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18 Jul 19. Largest allied amphibious assault conducted as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre. The largest Australian-led amphibious landing and offensive assault since the Second World War has taken place off the central Queensland coast – a demonstration of the growing power projection and amphibious capabilities of the Australian Army. Soldiers from Australia, the US, UK, Japan and New Zealand disembarked from a Combined Expeditionary Strike Group and assaulted Langham Beach, near Stanage Bay, before moving into an extended operational zone across the region.
Major General Roger Noble, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations for the Australian Defence Force, said the amphibious assault was a key phase of Exercise Talisman Sabre, the largest military exercise to take place in Australia.
“Through exercises like Talisman Sabre, we demonstrate the strength, viability and endurance of the alliance between Australia and the US as well as the varying levels of interoperability between our services,” MAJGEN Noble said.
MAJGEN Noble explained the importance of the amphibious landing in the nation’s growing defence capability and force structure modernisation, saying, “Australia’s defence policy continues to be based on the three interconnected strategic interests of a secure, resilient Australia, with secure northern approaches and proximate sea lines of communications; a secure nearer region, encompassing maritime south-east Asia and south Pacific; and a stable Indo-Pacific region and rules-based global order.”
Colonel Matt Sieber, Colonel Amphibious for Australia’s Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, from the United States Marine Corps, said the large-scale amphibious assault began three days ago as troops prepared for the assault and surveilled the enemy.
“Once the beachhead was secured, the amphibious assault group moved in, utilising amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft and simultaneous helicopter insertions into landing zones to come ashore,” he said.
“The Stanage Bay township has opened to us for this amphibious landing; we will be moving to the Bowen area later on in this exercise, and both communities have been hugely supportive.”
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 is the largest combined exercise undertaken by the Australian Defence Force, with participation of more than 34,000 personnel, 30 ships and 200 aircraft from across Australia, the US, New Zealand, the UK, Japan and Canada. (Source: Defence Connect)
17 Jul 19. SIG SAUER Academy, the leading provider of the highest quality firearms instruction and tactical training in the world, is pleased to announce the award of a General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule 84 contract for firearms and tactical training. GSA Schedule 84 provides contracted, cost-effective services for the military, government agencies, and municipalities. SIG SAUER Academy courses, offered in conjunction with Trident, LLC, are featured under special items numbers (SINs) 426 1A Miscellaneous Personal Equipment, and 426 6 Law Enforcement and Security Training.
Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. began, “SIG SAUER is proud to offer world-class training at the SIG SAUER Academy from elite instructors, including former Navy SEALs, US Army Special Forces, and SWAT, whose credentials in military and law enforcement are unmatched. This GSA award is a new opportunity, for those with access to Schedule 84, to train with the best, and we are looking forward to partnering with a wide range of government and law enforcement agencies through this award.”
The SIG SAUER Academy Training Courses being offered through GSA Schedule 84 can be accessed at gsa.gov or through a direct link accessing the site on the homepage at sigsaueracademy.com.
“This is an exciting development for SIG SAUER to be able to expand the reach of the SIG SAUER Academy, and provide new opportunities to government agencies and municipalities for firearms and tactical training,” concluded Cohen.
17 Jul 19. Bulgaria hosts maritime exercise Breeze 2019 in Black Sea. The Bulgarian Navy-led annual maritime exercise Breeze 2019 is underway in the Black Sea, which involves participating navies from a number of European countries and the US. Exercise Breeze involves units from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Poland, Romania, Turkey, the US, and Nato’s Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM). The exercise is designed to improve operational and tactical interoperability, enhance interagency cooperation, and evaluate Bulgarian Navy units.
US participation in this year’s exercise will include three P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft assigned to the ‘Red Lancers’ of Patrol Squadron (VP) 10.
Combined Task Force 67 commander and Breeze detachment officer-in-charge lieutenant Kevin Wunderly said: “We look forward to partnering with our allies in exercise Breeze to strengthen our relations, enhance our ability to conduct real-world operations, and build global maritime partnerships.
“We are committed to the goals of promoting a peaceful Europe and the belief that our nations are stronger through cooperation.”
The Breeze exercise has taken place every year since 1996.
Participating navies will have the opportunity to demonstrate interoperability and improve relationships.
The exercise will also include Standing Nato Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), comprising Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Toronto, Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis, the British frigate HMS Duncan, and Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand. Breeze 2019 started on the same day when a separate exercise named Sea Breeze concluded in Odesa, Ukraine. The Sea Breeze exercise was co-hosted by Ukraine and the US in the Black Sea. Other participants included Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. SNMG2 joined Breeze 2019 after participating in Sea Breeze. (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Jul 19. Buckley Air Force Base Receives MetaVR VRSG-equipped F-16C training simulators. The F-16 simulators equipped with MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator are the latest in a number of training systems delivered to US Air Force and Air National Guard bases. Pilots at Buckley Air Force Base (AFB) will shortly be training on four newly delivered F-16C Block 30 simulators featuring MetaVR’s Virtual Reality Scene Generator (VRSG). The F-16C four-ship training simulators have been installed at the new mission training center at Buckley AFB, CO, where they will be used for proficiency and currency maintenance pilot training by the 140th Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard.
The simulators were relocated from Vermont Air National Guard facilities at the Burlington International Airport prior to their delivery to Buckley AFB, and underwent a significant upgrade, which included bringing them up to the current Block 30 System Capabilities Upgrade 9.0 (SCU-9.0) configuration being used in the F-16C Block 30 aircraft.
