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Archive for the ‘Armor’ Category

Propper 4PV Armor Records First Save

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

St. Charles, MO — Troup County (GA) Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Hockett, 24 years old and newly married, recently became the best kind of statistic – a survivor – thanks in part to his Propper 4PV concealable armor.

According to the sheriff’s office, Hockett was responding just before noon on January 9 to a welfare check call in the rural community when he was allegedly shot by Matthew Edmonson multiple times with a shotgun-type weapon, including in the side, where the 4PV he was wearing under his uniform stopped the projectiles from penetrating. Hockett returned fire, striking the suspect once in the shoulder, then retreated to his vehicle, where he called for backup as he drove to safety. In all, Hockett was struck in the forehead, side, hand, and elbow. The suspect was later taken into custody by the SWAT team after a long standoff.

The Sheriff’s Office released the following statement:

Around 11:55 [January 9th, 2017] a Deputy with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a residence on Jackson St in Troup County regarding a welfare check on an individual. When the deputy arrived he exited his vehicle to go around a fence toward the house and heard what he described as a banging sound. As he looked in the direction of the noise he saw a white male firing a gun at him. The deputy then retreated at which time the individual got into a truck and began driving toward the deputy. At that point the individual exited his truck and began firing at the deputy who announced to the person that he was a deputy and the deputy returned fire striking the male who then got in the truck and went back to the house.
The deputy, Michael Hockett, was struck by gunfire and was able to retreat to his vehicle and call for further assistance and was transported to West Georgia Medical Center where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released a short time later.
At 6:25 PM the suspect, identified as 28 year old Matthew Edmondson, was arrested without further incident after coming out of the residence he had been held up in since the incident began. Edmondson was assessed on scene by emergency personnel and was transported to Columbus Medical Center for a gunshot wound to his shoulder.
The scene has been turned over to the GBI and charges are pending against Edmondson. Nothing further at this time.

“We are extremely grateful that the vest did its job and Deputy Hockett survived this potentially deadly encounter,” said Skip Church, Vice President of Armor Products for Propper. “The four-panel design of the 4PV placed the protection where he needed it. A typical two-piece vest would not have performed as well.”

The 4PV’s four-panel system includes separate side panels that bridge the gap between the front and back panels, filling in the vulnerable opening found in two-piece designs.

Hockett was presented with a brand new replacement vest courtesy of Propper at a ceremony honoring his bravery. This is the first recorded save by a Propper 4PV since the company began making armor in 2014.

Dashcam footage of the incident.

Marine Corps’ Acquisition Command Gives Congresswoman Insider View of Newest Gear

Monday, July 24th, 2017

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Virginia— Marine Corps Systems Command welcomed U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas to the Gruntworks Squad Integration Facility aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico July 11. During her visit Tsongas received an insider view of advancements in personal protective equipment and load bearing equipment for Marines.

Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas joins Marine Corps Systems Command acquisition experts aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, July 11, for a sneak peek at the latest gear for the 21st Century Marine. In a series of ongoing efforts, the Corps and the Army are collaborating to develop, test and deliver ever-better capabilities for Marines and Soldiers. From left: Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, MCSC commander; Lt. Col. Chris Madeline, program manager for Infantry Combat Equipment; Rep. Tsongas; and Mackie Jordan, an engineer in PM ICE. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Emily Greene)

Raised in a military family herself, Tsongas represents the Massachusetts Third District. She is also a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, and has been serving as the highest ranking Democrat on the largest HASC subcommittee, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee (TAL), since the beginning of 2017. The TAL Subcommittee is responsible for overseeing and authorizing the research, development, production and procurement of a large segment of the resources and equipment used by the military services. Rep. Tsongas has led the push for modernized body armor and is working to support military innovation, particularly when it comes to lightening the load for the Warfighter.

"The Marine Corps is always looking to improve on current equipment to make it lighter, provide additional capability, and make it fit better," said LtCol Christopher Madeline, program manager for Infantry Combat Equipment at MCSC. "It was important to us to provide Congresswoman Tsongas an interactive experience with our newest gear so she has a more intimate understanding of our capabilities."

