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rob.balaguer
09-14-2009, 01:50 PM
They should know what the new pattern to replace UCP is going to be. Army times says two bns in afg are testing multicam and UCPdelta, which almost looks like a dumbed down version of Mirage camo. All this mussing about camo might be over for a while (hopefully...)

I don't HTML from an iPhone, but if you google "UCPdelta Multicam" it's from the armytimes article "new camo to be tested in Afghanistan"

rob.balaguer
09-14-2009, 01:52 PM
New camo to be tested in Afghanistan
By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 14, 2009 11:41:28 EDT
Soldiers in Afghanistan will soon test two different camouflage uniforms to help the Army find a more effective pattern for the rugged, mountainous country.

After years of soldier complaints about the Army Combat Uniform’s camouflage pattern in the war zones, the Army is trying something new.

Under pressure from a powerful Pennsylvania congressman, the Army will outfit two combat battalions in Afghanistan with two different, alternative camouflage uniforms in an effort to find a better pattern for the expanding Afghan war.

By early October, Army uniform officials plan to give roughly 550 soldiers in Afghanistan new uniforms featuring a camouflage pattern that Program Executive Office Soldier is calling “UCP Delta,” which is the current Universal Camouflage Pattern enhanced with a new color, “coyote brown,” blended into it.

At the same time, the Army will supply the same number of soldiers in another battalion with uniforms in MultiCam, a camouflage pattern already worn in combat by Army special operations forces.

“We are getting two battalion sets out there within 30 days,” Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, commander of PEO Soldier, told Army Times in an exclusive interview Sept. 8.

The move is part of a larger camouflage plan that Army uniform officials presented to members of Congress on Sept. 11. The briefing originally was scheduled for Sept. 14 but was moved up to Sept. 11, according to PEO spokeswoman Debi Dawson.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, launched the congressional mandate in mid-June, saying that he had heard complaints from “a dozen” Army noncommissioned officers that the ACU’s pattern is ineffective in rugged, mountainous countryside. He gave the Army until Sept. 30 to come up with a new pattern.

steveb
09-14-2009, 04:45 PM
It will be interesting to see what 'UCP Delta' looks like. I guess like the ACU with some Coyote mixed in? Comes close to my idea of a good 'UCP'. Still needs a little OD, though...needs to be a little darker. With Coyote AND OD mixed in, the operator could select from Foliage, Coyote, or OD kit to suit the AO, and still 'match'.

With MC, there is a plethora of gear already available to compliment it. I assume with the UCP-D, one could use Coyote of Foliage kit, and still look 'right'.

Maybe they should have a look at Gore Optifade digital hunting camo.

mb
09-15-2009, 02:41 AM
I really hope that the US Army would have the opportunity to properly develop and test new camo patterns for current AO's, rather than to just rush *something* out, as pushed by congress. Otoh, the Army could (should?) have already started this at its own initiative back in 2001, when Afghanistan became top priority. Then the 'Afghanistan camo' could have been fielded by 2003, at least. Although, as Straps has pointed out, the irony of the current camo controversy is that UCP actually works very well in many areas in Afghanistan, unlike many other places...

UCP-Delta seems like just a quick modification of UCP. And Multicam (originally called 'Scorpion'), it's an old-fashioned, but well-marketed pattern developed by a contractor, that finished 3rd out of the 4 'universal' patterns making to the finals in an evaluation study by Natick back in 2004 http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004issc/wednesday/dugas.ppt . Either of these seem like a far cry for the state-of-the-art camo dedicated for Afghanistan.

In contrast, others, like USMC and Canadian Forces, are continuing a much more sophisticated approach for improving their already good camouflage schemes (eg. http://www.merx.com/English/Supplier_Menu.Asp?WCE=Show&TAB=1&PORTAL=MERX&State=7&id=PW-%24%24SS-067-20049&FED_ONLY=0&hcode=z6rMsDKfYexhedxX6ENUXQ%3d%3d# ). Some more discussion can be found in www.soldiersystems.net under camo.

http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/09-14-2009-ucp-delta-with-iotv.jpg http://soldiersystems.net/blog1/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/09-14-2009-ucp-delta.jpg
Fig. UCP-Delta, with west in 'old' UCP.

BuckarooMedic
09-15-2009, 08:01 AM
Oh hell, here we go again.

ahisa
09-15-2009, 08:11 AM
I've been wearing a uniform striaght out of a bad sci-fi flick for too long, hopefully they well come up with a more functional pattern, or even better, come out with different patterns for different AO's.

