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Posted: 1/8/2006 6:45:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:55:32 AM EDT by TacticalStrat]
The Libs are having a field day with this article. They are simplfying the situation and trying to claim that Rumsfield simply is not giving body armor to our troops that need it.

I realize that the decision to use body armor is a trade-off between cost, comfort, mobility, heat, and protection. I was wondering what the availability is of body armor to those troops that need it and decide they'd prefer to lose some mobility and comfort to gain protection.

What are the levels of body armor available to troops? Is there just two: the vest and ceramic plates?

Study says better body armor could have saved many Marines

(1/07/06 - WASHINGTON) - Most torso wounds that killed Marines in Iraq might have been prevented or minimized by improved body armor, a Pentagon study found.


The unreleased study last summer by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner looked at 93 fatal wounds from the start of the war in March 2003 through June 2005. It concluded that 74 were bullet or shrapnel wounds to shoulders or areas of the torso not protected by ceramic armor plating.

The findings underscore the difficulty facing the Army and Marine Corps in providing the optimum level of body armor protection in a war against an insurgency whose tactics are constantly changing.

Both services have weighed the expected payoff in additional safety from extra protection against the measurable loss of combat effectiveness from too much armor.

"In response to the changing battlefield conditions and as new technologies emerge, the Army continues to develop improvements to soldier protection equipment to enhance survivability and mobility," Army spokesman Paul Boyce said Friday.

Boyce said he could not discuss details, but that U.S. soldiers' body armor is the best in the world.

"We take operational security very seriously and will not discuss in public sensitive issues that may render any insight to the enemy about our capabilities, fielding plans or tactics, techniques and procedures," he added.

According to a summary of the study obtained by The Associated Press, the 93 Marines who died from a primary lethal injury of the torso were among 401 Marines who died from combat injuries in Iraq between the start of the war and last June.

Autopsy reports and photographic records were analyzed to help the military determine possible body armor redesign. A military advocacy group, Soldiers for Truth, posted an article about the study on its Web site this week. On Friday evening, The New York Times reported in its online edition that the study for the first time shows the cost in lives lost from inadequate armor.

The study found that of 39 fatal torso wounds in which the bullet or shrapnel entered the Marine's body outside of the ceramic armor plate that protects the chest and back, 31 were close to the plate's edge.

"Either a larger plate or superior protection around the plate would have had the potential to alter the final outcome," the report concluded.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:50:49 AM EDT
I thought it was bullshit. Although more armor protection would probably save more lives how many lives would it cost when Soldiers and Marines can't take the fight to the bad guys because they can't move under all that weight.

Being a Soldier or Marine is dangerous work, there is definately a balancing act between protection and mobility.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:50:58 AM EDT
you cant go into combat wearing a ceramic armor body cast.

the interceptor vest worked great for me and everyone in my old unit.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:53:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:53:17 AM EDT by mattimeo]

Originally Posted By justice23:
I thought it was bullshit. Although more armor protection would probably save more lives how many lives would it cost when Soldiers and Marines can't take the fight to the bad guys because they can't move under all that weight.

Being a Soldier or Marine is dangerous work, there is definately a balancing act between protection and mobility.



Exactly. You have to have a middle ground. Until they can invent some cheap, rifle-resistant cloth, you're stuck with compromises. FWIW, i've heard nothing but confidence in the current issue Interceptor from all the folks I keep in contact with over there. There are some comfort issues with it, but otherwise, every guy I know in the field has no problem trusting his safety to it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:58:53 AM EDT
Any more armor than we already wear would render us combat ineffective.


I'm sure some of the wounds they describe came from FOBS getting mortared when the guys weren't even wearing their shit. You have to take it off sometime.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:18:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:21:44 AM EDT by Garand_Shooter]

Originally Posted By geezhound:
Any more armor than we already wear would render us combat ineffective.


I'm sure some of the wounds they describe came from FOBS getting mortared when the guys weren't even wearing their shit. You have to take it off sometime.



Yup.

To make the plates any bigger or add more plates would render the wearer half immobilized from the weight and restriction on movement.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:52:41 AM EDT
what they should say is that without the armor they had there would have been more deaths and injuries

the libtards are delusional and think that rummy has a huge stockpile of armor he's holding back, or that we can snap our fingers and instantly make more
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 8:05:31 AM EDT
the interceptor is a definite huge step forward from the old issue "flack vests" without the interceptor there would be a much higher death toll, even with the pre interceptor armor it would be much higher.

My best friends brother was in iraq the same time we were, he took 2 ak rounds in his plate, without it he would have died, no doubt. He was off his feet for about a week, because of bruising, but other than that he was fine.

As far a shrap wounds go that thing is the shit. Some of you may remember Sgt Hummert, whom we did a hero rifle for. His truck was nailed by an rpg. If anyone remembers the pictures, his arms and legs were covered with "shrap burn" (tons of small penetrations) but anywhere he had the vest on him looked like he had never even seen combat.

The are additional pieces that can be added to the vest to increase its protection somewhat, (no where near rifle though) like the shorts, and the deltoid covers, but having worn them i can tell you first hand that the only time i would want them on is when im pulling convoy security.

The iba as it is is about as far as you can go without seriously degrading a soldiers propable combat effectivness. Much more weight or restriction of movement would most likely cost us more than it was worth.

In short, i'm very happy with my iba, and i have no reservations wearing it, nor do i want more armor to wear on my person. Anyone who does is likely much more worried about themself than doing their job.

