The talk we have going on of a hopeful new assault pack offering, relative to the current "Jansport" model, makes me sit back and ask the question of whether we are asking too much from the assault pack we currently have. I've never caught wind of the requirements that were laid down for the Jansport bag, so I don't have a frame of reference whether it was envisioned to be a day pack (more likely) or someone had the crazy idea that its profile and dimensions would make it a 3-day bag. When it first came out, I remember it being called a day pack, and that's about where it's at in terms of capability. Should we really be working towards a patrol pack?

By virtue of the nickname, an assault pack is supposed to be capable of being carried into the assault, and carrying whatever essentials the unit SOP or shooter's preference prescribes. At the lower end, we seem to have options that were built as a hydration source carrier, like the CB Ambush and MULE, and the Eagle Yote, then sorta move up a notch to options like the TAG CSP, Eagle MAP, Ares Armor Combat XII, and the Tyr Tactical Assaulter Sustainment packs. It seems like the defined shift stems from the pack being touted as hydration source-compatible, versus starting life as a dedicated carrier. These offerings are assaulter's kit in form and function (although, yes, I read that the Combat XII stared life as a piece of gear for a sniper platoon), if you follow some of the industry blogs and manufacturer descriptions, and direct attachment seems to be a good departure point for the concept.

Then we get into the bigger bags that are too numerous to describe and account for here, but the RAID and TT Modular Operator Pack come to mind. We are in patrol pack territory by this point, but the terms assault and patrol get interchange too often by folks who just don't consider the definite difference. The better ones typically have antennae ports on the top, a framesheet to add rigidity, and often a waist-belt that allows the wearer to shoulder heavy loads in a small package.

The Jansport edition fails by virtue of crappy straps and strap orientation, and yeah, it doesn't hold a lot, but what should it hold? Do the requirements folks start with a frame of reference like 100 oz bladder, 3 DOS chow, sleep kit, change of skivvies, etc., and work their way up from there?

Even stripped down, and with the non-essential crap tossed, a 3-day supply of MREs to cover the calories associated with an 8-12 hour patrol/day is no small amount of foil pouches. I've never tried it, but I am pretty confident that even three stripped MREs would take up a sixth of my RAID, before add-on pouches.

Having said all this, what do we, across the frontline infantry, want an assault pack to do, and do we really need an assault pack and a patrol/3-day pack? WE establish the requirements and WE frame the debate, and things only get twisted if we allow it to get off track and jacked because no one bothered to stay abreast of what is going on. The beauty of social media is that the end users have a voice with power never before imagined, so we need to use it. Everyone cannot be made happy, but I still think some decent baselines can be established that allow the procurement folks to define good requirements, procure decent gear, beat it to death and learn from the usage, and make improvements.

I grasp that the infantry don't have the only votes on the matter, and any pack design runs the risk of having lowest common denominator requirements woven into the design. For example, the Long War years have no doubt left a lot of people with the impression that you gotta have a "day-pack" to use as a carry-on, with the seabag, pack, and/or deployer bag rounding out the palletized baggage load. Given an opportunity, they might toss in requirements with that baseless frame of reference in mind. This means their input would be fine for fitting a pillow, iPod, Bose headphones, PSP and case of disks, and battery chargers, but crap for getting actual work done.

I for one, believe the Marine Corps would be better of going with a beefed-up hydration carrier like the Eagle Yote, where the user has ability to access water and mission-specific tools that might otherwise be carried on the 2nd Line, but he doesn't need instant access to like a speed reload. Although I haven't used one, it looks like just the right step up from my Ambush, which is already good for patrolling and carrying some mission-essential items, but can't handle other needs like a Ranger roll or any snivel gear. While we're at it, I might be scouting the swap meet to pick one up the next time any show.

