Air Force Adopts the Army’s OCP

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Task & Purpose

The Air Force has adopted the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern and plans to phase out the current Airman Battle Uniforms for the OCP over the next 30 months. Airmen enlisted in the Air Force will be able to begin wearing the new OCP uniform on October 1, when they will receive an additional $20 allowance for the new uniform. In the months leading up, officials will develop guidelines for wearing the uniform—from headgear to heraldry patches to when they will be allowed to roll up their sleeves.

Uniforms will be available for purchase at the following Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores: MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina; Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina; and Aviano Air Base, Italy.

In April 2019, more AAFES stores will begin selling the new uniform. In October 2019, the Air Force will begin supplying the OCP uniform at basic military training and training programs for officers.

The main differences between the Army and Air Force versions of the OCP are that the Air Force patches and rank insignias will be spice brown, apart from the first lieutenant and lieutenant colonel ranks—as they will be back. New uniforms will also include tan undershirts and socks, as well as coyote brown boots. By June 2020, all airmen will be expected to wear the new coyote brown boots, and by April 2021, the new uniform in its entirety will be mandatory.

Costs for the uniform updates will be about $237 million over the three-year transition period.

The Navy and Marine Corps, on the other hand, will continue wearing their original camouflage uniforms, instead of adopting the OCP.

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Here’s a Timeline of When the Air Force Should Receive the Operational Camouflage Pattern Uniform

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Air Force Times

The U.S. Air Force announced in May 2018 that it is adopting the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern for its new utility uniforms. Among other changes, lettering, patches, and insignia on the new uniforms will be spice brown. Women will benefit from 20 different sizes of the OCP and have the option of wearing the unisex version, if they prefer.

The force-wide rollout of the OCP is set to begin on October 1, and by April 1, 2021, all airmen will be expected to wear the OCP, as the current Airman Battle Uniform will be no more. The OCP will cost approximately $20 more than the current uniform, but the new coyote brown boots will cost the same.

The timeline for the rollout looks like this:
July 2018: The Air Force will release a “guidance memorandum” detailing how to wear the new uniform.

October 1, 2018: “Optional wear” of the OCP begins. Anyone who already owns the uniform may wear it.

Additionally, AAFES stores at the following bases will begin selling OCPs: Aviano Air Base in Italy, Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina, MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, respectively. From there, the Air Force will gradually introduce OCPs further.

April 1, 2019: More AAFES stores will carry the OCP.

October 1, 2019: New airmen currently going through basic military training, officer training school, and/or the Reserve Officer Training Corps are expected to receive their OCPs starting next October.

By this time, military instructors and leaders will begin wearing OCPs to demonstrate dress and appearance. OCPs are also expected to be available for purchase online through AAFES.

June 2020: Airmen are required to begin wearing coyote brown boots. No other boots are allowed.

April 1, 2021: This is the last deadline for over 500,000 airmen to begin wearing OCPs and retire their ABUs for good.

The switch from ABUs to OCPs is expected to cost approximately $237 million over the initial three-year rollout.

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In Nuremberg, Gore Showcases Next-Gen Boots and PYRAD Gear

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

This March, W. L. Gore & Associates showcased a number of exciting new products at the 2018 IWA Outdoor Classics show in Nuremberg, Germany.

This massive, annual trade fair is a showcase for the latest hunting and outdoor sports gear and equipment in Europe. It’s also a popular destination for EU military procurement officers and law enforcement officials on the hunt for the latest and best gear and equipment.

Gore, which hosted a large booth at this show, introduced several products at IWA including our new GORE-TEX SURROUND® technology for boots worn by law enforcement officers. This is the first law enforcement duty boot that provides 360-degree breathability. You can read more about GORE-TEX SURROUND® here at our blog.

In addition, we introduced our new flame-retardant (FR) rainwear, made from GORE® PYRAD® Fabric Technology. Gore has introduced a number of products made from PYARD®, and the new raingear was developed in response to the growing need by armed forces for flame-retardant, foul-weather apparel.

