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Archive for September, 2016

MDM – SERE Industries OM27-S

Friday, September 30th, 2016

I saw a lot of interesting gear at Modern Day Marine but the OM27-S from SERE Industries stuck out for a couple of reasons. First off, is the obvious; it’s a multi-functional tool, but creator Tim Langan is also a Marine Corps Veteran and based the design on need. Items built fulfill an operational need always garner my attention.  Langan says, in addition to its use a tool, the OM27-S can also be used for fitness applications. Those of you who participated, may recognize the tool from type US Army’s 2016 Advanced Warfighting Experiment.

The OM27-S consists of the OS-100 Operational MultiPurpose Support Bar which serves as the tool’s shaft, OG-1 MultiPurpose Survival Tool which resembles the spearhead, M5 MultiPurpose Utility Handle which looks like a hammerhead, CCW-101 Cervical Counterweight and MutiPurpose Shovel which is the hexagonal item, and the Tactical Survival Bag/Field Litter-Splint.

The SERE OM27-S Survival Tool is a one-of-a-kind hybrid multi-functioning tactical tool designed for infinite combinations of use and brings the individual a system of over 50 solutions for a variety of operational applications in multiple threat environments in 7.7 pounds.

There’s a lot of capability here. I’m going to try to purchase one to enhance the BII for my Pinzgauer. The SERE Industries OM27-S is available for unit and agency purchase through Federal Resources.

Wild Things – Survivalist

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Made from PU coated 70D Nylon, the Wild Things Survivalist is a multipurpose item. It can be used as a poncho, shelter, ground cloth, etc. Yep, it’s an old school design, but it works.

The Survivalist measures 56″ x 87″ with the same corner grommets and snaps you remember from the old GI Poncho.

www.wildthingsgear.com

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Phokus Research Group has spoken and chosen Comment 28 by Bob M. Their new Trauma Kit is now known as the “DEPLOYMENT TRAUMA KIT – SPLIT

Bob, email us to claim your prize.

Blackhawk Introduces The Omnivore Holster

Friday, September 30th, 2016

I got to check out the new ‘Omni’ during Modern Day Marine and I am impressed. It’s nothing like the Serpa, a holster which is synonymous with Blackhawk. Named because it will accept virtually any pistol you put in it, the Omnivore offers Level 2 retention ans fits more than 150 styles of semiauto pistols. Unofficially, it will fit almost three times that, but right now they are only claiming 150.

The secret sauce is their proprietary Rail Attachment Device. The Omnivore’s active retention mechanism locks onto RAD, not the frame of the handgun. It doesn’t wear the pistols frame or slide. A 3-position adjustable height thumb release disengages the locking mechanism when drawing the handgun. In the case of lightbearing models, the holster locks unto the weapon light.

This graphic depicts the three initial models. Light bearing versions include the Streamlight TLR-1/2 and the SureFire X-300U.

One final note; the Omni is designed to acceot all of Blackhawk’s holster mounting options.

www.blackhawk.com

MDM – TCI Bluetooth Module

Friday, September 30th, 2016

I was walking through the aisles at Modern Day Marine when I ran across the Quantico Tactical booth. It was like a mini trade show in itself, but one thing I wanted to get out right away was this Bluetooth Module for tactical comms headsets from Tactical Command Industries. It was set up as a component on a rig like you see below and was so unobtrusive I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it if Retired TACP Jim Price hadn’t pointed it out to me.

I picked it up to check it out. It’s super simple, connecting to the switch via a pigtail with just a few buttons to conncet your Bluetooth enabled device to the rest of your comms. The hardened three button design is standard with many commercially available Bluetooth headsets and earpieces and the buttons are large enough to be used with gloves on. It is rechargeable via mini USB.

Think about how often you use a cell phone. Now, you can integrate it into your gear, when needed. For some, it will be your primary comms. Others will fit it into the PACE structure somewhere. Shoot, some guys will connect their cell just so they can listen to music through their headphones.

