The military gears up to deploy its plastic army men in the coming months in an attempt to tackle a growing problem that could lead to a costly and futile war.
“We’re gearing up to put troops in all the locations, to get a better picture of how plastic we’re dealing with and how we’re deploying,” said Lt.
Gen. William “Pete” Smith, commander of the Army’s Pacific Command.
“We’re looking at deploying soldiers at various locations in different areas.
The locations are going to be in a mix of the places that are going through operations right now, and places that have not.”
The Army, which will spend $1.3 billion on plastic and plastic-infused gear over the next five years, is looking at places where there is a lot of plastic, such as military barracks and barracks for the U.S. Army, said Col. Paul W. McBroom, deputy director of Army plastic procurement and production.
Those locations are “in the places where we need them,” he said.
“It’s a big area.”
The plastic army will be deployed in areas where the Army has not been deploying soldiers in years, such the Pacific Northwest, where it is still battling the plastic pollution that has come from plastic shipping containers, the Army said.
“If we are going into the Pacific, we have to make sure we’re protecting the environment, which means that we’re going to have to be smart in the deployment of the plastic,” McBrooms said.
He said plastic could be deployed from a barracks to the front lines and then be moved to places that will be hit hard by the disease.
The Army will deploy plastic soldiers in “small numbers” for a “few weeks” and then gradually increase the number to the Army-wide level of up to 200 soldiers.
McBuser said it’s unclear when those soldiers will arrive, but they will be equipped with gear such as helmets and respirators.
The Pentagon said plastic-filled plastic will be used for the first time on Army and Marine Corps bases in the Pacific and will be stored in “high-security” facilities.
The military is also testing how to deploy plastic-free plastic in Afghanistan, where the Pentagon is also trying to find the best locations to deploy soldiers.
The Pentagon also has deployed plastic soldiers at Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, which is not near the Pacific.