Army Begins Testing Improved Jungle Boot


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Army researchers have begun testing an enhanced jungle combat boot, Army Times reported.

The new footwear, developed for tropical conditions, has been issued to soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, which opened the Jungle Operations Training Center in 2014. The 25th ID will continue testing the boot through September 2017.

The Belleville Boot Company and Rocky Boots supplied the Army with 36,708 boots after winning a contract in December. The product aims to improve footwear options for combat soldiers who train in the Pacific region. Many of these soldiers are accustom to the arid war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Researchers expect to add “significant miles” by subjecting the product to months of field training and exercises, possibly physical training.

Based on Vietnam-era footwear, the jungle boot features fast-drying, breathable mesh, a puncture-proof sole, and a thick layer of shock-absorbing polyurethane. The sole also contains drainage holes and specialized tread to cut through muddy terrain.

So far, the new gear has received positive feedback from the 25th ID staff. Officials say the design may be modified after they receive more feedback from the soldiers.

Read the full story here.

Army Expects Operational “Iron Man” Suit by Next Summer


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) anticipates having an operational prototype of the “Iron Man” suit in less than two years, Kit Up reported.

James Geurts, a senior executive at U.S. SOCOM, discussed progress on the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), high-tech body armor, during the National Defense Industrial Association’s Annual Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Symposium. The U.S. Special Operations Command, which originally challenged the defense industry to build the TALOS in 2013, envisioned a protective wearable with embedded sensors capable of monitoring and controlling core body temperature, heart rate, hydration level, and other vitals.

“Smart-soldier” technologies have been gaining traction in the U.S. military. For example, Nett Warrior allows unit leaders to track their subordinates’ locations and get a bird’s-eye view of the tactical environment, using a smartphone set-up. To develop the technology, which debuted in 2006, the Army awarded over $500 million in defense industry contracts.

Currently, the development of TALOS faces challenges, but Geurts predicts the effort will produce “spin-off” technologies that will empower operators with life-saving information and communication capabilities.

Read the full story here.

The SMA Responds To Soldiers Uniform Requests


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Beards, World War II style uniforms, and nail polish and earrings (for female troops) rank among the most popular uniform changes requested by soldiers.

Army Times recently polled readers to find out what soldiers want to wear while on-duty. They sent these suggestions to Dan Dailey, Sergeant Major of the Army, to see which might fly.

Many soldiers want to completely eliminate the beret, Army Times reported. Dailey, however, believes it should be worn on occasions and looks particularly striking when paired with a blue uniform.

Velcro was also pretty unpopular. Fortunately, the Army is already looking into velcro-free uniforms, Dailey confirmed.

Much of the requests — including throwback uniforms, one-piece flight suits, and collars with rank — seek to reinstate previous military wear. Unfortunately, Dailey doesn’t see these pieces making a come back anytime soon.

See the full list here.

The Navy Anticipates Changes to Working Uniforms


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The Navy expects to transition to the green Type III Working Uniform, starting October 2017, Navy Times reported.

The service now permits Type III uniforms for all sailors. Navy Exchanges will begin stocking the parts and pieces this fall.

Officials first announced the switch from Type I “aquaflage” to Type III “green digital” back in August 2016. Sailors who already have Type III, due to organizational command, may continue wearing the uniform even if they transfer from their command.

Navy officials aim to complete the transition by October 1st, 2019. At this date, Type III uniforms will become mandatory. Officials are also considering a two-piece, flame-retardant suit, which is currently in development.

With the new uniforms, the Navy will continue to authorize blue command ball caps, but coyote brown ball caps will also be permitted. Nine-inch black safety boots will remain standard while the Navy actively seeks a more comfortable seaboard boot. Ashore, sailors may wear brown safety boots, black leather safety boots, or rough-side-out leather safety boots. They may also wear non-safety leather boots when authorized by their commanding officer.

Read the full story here.

The JPEO-CBD Awards $250,000 to Winners of Design Challenge


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

From Textile World: The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) has announced twelve winners of the Proof Challenge, a contest asking the public to design the next chembio suit. The winning teams received a combined total of $250,000 and the opportunity to work with JPEO-CBD to bring their ideas to fruition.

See the full list of finalists here.

Jane’s cites GORE® CHEMPAK® for outerwear protection in extreme environments


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Extreme conditions call for extreme measures, and according to a recent article in IHS Jane’s International Defence Review, W. L. Gore’s GORE® CHEMPAK® protective gear is a strategic protective outerwear alternative to the bulky, legacy charcoal-layer suits used in extreme settings where war fighters can be exposed to chemical and biological threats.

img_8489This includes Syria and northern Iraq where chemical and biological warfare has become commonplace. In an article titled “Extreme measures: land forces take cover from environmental challenges,” Jane’s looked at several new technologies designed to both protect war fighters and enhance performance in particularly difficult and perilous settings. (See PDF below).

This includes undersea operations as well as missions in arctic regions, mountainous areas and those where nuclear and chem/bio threats are possible or present.

GORE® CHEMPAK®, the article said, is a protective gear alternative for both conventional and non-conventional units, especially those on missions in hot climates.

GORE® CHEMPAK® fabrics provide protection against toxic chemicals and chemical warfare agents. At the same time GORE® CHEMPAK® allows operators to move freely and stay engaged longer with unencumbered movement and enhanced dexterity. GORE® CHEMPAK® can also be completely wet down, which draws out body heat and aids in cooling down the operator.

