B5 Systems

What’s The Latest On RAAF Camo? I’ll Give You A Hint, It’s Blue

Awhile back we showed you an atrocious Blue variant of the Australian MultiCam Pattern being trialled by the Royal Australian Air Force.


According to a story in the RAAF newspaper, this new uniform, known as the General Purpose Uniform, will begin to replace the current DPCU for RAAF personnel beginning on the Air Force birthday in March, 2014. According to Air Marshall Brown, Chief of the RAAF, this uniform is for noncombat use, “to be worn within the workplace and on non-warlike operational duties such as deployments on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.” Those deploying to operational areas will receive appropriate uniforms for the environment. This design was chosen over three other candidate patterns.

Thanks JD for the heads up!

Tags: ,

31 Responses to “What’s The Latest On RAAF Camo? I’ll Give You A Hint, It’s Blue”

  1. JC says:

    So my question is.. What did the other 3 variants look like? Would have been nice to see.

  2. Winston says:

    What a fine wasted of government $$$. There is absolutely no need for it, except to provide the wearer a fine fuzzy sense of self-worth by getting their own uniform.

  3. threeseven says:

    It’s good that I will be able to tell RAAF personnel at a distance now, they should have just given them solid grey work overalls or something though instead of wasting money on a pattern. Particularly one that doesn’t blend in with any environment known to man.

    • wazza says:

      I fully agree with you threeseven. A waste of resources , when a more pragmatic solution would of sufficed. Some camo designer scored some bucks for a useless camo pattern , when a single coloured work garment would of done all the above minus the design cost & still have service recognition. Like the comment below now the RAAF & RAN have patterns suited to some posturing developing nation paramilitary.

  4. Dave says:

    Perhaps they sought inspiration from Colonel Gaddafi’s Amazonian Guard uniform? Are they going to coin it “Sky Camo” I wonder? Perhaps this article should be placed in the WTF category…

  5. wheeler says:

    I thought that this kind of ,,camouflage” was for third world countries who wanted to look cool & stuff. It goes especially great with big epaulettes and big gold rank insignia. Is RAAF considering these?

  6. James says:

    I think there’s a naval Multicam, too.
    You can see a bit of it in use by this SF boarding team on their plate carriers:

  7. cimg says:

    Whats with the non-camo camo fetish lately? Either USAF gucci tigerstrip, USN blue digital, RAAF etc. Is it totally for “branding”, in that case why even use a “camo” pattern at all?. Is it so that spilled oil and hydraulic fluid don’t stain as bad and thus don’t need to swap out uniforms( at least that has some justification), or is it that the GO’s are just off their rockers and want to spend some tax payer monies!!! i would argue the later.

    • Timmay says:

      Non-camo camo is the new rage, about a month ago we saw a new pattern from the folks that brought us ATACS made for SWAT that stated in the description that it was not supposed to blend in to any environment. The purpose was to project an image.

      Will this make the Aussie Parliament pass a law requiring all forces to wear the same uniform…

    • SSD says:

      Most of the world’s militaries have used various camouflage patterns for identities sake for decades. It’s not a new phenomenon, just new for the US.

      • Bradkaf308 says:

        World militaries, or world Armies? Armies, makes sense. But Navy & Air Force? Really kids? If you think the Army is so much cooler rebadge. A nice khaki maybe?

      • Mobious says:

        And we all know what that did to the red coats in woodland territory, now they’re blue (sure, these guys will be in the air though)

  8. Bman says:

    They can thank the clowns who decided blue camo was a good uniform for Sailors in the US Navy for the inspiration. Complete waste of money like others have said.

  9. Engineer says:

    Did the US invent branch specific camouflage patterns?

    • SSD says:

      No, many nations have been doing this since the inception of camouflage. But consider this, with the exception of the Air Force and Coast Guard, none of the US military services have similar dress uniforms.

      If one was to make an argument that the field uniforms should be the same, then why not all uniforms?

      • Engineer says:

        I can think of cogent arguments for both cases. Good food for thought.

      • danny says:

        Canada uses CADPAT combats forces wide and element colors for dress uniforms(black NAVY blue AIR FORCE green ARMY) works

  10. Philip says:

    It looks like they took the colors from the USN’s blue digi cams and printed them with MultiCam screens. Would be interesting to see what the other contenders were…

  11. Damien says:

    The implementation of the RAAF GPU was designed to give “brand awareness” in the community as the RAAF is constantly mistaken for the Australian Army either in Australia in the towns and cities, or during humanitarian relief, etc, overseas. This uniform in effect replaces the CWD (Combined Working Dress), which was plain navy blue uniform that was retired in 2007. Ironically it was retired due to the added expense of maintaining 3 uniforms.

