The U.S. Air Force has finalized the design of its new physical training uniform, which will be available next year.
The service announced Tuesday that it will begin producing the Physical Training Gear, or PTG, uniform, which it said is in line with modern high-performance athletic wear.
It is the first redesign of the PT uniform in more than 16 years, the Air Force said in a news release.
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"Our main requirement ... was to develop a PT uniform that people really wanted to wear and is as good as if not better than commercially available athletic wear," Tracy Roan, chief of the Air Force Uniform Office, said in the release. The office is part of the Agile Combat Support Directorate's Human Systems Division.
More than 150 airmen participated in the PT uniform trial wear, according to the release. The service will begin phasing in the uniform in 2022, with a four-year transition period for mandatory wear, it said.
Airmen will be issued pants, jacket, T-shirt and shorts. These items use fabrics that are "soft, quick drying, and have antimicrobial technology that helps with moisture and odor control," the release states.
Officials touted the improved jacket design. The current version has been mocked by airmen for its oversized fit and the "swish-swish" sound it makes, similar to a 1980s nylon windbreaker.
"With the 'notorious' track jacket, we've made updates to the fabric to minimize the noise it makes during workouts," said 2nd Lt. Maverick Wilhite, the office's program manager for PT gear.
"The jacket will be sleeker looking, so instead of having a bulky jacket, you'll have a fit and tailored design," Wilhite said in the release. "In addition, the jacket will have a zipper chest pocket for holding things like your [common access card]."
Airmen will receive two types of shorts. The shorter, lightweight runner shorts have a "stretch woven fabric with mesh side panels" to improve airflow while working out, the release states. A longer "all purpose" pair includes zipper hip pockets that can be closed.
The performance T-shirt can be untucked during a workout, but tucked in if required by command leadership.
For years, the service has been looking to give airmen more modern and form-fitting PT clothing options.
In 2018, a few mockups showing a sleeker design were featured in a leaked presentation posted on the Facebook page Air Force Amn/Nco/Snco.
That same year, then-Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright told Air Force Times that teams were working on PT options that could include a "moisture-wicking fabric" to absorb sweat in harsh environments.
"In the past, there was one uniform for all athletic pursuits, whether you were running, playing basketball or lifting weights," said Col. Paul Burger, 88th Air Base Wing mission support group commander, who helped test the new uniform. "The approach the Air Force has now taken is to develop a uniform that is earmarked for runners or running, and one that is better designed for some of those other athletic activities."
-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.
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