Army Restarts Camouflage Testing

100206-A-0846W-033Soldiers will return to the field to test different camouflage patterns as the Army looks to meet requirements laid out by Congress to find a camouflage pattern that could be used across the military.

The Army has signaled that the service will pursue fielding a family of camouflage patterns versus a single pattern. Army leaders are considering fielding a transitional pattern for general use that would go along with specialized arid and woodland patterns, according to a recent Army statement.

“Separate patterns designed for arid, transitional semi-wooded, or heavily wooded terrain tend to perform better than a single pattern, which seeks to provide concealment in all three environments,” the Army wrote in a March 31 press release.

The Army was poised to announce the results of its multi-year camouflage improvement effort nearly a year ago, but congressional language in the 2014 defense budget called on the Pentagon to put an end to the services branding their ranks with unique camouflage uniforms.

MultiCam won the Army’s earlier camouflage competition. A source told Military.com that before Congress blocked funding for single-service camouflage patterns, the Army was ready to go forward and introduce MultiCam as the replacement for the ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Now, the Army is re-opening the testing process and considering a host of camouflage patterns to include the Marine Corps desert and woodland patterns. Ongoing tests will occur this month and next at Fort Benning, Ga. The Army will then follow up those tests at Fort Polk, La., and Yuma Testing Ground, Ariz.

Army leaders didn’t specify which camouflage patterns will be tested over the coming months. In the previous camouflage competition, Crye Precision LLC, ADS, Inc., teamed with Hyperstealth, Inc.; Brookwood Companies, Inc.; and Kryptek, Inc. all competed. None of the four patterns clearly outperformed through all the test environments, but MultiCam was considered the winner.

“Once the testing is complete, Army leadership will use the test results to reach a decision on whether to keep the present camouflage pattern or adopt one of the new families of patterns,” according to the Army press release.

However, the question remains over how much the Army is willing to spend on the testing process and the fielding of a UCP replacement. Congress blocked service specific camouflage partially to cut down on the cost and number of expensive fielding programs being pursued by the different services.

Fielding a family of camouflage patterns would add to the price tag. Not only would uniforms have to be purchased, but also the corresponding equipment.

Details have already emerged concerning the Army’s reluctance to pay for new combat uniforms. Officials with Crye Precision LLC, the inventor of the MultiCam pattern, said the Army has not been willing to pay what the market demands for effective camouflage.

When Army officials approached Crye Precision about replacing UCP with MultiCam, the vendors increased the price the Army had been paying for uniforms in Afghanistan by up to 20 percent. In October 2013, the Army released a Justification and Approval that it planned to issue MultiCam as the Army’s “principle camouflage pattern,” Crye officials said.

However, Crye officials said it could not control what vendors charge and the company’s additional profit would only make up a 1 percent increase.

“Crye submitted several formal proposals which proved that the Army could procure MultiCam gear at prices within 1 percent of UCP gear,” the Crye release states. “Crye’s proposals additionally showed that this could be accomplished with no upfront cost to the Army.”

“The Army rejected all of Crye’s proposals and did not present any counter proposals, effectively saying that a proven increase in soldier survivability was not worth a price difference of less than 1 percent.”

Army officials then requested a buyout price for MultiCam, but Crye officials were reluctant to sell the service the rights to the MultiCam brand. A buyout price would have to include the entire lifetime value of the MultiCam brand, making it expensive, Crye officials said.

Crye officials finally agreed to provide a buyout price request — $24.8 million according to an Army source familiar with negotiations.

“Crye’s offer was rejected outright by the Army,” Crye officials said. “No official counter offers to any of Crye’s proposals were ever provided to Crye by the Army.”

Of note, the Army has spent hundreds of millions of dollar on the Ground Combat Vehicle program since 2011. Army leaders canceled the program this year and will not field one vehicle.

 

43 Comments on "Army Restarts Camouflage Testing"

  1. The Army should hire Bill Murray to be their spokesman because this is turning into Groundhog Day but without any of the funny.

  2. Robert Everhart | April 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Reply

    Now that is a smart idea.

  3. Now we are back to what we began with Desert and Woodland. Should have stayed with BDUs, like I said over the years. You can add Multicam as a in between of desert and woodland camo. this digi camo like I said was crap and was a fad that should die. Save money go back to the camo that worked for 30 years before crappy grey camo came.

  4. heh heh n'everything

  5. "However, the question remains over how much the Army is willing to spend on the testing process and the fielding of a UCP replacement."

    Shouldn't that be How much the American Tax Payer is willing to pay?

    Ok, Thats it, Everybody back to the Old cheap Olive Drab Green Utility Uniform (highly starched for Sgt Majors benifit) unless sent on Deployment, then draw out of supply what ever has been purchased over the last 15 years in Camo gear. Except for the crappy Ghost gray I can see you no matter where you are Uniform.

  6. They could use the entire Multicam family.

  7. Nobody in the industry who knows WTF they're doing will participate.

    Army will spend a fortune to get a family of cheap patterns–cheap to design and cheap to print. And those patterns will be little better than UCP.

    This kind of crap makes me ashamed to be a Soldier.

