I just read an article the other day that said the system is being deployed in August to Iraq with a Stryker unit from Ft. Lewis. I hope I have my facts straight. I will Google for the news article and if I find it I will post it. My grandson just came in today from Ft. Lewis on his way to Iraq next month. I will ask him if he knows anything about it.
Now, having said that: I served as a MSE battalion maintenance officer when it was first deployed. it was highly useful if it was used properly. What I saw happening too often in the field (not combat) was higher command thought that their input while operations were being conducted was superior to the officers in the field that were in the middle of the action. Not all the time, but too often.
Another 2 concerns that I have are:
1. Many will think just because it is new it isn't any good. That has happened with many weapon systems in the past (think Billy Mitchell in aviation, the M-1 Garand, and others that old soldiers can recall). There will be kinks that have to be worked out if it is the right kind of concept for feet on the ground. Hopefully, the system will work right and be improved with the proper modifications that are found to be necesary by the troops in the field.
2. The weight is a major concern. Because if it is too heavy and the soldier wearing it feels himself in danger and the equipment is in the way - he will hit the quick release and dump it. Personally, I wouldn't blame him.
I am sure that if the gear stays deployed - it will become lighter in weight and battery life will significantly improve.
Since I truly believe technology can save lives and win battles, I will follow the developments of this system with interest.
Here is the url I referred to earlier in this post.