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Quantico Tactical Holds Military EXPO At Camp Pendleton Wednesday, August 5th

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Quantico Tactical, a leading supplier of Special Operational Equipment, is bringing a Military EXPO to Camp Pendleton on Wednesday, August 5. The event is designed for military personnel on base, and will take place at The Pacific Views Event Center, 202850 San Jacinto Rd. Around 50 brands will be represented, providing opportunities for individuals to get quality time with manufacturers, see the newest equipment and gear, and purchase for their teams and units at great prices. Quantico Tactical’s Oceanside store will also be represented, with special offers available exclusively to EXPO attendees.

www.QuanticoTactical.com

U.S. Tactical Supply – ODOC 40MM Less Lethal Demo

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

U.S. Tactical Supply Less Lethal 40mm Range Day

Click to view .pdf

U.S. Tactical Supply is hosing a Less Lethal Demo with the Oregon Department of Corrections on August 19th at the ODOC range in Salem, Oregon. They will be demoing the new SDI 40mm BIP rounds and the AAMI 6-round 40mm Launcher. The event is open to all Law Enforcement and Military Personnel. Refreshments will be provided at the event.

If you have any questions about the event, you can contact U.S. Tactical Supply by phone at 541-928-8645 or by e-mail at sales@ustacticalsupply.com.

ustacticalsupply.com

Gil Feldman Appointed As National Sales Manager At Agilite

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Gil Feldman

Tel Aviv, Israel, July 30th, 2015-Agilite has announced the appointment of Gil Feldman as National Sales Manager for Israel at Agilite. Feldman joins Agilite from one of The Israel Police’s most elite tactical units. Feldman previously served in a covert tactical unit of Israel’s Ministry of Defense after several years in Maglan, an IDF Special Forces Unit.

In his spare time, Feldman is a multiple Olympic-length Triathlete and Iron Man.

“I am excited to get started at Agilite, the quality of the products and personnel there are unrivalled. I’m looking forward to using my operational experience to contribute to creating even better products for top-tier Military and Law Enforcement Units” said Gil.

Aside from his combat career, Feldman is a competitive shooter whose elite LE Unit team took first place in the IDF’s pistol marksmanship tournament, beating the Israeli Military’s most elite SF units.

About Agilite: Agilite Systems is Israel’s premier designer and manufacturer of tactical and rescue equipment and apparel. It supplies top-tier Special Forces around the world as well as Military, Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue Organizations worldwide. For more details, visit Agilite at www.agilitegear.com or email info@agilitegear.com.

This Is What LPTA Gets You

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

As you may recall from our recent article on the Soldier Protection System – Torso and Extremity Protection system, one of the awardees of the “Lowest Price Technically Acceptable” contracts for its manufacture is Hawk Protection Incorporated whose Headquarters’ address is listed on their website as: 8362 Pines Boulevard # 280, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.  

  
We googled the address which got us to scratching our heads.  

  

Here is a photo of the front entrance to Hawk Protection Incorporated’s US Headquarters.

  

I wonder where they put all of the sewing machines.

Vista Outdoors Has Agreed To Acquire CamelBak Brand

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Vista Outdoors has agreed to acquire the CamelBak brand from Compass Diversified Holdings for $412.5 million. The full release can be read below:

CLEARFIELD, Utah, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO), a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer in the growing outdoor sports and recreation markets, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CamelBak Products, LLC. CamelBak is the leading provider of personal hydration solutions for outdoor, recreation and military use. The company’s products include hydration packs, reusable bottles and individual purification and filtration systems.

The CamelBak acquisition will strengthen and expand Vista Outdoor’s presence in outdoor sports and recreation, with products that complement every outdoor activity where Vista Outdoor’s products are used. The acquisition will provide Vista Outdoor with another highly recognized and well-respected brand that is a preferred partner to leading retailers. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Vista Outdoor anticipates closing the transaction within the next month.

