The effects of posture, body armor, and other equipment on rifleman lethality
Kramlich, Gary R.
Lucas, Thomas W.
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How does body armor and posture affect Soldier marksmanship? The Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) has significantly improved Soldier combat survivability, but in what ways does it change rifleman lethality? Moreover, can we model these effects so as to develop better tactics and operational plans? This study quantifies the effects of Soldier equipment on lethality through multi-factor logistic regression using data from range experiments with the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), at Fort Riley, Kansas. The designed experiment of this study estimates the probability of a qualified US rifleman hitting a human target. It uses the rifleman's equipment, posture, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), and experience along with the target's distance, time exposure and silhouette presentation as input factors. The resulting family of mathematical models provides a Probability of Hit prediction tailored to a shooter-target scenario. The study shows that for targets closer than 150 meters, Soldiers shot better while wearing body armor than they did without. Body armor had a negative effect for targets farther than 200 meters, and this could significantly impact the employment of the Squad Designated Marksman. The study also shows that the kneeling posture is an effective technique and recommends standardized training on this method of firing.
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