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Volume 9 Number 3

Autumn 2014

On the front line

Combat engineers at close quarters




Tent developments

Field power

NATO support services

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Front cover: A Stryker engineer platoon during

Exercise Orient Shield 12, which was designed
to enhance interoperability between US and
Japanese units. (Photo: US DoD)

Tim Fish
North America Editor
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Tel: +1 (707) 822 7204
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Ian Kemp
Claire Apthorp, Angus Batey,
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here South Africa faces its greatest challenge
is in the field of air transport. The South
African Air Force (SAAF) has a wide mix of ageing
aircraft, and the older they get, the less flying hours
they can offer and the more costly the maintenance.
The extent of the problem was highlighted in
2012 when apparently the SAAF could only provide
about 50 flying hours for each of its fighter pilots and
most of its aircraft were not in service.
The actual condition of the transport wing can
only be guessed at, but with the cancellation of
the planned procurement of the A400M under
Project Continental in 2009 the SAAF cannot provide
the airlift it needs if South Africa wants to participate
in security operations on the continent or support
emergency engagements.
There is a requirement for about 44 transport
aircraft, but no decision has been taken to find an
alternative to the A400M purchase.
The workhorse that provides the SAAFs existing
airlift capability is the C-130BZ Hercules, with nine
aircraft based at Waterkloof, which were procured in
1963. Instead of replacing them, there are plans to

extend their lifespan until 2020 or even 2030, which

would require an engine overhaul.
A life extension programme might allow the
SAAF to replace its seven Douglas C-47TP Turbo
Dakota medium transport aircraft and three C212s with
eight similar aircraft, perhaps Alenia C-27J Spartans or
Airbus Military C295s.
However, the SAAF also has 11 Cessna 208 Caravan
aircraft and four King Airs that will need to be replaced.
The need for adequate military airlifters was
brought sharply into focus in March 2013 when
South African troops were attacked by Seleka rebels
during operations in Bangui in the Central African
Republic. Reinforcements were prepared to go and
support the South African contingent, but the
chartered Ilyushin Il-76 and Antonov An-124 aircraft
proved unreliable due to being unavailable at
short notice, or it was too risky an environment for
commercial aircraft.
If this is not a wakeup call, then what is? The SAAF
needs to make public its requirements for transport
aircraft and make them a procurement priority.
Tim Fish, Editor



With the finite lifespan and premium cost of fossil fuels,
militaries are looking for alternatives. Liza Helps looks
at how industry is helping drive innovation in this area.

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ISSN 2043-6807


Combat engineer units are faced with the dual
pressures of financial cutbacks and expeditionary
deployments, finds Stephen Miller.
Tented facilities and products are employing new
technologies, reports Claire Apthorp.


The NATO Support Agency is changing and widening
its capabilities. Tim Fish talks to Steve Bernett, director
of logistics operations, who is retiring after a four-anda-half-year tenure, about where NSPA is heading.

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Volume 9 Number 3 | Autumn 2014 | MILITARY LOGISTICS INTERNATIONAL

08/08/2014 15:30:07


In Egyptian service,
the C295 will be used for
military and humanitarian


Egypt has placed an order for eight C295
transport aircraft with Airbus Defence and Space,
the company announced on 17 July. This will
bring Egypts C295 fleet to a total of 20, making it
the largest operator of the aircraft in the world.
Cairo previously ordered 12 C295s, six of
which are already in service. Deliveries of this
latest batch of aircraft will begin in 2015. The

contract also includes a service support package

for spares, training and maintenance of the fleet.
In Egyptian service, the C295 will be used for
military and humanitarian missions such as the
transport of civilian and military personnel, as
well as support to populations in remote areas or
in emergency situations. The C295 is particularly
well suited to hot and high operating

conditions and the dusty environment in Egypt.

Antonio Rodrguez Barbern, commercial
director for military aircraft at Airbus Defence
and Space, said: We greatly appreciate the
Egyptian Air Forces confidence in our products
based on their successful experience with the
C295 in service to date.
By Claire Apthorp, London


Photo: NZDF

The New Zealand government has given

approval for the replacement of the Royal New
Zealand Navys tanker HMNZS Endeavour with a
new replenishment ship.
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman
announced on 9 July that the defence force
needs to provide fuel and logistics support to
its deployed ships, helicopters and vehicles. The
Maritime Projection and Sustainment Capability
(MPSC) programme will result in a new ship with
additional capabilities.
It will increase the NZDFs ability to support
and sustain navy, army and air force operations
at home and further afield, he said.
The governments Defence Capability Plan,
published in June 2014, stated that a
replacement for Endeavour is scheduled to be
in service by mid-2019. A request for tender is

expected to be issued by the MoD in early 2015,

with a final recommendation to be made to
cabinet in mid-2016.
Endeavour, the navys only replenishment
vessel, was built in South Korea to a commercial
design and entered service in 1988. An MoD
press release noted that maintenance costs
are increasing, and the vessel will face noncompliance issues with new international
maritime regulations.
To meet the IMO single-hull tanker compliance
requirement, the navy reduced the vessels fuel
load from 7,500t to 5,500t in 2008-2009.
The MoD released an RfI in April 2013 for the
MPSC, which will be capable of refuelling and
sustaining military forces both at sea (under way
and mid-ocean) and from the sea (to forces
ashore). It should also be able to sustain land

