Philippine Army New Camouflage Uniform: Mystery Camo No More

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms on September 2, 2016 by stukaph

Greetings to all you camouflage freaks!

Yes, I had been dormant for quite some time as I was traveling, busy making a living and during breaks, I preferred spending them outdoors and visiting friends than sitting down writing and updating this blog. Anyhow, I’m back now with many materials I think worth publishing during all these travels including those militaria events that I was invited to. Rest assured, I will be sharing them here as well in the coming weeks. But first, let me share to you the new Philippine Army new camouflage uniform.

New PH Army camouflage uniform

Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw quite a number of FB posts on people intrigue by this camouflage pattern. You may noticed that with the newly elected Philippine President making rounds visiting all Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) military camps, some of the top PH Army officers are seen donning their new camouflage uniforms.

This is one of the pictures of the Philippine President with the AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya, PA.

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Photo grabbed from the news media (due credit to the photographer).

This is not the first time I saw this camouflage. Nevertheless, I was really intrigue the first time I did, as I know this is no ordinary camouflage pattern. I came out empty handed in my initial research until the recent press released by Colonel Benjamin Hao, the AFP spokesman that came out in ABS CBN News on 23rd August 2016.

Changing the Uniform

According to Colonel Hao, one of the biggest project of the current administration is the strengthening of the Philippine Military and targeted to be of world class level in 2014. One of the first steps is taking the basic —-changing the uniform. The new design is lighter and more adaptive to the Philippine terrain.

In the same ABS-CBN news (dated 23rd August 2016), a couple of photos were posted for public consumption at last.

Photo source: ABS-CBN News (Danielle Rabolos) released on 23rd August 2016.

Photo source: ABS-CBN News (Danielle Rabolos) released on 23rd August 2016.

Photo source: ABS-CBN News (Danielle Rabolos) released on 23rd August 2016.

Initial Assessment of the Camouflage Pattern

As soon as I saw the photos of Col. Hao, only a certain type of camouflage pattern immediately came to my mind, the geometric pattern signature is apparently that of the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) Spec4ece Forest pattern issued to ANA soldiers in 2010. If one may wonder though why the ANA selected the forest color scheme in an Arid environment? There is a very good reason for that as most of their missions with the coalition forces are at night. The color combined with the Spec4ce pattern makes it virtually invisible at night. During field testing, it showed a surprising acquisition distance of less than 5 meters at night far superior to other camouflage colors in different terrains. The ANA uniform also uses the most advance IR reduction coatings and therefore, provide an advantage over any night vision equipment (by now, you may already have an idea that the new Philippine Army camouflage is no ordinary camouflage pattern. Still wondering? Hold on…not yet.

The initial assessment gave me some thoughts, yet confident that I made the right one and to confirm, I decided to contact the Canadian company and its camouflage creator with the knowledge that the company was involved in the Philippine Air Force camouflage uniform program but was put on hold.

Leaders in Camouflage, Concealment and Deception

Yes, the Canadian company that I contacted is the leader on camouflage and concealment. Considered the world’s digital camouflage expert by the U.S. Government. During our discussion, the company CEO and camouflage creator confirmed that the camouflage pattern is theirs and indeed developed a color scheme from this pattern for the Philippine Army based on Philippine terrain for field trial earlier this year. However, he mentioned that there are other camouflage being considered and therefore, if I do write an article about it, it has to be pointed out that their camouflage pattern is not officially selected yet as a disclaimer.

Mystery Camouflage no more, are you ready?

It’s Camopat™

YES, and I was correct all along the moment I saw the geometric pattern signature and the thoughts of the ANA camouflage pattern, I made my research on HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. and there I saw the exact pattern called Camopat™ “Staying One Step Ahead™”.

Mr. Guy Cramer, CEO of HyperStealth confirmed that the photos that were released in the media were indeed their Camopat. Whereby, the Philippine coloration of this pattern was developed for the Philippine Army and permission was granted to print and assemble for field trials. Usually in small quantity to verify the previous computer simulations testing of effectiveness and R&D is correct. That’s why the trial uniforms were only fielded to top Philippine Army officers and selected units. See the Philippine coloration of the Camopat in the photo below:

Photo grabbed from AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya facebook page

Photo grabbed from AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya facebook page

If you compare the above photo and that of Colonel Benjamin Hao, it may seem the coloration is different but I believe this was only caused either by the camera white balance or lighting sources. As far as Mr. Guy Cramer is concern, there was only one run for the trial uniforms.

