TYR Tactical Thursday – Closeout Dive Bag

June 22nd, 2017

The CLOSEOUT Kit/Divers Bag (HRN-BLPF43-2-BLK) as great multipurpose piece of kit. The bag features a large main compartment with full zippered access utilizing a heavy duty #10 zipper. The interior walls are padded for additional protection. The bag also features backpack straps that can be stowed away when not in use. It also includes a top and bottom drag handles for ease of mobility.

• 1000D Cordura®
• Heavy Duty #10 zipper
• Front Loading: Items are Packed Horizontally
• Clear ID Pocket (5.75” H x 8.75” W)
• PALS Webbing for MOLLE Attachment
• Two Reinforced Drag Handles
• Interior Mesh Zippered Pocket (10.5” H x 15.5” W)
• Padded Interior Walls

Wt. 3.90lbs
Dim. 26”H x 15.5”W x 11”D

MSRP: $299.95
No Additional Discounts Apply

$28 Million Well Spent – A Critique Of The SIGAR Report On Afghanistan National Army Camouflage Uniforms

June 22nd, 2017

Yesterday, the Office of Special Projects of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction issued a report entitled, “Afghan National Army: DOD may have spent up to 28 million more than needed to procure camouflage uniforms that may be inappropriate for the Afghan environment.” I fully encourage you to read the entire report. It is available for download here.


It was assuredly written to persuade the reader that the United States Taxpayer had been bilked for over $28 million in excess charges for the purchase of camouflage uniforms for the Afghan National Army, which they also claim weren’t even appropriate for the environment. However, I think this was money well spent, and I’ll tell you why.

First off, the report was written from a 2017 perspective and fails to take into account the situation of 2007, when this whole affair began. For instance, in 2007 the war was in full swing. There was a sense of urgency. Additionally, even by the report’s admission, the fledgling ANA was clothed in a variety of uniform styles and colors. It was an Army made up of former Mujaheddin from a variety of tribes and factions. One of the quickest ways to integrate such a population into a cohesive force is to put them into a common uniform, and that’s precisely what the ANA did.

What’s more, in 2007 there weren’t companies solely focused on developing camouflage patterns, save one. That company is Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp and it is the company the Afghans chose to provide their camouflage. The powers that be, found Hyperstealth online, contacted them, and then chose a camouflage pattern. Their requirements were simple. They wanted to identify themselves and they wanted a distinct identity rather than wearing a uniform also worn by Coalition forces. Additionally, they wanted their pattern to be protected and not available to others, particularly their enemies. By choosing Hyperstealth’s SPEC4CE Forest digital camouflage pattern, they got everything they asked for. Interestingly, the SIGAR report doesn’t discuss that two other elements, the Afghanistan Partner Unit chose the Desert colored Ghostex Kilo-1 pattern and ANCOP chose Hyperstealth’s SPEC4CE Sierra pattern. It only mentions them in passing.


While the report goes into a great deal of effort to inform the reader that the SPEC4CE Forest pattern was not evaluated, inferring that it doesn’t work in Afghanistan, the report offers no evidence to that conclusion aside from statistics about the percentage of forested areas in country. There’s no actual evidence provided that it doesn’t work. In fact, the report fails to acknowledge that the ANA operates quite a bit at night and the darker colors of the SPEC4CE Forest pattern work well in that environment. It also doesn’t disclose that as a developer of camouflage, Hyperstealth conducts inhouse evaluations of their patterns, rather leading the reader to believe that there is no science behind the pattern. But remember, Hyperstealth has outfitted a number of countries with distinct camouflage patterns and was even selected as a finalist in Phase IV of the US Army’s Camouflage Improvement Effort. No matter how you feel about them, they must be doing something right.

The US Army Soldier Systems Center at Natick, MA provided SIGAR some examples of different camouflage patterns they could have provided to the ANA, instead of adopting the commercially developed Hyperstealth pattern. You can see them here. Notice some are Woodland patterns, which SIGAR declares are inappropriate for Afghanistan. Others still are Urban and even Snow patterns.


