Well, it seems as if the new Air Force has finally caught up with us. At least via our method of dress. Yes - we have the new uniforms.When we deployed, we were sent in what is referred to as the DCU's - or Desert Combat Uniform. Just rolling out over the past, maybe 6 months, is the new Air Force 'work' uniform - replacing the BDU - or Battle Dress Uniform - is the ABU - or Airman Basic Uniform. Yes - so many acronyms.
Here's me in the DCU:
And here I am in the new ABU:
So what are the differences? Well, to start with, the DCU is a summer weight uniform - it's lighter and less wind resistant, so it's easier to wear in the heat. That being said, the inverse is also true - it does little to keep you warm in the cold. But its not meant to. The uniform cut and fit is exactly like the BDU's - same pockets, same holes for 'stuff' - like pens, notebook, etc - so the fit is very famliar. The BDU has summer and winter weight uniform materials. The ABU on the other hand, is a winter weight uniform - so heavier and not as breathable.
The ABU also has new items - the fit is more 'civilian' - so that it should be easier to know what size you need - just like jeans & jacket sizes. Kind of - but not exactly. There are way more pockets - starting with an inside pocket (in the jacket) - both sides, a pen pocket on the sleeve by the cuff (handy!!!), and lower pockets on the legs.
Overall - not a bad uniform. But I wonder why, unlike most other countries, we can't have one uniform for all the services? Army, Air Force and Marines all have different uniforms. I think the Navy just uses our old stuff. :)