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599th tests new way to beat port heat.

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command members are continually facing hot temperatures as they deploy around the world to assist with military operations. In Thailand, for example, people experience an average high of 94 degrees Fahrenheit during the month of April, and Kuwaiti summers fall nothing short of 116 degrees.

To help combat the heat faced by Deployment and Distribution Support Teams serving in these areas, the 599th Transportation Group is testing an innovative safety vest created by GlacierTek, a West Melbourne, Fla. based company.

On the surface, the looks are nothing short of the familiar orange-mesh material. But on the inside, "CoolPack" inserts help maintain the wearer's core body temperature while reducing the chances of heat stress and heat stroke.

Ace Parker, 599th Transportation Group Terminal Management Division traffic management specialist, suggested testing the product after returning from deployment to Southwest Asia recently.

"While serving as the command safety officer, I ran across an article in a safety publication about the vests," he said. "The product seemed like something that could be effectively used to combat the heat and humidity suffered during port operations."

Based on Parker's recommendation the group purchased several vests and is currently field-testing them at Exercise Cobra Gold 2005 in Thailand.

According to GlacierTek since the packs keep a 59 degree Fahrenheit constant, a worker's production capability increases up to 37 percent due to the decreasing thermal burden.

"Other advantages of the vest are that it weighs less than five pounds and it lasts up to two and one-half hours in a 100 degree environment," said Parker.

Joseph Greene, the 599th safety manager, added that using the vests to counteract heat disorders is part of remaining vigilant to port safety issues for the 599th Team. "It doesn't take away from the other safety measures we impose on people in hot environments, but it adds in ensuring everyone remains healthy and able to fulfill mission requirements."

People can read more about the "Cool Vest" NASA trials and technology by visiting http://www.coolvest.com/index.htm.

Story and photos by Robyn Mack, Public Affairs Officer

599th Transportation Terminal Group
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Title Annotation:Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, 599th Transportation Group
Author:Mack, Robyn
Publication:Translog
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:353
Previous Article:New group/unit commanders for SDDC.
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