For over a decade, the US Army has been providing soldiers with gear and boots that were designed for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, the Army is looking for designs to be used in extreme-weather (hot and cold) conditions. Some months ago, the Army put out calls for new jungle boots, new styles of cold-weather boots, gloves, and other pieces of apparel. The main thrust, however, will be for updated cold weather gear and boots.
The problem, it seems, is that gear manufacturers have not put much time or effort into developing cold-weather gear and boots that would be effective in extreme conditions. For instance, Col. Dean Hoffman IV, who manages Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, remarked: “How many people in this room are going to need a negative 63-degree boot? There is not a strong market for that, but we might have the need to have the ability to fight in that environment.” His comments were made at the recent Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting.
Some work has already been started…sort of. Last year the Army started looking for a new cold-weather boot to replace the Extreme Cold Weather Boot (ECWB). However, the manufacturer was not able to produce the new boot in time for it to be tested (in real-life extreme cold) so testing will have to wait until next winter.
One of the better ideas that have come out is to look at what countries such as Finland, Denmark, Canada, and Switzerland are doing to protect their troops who are operating in extreme cold weather. For years now, the Army has been using the old Gen III Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System. This system offers 7 levels of options and can be used in temps down to -60 F.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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