Quantico Tactical

Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection – Another System Built By The Lowest Bidder

When the Army initially launched the Soldier Protection System program in 2013, contracts for soldier systems items were falling off drastically and companies were more than happy to participate with the promise of developing a new, leap ahead system consisting of multiple components. It was exciting. SPS was touted as the future and industry wanted to be a part of it.

To give readers a frame of reference, here is a basic description of Soldier Protection System – Torso and Extremity Protection:

SPS-TEP is a PEO Soldier sponsored development program managed by LTC Kathy M. Brown, PM Soldier Protective Equipment. While it includes armored combat clothing (BCS), Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP), and new Load Distribution System (LDS), the heart of SPS TEP is the Modular Scalable Vest, one of four systems which integrates into the SPS TEP and consists of a low profile vest with four soft armor panels (one front, one back, and two side cummerbunds) covered in a camouflage cloth and hook and loop. Like current systems, soft armor panels are inserted into a tactical outer carrier that also accommodates hard armor protective inserts. The tactical outer carrier also contains two side plate pocket that will accommodate soft armor inserts. The outer carrier is made of a flame resistant outer cloth, webbings, hook/loop, polyethylene stiffener, a quad-release system, and several other non-ballistic materials.

There is also a Load Distribution System designed to offer the capability to redistribute the weight burden on the torso vest and load bearing while being carried horizontally, close to the body’s center of mass. The LDS is an integral part of the SPS TEP design with the LDS belt containing soft armor that provides fragmentation and handgun protection to the lower back and abdomen region. The LDS will provide Warfighters with the ability to mount additional equipment directly to the belt using the MOLLE retention system. The ruck integration component includes: a frame adapter, torso vest compatible shoulder straps, and an LDS belt adapter.

Unfortunately, the program faced an early misstep when the original solicitation was released, canceled and then a revised version reissued not long after. Industry trust was shook when elements of industry bids were integrated into this new requirement for all to see. What companies considered advantages over others in the process were now there for all to integrate into their proposals. Interegtating good ideas is something that should have happened earlier in the requirement process, during the Sources Sought phase, when industry is expected to help government refine their requirement by serving as a barometer and forming a vision of the state of the art. It’s not fair to write a requirement, open a solicitation and then close it, rewrite the requirement with elements of proposals and then resissue it with those new elements. But, this isn’t the first point of contention in the SPS TEP program. It’s an issue that has been constant throughout all components of the overarching program strategy. The big issue is that they were trying to save a buck on Personal Protective Equipment.

Across the board, within all SPS components and in spite of language in the 2014 and 2015 National Defense Authorizations Acts calling for the use of “Best Value” contracting, the solicitations have been issued under “Lowest Price, Techically Acceptable” criteria. This is an oversimplification, and I’m sure a contracting officer will comment, trying to justify the Army’s defiance of the Congressional language, but LPTA means that your body armor is assured to be made by the lowest bidder.

 
(Former PM SPIE COL Robert Mortlock (right) and current PM SPE LTC Kathy M. Brown (center) explains SPS-TEP to Vice Chief of Staff GEN Daniel B. Allyn (left) during a June 2015 visit to PEO Soldier.)

With SPS-TEP, the Army has taken LPTA to a new level. Despite having three vendor teams (Hawk, Point Blank and Safariland) with competitive systems that met all of the solictation’s requirements, PEO Soldier decided to enter a fourth, government owned solution cobbled together from different components. Naturally, that is what they selected. Of course, industry was disappointed. Why wouldn’t they be? They had spent millions of dollars to prepare their submissions. The heart of this winning government solution is a developmental USMC modular scalable vest that the Marines do not plan to field. After testing the vest, the Marines chose rather to purchase additional Plate Carriers.

  

These photos show Maj James Pelland, former team lead for Marine Corps Systems Command’s Individual Armor Team demonstrating the Modular Scalable Vest. Below, you can see him negotiating an obstacle course wearing the MSV. The bottom portion of the Load Distribution System is also visible in the photo, which allegedly still has some issues. Additionally, Maj Pelland doesn’t appear to be wearing any plates in the MSV.

 

On 21 July, 2015, Bethel Industries, Jersey City, New Jersey, (W91CRB-15-D-0019); Hawk Protection Inc., Pembroke Pines, Florida, (W91CRB-15-D-0020); and KDH Defense Systems Inc., Eden, North Carolina, (W91CRB-15-D-0021), were awarded a $49,000,000 shared firm-fixed-price contract for the Soldier Protection System modular vest by the US Army. These lowest bidders are manufacturing the Army’s design. It all sounds great for the bean counters. In fact, everyone would be impressed if what they were buying was what the Army said it actually needed at the outset of the program. Unfortunately, it would take a requirement change to do that, and that’s just what they did.

In spite of all of the other issues, this next bit is probably the most disheartening part of the entire affair. The “Army” system didn’t meet all of the requirements of the solicitation, so they changed them mid-program. There are several minor conundrums such as the Load Carrying Equipment not quite working in concert with the Marine Corps body armor vest, and an immature Load Distribution System, but the most dramatic of these changes is the decision to drop the requirement for female fit body armor. The MSV option the Army has selected, doesn’t feature a female fit at all.

 
(PFC Cheryl Rogers grins as 2LT Chelsea Adams helps her into the new Generation III Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest, Nov 28, 2013. The Soldiers, who are part of the 1st ABCT Female Engagement Team, Third Infantry Division, were preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.)

The Army, who not long ago drew praise from Congress for their multi-year effort to develop a female version of the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), decided to leave female Soldiers high and dry in the future by simply eliminating the requirement. They’ve put years into developing female body armor and now, they just toss it aside. To make matters worse, they are still under contract to work on improving female body armor fit with the firm, Body Lab.

Consider this; as of fiscal year 2014, women represent about 14 percent of the active Army, 23 percent of the Army Reserve and 16 percent of the Army National Guard as of fiscal year 2014. With the Army working to open additional positions in combat formations to women, this move can only be seen as a step backward.

Ultimately, SPS remains a developmental ‘science project’ with limited buys and actual system testing to commence after the new year. There is no promise of full type classification and issue across the force. However, while the Army was sure to have learned much from the program, and in particular from the commercial designs it evaluated, millions of dollars and countless hours were expended by both industry and government in pursuit of this requirement. It would be a pity if it turns out in further testing that the Army backed the wrong horse while trying to save a couple of bucks. Their actions regarding PPE contracts have certainly garnered the attention of those on the Hill who hold their purse strings. To make matters worse, they’ll probably have to explain why they failed to capitalize on their work to offer PPE for females and end up spending even more taxpayer money when several viable options were at their fingertips throughout the down select portion of this program. Conducting program after program where there is no return on investment for industry is starting to wear thin.

111 Responses to “Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection – Another System Built By The Lowest Bidder”

  1. Terry B. says:

    SSD,

    There was a time when the Army could and did routinely (and with little drama) develop some pretty good kit “in house”.

    I don’t know what changed (probably a number of things) but in the last few years they seem to swing and miss a lot more often than get a hit.

