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The global body armor and personal protection market is currently characterized by rapidly growing demand and not enough supply. Since combat operations began in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US and allied forces have borne the brunt of frequent and deadly attacks from insurgents using various weapons such as improvised explosive devices (IED), mortars, rocket launchers, and increasingly lethal ballistic threats. Sir Jock Stirrup, the head of the British Armed Forces during the Iraq conflict, admitted that some troops sent into Iraq did not have the proper desert combat clothing and boots, while others did not get the body armor they should have had. In another incident, the lack of adequate body armor contributed to the death of a British Army sergeant in Iraq in 2006.
An official report on the issues concerning the British Army criticized the MoD for failing to ensure that enough sets of the enhanced combat body armor were available for troops during the war. Furthermore, in April 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on shortages of critical force protection items, including individual body armor, primarily due to materials shortages, production limitations, and distribution problems.