Tagged: equipment

0

Senators lobby to bring new armored brigade team to Texas …

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn sent a letter Monday to Secretary of the Army Mark Esper requesting the Army relocate a newly-designated armored brigade combat team to either Fort Hood or Fort Bliss.

The Army’s 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, currently located at Fort Carson, Colorado, is in the process of conversion from an infantry brigade combat team to an armored brigade combat team. The two Texas Army installations already have the training ranges necessary to prepare an armored brigade combat team for deployment.

“We write regarding the conversion of the Army’s 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from an infantry brigade combat team to an armored brigade combat team,” the senators wrote. “As this conversion occurs, we also write to express our strong support for the relocation of the 2nd Brigade from Fort Carson, Colorado to one of Texas’s premier armor installations. The conversion of an infantry brigade combat team to an armored brigade combat team is a daunting task. Nevertheless, as you look across the Army, Fort Hood and Fort Bliss stand out as hosts for a unit of this size and composition.”

Both installations are equipped with the infrastructure necessary to support the rapid deployment and redeployment of armored brigades, the letter stated. Fort Hood and Fort Bliss both have rail access, airfields capable of handling any size aircraft needed for rapid air transportation of personnel and equipment and the capacity to host an additional brigade.

The letter also touted the “superb quality of life including affordable housing, military friendly communities, recreational activities, and easy access to services” for family members. “Over the years, our installations and the surrounding communities have worked together to identify and provide the best available resources for soldiers and their families assigned to the region.”

0

1ST BRIGADE COMBAT TEAM: 326th BEB provides diverse combat enablers

While most battalions have one primary role in its support of the brigade combat team, brigade engineer battalions provide multiple critical functions to enable combat operations.

Soldiers from 326th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, showcased their unit’s versatility during a weeklong field training exercise, March 12-Friday, at Fort Campbell’s training area.

The FTX prepared the battalion to better integrate into brigade-level combined arms training events. The FTX also certified certain elements on their mission essential tasks.

“The 326th BEB is the most unique battalion within the Bastogne brigade,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Zimmer, 326th BEB commander, who often compares his battalion to a multipurpose tool. “Each tool performs a different function, and this is how our battalion supports the brigade.”

Those tools include six companies from which there are two engineer companies, a signal company, a military intelligence company, a forward support company and a headquarters and headquarters company.

Soldiers from A and B engineer companies conducted engineer qualification tables, Sapper missions focused on reconnaissance, mobility and counter mobility, and survivability operations.  “We have an area reconnaissance lane, and a complex obstacle breach lane, a route reconnaissance lane, and a complex obstacle emplacement lane where they are actually emplacing a deliberate crater and an 11-row wire obstacle,” said Capt. Benjamin Speckhart, A Co., 326th BEB commander.

The Soldiers of C Company, the signal company, performed retransmission and networking training, and sling load operations to hone their military occupational skill-specific and air assault skills.

The Soldiers of D Company, the military intelligence company, consists of three platoons – the unmanned aircraft system platoon that operates the RQ-7 Shadow UAS, a multi-function platoon that has signal and human intelligence capabilities, and an information collection platoon that, with the brigade intelligence section, analyzes information from all reconnaissance assets for Bastogne. The Soldiers conducted aerial reconnaissance missions in support of 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st BCT, and 326th BEB’s platoon defensive live-fire exercises,

The forward support Soldiers of E Company increased their lethality during the platoon defensive live fire as well as conducted sling load operations to certify day and night aerial resupply missions. Additionally, the maintenance platoon conducted recovery operations, the field feeding section cooked and served meals for more than 500 Soldiers during the week, and the distribution platoon supported the entire battalion with fuel and ammo.

During the defensive live-fire exercise, the chemical reconnaissance platoon of Headquarters and Headquarters Company conducted decontamination training to increase the knowledge and skills for Soldiers throughout the battalion.

“We’re training on how to properly decontaminate equipment and vehicles so that in the case we are attacked, we can set up a decon line and get them back to the battle,” said Spc. Thomas Rivera, a CBRN specialist. This training is important because there are countries who are experimenting with chemicals, and there’s a history of chemicals being used, so I feel it is our responsibility to actually make sure everybody is prepared for such an attack.”  

