Tactical Tailor

Next Generation Squad Weapons Undergo Arctic Testing

Soldiers from 1st Squadron – Airborne, 40th Cavalry Regiment, based out of Alaska, are supporting Project Manager Soldier Lethality with cold weather testing of the Next Generation Squad Weapons. Extreme environmental testing is critical to ensuring reliable systems. In addition to Arctic testing, the weapons, ammo, and fire controls will be subjected to jungle and hot weather testing.

Col. Jason Bohannon, PM SL, visited the testing site and shared his thoughts: “The Arctic environment is extreme and unforgiving to both the Soldiers and weapons. Our intent is for the weapons to perform in conditional ranges that exceed those which Soldiers would have to endure. I have been impressed with both Soldiers and weapon performance.”

8 Responses to “Next Generation Squad Weapons Undergo Arctic Testing”

  1. jbgleason says:

    Sporting those Mickey Mouse boots on the range. Didn’t know those were still a thing.

  2. Terry Baldwin says:

    jbgleason,

    Vapor Barrier (VB), a.k.a. Mickey Mouse boots are a legacy item that is long, long overdue for a replacement. Both the Army and Marines have tested replacements over the years, but none have ever been selected for fielding up to this point. With the renewed interest in the Arctic that may change (hopefully) soon.

    TLB

  3. z0phi3l says:

    Gonna be hard to replace those boots, they are unfortunately damn good at keeping your feet warm and relatively cheap. Hated wearing them till 5 minutes out in -20 weather and was glad to have warm feet, because nothing else was warm

  4. Terry Baldwin says:

    z0phi31,

    All true. But you forgot to mention constantly sweat soaked feet leading to trench foot and – if not addressed in a timely manner – increased susceptibility to frost bite of the toes, etc.

    I have seen both soles of one – admittedly stupid – soldier peel off because he didn’t change his socks often enough. He said he only had two clean pair and he wanted them to last a week in the field. During February in Fort Wainwright, AK. Now, that is on him and his supervisor. But he was still a preventable casualty. Others, less extreme, still became combat ineffective and had to be medevaced.

    The VBs are 1950s technology. With new information, modern manufacturing techniques, and new materials, I have no doubt we can do much better. The sooner the better.

    TLB

    • Strike-Hold! says:

      Well said Sir.

      There are certainly much better boot options out there, but most are made in Europe and I don’t believe there is a Berry-compliant option yet. Or am I out-of-date?

    • DTB says:

      Numerous attempts with with modern tech was attempted to replace those. Nothing has touched them a Vapor barrier is required at that temp range. Even VB liners in sleeping bags is a thing.

  5. Samuel Suggs says:

    I think solution is to wear over the calf gore Tex socks with thick wool until it gets below -15 F then switch to vapor barrier socks.

    Gore Tex

    https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=1118611

    Vapor barrier

    https://point6.com/products/cold-weather-vapor-barrier-liner-sock

  6. Pro Patria says:

    We briefed several years ago PEO Soldier on several footware issue and proposed some design concepts based on COTS, but failed to get an industry partner to pursue.

    But, yes currently no Berry compliant solutions.