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27 Nov 19. US aircraft carrier Ike conducts force protection exercises. Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69), also called Ike, has begun force protection exercises (FPEX) at Naval Station Norfolk as part of efforts to keep the ship operationally ready. Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier participated in FPEX, a series of scenario-based drills aimed at testing the responses of the in-port security forces (ISF) and assessing its ability to safeguard the ship and its crew.

Ike Security Officer (SECO) Lieutenant Commander Frederick Wood said: “My team has put in countless hours of training for over six months, not only in preparation for FPEX, but more importantly to be able to provide the best security and safety to Ike’s crew. This is the reason we exist and I am more than confident that the blood, sweat and tears that my team has put into this will pay off.”

The Center for Security Forces (CENSECFOR), along with Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic (CNAL), will evaluate the performance of the ship.

Completion of FPEX is essential for the ship to dock pier-side in foreign ports during deployment.

Ike watch commander Master-At-Arms 1st Class Timothy Sultzer said: “We’re hoping to see that they can successfully demonstrate the responses that will allow them to keep the ship safe in a foreign port.”

Naval Security Force (NSF) members, such as Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Alexis Lane and ISF counterparts, have carried out daily drills and training for several months in preparation for FPEX.

Lane said: “We’ve been putting a big emphasis on repetition. We run each drill countless times until it becomes second nature.

“Our confidence has definitely built over time. Whether it’s a gate runner, vehicle-borne IED, active shooters or a hostage situation, we’re going to follow the training and respond accordingly.”

Upon completion, the security department will ascertain that the ship is safe and secure, which will bring Ike closer to being operationally ready. (Source: naval-technology.com)

27 Nov 19. Saab opens development simulator at GDDN in Brazil. Saab opens development S-Rig (Systems Rig), the first Gripen development simulator installed outside Sweden, at GDDN in Brazil. Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab has inaugurated S-Rig (Systems Rig), the first Gripen development simulator installed outside Sweden, at the Gripen Design and Development Network (GDDN) at the Embraer plant in Gavião Peixoto, São Paulo, Brazil.

The simulator has been established as part of a technology transfer programme for a new Brazilian fighter under a partnership between Saab, Brazilian companies Embraer, Atech and AEL Sistemas, and the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).

Opening of the S-Rig is expected to give the GDDN greater autonomy to take up more development projects in Brazil.

The simulator will be used to develop tests and to verify systems and sub-systems of Gripen in Brazil, particularly those developed by Saab, Embraer, Atech and partners at the GDDN, as well as functionalities of equipment produced elsewhere by other Brazilian partner companies.

The simulator also will support the activities of Gripen Flight Test Center (GFTC), which will be installed at the GDDN in 2020.

Saab aeronautics business area head of Gripen Brazil business unit Mikael Franzén said: “The S-Rig is a complete aircraft simulator that will give Brazil full capacity to test all Gripen systems.

“Brazil is the only country with this capacity outside of Sweden. This is a major competitive advantage for Brazil’s defence industry.

“The simulator is an important development tool that will enable engineers to test new software and other functions while also enabling pilots to prepare for flight tests by conducting tests on the platform prior to the actual flight.”

The simulator platform is expected to enable Brazilian firms to acquire technological expertise and advanced operations of simulators while supporting modern fighter development.

After the delivery of the fighters, the simulator will continue to be used for the Brazilian Air Force and the national defence industry for the development and access of new functionalities for the fighter, including the integration of new weapons.

Over 200 engineers from Brazil have attended classroom and on-the-job training in Sweden as part of Gripen’s technology transfer programme. More than 350 Brazilians will be trained by the end of the programme.

Saab provides products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security globally. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

27 Nov 19. Canadian and Japanese vessels participate in KAEDEX 19. Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa and Japanese vessels have practised anti-submarine warfare and naval boarding party capabilities during KAEDEX 19 near Yokosuka, Japan. KAEDEX has been held in the Asia-Pacific region since 2016 and aims to strengthen the interoperability between the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Japan had proposed the name KAEDEX to honour Canada’s involvement as ‘Kaede’ is the Japanese word for maple. On the first day of KAEDEX, held from 16 to 19 October, Canadian teams from Ottawa and teams from Japanese ships Chokai and Shimakaze took up naval boarding simulations while in port.

