Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
24 Oct 19. UK-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force aces in Exercise. The Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) has demonstrated its capabilities in the recently concluded Exercise Griffin Strike off the coast of Scotland. The Royal Navy said that the two-week-long high-intensity maritime warfare training exercise marks a significant milestone in the development of the CJEF. Exercise Griffin Strike has tested the readiness of forces to deploy worldwide for a range of missions. This year’s exercise was held as part of a wider Nato exercise known as Joint Warrior. A combined headquarters was created aboard French amphibious assault ship FS Tonnerre.
Task Force commander Royal Navy Rear Admiral Andrew Burns said: “Exercise Griffin Strike has built on the successes of similar exercises since the Lancaster House Treaty and taken the CJEF capability to the next level.
“This year we have delivered a degree of complexity that leaves the maritime component of CJEF ready to take its place in full joint and combined operations.”
The CJEF had its genesis in the Lancaster House Treaty between the UK and France in 2010.
Through the treaty, the two governments envisaged the creation of a deployable military force capable of supporting high-intensity combat operations.
The countries aim to make the CJEF fully operational by mid-2020.
During the exercise, the CJEF had to navigate minefields and avoid detection from submarines. Griffin Strike also included the UK’s Amphibious Task Group and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Oct 19. Collins Aerospace completes CDR for US Navy programme. Collins Aerospace Systems has completed the critical design review (CDR) for the US Navy’s new combat training system. With the milestone, the Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc. II) programme now proceeds to the fabrication, integration and test phase. Rockwell Collins and Leonardo DRS were awarded an initial $142m contract for the TCTS Inc. II programme in March 2017 to develop a next-generation airborne, ground and ship-based encrypted training capability. Rockwell Collins is the systems integrator for the air combat training system.
The proposed system will replace the training range infrastructure of the US Navy and Marine Corps.
Its open system architecture features Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) to safeguard the tactics, techniques and procedures employed during training exercises.
The system provides interoperability for joint training with fourth and fifth-generation aircraft in a simulated, high-threat combat environment.
It also enables the incorporation of live and synthetic elements into training simulations.
When compared to existing air combat training systems, the new system provides greater network capacity. This makes the training system adaptable for emerging missions and threats.
Collins Aerospace Simulation and Training Solutions vice-president and general manager Nick Gibbs said: “A key component to this programme has been the great collaboration between PMA-205, range users and our teammate Leonardo DRS.
“The new system will bring a heightened sense of realism to train our servicemen and women to be better prepared for emerging threats and situations.”
In June last year, Rockwell Collins completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of the TCTS Inc. II programme. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Oct 19. RAN minehunters join Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise 2019. The Royal Australian Navy’s minehunters, HMA ships Diamantina and Gascoyne, have joined the Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise 2019 (MIWEX 19) off the coast of South Korea. MIWEX is a mine countermeasures training exercise involving the US, South Korea and UN Command sending states.
It is designed to enhance readiness to respond to any crisis on the Korean peninsula. This year’s exercise represents only the second time the RAN has deployed its minehunters to MIWEX. It is also the first time personnel from the RAN Task Group Command (CTG) have embarked on a Republic of Korea (ROK) warship.
The two minehunters will work with units from the ROK Navy and the US Navy to search, identify and clear maritime mines in the south of ROK.
HMAS Diamantina commanding officer lieutenant commander Darren McDevitt said: “Both ships and crews are ready for the sea phase of the exercise and are prepared to meet any challenge.
“Diamantina has maintained a high operational tempo this year and we can bring that experience to the exercise and show the international partners our excellence in mine warfare.”
The two Australian ships will be supported by remote mine disposal vehicles in the mine-hunting drill.
MIWEX 2019 is said to feature more challenging conditions than last year’s edition.
Task Group commander Brett Dawe said: “Now that the shore phase and desktop exercises have been successfully completed, this is the time that we can hone our hands-on skills in partnership with our hosts and the US Navy.”
The exercise involves participants and observers from across the United Nations. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Oct 19. US and partner nations begin International Maritime Exercise 2019. The US and its partner nations have started the International Maritime Exercise 2019 (IMX 19) with the aim of maintaining regional security and stability. IMX 19 will involve the participation of forces and equipment from more than 50 partner nations and seven international organisations. IMX 19 seeks to demonstrate global commitment to ensure the safe passage of shipping assets and the free flow of commerce in the area spanning from the Suez Canal to the Bab-al-Mandeb, as well as through the Strait of Hormuz to the Northern Arabian Gulf.
