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Pentagon Audit Finds Army Improperly Tested Body Armor

Army photo: Staff Sgt. Marcus J. Quarterman

The Army improperly tested new bullet-blocking plates for body armor and cannot determine if 5 million pieces of the equipment meet standards, a Defense Department audit found.

According to the AP, the Pentagon’s inspector general focused on seven Army contracts for the plates, awarded between 2004 and 2006. The total value of the contracts was $2.5 billion.

The inspector general found the tests were either incomplete, conducted with wrong-size plates or relied on inconsistent bullet test rounds.

In some situations, including at certain temperatures and altitudes, no tests were conducted.

“As a result, the Army lacks assurance that 5.1 million ballistic inserts acquired through the seven contracts provide appropriate protection,” the report says.

The AP reports this is the fourth report in a series of inspector general reports in response to repeated requests from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) since Jan. 2006.

Slaughter asked the Pentagon to examine the effectiveness of body armor after the New York Times reported 80 percent of Marines killed in Iraq from upper body wounds could have survived with extra body armor.

Click here to read the full inspector general report.

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