WL Gore & Assoc

Archive for June, 2010

Army Camo Phase IV

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

And so it begins…well actually it began awhile ago but Phase IV of the Army’s camo program is gaining steam and Natick in conjunction with PEO-Soldier released a Sources Sought Notice yesterday for camouflage patterns. SSD was also able to speak with PEO Soldier’s COL William Cole and LTC Mike Sloane about the situation.

The Army is seeking a family of three different camo patterns including woodland, desert and, transitional (sometime called universal), and one pattern for personal equipment (such as body armor, ammo pouches and rucksacks) which works with all three (3) uniform camouflage patterns. The idea behind the family of patterns is to give Army leaders and Combatant Commanders options. The document goes on to describe a family of patterns as “A family is considered to be of the same or similar geometry with coordinating color palettes to cross the global operating environments. Global operating environments are defined by a geographic classification system that subdivides the global landmasses into areas with similar environmental characteristics.” So ultimately, they are seeking three and possibly four patterns that share basic composition. Sharing basic geometries can be used for identification purposes as well to streamline with supply chain with common printing screens. One option for the family of patterns is that the transitional or universal pattern will be issued in the clothing bag to all Soldiers and the woodland desert patterns would be special issue to those operating in those environments.

The Sources Sought Notice goes on to describe how the patterns will be evaluated. This methodology can be used in both a photosimulation study as well live field tests.

“The woodland pattern may be evaluated in forest, full ground cover, cropland and jungle terrain at distances between 35 and 400 meters.

The desert pattern may be evaluated in low sandy desert and high rocky desert terrain at distances between 35 and 500 meters.

The transitional pattern may be evaluated in both woodland and desert terrain types at the distances cited above.

All evaluations will be made with a subject mannequin and/or human wearing a uniform in the evaluated pattern and a body armor vest with ammo pouches in the family personal equipment pattern.

The primary method for evaluating uniform and personal equipment pattern effectiveness will be determining the distance at which observers have a 50% probability of detecting the camouflaged test subject; the shorter the distance the more effective the camouflage.

The secondary method for evaluating pattern effectiveness, to be used in instances where all patterns are detected at the same range, will be the relative time to detection; the longer the time to detection the more effective the camouflage.

Near IR performance will also be evaluated at distances from 35 and 200 meters. The patterns will be evaluated for Near IR performance in the same terrain types as for daylight performance.”

The big issue here is options. The camouflage team which is comprised not only of PEO-Soldier and Natick but also such stake holders as the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Naval Research Labs, USASOC, and the AWG has to brief the Army leadership on their plan of action in July. This plan not only offers choices but also economizes them through a common pattern geometry for uniforms as well as a common OCIE pattern.

COL Cole said that he expected to see a new family of patterns enter service within two years saying “We want to conduct rigorous testing. This is not a fashion contest.” What is clear is that no one wants to rush into a solution but rather, the Army would like to conduct full testing in all terrain environments and all seasons. Additionally, LTC Sloane added, the Army wants to ensure that they conduct a thorough threat analysis placing the correct emphasis on probable areas of operation.

At this point, the Army is trying to ascertain the state of industry to support this requirement and to give everyone a heads up. Offerors have one month to respond and we are looking forward to seeing what industry comes up with once a full blown solicitation is released.

Kifaru Modular Handwarmer Pouch

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Cool temps are just around the corner and it is time to start planning for Fall. Kifaru has had a handwarmer pouch on the hunting side for 12 years and has now released a tactical version. Although designed to pair with the Koala, it will also attach to anything with a PALS grid such as a plate or armor carrier via Kifaru’s Lock ‘n Load mounts. Built with a pack cloth shell, Rhinoskin lining and 6 oz. Combat Climashield insulation it will keep your digits warm to conduct intricate tasks. Whether you purchase one in Coyote, OD, Black, Foliage, UCP, or Multicam, the price is a steal.

www.kifaru.net

Kitanica XI.A

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

When you look at Kitanica clothing it is a little out of the mainstream but that is their strength. Kitanica’s new XI.A shorts have a wide variety of features not found in other shorts. The chart below gives you an excellent idea of what we are talking about.

www.kitanica.net

A Little Foreshadowing Please

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Tomorrow we are going to have a great article about blending in. In the meantime, we thought you’d enjoy these stills from the Warner brothers classic cartoon “Unnatural History”. Our friend Cal the Chameleon can blend into virtually any environment, except plaid.

DET One: The Story

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

DET One: U.S. Marine Corps U.S. Special Operations Command Detachment, 2003-2006 is a hardcover history of DET One produced by the Marine Corps and written by John P. Piedmont with a foreword by Charles P. Neimeyer. What makes this book so special is that rarely do we get a glimpse into special operations units, especially so soon after they are formed. While DET One is an extraordinary case as it was a limited experiment, it did lead to the formation of Marine Special Operations Command, a component of USSOCOM.

At SSD, we are lucky to be able to tell our readers about a little bit of the story that isn’t fully explained in the book. Starting on page 36, the book discusses CQB training conducted by a former Army SOF operator but what the book doesn’t say is who is it was. We can tell you that it was Larry Vickers MSG, USA (Ret) and that his initial training for the DET led to further contact with the Force Recon community that DET One recruited from, and ultimately completely revamped their CQB tactics and marksmanship training. Larry forged quite a few friendships during his time working with the DET, many of which continue to this day.

It’s really too bad the book doesn’t include anything about the DET One “Gunner”. That is always worth a couple of laughs.

The book is currently back ordered on Amazon but can be ordered from the Government Printing Office.

Don’t Forget to Register to Win a Triton Softshell

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Yes, we know it’s only June, but supply chains and manufacturing schedules mean you need to start preparing for winter now. UK-based Unleashed Tactical Equipment is offering a free Triton Softshell (hooded or mandarin) to a lucky Soldier Systems Daily reader. We covered the Triton earlier this year. It is available in a variety of tactical colors in two variants; a hooded version as well as a mandarin collar version.

Applicants need to submit their name and email address through UTE’s eStore and a winner would be drawn using random.org at the end of the month. The contest closes at Midnight GMT on 1 July, 2010.

We Think This Speaks for Itself

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Thanks to the AAC Blog.

Higher Ground Raising Funds to Purchase Treatment Facility

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Higher Ground (a program of Sun Valley Adaptive Sports), officially announced it is attempting a purchase a 29-room, 5-star luxury hotel in Sun Valley, Idaho. The hotel would be transformed into the nation’s largest rehabilitation/retreat facility for wounded veterans with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD (outside a medical setting).

The catch: Higher Ground has 90 days to raise $10 million by September 1 to buy the hotel. Higher Ground programming is already the nation’s gold standard for its innovative and multidisciplinary approach to the long-term healing, restoration, and rehabilitation of the wounded veterans with TBI/PTSD.

www.svasp.org