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FREE clothing system represents the best in American innovation
Apr '09
ADS, Inc. has been awarded a contract valued at over $1 billion to deliver the U.S. Army's new Fire Resistant Environmental Ensemble (FREE).

As the systems integrator, ADS will capitalize on its unparalleled product expertise and cutting edge distribution operations to lead a team of over ten U.S. technical garment manufacturers and technical textile companies to produce and supply the versatile, multi-layer, 17-component system for fielding this year.

FREE will provide the Army soldier with built-in protection from flame and heat threats present in combat conditions, while remaining highly functional in a spectrum of cold and wet weather climates. The FREE system is user-adaptable for field operations in rapidly evolving combat environments and protects the soldier from head to toe. It is designed specifically for aviation and combat vehicle crewmen, and utilizes advanced textile technologies in a range of garments, from lightweight base layers to weather-protecting outerwear.

"Our company has worked closely with the Army and the best garment manufacturers and textile companies in the United States to create this technologically advanced protective clothing system," said ADS, Inc.'s CEO Luke Hillier. "Our soldiers are exposed to hazardous combat conditions every day and the FREE clothing system will increase soldier protection and survivability -- which is the core mission of our company."

The U.S. Army's Program Executive Office, Product Manager, Clothing and Individual Equipment (PM-CIE) awarded this indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract consisting of a base year and three additional option years. If all contract options are exercised the total contract value will exceed $1 billion.

The FREE system represents the best in American manufacturing and includes the latest in materials science and garment forming innovation. The companies supporting ADS on this contract include Barrier-Wear, Massif, Darn Tough Vermont, Polartec and London Bridge.

"I am pleased to see that the Army continues to develop and field the best protective clothing and equipment possible," said Congressman Glenn Nye. "The FREE program represents the best in American innovation and this contract award is great news for our Army aviators and combat vehicle crewmen, and great news for Virginia Beach."


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