SSD was fortunate enough to participate in a media roundtable earlier today. We picked up a few tidbits to keep our readers up to date. While the Army began fielding OEF Camouflage Pattern (OCP is the Army’s designation for Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern) clothing and equipment to CONUS-based Afghanistan bound troops in September, equipping troops who are already in theater has kicked off. According the COL William Cole, Program Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment they recently began issuing OCP kit to in-theater troops. Additionally, he brought us up to speed on a few items being fielded. First, he clarified the Gen III ECWCS issue. Only layers three through six are being issued in OCP. The puffy layer and under layers are already in solid colors that are either worn under other clothing or a suitable shade.
Next he explained that troops are now receiving the Gen II IOTV which is more comfortable most notably due to the new cummerbund which makes it more easy to mount the side plates. COL Cole related that during his most recent trip into theater, he fitted the new style cummerbund to his IOTV. Additionally, the Army has let contracts for conversion kits to upgrade currently fielded armor to the Gen II standard and OCP camo coloring. This is quite cost effective for the Army as the retrofit kits cost less than one-third the cost of a new vest.
A decision still has not been made on the Mountain Combat Boot, but data collected during a wear test this summer in Afghanistan is being crunched.
Finally, while the Air Force is still staffing their OCP fielding strategy, BG Peter Fuller, PEO-Soldier explained the Army’s commitment to field full OCP kits to sister troops working with Army units. Way to go Army! Hopefully, we will see OCP versions of the USAF’s ABS-G soon.