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SMA Dailey At Army/Navy Game In Prototype Pinks and Greens

Monday, December 11th, 2017

You’re looking at the best leadership team the US Army has had in quite some time.


Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley is seen with Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey during Saturday’s Army/Navy Game. SMA Dailey is wearing a prototype ‘Pinks and Greens’ service dress uniform which he was recently fitted for by a team from PEO Soldier.

The uniform is referred to as ‘Pinks and Greens’ because it is inspired by an iconic World War Two-era dress uniform. This modernized version is available in male and female versions. If it is adopted, there’s even talk of an optional wear leather A-2 flight jacket.


Update: Here are a few more photos from PEO Soldier.

PEO Soldier Provides Update On Jungle Combat Boot and Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Yesterday, the US Army’s Program Executive Officer Soldier, responsible for the development, procurement, and lifecycle management of weapons and equipment used by the individual Soldier, hosted a media round table to update us on the Jungle Combat Boot (ver 2) and Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform. These two pieces of vital clothing are intended for use in a hot, wet environment.


Providing the update was COL Stephen Thomas, Product Manager, Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment; LTC Jonathan Allen, Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment; and CPT Dan Ferenczy SCIE Assistant Product Manager, Environmental Clothing and Footwear. Both COL Thomas and LTC Allen came on board over the Summer while CPT Ferenczy has been working on this project for about a year.

COL Thomas kicked off the event with a brief overview of PM SPIE. He was followed by LTC Allen who brings a lot of energy to PM SCIE, which he refers to as the “Varsity Team” of PEO Soldier. He wanted to thank everyone who got them to where they are today in this project, Army and industry alike.

Jungle Combat Boot
Current issue boots are less than optimal for wear in the jungle. They lack puncture protection and feature additional layers for comfort which retain moisture. Initially, the Army evaluated Commercially available boots but found that they didn’t dry quickly and lacked drainage and traction in mud and didn’t shed excess mud.


Intended for use in a tropical, or hot wet environment, the Jungle Combat Boot has been a fast tracked acquisition. Within six months of the directed requirement being issued, the Army had taken delivery of the initial generation of boots and was fielding them to two Brigade Combat Teams in the 25th Infantry Division.

Fielding of an initial capability was so fast because readiness is the Army’s number one priority. However, the PM SCIE team has relied heavily on Soldier feedback to refine the requirement. For example, Soldiers want a boot that is more flexible, lighter weight and has a less thick sole than those initially fielded. The version 2 JCBs will also dry an hour faster than currently issued boots and feature a puncture resistant sole incorporating material which resists 200 lbs sq in of force. This will not only protect from thorns but also man made threats such as the “punji stakes” used in Vietnam.


PM SCIE is currently working with industry to conduct a wear test of a Gen 2 boot incorporating changes in 2nd Quarter FY18. In alphabetical order, the vendors are Altama, Bates, Belleville, McRae and Rocky. Based on feedback next March, PM SCIE will combine the best attributes into a common requirement. However, boots will continue to be refined until Soldiers are satisfied.

When asked if the Army had been working with SOCOM and the Marine Corps, both of whom also have Jungle Boot requirements, LTC Allen answered that they had. He related that the Army, Marine Corps and SOCOM teams work regularly together, sharing information. But, while the overall objective is a common boot for all services there are different requirements. For example, Marines prefer a 6-8″ tall boot, whereas Soldiers desire a taller boot.

Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform
The IHWCU is intended as an alternative for the Army Combat Uniform for wesr in jungle environments. While the two uniforms share the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern, the design and fabric are both different.


The overall layout of the uniform is the most obvious difference. CPT Ferenczy said that they had also incorporated a quick dry fabric and long with general performance improvements. Overall, there are fewer layers and seams.

