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SWJED
02-27-2008, 08:59 PM
Marines Give Modular Tactical Vest (MTV) Thumbs Down (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2008/02/marines-give-modular-tactical/).


FOX News is reporting (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,333154,00.html) that Marine Commandant General James Conway is heeding his combat Marines' advice by ordering a halt to the rest of an unfilled order of Protective Products International's Modular Tactical Vest (MTV). (http://www.body-armor.com/mtv.php)

The Pentagon and Marine Corps authorized the purchase of 84,000 bulletproof vests in 2006 that not only are too heavy but are so impractical that some U.S. Marines are asking for their old vests back so they can remain agile enough to fight.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway wants to know who authorized the costly purchase of the nearly 30-pound flak jackets...

Cavguy
02-27-2008, 09:28 PM
I understand where the Marines are coming from. In Tal Afar, I didn't wear side SAPI, though encouraged. (later was mandatory). Too much bulk for the protection, and I felt comfortable enough to decide my risk. If all I did was ride in HMMWV's all day, I might have reconsidered, but walking patrols in all that armor is exhausting.

There comes a point where clear heads need to assess the intersection between prudent protection and hindrance to effective combat action. I've seen guys saved by their IBA after being shot in the vest - I'm definately not against it. But there is only so much one can take and have effective dismounted ability.

Travis Patriquin captured my sentiment well in the "How to win Al Anbar" powerpoint. You can be safe in the gear, but can't chase insurgents well. Even with good PT, a few hundred yards is all you can really run in the summer before overheating.

I also failed to understand why the USA and USMC couldn't agree on the "next gen" vest. <sigh>

Xenophon
02-28-2008, 07:12 AM
Both the USMC and USA vest are ridiculously over-sized. I'm been humping the MTV in country for three months now and I hate the thing. Like cavguy said, it's good for convoy work because of the extra protection, but I can barely move in it on a foot patrol. The answer is give plate carriers to those who dismount a lot and vests to those who do not. Guys like me, on a MTT team where I do both, may need both. What I wouldn't give to be able to wear a plate carrier on a patrol.

Boot
02-28-2008, 08:38 AM
and have worn both. While the MTV is heavier it wore better than the OTV;
As CAVGUY stated, I don't understand why the services can't come up with something better. The side SAPI's were a pain, and once you hung all your extra gear off either, you felt like you would fall over. SF doesn't seem to have a problem getting the type of gear they need why do more conventional units? It seems that wrt equipment conventional units come around years later, of course not all gear used by SF types is needed by conventional units.
One thing I did like about the MTV was the quick release ability, hit a couple of snaps on the shoulders, and you could drop it. Pull the draw string and it would drop the plates. I did notice slight differences in my model and newer models.
At some point a balance needs to be found between armor and mobility

Xenophon
02-28-2008, 02:44 PM
Agreed. I like the design. It FEELS better than the old one, it's just too damn heavy. Get rid of all the kevlar and use the same design just as a plate/gear carrier and I'd like it.

tequila
02-28-2008, 02:59 PM
As someone who just got issued an MTV, I have to agree with all the other Marines here. Too heavy, absolutely, but wears much better than the OTV. The side SAPIs on the OTV felt like wearing wings.

J Wolfsberger
02-28-2008, 03:27 PM
The problem comes from an incomplete understanding of survivability. They aren't taking into account that agility also contributes.

Ken White
02-28-2008, 05:08 PM
The problem comes from an incomplete understanding of survivability. They aren't taking into account that agility also contributes.

protective vests other than the 16 pound flak vest that was mandatory for all in contact in the 1 Mar Div in 1952. Having been there earlier when there were none, thankfully and having been in Viet Nam later where almost no one in the Army (other than the supply convoy drivers and gunners) wore one (again thankfully), I'm far more inclined to put faith in tactical sense and agility than in armor which will never be able to approach good protection much less provide total protection.

Different time, different wars I realize but my sensing is that there's a tactical cost to a 30-plus pound vest and that our risk aversion factor has been and is detrimental to infantry operations. YMMV.

Rob Thornton
02-28-2008, 07:49 PM
Xenophon,


Guys like me, on a MTT team where I do both, may need both. What I wouldn't give to be able to wear a plate carrier on a patrol.

What I finally got smart enough to do was to have each team member put an Assault bag full of "might need" stuff in the truck. Many were the times where opportunity knocked and you wound up somewhere different then you intended - and as such th threat conditions changed based on either what you were doing, or what the enemy was doing - or if it went from night to day to night. It was easy just to keep the stuff in the trucks & do the PCIs an hour or so out from movment. Evrything from M67s to red smokes, extra 240 ammo, NVD batteries etc. If you lose your truck, or have to go where the truck can't you can make a decision about what goes and what stays.

Side SAPIs usually stayed in the truck - the result of realizing my 40 year old body could not jump as far as my 20 year old pride said it could - that one almost got me in 3 stories worth of hurt. On the other hand, I always tried to ensure my gunner (often a logisitics LTC:D or a FSNCO augmentee) had not only the best turret upgrades we could get on the truck, but also that the driver (an ADA 03 serving as an Intel type) understood where to halt so as to put the gunner in the best position and minimize the gunner's exposure / blind spots. This was often tough because when I was moving dismounted I always wanted the comms relay capability to raise air or communicate higher that I could not get on a MBITR - since that was a part of our mission.

All of that goes to force protection - the choices the driver makes, to the direction the gunner covers, to the ability to leverage good comms and bring in RW or other assets to a decision how to enter a house, etc. Do I believe in body armor - yes (I've seen it save quite a few lives) - but not to the point where it decides my actions for me.
Best, Rob

J Wolfsberger
02-28-2008, 08:40 PM
That reads like you were ensuring each man had the equipment he needed to do his job, and wasn't loaded down with stuff he didn't need. :eek:

The same problem exists in system design. There's always lots of nifty stuff that could go on the system. But does the utility to the mission justify the added cost/mass/volume/complexity/etc.?

Rob Thornton
02-28-2008, 11:12 PM
You know - some of that stuff looks small (even when it comes in big cases with lots of foam padding), but it adds up quick - even batteries add weight. One of the best books I ever read was by SLA Marshall on the soldier's load (one of many great pieces he wrote). Everything you take on has a weight penalty just about - the question is "does it matter"?
Best Rob

Uboat509
02-29-2008, 01:55 AM
This has been one of my biggest pet peeved for years, the military's unwillingness or inability to think all the way through the problem. Body armor is a prime example. The thinkng seems to be "Bullets are bad ergo, things that stop bullets must be good." That is a bit of an oversimplification. But not as much as you would think. I had a team sergeant who used to joke about being issued a hundred pounds of lightweight equipment to carry. That joke isn't as funny as it used to be. The powers that be consider protection but don't consider weight or bulk or at least they don't seem to do so the way the soldier on the ground does. Combine that with commanders that cannot or will not allow subordinates to tailor the load to the mission and you have a problem.

We used to joke that it was only a matter of time before they started dipping us in concrete. We all thought that was pretty funny until we got orders to report to be fitted for rebar.

SFC W

Boot
02-29-2008, 04:54 AM
You know - some of that stuff looks small (even when it comes in big cases with lots of foam padding), but it adds up quick - even batteries add weight. One of the best books I ever read was by SLA Marshall on the soldier's load (one of many great pieces he wrote). Everything you take on has a weight penalty just about - the question is "does it matter"?
Best Rob

The Soldiers Load NEEDS to be read by the folks who mandate we wear this gear. It was required reading when I was a grunt in the 80's.

MattC86
02-29-2008, 10:23 AM
Hey, Rob, Cavguy, Xenophon, etc. . .

Your guys interesting experiences beg the question, how much leeway do commanders (at whatever level) have in regards to load-out, armor packages and the like? This would seem to be another area where, since we certainly don't seem to have uniform standards of armor, allowing commanders to use their judgment of local conditions to determine armor and combat load standards might be a good idea . . .or do you not think so?

