08 Jul 21. Pentagon Official Says Afghans Have Training, Capability for Stability. Afghan security forces have modern weapons — including a capable air force — training and sufficient personnel to provide security in Afghanistan, the Pentagon press secretary said.
Additionally, the U.S. continues and will continue to provide the Afghans with additional aircraft and logistical maintenance support, he added.
John F. Kirby held a press briefing today, discussing Afghanistan support and U.S. troop withdrawals.
It is the will of the Afghan government to negotiate an enduring political settlement to establish peace, security and prosperity for the entire nation.
“We want all countries in the region to want the same thing that we want for the Afghans, which is peace and security and stability and an Afghan led negotiated process that leads to a political settlement. That is up to the Afghans and their future [will be] determined by them,” he said.
Since 2001, coalition forces have successfully reduced the threat to the U.S. homeland by al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, which is the reason forces were deployed there, he said.
“That’s a big reason why, in fact, the president has ordered the drawdown,” he said, noting the U.S. will closely monitor Afghanistan to ensure that the terrorism to the homeland doesn’t resurface.
Kirby said that the withdrawal of forces will allow the U.S. to focus on other terrorist and nation threats that have metastasized globally, particularly in Africa.
The U.S. and State Department are exploring over-the-horizon capability from nations neighboring Afghanistan, if needed, to assist Afghan forces, Kirby said.
Although the Defense Department has facilities throughout the Middle East, along with a carrier strike group nearby which could respond robustly if needed, having forces in closer proximity to Afghanistan would give commanders more options, he said, adding that discussions with neighboring nations are now taking place and progress is being made.
Regarding Afghan interpreters who assisted the U.S. military, Kirby said the department is exploring installations on U.S. territories, along with facilities belonging to allies and partners where these interpreters might be located as the State Department processes their immigration paperwork. However, not all of the interpreters desire to leave Afghanistan, he added. (Source: US DoD)
08 Jul 21. Ontario Aerospace Council continues successful COAST training program after pilot year. The Ontario Aerospace Council announced today results from the pilot year for its Competencies Online Advancement Skills & Training (COAST) program, as well as plans for year two. Developed in response to COVID-19 to engage, retain and upskill aerospace industry employees, as well as facilitate post-pandemic recovery, COAST is funded in part by the Province of Ontario through its Skills Catalyst Fund under the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. For the pilot year that concluded in March 2021, OAC reported that 173 trainees representing 11 aerospace companies throughout all levels of the supply chain occupied 310 seats in eight courses selected by industry.
“OAC leadership and its board of directors responded quickly to pandemic-related employment challenges, creating COAST so our member companies could recognize employees by offering training valued for both its content and recognition by managers,” said Moira Harvey, OAC’s executive director. “Courses were selected via an industry survey and a ten-member advisory committee that reflected our diverse base. In its first year, COAST enhanced industry talent and expanded networks, despite a lack of in-person meetings.”
Three “Business of Aerospace” customized courses were titled “Diversity and Bias: Awareness and Action for Aerospace Leaders,” “Ontario Aerospace – Our Heritage, Our Sector and Future Proofing Your Career,” and “Blue Skies Ahead – Challenges and Opportunities for Ontario Aerospace.” These were complemented by diverse industry panel discussions that facilitated connections across companies. Five broader offerings addressed personal/business and relational competencies: “Focus & Achievement,” Critical Thinking & Problem Solving,” “Conflict Management,” “Change Management,” and “Team Building.”
“Our employees appreciated the breadth and depth that the COAST programs offered,” said Peter Voss, president and CEO of Shimco, as well as an OAC board member and COAST industry advisory committee member. “Every participant was able to take away several key learning concepts and apply them to real-life situations.”
COAST is based on a self-improvement mindset called Beta-You. Trainees were presented with the notion that they should adopt a more dedicated approach to learning, one that recognizes the competitive and workplace changes in aerospace that necessitate intentional and continuous learning. These programs focus on social, cognitive and digital competencies required for employee success in this sector. In addition to specific programming, Beta-You functionality will be developed to support OAC members and their employees to manage, track and receive industry-wide recognition through certification for their developmental achievements.
“The COAST program has allowed us to continue the support of our employee’s Personal Development Plans (PDPs) in areas critical to the success of our organization,” stated Robert Mobilio, vice president for engineering and quality at De Havilland Aircraft of Canada. “The soft skill type courses, combined with the customized Business of Aerospace curriculum, and complemented by our internal technical development programs has resulted in a robust training base for our teams. We look forward to additional opportunities to continue developing our relationship with the COAST program and further expanding on the courses available to our employees.”
