back to article US Spec-Ops offered camouflage for a specific site

Everybody knows how obsessive the world's elite special-ops forces are about preparing for a task. Prior to the recent, headline-making raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed, US Navy SEALs built a complete mockup of the compound where he lived and spent weeks practicing attacks on it, for instance. In future, as well as …


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  1. dit-dit-dit-dah

    I see a business opportunity

    For some kind of augmented reality iphone app that highlights parts of the landscape which have a google earth watermark.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Party Time?

      Specific camo is fine until your enemy hears about it and puts in some cheap disco lights.

  2. Gideon 1


    What is the point in specific camo when you announce your presence by arriving by helicopter?

  3. DrXym Silver badge

    What use is camo on a compound raid?

    Camouflage is useful when you're trying to blend in with your surroundings, e.g. you wish to hide your firing position and break up your body silhouette.

    I doubt it works so well when your storming a house and you're only 5 yards from your target. More likely you just want to wear something dark, well fitting and with no shiny bits to betray your position.

  4. Reg Blank

    This plan will fail.

    When Australia was developing their new camouflage in the 1980's, the researchers took many, MANY photographs of the Australian landscape from desert to temperate to alpine regions, with some rainforest in between, and developed colours and patterns that suited the huge variety of landscapes Australia has. The resulting DPCU has been incredibly successful, even to the extent that there hasn't been a push to change to a more trendy pattern (such as digital patterns or Crye Multicam).

    When the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq required a desert pattern, the DPCU was modified with lighter sand and rock colours to make the acceptable (but not ideal) DPDU.

    Cut now to Special Forces operations in greener Afghanistan areas, or "green belt". DPCU is OK but too green. The desert optimised DPDU is terrible because the uniform is far too light and patrols stick out like a sore thumb. The defence scientists looked back to the DPCU and used satellite and aerial photographs of the operational area to create what they called "Mid-point", or DPMU.

    It is a complete failure. It is still too light and uses incorrect colours that are still desert optimised. In fact the SOTG in Afghanistan prefer the "too green" DPCU to the "area optimised" DPMU. The lesson that has been learnt is that such aerial photographs aren't necessarily representative of the actual conditions on the ground. The result has been to abandon DPMU and adopt a slightly modified Multicam in the short term for Afghan operations.

    I think that when US SOCOM tries this out they will come to the same conclusion. Ground photos are required. And just the one ground photo isn't enough, because by the next day the light conditions will have changed.

    Icon: The coat's patterned with jelly beans and rabbit ears.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    City camo

    We asked the same thing in Belfast. Why are the landrovers painted green, to blend into Germany, instead of spray can graffiti and steel shutter to blend in with the city centre ?

    The best bit though is the health and safety regs that required the poor guy with his head poking out of the top, his helmet covered in camo netting and twigs - to be wearing a hi-vis vest!

  6. Charles Smith

    They just need

    ...'arry's cloak.

  7. FrankAlphaXII

    Correction: Blue Light's Commander was *not* Cincotti

    He was a guy named Bob Mountel. He was S-3 in the 5th Special Forces. He wound up going to India after Blue Light was disbanded, because Delta was stood up.

    Cincotti was the assault team leader, a leader of the 1st Alpha Team, but that does not make him the unit's commander. There are team leaders, and then unit commanders because SOF, even the tier 1 units like Delta/CAG, Intelligence Support Activity, and DEVGRU always have operational teams (the people who actually kill people) and then a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment with the unit's overall leadership and support troops.

    BLUE LIGHT was organized like an Army Special Forces B-Team, and it was only set up because US Army REDCOM was scared about not having an operational capability to respond to a terrorist incident without Delta being fully trained.

    It may be strange to you guys because US Army doctrine and organization, especially with our Special Forces, is vastly different than the UK and rest of NATO, our NCOs do alot of work but our Officers do exercise alot of control over our units.

    Anyway, as an example, Logan Fitch was not the commander of Delta Force during the Desert 1 Disaster, but he was the commander of the Alpha Squadron/Red Element. Beckwith was in overall command and took the blame for it, when it was in reality something that Jim Kyle, the Air Element commander, should have taken the fall for.

    Good thing he didn't though, Jim Kyle wound up being the chief air planner for the 1991 Iraq War.

  8. JC 2

    Missing the point

    They're suggesting the elimination of millions of uniforms but it is only useful for special operations, then you have to discard the uniform and start over using many more than they already do.

    Plus, half the point of the uniform is so everyone knows who is on whose team. If all the good guys and bad guys look like the same popular trees in the forest things start to get interesting.

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