Friday, January 07, 2005

Used Body Armor Is Sought for U.S. Vehicles in Iraq

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - New Jersey is collecting used bulletproof vests for U.S. troops in Iraq (news - web sites) to use as armor for their vehicles, following complaints that soldiers were underprotected.

Acting Gov. Richard Codey on Thursday asked all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in New Jersey to donate used vests that could be used to strengthen armor on military vehicles.

"We are establishing regional drop-off points at our National Guard armories to collect used bulletproof vests to give our troops every possible protection," Codey said in a statement.

The vests are intended for vehicles and not for individual soldiers, who already have personal body armor, the statement said.

The U.S. government has been accused in recent months of failing to properly protect its forces in Iraq where some 140,000 troops are fighting an insurgency.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on a visit to Kuwait last month, was grilled by a U.S. soldier who said troops have been forced to protect their vehicles with any scrap they can find.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmor our vehicles?" Army Specialist Thomas Wilson asked Rumsfeld, to cheers from some 2,000 fellow soldiers.

Codey's initiative was launched because he wanted to help an existing grass-roots appeal, said Sean Darcy, a spokesman for the acting governor. "This was something that was already going on, and he wanted to give it greater prominence," Darcy said.

The vest-collection effort could also give politically useful publicity to Codey, who took over as acting governor in November from the resigned Jim McGreevey. Codey is considering a run for a full term this year and would face a tough field of potential challengers.

Some vests are being collected by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, whose forces total some 25,000 officers. Even as the vests reach the end of their useful life for people, they can still help reinforce vehicles, said Mitchell Sklar, executive director of the organization.

"There are hundreds and hundreds of vests that we have no use for and, rather than dumping them, we feel that we are doing our bit," Sklar said.

Yahoo! News - Used Body Armor Is Sought for U.S. Vehicles in Iraq

1 comment:

Lietta Ruger said...

Testing post a comment.

President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


Related Posts with Thumbnails