Mach V

Mach V: Air Force Rolling Out New Female Body Armor

Studies have proven that ill-fitting body armor leads to more injuries and shorter military careers. This has especially been an issue for female service members. After years of asking, female troops are finally getting body armor designed for them. This year, the Air Force officially began to issue the Mach V Female Body Armor System.

Defense company Aspetto partnered with the Air Force to produce a custom solution to the problem at hand. As a result, Air Force Security Forces are being equipped with the Mach V. This vest was designed to be more form fitting and lightweight. Furthermore, the Mach V has a shorter torso size, a curved chest plate, and an adjustable back corset. Thus allowing the wearer to tighten the vest to fit to their preference.

Mach V is a hit

Many Security Forces Airmen, known as “Defenders,” have voiced their approval of the new vest. Airman 1st Class Desi Virginia Moorefield is a member of the 39th SFS security response team. She stated, “This new vest is much more secure and fits better.”

Moorefield added, “It doesn’t chafe around the shoulders or neck area; there’s more padding and it holds weight against my chest instead of hanging over my stomach area and sides. If we’re not comfortable, it gets in the way of accomplishing what we must do, so I think this is a positive move in the right direction.”

Master Sgt. Brianne N. Trapani,  the superintendent for the 377th Security Support Squadron, stated, “The new female body armor is different from our current standard tactical vest.” Tripani elaborated by saying, “The new one is lighter, has a curved chest plate and a shorter torso size.”

Mach V
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Morales

Tripani went on to say, “Our previous gear did not allow for much freedom of movement. So if we were in a situation that required us to run or quickly exit a vehicle, it hindered us greatly. It also put us at risk by wearing gear that was not properly fitted to protect us.”

Do you think other branches should begin to equip their female troops with better fitting armor? Sound off in the comments below. Stay tuned to American Grit for more stories that matter.

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