For the last two decades, the Army’s protective headgear has gone largely unchanged. But after four years of developing a new ballistics helmet, 111 combat engineers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are now testing out the Integrated Head Protection System, Army Times reports.
“I’m pretty glad that the Army’s trying to change some things up,” Staff Sgt. James McQuillan, a combat engineer with the 23rd Brigade Engineer Battalion at JBLM, told Army Times. “If we test this out and it ends up working out for us, then it’ll benefit people here in the future.”
The Army had originally planned to give infantry units first crack at the next-generation IHPS. But Zane Smith, the IHPS test officer with Operational Test Command, told Army Times that no infantry soldiers were available. So combat engineers with similar operational mandates were selected as a stand-in.
“We’ll perform a quality-control check right there,” Smith said. “This allows us to keep that process close to the soldiers.”
Task & Purpose reported earlier that the Army has been seeking a helmet to mitigate the risk of traumatic brain injury.
The IHPS is produced by Gentex Corporation, which was was awarded a contract of $1.3 million for Phase 1 development testing of the helmet in 2013. It first entered production in January of 2017.
The headgear, which looks like a motorcycle helmet, is expected to be distributed to all soldiers who deploy by 2020.
It’s not the only new headgear the Army is getting, however. After 15 years without an upgrade, the Army is fielding a new Advanced Combat Helmet, as well. Revision Military was awarded $98 million in March 2017 to provide 293,870 units of the Advanced Combat Helmet Generation II.
Task & Purpose reached out to the Army for comment and will update this story as soon as more information is available.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."