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As if the Vickers and M16 rifles aren’t enough to convince modern troops that they are fighting for their lives in Afghanistan, now they’ll have help carrying ammunition, body armor and other gear. Just days before troops were ordered to pull out of all or parts of the Afghanistan war, the US Army released a new backpack armor invention that promises to make life easier for soldiers in combat. Known as LASIK, the new backpack armor system is meant to be used by everyone from civilians to soldiers. It’s one of the biggest military breakthroughs in years.

Since the invention of soft armor back in 1990, the US military has been using bullet resistant vests, which are known as LASIK, to reduce the number of shots that armor plates miss the target. The problem with bullet proof vests was that the plates would invariably miss the target, thus saving the attacker some valuable time. With this in mind, the US Army was hesitant to invest in bullet-resistant vests for fear that enemy soldiers would simply wait nearby until the armor plate was hit, then fire at the target with their weapons. The new LASIK technology, though slow in its development, solves this problem.

Currently, LASIK can be used on both the upper torso and lower torso of people who are not in direct contact with rifles or other firearms, but who need a little added protection. For example, if you’re shopping for a swimsuit for your daughter’s next triathlon competition, you may not want her wearing a piece of soft armor that will puncture after only one shot. But if you know she is going to be in contact with rifles, a LASIK vest with a polycarbonate windshield and polyethylene protective layer around the outside might be exactly what she needs. The key to this type of protection is that it has a larger face than the actual vest or bullet resistant vests, which means that the projectiles which fly from the rifles won’t cause any damage. This also means that you won’t have to worry about fragrant ammunition leaving a trail of fragments all over your girl’s suit!