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Combat Flipflops – 2015 Labor Day Promotion

September 4th, 2015

CFF Labor Day

Combat Flipflops is having a Labor Day promotion. Starting tomorrow, September 4th, and running through Tuesday, September 8th, customers will receive a free CFF shemagh with every order of $70+. Customers who spend $100+ qualify for free shipping in addition to the CFF shemagh.

www.combatflipflops.com

Guerrilla Approach – Gunfighter Training Courses Trailer

September 3rd, 2015

Guerrilla Approach has produced a trailer for their new Gunfighter Training Series.

Tired of the same training? Sign up for a real challenge. guerrillaapproach.com.

Magpul – Now Shipping PMAG 20 And PMAG 10 LR/SR GEN M3 In Sand

September 3rd, 2015

Magpul is now shipping the PMAG 20 and PMAG 10 LR/SR GEN M3 magazines in Sand. As a reminder, the new M3 magazines incorporate a new material technology and manufacturing process which improves the strength, durability, and reliability of the magazines. Additionally, these new mags are more receptive to water-based dye processes, so they more easily be altered to any number of colors.

MAG290 PMAG10 LR-SR GEN M3 Rifle Side SND

www.magpul.com/products/pmag-10-lrsr-gen-m3

MAG291 PMAG 20 LR-SR GEN M3 Side SND

www.magpul.com/products/pmag-20-lrsr-gen-m3

Sand MOE

Additionally, here’s a quick preview of the upcoming MOE SL furniture in Sand, which includes the MOE SL Stock, Grip, and Hand Guard.

www.magpul.com

Pro Tip – Outprocessing CIF

September 3rd, 2015

Ever been told by CIF that you’re missing an item with a nomenclature that has you scratching your head? I mean, the Line Item Numbers and nomenclatures can be pretty confusing.  Take for instance “Trousers, Combat.”  There can be several different items on your records with name but each with a different LIN.  The folks at Torii Station on Okinawa created this handy web-based guide to help you out, which the NC National Guard is hosting on their site.

  
Simply visit www.nc.ngb.army.mil. Type ‘CTRL+F’ which opens a find window and then type in the LIN in question.  It will take you to a photo of the item in question.

Thanks BS!

Adams Industries – Sentinel Color Night Vision Goggles Available

September 3rd, 2015

  

It’s EOY money time and Adams Industries just released the Color Night Vision version of their Sentinel Goggle. This multi-spectral goggle is also available for commercial sale to non-DoD customers.

  

The SENTINEL-CNV is an image intensifier (I2) vision goggle designed originally for US SOF. The goggle’s I2 tubes utilize proprietary modifications to deliver meaningful and repeatable color contrast at low light levels associated with nighttime operations. The goggles are optimized to present more lifelike color under moderate illumination conditions, and better contrast under all conditions. The SENTINEL-CNV has independent variable gain for each channel and can be used on an ANVIS or Dovetail compatible helmet mount.

www.adamsindustries.com/Night-Vision-Goggles/AI-SENTINEL-COLOR-NIGHT-VISION-GOGGLE

Predator Warpaint

September 3rd, 2015

Founder Nick Norris is a Veteran himself and was unsatisfied with issue facepaint which rubs off easily so he created Predator Warpaint. Envisioned as facepaint for both hunter and service member, it not only provides visual camouflage but also incorporates SPF 50 protection.

 

Offering a Woodland color palette, its non-migrating formula won’t sting your eyes and colors don’t run when wet, remaining on the skin for more than four hours.

  

predatorwarpaint.com

London Bridge Trading – 2015 Labor Day Sale

September 3rd, 2015

LD2015

lbtinc.com/lday15

My Thoughts On The XM17 Modular Handgun System RFP

September 3rd, 2015

Before I even dive into this I’ve got to say that I’d really like to see the US military adopt a new pistol. However, having watched the process to replace the M9 stutter step for almost a decade, I’m a bit skeptical. First it was USSOCOM, then the Air Force took a shot at the issue, and now the Army is trying to find a new sidearm. I’ve read through the Request For Proposals but I’m not going to pick it apart. There are quite a few great concepts in there and I love the fact that they are doing full size as well as compact models out of the gate in addition to suppressors. There’s even consideration for UTM rounds and some creative thinking regarding the use of ‘Special Purpose’ aka hollow point ammunition. All awesome. But for me, the most troubling issue is this open caliber business. In my mind, it calls the entire enterprise into question.

