Here's When The Army Plans On Fielding Its New Body Armor Vest

popular
The Army's Modular Scalable Vest (MSV)
Photo via DoD

Editor’s Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.


Army equipment officials plan to begin fielding the service’s new Modular Scalable Vest, or MSV, by next summer.

Soldiers with the 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company at Fort Carson, Colorado recently participated in the final round of field-testing for the MSV, which is part of the Soldier Protection System and is the Army’s next-generation Personal Protective Equipment system.

Stephen McNair, test manager for Project Manager Soldier Protection Individual Equipment, a division of Program Executive Officer Soldier at Fort Belvoir, was on-site to observe as soldiers conducted an obstacle course, weapons training, don and doffing procedures, tactical vehicle access capabilities, and a ruck march.

“We have been working on this vest for the past five years and have since have gone through four versions of the vest and an additional two versions of the Soldier Plate Carrier system,” McNair said in a recent Army press release.

Soldiers with in the 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company participate in the final round of field-testing for the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV) during a weeklong series of evaluated tasks at Fort Carson, Colo., Oct. 18, 2017.Photo via DoD

McNair said once the evaluation is complete, the vest will go into production and is expected to reach soldiers in the field by summer of next year.

Soldiers currently wear the Improved Outer Tactical Vest, or IOTV, which debuted in 2008.

The MSV replaces most of the pouch attachment ladder system on the IOTV with a rubber-like material with laser-cut slots. The improvement still allows soldiers to affix mission essential gear to the vest, while reducing overall weight.

The MSV weighs approximately 11 pounds, based on a medium size vest without ballistic plates. Fully configured, the MSV weighs approximately 25 pounds, which is five pounds lighter than the IOTV.

McNair said the big push to design a new body armor was based on “cutting down on the weight of a soldier’s load.”

Many of the testers said the MSV was noticeably lighter than their current body armor.

Related: Soldiers Could Be Headed Downrange With New Body Armor By 2018 »

“Compared to my IOTV, this vest is lighter and cooler, has a greater range of motion, and a better fit,” said 1st Lt. Dawn Ward, a platoon leader with 663rd Ordnance Company and officer in charge during the evaluation.

“It is a huge improvement over previous body armors.”

In addition to saving weight, the MSV is scalable, which was made possible by a four-tier configuration. The tier system will allow the wearer to tailor the vest to better fit mission requirements.

The first tier enables the wearer to pull out the inside soft armor to be used as concealable body armor. The second tier is the soft armor with plates. The third tier is the vest with ballistic plates and soft armor.

The final tier is the addition of a ballistic combat shirt that has built — in neck, shoulder and pelvic protection and a belt system designed to relocate much of what Soldiers affix to their vest to their hips.

The Army's new torso and extremity protection (TEP) system, including the Modular Scalable VestPhoto via PEO Soldier

Spc. Isaac Bocanegra, an EOD technician with 764th OD CO, said he prefers the MSV’s ballistic combat shirt over the IOTV’s yoke and collar set up because it gives him more range of motion.

“I currently wear the IOTV about twice each day and it is quite a bit heavier than this body armor,” said Bocanegra. “Having this new body armor would make my job so much easier.”

McNair said the premise of the tier system is to evenly distribute the system’s weight and reduces stress on a soldier’s upper body.

“It will be up to unit leadership to determine the level of protection required for wear,” said McNair.

The MSV retained the quick-release feature first used in the IOTV to allow for easy removal in emergency situations, but with a simpler and interchangeable design. Instead of a single pull-tab, the MSV has a buckle system that can be used in one of three ways; left shoulder, right shoulder, or both depending on the wearer’s preference.

Extended sizing options allow the MSV to be tailorable and more accommodating to most soldier body types.

“The extended range allows soldiers to be more comfortable while performing tasks with greater ease,” said McNair.

Spc. Hannah Carver-Frey, of the 10th Chemical Hazardous Response Company, wears an extra-small MSV “because it positions the plates where I need them to be and it has a tighter fit for me,” she said.

This story originally appeared on Military.com

Read more from Military.com:

WATCH NEXT:

The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.

While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.

A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.

Read More Show Less
Then-Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville. (U.S. Army/Spc. Matthew J. Marcellus)

After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.

Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Army/Pfc. Hubert D. Delany III)

Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.

Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.

A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.

Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.

At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.

Sylvester Stallone is back as John Rambo. Why? Because nothing is (ever) over with this guy.

Read More Show Less
Popular Mobilization Forces fighters wave flags in this June 2016 photo. (Wikimedia Commons/Tasnim News Agency)

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's paramilitary groups on Wednesday blamed a series of recent blasts at their weapons depots and bases on the United States and Israel.

The statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, many of which are backed by Iran, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying U.S. forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.

Read More Show Less