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Archive for May, 2020

The Volume Soft Lock from MC Kydex

Friday, May 29th, 2020

The Volume Soft Lock was developed to work with one handed operation and have less wear and tear on your volume dial from it being torqued up and at an angle. This lock simply slides in either direction unlock or lock your volume adjustment. The lock will also work with their Messenger Radio Carrier and the R.A.C.C. (coming soon).

Order at www.mckydex.com.

Air Force Delays Mandatory Wear-Date for OCP items, 2PFDU

Friday, May 29th, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) —

In an effort to reduce unnecessary stress on Airmen and Space professionals during COVID-19 restrictions, several uniform changes scheduled to become mandatory for the Operational Camouflage Pattern and Two-Piece Flight Duty Uniform (2PFDU) on June 1, have been delayed to Sept. 1.

The changes for each uniform are detailed in Air Force Instruction 36-2903, “Dress and Appearance of Air Force Personnel.” Mandatory wear of the Operational Camouflage Pattern Uniform remains April 2021.

The changes that become mandatory on Sept. 1 for the OCP include:

– Officer rank insignia will be spice brown (exception: first lieutenant and lieutenant colonel rank insignia will be black).

– The U.S. flag patch will be mandatory and the only authorized color is spice brown (cloth). Airmen will wear the flag while in garrison and deployed. Infrared U.S. flags are not authorized.

– The authorized T-shirt color will be coyote brown (listed as Tan 499 per AAFES nomenclature) only. If purchasing coyote brown shirts from outside retailers, uniformed members should ensure the color matches the authorized coyote brown color (Tan 499).

– The authorized socks will be DLA-issued green socks or coyote brown only.

– The authorized boot color will be coyote brown only. The two exceptions are for Airmen with a medical condition as determined by medical authorities at a civilian or military treatment facility and approved by the commander, and those who must wear black combat boots in industrial areas.

The changes that become mandatory on Sept. 1 for the 2PFDU include:

– All mandatory wear badges must be in place.

– The cloth U.S. flag will be the spice brown color only.

– The authorized socks will be DLA-issued green socks or coyote brown only.

– The authorized boot color will be coyote brown only.

– The only authorized color for thermal undergarments will be coyote brown.

For more information, please review Air Force Instruction 36-2903, “Dress and Appearance of Air Force Personnel,” or visit www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance.

By SSgt Sahara L. Fales, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

USAF Holds Basic Military Training at Second Location, Keesler AFB

Friday, May 29th, 2020

The US Air Force has extended Basic Military Training at a secondary location until the end of COVID-19 surge operations after a successful proof-of-concept trial run at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, which began April 7.

Beginning June 2, the next Keesler BMT class will be held there under Detachment 5 of the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

USAF BMT also supports the US Space Force with basic training for its new enlisted recruits in addition to those from the active USAF, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

Until the end of the surge, 60 new recruits from across the total force will undertake six weeks of BMT. The shortened requirement, down from 8 1/2 weeks, is due to the physical layout of the BMT area, the small number of recruits and a surge schedule, which trains Airmen 10 hours per day, six days a week, versus the notmal eight hours per day.

“This capability was a deliberately-developed option to disperse the delivery of BMT during contingencies to provide surge capacity and introduce agility in the training pipeline construct,” said Maj Gen Andrea Tullos, 2nd Air Force commander. “This move also helps ensure the health and safety of our trainees and instructors by allowing proper safety controls, like physical distancing and deep cleaning.”

The location was chosen because Keesler AFB is home to the 81st Training Wing where so many technical training schools exist. Newly accessed AF trainees won’t be exposed to potential infection during travel from BMT to tech school. Consequently, most of those attending BMT at Keesler will be those who will remain at the base for further training.

Although Keesler AFB BMT is a contingency option and is not designed to be implemented longer than 180 days, it may be kept in place for longer periods, if required.

