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MDM – National Molding – Rigid Plate Carrier

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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National Molding has unveiled their new Rigid Plate Carrier is made from a high impact plastic shell that helps contain spall and frag. It also protects the plate from day-to-day impacts and integrates the National Molding X-Quad single point release. This version is 20% lighter than the Quad release found in the IOTV.

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Need PALS-compatible load carriage? Not a problem. National Molding has introduced an adapter that fits over the RPC. As you can see, it can be dipped in any Camo pattern.

Available 3rd Quarter, 2015.

www.nationalmolding.com

FlexSystems – Why Did Chinook & Impact Weapons Go USA Made?

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Flexsystems

www.flexsystems.com

The Official Color Palette for OCP

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Colors

According to the latest version of MIL-DTL-44436B which is used by DLA to guide industry, these are the official colors of Operational Camouflage Pattern:

Class 9 and 10, Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP). The cloth(s) shall be dyed to a ground shade either matching or approximating Cream 524 and then shall be overprinted with the camouflage pattern by roller or screen printing. When the ground shade is dyed to match Cream 524, the remaining colors shall be obtained by subsequent printing using six rollers or screens, as appropriate for the Tan 525, Pale Green 526, Olive 527, Dark Green 528, Brown 529 and Dark Brown 530 areas of the pattern. When the ground shade is dyed to approximate Cream 524 all seven colors of the camouflage pattern shall be obtained by subsequent printing using seven rollers or screens to match all seven colors.

Those colors sound kind of familiar. Oddly enough, the new variant of OCP (Scorpion W2) is being referred to as OCP Class 14 and not 9 & 10, which is all that is covered in the most recent version of the standard. As you can imagine, this is becoming rather confusing having two similar, yet distinct patterns using the same name.

5.11 Storm Grey – Color As A Weapon

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Unveiled during SHOT Show, 5.11 Tactical’s Storm Grey is featured in this short video.

www.511tactical.com

It’s Time for the Army to Reconsider Pigskin Leather for Boots

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Recently, we posted “Leader Book Notes” on boots from Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond Chandler. While we applauded his candor, there was a very glaring error in the SMA’s information.

SMA Chandler stated that Warrior Leather is a “common use” term for pigskin. Turns out that is untrue. It is actually a trademarked product of Wolverine Worldwide. You know Wolverine because they own Bates Footwear. Wolverine is the parent company of 16 global brands such as Merrell, Saucony and Wolverine as well as Bates.

WOLVERINE WARRIOR LEATHER

Oil, stain and abrasion-resistant Wolverine Warrior® Leather is treated with Scotchgard™ protector to create an invisible, stain-resistant barrier that improves durability without changing the breathability, color or texture of the leather.

Boots with Warrior® Leather are easy to clean and engingeered to resist dirt, mud, motor oil, vehicle fluids, gasoline and other oil-based chemicals.

Once we found out that the term “Warrior Leather” was an actual product that people were buying, it was time to learn more. We ended up discussing this issue recently with the folks at Bates. They’re using it for good reason. Bates found that their WWL is lighter weight, absorbs less liquid, dries faster, retains flexibility better, and is more stain resistant than cattle hide.

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The real question in all of this is “what has the US Army got against pigskin leather in the first place?” After all, the other services use it. If it’s good enough for the Marines, why not them?

The first issue that must be addressed is durability. Pigskin is, in fact, thinner than cowhide. Some would take that to mean that it is less durable. Bates shared that over the last 10 years, they have delivered in excess of two million pair of WWL leather combat boots to the US military via DLA contracts and military exchanges without a single documented case of leather failure. Plus, pigskin is more supple. It’s easier to work during the construction of footwear and it breathes better than cowhide.

When the US Air Force moved to adopt pig leather, we know that several Jewish Airmen came forward with their objections. We can imagine that Islamic Airmen may well have been concerned as well. However, cow leather has never been completely replaced by pig leather in US combat boots. It’s only been added as another material solution. So service members have never been placed in a position that would compromise their religious duties. While we understand the religious objections of Jewish and Islamic service members, the overall advantages of pig leather should be weighed as an additional material. Just like there are kosher and halal rations available to those that require them, they’ll still have footwear that meets their needs. Conversely, current issue boots force Hindu Soldiers to wear cowhide. If we are going to use religious grounds as a basis for this decision, all traditions should be considered.

One of the most compelling arguments for the adoption of pig leather is that it diversifies the supply chain for boots. Due to the very fragile nature of the US raw material supply chain it is critical the US military have multiple leather sources in the case of a delivery disruption. Right now, the other services can take advantage of such diversification. Now, it’s the Army’s turn.

The last reason I will cite is, for the Army, the most important reason. Pigskin leather is less expensive than cattle hide. It’s that simple. The Army is the largest consumer of clothing and footwear in DoD and could relieve the cost for boots both institutionally as well as for the individual Soldier with the adoption of pigskin leather for boots; at no performance cost. They can turn those savings around to improve other gear or hasten the transition to OCP.

The advantage is there for the Army if they would reconsider their ban on the use of pigskin leather for combat footwear. Now, we’re not advocating the full scale replacement of cowhide here, but rather the addition of pigskin as an authorized boot material. With the current transition to a new camouflage pattern, cut of the Army Combat Uniform and boot color underway, every option should be on the table, including this one. SSD urges the US Army to reconsider their ban in the use of pigskin leather for combat boots.

