Discussion:
Navy testing camouflage uniforms
(too old to reply)
Halcitron
2005-03-08 19:34:09 UTC
Permalink
Navy testing camouflage uniforms at Brunswick Naval Air Station

Associated Press

©Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Sailors in camouflage?

In a dramatic departure from tradition, about 60 sailors stationed at
the Naval Air Station in Brunswick are part of a worldwide test of new
unisex camouflage working uniforms for enlisted personnel.

"We are the only branch of the military that has more than one working
uniform," said Master Chief Aaron Shipley. "The Navy is trying to make
life easier for all of our sailors ... the whole intent here is to
reduce our sea bag."

The Marine Corps and Army have long worn forest green and desert tan
camouflage uniforms. Base spokesman John W. James says the distinctive
blue, gray and black patterns of the new Navy uniform will prevent
confusion.

More than 1,700 sailors across the globe received the uniforms this
year. Each sailor also received a user´s guide that explains how to
care for their clothing. The sailors must keep a log that asks how
often they launder the clothing.

At the end of the test period, Brunswick´s sailors will be asked to
critique the camouflage shirt and trousers, new belts, headwear,
polyester knit T-shirts and mock turtlenecks, boots, a waterproof parka
and a fleece jacket.

If the Navy´s Uniform Board determines that the uniforms are durable
and likable, Navy personnel could begin wearing the camouflage soon.

The new uniforms will not replace traditional dress white or blue
uniforms or its flight suits, but could reduce the number of garments
in a sailor´s wardrobe.

The early reviews of the new uniforms have been mostly positive, with
some complaints related mostly to accessories such as boots and belts.

"I´m a big fan of the uniform," said Navy veteran Vince Hoium, who
likes to wear the fleece jacket under the parka. "It is by far the
warmest uniform I have ever tried on."

Hoium, a senior chief, has been in the Navy for 22 years, said he
appreciates more that sailors have been allowed to provide input.

Currently, a sailor stationed in Brunswick has a choice of wearing
several color combinations and styles to work. A traditional work
uniform might consist of a navy blue shirt and pants worn with black
leather boots.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

http://news.mainetoday.com/apwire/D88M6D0G0-65.shtml

--


I wonder if they will be allowed to were them on liberty?

:/
DBM
2005-03-08 20:25:57 UTC
Permalink
Question - Will the sailors wear their "...distinctive blue, gray and
black..." camouflage gear while 'at sea'?

I don't know about worst WARTIME Naval disasters, but one of
Australia's worst PEACETIME Naval disasters was the 'Voyager
Disaster' - over 80 sailors died when two Navy ships collided.

Question - Can 'blue, gray and black' camouflage gear (ocean colours)
increase the difficulty of 'Search and Rescue' operations in finding
crew 'lost at sea'?

--
Yours, DBM - ***@uq.net.au
From Somewhere in Australia, the Land of Tree-hugging Funnelwebs...
Halcitron
2005-03-08 23:01:50 UTC
Permalink
DBM Mar 8, 12:25 pm

Question - Will the sailors wear their "...distinctive blue, gray and
black..." camouflage gear while 'at sea'?


I don't know about worst WARTIME Naval disasters, but one of
Australia's worst PEACETIME Naval disasters was the 'Voyager
Disaster' - over 80 sailors died when two Navy ships collided.


Question - Can 'blue, gray and black' camouflage gear (ocean colours)
increase the difficulty of 'Search and Rescue' operations in finding
crew 'lost at sea'?


++
I usually wore PFD and a strobe light when working on deck. However,
your point is valid, because many times you step out on a deck just for
fresh air or to wach the ocean go bay.

:)


--
Tim May
2005-03-09 00:55:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by DBM
Question - Will the sailors wear their "...distinctive blue, gray and
black..." camouflage gear while 'at sea'?
I don't know about worst WARTIME Naval disasters, but one of
Australia's worst PEACETIME Naval disasters was the 'Voyager
Disaster' - over 80 sailors died when two Navy ships collided.
Question - Can 'blue, gray and black' camouflage gear (ocean colours)
increase the difficulty of 'Search and Rescue' operations in finding
crew 'lost at sea'?
Any clothing under water, which is everything except the cap, will be
invisible. Regardless of color.

--Tim May
Bob G
2005-03-10 11:21:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by DBM
Question - Will the sailors wear their "...distinctive blue, gray and
black..." camouflage gear while 'at sea'?
I don't know about worst WARTIME Naval disasters, but one of
Australia's worst PEACETIME Naval disasters was the 'Voyager
Disaster' - over 80 sailors died when two Navy ships collided.
Question - Can 'blue, gray and black' camouflage gear (ocean colours)
increase the difficulty of 'Search and Rescue' operations in finding
crew 'lost at sea'?
I'm retired Navy, and at one time a certified rescue swimmer. And
have participated in rescues and recoveries a number of times. What
sailors wore before, going back to WW2 and earlier, wasn't easy to see
when they were in the water.

I don't know that such criteria has ever been a major one anyone
considers. What would you suggest? International orange uniforms?

Might look a bit silly, don't yah think?

And, further, might be impractical. When selecting uniforms and
colors, one always has to be as practical as possible. Particularly
when picking daily working wear.

Colors must be relatively stable and colorfast. Requiring the least
special washing instructions and maintenace possible. Navy ships at
sea are WAR ships, not luxury liners. And every cubic foot is
valueable. So while they have laundry facilities, yah want to keep
such minimal and simple. And any special detergeants and such also
minimal. Most international orange items I've seen, do not hold up
their original color well if washed often and repeatedly. And soon
start looking pretty shitty.

Not to mention, a bunch of sailors daily dressed in all international
orange don't present an image we'd probably like. <G> I can see a
ship pulling in and some kid hanging on to his momma saying, "Hey mom,
who're those guys? They look like a bunch of clowns."

And image counts. It actually does, believe it or not. When I was on
active duty with the US Navy, at one time they experiemented with new
uniforms. I don't know who designed em, but he or she was an idiot.
Okay, I'll be nice ... he or she was less than thoughtful.

The guys mostly hated em. Selection of materials pretty much sucked
and were hard to maintain looking at least modestly neat with minimal
facilities and time encurred. Jumper shirt for new dungarees was
difficult to get on or off in a hurry. Not good for a daily wear,
working item. The deep, solid colors, easily blotched or stainned.
And any blotch or stain stood out like a neon sign. Requiring guy to
frequently replace items in order to maintain a neat and clean
appearance.

AND ... the uniforms looked sort of generic. Not distinctive. Yah
might've been a janitor, usher at movie theatre, ice cream truck
driver touring neighborhood and selling ice cream bars, or who knows
what.

This counted. Espirit de corps counts. Sailors reported they had no
particular feeling of pride, distinctiveness, unit identification, and
so forth wearing the new items.

Proof was in the pudding. When the Navy finally reversed itself and
went back to the traditional, more distinctive garb, sailors rushed
... do not past go ... out to buy them even tho it cost them
considerably out of their own pockets. At at morning musters, manning
rails, and so forth, they stood taller and prouder and spent a little
extra care in looking good.

The only good thing that came out of that short lived uniform change
was was a change in the actual materials used and an added chemical
treatment that was developed. That reduced the burning
characteristics of the material.

Now that feature was kept. And welcome. Fire is one of a sailor's
major foes. Just a fact of life and the reason US Navy policy is to
ensure every shipboard sailor receives fire fighting training and that
said trainning is repeated routinely, and practiced regularly.

This is one of the issues the Brits faced in the tiff they had with
Argentina over the Falkland islands. Now I'm not about to bad mouth
Brit sailors. Have worked with em, drank numerous cold ones with em,
and even had some friendly brawls with em. Top notch folks.

But prior and up to the battle over the Falklands, Brit policy had
developed into one where to conserve money, they'd rather drastically
cut back on trainning and repeated, repeated, repeated (which is
necessary to be effective) fire fighting training and practice for
their shipboard sailors. Especially on newer vessels with all sorts
of automated firefighting equipment. They figured, "Why bother?
We've got all this neat and nifty technology,"

Mistake two. They wished to have their sailors wear distinctive,
sharp looking garb. And in particular the engine rooms gangs got
these really sharp looking coveralls. Which were .... mostly nylon.

Apparently Brit high command had a brain fart. <Shrug> We've had
ours, too. First rule of warfare, particularly Naval warfare. You
WILL take hits, end of subject, never doubt it. Navy sailors' jobs
are to limit and control damage caused but said hits, take emergency
measures to restore vital services, fight fires, and make it possible
for bridge and weapons stations to continue on doing their jobs.

Absolutely key and essential to all this is the engineroom crews.
They MUST be able to function and continue on right smartly doing what
they know how to do better than anyone else. "Make it work."

Well, it wasn't really the Exocet missles that caused the Brits so
much problems. It was the brain farts I mentioned.

