|Story & photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems &
Some Soldiers training at Fort McCoy preparing to
deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom are receiving the new
MultiCam camouflage pattern Army Combat Uniforms.
Jeff Steinbrink fits Pfc. Michael
Avant of the 509th Engineer Company with an Improved Outer
Tactical Vest at Fort McCoy’s Fixed Issue Point. The IOTV is in
the new MultiCam camouflage pattern.
The 160 Soldiers from the 509th Engineer Company received individual
Soldier equipment while at Fort McCoy for their five-day culminating
training exercise. The 509th is an active-duty unit from Fort Leonard
The equipment was issued at the Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier
Fixed Issue Point (FIP), which is the former Rapid Fielding Initiative.
The list includes mostly clothing items, and also an advanced combat
helmet, first-aid kit, rifleman’s set, large rucksack, hydration bladder
kit, Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), and several small tools.
The MultiCam pattern also is on the IOTV and rucksacks, and is exclusive
to Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan.
Jeff Steinbrink, NCI Information Systems contractor team lead at the PEO
Soldier at FIP, said it is important Soldiers get the proper equipment
before they leave for their overseas tour of duty. “The MultiCam
assembly is just the Army constantly improving its equipment as it tries
to better protect the Soldier.”
The IOTV gets its “improved” terminology because of the new installation
of a quick release system. The system rapidly disconnects and quickly
separates the vest, which greatly increases survivability in vehicles,
Another improvement to the IOTV is the more-even distribution of the
ammunition pouches to reduce the Soldier’s profile, yet allowing easy
access to the pouches. The new profile also reduces the problem of the
Soldier getting snagged in the vehicle as they dismount.