Camopat™, The Official PH Army Battle Dress Uniform

It’s official as per latest press released that the Camopat™, will be adopted by the Philippine Army. The selected digital camouflage pattern is professional and scientifically developed by the world’s renowned modern camouflage expert.

It was created by Mr, Guy Cramer, President/CEO of HyperStealth based on mathematical fractals (feedback loops) taking camouflage into an area of science that had been proposed by the experts but none were able to design (source: Hyperstealth). He is now considered one of the top camouflage designers in the world, developing hundreds of patterns every few months.

It was an excellent decision by the PH Government to solicit the expertise of Mr, Guy Cramer of Hyperstealth Biotechnolocy Corp. for the Philippine Military to be at par with other world’s leading military forces as far as camouflage uniform is concern. To the AFP uniform board, CONGRATULATION for the EXCELLENT CHOICE!

Camopat™, on Mobile Cellular Towers in the US

In May 2007 this pattern was rescaled and resized to conceal Cellular towers (See: Invisible Towers). Invisible Towers has acquired an exclusive license from HyperStealth to wrap cellular towers within the United States with HyperStealth Camouflage patterns using the HyperStealth “concealment™” 3M Printed Adhesive Vinyl. In 2007 Invisible Towers won an industry wide award for Innovation after wrapping two towers in 2006 with HyperStealth Consealment Camouflage to meet regulatory and/or community approval. (Source: Hyperstealth)

Why camouflaging the Mobile Cellular Tower? The main reason is the increasing issue of mobile cellular tower and antenna sitting impacting the environmental landscape. In a survey by the US National Institute of Science, Law & Public indicates Cell Towers and Antennas negatively impact public interest in real estate properties. 94% of respondents said a nearby cell tower or group of antennas would negatively impact interest in a property or the price they would be willing to pay for it. Therefore, the telecoms service providers continue to work with the municipalities over cell tower and antenna sitting issues like a positive step in keeping urban and rural environments looking as attractive possible. So it’s time to get imaginative —THINK CAMOUFLAGE, think about the landscape and think about hiding those antennas and towers wherever you can.

Who is Mr, Guy Cramer, President/CEO of HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp.? 

Mr, Guy Cramer is not just your regular camo guy.

“Guy Cramer is the President/CEO of HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp, President of United Dynamics Corp., inventor of the Passive Negative Ion Generator, and the developer of the SuperForce.com algorithm. Guy has worked with and/or corresponded on projects with, the Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League team, NASA JPL, NASA Headquarters, Columbia Accident Investigation Board, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and Senator John Warner’s office during his time as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

In the 1997 Cramer spearheaded a group to disprove the Bible Codes with a statistical formula developed by Cramer. Many of the leading mathematicians were convinced these codes were mathematically significant until Cramer’s group proved that they were common, random codes.

In 1997 one of Cramer’s papers was reviewed by world-renowned Professor Stephen Hawking.”

Read about him and his many scientific accomplishments including his significant findings on the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident. Read more about his background HERE.

PTV 4 Press Release, 03rd September 2016

Video Clip

“Now it’s lighter and made from the light material especially made for our soldiers in training and deployed in the field. In fact, it also has an anti-bacteria formula to protect our soldiers from infection and disease.”

Enjoy!

Action-Drama Series on Philippine TV debut for the PH SEALs

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on April 4, 2013 by stukaph

My first post for 2013 after being dormant for about 2 years (?) from blogging.

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Lead actor Richard Guiterrez aboard one of the Philippine Navy’s Jacinto class attack ship, BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35).

Philippine GMA Channel 7 will start airing a TV drama series “Love and Lies” on April 8, 2013. Local actors, Richard Guiterrez, Sid Lucero and Paolo Contis will all play roles of Philippine Navy SEALs. On March 13, 2013, Richard and Paolo along with film Director Mark Reyes visited the Philippine Navy Headquarters and paid a courtesy call on the Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Jose Luis M. Alano. Aside from the courtesy call, the actors also signed up as Philippine Navy Reservists.

Vice Admiral Alano assured the TV network of the Navy’s full support and assistance for the project. “We look forward to this project in which we can show and highlight what the Philippine Navy is all about”, Vice Admiral Alano said. He likewise briefed Richard and Paolo about the rigid training and life of a Navy SEAL.

