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Archive for the ‘Multicam’ Category

Get Your Bates Recondo Jungle Boots Exclusively from Tactical Distributors

Friday, August 1st, 2014

TD Recondo Banner

Bates Footwear recently debuted their Recondo jungle boot, developed for a specialized military requirement for a boot for hot, wet environments. Now, they are available exclusively from Tactical Distributors. They feature side panels in the MultiCam pattern which is also known in the US military as Operational Camouflage Pattern.

www.tacticaldistributors.com/new-arrivals/bates-recondo-jungle-boot

Last Call – Blue Force Gear Ties

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

I’ve always thought that these Blue Force Gear ties were quite smart, particularly the Coyote and Urban Wolf models. Naturally, there’s a MultiCam version as well for those of you who can spice things up on casual Friday. Made from 330 Cordura with a red BFG reticle at the bottom of the tie .

BFG Ties

www.blueforcegear.com/bfg-ties

Team MultiCam at the Red Bull Romaniacs

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Team MultiCam in action at the Romaniacs

Made up of a crew of British Soldiers, Team MultiCam has been participating all week in the annual Red Bull Romaniacs motorcycle enduro rally in Sibiu, Romania. Prior to the four day rally in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania the team must pass a series of Enduro Trials obstacles along the streets of Sibiu.

Prolog

This Prolog determines the starting order for the next four days in the mountains where each stage of the rally can range from 60 to 120 miles per day through the roughest natural terrain imaginable pushing man and machine to the absolute limit.

Team MultiCam uniforms

As you can see, the team is outfitted in custom MultiCam riding gear, including helmets with art by HydroGraphics Inc and Image Craft.

Team MultiCam Helmets

Here are the video recaps of the first three days of racing.

Day 1 Prolog

Day 2

Day 3

Be sure to follow www.facebook.com/multicampattern for the latest updates.

Team MultiCam bikes

And oh yeah, one of the bikes will be auctioned off during SHOT Show 2015 to raise funds for charity. We’ll pass along details as soon as they are available.

Warrior East – Bates Recondo Update

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Last week we showed you the new Recondo jungle boot from Bates Footwear. There was a lot of interest but some readers were concerned with the MultiCam colorway produced for SOF customers. Never fear, Bates has anticipated your concerns and produced prototypes of a wide variety of models including the Coyote model below.

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They’ve also made models in the entire MultiCam family including Arid, Black and Tropical.

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They’ve also looked at offering camouflage color soles for some customers.

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www.BatesFootwear.com

Latest Info On US Army Transition To Scorpion Camouflage Including Accessory Colors and Schedules

Monday, June 30th, 2014

This is the latest info shared with industry during a recent briefing. Everything is subject to change but most of it jives with what I have heard elsewhere.

-The Army selected a new camouflage pattern o/a 5 May 2014 as previously reported here on SSD.

-There is still no formal announcement from Army leadership but PEO Soldier and Natick are working very closely with industry to make this happen.

-Official, Berry Compliant, Scorpion W2 fabric is being printed. It is Scorpion W2 and not the W1 variant that everyone keeps searching for on the internet. I do not have photos of the pattern yet but a friend has seen it at the printers and describes it as similar to MultiCam but with very distinct differences. Attention Chinese printers attempting to flood the market with knockoff Scorpion fabric; you’re printing the wrong pattern!

-The ACU will continue to be the style of uniform. It will just have a new paint job but also incorporate modified sleeve pockets with zippers from the Army Combat Shirt. No other changes have been announced.

-Boots and gloves will be solid Coyote 498. No definitive word yet on t-shirts.

-Pulls such as loop and hook, thread, zippers and so on, will be Tan 499 as is currently used with MultiCam OCP. I still have no word on Scorpion printed webbing or hook and loop.

UPDATE

Tan 499 Chip from ITW Nexus Coyote Color Chip from ITW Nexus

These are Tan 499 (left) and Coyote (right) color chips from ITW which we first shared in 2010 when the Army had just adopted OCP and wanted to let you know what was going on.