Granted, this isn’t the first deployment of a means to integrate cell service. But this was designed by TCI to work specifically with their widely deployed dual communications architecture found in the later R.3 and the new R.4 dual push-to-talk systems. TCI’s dual communications system is specifically designed to separate the two audio channels so there is no shared connections and no physical or electronic way for audio from one channel to bleed into the transmission on the other. Additionally, their PTT’s incorporate a lock out feature that disables the opposite PTT switch from the one that is in use. Because of these features, a cellular device, which requires no PTT as the microphone is active once a call is placed/accepted, has its audio in mute mode while the other channel is in active use. This prevents radio traffic, either received or transmitted, from being heard on the cell phone. This feature keeps radio transmissions, which may be encrypted, off of the cell phone audio. That would be a major problem, enabling threats to work to undermine our encryption. This system is by far more secure than the common practice of using a cell phone by lifting up an earcup to talk on it. This may actually expose the phone to radio traffic that is not cleared for cell phone transmission resulting in inadvertant disclosure.

Finally, the module is impedance agnostic. It will work with both high and low impedance headsets. There is no need for an extra cable or impedance matching hardware to be incorporated.

The Blue Tooth Adapter from Tactical Command Industries is available for unit and agency purchase through Quantico Tactical.

Warrior Protection And Readiness Coalition Achieved Legislative Success In 2017 Defense Bill And Welcomes Additional Members

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Regular readers of SSD will know that there is a non-profit association that represents the mutual interests of the warfighter and the PPE and OCIE industry. We’ve written regularly about the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition which has served as the voice on the Hill of domestic manufacturers that build the body armor, technical textiles, footwear, helmets, load carriage, dress and combat uniforms. The WPRC has shown time and again, their commitment to ensuring that our armed services are provided with the best possible PPE and OCIE to execute their missions and return home safely. This association has had remarkable success raising the profile of the industry in Congress and the DOD, and their good work is continuing to attract new members as well as legislative success. The membership of this organization have been doing admirable work pulling the sled and it is great to see their efforts continue to deliver results that benefit service members as well as the entire industry.

Personal Protective Equipment Industry Association Adds Five New Member Companies

MARBLEHEAD, MA (October 3, 2016) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) has helped secure provisions within the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will enhance the personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing worn and carried by American servicemembers and strengthen the domestic industrial base. The NDAA awaits final passage, and as these provisions improve the safety of American servicemembers, they should be implemented in the next fiscal year.

WPRC’s top legislative priority is a provision authored by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that prohibits the use of “Lowest Price Technically Acceptable” (LPTA) contracting methods for the procurement of personal protective equipment “where the level of quality or failure of the item could result in combat casualties” and directs that best value contracting methods be used for future contract solicitations (Section 829C). This provision strengthens language in the FY2016 NDAA (Section 884) that only directed the use of best value contracting “to the maximum extent practicable.” Section 829C will have a positive, lasting impact on the future procurement of quality PPE and organizational clothing.

WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “This year, our association has achieved the highest level of legislative success since our founding. The NDAA includes several provisions that will ensure that our armed servicemembers are receiving the best available equipment and that the Department of Defense is achieving the best value for the taxpayer. I thank Senator Ayotte and her colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee for their bi-partisan efforts to improve warfighter safety while saving precious resources through the use of effective contracting solutions.”

Over the past year, the Department of Defense has made history by fully integrating women into combat roles. Given this policy change, a thorough review of current PPE and organizational clothing is necessary to ensure that the Department is prepared to properly equip and protect female warfighters.

Working with WPRC member companies, Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees drafted and included language in both Committee reports requiring a “Soldier as a System” approach to female specific equipment procurement. The House Armed Services Committee language requires a briefing “outlining plans for programming, budgeting, and procurement of female specific equipment including helmets, combat clothing, body armor, footwear, and other critical safety item equipment categories.” The briefing must include plans on integrating commercially available materials and advanced product design to reduce the weight load for all service members, both male and female.

