World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine
Focused Raider Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman Commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command
Knives O SOF Operational Support O Small Force Innovations Swimmer Mobility Systems O AFSOC’s DAGRE
Volume 13, Issue 7
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Special Operations Technology Features
September 2015 Volume 13, Issue 7
Cover / Q&A
Better Swimmer Mobility Systems
A new generation of swimmer mobility systems is in the works to improve the ability of special operations forces to covertly transfer small numbers of troops into and out of hostile territory. By Marc Selinger
Operational Support for Global Special Operations Forces
Program Executive Office (PEO) Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) is SOCOM’s dedicated total life cycle sustainment activity that provides the SOF community with rapid, responsive and cost-effective global logistics support services.
Major General Joseph L. Osterman Commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command
Cost, performance and field maintenance are key military buying issues when it comes to the services—and to individual buyers as well. By William Murray
AFSOC’s deployed aircraft ground response element— DAGRE—provides enhanced security for AFSOC and SOF aircraft transiting airfields where security is limited or inadequate. By Staff Sergeant Alexx Mercer
The Sharpened Edge
Departments 2 Editor’s Perspective 4 Whispers 5 people 14 BLack WAtch 27 Resource Center
Small Force Innovations
The recent small business innovative research solicitations highlights a number of projects that could offer particular advantages to the small teams that SOF routinely deploys and to the austere locations they find themselves in.
Industry Interview Ken Peterman Senior Vice President and General Manager Government Systems ViaSat
The Authoritative Word on Special Operations Defining Current and Future SOF Technologies
MARSOC has now operationally re-oriented in order to better support the geographic combatant commanders in the post-OEF environment. MARSOC’s forces are now regionally aligned in order to provide persistently forwarddeployed, reinforced Marine special operations companies.
–Major General Joseph L. Osterman
Special Operations Technology Volume 13, Issue 7 • September 2015
World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine Editorial Editor-In-Chief
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EDITOR’S PERSPECTIVE Ten years is a nice benchmark to celebrate, and MARSOC can do that in 2015. In October 2015, the Marine Corps was directed by the secretary of defense to form the Marine element of SOCOM. Perhaps the “real” celebration will come in early 2016, 10 years from its formal activation in February 2006. The command has grown and evolved into its mission sets and developed its structure to meet the mission when directed by SOCOM. Our interview with Major General Osterman in this issue is a great set of markers outlining the capabilities of MARSOC and addressing some of its challenges. Jeff McKaughan Also of interest—especially with our article focused on techEditor nologies that are being sought in the latest small business innovative research solicitation—Osterman describes a fairly typical list of technologies he is interested in, including lighter loads for his Marines, improved antennas, better small unmanned systems, advanced analytics and improved communication systems. What I found more interesting was his description of how MARSOC has developed a component roadmap that identifies his priorities for technology development as part of a technology scouting effort. The description of a roadmap took me back to Tony Davis’ article in the May issue of Special Operations Technology. Davis is the director of science and technology at SOCOM. In his article, he talked about a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that documented the many barriers to accessing outside innovation and technology. A reaction to this was the creation of Project Vulcan, a DoD information Analysis Centers program to improve SOCOM Technology and Industry Liaison Office’s technology domain awareness. Although the project is in its infancy, Davis described it as being “an effort to better connect SOF operators and acquisition professionals with their counterparts in the global high-tech market, enabling application-level innovations—novel uses of existing technology.” Davis also spends a great deal of his article talking about innovation combustion chambers, use of cooperative research and development agreements, broad agency announcements and PEO technology insertion roadmaps as ways that his organization is working to stay in step with the leading edge of innovation instead of always playing catch up. SOCOM’s S&T efforts are in lockstep with what MARSOC is working to do—innovate when necessary and invest in technology wisely. If you haven’t been to the SOCOM website recently, I suggest you make the visit. While I won’t say they add a lot of news items often, the acquisition link will take you to the Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics portal. There’s lots of great stuff there about current and future needs as well as insight into how to actually get a proposal/solution in front of somebody for review.
SOPHISTICATED EQUIPMENT FOR
THE SOPHISTICATED MISSION
Realizing the most intricate missions call for the most dependable communications, L-3 GCS has developed its latest generation of VSAT terminals. The L-3 GCS Pantherâ„˘ II manpack terminal is designed to be carried by a single user in a tactical, rugged environment. Together, its ability to support high-speed data rates, its lightweight and portable design, and its user-friendly control interface make the Panther II the logical choice for your next mission. GCS
WHISPERS One More Commando II On August 27, a crew from the U.S. Air Force ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations
Command to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, from the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta, Ga.
Sensitive Site Exploitation Special emphasis should be placed on the following: •
• • •
P assive radiation detection devices that react to the presence of radiological materials/emissions to detect, locate, alert and identify radiological materials at dose rates within tolerance levels. Personal radiation detection device capable of warning the wearer of gamma, neutron, medical, natural and special nuclear material while collecting encounter information. Devices should warn the wearer of and detect radiological emission without having to actively acquire the emission. Sensitive site exploitation biological agent detection kit. SSE explosive detection kit. Standoff vehicle-mounted detectors.
The Raven Gimbal Selected Fort Hood units have recently received an upgrade to their Raven unmanned aerial systems. The upgrade, dubbed the Raven Gimbal, is a new payload for the Raven R-11B small unmanned aircraft system—a small, handlaunched reconnaissance and surveillance tool. “The Gimbal system replaces the old, fixed camera, where the operator had to move the bird around to see different directions,” said Specialist Gilbert Reyna, a cavalry scout with Comanche Troop, 6th Squadron Saber, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,
4 | SOTECH 13.7
1st Cavalry Division. “With the new payload, you can now simply rotate the camera 360 degrees in a matter of seconds.” The Raven transmits live, airborne video images, compass headings and location information to a ground control station, laptop and remote video terminal, enabling operators to navigate, search for targets, recognize terrain and record information for analysis. Throughout the week, soldiers swapped out their former systems for the new Gimbal payload, and received familiarization training to quickly learn how to successfully operate the equipment, said
Sergeant Shane Burroughs, a unit supply specialist with Troop C, 6-9 Cavalry. “This upgrade will make the whole reconnaissance world more effective,” said Burroughs. “It will provide better capabilities to units as a whole.” In addition to the 360-degree view the Gimbal offers, its infrared capabilities are now more efficient as well, said Staff Sgt. Brent Mann, an infantryman and master small unmanned aircraft systems trainer with 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team. “We are getting better surveillance now when we launch the Raven,” said Mann. “We no longer
have to bring the Raven down to switch from daytime to nighttime infrared cameras, as it has both capabilities. We can run twilight missions all at one time, and switch between white-hot, blackhot and colored cameras all in one setting.” The new payload also replaces the previous camera system with a single, front-mounted lens, Mann said. “The last system had stationary front and side cameras,” he said. “This replaces both front and side mounts. It makes it easier for soldiers to stay on target.” By Staff Sergeant Christopher Calvert
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Medical Training and Sensitive Site Exploitation Technologies All Call SOCOM has issued an open invitation to industry, academia, individuals and government labs to submit technology experimentation nominations addressing technical experimentation-medical training technologies including medical simulations and sensitive site exploitation technologies. After reviewing submissions packages, SOCOM is planning to invite selected candidates to demonstrate their technologies between November 30 and December 4 of this year. Medical Simulations Special emphasis should be placed on the following: • •
A bility to replicate appropriate physiological and environmental phenomena. Integrated systems and simulations to provide comprehensive training across the continuum of care. (High-fidelity surgical and medical simulator (e.g., Cut Suit combined with SIM/MEDIMAN technology). Battery-powered high-fidelity simulator capable of withstanding field conditions. Wearable medical training devices (i.e., chest tube trainer, venipuncture trainer or ultrasound trainers). Ability to replicate life-like responses to stimuli and treatment (e.g., tissue, organ, wound responses/ feedback). Ability to replicate the psychological realism associated with the provision of real versus simulated care. (Further defining high-fidelity, users want it as close to real as possible (e.g., able to be ventilated and simulate different lung pathologies, able to infuse medications and have correct physiologic response, make urine)). Ability to replicate the anatomical and physiological differences between male and female servicemembers. Manage patient injuries/illnesses. This capability encompasses managing hemorrhage, wounds, circulation, pain, burns, sensory systems, brain function, behavioral function and maintaining airway/breathing; preventing/ treating shock; identifying infection/hypothermia; and stabilizing fractures, to include in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environments. Conduct patient movement. The ability to integrate theater activities (e.g., medical care, transportation, logistics, C4, medical regulation) to provide effective en-route care and efficient movement of patients from the point of injury through subsequent levels of care. Manage patient documentation. Forward resuscitative care activities are recorded in a way that can be transmitted throughout the continuum of care.
Army Awards CIRCM Contract The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract with options for engineering and manufacturing development and low-rate initial production of the Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) program. Jeff Palombo, sector vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s land and self-protection systems, said, “The U.S. Army’s selection of Northrop Grumman and our industry partners, Daylight Solutions and Selex ES, for the CIRCM program is a critical next step toward protecting rotary-wing and medium fixedwing aircraft against emerging infrared missile threats of today and tomorrow by augmenting existing self-protection systems with a directed laser jamming capability. “We have outlined a path to superior aircraft protection through highly reliable performance and operation, a commitment to modular open systems architecture and the ability to seamlessly integrate new technology. We are proud to have been selected to work with the Army to ensure our warfighters have the most advanced aircraft protection for decades to come.”
PEOPLE Captain Darren J. Hanson has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half), and will be assigned as reserve deputy commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Little Creek, Va. Hanson is currently serving as commanding officer, Navy Reserve U.S. Naval Forces Korea Headquarters, Port Hueneme, Calif.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
Colonel (Promotable) Xavier T. Brunson, deputy chief of staff, resolute support mission, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Afghanistan, has been assigned as deputy commander, U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.