Additionally, I think the armor thing is another issue that is severely influenced by domestic politics, like MRAPs. The Marines got blasted a year or two ago when a study released that more advanced armor (the MTV, if I'm not mistaken) could have saved hundreds of Marine lives. Similar to how they're getting hit over the MRAP now. Whether out of ignorance or political motivations, this becomes a major concern and eventually a Congressional issue. And no Congressman is going to stand up and say "our troops DON'T need more armor" even if that's because they so heavily armored that they're less agile than the Michelin Man. Just as you can't say "we don't need so many MRAPs" because they're less COIN-friendly and less versatile and deployable than other multirole vehicles.

From that perspective alone, armor packages that commanders could scale up or down depending on conditions and intended duty would be best - at least from what I know about the issue. I'd be interested to hear what some of you have to say about it.

Regards,

Matt

Boot
03-01-2008, 09:56 AM
Matt,
Not quite the answer, but my perception wrt equipment is that our leaders seem to constantly look for the golden egg of equipment, that can do all and be all, all the time, not cost anything and when it doesn't well SOMEONE is going to pay dammit!.
I wore the MTV, but a lot of other gear I used and wore were my own, and I set my rig up what was best for me. It helped that I was in a joint organization and I had wide lanes to do my job. My motto was let them come out here and take it off my back if they don't like it. I was never questioned or given a second look, even when I would go out to II MEF...I found that many of the Marine MiTT's kind of operated the same way.
Army MiTT's depending on how tight the BCT they fell under and controlled them varied. Some MiTT teams flat disregarded the BCT, some couldn't take a crap without permission. One MiTT, I called "the pirates" flew the jolly roger and had long hair and facial hair, their equipment reflected their dress.

Rob Thornton
03-01-2008, 02:36 PM
Hi Matt,
Yes, I'm a believer in letting leaders tailor their load to the conditions of METT-TC. For non-military readers - Mission describes who is going where to do what to whom and why (could be enemy, terrain or friendly focused); Enemy - gets to the composition and disposition of the enemy; Terrain- looks at the impact of terrain and weather on operations - we often use obstacles, avenues of approach, key terrain, cover and concealment and observation; Troops - what are the types and quality of your own units and men; Time - how does time factor into the mission - can you take your time, should you, what advantages do the different takes on time offer you or offer the enemy; Civilian - what impact will civilians have on your operations - does the interaction with civilians mean you should include certain things on your load or exclude certain things?

The key is getting leaders to think through METT-TC, really I think this best happens at the company level and below during TLPs (the 8 step Troop Leading Procedures) and is checked by both the individual and the front line leaders when they do PCIs (Pre-Combat Inspections) - which ensure folks remembered to bring the things identified as needed for the mission - and potentially did not bring things that either might be compromising, or superfluous to the mission), and when they do PCCs (Pre-Combat Checks) where radios are checked for current fills, weapons and vehicles are checked for functionality, members are checked to ensure they know routes, key locations, and unit SOPs etc.

Now after awhile, if a unit is small, and homogeneous, and is conducting missions that SOPs can be developed for, it's prep time for unforeseen opportunities can go down - i.e. an IP station down the road gets hit with 2 SVBIEDs and your IA BN is responding to their aid, and they are leaving in 5 minutes - and you are headed out with them. Here is where contingency bags, full of lots of "what if" goodies might come in handy - gear that might not be part of the norm, but is good to have when conditions point to the unexpected (some of these might be left in the vehicles if you have secure storage - and just PCI'd as required - another SOP).

To talk a little bit about what Boot said and I had mentioned earlier, we were also unique, from the some of the other units operating in the AOR. For starters we had four field grade officers, an 03 and a 1SG as the team' core membership - that equates to a good deal of rank and experience in this case - we were augmented from other units to fill us out, and had some real talent that had come from supporting units - one of them (a ARNG medic E4 was on the ground when we got there - this guy was as much a pro as any - and as such we gave him a lot of responsibility and authority with how he did his job). We also lived outside the FOB on an IA COP - we got regular visits from the BCT CoC, and saw our own MiTT CoC pretty regularly, but everyone realized we had special conditions and as such needed to retain the authority commensurate with our responsibility to make decisions. We also demonstrated the professional maturity and judgment to counter any bad ideas issued in cookie cutter fashion.

