Thursday, May 1, 2014

Canadian armed Forces - Improved Environmental Clothing System (IECS)

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In September 1996, the Clothe the Soldier (CTS) project was formally approved with the mandate to acquire and issue, as expeditiously as possible, the 24 highest priority items of individual operational clothing and equipment within the Land Force. The project will enhance the Canadian soldier’s survivability and sustainability through improved clothing and equipment that offers greater protection from environmental and battlefield threats, and greater flexibility and comfort. The improved environmental clothing is the second of 24 compatible items of individual environmental and battlefield clothing and equipment to be procured under the CTS project and to be delivered to the Land Force over the next two-and-a-half years. Delivery of the first item – the multi-tool – was completed in 1997. The multi-tool is a compact, hand-held personal issue item intended for use by members of the Land Force in the performance of battlefield duties. Manufactured from 100% stainless steel, it is equipped with 13 individual components, among them a screwdriver, wire cutter, and can opener.

The government is committed to providing the Canadian Forces with the equipment they need to operate effectively. The improved environmental clothing system will provide state-of-the-art clothing optimized for the protection and comfort of Canada’s soldiers when operating in environments ranging from freezing rain and sleet to the extreme cold of the high arctic.

The system is warmer, more water-resistant, faster drying and more flexible than the current cold and extreme cold in-service clothing. It is designed to be layered in a variety of ways to satisfy personal physiological requirements in response to changing work rates and environments in temperatures ranging from +10o to -57oC. The new clothing system is the most eagerly awaited item within the CTS project by the field force. Initial delivery by base is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 1998 with issue to all regular and reserve Land Force personnel completed by the end of the contract at the end of year 2000. About 58,000 ensembles will be delivered by the end of the contract.

The improved environmental clothing system will be manufactured in Canada with the majority of textiles and findings (buttons, zippers, etc.) coming from Canadian manufacturers or distributors. Nineteen Canadian companies are involved from three Canadian regions.

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