The Air Force started issuing the Operational Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern—the same uniforms worn by troops in Afghanistan—to security force members across 20th Air Force on Feb. 2. The new uniforms include seven layers of protection against extremely cold temperatures often experienced by defenders at Minot AFB, N.D; Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.; and Camp Guernsey, Wyo. Airmen who travel to the missile field received the new gear as part of the 20th Air Force Model Defender Program, which was intended to better equip airmen with the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. “They’re a camouflage uniform that blends with our operating environment to provide better concealment, functionality, and survivability advantages,” said Lt. Col. Michelle Stringer, 20th AF director of security. Security Forces members will start wearing the uniforms on Feb. 9. Distribution is slated for completion by the end of March, according to a Feb. 3 release.
Americans’ trust and confidence in the U.S. military has declined precipitously in recent months, according to the results of a survey. Experts lay the blame on increasing political polarization and the fallout from this summer’s turbulent withdrawal from Afghanistan.