FN Herstal

USAF Security Forces Adopt TYR’s EPIC Male/Female Body Armor

Last week, the Security Forces issued a memorandum adopting TYR Tactical’s EPIC Body Armor in both male and female variants.

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EPIC was submitted as a candidate for the US Army’s Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection program, but the Army chose a government design instead which has just begun fielding, three years after selection.

Male EPIC

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Congratulations to the Air Force for adopting a great system and the first body armor designed specifically for females, rather than scaling a male system down in size.

Female EPIC

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17 Responses to “USAF Security Forces Adopt TYR’s EPIC Male/Female Body Armor”

  1. Wake27 says:

    I didn’t know those were newly designed plate carriers we got issued. They still suck.

  2. DSM says:

    Those kids in my neck of the world just got new plate carriers not that long ago too.

    • SSD says:

      The MAJCOMs made purchases for SF over the past few years. It seems that everyone got something different. This will be for SF AF-wide.

  3. Will says:

    This was not a “body armor” adoption. This was for a “plate carrier”. I ran the WEPTAC initiative for this for ANG and this vest finished deal last of all that were evaluated… to include the female version tested by females. This is an abject failure and should be what we are all used to. Our entire command unanimously selected the Eagle AERO, and fortunately Eagle was able to participate in this selection. Unfortunately, the EPIC was turned down by AFSFC once before, and was allowed to compete again… and win this time as an inferior product. There are SO many things wrong with this vest. Shankin my damn head…

    • rearmount says:

      Will, I’m curious to hear your thoughts (if you’re allowed to) on why you’re not a fan of this vest in comparison to the AERO?

      • Will says:

        Just to clarify my rant above, I think this vest misses the mark in the same way DFLCS misses the mark. Due diligence was done throughout all the processes and this selection was made based on real-time feedback. it’s simply not what I saw coming and as I said, I think it misses the mark.

        What I don’t care for are the shoulder straps and pads, I absolutely hate the quad release hardware, the hook-up’s in the cumberbund are cumbersome to attach, and the system itself is not scalable or modular.

    • Peter Easton says:

      This does not look like a plate carrier?

  4. JayDoc says:

    Will these be issued in ABU or OCP??

  5. Teresa Huff says:

    We are a webbing supplier & are interested in quoting on your webbing requirements. We can supply Mil-Spec and Berry Compliant in additional to commercial webbing

  6. Paul Koester says:

    Will: as a retired 41-year USAF PJ veteran, Primary instructor of the Designated Rifleman course, and longtime user and supporter of Tyr Tactical (9 years), I would like to respond to your comments and provide some clarity. I don’t think your comments are accurate, fair, or justified. While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, a true success story like this should not be tainted by your uninformed comments.

    Tyr’s Epic vest is a full coverage body armor vest, not a plate carrier. In the evaluation Tyr presented multiple options, including plate carriers. The command chose to evaluate EPIC against other vendors systems because it was so much better, even as a full coverage vest, that they believed it could win. They wanted to provide their Airmen with as much protection as possible while not reducing capability. EPIC beat out the other vendor’s submissions, even though it possessed substantially more soft armor coverage than all the others. I think this speaks volumes as to the fit and function of Tyr’s solution.

    Tyr’s Female Epic, is the only patented female system on the market. I have personally spoken to many women that have worn this system and they are absolutely thrilled to finally have a vest that is built for them. The fact that it has taken all the services this long to address a female variant of body armor is sad, but this is truly a milestone.

    Eagle makes some great kit and has for many many years. Eagle and others competed in this last effort. But the facts are facts, during the evaluations Tyr reportedly scored an 8 out of 10 on the combined ratings and the next closest scored a 4 out of 10. I would say that is a pretty healthy win and proves the Command chose the best system. It is unfair to condemn the victor because you don’t agree with the decision. The bottom line is that an evaluation was conducted based on command guidance, and they chose the system that performed the best and scored the best. We should be glad that for once it wasn’t just about price, it was about the end user.

    For those that don’t know, Tyr’s EPIC male and female vests were design for the Army’s SPS program, and were built to that program’s requirements. It won 100% of the user evaluations during that process, and should have been the replacement for the IOTV. In spite of that, the Army chose a Gov designed knock-off, built by the lowest bidder, they threw out the female requirement because no one but Tyr could meet it, and three years later they still haven’t fielded any.

    Lastly, EPIC is completely scalable. You can up armor with a collar and throat, shoulders, biceps, lower Ab, Groin, side plates etc. It is also available in a Non-cutaway variant, the command requested the cutaway option. There is a reason SWAT teams all over the country are moving to this vest, its scalable protection is far and away better than anything else on the market. The evaluators on this effort chose a full coverage vest over other vendor’s plate carriers, think about that for before you condemn the Commands decision.

    I for one am super proud of the Security Forces Center for taking the lead and truly providing its Airmen with the best the industry has to offer. It’s refreshing to see the Air Force be first! Congrats to Air Force Security Forces and congrats to Tyr Tactical.

