Marines to Get Smart Phones to Call In Fire Support

This fiscal year Marines will receive smart phones that make calling for fire support easier, quicker and more accurate. The Target Handoff System Version 2, or THS V.2, is a portable system designed for use by dismounted Marines to locate targets, pinpoint global positioning coordinates and call for close air, artillery and naval fire support using secure digital communications. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Laws/Released)

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Joe Laws/Released)

This fiscal year Marines will receive smart phones that make calling for fire support easier, quicker and more accurate.  

The Target Handoff System Version 2 is a portable system designed for use by dismounted Marines to locate targets, pinpoint global positioning coordinates and call for close air, artillery and naval fire support using secure digital communications. The system is an upgrade to the Corps’ current Target Handoff System and is made up of a laser range finder, video down link receiver and a combat net radio.

“Our current THS, though capable, needed to be smaller and lighter to better support dismounted operations,” said Capt. Jesse Hume, THS V.2 project officer for Marine Corps Systems Command. “With the new version, Marines will obtain a lightweight device equipped to provide immediate situational awareness on where friendly and enemy locations are, and the ability to hand off target data to fire support to get quick effects on the battlefield.” 

THS V.2 also allows Marines to coordinate fire support missions more precisely, minimizing collateral damage, Hume said.   

THS V.2 uses commercial off-the-shelf smartphones that reduce the system’s total weight from roughly 20 to 10 pounds, making it easier to transport. It also features new, more intuitive software. Information is transmitted via an encrypted combat net radio, ensuring mission security. 

Matthew Bolen, assistant engineer for THS, said the use of COTS products eliminates the cost of investing in proprietary hardware and decreases the time it takes to equip the Corps with new technology. 

“With the new commercial products, THS V.2 will be half the price of the previous system, while incorporating the speed of current advancements in handheld technology and encryption,” he said. 

Designed for use by forward observers, air controllers and joint terminal attack controllers, THS V.2 allows users to quickly and accurately determine a target’s location and digitally transmit (hand-off) the data to supporting arms elements. The system automatically generates coordinates for targets identified by a Marine and digitizes the information into a map application pre-installed on the smartphone, eliminating the need for manual input. Once digitized, the information is transmitted to the Fire Support Coordination Center, where the proper approach of attack is determined. The FSCC then coordinates air, artillery or naval fire support to extinguish the threat.  

“THS V.2 provides embedded, real-time tactical information with ground combat element units down to the squad or platoon level,” said Gunnery Sgt. Nicholas Tock, THS operations chief. “If we are on patrol and we take contact from machine guns in a tree line, a satellite that passes over once every few hours is not going to help an infantry unit kill that target. THS V.2 is for that close combat.”  

The system’s upgraded software includes a new, easy-to-understand interface similar to operating systems used by everyday mobile users. THS V.2 will also come with a pre-installed “Start Guide” help app with step-by-step tutorials ranging from configuration to trouble shooting operations.

“Start Guide is an intuitive app that goes through setup procedures, troubleshooting procedures and many other quick-reference materials,” said Chuck Schuster, MCSC’s liaison to the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. “This is the first time to our knowledge that a feature like this has been pre-installed on a system for Marines.”

THS V.2 is part of the MCSC’s joint fires and combined arms arsenal. Joint fires describe the use of weapon systems in a joint environment involving forces from two or more components in coordinated action in support of a common objective.

Source: http://www.marines.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1033226/marines-to-get-smart-phones-to-call-in-fire-support/#.WFqmN02P0uU.twitter

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Flight Controller Accidentally Sends Jet On Course Toward Mt. Wilson After LAX Takeoff


 
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident in which a passenger aircraft was given wrong directions by traffic controllers and guided toward the San Gabriel Mountains, where it flew just hundreds of feet higher than the peak of Mt. Wilson before turning around, according to publicly available flight data.

Bound for Taiwan, the EVA Air Boeing 777 took off to the east early Friday from Los Angeles International Airport’s south runway complex, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. After takeoff, the air crew switched from the LAX control tower to the approach control operations in San Diego, which Gregor said was common practice.

“The air traffic controller at the approach control who was handling EVA instructed the pilot to make a left turn to a 180-degree heading,” he said. “She meant to tell the pilot to make a right turn to a 180-degree heading.”

