Air Force to switch to Army camo, ditch tiger stripes beginning in October
WASHINGTON — The Air Force will adopt the Army’s Operation Camouflage Pattern combat uniform already worn by some airmen overseas as its official utility uniform for the entire service beginning in October, Air Force officials announced Monday.
The switch to the uniforms developed by the Army initially for use in Afghanistan means the Air Force will ditch its Airman Battle Uniform with its camouflage pattern of gray, blue and green tiger stripes. Airmen can begin wearing the OCP uniform on Oct. 1, and ABUs are to be fully retired by April 1, 2021, the service said in a statement.
The change is expected to be embraced by airmen, said Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, who acknowledged the popularity of the Army’s green, brown, tan uniform that airmen already wear in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Personnel assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command and security forces airmen assigned to Air Force Global Strike Command also wear the OCP uniform, including in the United States.
“We spoke to and listened to airmen on this, and the OCP was the clear choice,” Goldfein said in a statement. “The uniform works in all climates – from Minot [in North Dakota] to Manbij [in Syria] – and across the spectrum of missions we perform. It’s suitable for our airmen working on a flight line in the Northern Tier states and for those conducting patrols in the Middle East.”
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