FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec 23, 2005 - AFCEA Liberty Bell Chapter, on behalf of Col Earl Matthews (our November 2005 speaker) has donated three helmet kits to local Airmen deployed or deploying to the AOR. Additionally, two kits were provided to military members during Operation Sugar Plum Saturday at Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove in December 2005.
Operation Helmet is a nonpartisan, charitable grassroots effort that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These helmet upgrade kits consist of shock-absorbing pads and a new strap system. After stripping out the old leather headband and neck strap, a new adjustable plastic strap is screwed into the same holes. Velcro strips are included for adding the pads. A new nape strap keeps the helmet from sliding forward, and an enhanced chinstrap provides better comfort and stability.
Operation Helmet depends on tax-deductible donations. For $75-$100, depending on the manufacturer, added safety and comfort can be provided for a trooper. But donations of any amount are welcome. The donation can be designated for a specific branch of the military, a particular unit or an individual trooper.
Why are helmet upgrades needed? Many of today’s helmets – particularly those worn by the Marines, Airmen, and Sailors – were designed 20 years ago to protect soldiers from gunfire and flying debris. They are effective, but are uncomfortable and offer little or no protection from concussion-causing blasts, which are the biggest killers of U.S. troops in Iraq. The upgrade kits make a good helmet significantly better. Note: the advanced combat helmet (ACH) and modular integrated communications helmet (MICH) come standard with these newer pads kits.
Some branches of the military, such as the Army and Navy Seabees, do provide for the upgrade kits. But the military does not issue the kits to most troops. Service personnel can purchase their own upgrade kits. But the cost – approximately $100 is prohibitive to most – especially young troopers with families to support.
100% of donations go toward helmet kits. There are no administrative costs deducted and the Operation’s books are available for inspection by anyone who wants to see them.
To date, Operation Helmet has sent upgrade kits to over 3,500 troopers.
Maria Ferry, VP Publicity, AFCEA Liberty
Dr. Bob Meaders, President, Operation