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SOCOM Program Management Updates
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Adm. Bill H. McRaven Commander SOCOM
Diver Gear O 3-D Training O Protective Gear Mulltinational Partnerships
Volume 12, Issue 4
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Special Operations Technology Features
May 2014 Volume 12, Issue 4
Cover / Q&A
48 Multinational Partnerships
15 The authoritative annual overview in which SOCOM’s acquisition executive and SOCOM Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center senior staff, including program executive officers, provide the details you need on SOCOM acquisition programs.
Over the past decade, multinational partnerships and training have grown into key components of the United States’ National Security Strategy. In Iraq, military transition teams rebuilt and trained army and police forces gutted by the 2003 invasion. In Afghanistan, advise and assist brigades helped construct a national army and police force to replace brutal Taliban warlords. By Captain Sam Rosenberg
41 Admiral Bill H. McRaven
Resources and Knowledge Set Contractors Apart
Not too long ago a typical special operations mission meant two or three heavily camouflaged operatives lying in a concealed position for weeks at a time observing a target and surviving only on MREs. Present day special operations missions have evolved into larger, more complex scenarios. By Lamont Woody
We offer a sampling of wheeled vehicles available for use by special operators, featuring the latest in mobility technology from industry leaders. By Scott Nance
While some Marines and SEALs have spent the past decade or so getting dirty in desert or mountainous regions, DoD’s re-balance to the Pacific is forcing them to switch gears. By Jeff Campbell
While weaponry and body armor get most of the attention when it comes to ground combat troops’ gear, the uniforms they wear and the apparel that goes under them is just as important to doing their job. By John M. Doyle
3-D Training and Simulation
Ready, Set, Dive!
Skin in the Game
2 Editor’s Perspective 3 Whispers/People 14 BLack WAtch 51 Resource Center
Senior Program Manager Aeroscraft Corporation
Commander Special Operations Command
“We’re going to continue to be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of safeguarding our homeland with forward, engaged, culturally attuned, agile SOF who will play a key role in a layered defense.” —Admiral Bill H. McRaven
Special Operations Technology Volume 12, Issue 4 • May 2014
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My name is Christopher P. McCoy and I recently took the lead of Special Operations Technology. Formerly, I was editor of SOTECH’s sister publication Tactical ISR Technology, and still serve as editor of Military Medical & Veterans Affairs Forum. I am going to take advantage of this introductory editor’s perspective to discuss a major point of Admiral McRaven’s GEOINT conference keynote address in Tampa, Fla. Although the majority of McRaven’s address centered on geospatial intelligence and its centrality to U.S. Special Operations Command, his answer to a question at the end of the address caught Chris McCoy Editor the most attention from the mainstream press. The question pertained to the stress of 13 years of war on special operations forces and their families and the legacy of suicide it has wrought on their ranks. McRaven responded with the following statement: “The last two years have been the highest rate of suicides we have had in the special operations community, and this year I am afraid we are on the path to break that. And although suicides alone are not an indication of the health of the force, they are a component I have to look at. There is a lot of angst. There is a lot of pressure out there. My soldiers have been fighting for 12-13 years in hard combat. Hard combat. And anybody who has spent any time in this war has been changed by it. It’s that simple.” The admiral continued, “I don’t think we know what effects are going to happen. I don’t think that will begin to manifest itself for another year or so, maybe two, three years.” McRaven explained that confronting this tragedy was his number one priority. Focusing on the resiliency of special operations forces and their families has been a cornerstone of his tenure as commander of SOCOM. As I am also the editor of M2VA I am familiar with the topic of suicide within the SOF community and will actively work to support SOF and their families as editor of SOTECH. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments for Special Operations Technology.
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SPECIAL PULL-OUT SUPPLEMENT USTRANSCOM
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Steiner 8x30R LRF
Sako TRG M10 • • •
Long-Range Engagement Multi-Caliber Mission Configurable
Beretta GLX160 A1 40x46mm LV
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Missile Warning System Improved BAE Systems’ common missile warning system completed a critical design review for its integrated aircraft survivability equipment (IASE) software update. The successful review marks a key milestone in the advancement of integrated infrared threat detection for rotary wing, transport and tactical aircraft. “Our common missile warning system has nearly a decade of proven success, flying more than 2 million in-theater combat hours and saving countless aircraft and lives,” said Bill Staib, director of threat management solutions at BAE Systems. “The newest version builds on the success of the existing technology and delivers enhanced integration and survivability capabilities to our armed forces.” The review highlighted the system’s ease of integration with other survivability technology, including the ability to accept data from both radar and laser warning receivers. By providing the Army with its first IASE capability, BAE Systems will reduce pilot workload and improve survivability by consolidating critical mission data into a single pilot vehicle interface. The system’s open architecture also enables threat data to be integrated into multiple platforms without costly upgrades or additional equipment.
Precision Strike Off Reaper Demonstrated MBDA has successfully demonstrated its dual mode Brimstone missile on an MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), scoring nine direct hits against a range of targets including very high speed and maneuvering vehicles. Brimstone can now provide Reaper crews with a weapon that reduces collateral damage risk and demonstrates first pass, single shot lethality against high speed maneuvering targets on land and at sea and in complex environments. Conducted at U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the trials were undertaken on behalf of the U.K. Ministry of Defence by the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Air Warfare Centre Unmanned Air Systems Test and Evaluation Squadron, Defence Equipment & Support Weapons Operating Centre, United States Air Force’s Big Safari Organization, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incorporated and MBDA. All
of the RAF’s primary and secondary trials objectives were met: demonstrating the integration functionality implemented, safe carriage, safe release, system targeting and end game performance while gathering data to support optimization and clearance activities. Brimstone scored nine direct hits in a range of challenging scenarios including static, accelerating, weaving, fast and very fast remotely controlled targets. Two of the more challenging scenarios were against trucks travelling at 70 mph in a crossing target scenario. At times, the targets were manually tracked by the Reaper crews, showing how the integrated semi-active laser and active MMW radar seeker works in tandem to ensure direct hits, even while tracking and designating targets manually over SATCOM. Every operational and telemetry missile performed as designed.
Wings over Honduras U.S. and Honduran servicemembers exchanged jump wings after performing joint airborne operations training consisting of jumping from a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. U.S. special forces from the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) performed a 1,500-foot static line jump alongside the Honduran 2nd Combat Airborne Infantry Battalion. The joint-training allowed members from both nations to retain currency, while also strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Honduran forces. “It is a rewarding experience jumping with the Hondurans,” said a U.S. special forces member who participated in the training. “The techniques that they use are very similar to ours, so it’s almost like looking in a mirror when I watch them.” In all, 32 Americans and 52 Hondurans made the jump to parachute safely to the Soto Cano airfield in what was deemed to be a highly successful training exercise. “It is a great honor to receive the Honduran jump wings from them but even greater to award them with a pair of ours,” he said. By Captain Steven Stubbs, Joint Task Force Bravo
Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus
Navy Vice Admiral Sean A. Pybus has been nominated for reappointment
4 | SOTECH 12.4
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
to the rank of vice admiral and for assignment as deputy commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. Pybus is currently serving as commander, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Special Operations Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium.
The Secretary of Defense has nominated Navy Reserve Captain Daniel B. Hendrickson for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half). Hendrickson is currently serving as commanding officer, Navy Reserve U.S. Special Operations Command, Detachment 108, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
Brigadier General Michael J. Warmack, deputy chief, operations, Office of the Defense RepresentativePakistan, Pakistan, has been assigned as deputy commanding general, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Navy Rear Admiral (lower half) Brett C. Heimbigner has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral. Heimbigner is currently serving as deputy director, National Clandestine Service for Community HUMINT, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C.
COMPARABLE UAS REQUIRE 7 PEOPLE TO OPERATE. WE THINK THAT’S 4 TOO MANY.
Introducing the APEX UAS – Best-in-Class Technology, Easy Operation and Low Manpower Welcome to the next generation in UAS. While other systems call for an entire platoon of operators, L-3’s Airborne Pursuit and Exploitation (APEX) UAS only needs three – the smallest operating team in its class. Designed with special missions in mind, this complete system is fully expeditionary and includes a long-range, small-footprint ground control station with 100+ km range. Add in exclusive features like 7-hour flight endurance, inaudible electric propulsion and an accurate parachute recovery system, and you’ve got a UAS that flies far above the rest. Visit us at SOFIC 2014 in Booth 1504 or online at L-3com.com/UAS. Unmanned Systems
Resources and Knowledge Set Contractors Apart
The SOF community is dependent on resourceful contractors to support complex missions.
By Lamont Woody
Not too long ago, a typical special operations mission meant two or three heavily camouflaged operatives lying in a concealed position for weeks at a time, observing a target and surviving only on MREs. Present-day special operations missions have evolved into larger, more complex scenarios involving sophisticated equipment, logistics, and often contractor support to get the basic life support systems and equipment in place. Although the size of modern contingencies may dwarf previous classified excursions, the basic tenets of a SOF mission have not changed, with success still being rooted in speed and agility in execution. In order for SOF to focus on increasingly more complex missions, they have turned to contractors who can respond just as quickly, and who may already be in the area, to provide base support, infrastructure and supply chain management.
importance to local or regional security, and in some cases are relevant to supporting national security objectives. • Even though SOF procures small quantities of specialized technologies and services, when contractors partner with SOF by sharing innovations and unique technologies, the application extends to conventional forces and improves our national safety envelope. • Contractors who hire local vendors overseas often increase SOF success in different ways. Contractors providing employment opportunities to indigenous personnel promote goodwill with the locals, improve the local economic base and enhance the security environment.
The More You Know
In any business, hiring the right people plays a key role in the overall success of the operation. With SOF support often occurring in undeveloped areas, ensuring that your foreign employment process is administered compliantly and that all locally-hired individuals are treated with the utmost dignity and respect can have a major impact on the current mission, as well as future endeavors in the region. Establishing clear expectations and providing proper training is essential to ensuring employees understand the requirements and will represent the company in an ethical manner. There is no “onesize-fits-all” approach to preparing for this type of work, but there are some commonalities, such as vaccinations and general training, that employees can acquire as a baseline. Project-specific details can then be quickly shared as resources are called to action. Having a cadre of trained employees available for rapid deployment can be the difference between mission success and failure.
The military depends on contractors who can mobilize quickly to solve complex problems under challenging conditions. An in-depth knowledge of each country’s geography, status of forces agreements with the United States, and laws for taxes, tariffs and hiring of local nationals are crucial elements of contractor support to SOF. Understanding the laws and customs of an area enables companies to more easily identify trustworthy sources of information. To be effective, it is imperative that contractors know who to talk to and what to say. Time wasted talking to the wrong people or confusion about regulations can leave our military without the support it needs. SOF relies on contractors with global supply chain management experience who are adept at getting materials where they need to be. Anyone with enough capital can buy equipment. But the contractors who can negotiate intricate border crossings to get supplies in position in advance of the troops are the ones who differentiate themselves from the pack and become trusted partners. SOF acquisition teams pursue best value and technically exceptional services and commodities for their theater special operations commands and SOF service component commanders. Successful contractors have earned reputations for providing seamless support in austere environments, maintaining compliance with federal regulations and offering competitive pricing. This business does not afford the luxury of a do-over, so SOF turns to contractors with the experience and resources to adapt to rapidly changing conditions with proven competence.
Going Beyond the Mission In addition to logistics and base operations support, SOF contractors also have the ability to contribute in other ways. • Developing innovative, low-cost and small-footprint approaches to meet emerging requirements. Most missions are of great 6 | SOTECH 12.4
Supporting the Best with the Best
Continuing Mission In a world where political unrest is an ongoing concern, SOF will continue to protect U.S. interests around the globe, and qualified contractors will continue to have the opportunity to quietly contribute to these victories. O Lamont Woody, director of operations for Fluor’s Government Group, is responsible for contingency operations programs and services, primarily in support of U.S. Department of State, U.S. special operations and United Nations’ requirements. Woody holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and master’s degrees from the Army Command and Staff College, the Naval War College and Southwestern Oklahoma State University. For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Chris McCoy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
The U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard JTAC training dome system, featuring MetaVR visuals, is now in production.
The Air National Guard Advanced Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training System (AATJS) is a combined effort of QuantaDyn, USAF Trainer Development, Battlespace Simulations, Immersive Display Solutions, and MetaVR. The AATJS is accredited by the U.S. Joint Fire Support Executive Steering Committee and the NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG). The system meets or exceeds current STANAG standards.
Real-time screen captures are from MetaVR’s visualization system and 3D virtual terrain and are unedited except as required for printing. The real-time rendering of the 3D virtual world is generated by MetaVR Virtual Reality Scene GeneratorTM (VRSGTM). 3D models and animations are from MetaVR’s 3D content libraries. Inset photo courtesy of QuantaDyn Corporation. © 2014 MetaVR, Inc. All rights reserved. MetaVR, Virtual Reality Scene Generator, VRSG, the phrase “Geospeciﬁc simulation with game quality graphics,” and the MetaVR logo are trademarks of MetaVR, Inc.
Simulation training is a flexible alternative for constricted budgets. As it continues to evolve, 3-D technology will offer new tools and capabilities so that U.S. special forces can increasingly rely on simulation as a means of training and mission planning, according to companies developing the systems and other experts. “It’s pretty remarkable stuff, and it just keeps getting better,” said Thomas Baptiste, president of the National Center for Simulation, an Orlando, Fla.-based nonprofit trade association with government, academic and industry members. “As we make avatar technology look better, as the virtual-world technology—the images themselves, the replication of a real-world area—becomes better and more realistic, you kind of get to that point where you can suspend disbelief and make it feel more real for the trainee, if you will. That just gets better with time, and I think it will continue to get better.” In particular, U.S. special forces and others in the military will find that modeling and simulation will provide a cost-effective tool for training, given the tight budgets they will have to deal with for the foreseeable future, said Baptiste, a retired Air Force lieutenant general. “We’re going to have to find new and innovative ways to train at home station, because there simply just isn’t enough O&M [operating and maintenance] money to do as much live training as we did in the past. It just costs too much money,” he said. “When you’ve got fewer dollars in your O&M accounts and you’re looking for ways to maintain readiness, one of the things that you will have to think about is the balance between live training and simulation because simulation, of course, is a cost-effective alternative. “Now, you can’t replace all live training with simulation. But the balance between the two is going to have to be something that the service chiefs—and even special ops—have to look at because of the budget pressures that we see for the next several years.” 8 | SOTECH 12.4
By Scott Nance SOTECH Correspondent
Specifically, 3-D technology can provide an effective training environment when budget pressure means less travel than in the past, Baptiste said. “I think immersive technologies—maybe game-driven—are going to be a new way to approach things at home station, where you don’t need 10,000 acres of range to train,” he said. “If you can immerse a single soldier, or a squad of soldiers, into an immersive environment and make it look like reality of that area of the world that you’re worried about, there are options to do things differently through that immersive kind of simulation.” Simulation also has become an especially effective training tool for young special operators, whom Baptiste referred to as “digital natives.” “They want to be challenged with something in their hand, and they’re not afraid of technology because they’ve grown up playing video games,” he said.
