Improved Body Armor for Female Airmen Coming This Fall

The Air Force recently awarded a contract to begin production of body armor specifically designed for women, as part of a service-wide push for inclusion and gear better suited for female Airmen.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Female Fitment Program Office recently awarded the contract to TSSi of Harrisonburg, Va., after an evaluation of possible gear that included both laboratory and field assessments, according to an Air Force Materiel Command release.

“Our female Airmen had gaps due to poor fitment issues,” said Maj. Saily Rodriguez, the manager of the Female Fitment Program, in the release. “The new gear fits properly, which improves protection and offers better comfort for gear that has to be worn in difficult environments and conditions.”

The Female Fitment Program Office worked with the Air Force Security Forces Center to find an armored plate carrier system “that addresses appropriate form, fit, and function while providing adequate protection for female Airmen,” the release states.

The Air Force did not disclose the cost of the new body armor. Contract documents state the service intends to buy up to 5,600 units with the individual price retracted. The first body armor sets are expected to be delivered this fall.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has made improving gear for female Airmen an initiative, and the service already has started designing flight suits and other flight equipment to better suit women.