In February 2014, at a National Defense Industrial Association symposium, Stars and Stripes reported that TALOS is on its way to be the new combat uniform that looks like something from a futuristic role-playing game. No it is not the Talos of the Elder Scrolls role-playing series; and as someone once stated, in so many words: What is science fiction today is reality tomorrow.
It has been dubbed the Iron Man suit, although it doesn't look anywhere near it. TALOS is an acronym, which the military uses prolifically, is short for Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit.
Admiral William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, expects the combat suits to be researched and field tested and ready for issue by 2018.
The suit is being designed and built in a combined effort with 56 corporations, 16 government agencies, 13 universities, and 10 national laboratories. Three prototypes are being worked upon and after complete assembly the non-powered prototype suits are scheduled for delivery as early as June to SOCOM.
Admiral McRaven stated:
If we do TALOS right, it will be a huge comparative advantage over our enemies and give the warriors the protection they need in a very demanding environment.
Admiral McRaven has been also working out where tactical units will deploy for six months and when returning home not be deployed again for 12 months.
I wonder if there will be enough personnel by the time TALOS is available to use this hardware. Congress, as always, makes budget cuts in places that they shouldn't and don't cut where they should. Recently the House of Representatives were not happy with the 2015 defense bill that proposed cuts to commissary, housing and medical benefits that the Department of Defense needed to do to meet a shrinking overall budget. The Pentagon stated that some commissaries may close due to budget cutbacks.
Instead of cutting benefits and pay of our US Armed Forces, why not close a majority of bases (estimated to be about 900) around the world and only have ten (or less) large bases to react to conflicts? The bases would be combined forces – US Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy equipped with the best technology can offer and provided quality training; and at the same time keep career professionals by pay that meets COLA. Closing that many bases would mean less commissaries to operate and save money without hurting US Armed Forces personnel.
|2014 Combat Duty Uniform and Gear|
The federal government needs to stop committing troops to fight other nations' conflicts. Afghanistan must be given notice that they need to take care of their own backyard and continue planned systematic withdrawal. At the same time, federal leadership needs to address threats at the home front, where Islamic Jihadists and other subversive organizations, including organized crime by the Mexican drug cartel. Our best interests and foremost concerns should be national security, which the federal government is always using an excuse to reduce and/or limit liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
|Medium Machinegun, US Armed Forces|
TALOS is an important development for combat operations, but I am sure it is not going to be cheap. No word yet on how much the TALOS will cost the government and ultimately taxpayers.
SOCOM is an important part of the military infrastructure, no question; but the US can no longer play the peacekeeper for nations that end up not appreciating it anyway.
According to Live Science, special operation forces will be testing TALOS this summer, as early as June. TALOS is expected to be ready for the field by August 2018.