The simulators feature 60 VRSG channels to simulate multiple views: out-the-window, embedded HUD, HMD/HMIT, real-time streaming protocol (RTSP) in the central display unit, ground map radar, targeting pod, and maverick missile displays. Together with MetaVR 3D terrain and models, the eight-screen cockpit displays with native 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution offer combat pilots an immersive field-of-view that renders the out-the window virtual environment with near 20/20 visual acuity.
MetaVR created a virtual replica of Buckley AFB and the Greater Denver area for the Buckley AFB simulators in order to provide realistic training for pilots. Details including runways, runway lights, signage, geospecific control tower and buildings and other culture were built using MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri® ArcGIS® from 15 cm per pixel imagery of the airfield area, and geolocated on the terrain with VRSG Scenario Editor. For simulating night scenes, the terrain contains thousands of cultural light points of the airfield, Aurora, and Denver.
The simulators are currently undergoing Initial Operational Capability, with operational training set to begin in the fall.
“The F-16C is one of the world’s most widely deployed combat jet fighters, with a service life expected to continue for decades to come,” Garth Smith, President of MetaVR commented. “Equipping its F-16C Block 30 simulators with MetaVR’s VRSG is a vital part of keeping the US Air Force and Air National Guard F-16C training simulator capability in line with the real aircraft, enabling pilots to maintain currency in hyper-realistic environments to help ensure mission success.”
The installation of VRSG-equipped F-16C simulators at Buckley AFB follows the installation of F-16C simulators in the same configuration at Lackland AFB for the Pilot Training Next initiative and Tucson Air National Guard Base in the fall of 2018. Luke AFB in Arizona also recently renewed software maintenance for 62 VRSG licenses and one MetaVR Terrain Tools for Esri ArcGIS license for its F-16C Block 30/40 full-mission training simulators; while F-16 simulators at Homestead Air Reserve Base and Ft. Worth Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base have also recently renewed 22 VRSG licenses.
15 Jul 19. AERALIS Ltd, the British firm developing the UK’s first home-grown fast jet training aircraft since the Hawk, signs an MoU with THALES to develop concepts for a ground-based training and simulation system aimed at complementing the UK’s Tempest future fighter programme, bolster the UK aerospace & defence sector and strengthen prospects for UK defence exports. AERALIS and THALES will evaluate concepts for a common simulator system that can be used to support all phases in a future flying training system and which could be demonstrated in time for Farnborough 2022. The collaboration will also feature AERALIS and THALES working together on developing the architecture for a future common Information System that will bring together data on student performance, aircraft utilisation and use of courseware to help operators configure and optimise their use of AERALIS to deliver individual training needs in the most cost-effective way.
Deploying the combined expertise of 80,000 employees across operations in 68 countries, THALES brings design & build expertise in training system design, simulator development and delivery of ground-based training services that will complement AERALIS’s existing collaborations with aircraft service providers. For AERALIS, the collaboration offers the opportunity to advance the production of its suite of jet trainers which will be fully customisable in terms of engines, outer wings and avionics. Adopting a unique modular concept built around a common, robust, long-life fuselage core, end-users will be able to configure their fleet of training aircraft to match the precise needs of their trainee pilots at any point in time – from Basic through to Lead-In fighter training.
Tim Davies, AERALIS Strategy Director, commented: “Partnering with a global leader such as THALES brings us a huge advantage in developing the ultimate fighter pilot training system. THALES’s ability to bring a next-generation simulator to complement AERALIS’s world-beating modular aircraft design will mean the UK will take the lead both capability & affordability of future military flying training.”
Daz Rawlins OBE, Thales’s Managing Director of Training and Simulation in the UK, added: “THALES is committed to being at the forefront of developing innovative training systems to support next generation military flying training. AERALIS brings a unique approach to developing an adaptable, connected and affordable aircraft system for which THALES has the ability to develop a full suite of ground-based training systems and associated embedded training. We’re very excited to be working together with AERALIS on this and in particular what this means for developing the UK aerospace & defence sector and for supporting the future combat aircraft training needs of our customers around the world.”
15 Jul 19. US Air Force seeks information on Combat Rescue Helicopter aircrew training system. Rescue Helicopter aircrew training system.
- The US Air Force seeks industry information for a possible HH-60W aircrew trainer
- This could lead to an acquisition programme
The US Air Force (USAF) seeks information from industry on potential capabilities supporting a ground-based aircrew trainer (GBAT) for the new Sikorsky HH-60W “Delta” Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH).
The USAF wants to field a training device that provides aircrew members training on pre-mission procedures, exterior and interior pre-flight inspections, mission equipment and hoist pre-flight inspections, weapons pre-flights, instrument equipment tests, aircraft system reviews, and checklist procedures, among others. This training device will be fielded in support of HH-60W training at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) in New Mexico.
The GBAT should be designed to provide an operational availability rate of 95% for 16 hours per day, five days per week, and 50 weeks per year for an operating life of 20 years, according to a request for information (RFI) posted on Federal Business Opportunities (FBO). The trainer delivery, if sourced, is required no later than 1 October 2021 for fielding.
The USAF anticipates this to be a firm-fixed-price with limited use of cost-reimbursement no-fee contract line item numbers (CLINs) intended for travel expenses. The service expects a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 16 task order under the Training System Acquisition (TSA) III multiple-award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract for acquisition and interim contractor support (ICS) support requirements. Responses to the RFI are due 7 August 2019.
CAE USA plans to respond to this RFI. Company spokesperson Chris Stellwag said on 9 July that CAE USA has not determined what it might offer as this is only a RFI. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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/.