WARRIOR PROTECTION AND READINESS COALITION COMMENDS PASSAGE OF THE HOMELAND PROCUREMENT REFORM (HOPR) ACT BY U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

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WARRIOR PROTECTION AND READINESS COALITION COMMENDS PASSAGE OF THE HOMELAND PROCUREMENT REFORM (HOPR) ACT BY U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Bill to Provide Domestically Manufactured Equipment to Department of Homeland Security 

Operational Personnel Unanimously Approved

MARBLEHEAD, MA (June 25, 2019) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) today announced its robust support for the actions taken by the U.S. House of Representatives, who have unanimously approved H.R. 2083, the Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act.  This important bipartisan legislation is designed to ensure that the operational units within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) purchase uniforms and equipment manufactured in the United States. 

This bill establishes specific criteria that increases the ability of DHS to obtain high-quality, American-made personal protective equipment (PPE) and organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE). The HOPR Act builds upon earlier procurement provisions such as the Berry Amendment and the Kissell Amendment. 

The Berry Amendment sustains an essential industrial base, as well as tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs. It ensures Department of Defense personnel receive high quality, advanced American-made equipment and clothing. No warfighter can be sustained in the field without advanced fabrics, armor, footwear, protective safety gear and many other critical tools. 

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 contained a provision known as the Kissell Amendment. As enacted, it attached a very narrow requirement for domestic clothing and textile procurement by DHS. The Kissell Amendment has not had its intended effect.  DHS continues to procure uniforms and equipment manufactured in foreign countries, including CBP uniforms which are currently produced in Mexico, in a low security environment.    

Introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA, 46th District) and co-sponsored by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS, 2nd District), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL, 18th District), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA, 2nd District), Rep Chris Pappas (D-NH,1st District),  the HOPR Act ensures that American tax dollars are not improperly spent on low quality items made overseas when American businesses produce the same items at a better value here in the United States. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate (S. 1055) by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and co-sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).  

Original Sponsor Rep. Lou Correa said, ““I want to thank my colleagues for their support in bringing this legislation to the House Floor. It is a necessary step to ensure our DHS frontline personnel have access to domestically sourced, high-quality uniforms and equipment while allowing domestic small businesses to better compete for Federal government contracts. This is a critical step in helping our men and women in the field get the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. I am proud of this legislation and proud to say this bill protects our national security and helps small businesses.”

Rep. Brian Mast said, ““The men and women who serve on the border are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our nation’s security,” Rep. Mast said. “Providing Homeland Security with the highest quality, American-made uniforms and protective gear is critical for ensuring their safety and the success of the mission.”

WPRC Executive Director David Costello said, “We are pleased to support the bipartisan effort to extend domestic-focused procurement to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS officials responsible for our national security should be provided with American-made, quality gear and equipment.  The HOPR Act will not only provide high-quality, American made equipment for DHS personnel but also help create jobs and spur manufacturing within the United States. We look forward to working with Senator Shaheen and her colleagues to ensure that this critical legislation passes the Senate and becomes law.” 

A summary of The Homeland Procurement Reform Act can be found here.

About WPRC

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 the 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.


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U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and Congressman Lou Correa Presented With 2019 WPRC Sentinel Award

Recognition of their Enduring Championship of American Manufacturing that Supports the Servicemember 

WASHINGTON – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) is pleased to announce that Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) and Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46) have been awarded the 2019 WPRC Sentinel Award for their legislative leadership on behalf of the domestic defense industrial base that supports U.S. servicemembers and homeland security personnel.  The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes members of Congress for their efforts to provide high quality, American-made personal protective gear, uniforms, footwear and equipment to the Federal government at the best value to the taxpayer.

WPRC Chairman Frank Montie said, “Senator Graham and Congressman Correa have been unwavering advocates on behalf of those who serve in the Armed Services and the Department of Homeland Security. Their leadership in Congress continues to ensure that the domestic industrial base is recognized as a key component of our nation’s security and is properly supported.  It remains critical that American servicemembers receive the best available, domestically produced gear and equipment at the best value to the Federal government.” 

The WPRC is now leading efforts on Capitol Hill to ensure that best-in-class, American-made equipment is provided to the operational agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. The Homeland Security Procurement Reform Act is expected to be introduced in both the House and the Senate this spring to help ensure that American tax dollars are spent on high-quality, American-made uniforms, footwear and personal protective equipment. 

About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and the Sentinel Award:

The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award is the association’s highest honor, presented annually to policymakers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the American industry that manufactures advanced combat clothing and equipment for the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.

WPRC member companies strive every day to provide innovative, advanced solutions to ensure that our armed forces are prepared for any encounter, anywhere in the world. Senator Lindsey Graham represents the State of South Carolina. He serves on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Budget and Chairs the Committee on the Judiciary. Congressman Lou Correa is from the 46th District of California and serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on the Judiciary.   

 U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham accepted the 2019 Sentinel Award presented by WPRC Executive Director David Costello (right) and WPRC Chairman Frank Montie (far right).

U.S. Representative Lou Correa accepted the 2019 Sentinel Award presented by WPRC Executive Director David Costello, WPRC Chairman Frank Montie and members of the WPRC.


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U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen Presented With 2018 WPRC Sentinel Award

Award Highlights Continued Leadership on Behalf of American Servicemembers

WASHINGTON – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH) received the 2018 Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award for her unwavering advocacy on behalf of U.S. servicemembers, homeland security personnel, and the domestic defense industrial base. The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes Senator Shaheen for her work to provide high quality, American made gear and equipment to the Federal government at the best value to the taxpayer.

“It is more important than ever that those responsible with protecting our homeland receive the best available, American made equipment both in training and in operational environments,” said Senator Shaheen. “Our service members, peacekeepers, and operational personnel responsible for our national security should be provided with the necessary tools to complete their missions. In the Senate, I will continue to advocate for American job creators committed to innovation by supporting legislation to improve gear and equipment for both military and Homeland Security personnel. I thank the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition for this honor and look forward to working together to achieve these goals.”

WPRC Chairman Frank Montie said, “Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been an unwavering advocate on behalf of those responsible for the safety and security of the United States. Her leadership in the Senate has ensured that American servicemembers receive the best available, domestically produced gear and equipment at the best value to the Federal government.”

David Costello, Executive Director of the WPRC noted, “Senator Shaheen is now leading efforts in the Senate to ensure that best-in-class, American-made equipment is provided to the operational agencies within the Department of Homeland Security. Her work on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee has directly resulted in improved life-saving equipment for our servicemembers. The WPRC is honored to recognize this work with the 2018 Sentinel Award.”

About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and the Sentinel Award:

The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award is the association’s highest honor, presented annually to policymakers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the American industry that manufactures advanced combat clothing and equipment for the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.

WPRC member companies strive every day to provide innovative, advanced solutions to ensure that our armed forces are prepared for any encounter, anywhere in the world. Senator Jeanne Shaheen represents the State of New Hampshire. She serves on the Armed Services Committee, Appropriations Committee, Foreign Relations Committee, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen accepted the 2018 Sentinel Award presented by WPRC Executive Director David Costello (left) and WPRC Chairman Frank Montie (right).


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U.S. Representative Scott Taylor (VA-02) Named 2018 WPRC Sentinel Award Recipient

Award Recognizes Commitment to American-Made Clothing and Equipment for U.S. Military and Homeland Security Operational Personnel

WASHINGTON — Congressman Scott Taylor (VA-02) received the 2018 Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award for his support of American service members and homeland security personnel responsible for the national security of the United States. The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes Rep. Taylor for his advocacy to provide DOD and DHS operational personnel with high quality, American made clothing and equipment, such as body armor, clothing, boots, and helmets. He is the primary sponsor of HR 1811, the Homeland Production Security Act (HOPS) and the soon to be introduced Homeland Procurement Reform (HOPR) Act.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Sentinel Award,” said Rep. Taylor. “The fact that our Customs and Border Protection uniforms are produced overseas and anywhere but in the United States is mind-boggling. This important legislation keeps us safer and puts Americans back to work.”

