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Army Combat Pants Are Go?

Natick has released a Request for Information from industry seeking for production of a Flame Resistant Improved Army Combat Uniform Trouser (Army Combat Pant). We wrote about the “FR ACU Trouser Product Improvement Program” in 2009 but not much information has been released since then. Ultimately, Crye Precision was given the contract to produce the test articles which were evaluated in Afghanistan last year by elements of the 101st.


This is a photo of a prototype.

This RFI signals the beginning of what may well be the introduction of an entirely new piece of combat apparel for issue. While many will argue that this is just an improvement of the current FR ACU trousers, that would only be true so long as the old style is no longer produced. The current FR ACU is an almost stitch for stitch copy of the current ACU worn in garrison as well as permissive field environments. Additionally, the Army issues the Army Combat Shirt which has been optimized for wear with body armor. The new so-called Army Combat Pants are optimized for combat use. This new combat oriented combination would make the FR ACU redundant as it has not been optimized for combat use. Will the Army retain the FR ACU? Most likely. There are plenty of reasons to issue an FR fatigue type of uniform.

Another interesting issue introduced in this RFI is that the ACP will be produced in both OCP as well as UCP. That’s right, despite the adoption of MultiCam as OCP for troops deployed to Afghanistan and a comprehensive camouflage development effort in the form of the Army Camouflage Improvement Effort, a full replacement for the ill-performing UCP can’t come soon enough. Until the Army can decide on a path ahead for signature management it will be forced to continue to invest in a camouflage pattern that does not work in but the most improbable circumstances.

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15 Responses to “Army Combat Pants Are Go?”

  1. Strike-Hold! says:

    Why are they wasting money to push this out in UCP? Surely, its really only the Afghan theatre where there is a more-or-less immediate need for these – so wouldn’t it be sensible, and prudent, to only produce them in OCP (ie. MultiCam) for now?

    Someone needs to pull someone’s head out of someone’s fourth point of contact…

  2. John Dodge says:

    Have they got those in OD green, size 3XL?

  3. Jay says:

    Crye Precision sells them in OD green, you can order them directly from their website.

  4. FormerDirtDart says:

    If the US Army is serious about saving money, they need to adopt a simple, single color “fatigue” uniform, and issue camouflage “combat” uniforms for use at appropriate times (training, deployments).
    The camouflage uniforms useful lifespan would be extended, and the Army would save a load of money by reducing clothing allowances. The “Fire Resistant” ensembles are already issue items, which soldiers are not required to maintain out of pocket. The non-FR ACUs (both UCP & OCP), which have essentially been relegated to “garrison” use, are a frivolous expense.

  5. Administrator says:

    There are no issue ACUs in OCP, only FRACUs.

  6. Strike-Hold! says:

    I’m with FormerDirtDart.

  7. James Thompson says:

    I’m so sick of the ACUs!!!! When are our leaders going to pull their heads out of their asses and go with multicam. I’ve been using multicams for a few years from the woods of North Carolina to Afghanistan and it works better than anything. My buds who have used it in the jungle say the same. We already have over 100,000 of us here with four sets of issued multicams so how hard and how much money would we save to say, “that’s it, it’s the new standard”. I can’t wait to retire!

  8. straps says:

    1. The pant commissioned by the Army is cut differently and better designed than the Combat Pants commercially available from Crye–and yeah, I have both–actually I have 2 pair of the “commercial” Combat Pant because they’re sized so strangely.

    2. Given the number of units whose launch dates and destinations are changing mid-workup, hopefully “OCP” becomes a Centcom-wide slection. When the last pinhead involved in the UCP debacle has his cake & coffee at the 5-sided puzzle palace hopefully this will happen. Though UCP/OCP matters less when 2 pair lasts one rotation for a troop that actually rates them. Also, doing what you’re supposed to be doing in these pants means the pattern will be visible for the first 6 hours.

  9. X says:

    I disagree with a single color uniform, it is bad enough troops have so many different pieces of useless crap. We should not be going back to the 1970’s.

    Yeah worn out camo can be a problem, so lets take care of that by examining fabrics that last, having useful allowances for clothing and some common sense policy used at regimental levels.

  10. Administrator says:

    X, they can give you a uniform made from a fabric that wears like iron. You just won’t want to wear it because it is so uncomfortable.

  11. Administrator says:

    ACU = Army Combat Uniform

    UCP = Universal Camouflage Pattern

    OCP = Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern

    If you dislike UCP don’t refer to it as ACU. ACU is a style of uniform, not a camouflage pattern.

  12. Paul says:

    What’s the rush? Aren’t we leaving soon?

  13. Gerry says:

    A few years ago, the Marines were looking at developing “Mountain Cammies”, a tough combat uniform for mountainous environments. Why can’t the Army and Marines get together on their uniforms requirements and save the taxpayer money?

  14. I says:

    Someone mentioned OCP for Jungle or Tropic use, you can take a look at MTP compared to woodland DPM in the green stuff here: http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/tt104/vor033/British%20Army/18ed86f8.jpg Its probably a lot better when soaked through and darker tho!

    As for separate garrison and combat dress (Formerdirtdart), British Army used to have this, as soon as CS95 came out it was very popularly adopted for use in camp as well as in the field and the old Barracks and Working dresses largely went away. Now CS95 is being replaced by PCS and FAD we might be heading back to the old way. For what it’s worth I’m not sure issuing separate rig is that much of a money saving idea:
    1. If it’s rugged enough to take to the field then is it really going to get worn out in camp so easily?
    2. How expensive is it going to be to reissue everyone with yet another set of uniforms?
    3. When are they really going to be worn anyway?

  15. Administrator says:

    Good points I says.