Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MultiCam Uniform Transition is Big Business for Tactical Gear Manufacturers

Photo by Beez Combat Systems
With the Army's change in Uniform camouflage from Universal Digital to MultiCam, huge production contracts are developed to supply troops with the appropriate tactical gear to supplement their clothing. The Department of Defense will rely on large military contractors such as BAE Systems to produce equipment needed in the MultiCam pattern. It was just reported today in Market Watch that the company has been "awarded" a $22 million dollar contract to manufacture the MOLLE gear needed to match the new Army Combat Uniforms now being utilized in Afghanistan.

It would be pointless to adopt a new style of camouflage for the military clothing warn in combat to better adapt to the terrain if your tactical gear did not also incorporate the same pattern. This innovative camo will not only better serve the troops, but will also mean big business for those that produce the necessary apparel and gear utilized by soldiers abroad. 

The Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) systems have been essential as an effective method for soldiers to carry their gear. These systems include vests and back packs that use interchangeable pouches that can be customized to carry the necessary gear that a soldier would need for their operations. The MOLLE gear systems have been very popular for civilian use as well, since hunters, paintballers, and airsoft aficionados alike can utilize these pouches to carry ammo, gps or telecommunication devices, knives, medical supplies, or any other gear needed in the field with the ability for quick access. 

The U.S. Army has made many changes in its Uniforms over the years, more recently creating the Army Combat Uniform as an evolution from the Battle Dress Uniform utilized for several decades. The use of the Green/Grey Digital pattern synonymous with ACU grew much ire from troops and higher ups as it didn't best adapt to the various landscapes of Afghanistan. In 2010 the Army made the move to OCP (Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern) also known as MultiCam, but are only utilizing it in on the field in Afghanistan, hence the alias. 

We can see with the Army's transition to MultiCam that one change in the fabric can have a big effect on the overall picture when it comes to production from the private sector. Military spending can be a big boon for the economy. Changes like this can give the impetus for defense dollars to trickle down to companies that manufacture the goods needed to fulfill orders, which can create jobs and give a boost to a stagnant business environment. These effects are yet to be seen, but this variable while minute in the total equation of government spending, has been slightly altered with this transition. 

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