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Archive for the ‘PM-SSS’ Category

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.


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!

Point Blank Wins SPEAR Soft Armor Contract

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Industry insiders have confirmed that Point Blank Enterprises has won the selection for new SPEAR soft armor to outfit Special Operations Forces. This means that Point Blank will provide the soft armor inserts regardless of carrier make.

PEO SOF Warrior Briefings from SOFIC 2011

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

If you are a fan of SSD, then of all the briefings at this year’s SOFIC, the ones from PEO SOF Warrior will probably be most interesting. In the first you will learn a little about what areas the Program Office covers and what they have going on. The second set of slides is specific to individual kit.

PEO SOF Warrior Brief SOFIC 2011

SOF Warrior – Ground Combatant Systems Brief SOFIC 2011

FREE Mission Go Bag from SOTech for SOF Personnel!

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Well, it’s not free to you directly from SOTech, but Uncle Sam has already paid for them and they are sitting at Lexington Bluegrass Army Depot (SOFSA) just waiting for your Supply NCO to order them! We were surprised to go out to the field and talk with SOF Operators who want the gear, but have no idea that SOCOM has already purchased it and it collects dust waiting for your unit to get around to ordering it. And it’s not just the SOTech Mission Go Bag, the entire BALCS backpack system is available including packs from Mystery Ranch and Granite Gear Tactical. Who knows what other great gear is waiting for your unit while your supply guy plays World of Warcraft. So if you belong to a SOCOM unit (only), march into your supply office and demand that they order the BALCS SOF Pack Suite Contract # W911QY-07-D-0013, especially the Mission Go Bag NSN: 8465-01-557-1565. It makes a great E&E or just day to day bag. Plus it is pretty versatile and can be mounted/worn 12 different ways. If you want to customize it, SOTech has developed a series of inserts for different mission sets including SERE, Breacher, Sniper, Laptop (RECCE), and Medical.

This is the real deal guys and there’s only one catch. You have to get your supply guy to order them.

Soldier Systems APBI

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Armys Product Manager Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM CIE), Armys Product Manager Soldier Survivability (PM SSV), USMCs Product Manager Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE), PM Special Operation Forces Survival Systems (PM SOF), Warfighter Science, Technology, and Applied Research (WARSTAR), Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center, and Defense Supply Center Philadelphias Clothing and Textile division (DSCP C&T) will jointly hold an Advance Planning Brief for Industry (APBI) on May 13-14, 2009 in Springfield, VA. The goal of the event is to keep the industrial base informed of the direction of clothing and individual equipment programs, future requirements, and business opportunities. There will be an optional no host registration/cocktail social event the evening of May 12. The conference will commence May 13 with registration followed by a general session focused on strategic initiatives and issues. Individual commodity sessions will be held the afternoon of May 13 and the morning of May 14. The commodity areas are as follows: Helmets, Fire Resistant Clothing, Footwear, Cold Weather Clothing and Equipment, Load Bearing Equipment, Handwear, Eyewear, Body Armor, Hydration, Parachutes, and Uniforms. Sessions will be held for Service unique commodities as well. Services will brief all on-going efforts in research and development, test, evaluation, future contract projections, and current/emerging military requirements. These briefings are designed to identify specific opportunities over the next 3 years. The sessions will conclude with a moderated question and answer period. The APBI is open to all members of the supply chain. Space is limited; therefore the number of attendees is restricted to ten (10) attendees per company. Registration will be closed on April 21, 2009 or once maximum capacity is reached; whichever comes first. There is no attendance fee and the dress code is business casual. Please e-mail Jaime Roig with the following information for each attendee: name, company, address, e-mail address and phone number. This information must be provided no later than April 21, 2009. Attendance confirmation number, hotel information, directions, and registration info will be sent via return email.

