Door Kickers

2004072705bThe U.S. Army is going to dust off its old Scorpion pattern as a replacement for its much criticized Universal Camouflage Pattern.

I ran a story about the selection this morning on I have been told that Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III is quietly telling all of the senior sergeant majors around the Army that the service’s new camouflage will be Scorpion — a pattern similar to MuliCam that was developed for the Objective Force Warrior program in 2002.

The Army has been considering replacing UCP with Crye Precision’s MultiCam — a pattern that has demonstrated consistent performance in multiple tests and was selected in 2010 for soldiers to wear in Afghanistan.

But Army officials balked at MultiCam’s price tag. They didn’t want to pay for “printing fees” the company receives on MultiCam — a small figure that amounts to about one percent of the 20-percent price hike uniform companies want to charge the Army for MultiCam, according to Caleb Crye, the owner of CP.

Army officials even tried to buy the rights to MultiCam. Crye told the Army it would cost $25 million if the service wanted to buy the rights to the pattern, which would essentially put Crye Precision out of business, he said.

So with that option off the table, the Army is now going to use Scorpion since the service has owned it for the past 12 years. The pattern is very similar to MultiCam because Crye developed for the OFW program.

MuliCam’s appearance is slightly different for trademark purposes.

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The U.S. Army recently started converting the first of a half million M4 carbines into M4A1s.

Army weapons officials are performing 3,000 M4/M4A1 conversions for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

The service decided to replace the M4 with the M4A1 version, wrapping up a five-year effort to search for a better individual weapon for soldiers. Last June, the Army formally concluding its Individual Carbine competition without selecting a winner to replace the M4 Carbine. None of the carbines evaluated during the testing phase of the competition met the minimum scoring requirement needed to continue to the third and final phase of the evaluation, weapons officials said.

The Army never released any of the test data that showed how test guns from Heckler & Koch, FNH-USA, Remington Defense, Adcor Defense Inc. and Colt Defense LLC performed in the competition.

The decision to convert the service’s 500,000 M4s into M4A1s by 2020 will give soldiers features such as a heavier barrel, an ambidextrous selector switch and a full-auto trigger. The Army’s decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger will give shooters a more consistent trigger pull and lead to better accuracy, weapons officials maintain.

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Survey2014-ControversialTestimonyU.S. combat troops know the importance of quality kit, but don’t take their pay raise away to pay for it. published the results of its pay-and-benefits survey today. It showed that nine out of 10 active-duty service members oppose the Pentagon’s proposals to reduce their pay raises and basic allowances for housing.

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This is an interesting concept. Exoskel Urban Climber X2 shin guards look like they would be right at home in a “Mad Max” movie – or on infantrymen climbing through windows and scrambling over walls on a house-to-house search operation.

“Exoskel has been created to assist the user to rapidly ascend urban obstacles. After constantly failing to negotiate obstacles when rushed and weighed down, and after many cuts and damaged lower limbs, Exoskel was developed, according to the Exoskel website.

“Its primary use is to provide leverage while ascending obstacles and negotiating uneven terrain. Armed with teeth to lock on to obstacles in any environment, and lift the user, via the stirrup system, up, over, and on… Exoskel protects the shin when scrambling over sharp and dangerous terrain and stabilizes the user on uneven ground and in awkward positions.”

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It’s amazing that the Army’s camouflage is still in the news after five years. That’s how long its been since the Army first acknowledged that it had to do something about its ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Crye Precision LLC — the creator of MultiCam — finally spoke out on the Army’s attempts to adopt the pattern for service-use in the form of a chronological account of the Army’s attempts to “negotiate” with Crye over the price of MultiCam. I talked to Caleb Crye yesterday for my story that ran this morning on

What seems to be at the heart of this issue is Army uniform officials can’t seem to accept that they have to pay more for MultiCam than they did for UCP.

Really? Let’s do the math here. After at least five scientific studies — four by the Army and at least one by special operations forces — MultiCam has outperformed UCP and performed as well or better than many other patterns on the market today. Is it that much of a surprise that vendors are going to charge up to 20 percent more for uniforms and gear printed in MultiCam than they would for the same stuff in UCP?

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Russian ground forces in the Crimea. It looks like the soldier on the left missed the line for newer kit. -- The Guardian Russian ground forces in the Crimea. It looks like the soldier on the left missed the line for newer kit. — The Guardian

With Russian ground forces now in Ukraine’s Crimean territory, we are getting a closer look at Putin’s door kickers. As more news pictures surface on the web, it’s interesting to see how Russian individual kit has evolved — or failed to evolve in many cases.

Many have AK 74s with rail-mounted optics.They’ve got knee pads and hard-knuckle, combat gloves. Their goggles look like they are made for skiing instead of stopping any fragmentation — but I could be wrong. Anyone know anything about their body armor?

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20140219-Z-KE462- ran a story today about the U.S. Army fielding new, high-end, mountaineering gear to all infantry brigade combat teams.

The improved kit comes as U.S. forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan after more than a decade of deployments to the rugged, mountainous country. In the past, units have spent their own funds on commercial mountain gear.

This new gear will come in tactical colors and feature gear from proven brands such as Black Diamond, Petzl, MSR and Metolius. Units will receive the gear organized into the High Altitude Mountaineering Kit, the Assault Climber Team Kit and the Snow and Ice Kit — all of which are designed to equip platoon-size units, or up to 40 soldiers, with ropes, ice axes, crampons and other climbing gear certified by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.

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