In the early 1980s the Australian Army started developing their own camouflage uniform and the resulting disruptive pattern camouflage uniform in what would be come known as Auscam, was extensively trialed to see how the pattern and designs of uniform stood up to service use. The uniform was part of a wider move to update the armed forces equipment and weaponry that would continue throughout the decade and culminate with the adoption of the F89 Austeyr Rifle and the 1988 Pattern webbing set. At the time period of today’s impression however, it was just the uniform that was on trial and the webbing set and weapon are both the older patterns as used since the Vietnam War.
The soldier here wears the second trials pattern of Auscam uniform consisting of shirt, trousers and jungle hat worn with black hi-leg combat boots, a scrim scarf is worn around the neck. The webbing is the Australian manufactured version of US M56 webbing that had been introduced into Australian service during the Vietnam War and had then been developed and manufactured locally in the years afterwards. It consists of a belt and yoke to which are attached a pair of ammunition pouches, a pair of canteen carriers and a ‘bum’ pack. The length of tope worn attached to one of the pouches is typical of Australian soldiers across many eras. The rifle is the Australian produced version of the FAL rifle, the SLR. This example is from Lithgow.
The trials uniform would be highly successful and there was a slow adoption of a version, with minor changes, by the whole of the Australian Army over the 1980s and the pattern would remain in service for the next thirty years.
- Jungle hat
- Scrim Scarf
- Trials DPCU jacket
- Hi-Leg boots
- Trials DPCU trousers
- SLR Rifle
- M56 webbing set
Great job! You could add a 56 pattern compass pouch to the front of the H-harness near the shoulder, and tape with black insulation tape, an individual field dressing on the front of the H-Harness on the opposite shoulder to really complete it. SLR bayonet and frog on the belt rig would look the part.