About a year ago, the U.S. Army banned its soldiers from wearing any body armor other than standard-issue Interceptor armor. Surely the Interceptor armor’s as good as anything else, right?
Nope. Take for instance Dragon Skin, made by Pinnacle Armor:
The Marine Corps doesn’t like the awkward, heavy, and less-effective Interceptor armor. The Army grudgingly agreed to test Dragon Skin, but I haven’t seen anything come of that promise (other than snarky comments from a guy who’s a product manager for Interceptor Body Armor). And don’t get me started on the moon suit.
Since the President’s Secret Service detail wears Dragon Skin, as do U.S. Army generals in Afghanistan, the Army’s resistance to Dragon Skin for the troops strikes me as very fishy.
Defense Review also viewed a letter from ATC [Ed: That’s the Army’s Aberdeen Test Center.] containing information that proves that SOV/Dragon Skin did NOT fail any U.S. Air Force test or requirement, as has been stated by certain parties in the U.S. Army. We viewed the relevant information ourselves.
Bottom line is, all relevant ballistic test data is available for viewing and validation (just like we viewed and validated it), exactly as Pinnacle Armor has offered in their written response to the SOUM [Ed: the Army’s “Safety-of-Use Message” criticizing Dragon Skin armor] and the Pentagon Brief by General Sorenson. Defense Review has validated this ourselves by visiting Pinnacle Armor and carefully scrutinizing all of the data with our own eyes. That data covered a 9 year timeline and validates Pinnacle’s statements in their written response.
So, the upshot is that based on the unrefutable ballistic test data that we’ve seen … Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis’ (U.S. Army) negative statements about Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin … and Major General Jeffrey A. Sorenson’s, Col. John Norwood’s (U.S. Army), Col. Thomas Spoehr’s(U.S. Army) negative statements about Dragon Skin in his recent news briefing are either ignorant (showing a lack of knowledge of the available ballistic data), outright lies, or deliberately deceptive.
The only other possibility (and this would be giving the total benefit of the doubt to the Army), would be that civilian “experts” like Karl Masters, Steve Pinter, James Zehng, Janet Ward and others at U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center and PEO soldier who providing the information to the green suiters (Army officers), are responsible for the U.S. Army receiving inaccurate information about SOV/Dragon Skin’s true performance capabilities.
OK, the Army’s opposition to Dragon Skin is more than fishy. It stinks.
By the way, these civilians in the system seem to have built quite a little empire/fiefdom for themselves over the years. This is due to the fact that the military has (for years) outsourced these types of positions … to such civilians, instead of maintaining them within the military. Unlike military personnel these civilians do not have the same level of oversight or controls on them to maintain the typical checks and balances necessary to ensure true and unbiased evaluation of performance-based products (like SOV/Dragon Skin, for instance) for the protection of the America’s soldiers.
Imagine dragging one of these civilians to the mean streets of Baghdad and offering him a choice between wearing Interceptor armor and wearing Dragon Skin. I’ll give you one guess as to which one he’d pick.
My question for the Army: what’s happened in the last year with the comparison between Interceptor armor and Dragon Skin?
8/31/07 Update: I stand corrected.