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Your sight, your choice.

The answer depends on the soldier and the mission. Fortunately, the Army offers plenty of choices, everything from the trusty old sun, wind and dust goggles (SWDG) to high-fashion spectacles that look as stylish on Sunset Boulevard as on the streets of Baghdad. They all offer ballistic eye protection and some offer laser protection as well. Some combat eyewear fits right over prescription eyeglasses. Others are designed just for soldiers who don't need eyeglasses.

The Old Veterans

* Sun, Wind and Dust Goggles

* Ballistic/Laser Protective Spectacles

* Special Protective Eyewear Cylindrical System

The New Generation

* Wiley-X SG-1 Spectacles

* ESS Land Operations Goggles

* ESS Low Profile NVG Goggles

* Uvex XC Eyewear

The Old Veterans, the 50s to the 90s

Sun, Wind and Dust Goggles

Sun, wind and dust goggles (SWDG) date back to the 1950s. For years they've been the standard goggles providing ballistic and laser eye protection. SWDGs are worn both by soldiers who need prescription eyeglasses and those who don't. If you wear eyeglasses, the SWDGs fit over them. One size fits all.

The SWDG kit comes with two single piece ballistic lenses, one clear (Type 3) and one gray (Type 4 sunglass). The kit also includes a rubber goggle frame with retaining strap and a carrying case. The Type 3 and 4 lenses provide ballistic--but not laser--protection. If you need both ballistic and laser protection, get a Type 5 two-wavelength (2WL) or Type 6 three-wavelength (3WL) laser protective lens.

Ballistic/Laser Protective Spectacles

Soldiers who wear prescription eyeglasses should consider using ballistic/laser protective spectacles (BLPS). BLPS has a prescription lens carrier (PLC) to hold your prescription lenses. The PLC fits behind the BLPS' protective lenses. Get the PLC and the prescription lenses through your post optometry clinic.

You can also wear the PLC with the M40A1 mask by using an adapter, NSN 4240-01-389-7152. The adapter's available through your optometry clinic, too. For operational readiness, it's best to keep two separate PLCs--one for the BLPS and one for the M40A1 mask.

... clear, gray (sunglass), and 2WL and 3WL laser protection. Each comes in its own frame, with a retaining strap and a carrying case. The clear and gray lenses provide ballistic--but not laser--protection. If you need both ballistic and laser protection, get the 2WL or 3WL lenses. One size fits all.

Special Protective Eyewear Cylindrical System

If you don't need to wear prescription eyeglasses, try the special protective eyewear cylindrical system (SPECS). SPECS come in two sizes: regular and large. Regular should fit most soldiers.

The SPECS kit for ballistic protection comes with a clear lens in a frame, a gray (sunglass) lens, a retaining strap and a carrying case.

The New Generation

Until recently, your choice of combat eyewear was limited to the old veterans: SWDG, BLPS and SPECS. But now the Army offers you a new generation of combat eyewear with lots of style. You're now authorized to order and use the Wiley-X SG-1 spectacles with strap, the Eye Safety System (ESS) land operations goggles, the ESS low profile NVG goggles and the Uvex XC eyewear. There are a couple of things you need to know about them:

* These are commercial substitutes for the non-laser SWDG, BLPS and SPECS. They all provide ballistic protection, but none of them protects your eyes from lasers. So, if you have a mission or training that requires laser eye protection, you must wear the SWDG, BLPS or SPECS with laser lenses. So far the Army hasn't authorized any substitutes to the SWDG, BLPS of SPECS with laser lenses.

* The components of the SWDG, BLPS and SPECS are not interchangeable with components of the new generation of combat eyewear. For example, you can't put a SWDG lens in the commercial eyewear frame.

Wiley-X SG-1 Spectacles

These spectacles should be worn only by soldiers who don't need eyeglasses. It's not a good idea to fit the Wiley-X SG-1 spectacles with prescription lenses. For one thing, it's costly. For another, you run the risk that the prescription lenses won't protect you as well as the ballistic lenses that come with the spectacles.

The spectacle system comes with two pairs of ballistic lenses, one clear and one green smoke (sunglass). The eyewear has black frames. A foam seal around each eye prevents dust and wind from getting in. You can detach the temples and replace them with an elastic strap that comes with the system. The system also includes a carrying case. One size fits all.

ESS Land Operations Goggles

These goggles can be worn both by soldiers who need prescription eyeglasses and those who don't. The ESS land operations goggles will fit over most eyeglasses.

The goggles kit comes with two single piece ballistic lenses, one clear and one smoke gray (sunglass). The lenses are made with anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings. The kit also includes a rubber frame and a black elastic strap. Foam backing on the rubber frame helps the goggles to fit snugly against your face. Foam-covered vent holes allow ventilation while keeping dust out. The kit includes an anti-reflective sleeve that reduces glint when the goggles are not in use. One size fits all.

ESS Low Profile NVG Goggles

These goggles are strictly for soldiers who do not need eyeglasses. Although ESS makes a prescription lens carrier for their low profile NVG goggles, you're not authorized to order it. The carrier has not been field tested for durability.