In addition to the Yote, a true 3-day bag is called for, which the Corps certainly does not have at the moment. The point of this whole already too long post is that to get to a better assault/patrol pack, the requirement needs to be defined, and I wanted to hear what everyone else had in mind for building that bag. Additionally, can something like a Yote fill the role of an assault pack, with a good 3-day bag filling the broader utility roll that is gapped right now, since main pack ILBEs do not get used for they were originally designed for (approach march) in the COE.

And I'm spent...thoughts?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Original Post
Ask 10 people what PATROL and ASSAULT pack definitions are and you will get 23.2 answers, a few dumb looks & "its a bag stupid" comments.

Before, a volumetric distinction was the delimiting factor between Assault (smaller) and Patrol (larger)

But now, as our experiences in SWA over the last 10 years have started to factor in, the line of distinctions become really blurred.

I advocate simplicity in design and function... if an item is not JOE-proof, compatible with existing kit or able to carry the bulk of items required for his mission objectives, then the design is not up to task.

you dont want to overengineer a design in order to get maximum "efficiency" or efficacy in use to the extent that a PHD dissertation in its use is required is a "fail to launch". The UM21 design is a prime example of overengineering.... or the ILBE pack(s)

Reduce complexity
Reduce points of failure
Increase usability (configuration to load distribution and compression)
Reinforce areas of stress

******** EGG Sends *********

I would hate to have to fight with any sort of a pack on. Excepting food and water, the extremes of environment and conditions would have to be way right on the edge of survivable before I would even have considered carrying a pack for a 72 hour mission. You can put up with damned near anything for 2-3 days as long as your most basic needs are met.

One of the questions to answer with regards to role: how far ahead of the log train does such a pack need to sustain troops in the field for the stated duration of three days? Chow, water, ammo, batteries... do they have to be walked in or is there a limited resupply capability?

Closest I've ever come to such a situation in the opening portion of my final deployment. Urban missions in western Iraq in winter. It was a week with nothing more than the clothes on my back and the second line kit I had on. My "Jansport" got diverted and it was months before I was reunited with it. Shelter meant crashing with the locals every night, no sleep kit. Change of skivvies? Never happened (note: this is where selection of such items is critical; smartwool socks, antimicrobial undergarments are an investment for such situations.) All the consumable items (food, water, ammo, batteries) could be resupplied on call.

I understand there is a big difference between this scenario and one in less hospitable terrain. But given worse conditions, and a limited duration of 2-3 days (Blackhawk Down anyone? They made that assumption as well...) I might forego the pack and stick to a hydration carrier with marginal cargo carrying capabilities simply for the impact they have on your ability to fight.

My personal opinion is that the size and shape of the "Jansport" aren't half bad. Note: body type an build have everything to do with my opinion. Low profile and NARROW are pretty critical characteristics. It's the straps that really killed it. A different design might have offered more PALS space to upgrade capacity, but even in it's current form, it's still modular...

ALWAYS challenge authority.

I've always wondered how a modular bag would do, something that could be stripped down to patrol dimensions if you're just banging around for the day, and beefed up for more complex operations.

Obviously it will never have the specificity of a purpose built pack, but I think it would be better than having to choose between something too small and something too big. I think something like this might be good for regular line infantry forces who don't get issued the best purpose built kit.
________________________________ Do not pray for lighter loads; strive for stronger backs.
quote:
I've always wondered how a modular bag would do, something that could be stripped down to patrol dimensions if you're just banging around for the day, and beefed up for more complex operations.



Hit the nail on the head. That's the essence and ultimate promise of what a modular system should be.

ALWAYS challenge authority.

As I sat admiring the Yote (how I never noticed that years ago is beyond me), I was thinking just how easy it would be to have a zip-in beavertail that could be replaced by a zip-in panel and hood that gives more volume for carrying a load and mission configuration.

