Frequently Asked
Questions (FAQs)

Air Warrior

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What specific products is PM Air Warrior involved with?

Air Warrior, Electronic Data Manager, Aircraft Wireless Intercom System, Helmet and Helmet Mounted Displays, Laser Eye Protection, Cockpit Airbag System, Helicopter Oxygen Systems, Supplemental Survival Systems and Equipment, Flotation Devices, Portable Helicopter Oxygen Delivery System, Microclimate Cooling System, integrated personal hydration system, integrated personal supplemental survival system (Go Bag), Communication Ear Plugs, and Head Up Displays.


What is the Air Warrior System?

An integrated, mission tailorable ensemble that maximizes the combat effectiveness of the Army aircrew member. It can be rapidly configured to meet any threat, environment, or mission. The AW includes a mix of individual protective and survival equipment, crew-mounted electronic devices, and is compatible with protective equipment developed by other programs and services. Its foundation is a personal survival gear carrier with integrated extraction capability that accommodates tailored body armor, individual survival gear, over water survival equipment, and individual protective gear for operations in extreme physiological environments. Portions of the Air Warrior are directly integrated with aircraft-mounted equipment.


What is the Cockpit Air Bag Systems (CABS)?

CABS is a crash activated inflatable protection system intended to supplement the current webbing restraint systems on helicopters. In a crash scenario, the air bags will inflate forward and lateral to the aircrew member keeping the aviator away from impact hazards.


What happens if the airbags deploy in flight?

This was tested with deployments in both forward flight and hover flight conditions. There was no interference with the flight controls. The deployed bags can be easily moved out the way and normal flight operations continue.


Where is the CABS in the life cycle?

CABS is currently in production for the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter.


Are Communication Ear Plugs (CEPs) authorized for use with the HGU-56/P helmet?

Yes, the CEPs have completed and passed their formal Qualification Testing and are now authorized for use on the HGU-56/P helmet. A maintenance work order (MWO) kit is now available to retro fit your existing helmet with CEPs. The MWO Kit is identified as MWO 1-8415-216-20-1 and can be ordered under NSN 5965-01-488-4332. New HGU-56/Ps are now shipped with the CEP already integrated into the helmet and communication cord.


What does Product Manager Air Warrior do?

Product Manager Air Warrior develops, fields, and sustains integrated Soldier-worn systems for Army aviators. The Air Warrior leverages Joint technology efforts to create a holistic and modular system that increases freedom of movement at flight controls, increases mobility to safely operate aircraft systems, facilitates rapid aircraft ingress and egress, and increases effective mission duration for aircrews in extreme heat environments. Air Warrior enhances crew member protection and provides improved survivability in hostile environmental conditions and escape and evasion situations.

Army Combat Uniform (ACU)

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Can you explain the process of how you redesigned the uniform?

Soldier feedback was used to incorporate changes. The changes are being introduced in the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) at the same time as the Operational Camouflage Pattern.


What, in your mind, are the most important improvements?

The key improvements of the ACU are:

  • Modification of the Mandarin-collar design. Removed hook-and-loop closure. Removed the collar flap and replaced it with a fold-down collar.
  • Removed internal elbow pads and hook-and-loop closures. Retained double fabric reinforcement.
  • Shoulder pocket deepened, replacement of hook-and-loop closure with zipper.
  • Change in friend or foe infrared (IR) reflector closure.
  • Change in pen pocket from three to two channels.
  • Removed internal knee pouches with hook-and-loop closure. Retained double fabric reinforcement.
  • Removed drawstring from trouser waistband.
  • Removed cord-and-barrel lock from trouser pocket.
  • Removed hook-and-loop closure of lower leg calf pocket from the trouser.


When will Soldiers be able to get the ACU in Operational Camouflage Pattern?

Soldiers will be able to buy and wear Operational Camouflage Pattern ACUs at select Military Clothing Sales Stores (MCSS) starting July 1, 2015. The Army will issue incoming Soldiers the Operational Camouflage Pattern for their clothing bag after January 2016.


How will the uniform change be introduced?

Starting July 1, 2015, and until the mandatory wear date of Oct. 1, 2019, Soldiers will be allowed to wear three different uniforms in garrison: the ACU in Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), the ACU in the Operational Camouflage Pattern, and the Flame Resistant ACU (FRACU) in Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OEFCP). During this period, Soldiers may wear Sand T-shirts, boots and belts with any of the three patterns. Soldiers can wear the Tan 499 T-shirts and belts and the Coyote Brown boots only with the OEFCP or Operational Camouflage Pattern ACUs.


Will the Accessories to the ACU change?

The Army will also change the currently worn Sand color T-shirt and belt to a Tan 499. Additionally, the Army Combat Boots (ACB) will change from Sand color to Coyote Brown. The Tan 499 belts and T-shirts will be available in select MCSS beginning in July 2015 while the Coyote Brown ACBs will be available in August 2015.


Why was the camo of the uniform changed?

The Army employed its most extensive scientific study of uniform camouflage and determined that the Operational Camouflage Pattern provides superior concealment.


What are the uniforms made of?

The ACU is made of a rip-stop fabric that is a blend of 50 percent cotton and 50 percent nylon, and then treated with a wrinkle-free finish.


What governed ACU design?

The ACU is a warrior uniform. It's a uniform designed by Soldiers. The goal was not to change the look of the Army. The goal was to find a more functional uniform.


Who is making the uniforms and in what plants?

The ACU will be made wholly in plants throughout the United States. The process will allow competitive bids on the contracts, affording companies to have equal opportunities to obtain contract award for the ACU.


How much will the new ACU cost?

