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Archive for the ‘Eyepro’ Category

Transition Combat Eye Protection Capability Added To Army Approved EyePro List

Saturday, November 30th, 2019

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead has seen the gruesome consequences when Soldiers chose to don eyewear that didn’t appear on the Army’s authorized list.

Deployed Soldiers have suffered severe damage to their eyes or lost their sight entirely.

“We have seen some really horrific injuries with roadside bombs,” said Whitehead, the product manager for protective equipment at Program Executive Office Soldier.

Using eyewear approved from the list, which features 27 products that have undergone extensive testing, could mean the difference between saving a Soldier’s vision or going blind, Whitehead said.

“The Soldier’s face is all chewed up,” Whitehead said. “But when they pull his glasses off, where the skin is intact around their eyes, where you know without a doubt that eyewear saved their eyes.”

To help protect Soldiers from serious injuries during combat missions, PEO Soldier has tested several protective eyewear models in compiling the authorized protective eyewear list, or APEL.

The Army introduced a lens model on the APEL that adds a new capability to the Army’s Soldier Protection System: an advanced transition protective lenses. The Transition Combat Eye Protection, or TCEP lens, features sensors with a greater sensibility than traditional transitional lenses, responding to visible light instead of UV rays.

The transition happens in milliseconds allowing Soldiers to go from sunlight to indoors quickly without loss of their situational awareness to see incoming projectiles or enemy attacks instantly. Typically, commercial transition lenses can take up to 5-10 minutes to transition and adjust to changing light levels. Often they will not darken in bright sunlight if a Soldier sits inside of a Humvee. The TCEP lenses will.

“It’s a one-second button,” said Capt. Michael McCown, assistant product manager of head protection at PEO Soldier. “It’s not like your transition lenses that you get from your doctor that change as you go in and outdoors … it’s electronic.” It can also be set to transition automatically.

PEO Soldier also unveiled a cold-weather goggle that can resist fogging in colder conditions. The new capability could help Soldiers at cold-weather installations or troops taking part in winter operations.

Soldiers can access the Army’s APEL list online at www.peosoldier.army.mil/equipment/eyewear. Each product on the APEL must meet the Military Performance Standard, titled Military Combat Eye Protection, or MCEP System. The APEL, updated about every two years, offers a wide range of brands and styles of protective sunglasses and goggles. Approved eyewear has an APEL logo and can be purchased online, and at post exchanges and AAFES stores.

PEO Soldier also took feedback directly from Soldiers, who responded in surveys, that having faster transition lens glasses along with high-quality sunglasses ranked atop their lists.

“They aren’t forced into a particular set of eyewear,” McCown said. “They’re able to choose which ones they want for their preferences.”

APEL-approved eyewear undergoes rigorous trials and a series of ballistic and non-ballistic testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and at eyewear production facilities. Those tests include optical distortion, UV absorption and resistance to abrasion, and many more. The Army has placed a high priority on Soldier eyewear safety, bringing in ballistic experts and quality-assurance specialists to evaluate and witness the tests.

The Army requires each vendor to test their items every six months for conformance and have their items tested by a third-party laboratory every two years for recertification. Quality audits are also conducted annually at each facility to make sure they are in compliance with ISO 9001 – Quality management systems — and ISO 17025 — General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

McCown said Soldiers prioritize choice and style but he warns Soldiers and their commanders about the critical importance of APEL-approved eyewear. McCown cautions Soldiers only to trust products with the APEL-approved logo or to refer to the APEL list when choosing protective eyewear. Products with an APEL logo marked March 2019 or earlier remain valid and can still be used for ballistics fragmentation protection.

Whitehead added that the Army keeps the list at 27 to encourage competition among vendors to deliver higher quality protects, as well as keep prices affordable for Soldiers of each rank.

The APEL is a part of the Army’s Soldier Protection System, which guards Soldiers against threats using reduced-weight equipment in a modular, adjustable, next-generation protective system.

