The importance of providing protective systems to military personnel has become increasingly clear.
This realization has been propelled by several factors, including:
The Evolving Nature of Warfare
In the post-Cold War world, the nature of warfare and the rules of engagement have changed significantly. The current situation in Iraq is a prime example. Conventional ground forces are being attacked by a civilian enemy that uses terrorist tactics: improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, sniper fire, etc. Engagement is often on foot. Defensive protection - sometimes more than offensive might - is key to survival.
More than 10% of all battlefield injuries are to the eyes. Impaired vision neutralizes combat personnel. Put simply, a blind soldier cannot fight. Ballistic eyewear is inexpensive (less than $100 per person) relative to other protective systems - body armor, helmets, etc. Therefore, protective eyewear is one of the most cost-effective items that an armed service can issue to its personnel.
66.7% of all military personnel… did not wear eye protection at the time of the injury… and will lose an average of 5.9 days from work at a cost averaging $6,295." (Incidence of Eye Injuries, Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, January 2001).
In recent conflicts, combat injuries to the head and neck outnumber torso injuries by nearly 4 to 1, reversing the historical trend. The most frequently injured regions of the warfighter's head and neck are the eyes and orbit, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Although combat helmets provide substantial cranial protection against penetrating trauma, the face and eyes are left exposed to shrapnel and other ballistic projectiles." (Warfighter Face and Eye Injury Protection, US Army publication, March 2004)
90% of eye injuries are preventable." (The Army Vision Conservation and Readiness Program, Department of the Army's Pamphlet 40-506).
"One would predict that eye injuries would account for less than 1% of all injuries since ocular surface area is approximately only 0.27% of the total body surface area. However, in Operation Desert Storm, the incidence of ocular injury was 13% of the total combat injuries." (Heier et al, 1993)
"The average military individual sustaining an eye injury is not wearing eye protection when injured. In addition, Army personnel lost 1.9 more workdays, Navy personnel lost 1.5 more workdays, and Air Force personnel lost 3.4 more workdays than those individuals who were wearing eye protection at the time of the eye injury." (Descriptive Analysis of Military Eye Injuries from Fiscal Year 1988 to 1998, Lt Col Robert S. Buckingham, BSC USAF (Ret.); LCDR Kenneth J. Whitwell, MSC USNR; Robyn B. Lee, MS)
"Eye injuries occur in 10 percent of nonfatal casualties in military conflicts. Major injuries must be identified early and properly managed if the eye is to be salvaged." (Ophthalmology Trauma, Department of the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery)
"Over two thirds of those with major eye injuries were not wearing eye protection." (Study of 1,752 major eye injuries compiled by Army Safety Center, Ft. Rucker, Alabama, from 1988 to 1998)
"The Army Surgeon General estimated that minor and catastrophic eye injuries amount to approximately $160 per year for each active-duty soldier. Approximately $144 per soldier could be saved with the use of eye protection". (Digest magazine Jan. / Feb. 1996)
Revision Eyewear has developed the Sawfly™ Military Eyewear System specifically for deployment in hostile environments. Sawfly™ eyewear delivers the highest standards of protection, durability, functionality, compatibility and comfort.
In September 2003, Revision Eyewear concluded an agreement to deliver 100,000 pairs of Sawfly™ ballistic eyewear to the Canadian Department of National Defence. Sawfly™ eyewear is being issued to Canadian troops deployed in hostile environments overseas. Fulfillment will be completed by early 2005. Eventually, all Canadian ground forces will be issued with Sawfly™ ballistic eyewear.
Within just one year, Sawfly™ eyewear has been recognized as the leading military protective eyewear system. At this time, armed forces in six NATO countries are evaluating or testing the product.
The Sawfly™ Military Eyewear System meets and exceeds some of the most rigorous optical and ballistic testing standards in use today.
For example, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification (Z87.1-2003) stipulates that eyewear must resist a 1 gram steel pellet fired at a velocity of 150 feet/second. In independent testing by the Munitions Experimental Test Centre in February 2004, the Sawfly™ lens successfully resisted the 1g projectile at up to 905 feet per second.
In independent tests conducted by Pete Jackson, qualified firearms instructor and competitive shooter, Sawfly™ eyewear withstood a 12-gauge shotgun blast at 33 feet.
This page was last updated: 1/15/2005 13:24:47