Range1

Actors Richard Guiterrez, Sid Lucero and Paolo Contis during one of the tactical trainings.

For the 1st time, the Philippine Navy especially its elite unit, the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) will be highlighted and give full support to this kind of project e.g. equipment, vehicles, etc. at the film production’s disposal. As a matter of fact, the actors are also provided with appropriate trainings to ensure the authenticity of the character of the Navy SEAL that these boys will be portraying including shooting adeptness of the SEALs’ choice of assault rifle.

There will also be special appearances and participation of the real PH SEAL operators in this action fill, fast pace drama series. As such, lead star Richard Guiterrez promised to showcase how good these silent professionals are, how resilient they are, how discipline they are.

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Lead actor Richard Guiterrez with the Commanding Officer of the SEAL sniper
Team named 9/11 and LTJG Silvestre Rana shown here with swimmer’s radio headset.

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The other actors with PH SEALs aboard the Philippine Navy attack ship during the weekly taping.

I am privilege to have been provided great materials from the SEAL themselves during this taping through a common friend, who already left the Navy service and now work as an independent maritime security escort in international cargo ships. The material inspired me to update my blog after being dormant mainly due to work and making a living. Nevertheless, with such great sources that I hopefully continue to b egetting or have access to, I will always find time to update this blog.

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos until the series will be aired that surely will captivate the fans both of the casts and followers of one of the elite units of the Philippine Military. I’m sure the actors themselves will also now become avid fans of the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG). I bet the actors will also keep their respective distinct tigerstripes combat uniforms provided for by the SEAL as a remembrance of the honor to be working and portraying the character of a PH SEAL.

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One of the cast, Ms. Bella Padilla in the company of these fine gentlemen and warriors.

Philippine Army 1st Special Forces Regiment (SFR-A) Tigerstripes Camouflage Uniform

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms on February 5, 2011 by stukaph

Green Dominant Tigerstripes Camo Uniform of Philippine Army SF

Green-dominant Tigerstripes camouflage uniform of the Philippine Army 1st Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A). An elite unit established in the 1960 by Fidel “Eddie” V. Ramos, its 1st Commanding officer who later became the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 – 1998. Similar to the United States “Green Berets”, among their many specializations, this Special Forces trains local citizens as militiamen in their area of operations and mobilizes them to defend themselves.

This SFR-A tigerstripes uniform is in lightweight 100% cotton material and fully badged. On its left arm sleeve are subdued “Special Forces”, “Ranger” and “Airborne” tabs and below them is the SFR-A cloth badge. On the right arm sleeve (unseen) is also a subdued Philippine Army Special Operations Command (PA SOCOM) Badge.  PA SOCOM is a single command responsible for maintaining various Special Forces units operating under the Army’s wing.

On this TS uniform upper right chest pockets is their primary SFR Qualification Pocket Badge (subdued) and on the left pocket, Scout Ranger Qualification Pocket Badge (subdued). It means that the operator also is a qualified Scout Ranger. Hence, indeed earned the right to wear a “Ranger” tab. Of course, an NCO Master Sergeant and an Infantry Occupational Specialty collar insignias in addition to the normal Philippine Army Branch Cloth Tab and Name Cloth. Just right above the name cloth is a qualified Philippine Basic Parachutist Jump Badge.  These parachute wings are awarded to those personnel who have successfully completed the rigorous parachutist qualification course as taught by the Philippine Special Forces Parachute Jump Instructors.

Philippine Army Special Operations Command Badge

Philippine Army 1st Special Forces Regiment-Airborne (SFR-A) Badge

Philippine Army Special Forces Sniper

This SFR-A tigerstripes camouflage uniform is also known as SOCOM Tiger and also, once adopted by Philippine Navy Special Warfare Group (SWAG) before they chose its  distinct Tigerstripes which was supplied by Sewingdale, Inc.. SWAG being the old name of the now Naval Special Warfare Group (NAVSOG). Therefore, I was not surprised at all on what I found along the brim of this SFR-A TS uniform, a continuous print markings that says: “PN SWAG Uniform”. Obviously, the supplier had it marked so, to indicate the correct Tigerstripes color and pattern that was also appropriate for the PN Naval Special Warfare requirement at that time or at least, supply fabric rolls to also cater to PN NSWG.

In reference to the same SFR-A Tigerstripes variety of the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group. See photos below:

Philippine Navy SEAL Tigerstripes Uniform Brim Markings

Philippine SEAL donning this exact Tigerstripes Battle Dress Attire (BDA) of the Philippine Army SFR-A.

