The Global Hawk, built by Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical, is a long-range UAV optimized for performance. It is designed for overt operations, relying on its high altitude and long sensor range to survive, while employing its long endurance to scour a battlefield for information. Like the Darkstar, Global Hawk transmits data to the ground station in real time for use by field commanders.
The Common Ground Segment (CGS) constructed by Raytheon Systems Co., provides command, control, and imagery quality control and dissemination for the system. Each station has a launch-and-recovery element and a mission-control element. Launch-and-recovery elements include mission planning and UAV command-control capabilities, but they cannot receive or disseminate imagery. Mission control elements operate the UAVs while on station, combining UAV command-control with imagery receipt and dissemination to existing theater-level exploitation systems such as the Joint Service Imagery Processing System (JSIPS).
The element has full mission-planning capability, as well as the ability to replan a mission and retask sensors in flight as battlefield needs dictate. A complete station can control up to three UAVs in any mix of Darkstars or Global Hawks.
Probably the best feature of the HAEUAV program is the price—roughly $15 million for each UAV and $20 million for the ground station.
At present, the HAE-UAV system is undergoing flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The Darkstar made its first flight on 29 March 1996, but a mishap during testing forced major design changes. Flight testing resumed with a successful flight on 29 June 1998. The Global Hawk first flew on 28 February 1998, and has completed three flights for 9 flight-hours out of a 16 flight/191 flight hour test program.
Developmental tests are expected to be completed in the winter of 1998-1999, and will be followed by field trials in 1999-2000. If the field trials are favorable, current plans are to purchase 8 to 20 Darkstars and 20 to 50 Global Hawks, which will be operated by the Air Force. The exact balance of UAVS, and the total quantity, will depend on the outcome of the field trials.
The impact of the program on littoral warfare should be considerable. Historically, the two greatest problems with reconnaissance have been quantity and endurance. Reconnaissance often has been a scarce commodity, restricted to what scraps of satellite time and U-2 flyovers a theater commander could beg from the National Command Authorities. The new UAVs, however, are cheap enough to be bought in quantity; better, they have enough performance to provide field commanders with reconnaissance capabilities over large portions of the battlefield.
Earlier reconnaissance systems also lacked staying power. A satellite or airplane flew over, seeing only what the foe did not or could not hide, and went away—whereupon the enemy stowed the decoys and camouflage and rolled out the real weapons. The HAE-UAVs have endurance enough to loiter over a battlefield, providing continuous coverage and denying the foe any opportunity to move when we were not looking.
Better still, they can scan a massive amount of territory. With their powerful sensors and long endurance, they can image an entire theater of operations, unlike satellites that provided only a few images of the highest-priority targets. Although designed as a theater-level asset, they are capable of providing such a surplus of information that lower-level commanders should be able to request images of an area of the battlefield—and get information only minutes old.
The operational implications are obvious. At the beginning of a crisis, HAEUAVs can operate in a standoff mode, providing initial reconnaissance of an operating area without provoking the enemy. If a crisis escalates, the new UAVs can maintain continuous surveillance, keeping track of a foe's every move, enabling battle plans to be optimized and targets to be selected precisely. And if a crisis should escalate to war, they can provide targeting-quality information for both strike airplanes and cruise missiles and follow the attacks up with immediate bomb damage assessments—all the while keeping ground commanders apprised of everything going on around them.
In war, accurate information can win battles. Accurate information provided quickly can decide campaigns. Information provided accurately, quickly, and in large quantity wins wars decisively. The HAE-UAVs can provide that war-winning information to expeditionary forces.
Given the utility of the HAE-UAVs in littoral operations, it would seem wise to integrate them into Navy and Marine forces. There are several issues to resolve, including basing, ground station location, data dissemination, and operational control.
Basing of the HAE-UAVs depends strongly on which UAV is being discussed. The Darkstar, with a combat radius of 500 nautical miles and no shipboard capability, may have serious basing problems unless it can be stationed nearby, or if the Marines can secure a base in enemy territory. The RQ-3's basing limitations may be crippling.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk, on the other hand, has range enough to provide useful support in most conceivable contingencies while operating from a land base. Its 3,000-nautical-mile radius would enable it to patrol the Persian Gulf from a base in Diego Garcia—or North Korea from a base in Guam. If longer ranges were required, cutting the RQ-4's time on station to 12 hours would stretch the operating radius to 4,700 nautical miles—more than enough to cover any realistic scenario. Its potential to support littoral operations is considerable, and basing is not a significant problem.