In year two of COAST, the OAC will expand on the eight courses above with five “Non-technical Plus” soft-skills programs: “Innovation,” “Collaboration,” “Critical and Analytical Thinking,” “21st Century Management” and “Resilience @ Work.” It will also offer a business and professional writing class called “It’s Not What You Say, it’s How You Say It,” plus train-the-trainer sessions, a mentorship program and workforce communities to promote best practices. Funded in March 2021 through the Skills Development Fund under the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, this second year of COAST runs from June 2021 through March 2022. Further information is available at https://theoac.ca/page/COASTinformation.
About the OAC
Established in 1993 as a not-for-profit organization, the Ontario Aerospace Council is comprised of approximately 200 member companies, representing more than 70% of the Ontario aerospace industry employment base and spans all tiers, business activities and sizes, as well as related entities such as colleges and universities. The OAC enhances recognition of Ontario’s capabilities as a leader in global aerospace markets and builds greater expertise to assure continued prosperity. It fosters relationships between all stakeholders – industry, academia, researchers, governments and associations – to gather and share intelligence, identify and facilitate funding, as well as be an active catalyst for industry growth. Working collectively and collaboratively with members and in partnership with government (provincial and federal), the OAC defines and implements strategic member programs and initiatives in areas including technology development and adoption, networking, sales, supply chain relationships and readiness, skills enhancement and workplace training.
07 Jul 21. New defence facilities to house Australia-Singapore training. Military training facilities, housing interoperability exercises between Australia and Singapore, will now be built in north and central Queensland after the state government secured a lease from the Commonwealth.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the finalisation of leasing arrangements for land at Greenvale and Shoalwater Bay, as part of an infrastructure development program supporting the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative.
The sites are now expected to be transformed into modern military training facilities, serving as bases for collaborative exercises between the Australian Defence Force and the Singapore Armed Forces over the next 25 years.
Approximately 14,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel arrive in Queensland each year for a duration of roughly 18 weeks.
The project, which forms part of the Queensland government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, is tipped to generate 600 new jobs and support the growth of the local defence industry.
“This base will inject millions of dollars into our economy and create local jobs,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“Our defence industry has great potential for growth in central and north Queensland. We’re working hard to grow this sector to rebuild our economy and create opportunities for locals.”
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the finalisation of the leasing arrangement followed almost four years of negotiations with the Commonwealth government.
Minister Stewart noted the financial benefits of the Greenvale project, which he expects to generate over $36m to the north Queensland economy each year.
“This complex land project sets the foundations for long-lasting economic benefits, which will continue to serve Queenslanders for generations to come,” he added.
Over 70 land tenures have been processed for the planned development of the 302,000-hectare Greenvale site, located 200 kilometres north-west of Townsville,
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker welcomed the benefits for Townsville.
“Mundingburra is home to Lavarack Barracks and Defence personnel are such an important part of the community,” Walker said.
“Townsville has a proud and long military history and the Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative will continue this legacy.”
Construction of the Greenvale facility is scheduled to commence mid-2022, while work has already commenced for the expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, north of Rockhampton. (Source: Defence Connect)
07 Jul 21. Searching the skies for zero emissions training aircraft. Help the RAF introduce the first military certified zero emissions aircraft. The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Market Exploration called Zero Emissions Air System, which aims to investigate net-zero options for the next generation of light flying training aircraft.
This Market Exploration is being run on behalf of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and seeks information on the development of relevant technologies and systems that are in development and maturing over the coming four years.
Can you help? Read the full Market Exploration now and submit your idea.
Replacing the current capability with a zero emission aircraft
Defence currently utilises a propeller driven, fossil fuelled light training aircraft used across multiple military and civil airfields for pre-Service entry flying training, grading and assessment.
This includes Royal Air Force University Air Squadrons (UAS) and Air Experience Flights (AEFs) and Flying grading and streaming (Army and Royal Navy).
All three services require the ability to develop qualified flying instructors in key skills, including:
- Unusual attitude and spin recovery training
- The ability to operate under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (such as flight in cloud or without reference to an external horizon)
- Operating under Air Traffic Control in closely managed airspace; this includes the need to fly instrument approaches if required.
Help the RAF procure the first military certified zero emission platform
The UK Government and the RAF have set targets for achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and 2040, respectively. To help reach these goals, the next generation training aircraft must be more environmentally friendly, utilising a sustainable fuel source such as electric or hydrogen which will produce zero carbon emissions at the point of use.
