The U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group has worked out a way to calibrate a standard-issue, infrared illuminator/laser aiming device to 091026-A-3108M-004help combat troops effectively track and shoot sprinting enemy forces at night more effectively than ever before. ran a story today that looks at the AWG’s effort to develop a training designed to help soldiers, Marines and Special Operations Forces become more efficient at engaging moving targets, both in the day and at night.

Part of the effort involves a new style of robotic targets, made by the Australian-based firm, Marathon Targets. The four-wheeled targets are topped with life-like mannequins and move at speeds of more than eight miles per hour. They can be programmed to change directions quickly and move for cover like many of the enemy seen in Afghanistan.

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The Army and Marine Corps want to make rifle qualifications and marksmanship training more realistic.

This is a subject that associate editor Matthew Cox has covered for us in the past. In fact, Cox was at last month’s moving targets demonstration that the Marine Corps hosted at Quantico Marine Base, Va.

Above is a video that was party shot from that demonstration. It also has a few of the key players on the Marine side talking about the importance of the project and where it is going. [click to continue…]



The U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., will showcase its latest individual and squad kit later this month during an open house at the McKenna Military Operations in Urban Terrain training area.

The Sept. 24 event will feature the Man Portable Line Charge. The MPLC is a lightweight; portable; rocket launched explosive line mplc charge which can be employed in 30 seconds.

The system is designed to assist small tactical units in conducting clearing operations in urban terrain and complex, mined or trip-wired environments. This technology is very similar to the tracked vehicle or towed trailer version which is used to provide minefield clearing capabilities for larger maneuver forces, according to a Benning press release.

The open house, hosted by the Maneuver Battle Lab, will also feature the following technologies:

– Lightweight Small Arms Technology — Cased Telescoped Lightweight Machine Gun
— Individual Assault Munitions
— Squad Common Optic
— XM210 IR Hand Held Signal Parachute Flare
— XM MK3A3 Concussion Grenade
— Pen Flare
— Small Arms Signature Reduction/Flash Suppressor
— Modular Universal Battery Charger
— M4A1 Carbine



Congress has directed the Pentagon to look into fielding female-specific kit ranging from rucksacks to body armor to field urination devices.

Lawmakers are concerned that the services haven’t done enough to ensure that individual combat equipment is designed to fit the female body properly despite the increased role women have played in dismounted ground combat over the past decade.

The increased interest in this issue comes on the heels of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision in January to lift the ban prohibiting women from serving in combat arms units such as infantry and Special Forces.

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Aaahhhh … another AUSA is upon us. Are you excited!? Can you feel the energy!!?? Me neither, but reporters will be there in-force.

In all seriousness, AUSA is a big deal. The annual, three-day event Oct. 22-24 is always a mecca for all things Army.

Yes, there will be plenty of speeches, panel discussions, pomp-and-circumstance and Doughboy humor. But AUSA is also one of the few occasions that so many senior leaders and program heads are in one place and available to answer questions about real issues that affect soldiers.

I hope to get some face time with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler and anybody else I can pin down. What do you want to know?

I’m going to ask about camouflage and small arms programs, but are there any other topics you guys want me to ask about? Think on it and let me know.

Also, I am going to try to spend as much time on the show floor as possible between all the speaking events. I will be looking for new gear and product upgrades, but is there anything in particular that you guys want me to focus on?

I can’t promise everything, but I’ll try to get the answers you want.


Well it’s not a feature film, but it’s nice to see a little love going to the grunts. It took six years, but the National Infantry Foundation finally sealed the deal for the creation of a silver dollar for the infantry.

“The Mint produces only two such commemorative coins each year, so we had to wait our turn; 2012 is our year,” said retired Col. Greg Camp, the National Infantry Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer.

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The man behind the Mad Duo has launched a pretty awesome blog that caters to the LE world called Bolo Report. Call it a Kit Up! for Johnny Law and in the latest dispatch, Bolo highlights an innovative device that should be part of any military armory.

The so-called BlankSafe adapter is a spacer and follower that can be inserted into any standard M4/M16 magazine that prevents live rounds from being inserted into the mag during blank fire training.

A weapon that is configured for blank-fire is still capable of firing live ammunition. Thus, during training operations, there is a real chance that live ammunition will be introduced, resulting in the death or injury of a friendly operator. This scenario can occur when rounds of live ammunition are inadvertently mixed in with blanks or when a magazine has not been fully downloaded after a live shoot, leaving live ammunition at the bottom. These mistakes are difficult to catch, especially at night and in situations of duress and fatigue, the very situations in which military forces train.

The military has made an effort to prevent these mistakes through increased inspections, by keeping live and blank ammunition separated and by requiring that all live rounds be turned in after every live- fire event. Yet despite these precautions, serious incidents still occur every year.

So true. I remember covering a story back on 2002 where some Marine FAST guys were wounded during training because a live round was loaded amongst the blanks. That was a while ago, but it’s still a risk and the BlankSafe device could mean the difference between one stray round and a safe training environment.

BlakSafe also offers a simple inspection device than can be used to make sure there are no live rounds loaded into a magazine that’s not equipped with the full on adapter.

Be sure to bookmark the Bolo Report for more LE-related gear news.