Recent and Upcoming Changes for Tactical Equipment

  • Tactical equipment is expected to experience significant changes in the near future. Measurements for clothing and gear, up to the present, are based on the Army's Anthropometric Survey (ANSUR) done in 1988. The Army has seen notable changes in body size and weight over the past 22 years without significant adjustments which have lead to equipment and clothing shortages.

    Improved comport and performance of uniforms, body armor, and personal protection equipment are the goals of the most recent survey, titled ANSUR II. Measurements from 94 different body points are being taken from 13,000 soldiers. The results of ANSUR II are also expected to enhance avatars used in military gaming and the digital design of equipment and vehicles.

    A 15-month survey that began in October 2010, ANSUR II takes a random sample from various branches of the military: 5,000 active duty soldiers, 1,000 aviators, 2,000 reservists, and 5,000 guardsmen. Each individual participating has his or her chest and waist circumference and body breadth and depth measured. Three-dimensional surface scans of the body, face, head, and feet are takend from all participants.

    Prior to the start of ANSUR II, Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) and body armor saw minor changes over the past 12 months. Aside from the implementation of MultiCam in Afghanistan, ACUs no longer have crumpling collars, use less Velcro, and have trouser pockets with buttons, and the fabric used is treated with permethrine for insect resistance and is more flame resistant.

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