They are still battling it out but this very well may be the new helmet system for the us army. It gives full shrapnel and force protection.

They-are-still-battling-it-out-but-this-very-well-may-be-the-new-helmet-system-for-the-us-arm.jpg Add to Facebook download .zip with all pictures

They use the beacons when signaling the aircraft for a specific reason, such as marking a landing zone. They also have IR chemlights for similar uses. Sidenote, IR chemlights are amusing because unless it is very dark they look like they aren’t working without NVG’s.

The cat-eyes on kevlar helmets can just barely be seen with the naked eye but realy glow under NVG’s. The american flags worn on soldiers shoulders are reflective under IR light so they are also easily seen by NVG’s. If you look at tanks and other vehicles and see an upside-down ‘V’ on the side, that marking is also IR markings for friendly vehicles.

There are a lot of similar uses of IR reflectors, lights, strobes, etc. All designed around the US and coalition forces dominance of night-vision superiority. It has been demonstrated that the types of enemy faced by the coalition forces in modern insurgency fighting do not have the resources for good modern nightvision equipment so our side can afford to use these sorts of bold markings.

It sort of reminds me of the shield and banner art used by ancient soldiers for battlefield identification and coordination.

edit: silly me, “uspide down V” yeah, meant chevron markings. like so: http://imgur.com/WSkxUlF

Also, soldier cat-eyes and patches glowing under IR: http://imgur.com/kHlrK6m

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