The cost of the Operational Camouflage Pattern ACU will be similar to that of the UCP ACU but final costs have not yet been determined.


What is the predicted lifetime of the new uniforms?

Current wear-out rate for the ACU is six months.


What will happen to old stocks of the old uniform?

They will be issued until exhausted based on a mandatory possession date in 2019.


Is there a regulation that governs the wearing of the new ACU?

Army Regulation (AR) 670-1 covers the wear of all Army uniforms. It has been re-written to cover the wearing of the ACU. You may obtain a copy of the AR 670-1 by visiting this link.


My Soldiers are going out and purchasing “knock-off ACUs” on their own. Is there an authorized source my Soldiers may use to purchase ACUs until they become available in The Exchange stores, and how can I tell that a “knock-off” uniform is authentic?

There are no authorized or certified sources for commercial ACUs made to the official specifications. The only authorized specification-compliant ACUs are produced for Government contracts. If a Soldier wasn't issued an ACU by the Army, then it isn't specification compliant since no authorized commercial sales have been made. After Jan. 1, 2016, Military Clothing Sales Stores (MCSS) will be the only sources authorized to sell specification-compliant ACUs.

Each uniform the Army issues or the MCSS sells should have two tags. One tag near the collar states the size. The second tag located somewhere else on the uniform specifies a government contract number along with a National Stock Number (NSN) and care instructions. Valid ACU government contract numbers either start with “SPO” (awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency/Defense Supply Center Philadelphia) or with “W911QY” (awarded by the contracting office at Natick, Mass., on behalf of the Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment).

No guidance has been issued from Headquarters, Department of the Army that precludes a Soldier from buying a “knock-off” ACU other than the requirement in AR 670-1 that Soldiers wear specification-compliant uniforms. However, the government cannot certify the authenticity of the ACUs Soldiers may be procuring on their own. Any Soldier thinking about buying an ACU from a source other than the MCSS should consider the following:

  • The uniform may not meet appearance standards and specifications per the Army Regulation for wear and appearance.
  • The uniform may not meet durability and wear specifications (i.e., seams may fail, color may fade, material may not be constructed properly leading to tearing, ripping, or development of holes).
  • Since there is no contract number in the “knock-off ACU,” the Army, or MCSS, is not obligated to sustain or exchange a defective uniform (uniform warranty is void).

Army Certification Program

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What is the Army Certification Program?

The Army Certification Program was developed by PEO Soldier to evaluate commercial gear to determine if it is acceptable for use by Soldiers in combat. While the Army strives to issue the best gear to our Soldiers, we recognize that many Soldiers augment the gear they are issued with personally purchased items. In such instances, PEO Soldier became concerned that Soldiers may not have sufficient information in order to make a choice on what to buy other than just appearance.

By subjecting commercial items to the performance and testing standards of issue gear, PEO Soldier is able to determine which items will perform satisfactorily. Items which successfully pass such an evaluation are authorized as acceptable for combat use.


What happens when an item is authorized?

PEO Soldier is developing Authorized Products Lists (APLs) for certain types of gear. When an item is authorized, it is placed on the APL. The APLs are published on the PEO Website, furnished to the Army/Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), and communicated to Army commands.

In addition, authorized items are marked with the US Army logo with the words "Team Soldier Certified Gear". This is a trademarked logo which allows Soldiers to know at a glance that an item has been authorized.


Will all authorized gear have the logo?

Eventually, all gear on PEO Soldier Authorized Products Lists will have the logo incorporated into the packaging and on the item. The logo design was only recently approved, so manufacturers are currently working to incorporate the logo onto their items.


Does this mean PEO Soldier guarantees the items?

No. The authorization means that when PEO Soldier evaluated the item, it met performance criteria necessary to be included on the APL. In order to remain on the APL, a vendor cannot change the design, material, or manufacturing process of that item. This does not mean that PEO Soldier is guaranteeing the item.


What Authorized Product Lists have been developed?

The first list was the Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL®), which details which commercial ballistic protective eyewear has been certified.

The Flame Resistant Combat Glove Authorized Product List details combat gloves which have been certified to meet flame resistance requirements.

The Authorized Family of Flashlights List is being finalized. It will detail basic handheld, tactical; hands free, and weapons lights which have been certified.


How is it decided what items need an APL?

PEO Soldier works closely with representatives from the Army Schools, and AAFES to determine for which items an APL would best benefit Soldiers. We also receive feedback from Soldiers and Army commands to help establish the APLs.


Where can we find authorized gear?

AAFES is provided the various APLs in order to stock those items for Soldier purchase. Posters are placed in the AAFES stores which provide details on the APL items, including pictures of each item. APL items are clearly identified, and segregated from non-authorized items to preclude confusion. In addition, APL vendors may elect to sell their authorized products in other commercial retail stores.


How can I know if an item sold in a retail store is authorized?

Vendors selling authorized items in commercial retail stores may use the logo on the item and in their advertising. The logo will be the way Soldiers can verify that the item is authorized. Vendors using the logo for commercial retail sale of authorized items will require a License and Royalty Agreement with the US Army.


What is the advantage of buying authorized gear?

When Soldiers buy authorized gear, they know that the item has been examined by PEO Soldier and judged safe and effective for use. They know that the item has been subjected to the same requirements and standards as issue gear. They also know that they are not buying "knock-off" items that may look okay, but do not meet the necessary functional characteristics.


Does this "knock-off" protection apply only to APL items?

No. The current market place abounds with clothing and individual equipment which looks like issue gear, but is substandard in use. PEO Soldier recognized that using the logo could also be a way to help protect Soldiers from buying "knock-off" items represented as "Mil-Spec".


What issue gear will have the logo?

