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LAS VEGAS — CamelBak Products LLC., unveiled a new pack design at SHOT Show 2015 that places the hydration bladder against the lower back.

The Rubicon is one of two backpacks with a special lumbar pocket that holds a three-liter reservoir.

“This is one of two packs we are launching this year with the lumbar reservoir,” Amanda Rodriguez, assistant product manager for CamelBak’s Government, Military and Industrial products, said at SHOT Show.

CamelBak engineers have used the lumbar-reservoir design on some of its recreation-style packs, she said. “This is where your body is meant to carry all the weight,” Rodriguez said.

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LAS VEGAS – Safariland LLC., has come up with a truly innovative holster that fits more than 125 modern handgun models.

The Pro Fit 578 Holster features a V-Block design and special locking mechanism that fits many of today’s polymer-framed pistols.

“We took a whole series of popular firearms and … took all the digital dimensions and overlaid them at the position where they would index into the V Block,” Safariland’s Bill Rogers said at SHOT Show 2015.

The designers looked at looked for similarities on parts such as take-down levers, safeties and magazine releases, Rogers said.

“What we found was there is a lot of commonality,” he said. “What this holster does is fit all the weapons that have a similar size trigger guard. ..It’s kind of a revolutionary design for us.”

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LAS VEGAS — We had the chance to check out Beretta USA’s new 1301 tactical shotgun at SHOT Show 2015 range day.

It is a sweet little package. The 1301 is a semi-auto 12 gauge specifically designed for military and law enforcement use.

Beretta’s gas-operating system sets the 1301 apart from similar models on the market, according to Earnest Langdon, a consultant for Beretta USA, who was working on the range Monday.

“It cycles and operates 37 percent faster than anything else on the market,” he said.

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I sat down with the new commander of Program Executive Soldier, Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings recently. It was a refreshing change since the last two heads of the organization responsible for soldier equipment were shy about talking to the press.

Cummings assumed command of PEO Soldier in October. One of his top priorities will be to launch a new focus on the weight of soldier equipment.

“I would like to take that one on,” Cummings said Tuesday.

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Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, is greeted by Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant C. Lambert, 82nd Airborne Division and Regional Command (South) command sergeant major, as Col. Karl D. Reed, 82nd Airborne Division and RC(S) chief of staff, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael L. Shirley, Kandahar Airfield command sergeant major, look on as Odierno arrives on Kandahar Airfield Dec. 20. Odierno visited the region to meet with task force and headquarters leadership, talk to servicemembers, and assess the current situation in the battle space. (Photo/U.S. Army Sgt. Amanda M. Hils)

It’s been about eight months since the U.S. Army selected a new camouflage pattern, but even service’s top uniformed officer still can’t remember its name.

The Army adopted the new Operational Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, this spring, but Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno called it MultiCam yesterday during a virtual town hall meeting with soldiers.

A soldier stationed in Korea asked if the new camouflage uniforms would be issued or would soldiers have to purchase them.

Odierno had this to say.

“We have done a significant amount of analysis that tells us the ACU doesn’t do very well at camouflaging us and protecting us in multiple environments and that the MultiCam that we are using in Afghanistan does a much better job,” he said. “So we are going to go to the MultiCam uniform.”

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U.S. Army testers are scheduled to evaluate an experimental, air-bursting 40mm grenade next summer.

If successful, the Small Arms Grenade Munitions, or SAGM, will transition to Project Manager-Maneuver Ammunition Systems by the end of fiscal year 2015 to become an official Army program of record.

The 40mm counter-defilade round will be twice as lethal as the current 40mm grenade against targets in defilade, according to Army officials from the service’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Grenadiers are not as effective as they could be at delivering accurate fire against enemy behind cover, Army officials maintain.

But to become an Army program of record, “we must demonstrate a certain level of functional reliability over selected target sets,” SAGM Project Officer Steven Gilbert said in a recent Army press release.

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This official U.S Army photo shows how the service's new coyote-brown combat boots will look when worn with the new Operational Camouflage Pattern. Photo courtesy of Program Executive Office Soldier.

Next summer, soldiers will replace their desert tan combat boots with a darker, coyote-brown version. The photo above shows how the service’s new coyote-brown combat boots will look when worn with the new Operational Camouflage Pattern.

 

“To correspond with the introduction of the Operational Camouflage Pattern starting in the summer of 2015, the Army will change the color for the Army Combat Boot to a coyote brown color,” according to Thursday’s U.S. Army news release.

Army senior leaders selected the new OCP to replace the service’s ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern after an exhaustive, four-year camouflage-improvement effort the service completed a year ago.

OCP is also known as Scorpion W2, a revised version of the original Scorpion pattern that Crye Precision LLC developed for the Army’s Future Force Warrior in 2002. Crye later made small adjustments to the pattern for better performance and trademark purposes and called it MultiCam.

The Army chose MultiCam in 2010 as its Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern for soldiers to wear in Afghanistan. OCP and MultiCam are very similar, but there are subtle differences between the two patterns.

Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan will continue to be fielded with uniforms and equipment in OEFCP, or MultiCam, until inventories are exhausted, the release states. In the coming months the Army will also conduct operational testing and user evaluations of existing service arid and woodland patterns for possible adoption by the Army.

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