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CMU-30/P22P-15 Survival Vest


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I picked up an unusual survival vest. Ive seen them for sale over the past 10 years or so but they aren't very common. Its designation is CMU-30/P22P-15. Ive searched all around to really find no information about them. I think they were used by certain Marine units in the mid-late 90s but not really sure. Appears to have a Navy type contract number and is 1996 dated.

 

This vest appears to be the predecessor to the CMU-33 AIRSAVE survival vest. Its a modular survival vest but is pre MOLLE. It uses a velcro and snap system for the modular pockets. As for the armor part of the system, (I Don't have) its very similar to the AIRSAVE. Used a separate soft armor vest, and then used the same type of Hard Plate quick release system the AIRSAVE uses. Has numerous pockets to include a radio pocket, knife scabbard pocket for the old leather survival knives, and a HEED/HABD holster. Its also setup for using the LPU-21 life preserver. The rest seem to be general purpose pockets. Has a built in extraction harness, which unfortunately someone cut the loop at the shoulder where the snap link went.

 

Does anyone have information on these or any pics of them in use? Anyways, here are the pics of mine:

A-2.jpg

B-2.jpg

C-2.jpg

D-2.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

I have seen modification kits for these types of vests. I believe they buck up certain parts and make some buckles thicker? Thats all I know about CMU-33s, sorry.

Does anybody else have any more info?

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I think your confusing it with the AIRSAVE which is the CMU-33 survival vest. This vest is a CMU-30, a precursor to the CMU-33.

 

Not to be off topic, I've too seen and have one of the modification kits for the CMU-33 vests as well. The only place I ever saw those mods being used was down at Ft Rucker by student pilots. Looks to make the AIRSAVE alot less bulky. I wish I knew someone that knew how to modify the vest with that kit as Id love to have one done up.

 

Now that this topic has risen from its grave, I hope someone might see it and be able to shed light on the CMU-30.

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I once upon a time had the armor vest for it way before I ever got the survival vest. Thought it was the AIRSAVE soft armor but it differed slightly being a 4 piece design, Front, Rear and the LH and RH side pieces that snapped on to the front and back. Not like the 2 piece rap around design of the later version for AIRSAVE. As I said in the first post, the hard armor kit was exactly the same as the AIRSAVE version. That link to tpub at least provided this vest with a name, AISAP and what some of the pocket designations are.

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It looks like a close relative of the SARVIP survival vest used by the Army.

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  • 1 year later...

I think I have the minutes of a survival vest conference Hosted by the NAVY - because the NAVY did not like the Velcro closures on the SARVIP vest pockets (if I recall correctly) they wanted their CMU-30 to be adopted.

 

And yes the CMU-30 vest was developed by the NAVY in parallel with the SARVIP development (again as I recall) as a replacement for their version of the SRU-21/P - the CMU-24/P which had been modified in the early 80s by end users just like many SRU-21/Ps with STABO harnesses or in the NAVYs case - the SPIE harnesses.

 

I believe that the CMU-33/AIRSAVE vest was the first Joint Services Vest developed together by the Air Force, NAVY and Army.

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I don't think the Air Force ever really adopted the AIRSAVE, it had something to do with ejection issues. I think that was a reason used to move into developing their own vest, the one with the track slide pockets. Funny, those slide on pockets seemed like a worse idea during a ejection than woven on pockets.


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I don't think the Air Force ever really adopted the AIRSAVE, it had something to do with ejection issues. I think that was a reason used to move into developing their own vest, the one with the track slide pockets. Funny, those slide on pockets seemed like a worse idea during a ejection than woven on pockets.

 

You are referring to the US Air Force's "Air Ace" (Air Combat Command CONTRACT GS-07F-0566T by Advan Tac Technologies) Survival Vest used by fast mover pilots. With the "snap tracks" for the pockets.

 

post-129049-0-80485800-1377039142.png

 

I think I have the spec drawing for this vest somewhere.