Powered, automatic fire control and supression equipment,
automatically closing (powered) fire doors, etc ... don't work so
friggin well when you're slammed in an engineroom with an Exocet,
Electrical power tends to die right quickly.

Normally, not a disasterous issue. Engine gang does their job and yah
switch to alternates, rig jumpers around damanged areas, etc.
Problem, engine gangs were wearing nylon jumpers.

Now you can survive a fireball and remain effective and working and
doing your job. I know, BTDT.

But it's friggin hard to do if yah just got laminated in molten nylon.
Sort of distracts a person, don't yah know.

Whole engineroom gangs went down and out in mass, screaming in pain
and continuing to burn, even after the intial fireball had exhausted
self. On the new, fancy gadget ships. Older ships, with engine crews
wearing older, but much more fire resistant coveralls, fared better.
Engine crews got singed, some died. Majority however were simply hurt
a little, and kept on trucking and doing what they needed to in the
finest of Naval tradition. Good men. Did their jobs.

Add, on newer ships, with their excessive reliance on "automatics",
and reduced crew training. With engineroom gangs down and out,
remaining crew members were highly rusty at tasks such as fire
fighting and damage control. Traditionally, the "snipes", engine
crews, know the ship like the back of their hands, where everything
is, and how to use it. But those guys were down below, laminated in
molten nylon.

The Brit Navy and the US Navy has always worked closely. They sent us
written accounts and all existing video they had after those battles.
We do the same for them. We trade data on "lessons to be learned."

I myself, along with many other US sailors watched those films. I
could see crew members rushing back and forth, not knowing what to do.
Having trouble remembering where the emergency gear was, and when they
finally found it, having trouble remembering how to use it properly.
In many cases, forgetting the obvious. Power close fire doors weren't
working, shut em by hand. Not their fault. Command's fault. For not
ensuring proper training and repeated practice, practice, practice.

I'm talking of their newest and latest and greatest cruisers and
destroyers. The only thing good I have to say about what I saw is my
hat's off to those ordinary seamen. They kept trying. They've
nothing to be ashamed of. Their leadship let em down.

At the same time we saw film clips of older vessels without all the
automatic, fancy stuff. Some of which took hits even worse than the
newer ships which sank. Difference? These crews had practiced the
old fashioned, reliable skills, often and regularly. And in all
cases, IIRC, even tho their ship may have been worse struck, they
managed to save their ships and continue operating.

Lesson. Nothing, nothing at all takes the place of frequent and
regular practice of emergency skills. What to do when the shit hits
the fan, the world as yah know it just came to an end, and all is in
confusion and chaos. This is not something yah can teach someone 3
years ago, have em tuck in the back of their heads, and then expect em
to recall and utilize said knowledge when a real emergency happens.
It requires repeated reenforcement and practice. The more often, the
better. The more realistic, the better. This, of course, costs money.
But it's money very well spent. Can be, the best dollar yah ever
spent.

In all liklihood, what would have most helped those poor sailors you
mentioned, would have been these things. In my own experience, and
I've been in war, in real fires, and in a serious collision at sea.
And have had to do search and rescue as a result of other causes. Is
more practice and training. Both of the individual sailors as to what
to do when your ass hits the water. Plus of the crews as a whole, in
practicing what to do in collisions, man overboard, etc. that's your
best bang for the buck, best return on investment.

Bright easily seen colors MAY have helped. Maybe not. I've been out
looking for guys, friggin hard to spot em even with such aids. What
helped us the most, however, was when whole crew responded to an
incident promptly and well. Knowing automatically by much practice
and repetition what should be done. Lookouts actually looking out and
not being distracted. Men automatically watching each other and when
seeing man go over side, tossing close by life ring and markers.
Getting word to bridge. Bridge, even while trying to take in
collision, and respond to it, having appropriate personnel receiving
messages and not being distracted, marking charts, plotting, planning
and coordinating. Rescue crews being prompt and efficient and getting
boats in the water.

I'm not familiar with incident you mention. But in my experience,
most frequent cause of us losing a guy and not getting him back was
prompt and effective action, that'd been re-enforced by many times
practice. Somebody hesitated, somebody forgot procedure, somebody
wasn't heads up and paying attention, somebody let self get distracted
by other events.

My 2 cents ... and probably not worth that.

Bob
Stormin Mormon
2005-03-10 12:37:06 UTC
Permalink
Completely thoughtful post, and I do thank you. I wonder how survivalists
can use this information? Of course, don't wear nylon to a fire. Also, pick
colors and patterns that are practical. I'm sure there are a lot more
lessons to what you have written.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
www.lds.org
www.mormons.com
Post by DBM
Question - Will the sailors wear their "...distinctive blue, gray and
black..." camouflage gear while 'at sea'?
I don't know about worst WARTIME Naval disasters, but one of
Australia's worst PEACETIME Naval disasters was the 'Voyager
Disaster' - over 80 sailors died when two Navy ships collided.
Question - Can 'blue, gray and black' camouflage gear (ocean colours)
increase the difficulty of 'Search and Rescue' operations in finding
crew 'lost at sea'?
I'm retired Navy, and at one time a certified rescue swimmer. And
have participated in rescues and recoveries a number of times. What
sailors wore before, going back to WW2 and earlier, wasn't easy to see
when they were in the water.

I don't know that such criteria has ever been a major one anyone
considers. What would you suggest? International orange uniforms?

Might look a bit silly, don't yah think?

And, further, might be impractical. When selecting uniforms and
colors, one always has to be as practical as possible. Particularly
when picking daily working wear.

Colors must be relatively stable and colorfast. Requiring the least
special washing instructions and maintenace possible. Navy ships at
sea are WAR ships, not luxury liners. And every cubic foot is
valueable. So while they have laundry facilities, yah want to keep
such minimal and simple. And any special detergeants and such also
minimal. Most international orange items I've seen, do not hold up
their original color well if washed often and repeatedly. And soon
start looking pretty shitty.

Not to mention, a bunch of sailors daily dressed in all international
orange don't present an image we'd probably like. <G> I can see a
ship pulling in and some kid hanging on to his momma saying, "Hey mom,
who're those guys? They look like a bunch of clowns."

And image counts. It actually does, believe it or not. When I was on
active duty with the US Navy, at one time they experiemented with new
uniforms. I don't know who designed em, but he or she was an idiot.
Okay, I'll be nice ... he or she was less than thoughtful.

The guys mostly hated em. Selection of materials pretty much sucked
and were hard to maintain looking at least modestly neat with minimal
facilities and time encurred. Jumper shirt for new dungarees was
difficult to get on or off in a hurry. Not good for a daily wear,
working item. The deep, solid colors, easily blotched or stainned.
And any blotch or stain stood out like a neon sign. Requiring guy to
frequently replace items in order to maintain a neat and clean
appearance.

AND ... the uniforms looked sort of generic. Not distinctive. Yah
might've been a janitor, usher at movie theatre, ice cream truck
driver touring neighborhood and selling ice cream bars, or who knows
what.

This counted. Espirit de corps counts. Sailors reported they had no
particular feeling of pride, distinctiveness, unit identification, and
so forth wearing the new items.

Proof was in the pudding. When the Navy finally reversed itself and
went back to the traditional, more distinctive garb, sailors rushed
... do not past go ... out to buy them even tho it cost them
considerably out of their own pockets. At at morning musters, manning
rails, and so forth, they stood taller and prouder and spent a little
extra care in looking good.

The only good thing that came out of that short lived uniform change
was was a change in the actual materials used and an added chemical
treatment that was developed. That reduced the burning
characteristics of the material.

Now that feature was kept. And welcome. Fire is one of a sailor's
major foes. Just a fact of life and the reason US Navy policy is to
ensure every shipboard sailor receives fire fighting training and that
said trainning is repeated routinely, and practiced regularly.

This is one of the issues the Brits faced in the tiff they had with
Argentina over the Falkland islands. Now I'm not about to bad mouth
Brit sailors. Have worked with em, drank numerous cold ones with em,
and even had some friendly brawls with em. Top notch folks.

But prior and up to the battle over the Falklands, Brit policy had
developed into one where to conserve money, they'd rather drastically
cut back on trainning and repeated, repeated, repeated (which is
necessary to be effective) fire fighting training and practice for
their shipboard sailors. Especially on newer vessels with all sorts
of automated firefighting equipment. They figured, "Why bother?
We've got all this neat and nifty technology,"

Mistake two. They wished to have their sailors wear distinctive,
sharp looking garb. And in particular the engine rooms gangs got
these really sharp looking coveralls. Which were .... mostly nylon.

Apparently Brit high command had a brain fart. <Shrug> We've had
ours, too. First rule of warfare, particularly Naval warfare. You
WILL take hits, end of subject, never doubt it. Navy sailors' jobs
are to limit and control damage caused but said hits, take emergency
measures to restore vital services, fight fires, and make it possible
for bridge and weapons stations to continue on doing their jobs.

Absolutely key and essential to all this is the engineroom crews.
They MUST be able to function and continue on right smartly doing what
they know how to do better than anyone else. "Make it work."

