Quarterly Newsletter

Connecting ANVM Members, their Customers and Friends of Night Vision
Q1/2022                                                                      31 March 2022
Looking Ahead ...
... by John Domalski, President. The next thing for us to look forward to as an Association is the Joint Service Night Vision Integrated Process Team Meeting scheduled for 28-30 June 2022 at Naval Surface Warfare Center/Crane. I have requested a copy of the agenda for this event, but have not received it yet. (If anyone has, please send it to me.) On the day prior to this event (Monday, 27 June) the Association is planning to host an open house-type social event at the SpringHill Suites Hotel which is located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana and is near three other hotels: Hilton, Fairfield and Hyatt. (Address of the SpringHill Suites is 501 North College Ave.) Hours of the event will be roughly 3-8PM. Depending on which night(s) NSWC/Crane selects for night hardware demonstrations, this event might be repeated on a second date. Hope to see many of you there.

We also have an industry day/outreach event to look forward to at U.S. Army C5ISR RTI (formerly NVESD, but known since November 1965 as Night Vision Laboratory or NVL). I have a Microsoft Teams meeting scheduled with Dr. Don Reago, Director, and his senior leadership team for 26 April 2022. I believe Dr. Reago is quite interested in holding this event, but I will know much more after this meeting. I will advise the Board of Directors (BoD) what I learn soon thereafter.

Regarding a Congressional Outreach Event in 2023 (as discussed at last December's Annual Meeting), planning is getting started with the Government Relations teams from several of our large General Members. Support from these teams is considered absolutely essential for promoting this event on Capitol Hill and giving it every chance to be successful. While several of these companies conduct similar events on their own, I am hearing that at least a few consider the ANVM event to be a "common good" kind of event that can attract a lot more attention due to the much larger number of companies participating. Such participation is key to demonstrating the wide range of equipment that is available to warfighters and for making sure its critical importance is known to the maximum extent possible in Congress. More to follow as the planning proceeds.

One thing we are not looking forward to is ANVM hiring a professional Congressional lobbyist. I contacted many BoD members during January and was told, basically, to let this idea go. An email from me on 8 February 2022 summarized what I learned on this topic.

2022 Annual Meeting, SAVE THE DATE: Scheduled to be held live on Thursday, 1 December 2022 at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, Arlington, VA. It is also planned to provide virtual connectivity to this meeting via Microsoft Teams. A social event will likely be held the evening prior to the meeting either at the hotel or at a nearby restaurant (live only, not virtual). If anyone would like to hear from particular individuals from the customer community at this meeting, please let me know who they are.

Please keep in mind that the next inductions into the Night Vision Hall of Fame will take place at the 2022 Annual Meeting. Inductees will be Messrs. Mike Iosue (Litton, Northrop Grumman, L-3 Communications and L3Harris) and Mike Atwood (U.S. Army and Aviation Specialties Unlimited). Summaries of the voting for these two individuals was provided in the minutes of the 2021 Annual Business Meeting which were distributed by me on 31 December 2021.

Finally, please keep in mind that I am searching for old pieces of night vision equipment, in conjunction with Dr. Jim Bald from C5ISR RTI, for creation of a night vision exhibit to be donated to the National Museum of the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir. All donations will be given appropriate recognition by the Museum. If you know of such items that are simply "gathering dust" in a back room or closet in your factory, please let me know. Old goggles, weapon sights, viewing devices, lasers and aiming sights for man-portable missiles—whether operational configurations or early prototypes—all are being sought.
2023 Budget drops on March 28, but details will be missing says Breaking Defense
The FY23 defense budget is expected to be largest ever requested, with a topline budget for the Defense Department sitting somewhere between $770 billion and $780 billion, Breaking Defense reported in February. Meanwhile, national security spending — which includes the Defense Department, defense-related spending from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy funds associated with nuclear weapons — could come in at $800 billion to $810 billion.

But despite the good news for the defense industry in terms of funding, the five-year trajectory of defense spending could be unclear for weeks after the budget’s release. Several sources tell Breaking Defense that the Pentagon won’t release the justification documents — colloquially known as the “J Books,” which include detailed information about programs and future year spending plans — until mid-April.
Member News
A Tribute for Scott Sterling is being planned during SOFIC.

In memory of SSG Scott Sterling, Safran Optics 1 will host a special event at SOFIC 2022 to support the Sterling Promise Foundation. We are looking for industry partners to support an evening of fundraising. Please contact Mary Emmerson (Corrado) for additional information.; +1 860-917-4908

Clear Align Names President to Support Expansion of EO/IR Businesses

Eagleville, Pennsylvania, Jan 11, 2022 – Clear Align announces the appointment of Randy Shaw as President of our Nashua business unit. Shaw is responsible for the production of our AI-enabled systems, infrared cameras, infrared zoom lenses, optical components, thin films coatings, and our fast-growing EO/IR manufacturing services. 

Continue reading

The Association offers our condolences to the family and many friends of John Morgan who passed suddenly on March 20th.

John served our industry exceedingly well for four decades. For those who wish to remember John in a special way please consider a donation to:

The American Heart Association
Maine Chapter
51 US Rte. 1, Suite M
Scarborough, ME, 04074

Important Dates
Night Vision IPT. NSWC-Crane. 28-30 June 2022.
C5ISR RTI ANVM Outreach. Ft. Belvoir. TBD.
ANVM Annual Meeting. Crystal City, VA. 1 December 2022.
Looking Back ...
... This edition of LOOKING BACK does not look back very far; only to 24 February 2022 when Russian forces invaded Ukraine. It attempts to identify uses of night vision equipment by both the Russians and the Ukrainians in this conflict. Available information on this topic is not extensive and the information that can be found all comes from various newspaper and magazine reporting.

