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Body Ventilation System

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Army Body Ventilation System

Sgt. Mark Waits, an M1114 gunner assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, puts on his Individual Body Armor with the Army's new Body Ventilation System before leaving for a mission.

Official Army Photo
Updated August 11, 2006

We think it gets hot in the states during some Summer months. However our military men and women in Iraq and Kuwait routinely experience temperatures which exceed 120 degrees. To make matters worse, Soldiers can't run around on the battle fields wearing shorts and a tank top. Instead, they perform their missions wearing several pounds of body armor.

The Army may have found a way to help recude heat-related injuries in Kuwat and Iraq and keep our soliders more comfortable with their newly-developed Body Ventilation Systems.

The Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) delivered 500 Body Ventilation Systems to heat-stressed Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait last month. The system will undergo a test for one year by Soldiers such as drivers, military police and machine gunners. Another 1,700 vests will be shipped and issued to Soldiers in similar units and duty positions in upcoming months.

“The BVS project is another example of how the Army culture is changing in order to provide warfighter solutions in a timely manner,” Col. Gregory Tubbs, REF director to the Army News Service. “It also provides another example of how much good can be accomplished when Army organizations like PEO Soldier and the Rapid Equipping Force team to help the warfighter.”

The BVS is light-weight (less than five pounds) and can be worn under body armor. Air circulates inside the vest to increase comfort and performance in hot-dry climates by significantly increasing the evaporation rate.

The two primary components of the BVS is a Ventilation Unit (VU) and an Air Distribution Garment that looks like a vest. The VU, or blower, is a battery powered fan that can be attached in a variety of positions to meet the Soldier’s need and comfort. The filtered blower system fits neatly into a pouch and is similar to a fanny pack.

“It definitely keeps me cool,” said Sgt. Mark Waits, an M1114 gunner with the 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment. “I don't feel as fatigued after a mission in the BVS.”

The BVS operates approximately 8 hours with commercial lithium rechargeable batteries, with a recharge time of 4-5 hours. Filters are the system’s primary maintenance.

"When GlobalSecure approached us with their quick, simple and reliable BVS design, I knew we could work with and count on the REF to get it to Soldiers,” said Col. Richard Hansen, director, Project Manager Soldier Warrior.

GlobalSecure was selected among other vendors for its overall quality and product design, service, timeliness and price.

The Rapid Equipping Force is committed to working with industry and governmental partners such as Soldier Warrior to develop versatile equipment that protects Soldiers and ensures their survivability and lethality.

“If the warfighters need it, then I won’t rest until I explore every option to meet those needs,” said Tubbs.

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