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Air Force finalizes new utility uniform

by Tech. Sgt. David A. Jablonski
Air Force Print News

5/31/2005 - WASHINGTON  -- Blue and green tiger stripes are out; the digitized pattern with subdued green, tan, blue and gray is in.

After reviewing more than 150,000 bits of feedback throughout the initial seven-month wear test of the proposed utility uniform, Air Force leaders recently decided to eliminate the original color scheme and conduct a limited field test of the new pattern.

Special operations and survival, evasion, resistance and escape Airmen will conduct a limited wear test of the new design at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Hurlburt Field, Fla., and Fairchild AFB, Wash., in June.

“The sole purpose of the test will be to see if we can add any features to the uniform to make it a better uniform in the field and to determine if the new colors (and) pattern provide camouflage protection they need in the field,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dana Athnos, Air Force uniform board superintendent.

Airmen who participated in the initial wear test stopped wearing the more vibrant blue-green uniform March 1.

The original wear test involved more than 700 Airmen at 32 bases worldwide who kept detailed daily logs annotating likes, dislikes and wash-and-wear problems. They also completed three surveys.

“Throughout the test, Air Force leaders actively solicited feedback from testers and observers alike to ensure this uniform developed into one that fit the needs of today’s Airmen,” Sergeant Athnos said.

“There were several avenues for feedback, ensuring that the (Air Force) chief of staff had realistic facts when making the final decision on the uniform,” she said.

Those avenues included a survey sent to 45,000 Airmen, a Web site and direct e-mail to the uniform board.

“Some comments were positive, some were negative -- all of them were provided directly to the chief of staff,” Sergeant Athnos said.

The uniform is scheduled to be procured in mid-2005, officials said. Airmen can expect to purchase the uniform sometime in fiscal 2007. The proposed uniform will be phased in over four or five years.

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