Lightweight Performance Hood: Covering your head can save your life
What is it'
The Lightweight Performance Hood (LPH) is a recently fielded piece of fire-resistant Soldier equipment that can save Soldiers from severe, disfiguring, even life-threatening burns to the head, specifically the face, nose, ears, and neck.
Made of a fire-resistant, no-melt, no-drip material and weighing approximately 3 ounces, the LPH is also moisture-wicking and comfortable. The ventilated mesh dome at the top of the hood helps minimize heat stress in hot or dry climates, while providing limited heat retention in cool climates. These performance and comfort characteristics encourage Soldiers to wear the hood.
The hood fits easily in a Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) grenade pouch or uniform pocket and is well worth its weight on the battlefield.
What has the Army done'
The LPH was first fielded in early 2009 and replaces the Anti-Flash Hood. The Program Executive Office Soldier is currently fielding two LPHs for each deploying Soldier; fielding is completed prior to deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers can get replacement hoods as required through their unit supply or Central Issue Facility.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
The Flame Resistance (FR) Team continually tests and researches alternate fabrics that can be used to protect Soldiers from flash flame and thermal incidents. Now that the LPH is fielded, the Army's goal is to make sure every Soldier knows why the hood is deemed a critical piece of equipment and leaders encourage Soldiers to wear it.
The LPH represents a much broader ongoing effort to provide Soldiers with a full range of fire-resistant clothing so they remain lethal and survivable in any operating environment. The Army is always on the lookout for new fabrics and technologies to prevent Soldiers from having to suffer second- and third-degree burns.
Why is this important to the Army'
Burns, severe or otherwise, are dangerous injuries, and highly susceptible to infection. The Army wants to provide everything possible to protect Soldiers from these often devastating wounds. Prevention is much better than recovery. Leaders at all levels must impress upon their Soldiers the importance of the hood and strongly encourage them to wear it when on missions. It is as important as body armor. The Lightweight Performance Hood can save a Soldier's life.