Tag Archives: U.S. military

Powering the Pivot

RIMPAC 2014 PHOTOEX

Operational Energy in the Asia-Pacific Theater

The U.S. military will confront different operational energy challenges as large numbers of forces transition from Central Command towards the Pacific region. To explain these changes, DoD Power & Energy Editor George Jagels spoke with Dr. Stacy Closson, who recently co-authored a report for the Center for National Policy entitled “Rebalance to Asia: Implications for U.S. Military Energy Use.”

Dr. Closson is an Assistant Professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce and formerly worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She is a Truman National Security Fellow and was named by the Atlantic Council an Emerging Leader of Environmental and Energy Policy.

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Filling the Lethality Gap

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The Stryker readies for additional firepower.

By Christian Sheehy, TDM Managing Editor

The U.S. Army’s Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) formation was designed to provide the infantry-based unit with a common vehicle in 10 different configurations. The combination of the varying configurations would enable the SBCT formation to conduct and support many different types of operations.

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Proven Endurance, Enhanced Network Assurance

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The Army’s combat-proven Stryker vehicle is now getting a high-speed network upgrade.

By Amy Walker and Nancy Jones-Bonbrest, PEO C3T

Previously relying on the line-of-sight, radio based Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) for communications, select Strykers are now being equipped for the first time with the satellite-based network communications capabilities of Warfighter Network Information-Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 and Blue Force Tracking (BFT) 2. (more…)

Test Phase Critical

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Gearing up to begin Limited User Testing (LUT) involving warfighter participation, the JLTV program continues to progress through an intensive, 14-month test portion of a 33-month Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase.

By Christian Sheehy, TDM Managing Editor

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Sustaining the Fleet Amid Fiscal Retreat

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An interview with Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition, Logistics, & Technology (ASA/AL&T).

As we say in the ASA/AL&T community, never send our soldiers into a fair fight. We are still facing significant fiscal challenges in the face of sequestration. Despite the supplemental funding provided by Congress at the start of 2014, our budget profile for beyond 2016 remains a cause of much concern. Since 2011, the last year of full engagement in Afghanistan, the Army’s research and development (R&D) and acquisition budget has decreased by nearly half. We are at great pains to achieve savings wherever possible. The decrease in budget has negatively impacted all our portfolios, with ground vehicle systems no exception.

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Abundance and Utility

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For Military Operations, Liquid Fuels Remain a Solid Choice over Natural Gas

By Bret Strogen and Patrick Lobner

Military energy strategists often recount the British Royal Navy’s decision in the early twentieth century to convert ships from coal to oil fuel. This transition improved their capability by reducing fuel handling personnel, increasing ship speed, and doubling travel range, though it required expensive testing and retrofitting of ships with new engines, and introduced risks by relying on a less familiar fuel that would need to be sourced internationally (whereas British coal was plentiful).(1) In hindsight a smart and inevitable decision, at the time many experts argued against the shift. Today, similar to the Royal Navy’s decision point a hundred years ago, any shift away from liquid fuels must undergo intense scrutiny to ensure such a transition increases the U.S. military’s capability.

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SOF Acquisition: Streamlining Processes to Maximize Readiness

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An interview with the Special Forces’ acquisition executive James Geurts.

A&M: How well does the acquisition structure you have in place work in terms of ensuring U.S. Special Forces get the equipment they need, when they need it, no matter where they are? 

Geurts: The structure works exceedingly well. The direct line of communications between the SOCOM Commander and me, as the Acquisition Executive, leading the Special Operations Research, Development, and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) team, streamlines the process for systems acquisition and ensures a thorough and complete understanding of the Commander’s guidance and intent. This directly translates into the accelerated fielding of the Special Operations Forces (SOF)-unique systems and equipment which provide our operators with the capabilities required to accomplish their assigned missions. It also allows me to continually shape SORDAC so that it is synchronized and responsive to dynamic SOF operational needs.

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An Evolutionary Vision

Army Special Ops Looks to the Future Armed with Lessons Learned from the Past

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By USASOC Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) is the Army component of the Joint Special Operations Command. Among the most diverse organizations in the U.S. military, USASOC brings a broad range of competencies and disciplines to support geographic combatant commanders and ambassadors worldwide. Established in 1989 to enhance the readiness of Army special operations forces, USASOC’s mission is twofold: organize, train, and equip Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) units and soldiers and deploy them worldwide to meet the requirements of war plans, geographic combatant commanders, and ambassadors.

Over the past 12 years, the lessons USASOC learned from Iraq and Afghanistan led to the creation of a strategic framework for change called ARSOF 2022. This blueprint focuses on specific areas that needed improvement to better enable theater special operations commands and joint force commanders to conduct SOF campaigns worldwide.

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SOCOM’s TALOS: Build It Fast, Build It Right

A prototype for DARPA’s Warrior Web program, which aims to develop a soft, lightweight undersuit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue and improve soldiers’ ability to efficiently perform their missions. Similar to SOCOM’s TALOS program, DARPA wants to create a working prototype that significantly boosts endurance, carrying capacity, and overall effectiveness—all while using no more than 100 watts of power. (DARPA)

SOCOM innovates acquisition to make TALOS a concrete concept and eventual reality.

By George Jagels

The Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) has generated much attention over the past year, even though it does not yet exist. Dubbed the “Iron Man Suit” in reference to the comic book hero, TALOS is a U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) project to build a full-body system that improves survivability, physical performance, and situational awareness. It received $4 million in funding for FY 14.

ADM William McRaven, SOCOM Commander, conceived of the idea and has pushed it strongly. In May 2013, he asked industry to work with SOCOM to develop a “revolutionary capability” to include ballistic protection, sensors, computers, antennae, and an exoskeleton to help shoulder the load without inhibiting the operator. The command is also working with federal and academic research institutions on the project.

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The Army’s Evolving Network Backbone: The Benefits of WIN-T Increment 2

By Amy Walker, PEO C3T

This article was originally published in the March 2014 issue of Armor & Mobility.

To meet the Army’s new strategic priorities for readiness, responsiveness and regional engagement, ongoing advancements in the Army’s tactical communications network backbone, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), are aiding the service in becoming more mobile, modular and adaptable.

“Future military operations will require reliable communications capabilities that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world,” said Col. Ed Swanson, project manager for WIN-T. “WIN-T provides the tactical communications equipment and services to support the Army now and in the future. We are continually taking user feedback to enhance the network, while making it easier for soldiers to operate and maintain.”

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