Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

SCUBAPRO Sunday X-TEK BCD Line

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

             

X-FORCE is more than a powerhouse of features, making it perfect for passionate and advance recreational divers. New, pre-formed wrap-around bladder provides higher buoyancy with increased volume in the lower back. New quick-release weight buckle retaining system allows one-hand operation and easy to find for optimal safety. 

• Additional back pockets offer trim counterweight storage.

• The backpack and soft neck protection are fitted with Air-Net padding for increased comfort and protection.

• Shoulder pads and straps covered in anti-slip material.

• It is constructed of high-resistance Cordura 500 exterior and Nylon 420 interior, guaranteeing durability.

• Cordura® Lock protects against the elements.

• Octopus holder on both sides keeps gear neat and accessible.

• Available with Balanced Power Inflator (BPI) or optional AIR2.

The SCUBAPRO X-Force BCD is a robust BCD with a pre-formed wrap-around bladder which provides a better fit and excellent comfort. The X-Force has some fantastic features such as a high buoyancy via a new gusset in the lower area of the air cell, a new backpack with air net padding and air net soft protection for the neck.

Secure Quick Release integrated weights use a pinch-clip to hold your weights in position. Trim weight pockets on the rear hold any trim weight either side of your cylinder for a better position in the water. Each side pocket has an octo holder and a D-Ring to hold your alternate air source with either a clip or tucking the hose.

Anti-Slip Shoulder Material holds the BCD in position even when wet so the BCD won’t move or twist. The outside of the BCD is made from high-resistance 500D Cordura for durability, and 420 Nylon interior further increases durability.

The Scubapro X-Black is a high specification, durable yet comfortable BCD that features a new Balanced Power Inflator (BPI) and elbow design, rigid backed integrated weight pockets, redesigned dump valves and a new bladder system. The X-Black features the exclusive AirFlex system, highlighted by the red bungees, that simplifies buoyancy control and guarantees high stability. One of our most feature-rich BCs, the X-Black is also one of the most comfortable even when fully inflated thanks to its ergonomic cut.

SCUBAPRO can also manufacture custom X-Teks.

XFtZnZOLNnw

www.scubapro.com

 

 

PS Magazine Reminds You To Keep The Anti-Reflective Device On Your M68 Close Combat Optic

Monday, January 14th, 2019

This is a public service message from the Army’s very own PS Magazine.

Soldiers often remove the M68 Close Combat Optic’s (CCO) reflective sight’s anti-reflective device (ARD) because they think they can sight better without it. Then, of course, the ARD goes missing.

Does this make the M68 NMC?

Yes. Step 10 of the PMCS in WP 0012 in TM 9-1240-413-13&P (May 13) says if the ARD is missing or damaged, the M68 is NMC.

Leave the ARD on for two very good reasons:

1. The ARD prevents a reflection from signaling your position to the enemy. That could mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield.

2. The ARD protects the M68’s lens from scratches. If the lens becomes too scratched, you can’t see through it and the sight does you no good.

Units should emphasize to Soldiers they shouldn’t remove the ARD in the field. Armorers can order replacement ARDs with NSN 6650-01-479-5386. They cost a little more than $40.

SCUABPRO Sunday – Nice to have Accessories

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

When planning a dive or a Boat/ Zodiac/ Wing ride, there are a few essential pieces of gear that you definitely should bring with you. But as much as you would want to keep your gear to a minimum, there are still a couple of things you should bring for your convenience. 

I am going to talk about a couple accessories that you may not have thought of to add to your gear list. Everyone knows about the hammock on long plane ride but not enough can be said about being comfortable on a 4-hour boat ride after a 3-hour dive. I will explain what makes them useful and why you should bring them with you. This stuff can be used if on a boat heading to a dive or if you are just on a boat for a long OTB. It’s about comfort and I will say safety.  

