Last year we looked at the Mk IV NBC trousers in the desert DPM camouflage here. Tonight we are taking a look at the matching smock:
The army’s CBRN aide memoire notes that:
The MK 4/4A suit comes in 6 standard sizes and a special size. Know your own size. The suit is to be worn over at least one layer of outer clothing, normally a combat suit, together with underwear which covers the armpits and crotch. In hot conditions you may be instructed to reduce the clothing worn under the suit.
The smock is a direct copy of the standard temperate example we covered here, just in desert camouflage. The smock fastens up the front with a zip and Velcro fly:
The smock is adjustable with tapes and Velcro at the cuffs:
The hood is elasticated to allow a close seal with the respirator:
The smock has four pockets, a pocket with space for pens (both the writing and the anti-nerve agent types) on the upper left sleeve:
And a larger pocket with a space for attaching a piece of detector paper of the right:
There are two further pockets on the chest, a plain one on the right breast:
There is another on the left with space for a soldier to write his name and rank:
The aide memoire sets out the prescribed format for writing on this pocket:
A variety of actual methods can be find for marking up these smocks (even in the official pamphlet where this was taken from there are photographs of soldiers who have marked up their smocks in a variety of different methods!) The official handbook gives this advice on donning the NBC suit:
Jacket Do up zip Fasten neck, waist and cuffs with Velcro fasteners Hood Pull up hood over the head, zip up, pull the flap up and fold over the front of the zip, secure the flap with Velcro fastener.
The label is sewn into the neck of the smock and has the NSN, description and sizing information:
Despite the DDPM camouflage being replaced by MTP a decade ago, huge stocks of the smocks are still in service with the Army and they crop up in the unlikeliest of places, including Salisbury in 2018 during the Russian nerve agent incident, a long way from any desert conditions: