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09 Jul 19. Meggitt’s R&D for the military benefits law enforcement. How can law enforcement advance training within its limited budgetary resources? Meggitt Training Systems meets this challenge through an exciting dual use of technology: Adapting our acclaimed FATS 100MIL® into the FATS® 100LE, the most advanced virtual training system to serve law enforcement officers. Meggitt has invested millions of dollars in research and development to create the world’s best small-arms training system for militaries around the world. We met all requirements set forth by the U.S. Army and were named the Program of Record for small arms training. Since then we’ve delivered the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) II system to active, National Guard and reserve units worldwide.

As a result, we were able to produce the FATS 100LE, a landmark system that provides:

  • Immersive realism: Cutting edge 3D marksmanship training environment. With visually realistic and highly detailed terrains and targets, the fidelity and target detail readily supports target detection, recognition and identification requirements. Photorealistic 3D terrains combine with 3D targets (including “paper” targets). You even have natural 3D occultation, in which objects or persons can be hidden from view and then confront the shooter. High-fidelity environmental effects provide that aura of real life, in which random happenings can distract. The targets remain in correct perspective for each lane with up to five marksmanship trainees at a time. Finally, as a trainer, you can create custom courses of fire to mimic qualification courses and drills.
  • The key question for any virtual training is “How comprehensive is the realism?” A truly “immersive platform” by definition mirrors actual circumstances as accurately as possible. The FATS 100LE delivers solid weapon handling and shot placement analytics, and enhanced graphic capabilities for an all-encompassing immersive training platform. This impressive array of functionality crosses over to the 3D marksmanship training environment, and, as you will see, the after-action review further allows engagement and shot assessment in this 3D virtual environment, while providing detailed trainee diagnostics for skill reinforcement as well as correction.
  • Diagnostics: Feedback at the firing line with automatic coaching. Meggitt’s patented Automatic Coaching leverages the enhanced 3D Marksmanship, Meggitt’s BlueFire® weapon simulator diagnostics, and wireless tablet technology to provide training feedback at the firing line. That means instructors can now stand next to the trainees and show exact shot placement, improper weapon handling and weapon trace. They can demonstrate correct behavior in real time.
  • In addition, Automatic Coaching creates a flexible training environment by putting instructional tools in the hands of the instructor for ready presentation to the trainee. Automatic Coaching tracks the weapon sensor information: how the trainee manipulates the trigger, how much pressure is applied to the buttstock, how the weapon is canted along with shot analysis that reinforces the fundamentals of shooting for the trainee.
  • Based on detailed shot analysis, automatic assessment flags questionable results (immediately available on an individual tablet for trainee reference), allowing the instructor to quickly identify and correct fundamental marksmanship errors with coaching techniques.
  • Judgmental training: use of force and officer safety. Use-of-force options and officer safety must be primary concerns of any training system. The FATS 100LE judgmental training expands the understanding of de-escalation of force situations and the corresponding decision-making process. The system effectively reinforces judgmental training objectives, concealed carry, less lethal and general weapons familiarization skills. An optional single-screen configuration includes a variety of video training modes to provide a multi-tiered program.
  • For safety, the system provides the most innovative tools on the market to prepare officers for split-second decisions. Instinctive officer response based on true-to-life training is critical for effective reactions in the field. With the FATS 100LE, instructors have the opportunity to train students on proper use of the full repertoire of responses to a dangerous situation: verbal commands, control tactics, impact strikes, chemical tools, less lethal options and deadly force.
  • Branching increases the realism of a scenario. For example, a “near miss” will dictate consequences, to which the officer must respond. Instructors can then debrief the trainee on what might have been more optimal actions or reinforce the resilience in regaining control of the situation.
  • The simulations cover constitutional issues and recent court decisions plus use-of-force policy. It vividly reinforces the officers’ classroom education and practical exercises. Simulation allows the instructor to repeat training exercises in a low-cost, time-efficient manner, while replay and look-back functions provide an additional debriefing benefit.
  • Capacity and logistics: Through-put for multiple trainees. Since Meggitt Training Systems developed this technology for armed forces, training productivity and concurrent exercises have been major requirements. Presenting a similar system for law enforcement, we have been mindful of the costs, from design through installation.
  • The FATS 100LE is designed for assignments of up to 16 weapons, allowing trainees to select the appropriate use tactics in judgmental mode. The system can also handle five trainees at a time for marksmanship and is networkable for up to three systems for 15 lanes of marksmanship training across three 16’x 9′ screens.
  • In addition to Meggitt’s BlueFire wireless weapons, the system can cost-effectively accommodate an agency’s legacy weapons. You can import customer-specific training manuals (PDF, MS Word/ PowerPoint, .mpg, .wmv), and generate system utilization reports for data mining, including time spent in training mode, weapon type, etc. In fact, training materials can be viewed simultaneously on the tablet and main screen(s). Trainers can run any of the applications from their tablet. Meggitt includes on-site installation and system training for up to five trainees.

12 Jul 19. RAAF sharpens air combat claws with support of US Raptors. The Royal Australian Air Force has kicked off a range of fifth-generation integration training operations, flying alongside US Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft on Thursday as part of an Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) activity for Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019. The aim of Enhanced Air Cooperation is to strengthen the ability of Australia and the US to work together as well as regional partners, in the interests of regional stability and security.

Group Captain Stephen Chappell, Commander of the Amberley based Australian-US task unit for the exercise, said training with the stealth fighter aircraft honed Australian fifth-generation integration and provided valuable training.

“Talisman Sabre builds on the regular exercises we do at Amberley, in the United States and the key training programs and exchanges with USAF and US Navy that we use to develop our tactics, techniques and procedures,” GPCAPT Chappell said.

“Integration with the fifth-generation platforms like F-22 and F-35 are key to how we will do our job both now and in the future. We train with Raptors annually, and this is a continuation of the journey and the ongoing pursuit and maintenance of full air combat integration.”

The USAF deployed the F-22 Raptor from 90th Fighter Squadron, E-3C Sentry from the 962nd AACS, KC-10 Extender from the 6th Air Refuelling Squadron, and B-52 Stratofortress from the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron to support Talisman Sabre from 10-24 July 2019.

GPCAPT Chappell added, “For Talisman Sabre, we will be focusing on how we operate and train on our F/A-18 Classic Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and E-7A Wedgetail in the same theatre as this advanced F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet.”

Colonel Barley Baldwin, Amberley USAF Group Commander, 13th Expeditionary Air Force said his personnel were looking forward to the opportunity to exercise in Australia.

COL Baldwin said, “I am excited for the 90th Fighter Squadron to return to Queensland where the squadron first established its long-term relationship in with the Australians in 1942. Exercises and training opportunities like Talisman Sabre 19 foster stronger relationships and increase interoperability with our Australian allies, as well as enable our aircrew and support personnel to become familiar with conducting operations out of Royal Australian air bases.”

EAC activities commenced in February 2017, adding an extra dimension to the initiatives in Australia. The EAC initiative aims to strengthen bilateral collaboration and enhance interoperability through increased participation of US air elements, including fifth-generation strike fighters and strategic bombers in a range of training activities and exercises with the ADF.

“During Talisman Sabre 2019, RAAF and USAF Airmen will train for high-end, modern combat as we continue to build upon our 70-plus year relationship,” COL Baldwin added.

While flying activities are the most traditional and visible demonstration of air co-operation, EAC is not just about aircraft. EAC activities have several lines of effort including joint and combined warfighting effects, operational manoeuvre, integrating enabling capabilities, and strategic logistics.

EAC provides Australia and the US with the opportunity to extend combined technical skills and logistics training and will enhance RAAF’S transition to a fifth generation Air Force by introducing fifth-generation operations and requirements to RAAF bases. (Source: Defence Connect)

12 Jul 19. Flight simulator technology represents new age for RAAF. The installation of eye and head tracking sensor technologies have been successfully demonstrated in the Hawk-127 lead-in-fighter flight simulators as part of the Jericho Dawn Program, at No. 76 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown.

The technology allows fighter instructors to monitor a student pilot’s point of gaze, dwell time and gaze pattern, which can then be analysed to identify poor scanning technique and student response time, either live or post-operation.

On observing the new technology, Executive Officer of No. 78 Wing, Wing Commander Christopher Plain, said they could ascertain between novice and expert scan patterns with a Crew Training System (CTS).

“Using CTS, new Hawk-127 pilots can be coached to better perform certain scans, thereby improving performance in mission achievement, efficiency, time to competency, proficiency and safety,” WGCDR Plain said.

The Jericho Dawn Program has been run by the Air Warfare Centre Innovation Hub since 2017, with the opportunity to work with Seeing Machines’ CTS identified and initiated by Mark Corbett from the Royal Australian Air Force Institute of Aviation Medicine (IAM).

A Defence and industry collaboration was set up with CAE, Seeing Machines and RAAF IAM, AWC Innovation Hub and Air Combat Group to install the technology in under six months.

“Our focus is to put future innovative capability into the hands of the user as quickly as possible,” Innovation Hub manager Squadron Leader Myles Clarke said.

On completion of the demonstration, No. 78 Wing formally supported the installation of the technology to the next phase, which will see the eye and face tracking installed on the Hawk simulators at Nos. 76 and 79 Squadrons until April 2020.

Over this time, Seeing Machines, No. 78 Wing and IAM will be analysing the data collected to enable the best use of the technology in the training system, with a goal to progress to full capability by 2020. (Source: Defence Connect)

10 Jul 19. US and Singapore begin bilateral exercise Tiger Balm 2019. The US and Singapore armies have commenced annual bilateral exercise Tiger Balm 2019 at Mandai Hill Camp in Singapore. Set to run until 19 July, the brigade-level exercise will allow Singapore and the US to enhance military-to-military interoperability and people-to-people relations. This year’s exercise will involve around 766 personnel from the 76th Singapore Infantry Brigade and 5th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (5 SIR), and the US Army’s 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2-130th Infantry Battalion (2-130 IN), and 1-23 Stryker Platoon. During the course of Tiger Balm 2019, the two armies will plan and execute operations as a Combined Task Force.

The personnel will take part in urban operations scenarios and tackle improvised explosive device threats. The US Army’s 1-23 Stryker Platoon will use Stryker Combat Vehicles, while 5 SIR and 2-130 IN will operate with the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, 6th Singapore Division commander brigadier-general Lee Yi-Jin said: “I am excited about the opportunities that Exercise Tiger Balm 2019 will provide to deepen our strategic relationship in the spirit of mutual learning and professional sharing.

“In particular, the exercise will allow both armies to operate together at the combined task force and brigade levels.

“This exchange of knowledge and shared collective experience will be invaluable should we be called upon to operate alongside each other.”

The first iteration of the annual bilateral exercise was conducted in 1981. Tiger Balm is the longest-running bilateral exercise between the two armies. The exercise is designed to enable sharing of tactics, techniques and procedures between the US Army and Singapore Army. As part of Exercise Tiger Balm 2018, the armies jointly executed joint strike operations. (Source: army-technology.com)

10 Jul 19. US and partner nations conclude Pacific phase of UNITAS LX exercise. The US and 12 partner nations have successfully completed the Pacific phase of UNITAS LX annual multinational maritime exercise.

Hosted by Chile, the dual-phase Pacific and Atlantic exercise began on 24 June and involved more than 1,700 personnel from 13 nations. It concluded on 3 July. Participating nations also included Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Turkey, and the UK. This was the 60th edition of the ‘world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise’.

UNITAS involved ten warships and eight aircraft in scenario-driven maritime manoeuvring operations in the Pacific Ocean.

Assets undertook operations that included littoral warfare, anti-piracy, maritime interception, counter transnational organised crime, anti-surface and electronic combat exercises, as well as communications, air, and amphibious drills.

These drills were designed to enhance interoperability and capability between participating navies.

US Naval Forces Southern Command/US 4th Fleet commander rear admiral Donald Gabrielson said: “I was asked what is different about UNITAS this year. To which I replied, the people are different, presenting them with the same problems, giving them the experience, allowing us to respond quickly to a crisis as a team.”

UNITAS LX focused on training all personnel to increase responses in real-world crises.

Destroyer Squadron 40 deputy commodore captain Thomas Myers said: “Military operations move at the speed of trust. This is why building relationships is important, and this is why UNITAS will continue to be so important, now and into the future.”

UNITAS seeks to develop and test the ability of navies to respond to maritime missions under a single umbrella force.

Brazil is set to serve as the host nation for the Atlantic and amphibious phases of UNITAS next month. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

08 Jul 19. RAAF prepares Williamson Airfield for Exercise Talisman Sabre. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has prepared Williamson Airfield for the upcoming bilateral Exercise Talisman Sabre (TS19) between Australia and the US. RAAF’s Combat Support Group (CSG) has set up the remote airfield in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. The majority of land-based activities will be held in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

Around 1,300 personnel, plus aircraft from the RAAF, Australian Army, the US and New Zealand will perform air operations at Williamson during the exercise.

The airfield will be used as a forward-operating base and to provide catering, communications, security and medical support for TS19.

Williamson Airfield Base commander wing commander Alan Brown said: “If we weren’t here, the aircraft would turn up and not have any support.

“People would have no health facilities, they wouldn’t be fed, there’d be no communications, we are key enablers to their air operations.

“CSG is extremely important to any air operation that occurs. It doesn’t just happen by itself; there are a lot of talented people behind the scenes that support those air operations.”

The biennial exercise is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) largest combined exercise.

TS19 will be the eighth iteration of the exercise, which will be held from 11-24 July.

During the course of the exercise, forces will train in planning and conducting combined task force operations to improve combat readiness and interoperability. Although Talisman Sabre is primarily a bilateral exercise between the US and Australia, additional countries may join upon invitation. This year, forces from New Zealand, Canada, the UK and Japan will also take part in the exercise. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

05 Jul 19. Argentina sells pair of Pampa IIIs to Guatemala. A contract for the sale of two Argentine Pampa III jet trainers to the Guatemalan Air Force has been signed. The deal, worth USD28m, was signed on 3 July by the Argentine and Guatemalan defence ministers, Oscar Aguad and General Miguel Ralda respectively, along with Antonio Beltramone, the president of Argentine state aircraft manufacturer FAdeA.

The deal includes technical support and training, Beltramone told Jane’s, adding that the air forces of the two countries “will increase their joint work and the Guatemalan Air Force will send pilots and technicians to the Argentine Air Force for training. For FAdeA this is an historical goal, as it is the first time the Pampa has been exported.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Jul 19. Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan in Ukraine for major multinational maritime exercise. The Type 45 has docked in the Port of Odesa on the Black Sea alongside NATO Allies and partner nations for Exercise Sea Breeze 2019. Alongside forces from 18 other Allies and partners, the ship is contributing to the major multinational maritime training exercise featuring a combined 3,000 troops, 32 ships and 24 aircraft. HMS Duncan is participating in the exercise as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and has received support on Sea Breeze 19 from their colleagues deployed on Operation Orbital – the UK’s training mission to Ukraine.

On Sunday HMS Duncan also hosted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to the Port of Odesa as part of Ukraine Navy Day.

Commodore Michael Utley, Commander of the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group (COMUKCSG), met with Navy personnel aboard HMS Duncan as part of a visit to the exercise.

COMUKCSG Commodore Michael Utley said: “With a multitude of nations combining a wealth of maritime assets, Exercise Sea Breeze 2019 demonstrates the strength of solidarity between Ukraine and its international partners. From crucial training exercises to long-term political reform – the UK is committed to standing by Ukraine, whilst Russia maintains its illegal annexation of Crimea.”

Since 2015 the UK has helped build the resilience and capacity of the Ukrainian Armed Forces through Operation Orbital, providing training to over 16,000 personnel so far. Earlier this year the operation expanded to include maritime training, including seamanship, sea survival and maritime tactical training courses. The UK also supports Ukraine in its institutional reforms of the defence and security sector, helping to drive more effective governance and will soon introduce a permanent Naval Attaché to the UK Defence Section in Kyiv to help build Ukrainian naval capability. (Source: ASD Network)

05 Jul 19. US and Nato allies demonstrate capabilities in night fire exercise. The US Army and several other nations have participated in a multinational short-range air defence night fire exercise in Utska, Poland. Soldiers from the US Army’s C Battery, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment took part in the night fire exercise, which was conducted as part of the Tobruq Legacy 2019, 21-day Nato air defence exercise hosted by Poland. Tobruq Legacy 2019 involved 3,000 personnel from 13 nations, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK. During the night fire exercise, US soldiers demonstrated the AN/TWQ-1 Avenger Missile System and the FIM-92 Stinger Missiles.

The army’s Avenger system comprises a military vehicle that features four missile ports in each of the two guns fixed to the turret. The test represents the first live test for the FIM-92, a handheld weapon system used to engage aircraft.

US Army 1st platoon squad leader and team chief staff sergeant Andrew Bryan said: “It should make our potential adversaries nervous.

“If I saw multiple nations coming together in a huge exercise that was successful such as this one, I would be nervous, because it shows we have the capabilities and firepower to do what we need to do.”

Tobruq Legacy is designed to allow participating nations to improve capabilities to enhance Poland’s structural defence against potential adversaries. The exercise also seeks to enhance interoperability among the nations to prepare for defence against any attack. (Source: army-technology.com)

08 Jul 19. International Defense & Aerospace Group receives MD 530F for pilot training. International Defense & Aerospace Group (IDAG) has received a single MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F rotorcraft to be used by the Slovak Training Academy (STA). Delivery of the MD 530F to the Pennsylvania-based authorised sales agent was announced on 8 July, and will see the helicopter join five earlier model MD 500Es at the STA in Slovakia.

“Its primary role will be to support the tactical and NVG flight training needs of military and paramilitary helicopter pilots from around the world,” MDHI said in a statement.

As noted by MDHI, IDAG has been an authorised MDHI sales agent for select Central and Eastern European opportunities since 2017, focusing on the sale and service of specialty rotorcraft solutions to military and paramilitary operators. IDAG also provides training to global airborne law enforcement, military, and special forces operators. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Jul 19. SNMG1 group participates in Nato exercise Dynamic Mongoose. Standing Nato Maritime Group One (SNMG1) is taking part in the latest maritime anti-submarine warfare interoperability exercise Dynamic Mongoose (DYMON). DYMON 2019 is underway in the Norwegian Sea and across the Article Circle. The exercise involves more than 2,000 military personnel from nine countries, including Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, the UK, and US. It seeks to increase anti-submarine warfare (ASW) integration among the navies of Nato nations. During the exercise, six surface ships, nine maritime patrol aircraft, and eight helicopters will train with four allied submarines in the North Atlantic. SNMG1 joined the exercise after completing its participation in the multinational maritime-focused exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea last month.

SNGM 1 Staff Chief of Operations chief operations specialist Juan Gutierrez said: “Exercises like Dynamic Mongoose give Nato allies an opportunity to train in a very challenging deep water/continental slope environment and a surface environment where seas can build from 5ft to 25ft or even 30ft in the matter of a couple days.

“This is not only unique for the creation of the exercise but challenging for the navies due to the unpredictable circumstances.”

The maritime task group comprises the US flagship guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely, British Royal Navy frigate HMS Westminster, and Turkish frigate TCG Gokova.

DYMON is designed to test the abilities of participating submarine hunting ships and submarines to work in partnership.

The third day of the exercise saw SNMG1 conduct a combined anti-submarine exercise (CASEX).

A CASEX scenario involves a group of ships and aircraft working together to search for submarines. The submarine plays the opposing force and is required to perform simulated missions against the surface forces.

While the ships have both active and passive sonar, as well as radar and visual sensors, the helicopters are equipped with radar and visual detection systems to help detect the submarine.

SNMG1 staff anti-submarine warfare officer German lieutenant commander Ulrike Boelke-Dorr said: “We started the coordination for the Dynamic Mongoose CASEX’s about three months ago.