“The acquisition of CamelBak greatly advances Vista Outdoor’s strategy to grow and strengthen our leading position in the outdoor recreation industry,” said Mark DeYoung, Vista Outdoor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “CamelBak fortifies our presence in the mainstream individual outdoor recreation market, creating an opportunity to increase the scale, reach and growth of several current offerings through an expanded global sourcing capability and a broadened retail distribution network. With limited overlap between our key customers, this acquisition creates significant cross-selling opportunities, increased channel presence and access into expanded domestic and international markets. As a market leader and preferred partner, Vista Outdoor can leverage the technical expertise of CamelBak to deliver innovative solutions and quality product offerings that will create value for our shareholders and customers.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Vista Outdoor will purchase CamelBak for $412.5 million, subject to a customary working capital adjustment, utilizing cash on hand and borrowings under its existing credit facilities. Management expects calendar year 2015 net sales for CamelBak of approximately $160 million. The purchase price includes an approximate net present value of $35 million in future tax benefits associated with the deductibility of intangibles from a prior acquisition of CamelBak. The purchase price, net of the previously mentioned tax asset, represents a resulting effective multiple of approximately 11x CamelBak’s expected calendar year 2015 EBITDA. Vista Outdoor intends to refinance the expected borrowings under its credit facilities with long-term debt financing. Pending such financing, Vista Outdoor has received a commitment to provide $50 million of secured debt financing from Morgan Stanley, which the company does not at this time intend to draw upon, but which provides additional flexibility pending completion of long-term financing. Absent transaction and transition costs, Vista Outdoor expects the acquisition to be accretive to Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16) earnings per share (EPS). Vista Outdoor will provide information relating to CamelBak’s impact on FY16 financial results as part of its first quarter earnings press release and webcast on August 13, 2015.

“CamelBak is enthusiastic about the opportunity to join the Vista Outdoor family of brands,” said Sally McCoy, CamelBak CEO. “Their successful platform will accelerate CamelBak’s growth as a global brand. Vista Outdoor supports our mission to continue to reinvent the way people hydrate and perform through innovative hydration products.”

Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Petaluma, California, CamelBak is the category creator for hands-free hydration and meets the needs of diverse consumers with a comprehensive product portfolio. CamelBak has an expansive network of marquee customers ranging from REI to Target. CamelBak has approximately 300 employees and will be integrated into the Outdoor Products segment of Vista Outdoor, increasing the scale of the business and reinforcing a culture focused on delivering high-quality, technologically advanced products.

CamelBak is a subsidiary company of Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI), an owner of leading middle market businesses headquartered in Connecticut.

Morgan Stanley serves as transaction and financial advisor and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP serves as legal advisor to Vista Outdoor in connection with the transaction.

www.camelbak.com

www.vistaoutdoor.com

Reminder – Obama Administration Moves To Restrict ITAR Related Free Speech

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Back in June, we reported on a recent proposed rule change to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which, according to the Federal Register website would:

…amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the definitions of “defense article,” “defense services,” “technical data,” “public domain,” “export,” and “reexport or retransfer” in order to clarify the scope of activities and information that are covered within these definitions and harmonize the definitions with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), to the extent appropriate.

This rule change would expand the definition of what digital information could be classified as ITAR restricted, including but certainty not limited to the firearms industry.

One aspect of these proposed changes that was implied but not blatantly addressed is the restriction it could place on 3D printed firearms and components. Technical data including “blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation.” would become restricted from “export”, or being published on the internet, which includes 3D printer files for firearms and components. We’ve already seen a restriction on 3D firearms plans when Defense Distributed was told to remove the plans for the Liberator Pistol from their website.

But what can I do?
You can comment. This rule change hasn’t taken effect yet and you can let the Federal Government know how you feel about this proposal by providing feedback.

If you are going to do so, we suggest these pointers:

  • You’ve got until, August 3, 2015 to submit your feedback. Comments may be submitted online at regulations.gov or via e-mail at DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, ‘‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.”
  • Read everything posted about the proposed changes. It’s dry, but know what you are referencing.
  • Post your comments.
  • Begin your comments with “I am in opposition of the proposed changes” so that, in the odd chance that you agree with some points and oppose others you will not be considered in the “I love the proposed changes” column even though you don’t agree with all of it.
  • We suggest you point out the hypocrisy of such a move considering the extensive amount of commercial and government (think US Patent and Trademark Office holdings and military publications) data already available.
  • Concentrate on the free speech implications of the proposed change.
  • Consider the negative implications for academia, research, industry and individual Americans.
  • We suggest you use your own voice, keep it civil, direct and to the point, and use proper grammar to be most effective. Do not use a form letter. They carry less weight than individualized comments.

    www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/03/2015-12844/international-traffic-in-arms-revisions-to-definitions-of-defense-services-technical-data-and-public

    MMI Textiles Welcomes Thomas Caldwell

    Friday, July 24th, 2015

    We received this note yesterday from MMI Textiles. We’ve known Thomas for several years and he’s a great guy. Congrats to all!

