The Army Camouflage Improvement Effort may be reffered to as "A.C.I.E." throughout the article.
The Army camouflage improvement effort is the effort to replace the UCP camouflage pattern for the U.S. Army. It is now on permanent hold.
In 2005 the U.S. Army adopted the Universal Camouflage Pattern as the standard camouflage pattern for all environments. When soldiers started to complain about it completely underperforming in every environment they launched a program to get a better pattern.
"The US Army Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground (Soldier, Chemical, Research & Test), Natick Contracting Division (NCD) on behalf of the US Army Soldier System Center, Natick, MA(Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment), intends to issue a solicitation under Authority of FAR Part 15, for a research and development effort to work with multiple vendors to develop a family of camouflage patterns. The family is comprised of three patterns / color palettes for the uniforms (i.e., wooded, arid and transitional), which have the same or similar geometry, and one pattern for the personal protective equipment (PPE) / organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE), which may or may not be one of the uniform patterns. The uniform patterns / palettes must be compatible with the PPE / OCIE pattern / palette. The first objective of this effort is to develop for the US Army a family of camouflage patterns that offers improved concealment and reduced detection capability over current patterns. The second objective is to acquire the data rights for a portion or all of the best performing camouflage pattern families. The Government anticipates that this requirement will be competed full and open; however, the Government reserves the right to change the solicitation procedure. Firms shall not be reimbursed for any costs associated with proposals. The Government envisions multiple awards, to a Business under North American Industry Classification System code 541712, and Federal Supply Code 8731. When released, the solicitation, including all amendments and applicable documents, will be available in electronic medium, on or about March 18th, 2011, at the US Army Contracting Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground (SCRT), Natick Contracting Division website, https://www3.natick.army.mil. Telephone calls will not be accepted. Questions may be sent to Huy Le, Contract Specialist, via e-mail at email@example.com. "
Many commercial patterns were entered into the A.C.I.E. Some are "A-TACS" and "Penncott". For the initial round of testing soldiers looked at the patterns placed into images of many loacations this is known as "picture in picture" testing. Several finalists were eventually chosen these finalists included the Crye Precision , Brockwood, Hyperstealth ADS , and the Kryptek entries. These patterns were then printed on uniforms and tested in many environments around the U.S.
On May 23, 2014, the US Army announced that the Scorpion pattern, a predecessor to Crye Precision's MultiCam, was selected to replace UCP as the Army's standard camoflage pattern, despite the fact that it was dropped from the trials for being too similar to MultiCam.