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Posted: 3/29/2006 12:20:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 1:24:17 AM EDT
Everything is a tradeoff. In some cases, extra speed and mobility is worth more than armor. I think I will listen to the guys there on the ground. If they say they need more armor, give it to them. If they think they'd be better served using the older, smaller. lighter plates, then that's what they should use. Obviously, we should protect our soldiers and Marines the best we possibly can. But if we are loading them down with so much gear that they can't move, that seems to be going just as far. Afterall, heat stroke is just as deadly as bullets. Lugging around an extra 10 lbs in 115 degree heat for hours would certainly increase the risk for just such a thing, as well as increase the chance for strains and other injuries. It seems that the heaviest of armor would be better suited to use when the guys wearing it are in static positions.

Hopefully we will soon have plates made from lighter materials available that will provide the same coverage, but weigh only about 2 lbs each. Then we'd be in business. And I don't think we are that far out now.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:03:30 AM EDT
Maybe some congressmen and staffers should spend a couple of days fully loaded with battle gear, then add another 10 lbs...

Might give those lard butts some perspective...
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:15:06 AM EDT
Dupe

DAPS are useless.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:19:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2006 3:20:30 AM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By vito113:
Marines… real professionals, they know their stuff!

Marines Decline Extra Armor

Associated Press | March 27, 2006

HUSAYBAH, Iraq - Extra body armor - the lack of which caused a political storm in the United States - has flooded in to Iraq, but many Marines here promptly stuck it in lockers or under bunks. Too heavy and cumbersome, many say.
Marines already carry loads as heavy as 70 pounds when they patrol the dangerous streets in towns and villages in restive Anbar province. The new armor plates, while only about five pounds per set, are not worth carrying for the additional safety they are said to provide, some say.

"We have to climb over walls and go through windows," said Sgt. Justin Shank of Greencastle, Pa. "I understand the more armor, the safer you are. But it makes you slower. People don't understand that this is combat and people are going to die."

Staff Sgt. Thomas Bain of Buffalo, N.Y., shared concerns about the extra pounds.

"Before you know it, they're going to get us injured because we're hauling too much weight and don't have enough mobility to maneuver in a fight from house to house," said Bain, who is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. "I think we're starting to go overboard on the armor."

Since the insurgency erupted in Iraq, the Pentagon has been criticized for supplying insufficient armor for Humvees and too few bulletproof vests. In one remarkable incident, Soldiers publicly confronted Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld about the problem on live television.

Hometown groups across the United States have since raised money to send extra armor to troops, and the Pentagon, under congressional pressure, launched a program last October to reimburse troops who had purchased armor with their own money.

Soldiers and their parents spent hundreds, sometimes thousand of dollars, on armor until the Pentagon began issuing the new protective gear.

In Bain's platoon of about 35 men, Marines said only three or four wore the plates after commanders distributed them last month and told them that use was optional.

Top military officials, including Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, acknowledge the concerns over weight and mobility but have urged that the new gear be mandatory.

"That's going to add weight, of course," said Harvey. "You've read where certain Soldiers aren't happy about that. But we think it's in their best interest to do this."

Marines have shown a special aversion to the new plates because they tend to patrol on foot, sometimes conducting two patrols each day that last several hours. They feel the extra weight.

In Euphrates River cities from Ramadi and Romanna, lance corporals to captains have complained about the added weight and lack of mobility. But some commanders have refused to listen. In the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, for example, commanders require use of the plates. End of story.

The Marine Corps has said a total of 28,000 sets of the plates, officially called small-arms protective inserts, or side SAPIs, will be in combat zones by April. The Army has said it is hoping to have 230,000 sets of plates in the field this year.

Last year, a study by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner said dozens of Marines killed by wounds to the torso might have survived had the larger plates been in use.

"I'm sure people who ... lost kidneys would have loved to have had them on," said 2nd Lt. William Oren, a native of Southlake, Texas, who wears the plates. "More armor isn't the answer to all our problems. But I'll recommend them because it's more protection."

Some Marines have chosen to wear the plates, particularly those in more vulnerable jobs such as Humvees turret gunners or those who frequently travel on roads plagued by roadside bombs.

But many Marines - particularly those who conduct foot patrols also carrying weapons, extra ammunition, medical equipment, night vision goggles, food and water - say the extra armor is not worth it, especially when the weather becomes unbearably hot.

"When you already have 60, 70 pounds on and you add 10 pounds when you go patrolling through the city or chasing after bad guys, that extra 10 pounds is going to make a difference. You're going to feel it," said Lance Cpl. David Partridge from Bangor, Maine.

Many Marines, however, believe the politics of the issue eventually will make the plates mandatory.

