The Army doesn’t know if 5 million pieces of body armor meet its safety standards, a Defense Department inspector general’s report says, according to the Associated Press.
The Pentagon awarded seven contracts, worth a collective $2.5 billion, for the body armor known as ballistic inserts between 2004 and 2006, the AP reported. The Pentagon report found safety tests were conducted with the wrong plates or were inconsistent, with some tests for temperature and altitude being abandoned. Two body armor designs were approved without any valid test, the report said.
“Consequently, the Army cannot be sure that ballistic inserts meet … requirements,” the report said, according to the AP. “As a result, the Army lacks assurance that 5.1 million ballistic inserts acquired through the seven contracts provide appropriate protection.”
The Army told the Pentagon’s inspector general it has already implemented suggestions in the report.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who requested the report from the Pentagon, said the Pentagon must work harder to protect American troops.
“This needs to be told,” she told the AP. “At the least, we should have some confidence that this part is taken care of, that in the future more diligence is taken.”
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