PEO Soldier’s Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment Executes Change of Charter

Friday, May 29th, 2020

FORT BELVOIR, Va. – Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PdM SPE) held a change of charter to welcome Lt. Col. Stephen Miller as the new leader of the organization and recognize Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead for her leadership, at Fort Belvoir, on May 27th.

A product team of Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier’s Soldier Survivability (SSV) program office, SPE is charged with improving the lethality and mobility of the force by optimizing Soldier protection and effectively serving as the Lifecycle Manager for all personal protective equipment (PPE).

“I truly look forward to leading and working with the SPE team as we continue to improve Soldier lethality and survivability, by focusing on the key priorities that Ginger set out,” said Miller. “I intend to continue providing the right capabilities to the right Soldiers at the right time.”

Miller arrives at PEO Soldier after serving as an Army Acquisition Fellow, assigned last year to Microsoft as part of the Training With Industry Program. His other recent assignments include positions in the offices of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ALT) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Plans, Programs, and Resources. Miller has been a member of the Army Acquisition Corps since 2009 and served as the Chief of Soldier Systems at the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE) at Fort Benning, Ga. Many of the capability requirements for which he was responsible for at MCoE are for the programs being developed and procured now at PdM SPE. During his career, Miller deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Iraq.

Miller said that SPE will “continue to pursue innovative solutions as routine practice.”

Miller’s portfolio now includes the Soldier Protection System (SPS), which includes the Next Generation Integrated Head Protection System (NG IHPS), Vital Torso Protection (VTP Shooter’s Cut), and the Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP). He is also responsible for the team that provides quality and testing support of all legacy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items as well as the Next Generation Advanced Bomb Suit (NGABS).

Col. Stephen Thomas, Project Manager Soldier Survivability (PM SSV) hosted the change of Charter. He highlighted Whitehead’s achievements during her tenure and presented her with the Meritorious Service Medal before the official change of charter.

“When I think of Ginger, I think of the word ‘trailblazer,’ just because of the numerous things she’s accomplished during her time as product manager,” said Thomas.

Whitehead’s tenure featured progress on the production of the NG IHPS, which provides greater levels of protection and interoperability with a range of night-vision devices for the wearer. The office further developed components of the SPS, the Army’s next generation and first ever-complete capability set of body armor, which includes a Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP), gender-specific Ballistic Combat Shirts (BCS), and a Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) that is lighter in weight than any of its predecessors and provides superior scalable protection and flexibility. The BPP, BCS and MSV are all subsystems of the of the SPS TEP.

“What we have today is lighter, better, more capable body armor that is light years ahead of anything we had in the last 10 to 15 years,” said Whitehead.

Recapping her time as product manager, Whitehead said one her proudest moments was participating in a PPE return ceremony. Last year, SPE presented Staff Sgt. Bryan McQueen the Enhanced Combat Helmet that stopped a 7.62x54mm round from fully penetrating the helmet’s shell, saving the Soldier’s life. She described it as “a powerful moment that underscores the importance of what we do on a daily basis.”

“We recognize that success is never owned, it is merely leased, and the rent is due daily,” said Whitehead.

Whitehead also thanked the Soldiers and civilians of SPE and said they will drive on with the mission in the years ahead.

“You are assuming responsibility of a phenomenal team that will stop at nothing to support the warfighter,” she told Miller.

Whitehead will next serve as Senior Acquisition Officer and Acquisition Branch Chief with the Army Futures Command at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

“I am sure [she will] take the same level of tenacity and ‘get the job done’ as she has here as the product manager,” said Thomas.

Story by Fred Shear
Photo by Courtney Bacon

FirstSpear Friday Focus – OEM Partner Series – LionHeart Alliance

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Today we have another edition of the FirstSpear OEM Partner Series where we take a look at an all new product or company FirstSpear manufactures equipment for. This series highlights LionHeart Alliance and the Hot Pursuit Series of vests featuring FirstSpear Rapid-Release Tubes and Laser Fused 6/12 platform.

Why/How did LionHeart begin?

