Friday, April 15, 2011

U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Solicitation and Evaluation Criteria

Photo by US Army
It is finally here, the day that many top notch camouflage designers have been laying in wait. We have provided a copy of the Solicitation below for quick reference.

The devil will be in the details and there are a lot of them, but I hope the right camouflage pattern(s) are selected this time around. There is definitely a lot of legal mumble jumbo to go through with a fine tooth comb, but I guess that is where contract lawyers are best suited. 

It does note that there is an open licensing agreement that can also carry over to other branches of the Armed Forces, as well as commercial use, and options for other opportunities for whomever is awarded. In short, this will be a huge award for the final camouflage design company or companies selected in this process. It also indicates they may just not go with anything. 

Nothing has changed much in the meat of the proposal requested as they still have the arid, transitional, and woodland camouflage patterns for uniforms and a pattern to be used for PPE/OCIE that works well with all three uniforms. What is interesting is that they included MultiCam (OCP) as one of the existing armed forces pattern baselines that they want improved on, in comparison with the environments indicated. The good parts are essentially in the first and last ten pages, if you prefer to skip around for quick juicy bits.

The final award will go to the camouflage design company or companies that provide the "best overall option(s)". They will definitely not base it on the lowest cost option. They cannot have an unacceptable evaluation on any of the initial factors including: Product Demonstration, Written Technical Proposal, Ability to Produce Printed Fabric with Required Specs, Ability to Manufacture Uniform or other Requested Products, Meet Licensing Requirements, Complete Contract with Costs, Past Performance, and  Small Business Participation Plan. They point out that the technical aspects are the most important factor and the factors listed for completion of this solicitation are given in order of importance. 

The key factor in the technical analysis is that camouflage pattern proposed beats the baseline combat camouflage patterns including those currently used by the Marines (MARPAT, Navy (AOR), and Air Force (OCP) and Army (OCP, BDU, DCU), except for the UCP/ACU Pattern or the Digital Tiger Stripe/ABU, which are excluded from mention. 

The different camouflage variants put forward will be placed through Pattern in Picture analysis and will be compared with  "like" camouflage baselines. Basically the Desert option from the Family of Patterns will be compared with Desert MARPAT, Woodland with BDU, and the Transitional variants will just have MultiCam (OCP) for comparison. The solicitation gives the breakdown on how this takes place.

Many of the factors cover the ability for the camouflage design company to prove their competency to perform if awarded the contract. A good ratings system is provided on the last couple pages in hopes to provide a fair assessment of the company meeting the intended goals. 

We hope to have some feedback from all of the heavy hitters in the camouflage design industry that are expected to complete this Solicitation and will report on their impressions soon. 

US Army Camouflage Improvement Solicitation

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