SOTECH 13.7 | 5
SOCOMâ€™s Program Executive Office Special Operations Forces Support Activity Looks for Support Program Executive Office (PEO) Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) is the SOCOMâ€™s dedicated total life cycle sustainment activity that provides the SOF community with rapid, responsive and cost-effective global logistics support services. PEO SOFSA provides a broad spectrum of logistical support services utilizing three core competencies: 1) streamlined design and rapid prototyping; 2) production, modification and integration; and 3) life cycle sustainment activities. Some of the specific activities conducted by PEO SOFSA include dedicated supply chain management and maintenance for SOF-peculiar (SOF-P) systems and equipment; aviation, ground and maritime platform integration, modifications and sustainment; and expeditionary field support services worldwide. PEO SOFSA also provides these services for other non-SOF DoD and other government agencies as requested to maintain critical capabilities and provide Better Buying Power solutions for the command. 6 | SOTECH 13.7
PEO SOFSA is located at Bluegrass Station, Lexington Ky., and is one of eight executive offices within the Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) office, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base. The cornerstone of the contractor logistics support (CLS) effort is located in Lexington, Ky., with other key facilities, personnel and equipment located in strategic areas both within the Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS). To this end, SOFSA has issued a request for information from industry service providers interested in participating. A final request for proposal could come as early as June 2016 with proposals due by September 2016 if everything goes according to plan. A similar contract is currently in place with award of the new contract anticipated in October 2017. The objective of the contract is to provide rapid, worldwide response through comprehensive CLS. In concert with the Joint www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Publication 1-02, the contract scope is defined as the joint definition of logistics: the science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces. In its most comprehensive sense, those aspects of military operations deal with: a) Design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation and disposition of materiel; b) Movement and evacuation of personnel; c) Acquisition or construction, maintenance, operation and disposition of facilities; and d) Acquisition or furnishing of logistics services. Within the core competencies are 10 key capabilities essential to providing world-class logistics support to SOF warfighters. Key Capabilities: 1. Aviation, Repair, Modification and RDT&E Support: A full range of aviation repair and modifications for both rotary and fixed wing aircraft is performed, including performance of post-maintenance functional check flights, other maintenance test flights and flight operations support to include range and airfield management and facilities www.SOTECH-kmi.com
maintenance. Repair activities include avionics troubleshooting, corrosion control, structural repair and replacement and aircraft strip and paint. Modification efforts range from single radio integrations to complete upgrades for communication, navigation, aircraft survivability, weapons, fuel, power plant, flight control and aircraft management systems, and may include micro-miniature repair. Technical advice and assistance for serviced equipment and associated end items to government maintenance and operations personnel may be provided. Systems integration in support of these repair and modifications capabilities include 3-D modeling, radio frequency spectrum analysis, vibration testing, nondestructive inspections and finite element methodologies for structural analysis. The systems and equipment supported may be of foreign manufacture or may be out of production. 2. Integrated Warehouse/Supply Services: A major activity at PEO SOFSA is operating an integrated warehouse and providing supply services for both retail and wholesale inventories. The PEO SOFSA Enterprise incorporates an inventory control point concept as well as unique identification number (UID) and automated information technologies (AIT) in the performance of DoD-compliant storage and distribution functions to support the SOF community. SOTECHâ€ˆ 13.7 | 7
3. Small-Arms Weapons Mod/Repair/Support/Training: Includes the capability to inspect, modify, support and maintain foreign and domestic weapons and associated accessories, as well as the ability to provide maintenance and operational training on the modified or standard weapons. The equipment supported may be of domestic or foreign manufacture for either current out-of-production weapon systems. Weapons modifications include the installation of improved sighting systems or other accessories, adaptation of suppressors or other mechanical functions and the improvement of the weapon's accuracy or range. 4. Communications Equipment & Electronic Repair: This includes sustainment, maintenance and modifications of service command and SOF-peculiar C4 systems to include communication, computers or other electronics integration on aircraft, ground and maritime platforms. This integration involves communications systems, radar, countermeasures, engine control or any other electronic device needed on the particular end item. 5. Ground and Maritime Platform Repair, Modification & Support: This includes the ability to repair, modify, fabricate and support ground and maritime platforms and their associated systems. The capability to initially field equipment; to provide training; to provide technical advice and assistance for serviced equipment and associated end items to government maintenance and operations personnel; to manage maintenance; to track performance and monitor sustainment requirements; to operate float stock and spares; to oversee configuration management; to prepare parts lists, special tool lists, maintenance allocation charts, maintenance work requirements, manuals, guides and other required documentation; and to conduct repair and return functions is also available. 6. Manufacturing & Production: PEO SOFSA in-house and deployable fabrication and production capabilities provide the support activity with the ability to meet rapidly changing schedules and customer requirements by minimizing potential delays from outsourcing production needs of fabricating parts, components and assemblies for various supply classes. This includes the ability to fabricate and repair composite structures, high-hardness ballistic steel and ceramic armor; to sew and repair fabric, including ballistic materials; and to manufacture or modify equipment and systems from both contractor-generated and government-provided technical data and to manufacture prototypes. 7. Logistics Support Teams: Critical needs are supported with the ability to provide SOFSA forward support teams for deployment to CONUS and OCONUS locations. Temporary or enduring teams or individuals with specific skillsets and capabilities are available to support and/or augment SOF units worldwide, providing force multiplier and increased end strength to successfully meet the mission. Key functions of a joint SOFSA support team include: 1) SOFpeculiar maintenance and support; 2) Barebase and LogCap support; 3) Logistical supply support; and 4) Expeditionary and rapid response. Teams may also be scaled or modified to meet the SOF user’s unique logistical support requirements for the operational mission(s). 8 | SOTECH 13.7
8. Life Cycle Sustainment Management (LCSM) Services: LCSM services are required to ensure cradle-to-grave management of SOF assets and includes fundamentals such as supply operations, transportation activities, maintenance, disposal, reliability, maintainability, training, sustainability improvements, technology insertion opportunities, technical data management and modification management. Training operations conducted at SOF or SOF-related training centers are included in LCSM. Non-SOF training operations may also be approved. 9. Logistics Automation Integration Services: The goal is to become USSOCOM’s principal data warehouse and provide quality real-time information to the warfighter and the commander. Current areas of focus include wireless environment using AIT, Enterprise decision support system (EDSS), unique identification (UID), total asset visibility (TAV), contractor-inventory control point (C-ICP), SOF sustainment asset visibility and information exchange (SSAVIE) and the SOF logistics data warehouse (SLDW). In order to enhance sustainment support to the SOF community, strategic development of an integrated framework for these logistics automation integration tools is vital. 10. Minor Construction: PEO SOFSA supports minor construction and renovation efforts to improve safety, security, operational effectiveness and quality-of life for PEO SOFSA and or their customer base. This activity is limited to DoD funding limits and thresholds established for minor construction.
PEO SOFSA Enterprise Management The PEO SOFSA Enterprise consists of functions normally associated with running a depot-like operation and with overarching responsibilities affiliated with providing quality management of a government-owned contractor-operated (GOCO)-like operation in a cost-efficient manner. To include as a minimum the following functional areas of responsibility: 1. Logistics — PEO SOFSA is dedicated to providing costeffective global logistics support to USSOCOM and the SOF warfighters. The logistics functions provided are storage, distribution, disposition and disposal. Property is stored in 13 warehouses with a total footprint over 1 million square feet spread across three geographically separate locations. The facilities house a wide range of commodities from manufacturing supplies such as hardware to major end items like military vehicles, including sensitive and classified items. In FY 2014, they managed 48,000 line items with approximately 4 million units of property while processing about 91,000 issues, 14,000 shipments and 44,000 receipts. 2. Facility Management — The successful contractor will manage and maintain all PEO SOFSA facilities (interior only), infrastructure and equipment to ensure their continuous availability for the PEO SOFSA mission. This includes the maintenance and management of all onsite facilities on Bluegrass Station and all offsite facilities required by mission needs. The current PEO SOFSA can be seen below by geographic location. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
PEO SOFSA includes four locations with over 2.2 million total square feet summarized as follows: • B luegrass Station — Avon, Ky. Approximately 2.1 million square feet (PEO SOFSA funds for and leases space from the state of Kentucky) • Fort Walton Beach — Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Approximately 27,000 square feet (commercial property funded by and leased by PEO SOFSA) • Bluegrass Army Depot — Richmond, Ky. Approximately 91,000 square feet (space provided by Bluegrass Army Depot via inter service support agreement) • Fayetteville, N.C. Approximately 6,000 square feet 3. Information Technology — The PEO SOFSA computer network is a DoD NIPRNet connected enclave. The network is an Enterprise Architecture designed to satisfy the requirements of logistics support services and business operations in support of the Global SOF Logistics and Sustainment Enterprise. The system consists of 20 core Enterprise applications supporting approximately 2,500 users at four physical locations. 4. Security — PEO SOFSA security requirements consist of the protection of classified material (NISPOM) that includes approximately 3,000 COMSEC/CCI assets.
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5. Safety — The contractor will manage environmental, safety and health, compliance for contract employees and operations at Bluegrass Station, Blue Grass Army Depot, Hurlburt Field, Fla., Eglin, Fla., and other offsite locations.