Flexibility Is Key Special forces are among those demanding simulation tools which offer a high degree of flexibility, said Kenneth Duck, vice president of Battlespace Simulations, a provider of PC-based simulation solutions. Among these solutions is Modern Air Combat Environment, its system providing computer-generated/ semi-automated forces and threat generation for distributed simulation environments, joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) training capability, electronic warfare simulation capability, mission rehearsal and man-in-the-loop combat aircraft simulation. “I think why we’ve been successful with Special Operations Command and others is because we are able to give them a lot of different skill sets,” Duck said. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
reconstruction capability is one that we have spoken to a number For instance, a special forces team might need unmanned of people about.” aerial vehicles, tanks, humans and other assets all within a given Often 3-D technology used to build models and simulations simulation environment, he said. have to be collected specifically with that use in mind, Damush “The neat thing about simulation today is that we have the said. That’s not the case with 2d3 Sensing’s systems, he said. power to do that, and our company provides that,” he added. “Where we have focused our energies is based on the assumpFurther, a user can change which asset he’s simulating— tion that we don’t control anything to do with the capture of the quickly switching, for example, from a HMMWV to helicopter— original data, in that we’re trying to give an analyst, a training within a given scenario, Duck said. “They basically want a lot of manager, a mission planner an ability to create flexibility in their simulation to create diverse-type these kinds of assets from whatever raw data they scenarios,” he said. may have access to,” Damush said. “That might be a One area where Battlespace Simulations is purvideo clip, it might be a series of stills, it might even suing development is the ability to “meld software be a simulated piece of imagery.” with live” training, Duck said, noting the Air Force 2d3 Sensing’s technology also is capable of Research Laboratory funded the company for a twoquickly developing simulations on readily available year R&D program. commercial hardware, he said. “It would be a combination of real world [sce“Our customers don’t have much appetite to nario] and actual simulation. That’s where it’s buy an appliance from us,” he said. “They’ve already headed,” he said. “The customers definitely want it, made their investment in computing equipment, and we’re getting money thrown at us because they and they say, ‘Okay, we’ve got two Dell Xeon servers have confidence we’ll be able to deliver that.” Kenneth Duck with this kind of memory. What can you do?’” Another aspect to growing flexibility is the The technology can create simulations from willingness of simulation software providers to a variety of data, 2d3 Sensing’s system can update adhere to open standards, according to Jon Damush, simulations with new assets in a given environpresident and chief executive of 2d3 Sensing, a ment—a key benefit for special operators, Damush California-based software provider. said. “As a commercial off-the-shelf company, we “The ability to create assets in a timely manner believe heavily in the need [for], and the promotion we think is critical, because the world changes— of, standards in the community so systems can talk especially in areas where our special ops guys have to one another,” he said. “In the defense world, as to deploy,” he said. “Physical assets in those areas you probably know, not everybody thinks that way. could be tents, they could be hovels, they could be As a matter of fact, the bigger the companies get, holes in the ground—they’re not physical structhe more proprietary they try to be so they can own Jon Damush tures that stand for decades. That tactical landscape more and more of the revenue pie that’s coming out changes, sometimes daily. of a given agency.” “The ability to model that, and train to that, I think is a critical point to their success,” he added. “The technology that we’re ‘Whiz-Bang’ Capabilities trying to bring to bear is specifically focused on that kind of rapid asset-generation capability.” Another key to flexibility—and quick utility of 3-D environSpecial operators could even send back data from a small, ments—is an ability to build simulations from different types of hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle, and the software “will data, Damush said. build the best model we can with that data,” Damush said. “We have software libraries that go all the way down to the “By taking that approach, we’re trying to solve that short root level for encoding video and metadata, and all the way up to flash-to-bang time limitation, to get them as fresh tactical data the really advanced level … which is computer vision,” Damush we can possibly get them so as they’re doing the work-ups, and said. “That is, we can do smart things with pixels. When I say training, and measurement and modeling of sniper lines-of-fire, ‘smart things,’ I mean we can take imagery from a still or a movfor example, they are working with the freshest data they possibly ing camera and derive different types of information and different can—sometimes even [after being] tactically deployed,” he said. types of assets.” A special operator even could build a 3-D simulation in the For example, special operators could fly an aircraft around a field on a laptop, Damush said. compound in a desert. If they were to send back video, 2d3 Sens“If all they have is a Toughbook, sure, instead of taking 15 ing’s system could re-construct a 3-D model of that compound, minutes to build a model it might take an hour now—because the he said. Toughbook only has so fast a processor—but there will be nothing “These are the types of whiz-bang computer vision capabilities in that computing platform that precludes us from being able to that we bring to bear. I think the connection of standards, combuild a model for them,” he said. O puter vision and media mastery kind of all combine to provide us a pretty unique position in the marketplace,” he added. “When it comes to training, simulation and specifically mission planning, the special operations community is a community that we For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Chris McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives think we have a lot of value to offer and a community that we are for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com. chasing heavily in terms of supplying our capabilities to. The 3-D www.SOTECH-kmi.com
SOTECH 12.4 | 9
Trusted standards and new tech will assist
By Jeff Campbell SOTECH Correspondent
While some Marines and SEALs have spent the past decade or so getting dirty in desert or mountainous regions, DoD’s re-balance to the Pacific is forcing them to switch gears. With a headquarters near the world’s largest Navy base, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Va.-based ADS Inc. knows a thing or two about top-of-the-line diver gear. Maritime mobility has been significantly enhanced with the recent developments of the Wing Inflatable P4.7 and P5.8 boats and the Evinrude multi-fuel engine (MFE), according to John Ennis, program capture manager at ADS. “Wing Inflatable boats are constructed from specially developed polyurethane fabric with heat welded seams (vice being glued) for extended service life, and two to three times the puncture resistance compared to Hypalon or PVC fabrics,” he said. Of special note about the engine recommended to power those boats, the Evinrude MFE is the first lightweight 30HP production engine that meets the U.S. military shipboard use gasoline requirements mandated by DoD’s common fuels initiative. “These platforms will significantly increase the operational effectiveness of maritime 10 | SOTECH 12.4
units while reducing the dangers associated with ‘gasoline-only’ engines onboard U.S. Navy ships,” Ennis said.
New Tech Above and Below Among some of her top choices for 2014, Melissa Sikorski, ADS maritime and diving category manager, listed the Argonaut titanium dive knife, sphere combat mask and the Rocket II fins as the go-to for the foreseeable future. “Having the right gear for the job is critical as we increase focus on the Pacific and develop skill sets that have been shelved for many years,” Sikorski said. “Equipping our maritime forces with cutting-edge technology for operations in littoral environments will be a top priority for operational commanders, and it is imperative that this equipment be issued at the beginning of the training cycle.” Before leaping into dangerous waters, divers need to check the fit of their suit for both maneuverability and maintenance reasons; Sikorski has a couple of recommendations there as well. “The wet suits and dry suits available today from companies like Xcel and White’s Manufacturing are designed with fewer panels and seams
to maximize durability while incorporating unique sizing variants to ensure a proper fit,” she said. “Xcel incorporates an ergonomic design into their wetsuits with contoured knee panels, quick dry technology, and maximizing stretch for a superior fit and increased durability.” Is technology taking over now rather than standard diving equipment? There’s no doubt, according to Shark Marine CEO Jim Garrington. “I think the biggest thing in what we’re doing is giving divers the safety and the ability to navigate underwater, and to be able to image things—that’s a really valuable tool,” he said. Our SEALs get added advantage when new tools are easy to use. “These guys have got enough other things to worry about, so when they’re coming in with other equipment, it needs to be simple for them to operate.” Among Shark Marine’s specialties are handheld underwater sonars and navigation systems, which give divers security through awareness of what’s around them. “Sonar allows them to do things with a lot smaller overhead than what they’re used to; now they can get away with small boats as opposed to bringing in large mine hunters,” Garrington said, noting that advances www.SOTECH-kmi.com
in this area allow them to get in the water for less money while getting the same mission accomplished. “And in a lot of cases, now that we’re doing autonomous systems, we’re able to keep man out of danger with the sonar systems, allowing them to see what’s ahead of them before they get to it, as opposed to the braille method of looking at mines, and at the same point being able to avoid other hazardous situations.” Not only does sonar give the diver a tremendous amount of self-awareness and protection, but maritime machinery is aiding man in evolving humanitarian missions like the search for a missing Malaysian airliner. SOTECH spoke with Bluefin Robotics COO Jeff Smith at this year’s Sea-Air-Space Exhibition, while the Bluefin 21 vehicle was standing by about 1,000 miles off the coast of Australia. Not long after, possible pings from the aircraft were detected, and the Bluefin 21 got to work. “The Bluefin 21 was the first vehicle we ever really created, it’s how Bluefin got its start 17 years ago, initially under the Office of Naval Research,” Smith said. “We built that heavyweight class of vehicle
to get sonars out there autonomously, be able to go deeper, get better imagery.” While it’s not the happiest of circumstances, tragedy gave Bluefin an opportunity to show the world how it can collect clean, crisp images and determine whether what it sees is engine, ship or fuselage parts, for example. “The vehicle that’s there has a side-scan sonar, it operates to about 400-500 meters per side, so about a kilometer swath width as the vehicle’s doing its clearance of an area, that doesn’t matter how dark the water is, that’ll get good imagery to that full range,” Smith said. “Malaysia Air is getting a lot of attention for getting those vehicles out there and showing some use and showing how quickly we can fly [the sonar] to the other side of the world, deploy it on a ship of opportunity and start collecting data.” The Bluefin 21 can operate in shallow waters, but is intended for deeper dives. The company has a full range of systems that can also do ship hull inspections. That way, rather than sending a team of divers in to look for attachments on the ship’s hull, it can be done autonomously with sonars or
a video camera if the water in port isn’t too murky. One sailor with first-hand experience in this type of work is retired Captain Jon Tobias, defense and international markets business director at Bluefin, who said the vehicle is a great shipmate for the classic underwater detect, classify, identify and engage scenario. “Right now, we can detect, classify and identify, and we’re working on putting manipulators on it to do the engagement,” Tobias said. “It’s got a lot of other applications too, like ship maintenance and infrastructure inspection, and it can actually do bottom search too.” One incoming call EOD divers know well is that for a limpet mine, a naval mine attached to a target by magnets. “Literally, you’ve got to go down, make sure the ship is tagged out, make sure it’s safe to dive, then you get the divers ready, you put the divers in the water,” Tobias said. “It takes a lot of time, and time is your biggest enemy.” Now with a hovering vehicle, almost anyone can employ it with near immediate response. “You program it, it takes a few minutes, get it in the water and right to
SOTECH 12.4 | 11
work on doing the hull inspection,” Tobias said. He pointed out that the vehicle assist is much more accurate. “In a dirty water environment, you’re really working by how good your visibility is, whereas with the sonar imagery that you get, you’re not really worried about the turbidity in the water, you can go to work no matter what the conditions are.” If a SOF team wanted to get really creative, a rather large vehicle named Proteus is ready to get underway. Battelle’s Bob Geoghegan told SOTECH at Sea-Air-Space that the sub with 350 hours on it had done some work for the Navy Research Lab and was set to go with demos for the Naval Surface Warfare Center. The Proteus is a possible test vehicle for the large displacement UUV under development. “A SOF team normally operates a manned SEAL delivery vehicle,” Geoghegan said. “With a vehicle like Proteus, they could drive it ashore and then send it on its way, and then tell it when to come back and where and it could operate in that mode.” Or, a bit more realistically, it could be the unmanned truck for the SEALs. “They could have it carry supplies and gear and follow them—that’s probably a little more in tune with the way SEALs operate,” he said.
It’s a Wrap When the special operations maritime mission set was put up in the closet, gear like dry and wet suits was shelved as well. Now with an increased focus on waterborne operations in the Pacific, those same suits can’t just come back out and get right back in the water. “Even though it [may seem] new, 10 years old is not new stuff,” said Kim Johns, president at St. Helens, Oregonbased Under Sea Industrial Apparel (USIA). “They’re not purchasing anything that’s 10 years old or ’70s technology.” With assistance provided through the Small Business Administration’s small business innovation research program (SBIR), USIA has teamed with Virginia-based NanoSonic to fuse next-generation dry and wet suit ensembles. The new suits being developed leverage NanoSonic’s HybridSil technology, a silicon-based copolymer molecularly cross-linked with fabric that tests have shown to be 40 percent stronger than Kevlar and 15 times stronger than steel. NanoSonic Chief Technical Officer Vince Baranauskas, Ph.D., who co-invented 12 | SOTECH 12.4
HybridSil, set out to provide the special forces community with a disruptive technology that offers a previously unavailable combination of protection, durability and comfort. “There have been really marginal increases in durability over the years, so what we’ve done through this program is provide the material that is a real game changer that provides higher levels of threat protection,” Baranauskas said. “In fact, a whole wet suit or dry suit can be structured with this technology and still have long term marine environmental durability.” The term “game changer” may seem to be thrown about loosely at times, but since the diving industry has been incorporating the same dry and wet suit materials for more than three decades, this is kind of a big deal. “Having puncture proof/laceration proof/ abrasion proof fabrics that far exceed what’s out there now that still have form fit and function is pretty special,” Johns said. In SBIR phase one, NanoSonic established the feasibility and commercial potential of this new line of next gen suits. The government assistance is appreciated, because the dive industry cannot afford to invent a new fabric on its own, let alone a next-gen fire resistant infused liquid ceramic. “Anything in the dive industry, from regulators to suits to pretty much any gadget you use, is some form of a morphed military project that got commercialized,” Johns said. In the program’s second phase, SBIR funding enabled further R&D efforts. “Durability depends on the nature of the threat,” Baranauskas noted. “Our primary threats that we’ve designed this material around for dealing with the marine environment include laceration, abrasion and puncture.” NanoSonic’s research showed that the average SOF diver’s suit incurred the most damage from barnacle impact. “We set up a customized board with glass shards on it and did a drop impact test from a given height and compared several materials,” Baranauskas said. At the beginning of the third and final SBIR phase, NanoSonic chose USIA as its transition partner, and now the team is set to supply an experimental dive unit with about 15 suits for form, fit and function testing. “We have produced working prototypes that we are confident will not have operational issues,” Johns said. The most challenging aspect of creating these new suits is sealing the raw fabric materials with the HybridSil product. In
phase one, scientists at the NanoSonic lab coated diving suits of woven Spectra fabric with HybridSil to see if the suit would remain waterproof at pressure. Squirting the suits down in a paint booth isn’t costeffective, so follow-on trials moved to infusing the fabric via silicone-based glues, as traditional glues wouldn’t stick. Getting it right long before the suit hits the water will give the end user added protection that can potentially save them precious seconds. “During an operation if you punch a hole in something, the ability to repair that in the field is not really something you want to have to deal with,” Johns said. In addition to eliminating field repairs, the suits will likely be maintenance-free because they’re not made from traditional materials that have experienced maintenance issues. “Anything that has a rubber or an elastomer base to it is subject to degradation from ozone depletion, sunlight/UV rays, chlorine, any of those things you find in waterborne environments,” Johns said. “When you have a suit now that’s not elastomer or plastometer, but is silicon-based and infused liquid ceramic, you take all of those environmental factors that used to make it not last a long time off the table.” Once all the testing’s complete and the suits are ready to be put to work, the end product will potentially have a couple hundred percent increase in puncture resistance—or the magnitude increase in abrasion resistance verses currently employed commodity materials within the dive community. “This is all while maintaining flexibility,” Baranauskas pointed out. “Usually, these types of properties are mutually exclusive. Softer materials, generally speaking, lack puncture/laceration/abrasion testing, whereas harder materials perform better.” Through combining innovations and polymer science, native technology and high-performance fabric technology, and with SBA assistance, industry teams are combining conventionally dissimilar material properties into something that may be available to the special forces dive community as early as the spring of this year. O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Chris McCoy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
AC-235 ... Innovation Delivered.
ATK in collaboration with King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) of the Kingdom of Jordan, developed and provided the system integration and aircraft modifications to modify two of the countryâ€™s CASA235 transport aircraft into highly-capable and cost-effective special mission aircraft. The AC-235 is the first gunship of its kind outside of the U.S.A. This is ATK.
www.atk.com ATK.International@ atk.com
ATK is a registered trademark of Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Soldier Radio Waveform Appliqué Exelis Exelis has been awarded a five-year indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract by the U.S. Army Contracting Command to provide radio appliqués capable of running the Army Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW). The contract has a potential ceiling of $988 million and also includes five one-year options that can be exercised at the Army’s discretion. The appliqué will host SRW, a waveform developed by Exelis that operates in the UHF and L-Band frequency ranges and provides an affordable second channel solution to Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) vehicular radio installations. The initial Exelis offering on this contract is the SideHat, a radio specifically developed for the vehicular electromagnetic and physical environment experienced on the battlefield.
Exelis, a leader in extending critical networks, designed SideHat to easily integrate with SINCGARS, the primary tactical communications backbone for the U.S. Army with nearly 600,000 fielded. SINCGARS with SideHat and SRW provides a system solution with up to four channels (2 SRW and 2 VHF). It provides dismounted soldiers the ability to communicate both voice and data to mounted soldiers in vehicles within a larger network. “The SRW Appliqué will provide the U.S. Army with a cost effective means to add a robust waveform for battlefield communications,” said Nick Bobay, president of the Exelis Night Vision and
Communications Solutions division. “As the developer of SRW and the manufacturer of an installed base of nearly 600,000 Army radios, we have the capability to deliver both the performance and value expected from fielding the SRW Appliqué.”
Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 Armor
Miniature Pressure Sensor
TenCate Advanced Armor
TenCate Advanced Armor in Newark, Ohio, has been selected by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), the prime contractor for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (SOCOM) ground mobility vehicle (GMV), to provide the GMV 1.1 armor solution. This order has a value of about $30 million. Revenues will be generated in the next three to four years. Initial production will start during the second half of 2014. The Pentagon awarded General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems a $562 million contract for GMV 1.1. SOCOM plans to purchase up to 1,300 GMVs over the next six years to replace SOCOM’s current fleet of specialized HMMWVs. TenCate Advanced Armor offers complete vehicle armor and occupant survivability solutions for tactical and combat vehicles.
14 | SOTECH 12.4
Utilizing a wide range of armor materials and technologies, survivability products of TenCate include lightweight passive armor as well as advanced active underbody IED protection. “We are extremely excited to be a part of the GD-OTS team. The GMV platform is a perfect platform for our lightweight armor solutions,” said Mark Edwards, president of TenCate Advanced Armor USA. “The GMV program is certainly an important part of the future enabling technologies for the United States Army Special Forces and we are proud to be able to participate on such an important program.” The TenCate GMV armor solution consists of the primary vehicle armoring solution including transparent armor. TenCate will design and manufacture the armor and provide it to GD-OTS as a complete kit ready for installation.
Measurement Specialties offers the XPC10, a miniature pressure sensor that accurately measures both static and dynamic pressures across a wide operating temperature range of -40 degrees Celsius to 220 degrees Celsius. The new XPC10 uses a rugged, stainless steel housing to protect the sensor from corrosive liquids, chemicals and gases found in many industrial, military and aerospace applications. Combined with its compact profile, as small as 12 mm, the XPC10 is easily installed in a number of harsh environments including test benches, oven monitoring equipment and cooling regulation systems. Measurement Specialties’ SanShift technology, incorporated into the new sensor, ensures long-term performance by eliminating zero shifts caused by installation torque. A foil strain gage wired in a fundamental Wheatstone bridge circuit is at the core of the sensor to provide excellent temperature stability. The XPC10 is available in absolute, sealed and gauge ranges from 10 bar to 500 bar, with an onboard amplifier available for all ranges, as well as in M10x1 or 3/8-24 Unified Coarse Thread threaded designs. Standard output impendence is less than 1,000 ohm, with less than 100 ohm available upon request. Custom sensors can incorporate an optional temperature probe and titanium construction in addition to IP67 ingress protection and a lower pressure range down to 5 bar.
We don’t send you to combat,
WE BRING THE combat TO YOU
RENT ONLY WHAT YOU NEED, WHERE YOU NEED IT AND FOR ONLY SO LONG AS YOU NEED IT. STATE OF THE ART, NOW…AND AFFORDABLE, TOO. The rental of virtual training enablers to support current training requirements provides state-of-the-art technology that is immediately Ready to Train and at a cost per soldier training hour far lower than that of traditionally acquired enablers (Military avoids the typical Total Costs of Ownership). COMMANDERS DESERVE DIRECT INPUT TO THE TRAINING ENABLERS THEY NEED…and they should not have to wait years for their arrival, if ever. For the first time, Commanders can demand Training Enablers that directly match their training objectives and are scalable to available time to train, throughput and location. Risk and responsibility for sustainment, upgrade, and storage shifts from the Military to Industry.
virtual training systems
U.S. SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center
Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) and our acquisition professionals, the special operations forces acquirers and logisticians, had another great year. Our success was due directly to the professionalism, pride, energy and ingenuity every member of our team put toward meeting our mission of providing rapid and focused acquisition, technology and logistics to our SOF operators. Acquisition remains a demanding profession within a complex landscape of dynamic budgets, requirements, processes, laws and oversight. SORDAC’s dedicated group of professionals, through collaboration with the services and our international and industry partners, continue to contribute to the success of the SOF operator. The program executive offices (PEOs) managed extensive, multi-billion-dollar portfolios composed of hundreds of programs in such areas as fixed and rotary wing aircraft; maritime platforms; command, control, communication and computer systems; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; weapons; body armor; visual augmentation systems; ground mobility platforms; ammunition; service contracts; contracted logistics; and many more. Our science and technology team continued to rapidly identify and develop war-winning technology solutions for the forces. Equally impressive were SOCOM J4’s operational and strategic support to SOF worldwide and the Procurement Directorate’s rapid and responsive contract solutions to support all our command’s requirements. These achievements reflect our pride in ensuring special operations forces are equipped to accomplish the SOCOM mission—and none of this would have been possible without the superb support from the rest of our SORDAC workforce. As you read our PEOs’ and directors’ articles and consider their many impressive accomplishments, you’ll sense the pride our SOF acquirers and logisticians have in being the recognized experts and trusted providers supporting our SOF operators. James F. Geurts Acquisition Executive U.S. Special Operations Command
FY13 SOCOM Acquisition Breakdown SOCOM Acquisition Executive James F. “Hondo” Geurts brought Washingtonians up to speed April 1 during an NDIA Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict (SO/ LIC) breakfast meeting called “Overview of SOCOM Acquisition Programs.” Sounds simple enough, but when you look at the numbers, America’s SOF acquirers raked up pretty impressive stats in fiscal year 2013. 73 million
Rounds of ammunition
Weapons, accessories, lasers and visual augmentation systems
Operator survival/ equipment items
Assets/equipment retrograded from Afghanistan (valued at $175 million)
Information technology automation devices and systems
Operator and medic kits
Field service reps placed on contract
Rotary wing aircraft and systems
Tactical MISO systems
Fixed wing aircraft
Mobile technology and repair centers operational
SOTECH 12.4 | 17
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-peculiar manned and unmanned fixed wing airpower capabilities to effectively enable special operations forces. 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 its 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 the 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, high-demand nature of the SOF 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. Through the fourth quarter of 2013, a total of 20 MC-130J aircraft have been delivered. In 2013, one MC-130J aircraft was modified with a terrain-following radar for flight 18 | SOTECH 12.4
testing in 2014. A second MC-130J was converted to the AC-130J configuration. 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 the modification of the first aircraft in 2013 in preparation for developmental flight test scheduled for 2014. Ongoing operations continue to stress the legacy SOF C-130 fleet. In 2012, SOCOM and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (now Complex), Ga., implemented a new program to replace obsolete mission computers on the AC-130U and the MC130H 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. To date, 11 AC-130Us and 17 MC130Hs have had their center wing boxes replaced. The remaining AC-130U aircraft will complete the CWR modification by 2015. A consolidated, low-cost modification program also continues in 2014 to address ongoing minor modifications to SOF-unique equipment to improve reliability and maintainability, correct deficiencies, address obsolescence, and incorporate mission enhancements. AC-130W Stinger II—SOF’s Precision Strike Aircraft The Stinger II is equipped with a modular precision strike package (PSP) with enhanced electrooptical/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 combat-proven 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 GBU39/B small diameter bomb (SDB) capability to the PSP suite of weapons, enhancing the systems 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. PEO-FW procures and integrates stand-off precision guided munition (SOPGM) variants for use on the AC-130W 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 III, fielded in 2013, provides increased seeker sensitivity and has been successfully used in combat operations. Integration of the laser small diameter bomb onto the AC-130W began in 2013 and will be fielded in 2014. CV-22 Osprey—SOF’s Long-Range Insertion Platform The CV-22 fulfills the requirement for highspeed, 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 special operations infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions. SOCOM has delivered 38 of the programmed fleet of 50 CV-22s. 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) multimode radar. The DIRCM system provides active protection against infrared homing missiles. SIRFC counters threats through its missile-warning receivers and jammers and provides real-time 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-21 .50 caliber. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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 fly-by-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 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 seven aircraft was sourced, and the contract subsequently awarded in September 2012. Two of the seven were delivered in 2013.
The C-130 is central to the workings of the SOF fixed wing fleet. Pictured is the AC-130J configuration. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
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 SOpeculiar communication and sensor suite. These aircraft provided critical, manned, persistent ISR capabilities for SOF operations. Two aircraft supported a training mission in the continental U.S., and four assets were continuously deployed for immediate real-world operations. In 2012, the aircraft moved from Iraq to Afghanistan. The aircraft concluded their support in June 2013 and, following a maintenance inspection cycle, returned to their respective assigned home stations.
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), New Mexico. 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, five each, to Cannon AFB and Duke Field, Fla. An additional five M-28s were ordered in 2012 and were delivered to Duke Field during 2013 following mission modifications. The C-145As at Cannon moved to Duke Field in May 2013, and the entire fleet was officially transferred from NSAV to AvFID. The C-146A aircraft procurements began in 2010. All 17 medium C-146A aircraft have been procured and delivered to the 524th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
The Non-Standard Aviation (NSAV) mission provides dedicated intra-theater airlift and
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) range from the small hand-launched aircraft to large remotely
piloted aircraft, and carry sensors providing realtime ISR capabilities for many different requirements across the SOF component commands. The small unmanned aircraft system program utilizes the RQ-20A Puma All Environment (PUMA AE) and the RQ-11 Raven-B. Both aircraft are hand launched and controlled by SOF ground forces providing local real-time reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA) capabilities. The medium endurance unmanned aircraft system program contracts operators and maintainers to fly the catapult launched and net captured Scan Eagle aircraft providing intermediate range ISR for SOF. The medium altitude long endurance tactical (MALET) program equips MQ-1s and MQ-9s with modifications and kits enabling SO-peculiar ISR and precision strike capabilities. MALET has modified more than 40 aircraft and their associated ground control stations with capability kits to meet evolving SOF mission performance requirements. SOF UAS have proven their value as an unblinking eye in a wide range of operations, from locations close to operating ground forces, to regional coverage, to theater-wide deployment. Deploying SO-peculiar ISR payloads, they are a critical capability for current operations and those of the future. Emerging Technology 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 SOTECH 12.4 | 19
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. Currently, PEO-FW is managing four CRADAs related to improved sensors, weapons and air vehicle performance.
pilots, this program procures an AC-130J mission training device that will support training back-end gunship aircrew. It will also deliver a simultaneous independent operations capability for AC-130J, allowing the front-end 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, resulting in greater throughput and proficiency for mission crews.
Aircrew Training Systems— Training the Fleet
Simulator Block Update— Updating 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
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 Environment—Preparing the Fleet The Special Operations Mission Planning Environment (SOMPE) program is a computer-based suite of software products developed in response to SOCOM user-specified 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 John M. Vannoy leads the Program Executive Office for Rotary Wing (PEORW), which is 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 science and technology efforts in preparation for planned programs to address aircraft survivability issues to provide the most capable rotary wing aircraft to the best aviators in the world today: the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). 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 supporting future vertical lift development by participating in the U.S. Army-led Future Vertical Lift Integrated Product Team and the Under Secretary of Defense 20 | SOTECH 12.4
Currently the rotary wing fleet consists of three different MH-60 Black Hawk models. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
Science & Technology-led Future Vertical Lift Science & Technology Working Group. Along with the Technology Applications Program Office at Fort Eustis, Va., and the Project Manager, Mission Enhanced Little Bird, the PEORW mission is primarily accomplished by developing acquisition plans and aligning strategies to resources that support integration of special operations (SO)-peculiar mission equipment packages onto proven U.S. 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 U.S. 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 www.SOTECH-kmi.com
provides SOF with a proven durable workhorse that fulfills a variety of missions around the world. The MH-47G was first deployed in fiscal year 2007, and it is currently supporting deployed SOF in multiple locations. The SOF MH-47 Chinook program team ordered 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 extended range 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 most recent block upgrades include 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 MH-47G is the medium lift MH-60M 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 achieved initial operating capability in 2012 and is on schedule to achieve full operational capability by 2015. Once the replacement of aging MH-60L/K aircraft is completed, the MH-60M program will provide a pure fleet of 72 MH-60M SOF Black Hawks to the 160th SOAR. The MH-60M SOF modernization program takes Sikorsky’s new-build UH-60M aircraft from the U.S. 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 an 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. 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 www.SOTECH-kmi.com
the command is sponsoring technology demonstrations of sensors, like LADAR, to expand the overall solution to the DVE challenge.
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 supports multiple mission configurations and is capable of serving in an attack or assault role. The aircraft is in the final stages of an upgrade to 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 block upgrade acquisition strategy does not constitute an aircraft redesign, but it will extend the service life and ensure the battlefield relevancy of the A/ MH-6M while analyzing the long-term alternatives for replacement.
PEO-RW also manages risk reduction efforts and supports cooperative research and development agreements using a manned chase aircraft and three Maverick (R-22) unmanned aircraft. This program allows for the low-cost testing of prototype capabilities under difficult and/or dangerous conditions to reduce the risk to pilots and operational aircraft. PEO-RW’s program has yielded many successful results and is currently postured to support any government customer in need of testing airborne capabilities in challenging situations.
Silent Knight Radar
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 jump-start for new programs and often allow them to start at a more mature level of development. 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 multi-function displays. This effort supports 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 DVE program of record will develop a technical solution to one of the most pressing issues in rotary wing aviation. The program will address critical aspects of reduced situational awareness common to all rotary wing aircraft operations. SOCOM continues development of a synthetic vision backbone using digital terrain data and undefined sensors. Additionally,
The Silent Knight Radar (SKR) program provides SOCOM with an obsolescence replacement for today’s aging terrain following/terrain avoidance (TF/TA) multi-mode radars. The capabilities of SKR include TF/TA 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 MH47G aircraft with near concurrent testing on the MH-60M aircraft. To date, developmental flight testing continues on schedule and will enter operational testing the summer of 2015. SKR achieved a low-rate initial production I decision in fiscal year 2013 and is on target for a low-rate initial production II decision in fiscal year 2014.