Both teams simulated a boarding during the exercise, while Ottawa’s crew acted as civilian sailors on a fictitious vessel. Demonstrations on searching, subduing and other boarding tactics were also conducted.

Ottawa, Chokai and Shimakaze conducted manoeuvres at sea on the second day. These included replenishment-at-sea approaches, with each taking turns as a guide ship. A cooperative anti-submarine warfare simulation was later conducted.

KAEDEX concluded with a grand gesture, where Chokai and Shimakaze conducted a traditional sail past manoeuvre on Ottawa.

Ottawa played ‘Not Ready to Go’ during the sail, while all three crews waved farewell to each other.

Ottawa Deck Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Gill Herlinger said: “KAEDEX was a great opportunity for my team to see how another nation’s boarding team operates. We got the chance to demonstrate and talk about some basic boarding tactics with the teams from Chokai and Shimakaze.

“So much that we do nowadays happens through email or messages that it’s really great when you get those face-to-face opportunities to actually meet people in a setting where you have lots of time to discuss details to enhance training.”

After completion of the exercise, Ottawa continued its forward naval presence operations in the Asia-Pacific region on Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON.

The two operations support the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

The first KAEDEX, involving Japan and HMCS Regina, was conducted off the coast of Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, in June. (Source: naval-technology.com)

27 Nov 19. Task Group Taji achieves significant milestone. The Iraqi School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer II (SINCO II) has become the first military training establishment to reach full independent operating capability under the coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR). Since 2015, SINCO II has been under the Australian and New Zealand train-advise-assist mission.

Commander of Joint Task Force 633 in the Middle East, Rear Admiral Mark Hill, said Iraqi instructors would now assume responsibility for all training, while a reduced Australian and New Zealand contingent would provide mentoring, institutional advice and guidance.

“By playing their part in achieving this significant milestone, the Australian and New Zealand defence forces have again proved the effectiveness of our Build Partner Capacity Mission in Iraq,” RADM Hill said.

“I congratulate our friends and colleagues in the Iraqi security forces on this achievement, which will help prevent the re-establishment of Daesh in their country.”

Iraqi instructors from SINCO II have transitioned independently from learning instruction techniques to delivering lessons independently.

Australian Commander of Task Group Taji, Colonel Mick Bassingthwaighte, said the Iraqis had proven they are capable of delivering training to a high standard.

“SINCO II’s staff and instructors, through their dedication, skill and drive, have been key to the school becoming the first building partner capacity site to achieve this significant milestone,” COL Bassingthwaighte said.

“This has all been done while still preparing Iraqi brigades for continuing operations against remnants of the terrorist group Daesh.”

Iraqi Commander of SINCO II, Colonel Shehab Nasser, thanked the Australian and New Zealand contingent for its partnership in helping the school reach a self-sustainable training structure.

“The teaching SINCO II provides to Iraqi soldiers is very important in developing their military skills and battlefield effectiveness,” COL Shehab said.

“Thanks to Australia and New Zealand, we are now equipped to take over full responsibility for providing this training to Iraqi Army brigades.”

Task Group Taji has helped train more than 46,000 members of the Iraqi security forces and law enforcement agency personnel since 2015. (Source: Defence Connect)

26 Nov 19. NAVSEA LCS Mission Module completes GARC/TALONS system trials. The US Navy has announced the completion of a demonstration of the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC) and Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS). The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said that the GARC/TALONS prototype is being evaluated to provide enhanced communication ranges for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Mission Package to help reduce the time to clear a minefield.

LCS Mission Module programme manager Capt Godfrey Weekes said: “This achievement marks an important landmark in the potential acquisition of an enhanced communication range solution for the navy.

“From concept to at-sea demonstration within ten months is quite remarkable and is in alignment with senior navy direction toward rapid acquisition.”

The Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants’ LCS Mission Module Program Office collaborated with the Naval Information Warfare Center, Atlantic, to award a contract for the development, building, integration and demonstration of the prototype.

