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Cameron
08-13-2009, 11:30 AM
http://i561.photobucket.com/albums/ss60/cameron_personal/Misc/pic_thousand_words.jpg
U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD


Here is another one thanks to Canadian Guy (http://www.kifaruforums.net/member.php?u=3776)

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g172/CanadianSergeant/CADPATvsACU.jpg

Steel314
08-13-2009, 12:01 PM
Ahh! I never understood before why the Army chose UCP over Multicam. Now I get it.

remington79
08-13-2009, 02:06 PM
That's what happens when bean counters decide things and not combat troops.

straps
08-13-2009, 03:08 PM
How about a hundred words??

Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.
Multicam is nothing more than an exercise in shrewd marketing.

That photo might be 'shopped. That Long Tab SNCO might be using brightening laundry detergent, and might not have spent enough time in the field to pick up the local color.

To those folks up the chain who are skeptical of Multicam JUST BECAUSE THE FOLKS IN THE FIELD LIKE IT, "might" makes right.

straps
08-13-2009, 03:14 PM
The REALLY cool thing about that photo? There are (at least) THREE dudes in it...

Brotzie
08-13-2009, 03:44 PM
That Long Tab SNCO might be using brightening laundry detergent...
That seems very plausible - compare the radiance of the shirt & trousers to that of the hat, and it looks like the right sort of lighting where the UV would make a difference.

I agree the guy in the foreground is the best camouflaged :)

Koop
08-13-2009, 09:31 PM
Indeed.

ACU's aren't good for much besides dusty gravel, though I've heard a few people say they're ok in urban environments.

adi
08-13-2009, 10:18 PM
The REALLY cool thing about that photo? There are (at least) THREE dudes in it...

LOL, almost missed the "dude" in Ghillie suit. :)

Bushcraft
08-13-2009, 10:29 PM
Hey, look on the bright side...during training exercises his shiny suit makes it easy for the cadre to see him and direct him in on suspicious clumps of dyed burlap. A time (money) savings for taxpayers!

Actually, I was more curious about the rifle/scope setup than anything.

docw
08-14-2009, 05:06 AM
I actually missed the whole camo issue and was laughing at the correct portrayal of the current army. Dudes in a place where it's prudent to where gillies and some staff idiot walks up like hey you guys see anything! LOL

Blackfoot
08-14-2009, 05:53 AM
Chances are that the MSG in the UCP, hasn't washed his hat because they shrink when you do that. Given the length of top tab, I'd say he is instructing the two other men in a sniper course.

ETA: Was trying to find out what unit the MSG belong to, found the original article.

---------, 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.


-Blackfoot

mb
08-15-2009, 12:46 AM
Well, yes, washing clothing with commercial detergents containing optical brighteners (fluorescent additives) sucks. It gives the garments a blueish day-glow appearance even to the naked eye in some conditions (cloudy, especially at dusk), and worse still when viewed with image intensifier night vision devices. I too would guess that the blue ACU in the picture has been mis-washed. When using commercial detergents, make sure to check the list of ingredients. 'Sensitive' and 'ecological' products tend not to contain the nasty optical brighteners and odorants that compromise camouflage.

It appears that the Brits have a camo-in-Afghanistan controversy too, as their issued desert kit doesn't work in the lush areas in southern Afghanistan, where much of their troops are operating. Hence the troops dyeing their uniforms in the field with less than optimal results http://strikehold.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/afghan-camo-the-british-controversy/

Pardon me for returning to the past Multicam sucks thread, http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=17293, but I really don't get it why reversible camo doesn't get much attention in the current camo controversies. The Germans introduced it in the late 1930's, and it was a success back then. Some militaries continue issuing reversible camo clothing.

Below are two pics of a high-quality repro of the reversible Schlupfjacke M42/2 Eichenlaubtarnmuster, showing the spring and autumn color schemes of the two sides of this smock. The Germans had many camo patterns, and the smocks came in many reversible pairs of these. Rerversibility doesn't have to compromise much functionality, if it's well designed. Of course, with all the load bearing equipment, armor and whatever that cover the torsos of modern soldiers, uniform reversibility isn't as effective as it used to be. The Molle stuff obviously can't be made reversible in practice.

