[U.S. Air Force, Uniform Programs and Policies]
U.S. airmen and women on 16 U.S. bases now have a lighter weight, cooler option in battle uniforms. The new airman battle uniform (ABU) is made of soft, rip-stop material, the same fabric as the new Army combat uniform. The fabric weighs about 6.5 ounces per square yard, a significant reduction from the current ABU fabric. This is a big change from the airman battle uniform, which was introduced in 2006 and has been described as “a heat magnet.” The Air Force expects to have enough uniforms for all service people by the end of the year. With industry making only the lightweight uniform now, most sizes in the current version of the ABU will be out of stock by then, service officials said. Until then, both uniforms will be available.