Yemen

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Republic of Yemen

The Republic of Yemen (الجمهورية اليمنية) was formed in May of 1990 by the amalgamation of the former Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (Yemen (Democratic Republic)). The country has strong political and military ties to Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but is primarily supplied with war materiel by China, Russia and North Korea. The country employs a wide variety of camouflage patterns scattered amongst its military and paramilitary forces, including American, British and Egyptian designs, as well as some recent pixelated designs of indigenous origin.

The Armed Forces of Yemen consist of the Army (including the Republican Guard - now called the Presidential Defence Forces), the Navy and the Air Force. Both the Army and the Republican Guard (الحرس الجمهوري اليمني‎) include special operations and mountain units in addition to conventional infantry, armor and support units. The Ministry of the Interior also maintain approximately 50,000 paramilitary troops, concentrated primarily in the Special Security Forces (قوات الأمن الخاصة‎‎), known as the Central Security Organization (قوات الأمن المركزي, or CSO) until 2013; they also administer a small Coast Guard contingent. The SSF functions as a kind of Gendarmerie, and has a wide range of infantry materiel and light armor in its arsenal. In addition the Central Security Forces (CSF), the primary internal security element of the CSO, there is also a Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU) under its command.

Yemeni Camouflage Patterns

  • Certainly the longest-lived camouflage pattern worn by Yemeni forces is the Egyptian two-color desert or "sand" pattern. The pattern was used by airborne & commando forces of the former Yemen Arab Republic and has been worn historically by some units of the Yemeni Armed Forces and the Yemen Police or units of the CSO. All current issue Yemeni uniforms appear to be made in China, and are generally marked with the Yemeni Armed Forces national crest. More recently produced versions of this pattern have a distinctively yellow coloration.

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  • The general issue camouflage pattern of the Yemeni Armed Forces and Police is a variation of British DPM. The design features black, chocolate brown & bright green disruptive shapes on an orange-tan background, and is distinctive when compared to British, New Zealand or other versions.

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  • Another commonly distributed pattern is a locally-made copy of the US-designed six-color desert pattern (chocolate chip). The Yemeni version has a much darker colorway, incorporating white rocks with black shadow shapes scattered over a background of reddish-brown, orange-tan & dark tan with a sandy base.

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  • Yemeni Special Forces & Republican Guards wear a unique arid camouflage design having greyish-brown and grey amoebic shapes over a background of tan and stone. The pattern bears a strong resemblance to that worn currently by the Cyprus National Guard, yet the drawings are distinctive and not the same.

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  • A copy of the US m81 woodland pattern is worn by some members of the Yemeni Police or CSF.

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  • A three-color "spot" design, seemingly copied or heavily influenced by the Finnish M70 camouflage design, has been fielded by some units of the Republican Guard.

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  • Also worn by the Yemeni Police is an urban or blue DPM pattern, similar to designs commonly encountered in other Arab Gulf States (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, et al). Several color variations have been observed, including the one seen here with strong purple overtones.

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  • Some members of the small Yemeni Coast Guard wear a variation of the ubiquitous chocolate chip camouflage design, with a primarily grey colorway. This design is very similar to versions worn by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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  • Circa 2008-2009 Yemen began introduction of a series of pixelated camouflage patterns to replace the traditional analog designs used heretofore. One of the first patterns to emerge is seen here, and is worn by the Special Security Forces (قوات الأمن الخاصة‎‎). The design incorporates black, reddish brown, dark green & olive green on a pale green background. A lighter version of this pattern has also been documented.

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  • Yemeni Republican Guards have also adopted a pixelated pattern circa 2008-2009, using the same colors as their previous organic camouflage.

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  • Another digital pattern seen recently is this three-color desert variant, incorporating smaller reddish-brown shapes on a background of sand and tan.

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  • First documented in 2013, a copy of the US desert MARPAT camouflage pattern is now also being fielded by some units of the Yemeni Armed Forces. Of note is the widespread use of this pattern by Military Police.

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  • Yet another pixelated design is seen here. The similarities in color suggest this pattern was influenced by the Egyptian-inspired two-color desert design also worn by this nation. This has been documented only among members of the Central Security Forces thus far.

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  • It would appear the previously worn "spot" pattern of the Republican Guard (now the Presidential Guard), heavily influenced by the Finnish M70 design, has also been pixelated and is now being worn by members of that unit. Two variations have been observed, differentiated by the size of the pixels employed to create the pattern.

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