RP SEAL in Green Dominant Tigerstripes Camo Uniform

US NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE, NWU Type III – AOR 2 Camouflage Uniform on assignment in Philippines

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms, Military Photos on January 22, 2011 by stukaph

US SEAL member in Joint/Combined MFF exercise in Philippines.

This photo was taken during the 1st day of the Military Free Fall (MFF) exercise in Air Force City, formerly Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Philippines mainly with the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. A US NAVY SEAL donning their new Naval Working Uniform (NWU) Type III camouflage uniform called Area of Responsibility (AOR) 2. As the US Navy decided to change the uniform of its sailors and adopted the NWU Type I blue digital uniform, Naval Special Warfare Group took the opportunity to also come up with their own version to upgrade their current battle dress uniforms specifically for their special operations units.

Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly the SEAL Team 6 created an Integrated Process Team (IPT) to develop this new uniform. IPT consisted of combat-experienced NSW operators who had the knowledge of the required current wartime areas of operation and what work best in the filed. The team progressed and currently testing two (2), four color digital camouflage patterns. They are the NSW Type II, Area of Responsibility 1 (AOR 1) which is designed mainly for Arid, Desert and this one, NSW Type III, Area of Responsibility 2 (AOR 2) for jungle, tropical/woodland or temperate region such as the Philippines where these NSW operators rotate for joint-exercise, training and/or their various roles as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines (OEF-P).

There are several main manufacturers contracted by NSW to make this new uniforms and combat gear of the same camouflage patterns, e.g. London Bridge Trading (LBT), Blackhawk Industries (BHI),  Arc’teryx, Eagle Industries (EI), Crye Precision, etc..Hence, they came up with specific names for these types of camouflage, like LBT called it AOR 1 (Desert/Arid), AOR 2  (Tropical) and Crye Precision’s DIGI 1 (Tropical) and DIGI 2 (Desert/Arid). So far, these are the two names for these camouflage patterns and probably, other manufacturers may call it differently, making it more confusing.

LBT being co-located in Virginia, USA with their established long time relationship with the East Coast NSW for their tactical combat gear, where DEVGRU are based may have been first contacted to development this new camouflage pattern. Thus, the standard naming convention for this type of pattern. Whereas, for Crye Precision who developed the famous MULTICAM all terrain camouflage pattern that was also contracted to supply these new NSW Type III camo pattern named it Digi1, and the NSW Type II Digi2 for Arid/desert terrains.

By now, you may have pretty much of the idea why we usually find them described as AOR1/Digi2 (Desert) and AOR2/Digi1 (Jungle). But IPT not only came up with this new camouflage pattern but also, efficient features and configuration to address the deficiencies of the current battle dress uniforms.

 

US SEAL Team and US Army Special Forces in Philippines

2nd day: A prayer to honor the Philippine Army trooper of the Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) who was killed in a parachute accident a day before this was taken. The trooper was a participant of this Military Free Fall Joint/Combined Exercise Training (JCET) under the RP-US Vector Balance Piston 10-2.

Also, in this exercise was participated by US Army Special Forces, some of them already had been issued their all terrain 7-color Multi-Environment Camouflage (MultiCam) uniform. The Multicam was already announced after the trial period to supersede the current US Army wide issued Universal Camouflage Pattern, seen in the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

As for this new NSW AOR camouflage pattern and the details of the configuration, like how many pockets and where to efficiently place them, the uniform that the NSW forces are wearing here are the final design that was decided and therefore, conformance testing is ongoing that started early 2010. One that I think stands out among the many features of these uniforms are the detachable hard shell knee pad that you can take off when not in combat. You can clearly see from the photo above the provisions for it.

 

US SEAL in AOR-2 and US Army SF in Multicam uniforms

The photos here were all taken in June 2010 and according to the NSW Team leader in this MFF event, these had been recently issued to them about less than 5~6 months ago. And according to NSW source, the goal is to issue personnel three uniforms, 2 eight-point covers and a Gortex Jacket with fleece liner, since they are still in development. Accordingly, it is not known when they will settle with the final configuration of these new types II and III uniforms but NSW is rigorously working with the Navy to pursue the full issue of these uniforms before the current timeline in year 2012.

