OTTO

The United States Marine Corps has awarded Provengo, LLC the Military Ski System (MSS) contract for a total value of up to $9,085,675

Provengo in conjunction with Serket will be providing the MSS which consists of Skis and Bindings. In direct response to the USMC requirement, the MSS conforms at a minimum to the following specifications:

Provides adequate flotation for an individual and gear up to 300 pounds.

The skis shall have a combined weight of no more than 7lbs

The bindings shall have a combined weight of no more than 7lbs.

The ski binding shall offer either a lock down heel or telemark heel for downhill skiing as well as an unlocked heel for uphill climbing and touring on rolling terrain.

The ski binding shall be universal and be able to fit all types of boots in the Marine Corps inventory (Vapor Barrier and Intense Cold Weather Boots).

The binding shall allow Marines to utilize “free heel” diagonal movement techniques.

Provengo is a provider of personal, operational, tactical and life style equipment. Provengo offers Military/Federal/LE/First Responder end-user discounts at www.provengo.com

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8 Responses to “The United States Marine Corps has awarded Provengo, LLC the Military Ski System (MSS) contract for a total value of up to $9,085,675”

  1. TominVA says:

    Nice, short, fat, snowshoes that slide. Assuming the bindings prove durable (and quiet enough?), this is should be a good buy.

    No skins?

  2. willsew4kit says:

    I’m confused, is it a Tele binding or an AT binding? Or both?

  3. chet says:

    It is 2018 and apparently the very best mountain warfare minds between MCSC and MWTC got together and decided that a heavy pair of reinforced kiddie skis (https://www.rei.com/product/822468/madshus-snowpup-cross-country-skis-with-bindings-kids), at best gliding snowshoes, was the best they could do.
    This setup seems to acknowledge that Marines cannot, do not and will not be skiing effectively for years to come. Let us not raise those hair-trigger devil dog hackles: the root of the problem is that the training/time commitment needed to learn how to ski encumbered with military kit and mission far exceeds the training/time made available to Marines. The standard MWTC unit package is a two-week stint at Bridgeport once every couple of years, i.e. not really enough time to become Jean-Claude Killy with an M4 and ruck. Moreover, whether you’re there in summer or winter largely depends on the free time in the TEEP, not whether some comfortably ensconced Quantico/HQMC GO has firmly put down his spotless corfam shoe and said “enough is enough! I need Marines who can survive, ski and fight in winter!” and makes the decision that some infantry Battalions/Regiments (and their steadfast butchers/bakers/candlestick makers/pilots) are “mountain warfare” units or better yet, that the entire USMC needs to be ready to survive, move and fight in the cold and mountains. Until then, it’s adventure training: good for team-building, morale, PT in the fresh mountain air and picking up a few mobility and survivability tricks. I’d save the $9m and couple of days taken from my training schedule, IOT watch my unit execute individual-, team- and squad-level wipeouts at the ole MWTC T-bar run, and stick with snowshoes for now.
    You can go tele or AT (both have been extensively validated and best debated amongst pros with plenty of time on both) but you can’t and shouldn’t shortchange training.

    • TominVA says:

      All skis are gliding snowshoes. Some glide faster than others. Some are easier to learn than others.

      Yes, this set up acknowledges reality. Marines are stationed on the Carolina coast, southern California, and Okinawa. Getting a battalion to Bridgeport for a month now and then is the best the Corps is probably ever going to be able to do, so kiddie skis it is. The Corps will never be as good as the Finns, etc. That’s just a function of climate. But if the time comes, hopefully the Corps will be good enough.

      You learn more than skiing at Bridgeport. The most valuable lessons I took away were how to equip and live in the cold. Marines don’t get that where they’re stationed. It’s usually just suck it up and be miserable – bad plan for Norway.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        Marines are also stationed in Norway now too – I suspect those guys will get a decent amount of time on skis….

        • TominVA says:

          Yeah, I saw that. That’s good. Hopefully they get some promotable officers in that rotation as well. Training for the Marines is good, but if the Corps doesn’t develop commanders who know the country and the climate, it’s gonna be bad.

    • Gear Guy says:

      Until you have actually used these, you won’t see the benefit and utility in them. The Marine Corps, and the Army, have invested a significant amount of time in their research and evaluation of this and several other systems and their selection of this particular system is justified. They require less training than a standard set of Tele or AT skis and are not designed to be such. For reference, I have previously worked on this project, so I am familiar with the evaluation and its KSA’s and KPP’s.

      A Marine Infantry battalion will not be skiing to glory, they will be utilizing snow shoes and these skis offer the ability to float on deep powder, glide on hard surfaces, traverse downhill obstacles and climb. All of which provide for an enhanced capability for general purpose and specialized forces. You are correct in that there is a significant amount of training that is required for skiing and that the Marines, and the Army, do not provide the time it needs to be proficient in this particular skill, thus the compromise. However, this particular system is very good at what it does, which is why it is being procured.