Ever since they tangled with the Red Coats, American generals have been giving their grunts more and more and more gear to lug — from rations to radios, body armor to batteries. Now, for the first time, the Army has decided to junk the old uniforms and start from scratch. "We’re stripping the soldier down to his skin, and building out from there," said Jean-Louis "Dutch" DeGay, an equipment specialist at the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center, which is supervising the seven-year, $250 million overhaul, dubbed Future Force Warrior, or FFW.
In their current get-ups, American soldiers often jump into battle carrying more than 100 pounds of gear on their backs. Hauling the equivalent of a small fridge probably isn’t the best idea for troops under any circumstances. But what makes today’s equipment particularly maddening is how clumsily all that gear fits together. Night-vision goggles sit on top of the helmet so awkwardly that GIs have to take them off way more often than they should, DeGay said. Body armor is clunky, which makes it hard to duck and roll.
That won’t work in the urban fights soldiers are now…
Click here to read a previous "Wired News" article by Noah (Shachtman) that discusses MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies and the precursor program to Future Force Warrior (FFW), called Objective Force Warrior.
According to the NNI website, "The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a federal R&D program established to coordinate the multiagency efforts in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Sixteen federal agencies participate in the Initiative, 10 of which have an R&D budget for nanotechnology. Other Federal organizations contribute with studies, applications of the results from those agencies performing R&D, and other collaborations."