Attention, military fashionistas: Although too many of them are returning in boxes, soldiers deploying to Afghanistan are getting new uniforms that will help them better cope with the Middle East’s varied terrain, the Army says.
The new “MultiCam” fire-resistant combat uniforms — which include mountain boots and lightweight load-carrying equipment — are designed specifically for Afghanistan’s terrain, according to the U.S. Army’s homepage. Soldiers already there are to receive the MultiCam this fall.
Apparently, the Army’s current Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) isn’t concealing enough.
“Afghanistan is a unique camouflage challenge because it’s such a terrain-diverse country,” Col. William E. Cole, project manager for Soldier protection and individual equipment, told ARMY.MIL.
Those on a single patrol can go from the desert, to wooded areas to the mountains, and their uniforms and gear must be able to handle the various changes, the Army says.
“Anything we can do to give our soldiers an edge, we want to do,” Cole said.
That extends to battle dress: The MultiCam combines seven shades of green, brown and beige that take in surrounding colors, he said.
“Troops like the fact that it helps them blend in to different terrain types,” Cole told the website.
The MultiCam includes a reinforced seat, buttons on the trouser cargo pockets, flame-resistant fabric, and new combat boots, “which feature a tougher, more durable sole for gripping the mountainous Afghan terrain.”
The Army field tested the new duds — along with another model that added the color ‘coyote brown’ — alongside the standard issues. They took photos of solider in six different unis in eight types of terrain, then enhanced the photos to compare the get-ups at various distances in a variety of settings.
Roughly 750 soldiers recently deployed to Afghanistan rated them best-to-worst for detectability and “blend-ability.”
PHOTO COURTESY www.army.mil/-news
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