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The Army’s Advanced New Night Vision Goggles Are Just Over The Horizon
The objective of night vision technology, Army researchers wrote more than a half-century ago, is simple: “to make it possible for the soldier to operate at night with daytime flexibility and faculty.” That’s how the Army’s early night vision research was first described in September 1965 issue of Army Research and Development Newsmagazine — and with its next round of enhanced night vision goggles, the service is on the brink out blowing this decades-old objective out of the water.
The Army is finally preparing to field the new Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) III to lucky soldiers this summer, the service announced on Monday. The third iteration of the program first initiated in 2002 (and showcased publicly in July 2017), the Army claims the ENVG III “can summon up a picture out of darkness in seconds, allows soldiers to see in two directions at once, and updates the image continuously as the Soldier moves.”
Two versions of the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III from BAE Systems and DRS Technologies on display alongside the second the ENVG II and ENVG I.Task & Purpose photo by James Clark
The main advancement from the PVS-14 night vision monocular, traditionally used by soldiers, to the “enhanced versions” of night vision goggles is the addition of a second thermal-layer view, according to the Army. With the ENVG III, soldiers “have the option to fuse both kinds of vision into a single display or to look through the device in either mode by itself.”
One of the settings for the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III outlines objects, making it easier to pick out targets.Task & Purpose photo by James Clark
Even more critically, night vision is now “untethered” from cumbersome goggles, applicable to a variety of optics systems. When wirelessly hooked up to the brand-new Family of Weapon Sights — Individual (FWS-I) rifle optics, the new goggles will effectively allow soldiers to peek and shoot around corners without exposing themselves to enemy fire.
“A soldier walking through a dark alley,” as the Army describes it, “can toggle between two crisp video feeds of who or what's in front of him and what's off to one side.”
Army Master Sgt. Lashon Wilson demonstrates the ENVG-III and FWS-I at an indoor shoot tunnel on July 27.Task & Purpose photo by James Clark
The Army claims that the new night vision goggles “give Soldiers capabilities considered impossible” in that 1965 newsletter. The service went so far as to invoke the classic maxim of the U.S. military’s pre-9/11 night vision dominance, coined by then-Secretary of the Navy John Lehman: “We own the night.” The latest night vision tech, with ”its emphasis on cutting through smoke, fog, and sandstorms,” the Army says, is now “on the cusp of letting Soldiers ‘own the environment.’”
Owning the environment is one thing, but owning the enemy is another entirely; deployed U.S. forces have increasingly spotted enemy jihadist fighters rocking night vision gear downrange. And it’s the good stuff. Last November, Taliban insurgents belonging to an elite “Red Unit” slaughtered scores of Afghan police officers while outfitted with sophisticated night-vision equipment; later that month, an ISIS sizzle reel showed a jihadi sniper and spotter team deploying a FLIR BHM thermal camera, originally designed to “help maritime vessels see debris, rocks, other boats and landmarks in pitch-black conditions,” as Army Times reported.
While Afghan security forces neutralized the head of the Taliban’s Red Unit with a well-placed strike the following month, the availability of night vision gear among jihadists continues apace. But if the ENVG III truly offers a night vision capability far beyond the Army’s current inventory, then a resurgence in the U.S. military’s night vision dominance may actually be on the horizon.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.