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Airmen hold ABU day in final wear

  • Published
  • By Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee took a moment, March 29, to reflect on the Airman Battle Uniform during their last time wearing it in service.

With just two days remaining of the ABU’s authorized wear-date, the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center group held an ABU throwback day where they all wore it for duty. They met midday to talk about the uniform change and took a group photograph. They also took selfies of their last wear. Afterward, they collected the uniforms to give to a local high school junior ROTC.

“We’ve come a long way in this uniform, here and deployed,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Steven Durrance, the enlisted professional military education center commandant. “It’s important to capture this moment and take time for our heritage, who we are, and where we come from.”

The ABU came into service about a dozen years ago as the U.S. Air Force’s utility uniform. It replaced the battle dress uniform. The operational camouflage pattern uniform is now mandatory to wear, beginning April 1.

TEC is a detachment of the Air National Guard Readiness Center and is located outside Knoxville. It conducts an average of 16 Enlisted Professional Military Education courses and 40 Professional Continuing Education sessions throughout the year.