Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

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Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:15 pm

Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?



US Special Operations and Special Forces troopers -- and their commanders -- know that the ceramic plates DO NOT CONSISTENTLY PROVIDE THE SPECIFIED BALLISTIC PROTECTION claimed by Army and Marine Corps acquisition officials.

Readers of DefenseWatch are well aware that for the past three and a half years whenever we raised questions about the performance of Interceptor Body Armor and its ceramic plates, Army and Marine Corps generals responded adamantly that America's frontline troops were wearing the best body armor in the world. "Bar none" was the phrase added by Brigadier General Mark Browne to add emphasis to his claim that US soldiers were wearing the best in the world. (Brown was at the time the general officer in charge of body armor for the US Army.)



So, why don't the direct action elements and other special operations troops wear Interceptor Body Armor?

What does Special Operations Command know, that the Army and Marine Corps acquisition commands do not know?



We now have a partial answer.



Three months ago a retired Special Forces officer, Major Clifford Yarbrough, contacted DefenseWatch with some sensational news: when he reported for combat duty in Afghanistan in 2006, he and the other SF personnel at his Combat Operations Base were all issued titanium plates to "back-stop" the ceramic plates in their government-issued body armor.



It's taken longer than expected to get Major Yarbrough's information into the national media, but on the evening of January 28 Washington Times Pentagon reporter, Sara Carter, broke the story that the Secretary of the Army had ordered the recall of 16,000 sets of ceramic ballistic protective plates (ESAPI, or Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts, Level IV).( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/29/exclusive-army-recall-armor/ )



In this same story Carter quoted Major Yarbrough:

Maj. Clifford Yarbrough, who served with the third Special Forces group in Afghanistan, told The Times that his Special Forces unit, along with other Special Forces and the Delta Forces, were issued titanium plates. These plates, which are ordered by these special units under a separate budget, can withstand multiple hits by the enemy and saved many lives, said Maj. Yarbrough, who now works teaches at a high school in Arkansas.

The major, who has two enlisted sons, said that the ceramic plates issued to Army and Marine Corp. personnel are not sufficient protection against close enemy fire.

"Interceptor vests are not fielded with the interceptor titanium that give the men more enhanced protection," he said. "We had guys who were engaged and short of a 50 caliber, it would stop everything ["it" being the titanium plate]. They got a little trauma from the bruising. Normally those rounds would go right through them ["them" being the ceramic plates]."

Here are two pictures of Major Yarbrough's personal body armor, evacuated with him in 2007 when wounded by an IED. Note the tactical vest, the two ceramic plates (marked "HANDLE WITH CARE") and the two titanium plates (light yellow in color). One titanium plate was worn behind the front ceramic plate (between the torso and the ceramic plate) and the second titanium plate was worn between the torso and the rear ceramic plate.

Image Number One - Note ceramic plate (dark) and titanium back-stop plate (light) nestled inside carrier of tactical vest.




Image Number Two - Both ceramic plates (dark) and both titanium back-stop plates (light) in front of tactical vest.




The weight of a single titanium plates is approximately the same as that of a single ESAPI ceramic plate.

Buy American? Not Special Operations Command.

DefenseWatch has recently learned that Delta Force troopers are wearing a tactical vest manufactured in the Netherlands that is configured like a sleeveless sweater. Made of a high-density polymer and plastic, the vest provides level IIIA protection and has been described as being downright comfortable to wear. (DefenseWatch had a trusted agent speak with two recently retired Delta Force troopers who described the Dutch-made vest. DefenseWatch is attempting to get more details and hopes to be able to purchase one of the vests which are commercially available and worn by a number of NATO special operations elements. Some U.S. SEAL's have also begun to wear this Dutch vest. The vests have "slots" for inserting ballistic protective plates, but only for front and back plates - not for side plates. And, since some SF troops are wearing both ceramic and titanium plates, DefenseWatch believes that the Delta Force troopers would do likewise when required by the tactical situation.)

When Major Clifford Yarbrough described how he was issued the titanium "back-stop" plates in Afghanistan for wear with his ceramic plates, he stated that he and other SF troops questioned why only special operations elements were being issued the titanium plates, and that they were disgusted that such critical, life-saving protective items were not provided to all American troops.