    And soldiers and taxpayers suffer when they don’t get it right.

    TLB

    • SSD says:

      They’ve had some hits but lately it’s more a track record of doing ‘ok’. Let’s face it. They’ve only really had any competition for the past 20 years or so. You always look pretty good until there’s something else out there.

      They keep running these programs where they get industry to spend serious money preparing a bid and then they either don’t buy anything at all or try to field some home brew instead. Now, they’ve altered a requirement, after vendors built their systems to a more stringent requirement, in order to keep the government system in the running.

      • james says:

        I believe their intention was to keep the requirements les restrictive to allow for the introduction of ‘innovative’ concepts to be brought to the table… I have been at more than one of these where the restrictive requirements choked to possibility for a creative solution… I am not certain that the restriction or new definition was introduced to keep the government solutions in the game… it looked more like the legal department got involved over the IP… again IMO

  2. james says:

    Wow, while the program like many had its bumps in the road the final solution is pretty solid and by far a vast improvement from the original IOTV. Gen III was a huge step in the right direction with the new release system (which was also incorporated into the FIOTV and the SPCS) The new design was in fact a combination of two government efforts. As for the quality of the design, it incorporates some new materials and feature that were part of the latest carrier concept by the Marines but it went much further than that concept carrier. As for the LDS and the ‘spine’ yes it was also looked at by the Marines but the design is still a work in progress and continues to be refined and further developed. All in the industry brought some good concepts to the party but the government design had by far the fewest compromises… IMO

    • I love lamp says:

      I love the consistent turd polishing by the government guys. “This new POS is so much better than the the last POS we fielded.” Never mind that’s it’s not as good as what they could have adopted if they were willing to actually pay for it.

      So tell us SSD, what did the Army steal from industry on this one? There’s got to be something.

    • CAVstrong says:

      It’s crap just give me a SPCS.

      • Sgt A says:

        Considering how cheap, low risk, and fast to implement that solution is, it’s a bit of a travesty.

      • james says:

        SPCS were built at two cut and sew shops that also made the Gen IIIs and they use the identical hardware… basically an IOTV PC

  3. NORBIS says:

    aaannnnndddd this is why we can’t have nice things.

  4. bluenoser says:

    It’s a real shame on the about face on FIOTV. From lead to languish.

    http://www.army.mil/article/87464

    Thanks for the coverage.

    • james says:

      The female armor uses the same plate so I do not see the ‘big’ difference… they have adjusted the sizing to fit females and no one said that the FIOTV is dead…

      • SSD says:

        If this is the future and there’s no female version, then, well, there’s no female version.

        But all-in-all, I guess you’re right. The Army wasted all of that money, and continues to do so, since there’s really no difference between male and female shapes or their armor sizing requirements.

        • james says:

          perhaps I should have clarified… I was referring to the SAPI plates… The curvature is the same so the cut of the soft armor as long as the overall sizing is proper than it should work… this is not runway fashion it is functional lifesaving kit. Always value your opinion and have been a long follower and supporter of your efforts. Thanks for what you do for the industry

          • SSD says:

            Females with curves will disagree with your assessment. I’m a fan of yours as well.

  5. Darkhorse says:

    Why not leverage items long ago fielded by SOF? I can understand requirements being different from infantry to armor to field artillery etc. but I really don’t understand why the Army insists on re-inventing the wheel. I feel sorry for anyone that’s had to wear the IOTV. It’s absolute garbage as compared to items that SOF has been using since 2001 and before.

    RBA was around in 1993. Was it perfect? No, but it would have been a great starting point for big Army since it was worn by an infantry unit. This new armor reminds of RBA. It only took the Army 22 years to catch up. Great accomplishment everyone. Awards all around!

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      To answer your question:

      “the highest rated was the Eagle MBAV — 92 percent of the guys said they would be willing to wear it on a dismounted mission in Afghanistan,” Col. Bill Cole, project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, told Army Times Dec. 16.

      annnnd

      Fred Coppola, deputy project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, said he is confident that the Army selected the right plate carrier.

      “We can’t just go with MBAV because it’s out there and battle-proven,” he said.

      Link: http://archive.armytimes.com/article/20091221/NEWS/912210325/

      Army-defends-choice-unproven-plate-carrier

  6. Eric B says:

    A question about KDH. They are the lowest bidder, but is their quality acceptable or sub par (in the end user opinion)? I only ask because my agency just contracted our new vests through KDH. No one around here has seen one yet, so I’m just wondering what we’re in for. Our last batch was from another low bidder and were complete shit.

  7. Guy says:

    And this is why I got out.

  8. Frtizthedog says:

    Someone is getting rich, again; and the soldiers get inadequate kit, again.
    Heads should roll….

  9. Anonymous 0321 says:

    In the Reconnaissance community we no longer use, or in many cases even sign for, the USMC-issued plate carrier. First, they started giving out the behemoth MTV abortion, and had to hit the panic button and buy the Eagle Scalable when the MTV directly hindered and crushed mission success in the Afghan heat. During this embarrassing phase the Recon guys stuck to the FSBE CIRAS. Then around 2011 they switched from the Eagle industries (name-brand AWESOME carrier) to this cheap garbage no-name E-MTV. We don’t go near this thing. It’s cheap and feels like they bought it on amazon from a vendor based in Hong Kong. It comes apart and,or bunches up around the back. God bless the Recon commanders who bought the BAE Eclipse for us. Very embarrassing. We can shoot down an ICBM with a laser but can’t figure out a vest.

    Mac(2005-2009 USMC 0317, 2009-present USMC 0321)

    • Anonymous 0321 says:

      Correction: THIS is the new issued vest they’re giving everybody. https://www.kdhdefensesystems.com/products/
      military/usmc-plate-carrier/ It’s pretty cheap but I guess it works for your average non-combat arms Marine.

      • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

        Anonymous 0321 (In reference to the current USMC Plate Carrier):
        ” It comes apart and,or bunches up around the back.”

        well, you must be having tons of issues with the RBAV because when it comes to the cummerbund interface with the carrier, they’re essentially identical and interchangable. Hmmm I wonder why that was done? Could it be that the RBAV wouldn’t support the Side ESAPI plates and Recon wasn’t authorized the MSAPs that did? Nah, no one would have that much foresight.

        Anonymous 0321 (In reference to the procurment of the RBAV as a CIRAS replacement): “God bless the Recon commanders who bought the BAE Eclipse for us”

        (Pats on head) keep telling yourself that.

        • Anonymous 0321 says:

          I don’t like the internet thread battles we see too much of these days, but still I have to say no, as a point of fact, I have NOT had any issues with the RBAV. If you’re comparing the new USMC Plate Carrier in any way to the Eclipse you obviously have not worn this equipment in combat. I’m not in on the whole testing and contracting process pertaining to this equipment. My experiences are solely operational.

          The cummerbunds are not identical, even if you could swap them out. The quality difference between the two doesn’t come close.

          The standard side ESAPIs do indeed fit, although it’s pretty obvious the compartment isn’t meant for our plates. Yes, you are correct we do not rate the other plates but we never asked for them anyway because the plates fit just fine.

