Lawmakers want tests of body armor

The Pentagon's unwillingness to consider body armor that would better protect soldiers in Iraq has prompted action by Capitol Hill lawmakers who want independent tests to determine whether or not soldiers are getting the best protection in the field.

In a case where the military may be putting soldiers at risk in order to protect a favored defense contractor has angered lawmakers, soldiers and families of soldiers.

And it is not the first time that the Pentagon has placed protecting a fatcat deal above the lives of the men and women who serve in war.

Writes Donna Borak of The Associated Press:

Lawmakers on Wednesday requested additional independent tests to determine whether standard-issue body armor for U.S. soldiers is more effective than an alternative.

At issue are conflicts between year-old test results released by the Army last month and comparisons made by NBC News and broadcast in May.

"Let's get right down to the nuts and bolts here," Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Armed Services committee, said at a hearing on the issue. "Which test is right? Or, maybe, are both of them right?"

NBC News tests conducted May 3 at a ballistics laboratory in Germany, and reviewed by retired U.S. Gen. Wayne Downing, showed that in simulated combat conditions Dragon Skin, made by privately held Pinnacle Armor Inc., outperformed Interceptor, the Army's standard-issue armor.

The Army disputes those results and released a report last month contradicting NBC's claims after the network aired a report on the matter. Senior Army officials said at Wednesday's hearing they were confident in their own "unbiased" test results.

Lt. Gen. N. Ross Thompson, military deputy to the Assistant Secretary for the Army, said despite the wishes of Congress and Dragon Skin's manufacturer, the Army will not conduct a side-by-side test.


  1. Jenifer D.

    to do business with family and friends; it still rings true today. I gives a goddamn about family and friends when it comes to producing a good product; if the friend or relative can’t cut the mustard, GET RID OF THEM, THEY’RE AN EMBARASSMENT TO THE COMPANY!

  2. nigeldh

    It is time to make the top brass lead from the front. What better way to thin the top heavy with management military.

    Go over to Soldiers for the Truth,, they have a lot more info about this issue.

  3. geyser

    What will happen next? Who will take charge of this, then see for themselves which is better. What will be done… NOTHING. The Pentagon will stand by their decision on who will supply what. Maybe we should ask the families that still support bush and the war, who lost a loved one in battle. Will they still stand by bush, will they still support the war? It would be interesting to find out. What about the families that have a loved one in Iraq, still alive, will they be a loyal to bush and the war.
    Many have said, “Bush doesn’t care about the troops” and are jumped all over by neocons, Republicans and anyone else that supports bush.
    I can hear the excuses already, “He has nothing to do with the Pentagon” “Bush doesn’t purchase the Armor” BUT, isn’t he the Commander in Chief” or the “Guy in Chief?” Doesn’t the BUCK stop at his feet?
    This is Bull Shit. Cutting corners on the lives of the soldiers. Did they save a Buck or did it go into somebody’s pocket? This is Attempted Murder, someone should be held accountable but, nobody will. This will die quietly, the media will put it on pg. 46 and TV news won’t even mention it. It is a shame.

    Taking One Day at a Time

  4. Joe Lawrence

    …..from the waiting-for-Raytheon deal in re the RPG detect/destroy device scandal? There, the Israelis use a product already field-proven, but the U.S. DOD insists it is “unproven'” and not waiting until their favorite defense contractor to try to develop a cheap imitation would, somehow, “put our brave troops in danger.”

    You would think that even the willingly obtuse 25 percenters would get that, no?

    Joe Lawrence

  5. Steve Horn

    1) supply body armor in appropriate sizes for members of the current administration and congress who are in support of the Iraq war.
    2) Have said members don armor
    3) Have members, wearing body armor, line up along a wall.
    4) open fire with various weapons for a thirty second period
    5) evaluate results.