It all starts with a good dry bag. It’ll allow you to put all of your gear in one place, so you won’t have to worry about it getting wet or losing any of it. What makes a good dry bag? Well to start it has to have a good waterproof zipper and be able to take the beating of being bounced up and down in the front of a boat. In this bag you can keep your warm clothes for before or after the dive (if you are diving or getting wet) Always have a way to separate wet clothes from dry ones, a small or medium dry bag is good for this. That way you can put it back in away. You can also have a small camp / micro-fleece towel to help dry you off. In your bags hang a small light at the top so you can use it to look around with out having to dig around your bag trying to find whatever you need. This helps whenever you are looking in a pack at night. I like the small push button lights for this on a retractor like you use for your badge. Put one in all your bags will make your life easier when you are looking around your nags in the middle of he night when you are cold and wet.

If you can change out of your wetsuit make sure you do that, when you first get out of the water you will be hot, but if you are in for a long boat ride you will get cold. If you have a mustang suit, it is an easy thing to change into. Try and put on a base layer of wool, as you wont be completely dry wool keeps you warm even when wet. For your hands and feet. SEALKINZ make some great socks and gloves. They are waterproof and windproof. Lastly for when you get out of the water is something to eat and or drink. I am going to sound like and old man, but a thermos with hot chocolate, or soup. This will help keep you warm and also if you are cold and tired a lot better then eating a energy bar that is cold and hard. Some bite size snickers or something like that is good. They are also great for winter warfare or survival situations you can drop a bite size snickers bar into some hot water and you have a good soup.

Ok now that you are warm and dry, its time to get ready for the long boat ride home. Whenever you are on a boat the best ride is always in the back. There is less movement and its less wear and tear on you. If you are on a zodiac/ wing again try and sit in the back. If you have a stadium seat (picture below) take some one-inch tubular nylon wrap it around the seat and tie it together, put a carabiner on it to the D rings on the boat. Now you can sit on it, and it will help hold you in place and give you a better ride. This is great after a long night of being cold and wet.

US Army’s 300th Sustainment Brigade Conducts Joint Parachute Testing With Marines

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –- Soldiers and Marines partnered to train with and test a low-cost parachute system at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 10, 2018.

A Soldiers from the 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion conducting recovery operations after completing a joint aerial delivery mission with the Special Purpose Marine Ground Task Force on Dec. 10, 2018, Camp Buehring, Kuwait. (U.S Army Reserve Photo by Capt. Jerry Duong)

Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Central Command Marines released four low-velocity-low-cost, four high-velocity-high-cost, and two Joint Precision Aerial Delivery Systems from a KC-130J onto the Udairi Training Grounds drop zone at Camp Buehring.

“We took the parachute that was right by the expiration date and loaded them with four 55-gallon drums of water. Each load weighed approximately about 2000 lbs. said Sgt. 1st Class Larry Carter, 300th Sustainment Brigade senior aerial delivery technician. “It was a successful drop. All the loads came out properly, parachute executed properly, and hit the ground properly.”

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, develops and tests new materials for the U.S. Army. NSRDEC will test the samples to determine the actual life-span of the parachutes, and using their full life-cycle ultimately saves taxpayer dollars.

“We cut a piece of the material out of each parachute system and sent it to Natick Labs in order to test the elasticity strength of the canopy,” said Carter. He believes the parachutes have another five years of potential use, saving the U.S. Army in excess of $25 million.

The joint event also provided training on proper systemes use and employment for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Central Command Marines, and 824th Quartermaster Company, 524th Combat Supply Sustainment Battalion, 300th Sustainment Brigade, and 1st Theater Sustainment Command Soldiers.

Story by Capt. Jerry Duong and 1st Lt. Andrew Garrido, 184th Sustainment Command

Sky Soldier Leaders Conduct Joint Mountain Training

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

PASSO DEL TONALE, Italy — Leaders from across the 173rd Airborne Brigade assembled here from Dec. 10-12 to experience rigorous professional development and build interoperability with Italian allies while summiting the 2,700 meters of snow covered Monte Tonale.

