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19 Mar 20. NATO Suspends Training Due to Coronavirus Pandemic. NATO is cutting down navy workouts in Europe to curb the spread of the coronavirus; however alliance missions are persevering. NATO is cutting down navy workouts in Europe to curb the spread of the coronavirus; however alliance missions are persevering with, together with the drawdown of the U.S.-led power in Afghanistan following a peace settlement final month.

“A few of our workout routines have been modified or canceled … however, our forces stay prepared,” NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg informed a video information convention.

The U.S. Military has already introduced a halt to the motion of navy personnel from the USA to Europe and stated it plans to scale down its Defender Europe 20 workout routines, billed as NATO’s largest battle video games in Europe for the reason that Chilly Conflict.

Stoltenberg inspired NATO nations to maintain their navy spending regardless of the financial shock of the virus outbreak, due to the function the navy can play in serving to combat it.

Stoltenberg stated there had been no experiences of infections of the illness amongst members of NATO’s army mission in Afghanistan and that troops would proceed to come back home as agreed beneath a U.S. peace cope with the Taliban last month.

NATO’s prepare-and-advise mission will draw all the way down to around 12,000 personnel from 16,000 over the following 135 days, Stoltenberg stated, though he stated this could rely upon the Taliban persevering with to scale back violence.

NATO is taking preventative measures throughout all its operations, together with commonly taking the temperatures of its personnel, officers have mentioned.

Germany stated on Tuesday its troops going out and in of Afghanistan from Germany could be quarantined for 14 days to keep away from the virus spreading into army operations. (Source: Google/https://aerospacedefencetalks.com/)

19 Mar 20. US Army postpones its industry day for a major cyber training contract. The Army postponed its planned industry day for its much-anticipated cyber training contract as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the service announced March 17.

Industry day for the Army’s Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology, or Cyber TRIDENT — a contract vehicle meant to increase the speed at which the Defense Department can procure cyber training tools — was originally planned for April 2 in Orlando, Florida.

The Army now plans to hold the industry day in late April. It said in the announcement that it is exploring options for hosting the industry day and the one-on-one options. The Army rolled out its draft solicitation March 10. The contract could be worth up to $1bn. The draft solicitation includes the Persistent Cyber Training Environment, or PCTE, a new platform that would allow Department of Defense cyber operators to train and rehearse missions from anywhere in the world.

“PCTE provides the DoD cyberspace workforce the capability to conduct cyberspace training, exercises, mission rehearsals, experimentations, certifications, as well, as the ability to assess and develop cyber tactics, techniques, and procedures,” the post read. (Source: Defense News)

19 Mar 20. RAF Passes Major NATO Capability Test. A force of over 600 Royal Air Force personnel has successfully passed a major NATO evaluation at RAF Leeming to prove the RAF’s ability to conduct operations in challenging conditions. Between 5 and 11 March men and women from 135 Expeditionary Air Wing at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire undertook a NATO led evaluation, known as CAPEVAL, to assess the RAF’s ability to support the organisation. Supported by eight Typhoon jet aircraft the evaluation tested the RAF’s ability to cope with a range of threats from Air Policing to full warfighting.

Explaining the CAPEVAL the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston said: “After a decade away from NATO’s CAPEVAL assessment programme, the RAF’s Typhoon Force has provided NATO with clear evidence of its ability to operate to the highest operational standards, under highly testing conditions. The successful CAPEVAL outcome proves the RAF’s ability to deploy a potent fighting force and reinforces the RAF’s and the UK’s commitment to NATO, and confirming our ability to work effectively alongside our NATO allies.”

While based at RAF Leeming, 135 EAW comprised men and women from across the RAF with a range of skills and experience that included Firemen, Medics and Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The EAW was also supported by the eight Typhoon jets from Numbers 1(Fighter) and II (Army Cooperation) Squadrons based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and Number 1 Squadron RAF Regiment. The EAW was scrutinised by over 100 trained evaluators representing a range of nations from across NATO.

