Advanced Combat Helmets (ACH) provide our soldiers with the most high-tech protection available. Not only do the helmets guard against blows to the head, but they also record data to measure the blow and gather information regarding brain injury.
However, some of the helmets have been found unfit for combat and last week the Army recalled 44,000 helmets from the field. While this number is only a small portion of ACH’s used, they were made by a particular company, ArmorSource.
ArmorSource is now under investigation by the Department of Justice. After placing an order with the company, the Army began to test the helmets, as per usual, and noticed the paint was peeling. While this is merely a cosmetic issue, at $250 a pop, perfection should be demanded. The Army proceeded to cancel the remainder of the order, and then the Department of Justice stepped in.
According to a report by CBS News, "It’s not clear exactly what information the Justice Department has, but it was enough to convince the Army to conduct a new battery of tests on the helmets made by ArmorSource." Shockingly, the helmets failed after being x-rayed and shot at. Although there reportedly is no evidence that the defect would cause a fatality, the 44,000 helmets in the field were recalled and the remaining 55,000 in storage will be destroyed.
This is terrible news, on many fronts: 1) the safety of our soldiers; 2) the waste of money; and 3) the waste of time and resources. Obviously, the ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet) is an extremely important part of the combat uniform; very few soldiers would want to enter into combat, or even training, without a safe helmet. Thank goodness the Army and Justice Department were on top of this issue. Let us hope that there are no previously issued, problematic helmets that are currently in service.