Point Blank Gresham Tactical Vest

INTERVIEW: SAM WHITE

Executive Vice President, Point Blank Solutions, Inc.

By John D. Gresham

Warfare has always been about killing your enemies, and that usually has involved punching holes in their bodies. Other kinds of killing mechanisms including blast, fire, chemicals, radiation, and biological weapons have been introduced into the arsenals of nations, but over time, weapons causing penetration trauma have consistently been armies' killing devices of choice. Sharpened sticks and metal tipped spears have given way to high-velocity rifle rounds, fast-firing automatic weapons, grenades and mortar shells, and blast/fragmentation explosive devices on the battlefields of the 21st century. These are the basic threats to human existence in the wars we fight today, and they are only growing and improving with the passage of time. So armoring the bodies of those who must walk and operate on those battlefields only makes common sense. The trick, however, is making something to wear that still makes it possible for a warrior to shoot, move, and operate.

The idea of warriors wearing armor into battle is an old one, dating back to ancient times. Initially composed of animal hides and tanned leather, by Biblical times sophisticated composites of leather and metal were in existence to fend off the penetration of spears, lances, and small arrows. But the battle of armor and penetrating weapons has never ended, and likely never will. By medieval times, knights on horseback were using protective suits made of iron, though these were soon defeated by new weapons like the heavy arrows used by Henry \/'s archers at Agincourt. Then the appearance of firearms in the latter centuries of the second millennium gave penetration weapons a seemingly unbeatable advantage over body armor. This would remain the case until the 20th century.

Beginning in World War II, a new family of cloth called ballistic fabrics came into usage, initially composed of layers of tightly woven nylon. Heavy, hot, and incapable of stopping rounds from firearms, they were effective against fragments from explosive rounds and shells. Armor makers, however, were about to get a new and exciting tool from the laboratories of the DuPont Corporation. In 1965, a new high tensile strength fabric called Kevlar™ was introduced onto the market and was quickly seen as the key to a new generation of ballistic protection garments. By the 1970s, the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies were taking delivery of protective vests made of Kevlar™ and other similar materials. Within a decade, complete ensembles, including helmet and vest systems, were radically reducing ballistic and blast injuries and becoming a standard part of a soldier's kit along with their rifles.

Today, five decades after chemist Stephanie Kwolek of DuPont asked herself just what the new fibers she had created might do, ballistic fabric-based armor systems are a major part of the defense industry. The effects of this development are almost too immense to fully describe. Estimates are that combat wounds on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other trouble spots have been halved, and deaths reduced even more. The entire science of combat medicine has been changed, and one of the companies most involved in that change has been Point Blank Solutions, Inc. of Pompano Beach, Fla. Originally a garment maker producing police uniforms, Point Blank today is the largest manufacturer of military body armor in the United States, presently producing the largest share of body armor vest systems issued to troops. One of the key leaders at Point Blank is Samuel "Sam" White, executive vice president and one of the pioneers of ballistic fabrics and body armor design. John D. Gresham recently sat down with White to talk about the business he helped pioneer, the company he has built, and the vital products they make - in particular, the two newest generations of tactical vest systems produced by Point Blank over the past two decades.

Alantic Giant Pompoen

Everything ydu wanted in military lighting j . M . r.

Point Blank Gresham

Energizer.

Hard Case® Tactical® Helmet Light

Part Number: HCTHLU11L/ HCTHSU11L

Packed with these

"must have" features

• Two visible LEDs -high intensity White/Blue or White/Red

• Operates on 1 AA battery/8 hours on high

• 8 separate intensity configurations ore Mount

• Integrated IR and IFF with lockout switch

• Rotates 360° to desired position and locks into 20 different positions

• Mounts on the left or right side of helmet

• Includes mounts for helmet and outer tactical vest (OTV)

• Impact-resistant advanced polymers

• Buy American Compliant

• Waterproof

HCTHLU11L - Sand with Blue Secondary LED

HCTHSU11L - Sand with Red Secondary LED

Energizer.

This product meets the manufacturing and performance testing requirements as authorized PEO SOLDIER, Approval Number TH01, NSN Number 6230-01-574-8116.

This approval does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Army.

This product meets the manufacturing and performance testing requirements as authorized PEO SOLDIER, Approval Number TH01, NSN Number 6230-01-574-8116.

This approval does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Army.

Hard Case® Tactical® Swivel Head

NSN# 6230-01-574-8116 Part Number: HCT2GU21L

Packed with these "must have" features:

• Fully operational with 1 or 2 AA batteries

• Operates on 1 AA battery/8 hours on high

• Easy placement of batteries -batteries are loaded both tip up

• Multi-colored, multi-functional LEDs (3 levels of intensity for white, red, blue, green or all at once) - no filters required

• Integrated IR with dual function of IR strobe/IFF

• Buy American Compliant

• Waterproof

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