Initial Industry Days PEO SOFSA held two industry days in March 2015 that were attended by 127 representatives from 66 companies. Looking at feedback from those events, several themes emerged: • T here is a need to capitalize on government and commercial partnerships • Opportunities for performance-based logistics • Just-in-time logistics were necessary to reduce inventory and storage costs • Maximum use of automation should be introduced • Needed rapid access to material • The management teams needed to be located at Bluegrass Station • Industry was interested in a split of awards amongst functional areas. O For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
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Cost, performance and field maintenance are key military buying issues. By William Murray, SOTECH Correspondent $8 million fixing furnace for this purpose. The resulting knives Leading military-strength knife vendors do not always have give military personnel “the greatest chance of survivability,” direct contact with their military end-users, given that military Dwyer said of operational use. Knives “need to be (heat-) treated personnel can sometimes purchase knives for operational use adequately,” he said. through commercial purchasing vehicles without direct contact The mid-sized 10-inch knife is very popular among military with the vendors. Officials at three knife vendors that focus on members, according to Dwyer. In addition to such multi-tool military users, however, reported that cost, field performance knives, the folding knife, which can fit into one’s and serviceability in operational scenarios remain pocket, is also very popular. “Guys don’t want to critical issues for military knife users. wear a big knife anymore,” Dwyer said. “There was a “As always, lighter and higher performance day when the broadsword was the weapon of choice,” is preferred,” said Michael Janich, coordinator of he said. special projects at Spyderco of Golden, Colo. “The The tools that military members use have ability to last longer and require less field maintechanged over time. Military personnel do not want nance is important to many users,” he said. to add another tool to what they already have to “Our view was always overkill by construccarry, and they seek lighter-weight options that take tion and simplicity by design,” said Duane Dwyer, less space and are easier to use, according to Dwyer. co-owner of Strider Knives of San Marcos, Calif., “What they want is a good general-purpose knife a custom knife provider he co-founded in 1992. Duane Dwyer when they can’t draw a firearm,” Dwyer said of “If you are into overbuilding things, that’s the military-grade knives. Military personnel who need worst possible scenario,” he said of military knife a knife for use in diving might have more specialized needs to vendors. keep in mind, particularly as they consider the composition of the Finding the best possible raw material for military grade knife and the amount of water such a knife would be exposed to. knives is important, according to Dwyer, a meteorologist seekThe ability to rapidly deploy knives out of a user’s pockets or ing a doctorate in material science. He explained that when the one’s sheaf is very important to military knife users, according to raw material gets treated with heat during the manufacturing Chris Cashbaugh, marketing director for SOG Specialty Knives process, the material changes. Strider Knives officials use an 10 | SOTECH 13.7
and Tools of Lynnwood, Wash., a company founded by Spencer and Gloria Frazier in 1986—Spencer remains the chief designer at SOG Specialty Knives and Tools today. Despite this observation, Cashbaugh thinks that onlookers should probably dissuade themselves from the idea that military personnel are regularly killing adversaries in hand-to-hand combat using knives. Founded to replicate bowie knives used by cross-border reconnaissance teams in Laos and Vietnam during the Vietnam War, SOG Specialty Knives and Tools has evolved, and by the early 1990s, the Navy SEALS had selected SOG Specialty Knives as one of two approved vendors for the SOG Field Knife program, a critical time in the company’s market acceptance and evolution. SOG Specialty Knives and Tools officials use AUS-8 stainless steel from Japan to meet a lower price point they seek for fixed and folding knives. AUS-8 stainless steel has a carbon content close to 0.75 percent. Spyderco, meanwhile, is a company founded in 1976 that helped to define a form of the modern military knife—folding knives with serrations on the blade, according to Spyderco’s Janich. In the past 40 years, Spyderco has earned more than 86 patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, holds a GSA Schedule contract and has outlasted trends, such as the use of injected molded nylon knives in the early 1990s by military users. Spyderco Knives’ Pacific Salt folding knife, its most popular product, is a standard-issue item for survival kits for U.S. Marine Corps and naval aviators, according to Janich. It can cost as much as $100.00 per knife. “We don’t have to do much specialization (for military customers) because our knives are made with their needs in mind,” Janich said. It would be a different matter entirely if Spyderco officials considered the military market a secondary one for the company and tried to add on functionality after initial design. A well-known martial artist, Janich admitted that in many cases, Spyderco officials do not know where or how their knives are used by military customers. With nearly 40 years of performance in the market, Spyderco officials are reporting that career military members sometimes at trade shows pull out their Spyderco knives that have lasted 20, 30 years or more and show them to company officials. This durability has earned the company high marks, including among special forces personnel, according to Janich. “Older (non-commissioned officers) appreciate the functionality of the knives,” Janich said. “Sometimes, a person will use the same knife for 45 years,” he said. Such a long product life can certainly ensure customer satisfaction, but could work at cross purposes to many companies’ business models, which would want more rapid product upgrade cycles. Spyderco Knives contain H1 steel, which is corrosion-resistant, as opposed to carbon, which most knife vendors use in their steel. “The typical steel is susceptible to corrosion,” Janich said. “When you don’t use carbon, (the steel) can be rust-proof.” In the manufacturing process, Spyderco Knives officials heat up the steel to a critical temperature and then cool it off, achieving a level of brittleness needed. During the tempering process, Spyderco officials seek a “happy medium,” according to Janich: “toughness (for the knife) while being (able) to be used as a tool.” H1 steel is precipitation-hardened and is naturally hard without heat treatment. H1 steel contains 1 percent nitrogen content, www.SOTECH-kmi.com
rather than carbon, so it cannot rust. In addition, H1 steel holds a sharpened cutting-edge equivalent to many premium carbon steels, but it nonetheless does not develop rust or pitting, according to its proponents. “We revolutionized the modern pocket knife,” Janich said of Spyderco Knives. A knife’s ability to be field-serviceable is a key need for military personnel, according to SOG Speciality Knives’ Cashbaugh. “Can you sharpen it?” he asked. Cashbaugh pointed out that in today’s military, knives are used not so much in hand-to-hand combat with an adversary as for more mundane tasks, such as using the Trident Elite Folding Knife by SOG for cutting cord or webbing and breaking glass during a deployment. One of the keys to SOG Specialty Knives is that users can take tools and components out of a knife without sending the knife back for servicing, which could lead to extensive delays, according to Cashbaugh. “You can take it apart and clean out sand, for example, and then put it back together,” he said. This results in minimal downtime for the knife and less frustration for its military user. O
For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
Defense Strategies Institute 4th Annual:
SOF Symposium Applying Special Operations to Combat Global Security Challenges October 26-27, 2015 | Alexandria, VA 2015 Keynote Speakers The Honorable Michael Lumpkin Assistant Secretary of Defense (SO/LIC)
Lt Gen Thomas Trask, USAF, Vice Commander, USSOCOM
Register & Download Agenda:
Sof.dsigroup.org FREE For Military & Government!
SOTECH 13.7 | 11
AFSOC’s deployed aircraft ground response element selects just a few. By Staff Sergeant Alexx Mercer
Within the United States Air Force security forces career field, a team of highly trained Air Commandos is tasked with performing a wide range of special operations forces missions. The deployed aircraft ground response element, also known as DAGRE, helps provide enhanced security for Air Force Special Operations Command and SOF aircraft transiting airfields where security is limited or inadequate. Being awarded the title of DAGRE team member and earning a DAGRE number comes with a certain amount of pride and prestige, according to Cannon AFB’s lucky few who have earned them. As they would attest, it is no small feat to stand among these elite. After a recent local nomination process, eight of Cannon’s security forces members were selected to endure a three-day crash
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course in an attempt to earn endorsement for one of the actual DAGRE courses slated later this year. Across the Air Force, only four bases maintain DAGRE teams for mission operations. Training is offered twice per year and class sizes are limited, ultimately meaning that only the best of the best are selected for consideration to become DAGRE members. “The DAGRE pipeline consists of seven courses taught by the 371st Special Operations Combat Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field in Florida,” stated a DAGRE member. “What we are doing here is putting our potential candidates through a highly condensed version of that training for several reasons.” “First, we want to ensure they are physically and mentally prepared for what is to come,” the DAGRE team member
continued. “Second, we always set our fellow wingmen up for success; while this course pales in comparison to the actual one, it does provide a realistic view of what they will encounter should they make it through our challenges.” And the challenges were intense and many for these lucky eight. After being met the first morning with a 5 a.m. physical fitness test, the group immediately set off on a ruck march around the base, lugging excess weight in tight formation. When yelling from instructors lost its motivational edge, the group was presented with motivational physical training to reinvigorate them. Over the three-day course, candidates also faced obstacle courses, communications overviews and tactical lessons geared toward familiarization for DAGRE qualification.
“The actual DAGRE training is about testing and pushing every conceivable limit; we have to throw everything we can at our candidates so the few who make it all the way through succeed,” stated another DAGRE team member. “We see the exhaustion and fatigue splashed across their faces … we know when they are starting to crash—that is when we give them another round of intensity to see if they can push through the pain.” Instructors stressed that while this course is meant to be brutal, safety is paramount. Candidates are constantly reminded to stay hydrated, each member is checked after benchmarks to ensure they are not in any serious medical danger and candidates are always encouraged to exercise the wingman concept. “Anyone can call knock-it-off at any time,” a DAGRE instructor stated. “If things seem unsafe, someone feels extensive pain or notices a wingman in duress, they are highly encouraged to stop and ask for help.” As the days progressed, it became evident just how vast responsibilities would be for the few selected to become DAGRE-certified. DAGRE team members are entrusted with advising mission commanders on force protection measures, securing resources by assessing and interfacing with other in-place Department of Defense and host nation forces and coordinating with the Office of Special Investigations when available. “When we talk about our primary focus being SOF assets, we are referring to everything—people, aircraft, equipment and resources,” stated one of Cannon’s DAGRE program managers and team members. “Our scope of responsibility is much more complex than people might realize.” There are currently an estimated 200 DAGRE members within the Air Force, a small fraction of which are actively engaged in DAGRE missions worldwide. Of the eight potentials in the current Cannon pre-qualification course, only the top five in the class will earn positions in the DAGRE section. If selected to attend the course at Hurlburt, students will take leadership, communications, fly-away security, combatives, tactics, tactical vehicle operations and DAGRE qualification courses. The training they received at Cannon will serve as a foundation to ease their transition. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
DAGRE training is about testing and pushing every conceivable limit. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
There are approximately 200 DAGRE members within the Air Force; a small fraction of those are actively engaged in DAGRE missions worldwide. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
“It is great to see how this program has grown and evolved since I went through here a few years back,” stated one of Cannon’s newer DAGRE team members. “We have incredible leadership within this section along with the support we need to continue growing. It is extremely rewarding to be part of such a close-knit group; we have a lot of camaraderie within DAGRE.” O
Staff Sergeant Alexx Mercer is with the 27th Special Operations Wing public affairs office.