    IMG_0204.JPG

    Thomas Caldwell has recently joined the team at MMI Textiles, Inc. as Technical Sales Director. He brings with him extensive experience from Trelleborg Coated Systems in their Engineered Fabrics business unit. During his career, Thomas has held positions such as Director of Sales and Marketing, National Sales Manager, and Military Business Manager. Prior to his professional business career, Thomas served six years in the Marine Corps and attended Texas Tech University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration.

    We are very excited to add Thomas to our team as we continue to explore and support new markets within technical products.

    Rampart International Selected As Canadian GLOCK MIL/LE Distributor

    Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

    This is an official release from Rampart International regarding their recent selection as a Canadian GLOCK MIL/LE distributor.

    Rampart Glock

    Ottawa, Ontario (July 21st, 2015) – Rampart is extremely honored and excited to be chosen as the newest Canadian GLOCK MIL/LE distributor. GLOCK’s pursuit of perfection and reputation for the world’s finest, most reliable pistols integrates well with Rampart’s vision. We offer the world’s best products matched with unparalleled customer service and a deep routed purpose to serve the end user.

    GLOCK products are a welcome addition to our Military/Law Enforcement product offering; we are looking forward to servicing existing Canadian GLOCK customers and working to expand the customer base. As well as GLOCK pistols, Rampart will also inventory GLOCK original parts and provide full in house warranty service. The Rampart-GLOCK IOP program will allow eligible professional customers to purchase GLOCK products and thousands of other Rampart products at a discounted price.

    www.rampartcorp.com

    US Army Issued Patent for Scorpion Camo; Admits Pattern Inferior to MultiCam

    Thursday, July 16th, 2015

    On 7 July, 2015 the US Patent and Trade Office issued Utility Patent 9,074,849, Entitled: “Camouflage for Garment Assembly” to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army. It followed Utility Patent 9,062,938, Entitled: “Camouflage Patterns”, issued two weeks earlier on 23 June, 2015. Both cover Scorpion W20601, initially developed in 2010 by engineers at the Natick Soldier Systems Center and later, after further refinement, recently adopted as the Army’s new Operational Camouflage Pattern.

      

    There are a few curious things about this patent. First off, it’s practically an opus at 59 pages, although admittedly, there are a lot of illustrations. Also, it was issued very quickly, and coincidentally, just in time for the beginning of the Army’s OCP transition. Next, it doesn’t feel like it was written by a patent attorney, but rather by an engineer who was sure to include a great deal of fascinating, although extraneous information on how the pattern was developed and tested. Oddly enough, the Army hasn’t said a peep about it, which is strange considering they continue to assert “appropriate rights to the pattern“. However, once you dig into the details of the patent, you may see why they’ve stayed mum. Finally, the type of data disclosed in the patent tells an interesting story. But before we get to that, let’s address the patent itself.

    The Abstract

    A garment assembly such as a uniform, a military uniform and a military combat uniform is presented. The garment assembly includes a helmet or head cover being cut from a fabric having a first camouflage pattern with a first set of intermixed colored blotches thereon. The colors of the first set of intermixed colored blotches being selected from a first group of colors including an Olive 527 color, a Dark Green 528 color, a Tan 525 color, a Brown 529 color, a Bark Brown 561 color and a Dark Cream 559 color. The uniform also includes a coat being configured to fit at least a portion of a human torso and a trouser configured to fit at least a portion of human legs, the coat and trouser each being cut from a fabric having a second camouflage pattern with a second set of intermixed colored blotches thereon, the colors of the second set of intermixed colored blotches being selected from a second group of colors comprising an Olive 527 color, a Dark Green 528 color, a Light Sage 560 color, a Tan 525 color, a Brown 529 color, a Bark Brown 561 color and a Dark Cream 559 color.

    One could take this revelation at face value, concluding that “the Army did it, they beat Crye!” But not so fast. That Utility Patent might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

    Types Of Patents
    I’d like to point out that this is a Utility Patent which is very specific and the Army doesn’t seem to have done itself any favors in the specificity of its claims. For those unfamiliar, the claims of a patent are the points that are being protected and the patent itself is essentially a right to exclude, meaning the patent holder gets to decide who can use the intellectual property it protects.