Having said all these and to put an end of this writing, what was interested during this event and my prior knowledge of these new uniforms, I cannot help but to speculate the following:

  1. The patch that you can see in the first photo when one look at it closer during this event seems to have a small number “6” on it!  Does it mean that this NSW Team was members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly of SEAL Team Six? Although, they were said to be NSW SEAL Team One, I would like to think so!
  2. IPT being created by NSW DEVGRU to develop these new uniforms, it is only but right to have their operators and personnel first to test it.
  3. If indeed they were DEVGRU and having known to work closely with US Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta  (1st SFOD-D) aka Combat Application Group (CAG) or the most hype Delta Force., the United States’ primary counter-terrorism unit, then maybe, the US SF here in MultiCam were also indeed members of Delta.

Well, of course, if not then, just treat this as putting some exaggeration in this writing to evoke strong feelings or to create strong impressions of the participants of this exercise.

More photos:

 

US SEAL on their way to board a US C130 aircraft for their Military Free Fall in Air Force City

Philippine Army SFR-A Officer in full para gear for the joint RP-US MFF.

Philippine Army Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) officer in his coverall Tigerstripes camouflage who participated in this Joint Military Free Fall exercise.  I am personally a big fan of tigerstripes camouflage uniforms ever since it was developed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) during the Vietnam War.

RP-US Special Forces boarding a US C130 aircraft for their MFF exercise.

Enjoy!

Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaisance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR)

Posted in Military Photos on January 17, 2011 by stukaph

Philippine Marine Force Recon

A member of the Philippine Marine Force Reconnaissance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR) attached to a Marine Brigade to serve as quick maneuvering force.

 

 

 

MFR specializes in Sea, Air and Land operations, like its counterpart in the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) of the Philippine Navy, ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support to the overall naval operations. What makes it different from the Special Warfare Group is that it utilizes strategies and tactics mastered by the Philippine Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Regiment and Special Forces units. Source: Wikipedia

In this photo was MFR Staff Sergeant Eliseo D. Salo (RIP) in his Philippine Marine Camouflage Uniform taken in-theater during the final phase (Test Mission) deployment of Marine Scout Sniper School Class 11 operations in support of Philippine Military’s Oplan Ultimatum in the Island of Jolo, Philippines.

SSGT Salo was a seasoned and veteran of many combat tours in Southern Philippines and the team leader of the Marine Scout Sniper Course Class NR 11 conducted from 05th December 2009 to 25th February 2010.

Graduation photo of Class NR 11 less their Sniper class’ team leader, SSGT Eliseo D. Salo. He was killed in action, four (4) days short of the graduation rites. At the time of him being fatally shot in the chest, six (6) known personalities of the adversary were already dead said to be all head-shots, including a High Value Target (HVT) leader responsible for the early January 2010 abduction of three (3) members of the International Committee of the Red Cross ( Swiss, Italian and Filipino nationals) and also, among those that seized 21 people, including Asians, European Tourists in April 2000 from Sipadan Diving Resort in Sandakan, Sabah.

Aside from the momentary introduction of the Philippine Marine Force Recon Bn and the highlights on SSGT Salo in this article, I am also covering here the superseded Philippine Marine camouflage pattern in brief:

This specific Philippine Marine camouflage pattern was introduced in year 2000 and issued on May of the same year. Hence, was fondly called “Marine 2000” by militaria enthusiasts and collectors, a four-color design of black, brown and green on light khaki backdrop. This pattern is now gradually being replaced by the current Philippine Marine digital camouflage pattern. You may check the graduation photo above whereby the four Marine officers sitting on a bench were in their new Philippine Marine Corps’ digital uniforms.

And by the way, the boonie hat that is on the top photo are fondly called “Lousy Hat”, a Philippine Military jargon, being obviously a nifty and floppy hat brim. Thus, a “lousy” nature of its style but effective in combat concealment to cut out the silhouette of a human head from a distance in a jungle environment. So whenever, you have the opportunity to visit Philippine military camps or military shops in the vicinity or for foreign military who are in, on a joint military exercises, it’s always good to understand the local slang when one dig to trade a boonie hat with their local counterparts.

US Marine Corps' Marine Force Recon with Philippine MFR Boonie hat

A USMC Force Recon in their usual jungle MARPAT digital camouflage uniform donning a Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Recon “lousy” hat in one of their joint-exercises in the Philippines with their local counterparts. I believe this photo was taken in the Marine base beach resort in Ternate, Cavite. Yes, a beach resort but not so open to the public. I think this is Katungkulan beach named after Camp Katungkulan, a Philippine Marine Corps’ training center and forest area reservation. A prior arrangement is needed to enjoy the beach obviously for security reason.

