29 Dec 2009: We came to Iraq with the old pads, most soldiers complained of headaches and other problems from our issued pads. They were hard, uncomfortable, and fell apart fast after being cleaned a couple times. I contacted operation helmet and received enough oregon aero pads for everyone in the platoon. The difference was instant, people were amazed at the noticable differnce in comfort. Comfort means a lot when your on the road for up to 12 hours at a time. Even people who looked at both pads were (not) convinced they would feel a difference, but they were surprized and happy once they switched over to the oregon aero pads. Thank you so much for your support and the gift of our new pads, it means a lot to us and made a difference in our everyday lives here in Iraq.
27 Dec 2009: Aviation Maintenance and Downed Aircraft Recovery Operations Sorry it took so long to do this survey. The New pads are great, and all my soldiers agree. Much better than the pads that are issued to us with the ACH. Much more comfortable fit than the hard pads we had before. Thank you so much for your support.
16 Dec 2009 – we are airborne infantry, conducting various combat patrols in our AO. the pads are stiff, and do not cushion very well. SPC, US Army.
2 Dec 09 – Hello! I am requesting pads and hopefully a 4 point chin or strap system, I am not really having problems with my pads because I do not have any…I we were not really properly equipped due to lack of funds…Upon our return home from Iraq on our first deployment we were supposed to be properly supplied but due to some Bureaucratic Red Tape we never really received the proper gear, we actually went through half of our original deployment without ballistic plates or uparmored Humvees. I thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter. SPC, US Army
26 Nov 2009 – Need new pads with more support then the issued ones. [found out from my] Brother who is in the Marines and told me about this operation when I told him about our helmets and how the pads suck. the comfort on our issued ones are horrible and after a month or two they are rock hard. SPC, Army
2 Nov 2009 – Month three and pad velcro came off. Thanks for your support. SPC, Army
28 Oct 2009 – Combat Engineer, I am deploying in the next 3 months, I need a kit because my kit is all beat up. plus the issue kits gave me a rash on my head. SPC, US Army
27 Oct 2009- PERSONALLY MY ISSUED PADS GIVE ME HEADACHES, AND I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CRAZY BUT IT MAKES MY HEAD GO NUMB AT THE POINTS OF CONTACT. THEY ARE SO HARD AND NONFORMING I HAVE TO TAKE MY ACH OFF ALL THE TIME. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING THAT I CAN THINK OF, AND I AM ALWAYS REARANGING THE WAY THE PADS SIT INSIDE THE HELMET, BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK. I WOULD BE VERY GREATFUL IF YOU GUYS COULD HELP OUT.
24 Oct 2009 – route clearence/eod – my unit is already deployed – our pads suck hells bells. SPC, Army
24 Oct 2009 – The pads issued are uncomfortable if helmet is worn for long periods of time. The pads seem to have pressure spots on them that push into the side of my head. SFC, Army.
24 Oct 2009 – WILL BE ON PATROL / ESCORTING DIFFERENT PEOPLE AROUND IRAQ ON A REGULAR BASIS AND THE KITS GET WORN DOWN AND WE REALLY DON’T GET A CHANCE TO CHANGE THEM OUT OR GET NEW ONES BECAUSE OF THE AREA WE ARE [IN] AT THIS TIME. 1SG, Army
22 Oct 2009 – I am having current problems with my pads. they are falling apart very badly and my 1 soldier’s pads are to. thank you for all the support . SSG, US Army
18 Oct 2009 – WE ARE A SMALL SECTION OF INFANTRYMEN WHO GO OUTSIDE THE WIRE ALMOST EVERYDAY. DUE TO BEING A PERSONAL SECURTY DETACHMENT FOR AN O-6, WE ALWAYS HAVE TO STAY IN OUR FULL KIT WHILE OUT ON MISSION. I FOUND THIS WEBSITE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BUY A NEW SOFTER SET OF ACH HELMET PADS. PERSONALLY MY ISSUED PADS GIVE ME HEADACHES, AND I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CRAZY BUT IT MAKES MY HEAD GO NUMB AT THE POINTS OF CONTACT. THEY ARE SO HARD AND NONFORMING I HAVE TO TAKE MY ACH OFF ALL THE TIME. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING THAT I CAN THINK OF, AND I AM ALWAYS REARANGING THE WAY THE PADS SIT INSIDE THE HELMET, BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO WORK. I WOULD BE VERY GREATFUL IF YOU GUYS COULD HELPOUT. SPC, US Army
12 Oct 2009: My head starts hurting soon after I put it on. I was fited at Camp Atterbury. The pads feel like their to thick. Its better than the old kevlars. But not as big an improvement as I thought it would be. I’v heard your kits make a big differance.
