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Posts Tagged ‘ACU’

Why the Army Treats Your ACUs with Permethrin

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

More than 60 different diseases, some of which are fatal, are spread by ticks, chiggers, insects and other biting arthropods. These include malaria, Dengue (Broken Bone) Fever, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease and others. The Army Combat Uniform with factory Permethrin treatment can, when worn with other measures, provide over 90 percent bite protection even after 50 washings. This will help protect Soldiers against these diseases. The ACU with Permethrin will be issued to Soldiers serving in the continental United States and elsewhere.

ACU Improvements

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Over the last year the PEO-Soldier’s Program Manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment has undertaken a major project to make incremental changes to the ACU. In an interview earlier this week with LTC Mike Sloane (Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment), Mr. Todd Wendt (Deputy Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment) and Mr. Fred Coppola (Deputy Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment), we discussed these new improvements.

See the latest information after the jump.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Ludan, an instructor for the International Special Training Centre’s (ISTC) Sniper Course provides feedback to two Special Forces Soldiers following a live-fire exercise July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area. The Sniper Course is an intense five-week course that teaches NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) in basic sniper fundamentals. The students spent the night stalking and observing their targets during the evaluated exercise. The facilities at the Joint Multinational Training Command allow the SOF throughout NATO to train to standard. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)" title="U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Ludan, an instructor for the International Special Training Centre’s (ISTC) Sniper Course provides feedback to two Special Forces Soldiers following a live-fire exercise July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area. The Sniper Course is an intense five-week course that teaches NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) in basic sniper fundamentals. The students spent the night stalking and observing their targets during the evaluated exercise. The facilities at the Joint Multinational Training Command allow the SOF throughout NATO to train to standard. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)
U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD

Camo Rumors – Some Observations

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Ever since Congress told the Army that the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) used on the Army Combat Uniform (ACU) wasn’t cutting it in Afghanistan, rumors and just plain old bad info has been swirling about the internet so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the subject.

Urban Legend 1 -Multicam Uber Alles. Despite internet hype and the military version of an urban legend, Multicam is not replacing UCP in 2011 or 2012. As best I can tell this rumor came about because the Future Force Warrior program was supposed to be fielded in, you guessed it, 2011. It so happens that all of the photos of guys suited up in the FFW garb were swathed in Multicam goodness. For some odd reason, folks couldn’t divorce the concept of FFW from Multicam. Hence the urban legend. Naturally, this new round of Congressionally driven controversy has only fanned the flames of this untruth. Think about it. The Army just spent a gazillion dollars changing everything to UCP. In fact, fielding isn’t even complete. So ask yourself this question. Why would the Army spend a “gazillion” dollars on a new camo pattern and turn right around a field a new one mid-stream? The answer? It wouldn’t. They want to buy FCS not new uniforms.

Urban Legend 2 – UCP is going away completely. It isn’t. The Congressional “suggestion” is only for forces in Afghanistan not the whole shebang.

Urban Legend 3 – The Marine Corps offered MARPAT to the Army and they turned it down. Total Fantasy. Here is a truth. These patterns are about branding. When you see MARPAT, you think “Marine”. When you see UCP you think “Soldier”. MARPAT was developed for the Marine Corps. General Jones, former Commandant of the Marine Corps wanted a uniform that would let his enemies know when Marines were in town. He got one.

Urban Legend 4 – The Army didn’t adopt Multicam because they would have to pay a license for Multicam / it was too expensive. Once again; False. The Army helped pay for the development of Multicam. There is no “license”. Also, the more Multicam printed, the cheaper it gets. The more you buy, the less you pay.

desert brush variant 3

I feel for the Army. What a big poop sandwich. “Hey Army, UCP stinks, issue something else. But use the money we already gave you for OTHER stuff.” You can’t just change out uniforms. You have to replace all of the Soldier’s other kit as well or the contrast will just highlight the guy. So the Army is going to have to compute this huge cost for one theater. That was the point of UCP in the first place. One camo…universal. No more issuing two different patterns to guys…economize.

I feel even worse for the poor action officer at PEO-Soldier who has to develop the decision brief on this one. For example:
COA 1 – Do nothing…Tell Congress “Nuts”, I mean after all, UCP does work in some parts of Afghanistan.
COA 2 – Do Nothing…Beg Congress for cash
COA 3 – Stall…conduct study (Attn PEO-Soldier, I am available for contract to conduct said study)
COA 4 – Issue Woodland or Three-Color Desert
COA 5 – Adopt all new pattern – See pic above

Option 5? That is the fantasy option. Or is it? There are select US forces rocking Multicam all over the place. Oddly enough, so are Snipers. Aside from that, the Army spent a great deal of time and effort developing and testing several patterns any of which could be dusted off including the one in the photo.

However, I am voting for some combo of one or more of the first three with COA 4 as the ultimate outcome. There is already precedence with the Army’s G1 permitting USASOC forces to wear Woodland camo. Plus, there are stock of the older patterns that can be drawn from to get this thing rolling.

