USAF Looks to Buy Female Body Armor for Guard, Reserve Security Forces

 In U.S. Air Force, Industry, Acquisition, & Innovation, Defense, Air, Forces & Capabilities, Threats

The Air Force wants to pro­cure up to 2,000 more Female Body Armor units for Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve secu­ri­ty forces Airmen.

The mod­u­lar, scal­able body armor system is designed specif­i­cal­ly for women’s bodies, and will pro­tect female defend­ers against frag­ment­ing muni­tions, hand­gun, and small arms threats, with a four-tiered system that allows pro­tec­tion levels to be tai­lored to dif­fer­ent mis­sions, accord­ing to a federal contract announcement.

The action is a sole source addi­tion­al scope firm-fixed priced mod­i­fi­ca­tion to a con­tract award­ed to Tactical & Survival Specialties, Inc. (TSSi) of Harrisonburg, Va. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Female Fitment Program Office award­ed the con­tract to begin pro­duc­tion and devel­op­ment for the female body armor this summer.

Female body armor
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Female Fitment Program Office has awarded a contract to begin production and development for body armor designed to better protect female Airmen during combat and contingency operations. The new body armor will be specifically fitted to the female body preventing exposure to risks. Graphic: USAF

“This is a per­fect exam­ple of Air Force Materiel Command get­ting feed­back from the field and deliv­er­ing the Air Force we need to the warfight­er,” AFMC com­man­der Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr. said in a June press release. “I’m proud of the team pulling togeth­er to do what is right for our Airmen. They deserve gear that offers the pro­tec­tion they need while allow­ing them to com­pete their mis­sion.”

The ini­tial con­tract called for 5,600 FBA units, but in July, Security Forces said they needed 88 more to outfit Guard and Reserve with the same body armor used in the Active-duty force.

The Female Fitment Program Office was cre­at­ed in response to former Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein’s ini­tia­tive to revi­tal­ize the squadron, with the goal of quick­ly iden­ti­fy­ing prob­lems and field­ing solu­tions. The office worked with the Air Force Security Forces Center to find ade­quate pro­tec­tion for women work­ing in combat or other dan­ger­ous envi­ron­ments.

“Our female Airmen had gaps due to poor fit­ment issues,” said Maj. Saily Rodriguez, Female Fitment Program man­ag­er, in the June release. “The new gear fits prop­er­ly, which improves pro­tec­tion and offers better com­fort for gear that has to be work in dif­fi­cult envi­ron­ments and con­di­tions.”

Delivery is antic­i­pat­ed in March 2021.

Air Force Magazine source|articles

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