Last month, snipers from across the U.S. Army gathered to test the new Improved Ghillie System (IGS). The IGS is currently in the development phase. Numerous versions are being evaluated to determine which is the most effective.

During this evaluation process, the gathered snipers tested the visual attributes of the ghillie suits. Snipers wearing different versions of the suit had to escape detection by the evaluating cadre whilst performing traditional sniper tasks. Among other units, snipers came from the different Special Forces Groups, the 75th Ranger Regiment, the 82nd Airborne Division, and also from the Army National Guard.

Currently, the Army is furnishing its snipers with the Flame Resistant Ghillie System (FRGS). However, the FRGS, which was introduced in 2012, hasn’t been popular with the troops due to its heavy weight and bad breathability — which makes it ineffective in hot environments. And since 9/11, American troops have been fighting in battlefields with extremely hot temperatures. The IGS isn’t developed to have the same amount of flame resistance as its predecessor. Instead, the soldiers will be protected by their flame-resistant uniforms.

Major WaiWah Ellison, who is the assistant product manager of Durable Goods, Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment of the Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO), said that currently “soldiers are creating ghillie suits with their own materials to match their personal preference. We want to make the IGS simpler and modular so the snipers will use what is issued to them instead of relying on outside resources.”