My suggestion for camo in Afghanistan: How about making the uniform reversible, and just the rest of the kit something 'universal' in camo? Like the Marine approach, but with a single uniform reversible from woodland to desert, and the rest of the kit in coyote? This way each soldier could adapt his camo in a minute or so, when moving from arid to lush, or back. Perhaps also another separate uniform, reversible from a 'mountain gravel' pattern to snow camo? Uniforms are cheap, light and don't last that long, so the cost and logistics of two sets (like the Marines already have) shouldn't be all that bad?

To me it seems that the early German camo clothing put much more emphasis on the actual camouflage properties of the garments. Baggy cut, for one thing. And loops for attaching natural camo offers another quick way to adapt the camo to the actual conditions. Not quite like ghillie, but attaching natural camo can make a big difference. Having foliage loops for attaching natural local camo seems quite a bit more useful for combat survivability than all that velcro on ACU for attaching - sic! - patches. If you look carefully, you can see loops on the M42 smock pictured below the shoulder area.

http://www.zeugmeisterei.com/cms/en/uploadfiles/pictures//2903_172219_Smock-Eiche-M42-2-GR.jpg

http://www.zeugmeisterei.com/cms/en/uploadfiles/pictures//2903_171831_Smock-Eiche-M42-2-Braun-GR.jpg

Current(!) Russian improved and modernized copy of the reversible Waffen-SS smocks, with reversible trousers:

http://www.wttag.de/shop/images/product_images/original_images/1512_0.jpg

straps
08-20-2009, 05:14 PM
I actually missed the whole camo issue and was laughing at the correct portrayal of the current army. Dudes in a place where it's prudent to where gillies and some staff idiot walks up like hey you guys see anything! LOL

Maybe staff (cadre), not likely an idiot, but probably marking the days...

straps
08-20-2009, 06:28 PM
...The Germans had many camo patterns, and the smocks came in many reversible pairs of these. Rerversibility doesn't have to compromise much functionality, if it's well designed. Of course, with all the load bearing equipment, armor and whatever that cover the torsos of modern soldiers, uniform reversibility isn't as effective as it used to be. The Molle stuff obviously can't be made reversible in practice.

My suggestion for camo in Afghanistan: How about making the uniform reversible, and just the rest of the kit something 'universal' in camo? Like the Marine approach, but with a single uniform reversible from woodland to desert, and the rest of the kit in coyote? This way each soldier could adapt his camo in a minute or so, when moving from arid to lush, or back. Perhaps also another separate uniform, reversible from a 'mountain gravel' pattern to snow camo? Uniforms are cheap, light and don't last that long, so the cost and logistics of two sets (like the Marines already have) shouldn't be all that bad?



Reversible garments have long been the holy grail of military apparel.

The challenge has been one of cost, against wearability in the field, against suitability for garrison use.

A good example of the challenge is the reversible cover that came with the MICH helmet, which had a WC side and a 3CDC side. The fabric was thick, so that the WC print wouldn't show through to the 3CDC side. Would I want to be clad head to toe in that fabric in Afghanistan in July? Nope. And no matter what you did, you saw traces of 3CDC on the WC side and traces of WC on the 3CDC side. An aesthetic consideration to be sure but the uniform still needs to be garrison-suitable. I was around when the last Specialist 7 reluctantly donned his hard stripes--I don't think we want to go back to the "combat" Army in the practical, ugly uniform vs. the "non-combat" Army in the useless, pretty uniform.

There are solutions to this (the vegetation side and the arid side will both likely have a common shade of brown that could be used for interfacing the two surfaces that wouldn't detract from a "professional" appearance) but that hits the cost. Two sets of pockets? More cost, more weight, less wear-ability. One set of pockets that somehow collapse in on themselves whichever side is out? Double the previous cost. Factor in the move toward fire-retardancy (typically meaning less durability) and add still more cost. Yes, cost becomes a driving consideration to clothe a million-odd folks who should have whatever they need...

one911emergency
08-24-2009, 09:29 PM
I don't know why everyone thinks that Multicam sucks so bad. I have a Multicam ZXR and it blends into most ruralized areas around Ohio. Multicam works on the principle that it's better to have alright camouflage for the environment you're in than great camouflage designed for somewhere else. It blends moderately well in a multitude of environments. It will never trump camouflage designed for specific areas (when used in those areas). Multicam is not the last word in camouflage. I think this is just a case of a sniper that believed unrealistic hype and obviously didn't do his homework. I still think Multicam is good for people/soldiers that find themselves in changing environments.

straps
08-24-2009, 10:39 PM
I don't know why everyone thinks that Multicam sucks so bad.

