Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Helmet That Saved An Orlando Cop Is American Made, Combat Tested
Almost immediately after the mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 that left 49 people dead, reports emerged that Michael Napolitano, one of the SWAT officers involved in the raid that killed shooter Omar Mateen, had survived being shot in the head.
Photos of the Kevlar helmet that stopped the round from killing Napolitano soon emerged on the internet, showing a small crater in the armor exactly where the mount for night vision optics would have been. Another photo showed a smiling Napolitano with bruising and lacerations on his forehead.
It’s now been confirmed that the helmet was a Batlskin Viper A3 manufactured by Vermont-based company Revision, which manufactures eye and head protection systems for law enforcement and military personnel.
Officer Michael Napolitano after the Orlando shooting.Photo via Facebook / Orlando Police Department
According to the Revision website, the A3 is a customizable aramid helmet that meets the U.S. Army standard for impact protection and sports a geometry similar to the ACH. It is available in three different cuts — full, mid, and high-cut — (Napolitano was wearing the mid) and stops NIJ IIIA level threats.
To meet the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) IIIA level standard, body armor must be able to protect from .44 Magnum, 9mm NATO, and .0357 SIG rounds.
During the Orlando shooting, Pateen was armed with a Sig Sauer MCX and a Glock 17. While the Glock fires a 9mm round, the MCX typically fires .223 Remington ammunition, which the A3 isn’t technically designed to handle. In this case, it held up.
H/T Soldier Systems
New trailer for 'Bloodshot' gives us Vin Diesel as a super soldier who can literally get shot in the face and just walk it off
(Reuters) - In the summer of 2004, U.S. soldier Greg Walker drove to a checkpoint just outside of Baghdad's Green Zone with his Kurdish bodyguard, Azaz. When he stepped out of his SUV, three Iraqi guards turned him around at gunpoint.
As he walked back to the vehicle, he heard an AK-47 being racked and a hail of cursing in Arabic and Kurdish. He turned to see Azaz facing off with the Iraqis.
"Let us through or I'll kill you all," Walker recalled his Kurdish bodyguard telling the Iraqi soldiers, who he described as "terrified."
He thought to himself: "This is the kind of ally and friend I want."
The US military quietly pulled 2,000 troops out of Afghanistan over the past year without a peace deal
The U.S. military has pulled about 2,000 troops from Afghanistan over the past year, the top U.S. and coalition military commander said Monday.
"As we work in Afghanistan with our partners, we're always looking to optimize the force," Army Gen. Austin Miller said at a news conference in Kabul. "Unbeknownst to the public, as part of our optimization … we reduced our authorized strength by 2,000 here."
"I'm confident that we have the right capabilities to: 1. Reach our objectives as well as continue train, advise, and assist throughout the country," Miller continued.
The New York Times was first to report that the U.S. military had reduced its troop strength in Afghanistan even though peace talks with the Taliban are on hiatus. The number of troops in the country has gone from about 15,000 to 13,000, a U.S. official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.
Separately, the U.S. military is considering drawing down further to 8,600 troops in Afghanistan as part of a broader political agreement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Oct. 19.
"We've always said, that it'll be conditions based, but we're confident that we can go down to 8,600 without affecting our [counterterrorism] operations, if you will," Esper said while enroute to Afghanistan.
So far, no order has been given to draw down to 8,600 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. official said.
After President Donald Trump cancelled peace talks with the Taliban, which had been expected to take place at Camp David around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. military has increased both air and ground attacks.
In September, U.S. military aircraft dropped more ordnance in Afghanistan than they have since October 2010, according to Air Force statistics.
However, the president has also repeatedly vowed to bring U.S. troops home from the post 9/11 wars. Most recently, he approved withdrawing most U.S. troops from Syria.
On Monday, Esper said the situations in Syria and Afghanistan are very different, so the Afghans and other U.S. allies "should not misinterpret our actions in the recent week or so with regard to Syria."