FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Army News Service, May 4, 2007) -- The Army Program Executive Office Soldier will soon provide an improved Army combat shirt to Soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The flame-resistant long-sleeved shirt, which retains the moisture-wicking capability, breathability, and durability of other components in the ACU, also has many of its other features, including cargo pockets, infrared identification tabs, and hook-and-loop fasteners for the American flag.
The new shirt has a foliage green torso and sleeves in the universal camouflage pattern, and sports seamless shoulders and side panels for comfort, along with integrated anti-abrasion elbow pads, and a small Army Strong logo centered on the chest.
The high performance shirt, designed to be a base layer, can be worn directly under the Interceptor Body Armor, according to Maj. Clay Williamson, assistant product manager for clothing and individual equipment.
The ACS is made of an anti-microbial cotton and rayon blend fabric treated with a new process that penetrates to the fiber level. It provides fire-resistance for the life of the garment. "It is completely safe, non-toxic, and allows us to treat fibers that were once not treatable," Maj. Williamson said.
The shirt integrates with other flame-resistant components, such as the Army combat pants, to provide head-to-toe protection against burns. The Army combat pants are the same as the ACU pants, except they are made of a flame-resistant material, according to the major. Soldiers' hands are protected by flame-resistant gloves that have been a part of the Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative.
This ensemble further complements the Army's system-of-systems approach to force protection, which integrates layers of protection for Soldiers on the battlefield.
"I want to assure the American public, the Soldiers, and their Families that they have the best equipment when and where they need it. If there were something better, we would buy it; and we're always looking for something better," said Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, Program Executive Officer Soldier.
(Debi Dawson serves with the Program Executive Office Soldier Strategic Communications Office)