Well, it wasn't really the Exocet missles that caused the Brits so
much problems. It was the brain farts I mentioned.

Powered, automatic fire control and supression equipment,
automatically closing (powered) fire doors, etc ... don't work so
friggin well when you're slammed in an engineroom with an Exocet,
Electrical power tends to die right quickly.

Normally, not a disasterous issue. Engine gang does their job and yah
switch to alternates, rig jumpers around damanged areas, etc.
Problem, engine gangs were wearing nylon jumpers.

Now you can survive a fireball and remain effective and working and
doing your job. I know, BTDT.

But it's friggin hard to do if yah just got laminated in molten nylon.
Sort of distracts a person, don't yah know.

Whole engineroom gangs went down and out in mass, screaming in pain
and continuing to burn, even after the intial fireball had exhausted
self. On the new, fancy gadget ships. Older ships, with engine crews
wearing older, but much more fire resistant coveralls, fared better.
Engine crews got singed, some died. Majority however were simply hurt
a little, and kept on trucking and doing what they needed to in the
finest of Naval tradition. Good men. Did their jobs.

Add, on newer ships, with their excessive reliance on "automatics",
and reduced crew training. With engineroom gangs down and out,
remaining crew members were highly rusty at tasks such as fire
fighting and damage control. Traditionally, the "snipes", engine
crews, know the ship like the back of their hands, where everything
is, and how to use it. But those guys were down below, laminated in
molten nylon.

The Brit Navy and the US Navy has always worked closely. They sent us
written accounts and all existing video they had after those battles.
We do the same for them. We trade data on "lessons to be learned."

I myself, along with many other US sailors watched those films. I
could see crew members rushing back and forth, not knowing what to do.
Having trouble remembering where the emergency gear was, and when they
finally found it, having trouble remembering how to use it properly.
In many cases, forgetting the obvious. Power close fire doors weren't
working, shut em by hand. Not their fault. Command's fault. For not
ensuring proper training and repeated practice, practice, practice.

I'm talking of their newest and latest and greatest cruisers and
destroyers. The only thing good I have to say about what I saw is my
hat's off to those ordinary seamen. They kept trying. They've
nothing to be ashamed of. Their leadship let em down.

At the same time we saw film clips of older vessels without all the
automatic, fancy stuff. Some of which took hits even worse than the
newer ships which sank. Difference? These crews had practiced the
old fashioned, reliable skills, often and regularly. And in all
cases, IIRC, even tho their ship may have been worse struck, they
managed to save their ships and continue operating.

Lesson. Nothing, nothing at all takes the place of frequent and
regular practice of emergency skills. What to do when the shit hits
the fan, the world as yah know it just came to an end, and all is in
confusion and chaos. This is not something yah can teach someone 3
years ago, have em tuck in the back of their heads, and then expect em
to recall and utilize said knowledge when a real emergency happens.
It requires repeated reenforcement and practice. The more often, the
better. The more realistic, the better. This, of course, costs money.
But it's money very well spent. Can be, the best dollar yah ever
spent.

In all liklihood, what would have most helped those poor sailors you
mentioned, would have been these things. In my own experience, and
I've been in war, in real fires, and in a serious collision at sea.
And have had to do search and rescue as a result of other causes. Is
more practice and training. Both of the individual sailors as to what
to do when your ass hits the water. Plus of the crews as a whole, in
practicing what to do in collisions, man overboard, etc. that's your
best bang for the buck, best return on investment.

Bright easily seen colors MAY have helped. Maybe not. I've been out
looking for guys, friggin hard to spot em even with such aids. What
helped us the most, however, was when whole crew responded to an
incident promptly and well. Knowing automatically by much practice
and repetition what should be done. Lookouts actually looking out and
not being distracted. Men automatically watching each other and when
seeing man go over side, tossing close by life ring and markers.
Getting word to bridge. Bridge, even while trying to take in
collision, and respond to it, having appropriate personnel receiving
messages and not being distracted, marking charts, plotting, planning
and coordinating. Rescue crews being prompt and efficient and getting
boats in the water.

I'm not familiar with incident you mention. But in my experience,
most frequent cause of us losing a guy and not getting him back was
prompt and effective action, that'd been re-enforced by many times
practice. Somebody hesitated, somebody forgot procedure, somebody
wasn't heads up and paying attention, somebody let self get distracted
by other events.

My 2 cents ... and probably not worth that.

Bob
r***@hotmail.com
2005-03-10 22:54:15 UTC
Permalink
Bob offered at least two good and simple ideas.

Wear cotton. It won't melt into your skin. I will never
be on a combat ship, but I could be in a fire in my car,
at work, or on a civil aircraft. Paranoid me has a flame hood
in my car and at my primary work station

Pactice. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice
the better you perform. I really wanted to play the guitar
in the 7th grade. I wasn't blessed with a lot of talent. But
my grandmother told me that practice was more important
then talent. After a few years of practice I became a very
good guitarist. But if I slack off and don't practice for a while,
like a couple of weeks, my playing starts to go to hell. My
wife is a natural born shooter. Give her a gun, or bow, and
she can nail the target. If I skip practive for more then a few
months I loose my edge. About this time of year my shooting
is at it's worst, because it ain't much fun to go out in the freezing
weather and practice. So I practice heavily up until bad weather
shuts down the season, then start on the first pretty spring day.
We had several last week and it was a joy.
And we practice our emergency drills several times a month.
We spring a practice alert on each other at odd times. Not
as good as the US Navy, but it keeps us in mental shape.

The one thing that seperates a pretend survivor(Mabu) from a
real survivor is practice. While I love my GPS, I practice using
my compass and maps on a monthly basis. We may be going to visit a
friend or to a new fabirc sotre, my wife loves to quilt, and we will
often dig out the map and see if we can find an alternative route.
We have dound many good places to take photos, found a few nice picnic
spots and generlay don't feak when a road is closed. We view
it as part of the grand adventure. I practice fishing seeral times a
month, in the summer, with my father. And I practice starting
a fire a bow several every summer. Like for every picnic we go on.
Yes I carry the proper modern fire starting tools, but it is fun, and
fast
once you get the knack, to use a bow. Great conversation starter.
And while I am not all that good, we own a parcel of land in eastern
Kentucky that has flint. We go camping there every spring and fall.
And I always try my hand at knapping flint. It has taken about 15
years,
but I can now make usefull hand tools. It isn't going to replace steel,
but it is fun. Even building a fire using only one match, on a rainy,
windy day can be a challenge. Much better to do it for fun, and know
that if the need is there, you can do it.
Terry
DBM
2005-03-10 17:25:04 UTC
Permalink
Begin Quote from a post made by the 'Halcitron'...

"...I usually wore PFD and a strobe light when working on deck..."

End Quote...

Granted, being 'prepared' when going into an area KNOWN to have
hazards is a very good thing. However, knowing WHERE and WHEN you may
encounter an area with hazards is another matter - 'Exocet' anti-ship
missiles don't usually sink a ship by hitting the open deck.

Begin quote from a post made by 'Tim May'...

"...Any clothing under water, which is everything except the cap, will
be
invisible. Regardless of color..."

End Quote...

Good point - which is why PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices or
'Life-Jackets') are worn on the upper body are brightly coloured.

Begin selected quotes from a post made by 'Bob G'...

"...I don't know that such criteria has ever been a major one anyone
considers. What would you suggest? International orange
uniforms?..."

"...Might look a bit silly, don't yah think?..."

End Quotes...

An interesting post Mr G, definitely worth more than 2 cents!

News footage from the recent Tsunami showed an 'intact' corpse
floating 'face-downwards' on the ocean (the classic 'dead-man's float'
pose). From memory, the corpse was wearing dark-coloured jeans and
top, neither of which stood out very well against the ocean.

Here in Australia, the local 'Volunteer Fire-fighters (the ones who
battle our famous bushfires), wear bright yellow overalls made from a
heavyweight cotton drill - from what I've heard, the material uses a
fire-retardant chemical ('Proban' ?).

Knowing the job that the 'Firies' do, NO-ONE sees them as being
'clownish', but closer to 'Angelic' - especially when the Firies stop
homes and loved ones from getting 'fried'.

Council workers are now wearing long-sleeved 'high-visibility' shirts
that are mostly a bright colour like yellow or orange (fluorescent?),
but have a black section in front that extends from the hem of the
shirt up to mid-chest - presumably this is the part most likely to get
dirty, as the dark patches also apply to the collars (sweat?) and
lower arms of many designs. While some of these shirts are
'synthetic' or 'synthetic blend', I have seen 'cotton drill' versions
around.

Here's a link to just one of the various designs
http://www.bigsafety.com.au/prod931.htm

What about this? A uniform with bright colours on the
back/shoulders/upper chest and arms, and darker colours on the
abdomen/legs/lower arms? I'm thinking Yellow and Navy (or Yellow and
Dark Grey).