Major Yarbrough also reported that a number of special operations troopers wore Pinnacle Armor's flexible body armor, Dragon Skin, prior to the Army issuing its Safety Of Use Message (SOUM) in March 2007 that specifically banned Dragon Skin. (DefenseWatch previously reported how the Army and Marine Corps threatened troops with the loss of death benefits for survivors and health-care benefits for themselves if killed or wounded while wearing Dragon Skin.)

DefenseWatch salutes this truth-teller for stepping forward to disclose the ugly reality of yet one more double standard foisted on America's grunts.

[Editor's Note: DefenseWatch contacted the manufacturer of the US titanium plates, TIMET of Henderson, Nevada but was unable to get a corporate representative to comment. Given that it's SOCOM troops who are wearing the titanium plates, DefenseWatch is not surprised that the Pentagon does not want this vendor describing how successful its product is performing, not while thousands of US troops are wearing only the ceramic plates and basically rolling the dice every time they put on their Interceptor Body Armor with just its ceramic plates.]

And, for those readers who doubt the need for the Pentagon to provide this life-saving protection of titanium plates to "special" members of the US military, here's a quote from the January 15, 2009 issue of The Jerusalem Post under the byline of Yaakov Katz. In discussing tactical lessons learned from the recent Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip, Katz described how the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had improved the body armor issued to Israeli grunts:

To protect soldiers, the IDF has issued a second layer of body armor that can stop bullets. The armor slides under the standard ceramic [plate], which is capable of stopping shrapnel but not direct gunshots. In one case, a soldier sustained five gunshots to the chest, but none penetrated due to the extra body armor. (Emphasis added.)

DefenseWatch has confirmed with a knowledgeable and experienced industry source that the IDF is also using titanium plates to back-stop their ceramic plates.

As one astute observer of US and Israeli military matters put it,

"Of course, the IDF would give the titanium plates to every soldier. That's the difference between the IDF and the Pentagon. The Israelis truly value their troops and their actions reflect that respect, while the Pentagon only pays lip service to supporting the troops."

DefenseWatch Editor Roger Charles is an Annapolis graduate, a retired USMC Lt. Col. who commanded an infantry platoon in I Corps during the Vietnam War, and a protégé of the late Col. David H. Hackworth. He won an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Medal in 1993, and a 2004 George Foster Peabody Award. Rog can be contacted at sftteditor@aol.com.



http://www.sftt.org/cgi-bin/csNews/csnews.cgi/csNews.cgi?database=Unlisted%202008.db&command=viewone&id=28
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:23 pm

I believe that we need to do, is begin a fund raising drive to buy titanium plates and ship them to Marines and Soldiers.

What say you?
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by KSigMason on Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:55 pm

I'd like to get some of that Dragon Skin Body Armor
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by NonConformist on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:40 am

MAybe we can get something going like that group for snipers, but for regular Grunts


Dragon Skin rocks!
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:22 pm

Asswipes at DoD don't like Dragon skin. They've been fighting a battle against paying death benefits for grunts who wear it. Anyone know the latest status of this?


http://www.truthout.org/article/soldiers-ordered-shed-armor-or-face-losing-benefits

http://nationalexpositor.com/News/929.html
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:36 pm

Breaking News: Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin vs. Interceptor Body Armor--Fight's On
Posted on Friday, January 13 @ 09:57:33 PST by davidc

Body Armor by David Crane
david@defensereview.com

DefenseReview received some interesting information yesterday regarding this NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) interview of Lt. Col. Roger Charles (Ret.) and Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis (Ret.) conducted by Margaret Warner on Pinnacle Armor SOV Flexible Body Armor/Dragon Skin vs. the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System Outer Tactical Vest (OTV), a.k.a. Interceptor Body Armor. As many of our readers are probably already aware, DefenseReview has published a number of articles on SOV/Dragon Skin. We first started writing about Dragon Skin body armor in October 2001. We followed that original blurb up with a more in-depth article on May 27, 2004. Our most recent article on Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin reported on an actual save made by a Dragon Skin against three 7.62x39mm API (armor-piercing incendiary) round hits. The vest's wearer was a PSD operator (Security Operator) employed by DynCorp International, and when he got hit (during an ambush that turned into a firefight) he didn't even feel the bullet impacts. That particular article is titled, appropriately enough, Flexible Body Armor Saves PSD/Security Operator from 7.62x39mm API Round Hits.