Ahead of any future procurement, it is vital that this technology is investigated, ensuring the RAF remains at the forefront as an intelligent customer.
The next generation light training aircraft needs to:
- employ a powertrain that is zero carbon emissions at the point of activity
- be a robust, dual control, side by side two seat configuration with fixed undercarriage that can operate from both grass and hard runways
- demonstrate indicative performance requirements – an operating endurance of around 90 minutes and require no more than 20 minutes turnaround time between flights. This will include replenishment of the powertrain energy source
- be capable of operating between airspeeds of 50-130kts to a ceiling of 10000ft at maximum all up mass
- possess an air speed envelope that affords safe handling and low stalling speed but enables activities requiring higher speeds such as low-level navigation and entry into aerobatic manoeuvres
- be capable of flight in all classes of controlled airspace and Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC)
Do you have an in-depth global understanding of emerging capabilities, technologies, initiatives and novel approaches in the light training aircraft market? Submit an idea and help inform future RAF market engagement for a next generation training aircraft.
Read the full Market Exploration document and submit your innovation!
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/market-exploration-net-zero-emissions-air-system (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
06 Jul 21. Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and US to participate in exercise Three Swords. The exercise is primarily aimed at assessing the capabilities of LitPolUkrBrig units in LitPolUkrBrig Command-led operations.
Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, and the US are set to take part in a multinational tactical exercise ‘Three Swords 2021’.
The exercise, which will be held from 17-30 July in Ukraine, will see the participation of more than 1,200 military staff and over 200 combat vehicles.
The unit of the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade of the Air Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Ukraine will take part in the multinational exercise.
Three Swords 2021 exercise is designed for the development and effective coordination of units of partner states.
The exercise is primarily aimed at assessing the capabilities of LitPolUkrBrig units in LitPolUkrBrig Command-led operations.
It will help enhance the quality of the units and increase the level of combat capabilities of Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG to be ready for regional security.
LITPOLUKRBRIG was founded on the principles of ‘democracy, sovereignty, and collective security’. Through this exercise, participating countries can share experiences at the stages of planning, preparation as well as task implementation. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Jul 21. Singapore and US Navies conduct bilateral exercise Pacific Griffin. The exercise is aimed at enhancing bilateral interoperability between the two navies. The US Navy (USN) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) are conducting a bilateral exercise Pacific Griffin in the water off Guam. The exercise, which will run to 7 July, offers an opportunity for the two navies to enhance their capabilities and cooperation.
The RSN’s Formidable-class frigates RSS Tenacious and RSS Stalwart, and the Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel RSS Fearless are participating in the exercise.
The USN has deployed its Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold, auxiliary ship USNS Amelia Earhart and a Los Angeles-class submarine.
The exercise will cover air, surface and underwater domains.
During the exercise, RSN and USN naval divers conducted maritime counter-terrorism training.
The navies of the two countries also combined boarding of a vessel of interest, simulated by RSN’s training ship ‘MV Avatar’.
Furthermore, the Singapore Navy participants fired torpedoes and conducted an Aster anti-air missile firing.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) conducted a successful coordinated missile firing against a surface target.
RSN deputy fleet commander colonel Ooi Tjin Kai said: “Exercise Pacific Griffin is an important part of a series of regular bilateral interactions with our US counterparts.
“We always look forward to training with the USN as it provides us the opportunity to conduct exercises to hone our capabilities and enhance our cooperation.”
During the exercise, the RSN and RSAF also executed other integrated missions in support of maritime operations.
US Navy Task Force 71 commander captain Chase Sargeant said: “Exercises like Pacific Griffin emphasise cooperation while building competencies in a complex and technologically-advanced training environment.
“This exercise demonstrates the trust and expertise we have built over the years with the RSN through increasingly complex and integrated training and live fire events.”
Before participating in the exercise, all SAF personnel underwent pre-departure isolation and tested negative for Covid-19.
In May last year, the US and Singapore conducted Exercise Pacific Griffin in South China Sea. (Source: naval-technology.com)
05 Jul 21. Serbia exercises with new military equipment. The Serbian Armed Forces (SAF) used new military equipment during exercise ‘Munjeviti Udar (Lightning Strike) 2021′, which was held on 15–27 June. More than 15,000 troops were involved in the exercise that was held at eight training areas throughout Serbia. A new version of the Zastava Terenska Vozila (Terrain Vehicles, TERVO) M-20 6×6 mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) armoured fighting vehicle was unveiled at the exercise. The vehicle now features add-on armour for better ballistic protection but its transport compartment no longer has firing ports and side doors. There are three bullet-proof windows on each side of the vehicle, including one each for the driver and commander doors, and a single side-opening door instead of the pair of doors in the rear part of the M-20 prototype.
