Army Picks New Camo for Afghanistan Units February 19, 2010 Military.com|by Christian Lowe Today the Army announced that this summer it will begin fielding uniforms with a new camouflage pattern to all its troops serving in Afghanistan. According to a statement obtained by Military.com, Army Secretary John McHugh decided that the so-called "MultiCam" pattern developed by New York-based Crye Precision is the most effective camouflage in the varied terrain of Afghanistan's forests, deserts, mountains and rural villages. "This decision reflects the Army's commitment to giving Soldiers in Afghanistan the most effective concealment possible," the statement said. "Camouflage alternatives represent one facet of the Army's ongoing efforts to improve the Army Combat Uniform." The decision comes four months after the service relented to pressure from then-chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense panel, the late Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who ordered the Army to study whether its current Universal Camouflage Pattern was the best scheme for Afghan operations. At the time, Murtha recounted comments he'd received from Army noncommissioned officers complaining about the UCP's colors and their inability to meld into Afghanistan's rural backgrounds. MultiCam had long been a favorite of Army Special Operations forces, including Rangers and Green Berets, and had also been fielded in limited numbers to Air Force special operations Airmen. Army officials launched a program in September to determine whether the UCP was adequate for Afghanistan and fielded a limited number of uniforms patterned in MultiCam and so-called "UCP-Delta," which was developed by the Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. The 2nd Battalion of the 12th Infantry Regiment received an entire suite of gear in MultiCam, with the 3rd Squadron of the 61st Cavalry Regiment getting the UCP-D ensemble. What's your weapon of choice? What falls short in the heat of battle? Check out Kit Up!. Military.com's equipment blog. According to officials with PEO Soldier, the office responsible for purchasing Soldier equipment, the MultiCam uniforms weren't completely fielded until late December. Informed sources told Military.com that PEO Soldier commander Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller recommended to Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey that MultiCam was the best choice and Casey forwarded his approval to McHugh in the second week of February -- coming to the decision after little more than a month of troop evaluations with the pattern in operation. The Army will begin issuing the MultiCam "fire-resistant Army Combat Uniform" to troops deploying to Afghanistan this summer before shipping them to troops already there who are still wearing UCP, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings. The Army has nearly 48,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan. Joes will receive a full set of combat uniforms, including combat shirt, plate carriers, packs, pouches and helmet covers in MultiCam. In November, officials from PEO Soldier, the Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, and Special Operations Command tested a variety of patterns against a number of backgrounds in Afghanistan. The patterns included AOR-II, a SEAL-developed pattern similar to the Marine Corps' woodland digital; UCP-D; MultiCam; UCP; the Natick-designed Desert Brush camo and Mirage, which was developed by Bulldog Tactical, a civilian company. "The results, along with surveys of Soldiers in the two battalions who received alternate camouflage, formed the basis for the Army's decision on MultiCam," the Army said. The Army's MultiCam pick is part of a recent string of victories for the specialty design company which recently won a competition to revamp the British military's 40 year-old woodland Disruptive Pattern Material camo scheme. The study on Afghan camo patterns will feed into an overall re-look at the Army's UCP choice and help determine whether the service should jettison the unpopular camo after less than five years in service.