Monday, February 10, 2014

Army Combat Uniform (ACU)

From Wikipedia

The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and its flame-retardant variant, the Flame-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU), are the current battle uniforms worn by the United States Army. First unveiled in June 2004, it is the successor to the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) worn from the 1980s and 1990s, through the early 2000s, respectively. It features a number of design changes, as well as a different camouflage pattern from its predecessor. The ACU and its component materials are manufactured by the existing industrial infrastructure which produced the now-obsolete BDU. Official military-grade ACUs are made of 50% nylon and 50% cotton.

The U.S. Army uses the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), which blends tan, gray and green (Desert Sand 500, Urban Gray 501 and Foliage Green 502) to work equally in desert, woodland, and urban environments. Similar to the United States Marine Corps MARPAT and Canadian CADPAT camouflage scheme on which it was based. This design, however, is not as effective as patterns with color schemes specific to a single environment and may have been implemented due to budgetary constraints.

U.S. Army soldiers deployed to Afghanistan (starting with the 173rd Airborne Brigade) are issued a version of the "MultiCam" pattern. Since late 2010, all U.S. Army soldiers deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom are issued flame-resistant ACUs in the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP). These uniforms are designed to prevent third-degree burns, along with up to thirty percent of second degree burns. Additionally, the uniforms are treated with the chemical permethrin to help protect soldiers from insect-borne diseases like malaria.

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