    The actions of rogues on the battlefield or in garrison are just that-the actions of individuals who know no better.

    This SECOND ROUND OF TESTING is the result of decision making AWAY from the heat of battle, with a full accounting of the long term and second/third-order effects, by people who are supposed to know WTF they're doing.

    Beyond embarrassing.

  8. Who is budgeting this operation? Soldiers are losing money and benefits,so,some contractors,can get rich along with their flag officer daddies! More waste of,time and money!

  9. I don't even know what to say anymore……….Look at what happen before we started getting MC for guys deploying to Afghanistan. OCP-Delta…all they did was throw mud on the uniform and called it good enough for our guys and that didn't pass. I have 100% zero faith that Big Army will actually be able to come up with something good for us to wear. They spent millions of dollars on testing to get something that proved worthy enough for our troops and threw the opportunity away because we are apparently not worth that 1% difference that was discussed…..Thanks Uncle Sam…..thanks.

  10. WTF?!?!?!?!?!

  11. "Army leaders are considering fielding a transitional pattern for general use that would go along with specialized arid and woodland patterns, according to a recent Army statement."

    So the Army will have THREE uniforms in the end… (facepalm)

    Two patterns is plenty. Someone has to apply the rule of diminishing returns.

  12. Sad. Just pathetically sad.

    Big Army fails again. It's time to layoff the generals.

  13. I'm sure alot of people hope this is an April Fool's joke that's a day late.

    Is it?

  14. Welcome to " Wizard of Oz " the TV show. 13 episodes a quarter century…. follow follow follow follow follow the yellow brick road.

    I wonder if this time they pick something that DOES NOT look good on TV but, actually blends in. or they could blend in with the old BDU's since everybody else including " Hezbollah, ISIS and even AQ " seems to be wearing them…..

    We've come to the time with this farce has become boring.

  15. The Secretary of the Army needs to be removed immediately for fraud, waste and abuse if he/she is approving this waste of taxpayers dollars.

  16. Could we please have a petition to lay off the Brass making these insane decisions? I've always wanted to serve my country, and this is really making me think twice.

  17. Well they better hurry up and come up with a pattern that will blend into the Ukranian country side. Think about it. Is it necessary to spend million of dollars we don't have every few years on camouflage uniforms? Is the eath changing that fast? African animals have used the same camo pattern for years with great success. This is what happens when you have excess General officers with no job who don't want to retire and a president who allows them to stay on. The monthly pay for a three stat general with say 25 years service is $15,000 add to that maid service, butlers, drivers, cooks and outlandish housing.

  18. Soldiers used to fight and win wars wearing bright Red or Blue uniforms. Then they transitioned to various shades of Khaki, brown or OD green, and still won wars. Seems like camo is more of a moral booster than necessity when it comes to a combat uniform. It just looks tacti-cool.

  19. James Turnidge | April 2, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    What the HEdoubletoothpicks (thanks Radar) is this getting to be a freakin' fashion show? Every three months there is a new plan for camo? Let the person that thinks this up pay for it out of his own pocket, then lets see how often we have to change uniforms and patterns. Marines; Sand pattern for beach assault, olive drab for grass and reeds, Tree pattern for forest and brush. Looks like your guys will be doing a lot of changing and not much shooting. Army, same thing but olive green for trees and shrubs and grass…..it worked during WW2 and WW1 and Korea. Navy, nothing blue, you will get lost at sea if you fell overboard. Air Force, blue is good as long as you don't touch ground……in other words pretend your and angel. God Bless America and All who fight for her, Congress won't just look at their record past and present in the past ten or further years (how far back you go is your choice it may still look the same).

  20. The US Army could have had the Crye family of patterns that won the Phase IV Camo testing after 4yrs of testing, it beat Both Marpats, Multicam, AOR 1/2 in head to head testing. The cost for the patterns would have been 700K roughly, that's nothing in Defense budgets. But the ARMY Leardership sat on the results until Congress passed the bill. This would have been the best camo available for our soldiers but the Army never made a move. I every other test prior to the Phase IV tests, Crye Multicam always came out never the top in most test. It is currently issued on a limited basis, but the Army wont adopt it for widespread use. Seems like someone in the Military has a axe to grind with Crye, since they wont even talk to Crye about prices, they have done everything the Army has asked of them. But somehow after aprox. ten yrs of ongoing testing and Crye always coming out on top the Army is all of a sudden design a pattern on there own that is better than any other company can come up with.

    Soldiers lives are what are at stake here for atleast the next decade if not longer!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Now the army said something about using multicam colors, but with a digital pattern… The hyperstealth camo patterens look good to me and their in between (universal) seems to blend in better than Multicam…
    UCP works great…… If it’s dirty. Roll in the dirt and look at how much better it works. It’s to damn bright clean and stands out like a VS17 panel

  22. WOW! Somebody is getting rich on this ridiculous retesting program!!!!!!

  23. As someone who's looking to enlist in a few weeks, this is bullshit

  24. I thought that the army test last year held that ANOTHER Crye pattern NOT multicam won. Multicam was a close runner up..

