01 Mar 21. InVeris Training Solutions introduces VR-DT virtual reality law enforcement trainer, announces State of California as launch customer. InVeris Training Solutions today released details of its all-new advanced training solution called the VR-DT (Virtual Reality Decisions and Tactics) or “Verdict”. The system uses the latest fully immersive VR technology for training de-escalation of force in a wide variety of critical, real-world situations. California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CA POST), which oversees training statewide, will serve as the solution’s launch customer.
The VR-DT was chosen in August 2020 by California POST following a competitive procurement process for its VR Force Options Simulator requirement. InVeris will deliver 50 systems during a six-month period as part of a $2.6m contract award with the option for up to $5m in additional systems and related equipment. Approximately half the systems are to be delivered and installed by March 1. InVeris will supply 100 scenarios with branching options initially, plus 10 state-mandated ones per year of the contract. In addition, a powerful scenario authoring tool will enable customer-driven content creation to further enhance realism using situations and settings reflective of California.
“California POST’s selection of InVeris’ new VR-DT reinforces our company’s position as the world leader in law enforcement simulation training, now delivered via virtual reality,” said Andrea Czop, vice president of strategy, sales and marketing at InVeris Training Solutions. “The VR-DT will put California law enforcement on the leading edge of force-option simulation training thanks to the unique immersive capabilities of virtual reality.”
The VR-DT enables law enforcement agencies, as well as private and military security forces, to maximize readiness and correctly educate students for field experiences. The system combines state-of-the-art hardware, scalable software and a content library that is always increasing. A variety of officer weapons and equipment can be accommodated, including simulated pistols, rifles, shotguns, batons, TASERs, OC sprays and flashlights. The adjustable and modular system works anywhere, from one to two-person sessions.
“The VR-DT builds on nearly four decades of experience designing projection-based systems, but provides even greater realism,” said Eric Perez, the company’s director of virtual systems sales. “Two officers training in a tactical scenario will benefit from their own viewpoints and spatial orientation, while still being tested on their verbal and physical actions. Moreover, after-action review of decision-making in such situations will be enhanced thanks to the precise tracking and playback of trainee movements in their respective virtual spaces.”
Utilizing the latest wireless, high-definition headsets with impressive 360-degree fields of view and weapons tracking, officers train in fully immersive environments that put them in the action. The ability to perform a traffic stop or intervene in a domestic altercation from two perspectives, create distance and angles between students and move to cover are all enhanced with the VR-DT. A lightweight, fully customized laptop allows the instructor to influence the scenarios, environments and weapons.
Depending on the trainee’s actions, the instructor can branch the scenarios to escalate or de-escalate the situation, then review their decision-making skills to ensure proper tactics are used from any angle during after-action review. These virtual environments and ambient features increase the student’s psychological immersion and focus when dealing with the situation at hand. By increasing the immersions, the trainee’s mental recall is heightened, thus enhancing their overall training experience.
Development of the VR-DT is an evolution of InVeris’ class-leading Firearms Training Systems (FATS®) and recognizes the increased focus and scrutiny on law enforcement training. Community, state and national leaders are concentrating on issues like de-escalation, crisis intervention and active shooters. The VR-DT will help enhance the conveyance of proper decision-making skills to protect lives in California and beyond.
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement, private and commercial range clients safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,000 live-fire ranges and 7,500 virtual systems globally during its 90-year history. The company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.
02 Mar 21. Royal Marines conduct reconnaissance exercises in Arctic Circle. The British Royal Navy has announced that Royal Marines specialists are taking part in ‘discrete’ reconnaissance training in the Arctic Circle.
The British Royal Navy has announced that Royal Marines specialists are taking part in ‘discrete’ reconnaissance training in the Arctic Circle.
The exercises are being undertaken by a small team from the Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group.
The technical reconnaissance mission was conducted on the shores of an Arctic fjord.
The Shore Reconnaissance Team (SRT) conducted an area survey to set up a beachhead to securely allow the amphibious forces to land and access hostile coastlines and move forward to attack the enemy.
SRT is one of the technical trades within the Surveillance Reconnaissance Squadron.
The specialist team is required to operate in temperatures ranging in and around -30°C.