By Joe Lacdan, Army News Service

Milipol 19 – Schuberth Laser Protection

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Law Enforcement officers are increasingly coming under attack from lasers, inflicting injuries that many don’t even know they have. Schuberth has developed a laser protective lense cassette that goes ontop of the existing P100N riotcontrol helmet without compromising protection against threats like blunt trauma, penetration, chemicals and fire.

Response time is key with laser threats. Regular laser protection glasses have to be retrieved from a pouch first. The SCHUBERTH solution is ready to be deployed even with gloves hands and will cause no pressure points on the temples.

With lasers being used mostly in the night it is equally important to get the protection out of the way when the threat is gone.

Unlike laser protective glasses it can be used with a respirator and with the helmet’s visor closed or open.

www.schuberth.com

Innovative Hearing Protection May Protect Military Working Dogs Like The One Who Helped In The al-Baghdadi Raid

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2019) — Military working dogs played a vital role in the recent raid and death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; however, temporary and permanent hearing loss due to high-decibel noise in training, transport and operations put these animals at risk. Now, thanks to an Army small business innovation program, canines may have new gear to protect their ears.

Zeteo Tech, Inc., in partnership with Pete “Skip” Scheifele M.D., Ph.D., a retired Navy lieutenant commander, professor at the University of Cincinnati and leading animal audiology expert, developed the Canine Auditory Protection System, known as CAPS, to prevent short-term hearing loss in military working dogs.

“Even a short helicopter flight can affect a dog’s hearing, resulting in impaired performance and inability to hear the handler’s commands, which can hinder the mission,” said Dr. Stephen Lee, senior scientist at Army Research Office. “This new technology protects the canine while on missions and can extend the dog’s working life.”

The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command supported the program as a part of a Small Business Innovation Research grant managed by ARO — an element of U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory.

Military workings dogs are used for a variety of roles, including tactical operations, patrol, detection and specialized search. Until now hearing protection systems available were rigid, cumbersome and hard to put on the dog, with limited effectiveness in testing for the protection of canine hearing.

The CAPS uses lightweight, high-quality acoustic absorption materials to block unwanted sounds. Unlike conventional canine hearing protection, this solution is constructed of flexible materials that conform to the unique shape of a dog’s head. This flexibility ensures proper sealing around the ear and maximum sound reduction.

The snood-style headgear, resembling a close-fitting hood, uniformly distributes the pressure required to hold the hearing protection in place, while avoiding challenges associated with straps. At a little more than an inch thick, the device’s low profile will not be a hindrance for dogs working in tight spaces. It is also compatible with other gear used by working dogs, such as goggles.

The research team tested the headgear extensively with military working dogs, as well as federal law enforcement working dogs, for wearability, usability and comfort. The team also measured the hearing protection effectiveness during helicopter operations and found a significant reduction in short-term hearing loss.

“This new technology will extend canines ability to work in a wide range of environments in combination with the Soldier and autonomous systems that could greatly enhance situational awareness of the individual Soldier in the future and empower a broader use for military working dogs in operations,” Lee said.

“Zeteo Tech is excited to provide CAPS in response to a critical need for effective canine hearing protection in demanding environments,” said Michael McLoughlin, vice president of Zeteo Tech, Inc.

McLoughlin said Zeteo Tech is a Maryland-based small business founded in 2013 and dedicated to “developing and delivering solutions to address the health and welfare of the military and others who serve the nation.”

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Now Shipping – Magpul Terrain and Explorer Eyewear with Red and Silver Mirror Lenses

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Magpul’s Terrain model is for those who require ballistic impact protection. It features ballistic Rated Z87+ and MIL-PRF 32432 lenses and frames meet both high velocity impact protection and safety ratings.

The Explorer model is more for casual wear. Though not rated to Z87.1 due to the wrap and shape of the Explorer, the lens and frames were engineered to the Z87.1 ballistic impact protection standards

Either way, they offer great styling. Check out the lens and frame colors at www.magpul.com/apparel-gear/accessories/eyewear.

