News Notes

By: Dale Atkinson and Eric Edwards


In April, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) reported that it had successfully used the Demonstrator Laser Weapon System (DLWS) to shoot down multiple air-launched missiles at the High Energy Laser System Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range, NM. The shoot-down marked a major milestone in AFRL’s Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHIELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration Program.

Although the DLWS was acting as a ground-based test surrogate for the SHIELD system, the goal of the program is to develop a directed-energy laser system that can be mounted as an aircraft pod (under an aircraft’s wings or fuselage) to provide a self-defense capability against surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles. The Air Force is currently ruggedizing and reducing the size and weight of the SHIELD system and plans to have it fielded on super-sonic and possibly other aircraft by 2021.


The Survivability Assessment Flight, Aerospace Survivability and Safety Office (704 TG/OL-AC) and the Joint Aircraft Survivability Program Office (JASPO) are pleased to welcome their newest member, Ms. Carrell McAllister, to the team. Carrell is serving as the JASPO lead for the Vulnerability Assessment and Reduction Subgroup, filling the vacancy left by Mr. Mike Weisenbach.

Prior to joining JASPO, Carrell served as an aerostructures analyst and project manager, providing consultant support to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Structures Division at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pax River for Magee Technologies. Her experience includes aircraft design, systems integration, structural analysis, and damage tolerance. Carrell also comes with a wealth of experience in aircraft survivability, having worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

During her tenure at IDA, she provided planning, analysis, and independent technical oversight of operational and Title 10, Live Fire Test and Evaluation activities for major acquisition programs in support of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). In particular, she served as the lead analyst for the KC-46 and various C-130 Live Fire efforts. She also completed the Aircraft Survivability Short Course at the Naval Postgraduate School and has training in design of experiments and the COVART/FASTGEN survivability analysis codes.

Carrell holds B.A. and B.E. degrees from Dartmouth College as well as an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Welcome, Carrell!


Mr. Tommy Sanders, a great friend of the aircraft survivability community, is retiring after 47 years of Government service. Tommy is one of the Navy’s foremost subject-matter experts on decoy flares and has been intimately involved with the design, development, fabrication, and testing of infrared countermeasures (IRCMs) and their dispensing systems. Many know Tommy through his leadership on the tri-Service Joint Expendable Countermeasures Integrated Product Team or through his tireless support of IRCM testing at home and abroad. Except for a 1-year detail to Washington, DC, supporting PMA 272, Tommy spent his Navy career in Crane, IN, where he began as an In-Service engineer for Navy pyrotechnics, working on marking and signaling flares. More than 4 decades—and countless programs and test events—later, Tommy has decided to take a well-earned break from his longstanding service. We wish him fair winds and following seas.