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Dragon Skin body armor in iraq

Discussion in 'Legal' started by carnaby, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    I just heard on a "progressive" radio station that US troops have been advised that if they are shot and die while wearing privately purchased commercial body armor (they referred to something called "snakeskin") that they might loose their $400,000 death benefit for their families.

    This sounds pretty outrageous, all things considered. They also touted some statistic that said 80% of the troops who died from a gunshot wound to the torso would have survived had they been wearing "Snakeskin" or some other body armor.

    Any truth to all this? I'm going to check it out further. I listen to the "progressive radio" for my daily dose of bewilderment and frustration. It's fun, try it. I can't seem to manage more than about five or ten minutes at a time though.
     
  2. KriegHund

    KriegHund Member

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    Google didnt do anything for 'snakeskin' body armor...
     
  3. Ultima-Ratio

    Ultima-Ratio Member

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    Try-

    A search on Dragon Skin?
     
  4. boofus

    boofus Guest

    You went looking for accurate and credible information on the military from communist radio?

    Of course it doesn't matter what capitalist imperial american pig dogs wear. The proletariat will overthrow the white devil united states satans business owners. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    I've heard of such stuff...small overlapping plates, not sure what kind of material, like scales on a snake or a fish. The basic idea has been around at least since Roman times.

    I wasn't aware any of the stuff was being offered for commercial sale yet. Certainly none has made it through the military procurement process, even the abbreviated version being used to put some off the shelf technology into the troops hands.
     
  6. boofus

    boofus Guest

    The latest sci-fi blurb about body armor in development was a liquid that would harden only if subjected to a certain catalyst. The armor could be flexible like regular clothing except right before impact, when the effected areas would harden to stop the projectile.
     
  7. joab

    joab Member

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    It was announced also on Becks program today, but I didn't have time to listen to the whole story.

    but it is not outrageous at all

    The military is about uniformity. If they allowed troops to use whatever newer and better equipment that comes along without having it go through the rigorous testing that the military requires and those troops are killed because they depended on substandard equipment there would be even more hell being raised on the Internet.

    This study that shows that a certain number of soldiers would not have died if they were wearing more armor ignores the effect that that armor would have on them while trying to perform their duties or how many more may have been killed or wounded due to lessened mobility and fatigue caused by the extra weight and heat retention
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Hogwash. Nobody is going to lose death benefits over what body armor they use. More agitprop.
     
  9. Thain

    Thain Member

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    Actually, it's in Defense Weekly.

    http://www.sftt.org/main.cfm?action...nKey=cmpDefense&htmlCategoryID=30&htmlId=4514

    01.14.2006

    Army Orders Soldiers to Shed Dragon Skin or Lose SGLI Death Benefits


    By Nathaniel R. Helms


    Two deploying soldiers and a concerned mother reported Friday afternoon that the U.S. Army appears to be singling out soldiers who have purchased Pinnacle's Dragon Skin Body Armor for special treatment. The soldiers, who are currently staging for combat operations from a secret location, reported that their commander told them if they were wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin and were killed their beneficiaries might not receive the death benefits from their $400,000 SGLI life insurance policies. The soldiers were ordered to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action.



    The soldiers asked for anonymity because they are concerned they will face retaliation for going public with the Army's apparently new directive. At the sources' requests DefenseWatch has also agreed not to reveal the unit at which the incident occured for operational security reasons.



    On Saturday morning a soldier affected by the order reported to DefenseWatch that the directive specified that "all" commercially available body armor was prohibited. The soldier said the order came down Friday morning from Headquarters, United States Special Operations Command (HQ, USSOCOM), located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. It arrived unexpectedly while his unit was preparing to deploy on combat operations. The soldier said the order was deeply disturbiing to many of the men who had used their own money to purchase Dragon Skin because it will affect both their mobility and ballistic protection.



    "We have to be able to move. It (Dragon Skin) is heavy, but it is made so we have mobility and the best ballistic protection out there. This is crazy. And they are threatening us with our benefits if we don't comply." he said.



    The soldier reiterated Friday's reports that any soldier who refused to comply with the order and was subsequently killed in action "could" be denied the $400,000 death benefit provided by their SGLI life insurance policy as well as face disciplinary action.



    As of this report Saturday morning the Army has not yet responded to a DefenseWatch inquiry.



    Recently Dragon Skin became an item of contention between proponents of the Interceptor OTV body armor generally issued to all service members deploying in combat theaters and its growing legion of critics. Critics of the Interceptor OTV system say it is ineffective and inferior to Dragon Skin, as well as several other commercially available body armor systems on the market. Last week DefenseWatch released a secret Marine Corps report that determined that 80% of the 401 Marines killed in Iraq between April 2004 and June 2005 might have been saved if the Interceptor OTV body armor they were wearing was more effective. The Army has declined to comment on the report because doing so could aid the enemy, an Army spokesman has repeatedly said.



