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Airmen show off 'Project Liberty' for ANG director

KEY FIELD, Miss. (1/12/10) – Mississippi Air National Guardsmen showcased a new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform training facility here Jan. 9 for the director of the Air National Guard. "Project Liberty is the Air Force's new ISR platform," said Lt. Col. Rick Berryhill, the facility's spokesman at the 186th Air Refueling Wing.

Special Operations aviation eyes faster transport

Army Special Operations aviation needs faster helicopters to meet the speed and range requirements needed to conduct operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the 160th SOAR commander. Col. Clayton M. Hutmacher, commander, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), discussed regiment initiatives during the Association of the United States Army's Institute of Land Warfare Army Aviation Symposium and Exposition, Jan. 5-7 in Arlington, Va. "I think the way ahead for us is we have go to break that 120-knot barrier," he said.

Revolutionary Ship Readies for Commissioning

Pre-Commissioning Unit Independence (LCS 2) will be commissioned Jan. 16. Advanced technology, unique manning, and a very recognizable tri-hull � at first glance, nearly everything about Independence's steep angles, high bridge, and aluminum construction appears to be the first of its kind.

PCU New Mexico Delivered to Navy Four Months Early

The Navy took delivery of its newest attack submarine, PCU New Mexico (SSN 779), from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (NGSB) Dec. 29, four months earlier than its contract delivery date. New Mexico is the sixth Virginia-class submarine and the third delivered by NGSB. "New Mexico performed superbly on sea trials," said Rear Adm. William Hilarides, program executive officer for submarines. "Her early delivery keeps us firmly on pace for a 60-month construction span by the end of the Block II contract." Capt.

MC-12 arrives, heralds activation of 4th ERS

The newest aircraft to the Air Force's inventory arrived Dec. 27, 2009, to Bagram Airfield. The MC-12 aircraft, tail number 090623, was the first of an undisclosed number of aircraft for the new 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here. Following the MC-12's arrival, the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron was activated to carry out MC-12 operations in the Afghan theater of operations. Col.

Maneuver Battle Lab tests new mortar system

The Army wants to decrease the weight Soldiers carry on missions, and Fort Benning's Maneuver Battle Lab is part of the effort. Last week, 10 Soldiers evaluated a lightweight base plate being developed for the M224 Lightweight Company Mortar System during a series of live-fire, static and movement exercises at McKenna Urban Operations Complex, Fergusson and Buckner ranges. The current M8 base plate limits the direction and distance a mortar can be fired, said Rusty Schulten, a project officer for MBL's Soldier Team, and Soldiers still have to carry the M7 base plate - weighing more than

HIMARS Shoots High For Award

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is a repeat award winner. This precision strike weapons system, assigned to fire brigades supporting brigade combat teams, is the only two-time recipient of the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics award. The award recognizes government and industry teams providing war fighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements. "This is the second time our team has been rewarded for a really good job of supplying fielded capabilities," said Col.

Improved magazine increases weapons reliability

The Army has begun fielding a new 5.56mm 30-round "improved magazine" that delivers a significant increase in reliability for M-16 and M-4 weapons. Bolstering the already high reliability ratings of the M-16 and M-4, the improved magazine reduces the risk of magazine-related stoppages by more than 50 percent compared to the older magazine variants, according to officials at Program Executive Office Soldier. Identified by a tan-colored follower, more than 500,000 of the improved magazines have been fielded to units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States. "With the improved magazine

Live-fire demo showcases future weapons

The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division rolled out more than 30 weapon systems - including pistols, rifles, sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers - for a special live-fire demonstration Tuesday at Red Cloud Range. The weapons, including new sniper technology, weapons upgrades and an air burst rifle prototype, represent 60 percent of the Army's small arms strategy, said Lt. Col. Thomas Henthorn, chief of the small arms branch. The demonstration was to familiarize Maj. Gen.