Thu, May 18, 2017 - Page 3 News List

New uniforms for Presidential Office battalions

By Aaron Tu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Military police officers model their new uniforms at a news conference held by the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei.

Photo: Tu Chu-min, Taipei Times

The presidential protection battalions of the military police are to receive new uniforms on June 1, Military Police Command Chief of Staff Major General Feng Yi (馮毅) said yesterday.

The changes are to apply to the 211th Battalion and the 332nd Battalion that guard the Presidential Office Building and the presidential residence, Feng said.

The new uniforms have been designed to provide better agility, mobility and comfort, Feng said, adding that they are black for the “intimidation factor against wrongdoers.”

The new uniforms replace the existing suits, green shirts and dress shoes which have been used since 2007. Personnel have complained that the suits restricted their mobility and were inconvenient.

The new uniforms are comprised of a cap, sunglasses, shirt, duty vest, utility belt, duty pants and field boots, and they cost NT$4,800 (US$159) per officer or about NT$8.6 million in total.

The vests have a pocket for a radio near the collar and bear the military police’s insignia and its English acronym on the chest, while a tab in Chinese on the back identifies the officer, Feng said.

The duty pants are waterproof and sturdier than those formerly issued to the battalions, he said.

The deerskin boots offer more comfort when standing on guard duty and better mobility in emergency situations, he added.

The battalions are to provide feedback and evaluations of the new uniforms, Feng said.

If the performance of the new uniforms is satisfactory, the government is to consider broader changes of uniforms across the Military Police Command, as well as for counterterrorism units and the judicial police, he added.

Meanwhile, the Marine Corps yesterday said it would introduce a new uniform that is tiger-striped to maintain the identity of the corps.

Previously, the Ministry of National Defense had mandated that the entire armed forces adopt a “digital” camouflage uniform.

However, the Marine Corps has worn tiger-striped camouflage since 1979 and many retired marines had lobbied against the change.

The new marine camouflage uniforms are to feature tiger stripes that set them apart from those of other services, Marine Corps Command Chief of Staff Major General Liu Yu-ping (劉豫屏) said.

Digital camouflage is widely used by Western armed forces because it provides better concealment than traditional patterns, Liu said.

The uniforms are a general-purpose pattern designed for coastal, urban and jungle environments, and the nation’s 9,000 marines are to receive them before Jan. 1 next year, he said.

Although the new uniforms resemble the old ones, tests by computer simulations and evaluators have shown they surpass the old by better concealing troops by up to 33 percent, he said.

“The digital tiger stripes are made of sturdier, more breathable and lighter materials. The difference to the 1979 pattern is heaven and earth,” Liu said.

The estimated total cost of the new uniforms is NT$49 million, or NT$2,952 per marine, he said.

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