For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
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BLACK WATCH JLTV Contract Awarded
More MRZRs for SOCOM SOCOM has awarded Polaris Defense a new, sole-source, firm-fixed-price contract for the MRZR off-road vehicle platform and vehicle delivery started earlier this month. The $83 million, five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, signed in July, continues delivery order options on MRZR 2 and MRZR 4 vehicles—along with contractor logistics support for spares, training and support as part of the light tactical all-terrain vehicle program. Since 2013, Polaris Defense has been delivering MRZR vehicles to SOCOM under a blanket purchase agreement against a GSA contract. “We’ve been providing the MRZR for three years to SOCOM, and this contract reiterates that ultralight mobility is still a critical component of special operations forces missions,” said Rich Haddad, Polaris Defense general manager. “These are extremely configurable platforms, providing operators the ability to quickly prepare for missions even in the most extreme terrain. MRZRs provide extreme mobility SOF can count on, and deploy in tactical air, providing maximum flexibility.” The MRZR is a highly mobile off-road platform that is CV-22 internally transportable and can be configured a number of ways to help expeditionary forces meet mission requirements for emerging threats while forward deployed. Some common tactical features of these off-road platforms include increased payload, standard winch, electronic power steering, aircraft tie-downs, fold-down rollover protective structures, large cargo boxes, IR light capability and blackout mode.
The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command awarded Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, a $6.7 billion firm-fixed-price production contract to manufacture the joint light tactical vehicle ( JLTV). The JLTV program fills a critical capability gap for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps by replacing a large portion of the legacy HMMWV fleet with a light tactical vehicle with far superior protection and offroad mobility. During the contract, which includes both low-rate initial production and full-rate production, Oshkosh expects to deliver
approximately 17,000 vehicles and sustainment services. “Following a rigorous, disciplined JLTV competition, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are giving our nation’s warfighters the world’s most capable light vehicle—the Oshkosh JLTV,” said Charles L. Szews, Oshkosh Corporation’s chief executive officer. “Oshkosh is honored to be selected for the JLTV production contract, which builds upon our 90-year history of producing tactical wheeled vehicles for U.S. military operations at home and abroad. We are fully prepared to build a fleet of exceptional JLTVs to serve our troops in future missions.”
AN/AZSQ-2 and AN/AAQ-29 Support SOCOM’s Technology Applications Contracting Office (TAKO) is issuing a sources sought synopsis as a means of conducting market research to identify parties having an interest in and the resources to support this requirement for the procurement of services to sustain and support the AN/AZSQ-2 and AN/AAQ-29 electro-optical (EO) forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) systems, including legacy control and display systems (CDS) and other SOA-unique optical systems and components. This contractor logistic support includes
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all field maintenance sustainment activity, factory and forward depot-level repair and maintenance, program management, configuration control, manpower, material procurement, obsolescence, tools and equipment, transportation and the engineering services necessary to troubleshoot, diagnose, repair, overhaul, refurbish and procure material necessary to support these EOIR systems for the Army and Air Force. The result of this market research will contribute to determining the method of procurement.
Compiled by KMI Media Group staff
SOCOM-Wide Mission Support SOCOM has awarded the SOCOM-Wide Mission Support (SWMS) contract to Raytheon. The multiple award is an indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity vehicle with a $900 million ceiling. Under this Group A contract, Raytheon Blackbird Technologies will provide professional, program management and technical services to special operations forces (SOF) around the world. The Group A SWMS contract vehicle is designed for large companies to work as prime contractors. It has a five-year ordering period. “This award recognizes Raytheon’s position as a trusted provider of training and mission support
Maritime Assault Suit Systems Special Operations Command, Directorate of Procurement has a requirement to purchase maritime assault suit systems (MASS) and lightweight MASS (L-MASS). MASS and L-MASS variants each consist of an over-garment with neck and wrist seals, repair kit and user manual, which can be used as a combat suit in maritime, land, airborne, shipboard and transitional environments by the U.S Navy. To keep the user comfortable, the MASS and L-MASS shall provide the greatest degree of water vapor management and must be durable enough for rugged field use. The MASS and L-MASS need to keep the operator dry in maritime and terrestrial extremes and all-weather conditions without interfering with typical mission movements or compromising range of motion for activities including, but not limited to, swimming, running, assault movements and weapons manipulation. Both versions must be lightweight, fit comfortably and keep the operator as dry as possible while immersed in water without significant weight gain. The MASS/L-MASS and all components and design features have to be compatible with individual equipment (load-bearing equipment, body armor, headwear, handwear and footwear/fins) used in combat operations and training.
Night Vision Support CACI International Inc. has been awarded a $28 million contract to support specialized technologies for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s (RDECOM) Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD). This 22-month task order was awarded under the Strategic Services Sourcing (S3) contract vehicle and represents new business in CACI’s Surveillance and Reconnaissance market area. John Mengucci, CACI’s chief operating officer and president of U.S. operations, said, “CACI will leverage our extensive subject-matter expertise to assist the Army in delivering infrared technologies that save time and cost, while enabling troops to safely complete their missions.” www.SOTECH-kmi.com
“With this award for new business, CACI expands our partnership with the U.S. Army’s CERDEC NVESD. We are proud of our ongoing role in supporting the development of technologies that serve and protect all our military men and women, and that provide a tactical advantage on the battlefield.” Under this contract, CACI will provide technical, engineering and program management support for the research and development of night vision and infrared technologies, which detect air, sea and ground targets during the day and night and in adverse visual conditions. CACI brings a successful track record of supporting the development of advanced sensor technologies that the Army requires to increase situational awareness of threats and adversaries.
services to the Department of Defense,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “Raytheon will draw upon its deep expertise to bring professional and mission support services to special operations forces wherever needed around the globe, with the speed and agility necessary to meet mission objectives.” “Our team prides itself on innovation, quick response and effective execution,” said Peggy Styer, chief executive of Raytheon Blackbird Technologies. “These strengths will be used to support SOCOM in its worldwide missions.”
Orders for Raven Puma Unmanned Systems Since May 1, 2015, AeroVironment, Inc. has received 10 orders from the United States Army totaling $47.1 million for RQ-11B Raven and RQ-20A PumaAE unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) sustainment. This total value includes seven orders awarded on July 23 totaling $35,196,388. The AeroVironment Raven, the most widely used UAS in the world today, is a lightweight solution designed for rapid deployment and high mobility for military applications requiring low-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance intelligence. The AeroVironment Puma AE is a small UAS designed for land-based and maritime operations. Capable of landing in salt water or on the ground, the Puma AE empowers the operator with a level of operational flexibility never before available in the small UAS class. “Sustaining the Army’s large fleet of Raven and Puma AE systems ensures that soldiers continue to have the most effective, reliable and adaptable small UAS available to support them wherever and whenever required,” said Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s UAS business segment. “These contracts assure that American soldiers can continue to rely on our combat-proven solutions to deliver powerful insight, on-demand, that helps them operate more safely and effectively.”
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Producing Task-Organized MSOCs Capable of Full-Spectrum Spec Ops
Major General Joseph L. Osterman Commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command
Major General Joseph L. Osterman is a native of Edgewater, Md. He received his commission as a Second Lieutenant of Marines through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he earned a BA in Biology. Upon completion of The Basic School and the Infantry Officers Course in 1982/83, Osterman served as a rifle platoon commander and 81 mm mortar platoon commander with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. He subsequently served on sea duty as the executive officer of the Marine detachment aboard the USS Kennedy (CV-67) from 1985-1986 and as commanding officer of the Marine detachment aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59) from 1986-1988. Returning to Quantico, he was assigned as an instructor at The Basic School and then at the Infantry Officers Course from 1988-1991. He attended the Amphibious Warfare School as a student from 1991-1992. Osterman was then transferred to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines where he served as C Company commander and battalion operations officer until 1995. During this tour, he participated in Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope in Somalia and Operation Sea Signal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of humanitarian relief operations. Transferring to the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., as a student, Osterman graduated in 1996. He was subsequently assigned to 1st Marine Corps Recruiting District, where he served as the commanding officer of Recruiting Station Albany, N.Y., from 1996-1999. Following this tour, he was assigned as a student at the Army War College, Carlisle, Pa., where he graduated in 2000. Osterman assumed command of 1st Battalion, 3d Marines in June 2000. The battalion deployed to Okinawa and participated in operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He relinquished command in 2002. This was followed by his assignment to a joint tour as an instructor and as the Chief of Staff, NATO School, Oberammergau, Germany, where he was responsible for training support to over 54 nations. Osterman assumed command of 25th Marine Regiment in 2004. He deployed to Iraq with most of his Regimental staff 16 | SOTECH 13.7
from April 2005 to March 2006 as advisors to the Iraqi Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon relinquishing command in June 2006, Osterman transferred to Quantico, Va., and assumed duties as the director of the Expeditionary Warfare School. Following this, he was assigned as the assistant division commander, 2d Marine Division in July 2008. He assumed duties as the assistant division commander, 1st Marine Division in July 2009 and deployed to Afghanistan as commanding general, 1st Marine Division (Forward) from March 2010 to March 2011. Osterman then transferred to Quantico in June 2011, where he was assigned as the commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Upon completion of this tour in December 2012, he then reported to ISAF Joint Command in Afghanistan, where he served as the deputy chief of staff, joint operations until March 2014. Following this assignment, he served as the deputy commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico. Osterman assumed command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command in August 2014. His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal with gold star, Legion of Merit with gold star, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star and the Navy Marine Corps www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Achievement Medal with gold star. He is a recipient of the Navy League’s John A. Lejeune leadership award. Q: SOCOM is a rare command that has not been affected by unnerving budget constraints. Where have you [MARSOC] felt the most impact and how are you moving through those challenges? A: To date, unlike the conventional forces, budget constraints have had marginal impacts on MARSOC’s equipment acquisitions, maintenance and training. In FY16, expectations are that the impacts will become significant if the spending caps established in the 2011 Budget Control Act for FY16 are enforced (not adjusted or repealed). From an operational perspective, there has been no impact. We are successfully accomplishing all our assigned tasks effectively and efficiently.
