Marine Corps Seeks New Flame-Resistant Garments for Cold Climates


Written by Kenzie Fitzpatrick

Source: Military.com

Earlier this month, officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command delivered a notice announcing to vendors that they will soon be looking for “flame-resistant, lightweight, cold-weather undershirts and drawers” for Marines who are serving in cold climates such as the Arctic Circle. The notice was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Officials stated in the announcement that they plan to “draft specifications and standards to accommodate a variety of design solutions and processes, and to encourage a broad vendor base.”

The Marine Corps first began to issue flame-resistant organizational gear, also referred to as FROG apparel, to provide personnel with protection from explosives and burn hazards. At this time, it is unclear if the service plans to update only its undergarments, or the FROG clothing also.

Vendors are encouraged to review the standards and specifications for the Marines’ updated cold-weather garments and provide feedback by October 4, according to the notice.

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Air Force to Begin Distributing OCP Uniform on October 1


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Military.com

The Air Force is set to begin rolling out the new Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniform starting October 1.

The transition from its current Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) to the OCP has been highly anticipated since it was announced in May.

Personnel at Aviano Air Base in Italy, MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and Shaw Air Force Base and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina will be the first of those able to purchase the OCP from base stores. If they are not issued directly, uniforms are only approved for purchase from Army and Air Force Exchange Stores and Military Clothing Sales Stores.

The Air Force will phase out the ABU for the OCP over the course of the next three years. All airmen are expected to don the OCP “by April 1, 2021.”

To prepare airmen for the OCP rollout and provide guidance on how to wear the uniform, Air Force Instruction 36-2903, “Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel,” was updated in July.

By June 2020, the Air Force will transition to “the tan 499 shirt,” a “tan 499” belt, coyote brown boots, and green socks. If officers choose, they may also wear a patrol cap. All officers will wear “spice brown” rank insignia, except first lieutenants and lieutenant colonels, whose will be back.

Additional information regarding uniform direction for all personnel may be found in Instruction 36-2903 mentioned previously.

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Air Force Seeks Feedback for Development of Improved Flight Suits


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Military.com

The U.S. Air Force is gathering feedback from its leaders and servicemen to “better equip and dress its force,” said the Air Force’s Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

According to Goldfein, a team of airmen is reviewing “not only flight suits, but all the gear needed to fly for hours on end.” The team plans to make recommendations at the start of October, after which, they will be “submitted for funding consideration,” said spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

However, some changes to flight suits and other gear are already in the works, as noted by Col. Brady Hauboldt in a statement. For female members of the aircrew, flight suits were said to be “lacking” in fit and sizes ranges.

Changes to bladder relief systems are taking place, too, with “baggies lined with absorbent sponges” being replaced with the Aircrew Mission Extender Device (AMXD), which allows aircrew to relieve themselves “without having to unstrap from the aircraft seat.” While 356 AMXD kits have already been delivered, the Air Force plans to order an additional 1,619.

Goldfein has been working with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth O. Wright to highlight and improve these issues.

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Marine Corps New Tropical Uniforms Arriving June 2019


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Marine Corps Times

On August 29, the Corps awarded $954,713 to SourceAmerica to manufacture a new tropical uniform, according to “Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command.”

The new uniforms “have undergone several years of testing” in locations like Hawaii and Japan, and have been lauded for their quick drying time and lightweight feel.

Initial samples of the uniform, which has been authorized “for field use only,” will be complete in March, with the first 2,600 being delivered in June 2019. Once complete, the Consolidated Storage Program will receive and issue the tropical uniforms.

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Female Marines Finally Receive New Unisex-Style Dress Coat


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Military.com

In 2013, the Marines began testing and surveying a new, unisex-style dress blues coat for female recruits at ceremonial events. The transition from the previous “winged blazer collar” to the shorter “Mandarin-style collar” was headed by the Navy’s former secretary, Ray Mabus.

