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Army Camouflage Improvement Effort for Dummies

Since we’re seeing a lot of internet chatter indicating that many are under the impression that the Army Camouflage Improvement Effort will immediately result in a singular “winner” and that the Army will immediately replace UCP, we though it would be a good idea to post a few facts in bullet format.

– Universal Camouflage Pattern is not performing as envisioned.

– The Army Camouflage Improvement Effort is a multi-phase project to improve the camouflage of its Soldiers. The Army is seeking a family of three camouflage patterns with identical geometry and tailored colorways for woodland, desert, and transitional environments with an optional fourth pattern to complement Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment.

– During the current phase industry and government families of patterns were evaluated using a picture-in-picture technique to identify the top four performing commercial submissions (allegedly up to 20 were submitted) and a single top government option. Additionally, a baseline consisting of OCP (MultiCam), MARPAT (Woodland and Desert), AOR (1&2) was also evaluated to determine the current level of camouflage performance afforded by these patterns. This performance metric is referred to as “baseline.”

– Soon, the US Army will announce the finalists consisting of four commercially developed families of patterns and one government developed family of patterns.

– These selected vendors will have their patterns printed on 50/50 NYCO and 500D Cordura fabric and turn this material over to the Army to have uniforms and OCIE manufactured for field trials.

– The Army will conduct field trials consisting of a variety of tests with actual maneuver elements to aid in determining the best camouflage option.

– The Army leadership has been briefed throughout this effort.

– We fully expect the remainder of this effort to take a minimum of 18 months based on the requirement to print fabric in completely new patterns, organize and conduct testing, analyze data and prepare courses of action including programming (finding) rock drills and brief the Army leadership.

– There is still no funding or guarantee that this effort will result in one of these patterns being fielded.

– However, we fully believe that UCP will be replaced. Whether it is with one of the Army Camouflage Improvement Effort family of patterns or another option remains to be seen.

BOTTOM LINE: Based on the effort’s current pace, do not look for a UCP replacement for at least 18 months with further delays likely.

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