US Fleet Forces Explores Protective Clothing Solutions
Commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command reached out to fleet leaders in a Navy message Dec. 12 to ensure Sailors understand the minimal flame resistant qualities of the Navy Working Uniform Type I.
Adm. Bill Gortney explained the current requirement for working uniforms and organizational clothing and discussed recent uniform testing results.
“In coordination with the uniform board, Adm. Haney (Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet) and I will continue to review the requirements for, and flame-resistant qualities of, working uniforms including the Type I NWUs,” Gortney explained in his message.
The latest push for awareness stems from an impromptu test the Navy Clothing Textile Research Facility conducted Oct. 15, in Natick, Mass. The test reinforced the fact that the NWU Type I is not flame-resistant.
“We will explore long-term solutions that afford our Sailors the right protective clothing, aligned with the tasks they are required to perform in various operating environments,” said Gortney.
In 2012, fire-retardant NWU Type II/III and coveralls became part of the Navy’s organizational clothing inventory. The Navy began issuing flame resistant organizational gear (FROG) I and II, in the NWU Type II and III pattern, to Navy ground force personnel deploying to Afghanistan and those conducting operations in environments where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a common threat.
Navy leadership removed the flame-resistant requirements from NWUs in 1996, and commands since then have been required to purchase flame-resistant organizational clothing for Sailors.
Naval Today Staff, December 13, 2012; Image: US Navy