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The Navy Is Testing An Augmented Reality Gunner’s Helmet Straight Out Of ‘Star Wars’
This high-tech helmet looks like something torn from the inside of Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor, or maybe the gunner bay of the Millennium Falcon, but don’t be fooled: The U.S. Navy’s latest gadget could revolutionize the way American warships engage the enemy — and it’s coming to bridges sooner than you may think.
The U.S. Fleet Forces Command plans on testing the experimental new Unified Gunnery System augmented reality helmet, known as GunnAR, during the Navy’s annual Trident Warrior exercise in June, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, officials told Defense Systems.
The Navy has been experimenting with increasingly more complex heads-up displays for years, but the GunnAR represents a leap forward for Naval command-and-control architecture, feeding information directly from a vessel’s gunnery liaison officer and weapon system into a digestible, easy-to-analyze visual medium for a naval gunner engaging the enemy.
“The gunner’s mate has a problem when the shipboard environment is noisy or busy. There is a lot of confusion and a lot of noise when they are firing on targets,” Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality Lab director Heidi Buck told C4ISR.net in January. “The gunner’s mate hears the firing commands from someone, who is hearing them from the radio, and those commands are coming from the bridge. So it’s like playing telephone with guns firing and wind blowing.”
The concept, which first received in $100,000 in prototyping funds in March 2016 and will be tested aboard the USS Bunker Hill and USS Theodore Roosevelt during Trident Warrior, was dreamed up by Lt. Robert McClenning to solve exactly the problem Buck described. From Defense Systems:
McClenning, a training officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer (DDG 101) USS Gridley, said the way the information sharing and authorization to fire is currently done--via decades-old radios and sound-powered phones–is hard to hear the chatter over the din of machine guns and through the required ear protection.
His concept, GunnAR, is an AR overlay placed onto helmets manufactured by industry partner, DAQRI, an AR technology company based in Los Angeles, California. SSC Pacific and DAQRI have entered a collaborative research and development agreement to further explore and develop this technology, Navy officials said.
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific first unveiled the GunnAR for Office of Naval Research officials and weapons industry representatives last December, and scientists recently showed off the GunnAR system at the 2017 WEST exposition in San Diego in February. But with testing by battle-hardened sailors and Marines under real-world circumstances during Trident Warrior in June, Buck guaranteed that the Navy would observe a “more mature capability” soon enough.
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the six-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.