Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘MARCORSYSCOM’ Category

U.S. Marine Corps Orders 144 Diesel MRZRs from Polaris Defense

Friday, November 11th, 2016

In late September, I met with Polaris Defense and learned that the Marine Corps had evaluated at the Diesel MRZR during the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) MAGTF Integrated Experiment at Camp Pendleton in California which was a component of exercise RIMPAC 16. The Marines even displayed the MRZR at Modern Day Marine to showcase its capabilities. They didn’t waste any time deciding that it was what they wanted to adopt for their Utility Task Vehicle program.

MINNEAPOLIS (November 10, 2016) — Polaris Defense, a division of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), has received an order from the United States Marine Corps to deliver 144 four-seat diesel MRZR™ vehicles as part of the utility task vehicle (UTV) program, which will provide MRZR-D4s to each of the Marine Corps’ active-component infantry regiments. The contract also includes spare parts blocks in support of the vehicles.

This vehicle procurement follows successful testing and integration exercises, such as the recent RIMPAC 2016 where the Marine Corps experimented with new technologies, tactics and operational concepts during force-on-force training.

“We introduced the diesel MRZR earlier this year and the Marines were among the first to purchase vehicles for test and evaluation,” said Joaquin Salas, business development manager, Polaris Defense. “The MRZRs off-road mobility, heavy fuel compatibility and internal transport certifications on vertical-lift aircraft make it a force multiplier for Marine infantry units.”

The UTV program is designed to provide company-level operations with logistics support, filling a critical capability gap at the tactical level. The MRZR-D4 delivers a proven solution that is cost-effective, reliable, easily maintained, and certified for internal transport in MV-22 and CH-53 aircraft.

MRZRs have redefined ultralight, off-road mobility for military vehicles and are mission critical for expeditionary forces in the U.S. and more than 20 allied countries to meet mission demands and threats. The flexible vehicle platform can be configured a number of ways to fulfill rapid personnel deployment, casualty evacuation and supply transport missions.

Polaris Defense vehicles deliver a coveted combination of deployability, versatility and off-road mobility, forged from more than 60 years of off-road vehicle experience that is simply unmatched. Vehicles include the rugged Sportsman MV 850, the modular and nimble MRZR, and the DAGOR, which expands upon the range, payload and off-road mobility of any previous tactical off-road vehicle. The enhanced tactical mobility provided by Polaris Defense gives an advantage back to dismounted troops, allowing formations to move faster, carry more and significantly reduce combat fatigue. Polaris FSR support is scalable worldwide and includes military vehicle training, service and maintenance. It also can be supplemented internationally through the Polaris network of distributors. And because Polaris vehicles are in service throughout the world, there is a high degree of interoperability and commonality among U.S. and allied forces.


Collaborative Acquisition Equips Soldiers and Marines to Fight and Win

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

This is a joint release from Marine Corps Systems Command and the US Army’s Program Executive Officer Soldier. and is a good update to show you what is going on.

MARINE CORPS SYSTEMS COMMAND, QUANTICO, Virginia – In a series of ongoing efforts, Marine Corps Systems Command and the Army’s Program Executive Office – Soldier are collaborating to develop, test and deliver ever-better capabilities for Marines and Soldiers. These acquisition professionals are also closely aligned to ensure uniforms and personal protective equipment properly fit female and male service members in order to accommodate every individual Marine and Soldier.

The Cross-Service Warfighter Equipment Board and Improved Personal Protective Equipment System Integrated Product Team are just two of six established forums that give the services an opportunity to share technologies and develop service-specific and cooperative solutions to continuously improve equipment and uniforms for service members across all occupational specialties. In addition to these formal venues, the Corps and Army are also constantly collaborating behind the scenes.

“While the Marine Corps and Army collaborate formally within CS-WEB and IPPES IPT, we continuously participate in each other’s equipment testing exercises to collect and share research data.” said Army Lt. Col. Kathy M. Brown, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment at PEO-Soldier. “Through these formal and informal methods we’re able to share new technology and ideas to keep our service members equipped with the best gear.”

Outcomes from Army/Marine Corps collaborative efforts span a spectrum of actions, including improvements for PPE, weight reduction, customization of uniforms and equipment to accommodate individual and unit missions, and organizational clothing and individual equipment development for extreme weather conditions.