Where to put the ground station is another issue. The launch-and-recovery element must be located ashore at the UAV base, but there is no reason that the MCE, which controls the sensors and receives the images, cannot be collocated with the commander—who is afloat in most littoral operations. Unfortunately, the MCE in its current format is a tractor-trailer-sized set of containers, not something to park just anywhere.
There are four potential solutions:
- Strap an element to a ship's deck, accepting the loss of deck space—an unattractive but workable solution.
- Build the element into a ship—a clean and efficient solution, but costly and probably feasible only during a major refit.
- Leave the element at home and communicate with it via satellite. This is not as efficient as having it embarked, but it has minimal impact—and may be perfectly satisfactory in service.
- Modify the Tactical Control System (TCS), already under development to control Predator, Outrider, and other tactical UAVs, to handle the Darkstar and Global Hawk. The system is designed to be expandable, and a ground station capable of controlling all types of military UAVs would be well worth the space and weight it would consume aboard ship.
Data dissemination also is an issue. At present, the HAE-UAVs are designed to transmit data to the mission control element, which checks quality and pumps the end product out to existing exploitation systems. The problem is that existing dissemination systems are designed to cope with the limited data output of satellites and U-2s, and to provide that data to high-level commanders. They will be overwhelmed both by the flood of information coming down from the HAE-UAVS, and by the flood of data requests coming up from field commanders.
DARPA has a partial solution to this problem in work. The Direct Dissemination Element (DDE) is a compact image exploitation work station, small enough to be taken into the field. Tactical-level commanders equipped with this work station will be able to avoid the bottleneck of existing imagery exploitation systems and monitor Darkstar and Global Hawk imagery directly. The DDE is not perfect—it has no ability to retrieve old images or to refine current ones—but it is much better than nothing.
Finally, there is the problem of operational control. The DARPA program office is truly a joint operation, but the program is scheduled to transition to an Air Force-led joint program office in 1999, with operational vehicles under Air Force control—and battle group commanders have learned from bitter experience to depend as little as possible on resources not directly under their command. The answer is obvious—either expand the Navy/Marine Corps role in both the Joint Program Office and operational units; or buy some Global Hawks and paint "Navy" or "Marines" on the fuselage.
Solving these problems will not be easy, but effort spent now will yield vast dividends in the future. The Navy and Marine Corps can act now to speed the introduction of the new systems into littoral operations.
Operating bases can be located and prepared for UAV operations in support of littoral warfare. A solution to the ground station problem can be found and ship modifications begun. Data dissemination capabilities can be strengthened to cope with the torrent of HAEUAV data. And operational control issues—including possible purchase of assets—can be coordinated with the Air Force. These problems are known to exist and known to have solutions—implementing the best solutions will save considerable time.
Possibly more importantly, there must be a greater knowledge of the HAE-UAV systems and greater exploration of their full capabilities in littoral warfare. They should be featured in Navy-Marine Corps demonstrations and war games—in research warfighting experiments at DARPA and the Naval Air Warfare Center, in war games at the Naval War College, and in exercises with the fleet. This sort of exploration and experimentation will familiarize warfighters with the system and enable them to fine-tune operational concepts. When the new UAVs finally enter service, they should be a familiar weapon, not an unknown new gadget.
Today, the HAE-UAVs are being tested as reconnaissance systems. DARPA has not been unmindful of other applications, however many of which are of interest to warfighters operating in the littorals. The Airborne Communications Node payload under development for the Global Hawk will enable the HAE-UAVs to be used as surrogate communications satellites, clearing scarce satellite communication channels while increasing intra-theater over-the-horizon communications capability. Other missions, including antisubmarine warfare, electronic intelligence, electronic jamming, and even boost-phase missile intercept are under consideration. And there are doubtless other purposes for which the HAE-UAVs can be used—if only warfighters will come up with them.
