BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 8, 2022—Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU), in Boise, Idaho was named among 10 companies to receive DoD funding from the pilot program to Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies (APFIT) in a DoD press release issued July 19, 2022.
The funds are designated for the Initial procurement of next-generation widened field of view night vision goggles for aircrew with increased resolution and reduced weight for USSOCOM.
“We are honored that the DOD and USSOCOM have selected ASU to deliver an innovative, lightweight night vision goggles to the hands of warfighters,” said ASU VP of Business Development and Marketing Chad St. Francis. “This Lightweight Wide Field of View Aviation Goggle, currently in development, will give our aviators a significant nighttime combat advantage to accomplish their missions and return home safely.”
The purpose of the APFIT pilot program is to expeditiously transition technologies – with priority given to those developed by small businesses and/or nontraditional defense contractors – from pilot programs, prototype projects, and research projects into production. The benefits of this pilot will be to deliver war-winning capability earlier than scheduled while contributing to the viability of small business and nontraditional defense contractor vendors. APFIT is an additional tool the DoD can use to propel innovative capabilities across the “Valley of Death” and into the hands of the warfighter.
“APFIT holds great promise to transform the way the Department procures next generations solutions. This pilot program is well positioned to be a key asset as we continue to work to bridge the valley of death,” stated Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “The ten companies being funded will fill critical capability gaps. Without APFIT, their innovative technologies could take much longer to reach the hands of our warfighters.”
Read the full DoD release
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.
About Aviation Specialties Unlimited:
For more than 25 years, Aviation Specialties Unlimited Inc. (ASU) has proudly served those who protect and defend worldwide with Night Vision Solutions that Save Lives! Their experienced team supports safe and sustainable night vision programs with military-grade NVGs, flexible training, and custom aircraft lighting modifications to fit your needs. For more information, call +1 208-426-8117 or visit asu-nvg.com.
BOISE, Idaho, July 13, 2022—Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) announced that ASU veteran Tony Tsantles was promoted to FAA Part 135 Director of Operations.
“Tony has led the ASU training team through many successes worldwide. They have included the award and performance of multiple FAA training contracts, ongoing training with the Irish Air Corps, and unmatched custom training for air medical, law enforcement, and firefighting aircrews in the Treasure Valley’s diverse terrain,” said ASU Vice President of Aviation Operations Kip McDermott. “With more than 20 years of experience operating with night vision goggles, as both a crewmember and pilot, Tony has brought professionalism and expertise to our team and our customers, ensuring the safe and effective use of NVGs.”
The FAA mandated and approved position is critical in overseeing part 135 operations, including night vision training and aircraft maintenance. In his new role, Tsantles will bring valued know-how to the leadership team and lead new aviation initiatives as ASU continues to evolve.
Before joining the ASU here in Boise, Tsantles spent over twenty years developing his credentials in the U.S. Army. He spent nearly half of that time as an instructor, both as a crewmember and pilot. This unique background of functioning in both instructor roles has given him the ability to adapt quickly in civil instruction, particularly where he’s training pilots and crewmembers collectively, including EMS, law enforcement, and select groups. His Army career, spanning two decades, allowed the capability to work with two Army workhorse aircraft, the UH-1H “Huey” and UH-60A/L/M “Blackhawk,” both of which employ rather complex systems that prepared him well for the dynamic civil industry he now manages. Having spent much of his time in the military—11 years—in EMS, he is quite familiar with the challenges that can affect our civil EMS pilots and crews. Although he’s no longer being asked to fly in combat, with two trips overseas as a MEDEVAC pilot, he’s certainly ready for the new challenges ahead.
“I guess it’s rare to catch me speechless, but I may be just that. I love this organization and what we stand for; the core of what we believe is genuinely centered around the safety of aviators and crews,” said Tsantles. “I want to acknowledge our history with reverence and continue to focus on the future with partnerships in training, education, and culture.”
In recent months, Tsantles has spearheaded several educational engagement initiatives, including two such events, the Air Medical Transportation Conference and Heli-Expo trade shows.
Later this month, Tsantles will be instructing several courses at the Airborne Public Safety Convention in Reno, Nevada, from July 27 to 29. The sessions include a technical presentation on Spatial disorientation and NVGs with co-presenter Tyson Phillips of AT Systems Friday, July 29 at 11 a.m. and an education session at 3:30 p.m. on NVGs—Keeping it Cloud Free. ASU will also host a happy hour at ASU booth 322 on Thursday, July 28 noon to 4 p.m. See more APSCON details here.
Training pilots in flight with a visor-based training device to overcome confusion from the visual and vestibular systems in degraded visual environments (DVE).
Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) announced today that ASU Director of Business Development and Military Programs Chad St. Francis is being promoted to Vice President of Business Development and Marketing. The company also announced the addition of Dan Meyer as the company’s new senior director of sales and customer service.
The Talon Helicopters AS365 Dauphin equipped with Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. night vision lighting is ready to battle fires at all hours—the first of its kind approved in Canada.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) announced today that Joe Estrera, PhD., will be the new president of ASU and Hannah Gordon will be promoted as the new chief operating officer upon the retirement of ASU President Jim Winkle at the end of the year. Estrera previously served as the vice president and chief technology officer. Gordon previously served as vice president of administration and sales. In partnership, Estrera will lead strategy and outward operations while Gordon will direct internal operations.
To serve the training needs of first responders and essential staff flying at night using NVGs, Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU), announced today that they have developed a new instructor led web-based offering for required recurrent ground training.
During the unprecedented events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has maintained its unwavering commitment to customers while making significant strides to protect their employees and all those with whom they interact.
“While remaining vigilant, our customer commitment has not changed. To maintain business continuity, we have taken steps to protect our staff by allowing many to telework and staggering shifts for others,” said Vice President of Administration Hannah Gordon.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) announced today from HELI EXPO as part of their year-long 25th Anniversary Celebration the signing of an official agreement with French-based Secours Aérien Français (SAF- French Air Rescue)
Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) announced today the official Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) technical standard order (TSO) approval for the AERONOX NVG mount and battery pack.
ASU’s AERONOX is a NVG helmet mount that was first introduced at HELI EXPO in 2016. The lightweight, AERONOX features a retractable lanyard with a breakaway feature to prevent the loss of NVGs. The low profile LEMO connector accepts AERONOX and legacy power supplies. It has an increased vertical adjustment, low battery indicator, and an optional interface accessory for use with ground helmets when mounting AN/AVS-9 to tactical ground helmet.
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