          And yeah, I don’t have the names of the guys who got us this gear, but somebody in the USMC did. WHOEVER it was, they did us a favor. We got a last-minute issue of these things in 2010 before a deployment and they’ve kept them coming at Bn supply ever since and I’m grateful, because the MTV, IMTV, and new Plate Carrier is sh*t.

          Pat yourself on the head. Recon commanders are sublime.

          • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

            Due to your uninformed and myopic view hindering your ability to grasp or practice the concept of “it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than speak and remove all doubt” I will desist in respect of decorum. But rest assured scooter, your ignorance and tenacious intent to cling to it has provided several people with much entertainment. Congratulations on being “That Guy” today (golf clap)

            • Jack says:

              Condescend much? You must be awesome at parties and a superior combat leader. I bet your people love you.

          • SSD says:

            Dude, feel free to continue to comment.

            • Anonymous 0321 says:

              I’m not going to press this anymore because I take this website seriously and I believe safe solutions are posted here. Everybody seems to hate the the kind of thread this one ended up turning into so I think I’ll say my peace and post no more. I will give you big points for your vocabulary, though.

              But before I leave, permit me to ‘remove all doubt’ once more. I have a question for you. You believe my view is ‘uninformed and myopic’, but if the topic at hand is an armor carrier that I have in fact worn in combat, how is my view uninformed? I don’t have to run the O-course at Quantico to know about my kit, do I? That officer looks way better than I do so we should leave that the way it is.

              And yes, I am ‘That Guy.’ I’m the guy that has to insert, infil, conduct actions-on, exfil, and extract while wearing this shit, then get second-guessed and belittled on the internet. If we didn’t have such good NCOs and Officers in the Marine Corps I’d be dead 20 times by now.

              Your golf-clap is well-received. Feel free to piss all over me again, I won’t stop you.

              • SSD says:

                Dude, seriously. I appreciate your service.

              • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

                Takes deep breath, glares at SSD.

                First off Anonymous 0321, the party responsible was NOT the Recon leadership. Or more correctly it wasn’t their idea per se. It was however the idea of someone who wore it in combat and pushed to get it to the 0321/FSBE community.

                Second, (and maybe SSD can find this), there was a push by the aforementioned to upgrade all the armor carriers in FSBE and to bring the armor inline with SPEAR (i.e. “O&O” the SPEAR requirement). But that never happened because the leadership never got on board. So, Recon never got updated MBAVs or the full suite of SPEAR armor.

                So, if you flip over the USMC PC and open up the rear panel, you’ll see the there are three Dacron loops arraigned vertically, just like the RBAV. You’ll also see a support channel for the external and internal cummerbunds just like the RBAV.

                If you want to know why the rest of SOF is in Eagle and Crye while recon is being forced into service common, point the finger at your command who won’t push through the requirement to bring the Recon community inline with SPEAR.

                And that’s the rest of the story.

            • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

              I see what you’re doing SSD and I will resist…. Must resist… Ahhh eff it.

              Hey, Anonymous 0321 when was the last “ROAG” you attended and/or briefed at? Do you even know when the last one was? What was available by the door?

              I can sense you furiously Google’ing right now.

              Drops mic.

              • Anonymous 0321 says:

                Haha I don’t rate that! Besides, what’s the point of me coming up with my own fantasy ELOs and throwing more shit on the T&R manual at this point. You’ll be happy to know I’m out in a year. You win.
                Holy shit I hope I haven’t been having an internet battle with my SNCOIC. Let’s part ways… eff it, like you said.

                • majrod says:

                  FWIW, even with all the passion I found the exchange informative.

                  • elliot says:

                    That was one hell of an argument just over whether the SPC or IMTV-PC is better. Both myself and most of the guys I worked with preferred the old SPC, for what that’s worth.

  10. Erick says:

    Given how many times outcomes similar to this have happened, at what point will Industry respond by saying “we’re not wasting our money and time again”?

    • BAP45 says:

      Been wondering the same thing

    • PJ says:

      Not sure they ever will. For one a lot of the industry seems to legitimately be in it to provide quality equipment. If that’s your view then it’s hard not to try and hope the gov sees the light this time. Second, private purchases and commercial and LE sales can generally ensure that the R&D isn’t a total waste.
      The firearms industry should have quit falling for new rifle and handgun solicitations years ago but the combination of possibly winning and being selected and a ready market outside the possible contract still justifies an attempt.
      And the great thing about capitalism is there’s always someone else willing to give it a shot.

      Besides the real thing that’s gonna stop the industry isn’t “You won but we’re just gonna cheap out and not buy it,” it’s “You won, but we’re just gonna steal your design, use it, and not pay you.”

  11. justacivilian says:

    Would writing our Congressmen about this be worth it?

  12. Joshz says:

    Some days i worry the US military is losing its ability to function properly at nearly all levels. And one day its going to cost us all a great deal.

    • SGT Rock says:

      It has already cost us a great deal. Just look at the overall expenditure of the PASGT/IOTV/RBAV/MBAV programs combined over all of the years. This almost pairs up incredibly well with the cost of the Camouflage Improvement Program. This leaves one to wonder why exactly we’re facing sequestration.

  13. majrod says:

    If accurate (stealing ideas from manufacturers to rewrite a requirement including those new ideas), this is criminal. Very similar to the use of eminent domain to take one’s property to increase tax revenue.

    Sadly not much one can legally do. It’s happened to me. I stopped doing business with a certain Ranger BN until the chain of command left.

    Sadly about the only way I can think this can be combated is outing the names of the individuals doing it. Hopefully it will embarrass superiors or haunt them when they look for post service employment.

  14. NICE TRY says:

    I think you missed the mark on this one. Not only does this reflect poorly upon the credibility of your reporting, it also seems to be a huge misrepresentation of the capabilities of industry. The title of the article is even misleading. What is the intent here? The entire piece seems like an “insiders” account but what it turns out to be is an attempt to persuade us that you know that the MSV and/or the SPS TEP program was, is, or will be a failure. You of all people should know that there is a good deal of information in this article that is completely false (or I hope you do).

    The outcomes of the down-selects were based directly upon Soldier and Marine’s evaluation of ALL the designs and formats. If you are speaking directly to the requirement, then do so. If you are speaking directly to the fact that the logistical system uses a bidding “system”, then do so. There is no need to falsify information for the sake of drama.

    The men and women you have referenced in your article are the individuals who are directly advocating for the enhancement of individual equipment FOR those who have been issued shitty gear. They ARE the people who have been issued this stuff. Absolutely no one stole anything from Industry. As it stands, there was no access to industry designs during any part of these programs. I will say that industry DID have access to “other” designs in an attempt to help inform them of what these guys do and do not like about armor and equipment in general/currently.

    This is a reputable blog in my opinion. I have read it for years but again, the information contained in this article is false.

    • SSD says:

      I’m curious. Which part did I falsify? That the Army released an LPTA contract for PPE? Or maybe that they didn’t remove the female armor requirement? Both are true.

