R 120737Z DEC 12
FM COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA
TO COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC
COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA
CHINFO WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS PERSONAL FOR COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS, OFFICERS IN CHARGE AND COMMAND MASTER CHIEFS SECINFO/-/-// MSGID/GENADMIN,USMTF,2012/COMUSFLTFORCOM NORFOLK VA// SUBJ/NAVY WORKING UNIFORM// REF/A/MSGID:MEMO/VCNO/10MAY1996// GENTEXT/REMARKS/1. IN 1996, NAVY LEADERSHIP REMOVED FLAME RESISTANT REQUIREMENTS FROM NAVY WORKING UNIFORMS (NWU).
CONSISTENT WITH THIS DECISION, COMMANDS HAVE SINCE THAT TIME BEEN REQUIRED TO PURCHASE FLAME RESISTANT ORGANIZATIONAL CLOTHING FOR SAILOR USE. THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN THIS REQUIREMENT. THEREFORE, THE NWU TYPE I WAS APPROPRIATELY DESIGNED WITHOUT FLAME RESISTANT QUALITIES.This is a good and responsible message, but I do not think this goes far enough.
2. ON 15 OCTOBER 2012, AN IMPROMPTU TEST CONDUCTED BY THE NAVY CLOTHING TEXTILE RESEARCH FACILITY IN NATICK, MA REINFORCED THE FACT THAT THE NWU TYPE I IS NOT FLAME RESISTANT AND FURTHER FOUND THAT WHEN SUBJECTED TO FLAME IT WILL BURN ROBUSTLY UNTIL COMPLETELY CONSUMED.
3. AS THE CNO'S EXECUTIVE AGENT FOR DAMAGE CONTROL MODERNIZATION AND IMPROVEMENT, I NEED YOU TO ENSURE THE
A. SAILORS ARE AWARE THAT TYPE I NWU'S LACK THIS FLAME RESISTANT QUALITY.
B. SAILORS HAVE BEEN PROPERLY ISSUED FLAME RESISTANT ORGANIZATIONAL CLOTHING IN KEEPING WITH DUTIES ASSIGNED:
E.G., ENGINE ROOM PERSONNEL, PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN FLIGHT RELATED DUTIES, DAMAGE CONTROL PERSONNEL, FIRE FIGHTERS, WELDING, COMBAT MISSIONS SUBJECT TO IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVISES (IED) ATTACKS, ETC.).
4. INFORMED BY THIS IMPROMPTU TEST AND IN COORDINATION WITH THE UNIFORM BOARD, ADM HANEY AND I WILL CONTINUE TO REVIEW THE REQUIREMENTS FOR -- AND FLAME RESISTANT QUALITIES OF -- WORKING UNIFORMS, INCLUDING THE TYPE I NWUS. WE WILL EXPLORE LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS THAT AFFORD OUR SAILORS THE RIGHT PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, ALIGNED WITH THE TASKS THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PERFORM IN VARIOUS OPERATING ENVIRONMENTS.
5. ADM BILL GORTNEY SENDS.//
A warship can, at any time, become a place of explosions, flame, steam, and heat. Just ask the crew of the USS COLE - Sailors don't have time to say, "one second, let me change uniforms" when by either mechanical error, human error, or enemy attack they find themselves in a position where they are covered head to foot with something that, ahem,
... WHEN SUBJECTED TO FLAME IT WILL BURN ROBUSTLY UNTIL COMPLETELY CONSUMED.Make sure that everyone gets this message, and incorporates good follow-on questions up their Chain of Command.
IMAO this is just another reason NWU needs to go on the ash heap of uniform history.
Hat tip oneofthegoodones.
UPDATE: OK, here is the video.
I'm sorry, I really appreciate the effort - but maybe I'm missing something. It took us 16 years to realize that something we are ordering our Sailors to wear on warships burns and melts in to flesh, which is unacceptable .... yet we are telling everyone to carry-on and wear it anyway when there are much better options available right now?
Does anyone appreciate DC101 WRT flash and fire? This can only be an answer that makes sense if you are not battleminded and trying hard not so say, "We made a mistake that is deadly. We were wrong."
OK, I guess if the Flag Officers will not make the right call, then it is up to the Commanding Officers to make the call - and if they don't, the CMDCM's to ask the hard questions. If I may be so bold as to suggest an opener from behind the closed door;
"Sir, the Navy discovered a month ago that this uniform burns on its own and will melt in to our flesh. Why are your Sailors beign ordered to wear this fire hazard on your ship while underway?"
That's a start.