For exercise “Alpini Climb,” the brigade’s company commanders and first sergeants, as well as the battalion commanders and sergeants major teamed with Italy’s mountain warfare experts, the Alpini, for instruction in cold weather operations and field craft. The instruction was put to the test with a platoon sized patrol up to summit the mountain.

“It was an opportunity to bring the entire team of leaders together. We got to experience shared hardships with our Italian Allies and learn about how to live and operate in the cold which is all part of combat readiness,” said Col. Jay Bartholomees, commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. “It was a great opportunity to practice our craft and use our equipment in the elements.”

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the U.S. Army’s Contingency Response Force in Europe, providing rapidly deployable forces to the United States, Europe, Africa, and Central Command’s areas of responsibilities. Forward deployed across Italy and Germany, the brigade routinely trains alongside NATO allies and partners to build partnerships and strengthen the alliance.

As part of the training, the participants surrendered their ranks along with their mobile phones and became members of a temporary platoon. The process allowed these dedicated leaders of the companies of the brigade to focus, however briefly, on the tasks ahead of them which would be rigorous.

“I found myself as a squad leader of 7th squad,” said Cpt. Jesse Carter, Commander of Bastion Co., 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “It gives me a whole new respect of the requirements of a squad leader and how to disseminate information in a challenging environment. I’ve learned a ton.”

At the Alpini base camp, the Paratroopers received instruction on proper use of their arctic equipment, and techniques for trekking up the mountain. Additionally, they received instruction on how to build the “trunne,” Italian for a fox-hole in the snow, and what these intrepid Paratroopers would sleep in the following night.

After departing the base camp on Tuesday, the Paratroopers marched up the snow covered mountain, with guides from the Alpini Julia Brigade, a ruck on their back, and snow shoes on their feet.

“We all feel ourselves to be very physically fit, but traversing this mountain was a smoker,” said Cpt. Andrew Williams, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion. “Along the way we’ve had invaluable training opportunities in survival, how to sleep in the snow, things like layering of clothing and the critical value of not sweating,” continued Williams.

After reaching the stopping point for the first night, the Paratroopers dug their buddy-team trunna and got a few hours of much needed rest to prepare for their final climb of the mountain on Wednesday morning.

At the summit, the platoon was able to witness first-hand the view that their Italian and Austrian predecessors saw over a century ago when those two Armies met in these mountains as each nation vied for the dominance of northern Italy during World War I.

“Our fighting forefathers did this same event but with much older equipment and in far harsher conditions than we did,” said Williams. “It really brings a lot of perspective while we’re up here.”

In all, the exercise was a valuable experience for the participants. These paratroopers were challenged to perform and excel in an extreme environment. But more than that, they were able to do it as a team and with allies, which besides the training, was the whole point of the exercise.

“One of the things we’ve stressed is teamwork. It’s absolutely critical that we all work together as a team and ensure that everyone makes it up as a team,” said Williams.

After summiting the mountain, and reveling in the view, the Paratrooper leaders reformed and gingerly moved back to the base of the mountain.

While many of these troops may never again be subject to mountain warfare or operating in full kit at below zero temperatures, the experience proves that Sky Soldiers will always achieve their mission weather jumping from 1,000 feet, or climbing their way past that same height.

Story By MAJ Chris Bradley, Photos by SPC Henry Villarama

The Baldwin Files – The Fighting Load Continuum

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

In the mid-1980s, there was a great deal of re-emphasis on dismounted load planning and load discipline in the U.S. Army. Much of this effort fell under the rubric of the “Light Division” concept. It was a worthy endeavor to lighten a soldier’s load and improve tactical dismounted mobility; but ultimately the resulting initiatives had little enduring impact. Since then we have incrementally added a great deal to a soldier’s burden – essentially without removing a single ounce of legacy weight. Tactically useful items like body armor, individual radios and night vision devices have become standard issue for almost everyone in our combat formations. GPSs have supplanted analog maps and compasses. Likewise, all individual and crew served weapons now have some form of day and night optical systems; and, of course, all the new electronic tools need batteries. Lots and lots of batteries.

