It's the hidden cost in Canada's fight against terror: long johns geared for chemical warfare.
The Canadian Forces are looking to replenish depleted stocks of long underwear at their Counter Terrorism Technology Centre in Alberta.
Ottawa has posted a public tender seeking 1,500 sets of undergarments — both tops and bottoms — that will be worn by personnel "under a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) protective outer garment during Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) training exercises."
The 3,000 pieces of fresh underwear, which will be used at Canadian Forces Base Suffield in Ralston, Alta., must be delivered by March 31.
The posting does not specify how much money has been set aside for the purchase.
CFB Suffield, about 250 kilometres southeast of Calgary, houses research-and-development programs to counter chemical, biological, and explosive threats, according to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The government requires the clothing be colour co-ordinated according to size, durable enough for daily use, and capable of wicking moisture away from the body.
"The garments must be robust in design to withstand multiple launderings, be stretched repeatedly and resist abrasion from the outer garment," says the tender, which was posted last week and closes Saturday.
The posting also calls for the underwear to made of treated micro fibre and notes the garment's material will be subjected to temperatures between -40 C and 40 C. It will also be routinely exposed to "activated carbon" from the outer suit.