Throughout history, success in war has hinged on reconnaissance. Today's information warfare is identical to what the Chinese philosopher of war Sun Tzu called foreknowledge. DARPA's High Altitude Endurance-manned Aerial Vehicle program offers a quantum jump in reconnaissance. The potential utility of these UAVs in littoral warfare is tremendous, but it will take planning and preparation to exploit it. None of the problems is unsolvable, but with the new UAVs only two years away from an operating capability, it is time to start solving them.
Mr. McDaniel is attached to DARPA’s HAE-UAV Program Office.
Cooperative Engagement [Must Be] for the CO
By Lieutenant Commander David G. Tyler, U.S. Naval Reserve
The Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) is the catalyst for revolutionizing naval battle group operations. It is a new data distribution network that distributes sensor, antiair warfare, coordination, and weapon data among cooperating units. It will give battle group commanders the ability to exercise direct control of the assets under their command.
CEC uses existing sensor systems to enhance combat system capabilities. As advertised, the composite tracking feature significantly improves track accuracy and continuity, and increases resistance to jamming and environmental degradation throughout the battle group.
The exchange of sensor data among cooperating units enables passive ranging of electronic countermeasures (ECM) targets by cross-fixing sensor bearing and elevation data. Using pairwise communication and a phased array directional antenna, the data distribution system has provided an accurate battle group grid reference and maintained continuity over better than expected ranges. The concept and technological benefit of CEC is undeniable. The Windows-based color intensive Q-70 consoles display the data-rich battlespace in an easily interpreted, logical fashion to any unit participating in the network. The ability of ships to share and merge sensor data has been thoroughly demonstrated by the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) and John F. Kennedy (CV-67) Battle Groups, and by shore-based test sites.
Most of the problems identified during recent testing are not related to CEC hardware or software. The Aegis Baseline 6 Phase I and Advanced Combat Direction System (ACDS) Block I combat systems are enormous advances in shipboard commercial off-the-shelf technology but are far from mature. CEC testing also has highlighted previously unresolved issues, such as Tactical Digital Information Link interoperability. Moreover, to meet scheduling demands, methodologies for developing and testing computer equipment and software have been modified, adding yet another variable to the process. These are nothing more than bumps in the road, however, that our technical community inevitably will overcome. CEC is here, and it's here to stay. The question that remains to be addressed is: How will CEC affect the command-and-control structure of naval forces?
"Modern war calls for an intelligent use of initiative by subordinates, and it is certain that the subordinate who grasps the broad situation most clearly will solve the local situation most intelligently," as Von Clausewitz put it, is particularly appropriate in this context.
Military organizations through the ages have used a wide variety of command structures; ultimately, military organizations take on structures that are either centralized or decentralized.
Centralized command structures normally rely on either the command-by-direction or command-by-plan methods. Command-by-direction relies on a commander's ability to obtain critical decision-making information and respond accordingly with specific orders to his subordinates; the system depends on highly trained obedient subordinates. Command-by-plan attempts to dissipate the fog of war by resolving contingencies through advance planning. Centralized systems are vulnerable because their center of gravity—their command-and-control structure—is exposed. Centralized command structures suppress initiative.
Decentralized command structures are normally run by a command-by-influence method. The most famous example of command-by-influence is the German Auftragstaktik , which emphasizes mission-type orders and relies on subordinates to develop the means to carry out the commander's intent. This method is highly compatible with Western society because it permits some of the freedom to which its members are accustomed.
In the face of technological change, the U.S. Navy must maintain a decentralized command structure that encourages initiative from commanding officers at all levels of command. CEC can provide enormous benefits and advance the Navy toward Network-Centric Warfare, but we must not allow the application of this new technology to drive out proven command-and-control methods.
We need an organized effort to integrate CEC for the purpose of accomplishing the accelerated exchange of information within the battle group, while retaining the effectiveness of a decentralized command structure. High-speed, accurate battlespace information presented to battle group commanders, however, may tempt them to become wartime micro-managers—a temptation they must resist. Captain Reginald R. Belknap described the phenomenon in the Spring 1997 issue of the Naval War College Review : "Decisions on the battlefield cannot wait. Hence, when a general officer takes on also a subordinate function, some matters affecting the whole may at any moment be thrust aside by relatively minor yet imperative demands of a single part."
The interim focus of CEC should be to enhance the situational awareness and warfighting capabilities of combatant commanding officers. New tactics and doctrines will accompany CEC, but the fight will remain at the unit level.
The Navy must resist any further dilution of authority at the unit level. Beware the "System of Systems," a command-by-plan method, for it will inevitably shift our forces to centralized command structure. In the next century, will the responsibility of the captain or commanding officer on board his ship remain absolute—as the Chief of Naval Operations said it must in the wake of the November 1975 collision between the guided-missile cruiser Belknap (CG-26) and the carrier John F. Kennedy ? ". . . the Commander's responsibility for his command is absolute and he must and will be held accountable for its safety, well-being and efficiency. That is the very foundation of our maritime heritage, the cornerstone of naval efficiency and effectiveness, and the key to victory in combat."
The allure of CEC is to unify individual platforms into a singular cohesive force. The impact of directing tactical information up to the operational command level will cause a radical change in command structure. There is, as Vice Admiral William Mack, U.S. Navy, (Retired), and now Rear-Admiral Albert Konetzni Jr., stated in their book Command at Sea (Fourth Edition), ". . . a growing tendency of high command to exercise control in too great detail." Any further usurpation of ex-officio authority from unit-level commanding officers would discourage initiative throughout the entire officer corps.
No matter how sophisticated our command-and-control tools become, the fog of war will never leave the battlefield. It would be a mistake to implement CEC as a method for battle group commanders to exercise direct control over theater operations. We would do well to imitate Horatio Nelson: "I had the happiness to command a Band of Brothers; therefore night was to my advantage. Each knew his duty, and I was sure each would feel for a French ship."
Technology has changed our methods for conducting war, but it has not changed the nature of mankind. As the Navy rushes to embrace CEC, let us not throw out the command structure that served us well by shifting too far toward a centralized command structure. Captain Belknap underscores this point: ". . . the most decisive successes have come about where the chief's purpose and spirit found expression in the unity of his subordinates' actions."
The machine gun was designed to benefit the foot soldier, yet its tactical advantage paid off all the way up the chain of command; so too, CEC should be implemented with a specific fundamental purpose. If the fundamental purpose of CEC is to strengthen the warfighting capabilities of the unit-level commanding officer, the Navy will be led by an "invisible hand" to promote battle group operational effectiveness. Just as "command, control, communications, computers and intelligence [is] for the warrior," so too "CEC [must be] for the CO."
Lieutenant Commander Tyler is an engineer with Techmatics, Inc., at Wallops Island, Virginia. His reserve billet is with Helicopter Combat support Special Squadron 4 at Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia.
Standardizing Tug Commands
By Captain Victor Schisler
EDITOR'S NOTE: We use standard commands to minimize the risk of confusion. For several generations the standard shiphandling commands set forth in the Watch Officer's Guide have been used throughout the Navy, and they continue to serve us well. There has been less standardization in the commands used to control tugs. The Watch Officer's Guide says only that "Tugs are normally handled by two-way VHF radio," and goes on to provide information on the backup use of sound and hand signals. With the steadily increasing average size of naval vessels, the use of tugs has become more frequent, and the need for widely understood standard commands more important. In the following Professional Note, Captain Victor Schisler, an experienced pilot, sets forth proposed standard basic commands for the control of tugs. In future issues we plan to publish more advanced commands. We welcome comments on these proposed commands.
I have been a Long Beach pilot since 1970. Over the years, I have compiled the following tug commands in an effort to standardize commands between pilots, captains, and operators of escort and assist tugs. It is hoped they will be taken as suggestions and not hard-and-fast rules. The purpose of standardization is to reduce the possibilities of breakdowns between pilots and tug operators.
When a different pilot comes on board and uses the same or similar commands as the previous pilot the ship's captain will have a better understanding of what the pilot is trying to accomplish. It also will facilitate the understanding of tug orders by the ship's crew when a vessel calls at more than one port.
There are 35 tug commands (6 basic and 29 advanced). The first six basic commands are summarized here. In reality, they may be all that is necessary to accomplish the goal of a safe transit for the assisted vessel. The remaining commands could be considered more advanced and appropriate when the pilot desires to "finesse or fine tune" the use of the assist tug. Pilots should use only commands that they and the tug captain fully understand.
