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SEK Solutions to Supply AquaSource Water Tanker to USMC

Friday, August 17th, 2012

SEK Solutions has announced that it has been awarded an order from the US Marine Corps to supply 2,613 AquaSource Water Tanker 5 Gallon (20L) Collapsible Water Bags manufactured by Source Hydration for the Marines’ Mountain Cold Weather and General Support Equipment Program.

Developed specifically for the requirements of the US Marine Corps, the Source Aquasource reduces the weight of the system by 13.4 pounds compared to the old Collapsible Water Bag procured through the Marine Enhancement Project. In addition to its primary function as providing a water resupply system that is more easily transported by a Marine Rifle Squad during dismounted operations, the Source Aquasource also provides capability to function as a Vehicle Hydration System for mounted operations when paired with the Vehicle Hydration Hub Upgrade Kit, as well as being able to be used as a Field Shower system when paired with the Field Shower Upgrade Kit.


AquaSource is a durable, collapsible, backpackable hydration alternative to traditional water cans. Source uses a Glass-like reservoir technology that helps eliminate fungus and the absorption of odd tastes by the bladder.

USMC Seeks Portable Fuel Analyzer

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

MARCORSYSCOM has just released a sources sought notice for a Portable Fuel Analyzer. According to the RFI, “The PFA will consist of a system that will enable an unskilled incidental operator the capability to rapidly obtain and analyze sample of indigenous/captured fuel stocks on location to determine usability for immediate exploitation.” Basically, they want a device that will allow the novice to determine whether or not a fuel source is contaminated and can be used to power a vehicle or generator. This is critical in small unit operations where they may be required to scavenge fuel from a variety of sources.

1. The components of the PFA shall be maintained and operated by a single incidental operator and not require formal institutional training in order to operate and maintain the system at the unit level (Threshold).

2. All operator functions shall be capable of being performed during reduced light conditions with the aid of a maximum of 50 lumens of unfiltered white iridescent or Light Emitting Diode (LED) illumination source (Threshold).

3. The PFA sampling and analyzing components shall be able to be operated and maintained in a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical contamination environment by personnel in Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) level IV and be capable of withstanding decontamination (Threshold).

4. The analyzing and sampling components of the PFA shall be contained in a hardened case to prevent, other than normal wear and tear, damage during repeated transport, handling and lifting in a field environment (Threshold).

5. The PFA components shall be able to operate in temperature ranges from -4°F to 110°F (Threshold) and -25°F to 135°F (Objective).

6. All components shall be able to remain operational after exposure to uncontrolled climates that the USMC will deploy within , to include rain, dust, sand, etc. (Threshold).

7. All PFA components shall be able to withstand a transit drop In Accordance With (IAW) MIL-STD-810G Method 516.6 Procedure IV without adverse performance to their operational capability (Threshold).

8. The dimensions of the analyzing and sampling components case will not exceed 24″x18″x12″ (Threshold).

9. The weight of the component case will not exceed the maximum weight limits for portability by a single Marine (Male/Female) IAW MIL-STD-1472F (Threshold)

10. The sampling component of the PFA shall provide the capability to rapidly obtain adequate quantities required for analysis (Threshold).

11. The analyzing component of the PFA shall have the capability to analyze an indigenous/captured fuel source and determine is suitability IAW military fuel standards for use in ground combat vehicles and equipment (Threshold) as well as combat aviation platforms (Objective).

12. The analyzer portion of the PFA shall accurately provide in easily read format, “GO/NO GO” determination of the usability of indigenous/captured fuel IAW military fuel standards (Threshold) and a detailed format showing each critical property results for reporting purposes when the sampled fuel stocks do not meet specifications (Objective).

13. The operational time required for the incidental operator to obtain and analyze a sample of indigenous/captured fuel to determine its usability shall not exceed ten minutes (Threshold) and 30 seconds (Objective).

14. The PFA shall be capable of self-sustained operations for at least 15 fuel analyses (Threshold) or 60 months of repeated use (Objective).

15. If required, the PFA analyzer shall operate on battery power for 3 hours (Threshold). If the batteries are removable, they shall be a service common solution from the commercial sector (AA, AAA, B, C, D, 9V, CR-123) or existing military battery (Threshold).

16. If a power source is required, the PFA analyzer shall also have the capability to operate/charge on 85-240 AC current, and be internally protected from power surge (Threshold).

17. The PFA system shall be able to be shipped by commercial air carrier, rail, loose cargo, helicopter, etc (Threshold).

In particular, SYSCOM wants to know –
1. Industry comments on draft USMC performance requirements, to include ability to meet performance requirements.
2. Industry comments on draft USMC work statement, to include ability to meet work requirements.
3. Industrial capability to manage and execute this type program
4. Industrial comments on production rate and timing
5. Past performance delivering a like or similar capability

Interested parties should visit for full details.