Following the controller’s instructions, the pilot turned left.

The move sent the plane in the wrong direction, Gregor said.

Instead of flying south, the aircraft flew north toward the San Gabriel Mountains and an Air Canada jet that had departed from the north runway complex at LAX.

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When the controller realized the mistake, she “took immediate action to keep EVA safely separated” from the second aircraft as well as ground terrain, Gregor said. She issued the EVA pilot a series of instructions to help him turn south.

“The controller wanted to make sure the EVA aircraft was safely above or away from nearby terrain,” he said.

The conversation between the pilot of EVA 015 and the controller was posted by VASAviation on Youtube. At one point during the flight, the controller asks the pilot, “What are you doing? Turn southbound now.” 

A graphic depiction of the aircraft’s flight path, altitude and speed on the website Flightradar24.com shows the plane turning north and flying over Pasadena toward the San Gabriel Mountains. Just five minutes after takeoff, the plane is hovering 5,000 feet over Eaton Canyon when it begins turning away from the mountain range and heading south.  

As the aircraft banks directly to the south of Mt. Wilson, it continues to gain altitude and appears to fly between 500 and 800 feet higher than the Mt. Wilson Observatory, which stands roughly 5,710 feet high, according to the website data. The aircraft’s lateral distance from the mountain peak appears to be between 500 and 600 meters. 

In a statement issued Tuesday, EVA Air said, “our flight was never too close to other aircraft or to the mountains.”

The pilot of the aircraft was directed to take off from Runway 7 and complied with the air traffic controller’s direction and speed instructions.

“EVA is working in full cooperation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and related authorities in the investigation of this situation,” the statement said.

FAA regulations require that airliners be separated by at least 3 miles laterally, or 1,000 feet vertically. The regulations also require airliners to be at least 3 miles away laterally or 2,000 feet vertically above obstacles such as mountains.

Asked whether the aircraft had violated those restrictions, Gregor said the FAA was looking into how high the aircraft was flying above the ground northeast of the airport.

At least one Altadena resident reported hearing the low-flying plane, KABC-TV reported.

“The question is how close did they come to the terrain,” said Jon Russell, an air transport pilot and the Western-Pacific regional safety coordinator for the Air Line Pilots Assn. “Did a terrain warning sound in the cockpit?”

FAA officials said they did not know Tuesday afternoon whether such a warning occurred.

The flight had 353 people on board, including five infants,  an airline spokeswoman said.

Sources: 

https://youtu.be/tFdXax7Zh_g

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-faa-investigation-plane-wrong-direction-20161220-story.html

 

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Why You Should Not Park Next to a Fire Hydrant

Firefighters were forced to smash the windows of a car illegally parked next to a fire hydrant in Nebraska. Chuck Henry reports for the NBC4 News at 5 on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.

Source: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Firefighters-Smash-Car-Windows-Pull-Hose-Through-Illegally-Parked-Car_Los-Angeles-407537666.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_LABrand

 

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DMR and ProVoice Added to BCD996P2 and BCD325P2 Scanners

bcd996p2-front_2Uniden is pleased to announce the addition of support for Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) and EDACS ProVoice decoding for two additional more models, further cementing Unidens position as the leading scanner manufacturer worldwide.

Digital Mobile Radio is used on thousands of systems worldwide. This $60 paid upgrade allows existing and future owners of the BCD996P2 and BCD325P2 scanners to easily add support for monitoring DMR, MotoTRBO Connect Plus, MotoTRBO Capacity Plus, and DMR Tier 3 systems.

ProVoice systems are used by several major agencies in the United States. This $50 paid upgrade allows people who live in one of these areas to easily add support for monitoring all unencrypted comms on these systems.