PEO Soldier plans to incorporate the logo into the new Army Combat Shirt. As the Certification Program grows, the logo will be introduced into other gear as deemed appropriate.


What if someone puts the logo on a "knock-off" item?

PEO Soldier, working with Army Legal Services, will take action to ensure that only actual authorized items have the logo. A range and series of actions will be taken against any fraudulent use of the logo.


Are all APL items Berry Compliant?

The Approved Products List (APL) is provided for informational purposes only, regarding items which conform to technical requirements for Soldier use. The APL may carry non-Berry compliant products to provide individual Soldiers as many options as possible to make their own best value decisions when buying products for their personal use. Contracting officers are reminded that clothing and textile items (purchased in amounts greater than $100,000), even those on any Approved Products List “APL,” are required to comply with domestic origin restrictions in “Berry” Title 10 USC 2533a. This is true even if items are certified for performance specifications under “Team Soldier U.S. Army Certified Gear Program”. There is an exception for items purchased for resale by Post Exchanges, Commissaries and Non-appropriated funds. Further, government procurement of clothing and textile items should be made through the integrated material manager IMM, Defense Logistics Agency, per DFARS 208.70, unless DLA grants an exception.

Batteries for your Sensors, Lasers, and Precision Targeting Devices

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How much money can I/my unit save using AA lithium L91 batteries?

The cost for both L91 and alkaline AA batteries can vary. On average you can purchase L91s for $1.40 - $2.50ea. Alkaline batteries on average can be purchased for $.60 -$1.00 each. However, because L91 batteries last significantly longer, you would have to purchase three times the number of alkaline batteries to get similar run times.


What are the differences between AA lithium L91 batteries, standard alkaline batteries, and rechargeable batteries?

Lithium L91 AA batteries provide three to five times the system battery life of conventional alkaline AAs. A longer battery life means fewer batteries you’ll have to buy, carry and store for your mission. In addition, the L91 itself actually weighs 1/3 less than a standard alkaline battery, which means reduced shipping costs and reduced weight in your rucksack. Another benefit is that the L91 operates at extreme temperatures from -40° to 140°F, where standard alkaline batteries won’t.

While L91 AA lithium batteries cannot be recharged, alkaline NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries are permitted for training and are not intended for combat environments.

  • Rechargeable batteries require carrying a charging station and access to a standard power source which may be scarce in many combat environments.
  • Rechargeable batteries have an unstable power curve and may lose their capability to hold a full charge over time, therefore they are not a reliable power source for sensors, lasers, and precision targeting devices in combat environments.

In high drain equipment such as thermal sensors and other night vision devices, lithium batteries are far superior in performance over rechargeable and alkaline sources. Using anything other than the lithium batteries may result in mission requirements not being met.


Are AA lithium L91 batteries and AA alkaline batteries interchangeable?

Although AA alkaline batteries will power the system, the Low Battery Indicator (LBI) is programmed to work with AA lithium L91 batteries and won’t work properly with the AA alkaline battery. The AA lithium L91 battery was selected as the primary battery because of the significantly longer battery life, which means Soldiers have to carry far fewer batteries to complete a mission with fewer battery changes.


Can I use L91’s in other products?

Yes. The L91 will work with any system that requires a AA battery.


How do different battery voltages effect my equipment?

Using a different voltage than what your TM states will actually damage the equipment. If the system uses 4 batteries the AA 1.5 volt lithium L91s would provide a total of 6 volts. Using non TM recommended AA lithium 3.6 volt batteries would provide 14.4 volts and could likely damage components in the system. Bottom line: Research your system requirements first.


Can a mix of AA alkaline and AA lithium L91 batteries be used in electronic systems?

It’s not recommended to mix different types of batteries due to the fact that the system will perform to the limits of the weaker battery. The alkaline will drain much faster than the L91 and cause the system to stop working as designed. Additionally, there are reports that indicate that mixing the brand of lithium batteries may result in undesired system heating.


Where can I buy AA lithium L91 batteries?

Alkaline AA batteries are readily available both in commercial and government markets. The AA lithium battery (NSN 6135-01-333-6101) likewise is widely available in the commercial and government market (ie. Walmart, PX, GSA).


What is the supply process to obtain AA lithium L91 batteries?

You can order AA lithium L91 batteries the same way you order alkaline AA batteries using standard base supply (GSA website AA lithium L91 batteries NSN 6135-01-333-6101

6135-01-333-6101 (12 per package)


What is the shelf life of the AA lithium L91 batteries?

The shelf life of the AA lithium (L91) battery is 15 years from date of manufacture. Although, some packages of AA lithium (L91) batteries are mismarked with a 5 year shelf life, the correct shelf life is 15 years from date of manufacture.


What is the battery life of the AA lithium L91 Battery per system?

The below data sourced from a Technical Manual (TM) is representative of one particular sensors’ performance using alkaline and L91 lithium batteries. Check your TM for each system’s requirements and performance data.

Ambient Temp °F -40.0° 77.0° 120.2°
L91 Lithium Batteries
71% Standby Mode 6.9 hrs 5.7 hrs 13.8 hrs 9.2 hrs 13.8 hrs 9.2 hrs
Emergency Mode 4.5 hrs 4.0 hrs 9.0 hrs 6.5 hrs 9.0 hrs 6.5 hrs
Alkaline Batteries
71% Standby Mode 1.5 hrs 0.6 hrs 11.2 hrs 3.6 hrs 12.0 hrs 4.7 hrs
Emergency Mode 1.0 hrs 0.4 hrs 7.3 hrs 2.6 hrs 7.9 hrs 3.3 hrs

Can I use rechargeable batteries for my equipment?