The goggles kit comes with two single piece ballistic lenses, one clear and one smoke gray (sunglass). The lenses are made with anti-scratch and anti-fog coatings. The kit also includes a rubber frame, a black elastic strap, a carrying case and an anti-reflective sleeve. You can order the kit in one of three frame colors: black, olive drab or desert tan.

Foam backing on the rubber frame helps the goggles to fit snugly against your face. Foam-covered vent holes in the goggles' frame allow ventilation while keeping dust out. An anti-reflective sleeve reduces glint when the goggles are not in use. One size fits all.

Uvex XC Eyewear

This eyewear can be worn both by soldiers who need prescription eyeglasses and those who don't. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you will need to get a PLC and prescription lenses from your post optometry clinic. The eyewear kit comes with two pairs of ballistic lenses, one clear and one gray (sunglass). The lenses are treated with anti-fog coating. The wrap-around lenses protect the eyes and allow greater peripheral vision. The kit also includes black frames and a carrying case. One size fits all.
Sun, wind and dust goggles

 NSN
Item 8465-01-

SWDG kit with Type 3 and 4 lenses. 328-8268
 Includes case and frame with strap
Type 5 green lens, 439-3506
 2WL laser protection (lens only)
Type 6 brown lens, 439-3511
 3WL laser protection (lens only)
Type 3 clear lens (lens only) 109-3997
Type 4 gray lens (lens only) 109-3996

Ballistic laser protective spectacles

Item NSN

BLPS, clear 8465-01-416-4636
BLPS, gray 8465-01-417-4004
BLPS, 2WL laser protection 8465-01-416-3207
BLPS, 3WL laser protection 8465-01-416-3210
Carrying case 8465-01-417-9963
Retaining strap 8465-01-416-4637
Prescription lens carrier 6540-01-264-1348

SPECS

 NSN
 Item Size 8465-01-416-

SPECS kit. Includes clear and
 gray lenses, frame, stray and case Regular 4626
SPECS kit. Includes clear and
 gray lenses, frame, stray and case Large 4629
SPECS, 2WL laser protection.
 Includes lens and frame Regular 4634
SPECS, 2WL laser protection.
 Includes lens and frame Large 4632
SPECS, 3WL laser protection.
 Includes lens and frame Regular 4635
SPECS, 3WL laser protection.
 Includes lens and frame Large 8516
SPECS, clear. Includes lens and frame Regular 4628
SPECS, clear. Includes lens and frame Large 4631
SPECS, gray. Includes lens and frame Regular 4630
SPECS, gray. Includes lens and frame Large 4633
SPECS case -- 4627
Retaining strap -- 4637

Wiley-X SG-1 spectacles

 NSN
Item 4240-01-504-

Wiley-X SG-1 spectacle system.
 Includes clear and green lenses, 0994
 frame, strap, temples and case.
Clear lenses (lenses only) 5326
Green smoke sunglass lenses (lenses only) 5312
Temples 6474
Elastic strap 5754
Frame. Includes temples and strap. 6524

ESS land operations goggles

Item NSN

Land operations
 goggles kit (with
 anti-reflective sleeve). 4240-01-504-0052
 Includes clear and
 gray lenses, frame
 and strap.
Smoke gray sunglass 4210-01-492-5725
 lenses (pack of 50)
Clear lenses (pack of 50) 4210-01-492-5722

ESS low profile NVG goggles

 NSN
Item 4240-01-504

Low profile NVG goggles kit.
 Includes black frame, 6222
 clear and gray lenses, strap,
 case and anti-reflective sleeve.
Low profile NVG goggles kit.
 Includes olive drab frame, 5706
 clear and gray lenses,
 strap, case and anti-reflective sleeve.
Low profile NVG goggles kit.
 Includes desert tan frame, 5727
 clear and gray lenses, strap,
 case and anti-reflective sleeve.
Smoke gray sunglass lenses (pack of 50) 6143
Clear lenses (pack of 50) 5641

Uvex XC eyewear

 NSN
Item 4240-01-516-

Uvex XC kit. Includes clear and 5361
 gray lenses, frame and case.
Clear lenses (pack of 10) 3469
Gray lenses (pack of 10) 3473
Uvex XC spectacles. 3460
 Includes clear lenses and frame.
Uvex XC spectacles.
 Includes gray lenses and frame. 3452
Carrying case 3444
Prescription lens carrier 5342


At a Glance

HERE'S A NICE, QUICK SUMMARY OF THE LAST EIGHT PAGES?
 Combat Application Ballistic Laser
 Eyewear Protection Protection

SWDG Wear with or without Yes Only with 2WL
 eyeglasses or 3WL lenses
BLPS Wear with prescription Yes Only with 2WL
 lenses or 3WL lenses
SPECS Wear only without Yes Only with 2WL
 eyeglasses or 3WL lenses
Wiley X SG-1 Wear only without Yes No
 eyeglasses
ESS Land OPS Wear with or without Yes No
 eyeglasses
ESS Low Wear only without Yes No.
 Profile NVG eyeglasses
Uvex XC Wear with or without Yes No
 prescription lenses
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Title Annotation:Combat Eyewear ...
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:1596
Previous Article:Add to BII list.
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