NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Based on a strong demand signal from the fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command, on May 14, began fitting Sailors for a wear test to prototype a two-piece flame resistant organizational clothing variant.
More than 300 Sailors at 34 afloat and operational shore commands in the U.S. and overseas will participate in the wear test. The trial period will run until September 2018 to determine if the two-piece variant will support all of the requirements for operational units.
"Wear tests are of the upmost importance to introducing new clothing to the fleet. We need feedback from Sailors to ensure what we ultimately deliver is safe, functional, high-quality, professional looking and comfortable," said Capt. Mark Runstrom, director of USFF Fleet Supply Operations and Services. "From the onset, we've wanted this effort to be Sailor-driven and will rely heavily on Sailor input to make final design recommendations to Navy leadership."
Participants were issued four shirts and four trousers to wear over the course of the test period and instructed to provide feedback to the focus group point of contact at their command. Sailors' comments on look, comfort, durability and functionality are strongly desired during this phase of the development process. The information received from the participants will be compiled for review by USFF, Navy Exchange Service Command and Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility to determine any design changes or implementation plan for the clothing.
The two-piece design is reminiscent of wash khakis and utilities, a reflection of the Navy's maritime warfighting heritage. Three different blouse colors will be tested, with minor variations to pocket placement, closure, and size on each.
Sailors E-6 and below will be given the option of a light blue blouse over dark blue trousers or a dark blue on dark blue design. Officers and chief petty officers are testing a khaki blouse over khaki trousers with the same design variations.
As a part of this prototyping effort, Sailors are also testing four different colors of flame resistant, moisture-wicking undershirts, along with a low-cut molder boot as a part of the wear test. A rigger's belt, ball cap and pin-on insignia will be worn with the prototype. Ultimately, USFF will make a recommendation, based again on Sailor feedback, on whether pin-on or embroidered name tags and warfare/collar devices will be prescribed for wear with the two-piece.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Jamel Judgeowens, a wear test participant assigned to Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, expressed his excitement for trying out the new uniform.
"I'm on shore duty, but I will be wearing this uniform to and from work for the next four months in place of the Navy Working Uniform," he said. "The two-piece feels pretty good and I like the new boots. I don't have to tie them, I don't have to blouse them and they are very comfortable on the inside. They fit well, so it's pretty cool. Stay tuned for the results of this uniform test."
USFF most recently approved and introduced the Improved Flame Resistant Variant (IFRV) coverall for shipboard wear and began the phase-out of the legacy FRV coverall. Focus groups and post-test surveys held during IFRV coverall testing revealed a strong desire among Sailors for a two-piece variant, which can provide an option for de-blousing during certain evolutions or in hotter environments, and be worn in operational commands at sea, in port, and off-base to reduce the number of daily clothing changes.
To learn more about the design features, wear test locations or to provide feedback about the two-piece wear test visit http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/Pages/2-pc-fr/main.aspx.
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For more news from U.S. Fleet Forces Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/clf/ or http://www.public.navy.mil/usff/.