and theater special operations commands with services
Acquisition Services Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Douglas W. Roth leads SORDAC’s Services Acquisition Management Office www.SOTECH-kmi.com
(SAMO). The office provides the SOCOM commander and acquisition executive an innovative approach to
SOTECH 11.4 | 41
acquisition training, requirements documentation, policy and process oversight, and contract administration support to requiring activities. SAMO focuses on the effective and efficient management of over $1.5 billion spent each year on contracted services in support of special operations forces.
The acquisition professionals in the office coordinate with requiring activities throughout the command to ensure scarce special operations resources are used in the most effective manner to acquire contracted services in support of the war fighting mission. SAMO personnel work side-by-side with the
requiring activities’ points of contact across the enterprise to ensure contracted services requirements are clearly articulated to support the most optimal acquisition strategy. By exercising the services acquisition senior manager’s responsibilities for governance in planning, execution,
strategic sourcing and management of service contracts, SAMO collects and reports on all data required to provide visibility of services contracts to SOCOM’s commander and acquisition executive, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and ultimately to Congress, as required under public law.
Directorate of Logistics reintegrated into the center to reinforce the cradle-to-grave life cycle management under the acquisition executive in concert with DoD 5000 policy guidance. This re-integration streamlines acquisition and logistics functions and its processes while maximizing synergy within the headquarters and promoting the creation of a SOF logistics enterprise.
streamlining of seven logistics information system applications into three. Overall data quality is being improved while system sustainment costs are projected to drop nearly $500,000. The Joint Property Book Office’s (JPBO) primary mission is to synchronize and coordinate worldwide MFP-11 equipment fielding. JPBO also provides logistics support, asset visibility and accountability in support of approximately 66,000 SOF personnel executing global contingency and garrison operations. The office is currently managing over 350,000 assets valued at $1.3 billion in support of SORDAC program executive offices. Since their standup in 2006, JPBO has fielded over 1 million pieces of equipment in excess of $20 billion. Throughout the year, J4 has been a key participant in SOCOM’s campaign to achieve auditability. As a key participant in both the auditability operational planning teams (OPTs) and financial improvement and audit readiness, J4 has provided crucial analysis and manpower for both exploring a SOCOMspecific accountable property system of record (APSR) and FIAR Wave 3. J4 continues to work closely with the SOCOM finance team in Wave 3 capital
J4/Directorate of Logistics Navy Captain Brian M. Goodwin leads the J4/ Directorate of Logistics in planning, coordinating, synchronizing and integrating operational and strategic logistics and sustainment strategy in coordination with and in support of the unified commands, services, components, theater special operations commands (TSOCs), joint staff and other government agencies. The key J4 logistics functions routinely performed for special operations forces include: •
Joint property book asset accountability, asset visibility, availability and acquisition life cycle systems management Rapidly deploying materiel/equipment, including bare base construction Resolving issues with acquisition of SO-peculiar equipment/ materiel and approving sustainment plan/ cataloging strategy in the fielding and deployment releases Monitoring equipment readiness/preparedness in the defense readiness reporting system Developing, coordinating and implementing
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SO-peculiar logistics plans, policy and strategy Coordinating planning and execution of logistics support to SOF exercises and operations Providing multi-national planning and coordination for equipment/logistics support with allies and partner nations through the acquisition crossservicing agreements program Supporting rapid acquisition via life cycle/ sustainment expertise Generating logistics policy/doctrine/guidance to enable SOF relative superiority Maximizing value of Major Force Program-11 (MFP-11) by offering logistics solutions from the SOCOM enterprise perspective (all SOF assets available) Exploring opportunities to transition SO-peculiar equipment to servicecommon Maximizing use of service-provided logistics capability to enable SOF relative superiority Providing comprehensive materiel management SO-peculiar equipment
During the recent reorganization of SORDAC, the
Sustainment Division Materiel Management In August, the J4 and the Special Operation Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) jointly hosted a first-ever roundtable with the components and TSOCs. The new bi-monthly meeting provides a venue for SOF logistics leaders to periodically interact with the SOFSA government staff and prime contractor. Topics included leveraging SOFSA capabilities, optimizing support and strategically aligning logistics issues necessary to implement the vision of a SOF-focused sustainment enterprise. The Systems Integration Section undertook an aggressive process modeling and improvement study, which resulted in the elimination or
equipment existence and completeness assessments of components to demonstrate asset accountability over assets in APSRs and identify processes, controls or system deficiencies, and develop remediation plans. SOCOM’s joint catalog section played a key role in multiple highly visible, high impact issues during the Department of the Army’s logistics enterprise migration. The cataloging team provided critical DoD-level solutions and, through coordination with the Defense Logistics Agency and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, allowed the creation/redefinition of others. These solutions enabled the Department of the Army to meet their planned deployment milestones, ensured the chain of custody of SOF, and solved issues of missing data elements for over 100,000 management control numbers and national stock numbers valued in excess of $2 billion. The SOCOM Cataloging Section developed and authored SOCOM Directive 700-22, the first stand-alone cataloging regulation and guidance for SO-peculiar materiel. The 700-22 clearly and concisely outlines Title 10 responsibilities and establishes the foundation for primary inventory control activity and integrated materiel manager requirements within the federal landscape. This document provides the primer for provisioning, logistical reassignments of SO-peculiar items to service-common use/adoption, and demilitarization/disposal requirements. It also provides the first public presence of SOCOM’s unique cataloging codes that translate within all four services and their logistics and authorization systems. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Pararescuemen from the 321st Special Tactics Squadron begin their 10,000-foot journey back to solid ground March 12, 2013, near Sculthorpe, England. The 321st STS conducted a week-long jump exercise to keep its members proficient in their ability to tactically insert into combat zones. In addition to their ability to conduct free-fall missions, pararescuemen are specially trained to conduct combat recovery operations in austere locations. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force]
The J4 led the development of joint tables of allowance (JTA) for the newly established Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan and SOCOM’s headquarters, (HQ SOCOM) while also completing significant revisions to the JTAs for Special Operations Command Central, Special Operations Command Africa and Special Operations Command Pacific, which reflect recent priorities to expand the SOF global network. Munitions provided preprogram objective memorandum (POM) 14 and post-POM 14 munitions sufficiency assessment reports to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the under secretary of defense acquisition, technology and logistics, and the under secretary of defense special operations low
intensity conflict. The assessment reports identified outyear munitions shortfalls and mitigation plans. J4 munitions made a major move at the start of the year by co-locating with the program manager for SOF warrior munitions. This allows for a synergistic approach to SOF munitions by centrally managing both procurement and sustainment munitions funds and ensures cradle-tograve management. The munitions team published the latest version of SOCOM Directive 700-8, Munitions Management. The purpose of the revision was to align D700-8 with SOCOM Directive 71-4, Special Operations Forces Capabilities Integration and Development Systems to ensure consistency of munitions requirements generation.
Headquarters Support The Installation Joint Property Book Office’s (I-JPBO) primary mission is to manage and maintain property accountability for HQ SOCOM, assigned support elements and field operating agencies. I-JPBO currently manages nearly 200 sub hand receipt holder accounts consisting of 80,000 pieces of equipment valued in excess of $180 million. The Joint Supply Support Activity (JSSA) is the primary source of supply for Class II, IV, VII and IX material and functions including receipt, issue, storage, turn in and shipping. Acting as the HQ SOCOM customer interface, the JSSA utilized the Standard Army Retail Supply System-1 for processing and disposing over 2,800 assets. The JSSA is the first of SOTECH 11.4 | 43
its kind in DoD. This pilot test was coordinated by JPBO with sponsorship from Headquarters Department of the Army, G4. The central receiving issue supply point (CRISP) is HQ SOCOM’s central hub for receiving, issuing, disposing and shipping of equipment procured by HQ SOCOM, TSOCs and DoD components. To date, the CRISP has received over 45,000 items of equipment valued at over $28 million. This section was particularly instrumental in the initial stand up of SOJTF-Afghanistan by palletizing, coordinating and shipping equipment required to accomplish the mission.