Rotary Wing Simulation Rounding out the rotary wing portfolio is the family of simulators and training devices that support SOF platforms and missions. PEO-RW, along with the SOF Training Systems Product Manager, provides the 160th SOAR with high-fidelity, fullmotion training systems, desktop trainers and cockpit procedural trainers for the MH-47E, MH47G, MH-60K, MH-60M and A/MH-6M aircraft that support SOCOM requirements. The combat mission simulators provide aircrews a real-world capability to practice, validate and verify tactics, SOTECH 12.4 | 21
techniques and procedures to support training and mission rehearsal. The simulators and training devices 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 combat mission simulators continue with the upgrade to the MH-47G combat mission simulators, and the MH-60K upgrade to the MH-60M is scheduled to complete in fiscal
year 2015. The upgrades will run concurrently with the induction of newer-model aircraft into the fleet, and they will 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). The PEO and his staff lead an effective and capable team of 10 Program Management Offices with the motto of “Operator focused, on time, on target!” Collectively these offices provide rapid and focused acquisition of SOF-unique capabilities to the SOF enterprise. These capabilities directly enable SOCOM operators to win the current fight and expand the global SOF network, while ensuring responsive resourcing. The PEO-SW team manages a disciplined, dynamic and streamlined acquisition process, with a focus on timely execution, to rapidly develop and field capabilities for the SOF operator. The capabilities span a wide spectrum of functional war fighting commodity areas. The team plans and implements efforts across the acquisition life cycle to deliver material and non-material capabilities. These capabilities include ground mobility, visual augmentation systems, weapons, ammunition/demolition, survival and tactical casualty combat care systems. As a resource sponsor, the PEO provided execution oversight for a $1 billion annual budget executing 125 programs and projects along with more than 250 pre-program efforts, including combat evaluations, purchases and studies. Whenever possible, the PEO pursues non-developmental items and commercial off-the-shelf technologies as the most responsive means to expeditiously infuse emerging capabilities to address combat-driven requirements and gaps. Ground Mobility The program manager for the family of special operations forces vehicles (PM-FSOV) is responsible for the development, fielding and life cycle management of the SOF tactical ground mobility fleet. This fleet is divided into four classes of vehicles: light, medium, commercial and heavy. Whenever possible, PM-FSOV leverages service-common vehicles and modifies them with SO-peculiar components. This approach maximizes base vehicle capability and SOF requirements, while minimizing expenditure of limited Major Force Program-11 funding. When there is no suitable service-common platform available to modify, PM-FSOV establishes efforts to develop, produce, test, train, deploy and sustain a 22 | SOTECH 12.4
“Operator focused, on time, on target!” [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
SO-peculiar ground mobility platform. Overall, PMFSOV is currently managing 3,000 SOF-configured vehicles in direct support of global operations. The lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicle (LTATV) incorporates a side-by-side seat design and provides SOF with a ruggedized all-terrain capability to undertake operations across a wide variety of topography. The LTATV is internally transportable by CH-47, CH-53 and V-22 aircraft. The vehicle carries two or four personnel for a multitude of tactical scenarios spanning from logistic support to casualty evacuation. PM-FSOV awarded a new contract in 2013 for life cycle replacement of the original LTATV, which has been fielded since 2009. To date, PMFSOV has fielded 858 LTATVs, with requirements and funding to field approximately 250 annually as part of its life cycle management strategy. The non-standard commercial vehicle (NSCV) is a passenger-type vehicle incorporating military modifications. The added functionality includes ballistic protection, mobility enhancements, communications, navigation and night vision equipment. This additional capability allows the SOF operator to conduct low profile operations in support of a multitude of SOF global missions. PM-FSOV awarded contracts for armored and unarmored NSCVs in 2013. Currently the team is conducting product verification testing to facilitate a fielding and deployment release followed by further fielding. To
date, PM-FSOV has fielded 353 NSCVs, with funding and contracts to field an additional 42 this year. The ground mobility vehicle (GMV) is a mediumclass wheeled tactical combat vehicle that provides general mobility capability. The GMV 1.0 incorporates standardized SOF-specific modifications to multiple HMMWV platforms, including the M1165 and the M1113. Inherently modular by design, these vehicles enable SOF to perform product improvements in armor and C4ISR capabilities to support emerging operational requirements. To date, PM-FSOV has fielded 1,293 with plans to field an additional 50 this year. In September 2011, SOCOM approved a capability production document for a new and improved variant of a medium-class vehicle. This update, referred to as GMV 1.1, provides updated requirements to replace the SOF-modified, service-common HMMWV. SOCOM awarded a single contract award in August 2013. The contractor will develop several different vehicle configurations to support a variety of combat, combat support and combat service support mobility requirements. The CH-47 helicopter internal transport capability defined the vehicle’s physical dimensions with other requirements driving range, speed and denied terrain maneuverability. PM-FSOV is also supporting the sustainment phase of the mine resistant ambush protected www.SOTECH-kmi.com
(MRAP) vehicle. To date, the Program Management Office has fielded 618 RG-31s/RG-33s/RG-33 auxiliary utility vehicles. These vehicles provide operators with increased protection against improvised explosive devices while enabling direct action offensive capability in an integrated remote weapon station. The MRAP all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV) provides a mine resistant all-terrain vehicle capability. This vehicle specifically addresses small unit combat operations in highly restricted rural, mountainous and urban environments. The Program Management Office, in response to SOCOM requirements, applied 30 vehicle modifications to include a larger windshield, improved gunner’s platform, rear cargo access door, cargo bed protection and several other safety-related items. The team is in the final stages of completing a survivability upgrade: an underbody armor improvement to the existing fleet. PM-FSOV has fielded a total of 462 SOF M-ATVs. Visual Augmentation Systems The program manager for ammunition and weapons (PM-AW) is responsible for the development, fielding and life cycle sustainment of visual augmentation systems (VAS). This product area provides SOF operators with an ability to conduct missions while operating at night, during periods of low visibility, and in battlefield obscurants or bad weather. By neutralizing the effects of these adverse visual conditions, the VAS enable continuity of situational awareness, surveillance, fire control and land navigation in both mounted and dismounted scenarios. The VAS commodity area focuses on materiel solutions for head-mounted goggles, weaponmounted night vision sights, day scopes, handheld imagers, ground vehicle-mounted vision systems, laser range finders and targeting designators. The PM procures this capability to ensure situational awareness and accurate-delivery fires on targets. In addition to these systems, the office provides fire control simulators that furnish operators with realistic and cost-effective training. A key requirement for all of these systems is to continue to reduce size, weight and power (SWaP). The size reduction includes ergonomic considerations, and there are multiple examples of equipment with improved performance at a smaller form factor, lighter weight and/or reduced power. The PM initiated efforts on two separate binocular night vision devices (BNVD) in 2013. First, the BNVD PVS-31 is an improved system, building on the success of the PVS-15A. It is a half-pound lighter, 30 percent smaller, and provides improved performance at the same cost. These systems are currently fielded with green phosphor tubes. A white phosphor tube variant, PVS-31A, features www.SOTECH-kmi.com
The MRZR4 is an ultra-light tactical vehicle. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
enhanced visual contrast with white versus green background. This year, the PM will field small quantities of the PSQ-36 analog fusion goggles, which integrate near-infrared and thermal capabilities into one system. The team also initiated efforts for the development of the improved day/night observation/fire control device Block III. This is a cooled, mid-wave, in-line clip-on sight for snipers. While it is capable for use on all sniper rifles, its design and fielding is meant to complement the ranges achieved with the precision sniper rifle. The delivery/fielding of 100 per year will begin in 2014. During 2013, PM-AW fielded 1,049 headmounted night vision goggles, 541clip-on thermal imagers, 303 assault weapon sights, 284 uncooled clip-on sniper night sights and 50 laser spotters. The PM also worked closely with Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane to sustain 61 ground mobility visual augmentation systems and seven training simulators. During 2014, the team also plans to field the Hand Held Laser Marker II, which combines a laser marker and designator with an infrared pointing capability. Weapon Systems PM-AW is also responsible for the development, fielding and life cycle sustainment of weapon systems. These SO-peculiar weapons have high reliability and accuracy that make them essential to support direct action missions and increasing SOF operator combat effectiveness. The MK13 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. Currently, MOD7 to this sniper system is incorporating a new stock with an additional rail space,
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 module, 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 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. This kit, in conjunction with the MK17s Force on Force Kit, allows the use of the Army’s M1071 marking round for training. In 2013, PM-AW continued to field CAR weapons to SOCOM component commands, including 273 MK17 CAR heavy (7.62 mm) assault rifles, 152 MK20 (7.62 mm) sniper support rifles and 17 MK13 40 mm enhanced grenade launcher modules. Last year, PM-AW established an enhanced sustainment contract for comprehensive and expedient support for all fielded CAR weapons. SORDAC’s Directorate of Procurement awarded a competitive contract in April 2013 for the precision sniper rifle (PSR) system, rifle and ammunition, which will increase the effective engagement range of SOF snipers to 1,500 meters and beyond. The PSR will replace the existing M24 and MK13 sniper systems employed by the Army Special Operations Command. A future increment will seek to replace the M107 and MK15 heavy sniper rifle for anti-materiel engagements. This program team previously fielded the PSR scope for use on existing sniper rifles leveraging the successful SOCOM Foreign Comparative Test program. The family of muzzle brakes and suppressors (FMBS) program provides current commercial off-the-shelf signature suppression capability, specifically to minimize flash, sound and thermal signature for the following weapons: M4A1 carbine, SOTECH 12.4 | 23
SORDACâ€™s Directorate of Procurement awarded a competitive contract in April 2013 for the precision sniper rifle system, rifle and ammunition, which will increase the effective engagement range of SOF snipers to 1,500 meters and beyond. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
MK13 sniper rifle, MK46 lightweight 5.56 mm belt-fed machine gun, MK48 lightweight 7.62 mm belt-fed machine gun, M249 5.56 mm belt-fed machine gun, and the M240 7.62 mm belt-fed machine gun. In 2013, the program began testing to cross-utilize FMBS components for the combat assault rifle program. Another major weapons accessory program is the rail interface system/upper receiver group (RIS/URG) for the M4A1 carbine. During 2013, the program team continued to field a 10.3-inch M4A1 and 14.5-inch RIS/URGs to SOCOM component commands. They also fielded the RIS-heavy for use on the M2 heavy barrel machine gun platform. The Small Arms Signature Reduction program began in late 2012 with a competitively awarded development contract for redesign of the MK48 compatible suppressor. The objective is to provide revolutionary advancements in flash, sound and thermal suppression over current commercial offthe-shelf solutions. In addition, the program will consider advancements in the areas of durability, maintainability, overall size and weight. The development effort will begin with the belt-fed machine guns and then transition to address assault rifles, sniper rifles and then pistols. The program completed phase 1 in November 2013. The contractor will provide a phase 2 suppressor that incorporates the phase 1 capabilities in June 2014 and a milestone B in February 2015. Ammunition/Demolition The PM-AW also develops, fields and manages SO-peculiar ammunition, demolition and breaching devices to include leveraging service ammunition efforts. These ammunition and demolition efforts address a variety of SO-peculiar capability requirements. This is a dynamic and challenging commodity area with development goals to provide operators greater precision and accuracy at greater stand-off ranges against high value targets (personnel and material). Last year, PM-AW procured 73 million rounds composed of 53 different types of munitions. They included domestic and foreign small-caliber 24 | SOTECH 12.4
ammo, shoulder-fired multi-purpose anti-armor anti-personnel weapon system (MAAWS), lightweight assault weapon (LAW), cannon-caliber ammo for the AC-130 aircraft, demolition items, pyrotechnics and flares, and hand grenades. The SOF small caliber ammunition purchases included the MK318 5.56 mm round, the MK319 7.62mm round, and the MK316 7.62 mm special ball long range round. The MAAWS is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, recoilless, line-of-sight, re-loadable, 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. Last year, the PM fielded more than 1,700 rounds of MAAWS ammunition. The LAW development activities include a firefrom-enclosure capability that will allow operators to fire both the M72A7 anti-armor and M72A9 anti-structure rounds from confined spaces. This improvement will 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 2014 and become Navy/ Marine Corps common. The improved flash bang grenade development effort continues with funding from the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program to improve the currently fielded flash bang device. This program will
increase the visual flash incapacitation, remove all the perchlorate oxidizers from the payload, and decrease the smoke output while maintaining all other grenade parameters. The removal of the perchlorates will ensure 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 (PM-SOF-SSES) is responsible for the research, development, testing, fielding, sustainment and product improvement efforts of SOF operator protection, individual equipment, and tactical combat casualty care and medical requirements. The SOF Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) program provides operators with survival and individual protective equipment to conduct 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, as a platform, must be extremely adaptive and agile in reacting to the ever-changing battlefield environment and threats. PM-SOF-SSES is an adaptive program office and provides the necessary research and development, pre-planned product improvement, evolutionary development, or technology insertion to rapidly provide capability enhancements to the
Individual and personal protective equipment is designed, developed or adapted to provide greater force protection to ensure survivability across a wide range of threat and climatic conditions. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
SPEAR suite of equipment. Accordingly, SPEAR individual and personal protective equipment is designed, developed or adapted to provide greater force protection to ensure survivability across a wide range of threat and climatic conditions. The PM team is constantly striving to unburden the operator (weight and volume) to increase their maneuverability facilitating the sustainment of a high operational tempo. The load of equipment placed on individual operators over time led to a complex and daunting requirement to do everything we can to reduce the SWaP requirements of kit comprising the combat load. The PM is continually looking for ways to increase SOF survivability, lethality, mobility and communication, but not at the cost of increased weight and volume. The SSES team constantly monitors industry improvements that could transfer to SOF equipment providing the SOF operator a comparable advantage over conventional forces, while maintaining a small logistical footprint. The SPEAR program continues to advance the state of technology within the ballistic protection arena (body armor and helmets) by providing for equal or better ballistic protection without the cost of additional weight. The team strives to improve environmental protection garments by evaluating advanced materials that improve performance while reducing bulk and weight associated with the protective combat uniform and modular glove system. Optimization of signature management and camouflage initiatives are underway to provide multi-spectral protection cover and concealment protection for SOF operators. These and other technology advancements are part of the continuous product improvement efforts to optimize the environmental and ballistic survivability of our SOF operators. PM-SOF-SSES also manages the SOF Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) program. This program provides critical, field-operable medical
Pictured is a display of equipment fielded by PM-SOF-SSES. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
equipment to treat injured operators from point of injury until transfer to a definitive care facility. The TCCC program enables ground units to gain access to and recover casualties from a variety of locations by providing innovative, life-saving medical rescue/extraction, and treatment capabilities at the point of injury. The focus of SOF medical care aims to stabilize and sustain a casualty in remote, inaccessible areas until ground or air transportation to a field medical hospital can be accomplished. The casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) set provides advanced materiel capabilities required to rescue, recover, sustain and transport trauma casualties from point of wounding through all phases of CASEVAC until transfer to a definitive care facility. The medic kit provides the SOF medic with an increased capability for providing advanced airway intervention, IV medications, hypothermia prevention, advanced monitoring and diagnostic capabilities, and intraosseous infusions. The operator kit enables the SOF operator
to administer self-aid or buddy-aid for controlling life-threatening external hemorrhage, maintaining airways, providing fluid resuscitation and administering medications for pain and infection prevention. During fiscal year 2013, PM-SOF-SSES fielded 2,292 sets of body armor plates; 896 sets of soft armor inserts; 461 modular supplemental armor kits; 522 clandestine body armor systems; 423 MICH helmets; 1,767 future assault shell technology combat helmets; 567 VAS mounts; 776 eyewear protection kits; 3,159 body armor vests; 3,477 load carriage systems; 4,257 back packs; 2,483 protective combat uniforms; 5,705 Level 9 combat uniforms; 2,577 modular glove systems in various camouflage patterns (AOR 1, AOR 2, MultiCam); 6,442 MICH communications systems; 2,707 TCCC operator kits; 175 TCCC medic kits; 25 CASEVAC extraction kits; 30 CASEVAC mobility kits; 19 CASEVAC transport kits; and 16 CASEVAC sustainment kits.
A CASEVAC extraction kit in full detail. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
SOTECHâ€ˆ 12.4 | 25
Program Executive Office for Maritime Navy Captain Keith W. Lehnhardt 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. PEO-M manages over $925 million of Major Force Program-11 (MFP-11) funds over the current Future Years Defense Plan. PEO-Mâ€™s MFP-11 management responsibility includes a wide latitude of control and decision-making authority for all budget activities, regardless of whether the 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 as its primary customer. Undersea Programs Undersea programs include the SEAL delivery vehicle (SDV), dry deck shelter (DDS), 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 DDS modifications. SWCS is a wet submersible program (SWCS Block I) capable of operating from an existing DDS and will replace the legacy SDV. 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 SOF 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 two key accomplishments in 2013: a system level critical design review and a fit check of a full-scale SWCS model inside a DDS. SOCOM has a long-term goal to develop and field an affordable dry submersible system. SOCOM began leasing a commercially available diver lockout submersible, the S301i, in early fiscal year 2014. As a risk reduction test and evaluation platform, this vessel will be vital in the effort to validate SOCOM DCS certification processes and SOF tactics, techniques and procedures. Additionally, the S301i provides an early window to observe industry classification methods of commercial submersibles and aids SOCOM in determining future system safety certification for the embarkation of SOF personnel. All of this advance activity will serve to increase the fidelity of the DCS development process while simultaneously reducing program risk. The DCS program continues with its technology development phase, building two user operational 26 | SOTECH 12.4
PEO-M provides operators with operationally effective and sustainable surface and subsurface maritime mobility platforms. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
The combatant craft medium Mk 1, combatant craft assault, and the SEAL insertion, observation and neutralization craft are replacing the now retired Mk V Special Operations Craft as well as a predetermined number of Naval Special Warfare rigid inflatable boats. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
evaluation systems (UOES) that are commercially manufactured and classed prototype submersibles. Both UOES submersibles are currently being built, with planned deliveries beginning in late fiscal year 2015. Upon delivery, the UOES submersibles will commence government test and evaluation of their respective capabilities. SOCOM will analyze the collected test and evaluation data of all three dry submersible platforms to plan and execute a DCS acquisition program expected to begin in late fiscal year 2016.
