Kit Up!

Army Tests Bombproof Boxers in Afghanistan


The military is finally getting serious about protecting what combat troops consider their most important piece of equipment -- their family jewels! Their Junk! Their guns!

Whatever you call yours, all I can say is it's about time they realized that the pathetic flap of Kevlar that hangs from the front of body armor just doesn't cut it on an IED-infested battlefield.

Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, the outgoing head of the Army's Program Executive Office Soldier, told reporters at an April 14 Pentagon roundtable that the  Army is working with the Marine Corps and British forces to find better ways of protecting "privates" from the hail of debris created when an enemy bomb explodes.

We are not talking about stopping really big projectiles;  we are talking about a lot of stuff coming blasting up at you. You have projectiles associated with the device and then you have a lot of dirt and grit and sand and all this other stuff, and it's all ending up in your lower abdomen area.
Combat skivvies made of heavy-weight silk seem to offer increased protection against these tiny, blast-driven projectiles, Fuller said.

The Army has issued these special undergarments to one of its combat battalions to test out in Afghanistan. The service is also looking at ballistic bike shorts that the Marines plan to field to combat forces in Afghanistan.

 This is a concept that the British Ministry of Defense has already embraced. British forces expect to have 120,000 pairs issued to their troops by this spring.

It did take a while for British troopers to warm up to the idea, Fuller said.

The biggest challenge the Brits had was so many of them come out of the Scottish Highlands ...  no one was wearing underwear and they had to convince them to start wearing underwear.
And like the athletic community, the Army is also testing groin-protective cups for both male and female soldiers.
There are Kevlar athletic cups; there are titanium athletic cups. There are all different types, and we have all those under evaluation.
Armor experts are also evaluating  Kevlar chaps that soldiers could wear in higher-threat environments.

These would probably be optional, Fuller said, acknowledging that any type of ballistic chaps will lead to a whole lotta chafing

"down there".

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