I found some more info on the Army's quest to find a more effective universal camouflage pattern. I discussed the Army's ACUPAT or Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) a few weeks ago. For those of you who were late to class, this is the ACUPAT:
There have been many people who say that the ACUPAT is absolute crap, and some of them are soldiers who have worn the ACU in Iraq and Afghanistan and unlike the rest of us armchair general types, actually know what they are talking about. Congress, never wanting to be left out of something they have a chance of screwing up, have also made their braying voices heard.
The result of 4 or more years of talk on this has produced the following: a new set of modified camouflage patterns intended to at least partially replace the ACUPAT.The UCP-D is regarded as the best of these new options, and has been tested by Natick Labs and of course, roundly disparaged by the military and the Internet crowd. To me it looks like it might be a step in the right direction, at least as far as what is needed in Afghanistan, which is much more wooded in many areas than most of Iraq. It is also worth noting that, in general, the only new equipment that is liked by soldiers is equipment that has not yet been issued to them. I don't have any pics of these newer patterns out in the real world, but hey, who needs real world testing right?
ACUPAT and UCP Delta is the addition of a lot of a color known as coyote brown, which is the main color of new gear being issued in the USMC. Coyote brown is very useful because it blends in a very wide variety of terrains, from jungle mud, to sand, to rocks, or tree trunks. For that reason the Marines have begun to issue their plate carriers (armor), pouches, and other gear in coyote brown. The idea is that they can use those items with either their woodland or desert uniforms.