Military Camouflage Netting

Probably the most common use in the military for camouflage netting is primarily to hide equipment and high value assets that could normally be seen easily with the naked eye. From a distance the landscape simple appears to have extra hills to the naked eye when camouflage netting is used, in effect making items invisible or hiding them in plain sight. Not only has camouflaged netting been used by the military to hide items, but it is also used as a diversion along with decoy aircraft, tanks, and artillery that are made from wood and sometimes even cardboard in order to entice the enemy to a location other than where actual military equipment is being stored.

Currently in the Middle East there are even large hangers that appear from a distance as if they are part of the many sand dunes on the landscape. This article will neither give locations or implications as to where these locations are but let’s just say they are in technically strategic locations for both offensive and defensive operations.

Personally in my 20 + years of service, I have learned many of the different effects and uses that camouflage netting has and it truly is a remarkable item. Depending on the terrain, I’ve seen things virtually disappear from as little as 300 feet away because of the use of this material, there are more advanced nettings and uniforms in development that will enhance the invisibility of both equipment and personal even as I write this article. Some of the principles behind the new camouflage netting is to have thousands of reflective membranes embedded within the material to create a chameleon like effect in which your uniform or camouflage netting blends into the background almost identically.

Besides the usefulness of such equipment for the military it has plenty of practical uses for individual and home security as well as local law enforcement officers. In addition to this technology, some service members have already received training in another technology that allows them to virtually shoot around corners allowing them to stay safely barricaded when drawing enemy fire.

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Camouflage Netting and the Art of Concealment

Camouflage is essentially the art of concealment. Traditionally it has been used in military and warfare. Let’s look at some of the basics of camouflage.

Historic Uses of Camo Nets

Virtually every indigenous tribe in the world has used some form of concealment during wars and conflicts. In its very simplest form, objects from the surrounding environment are applied to the body and clothing. The American Indian may have used sticks, feathers, and various grasses to conceal themselves.

The basic idea behind camouflage is the BLISS principle: Blend in, Low silhouette, Irregular shape, Surface and Shine. Soldiers are taught to use the local surrounding vegetation and materials when trying to blend in. Additionally, an individual wouldn’t want to “skyline” themselves; for example walking along a ridgeline. Break up the recognizable shape of a human or piece of equipment, such as a rifle. Pieces of burlap may be tied on to the clothing or equipment to make an improvised “ghillie suit” (sniper’s outfit). Soldiers and hunters will prevent surface shine by applying dark colors to their face and hands.

Camouflage netting is used to conceal large objects, such as vehicles or a campsite. This concealment material was used during the American Civil War to conceal cannons and other munitions from enemy view. Camouflage netting was used extensively by American and Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre of World War II. Hitler’s top generals, such as Rommel, the “Desert Fox”, also utilized camo netting in the North African desert. Enemy aircraft had a difficult time trying to spot the Nazi forces.

Modern Uses of Camouflage Netting

In more modern times, camouflage netting is used extensively by hunters. Duck hunters especially like to use camouflage material to create “blinds”. This helps the hunters to stay hidden from the keen eyes of the ducks.
Camouflage material today comes in many colors, materials, and sizes. Some netting is made from a rubberized material. This prolongs the life of the camo material. Other camouflage netting may be made of burlap. There are different color configurations to choose from, depending on your particular environment (woodland, desert, swamp, even snow white!).

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