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Archive for the ‘Clothing’ Category

US Navy Announces NWU Type III Wear Rules and Distribution Plan

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Late last week, US Navy personnel received a welcome Labor Day gift with the publication of NAVADMIN 214/17, which updates the wear rules as well as the Fleet distribution plan for the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) Type III. The NAVADMIN also offers a list of approved boots Sailors can wear with the uniform.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 25, 2017) Lt. Cmdr. Jason Shell, left, executive officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2, discusses operational procedures with Lt. j.g. Mike Peribonio as part of the Navywide operational pause at EODMU 2 headquarters on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. EODMU 2 provides credible, combat-ready EOD forces capable of deploying anywhere, anytime in support of national interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles Oki/Released) VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Aug. 25, 2017) Lt. Cmdr. Jason Shell, left, executive officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 2, discusses operational procedures with Lt. j.g. Mike Peribonio as part of the Navywide operational pause at EODMU 2 headquarters on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. EODMU 2 provides credible, combat-ready EOD forces capable of deploying anywhere, anytime in support of national interests. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles Oki/Released)

As you’ll recall, the Navy announced plans to transition from the NWU Type I, commonly known as Blueberries due to its distinct blue camouflage pattern said to be designed to hide stains common to shipboard life. Instead, the Navy is adopting the Type III which utilizes a Woodland camouflage pattern originally developed for use by USSOCOM and adopted by Naval Special Warfare as the AOR 2 pattern. The Navy also has an NWU Type II for desert use (below, left), which features the AOR 1 pattern. The NWU Type II is only used for deployments to the CENTCOM Area of Operations.

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The 24-month Fleet fielding plan for the NWU Type III begins Oct. 1, 2017, and ends Sept. 30, 2019. However, the uniform is now available for purchase in Navy Exchange Uniform Centers at Newport, Rhode Island; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and at Navy installations in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

Below is the Fleet distribution schedule for the NWU Type III:
* October 2017 – New accessions and Sailors assigned to commands at Recruit Training Command, Navy Officer Training Command and Navy Region Southwest
* January 2018 – Navy Region Southeast
* July 2018 – Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and Naval District Washington Region
* January 2019 – Navy Region Japan and Guam
* March 2019 – Navy Region Northwest
* June 2019 – NEXCOM uniform website and call center
* July 2019 – Other service exchange stores (i.e., Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores)

Naturally, manufacturing production rates could accelerate or delay uniform availability and would mean some adjustment to the implementation schedule. As it is, the Navy plans a relatively short transition period when both the NWU Type I and III will be authorized, with the Type III becoming the primary shore working uniform Oct. 1, 2019.

GULFPORT, Miss. (Aug. 13, 2013) Students fire M-4 carbines during a live-fire training exercise at the Center for Security Forces Learning Site. The course is designed to provide personnel with basic expeditionary combat skills training necessary to professionally and safely perform high-risk security operations when assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Commands. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Coover/Released) GULFPORT, Miss. (Aug. 13, 2013) Students fire M-4 carbines during a live-fire training exercise at the Center for Security Forces Learning Site. The course is designed to provide personnel with basic expeditionary combat skills training necessary to professionally and safely perform high-risk security operations when assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Commands. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Coover/Released)

An interesting stipulation during the transition period is that Sailors can wear either the NWU Type I or NWU Type III until September 30, 2019, at the discretion of the unit commander or commanding officer (CO). The problem with this idea is that new Sailors won’t have the Blueberries after October of this year. It’s going to be difficult to tell Sailors to wear a uniform they weren’t issued and may not be able to purchase from the NEX due to limited availability of sizes.

Like the NWU Type I, the Type III is intended for wear ashore, in port and in environments that do not require special clothing (e.g., at sea, forward deployed during combat operations, areas requiring flame resistant uniforms) and when authorized as the uniform of the day. The NWU Type III may also be worn at sea for special events at the discretion of the CO.

While the NWU Type III will be issued to new recruits in Boot Camp, Enlisted Sailors already in the fleet will be required to purchase their own with their annual clothing replacement allowance which will increase beginning Oct. 1, 2017, and continue to expand in fiscal years 2018 and 2019. By law, commissioned officers are entitled to a one-time uniform stipend ($400) paid at the beginning of their careers. They’ll be buying their own as well.

The Navy also offers a Coyote fleece jacket as well as Type III pattern APECS Parka and Trousers for wear in inclement weather. However, according to the NAVADMIN, the older Black fleece jacket will remain the standard for this evening in the fleet.

