Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

PEO Soldier Works with Industry To Rapidly Field New Cold Weather Clothing to 11th Abn Div

Monday, March 6th, 2023

Last month, the US Army began fielding an interim version of the Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System or CTAPS to the Alaska-based 11th Airborne Division following a Directed Requirement from the Chief of Staff of the Army, General James C. McConville.

Soldier Systems Daily had the opportunity to sit down with the Program Executive Office – Soldier team behind this project to discuss how it happened. The Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment is LTC Naim Lee. He was joined by Assistant Product Manager for Extreme Weather Clothing and Equipment, MAJ Ryan Ogden and a Textile Technologist on his team, Mr. James Murdock who is an Engineer assigned to the Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center in Natick, MA.

The CSA issued the Directed Requirement to provide the 11th Abn Div with an improved interim cold weather clothing capability in June 2022 and by January 2023, the team was already conducting human factors testing at the Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely, AK with 18 Soldiers from the 70th Brigade Engineer Battalion. The PEO Soldier team quickly transitioned from testing to fielding beginning in mid-February.

As fielded, CTAPS consists of five layers vice the seven layers of ECWCS. MAJ Ogden explained that Army hasn’t decided how they will characterize layers in the future but in the meantime will continue to use the layer designations of the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System Generation III. However, like with ECWCS (and the similar Protective Combat Uniform worn by SOF personnel), although they are referred to as layers, the Soldier may combine different layers to gain the desired protection from the elements.

Featuring the Operational Camouflage Pattern, CTAPS is offered in 15 different sizes, ranging from extra small and short to extra-extra-large and extra-long.

While CTAPS features government designs, two of the layers, layers one and six were fulfilled by Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) items due to the short notice nature of the requirement.

CTAPS includes:

Layer 1 – Base layer
Layer 3 – Lightweight Insulated Liner
Layer 5 – Softshell Uniform
Layer 6 – Cold/Wet Weather Uniform
Layer 7 – Extreme Cold Weather Parka/Trousers

One of the ways that the Army is able to reduce the number of layers is by creating adaptable garments which combine capabilities. For example, the CTAPS L5 Softshell Uniform is intended to function as both Softshell and Wind Shirt found in ECWCS.

Additionally, Murdock said, “there is functionality in the designs. There is a reason every pocket and zipper is located where it is, so that the entire ensemble not only works as a system but that it also interfaces with other OCIE like body armor, gloves, boots, and head protection.”

Based on the recent Arctic strategy document, “Regaining Arctic Dominance” the Army must be capable of surviving temperatures as low as -65 deg F. This is slightly colder than the -60 deg F capability provided by ECWCS going back to its first iteration in the late 1980s. Murdock explained that although the system has been tested to -65, everyone reacts a bit differently to extreme temperatures and while one Soldier may find the ensemble just fine, another may feel cold or another warm.

Murdock explained that the search for materials to handle such extreme temperatures began in 2016 with the Regionally Aligned Combat Ensemble – Arctic program. The Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center evaluated numerous different fabrics for their individual attributes as well as how they could be combined for use in a clothing system for extreme cold weather.

They also worked with Subject Matter Experts from the Army as well as the civilian winter sports community to inform form and function. These concepts were bounced off of 11Bs in the Infantry as well as Soldiers from other branches to determine their applicability to the mission. For example, the L7 parka is now designed to be worn with armor and the trouser features an expandable waist to make it more adaptable to layering.

MAJ Ryan Ogden pointed out the short period of time it took to fulfill this requirement stating, “One of the big takeaways is the rapid flash-to-bang from requirement to fielding. We worked closely with industry to make this happen. It’s a testament to how quickly we can get a capability out to the force.” Murdock added, “We had companies working very closely with one another that might normally be seen as competitors. Everyone came together to make this happen.” This was a major event within the US textile industry. Not only did fabrics have to be milled, treated and printed, but the companies actually assembling the garments had to manage supply chains that include such disparate items as snaps, zippers, and nylon tape, with everything coming from a different supplier. Industry is currently producing up to 400 sets of CTAPS per day and as many, if not more, Soldiers are being issued their systems every day.

The units receiving the new clothing are the 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team at Ft Wainwright and the 2nd IBCT (Airborne) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. MAJ Ogden conveyed that a small quantity of additional systems was also delivered to cover sizing tariffs and spares of two such large organizations.

Next month, the units will participate in a force-on-force Field Training Exercise which will also serve as a testbed for the clothing systems.

LTC Lee wanted to point out that what you see here isn’t the final configuration. PEO Soldier will use information gleaned from the fielding of this directed requirement to inform a future iteration of specialized clothing to replace the current ECWCS Gen III.

Additionally, LTC Lee mentioned that accessory items like hand and footwear as well as head protection for extreme cold are separate from this project and covered under other programs of record.

The big takeaway here are that the Army can work with industry to rapidly field unique requirements at scale and that PEO Soldier continues to improve clothing and individual equipment for the Soldier.

MAJ Ogden summed it up well, “CTAPS leverages novel materials and offers increased comfort and durability, reduced bulk, enhanced integration with OCIE, and improved moisture management.”

FirstSpear Friday Focus: Technical Woobie

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

The FS Technical Woobie™features top of the line materials including FS-WARM ACM 600 Merino Wool, our warmest wool layer. 100% made in the USA with 100% USA materials backed up by our standard lifetime warranty on materials and craftsmanship.

Premium nylon accents add abrasion and wind resistance, making this a durable cold weather top when worn as the outer layer.

The Full-length zipper and pockets utilize premium YKK zippers and durable FirstSpear S-Pulls.

