Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse, it has now been reported that the US Army has recalled 44,000 helmets which failed to meet US Army testing standards. In an article reported in Yahoo news, helmets manufactured by ArmorSource in Hebron, Ohio currently issued to troops serving in Afghanistan were recalled following an investigation by the US Justice Department.
According to Brigadier General Pete Fuller, who is quoted in the article, the helmets were issued to American troops in 2007, including soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Says General Fuller, “We don’t know where they (helmets) are. So they could be on some soldier’s head in either Iraq or Afghanistan. They could also be anywhere else in the world.”
ArmorSource, claiming to have been surprised by the investigation, has issued a one-page statement on their website claiming they will cooperate with the investigation into the defective military helmets.
General Fuller indicated that ArmorSource manufactured 102,000 helmets under a 2006 contract at a cost of $250 a piece. Of that number, 44,000 were distributed to troops and have been recalled, while 55,000 are still in storage and the military refused to accept the remaining 3,000.
In yet another glaring indictment of the DoD military procurement process, it is worth recapping the current ongoing investigations:
- body armor currently worn by our frontline troops failed to meet minimum test protocols as reported by the GAO and IG and is currently being investigated by the Committee for Government Oversight and Reform;
- the standard issue M4 carbine is not effective for combat in Afghanistan according to US Army sources;
- the DoD Inspector General has reported on serious deficiencies in the supply of spare parts for the M2 heavy machine gun deemed essential for combat in Afghanistan.
As Roger Charles, Editor of SFTT, has reported “the shoddy procurement process within the DoD only confirms that the problems indentified by SFTT are truly systemic and not unique to body armor.”
If we would accord our brave heroes the same level of oversight that we pay to defective brake pedals, most of our troops would probably be in a stateside repair shop since the combat equipment we are providing them seems best suited for paintball warfare. Where is the outrage?
Richard W. May