Supplemental Body Armor
Soldiers in Iraq have been using their groin-protector pads to cover their sides and arms as a way to supplement protection of the Interceptor Body Armor.
So Army equipment officials are looking at ways to increase that protection for everybody.
In fact, units of the 82nd Airborne Division actually went a step further by having a private company ship them a custom-made attachment that offered shoulder and underarm protection from improvised explosive devices.
Currently, the Interceptor vest provides protection against fragmentation and 9mm ammunition on the neck and torso. The systemÃ¢€™s removable front and back ceramic plates protect against 7.62mm NATO rounds.
The system has performed well in Iraq and Afghanistan up until last summer when improvised explosive devices, especially road-side bombs, became a major threat in Iraq.
Since then, the Defense Department has documented more than 100 soldiers killed or wounded by IEDs Ã¢€” many struck by shrapnel in the side , one of the most vulnerable parts of the Interceptor.
Ã¢€œWhat we are experiencing is now we are having injuries other than thoracic. The injuries are from Ã¢€¦ shrapnel blasts Ã¢€¦ going through the shoulder or under the armpits. What we are trying to do is stop that,Ã¢€ said Sgt. Maj. Thomas House II, who works out of Fort Benning, Ga.Ã¢€™s Infantry Center. As Training and Doctrine CommandÃ¢€™s System Manager for Soldier, HouseÃ¢€™s job is to speak for the equipment needs of soldiers.
About six weeks ago, the 82nd began using shoulder and underarm armor attachments for the Interceptor that they ordered from a West Coast company that specializes in ballistic protection.
The unit asked the company to design the attachments from pictures of soldiers using the InterceptorÃ¢€™s detachable groin protector pads on their shoulders and under their arms, House said.
Good news. Of course, Tony Stark figured this out forty years ago.