Yes, however equipment run times will be greatly degraded, and therefore may not meet mission requirements. The range of operational environments is diminished by using rechargeable batteries as they lack the cold weather capability of lithium batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are intended for training scenarios and should not be taken to a combat theatre for sensors, lasers and precision targeting devices. Rechargeable batteries require a charging station and power source which can be difficult to locate in many combat environments.

However, please refer to your sensor, laser and precision targeting equipment technical manual (TM) for specific information on the use of rechargeable batteries in training scenarios.


What future Soldier battery/power solutions are you working on?

Our current solution to decreasing Soldier load, and optimizing sensor, laser, and precision targeting device performance utilizes lithium L91 batteries. However, we are closely working with our sister-PM, PM Soldier Warrior, to develop the next generation of interoperable rechargeable power sources for a variety high-drain equipment, to potentially include future Soldier sensors and lasers.


How do lithium batteries perform in cold weather, or extreme temperatures?

An additional benefit of the lithium L91 battery is its performance in extreme temperatures from -40°F to 140°F. Standard alkaline batteries simply weren’t designed to perform in those extremes.

While cold temperatures diminish the capability of any battery, lithium battery chemistry is much more resistant to these losses. Lithium is the only AA battery that will effectively power most equipment in arctic conditions. At -40°C, the L91 lithium AA battery has over 10 times the lifespan of its alkaline counterpart.


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What is the APEL list?

The Authorized Protective Eyewear List (APEL) is a Qualified Product List (QPL) of commercially available protective eyewear. Only eyewear passing the Army’s stringent ballistic fragmentation (MIL-PRF 32432 and ANSI Z87.1) makes the list. Protective sunglasses also provide ultraviolet (UV) protection. Army officials update the APEL on a regular basis. APEL-qualified eyewear will carry the APEL logo on the eyewear itself.


Why can’t I wear safety-rated eyewear not on the APEL list?

Eyewear can meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and still not measure up for military use. Officials test every piece of APEL-approved eyewear to ensure it provides Soldiers the right amount of protection. It does not matter what protection an eyewear manufacturer claims. It does not matter who makes the eyewear. It does not matter if The Exchange or Military Clothing Sales Stores sell the eyewear. What matters is the eyewear must be APEL-approved for Soldiers to wear it. If eyewear does not carry the APEL logo, it is UNAUTHORIZED for wear.


Why does the Army insist Soldiers wear protective eyewear?

Soldiers depend on their eyes, which dirt, debris, loose branches, ultraviolet, as well as ballistic fragmentation can easily injure. That is why Army-approved protective eyewear is necessary. Statistics from recent conflicts show that roughly 10 percent of Soldiers suffered eye injuries. Protective eyewear can greatly reduce that number.


What about protection against lasers?

Where laser protection is required, Soldiers should continue to use Special Purpose Eyewear Cylindrical System (SPECS), Ballistic Laser Protective Spectacles (BLPS), Sun Wind Dust Goggle (SWDG), or replacement products specifically approved for laser protection by Project Manager Soldier Protective Equipment (PM SPE).


What if you need prescription lenses?

By checking the information on this website or an up to date APEL poster, Soldiers can learn which eyewear is prescription (RX) capable. Soldiers who require a prescription may obtain the appropriate prescription insert for their device through their garrison optometry clinic, deployed optometry clinic, or medical support section. Deployed Soldiers may also obtain a replacement prescription through the Government Eyewear System (G-Eyes). Soldiers should use a military optometry clinic to obtain the proper prescription lens carriers for their APEL eyewear.


How can a unit order APEL eyewear?

Units may order APEL eyewear through the supply system with the eyewear’s corresponding National Stock Number (NSN). Soldiers can find the eyewear NSNs on the APEL poster. NSNs for replacement components are also available. Soldiers can find the complete spare parts listing per eyewear by selecting the individual eyewear from the eyewear webpage.


The current APEL list does not include an eyewear previously authorized and issued. Is the eyewear still authorized?

If Soldiers received the issued eyewear at Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI), provided by the unit or purchased from military clothing sales store in accordance with the published Military Combat Eye Protection (MCEP) APEL list at the time, the eyewear is still good. However, the expected life cycle for protective eyewear lenses is approximately six months. The typical shelf life on Army MCEP items is five years. Depending on the state of serviceability of eyewear, Soldiers may need to either acquire a new set of lenses or replace the eyewear they have.

Flame Resistant Army Combat Uniform - Permethrin (FR ACU-P)

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Why is the Army issuing permethrin factory-treated FR ACUs?

The Army is committed to fully protecting Soldiers. Factory-treated uniforms provide the most consistent protection from diseases transmitted by insects or ticks, such as malaria and leishmaniasis — more than 60 diseases in all. Some of these vector-borne diseases can be fatal, and there are vaccines against only a few. Wearing this factory-treated uniform can literally save Soldiers’ lives. Permethrin-treated uniforms, permethrin-treated bed nets, and topical insect repellents (DEET), provide the best, most thorough protection available anywhere against vector-borne diseases. Issuing uniforms treated with permethrin, as opposed to the current practice of Soldiers applying the permethrin to their uniforms, eliminates the most likely risk of direct exposure to the chemical, including improper application; accidental eye, skin, or ingestion exposure, and overuse. The Army began with factory-treatment of the FR ACU-P (the Universal Camouflage Pattern and the OEF Camouflage Pattern (OCP, aka Multicam) respectively) to provide the best protection to our deployed forces. Future plans include factory-treatment of the non flame resistant Army Combat Uniform (ACU).


What is permethrin, and how does it work?

