Officials Call for Navy Uniform Changes

May 2014 will bring about a series of changes in regards to the uniforms for female Navy officers and enlistees. The announcement was made by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus last Christmas Eve, and came as a shock to many. The general census among military personnel is that a change to the female uniforms is not necessary. However Mabus explains the reasons for the uniform change in the following statement:

“These changes ensure greater uniformity in our service and ceremonial dress, but more importantly, they send a clear signal that we are one in dress, one in standard and one in team. As you look out across a group of Sailors, you ought to see, not female and male Sailors, but Sailors,” Ray Mabus, SECNAV.

A survey with over 1,000 female Navy personnel conducted in the spring of 2013 concluded that military women welcomed the changes to their uniforms as a means to resemble the male uniforms. However, survey respondents were adamant about the fact that they wanted a quality manufacturing and redesign of their uniforms as opposed to just being forced to wear the male uniforms.

One of the changes to the uniforms include the redesigning of the Service Dress Blues for female Navy personnel ranked E1-E6. The new design for the dress blues was made to incorporate flexibility, functionality, and comfort all while maintaining the traditional sailor image. The ultimate goal of the redesign, as mention in Mabus’ statement above, is to modify the female dress blues so that they closely resemble the male uniforms.

The other change that is being made to the female Navy uniforms is for those who are ranked an E7 or above. This change consist of the redesigning of the combination covers and again are being made to look and operate very similar to the male combination covers. The new version of the female combination covers will be identical to the men’s but will be more fitted to the proportions and body type of women.

The new styles of both the service dress blues and the combination covers are currently going through an extensive fitting and evaluation process. The goal of this process is to not only make sure that these items are comfortable and suitable for women, but also to ensure that durability and functionality of the items perform properly.

Once the final designs are set and approved by military officials, the manufacturing efforts will be underway. The thorough testing and creation of the new uniforms is set to be completed by the spring of 2014, after which a formal introduction and implementation of the suits will ensue in May of 2014.

For timely updates and more information on this matter click here.


United We Stand

For centuries America has been known as the “home of the free, and the land of the brave”; and it is a number our brave men and women who are currently leading the relief efforts in several recently devastated parts of the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan plowed through much of the region nearly a week ago.

The “super Typhoon”, as many are referring to it as, brought an unimaginable amount of destruction to the area, resulting in over 3,600 confirmed deaths. While the number of fatalities continues to rise each day, the reality of the devastation caused by the Typhoon is becoming overwhelming for most. In addition to the high death toll, the disaster also left over 12, 000 people injured, nearly 600, 000 homeless, and several thousands of individuals still unaccounted for.

Our U.S. Marines and Navy personnel are helping aid members of the community that were affected by the typhoon by supplying food, water, personal items, and helping build temporary shelters. Food and medical assistance are high in demand, however volunteers, officials, and medical staff are working hard to meet the needs of each individual. A large amount of the U.S. military are also assisting in the search for all those who are still missing, which is a reported 1,179 people.

Filipino government officials expressed their gratitude for the U.S.’s timely response to the worst natural disaster, ever recorded in the history of the Philippines. “Having the U.S. military here is a game-changer. For countries that we don’t have these kinds of relationships with, it can take a while to get help. But with the U.S., it’s immediate,” said a representative for the Filipino military. Indeed this is what our country is all about; selflessly assisting others during dire times of need, uplifting the distraught citizens of surrounding countries, and lending a helping hand whenever possible. In addition to constant military presence, we as a nation have contributed over $22 million to go towards relief efforts.

Our dedicated men and women never hesitate to offer their assistance whenever and wherever needed. As they stand tall in their combat coveralls and Nomex flight suits, which we of course manufacture, their humble service to the Filipino civilians is much appreciated, not only by the government of the Philippines but by their friends, family, and an entire nation back home.

The generosity that our great nation has shown towards the Philippines during this tragic time will be forever remembered. I’m sure I can speak for our entire nation when I say that we are proud of our military troops, and we stand behind them as the lead relief efforts in the Philippines. To unite during tragedy is perhaps the greatest display of support. As the famous saying goes, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided”.


2013 Brings in over $20 million in Contracts

The Kentucky division of Carter Industries, Inc. was recently awarded a $9,244,800 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of improved combat vehicle crewman universal camouflage coveralls. Production efforts, by Kentucky and New York, are set to be completed by June 30th 2014 and will be sponsored by the Defense Working Capital funds.

