Posts tagged ‘Air Force’

FRIDAY FOTO (August 14, 2015)

Apache Dance.

82nd Airborne Division photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull

82nd Airborne Division photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull

U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopters provide a demonstration of their firepower during a live fire exercise at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.

According to the Defense Department, Operation Dragon Spear included a forcible entry operation with Army and Air Force units showcasing the U.S. global response force‘s ability to deploy, fight and win. If you click on the photo to enlarge the image, you’ll see the flaming vehicles struck by the Apaches. Any questions?

The demonstration, with 1,500 soldiers and airmen participating, included the 82nd Airborne Division, the 75th Ranger Regiment, 10th Special Forces Group and Air Force units supplying transport aircraft. To see more photos, click here.

August 14, 2015 at 12:08 am Leave a comment

TECHNOLOGY: Defense Dept. and Industry Pushing 3-D Printing

No Longer a Novelty.

From pizzas for the troops to small parts for aircraft, the U.S. military is moving ahead with innovations in additive manufacturing. The dual aim: to cut costs and speed up the process from design and prototyping to assembly line production.

Additive manufacturing – also known as 3-D printing – has the potential to revolutionize how manufacturing is done in the United States. With 3-D printing, designers can create a three-dimensional object from a digital file fed into a computer. The printers create the object by depositing thin layers of material – mostly plastic but metal and composite materials printers are also being used – until the component exactly matching the original blueprint is created.

Chart: Courtesy Lockheed Martin

Chart: Courtesy Lockheed Martin

The Department of Energy has estimated that the additive process could cut energy use by today’s manufacturing procedures by 50 percent. And the benefits aren’t lost on the Defense Department, which is looking for ways to cut costs and speed production in this era of tight budgets and rising energy costs.

Additive manufacturing “may profoundly change Army logistics and supply,” says Dale Ormond, director of the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). “Imagine the possibilities of three-dimensional printed textiles, metals, integrated electronics, biogenetic materials and even food,” he wrote in Army Technology magazine’s 3-D Printing issue.

The Army is investigating 3-D printers to make food ranging from simple snacks to nutrient-rich foods that can be tailored to various environments. The Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is looking at ways the technology can be applied to the battlefield for meals on demand, or for food manufacturing where food is printed and possibly further processed to become shelf stable.

The Army is also exploring additive manufacturing of field and combat clothing to improve flexibility, air flow, and ballistic protection while reducing weight, bulk and the number of seams, which can cause friction and irritation.

The Navy, which has about 70 3-D printing projects underway, has placed one aboard a warship, the amphibious assault ship USS Essex and the crew has been making small objects like medical syringes and caps for oil tanks.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to have an aircraft flying with a flight-critical metal spare part made by 3-D printer within three years. Printing plastic items is one thing but metal parts critical to keeping an airplane aloft is something else again.” We’re not there yet,” William Frazier, NAVAIR’s chief scientist for air vehicle engineering, told a briefing at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space Expo in April.

While the technology has been around for years, additive manufacturing got a big boost in 2012 when the Obama administration created a private-public research institute in Youngstown, Ohio, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), with $30 million in federal funding. The departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce, as well as the National Science Foundation and NASA are all putting money into additive manufacturing.

Major defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Boeing are also investing in 3-D printing technology. Lockheed Martin is using the technology to print titanium satellite parts and reduce cost, cycle time and material waste.

Experts on 3-D printing from the Army and Air Force research labs, industry and the National Institute of Scince and Technology (NIST) will be discussing the latest developments and government requirements at the Third Annual Additive Manufacturing for Defense and Aerospace conference in Washington August 21-September 2, hosted by IDGA.

August 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Exercise Jade Helm 15 Begins in Seven States — Arousing Conspiracy Theorists

Jaded About Jade Helm.


Chilean and U.S.  Army  Special Forces troops train together in bilateral exchange in April at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Osvaldo Equite)

Chilean and U.S. Army Special Forces troops train together in bilateral exchange in April at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Osvaldo Equite)

Exercise Jade Helm 15 a massive special operations forces (SOF) exercise involving hundreds of troops across seven states in the Deep South and Southwest got underway this week — after months of speculation by conspiracy theorists and right wing talk radio hosts that it was part of some dark plan to overthrow the Constitution and/or seize locals’ guns.