Jacket Improvements
No mandarin collar
Old style shoulder pockets with buttons
No breast pockets

Trouser Improvements
No rear pockets
Gussetted crotch
Articulated knee
Mesh ankle wrap


Aside from the fabric improvement, there are five major features on this uniform I’d like to point out. First, the lack of both chest and rear pockets. Second, the return to a more traditional, vertically oriented, button flapped shoulder pocket. Third, the reverse rake on the trouser cargo pockets, with the front of the pocket and flap being higher than the rear. Fourth, the introduction of a gusseted or diamond crutch for increased mobility and to reduce blowouts. Finally, the incorporation of the mesh ankle wrap. This feature has been quite popular and works like a gaiter to protect the Soldier’s legs from bugs and other pests when the trousers aren’t bloused due to heat and drainage concerns.

While the goal has been to reduce the amount of fabric on the garment, I’m surprised they’ve retained the lower leg pockets which don’t seem to offer much capability considering they will constantly catch on vegetation and fill with water. I’m also curious if any of these features will find their way over to the ACU.

The current fabric being used for the IHWCU is a 5.7 oz, 57/43 NYCO blend by Invista. According to CPT Ferenczi, this new fabric also offers improved air permeability (breathability) of 70cfm versus the 30cfm of the ACU’s 50/50 NYCO. Thanks to the new fabric and design, the IHWCU boasts a 30 min faster dry time over the current 90 minutes for the ACU.

However, the Army is preparing to conduct a lab test of new hot weather fabrics and based on what they find, they plan to conduct an additional wear test of promising fabrics later this year.

When You’ll See Them
According to LTC Allen, 65,000 sets of the IHWCU are currently in production. In January, they plan to issue four uniforms and one pair of boots each to soldiers in one Hawaii-based battalion of the 25th ID.


Unless you’re in one of the test units at the 25th ID, there’s no word yet in when you’ll be issued the IHWCU and JCBs. The Army is still at least a year out from a final decision and hasn’t decided if these will become Clothing Bag items, common to all Soldiers or issued at CIF as Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment.

PEO Soldier photos by Ronald T Lee.

101st Begins Fielding of XM17 Modular Handgun System

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Late last week, the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received the first of over 2000 new XM17 Modular Handgun Systems, making them the First Unit Equipped with this capability. Division commander, MG Andrew P. Poppas commented, “this is another 101st, first.” MHS consists of the XM17 and XM18 compact pistols as well as XM1152 Ball and M1153 Jacketed Hollow Point (Special Purpose) ammunition.


To learn about this initial fielding, which occurred just 10 months after contract award, I was invited to Program Executive Officer Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. On hand was LTC Steven Power, Product Manager Individual Weapons, Project Manager Soldier Weapons, located at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.


Mr Daryl Easlick of the Maneuver Center of Excellence Lethality Branch discussed the history of the MHS requirement which dates back to 2008 as an Air Force requirement for a Non-Developmental Item handgun. The Army adopted responsibility for the M9 handgun replacement because of life cycle concerns. They also wanted improvements in ergonomics, safety, and integration of accessories via a rail along with integrated night sights. All of these improvements would have been extremely difficult to make happen with the M9 platform. The answer was a new pistol which coalesced as the Modular Handgun System requirement.


Mr Tom Taylor and Steve Rose of M17 manufacturer, SIG SAUER, were also on hand to provide supporting information. The MHS is manufactured in their factories in New Hampshire. They’ve teamed with Winchester is the largest provider of small caliber ammunition to the US Government. Despite the open caliber nature of the MHS solicitation, MHS is a 9mm weapon, which falls in line with FBI studies. Winchester’s Mr Glen Weeks says that the new ammunition is 25% more lethal than previous ammo. The so-called Special Purpose round is a Jacketed Hollow Point, based on already available ammunition and features a 147 grain projectile. The ball ammo offers a 115 grain projectile.