Then again, if such a uniform were adopted, Naval recruiting offices
might be overwhelmed by hordes of 'Trekkies'... :)

--
Yours, DBM - ***@uq.net.au
From Somewhere in Australia, the Land of Tree-hugging Funnelwebs...
Jay
2005-03-11 04:31:45 UTC
Permalink
To those out there that think camo for sailors is odd,I thought so too.But
the camo they are talking about is like the urban style with a predominant
color of hazy grey. The reason being is because the biggest cause of
dungarees needing to be replaced is because of contact with wet paint,the
camo pattern uses deck and haze grey,and black.It has nothing to do with
camouflage besides camoing up paint spots.

Jay
Tim May
2005-03-11 05:39:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jay
To those out there that think camo for sailors is odd,I thought so too.But
the camo they are talking about is like the urban style with a predominant
color of hazy grey. The reason being is because the biggest cause of
dungarees needing to be replaced is because of contact with wet paint,the
camo pattern uses deck and haze grey,and black.It has nothing to do with
camouflage besides camoing up paint spots.
Why don't the painters just wear painter's overalls, then?

I'd get paint specks on my dress slacks, or blue jeans, whatever, if I
painted with them on.

Or, if all of the old dungarees (blue jeans) are being replaced so
often, use _them_ for painting. Again, it's what normal people normally
do.

But the $3000 toilet seats need to be shined up by sailors wearing
special "Cleanup Camouflage."

Just say "No" to the latest round of salary increases for these guys.


--Tim May
Bob G
2005-03-11 11:02:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jay
To those out there that think camo for sailors is odd,I thought so too.But
the camo they are talking about is like the urban style with a predominant
color of hazy grey. The reason being is because the biggest cause of
dungarees needing to be replaced is because of contact with wet paint,the
camo pattern uses deck and haze grey,and black.It has nothing to do with
camouflage besides camoing up paint spots.
Jay
Uhhh, no, that is not the biggest reason, Jay.

While the thought of what you suggest may well have entered the minds
of the designers, there were undoubtedly a great many other
considerations.

BTW, I spent 23 years in the Navy and rarely needed to replace a
uniform due to paint splotches. For one, I tended to be careful
around wet paint. Two, when I was a young pup and the one doing the
painting, I wore either coveralls, or my oldest, scrufftiest
dungarees, which needed replacing anyway. Later in my career, as the
guy in charge, it would have been me who determined that a sailor's
dungarees were in too bad a shape to be worn. And me who would
ordered guy to buy replacements. Paint stains weren't an issue often
enough to give it any major consideration in my thinking. Other than
now and then when I had a thoughtless and careless young whelp working
for me. Which was soon taken care of when I jumped him for being
foolish and too lazy to put on something suitable for painting. It
was geneally easy to cure this. As I pointed out alternatives to his
foolishness which would've saved him money. Just prior to marching
his ass down to the ship's store and having him issued new dungarees,
with the cost deducted from his pay. Most "problem children" learned
real fast, or ended up short of beer money come next port all. Simple
solutions to simple problems was my motto.

The reason for experimenting with new working uniforms is as simple as
the article states. To simplify and reduce numbers of different ones
needed, and to lighten a seabag.

Now, it's quite possible you never had the experience or need. But I
certainly did, and so did many others. At one point having to haul
around the usual dress uniforms, dungarees, and standard fatigues.
Then needing to add camoes.

Sailors do have to do things from time to time besides paint, yah
know. If your exposure to the Navy was as a one tour guy, with only
one or two duty assignments, I can understand that you might not have
had all that much exposure to the full range of things.

Bob
Jay
2005-03-11 16:21:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob G
The reason for experimenting with new working uniforms is as simple as
the article states. To simplify and reduce numbers of different ones
needed, and to lighten a seabag.
Now, it's quite possible you never had the experience or need. But I
certainly did, and so did many others. At one point having to haul
around the usual dress uniforms, dungarees, and standard fatigues.
Then needing to add camoes.
Sailors do have to do things from time to time besides paint, yah
know. If your exposure to the Navy was as a one tour guy, with only
one or two duty assignments, I can understand that you might not
Hey I was only stating what was said in an article last year about these
uniform trials. Hell From what I've observed lately they are
contracting/outsourcing most big painting jobs. My seabag was plenty heavy
but I had one standard working uniform. Dungarees. Yes I stood quarterdeck
watch in whites and blues but the normal uniform was dungarees.
The only time we got coveralls as when I was divisional supply petty
officer,and I got some for my division. Yes if I knew painting was on the
plan of the day I wore the dungarees that where spotted previousely. Even as
Ships Self Defense Force we where NEVER issued camos or any form of
fatigues. Yes the Airdales had flight suits,their ground personnel had their
flight deck uniforms,engineering personnel had their green coveralls , and
everyone had dungarees(except officer/senior elisted), but will this new
uniform be able to replace all of the above????? For crying out loud they
are issueing polyester (shrink wrap)shirts,even you stated the folly of
nylon/synthetics unless its a version of nomex . The urban camos for camo
purpose are BS in my book, there are uniform grey/navy blue/swat black
fatigues that would do more to camoflage a sailor and maintain some
seperation from other services uiniforms.
So lighten a seabag I think not. Change the crappy dungaree uniform,I'll
go with that. Try to take urban cammies ashore as legit camo ,I dont think
so.

Jay
Bob G
2005-03-12 21:22:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jay
Post by Bob G
Sailors do have to do things from time to time besides paint, yah
know. If your exposure to the Navy was as a one tour guy, with only
one or two duty assignments, I can understand that you might not
Hey I was only stating what was said in an article last year about these
uniform trials. Hell From what I've observed lately they are
contracting/outsourcing most big painting jobs.
Understood, Jay. By no means was I intending to slam yah or anything.
I was only trying to present a different point of view.

Paint stains do present an issue. But only one. And in many years of
experience I've had, while it was an issue of concern, it wasn't the
major one.

Jay, since you've revealed you are or were Navy. You'll understand
what say. I was a senior chief. (A mustang for a short while but
elected not to make it permanent as my wife became disabled in an
accident. And needed me at home. I'd have had to obligate for
additional years, and agree to another several years aboard ship to
keep the commission. Wasn't in the cards. I'd given the service
plenty, now it was time for me to stand by my wife and be there for
her.)

In any event, I spent plenty of years in, most of it assigned to ...
variously ... patrol boats, or blue water combat ships. My last
several years at sea was on an aircraft carrier, where I had 137 men
working directly for me, and occassionally ... for short periods ...
was the senior enlisted for an engineering department of around 600.

More often than paint stains. Issue was oil, grease, and other dirt
stains. That could not be cleaned out completely. Or geting some
chemical on uniform that caused blotching of color. Etc.

This was definitely an issue. As it looked shitty. And often caused
a man to have to shitcan otherwise good condition clothing. I saw it
often among the Snipes. Airdales. Boatswains. Etc. Wet paint, one
... most of the time ... can see and avoid, or prepare for by wearing
old crappy clothes or coveralls. But in just day to day life and the
work of sailors. Impossible to always avoid oil, grease, accidental
spill of some chemical yah have to use which bleaches color out on a
spot of your uniform, and so forth. And even when no permanent stains
were incurred, during course of a shipboard work day, throw in GQ
drills and such, one often picked up a lot of dirt and such and it
often stood out like a sore thumb.

Pride and appearance do count. And is one of the reasons that during
some ship's evolutions certain actions were taken. ie Pulling into
port with civilian observers. Many ships commonly put word out,
quietly, that the working crew members who must necessarily be getting
dirty doing the necessary tasks of cleaning up the ship, handling
lines, manning anchors, working the engine rooms, etc make every
attempt to stay out of sight, while others in clean, good looking
outfits man the rails. And put on a show. Of course it's normal and
expected that a working man doing work get dirty. Only common sense.
But who ever said silly civilians had common sense? Many don't.
BTDT and watched em turn up noses, heard em make snide remarks, and so
forth upon seeing a man doing his job. Which was unavoidably dirty.
Of course, they were being utterly ridiculous. But, OTOH, if one is
trying to impress the taxpayer, or dignitaries at a foreign port, or
whatever the case may be, one does what one can. And tries to keep
the best looking in view and get the guys actually doing the work out
of sight as much as possible.

A camo type pattern to the working uniform might well help alleviate
and moderate some of those issues. As a stain, temporary or permanent
would not stand out so much, as compared to a solid color background.