Permethrin is a synthetic repellent that mimics natural compounds found in chrysanthemum flowers and is effective against mosquitoes, ticks, sand flies, and other biting arthropods. Permethrin irritates the sensory receptors in their legs and feet. An insect or bug that lands on a permethrin-treated uniform is immediately agitated, and crawls or flies away.


Does permethrin cause cancer?

There is no epidemiological evidence to suggest that permethrin causes cancer in humans. Permethrin underwent more than 15 years of testing and literally hundreds of toxicity studies before the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved it for use as a fabric treatment. The EPA asked a group of independent experts to review the data and assess the cancer-causing potential of permethrin; this panel concluded that: “…based on all the data together …the possibility of [cancer caused by permethrin] in man was extremely remote.” The National Academy of Sciences also reviewed the data and stated: “…the subcommittee concludes that permethrin-impregnation of [Battle Dress Uniforms] is not a serious carcinogenic risk to field or non-field military personnel or to garment workers.”


What are the known toxicities of permethrin?

The bulk of the research on permethrin has studied the effects of liquid chemical applied or fed to animals, the exposures with the greatest risk. It is important to note that Soldiers wearing a permethrin-treated uniform are not exposed in this way; they have a far lower exposure.

The National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology, in a 1994 report on health effects of permethrin-impregnated uniforms, found that:

  • Although highly toxic to arthropods, permethrin is one of the least toxic insecticides to mammals.
  • The LD50 (acute oral lethal dose for 50 percent of the subjects) using aqueous suspensions of concentrated permethrin in experimental animals is from 3 to 4 grams per kilogram (kg) body weight. For comparison:
    • Ibuprofen is 6 to 8 times more toxic (LD50 0.5 grams per kg).
    • Caffeine is 15 to 20 times more toxic (LD50 about 0.2 grams per kg).

A few people might be hypersensitive to permethrin-treated uniforms and thus develop skin sensitization. Permethrin is classified as EPA Category IV (practically nontoxic) in terms of its potential for dermal irritation.

At extremely high doses, permethrin is neurotoxic. However, there is no way for a person wearing a factory-treated uniform to even remotely approach this dose.


What research supports the safety of permethrin?

Permethrin underwent more than 15 years of testing and hundreds of studies to meet EPA, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and US Department of Agriculture requirements to license these products. The EPA is constantly updating its review process to address changing technology as well as health and environmental concerns. Industry, academia, government, and foreign laboratories conduct new research to evaluate the safety of permethrin in regards to changes in application and material technology. The EPA renewed the DoD’s permethrin clothing application registration in 2006 after considering all the new studies and information.

The Army has used permethrin for over 20 years to treat Soldiers’ uniforms with “no observed or anecdotal reports of adverse reactions,” according to the Army Surgeon General (Memorandum, DASG-PPM-SA, “Permethrin Treated Uniforms,” 8 April 2008). Independent agencies, including the National Research Council Committee on Toxicology, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Family Physicians, and the EPA, all agree that Soldiers who wear uniforms treated with permethrin at doses approved for factory treatment (fabric impregnation concentration of 0.52% weight of permethrin/weight of fabric) are unlikely to experience adverse health effects.


Should I be concerned about exposing my family members to permethrin-treated uniforms?

“There appears to be little potential, if any, for either military or civilian personnel to become exposed as a result of the process of laundering impregnated uniforms,” the National Research Council Committee on Toxicology concluded in its 1994 report. Permethrin sticks to the uniform fabric quite tightly; therefore, if you are holding your clothed child or infant, there is minimal opportunity for them to absorb permethrin from the treated uniform.


Does that mean permethrin is safe for infants and children?

The EPA has approved the production of permethrin-impregnated children’s clothing for the civilian market. In addition, the FDA has licensed permethrin-containing shampoo for control of head lice on children. Safety tests were extensively conducted prior to the approval of these products and the risk was determined to be insignificant.


What if I am pregnant or nursing? Will wearing a permethrin-treated FR ACU harm my baby?

In 2003, an independent panel of toxicologists, working together as the Subcommittee to Review Permethrin Toxicity from Military Uniforms, investigated the possible reproductive and developmental toxicity of permethrin. After reviewing the results of studies conducted on a variety of mammal species, this subcommittee concluded that exposure to permethrin from wearing treated uniforms is unlikely to cause harmful effects to fetuses or newborns. In 2003, the EPA agreed with these findings and approved commercial sale of outdoor clothing treated with permethrin for children of all ages and pregnant women. The CDC also considers permethrin-treated clothing to be safe for wear by nursing women.


Should people with hypersensitive skin or allergies be concerned with side affects resulting from exposure to permethrin?

No significant skin effects are expected from wearing permethrin-treated clothing. After four years of issuing treated uniforms, the Marine Corps hasn't received any reports of skin rash, so it’s safe to say that even this minor health risk is highly unlikely. Studies in animals have demonstrated that no skin irritation or sensitization should be expected following the direct application of liquid permethrin. In a controlled human study, permethrin did not cause significant skin irritation or sensitization when tested on 200 subjects.


What about pets? Will it hurt a cat to sleep on top of the FR ACU-P, for instance? What if a puppy chews on it?

Permethrin-treated clothing should not cause any harm to your dogs or cats. All reports of permethrin toxicity in cats trace back to the misuse of concentrated liquid permethrin that is not labeled for use on cats.


What are the advantages of factory-treated uniforms over individually treated uniforms?

