Friday, October 20, 2006

Kill the Navy BDU while you still can

While the new MCPON is off killing the bad ideas of the previous holder of his office - can I yell again that the Task Force Uniform has no clothes?
A new working uniform for all ranks is on its way to the fleet, possibly arriving as soon as the first half of fiscal 2008.

CNO-designated Command Master Chief (SS) Robert B. Carroll, head of Task Force Uniform, said the fleet will begin to see the battle-dress-style Navy Working Uniform “sometime in fiscal year 2008.”

A more specific answer is not possible yet, Carroll said, because there are still contracts to be awarded, as well as other details out of the direct control of the Navy that make pinpointing an exact date difficult.

However, Carroll and TFU have previously said the uniform would begin to be fielded in the fleet about “18 to 24 months” following Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mulllen'’s approval March 3 — a schedule that TFU estimates it is still on track to meet.
That POS, dark, blue pattern bunch of FOD is still not ready. In the time it took to defeat Nazi Germany......

There is an answer out there if you must have a BDU. Now. Field tested. Ready to go. And you know what, the CNO has authorized Navy personnel to wear it - I know, you can see them walking the halls down in Tampa....and they are growing every day.
As more sailors are assigned to Army ground units in Iraq and Afghanistan, more of them will look like soldiers.

Under an Army program called the Rapid Fielding Initiative, soldiers get a kit of state-of-the-art combat gear, much of it based on commercial outdoor products and designed for warmth and comfort.

With many of the 8,500 sailors serving as individual augmentees in the Middle East assigned to Army commands, sailors are getting that gear, too.

For the sailor, the new kit means wearing Army combat boots, the camouflage Army Combat Uniform, the Advanced Combat Helmet, flame-retardant gloves, ballistic spectacles, knee and elbow pads, a fleece jacket and bib pants, a hydration system, silkweight thermal underwear, lightweight load-carrying equipment and other odds and ends. The individual-issue set is worth roughly $2,000, for which the Navy reimburses the Army.

“It covers the whole thing: How do I survive? How do I be more lethal? How do I be more comfortable?” Bonheim said.
OK. For everyone else not going on an IA, take out all the fun goodies and give them the uniform items. Bingo, you are there. Right now, the screwed up plan only Rube Goldberg would like has the shipboard BDU, plus the green and/or tan BDU if you are in the field. That is 3 sets for one job (and we all know that in the end Sailors will go in the field with the set they have, the dark blue shipboard BDU, and will burn up in the SW Asia sun...and will not have a chance to get replacements in country so when they need a new set of pants they are screwed and will wind up dressing like a sailor anyway). Take the Army BDU for ours and we only have the need for one. It is common with the Army so supply isn't an issue. Keep the 8-sided cover and run with it. Talk about best business practices. Oh, and what is another reason this smart in the field?
Sailors in Army uniforms may perplex the old-fashioned, but in a combat zone, it’s practical for the team to look the same. Wearing one uniform is good for unit cohesion, Bonheim said, but it also means sailors won'’t stand out in a crowd.

“It’s a force-protection issue,” he said.
..but CDR Salamander readers knew that a year ago.

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