Also debuting was the Fabrika Automobila Priboj (FAP) BOV-OT M-21 4×4 armoured personnel carrier, designed to accommodate a driver, commander, and eight soldiers. The vehicle has a 1,500 kg payload capacity and is equipped with a stabilised remote-controlled weapon station with a 12.7 mm machine gun. It is powered by a new 280 hp engine with an automatic gearbox producing a maximum speed of 110 km/h.
T-72B1MS White Eagle main battle tanks (MBTs) donated by Russia and locally developed and produced Mali (Little) Miloš unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) armed with two M80 Zolja (Wasp) disposable one-shot 64 mm rocket-propelled grenades each were seen live firing for the first time. Prototypes of locally modernised M-84AS1 and M-84AS2 MBTs were noted with special coatings to reduce their infrared signatures. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Jul 21. 4GD to demonstrate urban warfare synthetic co-location training at AWE21. Close combat training technology specialists, 4GD, have signed a contract of participation with the British Army to demonstrate the capabilities of their SmartFacility synthetic training environment at the Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) 2021.
Incorporating two new products that were launched in January this year, ACIES and ECFECTUS, 4GD will showcase its dismounted close quarters combat synthetic wrap that can support seamless high-quality urban warfare simulation across live and virtual worlds, combined arms training and data capture and analysis.
The exercise will be conducted simultaneously at 4GD’s new META Lab in Berkshire and the recently delivered SmartFacility in service with the British Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade at Colchester, with the two physical facilities networked into a single IntegratedRealities environment.
Rob Taylor, Founder of 4GD, said: “The goal of this experiment is to demonstrate how 4GD technology can enable the localisation of high readiness close quarter and combined arms training in an IntegratedRealities environment while also decentralising training, so soldiers and commanders can manage their personal performance against a seamless simulation of a real-life urban battlefield, without having to leave the facility physically”.
Adding to the existing immersive special effects of the 4GD SmartFacility, the ACIES IntegratedRealities System will deliver the synthetic aspects of the scenario. The resulting environment will include SimStriker smart-target adversaries, a virtual drone, a synthetic mortar trainer delivered by 4GD partners D3A, and a marksman in synthetic overwatch. These assets will be physically split between the two facilities, but synthetically relocated for the exercise.
While the operation is ongoing, the ECFECTUS tactical performance data collection suite will draw information from various sources including 4GD SimStriker smart targets to provide feedback on lethality, survivability, mobility and sustainability, and drive performance improvements for warfighters.
“As British troops are more likely to face well-equipped adversaries in modern urban battlefields, we feel privileged to be part of AWE21 where we can contribute our solutions and demonstrate how high-intensity training in a realistic synthetic environment can be a force multiplier that ensures mission success”, Taylor added. “The format offered by AWE is a highly valuable exercise as it allows us to get feedback on our developments directly from the end user, which helps us to tailor our solutions in line with their emerging requirements and ensure our R&D is focused in the right direction.”
The Army Warfighting Experiment is the annual live trial of prototypes and emerging military technologies run by the British Army to encourage innovation and foster close cooperation with leading businesses across every defence industry niche. Phase 3 of AWE21 is set to take place in autumn this year. For more visit: https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/events/army-warfighting-experiment/
4GD specialise in bringing the most cutting-edge technologies to the defence market, in order to reduce the distance between operational reality and training. We use technology to drive operator performance by increasing levels of realism, providing scalable complexity and delivering targeted improvements, all whilst making the systems more intuitive for the user. We already have capability optimising performance in elite units in both the USA & UK.
06 Jul 21. Thales to digitalise tactical combat training for the Polish Army.
- Thales has been selected to provide Poland’s land forces with five tactical combat training systems “Combat Staff Trainer systems”.
- The award is the first export contract for this tactical combat training system, which is already in service with the French Army.
- Thales is a European leader in advanced simulation-based tactical training with a system used to train personnel at several levels, from dismounted soldiers to battalion commanders.