The Army is so thorough in describing the attributes for this new pistol that this open caliber provision makes me wonder if they really want a new pistol at all. Lately, we’ve seen some solicitations, such as Individual Carbine, that have resulted in a big expenditure in dollars by industry with no adoption of new capability by the military. Interestingly, in the case of IC, the Army also included a provision for industry to introduce new ammunition (caliber as well as load) into the mix, and we know how that ended up.

Ammunition Placeholders
At the heart of issue are the XM1152 and XM1153 cartridges discussed in the RFP. They are placeholders for industry to propose ammunition. No matter that the industrial base that produces our military’s ammo is set up for 9mm Ball ammo or that we belong to a club called NATO that considers 9mm Ball its standard sidearm round.

The current 9mm Ammunition stockpile will most assuredly be an issue as the bean counters consider the transition to a new round. Take for example the USMC’s Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon II program. Since they already had so many rounds of ammunition on hand, they were unable to consider a new weapon such as the M84 Carl Gustav, in use with the US Army and USSOCOM. Ironically, the SMAW II is incapable of firing from an enclosure so the Marines are at work to develop a such a round. To add insult to injury, the ‘Goose” has ammunition that can be fired from inside a building but they couldn’t consider it because they had too many SMAW rounds.

Do They Even Know What They Want?
We can’t even have a discussion about the technical merits of the Army’s decision for a new caliber, because they haven’t made one. Instead, they’ve made it a variable in the search for a new handgun. When the Army changed to the M855A1 round for the M16, it cost around $100 Million to retool the ammo plant and they weren’t changing calibers, so even a swap to a new 9mm round is cost prohibitive. Plus, I doubt we’ll get NATO on board with a switch to a new handgun caliber.

I can’t even imagine what’s going through industry’s minds. It’s a bit of a mystery what the Army actually wants considering the mixed messages they are sending. Publicly, there’s been this running theme that 9mm isn’t powerful enough, in spite of the FBI’s move back to the caliber after several years with .40. And then there’s this requirement in the RFP specifying a barrel for the M1041 9mm UTM round, but they never reference caliber for the Ball and Special Purpose ammo in the requirement. Are they telling industry to stick with 9mm? Or do they want something new, but the pistol to be agile enough to accept a special barrel and magazine (not in the solicitation) only for the marker rounds?

Big Guns Need Big Hands
There’s an ergonomics question as well. The associated real estate needed for double stack pistols in larger caliber pistols is also an issue as the military opens combat jobs to women, who tend to have smaller hands.

2-Mark-23-w-suppressor-and-LAM-AUG-19-2014

Let’s not forget how USSOCOM’s Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) turned out. The .45 H&K MK 23 ended up being a great gun, but one that nobody wanted to carry.

First The Caliber, Then The Gun
This should have been a two step process. What should have happened is that DoD should have asked industry to determine the best ammunition based on its requirements and then asked industry to develop handguns optimized for that round(s). Now, the Army will have to figure out whether the handgun is what is great about a proposal, or the ammunition. These variables make the task of choosing a pistol infinitely more difficult. NATO standardization and current military ammunition industrial base aside, what if the Army selects a handgun/ammo combination that is just dynamite but then realizes it cannot afford to actually manufacture the ammo? Don’t think that could happen? Let me tell you a little story.

Those Who Fail To Learn From History…
After playing around with it for a few years, the US Army adopted the M16 in 1965. In doing so, they made a few upgrades to the rifle but they also, as a cost saving measure, decided to unilaterally change the powder used in the M16 from the original IMR 4475 powder, to the less difficult to produce Olin powder. While cheaper for the tax payer, this option ignited poorly, leaving the weapon dirty and requiring additional field maintenance. Combine this issue with weapons arriving in Viet Nam’s tropical environment with insufficient cleaning equipment and Soldiers found themselves with jammed weapons in the middle of firefights. This frightful situation resulted in dead American service members and a general sense among Soldiers that the M16 was unreliable.

In Summary
I believe that, based on this insistence on open caliber selection, the Army will be unable to adequately determine which, if any, of the candidate handguns best fit their requirements. Or, they will choose a solution and then fix it until it breaks, as in the case of the original M16. In either event, how unfortunate for the American service member.