The MARSOC training continuum produces task-organized MSOCs capable of full spectrum special operations with particular emphasis on skills related to partner nation capacity building. [Photo courtesy of DoD]
Q: Do you envision the MARSOC organizational or force structure changing in the near term, or is it aligned well with its mission requirements?
A: Through 2014, MARSOC’s primary focus was support of operations in Afghanistan. MARSOC has now operationally reoriented in order to better support the geographic combatant commanders
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in the post-OEF environment. MARSOC’s forces are now regionally aligned in order to provide persistently forward-deployed, reinforced Marine special operations companies [MSOC (Rein)] to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Africa Command. The MARSOC training continuum produces task-organized MSOCs capable of full-spectrum special operations with particular emphasis on skills related to partner nation capacity building. In addition, each forward-deployed MSOC (Rein) is also attuned to the unique regional requirements of their deployment area, including language capability and any specific regional tactical capabilities. The Marine Raider Regiment and Marine Raider Support Group train and organize to produce this capability. Q: Last year, we spoke with the commander of the Marine Special Operations Group about the development of more To support technology requirements, MARSOC has developed a component roadmap that identified priorities for technology development. [Photo courtesy of DoD] mobile C2 capabilities that would better about our technology roadmap, please contact our public affairs link your teams with the other SOF elements and the larger office for more information. Marine Corps. How would you characterize the progress in this area over the past 12 months? Q: Tell me about the MARSOC selection and assessment process. How do you go about attracting and retaining the A: MARSOC continues to make progress in the area of SOFpeople and skillsets you need? conventional force integration and interoperability by leveraging every opportunity to work together in training and exercises. A: Our recruiting goals and priorities in the next year include Through this work, we’ve seen progress in multiple areas, informing and educating the force and preparing those Marines including communications systems. A good example of this is the selected to attend assessment and selection (A&S). We continue SOF communications suite embarked onboard MEUs when they to build the force by using the best practices in recruiting and deploy with a SOCOM-provided special operations forces liaison screening to assign these uniquely qualified Marines for the element (SOFLE). critical skills operator (CSO) and special operations officer (SOO) Additionally, MARSOC has continued to test and evaluate the pipeline programs. Our community does not strive for miniemployment opportunities of USSOCOM-approved tablet and mums. We continue to look for those individuals who want to smartphone technologies and software applications. We look to continue serving their corps and nation in a SOF capacity. take advantage in accessing WiFi, 4G and mobile ad-hoc netTo educate the force, we have developed a robust marketing working networks and place them in the hands of the MARSOF campaign plan that aims at attracting and informing interested operator to facilitate collaboration and information sharing with MARSOC applicants for service in the Marine Corps’ special Joint SOF and Marine Corps units. operations force, to include our special operations capabilities specialists. Methods utilized consist of maintaining a current Q: What are your primary mobility, lethality, survivability and website (www.marsoc.com) that averages 35,000 visits a day, and deployability goals in terms of equipment and technologies? promoting marketing materials such as commercials, posters, videos and brochures to our target audience. A: Survivability aside, the topics you list are not major areas of Recently, we received final copies of our latest publication, concern for MARSOC right now. We have been well resourced “MARSOC By the Numbers,” which provides an insider’s perspecthrough USSOCOM and the Marine Corps and exceed the tive on life at MARSOC to include the critical skills operator/ requirements of our assigned core capabilities. We are pursuing special operations officer training pipeline, describes life on a advanced capabilities in a wide range of areas, including commuMarine special operations team, and gives insight on family presnications, improved antennas, improved small unmanned aerial ervation programs available to operators, support personnel and systems, advanced analytics and technologies to help us “lighten their families. Another outreach method used is a direct email the load” and improve life support in austere environments. campaign that on a quarterly basis sends a message to qualified To support this technology scouting effort, MARSOC has individuals who already meet the basic requirements needed to developed a component roadmap that identifies my priorities for try out for MARSOC. This method has proven very successful technology development. If you are interested in learning more 18 | SOTECH 13.7
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since it identifies individuals who already meet the prerequisites MARSOC requires of all selectees. Additionally, we have two recruiting teams, one based on the East Coast and the other on the West Coast, who each conduct more than 150 onsite contact engagements at various Marine Corps events, schools and unit visits to spread the MARSOC mission. The face-to-face contact allows Marines interested in special operations to hear directly from an active duty SOO and CSO. To ensure Marines are prepared for the rigors of assessment and selection for MARSOC, the recruiters provide the candidates with hands-on assistance and guidance until they report to the first step of the screening process, A&S. There is also a 10-week preparation program all candidates are encouraged to follow prior to checking in. Since the launch of the MARSOC fitness preparation mobile application in 2014, there have been more than 70,000 downloads via iPhone and Android devices. Q: A critical mission on MARSOC’s plate is that of training of and with foreign partner nations. How are those missions organized? Is there a way you’re measuring the success of each mission? A: While we won’t discuss the specifics of how we organize for missions, I can say that a very large percentage of our training is oriented toward producing MARSOF who are completely comfortable when training and operating with foreign forces. We recognize the integrated nature of the battlefield and work very hard to deploy forces that are equally capable of either combined or independent operations. We have seen tangible benefits from training with our partner nations. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship—they have as much to teach us as we have to teach them. Q: For those kinds of missions, how important is it for the MARSOC elements to understand not just the military aspects of where they are and what they are doing, but also the local cultural and regional influences that impact that particular military before you arrived and long after you leave? How do you prepare your raiders for that? A: By maintaining a persistent presence in three sub-regions of the globe, we are constantly working in this area. Our repeated deployments to our regional focus areas allow us to focus on building critical language skills and cultural awareness within each team. The skills of each Marine are enhanced with every training program and subsequent deployment, and everyone can see the benefits every time they go out. Q: How have you integrated canines into MARSOC, where have they excelled in deployments and are there new missions they can take on? A: MARSOC’s Multi-Purpose Canine Program went through a complete rebuild starting in 2012. The multi-purpose canines that MARSOC uses have three primary tasks of explosive and human odor detection, man tracking/trailing, and a less-thanlethal option of protection for the handler and his teammates. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
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MARSOC’s multi-purpose canines and handlers receive extensive training prior to employment and are a critical combat multiplier that can be used by a commander in order to accomplish his mission. The MARSOC MPC Program prides themselves on strong social dogs that can interact with teammates, remain neutral to non-combatants, and perform a variety of tasks that are already trained into the MPC or can be trained into the MPC upon a validated request. The MPC’s have excelled in many different areas of deployment. The focus as of late for the MPC Program, in addition to sustained and advanced training of the MPC team, has been to train the handlers to have the ability to train, advise and employ our partner nations with working dog teams that are friendly to the United States. Q: What’s the significance to the command of the recent adoption of the Marine Raider designation? A: United States Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command is proud and honored to adopt the name Marine Raider, carrying on the rich heritage and legacy passed along to us by the raiders of World War II. As with every Marine Corps unit, MARSOC desired a moniker that creates its own unique identity while still recognizing the significant contributions of those who preceded us. While monikers such as Commando or Spartan were considered, the canines have three primary tasks: explosive and human odor detection, man tracking/training and a less-than-lethal option term “Marine Raider” was chosen for two MARSOC’s of protection for the handler and teammates. [Photo courtesy of DoD] reasons: (1) During recent Marine Raider Unity: The term Marine Raider will unify all assigned to reunions, the Raider Association had expressed their strong MARSOC. Using the legacy of Marine Raiders and the label as an desire that their legacy not be forgotten and that the term Marine organization creates an umbrella under which all MOSs fall. This Raider be carried on by another Marine Corps unit; and (2) the unifying concept provides operators and those who support them Marine Raiders of World War II performed similar missions, and with a common cohesive term and prevents elitism from fosterthis comparable mission set provides us with a logical historical ing within the command. Marines are Marines, and no one MOS link. By incorporating the term Marine Raider, we help tell the or occupational field is more special than the other. Each Marine story that the Marine Corps is not necessarily new to the world of brings a unique set of skills that is essential for the collective special operations. capability, and this collective capability is MARSOC’s center of The adoption of the Marine Raider designation represents gravity and distinguishes it within the SOF community. significant attributes to MARSOC: Identity: The Raider moniker also provides SOF and USMC Legacy and Heritage: The Marine Raiders have expressed leadership with a way to identify MARSOC Marines in different their strong desire for their legacy not to be forgotten and to be forums. Within the SOF community, our sister SOF services are carried on by another Marine Corps unit. They requested MARSOC labeled as Navy SEALS, Army Green Berets, Army Rangers and to be the unit to carry on that legacy and the commandant of the AFSOC Commandos. When it comes to Marines, there is often a Marine Corps concurred. We feel we owe it to those Marine Raiders struggle to find the right label; the term critical skills operator still alive, as well as their families, to make every attempt to do so. is often used, which tends to confuse people. Marine Raider ties Additionally the Marine Raiders performed special-operations-type together “Marine” (who we are) with “Raider,” an historical refermissions during World War II and this provides a logical historical ence to Marine special operations, ultimately relaying the message link to MARSOC. It helps tell our story that the Marine Corps is “Marines are who we are, special operations are what we do.” O not necessarily new to the world of special operations. 20 | SOTECH 13.7
The recent small business innovative research solicitations highlights a number of projects that could offer particular advantages to the small teams that SOF routinely deploys and to the austere locations they find themselves in.