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forces, and support humanitarian assistance and

disaster relief missions.
The RfI calls for a ship capable of carrying
8,000t of ship fuel and a minimum of 1,700t of
aviation fuel, a significant increase compared to
the 150t now carried by Endeavour.
The ship must be able to operate mediumsized helicopters such as the air forces SH-2G
Seasprites and new NH90s, with an option for a
CH-47 Chinook. Endeavour has not been able to
support a maritime helicopter since the Seasprite
replaced the smaller Westland Wasp in 1998.
The MPSC should have a minimum of 260
lane metres for vehicles, the capability for
lift-on/lift-off operations up to 25t to transfer
embarked cargo, and will carry two 65t landing
craft. The ships performance requirements
include a minimum 14,800km range at 16kt
and a top speed of 18kt. The ship should
be able to operate from December to March
in Antarctic waters as far south as McMurdo
The RfI stipulates a ships company of 70 and
the ability to embark up to 50 passengers. For
self-defence, the MPSC will be equipped with an
appropriate number of manually operated
.50cal HMGs and/or space for a close-in weapon
system such as the Phalanx.
The MPSC is expected to have a minimum
service life of 25 years.
By Ian Kemp, London


08/08/2014 15:30:47


Like many branches of the military, combat

engineer units are faced with the dual pressures
of financial cutbacks and expeditionary
deployments. Stephen Miller looks at the
vehicles available to help them in their multifaceted task of keeping an army on the move.


f the several combat engineer missions,

assuring the mobility of frontline and
support forces may be the most important.
Today, combat engineers face two major
challenges. First, like most forces, they are
experiencing budget and manpower cuts.
Secondly, there is the recognition that their most
likely missions require them to deploy outside
their home countries. Developing and fielding
engineer systems that have multiple capabilities,
require fewer personnel to operate and can be
easily airlifted are key drivers to meeting these
Maintaining force mobility falls largely within
three areas of combat engineer expertise:
mobile and assault gap-crossing (particularly
bridging); earthmoving; and route and obstacle
clearance. Associated tasks include: preparing
approaches for bridging, bridge positioning
and mine and explosive detection and
neutralisation. Demands for increased
crew protection, greater operating
speeds and airlift capability have
made drawing on commercial
construction designs a major
source for military engineer
equipment more difficult.

The US Armys 2010 purchase of Case

Construction Equipments (CCEs) M400W
skid steer and M400T compact loaders is a
case in point. Pat Hunt, director of strategic
accounts at CCE, said that the field reception of
these systems, which are modified versions of
commercial models, has been excellent
and that the machines have met every key
army criteria, with almost 2,300 units fielded
to date.
Still, as commercial machines do not have the
high road speeds needed by the military, the
tactical mobility of the M400 is limited, at least

until a new, more capable trailer is procured. The

US Army has recognised this and is working on
the issue.

Military bridges differ from their civil

counterparts in that they must be moved to
a site and emplaced to cross gaps and
watercourses in minutes rather than days or
weeks. Combat bridges themselves fall into two
categories assault and support. The former
have generally focused on moderate (20-30m)
gap-crossing for armoured units. Thus, most
bridges are mounted on and launched from a
modified MBT chassis.
The US Army fielded its new M1A2-based
M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge in
2003. Development was a joint effort
between General Dynamics Land
Systems and Germanys MAN
Mobile Bridges, now part of
Wegmann (KMW).

The M60A1 armoured vehicle landing bridge has been in US service since 1967, and the US
Army is putting the system on the newer M1 Abrams tank chassis. (Photo: US DoD)

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high benefit-to-cost. We see a strong case for

accelerating the programme.
The number of systems involved is not yet
clear due to force restructuring, but based on
fielding to combat engineer companies in
armoured units, it could easily amount to 300
launchers and 400+ modified bridges.

First prototyped in 2002, the Assault Breacher Vehicle, also known as the Shredder, was in
operation in 2008 and saw action in Afghanistan. (Photo: US DoD)

Some 60 Terrier combat engineer vehicles are being built for the British Army Royal Engineers as
part of a 386 million contract with BAE Systems. (Photo: UK MoD)

Drawing on the KMW Leguan bridge system,

the M104 can emplace its 26m MLC70 (Military
Load Classification 70t) bridge in five minutes
and recover it in ten without the crew leaving
the vehicle. The US requirement was for 465
systems, although only 44 have been delivered
due to budget constraints, leaving a serious gapcrossing deficit in US armoured units.
Recognising this, the army has been pursuing
a programme taking the bridge elements
from M60 Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge
(AVLB) chassis and using them on M1 Abrams
MBTs with a newly developed launcher. With

minor modifications, the current 20m MLC60

bridge element is able to provide MLC80 loads
at 18m reach. Named the Joint Assault Bridge
(JAB), it is based on an earlier USMC effort and
will not only allow use of the inventory of AVLB
bridges but could provide multiple bridges for
each launcher.
Technical testing has validated the JABs
capabilities, and a launcher development
programme using surplus M1s is anticipated. Jim
Rowan, deputy commandant of the US Army
Engineer School, said: The army sees this as a
priority programme with low technical risk with