0

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Open for Early Entries

Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto
Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, with 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Sponsor Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development, and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto

2018 ASTORSAmerican Security Today is pleased to announce that Early Entry Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program – the most Comprehensive Awards Program in the Industry, through April 25th, 2018.

Acknowledge the Most Distinguished Vendors of Physical, IT, Cyber, Port of Entry Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Perimeter Protection, Communications as well as Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies in Acknowledgment of Their Outstanding Efforts to: ‘Keep our Nation Safe – One City at a Time’

AST-Image-of-Eagle-and-Flag-resized-2

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][1].

AST

Please View our Complete List of Categories & Opportunities[2] for Your Organization to Compete and Distinguish Your Achievements in this Exclusive Opportunity to receive the Recognition Your Public Safety, Law Enforcement & Homeland Security Deserves.

AST banner

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields
• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily, weekly and monthly to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges, including:

  • Federal, State & Local Government Agencies & Law Enforcement Organizations, Private Security Agencies… Security Directors… Port Directors… Airport Directors… IT/Cyber Security Directors & More
  • Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sports Arenas, our Nation’s Schools, Higher Education Campuses and Commercial Business Destinations – are all enticing targets for extremist attacks due to the large numbers of persons and resources clustered together
  • The new integration, where major applications such as Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance, Access Control and Alarm Systems communicate with one another in a variety of solutions to protect our Cities and Critical Infrastructure
  • Expanded readership into vital Critical Infrastructure audiences such as protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels and other potential targets of terrorism

local-800

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 70,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 70,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

American Security Today’s 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East was an overwhelming success, with distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government.

Over 100 professionals gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included:

  • The Department of Homeland Security
  • The Department of Justice
  • The Security Exchange Commission
  • State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, and
  • Leaders in Private Security

Recognized for their Innovative Training and Education Programs, Outstanding Product Development Achievements and Exciting New Technologies to address the growing Homeland Security Threats our Nation is facing.

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon
The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon

AST’s publisher Michael Madsen, has announced an AST ‘ASTORS’ Awards Preview Edition to be published in an upcoming AST Magazine – a Full Feature Issue devoted to the competing firms and their achievements with an introduction to our 70,000+ readers – so Enter Today!

american-security-expo-luncheon

The highlight of the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program will be the Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East at the Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, November 14th.[3]

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.

For Sponsorship Opportunities and More Information on the AST 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][4] or call 732.233.8119 (mobile) or 646-450-6027 (office)

Learn More…

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East[5]

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  2. ^ Categories & Opportunities (americansecuritytoday.com)
  3. ^ 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program (americansecuritytoday.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  5. ^ 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East (americansecuritytoday.com)
  6. ^ Man Convicted for Making Bomb Parts to Kill American Soldiers in Iraq (americansecuritytoday.com)
  7. ^ Senstar Symphony Intelligent VMS Has a New Home (Learn More, Video) (americansecuritytoday.com)
0

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Open for Early Entries

Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto
Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, with 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Sponsor Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development, and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto

2018 ASTORSAmerican Security Today is pleased to announce that Early Entry Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program – the most Comprehensive Awards Program in the Industry, through April 25th, 2018.

Acknowledge the Most Distinguished Vendors of Physical, IT, Cyber, Port of Entry Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Perimeter Protection, Communications as well as Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies in Acknowledgment of Their Outstanding Efforts to: ‘Keep our Nation Safe – One City at a Time’

AST-Image-of-Eagle-and-Flag-resized-2

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][1].

AST

Please View our Complete List of Categories & Opportunities[2] for Your Organization to Compete and Distinguish Your Achievements in this Exclusive Opportunity to receive the Recognition Your Public Safety, Law Enforcement & Homeland Security Deserves.

AST banner

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields
• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily, weekly and monthly to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges, including:

  • Federal, State & Local Government Agencies & Law Enforcement Organizations, Private Security Agencies… Security Directors… Port Directors… Airport Directors… IT/Cyber Security Directors & More
  • Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sports Arenas, our Nation’s Schools, Higher Education Campuses and Commercial Business Destinations – are all enticing targets for extremist attacks due to the large numbers of persons and resources clustered together
  • The new integration, where major applications such as Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance, Access Control and Alarm Systems communicate with one another in a variety of solutions to protect our Cities and Critical Infrastructure
  • Expanded readership into vital Critical Infrastructure audiences such as protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels and other potential targets of terrorism

local-800

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 70,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 70,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

American Security Today’s 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East was an overwhelming success, with distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government.

