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Airman Battle Uniform ready for production.

WASHINGTON -- The new Airman Battle Uniform is ready for production and will be available in fiscal 2007.

"We were looking for a uniform that would be easier to maintain," said Brig. Gen Robert R. Allardice, the Air Force deputy chief of staff of personnel. "We wanted to provide a uniform that the Airman wouldn't need to spend a lot of out-of-pocket expenses to maintain."

Also, Airmen's feedback throughout the process was beneficial in adding new pockets on the uniform.

"It will have the four pockets on the front of the shirt, and also a small pencil pocket on the left forearm and two pockets on the lower legs. In addition, inside the side pockets and inside of the breast pockets there will be smaller sewn-in pockets to hold small tools, flashlights or cell phones," the general said.

The new uniform design is a pixilated tiger stripe with four soft earth tones consisting of tan, grey, green and blue. The ABU will have a permanent crease and will be offered in 50-50 nylon-cotton blend permanent press fabric eliminating the need for winter and summer weight uniforms.

"We want a uniform that you wash, pull it out of the dryer, and wear it. This requirement meets the ease and cost effectiveness needs in maintaining a uniform," he said.

In the long run it will save Airmen money on dry cleaning costs.

"This is the uniform of the future," General Allardice said. "Eventually when enough of these uniforms are manufactured, we will phase out the BDU and desert combat uniforms."

The current projected mandatory wear date for the new ABU is fiscal 2011.

For more information on ABU accessory items, check out
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Title Annotation:United States. Air Force
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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