I'm like you Chris. Give me a Ranger roll, base warming layer, and either a wet Wx top or just the poncho from the roll, and I've got enough to operate in quite an few climates. Strap a thin bag to the bottom of it for static periods, and I could go indefinitely.

quote:
Before, a volumetric distinction was the delimiting factor between Assault (smaller) and Patrol (larger)


Egg, I'm glad you commented. Do you recall what those volume numbers were?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

from what I've collected, I would place the delimiting line at about 2000CI between "assault" and a "patrol" bag

Or to put it in Size terms readily picturable, think of an Eagle or BHI 3Day pack WITHOUT the external pocket assembly.

NOW, this pack must be a jack of all trades and be able to fit a number of roles.

which sort of begs the "modular pack" question... yeah sounds great in theory, but then you gotta go back to the --

Reduce complexity
Reduce points of failure
Increase usability (configuration to load distribution and compression)
Reinforce areas of stress

and it somewhat goes against the grain of the modular idea

Personally, I have had an Eagle AIII in one form or another since 1994, a lot of packs have come and gone since then but the AIII has been my perennial favorite.

NOW my quest is to find the "original" civilian form factor that the AIII was based off of - I believed for the longest time it was a Gregory day and a half pack, but recently I am led to believe it may have been a LOWE

******** EGG Sends *********



That's how I dealt with the issue circa 2006. The bottom pouch was obviously an IFAK. Don't ask me what was in the upper pouch... a platoon's worth of Charms, I think...

I chose to distinguish the carriage of items that are absolute requirements as a fighting load from the things I might want to have for longer term sustainment. I think the two are separate and distinct.

For my purposes (past tense) one was characterized by something the footprint of a hydration carrier, the other is a small pack (assault pack/ 3 day pack/ patrol pack...) Again, the defining criteria was, "do you need to have it when you're fighting? How will it effect your ability to maneuver?"

2-3 days is not a long time, especially if you're keeping busy. Obviously, things like discomfort, sleep deprivation, reduced caloric intake will all take a toll on performance (particularly if it's physically demanding) but when it all comes down to it, none of those things will kill you in 72 hours and it's all a head game. Ammo, batteries and water are a different matter. Not being able to rely on a resupply for those critical items is not something I've ever had to experience (which is kind of an interesting topic in itself...)

The setup in the picture came out of necessity with a huge change in gear philosophy within about 10 days of boots on the ground on that deployment. The base system was the issued Camelbak. The need to carry water as part of the fighting load is non negotiable in my experience. So if I have to have that thing on my back already, why not use it and expand it as a base system to support other items? The nice thing about that style of hydration carrier and others like it is easy access to the reservoir without having to remove the bladder from the carrier. The straps were modified with side release buckles for four points of attachment directly into the armor carrier, something I also did with the chest rig, which worked out exceptionally well. I had also modified the carrier with a long, open top pocket which supported a large PALS grid. It wasn't perfect, but it worked well as being both low profile and modular. The IFAK is something you need to carry but is not of immediate use in a fight, so off to the back it went. The pouch on top is a Spec-Ops Brand model of some sort or other. Good for small items I didn't want to carry up front.

If I needed to lower my profile or drop some weight fast, the whole thing could unclip pretty quick leaving me with the fighting load bare essentials: armor, weapon, magazines and not much else.

I think like roymorrison mentioned, the gold standard is an effective modular system that can scale to different mission profiles. One of the biggest obstacles is not only the base system, but also the lack of quality add on pouches or pouch modules. Both are something I've been playing with for a while...

ALWAYS challenge authority.

quote:

Chris
For my purposes (past tense) one was characterized by something the footprint of a hydration carrier, the other is a small pack (assault pack/ 3 day pack/ patrol pack...) Again, the defining criteria was, "do you need to have it when you're fighting? How will it effect your ability to maneuver?"


When we deployed to OEF we had those crap 1st Gen issue water bladders that mostly wet down the soldiers backs. They were all replaced out of pocket by soldiers, we couldn't get the BN to replace them. One of the ideals that I had at the time was blending old and new ideals to fit the fight, but like many things I never got to try it out.