Over 100 professionals gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included:

  • The Department of Homeland Security
  • The Department of Justice
  • The Security Exchange Commission
  • State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, and
  • Leaders in Private Security

Recognized for their Innovative Training and Education Programs, Outstanding Product Development Achievements and Exciting New Technologies to address the growing Homeland Security Threats our Nation is facing.

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon
The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon

AST’s publisher Michael Madsen, has announced an AST ‘ASTORS’ Awards Preview Edition to be published in an upcoming AST Magazine – a Full Feature Issue devoted to the competing firms and their achievements with an introduction to our 70,000+ readers – so Enter Today!

american-security-expo-luncheon

The highlight of the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program will be the Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East at the Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, November 14th.[3]

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.

For Sponsorship Opportunities and More Information on the AST 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][4] or call 732.233.8119 (mobile) or 646-450-6027 (office)

Learn More…

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East[5]

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  2. ^ Categories & Opportunities (americansecuritytoday.com)
  3. ^ 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program (americansecuritytoday.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  5. ^ 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East (americansecuritytoday.com)
  6. ^ Man Convicted for Making Bomb Parts to Kill American Soldiers in Iraq (americansecuritytoday.com)
  7. ^ Senstar Symphony Intelligent VMS Has a New Home (Learn More, Video) (americansecuritytoday.com)
0

2018 'ASTORS' Homeland Security Awards Open for Early Entries

Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto
Michael Madsen, AST Publisher, with 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Sponsor Cliff Quiroga, Vice President for Sharp Robotics Business Development, and the team’s Director of Marketing, Alice DiSanto

2018 ASTORSAmerican Security Today is pleased to announce that Early Entry Nominations are being accepted for the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program – the most Comprehensive Awards Program in the Industry, through April 25th, 2018.

Acknowledge the Most Distinguished Vendors of Physical, IT, Cyber, Port of Entry Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Perimeter Protection, Communications as well as Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies in Acknowledgment of Their Outstanding Efforts to: ‘Keep our Nation Safe – One City at a Time’

AST-Image-of-Eagle-and-Flag-resized-2

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][1].

AST

Please View our Complete List of Categories & Opportunities[2] for Your Organization to Compete and Distinguish Your Achievements in this Exclusive Opportunity to receive the Recognition Your Public Safety, Law Enforcement & Homeland Security Deserves.

AST banner

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields
• Compelling, attractive and easy to read digital publications delivered daily, weekly and monthly to a select readership of over 70,000 decision makers in the American security and homeland security fields

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges, including:

  • Federal, State & Local Government Agencies & Law Enforcement Organizations, Private Security Agencies… Security Directors… Port Directors… Airport Directors… IT/Cyber Security Directors & More
  • Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sports Arenas, our Nation’s Schools, Higher Education Campuses and Commercial Business Destinations – are all enticing targets for extremist attacks due to the large numbers of persons and resources clustered together
  • The new integration, where major applications such as Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance, Access Control and Alarm Systems communicate with one another in a variety of solutions to protect our Cities and Critical Infrastructure
  • Expanded readership into vital Critical Infrastructure audiences such as protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels and other potential targets of terrorism

local-800

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 70,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 70,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

‘PROTECTING OUR NATION, ONE CITY AT A TIME’

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

American Security Today’s 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East was an overwhelming success, with distinguished guests from National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Executives from companies allied to Government.

Over 100 professionals gathered from across North America and the Middle East to be honored from disciplines across the Security Industry in their respective fields which included:

  • The Department of Homeland Security
  • The Department of Justice
  • The Security Exchange Commission
  • State and Municipal Law Enforcement Agencies, and
  • Leaders in Private Security

Recognized for their Innovative Training and Education Programs, Outstanding Product Development Achievements and Exciting New Technologies to address the growing Homeland Security Threats our Nation is facing.

