TV News LIES

Monday, Dec 05th

Last update05:20:13 AM GMT

You are here News Military Weight of Combat Gear Is Taking Toll

Weight of Combat Gear Is Taking Toll

E-mail Print PDF

Carrying heavy combat loads is taking a quiet but serious toll on troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, contributing to injuries that are sidelining them in growing numbers, according to senior military and defense officials.

Rising concern over the muscle and bone injuries -- as well as the hindrance caused by the cumbersome gear as troops maneuver in Afghanistan's mountains -- prompted Army and Marine Corps leaders and commanders to launch initiatives last month that will introduce lighter equipment for some U.S. troops.

As the military prepares to significantly increase the number of troops in Afghanistan -- including sending as many as 20,000 more Marines -- fielding a new, lighter vest and helmet is a top priority, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway said recently. "We are going to have to lighten our load," he said, after inspecting possible designs during a visit to the Quantico Marine base.

Army leaders and experts say the injuries -- linked to the stress of bearing heavy loads during repeated 12- or 15-month combat tours -- have increased the number of soldiers categorized as "non-deployable." Army personnel reported 257,000 acute orthopedic injuries in 2007, up from 247,000 the previous year.

 

As injuries force more soldiers to stay home, the Army is having a harder time filling units for upcoming deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the service's vice chief of staff.

"There is no doubt that [in] our non-deployable rates, we're seeing increase," he said. "I don't want to see it grow any more."

The number of total non-deployables has risen by an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 since 2006, putting the current figure at about 20,000, according to Chiarelli. "That occurs when you run the force at the level we're running it now," he said.

"You can't hump a rucksack at 8,000 to 11,000 feet for 15 months, even at a young age, and not have that have an impact on your body, and we are seeing an increase in muscular-skeletal issues," Chiarelli told reporters last month.

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial

Bergdahl asks for pardonA former prisoner of war accused of endangering his U.S. comrades by walking off his post...

Navy's new $4.4B Zumwalt destroyer breaks down in Panama Canal

New Navy destroyer breaks downThe U.S. Navy's new destroyer -- the USS Zumwalt -- has been sidelined in the Panama...

Big blunders behind botched U.S.-led strike in Syria in September: inquiry

Syrian air strike under investigationA U.S. military investigation has concluded that a series of "unintentional human errors" led to a...

Oldest Remaining Tuskegee Airman Dies

Oldest remainingTuskegee airman diesThe oldest remaining member of the Tuskegee Airmen has died. Willie Rogers of St. Petersburg, Fla.,...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!