Add, that in recent years the Army and Marines Corps in experimenting
with various materials, combinations thereof as in blends or layering,
new weaving and fabric treatments, and so forth have made some good
advances in clothing that's suitable for wider ranges of temperature
extremes ... hot and cold ..., more protective in wet conditions and
faster drying after getting wet. More abrasion and tear resistant.
Better colorfastness. So on and so forth. And the Navy might well
like to take advantage of such. To come up with more durable
uniforms, more protective uniforms. And fewer times when one must
resort to carrying special issue items for some given climate or duty
assignment.

ie Drawing from own experience. I was in Nam on river patrol boats.
Which had many assignments of differing sorts. Depended on precisely
the unit and location you ended up at, needs of the Navy and
situation, time one was there, and so forth. One my first assignment
we were issued standard fatigues. But they were in short supply, hard
to come by, and often right size was not available. Later, as unit I
was with got involved in type of ops that necessitated it, we shifted
to cammies. Other units did not. Didn't have real need. Depended on
where you where and what you were doing. Then there were the oastal
patrol craft, harbor patrol. Many, many utility boats and their crews.
Harbor and yard service craft, shallow water mine sweeps. Picket and
guard boats around docks and piers. U-boats and landing craft doing
general work hauling stuff from here to there. Add the Seabees,
who're also known as the Fighting Seabees for very good reason. EOD,
SEALs, and at the time UDT were still in service. There were Navy
advanced bases, airfields for Navy aircraft. And Naval Support
Facilities, some very large, which provided supplies and repair
services. Throw in Corpsmen, and Chaplains assigned to Marine Corps
units. Naval Aviation Liason officers out in the fields. Some Intel
specialists. So on and so forth.

It's not as if we, the Navy, formed any large bulk of the overall
forces in inland Nam. But over the duration of that war, 10's of
thousands of sailors served ashore. Some as front line as yah can
get. Sometimes even beyond the so-called front lines. Other back at
some land base. But there were times when even those were ducking
bullets, mortar rounds, and the like. And taking places at defensive
postions. Doing perimeter patrols, manning watch stations, machine gun
positions, etc.

That it was not your experience, as a single termer, or even if a
career man, that you never personally needed an alternative to
dungarees. Is just a small part of overall bigger picture. That you
may have never had to face personal combat, nor even knew others who
had to, is also not a major factor. Nor a matter of shame, either.
All jobs in the service are important, or we'd not have them.
Likewise, many a man has joined the Army or Marine Corps and never
actually had to face personal combat. Even if an infantryman. No
shame in that, either.

But even if not assigned to a duty where one expects personal combat,
yah never know what the future brings. ie My father-in-law. Who
joined in WW2. Wanted to be a cook. Became a cook. Got assigned to
a Seabee outfit in a fat, lazy, out of the way place. Just so
happened the name of that place was Midway Island. Look it up
sometime. He lost a LOT of very close friends. And found himself one
day doing what he'd never thought he'd have to do. Manning a .50
caliber and having a duel with attacking enemy planes.

Or yah could end up, or have ended up like some other fellows I know.
After Nam wound down, I did the cross deck and rethread thing. Went
from being an engineman on patrol boats to a machinest mate on blue
water ships. One one such I volunteered for and was selected to be on
the ship's boarding and landing party. Skipper figured I was a good
choice given my background. And in fact I became the Party Leader.
Others on the party got into it for various reasons. ie A Boatswain,
who wasn't given a choce. Deck officer assigned him because he was
one of our best coxswains. Then there was this young electrician. Who
got in for the fun and games. It was peacetime. And he didn't
imagine there was a chance in the world he'd ever have to do for real
what he was practicing. And he liked the practice sessions. Running
around on small boat, playing John Wayne. And he got to have a lot of
free target practice with small arms. I don't blame him, it was
sometimes good fun.

Chuckle. Then came this particular day. When a bunch of maniacs and
morons in this one country let lose the dogs. And a corrupt and
ineffective government was fighting an equally corrupt and lying bunch
who called themselves communists ... or socialists ... all the same.
Liars and those who thought they knew better and more than others what
was good for them, and were perfectly willing to deceive, lie, cheat,
or murder ... for the good of the people, of course. Very self
righteous types, convinced of their own superior moral cause. Add
maybe a couple dozen other factions or groups motivated by everything
from simple greed and thievery to racial hate. And things were a
mess. Things had been tense in that place for a while. And now
really erupted. Many Europeans and Americans caught trapped in that
place. Some got out, but some were holed up and blocked off. Word
going out from every embassy, "Get OUT, if you can."

In any event, a group of these folks were caught and holed up. Unable
to find a way out. At a port city, in a building with some sort of
relation to the US embassy. Some trade mission and whatever type
place. Sponsored by and with some ties to the Embassy and State
Department. Main Embassy either had some Marines there of got some
there. But there weren't many. Enough to keep local thugs backed off
and thinking about it. But not nearly enough to hold off any serious
attack. I'm not aware of all the details. I was way too far down the
food chain for such things.

As it happened, at the moment the SHTF, my ship and a couple others
were close. As luck would have it, no amphibs with Marines or
aircraft carriers, etc. They were coming but were still some time
away. In the meantime a plan was hatched. We small boys had boats
and landing parties. We were to pull in close, launch boats, dock at
and secure a section of piers. Marines with evacuees, when they got
the word figured they had a good chance of getting them to us. Locals
were so busy shooting each other, and hacking each other up with
knives and machetes, that none of em were making any concerted effort
to "get" the Marines or those with them. Just talking pot shots of
opportunity at em. But jarheads figured it was just a matter of time
before one group or the other got the upper hand over others, and got
the bright idea of storming their holdout. So best estimate of best
chances, don't wait. Whatever we could provide by way of boats and
personnel NOW, was the best option. Seize piers, hold, Marines would
do a do or die breakout and rush evacuees to us. We were to load em up
and ditti mao like crazy.

And so young coxswain and young electrician ended up with me at the
piers of a dirty, stinking hell hole of a place. (along with others)
Wondering just how in the world did they come to being there.
Boatswain was relatively calm. A good ol boy from some small town in
the south somewheres (I forget), the type it was harder than hell to
shake up. And he never seemed much excited about anything.
Electrician was shaking in his boots. And while we waited it was with
him I chatted a bit. Trying to calm him down while he wondered just
how in the world did he end up in this mess. He'd just wanted to go
to sea, see some of the world, and get laid lots. And learn how to be
an electrician. I reminded him he'd volunteered for the Navy, and for
this duty (prior to his figuring he'd actually have to get shot at
some day) for a lark. Well, now it was time to pay the Piper. So
stop whining,

LOL ... he did fine. Shaking and all. Not as if this turned into
some grand battle to brag about. We were taking occassional sniping
shots of opportunity. But locals were so busy going at each other.
Hardly had time for us. Electrician was scared and shaking. But did
his duty. Hell, I was scared and shaking. But this was not the first
time for me. By far. Fear is just fear. And made no difference to
me. I was gonna do what needed done. Fear or not. I was just not
gonna show it. For the benefit of those with me. No need for them to
know what I knew. That this could turn ugly in a hurry. Mr Murphy
likes to show up at the worst of times.

We only had one serious incident. Where a group of this or that party
to the fighting, got a temporary upper hand over the others, and
decided to give it a try at us. It didn't work so well for em. Fact
was, none of these groups were very organized, nor knew much about
real battle and tactics. (Fortunately) And were pretty lousy shots.
Spray and pray seemed to be their motto. My guys held their positions
and did as trainned. Scared or not. That attack was short lived, and
had few survivors on the other side.

Jarheads had a much tougher time of it. But did their jobs
admireably. And were up to the task. They showed up with the
evacuees and we wasted no time loading em up and shipping em off.
Then got outta there ourselves.

My point simply being that just because you saw no need in your
experience, does not mean one does not exist. Or might. The Navy
gets involved in a lot of incidents which either never makes a front
page, or gets only a brief mention. I forget URL or name, but the
Navy does maintain a web site which lists "incidents" they get
involved in besides the big front page news stuff. From rescues at
sea, to disaster response, encounters with pirates, to rescue of
civilians from places of civil war, to whatever. Most of them, most
average people never know about. Various reasons. Including short
memories. Reporters are often unconcerned with events in 3rd world
countries unless they happen to be there or it's a slow news time. Or
event is a big one. Sometimes these things make local news, Hong Kong
or Singapore papers, etc. Never spread beyond that. And at least
back when I was on active duty. The Navy had the reputation of being
one of the most closed mouth of services. Annually releasing the
fewest press releases of any. <Shrug>

I don't think much has changed, or at least not much. I know we had
far more folks inside Afghanistan and Iraq than the press ever seemed
to be aware of. Probably because in part, reporters tend to be dumber
than a box of rocks. And often have no clue what they're seeing or
looking at. Unless someone explains it to em in big print and simple
words. And likely, the Navy hasn't changed all that much. They've
never been big on press releases or inviting reporters along for the
ride. Chuckle, I know when I was on active duty I had an occassion
from time to time to deal with reporters. Mostly I just wanted to be
rid of em, and to get em out of the way. I had no pleasant memories
of reporters from earlier years. And usually offered no comment. Or
as brief a one as possible, then told guy to get lost. Go find
someone who cared, it sure wasn't me. I was pretty sure that no
matter what I said, they'd get it wrong, misquote and misinterpret,
spin and twist the truth. And that was the good ones. Worst ones
would out and out fabricate. Or dream up some wildassed explaination
of the events, or causes behind them, that was fitting of some of the
wildest tin-foil hat wearing, conspiracy theorists yah find on these
news groups.

