Anyone who read our previous entry on this subject will have noticed that there was some confusion – on my part – about whether the official Type II and Type III camouflage schemes were oriented differently from the AOR1 and AOR2 prototypes.  Namely, that, instead of retaining the horizontal pattern orientation of CADPAT, MARPAT, NAVPAT and UCP, the Navy had rotated the patterns to be vertically oriented.Well, the reality is that the Type II (desert) scheme – for use by NSW only – retains the horizontal orientation of MARPAT; whilst the Type III (woodland) scheme – for use by any Navy personnel – differs from MARPAT in being rotated to a vertical orientation.Blimey.And just to beat this topic into final submission, here are some photos from the US Navy’s official NWU-fielding website that prove it.  Thanks to “BlubberLover” for bringing this to our attention.And here’s the official explanation:

  • NWU Type II and Type III should not be confused with NWU Type I (Blue/Gray). NWU Type I is a service utility uniform for all Sailors as part of their seabag.  The NWU Type II/III are tactical uniforms for our expeditionary Sailors.
  • The NWU family of uniforms is intended to replace multiple and less capable legacy uniforms, reduce the Navy’s total ownership costs, modernize the warfighter, and complete the vision of Task Force Uniform. As such, two more uniforms in the NWU series have been developed for use in the tactical expeditionary mission of today’s Navy, tailored for desert and woodland environments.
  • NWU Type II, a desert digital camouflage uniform of four colors, will be worn by Special Warfare Operators and Sailors who support them.
  • NWU Type III, a woodland digital camouflage uniform, also with four colors, will be the standard camouflage uniform worn in non-desert environments, including most stateside environments requiring a camouflage uniform.
  • NWU Type II and Type III are unisex.
  • NWU Type II and III were developed by Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) to increase the probability of mission success and survivability in combat operations.
  • NWU Type II and Type III are organizational clothing and will be issued by authorized commands or units to Sailors. The uniforms will remain the property of the issuing command.  [emphasis added – guess they won’t be showing up in surplus stores then…]
  • NWU Type II and Type III began conformance testing July 26, 2010, to validate design, form, fit and function, to be followed by a phased fleet distribution beginning in 2011. Deploying combat and direct combat support commands and units will receive priority in the distribution process.
  • The desert camouflage uniform is not going away. Sailors not authorized to wear the NWU Type II will continue to wear the current tricolor desert camouflage utility uniform in desert environments when issued by authorized command.
  • The NWU Type III will replace the existing tri-colored woodland camouflage utility uniform, will be the standard camouflage uniform worn in CONUS, and can be worn while deployed as prescribed by combatant commanders. Occasion for wear of the NWU Type III will be the same as the current woodland camouflage utility uniform per NAVADMIN 188/09. Commands and Sailors currently authorized to wear the woodland Camouflage Utility Uniform (CUU) will continue to wear the CUU as their primary daily uniform until their transition to the new NWU Type III.

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