UPDATE: I forgot to include a reason. More pigskin = more bacon!

Boom: That Just Happened

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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Something Cool Just Showed Up At SSD. Details soon!

OR Summer Market – Texollini

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Texollini is a fabric company well known in the commercial market. What many don’t know is that they offer FR fabrics as well. They use a lot of wool in their performance military FR fabrics but they don’t rely on the super wash process used by many but rather a use proprietary process. This helps control costs. They also work with FR Rayon and this material is going into the new FR bra for female Soldiers. If you’re looking for a performance or FR fabric, they’re definitely a company to look at.

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www.texollini.com

OR Open Air Demo – SG 20 Adhesive Sealant

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

SG-20 is a dual component polyurethane adhesive that is durable and flexible. Sets in 1 minute and cures in an hour. Each kit is enough for up to 3 repairs and can be used on a variety of items including waders, all neoprene a including dive suits, tents, Gore-tex, etc.

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It won’t stick to some PVCs and some hard plastics but it sounds like a great field repair kit addition. Shelf life is 18 months.

www.SG-20.com

Military Apparel Veteran Joins the 37.5 Technology Team – Dave Bywater To Head Up West Coast And Government Accounts For Cocona Natural Technologies

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is awesome news to me. I only have I known Dave for years I’ve been a huge fan of the Cocona fabric technology for almost as many. This is a great team up and I’m looking forward to see what Dave has in store for us in his new position.

Dave Bywater, who built the Military, Special Forces, and Wildland Fire business at Massif Mountain Gear, is now heading up all Military, Wildland Fire, and West Coast accounts for Cocona Natural Technologies, maker of patented 37.5™ Technology.

“It is an honor to be reunited with Dave, he is one of the finest men I know”, noted CEO Jeff Bowman who previously worked with Bywater at Massif. “Dave will help take our customer service to the next level.”

A lifelong user of high-performance gear, Bywater grew up climbing in Utah and spent 16 years as a Grand Teton National Park Employee. As part of the elite Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers, he routinely performed helicopter short-haul rescues as well as high-angle rock, ice, and snow rescues. Bywater received the Department of Interior Valor Award for an extreme rescue on Mt. McKinley. He has also been a Wildland Fire Fighter on engine and ground crews.

Bywater has more than 10 years of experience in the high-performance garment and textile industry and was most recently Vice President of Government Sales at Massif. Instrumental in developing and securing the company’s most successful programs such as the Army Combat Shirt and the Flame Resistant Environmental Ensemble, Bywater was also responsible for getting Massif’s flame-resistant garments approved for use in every branch of the US military.

“I’ve spent my career both using high-performance gear and getting the best equipment possible into the hands of people with the world’s most dangerous jobs,” said Bywater. “I’m excited to work with 37.5 technology, which, among other benefits, can help mitigate heat stress so you can focus on the job at hand—whether that’s training for an event, performing on a team, or protecting the country. The technology has an incredibly broad range of applications and the opportunities are limitless.”

Bywater will be at the 37.5 Technology booth at OR in August 6th through 9th. For inquiries, please email dave@cocona.com.

www.thirtysevenfive.com

An EPIC Story

Monday, August 4th, 2014

I remember first seeing the Nextec folks at Outdoor Retailer many years ago. As we make our way to this week’s OR Summer Market, I thought it would be good to sure this with you.

You’ve probably run across a material called EPIC by Nextec at some point over the past decade. If you are, or have been, assigned to SOCOM, you’ve definitely used it. The same EPIC technology, that set the foundation of the outdoor industry’s softshell category with leading brands in the late 90″s, can also be credited for helping create the much improved military uniform systems fielded over the last decade of war. If you have worn PCU Levels 4,5 & 7, GEN III ECWCS Levels 5 & 7 or USMC ECW Parka & Trouser; you have experienced the EPIC performance!

EPIC’s silicone encapsulation technology places an environmental barrier inside fabrics that does not wash out or wear off. This durable performance of water resistance, wind resistance, lowest absorbing, fast drying, high breathability and packability set the highest standard for softshell items.

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As the outdoor industry and its consumers became more savvy with the rapidly emerging softshell market in the early 2000s; products that were less about performance but more concerned about their brand strength and revenue goals captured much of this now predominant softshell market. As the outdoor market was quickly getting saturated with many softshell offerings; Nextec recognized that it did not have the brand strength, marketing dollars or the resources needed to hold onto the outdoor softshell business it ignited. More importantly, Nextec acknowledged early feedback from the SOF community after their field testing of EPIC gear. This SOF feedback generated the “walk dry” criteria and the fact that SOF expressed more concern about the user’s survivability performance of its gear versus the commercial brand strength set in motion today’s update Military uniform layering systems.

Prior to 9/11, Nextec shifted its focus from commercial market to working closely with SOF on the development of their Protective Combat Uniform system PCU. The EPIC performance became the cornerstone of the PCU system, which the Army field tested shortly after and Gen III ECWCS was born! Unfortunately with the lowering of spec performance, an inferior knockoff and budget cuts the soldier is not wearing the authentic gear the Army first fielded. Thankfully if you are SOF, NSW or USMC you are still protected with the authentic battle tested EPIC gear!

Nextec is currently supplying several large International militaries with its EPIC fabrics.

When purchasing from the range of tactical brands out there research the true item performance you are investing in…inferior well marketed substitutes should never be an option!

nextec.com