It's not "everyone"--a small minority of skeptics on this board (OK, one guy--who lights the fuse on some good discussions)...

http://www.kifaruforums.net/showthread.php?t=17293

...and a small group of powerful individuals in a little outfit called PEO Soldier who are rightly suspect of info from the field that they can't coroborate without research--which is sometimes sketchy itself...

mb
08-25-2009, 11:56 AM
Straps,

I was issued reversible camo during my military service in '92-'93, and used it almost exclusively in field. I've also used it in reservist and civilian usage since then.

The Finnish m/62 camo uniform is reversible from summer pattern to off-white snow camo. It is a simple all-cotton uniform that is definitively cheap and cool. It's reasonably functional too. The major shortcoming is that the crappy cotton fabric, especially when worn, tends to suck in wet conditions, quite literally, wetness from the surroundings, and won't dry quickly.

The m/62 shirt isn't too different from the US BDU in cut. I prefer the m/62 shirt, but find the BDU trousers superior to the m/62 ones. The all cotton m/62 is more comfy in (moderate) dry-hot than the 50-50 NyCo BDU. The reversibility is however almost a non-issue for comfort and function. The only sacrifice is that each pocket is just on the summer or the winter side.

Yes, the summer pattern of m/62 does fade with usage, and the reverse winter side probably makes this happen quicker than otherwise. But the woodland BDU does fade pretty quickly too, and it probably suffers from it's somewhat light reverse side too. No big difference here.

m/62 was issued from the 60's into the early 00's. It was intended for field usage only. The replacement, m/91, was designed for field, garrison and leave. A bad compromise. m/91 gave up reversibility of zippers and pockets, but still has a snow camo pattern on the reverse side allowing snow camo if necessary. The m/05 summer uniform - also a field/garrison/leave compromise - gave up reversibility to off-white, unfortunately.

Reversibility from summer to winter camo is an important issue in Nordic conditions. Sure, the issued overwhites, and dedicated winter uniforms, offer better camouflage and usability, but may not be available when needed. In late autumn, the landscape can turn from green to white, and back, in just hours.

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/5951/20090825844.jpg
Fig above, from left to right, Finnish m/62, US BDU, Fin m/91 and Fin insulated ranger coat. The Finnish ones are actual issued kit from the early 90's, and the US is (afaik) milspec and identical to issued BDU (Note that the greens of the US woodland pattern doesn't blend as well as the rest - its more blueish shade was designed for Central Europe, rather than Nordic. Lightyears ahead of Multicam though, of course ;)

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/5782/20090825848.jpg
As previous picture, but showing reverse sides.

http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/9263/20090825845.jpg
m/62, old and faded specimen. Every second pocket is on the other side. And no, this definitively is not an expensive garment. It doesn't have pen pockets, velcro for patches and such, like the ACU, but it is fully reversible.

http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/921/20090825849.jpg
The off-white usually isn't as good as the pure snow white of over whites, but still much better than the summer side in snow. (Besides, this specimen would benefit from being washed)

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/465/20090825850.jpg
The reverse side of m/91 is kind of snow camo, taking advantage of the shape of the pattern on the summer side. Zippers and pockets aren't reversible, and there's more of the summer side showing. It could still work in snow in a pinch.

http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/7238/20090825852n.jpg
The reverse side of the woodland US BDU is pretty light. It wouldn't have taken much to make this off-white winter camo.

http://img252.imageshack.us/img252/2010/20090825851.jpg
The winter side of the fully reversible insulated ranger coat in 'long mode'. No longer issued, I think.

It still beats me why the US Army couldn't come up with a good reversible uniform, if it wanted to. I simply don't buy that the slight extra cost of reversibility could be a valid reason. Reversible or not, uniforms are dirt cheap compared to the advanced armor, optics, NVG's and so forth that GI's get these days.

PS. sorry for the lousy pic quality.

straps
08-25-2009, 02:04 PM
As always nice pics and food for thought.


It still beats me why the US Army couldn't come up with a good reversible uniform, if it wanted to. I simply don't buy that the slight extra cost of reversibility could be a valid reason. Reversible or not, uniforms are dirt cheap compared to the advanced armor, optics, NVG's and so forth that GI's get these days.