Anyway, back to subject. A working uniform that could also be
reasonably serviceable in a combat situation is not a terribly bad
idea. Most will never need it for that purpose. Hopefully. But if
there is need. It's already there, part of your seabag and normal
wear. And supply inventory needed to be maintained is reduced. Etc.

All of these, and probably a few more I've not mentioned, are in the
total picture and consideration.

ie Things not mentioned. Savings in expenses. How much something
costs is very much dependent upon quantity ordered and used. If one
working uniform can acceptably replace 4 or 5 used variously by
different parts of the Navy and Marine Corps, less expense in stocking
and maintaining storage and distribution, and less cost per outfit.
(Tho final price might go up if items are in fact better, and thus
worth the added cost.)

Add, possibly simplified laundering facilities. I was no ship's
serviceman. But know something about that part of their job, As I was
responsible for maintenace and repair of equipment in a ship's
laundry, among other things. The fewer different types of items and
materials; the fewer different, segregated loads, special settings or
cycles. the fewer special handling instructions, the fewer special
detergeant requirements. Something many never think of. Unless they
were a ship's serviceman, or one of the snipes who helped em keep
things working.

Now, whether or not the cammo patterning things works out, or is
worthwhile. Who knows? I don't think it's a horrible idea. But it's
not my decision to make, nor do I know all the considerations to be
taken into account.
Post by Jay
My seabag was plenty heavy
but I had one standard working uniform. Dungarees. Yes I stood quarterdeck
watch in whites and blues but the normal uniform was dungarees.
As it's been for many years, for many sailors. But not all.
Post by Jay
The only time we got coveralls as when I was divisional supply petty
officer,and I got some for my division.
Good man. The Navy certainly makes provisions for coveralls. But
they do not however dictate exactly how a division officer or
department head spends his money. Some have more concern for their
men, some less. Same with tools. Some ensure men have what they need
to work most effectively and efficiently. Others scrimp on this. Pat
selves on back. And either reports savings and want suitable credit
for this. Or spends the money on his preferred crap and toys.

ie At one unit where I was assigned. We had this ass. Never
hesitated a second to order fancy letterhead paper. Or have fancier
typewriters. Or newer and fancier furniture. And other
miscellanious, frivolous crap. And had his pet projects upon which he
spared no expense. But ensure adequate replacement tools, masks,
safety gear, etc? Nope. In those cases a stingy bastard.

<Shrug> So one day his orders of brand new furniture somehow got lost.

Damned me if I know how. :-)

Gad, he was furious and demanding answers. And getting none that
satisfied him.

In the meantime my guys were busy following my orders. To hurry the
heck up and engrave new tools with work center codes, and scruff em up
a mite to make em look used. Other things, which he'd known we didn't
have, got hidden in a void. Til time of real need. Which was
sometime later and he never connected the dots on that one. "Hey,
Chief. Where did your guys get the hydraulic puller?", "Oh, that,
sir? Hell we stole it off some airdales on another ship. Remember
when we were inport across from the Forest Fire about 6 months ago?
Well, we borrowed a few things." As it was no skin off his chin, or
at least he thought so, he let the matter drop.

Yah just gotta be quicker witted than the average desk jockey officer,
bureaucrat, politician, or reporter. Which isn't hard. Most of em
can't see the forest for the trees if they ran into a tree and broke
their noses.
Post by Jay
Yes if I knew painting was on the
plan of the day I wore the dungarees that where spotted previousely. Even as
Ships Self Defense Force we where NEVER issued camos or any form of
fatigues.
Never in the past, does not mean never in the future. The world
changes, and so must the Navy. Times change, guy. During some
periods, decades ... whole careers .... blue water Navy and big ships
are the front line. Other times, it's coastal patrols and river
boats. Then maybe the day of the amphib. Etc. In the curretn
scenario, as it's shaping up. The Navy is finding more need to enter
close in waters, maybe to put people ashore. And to provide own,
increased security for ships in ports or harbors. Meaning possible
increased men on the ground at docks and piers, and at gates, and in
small patrol boats armed to the teeth patrolled around moored or
anchored ships.

Times change, and we need to change with em.

It's like with the Air Force. Which during much of Viet Nam relied
heavily on Army and Marines to protect their bases, do perimeter
patrols, provide reaction forces, and so forth. But then they were
told, enough was enough. Army and Marines had their own missions.
Air Force needed to provide own self defense and fast reaction combat
teams. That's how they came about establishing the Air Force Air Base
Defense school down in San Antonio. With facilities at Medina and
Lackland, and over on Camp Bullis. Where select Air Force Security
Police types got additional training over previous times. In infantry
tactics, hostile area patrol outside of bases, tactics of a fast
response reactionary force (to counter attack), airborne insertion via
helo, use of bigger and heavier weapons than they'd needed to know the
use of in the past. That was in the ... hmmm.... early 70's? I
think. I was there in '76 and it'd not been in existance for more
than a few years I think. Navy sent me. I'd gotten out for a couple.
Tried my hand as a cop in San Antonio. Decided it was not me. Went
back on active duty. Volunteered for an assignment that necessitated
Navy wanting me to get a refresher on small arms and some tactics.
Since I was right there, they put me thru that school. Then I was off
to go play advisor. At an old trade. Small patrol boats. They
needed some volunteers with current or past experience. No big
stories to tell. I was to, in fact, stay the heck outta trouble and
combat if at all possible. Except in shear self defense. And I did,
mostly. Except for one incident. A fellow advisor and I were being
good. Having a cold one and a civilian meal in a local place. When
all hell broke lose. Local rebels burst in, not after us. I don't
know that they were even aware of us or who we were. We'd just picked
wrong place to be. Local miliatry big wig just so happened to also be
at this place. And was upstairs boinking his favorite hooker. They
were after him. But shooting anybody they saw. Or trying to.

ROFLMAO !!! Buddy and I were scrambling like crazy, hitting deck,
crawling, running. Looking for exit ... stage left. Or right. Or any
old way as long as it was an exit. We were armed. Kinda. 38's
against AK47's suck, tho. (We were allowed personal self defense
weapons). Now maybe in the movies the hero pulls out his revolver and
beats the heavily armed bad guys who also have much superior numbers.
In real life? We ran like hell. Made our own friggin exit. Did shoot
at, and I think ... hit ... this one guy out back who was waiting for
whomever might come out. But wasn't sticking around to be sure. The
place was right along the river and we dove in and played disappearing
River Rat. Came out of the river downstream. Ducked into this little
back alley bar. Sat and finally got to enjoy a meal and several beers
while listening to all the hubbub down the street. Screw it, wasn't
our war. The locals, fishermen, dock workers, and the like, were
sortta used to all this. While alarmed ... not a lot. Were doing the
sensible thing. Deciding to stay in the bar a little longer, til the
shooting was over, at least. Then would maybe go take a peek to see
who won. As it turned out, guy the rebels tried to bushwhack won.
Him and his body guards. They were no slouches. A bunch of tough
nuts to crack. I thought this was good, that he won. Actually a
pretty nice guy. His folks liked him. But while he could be nice, he
could kick some ass when pissed off.

Anyway, far as I know, the Navy may be planning, or have already
started to much beef up manpower and skills of Navy self defense
forces. Wouldn't surprise me in the least. Especially if future
plans call for ships anchored at, moored at, etc in some of those
places in the world where all the ruckus is going on nowadays. What
was the name of that ship ... the Cole? Or was it the Roberts? That
got bombed by the suicide boat. Her guard was down and not what it
should have been. But that's what yah get for trusting the folks they
did who said they'd handle all the security. Yeah ... sure.
Post by Jay
Yes the Airdales had flight suits,their ground personnel had their
flight deck uniforms,engineering personnel had their green coveralls , and
everyone had dungarees(except officer/senior elisted), but will this new
uniform be able to replace all of the above?????
Don't know. Maybe. Doubt if they'll replace flight suits. But could
well replace the others.
Post by Jay
For crying out loud they
are issueing polyester (shrink wrap)shirts,even you stated the folly of
nylon/synthetics unless its a version of nomex .
Synthetics is a rather generic term. And not all synthetics have the
same characteristics.

And no one if talking "fire proof". Flame retardant or flame
resistant is the more accurate term. Yah want something that does not
easily melt and laminate your ass. That can maybe handle a brief fire
ball. And may singe, and smolder. But is either unlikely to simply
burst into flames, or if it does, once fireball has expended itself,
flames in clothing are relatively easy to extinguish. Pure nomex
clothing has it's problems and issues, too. And is not necessarily
the best "all around" cloth. They're looking for best "all around"
stuff. Specific, special materials for main first response fire
fighters, etc are a whole different subject.

