Recently, we surmised that the US Army was going to abandon the Camouflage Improvement Effort and adopt the current issue Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) known commercially as MultiCam and worn by troops serving in Afghanistan. According to the Justification and Approval (J&A) published yesterday by the Army Contracting Command on Fed Biz Opps, a contract was in fact awarded to Crye Associates on September 24th, 2013 for a license for OCP. Furthermore, according to details in the J&A, OCP will be the Army’s principle camouflage pattern for the “…” Unfortunately, the PDF left out a few key details like what OCP actually will be used for. But, based on what I am hearing, it’s for all US Army, regardless of unit of assignment or operating location. Meaning…goodbye UCP, hello OCP.
I’ll add additional credence to my assertion that this is the Army camouflage by citing paragraph 8 of the J&A.
While the J&A discloses that a license was contracted we still have no DoD contract notice to determine the exact value of the contract. However, we do know, based on the J&A that the value is somewhere between $150,000 and $650,000 which is much lower than the street value of this contract. But the exact estimated value has been redacted in the online announcement. Currently, no contracts award notices are being issued by DoD due to the shutdown so this is odd that a notice was not issued in September. I am quite interested in seeking what the Army paid for the license as they were getting three patterns (that the Army insisted in needed for readiness) for a song under the Phase IV contract. By licensing OCP, the Army (and by extension DoD) gets just one, albeit true, universal pattern.
At this point, the Army has not announced the cancellation of the Camouflage Improvement Effort but based on this information, I’d say that the fat lady is backstage warming up. They all but tell the four finalist vendors for Phase IV, that is over as they’ve chosen an alternate course of action.
So not with a roar, but a whimper, the US Army announces their new camouflage pattern. Let the run on everything MultiCam begin!
Update: A couple of points here. This COA means the Army will not be purchasing rights to a family of patterns. Although, I’ve never been a fan of the multiple pattern requirement because it’s a logistical nightmare. Additionally, the Phase IV finalists haven’t been notified one way or another. The Army had no issue with halting the Individual Carbine program so I’m not sure what the hesitation is here. All of the companies have stiff armed multiple opportunities to sell their patterns to other customers pending the Army’s decision so this is costing them money. However, do not expect to see some of these finalist patterns available commercially for a variety of reasons. There are many in industry watching what the Army is doing here and taking cues about participation in future programs.