NORFOLK (July 25, 2017) Electronics Technician 1st Class Gary Holton inspects an M2HB machine gun before Coastal Riverine Squadron 4 goes on an evening training patrol. CRS-4 is currently conducting a training cycle in preparation for a future deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick Enright/Released) NORFOLK (July 25, 2017) Electronics Technician 1st Class Gary Holton inspects an M2HB machine gun before Coastal Riverine Squadron 4 goes on an evening training patrol. CRS-4 is currently conducting a training cycle in preparation for a future deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick Enright/Released)

Additionally, Commands currently wearing the NWU Type III are authorized to issue a Coyote Command Ballcap which can be worn in lieu of the eight-point cover.

Finally, the Navy announced that 350 Sailors assigned to afloat units and shore installations are taking part in a three-month boot wear test to identify a replacement for the current NWU boot that is issued to Sailors. The completion of the boot study is expected by the end of this year. Be sure to review the NAVADMIN for a full list of alternative boots, authorized for wear with the NWU Type III.

AFCENT Updates Dress And Appearance Instruction; Does This Signal Changes Coming Air Force-Wide?

Friday, September 1st, 2017

AFCENT has published a major update to USAFCENTI-36-2903, “Dress and Appearance of AFCENT Air Force Personnel”. AFCENT is the air arm of US central Command and if there’s a part of the USAF that is at war 24/7, this is it. With even just a casual look at this Instruction, you can see that it is completely operationally focused, with no mention of dress uniforms. While we offer a summary of changes below, the biggest change is the guidance regarding wear of MultiCam/OCP uniforms.

The following uniforms are authorized as the Uniform of the Day (UOD) for Airmen assigned throughout AFCENT: the Airman Combat Uniform (ACU – previously referred to as multi-cam or OCP), the Fire Resistant-Airman Combat Uniform (FR-ACU), the Desert Flight Duty Uniform (DFDU), or the Airman Aircrew Combat Uniform (A2CU).

This is obviously great news for Middle-East-bound Airmen, but its timing makes us wonder if this is the first of a major uniform and camouflage change for the entire Air Force.

Based on conversations during base visits by CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright, like the one to Hurlburt seen above, rumors have been flying that the Air Force will soon announce a switch from the ill-named Airman Battle Uniform, in service since 2006, to the Army Combat Uniform and its Operational Camouflage Pattern.

According to USAFCENTI-36-2903, that uniform is now referred to as the Airman Combat Unifom when worn by Air Force personnel. While AFCENT has specified a wearout date for the legacy ABU of October 2018, that is only specific guidance for Airmen deploying to the CENTCOM AOR. If the USAF does in fact adopt the ACU, the wearout date across the service will most likely be in the 2020s. Likewise, AFCENT’s requirement that Airmen deploy in OCP uniforms only in 2018, may foreshadow an Air Force-wide change beginning the same year.


U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ronnie Birge, mission crew commander assigned to the 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron, studies his computer monitor during a mission aboard an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft out of Al Udeid, Air Base, Qatar, July 27, 2017. The E-8C JSTARS aircraft and crew provide essential battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Bradly A. Schneider/Released)

Major Revisions to AFCENTI 36-2903:
– Expanded wear guidance of the Airman Combat Uniform (ACU), all variations, which were previously referred to as OCPs, Multicam, or Scorpion Pattern
– Clarified guidance for ACU wear of patches, badges and insignias
– Clarification on the prohibition to mix and match camouflage patterns
– Clarification of the wear of rings
– Standard Uniform Postures have been removed but may be addressed in local guidance
– Authorized AEW or AEG/CCs to dictate wear of Airman Combat Shirt (ACS) for those who work outdoors
– Authorized ball caps with ACUs
– Mandated wear of Commanders Insignia Pin

AFCENT will mandate AOR-wide wear of the ACU (non Fire Resistant version) in 2018 with further implementation timeline to follow.

I’ve been discussing the possibility of a major duty uniform change for the Air Force with fellow Veteran C Combs, and he shared his thoughts on this Instruction.

He notes that Air Force functional badges aren’t commonly available in OCP, and that such an undertaking certainly points to an Air Force-wide transition. In fact, the functional badge featured in the illustration in AFCENTI 36-2903 had to be digitally created.

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Additionally, he made mention of the return of Ball Caps which harken back to the Squadron ball caps of the 80s and 90s. Although, these certainly have a 21st century twist. Better make sure those are Berry compliant caps, AFCENT A4. That cap in the illustration looks suspiciously like it came from China.

Other Air Force personnel have noted the return of Unit insignia, a practice which went away with the adoption of the ABU. Between that and the retiring of unit ball caps there was little opportunity for personnel to show unit pride.

Airmen will also be allowed to wear earned FWSSI, or as more commonly known, combat patches on their new ACUs. Like the Army, they will also wear an American flag on the right sleeve of their uniform.

The Instruction also notes that “any ACU pattern uniform previously issued or acquired at no cost to the government should be worn by AFCENT personnel” which leaves plenty of room for unit issued uniforms by various manufacturers in MultiCam, as in the case of AFSOC and many Battlefield Airmen AFSCs. Let’s hope the AFI, when published, is as flexible.

