USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Components?

Discussion in 'Cloth' started by a2jacketpatches, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    What the??????? Stopped at the yard sale of an 80's USAF Vet yesterday. He had a couple of flight suits, a cadet suit in light blue, some speed jeans (G Suit) and a few other things. I left it all there because he was asking outrageous prices but notice one Flight Suit had "Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Components" on the tag. Seemed to be GI. Say it isn't so, we're not sourcing outside labor to make our Government Issue right?
     
  2. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    I sincerely doubt it, but pics would help.
     
  3. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Yard sale, no pics. Maybe a private purchase but pretty sure it was GI.
     
  4. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    There are plenty of civilian versions, even in Nomex. It just doesn't compute.
     
  5. Rutger

    Rutger Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Propper has their CWU jackets (at least some of them) made in the Dominican Republic (from US parts).
    They sell commercially and also to the Govmnt.
     
  6. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    The commercial items may be produced anywhere but the issued clothing is subject to the Berry Amendment.
     
  7. Monsoon

    Monsoon Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    I think one of the first desert flight suits I was issued in 1998 was assembled in Mexico.
     
  8. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    If the guy wasn't so out of sight with the price I would have grabbed it just for an example to complain about. I'm pretty good with recognizing issued items against the commercial copies so I'd almost bet my left one this was GI. Reviewed the Berry Amendment as well, looks like it's not a straight forward as one may think. Something about as long as the metal is melted in the U.S. and so on, there's a way around everything.
     
  9. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    This would seem compelling except that GI-issued items don't state the country of origin as this is a foregone conclusion. To paraphrase the great Lee Marvin in The Big Red One: "You can live without it--that's why they gave you two." ;)
     
  10. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    I don't know, it said what it said, Monsoon recalls a similar situation, should have snapped a photo with my camera.
     
  11. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Let me back up a bit as I'm not trying to question what anyone saw, nor am I claiming to be the foremost expert on all things military, the Berry Amendment, or anything else. What I am saying is that in my experience items produced pursuant to US Government contracts do not state the country of origin on their labels. We've discussed the distinction between military and civilian labels before and I think if we're being honest we'd all have to agree that known GI items don't say "Made in USA," etc. That said, nowadays there are lots of commercial items in the field and the lines get blurred easily. I know for a fact that the US government purchases commercial uniform items that fall outside the range of general issue, such as Tru-Spec desert tiger stripes (I recently obtained several pieces new in wrap from an Air Force loadmaster and there's ample photographic evidence of their use overseas). Here's an example of a Propper CWU-27/P made in the Dominican Republic per Rutger's earlier post:

    [​IMG]

    The label may appear consistent with GI, but the absence of a contract number and the presence of the commercial RN number tells us this is not a GI-contract item. Could it be worn by military personnel in the field? Absolutely, who would stop one from doing so? However, this item was clearly produced for commercial consumption rather than pursuant to a government contract for issue to servicemen. I'm not in a position to say whether Uncle Sam nevertheless hands out these items to the troops, but I'd be willing to bet he doesn't. I'm fairly confident that one could find examples of these items being worn in the field by GIs, just like troops in pretty much war every war have worn privately-sourced clothing.

    Sean's original post appeared to be based on the notion that the US government may have outsourced the production of GI gear, and I remain skeptical of this based on the foregoing and other factors.
     
  12. Atticus

    Atticus Well-Known Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Assembled in Mexico using U.S. made components? Are you sure you're looking at a fight suit and not a Fender Telecaster?

    AF
     
  13. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    I hear ya, just that I didn't see a commercial Maker on the tag, an immediate turn off for me unless cheaper than dirt. I'm familiar with Propper and Tru-spec as I just got a lot of modern USAF Gortex stuff like that for almost nothing in new condition. I don't think the tag said "Made in the USA" either. Just wondering if maybe the contractor saw a loophole by using U.S. materials and then had some 10 year olds put them together for a buck an hour in Mexico. The Berry Amendment didn't specify labor from what I could find, and they talk around materials a little bit as well. These days the most American of American goods are sourced out of the country in one way or the other. Levi, Indian Motorcycle, you name it.
     
  14. Rutger

    Rutger Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Ok, I'll now have to dig through the jackets to find the Propper ones and check the tags.
    For all practical purposes, what's going to happen if a soldier sustains heavy burns while wearing a commercial garment instead of an issued identical one?
    Will the govmnt decline claimes they would not have denied to someone wearing the issued garments?
    With all the commercial gear US personnel are buying nowadays for themselves just to be equipped well enough for the job, I suppose that battle has already been fought.
     
  15. rb3586

    rb3586 New Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    It is a COTS (Complete off the shelf) GSA item. The US government has been moving towards this for years. If it meets the need, and is available for sale, to the public, it may be purchased. The Berry admendment applies to contracted military items, but may be exempted, as needed, to fullfill the contract.

    It is not commonly known, but the USAF A-2 is a COTS GSA Item, not a USAF Contracted item, as an example.
     
  16. Treetopflyer

    Treetopflyer Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    I couldn't see why it wouldn't be assembled in another country. The American flag patches I buy for my flight suit at the uniform shop on base are made in China. I am not joking.
     
  17. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Berry Amendment or no Berry Amendment, Doesn't matter how you slice it, it's just as I thought.
     
  18. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    Really? This was the premise of your original post that started the discussion:

    You appear to rely on the following as proof positive, and while it's essentially a factual statement (per GSA, the COTS acronym actually stands for "Commercial Off The Shelf") it has nothing to do with the outsourcing of labor for the production of GI gear:

    The suit in question, like the Honduras-produced Propper example I posted earlier, was a commercial item (presumably) made to Government specifications. The Berry Amendment may have had nothing to do with this as the item didn't have to satisfy its requirements to be made for the commercial market. If the government later purchases such an item to fulfill shortages, etc. that's another matter altogether.

    Where I went wrong was in assuming that the government doesn't hand out the commercial versions as a substitute for issued items, but perhaps it does after all. However, the point here is that the suit you describe was not GI.
     
  19. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    All I'm saying is that it seems even the U'S. Government has made it so our U.S. Armed Forces are now wearing gear made from $1 dollar an hour workers instead of good ole American made. Just like Indian Motorcycle is not an American Company anymore and moved a parts factory from Wisconsin to Mexico, and you can't buy a new pair of American made Levi Jeans. Essentially, the well thought out language in the Berry Amendment reaches the same goal for Psuedo-American Companies to meet the needs of these "shortages" anyway. So that leaves me with this........SHORTAGES?.........We shouldn't have any steenking shortages. :lol:

    I'm not intentionally trying to point out that you are wrong but you seem to be taking it that way. But at this point I am a little confused by your statement....

    "Where I went wrong was in assuming that the government doesn't hand out the commercial versions as a substitute for issued items"

    I'm now wondering the difference between "hand out" and "issued" in plain English, not Government gibberish.
     
  20. watchmanjimg

    watchmanjimg Active Member

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    Re: USAF Flight Suit / Assembled in Mexico with U.S. Compone

    It's cool, I was just calling myself out on my prior statement that it was unlikely the government would hand out commercial items such as the "Made In Mexico" flightsuit when GI versions are produced according to contracts (and subject to the Berry Amendment, etc). As it appears they may in fact do so in some cases, I acknowledge my remark as erroneous. All I was ever really trying to say was that the suit in question is commercial vs. GI issue, but your point is well taken that in plain English this might be a very fine distinction nowadays.
     

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