Green Beret Adventure Team And Task Force Dagger Foundation Have Partnered To Raise Funds For Treating TBIs And PTSD

September 3rd, 2015

Two Special Forces soldiers will visit Fort Bragg in October as part of their cross-country trip to raise awareness for traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. The Green Beret Adventure Team, founded by Zach Garner and Adam Smith, is visiting every Special Forces group in the U.S. as part of its 4 month long bicycle trek across the country. Fort Bragg is home to the 3rd Special Forces Group and at one time 7th Special Forces Group.

The team is scheduled to get into Fort Bragg on Oct 14, where a fundraiser will be held at Carolina Ale House to welcome the two. Garner, a former member of 7th Special Forces Group, and Smith, formerly of the 19th/20th Special Forces groups, are now veterans, but their transition to civilian life was difficult. Garner suffered from seizures after being exposed to combat operations and was soon medically discharge from the Army due to a traumatic brain injury. Smith, had problems with the transition to civilian life and at times felt he was losing control.

Garner and Smith have partnered with the non-profit Task Force Dagger Foundation to raise funds that will go toward a holistic approach to healing TBIs and PTSD. The SOF Health Initiatives Program is a Mind, Body, Spirit and Purpose driven program focused on finding the root causes of illness and treating them with Functional Medicine. The SOF Health Initiatives Program offers a full systems, patient-centric approach to medicine and creates an environment conducive to healing and recovery. The SOF Health Initiatives Program also offers a platform to educate and empower health care providers, service members and their families how to repair and maintain themselves

Garner and Smith are currently in Colorado for their event in Colorado Springs. They will be headed to Dallas next, to follow Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, and then make their final stop at Eglin AFB home of 7th Special Forces Group.

Amy Quinn, is the community outreach for Task Force Dagger and is coordinating the event here at Fort Bragg. If you have any questions please reach out to her amy.quinn@taskforcedagger.org.

XM17 Modular Handgun System RFP Released

September 3rd, 2015

This is PEO Soldier’s announcement regarding the release of the XM17 Modular Handgun System solicitation last Friday. I’d like you to peruse the actual RFP here.

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 2, 2015) – The U.S. Army announced Aug. 28 that it is seeking bids for its new modular handgun system, the XM17, to replace its current sidearm, the M9 pistol.

The announcement accompanied the release of the request for proposal (RFP), which is the official solicitation that specifies the new weapon system’s contractual requirements. It also details the procedures and schedule vendors must follow to compete for the contract.

The RFP was published on the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website. Interested vendors will have 150 days to respond to the RFP. This extra time allows the vendor to submit their proposals as well as sample “systems” that have integrated the handguns, ammunition and magazine prior to testing. Its release marks the official start of the “full and open” competition that will lead to selection of the new modular handgun system.

The selection process involves a two-phased competition. The first phase will evaluate all submissions received and will complete with a down-selection to up to three vendors who will participate in the second phase, the culmination of which will be a single production contract at the end of the competition.

The Army wants a new handgun system that outperforms its current sidearm. The weapon must be modular so it can be adjusted to fit all hand sizes and configured to meet mission needs through the use of rails and enablers. In addition, it must surpass the M9’s accuracy, ergonomics, reliability, durability and maintainability. The RFP calls for vendors to submit a weapon that meets the unique needs of the military services. It does not specify any particular caliber. The RFP encourages industry to optimize the weapon, ammunition and magazine for maximum performance.

Current plans call for the Army to purchase more than 280,000 full-size handguns from a single vendor, and approximately 7,000 compact versions of the handgun. The other military services participating in the XM17 program may order an additional 212,000 systems above the Army quantity.

The Army held four industry days and issued a draft RFP prior to the announcement. These forums encouraged vendor-government communications, involved would-be competitors in the planning process and provided the Army with feedback on the proposed handgun system and strategy. Throughout the process, industry was encouraged to suggest ways in which the Army could improve the plan and process, a number of which have been considered and implemented.

The competition will result in selecting a handgun that performs best in the hands of Warfighters. More than 600 military personnel from all of the Services will play a critical part in the evaluation and provide feedback on the performance of the candidate systems after firing them in simulated combat scenarios. This assessment is an important part of the evaluation process.