I didn't like haveing the water on my back or in my ruck. This meant a transition was always required going to an from the ruck. In the old days you had those two cateens and then I would carry a Cambelback in my LBTC "Ranger" A-Pack. This effectively seperated sustaniment from fighting load. Water "was" fighting load to me.

My "ideal" was bleanding the old and the new. I had some small 1 liter Cambelbaks that could have been placed on the armor like the old canteens and then route the tubes either into one tube or two tubes. Sort of complicated, but it also meant if one bladder gave out I still had another. Scars from the issue bladder.

Put together with my current training rig this would give me four litters of water for an extended patrol, two on the body and two in the pack.

The frame project I e-mailed you about is to explore this ideal a little further. My aim is to have it work with Thomas's armor so that I can cinch up the waist belt on my hips, but under the armor. Rig out the pack on a clean back of the armor, with good load transfer to the hips. Who knows if it will work, but I'm going to play around with the concepts. The pack I discussed was just what I had on hand and not idea. Once the frame comes in maybe i'll give Thomas a call to discuss some more.

As usual I have ideals floating around, but need someone to make it so I know just how f^&$ up I am and can move on to the next bad ideal.

I still have one of those 1 liter bags, will need to see if I can find another if I keep picking at this. Since modern fighting means you are going to wear armor, how that load is transfered into the body is important. The pack has to be modular, but it also has to work in coordination with the armor to effectively transfer the load into the soldiers core. Hopefully it would result in a decrease in back injuries, meaning more troops on the ground and not nursing some injury.
quote:
2-3 days is not a long time, especially if you're keeping busy. Obviously, things like discomfort, sleep deprivation, reduced caloric intake will all take a toll on performance (particularly if it's physically demanding) but when it all comes down to it, none of those things will kill you in 72 hours and it's all a head game. Ammo, batteries and water are a different matter. Not being able to rely on a resupply for those critical items is not something I've ever had to experience (which is kind of an interesting topic in itself...)


I have thought about one of the mission-configured loadouts of the Rhodesian Light Infantry/Rhodesian African Rifles, when they were prosecuting their fight and had to have their sticks of four troopies spent a night or two out in the bush to conduct a stay-behind ambush. Light jungle bags were the order of the day, along with SOP-driven items that were based on their role of rifleman, MAG gunner, A-Gunner, or TL. They tailored their setup after years of fighting, but the advances were mostly in the area of comfort for the individual troopie. They commuted to work for the most part, but often stayed out to run any number of limited duration ops, and I think we are finally getting back to a similar standard with our ops in OEF. Those cats also rolled out sans armor, so the lessons might be apples and oranges unless one sits back and takes a critical look at their mission, the environment they worked in, and the ancillary equipment they had to operate.

We have a member of LF.net who has studied the history of personal fighting loads, with an interest in foreign forces. I think he was compiling an archive of observations, but for the life of me, I can't remember who that is. He'd probably be able to point out that a lot of things remain constant across conflicts, where strong, hard men are doing real lightfighter work.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

jcustisredux,

Excellent topic idea. Thanks for posting it sir, it's given me a lot to think about.

I used a Yote for a lot of the purposes described. Originally the other team leader in my squad asked me about a small pack that could hold water, some snivel, and a few other odds and ends. I suggested the Yote, and after seeing his, the light bulb went off and I ordered my own. They actually became pretty popular for us in the Tangi. The mesh beavertail pocket would hold a 7.62 ammo bag quite well (hell it'll hold my XL ACH). My only gripe would be how much the bladder reduced the size of the main compartment. Small bags like that work great for the purposes we're talking about in warmer weather, but the patrol bag we're talking about also has to be capable of doing the assault bag role in cold weather (we can talk Ranger roll a lot-but when it's below freezing, it may be time to upgrade sleep gear) without becoming too ungainly as a warm weather patrol pack. For me the combo of Yote and Kifaru Marauder worked exceedingly well for this. For anything not involving a multi day mission, the Marauder was too big in summer, but perfect for an overnight trip in winter.