I was hit with a fireball once. Shipboard acident. I was wearing old
fashioned coveralls at the time. With long sleeved shrrt. Expanding
fireball hit me, and beyond. But did not last that long. Of course,
after, we had problem of roaring fire from spweing oil but that was a
different subject. It was away from me a distance. My clothing
singed, and I lost a lot of hair. But burns weren't horrible, and
didn't cover much of me. Point being I wasn't laminated or running
around in flames. Was able to man my station and assist in the damage
control, along with others. Unfortunately a few guys had been closer.
And were hit not only by fireball, but by spewing oil. Wasn't a
damned thing we could do for em. And I'm not sure anything would've
helped. Would even a full modern firefighting outfit save your ass if
you're also coated in fuel oil? I don't know.
Post by Jay
The urban camos for camo
purpose are BS in my book, there are uniform grey/navy blue/swat black
fatigues that would do more to camoflage a sailor and maintain some
seperation from other services uiniforms.
And such choices might be the ones selected. This is just a, "Hey,
let's try it and get feed back from the real sailors." kind of thing.
Which has been done before. Testing ... means just that.
Post by Jay
So lighten a seabag I think not. Change the crappy dungaree uniform,I'll
go with that. Try to take urban cammies ashore as legit camo ,I dont think
so.
Jay
You have very valid points. I never intended to indicate otherwise.
except I think the paint thing was taking too strong hold of your
initial thoughts. But the rest of your thoughts are good ones.

Bob
Jay
2005-03-13 00:09:11 UTC
Permalink
No problem , I do believe in a need for fatigues( I wasnt a bug fan of the
dungarees) as the WOT evolves. I hate to see some of these uniform
changes(ie Navy and Air force) just to be unique ala the Marines digicam, I
like the digicam but hate seeing the other services get a me too attitude
that each branch needs its own "unique" camouflage. I understand the black
and grey but the blue that the Navy feels it needs(for sea duty) or the blue
tones in the Airforce cammie(for "sky" service, I feel are a unnecessary
waste of a resources(I know its a piddly thing but the press makes sure
these uniforms are visible to all). Now on the subject of materials that is
where I feel the uniform requirements are more unique to each service.
Now the one thing I didnt mind about the dungarees was you mainly had to
iron the shirt, the trousers it wasnt so important. One problem with
fatigues is that the cargo pockets really need attention(ironing) for a
reasonable appearence(hopefully they dont go for them on the Navy style
fatigues).
One reason I said anything about paint spots(I forgot about the grease
stains I collected as DCPO) is because most people think of the sea being a
factor in the choice of the camo colors or that the sailor would like the
camo to blend into the enviroment. I just feel that because of the vast
differences in work enviroments on board ship it will be difficult to come
up with a replacement for most working uniforms. I just hate to see
something floated out there that is a potential waste of resources when they
keep pareing back the number of hulls available,and just to change to keep
up with the other services is crap.Yes I know comparing the price of the
uniform change to operating a ship are signifcantly different but it all
adds up into a bunch of money eventually.

Jay
Offbreed
2005-03-11 13:17:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jay
To those out there that think camo for sailors is odd,I thought so too.But
the camo they are talking about is like the urban style with a predominant
color of hazy grey. The reason being is because the biggest cause of
dungarees needing to be replaced is because of contact with wet paint,the
camo pattern uses deck and haze grey,and black.It has nothing to do with
camouflage besides camoing up paint spots.
LOL

"Pre-painted painters coveralls"?
Bob G
2005-03-13 00:35:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by DBM
Begin Quote from a post made by the 'Halcitron'...
"...I usually wore PFD and a strobe light when working on deck..."
End Quote...
Granted, being 'prepared' when going into an area KNOWN to have
hazards is a very good thing. However, knowing WHERE and WHEN you may
encounter an area with hazards is another matter - 'Exocet' anti-ship
missiles don't usually sink a ship by hitting the open deck.
Very true.
Post by DBM
Begin quote from a post made by 'Tim May'...
"...Any clothing under water, which is everything except the cap, will
be
invisible. Regardless of color..."
End Quote...
Good point - which is why PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices or
'Life-Jackets') are worn on the upper body are brightly coloured.
Well, Tim is correct. IF the man goes under and stays there. But
quite routinely while I was in service, we had men hit the water for
this, that, or the other reason. Shit happens.

Aircraft carriers are big, for instance. But also very, very crowded.
Let's see. I've seen a taxiing aircraft take a turn some airdale doing
other duties did not anticipate. Guy got hit by engine blast. Went
sailing over the side. In another incident. Aircraft maintenance guy
was working on aircraft. No flying going on at the time. We were in
very hot climate. So they'd allowed relaxed safety gear. Man was
just wearing dungaree trousers and t-shirt. Props up ladder next to
aircraft, starts to climb, so happens bridge decided to make a zip or
zag at that moment, causing ladder to tetter a bit, then, with change
in direct, new, unexpectedly strong blast of wind hits.

Kind of funny actually. Man and ladder go sailing thru air. And yah
could see guy desparately trying to climb ladder fast as he could. As
if, in his panic, subconcious said if he was fast enough, he might
make it back on deck. Impossible, of course.

In another incident, cook goes out on port sponson to dump garbage.
IMO officer on bridge screwed up. When we were gonna make sharp turns
in rough seas he was supposed to announce it FIRST, Wait suitable
time, then make turn. He didn't. We heeled, large wave broke over
sponson. Cook was gone.

In these cases, BTW, we got the men back. Even in cook's case. Where
water was rough. It wasn't too rough. If you've even been the sea
going type, you'll know how hard it is to friggin see a man sized,
human head size, object bobbing in the water during really rough
conditions. Makes no difference what the heck colors he's wearing.
the more readily visble ones make an improvement, but in rough
conditions an improvement that's very minor, indeed. Good strobe and
some dye packs are about the best enhancements to make himself more
spottable. Or floating smoke marker. I know they were experimenting
with those, but don't know what became of em.

Most times, if someone spotted guy going over the side, we got him
back. Main problem was if his disappearance wasn't noted for some
time. The longer the time lapse, the worse the chances of finding
him. Open oceans are kinda big. A fact most folks never truly
appreciate until yah get to view it from water level.

LOL, I've had the pleasure. Was in the water myself. As a rescue
swimmer. Pilot had gone down. As it happened, our ship was closest.
We saw aircraft, saw him bail. We'd been alerted by radio, already
had boat manned and ready to drop in an instant. But it was a rough
day. Ship manuevered closer to what they thought to be his last seen
location, but were having heck of a time spotting him. Lookout
finally did, barely. Fleetingly. We launched. Got in close and
finally spotted him after much searching. It'd been some time. I was
anxious. Pilots are often hurt when bailing. And his aircraft had
been nailed by the North Vietnamese beforehand. The reason he had to
ditch. And he'd said he was injured. But not too sure how much.
Kinda numb, in shock, hazy minded. And way too busy trying to keep
badly damaged aircraft in the air long enough to make coast line and
bail over water. He did NOT want to bail over North Vietnam. Can't
say I blame him.

Anyway, thoughts on my mind, so soon as I saw him, I hit the water.
Whaleboat was having a hell of a time of it. Trying to maintain
direction and control. With high wind and rough seas. Whaleboats are
good. Can handle pretty rough weather for their size, that is ... not
sink. But can be devilishly hard to control in such conditions. Plus
coxswain wasn't wanting to come too close to man, unexpectedly, and
run over him. He probably had enough troubles without that.

So I did my thing. Saw guy, lost him again, saw him, lost him. Etc.
But finally got to him. He had on good flotation gear as pilots do.
I did fast check, to satisfy self that all appendages seemed to be
present and accounted for. He was concious, but weak. Turned out he
had a nice hole in him, had lost a lot of blood. (But he lived.) He
managed a grin, and said "Glad to see yah." After the quick check,
and having clipped myself to him so as not to lose him. I looked
around. Holy SHIT ! Was my first thought. Couldn't see whale boat,
couldn't see the ship. Even when we were at top of swells.

There was this wee moment of shear panic. And ocean looking MUCH
bigger than it had before. It was like it'd swallowed up everything
else on earth. Kind of a lonely feeling.

But I calmed down, could make out where sun was, and direction of wind
gave hints. Okay, Bob, boat was that way. Started making way that
way, diagonally, so as not to fight water too hard. And few minutes
lately we rode swell upwards and there was the boat, right close. How
the heck it'd been that close and I'd not seen it before was beyond
me. But I hadn't, neither had the pilot.

Yep. Durned ocean is a mighty big place. Easy to get lost. Or to
lose someone.

At later times when I was on ship's with heloes, I came to the
conclusion that heloes were the neatest, most useful inventions for
finding people in the ocean, ever invented. Still bloody hard to spot
someone. Yah could be staring right at them multiple times but not
"see" them. Even when they were wearing bright clothes.

