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Night Camouflage - Hiding Soldiers In The Dark

Special camouflage helps to conceal soldiers from night vision devices.


Updated June 14, 2011

Believe it or not, the U.S. military uses a special camouflage in the desert at night when it is dark out.

Hiding From Night Vision Goggles

While the idea of using camouflage at night time might sound strange at first, military leaders insist that it is necessary to hide soldiers from night vision goggles and other devices that allow the enemy to effectively see in the dark. The most commonly used of these camouflages is known as "desert night camouflage." This is a two color grid camouflage pattern used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is frequently worn by U.S. soldiers who are conducting night time raids and operations. Night camouflage was used extensively during the 1991 Gulf War.  

Some camouflage has been developed that helps conceal soldiers during the day and at night – eliminating the need to have two separate sets of camouflage clothing. This includes the Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform and the Army Combat Uniform. Other militaries besides the United States have experimented with and used night camouflage, including England.

Advanced Night Vision Devices

One of the persistent challenges with night camouflage is keeping up with advances in night vision and infrared technology. New and improved technology makes it increasingly difficult to conceal soldiers from the enemy at night. As the technology develops, it becomes easier to see and identify soldiers wearing night camouflage. For this reason, some branches of the U.S. military – such as the Marine Corps. – have phased out the use of night camouflage. 

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