Hundreds of pieces of riot gear have been ordered for federal agents assigned to protect U.S. government buildings during the Republican National Convention.

The equipment will be used "for the 2012 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2013 presidential inauguration and other future similar activities," according to a request by the Department of Homeland Security.

About 150 agents with the Federal Protective Service, an arm of Homeland Security, will don the riot gear, which includes helmets, shin guards and "tactical gloves," the request for proposal said.

Protective service agents have assignments that differ from the 3,500 law enforcement officers hired by Tampa police to bolster convention security.

Although the thousands of local and state officers patrol downtown, the sole task of protective service agents is to guard buildings owned, leased, occupied or secured by the U.S. government, according to Homeland Security.

The agency has ordered 147 riot helmets, 147 sets of "upper body and shoulder protection," 152 "thigh/groin protection systems," 147 "hard shell shin guards," 156 "forearm protectors," 147 gloves and 147 bags to carry the gear, the proposal said. Homeland Security submitted the request for proposal last week on the Federal Business Opportunities website, which allows commercial businesses to place bids and offer goods and services to the federal government.

Federal agencies use the website for requisitions that cost more than $25,000.