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Chairman Frank Montie said, “We are honored to present the 2018 Sentinel Award to Rep. Scott Taylor, a true rising star in Congress. At the beginning of his first term, Rep. Taylor introduced critical legislation to ensure that Department of Homeland Security personnel responsible for our national security receive high quality, American-made gear and equipment. He has demonstrated a commitment to our servicemembers at home and abroad through his work on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and his advocacy for American manufacturers. We are proud to honor Rep. Taylor’s work and leadership with the 2018 Sentinel Award.”

About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and the Sentinel Award:

The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award is the association’s highest honor, presented annually to policymakers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the American industry that manufactures advanced combat clothing and equipment for the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.

WPRC member companies strive every day to provide innovative, advanced solutions to ensure that our armed forces are prepared for any encounter, anywhere in the world. Congressman Scott Taylor represents the 2nd District of Virginia. He serves on the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA, 2nd District) (left) accepted the 2018 WPRC Sentinel Award from Chairman of the Board Frank Montie


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Wittman Receives Sentinel Award for Support of American Service Members

Award recognizes advocacy for American made military clothing and equipment

WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today received the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award for his support of American service members.The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes Rep. Wittman for his advocacy to provide servicemen and women with high quality, American made military clothing and equipment, such as body armor, combat clothing, boots, and helmets.

“Our troops deserve the very best equipment we can provide so they maintain readiness and go into combat with confidence,” Rep. Wittman said. “The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and its member companies are leading the effort to make sure our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have an advantage by providing them with superior gear. I am honored to receive this award and will continue my support for and advocacy on behalf of the troops that keep our country safe.”

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Chairman Luke Hillier said, “We are honored to present the inaugural Sentinel Award to Representative Rob Wittman. Throughout his career, Rep. Wittman has consistently advocated for the best available domestically manufactured gear and equipment for American armed service members. He has demonstrated steadfast leadership on the Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee and now as the Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee. We are pleased to recognize his lasting efforts to protect American service members with this year’s Sentinel Award.”

About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and the Sentinel Award:

The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award is the association’s highest honor, presented annually to policymakers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the American industry that manufactures advanced combat clothing and equipment for the Armed Services.

WPRC member companies strive every day to provide innovative, advanced solutions to ensure that our armed forces are prepared for any encounter, anywhere in the world. Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.


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Senator Jack Reed awarded the WPRC Sentinel Award


Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee was awarded the WPRC Sentinel Award by the Chairman of the WPRC Luke Hillier, Executive Director Luke Hillier and WPRC Board member Frank Montie


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Wittman Receives Sentinel Award for Support of American Service Members

Award recognizes advocacy for American made military clothing and equipment

WASHINGTON – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) today received the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award for his support of American service members.

The Sentinel Award specifically recognizes Rep. Wittman for his advocacy to provide servicemen and women with high quality, American made military clothing and equipment, such as body armor, combat clothing, boots, and helmets.

“Our troops deserve the very best equipment we can provide so they maintain readiness and go into combat with confidence,” Rep. Wittman said. “The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and its member companies are leading the effort to make sure our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have an advantage by providing them with superior gear. I am honored to receive this award and will continue my support for and advocacy on behalf of the troops that keep our country safe.”

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Chairman Luke Hillier said, “We are honored to present the inaugural Sentinel Award to Representative Rob Wittman. Throughout his career, Rep. Wittman has consistently advocated for the best available domestically manufactured gear and equipment for American armed service members. He has demonstrated steadfast leadership on the Armed Services Committee as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee and now as the Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee. We are pleased to recognize his lasting efforts to protect American service members with this year’s Sentinel Award.”

About the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition and the Sentinel Award:

The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) Sentinel Award is the association’s highest honor, presented annually to policymakers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the American industry that manufactures advanced combat clothing and equipment for the Armed Services.

WPRC member companies strive every day to provide innovative, advanced solutions to ensure that our armed forces are prepared for any encounter, anywhere in the world.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.


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WPRC FY 2016 NDAA AND WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Secures Critical Legislative Successes for Domestic Industrial Base and Grows Membership

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

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.

D3O Impact Protection

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

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

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.

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