Surface Mobility Programs The Naval Special Warfare (NSW) surface mobility fleet is undergoing a transition and technical leap forward with the addition of three combatant craft programs managed by the Program Manager Surface Systems (PMSS) office. The combatant craft medium (CCM) Mk 1, combatant craft assault (CCA), and the SEAL insertion, observation and neutralization (SEALION) craft are replacing the now retired Mk V Special Operations www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Craft as well as a predetermined number of NSW rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). The CCM Mk 1 is a multi-mission combatant craft with a primary mission of insertion and extraction of SOF in low- to medium-threat environments. It shares characteristics of the Mk V in terms of range, payload and speed. The CCA provides SOF a medium-range, maritime assault, interdiction, insertion and extraction platform in medium- to high-threat environments. The SEALION provides a long-range insertion capability for SOF in a low to high threat environment. The PMSS office also provides acquisition and program management support for several in-service craft and systems in support of the Naval Special Warfare Command. These include the
special operations craft-riverine, the security force assistance craft and the patrol boat-light. PMSS also manages the maritime craft air deployment system (MCADS) and the combatant craft forward looking infrared (CCFLIR) system. The MCADS provides a rapid global deployment capability for the NSW RIB and is certified for air drop from all low velocity air drop certified platforms. The CCFLIR provides SOF surface craft with a day/night, high resolution, infrared imaging capability to augment existing radar sensors. This capability enhances the detection, recognition, identification and tracking of ships, small-surface and near-surface targets. In addition to managing these programs and systems, the PMSS office explores the commercial market for new technologies, foreign technologies
and non-developmental items that offer innovative alternatives for current and future acquisitions to meet emergent threats to the NSWC mission and to provide enhanced force protection to the SOF warfighter. Additional Roles PEO-M actively participates in small business innovation research, joint capability technology demonstrations, and special operation special technology processes 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 SOF 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). PEO-SRSE’s acquisition strategies continue to evolve in response to the commander’s lines of operation, with an emphasis on leveraging commercial technologies to maintain leading edge capabilities and minimize cycle time. 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 (R&D) program. Responsiveness, with technical depth and program management excellence, is accomplished through product line expert matrix support of SRSE program managers. Tagging, Tracking and Locating Systems Tagging, tracking and locating (TTL) 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 www.SOTECH-kmi.com
is continuously adapted and updated to meet dynamic SOF operational requirements across all theaters of operation. Sensor Systems The Tactical Video System/Reconnaissance Surveillance Target Acquisition 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 information- and intelligence-gathering 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.
TTL systems provide SOF with critical situational awareness tools. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
Biometrics and Forensics Systems Biometrics and forensics system equipment provide SOF with the capability to efficiently collect, examine and exploit data collected on sensitive sites and to perform timely laboratory analysis of evidence in the theater of operation. Biometric tools are also used to gather and store information on captured combatants and other persons of interest and to verify the identities of
local nationals seeking employment or access to foreign and domestic 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. SOTECH 12.4 | 27
Joint Threat Warning System The Joint Threat Warning System (JTWS) provides SOF with signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems that enable operators to provide critical, time-sensitive actionable intelligence to operational commanders in support of force protection, threat warning, target identification and enhanced situational awareness requirements. The JTWS system of systems (SoS) is configured into four variants: PEO-SRSE is responsible for the acquisition, fielding and sustainment of intelligence systems for SOF 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. [Photo courtesy of 1. Ground SIGINT Kit, lightweight U.S. Special Operations Command] mobile/body worn and team collection, processing and dissemination of survey processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TPED) transportable (static) systems with remoting products and data. Collection equipment consists of capabilities for SOF-collected ISR data. DCGS-SOF and reach-back capability configurations for commercial off-the-shelf hardware such as digital is SoS integrated across the SOF information enviSOF ground forces, still and video cameras, laptops, global positioning ronment and with DoD DCGS. It is focused on devel2. Air, which provides SIGINT equipment for the systems, rangefinders and software applications. oping solutions that will satisfy both current and Air Force Special Operations Command, future special-operations-peculiar capability gaps 3. Maritime, which provides SIGINT capabilities in Special Operations Forces Planning, and provide essential organic net-centric, collaborasupport of Navy Special Warfare requirements, Rehearsal, and Execution Preparation tive and distributed ISR TPED capabilities for SOF. 4. Precision geo-location that includes of a DCGS-SOF will enable SOF to take full advantage variety of capabilities supportive of ground, Special Operations Forces Planning, of all available strategic, theater and tactical ISR air, and maritime operations. JTWS uses Rehearsal, and Execution Preparation (SOFPREP) data and exploitation support systems. It is being an evolutionary acquisition strategy with provides enhanced geospatial intelligence data developed and implemented as part of the DoD spiral development based on the latest and three-dimensional scene visualization dataDCGS family of systems and evolving joint networkimprovements in technology to address the bases to support SOF operators worldwide. As centric enterprise. DoD DCGS is the processing and changing environment. a focal point for the gathering of sophisticated exploitation component of the ISR enterprise. Key geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) source data and to this capability is the mandated DCGS integration JTWS provides systems that are integrated utithe generation of visual databases, SOFPREP intebackbone, which provides a common standard lizing common technologies and interfaces allowing grates applications to support SOF mission planning technical infrastructure to enable required joint operators to task, organize, and scale equipment and rehearsal. Government off-the-shelf/commerintegration and interoperability across DoD. based on anticipated signals environment and areas cial off-the-shelf systems acquire and consolidate of operations. Variants are modular, lightweight elevation, feature, maps, imagery and other source Integrated Survey Program with minimal power requirements to meet SOF data required for database production. Systems SIGINT requirements across a variety of specialized validate the geospatial accuracy and certify the use The Integrated Survey Program (ISP) supports platforms. Because these systems are inherently of data in the completed databases and datasets. Joint Chiefs of Staff contingency planning by colflexible, JTWS eliminates stovepipes and rapidly GEOINT and three-dimensional scene visualizations lecting and producing current, detailed, tactical delivers new software/hardware capabilities that are also archived for use in contingency planning, planning data to support military operations to allow operators to task/organize equipment based humanitarian assistance, and response to natural counter threats against U.S. citizens, interests, and on mission needs. Additionally, JTWS addresses disasters. Geo-specific databases use common property located both domestically and overseas. power and weight challenges by using lightweight, databases and other standardized formats. SOFISP products are specifically tailored packages alternative power sources and unique antenna PREP helps SOF units set the course and underthat provide operational information as well as designs supportive of highly mobile operations by a stand the area of operations before they arrive. intelligence data for use by DoD and the Departsingle trained operator. ment of State to support operational planners for Focused Research, Development, counterterrorism operations, evacuations and other Distributed Common Ground/Surface Test and Evaluation rescue missions. Production responsibilities are in System–Special Operations Forces part delegated by the Defense Intelligence Agency The Rapid Capability Insertion (RCI) office under the DoD Intelligence Production Program. The Distributed Common Ground/Surface Sysoversees various research, development, test and program supports short-notice turn-around of crititem–SOF (DCGS-SOF) provides a globally evaluation efforts that directly align to programs of cal operational planning data during ongoing crises responsive, broad set of end-to-end fixed site record within PEO-SRSE’s portfolio. RCI provides and contingency operations. ISP recently migrated command, control, communications, computers, enabling capabilities through three focus areas: to an end-to-end geospatial information system for and intelligence (C4I) and mobile/tactical tasking,
28 | SOTECH 12.4
tactical exploitation of national capabilities (TENCAP), special reconnaissance capabilities (SRC) and clandestine tagging, tracking and locating (CTTL). 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
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-SRSE managed programs of record as evolutionary technology insertions.
SOF operators by leveraging service and national agency development efforts on space-based intelligence and communications technologies and systems. The SRC program identifies, integrate, 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.
Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers Anthony J. Davis leads the Program Executive Office for Command, Control, 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 DoD network that provides additional special operations-peculiar capabilities and extends those capabilities to remote, austere locations. It allows garrison and tactical SOF users
standardization throughout the SOF community. An additional priority includes ensuring voice, video, data and services—regardless of the source—can be properly accessed, processed, 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.
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 15 programs with a budget of over $2.8 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
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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 Automation Systems (C4AS); 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 C4AS program is the SOF extension of the Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router (NIPR) network and Secure Internet Protocol Router (SIPR) network, supporting garrison command, control and collaboration requirements for SOF organizations worldwide. The MPC program provides Military Information Support Operations (MISO) forces with fixed and deployable multi-media production and editing capabilities. 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 officerâ€™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.
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), Radio Integration System (RIS), Tactical Local Area Network (TACLAN) and Scampi. The SDN program fields scalable, wideband satellite communications (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. The PDS program provides the SATCOM transport path for the worldwide MISO architecture. It consists of fixed, heavy, medium and light 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 RIS program interfaces, enhances and combines multiple single-channel radios into one integrated C2 suite. It consists of a full-scaled deployable transit case variant, a deployable downsized transit case variant and a fixed base station variant. The systems provide 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 in both disconnected and connected operations. 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 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. The division manages five programs: Blue Force Tracking (BFT), Joint Tactical C4I Transceiver System (JTCITS), SOF Tactical Communications (STC), Fly-Away Broadcast System (FABS) and Next Generation Loudspeaker System (NGLS). The BFT program provides 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 JTCITS program provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance receivers that receive full motion video from a wide variety of unmanned aircraft systems. The STC program provides next generation SOF communication systems (handheld, man-pack and high frequency radios). Capabilities include realtime, hostile and friendly force information, line-ofsight and beyond-line-of-sight communications, and access to situational awareness broadcasts. The FABS 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. The NGLS program provides 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.
Program Executive Office for Services Theodore W. Koufas leads the Program Executive Office for Services (PEO-SV). This is the newest PEO in SORDAC and provides the SOCOM commander and acquisition executive an innovative approach to improve the efficiency and 30 | SOTECH 12.4
oversight in the administration of all SOCOM service contracting actions. Additionally, the office supports SOCOM, component commands and theater special operations commands with services acquisition training, requirements documentation,
cost estimating, policy and process oversight, and contract administration support to requiring activities. PEO-SV is focused on the effective and efficient management of over $1.6 billion spent www.SOTECH-kmi.com
each year in contracted services in support of the special operations forces enterprise. The acquisition professionals in the office coordinate with requiring activities throughout the enterprise to ensure scarce special operations resources are used in the most effective manner to acquire contracted services in support of the war fighting
mission. PEO-SV personnel work side-by-side with the requiring activities’ points of contact 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, PEO-SV 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.
Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Support Activity Army Colonel Samuel L. “Luke” Peterson 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. The PEO-SOFSA mission is to support the SOF community through the execution of contracting, financial management and operations oversight to ensure dedicated, responsive and cost-effective contractor logistics support services. PEO-SOFSA partners with both the SOF operator and the PEO-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 $610 million in fiscal year 2013 funds to meet current and future Department of Defense logistics requirements. PEOSOFSA oversaw the execution of more than 270 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. The PEO-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 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, PEO-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 PEO-SOFSA work performed today include MH-60M kits and aircraft production; A/ MH-6 crash damaged repairs and modifications; MH-47G modifications; C-130 refurbishments and isochronal inspections; C27J new equipment training; 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 2013. PEO-SOFSA completed the planning of significant facility upgrades and received approvals from the state of Kentucky in 2012. PEO-SOFSA broke ground on their facility optimization plan to increase operational efficiencies and storage capacity and to improve facility quality. The first phase is underway with the design and construction of four new storage warehouse facilities totaling over 500,000 square feet, with the first scheduled to be completed the first half of calendar year 2014. To support its customers, the team established the SOF Systems Sustainment 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 PEO-SOFSA remains the center of excellence for dedicated SOF logistical support and to provide a capability that rapidly meets SOF contractor logistics support service requirements.
Joint Acquisition Task Force—Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit We often fail to solve challenges because we impose imaginary boundaries, restrictions and constraints on how to achieve the solution. Take, for example, the pictured classic brain teaser. The challenge is to draw four or fewer straight lines that go through all nine dots without lifting the pencil. It seems impossible, but the key is to think outside the box. It is common to approach the problem with the assumption we must draw all the lines within the box; however, the challenge did not include that limitation. Once freed from the restrictions of the imaginary boundaries, the solution is more easily seen. The challenge can be solved with four, three, or even one line. The take-away from this puzzle is it is important to look beyond the existing definition of a problem to solve it and question whether boundaries are real or perceived. Pushing boundaries and causing small changes may create exponential impacts. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
The SOCOM joint acquisition task force (JATF) team tasked to build the tactical assault light operator suit (TALOS) is taking this outside-thebox approach to answer their challenge, which
was put forth by SOCOM’s commander, Admiral William McRaven. Admiral McRaven announced TALOS on May 15, 2013, at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC). His vision is to drastically improve the ground operator’s survivability in direct action activities that present the greatest personal risk. “With all the advances in modern technology, I know we can do better to protect our SOF operators,” said McRaven at the 25th Annual SO/LIC Symposium & Exhibition held this past February. The vision of TALOS is to “develop a peerless war fighting system with superior protection, enhanced human performance, surgical lethality and heightened situational awareness by August 2018,” said Michael Fieldson, JATF-TALOS Program Manager. To develop that end-state product, the JATF-TALOS team conducts extensive market SOTECH 12.4 | 31
research and has built broad networks with subject matter experts to identify and integrate the state-of-the-art technologies necessary for this purpose built system. The eclectic team consists of uniformed military, engineers and acquisition professionals divided into distinct functional areas:
• • • • • • • •
Power and Energy Mobility and Agility Survivability Human Factors Operator Interface Processing and Control Offensive Systems Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence
The exact technologies and capabilities TALOS will integrate are in development, but the vision requires advanced communications and displays, innovative power solutions, revolutionary armor, a powered exoskeleton, thermal management and physiological, cognitive and medical status monitoring devices. Encouraged by SOCOM’s acquisition executive, Jim Geurts, TALOS is also operating as a pilot to pioneer a newer, faster, more agile acquisition process. He saw a need to streamline its acquisitions process to realize the end-state product in the required timeframe, which necessitates employing non-traditional methods and tactics. For example, the TALOS effort operates as an open and unclassified effort to achieve technology and material solutions with industry, government and academia. The team actively pursues unprecedented outreach and collaboration with traditional and non-traditional partners to push technological boundaries. “Their efforts at engaging industry have created a marketplace for technology that has application not only to TALOS, but to other SOF applications as well. This allows us to quickly respond to the needs of our SOF warriors,” Geurts said. The JATF-TALOS team’s innovative process will be demonstrated at the 2014 SOFIC. The team will provide attendees with a unique opportunity to
contribute to the TALOS vision. TALOS will have an onsite build challenge that will encourage crosscollaborative teams to come together to design and build TALOS concepts. The teams will have tools at their disposal, including clay, mannequins, power tools, 3-D printers, and 3-D modeling and simulation capabilities to facilitate idea generation. As an incentive to participate, the teams with the most innovative ideas will be recognized and rewarded throughout the conference. Rewards will range from coins to an invitation to the June 2014 firstgeneration prototype exoskeleton roll-out event. The JATF-TALOS team will continue to harvest innovative ideas through these non-traditional means and provide opportunities for any technology developers to join the TALOS network. The JATF-TALOS team will also kick off a rapid prototyping event that will run through June 2014. Subject matter experts from industry, academia and government in each TALOS functional area will visit SOCOM to design, sketch and conceptualize a blueprint for the TALOS end-state product. The JATF-TALOS team will launch prize challenges, a popular mechanism among industry for innovative technology development methods, to reach a broad spectrum of non-traditional solution providers and accelerate innovative problem-solving. Prize challenges differ from traditional contracted efforts. The open participation format contrasts with the traditional request for proposal process and facilitates broader industry participation. The prize challenges will accelerate the transition from designs to working prototypes. Contest participants may build from designs provided by the JATF-TALOS team, modify these designs, or even fabricate entirely new designs. Judging panels, safety protocols and performance tests will determine which prototypes best satisfy TALOS capability objectives and earn the designers monetary awards. The expanded number of skilled competitors expedites delivery of the world’s most advanced assault suit to SOF. In less than one year, the outside-the-box methods of TALOS have already led to astounding progress. In June 2014, the TALOS team will roll out three first-generation prototype exoskeletons that
The TALOS team works to achieve technology and material solutions with industry, government and academia. [Photo courtesy of U.S. Special Operations Command]
will serve as the foundation for follow-on functional technologies. The roll-out event will highlight the prototypes and kick-off of integration leading to a fully functional, ballistically sound first article prototype combat suit in 2018. The development of TALOS is an American priority, not only to produce a platform that will maintain a global advantage against near-peer competitors and threats to American national interests, but also for the innumerable spinoffs with the potential to benefit homeland security, police, firefighters, first responders and health care (especially wounded warriors). The team will continue work outside the traditional box and push the boundaries to find innovative solutions to the meet the challenge on target, on time.
Directorate of Science and Technology Lisa R. Sanders leads the SORDAC Directorate of Science and Technology (SORDAC-ST). Its mission is to develop the technologies and new capabilities needed by SOF operators. 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 32 | SOTECH 12.4
Offices (PEOs), component commands, and SOF user community support and through maintained research and development collaboration with other government agencies. SOCOM, inherently joint in all it does, is in a unique position to leverage and apply service and department science and technology (S&T) efforts to field new and improved capabilities on the battlefield.
