Polartec Military

Camo – Is the Air Force Next?

Battlefield Airmen Wearing MultiCam

Every time I think about this issue I keep hearing a little ditty in my head, “Fly boys, fly boys, what ya gonna do? What ya gonna do when they come for you?” The Army was specifically called out by Congress to look at alternative camo patterns for use in Afghanistan. They have dealt with the issue by approving Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern. In a similar vein, The Navy has responded to their need for camouflage for their ground combatants by adopting slightly modified versions of the SOCOM-developed AOR patterns.

CCT in HaitiIt is about the Air Force deals with their camo issue and follows a similar course to their sister services. It was easy to blend in with an Army clad in UCP but I can’t imagine it will be very long before someone realizes that Airmen are now sticking out like sore thumbs. Due to the relatively small number of Battlefield Airmen and associated Expeditionary forces requiring proper camouflage, it would be best to just adopt MultiCam. Most of the Air Force’s ground forces are embedded with the Army at some level anyway. In fact, we already regularly see Air Force personnel wearing MultiCam in a variety of environments including recent operations in Haiti.

ABUGranted, the Air Force’s current Desert Tiger Stripe pattern does a great job of branding. The pattern was developed specifically to give the Air Force a distinctive look. In fact, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Jumper, began seeking a new uniform after being referred to as a Soldier at a ceremony at DC’s Bolling Air Force Base. Unfortunately, it shares a similar color palette with the Army’s universal Camouflage pattern although it adds Slate Blue as a fourth color. It does darken the pattern up a bit but it still really isn’t up to the task of concealing an Airman in the field. And that’s not to mention the cut of the uniform. Every single one of the other services has fielded a modern combat uniform. The Airman Battle Uniform on the other hand, seemed to keep all of the bad features of the BDU with none of the advantages of the lessons learned by the other services.

So come on Air Force, do your Airmen right and issue a decent uniform in an effective camouflage pattern to everyone deployed to combat zones.

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