Another photo reference below of the Philippine Marines Force Recon “Lousy Hat” taken during one of their Airborne classes.

Philippine Marines Force Recon "Lousy" hat

2010 in review

Posted in News and Announcement on January 11, 2011 by stukaph

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2010. That’s about 22 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 12 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 1st with 98 views. The most popular post that day was Scud Hunters.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were silentpro.wordpress.com, filairsoft.com, sealteamthree.net, en.wordpress.com, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for scout ranger, delta force operator, philippine navy seals, delta force, and navsog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Scud Hunters August 2008
2 comments

2

Silent Warriors August 2008
2 comments

3

Philippine NAVSOG Tigerstripes Uniform April 2010
5 comments

4

Operation Kentucky Jumper September 2008
4 comments

5

Kinship: Sailor and FDNY April 2009
6 comments

NAVSOG Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on January 10, 2011 by stukaph

PH SEAL Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION A PH SEAL 3-day assault pack in tigerstripes camouflage pattern where the color variation is distinct to the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group. The pack was designed based from the classic Lila Outdoor backpack, a local outdoor gear manufacturer which eventually ventured into supplying the local military Special Operation Group for their combat gear needs and thus, all of their military products were classified into what is now known as GEAR MAX Series. Obviously, I would like to think that this is in accord with the initiative to provide our local armed forces especially its various Special Operations, access to commercial off the shelves (COTS) solution for a sturdy and functional military combat gear.

MATERIALS The tigerstripes version of this pack was limited due to the scarcity of this specific tigerstripe material supplies and availability, which I believe is made of Condra or Kondra Nylon. Hence, this specific camouflage variety is no longer available. Last time, I got an opportunity to visit them with a good friend back in 2nd quarter of 2010, there were only last four pieces left and already on reserved. Black color in regular supply though and also commonly used by PH SEAL Operators if one really dig this 3-day pack.

WORKMANSHIP & QUALITY The pack is well built using industry standard tools and acceptable materials with very good workmanship quality. As a matter of fact, all Gear Max Series comes with a lifetime warranty. Nonetheless, having said earlier that the TS fabric material is made of Kondra Nylon, I am not sure though if these TS variety were constructed using 500 or 750 Denier but for sure not the heavier coated 1000 denier to make it more affordable.

VARIATION DETAILS To note, in the photo above is the same batch of their 3-Day version prototypes with a subdued low profile NAVSOG insignia beautifully embroidered on the upper front, just above the black MOLLE webbings (rightmost closed-up photo) with no GearMax markings anywhere in the pack at all. However, in the subsequent productions, upon instructions from NAVSOG, the subdued embroidered NAVSOG “Wing” or insignia was taken off. Consequently, even as this had been subdued in the prototypes or in the test phase, this may well still call unnecessarily attention and somehow take away the unassuming nature of these fine operators… But noticed on my other TS pack that although they are exactly the same less the wing, a GearMax label is now on the shoulder strap and replacing where the embroidered wings was once positioned, is now a black 2” x 3” fabric hook-and-loop fastening tape (similar to VELCRO® brand) for flexibility to attached/detached a patch. Though, there was other early version whereby, instead of the embroidered wings on the same position, a large GearMax Series label was on it.

OTHER MANUFACTURER There is a local popular maker of this specific pack design early on in various sizes whereby, a larger 5-Day version were also popular among the local armed forces elite units made by Tactics; incidentally started as a hobby and became an outfitter of the Philippine Navy’s elite NAVSOG Team Uno (Team One) and the Philippine Air Force 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

MISLABEL COPIES On the other hand, unknown maker copied this pack model with a little modification commercially available in most military camp’s concessionary milshops. Modification in terms of adding an elastic rigging cord in the front pocket but unfortunately, what could have been a nice variation actually, of this original classic design, I think was totally ruined by a CAMELBAK label visibly sewed up in front of the pack. Personally, I don’t like the idea as this definitely passed itself as fake Camelbak product and detrimental to the representation of our professional soldiers.

PROOF OF AUTHENTICITY Photo below of the Certificate of Appreciation presented to GEAR MAX during the 50th Anniversary of the unit for their “generous support and cooperation extended forwards the advancement of the Naval Special Operations Group”.

Proof of Authenticity