Operational Camouflage Pattern
Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), originally codenamed Scorpion W2, is a military camouflage pattern adopted in the mid-2010s by the United States Army for use as the U.S. Army's main camouflage pattern on uniforms. This pattern is in the process of replacing the U.S. Army's previous Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP) as the official combat uniform pattern for most U.S. soldiers. The pattern also superseded the closely related MultiCam, a pattern previously used for troops deploying to Afghanistan.
The original "Scorpion" pattern was developed by a joint venture of the Army's Natick Labs and Crye Precision as part of the Objective Force Warrior program more than a decade prior. It was then modified into MultiCam by Crye for commercial sales. The OFP version was modified from the initial pattern by Natick Labs. In July 2014, the Army announced that OCP could be used in the field by the summer of 2015.
In early April 2015, Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno revealed that OCP uniforms were beginning to be issued to deployed soldiers going to Afghanistan, Iraq, Europe, and the Horn of Africa. The OCP ACU became available for soldiers to purchase starting July 1, 2015.
Background and selection process
In the early 2010s, the United States Army came to the conclusion that UCP did not adequately meet all of the concealment needs for Afghanistan’s multiple regions.
In 2010, the United States Army Camouflage Improvement Effort considered twenty-two entrants. The Army eliminated the patterns down to five finalists who exceeded the baseline patterns and Scorpion W2 was among them in the Army's in-house submission (the Army later withdrew their submission leaving the four commercial vendors). The finalists in the Army's Phase IV camouflage testing were: Crye Precision; ADS Inc. and Hyperstealth Inc.; Brookwood Companies Inc.; and Kryptek Inc.
The 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDA or NDAA), prevents any service from adopting a new camouflage pattern not already in inventory before the NDA, unless they get all other services to adopt the same pattern. As a result, the Army had to consider existing camouflage patterns within the United States Department of Defense.
Initially, the Army's first pattern choice was the MultiCam pattern developed by Crye Precision, but allegedly due to "printing fees", procurement discussions broke down. Crye Precision developed the original Scorpion pattern under a government contract in 2002; the pattern was modified by the United States Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in 2009 and named the Scorpion W2 pattern. The Army owns the licensing rights for Scorpion W2, which lowers the overall cost, and allows the Army the option to restrict the pattern to service members only.
The U.S. Air Force will equip airmen with OCP uniforms deploying on missions attached to Army units. However, the OCP will not replace the "tiger-stripe" patterned Airman Battle Uniform, which will remain in service for garrison use. This decision is a departure from the previous Air Force decision to adopt its own digital pattern after the Army unveiled the pixelated UCP in 2004.
The Army Combat Uniform patterned in OCP first became available to U.S. Army soldiers on 1 July 2015 at 20 locations in the contiguous United States and in South Korea, with first-day sales exceeding $1.4 million. More installations began sales later in 2015, although soldiers deploying on real-world missions will receive uniforms and equipment printed in OCP. The T-shirt and belt in the new Coyote 498 color are available, though soldiers are allowed to continue to wear their current T-shirt, belt, and boots in Tan 499 until October 2019, when the new pattern becomes mandatory. Body armor, packs, and pouches in previous UCP and MultiCam patterns will be worn until they can be altered with OCP.
The name Operational Camouflage Pattern is meant to emphasize its use beyond Afghanistan to all combatant commands, unlike the MultiCam pattern on which it is based. A "family" of uniform patterns based on the OCP will also be made, including a dark jungle-woodland variant and a lighter pattern for desert environments. They may consider using or modifying their woodland and desert version of the Scorpion W2 pattern that was created for the 2009 Natick camouflage testing.
- Australian Multicam Camouflage Uniform, a similar camouflage pattern issued to the Australian Defence Force from 2014 onwards
- List of military clothing camouflage patterns.
- MARPAT—digital camouflage used by the United States Marine Corps
- Multi-Terrain Pattern, a similar camouflage pattern issued to the British Army from 2010 onwards.
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