Warfighting

"U.S. Army Soldiers participate in close arm combatives during the Ranger Course on Ft. Benning, GA., April 20, 2015. Soldiers attend Ranger school to learn additional leadership and small unit technical and tactical skills in a physically and mentally demanding, combat stimulated environment. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Nikayla Shodeen/Released Pending Review)"

U.S. Army officials announced today that eight out of 16 female soldiers who started the first co-ed class of Ranger School have made it through the Ranger Assessment Phase, or RAP week.

Only 57 more days to go. Check out the Military.com story here.

Whether you like this effort or not, these females deserve a lot of credit for taking on this challenge. There are a whole lot of people out there who want to see them fail. They may not make it, but at least they have had the guts to try.

The Army released a video of the first week. Check out it.

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U.S. Army scientists are working with a new database of the human body to ensure uniforms and equipment fit female and male soldiers better.

The Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC, completed the latest comprehensive anthropometric survey of soldiers, called ANSUR II, in 2012.

The ANSUR II 3-D Shape Database uses three-dimensional shapes and contour data to improve the fit of clothing and equipment for warfighters. It incorporates the latest Army anthropometric survey data and 3-D whole body scans, providing a searchable platform for the data and the 3-D shapes.

The previous survey was completed in 1988.

The 2012 survey set out to address changes in Army personnel body size and shape, and the resulting data showed that soldiers have increased in overall body girth since 1988. The new study also set out to document the sizing needs of the increasing number of women serving in the military.

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Surefire M300 Mini Scout Light’s are now available. The compact weapon light runs on a single 123A lithium battery and delivers 300 lumens for your carbine or rifle.

“Its LED-generated white light is focused by our patented TIR lens to create a high-intensity, far-reaching beam crafted for close- to mid-range engagements,” according to a recent press release. “The Mini Scout just might have the perfect balance of size and power for your long gun.”

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Rob Curtis, long-time senior photographer for Military Times, is now the new, Staff Features Editor for Recoil Magazine.

This is a pretty big win for Recoil, a tactical firearms mag launched in 2012. Rob has become one of the most knowledgeable small-arms and gear writers in the business.

I have known Rob for about 16 years. For 11 of those years, we worked together at Military Times. We had our first real-world assignment together in June 1999 when the U.S. Peace-Keeping Force went into Kosovo. Four years later, Rob and I found ourselves together again during the start of the ground invasion of Iraq in 2003. We swallowed the same dust in an all-day street battle, shadowing soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division in Karbala.

Since then, Rob and I have worked together, argued like brothers and competed against one another covering weapons and gear used by the U.S. Military. He has also been a mentor as I still struggle to learn photography.

Rob is a skilled photographer and videographer, but he has also branched out and developed as a writer. He was the driving force behind the creation of GearScout at Military Times several years ago. Some of the leadership was skeptical of the concept at the time, but Rob has built the site into a respected source of behind-the-scenes gouge on the military small-arms and gear industry.

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Sniper training provides ‘combat multiplier’ for Iraqi ArmyThe U.S. Army wants to buy a clip-on thermal sight to help snipers see through heavy fog or sand storms to find and kill their targets.

Army Contracting Command issued a March 17 draft solicitation to rifle-optics makers for the Family of Weapon Sights – Sniper, or FWS-S. The system will need to be a lightweight, self-contained, battery operated, thermal imaging system for surveillance and target acquisition that’s designed to work with the M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle, M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, and the Precision Sniper Rifle, according to the document.

“The FWS-S will be a critical enabler that will allow the sniper to detect, observe and engage targets in low light, adverse weather, and limited visibility conditions with minimal or no interruption or impact on the sniper’s normal daylight tactics,” according to the document.

The concept is similar to the Army’s AN/PVS-30 Clip-on Sniper Night Sight since it is designed to be mounted in front of the day optic sight on the M110 SASS and the M2010 ESR. The Army also has the AN/PAS-13(V)3 Heavy Weapon Thermal Sight for the M107 LRSR. [click to continue…]

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FORT BENNING, Ga. – It’s been about eight years since the U.S. Army first deployed its smart-soldier technology to war. Now soldiers are finally viewing this digital, situational-awareness gear as a trusted piece of soldier kit.

The Army’s Experimentation Force, made up of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment here, recently tested the wearable, command and control gear known as Nett Warrior Future Initiative during the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment.

The Nett Warrior system is a Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone worn in a chest-mounted pouch and connected to networked radio such as a Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152A wideband networking handheld radio or the older General Dyanamics AN/PRC-154A Rifleman Radio.

Without getting too far into the weeds, Nett Warrior Future Initiative is equipped with a special software package that helps the system handle multiple intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance sensor feeds such as video streams from unmanned aerial systems.

So a platoon leader can share these video streams from a company-level Raven UAS and a platoon-level InstantEye UAS with his squad leaders.

Spec. Erin Broihier, a radio operator with A Company, said he has been impressed by how much Nett warrior has improved over the past four AEWEs.

“Every time they have brought it back, it has gotten better and better and better,” he said.

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FORT BENNING, Ga. – U.S. Army maneuver officials here just finished testing miniature drones and other high-tech, soldier kit — much of which is designed to help infantry squads and platoons spot the enemy first.

From March 2 through March 5, soldiers from the Army’s Experimentation Force, or EXFOR, here participated in the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment — an annual event aimed at evaluating innovative equipment with the potential to revolutionize infantry combat.

This year, the AEWE focused on 75 prototype technologies ranging from network communications gear to loadbearing kit to sustainment and force protection equipment.

Many showed promise, but it was the pocket-sized Black Hornet and backpack-sized InstantEye unmanned aerial systems that captured the imaginations of 1st Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, the unit that makes up the EXFOR. [click to continue…]

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