Both sides were equipped with night vision equipment at the start of the fighting. The Russian military had the full complement of equipment that any modern fighting force could be expected to have. This included night vision goggles (both for ground soldiers and aviators), night weapon sights, thermal imaging binoculars (including uncooled technology) and night vision systems for helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and ground tactical vehicles.

Regarding Ukraine, it is known that at least Ukrainian Special Forces had been funded and trained by the U.S. since 2015. It can be assumed this included training with night vision equipment and in conducting night operations, as well as providing some night vision equipment. Further, it is known that the U.S. provided various types of military equipment to Ukraine prior to the invasion. Specifically, this equipment included Javelin man-portable anti-armor missile systems and Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missile systems. The Javelin system includes a thermal imaging Command Launch Unit (CLU) that enables day and night operation, and the Stingers may have been provided with some AN/PAS-13 (V)2 Thermal Weapon Sights (TWS) which they use as a night sight. Both the CLU and the TWS can also be used for stand-alone reconnaissance and surveillance; thereby increasing their operational usefulness. It is also known that Ukraine has requested additional night vision equipment. This occurred on 28 February 2022 in a letter from Ukrspecexport, a state-owned arms trading company. It was implied the letter was intended for the U.S. Government.

The Russian invasion began as could easily be expected with early morning (pre-dawn) artillery, missile and air strikes on cities, airfields and army bases located throughout Ukraine. This took place on Thursday, 24 February 2022. The attacking forces came from the approximately 190,000 troops that Russia had placed around Ukraine's borders in the previous weeks. It is not known if ground forces advanced on the 24th, but they reportedly did so by the next day, 25 February. Pre-dawn missile and air strikes also continued that day.

Ukrainian forces did not take long to fight back. As early as the day after the fighting started, Ukrainian authorities showed evidence of fierce fighting around the country. This included video of downed aircraft and damaged tanks and armored personnel carriers from both sides. At the end of the first week of fighting, a photo was included in THE WEEK magazine that showed a destroyed column of Russian tanks and vehicles north of Kyiv. Information as to the time of day of the attack that led to this wreckage was not provided. By 28 February 2022, an expert on land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute, a British defense think tank, said that Russia's hope had been to avoid casualties by planning a "shock and awe" demonstration that involved rapid advances and the seizure of a few key objectives in the hope that the Ukrainian Government would quickly surrender or flee. "That failed," the expert said.

A few days later—4 March 2022—it was reported that a long Russian column of vehicles had bogged down outside Kyiv and that the Russians started to change tactics. They began using their superior firepower; launching hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and other sites around Ukraine. Defense One described this as "Plan B." Although the number is not known, more than a few of these attacks took place at night. Locations included the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kramatorsk, Chernihiv, Izyum, Mykolaiv, Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Sumy and others. At least some of these attacks were said to be indiscriminate. Known night attacks included the Zaporizhzhy nuclear power plant in Enerhodar and the Mykolaiv Marine Barracks.

Russian ground operations also took place in Mariupol and near Kharkiv. They may not have been successful as Russian Major Generals were killed in each. A third Russian General was said to have been killed in a "special operation." Additional Russian general officers and senior military leaders have also been killed in the fighting. Deaths of general officers on a modern battlefield were described as being very rare.

A night air raid was conducted by the Russians on the village of Bushiv (near Kyiv).

Reporting of actual night raids or ambushes conducted by ground soldiers has been minimal, but mostly from the Ukrainian side. One description of such activity took place early in the second week of the war. A former Ukrainian defense minister said that Ukrainian Special Forces had engaged in efforts to demoralize the Russians, assaulting their convoys and their camps at night. (Evidently, the U.S. training paid off.) Also by that time, Ukraine's military said that it had destroyed 269 Russian tanks and nearly a thousand armored personnel vehicles.

Further reporting advised that the reason Kyiv has not been taken by the Russians was due to their sticking with Soviet-style large maneuver tactics that included moving in long convoys which are vulnerable to small Ukrainian units and drones; some of which carried thermal cameras. A Ukrainian Special Forces soldier who was going on missions near Kyiv every night said: "we're in shock at how dumb their behavior is."

Another possible use of night vision equipment has been the transport of weapons and other military gear from Polish border towns into Ukraine. Said a Polish worker who lives 500 yards from the Ukraine border: "I don't know if I am supposed to tell you...It's kind of a secret, but at night lots of aid goes across." It is doubtful these vehicles would have been driven with simply their headlights on given that Russian attacks were known to take place near the Ukraine/Poland border.

This summary article is not close to being complete, but it is believed to be factual. As the end of March 2022 approaches one thing that can be said with certainty is that night vision capability appears to have contributed to Ukraine's battlefield successes. Another certainty is that the human toll of this war has been enormous. At least 10 million Ukrainian civilians have abandoned their homes; including 3.4 million who have fled the country. Several thousand have been killed. As many as 40,000 Russian soldiers have either been killed, wounded, captured or are missing in action (NATO estimate). Ukrainian military casualties are not known, but probably are high. Praying this tragedy ends soon.   -- John Domalski
Association of United States Night Vision Manufacturers
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