 

As for the Air Force adopting the AIRSAVE vest - yes the conference that I referred to was back when budgets were not as "lean" as they are now and even though the Air Force Participated in the development of the CMU-30/P replacement - they may have been swayed by the fancy new vests such as the Night Stalkers version of the SARVIP and the JSAVE vest etc.

 

I will have to dig into my files for the conference minutes and the Mandatory Air Force directive that I referred to.

 

 

 

 

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OK Hawkdriver - while I can not find the past directive for the Air Force's use of the AIRSAVE - they are definitely considering using them now for bomber crews. See photo below of Whiteman Air Force Base news feature.

 

If I recall correctly - the Air Force was worried about their Helicopter crews falling off of the rear ramp of the Pavelow. The crew modified SRU-21/P Survival vests with STABO harness and in some cases the NAVY SPIE rig harness (Read USAF PJs) was not acceptable to the Air Force. The Air Force did not have a problem with the Army's SARVIP. But of course the SARVIP was replaced by the CMU-33/P which was renamed the AIRSAVE to be the first Joint Forces Survival Vest since the C-1 Emergency Sustenance Vest of WWII. This article points out the B-2 pilots needed a vest that would not fatigue them on their long "trips" and that was reconfigurable.

 

 

post-129049-0-25820100-1377040563.png

 

I will keep digging in my files for the information about AF helicopter crew using the AIRSAVE.

 

 

 

 

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Here is the Air Ace drawing that I mentioned:

 

post-129049-0-05115100-1377117626.png

 

This came from Ultimate Survival's Spec sheet (contract: GS-07F-0566T)

 

and here is the pocket configuration table:

 

post-129049-0-30194600-1377117794.png

 

As you can see it looks a lot like the SRU-21/P and it is made out of a fire retardant breathable mesh.

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MohawkALSE, got sidetracked on your topic.

 

The spec for the CMU-30/P22P-15 is NAVY MIL-V-29601-1994

 

I think some of the collection/ photo sites (on the web) do have photos of this vest in use but are misidentifying the vest as modified MA-2 torso harnesses or the SV-2B vest.

 

I know that I have photos of this vest in use - in some of my books I will keep looking.

 

In the mean time here are a couple of screen grabs from the NAVY SAR Manual of 2005:

 

post-129049-0-32504000-1377128357.png

 

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Trying to catch up on all this. Just noticed all the activity where I've posted since I just moved and finally got my computer hooked up. Thats the only diagram of that CMU-30 vest I've ever seen. I'm looking to sell that vest. Tried ebay twice, lots of watchers but not bitters.

 

I just saw the article about B-2 crews adopting the AIRSAVE similar in format to the Type II I believe its called for ejection seat applications. I asked my buddy who is in the B-2 schoolhouse right now about it and he says hes seen the guys using em and I told him good luck with it because its bulky and heavy. The USAF claims the AIR ACE vest is floppy and bulky. I saw the AF AIRSAVE has the new material tan pockets like the USMC has been using on their new PRU armor vest. Its sort of like the slicky cloth on the newer Air Warrior stuff but its not ripstop. They AF is having their own style pockets for their vests too, they differ from the USMC style.

 

Hawk I don't think a Air Warrior vest would be any good for a fixed wing ejection seat application. Even without the harness, the vest is an awkward setup for someone wearing a ejection seat torso harness. I'm sure they could design something up that would have worked that had similar Air Warrior features. The internal med and signal platform pockets I think would be something they might have liked.

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  • Air Ace Snap Track Vests

I just reconfirmed something I had heard awhile back with a friend I know at Wright Patterson. The Air Ace snap track vests were not an issue item per se. They were available for units or individuals to purchase thru GSA and commercially. I have seen photos of transport crew wearing them. Actually I guess depending on your definition of "issue" they would qualify if purchased by a unit for its members.