One example of joint program success is the Enhanced Combat Helmet, fielded to both deploying Marines and Soldiers. Manufactured with the latest lightweight material technology, the helmet provides improved ballistic protection against specific small arms and fragmentation.

“Providing effective equipment that meets the needs of our service members is our highest goal,” said Charles Bell, a retired Marine and acting product manager for MCSC’s Infantry Combat Equipment. “There is a genuine, concerted effort to collaborate and to partner in development, acquisition and sustainment whenever we can.”

Cold weather clothing and equipment is another common cause. Developed by the Marine Corps and adopted by the Army, the Three Season Sleep System is designed for use in temperatures down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit in conjunction with designated cold weather clothing layers. Weighing less than two pounds, the sleeping gear is easy to pack, which allows service members to respond rapidly to changing field conditions.

“Adopting equipment between services is done frequently as we are constantly looking for ways to satisfy Soldiers’ and Marines’ needs,” said Army Lt. Col John Bryan, product manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment at PEO-Soldier. “The Three Season Sleep System is just one example.”

Lighten the Load
Together, the Army and the Marine Corps continue to focus on lightening the load for Soldiers and Marines, particularly when it comes to personal protective equipment. In 2010 the Marine Corps conducted a survey of Marines in conjunction with the Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center to assess sizing and weight of body armor and load bearing equipment. As a result, the services are partnering to develop the Plate Carrier Generation III (PC Gen III), a service-common vest that will provide better fit, comfort and mobility to Marines and Soldiers. The new prototype reduces the length of the protective vest by 1.25 inches; provides sports-graded shoulder straps to improve fit; and is 25 percent lighter than previous models.

“Both the Army and the Marine Corps are actively engaged in researching and developing a next-generation personal protective equipment solution that reduces overall weight; and optimizes the elements of size, bulk, fit and comfort to maximize mobility,” said Nick Pierce, the MCSC Team Leader for PPE, Load Bearing and Pack Systems. “The outcome will accommodate the comprehensive anthropometric differences between small and large-statured Marines and Soldiers – male and female – so that both services provide properly fitting PPE for the entire force.”

The PC Gen III is scheduled for multiple Limited User Evaluations during fiscal year 2017. Results will inform the requirements for the next-generation system.

Tropical Environs
The services are working hand-in-hand to develop uniforms and boots for tropical environments. The result of that partnership was put to the test during August as the Marine Corps tests the prototypes during a LUE at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Japan. The uniforms are made of lighter fabric and treated with permethrin to help repel insects. The boots were tested for improved moisture management and reduced drying time, without loss of durability or protection for the wearer.

The Army is also conducting user evaluations on its version of tropical weight materials and boots made for tropical environments.

“After each phase of tropical uniform evaluations with our Soldiers we send over our reports to the Marine acquisition team,” said Bryan. “If in the end the Army and the Marine Corps decide on the same items, great, but if information helps Marines find a better solution for their needs that works too.”

Collaborative initiatives like this aim to ensure Soldiers and Marines have the best products and capabilities to accomplish the mission. By engaging in a continuous free-flow of ideas, approaches and materiel improvements the services ensure they are aligned to streamline the acquisition process, reduce costs and provide common sustainment benefits.

Ongoing pursuits and success stories of the Army and Marine Corps individual equipment partnership:
– Flame Resistant Uniforms & Materials
– Spectral Mitigation and susceptibility reduction of PPE and uniforms
– Arctic Overwhites
– Protective Undergarments
– Enhanced Combat Vehicle Crewman’s Helmet
– Ballistic Base Layer/Combat Shirt
– Protective Eyewear
– ESAPI Ballistic Plates
– Extreme Cold Wx Boots
– Lightweight Exposure Suit
– Extreme Cold Wx Parka
– Windpro Fleece Jacket

“Anything we develop that the services are able to share has a ripple effect in terms of efficiency and cost. If the Army and Marine Corps can be sustained by the Defense Logistics Agency for the same systems—with the same National Stock Numbers—the result is an economy of scale that both services can leverage to reduce costs and simplify the acquisition and sustainment of multi-service common clothing and equipment,” said Bell.

MARCORSYSCOM – Infantry Equipping Challenge Industry Day

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Sorry for the short suspense on this but MARCORSYSCOM is holding an Infantry Equipping Challenge Industry Day on September 26th.

According to SYSCOM, the event is intended to inform Industry (to include Small Business) of the IEC objectives, planned events, schedules, processes, desired outcomes and to solicit Industry feedback. During this Industry Day event currently fielded Infantry equipment will be displayed and its’ requirements, capabilities, operation and areas for possible improvement will be discussed. Presentations on current and future operating environments, potential engineering assessment criteria, and current requirements will also be presented. The IEC is a series of associated events, with both engineering assessments and limited operational evaluations, the overarching schedule of these events will also be presented at the IEC Industry Day. At the conclusion of the open forum, Industry Day general session time will be made available to meet with those vendors desiring individual meetings with MCSC Program Managers and/or subject matter experts. Industry Day will be conducted on MCB Quantico, VA and the general session will occur 0830 – 1430 Eastern Daylight Time.

IEC is MCSC’s innovative process to identify and evaluate the best & most relevant equipment for Infantry Marines and then expedite transition of the associated capabilities as requirements and funding permit. The Challenge will look at equipping opportunities of both the overall Infantry Marine and more specifically, by primary MOS, including the 0311 MOS Riflemen, the 0313 MOS Light Armor Vehicle Marine, the 0331 MOS Machine Gunner, the 0341 MOS Mortarman and the 0351 MOS Infantry Assault Marine. IEC brings together stakeholders from across the Marine Corps requirements, acquisition, and technology development communities in a dynamic process to quickly evaluate and accelerate fielding of technologies that decrease the Infantry’s load, increase operational reach and reduce the reliance on the logistical train. MCSC’s metric of success for IEC is the accelerated fielding of material solutions for Infantry Marines.

Focus areas for each individual IEC event will be identified in the respective RFI for that event. General focus areas to be considered for IEC events include the following:
• Opportunities for equipment that is lighter, more capable, less burdensome, reduced logistical needs, reduced complexity/maintenance, or better tailored for the Infantry’s tasks
• Power management, generation, storage, harvesting and scavenging
• Infantry food; weight/bulk repackaging
• Individual and squad level water filtration systems
• Innerwear and outerwear clothing and other worn garments
• Medical and casualty gear
• Lightweight ammo

Certain systems and equipment are already the subject of concerted Marine Corps focus and hence will not be included in the initial IEC focus areas or are found in other RFI’s. (they may, however, be included in later IEC focused events). These areas include:
• Small arms
• Weapons, optics and sensors, including combined optics
• Drones
• Night vision goggles
• Radios
• Body armor

Interested parties must register by 14 September.

For more information, visit www.fbo.gov.

Maybe, Just Maybe, The Army Has Figured Out What To Do With All Of That UCP

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Used to be, the Marines got all of the Army’s hand me downs. Times are tough and the budget situation is bleak. What with UCP being used as a background image for Marine Corps Systems Command’s website, makes you wonder.

US Marines Seeking Tropical Uniforms And Boots

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Exciting news from the Marines. They are moving forward on tropical clothing and footwear.

Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) Product Manager Infantry Combat Equipment (PdM-ICE) is conducting market research to identify tropical uniform fabrics, uniform designs, and boots that provide durability and protection, improved moisture management, and reduced dry time in a tropical environment. The tropical combat uniform includes a blouse, trouser, and boot. PdM ICE plans to conduct a user evaluation on the most promising materials and end items.

This Sources Sought effort requests industry to submit fabrics or uniform prototypes that are suitable for a tropical environment. Interestingly, PdM ICE intends to use a Government-owned design for the tropical uniform but they’re willing to consider commerial items as an alternative to the Government-owned designs. Lots of layers of fabric on those Marine field uniforms (MCCUU and EFRCE). Something stripped down would be nice.

In addition to tropical uniforms, the Marines want a new boot although I can’t for the life of me understand how a Marine Jungle Boot might be different than an Army or a SOF Jungle Boot. I certainly hope they aren’t pining for a tropical variant of the RAT boot.

The primary consideration in development of a new tropical boot will be improved performance in a tropical environment. The new tropical boot shall have similar qualities to the Marine Corps Combat Boot requirements. The boot must operate within a tropical environment, with performance based upon boot durability. Submissions shall incorporate innovative designs which utilize fabric and synthetic leathers to increase dry out time, while reducing weight and moisture retention caused by natural leather. Additionally, the tropical boot must be lighter weight and faster drying when compared to the current combat boot. The outsole must allow for easy removal of mud, debris, and foreign substances. The Marine Corps tropical boot can vary in height as long as the boot provides ankle support to the wearer.

Seeing this chart, I’d say they’re not exactly setting the bar very high here, considering the Army recently relearned quite a bit about they had forgotten about Jungle Boots. Soles almost seem as an afterthought and no mention of a plate to protect the foot from booby traps.

This is the most interesting part of the effort. Maybe something like the Gore Pyrad will work but anything that inhibits breathability, even a little bit, in the jungle is a recipe for disaster. Everytime I read FR and armor requirements for jungle operations and wonder who wrote them. It’s surely not anyone who has ever spent anytime in a jungle environment.

PdM-ICE is conducting market research to determine if the current Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform (MCCUU) could be flame resistant (FR) treated. Treatment should be low cost, and could be applied during fabric manufacture, as a post treatment, or in garment form. Treatment shall not alter appearance, comfort, or durability properties. The treatment must meet the vertical flame performance…

Fortunately, there will also be an Industry Day, during Outdoor Retailer Winter Market from 7-10 January 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Government plans to conduct one-on-one meetings with industry. Maybe the Marines will be in recieve mode while vendors procide feedback on work they’ve already done, especially regarding boots.

Interested parties need to review the announcement on www.FBO.gov for all of the particulars.

USMC Looks To Recycle IMTV Armor Panels For Use In Plate Carriers

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

In a Sources Sought Notice issued earlier this week on Fed Biz Opps by Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Product Manager Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE), the service requests information on companies who are capable of converting Government owned front and back Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) soft armor inserts into Plate Carrier (PC) front and back soft armor inserts that will fit small and medium PCs.

Apparently, the Marines have excess armor panels that fit the IMTV and want to turn them into something they can put to immediate use. That part makes sense. However, there are some unknowns in the mix that could make this difficult.

Below, you can see what the proposed work would look like.

1. Removing the nylon cover from the Government furnished IMTV soft armor inserts.

2. Cutting X-Large, Large, and Medium IMTV soft armor inserts into Medium and Small PC soft armor inserts in accordance with PC Pattern: Front Back Ballistic (14007PC-FRT BCK BLST).

The PC soft armor inserts will be cut from the IMTV soft armor inserts such that the IMTV hook and loop areas are not part of the final cut PC soft armor insert.

3. Source and seal new nylon covers for the PC soft armor inserts as specified in Paragraph 3.2.3 of the Plate Carrier Detail Specification (DTL-14007A0000) and PC Pattern: Ballistic Cover (14007PC-BALSTIC COVR).

4. Source hook and loop attachments and thread for the PC soft armor inserts as specified in Paragraph 3.2.6 and Paragraph 3.2.13 of the Plate Carrier Detail Specification (DTL-14007A000). Sew the hook and loop attachments to the PC soft armor insert as specified in Paragraph and of the Plate Carrier Detail Specification (DTL-14007A0000) and PC Pattern: Ballistic Cover (14007PC-BALSTIC COVR).

5. Conduct Ballistic Lot Acceptance Testing of final PC soft armor inserts at a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) certified lab in accordance with Sections 4.9 and 4.11 of the Plate Carrier Detail Specification (DTL-14007A0000).

6. Provide and adhere new labels to the final PC soft armor inserts as specified in Paragraph 3.6.6 and 3.6.7 of the Plate Carrier Detail Specification (DTL-14007A0000). The label will be comprised of information from the original IMTV soft armor insert as well as new information for the PC soft armor insert. The label will include the following information:

•Original IMTV Contract Number
•Original IMTV Cage Code
•Original IMTV Date of Production
•Original IMTV LOT Number
•Original IMTV Serial Number
•PC National Stock Number
•PC Size
•PC Part Number
•Date of Modification
•Modification Contract Number

The big issue with this is that the armor panels will need to be recertified. Most likely, a company will need to internally “certify” each lot of armor that the Marine Corps provides prior to processing it. There’s no way they’d start work on the panels if they aren’t going to pass certification once they are modified. Then, once the lot passes, it can be reconfigured. After that, the vendor will need to certify the lot of armor once again in its new form. If panels fail, that lot is out. Naturally, a failure at this stage is most likely the fault of the vendor, caused during the reconfiduration process. But that’s why the initial testing is so important. It will rule out material defects in the original armor pack or mishandling while in govenment control.