    Since it’s a patent, you’ll probably want to immediately put it on the same footing as Crye Precision’s existing MultiCam patent, thinking one cancels out the other.  Not so.  Lineweight LLC, which is the holding company for all of Crye Precision’s patents, holds a Design Patent for the MultiCam pattern (D592,861). But, a Design Patent is more broad in nature. Think of it as a picture rather than a description of specific elements of the picture.

    A Patent’s A Patent, Right?
    So what’s the difference between these two types of patents you might ask?

    To get around a Utility Patent all you have to do is make changes to what you’ve got until you no longer violate the specific claims of the patent. The more specific the claims are, the easier this is to do.

    On the other hand, to determine if someone has violated a Design Patent, they use the “ordinary observer” test. Essentially, if it looks like it infringes to the average person, it does.

    W2 vs MC

    At casual inspection, Scorpion W2 sure looks close to me. Just examine this photo. Which swatch of fabric is Scorpion and which is MultiCam?

    What’s It All Mean?
    While I’m sure Crye Precision is aware of this patent, it’s so new and so restrictive that I doubt they’ll do anything about it. There’s no reason to. Ultimately, the Scorpion patent doesn’t affect Crye’s existing MultiCam IP or any of its contractual agreements with printers. Despite the Army’s new Utility Patent, they will continue to pay a license fee to Crye through the printers in order to use the Scorpion pattern.

    Update – Info Regarding Related Patent 9,062,938
    The Army fasttracked not just one, but two patents; the “garment assembly” patent which is the main subject of this article, as well as another patent granted about two weeks earlier concerning just the pattern. Both are Utility Patents and contain much the same information regarding the percentages of color used to make up the Scorpion W2 camouflage pattern. While the “Camouflage Patterns” patent also contains all of the extensive information about the ACU and helmet cover substrate, it is just two pages shorter at 57, but does acknowledge up front that it is related to the “garment assembly” patent and incorprates the same data directly from the other patent.

    Both patent also include this section:
      

    This is the ‘Hail Mary’ play that the Army has included in the patents. Unfortunately for them, it won’t have the effect the Army has hoped for. They are showing these patents to printers and telling them that they no longer have to pay a royalty. All it seems to be accomplishing is causing further tension in the supply chain as the Army expects businesses to violate contractual obligations and then doesn’t understand why they can’t.

    Crye Precision collects the licensing fees for MultiCam and Scorpion from printers through royalty agreements. The Army pays those fees as part of the per unit cost of each garment, just like they do for permethrin treatment. The printers entered into industry standard licensing agreements which were written to protect the MultiCam pattern. It’s business. These patents don’t nullify contracts between Crye Precision and the printers.  

    It’s All About The Colors
    Although the document does go into detail as to why other, prior art camouflage patterns don’t quite work, the actual claims in the Army’s patent revolve mainly around percentages of colors, even down to the tenth of a percentile. That’s right, the Army patented colors. I seem to recall a certain Colonel at PEO Soldier telling the media that Crye couldn’t extend Intellectual Property protection to the colors in the MultiCam pattern and yet, that’s exactly what the Army just did. Feel free to eat some crow on me, Bob.

    This heavy reliance on colors to attain the patent is the pattern’s very weakness and may be why the Army hasn’t trumpeted the issue of this Utility Patent, because it literally invites counterfeiters. It is so specific, even the slightest change gets around the limited protection of this patent. In fact, because it contains so much information, the patent itself serves as a recipe on how to get around its very protection. This leaves the Army at the mercy of Crye Precision who has the more expansive Design Patent. It would be up to Crye to determine whether any newly minted Scorpion knockoffs violate the MultiCam patent and then police them.

    What About The Bookends?
    What does this mean for the so-called bookend patterns? The Army’s new Utility Patent obviously doesn’t protect any color variants due to its specificity, so they wouldn’t be protected by this patent.

    And Now, The Rest Of The Story
    There’s another, bigger story, lurking in the language of the patent. For over a year now, we’ve been awaiting details on the Army’s rather abbreviated testing used to select the Scorpion pattern. The Army was able to determine in a matter of weeks that Scorpion was the one for them when previous, Camouflage Improvement Effort Phase IV testing had taken well over a year to complete. For some odd reason, they included a great deal of extraneous testing information in the patent, perhaps in their haste to rush the patent through, for the official transition from UCP to OCP on 1 July, 2015.

    The application was just submitted on 12 December, 2014. While unusual to be granted so quickly, as I understand it, this is perfectly legal. Although, the application was never published and there was no period for public comment regarding the patent prior to it being granted.