The Marine Corps is collaborating with the Army in a series of efforts to develop, test and deliver enhanced capabilities for Marines and Soldiers. As part of these efforts MCSC is changing the sizing of clothing, uniforms, and personnel protective and load bearing equipment to provide better fit, function and form for Marines, Madeline said.

Plate Carrier Generation III: The Marine Corps and Army are closely aligned to ensure uniforms and personal protective equipment properly fit female and male service members in order to accommodate every individual Marine and Soldier. The services are partnering to develop the PC Gen III, a service-common vest that will provide better fit, comfort and mobility. The new prototype reduces the length of the protective vest by 1.25 inches; provides sports-graded shoulder straps to improve fit; and is about 23 percent lighter than previous models. The new sizes will provide small-stature Marines with a better fit and reduce the weight associated with wearing a larger plate.

Enhanced Combat Helmet: In May 2017, the Marine Corps awarded a contract to procure an additional 84,000 ECHs. Since 2014, Marines had only been issued the ECH prior to deployment. This purchase will enable Marines to use the helmet during training as well, eliminating the need to trade helmets before and after deployments. The Marine Corps currently manages three ballistic helmets but the future vision is a single helmet for all operating forces, which greatly simplifies logistics considerations and increases cost savings. Also used by the Army and Navy, the ECH provides the most ballistic protection beyond any other Department of Defense helmet. It exploits lightweight material technology to provide enhanced ballistic protection against select small arms and fragmentation. Fielding will begin in the spring of 2018, allowing Marines to train with the same equipment they use in combat.

Marine Corps Pack System: After extensive cold weather testing earlier this year, the Corps is working to re- enforce the frame of the pack system Marines use to carry equipment and gear on their backs. Although the frames were previously tested at temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in accordance with North Atlantic Treaty Organization standards, it was found that real-world artic conditions caused the frames to become brittle and snap in extreme cold. During the test period, more than half a dozen MCSC experts worked to solicit feedback from Marines using the packs in order to identify how to improve the equipment.

MCSC is planning additional environmental and field testing for a more comprehensive evaluation of the reinforced frame’s performance in extreme cold temperatures. The testing will also determine additional root causes of the legacy frame failures, such as material aging and increased loads, to mitigate potential issues with the reinforced frame after fielding.

During Tsongas’ visit, MCSC experts briefed the congresswoman on the evolution of Marine Corps personal protective and load bearing equipment, allowing her to try on the PC GEN III, ECH and Marine Corps Pack System. Tsongas also received a behind-the-scenes demonstration of how engineers and specialists analyze and assess body types for equipment development.

“Since being elected to Congress, I have sought to ensure that our men and women in uniform are outfitted with the best life-saving equipment,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “I appreciate the opportunity to visit Marine Corps Systems Command to see firsthand how they are seeking to improve the personal protective equipment issued to Marines. I look forward to continuing to work with the Marine Corps and the joint services to continue advancements in this most important equipment category.”

SSD Comments: While fielding of the Enhanced Combat Helmet is finally underway, an upgrade to the plate carrier shown is unfunded. Additionally, while much ado has been made about broken Pack Frames, investigation has revealed few actual breakages and those were under questionable circumstances.

Morgan Advanced Materials Enhances Bomb Suit Capability with Specialist Silverback CBRN Visor

Friday, July 21st, 2017

A specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) helmet visor has been launched by Morgan Advanced Materials, which integrates with its cutting edge Silverback® 4020 Elite bomb suit. This has been made available in response to increased demand for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protective garments.


Designed as an additional option for Morgan’s acclaimed Silverback® 4020 Elite bomb disposal suit, the Silverback CBRN visor allows for the seamless integration of in-service CBRN masks. Featuring a wider surface area to accommodate the wearing of a CBRN facemask and respiration equipment, the visor delivers a range of benefits including powerful demisting technology and a wide field of vision for optimal situational awareness, helping to maximise the safety of the wearer. The latest innovation is the outcome of more than a year of research and development, and has undergone extensive blast testing to ensure full protection for the wearer.

The unique design of the Silverback CBRN visor allows for seamless integration with leading in-service CBRN facemasks and protective undergarments. Designed to ensure full compatibility as a complete CBRN garment system, the Silverback 4020 Elite features Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) attachments on the rear of suit jacket which allow for air purification and respiratory systems and other critical accessories to be attached.

