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
Located in Natick, Massachusetts, and officially known as the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), the installation is often referred to by its common nickname of ‘Natick Labs’.
Whatever you call it though, there’s no doubt that these folks do some very important work – even if you don’t hear of it very often. One part of that important work is in developing new gear to meet the ever evolving challenges of modern-day combat and stabilization missions. Long gone are the days of lowest-common-denominator and one-size-fits-all – the modern American soldier is equipped with some of the most specially-designed and high-performance gear on the battlefield.
In the photo above, a squad from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) visit the equipment lab to discuss load carriage with NSRDEC’s individual equipment designer, Rich Landry. Their visit was part of the Science & Technology Project Integration Pilot, a collaborative program that pairs Natick scientists and engineers with paratroopers from the 82nd’s 504th PIR. Within an hour of the meeting, Landry had already begun developing the prototype for a performance enhancing rucksack based on their feedback.
Landry is also no stranger to carrying heavy loads in the field – he was once a Pathfinder in the 82nd Airborne Division himself. In the video below, he talks about that experience and how it has helped him in his work at Natick.
The Pacific Northwest Pack Series began as a project to fulfill a solicitation for a suite of packs for US Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
Tactical Tailor’s designs for this request were built using input from actual SOF soldiers who took the packs to the field throughout the design process and brought back their impressions and recommendations for improvements. Tactical Tailor then refined and tweaked the pack designs until they were ‘signed-off’ as meeting the exacting standards of these elite soldiers.
The series includes 4 pack designs, ranging from a large rucksack designed to carry heavy sustainment loads for long range patrols or reconnaissance missions (the “Regiment Pack”), down to a smaller (2,592 cubic inch) Alpine style pack designed to carry mid-sized loads for reconnaissance or sniping missions (the “Tahoma Tote”).
For further info about each pack in the series, as well as associated accessories, please visit the Tactical Tailor website or retail store.
Helikon-Tex from Poland has been serving the tactical, law enforcement & security, outdoor and enthusiast markets in one way or another since 1983. The company currently provides a wide range of options – from shorts and t-shirts to cold and wet weather gear – which are available in a broad assortment of solid colors and camouflage patterns.
Some major new developments appear to be on their way to market though… Over the past week the company has been posting a series of teasers on their Facebook page, that hint at the shape of things to come.
Be sure to stop by their booth if you’re there…. In the meantime, we’ve included the full series of ‘teasers’ below:
BE-X (‘BEgadi eXclusive) is an in-house brand of BEGADI GmbH, Germany and aims to close the gap between high-end military-grade tactical gear and low-cost commercial gear.
BE-X recently started working with the PenCott-GreenZone® camouflage pattern and have begun releasing a range of products featuring this camo scheme. Some of the products are new designs and some are classics from their line-up, such as BE-X’s modernized interpretation of the IDF ‘EPHOD’ rig (see our detailed review from 2010 here).
Also included in the BE-X GreenZone® line-up are their modular Chest Harness and light Plate Carrier, as well as a wide range of pouches.
Besides load carrying gear, BE-X have also already brought out their pocket-transportable ‘LRRP Tarp’ system (seen below) and are also preparing a line of field/tactical garments for release soon too.
The full BE-X range can be found here: www.begadishop.de