Kit Up! received a tip the other day from a Soldier concerned that PEO Soldier wasn’t making good on their commitment to field lighter gear. Specifically our tipster said that Joes aren’t getting the lightweight plate carrier but is instead being issued the much bulkier IOTV.

He said all he’s seen from guys deploying is that it’s the same gear, just all in MultiCam (which to us is a big plus in and of itself).

Well, we took the tipster’s concerns to PEO Soldier without giving them any indication at all who our tipster was or what unit he was with. Officials there told us that PEO has fulfilled the requirement for fielding the KDH Magnum Tac plate carrier forwarded to them by commanders in Afghanistan. Be sure to revisit our video review from Afghanistan of the new plate carrier.

The Army has met USFOR-A’s requirement for fielding plate carriers in-theater, and continues to field plate carriers to Soldiers deploying to OEF.  The total number of plate carriers fielded to date exceeds 56,000.

As far as which locations/to what unit, we are not authorized to disclose that information due to operational security guidelines. As you know, disclosing which units have what capabilities puts Soldiers’ safety at risk.

Just to add a little RUMINT to this, we hear that internally the use of plate carriers is restricted to Army forces operating in AOs that are at a 5,000 foot elevation and above. If anyone has the straight gouge on this we’d appreciate some info on it, but on the face of it the restriction makes some sense given the balance commanders need to take between mobility and protection from fragmentation.

And please keep your tips coming!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

@Earlydawn March 31, 2011 at 9:37 am

Off-the-cuff armchair warrior thinking, here, but why not offer some kind of modular uniform, too? Afghanistan has some massive variance in temperature, both geographically and seasonally. I'd certainly want to look like a British Tommy in the summer and a Nord in the winter. Detachable pant legs and sleeves?

Glad to see that personnel are getting some degree of equipment flexibility to facilitate different mobility needs.

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Mike March 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm

We already have the modular uniform system. It's called rolling up the sleeves when it's way too hot (I doubt commanders would allow their men to do this since the combat uniform has more functions than your average civilian outfit) and putting on extra layers when it's too cold. If you make the uniform warm enough to withstand the Nordic winter on its own, there's no way it'll be comfortable enough to wear in the desert summer.

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adam March 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

Ive got one of those plate carriers and the thing is awsome…its way lighter than the iotv and ten times more comfortable..As far as uniforms go I like the army combat shirt, it lets you breathe..I would never want to wear shorts in afghanistan, for the simple fact that the uniforms are designed to protect you from the elements,explosions ie: fire…and everything else..

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subutai March 31, 2011 at 1:19 pm

The Taliban wear sandals and loose cotton clothing, which seem to work quite well.

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Sev March 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

We killed how many thousands of them by now?

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subutai April 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm

And yet they still keep fighting. Your point?

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SRH_Elite March 31, 2011 at 8:11 pm

i dont know why the heck it took so long for the command to realize that plate carriers are just better. id rather wear it over my body armor cuz of weight and just over-all maneuverablilty. the new bodyarmor or I-OTV is still to damn heavy plenty of lighter options out there.
instead of trying to put woman were they dont belong why not supply joes with better gear to fight the real fight first.

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Hap April 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm

I think what Subutai means is that the enemy have adapted to their harsh climate with fairly simple gear. After chasing these c***suckers from one end of the Khorengal valley to the other, I can attest to how quick they move. We'd have guys falling out from the heat, and there were plenty of times I wish I could have thrown my armor and brain cooker in a ditch somewhere. I hate all things afghan, bunch of jibbering hash smokers, but I do respect the cunning little mothers.

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RationalHawk April 2, 2011 at 3:23 pm

""Just to add a little RUMINT to this, we hear that internally the use of plate carriers is restricted to Army forces operating in AOs that are at a 5,000 foot elevation and above. If anyone has the straight gouge on this we’d appreciate some info on it, but on the face of it the restriction makes some sense given the balance commanders need to take between mobility and protection from fragmentation.""

Hey Christian I'm rarely one to toss the OpSec flag but maybe you shouldn't be asking soldiers to violate OpSec.

And if you are military (as I am) and you know about this… keep your mouth shut.

Yes the enemy might find out soon enough but be no need to make it easy and openly hand them the info just to satisfy Christians curiosity.

Just saying…

From RC-East,
~RH

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shitbag April 9, 2011 at 2:16 am

5000 ft + is not true!! got one at 3500 ft

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Eric April 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

this is no joke!!! we arent fielding lighter equipment to the soldiers who need it!!! i just did RFI yesterday and I (a NCO) got a plate carrier but my soldiers who care the same weight IF NOT MORE! did not get one. the army isnt worried about maneuverablilty or being lighter. its worried about 9mm rounds and shrapnel. ITS SAD!!!

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