U.S. Marines are set to receive upgraded uniforms by late 2017, the service announced in a press release. The Enhanced Fire Resistant Combat Ensemble (EFRCE) updates a long-sleeve shirt and trousers with new flame-resistant material that allows the uniform to self-extinguish, which will lessen the severity and danger of burn injuries.
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The new uniform was developed in partnership with the Navy and is set to be issued to Marines and Sailors who are assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Naval Special Warfare Command when they deploy.
“Marine Corps Systems Command conducted industry research and found that there are better and more durable materials available that did not sacrifice protection or comfort,” said John Bauer, textile technologist for Infantry Combat Equipment at MCSC. “This means that instead of issuing four uniforms to every Marine for every deployment, we can now field two that will last for the same period. This lightens the load for Marines and saves money.”
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According to the press release, the EFRCE is part of the Marine Corps’ Flame Resistant Organizational Gear system, which includes a combat shirt — designed to fit comfortably under Plate Carrier Gen III body armor — and trousers, gloves, another combat shirt designed for inclement weather which is worn over the EFRCE blouse, and balaclavas. There’s four camo patterns for the EFRCE: Woodland and Desert, Navy Working Uniform Type II and NWU Type III. The new fabric blends nylon, cotton and meta-aramid fibers. It’s durable and resistant to high temperatures, chemicals and abrasion.
The EFRCE is in production right now, with 70,000 uniforms expected to be issued by late fiscal year 2017.