Ironically, the pattern the US Army was issuing to its Soldiers at the time this program was getting started (2007-2009) was the newly adopted Universal Camouflage Pattern. Like the ANA pattern, it too was issued to troops without any environmental testing. However, indications from American troops in the field were that its light green and grey coloration did not perform well in Afghanistan. The most powerful Army on the face of the earth didn’t conduct operational testing of its camouflage pattern prior to fielding it, and yet, in hindsight, we expect Afghanistan’s newly formed Army to have conducted such testing.


When UCP was eventually replaced, it wasn’t with a pattern developed by Natick, but rather by another commercially developed pattern, Crye Precision’s MultiCam.


Natick also offered the authors of the report costs and timeframes for various options to replace the ANA camouflage pattern with something new. However, they failed to disclose that their magnum opus, Phase IV of the Army Camouflage Improvement Effort, was never completed. Years on, we still have no idea how much money the Army spent on the project or its conclusions. For taxpayer and industry alike, it remains an utter failure. And yet, they want to take charge of fixing something that isn’t broken.

The report also raises the question of whether the purchase of the uniforms was legal under the Federal Acquisition Regulations, claiming that it violated sole source rules. Technically, the uniforms have never been ‘sole sourced’ because multiple manufacturers bid against one another to make them. However, if the argument is that the camouflage print required sole source justification, that’s quite simple. The pattern is the ANA pattern. That’s justification enough. We left the choice up to them. They chose and we agreed to buy their uniforms for them. It’s not like we haven’t paid a licensing fee for years as well, purchasing Clothing and Equipment in Crye Precision MultiCam.

In the report, much is made about wasted money due to the differences in price between ANA pattern uniforms in SPEC4CE Forest and Afghan National Police uniforms printed in M81 Woodland camouflage pattern. Amazingly, the cost differences between these two uniforms are highlighted, but the appropriateness of the ANA’s woodland coloration is critiqued while nothing is said of the ANP’s woodland pattern. Additionally, the report includes an interesting statement (footnote 28) which helps explain the stark difference in price. The ANA uniforms are in the Army Combat Uniform style, made from 50/50 NYCO while the ANP uniform is in the old Battle Dress Uniform cut from a PolyCotton blend. To begin with, the cost to assemble each of these two styles is different.


It’s also important to note that the NYCO fabric for the ANA uniforms is Berry compliant, as are most of the uniforms themselves, which means they are made in the USA from US materials. That also means they are going to cost more than fabric or a uniform made overseas. That’s right. The money in question has been spent on American goods and to pay American workers. Granted, at various times, the ANA uniforms have been assembled in Afghanistan, but ALWAYS with American printed NYCO fabric and findings. However, it is important to acknowledge that a small, but undisclosed amount goes to a license fee to use that SPEC4CE Forest camouflage pattern by Hyperstealth, but I understand the fabric costs are quite comparable to the fabrics used in US military uniforms. In fact, the uniforms cost about the same as a US issue uniform. Considering they are made from the same materials in the same factories, by American workers, they should.

The Polycotton material in the ANP uniform? That’s not made or printed in America. PolyCotton comes from Asia. Here’s another point about the difference between NYCO and PolyCotton. NYCO is no melt no drip, while PolyCotton will keep burning even if you take a flame away from it. Additionally, NYCO accepts printing very well and is colorfast, while PolyCotton fades quickly. You might also note that the authors of the report seem to think that the PolyCotton ANP’s uniform requirement of “no ripstop” is somehow superior to the ripstop NYCO fabric. Finally, NYCO itself is at least twice as durable as PolyCotton. The report claims that each ANA uniform is 43% more expensive than an ANP uniform. Even at a 43% markup, if that ANA uniform lasts twice as long, it sure looks like the ANA uniform is a much better value than the ANP uniform. How much more would those uniforms have cost over the past eight delivery years if they had been made from PolyCotton and they had gone through twice as many?

