The Marines are getting new boots for fights in freezing temperatures as low as -20 degrees
- The Marines are getting new cold-weather
bootsstarting early next year, Marine Corps Systems Command announced Tuesday.
- The new boots will fill a gap in Marine footwear, providing comfort in temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Fahrenheit to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
- "In order to effectively conduct your mission in a
cold weatherenvironment, you need to be warm," a Marine Corps project officer said. "This boot helps to accomplish this goal."
Marines are getting new boots that can survive in temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, the Corps said Tuesday, revealing that the boots fill a longstanding gap in Marine footwear.
Early next year, Marines will begin receiving the Intense Cold Weather Boot, giving them the ability to fight better in challenging, cold-weather environments, Marine Corps Systems Command said.
Right now, the Corps has a Temperate Weather marine Corps Combat Boot for operations in temperatures between 20 degrees and 60 degrees Fahrenheit and an Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boot for temperatures between -20 degrees and -65 degrees.
In that space between 20 degrees and -20 degrees Fahrenheit, the latter is too warm while the former isn't warm enough. That's where the new ICWB comes in.
The full-grain, black leather boots are not only made to keep troops warm but also to repel moisture. And each boot, if appropriately cared for, can last up to a year and a half, if not longer.
Starting in 2018, the Marines experimented with a suede version, testing it in Iceland, Alaska, Norway, and other frigid environments, where they found that did not dry well once wet.
In 2020, the Corps moved to a full-grain design, but found that it lacked sufficient insulation. So another 200 grams of insulation was added to develop the final design.
For added warmth during extended operations in a cold environment, there is a protective overboot available.
"In order to effectively conduct your mission in a cold weather environment, you need to be warm," Todd Towles, project officer of Cold Weather Gear with the Program Manager for Infantry Combat Equipment at MCSC, said in a statement. "This boot helps to accomplish this goal."
In a period of great power competition, US forces have to be ready for the possibility of armed conflict in new and unforgiving environments beyond the Middle East, such as parts of Europe, northern Asia, and even the Arctic, which is rapidly becoming an area of strategic competition between the US and rivals like China and Russia.
That means being ready and having the right gear for when temperatures start to plunge below zero.
"The ICWB lightens the load for the Marines by their needing only one boot for fighting and ski missions, as opposed to in the past when Marines had to maintain two boots," Towles said in a statement.
"I believe these boots will further support Marines in cold weather environments and help them achieve mission success," he added.
Fielding of the new boots is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
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