The Senate Armed Services Committee also included language in the NDAA requiring the Secretary of Defense to deliver a report detailing the acquisition strategy, by service branch, for the PPE and OCIE needs of both male and female service members. The Secretary’s report must outline the Department of Defense’s plan to provide improved PPE and OCIE developed for all service members to meet validated operational requirements and any plans for budget, development, and procurement of female-specific equipment needs, including but not limited to helmets, clothing, and body armor. This report and briefing will represent a defined strategy for WPRC members and industry leaders to develop advanced equipment designed for female service members and further develop a “soldier as a system” procurement program to lighten the weight load for all members of the armed services.

Central to WPRC advocacy programs is constant support for the Berry Amendment, requiring that all PPE and OCIE provided to American servicemembers be manufactured in the United States. This year, WPRC worked together with the Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense (SAC-D) to include report language encouraging the Secretary of Defense to “dedicate resources to expand training and ensure compliance with Buy American and Berry Amendment” provisions. The report expressed concern regarding “two separate Inspector General reports, required by the NDAA for FY 2014, that found both the Air Force and Navy were not in compliance with the Buy American Act and Berry Amendment.”

The SAC-D Committee report stated, “ensuring appropriate domestic source requirements are included in contracts and strict adherence to these requirements are vital to the health of the Defense industrial base.” WPRC is also working with several Members of Congress and Committee Professional Staff Members to ensure that PPE and OCIE items purchased for allied nations through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program are always compliant with the Berry Amendment.

As the WPRC expands its efforts, new companies continue to join the association. Recently, Abom, Inc., ADA, Rocky Brands, Velcro Companies, and Vibram USA have joined with over 40 other companies to add their voice to the WPRC. The added impact of these industry leaders is critical to advancing the WPRC mission to support the equipment and advanced clothing needs of the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.

Abom, Inc. – Founded in 2012, Abom, Inc. launched the world’s first fog-free goggles. Led by a group of inventors, scientists and designers, Abom is on a mission to make the future safer with leading-edge technology. Abom presently produces and/or licenses its anti-fog technology in military/tactical, snowsports, and safety goggles. www.abom.com.

ADA – For over 100 years, Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) has manufactured and delivered uniforms for military, healthcare, emergency services, and utility applications. ADA has recently launched the New 1299 Adjustable Pack Frame, Scalable Body Armor product with the potential to improve load carriage for warfighters and peacekeepers across the globe. ADA is now pursuing Berry Amendment compliant solutions to work with the U.S. Department of Defense. www.ada.com.au.

Rocky Brands – Founded in 1932, Rocky Brands, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and markets premium quality military, duty, outdoor, work and western footwear, apparel, and accessories. Rocky Brands is proud to supply footwear to the United States military. www.rockybrands.com.

Velcro Companies – Velcro Companies is a technology-driven, global organization providing fastening solutions that solve problems in simple, elegant and surprising ways for militaries, businesses and consumers around the world. www.velcro.com.

Vibram USA – Vibram is recognized worldwide as the leader in high performance soles for military, outdoor, recreational, work, and fashion footwear and is relied upon by the world’s greatest climbers and athletes. Vibram soles have conquered Mt. Everest, K2, and a host of the world’s tallest peaks. Today, the company works with a wide variety of premium brands and is the key supplier of rubber outsoles to footwear manufacturing contractors to the United States military. www.vibram.com.

www.warriorprotection.net

What Could This Be?

Friday, September 30th, 2016

LBT – Coyote Brown Weekend Promo

Friday, September 30th, 2016

lbtinc.com/cb16

MDM – Gore CHEMPAK

Friday, September 30th, 2016

At Modern Day Marine the WL Gore & Assoc booth has traditionally been about organizational clothing and individual equipment but with an ever increasing emphasis on CBRNE, Gore brought out its latest CHEMPAK technologies. Created as an alternative to traditional carbon fabric suits, Gore has incorporated not only new, breathable membranes, but also innovative design features to enhance the garment’s functionality and by extension, the comfort and endurance of the wearer.

