Airmen and guardians who complete basic military training will be issued fewer uniform items for the time being, due to a fabric shortage. Until the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) resolves supply issues with the manufacturer, new members of the two services will receive one full set of service dress uniforms.
Other members of the Air and Space Forces will feel the effect of the shortage – perhaps more keenly – because new airmen and guardians are being given priority in issuance of existing supplies.
An Air Force announcement said that men and women usually are issued two short-sleeve and two long-sleeve blue shirts when they complete basic military training. Men also receive three pairs of trousers, and women receive two pairs of slacks. As of last November, some service members received only one pair of each.
The Department of the Air Force is taking steps to ensure that service members get their necessary uniform components as soon as they are available. New airmen and guardians will be given allowances in their paychecks when they arrive at their new duty stations or schools, which they can use to buy uniform components at Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) stores. Component graduates can expect to be issued the missing uniform components when they arrive at their home units, once the components are available.
Burlington Industries, the sole supplier of the worsted wool fabric used in uniform components, is facing a shortage because of higher material costs and “labor challenges,” the Air Force stated. The brunt of the impact on production and availability of dress uniforms will hit hardest in the third quarter of this year.