Infantry: You Look Different


December 27, 2009: British infantry in Afghanistan have a different look these days, mainly because of all the new equipment they are getting. This is the biggest change in appearance for the troops since the 1970s. Over the next few months, the troops will get a new combat uniform. The current DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) uniform will be replaced with the MTP (Multi-Terrain Pattern). Actually, British troops in Helmand province (southwest Afghanistan), where most of them are, wear two different camouflage uniforms, depending on where they are. For operations in the river valleys, where it's very green, the regular DPM is worn. But when out in the desert, they wear a desert pattern DPM. Although MTP is supposed to be suitable for more different types of terrain than the multi-shades-of-green DPM, the desert pattern DPM uniform will be still used when out in the desert.

Meanwhile, the infantry in Afghanistan are also receiving a new helmet and body armor. This is part of PECOC (Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing), which replaces the current Combat 95 field clothing and gear. PECOC is mainly about better modularity and weight distribution. The helmet has a better fit and superior protection. The new protective vest is lighter and fits getter. A new backpack is better designed and more comfortable. New boots, sleeping bags and other gear are on the way as well.





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