Uniden has led the way by adding the ability to use new digital modes in our scanners, without forcing all customers to incur the cost of support for systems that they have no need for. Our “a la carte” business model lets you pay for what you use and allows us to fairly compensate our technology licensors when one of our customers decides to use their technology. Using the Uniden BCDxxxP2 radios, upgraded with the DMR and ProVoice upgrades, you can now seamlessly monitor unencrypted channels on the following system types:

  • Conventional Analog channels
  • Conventional P25 Digital channels
  • Motorola Type I and Type II Trunked Radio systems with Analog and Digital (P25) Voice
  • EDACS Analog trunked radio systems
  • LTR Analog trunked radio systems
  • APCO Project 25 Phase I and Phase II Digital Trunked Radio systems
  • EDACS trunked radio systems with ProVoice channels (paid ProVoice upgrade required)
  • Conventional Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) channels (paid DMR upgrade required)
  • MotoTRBO Capacity Plus Trunked Radio Systems (paid DMR upgrade required)
  • MotoTRBO Connect Plus Trunked Radio Systems (paid DMR upgrade required)
  • MotoTRBO Linked Capacity Plus Systems (paid DMR upgrade required)
  • DMR Tier III Trunking (paid DMR upgrade required)

Source and more info at:

http://info.uniden.com/twiki/bin/view/UnidenMan4/DigitalMobileRadioUpgradeforBCDxxxP2

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NFL Investigating Giants for Using Two-Way Radio During Game Against Cowboys

The NFL is investigating the Giants’ potentially rule-breaking use of a two-way radio during the team’s recent 10-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

The use of a two-way radio by a coach during a game is strictly against league rules, according to ESPN.

In the fourth quarter of the game, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was spotted using a walkie-talkie to communicate play calls with Eli Manning after his headset malfunctioned.

The Cowboys issued a formal complaint to the league over the radio use, but the NFL’s investigation was already underway by the time Dallas contacted them.

The NFL has a rule against coaches using two-way handheld radios because the league cannot control when both parties are communicating.

A coach using a walkie-talkie makes it harder for the NFL to monitor a league rule that states communication from the sideline to the quarterback must end when 15 seconds are left on the play clock.

With headsets, the NFL has the power to shut off communication at will with a “cutoff switch operator,” ESPN reported.

The Giants had no comment when reached Thursday night.

McAdoo used the walkie talkie in question, however, for about four or five plays on the Giants’ fourth-quarter drive that ended in an Eli Manning interception on a pass intended for Victor Cruz.

McAdoo’s normal equipment malfunctioned and as the Giants worked to fix it, the coach was handed the walkie talkie temporarily because its signal was reaching Manning’s helmet.

As the Giants worked to correct McAdoo’s equipment, Odell Beckham Jr. could be seen running to the sideline to bring plays back to the huddle and Manning was heading over to the sideline, as well.

There is no evidence in reviewing the game film that demonstrates McAdoo was on the walkie talkie for longer than the allowed 15 seconds of communication with his quarterback.

There is also, of course, no evidence that the Giants gained any advantage even if he was. The drive ended in a turnover and the Giants’ offense stunk most of the night. 

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/nfl-investigating-giants-two-way-radio-cowboys-article-1.2912399

 

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Firefighters Injured in Four Alarm Strip Mall Fire

– Two firefighters were injured while battling a four-alarm fire Thursday December 15 at a Monterey Park strip mall.

The large structure fire was reported around 1:30 a.m. in the 300 block of East Garvey Avenue, according to a Monterey Park Fire Department dispatcher.

During the firefighting effort, part of the mall’s roof collapsed. The flames were extinguished by about 4:45 a.m., the fire department reported.

The conditions of the injured firefighters were not immediately released officially, but news media outlets reported their injuries were minor.

About 40 people were evacuated from an apartment building just north of the fire scene, but they were allowed back into their residences around 4:45 a.m., police said.

The fire knocked out some electrical service in the area, including blacking out some traffic signals, but power was restored by about 7:30 a.m., police said. Also, Garvey Avenue was blocked between Alhambra and Russell avenues, but the roadway was reopened about 7:30 a.m., police said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

Source: http://www.foxla.com/news/local-news/223852019-story

 

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LAPD Stuffs a Chopper with Toys for Christmas

The LAPD responds to a challenge by the New South Wales Police Department to stuff a chopper with toys for kids this Christmas. Watch Chief Charlie Beck challenge the LA County Sheriff Department to do the same.

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New Paint Scheme for El Segundo PD Cars

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The El Segundo Police Department has begun phasing in a new design for their patrol cars and the implementation will continue throughout 2017.

