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Changes in works for Air Force PT uniform

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force uniform board is working to resolve Airmen's issues with the Air Force physical training uniform, which became mandatory for wear in Fall 2006.

The board has received nearly 500 inputs from Airmen including suggestions on ways to improve the uniform, and some of those changes are in the works, said Senior Master Sgt. Dana Athnos, Air Force uniform board superintendent.

One of the biggest issues is the lining in the shorts, she said. Many Airmen feel the lining is too tight, so they are buying shorts two to three sizes larger than their usual size. The Air Force Clothing Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is modifying the lining to resolve this problem.

Another issue Airmen addressed was the weight of the PT running suit. The suits are currently made of a light-weight material coated with a wind and rain resistant finish which adds extra weight. The clothing office is researching alternative fabrics that would retain those weather-resistant qualities, yet reduce the weight. The office is also looking into a lighter weight fabric for the short-sleeve T-shirt.

In addition to these changes, the board has decided to introduce other optional PT uniform items within a year.

One of those items is shorts geared for long-distance runners. They are currently looking into running shorts with a split halfway up the leg. It would be produced in a lightweight fabric with anti-odor, moisture-wicking and stretch incorporated into the lining and outer shell.

They also plan to introduce a long-sleeve T-shirt, medium-weight sweatshirt and fleece vest with a zipper.

"The Air Force is fully aware of the Airmen's comments and suggestions, and our hope is to address all of them," Sergeant Athnos said. "Once the items fit better for the majority of the Force, we will readdress the uniform wear policy."