In an effort to ensure that Marines carry only the weight of gear that is needed, the Office of Naval Research is experimenting with a Modular Personal Protection System. (Hope Hodge Seck)
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As the Marine Corps logistics community focuses on reducing the weight of Marines’ gear, and “right-sizing” for a post-Afghanistan mission, the Office of Naval Research is working to help it meet that goal by experimenting with a modular concept for personal gear and equipment.
On display at Modern Day Marine was a prototype Modular Personal Protection System in which each piece of gear was modular, customizable, and tailored to eliminate what researchers call “parasitic weight.”
The prototype gear includes a helmet with removable ear protection and eye protection, optional lower extremity ballistic protection, and armor plates designed to give more coverage while optimizing mobility and ergonomics, according to promotional materials.
Dr. Joong Kim, a deputy program manager with Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism, part of the Science and Technology division at the Office of Naval Research, said the research put more power in the hands of a commanding officer to carry out the most effective mission with the least drag.
“Your gear is tailored for a mission, understanding the threat, having a direct impact on your maneuverability,” he said. “... At the end of the day, we're giving an option to the (unit) commander, how do they want to carry out the mission.”
The Office of Naval Research is also working on a modular concept for the MTVR 7-ton truck that would allow it to conduct a variety of different missions with basic configurations.