    Paul Koester

    • Will says:

      Paul,

      I understand your point of view. Please understand mine.

      I spent the better part of a year with a team testing and evaluating plate carriers for my command. In those submissions, Tyr sent EPIC and PICO. EPIC didn’t really go very far, because as you stated… It should have been selected to replace IOTV… exactly. I don’t make comments or decisions in a vacuum, I make them from an informed position… if otherwise, I’d shut my mouth.

      Look folks, I like Tyr, they have really good people that work there. I have been dealing with Jason from way back in the Diamondback days. This vest is didn’t pass the wear or sniff test for what we were looking for at my command… the PICO actually finished a close second.

      Adding armor accessories isn’t exactly what I mean by scalable. AVS and AERO are really what I mean by that.

      I got a number of messages offline yesterday about my comments. I can respect the Center, Tyr, and all the people involved in the process and not agree with the selection… that’s allowed. I actually support the decision the Center made, because I understand it, doesn’t mean the vest doesn’t miss the mark.

      I am also very encouraged Paul. The guys doing this work at the Center are good damn people and I trust and respect them. I am looking forward to more great things to come in the near future. I may be bitching about this vest, but it’s actually good progress an tracking in a good direction.

      • Peter Easton says:

        I like your comments to some extent but what was the criteria the Center used? If this vest missed the mark in so many other places?
        Sniff test is a good term…………

  7. Peter Easton says:

    What was the criteria for the selection? Was this the Big Solicitation that was out several months ago? I saw that solicitation and it was for a PLATE CARRIER, this looks like IOTV repackaged?

  8. Rob says:

    It should have been the PICO-MV male/female variants that were selected. A full body armor vest is like going back to the days of the IOTV. This missed the mark. TYR makes great products, and I have no doubt this fills a role somewhere, but long term wear in 100 plus degree weather for months at a time isnt it.

  9. Jason Beck says:

    I have seen and heard a lot of healthy discussion going on around the Security Forces vest selection. I typically do not make comments online but in this case, and because we have been asked a lot of questions, I am choosing to make some comments. Please understand that these comments are purely from MY perspective as the owner of a company that was approached to support this effort and I am in no way saying people are not entitled to their opinions. Those opinions shape every design decision we make, so keep them coming. But remember as a manufacturer I support the end user and I provide solutions based on the information they give me.

    Tyr Tactical has been engaged in conversation with the Security Forces Center, concerning the future vest solution, for over a year and half. Initially, we understood the direction to be plate carrier focused. Things died down for a while and then resurfaced. We were then asked to come to the Center again to brief our available vest solutions. I know for a fact Eagle briefed that same day, and I believe vendors briefed either the day before us or the day after as well. All told I think there were at least 4 vendors who participated, possibly more, but they do not provide us with that into. At that second meeting we brought 8 different vest options with us, from our newest lightest weight scalable plate carrier, the PICO-DS, to our full coverage scalable solution, EPIC. After our briefings and discussions it was agreed that the samples we would provide for evaluation would only be EPIC. The center felt it only made sense to provide a vest with greater area of coverage as long as it was a comfortable and fitted design. Additionally, they only wanted to provide a releasable solution, so that is the only variant trialed. Lastly they explained this vest effort was to replace the “Home Station” requirement. That Airman would still be required to wear IOTV when deployed. We did ask a lot of questions surrounding that fact, but at the end of the day we are simply a vendor and we are here to support our customers.

    To those that compare EPIC to IOTV, I would say please take a look, wear one, test one, spend some time in one, I can assure you it is NOT an IOTV and it will surprise you. EPIC was built to address all the concerns service members had with prior systems and full coverage vests. It was designed to be scalable, to provide load carriage support, to not restrict mobility, and to protect the wearer better than anything before it. Comparing EPIC to a plate carrier system is like comparing apples to oranges, they are not even in the same category. It was never designed to compete with a CRYE AVS or an Eagle AERO, we have other products to compete with those vests.

    I have spent the last two years refocusing my business, growing, getting better. That growth comes with its own challenges and there have been many, but getting back to supporting customers I have support in the past was a priority for me and for Tyr Tactical, and we have put in the time and effort to do just that. We have developed multiple new products specific for Air Force customers, attending all the events we could, and got out to see the customers and get their feedback. When the center asked for us to be apart of this effort we were excited at the opportunity, we would have providing anything they wanted, we even offered to develop a custom vest if they would like, after all, that’s what Tyr does. But in the end, they wanted EPIC, they asked for EPIC, and the leadership chose EPIC. Not only is it our pleasure to support this effort, but I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see a Service finally support its female members. We were recently awarded a US and International patent on our Female system, and to have the one of the largest components of the US Air Force take the lead and support its members with this system is a milestone. We have put years of development into both the male and female variants of this vest and this absolutely validates the hard work and effort by so many people.

    Bottom line: We provided the system we were asked to provide and we are absolutely thrilled that we have been selected! I would like to say thank you to the Men and Women who led this effort, and I can assure you we will be here to support you. Innovate or Die.