Great Film To See

By Debbie Gregory.

Did you enjoy “Unbroken” the 2014 film that ended with ended with Olympic athlete and Army Air Forces officer Louis Zamperini returning home after surviving his incarceration in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. It was a Hollywood ending to a big-budget Hollywood movie, but it didn’t really capture what Zamperini considered to be the miracle of his own life.

The movie that Zamperini would want all of us to see is now out on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital and follows his life as he meets and woos his wife Cynthia and his life collapses as he struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Zamperini conquered his demons after a religious conversion at a Billy Graham crusade, and this movie ends as he embraces Christianity and puts his life back on track. It is called “Unbroken: Path To Redemption”.

In the film, Samuel Hunt takes the role of Louis Zamperini from Jack McConnell, and Merritt Patterson plays Cynthia. The evangelist Will Graham takes a rare acting role, playing his grandfather Billy Graham. “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is the story of one war hero’s attempts to overcome PTSD. Luke Zamperini acknowledges that Christianity may not be a solution for everyone, but it worked for his dad.

Let us know what you think of this film and if you enjoyed it more than “Unbroken” that was produced and directed by Angela Jolie.

By Debbie Gregory.

Bladder relief systems are important to fighter pilots, especially female pilots, who fly aircraft for many hours. Omni Medical Systems is working with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Human Systems Division to update and improve bladder relief systems.

AMXDma, the Aircrew Mission Extender Device started delivering over 600 devices to the field operations and another 1,500 are scheduled for delivery over the next six months. The new devices are hands-free, battery-operated and worn underneath uniforms. These devices collect urine in a cup for males, a pad for females and pumps the urine into a collection bag. The device detects urine in one second and embeds it with special sensors then pumps it into the collection bag which holds 1.7 quarts of urine.

Did you know that Urinary Relief Devices are the number one priority of female air crews for mission equipment? These devices are a huge improvement over what the crews are currently using too with a longer battery life, the ability to hold more urine, better pads and cups, and more anatomically accurate.

Updated technology can save lives because pilots can focus on their flight missions. Better devices also stop pilots from practicing “tactical dehydration” which can be a fatal error and limits their water intake and urine output during a flight. Dehydration can fatally impact G-tolerance situational awareness and decision-making ability for pilots flying fighter jets. AMXDmax allows pilots to properly hydrate and relieve their bladder midflight without interruption of the mission.

By Debbie Gregory.

TITAN, stands for Tactical Interface Tracking Application Node and allows users to log in anywhere in the world with a computer on the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network, using an internet browser, without the necessity for downloads to communicate worldwide with deployed units. This software provides important situation awareness that is important to success. To date, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division have tested the system.

This works well with the Army’s Home Station Mission Command initiative that moves the service away from deploying division main elements to theater and instead, deploys smaller and more agile units that require less logistics. TITAN has the ability to pull up maps, view multiple global locations and color-code soldiers’ locations. It also enables chat, messaging, sending attachments, situation reports filing as well as creating distribution lists and it does not require training. This will be the Army’s next-generation friendly-force tracking system.

The pilot program for Titan was begun by the Army in August and should be finished soon. There will be additional capabilities developed. TITAN was used during the unit’s National Training Center rotation in November. Major Adam Cloniger, officer-in-charge for the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division is very pleased with Titan.

By Debbie Gregory.

A field-deployable liquid chemical identifier called the VK3 has received positive feedback from warfighters and first responders in a recent field test funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

U.S. Army research officials have developed the handheld detector that can “taste” suspicious liquids to see if they are dangerous chemical warfare agents.

The VK3 uses a camera and small computer to identify chemical agent by analyzing colorimetric sensors on an assay.

“We had seen and heard that those who are tasked with site exploitation — the first people in a facility where somebody is making something — needed tools to better identify the substances being made,” said Army research biologist Aleksandr Miklos in a recent service press release. “Maybe it’s perfectly legal and safe, but maybe they’re doing something illicit and dangerous. The first examiner has to decide what tools to bring. We thought something like this with a colorimetric array would be helpful.”

The small, cube-like device features a camera and small computer, and the kit includes paper colorimetric assays. After placing an assay on the device’s stage for a reference image, a drop is added to the assay. As various spots on the assay change color, they are captured by the camera and continuously analyzed by the computer to identify the substance.

During the recent Chemical Biological Operational Analysis, or CBOA, the VK3 demonstrated its ability to identify chemical liquids in the field, including chemical warfare agents.

“What we were able to get was informal, verbal feedback from the assessor and from end users in the Army and civilian law enforcement,” said Miklos.

“It’s a really cool research prototype, and now we know more about how it works,” he said. “The question is going to be whether it gets more funding for advanced development. What we need is for someone to say, ‘Yes, we want that.’ “

By Debbie Gregory.

Patrick M. Shanahan became the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense on July 19, 2017.

Mr. Shanahan most recently served as Boeing senior vice presidento, Supply Chain & Operations. A Washington state native, Mr. Shanahan joined Boeing in 1986 and spent over three decades with the company. He previously worked as senior vice president of Commercial Airplane Programs, managing profit and loss for the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs and the operations at Boeing’s principal manufacturing sites; as vice president and general manager of the 787 Dreamliner, leading the program during a critical development period; as vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems, overseeing the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, Airborne Laser and Advanced Tactical Laser; and as vice president and general manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, overseeing the Apache, Chinook and Osprey. He previously held leadership positions on the 757 program, 767 program and in the fabrication division.

Mr. Shanahan is a Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Fellow and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Associate Fellow. He served as a regent at the University of Washington for over five years.

Mr. Shanahan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and two advanced degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

On January 2nd, former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan became the acting Secretary of Defense of the United States, replacing General James Mattis.

Mattis resigned in protest, stating that his views on pulling troops out of Syria and other national security issues were not “aligned” with those of President Trump.

Shanahan, 56, is a native of Seattle, Washington and graduated from Bishop Blanchet High School in 1980. He attended the University of Washington where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He then earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Shanahan’s career at Boeing began in 1986 with the 777 program. He remained there until 2017 when President Trump announced his intent to nominate Shanahan as the 33rd Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon’s second-highest civilian position.

As Deputy Secretary of Defense, Shanahan spoke of renewed “great-power competition” with China and Russia. His message on his first day was largely focused on China during a special meeting of all the military service secretaries and the undersecretaries of defense.

His decision to urge the Pentagon’s leadership to focus on the threat posed by China came just hours before he attended a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

Shanahan, who has no military experience and very little government experience, has yet to detail his thoughts on the way forward in Syria, where the Pentagon plans a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops over the coming months.

During the president’s visit with U.S. soldiers in Iraq over Christmas, Trump praised Shanahan as a “good buyer” of military equipment, not some master strategist. “I’m in no rush” to replace him, the president declared.

Shanahan plans to remain hands-on in formulating a proposal to establish a new military branch for space. The Space Working Group was established last year by Shanahan to hash out the details of standing up the new service branch. The group includes representatives from across the Defense Department.