GORE® PYRAD® is self-extinguishing, and raingear made with this technology is no melt, no drip and provides effective burn protection from heat and flame. At the same time, this raingear retains the key waterproof, windproof, breathable benefits we’ve all learned to expect from GORE-TEX raingear.

At IWA we also introduced the GORE® PYRAD® Combat Uniform. Generally speaking, the typical combat uniform is made from a cotton/nylon blend that provides only limited protection from heat and flame hazards on the battlefield. Gore’s new PYRAD®-based uniform is not only no-melt, no-drip, but as soon as it comes in contact with heat and flame, forms a protective charred layer that delivers burn protection in combination with mechanical strength.

Our product partners at this show for footwear and outerwear included Beretta, Carinthia, Sitka Gear, AKU, Chiruka-Fal, Lowa, Meindl and several more.

You can learn more about IWA and the Gore products showcased there below:


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Female Airmen Need Improved, Better Fitted Uniforms

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters that, regardless of what the new pattern for the next set of Air Force uniforms is, it must get them right for pilots and crew, including improved, better fitted uniforms for women. Gen. Mike Holmes, who heads Air Combat Command, is also leading an effort to find other sources for gear, both for in-flight and ground missions.

Along with improved uniforms for women and better gear, the Air Force may replace current Airman Battle Uniforms with the Army’s combat uniforms in the Operational Camouflage Pattern. A leaked slide presentation provided options for three transition periods: 24, 36, or 48 months—in which all airmen would move from the ABU to the OCP uniforms.

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NCTO’s Focus on Gore’s High-Performance Military Fabrics

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

ncto-logoThis week, as the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) conducts their annual meeting in Washington D.C., W. L. Gore & Associates is proud to announce that our military fabrics division is the focus of an in-depth article in NCTO’s annual magazine, TEXTURES.

textures-2018-coverTitled “U.S. Textiles: High Performance in Every Military Environment,” and published this month, the story underscores Gore’s strategic role “developing textile-based defense products that are the most advanced in the world” and takes a deep dive into the workings of Gore’s global military fabrics business.

According to Jason Rodriguez, marketing communications manager for Gore’s Military Fabrics business, who is quoted in the article, “Our protective fabrics are designed essentially to help warfighters improve their mission effectiveness by staying alert, staying comfortable, staying dry, and remaining protected,” regardless of the climate conditions and environment.

Rodriguez adds that although GORE-TEX is Gore’s signature fabric and a legacy product, the company is continually developing new, high-tech military fabric technologies for the US and our allies in Europe and Korea. The article draws attention to several of Gore’s latest military and protective fabrics innovations, including GORE® CHEMPAK®, GORE® Katana Fabric and GORE-TEX PYRAD® Fabric.

Don Vavala, Gore’s Director, Military Government Affairs, adds: “One thing [that] helps Gore stand apart from other fabric providers is our comprehensive and robust understanding of our customers’ needs and the end-of use applications.

“Our commitment to fitness for end use is paramount.”

You can read more in TEXTURES at:

U.S. Textiles: High Performance in Every Military Environment

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A New Class of Footwear for Law Enforcement in Europe

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Imagine a heavy-duty shoe that’s fully waterproof but breathes and wicks moisture away from your entire foot, keeping your feet comfortable and dry all the way around, even in conditions where you’d normally be working up a sock-drenching sweat.

The textile scientists at W. L. Gore & Associates imagined just exactly that, and with that purpose in mind, invented a new footwear component called GORE-TEX SURROUND® Product Technology, engineered for tactical applications as well as for safety footwear (safety standard S3).

gore-tex-surround-pieceHighly breathable yet fully waterproof, GORE-TEX SURROUND® Product Technology wicks moisture away from the entire foot. Yes – the entire foot — and that includes the bottom of one’s feet.

Gore rolled out GORE-TEX SURROUND® for hikers in the fall of 2014 and hiking boots engineered with this technology have been adopted by several Gore brand partners including Mammut, Adidas, the North Face and Cabela’s.

GORE-TEX SURROUND® is now available in Europe in footwear designed for law enforcement and is being described as the first shoe technology of its kind to offer 360° breathability in addition to durable waterproofness for police officers there.

