NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.–The Naval Aircrew Systems program office (PMA-202) is fielding new headgear, the Head Gear Unit Number 98/Personal Use (HGU-98P), that improves both head and hearing protection for fleet Marine Corps aviation maintainers.
PMA-202 incorporated the latest advancements and information gained from market research, lab testing and fleet assessments to select the new Marine Corps maintenance cranial, the Team Wendy Exfil Light Tactical Polymer helmet, which is a Commercial-off-the-Shelf solution.
“The HGU-98/P provides improved impact protection and increased hearing protection, which are long overdue improvements that our maintainers deserve,” said Capt. Carey Castelein, PMA-202 program manager.
Since the inception of protective headgear in the 1950s, a major challenge has been to design helmets that offer the required impact and hearing protection while providing a system that provides a comfortable fit. Because flight lines and flight decks are notoriously loud, a safe and comfortable helmet is mission critical.
The new cranial comes in two sizes and an alternate H-shaped back retention system to accommodate a hair bun. The HGU-98/P also features two different styles of hearing protection, both rail mounted to the helmet, with either X4 ear cups for a slimmer fit or X5 with larger ear cups but with better sound attenuation.
“Through research, test and fleet assessments, our team was able to determine the best possible solution for improved head and hearing protection, taking into account cost, performance and user feedback,” said Jennifer Bartnick, PMA-202 team lead.
Squadrons that began receiving the HGU-98/P flight deck helmet system in October 2022 have given favorable feedback. Fielding to Marine Corps aviation units will continue through the end of the year, and the cranial with additional capability will begin delivery next year.
The Naval Aircrew Systems program office (PMA-202) analyzes, develops, and delivers innovative solutions that optimizes the effectiveness of warfighters, ensuring they are equipped with systems that directly support the aircrew, aviation maintainers, and aircraft passengers in the performance of their missions. The PMA-202 portfolio consists of Personal Protective Equipment, Combat Survivability and Perseverance, Physiological Episode Protection, Visual Situational Awareness, Ejection & Crash Survivability/Egress, and Chemical Biological Defense Exposure Protection programs.
So the Marine Corps will have a different ‘cranial’ than the US Navy?
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