Harvestable Energy System The objective is to develop innovative approaches to enable a Marine unit to harvest energy in locations that are covered with low direct-light levels and low-wind levels. Logistics resupply of power, both fuel and batteries, is a major burden on an operational force and can limit their desired operations. The Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan states an ultimate goal of eliminating liquid fuel needs except for mobility platforms by 2025. Several renewable energy efforts are under way to get the Marine Corps closer to this goal; however, most of these efforts are focused on technologies that are most efficient in open, sunny locations. With the Marine Corps’ push to the Pacific and locations where terrain will consist of denser foliage areas, the more standard solar and wind technologies will not be as effective. There is a need for technology that can harvest energy in covered locations, which would reduce the Marines’ total logistical burden of fuel and batteries. Currently, all fielded renewable energy systems require open, uncovered locations for deployment. Systems such as wind and solar do not perform well near or under covered locations such as forests or jungles. Known harvesting technology that can be used in covered locations such as waste-to-energy technology is currently too bulky, time-consuming to initiate and unreliable for small units of Marines. www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Other efforts have been looked at such as micro-hydro turbines, hand-crank generators and biomass energy converters. All of these systems have had deficiencies in ether size, weight, operational area limitation or ease of deployment, making them currently unsuitable for wide use. The Marine Corps is interested in innovative approaches in the development of renewable expeditionary energy systems. Proposed concepts must be able to operate in temperature ranges of -20°F to 125°F in rain, dust and salt conditions and survive transit over rough terrain. Proposed concept systems must be light and compact, allowing a small number of Marines to carry and deploy the system. The objective for an individual component is no more than a two-person lift (88 pounds). To limit deployment area and overall weight, the proposed concepts should be scalable and have energy densities greater than 25W/ft2 and 5W/pounds. Proposed concepts should have minimal start-up time (less than 10 minutes for two people) allowing the Marines to rapidly set up and start powering their equipment. Proposed concepts will be required to have either a nominal 24V output, which is fairly stable (MIL-STD-1275F), or a 120V AC output (MIL-STD-1332B).
Small-Arms Fire Location for the Dismounted Marine The objective is to develop a system for locating the source of hostile smallarms fire without the requirement for direct line of sight to the point of origin. The system shall consist of head, body and/or handheld components to provide real-time location data to a dismounted Marine during tactical movement. This topic addresses energy efficiency and
operational costs by reducing the power and expense associated with fixed-site and vehicle-mounted anti-sniper and counterfire sensor systems. Acoustic gunshot detection systems utilizing microphone arrays are capable of establishing the approximate point of origin and trajectory of small-arms fire, but are easily confused in multi-path reflection environments, including mountainous regions and urban canyons. The same mountainous and urban environments can constrain the use of line-of-sightbased gunfire location techniques, such as muzzle flash detection, and “pre-shot” capabilities that actively search for optical augmentation retro-reflections from potential threats, providing little utility to other friendly forces not equipped with their own gunfire or pre-shot sensors. Active illumination pre-shot systems also have the potential to reveal friendly force locations to hostile forces equipped with imaging devices operating within the same wavelengths. Soldiers, Marines and special operators are currently equipped with various direct-view visible light and indirect-view image intensification and thermal imaging systems operating in infrared imaging bands. Under ideal viewing angle (parallel, but not perpendicular, to line of sight) and environmental conditions, some devices are capable of briefly perceiving smallarms projectiles in flight, either directly or indirectly via their wake, but without sufficient detail to reliably track to the point of origin. Prior research indicates that small-arms projectiles in flight are strong emitters SOTECH 13.7 | 21
in infrared bands, particularly mid-wave infrared (MWIR). Dismounted Marines, for example, typically utilize uncooled longwave infrared (LWIR) imagers, such as the AN/PAS-28 medium-range thermal imager and AN/PAS-30 mini-thermal imager, due to their low-cost (less than $10,000), lowpower (less than 3 Watts) and near-instant startup time, but these systems have only demonstrated reliable imaging of relatively large or slow projectiles, such as grenades. Handheld MWIR imagers are available in the USMC inventory, but their high cost (greater than $20,000) and cooling needs (up to 8 Watts and greater as ambient temperature increases, cool-down times measured in minutes) are accepted for only the longest range (more than 2,500 meters) imaging applications. The currently fielded AN/PAS-22 long-range thermal imager is an MWIR device, but has a restricted field of view, low-resolution and insufficient imaging frame rate to resolve small, high-speed projectiles perpendicular to observer. Solutions are sought that explore innovative approaches in the development of a man-portable, battery-powered, smallarms fire location system that is handheld, head-mounted and/or body-worn for use by an individual dismount observing from positions of protective cover during tactical movement and ideally while also on the move. Proposed concepts shall utilize thermal imaging technology to acquire, display and extrapolate a partial small-arms projectile (Russian-caliber 5.45 mm, U.S.caliber 5.56 mm and greater) track, passing at any angle within tactically relevant range (hundreds of meters) of the observer, to the point of origin. Accuracy of points of origin shall have an average azimuth error of less than 5 degrees from the observerâ€™s point of view, and an average range estimation error of less than 20 percent, during conditions of no obstructing terrain between the source and observer. Accuracy should (objective specification) be less than 2 degrees average azimuth error, and less than 10 percent average range error. Thresholds are specifications that meet requirements; while objectives are specifications that exceed minimal requirements and are of a particular interest. Observed tracks shall be graphically distinguishable from extrapolated paths, and overlaid on actual, real-time, terrain scenery to assist observer orientation. Proposed concepts 22 | SOTECH 13.7
shall have a probability of detection of no less than 70 percent, day or night and commensurate with the threat weapon capabilities (ex., 500 meters for 5.45 mm and 5.56 mm caliber rifles; 2,000 meters for 12.7 mm caliber heavy machine gun weapon systems). Concepts may, but are not required to, include additional electro-optical, acoustic, or other sensors to achieve accuracy requirements or cue other sensors with higher fidelity, but shall remain passive (no deliberate emissions) while in operation.
There is interest in innovative approaches in the development of a water purification system for squad-sized forces. The squadsized system should be able to purify 6-10 gallons/hour, weigh no more than 10 pounds and have a volume of less than 1.5 cubic feet. Of particular interest are approaches which can be scaled to handle platoon-level purification of 12-30 gallons/hour (up to 90 gallons/day) from saltwater sources, weigh no more than 84 pounds and have a volume of less than 15.5 cubic feet.
Low-Power Water Purification System
Light-Secure, See-Through Display
This project seeks to develop a squadlevel water purification system (8 gallons/ hour) capable of purifying water sourced from any location with a low to zero energy consumption while maintaining purification standards. Purification of locally sourced water is critical to reducing the logistical supply lines of forward-deployed larger units and water purification systems within the U.S. military, which are capable of purifying water from any source. However, purification of water at smaller force structures can be difficult as space allocations, weight restrictions and available energy sources are limited. The present method of supplying water at the squad or platoon level is to air-drop bottled water or by trucking water purified or produced at a forward expeditionary base. The process of desalinization is viewed as being one of the highest-power demand processes in water purification systems. Desalination of water obtained from any source to support squad or platoon operations remains a significant technical challenge. Commercially available water purification systems operate on a much smaller scale and are only able to handle lowsalinity (brackish) sourced water. These systems are not scalable and would require an external generator to provide the power necessary to facilitate the desalination process. Innovative research has been performed in nanophotonic effects allowing for high-efficiency direct solar membrane distillation, which could allow desalination of water at resource-limited locations. This process holds the potential to greatly increase typical desalinization permeate yields, while decreasing desalinization energy expenditures.
The objective is to develop, demonstrate and manufacture low-size, weight and power (SWaP) display and optical technologies for presentation of enhancedvision system imagery for dismounted mobility (i.e., movement in darkness and degraded visibility environments) and target acquisition, and electronic display symbology for command, control and navigation applications, while retaining the ability to see the outside world in a manner that does not reveal the operatorâ€™s location via stray-light emissions. Warfighters utilize low-light imaging sensors in the form of night vision goggles (NVGs) to conduct movement, target acquisition and manual tasks in conditions of low-ambient light. The most commonly utilized NVG is the AN/PVS14 monocular night vision device. The majority of NVGs occlude the eye when in use, and must be rotated over the head or detached when entering environments of high-ambient light to allow the warfighter to have an unrestricted field of view (FOV). The transition from bright and dark environments and corresponding stowing and re-engagement of NVGs creates periods of vulnerability as the warfighterâ€™s attention is temporarily diverted to make the adjustment. Similarly, handheld command, control and navigation devices, such as Global Positioning System receivers, typically require supplemental illumination to view, such as a backlit display or flashlight. However, this could potentially reveal location at night and inhibit local situational awareness and use of individual weapons when hands and attention are occupied. The predominant example of seethrough displays applied to NVGs is the www.SOTECH-kmi.com
AN/PVS-21 low-profile night vision goggle (LPNVG). The LPNVG optically folds the output of standard night vision image intensifiers, which are offset to the side of the head, to partially transparent display surfaces in front of the operator’s eyes overlaying the images onto the outside world. Visible light emissions are not readily apparent through the display surfaces when observed from in front of the operator. However, the relatively low transparency of LPNVG display surfaces limit the ability to acquire targets when ambient conditions are too bright for night vision sensors and too dark to clearly see through the display. Monochrome head-mounted displays (HMDs) developed for pilotage applications are increasingly available, and may be extremely bright (1,500 candelas per square meter or greater) for daytime viewing, but color HMDs utilize broadband light sources with partial reflectance optical surfaces that allow light to pass out the front. The U.S. Marine Corps in interested in innovative approaches in the development of light-secure, see-through display technology amenable to monocular and binocular configurations while providing the ability to view high-resolution, fullcolor (red/green/blue—no less than 256 greyscale levels per color) video imagery, while transmitting no less than 50 percent of incoming ambient light (average across visible spectrum) to the operator without noticeable haze, distortion or optical seam-line artifacts. Light security shall be from the perspective of an observer with unaided, dark-adapted eyes standing 10 meters in front of the operator and attempting to detect illumination on surfaces (skin, eyes) directly occluded by the transparent display when operating at nighttime brightness settings and clear starlight (0.0007-0.002 lux ambient illuminance). For all proposed concepts the display optics, light engine (light-emitting array or illumination source and modulation system) and associated minimal structural framework to maintain alignment and spacing between elements shall be no greater than 250 grams per eye.