    But back to testing. According to the patent, the Army conducted picture-in-picture testing of MultiCam, Scorpion, Digital Transitional Patterns 1 & 2, MARPAT Woodland & Desert and the incumbent Universal Camouflage Pattern across several simulated environments. These were Transitional (Arid, Dormant and Verdant) and Woodland (Dormant and Verdant). This chart (Table 4), embedded in the patent, shows how the patterns performed.

      

    UCP Performs Horribly
    Before we go any further, take a gander at UCP’s performance; just abysmal. It makes you wonder how long the Army has known about its performance and how long they ignored it. As it is, this set of testing was conducted in Spring 2014 and we know for sure UCP was also tested during Phase IV, back in 2012 but the Army won’t release those test results.

    With Camouflage, Specialization Is A Blessing As Well As A Curse
    This chart also validates something else we know to be true. Environmental specific patterns do very well in the environment they are tuned to, but work against the wearer in other environments. Just take a look at the performance of the two MARPAT variants across the environments to see how that works.

    Scorpion Doesn’t Perform As Advertised in Arid Environments
    The Army also makes an untrue claim in the patent application, declaring the Scorpion pattern, designated 100 in the patent, “significantly better” than all other candidate patterns in the Transitional Arid environment during picture-in-picture testing. As you can see from the patent’s chart, this simply isn’t true. In reality, it performed fifth out of seven patterns. Considering that America’s Army continues to be engaged with our enemies in Arid regions, this is ridiculous to purposefully adopt a pattern that performs worse than what they’ve already got. They made a similar claim regarding the Woodland Dormant environment but naturally, Scorpion was outperformed by the encironmentally specific MARPAT Woodland.

    Turns Out, MultiCam Is Best
    Despite explaining in the patent why MultiCam doesn’t work, testing demonstrated otherwise. What we learn, from the Army’s own published research, is that OCP aka Scorpion W2 doesn’t perform as well as OEFCP aka MultiCam, except in one environment, the Woodland Dormant environment (think fall and winter). Let me put it another way. According to Army testing, MultiCam outperforms Scorpion in four out of five critical operating environments. And yet, the Army adopted Scorpion anyway and is paying Crye Precision a royalty for this lesser performing pattern. Scorpion or MultiCam, Crye Precision receives a royalty. The Army spent time and taxpayer money to develop a pattern that performs less well than what they already had. In summation, the uniforms our Soldiers are getting now (OCP) don’t perform as well as the uniforms they were issued even a month ago (OEFCP).

    Bottom Line
    Based on the data presented in the patent, you can only come to one conclusion.  When you consider cost and performance, the Army should just drop the charade and fully adopt Crye’s MultiCam. Even better, the Army would gain access to Crye’s environmental specialty patterns which are already seeing limited operational use with certain customers.

    A Note To Readers:
    I’d like to wrap this up by pointing out that I am not a lawyer, but I did read the patent, and that for brevity, I’ve described some things, like types of patents, in rather generic terms. I’ll let the actual patent attorneys argue over the intricacies of Intellectual Property law but I’m sure there will be plenty of others who also want to chime in. All I ask is that you have an idea of what you are talking about and are prepared to explain the basis of any comments.

    This article was updated on 16 July, 2015 to add imformation about patent 9,062,938 “Camouflage Patterns”, 23 June, 2015.

    SilencerCo & Jep Robertson #FightTheNoise

    Monday, July 13th, 2015

    WEST VALLEY CITY, UT – July 10, 2015 – SilencerCo joined Jep Robertson of Duck Commander in the bayou near West Monroe, LA to get to know the man behind the beard.

    “I was born with a shotgun in my hand” says Jep. As the youngest son of the First Family of Duck Hunting, Jep is accustomed to the social aspect of shooting – including just how loud it can be when a chorus of shotguns erupts at the same time.

    When the Salvo 12  was announced, it naturally became a staple of the Duck Commander arsenal. After making his first SilencerCo purchases and learning about the Fight the Noise campaign, Jep – an already outspoken advocate for gun rights – decided to add his voice to the movement.

    Watch the video to join SilencerCo on the river as Jep shares his thoughts on silencers, the Second Amendment, and what matters most to him.

    SilencerCo is proud to count Jep as a member of The Suppressed as we stand together to #FightTheNoise.

    Learn more about the Fight the Noise movement by visiting www.silencerco.com/fightthenoise.