The combat helmets made by Hebron, Ohio-based ArmorSource and recalled by the Army earlier this month were made by a Texas subcontractor that uses federal inmates to do its work. The Army and ArmorSource confirmed that UNICOR, also called Federal Prison Industries, manufactured all of the 102,000 helmets for the ArmorSource contract with the Army. The helmets, produced between August 2007 and November 2009, were manufactured at UNICOR’s facility in Beaumont, Texas, where a federal prison is located. The recall of 44,000 ArmorSource helmets, announced May 14, followed Army testing of the helmets’ ability to withstand gunshots. The recall also came after the Army learned of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into ArmorSource. The first tests came during development of the Enhanced Combat Helmet, using all four helmet manufacturers. Then came random testing of four ArmorSource lots, revealing problems surviving multiple shots, a spokesman said. As of May 25, the Army had collected 6,246 helmets, 377 of which were in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army hopes to replace all the ArmorSource helmets by June 21.

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