Australia Goes MultiCam for OEF

In a major announcement today (well, yesterday if you’re thinking about it from EST), the Australian government launched one of its most sweeping uniform replacement programs in decades.

The Australian Defense Forces have asked the United States military to filfull an urgent need to outfit all its troops in Afghanistan with the MultiCam combat uniform developed by Crye Precision. You’ll remember we broke the news in August that Aussie special forces were prowling around The Stan with the MultiCam duds. According to Australian military acqisition chief Jason Clare:

For the past 12 months our Special Forces troops in Afghanistan have been trialling a new Mulitcam combat uniform made by Crye Precision, based in the United States, Afghanistan.

The preliminary results of this trial indicate that the camouflage pattern provides our troops with greater levels of concealment across the range of different terrains in Afghanistan – urban, desert and green.

It also makes it easier for them to do their job.

The ADF will try to slip in an order for MultiCam combat uniform for use by all Australian troops in Afghanistan when they “go outside the wire,” Clare said. There are almost 1,600 Australian troops in Afghanistan.

The so-called MultiCam “trial” will last another year.

Meanwhile, Clare dropped a bombshell, saying he was looking to buy a license for MultiCam and to go the way of the Brits in developing their own variant. We reported on the new Brit camo pattern several times here on Kit Up!…

I have also instructed the DMO to begin discussions with Crye Precision about the possibility of obtaining a licence to manufacture this uniform in Australia and develop our own unique camouflage pattern.

This brings up two major questions: First, to what extent does the urgent Australian order for MultiCam material and uniforms disrupt the US Army’s efforts to execute its fielding of the OCP setup to Joes in the Box? I sure hope the Army isn’t put in the position of slow rolling the fielding in favor of giving some wiggle room to the Aussies. And second, is Caleb Crye trying to take over the world?

Well, if it works, use it.

(Thanks to Aussie Observer and DoD Buzz for the gouge)

  • First: Yes, Crye is taking over the world. But what interest me the most is, what kind of new camo will the y come up with next? After all, in this day and age, companies survive in their ability to keep up with the times and innovate. That’s why Multicam is so damn popular.
    I know currently there isn’t much demand for another kind of camouflage, but it would be interesting to see what Crye can do with other environments around the world. Multicam is a great arid-terrain camo, but it ain’t the best in woodland, or artic, or urban. I am really curious to see what’s next.
    And second (my own question): Will the Marine Corps jump on the Multicam-train as well? Or will they go in a different direction? see how they also face the same problems of fighting in different terrains in ‘stand. I really like MARPAT, is unique and differentiates them from other branches, but it has it’s drawbacks.
    The times, they truly are changing. :D

    • Riceball

      The Corps is not, in my opinion, very likely to jump on the Multicam bandwagon since they seem to be quite happy with their 2 types of MARPATs. The biggest reason why the Army & Air Force are using Multicam because they ditched their desert uniforms in favor of the so-called Universal Camouflage Pattern which proved to be not that universally effective so now they’re adopting Multicam uniforms as an interim until they can develop the 3 – 4 camouflage patterns they want to use in the future. But since one of the desired patterns is something suitable for intermediate terrains or theaters with wide ranges of terrain types like Afghanistan I wouldn’t be surprised if Multicam is chosen for that role.

  • strikehold

    Juan – from what I’ve heard, Crye have more than got their hands full dealing with the demand for MultiCam, and they reckon that they’ve got the perfect multi-terrain camo already. So why “fix it” if it ain’t broke?

    The second thing is that it will be really interesting to see what comes out of the US Army’s Phase IV “Family of Camo” program (which has now apparently also attracted the attention of the USAF, but not the USMC as far as I know).

    The other thing that strikes me about all of this MultiCam mania is that its a bit late isn’t it? I mean, we’ve been in Afghanistan for 9 years (!) and yet all of this Gucci-gear is only just now coming along – just as the emphasis is shifting towards handing security and combat ops back to the Afghans.

  • TTe

    Can’t wait to see the Multicam Bunny for OZ! That’s what I speculate it to be!

  • Dev

    TTe, there already is a “multicam” variant of the Auscam, it’s called the Disruptive Pattern Midpoint Uniform (DPMU) and it wasn’t successful.

    2nd bit of that article.

    • TTe

      What you said is the same thing of short lived Brit PECOC (hybrid pattern) but I meant something like the MTP ,a unique variant of MC for Oz. And how they can maintain their ID is to adapt that bunny DPxU pattern in MC color palette but I would like a more creative way to derive that Oz MC :)

  • doc

    they wont even give us multicam and were in afghanistan now. the highers ( 101st ) seem to have a stick up their ass about the new pattern.

  • Anthony

    Multicam sucks. It’s too dark for most places in the Desert and too light for most places in the Forest. Just get some MARPAT and call it something else. Two uniforms may not be cost effective but at least people won’t continually get killed due to lack of concealment.

    • crackedlenses

      Do you have any pictures to prove this? All the pictures I have seen indicate that while not perfect Multicam is the best multipurpose pattern out there…..

    • Riceball

      I think that you’re confusing Multicam with the Army’s UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern), it was typically too dark for the desert, too light for woodlands and was best suited for gravel pits and floral couches.

      • Anthony

        No I haven’t although that one is also terrible. The thing everyone seems to be missing is there is no such thing as universal. The army is trying to hard to find one uniform to be cost effective which I can understand but it isn’t as simple as mixing colors together which in my opinion looks like turds of different diets and age. Multicam works well in some places but like every camo that has tried to be universal loses its effectiveness in two weeks of desert light. After it gets sun bleached it’s just another desert camo. They are doing a good job of making an intermediate camo though i will admit somewhere in between woodland and desert.

  • Ah, what a shame. I like Multi Cam, but the Australian patterns were excellent. At least looking at the two in the steppes around here (yes, in civilian hands, but we have both) their both very good, but I’d give the Aus Cam the edge.

  • Brandon

    What’s with everyones fixation on MARPAT? Rather than just sit and hypothesize on whats best, or get reviews from airsoft sites, how about you ask the people that have been out there doing the job? After seeing both MC and MARPAT in use (in theater!), MC was effective and had a distinct advantage.

    • crackedlenses

      In a desert environment, I have yet to see anything that bests MARPAT Desert. The advantage of MC is that it works in both desert and woodland, and best in in-between environments. To the Army who are stuck with UCP, MC is the best thing they can right now….

  • W ill

    Purely rumor, speculation, and seastories, but a buddy told me all the Marines attached to MSOB have been equipped w/ MC for use when deployed in mixed service team operations. The Corps will only adopt the MC if ordered to do so.

  • Seems to be a dumping of the A2CU Aircrew combat unifrom in ACU pattern onto the surplus market….

    Has the US army gone to a new aircrew combat uniform pattern in multicam perhaps ?

    Must say the A2CU’s are great have scored some great deals on brand new with tags lately just not a big fan of the ACU pattern.

    Multicam is great round here in these woods.

  • VNR

    Caleb is an amazing artist/painter. Went to high school with him. Always thought he’d be the next Andy Warhol. I’m not surprised he can come up w/ so many different types/colors of camoflauge