      You’ve made a lot of claims in your post. I hope for your sake that we don’t run across any evidence that might suggest some technology or concept might have found its way from an industry submission to the government solution.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      Yes, pray tell, what is false? Enlighten us, please? So, you’re saying that the system is so ready for prime time that the USMC did not go out and buy more Plate Carriers? If you speak from the pinnacle of programmatic authority, tell us, what Milestone is this program at? And by your own statement you are telling me that at no time were you allowed to attend a trade show, sit in on industry days or peruse the net to not see what industry had to offer? However, and by your admission, industry (“competitors”) had access to other designs. Did you own the IP or have a release for these designs?

      Now, before you comeback with some smarmy response, remember the NDA you signed. After all, you don’t want to accidentally disclose the name of your organization. This program appears to have enough problems without wrapping yourself up in them.

      • NICE TRY says:

        Both of those things could be true.

        Obviously this is an advertisement/endorsement issue.

        Yea, thats what I am saying and there is nothing to disclose. Figures some would think there is a smarmy response. Sure, the system is so ready for prime time. Thats what I was getting at. Also not really the point of the article. Or is it? That’s what I was getting at. The program, based on this article…..has enough issues. Write your congressman. Just for the record Tyr’s system is badass, and it is a viable and well thought out design.

        • SSD says:

          That’s all you guys can ever come up with. First you call me a liar and now I’m on the take. Every time, it’s a guy in the government’s pocket making these accusations who somehow profits from their actions. Well, I could be paid a billion dollars and it wouldn’t matter. The truth remains the truth.

          Maybe industry will start to ask some serious questions about how your company gets paid to develop systems without free and open competition. Now, that’s a story.

        • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

          Dude, you’ve been spending way too much time at Kannakare. I’d just let it go. This isn’t about advertising. The only one here who sounds like they have a dog in the fight is you. I think the real question is your motivation. Why don’t you take us through the whole down select process in regards to the design? How did you score the attributes of each system? What MOSs had input? Don’t hang it out part way.

  15. NICE TRY says:

    Many things in the article are not true. Thats it. All of the assumptions you have made in this piece leave me (personally) to assume there is some reason the reporting would be so far off base. Again, I read and appreciate the blog. We all know how the evaluations work. If not word for word, we get the idea. Those very points have been drilled at countless times- MOS, time in service, what systems worn while in what theater of operation, what mission.. There is nothing that you could say that isn’t within these people’s scope. I have a dog in the fight in that I have, like many of you been issued crap gear for years and want to see both the process and guy on the ground succeed. Not succeed on the basis of industry VS government, but in conjunction. This is not really about you. This is really about getting these guys the stuff they need to improve their efficacy. A system that works together and isn’t devoid of logic. Something that doesnt leave all the hassles of equipment to the individual. Adaptable to the mission in a way that is transparent to the user. Have any of you guys even seen or put on what we think we are talking about here? ha. Anyway.

    • SSD says:

      You’re calling me a liar so spell it out. Let everyone know what isn’t true. I’m open to it. But while you’re at it, go ahead and tell everyone where you work and what you do and your connection to the program and how you’ve profited from the government’s selection.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      NICE TRY,
      Let it go, let it goooooo…
      Why are you so adamant about this? You’ve already made your position clear. Why don’t you just sit back and see how it plays out. If it’s adopted as a replacement for IOTV and SPCS you can tell everyone “I told you so”. However, if it is just procured in proof of concept quantities you and your organization will just look like asses. Remember the Crye Gen I vest and Scorpion was procured YEARS ago and it too was going to be the “new hotness”. Conventional wise, only the camo pattern came into use. There are many facets you aren’t considering here that have a direct impact, such as comms, power, optics etc. the fact is that conventional forces are in a draw down. It is pointless to field a new armor system when the aforementioned have yet to have future requirements defined.

  16. I love lamp says:

    Ssd, who is this guy? You seem to know him? Why don’t you just tell everyone and out him?

    • SSD says:

      I don’t know him but I know where he works. Shining a spotlight on that place wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve seen.

  17. NICE TRY says:

    Wow. You have completely left the reservation.

    Ill give you one, and then sure ill let it go. You think its not persuasive to have 3 year old pictures of the wrong thing? You think its not persuasive to suggest there is “cheating” or however you phrase it, in these programs and that somehow you know more than they do? You don’t, your wrong, and there is no spotlight or profit. That in itself is laughable.

    Thanks for posturing and taking things out of context, you’ve really shown your colors on this one.

    • SSD says:

      I’ll give you one piece of advice young man. Never, ever, stick your neck, or your company’s neck out for a PM shop.

    • I love lamp says:

      At this point, we should all assume that you designed the Army vest? The one that we are told didn’t meet the Army’s requirement and was rejected by the Marines? Maybe you could share some photos of your armor system and clear the air for all of us about the female version you designed and how the Marines are really buying it.

    • Eric B says:

      And I’d like to thank SSD for a great and informative site. It can’t be easy to stay abreast of so much information, to post multiple articles daily…and then to be called a liar and a shill without supporting facts. Keep up the great work!

  18. NICE TRY says:

    For a Soldier, Marine, infantryman, or the truth. Right. Noted.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A female version has been developed and is being tested. Does anyone have any questions regarding the system? I can get hands on the equipment.

    • SSD says:

      Yes, where was it during the down select?

    • SSD says:

      Now that I think about this, I realize that it has to be a troll. It can’t be true. The reason I say this is because, the Army dropped the female body armor requirement so there was no need to develop a separate system. Why would the Army now have a female version of the MSV if it was dropped from selection criteria?

      Additionally, we’ve had a member of industry comment that there’s no need for female armor anyway since both males and females share the same plates.

      Unless of course, imagine if the Army does still actually require female armor, and it pulled a fast one by dropping the requirement to keep their candidate in the running during source selection so it would meet the “technically acceptable” criteria of LPTA at number crunching time and then reintroduced the female fit variant requirement after the industry vendors were sent home. That way they could develop it on the sly. But there’s no way that could have happened. “Nice Try” has already assured us that the Army would do no such thing.

      • majrod says:

        Just a side point.

        I never understood the need for female body armor unless we were going to change the plate to address the difference in chest shape (some more than others). I mean do we have different helmet sizes/shapes for women? No, just smaller.

        Personally I think the whole “female body armor” thing was a Beta male initiative to ingratiate themselves with radical feminists. I mean really how is “female” body armor different from male except for size?

        If they changed the plates it would have been a real effort. Otherwise it was just showboating, “Look how we are bending over backwards to integrate women!”

        • Chris says:

          That is a good point. But one thing to keep in mind is that the soft armor is large than the plates and women’s proportions are different then men. Theoretically if we are talking a pure plate carrier the male size range should cover the female body. But adding soft armor that overlaps or wraps around, the proportions have to be taken into account such as the different lengths of the midsection (waist to underarms, sternum placement, etc), the difference torso circumferences at the varying heights, the different shoulder widths and neck sizes. This factors into the coverage area as well as the adjustability of the carrier.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t speak to any of the procedures involved in development or procurement of this system, but I’ll get back to you on the specifics of the female cut when I get more solid information. So far the MSV seems like a decent piece of kit. It’s relatively heavy and there is no elastic in the cummerbund but the quick release system is very good and requires no reassembly after release. The velcro is no good however and the side buckles/flap system is cumbersome and would be a hassle especially if the user wanted to place a radio on his/her side.

