MARBLEHEAD, MA (November 30, 2015) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) commends the United States Congress and President Barack Obama for adopting meaningful reforms and important legislative initiatives to maintain the strength of the domestic industrial base in support of our warfighters and peacekeepers. WPRC members advocated tirelessly for several provisions that were included in the final 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by the President on November 25, 2015.
The WPRC successfully advocated for and secured an important provision (Section 884) that discourages the use of “lowest price technically acceptable” (LPTA) contracting methods for items of personal protective equipment (PPE) and critical safety items. The NDAA states that the service branches, overseen by the Secretary of Defense, shall “use source selection criteria that is predominantly based on technical qualifications of the item and not predominately based on price to the maximum extent practicable if the level of quality or failure of the item could result in death or severe bodily harm to the user.” Items of concern include combat helmets, body armor, ballistic eye protection, and other similar individual equipment issued to U.S. military personnel and manufactured in the United States by members of the WPRC.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee-Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee and Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee joined to lead the effort in Congress to maintain this important provision in the final NDAA text. This language is critically important to ensuring that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and operators are equipped with the safest, highest performing equipment and that the American taxpayer is receiving the best value for their dollars.
Ensuring that technical qualifications and capability take precedence over lowest possible pricing ensures a combat advantage for U.S. service members and consistently higher quality equipage. Best Value contracting is the most appropriate acquisition tool to prevent unnecessary injuries or casualties for those in harm’s way. WPRC members will continue to advocate for the use of Best Value contracting methods and ensure that the Department of Defense recognizes the importance of this provision to the health and safety of our service men and women.
In addition to this achievement, WPRC also successfully ensured the inclusion of language directing the Department of Defense to comply with previously passed directive language from the FY 2014 NDAA requiring the Secretary to “submit, as part of the defense budget materials for each fiscal year, a consolidated budget justification display that covers all programs and activities associated with the procurement of personal protection equipment (PPE).” The report states, “The committee expects the Department [of Defense] to comply with section 141 of the fiscal year 2014 NDAA and strongly encourages the Department to consider including similar budget displays for environmental and fire resistant clothing, footwear, and organizational clothing and individual equipment [(OCIE)] as well.”
Providing this information, as directed by Congress, will allow Program Managers and Project Officers, as well as WPRC member companies to better plan for the future needs of our Armed Services and properly allocate, budget, plan, and deliver superior clothing and equipment. A letter was also recently sent from several members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) requesting a detailed plan for how the Department of Defense will comply with this reporting requirement in the FY 2017 budget. The implementation of this simple yet critical step in the Department of Defense budget process ensures that the U.S. industrial base that supports our armed services is provided the essential information needed.
Another priority for WPRC members is ensuring that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is complying fully with the Kissell Amendment, which requires the Department to purchase American-made clothing and individual equipment where applicable. Earlier this year, the WPRC requested that the Department conduct an internal audit to identify how DHS has implemented and complied with this law. This process is ongoing, however Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has called for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) independent audit of DHS to study how the Department has implemented the Kissell Amendment. WPRC leaders are working with Senator Shaheen and other Members of Congress to hold DHS accountable and ensure compliance with the law.
WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “The legislative success our Coalition has achieved is a result of the bi-partisan recognition of the need to sustain innovative American manufacturing that supports our troops. This national asset provides our service members with a distinct advantage in both training and combat and is increasingly essential to the readiness of our warfighters and peacekeepers. The WPRC is grateful for the support of our congressional champions who have ensured this collective effort becomes effective legislation.”
As the WPRC continues to expand its advocacy efforts, new companies continue to join the organization as members. Recently, Bluewater Defense, D3O Impact Protection, Navajo Fabrics, and Worthen Industries have joined with 40 other companies to add their voice to the WPRC. The added impact of these industry leaders will be critical to advancing the WPRC mission to support the equipment and advanced clothing needs of the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.
Bluewater Defense is a leading manufacturer of uniforms and equipage for the U.S. Department of Defense. During the past 28 years, the company has focused on manufacturing labor intensive, sewn items per military specifications – successfully completing 74 large contracts totaling $800 million in revenue. www.bluewaterdefense.com.
Located in North Carolina and Virginia, D3O is a groundbreaking impact protection solutions company that licenses a range of unique patented smart materials. The market-changing D3O technology is used to produce a shock absorbing material that can be found in a range of products across the motorcycle, sport, footwear, electronics, military and workwear sectors. Military forces benefit from head-to-toe D3O technology solutions that range from combat helmet liner systems to footwear insoles. www.d3o.com.
Navajo Fabrics is a Westerly, RI based diversified manufacturer of military uniform, police, tactical and equipage fabrics. Navajo is a leading supplier of fabric for the military, law enforcement, public safety, medical, and security markets. Navajo’s business focus is to produce fabrics for OCIE (Organizational Clothing Individual Equipment) as well as unique solid colors and camouflage patterns for specialty missions and specific environments. www.navajo-fabrics.com.
