When it comes to the battlefield, things can get ugly pretty quickly. After all, this is no kids’ playground where military might will assure success – there are many other factors that come into play as well which will determine the outcome of the war, and ground troops need to be sufficiently armed and equipped with the latest and greatest weaponry and gadgets to maximize their chances of victory and survival on the ground. The US Army is one of the most advanced militaries in the world, and from what we’ve seen to date, taking the ‘shock and awe’ route is their preferred method to pound enemies into submission, but when it comes to urban warfare, things get a whole lot more complicated. Suicide bombers come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, making it hard to filter out who is a threat and who isn’t.
Best to be prepared then with an individual first aid kit of your own, just in case the resident medic is not around to tend to your wounds, or is KIA. In order to improve first aid medical response of soldiers in the field, the US Army has come up with the latest Individual First Aid Kit, better known as IFAK in short, in order to meet the unique needs that have surfaced at the battle-scarred countries of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since the IFAK proved to be bulky and tends to get in the way of other equipment, developers at Natick Soldier Systems Center decided to bring the IFAK back to the drawing board for a complete redesign. The new and improved pack allows it to be stashed away at the back, and is easily accessible from either side by the soldier injured or another trying to help him. It is said to support “all the critical items to the individual Soldier’s medical needs” and “allows the Soldier to place it on (his or her) body in a spot where it can be easily accessible, which is the critical piece, but also not get in the way of other important tactical pieces of equipment.”
Currently, 30 new IFAKs underwent evaluation at Fort Polk, La., where there was a platoon of Soldiers who carried them through a training rotation. So far, early feedback has been nothing but positive, although nobody was gushing rainbows just yet. Despite being easier to tote around and is more accessible, the new IFAK still manages to cram in even more medical gear compared to the original, including a couple of Combat Application Tourniquets. Gives our boys and girls in uniform a greater sense of relief, no?