Chris Davies, Technical Director at the Composites and Defence Systems business of Morgan Advanced Materials, explained: “The launch of our Silverback CBRN visor represents a significant technological breakthrough and step change in the application of our bomb suits. We are proud to have developed an EOD suit solution, which is compatible with most in-service CBRN garments to protect EOD teams from an array of threats.”

The Silverback CBRN visor is available to buy with the Silverback 4020 Elite bomb suit, or as a standalone purchase for existing Silverback 4020 Elite customers who wish to upgrade to a CBRN protective solution.

For further information, please visit

Guide to Plate Carriers by U.S. Elite

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

There are dozens of different designs and variations that make selecting the right carrier a daunting decision. Finding the right configuration and sizing is crucial, as an uncomfortable, ill-equipped carrier is anything but useful. Head on to U.S. Elite’s blog and read about their guide and join the discussion. They not only want to make sure you find the right gear but the setup should also be done correctly, ensuring that mission critical items are ready.

Speaking of plate carriers, do you know that Velocity Systems SCARAB Light Plate Carrier comes in MultiCam Black? This piece is a U.S. Elite exclusive, as seen from the best selling graphic novel, Black Powder Red Earth. Oh, and the perfect shirt for that of course, is the new Velocity Systems Boss Rugby Crewneck Shirt.

Visit to read the post.

Warrior East 2017 – Eagle Industries ULV Tactical 

Friday, July 14th, 2017

This is the Ultra Lightweight Vest – Tactical which is an evolutionary development of the US Army’s ULV.


Eagle added an adjustable cummerbund which is reinforced with laminate, laser cut with the same design as the shoulder straps. There’s also an optional elastic strap for times when you don’t need a full cummerbund. Additionally, the interior of the vest is made from 4-way stretch Tweave material and the shoulder straps are padded with Tweave. There are four sizes for the ULV Tactical but thanks to the Tweave, the panels will accommodate a variety of plates thicknesses. At the rear are #5 zips which will accept Eagle back panels. You’ll also notice a drag handle.


Another change from the baseline model is that the ULV Tactical will accept the removable front flaps from the Aero.


As a complimentary piece, Eagle introduced a Ultra Lightweight Chest Rig which is made from laminate and weighs 11 oz. Without the shoulder straps it’s just 7 oz. It also accepts the Aero’s front flaps.


The Chest Rig has dual AN/PRC-152 radio pouches on the interior and the rig can be attached via side release buckles directly to the ULV Tactical.

Offered in Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, Grey and MultiCam.

Armor Express Expands its Industry-Leading Design and Engineering Team with the Addition of a New Director of Carrier R&D and Brand Manager

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

CENTRAL LAKE, MI, July 10, 2017 – Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance body armor solutions, announced today that the Company has appointed two new members to its R&D team, who will serve in the roles of Director of Carrier R&D and Brand Manager. The appointments come as Armor Express develops and delivers more innovative product offerings to better support the growing needs of global law enforcement, federal, corrections, and military officers.

“Our ongoing expansion in R&D demonstrates our commitment to innovation, as we continue to meet the increasing demand for higher-performing solutions that safeguard our men and women in uniform. Building a world-class design and engineering team is critical to bringing greater value to our end-customers,” stated Matt Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Armor Express. “This also goes hand in hand with our infrastructural advancements, including a state-of-the-art Technology Center, and I am very excited by the prospects for major growth and success in the years to come.”

The expanded R&D team comprises highly-skilled engineers, designers, pattern makers, sewers, and product managers. The newest members include Rick Rardon, who recently joined as Director of Carrier R&D, and Robert Anderson, as the new Brand Manager for Lighthawk™ Tactical. Mr. Rardon will lead all non-ballistic product development efforts, including the design, material sourcing and implementation of new technologies, while collaborating with Sales and Marketing to drive all carrier lines to national and global agencies. Mr. Anderson will oversee brand integrity across all of Armor Express’ marketing initiatives and communications, as the Company moves forward with development of its Lighthawk product offerings. They join senior members Jon MacNeil, Director of Ballistics R&D; Monica Russ, Department Manager and Pattern Maker; Mike Criswell, Product Designer; Steve Murphy, Tactical Product Manager; and Lisa Becker, Project Manager. Together, the team will collaborate on new solution development in support of market growth.

