Sponsored by Meggitt Training Systems
30 Apr 20. Meggitt Training Systems has been awarded a $78m contract for the design and equipage of a sophisticated, multi-mission, indoor and outdoor training facility in a Middle Eastern country incorporating the latest virtual and live-fire equipment.
“As the global leader in virtual and live-fire small-arms training, Meggitt Training Systems is ideally suited to deliver this program for the benefit of our Middle Eastern customer and its forces,” said company president Jeff Murphy. “We are committed to delivering a world-class training experience across multiple domains and lifelike settings through the best solutions from Meggitt and our subcontractor partners.”
The training facility will include multiple indoor and outdoor shooting ranges, combat training centers, virtual simulators and physical mockups.
“Meggitt Training Systems is honored to be chosen to lead development of this crucial national training asset,” added Andrea Czop, vice president of strategy, sales and marketing. “This win validates our strategy of pairing our live-fire and virtual portfolio of products with a global presence supporting our customers in the Middle East and elsewhere. Meggitt’s enduring success in small-arms training is built on this unique combination of customer knowledge and expertise derived from decades of employee subject matter experts in military and law enforcement experience.”
The training facilities will include a mix of Meggitt’s Stationary Infantry Targets, Moving Infantry Targets, LOMAH (location of miss and hit) systems, Range Control Systems, Special Effects Battlefield Simulators, Training Information Management Systems, plus a variety of virtual reality special warfare simulators, overhead carriers, ballistic walls and bullet traps. As the prime technology contractor, Meggitt will also assume responsibility for the integration of all training equipment from other suppliers.
29 Apr 20. USAF conducts bilateral training with Japan Air Self Defense Force. The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer has conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of northern Japan. B-1B Lancer, which was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, was launched from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) and integrated with the Japan Air Self Defense Force for the bilateral and theatre familiarisation training. The B-1 aircrew flew the nearly 29-hour, round-trip sortie to the Indo-Pacific.
As part of joint US Indo-Pacific Command and US Strategic Command Bomber Task Force mission, the aircrew collaborated with six USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons, seven JASDF F-2s and eight JASDF F-15s over the Draughon Range.
37th BS commander Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Coleman said: “This was a higher-headquarters directed operational mission to assure our allies, and deter adversaries while demonstrating the dynamic force employment model.
“This was a total team effort involving every group on base that provided us with the opportunity to integrate with multiple air operations centres in different areas of responsibility.”
The USAF transitioned its force-employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate within the Indo-Pacific region.
US Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces-Strategic commander Timothy Ray said: “The rapid employment of airpower directly supports the National Defense Strategy and assures we can provide overwhelming force anywhere, anytime in support of American interests or our Allies and partners.
“This mission is a demonstration to our friends throughout the region: we will continue to remain fully predictable in our commitment to ensuring peace, while also demonstrating that we have the ability to operate from numerous locations across the globe, even during the global pandemic.”
The operation will demonstrate the capability of the B-1 and its aircrews. (Source: naval-technology.com)
29 Apr 20. HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for operational sea training. HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed from Portsmouth today to ensure she is ready to conduct her first operational deployment in 2021.
The Portsmouth-based aircraft carrier will undergo several weeks of training and assessment with the staff of Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) to ensure the UK can deliver on its commitment to have a Carrier Strike Group ready to deploy from the end of this year. The continuation of this training has been agreed by senior leaders across Defence.
While many Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel from the regular and reserve forces remain ashore supporting the current national fight against COVID-19, the ship’s company of HMS Queen Elizabeth are focused on ensuring that UK Defence remains prepared for future global threats.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be put through her paces in UK waters off the south coast, facing simulated battle damage, fires and floods, as well as warfare training and mission rehearsals.
The training will include more qualifying training for UK F35 Lightning fighter jet crews, who will be conducting practice manoeuvres from her decks, giving vital experience to the aircrews and ship’s company involved in air operations.
