WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 1, 2007) - The Army announced yesterday it is fielding 430,000 new helmet pads, officially referred to as Nape Pads, designed to better protect Soldiers' neck areas from ballistic fragmentation.
The Army has begun shipping the new protective pad to Soldiers deploying in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Army Program Executive Office Soldier coordinated testing of the new neck pad through a National Institute of Justice laboratory certified in ballistic research.
"The Nape Pad easily attaches to the existing rear strap of the Army Combat Helmet, providing support, as well as shielding from fragmentation," said Col. John J. McGuiness, PEO Soldier project manager.
The neck pad further complements the Army's system-of-systems approach to force protection, integrating layers of protection for Soldiers on the battlefield. Additional individual protective gear provided by PEO Soldier includes the advanced combat helmet, ballistic eyewear, hearing protection, night-vision devices, the M4 carbine rifle, fire resistant uniforms, and integrated body armor with enhanced small-arms protective inserts, deltoid auxiliary protectors, and side-armor plates.
"Protection of our Soldiers is the Army's priority mission," said Brig. Gen. R. Mark Brown, commanding general for PEO Soldier and Natick Soldier Systems Center. "That's why we have the world's best body armor bar none, live-fire tested and proven in combat. And that's why we continue looking for ways to make it even better. The new helmet neck pad, the eighth improvement in body armor in the last three years is a great example because it will further reduce injuries and help save even more Soldiers' lives."