The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon
The 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon

AST’s publisher Michael Madsen, has announced an AST ‘ASTORS’ Awards Preview Edition to be published in an upcoming AST Magazine – a Full Feature Issue devoted to the competing firms and their achievements with an introduction to our 70,000+ readers – so Enter Today!

american-security-expo-luncheon

The highlight of the 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program will be the Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East at the Javits Convention Center on Wednesday, November 14th.[3]

AST focuses on New and Evolving Security Threats at All Levels of Homeland Security and Public Safety for personnel who are on the front lines of protecting our communities, cities and nation.

AST reaches both the private and public experts, essential to meeting today’s growing security challenges.

For Sponsorship Opportunities and More Information on the AST 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at: [email protected][4] or call 732.233.8119 (mobile) or 646-450-6027 (office)

Learn More…

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East[5]

References

  1. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  2. ^ Categories & Opportunities (americansecuritytoday.com)
  3. ^ 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program (americansecuritytoday.com)
  4. ^ [email protected] (americansecuritytoday.com)
  5. ^ 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners Honored at ISC East (americansecuritytoday.com)
  6. ^ Man Convicted for Making Bomb Parts to Kill American Soldiers in Iraq (americansecuritytoday.com)
  7. ^ Senstar Symphony Intelligent VMS Has a New Home (Learn More, Video) (americansecuritytoday.com)
0

Poisoning of Russian ex-spy puts spotlight on Moscow's secret military labs

During his last run for the presidency, in 2012, Russian leader Vladimir Putin startled U.S. military experts with a mysterious pledge to develop novel kinds of weapons to counter the West’s technological edge. Armies of the future, he said, would need weapons “based on new physical principles” including “genetic” and “psychophysical” science.

“Such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons,” Putin said in an essay published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s newspaper of record, “but will be more ‘acceptable’ in terms of ­political and military ideology.”

Exactly what Putin meant — and how any “genetic” weapon could square with international treaties outlawing chemical and biological warfare — remains uncertain. But what is now clear is that Putin’s words unleashed a wave of activity across a complex of heavily guarded military and civilian laboratories in Russia.

Since the start of Putin’s second term, a construction boom has been underway at more than two dozen institutes that were once part of the Soviet Union’s biological and chemical weapons establishment, according to Russian documents and photos compiled by independent researchers. That expansion, which includes multiple new or refurbished testing facilities, is particularly apparent at secret Defense Ministry laboratories that have long drawn the suspicions of U.S. officials over possible arms-treaty violations.

[Putin: Russia is developing nuclear arms capable of avoiding missile defenses[1]]

Russian officials insist that the research in government-run labs is purely defensive and perfectly legal. But the effort has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of allegations of Moscow’s involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. Both were sickened by exposure to Novichok[2], a kind of highly lethal nerve agent uniquely developed by Russian military scientists years ago.

“The big question is, why are they doing this?” said Raymond Zilinskas, a chemical and biological weapons expert with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif. In a newly released book[3], “Biosecurity in Putin’s Russia[4],” ­Zilinskas and co-author Philippe Mauger analyze hundreds of contract documents and other records that show a surge in Russian research interest in subjects ranging from genetically modified pathogens to nonlethal chemical weapons used for crowd control.

The analysis also tracks a simultaneous rise in sensationalist Russian claims that the United States is itself pursuing offensive biological weapons. Reports posted on state-sponsored news sites and amplified over social media have accused U.S. scientists of being behind recent outbreaks of the Zika virus as well as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa that began in 2014. In each instance, U.S. federal agencies marshaled a sizable response to counter or contain the outbreaks.

Such baseless claims could be viewed as part of a deliberate effort to “explain to their own people why they need to do this research,” Zilinskas said in an interview.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to answer written questions but forwarded a March 13 statement by Vassily A. Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations. Nebenzia denied any involvement by the Kremlin in the March 4 nerve-agent attack and suggested that it was the United States and Britain, not Russia, that were continuing to conduct illegal research to create “new toxic substances.”

[Britain’s top diplomat accuses Putin of being behind nerve-agent attack[5]]

The research by Zilinskas and Mauger appears to bear out long-held concerns by the State Department, which has sharply criticized Russia in recent years over a lack of transparency in its military-related biological and chemical research. Since 2012, State Department officials have issued a series of reports faulting Moscow for refusing to open its military research laboratories to outside inspectors, and for failing to provide proof that it destroyed the highly lethal arsenals created by Red Army scientists in the years before the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Thomas Countryman, an assistant secretary of state for international security and arms control during the Obama administration, said that even before Putin, U.S. officials questioned whether the Kremlin had owned up to its past “fully and transparently.” But over the past six years, official distrust has grown as Moscow has embraced a more aggressive foreign policy that includes intimidation of Russia’s neighbors and an unabashed support for a Syrian dictator who uses nerve agents to kill his own people.