According to the Royal Navy, the exercises ensure the specialist team are mission ready even in the region’s extreme environment conditions.
Royal Navy sergeant Alan Billot said: “The conditions we face in the Arctic are challenging, so training here gives us confidence that we can operate anywhere in the world.
“Our equipment and capability improves as technology advances. We are constantly testing and adjusting to ensure that we are able to maintain pace with technological change.
“The latest kit that we have just procured has transformed the level of information that we can provide.”
Last month, the Royal Marines from 45 Commando and specialist units from around 3 Commando Brigade were all set to begin their 2021 winter deployment.
In May last year, the Royal Navy joined US forces to practise training in the icy waters of the Arctic to ensure that the armed forces are prepared for future global threats. (Source: naval-technology.com)
03 Mar 21. Indian Air Force to participate in multinational exercise Desert Flag. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will take part in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will take part in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI.
The country is participating for the first time in the exercise and will join the airforces of France, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.
Starting on 3 March, the exercise will run until 27 March at Al-Dhafra airbase in the UAE.
According to a statement issued by the MoD, the IAF will participate with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft in the exercise.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a multirole combat fighter aircraft jointly developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for IAF.
In the exercise, this aircraft will undertake long-range ferry, routing directly from India to the exercise location with ‘aerial refuelling support’ from IL-78 tanker aircraft.
Meanwhile, the C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 169,000lb.
It will provide support for ‘induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent’ in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI.
The MoD said in a statement: “Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.”
The exercise is aimed at providing the participating personnel with ‘operational exposure’ to a realistic warfare environment to improve their operational capabilities.
The troops will undertake ‘simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment’. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Mar 21. Taiwan’s T-5 advanced jet trainer to begin operational testing. Taiwan’s Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) announced on 2 March that its T-5 Yung Yin (‘Brave Eagle’) advanced jet trainer (AJT)/light fighter aircraft will soon be handed over to the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) to undergo operational testing and evaluation.
The announcement was made on the same day AIDC Chairman Hu Kai-hung flew on one of the two twin-seat T-5 prototypes (No 11001, 11002) that made their public debut on this occasion. After flying the aircraft, Hu was quoted by Taiwan’s Military News Agency as saying that the T-5 has “exceeded public expectations”.
The first T-5 prototype, which was developed in collaboration with the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), conducted its first flight in June 2020: about nine months after it was rolled out in September 2019. The second prototype flew in late December 2020.
Asked about whether production of the ‘Brave Eagle’ could start ahead of schedule, Hu told reporters that early production would depend on the timing of the RoCAF’s testing and evaluation effort.
The RoCAF is expected to acquire 66 units of the twin-seat T-5 under a TWD68.6bn (USD2.2bn) contract awarded in 2017. The aircraft is expected to replace the service’s ageing AIDC AT-3 trainers by 2026, while a light attack/fighter variant is intended to replace the service’s Northrop F-5E/F Tiger II combat aircraft. (Source: Jane’s)
03 Mar 21. USAF Exercise Filled With Refuelling Missions. The morning sunlight streamed through the cabin windows. The whir of the turbofan engines was almost hypnotic. It was a peaceful scene aboard Willowbank, a KC-30A multi-role tanker transport aircraft from No. 33 Squadron, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a commercial airliner.
But the impressive sight of F-16 Fighting Falcons flying off both wingtips changed that. Flying somewhere above the western Pacific Ocean, this was one of several refuelling missions the KC-30A conducted during Exercise Cope North 21 which concluded on February 19.
No. 33 Squadron pilot and detachment commander Flight Lieutenant William Dunn said the KC-30A played a key role in Cope North’s large force employment scenario, which focused on interoperability and integration with the United States Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force.
“We were one of four tankers providing an airborne refuelling capability to the exercise,” Flight Lieutenant Dunn said.
“The flying was fantastic and we were lucky enough to support the US F-35A push to Palau.
“We also had two junior air refuelling operators who achieved their day fighter boom qualification and one aircrew member who achieved his B Category KC-30A captain categorisation.”
A typical air-to-air refuelling mission starts with a pre-mission brief where crews are updated on the mission profile and what is expected from the sortie.
