New innovative idea improves MOPP gear Published Nov. 16, 2020 By Airman 1st Class China M. Shock 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- During the spring of 2020, the 35th Contracting Squadron solicited 35th Fighter Wing units for innovative ideas that would improve Airmen’s workplace to present on Pitch Day. Pitch Day involves acquiring innovative technology from non-traditional defense contractors in order to keep pace with the ever-advancing business environment. From the responses received and the input from all the squadron commanders, the 35th CONS personnel narrowed down the responses to 11 areas of improvement (AOI). “In response to our posting of the solicitation for the AOIs, we received proposals from both U.S. and Japanese companies,” said 1st Lieutenant Justin Zinkl, a 35th CONS plans and programs officer. Now, just a few months later, one idea is being implemented at Misawa Air Base by maintenance, security forces, the fire department and the explosive ordnance disposal flight. The AOI that came into fruition was submitted by the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron for improvements to mission oriented protective posture gear to enhance conditions while working in MOPP level 4. RINI Technologies, a company that provides innovative solutions to thermal-management challenges out of Florida, submitted a proposal for a MOPP cooling system that cools down the suits while being worn in response to the MOPP gear AOI. Airmen are potentially exposed to high heat-stress environments while in MOPP gear and this vest allows for constant cooling of the Airmen’s core temperature. “I feel cooler and more comfortable with the vest on, especially while in MOPP gear,” said Airman 1st Class Tiffany Eustice, a 35th CES emergency manager. “This vest allows for me to operate and complete the mission more efficiently.” Twenty-four cooling vests were purchased as a result of Pitch Day. Maintenance, security forces, the fire department and the EOD flight each received four vests to test during exercises and training events. The 35th CES emergency management flight has the remaining eight cooling vests to issue out to units who would like to test the product during future exercises and training events. For more information about testing out the vest, contact the 35th CES emergency management flight at 226-2031.