Pants a little faded? Shirt too tight? Boots showing their age? Soon you’ll be able to order replacements online and have them delivered to your door. In mid-October, the government awarded Logistik Unicorp a 20-year contract to provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with operational clothing and footwear.
Under the contract, valued at up to $3.7 billion, the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu-based company will supply Regular and Reserve Force members, Canadian Rangers, Junior Rangers, search and rescue technicians, firefighters, and cadets with around 1,222 different items of clothing and footwear.
The kit includes combat uniforms with Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT) camouflage, combat boots, arid/hot weather boots, mukluks, parkas, headwear, hand wear, sleeping bags and day packs. There are also provisions for ad hoc procurement of operational equipment such as PPE (personal protective equipment) during emergencies.
Until now, the CAF has procured operational clothing and footwear through multiple individual contracts. “By combining the various contracts into one, we will achieve greater efficiency and availability of items the CAF needs and better value for taxpayers,” the Department of National Defence (DND) said in a statement.
Once the Operational Clothing and Footwear Consolidated Contract (OCFC2) is implemented, CAF members “will be able to order items online and have orders shipped to their door, while also providing the CAF with the ability to continue distributing uniforms directly to units,” DND noted. “This new approach will deliver better resource and inventory management for the CAF, improve item availability, and provide better value for taxpayers.”
Clothing and footwear items will be delivered to clothing stores starting in the second year of the contract, and individual online ordering is expected to be available by the third year.
“The members of the [CAF] deserve the best uniforms and equipment required to effectively perform their duties,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “This contract delivers on this promise and provides military members with the needed operational clothing and footwear while also ensuring that the investment will benefit the Canadian apparel, textile and footwear industry and thousands of its workers.”
As part of the contract, Logistik Unicorp has agreed to invest in research and development and skills training in the textile, apparel and footwear sectors. The company must also meet mandatory Canadian content requirements that the majority of manufacturing is done in Canada.
“Part of what makes [our] uniform programs stand out is the relentless pursuit of innovation through [R&D] practices, and commitment to proactively help our clients improve their services,” said Karine Bibeau, the company’s vice-president for client experience.
The OCFC2 is one of several projects integrating Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+). According to DND, Logistik Unicorp has experience with GBA Plus considerations and “procured items will meet the requirements of the diverse CAF population with a faster turnaround time.”