While researching my recent brief article on A-TACS iX camouflage I realised I had not covered the original A-TACS FG pattern, writes Bob Morrison.
The majority, though by no means all, of the Special Operations Forces troops who participated in the opening Precision Strike phase of the multinational NOBLE JUMP ’15 manoeuvres in Poland were drawn from Poland’s Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów (JWK), which translates as Military Commando Unit. After the dynamic display for Distinguished Visitors was over, and before the operatives withdrew from the Żagań Training Area at Świętoszów, I was granted permission to photograph one of these elite troops who was wearing A-TACS FG pattern. The next few paragraphs and the accompanying photos were originally published almost exactly eight years ago in the former COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.
One of the six formations which comprise Poland’s Special Operations Command, JKW is the oldest having been established in 1961 as 26 Batalion Dywersyjno – Rozpoznawczy (26th Sabotage-Reconnaissance Battalion) then expanded and renamed as 1 Pułk Specjalny Komandosów (1 Special Commando Regiment). In 2015 it comprised a Headquarters, three (now four) Sabre Squadrons, a Support Squadron and logistics elements.
The JKW squadron which participated on NOBLE JUMP ’15 was Zespoł Bojowy C (Combat Team C), nicknamed PARASOL as it carries forward the traditions of Batalion Parasol, the highly regarded clandestine recce and sabotage unit of the Polish Resistance fighting the Nazi occupiers, and particularly the Gestapo, during 1943-4. Today their mission is to undertake the full range of military Special Operations activity, but principally Direct Action and Special Reconnaissance in support of conventional military forces, on land and inland waters, in peacetime, crisis or war.
Uniforms worn by PARASOL in 2015 included, but were not limited to, Olive Green, MultiCam and A-TACS FG, dependent on specific operation or theatre. On NOBLE JUMP ’15 both camouflage patterns were worn by operators participating in the dynamic display, and some of those on the static stances wore plain olive, but as A-TACS (Advanced Tactical Concealment Systems) camo uniforms are so rarely seen being worn by soldiers (they are a favourite with some of the airsoft community) we grabbed the opportunity to focus on this rather than the MultiCam. The FG suffix stands for Field Green, which is more verdant than the AU or Arid/Urban version.
According to the company who produce the A-TACS pattern variants, Digital Concealment Systems’ LLC, they “replaced unnatural square pixels with organic pixels” and they “created a palette of natural colours digitally sampled from real-world elements photographed in carefully controlled lighting. The pattern is then created using a mathematical algorithm that writes ‘organically-shaped’ pixels using specific colour information” meaning “the resulting pattern, while still digital is far more organic in appearance.”
The JWK Tactical Recognition Flash consists of the Polish anchor (Kotwica) badge of the wartime Resistance which incorporated the initials of Polska Walcząca (Poland Fighting) plus the Commando dagger (many Poles served on the Allied side in WWII in No.10 Commando). The elite ZBC, or PARASOL, also incorporates a parasol representing a parachute in their squadron TRF.
[Images © Bob Morrison]
- See also:- A-TACS iX Camo Spotted at MSPO 2023