Soldiers Urged To Use Armor


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280PLUS
January 19, 2006, 05:47 PM
Miami Herald
January 19, 2006

Soldiers Urged To Use Armor

By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Soldiers should be required to wear new ceramic body armor plates even though they add weight and may limit mobility, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Wednesday.

Drawn into an issue being debated on the battlefield and Capitol Hill, Harvey did not hand down an order or impose any requirements for the front lines.

The pronouncement follows the disclosure of an unreleased Pentagon study that found side armor could have saved dozens of U.S. lives in Iraq. It also reflects the military's struggle to answer criticism that soldiers are going out without the armor they need.

Soldiers at war have said the additional armor -- two side plates that each weigh 2 pounds -- will weigh them down and limit their fighting flexibility. These soldiers often carry as much as 70 pounds of equipment, including armor, weapons and water.

''That's going to add weight, of course,'' Harvey told Pentagon reporters at a news conference. ``You've read where certain soldiers aren't happy about that. But we think it's in their best interest to do this.''

Body armor has been a recurring flash point for military leaders -- first with reports that solders, helped by their families, were buying their own protective gear and vehicle armor to better shield them from attacks in Iraq.

Army officials stressed that Harvey was offering his opinion. They said unit commanders in Iraq and elsewhere make the final decision on what armor their troops must wear.

Harvey said an Army review of casualty reports showed that 5 percent of those killed in action died from gunshot wounds.

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WT
January 19, 2006, 07:56 PM
The soldiers and marines in the field should be given the option. Let the guys who put their lives on the line make the final decision. But at least give them armor if they want it.

No civilian in Washington should make the decision.

NMshooter
January 19, 2006, 08:52 PM
Here is a long thread about this subject, among others:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=167498

Enjoy reading, it is a long one.:)

Sleeping Dog
January 19, 2006, 08:54 PM
The soldiers and marines in the field should be given the option
Soldiers are not given options, they are given orders and standard equipment.

If they had options, they might not choose to shoot .223 and 9mm, but opt for .308 and .45. :D

Regards.

Pilgrim
January 19, 2006, 10:12 PM
It's time for those mobile infantry suits of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (the book, not the movie).

Pilgrim

MTMilitiaman
January 19, 2006, 10:32 PM
It's time for those mobile infantry suits of Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" (the book, not the movie).

Pilgrim

Or the armor of Master Chief from HALO. That would be cherry.

From what I understand my brother understands the basic IBA but gets really pissed when people start adding shoulder pads and stuff to it. Scathing, malacious, and venomous is the best way to describe what he thinks of that...

Chrontius
January 20, 2006, 05:02 PM
Or the armor of Master Chief from HALO. That would be cherry.

From what I understand my brother understands the basic IBA but gets really pissed when people start adding shoulder pads and stuff to it. Scathing, malacious, and venomous is the best way to describe what he thinks of that...
Aren't most lethal shots entering the armor outside of protected areas?
Wouldn't shoulderpads help prevent this? :banghead:

trueblue1776
January 20, 2006, 05:12 PM
Aren't most lethal shots entering the armor outside of protected areas?
Wouldn't shoulderpads help prevent this? :banghead:

It would suffice to say nearly all FATAL shots enter outside of the protected area, if you are wearing ARMOR. Durrrrr

striker3
January 20, 2006, 06:00 PM
Aren't most lethal shots entering the armor outside of protected areas?
Wouldn't shoulderpads help prevent this?

Maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn't. The point is that they affect mobility and shooting. It is hard enough to shoulder a weapon with the interceptor, now you want to cover the shoulder pocket completly. The shoulder pads also restrict the full range of motion of your shoulder.

Just as everything else in life, there are compromises to armor. The more armor you put on, the more weight and the less mobility. The less armor that you put on, the more vulnerable you are. The desicion about who weres what armor should be left up to Company Commanders and below. They are the people on the ground who know the exact circumstances of each mission.

DRZinn
January 21, 2006, 01:16 AM
A study, of which much hay was made, came out last week showing that something like 60% of combat deaths would have been prevented by more body armor. Leftists jumped all over it. Never mind that as you gain protection from small-arms fire, you lose mobility and your chances of accomplishing the mission.

I guess you could put every soldier in a reinforced-concrete box, and he'd be pretty safe.

Gifted
January 21, 2006, 07:46 PM
Funny, I found this on another board:

http://www.sftt.org/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpDefense&htmlCategoryID=30&htmlId=4514

Seems that there's some conflict here.

Gifted
January 21, 2006, 07:47 PM
Funny, I found this on another board:

http://www.sftt.org/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpDefense&htmlCategoryID=30&htmlId=4514

Seems that there's some conflict here.

I'd say integrate the armor into a combat ensamble. This would include designing the shoulder area to allow shouldering your firearm, even if it's with a special buttplate. Better than nothing.

telomerase
January 21, 2006, 08:40 PM
A study, of which much hay was made, came out last week showing that something like 60% of combat deaths would have been prevented by more body armor.

The Swiss figured out a system 200 years ago for avoiding 100% of combat deaths. But it involves owning a lot of guns, so you don't see politicians "left"
or "right" endorsing it...

280PLUS
January 22, 2006, 05:02 PM
I wonder if the Army's problem with the Dragon armor and other commercially available armor has anything to do with it's contract with the people producing the Interceptor armor.

trueblue1776
January 22, 2006, 11:11 PM
The Swiss figured out a system 200 years ago for avoiding 100% of combat deaths. But it involves owning a lot of guns, so you don't see politicians "left"
or "right" endorsing it...


:D

U.S.SFC_RET
January 23, 2006, 01:09 AM
The catch 22 lies with the U.S. Higher military leadership, they are held responsible for the lives they manage down the chain of command. They are most probably forced to "go along" with the additional body armor. Most likely most servicemen and women don't want to wear the additional armor and of course the General Officers don't have to. Mission will dictate who will have to wear it.

tater_salad
January 24, 2006, 09:07 AM
I would also have to agree that it should be an option, or possibly required for some tasks and not others. Just as different shooting positions are taught for different situations, the ADDITIONAL armor also would be situational dependant. For shooting positions, the situation dictates the needed balance of either stability or manuverability required. Case and point, if you are in a close firefight with the enemy and are going to be rushing or manuvering, you need to be able to get up and down quickly, and move from position to position quickly. However, if you are in an ambush position or bunker, and the enemy is farther away, manuverability becomes less of an issue and stability is more important. I think that the additional armor would be used best for situations like a gunner on a vehicle, in a bunker, in an LP/OP or ambush, guard post, etc. Static positions where you won't have to worry as much about manuverability, but your protection could be even more of an issue as you are a fixed target. If you are on a foot patrol or a mission such as a cordon and search inside of buildings, manuverability is key and the added bulk and weight would not be beneficial. As the enemy gets closer, more emphasis is placed on manuverability because it is easier to fire acurately from less stable platforms (i.e. standing or kneeling - or in this case, with shoulder pads and side plates on) and as the enemy is farther away, more emphasis is placed on stability (i.e. prone or sitting - or in this case, being able to have the weapon tight in your shoulder and getting good stock relief and bone support) because the added distance requires more careful aiming.

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