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Body Armor Recalled

Over 18 months ago there was controversy over the procurement of body armor for our troops. Then, as now, the argument was over testing results between Dragon Skin Body Armor and the armor supplied by Pinnacle Armor. Except now, the Army has recalled as many as 16,000 sets of ceramic plates over the question of whether they had been fully tested.

An anonymous source at the DoD indicated that it acting proactively in advance of an Inspector General's report that is expected in a few days, and which will apprarently reiterate the earlier contention that the testing of the plates was inadequate.

"This decision reflects the Army's commitment to do everything within its power to be sure only the very best equipment is fielded to its soldiers," the official said. He said, however, that there have been no reports of defects in the plates or deaths or injuries resulting from their use. The plates are being recalled so that soldiers will not worry that they are wearing unsafe armor, he said.

There is no question that both companies have a vested interest in selling their armor products to the military. It is hard to say what the motivation might be for the Inspector General to keep "digging until something was found that was not very solid" as was written in the Washington Times article. The motivation for a lack of full disclosure of testing data? "I can't imagine."

One thing is clear. No matter who is the President or which party is in the majority, our fighting forces in theaters of operation like Afghanistan and Iraq deserve only the best possible equipment. That should be the easy decision.

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