Friday, December 05, 2003

Pentagon Doesn't Have Enough Body Armor for US Soldiers in Iraq

Soldiers will not patrol without the armor — if they can get it. But as of now, there is not enough to go around. Going into the war in Iraq, the Army decided to outfit only dismounted combat soldiers with the plated vests, which cost about $1,500 each. But when Iraqi insurgents began ambushing convoys and killing clerks as well as combat troops, controversy erupted.

Last month, Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) and 102 other House members wrote to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to demand hearings on why the Pentagon had been unable to provide all U.S. service members in Iraq with the latest body armor. In the letter, the lawmakers cited reports that soldiers’ parents had been purchasing body armor with ceramic plates and sending it to their children in Iraq.


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