Belfast Telegraph

Helmet ' helped save Afghan troops'

A new army helmet has been credited with saving the lives of three British soldiers from the same regiment in just over a month.

Ranger Silbert Wilson, 20, Corporal Tommy Creighton, 25, and Ranger Alan Hawthorne, 23, all escaped injury when Taliban bullets hit their 'Mark 7' combat helmets during operations in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

The soldiers, all from Northern Ireland, serve with the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment.

The 'Mark 7' helmet came into use earlier this year.

Last month another solider from the regiment - Ranger Ryan Boyd - suffered only bruising when an insurgent bullet was stopped by his body armour.

The 26-year-old from Bangor, Co Down, was thrown off his feet by the impact but the round failed to penetrate his Osprey protection kit.

After the incident, he described what happened: "I told the Sergeant next to me that I had been hit. He checked for bleeding and told me I wasn't bleeding, so I carried on engaging the enemy.

"Only later when things had calmed down was I able to assess the damage.

"I feel lucky to have got out of this uninjured but I think it just shows what a fantastic piece of kit the Osprey body armour system is."

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