Although the updated style was approved by the service’s uniform board back in 2016, production of the new coats was anticipated to take a few years.

Finally, after 5 years, about 100 female recruits were given the new dress blues coats this week. New coats were issued to members of the 4th Recruit Training Battalion’s Papa Company at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina. These women, who are expected to finish boot camp in mid-October, will be the first in the fleet to debut the new design.

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Arc’teryx Presents – Who We Are: The Science Behind GORE-TEX®


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Our commitment to putting our best materials into the best garments is aided by our partnership with Arc’teryx Equipment.  20+ years of collaborating has let to the creation of a garment that can withstand all different tyipes of conditions, from New York City to Mount Everest. Watch this video to see how Gore and Arc’teryx continue to push each other to be the best.

 

Air Force Designing an Updated Dress Blues Uniform


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Air Force Times

According to Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Kaleth O. Wright, the U.S. Air Force is currently working on designing a new version of its “service dress blues uniform,” and may “roll it out” sometime within the next year.

To find inspiration for the new uniform, Wright said leaders of the Air Force are “looking to the past.”

Modifications to the dress blues, along with a brand-new physical training uniform, may come in “mid- to late 2019,” said Wright.

Possible updates to the service jacket include the addition of four new pockets – with two placed across the chest, and two parallel pockets below – as the current service jackets have pockets for decoration only.

The Air Force could “test some uniform prototypes next year and collect feedback from airmen on what works and what doesn’t,” added Wright.

In addition to the dress blues updates, the Air Force is also considering moving forward with the design of new physical training uniforms, that would feature a moisture-wicking fabric to keep airmen comfortable in warm climates. The uniform’s design, however is not likely to change.

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Army Looking to Replace Its Current Cold Weather Boots


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Army Times

Earlier this month, the Army’s Contracting Command put a notice on fbo.gov, a website detailing federal business opportunities.

In the notice, the Contracting Command detailed its plans to procure 150 pairs each of three prototypes of an Extreme Cold Weather Overboot (ECWO), to replace its current version, the Extreme Cold Weather Boot (ECWB), which has been in use with soldiers and Marines since the 1960s.

The goal of the ECWO is to reduce the weight and bulk of Army boots, which are among the boot’s deficiencies described in the notice. The author also stated that the ECWB is “difficult to pack/carry when conducting dismounted operations.”

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U.S. Army Testing Three Overboot Prototypes for Extreme Cold Climates


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Military.com

The Army has chosen three companies to develop prototypes of insulated overboots which could replace the current Extreme Cold Weather Boot (ECWB).

According to a notice on FedBizOpps.gov, the ECWB in its current form has been “largely unmodified since the 1960s” and “uses outdated technology and manufacturing processes” that are not used anymore in the U.S. The boot is also known to be “heavy, bulky, and difficult to pack/carry.”

To determine what will replace the ECWB, Army officials intend to purchase 150 pairs of insulated overboots from each of the following manufacturers: Wiggy’s Inc., based in Grand Junction, CO, Outdoor Research out of Seattle, WA, and Original Footwear Co. in Stockton, CA. Per the notice, all contracts are anticipated to be fixed-price.

Army officials will “evaluate insulated overboot solutions with the potential to offer similar environmental protection at reduced weight/bulk.” The updated version will be referred to as the Extreme Cold Weather Overboot (ECWO).

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Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers Can Now Buy the OCP Online


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Military.com

According to a press release, the Army Clothing Services Office has granted authorization to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service to sell the Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform, or OCP, and “related accessories” online.

The OCP will be available for the Army Reserve and National Guard to buy, “regardless of rank or active-duty status,” the press release said. Uniform and accessory purchases can be made at ShopMyExchange.com.

With this temporary authorization, the exchange aims to “bring the convenience of online uniform shopping to Guardsmen and Reservists.”

The OCP has been doing so well that the Air Force plans to adopt it as well, with “all airmen wearing the uniform by April 2021.”

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