Worthen Industries’ UPACO Footwear Products Group has been custom compounding, reacting, and extruding products for every operation of footwear, including military and law enforcement products, and allied trade manufacturing for over 40 years. Based in Nashua, NH, the UPACO group offers systems for waterproof footwear, film adhesives for both sole (in- mold) and upper footwear applications. In addition, UPACO offers liquid bonding adhesives (both solvent and water-based, natural, and synthetic), standard hot melts, and polyurethane reactives. www.worthenindustries.com.
The WPRC supports the readiness of the United States by providing a unified industry voice to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders. We work at the intersection of the Personal Protective Equipment and Organizational Clothing/Individual Equipment industry, the federal legislative policy process, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Our membership includes companies throughout the equipment and clothing industry and with companies at every point in the industrial supply chain who represent the best in American manufacturing.WPRC-FY-16-NDAA-New-Members-Release-111815Final
Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Builds on Recent Success by Expanding Board of Directors and Welcoming Five New Member Companies
MARBLEHEAD, MA (March 2, 2015) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) is pleased to announce the latest additions to its membership and has added a new director to its Board of Directors. The new members include several leading companies in the warfighter equipment and clothing industry.
New company members of the WPRC include: Bernard Cap Company, GENTEX Corporation, Massif, Safariland, and Source One Distributors. The added voices of these industry leaders will be critical to advancing the WPRC mission to support the equipment and advanced clothing needs of the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.
Bernard Cap Company – Bernard Cap is the largest Class A dress uniform headwear supplier to the United States government and its various agencies. They specialize in the manufacture of fine quality uniform headwear for U.S. and foreign military forces, service academies, airlines, police, security, and other organizations. www.bernardcap.com.
GENTEX Corporation – GENTEX is a leading provider of innovative solutions that enhance personal protection and situational awareness for global defense and security personnel operating in high performance environments. The company’s Gentex® and Ops-Core™ family of products and systems include helmets for both ground and air applications, aircrew life support systems, advanced optics, ground soldier protective equipment, high performance textiles, respiratory protection and communications equipment. www.gentexcorp.com.
Massif – Founded in 1999, Massif has provided hot weather flame resistant (FR) combat shirts, cold weather fire resistant fleece and softshell garments for the U.S. military since 2005. They are a world leader in supplying FR and high performance outdoor apparel to the military, law enforcement, search and rescue professionals, and the wildland firefighting community. www.massif.com.
Safariland – The Safariland Group is a leading global provider of a diverse range of safety and survivability products designed for the public safety, military, professional and outdoor markets. The Safariland Group offers a number of recognized brand names in these markets including Safariland®, ABA®, Second Chance®, Bianchi®, Break Free®, Protech® Tactical, Hatch®, Monadnock®,Identicator®, NIK®, Mustang Survival® and Med-Eng®. The Safariland Group’s mission, “Together, We Save Lives”, is inherent in the lifesaving and protective products it delivers. They are committed to providing quality, technologically advanced products that serve the ever-changing needs of the warfighter and peacekeeper. www.safariland.com.
Source One Distributors – Source One Distributors supports a broad array of clients in the defense industry, national security, law enforcement, search and rescue, fire and private security sectors by providing mission critical equipment, product sourcing, acquisition solutions, contracting expertise and a variety of support services. www.buysourceone.com.
Mr. Greg Maguire of Revision Military is the new industry representative who has joined the WPRC Board of Directors. The WPRC Board of Directors represents a cross-section of the personal protective equipment industry, providing organizational governance and setting the strategic direction of the WPRC. Mr. Maguire joins current WPRC Board Chairman Luke Hillier, WPRC Secretary David Bohannon, and WPRC Treasurer Don Vavala as well as Board Members Frank Montie, Brookwood Companies and Nate Smith, Oakley/ESS as leaders of this not-for-profit industry association.
“I welcome our newest members to the WPRC and appreciate their support for our initiatives,” said Chairman Luke Hillier. “Companies who have chosen to join our efforts are those that are committed to maintaining a healthy industrial base that is prepared to meet evolving threats in a dangerous world. As an industry, it is crucial for our advocacy to be focused on supporting the essential American manufacturing capability that supports the needs of our Armed Services.”
Regarding these positive developments, WPRC Executive Director David Costello commented,
“The WPRC serves as the voice of the personal protective equipment (PPE) and Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE) industry. These five new members of the WPRC bring their industry expertise and experience to our mutual efforts. This year alone we have achieved several critical successes, including the elimination of the use of reverse auctions by the Defense Logistics Agency for our product categories. This will ensure that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and operators are receiving the best available equipment at the best possible cost to the taxpayer. We look forward to continuing our momentum this year with active leadership and with the added help of these additional industry partners.”
