A week after turning out at Modern Day Marine, W. L. Gore & Associates Inc. showed up at AUSA to tout its new protecting clothing for troops. Only this time, they showed off two products rather than three. (The special operations threads were apparently hidden from the crowds under a tent.)
The Newark, Delaware-company displayed to most conference-goers its CPCSU-2, part of the Chemical and Biological Protective Combat Style Uniform family, and its new jungle uniform.
The CPCSU-2 is designed to offer improved protection against liquid and aerosol threats while reducing weight and pack volume, according to Justin Haynes, a market specialist with the company, who spoke to Military.com on camera at the show:
Coincidentally, the Defense Department wants to develop a new suit to shield troops from chemical and biological warfare agents — and plans to offer cash to those who come up with winning designs. The Pentagon’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense recently offered a total of $250,000 to finalists — with the winner slated to receive $150,000 — as part of a competition, called Proof Challenge, to design new chem-bio protective suits.
In the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear strike, the military requires troops to don various levels of protective clothing, ranging from a simple mask to the six-pound Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) — special clothing worn over the uniform that provides 24-hour protection in a contaminated environment.
The suit, which replaced the old Battle Dress Overgarment (BDO), is almost two decades old. And while it features a longer-lasting and washable chem-bio protective garment, multi-purpose overboots and gloves that have been extensively tested for protection, it’s also heavy, bulky and hot, with disjointed seams restricting a service member’s range of motion.