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Marines Seeking Enhanced Flame Resistant Combat Ensemble

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

FROG Banner sm

In January, MARCORSYSCOM released a pre-solicitation for an “Enhanced Flame Resistant Combat Ensemble” or EFRCE. While it sounds like something completely new, really what the Marines are looking for is a version of the Blouse and Trouser from the Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) that incorporates but improved fabrics and Permethrin treatment. There are no plans to alter the current cut or design of this popular uniform.

In terms of a general description, EFRCE is similar to the current Flame Resistant Combat Ensemble (FRCE) in the Marine Corps inventory; however, the design and fabrics used to construct the FRCE have been modified to increase durability (as such, producing the EFRCE)…Also, of note, following contract award, each shirt and trouser of the EFRCE must be factory permethrin treated and must conform to the permethrin concentration levels and percent bite protection requirements, as established by the Marine Corps.

They want vendors to use the following fabric types:

Cloth, Type I – Woven, Woodland, Marine Corps Pattern (MARPAT) Camouflage Printed
Cloth, Type II – Woven, Desert, MARPAT Camouflage Printed
Cloth, Type III – Woven, Navy Working Uniform (NWU) II, Desert Digital Camouflage Printed
Cloth, Type IV – Woven, NWU III, Woodland Digital Camouflage Printed
Cloth, Type V – Knit, Coyote, Solid (All Uniform Types)

Based on this, as you can imagine, the EFRCE will be offered in 4 variants:

As you can see, the Marines and Navy have no plans to abandon their camouflage patterns anytime soon. But, Marines and Sailors will have a great uniform in both woodland desert variants.

Class 1, Type I EFRCE Blouse and Trouser, Woodland MARPAT, with Durable Insect Protection
Class 1, Type II EFRCE Blouse and Trouser, Desert MARPAT, with Durable Insect Protection
Class 2, Type III EFRCE Blouse and Trouser, NWU II Desert Digital Camouflage Printed, with Durable Insect Protection
Class 2, Type IV EFRCE Blouse and Trouser, NWU III Woodland Digital Camouflage Printed, with Durable Insect Protection

As of now, the EFRCE will be produced by Hub Zone-based small businesses.

MARSOC Purchases Additional Woodland FROG

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Earlier this year, Marine Corps Special Operations Command purchased Fire Resistant Operational Gear uniforms in the old Woodland camouflage pattern under a sole source contract from Crye Precision. Interestingly, the old Woodland pattern was specified so that MARSOC personnel would blend in with their Afghan (ANA Commandos) counterparts.

Unfortunately, MARSOC asked for the uniforms in an older variant of the FR Defender-M fabric. A little over a year ago, the Marine Corps had adopted an improved version of TenCate’s Defender-M fabric for their FROG ensembles that is more abrasion resistant and the US Army followed suit soon after. We’re still unsure why MARSOC didn’t specify the newer Defender-M from jump street but by late summer KitUp! had broken the story that the special versions of FROG were falling apart. Around the same time, a similar fate befell Australian MultiCam uniforms called Operational Combat Uniforms which also relied on the older fabric.

Since then, both MARSOC and the Australians have purchased new uniforms in the latest, more robust 6.5 oz version of Defender-M which boasts twice the tear strength of the previous variant.

MDM – TenCate (MARPAT-Woodland FROG)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

We’ve mentioned it exists and here’s a shot of the new MARPAT-Woodland variant of FROG.

20110928-155731.jpg

It’s made from TenCate’s latest Defender-M twill fabric that offers twice the tear strength of the material used just 14 months ago.

Where’s The Woodland MARPAT FROG?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

We’ve been asking that question for awhile now, but we are very happy to report that the USMC’s Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) is now available in Woodland MARPAT. In fact, it’s already in service. According to industry sources, about one-quarter of the current production of FROG is being manufactured in the Woodland variant of MARPAT.

In addition to contract production, Propper Industries has also added the woodland pattern to their website. (a little hint, they will have NWU Types I, II and III soon as well)

TenCate Announces Enhanced Version of Defender M

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

TenCate has developed a new version of the FR Defender M fabric which enhances durability. It will be used on new production of the USMC’s Flame Resistant Organizational Gear (FROG) ensemble. Troops in Afghanistan have been particularly hard on their uniforms due to the austere, mountainous environment so the new fabric is a welcome addition to the combat uniform.

www.tencatemilitary.com

USMC Inclement Weather Combat Shirt

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Short Bark Industries manufactures the Marine Corps issue IWCS and we were lucky enough to run across one in the Tencate booth at Modern Day Marine. As you can see it has thumbhole cuffs and Super Fabric shoulder caps and is manufactured from FR fabrics. Check it out.

