In the News

April 30, 2022

Get Real or Get Outpaced: Reality and the Future of U.S. Navy

American domination in a period of unipolarity is coming to an end—if it hasn’t already. Advantages granted by leaps in technology now last weeks or months, not years as they once did during the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. Flat and shrinking budgets, coupled with poor program concepts hedging on unproven or developing technology, management, and execution, have left the Navy with bloated contracts and ineffective platforms. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) has never lived up to its billing, and maintenance costs far outpace its usefulness leading the Navy to retire relatively new hulls decades earlier than planned. The Zumwalt-class destroyer has grappled with program cuts to build count and immature technologies, which have left it without a full complement of weapon systems and an undefined role. The ballooning production and maintenance costs, along with the emergence of hypersonic weapons, threatened to render the Gerald R. Ford-class of supercarriers obsolete or, at the very least, less effective.

April 20, 2022

Pentagon Needs Realistic Experimentation for Emerging Tech, Says Navy Scientist

The Pentagon needs a realistic experimentation program built in to evaluate emerging technologies like Joint All Domain Command and Control [JADC2] and hypersonic or directed energy weapons, a top Navy scientist said Wednesday.

April 13, 2022

Improved Data Quality for Next Gen Directed Energy Systems

SMART scholar and SEED Grant recipient Joseph Fiordilino, Ph.D., from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division is influencing the direction of directed energy systems for the Department of Defense (DoD). His research, “Improving Modeling and Simulation and Experiments to Aid Directed Energy Atmospheric Measurements” tackles three critical areas for success in DoD directed energy applications: 1) improving the accuracy and efficiency of modeling and simulation codes for high energy laser atmospheric propagation; 2) developing real-world high energy laser test and evaluation data sets; and 3) improving the measurement capability and traceability of instrumentation. Joseph’s research supports the DoD’s critical technology area of directed energy. He aims to improve the quality of data researchers use to develop predictive performance of high energy laser atmospheric propagation software, which empowers warfighters to make real-time battlefield decisions.

April 9, 2022

Building capacities, nurturing partnerships: UNPOL officers train national counterparts on crowd management

Some 35 South Sudanese police officers in Western Equatoria were trained to control crowds in a peaceful and responsible manner by their UNPOL partners from UNMISS.

April 6, 2022

Report on Navy Laser, Railgun and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile

This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new ship-based self-defense weapons for the Navy—solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gun-launched guided projectile (GLGP), also known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).

March 28, 2022

SMART Scholar and SEED Grant Recipient Works to Develop Micro Laser-Triggering in Spark Gap Switches

Moving directed energy systems from the lab to the hands of the warfighter is no easy task. Projects require years of basic research, followed by research and development efforts, and finally testing and evaluation. Electrical Engineer and SMART SEED Grant recipient, Jon Cameron Pouncey, Ph.D., from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, is undertaking a three-year effort to develop new micro laser-triggering in spark gap switches for pulsed power systems. His efforts aim to increase the efficiency and reliability of the switches for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) directed energy modernization area.

March 11, 2022

U.S. Africa Command Civilian Casualty Assessment Quarterly Report; 4th Quarter, 2021

In the latest quarterly civilian casualty assessment report period ending Dec. 31, 2021, U.S. Africa Command received no new reports of civilian casualties and no open reports were carried over from previous quarters. There are currently no assessments open or under review.

March 10, 2022

Historic 4-60 ADA reactivated with Fort Sill ceremony

An Air Defense Artillery battalion, which can trace its lineage back to World War I and Vietnam, reactivated March 4 in an uncasing ceremony on the Old Post Quadrangle. “We’ll be the first and only, for the time being, directed energy, or laser weapon battalion that’s out there,” said Corby. “We are the first M-SHORAD unit to start integrating this capability here at Fort Sill. We will begin the proof-of-concept demonstration this coming fall and we’re very excited for that opportunity.”

Feb. 25, 2022

Dahlgren Focuses Energy Weapons on Target

The U.S. Navy has been researching and perfecting directed energy weapons to include railguns, high-powered microwaves and lasers, along with hypervelocity projectiles — to make futuristic weapons a reality on ships today. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, Virginia, has been leading the way in creating capabilities to give warfighters a high-tech advantage at sea, to include directed energy weapons.

