Australian “diggers” fighting over in Afghanistan are facing the same problems as US troops on the durability of their trousers.
The Diggers are generally happy with the Multicam clothing. It is more comfortable and more suited to mixed terrain than previous combat clothing, but the pants with stretch sections and built-in knee pads are not up to the job in many cases.
They are tearing along seams where stretch fabric around the crutch meets non-stretch fabric and the rips are then spreading across the cloth itself. Some soldiers can no longer wear them, others have patched them up and some are happy to wear shredded pants.
The Australian media is trying to pump the idea that this is a problem with the “American made” products. As you all know, these ensembles are made by Crye precision.
“It is expected that the Multicam uniforms made in Australia will be made from the fabric used for the standard combat uniform – which is stronger than the fabric used in Multicam at the moment,” the spokesman said.
So we asked Crye for the gouge and a top official there said the problem isn’t how or where they’re made, it’s the material requirement.
The Australian DOD is proactively offering a series of new performance benefits to its operators in terms of personal equipment/apparel. One of those new enhancements is that they have given the user a similar level of FR protection to that which the US Armed Forces currently maintains. Just as the US Forces have learned, providing this protection has come at the cost of some durability. However, because of the concerted efforts of our militaries and industry here and abroad, FR fabrics have significantly improved over the past 5 years since the requirement first came to the forefront. We have tracked along with the materials that have resulted from this effort and incrementally incorporated them into our own products.
Just as we reported here about the Army’s pant problems, so too it seems the Aussies are having the same issues with FR material durability.