Also, Sleeves may be cuffed up or folded under at the wrist. This is entirely too accommodating!

One issue did seem odd. While AFCENTI 36-2903 details which color thread can be used for insignia, they left out the color of thread for 1st LT, Capt, LT Col and Col, as well as the General Officer ranks. This color is probably the missing fourth color.

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Probably the best thing about this Instruction is that it drives the nail in the coffin of both the ABU and 8-point hat for wear by Airmen in a combat theater.

On a final note, it’s great to see that neither “blouse” nor “cover” were used in the Instruction. Thank you to the author(s).

Get your copy here.

The NFM Group Releases GARM Combat Uniform 2.0

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

In Norse mythology, GARM is the goddess HEL’s hellhound, the trustworthy watchdog of HELHEIM’s gate (Norse Mythology’s name for Hell). GARM has enormous strength and will go to extremes to protect his master’s assets.

Ski, Norway, August 2017 – The NFM Group is announcing the launch of GARM Combat Uniform 2.0, comprising combat jacket and pants, which has been developed based on the Scandinavian heritage of multi-use clothing for harsh terrains and environment where mobility is key to preserve combat endurance. The GARM Combat Uniform 2.0, has been released first on the NFM Group’s European e-commerce site, NorseGear (www.norsegear.com) in Norwegian Woodland pattern.

GARM® is NFM Group’s combat clothing brand, which incorporates a complete line of combat garments, from underwear to outer wear. The end-users of GARM® are professionals who need to have complete confidence in the functionality and quality of the equipment they use.

“We are thrilled to release the new generation GARM Combat Uniform. We have been working on design, functionality and technology for over three years, and after extended field trials we feel confident to release the second-generation uniform for the professional users.”
Lasse Johansen, Norwegian GARM® Program Manager

The NFM Group have leapt one step ahead implementing new technologies and design to the various garments for comfort and functionality. Features like pre-bent knees, elbows and many other outdoor clothing functional fit features have been preserved to give the end-user optimal mobility. The NFM Group will release the new combat clothing in several standard colors; raptor green, hellhound grey and raven black. For volume program deliveries, NFM Group will be able to supply in colors and pattern of choice, as well as in various fabrics.

Following the GARM Combat Uniform 2.0, the GARM Combat Shirt 2.0 will be available for retail in 2017. Lasse Johansen states further, ” The next generation of GARM Combat Clothing based on Scandinavian heritage and craftmanship is just around the corner. Follow us on our website and through social media.”

www.nfm.no
www.equipnor.no
www.norsegear.com

NW Alpine – Military Mountaineering Collection

Monday, August 28th, 2017

I was introduced to this new specialist clothing line at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market by Graham of Cilo Gear.  The NW Alpine Military Mountaineering Collection weighs in at just 102 oz, consisting of five pieces, a hardshell jacket, salopette, baselayer salopette, insulated pants and an insulated jacket. Made in the USA at their factory in Newberg, Oregon, all pieces are Berry Compliant.

Dyneema® Jacket

Based on their award-winning Eyebright Jacket climbing shell, this is a waterproof MultiCam Dyneema® Jacket.

Crafted from ultralight Dyneema® Composite Fabrics, featuring fibers that are fifteen times stronger than steel, this full-zip shell takes durability to a new level. Its small size, weighing in at approximately 8 ounces, packs down into a fist-size bundle, allowing you to carry more of what you need.

While many waterproof jackets kill breathability, the MultiCam Dyneema® features a highly breathable, proprietary construction and ePTFE eVent membrane that tests at over 50,000 g/m2. In other words, with this jacket, overheating on hours-long training runs is a thing of the past. Each jacket is individually laser-cut, sewn and seamtaped by hand.

The Jacket in these photos is a Large. It is cut for layering.

Salopette

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For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘Salopette’ it’s a generic term for climbing pants. They can range from a high waisted pant, to a traditional bib-style, to a one-piece which resembles a sleeveless coverall. Salopettes are worn by climbers as they cover more of the lower back, and help avoid cold spots when jackets ride up. Likewise, these are an evolution of NW Alpine’s one-piece salopette bib for alpinists. They use a waterpfoof/breathable softshell fabric, with the durability and abrasion-resistance of Tweave Durastretch® fabric in a comfortable fleece-lined package. A through-the-crotch zipper with three pulls allows easy access to the facilities while wearing a harness. It’s finished with zippered chest pockets, dual thigh pockets, Dyneema® scuff guards and knee pad pockets.

Baselayer Salopette

Designed to work in tandem with their Salopette shell, this 270 gsm fleece baselayer features three pulls along the through-the-crotch zipper to make using the facilities a breeze.