The money spent on that special camouflage pattern also paid for eight years of peace of mind. The first uniforms were delivered in 2009. The pattern has been restricted from sale to anyone outside of the program. Afghan and American troops haven’t had to worry that an enemy infiltrator may have purchased a lookalike uniform online. I’m not sure how you can even put a price on that. The woodland uniforms of the ANP on the other hand, are readily available for anyone to buy. Now that’s something that should be fixed.

After all of their “fact finding”, and discussion of misspent funds, what does SIGAR recommend? Why, spending even more money, of course. The conclusion is for the US to find a new pattern for the ANA. Never mind the millions of Dollars already spent on clothing and PPE and never mind the identity of the Afghan National Army. Instead, we should keep in mind that Afghanistan chose a pattern and barring any evidence that it doesn’t work, we should honor that. If it doesn’t work, we need to help them find a new path and not force something down their throats.

Who knows how much was spent on this report, and how much would actually be spent on developing an entirely new pattern. The program should be looked at as a success. The ANA has a distinctive uniform and it is restricted from sale to those outside of the program which has helped keep Afghan and Coalition troops safe from at least some infiltrator attacks. If the desire is to save money, perhaps a better licensing arrangement can be negotiated with Hyperstealth. But to start anew from scratch, replacing an allied Army’s equipment and identity, is a waste of time and money. However, if the actual goal of this report was to make the case that Natick needs to develop a new uniform for Afghanistan, then let them replace the M81 Woodland pattern of the ANP. That would do more to protect Afghanistan and their allies than a replacement of the ANA’s current unique camouflage pattern.

Defoor Proformance 2018 Civ Training Schedule Drops Friday Morning

June 22nd, 2017

We wanted to give you a heads up that Kyle Defoor is posting the Civilian course 2018 schedule Friday morning at 0600 in order to give everyone a fair shot since he’s sold out of every class for the last three years and it happens quickly.

National Association of Police Equipment Distributors Welcomes Goldbelt Wolf, LLC to General Membership

June 21st, 2017

New Bern, NC (June 2017) – The National Association of Police Equipment Distributors (NAPED) proudly welcomes Goldbelt Wolf, LLC to its General Membership. Goldbelt Wolf, formed in 2007, is part of Goldbelt, Inc., a family of companies incorporated in the early 1970’s and founded as an urban Alaska Native Corporation (ANC). Goldbelt Inc. was named after the richly-mineralized zone in Southeast Alaska. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, Goldbelt Wolf offers customers in Federal agencies, military and law enforcement a variety of professional services and solutions from tactical and operational equipment, weapon systems and munitions, vehicles and training.

“Goldbelt Wolf proudly serves the men and women of many of our Federal agencies and elite forces. Becoming a NAPED member allows Goldbelt Wolf access to many of the top providers of high-quality, mission ready equipment,” Phil Scheible, President of Goldbelt Wolf commented.

“NAPED is very pleased to have Goldbelt Wolf join our general membership. Their customer base includes the military branches, homeland security and some of the largest private security companies. This is an excellent opportunity for our associate members to grow their businesses,” Eldon Griggs, President of NAPED and VP of Business Development for GALLS, Inc., added.

Goldbelt Wolf will be among the many law enforcement, public safety and military equipment distributors and vendors at NAPED’s annual general meeting at the Daytona Hilton Beach Resort, June 23-26, 2017.

Interested in becoming a NAPED member? Contact Laura Burgess at 252-288-5805 or for more information and start enjoying the benefits today.

Like NAPED on Facebook at

Spirit of Blue Foundation Receives $50,000 Gift From Law Enforcement United

June 21st, 2017

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – June 20, 2017 – The Spirit of Blue Foundation is excited to report that it has received a $50,000 cash donation from the National Board of Law Enforcement United (LEU). The gift was presented to the Spirit of Blue at LEU’s 8th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony held this year at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC on May 12, 2017. Nearly 1,000 active duty and retired law enforcement officers, along with a number of surviving family members of officers who were lost in the line of duty, rode over 250 miles to honor the sacrifices that fallen officers have made in service to their communities and the families they leave behind.