A7 Defense & Aerospace – RANGER Eyepro

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Features:
-Mirrored, polarized, ultra-clear lenses
-Extremely lightweight (1.2 ounces)
-Super strong and durable TR-90 frame with no metal
-Arms that are thin (less than 3mm) yet strong and are compatible with hearing protection
-Ridged nose piece that keeps the glasses securely in place even during rapid movement

www.a7defenseandaerospace.com

Aircrew Gets New Anti-Smoke Goggles

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) —

If smoke starts filling up a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the aircrew reach for their anti-smoke goggles. For more than 20 years the ASGs have been a basic four part system, until now.

With innovation, the new ASGs are now a three-part system. The suspension frame itself is still made the same with the nape pad attached, while the goggles and oxygen mask portion have been upgraded.

“The ones that we are replacing have the same basic frame, but the goggles and the oxygen mask are two separate pieces,” said Tech. Sgt. Ronald Patton, 403rd Operation Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment craftsman. “Before, you would need to put the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose, then pull the frame up and place the nape pad at the back of your head. Once that was in place you would put the goggles on and pull the straps on both sides to tighten them.”

The way the new ASGs work is still the same concept, except now the goggles and oxygen mask are one piece, so when you place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth, the goggles are put on at the exact same time, saving time and making them quicker to put on and operate.

“The new masks are made similar to ones that firefighters use,” said Master Sgt. Ray Reynolds, 403rd OSS aircrew flight equipment supervisor. “The older goggles had a narrower field of view, while the new ones allow the aircrew to be able to use their peripheral vision.”

As a part of the AFE duties, they are required to make sure the equipment operates the way it is supposed to, be able to fix the equipment and replace any parts as needed.

Patton said that when the new ASGs came in, the manufacturer sent a ‘fix’ in with the mask to ensure they operated as designed. This ‘fix’ was a single screw that needed to be replaced on the front of the mask.

“Every part on the ASG system is replaceable, which helps to make sure they last,” Reynolds said. “Looking at the order of parts that could be damaged from easiest to hardest. The first thing is the hose, the second thing being the communication cord and the third is the microphone and then onto the remaining parts.”

AFE technicians are also required to test the pull disconnect on the air hoses to ensure that they will not come unattached from the oxygen hose on the aircraft too easily. This pull test requires a minimum of 12 pounds to a maximum of 20 pounds of pull before the hose on the mask would release, ensuring that there is some resistance before it disconnects.

If the disconnect is not between the 12 to 20 pounds of pull, then they have to fix the connector to correct the amount of pressure to meet the requirement, Patton said.

“We are also required to conduct pre-flight, post-flight, periodic maintenance, 30-day and 120-day inspections on the ASGs,” Patton said.

The 30-day inspections consists of basic checks. A visual examination is conducted and they look for cuts, tears, abrasions, discolorations, rust, anything other than normal, looking for anything that is obviously defective. A cleaning is done and the components are tested to ensure they work.

The 120-day inspection is the same inspection, but with a full break down of all of the components and a deep clean, checking the integrity of the components that you cannot see, Reynolds said.

“It is not that the old ASGs were replaced because they were faulty, they worked exactly as they were designed to. It seems like they just needed to improve on the integrity of the system itself,” Patton said. “Will it operate better under stressful situations, will it be easier to repair if it does break, does it have as many subcomponents that can break, does the aircrew member find it easier to don, and can the aircrew operate better in the environment, were questions that they asked when designing the new system.”

To improve the ASG system, they took a mask similar to a firefighter’s mask and the quick don suspension frame and made it one system, then they added the communications portion, Reynolds said.

“So they are doing something right, because if they hadn’t created this one, the ones that we have still work. I have been in this career field for more than 30 years and this is only the third version that I have seen,” Reynolds said.

“While the older ASG masks still work and some are still located on our C-130J aircraft, we are working to replace them on all of the aircraft” Patton said. “We currently have six sets in service and have replaced more than half of the 815th Airlift Squadron’s ASGs with a new quick don system and we expect to have them all of our aircraft by the middle of August, after the current inspection cycles are complete.”