Program Support The J4 Sustainment division manages 11 programs, annually valued at approximately $22 million, in support of the SOF operator. These programs are awarded and executed under the SOFSA contract, which is managed at Bluegrass Station, Lexington, Ky. The current SOFSA contract was awarded by HQ SOCOM in 2010, providing the full spectrum of logistics support to its many SOF customers. One of the most widely used J4 programs is the joint operational stocks effort, which is an $85 million pool of readily deployable assets for SOF missions. All J4 programs of record involve materiel support and/
or personnel support to meet CONUS/OCONUS SOF mission needs.
Acquisition and Sustainment Branch The Acquisition and Sustainment Branch (J4-SA) is responsible for the performance of independent assessments of life cycle sustainment, readiness, and supportability of SOpeculiar equipment and systems procured with MFP-11 funds. J4-SA assigns logisticians who provide direct interface with program executive offices, program offices, other SOCOM organizations, TSOCs, and components to support, sustain and modernize SOF worldwide. Assigned logisticians conduct integrated logistics support assessments to determine viability of program support necessary to meet operational capability and needs. J4-SA is responsible to review adequacy of program life cycle cost estimates and ensure all SOFprocured items are properly catalogued and inventoried in applicable information systems. In support of these acquisition, fielding and sustainment efforts, J4-SA assists in the preparation and staffing of documents, including material fielding plans and fielding and deployment releases. Lastly, J4-SA provides subject matter experts
The J4 Operations, Plans, Strategy and Equipment Readiness Division (J4-O) serves as the nexus for internal and external logistics planning, coordination and execution of the J4/ Directorate of Logistics’ logistics sustainment efforts. The primary focus is on operations planning, strategy, doctrine development and equipment readiness assessments by leveraging the capabilities of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, global combatant commands, services, components, TSOCs, SOCOM directorates and other government agencies. The division’s mission is to synchronize and coordinate worldwide logistics support for approximately 66,000 SOF personnel executing worldwide contingency operations. J4-O assigns matrixed logistics officers to the J33 regionally focused global support group within the SOCOM J3 Directorate of Operations; J5/ Directorate of Strategy, Plans
and Policy; Global Mission Support Center; and SOCOM OPTs, as required. These embedded logistics officers maintain situational awareness of theaterspecific requirements and, when required, deploy to assist TSOC missions. They actively coordinate logistical solution sets, including leveraging the Combat Mission Needs Statement, 1208 program and other similar processes. When it comes to equipment readiness assessment of the components and TSOCs, the defense readiness reporting system provides a key system of record inputs. To fulfill the mandate to monitor preparedness, logisticians must continually review and analyze equipment status information measured against the joint mission essential task list. The process, as expected, involves the application of both art and science to paint an accurate picture of SOF readiness postures and to identify courses of action that maximize equipment readiness. Beyond addressing the needs of today, J4-O works to shape the logistics support structures of tomorrow. These efforts lead to the development of effective policies and procedures and feed input to the joint strategic planning system and the joint capabilities integration and development system.
service contracts. It fulfills its mission through 21 contracting offices located throughout the continental United States; each office is geographically situated to provide support to a particular SOCOM program executive office, directorate, or service SOF component or unit. Additionally, SORDAC-K manages contingency contracting
operations in support of overseas contingency operations. In 2012, SORDAC-K awarded a number of key contracts, including environmental preparation sets and joint operational stocks, as well as several rapid reaction requirements for AC-130J aircraft, under the SOFSA indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity
in direct support of SOCOM’s flying hour program for Army Special Operations Command and Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft.
Operations, Plans, Strategy and Equipment Readiness Division
Directorate of Procurement Air Force Colonel Kurt A. Bergo leads the SORDAC Directorate of Procurement (SORDAC-K). Its mission is to rapidly transform acquisition strategies into superior technologies, equipment, and services for special operations forces worldwide. To meet this challenging mission, SORDAC-K’s vision is to be the 44 | SOTECH 11.4
Department of Defense’s finest contracting team and provide rapid, focused and innovative support to SOF. SORDAC-K directly supports SOCOM, its components, and the theater special operations commands. SORDAC-K awards commandwide, largedollar special operations equipment and performance-based
(IDIQ) contract, depot support for MH-60M engines contract, and commercial vertical wind tunnel use contract. The directorate also awarded four language, regional expertise, and cultural training contracts and an expeditionary unmanned aircraft system, maritime three-year IDIQ contract. SOCOM consistently exceeds its competition goals—in FY12, the command exceeded the 67 percent goal by competing 73.1 percent of total dollars obligated. SORDAC-K strives to apply innovative and streamlined contracting practices in every acquisition process. Within DoD and through the military departments, it may take several weeks for a proposed contract award to be approved. In contrast, SOCOM can approve contract awards in just a few days, or less, if needed. This streamlined process can be attributed to several factors. First, SOCOM has been delegated its own procurement authority. Second, SOCOM’s acquisition approval authorities are resident at the same location as the program and contracting teams at the headquarters. Third, contract quality reviewers participate in
SEALs and divers from SEAL delivery vehicle team [SDVT] 1 swim back to the guided-missile submarine USS Michigan during an exercise for certification on SEAL delivery vehicle operations. The exercises educate operators and divers on the techniques and procedures related to the delivery vehicle and its operations. [Photo courtesy U.S. Navy]
integrated product team meetings and other early planning meetings to help expedite the approval process and to minimize misunderstandings rather than “inspect quality into the product” in the final phase of the process before contract award.
Collectively, these factors effectively minimize the organizational distance between the contracting officer and the approving official, which results in expedited approvals. By using innovative techniques, sustaining an intentionally flat organizational
structure, and streamlining procurement processes, SORDAC-K is able to execute rapid acquisitions crucial to the success of our SOF warriors participating in OCOs. Each day, on average, SORDAC-K awards 60 contracting actions worth more than $13 million.
Technology and industry liaison Office/ office of small business programs SOCOM established the Technology and Industry Liaison Office (TILO) to assist industry representatives and the command with communications, collaboration and connections that facilitate business opportunities and a better understanding of the command’s acquisition interests. Specifically, the TILO is the primary point of contact for the submission of www.SOTECH-kmi.com
white papers on areas of interest that are relevant to SOCOM, and the TILO then connects industry’s best ideas and capabilities to the right organizations within the command. Because partnerships with industry have a direct impact on the success of the SOF operator, SOCOM is committed to ensuring industry has the information necessary to determine which
opportunities best suit their business and where to find more information. The TILO publishes SOCOM’s capability areas of interest on its website; industry’s large and small businesses, entrepreneurs, research companies, labs and academia can access the information and submit their ideas directly to the command. The TILO team provides direct
communication with submitters regarding subject matter expert interest in the capabilities submitted, and they assist with the possible application of those ideas and capabilities to solutions for SOF operators. On the SORDAC website (www.socom.mil/sordac), the TILO also receives and coordinates unsolicited proposals (in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 15.6) SOTECH 11.4 | 45
program executive offices, and various SOCOM personnel who provide the scientific, technical and engineering assistance to help assess all submitted information. The TILO also organizes, maintains and archives the capabilities information for collaboration within SOCOM. The Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) is designated to advocate on behalf of small businesses; it strives to meet the goals mandated by Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, ensuring equal opportunities
to conduct business with the command. The OSBP provides information and guidance on defense procurement policies and procedures as well as methods for identifying prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities. SOCOM continually strives to increase the number of contract awards to small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, woman-owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, historically underutilized business zones, and historically black colleges, universities, and minority institutions. SOCOM did well in supporting small businesses in FY12. The command awarded 23.3 percent of all prime dollars to small businesses, which represented over $587 million in prime award dollars. The command exceeded its small disadvantaged business goal along with its woman-owned small business goal. Although the set servicedisabled veteran-owned small business goal was narrowly missed this past year, it was the best performance, percentage wise, in the command’s history. Overall, 2012 was a successful year for the OSBP. To contact the TILO or OSBP with questions, you may call Chris Harrington at 813-826-9475 or email the offices at firstname.lastname@example.org and christopher.harrington @socom.mil, respectively.
