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Re: Body Armor and equipment weight

From: Jonathan Jarrard <jjarrard@f...>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 1998 15:52:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Body Armor and equipment weight

Thomas Barclay wrote:
> Ah, but think of the difference (I know a lot of RCMP members as part
> of my job)
> Police Officer:
> 1. Backup (most of the time) at hand, including pickup
> 2. Sits for a lot of the time (paperwork, in car, on break)
> 3. Travels in a vehicle
> 4. Wears BA to stop pistol rounds, shotguns
> 5. Often have Canine units for entering questionable areas at night
> or that are 'close'
> 6. Uses a vehicle to hump gear other than flashlight, baton, sidearm,
> cuffs, notepad and ammo
> 7. isn't expected to enter protracted firefight (It's a bad idea, and
> that is what ERT/SWAT teams are for if need be)
> The important points are two and three.
> Soldier (Regular)
> 1. May not have backup at hand
> 2. Has to hump his own gear around a lot of the time (if he's lucky
> he has a vehicle)
> 3. Wears BA primarily to stop fragmentation and concussion damage,
> and rounds at long range or of low power. Many rounds will chew right
> through BA, and some do more damage to people in BA because it slow
> the round and mushrooms it
> 4. Carries ammo, web gear, long arm, possibly sidearm, knife (or
> several), water, mission specific gear (AA, demo, med, EW, comms,
> GPS, designator), and if moving on foot for a distance - a big ass
> pack with sleeping bag, bug net, a tarp, MRE/Food (not exactly the
> same...), more ammo, mines, ammo for the support weapon, grenades,
> etc. You get the idea - he carries a lot more than a cop.
> 5. May be in a protracted firefight without resupply, and fight may
> be of much greater intensity
> 6. Will have to operate in whatever terrain he is in
> So the soldier does more movement on foot, for longer periods (I've
> been on ex where we moved for more than a day with only short
> breaks), carrying way more gear potentially, ready for much more
> violent and high volume fights, in a much higher threat environment,
> and with the need to carry more food and such.
> Most BA is heavy (esp if you have steel/ceramic inserts),
> questionable against most modern long arm or support weapon rounds -
> mostly only useful at long range or versus arty or grenade fragments
> (another reason why SF guys tend to dodge it is I'm sure they don't
> expect to be Arty'd as much as your average ground pounder),
> restricts mobility, isn't incredibly comfortable, and if you've ever
> put on a brain bucket, you'd realize they cut your hearing and sight
> which really is awful when you're doing small unit tactical movement
> esp if you are on point!
> For line troops, the benefits of BA often outweigh the downside (they
> tend to occupy set positions or execute short duration patrols, so
> the weight vs protection trade is worth it for them) but for anyone
> doing Long Range Recce, behind the lines ops, or who has a rack of
> other weight to carry, it just isn't that desirable. Heck, I know a
> lot of infanteers who'd gladly turf their helmets the minute they get
> in the bush (trading the hearing and sight for the protection).

I knew I'd probably get clobbered for my message, but I wanted to hear
the analysis.  Thanks.	:)

(BTW  Just for the record, my friend is scarcely the eat donuts/get fat
type.  He seems to spend a lot of his time running down perps through
peoples' back yards on foot.)

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