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.
With the fiscal year 2019 defense budget put to bed without a bloody fight among lawmakers for the first time in recent memory, there are plenty of goodies for rank-and-file U.S. service members tucked into the massive appropriation measure — and not just their largest pay raise in more than a decade.
The helmet that stopped a sniper’s bullet or the SAPI plate that deflected shrapnel from a roadside bomb can take on profound significance for service members wounded on the battlefield. Now, U.S. lawmakers want to ensure that combat-wounded troops can keep the gear that saved their lives as mementos.
The Marine Corps had a busy, bellicose 2017, from returning to Afghanistan’s turbulent Helmand province to bombarding ISIS fighters in Syria with such ferocity that the Marines burned out two M777 Howitzers in the process. Now, almost a year after unveiling an ambitious plan to outfit an increasingly indispensable Corps, leaders plan on giving Marine the world’s most lethal makeover in 2018.