System, requirements into the SOCOM Directive 70-1, SOCOM Acquisition Management System Policy. The division then develops and implements policies,
processes and analysis products designed to assist the center’s acquisition organizations with DoDI 5000.02 and SOCOM Directive 70-1 compliance. O
Special Forces medical sergeant students participate in a field-training exercise focused on performing medical care in a combat zone. The exercise, run by the Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., tests the medical students’ skills before they graduate the Special Forces Qualification Course and join operational detachment-alphas across the globe. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) for SOCOM. CRADAs provide a collaborative mechanism for SOCOM to partner with industry on research and development initiatives with mutually desirable results. Through CRADAs, SOCOM is able to provide direct feedback to industry as they commit funding to develop or mature new technology and demonstrate or provide it to the command for testing. This feedback serves as intellectual capital that companies and researchers can
use to guide their future work and to further develop solutions for SOF operator needs. In addition, these agreements often serve as a springboard for companies to market their technologies to other services and government agencies and to commercialize their technology in the private sector. The TILO educates, trains, informs and assists the command and industry with communications and events that strengthen government and industry ties. They work closely with the Directorate of Science and Technology,
Acquisition Policy and Analysis The interface to the Department of Defense acquisition community, the Acquisition Policy and Analysis Division is responsible for ensuring DoD and SOCOM 46 | SOTECH 11.4
acquisition guidance and direction are included in the center’s acquisition functions. This task is accomplished primarily by integrating DoDI 5000.02, Defense Acquisition
BLACK WATCH Cold Weather Clothing Insulation Climashield
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Precision Guided Missile ATK
Climashield announced their insulation will be featured in the Third Generation Extended Cold Weather Clothing System. Featuring technically advanced materials and innovative garment design, the GEN III system consists of seven layers for protection against a broad spectrum of environmental conditions—from intense cold weather scenarios in excess of minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit to warm, dry or wet weather at or over 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Made in the U.S., Climashield APEX is featured in Layer VII, which includes a parka and trousers for use in extreme cold weather during static operations. “We have been working with the tactical requirements of the military for over 30 years, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide best-in-class insulation that is manufactured in the U.S.,” said
Matt Schrantz, chief operating officer at Climashield. “When tested, our insulation sets itself apart from the competition by consistently delivering greater warmth at lighter weights, while also maintaining that same warmth and shape after multiple uses. It’s what we call ‘durable warmth.’” Suited for outerwear applications, Climashield Apex is the most thermally efficient synthetic insulation on the market today, offering the highest warmth-to-weight ratio in the industry, durability for maintaining warmth over time, and AquaBan technology for warmth in wet conditions. Currently, the U.S. military utilizes Climashield in a variety of sleeping bags and outerwear applications. Over the next three years, Climashield will supply insulation for over 120,000 GEN III Layer VII parka and trousers per year.
ATK announced the company has received a $3.2 million contract award through the Defense Acquisition Challenge (DAC) program to provide a low-cost, lightweight, precision guided missile for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) evaluation. This missile incorporates lock-on before and after launch and employs a penetrating warhead with sufficient kinetic energy to defeat hardened targets. The project directly supports a USSOCOM requirement that ATK is ready to meet with its guided advanced tactical rocket (GATR) and precision guided rocket launcher (PGRL). “Our ongoing investment and expertise in precision strike weapons, including the GATR system, provide a mature capability that fulfills the requirements of our military customers using innovative approaches that minimize integration costs,” said Dan Olson, vice president and general manager for ATK Armament Systems. The DAC project for ATK’s GATR and PGRL is to validate desired operational and ballistic performance while employed from USSOCOM airborne platforms. During the project, ATK will provide GATR missiles and PGRL digital smart launchers for environmental testing and operational evaluation on MH-60L/M rotary wing platforms. GATR is launched from ATK’s PGRL digital launcher and is available in three-, seven- and 19-tube variants providing numerous stowed kills and also is compatible to employ legacy unguided Hydra rockets. The PGRL can be seamlessly integrated onto air platforms using currently existing digital and analog fire control systems and can provide digital stores management for all loaded weapons.
Secure Handheld Radios General Dynamics C4 Systems General Dynamics C4 Systems announced that two AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios successfully completed secure radio-to-radio voice and data communications tests through the mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite network, as part of a scheduled MUOS end-to-end system test. The PRC-155 radio is part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) family of radios. Using the final version of the MUOS waveform, the two-channel PRC-155 Manpack radio successfully transmitted voice and data communications to the orbiting MUOS satellite, through the MUOS ground station and back to a second PRC-155. This is the first time that any military radio has communicated with the MUOS space-ground network, which will ultimately extend the reach of the soldiers’ network to even the most isolated locations. “The PRC-155 is the only government-owned, off-the-shelf radio to demonstrate this capability. Using the same cell phone technology that powers commercial smartphones, military and government personnel can make secure ‘calls’ and exchange critical information from anywhere in the world,” said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems. The PRC-155 Manpack radios also demonstrated the capability that allows soldiers to network their communications using the MUOS system, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
connecting them to one another wherever they are deployed, on foot, from land vehicles, ships, submarines and aircraft. The radios used during the MUOS test were among the first delivered to the Army through a contract to produce more than 3,800 PRC-155 Manpack radios. The General Dynamics-developed, non-proprietary MUOS waveform used for the test delivers high-speed voice and data communications at 16-times greater capacity than the military’s current Ultra High Frequency satellite communications system. SOTECH 11.4 | 47
SOCOM Takes on the Challenges of a New Era
Admiral Bill H. McRaven Commander Special Operations Command
Admiral Bill McRaven is the ninth commander of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. SOCOM ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and, as directed, conducts operations worldwide. He served from June 2008 to June 2011 as the 11th commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headquartered at Fort Bragg, N.C. JSOC is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques, ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop joint special operations tactics. McRaven served from June 2006 to March 2008 as commander, Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). In addition to his duties as commander, SOCEUR, he was designated as the first director of the NATO Special Operations Forces Coordination Centre, where he was charged with enhancing the capabilities and interoperability of all NATO Special Operations Forces. McRaven has commanded at every level within the special operations community, including assignments as deputy commanding general for operations at JSOC; commodore of Naval Special Warfare Group One; commander of SEAL Team Three; task group commander in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility; task unit commander during Desert Storm and Desert Shield; squadron commander at Naval Special Warfare Development Group; and SEAL platoon commander at Underwater Demolition Team 21/ SEAL Team Four. McRaven’s diverse staff and interagency experience includes assignments as the director for Strategic Planning in the Office of Combating Terrorism on the National Security Council Staff; assessment director at SOCOM, on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the chief of staff at Naval Special Warfare Group One. McRaven’s professional education includes assignment to the Naval Postgraduate School, where he helped establish, and was the first graduate from, the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum. Q: It has been more than a year since you took command of SOCOM. What are some of the key initiatives that you have the command working on? A: There are a number of things we are working on that affect the SOF enterprise writ large. The number one priority remains Afghanistan, and to achieve that, it is imperative that ensuring www.SOTECH-kmi.com
