May 4, 2011

High cost of military force protection for soldiers

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As technology advances billions upon billions of dollars have been spent on war. Better weapons, better smart technology and better armor and protection for the men and women risking their lives and giving their lives for...?

Earliest armor in war was basically a helmet and some leather boots and cost about $170. The fighting came to hand to hand combat often. The ratio of wounded in action to killed in action was disturbingly high at 41% killed and 59% wounded. This is also due to the lack of medical technology but the main reason was that man power was the forefront and very little other options unlike today when you have a thousand different bombs or missiles you can throw at the enemy from half way around the world.

Modern day armor and weapons, that accompany todays soldiers, boasts many technological warfare advances. Killed to wounded ratio is now 12%. A great increase from the 41% of early wars.
  • Night vision and thermal scopes allow soldiers god like sight and a major advantage against enemies without it. In the past soldiers were basically blind at night and often ground troops from both sides would end up in hand to hand combat because they could not see the enemy approaching.
  • Kevlar helmets replaced the old steel brain buckets which not only reduced the weight but also increased protection ten fold.
  • Advanced body armor that is lightweight and can stop most small and medium sized ammunition.
  • Fire retardant gloves are being introduced and have helped to reduce 25% of hand injuries that crop up in war.
  • Knee and elbow pads are now standard and help drive the percentage of injuries down even further. True it all adds to the weight but proven to be effective in safety issues.
  • Safety glasses are a small but major safety tool now on most soldiers. Every little piece helps.
What does the future hold for military force protection? I think many movies, like the Terminator, depict a realistic view of future warfare. As soon as technology can take humans out of the war zones and replace them with machines many lives will be saved. Scary to think though that war might become strictly a nuclear battle.

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