Regarding modular armor. To talk about personal body armor is one thing, to consider it in terms of vehicle packages is another. Currently, adding or subtracting armor involves facilities, personnel, material handling equipment, etc. Protection measure in armor is heavy for the most part, or cost prohibitive. The process to upgrade 1114s and 1151s requires disassembly and reassembly to get it right - which is why MAREZ for example had a centralized AoA (Add on Armor) site - combined with the other things that make a vehicle a useful tool - its mobility, its ability to carry heavier weapons, more people and more powerful comms - getting the survivability enhancements right in a process that you can do a large amount of vehicles in an efficient and effective manner requires a professional process.

The only way I could see out of that for the current time would be to issue units a suite of vehicles to choose IAW the METT-TC conditions - depending on the scope, that could get cost prohibitive pretty fast (in more ways then just $$$ - such as logistics, maintenance, sustainment, training, etc.) - some units are justifiably equipped with enough capabilities to do so, some just can't be.

Best, Rob

Cavguy
03-01-2008, 04:29 PM
The one issue not mentioned is the CYA factor.

Kind of goes with Hackworth's "Bayonet" analogy in "About Face".

Johnny is an infantryman, and spends most of his time on dismounted patrols while his leadership engages the locals. He's a well trained, disciplined infantryman.

Johnny doesn't wear his side SAPI (for example), it's too heavy and he wants to chase insurgents, and he can't climb or move quickly enough to dodge incoming fire. His PSG and CO allow their soldiers to tailor his load, knowing he understands the risk.

Johnny gets shot (of course) right where the side SAPI would have been, and is killed.

Every death in Iraq requires a 15-6 (formal inquiry). The 15-6 reveals that if Johnny had been wearing side SAPI, he would be alive, but notes the policy of the chain of command. Per Army SOP, the report is revealed and briefed to Johnny's mom and dad, a hardworking, patriotic couple. They are outraged that their son would be alive if his leaders had ensure he wore the "best available" protection. They go to the media and congress, demanding answers as to why Johnny wasn't wearing his side SAPI, accusing his chain of command of blatant disregard for Johnny's life by not ensuring he was well protected.

The New York Times picks it up, and congressmen send numerous inquires to the Army about why individuals are not wearing body armor that could save their lives. The Army Chief of Staff, wanting to avoid such arguments and end the bad publicity, mandates that Side SAPI be worn by all soldiers in theater, regardless of the weight issues.

Now Joe is wearing his side SAPI, deltoid protectors, neck protectors, and groin protector. His orginal SAPI plates have been replaced by an enhanced SAPI plate, weighing an additional two pounds. Six months later, Joe is killed in the streets of Samarra, when in an ambush he was unable to move quickly enough to escape the kill zone. The 15-6 investigation concludes that Johnny's death was regrettable and due to enemy action, and Johnny had all the protective equipment the Army could provide, and was wearing it properly. The family accepts the sad news, and holds a distinguished burial, and speak to the press about what a good son he was.

======

That's the issue with much of SAPI, HMMWV Frag Kit 5, etc. You hear the politicians constantly harping on "not enough" or the "not the best"for the troops. Witness the DragonSkin controversy, which I understand is even heavier than the IOTV. At one point, they developed (no kidding) an armored spacesuit (air conditioned) for HMMWV gunners on long convoys.

We have become so casualty adverse that we are pushing our equipment decisions beyond common sense, and are unwilling to explain the trade-offs to the public, and the soldiers get treated like "boys" or "kids" and not the adults they are.

Ken White
03-01-2008, 04:38 PM
It's a sad indictment of the nation and our political and chattering classes which have forced that attitude on the Armed Forces. There are some -- probably most -- families who would not rail about the issue; regrettably there are a few that will and they are allowed to drive the train due to political and media ignorance and pandering.

Shame there's not a way to obtain the counterpoint figures to show how much practical and tactical damage overemphasis on force protection has caused...

I will forego commenting on the foolishness of a 15-6 for each death, a precedent unlikely to be able to be followed in a more intense combat environment -- and a fallacious effort also forced on the services by the same elements of misplaced pressure.