From there, crews conduct individual crew briefs, complete the flight authorisation process and then ‘step’ to the jet for departure.
“The KC-30A is usually one of the first jets to enter the airspace and one of the last to leave,” Flight Lieutenant Dunn said.
“We’d expect to be airborne for approximately four hours, refuel a combination of US F-35A Lightning IIs, F/A-18 Hornets, F-16 Fighting Falcons and EA-18G Growlers, and offload around 45,000 litres of fuel.
“We’d also expect to hold contingency fuel for any issues that the fighters may have during the sortie or on recovery to Andersen Air Force Base.
“Once all fighters and other air assets are safely on their way home, we’ll recover as well, and when we’re back on the ground, our maintainers refuel the aircraft, conduct any maintenance required and have the tanker ready to launch for the next wave.”
By the end of the exercise, Willowbank had flown a total of 17 missions and offloaded 318,000 litres of fuel to US fighter aircraft.
No. 33 Squadron took the lead in the planning of air-to-air refuelling missions during Cope North 21.
“Fully integrated in the planning process, the tanker planner helps shape the mission profile by working out fuel requirements, tanker availability and any limitations, and then comes up with the airborne refuelling plan,” Flight Lieutenant Dunn said.
“All of our co-pilots cycled through the position – it was a big learning curve for them and a great opportunity for their professional development.
“They’ve begun to understand how we integrate with partner forces, how a typical planning cycle works for a large force employment mission, and what great capabilities the KC-30A brings to the table.”
Cope North was part of a wider program of engagement between RAAF and the US known as enhanced air cooperation (EAC), which aims to support security and stability across the Indo-Pacific region through continuous advancements in air-to-air integration.
“When it comes to EAC, Cope North gives our KC-30As the opportunity to integrate with the US on a large scale, bringing a highly effective air-to-air refuelling capability along with mission flexibility and significant force extension across the airspace,” Flight Lieutenant Dunn said.
“33 Squadron’s ongoing participation in combined exercises like this helps us better understand our regional partners’ needs, their methodologies, and how we can more seamlessly integrate with them to achieve the desired effects.” (Source: ASD Network)
02 Mar 21. MARMC, Blue Water, USS Gerald R. Ford Partner for UAS Exercise. Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC) hosted the Blue Water Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Skyways team for an exercise that could impact the way the Navy handles transporting parts for repairs needed aboard forward-deployed ships.
MARMC, in collaboration with the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Beach Detachment and the Blue Water team, tested the abilities of a Maritime Logistics UAS to deliver a part to the ship from MARMC Headquarters.[slideshare]
“The UAS departed the MARMC parking lot with a simulated package pickup and took the part needed for repair over to the Ford,” said MARMC Logistics Department Head, Cmdr. Kevin Borkert. “For this evolution, MARMC handed the part to the UAS crew and they placed it in the cargo bay along the underside of the UAS.”
In October 2020, the US Navy acquired a commercial unmanned vehicle developed by Skyways of Austin, Texas, to further develop and demonstrate long-range naval ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transport. Navy engineers and test pilots continue to organically enhance the system with developments like folding wings for better handling and ship storage, and consider alternative air vehicle designs with advanced propulsion systems to provide greater range and payload performance, optical and infrared collision avoidance and landing systems, and navigation systems not only dependent on GPS.
“Our motto is ‘We Fix Ships’ and we feel like they chose the right place to show this innovation in action,” said MARMC Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Barney. “I want MARMC to be a part of any program that uses advancements in technology, which could potentially save time, money and reduce the Navy’s carbon footprint while helping to keep the fleet mission ready.”
Moving forward, if MARMC is chosen as a pivot point in the procurement process for parts needed for repairs, it could potentially have a large and lasting impact on how business is done.
MARMC provides surface ship maintenance, management, and oversight of private sector maintenance and fleet technical assistance to ships in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and provides support to the fifth and sixth Fleet Area of Responsibilities. They are also responsible for the floating dry-dock Dynamic (AFDL-6). (Source: ASD Network)
03 Mar 21. Serco partners with Sayres to bolster naval offering. The firms have partnered to enhance their maritime training offering, aimed at bolstering the Royal Australian Navy’s warfare capability. Serco Australia and Sayres Australia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), agreeing to collaborate to enhance their respective naval training offerings.