11 Oct 2009: Can’t thank your organization enough, the soldiers in my squad noticed a major difference in comfort. Where before all they could think about during AARs was when or if they could remove their ACHs, I had to remind them to unhelmet from time to time. No headaches during long high tempo training either. With long missions just over the horizon I can already measure the benefits of the OA pads.
26 Sep 09: Gunner, infantry: Getting bad headaches. The pads are very hard and don’t conform to my head. Manufacturer: MSA
18 Sep 2009 – Personally, have had raw patches on my forehead from all day wear on my last rotation. Have had my soldiers complain of headaches and I know exactly what they mean. WO1, Army
16 Sep 2009 – The pads I have make certain spots on my head numb, and I get headaches, because they are absolutely too firm, expecially when I’m using my NODS. My unit is scheduled to leave for Afghanistan mid-November to early-December. Was searching for a more comfortable pad system/alternative liner for my ACH on google, and came across this site. PFC, Army
18 Aug 2009 – Mostly the main problem is comfort. After wearing our helmets for longer than an hour the pads feel like they’re digging into our skulls. I have completed one tour prior and have had problems with my pads rubbing my forehead raw. There are also problems with the helmets moving around too much over our heads. If you can save some of my guys and my self the hassles that I went through on my last tour, I would be greatly appreciative. SPC, Army
18 Aug 2009 – Current pads are made by MSA. The main problem we are seeing is that the padding wears out or looses its shock absorbing/weight bearing properties quickly. As EOD techs, we need to be more concerned with addressing the IED threat outside the wire, not how our helmet padding is bothering us or affecting the fit of our helmet. 1LT, Army
15 Aug 2009 -Our Troop conducts recon patrols and long and short term OPs. We will be deploying late fall (not sure if I can spread exact date yet or not) and are headed for Iraq. Not all of us have problems with our pads, just most of our dismounts. PFC, Army
11 Aug 2009 – They just hurt. I’ve moved them all over the place to try to make them comfortable and my head aches after every mission.
30 Jul 2009 – I have several sailors and soldiers that comp of chronic headaches and pain. 1LT, Army
24 Jul 2009 – i’m in artillery and my ach still has the same kit i got in basic training its worn and falls out all the time and leaves my skin irritated and itchy. PFC, Army
10 Jul 2009 – I have requested the helmet pads before, for my plt, now I am the company operations NCO and I am hoping to get pads for the rest of my company and Counter IED Team, here at FOB [opsec deleted], in Afghanistan. SFC, Army
26 Jun 2009 – Military Transition Team/Combat Advisor, small team working by/ with and through Iraqi counterparts to improve the Iraqi security forces. Using issued MSA pads and currently getting tension headaches 45min-1hr after wearing helmet. The corners of the “Pad Rect” focus pressure on one location and do not form to the head. The only relief is finishing the mission and taking the helmet off. MAJ, Army
22 Jun 2009 – xxxth Eng CO is already deployed and active in Afghanistan. I am asking for the pads because this platoon has already had 3 hits, the last being pretty severe. SSG xxx and 3 other men are dealing with a possible TBI, I was researching TBI and found this website. SSG, Army
8 Jun 2009 – The pads are hard and I can’t get them positioned right so my helmet is either too loose or too tight. I already get migraines it just makes it worse. Most personnel have various problems with their helmets all causing headaches. It doesn’t have the manufacturer on the pad, just says “Unit Pad, Crown Size 6, W911QY-05-D-0001, NSN 8470-01-548-9415, 9U425, LOT 2127-2. SPC, Army
4 Jun 2009 – we are operating outside the wire pulling EOD response for a great area, most of us only have the basic issue and they are either already broken or falling apart . PFC, Army
1 Jun 2009 – I have had the same pads since my first deployment in 2005, we spent 13 months in iraq and then we came back and did our stateside training and deployed again to Afghanistan for 15 months and now we are prepping to go to iraq again. I will be a medic. SGT, Army
