Among the thousands of airmen serving in Iraq, SrA. James Debiase is unique in at least one regard: He’s the only one currently field-testing the Air Force’s modified physical training uniform. “It’s not every day you get the chance to participate in something that can make a difference and a change throughout the entire Air Force,” said Debiase, who is the emergency manager with the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Deployed from Dyess AFB, Tex., Debiase volunteered for the clothing mission. He began wearing the new outfit earlier this month and will provide his feedback at the end of the month, along with other wear-testers to help the Air Force leadership in its decision whether to adopt the modified uniform. So far, he’s impressed with the new workout clothing. Among its advantages, Debiase says the new uniform’s pants and coat “don’t make the, ‘swish, swish, swish’ sound,” when he walks or runs in them. Besides Debiase, nearly 200 airmen assigned stateside to the Pentagon, MacDill AFB, Fla., and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, also donned the new PT uniform recently for the wear test. (Balad report by SSgt. John Gordinier)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.