Numerous batteries of varying sizes, shapes, and power outputs must be used by dismounted Soldiers and TSUs as power sources, and spares for all of them must be carried, as part of the Soldier load, to meet the nominal dismounted operation time requirement of 72 hours.
The poorly designed “everything on the Soldier” approach to support dismounted operations significantly stresses the Soldier and is the largest contributor to noncombat injuries: 24 percent of medical evacuations in OIF and OEF have been for non-combat musculoskeletal injuries.2
FIGURE D-1 Soldier with combat load. SOURCE: Dr. Marilyn Freeman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology, “Providing Technology Enabled Capabilities to Soldiers and Tactical Small Units,” presentation at the 2011 AUSA ILW Winter Symposium and Exposition, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, February 23, 2011.
Force protection measures to ensure the highest degree of survivability are uneven across the spectrum of operations performed. Body armor focuses on protection of the torso and head, and its significant weight increases the Soldier’s exposure to harm and contributes to the Soldier load problems.
Unregulated Fielding of New Technology
On multiple occasions, committee members heard from military combat veterans about technology “solutions” that had been rapidly fielded to the OIF/OEF theater of operations but
2COL Gaston P. Bathalon, Commander, Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, U.S, Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, “The Soldier as a Decisive Weapon: USAMRMC Soldier Focused Research,” presentation to the Board on Army Science and Technology, February 15, 2011.