26 May 2009 – I’m not sure who made my current pads but when I wash them they come apart at the seam, I have to glue them back together, I try to clean them every few weeks, I hate having dirty pads. SFC, Army
16 May 2009 – Most of my guys have been deployed before and have not recieved replacement pads from the last deployment and are hard as heck. You guys are awesome and I hope to get new and improved pads for my guys ASAP. I have a few guys that could have been better served with them already. Thank you so much. SGT, Army
11 May 2009 – My platoon runs resupply missions to 4 different JSS in support of our line companies. We are on the road a minimum of four hours at a time and that’s our short mission. I am in the front gun truck and the issued pads give me a tension headache from hell. The only thing on the back of our pads is Unit Pad with NSN # and Lot #. They are extremely stiff and have no give. About an hour and a half in or so I start getting a tension headache from hell. We also run our missions at night so we have NODs mounted and that doesn’t help. I feel like my head is surrounded by bricks. CPL, Army
8 May 2009 – My soldiers and I are grateful for everything that you are doing for us and the rest of our brothers and sisters in arms. I’m not requesting pads for myself or the guys that don’t go out the wire much, but I am ordering them for the soldiers that are out everyday and are having problems with their current kits. We conduct route clearance operations and they spend hours and days on end out looking for IEDs and people that are putting them in. Luckily, we have only sustained minor injuries to include a few concussions, so we understand the value of adequate equipment. We have placed several orders to get them replaced, but are continuously denied for one reason or another. If there is anything that you can do to assist my Sappers, I would be eternally grateful…In any case, keep doing what you are doing. We appreciate your efforts as I’m sure every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine do as well. God bless you and all that you do. CPT, Army
7 May 2009 – Sapper company with 4 platoons conducting route clearance; we’ve conducted nearly 650 missions in 12 months. The pads you provide are of better quality, last longer and are softer. CPT, Army
28 Apr 2009 – We are a combat advisor team working directly with Iraqi units on a daily basis, so we are basically in our full battle rattle all the time. We also conduct mounted and dismounted combat patrols everyday. We were issued the Wendy pads which cause considerable pain, headaches and discomfort after wearing them. I’m interested in emailing PEO Soldier with my teams comments so they hear our feedback and make some changes to get us the best gear possible that is both functional and comfortable. I think these pads will reduce the number of complaints I receive from team members who have difficulty with their helmet pads. Appreciate everyone who is supporting this program! CPT, Army
Below is a certificate that was recommended by a Soldier in Iraq whose medical unit Operation Helmet has equipped with top-of-the-line helmet pads. We appreciate their way of saying ‘thanks’ to all who pitch in and help us help our troops.
19 April 09: I have been in Iraq for over 3 months now and we conduct night route clearance. I have to constantly adjust and shift my current pads around due to headaches, which in turn takes my eyes away from searching for IED’s. (SSG, USA-R)
4/8/09 … the new pads are awful, they are too hard and most Marines get headaches. ( they just don’t compress enough) Sgt, USMC
4/3/09: Sir, I am happy to tell you that I did a little.. ‘Which one would you like to wear’. Almost a type of blind taste test. In every case they all said that they would want to wear your pads vs the ones issued to us. As a matter of fact I was talking to a Sgt who said that she had to take a knife and stab the issued pads to get them softer and more comfortable. Thank you again! (Combat Medic, Afghanistan). SPC, USArmy, Medic. OpHelmet Note: DON’T DO THIS! It destroys the pad integrity including the waterproof plastic bag that surrounds the pad.