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KMWs Leguan Modular Bridging System has

been a popular choice for armies and the basis
for other combat bridging products. It is
employed not only on a range of tank chassis
but also in truck-launched variants. It is a fully
automated horizontal laying system that
maintains a low profile. The MLC80 load capacity
accepts the heaviest tracked and wheeled
vehicles. It is used in 14 countries, including
Belgium, Chile, Finland, Greece, Malaysia, the
Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain and
Turkey on six different platforms.
The truck-launched bridge is an example of
support bridging. It differs from the assault
bridge, which is intended to be emplaced while
under enemy direct fires. Support bridges are
generally left in place once installed for traffic,
unlike assault bridges which accompany the
combat force.
Support bridges are often more adaptable
and capable of greater spans. In addition, by
nature and design they are easily moved on
roads, and therefore suitable for rapidly
replacing bridges lost in natural disasters. The
KMW Leguan on a Sisu 8x8 or 10x10 truck is a
classic support bridge. In this configuration it is
capable of emplacing either one 26m or two
14m spans.
Another example is WFELs Dry Support
Bridge (DSB) or M18. The DSB crosses up to a
46m gap in less than 90 minutes using a crew of
eight and a single-beam launcher truck like the
US Armys Oshkosh M1075 10x10. Folded bridge
sections are transported on accompanying
trucks and trailers. A 40m bridge set consists of a
launcher, two section transport trucks and three
transport trailers for launch beams, 4.3x6m
bridge sections and entry/exit ramps.

08/08/2014 15:31:45



Variants of Pearson
Engineerings BLM have
undergone trials and have
been delivered to customers
for vehicle integration.

The DSB was first purchased by the US Army,

which has been fielding it since 2003 with
procurement of over 100 systems planned. It is
also used by South Korea and Switzerland.
Following a 57 million deal in 2011, the latter
army awarded WFEL a second contract worth
37 million in December 2013 for a further
tranche of its latest-generation DSB using the
Iveco Trakker truck. Total orders now cover 24
launch vehicles and 16 bridges. Max Houghton,
marketing manager at WFEL, said the products
are more than just bridges, they are a national
investment, and as defence budgets continue
to tighten this is increasingly important to
our customers.

The increasing attention given to strategic

deployment of lighter forces constitutes a
challenge for rapidly installed military bridging.
Although the DSB can be carried by air, they are
limited to larger transports like the C-17, and
require a number of aircraft for one bridge set.
Palletable bridges like WFELs Medium Girder
Bridge (MGB) are efficiently transported but
require considerably more time and manpower
to install.
The World War II-era Bailey Bridge is still in use,
but has limited width and load for todays
military traffic. Rowan said that following a failed
competitive development contact, the US Army
Tank-Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center (TARDEC) proposed an
in-house approach of designing a girder-based
bridge as a Bailey replacement. With component
testing now completed, the army intends
to perform Line of Communication Bridge
manufacturing though its depots. Planned initial
operating capability is in 2016-17.
The need remains for a self-deployed
mobile bridge that can keep up with light
forces, particularly armoured units. Pearson
Engineering has developed the Bridge Launch
Mechanism (BLM) that consists of a chassismounted launcher that uses the host
vehicles hydraulic power and a topside bridge
transport cradle.

An onboard hydraulic system can be

provided if vehicle power is not available. The
system can be mounted on a wide range of
wheeled or tracked chassis to launch and
recover bridges up to 19m long in under two
minutes. Most interesting is that the BLM does
not require permanent modification of the host
vehicle. It is mounted to the front (or rear if
appropriate) and allows the bridge to be stowed,
launched and recovered as a system.
The BLM has been demonstrated on the
Warrior tracked APC, heavy tracked vehicles and
8x8 medium wheeled platforms.
A spokesperson from Pearson told MLI:
Variants of Pearson Engineerings BLM have
undergone trials and been delivered to
customers for vehicle integration. Additional
demonstrations are scheduled in 2014 to a
number of customers.

you need it


The capability to move earth is basic to engineer

operations. The challenge is to keep up with the
supported force, so engineers may need to be
deployed at long distances and the task may
need to be conducted while under enemy fire.
Mounting a dozer blade on an MBT or other
armoured vehicle offers an expedient capability
that is used to fill ditches, push aside obstacles
and dig positions.
Nearly every MBT has a blade tank version (US
M1A2, German Leopard and Russian T-72/80/90,
for example). This approach has also been
applied to lighter vehicles, such as the General
Dynamics Land Systems LAV and Stryker.
The latest dedicated armoured engineer
vehicle is the Terrier, developed by BAE
Systems for the British Armys Royal Engineers.
Production began in January 2010 with the first
systems in service by June 2013. At 30t, Terrier is
air-transportable by C-17 and A400M. In
addition to its front-mounted high-capacity
bucket, there is also a side-mounted excavator
arm that can lift up to 3t. It can carry and deploy
fascines, tow a trailer with mine breaching
systems like Python, and mount a range of other
mine clearance devices.

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and go

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Terrier incorporates the

lessons learned by the
Royal Engineers to meet
future operations.

The crew of two is protected from mines by a

double hull. The baseline small arms and indirect
fire protection can be increased with add-on
armour. Terrier is unique in that it can be
remotely operated from up to 1km away. A BAE
spokesperson told MLI: Terrier incorporates the
lessons learned by the Royal Engineers to meet
future operations. It is the most advanced
engineer system in British Army service. Terrier
fielding is on schedule and all 60 vehicles will be
delivered in 2014. Terrier could be a prime
candidate for replacing the US Army and USMCs
Universal Engineer Tractor.
The BAE platform joins a line of specialised
combat engineer vehicles, including the German
Kodiak and Dachs (based on the Leopard tank),
the Grizzly Combat Mobility Vehicle designed
for the US Army but cancelled in 2001, and a
range of systems based on Russian MBTs. These
generally have in common a front dozer blade
(exchangeable with a mine clearance plough or
rollers) and a digging arm. At best they have a
machine gun for self-defence, although remote
weapon stations have begun to be fitted. Simple
systems like FN Herstals deFNder and BAE
Systems Land Systems South Africas SD-ROW
can be used for this type of application.