They displayed three different suits. Although they all look similar, and are based on the same technology, they offer different sets of features. Named the CPCSU-2 Chemical & Biological Protective Combat Suit family, they are based on work done for SOF Chem-Bio suits and designed for a wide range of mission sets including combatting WMD, military humanitarian support operations and military support of civilian authority operations.

CPCSU-2 with Integrated Optional MOPP Scale Hood & Gloves

Providing durable, broad protection, it is easy to don and offers MOPP interfaces to the suit. When compared to traditional carbon suits, the CHEMPAK material improved heat loss by more than 20 percent.

CPCSU-2 Flex Fit Design

This Flex Fit design was created for increased range of motion and lower audible signature. The thermal burden in this suit is also lower than others.

CPCSU-2 Jumpsuit Design

This suit was designed for affordability. Consequently, it doesn’t incorporate some of the features of the other two suits. However, thanks to the CHEMPAK membrane, the thermal burden remains lower than carbon suits.

Design Features

Gore has done some great work on these suits. Those of you who are divers may see some familiar concepts from dry suits. However, the features below may not be available for all of the suits.

Many of you are familiar with Gore-Tex TOPO fabric, a recently introduced stretch membrane for protection from the elements. The CHEMPAK suits integrate a similar stretch technology. These are incorporated as panels into key areas of the coverall to ensure flexibility while maintaining integrity of the suit’s environment.  In all three cases, these are coverall designs which decrease the possibility of contamination via a compromised suit. 

Another example is this glove interface which allows the wearer to quickly transition from MOPP 3 to 4 by pulling his hands in and inserting them into the attached gloves. Then, the user simply rolls up the opening and secures it with Velcro to seal it off and stows it under the cuff.

The CPCSU-2 also offers a removable hood which integrates into the suit as well as the mask. The advantages here are obvious; there’s no entry of outside air under gaps in the skirt of the traditional external hood. The membrane will also breath better than the rubber hood traditionally used with protective masks.

Finally, the legs of the CPCSU-2 open up to facilitate donning, yet close easily. Here, you can see the stretch material.

You may notice that the outer shells are removable. This is for maintenance as well as allowing the user to change his ‘paint job’ based on the environment he will be working in. In addition to environmental camouflage patterns, the user can select solid colors for low profile work or high visibility hues for disaster relief. Additionally, the user can specify different face fabrics for the shell. For example, full FR protection, no melt/no drip or anti-static are different shell fabric options.

Finally, independant testing shows that the CPCSU-2 family is lighter and lower unpacked volume than carbon-based suits.

For more information, visit www.goreprotectivefabrics.com.

Hill People Gear – M2016 Butt Pack

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Hill People Gear has answered the requests of customers and persuasive friends with an updated version of the venerable M1956 / M1967 military butt pack. For many in the US, a moldy military surplus M1967 on an alice belt with a couple of canteen pouches (and sheath knife if you were lucky!) was a first field setup and still holds a special place.

Just like the originals, the M2016 Butt Pack can be used as a shoulder bag or mounted on a belt with or without H-Harness. Unlike the original, HPG’s new offering is also designed to mount securely on the top of a full sized pack as a floating and compressible top pocket. It comes with a shoulder strap with other carriage options offered separately.

The exterior has 4 different surfaces comprised of FirstSpear’s proprietary 6/12 PALS grid fabric. There are both top and bottom compression straps for adding additional items. The interior is accessed via a full panel opening secured with a #10 zipper and additionally protected with side release buckles. Internal organization consists of a full 6/12 velcro / PALS field next to the removable HDPE frame sheet and a mesh zippered pocket opposite that.

I love their videos which not only inform you about the product but also have a travelogue vibe.

The Hill People Gear M2016 Butt Pack will be available in mid-November for $135 in two-tone ranger green / khaki and two tone manatee grey / foliage grey. To be notified when it is available, email info@hillpeoplegear.com. Please specify color choice.