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Survival, I have to admit that I know about the Air Ace Vest in passing over the years. I will have to go back and check my emails and AF mags to get the info. I seem to recall that the AF put out an RFP for a vest that would replace the SRU-21/P back in 1999. (I will check this date, it might have been earlier.) And Ultimate Survival answered the AF and the AF then did some testing and developed a Spec for the Vest. I seem to recall the SRU-21/Ps last Mil Specs cancellation notice mentioned the Air Ace vest.

 

This vest may not be Standard A for the Air Force now - with very tight DOD budgets. The NAVY's AIRSAVE vest is being tested right now by AF Aircrews around the world for adoption by B-2 crews.

 

The AF does not allow civilians to access most of their Internet footprint. But here is something from the Wright Pat Airman's magazine Vol 47 8Aug2008:

 

post-129049-0-44748400-1377561253.png

 

You will note that the kid on the right is wearing the Air Aces vest and the Tech Sgt is with the Aircrew Flight Equipment Shop.

 

I do know that Ultimate Survivals current contract is for vest armour. They have had many over the years. This is something that I can check through DOD contract sight.

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Survival, I can not argue with your AF "issued" statements as of 2013.

 

However as for "private purchase" - all of the Air Ace Vests that I have seen on eBay and else where for sale are over $220.00 in used condition. When I checked with Ultimate Survival back in 2008 they wanted over $350.00 for a new one.

 

Also - the DOD Contractor Ultimate Survival had ongoing and what appear to be (the Air Force guards all of its contract information) what we called "Indefinite quantity/indefinite delivery" contracts with the US Air Force starting in 2008. This contractor has made over 10 million dollars for delivering "special purpose clothing" since 2008...

 

I have confirmed through a friend that this vest was issued to US Air Force fighter pilots up until this year. He said that the fighter wings started receiving them in late 2008. This would fit well with the contract information that I found last night.

 

I will post some photos of Air Force pilots and Airmen using the Air Ace Vest at various AFBs in 2010. These are available on the AF photo site.

 

I have examined this vest and it does meet the SRU-21/P Mil Spec in terms of form fit and function. It is a great product. The only weakness that I saw with the vest is that the pockets develop holes and small tears very easily.

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Here is a photo of an Airmen during Cold Weather Survival training in Alaska in 2010 (Elmendorf AFB):

 

post-129049-0-26338000-1377621873.png

 

 

And here is photo with at least 5 Airmen wearing the Air Ace vest in black and one teacher with the Tan version:

 

post-129049-0-02386900-1377622053.png

 

The 150K limit makes this photo hard to see so you might have to check it out on the Air Force photo site.

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Here is a photo of two Pilots (cropped to fit the 150k upload limit) at Eielson AFB 11Aug2010. These pilots were at Eielson for Red Flag Alaska 10-4 and were selected to be part of the survival training scenario.

 

post-129049-0-44300000-1377622463.png

 

Both pilots are wearing the Tan version of the Air Aces vest.

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I had at one time a USAF SRU-21/P from the late 2000s that had sage green Nomex cloth pockets except for the holster being a lighter sage green color, heavy nylon, and MOLLE style. This holster was stitched on and probably for the M-9. Also, the radio pocket on this modified

SRU-21/P vest was the one used with later versions of the AIRSAVE vest with the hook blade knife pocket attached in the front. This pocket

was for the PRC-112 and was stitched on. The vest was probably used with the F-15, F-16, or A-10 acft.?

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Well if someone has an Air Ace Vest with a tag that has a contract number I can try to research it and see if we can obtain more info. Some manufacturers have been known to dummy up spurious numbers to make am item look official....

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Ultimate Survival developed the Air Ace Vest on their own dime. So the Air Ace Survival Vest is what we call a "COTS" item - "Commercial Off the Shelf".

That is why the "indefinite delivery - indefinite quantity" contracts were awarded to Ultimate Survival. The Air Force just purchases the Air Ace vest from Ultimate Survival. And so the Air Ace vests would not have the contract number on the label unless the contract specifically spelled out the Air Ace Survival vest.

 

My friend told me that the Air Ace vests that were issued in the 2010s did not have labels...

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