It’s Official: The Air Force Is Switching to the Army’s OCP Uniform

 The U.S. Flying corps is embracing the Army’s Operational Camouflage Pattern as its new battle uniform and will start incrementally staging it in starting Oct. 1.

The administration will jettison the Airman Battle Uniform, known as the ABU, for the OCP throughout the following three years, with the desire that all aviators will wear the OCP by April 2021, said Maj. Gen. Robert LaBrutta, Air Force executive of military power administration strategy, and vice president of staff for labor, work force and administrations.

“Improving our status, the OCP is a uniform for frame, fit and capacity,” LaBrutta told columnists May 9. “It is the best-of-type of utility uniform that we accept is in the stock.”

Aviation based armed forces Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein concurred. “The uniform works in all atmospheres – from Minot to Manbij – and over the range of missions we perform,” he said in an administration discharge. “It’s appropriate for our aviators chipping away at a flight line in Northern Tier states and for those leading watches in the Middle East.”


The OCP’s hues fluctuate by area – betray versus backwoods, for instance. It by and large has a four-to-six shading palette fusing greens, beiges, tans, tans and grays.

Those pilots who are as of now approved to wear the uniform can right now don abandon sand or tan boots, yet the administration will change totally to the coyote tan boots at some point in 2020, LaBrutta said.

The Air Force will contrast from the Army in velcro patches, name tape and emblem by utilizing a “zest darker” shading, he included.

To begin with lieutenants and lieutenant colonels will have dark rank badge and fixes to separate them from second lieutenants and majors, LaBrutta said.

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Aviators will have the choice to sew on their name tape, benefit tape or both. Officers will have their rank on their watch tops. The two officers and enrolled pilots will have their keep going names on the back of the top.

Patches utilized for charges down to the squadron level will be improved to consolidate the zest dark colored shading somehow, LaBrutta said.

“Everything on the arrangement is the same as the Army wears the uniform; we’re simply going to make some little shading varieties,” he said.

Pilots will likewise wear tan undershirts and “DLA green” socks, which are in reality to a greater degree a tan shading.

There will be a standard, flexible unisex adaptation, yet in addition an optional female-just uniform, LaBrutta said.

“The Army is progressing into that correct now, and we’re energized we’re right in the piece of that change. When we field this uniform, we trust that that will be a superior fit for the ladies that wear the OCPs,” he said.

Course of events

The three-year progress will cost the administration about $237 million, LaBrutta stated, however included the Air Force will “make back the initial investment” at last.

“We’ve done the cost examination, and I know we will have some forthright expenses to this … and after that we will have taken a toll evasion on the grounds that as we progress into the OCPs, rather than having both ABUs and OCPs, we’ll understand some cost shirking there … in light of the fact that we will never again be acquiring an additional uniform,” he said.

Aviators who effectively possess an OCP can start wearing it Oct. 1, LaBrutta stated, after another update on the most proficient method to appropriately wear the uniform. The new direction ought to be conveyed to aviators at some point in July, he said.

“We drew the Oct. 1, 2018, date to give generation limit a chance to fabricate stock with the goal that we could furnish some [Army and Air Force Exchange Service] areas, however it will set aside some opportunity to handle this over the U.S. Aviation based armed forces,” LaBrutta said.

Around then, pilots at Aviano Air Base, Italy; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; and Shaw Air Force Base and Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, will be the main see the uniform marked down at base stores.

Enrolled aviators will get an attire pack remittance increment since the OCP is about $20 more costly than the ABU, the general said.

“A large number of our aviators as of now have this uniform from their various arrangements, so they will have the capacity to make the change effectively,” said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright.

“For other aviators, we should give enough time to their attire remittance to support the things to maintain a strategic distance from out-of-stash costs,” he said.

LaBrutta said there will be no buyback or exchange ins for the ABU and aviators ought not hope to be repaid. A direction on the best way to legitimately discard them will be revealed alongside the direction notice.

The administration is weighing furnishing overabundance uniform rigging related with the ABU to junior ROTC programs the nation over, he said.

Contingent upon the Defense Logistics Agency’s generation rate, the administration expects more AAFES areas to begin offering OCP by April 1, 2019, LaBrutta said.

The Air Force won’t begin giving out the uniform to newcomers in Basic Training, ROTC or Officer Training School until October 2019.


LaBrutta said the uniform additionally advances joint coordination. Since 2012, almost 100,000 aviators have worn the uniform when sent abroad in places like Afghanistan or while working outside the wire.

About 20,000 pilots as of now wear it everyday at Air Force Special Operations Command, and also some security powers aviators at Air Force Global Strike Command.

Aviators and pilots working downrange wear the Army Aircrew Combat Uniform, known as the A2CU, which has OCP-designed texture and a similar fire-retardant properties as a flight suit.

Some pilots additionally wear a two-piece, OCP-design camo utility example that does not have a similar fire retardant material. It has distinctive pocket situation and velcro terminations, among different attributes.

Much the same as their Army partners, aviators who go outside the wire in a sent area will get the fire retardant OCPs, which is standard now, LaBrutta said.

“This praises joint warfighting perfection as OCPs will turn into the joint battle uniform for pilots and warriors while patches and nametapes will distinguish our individual administrations,” Goldfein said. “We’ll keep up our particular Air Force regalia in blues, benefit dress, mess dress, and PT outfit.”

Pilot input assumed a major part in the choice, authorities said.

Administration individuals have gotten some information about the uniform at relatively every town lobby, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.

“The concentration has been, ‘How would we make it less demanding [and] what works for pilots,’ ” she said May 4.

The uniform must be appropriate “for the two people. From a cost point of view, yet additionally from a useful viewpoint,” Wilson said.

Emphasizing input from pilots amid an outing to Hurlburt Field, Florida, a week ago, she included, “[A] uniform isn’t just a uniform, it’s a bit of gear. Also, that is not an awful method to consider it. How would we give our aviators the hardware that they should be deadly and carry out their activity?”

LaBrutta included, “The advantage that we will escape this, in preparation, joint mix and obviously the pilots request flag that is out there are the reasons why we’re doing this.

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