        Overall I am moderately impressed with the system even after initial misgivings. The design choices make more sense after using it for a while.

        • SSD says:

          Thanks for the update

          • Anonymous says:

            So most of the modifications made to the IOTV for females aren’t necessary on the smaller MSV. That said, female/smaller stature sizes are being worked on and will be fielded with the system.

            Also many of the issues, to include the bad velcro, are being fixed for production. Honestly the MSV at least is a very impressive piece of engineering and it’s not like anything commercially available. The prototypes are very high quality with regard to stitching, fabric, hardware, and overall QC. I’d absolutely use this system if I had the option and it’s an exciting departure from the frankly inferior IOTV and SPCS designs.

        • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

          So, there was no female patterns released in the RFP but all of a sudden there are? So, there was PIC/ECP and a contract modification?

          I’m curious, what is the Army’s definition of IOC and FOC with this program and what are the dates?

          Also, with initial deliveries so far out was this expiring funds and it would also appear to lend itself to giving the Army time to fix the key failure points of the MSV which aren’t attributed to sewn items. This means more VAL/VER evolutions.

          As far as the release assembly which is more of a “training and leadership deficiency” than increased capability, that’ll be fun to watch.

          My call? Nothing to see here. This won’t be adopted on any level greater than the Gen I Crye vest was in FFW. The Army will say that it isn’t sufficiently better than the legacy system to justify cost.

          Kinda like they did with the ICP – spend millions to avoid spending billions

  20. OccaquanEddy says:

    Late to the party and my perspective, worth what you’re paying for it:
    First paragraph: “companies were more than happy to participate…” I’m not an editor but to be more accurate you might have written “very few” in front of companies. Many well-known armor and load bearing companies have little interest in spending money/time for the chance of the Army not choosing their design or taking design concepts. In reality and for good reason a limited number participated in this program.
    “Industry trust was shook when elements of industry bids were integrated….” I’m not doubting it but please point out which elements these were and if it was real intellectual property (not legally fake IP wherein someone didn’t protect their innovation but complained that it was “stolen”). I appreciate how you’ve pointed this out over the years and current patent law doesn’t help. There needs to be RFP language or law that protects industry innovation that isn’t patented. Would be nice anyway.
    You reference “saving a buck”, “Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable”, etc.,. It would be easy for a reader to think you’re referring to the development, test and down select process when you write this. The development process has a budget that’s fixed, like all budgets. “LP,TA” is used when industry bids on building of the final (Soldier selected?) design, NOT the development and down select process.
    “The big issue is that they were trying to save a buck on Personal Protective Equipment.” And “but LPTA means that your body armor is assured to be made by the lowest bidder”. This is procurement law, from ass wipe to the B2. Nothing new here. The save a buck comment, if it relates to design features, is absurd.
    You reference changing requirements as if it was a rogue event brought about to crush industry. Requirements change is common practice. Not changing is uncommon. When gov’t learns of new/improved options, requirements change and people scream. When they learn of new tech and DON’T change the requirements, people scream louder. Screamers gunna scream. This isn’t news, it’s reality, there are reasons for it, it sucks for industry. However, it’s good fodder for bloggers.
    Unless the Army lied, the “they” in “Naturally, that is what they selected” are actual Soldiers involved in several selection events. If you’re suggesting that bean counters and strap hangers forced young enlisted Soldiers to choose a “cobbled together” design that sucked compared to better designs…now THAT would be good info worthy of being discussed. Are you?
    Your comments about female body armor and “tossed aside” ?? C’mon man! You don’t have good info on what’s happening in this area, the effort does needs to be much faster, a plate needs to be made available so a carrier can be designed around it.
    You’ve succeeded in handing over some stuff for people to laugh about AND think about. Calling the article misleading would be a kindness but you’ve provided some mostly humorous drama that draws click through, which seems like is the whole point of this exercise.
    Overall I hope that Soldiers get the best piece of kit given all the twists and turns.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      WOOOOO DOGGIE!
      Somebody got the short stick of a hot tasker at the PEO! After all, why would someone spend so much time during working hours?

      Anywho, some good points and some errors. So, I don’t want to wrapped around semantics, but I do want to address a few things.

      First off, we are all in agreement that it is an LPTA because it’s a build to print. No problem there.

      However, you said something interesting that I’d like to address.

      “Unless the Army lied, the “they” in “Naturally, that is what they selected” are actual Soldiers involved in several selection events. If you’re suggesting that bean counters and strap hangers forced young enlisted Soldiers to choose a “cobbled together” design that sucked compared to better designs…now THAT would be good info worthy of being discussed.”

      “Cobbled together” is s pretty accurate description of any SPD. Especially this one lol. You know, you’ve seen the mouth breathing POGs that show up, have zero clue on how to clear an M240 and observers who know less or don’t care.

      THEY DIDN’T EVEN EVALUATE IT WITH THE MOLLE RUCK!

      Now, did they “Force them”? Of course not. Did they guide and influence them? You bet your 4th POC they did and you know if not, at a minimum they tweaked the data.

      So, let’s talk about how that works. For ease of this vignette I’ll keep it abbreviated and limited to a Government and Industry solution.

      So, here we are at SPD “X” and we are going to be evaluating two systems. Due to the nature of the events there are no industry personnel allowed to participate.

      The test subjects are given NET on the two systems. But a bit more attention is paid to the Gov solution. You can’t blame the Gov team, it’s their design and they’re proud of it. But nonetheless, that’s influence.

      So, the evaluation wraps up and it’s time to crunch all those numbers from the Likert scales. So, let’s say our break point is 60% acceptability.
      40% of the participants show a preference toward the Gov design.

      But wait a second! 40% of the participants show a preference for the industry design!

      Crap! What to do? “Snap!” What do the other 20% say? They say “I’d take either” (these are the mouth breathers who mark “c” on every answer they don’t know).

      Hallelujah the home team is saved! Chuck that 20% over to the Gov design scoreboard and call it done! And because they scored so closely it’s totally justified.

      But the real kicker is that you decided to release a solicitation for a piece of kit that the USMC decided to NOT pursue until it was improved upon. And they also realized that it’s not just Armor it was the whole “System” i.e. The Marine and there’s plenty of things that need to be integrated with the system before we worry about PPE.

      I could go on about how the Quad Trigger Release has NOT seen ONE DAY OF USE IN COMBAT (And NO WOMEN DON’T count). But I won’t.

      But like Hillary would say: “What does it matter?”

      Absolutely nothing, because you won’t buy any more than the minimum quantities to facilitate an FFW.

      Oh, but if you do… Well, if you thought camogate was bad, well, put it this way, I’d want to be far away from SCIE.