Buttonholes inside the hand-warmer pockets and cord loops along the internal zipper seams allow for easy and discreet cable management.

Hood drawcords stash inside for windy days and an external loop hanger on the back gives you a handy place to secure the garment.

The cuffs are strategically designed with thumb holes for added protection and comfort.

The Technical Woobie offers an everyday style thats matched with some of the most high-performance material combinations available and will quickly become your go-to top when the weather drops.

The Technical Woobie has a climbers fit (more fitted). If you prefer a loose fit, go up one size from your regular wear (L goes to XL).

Visit FirstSpear to find America’s premier tactical gear and equipment.

Enforce Tac 23 – Tilak J Jotun MIG Jacket

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

The other garment I wanted to show you from Tilak is the new Jotun MiG jacket. It is manufactured from Polartec WindPro material which makes it more abrasion resistant than standard Power Stretch. I really like the styling.

It features zippered shoulder pockets on either arm, two zippered lower chest pockets, and pit zips for ventilation.

Offered in Green and Black, sizes Small – XXLarge.


Enforce Tac 23 – LMS Gear

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Last Man Standing Gear made a really cool one-off of their shirt in NVA, “Ein Strich Kein Strich” StrichTarm camouflage pattern.

Hopefully, they’ll add it to the line.

Enforce Tac 23 – Operator Jacket by Tilak

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Featuring three different fabrics, the Operator jacket from Tilak is a level 5 garment. Combining design and materials, the fabrics are mapped on the garment to get the most out of their properties.

For example, the shoulders feature a four-way stretch fabric while the elbows incorporate a high tenacity fabric for abrasion resistance. The body of the Operator is also a stretch fabric but with a much lower Spandex content and has a great balance of breathability. Additionally, all fabrics are DWR treated, making the garment weather resistant.

The shoulder pockets are an entirely new design with the zippered openings following the vertical line between shoulder and arm making them very easy to open and close. Inside the shoulder pockets is a second pocket to keep certain items handy.

It also features a hood and two large chest mounted zippered pockets along with zippered ventilation at the armpits and adjustable cuffs.

In Europe’s temperate climate, you can assuredly wear the Operator jacket all year long. Suitability throughout the year may vary in other climes.

Tilak plans to add a pant to complement the Operator jacket.

Currently offered in three colors: MultiCam, Black and two-tone Grey and Foliage, sizes Small – XXLarge.

Designed and manufactured in the Czech Republic by www.MIGbyTilak.cz.

Amabilis – BlackOut Jacket

Thursday, February 23rd, 2023

100% Made In The USA, the BlackOut Jacket is Amabilis Gear’s latest creation. This fleece jacket combines Polartec Thermal Pro fleece with a patented Hardface treatment which enhances durability and prohibits pilling.

Look for 5 pockets: 3 outside zippered + 2 inside cargo and 2 ea 4 x 4″ Velcro shoulder patches.

Offered in Black, sizes Small – 3XL.


CLAWGEAR Announces New Products for 2023-2024

Monday, February 20th, 2023

Lightweight, Heavy Duty clothing and equipment for Specialist Military and Law Enforcement

STEYR, AUSTRIA (21.02.2023). TMH Trading GmbH the parent company of the CLAWGEAR® brand, today launched its new branding and enhanced CLAWGEAR® product lines for 2023-2024. The new product lines that span clothing, equipment, and firearms bring new levels of ergonomics, function and innovation to the specialist military and law enforcement markets. 

“For many years our customers and users have benefited from our military and law enforcement products” said Austria CEO Harald Kirschner. “With our new products we’ve raised the bar for innovation, quality and value even higher.”

“While many companies cut back on product development over the past two years due COVID and the economic downturn, the team at CLAWGEAR® used this as a springboard for new product development added CEO Thomas Goldinger, Switzerland. “This has allowed us to be ready to serve our dealers with many new products and innovative solutions that solve problems for our users.”

The new products will be showcased for professional users and dealers at the Enforce Tac (Hall 9 Booth 481 and IWA (Hall 3 Booth 224) trade fair taking place at Nurnberg Messe between Tuesday 28 February 2023 and 05 March 2023.

CLAWGEAR® Premium Military Clothing

CLAWGEAR® Premium Military Clothing shall be launching the most durable and lightweight battle dress uniforms with their ATS technologies. In addition, the STRATA and LRICC insulated and wet weather products shall also be revealed.

CLAWGEAR® Premium Military Equipment

Soldier ballistic protection carriage has been the focus of the CLAWGEAR® Military Equipment team for the past two years. The brand will be launching the new Operator & Protector Modular carrier systems at the trade fair alongside a range of accessories and storage options.

CLAWGEAR® Firearms and Equipment

For many popular weapons platforms such as AR, AUG, SIG and AK, CLAWGEAR® Firearms have developed numerous enhancements such as handguards, rails and sights.


FirstSpear Friday Focus: Beanie Leather Patch

Friday, February 17th, 2023

FirstSpear’s New American Made Beanie Leather Patch is live!

This incredibly soft beanie will keep your dome warm while wicking away moisture. It features a double-stitched edging with a premium laser engraved leather FS logo patch that is stylishly offset. The beanie is constructed from FirstSpear’s ACM 600 Merino Wool, proudly sourced in the USA. It’s perfect for a cold day at the range or bustling around town. It’s carefully constructed to strategically taper slightly longer at the neck to reduce cold drafts and to prevent it from riding up out of place when you’re on the move.

This beanie is available now, while supplies last.

The ACM-Warm 600 is FirstSpear’s warmest wool layer.

Visit FirstSpear to find America’s premier tactical gear and equipment.