We knew the Army's supposedly-dead Land Warrior
high-tech uniform program still had some life in it
, but now it appears that good marks from tests in the field might mean it's going to make a full recovery. The Army sent the 4/9 Infantry (aka the "Manchus") off to war loaded down
with the 16-pound Land Warrior kit, and after some on-the-fly adjustments that made the gear lighter and more functional, the soldiers had talked Land Warrior up to the point where the 2nd Infantry Division's 5th Combat Brigade Team has now officially requested 1,000 more Land Warrior rigs. The main change is the removal of six pounds of inessential gear, but the crew in the 4/9 also requested and added in a "digital chem light," which allows buildings and waypoints to be marked in green on an electronic map, and restricted Land Warrior deployment to team leaders and above. There's still some tricky funding problems to solve -- some $102M needs to be set aside for the request -- but the Land Warrior project managers say it's looking promising. Now if we could only get some of that HUD monocle action on the civilian side, our morning coffee run would be a lot more interesting.