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 www.SOTECH-kmi.com
of transformational technological opportunities and technology refresh for insertion into ongoing programs of record to support the SOCOM commander’s lines of operation priorities, operational concepts and capabilities development. SORDAC-ST also manages SOCOM’s small business innovation research (SBIR) projects and technical experimentations and supports the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s rapid innovative fund programs. This organizational structure provides increased levels of S&T engineering expertise to respond to high-priority, unforeseen and/or timesensitive 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, and SORDAC provides them to the SOF operator. SORDAC-ST continues to strengthen its collaborative technology development process through the Special Operations Advanced Technology Collaborative. This development aligns the SOF priority needs with technology enablers and developers, focuses ongoing efforts across the S&T enterprise, and identifies additional innovation required to address these needs. Many organizations’ R&D activities often overlap SOF interests— this new process has vastly improved coordination and collaboration among various research organizations to more efficiently deliver technology to overcome SOCOM’s technology challenges. S&T Project Selection SORDAC-ST utilizes an annual project selection process to gain advocacy from SOCOM’s chartered S&T Council. The S&T Council, consisting of SORDAC-ST, component, and theater special operations command (TSOC) voting representatives, prioritizes S&T initiatives for SORDACST’s research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) budget investments. SORDAC-ST Technology Development Working Groups (TDWGs) have been formed in eight functional areas: fires; power and energy; mobility; optics; C4; human performance; human protection; and classified programs. Each TDWG conducts S&T capability gap socialization and prioritization, develops language for use in the annual SORDAC-ST Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), and provides recommendations for prioritization and www.SOTECH-kmi.com
vetting of proposed S&T initiatives. TDWGs are composed of component, TSOC, PEO, other headquarters’ directorate representatives and other interested users. SORDAC-ST uses the annual BAA to communicate interest areas and to request white papers and proposals. The SORDAC-ST BAA language is generated in January and February by the TDWGs and is provided to the S&T Council for review. The SORDAC-ST BAA is normally released by SORDAC’s Directorate of Procurement to FedBizOpps in April, and it is typically open for 45 days. White papers submitted against the SORDAC-ST BAA are reviewed and prioritized by the TDWGs according to SOF capability gap applicability, technical maturity and relevance, and affordability. The SOCOM S&T Council reviews TDWG prioritized projects in August and September to produce a composite prioritized project list that can be funded with available Major Force Program-11 (MFP-11) RDT&E resources or, if below the MFP11 funded “cut-line,” provided to components and other services and agencies looking for leverage opportunities. SORDAC-ST also focuses robust efforts in the medical R&D arena to discover new life-saving technologies that can benefit our SOF operators at the point of injury, often in remote, denied areas. SORDAC-ST provides program management and funding for biomedical R&D initiatives. SORDAC-ST closely coordinates with SOCOM’s command and component surgeons for SOF biomedical needs and project selection to close these needs through SOCOM’s Biomedical RDT&E Advisory Group (BRAG) and Biomedical Initiatives Steering Committee (BISC). SORDAC-ST, in coordination with the SOCOM command surgeon’s office, develops and releases an annual Biomedical R&D BAA, typically in February, which allows the BISC to select and prioritize special operations-peculiar biomedical R&D initiatives for funding and execution. 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). SORDAC-ST is coordinating with SOCOM PEOs, components, and TSOCs to develop advanced visual augmentation systems, lasers and beacons; improved SOF comprehensive signature management; scalable effects weapons (SEW) 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; biomedical; 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, small business innovation research, 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 conducts technical experimentation (TE) events throughout the year to rapidly assess technology maturity based on SOCOM component-identified areas of need. Typically, three annual TE events are held at various installations in the continental United States, and each has operational themes to capture broad technology areas of interest. TE events are open to DoD and other government agencies with similar technology needs as SOCOM. Participants at the TE events include SOF operators, government technology subject matter experts, and technology developers (including academia, research labs and industry). A typical TE event features approximately 65 separate experiments. The payoff for participating technology developers is the ability to interact with SOF operators in a field environment, identify solutions to high-priority SOF needs, and assess the maturity or potential military application of a wide variety of technologies. Information on TE events can be found at: www. socom.mil/sordac/pages/expwithus.aspx TE also has its own social networking sites for collaboration:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/socomte LinkedIn: www.tinyurl.com/linkedin-socomte Twitter: www.twitter.com/socomte Google+:https://plus.google. com/u/0/102310227118909663974/posts
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 DoD’s Emerging/Joint Capability Technology Demonstrations program and also conducts independent advanced technology demonstrations. SOTECH 12.4 | 33
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 20 SBIR Phase I/ II efforts in fiscal year 2013 and plans to award 20 Phase I/II SBIR efforts in fiscal year 2014.
SORDAC’s top priorities are to support the commander’s lines of operation: win the current fight through timely, 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 TSOC 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 JATF-TALOS 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.
Directorate of Acquisition Comptroller David M. Nichols 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 fiscal year 2013, the directorate managed $3.8 billion; processed more than 5,000 financial documents in support of the day-to-day mission; supported the development, submission and defense of SOCOM’s FY14 president’s budget request; and guided the SORDAC development and submission for the program objective memorandum for fiscal years 2015–2019. There has been a renewed emphasis on automated processes, with updates to existing systems like the financial execution module and the congressional RFIs portal tool. These tools assist in
accomplishing the mission and seek to improve SORDAC’s financial processes, controls and information as we work to achieve compliance with the requirements of financial improvement and audit readiness objectives. Additional enhancements included an automated funds distribution and tracking system as well as an automated calculation and reporting of travel and services caps. Portal-based financial 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.
J4/Directorate of Logistics Air Force Colonel Kenton A. Ruthardt 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 SOF include:
• Rapidly deploy materiel/equipment, including •
• Develop, coordinate and implement
• • •
SO-peculiar logistics plans, policy and strategy Coordinate planning and execution of logistics support to SOF exercises and operations Maximize use of service-provided logistics capability to enable SOF superiority Provide comprehensive materiel management of SO-peculiar equipment Provide joint property book asset accountability, asset visibility, availability and acquisition life cycle systems management
34 | SOTECH 12.4
bare base construction Support rapid acquisition of SO-peculiar equipment/materiel and approve sustainment plan/cataloging strategy in the fielding and deployment releases Monitor equipment readiness/preparedness in the defense readiness reporting system Provide multi-national planning and coordination for equipment/logistics support with allies and partner nations through the acquisition cross-servicing agreements program Maximize value of Major Force Program-11 (MFP-11) by offering logistics solutions from the SOCOM enterprise perspective (all SOF assets available) Explore opportunities to transition SO-peculiar equipment to service-common Sustainment Division
The J4, in conjunction with PEO-SOFSA and other activities, are developing the infrastructure for a SOF supply chain management (SCM) construct
to support the wholesale level management of SOpeculiar materiel with a source of supply of H9D. This SCM construct will allow SOF support personnel to seamlessly obtain and manage SO-peculiar materiel utilizing their service supply systems. The Systems Integration Section, in conjunction with the Cataloguing Section, developed a cutting-edge capability to submit cataloging request to the Defense Logistics Agency Logistics Information Services (DLIS) for the establishment and maintenance of national stock numbers (NSNs). This joint venture between SOCOM and DLIS represents the first time in DoD where cataloging actions can take place with the requester inputting the data to one system and the resulting request being submitted to the DLIS workbench without any further human interfaces. This capability will reduce the man hours required to conduct cataloging actions and allow greater capability to conduct analysis and quality assurance. The Joint Property Management Cell (JPMC) primary mission is to synchronize and coordinate worldwide MFP-11 equipment transactions. JPMC also provides logistics support, asset visibility, and accountability in support of approximately 66,000 www.SOTECH-kmi.com
SOF personnel executing global contingency and garrison operations. The cell conducted in excess of 18,500 transactions annually. The cell is also playing an integral role in the management of the retrograde of SO-peculiar materiel from Operation Enduring Freedom by providing disposition instructions to operational forces and monitoring the movement of the materiel to the ultimate disposition site. The cell is currently managing over 350,000 assets valued at $1.3 billion in support of SORDAC program executive offices. 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 (FIAR), J4 has provided crucial analysis and manpower for both exploring a SOCOM-specific accountable property system of record (APSR) and FIAR Wave 3. J4 continues to work closely with the SOCOM finance team in Wave 3 capital standardize 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. J4 is providing the OSD Office of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy with the requisite plan and execution of a three-year effort to baseline all SOCOM government-furnished property currently on hundreds of contracts with vendors worldwide. This effort aims to ensure property accountability is being adhered to, while also ensuring that this property is being loaded into the IUID Registry. Munitions provided pre-program 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 out-year munitions shortfalls and mitigation plans.
To date, the CRISP has conducted 38,038 materiel transactions for over 45,000 items of equipment, valued at over $25 million. This also includes 1,778 transactions supporting the equipment outfitting of deploying personnel. This section was particularly instrumental in the sustainment of SOJTF-Afghanistan by palletizing, coordinating and shipping equipment required to accomplish the mission. Program Support The J4 Sustainment division manages four programs and four projects annually, valued at approximately $22 million in support of the SOF operator. These programs are awarded and executed under the PEO-SOFSA contract, which is managed at Bluegrass Station in Lexington, Ky. One of the most widely used J4 programs is the joint operational stocks effort, which is a $105 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. The Acquisition and Sustainment Branch (J4SA) is responsible for performing independent assessments of life cycle sustainment, readiness, and supportability for SO-peculiar equipment and systems procured with MFP-11 funds. J4-SA assigns logisticians who provide direct interface with program executive offices, program management offices, other SOCOM organizations, TSOCs, and components to field, support, sustain and modernize SOF worldwide. Assigned acquisition logisticians conduct integrated logistics support assessments to determine viability of program support necessary to meet operational requirements. 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 on authorizations and maintenance and in direct support of SOCOM’s flying hour program for Army Special Operations Command and Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft.
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 162 sub-hand receipt holder accounts consisting of 104,154 pieces of equipment valued at $179 million. 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. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Operations, Plans, Strategy, and Equipment Readiness Division 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 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 regionallyfocused global support group and J3-AFG within the SOCOM J3 Directorate of Operations; J5/ Directorate of Strategy, Plans, and Policy; Global Mission Support Center; and the International SOF Coordination Center, as required. These embedded logistics officers maintain situational awareness of theater-specific requirements and, when required, deploy to assist TSOC and SOJTF-Afghanistan missions. They actively coordinate logistical solution sets, including leveraging the Combat Mission Needs Statement, 1208 program, and other similar processes. J4 conducted a logistics sustainment rehearsal of concept (ROC) drill at the SOCOM wargame center for senior logistics leaders from the Joint Staff, service, TSOCs, geographic combatant commands, and components. In addition, United States Transportation Command, Army Materiel Command, Army Sustainment Command, and Joint Special Operations Command participated. The event was built around support for the Global Campaign Plan–Special Operations, which lays out SOCOM’s plan to operate in 2020 around the world in support of GCC stated objectives. The outbrief was the result of two design workshops and a senior level action officer week. The event was the first time to expose the logistics community to SOCOM’s future plan. The group was presented with various logistics challenges and spent considerable time in group discussion on four focus areas: providing logistics support outside the theater of active armed conflict; issues with low density/low volume sustainment in remote areas; casualty movement in austere locations; and the creation of SOF forward positioned activity sets. All partners are moving forward to solve these challenges. J4 developed a retrograde working group (RWG) to focus on retrograde and redistribution of SOF equipment from Afghanistan. From its inception, the RWG has framed and developed the retrograde processes for all SO-peculiar equipment. Today the RWG monitors over $1.8 billion of equipment in Afghanistan to ensure the efficient and secure flow with accurate disposition instructions based on prudent cost benefit analysis and the close tracking of critical items. Additionally, in conjunction with the TSOCs, the RWG is working to develop activity sets that enhance the TSOCs’ current operational capabilities and posture special operations forces for future operations. SOTECH 12.4 | 35
Directorate of Procurement Air Force Colonel Paul A. Bugenske 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. To meet this challenging mission, SORDAC-K’s vision is to be the trusted contracting enterprise providing rapid and innovative support to SOF worldwide. SORDAC-K directly supports SOCOM, its components, and the theater special operations commands. SORDAC-K awards command-wide, large-dollar special operations equipment and performance-based service contracts. It fulfills its mission through 22 contracting offices located throughout the continental U.S.; 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 (OCO). In 2013, SORDAC-K awarded a number of key contracts, including the Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1
incorporating special operations-peculiar modifications, while the Program Executive Office for Special Operations Forces Support Activity renegotiated the initial award of the MH-60M production task order saving more than $9.4 million under their indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract. The directorate also awarded a contract to establish a wargame theater with a virtual planning workspace capable of interactive collaboration in a virtual display space to support worldwide mission planning activities and a linguist contract valued at approximately $260 million over five years. SOCOM consistently exceeds its competition goals—in fiscal year 2013, the command exceeded the 70.3 percent goal by competing 75 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 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 OCO. Each day, on average, SORDAC-K awards 57 contracting actions worth more than $13 million.
Acquisition Support Office Technology and Industry Liaison Office Shelvin Watts leads the Technology and Industry Liaison Office (TILO). SOCOM established the 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 capability needs. The TILO serves as industry’s primary point of contact for the submission of white papers on areas of interest that are relevant to SOCOM and 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 warfighter, 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, and 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 36 | SOTECH 12.4
of those ideas and capabilities to solutions for warfighters. 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, 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. Office of Small Business Programs Chris Harrington serves as the director of the Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) for SORDAC. The 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 fiscal year 2013. The command awarded 25.56 percent of all prime dollars to small businesses, which represented over $601 million in prime award dollars. The command exceeded its small business, woman-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, and small disadvantaged business goals. Fiscal year 2013 was the first year the command exceeded its service-disabled veteranowned small business (SDVOSB) goal of 3 percent by awarding 5.08 percent, or $119.4 million, to SDVOSB primes. Overall, FY13 was a blockbuster 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 TILO@socom.mil and firstname.lastname@example.org respectively. O
For more information, contact SOTECH Editor Chris McCoy at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
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Expertise to Help DoD Defeat Emerging IED Threats and Hazards
Silent-Capable Hybrid-Electric Military Motorcycle
Alion Science and Technology
Alion Science and Technology, a global engineering, technology and operational solutions company, has been awarded a $17.7 million task order to provide DoD with engineering and science and technology expertise to help defeat IED threats against troops in theater and throughout the world. Alion will support conception, prototyping, improving and experimenting with technologies, devices and systems, bringing next-generation capabilities to counter-IED hazards. This includes improving warfighters’ situational awareness, enabling soldiers to better identify, defeat and bypass explosive threats. “The services we will provide under the task order will enable DoD to detect and neutralize explosive hazards wherever our forces are deployed,” said Terri Spoonhour, Alion senior vice president and distributed simulation group manager. “This will ultimately save lives and ensure our units accomplish their critical missions.” DoD develops systems for military applications that detect and neutralize mines, mine fields and unexploded ordnance. Technology development focuses on personnel protection, handheld detectors, wide area detection, mechanical clearance, vegetation clearance and mine awareness.
Logos Technologies has received a small business innovation research grant from DARPA to develop a military-use hybrid-electric motorcycle with near-silent capability. When fully matured, the technology will allow small, distributed military teams to move long distances quickly and stealthily across harsh enemy terrain. Developed in partnership with San Francisco-based all-electric motorcycle producer BRD, the platform will combine Logos Technologies’ quieted, multifuel hybridelectric power system with a cutting-edge, off-road electric motorcycle platform developed by BRD. This initiative will be the first time that a two-wheel-drive, multifuel hybrid capability has been integrated into a full-size off-road motorcycle. “Quieted, all-wheel-drive capability at extended range in a lightweight, rugged, single-track vehicle could support the successful operations of U.S. expeditionary and special forces in extreme terrain conditions and contested environments,” said Wade Pulliam, manager of advanced concepts at Logos Technologies. “With a growing need to operate small units far from logistical support, the military may increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.” Beyond the efficiency and mobility improvements the design aims to bring, the hybrid-electric approach also allows for extended periods of near-silent, electric-onlypropulsion as well as the generation of supplemental electric power for use by personnel in the field. “Our advanced yet affordable offering will provide operators the near-silent capability and ease of operation of an all-electric vehicle, along with the adaptable power generation and extended range of a multifuel internal combustion engine,” continued Pulliam. “By utilizing our team’s experience developing similar hybrid-powered projects and first-in-class electric motorcycles, the Logos Technologies-BRD partnership seeks to deliver a highly capable low-risk and proven product.”
