Attrition: Ballistic Underwear Conquers Afghanistan

Archives

April 17, 2011: U.S. Marines in Afghanistan are awaiting the first shipments of "ballistic underwear." They learned about the value of this stuff from British troops, who began receiving the "ballistic boxers." These Kevlar underpants have several layers of Kevlar around the groin and thigh area. This protects troops from genital damage, and projectiles that might sever the femoral arteries (which run down each leg, close to the inner thigh.) Bleeding from the femoral artery is a major cause of combat deaths, as it is very difficult to stop the flow of blood.

The "blast boxers" sell for about $100 a pair, and the idea was suggested by the troops themselves, and the medics that treat many of these wounds. The increased number of groin injuries come largely from the growing use of roadside bombs and mines by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It was thought that many troops might not want to use the Kevlar undershorts. For one thing, they restrict movement a bit, and are hot when worn during warm weather. The mobility issue discouraged U.S. Marines from using a Kevlar flap that was added to their protective vest, to prevent groin injuries, but the blast boxers were seen as less of a bother.

It turned out that there were a lot of troops who found these two issues as non-problems. These are the guys who drive the roads of Afghanistan, delivering supplies, or aid to Afghans, or just searching for roadside bombs. Mobility on foot or heat is not what these vehicle bound troops are concerned with, but the impact of roadside bombs or ambusher's bullets is.

The blast boxers proved popular with most British users, who received over 15,000 of the sturdy boxer shorts. The American marines have 120,000 pairs on order or on the way. Each marine will receive four pair of blast boxers, and wear them with confidence.

 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close