Do we love Multicam at Soldier Systems Daily? You’re damned right we do. Will it be adopted for use in Afghanistan? Who knows at this point, but it sure will be interesting watching whatever ultimately happens.

AMC Tests Civilian Uniform

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Army Material Command is conducting a one year test of a solid tan uniform based on the ACU for deployed civilian personnel. The ensemble will include a tan version of the Gen II ECWCS parka and helmet cover.

AMC Civilian Uniform

Read teh entire article at the Belvoir Eagle.

Photo Courtesy of AMC.

The Danger of Optical Brighteners

Monday, June 9th, 2008

This article courtesy of

Some detergents a hazard for ABUs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska--Pictured, the Army Combat Uniform, with material identical to the Airman Battle Uniform, shows the difference optical brighteners make under ultra-violet lighting. Laundry detergents with additives known as
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by compiled from staff reports
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/4/2007 – EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska — Laundry additives known as “optical brighteners” should not be used for washing the Airman Battle Uniform.

Laundry instructions for ABUs specify not using any laundry detergents that contain optical brighteners.

Optical Brighteners make the ABU more detectable by night vision equipment and make the ABU more visible in a low-light environment of any kind, by reflecting more of any available light.

Optical brighteners are chemicals that absorb the ultraviolet and violet region of colors in a fabric. They trick the eye into seeing a brighter shade and reflect more light.

Near Infrared (nIR) capability of the ABU is degraded when washed with detergents containing optical brighteners. Because most commercial detergents contain optical brighteners, there is generally no indication on the packaging.

The impact of optical brighteners is permanent, it cannot be washed out.

Laundry detergents that do not contain optical brighteners:
Bold Powder
Cheer Liquid (all versions)
Cheer Powder (all versions)
All Powder (all versions)
Surf Powder (all versions)
All Detergent Free Clear Country Save Liquid Detergent
Allen’s Naturally Laundry Detergent (liquid and powder)
Bi-O-Kleen Laundry Detergent (liquid and powder)
Charlie’s Soap (liquid and powder)
ECOS Free and Clear Laundry Detergent
Mountain Green Liquid Laundry Detergent
Nature Clean (liquid and powder)
Ecover Ecological Liquid Detergent
Oxy-Prime Powdered Laundry Detergent
Planet Ultra laundry detergents
Seventh Generation Laundry detergents
SportwashSun and Earth LiquidSurf Powder (not Surf Liquid)
Washeze
Woolite, original and dark.

*No federal endorsement of products intended

Arc’teryx Kneecaps Now in Grey Green

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Arc’teryx has updated their successful Knee Cap pads by offering them in Grey Green. This new color complements the ACU quite well as you can see in the photos. Originally designed as telemark kneepads the Knee Cap soon saw interest from troops who wanted a lightweight, highly breathable pad primarily for urban operations. They weigh in at just over 5 ounces and in order to adequately protect the knee at such a low weight, the cap is made from Kydex. In the photos you can see the simple, yet effective camlock buckle that holds the straps in place. The upper strap is elastic and the lower strap is a lightweight nylon tape.

Grey Green KneecapKneecap Comparison Black with Grey Green

For authorized purchasers the Arc’teryx Law Enforcement/Armed Forces website is LEAF

Field Jacket – a Eulogy

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Don’t expect to see a tear filled goodbye to the Field Jacket from me. Instead I am jumping for joy. Starting in FY09 the Army will cease fielding the M-65 Field jacket. Instead, each Soldier will be issued a Gen II ECWCS (Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System) parka in UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) and it will be transferred as an OCIE item with the Soldier from assignment to assignment much like the laundry bag.

It amazes me to see so many still wearing the venerable M-65. The basic design for the M-65 hails from WW II and remained relatively unchanged over the years. Soldiers wore the M-43 Field Coat during their march to Berlin. Over the years there were small changes like a redesigned collar or the introduction of Quarpel (Quartermaster Water Repellent), the precursor to today’s DWR treatments. In the 80s the Field Jacket was transformed from OD Green to Woodland Camo but the basic design didn’t change. Later a 3-Color Desert variant was issued as Organizational Clothing for operations in the CENTCOM AOR. Finally, when the ACU was fielded the Field Jacket saw its latest change. The pattern was changed to UCP and velcro was added to the sleeves for shoulder sleeve insignia and to the zipper flap for rank.

Its replacement, the Army version of the Gen II ECWCS parka is also in UCP and began its life as a Marine Corps garment. The Marine Corps wanted a replacement for the first generation of ECWCS which featured out dated design features. The Marine Corps has moved on to an even more improved version of the garment called APECS (All Purpose Environmental Clothing System). The USAF has also adopted APECS in conjunction with their switch to the ABU.
ACU Field JacketUCP Gen II ECWCS