A few weeks ago I wrote a story about Sergeant Major the Army Chandler’s comments at a town hall meeting in Afghanistan regarding a new MultiCam camouflage (also known as The Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern) variant coming. Prior to this I mentioned that the US Army had announced plans to negotiate a license agreement with Crye Precision for OCP. Last week, Chief of Staff of the Army GEN Ray Odierno held a virtual town hall meeting. His comments were captured in a US Army press release and are most revealing.
Addressing the Army uniform currently being worn in Afghanistan, the OCP, or “Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern,” Odierno said the Army is studying the viability of that uniform.
“They appear to be the most effective uniforms that protect our Soldiers, and are most effective in a variety of scenarios that we’ve looked at,” he said, noting that he expects a decision soon on whether the Army will stick with that uniform.
All along, the Army has been comductng a multiyear, multi-million dollar effort to find a new family of camouflage patterns. Announcement of the results of this undertaking have been delayed several times. According to sources, the latest date for the announcement is during the AUSA annual meeting later this month. However, the Army has yet to notify the four finalists (ADS Inc, Brookwood, Crye Precision, and Kryptek) on the results of the solicitation and subsequent evaluations. This step is critical to the procurement process as it gives the participants the ability to launch protests if there are irregularities in the decision. A late October announcement becomes more and more difficult the closer we get to AUSA.
So the question is, will the Army discard the Camouflage Improvement Effort and just adopt MultiCam under a new name such as Army Camouflage Pattern? The evidence certainly seems to indicate that this is the case.