More often than not, it wasn't the colors you'd spot first. It was
the impression of a shape or blob on the surface that didn't fit the
others, or actions of wind and wave. And out of place movement or
shape. In the midst of an incredible array of motions, and amidst
what seemed to be thousands of shades of green, or blue (depends on
where yah are), laced with white, silver flashes, sometimes browns or
grays. Depending on water color and sun, maybe blinding flashes of
yellow, orange, or red. Hey, look, a dark cloud shape, apparently
under the water over there. What the heck is that about?

Trying to concentrate on colors can be confusing. So can trying to
look for a man shape.

Mostly, for me and others I know and knew, it was just an out of place
something that didn't fit the dazzling pattern you were watching.
Briefest of brief glimpses. More often caught out of the side of your
eye, as versus looking straight at it. The reason yah kept eyes
moving and roving, as versus staring.

Same with seeing other ships in the far distance. At a distance,
color of the water and sky washed over and overwhelmed any inherent
color of the craft. First thing you'd notice would be a very brief
flash of a tiny ... difference ... on the horizon. A tiny pimple,
where there were no other pimples. At very edge of vision, it'd
appear, disappear. Trick was if it reappeared at same bearing, it was
something to be watched. Yah wouldn't know what it was, at first.
But sure wasn't the ocean or a bird.
Post by DBM
Begin selected quotes from a post made by 'Bob G'...
"...I don't know that such criteria has ever been a major one anyone
considers. What would you suggest? International orange
uniforms?..."
"...Might look a bit silly, don't yah think?..."
End Quotes...
An interesting post Mr G, definitely worth more than 2 cents!
News footage from the recent Tsunami showed an 'intact' corpse
floating 'face-downwards' on the ocean (the classic 'dead-man's float'
pose). From memory, the corpse was wearing dark-coloured jeans and
top, neither of which stood out very well against the ocean.
Uh huh. On an open ocean, not just a whole lot stands out at any
distance. As I've mentioned. Bright colored clothing is helpful ....
IF ... the searchers are relatively close. But even better is if yah
make splashes, or wave an arm. An out of place motion in an endless
sea of motions ... too many to comprehend ... BUT ... most of which
have a pattern or rythm to them can reallt catch attention where
colors would not. Because often colors are so diffused, washed out,
and overwhelmed by color of water and sky, that they're hard to make
out. But the human eye, and more imporantly, the human mind, can spot
an out of place motion with uncanny ability. You may well have no
idea what yah saw, but brain is buzzing, "Whoa ! Wait a minute,
something was different just now. Something was out of place. Didn't
fit the dominant patterns of motion."

It's like when I'm fishing on the lake. I locate very specific bottom
formations with sonar. Knowing what sort of bottom formations and
items the fish I'm after tend to prefer. Maybe I'm locating a drop off
line. Where botton takes a fairly sharp drop from 6 - 8 ft, down to
14 - 16. 14-16 ft area forming a ledge. After which bottom drops to
20 -25 foot. Ledge is a broken line heading roughly north and south,
in a zig zag. Now, I'm after a particular kind of fish. And happen
to know at certain times of the years, in certain types of weather, at
certain times of the day ... my finny friends are gonna be
concentrated on that ledge. At 10 to 14 feet. So I want to fish that
ledge. And want to troll so I'll cover more territory. So I follow
it watching sonar closely, and time to time drop a series of floating
markers. I'll use those as my guide when actually fishing. Sitting
and staring at sonar constantly ... sucks. Markers (which have lines
attached, a weight on end of line to anchor em in place) are colored
bright yellow, international orange, red, or white Which color I use
depends on water and lighting conditions. Different color water,
different sunlight conditions, etc ... make each either easier or
harder to see on any particular day.

Now, it's not as if I put these close together. Only have so many.
ledge is long. On a calm day, I might be able to ses 3 at any one
time. Other days, I can have em 200 feet apart and be able to see a
second, only after I'm up on one. Rough day? I can lose em
altogether. Only talking maybe 2 foot waves and white caps. Okay,
passed one back there a mite, can't see it any more, but can't see the
next, yet, either. Look at shore closest and far, see distant radio
tower over there, church steeple over the other direction. Do mental
triangulation. Hmmm. Should be in approximately right area.
Approximate ... being entirely too much water surface. Ahhhhh,
there's the next marker.

But I didn't spot the color first. Line and little weight on end of
it, causes float to bob in a motion slightly different than the motion
of all else I see, As my eyes focus in that direct, it's still not
color that hits me. As float moves high on wave, it's the out of
place round shape on crest of wave. Normal waves don't have ball
shape on top. THEN my eyes take in the color as I move a bit closer.

See? Try it.

Yes, the bright colors can be helpful. But aren't near as helpful on
the water as many think they are. Note, I said "on" the water. Get a
bright color raised above it, even slightly, couple feet. Yah can
spot it a long ways. Higher, it's visible even further.
Post by DBM
Here in Australia, the local 'Volunteer Fire-fighters (the ones who
battle our famous bushfires), wear bright yellow overalls made from a
heavyweight cotton drill - from what I've heard, the material uses a
fire-retardant chemical ('Proban' ?).
Knowing the job that the 'Firies' do, NO-ONE sees them as being
'clownish', but closer to 'Angelic' - especially when the Firies stop
homes and loved ones from getting 'fried'.
Council workers are now wearing long-sleeved 'high-visibility' shirts
that are mostly a bright colour like yellow or orange (fluorescent?),
but have a black section in front that extends from the hem of the
shirt up to mid-chest - presumably this is the part most likely to get
dirty, as the dark patches also apply to the collars (sweat?) and
lower arms of many designs. While some of these shirts are
'synthetic' or 'synthetic blend', I have seen 'cotton drill' versions
around.
Here's a link to just one of the various designs
http://www.bigsafety.com.au/prod931.htm
Yep. Interesting, and a lot of truth to it.

But I believe we were speaking of people in the water. And as i said,
while bright colors help, not even close to as helpful as with someone
wearing bright colors on land.

One of the reasons we outfit our Naval pilots and aircrewmen like we
do. Dress em in flourescent yellow or orange, can still be hard to
spot. The reason we give em packets of dye. To dye water around
them, make a BIGGER splotch. Give em strobe lights. Mirrors, and
flare guns. Much better aids than merely brightly colored clothing.

Besides which, if pilot or aricrewman, has to bail over hostile
territory. Or sailor on patrol boat has it sunk from under him and he
swims to hostile shore.

They might not really want to stand out like a flashlight in a dark
jungle.
Post by DBM
What about this? A uniform with bright colours on the
back/shoulders/upper chest and arms, and darker colours on the
abdomen/legs/lower arms? I'm thinking Yellow and Navy (or Yellow and
Dark Grey).
Then again, if such a uniform were adopted, Naval recruiting offices
might be overwhelmed by hordes of 'Trekkies'... :)
LOL ... actually they already are. I knew a lot of sailors who were
Trekkies.

FWIW, The nickname of the USS Enterprise is "Star Ship Enterprise".
Likewise, nickname of the USS Carl Vinson is "Battle Star". I served
aboard both. And other ships and small craft.

My best to you and yours.

Bob
Richard Johnson
2005-03-08 23:52:14 UTC
Permalink
"Halcitron" <***@aol.com> wrote in message news:***@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
Navy testing camouflage uniforms at Brunswick Naval Air Station

Associated Press

©Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Sailors in camouflage?

In a dramatic departure from tradition, about 60 sailors stationed at
the Naval Air Station in Brunswick are part of a worldwide test of new
unisex camouflage working uniforms for enlisted personnel.

"Snip of article

Currently, a sailor stationed in Brunswick has a choice of wearing
several color combinations and styles to work. A traditional work
uniform might consist of a navy blue shirt and pants worn with black
leather boots.

Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

http://news.mainetoday.com/apwire/D88M6D0G0-65.shtml

--


I wonder if they will be allowed to were them on liberty?

:/
No. Working uniforms are for on base/on ship use. Liberty must be taken
with the dress uniform of the day, or with civilian clothes. (At least that
was the way back in my day.)
Halcitron
2005-03-09 00:35:35 UTC
Permalink
Richard Johnson Mar 8, 3:52 pm show options

Working uniforms are for on base/on ship use. Liberty must be taken
with the dress uniform of the day, or with civilian clothes. (At least
that
was the way back in my day.)

++
Yes, however, times change. I spent most of my career in and out of San
Diego, CA, and the dungaree uniform was confined to ship or base, not
even for a commute to from work. But, you would see SEALs, SEA Bees and
Marines, dressed in Cammies.

The good news for the aviation branch was they were provided free sets
of OD pants and colored longsleeve turtleneck shirts for flightdeck
wear. We also had free laundry at sea.

:/
Raoul
2005-03-13 05:33:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Halcitron
Navy testing camouflage uniforms at Brunswick Naval Air Station
Since no one discussing these appears to have actually seen the new
uniforms, here are some photos.

http://www.strategypage.com/gallery/articles/military_photos_200410230.asp

http://www.strategypage.com/gallery/articles/military_photos_20053523.asp
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