Factory treatment results in a more consistent application of permethrin compared to individual treatment methods; this improved application therefore provides better protection. Factory treatment also eliminates a potential risk of Soldier exposure by eliminating the need for Soldiers to apply liquid permethrin products. In fact, it eliminates the need for Soldiers to think about treating the FR ACU at all. Factory treatment is the only effective option for treating the FR ACU, because self-applied liquid permethrin products are not absorbed easily into the fabric of the FR ACU or other FR uniforms, which results in patches of inadequate protection.


How common is the process of treating uniforms or other outer garments?

Permethrin for treating uniforms has been available in the Army supply system since the early 1990s. As the only pesticide registered by the EPA to treat fabrics for protection against biting arthropods, permethrin is also widely available at sporting goods and outdoor retailers for treating clothing and gear. In addition, well-known companies sell outdoor factory permethrin-impregnated gear and clothing. FR ACU-Ps are factory treated by the same companies that produce treated clothing for the civilian market.

The CDC, World Health Organization, American College of Family Physicians, and other national and international health organizations all advocate the use of permethrin-treated clothing as a method of preventing vector-borne disease. The EPA, the National Academy of Sciences, the US Army Surgeon General, and the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps all approved permethrin treatment of clothing. Since March of 2007, the US Marine Corps has sold and issued factory-treated Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniforms. Other military organizations that make use of permethrin factory-treated uniforms are the US Navy and Air Force, and the Canadian, British, German, and Australian militaries.


Will the FR ACU-P smell like a chemical lab?

The new uniforms won’t have any smell because the factory treatment allows for the direct application of permethrin. The permethrin treatment is invisible, odorless, colorless, and does not change the feel of the uniform. The smell created by the self-application of permethrin was the result of it being suspended in another chemical. The factory treatment process does not use this other chemical.


Will the permethrin wash off my factory-treated FR ACU and transfer to other clothes if I launder them together?

With the modern technology used to factory-treat FR ACUs with permethrin, only a very small amount of repellent will leave the uniform when laundered. In laboratory studies conducted to date, only tiny amounts of permethrin residues have transferred to untreated clothing during laundering. However, just as you would not wash work clothes with non-duty apparel, permethrin factory-treated FR ACUs should be laundered according to the hang tag label which states, “Wash separately from other clothing. May be laundered with other clothing when in field or combat situations.”


What are some of the threats Soldiers face by NOT wearing treated uniforms?

Soldiers who do not wear treated uniforms on deployment are at greater risk of becoming ill, developing long-term health problems, or even dying from a disease transmitted by a biting insect or tick. Vaccines are not available against most of these diseases; for these, the implementation of Personal Protective Measures (PPMs), such as the wearing of permethrin-treated clothing and use of insect repellent are the only defense.

Although vector control programs are effective in reducing insect populations and slowing the transmission of disease, rapidly moving military units cannot wait for pesticide programs to be implemented, and spraying is impossible in areas under enemy control. Deployed US personnel are not routinely exposed to vector-borne diseases in the United States and, therefore, are at increased risk of developing severe cases of those diseases.


What proof exists that supports the effectiveness of permethrin-treated uniforms in preventing disease?

This is an ongoing process and we continue to add to our knowledge. For example, a 1990 Army evaluation reported 97 percent fewer ticks on permethrin-impregnated uniforms than were found on untreated uniforms. Other findings:

  • Each year, a few Cadets at the United States Military Academy contracted Lyme disease during field training, even though they had been given the Individual Dynamic Absorption (IDA) kits to treat their uniforms with permethrin. Beginning in 2002, the Cadets were issued factory-treated uniforms, and in 2003 the number of cases of Lyme disease in Cadets dropped to zero. We are searching for the case breakdown for ensuing years at West Point.
  • In a study in Colombia in 1995, Soldiers going on patrol were issued either treated or untreated uniforms. Three of 86 Soldiers wearing treated uniforms (3 percent) contracted malaria, whereas 12 of 86 (14 percent) wearing untreated uniforms contracted malaria.
  • A 2008 civilian Lyme disease study in Connecticut concluded that use of protective (permethrin-impregnated) clothing is effective in preventing Lyme disease.

    What research has occurred to study the health effects of long-term exposure to permethrin?

    No long-term permethrin-treated clothing study has been initiated by either military or civilian researchers since the EPA registered permethrin fabric impregnation in 1991. The standard scientific practice is to conduct short-term studies and use that information to calculate the possible long-term exposure. These calculations are compared with established safety limits to estimate the long-term risk. Several organizations verified these processes and the findings from these short-term studies. They confirm that no long-term risk is expected from permethrin-treated clothing, based on the available information.


    Will permethrin leave the treated uniform and enter your skin? How harmful is that?

    All substances that contact the skin surface are absorbed to some extent, whether they are fabric finishes, cosmetics, sunscreens, or insect repellents. Studies performed by the US Army have shown that about 0.5 percent per day of the permethrin in fabric may reach the skin surface of the wearer. A 1992 study performed by H.L. Snodgrass determined that during the first week of wear, permethrin is released (called “leaching”) from the uniform fabric to the skin surface at a rate of 0.5 percent per day. Since skin absorption of permethrin in humans is less than 2 percent, this is a negligible absorbed dose. Also, a study conducted in Germany in 2007 showed that the tiny amount of permethrin absorbed through the skin is quickly broken down and excreted in urine.


    Have there been reports of increased cases of mosquito- or tick-related diseases in Soldiers?

    In recent years, deployments to CENTCOM area of operations have exposed thousands of Soldiers to diseases not present in the United States, to include vector-borne diseases. Leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted by infected sand flies, was reported in over 4,000 Soldiers deployed to the Middle East/Africa from 2003-2009. Additionally, more than 130 cases per month were diagnosed early in the 2003 Iraq invasion. Over the past 6 years, the incidence of reported tick-borne and mosquito-borne disease in the United States population has increased over the past 25 years.


