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Archive for December, 2009

The Plastic Rucksack Letter

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

This letter is priceless. Take a moment to read through it.

Letter to SefDef

It seems as though members of Congress have taken to talking to any old yahoo they can round up when they are on “fact finding” trips to exotic locales. It doesn’t seem to matter if any of what said yahoo complains about makes any sense.

Nothing like talking to GIs who have no idea what they are talking about. Of course the Soldiers were referring to the MOLLE rucksack. Somehow, the “plastic” frame is now an entire rucksack with matching plastic straps. Newsflash, I had the same problems with my arms and hands falling asleep back in the bad old days before we had high tech “plastic” rucksacks. The ALICE pack, affectionately known as the “big green tick” would put your arms to sleep just the same. This has much more to do with the load and a lot less to do with the pack.

Camo issues? Hello! The Army is knee deep in it. How about you give them a chance to at least bust their own time line before calling them out?

I am still scratching my head over the comments about needing a larger clothing allowance. I was under the impression that the Army is issuing FR ACUs to deployed troops for free. I guess the Overseas COLA isn’t enough to cover beer these days in Vincenza.

Interestingly, the letter wants to know what the Army is doing to “procure a superior replacement rifle, such as those used by our Special Operations forces (sic).” Do they mean like the SCAR? Excuse me while I guffaw. What wonder weapon are they talking about exactly?

Ok, so what do we have here? GIs want MultiCam. GIs hate their “plastic” rucksacks. GIs hate the M4 and want SOF weapons. GIs want even more of a clothing allowance (aka beer money). Hell, they could have found all of that out by spending five minutes on an internet message board.

Leadership and training are going to fix some of these issues long before the material developer can intercede. Until that happen clean your weapons and employ them properly, take a serious look at your load and accept some risk to lighten it, and use basic soldier skills to camouflage yourself and your equipment.

Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum CollectionReleased earlier this year by powerHouse Books, “Spacesuits: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Collection” is a great resource for those interested in the evolution of US Space Suit technology. I found the manufacturers to be very interesting and seemed to change as new programs achieved prominence at NASA. However, aside from the X-ray shots of several of the museums pieces, the gloves with inset steel fingernails and sharkskin pads is by far the most interesting attempt at mimicking the human hand. I only wish that they had included designs past Apollo-Soyuz in this book.

Oh the Irony

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

This has been an ironic week. First I got an email from a serving SF officer complaining about the Velcro all over the ACU. Nothing against his comments, it’s just ironic is all. Next, the Brits adopt a MultiCam offshoot called Multi-Terrain pattern. Immediately the Americans begin crying in their beer over the UK’s fortune and the Tommies start whinging that they adopted it. It seems their complaint is that they have more important things to spend money on than “Gucci” kit. Simply amazing. Who’s the spoiled brat then?

My final ironic moment was that as a rule, the Brits seemed surprised that their combat uniforms are made in China. Complain as we may about Berry, at least we know where our uniforms are made.

a ‘Real’ M-41A Pulse Rifle

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Got a Xenomorph problem? Then here’s the answer; modeled to look like the M-41A Pulse Rifle from the movie “Aliens” is the MAX-41A. Composed of a SWD M-11/9 submachine gun and a Remington 870 short barreled shotgun, it holds 50 9mm rounds via a Sumoi “Coffin” magazine and three 12 gauge, 2-3/4″ shells. That’s two in the magazine and one in the chamber. The MAX-41A also includes a red dot sight and digital shot counter, both of which power on with insertion of the magazine, as well as a collapsible stock.

SKD Tactical Releases PIG Plate Carrier

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The much anticipated PIG Plate Carrier has finally arrived, and SKD Tactical is currently taking pre-orders for the first production run due early spring 2010. Manufactured in the USA for Patrol Incident Gear by Eagle Industries, the PIG PC was conceived with input from law enforcement and military special operations personnel, that culminated in a design that is unlike any other plate carrier on the market today.

SKD Tactical's New PIG Plate Carrier

The PIG PC features an industry first, the adjustable plate stirrup that keeps the plate at the top of the carrier and centered, regardless of plate size (fits SAPI S-XL). Additionally, lowering the shoulder strap attachment point raises the plate placement on the upper thoracic cavity, an often overlooked achilles heel on most traditional plate carriers. They have also taken steps to answer the common complaint that carriers are uncomfortable by adding continuous padding on the rear carrier and shoulder straps. The rear padding will soon see a debut on a new Eagle pack design as well. Hybrid 500D Cordura and Nylon Pack Cloth construction reduces the weight to a minimum. Additionally, SKD has prepared an Ala Carte options system that allows users to order only the features they need.

SKD Tactical is offering a pre-order discount for a limited number of customers, on a first come first serve basis. For more information, visit www.skdtac.com.

The Soldier Systems Daily Christmas Wish List

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

There are three things we would like to see happen in the Soldier Systems world for our American Warriors.

1. A New Camo Pattern for the Army (and Air Force). Something effective would be nice.

2. Change the Color of Small Arms from Black to Anything Earth-tone. SOCOM seems to have figured it out with the SCAR. Flat Dark Earth works pretty well.

3. Fresh Drawers for the Marines. A little known problem is that Marine Corps has a policy to reissue cold weather long underwear once a Marine turns them in. We get being thrifty and all but come on. Who wants to wear a pair of underwear that some other guy wore for 12 months before you? The Army has a Soldier retain them throughout their career and the Air Force doesn’t want anything back that was worn against the skin. Maybe somebody on the Hill can see their way to a set aside for underwear.

Game On…the Modular Fighting Rig Tender is Back

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

We recently announced that the Canadian Modular Fighting Rig solicitation would have to be rebid. Well we are impressed. Public Works turned it right around and the tender is back on the street. That was quick. This is an indicator of how serious they are about this.

Entitled simply “Modular Vests“, the tender closes 14 January, 2010. Changes are small overall with the CTOMS pouches being separated from HSGI being one of the most glaring.

The Weather Outside is Frightful

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Is it the Abominable Snow Man?But these guys are all warm and snuggly in their snow camouflage. Strike – Hold! has put together a great post on various issue and commercial snow camo from around the globe. Enjoy…

“‘Tis the Season – for Snow Camo!”