4/2/09: My unit is using the Skydex pads that are currently in issue and they have been literally nothing but a headache. I was told by a friend that your organization was giving the better, more comfortable Oregon Aero pads to Soldiers who are deployed. If there is any way that you could help us out, I would very genuinely appreciate it; the hot months are coming and the headaches that come in those months are terrible. Thank you for your consideration and patriotism. SPC, USArmy, Combat Medic
2 April 2009: I’m currently using Oregon Aero pads I received from the Army in 2005. I love them and think that they’re the best type of pads for the ACH/MICH; especially with the coming summer heat. The other 11 guys on my team have the newer MSA pads. My guys are constantly complaining about hot spots and a few of the pads have failed due to the material separating from the pad and ripping. We’re in a very isolated area along the Iranian border and our water usage is extremely limited. Without the ability to take care of ourselves and our equipment some things don’t get cleaned like they should. I’ve got a couple of guys that have helmet pads that smell very, very bad. I don’t know what exactly caused this but I’ve been using my OA pads for closed to 4 years and have had no such problems. I’ve been on a quest to get my guys set up with the Oregon Aero pads for a couple of weeks now but due to OP tempo haven’t had internet access. We appreciate what you and your organization are doing for us. The tasks we face we do for our nation and the support people like you provide can make a man’s allergies act up. Thanks for all that you do. SFC, USArmy, BTT
28 March 2009: I currently have the Oregon Aero BLSS kit and have been using it for 4 years. I love this kit and would like to get a replacement Oregon Aero kit since this one is on its last legs and every vendor I’ve tried says there is a 3-4 week backorder. If you have any of these available I would be very appreciative. Thank you. !Lt USA.
21 March 2009: I received them yesterday in the mail and the Marines had a 20k hike last night and put them in before they left. They said it was awesome not to have their heads hurting after the hike. We greatly appreciate all that you guys are doing for the Marine. Semper fi.
19 March 2009 Convoys, Security.. The current pads are hard and can lead to headaches with prolonged wear
14 March 2009: I just tried on a helmet with the pads you sent to another unit I’m attached to, what a difference, I have never used those pads. Thanks for taking care of the troops in the sand box.
29 February 2009: THE SYSTEM THEY GAVE US IS HORRIBLE
23 Feb 2009: We are part of a crt (combat repair team) and we are constantly wearing our ach’s and many of us continue to get headaches… We just arrived in Iraq and I would like the rest of my team to be comfortable and less irritable at times when we are on recovery
20 Feb 2009: Hey, Everyone at Operation Helmet, God, I can’t begin to explain to you how much better my head feels in the pads you so graciously gave me and members of my squad here in Afghanistan. We wear these things 6-8 hours a day and when in vehicles I have to put a radio headset in my webbing and at night NVG’s on top. Usually I would get major head pains and headaches from the cheap, old, worn out pads. My squad loves them too. I know I’ve been sending email correspondence back and forth but I haven’t seen the internet for months & so I’ll get back to those soon. I hate to ask, but I know a bunch of the members of my platoon have seen our pads and heard how we felt in them and would like some. (Actually someone I gave pads to just came off-post and was praising how much better they are). I don’t know what you can do and I don’t want to impose, but those of us who have them love them and frankly others are jealous. I really can’t express how much I am gracious for the gift; definitely better than any care package. Thank you all and keep up the good work. I will be praising your organization and spreading the word so you get the recognition you deserve. Sincerely, LCPL xxxxxxxxx, (Afghanistan Marine)
NOTE: We may worry about the economy here Stateside, but that seems awfully petty compared to what these young warriors face every day. Please, please help me keep on helping them by donating some hard-earned and scarce cash TODAY. I’m sending these Marines more pads in spite of our bank account being so slim that if it turned sideways it’d disappear.
12 Jan 09: Doc, I gotta tell you, these new pads are the best thing since sliced bread! My Soldiers are now finding it comfortable and bearable, compared to the pads we were issued. No more headaches, no more sweaty smell, gotta love it. Finally, these really make the ACH feel more stable and a more natural feeling on your head, the best you can get while wearing a helmet. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to Soldiers and their well being. Bottom line, these are definately a 10 out of 10!
09 Jan 09: Being a Paratrooper, I have seen my share of concussions with the pads that come with the ACH helmet. A few guys I know have jumped from an airplane and landed hard enough to knock themselves out cause the pads are so hard and stiff. Now that we are back in Iraq, I am more worried about TBI from IED strikes while inside the new MRAP vehicles. Thanks for what you are doing. I think what you are doing is very relevant but I believe the word needs to get out to more soldiers. I have been here in Iraq three times and this is the first I have heard of your program. Thanks again!!