I also wrote an article specifically for Military.com SoldierTech, titled Body Armor Times 10: Pinnacle's Innovative, Flexible Body Armor that provides more detailed information about Dragon Skin/SOV flexible body armor's unique protective attributes and capabilities. After reading that article, Nat Helms from Soldiers for the Truth (SFTT) ended up interviewing me and subsequently quoting me in his excellent article on Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin, titled Getting America's Best?. We highly suggest that you read it.

Once you read those, you can understand our surprise upon...


reading some of the statements made by Lt. Col. Maginnis (Ret.) (Interceptor Body Armor proponent) during the aforementioned interview, including the following:

Maginnis: [On Dragon Skin] "Well, it would be if it was all proven through science. You know, certainly the shoulders and the neck, major difference with this -- no groin protection. And, you know, the contracting people as well as the Army scientists say, look, be careful with dragon skin because it's good for a knife fight, but we don't want to take it to Iraq because of the ballistic issues. And they're not comfortable with it yet, but perhaps in the future."

Hmm. So, according to Lt. Col. Maginnis (Ret.), Pinnacle Armor's SOV Flexible Body Armor/Dragon Skin isn't proven enough through science and, according to "Army Scientists", one needs to "be careful" with Dragon Skin because, again, according to "Army Scientists", "it's good for a knife fight, but we don't want to take it to Iraq because of the ballistic issues." Really. Folks, this one's about to get REALLY interesting. We're interested to see if Lt. Col. Maginnis and his "Army Scientists" can actually back up his statement. Defense Review is particularly interested in seeing their data regarding the "ballistic issues" Lt. Col. Maginnis (Ret.) mentioned.

Lt. Col. Maginnis' (Ret.) statements were challenged by Lt. Col. Roger Charles (Ret.) (Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin flexible body armor proponent), who said "[on Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin body armor] This will not only will take that hit but will take multiple hits and the ceramic plate used in Interceptor, one of the complaints from the troops in the field was that too often after one round impact, then you had a bunch of gravel basically inside the pouch.". Lt. Col. Charles (Ret.) went on to say, "[on Dragon Skin] There was an unsolicited letter from an American contractor over there who was shot eight times in the back wearing one of these that he purchased for his own use. And he did not know he had been shot until he got back and took it off and saw the bullet perforations in the canvas cover. There was no soft tissue damage so it's proven in the field that it can take multiple hits and still provide protection."

It's Lt. Col. Charles' (Ret.) opinion that the reason the U.S. Army has chosen to outfit U.S. troops with Interceptor body armor over Pinnacle Armor SOV flexible body armor/Dragon Skin is that the U.S. Army suffers from "not invented here" syndrome. "The basic reason, as hard as this may be for your audience to understand, is not invented here: Bureaucratic turf protection because the Army people that were charged with providing this ten, fifteen years ago had a program -- it produced something beginning in 1998 I believe, 1999. But it wasn't this - and they didn't want to use this because they did not claim invention of it," Charles said. He continues, "We were told by several independent consultants who work for the Pentagon that cannot be named because of fear of losing their jobs that this was probably the best available body armor. It's what they would take to Baghdad. They do not have any financial ties with Pinnacle Armor. We're not saying it's the best. We're saying it ought to get a fair test."

Here's one solution (to settle the argument): Have one or two independent testing centers that both U.S. Army Natick and Pinnacle Armor trust test both body armor systems (Interceptor body armor and Dragon Skin body armor) side-by-side in a set number of combat-relevant ballistic tests under a reasonable time limit to determine a winner. The number, type, and duration of the ballistic tests should be determined and overseen by an independent and impartial group/entity, with both parties (U.S. Army Natick and Pinnacle Armor present as witnesses during all tests). If the U.S. Army doesn't want to do that (for instance, if they want to claim it's too expensive), there is another way:

It's Defense Review's understanding that Pinnacle Armor's SOV/Dragon Skin flexible hard armor system has been tested to Mil-Spec protocols at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC), United States Test Laboratory (USTL), and H.P. White Laboratory, Inc.. It's our understanding at present that both Level III+ and Level IV (Classified) Dragon Skin has been tested. If the U.S. Army's Interceptor body armor has also been tested via identical Mil-Spec testing protocols by at least two of these same facilities, those facilities (and both Pinnacle Armor and U.S. Army Natick/Natick Soldier Center (NSC)) should already have enough ballistic data to present on their respective body armor systems to declare a winner, right now.(Those facilities and Pinnacle Armor, Inc. would only be allowed to present data on their Level III+ armor, since Pinnacle's Level IV armor's anti-ballistic capabilities are classified). There should also already be a fair amount of field performance data for both systems in terms of wearability, durability, and anti-ballistic performance. We'll investigate it.