for this task. The Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV)

was first developed to a USMC operational
requirement. Also known as the Shredder, it is
based on the M1A1 MBT chassis, with the turret
replaced by a new structure. First prototyped in
2002, it was in operation in 2008 and saw action
in Afghanistan. The marines ordered 45 systems,
with the US Army later ordering 187 more, of
which 50% are now fielded.
Rapid development was facilitated by using
proven subsystems, while full-width and surface
mine ploughs, dozer blades, ordnance removal
and lane marking systems were acquired off the
shelf from Pearson Engineering. The ABV is also
fitted with two launchers in the aft compartment
for rockets which trail explosive line charges up
to 150m forward that when detonated clear
mines or IEDs. The plough then clears any
remaining ordnance in its path.
Mine and IED detection has attracted major
attention, especially from US and NATO forces in
Iraq and Afghanistan, and much work continues
to be pursued on this area. The new focus is on
ways to detect and neutralise such threats at

greater distances from the force. Executing

clearance missions more rapidly is another goal,
as IEDs have often accomplished their task even
if all they do is delay or disrupt force movement.
There is no question that the IED will continue to
be a primary concern in combat, stability and
security operations and that combat engineers
will be the forefront of anti-IED efforts.

Despite budget pressures, the need to maintain

and advance the capabilities of combat
engineers remains paramount. Increased use of
military forces in MOOTW actually increases the
need for the tasks engineers execute. It is likely
that, at least in the near term, new ground-up
developments like Terrier may become less
common, and greater emphasis may be given to
improving or modifying existing equipment, as
with the US AVLB project, or adapting and
adding engineer capabilities to existing vehicles.
The challenge will be in simultaneously
accommodating the new demands of deployed
and MOOTW operations. MLI


Despite the increased cross-country capabilities

of vehicle suspensions, motorised military
operations remain largely dependent on
existing roads and traditional routes. This is often
a factor of local geography, and follow-on
logistics must use roads to be efficient. Threats
to maintaining routes include natural and
man-made obstacles, such as mines and
IEDs, which have become a critical concern for
military forces.
The mine plough and roller, first introduced in
World War II, have been refined and their
adaptability expanded from MBTs to light
wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles, the
MRAP and even tactical trucks.
In addition to mine clearance kits which
mount on a host vehicle, a number of dedicated
platforms have been developed and fielded

Over 100 DSB systems from WFEL will be deployed over the next ten years. It has a military load
classification of 120 at 46m . (Photo: WFEL)

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08/08/2014 15:31:46


Inflatable tents, such as the HTS structures

seen here, do not have metal poles and so
allow for easier transportation. (Photos: HTS)


s the drawdown in Afghanistan enters

its final stages, requirements for tented
facilities are changing, as are the technologies
and products now available on the market.
Its fair to say that the UK military is far behind
understanding what is out there in terms of the
technology, Matt Williams, managing director
of Brigantes Consultancy, told Military Logistics
International. Now, there is much better
equipment available than what is being used,
so its important that we are able to have
discussions with them about what they need
and show them whats possible.
The overwhelming requirement is to reduce
the burden on the soldier. This pressure to
reduce weight is real, Williams explained,
because the days of a soldier stepping out of a
patrol base carrying 75kg in gear have got to
go its not operationally sound. But you cannot
lose weight at the expense of reliability or
functionality its still got to do the job.


In many cases, Afghan operations have slowed

the uptake of new technology simply because
in large, long-standing bases there has been
no need for the level of functionality being

LWI_AugSep14_S09-11_Tents.indd 9

driven forward in the commercial world. Now

that the operational focus is shifting, companies
like Hilleberg, where Williams was previously a
sales manager, are keen to show what they
can do with civilian designs adapted to meet
military requirements.
Around three years ago, Hilleberg started by
delivering its three-man Keron 3 GT MIL tent a
version of its original militarised tent with lightblocking and IR-reflective outer fabric to Royal
Marine mountain leaders as an improvement on
the in-service Arctic tents.
They trialled the tents and it was a massive
difference and a huge step forward in capability
over the Arctic tents they were using, continued
Williams. It got the weight down from 12kg
to 5kg, using high-grade alloy poles rather
than easily breakable fibreglass, and gives
users more workable space, which is vital in
the Arctic you need to cook and store your
kit inside, and the extra space helps maintain
operational effectiveness.
Hilleberg has also had interest from the British
military for its Staika MIL two-man tent, which
can be dug into snow and used sub-surface,
providing a sustainable environment for longterm observation posts. The UK is also looking at

Typically light, flexible and

multi-functional, tented facilities
have been widely deployed
on battlefields over the years.
Claire Apthorp explores the
latest advances in the market in
light of changing requirements
the Stalon XL MIL, a large, modular tunnel tent
that can be used as a medical station, command
post, staging/briefing room or field barracks, as a
replacement for the current ten-man tent.

These solutions are representative of the move

towards flexibility in times of contingency
operations. It is unlikely that a large amount of
static or semi-permanent accommodation will
be required in the same way as was needed in
Afghanistan. From 2002, British forces in Iraq
and Afghanistan were housed in Temporary
Deployable Accommodations (TDAs), built
and managed under a contract between the UK
MoD and KBR.

