Tactical Tailor

Marine Corps Soliciting Proposals for New Hearing Enhancement Device

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

The Marine Corps is asking for industry’s help in providing enhanced hearing protection to Marines.

On April 22, Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Proposals for a suite of hearing enhancement devices that interoperate with the Enhanced Combat Helmet and Marine Corps tactical radios. The technology will increase Marines’ situational awareness in a variety of training and combat environments.

“The program manager for Infantry Combat Equipment intends to purchase Hearing Enhancement Devices for every infantry and infantry-like Marine,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Leahy, MCSC’s Individual Armor team lead.

In fiscal year 2020, MCSC received $10 million Operation and Maintenance, Marine Corps funding to purchase hearing enhancement devices.

Per the RFP, the hearing enhancement devices must be rugged and adaptable to various environments, from cold weather to extreme heat. The system would allow Marines to wear hearing protection, yet still enable them to communicate and understand their surroundings.

PM ICE will assess the submissions to ensure compatibility with Marine Corps radios and the Marine Corps ECH. The systems must include versions that are both communication-enabled and non-communications enabled.

MCSC estimates the new hearing protection will be fielded to infantry units in fiscal year 2021. PM ICE will conduct New Equipment Training with each unit receiving the technology.

Provides added hearing protection

In addition to improving Marines’ situational awareness, the hearing enhancement devices will also offer additional hearing protection.

The hearing enhancement devices will complement the Combat Arms Earplug Generation IV—the Marine Corps’ current hearing protection system—by offering a secondary level of protection to further avoid hearing damage.

“The hearing enhancement devices and current earplugs provide double hearing protection, giving Marines more protection from extremely loud noises,” Leahy said.

Leahy believes the Hearing Enhancement Devices will serve as an important asset for Marines on the battlefield.

“Purchasing these devices is a clear indication of how the Marine Corps is investing into the warfighter and giving Marines an edge on the battlefield and in training,” said Leahy.

Story by Matt Gonzales, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

Photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Kitandwe

7 Responses to “Marine Corps Soliciting Proposals for New Hearing Enhancement Device”

  1. Alex Moreno says:

    Just switch over to the OpsCore AMP’s. What we currently use for our department and paired with the NFMI earplugs nothing beats them.. Yet.

  2. Joe says:

    This is a much smarter idea then trying to use silencers to improve squad-level communication. electronic ear pro can also be linked 2 squad level coms.

    Shouting over your suppressor is still shouting on a noisy battlefield, and you still have to shout over the other guy’s ear plugs.

  3. Joe says:

    This is a much smarter idea then trying to use silencers to improve squad-level communication. electronic ear pro can also be linked to individual warfighter radios.

    Shouting over your suppressor is still shouting on a noisy battlefield, and you still have to shout over the other guy’s ear plugs.

    This will also lower VA disability claims as they will actually want to use ear pro since it will give you Superman hearing and help you survive, instead of just keeping you from hearing the enemy.

  4. Bill says:

    Word on the street is 3M makes some awesome hearing enhancement devices

    • Brandon says:

      Yeah… 3M makes the Combat Arms 4.1 referenced in the blog post and PELTOR headsets. The new PELTOR COMTAC 6 is amazing.

  5. Fritzthedog says:

    What happened to the Nacre systems?

    • Stash says:

      I used them in 2008-2009 but never saw them in the fleet after that. They weren’t really popular when I was using them, the mounts all broke, the cables got tangled and caught on gear, and they take a long time to don/doff thus not lending themselves to taking armor on and off quickly and repeatedly. I didn’t hate them as much as some people but I hope they go with an over ear system.