DefenseReview will be following this story very closely and posting follow-ups to this article. Needless to say, we're going to try to secure interviews with Lt. Col. Maginnis and the Army scientists he refers to, as soon as possible.

So, stay tuned. This should be good.

http://www.defensereview.com/article827.html
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:41 pm

FYI -- My sources in the sand box confirm that they (as in 5th SFG and a Secret Squirrel type) are wearing Interceptor vests with Ceramic AND Titanium plates. They have tried some Dragon Skin. Too heavy was the comment. No one seemed concerned about it's ballistic performance, just the weight.

Clearly we're not being told the whole truth by DoD and the Army.
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by GD2GO on Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:44 pm

Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin vs. Interceptor Body Armor Continued...
Posted on Friday, February 17 @ 18:39:53 PST by davidc

Body Armor by David Crane
david@defensereview.com

DefenseReview has confirmed a report that Pinnacle Armor met with General James R. Moran, Commanding General, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center and Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier), on January 17, 2006 in order to give him the opportunity to see the official DoD/military protocol test data on Pinnacle's SOV/Dragon Skin body armor. Upon viewing the data, Gen. Moran informed Pinnacle Armor that he would conduct his own ballistic tests on the Dragon Skin tech at only a civilian testing facility (of his preference) to lower test standards/protocols for the SAPI, ISAPI, and ESAPI plates that are below even civilian standards, not at a DoD facility to military test standards/protocols. We must say that General Moran's testing plans seem strange to us.

Why would PEO Soldier want to test the Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin tech at a civilian test facility when the U.S. Army has two research and test facilities (ARL and ATC) very close to this civilian test lab? A Pinnacle Armor rep has informed Defense Review that Pinnacle Armor "asked to have the Dragon Skin armor as well as the current issue ESAPI armor tested at a DoD test facility side by side to DoD standards to which Gen. Moran adamantly refused."

Adamantly refused? Why? On what grounds?

It is confirmed that...



Gen. Moran now has in his possession ballistic test data/results clearly showing that Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin body armor has been tested to DoD standards and exceeded each standard and far exceeded the standards to which the plate technology is tested at a civilian test lab. Is the DoD/U.S. Army on testing SAPI, ISAPI, and ESAPI plates (ceramic hard armor) below civilian standards? We can only speculate as to why the DoD/U.S. Army would want SAPI, ISAPI, and ESAPI plates and/or Dragon Skin (or any body armor tech for that matter) intended for military use to be tested to less than civilian standards, when our infantry warfighters are facing military-level ballistic threats (assault rifles, machine guns, etc.) from the enemy. If the DoD/U.S. Army is testing the SAPI, ISAPI, and ESAPI ceramic armor plates to lower standards, this could at least partially explain the durability issues that they suffer on the battlefield, as well as the same limited coverage U.S. infantry warfighters have had for the past ten years.

It's probably time for some kind of Congressional intervention and oversight over ballistic armor procurement/adoption to ensure that our troops get the absolute best body armor available, anywhere. I think they deserve that. Right now, DefenseReview believes that the best anti-rifle level protection out there is Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin. But let's make sure. Perhaps PEO Soldier and U.S. Army Natick would be willing to have an open side-by-side test of Dragon Skin vs. Interceptor at the ARL and ATC test facilities, with a panel of independent evaluators present. If the Dragon Skin body armor proves to be superior in those tests, perhaps we can at least give our servicemen and women the choice (Dragon Skin or Interceptor). Perhaps someone in Congress can look into Natick's procedures and protocols and try to at least verify PEO Soldier's and Natick's ballistic test results claimed for Interceptor body armor. The bottom line question has to be: Are our troops getting the absolute best armor available? Until PEO Soldier and Natick can prove otherwise, we don't think so. Based on what we currently know, we believe that Pinnacle Armor SOV/Dragon Skin body armor is hands-down superior to Interceptor body armor OTV with USMC Interceptor SAPI/ISAPI/ESAPI plates.