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08/08/2014 15:32:28


Centurion barrel-frame structures are designed to cope with the

harsh conditions of the African bush. (Photo: Canvas and Tent)

The companys responsibilities included the

provision, construction and support of purposebuilt tented facilities for more than 7,000 troops.
In 2009, to replenish stock sold to US forces
when the UK withdrew its troops from Iraq,
KBR was awarded a further contract for the
procurement of four 600-man camps, known as
camps 603, 604, 605 and 606.
The contract, issued in October, called for
the first camp to be delivered by the end of
December, with an additional one every month
until March. Each would incorporate tents and
shelters for accommodation, offices, dining
and catering, workshops, a gym, a water storage
and distribution system, a wastewater collection
and treatment system, power generation and
distribution, and fuel storage.

Meanwhile, South Africas Canvas and Tent was

contracted to supply its Centurion shelters for
accommodation requirements and its Gladiator
shelters for recreational requirements gyms,
workshops, warehouses and gathering halls.
Both Centurion and Gladiator are barrelframed structures with a waterproof, fireretardant, UV-stabilised PVC barrel cover
designed to provide insulation against extreme
temperatures. The Centurion 20x26ft shelter can
be deployed in various configurations, including
accommodation, dining, recreational and
communication facilities, as well as kitchens,
ablution units, gymnasia, hospitals and offices.
Each tent is boxed and crated for delivery, with a
20ft ISO container able to hold ten systems for
storage or delivery.
Sharon OMant, sales and marketing manager
at Canvas and Tent, told MLI that the company is
focused on delivering turnkey solutions tailored
to meet the requirements of each customer,
which include numerous militaries in Africa, such
as the South African defence forces.
Our products are highly ruggedised and
geared for use in high heat and arid areas


thanks to the laminate component in the PVC,

she said. They are also long-lasting with the
right maintenance they can last up to 10-12
years. In general, they dont require a lot of
maintenance, and we have teams we send
out to provide a maintenance service for the
customer if required.
With the drawdown of British troops
from Afghanistan winding up, some of the
equipment supplied by Canvas and Tents has
been sold, while the rest is in storage.

Reducing weight is a key requirement across

the market, and tent manufacturers worldwide
are coming up with increasingly ingenious
ways to meet this demand while retaining
functionality. One area that is seeing significant
expansion is the availability of inflatable tents.
Losberger, for example, has a large number
of inflatable systems in its range, including the
TAG NG tent, which can be carried by hand
and made ready in less than five minutes using
an electric inflator. The tents can be used on
any type of terrain for emergency care,
command posts and shelters, among other
applications. The company also offers inflatable
CBRN tents with a sealed NBC liner and an
entrance fitted with an over-pressurised
airlock that can protect inhabitants against
toxic chemicals.
Gumotex Rescue Systems supplies its range
of rapidly deployable inflatable tents to rescue
teams, including the military. They are designed
for long- and short-term use in operations
requiring immediate housing of people and
equipment. The company has delivered large
numbers of its systems to the Czech Republic, as
well as fire brigades, police and emergency
medical services in countries worldwide.
The tents can be inflated in between three
and ten minutes following connection to an air
valve. Each system consists of the inflatable
structure, a cover made from strong PVC-coated

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LWI_AugSep14_S09-11_Tents.indd 10

fabric and a floor that is either fixed to the roof

or removable.
The tent entrance is equipped with zip
fasteners and ground peg fastening flaps are
evenly distributed along the floor perimeter,
with guy ropes on support arches ensuring the
shelter remains stable in all weather conditions.
In areas where the ground surface does not
allow the use of pegs, the tent may be anchored
by sand or water-filled bags placed on fastening
flaps. Straps for devices, lamps and other
accessories are attached to the support arches of
the inflatable structure inside the shelter.
To create a field hospital or other large
space, several tents can be connected with each
other into a bigger interconnected complex.
They can also be equipped with a removable
hygiene or isolating liner, with lengthwise or
crosswise partition curtains to divide the inner
space, as well as windows consisting of a film
and mesh.

Pavel Polak, sales manager at Gumotex, told MLI:

The main advantage of inflatable tents for
military users and other rescue organisations is
that all these components are packed into one
transportation bag. In areas where you cannot
deliver a large metal shelter structure which
takes up a lot of space and requires a lot of
devices to deliver the equipment this simply
needs to be connected to the air source and
blown up in minutes.
Polak added that the structure is hyperflexible and the characteristics of the PVCcoated cover make the material suitable for
extreme environments with better chemical
and temperature resistance.
HTS also offers inflatable tents that use a lowor high-pressure beam system. Each tent arch
is inflated separately, so that if one is damaged
the tent can still be inflated and used. The
systems main structure is made from heavyduty PVC material, which is able to be

08/08/2014 15:32:30


Traditionally in the tent

industry, manufacturers
used steel for the
tent frames, which then
moved to aluminium.

manufacturers used steel for the tent frames,

which then moved to aluminium, as it is flexible,
light and easy to set up. Our carbon hybrid
system reduces the weight of the uprights and
rafters by up to 45%, while the carbon alloy
structure is stronger, enabling fewer uprights
to support the same sized structure that
uses aluminium.

The need for fewer frames results in lower

costs and a shorter logistics trail, with improved
loading capacity for aircraft transportation into
remote areas.
The new profile can also be lifted by hand,
reducing the need for heavy support equipment

to build the structures, Roig added. This is a

particular advantage in areas where the user has
no access to cranes, resulting in a lighter burden
on the deployed force.
The companys research into the carbon
hybrid system began five years ago, with the
final product delivered to the market in 2012.
The company is now delivering the resulting
system worldwide.
Military users are almost spoilt for choice
when it comes to selecting new and improved
tenting solutions. The market is thriving and
rich with options to meet the spectrum of
operational requirements, with more light,
flexible and rapidly deployable options than
ever before. MLI


9, 10 & 11 September 2014

BA106 - Bordeaux Merignac Aeroparc

New for 2014

Key moments

ADS SHOW and UAV SHOW will be taking place

at the same time on the same site.