    Then army went all MULTICAM FOR ALL!!! Wtf happened to the fucking competition winner? What fucking pattern was it?

  25. Typical for Obama's Army! The blind leading the blind. The Good Idea Fairy strikes again! LMFAO. I'm retired so hang on kiddies!.

  26. So the Army is going to do another round of testing and put up a pixelated Multicam rip off up against MARPAT, OEP-Multicam, Kryptek, Brookwood and US4CES. I bet their arguement will be "there is no clear winner but we can save X amount of money by going with digital Multicam with MARPAT or AOR to round out the family of camo." That sounds like what their are trying to do. Just a wild guess but I'd be shocked with any other outcome.

  27. Given the concern about budget to support the 1 in 5 Unemployed, the 1 in 6 on Food Stamps, the So-Called Free Obamacare and 16,000 new IRS Employees… I can see where the Army will wear the Civil War Style Blue Wool Uniform for all purposes and carry sling shots vs. rifles to be environmentally acceptable.

  28. When is this going to end? We wasted how many millions on UCP only to discover it only works with gravel and your grandmother’s couch. Then we spent even more to purchase uniforms and equipment in Multicam specifically for the ‘Stan. Then there was the untold millions spent to test several patterns to replace UCP service wide only yo have congress apply the e-brake now we are going to spend even more. Either adopt MARPAT with either coyote brown, or ranger green equipment or go with Kryptek. Both options have already been researched and patterns that will meet DODs needs.

  29. GEEZ! Why do the Army keep rehashing this old stuff, they are beginning to act like the Navy, they can't decide on nothing. Pick a da-m pattern and go with it, It's not rocket science. Sound like somebody is trying to make themselves look more inportant by dragging this out. If you want to look more important in your job, then do a better damn job.

  30. Wow, Beat a dead horse much?

    Please just let this insanity end. At this point I'm ready for my woodland BDU's back.

  31. They’ll make a digital multicam ripoff and make sure it wins. The problem is, they tested one such a ripoff and was not as good as multicam or the other finalists.
    I like Hyperstealth’s US4ces. Is much better than multicam at night and it adds depth to the patern.

  32. TOM PASTORIUS | April 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Reply

    Their seams like their is a problem with statement of work—it is difficult to put something into writing when you don't know what you want—thus the contractor definitely have a lot of modification until they get it right. The answer can be solved by the above action in expressing what they need before issuing the statement of work–the engineers need to work the comptroller to resolve the problem(and avoiding cost overruns

  33. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet Crye gives the Army the finger and tells them go take a hike – "we won the previous test we ain't playing again!"

  34. Isn’t the definition of insanity, performing the same act over and over, especting. A different result?

    All the 11-series, 18-series and other actual trigger pullers start an online petition at WhiteHouse.gov to put a halt to this nonsense and hold bureaucrats in uniform accountable to the United States Taxpayers. First for the original fiasco that resulted in Chemlight Cam, aka UCP being chosen over. The original actual winner, and, for the millions spent to retewst initiated by Rep Murtha now continued waste in more drawnout testing, while the Army’s Warfighters pay for the dcommand staff’s ineptitude.

  35. I don’t understand. Have we been getting wiped out on the battlefield because of the camouflage pattern on our uniforms? Has the foulage or weather changed in the past 50 years that would require billions of dollars to be spent to change the design of the uniform? We should leave well enough alone and invest that money in something else our military needs.

  36. Round and round we go where we stop nobody knows!!

  37. They are only allowed to select existing patterns not create new ones due to a law passed by congress. In other words, they cannot use any patterns in the last camo competition which are the best on the planet. They must go backwards and select patterns already in use. That's what the new law requires.

  38. I thought Congress shut down the funding for this for FY14. What did I miss?

  39. WHO OWNS STOCK IN THE CLOTHING MFG. COMPANY'S THAT WILL EVENTUALITY GET THE CONTRACT TO MAKE ALL THE NEW REQUIRED WEB GEAR AND UNIFORMS ?

  40. Let the lady soldiers come up with a pattern and save thousands of dollars. Picking out patterns is not a mans job, just leave it to us ladies and we will get the job done.

  41. You can test all you want but my experience has been that solid colors take advantage of natural light and shadow to blend in. When you put a shadow where it doesn't belong the human eye can pick it out a mile away. A lighter spot within a shadow will do the same thing. OD green and desert tan washed dull will blend in far better than any camo pattern you can come up with.

  42. The ARMY hasn’t gothen it right with uniforms, for the past forty plus years. What a joke!

  43. BROWNISH CAMO:
    I have the commercial "Advantage Timber" camo for my Gore-Tex parka and pants. It is a brown leaf pattern with gray branches and a few scattered green leafs. Being predominantly brown it blends with Pennsylvania dead leaf forest floors as well as Nevada desert browns. I have hunted successfully with this camo in both states.

    To me predominantly brown camo is the most "universal" color. The "Advantage" and "Realtree" patterns have medium-large disruptive branches in the pattern and from a distance do not tend to "blob" into one color.

    If I had to risk my ass in an Afghan combat situation I'd much rather have my commercial brown tone camo than MultiCam.

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