Mr. Rardon is a Reconnaissance Marine Veteran who brings a wealth of military and product design experience to Armor Express. He began his design career over two decades ago and has continued to advance armor designs based on training and real-world experiences gained during his multiple deployments overseas. Prior to Armor Express, Mr. Rardon was the Director of Operations and Chief Designer at PG USA; Chief Designer at Mountain Defense Group; and Armor Design Manager at Propper International. Mr. Rardon oversaw management of the production/factory floor and lean manufacturing processes. He also led OEM development and directed product design for several government contracts. He has been heavily involved in R&D — building armor design shops, helping companies develop their lines of ballistic carriers and working with vendors to implement their technologies.

Mr. Anderson is a former commissioned police officer and brings more than 30 years of tactical industry experience, working on solution development with the U.S. Army; U.S. Navy; U.S. Air Force; various Federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, CIA, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice; numerous state/county/municipal Law Enforcement agencies; and several Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) including private security firms supporting both national and private sector entities. Prior to Armor Express, Mr. Anderson founded and was President of US PALM, a premier product design and manufacturing company that developed and produced firearm enhancements, tactical nylon and K-9 products. At US PALM, he was intimately involved in all aspects of business operations, including product design, manufacturing, marketing, customer service, supplier and distributor relations, new business development, and staff recruitment and training.

“Rick and Rob bring tremendous knowledge to the business, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the Armor Express family. I am proud of the talented and trusted team we have built as we continue to focus resources on creating ‘industry firsts’ in ballistic systems, carrier designs, hard armor plates, and accessories. This is crucial to our mission to save more lives and it could not be more timely, as body armor makers await the debut of the new NIJ Standard-0101.07. Our ability to test the latest protocols in-house is key to bringing solutions to market quickly. I’m confident that with our capable team and infrastructure in place, we will succeed at both speed and scale,” Mr. Davis concluded.

Congratulations guys!

Qore Performance Announces Enhanced Dealer Program With Launch Partner SOARescue

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Qore Performance, inventors of the IcePlate hard cell cooling and hydration solution, is proud to announce the release of the Enhanced Dealer Program in partnership with SOARescue who is now the Subject Matter Expert for all Fire/Rescue, EMS and Tactical EMS applications for the IcePlate. In this role, SOARescue will be spearheading the already rapid growth of IcePlate into Fire/Rescue, EMS and Tactical EMS applications where end users are in need of a powerful, portable rehab solution.


The expansion of IcePlate applications beyond military and law enforcement has been a vision of SOARescue for some time. “Environmental injury prevention and mitigation is often overlooked in our community. This has partially been due to inadequate equipment and education on the subject. We are incredibly excited about this partnership with Qore Performance, and the opportunity to close a capability gap” says Andrew Rowley, CEO of SOARescue.


The IcePlate will be able to be utilized in many facets of Fire/Rescue and Tactical EMS operations. “We foresee this being an incredible tool in firefighter rehabilitation after a working fire or prolonged extrication. This tool will be utilized under technical rescue gear keeping rescuers cool or warm regardless of the environmental condition(s). The multifunctional design of this amazing device will also allow for tactical medics and operators alike to remain cool and hydrated on extended operations, enhancing their own safety and performance in the process, without expanding the footprint of their kit,” concluded Rowley.

The key to packing all of this capability into small, deployable spaces is the combination of IcePlates and Pelican Coolers. The IcePlate is geometrically optimized for Pelican Coolers and delivers 30% greater storage density over bottled water. SOARescue will use this unique and groundbreaking IcePlate capability to help Fire Rescue EMS personnel bring more relief in less space – an efficiency that will make a difference on rigs already loaded with kit.


Additionally, SOARescue is the first Authorized Service Center for IcePlate. As an IcePlate ASC, SOARescue will be able to offer current IcePlate customers the ability to retrofit their existing IcePlates with Qore Performance’s cross-compatible Quick Disconnect, which allows users to connect their existing Source Hydration hoses and some CamelBak hoses to their IcePlate.

