As you might remember we spotted an interesting piece of kit the other day during one of our regular IMINT sweeps of .mil photos shot worldwide.
It appeared that the Special Forces Soldier in the photo was wearing some cool new combat pants patterned in the UCP camo but incorporating some high speed knee pads and flexible, articulated joints. I mentioned that I'd seen something like this in the cubby of a PM at PEO Soldier at Belvoir and that I'd ping them on what these might be.
Well, my friends over there saw the post and gave me some intel on what the SF dudes were sporting -- or at least what they weren't sporting.
According to official at PEO the SF trooper was not wearing a pair of the Fire Resistant Army Combat Uniform pants but was made "by the same company" that's working on PEO's FR ACU improvement program. Some snooping revealed that the Green Beret's pants were made by Crye Precision but must have been purchased outside the normal channels or donated for an "evaluation."
According to PEO, the improved FR-ACU will have:
"...stretch material in the seat to make it more flexible. The improved combat pant that the Army is currently testing, under the FR Army Combat Uniform (FR ACU) Trouser Product Improvement Program, also includes hardened knee covers similar to those pictured in your blog. Other distinguishing features in the improved trousers PEO Soldier is developing include matching trouser and stretch material, with foliage green pads, so the colors do not contrast as they do in your close-up photo..."
Previous reports on this subject indicate that a Crye version of the official improved FR-ACU is being -- or soon will be -- evaluated in Afghanistan. So about 7,000 lucky Joes are going to get their very own Storm Trooper pants for treking the Afghan hills.