support to the families remains in line with that priority. Over the last year we have united all of SOF operations under one organization that directly supports ISAF, the Special Operations Joint Task Force. The results of this have been excellent, providing [Army General John R. Allen, commander, International Security Assistance Force] and now [Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford Jr.] a clear direct line to his SOF component. That said, the SOCOM staff and the components are working on how to sustain it for the long term. That means providing the best people with the right skills to replace who we currently have on the ground. The next major initiative we started was to figure out a better way to support the theater special operations commands [TSOCs]. As you know, the TSOCs serve as the geographic combatant commander’s [GCC] SOF sub-unified command. In short, they serve as the center of gravity for SOF in each AOR [area of responsibility]. The problem is that historically we have not resourced them as such, and in my opinion this needs to change. Therefore, we are looking at ways to push more people, more funding and ultimately more capability to each of the TSOCs. The majority of this concept is still in the planning and coordination phase. However, in terms of the personnel, both SOCOM and the components are cutting from their core to provide the additional manpower. Ultimately, this initiative is about putting more and better SOF capability into the hands of the GCCs. SOTECH 11.4 | 49
Besides the Preservation of the Force and Families initiative, we have also stood up the Force Management and Development Directorate [FMD]. FMD was established to help me manage, train and educate our SOF professionals so that we are postured for the future. This not only applies to identifying and preparing SOF to fill the SOJTF and the TSOCs, but we also need to better educate the force. Overall, this implies finding opportunities for post-graduate education, placing our senior and emerging leaders in critical developmental billets, and most importantly—sustaining our ability to solve problems and think critically. There are others tasks FMD performs such as developing our doctrine and coordinating training and exercises, but mainly I want it to help me find innovative ways to have the “best educated” force in DoD. Q: What further goals have you set for the command? A: Our overarching goal for the command is to improve the culture of the headquarters. Overall, I think we do a pretty good job supporting our warfighters, especially in terms of funding and acquiring equipment. However, we are a bit too bureaucratic in our processes and I think we can do better. To achieve this, we have to improve the underpinnings of how we conduct day-to-day business—our culture. To improve the culture, we need to improve how we communicate with one another, we need to truly adopt innovative processes and we need to foster a working environment that is based on trust. Therefore, our goal this year—and perhaps our most important [one]—is to figure out how to do all three. If we can get people to communicate better, either personally or through technology, we can increase our understanding of a problem and decrease the amount of time it takes to solve it. Most important, we need to encourage what I refer to as professional dissent, so people in the command can voice an informed, contradictory opinion. In terms of innovation, we need to look at our processes and figure out where we can reduce or “break” bureaucracy. In regards to trust, we need to empower our people to make decisions at the lowest level. Only then can we speed up the rate at which our processes move. Admittedly, changing or improving the culture of an organization—especially a military one—isn’t simple. However, the alternative is stagnation and I believe that our men and women in harm’s way deserve better.
Q: One of the hallmarks of your leadership has been your concern about the force and its families. Can you give us an update on how your Preservation of the Force and Families initiative is progressing?
operators. The number of human performance program contractors will grow to over 250. This is one of our key operator-centric programs that is designed to enhance physical and mental conditioning, assist in injury prevention and help our men and women maintain peak performance throughout a 20- to 30-year career. This is accomplished through a holistic pre-habilitative intensive physical training program involving focused strength and conditioning, performance nutrition, and physical therapy comparable to those of professional sports organizations. Additionally, our family support professionals and chaplains are performing admirably across the SOF enterprise. All of them are located at the unit level both in the U.S. and overseas, and they are focused on supporting our warriors in a variety of ways. For instance, the clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers are providing a wide range of support—including preventive practices such as building resilience skills; marital and family integration and adjustment of pre- and post-deployment and normalizing SOF operators’ deployment experiences. They are also providing treatment for our operators when warranted, and managing individuals who are at high risk for a wide range of harmful behaviors—to include suicide. We also contracted with the American Academy of Suicidology to provide training to the newly acquired behavioral health contractors and our existing medical and spiritual personnel. Overall, this is designed to help with the assessment and identification of highrisk individuals. Additionally, we recently awarded an enterprisewide contract that will allow for centralized management and standardization of resilience operations. This allows us to better plan, program and budget future capabilities such as the brick and mortar human performance and resiliency facilities that our components just validated. Finally, we continue to work closely with the services to leverage their support networks. I am confident that we have accumulated a number of “best practices” from all of them, meaning that where they can provide support, we will use them, and where they can’t, we will have to figure out a way to do it ourselves. Overall, we are trying to tie readiness to the health of the force in order to garner the appropriate level of support that the force and families deserve. Currently, the services have some authority to do this through their O&M monies. I would like to have a similar authority for family programs that we see as necessary to improve the readiness of the SOF force. This is, by the way, one of my statutory requirements. In the end, our force and families are worth it, and if we want to maintain a world-class special operations capability in the future, we need to address these issues now. Q: When will all elements of your initiatives be fully in place?
A: The force and its families are my top priority, and it is truly one of the initiatives that I want to complete prior to leaving command. In terms of progress, we have made a lot. To date, we have contracted 64 behavioral health providers—[clinical psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, nurse case managers and psychological technicians]. In total, that number will grow to 128 over the next five years. Currently, there are approximately 100 human performance program personnel [physical therapists, performance dieticians, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, and sports psychologists] working with our SOF 50 | SOTECH 11.4
A: I hope to have all of these elements in place within the next year. Q: How have mandated defense spending reductions throughout the Department of Defense in 2012 and 2013 affected SOCOM? A: The final outcome of the potential 2013 reductions is yet to unfold. I can say that the full impact of sequestration and a continuing resolution will affect how we train, equip and prepare the force to meet its requirements. That said, another major www.SOTECH-kmi.com
concern of ours is how much the services will be cut—especially in terms of the support elements or service-provided capabilities that we depend on every day. A key part of our success is directly attributed to these capabilities—whether they are rotary wing lift, transport aircraft, or sea-based platforms. Our capability in some parts of the world would be severely limited without their help. Q: How will the force drawdown in Afghanistan affect the workload of SOF operators? A: Let me begin by saying that we will support the president and the military chain of command whatever the final numbers might look like. I do believe that special operations will remain in some form, but I just don’t know in what number. What I do think is that if there is a drawdown, it will allow some of our force, in particular our Army Special Forces units, to catch up on their dwell time in the near term. Looking a little farther into the future, I think that the force will be deployed as much, if not more. I say this because we believe the last 11 years of combat has suppressed GCC demand for SOF outside of CENTCOM. Put another way, the stated requirements for SOF in other regions have been reduced because the GCCs knew they could not be resourced. In the future, we think the aggregation of these demands will be just as high as what we have seen over the last decade. If you look at the Secretary of Defense’s Strategic Guidance, it is pretty clear that the nation will need to depend on agile, small and cost-effective capabilities that can counter terrorist threats or work closely with our allies and partners. I believe we are well-postured to do this and I think we will be just as busy in the future as we are now. Q: SOCOM is moving forward to develop and acquire the ground mobility vehicle 1.1. Can you tell us how this program is progressing, and what improvements in capabilities this will provide to special operators? A: We are moving forward with industry to replace the SOF ground mobility vehicle [GMV], which has been our workhorse in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And while it has reliably served our operators in both areas, it has frankly become too heavy and too large. In fact, it has grown so cumbersome that it can no longer be transported internally by a CH/MH-47 and be combat ready upon landing. Therefore, last April we started looking for its replacement—the GMV 1.1. With the GMV 1.1 we are going back to our original requirements of a vehicle that is light and small enough to be internally transported by the MH-47 along with its SOF operators. Ultimately, this will give us the ability to infiltrate or exfiltrate from denied areas while providing our operators the speed and mobility of a vehicle they might need on the ground. We plan to award the contract this spring and we should have the initial vehicles for evaluation sometime next year. Q: In recent years, there have been improvements in sniper rifles and their accessories. How do you assess the current state of sniper rifle technology, and what further advancements would you like to see achieved? A: I would argue that our work with sniper systems over the past 10 years has been almost revolutionary. Twenty-five or so years 52 | SOTECH 11.4
