OCP Rollout Coming to Kingsley Field

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing
The next major uniform transition is rapidly approaching for 173rd Fighter Wing Airmen as initial funding for the Operational Camouflage Pattern is set to begin rolling out for general wear at the base.

Master Sgt. Tony Clark, a logistics and readiness squadron supply technician, explains how the process for issuing the uniforms will unfold.

“We have staged all the orders of everyone who has sized-up in our system,” he said. “Beginning in March we should start seeing these orders arrive at the base.”

When uniforms arrive, Clark says the supply team will email shop supervisors to pick up their Airmen’s uniforms.

“We can’t email every person and wait for them to come get their items because we don’t have enough room to store this stuff before the next order arrives,” adds Clark.

Limited space is a key concern with this process. Other bases have ordered all the uniforms for their members in a single shipment, and in so doing received far more clothing than they could realistically store in base facilities.

“To avoid this, the uniforms are being ordered one pallet at a time, at the rate of one per week,” says Clark.

There are a number of variables that will play into what each person receives and when they receive it. The supply system determines what orders are filled in what order based on stock on hand at the time and other factors, which Clark mentions is outside the control of local supply troops.

For those members whose separation date is prior to June 1, 2021 supply regulations do not allow for new uniform issue and they will wear the ABU until they separate or retire.

It is also important to remind those Airmen who have not gone to clothing issue to be appropriately sized he asks them to do so as soon they are able.

Clark says there are a number of challenges in the uniform conversion and the main one is limited funds. He will order the new uniforms for as long as current funds are available and then he will pause until more funds are appropriated.

Another factor the Airmen need to be aware of is the distinction between types of uniform items.

“There are uniforms and then there is organizational gear,” said Clark. “Organizational gear is cold weather gear, safety-toe boots, fleeces, jackets, stuff you would not acquire in basic training—that is all funded by your organization.”

Currently items like this are not approved for purchase, and it will likely be summer before he can order these items through the supply system, provided an organization can fund their purchase.

Airmen who are preparing for deployment are an exception to that Clark says.

“If you are slated for a deployment this doesn’t apply to you because it’s a totally different system and you will get whatever gear is required for your deployment.”

For those who currently have OCPs, there is a significant change arriving in June--the sand-colored t-shirts and tan boots will no longer be authorized. Likewise any U.S. Flag patches must be spice brown.

Finally he asks for patience with the with the procurement process.

Ultimately, the mandatory wear date for OCPs is April 1, 2021, and until then the ABU is still authorized for wear.

For a comprehensive overview of the uniform roll-out please visit: www.afpc.af.mil/Career-Management/Dress-and-Appearance/.