ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. --
Female Airmen assigned to the 28th Security Forces Squadron received the Aspetto Mach V Female Body Armor (FBA) system at Ellsworth Air Force Base on March 2.
Previously, female defenders wore the same body armor specifically designed for their male counterparts.
“The old vests and armor didn’t promote ease of movement or comfortability for women, but the new gear does as it is designed specifically for them,” said Maj. Cory Cook, the 28th SFS operations officer.
The new gear has an adjustable back corset that tightens to fit, and also features a design that is not one-size-fits-all. This allows the vest to conform to the female torso and provide better coverage.
“The differences between the plate carriers are the sizes and fit,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Osborn, a 28th SFS flight chief. “Most of the male sizes are too large for smaller female frames, and the weight distribution differs between males and females.”
This addition of female body armor came as part of the Reconstitute Defender Initiative, a comprehensive effort for the Air Force launched by former Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein to revitalize and reconfigure security forces squadrons.
“The Reconstitute Defender Initiative centers around making us more lethal and capable, meaning better training, better equipment, better weapons, improved technology, and updated policies,” Cook said. “The FBA is just one more step forward for increasing lethality for all Defenders.”
Osborn touched on how this armor assists female defenders in accomplishing their mission.
“The more an Airman can move freely in her gear, the more agile she will be in carrying out her duties as a law enforcement officer,” Osborn said.
In all, the security forces career field will receive approximately 7,000 units of the Aspetto Mach V Female Body Armor system, ensuring all female security forces Airmen will have properly-fitting, life-saving armor while accomplishing their mission.