ago, we started with the .300 WinMag; a great system that was hampered only by its ancillary equipment—sights, suppressors and ammunition. However, with the ever-increasing need for standoff and long-range precision fire inherent in the last 10 years, I think we have made dramatic strides to fully capture the potential of the system. Thanks to industry, our acquirers and some dedicated operators, we now have systems that can routinely—and precisely—engage their targets out to 1,500 meters. This was unheard of when I was a SEAL team commander. Ultimately though, I still think there is room for improvement—and the operators agree. And so I have asked our SORDAC to look at the next series of improvements which will allow the sniper to better compensate for wind changes at distance, reduce his signature after an engagement and effectively engage targets at even farther distances. Based on past improvements, I think we will get there. Q: In small-boat capabilities and submersibles for littoral and riverine areas, what is the current state of technology, and what is the status of programs to bring new technologies and platforms to special operators? A: We have a lot of work going on with our surface and submersible platforms. To begin, we’ve recapitalized our surface fleet to replace our obsolete capabilities. We still continue to rely on the rigid hull inflatable boat and the special operations craft as our principal platforms for open water and riverine, respectively. These will slowly be phased out as we field the medium, heavy and assault version of the new combatant craft. These platforms all incorporate low observable lines, improve situational awareness measures, and utilize composites and alloy materials which improve speed, range, payload and longevity of the platform. Additionally, we are looking at advances in weapons technology that will help stabilize the crew served weapons systems and increase their lethality. Finally, we are closely looking at how to mitigate vibration and shock to the operator. This seems like a creature comfort item, but I assure you it is not. Spend four to five hours on one of these platforms in choppy waters and you will see that it affects you pretty severely. We have refocused our undersea portfolio on the development of a commercially designed and constructed small submersible that will allow us to lock-in/lock-out. Overall, the driving force behind this is that the program must be affordable. And by working with industry and using commercial standards, we think we can have a dry combat submersible program in place by 2016. As for the wet submersibles—we are in the process of developing the Shallow Water Combat Submersible-Block 1. The Block 1 is designed to eventually replace the MK 8 Mod 1 SEAL Delivery Vehicle, and it will be able to operate from current dry deck shelters or other maritime platforms—to include large surface ships—all of which give the operator the flexibility to choose the host platform. Q: Finally, do you have any concluding thoughts about the men and women of SOCOM and the mission they execute each day? A: They are phenomenal! I’ve had the opportunity to see and understand what many of them are doing in some of the farthest corners of the globe. They never fail to impress me and I am grateful and privileged to lead the men and women of SOCOM. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Light, fast rides provide IED-avoiding mobility, comfort and safety.
By Dave Ahearn SOTECH Correspondent For special operators, the ability to move swiftly and safely to execute difficult missions—and the ability to make a hot extract when needed—are critical to fulfilling the daunting role that they are assigned. That mobility, obviously, must include employing the right kind of vehicles, specially suited for SOF challenges. We welcome you to ride shotgun as we test drive nimble transports for special operators. These platforms can include blistering off-road speed to avoid enemy roadside bombs, comfortable rides, multiple configurations to fulfill different missions, and more.
Northrop Grumman Prime contractor Northrop Grumman, with teammates BAE Systems and Pratt & Miller Engineering, has developed the Medium Assault Vehicle-Light (MAV-L). Jim Miller, president and founder of Pratt & Miller Engineering, noted the MAV-L includes many advanced features from race cars Pratt & Miller engineered into the prototype. It could then be mass-produced by BAE Systems, a titan of the industry able to produce MAV-Ls in large numbers, easily 200 or more per month, according to Ann Hoholick, vice president and deputy general manager with BAE Systems. Frank D. Sturek, Northrop Grumman MAV-L program manager, emphasized the MAV-L is purpose-built and specifically designed for the evolving threats men and women in uniform face in the new age of warfare. The MAV-L is not just another warmedover version of a legacy ride, he observed. Northrop Grumman provides C4ISR assets and overall systems integration. The officials said the MAV-L meets multiple requirements, including mission, technical, affordability, production and demand, and operations and support requirements. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Miller said the Pratt & Miller mantra is “to design, develop, build, race and win. We brought that to the design and development of this product, MAV-L. We built into it performance, reliability, safety and serviceability.” Sturek said that in designing a vehicle for 21st-century combat, Northrop Grumman turned to company leaders “who had experience both in Afghanistan and Iraq, serving alongside special operations forces.” The MAV-L could fill the Army and Marine Corps requirements for forced-entry vehicles. There has been significant international interest as well, Sturek noted. Fox racing shock absorbers allow greater off-road mobility without sacrificing speed or agility. Road clearance is adjustable. Hood and rear body panels are carbon fiber, high strength and lightweight, echoing the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon, which also uses lightweight carbon panels to enhance performance. For an engine, the in-line four-cylinder pumps 220 hp with 517 foot-pounds of torque from 4.4 liters displacement. It gets 7 to 8 miles per gallon, good fuel economy for a military ride. The MAV-L can carry up to 15 combatants, some inside, some on outer rails. Sturek said he drove the MAV-L at 67 mph on an unpaved trail. While the requirement was for the GMV 1.1 to move at 22 mph with 2 to 2.5 gs of force on occupants, he was going 30 mph in it with only 1 g. The MAV-L can travel more than 80 mph on paved roads and in excess of 60 mph off-road.
Oshkosh Defense The Special Purpose All-Terrain Vehicle (S-ATV) was developed by Oshkosh Defense to provide a superior military transport, explained John Bryant, vice president and general manager. SOTECH 11.4 | 53
It is one thing to have a military vehicle confined to traveling on roads, where the enemy plants IEDs. It is another to have a vehicle that can travel off-road at a slow pace, he noted. But the gold standard for avoiding IEDs is a vehicle that can travel off-road at speed, while affording combatants a comfortable ride that doesn’t leave them exhausted or injured by the time they reach the mission objective, he said. Oshkosh Defense has that standard in the S-ATV, a highmobility set of wheels that whisks warriors in safely, according to Bryant. “We’re not talking right now about which specific TAK-4 suspension is mounted on the Oshkosh S-ATV,” Bryant said. However, he added, “I can say that it is right-sized and optimized for the extreme off-road mission profile of the S-ATV. It provides high speed across challenging terrain, while maintaining superior ride quality.” The S-ATV is a truck that can perform in stellar fashion in reconnaissance work, unconventional missions and more, he said. The S-ATV can transport four to seven people, depending on how it is configured, Bryant noted. The S-ATV is CH-47 transportable when the suspension system lowers the vehicle, but can emerge from the aircraft ready to take on the enemy. After exiting, “within 60 seconds the S-ATV is mission-ready,” he observed, including weapons ready to fire. “The vehicle can carry a lot of people for a short, fast mission, but it also can carry few people with a lot of equipment on a longer mission,” Bryant continued. In a time of Pentagon austerity, “The S-ATV is very cost-competitive,” he continued, both in initial procurement costs and in operating and maintenance expenses. For example, the S-ATV provides better mileage, thanks to a high-efficiency diesel engine that sips diesel, JP8 or Jet-A fuel. The power plant can crank out 225 to 300 hp and more than 600 pound-feet of torque. That can send the S-ATV roaring along at more than 75 mph, and the vehicle can take on a grade of 60 percent. It has a svelte 6,000 to 10,000 pounds curb weight, depending on configuration, and posts a gross vehicle weight (including payload) of 14,000-plus pounds. For longer missions, the S-ATV has a range of more than 300 miles. The vehicle can be used for counterinsurgency operations, long-range surveillance, site seizure, and for conventional combat missions. The S-ATV can have roof-mounted primary weapons.