Pre-scheduled business appointments to meet

stakeholders from French or foreign armed forces,
major industrial groups and SMEs/SMIs.

Show reserved for professionals and French and foreign

armed forces (military card required). Access by invitation
and pre-registration on the website.

Demonstrations of innovative equipment

and services.
Round tables and workshops
on through-life support issues.

Visit our website

With the financial support of

In partnership with

ADS SHOW is cofinanced by European Union.

Europe is committed in Aquitaine
through the European funds
for Regional development

Official Partners

TERRITOIRES & CO - RCS 389 820 382 - May 2014 - Crdits photos (FR) et copyright (GB) : A. Jeuland / Arme de lAir, Benjamin Vin ot / Marine Nationale, Airbus
Military 2010 A400M at Farnborough / Dassault Aviation, K.Tokunaga

winterised with an outer frame suitable for

high winds and snow loads.
In addition to hangar and maintenance tents,
which can be packed into a 20ft container or
steel rack along with all the set-up manuals
and working tools designed for handling by
untrained soldiers for quick deployment, HTS
also supplies multipurpose tents made of highquality aluminium that are commonly used as
dining or mess tents.
HTS was the first company to patent a
new-profile material called carbon-fibre
alloy, a carbon hybrid system, for the main
frame components.
David Pena Roig, regional manager of HTS,
told MLI: Traditionally in the tent industry,

Organised by: Congrs and Expositions de Bordeaux, Territoires & Co, AroGy and Parteneo Consulting
AP ADS 182x125 GB.indd 1


LWI_AugSep14_S09-11_Tents.indd 11

23/07/14 13:54

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08/08/2014 15:32:32


We are trying to make

soldiers and commanders
understand that saving
energy has a direct effect
on soldiers lives.

With the finite lifespan and premium cost of fossil fuels, militaries
are looking for alternatives to current methods of powering their
bases and in-theatre equipment. Liza Helps examines how
industry is helping drive innovation in this area.

ince 2001, more than 3,000 US soldiers

and contractors have lost their lives or
were wounded during attacks on fuel and water
supply convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq, DoD
figures state.
However, a 10% reduction in fuel
consumption over five years could lead to 35
fewer fuel-related resupply casualties over the
same period, according to research by Deloitte
published in 2009. As yet, no figures for fuel
and water convoy-related casualties have been
made available for the time period 2009-2014.
It had previously been calculated that for
every 24 fuel convoys, there was one casualty
in 2007, for example, there were 6,030 fuel
convoys carried out by the US in Iraq and
Afghanistan alone. This led to the introduction of
a new bill put before the Senate this year, the
Department of Defense Energy Security Act of
2014, which aims to help military operations
become more energy-efficient and rely less on
fossil fuels.
The goal is to not only save money within the
Pentagons budget, but reduce the need for fuel
convoys and ultimately troops exposure to harm.
The US DoD is currently the worlds single
largest consumer of fuel, requiring about
90 million barrels of oil, at a cost of nearly


$15 billion per year 75% of that is

used by operational forces, and this is
projected to increase 11% by 2025.

It is not just the US that is taking fuel efficiency

seriously while also looking at smart energy.
In 2012, NATO set up a task force to identify the
most promising energy-saving solutions and
initiate multinational projects to make these work
together easily. It also looked at possibilities for
mainstreaming smart energy into the alliances
policy and standardisation documents.
The Smart Energy Team (SENT) was set up after
a summit in May 2012 and financed through
the NATO Science for Peace and Security
programme. It is jointly directed by the Lithuaniabased NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence
and the Joint Environmental Department of the
Swedish Armed Forces. It comprises experts
from eight nations, including six allies (Canada,
Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the UK and
the US) and two partners (Australia and Sweden).
We are trying to make soldiers and
commanders understand that saving energy
has a direct effect on soldiers lives and
security, Susanne Michaelis, smart energy action
officer at NATO HQ, told Military Logistics

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LWI_AugSep14_S12-14_Power.indd 12

International. It frees up capabilities for

NATOs core mission that are currently diverted
for protecting fuel convoys.
She added that SENT was looking at
standardisation agreements across NATO on
smart energy that should include the installation
of smart meters in existing camps; a common
design of microgrids for future camps;
the training and engagement of experts;
common training included in the general
military curriculum; and a recognition scheme
to reward officers who succeed in reducing fuel

Both the US military and NATO have adopted

the fully burdened cost of fuel (FBCF) calculation
that considers all operational factors in the
energy supply chain, including transportation,
infrastructure, manpower, maintenance, security
protection and storage of energy.
Therefore, one gallon of fuel that might cost
up to $3.50 at the pump in the US (77c/litre)

08/08/2014 15:33:01


New-technology batteries (left) and smarter

use of assets such as portable generators
(above) are contributing to energy
efficiency. (Photos: Lincad/US DoD)

could reach over $100 a gallon ($22/l) once

delivered to frontline troops in northeast
Afghanistan due to its logistics trail.
On these calculations, alternative energy
sources and smart energy solutions, which
might not be financially viable in a domestic
setting due to their high initial capital outlay,
become increasingly feasible on the battlefield.
Doug Moorhead, president of Earl Energy,
told MLI: Frankly, when it starts to get to $15 a
gallon, a lot of new technology makes sense.
Indeed, a combined solar power generation
and backup battery storage system, while
uneconomic at home, is invaluable once
deployed when factoring in the FBCF.
The Royal Netherlands Army demonstrated
a tent covered in solar cells at NATOs Exercise
Capable Logistician 2013 in Slovakia in June 2013.
The service has already installed 480m of solar
panels at Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, currently
producing 200kWh. According to army energy
expert Lt Col Harm Renes, the investment has
already paid off.

