New uniform from mid-08

Volume 50, No. 18, October 04, 2007
GEAR UP: The new Disruptive Pattern Naval Uniform (DPNU) is set to replace combat coveralls and action working dress throughout the Navy. In addition, new boots are expected to replace five other types of footware currently in use.
The two-piece, fire-retardant operational uniform due to enter service from mid-2008 will replace both one-piece combat coveralls and action working dress with uniform authorities indicating there are health, comfort and morale benefits in moving to the new uniform.

Introduction of the Disruptive Pattern Naval Uniform (DPNU), as the new rig will be known, will take place concurrently with the replacement of safety boots with more comfortable and functional boots that will also replace some other types of Navy footwear.

“The ability to ‘relax’ the level of dress, depending on the nature of the operation, will help combat heat-related illness and provide both male and female personnel at sea with an enhanced practical contemporary uniform, distinct to Navy,” said Chief of Staff, Navy Systems Command, CAPT Norman Banks.

CAPT Banks said some of the design for the replacement of Navy uniform derives from the land warfare version introduced in the mid-90s by the Australian Army.

“The two-piece uniform will align with other ADF combat uniforms in its use of the Australian camouflage (AUSCAM) pattern, but will be unique to Navy in terms of littoral colours used and the addition of reflective tape on the upper arms,” he said.

CAPT Banks said patrol boat crews operating in the tropical and humid environments in Australia’s northern waters are particularly looking forward to the introduction of the new uniform.

“They will be among the first recipients,” he said.

As well as replacing the combat coveralls, the AUSCAM patterned Navy uniform will replace action working dress (AWD) first introduced in 1945.

Replacement safety boots will be introduced into service to provide greater comfort and the inventory will be reduced.

“The alternative boot is expected to do the job of five other types of footwear currently in use,” CAPT Banks said.

Clothing authorities said 60,000 sets of the two-piece FR operational uniform are required for the initial delivery to the Navy – representing an injection of some $13 million into the Australian textile and manufacturing industries.

After a planned validation trial by some patrol boat crews, production is expected from the middle of next year.

“With significant volumes required it will, however, probably take 12 months to outfit the Navy,” CAPT Banks said, “with cadets and reserve groups to follow.”