Thursday, June 23, 2011

3 new camouflage patterns for US army - CNN

A photo of my own cloth.Image via Wikipedia
"Eight years after troops in Afghanistan were outfitted with new uniforms, the Army is shopping for a different camouflage for its fatigues and equipment.

The move to a different uniform comes after soldiers, many of them redeploying to Afghanistan, began voicing their criticism in the summer of 2009 of the 'universal' camouflage pattern, introduced in 2004 and meant to be used in all types of battle environments.

'They were saying that they didn't think the color selection was very effective for the terrain in Afghanistan,' says Col. Bill Cole, the project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment. 'Afghanistan's a really diverse country in geographical terms. There are lots of sandy desert areas, but it also has mountainous areas that you would see up in the Alps. It has green irrigated fields that look like Iowa in the summer. It's a very diverse environment and soldiers would often traverse these different areas in one patrol.'"

It seems like two branches of the military were in competition for using MarPat, the marines laid claim to the pattern for "brand" recognition, and the Army backed down and looked for a different pattern. That's one of the contradictions of camouflage - the uniforms must be recognizable, while at the same time blending into the background. Multicam has been selected by the Australian Army, but other military services have rejected the pattern because, rather than hiding the grunt, it actually "paints a target" on the soldier revealing to the enemy exactly where to take a shot.

The effectiveness of Dazzle camouflage is being questioned as well. New studies reveal that dazzle patterns are only effective when a vehicle is moving at high speeds.

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