The net result is a considerable increase rather than any aspirational reduction of a soldier’s mission load in combat. On the plus side, all of this high-speed “light weight gear” gives the American military tactical and operational capabilities that are the envy of the world. Nevertheless, it was indeed fortuitous that operations in Afghanistan and Iraq quickly became almost exclusively vehicle-centric. Dismounted operations of any duration away from immediate vehicle support became a rare exception. In that sense, the increased soldier load was at least partially masked by the fact that vehicles have been readily available to carry the extra weight in theater. As a result, small unit leaders became pretty good at putting together sound vehicle load plans but did not have to spend much time addressing rucksack load planning. Not surprisingly, the art of dismounted load management atrophied rapidly after the first year or so of GWOT.

There is no leadership alchemy that can make 100 pounds of gear weigh any less than 100 pounds. Ultimately, the unit mission load weighs what it weighs. Leaders have to deal with that reality; it is an enduring problem that cannot be wished away or avoided. However, here are some bullet points that can help organize leaders’ thoughts and efforts to successfully manage soldiers’ individual combat loads.

Dismounted Load Management Principles

  1. Pre-mission planning should determine what a unit MUST carry to accomplish the assigned tactical task.
  2. Load discipline requires individual soldiers and leaders to work collectively to ensure the unit effectively carries what is required – no more and no less.
  3. The eternal conundrum: A leader must accept risk to keep individual loads as light as possible. Conversely, a leader cannot gamble with the mission – or with lives – just to lighten the load. Remember the Gilligan’s Island Rule; it is never safe to assume that any mission will only be a “Three Hour Tour.”
  4. Sound load planning and enforcement must always be based on mission dictates, NOT on achieving equal burden sharing or relative individual comfort.
  5. In other words, ensuring maximum probability of mission success and his soldiers’ survival must be a leader’s overarching priority; military necessity – not “fairness” – must be the focus.
  6. Nothing a soldier carries into combat belongs to him. In terms of load carriage, he is a self-actualized mobility platform transporting resources vital to completing his team’s mission.
  7. Every piece of equipment is expendable – if necessary – to accomplish the mission. I say again, ALL equipment is expendable!
  8. While lighter equipment alternatives are generally more desirable, a unit may often need to carry whatever item is most effective to support the mission – regardless of weight penalty.
  9. Likewise, if a piece of equipment or ordinance – no matter how heavy or bulky – is deemed mission essential the question is not IF it will be carried but rather HOW it will be carried.
  10. A good load plan is comprehensive, utilitarian, and flexible; it must also anticipate and designate deliberate load transition points to support the upcoming mission.
  11. Use pre-mission inspections and rehearsals to confirm if the load plan is correct, complete, and works as intended. Make adjustments as necessary.
  • Another factor that negatively influences the training of leaders in effective load management practices has been that the official terminology tends to be imprecise and even misleading. When ALICE was fielded in the mid-70s, the Army referred to only two load configurations: Fighting Load and Existence Load. The fighting load consisted of two full ammo pouches on the harness, first aid pouch, one canteen, the bayonet, and the etool. Nothing else. In temperate or hot climates, the ALICE medium rucksack – without frame – was supposed to be more than adequate to carry all of the other items needed to “exist in the field.” Which is a bizarre and inexplicable conclusion given how habitually overloaded solders had been in Vietnam. The fielding of MOLLE introduced three load configurations: The Light Fighting Load (FLC Vest only), The Assault Pack Load, and The Full Pack Load. Beyond identifying the standard load carriage items issued to soldiers, neither framework provides a very informative or useful construct for mission load planning.
  • I re-read parts of the 1990, FM 21-18, Foot Marches, for this article and I recommend it (or whatever newer version may be out there) as a good resource. Chapter 5, in particular, goes into a good deal of detail on soldier load planning considerations. It also explains additional concepts like “Approach March Load,” “Sustainment Load,” and “Contingency Load.” Unfortunately, the manual continues to perpetuate the notion that there is a distinct line between vest or harness only “fighting loads” and everything else. I vehemently disagree. Therefore, in the attached picture, I am outlining a more simplified, precise and functional way to think about planning, arranging, and distributing a soldier’s and a unit’s combat load. I call it “The Fighting Load Continuum.” The concept is simple. If moving on foot into combat then anything the unit deems essential enough to carry on soldiers’ backs is – by definition – a component of the individuals’ “fighting load.” Whether we are comfortable with that fact or not. Note: Items displayed in the picture are pieces of gear I had on hand and are presented only as visual aids to illustrate the concept.