Law Enforcement United (LEU) awarded the Spirit of Blue Foundation $50,000 at their 8th Annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride arrival ceremony. Presenting the donation from LEU was (left to right) Asst. Executive Director Steve Callow, Director of Outreach Mark Faust, and Executive Director Wallace “Chad” Chadwick. Receiving the donation was Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation.

“Law Enforcement United Is proud to support the Spirit of Blue for a second year in a row. We are pleased with the efforts they are making in supporting the grants for equipment and training to departments that would otherwise not receive such funds,” commented Wallace “Chad” Chadwick, Executive Director of Law Enforcement United, who also serves as a Sergeant with the Chesapeake (VA) Police Department. “The efforts that our combined charities are making in the law enforcement community are potentially saving lives with this invaluable equipment. Law Enforcement United will continue to support Spirit of Blue and its programs as we truly believe in this cause as it is in line with our shared interest.”

Law Enforcement United consists of chapters in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey along with riders who join from a host of other states across the country. Each rider raises $1,250 on their own to participate in the annual Road to Hope Memorial Ride, which covers the cost of their participation and generates the funds donated to select law enforcement causes. A subset of riders also participate in Project Active Armor, where riders wear ballistic vests along the entire route of the ride to demonstrate that with today’s body armor it is not only possible to bike 250 miles in their vests, but that there shouldn’t be any reason law enforcement officers can’t wear their armor while on duty. In addition to the gift made to Spirit of Blue, LEU also presented $100,000 to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) and $450,000 to the Concerns For Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) national organization. In total, LEU has raised over $5,000,000 since it was founded in 2009.

“We are still early in our relationship with LEU, but already they have exceeded our expectations,” commented Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue. “We will be able to do a lot with these funds through our Safety Grant Program, and each one of these dollars will be put to work protecting law enforcement officers across this country. We have already earmarked $15,000 of this gift toward our annual Tourniquet Project, which will grant 500 tourniquets to law enforcement officers across the country. That is something that we can all be proud of together.”

Since 2011, the Spirit of Blue Foundation has awarded 45 grants in 23 states valued at nearly $200,000. The grants have varied from patrol rifles, body armor, riot control gear, AED’s, K9’s, forensic software, flashlights, Police/Youth Dialogue training, night vision optics, LED flares, ballistic helmets and self-contained breathing apparatus. The Spirit of Blue Foundation deeply appreciates the generosity and support of the national LEU organization, its Board of Directors, their regional divisions and the riders who participate in the Road to Hope Memorial Ride each year.

Birdwell 808 Board Shorts in WWII Frogskin Camo

June 21st, 2017

SSD reader Joel P told us about these WWII Frogskin camo board shorts from Birdwell Beach Britches.

Triple lace closure with brass plated grommets. Birdie woven label on center back of waistband. Signature Birdwell wax pocket with key loop and interior drain hole. Nylon drawcord. Button fly with clear buttons.

Medium length. Outseams range between 17” – 21” depending on your waist size. Sits slightly lower on the waist than SurfNyl boardshorts. Stretch fabric means there will be some give in the waist. For odd sizes, order one size down. Tab closure allows for minor adjustments in fit.

Single layer of Frog Skin Camo Birdwell SurfStretch – Woven Micro Fiber Polyester with Spandex.

Fail safe clean finished double- and triple-stitched seams. Hand cut and sewn in Santa Ana, CA.

Day 10 Prize: Mother of All Giveaways

June 21st, 2017


FINALLY! We’ve reached the Grand Prize stage of the Giveaway!

The 5th Grand Prize is a Limited Edition G17 from Grey Ghost Precision. GGP custom machined one of their already custom slides based on the V2 pattern, milled it for an RMR, and Cerakoted it Midnight Bronze. No one else will ever have a slide that looks like this. Then they put on Trijicon night sights, dropped in their Match Grade 9mm barrel, and slapped it all on a GEN4 Glock lower with a CMC Trigger installed. I’m already jealous of whoever wins it.