Hopefully I'll have some more coherent thoughts after work.

LGOP: a small group of "pissed-off American paratroopers" who are well trained, armed to the teeth, and lack serious supervision. They collectively remember the commander's intent as, "March to the sound of guns, and kill anyone who isn't dressed like you ..."

After reading all this, I want to ditch my mini greyghost pack...it's nice because its so light and I don't notice it (currently holds water).

What do I really need for a day mission?

I always plan on being out overnight, so I bring some extra batteries and chem lights...but this doesnt need a pack. I could easily put that stuff in an extra pouch and go to a slick hydration carrier...

And then you already have panels like paracletes for the RAV. Why not develop smaller ones for the newer plate carriers that give the user the option of adding what he needs that day.

----

 

Ditch Medic

Joined: October 2009

Location: Washington State

I think some of our drama comes from a degradation in the troop-leading skills of mission prep. We know how to PCC/PCI the hell out of a load, but designing a loadout in the first place to fit the prospective fight, telling Joe to stick with it, and crushing nuts when the prescribed load is violated, is becoming something of a lost art. I say this because I have seen all sorts of gear bombs in all sorts of environments, and it's almost as if the small unit leaders said, Shit, if he can hump it, I don't care. I also think that when we look at mission planning, the fog of war and uncertainty drives us to simply pack too heavy, and not employ realistic logistical plans to support the guy doing the walking and the fighting. I know, transport might get sunk on the way to the shore, or break down, or blow a tire. That's fine...make redundant plans and get it fixed instead of stuffing your poor planning on my back. Design reliable water filtration and get away from risk aversion to let me live off the land. Worried about it being poisoned? Issue a test kit.

I refer folks back to the thread where we discussed loadout weight thresholds for approach (3rd line) and assault (2nd line) loads, relative to body weight and resultant performance factors. I'm kicking myself for not making it a favorites, but it may be a sticky somewhere. I need to dig it up. I also refer everyone back to that Army study of combat loads in Afghanistan, where I think I remember the loads being criticized as not properly tailored, stuck on kitchen sink planning factors, and simply poorly planned in concert with other logistical factors.

I'm not taking those threads and the weight considerations into account too much here, but I would be happy with systems that supported the following if the weight ratios did not get busted:

ASSAULT PACK:
-detachable straps and quick connects that allow it to mate directly to armor
-100 oz bladder
-NOD with xtra batts
-cleaning gear for primary weapon
-basic hygiene kit to brush the carpet off your teeth and shave (I'm not stuck on this though
-warming layer top (for a potential stay in a cold ambush site)
-wet Wx top (we have a decent top, but it could stand to be lighter and a better performer)
-ability to strap on a Ranger roll or jungle bag rolled in a bivvy (for use with the sleep shirt in a potential harbor site if the op somehow runs another 24 hours and the Wx dictates
-1 DOS chow, based off a caloric intake that someone thinks critically about, considering a burn rate that is in turn based off of weather, exertion rate, and mission load
-One of the following, but not two or more: 100 rounds 7.62mm/maybe 200 rounds 5.56mm / claymore complete / two extra smokes/two extra grenades / contents of a CLS bag (I'm not stuck on this, as I admit I'm not up to date on what primary components are a minimum requirement) / 2x PRC-152 batts (the radio needs to be on the body) or 1x 5590 equivalent / mission specific tool: BATS/HIIDE or camera or thermal observation device, etc. / small demolition load / leader's tool like an admin pouch with planning tools, notetaking gear, etc. / limited TSE equipment specific to that TSE member.

PATROL PACK:
-RAID, Eagle A-III, etc. 'Nuff said I think.