Commanding 135 EAW, Group Captain Andrew Coe said: “One of the major challenges one faces when deploying 600 personnel from across different parts of the RAF is the ability to work together as an effective team. This we have achieved over the last few weeks and 135 EAW have been forged into an effective fighting unit. I am delighted by the commitment and professionalism of my team.  They have proved themselves in austere and challenging conditions that included fighting in a simulated chemical, biological and nuclear environment. Our logistical chain has also been tested to the max and we have proved our ability to operate and sustain a large force from a deployed location.”

At over 1000 personnel, representing all the personnel participating and supporting, CAPEVAL is the largest single RAF deployment since the start of Operation HERRICK in Iraq in 2003. The RAF’s performance in this strategically important assessment demonstrates both its warfighting prowess and deep commitment the NATO Alliance. (Source: Warfare.Today/RAF)

18 Mar 20. IAF to buy aerial fuses and twin-dome simulators for Hawk Mk32. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given approval to procure equipment for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Hawk Mk32 jet trainer aircraft. The locally made defence equipment will cost Rs13bn ($174.5m) and includes aerial fuses and twin-dome simulators for the aircraft.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement: “The DAC has accorded approval for acquisition of indigenous defence equipment for about Rs1,300 crore ($174m).

“The proposals were for procurement of Aerial Fuses and Twin-Dome Simulators for Hawk Mk32 aircraft for the IAF.”

In addition, the DAC has cleared the proposed procurement of 83 advanced Mk1A version of Tejas aircraft for the IAF. The contractual details have also been finalised.

The light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas supersonic combat fighter is designed by Aircraft Development Agency (ADA) under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the procured equipment will be a significant capability boost for the IAF. HAL will also maintain the aircraft.

The proposal now awaits approval from Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

The MoD added: “This procurement will be a major boost to ‘Make in India’ as the aircraft is indigenously designed, developed and manufactured with participation of several local vendors apart from HAL.”

The ministry noted that orders have been placed with HAL for 40 Tejas aircraft in initial configurations. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

18 Mar 20. Action Target™ Inc., the leading manufacturer of modern shooting ranges, steel targets, shooting supplies and aftermarket services, announces a new teaming agreement with CoverSix Shelters. CoverSix has a proven track record of providing customizable and scalable modular structures to defense, military, and training groups around the world. The two companies are committed to working together to provide customers with world-class modular shooting range systems and turnkey solutions.

These modular shooting ranges will provide a completely tactical training experience. They are modular and scalable from 1 to 14 lanes wide and 10m to 100m in length, and they have no columns or support structure midrange. Rather than using standard ISO shipping containers as the building block, these modular ranges are purposefully designed and built using the proven methods of construction introduced by CoverSix in the USA and internationally.

“We are consistently looking for ways to provide the best solutions for our customers. We are excited about our partnership with CoverSix. They not only share our core values but have the professional experience and expertise in the defense industry to execute projects of this magnitude. This partnership is a true win for our customers that need modular shooting range systems,” said Mike Birch, Action Target CEO.

Modular shooting ranges meet the growing demand to dramatically reduce project time and complexity when compared to the construction of brick and mortar shooting range facilities. These built-to-order facilities can be delivered to sites across the world and require minimal site preparation. Each unit can be outfitted with Action Target’s technologically advanced products, including baffles, bullet traps, ballistic partitions, ventilation systems and target systems for advanced training—including the Genesis™ Target Retriever System, Dual Running Man Pro™, and the hit-sensing AutoTargets™. In addition, the SmartRange Axis™ control platform enables ranges to easily operate and manage their range equipment from one central control screen.

“Working with Action Target, we’re advancing the industry’s typical ‘container shooting range’ by providing purpose-built range modules. With our 20 years of modular construction experience and the ability to provide customizations to the size, height, interior and exterior finishes, plus the latest in range technology from Action Target, we’re hoping to not only disrupt the modular range market, but revolutionize it as well,” said Darren Hillman, President of RedGuard, the parent company of CoverSix.

17 Mar 20. Russian Army carries out large-scale Caucasus drill. Russia’s Southern Military District has held artillery drills at Krasnodar Region foothills in the North Caucasus region, which involved 2,000 personnel and 300 military vehicles.

