Airman field-tests modified PT uniform in Iraq

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Gordinier
  • 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
An Airman here was selected to field-test the Air Force's modified physical training uniform while deployed here to provide feedback to Air Force leaders at the end of the testing process.

Senior Airman James Debiase, a 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron emergency manager, was asked to field-test the modified PT uniform, and after wearing the uniform for five days now is very impressed with the changes thus far.

"I can describe the new uniform with one word: comfortable," Airman Debiase said. "The uniform is made from a much lighter material. It is more flexible, and it breathes better.

"When I start sweating, the new uniform seems to absorb the sweat better than our current PT uniform, and it doesn't weigh down as much either," said the native Glastonbury, Conn., deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. "The new pants and coat are also more breathable, and they don't make the, 'swish, swish, swish' sound when you walk or run."

Overall, Airmen here notice the modified uniform and are quick to ask questions and touch the new fabric.

"The first thing people notice is the difference in material," Airman Debiase said. "When they get up close, they notice the lighter and more comfortable material. Second, they notice the PT uniform doesn't make the swishing sound when I move. Third, they notice my shorts are longer. I have pockets for keys, wallet or an MP3 player. I have received a lot of good feedback from curious Airmen.

"Another great quality about the coat and pants is that it is still waterproof," Airman Debiase added. "Yesterday (April 12), it rained for the first time since I received the uniform, and the water just beaded off the coat and pants with ease."

Another change in the uniform is the sizing.

"With the normal PT gear, I had to buy a large-sized shirt with XXL- or XXXL-sized shorts to fit me properly," Airman Debiase said. "This modified uniform is a large; every item is large -- pants, coat, shirt and shorts -- and it fits me perfectly."

So far, Airman Debiase said he hasn't found a problem with the uniform yet, and he is going to report the pluses and minuses of the uniform to Air Force leaders at the end of the month. However, he will be wearing the modified PT uniform for the remainder of his deployment.

"I am really excited and thankful for this opportunity," he said. "It's not every day you get the chance to participate in something that can make a difference and a change throughout the entire Air Force." 

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