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Brigantes Presents – High Angle Solutions – The Helix Personal Escape System

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

The Helix Personal Escape System is a modular, lightweight and low volume micro rope system that gives users the capability to quickly descend or egress from a position. The system can be used for both personal descents, and to lower a single operator or load. This system has been specifically designed for military, law enforcement and emergency personnel to perform an emergency escape across all environments and operational theatres. The system has been designed for fast deployment, intuitive to use and have minimal training burden. The system contains the necessary equipment to do the following:

• Construct anchor points in a wide number of environments using a minimal amount of equipment.

• Protect the rope from damage.

• Descend or lower personnel up to 23m.

• Ascend the rope.

The system is certified to EN 341:2011/2D European standard for descent systems and ANSI Z359.4-2013 American standard for fall protection and fall restraint and has also passed additional, harsher testing that simulated worse case scenarios with heavily laden operators.

Key Features

• System contains a pre-rigged descent/lowering system. This uses 23m of 5.5mm heat resistant aramid rope with a rigging carabiner, a rope protector and an auto-locking load limiting rope controller all attached and ready to deploy.

• Extra rigging equipment included: An ANSI rated rescue hook and aramid sling that increase the options for creating safe anchor points.

• Ascent system: A rope ascender with an integral pulley pre-rigged onto a carabiner and foot loop that together allow the user to ascend the rope. The system supplied allows a fast transition between descent, ascent and back again.

• Storage/carriage: The system is packed in a molle pouch solution that integrates with current issue webbing. The components are supplied vacuum packed inside the pouch system to minimise maintenance and protect the components from the elements prior to initial use.

• Train the Trainer and Train the Operator courses are available to support the product.


• The descent system was tested to assess functionality at 40°C – the system performed as normal and the heat did not affect performance or operation.

• An unsealed descent system was submerged for 2 hours at a depth of 10m and then tested to assess functionality

For more information contact

For international enquiries:

Nordic Combat Uniform Enters Testing Phase

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

The Nordic Combat Uniform (NCU) project is now ready to enter the field-testing phase. Some 480 soldiers from all four Nordic countries will be testing the uniform systems from the final prequalified tenderers.

In these weeks some 480 soldiers, who are going to take a part in the field-testing phase, will be opening the boxes with the sample uniform systems from the tenderers. That will be the beginning of the comprehensive test period running from December 2019 to May 2020.

The Nordic Combat Uniform Project is a part of Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO). The purpose of the joint Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish Nordic Combat Uniform?project (NCU) is to acquire a common flexible combat uniform system that meets the operational requirements of the modern battlefield.

One system, one design, but national camouflage

The NCU clothing system includes uniform configurations from an underwear layer to outer garments, used in European, jungle and desert conditions. The configuration is the same in all countries, but each country will use its own national camouflage pattern in the uniforms. Headgear, gloves, footwear or personal protective equipment are not part of the NCU, and each country will procure those independently. The technical requirements for this purchase are a system approach which meets the operational requirements. This includes Nordic and European combat environment, but also in very cold environment and in extreme warm conditions like in jungle or desert. These functional requirements are based on joint user experience from all four countries and Nordic expertise.

One of the big advantages of a common Nordic Combat Uniform project is the scale of the acquisition. With a contract value of estimated 425 million Euros it has attracted worldwide attention from leading suppliers which creates ground for an increased competition and a more favorable price-quality-ratio.

Experiences from four nations packed into one combat uniform system

Although price is important the greatest advantage of the joint Nordic cooperation is the comprehensive test conducted by around 480 soldiers from the four countries. Test subjects include all types of soldiers from conscripts to Special Forces.

In the bids, the combat uniform tenderers described the uniform configurations that, in their mind, correspond to the functional requirements set by the NCU countries.

Based on the bids the project has invited combat uniform tenderers to field tests organized from December 2019 to May 2020. The field tests will evaluate the functionality of the offered uniform configurations in different conditions and collect user feedback about the uniforms’ suitability for use.

The field tests for the European area uniform configurations will be conducted in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark by the countries’ armed forces. The field tests for the jungle and desert uniforms will be conducted by the Danish Armed Forces including Special Forces in the first part of 2020. In Finland the clothing configurations will be subjected to separate tests used to assess their functionality in arctic conditions, among other things.

After the field tests are concluded the Swedish Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut, FOI) will collect the feedback given by the Nordic user groups. The NCU project will analyze the feedback, and on this basis make a functional performance assessment on the combat uniform candidates.

The assessment of the functional performance forms part of the evaluation of the technical performance of each offered combat uniform system. The overall evaluation includes both the technical performance and the offered prices.  This evaluation will form the basis for negotiations with the remaining tenderers and a request for best and final offers which will be finally evaluated resulting in the award of the NCU Framework Agreement.