Here's what we know: Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin has been in production since 1996, and is battlefield proven by almost every US Federal Agency. It's been proven in real combat engagements against real enemy threats. It is currently, hands down, superior to U.S. Army Natick's Interceptor body armor (USMC Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System Outer Tactical Vest with USMC Interceptor SAPI/ISAPI/ESAPI) with regard to surface area of coverage, protection level (ballistic threat level and multi-hit capability), durability, longevity, and wearability. Note: If U.S. Army PEO Soldier and Natick Soldier Center/Soldier Systems Center have ballistic test evidence and/or field evidence to refute this, DefenseReview would very much like to see it. Dragon Skin is so durable that it can be dropped from a two-story window with no ill effects. You don't have to handle it with care like you do with conventional ceramic plates (ceramic hard armor plates). Dragon Skin's performance is guaranteed for the life of the warranty (6 years). When a standard-coverage Dragon Skin vest is compared to standard coverage Interceptor armor, Dragon Skin offers a greater coverage area at the same weight. When a full-coverage Dragon Skin vest is compared to Interceptor body armor with side plates attached, the same holds true.

Is the current playing field level? Is Pinnacle Armor getting a fair shot (excuse the pun) against U.S. Army Natick's Interceptor Body Armor? If not, will Gen. Moran and others at PEO Soldier/Natick level the playing field and expedite honest evaluation standards/protocols so that our infantry warfighters at least get the chance to choose an alternate technology like Pinnacle Armor Dragon Skin when they go into harm's way? Since our warfighters' lives are on the line, they deserve every viable option existent.

Defense Review is still in the process of trying to secure an interview with Gen. Moran, in order to get his side of the story. This is only fair. He deserves a chance to respond. With regard to Pinnacle Armor officials, we've already interviewed a company representative. We plan to publish excerpts from all interviews as soon as we can.

Note: Defense Review has been in contact with the PAO (Public Affairs Officer) at PEO Soldier in an attempt to secure an interview with General Moran and get his side of the story. We have, so far, been unsuccessful in reaching Gen. Moran for comment.
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by NonConformist on Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:03 pm

GD2GO wrote:

Clearly we're not being told the whole truth by DoD and the Army.


As usual!

Just like when they said they will equip their men w/ the best most reliable rifle and then when the M4 failed(dust test) miserably said 'We are satisfied w/ the M4' affraid
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by Obama Rulz on Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:32 pm

It seems like this is another good example of Bush sending people to die in war without the proper equipment.
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by NonConformist on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm

Obama Rulz wrote:It seems like this is another good example of Bush sending people to die in war without the proper equipment.


Lets not forget that Congress AUthorized the war so a lot of Dems including Hilary are just as responsible!
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by Obama Rulz on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:28 pm

At least you are admitting that Bush caused people to die unneccissarily.
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by NonConformist on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:29 pm

Obama Rulz wrote:At least you are admitting that Bush caused people to die unneccissarily.


There was nothing 'unnecessary' about it, we were attacked and responded, as it should be
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by Obama Rulz on Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:35 pm

In case you weren't paying attention, Iraq never attacked us.
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by KSigMason on Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:56 pm

NonConformist wrote:
Obama Rulz wrote:It seems like this is
another good example of Bush sending people to die in war without the
proper equipment.


Lets not forget that Congress AUthorized the war so a lot of Dems including Hilary are just as responsible!
And the committee that appropriates the money


Obama Rulz wrote:In case you weren't paying attention, Iraq never attacked us.
But Saddam broke international mandates and was genocidal (slaughtering thousands of his own people).
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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by Sheriff Bob on Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:05 pm

Obama Rulz wrote:In case you weren't paying attention, Iraq never attacked us.

People like you would have stood outside Auschwitz in 1944 and said, "Not my problem. I'm not a Jew."

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Re: Delta Force & Special Forces don't wear Interceptor Body Armory - Why not?

Post by namvet on Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:09 am

Obama Rulz wrote:In case you weren't paying attention, Iraq never attacked us.



Iraq never attacked us click Iraq never attacked us click Iraq never attacked us click Iraq never attacked us click Iraq never attacked us click Iraq never attacked us click
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