Earlier this month, the navy announced that a ‘cut steel’ event was held to mark the beginning of production for the first Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ship at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, a shipbuilding firm in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The MMSC, a littoral combat ship variant, is being built for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the US Navy’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The steel cutting event marks the initiation of construction efforts for the MMSC, which weighs more than 4,000t. Prime contractor Lockheed Martin and its shipyard partner FMM have been working on the design of the MMSC with the US Navy since 2017. The navy said that four MMSC ships will be constructed at FMM, which will result in significant economic benefits for the region. Representatives of the US Navy and Royal Saudi Naval Forces participated in the programme. (Source: naval-technology.com)

25 Nov 19. Partnership extended between Box Hill Institute of TAFE and Defence. The Australian Army Defence Force School of Signals and Box Hill Institute of TAFE have signed a two-year contract extension for the provision of communications and information systems training to the Australian Defence Force.

Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, said the contract will ensure that industry standard training in contemporary communications and information systems (CIS) will continue to be provided to the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force trainees.

“The Box Hill Institute team has considerable experience in contemporary CIS training and have been assisting the Defence Command Support Training Centre with the delivery of this training at the Defence Force School of Signals since 2014,” LTGEN Burr said.

“The contract extension will see CIS instructors from Box Hill Institute continue to work hand-in-hand with uniformed instructors, teaching a variety of CIS technologies and skills to trainees throughout their ADF career, ensuring they are ready now and future ready.”

The Defence Force School of Signals is the Australian Defence Force’s principal communications and information systems and electronic warfare training establishment. The total contract since 2014 represents approximately $30m dollars in government investment. (Source: Defence Connect)

25 Nov 19. Engineering & Computer Simulations to show Army Aviation Trainer, PM Cargo, at I/ITSEC 2019. Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS) will showcase its integrated training program, Project Manager Cargo (PM Cargo), which improves the Army Aviation capabilities for the CH-47F Chinook at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando on December 2-5. ECS has been designing training to familiarize Soldiers on the modernized cockpit and upgrades to several flight systems for over a year under a contract for the U.S. Army Program Executive Office – Aviation (PEO Aviation). Jeffrey Huber, Vice President of Operations, Huntsville, leads this project with the ECS Huntsville (AL) team, which specializes in aviation and aerospace programs.

PM Cargo upgrades include modernizing the CH-47F Chinook trainers with significant structural, software and systems updates. Because changes will require additional user training, ECS is providing training analysis and developing customized programs to ensure pilots understand the differences between the Multi Year II Configured Chinook, which features enhanced engines and improved avionics, and the Chinook Block II CH-47F upgrade, which provides greater lift capacity and strengthened features.

Huber explains: “With more than 90 years of combined team experience and service in Army Aviation, we are proud to continue to enhance to our Warfighters’ capabilities. Our dedicated team of project managers, subject matter experts, and instructional designers support PEO Aviation with customized training solutions and innovative technology to help prepare our Army’s Aviation teams for the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.”

Waymon Armstrong, ECS CEO and president, adds: “ECS has a long history of supporting military aviation contracts, and we’re pleased to deliver these types of innovative training. Our demonstration at I/ITSEC will highlight how the Army is modernizing its capabilities for aircraft that have a long-standing history of success in the field, while simultaneously ensuring that the aircraft and Warfighters continue to perform at maximum efficiency.”

25 Nov 19. Alsim has won the Ukraine National Aviation University’s tender, with the supply of an ALX simulator for the creation of an international pilot training center. NAU thus becomes the first Alsim’s customer in Ukraine.

The Alsim ALX FSTD provides up to 4 classes of aircraft–from single engine piston, twin engine piston, twin turbine up to medium category twin jets (generic B737/A320). The device is designed and approved for ATPL, CPL/MCC and JOC in compliance with all current regulatory standards. The ALX offers advanced technology simulation equipment tailored to your specific training requirements. In addition, it has a proven track record for cost-effectiveness and helps save numerous aircraft hours.

“It’s a great honor for Alsim to be chosen as a simulator provider by National Aviation University” says Anna Lezoray, Alsim’s Sales Account Manager. “The ALX will enable NAU to continue delivering an excellent pilot training they provide since early 1950’s. ALX specification fully complying with EASA regulations for FNPT II MCC simulators assures NAU’s readiness for Ukraine upcoming integration to EASA countries.”

About Nation Aviation University

National Aviation University is one of the most powerful aviation-related higher educational facilities in the world, with about 25,000 students enrolled, including nearly 1,500 foreigners from 55 countries. The university trains future pilots, air traffic controllers and engineers, on-board equipment and avionics specialists, radio electronics experts and other specialists.