    Will the FR ACU-P eliminate the need for Soldiers to wear DEET and use other personal protection measures?

    Soldiers wearing FR ACUs should continue to properly protect themselves against insect bites and diseases by complying to the maximum extent possible with DoD policy, as outlined in Health Affairs Policy 07–007. Commanders must emphasize PPMs, which include proper wear of the uniform and the use of insect repellents. Soldiers should still:

    • Wear the uniform sleeves rolled down; close all openings in clothing that might let insects in; tuck pants into boots and undershirt into pants; and keep the uniform loose, because some insects, such as mosquitoes, can bite through fabric that is pulled tight against the skin. In short, the uniform serves as a physical barrier against pests.
    • Apply a thin coat of DEET lotion to all areas of exposed skin.
    • Sleep or rest under a permethrin-treated bed net.
    • Take malaria prophylaxis pills if directed to do so by the medical authority.
    • Do not use aftershave lotion, cologne, perfume, or scented deodorants or soaps while in the field; they may attract insects.
    • Wash and inspect your body for insects and their bites daily, or as often as the tactical situation permits.
    • Use the buddy system to check your clothing for ticks.
    • Wash your uniform routinely to remove any pests and their eggs.

    Whom can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

    Contact your local Preventive Medicine Service/Army Public Health Command Regional Support Staff. E-mail inquiries concerning the DoD Insect Repellent System and PPMs to the DoD Pesticide Hotline at or via commercial telephone 410-436-3773 / DSN 584-3773. Additional information is available from the DoD Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) Website at If the AFPMB Website does not suffice to answer specific questions, contact the AFPMB, Contingency Liaison Officer by calling DSN 295-8312 or commercial 301-295-8312; or by writing to AFPMB, ATTN: Contingency Liaison Officer, Forest Glen Annex, Bldg 172, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20307-5001.


    When will Soldiers start receiving the FR ACU-P?

    July 2010 commenced the Army’s issuance of the FR ACU-P. Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, the acquisition agency responsible for developing, fielding, and acquiring nearly everything a Soldier wears or carries, is the organization issuing the FR ACU-P. Soldiers will receive FR ACU-P issue through the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI). The FR ACU-P will be available through Army Direct Ordering (ADO) if the uniform is damaged or destroyed in Theater. This is the case for the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), but not for the “Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern” - called OCP for short and otherwise known as the “MultiCam” worn by Soldiers in Afghanistan. The factory-treated OCP uniforms, which are and will remain in high demand for the next several months, are not currently available through ADO.


    How many of the FR ACU-P will each Soldier receive?

    Commencing July 2010, deploying Soldiers currently receive four FR ACU-P as specified by TRADOC and Service Requirements Documents. Each Soldier will receive four sets of FR ACU-P (pattern dependent upon deployment area) and four Army Combat Shirts.


    Does permethrin reduce the FR properties?

    Permethrin has absolutely no effect on the uniform’s flame-resistant properties. System-level and bench-top testing have verified no degradation of FR performance for the FR ACU, Improved Combat Vehicle Coverall (iCVC), and the Army Aviation Combat Uniform (A2CU).


    How long does the factory treatment last?

    A single factory treatment will protect a Soldier from bug bites through 50 launderings, the estimated field life of the uniform. Beyond this point, the uniform still provides protection, but not as much (below 90 percent). However, this still meets the Core Soldier System Capabilities Document threshold (70% bite protection out to 50 launderings).


    How can deploying Soldiers differentiate between factory permethrin-treated and untreated FR ACUs?

    Treated and untreated FR ACUs look identical on the outside. The FR ACU-P is distinguished from other uniforms by factory sewn labels on the inside of the blouse and trouser indicating permethrin treatment.


    What about the non Flame Resistant ACU? Is the Army going to start factory-treating the ACU with permethrin, too? Or will Soldiers assigned stateside continue to wear the current ACU with the current methods of permethrin application?

    Permethrin factory-treatment is scheduled to begin for all ACUs starting in 2012. Soldiers probably will not start to see the ACU-P until 2013. All Soldiers get four ACUs in their clothing bag, and will receive the permethrin factory-treated ACU in the same manner. Until factory-treated ACUs become standard issue, Soldiers can treat ACUs using the Individual Dynamic Absorption (IDA) Kit (NSN 6840-01-345-0237) or the Aerosol Can (NSN 6840-01-278-1336) method. At the unit level, treat ACUs with permethrin via DoD-certified applicators and a two-gallon sprayer (NSN 6840-01-334-2666) or contract with industry professionals to treat in accordance with the US EPA-approved permethrin label.


    What is the proper way to dispose of the FR ACU-P after it is no longer serviceable?

    The FR ACU-P label states “dispose of garment in trash.” This indicates that the permethrin-treated FR ACU-P can simply be deposited in the trash and requires no special disposal procedures according to the EPA. However, based on operational security, the Army will look into adjusting the label language to include proper disposal according to Unit/Command/Theater policy.

    Land Warrior

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    What is the "Land Warrior"?

    Land Warrior (LW) is a first generation modular, integrated fighting system for the individual infantryman and those Soldiers in the close fight supporting the infantry. The LW system includes everything the dismounted Soldier wears and carries integrated into a close combat fighting system which enhances his tactical awareness, lethality, and survivability.


    Who is building the Land Warrior?

    The systems integration for the Land Warrior is being managed by Program Executive Office Soldier's Project Manager Soldier Warrior and Product Manager Ground Soldier. PM Ground Soldier oversees General Dynamics C4S as the prime contractor.


    How will the Land Warrior System be powered?