"The reason they issued (the plates), I think, is to make people back home feel better," said Lance Cpl. Philip Tootle of Reidsville, Ga. "I'm not wishing they wouldn't have issued them. I'm just wishing that they wouldn't make them mandatory."


Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Heh...

The actual complaint was that the Army did not have enough IBA vests for every soldier in Iraq...

The media doesn't get the diff between Marines not wanting to wear extra side & grpin protector plates in addition to the IBA, and folks not having anything better than a 60s flak vest (level II), if that...


IIRC they fixed the IBA shortage a while ago...
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:03:15 AM EDT
So whatever happened to the soldiers who confronted Rumsfeld on this issue? Did they get their armor? Are they happy now?
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:09:40 AM EDT
Mandatory armor is a terrible idea. However, if I was a platoon commander, I'd make sure the guys think long and hard before leaving side SAPIs under their bunks. I'd wear it, weight be damned.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:12:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DAC_2141:
Maybe some congressmen and staffers should spend a couple of days fully loaded with battle gear, then add another 10 lbs...

Might give those lard butts some perspective...





I would kill to see Ted Kennedy's fat ass fully equipped and ready for war. I wonder what he would look like...................................

<­BR>




Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:14:26 AM EDT
Isn't this whole thing at least two months old?

I remember seeing soldiers of The United States Army explaining, from Baghdad, how difficult it was to maneuver with the extra shields and protectors. One guy even demonstrated how difficult it was to climb a wall with the current IBA armor, let alone the shoulder pads, groin shield and extra plates.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:17:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 95thFoot:
So whatever happened to the soldiers who confronted Rumsfeld on this issue? Did they get their armor? Are they happy now?




It's been resolved to the opposite extream. My girlfriend's brother is in the army in Iraq. He just came back for 2 weeks of leave and told us that they have been given so much armor now their standard setup weighs 86 pounds. I didn't get a chance to talk to him in detail about it but he said they have shoulder pads, arm pads, leg pads, and when it's all put together they look like the michelinman.

Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:26:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Top military officials, including Secretary of the Army Francis Harvey, acknowledge the concerns over weight and mobility but have urged that the new gear be mandatory.




Link Posted: 3/29/2006 4:48:40 AM EDT
i can tell you from experience that the gear we're wearing over there is too damn heavy as it is. when our unit was given the E-SAPI plates, all of my guys turned them down because they were heavier than the standard SAPIs but only gave a tiny amount of additional protection. i'm all for wearing protective gear, but dear God, come up with a way to make it lighter!
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 5:02:40 AM EDT
We probably have the technology to make them much lighter, but it would be too expensive. How much are our soldiers' lives worth, I wonder? For all the money they spent on cock flaps, DAPS and all that other add-on shit, they could've spent that to make lighter, stronger SAPI plates.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:07:38 AM EDT


Link Posted: 3/29/2006 6:11:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DAC_2141:
Maybe some congressmen, staffers, and senior military planners should spend a couple of days fully loaded with battle gear, then add another 10 lbs...

Might give those lard butts some perspective...




Fixed it . . .
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:05:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FaceTime:

Originally Posted By DAC_2141:
Maybe some congressmen, staffers, and senior military planners should spend a couple of days fully loaded with battle gear, then add another 10 lbs...

Might give those lard butts some perspective...




Fixed it . . .



Senior officers are politicians, they are more concern with what the press and the guys on the hill want than what the guys line say.

Simple fact is the US military are so causalities adverse that we take steps that ensure we cannot kill as many of enemy but we don't loose any one..

In addition to weight there is a big problem with bulk, the up armors and M1114s don't have allot of room in them. With all the gear on it's hard to just close the doors.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:15:21 PM EDT
everybody wears their sapi plates but i have yet to see any marines wearing the whole extended armor turtle suit.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:17:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hardcorps1775:
everybody wears their sapi plates but i have yet to see any marines wearing the whole extended armor turtle suit.



The only people you ever see wear it (our's is a little differant) is gunners, but the legs are rarely worn and I know mine wants to take off the sleaves when ever possible.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:33:03 PM EDT
The really sad think is that its politics that drive these types of changes not the need to get our guys more protected. After that whole interview with Rumsfeld there wasn't a politician around that would have said no to body armor but those same desk jockeys wouldn't have batted an eye if the issue didn't come up. That's what I find distressing.

-JIM-
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:52:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:




Reminds me a little of the Police in The 5th Element.

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:55:49 PM EDT
If Japan would get off their duffs and give us the powered exoskeletons their cartoons have been promising us for the last 20 years the extra weight wouldn't be a problem.
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