B5 Systems

The Challenges of Camo in Afghanistan

Strike Hold! has put together an excellent article on the challenges of providing effective camouflage for troops serving in Afghanistan. It seems the British are now starting to ask about their force’s patterns as well. An article appeared in the Daily Mail and one of the headlines was “Soldiers forced to dye their own camouflage gear in MoD blunder”. The photos in Stike Hold!’s story tell all and American readers should pay particular attention to very last one (shown here).

In it we see a US Marine in MARPAT-Desert, a very effective pattern; for the desert. This is the ultimate problem with specialized patterns. They are tuned for particular environments and once you are in another, you really stick out. It can be like showing up to a black tie function dressed for a costume ball, only deadlier. So answering Congressional concerns over Army camo in Afghanistan may not be as simple as “replace UCP”. It is highly likely that logisticians (and leaders) will look at Afghanistan and say “Desert”. The desire to field a desert uniform for a country with multiple environments will have similar consequences to what we see happening here with US Marine and British Army personnel. A universal pattern becomes very desirable in an operational area where troops could be in the city in the morning and an area with lush vegetation by evening.

Be sure to read the entire article.

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