Source: Navy Times
Six years ago, the Navy banned NWU Type I uniforms aboard ships after an investigation found that they would “burn robustly” after being exposed to flames until they were “completely consumed.” By October 1, the banned Type I uniforms will be no more.
And thanks to the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, sailors may soon have a reliable, flame-retardant uniform. The Maritime Two-Piece Fire-Retardant Uniform will be wear-tested for three months beginning this July. Approximately 100 sailors in aviation squadrons, on warships, and in submarines will test out the new uniforms.
The service conducted initial wear tests of the new uniforms last year. It found that over 70 percent of sailors preferred all-blue uniforms for pay grades E-6 and below – while chiefs and higher ranks would wear khaki.
In addition, it found that sailors wanted a style like the NWU Type III uniform, but with increased comfort. The pattern that was used for the NWU Type III uniforms was also used to develop the new prototypes that will be wear-tested this summer.
If the wear tests result in positive feedback, the Maritime Two-Piece Fire-Retardant Uniforms will be slated for distribution upon boarding a ship by 2021 – at no cost to sailors.
While sailors will have the added option of donning the new two-piece uniforms, they can also continue to wear their current coveralls aboard the ship. The two-piece uniforms simply aim to increase sailors’ safety and comfort, while also giving them back the “precious commodity” that is their time.