Govt. pricing for BALCS/RAV Soft panels about $700US for Lvl Dyneema IIIA Typically last 3 years. There are folks with 4-year-old panels who have full faith in their integrity because they themselves have shot panels older than that and they have held up.
Cost per year per troop in combat/combat training: $150US, plus indeterminate amount of time for training issue. Most people don't get butt-hurt over drawing used armor if it has good dating and usage information.

Govt. Pricing for ESAPI Lvl IV-SA about $600US. Longevity indeterminate; 2003-2007 the emphasis was on countering the threat now it's all about the best protection for the weight. Conventional units will change plates every 3 years; there are still units out there just now integrating plates into their stateside training plans.
Cost per year per troop in combat/combat training: $200US, plus indeterminate amount of time for training issue. No second thoughts about drawing "used" ESAPIs as long as there is an X-Ray certificate affixed.

Army Advanced Combat Helmet $300US, longevity indeterminate--7 years?
Cost per year per troop in combat/combat training: $40US, plus indeterminate amount of time for training issue (to replace old fashioned PASGT helmets that are still out there). Replace the pads & harness ($50US, 1 year plus) and most folks are happy.

I personally purchased an EOTech 552 in 2005 for $525. Put my personal mark on it with a paint pen, used it, turned it in to my unit under a short-lived program that allowed for re-imbursement for personally purchased gear. Saw it on a weapon bound for Afghanistan in 2007. I just saw it on one of my unit's M249 LMGs supporting pre-deployment training. Still works flawlessly after literally MILLIONS of rounds, contrary to the experience of many with EOTechs. $500 M68s can survive 4 years of daily use on a fighting gun before the adjustment knob needs help (maybe a $200 trip to depot, maybe surplused). ACOGs pricer, but longer life--a Trujicon manufactured in 2002 could conceivably outlast the weapons system its reticle is tuned for.
Cost per year per troop in combat $200US (high estimate), residual value for training indeterminate but considerable, given that there are still units that don't have optics to train with while stateside. Most folks draw optics from the arms room with nary a second thought; if it survives zero, multiple quals, 800 rounds of reflexive drills and lengthy STXs they'll take it into combat.

A non-reversible FR uniform costs about $200. The Army specs a uniform to last 6 months. Anecdotal evidence suggests that FR lasts 4 months of ground operations.
Cost per year per troop in combat/combat training $600US, absolutely zero residual value in training stockpiles, re-issue of (likely repaired) clothing that has touched the skin is widely frowned upon (by commands AND individuals). So yes, something as mundane as clothing DOES become a far-reaching issue with significant economic implications given the scale and the longevity of the garment.

Uncle Jake
08-25-2009, 04:55 PM
Maybe it's just me, but could the officer in question have deliberately been using a UV enhanced outfit for range safety purposes? Or am I just ascribing to much intelligence....:rolleyes:

AbnMedOps
08-25-2009, 08:31 PM
Straps, that's some interesting input.

I think I have previously mentioned that back around 1990, Natick Labs, or a contractor to them, made serious improvements in two-sided fabric printing. I saw a press release with an experimental reversible BDU, Woodland one side, Desert on the other. The pockets and patches issue should not be insolvable.

Ralph
08-25-2009, 10:33 PM
Some years ago there was a day desert/night desert reversible but that may have been just a jacket. I have an issue Nomex USAF MA-1 jacket that reverses from AF sage green to blaze orange. The hand warmer pockets reverse on the blaze side so you have to cross your arms to use them. It's a workable solution. (I keep the MA-1 in the truck for emergency use. It's very warm, comfortable and I like the reversing feature since there may be times when I want to be seen. Being Nomex it it's also fire-resistant, another plus for emergency use.

BuckarooMedic
08-26-2009, 08:07 AM
OK, I'm just going to throw some more gas on the fire here. It's not that I don't like Multicam, heck, I think it looks a lot like the old ERDL camo pattern that was very effective. My problem with Mutlitcam is that it has turned into "poser-cam". It seems like every high speed wanna-be is wearing the stuff these days. Let the flames begin, but this is what I've seen.

