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Army Denies Armor Test Failures

The Associated Press reported last Thursday that Army armor plates had failed recent tests. The Army's PEO Soldier says, not so. His letter to us follows.

To the Editor:

The recent story on a Department of Defense Inspector General (IG) report implies that the Army has issued faulty armor plates to Soldiers-armor plates that may not provide troops adequate protection.

This is not so.

The government's preeminent, independent authority on testing and evaluation is the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). DOT&E examined the Army's testing of the armor plates referred to in the IG report and determined that the plates passed the tests. In clear, unequivocal language, DOT&E declared that: "the three designs meet the performance specifica-tion in place at the time of each test."

I want to emphasize: This is not the conclusion of the Army, but of DOT&E, the government's impartial experts in the field.

Since 2002, the Army has produced and fielded nearly 2 million armor plates, saving the lives of thousands of Soldiers.

The Army has conducted over 2300 tests of the armor plates. The IG report questions three of these tests. But the DOT&E concluded that those three tests were successful.

Even though the Army considers the armor plates in question to be safe, based on DOT&E's evaluation of the testing, they nonetheless are being collected to ensure continued confidence in the Army's commitment to the safety of our Soldiers.

Cordially, Peter N. Fuller Brig. Gen., US Army PEO Soldier

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