If this transitions into an actual solicitation, vendors will need to know the full scope of work facing them by understanding how many separate lots of armor there are which require reconfiguration, and what condition they are in. For example, were they just placed in storage or were they issued.
Having said that, what the Marine Corps is asking for isn’t outside the realm of the possible. The Army has shown some very promising work on refurbishing IOTV armor panels and reusing them in new carriers but they aren’t opening armor packs, cutting the material and repackaging it. Instead, the Army is just washing existing panels. Conversely, industry will reconfigure existing panels, cutting them into new shapes, but they are doing this with their own panels and not those from a third party.

The real question is whether this is economically viable and much of that lies in the scope. How many different lots of armor are there that will require recertification testing? Because that is going to drive up cost.

If you think your company can make this work, visit www.fbo.gov.

Marines Choose Kestrel as Scout Sniper Ballistic Computer

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

MARCORSYSCOM Selects Kestrel to Support United States Marine Corps

Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters has been selected by Marine Corps System Command to provide the material solution for the Scout Sniper Ballistic Computers (SSBC) program.

“Kestrel has proudly supported Marine Corps Scout Snipers with rugged environmental meters for more than 15 years, starting with the original Kestrel 4000 Weather Tracker, through to the Kestrel 4500 with Applied Ballistics selected on this contract,” said Nielsen-Kellerman (NK) CEO Alix James. “We are constantly working to develop solutions that make our warfighters more effective without weighing them down with unnecessary gear. We are honored that this selection confirms that we’re building what our soldiers need.” NK is the manufacturer of the Kestrel Weather & Environmental Meters.

U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan (PA, 7th District) said, “The Marine Corps’ decision is great news for our warfighters. And ?having visited the Nielsen-Kellerman facilities in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, and met the hard-working men and women who create this innovative product, the Marine Corps announcement is good for jobs and growth in Pennsylvania as well.”

The Kestrel 4500 with Applied Ballistics is a 4-ounce, hand-held meter that combines accurate wind, direction, temperature, pressure and humidity readings with a built-in advanced ballistics calculator and bullet performance database. The Kestrel outputs elevation and wind holds calculated for the precise weapon, round and target characteristics, allowing snipers to put first shots on target at 1000 yards and beyond.

The 887 Kestrel meters purchased will be supplied in a complete field support kit containing the following:

• Desert Tan Kestrel Applied Ballistic ITAR Tactical Unit
• Screen Protection Kit
• Pelican 1015 Black Case
• Mystery Ranch Molle Soft Case

All Kestrel Weather Meters are designed and built in Pennsylvania, and the Kestrel Kit selected for this contract award is fully Berry Amendment and BUY American Act compliant. Broader adoption of the Kestrel with Applied Ballistics is anticipated as other services are presently evaluating its performance and capabilities.

This contract award will be supplied by long-time authorized Kestrel resale partner, ADS, Inc., a primary vendor under the Defense Supply Center Special Operations Tailored Logistics Support (TLS) Program.

Sneak Peek – USMC M40A6 Prototype

Monday, March 16th, 2015

I recently got a look at a prototype of the proposed USMC upgrade to the M40A6 configuration for their venerable sniper rifle based on the Remington 700 action. Well I’m told that IOC still two years out, the decision for the upgrade in stock to a modified version of the Remington Arms Chassis System which has already been adopted in other forms by the US Army and SOCOM.

Currently, the working designation remains M40A6 but it well be fielded as the M40A7.  Apparently, the barrel remains the sticking point, and a final decision on length and twist rate has still not been made although the weapon remains 7.62 NATO.  Take a look at the gallery and you may see a few other tidbits of info like the SureFire suppressor adapter.