Our friends at Soldier Systems have been tracking the development of a new camo scheme designed for the Afghan fight by Army officials who were mandated by congress to do so after hearing complaints from the field.
Their reporting shows that the service has basically tweaked the pixel pattern a bit, added some coyote brown to the mix and satisfied the Gucci camo cadre with a bit of Multi-cam-esque curvature sprinkled in.
I admire the Army's attempt here, but I think most wearers will be skeptical -- at first blush it's damned ugly. And as I've always said: An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance.
But clearly the UCP pattern needs revamping and the idea of multiple uniforms for different environments may need to be re-reconsidered. I'm sure our friends at Soldier Systems will keep a close eye on the field tests and we'll bring you their results as soon as we can.
Natick has been busy developing several new variants of UCP which retain the base pattern but replace individual colors. Word has it that some of them are down right ugly. It has recently been revealed by Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, PEO-Soldier that the new UCP-Delta which integrates Coyote Brown into the pattern along with Multicam will be evaluated in Afghanistan beginning in October. In response to the Congressional directive to field a new camo pattern for operations in Afghanistan two Battalions worth of uniforms will be tested.