Koop
09-15-2009, 08:31 AM
Indeed. It irks me just a little bit that the Army let the Marines be the smart guys on this issue. :o

steveb
09-15-2009, 08:39 AM
There ya go. IMO, the UCP-D looks to be a more effective pattern than standard UCP. This should correct the overly bluish tint the ACU has in natural sunlight. Now, add a some OD also, or make the foliage color a little darker, and it would be complete...and get rid of most of that annoying velcro.

mb
09-16-2009, 09:04 AM
It can't be helped... I just must post "my" camofindings... so sorry ;)

The photos below show the new(ish?) Russian Pagranishnik camo pattern. To me it seems that this one could, perhaps, work in somewhat similar environments as UCP-Delta (or Bulldog's Mirage)?

http://www.wttag.de/shop/images/product_images/original_images/1668_10.jpg
http://www.wttag.de/shop/images/product_images/original_images/1668_8.jpg

http://www.wttag.de/shop/images/product_images/original_images/1668_4.jpg

Pics nicked from http://www.wttag.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p1668_PAGRANISHNIK---8211--BDU.html

AK_Spray
09-16-2009, 10:54 AM
It looks like they took no effort to make a new pattern just added Coyote, pretty sad, but its better than UCP. How awesome would it be if Multicam was adopted. i think MARPAT is pretty decent for a digital style. Seems like the Marines are a step ahead of the Army when it comes to gear.

mb
09-16-2009, 12:29 PM
Just one set more... :)

Here's what People's Liberation Army (China) started issuing last year, replacing the earlier Type 87 uniforms: 'Type 07 combat and training uniforms', in woodland, 'universal', 'desert' and 'ocean' (Navy) colour schemes. The lower pic shows just universal and desert. I wonder whether the Chinese were influenced by the US when deciding to have a universal (urban) pattern for the land forces, and, in particular, a crazy camo pattern for the navy. Nevertheless, they seem to have had the common sense to have a woodland and desert scheme too...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/PLA_Type_07_Combat_&_Training_Uniforms.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/af/PLA_Type_07_Urban_%26_Desert_Camouflage_Uniforms.j pg/800px-PLA_Type_07_Urban_%26_Desert_Camouflage_Uniforms.j pg

steveb
09-16-2009, 02:00 PM
Nice pics MB, you're resourceful. With the exception of that hideous Naval pattern, the Chinese patterns look to be effective (more so than ACU, for sure). It is interesting that at a distance, the desert has a Coyote cast, the universal a Foliage cast, and the forest a Camo Green one. Should go well with Kifaru gear, if you could get a hold of some!

Teacher in CA
09-17-2009, 06:47 AM
From my understanding..they can choose either pattern or not even go with the either and stay with UCP. The bean counters would of course pick, No Action required. And the troops want MultiCam. So I think the Army would do the least action necessary to quiet Congress, while keeping bean counters happy.

From one point.. the special operations already use MultiCam, so if they outfit the whole army with MultiCam. Would the terrorists/bad guys think there is a mess of special operations heading their way, or a bunch of paintball people looking for a match??

UCP-D isn't very distinct enough to say.."That's a US Army guy heading our way" It kinda looks like the mess of new digi-camos from other nations.. But on the good side, they say the field equipment already in the old UCP doesn't have to be replaced with UCP-D.

cpti
09-17-2009, 08:25 AM
...But on the good side, they say the field equipment already in the old UCP doesn't have to be replaced with UCP-D...

This is the key. Nothing needs to be DX'd if you go UCP-D. I'd be blown away if they went with MC now that they have UCP-D in the mix. I don't think it's the best pattern going, but it appears to be better than UCP, and it won't cost billions to retrofit every Soldier in the Army.

The biggest problem I have with outfitting the ENTIRE Army with a new, non-compatible color scheme (i.e. MC) is that a large percentage of the Soldiers getting the gear will spend their only time off the FOB thousands of feet in the air on a C-130 flying CONUS/OCONUS. That is a huge waste of funds. UCP-D side steps that problem due to its UCP compatability.

From an aesthetics standpoint, I actually like the look of that photo posted early on of a UCP vest over the UCP-D uniform.

mb
09-18-2009, 12:10 AM
A link to the actual Natick camo study that has been now dug up by the media. It's causing some stir (eg Army Times), as UCP performed 'significantly' worse than some other patterns in this 2007-2009 study. (Does anyone have a link to .pdf, rather than this awful epaper?)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19823845/Photosimulation-Camouflage-Detection-Test

What I find remarkable here, as in the previously 'known' earlier Natick study ( http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004issc/wednesday/dugas.ppt ) is that these studies completely lack an analyze of the environmental backgrounds of relevant AO's for the Army. Like, say, Afghanistan. The study is merely about how well a number of camo patterns work against a single 'woodland' scene in Devens MA, a single 'urban' scene (with tan houses!) in Fort Campbell KY and a single 'desert' scene in Fort Irwin CA.