Straps, you've hit the nail on the head. The ACU is still too expensive. Thank goodness you're not in the AF like my wife. The ABU is really expensive. The Army needs to adopt a true combat/field uniform. I believe they are getting closer with the combat shirts. Need to cut down the cost of the trousers. I suggest removing all the reinforcements in the seat and knees, replace the button fly with a zipper and remove the back and cargo pockets. Here's my rational for the pockets: the back pockets are generally not used for anything in a combat/FTX environment, so remove them. The side cargo pockets are generally used for light weight items that could be stored in slightly larger, front slash pockets. If anyone is going to carry something heavy on their thighs, they are probably going to carry the load in a drop-down thigh rig. That's what I did and have observed. So, if the Army adopts a "true" combat uniform, this is turn would mean the Army would have to adopt a Garrison uniform too.

The fact of the matter is that the Army chose ACU. Those individuals in the Army just have to deal with it. I've seen the ACU work very well in numerous environments. I've also seen it work poorly in some environments too. The only way out is to join certain, small groups within the Army and become super secret squirrels and then one can wear whatever uniform one wants to. The ACU was my fourth uniform change during my tenure with the Big Green Machine. First was the jungle fatigue (my favorite uniform so far), then came the various versions of the BDU (I liked the 100% cotton version best, most comfortable), then the DCU (worked great in the desert) and then the ACU. I like the ACU. I think it's very comfortable and very easy to care for. Love the zipper on the shirt, but why no zipper on the pants? The velcro? I can take it or leave it. I do, however, like the low cost of patch maintenance with the velcro though.

Now that I've left the Army, I'm back to OD and Khaki. OD is still my favorite color for a uniform. Khaki is the color of choice for contractors and will be my color soon too. I don't like to wear camouflage since I'm not in the military any more. Don't want to get confused with those who are.

Y'all take care.

Canadian Guy
08-26-2009, 04:04 PM
No more needs to be said:
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g172/CanadianSergeant/CADPATvsACU.jpg

Cameron
08-26-2009, 04:53 PM
I'm sticking that one in with the first picture...


Cameron

mb
08-27-2009, 01:58 AM
Thanks Straps,

Yes, uniforms don't last that long, which I conveniently didn't bring up. Otoh, Straps didn't mention the price of NVG's, which is pretty steep.

Straps: "re-issue of (likely repaired) clothing that has touched the skin is widely frowned upon (by commands AND individuals)."

Over here, conscripts and reservists - that's the vast majority of the force - rarely get new kit. The issue clothing - including underwear(!) - is typically reissued at random after each laundry (and repairs, if needed). A conscript lucky enough to get unused shiny clothing might be reluctant to return it for the official laundry. Regular personnel is a different matter, and probably seldom have to take reissued clothing.

Straps: "A non-reversible FR uniform costs about $200. The Army specs a uniform to last 6 months."

Beats me how ACU can be that expensive in bulk purchase. The official replacement value of the fully reversible m/62 was ~US$ 55, the partially reversible m/91 $95 and the fully reversible insulated ranger coat $114, these cost figures dating back to 2005. Commercially m/91 sells today at an overpriced $206. m/91 has fire retardant and NIR treatment. m/62 didn't have, but being all cotton, it's intrinsically somewhat better in fire safety than garments containing nylon or polyester that melt and burn nastily.

Anyway, I stand by my point that the relative cost of uniforms is, if not neglible, at least very modest these days. In the heyday of m/62, in the 70's and 80's, there were essentially no flak vests, night vision equipment or rifle optics (except the rare sniper) for the huge infantry reserve of the Finnish Army. No CAS either (but pretty good arty), few APC's/IFV's, and, even, some secondary troops would have been issued personal weapons dating back to WWII. (Not that the situation is that much improved today, but size-reductions of the reserve force has allowed equipping it somewhat better). Yet, the fully-reversible m/62 camo field uniform was considered affordable.

Below are some blurry pics I managed to nick from the web, showing how the troop mobility was solved back then (although the actual pics are from '04 showing logistics). A partial upgrade from bicycles and skis for offish road mobility. I guess the tractors were so embarrassingly unse-xy that pictures are hard to find. Anyway, tractors and trailers would have been available from the farmers in case of mobilization. Slow, no armor, but half-decent off-road mobility. Btw, note the reversible ranger coats worn by the sailors sitting in the trailer in the last pic. I'm sure we'd have to still resort to tractor-mobility in case of, uhm, really bad problems with our dear grand eastern neighbor.