“With 27 units from nine countries participating, it’s important and beneficial for all navies to be assigned with their strengths of capabilities, which will provide crucial feedback for future missions.” (Source: naval-technology.com)

05 Jul 19. Argentina sells pair of Pampa IIIs to Guatemala. A contract for the sale of two Argentine Pampa III jet trainers to the Guatemalan Air Force has been signed. The deal, worth USD28m, was signed on 3 July by the Argentine and Guatemalan defence ministers, Oscar Aguad and General Miguel Ralda respectively, along with Antonio Beltramone, the president of Argentine state aircraft manufacturer FAdeA. The deal includes technical support and training, Beltramone told Jane’s, adding that the air forces of the two countries “will increase their joint work and the Guatemalan Air Force will send pilots and technicians to the Argentine Air Force for training. For FAdeA this is an historical goal, as it is the first time the Pampa has been exported.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Jul 19. Spy Games: All eyes on Australia as Exercise Talisman Sabre launches. With Exercise Talisman Sabre formally opened in Brisbane, regional rivals will be keeping a keen eye on the biennial exercise that will feature Japanese warships for the first time. The exercise was opened by the ADF’s Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, and the US Army Pacific’s Commanding General 25th Infantry Division, Major General Ron Clark. However, attention has been somewhat turned to the presence of a Chinese Type 815G Dongdiao-class electronic surveillance ship that’s making its way towards Australia.

“There is Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) north of Australia at the moment,” LTGEN Bilton said at the exercise’s launch.

“It is international waters; they have the right to sail there.”

It’s believed that China has a “keen interest” in how Japan’s vessels interact and operate alongside the ADF and the US, as Japan’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade will heavily feature in the exercise, a unit that was established to respond to situations in the contested waters in the East and South China Seas.

The presence of a Chinese surveillance ship is something that’s not new to Talisman Sabre, however, with the same class of vessel detected monitoring the 2017 iteration.

LTGEN Bilton kept his cards close to his chest when asked about how the ADF will respond to the ship.

“I’m not going to go into operational details, but we’ll just take appropriate actions in regard to that vessel,” the Chief of Joint Operations said.

“It’s a vessel that collects information, so it’s not a great threat, but we’ll take appropriate action.”

With over 30,000 military personnel to participate in the exercise, as well as a multitude of high-end warfighting capabilities, it’s no surprise to see Beijing taking steps to monitor Talisman Sabre.

One of these capabilities that will be on show is the US high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS), with rapid infiltration (HIRAIN) training set to take place in Queensland during the exercise.

The HIRAIN training features HIMARS flown in to an area by C-130 Hercules aircraft, rapidly unloaded to conduct fire missions, then reloaded in and redirected to the next objectives.

This tactic minimises the window of detection and counter fire missions conducted by hostile forces against the system.

“The capability that the artillery and the Marine Corps gains through HIRAIN is invaluable,” said US Marine Corps Master Sergeant David R. Morgan, Field Artillery Chief, Q Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

“It allows all areas of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force to assist in timely and accurate fires that will help defeat all future enemies. It is a chance for us to actively get involved with them, to learn from them, and a chance for us to grow as a unified force ready to respond to any crisis.”

“What we are demonstrating is the capability of the US Marine Corps, US Air Force and US Army to come together with different aircrews and different HIMARS units, quickly build a plan, deploy on C-130s, travel great distances by air, land, rapidly deliver long-range precision fires against enemy targets, and depart their firing location prior to detection,” added US Army Major Daniel Graw, Division Assistant Fire Support Coordinator, 3d Marine Division.

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the exercise was designed to enhance combat readiness and interoperability between the Australian and United States Armed Forces.

“This premier military engagement reflects the strength of the Australia-US alliance and the closeness of our military to military relationship,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Exercise Talisman Sabre will involve more than 34,000 personnel from Australia and the United States.

“Forces from Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom will be embedded alongside Australian Defence Force personnel, and delegations from India and the Republic of Korea will observe the exercise. Eighteen nations from across the Indo-Pacific region have also been invited to an international visitors program.”

The bilateral exercise is the culmination of extensive and ongoing local community engagement throughout the exercise area.

“Talisman Sabre would not be possible without the generous cooperation of the local community including landowners, governments and traditional owners.”

