The USMC identified the need for the All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS) in the Operational Requirement document for the Cold Weather and Equipment Program (CWCEP), No. Log 42.2 dated 2 June 1994. This program transitioned from the Marine Enhancement Program (MEP) during a MEP review of 2000.
The first contract to produce the All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS) was let to Propper International (Saint Charles, MO) in July 2003. APECS was "force fed" throughout the Active and Reserve Marine Corps, starting in October 2003. Additional contracts went to Tennessee Apparel (Tullahoma, TN) and Tennier Industries (Huntsville, TN). APECS was also adopted by the U.S. Air Force in the same time frame.
All Purpose Environmental Clothing System (APECS) Features
APECS consists of two outer shell garments, the parka and trousers, a product improvement of the Layer 4 Generation II ECWCS. Other layers and components are adopted unchanged from Generation II or Generation III of the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS).
The APECS parka and trousers are made of Gore-tex material with Gore-seam tape sealed seams. APECS is lighter in weight, lower in bulk, has lower noise generation, is moisture vapor permeable and has an improved water repellency when compared to the ECWCS parka and trousers. NIR technology resists detection by night vision equipment. APECS displays MARPAT camouflage (Woodland or Desert) for the Marine Corps and the "tiger stripe" ABU pattern for the USAF.
APECS Parka features:
A collar with a draw cord for adjustment and a stowed hood
Water-resistant slide fasteners are used in the front closure
Two concealed upper chest pockets
Two lower pockets with flaps
Concealed hand warmer pockets
Two upper sleeve pockets with flaps
Adjustable wrist tabs
An insignia tab on the left front
Draw cord adjustment for the waist and hem concealed inside the lower pockets
Reinforcement patches on the elbows
APECS Trousers features:
An elastic draw cord at the waist
A slide fastener front fly
Slide fastener ankle openings
Lower leg adjustment tabs
Two front hip pass-thru openings with flaps
Two leg cargo pockets with elasticized openings and buttoned flaps
Trousers, APECs, USAF Tiger Stripe; Class 5 8415-01-547-2959 to 8415-01-547-3088, non-consecutive 19 sizes
Other NSNs have been assigned during the development and pre-fielding periods. During the change-over from ECWCS Gen II to APECS, it was authorized to mix and match the Woodland or Desert camouflage with ACU/ABU uniforms. Once APECS was fully distributed, such mixing was no longer tolerated.
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