It is important to have a mutual agreement and understanding between pilots and tug operators on the meaning of each command. All segments of the industry need to agree on the necessity and benefits of this standardization or it will not be successful.
The following proposed standardized tug commands apply to assist and escort tugs.
Basic Tug Command 1 : Pull inline astern (easy, half, or full power). Purpose: To control the speed of the assisted vessel.
Maneuver: Reverse the thrust of the tug and apply the towline pull inline with the keel of the assisted vessel.
Adjustments: Use steering thrust to maintain the alignment with the assisted vessel.
Basic Tug Command 2 : Indirect port (starboard) give angle in degrees
Purpose: To reduce the speed and to influence the heading of the assisted vessel. This maneuver is most effective above six knots. However, it can be used by most tugs at any speed that does not cause deck-edge immersion.
Maneuver: Use steering thrust to orient the towline to a relative angle of 45 deg to the keel of the assisted vessel. Use the fore and aft thrust to achieve this. Orient the tug to the water flow in order to maximize the hydrodynamic lift of the hull. This is the "pure" indirect mode. Adjustments: Initially, place your tug at 45 deg (the pilot may request more or less angle) to the keel of the assisted vessel. Then, maximize the hydrodynamic lift of the tug's hull by adjusting the angle of your vessel to the flow of water. Do not allow the hull to "stall." Do not use any more power then is required to hold the requested angle.
Basic Tug Command 3 : Bow (stern) to starboard (port) easy, half, full. Purpose: To control the speed and heading of the assisted vessel.
Maneuver: Pull off to the side requested at the power setting requested.
Adjustments: This allows the tug captain to determine the method. See Note 10.
Basic Tug Command 4 : Push bow to port (starboard) easy, half, or full. Purpose: To influence the direction of movement of the bow.
Maneuver: Apply thrust toward the assisted vessel by pushing on the bow. Adjustments: Push at 90 to the keel (not the hull plate you are looking at) of the assisted vessel unless another angle is requested.
Basic Tug Command 5 : Pull bow to staboard (port) easy, half, or full. Purpose: To influence the direction of movement of the bow.
Maneuver: Apply thrust away from the assisted vessel by pulling on the line.
Adjustments: Pull at 90 to the keel (not the hull plate you are looking at) of the assisted vessel unless another angle is requested. See Note 6.
Basic Tug Command 6 : Come to a push-pull mode and stop. Purpose: To shorten the reaction time of the tug when asked to push on the assisted vessel. Maneuver: Shorten your towline move the tug close to the assisted vessel, and be ready to push or pull as requested. Adjustments: Do not confuse this with "push full." On high leads, be careful when adding the weight of your tug to the line on pulls away from the ship. When possible, slack out enough line to achieve an angle of less than 45 deg above the horizontal.
Notes Concerning Tug Commands
1. Reference tug commands to own ship. Specify the direction relative to the assisted vessel, i.e., "Guard, pull easy to port."
2. When asking for a push or pull, include the direction that the force is to be applied, port, starboard, forward, or aft, that is to say, "Pull easy to starboard," "Pull easy to starboard 45 forward (aft)."
3. The majority of these commands apply to conventional tugs as well as "tractor," "combi-tug" and "azimuthing stern drive" (ASD)-type tugs.
4. Always give tug name before giving commands. This alerts the tug captain that what she/he hears next will apply to her/his tug.
5. Do not use given names of tug operators, as this may leave the ship's bridge team out of the information loop.
6. The tug operator should attempt to maintain the last angle requested by the pilot until changed by another command, i.e., the pilot may request that you "Stop at 90" or, "Stop and drag on your line."
7. Use power references of easy (for 1/3), half (for 2/3) or full (for 100%).
8. When the assist tugs are equipped with strain gauges use line pull in tons if desired instead of "easy, half, and full."
9. When the tug has a linehandling winch, the towline to the stern of an assisted vessel should be at least as long as the tug. The amount of maneuvering space will determine the maximum length acceptable. This minimum length will allow the tug to work outside the propeller wash in most cases. The pilot may ask for more or less length, depending on the maneuvers planned.
10. Conventional tugs with linehandling winches should use a long line to the stern and if requested shorten up to a "push-pull mode."
