Amid the chaos and clamor of combat, Army vehicle-top gunners are rightly focused on the gritty imperatives of battle.
Therefore, one wouldn’t suppose that they give much thought into how their turret’s mechanisms embody a “novel” design because they are such a “technical advance” over “prior art” in a “stream of invention.”
Leaving aside legal terms for the moment, no insights are more important than those of combat gunners who understand uniquely how armor position and gun-mount design relate to their dangerous missions.
That is why their insights were incorporated into the 45,000 currently fielded Objective Gunner Protective Kits (OGPK), according to Thomas Kiel, lead design engineer for the OGPK.
Kiel and his team of engineers from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) began work on OGPK in 2005. Their goal was to find a way that allows gunners in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight effectively and see clearly, yet survive threats like small arms fire and the growing threat of improvised explosive devices.