As such, I wouldn't put much weight to the findings: 1) far too few scenes of 2) widely varying characteristics. A null study, almost. When designing a modern camo pattern, like was done with eg CADPAT, thousands or tens of thousands photographs of the environment of the AO are analyzed to come up with the 'best' colour and pattern match.

And, yes, the winner is... The next camo for the US Army is...

Wehrmacht Sumpftarnmuster 1943

In order to obscure the 'Nazi' connection, the Army calls this Syrian camo... :)
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/BGS_Sumpftarn.jpg/396px-BGS_Sumpftarn.jpg

steveb
09-21-2009, 11:40 AM
Check out www.soldiersystems.net for some new and expanded info on the selection process. Turns out there were 5 modified ACU patterns evaluated (UCP-A,B,C,D,E). UCP-D was the best (of those 5). In theatre testing to begin in October, with a decision to be made by January. Of the three main contenders (Multicam, UCP-D, and AOR-2(digital pattern w new colorways-probably similar to MC)), the easiest and cheapest solution (IMO) is UCP-D, as existing gear in ACU, Coyote, and Foliage can blend well with it. Unless AOR-2 or MC show significant advantages, I'm guessin it will be UCP-D that's selected. Eventually (year or so), it may very well become the new standard across the Army, not just downrange.

mb
09-21-2009, 12:48 PM
Just how did the PEO soldier end up with adding coyote brown to UCP? Resulting in all the new UCP variants, A to E? The interview in soldiersystems.net is revealing.

"the Army regularly conducts post combat surveys and had noted several comments that Soldiers were most dissatisfied with UCP’s performance in Woodland environments. Based on this information, the Infantry School suggested that perhaps a Brown shade should be added to the UCP color palette."

It was just a plain guess!! Surely an educated guess, but certainly nothing close to a careful study. Heck, there are even companies on the net offering custom camo palettes based on image data of the clients AO. And, if the client can't provide the photos needed, the companies offer to use satellite imagery to determine the palette. Not that images far from the above would be at all as good as a gazillion carefully sampled and calibrated ground level images, like used in the development of sophisticated colour palettes, like those of CADPAT-TW and Finnish m/05.

Of course, I'm definitively no expert here, although I pretend to be one in the internet, but to me it seems that PEO soldier is climbing bottom first up the tree.

cpti
09-21-2009, 01:00 PM
Hopefully any CB they integrate will work well with Kifaru CB.

rob.balaguer
09-24-2009, 01:03 PM
Hopefully any CB they integrate will work well with Kifaru CB.


I guess CB is the only safe color to order now, seeing as foliage would clash with MC, and MC would clash with UCP delta...

cpti
09-24-2009, 01:55 PM
I guess CB is the only safe color to order now, seeing as foliage would clash with MC, and MC would clash with UCP delta...

Unless they stick with UCP... :)

If Vegas had a line on it, I'd say the odds would heavily favor UCP-D (if changed at all), for cost if nothing else.

mb
09-26-2009, 07:33 AM
Oh, btw, the Russians chose Multicam... well some of them ('Alpha') anyway.
http://i34.tinypic.com/faai5u.jpg
Well, Russians use (copies of) about every camo pattern there is, but haven't seen so far pics of UCP, never mind UCP-D, on Russian troops.

steveb
09-26-2009, 09:03 AM
Another reason to select UCP-D or AOR-1/2. IFF (Identification, friend or foe) is an important aspect in a chaotic urban battlespace. Multicam is also Multiuser.

rob.balaguer
09-26-2009, 06:59 PM
So... does everyone still hate multicam? Anyone rooting for UCP delta? (following the MC sucks thread)

mb
09-29-2009, 12:45 PM
And Multicam(R) is what spec ops use in Afghanistan, eh? :)

http://www.militarytimes.com/xml/frontline/photos/2009/09/28/092809FRONTS05.JPG
The caption in Army Times (that's where I nicked the photo) says: "An Afghan National Police officer fires his assault rifle during training by U.S. Special Forces on Sept. 18 near the village of Nili".

Otoh, I guess it could be that the 'Special Forces' guys shown want to blend in with the Afghan Army (which uses woodland camo), rather than the Afghan environment. Not that they'd appear to be much successful in looking like Afghan troops, if that was the issue...
http://www.militarytimes.com/xml/frontline/photos/2009/09/28/092809FRONTS04.JPG