    A U.S. Army spokesman was not available for comment at the time DW's original report (Friday - 1700 CST) was published. DefenseWatch continues to seek a response from the Army and will post one as soon as it becomes available. Yesterday the DoD released a news story through the Armed Forces News Service that quoted Maj. Gen. Steven Speaks, the Army's director of force development, who countered critical media reports by denying that the U.S. military is behind the curve in providing appropriate force protection gear for troops deployed to Iraq and elsewhere in the global war against terrorism. The New York Tiimes and Washington Post led the bandwagon of mainstream media that capitalized on DefenseWatch's release of the Marine Corps study. Both newspapers released the forensic information the Army and Marines are unwilling to discuss.



    "Those headlines entirely miss the point," Speaks said.



    The effort to improve body armor "has been a programmatic effort in the case of the Army that has gone on with great intensity for the last five months," he noted.



    Speaks' assessment contradicts earlier Army, Marine and DoD statements that indicated as late as last week that the Army was certain there was nothing wrong with Interceptor OTV body armor and that it was and remains the "best body armor in the world."



    One of the soldiers who lost his coveted Dragon Skin is a veteran operator. He reported that his commander expressed deep regret upon issuing his orders directing him to leave his Dragon Skin body armor behind. The commander reportedly told his subordinates that he "had no choice because the orders came from very high up" and had to be enforced, the soldier said. Another soldier's story was corroborated by his mother, who helped defray the $6,000 cost of buying the Dragon Skin, she said.



    The mother of the soldier, who hails from the Providence, Rhode Island area, said she helped pay for the Dragon Skin as a Christmas present because her son told her it was "so much better" than the Interceptor OTV they expected to be issued when arriving in country for a combat tour.



    "He didn't want to use that other stuff," she said. "He told me that if anything happened to him I am supposed to raise hell."



    At the time the orders were issued the two soldiers had already loaded their Dragon Skin body armor onto the pallets being used to air freight their gear into the operational theater, the soldiers said. They subsequently removed it pursuant to their orders.



    Currently nine U.S. generals stationed in Afghanistan are reportedly wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin body armor, according to company spokesman Paul Chopra. Chopra, a retired Army chief warrant officer and 20+-year pilot in the famed 160th "Nightstalkers" Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), said his company was merely told the generals wanted to "evaluate" the body armor in a combat environment. Chopra said he did not know the names of the general officers wearing the Dragon Skin.



    Pinnacle claims more than 3,000 soldiers and civilians stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are wearing Dragon Skin body armor, Chopra said. Several months ago DefenseWatch began receiving anecdotal reports from individual soldiers that they were being forced to remove all non-issue gear while in theater, including Dragon Skin body armor, boots, and various kinds of non-issue ancillary equipment.



    Last year the DoD, under severe pressure from Congress, authorized a one-time $1,000 reimbursement to soldiers who had purchased civilian equipment to supplement either inadequate or unavailable equipment they needed for combat operations. At the time there was no restriction on what the soldiers could buy as long as it was specifically intended to offer personal protection or further their mission capabilities while in theater.
     
  10. LJWebster1

    LJWebster1 Member

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    Many troops have already said they have too much armor as it is, and that if they had more they wouldn't wear it. I heard of one unit being threated with court martial if they didn't stop ditching their armor. Too much of a good thing can be hazardous. If armor keeps a troop from doing his job, or from being mobile, it can be just as dangerous. A soldier can still be shot in the legs or neck and bleed out, so if they can't run to cover because of 60 pounds of armor, how did the added armor help? Let the military do its job. They are not interested in spending the time and money to train troops only to have the killed, and so will provide the appropriate amount of protection. When new stuff comes along, they'll evaluate if a change is necessary, and whether it is beneficial.
     
  11. joab

    joab Member

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    Still not a totally convincing source
     
  12. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    +1 next thing you know, we'll have infantryman in full plate mail clunking around baghdad. if there is any question to the effectiveness of the Interceptor armor, just ask some Iraq vets about how many times they saw someone get hit with 7.62x39 or more, and get right back up....or go google some video clips. it's not perfect, but it's damned good. also +1 to whoever spoke about the need for uniformity. it's a professional army. there have to be standards and regulations even for the small stuff. you can't have joe running around strapping just any gadget to himself willy nilly.
     
  13. boofus

    boofus Guest

  14. Thain

    Thain Member

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    As Murphy says, your equipment is made by the lowest bidder.
     
  15. Spiggy

    Spiggy Member

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    More stuff here: http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/body-armor/sov.php

    --Brain fart--
    gotta think for the dragons... they're rare as it is

    but I sympathise with the troops here... if you have the level 50 capability to use dragon armor and weapons, you should be allowed to!

    -Atleast to roll 2 D20's for insurance bonus for KIA, regardless of armor
    --End brain flatulence--

    Something with sense:

    Perhaps it's fear that if any KIA soldier with superior armor were stripped... the armor would end up in the hands of enemy troops. And the military understands the superiority of the armor.
     
  16. pcf

    pcf Member

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    If I had a nickle for everytime I received a trumped up "or else" threat from a company commander, I'd be richer.

    They won't lose there SGLI benefits for using after market body armor.
    They could face administrative action for wearing it in place of their issue body armor.