    Australia is currently in the early stages of transitioning from AUScam to AMP (Australian Multicam Pattern), an almost identical design to the UK, US and Canadian Multicams.

    Currently Australian has DPCU (its regular AUScam), and DPDU (Disruptive Pattern Desert Uniform), a version of AUScam using sands and browns instead of greens. Due to the recent amount of wars undertaken in areas requiring both uniforms, Multiccam was found to better suit both environments. In short, with AUScam departing us, the Australian Army now transitions from two types of camouflage uniform, to one type.

    The CAF (Chief of the Air Force), explained in his internal media release that the costs involved in having the GPU, are “cost-neutral”, in that the RAAF will fore-go the DPCU completely, in favour of the GPU as the standard uniform. This means that the money they would normally spend paying for DPCU, will be spent paying for GPU. Active units such as ADG’ies (Airfield Defence Guards) and Expeditionary Combat Support Squadrons will continue to receive their DPCU’s until AMP is fully phased in and then they will receive that. This initative was made possible through the Combat Clothing Review started in mid 2011. Since then the RAAF has phased out uniforms like Red Sea Rig Mess Dress, Tropical Dress and delayed the issue of a lot of uniform and kit to Officer Cadets and Recruits until they have passed their Initial Employment Training (IET). All these things have made the cost savings that have allowed the GPU to come about.

    The rationale is that few RAAF personnel actually ever wear DPCU in its intended environment. In the event any personnel that don’t have DPCU actually need it, they would be issued with DPCU/AMP as a temporary issue uniform, much the same way that Australian Army personnel are temporarily issued DPDU these days.

    In short then,

    The cost is “cost-neutral”; the only excess cost being the design and development, plus loss of “productive” work hours that everyone associated with the project could’ve spent doing something else.

    The Army will save MASSIVELY with AMP instead of DPCU AND DPDU.

    The RAAF will have its identity back and will draw on AMP only when neccessary.

    At least that’s what I’m lead to believe…

    • BM says:

      The above statement is incorrect, DMO is still purchasing in great QTY DPC, I.e. the General Purpose Jacket.

      Within the scope of the recent Combat Uniform tender, DPC was still a requirement.

      There are no major procurements at present for AMP, only that as listed above.

      After the draw down, AMP will back into the shadows until required again and will be come most likely deployment specific.

      Dress of the Day will continue to be DPC for some time.

    • Garviel says:

      @Damien – wrong.

      DPDU hasn’t been worn for a number of years in Afghan (or anywhere else) and is not, nor ever has been, a general issue uniform. AMP is no more effective in Aust than DPCU and there is no plan for a general change-over from DPCU to AMP. There is no cost saving in changing to AMP.

      Any RAAF personnel deployed to the MEAO wear DPCU and would be unlikely to wear GPU in the active field environment (HADR would be the exception).

      This is nothing but giving them recognition in the domestic context, mainly for the lay-public.

    • AlexC says:

      ” Canadian Multicams”


  12. peter says:

    Hey guys, this looks from the photo a multicam similar colours to our navy and the US navy and by the way this is very good cammo for urban terrain and stormy weather.
    now re the USAF they chose tigerstripe urban colour cammo which is also vgood urban cammo so think about the environment these soldiers will be working in on base not trying to blend in with what ever desert,tropical,woodland enviroments.

  13. Nick says:

    I don’t get the desire to have branch specific camo. Just have one BDU for all service’s that is functional…saves money and makes more sense.

  14. Glen says:

    I have it on very good authority that the Royal Air Force; the world’s first and therefore oldest Air Force, is currently trialling a version of multicam that is very similar to the new RAAF general Purpose Uniform (GPU). They have obviously become sick and tired of being mistaken for their British Army counterparts when undertaking DACC or HADR work back in the UK. I have to say that as an ex-RAF and now RAAF member if still confounds me that the civilian population still can’t tell Air Force members apart from their Army colleagues. I’ve seen pictures of RAAF members in DPCU doing flood clear-up work in Wagga recently, and the journos have referred to them as “soldiers”; despite the fact that they were all wearing day-glo vests with “AIR FORCE” emblazoned across the back. I don’t see there being anything wrong with creating a more positive identity and service ethos!

    • DLG says:

      You’re correct Glenn. The local newspaper actually wrote how nice it was for the Air Force to lend the Army those vest! HA!