Personal body armor has been worn by soldiers for thousands of years as ancient warriors recognized the need to protect the head and heart, whether it was from arrows and spears or bullets and shrapnel.
Two soldiers serving with 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, say they’ve learned to “trust” the new body armor that protects more than just their heads and hearts from small arms fire.
“When I was in Afghanistan, our convoy was attacked by (rocket propelled grenades),” explained Sgt. Daniel Amstutz, a scout serving with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment. “A lot of our guys were peppered with shrapnel, but there were no injuries.”
Amstutz and Spc. Luis Medina, also a scout with the 2/7th, demonstrated Tuesday the body armor now worn by most 3rd ID soldiers as their unit prepared for a training exercise. Both soldiers were wearing the new advance combat helmet (ACH), which replaced the personal armor system for ground troops (PASGT) helmet.
The ACH offers increased ballistics protection, Amstutz said, and like the PASGT, includes a clamp on the front that allows for attachment of night vision goggles.
To demonstrate the ease in which goggles can be attached, another soldier assisted Amstutz in mounting them to his helmet, taking less than two minutes to be mounted and ready to use.
Both soldiers were also wearing the improved outer tactical vest (IOTV), Generation II, which Medina said protects him from small arms fire up to 7.62mm in the chest, side and back, and up to 9mm in the collar, groin and lower back extenders.
Read more in the Nov. 30 edition of the News.