Belgian Desert Uniforms

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    CollectinSteve
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    Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue May 01, 2018 12:56 am

    I think it's time we give this uniform some attention!

    From what I know, the following items are produced in Belgian desert:

    1.  2 pocket jacket
    2.  6 pocket trousers
    3.  T-shirt
    4. Shorts
    5.  Vertical zipper parka (same as temperate)
    6.  Under armor shirt
    7.  Reversible fleece (temperate and desert)
    8.  Schuberth type, foliage bands (gray and camo band variants)
    9. ACH type, no foliage bands
    10.  Boonie hat
    11.  Toque
    12.  Modular LBV and pouches
    13. Pate carrier
    14.  Field belt
    15. Drop leg holster (right and left variants)
    16. Various pouches for the LBV
    Have I missed anything?

    The first items were produced in 2004 as far as I know.  All production appears to be through Seyntex.  Early examples have white labels and dates, then white labels without dates, then cloth type with black lettering on tan background.  At some point before the cloth tags items were made with Permethrine, the earlier white tagged items were without Permethrine.

    The early items (I'm calling 1st Model) had their colors fade out very, very, very quickly.  So much so that the uniforms appear solid tan at even close range viewing.  At some point this was addressed and the colors remain near new even after heavy use in the field.  I'm calling this 2nd Model, as it seems to be a deliberate change.

    From what I can tell 1st and 2nd Models look about the same when brand new.  This makes identification of the two uniforms difficult unless one is obviously quite well worn or has the tan cloth labels.  I think the Permethrine white label and the cloth label are both 2nd Model, but even if true that might be tough to see from pictures.  However, there MIGHT be some other hints.

    My early white label type has the BELGIAN tape significantly higher than the top of the pocket, my later white label type has it right on the pocket line.  This seems to be true for the cloth label type.  So maybe that is an indicator?

    Badging is quite varied.  Early soldiers often had OD name tapes and/or OD Para/Cdo badging due to the shortages of the tan based types.  The tan badges have black borders on them.  Green circular ISAF badges were worn early on, mostly on the left arm.  Rank badging seems to be universally the green plastic type used with the temperate uniform.

    Later the tan badging, including name tapes, was standard.  The two piece ISAF/NATO badge combo with desert background replaced the green ISAF badge at some point.  That seems to have been worn exclusively on the left arm.  However, rank continued to be the standard green type.  Then, at some point, new badging with reddish-copper colored thread and tan background rank were introduced.  I've seen only a few pictures of this in use, with other soldiers in the same picture having green rank, so maybe still hard to get?

    So.... what do people think of this info dump?

    Steve


    Last edited by CollectinSteve on Sat May 12, 2018 7:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by Wolverine on Tue May 01, 2018 9:16 am

    One small item is missing from the list - the desert pattern tube-shaped neck/face cover that is made from stretchy material. I have one to photograph.
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by mylle on Tue May 01, 2018 3:28 pm

    Just my 2 cents about the shirts and pants:



    This one was modified, with adding lower pockets like on the BDU's:









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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by Antarmike on Tue May 01, 2018 4:57 pm

    The Belgians do love their insect killers don't they! Pity about the poor bees!
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Tue May 01, 2018 7:24 pm

    Wolverine wrote:One small item is missing from the list - the desert pattern tube-shaped neck/face cover that is made from stretchy material. I have one to photograph.

    Dang! I didn't check my "scarf" when I wrote the list. It is, in fact, the toque style you speak of. I modified my original post. Thanks for the clarification.

    mylle wrote:This one was modified, with adding lower pockets like on the BDU's:

    Nice mod! Odd that they didn't put pockets on the sleeves as was common practice mid 2000s before the practice was (largely) incorporated into uniform designs. In fact, Belgium is one of the few countries to doggedly stick to a straight forward jacket without slant chest pockets or arm pockets.

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by Wolverine on Tue May 01, 2018 10:19 pm

    Here is a 2004 model (white label):


    And this one has the later brown label, with no date:
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed May 02, 2018 2:08 am

    Excellent. This shows the differences in badging between the early white label and the later tan one. Chest tapes have space above pockets in the earlier one, right on pocket tops for the later type. Round ISAF badge for early type, two part ISAF shield style badge for the later type. Interestingly, the 2004 example looks well worn/washed, but still has strong colors. Maybe the color fastness was not universally poor for the 2004 production run?

    Not mentioned by me earlier, is the appearance of velcro for the name tape in the later type. Andrew, does the velcro look original or is it a soldier add-on?

    Steve
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by Wolverine on Wed May 02, 2018 9:03 am

    The velcro has apparently been added after production, as the thread and stitch count differs widely from the rest of the jacket. I have some various custom desert name tapes that I have posted a while back in a different thread.
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed May 02, 2018 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the confirmation. I figured that was the case because, as far as I can tell, the Belgians remain traditional about tapes being sewn on as they do with the cut of the uniform.

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by belgium_one on Thu May 10, 2018 6:36 am

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by belgium_one on Thu May 10, 2018 6:44 am

    Boonie hat , t-shirt , belt and short

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by belgium_one on Thu May 10, 2018 9:51 am

    Buff neck/face cover





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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Thu May 10, 2018 12:02 pm

    Field belt! I didn't know that existed. Very nice!

    I've added it to my list.

    Steve

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by michelwijnand on Sat May 12, 2018 3:29 pm

    I think some more stuff can be added to the list.

    There's 2 helmet covers, you already list a helmet cover, but which do you mean?
    The one for the Schuberth helmet withthe straps sewn all over the outside, or the cover for the Mich/ACH/TBH helmets?
    Depending on which, the other can be added.

    And legholsters, there's left- and righthanded ones.
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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Sat May 12, 2018 7:25 pm

    Great! I modified the list to show both helmet cover types (two variants for Schuberth), shorts, holsters, and various pouches for the LBV.

    Steve

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by michelwijnand on Thu May 17, 2018 3:29 pm

    Oh I forgot, there's also a huge backpack, and a modular body armor with neck and shoulder armor etc.
    which appears in Afghanistan photos.
    The pack is either a kitbag, or for the armor, as it's about the right shape to carry an armor. I'll try to find a photo of the bag I mean later.

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by michelwijnand on Thu May 17, 2018 5:49 pm

    Here's pics of the backpack and armor I meant.



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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by CollectinSteve on Mon May 28, 2018 8:02 pm

    NICE!  I take it the pack and vest are almost impossible to find, yes?

    I took some pics of my two desert jackets.  I am in need of the two part ISAF badges and a desert rank badge.  Anybody know where I can get some?

    The first one is a first issue 2004 jacket in unissued condition.  This was before the desert badging was created, therefore soldiers wore standard OD badging.  The ISAF badge is from Belgium and is a little darker green than others in my collection.  The type of badging on mine is one that is a slight brown variation that was used for a period of time in the early 2000s IIRC.




    The second jacket is a later production white label type.  This one is badged with desert badging, but with a standard OD rank.  From pictures I can see that soldiers often wore combinations of badging for quite some time.




    Steve

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    Re: Belgian Desert Uniforms

    Post by michelwijnand on Tue May 29, 2018 11:06 am

    I don't think I've ever seen any of the new vest or it's parts for sale. I've seen the big packs at a surplus place here in Holland, which is where I took that pic from

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