The U.S. Air Force began fielding the Airman Battle Uniform in 2007 to replace the woodland camouflage Battle Dress Uniform worn by all U.S. services for decades.
The ABU has a distinctive tiger stripe pattern and features a pixilated look similar to the Army’s ACU. The new uniform has four pockets on the front of the shirt, and also a small pencil pocket on the left forearm and two pockets on the lower legs. In addition, inside the side pockets and inside of the breast pockets there are smaller sewn-in pockets to hold small tools, flashlights or cell phones.
The new uniform design is a pixilated tiger stripe with four soft earth tones consisting of tan, grey, green and blue. The ABU has a permanent crease and is offered in 50-50 nylon-cotton blend permanent press fabric eliminating the need for winter and summer weight uniforms.
Other accessories include:
Airmen are required to maintain one tan T-shirt with an Air Force logo on the front and Air Force written on the back.
Suede cowhide boots in matching green-gray color; like the desert boot these are polish-free and available in men’s and women’s sizes.
The word color for the name, U.S. Air Force, and rank is midnight blue; name tapes and rank insignia background are tan and are sewn on using a matching tan color thread.
The ABU adopts the battle dress uniform hat style for primary use and the floppy hat design is used in some deployed areas.