Today the university includes five institutes, ten faculties, Department of Military Training, six colleges, two lyceums, and Flight Academy in Kropyvnytskyi. The Pearl of the University is one of the largest aviation training hangars in Europe.

12 Nov 19. RAAF and USAF partner on strategic airlift training exercise. Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force C-17 Globemasters have participated in a joint strategic airlift training exercise off the coast of Queensland in support of greater interoperability.

Exercise Global Dexterity has involved a major milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force and United States Air Force, with mixed-nation C-17 Globemaster III crews maintaining, loading and flying the aircraft.

The interfly exercise, currently underway, is operating out of No. 36 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley for two weeks this month.

Participating in “five-ship” air-to-air refuelling training with RAAF KC-10A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft, and airdrop formations, the three C-17s descended to an altitude of 100m along the Queensland coast.

Speaking to the growing interoperability and partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force and US Air Force, Colonel Geoff Lohmiller, Vice Commander of the USAF 15th Operations Group, said Australia and the US are the left and right hand of the Pacific Ocean.

COL Lohmiller explained, “Our teams are one in the same. There are unique complexities to face and learn from when working in a mixed team. This training and tactical-level integration of C-17 aircrew is how we remain effective and responsive into the future.”

US aircrew flying C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 535th AS will conduct bilateral training with their Australian counterparts through simulated mission scenarios involving air, land and airborne crews throughout Northern Australia.

Maintenance Airmen will focus their training on the C-17 Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Services Implement Agreement.

Flight Lieutenant Lukasz Wijacha, of No. 36 Squadron, said the exercise has demonstrated the RAAF and USAF teams’ ability to function as one squadron.

“There are unique complexities to face and learn from when working in a mixed team. Many USAF C-17s have never experienced refuelling with our KC-30A aircraft either, so it is invaluable practising this while they are Down Under,” FLTLT Wijacha said.

These comments were reinforced by US Air Force Colonel Halsey Burks, Commander of the 15th Operations Group, saying, “Global Dexterity offers a unique bilateral training that will allow the 15th Wing to further synchronize with our valued Australian allies to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“Honing in on C-17 interoperability provides a benchmark for future iterations of the exercise and paves the way for real-world mixed aircrew and maintenance support for airlift operations. Strengthening our partnership with the RAAF is a key element in further projecting combat airpower in the region and remaining strategically ready to go anywhere, anytime,” COL Burks added.

As part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation agreement between the US Department of Defense and the Australian Defence Force, the goal of Exercise Global Dexterity is to enhance interoperability between the two air forces C-17s aircrew and maintenance service members for future combined mobility operations.

This exercise follows Talisman Sabre 19, where the first joint air refueling between USAF F-22 Raptors and a RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft happened in July.

It also follows RAAF maintenance airmen fixing two USAFC-17s in Australia in July, and USAF maintenance Airmen fixing a RAAF C-17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, in September as part of the C-17 ARMS-IA between the two countries. This agreement allows airmen from each country to repair non-mission capable aircraft from either country in mission-critical situations. (Source: Defence Connect)

21 Nov 19. Iraqi Army School achieves full operating capability status. The Iraqi Army School of Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer II (SINCOII) at the Taji Military Complex has reached the full independent operating capability. The achievement marks a key operational milestone for the Task Group Taji Australian and New Zealand combined military training force. The Task Group Taji train-advise-assist mission has been supporting SINCOII in support of an international programme to build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

SINCOII has become the first Iraqi military training institute to achieve full independent operating capability under the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) military intervention against the Islamic State.

The capability will now allow Iraqi instructors to deliver training independently.

Despite handing over responsibility for all training to the Iraqi personnel, Australia and New Zealand will continue to provide support in the form of institutional advice, mentoring and guidance, albeit with a reduced troop deployment.

Joint Task Force 633 Middle East commander Rear Admiral Mark Hill said: “By playing their part in achieving this significant milestone, the Australian and New Zealand defence forces have again proved the effectiveness of our Build Partner Capacity Mission in Iraq.

“I congratulate our friends and colleagues in the Iraqi Security Forces on this achievement, which will help prevent the re-establishment of Daesh in their country.”

Task Group Taji commander colonel Mick Bassingthwaighte expressed confidence that SINCOII will be able to function as an independent organisation and deliver quality training to Iraqi Army brigades.