Belay Jacket

Featuring 133 gram Primaloft insulation, this durable jacket provides the perfect balance of warmth, weight and packability. The shell fabric is a Nanosphere coated 1.55oz ripstop nylon with a light 20D nylon taffeta for the liner. Features include an adjustable, helmet compatible hood, adjustable hem, zippered hand warmer pockets, chest pocket and internal stretch pockets to store gloves and other accessories.

The jacket in these photos is a Medium.

Alpha Pant

They use Polartec® Alpha insulation for this pant because of it’s superior breathability. The shell features Tweave Durastretch® panels along the sides of the legs and wrapping behind the knees as well as Dyneema® scuff guards, in addition to waterproof and breathable Dyneema® fabric in the seat. Three quarter zips up the side make on/off easy, even when wearing boots.

While versions of this system have been in the field for some time with select customers, NW Alpine introduced the production system in time for End of Year spending.

The collection is available until September 30th, 2017 at an introductory price of $3,500, with free shipping in the USA.

nwalpine.com/military

Arc’teryx LEAF Cold WX Wool

Friday, August 25th, 2017

I wore Arc’teryx LEAF’s Cold WX Wool baselayers throughout last winter. They are very comfortable. The engineered core spun wool combines the natural anti-odour properties of Merino wool with increased durability perfect for multiple day wear. For this winter, you might want to check out the LS Shirt AR and Bottom AR.

LS Shirt AR

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Bottom AR

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Features:
• Wool retains warmth when damp, transfers moisture away from core
• Low profile seams improve next-to-skin comfort
• Articulated fit allows full range of movement

Offered in Black and Crocodile, sizes XS – XXL.

leaf.arcteryx.com

CANSOF Seeks Advanced Special Operations Forces Combat Uniform

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

In a solicitation published to Public Works, the Department of National Defence (DND) has issued a requirement for Commercial-Off-The-shelf Advanced Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Uniforms (ASCU) to be supplied in accordance with DND specifications.

It is a two stage procurement:

Step I (Initial Contract): each Bidder deemed compliant will be awarded a contract for the supply of a quantity of twenty (20) Shirts and quantity twenty (20) Pants. These Combat Uniforms will be subjected to a User Acceptance performance Evaluation.

Step II (Main Contract): Following the User Acceptance Performance Evaluation result, one contract will be awarded for the Combat Uniforms. The Requisition on contract (ROC) will be for one (1) year with the option to extend for four (4) additional one (1) year period. The Bidder must supply and deliver the Combat uniforms as specified in Individual Requisition on Contract.

The candidate uniforms will be manufactured from No Melt No Drip fabric in the MultiCam print. The uniforms will be trialled by 10 wearers and their technical merit will be evaluated based in these factors:

Although they want samples in MultiCam print, they’ve included a place holder for other colors and patterns in the solicitation.

Have an exterior finish as follows:

a. Printed with the MULTICAM® camouflage pattern; and

b. Other finishes as available including white, black, tan and alternate camouflage patterns;

Another interesting requirement for potential bidders:

Expertise and Proven Design
The Bidder must be an experienced military uniform manufacturer by having been in the business of developing, manufacturing and/or selling military uniforms for a minimum of three (3) years and having sold a minimum of five hundred (500) uniforms to an American, British, Canadian or Australian (ABCA) military force in the last five (5) years.

It will be interesting to see if this solicitation gets CANSOF away from the Peerless manufactured uniforms they are currently using.

Kitanica – American Hoodie Now Available In Flat Dark Earth

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Kitanica’s American Hoodie is made from breathable 200 weight fleece with flat lock stitching. The hood has a stiffened brim with an adjustable cinching shock cord. You also note a large, zippered kangaroo pocket, baxked with mesh, at the front and Velcro fields on either sleeve. The left sleeve also features Kitanica’s signature covered pen tubes mounted on a zippered bicep pocket. 

FDE joins Black and Stone Green in sizes X-Small – XXX-Large.

www.kitanica.net/Kitanica-American-Hoodie

Point 6 – 37.5 Tactical Defender Sock

Monday, August 21st, 2017

Last year, Point 6 announced a partnership with Cocona to introduce the 37.5 technology into Merino socks.

I’m a huge fan of Merino wool and the 37.5 helps with moisture transfer. Additionally, like Merino, 37.5 is no melt, no drip, relying on activated carbon from coconut shells. It doesn’t hold nasty smells either.

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There is a whole range of socks, but one you might want to look at is the 37.5 tactical defender medium mid-calf. I’ll call it the Goldilocks of their line. You can go up or down in features and performance from there, based on your activity, your feet, and the environment.

I’ve been wearing the low, athletic version interspersed with my other Point 6 socks, and like them a lot. All of my Point 6 socks have outlasted other brands.