USMC Announces Close Quarter Battle Pistol Contract Award to Colt

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

On Monday we reported that the new MARSOC M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistol would be the Colt Rail Gun in .45. Guess what? We were right. Remember, you heard it here first.


Less than two hours ago MARCORSYSCOM announced the award for “$22500000″. Here is the award announcement on FedBizOpps.

No Soldier Systems APBI This Year?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We were getting lots of questions from folks in industry asking us if we had heard anything about this year’s Soldier Systems Advanced Planning Brief for Industry. We hadn’t, and we hadn’t seen any announcements on Fed Biz Opps so we sent an inquiry to PEO Soldier but they never answered back. However, we’ve consulted with enough industry sources that we feel confident telling you that there isn’t going to be an APBI this year. It’s almost like cancelling Christmas for some folks.

The Soldier Systems APBI was a unique gathering. It brought together Acquisition professionals representing all four services, USSOCOM, and DHS with industry reps from the entire supply chain. No other DoD commodity group could boast this kind of interaction. What’s more, it didn’t cost an arm and a leg to participate so you’d see a lot of smaller firms there as well. I’d hazard a guess that more business was conducted over the two days in the lobby of that get together than at any other time throughout the year.

Sure, there are lots of other meetings throughout the year, but they are smaller and parochial in nature. For example, the footwear producers will meet, and maybe the printers or the armor folks. But generally, they are talking amongst themselves and often at an industry day where they are in direct competition. The APBI was the one time a year where everyone was in it together and critical to the health of the industry.

With an abrupt change in leadership at the PM-ICE the week before last and an upcoming change of command at PEO-Soldier this is the perfect time to ‘rally the troops.’ Hopefully, someone will step up and be able to recreate the magic that was the Soldier Systems APBI in a non-parochial venue.

Marine Corps Going Long on RAT Boots

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The Marine Corps is getting ready issue a solicitation for a full and open competition for both Temperate Weather and Hot Weather Rugged All Terrain Boots. Just a few years ago the Marines began their love affair with the retro look (and construction) of the RAT Boot. They’ve had a couple of contractors build the boots but haven’t been very happy with the product. Rather than look at the 19th century construction of the boots as the real culprit they decided to treat at least one vendor with disdain publicly and blame them. But, I’ve heard from more than one company building them that the boot’s design is the issue.

Originally innovated by Danner for the Marine Corps, the RAT is available in both Hot Weather and Temperate versions with the Temperate model incorporating a Gore-tex liner. It features a lace to toe system with a flex “V” notch. It also features a heel and toe counter that helps resist abrasion. Overall, it’s a great looking boot. As you probably know, Marine Corps combat footwear is “Olive” (originally Olive Mojave) in color but it really resembles Coyote. Additionally, he heel is branded with the Eagle Globe and Anchor insignia. The boot has a couple of great features but the stitch down construction between the sole and upper remains troublesome.

The Marine Corps anticipates a maximum quantity of 325,000 Boots consisting of 162,500 pairs TW and 162,500 pairs HW. With shrinking demand for military footwear it will be interesting to see which companies are willing to dance with the devil on this one.

The actual solicitation hasn’t been released yet but you can read the per-solicitation here.

USMC Seeking New Skis

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

The US Marine Corps is looking to field a new military ski system consisting of Skis, Boots and Bindings. Oddly, MARCORSYSCOM has released three separate RFIs instead of a consolidated version. Considering they are all supposed to work together, this is a little silly. However, the biggest issue here is Berry compliance and I’d say the boots will be the most troublesome.

Right now, they are just performing “market research to seek potential sources and best practice information towards designing, developing, and buying components for a new Ski System.”

Interested parties have until 4:00 p.m. EST, on Thursday, March 15, 2012 to submit their response.

USMC Seeking Modular Armor System

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The Marine Corps posted a Sources Sought Notice late last week for a new “Modular Armor System” to replace both Plate Carrier and Improved Modular Tactical Vest which hasn’t even been fielded yet.

Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) is conducting market research, and identifying potential sources and best practice information towards designing, developing, and procuring a Modular Armor System. The system will allow the individual Marine to configure and tailor the armor level based on mission requirements.

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) envisions at this time a single system that will be capable of providing the area of coverage of the current USMC Plate Carrier and expanding to a soft armor area of coverage equal to the USMC Improved Modular Tactical Vest (IMTV) with the Pelvic Protective System Protective Overgarment (POG). The system will be able to provide supplemental armor protection to the extremities.