My point being that the reversible uniform is an old, cheap and proven solution.

http://www.jesse.fi/images/intti/36.jpg

http://www.jesse.fi/images/intti/37.jpg

http://www.jesse.fi/images/intti/38.jpg

http://www.jesse.fi/images/intti/39.jpg

http://www.jesse.fi/images/intti/40.jpg

BuckarooMedic
08-27-2009, 09:08 AM
Canadian Guy,

They both stick-out like sore thumbs against the Fall foliage.

straps
08-27-2009, 10:36 AM
The ACU uniform costs what it costs for due to a few factors, most notably the Berry Amendment that requires that military equipment be US made. US stitchers, US-generated materials with IR supressive treatment (kinda like another Berry-compliant outfit called Kifaru). The FR induces a new wrinkle (no pun intended). There is a controversy brewing about sourcing for the base fibers for it. My long previous post, flawed numbers and all, was intended to highlight the "sneaky" cost of clothing, compared to the amazing technologies that Soldiers have access to in this day and age. US does not have conscripts, and there is a cultural aversion to sharing skivvies...

You are correct I did not mention NV. I have used NV equipment that has lasted my whole rotation, other that lasted a month (both had calibrations, but no idea about age; PVS 7s are still re-manufactured even though they are considered legacy; PVS-14 is considered "old news" also but still in production. However, nobody's still reconditioning M16A1s (many, many come back as A4s)... Couple factors: NV manufacturers can't produce enough equipment to standard for the demands of the military (akin to the bad old days of active matrix LCD technology in the early days of that miraculous new technology called the laptop computer.) Additionally, they are PROHIBITED from developing their market; for lots of good reasons, you can buy an iPod in Tehran or Bogota, but 4G NV is harder to find. USG is willing to subsidize this closed market. In any case, PVS-14: about $4KUS. Longevity: indeterminate, depending on handling. Maybe 2 years between tube replacement if handled properly? Ability to eliminate and adversary before he knows he's been acquired: PRICELESS. However, NV is one of the ONLY technologies with a higher cost per year than clothing... I will have some pics to post later that followers of this thread may find interesting....

Canadian Guy
08-27-2009, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by BuckarooMedic:
They both stick-out like sore thumbs against the Fall foliage.

In that photo it appears that way but when viewed from a distance such as the bottom of the hill in the photo the CADPAT wasn't bad even with the yellow and golds of fall leaves. The ACU uniforms stood out like whitish blobs compared to the CADPAT at a distance. The photo below sort of shows this as you can spot the US Army guys quick (discounting the red helmets!) but you have to hunt around for the Canadians:
http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g172/CanadianSergeant/IMG_1212.jpg

Although not the best for fall colours the CADPAT was still significantly better then the ACU uniform.

BuckarooMedic
08-28-2009, 06:00 AM
Hate to disagree with you CG. IMHO the two soldiers, in ACUs, to the left of the picture blend into the background better than the two soldiers in CADPAT. The darker CADPAT uniforms "catches" the eye quicker than the lighter ACUs. The Canadian soldier to the right of the picture would probably blend in better to the darker, wetter rock he's standing in front of.

remington79
08-28-2009, 10:59 AM
The CADPAT looks a lot better than the ACU. The ACU looks like white blobs. Those pictures look like MARPAT would work the best since it has more brown in it. ACU is the result of bean counters trying to design things. You can't go cheap and get one uniform for two completely different environments. I wouldn't even call it a Jack of All Trades, and it's definitely not a Master of One unless you count fog.
MultiCam comes the closest, but even then it looks like it works better in scrub deserts, not the wide open sandy deserts. One can never conduct a study on this but I wonder how many ambushes we've tried to set have been avoided or US troops killed because of an inferior camo pattern. A pattern that someone came up with because they wanted to go cheap. You can't compromise on some things, and this is one of them.
The Marines did it right with having two patterns for two different environments. If I was able to serve and was in the Army I'd would switch branches to the Corps. I would not feel confident wearing a pattern that doesn't work any where. As one of my friends said, ACU looks like the only place it would work is invading England when it's foggy.

Cameron
08-28-2009, 11:50 AM
Buckaroomedic, I have to agree with Remington it appears to me that the ACU is more visible than the Cadpat.

Cameron

mb
08-29-2009, 02:44 AM
Straps,

Good points.