    the-fighting-load-continuum2.jpg

    Starting from the left is the Minimum Fighting Load. In World War II, frogmen went into harm’s way with little more than a pair of UDT shorts and a Kabar knife. Tunnel Rats in Vietnam faced danger with only a 45 and a flashlight. It is also true that even today a good number of people on the battlefield have a sidearm as their only issued weapon. Obviously, that gives soldiers so marginally equipped a defensive capability but not an offensive capability. That is why the Minimum Fighting Load is highlighted in cautionary amber as clearly sub-optimum. Soldiers who have the primary mission of “closing with and destroying the enemy by fire and maneuver” need considerably more than the minimum. Starting with the “Standard” Fighting Load displayed second from the left. I have put “standard” in quotations because what constitutes a standard fighting load has changed countless times over the years for the American Military – not to mention other Armies. Generally, the baseline “fighting load” has been built around the “basic load” of ammunition for a rifleman in a given timeframe. Therefore, since the current standard is 210 rounds, we will start there – with the caveat that mission specific load planning may raise or lower that number considerably.

    Of course, a solder going into battle likely needs a few more tools in addition to his rifle and ammunition. Today, a couple of fragmentation grenades, a first aid kit, helmet, body armor, and water are usually considered part of a standard fighting load. Leaders, grenadiers, automatic riflemen, and those manning crew served weapons will have duty position specific items as well. A radio for a leader for example. Still, the “standard” fighting load is almost never sufficient without at least some augmentation. Enter the “Enhanced Fighting Load” that adds a small backpack to the Standard Fighting Load configuration. This pack may be a Modular Assault Pack (MAP) as shown or something slightly larger. MAPs have been issued in SOF units for at least the last 12 years or so. A MAP is not common issue with MOLLE or FILBE; however, since units often buy “off the shelf” some non-SOF units probably issue these as well.

    The earliest MAPs I encountered were smaller than the sample I have on display. They had no shoulder straps and were designed to be mounted directly onto body armor via PALs. Other than the “modularity” of the design, they were not much different from the small hydration packs Camelbak produced as far back as the 80s. The newer, larger versions still have the PALs direct mounting option. However, it is more common to see them used as “day packs” or “go bags” with the detachable shoulder straps attached. That arrangement works better riding or getting into and out of vehicles and makes the pack’s contents more quickly accessible. This MAP is ~1200 cubic inches. By comparison, the Army issue Assault Pack is ~2000 cubic inches and the Marine Assault Pack is slightly larger at ~2300 cubic inches (neither shown). Those packs are not designed to be directly attached to individual armor, but rather can be buckled onto the top of the full sized rucksacks.

    Next over would be the Supplementary Fighting Load. That means a larger pack to carry more stuff. These packs represent an intermediate load-carriage solution. They are often called “3 Day Packs” and also date back to commercial versions popular with soldiers in the 80s. These packs tend to range in size from ~2000 cubic inches to ~3500 cubic inches. Indeed, the issue Army and Marine Assault Packs actually straddle the low end of this category of medium rucksacks. Likewise, there are numerous mission specific versions of packs in this size range currently being issued to medics, JTACs, EOD, as well as machinegun, mortar, and Anti-Tank crews. The aforementioned smaller assault packs are simple not of adequate size to carry the volume and weight that these specialists habitually need for their tactical mission. The example shown is the Army’s Medium Rucksack that has ~3000 cubic inches of space. I have a couple of extra pouches mounted as well as a beavertail so this one is probably in the ~3500 cubic inch range.

