Navy reviewing uniforms found to be highly flammable

Navy reviewing uniforms found to be highly flammable

Credit: 13Newsfile

The Navy is reviewing the suitability of flammable uniforms.

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Associated Press and 13News

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 11 at 2:39 PM

NORFOLK (AP) -- The Navy is reviewing the suitability of its working uniforms after a test revealed how flammable they are.

In October, a test conducted by the Navy Clothing Textile Research Facility in Natick, Mass., showed the uniforms will burn until they're completely consumed.

The test results didn't surprise Navy leaders. The Navy removed the requirement for all sailors to wear flame resistant uniforms at sea in 1996. But many sailors were still upset about the test results.

On Friday, the commanders of U.S. Fleet Forces and U.S. Pacific Fleet sent a message to their commanders saying that two uniform working groups would review the issue.

"We will determine the level of protection our Sailors need, given the missions and tasks we expect them to execute in their respective work environments," said US Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Bill Gortney.

The Navy says the primary consideration for both working groups, which are made up of members from Fleet Forces, the Pacific Fleet, the Naval Safety Center, systems commands, and various operational commands, is sailor safety.

Navy officials hope to have the group's findings within a few weeks.

It wasn't immediately clear how much replacing the uniforms with flame-resistant ones might cost if the Navy chooses to go that route. Those figures would largely depend on the working group's recommendations of exactly who needs a flame-resistant uniform. In December, the Defense Logistics Agency reported having 401,000 Navy Working Uniform trousers on hand that are valued at $14 million and 272,000 blouses on hand valued at $9.3 million.

AP-WF-01-11-13 1538GMT

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