Camouflage only works when its pattern and colors closely echo the operational environment. For example, the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), with its digital pattern of grays, tans, and light greens, was developed to blend with dusty urban environments. Now, to reflect changing operational needs, a new pattern has been designed to offer protection in more verdant locales.
On August 10, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division of the Iowa National Guard became the first brigade to receive the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP). The new pattern was designed to better match and reflect the diverse terrain of Afghanistan. Extensive testing has demonstrated that, in varied environments, the OCP shields wearers from detection more than 20 percent more effectively than the UCP.
Making Soldiers nearly invisible isn’t the only protection the OCP offers. The newly fielded gear is also fire-resistant and protects Soldiers from insect-borne diseases, such as malaria and leishmaniasis. Developed and tested at a burn center in San Antonio, the OCP stood up to flash flames well enough to almost entirely prevent third-degree burns. The clothing also received a chemical treatment that makes Soldiers seem less appetizing to mosquitoes.
The OCP is the result of months of rigorous testing and demonstrates PEO Soldier’s commitment to getting Soldiers the right gear for any mission. By listening to what Soldiers wanted, no detail was missed—right down to the frequently requested return of buttons on certain pockets to replace the Velcro. And, upon receiving the new gear, the men and women of the Iowa National Guard took notice.
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