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News | Sept. 8, 2023

DCMA warms ‘Arctic Angels’

By Jason Kaneshiro DCMA Eastern Region Public Affairs

Alaskan Soldiers benefitted from the rapid fielding of a new cold weather clothing system as they prepared for a winter training exercise.

The Army’s 11th Airborne Division, known as the “Arctic Angels,” received key Defense Contract Management Agency support through the timely delivery of new items.

David Golder, a DCMA Boston quality assurance representative, said his expertise in clothing and textiles proved to be invaluable for the inspection of the new Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System, or CTAPS, L-3 Jackets.

“I worked closely with the contractor in Rhode Island to ensure a quality product was going out to the troops,” Golder said.

The Lightweight Insulated Layer provides thermal insulation and has vented armpits for increased range of motion, moisture management and cooling during movement. It is designed to be worn on mild cool days underneath the outer shell layers, Golder said.

The soldiers were using the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System, which they said did not meet their unique needs for the climate they train and operate in.

The Army issued a requirement for a new interim cold weather clothing system in June 2022.

Golder and the Army team worked to develop the new system under tight time constraints to deliver the system to the 11th Airborne Division before its large-scale cold weather training exercise in early 2023.

“From Rhode Island, we sent out 5,886 Jackets to the troops in Alaska over four months from January through April 2023,” Golder said.

Golder used a procurement authority known as an Other Transaction Authority to support the effort.

An OTA allows federal agencies to enter into agreements with non-traditional defense contractors and can speed up the acquisition process. It can be used to drive innovation in prototyping or final products.

DCMA’s support of the six-month rapid fielding action ensured the 11th Airborne completed their mission to conduct multi-domain operations in the arctic to defend critical infrastructure in homeland defense and remain capable of decisively defeating any adversary in extreme cold weather, mountainous, and high-altitude environments through large scale combat operations.

According to the Army, the 11th Airborne Division executes expeditionary operations within the Indo-Pacific theater, conducts multi-domain operations in the Arctic, and defends critical infrastructure in homeland defense.