Story by Nordic Defence Cooperation

Photos via Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation 

Max Talk 44: British Infantry Belt Kit: Review JayJays Gen 4 Web Gear

Monday, November 11th, 2019

This is the forty-fourth installment of ‘Max Talk Monday’ which shares select episodes from a series of instructional videos. Max Velocity Tactical (MVT) has established a reputation on the leading edge of tactical live fire and force on force training. MVT is dedicated to developing and training tactical excellence at the individual and team level.

This is an instructional session on the applicability and use of the British Army belt kit (webbing), focusing specifically on a review of the JayJays Gen 4 web gear, in this case the commanders version.

Gen IV Commanders Description:

The Gen IV Commanders is a totally flexible belt kit system where the pouches are permanently fixed to the pad.

For 20 years JayJays has been the UK market leader in permanently fixed belt kit systems and since the first concept was designed our belt kit has been constantly developed. Subtle design changes and features over the years have made this the preferred belt kit of the British Soldier.
Fixed pouches allow us to cater for users with a small waist size. Due to clever design we are able to keep the same number of pouches required and sew them to different length pads, making the belt kit a perfect fit for the user.

The design of the Gen IV reduces bounce of the belt kit. When all the pouches are full they stabilise against each other making a solid form that does not bounce or rock. This combined with the spacer pad ensures an ergonomic comfortable fit.
The latest version of the Gen IV comprises of all polymer hardware making it rust resistant in jungle environments. The addition of the polymer hardware also reduces overall weight without compromising strength.
Spacetec spacer fabric is used for padding to allow it to be as breathable as possible but still very flexible so it hugs the body.

Max is a tactical trainer and author, a lifelong professional soldier with extensive military experience. He served with British Special Operations Forces, both enlisted and as a commissioned officer; a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Max served on numerous operational deployments, and also served as a recruit instructor. Max spent five years serving as a paramilitary contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan; the latter two years working for the British Government in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Website: Max Velocity Tactical

YouTube: Max Velocity Tactical

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Veterans Day

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” — President George Washington

November 11th, 1919 was the first observance of Armistice Day, it was created to honor the fallen from WW1. In 1938 it was made a legal holiday. In 1945 it was changed to honor all military veterans.

I wanted to share some stories of POW through the history of the U.S. There have been over 500,000 Prisoners of War held thru out the history of the U.S. Many did not make it home. I wanted to share this on Veteran’s Day as I feel they gave a lot more than most ever will. 

Prison ships of the Revolutionary war

During the Revolutionary, War prisoner were held on prison ships on New York harbor. They were held in some of the worst conditions, and at one point, 12 prisoners were dying a night, from diseases like smallpox, typhoid, and yellow fever. By the end of the war, 11,000 soldiers would die in British ships, more than were killed in all the battles combined (4,500). Many died a slow and painful death within the confines of the HMS Jersey and other prison ships. During the evacuation of New York, British forces abandoned and set fire to all the prison ships in the harbor. Eight thousand prisoners were still onboard when it was set on fire. For years after the war, bones continued to wash up on the Brooklyn shore. In 1902, while extending one of the docks, workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard unknowingly pierced the hull of the ship. Her resting place was finally discovered.

U.S. Civil War- Andersonville

Andersonville Prison, formerly known as Camp Sumter, was a Confederate military prison that only existed for 14 months during the American Civil War. It opened in early 1864 near Andersonville, Georgia, and closed in April of 1965. The prisoner’s lack of food, poor sanitation, disease, and also praying on each other, made Andersonville the worst prison of the war. Of the 56,000 prisoner-of-war deaths that occurred during the war, 13,000 were at Andersonville Prison.

WW2 POW of the Japanese

There were more than 350,000 prisoners captured by the Japanese in the Philippines, more than half were native, the natives were dying at such a high rate, that the Japanese released them. They said they were releasing them for propaganda purposes. Over 140,000 allied prisoners (U.S., UK, Aussies, Dutch, Canada, and Kiwis) were held in the Japanese POW camps. Of these, one in three died from starvation, work, and punishments. The death rate was 27% compared to 4% of POW help by German and Italy. About 5 million Chines died in captivity; over 25 million died at the hands of the Japanese.

Korea and Vietnam

As we started to fight communism, a new type of prison of war camp was encounter. Now, prisoners began to be “reprogramed.” North Korean, the Chinese and North Vietnamese guards, used extreme torture to try and “reprogram” the prisons. The most notorious prison during the Vietnam war was the H?a Lò, a name loosely translated as “hell hole.” It was nicknamed the Hanoi Hilton by the POWs. It is infamous as one of if not the worst prisons in history. From the beginning, U.S. POWs endured miserable conditions, including inadequate food, unsanitary conditions, and torture. Although North Vietnam was a signatory of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, which demanded “decent and humane treatment” of prisoners of war, severe torture methods were employed, such as rope bindings, irons, beatings, and prolonged solitary confinement. The North said that since the US never declared war, they didn’t have to follow the Geneva Convention.  In 1972 jane fonda visited the Hanoi Hilton. While she was there, she called out some of the prisons as faking being mistreated and being hungry. She also posed on an NVA anti-aircraft gun. When she returned, she called out returning POWs “hypocrites and liars,” adding, “These were not men who had been tortured. These were not men who had been starved. These were not men who had been brainwashed”.