Bassingthwaighte said: “The soldiers who trained here are directly involved in ongoing security operations aimed at minimising any chance Daesh has of re-establishing itself as a destabilising terrorist threat.”

Since 2015, the mission has trained more than 46,000 Iraqi personnel. (Source: army-technology.com)

07 Nov 19. EDA Cyber Ranges Federation project showcased at demo exercise in Finland. The European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Cyber Ranges Federation project, in which 11 Member States federate their national cyber ranges and thereby improve their respective cyber defence training capabilities, reached an important milestone with the successful multinational demonstration exercise held in Helsinki. The event, co-organised by the Finnish MoD and EDA, was attended and supported by experts from several contributing countries (Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Latvia) as well as the European Space Agency (ESA).

Two and a half years after the launch of the Cyber Ranges Federation project (the first ever cyber defence pooling & sharing project initiated by the Agency), the objective of the live demonstration was to showcase the practical implications and benefits of connecting and jointly using Member States’ cyber ranges in order to improve and expand each one’s cyber training capabilities. The event allowed participants to witness first-hand what the project aims to achieve and how it has already enhanced the cyber expertise and skills of each of the contributing Member States.

Practically speaking, the event consisted of a live fire exercise, based on a fictive but realistic training scenario, in which one team had to respond to and defend itself against cyber attacks from another. The exercise used SD-WAN technology as the backbone network technology. The participating national cyber ranges as well as the European Space Agency’s were all interconnected and interacting in real time, with and each of them having its own particular role to play in the exercise.

The demonstration event was part of the ‘European Union’s combined Cyber and Hybrid Week’ which is currently being held in Helsinki under the auspices of the Finnish EU Presidency. The aim of the week is to create synergies by combining three independent events: EDA’s Project Team Cyber Meeting (5-6 November), EDA’s Cyber Ranges Demo Event (6 November) and the Cyber Power in Hybrid Warfare-symposium organised by the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (7-8 November).

“Finland, as an active player in Cyber domain, has been honoured to be in the lead of this project since Sept 2018. Finalizing challenging project is always a result of good and fruitful cooperation – in this case between 11 contributing member states. It´s very significant to continue developing just established Cyber Ranges Federation platform in the future”, said Jukka Juusti, Permanent Secretary of Finnish Ministry of Defence.

“There isn’t probably a domain from which more new security threats are emerging than from cyber. Therefore, stepping up our common cyber defence is a matter of priority and urgency, as it is also reflected in the revised European Capability Development Priorities approved last year. By pooling and sharing their national cyber ranges, participating Member States will be able to improve their joint training conditions and, as a result, strengthen their cyber resilience. This successful exercise has shown that we are on the right path”, said Jorge Domecq, EDA’s Chief Executive.

“It is now well ascertained that space systems play a crucial role in the security, wellbeing and economic success of Europe. Protecting space assets from cyber threats is therefore a key priority and technological challenge. ESA has a duty to protect its Member States’ investments in space. Today we witnessed a successful demonstration of the ESA-EDA partnership. A partnership that will continue to be instrumental in increasing Europe’s cyber resilience, namely through strengthening cyber response skills and capabilities in ESA. Todays` significant exercise illustrates our existing cyber resilience capabilities located in the European Space Security and Education Centre in Belgium. Cyber threats are constantly evolving. We must therefore maintain and strengthen our capabilities and have made the necessary funding proposals to the Council at Ministerial level to be held in late November. The vitality of our cooperation with EDA and its Member States will continue to play an important role in the future. This is therefore but a beginning, as we are currently considering the creation of a Joint ESA-EDA Cyber Resilience Task Force to further explore cooperation avenues, including with other European partners,” added Jan Woerner, ESA’s Director General.


The aim of EDA’s Cyber Ranges Federation project is to develop a more sophisticated and powerful platform for cyber training purposes connecting Member States´ national Cyber Ranges to one another and enabling other countries, which don’t have their cyber ranges, to train and improve their cyber defence skills nevertheless. A European federation of cyber ranges, i.e. the availability of mutually accessible cyber defence training and exercise ranges, may in the future leverage other benefits, such as cyber research ranges and cyber simulation & test ranges. (Source: EDA)


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.

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