COMBAT HELMET PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEM POLICY

RAAUZYUW RUENAAA6845 1011137-UUUU--RUCRNAD.
ZNR UUUUU ZUI RUEWMCF3683 1011116
R 111136Z APR 07 PSN 946500K24
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC
TO NAVADMIN
ZEN/NAVADMIN @ AL NAVADMIN(UC)
INFO ZEN/CNO CNO
BT
UNCLAS
SUBJ: COMBAT HELMET PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEM POLICY 
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N8// 
TO NAVADMIN INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N8// 
NAVADMIN 089/07 
MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC /N8/APR// 
SUBJ/COMBAT HELMET PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEM POLICY// 


REF/A/USAARL REPORT NO. 2005-12/AUG05/NOTAL// REF/B/TACOM SOUM 05-
006/011700RAUG06/NOTAL// REF/C/MARADMIN 362/06/010734ZAUG06/NOTAL// 
REF/D/MARADMIN 480/06/051030ZOCT06/NOTAL//
NARR/REF/A/REF A ARMY REPORT ON BLUNT IMPACT PERFORMANCE 
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ADVANCED COMBAT HELMET AND THE PARATROOPER AND 
INFANTRY PERSONNEL ARMOR SYSTEM FOR GROUND TROOPS HELMET.  REF B ARMY 
SAFETY OF USE MESSAGE.  REF C USMC LIGHTWEIGHT HELMET SUSPENSION SYSTEM 
POLICY AND IMPLEMENTATION.  REF D USMC ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON PAD 
SUSPENSION SYSTEM IN THE LIGHTWEIGHT HELMET.// POC/CDR WILLIAM 
BURNS/OPNAV N857C/TEL:  (703)695-9594/DSN
225-9594/EMAIL:  WILLIAM.J.BURNS2 AT NAVY.MIL.// RMKS/1.  PAD 
SUSPENSION SYSTEMS ARE NOW THE ONLY AUTHORIZED SUSPENSION SYSTEMS FOR 
COMBAT HELMETS, AND, DEPENDING ON THE COMBAT HELMET MODEL, THE 
ASSOCIATED CHIN STRAP MAY NEED TO BE REPLACED.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS THE CURRENT FOUR POINT RETENTION SYSTEM (CHIN 
STRAP) TO BE REPLACED EXCEPT BY AN AUTHORIZED REPLACEMENT ITEM FROM THE 
ORIGINAL COMBAT HELMET MANUFACTURER.
2.  SYSCOMS ARE DIRECTED TO COORDINATE, WITH THE TYCOMS THEY SERVICE, 
THE COLLECTION OF UNIT COMBAT HELMET INVENTORIES, PRIORITIZE THE 
DISTRIBUTION OF THE APPROPRIATE REPLACEMENT PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEMS, AND 
PROVIDE DIRECTION ON THE PROPER DISPOSAL OF THE REMOVED SLING 
SUSPENSION SYSTEMS.
3.  BACKGROUND.  PER REF A, US ARMY TESTING, COORDINATED BY THE OFFICE 
OF THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (ACQUISITION, TECHNOLOGY AND 
LOGISTICS), OF SLING AND PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEMS DEMONSTRATED THAT BOTH 
SYSTEMS PROVIDE EQUAL PROTECTION FROM BALLISTIC BLUNT TRAUMA, BUT THE 
PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEM PROVIDED BETTER PROTECTION FROM NON-BALLISTIC 
BLUNT TRAUMA.  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SLING VERSUS PAD SYSTEMS, 
INCLUDING LINKS TO REFS B THRU D, IS AVAILABLE AT THE MARINE CORPS 
SYSTEM COMMAND S WEBSITE AT WWW.MARCORSYSCOM.USMC.MIL/SITES/PMICE/.  
MORE INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED AT THIS SITE AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.
4.  BASED ON THE REFERENCES AND OTHER LESSONS LEARNED IN IRAQ AND 
AFGHANISTAN, COMMANDERS SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING WHEN PADS ARE 
INSTALLED IN HELMETS TO ENSURE THAT THE PAD SUSPENSION SYSTEM DOES NOT 
REDUCE THE PROTECTION PROVIDED BY A HELMET BY INTERFERING WITH ITS 
DESIGN AND WEAR:
A.  HELMET FIT.  THE HELMET SHOULD NOT MOVE WHEN IT IS PUSHED DOWN ON 
TOP OF THE HEAD.  WHEN THE HELMET IS PROPERLY FITTED, THE CHINSTRAP 
SHOULD BE CENTERED ON THE CHIN.  IN HOT CLIMATES COMMANDERS SHOULD 
INSPECT TO ENSURE PROPER PAD PLACEMENT THAT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH AIR 
CIRCULATION.
B.  HELMET COVERAGE.  THE BOTTOM OF THE HELMET SHOULD FALL BETWEEN THE 
BOTTOM OF THE EAR CANAL AND THE BOTTOM OF THE EAR LOBE.  FOR MOST, A 
SIZE 6 (3/4 INCH PAD) WILL PREVENT THE HELMET FROM RIDING TOO HIGH ON 
THE HEAD.
C.  HELMET SIZE. HELMET PADS MAY RESULT IN THE WEARER REQUIRING A 
LARGER SIZED HELMET.  THE HELMET WITH PADS SHOULD BE SIZED SO IT DOES 
NOT BLOCK THE WEARER'S VISION.  THE HELMET SHOULD NOT BE SO SMALL THAT 
VENTILATION, COMFORT, AND SAFETY ARE COMPROMISED.
D.  WEAR OF ADDITIONAL HEADGEAR.  WHEN OTHER HEADGEAR IS WORN SUCH AS A 
COMMUNICATION HEADSET, WATCHCAP, OR NBC MASK, THE PADS MUST BE ADJUSTED 
TO ALLOW FOR THE ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT AND MAY NECESSITATE THE 
INSTALLATION OF SMALLER SIZED PADS.
E.  PAD COMPRESSION.  OVER TIME, THE PADS MAY PERMANENTLY COMPRESS 
AFFECTING THE PROPER FIT AND SAFETY OF THE HELMET SUSPENSION SYSTEM.
THEREFORE, PADS SHOULD BE INSPECTED ON A RECURRING BASIS AND REPLACED, 
AS NECESSARY.
F.  PAD DETERIORATION AND ADHESION.  PADS WILL DETERIORATE OVER TIME 
AND LOSE THEIR ADHESION DUE TO SAND AND OTHER SUBSTANCES INTERFERING 
WITH THE VELCRO TABS.  VELCRO WILL DETERIORATE AND FAIL AFTER EXPOSURE 
TO SALT WATER IMMERSION OR PROLONGED USAGE IN HIGHER TEMPERATURES WHERE 
MOISTURE (SWEAT) IS PRESENT.  ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD MAINTAIN A SUPPLY OF 
ADDITIONAL PADS ON-HAND.
5.  RELEASED BY VADM J. W. GREENERT, N8.// BT
#6845

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