NWU TYPE I UNIFORM SAFETY

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SUBJ: NWU TYPE I UNIFORM SAFETY
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SUBJ/NWU TYPE I UNIFORM SAFETY//



REF A/MSG/COMNAVSAFCEN NORFOLK/00/061857ZOCT11//
REF B/MSG/COMUSFLTFORCOM/00/120737ZDEC12//
NARR/REF A IS COMNAVSAFECEN AFLOAT SAFETY ADVISORY 6-11 NAVY WORKING UNIFORM 
(NWU) WEAR FOR INITIAL DISCOVERY PERSONNEL AND RAPID RESPONSE FIRE FIGHTING.  
REF B IS USFF PERSONAL FOR MESSAGE.//

RMKS/1.  A RECENT IMPROMPTU TEST OF THE FABRIC USED TO MAKE THE NWU TYPE I HAS 
RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER THE NWU TYPE I IS A SAFE UNIFORM FOR WEAR IN A 
SHIPBOARD ENVIRONMENT.  AS PRESIDENT OF THE NAVY'S UNIFORM BOARD AND A FORMER 
COMMANDING OFFICER MYSELF, I AM VERY COMFORTABLE WITH OUR SAILORS WEARING THIS 
UNIFORM IN THE MANNER AND IN THE ENVIRONMENT FOR WHICH IT WAS DESIGNED, AND 
FOR THE INTENDED WEAR IN SEA AND ASHORE CONDITIONS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE SPECIAL 
CLOTHING (E.G. FLIGHT DECK, ENGINE ROOM, ETC.).

2.  THE NWU WAS DESIGNED TO REPLACE THE NAVY WORKING UTILITIES FOR E6 AND 
BELOW AND WASH KHAKIS FOR E7 AND ABOVE AND PROVIDE THE SAME LEVEL OF 
PROTECTION WHEN WORN FOR GENERAL USE IN SHIPBOARD AND ASHORE ENVIRONMENTS.  
PER REF A, THE NWU CAN BE WORN TO TAKE APPROPRIATE FIRST RESPONDER ACTION TO 
COMBAT A FIRE, HOWEVER, LIKE THE UNIFORMS IT WAS DESIGNED TO REPLACE, NWUS ARE 
NOT MADE OF, OR TREATED WITH, FIRE RETARDANT/FLAME RESISTANT MATERIAL AND ARE 
NOT MEANT TO BE A FIRE FIGHTING UNIFORM.

3.  FIRE RETARDANT CLOTHING REQUIREMENTS ARE SPECIFIED IN THE NAVAL SHIPS 
TECHNICAL MANUAL (NSTM) AND FURTHER DIRECTED BY THE TYPE COMMANDERS.  AS 
ADMIRAL GORTNEY REITERATED IN REF B, NAVY PROVIDES ORGANIZATIONAL CLOTHING TO 
THOSE WATCH STANDERS AND SAILORS WHO WORK AT SEA AND ASHORE WHO NEED EXTRA 
PROTECTION AGAINST FIRE HAZARDS IN ENVIRONMENTS SUCH AS THE ENGINEERING 
SPACES, ON THE FLIGHT DECK, AND AS PART OF DAMAGE CONTROL TEAMS.  THESE 
ORGANIZATIONAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING ELEMENTS INCLUDE THE NAVY FIRE RETARDANT 
COVERALLS, NAVY FLIGHT SUIT, AND NWU TYPE II (DESERT)/TYPE III (WOODLAND) 
FLAME RESISTANT ORGANIZATIONAL GEAR I AND II (FROG I AND II).  FURTHER, FIRE 
FIGHTING ENSEMBLES ARE PROVIDED FOR SAILORS SPECIFICALLY ASSIGNED TO COMBAT A 
FIRE.

4.  NOTHING HAS CHANGED ABOUT THESE REQUIREMENTS.  THAT SAID, INFORMED BY THIS 
RECENT TEST, ADMIRAL GORTNEY HAS ESTABLISHED WORKING GROUPS TO REVIEW THE 
REQUIREMENTS FOR -- AND FLAME RESISTANT QUALITIES OF -- WORKING UNIFORMS, 
INCLUDING THE TYPE I NWU'S.  WE WILL CERTAINLY KEEP ALL OF YOU INFORMED AS 
THAT PROCESS UNFOLDS.

5.  THE SAFETY OF OUR SAILORS REMAINS A PARAMOUNT CONCERN.  TO ENSURE SAFETY 
AND OPERATIONAL ISSUES REMAIN IN THE FOREFRONT OF UNIFORM BOARD BUSINESS, I AM 
ADDING THE NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND, THE NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND AND THE 
NAVAL SAFETY CENTER AS TECHNICAL ADVISORS TO THE NAVY UNIFORM BOARD.  I WILL 
ALSO CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH U.S. FLEET FORCES COMMAND, U.S. PACIFIC 
FLEET, NAVSEA AND NAVAIR TO ENSURE THAT ALL THE UNIFORMS WE PROVIDE OUR 
SAILORS PROVIDE THE
PROTECTION REQUIRED FOR THE WORK OUR SAILORS DO EVERY DAY BOTH AFLOAT AND 
ASHORE.

6.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL S. R. VAN BUSKIRK, N1.//

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