Joint Contracting Field Training Exercise Provides Valuable Insights

Joint Contracting Field Training Exercise Provides Valuable Insights

By Charmaine Bottex   The 413th Contracting Support Brigade (CSB), Fort Shafter, HI, has made history by becoming the first CSB to conduct a Joint Contracting Field Training Exercise. The Pacific Contingency Contracting Disaster Training Exercise in December 2010 was based on Operation Unified Assistance, conducted after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and focused on providing contracting to a Joint Task Force formed to support the foreign disaster relief effort. The exercise involved 39 U.S. Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and civilians from the 413th CSB; the 647th Contracting Squadron from Hickam Air Force Base, HI; the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Regional Contracting Office; and the 1950th Contingency Contracting Team […]

Army Develops ‘Translator’ for Improved Information Sharing

Army Develops ‘Translator’ for Improved Information Sharing

By Claire Heininger   Some military translators are fluent in Arabic, others in software code. With the explosion of sophisticated weapons and information systems to confront persistent conflict, the Army is developing a high-tech, electronic “translator” to improve communications between systems that use different battlefield “languages.” The solution, Semantic Mediation for Army Reasoning and Teamwork (SMART), allows systems to share more information faster and reduces the cost compared with custom translation. SMART is being fielded with an operational unit for the first time this year, streamlining Soldiers’ ability to transmit key reports in theater, officials said. “Because the forces are expected to conduct multiple types of operations, the warfighter has […]

Provisional Command Integrates Special Operations Aviation

Provisional Command Integrates Special Operations Aviation

By Kellyn D. Ritter   Since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of Soldiers in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) has increased by approximately 1,000. At the same time, the AH/MH-6M Little Bird, MH-47G Chinook, and MH-60M Black Hawk were or are being fielded. Simultaneously, the 160th is running its own schoolhouse. These multiple activities, all while the Army has been at war, have stressed the regiment—stress that the new U.S. Army Special Operations Command-Provisional (ARSOAC) hopes to alleviate. ARSOAC was officially activated March 25. Its Commanding General is BG Kevin W. Mangum, former Deputy Commanding General-Center, U.S. Division-Center. ARSOAC will manage the complex enterprise of aviation units and […]

Picatinny Engineers ‘Squeeze in’ Solution for Safer Ammunition Stowage

Picatinny Engineers ‘Squeeze in’ Solution for Safer Ammunition Stowage

An invention developed at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, and now being shipped to Afghanistan will make ammunition stowage safer and more effective for Soldiers onboard combat vehicles. The Modular Ammunition Restraint System, or more simply MARS, was created and a prototype developed about a year ago. Since then, more than 700 have been fielded to combat zones. MARS’ inventors are Picatinny packaging engineers Mike Ivankoe, with 31 years of service at the arsenal, Peggy Wilson, with seven years at the arsenal, and former Picatinny employee LTC Glenn Dean, who has since relocated to Warren, MI. As members of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Ivankoe, Wilson, and Dean […]

Army Expanding Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fleet, Accelerating Delivery

Army Expanding Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fleet, Accelerating Delivery

Kris Osborn The Army is speeding up delivery of some of its newer unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), such as the Gray Eagle, and expanding the size and range of its overall fleet to include a family of small UAS and Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) UAS, service officials said. “We’re going to accelerate Gray Eagle yet again,” said Tim Owings, Deputy Project Manager (PM) UAS. “We’re accelerating from two systems per year to three systems per year, which will result in 17 systems being procured by FY14.” A Defense Acquisition Board slated for this month is expected to confirm the addition of two more Low-Rate Initial Production Gray Eagle systems, […]

Army Reserve Unit First Is Equipped with New Line-Haul Supply Truck

MAJ Corey Schultz and Ashley John The 730th Transportation Company of the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), is the first unit to be equipped with the new Palletized Load System (PLS)-A1 truck, solidifying a significant shift in the distribution and allocation of equipment to Soldiers. The 730th Transportation Company, one of the newest USAR units, is receiving the Army’s newest trucks. Since September 2010, the Soldiers have trained for the 60 new trucks, said COL John Smith, Chief of Staff of the 311th Expeditionary Support Command. In November, Product Manager Heavy Tactical Vehicles (PM HTV), under the leadership of Project Manager Tactical Vehicles, Program Executive Office Combat […]