J Wolfsberger
03-02-2008, 12:42 PM
The only way I could see out of that for the current time would be to issue units a suite of vehicles to choose IAW the METT-TC conditions - depending on the scope, that could get cost prohibitive pretty fast (in more ways then just $$$ - such as logistics, maintenance, sustainment, training, etc.) - some units are justifiably equipped with enough capabilities to do so, some just can't be.


The other approach is to design the vehicles for inherent modularity. Think of it as a "plug and play" approach. The vehicle arrives in theater with the basic suite plus whatever add-ons reflect the best estimate of needs. As the operation/mission proceeds, capabilities are added or removed to reflect experience. In some cases (armor being an excellent example) that might require substantial support, but that would be available from both organic units and contractors.

Rob Thornton
03-02-2008, 01:50 PM
The other approach is to design the vehicles for inherent modularity. That is kind of where the future is going. It was (and may still be) a key component of the FCS MGVs (manned ground vehicles). I think given the threats, future vehicles will probably be considered that way. However, there are some issues with it - anything modular implies it can be adjusted, or tailored - and provide flexibility - and this is good, but while a multi-tool, or even a crescent wrench is good - it may not be optimal - meaning a socket wrench might be the optimal tool.

This could get to some interesting (and tough) choices - you maybe can improve the "modular" choice to make it better at some or all of the jobs you might give it, but the cost to do so might be disproportional in the short run to just buying multiple vehicles - where you get a return on your investment is not having to sustain a larger inventory vs. the "one". This is still a tough call, because we've often dealt with over-engineered "things" that were so designed to everything equally well, that they wound up not anyone thing (including the original impetus for the thing) very well at all.


In some cases (armor being an excellent example) that might require substantial support, but that would be available from both organic units and contractors. I think this part may be unavoidable. I'm not exactly set on how I feel about this one. On the one hand the contractors I've seen in steady state operations have flat out provided incredible support (to our unit), on the other the risk of relying on contractors too much makes my gut hurt. They are fine folks, and certainly pulling their weight, and I believe will be a feature on the future battlefield - but we always need to acknowledge the risk of relying on them (or not)
Best, Rob

William F. Owen
03-03-2008, 12:54 PM
The Soldiers Load NEEDS to be read by the folks who mandate we wear this gear. It was required reading when I was a grunt in the 80's.

If you mean the book by SLA Marshall, I'd not bother to read it. I know it very well and I use it as an example of how not to discuss load carrying. Marshall just pulled things out of his ass, and did a huge amount of damage. Load carrying was the last thing he managed to screw up, by simplistically coming up with the "X"% of body weight, or "X" lbs.

Are soldiers overloaded? Yes. Is the problem solvable by good leadership and training? Yes. Marshall's observations are not needed.

Rob Thornton
03-03-2008, 01:56 PM
nobody made me read S.L.A. Marshall, I found a marked up copy of a soldier's load in the old armory building that served as the ROTC building at APSU. I found it to be a short and concise read about thinking about the effect of weight on the soldier. Times have certainly changed - we have access to lots of folks who say this kit or that works better, and often its accompanied by a why, but for the time - really until only recently, not too many folks had access to someone who thought abut it. Marshall's language is easy to understand - and while some of his thoughts on loads may be tied to the context of the time he wrote in, the idea that leaders must consider the load along with the other METT-TC type conditions is timeless. It philosophical value is greater to me then its technical limitations.

I'd also recommend "Men against Fire", for some thinking about why men risk what they risk in combat. Sure there has been lots written of late, but I think SLAM pioneered combat interviews for the US Army in terms of capturing the essence of things and making it available to inform us later - when we forget.

Are there some great things out there that are more recent - sure, but SLAM has an important place along with guys like du Picq, Liddell Hart, and others who have spent allot of their lives contemplating war and the military. Even when I disagree with them or other authors, peers,etc. I usually get something out of it, often I get to places or thoughts I would not have gotten to otherwise.

Best, Rob

Tom Odom
03-03-2008, 02:05 PM
nobody made me read S.L.A. Marshall, I found a marked up copy of a soldier's load in the old armory building that served as the ROTC building at APSU. I found it to be a short and concise read about thinking about the effect of weight on the soldier. Times have certainly changed - we have access to lots of folks who say this kit or that works better, and often its accompanied by a why, but for the time - really until only recently, not too many folks had access to someone who thought abut it. Marshall's language is easy to understand - and while some of his thoughts on loads may be tied to the context of the time he wrote in, the idea that leaders must consider the load along with the other METT-TC type conditions is timeless. It philosophical value is greater to me then its technical limitations.