This training will prepare the ship for further training later in the year with other Royal Navy ships to ensure they are ready to deploy as a task group next year.
All personnel sailing with the ship have undergone testing for coronavirus. As a further precaution, HMS Queen Elizabeth will conduct a period of isolation at sea, before she starts her training with the FOST staff.
She will be operating in waters close to the UK coast and the Commanding Officer has the discretion to cease the training if it is deemed necessary.
HMS Queen Elizabeth has a key role to play in the Defence of the United Kingdom and the Royal Navy will continue to conduct essential training ashore and at sea in order to fulfil its critical outputs now and in the future. Her sailing today marks yet another significant milestone in the regeneration of the United Kingdom’s carrier strike capability. (Source: Royal Navy)
28 Apr 20. USS Nimitz departs Naval Base Kitsap to participate in training. USS Nimitz (CVN 68) has departed Naval Base Kitsap, Bremerton to take part in a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). Designed to integrate units of a carrier strike group (CSG), COMPTUEX is an intensive exercise. In the training exercise, tests will be conducted on CSG’s ability to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea.
Within every core warfare area of the mission, associated ships, squadrons and staff will be tested. The test exercises will be conducted through simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks. Prior to the deployment, Nimitz concluded a 27-day quarantine period and the whole crew was tested for Covid-19.
USS Nimitz commanding officer captain Max Clark said: “From the beginning, they have done all that I and the navy leadership have asked them to do, face coverings, social distancing, continuous ship sanitisation, testing and periods of quarantine, all executed with precision and professionalism.
“Without their hard work and personal sacrifices, getting this warship out to sea would not have been possible. And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our navy families that serve as our bedrock of support.”
Nimitz CSG ships and units scheduled to conduct COMPTUEX include missile cruisers USS Princeton (CG-59) in San Diego, missile destroyers USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) in Hawaii, USS Sterett (DDG-104) in San Diego, and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) in Everett.
Other units conducting the exercise are Destroyer Squadron 9 based in Bremerton and Carrier Air Wing 17 and its associated squadrons and personnel from Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, NAS Lemoore, NAS North Island and Naval Base Ventura County. All participating units will complete Covid-19 testing prior to deployment for the exercise. (Source: naval-technology.com)
28 Apr 20. USN Fires Head of Aviation Training School. A Navy captain who commanded the school that develops aviation technical training has been removed from his job. Capt. Nate Schneider, the commanding officer of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training in Pensacola, Florida was relieved of command on Tuesday, the Navy announced. The relief was carried out by Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, the head of Naval Education and Training Command.
Cozad lost confidence in Schneider’s ability to lead, Cmdr. James Stockman, a spokesman for Naval Education and Training Command, said.
“Naval Education Training Command conducted an investigation, which was completed a couple weeks ago,” Stockman said. “Based on the findings, Adm. Cozad relieved Capt. Schneider.”
Stockman declined to provide additional details about the relief, the nature of the investigation or its findings.
Reached by email, Schneider said commanding the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training was an “honor and privilege.” “I am departing a superb organization,” Schneider said. “I wish CAPT Hepstall all the best going forward. The Navy gets it right most of the time and I respect our Leadership and the tough decisions they must make. Today and forward, will be my mantra!”
The Center that Schneider led is responsible for the training and education of enlisted sailors, Marines and officers who work in aviation maintenance. Schneider assumed command in November 2018.
Related: Carrier Commanding Officer Fired Over Plea for Resources That Went Public
Capt. Bryant Hepstall, the Center’s executive officer, has replaced Schneider, Stockman said. Schneider is being reassigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola’s headquarters, he added.
A prior-enlisted sailor, Schneider joined the Navy in 1981 as a signalman seaman recruit, according to his official bio. He later graduated from Old Dominion University and was commissioned through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He was designated an aerospace engineering duty officer (maintenance).
Schneider went on to deploy nine times, including on the aircraft carriers Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan. He previously served as the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training’s executive officer before assuming command in 2018.
