|Mike Morgan, from Irvine, California,
sent in these pictures of his helicopter and helmet from when he flew in the Army from
1987 to 1998.
Seen at the right is the OH-58D(I) Optimized Warrior. Mike
took part in the testing and development for the Army's Force XXI Digital Warfighter
Exercise. That utilizes fully digital aircraft avionics: embedded GPS, moving map
displays, and SINCGARS SIP radios. The helmet Mike flew with was the new HGU-56/P. The
56/P was used to replace the SPH-4 series helmets, providing the Army with a single helmet
for all applications. The visor housing allows the attachment of ANVIS 6 Night Vision
Goggles (NVG) without affecting the protective visors.
|This 56/P uses several add-ons that are
worth noting. The ANVIS 6 NVG goggles with power pack can be seen in this photo. Also
shown is the blast shield. Mike says while flying with the doors off and the .50 cal.
shooting, the blast shield makes the muzzle blast less apparent and there is not much
microphone degradation. This HGU-56/P also is equipped with a Air/Conditioning unit. On
the right side there is a plug where an A/C unit plugs into. This circulates cool air,
keeping the wearer comfortable.