-Currently, a tentative mandatory possession date for Scorpion clothing bag items is 3 years from the decision date. However, mandatory wearout/possession dates traditionally have fallen on Sep 30/Oct 1 to coincide with the fiscal year. No word yet on the wearout date for UCP or MultiCam/OCP. Despite assertions to the contrary by some, DLA continues to purchase items in MultiCam/OCP and the Army is fully aware that OCIE items in a modified UCP (Coyote overdye) as well as the MultiCam variant of OCP will remain in service for years to come.

-The goal is for clothing bag items in the new Scorpion W2 pattern to be available in 128 military clothing stores by May 1, 2015 and in clothing bag issues to new accessions starting Oct 1, 2015 at the 4 major Basic Training Central Issue Facilities. This is different than previous transitions to new patterns which saw issue to new accessions and their Drill Sergeants first with slightly delayed availability to the rest of the force.

-The Army is working closely with DLA Troop Support to only procure fill in sizes of ACUs in UCP. They have to continue to purchase them so long as they continue to issue them to new accessions in the clothing bag. This is one reason that making Scorpion W2 available first to the existing force through the Clothing Sales Stores makes little sense. The sooner they transition Basic Trainees to Scorpion, the sooner they can stop purchasing UCP. This plan would waste taxpayer dollars by purchasing unneeded uniforms that do not perform.

-The Army anticipates that at least 1/2 of its Soldiers will possess Scorpion ACUs within the first year. They are also anticipating a run on the clothing sales stores and are working hard to create a sufficient stock.

-Planners have prioritized clothing and equipment into 4 tiers. Tier 1 is everything that goes into the clothing bag and these are the main priority as the Army wants these available at Clothing Sales by May 1, 2015. Tier 2 includes all combat clothing items that have been purchased through RFI. Tier 3 and 4 products such as sleeping bags are considered less critical items.

-A large amount of money is planned for the transition (I am told up to $370 million) starting 1Q FY 2015. The Army plans to acquire Scorpion print equipment in one of two ways. First, they plan to modify current DLA Troop Support contracts that have approximately 2 or more option years remaining. On other items, Natick will issue new contracts, especially for those items that have traditional long lead times through DLA Troop Support.

-The primary means of transitioning from MultiCam OCP to Scorpion for TA50 will be through RFI/Deployer Equipment Bundles. MultiCam and UCP kit will remain in some parts of the force for some time to come. Yes, expect some mixing of patterns with OCIE for the near term. It’s going to happen. Hopefully, it won’t be uniform coats and trousers.

-The Army has currently contracted 5 printers with each concentrating on a different type of material such as NYCO, Cordura, FR, etc. Already, 1,500 to 2,000 yards of NYCO and Cordura have been printed. That is but a drop in the bucket. The long pole in this tent is getting the materials to pass the shading process and then to get different printers to learn how to do more than one substrate (type of material). Each type of material or substrate absorbs dye differently and the adoption of multiple patterns by DoD over the past 10 years has taught us that this process isn’t easy for companies to perfect. Specialists at Natick must examine fabric samples from each run and ensure that they meet quality standards for color and print. The Army desires to add additional printers but the bench is only so deep and the their missteps regarding a camouflage path forward and subsequent curtailing of purchases of combat clothing and equipment have sent the supply chain into disarray. Several years ago, shading process issues with USAF Digital Tigerstripe almost ran one company out of business. Some companies may not recover.

-There is no word on whether Scorpion W2 will be an unrestricted pattern meaning it could be printed and sold commercially. Based on some legal issues, Scorpion W2 may well not be available for use by manufacturers for commercial use or for outside of program buys. If it is not, no commercial products in Scorpion W2 will be available. The Army will have to decide whether it will allow Soldiers to use commercial products such as day packs in MultiCam. The patterns are similar in nature and use similar colors but they are not exact.

-Air Force deployers: You get your clothing and equipment from the Army’s stocks. You’ll get what the Army is issuing, when it issues it. This may be MultiCam OCP or Scorpion OCP.

