Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Another development in the Kitoy Armed Forces Modernization Plan (KAFMP)

Kitoy doesn't get a lot of attention in my posts basically because we never see them do very much. While they are fighting a pretty regular internal conflict with their neighbor, they have basically zero expeditionary capability so we don't include them in our roundups of the small nations in Afghanistan or for any regional peacekeeping efforts.

But they are fun to watch for equipment at least, as they are trying to implement a modernization program. As I covered in a blog post from January, the Kitoy Armed Forces Modernization Plan (KAFMP) is ambitious-sounding, but being implemented in a very non-linear and almost haphazard way.

This week yet another stage in the KAFMP seems to follow in that same 'pattern' of implementation.

Those of us monitoring the status of forces in the region took notice as the KAFMP issued their calls for submissions for a new uniform for KAF a few years ago. Nothing much seemed to come of it, and a short time later a draft RFP for the Individual Load Bearing Vest (ILBV) was released, again with little tangible results.

As it was clear that the ILBV should be OD Green it was thought that for sure the uniforms of the KAF would not change.

But that seems to not be true. In the background, the "Kitoy National Testing Authority" (a sort of standards setting body for the country) conducted extensive tests, down-selecting from an initial 17 camouflage patterns to four finalists for presentation to the Kitoy Chief of Staff.

And now we hear only days after hearing about the last four, that the KAF will move to the MultiCam pattern. Naturally, there are questions about that choice.

A review of the test results shows that of the four finalists MultiCam was not the highest scoring in the trials.

Pencott GreenZone proved to be the best in the Central Grafsten Highlands as well as good to superior performance in all environments save urban. Given that KAF almost entirely fights in the Central Grafsten Highlands, this seems the most important environment.

While the MultiCam did prove sufficient in all environments it was not the best in the main environment that KAF are engaged.

While OD green was not a stellar performer either — given the limited funding the KAF has — continuing to use what has been working for some time now and instead using the money spent on the new uniforms on the ILBV or upgrading existing vehicular assets seems more productive. One can take note that in the presentation slides we have access to, the idea that OD green shows wear and dirt more and is less suitable for the spit and polish of garrison. This appears to be a injection of a command structure worried about appearance over function.

The KTDC-3 is an interesting development which we simply cannot find enough about. It's a home-grown pattern, and apparently the third revision of something else we've never seen.

While it excelled on the Coastal Plains its proprietary design and all the costs associated with that makes one wonder why it was even considered, much less how it made it into the final down-select. It is pretty easy to speculate that there might have been some personal interests in keeping it in the race.

I chatted with some of my local contacts, and it seems that the only actual fabric production in Kitoy is based on some indigenous pattern; they sell the fabric to Albania for use in traditional wear, I am told. But ethnic weaving is not high precision printing on synthetic fabrics.

Coupled with regular issues getting any gear or uniform at all locally sewn, it is unclear how that would have been able to be a viable option. One can presume there were plans to outsource the production, or maybe they expected to build the industry in Kitoy. We may never know.

But back to what we do know, and that's MultiCam. So why was the decision for MultiCam? A student of the KAF can clearly see that they want to be seen as a truly modern military. OD green is not in vogue in the First World Armies. MultiCam and its variants have taken the place of the old Woodland as the sign of a "modern fighting force."

This combined with the veritable glut of surplus uniforms and equipment in the pattern — it is a small army, so cheaper is better — must have driven the Command and Political Leaders to choose MultiCam. This may prove to be a wise choice in the long run, but only time will tell.

Initial responses from the KAF gleaned from social media and some friends in the area indicate a lukewarm reception. While some Kitoi Soldiers welcome the more modern approach, some (especially among the veterans) seem to be reluctant to accept the change from their "greens."

What is clear is that the KAFMP is moving forward, however herky-jerky it may appear. We'll have to keep an eye on them in the future.

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