If you attended SOFIC 2013 in Tampa, one of the many focal points articulated is the need, and desire, to return Navy SEALS to their waterborne lineage. Interpret that to mean the 10+ years of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq have detracted SEALS from developing, technically current, sea capabilities. The need to improve sea and land capabilities does not start and end with the Navy but extends to the entire SOF community and our SOF Allied Partners.
Consistent with Admiral William McRaven’s teaming approach, NSW (Naval Surface Warfare Command) sponsored, just this past month, an unclassified International Diver Workshop, at NAB Coronado. The objective was identify potential business partners with the capabilities and technology to address the needs of allied Combat Divers. Areas of interest included enhanced UBAs, underwater breathing apparatus, commonly referred to as closed circuit, 100% O2, rebreathers. Other areas explored include flotation devices and man portable underwater propulsion systems capable of speeds up to 4 knots. A number of allies have also expressed interest in underwater navigation systems capable of providing GPS position and charting.
Later in July, USSOCOM Special Operations Research, Development, and Acquisition Center’s Science and Technology Directorate announced the 2013 USSOCOM S&T Collaborative Planning Session, to be held 6 Aug – 7 Aug, 2013 at McDill AFB, in Tampa.
USSOCOM defined the primary objective of the event “is to provide a forum for industry and academia to collaborate with the TALOS Management Team and other government organizations to discuss innovative approaches to achieving the technology objectives and challenges of USSOCOM’s TALOS.”
The TALOS project attempts to advance enhanced mobility/protection capabilities to augment the direct assaulter. A synopsis of the RFI can be found under Solicitation Number: USSOCOM_RFI_ST(TALOS)
Focus areas for TALOS include mobility and agility, advanced armor, C4, combat ready displays/thermal management/light-noise discipline/medical, situational awareness and power generation/management.