AM General For decades, AM General has produced light tactical vehicles used by special operators and other military organizations, providing 300,000 vehicles including the workhorse HMMWV and a SOF-peculiar variant, the Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.0, or GMV 1.0. Now SOCOM wants to move to a superior vehicle, GMV 1.1, which would be faster, able to blaze through off-road areas safely away from IEDs and be internally transportable on a Chinook helicopter. Chris Vanslager, program manager for the AM General GMV 1.1, said that the vehicle also offers good fuel economy, a salient point in a time of austere defense finances. 54 | SOTECH 11.4
Furthermore, the GMV 1.1 has a longer range for SOF missions to distant objectives, and the vehicle would need to be supplied by fewer fuel convoys that could be targeted by the enemy. Driving the vehicle is an Optimizer 3200 diesel engine, which cranks out 270 horses from six cylinders. It’s made by an AM General unit, General Engine Products. Need more clout? A simple alteration can boost the output to 300 hp. That moremuscular power plant already exists, in the Blast Resistant Vehicle-Off Road, or BRV-O, which AM General developed for the joint light tactical vehicle competition. The power train can sip 20 to 25 percent less fuel than a comparable HMMWV, he noted. If a vehicle gains greater range, that is critically useful for special operators, who often must execute missions in remote, unpopulated areas lacking any fuel resupply facilities. This is the payoff resulting from AM General investing its own funds over the past decade in development of a better ride, Vanslager observed. Another cost-saver is that the AM General GMV 1.1 uses many of the same parts as the HMMWV, so a supply chain and a maintenance cadre already exist, Vanslager noted. The GMV 1.1 candidate has roughly 70 percent of its parts in common with the HMMWV, according to Vanslager. The vehicle also can be a jack of all trades. Thanks to modular design, it can seat anywhere from two to seven people, or it can evacuate wounded warriors. It can be up-armored when threat levels rise. And it’s a simple matter to ensure the vehicle can get to the combat zone in the first place, because it can be transported inside a Chinook helicopter. Even though the GMV 1.1 is 6.5 inches narrower than a HMMWV, so that it can fit inside the helo, the new vehicle still can use the same frame as the HMMWV.
General Dynamics The General Dynamics JAMMA [Joint All-terrain Modular Mobility Asset] vehicle is easily transportable, able to ride inside a Chinook helo or a V-22 Osprey tilt rotor. While having to be sufficiently narrow to fit inside those aircraft, the JAMMA can roll out and widen its track, or distance between left and right wheels, to gain greater stability, especially in taking corners. And it has substantial wheel travel—the vertical distance a wheel can travel over bumps—to help cushion a rough ride off road. It can offer hybrid drive to generate 21 kW continuous export power. General Dynamics also offers the agile Ocelot, replete with a V-hull to deflect IED blasts. The Ocelot, when empty, weighs 12,125 pounds. Full payload takes the weight up to 16,535 pounds. It can blast along at 68 mph, thanks to a six-cylinder turbo-diesel. It has a range of up to 373 miles on a tankful. Ricardo Plc helped design the vehicle. In a different teaming arrangement, with Flyer Defense, General Dynamics offers the Flyer, a vehicle that can haul down the road at 85 mph, driven by a 150 hp engine that moves its 4,000- to 5,500-pound bulk with ease, while providing 450 miles between fill-ups. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
With both armor and some 3,500 to 5,000 pounds of payload, the Flyer can fit inside the CH-53 and CH-47 helos or the Osprey, or it can be sling-carried on the UH-60L helo. Yet another GD vehicle was developed in concert with AM General, the Advanced Ground Mobility Vehicle (AGMV), a hybrid capable, electric drive vehicle that has electric motors in the hubs of the wheels. AGMV can carry almost its own weight in payload, with a curb weight of 8,800 pounds and a gross vehicle weight of 16,000 pounds. This vehicle also can have another role, acting as an electric generating plant to provide power so that generators don’t need to devour as much fuel. The AGMV is able to slip up on the enemy, moving silently on its electric power.
SOF to Gain Vehicles Sometimes it pays to be inconspicuous in theater so that the enemy doesn’t notice you. And a vehicle that looks like just another pickup truck can fill that need. Battelle’s Tactical Systems business will begin transforming standard pickup trucks into special operations vehicles for the Department of Defense. For the past year, Battelle has steadily built capabilities in a nondescript industrial park that is about to start humming with activity. The General Services Administration recently awarded Battelle a blanket purchase agreement to modify trucks as required by SOF for the coming year, with an option to extend the blanket purchase agreement for two additional years. Work is beginning immediately to fulfill the initial requirements—valued at up to $2 million. “Battelle has a proven track record of performing sophisticated systems integration for military and commercial applications,” said retired Air Force Major General John Folkerts, vice president for Battelle’s Special Operations Market Group. “Under this contract, our vehicle systems team will execute on its custom designs and integrate complex systems to meet mission requirements—at a competitive cost.” Battelle takes existing vehicles, re-engineers them with protective armor and adds other durability features, such as stronger suspensions for operations in rugged terrain and enhanced alternators to withstand extreme climates. “Increasingly, Battelle has looked to advanced manufacturing capabilities to help customers solve complex problems in the aerospace, maritime and automotive industries,” said Steve Kelly, president of Battelle National Security. Battelle is the prime contractor and draws upon the skills and expertise of seven different sub-contractors, including small businesses that are service-disabled veteran-owned and NativeAmerican-owned. Battelle’s teammates include: Action Group of Blacklick; Hollingsworth Logistics in southwest Columbus, Ohio; Defense Logistics Services; Gryphon Group; GS Engineering; Triad Services; and UPI Manufacturing. O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Jeff Campbell at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
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Systems disable IEDs and tackle other high-risk missions, removing SOF from danger. By Dave Ahearn, SOTECH Correspondent Thousands of combatants owe their lives to machines that perform high-risk tasks such as disabling or destroying IEDs, routinely stepping—or rolling—into harm’s way every day, so that explosive ordinance detection specialists aren’t maimed or killed. The military is fortunate to have a wide array of robotic systems from which to choose, ranging from relatively tiny assets up to behemoths weighing thousands of pounds. What they have in common is the mission of defeating the enemy weapon that is the number one killer of U.S. and coalition forces in theater. Robots also take on dangerous work such as reconnaissance to locate enemy forces, or searching a building where a lurking enemy has been spotted. And robotic systems have another virtue in a time of extremely tight defense funding: They are affordable, both in acquisition cost and operations-and-maintenance outlays. At iRobot, production lines have been humming, turning out lifesaving systems. “We shipped over 5,000 robots to this point,” said Mark Belanger, director of robotics products, DoD, at iRobot Corp. Defense & Security. “The most valuable thing that we do is we create effectively a safe distance between the operator and the threat,” Belanger emphasized. “That allows them to have situational awareness about what the threat is before they engage it. It allows them to neutralize the threat at a safe distance.” Another robotics provider, QinetiQ North America, has seen its Talon system take out 56 | SOTECH 11.4
