Since the mid-1980s U.S. military personnel stationed in cold weather reagions have been issued the Extended Cold-Weather Clothing System (ECWCS, pronounced ek-wax). This multi-layer ensemble of clothing and accessories replaces the mix of items used previously for cold-wet and cold-dry conditions, although some older items have been retained and incorporated into ECWCS.
U.S. Army SGT Seth Paul wearing Generation III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS), Ft. Greeley, AK, December 2006.
Today in WW II: 24 Jan 1939 National Central Office for Jewish Emigration is set up with offices in Vienna and Prague; Hermann Göring orders the SS leadership to speed up Jewish emigration from the Third Reich.
Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS)
The Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS, pronounced ek-wax) was developed at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Natick, MA and was fielded for the Army and USMC by 1985. ECWCS is a Gore-tex parka and trousers plus a coordinated ensemble of additional underclothing and accessory items which can be optionally configured in many ways to provide cold weather protection in a wide variety of temperature (+40° F to -60° F), wind, and moisture conditions. ECWCS uses moisture management principles to transfer perspiration away from the skin, keeping the wearer warm and dry. ECWCS was intended to replace the many individual items of cold weather uniforms and clothing that preceeded it.
Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) performance depends on layered protection. With ECWCS, the clothing components are arranged in three reinforcing major groupings that encompass up to five layers:
- Base: also known as inner or wicking layer, the base layer(s) are designed to wick excess moisture away from the wearer's body
- Insulation: one or two intermediate layers that provide volume to enable the wearer to trap warm air between the body and outer garments
- Outer Shell: one or two camouflaged external layers that protect the wearer from wind and moisture
Additional clothing components cover the head, hands, and feet or provide accessory functions.
By 2005, there were three generations of ECWCS representing an evolution of materials and garments within the basic ECWCS layered concept. The different generations define the layers a little differently in terms of the individual garments provided for wear. Use these linked pages for more detail on each ECWCS generation:
Find More Information on the Internet
There are many fine websites that have additional information on this
topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go.
Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.
For good results, try entering this: ecwcs. Then click the Search button.