WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Conformance testing of the Navy's newest working uniforms, Navy Working Uniform Types II and III (NWU Type II/III), began July 26 and will last six weeks.
Norfolk will serve as the primary testing location for 150 Sailors, with smaller groups testing the uniform in Tampa Bay and San Diego.
The NWU family of uniforms is intended to replace multiple and less capable legacy uniforms, reduce the Navy's total ownership costs, modernize the warfighter, and complete the vision of Task Force Uniform. As such, these two new uniforms in the NWU series have been developed for use in the tactical expeditionary mission of today's Navy, tailored for desert and woodland environments.
"The NWU Type II/III approval is a culmination of a four-year effort comprising all of the expeditionary stakeholders, ensuring we capture the true operational requirements our Sailors' need to succeed on the battlefield," said Master Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Robert McCue, NWU Type II/III Conformance Test Monitor. "They provide unmatched capabilities to the warfighter enabling tactical advantage and enhancing mission success thus saving lives."
The NWU Type II (desert) uniform will be worn by Navy Special Warfare (NSW) operators and Sailors assigned to NSW units or units which directly support NSW operations. The NWU Type III (woodland) uniform will be the standard camouflage uniform for all personnel, to be worn in non-desert environments, including most stateside areas. The only difference between the two uniforms is the camouflage pattern.
The NWU Type III will replace the existing tri-colored woodland camouflage utility uniform, will be the standard camouflage uniform worn in CONUS, and can be worn while deployed as prescribed by combatant commanders. Occasion for wear of the NWU Type III will be the same as the current woodland camouflage utility uniform per NAVADMIN 188/09.
Commands and Sailors currently authorized to wear the woodland camouflage utility uniform (CUU) will continue to wear the CUU as their primary daily uniform until their transition to the new NWU Type III.
The Chief of Naval Operations' approval of the NWU Type II/III was announced in NAVADMIN 374/09, and Program Management was assigned to Naval Facilities Engineering Command's Expeditionary Programs Office (NEPO).
Norfolk was chosen as the primary testing location due to its heavy Navy population and concentration of expeditionary Sailors who will be primarily wearing the NWU Type II/III.
Norfolk participants will be issued Type III (woodland) uniforms at the Cheatham Annex, Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, and the other participants will receive their uniforms on an individual basis. Along with two sets of uniforms, the testers will be given a user handbook, which explains the care and manner of wear of the uniforms. They will maintain a detailed log of their experience regarding the wear and care of their uniform and participate in interviews, focus groups and surveys both during and after the conformance test.
At the completion of the testing, the results will be presented to the chief of naval operations. Contract preparations for the initial production of the NWU Type II/III are underway, with the roll out scheduled to begin in the summer of 2011.
"The conformance testing phase of the uniform is critical to our developmental process because we are focused on the details of refining the uniform for our end-users," said Force Master Chief (SCW) Michael Holdcraft. "How the uniform looks is only a small facet of our design process. We need to know how it wears, if the pockets work in their perspective locations, ease of care and wearing."
For more information about NWU Type II/III, visit www.navfac.navy.mil/nwu.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.