Friday, June 20, 2014

Army Going Coyote Brown MOLLE with Scorpion Transition?

It would not be much of a stretch for the Army to adopt similar practices as the U.S. Marine Corps and adopt the Coyote coloration for their equipment given the change from UCP to Scorpion. U.S. Soldiers are no stranger to wearing Coyote Equipment with MultiCam Uniforms. It would be a costly endeavor for them to simply scrap their gear as surplus, so why not just recolor it as a practical solution to better match the newly adopted pattern. Such is the goal mentioned in the latest Sources Sought Notice put out by PM-SPIE, wherein they request companies to submit potential solutions to over-dye various fabrics in UCP Camouflage utilized in the construction of Load Bearing and Organization Equipment. 

This is not their first go 'round for this particular solution as they previously released a similar request as reported by Soldier Systems requesting that UCP be over-dyed to better match OCP Camouflage (MultiCam). Perhaps this solution did not prove fruitful has they have now changed the request to a dark color close to Coyote Brown. While, we are sure a matching camouflage pattern would be most advantageous, the U.S. Marine Corps has stuck with their Coyote Equipment given their dual MARPAT Camouflage options for their Uniforms. 

British Soldier in Afghanistan
Transitions to new camouflage patterns has shown many mismatches in various combinations. The Aussies have their Khaki coloration for equipment, which does match up with their own MultiCam variant quite well. The British have worn their Desert Tan along with the MTP pattern. A lot of initial MultiCam equipment had Coyote PALS webbing overlaying the fabric, which may have invalidated the usefulness of the pattern to begin with. Phase IV of the U.S. Army Camouflage Improvement Effort even touched on the possibility of a singular pattern for OCIE/PPE, which some companies developed, however we saw that entire process scrapped completely with the development of Scorpion being adopted as a transitional pattern. We can see the Army picking up the standard transitional Scorpion Pattern for equipment further down the road as existing equipment is replaced, however a transition from UCP to Coyote makes a lot of sense given the middle ground for potential Woodland and Desert patterns to possibly be utilized. Recycling existing equipment matches up with budgetary constraints and general outcries for the waste in picking up new camouflage patterns. 

Obviously, there is a lot of equipment in MultiCam (Original OCP) to go around for any potential deployments. What will be the most curious aspect of this is the potential to overlay the UCP pattern with a presentable solution to meet the end goal requested. For full details on this new development, read the full Sources Sought Notice below. 

Photo by WO2 Rob Nyffenegger
Copyright: Commonwealth of Australia
This is a Sources Sought Notice ONLY. This is not a Solicitation; therefore responses to this request are not offers. 

Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM-SPIE), Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 is seeking information from potential industry partners who can provide a technology/process solution to modify the camouflage pattern utilized in the manufacture of current individual Soldier equipment. This development effort is aimed at over-dyeing fabric and/or end items comprised of nylon (500/1000 denier), cotton, FR rayon, and para-aramid of various fabric constructions. Specific items include but are not limited to Modular Lightweight Load carrying Equipment (MOLLE) and Improved Outer Tactical Vests (IOTV). Items requiring an over-dye process may have been treated with water repellants such as DWR, polyurethane, as well as flame resistant treatments, and may be comprised of fabrics of various fiber types and fabric constructions. The objective of this process is to over-dye the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) to create a darker color that more closely matches the shade/color of coyote brown. Of particular interest are portable technologies that can be utilized outside of the manufacturing environment. 

Submission Information: Interested vendors shall respond to the RFI by submitting the following information: 

Business name and address, CAGE code, and point of contact with an e-mail address. Additionally, please indicate your business size, large or small, for North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Code 313310; including any socioeconomic certification status as a small business, or other than small. 

Information on vendor capabilities and place of performance is also requested. Proprietary information should be clearly marked and will not be disclosed outside the U.S. Government. 

A detailed description in the form of a technical white paper to include the technical approach, technical risks/challenges (at a minimum: repeatability, durability, shade/color matching accuracy, and fabric strength loss), and feasibility of approach. 

Rough order of magnitude (ROM) unit price 

Please indicate your firm's intent on this requirement by checking one of the following: 

Providing a proposal as a Prime______ or as a Sub-contractor_________ 

If proposing as a Prime, will any portion of the process be Sub-contracted to another firm: Yes_________ or No _________? 

Please indicate the interest in teaming arrangements and whether there is intent to propose under a teaming arrangement; indentifying the teaming partner, their role, and business size status, large or small, under NAICS 313310. 

If the described requirement were to be issued as a Small Business set aside, please discuss how your firm would be capable of providing a proposal which complies with FAR clause 52.219-14 (Limitations on Subcontracting) which states, By submission of an offer and execution of a contract, the Offeror/Contractor agrees that in performance of the contract, in the case of a contract for Services (except construction), at least 50 percent of the cost of contract performance incurred for personnel shall be expended for employees of the concern. 

Responses shall be prepared in Microsoft WORD, at a maximum of ten (10) pages with no additional attachments. 

Please submit information to Karen Gibson at by 10:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST), on 17 July 2014. 

The Government does not guarantee that this RFI will result in a Request for Proposal (RFP) and subsequent contract award, and will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred by vendors who respond to this RFI. 

If the Government decides to pursue a formal RFP it will be announced via Army Single Face to Industry (ASFI). Please direct all questions relating to this RFI to