The first delivery of the new Gen-II Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) in Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) began on 16 July. Fielding began this month for Soldiers scheduled to deploy to the Afghan theater and Soldiers already in theater will be given issue through individual unit fieldings as approved by US Army Central.
Soldiers receiving the Gen-II vest will be getting the latest designed IOTV which includes 17 improvements over the Gen-I vest and is available in OCP as well as in Universal Camo Pattern (UCP). Improvements include a totally redesigned and removable yoke and collar, reversible and detachable side carriers and universal side pouch, and equipment anchor points on the front and rear which interface with items such as hydration systems and the Tactical Assault Panel or (TAP).
This modular concept allows Commanders to confront multiple threat levels in their unique environment. For example, a mounted Soldier in a turret has the option to utilize all accessories such as deltoid, front, and back protectors for maximum protection, while a dismounted Soldier in the mountains can strip the IOTV down to the base vest, removing the side pouch, side plates, and accessory pieces, slimming the IOTV down to a trim 9.86 pounds, minus the plates. This configuration gives the Commander the flexibility to reduce the combat load while still maintaining increased fragmentation and 9mm protection.
In addition, we’ve incorporated increased adjustability in the shoulders and hips, as well as a newly designed location for the sideplate that is now adjustable to the wearer. All these improvements are included in the Gen-II IOTVs, including the UCP IOTVs produced since April of this year.
MAJ Craig Fournier
APM Soft Armor, PM SPE