The Air Force plans to start a wear test of four new airman battle uniform boot prototypes later this month at Luke AFB, Ariz. Service officials seek a new boot that is low-maintenance and resistant to staining from harsh chemicals, oils, and fuels. “The current boot turns black when exposed to chemicals, such as those associated with flightline operations,” said 1st Lt. Ashley Hawkes, ABU program manager at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Hawkes added that the winning boot design is expected to be one “that upholds a professional military image no matter the environment.” Low maintenance, in this case, means being able to wipe the boot with a damp cloth to clean it. Two hundred airmen will participate in the test, which will last 45 days. Their feedback will help shape the way forward in acquiring the new boot. (Wright-Patterson report by Brad Jessmer)
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.