The majority of Talisman Sabre 2019 activities will take place in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and surrounding State Forests, near Rockhampton. (Source: Defence Connect)

05 Jul 19. US Navy begins WASP tabletop exercise to identify acquisition gaps. The US Navy has started the Wartime Acquisition Scalable Plan (WASP) tabletop exercise at Washington Navy Yard to improve the readiness of ships in a conflict environment. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) has taken charge of mobile logistics and the development of emergent repair concept of operations for the WASP exercise. Designed to identify gaps in the effectiveness of logistics, the exercise involves simulation of battle damage in a wartime environment on an Aegis destroyer (DDG) and Ship Self Defense System on an amphibious-class ship (LHD). During the WASP exercise, the navy will focus on product support, contract strategies, fleet readiness and emergent repair and other key areas.

NAVSEA Integrated Warfare Systems programme executive officer rear admiral Doug Small referred to the event as a ‘Fight Tonight’ effort.

NSWC PHD logistics management specialist Danielle Ruiz said: “The desired outcome is to assess and analyse current in-service engineering Agent capabilities and identify gaps in logistics effectiveness across all possible elements.

“The idea is that this assessment and analysis will be repeatable for programmes across the command and produce outcomes that lead to actionable programme decisions in order to plan and prepare for agility, resiliency and recovery afloat in the event of a high-end fight.”

In addition to the industry-base acquisition process, the WASP focuses on the processes concerning the repair of ships in theatre to ensure they rejoin the battle quickly, fleet supportability manager Mike Kinberg stated.

The navy expects to use process improvements and feedback from the WASP exercise for incorporation across the fleet.

The WASP effort was originally launched last year to ‘identify and address acquisition vulnerabilities and readiness in transitioning from peacetime to a wartime scenario’.

Finalised recommendations are expected to be presented this month. Another WASP exercise is scheduled to be held later on in the year. (Source: naval-technology.com)

05 Jul 19. Last week, the Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) welcomed back Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier to MOD Boscombe Down for a tour of the new facilities and to celebrate the successful transformation of test pilot and engineer training. In 2015, QinetiQ and ETPS were challenged by Sir Stephen Hillier to innovate and change the way courses were delivered and find ways to modernise, maintain relevance and reduce cost. That challenge has led to significant investment, innovation and new ways of working that ensure the ETPS training offer is pertinent to customers’ demands now, introduces the latest teaching methodologies and supports the next generation of aircraft, such as the F-35.

Just four years after that significant challenge was set, Sir Stephen returned to see just how much has been achieved. The visit included tours of the new facilities, upgraded classrooms, and state-of-the-art aircraft fleet, and a demonstration of the unique digital Learning Management System.

Following the visit Sir Stephen stated, “I was delighted to attend the formal opening of the transformed Empire Test Pilot School. Through our partnership with QinetiQ, ETPS is now ready for the future and the next generation of air capability. Relevant, affordable, world-class and at the cutting edge of Test & Evaluation training.”

The changes introduced at ETPS are the greatest in the school’s 75 year history. Having trained future world speed record holders in the 1950s and future Apollo astronauts in the 1960s, ETPS is now able to train new generations of students more effectively for their future roles. They now learn in the same environment that they will work in after graduation, with extensive training in the assessment of advanced, real and synthetic systems in a modern cockpit and learning environment. Other courses were also developed to support customer demands, for example, ETPS now trains Evaluator Aircrew as well as Test Pilots – meaning that more students than ever are being prepared for their critical roles in assuring capability.

Steve Wadey, CEO of QinetiQ, said, “We have come a long way in the last four years and Sir Stephen was delighted with the investment, innovation, new ways of working, and collaboration that are now delivering significant value for our customers and our students. The changes and investment are great examples of our strategy in action, helping to modernise test and evaluation. I would like to thank Sir Stephen for his foresight in setting us the challenge to radically change ETPS and trusting us to deliver.”

ETPS is now both a military and commercial school following its accreditation as a European Aviation Safety Agency Approved Training Organisation, and the success of the new-model ETPS is part of QinetiQ’s wider strategy to modernise the UK’s training and test and evaluation capabilities through a long-term programme of investment and innovation.


Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Meggitt Training Systems continues to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders.

Over 13,600 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Learn more at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/.


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