FirstSpear Friday Focus – SSD x FS Limited Edition Walt Torso Holster

Friday, November 8th, 2019

We are excited to announce a Soldier Systems and FirstSpear collaboration on a Limited edition SSD Walt Torso holster in manatee grey, now available in the non-stocking non-standard section in the FirstSpear web store.

The Walt was one of FirstSpear’s first products and has remained a favorite. Based on the old M7 leather shoulder holster for the 1911, Tye Walt is made from modern materials to resist rot. Additionally, it’s very forgiving for those pistols which are difficult to find a holster for. I’ve used it with G17s, G19s and 1911s as well as a Hi-Standard Changematic and an FN 509 (although it felt a little loose with the former and a little tight with the latter).

Exceptional cross draw style body holster designed to fit 1911, Glock, M9, 226, and similar sized pistols. Hypalon exterior with subdued SSD laser etched logo. Available while supplies last. Made in the USA with USA Materials.

This is a one-time good deal. once they are gone, they are gone.

For every holster sold $25 will be donated to SOWF, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

PEO Soldier Team Wins 2019 Packard Acquisition Award For Sub Compact Weapon

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The Sub Compact Weapon Team, part of the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Soldier, has received the David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for its work to use an other-transaction authority (OTA) to deliver a new subcompact weapon system in 12 months.

The team, part of PEO Soldier’s Project Manager for Soldier Weapons, is one of five teams across the DOD that received the prestigious award, given by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment to organizations that have demonstrated exemplary performance and innovation in acquiring and delivering products and capabilities for the warfighter.

Managed by the Product Manager for Individual Weapons, the team includes representatives from the product management office as well as the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) — Armaments Center; the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center; the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command; the CCDC Army Research Laboratory’s Human Research and Engineering Directorate; Army Contracting Command — New Jersey (ACC-NJ): and the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).

The team was responding to an urgent request issued in the spring of 2018 from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command for a new weapon that would support the U.S. Army’s Protective Services Battalion mission to provide continuous, protective close-in security to senior high-risk personnel while maintaining stringent discretion in attire and profile.

Based on the guidance from the secretary of the Army to select the weapon in 12 months, the team moved from a standard DOD 5000.01 acquisition approach using Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracting to an OTA approach.

In July 2018, ACC-NJ released a prototype opportunity notice to support the procurement of subcompact weapons for evaluation, testing, two phases of down-selection, and fielding. To maintain the accelerated schedule, offerors submitted videos in the first stage of down-selection to visually demonstrate how their weapons met the minimum requirements, along with pricing information.

Technical testing on the candidate systems began at Aberdeen Test Center, Maryland, in November 2018, and a Soldier touch point was conducted in January 2019 at Quantico, Virginia. The team’s logistics and fielding leads coordinated closely with TACOM Total Package Fielding and Defense Logistics Agency Distribution in Anniston, Alabama, to ensure that weapons were quickly processed through Army logistics systems to meet the required first unit equipped date of May 31, 2019.

On March 29, the Army awarded a production delivery order to Brugger and Thomet USA for its APC9K Semi-Automatic Carbine. The award will furnish 350 APC9Ks, with an option to acquire up to 1,000 of the subcompact 9 mm weapons, with a total ceiling amount of $2.5 million. On May 31, the team fielded the first set of 10 weapons to the 701st Military Police Protective Services Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Virginia–approximately two and a half years earlier than it would have if the program had pursued a FAR-based approach with a formal Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System-approved requirement.

Also receiving Packard Awards were the Department of the Air Force Launch Enterprise Team and the U.S. Air Force Pitch Day team, as well as two teams from the U.S. Special Operations Command: Distributed Common Ground/Surface System — Special Operations Forces, and the Tactical Assault Kit Configuration Steering Board.

A ceremony honoring the winners will be hosted by Hon. Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, and David L. Norquist, deputy secretary of defense, Dec. 2 at the Pentagon.

SureFire Field Notes Ep. 49: Red Dots on Handguns with Scott Jedlinski

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Scott Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project talks about the value of Red Dot sights on handguns.

Modern Samurai Project offers private and group instruction on basic self-defense and firearms. Their specialty is the fundamentals and performance of the use of red dot equipped pistols for responsibly armed citizens and law enforcement.

Search Ongoing for Special Tactics Airman After Training Jump

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, a search remains underway for an Airman who exited a C-130 aircraft November 5, 2019 over the Gulf of Mexico approximately 4 miles south of Hurlburt Field. The incident is ongoing and under investigation.

Search and recovery crews were immediately called to aid in locating the Airman from the 24th Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field at approximately 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Units participating in the efforts include:

– 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field Air Force Base

– 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field Air Force Base

– Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin Helicopter aircrew

– Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew

– Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile MH-60 Jayhawk aircrew

– Two Coast Guard Station Destin 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crews

– 96th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base

– U.S. Army 7th Special Forces Group, Duke Field

– Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office

– Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs