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US Air Force ABU's


The Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) is the new digital tiger stripe camouflage battledress uniform for the United States Air Force. The entire Air Force is changing to the ABU and should complete transition from the BDU to the Air Force ABU by the end of the year 2011. What makes the ABU is the distinctive pattern based on the Vietnam Era tiger stripe pattern. The semi-pixelated pattern is indeed a digital pattern but seems to trump the Army ACU pattern because there are no distinctive horizontal and vertical lines in the uniform. This is one of the ciritcisms of the Army ACU and a leading factor as to why the Army is using the Multicam pattern in the Afghanistan battle theater.

The Airman Battle Uniform is similar in color to the Army Combat Uniform. The main difference is that the ABU has includes a slate blue color scheme as opposed to the ACU universal color scheme. The style of the ABU is nearly identical to the BDU that the Air Force wore until 2007. The ABU is designated to be worn with Sage green suede combat boots, although the Air Force has not fully phased this requirement in yet and allows the use of tan desert boots until the final phase in date.While the ABU does not have the characteristic slant pockets, hook and loop attachment points and sleeve pockets, it does incorporate the NIR (near-infra red) properties of the ACU.

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