In the News

Aug. 24, 2019

Pentagon’s Non-Lethal Weapons Office Pushing Gray-Zone Warfare Tools

The Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate is hoping to reframe the talk about non-lethal weapons amid a push by the Defense Department to boost lethality for high-end warfare. The office’s director, Marine Corps Col. Wendell Leimbach, instead wants to talk about capability gaps in an era of gray zone warfare with Russia and China and where “intermediate force capabilities” – an umbrella term that also includes non-lethal weapons – would give American forces a better chance to compete.

Aug. 23, 2019

Combat Support Training Exercise prepares Army Reserve units to be self-sustaining in tactical objectives

“Get down! Get away from the gate!” yelled Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Nitendra Prasad, Platoon Sergeant, 645th Inland Cargo Transfer Company, Las Vegas, Nevada. A group of Civilians on the Battlefield arrived at a Central Receiving Shipping Point yard, an area where fuel, equipment and supplies are stored, at Tactical Training Area Independence. They were hungry and thirsty. “Food and water, food and water,” the civilians demanded. The Soldiers at the entry control point stood their ground unsure of who was in the crowd. Prasad stated that the unit had intelligence two days prior that there may be suicide bombers in the area and due to that potential threat, Soldiers used extreme caution as they approached the civilians and maintained a safe distance.

Aug. 13, 2019

Naval Information Warfare Centers Win Seven 'Top Scientists, Engineers' Awards

The Assistant Secretary of the Navy (ASN) Research, Development, and Acquisition (RD&A) Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Awards, recognizes scientists and engineers who have made significant contributions immediately recognizable by the research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation community, as well as senior leadership within the Department of the Navy. This year’s awards, presented during a June 28 ceremony at the Pentagon and hosted by Allison Stiller, principal civilian deputy, ASN RD&A, recognized the outstanding and significant contributions of both centers.

July 29, 2019

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Sees Fleet’s Future at Dahlgren’s Laser Lethality Lab

U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman Max Shuman faced a half dozen Navy officer and civilian engineers while reflecting on lessons learned as his internship concluded at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD).

June 19, 2019

Services Report Progress on Directed Energy Programs

With promises to reduce cost per shot and provide unlimited magazines, each of the services are betting their directed energy technology can give them an edge on the battlefield. The Navy, Air Force, Army and other organizations all have ongoing programs and are reporting progress.

June 19, 2019

Marine Corps at the forefront for ground-based lasers

A drone-killing, directed energy weapon prototype is now in the hands of Marines. The Compact Laser Weapons System—or CLaWS—is the first ground-based laser approved by the Department of Defense for use by warfighters on the ground.

June 4, 2019

Are Non-Lethal Laser Drones the New Stun Guns?

With a less-lethal weapon, there is always the risk that it might be bested by more-lethal means. Escalation and immediate response needs can lead to a shoot-first mentality, with less harmful tools kept as an alternative. But if those less-lethal tools are put on a robot, the danger suddenly shifts. Why not send a drone with a stun gun after a person with unknown armament? Worst comes to worst, it’s just another disabled robot.

May 23, 2019

Marines assess small business innovations during weeklong evaluation

From April 29 to May 3, the Small Business Innovation Research program at Marine Corps Systems Command hosted a Limited Military User Assessment and Engineering Technical Review at the Gruntworks Squad Integration Facility aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. The weeklong event enabled Marines to assess, demonstrate and provide feedback for promising SBIR prototype technologies from MCSC, Program Executive Officer Land Systems and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

May 22, 2019

Inspiring speakers, technologies welcome attendees to AFRL Inspire, Tech Expo

Seven people from Air Force Research Laboratory technology directorates across the country presented inspiring talks at the fourth AFRL Inspire event held May 16 at the Dayton Convention Center in front of more than 500 attendees.

May 21, 2019

Voice From the Community

Dr. Shannon Foley, Human Effects Scientist at the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate is highlighted in the May 2019 issues of Defense Systems Digest.

May 3, 2019

Air Force Research Laboratory completes successful shoot down of air-launched missiles

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) Program successfully completed a major program milestone April 23, 2019 with the successful surrogate laser weapon system shoot down of multiple air launched missiles in flight.

April 25, 2019

Ready, Aim, Fire: Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Lasers

The Defense Department's enduring mission is to provide combat-ready forces to deter war and protect the security of the United States. One of the ways DOD maintains the competitive edge of its troops is through a diverse system of research and development laboratories. DOD laboratories design new tools for cyber defense, evaluate new concepts for autonomous vehicles and advance military-critical technology in areas such as advanced computing, "big data" analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology.

April 24, 2019

AFRL scientists, engineers to highlight technology advancements at DOD Lab Day

Scientists and engineers from the Air Force Research Laboratory will highlight technology advancements in 13 different research areas in various stages of maturity during the third biennial Department of Defense Lab Day April 25, 2019, in the Pentagon center courtyard.

April 6, 2019

The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis holds a non-lethal weapons and Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray training course

U.S. Navy Information Systems Technician Seaman Tyreke Jones, left, from St. Louis, participates in a non-lethal weapons and Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray training course.

April 1, 2019

Unleash Directed-Energy Weapons

The era of U.S. technological dominance is over. Indeed, in many areas, including military technology, the gap has narrowed to parity or near-parity. Nations such as Russia and China, as well as countries to which these nations proliferate weapons, are deploying advanced weapons that demonstrate many of the same technological strengths that traditionally have provided a basis for U.S. advantage. In response, the Department of Defense initiated a “Third Offset Strategy” that sought to asymmetrically compensate for a disadvantaged position. Rather than competing head-to-head in an area where an adversary may possess significant strength, an offset strategy seeks to shift the axis of competition, through the introduction of new operational concepts and technologies, toward one in which the United States has a significant and sustainable advantage.

March 20, 2019

Africa Command Disputes Civilian Casualty Allegations

U.S. Africa Command disputes an Amnesty International report alleging that the command is responsible for civilian casualties in Somalia.

March 19, 2019

Oregon Air National Guard Security Forces participate in Patriot South exercise

The 2019 Patriot South exercise kicked off when Air and Army National Guard units from across the nation converged on Savannah, Georgia for a simulated natural disaster recovery and response exercise, March 1.

March 12, 2019

NATO launches innovation challenge to inventors and entrepreneurs

Addressing the dangers of electromagnetic pulse to our societies and militaries is the topic of this year’s first NATO Innovation Challenge. The competition aims to tap into the minds of innovative people and teams to find new, creative and efficient ways for NATO to respond to security challenges and potential crises.

March 11, 2019

Marines’ Anti-Drone Defense System Moving Towards Testing, Fielding Decision by End of Year

The Marine Corps’ counter-drone defense system is transitioning from an urgent operational need (UON) to a formal program of record, but the program is trying to retain its speed and agility as it moves into testing and fielding.

Feb. 22, 2019

Fort Campbell’s 716th Military Police Battalion Peacekeepers Train to Keep the Peace

Although every Soldier goes to Basic and AIT, not every Soldier’s training includes exposure to TASER and pepper spray. This month, Soldiers from Fort Campbell’s 716th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade did just that as part of their Law Enforcement Training Seminar, commonly referred to as LETS.