6-Watt Explosion Proof Infrared LED Light Larson Electronics Manufacturer and distributor of industrial lighting Larson Electronics announced the release of a 6-watt explosion proof LED infrared light fixture mounted on an adjustable scaffold bracket. The 6-watt infrared light contained in this explosion-proof unit is available in 750 nm, 850 nm, or 940 nm to be used with any night vision or infrared equipment, and is attached to an aluminum ladder mount bracket that allows operators to easily mount this unit to ladders, handrails, catwalks and other similar structures. The EPL-JH-PMLED-6W-IR-150 scaffold mounted infrared LED fixture from Larson Electronics is weatherproof and comes with an adjustable aluminum scaffold mount that makes it ideal for industrial applications, maintenance, cleaning and servicing duties, and large hazardous work areas. This unit contains a 6-watt LED lamp that can be configured as a spot or flood beam. The lamp produces more light than a typical incandescent bulb with infrared cutoff filters. The LED lamp www.SOTECH-kmi.com
runs at a cool 55 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 198-F average of a 300-watt incandescent, resulting in an easier to handle unit and less heat in the workspace. The lamp is universal voltage, not multi-tap, and operates on any power source ranging from 120 volts through 277 volts. The lamp is mounted to an aluminum bracket with an adjustable J-hook bottom bracket that enables operators to securely mount the light to any ladder or scaffolding. Lamp adjustment is made by an adjustable yoke that allows the operator to adjust the lamp both vertically and horizontally. The rail mount system has a minimum grab length of 35 inches and maximum grab length of 57 inches. The light head sits 21 inches above the top rail bracket and can be extended to 41 inches above the top rail. Each rail hook is 3 inches wide, and the top rail bracket has a total footprint of 16 inches. The light can be easily detached from the mounting system, aiding in deployment, storage and transport.
[Photo courtesy of BRD Motorcycles]
SOTECH 12.4 | 39
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Admiral Sees SOCOM Meeting 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. McRaven was interviewed by SOTECH Correspondent Jeff Campbell. Q: Sir, you’re only a couple months away from completing three years at SOCOM’s helm. The command’s accomplishments in this time are numerous, from the growth of the theater specialoperations commands to the capture of Osama bin Laden and now embarking on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) initiative. Do you feel like you’ve accomplished everything you set out to at SOCOM? www.SOTECH-kmi.com
A: I’m generally happy with what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last few years, but there’s a lot left to be done. I’ve made the preservation of our force and families my top priority. While we’ve made a full court press dealing with issues like wounded warrior care, suicide prevention, and mental and physical resiliency, there are no quick fixes to a lot of these issues. We’re posturing ourselves for a long-term solution, but I think we’re showing signs of progress. We have a professional and moral obligation to get this right. Q: When asked about an upcoming change of command at the NDIA SO/LIC and during the SOCOM Virtual Town Hall, your vice and deputy commander were abundantly clear that a change of command will have zero effect on the importance of both the TALOS and the Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) initiatives. Would you call these aspects of your command’s legacy the most significant? They certainly cover the SOF Truth that ‘Humans are more important than hardware,’ all the way from protecting the ‘door knockers’ to their families back home. A: The TALOS project has unlimited potential, not just to protect the operator who is kicking down a door, but to drive improvements in how we do acquisitions by fostering new collaborative development models within industry. I’m not willing to accept “we can’t do it” for SOTECH 12.4 | 41
an answer, and I’m confident that history will judge this as an unprecedented innovation from SOCOM. My hope is that history will judge our POTFF program to be the beginning of a comprehensive process that ensures our force is mentally, physically and spiritually ready for the next fight, and that their families are strong and able to deal with the effects of a decade of hard combat. Q: What other priorities would you like to see the future commander run with over the next three to five years? A: I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on what vision my relief should attempt to pursue. We have some bright general and flag officers in the SOF enterprise, and I’m confident the future will be in good hands. Q: The president recently nominated SOCOM Vice Commander Lieutenant General Heithold for assignment as AFSOC commander. How will SOCOM continue to maintain strong ties at the Pentagon with Heithold’s departure and Congress’ decision in the NDAA to keep SOCOM from expanding its presence in Washington? A: Brad Heithold has absolutely been the bedrock of our connection to the Pentagon. He will be missed, but he has institutionalized our relationships in the national capital region and I have no concerns about his successor being able to pick up where he left off. SOCOM has always had a strong presence in Washington. Our network of liaisons
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is the strength of our approach to interagency coordination and it is vital to our contribution to whole of government national security solutions. That hasn’t changed, nor will it. Q: The budget, sequestration and furloughs made for rough waters throughout the last fiscal year. What did you learn then to help the command navigate this year more smoothly? A: We learned that uncertainty will likely be a defining characteristic of our programming, planning and budgeting environment going forward. We also know that the men and women of Special Operations Command continue to prove their mettle all around the world, and hope the value that SOF brings to the nation will ultimately be recognized by budget decision makers. We may take some more lumps, but our future remains bright. Q: Recent cable TV series like Burn Notice and movies like Sabotage are both giving more exposure to SOF and showing examples of how former operators can use their skills in a second career. Are you pleased with Hollywood’s accuracy of late when depicting SOF, and how effective have shows and films been as a SOCOM recruiting tool? A: I tend to prefer watching sports over shows like these, so I’m not too familiar with the content. We’ve had a couple of high profile cases where SOF alumni have shared too much with the media and entertainment industry and we’ve made it very clear that those actions were unacceptable. But in general, I agree that most of our media and entertainment industry exposure is generally very positive. In fact, I was introduced to the SEALs as a young man by watching a John Wayne movie. Our recruiting is at an all-time high and the caliber of prospective SOF operators has never been better. I’m not even sure that I would make the cut if I was up against today’s competition. I wouldn’t entirely attribute this to all the media exposure we’ve had, but I do think there is an undeniable relationship there. Q: Small gestures can make a big splash these days with social media. When you wrote about a boy who asked whether a ninja or a SEAL was quieter, how surprising was it to see pictures of him and your response go viral? Have you stayed in touch with the 7-year-old prospect? A: We spend a lot of time here trying to understand the power of social media because it has had such a powerful impact on the global security environment of late. We’ve seen how in some cases one tweet can spark a revolution. That said, I must admit that I was shocked to see the level of attention that my note received. Maybe someone saw the letter and then considered the value of trying to connect with our young generation. Q: What concluding thoughts do you have for the civilian and uniformed personnel who make up SOCOM? A: The recently released Quadrennial Defense Review validated the role SOF will play on our national strategy. We’re going to continue to be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of safeguarding our homeland with forward, engaged, culturally attuned, agile SOF who will play a key role in a layered defense. We should all have a healthy respect for this responsibility and opportunity, and it should drive us to demand the best from ourselves and each other. O
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Manufacturers make combat apparel safer, lighter and more comfortable. By John M. Doyle SOTECH Correspondent
The latest version of the Defender M fabWhile weaponry and body armor get most ric combines comfort, durability, protection of the attention when it comes to ground and affordability, he said, noting that the U.S. combat troops’ gear, the uniforms they wear Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps have and the apparel that goes under them is just all purchased garments made with the FR as important to doing their job. fabric. TenCate’s research and development Combat clothing doesn’t just keep soldepartment has tweaked it to make it more diers and Marines warm in the winter and tear resistant and appropriate for climates dry in the rain; high-tech fabrics keep them ranging from tropical to arctic. cool and dry in blazing hot conditions, proTenCate has laminate tect them from catastrophic products that are waterproof. burns and resulting infec“The Marine Corps inclemtions, shield them from small ent weather combat shirt is particle debris and fragments a perfect example of that,” after an explosion, and make Blackmon said. It’s made it easier for them to work with the Defender M stretch longer, harder and more effion the outside, an expanded ciently—no matter what the poly-tetrachlorine laminate weather or climate conditions. layer and then a mesh fabric And some of that protective on the inside. “So it’s watermaterial can also shield troops John Blackmon proof, breathes, but doesn’t from detection by radar and let moisture in.” The Marines infrared sensors. have been wearing the shirt, TenCate Protective Fabrics designed to go over their makes the material, not the standard combat ensemble, garment, that goes into field for about four years. “They uniforms, and the Union City, were looking for something Ga., company is particularly that would give them another proud of the flame resistant 10-15 degrees of protection (FR) properties contained in over the standard shirt they its Defender M fabric for daily had been wearing,” Blackcombat wear. mon noted. All the garments fashioned Andy Caughey Looking toward the from TenCate fabrics are flame future, he said TenCate is resistant, meaning that they incorporating ballistic protection into its are self-extinguishing after they are removed fabrics. Not that the technology would stop from external flames. The actual structure of a bullet, but it could protect a soldier or the fiber itself is resistant to fire, compared to Marine from the dirt, tiny fragments and fabrics that have been treated with a chemical other debris kicked up by an IED blast. Tenprocess, explained John Blackmon, TenCate’s Cate fabrics are incorporated now into the market manager for its protective military Army’s protective under garment, designed fabrics. On the standard mannequin burn to protect the groin area. “We’re looking at test Defender M rates a body burn percentage how we can translate this to a larger scale,” of less than 20 percent with no third-degree Blackmon said. burns predicted for the wearer. 44 | SOTECH 12.4
British-based Armadillo Merino makes “next-to-skin” shirts and undergarments that keep bodies cool in summer heat or warm in winter cold. But what’s surprising is that its products are not made from space age synthetic fabrics, but wool. “Wool has been around for centuries. It’s been worn by soldiers under chain mail,” said Armadillo Merino Managing Director Andy Caughey. But forget your memories of scratchy, itchy long underwear, he cautioned, because manufacturers used very coarse-haired sheep back then. “What we’re now using is the fine Merino wool, which is the same as your luxury suiting fabrics,” he said, adding that thanks to selective breeding of Armadillo’s New Zealand sheep, “we’ve been able to get finer and finer microns” in the weave. But the garments made from this fine grade wool are also flame resistant up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Because they contain no synthetic fibers, they cannot melt onto the skin in the intense heat accompanying a roadside bomb blast. And because the wool contains no unnatural elements, it is less prone to cause an infection if it does get into a wound or burn, Caughey said. As for comfort, wool garments are more effective than synthetic fabrics that actually speed up the sweating process, according to Caughey. “You start sweating sooner, you start sweating more,” he said, calling it “performance-detrimental.” That’s especially problematic if the soldier is wearing a multilayer battle dress with fabrics designed to insulate against fire and the elements. “That moisture is not going to evaporate out to the next layer, so you’re going to retain that perspiration and it’s going to be uncomfortable” unlike with Merino wool, which can absorb up to 25 percent of its weight in water before it even feels wet. And that is going to affect performance, Caughey maintained. “When www.SOTECH-kmi.com
garment using fabrics made you’re perspiring, you’re overby Gore and Milliken. heated and your body is tryThe Marine Corps recently ing to cool down. You lose authorized use of the woodvaluable moisture and you’re land version of the lightburning calories. Those are weight, windproof, soft shell two things that are critical for jacket, currently being made the operational effectiveness in a desert camouflage pattern. of the soldier,” he said. Enhanced weather protecWhile Armadillo Merino’s tion in conditions unique to fine wool garments cost more Russ Hornung woodland operations includes than synthetics or cotton, moisture-wicking linings and Caughey said their utility highly breathable fabrics to reduce heat stress makes up for the cost difference with cotton during the day and help maintain a steady and synthetic fabrics, because a soldier might core body temperature at night. It also has need only one change of clothing instead of water resistant relief zippers, fasteners and three—less sweating means less odor due adjustment hardware made from non-corto reduced bacteria buildup. In short, a roding materials. All fabrics used in the CWJ warfighter wouldn’t have to change damp, contain technology to suppress the effectivesmelly undergarments every day. Fewer clean ness of near infrared (NIR) sensing devices, garments to bring on a mission means less like night vision goggles. weight to carry in the field, he said. Gore multispectral concealment materiW. L. Gore & Associates, of Elkton, Md., als also help shield troops and high value makes Gore-Tex fabric that protects soldiers equipment—from sophisticated radar and Marines inside and out. The combat technology as well as electro-optical infrawoodland jacket (CWJ) manufactured by red sensors. Raven Aerostar is using Gore Short Bark Industries is the latest protective
multispectral concealment materials to create garments and personal hides that greatly reduce the range of detection by multispectral EO/IR sensors. A combined visual camouflaging and sensor concealing outfit, using Gore multispectral concealment materials known as the Nemesis Turkey Suit, is the first product in a protective wear line made by is Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Raven Aerostar’s first product in the protective wear line. The suit uses a laminate made up of multiple layers and each layer acts as a filter, said Russ Hornung, product specialist for Gore. “What we try to do is isolate all the [five] different bands of interest,” he said, referring to the visual band, what the human eye can see; the NIR band, which can be seen with night vision goggles; as well as the long wave (LWIR) and mid wave infrared (MWIR) bands, which can be detected with thermal sensors; and the short wave IR (SWIR), which reflects infrared light, making even dark clothing look white. “We don’t just block the infrared,” Hornung explained; the technology scatters it while reflecting the surrounding environment.
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Milliken provides the camouflage printed Consisting of a jacket, pants, hood and woven material for the Enhanced Flame face shield, the suit limits the heat signature Resistant Combat Ensemble (EFRCE) a twoand IR visibility of the wearer. It also contains piece outfit with woven fabric trousers and loops for attaching concealment materials shirt sleeves. The body of the shirt will be like leaves and weeds, as well as detachable made of a knit fabric. The outfit is sturelements enabling wearers like “snipers, dier than its predecessor, maintains its color reconnaissance or target acquisition-type longer and meets military burn protection folks” to modify the garments. The suit also specifications: self-extinguishing within four keeps snipers or reconnaissance personnel, seconds of removal from the who must remain still for flame source. long periods, comfortable in a The EFRCE is part of Milvariety of weather conditions. liken’s ResQ military fabric While the last generation of line which combines textile combat garments provided science and chemistry to some protection from night create FR fabrics that also vision detection, it is defiprovide climate protection. cient against sensors that use “Because of a proprietary SWIR, MWIR and LWIR detectechnique, it is not heavier” tion, Hornung said. than other flame resistant fabThe need for multispecErik Cobham rics, Cobham said, noting that tral concealment has grown reducing the weight carried with the spread of IR sensors by troops in the field “is a sigaround the world, he said. nificant issue. We keep that in “The Iranians, the Chinese mind as we develop products.” and the French have spent a Milliken also supplies a lot of money and effort comcold and wet weather protecmercializing thermal camtive layer for the Generation eras as well as SWIR sensors, III Extreme Cold Weather which are a lot more common Combat System. An improved today,” Hornung added. seven layer ensemble that runs While the initial target from lightweight cold weather market appears to be special Jimmy Maritz underwear to extreme cold operations and other elite weather parka and waterproof troops, he said a kind of Gore trousers. Milliken’s contribution is the matecombat uniform is being field tested with rial that goes into the soft shell jacket, providthe multispectral concealment materials. “In ing “the extra protection that is not currently the future, we hope to build it into everyday in place,” Cobham said. garments so that every soldier has protection Protection isn’t limited to clothing. Waragainst these kinds of threats,” Hornung said. son Brands, a St. Louis-based company that Milliken & Company is also developing a makes protective boots and athletic shoes for multi-spectral concealment suit that reduces a number of companies, including Rockport an individual’s body heat signature as a shield and Florsheim, has three lines of military from thermal-imaging long- and mid-wave boots for the Army and Air Force under the IR sensors. Called Conceal camouflage techReebok brand. nology, it also provides some concealment The Reebok Rapid Response RB series, properties in the short-wave infrared realm which comes in desert tan for the Army, sage “but we are working on a different product green for the Air Force and black for law in the SWIR range,” said Erik Cobham, milienforcement tactical personnel, has already tary market manager for the Spartanburg, been worn by troops deployed to Iraq and S.C. Company. “We’re working to have it Afghanistan. “We consider it to have the evaluated and ultimately fielded with the greatest level of ankle support and cushionspecial operations community,” he said. “It’s ing,” said Jimmy Maritz, product innovations performing very well and we believe it will specialist at Warson. It also features a rugged ultimately be a game changer.” mountain trail rubber outer sole “for tracMilliken also makes flame resistant tion and durability in the field,” he added. and cold weather protecting fabrics. In the Other Rapid Response RB features include FR realm, “we’ve been sole-sourced for a a fully-lined upper, a polyurethane removprogram with the Marine Corps, which we able cushion insole and a shock eliminator hope to have fielded this year,” Cobham said. 46 | SOTECH 12.4
heel cushion, nylon mesh lining. It is also offered in side-zip and composite-toe cap versions. The non-metallic toe cap made of composite material that is lighter and stronger than steel and won’t conduct heat, cold or electricity. The Reebok Dauntless series is a new line of all terrain hot weather boots that are lightweight and flexible. Side air and drain ports as well as the Aegis Shield anti-microbial lining are included to ensure dry feet in both wet and arid conditions. “Because it is a little lighter weight and more flexible, we added a bruise plate in the midsole to add some structure and protection to the boot beneath the foot,” Maritz said. The Rapid Response RB and Dauntless boots are available in both 6- and 8-inch ankle heights. Waterproofing is another option. The Reebok Fusion Max series features Reebok’s total cushioning technology with 1.5 inches of cushioning and impact resistance in the heel, a half inch in the forepart and five layers of cushioning and shock absorption. It is Berry Amendment compliant, meaning all of its components were made in the United States, a requirement for sale at Army and Air Force Exchange Services outlets. Warson has two developed prototype boots with extra protection, one that’s resistant to blood-borne pathogens. “Like boots have water proofing built in, this has a similar membrane that goes one step further— preventing biological hazards in blood from reaching the foot,” Maritz said. The other prototype features a puncture-resistant flexible textile in the midsole of the boot. Looking ahead, most protective gear suppliers anticipate a falloff in business as the United States and NATO drastically reduce their forces in Afghanistan and military budgets contract in the United States and Europe. There’s been a reduction in demand, according to Maritz, “but at the same time, we’ve seen the market expand with a variety of new military footwear categories, most notably in lightweight footwear” for training and possibly garrison use, he said. “There are still a lot of things we can improve for our warfighters,” said Gore’s Hornung. “They’re just not going to be buying as much as they did in the last 10 years.” O
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Building relationships that make a difference. By Captain Sam Rosenberg Over the past decade, multinational partnerships and training have grown into key components of the United Statesâ€™ National Security Strategy. In Iraq, military transition teams rebuilt and trained army and police forces gutted by the 2003 invasion. In Afghanistan, advise and assist brigades helped construct a national army and police force to replace brutal Taliban warlords. Now, the U.S. Army is adopting the concept of regionally aligned forces (RAF), brigades and divisions who retain habitual training and operational relationships with specific geographic regions around the world. Under the RAF concept, American forces deploy to partnered regions and train and work with indigenous forces as a way to extend American operational reach and to build partner capacity. Under this concept, the Army also becomes more expeditionary and more attuned to international security and geopolitical issues. At the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany, American units routinely train with NATO partners in both mission rehearsal exercises prior to deployments and in decisive action training environment scenarios (DATE), sharpening their skills in wide area security and combined arms maneuver. In both types of rotations, the ability of American company level leaders to work by, with and through multinational partners is often essential for mission success. But what makes one company better than another at partnership? How can platoon leaders and squad leaders make the most out of partnered operations? Here are some thoughts, based off countless operations with foreign security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and nearly 10 months of observing multinational rotations at JMRC, that may prove helpful to company-level leaders preparing to deploy on partnered operations.
