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Here’s a reason why the US Army won’t be using Glocks

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glock as the first-choice of military proffesionals

A newly released report just shed light on why Austrian Glock lost its protest against Sig Sauer, providing fresh insight into the U.S. Army’s selection for the Modular Handgun System contract. The article originally published on Task & Purpose reveals the details of the Glock’s appeal.

According to the report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Glock lodged its protest Feb. 24, citing three main reasons: U.S. Army Material Command did not properly evaluate its proposal; the second downselect phase of the testing program was not carried out; and finally, Sig Sauer’s XM17 entry was not properly evaluated. Glock also claimed Army evaluators were biased during evaluations.

According to the GAO’s 17-page decision, Glock contended “that the [Army Materiel Command] improperly failed to complete reliability testing on Sig Sauer’s compact handgun.” Moreover, Glock asserted that “the agency’s evaluations under the price, license rights, manual safety, and penetration factors and subfactors were flawed.” However, while the GAO acknowledged that “the agency’s evaluation contained some errors,” it judged that “they did not result in prejudice to the protester.” And while the GAO found that the Army had incorrectly calculated the cost of the ammunition license and the per-unit price of the Sig XM17 pistol, the office’s calculations were only about  $1.6 million off — far below the $68 million that Glock claimed them to be.

Glock also lodged a series of complaints regarding the Army’s ammunition requirement, the weighted importance of the manual safety, and the performance of its special purpose ammunition during testing. Unfortunately for Glock, the GAO dismissed or denied all of the complaints. On top of outlining Glock’s reasons for protesting and why its protest was rejected, the GAO’s report also provides insight into how both companies’ bids compared.

The Army believed that the Sig had a “slight technical advantage” over the Glock; a table in the GAO report suggested it scored a “good” rating to Glock’s “acceptable.”  The Sig also won high points in both ergonomics and ballistic performance. Moreover, Sig offered a two-gun proposal — the XM17 and compact XM18 — to Glock’s single-gun bid.

Perhaps most importantly, the price is always a factor when it comes to the government contract, and Sig undercut Glock’s bid by a wide margin. Sig’s bid came in at just about $169.5 million, a whopping $103 million less than Glock’s. The savings clearly made a difference: The decision notes that this substantially lower bid offered “overall the best value to the government.” In fact, The Army’s final selection report, quoted in the GAO’s decision, called price “a significant discriminator” in the two firms’ proposals.

Another of the major advantages of Sig Sauer’s proposal was the firm’s partnership with Winchester; the Army reported that Sig’s ammunition supply proposal was “outstanding” while Glock’s was only “marginal.”Sig Sauer’s partnership with Winchester enables the company to provide not only the standard full metal jacket ball ammunition but also the “special purpose” jacketed hollow-point ammunition, which significantly increases the pistol’s lethality.

While the GAO discovered some discrepancies in terms of cost calculation and trials evaluation, it found that, even if upheld, Glock’s complaints did “not appear likely to provide [the firm]with a substantial chance of receiving the award.” So Sig Sauer’s selection is upheld, and work on the M17 is moving forward. In fact, according to comments made to Task & Purpose in March by Col. Richard Spiegel, the public affairs director at Army Materiel Command, Glock’s protest to the GAO has not held up production of the new M17.

While Sig Sauer will surely welcome the GAO’s decision, it is not the end of the company’s short-term worries — it still faces a lawsuit for patent infringement from Steyr Arms. Even so, U.S. troops will begin receiving the M17 later this year, with troops from the 101st Airborne Division at Kentucky’s Fort Campbell set to be the first to get their hands on the new sidearm.

Matthew Moss is a British writer and historian specializing in small arms development and military history. This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose

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Army

US Army tests more breathable hot weather uniforms

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USAF Pararescue Jumbers (PJs) men on IED response

US Army uniform officials will begin evaluating a new Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform (IHWC) in January 2018 by issuing troops in Hawaii thousands of lighter uniforms that are more suited to the Pacific theater’s sweltering environment.

The development of new, more breathable uniforms follows another Army effort when between March and August the service fielded 9,000 pairs of new Jungle Combat Boots to combat teams with the 2nd and 3rd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii.

Until now, troops with the 25th Infantry trained in tropical environs wearing Hot Weather Combat Boots and Universal Camouflage Pattern Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) that were designed for a desert climate.

Capt. Daniel Ferenczy, an assistant product manager for Extreme Weather Clothing and Footwear, told Military.com that this January “is going to be huge,” explaining that soldiers “are going to be pure-fleeted in the [Operation Camouflage Pattern] with jungle boots in a hot weather combat uniform.”

Made by Source America, the new uniforms will have a 57 percent nylon/ 43 percent cotton blend, which Ferenczy says will give them “greater airflow” and make them dry faster than the ACU’s 50/50 nylon blend.

He noted, “It adds a little bit more strength which allows us to make it a lighter blend or a thinner weave… so it should dry a little quicker” and that “there are also architectural differences between the ACU uniform and this one.

Ferenczy described the forthcoming uniforms as having less layers of fabric, which helps it dry quicker since it can’t hold much moisture, with better flexibility as well. He also said there will be no breast pockets since the soldier’s gear usually covers the uniform when they’re in the field, so the Army decided to remove that extra layer as it winds up retaining heat and moisture.

The service removed back pockets from the uniform pants for the same reason, and a pocket for identification cards has been added inside the waistband. Instead of a zipper, the IHWC’s blouse will have a button-down front, and a button-down flap at the top of the pocket will replace the side zipper that’s usually placed on the shoulder.

Ferenczy said, “Every design feature on this uniform came straight out of the horse’s mouth,” and that the designers have worked closely with Hawaii’s Jungle Operations Training Center. In January, the $14 million program expects to issue about 20,000 sets of uniforms to Hawaii’s 2nd and 3rd BCTs with another 10-12,000 sets coming in March.

Once troop from the 25th have trained in the new Jungle Uniforms, Ferenzcy’s team will are planning to return in April or May to get feedback and make whatever necessary adjustments are required.

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Former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta just gave away his Medal of Honor

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Former Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta just gave away the highest valor award a soldier can receive. So he clearly doesn’t need another medal in any form. Nevertheless, the Medal of Honor recipient deserves a salute for presenting his award to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team during an event in early July.

The commander in chief bestowed Giunta with the MOH in 2010 for his actions three years earlier during an enemy ambush while serving with the 173rd in Afghanistan. Giunta received the Medal of Honor in 2010 for his actions in October 2007 when he was a team leader with Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Then a specialist, Giunta was conducting a patrol with his team in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan when they were ambushed by the enemy, according to his citation for the medal. Giunta exposed himself to enemy fire to help his injured squad leader find cover. His body armor and secondary weapon were struck with enemy fire as he performed first aid on the squad leader.

Using grenades to provide cover, Giunta and his team made it to other wounded soldiers who had been separated from the squad. Giunta then realized one soldier was still missing. He discovered two insurgents carrying the wounded soldier away. He engaged the enemy, killing one insurgent and wounding the other. Then he gave medical aid to the wounded U.S. soldier he had rescued.

Since 2010, the award weighed heavily on his shoulders. When troops receive the Medal of Honor for acts of valor, they usually credit their fellow service members. No recipient in recent times has been more adamant that the award wasn’t his alone:

“The medal [Medal of Honor] should go to the guy on the right of me and the guy on the left of me,” he said after he received it.

Soldiers praised him for showing true military leadership. This act is more than an NCO’s leadership. It is a legacy. It is Giunta’s legacy to the soldiers to the right of him, to the left of him, and to all those at the 173rd who will follow after him, and see what one humble man can do.

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