The exercise involved the use of the newly upgraded 152mm 2S19M2 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers that were confirmed to have been delivered on 16 March, according to TASS. The district press office said: ‘The military crews have completed about 50 firing tasks on destruction of armoured vehicles and personnel at a distance of up to 15km. After each salvo, the artillerymen conducted an evasion manoeuvre, moving to a new firing location.’ Additionally, firing of 120mm 2B11 Sani mortars and BM-27 Uragan self-propelled multiple-launch rocket systems was also tested.  (Source: Shephard)

17 Mar 20. CACI wins $249m task order to assist AFRICOM in its missions. Information solutions and services provider CACI International has been awarded a task order to support US Africa Command (AFRICOM). The six-year order has a maximum value of around $249m.

Under the single-award task order, the company will be responsible for offering ‘high-level mission expertise’, including operations, planning, and training to AFRICOM, as well as its component commands and partners.

The combatant command will receive support from CACI in planning and executing peacetime, crisis and contingency operations.

The company will make use of collaboration tools and techniques in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the assistance being offered.

Assistance will also be provided by CACI to enhance AFRICOM’s communications and decision-making skills.

Overall, CACI through the task order will support the command in mission execution improvement, lower costs and minimise operational risks.

CACI executive chairman and chairman of the board Dr JP London said: “CACI is ready to support all of our national security customers, including AFRICOM, in their missions of protecting and advancing US interests at home and abroad.”

Work under the contract will be carried out by CACI experts at AFRICOM headquarters in Germany and across Africa.

The company will leverage its professional, technical, and theatre expertise to deliver the work in this task order. It has experience in executing similar military support programmes.

CACI president and CEO John Mengucci said: “This contract represents new business for our company with a new customer, demonstrating CACI is prepared to support US service members around the globe.”

In September 2019, CACI secured a task order of $197m to support the critical surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for the US Army. (Source: army-technology.com)

17 Mar 20. Virtual Reality for UAV Pilot Training. The Czech company Primoco UAV SE has introduced a revolutionary virtual reality training module into its training program allowing it to significantly increase the efficiency, success and safety of its pilot training for unmanned aerial vehicles. The module uses virtual reality technology by viewing images with 3D glasses to provide training in complete aircraft control in a fully artificial environment. The technology chosen enables the customers of Primoco UAV SE to train their pilots as though they were in their home airport or other deployment locations with the possibility of simulating various environmental conditions, ranging from daytime to night, to simulating various weather phenomena and operating in complex air traffic environments.  A significant benefit is also the possibility of flight analysis with the display of flight progress, both for a flight made fully in the virtual reality environment and for a real flight replayed in the virtual reality environment.

The supplier of the training solution is the Czech company VR Group a.s., which is one of the leading European simulation companies with many years of experience in delivering training centres for military and security entities in the Czech Republic and abroad. Ladislav Semetkovský, CEO of Primoco UAV adds:

“The opportunity to take advantage of VR Group’s capabilities and experience behind innovative projects like our  tactical simulation centre is a tremendous benefit to us. Thanks to our agreement, we can offer our customers the highest possible quality of training while significantly increasing the safety and flexibility of teaching. The entire solution is now available to our customers at unbeatable costs.”

Martin Klicnar, Commercial Director of VR Group, a.s., stressed the importance of co-operation: “Co-operation with Primoco UAV SE, which is a representative of Czech industry, is very important for us and inspirational. It has great potential in the development and implementation of systems not only in the area mentioned of  training for handling autonomous vehicles but also in complex national solutions for training of command and management in army operations or crisis management where autonomous vehicles can be used and will increase their presence in the future. (Source: UAS VISION)

16 Mar 20. Commander Task Force 72 Concludes Exercise with Royal Australian Navy. Commander Task Force (CTF) 72 wrapped up its participation in the Australian navy’s Fleet Certification Period 2020 (FCP20), March 7. CTF-72 dispatched a P8-A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45 to assist with the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) first major exercise of the year.

Similar to the U.S. Navy’s FCP, the exercise focuses on warfighting at a high level and ensures operational fleet readiness.

The P8-A Poseidon aircraft, as well as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A aircraft, and a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-3 aircraft were tasked with testing the Task Group’s readiness against airborne combatants.

“Taking part in the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Certification Period has been an excellent opportunity to exercise interoperability with our Royal Australian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force maritime patrol counterparts,” said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Chesney, officer in charge of VP-45’s Poseidon crew. “Over the course of the detachment we conducted multiple scenarios of anti-submarine warfare, allowing for adequate mid-intensity warfare techniques.”

Patrol Squadron 45, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron is conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theatre outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict. (Source: ASD Network)

16 Mar 20. Multinational African Lion exercise canceled amid coronavirus outbreak. U.S. Africa Command announced Monday that the upcoming, multinational exercise African Lion will be canceled to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19 — less than a week after the command announced plans to scale back the exercise.

“Cancellation of this exercise is a preventative measure to ensure U.S. and partner force protection and to alleviate coronavirus concern,” AFRICOM spokesman Air Force Col. Chris Karns told Military Times. “It does not lessen our resolve to our partners nor our commitment to countering common enemies and threats on the continent.”

The exercise, the largest one organized by U.S. Army Africa, was scheduled to start on March 23 and involve roughly 3,800 U.S. troops from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Additionally, more than 5,000 troops from more than a dozen countries — including Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom — were slated to participate.

Originally, AFRICOM was planning to modify the exercise and eliminate components that required troops to remain in close quarters.

The exercise, which was supposed to occur in Morocco, is designed to foster interoperability among partner nations to counter transnational threats and threats from violent extremist organizations, according to AFRICOM.

Despite the exercise’s cancelation, the command has stressed that it will keep working with partner nations to quash threats on the African continent.

“In Africa, we will continue to work together to counter mutual threats and strengthen collective readiness via a collaborative and collective approach,” Karns said. “Whether it is preventing the potential of an infectious disease or preventing the spread of dangerous violent extremist ideologies and activities, cooperation and working together will reduce both in size, scope, and potential to do harm.”

There are more than 150,000 cases of COVID-19 around the world, and more than 5,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Soldiers in Europe for Defender 2020 to return home amid pandemic

U.S. officials are significantly reducing the size and scope of the long-awaited Defender 2020 exercise intended to test the Army’s ability to move a division-sized force from U.S. seaports to European training grounds this spring.

The exercise included 20,000 soldiers who were meant to conduct training across 10 European countries. Several linked exercises — Dynamic Front, Joint Warfighting Assessment, Saber Strike and Swift Response — will no longer be conducted, Army Europe officials said Monday.

Approximately 6,000 soldiers had already deployed from the United States to Europe since January, including a division headquarters and an armored brigade combat team.

“We anticipate the armored brigade combat team already deployed to Europe will conduct gunnery and other combined training events with Allies as part of a modified Allied Spirit exercise,” Army officials said in a statement. “Forces already deployed to Europe for other linked exercises will return to the United States.”

The exercise is being curtailed due to the outbreak of the novel form of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, which has made its way through Europe. As of Friday, all movement of personnel and equipment from the United States to Europe were suspended.

Equipment for the exercise already started to arrive at ports like Bremerhaven, Germany, earlier this winter, as part of the opening salvo of the largest deployment of soldiers from mainland United States to Europe in a quarter century.

Army Europe leaders said this fall that they planned to have the 116th Armored Brigade Combat Team, from the Idaho Army National Guard, draw from pre-positioned stocks rather than bring equipment with them, testing the Army’s ability to equip units rapidly on the continent if needed.

U.S. forces have already moved roughly 9,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment from pre-positioned stocks in Europe and about 3,000 pieces of equipment by sea from the United States. Other troops have already been moved from multiple ports to training areas in Germany and Poland. The major participating units originally included the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Armored Division, 1st Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Division and 82nd Airborne Division. Defender 2020 drew parallels to the Cold War-era REFORGER exercise in Europe, which simulated a NATO deployment to West Germany in the event of a conflict with the Soviet Union. This year’s exercise was planned to simulate a fictional near-peer competitor in a post-Article V environment set in the year 2028. The Army still plans to conduct another division-sized exercise in the Indo-Pacific region in fiscal year 2021. (Source: Army Times)

16 Mar 20. MV-22B Osprey conducts training with USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II. The US Air Force (USAF) A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft has participated in a training exercise with the US Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22B Osprey. The MV-22B pre-deployment training, which involved the tactical recovery of aircraft, was conducted at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona, US. It was intended to integrate the USMC into a joint personnel recovery mission.

The Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton in California participated in the exercise.

VMM-164 operations officer Marine Corps major Kristoffer Ljunggren said: “We conducted an integrated recovery training mission with airforce squadrons at Davis-Monthan AFB.

“We also conducted combat assault transport training via a simulated air assault and aviation logistics support to and from Davis-Monthan (AFB).”

The training allowed MV-22 aircrews to familiarise with tactics, techniques and procedures used to execute during joint flight.

It also improves the readiness and capabilities of the US forces to take on any potential adversaries that the country may face.

MV-22 platforms can be deployed to serve in combat search and rescue missions. The aircraft receive close air support from A-10s when performing such operations.

Ljunggren added: “The training that we conducted was part of a Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation to test our combat capability as we prepare for a future deployment.

“A-10 (Thunderbolt II) from Davis-Monthan acted as recovery mission coordinators and rescue escorts for our MV-22s, which were the recovery vehicles for the simulated personnel recovery mission.”

Currently, the Davis-Monthan AFB supports 34 mission partners and training and operations. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

12 Mar 20. Norway cancels Exercise Cold Response 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns. The Norwegian Armed Forces have cancelled the ongoing winter exercise, Cold Response 2020, in northern Norway amid mounting COVID-19 concerns. The decision to end the exercise in a controlled manner has been taken in coordination with Norwegian civilian health authorities.

Planned and controlled closure of the exercise is aimed to maintain the army’s combat capability and extend support to civil society while preventing further spread of the virus.

The Norwegian-led Cold Response 2020 exercise includes the participation of around 14,000 soldiers from nine countries. It commenced on 2 March and was initially scheduled to conclude on 18 March.

Norwegian Joint Headquarters chief lieutenant general Rune Jakobsen said: “By ending the exercise now, we will also avoid any unnecessary burden to the civilian health care system, for example with illness among soldiers, accidents, or corona testing among personnel.”

Jakobsen also noted that the presence of some armed forces’ medical personnel is required to support the medical emergency. The personnel also serve in the country’s civilian health care sector.

Information about the exercise suspension is being communicated to participants and departments.

Meanwhile, all daily operational activities of the Norwegian Armed Forces will not be terminated.

The US European Command (EUCOM) said in a statement: “We are working closely with our Norwegian Allies to manage the safe and orderly transition of our personnel.

“We appreciate the hard work that Norway has put into making this exercise happen and we look forward to continued collaboration and opportunities to engage in the future.” (Source: naval-technology.com)

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Meggitt introduces the next generation of immersive training — the FATS® 180MIL.

Delivering 180° high definition projection and 5.1 surround sound, the FATS 180MIL increases training realism, heightening awareness and proper use of force responses. Three borderless screens fit into almost any space with at least a 10’ tall ceiling, providing a 150” X 84” (16:9 aspect ratio) borderless projection surface. It also includes:

  • Military Validation – The same high-fidelity ballistic engine validated by the US Army, USMC and other military customers.

o Provides accurate ballistic characteristics in flight.

o Supports and enforces the proper fundamentals of marksmanship.

  • Immersive Training – Supports both 3D Marksmanship and Judgmental training.
  • Courseware – Delivered with full array of training courseware.
  • Hit Detection System – Three digital cameras interface directly with Off-CPU real-time (OCR) processor used by FATS® 100 system for easy upgrade path.
  • Projectors – Ultra short throw projectors provide freedom of movement, displaying stunning visuals in 180°environment.
  • Low-Light Subsystem (optional) – Practice in simulated low-light conditions with hand-held and weapon-mounted flashlights.
  • Rack – Uses same transportable rack as the FATS 100 system.
  • Realistic Sounds – Self-powered audio system plays scenarios in 5.1 surround sound. Using directional sound effects board, the instructor can incorporate unsettling sounds from any direction, including barking dog, crying baby, gunshots and more to elevate situational awareness.
  • Supports up to 60 simulated weapons, including FATS weapons and ammunition types. Up to 4 simulated weapons can be assigned to a single user.

With the FATS 180MIL, users feel they’re in the action, facing decision-making pressures while maintaining situational awareness.

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