By Jessica L. Kendziorek, 403rd Wing Public Affairs

“ATLAS” Eye Protection System From A7 Aerospace and Defense

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

The “ATLAS” eye protection system features i-RMR (pronounced eye armor) super ballistic lens technology and GHOST SHIELD, the industry’s clearest and fastest photochromic technology. The Atlas can withstand a shotgun blast from 10 feet away and a shot from a 22 long rifle from under 5 feet away with no penetration and no deformation to the lens. 

The United States military has increased the ballistic requirement for eye protection from 650 per second to 725 feet per second, of which many competitors cannot meet with their standard lenses. The Atlas is over 1000 feet per second and it has achieved this remarkable performance with a photochromic lens. 

The Atlas eye protection system also features a lightweight and unbreakable TR-90 frame with arms that are compatible with ear protection, and a 3 way adjustable nose piece for a secure and custom fit. Lens options include standard clear and tinted lenses as well as A7’s proprietary Ghost Shield photochromic lens and A7’s unique high definition and photochromic lens.

Proprietary technology , superb engineering, unmatched protection. A7 Defense & Aerospace, welcome to the next level.

www.a7defenseandaerospace.com

Revisions Adds Two Products to the US Army’s Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL)

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Revision’s ShadowStrike Ballistic Sunglasses and SnowHawk Cold Weather Goggles have been added to the APEL Program by the U.S. Army

Essex Junction, Vermont (May 29, 2019) – Revision—the world leader in protective eyewear solutions—announces the selection of two new eyewear lines for inclusion on the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL®), as determined by the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier. After comprehensive laboratory testing and user trials, the Product Manager, Soldier Protective Equipment (PM SPE), selected Revision’s ShadowStrike™ Ballistic Sunglasses and SnowHawk™ Cold Weather Goggle System for inclusion on the APEL. The ShadowStrike Sunglasses are the first dual lens, ballistic sunglasses to offer OcuMax® Anti-Fog performance, and the SnowHawk goggle system is the first Cold Weather Goggle System to offer a magnetically integrated balaclava for extreme protection in cold weather environments (balaclava procured separately).

“Revision has been a leading provider of protective eyewear on the APEL program since it was created in 2006,” said Jonathan Blanshay, CEO, Revision. “This is an achievement we are very proud of, and represents our continued commitment to adapting to the changing environments and threats soldiers are facing around the globe today.  Over the years, as we have evolved our products and developed new eyewear solutions, we’ve submitted our cutting-edge eyewear for inclusion in the APEL program. Our presence on the APEL is a major factor in our global standing as an industry-leading protective eyewear designer and manufacturer. We target our solutions to exceed the increasingly more stringent standards that the Army requires, and we are honored to be a part of this prestigious program.”

Manufacturers and products listed on APEL have had their products examined and tested in accordance with the Army’s guidelines, meeting Army standards for ballistic protection (assessed against the Military Combat Eye Protection performance specification MIL-PRF-32432A). This year’s qualification process is especially noteworthy because the Army has instituted several updates to their standards, including more stringent ballistic standards—an increase in ballistic testing velocities (goggle testing velocities with a 0.22cal projectile increased from 550?560 ft/s to 580?590 ft/s and spectacle testing velocities with a 0.15cal projectile increased from 640?660 ft/s to 700?725 ft/s)—as well as the creation of a new category for extreme cold weather (for which SnowHawk was selected).

The U.S. Army recently released the 2019 APEL list, which includes ShadowStrike sunglasses (black frames with smoke and clear lenses) and SnowHawk goggles (black or tan frames with smoke and clear lenses)—alongside Revision’s Sawfly® spectacles, StingerHawk® spectacles, and Desert Locust® goggles.  The following products are all compatible with the Universal Prescription Lens Carrier (UPLC) – Sawfly and StingerHawk spectacles, and Desert Locust and SnowHawk goggles.  All products have been assigned National Stock Numbers (NSN) and are available for purchase through supply channels.