On 11 June 2021, Thales signed an agreement to provide the Polish Army with five Combat Staff Trainer tactical training systems to be installed at several locations in Poland. This is the first time the Polish armed forces have acquired a digital solution to meet their tactical training requirements. The computer-based simulation system from Thales is used to conduct collective training exercises in a virtual and cybersecured environment representative of the Polish Army’s theatres of operations.
In today’s military operations, each level in the command chain has to analyse complex datasets from multiple sources and make critical decisions quickly in high-intensity conflict situations. The Combat Staff Trainer from Thales enables personnel at every level of the organisation to prepare for tactical missions in a highly realistic environment.
An AI-based Computer Generated Forces (CGF) application helps to develop the training scenario and control the virtual entities taking part in the mission. The Combat Staff Trainer solution includes a complete software suite to prepare and monitor training exercises and conduct after-action reviews. The CGF application models every movement of entities on the ground, taking terrain features and the perceived tactical situation into account to reproduce their behaviours realistically. 2D and 3D models of the theatre of operations will be used to construct scenarios in urban areas and open terrain (mountainous, desert, coastal, etc.) and offer land forces staff a fully immersive training experience.
The proven Combat Staff Trainer system is already in service with the French Army. A number of upgrades and expanded functionality will be introduced to meet the specific needs of the Polish land forces, and personnel at every level of the command chain, from the dismounted soldier to the battalion commander, can now take part in the exercises. 3D models of the actual weapon systems in service with the Polish armed forces will be developed for a more immersive training experience. The systems will be delivered to five regiments of the Polish armed forces, and each one can be used to train up to 38 people at the same time.
The Combat Staff Trainer was developed in France and the systems will be delivered in stages over the next two years. Thales staff based in Poland will be responsible for installing and supporting the five systems in close collaboration with local users.
05 Jul 21. Shadow UAV guides artillery training. Live-fire artillery training has been conducted with the support of new UAV targeting capability.
The Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) has demonstrated its target support capability during Exercise Dragon Sprint, held at Townsville Field Training Area late last month.
Gunners of the 131st Battery, 20th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, provided laser-designated coordinates for artillery and close-air support from approximately 9,000 feet above the battlefield.
Tiger helicopters launched hellfire missiles guided by the UAV’s coordinates, with three dots forming a triangular sight held over a target.
20th Regiment Adjutant Captain Christopher Moroney lauded the successful operation of the Shadow UAVs.
“Shadow can designate a vehicle-size target with as much accuracy as a Tiger. This reduces the risk to the Tiger – or another manned platform – doing it for itself,” he said.
“This, however, does not replace the ground-based observer, as we are a weather-dependent system.”
The UAV enables forward observers to view the target from a distance before missiles are fired.
“The target location depends on how close they need to be to that target,” gun detachment commander Bombardier Bryson Smith, from the 106th Battery, 4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery said.
“They have to have a good line of sight to call in effective fire, so with UAVs, they do not need to be as close to the target and you can get a better acquisition and we can fire more effective rounds.”
The UAV has a range of 125 kilometres, capable of flying beyond the artillery’s maximum range. The range was extended during the exercise by dislocating the Shadow operators 50 kilometres from the airfield, creating a ‘battery forward position’.
This capability resulted in 12 successful Hellfire designations over the course of the exercise.
“Apart from range and target information, we can provide video, stills and have the ability to observe day and night using infrared,” CAPT Moroney added.
“Being an aerial observer, it gives us a better perspective of the battlefield and you always want height and good optics to engage the target. This allows adjustments to be made more efficiently.”
The deployment of the UAV followed extensive simulation training.
“First, we work in the simulator, and then practise it and execute it for real,” CAPT Moroney continued.
“It ultimately proves the system works and the soldiers are ready.”
Exercise Dragon Sprint also served as a training opportunity for the School of Army Aviation, with Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Scott Doré, leading a team of Tiger training staff and three trainee pilots.
“It is a unique opportunity for us to develop our staff and for our trainees to see and be exposed to training they would not normally have the opportunity to at this point,” he said.
“We train our gunnery on a simulator and you do not get all the learning associated with expending live rounds and going through the range safety planning involved with a live-fire activity.”
Staff from the School of Army Aviation assessed the feasibility of supporting similar exercises.
“Our aircraft support staff are not just refuelling, they are practising the core skills of loading ordnance onto an aircraft from a deployed location in the field, which is what our tradesmen joined the Army to do,” LTCOL Doré added.
Exercise Dragon Sprint capped off a series of training drills held in the lead up to Exercise Talisman Sabre. (Source: Defence Connect)
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.