Rugged Innovation With A Customer Focus
“The Koch business philosophy tells us to listen to and understand the needs of our customer. In this case, our customer is telling us they need a lighter-weight fabric. Let’s say the soldier is carrying 120 pounds and we can lighten their garment weight. They’d get to their objective a little less stressed, a little cooler, a little less worn and torn. And they’d accomplish their mission a little more efficiently and safely,” JD explains.
Another state-of-the-art capability INVISTA brings the military is expertise in incorporating near-infrared (NIR) camouflage into fabrics. This technology gives its wearer nighttime stealth – blending into the environment around them when viewed through night vision goggles.
But if you think JD’s work is confined to a desk or laboratory, you haven’t seen the grueling testing regimen required to field new uniforms, pack systems and other gear.
“Before we can trust this gear to work for our soldiers, we put it through some pretty harsh testing. It’s tested in jungles and deserts by real soldiers in real-life situations – such as 12-mile ruck marches through rugged, inhospitable terrain, scraping against rocks and trees. Not to mention, our rucksacks are thrown into irrigation canals in Iraq, off mountain sides in Afghanistan or dropped 30 feet from a helicopter,” JD added. “It all has got to hold together. If our fabric fails, our customer’s missions might fail too.”