The Army says its just a big exercise in relatively unpopulated areas with challenging terrain and summer weather conditions to prepare as realistically as possible for whatever overseas crisis comes down the road in the future

According to U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), they will be training with other U.S military units from July 15 through Sept. 15 in the multi-state exercise.

“USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible,” USASOC said in a March press release to counter rising concerns — especially in Texas, where the governor ordered the National Guard to keep a close eye on the Army exercise

“While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart,” the March press release noted. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.”

An updated Army press release issued Wednesday (July 15) listed the various military installations where parts of the exercise will take place:
• Arizona: National Guard Training Centers and at an Army Reserve Center
• Florida: Eglin Air Force Base
• Louisiana: Camp Beauregard
• Mississippi: Camp Shelby, Naval Research Laboratory ˗ Stennis Space Center, and U.S. Navy Seabee Base at Gulfport/Biloxi
• New Mexico: Cannon Air Force Base, and tentatively in Otero County
• Texas: Camps Bullis and Swift, and in Bastrop, Burleson, Brazos, Edwards, Howard, Hudspeth, Kimble, Martin, Marion, Real, Schleicher and Tom Green Counties
• Utah: Carbon and Emery Counties

EDITOR’s COMMENT: We find it worth mentioning that the fears of some of the good folks of Texas seem to parallel the plot of the 1964 film, “Seven Days in May.” However, that  scenario described an attempted coup by right wing politicians and military leaders aimed at a liberal president they perceived as weak in dealing with the Soviets. To us that seems a more likely — if far-fetched — movie plot than a military coup to support the “liberal” policies of gun seizure etc.

July 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 10, 2015)

Danger Zone.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sergeant Brittany E. Jones

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sergeant Brittany E. Jones

We were struck by the otherworldly appearance of this photo. Reminds us of a hostile world in a science fiction movie — like the original Planet of the Apes. But this shows Air Force Technical Sergeant Matthew Bingaman, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, returning from an improvised explosive device (IED) training scenario June 25, somewhere in Southwest Asia. The spaceman-like suit is meant to protect EOD techs from the bombs they are working to defuse and dispose of. Note the warning sign on the left side of the photo. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Bingaman is assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, a unit of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing. A 16-year EOD veteran, Bingaman continually trains to safely handle live explosives.

July 10, 2015 at 12:29 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 26, 2015)

Tough Customer.

 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sergeant Ezekiel R. Kitandwe)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sergeant Ezekiel R. Kitandwe)

A member of Special Operations Command throws the shot put during field competition for the 2015 Defense Department Warrior Games, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, June 23, 2015.

The Warrior Games, founded in 2010, is a Paralympic-style competition that features eight adaptive sports for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, Special Operations Command, and the British Armed Forces.

To see more photos of these amazing people, click here.

June 27, 2015 at 12:45 am Leave a comment

COUNTER TERRORISM: Mastermind of Deadly Algerian Gas Plant Attack Reported Killed


Mokhtar Belmokhtar (State Dept. Wanted poster)

Mokhtar Belmokhtar
(State Dept. Wanted poster)

The one-eyed Islamist militant who ordered a deadly attack on an Algerian gas plant two years ago has been killed in a U.S. air strike, Libyan officials say, the BBC and other news outlets are reporting,

Mokhtar Belmokhtar and other fighters were killed in the operation in the eastern city of Ajdabiya, according to a statement from Libya’s government Sunday (June 14).

The BBC cautioned that there have been incorrect reports of his death in the past. If confirmed, however, Belmokhtar’s death “would be a major counterterrorism victory for the United States against one of the world’s most wanted militants,” according to the New York Times.

June 14, 2015 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 29. 2015)

Keep it Simple … etc.

 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal. Paul S. Martinez)

Sometimes, even in this digital world we live in, it’s easier to use some old fashioned tools like this rope line.

This week’s FRIFO shows Marine Corps Lance Corporal Maximilian Roth crossing a gorge on a rope during his final Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity assessment at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. Roth is a rifleman assigned to Alpha Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force.

May 29, 2015 at 3:02 am Leave a comment

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