A better body armor that was shelved last year is now making its way to soldiers in Iraq — but not Afghanistan.
All-Army Activities message 347, dated Nov. 17, outlined the limited fielding of the X Small Arms Protective Inserts, or XSAPI, as well as X Side Ballistic Inserts, or XSBI. Distribution will begin Dec. 15.
Soldiers deploying to Iraq in support of Operation New Dawn will receive XSAPI plates, which will then remain in theater. This will continue until U.S.-based stocks are emptied. Distribution of XSBI plates will follow a similar procedure, but will not begin until February or March.
But soldiers headed to Afghanistan will continue to deploy with Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts, or ESAPI, as well as Enhanced Side Ballistic Inserts, or ESBI.
The Army did not respond when Army Times asked why the new plates are now cleared for use and why they are going to Iraq but not to Afghanistan.