    Anything bigger than that falls into the Full Sized Rucksack class, a.k.a. the Maximum Fighting Load in the Fighting Load Continuum. For reference, the large ALICE is approximately ~3800 cubic inches. Both the MOLLE and the FILBE rucksacks are ~4000 alone and up too ~5000 cubic inches with only a pair of Sustainment Pouches added. In terms of volume, both of those two standard rucksacks, with sustainment pouches and issue assault packs attached are ~7000 cubic inches or more. In other words, almost equivalent to two Large ALICE packs. That explains why carrying a Maximum Fighting Load automatically moves a soldier’s burden from the lower-risk green range into the tactically riskier cautionary amber zone. To be clear, soldiers have to be able to fight with the full rucksack on their backs. It is not always tactically sound to drop rucks when the shooting starts. For example, when the situation is untenable and the unit has to break contact under pressure.

    Then there is the perpetual issue of the Overburden Load. Soldier overloading actually extends beyond the Fighting Load Continuum but remains inexorably linked and must always be considered in realistic load planning. The Overburden Load can be just about anything deemed mission essential but excessive to the Maximum Fighting Load. Red indicates that it represents undesirable high-risk but is nevertheless often unavoidable. As I mentioned in a previous article on Packboards, for extended operations in particular it may be expedient to deliberately put as much on the backs of some soldiers as they can carry. However, doing that makes those soldiers combat ineffective until they can dump that excessive load. Other, less burdened, troops will have to provide security for them because they – sometimes quite literally – have their hands full. Intentional overloading is actually quite common in one specific situation. That is when evacuating the wounded. As a rule, soldiers carrying a casualty are effectively out of the fight until they can at least drop off their injured teammate in some relatively safer location.

    In the end, leaders have to face the fact that for the majority of dismounted combat operations – even relatively short ones – it is all but impossible to avoid at least some overloading entirely. However, as indicated by the color-coded arrows, the goal of effective load management should be to keep as many of a unit’s soldiers as possible in the more combat effective green range – for as much of the time as possible – rather than the cautionary amber or high-risk red zones.

    To be continued in Part II.

    LTC Terry Baldwin, US Army (Ret) served on active duty from 1975-2011 in various Infantry and Special Forces assignments. SSD is blessed to have him as both reader and contributor.

    Natick Evaluates New Boot Technologies

    Thursday, January 10th, 2019

    NATICK, Mass. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear.

    The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear. Pictured, a U.S. Army Soldier from the 1-114th Infantry Regiment stands in the mud holding 7.62mm ammunition during M240 machine gun weapons training on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

    The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. Requirements for these are managed by the Army Uniform Board as part of the recruit “Clothing Bag.” The Program Executive Office Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment maintains and updates the specifications for both boots.

    The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. (Photo Credit: Mr. David Kamm (RDECOM))

    The current generation of Army Combat Boots has not undergone substantial technical or material changes since 2010. New material and technologies now exist that may improve physical performance and increase Soldier comfort.

    “Great strides have been made recently in the Army’s environment specific footwear, for jungle, mountain, or cold weather locations, but there is substantial room for improvement in the general purpose boots which are issued to new recruits,” explains Anita Perkins, RDECOM Soldier Center footwear research engineer and technical lead for the Army Combat Boot Improvement effort. “Most components of these combat boots have not been updated in almost 30 years.”

    Surveys conducted by the Soldier Center report Soldier satisfaction with ACBs is lower than that with commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, boots, leading many Soldiers to purchase and wear COTS boots.