20,000 to 30,000 IEDs in Afghanistan and significantly through events such as the Iraq in the past decade, according to CharMarine Corps Warfighting Lab Experilie Dean, director of business development mentation Campaign and the U.S. Army’s with QinetiQ’s unmanned systems group. Expeditionary Warrior Experiments Not only did that save warriors’ lives, it also (AEWE),” Culhane said. saved the lives of civilians in theater who Thanks in part to mutual understanding otherwise would have been between industry and govinjured by triggering the roadernment, robotic advances side bombs, he reasoned. are being put to the test. “Over 4,000 Talons DARPA’s Robotics Challenge have been used as counter(DRC) aims to see how well IED robots to date,” Dean ground robots can respond said. “They are used by all in dangerous, degraded, the branches of the U.S. human-engineered environmilitary. … And they are also ments. Torc is one of several used by almost all of the coaliteams ultimately competing tion allies in theater, as well for a $2 million prize in the as other countries around final event. The competition Andrew Culhane the world that may not be in heats up next month with Afghanistan or may not have been in Iraq.” a virtual challenge, but they’ve already And that doesn’t count other types of QinetiQ learned a lot in the first phase of developrobots supplied to the military. ment. “The biggest thing to come out of the challenge at this stage is a much better understanding of the challenges of operatState of the UGV Union ing in disaster environments—there is a significant difference between navigating an Unmanned ground vehicle development unstructured environment and interacting continues in its state of rapid growth. Andrew with it,” Culhane said. Culhane, business development manager Whether they succeed in the DRC or for Torc Robotics, told SOTECH that semiother programs such as with the Marine autonomous robots are making significant Corps Warfighting Laboratory for lightenimprovements in on- and off-road navigation, ing the load, U.S. Army for dismounted GPS denied operations, intuitive operator IED defeat, Air Force Research Laboratory/ control and, overall, their ability to operate in Air Force Special Operations Command military relevant environments and maintain for runway survey, or the Defense Threat the operational tempo. Reduction Agency for nuclear disaster But that’s not all. “The understanding response, each victory helps them scope of operational uses of UGVs has increased www.SOTECH-kmi.com
current efforts. “Improvements in perception, GPS denied localization, and off-road terrain navigation have allowed Torc autonomous vehicles to succeed in new mission areas,” Culhane said.
Robotic Risk Takers As robots have been used increasingly over the past decade, becoming a mechanized special ops and EOD force, the challenges they have been tasked to confront have multiplied. “In addition to the counter-IED mission, we’re also addressing surveillance missions, reconnaissance missions, special forces missions” that are performed by iRobot systems, Belanger observed. “As they’ve gone out into theater over the last decade, and really been used in war fighting operations, the number of missions in which a robot can be employed has grown greatly.” Just as with the human warfighter, where each has his specialty, iRobot eschews taking a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead produces an array of robotic assets, each of them tailor-made for the missions it will perform. “If you look at our portfolio, we offer everything from a 5-pound small throwable robot up to a 500pound, very large UGV,” Belanger stated. He outlined some of the strong points of these tireless workers. “Our 110 FirstLook product is a 5-pound throwable robot, which is really ideal for man packable special forces [and] infantry missions,” he continued. “If they
come up on a threat—whether that’s a shooter or an IED or something that’s a couple hundred meters out that they want to get a look at—rather than the traditional method of just sending an operator up there, sending a human up there to look at it and get engaged, they can pull out a FirstLook and throw it. It can be thrown through a window; it can survive a 15-foot drop onto concrete. And they can put that FirstLook down range instead of sending a person downrange.” The 710 Warrior platform is a 500pound robot that can climb steps and head up steep slopes. The roving scout “has unmatched maneuverability, strength,” Belanger said. “It gives EOD operators the ability to tackle tough situations such as vehicle-borne IEDs in an urban environment, where they need to be doing heavy lifting, [or] getting into a car, getting on top of big objects.” Between the tiny and tremendous, there is a medium-sized robot, the 510 PackBot. In the past decade of conflict, the PackBot was a workhorse, Belanger said. Tellingly, PackBots aren’t merely being acquired by the same types of military units for the same types of missions, but also are entering new areas. “Ten years on, we’ve been shipping PackBot and new customers [are still] engaging all the time on that platform, because it’s so versatile,” Belanger said. Even for military organizations that have been using PackBots for years, they are finding ways to teach old bots new tricks.
“As they find new missions, we offer a whole family of accessories that allow them to really take the robots that they’ve already bought and apply them to new missions and to new capabilities,” Belanger explained. And those innovations and new tasks for bots are just the beginning, he predicted. Many more advancements will be seen in coming years. “While robots have dramatically increased the safety of soldiers and airmen and Marines and sailors overseas, we are still at the early stage in the development of robots and how they can impact and help the warfighter,” he noted. One way that iRobot helps to save the Department of Defense money is in reducing training for bot operators, Belanger said. “Our PackBot and our Warrior run off the same basic controller, so any one of thousands of operators who have been trained on how to use a PackBot—when they first get into [using] a Warrior, within 10 minutes of training they know how to use that robot, because the manipulation and the commands and how they operate it are so familiar to them from what they’ve done with PackBots.”
Multiple Systems Robotic systems run the gamut from minuscule to mighty. For example, QinetiQ provides the Dragon Runner 10, which is able to perform many missions that have been executed by larger robots, even though the Dragon
RECONNAISSANCE IN YOUR RUCKSACK Combat proven with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines, the throwable Dragon Runner 10 (DR-10) robot is a mobile, multi - mission platform developed for supporting dismounted operations. DR-10’s day and night cameras provide early warning and advance knowledge while its quick-attach arm allows the unit to take action against threats.
When it’s critical, it’s QinetiQ. QinetiQ-NA.com
People Who Know How
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Runner 10 weighs a mere 10 pounds and carries a 6.5-pound arm. The manipulator arm attaches without tools. This is, Dean said, “the world’s smallest counter-IED robot,” procured by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, or (JIEDDO). The miniature machine is employed not only for EOD work, but also to support combat engineers, he said. A bit larger, but still easily transportable, is the Dragon Runner 20, which weighs just 17 pounds with a 10-pound arm. “We remain very focused on helping lighten the soldier’s load,” he said. One person can carry the Dragon Runner 20, another combatant can carry the arm, and they are easily and quickly assembled without having to use any tools, he stressed. On a vastly different scale, there is the Minotaur, tipping off at a massive 6,000 pounds. It is “a very large robot that goes after IEDs,” Dean explained. The muscular machine “pushes a couple-thousand-pound mine roller to its front … and also a rake behind it to rake up
command wires to IEDs,” he added. It clears pathways ahead of dismounted patrols. The Minotaur is “very popular with the dismounted troops,” in part because warriors burdened with a heavy load can place part of it on the machine. “We’re helping to take load off the dismounts,” he said, meaning “10 to 20 pounds off many troops.” Some combatants carry loads totaling 60 or more pounds. The Minotaur is “based on a Bobcat loader chassis that we at QuinetiQ make into a mine-rolling robot,” Dean continued. Another QinetiQ remotely controlled platform is the ubiquitous Talon, which weighs roughly 130 to 195 pounds, an asset widely used in Afghanistan and Iraq. While this is a legacy platform, it is continually gaining new technology. “Talon has evolved over the years and gets product upgrades, so it’s not the robot of its early development years,” Dean said. “It continues to be a modernized platform.” QinetiQ designs its robotic systems to be easily used by warfighters, he explained. For example, if a warfighter wants a robot
to reach out and grasp something with its mechanical arm, the fingers on the arm must close on the object with precision, rather than hitting it hard. To assist the warfighter, QinetiQ helps the robot to judge just where the object is. “We do put distance sensors in our grippers to get the distance on your screen” in the controller unit, Dean explained. Unlike a human warrior, a robot can suffer severe damage but still return to service if some parts are replaced, he added, noting that a robot often can be severely damaged and yet on average “get back into the fight 13 times in its lifetime.” Robotic systems also have been used in peacetime, such as after the earthquaketsunami-nuclear plant disaster in Japan, where robots could enter areas of intense radiation that no human could endure. O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Jeff Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
E ! TL E TI JUN TH 12 IN R G U N O MI CO
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AAI Corp.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 www.aaicorp.com AR Modular RF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 www.arworld.us/propvid Ball Aerospace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 www.ballaerospace.com Battelle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C2 www.battelle.org/nscv Biofire Diagnostics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 www.bio-surveillance.com Ceradyne. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 www.ceradyne.com/products/defense.aspx General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 www.ga-asi.com L-3 Communications Systems GCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 www.l-3com.com/gcs Lockheed Martin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 www.lockheedmartin.com/sofclss MDBA Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 www.mdbainc.com MetaVR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 www.metavr.com Northrop Grumman Technical Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 www.northropgrumman.com/ts Persistent Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 www.persistentsystems.com Pixia Corp.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 www.pixia.com/partners/emc Qinetiq North America. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 www.qinetiq-na.com Raydon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 www.raydon.com Ruag Ammotec AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 www.ruag.com Ruag Aviation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 www.dornier228ng.com Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C4 www.sikorsky.com Syntronics LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 www.syntronicscorp.com USGIF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C3 www.geoint2013.com XTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 www.xtar.com/sof
Calendar June 18-20, 2013 Soldier Equipment & Technology Expo & Conference (Fort Bragg) Fort Bragg, N.C. www.soldierequipmentexpo.com
June 2013 Volume 11, Issue 5
Cover and In-Depth Interview with:
Col. Joseph A. Capobianco (Invited) PEO SOF Warrior
Special Section Equipping the SOF Warrior For warriors who undertake the most daunting and dangerous missions as part of their routine 9-to-5 jobs (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.), not just any gear and hardware will do. View with us what the very best in the business of war use as their tools of the trade.
Features Logistics at the Edge For any combatant to prevail on the field of battle, everything that the warrior takes to the fight must be at hand, on time. Logistics systems ensure that the warrior’s every need is met, even in the most remote areas. SATCOM In an era where the electronic warrior rules the theater of conflict, special operators in far-flung areas must be able to communicate with each other, even in mountainous areas where comms signals may be blocked. Satellite communications provide the solution, creating a fully netted force. K-9 Warriors While emergent technologies have provided combatants with astounding capabilities unforeseen just a decade ago, some tasks still are best done by humans—and by man’s best friend, such as sniffing out locations of IEDs and other lethal threats. See how dogs help to save warfighters’ lives.
Bonus Distribution: July 11-12, 2013 Warrior Expo East Virginia Beach, Va. www.adsinc.com/warriorexpo
Technet Land Forces • 8th Night Vision Systems Insertion Order Deadline: May 24, 2013 Ad Materials Deadline: May 31, 2013
SOTECH 11.4 | 59
Special Operations Technology
Robert M. Miller Vice President Ceradyne Inc. (3M Company) between non-ballistic bump helmets and the lightest ballistic helmets currently available to this community.
Robert M. Miller was a founding member of Diaphorm, the combat helmet technology group that was acquired by Ceradyne in 2004. Previously, he held various leadership roles in energy and capital equipment companies. Q: How is Ceradyne an important supplier of lifesaving technologies to our warfighters? A: Ceradyne designs and manufactures lightweight body armor systems as a major SOCOM supplier of SAPI, ESAPI, XSAPI and associated side plates. Most recently Ceradyne has focused its manufacturing expertise and attention on ESAPI, which has moved into the sustainment supply phase for the Department of Defense. Also in focus is the enhanced combat helmet and the ongoing development of a lighter-weight ballistic combat helmet. In October 2012, 3M Company acquired Ceradyne, and our hope is that together we can expand future armor systems development and better serve domestic and international defense markets. Q: What differentiates Defender body armor from products manufactured by others? A: Ceradyne Defender armor protects warfighters against the most dangerous ballistic threats. With vertically integrated manufacturing, state-of-the-art materials and progressive engineering, Ceradyne has been the leader in advanced lifesaving technology for more than 45 years. Q: Since weight is always a challenge for special operations team members, how does Ceradyne confront that issue while maintaining required protection levels? A: Ceradyne understands very clearly the need to lighten the load for special operations team members so that they can not only become more effective in their actions but at the same time be more agile and protected due to faster reactions. The critical balance between weight and ballistic protection, which might not be the same between 60 | SOTECH 11.4
Q: What future challenges do you see for protecting the warfighter and how is Ceradyne addressing them?
special operations team members and Army soldiers or Marines, is also understood. For the best possible weight to protection combination, Ceradyne works very closely with material suppliers. When a new helmet design is offered, many of the improvements come from raw material performance. Efficient and effective use of the latest material technology is at the forefront of development for every new helmet product. Q: How is Ceradyne seamless ballistic helmet technology an improvement over other helmet options? A: Ceradyne has invested heavily in the development of critical process technologies to take advantage of thermoplastic composite materials that have recently become available for ballistic helmet manufacturing, such as the ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fibers in thermoplastic urethane resins. Processes developed specifically for optimized use of these materials, such as the seamless ballistic helmet molding technique, allow Ceradyne to take full advantage of the tremendous tenacity of the high-end fibers by eliminating darts and cuts in the material which can be detrimental to its performance in a helmet form. Such technologies have allowed Ceradyne to introduce helmet shells to the market with significantly higher performance, such as the enhanced combat helmet, or substantial weight reductions, such as the shells that Ceradyne produces for OpsCore. Following this path, Ceradyne plans to continue offering improvements to U.S. warfighters. For special operations team members particularly, Ceradyne is developing a ballistic bump helmet that will push the weight envelope to new standards by bridging the weight and performance gap
A: There is a continuing emphasis to lower the weight of body armor plates while ensuring they can defeat the most lethal threat on the battlefield. Ceradyne scientists are engaged in research that seeks to make the armor lighter and more durable while being able to withstand the entire range of threats worldwide. It is a daunting challenge. The current enhanced combat helmet for the Marine Command uses seamless ballistic technology that provides a much higher level of protection at an equivalent weight to the current advanced combat helmet. Using this same technology, Ceradyne has also developed much lower weight helmets at specific “tuned” ballistic protection performance levels to meet critical mission needs of the various forces. In addition, since helmets are increasingly viewed as a platform for other devices, Ceradyne has been active in developing integrated systems, most notably with the introduction of its Mohawk helmet. The helmet includes a molded-in power system allowing a single battery pack to be used for multiple devices attached to the helmet, thus reducing weight and eliminating hazard wires from the outside of the helmet. Although Ceradyne continues its efforts to meet the technical challenges for the supply of new personal protection equipment for the warfighter, the biggest challenge is maintaining our supply chain and experienced production employees—hence our production surge capacity—with a lack of an industrial base sustainment program during the current reduced operational tempo period. Until now, all of the armor products herein discussed were funded by wartime supplemental appropriations. As this means of funding goes away there has to be a permanent and lasting method in place to ensure that equipment as vital as body armor has a way to be purchased—all the time. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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