A select number of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers received new, prototype cold-weather gear at Fort Drum, N.Y. Jan. 23, 2020. Soldiers testing the gear will provide feedback on the durability, dexterity, tactility, ability to stay dry, and drying time so that any necessary improvements can be made.
Among the gear issued were six different variants of Cold Weather Glove Systems, new cold weather boots, three variants of cold-weather over boots, a cold weather sock system, as well as a canteen and canteen cup with two different designs for a canteen holder.
The different glove systems were briefly tested when issued to see if Soldiers could properly load and fire a simulated round and apply a tourniquet to a simulated casualty in a timely fashion. Soldiers were instructed to wear the gloves outdoors as much as possible for the evaluation team to get an accurate program of record for the Cold Weather Glove Systems.
A few Soldiers also received the prototype Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System, or CTAPS for short. CTAPS is an innovative multi-layer system that aims to keep Soldiers warmer in cold weather environments, spanning from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to -65 degrees Fahrenheit.
"Overall, everybody has liked what they've seen so far," said Kate Young, a textile technologist with the Soldier and Clothing Configuration Management Team.
The next step is for the Soldiers to test CTAPS during training to get feedback from them after they've used the gear for a while, Young said.
CTAPS is designed to be lighter weight, more durable, and more comfortable for Soldiers. The system features a longer jacket and more high-waisted trousers to keep Soldiers warmer while moving and to aid in the ease of their movement. They also have no-melt no-drip next-to-skin layers to prevent skin injury in the event of a fire, and moisture management throughout all layers. CTAPS is intended to be more functional and an improvement over the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS).
"I feel that it's sensible," said Staff Sgt. John Philadelphia, one of the Soldiers who received CTAPS. "I feel comfortable, and I feel confident in it."