How’s that for the starters? If you want to take this sexy 9mm home, you need to enter the giveaway by clicking the M.O.A.G. banner on the homepage or just CLICK HERE. Only one entry needed to be entered for this gun, and the other four custom shooters to follow. Must be U.S. 18+ to win.

Guest Post – Chris Stalzer On Juggernaut.Case

June 21st, 2017

I’ve been on the road quite a bit over the last few months, attending trade shows and participating in one-on-one demos with end users. During one of our recent debriefings, our Principal Engineer, Tom, asked me “What were you surprised that people didn’t know about Juggernaut?” Here are my top five:

• Juggernaut does custom product design work for all sorts of defense rugged products, not just smartphone cases.
• We custom configure our off-the-shelf product at very low minimum order quantity.
• There are 3 types of Juggernaut.Cases and all fit in the same mounts.
• Juggernaut manufactures custom cables in-house for system integrators.
• We sell to any consumer on our web store, you don’t have to be SOF.

Juggernaut does custom product design work for all sorts of defense rugged products, not just smartphone cases.
Juggernaut started in 2000 as a product design consultancy and quickly found that the defense community was not well understood by most design professionals. Early on during the Objective Force Warrior program, we found inspiration and kindred spirits in Caleb Crye of Crye Precision fame and Dave Rogers, founder of Ops Core. Both started out as design consultancies but found a passion for solving design problems for war fighters. Even though we’ve been manufacturing off-the-shelf solutions for bringing smartphones to the battlefield, we still continue to help defense contractors with user focused design and engineering of rugged products to support the warfighter. You can check out our portfolio here.

We custom configure our off-the-shelf product at very low minimum order quantity.
One of the toughest problems designing and manufacturing product for SOF is the low quantities involved. That means that we’ve had to build our entire business culture around designing and tooling efficiency. System integrators are shocked that we can build an entirely new phone case around a custom device, tool it and produce it in weeks. Our current record was the s50c case. The first 25 units shipped to a large radio manufacturer 6 weeks and 1 day after kick-off.

There are 3 types of Juggernaut.Cases and all fit in the same mounts.
Since the latest phones from Samsung and Apple are now waterproof, we’ve added two new types of Juggernaut.Cases to our lineup. Our original Juggernaut.Case is a fully sealed waterproof and cabled case that will keep non-waterproof phones connected to your tactical radio even underwater. The SLEEV is a version of the original case without a sealed glass screen protector. It allows quick removal of the phone, includes our quick disconnect cable and is significantly less expensive than the original. Our BUMPR is an even simpler, less expensive case that screws together and can be cabled, but does not offer quick tool-less removal of the phone or cable. All of the cases fit in the same 5, 6 & 8” line of mounts (Chest, Forearm, Kneeboard, Vehicle…) so if you upgrade cases your old mount will still work. Our iPhone BUMPR will fit in the same Chest Mount from a Galaxy Note I built in 2012.

Juggernaut manufactures custom cables in-house for system integrators.
System integrators have enough on their plate without building custom cables to interface between their system and the Juggernaut.Case. It’s time consuming and expensive buying a small number of connectors and the custom crimpers that are also needed, not to mention strain relief tooling. We build cables and over-mold strain reliefs in-house at our Arizona facility. We design our own production molds and have them built in days for around $1000. We can also build shielded inline modules and splitters on a cable.

We sell to any consumer on our web store, you don’t have to be SOF.
While most of our cases are used by SOF operators around the world, we also sell to anyone who needs a rugged, mounted, or cabled smart phone. We have customers using them for GPS applications mounted in boats, off road vehicles, MilSim fans, and deployed individuals users who prefer the Juggernaut.Case to what they might have been issued. You can easily order on our webstore.

By Chris Stalzer