Kit Up! received a tip the other day from a Soldier concerned that PEO Soldier wasn't making good on their commitment to field lighter gear. Specifically our tipster said that Joes aren't getting the lightweight plate carrier but is instead being issued the much bulkier IOTV.
He said all he's seen from guys deploying is that it's the same gear, just all in MultiCam (which to us is a big plus in and of itself).
Well, we took the tipster's concerns to PEO Soldier without giving them any indication at all who our tipster was or what unit he was with. Officials there told us that PEO has fulfilled the requirement for fielding the KDH Magnum Tac plate carrier forwarded to them by commanders in Afghanistan. Be sure to revisit our video review from Afghanistan of the new plate carrier.
The Army has met USFOR-A's requirement for fielding plate carriers in-theater, and continues to field plate carriers to Soldiers deploying to OEF. The total number of plate carriers fielded to date exceeds 56,000.Just to add a little RUMINT to this, we hear that internally the use of plate carriers is restricted to Army forces operating in AOs that are at a 5,000 foot elevation and above. If anyone has the straight gouge on this we'd appreciate some info on it, but on the face of it the restriction makes some sense given the balance commanders need to take between mobility and protection from fragmentation.
As far as which locations/to what unit, we are not authorized to disclose that information due to operational security guidelines. As you know, disclosing which units have what capabilities puts Soldiers' safety at risk.
And please keep your tips coming!