Ultra-lightweight and Compact Hybrid System The objective here is to develop a renewable energy hybrid system in the 1kW power range that will reduce the weight www.SOTECH-kmi.com
and volume by 50 percent compared to the currently deployed 1kW systems. During Operation Enduring Freedom, fuel and water accounted for 70 percent of the logistics required to sustain Marine Corps and Army expeditionary forces ashore. A Marine infantry company today uses more fuel than an entire infantry battalion did merely a decade ago. This increase in the demand for liquid logistics places a significant risk and strain on the distribution pipeline and increases the overall weight of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF). A 2010 study found Marine and Army units in Afghanistan average one casualty for every 50 fuel and water convoys. The demand for fuel, batteries and bottled water places more Marines on the road and has become the soft underbelly of the deployed forces. To counter this logistical problem, the USMC started several initiatives in renewable hybrid systems to reduce fuel consumption on the battlefield with an ultimate goal of eliminating liquid fuel needs, except for mobility platforms, by 2025 (USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan). One of these initiatives was the establishment of the Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network System (GREENS) II Program to incorporate current renewable technologies that will provide only limited weight and volume savings for the current deployed systems. More significant weight and volume reductions are needed to increase the deployment options for these systems. Rethinking the construct of renewable hybrid systems may be necessary to achieve this goal. For these reasons, the Marine Corps is seeking the development of technology that can reduce the weight and volume of current deployed renewable hybrid systems. For renewable energy systems to be effective in tactical environments they must be able to reliably provide power no matter the environmental or transportation conditions (MIL-STD-810G. Because of this, many of the available renewable systems are required to be hybridized type systems that use energy storage, power management and backup power generation from generators and vehicles. Currently state of the art in Marine Corps tactical renewable energy systems in the 1kW sustained power range is GREENS. This system has a total weight
of around 700 pounds and volume around 44ft3 once all the components are considered (renewable energy, power electronics, inverter, energy storage, cabling and power manager). Unfortunately, force structures in the 1kW power range are small tactical units, platoons (43 Marines) and squads (13 Marines) with only human-lift capabilities, making the current systems useful in limited scenarios. If these systems can see a reduction in weight and volume by at least 50 percent, then the adoption of these types of systems can be increased greatly. These reductions can potentially be found in the renewable energy technology, electronics technology, packaging technology and energy storage technology, or by completely rethinking the components of a hybrid energy harvesting system.
Handheld Dismount Kit for Persistent, Precision Navigation in GPS-Challenged Environments The objective is to build and demonstrate a handheld navigation system that is less than 5 pounds, capable of constraining position error growth and reports estimated position accuracy in GPS-challenged environments. Accuracy, reliability, persistence and integrity of position navigation and timing (PNT) information from GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) is under constant threat from asymmetrical jamming and spoofing attacks, rendering operations in anti-access/areadenial (A2AD) or contested environments increasingly difficult. A surge of R&D initiatives has given scientists and engineers a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to increase the resiliency of our navigation systems. These include, but are not limited to: GPS anti-Jam/antiSpoof mechanisms; augmentations with GNSS, exploitation of signals of opportunity (SoOP) such as telecommunication towers or eLoran; vision-aided navigation; advancements in MEMS-based navigation sensors; and many more. Navigation system concepts, which are designed for GPS-“challenged” environments, often have to compromise between performance, robustness and SWaPC (Size, Weight, Power and Cost). This topic seeks to leverage the aforementioned innovations as well as other novel ideas SOTECH 13.7 | 23
to design, build and field a man-portable navigation system to be used by groundbased forces to navigate to a target in a GPS-contested environment. The following vignette depicts the robustness and performance required. A tactical vehicle navigates to a drop-off point. Military forces dismount and approach a target of interest on foot, traversing several kilometers over many (up to 12) hours on batteries. The operation occurs in day or darkness, in inclement weather and in environments with little or no infrastructure, such as remote deserts and forests. When GPS and other GNSS are available, they can be used. When GPS is degraded or denied, other RF SoOP and landmark-based navigation updates (e.g., vision, magnetic, etc.) should be used to constrain position error growth. Initialization will be at a known location or with GPS. Throughout the mission, it is desired that the accuracy performance of the navigation solution should be as good as possible, with the objective of constraining position errors to less than 100 meters. Currently, this level of performance is unfeasible with unaided MEMS-based inertial navigation systems, and while it is anticipated the accuracy will vary throughout the mission depending on the aiding source used, it is critical that valid position accuracy estimates are provided throughout the mission. Use of aiding to constrain the navigation system error growth is anticipated, and this aiding can include, but is not limited to: vision, radar, RF SoOPs, magnetometer-based landmarks, ranging radios, etc. As the forces will be traveling in a group, a collaborative, a multi-user networked architecture could be considered. The navigation system can integrate with existing radios and battlespace awareness applications currently used by U.S. military forces. It must be a handheld unit similar in size to a smartphone or tablet with any extra hardware, such as antennas or complimentary sensors, being as few and miniaturized/non-cumbersome as possible. The total weight (including batteries) must not exceed 5 pounds, and ideally is 1 pound or less. The troops must have location, location accuracy and navigation information constantly updated on their handheld devices (or provided to existing display devices in the appropriate format) after they have dismounted from the vehicle. 24 | SOTECH 13.7
Detection and Discrimination of Surface and Buried Explosive Hazards The objective is to design and develop novel and innovative sensor technologies for standoff detection and discrimination of surface and buried explosive hazards. Sensor investments in counter-explosive threat technologies during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have resulted in the solution of many niche problems, but provided few long-term solutions for sustaining operational tempo, assured mobility and survivability. In order to address emerging and evolving threats, novel and innovative technologies are required. Capabilities from these technologies could lead to improved buried in-road and surface side attack threat clearance as well as standoff threat identification. This project seeks development of novel and innovative sensor technologies to detect and discriminate surface and/ or buried explosive hazard targets. A successful proposal will explain the phenomenology the sensor seeks to exploit and how that phenomenology relates to either buried or surface explosive hazard targets, such as discrimination between natural and man-made objects. Proposals that provide sensor solutions relevant to either buried or surface targets will be accepted, but sensors that are applicable to both problem sets are preferred. Technology solutions, other than ground-penetrating radar, are preferred. The proposed development activity only needs to focus on a single phenomenology to be exploited; however, technologies that can show applicability to multiple Army problem sets or multiple phenomenologies are preferred, such as disturbed earth, threat and common clutter detection.
Multi-Static Ground Penetrating Radar This project seeks to design and develop a multi-static ground penetrating radar (GPR) system that is capable of detecting buried explosive hazards from a standoff distance. Current standoff GPR systems operate in a mode that is essentially equivalent to mono-static. The transmit and receive antennas are located close to each other so
the phenomenology of target and clutter responses are as if the same antenna was used for transmit and receive. This modality has shown to have some capability to detect buried explosive hazards at standoff, but the detection performance has not reached that of close-in systems. There is a desire to detect targets from a distance, and investigations are underway using additional modalities to improve performance. One possible way to do this is to try and increase the signal level received from targets. In most standoff GPR systems, the antennas are positioned with a relatively low-grazing angle relative to the target, limiting the energy that can penetrate into the ground. Having antennas at different positions and/or orientations may help improve the signal level received from the target versus what is received from clutter. Another advantage that close-in, downward-looking GPR systems have relative to standoff systems is that they have good three-dimensional resolution that allows them to separate the response from the surface from objects buried beneath it. Standoff systems typically only have resolution in two dimensions, which causes the responses of targets and the ground to be combined. Novel multi-static orientations may allow for better resolution in three dimensions. The objective of this effort is to investigate and design a fully bi-static or multistatic GPR system to better learn about the phenomenology of the responses from targets and clutter and to find ways to better discriminate between the two. The desired system could consist of a ground vehicle, unmanned aerial vehicle or a combination of the two. A ground vehicle would need to operate at ranges of at least 15 meters from targets. Ground penetration of at least 15 centimeters and sufficient resolution are required. The system should be capable of detecting 80 percent of buried targets with a false alarm rate of 10 per linear kilometer of road. The system may utilize any active transmitters inherent to itself, transmitters present in the ambient environment, or some combination of the two. O
For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief Jeff McKaughan at email@example.com or search our online archives for related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com.
SOCOM and industry have several new and upgraded systems in the pipeline. By Marc Selinger, SOTECH Correspondent A new generation of swimmer mobility systems is in the works to improve the ability of special operations forces to covertly transfer small numbers of troops into and out of hostile territory. U.S. Special Operations Command is developing two new types of mini-submarines: the shallow water combat submersible (SWCS) and the longer-range dry combat submersible (DCS). SOCOM plans to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC) for the SWCS in 2017 and for the DCS in 2019, said Navy Lieutenant Commander Matthew Allen, a SOCOM spokesman. The SWCS is intended to replace the SEAL delivery vehicle (SDV), which is 22 feet long and holds up to six people. The SWCS will have “greater payload, range and endurance as well as a fully modernized electronics suite,” Allen said. The Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2016 budget request describes the SWCS as “the next-generation free-flooding combat submersible that transports special operations forces personnel and their combat equipment in hostile waters for a variety of missions. SOF units require specialized underwater systems that improve their war fighting capability and survivability in harsh operating environments.”
Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, Ala., received a $383 million contract in 2011 to design, build and sustain the SWCS. The program has now “completed manufacturing of an engineering development model, which is in developmental testing,” Allen said. “Upon a decision to enter into a production contract in late 2015, SWCS will enter into the production phase with manufacturing of the first two production articles.”
