UIPE protective gear completes ground compatibility testing


KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – A joint military test team recently conducted ongoing developmental and operational testing of the Uniform Integrated Protective Ensemble Air 2 Piece Under Garment at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

UIPE Air 2PUG is a two-piece carbon-based protective undergarment designed to be worn underneath the CWU-27/P flight suit and is intended to provide chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection to aircrews in toxic environments.

The test team was made up of members from the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s Detachment 2 and the 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron from Eglin AFB, Florida, the Navy’s Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Agile Combat Support Directorate Human Systems Division.

The new system is intended to offer better mobility, breathability, and a lower thermal burden on aircrews. UIPE Air 2PUG allows aircrews to stay in the suit longer and do their jobs with less heat burden or chances of heat casualties.

During this phase of testing, the UIPE Air 2PUG was tested on C-130J Super Hercules aircrews from the 39th and 40th Airlift Squadrons that are part of the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess AFB. The aircrew simulated aircraft preflight checks and conducted a ground egress in order to field test the new UIPE Air 2PUG garment. The test event also focused upon the garment’s interoperability and compatibility with current equipment.

“The joint ground test provided critical feedback from the user to the engineering and testing team,” said Lt. Col. Brent Gaylord, 317th Operational Support Squadron commander. “The 317th Airlift Wing utilized a full aircrew complement to include female aircrew members representative of our diverse crew force and ensuring all ergonomic factors are considered. Updating decade’s old equipment is an exciting process to be a part of and is critical to maintaining our qualitative advantage over global competitors as we continually pursue full spectrum readiness.”

“This was the final ground compatibility test event,” said Tech. Sgt. Bryce Gardner, AFOTEC Det. 2 Aircrew Flight Equipment Program manager. “Previous test events were conducted with the KC-135 (Stratotanker) at McConnell AFB, Kansas; the HH-60 (Pave Hawk) at Nellis AFB, Nevada; and the F-15 (Eagle) at Eglin AFB. Multi-Service Operational Test and Evaluation will occur in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022.

“This test event went very well and the test team gathered all the required data because of the outstanding support received from the Dyess Aircrew Flight Equipment team and the participating C-130 aircrew,” Gardner said.

Once testing is completed and UIPE Air 2PUG is approved, it will be fielded to all Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Army aircrews across fixed wing, rotary wing, ejection seat and large frame aircrafts.

AFOTEC’s mission is to inform the warfighter and acquisition through operational tests. AFOTEC evaluates the capability of systems to meet warfighter needs by planning, executing, and reporting independent operational assessments, tests, and evaluations. From concept development to system fielding, AFOTEC evaluates a system’s overall operational mission capability under realistic conditions. AFOTEC’s mission requires lock-step efforts with acquisition partners focused on shortening the combat capability delivery timeline.

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