The envisioned system will either integrate with current hard armor ballistic plates or a new hard armor plate design. There are no constraints on symmetry or materiel for soft and hard armor. Hard Armor threat defeat capability equal to that of the XSAPI is required with a desired maximum allowable areal density of 7.0 pounds per square foot. The soft armor performance within the torso and extremity regions is required to possess performance equal to the OTV CO-PD-00-2G with a desired maximum allowable areal density of .85 pounds per square foot. The carrier will possess the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) webbing for the mounting of modular pouches, have a single pull emergency release located on the center of the vest below the neckline and integrate with the USMC Chest Rig without impeding the quick release of the carrier.

The desired system will not exceed the cumulative weight of the IMTV with torso and flank plates. This suite will enable the individual Marine to configure components to best meet specific mission requirements by optimizing/balancing human factors engineering (e.g. comfort and usability), integration with fielded Load Carriage Equipment (LCE) and cost (production and maintenance).

It is important to note that the RFI states that “Modular Armor System’s attributes have not yet been finalized” so this is your chance to help influence the writing of the final requirement.

Potential sources of supply have until 30 December, 2011 to notify the Marines of their concept. Additionally, the Program Management Office (PMO) will have representatives attending the January 2012 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Veagas. Look for a separate posting on FedBizOpps with details on how to arrange a visit.

RFI Issued for USMC Corpsman Assault Pack

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

The Marine Corps has issued a Request for Information from industry for a USMC Corpsman Assault Pack to possible be manufactured sometime in 2012-2013.

Like all contracts Marine, the timeline is aggressive. A total of 10,000 complete USMC Corpsman Assault Systems at a rate of 1,000 complete USMC Corpsman Assault Systems delivered NLT 60 calendar days post First Article Test (FAT) approval and a sustained rate of 2,500 complete USMC Corpsman Assault Systems per month with delivery beginning NLT 90 day calendar days post FAT approval.

According to the RFI, the USMC Corpsman Assault System includes the following:

Qty Item

(1) Corpsman Assault Pack (22″ x 14″ x 4″) similar to the USMC Assault Pack

(18) Medical Inserts of varying dimensions to be mounted inside of the Corpsman Assault Pack

(1) Sustainment bag (20″ x 14″ x 4″)

(1) Trauma pouch similar to USMC combat trauma bag, NSN 8465-01-571-5231

(1) Thigh rig similar to the Advanced Life Support (ALS) leg kit, NSN 6515-01-531-6535

Like the new Marine Corps Pack System (originally called FILBE), it looks to be a Government owned design. They aren’t looking for industry’s good ideas. They’ve already seen those at trade shows and site visits. Instead, they’re looking for companies to tell them how they’ll build them and for how much.

Bravo to the Marines for updating the Corpsman pack. However, RFIs like this don’t make much sense, at least for their intended purpose. They’re still building Marine Corps Pack System and know what is out there manufacturing-wise and what it costs. All it serves to do is to cost a company money to answer the RFI. And, the RFI even admits:


Rather, look at this as a warning order that something is coming down the pipe. Interested companies have until 1 December. Good luck!

Marine Corps Family of Packs Hip Belt

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The new Marine Corps Family of Packs features a molded hip belt which incorporates hardwear from National Molding. The 2” Techno Grab Tensionlock is combined with the Lock Monster Single bar Male and Female to create a simple, adjust hip belt.

As you can see, the belt is adjusted by pulling forward on the straps. You grab a side in each hand and pull forward with equal pressure.

USMC Purchase Additional 8750 Extreme Cold Weather Systems

Monday, October 17th, 2011

PrimaLoft® Insulation Technology™, announced that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) has purchased 8,750 additional sets of the USMC Extreme Cold Weather System, which consist of parkas, trousers and booties insulated with PrimaLoft®.

The USMC Extreme Cold Weather System (ECWS) is currently used by thousands of Marines stationed in the coldest areas of Afghanistan and across the globe. This new purchase brings the total number of ECWS currently fielded by the Marines to 58,750.

Developed to allow Marines to maintain the tactical edge during challenging high altitude, cold, and wet weather conditions, ECWS includes a parka, trouser and booties insulated with PrimaLoft®. As you know from previous coverage, PrimaLoft® is packable, lightweight, weather resistant, and very warm.

“PrimaLoft® takes great pride in our work to provide the best possible insulation technology to meet the U.S. Marine Corps mission readiness needs,” said PrimaLoft® Vice President and General Manager Joe Rumiesz in a press release. “We began working with the DoD 25 years ago, and we continue to advance our unique technology to address the specialized gear needs of our men and women in uniform.”

PrimaLoft® was originally developed at the request of the US Army by Albany International Corp as a water resistant synthetic alternative to down. Now known as PrimaLoft® it is used by the United States Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces.