Chalk it up to that pesky metric system, but it looks as if some Australian SAS troopers slaying bodies in The Stan were close to having to squeeze their junk into combat uniforms built for slighter chaps.
According to an article in The Australian, apparently the Australian MOD screwed up and didn't make the US/AUS conversion in sizes, so almost 100 uniforms came in a bit slighter than the snakeaters could accommodate.
The mistake was made during the trial of the new US-made "Multicam" combat uniforms when the Defence Materiel Organisation placed the order using Australian clothes sizes, neglecting to translate them into the equivalent US sizes for the American manufacturer.As one Australian TV reporter put it to the Minister of Defense: "No one made the difference between Australian sizing and American sizing, so they're too small for the big blokes of the SAS."
As a result, about 100 SAS uniforms arrived in smaller sizes that did not resemble the robust SAS physique. The army had to redistribute them to non-special forces soldiers whose less-toned body shapes better resembled the wrongly-sized uniforms.
To the best of our knowledge these are Crye Precision combat uniforms. We've pinged the company for their take on this but have not received a reply.
You'll remember that based on an earlier "trial" by the SAS in Afghanistan, the Australian MOD elected to purchase 5,000 Crye combat uniforms in MultiCam for all Australian troops to wear who go "outside the wire" in the AO. The MOD said that batch of uniforms -- with a $2 million AUS pricetag -- was not affected by the size conversion snafu.
[Editor's Note: We found some awesome shots of Australian SAS operators in Afghanistan while we were searching for art for this story. We decided to include a gallery below of what we found...I'm glad they're on our side...]