US Army bans use of privately bought armor - Page 3




 
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April 2nd, 2006  
tomtom22
 
 
I think it's a case of CYA. The reason for the directive that is.
April 3rd, 2006  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtom22
I think it's a case of CYA. The reason for the directive that is.
In part. Also I think they may be trying to cover the 4th points of the men and women that may be killed or disabled. SGLI and benefits may not apply if they were not wearing appropriate armor or wearing the appropriate armor correctly.

Just bought a copy of the Marine Times. It talked about the armor and some of the same reasons given here were in the article. One of the reasons given were that the extra SAPI plates weigh in at 10lbs total. That is 10 more lbs to carry around for several hours at a time while on patrol. Many units doing two patrols a day. This on top of an already 50-70lb loadout.
April 3rd, 2006  
zhjsg
 
well. why??
it didnt give a good reason to do it
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April 3rd, 2006  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhjsg
well. why??
it didnt give a good reason to do it
Would you please clarify that statement. What post were you talking about and what did you mean? Also, have you read the directive? Not to mention the fact that it is the military. They don't have to give a reason to their troops to do something.
April 3rd, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Topic: Prohibition on civilian body armor bogus ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldogg
If this was really about protecting the troops rather than protecting their image they (the Pentagon) would generate and circulate a list of armour that meets or exceeds MILSPECS.
BY THE WAY ... I couldn't agree more with your comments about the 'Drugstore Cowboys' that came up with the prohibition against the wearing of civilian body armor ... I have worn MOST of the various body armors that the military offers ... the armor that is 'good' weighs a ton and tires you out very quickly ... I have also worn civilian body armor (and) it has any military armor beat six ways to Sunday. A lot of what the military calls body armor is nothing more than modified flak jackets ... not really meant to stop bullets ... designed to stop small pieces of flak.

Civilian armor is made out of stronger but lighter material and doesn't tire you out as fast or restrict your movements like the military armor does.

Some of the 'Business Suit' civilian body armors have 'side panels' and lightweight chest and back 'plates' that will stop all but the 'very largest' caliber rounds.

Another fact these turkeys would like you to forget is the fact that MOST National Guard units are not normally issued body armor ... that was what caused almost ALL of the complaints about our troops NOT having body armor ... these units were sent to Iraq without armor on their bodies or their vehicles ... this was another example of the thought that went into the invasion of Iraq. (The Drugstore Cowboys must have been hung over when this plan was hatched).

The sad fact is that those that make these decisions (more than likely), have NO family members on the ground in Iraq ... if they did the decisions would DEFINITELY be to allow civilian body armor (or) they would for d*mn sure supply a body armor that protected the troops, that wouldn't tire them out ... and ... would be easy to move in ... in a nutshell, civilian body armor (best grade).
April 3rd, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
What I am wondering here, is why you believe these individuals have the knowledge to buy the proper armor. I don't think you fully understand the problems this is causing. We have guys that are wearing their SAPI plates as standalone, and you think they have the knowledge to get a) the proper armor and b) wear it properly? One of the defining characteristics of an army is uniformity. Everybody doesn't get to wear whatever they want or shoot the gun they want. And not everyone is willing to educate themselves enough to choose their own kit, and even worse when they have family members do it for them.

I will also bring up another point, familiarity with the systems. EVERYONE needs to be familiar with the system you're wearing. SOPs have to be made, I need to know what's on your body, where it's at, and how to get it off. There have already been cases of civilian body armor failing (due to improper wear/defective armor/wrong armor) and medics being unable to remove it quickly enough to address the wounds. In two cases that I am aware of, medics had to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to remove the armor and were shot in the process. I have experienced this myself, but fortunately, my guy survived despite his wounds. He's now living at Walter Reed trying to recover.

Some civilian armor is better than what is currently being issued, much of it is not. There are more "wrong" choices out there than "right" ones. It is easy to make a blanket statement about civilian armor being better, a lot harder to actually name brands and types and give definitive proof that it is.

It sounds well and good to just say "let them choose whatever they want!" But without direction and testing this is not realistic or practical, and is more dangerous than requiring them to wear the entire IBA.

By making this decision, they have essentially taken on the responsibility and moral obligation to put more into armor R&D and come up with a complete solution. But no matter what improvements are made, one thing will always be true; not everyone is going to be happy.

There's a saying I am sure all of you mil guys have heard; "big boy rules."

I advocate letting guys decide how much of the IBA fashion kit they wish to wear based on the operations being conducted, but I don't advocate letting every Joe Snuffy out there buy whatever armor he thinks is the best.

Whatever the reason for this decision, CYA or not, it is a smart one, and hopefully one that will require them to now get off of their rumps and start doing the leg work to find better, lighter and more effective solutions. But no matter how much research, or how good armor gets, people WILL continue to die in war. This is a cold hard fact of armed conflict.
April 3rd, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 
My commentary was from personal knowledge and experience ... what I tried to say was ... IF ... offering the troops the BEST in personal protection is near the top of the list for those responsible for obtaining the armor, then the 'best' of the lightweight civilian 'business suit' armor is the best way to go. These modern lightweight armors beat anything that the military is using to day (the best the military has to day is so heavy that in a very short time you are too pooped to participate in any kind of an operation without first taking a breather. The ONLY problem with these armors is they don't have the 'MILSPEC' grading that the military/industrial complex is so fond of attaching to something so they can double the purchase price.

As far as I am concerned, someone in the military dropped the ball and are trying to cover their collective (_|_)es.
April 3rd, 2006  
Marinerhodes
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Bones
My commentary was from personal knowledge and experience ... what I tried to say was ... IF ... offering the troops the BEST in personal protection is near the top of the list for those responsible for obtaining the armor, then the 'best' of the lightweight civilian 'business suit' armor is the best way to go. These modern lightweight armors beat anything that the military is using to day (the best the military has to day is so heavy that in a very short time you are too pooped to participate in any kind of an operation without first taking a breather. The ONLY problem with these armors is they don't have the 'MILSPEC' grading that the military/industrial complex is so fond of attaching to something so they can double the purchase price.

As far as I am concerned, someone in the military dropped the ball and are trying to cover their collective (_|_)es.
Is it reasonable to believe that they only partially meet MILSPEC and that is why the labels are not put on them?

I agree with PJ24 in this. Uniformity is a good point he made as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Bones
A lot of what the military calls body armor is nothing more than modified flak jackets ... not really meant to stop bullets ... designed to stop small pieces of flak.

Civilian armor is made out of stronger but lighter material and doesn't tire you out as fast or restrict your movements like the military armor does.

Some of the 'Business Suit' civilian body armors have 'side panels' and lightweight chest and back 'plates' that will stop all but the 'very largest' caliber rounds.
The FLAK jacket is intended to stop small pieces of flak yes. Used in conjunction with SAPI plates it will also stop small arms fire. Alot of the "Business Suit" body armor does not cover as broad an area as the military armor either. Otherwise you would have the same restrictions as you do with the current body armor. And yes, I too speak from experience having worn the "Business Suit" versions and the military versions. Of course there are many styles/cuts as well.
Quote:

The "Interceptor" is the best body armor manufactured in the world today, and represents a remarkable improvement over the protective vests worn by our troops in the first Gulf War, and Somalia in 1993. Those vests could protect against shrapnel, but a rifle bullet would cut right through them.
Those vests weighed 24 lbs each. The interceptor ensemble — which can stop an AK-47 bullet fired from just 10 feet away — weighs just 16 lbs. But the best isn't perfect. There are some special types of ammunition that can penetrate the boronic carbide plates. Last year Army leaders became aware of improvements that could be made to the SAPI plates that would protect against most (though not all) of these special types of ammunition.

Before you naysay this, read the entire article.
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0805/jkelly082505.php3


If you had read the article I have read in the newest Marine Times you would not even have said anything about the side panels. Unless it is 1/4" thick and weighs a few ounces and can stop a 5.56 - 9mm - 7.62 round at near pointblank range then I don't see how it is any better than what we have in use now.

What body armor system would you recommend for use in the various AOs vs what the US Military currently employs? I would like to see specs on what is currently used vs what you would have put in use.

Keep in mind all aspects of logistics as well.
  1. Field testing various items to figure which is the best in a field environment. (We all know that what may look good on paper won't always hold up in the field, This can take several weeks at least for the most basic field test(s).)
  2. Contracting (Which from personal experience on a topic as sensitive as this one can take 3+ months)
  3. Designating which unit has what priorities
  4. Ordering the gear and hoping there is no SNAFU in the system. If it is forcefed then that is a whole other headache.
  5. Receiving and distributing to troops in theater
  6. Receving and distribution to troops in the rear
  7. Stocking for replacements in theater
  8. Stocking for issue in theater
  9. Stocking for replacements in the rear.
  10. Stocking for issue in the rear
  11. Stocking any SL-3 (replacement) parts (any buckles straps or other items that may make the piece of gear unserviceable or unusable)
  12. Collection of the old gear
  13. Disposition of the old gear
  14. Simplicity and ease of use
  15. Keeping the item(s) stocked for replacements,
  16. Training in it's use
I am a supply guy and have been for only a few years. This is what I can come up with off the top of my head just sitting here. I am sure that if it comes down to it, in peace time, it would take at least a 1 - 2 1/2 years to actually field new armor without someone raising hell about how things were not done properly. In War time it would take at least 9 months to get everything back to "normal" with the new gear. But then you have people yelling that we are spending too much money here and there. Fraud, Waste and Abuse ring a bell?


So again I pose the question: What body armor system would you recommend for use in the various AOs vs what the US Military currently employs?


On the other side of the coin here is an article written in the Marine Times in May of 2005: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/stor...925-832873.php

And Another: http://www.defensereview.com/article827.html
April 4th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 
I am NOT at present conversant about all of the available types and models of body armor ... what I AM aware of, is the fact that the latest version of body armor that is on the inventory for ground troops operating in an urban setting is extremely heavy and tires out the troopers very quickly ... heaven help them IF they have to maneuver through doors and windows in a expeditious manner ... the size and weight restricts flexibility and this works against the trooper.

The civilian models of body armor are more than adequate to handle almost all hi-velocity rounds for most calibers of weapons and were lighter and allowed more flexibility than the military counterpart. MILSPEC does NOT endow a piece of equipment with some kind of super power. From what I could see, the civilian armor was up to any standard that the military would require of a piece of equipment. The usage of new composite material is as good (or better) than the old style armor plates that were used in so much of our old body armor, and allows for the lightweight and flexible business suits of today.

YES ... I know you are going to say there are special types of ammunition that will punch through civilian armor ... that's true for ALL armor - civilian and military alike. There will always be someone out there inventing a round type that will foil ANY armor you can come up with that a human can possibly wear.

*Keep in mind, I am NOT talking about some of the 'rip off' copies of reputable manufacturers of body armor ... there are cheap pieces of junk being sold as 'superior' merchandise.*

Bottom line - there are reputable civilian manufacturers that are offering a line of body armor that is superior to the standard armor which is the mainstay of the present military forces, that would give our troopers who are forced to fight in an urban setting better protection.

THIS I DO KNOW...
April 4th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
You know the civilian systems are better and support using those above the IBA, but you don't know which ones specifically?

I see.