11. The closer the towline is to the horizontal, the less tug weight is added to the towline on pulls.
12. When tugs are used ahead of the ship keep the following cautions in mind: a. All tugs are limited in their ability to maneuver around the bow of a ship at speeds greater than five knots.
b. At large angles to the bow, the tug is at risk of "getting in irons" or being "tripped."
c. The tug's ability to influence the ship's heading is limited as the pivot point moves forward.
d. The higher the ship's speed through the water the more inline the tug must stay.
e. With a limited working angle at high speeds, the majority of the tug's line pull is causing the ship to accelerate.
Captain Schisler , a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, is a pilot in Long Beach, California. He has almost 30 years of piloting experience on San Pedro and San Francisco Bays and their tributaries using tugs to assist in maneuvering more than 12,000 vessels in and out of those harbors. In addition, he has extensive experience on seagoing tugs throughout the Pacific.
Using the Internet - To Get the World to the Troops
By Staff Sergeant Eric Nelson, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve
Traditionally, military intelligence is briefed to flag officers, leaving lower-ranking decision makers who don't attend such briefings less informed. The emergence of maneuver warfare doctrine, however, emphasizes the key concept of commander's intent, which allows—in fact, encourages—these lower-ranking decision makers to exercise individual judgment in adapting to fluid situations not foreseen in the original battle plan. Unfortunately, the traditional intelligence flow does not provide them with the intelligence necessary for full understanding of the larger issues involved.
Until quite recently, planners have relied on three sources of intelligence: friendly intelligence shared among allies, clandestine intelligence collected by spying, and open-source information (OS-INF) processed into intelligence. About 1990, a fourth source emerged—the Internet—which has several distinct items found nowhere else. In the absence of media coverage, web pages maintained by special-interest groups can be monitored to track the group's propaganda and activities. Search engines with access to the web pages of the entire world can make key word inquiries. A seemingly endless number of data bases can be referenced, covering topics from the Ebola virus to weapon systems.
Military decision makers not privy to all classified briefings are turning to the Internet for information (I-INF), as are some intelligence analysts. It is not a replacement for classified intelligence, though it does provide some information useful in military operations. For example, when the Tupac Amaru group took over the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru, on 17 December 1996, floor plans for the residence appeared on the Internet within 20 minutes. As with all raw data, the information must be assessed for reliability.
Analysts are using the I-INF as an early-warning system, noting that it helps them take the world's pulse. Whereas commercial news media outlets focus on issues and events that will attract wide audiences, I-INF reaches worldwide to gather information on the obscure as well as the notorious. Further, the non-linear, non-hierarchical organization of many I-INF sources, coupled with the speed of e-mail transmission, assures almost instantaneous reporting of events. Leaders who subscribe to I-INF sources such as G2i, Milinet, ZGram, and C4I-Pro are accustomed to reading situation reports well in advance of their publication by the commercial media.
Another benefit of I-INF groups is the electronic merging of widely scattered Department of Defense decision makers, facilitating discussion and mutual support. It also allows for cooperative research projects. For example, a recent rumor regarding Ricin (a castor-bean derivative that looks like powder methamphetamine but is a deadly substance with no known antidote) was picked up and disseminated by U.S. law enforcement agencies; an I-INF group collectively researched the threat, determined that it was a hoax, and spread the findings globally within a matter of a few hours.
Its greatest advantage is ease of access. Electronic mail delivered in easy reading format can be blocked, copied, and word processed at home, work, or in a hotel room. Updates flow 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Two facts are relevant: the Internet is here to stay—and military decision makers will continue to consume I-INF in the absence of a comparable product provided through official channels. We cannot ignore the obvious. The blitzkrieg emergence of the Internet has changed the rules of the intelligence game forever. The challenge is how to provide lower-ranking decision makers with sufficient daily information while maintaining appropriate safeguards for classified material. Recognizing that the information genie is irreversibly out of the bottle begs the question: At whose table will these decision makers forage? Will they continue to rely upon OS-INF and I-INF as their source of daily information, or will military intelligence step up to the plate and produce the information and intelligence products these warriors require?
Staff Sergeant Nelson , a pre-med student at San Diego State University, is a counterintelligence Marine assigned to I Marine Augmentation Command Element, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton California. He is the 1998 Marine Corps Association Intelligence Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.