This year’s exercise will be held over four phases of staff training, fleet training exercise (FTX), table-top and classroom exercises, and force redeployment. IMX 19 is the sixth iteration of the exercise, which was first conducted in 2012.
US Naval Forces Central Command commander vice-admiral Jim Malloy said: “This year’s iteration is the largest yet, expanding in size and geography; including all essential elements of maritime security operations.
“We’ve grown participation by about twenty nations, are covering an unprecedented amount of ground in the region, and our multinational team is taking part in more training scenarios than ever before.”
Malloy stated that IMX 19 serves to boost relationships with countries in the Central Command area of responsibility (AOR) and beyond.
He added: “IMX is an important demonstration of global commitment to freedom of navigation and the free flow of maritime commerce in this region.
“I’m proud that we have participation from nations all over the world, especially in leadership positions of multiple task forces. Stability and security in the maritime domain is a shared goal of all nations.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 Oct 19. US Marines complete eighth annual MRF-D rotation in Australia. The US Marines have completed Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 2019 (MRF-D 19), the eighth annual rotation of marines in Australia. MRF-D 19 left the Northern Territory after concluding the latest rotation. Marines participated in training and high-end exercises during the course of their stay in the country. MRF–D involves the annual rotation of US Marines through Northern Australia for a period of six months.
The initiative is intended to improve cooperation and interoperability between the US Marine Corps and the Australian Defence Force.
Australia Defence Minister Linda Reynolds stated that MRF-D 19 represented the largest deployment since the first rotation of 200 US Marines in 2012.
Reynolds said: “This rotation consisted of an initial base force of around 1,700 personnel and reached the milestone of 2,500 marines, with additional marines arriving in Darwin between July and September.
“The United States Force Posture Initiatives (USFPI), of which the Marine Rotational Force – Darwin is a key component, demonstrates the strength of the Australia-US alliance and our deep engagement with the Indo-Pacific region.”
The Australian Department of Defence noted that the key focus areas of future MRF-D rotations will include enhancing regional engagement, interoperability, as well as improving readiness to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster.
The two countries will invest around A$2bn in support of USFPI activities.
The investment will be used for aircraft maintenance, fuel storage, accommodation upgrades, support facilities and improvements to training areas and ranges. This year’s rotation included MV-22 Ospreys, UH/AH-1 helicopters, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, and an advanced TPS-80 radar system. Enhanced command, ground combat, and logistics combat elements also took part in the rotation. (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 Oct 19. USAF restructures legacy officer talent management system. The US Air Force (USAF) has restructured its officer talent management system, marking the biggest change in the system since the service was established in 1947. As part of the restructuring, the USAF has split the legacy single Line of the Air Force (LAF) category into six distinct officer developmental groupings for active component line officers.
The six smaller categories are Air Operations and Special Warfare, Information Warfare, Space Operations, Nuclear and Missile Operations, Force Modernization, and Combat Support.
The new system will be implemented from March 2020 with the lieutenant colonel promotion board.
USAF officials visited airforce bases, discussed the proposed changes with airmen and incorporated the feedback in the establishment of the new groupings.
USAF Secretary Barbara Barrett said: “This is an important step forward in the way airforce leaders are developed. The team has done exceptional work to get us to this point and I look forward to implementing this together.”
The legacy LAF represented around 80% of the officer corps within 40 different officer Air Force Specialty Codes.
USAF Chief of Staff general David Goldfein said: “This change is about ensuring we maintain a winning team. The existing line of the airforce category has served our airforce well and moulded the excellent leaders we have today.
“As we look to the future of warfighting, we must have an agile system that allows for a wider range of development paths to ensure officers have the needed skills and expertise to fight and win. This sets us on that path.”
The change will do away with the practice of competing for promotion against airmen from 40 different career fields with varied job requirements. Officers will now be able to compete against a smaller cohort of officers with similar skills and experience. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Oct 19. Pipistrel completes deliveries of Garud trainers to India. Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel announced on 17 October that it has completed delivery of the 194 Virus SW 80 ‘Garud’ light training aircraft the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) had ordered in October 2015. The final batch of these two-seat trainers was handed over on 20 September, the company said. In total, the Indian Air Force received 72 of these trainers, while the Indian Navy received 12 and the National Cadet Corps 110 units. (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/.