PECOC - Background

Discussion in 'Military Clothing & Boots' started by kitmonster, Aug 14, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. OK Troops here is the first of what I hope will be a series of posts regarding PECOC. I say ‘hope’ as I could be encouraged to desist by my masters as they will no doubt be alerted to the contents. My reasoning behind posting these is that after a series of roadshows and displays the PECOC components have been widely seen by the military, civil servants and industry; about 2000 people I think. With the necessary caveats (see below) there’s a good chance that the type of issues that PECOC is dealing with can be aired. Indeed a search of ‘PECOC’ already brings up a lot of hits many of which are based on assumption and rumour; it would be good to base any discussion on fact. I know there’s a few people above my pay grade working in a certain DEC who are members of this esteemed web site and their support with the main man would be appreciated.

    Background: Personal Equipment Common Operating Clothing (PECOC) is in its Assessment Phase. That means that there are series of requirements that needs addressing. CS 95 and PLCE address some of these but what fall out are some requirements of a clothing and personal protection system that are not fully or partially filled by CS95. These requirements are called the capability gaps. Many of these gaps (such as the need for full coverage body armour) have been filled by UORs (Osprey and Kestrel); however these UORs are not core kit and not generally available for training.

    The Assessment Phase is designed to clarify the capability gaps and come up with potential solutions. PECOC is unusual in that as well as coming up with a few possible solutions it will generate manufacturable components and a comprehensive set of technical and performance specifications. The idea being that when all the facts and solutions are presented to the powers above (at Main Gate) the chosen system can rapidly move to manufacturing if the kit is deemed to be worthy of investment. QinetiQ have been contracted to run the assessment phase with the Defence Clothing IPT providing the technical expertise and experience; this partnership has worked very well.

    Getting to this point in time: The PECOC team took the following approach:

    Find every good bit of kit in use or in a research lab in both the military and civilian sectors and drag it back to the IPT. The only ‘must have’ is that the component must be manufacturable and not something that may produce something in 20 years.

    Check the capability gaps against every piece of operational data available to start to specifiy what the kit should do (cost was ignored at this point)

    Bolt the components together into 3 systems called Concept Demonstrators (CDs). These were based on:

    Ops kit but integrated and covering the wide environmental range demanded of the PECOC requirements

    The best kit that the team knew worked well, could be made in numbers and addressed all the capability gaps

    Anything that could possibly be a good bit of kit in a year or two but had some doubt attached to it; maybe it would not work, maybe there was no reason to have it, may be the technology would not deliver. In this CD were some £120 T-Shirts to give you a feel for the type of kit.

    These 3 CDs were then tested over 2 weeks with troops in the laboratories and the field to get data on what works and what doesn’t.

    The CDs were then shown to about 1200 people from the 3 services to get their feedback on what was ‘Ally’ and what was not (the idea being that good kit that was unloved lived in lockers and therefore was money wasted). Also, within reason, giving people what they would buy makes them feel loved and valued, Bless ‘em all I say.

    The kit was also displayed to a Military Judgement Panel (MJP) which comprised of Officers and WOs, all with op experience from the 3 services and all arms. They poured through the data, threat analysis and trial reports to select what they thought the system should comprise of.

    Finally a executive panel took all the recommendations from all the different groups, applied some industry and manufacturing knowledge and came up with a candidate PECOC Prototype

    Future: The prototype will be tested in September and October to get the last pieces of the data that is needed to make up the final business case.

    Caveats:

    The kit shown will be indicative what the kit will look like but not necessarily from the manufacture who supplied the test kit. It’s the data packs that will go for tender not the exact component you see. For example if PECOC shows that a body armour plate can be manufactured to a certain performance, weight and volume then this will become the minimum standard outlined in the data pack. It maybe that someone can do better, maybe make it lighter, or maybe someone can produce the component at a cheaper cost. Some of the kit may look identical, for example the combat clothing because it will have a tight specification. Other bits of kit, for example, the armour plates, may look completely different.

    SO DO NOT GET HUNG UP ON ANY TRADE NAMES!!! (which I will do my best to black out)

    The other piece of work going on is to make the complete system affordable across defence. For example if you are a Cadet do you really need a fire retardant headover for a Wednesday drill night?

    THE MAJOR CAVEAT IS THAT IF THE KIT DOES NOT PERFORM WELL ENOUGH TO WARRANT A BIG FINANCIAL OUTLAY THEN THE PROJECT WILL BE ABANDONED AT MAIN GATE AND THE CASH SHIFTED TO MORE WORTHY CAUSES. IE THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT PECOC WILL EVER GET OUT TO THE FIELD ARMY.

    Finally I reserve the right to use my moderators edit\delete powers if a. Trolls invade and get out of hand or b. If, through hidden and subtle means, I am warned off.

    Look for the messages that start with PECOC - XXXXXXXXX
     
  2. kitmonster, looks to be an informative series of posts. As a self confessed kit lover, I'll be looking forward to see what you are able to talk about.
     
  3. I'll be looking forward to seeing if what little career I have will remain intact
     
  4. KM.Looking forward to the posts and pics.Hope you dont get into the siht over it! :)
     
  5. As you said, it's already been seen by a couple of thousand people at various shows. Plus with the number of rumors floating around, it will be good to have info from the horses mouth, so to speak.

    Pity common sense and the Army can't be mentioned in the same sentence...
     
  6. kitmonster hi ,
    Thanks for writing this info up , Maybe it could be a Sticky for all the relevant PECOC info ?
    yours Reg646
     
  7. Or even a sub forum?