Side By Side Look At Australian Camo

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This photo depicts (top to bottom) the new Australian MultiCam Uniform print, Crye Precision MultiCam and the old Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform print dating from the 80s.

Australian Camo

It’s a good depiction of how AMCU is a hybrid which uses the Australian MultiCam Print pattern geometry developed by Crye Precision but integrates some of the more traditional DPP/DPCU colors.

Sneak Peek – New Australian Cold Weather Jacket (AMCU)

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Here’s a snapshot of the new Australian cold weather jacket – in the new camouflage; the latest variant of Australian MultiCam Uniform. Initial issue scheduled for Q4/14.

Cold Weather AMCU

The new AMCU uses the AMP print screens developed by Crye Precision but integrates some of the more traditional DPP/DPCU colors.

Scorpion

Monday, April 14th, 2014

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Here’s a photo I ran across today of the original Scorpion logo from Crye Precision.

Blast from the Past – Battlefield Airmen on the Job

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Why? Because I just like this post from March, 2011 is why.

We like seeing official Air Force photos of Battlefield Airmen applying airmanship to the tasks at hand. In this case we see U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stacy Maxey, a command air mobility liaison officer with Task Force CROM, giving a landing zone safety officer course U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Romanian army personnel at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Lagman, Afghanistan.

You will note the combination of AF Digital Tigerstripe, Army UCP and Army OCP (MultiCam) clothing and equipment on the Airmen in the photo. Expect this to be the norm for at least the near future as deploying Airmen transition to OCP.

SSD Exclusive – MultiCam Creator Crye Precision Speaks Out Regarding US Army Efforts to Adopt New Camouflage

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Recently, Soldier Systems Daily published a story detailing the three latest courses of action that the Army is considering to adopt a new camouflage pattern. After reading that story, Crye Precision contacted me and said that they were considering providing SSD with some information that would clarify their position on the matter. Heretofore, Crye Precision has been very tight lipped about everything Army camouflage related and my questions have been met with a pat, “we can’t talk about that.”

While no one in the US Army has made an official statement on the current state of the effort, it has definitely gone way off schedule and seems to have lost its focus. Unfortunately, the Army has abandoned its own plan and along with it the transparency that Phase IV of the Camouflage Improvement Effort once enjoyed. Facts are difficult to come by. Crumbs of information appear here and there. Sources leak confidential info to the press. In the process, we begin to see a distorted view of what is going on. From the Army’s standpoint, it seems that Crye Precision is asking for the moon. But based on what I’ve read from Crye, a new picture begins to take focus and I am beginning to feel that the Army and Crye Precision aren’t really in negotiations at all. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the Army’s actions suggest they don’t seem to be negotiating in good faith. Hopefully, the Army and Crye can work this out. I remain incensed that no one in the US Government can seem to pick up a pencil and paper and work out the math on this. After investing over $1 Billion in equipment in the effective Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP)/MultiCam since 2010, the Army should be happy to pay Crye Precision a fair and reasonable fee in order to negotiate a cost savings over the next decade or more.

Early this morning I received the following information in an email from Caleb Crye. It contains some very significant pieces of info. At least now we have one side of the story and hopefully, the US Army will be more forthcoming regarding their position on this.

MC in Combat

Ultimately, the goal is to provide the American Soldier with the most effective equipment. Let’s hope that institutional momentum, bureaucracy and personal agendas haven’t made the Army lose sight of this.

I have published the contents of the memorandum below and you can download your copy of the document here.

Introduction

Over the past fourteen years, Crye Precision has produced millions of protective items for the US Army and other branches of the Department of Defense. We are proud of our work and are honored to serve those who put their lives on the line to ensure our freedoms. As a business, our focus and internal challenge has always been to develop innovative designs that help our warfighters survive and succeed on the battlefield. We have offered countless products, from body armor to protective apparel to simulation software that reduce casualties and save lives, however, it is our MultiCam® camouflage pattern which stands above all of our products as having done the most to safeguard our troops. Though it is impossible to accurately calculate the number of casualties reduced and Soldier’s lives saved as a result of being well concealed from the enemy, the overwhelming number of direct accounts from warfighters citing MultiCam’s® undeniable performance advantage in combat are the truest testaments to MultiCam’s® effectiveness.

