We took a Blackhawk ride over to Forward Operating Base Sharana from FOB Salerno this morning to link up with the 3rd Battalion of the 187th Infantry – the unit we’ll be embedded with for the next week.
After a commander’s brief of the AO, which is essentially all of Paktika province, we walked around the FOB and bumped into a group of Soldiers from 3rd Battalion’s Angel Company loading into some sweet new MAT-Vs. Not only were they sporting the newest MRAP, but these guys were evaluating the newest combat pant developed for PEO Soldier.
Overall, the Joes we talked to liked the pant – especially the knee pads that can be easily adjusted for height and even removed for those times you don’t want to deal with the pad around the FOB.
The pants sport some Velcro strips at the knees and waist to help adjust them better for fit and incorporate spandex-like material in the knees and crotch for flexibility.
And that’s where the main gripe shows up.
One of the Joes explained to us that the stretch fabric in the crotch is a major nuisance, ripping every time he has to hurl himself through a building or jump an irrigation ditch. He’s got two pairs of the combat pant and has already ruined one of them. He’s waiting to destroy his regular ACU pants before he dons his final pair of combat pants as a last resort.
The Soldiers recognize that PEO wants this kind of feedback, and as you can see from the video, they aren’t holding back.