West Point Explores Camouflage

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The West Point PAO published a fantastic story early this month about the Engineering Psychology program within the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. It gives a great account of Dr Timothy Oneill’s (LTC USA, Ret) contribution to the development of camouflage patterns and his participation in Phase IV of the Army’s current camouflage effort. It is absolutely worth reading. However, it is the last paragraph of the article that begged our attention.

“O’Neill personally believes the end state will be two uniforms with snow overwhites. Though he is currently unable to discuss any particulars about the new uniform, O’Neill assures that they are developing it as fast as they can.”

We’re sure you’ve heard the old adage, “Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics” and ultimately, this is the major issue for those touting multiple patterns for the Army. Unfortunately, many of them are also suffering from another oldie but goodie, “Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.” It seems the Army’s institutional memory is incapable of even making it back to 2001 or even 2003 when US troops commenced combat operations first in Afghanistan in woodland camouflage uniforms and then a scant year and a half later liberated Iraq in a mixture of woodland and 3-color desert patterns. Even then, it was a repeat of the first Gulf war when all of the services were incapable of preparing a sufficient stockpile of desert dress. The bottom line here is that it is simply too expensive to issue every Soldier multiple camo patterns. Even if sufficient funding were secured, would even two patterns be enough? They too would be generic patterns and compromises. So how many patterns would it take?

The question isn’t whether the Army is capable of developing numerous specific patterns for a variety of target areas. That is the easy part. The real challenge is how to produce and issue such uniforms and equipment fast enough to actually have an effect on the operation. As a nation, we have failed three times to accomplish this, and that was but for a single pattern. Imagine if this issue were multiplied even ten-fold.

Yes, you are going to say that the Marine Corps issues two uniforms but they are a much smaller service. The outlay isn’t as great. However, FROG is not offered in Woodland MARPAT so the Marine Corps doesn’t even really offer a combat uniform in a jungle or forest pattern. Additionally, their solution for a common colored load carrying and armor solution was based more on economy than performance. If the Army ever issues a final report from the recent photometric camouflage study conducted in Afghanistan, there will be some empirical evidence that suggests that solid colors such as Coyote are not very good performers as they provide too much contrast with the camo pattern. So maybe the Marines didn’t do such a great job after all.

Then there is the whole issue with clashing with your environment. Specifically, woodland pattern in a desert environment or vice versa. Troops can’t carry multiple patterns during an operation and change clothing as the environment changes. This has already been an issue in Afghanistan for both the US Marines as British forces.

All of these lessons were learned at the beginning of this war and the Army decided to adopt a Universal pattern. Unfortunately, they initially chose UCP. However, they have since selected an excellent Universal camouflage pattern for Afghanistan in Crye’s MultiCam. It works, it has been tested several times, and it is available. What’s more, it is an issue pattern. Even better, the troops love it. So what’s the problem?

If the Army wants to make an effect immediately, then the solution to Phase IV is simple. Adopt MultiCam and continue to develop and evaluate camouflage patterns. Once a superior pattern is identified, work with the sister services to institute an upgrade in capability.

Crye Precision FROG Combat Shirt and Trousers

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

*Soldier Systems Daily Exclusive*

Propper International has partnered with Crye Precision in a licensing agreement to manufacture and sell the Crye designed USMC Flame Resistant Operational Gear (FROG) combat shirt and trouser for Military and Government customers. Many don’t know that the FROG uniform was designed by Crye Precision based on lessons learned from their successful Combat Uniforms and this is exactly the same fighting ensemble issued to the Marines but in a wider selection of colors. The FROG combat shirt and trouser which are already available in Desert MARPAT are also planned to be available in Multicam, Tan, Green, Black, AOR1, AOR2, Army Universal, and Digital Tiger Stripe.

FROG Ensemble Produced in MulticamFROG Ensemble Produced in Multicam

Propper has been manufacturing the combat shirt and trouser for the USMC since 2006 and looks forward to bringing this battle proven product to additional customers in different markets. Distributors, government agencies, and military acquisitions personnel are welcome to visit the Propper booth for further info at the Infantry Warfighting Conference and Modern Day Marine for more information.

Infantry Warfighting Conference, Booth # 1110
Sept. 22-23

Modern Day Marine, Booth # 1553
Sept Sept 29 – Oct 1

Gov/Mil Sales Contact: Greg Graves
GSA purchase information will be available soon.

Note: Propper is not taking individual commercial orders at this time but as product becomes available through distributors they foresee availability coming to retail customers.