News Notes

by Eric Edwards


Bart SchmidtIn September, longtime aircraft survivability subject-matter expert (SME) Bart Schmidt is retiring after 31 years of Federal service. With 26 years of active-duty service and 5 years of civil service, Mr. Schmidt’s career has exemplified extraordinary dedication to the community, as he has progressively assumed roles of greater responsibility within Army aviation and contributed significantly to the survivability of combat aircraft throughout all the Services. Most notably, he has helped increase aviation mission survivability by actively leveraging threat analysis, aircraft survivability equipment capabilities, modeling and simulation (M&S), and combat forensics.

As part of JCAT’s Aviation Survivability Development and Tactics (ASDAT) Team, Mr. Schmidt has performed more than 50 combat damage assessments, analyzing threat classifications and enemy tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), as well as recommending corresponding U.S. tactical adjustments. He has also delivered classified briefings to more than 5,500 aviators, intelligence, and operational planning personnel, providing insights into current and future threats, operational and tactical implications, lessons learned, and best practices.

Additionally, Mr. Schmidt has been heavily involved in combat damage analysis; strategy, tactics, and procedure formulation; test and evaluation event insights; gap analysis; threat identification; enhancement of M&S capabilities; and responses to operational field inquiries. Most recently, he spearheaded a project to validate the Enhanced Surface-to-Air Missile Simulation (ESAMS) in a low-altitude radio frequency multipath environment using the UH-60 Black Hawk. This 2-year, multi-Service project confirmed ESAMS’s capability to accurately model the “red” threat vs. the “blue” aircraft.

Mr. Schmidt now intends to spend his time developing his 10-acre lakefront property; building a new home for his spouse of more than 3 decades; and fishing, kayaking, and exploring various places across the country.

Congratulations, Bart, on your retirement, and thank you for all your contributions to aircraft survivability.


In February, leaders of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) presented its 2023 Exceptional Innovators of the Year award to the 704th Test Group’s Aerospace Vehicle Survivability Facility (AVSF) Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) Team. The award was one of several annual AEDC awards presented in a ceremony at AEDC headquarters at Arnold AFB, TN.

The AVSF RDT&E Team, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, includes team members Colton Lapworth, Russell Loos, Jason Sawdy, Ryan Steele, and Carlos Suarez II. Together, these individuals were cited for contributing four new innovations to the tri-Service survivability community last year. They enhanced aircraft dry bay fire vulnerability assessments by approximately 30% through the first release of the Next-Generation Fire Model and broadened fuel-ullage ignition characterizations by innovating unique test procedures. In addition, they advanced a technology to mitigate the flammability of polyalphaolefin hydraulic fluids, ultimately producing a 20% increase in an aircraft’s survivability posture, and they launched a tri-Service digital ecosystem strategy to enhance the speed and efficiency of acquisitions.


ASE Project Office

In January, the Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) Project Office—part of the Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S)—was featured in an article in the Redstone Rocket newspaper and on the PEO IEW&S website. The office was recognized for developing advanced electronic devices and countermeasures to reduce aircraft susceptibility and vulnerability to current and future threats.

Also highlighted were the four product offices—Infrared Countermeasures, Missile Warning Systems, Threat Warning Systems, and Common Systems Integration—through which the ASE office manages its various survivability systems throughout their lifecycles, as well as some of the primary organizations with which the office closely works. These organizations include the Army Aviation and Missile Command, DEVCOM Aviation and Missile Center, Missile and Space Intelligence Center, Redstone Test Center, PEO Aviation, and others.

One cited example of the ASE Project Office’s recent work with PEO Aviation was its recent fielding of the Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system, the next-generation laser-based countermeasure device that interfaces with the Army’s Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and future Missile Warning Systems (MWS) to defeat the current and future missile threats to various rotary-wing, tilt-rotor, and small fixed-wing platforms.