I'd also recommend "Men against Fire", for some thinking about why men risk what they risk in combat. Sure there has been lots written of late, but I think SLAM pioneered combat interviews for the US Army in terms of capturing the essence of things and making it available to inform us later - when we forget.

Are there some great things out there that are more recent - sure, but SLAM has an important place along with guys like du Picq, Liddell Hart, and others who have spent allot of their lives contemplating war and the military. Even when I disagree with them or other authors, peers,etc. I usually get something out of it, often I get to places or thoughts I would not have gotten to otherwise.

Best, Rob

SLAM must be viewed against the slding scale of his own ego--as his ego grew his integrity as a historian slid into the toilet. His "Men Against Fire" was useful in that it raised the subject in a studied way. His later applications of the model merely sought to out do his earlier versions--and his Brigadier's star got bigger as his findings grew more outrageous.

Soldiers Loads are much the same; we have done quite a bit on the subject here, especially before 9-11 and into OEF 1 and 2. Again just keeping the idea on the screen is important, otherwise you do get 150 pounds of lightweight gear. The classic example lately was a SOF ruck I saw that I could have put you inside Rob.

Best

Tom

selil
03-03-2008, 02:48 PM
It would be great to here more inside information on SLA Marshal. I haven't read any of his books but he's quoted extensively (sometimes contradicting each other). In a current book I'm reading "Violence" by Randall Collins most of the second chapter and tenth chapter talk about military violence and SLA Marshal is quoted differently but within the same context. An example is that in the second chapter of Collins book the use of rounds expended to kill ratio suggests soldiers are shooting at nothing or purposefully missing (completely doesn't take into account covering fire), and the shooting in ranks of the British and WW2 is the example (quoting SLA Marshal). In another section Collins quotes SLA Marshal as saying most in the Pacific Theater (WW2) and Europe (D-DAY) never fired their weapons (which misses the whole effect of waves of infantry arriving on a beach (nobody to shoot with guys stacked in front of you). I think the analysis is wrong by Collins, but now I'm left with a bad taste for SLA Marshal.

wm
03-03-2008, 03:31 PM
Scientific study of soldier loads has been conducted within this decade by folks at Natick Labs/ Soldier Systems Center. Those interested might try to gain contact with OFIG at Natick, part of the Army's RD&E Command under Army Materiel Command. I suspect the results, part of which I know was based on field research with troops on the ground in AF, are probably much better than anything that SLAM anecdotally recounts. I have no better POC information than this link (http://www.natick.army.mil/soldier/ofig/content.htm).

Steve Blair
03-03-2008, 03:39 PM
The Germans also conducted studies in the 1870s if memory serves...and yet we still overload the troops.

Tom Odom
03-03-2008, 03:49 PM
Scientific study of soldier loads has been conducted within this decade by folks at Natick Labs/ Soldier Systems Center. Those interested might try to gain contact with OFIG at Natick, part of the Army's RD&E Command under Army Materiel Command. I suspect the results, part of which I know was based on field research with troops on the ground in AF, are probably much better than anything that SLAM anecdotally recounts. I have no better POC information than this link (http://www.natick.army.mil/soldier/ofig/content.htm).

Actually the impetus for the Natick effort came from my office in concert with the Natick rep here. We sent to idea to Natick and it came back to CALL. Then CALL sent a collection team and my office provided the soldier loads collector, who previously had done similar work via Ops Grp. I still have the brief that resulted from that collection. We hand it out with our digital library. I can provide copies to military email addresses.

Best

Tom

William F. Owen
03-03-2008, 04:49 PM
His "Men Against Fire" was useful in that it raised the subject in a studied way. His later applications of the model merely sought to out do his earlier versions--and his Brigadier's star got bigger as his findings grew more outrageous.


