Physical training uniform made in America

  • Published
  • By Brad Jessmer
  • Air Force Uniform Office
Air Force officials partnered with American industry to ensure the new physical fitness uniform is not only upgraded with better material and functionality, but also is 100 percent America made.

The new PTU outer garment running suit is being manufactured near Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., and every aspect of each item manufactured is produced and manufactured in the United States.

There are 400 sets of the PTU running suits made daily, adding up to approximately 2,000 sets per week. Before the PTUs are shipped to the Army Air Force Exchange Service stores, each item goes through several inspection stations during production to ensure highest quality standards are achieved.

Before AAFES officials accept delivery of any PTU item, it sends an inspector to observe on-site production and examine samples of the entire inventory. Once they pass inspection, the shipments are sent to AAFES.

"For this inspection, my sample size to inspect would be 80 jackets and 80 pants," said Rick Young, AAFES military quality assurance specialist. "The supplier would only be allowed five defects, but if more than five were found, I would inspect 120 more for a total of 200."

During a recent tour of the garment facility, Col. Roger Watkins, 14th Flying Training Wing, had an opportunity to observe operations and gain insight into the production of the new PTU. "Our airmen have spoken and the Air Force has listened," Colonel Watkins said. "I know our folks will be pleased with the tremendous improvements to this uniform, and we certainly appreciate the hard work involved in making this (PTU) available."

Also touring the facility were Chief Master Sgt. Rich Brackett, the 14th FTW command chief, and 1st Lts. Joseph Castro, Erik Svendsen and Andy Lee from the 14th Operations Support Squadron.

"The new uniform is unbelievable," Lieutenant Castro said. "The running suit is so light that you forget you're wearing it."

According to the Berry Amendment, USC, Title 10, Section 2533a, the Department of Defense is required to give preference in procurement to domestically produced and manufactured products, most notably food, clothing, fabrics, and specialty metals. Congress originally passed domestic source restrictions, as part of the 1941 Fifth Supplemental DOD Appropriations Act, to protect the domestic industrial base in the time of war.

The Air Force is expecting to receive 7,500 improved physical training uniform monthly under a contract with AAFES.