    They knew better than to buy armor without clearing it with their commands first.
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    SINCE WHEN did "soldiers for the truth" morph into "Defense Weekly" :D :D

    The report you quote cites ANONYMOUS soldiers from an ANONYMOUS unit citing an UNNAMED superior of UNSPECIFIED rank ALLEGEDLY telling them of an UNCITED policy from a vague directive that might just be a reference to a misinterpreted life insurance clause.

    Try again.
     
  18. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

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    It sounds like it was cleared, at least at first by the local commanders. For them to be denied SGLI benefits, from what I understand it would have to be proved that they wouldn't have died if they were wearing issue. Basically, as long as the stuff exceeds standards, they're covered.

    As for 'more coverage', by the sounds of it it probably covers the arms, sides, and maybe the legs better. My issued armor only covered the front and back, with add-ons available for better neck and groin protection.

    Now, when you're talking about operations in the desert currently your major worry is about IED's, you're not necessarily needing to protect against 7.62x39 for all areas. For all it's 'wimyness', it's still a centerfire rifle cartridge and difficult to protect against. But with an IED, you need shrapnel protection, which even the old flack vests helped against. I think that kevlar coverings would also protect against overpressure.
     
  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I believe I've just spotted the problem.
     
  20. swampgator

    swampgator Member

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    Body armor has coverage areas. The problem is that most systems don't have full overlapping coverage. This leaves certain areas unprotected. I'm guessing here, but I'd say the Dragon Skin provides better overlapping protection.

    All that said the Interceptor, IMO, seems to be a good product, although it does leave some areas unprotected.
     
  21. carnaby

    carnaby Member

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    I know, the "progressive" radio station is full of ???? 99/100. But this sounded at least worth checking into, to get all the facts and see if it is a serious problem, or just a wrong take on a different point of view, or pure bull????.

    thanks for all the comments.
     
  22. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    Sheer-thickening fluid, the harder you try to push through, the stickier it becomes.

    We've discussed the idea a few times before on THR, two of my friends during undergrad did their senior thesises (spelling?) on their research for the Army. Trading kevlar layers for the sheer-thickening fluid on a mass basis would give you a vest that weighed the same, but provided superior protection. We played with the stuff by putting kevlar samples over a block of clay, and then trying to ram a sharpened icepick through the sample. Normal kevlar, it would go right through, up to some numbers of layers. Add a little fluid and boom, the icepick would fly backwards out of your hand on impact with at most a dimple in the clay.

    Kharn
     
  23. Dannyboy

    Dannyboy Member

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    Considering they pay for suicides, I think it's safe to say that they'll pay if you die in a war zone. No matter what you're wearing.
     
  24. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    I dont know about snake skin, but dragon skin armor is like +5 to AC. Maybe the snake skin gives +save vs poison. Behold my nostalgic reenactment of the iraqi insurgency.

    A Baghdad street corner.
    Exits: [n e s w]
    A dusty street corner with a gas station in the northeast corner, apartment blocks to the west and a post office to the southeast.

    A stray dog is here, sniffing around.
    An iraqi commoner is standing here.
    An iraqi commoner is standing here.
    An elite US soldier is standing here.
    An elite US soldier is standing here.
    An elite US soldier is standing here.
    An M1 Abrams tank is here.

    53h 17m> look dog
    A stray dog looks mangy and weak. It hasnt been fed in a while.
    A stray dog is in excellent condition.

    53h 170m> consider dog
    A stray dog is no match for you.

    53h 170m> wield AK
    You wield an AK-47.

    53h 170m>kill dog
    Your gun blast wounds a stray dog.
    Your gun blast wounds a stray dog.
    Your gun blast wounds a stray dog.
    A stray dogs bite scratches you.
    You are in very good condition.
    A stray dog is badly wounded.

    51h 167m>
    Your gun blast wounds a stray dog.
    An elite US soldier screams and attacks! "Protect the innocent!"
    An elite US soldier screams and attacks! "Protect the innocent!"
    An elite US soldier screams and attacks! "Protect the innocent!"
    An M1 Abrams tank screams and attacks! "Protect the innocent!"
    Your gun blast wounds a stray dog.
    Your blood freezes as you hear a stray dog's death cry!
    You gain 15 experience.
    You get 3 coins from the corpse of a stray dog.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An M1 Abrams tank's gun blast ***DEVASTATES**** you!
    An elite US soldier is in excellent condition.
    An elite US soldier is in excellent condition.
    An elite US soldier is in excellent condition.
    An M1 Abrams tank is in excellent condition.
    You are in awful condition.

    5h 165m>flee
    You can't get away! You fail to flee.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    An elite US soldier's gun blast wounds you.
    You have been KILLED!

    You lose 3531 experience for dying.

    1h 165m>
    Insurgent Courtyard
    Exits: [s e]
    This is the hall of the insurgent guild. There is a prayer hall to the east and a shopkeeper to the south.

    The Insurgent Guildmaster is here. (glow)
     
  25. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Member

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    Wow, beerslurpy that brings back memories from my mudding days. :/
     
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