JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — It’s considered to be a game changer for the United States military.
U.S. Army leaders unveiled a new form of enhanced night vision goggles on Wednesday, using Kansas’ Fort Riley as a backdrop.
The new ENVG-B eyewear, which were commissioned by the recently formed Army Futures Command, are ranked as cutting-edge technology that will allow soldiers to shoot around corners.
Unlike past sets of binoculars used by armed fighters in combat, these enhanced night vision goggles can work off heat signatures emitted by the human body.
Sensors on the soldier`s helmet and rifle help them find threats that may be tricky to spot with the naked eye. The old form of night vision glasses required an external light source, like moonlight or starlight, but the new goggles don’t.
“It’s going to make us more lethal, more mobile and increase our situational awareness,” U.S. Army Sgt. Brion Baker said.
Baker, along with his colleague from the United States Marine Corps, Sgt. John Fenley, demonstrated for media members and civilians how sensors on the rifle stock and helmet permit the infantry member to look and shoot around corners while never exposing their bodies to the enemy in combat.
One officer told FOX4 they’re so accurate, he hit a table with a rifle round from 75 meters away — while lying on his back.
“We’re going to have systems and functions that can directly report to a higher headquarters in the event somebody gets hurt or somebody gets injured. We’re going to be able to increase our medivac and recovery speeds for injured soldiers on the battlefield,” Baker told FOX4.
“I can shoot from positions that don’t expose my body at all. Not only that, but I can identify and respond to threats faster, purely because not only do I not need ambient light. I can see thermal,” Fenley added.
This event and technology is so important to the U.S. Army, four members of the Army Futures Command endorsed the new tech in person, including SMA Michael Grinston.
Grinston, one of the Army’s highest-ranking officers in uniform as the Sergeant Major of the Army, said he’s overjoyed with the new goggles and its accouterments, which are the results of putting feedback from field personnel to good use.
“That’s how we’re going to be. You’re always giving that feedback, but now, you can see the benefit of it,” Grinston said. “You get a product and it works, and you can use it in combat, and it didn’t take you 10 years to change that one little button.”
The new high-tech goggles are being issued to soldiers now.
The Army’s sergeant major also pointed out that his force’s most powerful weapons are the men and women in uniform. Gadgets like these merely help them do their jobs and to keep them alive.