    • SSD says:

      I appreciate you commenting and I think we’d agree on some stuff but I’m kind of at the point where having guys anonymously come in and tell me I’m wrong is getting old. So tell you what, if you’re willing to come out into the open and say, “I’m and I’m a at and I’m willing to stake my name and reputation on why I’m right…” I’ll engage. Otherwise, there’s no reason for anyone to believe you.

  21. NICE TRY says:

    I do not know who any of these guys are either and I don’t “represent” any one side. Can I ask you SSD where you got this information for your article? If not, I understand that.

    I don’t believe any of the article because I know it to be mostly false. What is false is so far from the truth that inherently I presume some motive. If not ulterior motive…something. This could be a scenario in which you just don’t know what occurred. If that is the case, then there is reason to be confused and I don’t personally (for whatever it is worth) find any fault in that.

    This stuff with the USMC is a really inaccurate representation of the scenario. Of course he is wearing plates in that 3 year old MSV which is not the MSV as both the Marine Corps and the Army know it. It is certainly not the one that was ever tested. The official testing was not that iteration of MSV either, and the Marine Corps never put that sharp of an edge on anything that had to do with it. In fact, there was not really even a blade to sharpen.

    I literally…do not know why you and others are presenting this stuff like you are, but (of course) I don’t have the authority to tell you how it is, that’s just how it is, and thats not really…my job..ya know? Its not like this information isn’t out there. These people depend on you to get them accurate information and that is definitely the source of the (my) disappointment. Almost all your presuppositions seem to be biased.

    Additionally, this last one from Cool- it’s a fantasy. A fantastic scenario that exists within the fingertips of YOUR pseudonym. It’s a disservice. It’s a misrepresentation of the organizations that most SSD readers have been a part of, and the readers themselves- in my opinion. To say that these evaluators are mouth breathers and incompetent is again a disservice and I would gladly put myself squarely within that category. Entire separate evaluation groups of combat arms senior NCO’s (as you know) came to the same conclusion as these “mouth breathers”. SF dudes, Marines and Soldiers all contributed. Combat arms soldiers and NCOs were evaluators of all the systems. As again, I hope you know/realize, there were multiple down selects, on multiple occasions, in multiple locations, with different groups of evaluators. Like always. The “designers” of industry or otherwise were never NET trainers, nor were either biased one way or the other- for the most part apparently. These conditions were specifically stated and enforced. These people literally did everything to be expected from a “fairness” officiate. No one cared about the outcome in terms of who/which/whatever down selected as long as it was chosen by the “mouth breathers”. This is not about you or me or any one entity that isn’t these servicemen. There is no reason to believe otherwise in this case unless there is information specifically citing the contrary.

    —-

    There is a lot of information out there to include documents that speak to your inferred claims of infringement. I would completely understand if you didn’t want to publish this if it speaks to your last comment. I respect that.

    I just think you missed the mark dude.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      Nice Try,
      Maybe you didn’t get the part where he said that if you want to call him a liar that you need to say who you are and what you do. Yeah, that was directed at YOU and Eddie. So scooter, say who you are or.., pop smoke, kick rocks and draw fire.

      The MSV/SPS WILL NOT be fielded army wide. Because IT IS NOT ready for prime time. You DID NOT test it with the ruck. The Quad Trigger Release HAS NOT seen extensive use beyond being placed on women.

      And let’s talk about the latter actually no. I’m not going to pull THAT skeleton out of PEOs closet. Because as much as I think this is a stupid idea I don’t feel like sending anyone to the Hill.

      Oh, and the “SF Dudes”, yeah, they preferred the Tyr solution for themselves and your toy for Joe

      • Anon says:

        Can you identify how the Tyr system is superior or offers any advantages over the SPS/MSV?

        • SSD says:

          TYR? Why are you bringing up TYR?

          • Anonymous says:

            The previous commenter stated that the Tyr system was preferred to the MSV.

            • SSD says:

              Got it. When I’m using the control panel for the site I can’t see what a comment is in reference to.

              Well, for one thing, the TYR vest happened to actually meet the requirements in the solicitation. The MSV didn’t, that’s why PEO Soldier changed the requirements during source selection.

            • SSD says:

              BTW, since you have access to all of the candidate vests, perhaps you could do a matrix with the requirements from the solicitation and an x in each row denoting whether or not a candidate met the requirement. Please do two. One with the initial requirements and one with the altered requirements.

      • Anon says:

        Honestly from a soldier’s perspective, and I’ve seen Crye, LBT, Tyr, and multiple other armor designs, I haven’t seen a system that offers the same capabilities as the MSV. It has a high degree of protection along with a good deal of comfort and a smart layout. It’s definitely at least a 90% solution. A few minor changes and it would be ideal.

        • Anon says:

          At the very least it’s a good system. If you know of any better ones I’m honestly interested in hearing about them.

          • SSD says:

            There’s an entire industry that builds awesome ones. And then there’s everything that SOCOM issues.

            Perhaps you should accept the onus of telling everyone why the MSV is so great. After all, if it’s so great, why didn’t the Marines buy it?

            • Anonymous says:

              Also, I have no idea why the Marines didn’t buy it. But I’ve read lots of posts on here decrying decisions not to purchase as well as decisions to purchase. By that logic Multicam is inferior to OCP because the Army chose not to adopt it.

              • SSD says:

                I know why the Marines didn’t adopt it, it’s because despite paying for it, it wasn’t ready, so they bought more plate carriers instead.

                The problem with that logic is that the Army has adopted MultiCam along with SOCOM and continues to purchase it even today.

        • SSD says:

          After four years of development it ought to be good but please, tell us all about the great features of the MSV. Make us believers.

        • SSD says:

          No one here believes you’re a Soldier. You’re using a known proxy server. We’ve had a discussion and decided that you are a troll who hasn’t actually seen the thing.

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t even know what you mean by a known proxy server but if I’m a troll who hasn’t seen the system then why would I go through the trouble of disguising myself? I’m not going to enter my .mil address on an internet blog.

            I don’t have a horse in this race other than the fact that I want to be issued kit that actually works unlike the bullshit IOTV and SPCS. All I can say is that this system is better than those and that I would definitely use it. It’s well constructed, well thought out, and it offers capabilities such as easily removable soft armor plate bags, comfortable closed cell padding, adequate MOLLE real estate, a suspension system that distributes weight to the belt, and a fantastic QD system that is very easy to operate and very easy to put back together. Best of all it doesn’t have any of the floppy flabby soft armor like the IOTV/SPCS. Everything locks in tightly and it fits solidly and securely on the body. It’s easy to don/doff and very comfortable to wear. The only issues I had were the velcro (which is being addressed), the fact that there’s no internal magazine pouch capability, and I am interested to see how well large items mount to the side flaps, but the plastic reinforcements make me think it would be alright even if it made donning/doffing more difficult on that side.

            That’s my evaluation of the vest. I haven’t worn the shirt/pelvic protectors/mandibles (and I hope I never have to) but they seem better than the current equipment.

    • SSD says:

      I know who you are and where you work. And quite frankly, SSD readers would be fascinated by that information. You are being less than truthful when you pretend that you aren’t making money off of MSV. You’ve already admitted a long relationship with the system.