“We are excited about our partnership with SOARescue. They are the type of visionary, high-quality, high character subject matter experts with whom we love to partner,” says Justin Li, Inventor & Owner of Qore Performance, “we couldn’t ask for a better launch partner for our Enhanced Dealer Program.”

The Enhanced Dealer Program capabilities are available from SOARescue immediately. SOARescue stocks IcePlate in all colors and combinations (White/Clear, Desert Tan and Wolf Grey, with or without the cross-compatible Quick Disconnect). If you are in the Fire Rescue EMS space and are interested in finding out how SOARescue can build an IcePlate program for your department, contact:, visit , or call 1-855-4-SOARESQ and use option 2.

U.S. Marshals Service – Expired Body Armor, Inconsistent Training Raises Risks For Marshals

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

This release, from US Senator Chuck Grassley’s webpage, details a current lapse in proper training, and protective and trauma gear, for US Marshals Service officers.

Jul 07, 2017

Leadership was reportedly warned about need to follow through on safety measures, yet failed to adequately fund equipment or implement programs

Body armor with 13 percent failure rate still worn by more than 1,000 agents

Weakened criteria for training officers tied to flawed safety instructions

WASHINGTON – Thousands of U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) officers tasked with hunting down dangerous fugitives are relying on expired protective and trauma gear and insufficient training, according to information obtained by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Despite repeated warnings about the increased risks to employees and public statements prioritizing safety, agency leadership has reportedly failed to follow through with critical steps to ensure officers are appropriately trained and equipped to carry out often dangerous duties. In two separate letters to USMS leadership, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is calling on the agency to explain how the lapses were allowed to occur.

Expired Body Armor
A 2014 USMS memo outlined a plan to replace body armor kits every five years to normalize the budget request process and ensure that critical equipment is regularly updated. Because most of the USMS’ 3,900 operations employees received their gear in 2011 or 2012, much of the body armor needs to be replaced by 2017. However, as of February, only certain portions of the kits had been updated for a limited number of employees.

In recent testimony before Congress, USMS leadership discussed the need to replace body armor consistent with the five-year schedule. However, USMS’ budget requests for the replacement fell well short of the level required to implement the replacement plan and contracts to acquire the new gear, indicating that the agency was knowingly underfunding the replacement plan. Earlier this year, the agency planned to use the same pot of taxpayer funds to provide across-the-board promotions to as many as 60 employees whose duties are similar to other employees across the country.

“It is troubling that the agency was ready to expend the funds to promote 60 people with no competition, while ignoring the pleas to replace body armor with a 13 percent failure rate currently worn by thousands of operational employees across the agency whose daily job it is to apprehend violent fugitives,” Grassley said in the letter.

Even with additional funds allocated, filling orders under the contract and deploying armor to employees will take time. Barring actual equipment upgrades, more than 2,000 employees will have expired armor at the end of 2017. Text of Grassley’s body armor letter follows this release.

Weakened Training Officer Vetting
In 2011, following several line-of-duty deaths, the USMS developed the High Risk Fugitive Apprehension Training Program to establish a uniform nation-wide training regime based on best practices and lessons learned from earlier events. While the program’s developers recommended that instructors have at least five consecutive years of violent fugitive apprehension experience, the final criteria was significantly less. Under the implemented program, instructors could be certified even if they had no experience in high risk fugitive apprehension and had never attended the training they would be tasked to teach.

USMS leadership was allegedly warned on multiple occasions that the lack of instructor vetting and oversight would lead to a breakdown in uniform training. According to information obtained by the committee, those breakdowns have led some task forces to adopt tactics that actually increase risks to officers. In 2015, a USMS officer was shot and killed while participating in an operation in Louisiana to arrest a double-murder suspect. The subsequent incident report, which the agency has refused to share with leadership in the field, revealed multiple failures to follow the training program.

“All of these warnings to agency leadership about the breakdown of the program reportedly were given both before and after the Louisiana operation,” Grassley said in the letter. “For the safety of other deputies and law enforcement officers involved in high risk fugitive operations, this event should be examined – in a transparent manner – in the larger context of the agency’s own policies, practices, and reports.”

Grassley is seeking information on the implementation of the training program, including an explanation for why the instructor criteria was reduced and whether the agency will adopt new safety protocols based on information gained from incident reports following operations like the one in Louisiana.