Point of Contact
Jaime Roig, a contractor for NCI Information Systems, Inc., Army PM CIE Operations Support, Phone (703) 704-4123, Email:

Place of Performance
Address: Waterford Conference Center 6715 Commerce Street Springfield, VA Postal Code: 22314 Country: US

Contracting Office Address:
RDECOM Acquisition Center – Aberdeen, ATTN: AMSSB-ACC-A, 4118 Susquehanna Avenue, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-3013

Mystery Ranch Names SOCOM Pack Winner

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Mystery Ranch owner, chief designer, and head bottle washer Dana Gleason has christened the winner of the SOCOM pack (Recce Ruck category) competition the TactiPlane, seemingly in honor of its forbear the Terraplane (from Dana Design) which saw quite a bit of duty in the 90s on the back of some of America’s most elite commandos. In fact, there was a period of time before the UM-21 (aka Strap Master 2000) was fielded as a component of SPEAR BALCS that a militarized Terraplane was in the offing. But it was not to be. SOCOM would have to wait a full ten years to begin receiving a general issue pack from the genius of Dana Gleason.

The new TactiPlane incorporates Mystery Ranch Bolster Ventilation and Stability (BVS) system to stabilize the pack when worn over body armor and features a slimmed down lumbar pad. For old school fans of the original Terraplane, the long pockets on the back of the pack are present but a stuff sack style sleeping bag compartment offers an improvement over the zippered access.

Although details for a civilian release of the Coyote Brown TactiPlane are not yet available, Mystery Ranch offers an excellent family of packs that combine leading edge commercial load carrying technology adapted to designs inspired by close interaction with military customers.

For those customers with specialized requirements contact Mystery Ranch to discuss your needs. For all others check out Mystery Ranch online.

SOCOM Pack Program Winners – Update

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

While there still is no official announcement, Granite Gear and their partner Montgomery Marketing Inc have announced that they have captured at least some of the SOCOM Pack program. Two packs were out for competition and they have won the Patrol Pack category with their Chief Patrol and they will begin manufacturing within 60 days.

Granite Gear Tactical Chief Patrol

Mystery Ranch, long thought to be the leader in the large Recce Ruck category has won and will be offering a custom design based on their internal frame technology.

Congratulations to both Granite Tactical and Mystery Ranch!

The Granite Tactical Gear line is currently available from Extreme Outfitters. Mystery Ranch information can be accessed here.

Picture from Extreme Outfitters.

Outdoor Research Modular Glove System

Monday, November 10th, 2008

USSOCOM has awarded Outdoor Research, Inc. (OR), a $54 million, five-year contract to manufacture the Outdoor Research Generation II Modular Glove System for U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF). What is important about this announcement is that it is for the second generation glove system. In 2001 OR was also awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to develop the original modular glove system. Although a full contract was never awarded for full procurement due to competing priorities for dollars, the handwear developed under the SBIR was purchased with unit O&M dollars. Additionally, the research yielded excellent results and brought OR’s military and commercial lines further forward. This latest generation of handwear is FR and offered in brown rather then the black of the earlier family of gloves. The FR fabrics are offered in conjunction with Massif.

The system consists of five types of compatible handwear: a contact glove, a flame resistant combat glove, an intermediate waterproof glove, an extreme cold weather waterproof glove, and extreme cold weather waterproof mitt. Each set of gloves is Berry compliant and can be worn alone or in conjunction with other pieces in the system. I had an opportunity to look at the individual pieces at Outdoor Retailer and am very impressed. The gloves are for the most part refinements of military gloves they have been producing for the last couple of years. I have been using OR gloves for over ten years and these are the best products they have ever developed.

I think mountaineering legend Mark Twight sums it up best. “Using modern materials and their up-all-night ingenuity, the designers worked closely with military users to develop the Modular Glove System,” said Mark Twight, elite alpinist. “For over 20 years, OR has been testing handwear in the harshest environments on earth. No company is better positioned to build gloves for the U.S. Special Operations Forces.”

For more information visit Outdoor Research. The SOCOM Gen II Modular Glove System is available for purchase from ADS.

Outdoor Research Modular Glove System

Outdoor Research Modular Glove System, Generation II: Firebrand Mitt (top left), Firebrand Glove (top right), Poseidon Glove (bottom left), Overlord Shorty (bottom center), Hurricane Glove (bottom right).

Photo courtesy of Outdoor Research.