    “The survey of over 14,000 Soldiers world-wide discovered that almost 50% choose to wear COTS combat boots instead of Army-issued boots,” Perkins said. “Many Soldiers reported choosing combat boots from the commercial market because the COTS boots are lighter, more flexible, require less break-in time, and feel more like athletic shoes than traditional combat boots or work boots.

    Unfortunately, these characteristics often come at the cost of durability and protection.”

    The Soldier Center’s Footwear Performance team believes new technologies can bridge the gap between the lightweight, comfortable, COTS boots and the durable, protective, Army boots. Recent advancements in synthetic materials and rapid prototyping can produce a boot with potentially the same protection, support, and durability of current Army boots, but lighter and more comfortable out of the box. To reach this goal, the Soldier Center is evaluating new types of leather and even some man-made materials which are much more flexible than the heavy-duty, cattle hide leather used in the current boots.

    “Also included in the prototypes we are testing are new types of rubber and outsole designs, which are more than 30% lighter than the outsoles on the current boots,” said Al Adams, team leader for the Soldier Clothing and Configuration Management Team at the Soldier Center.

    When working with industry to develop the prototype boots for this effort, Adams and Perkins put an emphasis on cutting weight. The boots being tested are up to 1.5 pounds lighter per pair than the ACBs currently being issued.

    “In terms of energy expenditure or calories burned, 1-pound of weight at the feet is equivalent to 4-pounds in your rucksack,” Adams said.

    The test boots will be fitted and fielded to 800 basic trainees at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, followed by 800 pairs going to infantry Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Soldier Center team will be hand-fitting each pair of prototype boots throughout the month of January and then return in March and April to collect surveys and conduct focus groups to gather specific feedback.

    “Soldiers live in their boots and many will tell you that there is no piece of equipment more important to their lethality and readiness,” said Adams. “A bad pair of boots will ruin a Soldier’s day and possibly result in injuries, so we really believe that each of these prototype boots have the potential to improve the lives of Soldiers”.

    Simultaneous to the field testing, lab testing will be conducted on the boots at the Soldier Center to quantify characteristics like flexibility, cushioning, cut/abrasion resistance, and breathability. The combination of lab testing and Soldier recommendations will identify Soldier-desired improvements to the boot prototypes and rank the state-of-the-art materials and designs for Soldier acceptance, durability, and safety. The Soldier Center will then provide recommendations to PM SPIE and the Army Uniform Board to drive the next generation of Army Combat Boots.

    “The development of new boots take advantage of the latest materials technology, and are functional and comfortable, is critical to ensuring that our Soldiers are ready to fight and win in any environment,” said Doug Tamilio, director of the RDECOM Soldier Center. “Soldiers are the Army’s greatest asset, and we owe it to them to make them more lethal to win our nation’s wars, and then come home safely.”

    By RDECOM Soldier Center Public Affairs

    Brigantes Presents – High Angle Solutions – NSN announced for Lundhags Expedition 75

    Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

    The Expedition 75 has now been allocated a NATO stock number NSN:  8430-20-008-5818 (For a size 9) contact us for further number details.

    To guarantee delivery in time for winter 2019 deployments, orders must be made by the 31st January 2019.

    The Expedition Guide 75 is designed for the operator out in the frozen North. (or South) It is the latest in a long line of unique boots manufactured by Swedish company Lundhags, a longstanding family brand, specialising in making footwear, clothing and equipment. They focus on the needs of the hardest users.

    A number of specialist military units have them as the in-service ski boot. (including Sirius Patrol) The new lighter and more streamlined boot with its monocoque style of construction is being used by the British forces to provide a versatile, light and reliable boot for operations on the Northern Flank.

    As the Expedition 75 has the key features that give it the ability to operate in sub-zero temperatures, this boot provides an excellent balance between skiing and the normal movement required to conduct military operations.

    Order deadlines for the boot to ensure delivery for winter 2019 is the 31st January.

    Contact: international@brigantes.com

    Or for UK customers: warrior@brigantes.com