Above, you see a Safariland holster which is a component of MHS. It offers several mounting options and is commercially available. However, it’s important to note that this is an interim solution which will be fielded with all of the Low Rate Initial Production MHS, which is limited to just 10 percent of the total procurement. According to Ms Sequena Robinson, Product Officer, Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, at PEO Soldier, they should have fininshed source selection on a new holster system to support MHS by the time it moves to Full Material Release. PM SCIE, has worked closely with PM SW to offer the holster component of the MHS.

LTC Power was reticent to discuss the full fielding schedule. Not because of delays. To the contrary, the Army is looking at ways to speed up the fielding. Not just this program, but across the board. In fact, MHS was sped up by 18 months. In just 10 months, Both Army and SIG got a lot done. SIG had to produce pistols in the exact configuration the Army planned to purchase and two iterations of testing, all before an actual purchase contract was awarded. Then, they required additional testing of production guns which had to be produced in a new secure area in their factory. Winchester had to accomplish the same things for the new ammunition as well.


SFC Andrew Flynn serves as the 101st Division Master Gunner. He is responsible for the Division’s small arms and in particular the roll out of MHS. His comments on the pistol were that it is an “excellent weapon. Soldiers will be able to transition to it with no trouble.” LTC Power also mentioned that the consistent trigger pull of the MHS aids in familiarity and decreases training time.

With fielding of MHS, Infantry team leaders and above will now wield dual weapon systems; both carbine and pistol. The concept is that, due to increased capability, the pistol is now an offensive weapon, day or night. 1LT Andrew Borer and CPL Jory Herrmann of C Co, 1st Bn, 506th Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were in the range during the initial fielding. Both were confident that MHS makes them more lethal. Interestingly, this significant Basis of Issue change was possible because of cost savings compared to the legacy M9 program.

According to Division Master Gunner SFC Flynn, they have identified a requirement to train its Soldiers who are dual armed, transition techniques. MCOE’s Mr Easlick commented that they are using lessons learned from SOF elements like the 75th Ranger Regt and Special Forces Groups. However, the Army’s intent is not to provide both pistol and carbine for all Soldiers. Mr Easlock mentioned that while every Soldier who closes with the enemy could benefit from a pistol and carbine, balancing training and resource requirements led them to this current course of action. However, the Army continually assesses its basis of issue for all equipment.


The Soldiers of the 101st like the modularity aspects of the pistol. Particularly, the ability to change the grip. On the range some swapped their grips from the standard Medium version in order to be more comfortable and consequently, more lethal. However, based in glove sizes within the Army, most Soldiers will likely stick with the Medium grip.

LTC Power addressed questions regarding concerns over SIG’s civilian P320 firing when dropped. He said that the XM17 incorprates components which prevent that flaw and that the Army’s test protocols are more stringent than law enforcement testing. In fact, according to LTC Power, who witnessed Army testing, the XM17 did not exhibit this flaw at all.

Integration across program offices to support MHS has been excellent. It is a system and the Army plans to increase its capability. I’ve already mentioned the holster and ammo pouches coming out of PM SCIE. But the Army has an unfulfilled requirement to suppress MHS. Additionally, they are working through the Soldier Enhancement Program to field a Pistol Aiming Laser. Finally, MHS slides are pre-cut and feature mounting plates for red dot optics. This is an upgrade capability that hasn’t even been addressed yet.


In addition to the 101st, other units on Ft Campbell, such as Criminal Investigation Division, are also fielding MHS. In the case of CID, it is the XM18 which features a smaller frame.

The next fielding of MHS is with 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia. Ultimately, the Army has a requirement to field over 238,000 MHS.

US Army photos by SGT Samantha Stoffregen, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public Affairs

SMA Dailey Gets Fitted for ‘Pink and Green’ Uniform

Friday, November 3rd, 2017


Members of PEO Soldier’s PdM Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment and the SPIE Public Affairs Officer staff met with the Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) at the Pentagon today to fit him for the proposed Pink & Green uniform.

During AUSA we, here at SSD, showed you prototypes of this proposed dress uniform which is inspired by the World War Two-era Pink amd Green, so named due to the underlying hue of the two-tone jacket and trousers.

