Trying to get a decent night's sleep out in the Afghan bush can be pretty tough. It's hot as Hades in the day, and bone chillingly cold at night. You're rocking and rolling -- literally on rocks and slopes -- trying to keep that pressure point from waking you up in the middle of the night.
The Army does have a sleep system similar to the Marine Corps' with a bivy sack and a "bag within a bag" concept that snuggles you in at a range of temps. I'm not sure if the service is looking into a new system like the Corps is (one that has a better bivy and a lighter bag) but you can see from the picture above, you're options today are still pretty old school.
That is unless you're a high speed Joe with the MultiCam unit (and you have some smart battalion or company leaders who know how to spend the unit funds wisely). My very good buddy over at Army Times is in Afghanistan right now and shot some pics of some Joes sporting a pretty high tech piece of mountaineering gear that'll make catching some Zs perched on a rocky crag a little bit easier.
Rob Curtis runs the Gear Scout blog and I'd encourage you to add it to your favorites. But go check out the Nemo GoGo bivy these Soldiers are using, PEO Soldier might want to take note.
It's cool because it's got an inflatable "pole" that creates a space in the face area and gives the sleeper just that extra bit of cover and room to feel secure and cozy. It weighs only 2 pounds and packs down to virtually nothing. Rob reports that Soldiers using the bivy haven't had any punctured "air beams" -- and I can guarantee there'd be broken poles if the bivy used aluminum or graphite.
We'll see if this is the kind of technology is incorporated into the Marine 3S.