As a soldier you have to make certain tradeoffs, and realize that part of the job is a distinct possibility of being killed. That doesnt mean i like that part, but its part and parcel of being a warrior. Anyone who says otherwise is being a pussy.

i could rant all day but i should probably stop here.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 4:39:07 PM EDT
No matter how strong and in shape you are in, there is a limit to how much weight you can carry and still have some endurance and agility. Any more than that and you are only good for a static position, a guard tower or a vehicle gunner. And even then it needs to be easily doffed if you need to move. The Kevlar boxers the Marines are testing, and the additional armor the Army is looking at, both for vehicle gunner have the Fastex type buckles to drop them in a hurry if needed.

That's about the only time I'd want more weight and stiffness than the IBA w/SAPI's.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 4:42:53 PM EDT
news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060108/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/iraq_body_armor


U.S. Soldiers Question Use of More Armor

By RYAN LENZ, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jan 8, 12:43 AM ET

BEIJI, Iraq - U.S. soldiers in the field were not all supportive of a
Pentagon study that found improved body armor saves lives, with some troops arguing Saturday that more armor would hinder combat effectiveness.

The unreleased study examined 93 fatal wounds to Marines from the start of the
Iraq war in March 2003 through June 2005. It concluded 74 of them were bullet or shrapnel wounds to shoulders or torso areas unprotected by traditional ceramic armor plating.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade "Rakkasans" are required to wear an array of protective clothing they refer to as their "happy gear," ranging from Kevlar drapes over their shoulders and sides, to knee pads and fire-resistant uniforms.

But many soldiers say they feel encumbered by the weight and restricted by fabric that does not move as they do. They frequently joke as they strap on their equipment before a patrol, and express relief when they return and peel it off.

Second Lt. Josh Suthoff, 23, of Jefferson City, Mo., said he already sacrifices enough movement when he wears the equipment. More armor would only increase his chances of getting killed, he said.

"You can slap body armor on all you want, but it's not going to help anything. When it's your time, it's your time," said Suthoff, a platoon leader in the brigade's 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment. "I'd go out with less body armor if I could."

The study and their remarks highlight the difficulty faced by the Army and Marine Corps in providing the best level of body armor protection in a war against an insurgency whose tactics are constantly changing.

Both the Army and the Marines have weighed the expected payoff in additional safety from extra armor against the measurable loss of combat effectiveness from too much armor.

According to a summary of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner's study obtained Friday evening by The Associated Press, the 93 Marines who died from a primary lethal injury of the torso were among 401 Marines who died from combat injuries in Iraq between the start of the war and June 2005.

A military advocacy group, Soldiers for Truth, posted an article about the study on its Web site this week. On Friday evening, The New York Times reported in its online edition that the study for the first time shows the cost in lives lost from inadequate armor.

Autopsy reports and photographic records were analyzed to help the military determine possible body armor redesign.

Of 39 fatal torso wounds in which the bullet or shrapnel entered the Marine's body outside of the ceramic armor plate protecting the chest and back, 31 were close to the plate's edge, according to the study, which was conducted last summer.

Some soldiers felt unhappy that ceramic plates to protect their sides and shoulders were available, but not offered, when they deployed for Iraq in September.

"If it's going to protect a soldier or save his life, they definitely should have been afforded the opportunity to wear it," said Staff Sgt. Shaun Benoit, 26, of Conneaut, Ohio. "I want to know where there was a break in communication."

Others questioned the effectiveness of additional body armor.

"It's the Army's responsibility to get soldiers the armor they need. But that doesn't mean those deaths could have been prevented," said Spc. Robert Reid, 21, of Atlanta.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was in Iraq on Saturday, said military leaders told him that body armor has improved since the initial invasion in 2003 and that the military hoped to gradually transition to the improved armor.

The debate between protection versus mobility has dominated military doctrine since the Middle Ages, when knights wrapped themselves in metal suits for battle, said Capt. Jamey Turner, 35, of Baton Rouge, La., a commander in the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment.

The issue comes up daily on the battlefield in Iraq, and soldiers need to realize there is no such thing as 100 percent protection, he said.

"You've got to sacrifice some protection for mobility," he added. "If you cover your entire body in ceramic plates, you're just not going to be able to move."

Others in the regiment said the issue of protecting soldiers with more body armor is of greater concern at home than among soldiers in Iraq, who have seen firsthand how life and death hang on a sliver of luck when an improvised explosive device hits a Humvee.

"These guys over here are husbands, sons and daughters. It's understandable people at home would want all the protection in the world for us. But realistically, it just don't work," said Sgt. Paul Hare, 40, of Tucumcari, N.M.

Link Posted: 1/8/2006 4:45:28 PM EDT
Are there not add ons that are/were being tested for fielded? Shoulder 'flaps', for lack of a better term and neck protectors.

Are these now the standard? Like or dislike these feature?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:01:03 AM EDT
There's even a diaper for gunner to wear to protect the family jewels. The IBA works and works well, but even it can't stop shrapnel from multiple 155mm rounds in an IED detonating within meters of vehicles and soldiers. I took a shot from an AK in my back while on the perimeter. It skipped off the SAPI plate and went through the fender on a truck next to me. I like the IBA. I didn't wear the neck piece or the groin protector as it hindered my movement too much. I didn't want to get shot for lack of shooting back. I did wear the shoulder pieces while in convoy though.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 6:59:33 AM EDT
This is the first time I get to say DUPE! Sorry...

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=425239
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:05:53 AM EDT
we really should have all our guys in mithril armor. maybe then the dems would be happy! i mean, that's equally realistic to what they want, yes?
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:38:09 AM EDT
the plates are already about as big as they can be, you add a LBE to it with 210 rounds (at least) butt pack, water and all your other crap and it gets very heavy very fast.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 7:44:36 AM EDT
what about some kinda articulated armor instead of just plates? of course, that will leave the area of articulation vulnerable unless that too is covered.

it could be done to some degree especially since the plates themselves are so frigging light now. the thing is, with more coverage, especially in hot zones, you're gonna need some kinda cooling/ventilation system.
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