Crye Precision rarely weighs in publicly but in light of recently released confidential information that has misrepresented Crye Precision and the situation surrounding the Army’s efforts to develop new camouflage patterns, we feel compelled to correct the record on behalf of our company, our industry partners, the taxpayers and the warfighters who deserve nothing less than our best efforts.

Key Facts

- On June 14, 2004, the Army officially adopted its familiar “pixely” blue-gray Universal Camouflage Pattern (dubbed “UCP”). Alarmingly, this pattern was adopted without scientific or operational testing.

- From 2005-2006, the Army tested MultiCam® against UCP. The Army’s official side-by-side test report confirmed that MultiCam® rated significantly higher than UCP in all environments, meaning that Soldiers wearing UCP were being put at significantly higher risk than if they were wearing MultiCam®. Despite this UCP remains the Army’s official camouflage pattern and is still being issued to this day.

- In 2006, after seeing the ineffectiveness of UCP on the battlefield in Iraq, U.S. Army Special Operations units independently tested MultiCam® against multiple patterns and adopted it. MultiCam® has been proven effective by these units during thousands of combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters. To this day, it remains their issued camouflage pattern for organizational clothing and individual equipment.

- After numerous complaints in 2009 from Soldiers about the ineffectiveness of the Army issued UCP putting troops at risk in Afghanistan, Congress ordered the Army to take swift action to improve the situation. In response, the Army developed another program to test new camouflages. The Army tested sixteen patterns, including newly introduced Army developed patterns in a “Pattern-In-Picture” test against MultiCam®. Results: MultiCam® was cited as best overall performer.

- In early 2010 the Army conducted yet another camouflage test. This time testing five patterns against MultiCam® in numerous Afghanistan environments. Again, MultiCam® outperformed all others. The Army began a limited fielding of MultiCam® in 2010 to serve as an “interim solution” for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), all the while continuing to issue UCP to all troops not deployed to OEF. (The Army re-named MultiCam® as “OCP”.)

- 2011, the Army decided that it wanted to adopt a “family” of camouflage patterns (i.e., in addition to a multi or “transitional” environment pattern), and initiated yet another camouflage testing program. The Army program was launched under the name “Phase IV”, representing the fourth and final part of its most recent camouflage improvement effort. After two years of yet another expensive and exhaustive evaluation, the Crye submission, which was based entirely on MultiCam®, was again selected as the top performer. Crye was advised by PM-CIE leadership via teleconference on May 1, 2013 that its submission had won the final program phase of the camouflage improvement effort, and that a formal announcement would be forthcoming.

- Following the notification about winning phase IV from PM-CIE, Crye assumed that the Army would continue to take advantage of the already well-established manufacturing base for MultiCam® raw materials and end items, as it had been doing for years, as the Army does not currently license MultiCam® from Crye Precision, nor does it pay Crye Precision for its use.

- Instead, Army representatives approached Crye to discuss the market’s pricing of MultiCam® gear (such as uniforms) and told Crye that it would have to deliver “significant cost savings”. Since Crye does not supply the Army’s uniforms, Crye informed the Army that it, just like any other supplier deep in the supply chain, has no visibility on or ability to mandate the prices the government is charged by any of the uniform or gear makers. Crye agreed to do its part in the only way it could, which was by reducing already nominal fees it receives from its licensed fabric printers. Significantly, those fees represent only a very small part of the end-item cost and are deeply embedded in the supply chain (just as a fiber manufacturer or a dye provider is, for example.) Crye asked for nothing in return for offering this fee reduction. Crye’s proposal, which offered the Army a path to achieve immediate cost savings, was rejected outright by the Army.

- During negotiations with Crye, in October of 2013, the Army released a Justification and Approval (J&A) that it planned to issue MultiCam® as the Army’s “principle camouflage pattern”.

