Military garments maker Tennessee Apparel Corp. (TAC), Tullahoma, Tenn., and GORE-TEX® fabric maker W.L. Gore & Associates Inc., Newark, Del., have partnered to produce a chemical and biological (CB) protective clothing system that will offer enhanced protection and reduced thermal burden for U.S. special operations personnel.
TAC will produce the garments under contract for the Uniform Integrated Protection Ensemble Increment 1 effort. The protective ensemble comprises a lightweight combat uniform worn over a protective undergarment made of Gore’s stretch GORE® CHEMPAK® selectively permeable fabric. Gore reports the fabric features a comfortable stretch construction that requires no thermal insulating layer next to the skin, thus further reducing heat stress and also increasing heat loss through convection.
The layered system protects against warfare agents as well as exposure to petroleum, oils, lubricants and other environmental contaminants. It may be worn during land or sea combat operations in any climate with minimal impact on combat effectiveness, the companies report. In addition, the undergarment design can be easily incorporated with other combat gear and personal protective equipment.