Congressional Con Job: We met with a senior staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and another Senate staffer plus their Army Liaison Monday 29th March at our home office (my spare bedroom) to discuss the problems we have seen in the military’s switch to cheaper, harder pads for our warriors’ helmets.
Update: The ‘final’ thought expressed by the DC folks was that since we’ve only sent 50,000+ kits in response to requests, the number is so small in relation to the overall numbers that maybe we’re dealing with just the ‘soreheads’. HOGWASH! In fact, most troops don’t know there’s a solution to their problem with head armor and just keep on doing their job regardless of distracting headaches, helmet instability and perhaps fatal injuries that happen when they try to relieve the headaches by removing or loosening their helmets just when an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) goes off. SHAME on you desk warriors in your air-conditioned foxholes spouting about what you ‘think’ the troops need. Hint: listen to them and read their emails to us about their head armor.
Problem in a nutshell: Too-firm helmet pads cause migraine-type headaches. Troops tell us the pain distracts them from concentrating on vital aspects of combat missions, including trying to spot cleverly concealed IED’s, snipers, other ambushes. When helmet pads cause pain, troops remove their helmets, even on combat patrols, for relief. DANGER!
A recent post on Media Center from Afghanistan shows several Marines with helmet’s NOT secured as required. Such non-standard loose or unclipped chin straps allow the helmet to be blown backward or forward and acting as a ‘scoop’ for a blast wave, concentrating it inside the helmet with disastrous results on the brain. Also, the blast wave can rip the helmet completely off, clearing the way for shrapnel to penetrate the skull. Marine Corps Systems Command still refuses to even consider changing out the GI ‘shrink-wrapped bricks’ for a more user-friendly blast/impact protective helmet pad. WHY? PS: Still getting complaints and requests from Army troops as well. Seems the safely Stateside ‘tail’ doesn’t listen to the ‘teeth’ in combat. This is how the ACH should be worn.