Look for an interview with SMA Dailey by the PEO Soldier PAO team soon which will discuss the uniform.


SMA ofdice photos by PEO Soldier.

PEO Soldier Tests Modular Scalable Vest at Fort Carson

Monday, October 30th, 2017

FORT CARSON, Colo – Soldiers with the 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company participated in the final round of field-testing for the Army’s new body armor, the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), during a weeklong series of evaluated tasks conducted here Oct. 16-20.

SPC Hannah Carver-Frey, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialist with 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company, participates in the final round of field-testing for the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) during a weeklong series of evaluated tasks at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Once this evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army Photo by SSG Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

According to the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center’s website, the MSV is part of the Soldier Protection System (SPS) and is the Army’s next generation Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) system. The SPS is a modular, scalable, tailorable system designed to defeat current threats at a reduced weight in comparison to the Army’s existing PPE.

Damon Brant, a new equipment trainer from Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment at Prince George, VA, ensures the proper wear and use of a new body armor system by SPC Creed Cooney, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with 62nd Ordnance Company, during a weeklong field-test of the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Following the field-test, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army photo by SSG Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

Stephen McNair, test manager for Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment (PM SPIE), a division of Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier) at Fort Belvoir, was on-site to observe as Soldiers conducted an obstacle course, weapons training, don and doffing procedures, tactical vehicle access capabilities, and a ruck march.

Soldiers with in the 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company participate in the final round of field-testing for the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) during a weeklong series of evaluated tasks at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Once this evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army photo by SSG Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

“We have been working on this vest for the past five years and have since have gone through four versions of the vest and an additional two versions of the Soldier plate carrier system,” said McNair.

McNair said once the evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year.

1LT Dawn Ward, a platoon leader with 663rd Ordnance Company and evaluation officer in charge, participates in the final round of field-testing for the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) during a weeklong series of evaluated tasks at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Once this evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army photo by SSG Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

Debuting in 2008, the Improved Outer Tactical Vest’s modular design was carried over and improved upon for the MSV. Most of the pouch attachment ladder system (PALS) have been replaced with a rubber-like material with laser-cut slots. The improvement still allows Soldiers to affix mission essential gear to the vest, while reducing overall weight.

The MSV weighs approximately 11-pounds, based on a medium size vest without ballistic plates. Fully configured, the MSV weighs approximately 25-pounds, which is five pounds lighter than the IOTV.

Michael Spencer, a new equipment trainer from Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment at Fort Bragg, NC, demonstrates how the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) can be separated into different configurations, during the final round of field-testing of the vest at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Once this evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army photo by SSG. Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

McNair said the big push to design a new body armor was based on “cutting down on the weight of a Soldier’s load.”

Many of the testers said the MSV was noticeably lighter than their current body armor.

“Compared to my IOTV, this vest is lighter and cooler, has a greater range of motion, and a better fit,” said 1st Lt. Dawn Ward, a platoon leader with 663rd Ordnance Company and officer in charge during the evaluation.

“It is a huge improvement over previous body armors,” Ward said.

Michael Spencer, a new equipment trainer from Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment at Fort Bragg, NC, demonstrates how to transfer ballistic plates from the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) to a plate carrier configuration enclosed within the MSV, during the final round of field-testing of the vest at Fort Carson, CO, Oct. 18, 2017. Once this evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach Soldiers in the field by summer of next year. (US Army photo by SSG Lance Pounds, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), Public Affairs)

In addition to saving weight, the MSV is scalable, which was made possible by a four-tier configuration. The tier system will allow the wearer to tailor the vest to better fit mission requirements.

The first tier enables the wearer to pull out the inside soft armor to be used as concealable body armor. The second tier is the soft armor with plates. The third tier is the vest with ballistic plates and soft armor.

The final tier is the addition of a ballistic combat shirt that has built -in neck, shoulder and pelvic protection and a belt system designed to relocate much of what Soldiers affix to their vest to their hips.

(Graphic credit: PEO Soldier)

Spc. Isaac Bocanegra, an EOD technician with 764th OD CO, said he prefers the MSV’s ballistic combat shirt over the IOTV’s yoke and collar set up because it gives him more range of motion.

“I currently wear the IOTV about twice each day and it is quite a bit heavier than this body armor,” said Bocanegra. “Having this new body armor would make my job so much easier,” he added.

McNair said the premise of the tier system is to evenly distribute the system’s weight and reduces stress on a Soldier’s upper body.

“It will be up to unit leadership to determine the level of protection required for wear,” said McNair.

The MSV retained the quick-release feature first used in the IOTV to allow for easy removal in emergency situations, but with a simpler and interchangeable design. Instead of a single pull-tab, the MSV has a buckle system that can be used in one of three ways; left shoulder, right shoulder, or both depending on the wearer’s preference.

Extended sizing options allow the MSV to be tailorable and more accommodating to most Soldier body types.

“The extended range allows Soldiers to be more comfortable while performing tasks with greater ease,” said McNair.

“I have an extra-small because it positions the plates where I need them to be and it has a tighter fit for me,” said Spc. Hannah Carver-Frey, a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear specialist with 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company.

In addition to developing the lighter weight body armor, McNair said that developers at PEO Soldier are also working on an improved protective helmet system. It too, will be lighter than current protective helmets and capable of stopping certain 7.62 rounds.

For more information about the MSV body armor, visit the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center’s website at asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/soldier-protection-system-sps

For more information about the future of Soldier protective equipment, visit the PEO Soldier’s website at www.peosoldier.army.mil.

This article was written by SSG Lance Pounds and shared via the Army News Service.

PEO Soldier – Soldiers Test Newest Precision Targeting Device

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

This is a great story by PEO Soldier’s Kyle Olson, updating you on their JETS program.

FORT GREELEY, Alaska – For nearly two weeks in mid-August, it seemed the only sound that could be heard between gusts of wind along a few of Fort Greeley’s Alaskan ridge lines was…


“Target Lock.” “Target Lock.”
“Lasing.” “Lasing.”
“Solution.” “Solution.”
“5…7…6…9.” “5…7…6…9.”
“4…2…5…2.” “4…2…5…2,” and so it went—more than two-thousand times.
Find a target. Check.
Identify the target. Check.
Range/Geolocate the target. Check
Call it. Verify it. Log it.
And do it again, and again, and again, and again.

Six teams of Forward Observers (FO) from the 1st Stryker Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment and data collectors atop places like Windy Ridge and Donnelly Dome looked out over the Alaskan landscape. They picked out targets and called in target data acquired through the Joint Effects Targeting System, better known as JETS, as part of a Limited User Test (LUT). The Army’s Operational Test Command conducted the testing at the Fort Greeley Cold Region Test Center (CRTC).

JETS is a modular advanced sensor suite consisting of a hand-held target location module (HTLM), a precision azimuth and vertical angle module (PAVAM), and a laser marker module (LMM) that collectively offer the FO capabilities not contained in any currently fielded system. JETS allows them to quickly acquire and precisely locate targets.

When fielded, it will be the first precision targeting device of its kind provided to Soldiers.

“Its brand new cutting edge technology that is a paradigm shift in how the Field Artillery BOS (Branch of Service) is employed across the battle space,” said LTC Michael Frank, Product Manager Soldier Precision Targeting Devices (PM SPTD). With JETS, “I turn a [M777A2] howitzer or a Paladin into a giant sniper rifle. I’m dropping that round, with first round effects, on target.”


LTC Frank is guiding the development of JETS with the experienced hand of a FA officer with multiple deployments and more than 26 years in the Army. The lieutenant colonel emphasized that JETS not only provides greater precision, but also allows for a more rapid response. “Standoff doesn’t just mean range anymore,” LTC Frank said. “It means time. We can get kinetic effects on that target, and we don’t have to mess around with mensuration. We don’t have to take anywhere from 15 to 18 to 20 minutes to go through mensuration. We can get that target data to the guns and rounds out of the tube faster with JETS than without.”