- Continuing its efforts to reduce costs to the Army and in an attempt to eliminate the Army’s concerns that MultiCam® was more expensive than UCP, Crye submitted several formal proposals which proved that the Army could procure MultiCam® gear at prices within 1% of UCP gear. Crye’s proposals additionally showed that this could be accomplished with no upfront cost to the Army.

- The Army rejected all of Crye’s proposals and did not present any counter proposals, effectively saying that a proven increase in Soldier survivability was not worth a price difference of less than 1%.

- The Army then requested that Crye provide a buyout price for MultiCam®. Crye advised the Army that a full buyout of MultiCam® was unnecessary, pointing to the fact that MultiCam® was readily available for competitive purchase and that the Army could simply continue its use of MultiCam® service-wide, with no new costs to the Army. In addition, Crye pointed out that this course of action would require Crye to cede quality and brand control to the Army, effectively undermining Crye’s commercial market permanently. As such, this option would have required the buyout price to include the entire lifetime value of the MultiCam® brand, and would have been prohibitively expensive.

- Crye declined to provide a buyout figure, which would have to be well into the tens of millions of dollars, because it was likely that any figure presented by Crye could be used out of context to misrepresent and mischaracterize Crye. It was only after continued requests from the Army, coupled with an acknowledgement from the Army that it fully understood that the cost would be in the tens of millions of dollars, and a promise that all information would be kept in strictest confidence, that Crye then agreed to provide a full valuation for the MultiCam® brand, along with a deeply discounted price to the Army for the buyout being requested.

- As Crye predicted, and despite the Army’s assurances to the contrary, Crye’s offer was rejected outright by the Army. No official counter offers to any of Crye’s proposals were ever provided to Crye by the Army.

- Confidential information provided by Crye to the Army has been released out of context, in a manner that misrepresents Crye as having been unwilling to negotiate with the Army and help it find the cost savings it indicated was its goal. In truth Crye has worked exceptionally hard to help the Army meet its stated goals and continues to so.

- Recent information suggests that the Army is now planning to yet again develop, test and field yet another new multi-environment camouflage pattern.

Summary

In Summary, MultiCam® is one of the most thoroughly-tested camouflage patterns in existence. It has been proven in combat and lab evaluations for the better part of a decade and is currently issued within multiple branches of our Armed Forces. It has been the top performer in every major Army camouflage test of the past decade and has been verified time and time again to provide a significant and undeniable Soldier survivability advantage. Its continued use by Soldiers in Afghanistan and Special Operations Forces is a testament to its effectiveness. MultiCam® materials and end-items are readily available today within the competitive market, and MultiCam® products have been proven to be available for nearly the same cost as UCP items. Despite all this, the Army remains on a persistent quest to replace MultiCam®, all the while it still issues UCP to this day, a camo pattern long-proven to put Soldiers at unnecessary risk.

A sincere thank you to all of you who risk your lives serving in defense of freedom. We remain unwavering in our commitment to you.

Examples of official feedback from Special Operations Forces:


“The MultiCam pattern is an excellent camouflage pattern that truly manages/reduces an individual’s signature on the battlefield. I firmly believe that more Rangers would have been seen
and shot during hours of daylight, if they hadn’t been outfitted with the MultiCam uniform. It’s a true force protection measure!”

“The camouflage pattern saved me and my gunner’s life by concealing us long enough to shoot first.”

“On specific missions where other members of the force were in ACU’s, they were specifically shot at or “drew fire” compared to members wearing the Crye pattern. The camouflage was amazing and
probably confused the enemy. It was very hard to see people at any distance with this uniform.”

“While taking fire in an area with moderate vegetation, the Soldiers wearing ACU’s stood out and received a higher volume of fire at their positions.”

“The MultiCam pattern is a must for combat operations in Afghanistan. We blended in perfectly with mountains of OEF.”

“We were ambushed on 3 sides by Taliban fighters. There was nowhere in my immediate vicinity that offered effective cover, so I dropped to the ground and fought from there. I was able to continuously spot and engage fighters approaching the rear of our formation before they were able to spot me despite the fact that I was laying in the open. I truly believe that your MultiCam uniforms kept me from being shot several times that day.”

And the list goes on…