The history of the ‘smock’ in military usage goes back to the Second World War when they became famously associated with the German Fallschirmjaeger, the British and Allied Airborne Forces and the British Special Air Service.
WWII-era British Airborne Force ‘Denison Smock’, from the Imperial War Museum’s collection. © IWM (UNI 11787)
Continuing to be inherently associated with Airborne and Special Forces in the UK, Commonwealth and Western European countries, the ‘old skool’ style smock reached what was perhaps the pinnacle of its design with the famous ‘Kit Karry Smock’ from Special Air-Sea Services in the UK (see below). However, since the start of the Global War On Terror, the kit used, carried and worn by Special Forces (and even regular grunts) has undergone a remarkable transformation – so much so that many people felt that the smock no longer had a place in the modern kit list of combat shirts and body armour / plate carriers…
But, as is so often the case, units are (re)discovering that some of the old ways were in fact the best ways. Such is the case with the new Striker Stealth Smock from UF PRO®. UF PRO® learned from working with European Pathfinder and other Special Units that there are occasions when you simply want to or need to travel light, and that there are also times when a combat shirt under a plate carrier simply doesn’t provide enough warmth or weather protection, and that you also sometimes want to carry secondary or sustainment items in your backpack but keep all of your essential items’ within reach of your hands…
After reviewing the current needs with a German special unit, it became clear to UF PRO® that the classic smock design couldn’t meet the desired criteria – so they would have to reinvent it, and the result is the Striker Stealth Smock.
The latest product video from Direct Action gear is now live on their YouTube Channel.
This system provides for the immediate cutaway release of the SPITFIRE Plate Carrier. Its innovative design and allows for quick and easy reassembly of the Plate Carrier without the cutaway elements. Created with primarily with waterborne operations in mind, the SPITFIRE Cutaway System also allows for immediate battlefield assessment and treatment of a wounded team-mate, and then quickly and easily reconfiguring and reassembling the wounded person’s Plate Carrier for armor protection during transportation / evacuation.
To order within the European area: https://eu.directactiongear.com/en/vests/plate-carriers/spitfire-cutaway-system.html#AGR
To order within the US / North American area: https://us.directactiongear.com/vests/plate-carriers/spitfire-cutaway-system#PGZ
Direct Action’s expanded line of advanced tactical nylon gear was debuted in the US at SOFIC in late May – now these made-in-Poland products are in-stock and available for purchase through the Direct Action Gear USA webstore.
The line-up includes their flagship SPITFIRE™ Plate Carrier, HURRICANE™, TEMPEST™ and TIGER MOTH™ Chest Rigs, as well as the MOSQUITO™ Modular Belt System, the MUSTANG™ Rescue/Gun Belt and a wide range of pouches and accessories.
Most products are available in genuine MultiCam® and PenCott® camouflage patterns, as well as the solid colors of Black, Adaptive Green and Coyote Brown. Check their website for full product descriptions, pricing and availability: https://us.directactiongear.com
Hot on the heels of our last article about Natick Labs came this online article from ‘The National Geographic’ about a new book by renowned author Mary Roach:
Mary Roach, a self-confessed “goober with a flashlight,” has created a niche for books with one-word titles—Gulp (on the digestive system); Bonk (on the science of sex)—that take a funny, and informed, look at the scientific secrets of everyday things. In her latest book, Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, she goes behind the scenes of modern warfare to celebrate the unsung heroes of military science, who do everything from design high-tech clothing for the battlefield to perform penis transplants—all in the name of keeping soldiers “alive and comfortable.”
Read the full interview here: nationalgeographic.com
Direct Action Gear continues to roll out product videos featuring their new products, here we present the two most recent (there’s even a sneak peak of DA’s new Assault Pants in the MOSQUITO video):
The MOSQUITO modular belt system is an extremely versatile platform – just like de Havilland’s ‘Wooden Wonder’ from WWII. It works well in both low-profile and heavy-load configurations and is compatible with accessory hip and drop leg panels.
- Made of proprietary laminate, stiffened, Velcro loop lined
- Designed to work as a belt sleeve for MUSTANG rescue / gun belt, will fit most standard rescue belts
- Laser cut PALS slots interchanging with vertical openings on the sides allow for user-preferred equipment attachment options for holster, blade etc.
- Additional stability can be achieved by using the MOSQUITO modular belt sleeve together with the MUSTANG inner belt
Low profile Y-style suspenders for use under armor available
- Detachable stiffened hip panels available in two lengths, long panel allows direct mounting of Safariland’s® 3-hole system pistol holsters
- High ride drop leg panels available
* Please note: inner belt, hip panels and suspenders are sold separately.
SPEED RELOAD POUCHES
Open top rifle magazine pouch, designed for speed reloads but with secure magazine carry at the same time. The special internal material, combined with a limited-size top opening and tension-adjusting elastic cord, prevents the magazine from popping out if it gets snagged.
Just like their rifle pouch, the pistol / SMG pouch is designed for speed reloads but with secure magazine carry at the same time. The special internal material, combined with tension-adjusting elastic cord, prevents the magazine from popping out if it gets snagged.