The Integrated Head Protection System (U.S. Army photo)
After years in development, the Army will field its brand new body armor, combat helmet, and protective gear to soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne division later this month, officials told multiplemedia outlets on Monday.
The Army's new Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS) is designed to replace the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) used by close-combat units for the last two decades with with "100 percent greater blunt impact protection," Lt. Col. Ginger Whitehead told Military.com. The IHPS was originally scheduled for a battlefield debut in 2020.
In addition, 3rd BCT soldiers are picking up the Modular Scalable Vest version II and Ballistic Pelvic Protection, as well as new eyewear with transition lenses, Col. Stephen Thomas told Army Times. The MSV is part of the Soldier Protection System and is the Army's next-generation Personal Protective Equipment system.
These details were revealed to reporters in attendance at a Monday ceremony at Fort Belvoir for Staff Sgt. Steven McQueen to celebrate the ECH that deflected a head shot from a 7.62mm round during an insider attack in Afghanistan last September.
The Modular Scalable Vest version II (DoD photo)
Apart from less weight and more protection to the 3.3-pound ECH, the IHPS offers removable rail mounts to rock both optional protective add-ons — including a motorcycle-style "mandible" — and interface with the Army's new upgraded Enhanced Night Vision Goggles-Binocular family of devices that are just over the horizon for soldiers.
The new protective best weighs in at 25 pounds when fully equipped with front and side body armor plates, five pounds less than the current Improved Outer Tactical Vest and a major boon for close-combat units given the burden of excess weight during a firefight.
In February, the commander of the U.S. Naval Air Forces proclaimed that the Navy's F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was "ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win" — even though the Navy's own testing data says otherwise.
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.
"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.
"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.