      I know what your motivation is. Your feelings are hurt because you’re afraid that I think MSV sucks. I could care less about MSV. You go on and on about stuff that has zero to do with the Army’s use of the wrong type of contracting for PPE and the altering of technical requirements during source selection. I’m pretty sure that is a violation of the 5000 series. If your company is being paid by the Army to alter MSV, it is benefitting from any violation of the FAR regarding SPS-TEP. Remember that when you post here.

      I’m not sure why you’re upset that I shared a 4-year old photo of MSV. The Marine Corps blasted those photos and the associated story all over the place. And no, he’s not wearing plates in the photos.

      What’s probably more messed up than anything else you’ve said, is that considering MSV is as old as it is, and that you tell us that the latest version is different and the Army still had to lower its requirements in order to keep MSV in the running. Plus, we’ve got some poster named “anonymous” talking about how there are aspects that are still jacked up that you’ve got to fix.

      And then there’s this whole female variant “ghost requirement”. You guys are just now designing one after the Army dropped the requirement during source selection so once again, MSV could remain in the competition. The US Government is now paying your company to design a female vest after it turned down mature designs from commercial vendors that met the solicitation’s requirements. Once again, you and you’re company are making money off of this trainwreck. So don’t come in here and cast aspersions at me. Stand up like a man and tell us who you are and where you work and how you benefit from this program.

  22. Bootcat says:

    Late to the party. Quite interesting because here in France, there’s also some talk about a scalable soldier protection system for the Army.

    FWIW, I noticed a plate carrier in Mr Landry’s hands in a Facebook picture (https://www.facebook.com/NSRDEC/photos/

    a.628322917185634.1073741833.

    624850067532919/1025170810834174/?type=1). May or may not be connected to the present discussion.

  23. NICE TRY says:

    There is certainly no profit or benefit. Done. I don’t care either way, and certainly don’t care if you “know who I am”, good for you there guy. Seriously, the most ridiculous form of any reporter/reporting/endorsment I have ever seen.

    • SSD says:

      What have I endorsed? And yeah, you’re profiting from this quagmire. You’re receiving a pay check to work on an armed vest for four years…FOUR years, and it still needs work. The more you talk, the more this is starting to sound like one of those government waste programs that ends up in a campaign commercial.

  24. No, the other Mike says:

    “I’m sure a contracting officer will comment, trying to justify the Army’s defiance of the Congressional language, but LPTA means that your body armor is assured to be made by the lowest bidder.”

    First, I do not think that there is anything inherently wrong with a Lowest Price Technically Acceptable award basis, as long as the requirment is very well defined. Whether you choose the highest priced using a trade off or the lowest is really up to the office.

    Second, I don’t think I have ever heard of recieving proposals, cancelling, then incorporating the strengths of those proposals into a new design to resolicit for an LPTA competition. Clever, but it seems like bad faith, if that is indeed what happened.

  25. TYR Tactical says:

    Gentlemen,

    My name is Jason Beck (posting under name TYR Tactical) as I am the owner of TYR Tactical. I rarely post on forums because I don’t want get dragged into a dog fight over who’s opinions are more valuable than the other. In this case our design and my company have been brought up a couple of times here and I have received a ton of emails and texts from people asking if I was going to comment. I have read the story a few times now and I am unaware of the connection between what the story is about and TYR. Clearly the story is directed towards the SPS award that was LPTA and the government’s decision to go with a lowest bidder for a protective product. Obviously this issue has fueled some fires of the PEOs past decisions, or more so, their past and current behavior.

    That being said, after reading the comments from some of the posters, I believe others have been misled or misinformed by others comments to this post. I am not one to call out any specific person so I would simply like to share what I would call “significant facts” that may allow some here to be better informed.

    1. Some initial background: I have been in this industry for around 17 years now and have seen the ball bounce in a lot of different directions as it relates to our industry. To be honest conventional forces are typically not our customer base. TYR Tactical’s focus has always been on US and International Special Operations and countries with militaries looking for higher end, American made products.

    So in the beginning of this procurement, I had very little, to no trust for PEO Soldier based on previous dealings with their office and past procurement’s that were cancelled after industry provided all of our ideas. I did not participate in the initial SPS Solicitation (SPS-1) because of this fact. After this I had a few people reach out and ask if I would attend the May 2, 2013 SPS Industry Day and Pre-Solicitation meeting at Ft. Belvoir. I was told that PEO really wanted to see companies like TYR Tactical, Crye, First Spear, Eagle, attend and participate. I, like the others that were asked to attend, was intrigued simply because the officer that was running the program at the time seemed intent on running a fair and open competition.

    During the Industry Day, we were clearly told that NATICK would be in the competition, but they (Natick) would be treated as an industry competitor and would absolutely not be provided favoritism during the trial. Of course everyone in the room scoffed at it and a bunch of questions were asked to the officer running the program. He addressed the issues and promised everyone in the room the program would run cleanly and would follow FAR clauses to ensure fair and open competition. Then he stated that the Marine Corps would also be participating, but only to test their future system. He also addressed the fact that the Marine Corps system “did not” meet the key base requirements of SPS:

    What are those base requirements you ask?
    – 360 Degree Coverage (utilizing 2 ballistic panels, 1 front and 1 back)
    – Concealable Carrier that utilized the same front and rear armor panels that overlapped – Industry asked during the initial meeting if it has to be two panels and PEO was emphatic about it and continued to be during the next two years (until they changed the specs in TSN 7)

    – 1” Ballistic Overlap Around the Plate
    – Female Specific Carrier Design
    – Extremity Protection (Deltoid, Collar and Throat) – These items had to cutaway with the main body of the vest
    – Load Carriage System (Load Distribution)
    – Weight Reduction
    – Pelvic Protection

    All vendors had the opportunity to schedule a short meeting with PEO at the time and I was the very last to get a meeting. I remember when I walked in, the group looked like they had gone thru the ringer and the officer who was running the Industry Day (and eventually the program) asked, “so what are they all saying out there”. I expressed how industry simply doesn’t have a lot, “if any”, trust in PEO because previous procurement efforts.

    I asked the group why anyone in our industry would want to spend time, money and energy towards something when they know the result will be the same as it always has been?

    PEO expressed this was different and they were different and that this program would be run cleanly and that their focus was to put the best kit available on the soldier. To be honest with you, I believed them enough to go into this solicitation by partnering with Point Blank.

    2. HFE 1 (Ft Stewart, GA)
    a. Participants: PPE/TYR Tactical, Safariland, Hawke and the Marine Corps (our understanding was that the Army did not trial at this HFE but I can’t honestly say because we didn’t discuss other participants)

    b. Someone posted that the MSV shown in the pictures in the post were different and “clearly it is now” but when Maj James Pelland gave his presentation he asked my group to stay and watch. His presentation on the MSV was in fact the same as the pictures in the post above.