Dry Combat Submersible The budget request says that the DCS “will provide the capability to insert and extract SOF and/or payloads into denied areas from strategic distances. The program is structured to minimize technical, cost and schedule risks by leveraging commercial technologies, procedures and classing methods to achieve an affordable DCS.” Allen explained that “the dry delivery capability addressed by the DCS does not currently exist in the SOF inventory and, as such, the DCS is not a replacement for a current system.” According to Lockheed Martin marketing materials, two teams—a Lockheed Martin/Submergence Group team and a General Dynamics Electric Boat team—are developing, testing and gaining commercial classification for prototype DCS vehicles, with those efforts “wrapping up in 2015.” In July 2015, SOCOM issued a draft request for proposals for the DCS program’s next phase. Allen said SOCOM hopes to follow up with a final RFP in late 2015 and a contract award in 2016, but added that the contract award’s timing “is dependent upon numerous variables, such as the quantity and quality of proposals.” The DCS is supposed to allow troops to spend less time in the water than a “wet” system like the SDV or SWCS. John Brandes, senior program manager of advanced programs at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training division, explained that the “need for this dry submersible centers around human endurance. Being exposed to water versus being in an 85-degree dry environment—you’re just not as fit and ready to go when you’ve been exposed to the elements for so long.” Lockheed Martin said that its Palm Beach, Fla., facility hosted SOCOM personnel in late 2014 and early 2015 for an “informal look” at the 24-foot-long S301i dry-manned submersible that it developed with the Submergence Group. The Lockheed Martin/Submergence Group team has completed conceptual development for a nextgeneration vehicle, the 31-foot-long S302. Both submersibles carry SOTECH 13.7 | 25
up to eight people—a pilot, a navigator and six swimmers. Allen said the DCS program is using firm-fixed-price contracts, greater DoD oversight, increased prototyping and commercial technical standards to avoid the kinds of cost overruns and technical glitches that plagued an earlier dry submersible effort, the Advanced Seal Delivery System (ASDS), which was canceled in 2006. Besides the SWCS and DCS, the DoD budget request would fund minor changes to the submarine-mounted Dry Deck Shelter (DDS), which transports and launches SDVs. The changes include the relocation of equipment inside the DDS to accommodate the SWCS, as well as camera and gauge replacements, mechanical quieting and lighting upgrades.
Diver Propulsion Device STIDD Systems of Greenport, N.Y., recently rolled out a series of navigation A variety of swimmer delivery systems are available and in development that can give special operations swimmers tactical mobility and performance upgrades to its two-man, to reach their mission area quicker and with less physical exertion. [Photo courtesy of DoD] underwater diver propulsion device (DPD). STIDD originally developed the DPD for U.S. Navy special warfare Proteus needs, and it now counts more than 450 of its DPDs as being operational with American and foreign forces. Huntington Ingalls Industries, meanwhile, is touting Pro“The DPD is the most widely used military-grade underwater teus, a dual-mode, wet submersible that can operate as a manned mobility platform in the world, and as a result, we have dozens swimmer delivery vehicle or as a UUV. The mini-sub was displayed of customers who use it for a host of different applications,” said at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition in April 2015 near David Wilberding, STIDD vice president. “All users want accurate Washington, D.C. underwater navigation and as much speed and range as their Proteus, which is almost 26 feet long, was developed by the drag profiles and payload requirements permit. Our company’s Undersea Solutions Group in Panama recent innovations are in response to those needs.” City, Fla. It can deliver a variety of large payloads The DPD’s new navigation system, the RNAV2, over long distances, including eight divers and has ergonomic improvements over its predecessor, their gear over 100 nautical miles, according to the standard RNAV, Wilberding said. And unlike the Huntington Ingalls. original RNAV, the RNAV2 can be removed from Huntington Ingalls has leased Proteus to the the vehicle and used during swimming. It also U.S. Navy to use as a test bed to try out new techhas a sonar imagery option to help with obstacle nologies, and Naval Special Warfare Command has avoidance and an autopilot option that reduces been among the sponsors in those trials, said Ross diver workload by automatically maintaining the Lindman, vice president of operations at the Undervehicle’s depth, heading and speed. sea Solutions Group. The company will propose a Ross Lindman During development, the company realized that similar leasing arrangement to SOCOM’s Program the autopilot could allow the tube-shaped, sevenExecutive Office for Maritime “to look at exploring foot-long DPD to be used as an unmanned underwater vehicle technologies that might play into some of their vehicles. And, of (UUV) to resupply divers or move itself into position to extract course, we would like to sell them one or more.” them, Wilberding said. The company is testing the UUV mode Proteus has also drawn international interest, especially as a at its training and evaluation facility in South Florida and has manned vehicle, and “it’s certainly a market that we would like to demonstrated the capability to a “few key maritime customers.” explore,” Lindman said. Huntington Ingalls has already demonSTIDD’s new TEC2 Thruster increases the DPD’s speed by 30 strated the vehicle to potential NATO teams. O percent and its range by 25 to 30 percent. The new CP2 cargo pod, which is towed behind the DPD, can carry 12 cubic feet of gear, For more information, contact Editor-in-Chief making it “like a U-Haul behind a Ford F-150,” Wilberding said. Jeff McKaughan at firstname.lastname@example.org or search our online archives for The navigation and performance upgrades are available on related stories at www.sotech-kmi.com. new DPDs and can be retrofitted on existing devices. 26 | SOTECH 13.7
The advertisers index is provided as a service to our readers. KMI cannot be held responsible for discrepancies due to last-minute changes or alterations.
SOTECH RESOURCE CENTER Advertisers Index
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September 22-24, 2015 Modern Day Marine Quantico, Va. www.marinemilitaryexpos.com/ modern-day-marine.shtml October 20-21, 2015 Close Air Support Conference Reading, U.K. www.omconf.com/eventdetail. asp?EID=43
October 26-27, 2015 SOF Symposium Alexandria, Va. http://sof.dsigroup.org/ November 16-18, 2015 Special Operations Summit Virginia Beach, Va. navy.specialoperationssummit.com November 30-December 3, 2015 I/ITSEC Orlando, Fla. www.iitsec.org
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SOTECH 13.7 | 27
Special Operations Technology
Ken Peterman Senior Vice President and General Manager, Government Systems ViaSat Q: Could you tell our readers about some of the solutions that ViaSat offers to the military?
timeline very significantly—from minutes to seconds. That is the time from when the warfighter on the ground calls for fire and the aircraft puts ordnance onto the target. We are also delivering our global inflight broadband satellite communications to enable SOF, the Army global response force and USMC SP-MAGTF with gamechanging en-route communications for mission planning, including live ISR feeds, secure networking and video conferencing for contingency operations and forcedentry missions.
A: We enable the secure collection, integration and dissemination of real-time digital information between command centers, communication nodes, air defense systems and warfighters. We do that by developing and offering a variety of network-centric, Internet Protocol (IP)-based fixed and mobile communication systems and services, including data links, cybersecurity and satellite communications. Q: What unique benefits does ViaSat provide its customers in comparison with other companies in your field? A: Our unique position as a technology leader in both the commercial and defense markets creates a distinct advantage for us over our defense-only peers. We are able to bring advanced technologies from our commercial side into the defense market to rapidly and affordably field new capabilities. We are doing this for SOF today. Q: What are some present or future programs within your company? A: We have a broad portfolio of systems, products and services. We are a part of major DoD Programs like Blue Force Tracking 2, Link-16 and WIN-T. We provide products like the KG-250x and the LinkWay modem. We also provide worldwide satellite services for in-flight broadband that enable airborne ISR and C2 missions. Q: How is your division positioned in the market for expansion? A: In the past, DoD led the way in developing new technologies for computing, satellite communications and cybersecurity, but in many of these technology sectors, that is no longer the case. Now, DoD is increasingly leveraging commercial technologies and services. Because of our technology leadership in 28 | SOTECH 13.7
areas like satellite communications and cybersecurity, ViaSat is extremely well positioned to bring the defense market what it needs in ways that other defense companies can’t. Q: Can you provide a few success stories? A: We have successfully transferred many different commercial technologies to accelerate fielding of new capabilities for the warfighter, including airborne satellite broadband for ISR missions like the AFSOC U-28s, Air Force Liberty and Rivet Joint programs, and C2 missions like in-flight satellite broadband for DoD global response forces. These are really significant mission enablers that improve mission effectiveness, close capability gaps and save lives. We have an increasingly long list of success stories. Q: What are your objectives in 2015-2016 for the government market and Special Ops? A: There are a number of exciting nearterm opportunities that we could talk about—and several are deploying to special ops this year. Our small-form-factor Link-16 for SOF is addressing a recognized and long-standing TACP (tactical air control party) capability gap that will significantly help avoid fratricide and shorten the sensor-to-shooter
Q: Can you describe the challenges that you are facing in the government market? A: There are some major challenges that we need to overcome together, and near the top of the list is a defense acquisition process that takes far too long to acquire and field new systems—often nine to 10 years from requirement validation to initial operational capability. This is a real problem. Too frequently, we find that by the time a new capability finally reaches the warfighter, the mission and CONOPS have evolved such that it is already out of date, or far better technology is already available. This does not have to be the case. Defense acquisition policy is too often focused on developing “defense unique” systems that fail to take advantage of available commercial technologies. Our challenge is to help drive needed change by partnering with DoD leaders to improve the government acquisition system, better leverage commercial technologies and get new capabilities to the warfighter faster and cheaper. This challenge has been successfully overcome in the past. In computers, computer programing languages, cellphones and space launch vehicles, DoD has eventually broken from this long-standing “make vs. buy” culture, reformed outdated DoD acquisition practice and successfully leveraged commercial technologies and commercial-based systems. We are working hard to help DoD advance in that same way in areas like satellite communications and cybersecurity. O www.SOTECH-kmi.com
Issue includes the Army Special Operations Forces Lineage Poster
October 2015 Vol. 13, Issue 8
World’s Largest Distributed Special Ops Magazine
Cover and In-Depth Interview with:
Brig. Gen. Kurt L. Sonntag
Commander Special Operations Command South special section SOF Ground Mobility The Mk. 1 boot is still the most common tactical mobility system for the SOF warrior, but a host of wheeled vehicles have expanded the range covered by a SOF team.
Features Tactical Air Control SOTECH looks at the Battlefield Airmen’s Kit and digitally aided close air support capabilities.
Portable, Rugged Computers for the SOF Warrior Are there laptops that can withstand what special operators will put them through in the field?
Optics, Sensors and Lasers SOTECH sits down with the Army’s PEO IEW&S to look at the innovation they are bringing to the battlefield that could fit in the SOF toolkit.
Rotary Wing Update Industry has developed a complete range of innovations that enhance the survivability and performance of SOF helos.
Bonus Distribution Close Air Support Conference • AUSA Annual Insertion Order Deadline: September 23, 2015 | Ad Materials Deadline: September 30, 2015 Contact Ron Mayne at 301.670.5700 x157 or email@example.com
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