According to CPT Eric Munn, JETS Assistant Product Manager (APM), “JETS will revolutionize how the Field Artillery conducts precision fire missions. A hand-held, stand alone, true precision targeting device that is fielded to every Forward Observer team will increase the agility and lethality of Field Artillery as a whole.”

Before the system is fielded, and well before Soldiers can experience the benefits of JETS on the battlefield, it must go through comprehensive and rigorous testing. While the 1st Stryker Brigade’s FOs could attest to the seemingly mind-numbing monotony of conducting thousands of data calls, they also understood the inherent value and importance of their mission.

“We have the ability to find things that are wrong with the system and have the capability of getting it changed,” said SPC Israel Wallace, FO, Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment (2-8 FAR). “We’d go up there, shoot grids, see if we can find anything wrong with it—see how long the batteries last, you name it.”

Although the Soldiers packed the JETS in their rucks and maneuvered through the Alaskan terrain to their observation posts, the LUT was not about the system’s durability on the move. It was about collecting enough data to verify its consistency, reliability, and ease of use.

“We don’t do a whole lot of rugged testing like throw it on the ground or anything like that,” SPC Israel said. “We’ll take it up there and use it all day long.” The Soldiers took note of things like the various connections and ports—were they easy to use or maybe vulnerable to snagging or breaking; was the tripod stable and easy to use; how did the system perform in the rain; and were the controls easy to use while wearing gloves?

According to CPT Munn, it’s essential that the JETS is developed with Soldiers in mind. “One of the most important parts of these tests is determining how suitable the JETS is for the Soldier and what we need to fix prior to fielding these systems to the Army,” he said. “The Soldier is the ultimate customer and we have to ensure that they can employ the system effectively and reliably.”

SGT Christopher Maurer, 2-8 FAR FO, appreciated the ability make a difference. “It’s good to know what it can do,” he said. “But, it’s [also] good to have that face to face with the people that actually designed it, so they can take in the feedback and actually do something about it.”

LTC Frank described how the Soldiers conducted the testing. “The Soldiers operated over five different lanes, incorporating different scenarios that put JETS through the type of mission scenarios it would see—not just if, but when it’s taken into a theater of combat,” LTC Frank said.

After spending several weeks training and then testing JETS, the Soldiers gained a special appreciation for the system and its capabilities. SGT Maurer especially appreciated the reduced weight when compared to the Lightweight Laser Designated Rangefinder (LLDR) and increased capability when compared to the Vector 21 Laser Target Locator (LTL). “They’re both kind of the far ends of the spectrum,” he said. “[JETS] is the perfect hybrid between having one module you can take and just go with, or you can bring everything.”

SPC Wallace echoed SGT Maurer’s sentiment. “If I was running around up in the mountains, constantly moving, setting up hasty [observation posts] I would take the JETS over the LLDR any day.”

The Operation Test Center will spend the next several weeks combing through the LUT data and then present PM SPTD with the test findings. Everything will be looked at and recommendations will be made. Some will affect training, and others will result in physical changes or even software updates.

Soldiers will have another opportunity to work with the JETS in the upcoming Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) scheduled for February 2018. The IOT&E, like all previous tests, will put the JETS in hands of Soldiers. They will put it through its paces ensuring the operational capabilities of this next generation precision targeting device are tested and verified to exacting detail before any Soldier uses the JETS to call for fire on a live target.

“Our goal in the Acquisition community is to increase our Soldiers’ survivability and ability to win on the battlefield,” CPT Munn said. “The JETS system accomplishes both tasks by giving the Forward Observer time and space to defeat enemies on the battlefield,” he added.

JETS is expected to be fielded to Soldiers in fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 (July–September 2018).

Picture1Soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery Regiment put the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) through its paces at the Cold Region Test Center (CRTC), Fort Greeley, Alaska. The Soldiers, all Forward Observers (FO), spent several weeks testing and evaluating the JETS during the Limited User Test (LUT) conducted by the Army’s Operational Test Command. More than 2,000 data calls were logged on the systems by six teams of FOs and data collectors. JETS, a hand-held, stand alone, true precision targeting device, represents a capability not yet available to Forward Observers. One of the Soldiers characterized it as the perfect hybrid system, fitting neatly between the Vector 21 Laser Target Locator (LTL) and the larger Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR). At 17 pounds, JETS weighs less than half of the LLDR and offers greater precision than the Vector 21.

(Photos by Kyle Olson, PEO Soldier)


US Army Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

If you’re a Soldier, a new jungle uniform is in your future. The Army has developed an Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform (IHWCU) for use in hot-wet environments and is working to put it into production.

The two-piece ensemble consists of a Coat and Trouser printed in the Operational Camoufiage Pattern. So far, prototypes have been made from Invista’s Cordura NYCO fabric, a 57/43 blend, which is lighter, faster drying and more breathble than the ACU’s 50/50 NYCO. However, other fabrics are currently under evaluation.

Coat, Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform

IHWCU worn by CPT Daniel Ferenczy, APM for Extreme Weather Clothing and Footwear, PM-SPIE, PEO Soldier

-raglan sleeve front with a five (5) button closure
-a fold down collar with a fusible interlining
-long sleeves with cuffs and one (1) button, three (3) buttonholes adjustable cuff tab
-The top of the button down closure is open to accommodate a pen
-front has loop tape to accommodate the Name and US Army Tape
-front placket has a loop tape for the Rank Patch
-coat has two (2) bellow style top opening upper sleeve pockets and includes an eyelet drain-hole
-sleeves have an elbow reinforcement patch
-Both sleeves have an Identification Friend or Foe tab cover that can be opened and closed using hook and loop fastener
-IFF tab cover is centered and sewn onto the sleeve above the upper sleeve pocket
-double turned and cleaned finished hem

Trousers, Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform


(Rear of the IHWCU Trouser, showing the cargo and lower leg pocket layout.)

-covered fly with a four (4) button/ buttonhole closure, or three (3) button/buttonhole closure, depending on size
-seven (7) belt loops
-two (2) side hanging pockets
-two (2) front side pleated cargo pockets with three (3) button/ two (2) buttonhole closure flaps
-high end of cargo pockets at front of pocket rather than rear like ACU
-two (2) lower leg side pockets with one (1) button/ one (1) buttonhole closure flaps
-side cargo pockets shall have three (3) sewn-in eyelets hidden by the bellows
-double needle seat patch and a pleated knee reinforcement incorporated into the pant leg at the knee
-one (1) piece single gusset
-two (2) front side hanging pockets
-mesh fabric attached on the inside of the trousers at the bottom of the legs as inner cuffs
-bottom of the trousers leg hems, the inner cuffs, and the waistband shall have drawstrings

Right now, Natick has issued an RFI to industry in order to identify manufacturers for up to 150,000 sets of the new uniform. However, that number could drastically increase depending on whether the Army decides to make the IHWCU an optional wear item or solely Organizational Clothing & Individual Equipment (OCIE) issue.

AUSA – Prototype Pinks and Greens

Monday, October 9th, 2017

At AUSA PEO Soldier is demonstrating a prototype World War Two Pinks and Greens-style service dress uniform.

SGT Schacher and SFC Johnson wear prototypes of male and female versions of the uniform. This is only a prototype, intended to solicit feedback and there is currently no requirement for a new Service uniform. However, if this concept is adopted by the Army, the final uniforms will be different.

Here, SFC Johnson shows us the Class B Shirt. I’m very impressed by the work the uniform’s designers have done to research historical uniform items and adapt the styles to reflect modern tastes and materials.

What do you think?