Category Archives: Afghanistan

Montenegren “MultiCam”

Several weeks ago a photograph was posted on the web that set the forums buzzing – it appeared to show a soldier from the tiny Balkan state of Montenegro wearing a full Multicam loadout, in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan – as the 45th nation to contribute forces to ISAF.

Suddenly, Montenegro was famous for something other than being the location of high-stakes poker games (ala, “Casino Royale”) and the home country of TV sleuth Nero Wolfe. 

But alas, as is so often the case with internet speculation, the reality turns out to be slightly different – and in fact more interesting.  Thanks to information from Marko of the International Camouflage Uniform Society, we now know that the pattern is in fact a Montengren developed derivative of Multicam (no info yet as to whether money changed hands between the Army of Montenegro and Crye Precision – but one must assume that it did). 

This close-up image of the pattern shows how its marked with the letters ”VCG”  for Vojska Crne Gore (in English that means ”Army of Montenegro”) – next to a pattern element in the shape of a map of Montenegro.

The uniforms are actually made by the Croatian firm Kroko (makers of the new Croatian Army uniforms), and the individual equipment in the pattern is made by the Serbian firm Mile Dragic (who manufacture gear for the Serbian forces as well).

Thanks to Marko, we also have copies of the official Montenegren Army photos for the proper wear of the new clothing and kit in the new camo.  Enjoy!

    

So, is “MultiCam” the new “Woodland”?

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Filed under Afghanistan, Camouflage-IFF, Expeditionary Operations

Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan to get new mountain boots, MultiCam uniforms and gear

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 1, 2010)

Soldiers deploying to Afghanistan will be issued the new “MultiCam” fire-resistant Army Combat Uniform complete with new Mountain Combat Boots and MultiCam-patterned Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, or MOLLE, gear beginning in July.

 

At mobilization sites throughout the U.S., the uniform will be issued to deploying troops as part of the Rapid Fielding Initiative process, and Soldiers already in Afghanistan are scheduled to receive the MultiCam this fall.

The MultiCam uniform, while cut in the same style as the ACU, will have several upgrades including a reinforced seat, buttons on the trouser cargo pockets, be constructed of flame-resistant fabric (like the newer ACUs), and treated with permethrin. 

The decision to field and develop an alternative camouflage for uniforms in Afghanistan came out of the realization that the Army’s current Universal Camouflage Pattern, or UCP, did not meet all of the concealment needs for Afghanistan’s multiple regions.

New Mountain Combat Boots will also be issued to deploying Soldiers, which feature a tougher, more durable sole for gripping the rugged Afghan terrain.

In Afghanistan, Soldiers on a single patrol can potentially go from desert conditions, to wooded areas, villages, and rocky mountain environments. When coming up with a new camouflage color palette, PEO Soldier wanted to be sure the uniforms gave Soldiers a combat edge in each possible terrain situation.

Similar to the Battle Dress Uniform woodland print, the new MultiCam is a combination of seven different shades which “takes in surrounding colors.” A jumble of greens, browns and beige, the MultiCam camouflage presents a solution to Afghanistan’s multiple-region problem.

Beginning in September 2009, four phases of developing and testing new camouflage options were initiated: deciding on alternative uniform patterns, conducting testing and Soldier feedback, choosing a final pattern to produce, and evaluating a long-term plan for the Army Combat Uniform.

First, a unit field-tested the ACU in MultiCam alongside their standard-issue ACUs, while another tested the UCP-Delta, a digital pattern with the added color ‘coyote brown’ for better concealment. When polled, the MultiCam and the UCP-D ended up as the top two choices by Soldiers.

Then, a team representing the U.S. Army Infantry Center, PEO Soldier, Natick Labs, the Asymmetric Warfare Group, Army Special Operations Command, and the U.S. Naval Research Center traveled throughout Afghanistan to gather data on six different patterns including the UCP, UCP-D and MultiCam. They took photos of Soldiers in the six different uniforms against eight terrain conditions. From those pictures, photo simulation was created comparing the uniforms at different distances and settings.

About 750 Soldiers who had recently deployed to Afghanistan were then asked to judge the uniforms in the photos based on their detectability, blend-ability, and rank them from best to worst-the MultiCam was chosen as the best performer in all categories.

So far, three of the four phases of exploring camouflage alternatives have been completed, while the process of making a long-term decision about the ACU, and how big a role the MultiCam camouflage will play is still up for debate.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Camouflage-IFF, Clothing