The ICVC coveralls feature a flame-resistant material that ensures versatility and breathability. The quality material and adjustable waist allows for tremendous comfort and durability. In addition the coveralls are equipped with 11 zippered pockets to ensure easy accessibility and optimal convenience. These coveralls are available in a variety of sizes and lengths. Like all other Carter Industries products, the ICVC coveralls meet all standard military qualifications.

This $9 million contract is just one of two major contract deals in the year 2013. The other contract, which was awarded earlier this year in April, was a $12, 441,600 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of the  27/P Nomex Flight Suit. The completion date for this contract is set for April 15, 2014 and is also funded by the Defense Working Capital funds.

The Nomex Flight Suits are of unmatched quality. These suits are made up of flame-resistant material yet are extremely breathable. The two-way zipper and six functional pockets make for a number of convenient compartments. The solution dyed fabric prevents the suits from fading and the adjustable waistband allows for a more tailored fit. As with the coveralls, the Nomex Flight Suits 27/P come in a variety of size, length, and color options.

For years we have been recognized as the leading manufacturer of ICVC coveralls and Nomex Flight Suits. Our commitment to providing quality products to the U.S. Defense Forces and the U.S. Military allows for the receipt of extensive contracts such as this most recent one. For more information on our products or to contact us for business inquires, click here.


The Effectiveness of PBI and Nomex Flight Suits in Jet Fuel Fires

Pilots and their crew engage in some of the most dangerous activities in the work force. They risk their lives every single time they take to the skies, flying tens of thousands of feet above solid ground. But the danger doesn’t only come from the height; equipment failures, flash fires, and severe weather are only some of the various kinds of dangers they face. To protect themselves from possible injury, it is imperative that flight personnel have the safest equipment possible, especially their flight suit. Oftentimes the fight suit will be the first, and last, line of defense from different conditions and can be the de facto life saver.

For such a ubiquitous item, the flight suit is sold in many variations. From style to make to material, flight suits run the full gamut of design. But there are two materials that stand out from the rest. PBI and Nomex flight suits are often considered to be the industry leaders, providing superior protection to their wearers. These suits contain fire resistant fibers that are melded with the regular material of the suit, providing serious protection from heat, as well as being comfortable, versatile, and breathable. It is vital that Air Force employees have access to these materials due to the jet fuel and flames they can be exposed to. Because of its unique structure, PBI and Nomex suits prevent not just fire injuries, but also wounds that are incurred from burnt clothing. The suits’ design allows for a durable, yet secure outfit.

There have been multiple tests performed on these two fabrics to determine which one offers better protection. In environments as unpredictable as many of the Air Force personnel are, it is of utmost importance to have the best bodily defenses. Various studies have looked at how flammable the suits are, as well as the mechanical and comfort features of them. The majority of the research found that PBI suits worked better than those made from Nomex. In one experiment in which the suits were exposed to JP-4 fuel fires, the PBI suits were 21 percent less damaged. Participants also rated them higher in categories such as comfort and mechanics.

In the tests involving actual fires, the PBI and Nomex suits were put on mannequins and then drenched with 25 gallons of jet fuel. Upon being set alight, temperature and intensity readings were taken by placing sensitive strips on each of the mannequins. The data was carefully recorded, further demonstrating that the PBI suits were far outperforming Nomex flight suits in protection capabilities.

Although the PBI suits were declared better overall, there were times where the Nomex suits outperformed the PBI flight suits. The Nomex flight suits demonstrated stronger abrasion resistance, or less likelihood to tear from repeated friction, than the PBI suits. Despite weighing the same, the Nomex material tends to be a thinner fabric, when compared to the PBI material. Though Nomex could claim these victories, it could not stem off further advances of the PBI suits. The PBI suits were also determined to have better breathability and moisture retention, making it a far better choice for both comfort and fire resistance. Finally, the PBI flight suits kept better times when exposed to jet fuel. When set aflame, the PBI material kept had a one-second heat and glow time, as compared to the nine-second heat and glow time of the Nomex suits. The seemingly minimal eight-second disparity can mean the difference between life and death, injury and fatality.

If PBI performed so well against Nomex, why isn’t it the dominant material in the flight suit industry? There is a simple answer to the question: cost. PBI costs quite a bit more to manufacture than Nomex, and since Nomex can adequately meet the Defense Forces’ needs, there is no reason to spend the extra money on PBI.