Schneider’s awards include the Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, among others. In 2004, Schneider received the Captain Virgil Lemmon Award for Naval Aviation Maintenance Excellence. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
27 Apr 20. Robotic Military Targets Go on the Offensive to Kill Coronavirus. The maker of robotic targets that can move realistically, shout and even charge the shooter is now pitching a retrofitted version of his invention as a disinfection system that can kill the coronavirus in enclosed spaces with ultraviolet light.
Ralph Petroff, president of the North America branch of Marathon Targets, said his sturdy, four-wheeled autonomous robots could turn the job of disinfecting a barracks space or mess hall from a dayslong affair involving HAZMAT suits into the work of a few hours — with no human involvement needed.
“If you need them for target practice, you use them for target practice; if you need them for corona-killing, you use them for corona-killing,” he told Military.com.
Petroff said the company acquired UV disinfecting panels earlier this month, and his team had them installed on the robot platform in a matter of hours. Multiple military installations have expressed interest in seeing the capability demonstrated, he said, although he asked that the bases not be named because matters were predecisional.
Related: These Marines Are Becoming Crack Shots Thanks to Robotic Targets
According to product specifications provided by Marathon, the robot is capable of radiating roughly 110 watts via a vertical UV mount reminiscent of a fluorescent light fixture. It takes just over a minute to disinfect a surface with the robot from two feet away, according to the information, and six minutes, 30 seconds to disinfect from five feet away.
While the science isn’t complete yet on how much UV power it takes to kill the novel coronavirus, Petroff said industry was currently employing double the wattage known to kill other coronavirus variants to ensure effectiveness.
The market for UV disinfection had long been small, Petroff said, because it was so manually intensive. He believes his robotic mounts can change that.
“The UV part is the easy part,” he said. “Trying to get an autonomous robot to walk around without bumping into things and knowing where it is at all times is the hard part. We mastered that a long time ago.”
Petroff says Marathon’s robot targets have the potential to revolutionize military marksmanship by helping shooters train with a system that moves and reacts like a human, rather than with a static bulls-eye. The 2nd Marine Division, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, has already integrated them into training, leasing 16 of the systems in 2019 for $2.1m. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joshua Smith, the division gunner, told Military.com last year that the unit planned to collect additional training data and potentially build a case for acquiring the robots more broadly across the force.
Petroff said he’s now just waiting for word from any of the installations and units he’s been communicating with that they’re ready to employ the robots as a service.
“We can certainly clean up after hours at a mess hall or a gymnasium,” he said. “My hope is, if we get more proficient at this, we could do multiple cleanings a day.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
24 Apr 20. RNZN to conduct training in Hauraki Gulf. The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is set to conduct training essential to maritime operations in the Hauraki Gulf over the next few weeks. HMNZS Otago is one of four RNZN ships that will be part of the training from 28 April to 22 May. Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (Covid -19), all non-essential training was postponed, but operational capability was maintained while the ships were moored at Devonport Naval Base.
Maritime Component Commander Commodore Mat Williams said: “However, as an essential service, we must be ready to respond for missions such as search and rescue, border control, including patrol of our exclusive economic zone supporting other government agencies, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.”
Once the operation starts, HMNZS Hawea and HMNZS Otago will be deployed for about three weeks, whereas HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Manawanui will be deployed for a shorter period of time.
Seasprite helicopters will also participate in the training exercise, flying to and from the ships.
HMNZS Canterbury will undergo maintenance, ensuring mission readiness for the coming cyclone season.
HMNZS Manawanui is the RNZN’s new diving and hydrographic survey vessel. It has been recently introduced into service and is being prepared if it needed to be utilised.
The exercises practiced comply with the national Covid-19 guidelines, including medical screening, physical distancing, increased hygiene measures, and more rigorous and regular on-board cleaning routines.
The ships will not be visiting any ports to further eliminate the possibility of regional transmission of the virus. (Source: naval-technology.com)
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.