MILITARY SURPLUS FORECAST: BLAST PROTECTIVE PANTS
According to the Army Times, the military is rolling out a new set of combat fatigues that we can expect to see appearing on the surplus market very soon. These “Blast Protective Trousers” come equipped to keep the boys safe from shrapnel as a result of IED’s and other detritus driven injury devices. In a recent article it was reported:
The Army is rolling out a new pelvic protector to shield soldiers from painful and potentially life-threatening injuries caused by the debris, dirt and dust kicked up in an improvised explosive device blast. The blast pelvic protector, a lightweight ballistic harness that protects soldiers from underneath, was designed by a team at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center . It is meant to avoid the multiple surgeries it takes to remove the debris that commonly gets lodged in a soldier’s groin area in the event of a blast. Those wounds are not only painful but can lead to deadly infections. The piece is meant to improve on the groin-protecting flap that comes with a body armor kit, which can only protect against a fragmentation explosion from the front, said Kristine Isherwood, a mechanical engineer at NSRDEC and the project’s lead, in a Tuesday phone interview with Army Times. “It’s meant to mitigate not so much a life-threatening situation as a quality of life,” she said. The harness does, however, cover a good portion of the inner thigh, protecting the femoral artery and making it look like a very short set of chaps or a pair of shorts rather than the diaper-like design of some other blast protectors on the market. That design was the key to the whole project, said lead designer Cara Tuttle, because they knew if it looked too ridiculous, soldiers wouldn’t wear it. “The shape of the design came about due to considering soldier acceptability. If something isn’t designed with this sort of ‘cool’ factor, then soldiers are less likely to wear it,” she said. “The factor that it looks like a harness and not a diaper, for instance, helps make it more acceptable to soldiers to wear.” The team decided early on that it should be worn outside the uniform, rather than as an undergarment or built into uniform pants, for several reasons. “One clear thing is hygiene issues,” Isherwood said. “It’s easier to have a separate piece where the guys can launder their trousers separate from this protective equipment. And you can visually confirm that yes, they’re wearing it, they didn’t forget it over at the laundry.”
The good news is that it is detachable and therefore doesn’t necessitate the purchase of one per pair of trousers as some security devices may. We look forward to seeing these on the shelves very soon.