Editor’s Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.
Pilots not wearing flight suits while flying? Don't worry. The Air Force knows some units may be doing just that.
Airmen flying cargo airlift or helicopters -- anything aside from a fighter and without an ejection seat -- have been seen wearing the Army Aircrew Combat Uniform, known as the A2CU, more often, Capt. Kathleen Atanasoff recently told Military.com
The uniform looks very much like the Air Force's Operational Camouflage Pattern, or OCP. In 2014, to coincide with the Army, the service announced that deployed airmen would wear the combat OCP camouflage pattern.
"The two-piece [A2CU] uniform has OCP-patterned fabric and the same fire-retardant properties as the flight suit, making it certified for wear by pilots flying aircraft without ejection seats," Atanasoff said in an email.
"Since the [uniform] pattern matches the OCP, it is often the uniform for downrange locations where many aircrews are operating," she said.
But the A2CU has also been in use stateside, Air Force officials said.
There's no official effort to adopt a new uniform. But commanders across the force are giving some airmen the option to wear the A2CU as a duty uniform during training or while deployed.
"Some AMC pilots have opted to wear where authorized," Karns told Military.com. "It is authorized for mobility aircrews flying in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Those outside [CentCom] but performing combat and combat support operations into U.S. Central Command are authorized use of the uniform" as well.
Additionally, loadmasters with the modular aerial firefighting systems (MAFFS)-equipped C-130 Hercules, who have had a busy firefighting season in states such as Montana, Oregon and Washington, can wear it during specific missions, he said.
The move was approved in February as part of Air Force Instruction 36-2903, "Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel," Karns said.
Atanasoff said the service routinely considers uniform updates, to include airmen operating in high temperature environments.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor July 18, 2016, for his actions while serving as a Flight Commander assigned to the 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. Then-Maj. Kettles distinguished himself in combat operations near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam, on May 15, 1967. (U.S. Army/Spc. Tammy Nooner)
by Martin Slagter, The Ann Arbor News, Mich.
YPSILANTI, MI - When a brigade of U.S. troops was ambushed by the North Vietnamese Army in the Song Tra Cau riverbed on the morning of May 15, 1967, Lt. Charles Kettles volunteered to lead the rescue, and he refused, again and again, to back down when faced with a barrage of gunfire.
His aircraft badly damaged, left spilling fuel, and his gunner was severely injured during the treacherous operation.
But he helicoptered in and out of the battlefield four times, saving the lives of 44 soldiers in a death-defying emergency operation that would become a legendary tale of bravery in the Vietnam War.
The M160 Robotic Mine Flail at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Photo: Maj. Dan Marchik/U.S. Army
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.
A Chinese tank rolls at the training ground "Tsugol", about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 (Associated Press/Sergei Grits)
China is developing a lot of new and advanced weaponry, but a recent state media report suggests the Chinese military may not be entirely sure what to do with these new combat systems.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."