I think he SLAM got the wrong end of the stick with "Men Against Fire." Fitz-Gibbon and Wigram did far better work and Wigram got the answer in 1943!

I think the nicest thing I can sat about SLAM was that he was unencumbered by data!

Ken White
03-03-2008, 05:22 PM
...I think the nicest thing I can sat about SLAM was that he was unencumbered by data!it was full of his ego... :D

He made some occasional good points but most of his stuff doesn't stand up to close scrutiny.

selil
03-03-2008, 05:33 PM
I would mention that the SLA Marshal entry in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.L.A._Marshall) is interesting.

Oh, and I followed the Robert Bateman entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bateman_%28historian%29) which links to the the Small Wars Journal entry and is empty on wikipedia.

Tom Odom
03-03-2008, 05:42 PM
Professor Roger J. Spiller (Deputy Director of the Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College) demonstrated in his 1988 article "S.L.A. Marshall and the Ratio of Fire" (The RUSI Journal, Winter 1988, pages 6371) that Marshall had not actually conducted the research upon which he based his ratio of fire theory. "The 'systematic collection of data' that made Marshall's ratio of fire so authoritative appears to have been an invention." [1] This revelation called into question the authenticity of some of Marshall's other books, and lent academic weight to doubts about his integrity that had been raised in military circles even decades earlier.

Roger was and still is a very dear friend and my mentor in delving into history in a serious way. He often talked about SLAM and these research "techniques" but he would not allow me to use similiar inventiveness in writing LP 14 (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/odom/odom.asp). Pity. I could have really examined the issue of magic turning bullets into water. :wry:

Best

Tom

selil
03-03-2008, 05:46 PM
Roger was and still is a very dear friend and my mentor in delving into history in a serious way. He often talked about SLAM and these research "techniques" but he would not allow me to use similiar inventiveness in writing LP 14 (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/odom/odom.asp). Pity. I could have really examined the issue of magic turning bullets into water. :wry:

Best

Tom

I found the Chambers article I'm looking for some of the others but not having much luck.

VMI_Marine
07-08-2008, 05:16 PM
Agreed. I like the design. It FEELS better than the old one, it's just too damn heavy. Get rid of all the kevlar and use the same design just as a plate/gear carrier and I'd like it.

I participated in a MARCORSYSCOM survey about two weeks ago regarding the MTV. According to SYSCOM, BLT 1/6 and 2/7 have been fielded a plate carrier that is very similar in design to the MTV (I believe it is pretty much the same as PPI's Hornet (http://www.body-armor.com/hornet.php)). The plate pockets have soft armor backing for the plates (a requirement, for those who are not familiar with the difference between "in conjunction" and "stand alone" plates). The cummerbund design is identical to the MTV. Currently SYSCOM is considering issuing GCE units the MTV and the plate carrier.

A PPI rep brought along a vest they have designed that is a plate carrier with removable soft armor panels. With the soft armor panels, the coverage is equivalent to IBA; with them removed it is equivalent to the Hornet shown above. I like the concept, but am not crazy about the attachment system - it requires threading a wire through loops on the plate carrier and armor panels.

The reason I like the concept is because I picture using different levels of body armor for different phases of an operation. For instance, an infantry company doing a movement to contact would wear the plate carrier in order to have protection from small arms fire, but also the additional mobility and breathability for dismounted movement, and in case of chance contact or a meeting engagement where they need to maneuver aggressively. Once the unit reaches its assault position, the Marines (or Soldiers) don their soft armor in order to have the additional frag protection for the assault.

The survey group was interesting - I was the only infantryman in the room, the rest of the group were MPs, tankers, or amtrackers. I was the only voice in the room that wanted to reduce coverage in favor of mobility, and/or have a modular armor system that incorporated removable soft armor. Personally, I think we passed the good idea cutoff point when we added side SAPIs, but the casualty averse mentality has eliminated any chance of getting rid of those things.

Fuchs
07-08-2008, 11:00 PM
Is any body armour equipment known that offers 100% coverage against fragments when lying down?

I'd rate fragments protection (like the old thin kevlar vests) for the arms and legs higher than hard rifle-proof torso side plates in many conflict types.


Sorry for playing the HIC guy again, I can't resist it.