As the nature of war grows increasingly complex, planning for warfare in extreme conditions such as those described above is a growing objective for organizations such as the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Extreme conditions present a complex number of issues that compromise operational effectiveness and, as the Jane’s article cites, GORE® CHEMPAK® offers war fighters a competitive advantage as well as increased protection.

You can learn more by reading the article below from IHS Jane’s International Defence Review.

Article from Jane’s International Defence Review 08-Nov-2016

You can also learn more about GORE® CHEMPAK® below.

GORE® CHEMPAK®

Navy to Issue Type III Uniforms at Boot Camp


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The Navy will start rolling out new uniform changes by issuing Type III cammies to sailors in boot camp by the end of 2017, Navy Times reported.

The Navy Exchange also expects to stock the new uniforms at fleet-concentrated locations but has not determined when the new inventory will become available. To cover the costs of the new uniform, soldiers will receive a “plus-up” in their paycheck during the fiscal year 2018 and FY 2019.

Additionally, the Navy anticipates issuing flame-retardant Type III uniforms within the next year or two.

Read the full story here.

Marines Must Wear Woodland Cammies Year-Round


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

The U.S Marine Corps has announced troops will now wear woodland camouflage year-round, Marine Corps Times reported.

Marines will wear desert camouflage only on deployment and will not automatically change uniforms for the spring and summer. The Corps made this decision after determining the practice of switching cammies did not offer an operational advantage, Gen. Robert Neller explained to Marine Corps Times. The service uniform will be worn with a coat (bravos) in the winter and as a short-sleeve shirt (charlies) in the summer.

Commanders will determine when the sleeves of the woodland uniform may be rolled up or down, based on weather conditions.

Read the full story here.

Testing to the Extreme: Gore Unveils New State-of-the-Art Fire and Environment Simulation Labs


two new advanced, state-of-the-art labs
Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

At Gore our scientists are continually inventing new materials that both protect war fighters in the field and make it possible for them to succeed at their missions, even in the harshest conditions. Testing is an essential and critical component of this process and to this end, Gore just unveiled two new advanced, state-of-the-art labs at our Elkton, Maryland headquarters, that simulate extreme conditions.

Our textile innovations provide a full bandwidth of characteristics – from materials that ensure warmth and protection from the extreme cold to ones that provide unmatched levels of fire resistance and retardancy against fire and flame — and the advance testing capabilities at our new labs allow us to accurately measure the capabilities of existing and new technologies.

gorepressevent-deckerenviro-600On November 17, we invited the world to our offices to unveil and demonstrate our new lab facilities. The response from writers around the world has been impressive, and you can read more below.

But in capsule – here’s the story:

Our new Environmental Chamber recreates the real-world environmental conditions found on the earth’s surface, from the most common to the most extreme. This includes accurately simulating the frigid conditions on Mt. Everest to the blazing sun and heat in Death Valley. The new Rain Tower simulates rainfall rates that range from drizzle to a heavy downpour.

According to Paul Canatella, technical leader for Gore’s Fabrics Division, “By creating real-world conditions in a lab environment we can scientifically measure and analyze the impact of a product on human perception.” In other words, this lab allows us to thoroughly test and evaluate how a product will function in the field, taking the guess-work out of the performance equation.

gorepressevent-hflabcal-600Our new Heat and Flame Protection lab allows Gore to precisely measure and analyze the ability of its products to provide three key elements of burn protection: flame resistance, thermal insulation and thermal stability.

Key components of this lab include the new Cone Calorimeter, which enables Gore engineers to measure heat release characteristics of the fabrics used in finished garments. The fire lab also evaluates time-to-burn in low heat flux scenarios where a firefighter could experience sweat burns and has a Pyrolysis Combustion Flow calorimeter (PCFC)/Micro Combustion Calorimeter (MCC) that allows Gore to rapidly characterize heat release and fire-preventing char generation in the raw materials used to make our products.

Both labs provide a world-class setting for Gore to extensively test the effects of apparel, activity and environment on the human body, plus measure human performance, protection levels, breathability and comfort for the end user.

You can learn much more about the new labs here.

And read what others are saying below:

SGB Media

Popular Mechanics

Mountain Blog

Just-Style

 

 

Army Researchers Develop Flame-Resistant Wool Blend


Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Army researchers have been developing a wool-blend that’s flame-resistant, breathable, and moisture-wicking, Army Times reported.

The patent-approved fabric, intended to improve combat uniforms, doesn’t require topical flame-guard. The secret is a unique synthesis of wool and Nomex, Carole Winterhalter, a textile technologist at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, explained to the news source.

Unlike synthetic fibers, wool doesn’t melt or drip when exposed to fire. The material may have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but researchers say they’re working with extra-fine, non-itchy fleece from Rambouillet sheep. These flexible fibers also improve moisture management and have been treated for shrink-resistance.

Last August, soldiers tested a hundred flame-resistant uniforms during a training in Germany. Even in the summer heat, participants responded favorably to their new clothes.

The enhanced uniforms underwent standard burn-testing at the Thermal Test Facility in Natick, Massachusetts. Winterhalter expects further improvements after feedback has been collected and analyzed. At that point, researchers will pursue a broader field evaluation.

Winterhalter says the wool also meets guidelines of the Berry Amendment, which discourages the Defense Department from sourcing textiles produced outside the United States.

Read the full story here.

 

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