Damn. Scooped again. I was working on a blog item about the coalition’s odd choice of mix-and-match desert camouflage, but Slate’s “Explainer” column beat me to it. What’s interesting is that it actually seems to be a major logistical screw-up:
…the Pentagon simply goofed by not anticipating the demand for sand-colored desert fatigues … </p> What Slate doesn’t mention is that distribution of the new uniforms, introduced in 2001, was so slow, that some enlisted Marines who had been issued woodland camouflage opted to spend $160 to buy their own desert gear. All this after the military spent $500,000 on two years of research to design the new desert pattern. The Baltimore Sun also reports that there are also plans for the U.S. Military’s first urban combat pattern. This is a bit of a problem, it seems, because cities tend to be so different:
“Think of Miami, with its pinks and bright blues, and think of cities like Chicago and New York that have more gray to them,” said [Dee Townes, a project officer for the Marine Corps’ camouflage program]. “We’re trying to get the urban mission better defined to know where to go with the colors.”</p> Ah yes, uniforms in “bright pinks and blues,” ready for a fierce firefight on Miami Beach. That will go down real well with the Marine Corps.
The Herald of Glasgow also noticed the odd attire of the military:
Because there are not enough desert camouflage uniforms and equipment, British troops here are dressed in a motley collection of outfits. Many soldiers deployed from Germany are still wearing green, black and brown patterned kit. Most have desert flak jackets. Some have desert trousers and European jackets. But not all have desert boots, the Ministry of Defence says these are still “on order”.</p> But never mind all that: the most interesting story about camouflage is not set in Iraq.