Improved physical fitness uniform unveiled

USAF photo: Sonic Johnson From left, first lieutenants Joseph Castro, Erik Svendsen and Andy Lee wear the Air Force’s improved physical training uniform and watch as Angela Smith hems the anti-microbial liner into the new uniform during a tour of the facility in Nov. 2009, in Columbus, Miss. The lieutenants are from the 14th Operations Support Squadron at Columbus Air Force Base, Smith is an American Power Source seamstress.

By Brad Jessmer: Air Force Uniform Office

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — After much planning, anticipation and constructive feedback, the Army Air Force Exchange Service and the Air Force Uniform Office officials have partnered to bring an improved physical training uniform to select military clothing sales stores in July.

The IPTU, which consists of a running jacket, pants, trunks and a T-shirt, is an optional uniform authorized for wear.

Even though the IPTU is made to be identical to the current PTU, components of the running suits are not to be mixed, according to a policy letter issued Oct 28, 2009, by Headquarters Air Force Manpower and Personnel officials.

“The new IPTU was made to look like the original PTU,” said Master Sgt. James Lynn, an AFUO subject matter expert. “However, wear policy has been established and published that prohibits wearing the new jacket with the pants from the current version or the current jacket with the new running pants.”

Material differences between the two running suits make it difficult to mix, Lynn said.

The IPTU running suit consists of a different material with enough of a color shade difference to be identifiable from the current suit. However, the current PTU and IPTU shorts and shirts may be mixed and also worn with the IPTU running suit.

By utilizing the latest advances in textile technology, the IPTU offers significant improvements in both comfort and functionality over the current PTU, said Capt. Nick Ferry, an IPTU program manager. Improvements include the elimination of the “swish-swish” in-motion noise, better reflectivity, lighter weight and state-of-the-art moisture wicking material with a quick-drying, anti-microbial liner.

“Much time and effort from a lot of folks has gone into the research, development and testing of the IPTU,” Ferry said. “The end result is a greatly improved uniform that will eliminate many concerns and frustrations our airmen have had.”

IPTU availability is based on several factors, such as duty location. Deployed locations will take priority shipments followed by Pacific and European theaters.

Worldwide rollout of the IPTU trunks and running suit will be available through AAFES in July. The IPTU T-shirt release date is still to be determined.

According to AAFES, the IPTU will be in short supply starting out. But once all military clothing stores have received shipment, the IPTU will be available via Internet purchase worldwide around October.

For locations receiving Air Force clothing from Army stores, availability will be limited.

However, they will be available through special order at the servicing military clothing store.