Feb. 25, 2022

AFRL awards contract for drone killer, Mjölnir; brings new drone “hammer” to the fight

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a contract for Mjölnir, a next-generation counter electronics weapon system, to defend against adversarial drone activity, to Leidos Inc. Building upon the success of the Tactical High-Power Operational Responder (THOR) technology demonstrator, Leidos will build an advanced high power microwave (HPM) weapon system to bring the newest technology to bear against the growing threat from unmanned aircraft.

Feb. 17, 2022

NSWCDD Develops Safer Weapons Alternative

Videos of U.S. military personnel stopping drug-smuggling boats are exhilarating and frightening. They are not Hollywood movies but real-life, dangerous encounters on the high seas. In each of those instances, the use of force applies. The High Power Microwave (HPM) Weapon Systems Division at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) makes those encounters safer for everyone involved.

Feb. 15, 2022

AFRL holds directed, kinetic energy wargaming experiment

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate recently hosted a collaborative wargame with its sister AFRL unit, the Munitions Directorate, at Kirtland Air Force Base. The Directed Energy and Kinetic Energy Directed Energy Utility Concept Experiment, or DEKE DEUCE, explored synergies between directed energy and kinetic concepts in the future battlespace.

Feb. 14, 2022

Kentucky Soldiers conduct riot control training in Germany

Soldiers assigned to Kentucky Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 29th Infantry Division, reacted to improvised incendiary weapons during multinational fire phobia training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center Feb. 11. The training, hosted by members of the Slovenian military, involved reacting to Molotov cocktails and simulated rioting during a mission rehearsal exercise before the 1-149th Infantry Battalion’s deployment to the Balkan region. The Slovenian military familiarized the Kentucky Soldiers with tactics to respond to riots and civil unrest should they encounter such a situation while deployed.

Feb. 8, 2022

DARPA Seeks Next-Gen Scalable Laser Weapon Systems

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a request for scalable, high-energy laser (HEL) technology proposals to build a new generation of laser weapon systems. The proposed five-year, $60 million Modular Efficient Laser Technology (MELT) initiative categorically excludes research aimed at improving current technologies, requesting “revolutionary advances in devices.”

Feb. 7, 2022

SECAF, CSAF visit 16 AF to discuss gray zone-focused competition

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. visited 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) Feb. 2 to learn more about the numbered air force’s capabilities in gray zone warfare.

Jan. 31, 2022

Air Force Research Laboratory Hosts Collaborative Wargame Experiment With Munitions Directorate At Kirtland AFB

The Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate (AFRL/RD) hosted a collaborative wargame with its sister AFRL unit, the Munitions Directorate (AFRL/RW) Jan. 24-28 at Kirtland AFB. The Directed Energy and Kinetic Energy Directed Energy Utility Concept Experiment, or DEKE DEUCE, explored synergies between directed energy and kinetic concepts in the future battlespace.

Jan. 20, 2022

Defense Research and Engineering Explores Joint Experimentation

A pair of classified efforts in FY23 will aim to develop and push prototypes into rapid experimentation to fill a joint operational capability gap. These are part of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s (USD [R&E’s]) Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve, or RADER, activity. It is designed to conduct a campaign of joint experimentation, explains Heidi Shyu, the USD (R&E).

Jan. 19, 2022

Security Forces always training, always ready

It does not matter what situation 88th Security Forces Squadron Defenders find themselves in. Members of Team Wright-Patt can rest assured they are trained and ready to respond. The squadron is responsible for all law enforcement around the installation, to include base housing, as well ensuring access points are properly manned and the airfield is secured, 365 days a year.

Jan. 5, 2022

NSWCDD Department Stands Up High Powered Microwave Division in Directed Energy Refocusing Efforts

Under the Directed Energy (DE) umbrella, there are two significant areas of interest: high-energy laser and high-power microwave (HPM) weapon systems. At Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), the growing demand from the operational community for novel DE weapon systems resulted in a corresponding growth in NSWCDD’s technical capability in this area. During a recent reorganization of the Integrated Engagement Systems Department, leadership looked at the two DE areas historically maintained in a single division and made the strategic decision to split them into respective divisions, recognizing the need for continued growth and development in both areas that have similar technical roots.

Jan. 4, 2022

GEN. DAVID H. BERGER ON THE MARINE CORPS OF THE FUTURE

Gen. David H. Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, had Ryan Evans over for a discussion on the service he leads. As rising great powers and transformative technologies reshape warfare, presenting marines with new challenges, how should the Marine Corps adapt? From talent management to force transformation, listen to their wide-ranging conversation about what the service needs to become in order to remain a top-tier fighting force.