    3. The posted comment: “Absolutely no one stole anything from Industry. As it stands, there was no access to industry designs during any part of these programs.” –

    This comment bothers me to no end. I believe that this poster is one of, if not, the designer of the MSV which is why he is so passionately defending his work. I can understand and honestly appreciate that passion, but what I can’t do is just let this comment go idly by. Anyone that knows my design, or any of our carriers, knows we have what is called a “Vein System” in it. I realize the poster knows this because after doing some research into his company I realized they bought one of our systems a few years back off of our website. The Army knows about it because it has been discussed with both their engineers as well as upper echelon. And yes, PEO was informed that we had IP filed on this and that TYR Tactical has a pending patent. But yet low and behold, a vein shows up in the MSV design as well. I can understand passion in defense and blind trust in your work, but you have to open your eyes a bit.

    My question is, how is it that PPE/TYR Tactical met or exceeded every standard and KPA (Key Performance Attributes) and the system that didn’t meet the requirements (The MSV) during any of the HFEs and Table Tops had requirements changed for it?

    Fact: TSN 7 which was a revision of the requirements, was sent to industry participants “2 DAYS” after all participants turned in their last samples for the final HFE. These revisions included all of the changes that attempted to allow the MSV to finally meet the requirements, (ie: removing 360 degree coverage, female specific armor, etc.).

    Another great question is how is it that the over watching authority for this solicitation “PEO Soldier” ends up directing and influencing the outcome for the govts own design?

    As I said in the beginning of this post this is something that I rarely do so I apologize for being so long winded in my explanation of the history of this, but it’s something that end users and industry deserve to know. In my opinion “IF” PEO Soldier’s true goal is to put the best kit on America’s finest, they should strive to improve their relationship with industry and follow the Army’s
    Core Values: (Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage).

  26. NICE TRY says:

    That’s much more accurate from my point of view.

    I guess in this case I do have to defend a design. I wasn’t defending the design I was defending the process. I will probably be blasted for this but honestly, I was a Soldier and I do value those things. I am not here to take anything from anyone. I have spent the last couple years proud to be part of a team of forward thinking individuals who’s goals were to provide the best thing to the warfighter. Not at all costs, but out of principle and so that these guys get what they need. These people are great people.

    We are non-advocates. We work WITH industry. If something is not protected, we urge industry to protect themselves before showing anything to anyone. We hold no power to tell anyone what to do, nor do we have any means by which to tell anyone what to do.

    HFE Ft. Stewart was not the Natick designed MSV. The Natick designed MSV being the one in the pictures. He’s wearing plates…so ridiculous that this is even a thing and anyone who was a part of that HFE would have the documentation to back that up.

    Part of the Marine Corps MSV team, I purchased a PICO carrier and an X frame system when I first heard that the Marines were looking into a load bearing system. I chose this one because it was the only viable thing that I knew of and wouldn’t have balked at (would’ve loved actually) being issued. This was to show the Marine Corps lead the viable COTS solution to the problem they had. These attributes that they were looking for were very specific. It wasn’t exactly what they were looking for. They were looking for something that looked much more like the current LDS which was inspired from the 7.62 feed chute. It went in a box. It may seem like there is a connection in that but honestly there is not. During these programs there was not any access to industry submissions and I REALLY did not want to see them to keep in line with the intent of the program.

    During development, actually in semi-competition (from the outside because again we DON’T care who’s design it is) with Natick for which MSV government design would move forward I tried out a “carded” snap on removable chest rig thing because…it was just a different deal at the Marine Corps and different in that it was purely developmental. That card morphed later into the housing for the quick release variant that we were told to use by Marines who evaluated these designs. Industry designs that included different attachment methods were evaluated as well and the quad is what came out. We put aside our personal opinions about which release we thought was best and were determined to make the one they wanted work. The Marines said they would prefer the quad release and that is what went into the developmental designs from then on out. The snap on chest rig to two different profiles of armor thing went forward… they constantly changed everything every second- which was a welcomed challenge- and what came out of that was MSV 1.2- tested officially (Marines- terrible batch that had a completely messed up, unrefined flap because of a surprise deadline-but understood…everyone has got to be prepared for that) – and that’s where it stopped. It picked up again through interest from the Army, 1.2 is what went to Stuart, 1.3 is what is current and was at everything else.

    The entire time we worked with industry to produce the government samples, we introduced as much as we could that was in line with the intent of the programs and in line with the well-being of the warfighter. In our mind, from our position, we are not here to buck the PM and we are CERTAINLY not here to steal from industry. We come from industry (most of us). We exist to help the warfighter and to assist in the process.

    If the card that houses the quick release is in violation of granted US patents then we will suggest (with no power) that they take it out and we will put a “junction box” non-flush thing in there I guess. I really don’t know… The quick release card is not ballistic, has nothing to do with ballistics, and is an expedient way of changing a quick release system. It offers structure to the outermost layer of the carrier by the nature of the new-ish material it’s made from (you guys should check into the material. It’s pretty cool). My initial intent was to make a super-flush chest rig that lives in there so that it could all work together. Every version of (not Natick) MSV has had this stiffener. Apparently no one out there knows what it even is so it’s hard to sit by and see that these guys assume I/we are profiting off of…anything. I live in a 575 sq foot house with my wife and son…yea I get paid to work, but I also do things like brush my teeth, drive a truck, pay taxes and shit…haha. I mean I work 100h weeks (no shit) consecutively with no overtime, no bonuses, nothing. FOR THE WARFIGHTER. Not for pity, but because I know that this is how Americans should be supporting their American brothers. I don’t care if its for SOCOM or the National Guard……I will continue to do it.

    • SSD says:

      Great story bro. You’re the one taking a paycheck to do whatever it is you guys do there. Buy stuff from companies and then use their designs to design new stuff? That’s what you seem to be describing. And you do this on behalf of the U.S. government? As a private company, you buy ones and twos of commercial products for the government and present these products to them and the companies you purchase from have no idea that their products are being presented to the government and so have no way of telling the government, or you for that matter since you use their designs as inspiration to do the PM’s bidding, which attributes in their designs are proprietary?

      So, you say you work with industry and urge them to protect their IP? I’m curious if you contacted TYR after you bought one of their vests and told them to protect their IP? Or if you even bothered to ascertain what they might want protected?

      As for the “card”, yeah, check out that cool new material. It’s a ballistic material. Why would you use a ballistic material if you didn’t want it to have ballistic proprieties? It certainly costs more than just using an insert made out of plastic, like the buckle. When cost is a major factor in design, it doesn’t make sense to use an expensive material.

      On a final note, that photo of a Maj Pelland at the O Course in the MSV with no plates, was taken in 2013 at Quantico. It wasn’t at Ft Stewart.

  27. NICE TRY says:

    Yea, never mind. I hope everyone in the industry realizes what a moron you are. I don’t think you have ever done…..anything. Have fun making things up and presenting them as the truth. Beck was talking about Stewart and I put the response to two things into one sentence. Of course I know….jesus…your ridiculous. I don’t even know how you…physically operate the keyboard but you can chalk one less reader of SSD.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      *you’re

    • SSD says:

      Here’s something you can add to the many things I’ve never done in my life; ran my suck so much that I’ve let everyone in industry know for a fact, that my company buys products from other companies and uses them as inspiration for government work. Well played.

    • Cool Arrow Kicker says:

      Golf clap.