Serco Defence managing director Clint Thomas AM, CSC, said the firms’ respective offerings were complementary, adding that their experiences support ‘at sea’ and ‘shore-based’ training to help better prepare Navy personnel.
“Serco has been providing high-quality simulator-based maritime warfare training and training support services on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy at HMAS Watson, Sydney, since 2003,” Thomas said.
“We have a deep understanding of Navy’s training requirements, program challenges and future training developments, and our alliance with Sayres will allow us to design further improved solutions that will deliver the best possible outcomes for Navy personnel well into the future.”
Sayres Australia CEO Craig Powell said the agreement would ensure Australia’s Navy Officers and Sailors can “unlock the full spectrum of operational capabilities” that future systems offer.
“Together, Serco and Sayres aim to reimagine how, when, where, and why training is delivered and the technologies we can bring to Navy’s training requirements for optimal effectiveness, positioning Navy to remain ahead of changing technology solutions associated with the government’s continuous shipbuilding strategy,” he said. (Source: Defence Connect)
27 Feb 21. US Army SFAB soldiers preparing for African Lion 2021. The US Department of Defense is moving ahead with plans to conduct a ‘scalable’ African Lion exercise later this year and army Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) soldiers on the continent are helping lay the groundwork. The upcoming exercise comes at a precarious time with Covid-19 still raging, the merger of US Army Europe and Africa into a single four-star service component command, and a top-down look at the US military presence around the world. However, two commanding army generals in the region said the command consolidation enables a greater synchronisation of operations in Africa with the NATO allies in Europe.
“This consolidation of our headquarters is going to provide us, in the land forces, the opportunity to provide better support and more agile support because I will be able to move forces around from one continent to the other,” General Christopher Cavoli, the commanding general for US Army Europe-Africa, said during a virtual 23 February roundtable.
Gen Cavoli, however, declined to detail how a new Global Force Posture Review is affecting the merger or troop levels on both the continents. The review is part of the Biden administration’s plan to examine US military requirements and strategy across the globe, with an eye towards understanding what drove the Trump administration to take certain controversial decisions better. For example, in addition to this consolidation plan, previous Pentagon leadership had also unveiled plans to pull some US troops out of Germany and shrink the military’s footprint in Somalia. (Source: Jane’s)
01 Mar 21. USAF seeks T-6A modernisation as part of wider pilot training revamp. The US Air Force (USAF) is to upgrade its Textron T-6A Texan II turboprop aircraft as part of a wider revamp of its pilot training pipeline, which it intends to model on commercial standards. The service announced on 25 February that it plans to hold an industry day later in the month geared at assessing interest and capabilities in modernising the avionics of the T-6A fleet, at the same time as issuing requests for information (RFIs) for Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) 2.5, Contractor Undergraduate Pilot Training-Multi-Engine (CUPT-ME), and Introductory Flight Training-Rotary Wing (IFT-R).
“The current T-6A federated avionics system is comprised of analogue and first-generation digital components which have become increasingly impacted by obsolescence issues in recent years, resulting in decreased component reliability, declining aircraft availability rates, and increased life cycle sustainment costs. A comprehensive avionics system replacement is being considered to resolve the obsolescence issues and posture the T-6A for a long-term avionics life cycle sustainment framework which is both reliable and cost effective,” the T-6A Avionics System Replacement RFI stated. (Source: Jane’s)
About InVeris Training Solutions
InVeris Training Solutions combines an agile approach with an unmatched expertise in training technology to design and deliver customized, cutting-edge, first-rate training solutions that keep military, law enforcement, private and commercial range clients safe, prepared and ready to serve – Because Seconds Matter™. With a portfolio of technology-enabled training solutions, and a team of 400 employees driven to innovate, InVeris Training Solutions is the global leader in integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training solutions. With its legacy companies, FATS® and Caswell, InVeris Training Solutions has fielded over 15,000 live-fire ranges and 7,500 virtual systems globally during its 90-year history. The Company is headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia and partners with clients in the US and around the world from facilities on five continents.