The US Army’s 25th Infantry Division is to test a new hot-weather combat uniform and jungle combat boots from January until March.
The new uniform and boots have been designed to allow soldiers to easily operate in hot, extremely hot, and humid environments.
US Army project manager for soldier protection and individual equipment colonel Stephen Thomas said: “Today’s soldier must be ready to execute the mission in any operational environment.
“[We’re] providing a capability to soldiers that may give them a decisive edge in that type of environment.”
Excess layers that often lock-in heat and moisture have been removed. This will make the uniform more breathable and lightweight.
The new uniform can be dried in 60 minutes, whereas the current gear takes 90 minutes to dry.
Improvements to current uniform were based on field tests. The uniform’s mandarin collar, and breast and back trouser pockets are removed. Zipper closures are replaced with buttons and the knee is articulated for better manoeuvrability.
The new version of the jungle boot with larger-sized drainage vents on both sides will not retain any moisture.
Data collected from the tests will be used to modify future versions of the uniform.
A total of 65,000 uniforms and close to 750 new boots have been produced. These will be delivered to 25th Infantry Division soldiers in time for the upcoming Pacific Pathways exercise in February.
Other fabric compositions and uniform design elements are planned for evaluation by the US Army through 2018.