As discussed before, there's a fundamental difference worth noting when comparing Finnish and US kit. The US has a military force proportionally small compared to population. The Finnish force is in comparison huge, but consists almost entirely of reserves and conscripts.

A still bigger difference is that the US is practically at war, and is taking casaulties. I understand that much of the controversy in the US about whether the troops have, or should have, the best tools for the trade has to do with domestic politics. Nevertheless, I find some of the arguments compelling.

In the particular case of camouflage uniforms, which no doubt is of lesser significance than nightvision, armor etc, I'd like to put it this way: Is there any excuse for not equipping the troops in combat with the best camouflage available? Even if it cost a bit more than the 'universal' schemes? At a time when people safely back home can, and do, afford whatever useless street fashion?

There is no doubt that camouflage affects survivability, but by how much is difficult to measure. (Someone might ask whether the survivability of US troops is any of my business. A fair point, but I believe, unlike some fellow Europeans, that the current war in Afghanistan etc, should be pretty much everyone's business.)

Returning to the Finnish uniforms. m/62 and m/91 were domestically made, and hence the labor cost is comparable US 'Berry compliant' stuff. (It still beats me how m/91 is that much cheaper than ACU.) Essentially all individual kit was domestically made in 60's to 90's. Latter, with the m/05 uniform, and other, the Swedish example was followed in issuing imported kit to reduce cost. Unfortunately.

And, btw, the reversibility of the m/62 was also a cost-saving measure, as dedicated overwhites were not considered necessary for all the force, hence smaller stockpiles for the reserves. I think. With the m/91 overwhite accompanying the m/91 summer uniform, reversibility was dumped for better availability of overwhites. Other than for cost, the best solution would have been to retain full reversibility *and* to stockpile overwhites and winter uniforms for all force.

m/91 overwhite. Picture nicked from some archive of the Defence Forces.
http://tietokannat.mil.fi/savotta08/static_images/368_640.jpg

mb
08-29-2009, 01:02 PM
A further note on fire resistance of uniforms. The fire resistance of FR ACU is an inherent property of the fancy fabric used. Hence FR won't wash away with repeated laundry etc. FR triples the cost, at least in commercially available ACU's, like Propper's. In contrast, the fabric of the m/91 is a conventional polyester-cotton blend with just FR treatment. => Cost difference explained.

Whose camo is different?
http://tietokannat.mil.fi/maanvyory09/maavoimat/include/thumbnail.php?id=508&width=640

OSCE military observers from (how?) many countries.
http://tietokannat.mil.fi/maanvyory09/maavoimat/include/thumbnail.php?id=509&width=640

http://tietokannat.mil.fi/maanvyory09/maavoimat/include/thumbnail.php?id=519&width=640

straps
08-29-2009, 03:35 PM
Here are a few pics of a recent entry, Bulldog Mirage camo, which takes many good attributes from CADPAT, UCP and some color cues from the WWII-era German camos and mb's samples. The "warmth" (reds/oranges/browns) would appear to work as well in european fall foliage conditions AND desert environs.

Knife pron and good shot of pattern coloration:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/norgeboy/mirage_echo.jpg
Soldiersystems.net

In daylight conditions:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/norgeboy/bulldog_blouse.jpg
Soldiersystems.net

Pretty good blending in rocky desert
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/norgeboy/bulldog_mirage_1.jpg
Strike Hold

Comparison in environment that would favor ACU
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/norgeboy/bulldog_mirage_prone.jpg
Strike Hold

And in leafy/jungle environment
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c279/norgeboy/mirage_jungle.jpg
Strike Hold

steveb
08-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Not bad at all. I think a digitized blend of Coyote (Brown), Foliage (Grey), and OD (Green), is the way to go (with some light taupe and dark taupe elements) for a 'Universal' Scheme.

However, I believe UCP will be around for a long time.

MB, UCP should actually work quite well in a Suomi winter AO (blends well in Birch, Aspen, and snow covered Spruce)

Canadian Guy
08-29-2009, 06:07 PM
The Bulldog Mirage camo does look good. especially in more arid/autumn type environment.

mb
08-31-2009, 01:32 AM
'Me too' thinks that the Bulldog Mirage looks very nice in the PR photos. But...

* For which area of operation has Mirage been designed for?

Color palette. Nowadays, when designing a new state-of-the-art camouflage color scheme, thousands of photographs of the area of operation are analyzed to come up with the 'best' (as defined by some proprietary(?) metrics) compromise for the color palette. The wider the range of different backdrop environments, the more 'universal' the resulting color palette will be, and the worse the average match.