“Moscow’s full-throated defense of Syrian use of chemical weapons[6] — and, especially, its apparent use of chemical agents in targeted assassinations — only add to the concerns,” Countryman said.

Cold War pathogens

When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, the Russian Federation became the heir to history’s most dangerous arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.

During the Cold War, Soviet leaders spent vast sums to create weaponized versions of 11 different pathogens — including the microbes that cause anthrax, smallpox and the plague — while also experimenting with genetically altered strains. They created new classes of chemical toxins, such as Novichok, reportedly used in the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.

[What is Novichok? Russia’s nerve agent has Soviet roots[7]]

A fourth-generation nerve agent more deadly than VX, Novichok is the stuff of legend. Russia denies that it ever researched or manufactured such nerve agents, but it arrested a former Soviet weapons scientist[8] on charges of divulging state secrets after he published details about Soviet Novichok production in newspaper articles and a memoir.

The Soviet program was motivated in part by competition with the United States. Washington maintained its own stockpile of nerve agents during the Cold War and manufactured biological weapons until 1969, when President Richard M. Nixon dismantled the program. But the Kremlin pressed ahead, convinced that the Pentagon was continuing bioweapons research in secret. Finally, in 1992, newly installed Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged the existence of the secret program to U.S. officials and reported that all Soviet bioweapons had been destroyed.

In the years immediately following the Cold War, securing and dismantling Soviet weapons of mass destruction united Americans and Russians in a common cause[9]. The United States helped Russia build incinerators for destroying its chemical weapons, and it sponsored programs that paired former Soviet bioweapons scientists with Western companies to keep them employed during the country’s economic transition.

[Key allies back Britain in blaming Moscow for chemical attack[10]]

Such U.S.-Russian technical cooperation began to wane after Putin’s election as president, and it collapsed after the Russian strongman won a second term in 2012. Yet, even during the Yeltsin years, Russia refused to grant ­access to key weapons sites, including four biodefense laboratories run by the Russian military and perpetually sealed off from outside visitors, former U.S. officials said.

“We were always curious: Were they embarrassed to let us in because of the shape of their labs? Or were they hiding something?” said Laura Holgate, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama on preventing biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism.

Holgate allowed that Russia’s reluctance also may have reflected a “paranoia about what the U.S. might be learning” about the country’s military capabilities. In any case, she said, it became clear over time that Putin intended to preserve some Soviet-era capabilities for use in very specific situations. One of these was assassination — the killing of the Kremlin’s opponents using methods that were dramatic, yet allowed Moscow to plausibly deny culpability. Another was crowd control: the use of controversial “knockout” chemicals to incapacitate individuals involved in hostage standoffs and other mass disturbances.

Officials familiar with Russia’s program said the expanded activity at military labs may be partly aimed at honing those capabilities, giving Putin a variety of tools for dealing with adversaries while seeking to avoid the most flagrant violations of Russia’s treaty obligations.

“That would be in line with behavior that we’ve been seeing for years,” Holgate said.

Satellite evidence

Whatever the explanation, the buildup is striking. Data collected by Zilinskas and Mauger includes contract documents, ­Russian-language reports and aerial imagery that shed light on a dramatic expansion at the four secret Defense Ministry laboratories and numerous government-run civilian research centers across the country.

At one military complex at Yekaterinburg — the scene of an accidental release[11] of anthrax spores in 1979 that is said to have killed 100 workers and townspeople — satellite images show clusters of newly built, warehouse-size industrial buildings dotting a walled campus. Renovations can be observed in older buildings that in Soviet times were factories for mass-producing bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax.

At the 33rd Central Research Test Institute at Shikhany — formerly a “closed” Russian military city on the Volga River in southwest Russia — records point to a recent spending spree for specialized equipment such as freeze-drying machines used in microbial production. Lab officials are shown soliciting bids for repairs to a wind tunnel, the type used in testing aerosolized bacteria and viruses, as well as upgrades to an area of bermed storage pens that the researchers say are probably intended for open-air testing involving explosives.

