Saturday, January 25, 2014

IFAK 2 Individual First Aid Kit II

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 6, 2013) -- The Army is now issuing to Soldiers the more robust, more streamlined "Individual First Aid Kit II" as replacement for the older kit which was built inside an ammunition pouch for a Squad Automatic Weapon.

The IFAK II contains all the supplies of the old kit, with the addition of a second tourniquet, a tactical combat casualty card to annotate what kind of first aid was applied to a wounded Soldier, a marker, an eye shield, a rubber seal with a valve for sucking chest wounds, and a strap cutter.

The kit fits inside a custom pouch that can be mounted out-of-the-way on the back of a Soldier's Improved Outer Tactical Vest.

"That's typically low-rent real estate there," said Maj. Peter Stambersky, assistant product manager of Soldier clothing and individual equipment at Program Executive Office Soldier, Fort Belvoir, Va. "Guys don't use it too much."


One of Natick's departments is the Load Carriage Prototype Lab, where equipment designers like Rich Landry (pictured up top) create bags and wearable gear holders. A former Pathfinder for the 82nd Airborne Division, Landry recently re-designed the Army's IFAK, or Individual First Aid Kit, bag. The previous iteration of the IFAK was rushed out in 2003 due to sudden military demand and was thus a mere retrofit design of an ammunition pouch.

Having carefully studied the unsuitability of the 2003 IFAK—"[it's] just kind of a brick on your side that gets in the way of everything"—and after interviewing soldiers to get feedback, Landry came up with the new design, which he compares to the old in the video below. It's not as stark a difference as with the fuel cans, but Landry's innovative sliding pouch seems a vast improvement. (Although not mentioned in the video, Landry designed it to be slide-able from either side, in case one hand or the other is wounded.)

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