In the News

July 21, 2022

MARTAC Demonstrates Surveillance Potential of USVs for U.S. Navy

A family of high-speed unmanned surface vehicles has been getting a lot of play in naval exercises over the last year, helping the U.S. Navy to determine future requirements for USVs in roles such as maritime domain awareness. Maritime Tactical Systems (MARTAC) operates a fleet of USVs the Navy has used in experimentation in such areas as the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command region and Australia.

July 1, 2022

US Navy, Air Force running ‘capstone test’ of new high-power microwave missile

The U.S. Navy and Air Force research laboratories are wrapping up a five-year joint effort to advance high-power microwave technology this summer with two months of testing in California. The High-Powered Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Weapon, known as HiJENKS, uses microwave technology to disable an adversary’s electronic systems. The Air Force Research Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research are conducting the capstone tests at Naval Air Station China Lake.

June 28, 2022

Washington Guard MPs Train on Law Enforcement Skills

Building off last year’s comprehensive annual training, Washington National Guard members from the 506th Military Police Detachment developed their law enforcement skills during training this month. “We wanted to train in an immersive environment, exercising a variety of patrol skills and building situational awareness through scenarios that provided appropriate challenges in both complexity level and pace,” said Capt. Daniel Lamothe, commander, 506th Military Police Detachment. “We pushed Soldiers to conduct proactive patrols and provided opportunities to identify and respond to situations that require police action or investigation.”

June 22, 2022

Has the War in Ukraine Damaged Russia’s Gray Zone Capabilities?

Four months into the conflict, the war in Ukraine remains primarily a conventional fight, replete with troop movements, missile strikes, and artillery barrages. Consequently, the damage to Russia’s war machine has been measured principally in conventional terms—troop casualties, equipment destroyed, and the like. And yet, there has been one less prominent element of collateral damage from Russia’s war in Ukraine: its ability to conduct gray zone operations.

June 20, 2022

Militarised approach to policing peaceful protests increasing risk of violence: UN expert

The world is bearing witness to a continued shrinking of civic space and increased human rights violations in the context of peaceful protests, as governments across the globe securitise their approach to compounding crises, a UN expert said today. “Rather than seeing peaceful protest as a democratic means of participation, too often governments resort to repression to suppress protests and silence people’s voices,” said Clément N. Voule, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association in a report presented to the Human Rights Council.

June 17, 2022

Spartan Warrior III: Military police unit brings pride into training

Many military units go to Fort McCoy for one thing, great training. As for the 300th Military Police Brigade, they take advantage of some of the great resources a military police unit can utilize to meet their training objective. Spartan Warrior III is a two-week training exercise that brings battalions and companies within the 300th to Fort McCoy, training on both MP and basic soldier skills.

June 15, 2022

Revealing the Impact of Non-Lethal Weapons

Non-lethal weapons (NLWs) can be useful to U.S. military forces in a variety of contexts, but the DoD faces a challenge in evaluating their appropriate use and the potential impact of their deployment. These diverse systems—including acoustic hailers, eye-safe laser dazzlers, flash-bang grenades, various technologies that stop vessels or vehicles, and the “Active Denial System” that induces a temporary heating sensation—provide valuable complementary capabilities to lethal systems, enabling fighters to use the most appropriate tools in different situations.

June 9, 2022

New AFRL virtual range to bring directed energy capabilities to warfighters

The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate has awarded a contract, the largest award of its kind, to BlueHalo to build a directed energy modeling and simulation virtual range.

June 2, 2022

Security Forces Defender breathes new life into augmentee program

The 78th Security Forces Squadron Training Section ensures base Defenders are fully qualified and capable of defending Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, in all situations. RESOne instructor brought new life to the SFS Augmentee Program to bolster their numbers in time of crisis. Staff Sgt. Ginger Kim, 78th SFS Training Section lead instructor said, the augmentee program trains Airmen from across the base to conduct installation entry control duties.

May 27, 2022

Emerging Capabilities Policy Office to Speed Policy Considerations of New Technologies

The speed of war is getting faster, with new capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, hypersonic technologies, and more, entering the services.  A new Pentagon office seeks to do for policy what the research and acquisition communities have been doing in regard to new capabilities. 

May 25, 2022

AFRL partners with New Mexico State University to test cooling solutions for directed energy weapons

The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, Directed Energy Directorate recently signed a five-year Strategic Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) with New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces that extends the loan of a laser diode system NMSU will use in testing novel cooling solutions for directed energy laser and high power microwave systems.

May 10, 2022

Report to Congress on Navy Shipboard Lasers

This report provides background information and issues for Congress on shipboard solid-state lasers (SSLs) that the Navy is developing for surface-ship self-defense. The Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget requests continued research and development funding for these efforts.

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.”