Wind tunnels and outdoor testing facilities can be used legitimately to develop defenses against biological and chemical attacks. Indeed, the Pentagon employs similar equipment at its biodefense research facilities in Maryland and Utah. But Zilinskas and Mauger say the Russian expansion invites a higher level of scrutiny in light of the explicit calls by Russian leaders for work on novel kinds of weapons, including “genetic” ones.

After Putin’s essay in 2012, several senior military officials, including the defense minister at the time, Anatoly Serdyukov, publicly endorsed Putin’s appeal for new kinds of weapons and promised to start building them, the researchers note. Serdyukov specifically pledged to incorporate “genetic” research in creating Russia’s next-generation arsenals.

“We noted the numerous high-level calls for the development of biotechnology-based weapons in Russia, without further specification,” Zilinskas and Mauger write. At minimum, the vagueness of such statements potentially opens the door for any military official or “ambitious scientist” to lobby for a chance to develop a new kind of weapon — with the implicit blessing of top Russian officials, they write.

“When taken in conjunction with the [military’s] apparent support for the development of ‘genetic’ weapons, these statements erode normative barriers toward biological weapons in Russia,” the authors say.

Anton Troianovski in Moscow contributed to this report.

Read more:

With Putin’s reelection, expect rising tensions with the West[12]

The long, terrifying history of Russian dissidents being poisoned abroad[13]

Putin vows retaliation for British sanctions over poisoning case[14]

References

  1. ^ Putin: Russia is developing nuclear arms capable of avoiding missile defenses (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ exposure to Novichok (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ book (www.rienner.com)
  4. ^ Biosecurity in Putin’s Russia (www.amazon.com)
  5. ^ Britain’s top diplomat accuses Putin of being behind nerve-agent attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ Syrian use of chemical weapons (www.washingtonpost.com)
  7. ^ What is Novichok? Russia’s nerve agent has Soviet roots (www.washingtonpost.com)
  8. ^ former Soviet weapons scientist (www.voanews.com)
  9. ^ a common cause (armscontrolcenter.org)
  10. ^ Key allies back Britain in blaming Moscow for chemical attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ accidental release (nsarchive2.gwu.edu)
  12. ^ With Putin’s reelection, expect rising tensions with the West (www.washingtonpost.com)
  13. ^ The long, terrifying history of Russian dissidents being poisoned abroad (www.washingtonpost.com)
  14. ^ Putin vows retaliation for British sanctions over poisoning case (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Poisoning of Russian ex-spy puts spotlight on Moscow's secret military labs

During his last run for the presidency, in 2012, Russian leader Vladimir Putin startled U.S. military experts with a mysterious pledge to develop novel kinds of weapons to counter the West’s technological edge. Armies of the future, he said, would need weapons “based on new physical principles” including “genetic” and “psychophysical” science.

“Such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons,” Putin said in an essay published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s newspaper of record, “but will be more ‘acceptable’ in terms of ­political and military ideology.”

Exactly what Putin meant — and how any “genetic” weapon could square with international treaties outlawing chemical and biological warfare — remains uncertain. But what is now clear is that Putin’s words unleashed a wave of activity across a complex of heavily guarded military and civilian laboratories in Russia.

Since the start of Putin’s second term, a construction boom has been underway at more than two dozen institutes that were once part of the Soviet Union’s biological and chemical weapons establishment, according to Russian documents and photos compiled by independent researchers. That expansion, which includes multiple new or refurbished testing facilities, is particularly apparent at secret Defense Ministry laboratories that have long drawn the suspicions of U.S. officials over possible arms-treaty violations.

[Putin: Russia is developing nuclear arms capable of avoiding missile defenses[1]]

Russian officials insist that the research in government-run labs is purely defensive and perfectly legal. But the effort has come under increased scrutiny in the wake of allegations of Moscow’s involvement in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain. Both were sickened by exposure to Novichok[2], a kind of highly lethal nerve agent uniquely developed by Russian military scientists years ago.