* For which observation range is the pattern of Mirage optimized?

Disruptive pattern. There are more or less fancy, proprietary and secret algorithms for creating these, resulting in the fashionable digital looks that works very well at close range. Micro vs. macro pattern vs. practical garments, relevant observation distances, etc, are difficult questions.

* Where has Mirage been field trialled?

Extensive field trials in the area of operation are necessary for refining a prototype pattern, and validicating the end result.

As far as I know, CADPAT and Finnish m/05, were designed along these outlines, and I guess that also most of the other new fancy national patterns. (Why the Canadians came up with Canada as the relevant area of operation for the woodland version is an intrigueing question ;) )

* Whether a private contractor, like Bulldog or Crye, has the resources to properly design and test an entirely new modern camo scheme pretty much sums up my questions.

Singaporean old and new camo - looks much like US woodland and MARPAT WL, respectively:
http://strikehold.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/september_par_0007_image.jpg?w=600&h=398

Italian new 'Vegetato' camo, woodlandish version:
http://www.androidsteam.com/IMG/staff/softair_rebus_big.jpg

straps
08-31-2009, 08:03 PM
Mirage has been tested in the field by people who like it because it's hard to see you when you're wearing it. It is slowly winding its way up the chain. The evaluation process will likely be run differently that the one that selected UCP.

CadPat is a relevant pattern for homeland defense, and broad swaths of contested territories on the same latitudes. An army's first mission is defense of the homeland, is it not? When Ft. Drum New York became the home of the re-vamped 10th Mtn Div (Light Infantry) in 1985 there was "interest" expressed by the Canadian government in the reasoning behind the re-development of the northernmost military post in the lower 48, and the emplacement of a Light division there.

Crye was funded, in part, by the USG. It is lauded (and criticized) as a graphic and industrial design exercise but the scientific and technical basis for its development has stood. The publicly available studies conducted by the USG are not where the story ends.

Desert (Italian) Vegatato is cool kit, and cannot be traded for commonly available contraband.

mb
09-01-2009, 10:48 AM
Ha, check soldiersystems.com of today. It's almost as if someone had been read our thread :).

And, btw, the pic below (also) appearing on soldier systems is (also) about makeshift dyed desert-to-green uniforms. A somewhat desperate attempt to get camo better suited for the lush southern AO. The resulting blueish green color is hardly optimal, but probably an improvement for woodland-like conditions.

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/mixed-camo-420x278.jpg

cpti
09-01-2009, 11:26 AM
I think mirage looks about right for rocky/scrub desert. Looks like it'd work well in the 'Stan, but I don't know that it'd be superior to MC.

As a side note, I find it truly amusing when companies showcase their product in the manner that Bulldog showcases Mirage. Over half of their photos with guys in Mirage have them either on or near red brick facades.

I guess mirage is definitely the right choice if we're operating in NYC and Chicago.

straps
09-01-2009, 01:34 PM
As a side note, I find it truly amusing when companies showcase their product in the manner that Bulldog showcases Mirage. Over half of their photos with guys in Mirage have them either on or near red brick facades.


I only recall one pic in front of a brick wall (there may be more, and I'm compositing them in my memory--camouflage, you know ;)), but the first thing I thought of was the photos of the Multicam-clad person in front of a moss-covered brick wall in Crye's marketing materials:

http://www.multicampattern.com/gallery.html

I guess every promotional package for every pattern has to have a pic showing how well their pattern conceals the wearer in front of a brick wall...

cpti
09-01-2009, 10:33 PM
I only recall one pic in front of a brick wall (there may be more, and I'm compositing them in my memory--camouflage, you know ;)), but the first thing I thought of was the photos of the Multicam-clad person in front of a moss-covered brick wall in Crye's marketing materials:

http://www.multicampattern.com/gallery.html

I guess every promotional package for every pattern has to have a pic showing how well their pattern conceals the wearer in front of a brick wall...

Yea, I remember smirking at some of the Crye MC pics too. The plethora of red brick pics is on the company website in their 30-40 pic slide show. Again, I think it is a very promising pattern and I fully expect a company to showcase their product in the best possible light. I do give them credit for showing a few pics where the UCP and MC beat the Mirage.