LWI_AugSep14_S12-14_Power.indd 13


The US DoD holds an annual Defense Energy

Technology Challenge (DETC) in order to tap
into the latest smart energy trends and select
those that could be brought forward to assist the
military in significantly reducing its dependence
on fossil fuels. The Pentagon has allocated
$9 billion for energy efficiency programmes
between 2013 and 2017.
In November last year, Sierra Energy was
selected as one of the winners of the 2013
DETC as part of the annual Defense Energy
Summit in Austin, Texas, with its FastOx waste
gasification system.
Mike Hart, president of Sierra Energy,
told MLI: The American military has a
directorate to eliminate waste and significantly
reduce their dependence of fossil fuel
because it makes them strategically vulnerable.
The decision to be able to generate its
own power has far-reaching consequences,
including increased security, independence
and environmental sustainability.

Our technology that takes garbage and

turns it into fuel was identified in 2009 for
inclusion in the DoDs renewable testing centre.
In some cases, with 10t of garbage we can
produce about 500kW of continuous round-theclock electricity.

The technology sees injections of oxygen

and steam, heating waste to 2,200C (without
burning), allowing any material to be used as
long as it contains carbon. Any residual metal,
ash or inorganic solids are melted down into a
liquid which pours out the bottom, allowing
recovery of metals. The rest comes out as a nonleaching slag, which can be used as road parings.
The two gases produced (70% carbon monoxide
and 30% hydrogen) go into a fuel cell whose
only emissions are heat and water.
Its a modular system that can be dropped
into any area, and it can be turned down by as
much as 90%, noted Hart. At present, the system
is being designed so that it can be packed up

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08/08/2014 15:33:03


into half a dozen or so ISO containers for quick

and easy deployment.
Fuel cell technology appears to be a favoured
option for replacing diesel generators in the field,
particularly for smaller units. The Fraunhofer
Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal,
Germany, is developing a portable hydrogen
fuel cell for the German Armed Forces that
generates 2kW of electricity. The system uses
solar energy to split water into oxygen and
hydrogen, which is a silent process.
However, for all the interest in alternative
fuel systems and the increased use of renewable
energy, Chris Andrews, project manager at
Australian independent power generation
company Eniquest, commented: Our experience
with the military market is that, with current
technology, the need for mobility, easy
transportation, quick set-up, simplicity,
ruggedness and predictability of supply overrides
the value of reducing the use of fossil fuels.
Eniquest supplies the ADF with a range of
AC and DC low-noise generator and power
distribution units, and Andrews noted:
Improvements in technology, especially energy
storage/battery technology that can compete
with the energy density of fossil fuel, will be
critical to moving away from fossil fuel use in
military applications.

While the medium- and long-term focus may be

on moving towards a zero fossil fuel reliance, the
short-term goal is to significantly reduce their
use through a variety of methods.
One approach is to increase the efficiency
of generators already in-theatre. Earl Energy
recently secured a contract with the DoD under
the Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Systems
(MEHPS) programme that could lead to
purchase of around 50 FlexGen units. The
systems technology was adopted early by the
USMC, which saw a 6kW prototype in action
in 2010 that was claimed to reduce fuel
consumption on the battlefield by over 80%.
It was a reflection of how inefficient battlefield
production of power is even in this day and age


In tests in Afghanistan, the Earl Energy

FlexGen system allowed the generators
to run three to six hours a day, instead of
round the clock as before. (Photo: Earl Energy)

with all the technology we have, said Moorhead.

Power systems are sized for a peak power
support because there is never a time when the
military cannot have power available to support
their operations, and so unfortunately for an
asset such as a generator in this operating
environment they are working 24/7, 365 days
a year, whether the power is needed or not its
like having a car you can never turn off even
when you are not using it.
The FlexGen hybrid system uses an
automated diesel generator with stop-start
capability combined with renewable power
sources and a large energy storage device. The
generator is run at full capacity, and when there
is excess power, it charges the batteries. If the
batteries have enough stored energy to meet
the demand for electricity, then the generator
shuts off. In tests in Afghanistan, the system
allowed the generators to run three to six hours
a day, with average fuel savings of over 50%.
Earl Energy is now a prime contract holder with
the USMC, and is developing a next-generation
marine-portable 10kW power system. The
company has sold 12 in a prototype environment,
and new contracts foresee the acquisition of up to
50 FlexGen systems in the future.

The UK MoD has an intelligent power storage

and management system known as Power FOB
that allows the incorporation of renewable
sources and energy-saving technologies. The
system can save up to 30% of fuel by storing
the electricity produced by diesel generators and
solar panels and redistributing it when and
where required.

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All of these technologies rely on advanced

battery solutions for storage, and it is at this
level that renewable energy can become truly
Moorhead added: The daily kWh requirement
of a soldier is ever increasing as they carry more
electrical-based systems than ever before.
Compared to 15 years ago, the soldier of today
requires ten times the power.
British company Lincad produces a range
of Lithium Ion Power Source (LIPS) intelligent
batteries. Its LIPS 5 model has been one of the
companys most successful, with over 17,500
supplied to the UK MoD and other customers
worldwide. Operations manager Peter
Copplestone told MLI: The first LIPS battery
came out in 2000, weighed approximately 3.5kg
and had a capacity of 12Ah. The latest, LIPS 10,
weighs the same, but has a capacity of 23Ah,
drastically reducing the soldier burden.
As well as supplying durable rechargeable
batteries, Lincad also produces a range of
chargers. Systems engineer Mike Hendey told
MLI: One of the big pushes of recent years is
solar charging, hence Lincads Solar Charger and
Power Scavenger solutions. There has also been
a requirement for mobile charging from vehicles
on the move. Vehicles already produce power
from their alternators, and Lincads DC Vehicle
Charger takes advantage of this. These chargers
mean that users do not need to carry as
many batteries.
With soldiers carrying up to 10kg of batteries
that need to be recharged, higher capacity
batteries and flexible charging solutions mitigate
the necessity to return to base, which would
otherwise limit operations. MLI

08/08/2014 15:33:04


The NATO Support Agency (NSPA) is rapidly changing and widening

its capabilities. Tim Fish talks to Steve Bernett, director of logistics
operations, who is retiring after a four-and-a-half-year tenure, about
where NSPA is heading.


he NSPA took over the responsibilities

of the NATO Maintenance and Supply
Agency (NAMSA), the Central Europe Pipeline
Management Agency and the NATO Airlift
Management Agency (NAMA) in 2012, and
Bernett has seen the development of these
organisations first hand.
We are much more operationally focused now
than in the past 50 years as NAMSA, he said. It has
been a fast-moving and changing environment
since I got here and has been evolving since our
engagement in Afghanistan in 2006.
NSPA has about 40 personnel deployed
in-theatre to manage support contracts,
primarily in Kandahar and the Kabul airport
(KAIA) area, and as a result of the change in
mission with ISAF operations finishing at the
end of the year the agency is involved in the
planning process for a transition to the resolute
support mission (RSM) once the status of forces
agreement (SOFA) is signed by Afghanistan.


A tremendous challenge has been the lack of

decision as far as whether there will be an RSM or
not, and that is dependent on the new president
signing a SOFA, Bernett continued. However,
we have to start planning for that and have been
doing so since a year ago.
Plans for RSM will mean downsizing in some
areas, but expanding elsewhere. We do see an
expanded role for us at different locations, but at
a reduced level, he said, adding that there will
be lower levels of activity at KAIA and in Kandahar.
There are also discussions with Germany about
expanding services to Mazar-e-Sharif and
potentially a plan for services that can be provided
to forces in Herat.
We have been working with our contractors
together in this planning process on different
scenarios, and with input from industry it
determines what we can and cannot do with

LWI_AugSep14_S15_Depth_Forward.indd 15

existing contracts or contracts we will have to

re-compete for, he noted. A lot will depend
on the length of the potential RSM, so contract
strategy is very dependent on the decisions
that have yet to be made.

NSPA contracts for base services include waste

management treatment, water bottling facilities,
power generation, utilities and airfield
management under aerial port of disembarkation
(APOD) contracts. It is expected that there will only
be one or two APODs in-theatre for RSM, but
airfields will have to remain open as one of the
primary modes of transport.
Furthermore, NATO is transferring some of
those airfields to [the Afghan government] to
manage, and in the event that they are not ready
to take those over on 1 January 2015, we will be
prepared to manage those airfields until they are
capable of taking those over, said Bernett.
NSPA is also taking over fuel management
in Afghanistan from Joint Force Command
Brunssum, which is managing the basic order
agreements until 1 December. NSPA has already
taken responsibility for fuel in the Kabul area
from 1 August and is, concurrently, preparing
contracts to provide fuel for RSM.
One growing area of responsibility is the
development of capability packages (CPs),
elements of which are based at NSPAs Southern
Operational Centre (SOC) in Taranto, Italy.
NSPA has procured several deployable HQ camp
systems that are stored in strategic locations,
including the SOC.
Allied Command Transformation, supported
by NATO Allied Command Operations, determine
the requirement for the capability packages.
Under the main [CP 156], SOC has a 100-man
camp, a 200-man camp, two 500-man camps and
we are in the process of procuring two additional
500-man camps. The 500-man camps are all

self-sustaining, long-term camps that can last for

up to two years on deployment. We buy from
different suppliers in NATO nations. The role 1+
hospital, the dining systems, ablutions, water,
fuel all of that is self-contained in those camps.
Furthermore NSPA is in the initial stages
of implementation for lighter weight, easily
erectable, rapidly deployable camps in support
of the current NATO Command Structure
requirements. The requirements are being
validated as we speak, and NSPA will be involved
with the design, procurement and management
aspects of those camps, added Bernett.
From a capability perspective, we are also
developing rapidly useable enabling contracts,
to address a capability shortfall NATO
recognised at the Lisbon summit in 2010. The
initial contracts are for base operations services,
fuel support and strategic medevac, and will
be followed by additional ones depending on
capability requirement priorities. The contracts
provide access to these services at short notice
so when a camp is rapidly deployed we would
have the capability to run the camp facility.
We are relying more on contractors in
the battlefield, and this is another way to use
that capability and test it. Contractors have
been involved in the planning process and we
will be able to train with them. There will be
testing to make sure they can deliver when
called upon. MLI

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