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Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform

Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform (also called Auscam, Austcam, Ozcam or DPCU) is a five-colour military camouflage pattern used by the Australian military. It was developed and trialled during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Its name and initials DPC or DPCU should not be confused with "DPM" (Disruptive Pattern Material), a British pattern of camouflage.

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The first uniforms using the disruptive pattern camouflage (called Disruptive Pattern Combat Uniform – DPCU) were issued in 1983 for test purposes. In 1986 the final production version was introduced with a number of changes. It is influenced partly by early US Jungle Camouflage patterns, such as "Duck Hunter"/"Frog-Skin". DPCU was developed following aerial photographs of the Australian terrain to determine which colours and patterns would be most suitable for camouflage uniforms.

The five colour pattern consists of a greenish sand coloured background with randomly arranged spots of light brown, red-brown, dark green and medium green overlaid. The standard DPCU works in areas from arid bushland through to tropical jungle all over Australia. A naval version, consisting of various shades of grey with green, has been approved for adoption by the Royal Australian Navy.

Also known as officially as DPDU (Disruptive Pattern Desert Uniform).

A new DPCU variant designed for desert conditions using different colours and was first tested in 1998 at the Woomera Missile Test Site in South Australia.

2001 1st Issue of DPDU. Mk1 was printed in 3 colors (Brown and Gray on a Tan Background) with 1/3 of the normal Auscam print missing, rushed into issue for Australian special forces (Special Air Service Regiment) deployed to Afghanistan as part of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

2002 2nd Issue DPDU. Full Auscam print was used with a full 5 colours. The colours were: Brown, Lime Green, Gray, Very Light Blue (almost Gray) on a Tan Background. This was again issued to SASR in Afghanistan after the Mk1 version was found to be too light in colour for the terrain.

2003 3rd Issue DPDU. This is also in the full Auscam print with 5 colours. These colours are: Brown, Grey, Very Light Blue, Purple on a Yellow Background. The cut was changed in the shirt with the bottom pockets being omitted and placed on the sleeves. This the current type issued to all ADF personnel serving overseas in arid/desert regions such as Iraq.

During the late 1990s a modified Auscam colour scheme was trialled to be used for OPFOR units during force vs force training exercises. This pattern was in the same style as the standard DPCU but featured redder browns and brighter greens and appeared, in colour at least, to resemble a "Russian" style pattern. Colours used were: dark brown, mid brown, light brown, blood red all on a tan background. It was used sparingly during several exercises but not issued widely due to the cost associated with fielding a separate uniform with only minor colour changes solely for use as an OPFOR uniform.

The desert camouflage uniforms have been called "clown suits" by US military personnel operating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Garments issues in DPCU have included, shirt/jackets, trousers and a waxed cotton (japarra) rain jacket, almost always referred to as a japarra. Head dress has included bush hats, wide brimmed bush hats ("boonie" hats) and a peaked cap with a fold up neck flap referred to as a kepi cap (worn only by members of units which operate armoured vehicles and by Regional Force Surveillance Units).


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