Relationships are Force Multipliers Often in a multinational environment, there is little reason for one side of the partnership to listen or act on what the other side is saying, aside from a common endstate. Typically, there is no clear command authority established, and therefore, one side is not subordinate to the other. Consequently, the key impetus for action becomes personal relationships. In Iraq, as a young platoon leader fresh out of the basic course, I thought surely all the Iraqi soldiers and police officers would listen 48 | SOTECH 12.4
to the Americans. We were supposedly the best army in the world, with the most advanced technology, so why wouldnâ€™t they listen to us? I realized early in our deployment just how wrong I was when I scheduled patrols with our partnered Iraqi Army company and, much to my surprise, the soldiers rarely arrived prepared or on time. My platoon sergeant, a charismatic Iraq veteran, had a much different experience when he scheduled patrols instead me. After learning some of the language and cultivating friendships within the Iraqi unit, he would issue instructions and receive a much more favorable result from our partners. The key to his success, as I later realized, was that he simply took the time to build relationships with the Iraqis. He spent a few minutes every day joking with the Iraqi soldiers in their own language, drinking chai and never turning down a utensil-free meal. The Iraqis appreciated this and put far more weight on his instructions and ideas than anyone else, simply because they cared about the relationship. The JMRC hosts numerous multinational rotations every year. It is not uncommon for an American platoon leader or company commander to partner with a Romanian infantry platoon or a Slovenian company as they execute their mission rehearsal exercise or DATE rotation. Normally, the multinational unit replicates a host nation security force, challenging the Americans tactically, technically and logistically. Most of these challenges, however, could be mitigated if the units took more time to talk, listen, and learn from each other. For example, during a recent multinational DATE rotation, an American company commander learned, just before the start of a major operation, that his partnered platoon did not bring enough ammunition for the mission. If the commander took the time to build a genuine working relationship with the leadership of the partnered force in advance of the operation, he may have been able to identify and prevent the ammunition shortage. The lack of ammunition embarrassed the multinational unit and frustrated the Americans. The issue soured the relationship for much of the remainder of the rotation, until both units made a concerted effort to talk and work together to achieve mutual objectives. This event underscores the importance of relationships when conducting multinational operations. Several techniques can assist leaders in building better, more functional relationships with their multinational partners. First, learn about and understand the culture www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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and history of the partnertional operations. Several techniques can assist leaders in building better, more functional relationships with their must as you would treat your own unit in all aspects. Include multinational partners in the same meetings and hold them to the same expectations you would with an American unit. Create a battle rhythm that establishes routine, simple meetings and information sharing sessions with the partnered force. In Afghanistan, my company held weekly combined targeting meetings that served as a routine and simple way to exchange information between the American and Afghan units operating in the area. Lastly, break down physical and cultural barriers as much as the tactical situation permits and experience the same hardships as your partnered force. If partnership is uncomfortable, you’re doing it right.
Communication is the Best Antidote to Friction Key to any multinational partnership is regular communication in both tactical situations and in administrative settings. Tactically, our technology and operational security measures can present a challenge in communicating with partnered forces. We almost never have the same type of radios as our partners and operational security usually prevents us from using the same encryption keys. There are two possible ways to overcome these challenges. First, identify and remove technology and language barriers. If possible, implement a common radio over which both forces can securely communicate. Place interpreters in positions close to these radios so they can translate thoughts and plans between the partnered forces. If technical or operational aspects prevent the use of a common radio between the units, build a small liaison team with security and communication specialists. One technique is to build a liaison team with a joint tactical air controller (or a joint fires observer if the controller is unavailable), a linguist and an infantry fire team, thereby ensuring the team has both security and highly trained radio operator with advanced equipment to convey information between partnered forces. A platoon sergeant or a senior squad leader could assist with command and control of the team while the platoon leader or company commander focuses on management of the entire operation. Second, develop a clear and concise radio distribution plan for each mission, mapping which key leaders have each type of radio and explaining the frequencies on which each leader will operate. If possible, overlay the radio distribution plan onto the unit concept sketch to ensure all elements have the correct communication method. Next, practice radio communications between all elements during rehearsals, ensuring the partners understand how, when and to whom they should relay information.
Linguist Management is Decisive In multinational partnership, language barriers almost always present a challenge to effective communication. This, of course, is where linguists come into play. But just having a linguist is not enough. A unit must properly track, manage and employ linguists in order to reap the full benefits of partnership—or in other words, treat linguist management as a decisive operation. First, weigh the decisive operation with enablers. With respect to linguist management this means putting your best and brightest non-commissioned or commissioned officers in charge of linguist support, scheduling, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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pay and leave. Second, ensure your shaping operations are nested with the decisive operation. This means optimizing the use of the right linguists for the right operations at the best possible times. Too often, though, units mismanage or fail to properly employ their linguists, damaging their partnership and the relationship with the local population. For example, during one particular rotation at JMRC, we received special administrative (civilian) linguists to facilitate communication between observers and the foreign training unit, which also happened to have an American liaison team. In order to communicate with the embedded American liaison team, the training unit had tactical interpreters, who are active members of the foreign military unit. Typically, these tactical interpreters are not nearly as well trained in English as the administrative interpreters, so the training units tend to gravitate toward the more skilled English speakers. Consequently, the relationship between the training unit and the tactical linguists is damaged and the training value of the rotation for the tactical interpreters is limited. Instead of relying on the administrative interpreters, the unit should focus on strengthening the capabilities of their tactical linguists. If a unit has weak or untrained linguists, build a training plan to improve their language skills. If you have a weak fire team, you don’t just accept their deficiencies. Build a training plan to make them better. Linguists should be no different. Challenges such as these can be avoided, though, by assigning a motivated and knowledgeable manager to track and employ the unit’s linguists. In Afghanistan, my battalion hand-picked our headquarters platoon sergeant to serve as the battalion linguist manger. At the time, I was frustrated because the NCO the battalion chose was critical to our command post. He was diligent and hard-working. He needed little guidance to accomplish tasks and he understood the bigger picture. He was, much to my chagrin, the perfect choice. If picking a particular person to serve as a linguist manager hurts, then you have picked the right person. Too often units choose the former squad leader with an attitude problem or the NCO that is more focused on retirement than actually contributing to the unit. These units pay for those choices when linguists threaten to quit at inopportune times or when the linguists refuse to patrol or translate documents. Remember: Poor linguist managers often result in weak linguists, which will surely lead to operational confusion. In my battalion’s case, we had comparatively few issues because we picked the right person for the right job. Our linguist manager treated our linguists with care, skill and purpose.
Rehearsals, Rehearsals, Rehearsals A rehearsal is an effective way to practice and synchronize key portions of an operation, address contingencies, identify decision points, and mitigate risk and operational friction. The importance of rehearsals is often amplified in multinational operations due to inherent language, cultural and tactical differences between units. Multinational rehearsals require unique considerations to maximize effectiveness and ensure mission success. First, rehearse before the actual rehearsal. A company or battalion combined arms rehearsal may be overwhelming and intimidating to our partners. The structure and briefing order may be confusing too. Practicing the process beforehand may ease some of the concerns of the partnered force. Next, execute the rehearsal in clear, 50 | SOTECH 12.4
concise, easy-to-understand prose without excessive use of acronyms that many foreign militaries find difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Explain the operation in terms that every soldier at any level in any army can understand. Instead of saying, “We will move at a 73-degree azimuth for two clicks over undulating terrain before reaching a linear danger area,” try using language like, “We will move generally northeast for approximately 30 minutes, moving uphill and downhill along the way before reaching a small stream.” Using simple, more direct language will paint a clear picture of the operation for everyone involved. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, address in-depth the contingencies the unit may encounter during the operation. These contingency plans should include all eight forms of contact (direct fire, indirect fire, non-hostile, obstacle, chemical/biological/ radioactive/nuclear considerations, air threats, visual contact and electronic attacks).
Sometimes, Less is More Nobody likes a know-it-all and after fighting two wars in 13 years in partnership with large, diverse coalitions, chances are that some of our allies see the U.S. Army that way. On my own deployments, I’ve watched American mentors grow impatient working with their partners. Instead of empowering their partnered force to solve problems, the Americans just solve the problems themselves, but in a very American way that ignores key cultural issues. To paraphrase T.E. Lawrence, do not do too much with your own hands; better to let your partnered force develop their own more culturally attuned solutions. And sometimes it is better yet to say and do nothing at all; rather, simply listen to your partnered forces and understand their priorities and their constraints, because oftentimes they are far different from our own.
Conclusion The size of the U.S. Army is shrinking, the war in Afghanistan is ending and budget constraints continue, yet the world remains a very dangerous place. With a military that is increasingly limited operationally, the future in force projection may very well be in security cooperation and multinational partnership. The U.S. Army may be able to project just as much influence as the larger Army of five or six years ago through multinational partnerships, regional alignment and security cooperation. This strategy will require company level leaders to be well versed and comfortable with the nuances of working with partnered forces in diverse regions like Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific-Asia region. Remember that relationships are force multipliers, linguists can be decisive, and know when to simply listen. These lessons will help our platoon leaders and company commanders take the high ground with their multinational partners on future battlefields. O Captain Sam Rosenberg is a maneuver company primary observer, Coach Training, Timberwolves Team, Ops Group, Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany.
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Special Operations Technology
Mario Pantuso Senior Program Manager Aeroscraft Corporation areas. The tower is comprised of a triangular formed truss with composite tube structural members set in between formed aluminum center stabilizers and an external lattice of aluminum extrusions that form bridgework, giving the truss its strength and rigidity. It is ultra lightweight yet strong, and provides a lower-cost heterogeneous system than many comparable ISR platforms.
Mario Pantuso is a senior program manager who spearheads strategic business development to governments and militaries on a global basis for Aeros’ lighter-than-air and ISR platforms. While in the Navy, Pantuso served as a helicopter anti-submarine pilot based out of North Island Naval Air Station, completing two successful Western Pacific carrier tours. Pantuso holds a MBA with finance concentration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Q: Please tell us about some of the Aeroscraft benefits available to the SOF community, such as the ability to deliver in harsh conditions where no runways or facilities are present. A: The Aeroscraft is an advanced hybrid airship able to compress inert helium for in-flight ballasting using a patent-pending buoyancy management system, or controlof-static-heaviness (COSH) system. COSH enables true vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), eliminating the need for expensive infrastructure like runways and ground crew to manage external ballast exchange requirements that have prevented airships from becoming cargo airships. The Aeroscraft advantage lies in providing true VTOL flight operations like a helicopter, but with the ability to carry much greater tonnage. It can travel long intercontinental distances like an airplane, yet provide more space and fuel efficiency made possible by lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicle technology. It provides the essential operational value of VTOL with extended hover capability, and precision deployment for oversized cargo logistics, at a reduced cost, while consuming significantly less fuel. This capability can allow the SOF community to engage in VTOL flight operations while carrying much larger and heavier equipment to forward operating bases and ‘outside the wire’ with greater route flexibility, and reach austere locations. For example, the Aeroscraft can have SOF logistics support and sustained mission benefits by rapidly inserting forward command outposts, supporting encrypted communications, repositioning special assets for unique 52 | SOTECH 12.4
SOF missions, or delivering contingency ops packages quickly, especially in environments with existing infrastructure limitations. Essentially, we can follow the tip-of-the-spear operators, address their resupply needs and medical mobility requirements, and even aid humanitarian missions. Outside SOF missions the vehicle will help reduce the logistics footprint in OCONUS operations and the dependency on foreign airbases and ports, and will address anti-access strategies employed by adversaries. The Aeroscraft’s cargo bay will accommodate much larger equipment than can be moved by air today, requiring less on-site final assembly in certain instances, as with supporting aircraft or UAVs. The smaller Aeroscraft will vertically lift 66-ton payloads, while the larger will carry 250 tons, providing new point-to-point air delivery capability. Because an Aeroscraft only needs to overcome drag in forward flight, not generate lift, it can operate at roughly one-third the fuel consumption of conventional alternatives (airplanes and helicopters) on a per-ton/mile basis, permitting ‘greener’ cargo carriage. Q: Can the sensors atop your towers communicate/relay information to Aerostats or other products? A: Yes, they are flexible for numerous payloads, so communications relay to an aerostat would be one of the options. Aeros’ lightweight tower is an integrated system that lets a single operator establish a surveillance zone for events, emergencies and security applications rapidly. The lightweight tower system is an elevated ISR that is easily transportable and can be assembled and deployed in urban
Q: What other advancements or new products can we look forward to this year? A: You’ll continue to see the fleet development for the Aeroscraft cargo airship progress in 2014, along with growth in our traditional LTA portfolio as aerostat products continue to expand and adapt to more tactical scenarios in ISR/communications. Aerostats like Aeros’ Skycrow are also being used increasingly for broad multi-spectral imaging applications. We’re also exploring autonomous mission controls, and expect to see growth in our tower business with this portable and quickly assembled solution requiring only a single operator and supporting numerous security applications in urban scenarios. Finally, we’re further enhancing field hydrogen generators that can serve the dual roles of lift support and power for OCONUS and other remote operations. Q: What else would you like the SOF community to know about the people and products of Aeroscraft? A: The team at Aeros does complete inhouse research, development, production, flight and operation of Aeros-branded advanced-technology air vehicles, FAA production certification and flight innovation. The team at Aeros includes military veterans and our organization has an established history developing solutions for the U.S. military. We love feedback from the field, and insights into the evolving needs and aspirations of field operators and their commanders. Understanding the desires of the teams in the field helps us engineer and deliver products that most fully support their missions. O firstname.lastname@example.org www.SOTECH-kmi.com