LionHeart began with a need for a company to focus on the needs of the Law Enforcement community. There are many companies that sell equipment to the government and some do it really well. However, those companies all chase the larger DOD business and do not give the LE community the customer service or time that they deserve. With our focus being on Federal, State, and Local LE Communities we have a greater understanding and knowledge base on what equipment works, and how best to procure this equipment that many of the other companies lack.

Why was the Hot Pursuit Vest created?

The Hot Pursuit series of vests was created to fill a void we saw in products tailored towards the Law Enforcement market. There are many features that make the Hot Pursuit series stand out, but the main feature that everyone sees from the start is the ability to accept both MOLLE compatible pockets as well as QASM placards. While there are other carriers on the market that accept just MOLLE pockets as well as those that accept just QASM placards there was no off the shelf carrier that could accommodate both. This feature is huge for issuing departments as it allows the end users to run their loadout the way they want to vice having to run it a certain way based on the carrier that was issued. Likewise, we have added ample Velcro loop on the front and rear of the carrier to accommodate identifier patches so that the end users are clearly marked during highly dynamic environments. One of the best but often overlooked feature is the rear pull up panel that exposes the ends of the cummerbund and allows the user to make micro adjustments to the fit of the cummerbund quickly and easily. During those early morning raids in which jackets must be worn, the user can doff the garment and adjust the cummerbund fit tighter and get back to the fight much sooner than with other carriers, all the while not giving up MOLLE real estate. The Hot Pursuit series in SAPI Cut, MBAV Cut, or Crime Suppression Cut are perfect options for issuing to Agencies, Departments, or Teams.

Why did you choose to use Tubes and 6/12?

These products have been industry leaders for years now. While other companies have tried to come up with comparable options, you just can’t beat the originals.

Why did you ultimately choose FirstSpear OEM manufacturing?

Was there any other option? We have had a long-standing relationship with the team at FirstSpear for many years and the visions at both companies are co-aligned in that at the end of the day all the matters is the end users and making sure they have the Gear To Give Them The Edge. With a shared vision and FirstSpear’s industry leading technology and manufacturing capabilities it was a no brainer that we wanted to develop the Hot Pursuit series with them.

Why was Made in the USA important to the brand?

Made in the USA was very important to us. While many companies are going overseas to keep the prices down on their products we decided that it was more important for us to keep it made in the USA to ensure that quality was were where we needed it to be for our customers on the streets. Will we lose out on some business due to price? Yes. But those who understand the Hot Pursuit series will see past the price and be happy with their purchase for years to come.

Any new products on the horizon between LionHeart and FirstSpear?

I know we at LionHeart and FirstSpear are always listening to our customers and adapt products to continue to fill voids in their operational equipment needs. So, all we can say is the gears are always turning, so stay tuned.

lhagear.com/dynamic-assault-systems-hot-pursuit-plate-carrier-mbav-cut

You Never Know Where They’ll Show Up

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Velocity Systems conducting some R&D. If you take a close look, you’ll see a KCRF patch, on this test apparatus at Chesapeake Labs.

Rab Phantom Pull-On

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

The Phantom Pull-On from Rab is a lightweight shell designed for trail running. This hooded anorak is made from sean-taped 7D Pertex Shield 2.5L fabric with stretch.

It’s a slim fit, so size accordingly. Offered in Acid and Ebony.

rab.equipment/us/phantom-pull-on

Helinox Savannah Chair

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Helinox makes great, lightweight camping chairs but many of their designs are minimalist in nature. Enter the Savannah Chair which offers plenty of comfort thanks to the roomy seat and legs that put it at a proper height so you don’t feel like you’re doing deep squats getting in and out of it. Even better? It’s available in MultiCam for those long deployments.

Floor to the top of the back, it’s 44″ tall and 31″ wide, with the seat 16″ off the ground. There’s beverage holder and a spot for a pillow.

The Savannah will accept up to 320 lbs but weighs just 4 lbs, 3 oz and packs up into a 6″ high and 21″ long bag for storage.

helinox.com/products/savanna-chair