The WPRC supports the readiness of the United States by providing a unified industry voice to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders. We work at the intersection of the Personal Protective Equipment and Organizational Clothing/Individual Equipment industry, the federal legislative policy process, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Our membership includes companies throughout the equipment and clothing industry and with companies at every point in the industrial supply chain who represent the best in American manufacturing.
WPRC is the unified voice of advocacy for the individual and unit level equipment needs of the warfighter and peacekeeper. The leading tactical equipment, apparel, materials, and technology companies of WPRC are committed to ensuring that American service members and Homeland Security personnel are provided with superior products built by a robust industrial base, now and in the future. For a complete listing of WPRC member companies, please visit www.warriorprotection.net.
ADS TV Presents: By Our Hands | Stories of American Industry
By Our Hands | Stories of American Industry is a behind-the-scenes look at the people and culture of an American manufacturer in support of US Military and Law Enforcement. London Bridge Trading Co’s Founder Doug McDougal and VP of Manufacturing Ken Beasley gave us the opportunity to see the inner workings of their Virginia Beach, VA facility and shared their perspective on why the LBT Team does what they do proudly each and every day.
As American Manufacturers and Suppliers we are hit with new challenges each day standing between us and achieving our goals — rising costs, unstable budgets, ever-changing requirements, and more. But no matter what we encounter, we push forward and meet those challenges head on without hesitation for one simple reason — our customers, the Men and Women defending our freedom each day, at home and abroad.
MARBLEHEAD, MA (July 31, 2014) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) is pleased to announce three new members of its Board of Directors and the latest additions to its membership, including several leading companies in the warfighter equipment and clothing industry.
The three new industry representatives who have joined the WPRC Board of Directors include; Don Vavala of W.L. Gore and Associates, Frank Montie of Brookwood Companies, and Nate Smith of Oakley/Eye Safety Systems (ESS). The WPRC Board of Directors represents a cross-section of the personal protective equipment industry, providing organizational governance and setting the strategic direction of the WPRC. These new Board members join current WPRC Board Chairman Luke Hillier and WPRC Secretary David Bohannon as leaders of this not-for-profit industry association.
The new company members of the WPRC include: Lion-Vallen, Outdoor Research, Burlington/International Textile Group (ITG), New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., Patagonia, Inc., and CamelBak Products LLC. The added voices of these leading companies will be critical to advancing the WPRC mission to support the equipment and advanced clothing needs of the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.
Lion-Vallen – Lion-Vallen is a global leader in supply chain and lifecycle management of protective clothing, equipment and uniforms. LVI has a deep commitment to delivering superior services that support customers’ personal safety, readiness and professional identity needs. www.lionprotects.com.
Outdoor Research – Outdoor Research is a designer, developer, and manufacturer of apparel, glove systems, and accessories designed for the military and outdoor markets. Products for the U.S. military are manufactured at their own facility located in downtown Seattle. A full range of products is commercially available at www.outdoorresearch.com.
Burlington/ITG – Burlington leverages its advanced R&D with a diverse range of high performance manufacturing capabilities and a complete range of fiber/fabric blends that deliver state-of-the-art military and commercial solutions worldwide. Their fabric portfolio encompasses applications for extreme weather apparel; camouflage combat and utility materials, tenting, shelter fabrics, shipboard covers and ballistic materials. Information on their military product offerings may be found at www.burlington.com/military-technical.
New Balance – Headquartered in Boston, MA, New Balance is focused on building global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently one of the few major shoe companies that continue to manufacture athletic footwear in the United States. In 2013, 1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes New Balance sold in the U.S. was made or assembled in the U.S. www.newbalance.com
Patagonia – Based in Ventura, California, Patagonia, Inc. is a leading designer and retailer of core outdoor, alpine, fly fishing, snow, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories. Patagonia is a world leader in apparel design, the development of protective garments and an industry pioneer in environmentalism. For more information on Patagonia and their commercially available products, please visit www.patagonia.com.
CamelBak –CamelBak is the leading manufacturer of hands-free hydration systems. Special Forces, soldiers and law enforcement around the world use their Military & Tactical products. These offerings include water bottles, hydration packs, backpacks, and protective gear designed for a variety of climates and terrain. A full listing of these military and tactical products as well as commercially available gear is available at www.camelbak.com.
“We are grateful for their dedication to the WPRC as well as for the participation of our six newest Coalition members in our efforts to support those who serve our country”
The WPRC supports the readiness of the Armed Services by providing a unified industry voice to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders. We work at the intersection of the Organizational Clothing/Individual Equipment industry, the federal legislative policy process, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Our membership includes companies throughout the equipment and clothing industry and with companies at every point in the industrial supply chain who represent the best in American manufacturing.
WPRC is the unified voice of advocacy for the individual and unit level equipment needs of the warfighter and peacekeeper. The leading tactical equipment, apparel, materials, and technology companies of WPRC are committed to ensuring that American service members and Homeland Security personnel are provided with superior products built by a robust industrial base, now and in the future. Please follow the following link for a complete listing of WPRC member organizations.