Grunts

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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modras

Italian knife maker Fox Knives Military Division has a wicked new pig sticker.

The Modras dagger features a tan-coated, 7-inch N690Co stainless steel blade with a hardness of 58-60. It has a full-tang construction with a handle made from black and tan G10.

This is not a practical knife. It’s clearly designed for infantrymen and operators who want a killing blade.

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Limitless Gear has a new M4-style magazine carrier with a quick-release MOLLE attachment system that is worth checking out.

The OPFOR 30-round magazine carrier features the Rapidly Scalable Equipment Ensemble that allows you to “mount and dismount the OPFOR from 2×2 MOLLE/PALs surfaces in seconds,” Limitless Gear officials maintain.

The OPFOR also features a lidless Positive Magazine Retention system. Magazines are automatically locked in place just like in your weapons magazine well and can be quickly and easily withdrawn from the OPFOR by applying a simple twist and pull. This eliminates the need for flaps or bungee cords that prevent access to your next magazine, company officials say.

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The U.S. Army is working on an improved version of the Flameless Ration Heater that doesn’t need water to heat Meals, Ready-to-Eat.

“Unlike the current ration heater, the Air Activated heater does not require water, a valuable battlefield commodity. This new approach to heating and advanced technology aims to lower cost, weight, and logistics burden of chemical heating technologies,” according to Army officials at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The Air Activated Heater contains a peel away layer that, once removed, allows air to penetrate the holes of the outer foil layer. After passing through the felt diffusion layer, the air reacts with the activated carbon, electrolyte, and rate-controlling binder, producing a safe exothermic reaction, Natick officials say.

This new technology will heat the MRE entrée by 100 degrees Fahrenheit in less than ten minutes. Negligible hydrogen off-gassing eliminates operational and transport restrictions associated with the current heater and offers improved safety, according to Natick.

The DoD Combat Feeding Program plans to transition the technical data to Defense Logistics Agency – Troop Support for use with the MRE.

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size0U.S. Army scientists have created a new smartphone app help commanders plan for how much water their soldiers will need on a mission.

The Soldier Water Estimation Tool, or SWET, is designed to simplify water planning, task that can be a logistical nightmare for leaders. Too much water can strain already heavy combat loads, forcing some soldiers to pack too little in favor of a lighter pack. When soldiers don’t have enough water, dehydration could set in, decreasing performance and increasing the risk of serious heat illnesses.

“Water is a huge logistical problem for training and field missions,” Nisha Charkoudian, a research physiologist from the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, known as USARIEM, Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, said in a recent Army press release.

“Obviously, planners do not want too much, but having too little can lead to serious problems. Dehydration exacerbates symptoms caused by heat and altitude exposure, and makes a lot of things worse, including the ability to perform physical tasks in hot and high-altitude environments.”

Charkoudian worked with researchers from USARIEM and a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory to develop an app that will help unit leaders accurately predict water needs with the goal of minimizing the burden of water transport and sustaining hydration.

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I just put up a story on Military.com about a new Army program dubbed the Rapid Adaptive Zoom for Assault Rifles, or RAZAR scope. It was developed by a former Special Forces officer so shooters can zoom in and out on short and long-range targets far faster than they can with traditional rifle-scope technology.

The RAZAR uses what’s known as adaptive-zoom technology.

Unlike traditional optical zoom, “adaptive zoom changes the focal lengths of two or more lenses by varying the curvature of the lenses’ surfaces to provide optical zoom without changing their overall positions relative to one another. This allows the user to view either a wide-angle image or zoom in on an area of interest with a compact, low-power system.”

“The impetus behind the idea of push-button zoom is you can acquire what you’re interested in at low magnification and – without getting lost – zoom in for more clarity,” said RAZAR developer Brett Bagwell, now an optical engineer with Sandia National Laboratories.

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U.S. Army weapons officials announced it plans to launch a competition to replace the M9 9mm pistol in January after a recent meeting with interested pistol makers.

Program Executive Office Soldier hosted a third industry day for the Modular Handgun System Oct. 28-29 – an event that drew representatives from 20 companies, according to Debi Dawson, spokeswoman for PEO Soldier.

Attendees discussed the Army’s draft solicitation for the new weapon system, which will replace the current M9 standard Army sidearm, Dawson said in an Oct. 31 Army news release. The Army issued the draft solicitation, which identifies design and performance requirements for the new handgun system, Sept. 29. The draft solicitation calls for a commercially available weapon tailored to the unique needs of the military services.

The solicitation specified no particular caliber, but the Army is seeking a handgun system that outperforms its current sidearm. The Army is also seeking a modular weapon, meaning it allows adjustments to fit all hand sizes.

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