AFP gets thousands of Kevlar helmets, wound packs from U.S. at much-discounted prices

July 3, 2010 9:02 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, July 3 — Over 25,000 Kevlar helmets and 20,000 quick-clot wound packs were recently turned over to the Philippine Army by United States Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., it was announced by the U.S. embassy in Manila.

Lt. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, Army commanding general, received the materials during simple turnover ceremony in Quezon City on June 10.

Thousands more such military items were also allocated to the Philippine Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Air Force.

The embassy clarified that under the Philippines-US military cooperation programs, the Philippines bought the military items at only one to ten percent of their original purchase price. It added that through bilateral programs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) saved approximately P460 million in recent equipment purchases.

The life-saving items were part of bigger batches of equipment and supplies worth about P1.15 billion that the U.S. government has been delivering to the Philippine military, the embassy noted.

Aside from the Kevlar helmets and blood-clotting packs, the embassy said that remaining items in the pipeline include night vision equipment, life-sustaining first-aid kits, water purification units, and cargo trucks.

The Kevlar helmets are made of the same materials used in Kevlar bulletproof vests. The blood-clotting packs promote cauterization of wounds to prevent the injured soldier from dying due to blood loss while help is on the way.

“Now Philippine soldiers will have helmets to protect them from fatal wounds to the head, and medical supplies that will help keep the wounded alive until the evacuation helicopters arrive,” Thomas said at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the embassy said it is closed on Monday, July 5, in observance of U.S. Independence Day on July 4, which is also Philippines-US Friendship Day. Regular services will resume on Tuesday, July 6. (PNA) scs/GJB

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