“The big question is, why are they doing this?” said Raymond Zilinskas, a chemical and biological weapons expert with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, Calif. In a newly released book[3], “Biosecurity in Putin’s Russia[4],” ­Zilinskas and co-author Philippe Mauger analyze hundreds of contract documents and other records that show a surge in Russian research interest in subjects ranging from genetically modified pathogens to nonlethal chemical weapons used for crowd control.

The analysis also tracks a simultaneous rise in sensationalist Russian claims that the United States is itself pursuing offensive biological weapons. Reports posted on state-sponsored news sites and amplified over social media have accused U.S. scientists of being behind recent outbreaks of the Zika virus as well as the Ebola epidemic in West Africa that began in 2014. In each instance, U.S. federal agencies marshaled a sizable response to counter or contain the outbreaks.

Such baseless claims could be viewed as part of a deliberate effort to “explain to their own people why they need to do this research,” Zilinskas said in an interview.

A spokeswoman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to answer written questions but forwarded a March 13 statement by Vassily A. Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations. Nebenzia denied any involvement by the Kremlin in the March 4 nerve-agent attack and suggested that it was the United States and Britain, not Russia, that were continuing to conduct illegal research to create “new toxic substances.”

[Britain’s top diplomat accuses Putin of being behind nerve-agent attack[5]]

The research by Zilinskas and Mauger appears to bear out long-held concerns by the State Department, which has sharply criticized Russia in recent years over a lack of transparency in its military-related biological and chemical research. Since 2012, State Department officials have issued a series of reports faulting Moscow for refusing to open its military research laboratories to outside inspectors, and for failing to provide proof that it destroyed the highly lethal arsenals created by Red Army scientists in the years before the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Thomas Countryman, an assistant secretary of state for international security and arms control during the Obama administration, said that even before Putin, U.S. officials questioned whether the Kremlin had owned up to its past “fully and transparently.” But over the past six years, official distrust has grown as Moscow has embraced a more aggressive foreign policy that includes intimidation of Russia’s neighbors and an unabashed support for a Syrian dictator who uses nerve agents to kill his own people.

“Moscow’s full-throated defense of Syrian use of chemical weapons[6] — and, especially, its apparent use of chemical agents in targeted assassinations — only add to the concerns,” Countryman said.

Cold War pathogens

When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, the Russian Federation became the heir to history’s most dangerous arsenal of chemical and biological weapons.

During the Cold War, Soviet leaders spent vast sums to create weaponized versions of 11 different pathogens — including the microbes that cause anthrax, smallpox and the plague — while also experimenting with genetically altered strains. They created new classes of chemical toxins, such as Novichok, reportedly used in the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England.

[What is Novichok? Russia’s nerve agent has Soviet roots[7]]

A fourth-generation nerve agent more deadly than VX, Novichok is the stuff of legend. Russia denies that it ever researched or manufactured such nerve agents, but it arrested a former Soviet weapons scientist[8] on charges of divulging state secrets after he published details about Soviet Novichok production in newspaper articles and a memoir.

The Soviet program was motivated in part by competition with the United States. Washington maintained its own stockpile of nerve agents during the Cold War and manufactured biological weapons until 1969, when President Richard M. Nixon dismantled the program. But the Kremlin pressed ahead, convinced that the Pentagon was continuing bioweapons research in secret. Finally, in 1992, newly installed Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged the existence of the secret program to U.S. officials and reported that all Soviet bioweapons had been destroyed.

In the years immediately following the Cold War, securing and dismantling Soviet weapons of mass destruction united Americans and Russians in a common cause[9]. The United States helped Russia build incinerators for destroying its chemical weapons, and it sponsored programs that paired former Soviet bioweapons scientists with Western companies to keep them employed during the country’s economic transition.

[Key allies back Britain in blaming Moscow for chemical attack[10]]

Such U.S.-Russian technical cooperation began to wane after Putin’s election as president, and it collapsed after the Russian strongman won a second term in 2012. Yet, even during the Yeltsin years, Russia refused to grant ­access to key weapons sites, including four biodefense laboratories run by the Russian military and perpetually sealed off from outside visitors, former U.S. officials said.

“We were always curious: Were they embarrassed to let us in because of the shape of their labs? Or were they hiding something?” said Laura Holgate, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama on preventing biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism.

