15 May 2010

U.S. Army recalls 44,000 combat helmets

Yesterday the U.S. Army announced it initiated a recall of approximately 44,000 advanced combat helmets produced by ArmorSource LLC (formerly Rabintex USA LLC) which is based in Hebron, Ohio. The Army claims the helmets do not meet Army specifications.

Today ArmorSource's website had the following statement: "In response to news release published on May 14, 2010 by the U.S. Department of Defense (“Army Recalls 44,000 Combat Helmets”), ArmorSource was not informed of this recall before we saw the press release on Friday evening. We have not heard from the Government regarding the recall and have no additional information. ArmorSource is, and has always been, committed to providing products that meet or exceed the government's specifications. We intend to request additional information and to cooperate in whatever inquiries the government might have."

The 44,000 helmets represent about four percent of advanced combat helmets issued to soldiers. The Army says that sufficient helmets produced by other manufacturers which meet Army requirements are currently available in the Army’s inventory. The Army will immediately issue these helmets to soldiers worldwide serving in those units identified to have recalled helmets. Army Central Issue Facilities have been directed to remove all affected helmets from the inventory and to directly exchange noncompliant helmets turned in for helmets meeting Army specifications. The recalled helmets will be sent to the Defense Logistics Agency Defense Reutilization and Marketing Services for demilitarization.

The exact risk to soldiers wearing the recalled helmets is still being determined; however, sample testing from a quarantined inventory revealed that the helmets did not meet Army specifications.

According to this press release, the matter is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General. It's not clear by the press release whether any of the affected helmets are currently being worn by troops in combat theatres.

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