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'An insane game changer' — Soldiers are about to receive the Army's most advanced night vision goggles yet
Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division are just days away from becoming the first to get their hands on the most advanced night vision goggles the Army has fielded yet.
The Army will field the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B) to soldiers with the 1st ID's 2nd Brigade Combat Team on Sept. 25, said Col. Travis Thompson, Deputy Director of the Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team (SL CFT), in an Army press release.
A binocular system furnished with white phosphorous intensifier tubes superior to the telltale green tint of standard-issue night vision gear, the new goggles will make "The Big Red One" soldiers" more lethal, more survivable and better able to maneuver in challenging conditions," according to Army Futures Command.
The nascent AFC has been hyping the ENVG-B since the command's inception last year; in April, AFC deputy commander Lt. Gen. James Richardson told the Senate Armed Services Committee the system was "better than anything I've experienced in my Army career."
But enlisted soldiers haven't necessarily been as gung-ho over the new gear. Sgt. 1st Class Will Roth, who worked on the ENVG-B after joining the SL CFT in October 2018, said in the press release that he was "skeptical" the first time he saw the new goggles.
"I couldn't envision a time when soldiers would accept this product and trust it in the field," Roth said.
But apparently, Roth changed his mind after actually seeing the goggles in action. Thanks to an integration with the Family of Weapon Sights-Individual, soldiers equipped with the ENVG-B can effectively lie flat on their backs and drop targets while firing over their shoulders, a capability Roth told reporters this summer he got to see first-hand.
"He hit five out of seven. It gave me chill bumps," Roth said in the press release. "I decided this was an insane game changer."
The ENVG-Bs are the most advanced goggles that the Army will have in the field, as AFC continues working on the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) which will be fielded in 2021.
"The idea is to minimize exposure of the soldiers, and maximize the effectiveness of your targeting," Program Executive Office-Soldier commander, Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, said in July.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.