    The Land Warrior System will be battery powered using batteries.

    Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment

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    What is the Advanced Combat Helmet?

    The ACH is .5 lb. lighter than the Ground Troop and Parachutist Helmet and provides fragmentation and ballistic protection. This helmet is cut higher all around the helmet, to reduce interference with the Interceptor Body Armor and MOLLE Rucksack. It also allows for greater mobility, especially in the low-crawl position, and allows for greater hearing ability. Comfort is improved due in part to the lighter weight, as well as the padded suspension system making the helmet more stable.


    What is the Ground Troop and Parachutist Helmet?

    Also known as the Personal Armor System for Ground Troops, the PASGT Helmet provides ballistic protection against fragmenting munitions. It has a small visor and contains a cradle suspension system. Additional components are available to improve impact protection between the helmet shell and head as well as parachutist retention straps to ensure the helmet does not roll forward off the head during airborne operations.


    What is the Soldier Intercom System?

    The Soldier Intercom is a handheld-type VHS short range two-way radio with whisper headset intended for squad members to enhance verbal and non-verbal communications during night, urban or heavily wooded operations when lines of visibility are obstructed. The system also includes a carrying case and support components to program up to 32 channels and perform battery charging and life expectancy maintenance.


    What is the Tubular Hydration System?

    The Tubular Hydration System integrates in the MOLLE Rucksack/Assault Pack and allows for hands-free, on-the-move hydration. The water pouch can hold up to 70 ounces.


    What is the Interceptor Body Armor?

    The Interceptor Body Armor is a combination of an Outer Tactical Vest and ceramic Small Arms Protective Insert plates. The Outer Tactical Vest stops fragmentation, as well as handgun rounds. The front and back ceramic plates are able to stop multiple rifle rounds.


    What is the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE)?

    The MOLLE vest is a modular system consisting of a load carrying vest, multiple packs and pouches that can be configured and tailored to suit the user's need and mission requirements. It includes a Tubular Hydration System and is compatible with Interceptor Body Armor. The front of the vest contains webbing that allows for ammunition, first aid, canteen, grenade and radio pouches to be attached to it. This same webbing is found on the front of the Interceptor Body Armor. Therefore, if the MOLLE is not needed during certain missions, Soldiers can transfer their pouches to the Interceptor Body Armor. The Main rucksack, Assault Pack, Combat Butt Pack and NBC Equipment bag have the same lacing system to allow “plug and play" attachment of any of the pockets and pouches.


    What is the Nomex Flyer's Glove?

    Nomex Flyer's Gloves are snug fitting thin gloves constructed of flame resistant Nomex and leather to provide outstanding tactility and flash fire protection and basic anti-contact/temperate environmental protection.


    What are the Knee and Elbow Pads?

    The Knee and Elbow Pads are a Commercial Off-the-Shelf Technology that the Army has procured to compliment their fielded equipment items. These allow for elbow and knee joint protection when Soldiers are crawling on the ground, or dropping to the ground.


    What is the Desert Battle Dress Uniform (BDU)?

    The Desert BDU is a 3-color pattern of tan, brown and sage jacket and trousers. This type of pattern makes it harder for the enemy to detect the outline of the Soldier among his surroundings day or night. Permethrim insect protection is impregnated in the fabric to reduce the occurrences of insect bites.


    What are the Desert Combat Boots?

    The Desert Combat Boots were designed during the first Gulf War. They are a tan variant of the black Enhanced Hot Weather (jungle) Boot with a 100% rubber sole for comfort on soft sand and hot weather construction for ventilation. The DCB is extremely effective in hot sandy environments.


    What are the Air Force Desert Flyer's Boots?

    The AF Desert Flyer's Boots are a tan version of the recently adopted black Infantry Combat Boot. They have a waterproof breathable liner and composite sole construction for impact protection and durability against more rugged terrain. The AF DFB is significantly more suitable to high mountainous desert and lower temperatures.

    Soldier Lethality

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    What is the function of PM Soldier Lethality?

    PM Soldier Lethality is the centralized manager for all activities related to the development, systems integration, test, evaluation, acquisition, production, configuration management, fielding, and all other Life-Cycle management requirements for Small Arms Systems including weapons, fire-control, optics and associated equipment, e.g., mounts, and the development of Small Arms ammunition, for the U.S. Army.


    What is the Definition of Small Arms Systems?

    All the Services have agreed upon the following Definition of Small Arms Systems: Man portable, individual and crew served weapons systems used principally against personnel and lightly armored targets. Included are both ballistic and non-ballistic systems and associated ordnance, munitions, aiming, powering, storage, training, specialized maintenance equipment, logistic support and other ancillary items.


    What are the current Small Arms Systems in the field?

    The current family of Small Arms consists of the M9 and M11 Pistols, M4 Modular Weapon System, M16 Series Rifles, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M240 Medium Machine Gun, M60 Machine Gun, Cal .50 Heavy Machine Gun, MK19 Grenade Machine Gun and M24 Sniper Weapon System, M110 Sniper Weapon System and the M107 Semi Automatic Anti Material Rifle.


    What are the next generation Soldier Weapons?

    The new Small Arms Systems currently in development are: the XM25 Airburst Weapon System, the XM320 40 MM grenade launcher and the M26 12 Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun System.


    What additional or enhanced capabilities will the M107 Semi Automatic Anti Material Rifle provide to the infantryman?

    The M107 is a versatile, man-portable, semi-automatic Cal .50 Rifle. It is designed to provide rapid-fire support to combat operations by precisely engaging high value targets (primarily light materiel) beyond the range of the current sniper weapons. It also offers effective counter-sniper capability in MOUT operations.