Pictured here is the first vehicle with the new design. The current patrol cars have graphics that have been in place for almost 20 years.

Be on the lookout for newly designed patrol cars coming to a street near you!

Follow El Segundo PD on Twitter: #elsegundopd

el-segundo-patrol-car-2 el-segundo-patrol-car-3 el-segundo-patrol-car-4

 

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Whistler to Update TRX-1 / TRX-2 Scanners with NXDN™

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Bentonville, AR– (December 13, 2016) The Whistler Group, Inc., a leading industry supplier of state-of the-art mobile electronics, is in the homestretch to the highly-anticipated release of an NXDN™ update to the TRX-1 and TRX-2 which currently feature Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) capabilities.

The Whistler TRX-1 (handheld) and TRX-2 (desktop/Mobile) originally released in May of this year are multi-system adaptive digital trunking scanners with Motorola P25 Phase I, X2-TDMA, Phase II and DMR. Additionally, Whistler announced during the initial product debut, that development of NXDN monitoring was underway and the TRX-1 and TRX-2 would receive an NXDN™ upgrade later this year at no cost to the consumer.

NXDN™ is a Common Air Interface (CAI) technical protocol for mobile communications developed jointly by Icom Incorporated and JVC Kenwood Corporation. Many market segments such as security, transportation, railways, construction, taxi companies, hotels and more use NXDN™. In addition, areas of Public safety − with agencies from police, fire, municipal services and military are using NXDN technology.

“At this time we are very excited to announce that we will be releasing the NXDN upgrade for the TRX-1 and TRX-2 on Thursday, December 15th, 2016 at 12:00 Noon CST,” said Wendy Taylor, Marketing Manager for the Whistler Group. “When Whistler entered the scanner industry we were committed to bringing innovation and we are demonstrating that by our introduction of DMR earlier this year and our continued development to provide NXDN.”

The TRX-1 and TRX-2 began shipping in late June 2016 and have an MSRP of $649.95 and $729.95 respectively.

NXDN is a trademark of ICOM, Inc. and JVC Kenwood Corp.

Source: https://whistlergroup.com/blogs/news/whistler-to-update-trx-1-trx-2-scanners-with-nxdn

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HRO Ham Jam 2016

Single Transmitter, Orange Section, in the Anaheim Ham Radio Outlet parking lot at HRO's Ham Jam, with K6VCR, K7JA, KL7MF, and N6MI, DM13. Photo by N6MI

Single Transmitter, Orange Section, in the Anaheim Ham Radio Outlet parking lot at HRO’s Ham Jam, with K6VCR, K7JA, KL7MF, and N6MI, DM13. Photo by N6MI

Our 5th Annual HRO Ham Jam is coming up!

Saturday, July 16, 2016 is the date, store hours are 10AM-5:30PM, and once again we will be hosting our local clubs and communications specialists in the store parking lot for another educational and fun event.

Come tour the OC RACES communications van as well as the Anaheim RACES trailer, learn about Hospital Disaster Services, and see how many of the clubs like the San Diego Six Shooters, the Motorcycle Amateur Radio Club, SOARA, WARA, and others who have not yet committed before newsletter deadline time make various activities available to local hams.

The Eagle Scouts will be providing a hotdog lunch this year, and Mr. Gordon West and representatives from ARRL, Comet Antennas, Ham Radio Deluxe, Icom, Kenwood, Pryme, and Yaesu will be available for questions (listen for announcements throughout the day for impromptu informational gatherings, satellite passes, or how-to sessions.)

License testing will also be available most of the day; if interested in testing, please call Janet at the store at 714-533-7373 with name and contact information so that we may plan for appropriate seating.

Three prize drawings will be held throughout the day at 11AM, 1:30PM, and 3PM. Winners will need to be present to win goodies from many of our suppliers who have donated some really great stuff!

Come join us for a fun-filled Saturday of ham radio; make it your goal to leave having learned at least one new thing and/or shared your own knowledge with at least one new ham.

Kind 73,
Janet Margelli, KL7MF
Manager
Ham Radio OutletHRO Logo
933 N. Euclid St.
Anaheim, CA 92801
(714)533-7373 Tel
(800)854-6046 Tel
(714)533-9485 Fax
anaheim@hamradio.com

 

 

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