Holgate allowed that Russia’s reluctance also may have reflected a “paranoia about what the U.S. might be learning” about the country’s military capabilities. In any case, she said, it became clear over time that Putin intended to preserve some Soviet-era capabilities for use in very specific situations. One of these was assassination — the killing of the Kremlin’s opponents using methods that were dramatic, yet allowed Moscow to plausibly deny culpability. Another was crowd control: the use of controversial “knockout” chemicals to incapacitate individuals involved in hostage standoffs and other mass disturbances.

Officials familiar with Russia’s program said the expanded activity at military labs may be partly aimed at honing those capabilities, giving Putin a variety of tools for dealing with adversaries while seeking to avoid the most flagrant violations of Russia’s treaty obligations.

“That would be in line with behavior that we’ve been seeing for years,” Holgate said.

Satellite evidence

Whatever the explanation, the buildup is striking. Data collected by Zilinskas and Mauger includes contract documents, ­Russian-language reports and aerial imagery that shed light on a dramatic expansion at the four secret Defense Ministry laboratories and numerous government-run civilian research centers across the country.

At one military complex at Yekaterinburg — the scene of an accidental release[11] of anthrax spores in 1979 that is said to have killed 100 workers and townspeople — satellite images show clusters of newly built, warehouse-size industrial buildings dotting a walled campus. Renovations can be observed in older buildings that in Soviet times were factories for mass-producing bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax.

At the 33rd Central Research Test Institute at Shikhany — formerly a “closed” Russian military city on the Volga River in southwest Russia — records point to a recent spending spree for specialized equipment such as freeze-drying machines used in microbial production. Lab officials are shown soliciting bids for repairs to a wind tunnel, the type used in testing aerosolized bacteria and viruses, as well as upgrades to an area of bermed storage pens that the researchers say are probably intended for open-air testing involving explosives.

Wind tunnels and outdoor testing facilities can be used legitimately to develop defenses against biological and chemical attacks. Indeed, the Pentagon employs similar equipment at its biodefense research facilities in Maryland and Utah. But Zilinskas and Mauger say the Russian expansion invites a higher level of scrutiny in light of the explicit calls by Russian leaders for work on novel kinds of weapons, including “genetic” ones.

After Putin’s essay in 2012, several senior military officials, including the defense minister at the time, Anatoly Serdyukov, publicly endorsed Putin’s appeal for new kinds of weapons and promised to start building them, the researchers note. Serdyukov specifically pledged to incorporate “genetic” research in creating Russia’s next-generation arsenals.

“We noted the numerous high-level calls for the development of biotechnology-based weapons in Russia, without further specification,” Zilinskas and Mauger write. At minimum, the vagueness of such statements potentially opens the door for any military official or “ambitious scientist” to lobby for a chance to develop a new kind of weapon — with the implicit blessing of top Russian officials, they write.

“When taken in conjunction with the [military’s] apparent support for the development of ‘genetic’ weapons, these statements erode normative barriers toward biological weapons in Russia,” the authors say.

Anton Troianovski in Moscow contributed to this report.

Read more:

With Putin’s reelection, expect rising tensions with the West[12]

The long, terrifying history of Russian dissidents being poisoned abroad[13]

Putin vows retaliation for British sanctions over poisoning case[14]

References

  1. ^ Putin: Russia is developing nuclear arms capable of avoiding missile defenses (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ exposure to Novichok (www.washingtonpost.com)
  3. ^ book (www.rienner.com)
  4. ^ Biosecurity in Putin’s Russia (www.amazon.com)
  5. ^ Britain’s top diplomat accuses Putin of being behind nerve-agent attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ Syrian use of chemical weapons (www.washingtonpost.com)
  7. ^ What is Novichok? Russia’s nerve agent has Soviet roots (www.washingtonpost.com)
  8. ^ former Soviet weapons scientist (www.voanews.com)
  9. ^ a common cause (armscontrolcenter.org)
  10. ^ Key allies back Britain in blaming Moscow for chemical attack (www.washingtonpost.com)
  11. ^ accidental release (nsarchive2.gwu.edu)
  12. ^ With Putin’s reelection, expect rising tensions with the West (www.washingtonpost.com)
  13. ^ The long, terrifying history of Russian dissidents being poisoned abroad (www.washingtonpost.com)
  14. ^ Putin vows retaliation for British sanctions over poisoning case (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup
Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon
Thanks for signing up!

The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)