GORE-TEX SURROUND® Product Technology is especially useful for officers working in demanding environments that require standing, walking and running in a wide variety of conditions and climates while wearing protective footwear.

gore-tex-surround-3The technology is earning high marks and positive reviews, including a recent article in Soldier Systems, which said boots made with GORE-TEX SURROUND® will keep police officers’ feet “dry and comfortable even at higher temperatures.” Boots in the EU designed for law enforcement with GORE-TEX SURROUND® meet the requirements of EN ISO 20347:2012.

GORE-TEX SURROUND® is just one more functional comfort innovation from labs at Gore. You can learn more at:

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Air Force May Adopt Army’s Uniform

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Stars and Stripes

According to leaked documents posted online, Airmen may soon wear the same uniforms as those in the Army. The documents suggested retiring the Airman Battle Uniform, or ABU, for the Army’s green-and-brown MultiCam Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform instead. An announcement regarding uniforms will be made in June, with the transition proposed to begin October 1, according to the documents.

Airmen in Afghanistan and Iraq and supporting Operation Inherent Resolve already wear OCPs, and much of the feedback surrounding the uniform change is positive.

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Air Force May Move to OCP as Early as October

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Source: Air Force Times

According to slides posted on an unofficial Air Force Facebook page, the United States Air Force may move to the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern uniform as early as October. The slides state that this transition could take place over a period of one to four years, with costs approaching as much as $450 million for a 24-month transition period beginning on October 1. The most cost-effective option would begin in October 2019, costing $125 million, and outfitting all airmen with the new uniform by 2024.

If the switch is made, the Air Force will have to buy back excess boots estimated at $18.75 million. It will also buy back uniforms, dispose of excess inventory, and build up stock levels for new components.

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Switching Uniforms May Cost USAF $450 Million

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates


According to a leaked Facebook slide presentation, the United States Air Force’s transition to the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern could cost as much as $450 million, depending on which transition period is chosen. The presentation provided options for three transition periods: 24, 36, or 48 months, respectively, in which all airmen would switch from their current uniforms to the Army’s OCP.

If the fastest transition period is chosen, it would cost the USAF about $450 million, if the transition began on October 1. Pushing the decision out further would mean the minimum spend is about $125 million, with a 48-month transition period. In that case, all airmen would receive new uniforms by 2024.

In the past, lawmakers have been frustrated by the cost of continual military uniform changes. And in 2016, the Senate included rule in its defense budget for the following year that the Defense Department was required to notify Capitol Hill prior to developing updated camouflage utilities or uniforms, like those being proposed in the presentation on Facebook.

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Crossing the Narrow Divide

Written by W. L. Gore & Associates

Winter Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show is one of the largest performance wear shows in the world. The 2018 show, held in late January at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado, was no exception with an attendance of 29,000.


But in addition to being a favorite of sports and outdoor enthusiasts, WOR, as it’s known, is also a favorite with military procurers from around the world looking for the next new fabric innovation.  

Their attendance at shows like Outdoor Retailer reflect the growing cross-over between textiles developed for high-performance sportswear and materials developed for high-tech military gear. That crossover was the subject of a lengthy feature article in a recent issue of Inside Outdoor Magazine that focused on W. L. Gore & Associates.

Gore has been ahead of this trend for decades. Today, major sportswear brands such as Arc’Teryx, Outdoor Research and Carinthia are all developing lines of military wear based on GORE-TEX fabric and other innovative textile technologies developed by the R&D labs at Gore. Meanwhile, Gore has developed hundreds of products for the military under its own label.

After all, the same qualities that go into engineering sportswear designed to enhance an athlete’s top performance are also needed by war fighters. In fact, Special Operations personnel often lead the way in this arena, testing next-generation military gear based on performance innovations. At the same time, new materials engineered for battle are finding sports applications.

To learn more about the impact this has had enhancing athletic performance as well military readiness in challenging climates around the globe, you can read the story first hand below.

InsideOutdoor – From Trail to Tactics


Outdoor Research MultiCam Infiltrator


GORE Katana fabric Recce uniform by Arc’teryx













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