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New net armor proves its worth

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division 

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionGhazni Province, Afghanistan – When 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry began using new mine-resistant, ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles, they also made the switch from bar cage armor to net armor. 

When the first few trucks moved into circulation with the net armor, many Soldiers were concerned about its effectiveness, but the nets were combat tested September 19th, and Soldiers approved.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Ward from Herndon, VA, platoon leader of 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, confessed he was skeptical about the nets. “I just didn’t think the thin net would be able to safeguard the vehicle and the Soldiers from a rocket-propelled grenade.” 

While conducting a patrol along a highly traveled road in eastern Ghazni, insurgents initiated an ambush from close range. Less than 100 meters away, insurgents fired a volley of RPG rounds, followed by a series of machine gun fire and then another RPG. 

The Soldiers of 2nd Plt., B Co. returned fire and moved their trucks forward out of the ambush. From their new position, the Soldiers continued to fire, forcing the enemy to break off the attack and flee. What amazed the Soldiers, and the leaders, was the trucks had taken three direct hits by insurgent RPGs and none had penetrated the trucks.

“The worst effect of the insurgents’ RPG fire was that I got my bell rung a bit,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Joseph Sweat from Smithville, Tennessee. Sweat was driving one of the trucks that was hit.

“The RPGs detonated at the nets, failing to penetrate the vehicle’s armor,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Cameron Erisman from Hiram, GA 

“It turns out, the nets did exactly as advertised they would do,” added Ward.  “All of the Soldiers whose vehicles were hit by RPGs are alive today and still in the fight.”


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