Remember guys, my frame of reference comes from being a guy who grew up with ALICE, and has seen every evolution since then. If I had my way, I would confine everyone's stitched gear to nothing larger than a 3-Day. I have used my RAID in sub-freezing temps south of Sinjar Mt., with my bivvy and green bag rolled up and strapped to one side, my inflatable mattress on the other, warming layer and wet Wx top inside, along with extra ammo and pyro, and leader tools. My water and other leader tools were in my Ambush IIRC. Granted, I didn't have to hoof my chow because it was stacked in and outside of the vehicle, but I could have managed to stuff enough chow in to survive for three days. Whenever I have rolled to the field in training with a full MOLLE or ILBE, I have barely touched 3/4 of the prescribed load of skivvies, spare blouse and trousers, full Goretex suit, poncho and liner, plus sleep system, and I'm talking about a lot of running around, STX lanes, dry and live-fire attacks. If I'm expected to maneuver a'la Falklands, against a near or peer force, figure out a way to support me so I don't need to carry the kitchen sink. Right now our large systems are built to the volumes of large bergens and the like, but our individual equipment has advanced so much in size and weight that we need to think hard about whether we even need large volume rucks in the line infantry anymore.

I do recognize, however, that the onset of marginal Wx conditions can put troops in a hype-out scenario quickly if they get wet and don't have something to warm them up with, so that is why I think the warming layer and wet Wx top are important, in most ranges of Wx beyond the dead of an Afghan summer in way south Helmand. I think they need to fit inside the pack.

We can, with some intestinal fortitude, stretch out our loadout to survive beyond a single day of ops/12+ hour patrol with a decent assault pack. Patrol packs should be reserved for anything 24-72 hours, like a security patrol with visits to multiple villages, long-duration OPs for surveillance purposes, etc. If the user is getting into the business of higher-end reconnaissance lasting 24-72 hrs, but has to hump related mission-specific equipment like imagery dissemination equipment, lots of batteries to support the VHF/UHF/HF radios and their redundant backups, he is probably already running a ruck procured through different channels, so the patrol pack would be out of its class in that role.

With a few substantive improvements and maybe slight volume reduction to our current Jansport model in usage with the Corps, we could have an effective assault pack, though I still admire the Yote in it's base configuration. I think we (at least the Marine Corps) need a better actual patrol pack more than we need a new ILBE/ruck equivalent. It's admirable to want to stick to light infantry roots, but I don't crystal-ball us humping 25 miles inland without access to a vehicle platform that will be carrying a bulk of chow and water, ammo resupply, and heavier equipment and weapons. Why do we need a ruck that allows us to carry 100 pounds on top of our 1st and 2nd lines? I don't think we fought like that in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam, so why are we so off the chart now?

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

quote:
I say this because I have seen all sorts of gear bombs in all sorts of environments, and it's almost as if the small unit leaders said, Shit, if he can hump it, I don't care.


I'm embarrassed to say that as a small unit leader, that was my take on the matter. Having more important things to worry about, I was pretty content to allow the Marines to carry what they wanted, the way they wanted as long as certain minimum standards were met and provided they could hump the load.

At one time, I was that guy, wanting to know why I had to use woodland SDS first generation MOLLE pouches when clearly better stuff was out there. I had a platoon sergeant who was adamant on the subject and his authority held until the lieutenant showed up with gucci gear...

Remember a time when we would be told which warming layer to wear, when and in which way? God help the suffering nonconformist in those days!

We have a much more permissive environment with regards to off the shelf gear and tailoring loads than we did pre-MOLLE. When the force went modular, it really threw gear standards out of whack. I have mixed feelings about this as someone who makes a living off the phenomenon. The topic merits a thread all it's own, but the genie is out of the bottle. Will be interesting to see how or if this changes when we settle back into a post war routine again.

Useful, objective standards are really difficult to determine with the volume of new gear and innovation coming out of the industry. And it's paying some pretty huge dividends in terms of what is available in quantity and quality pushing the state of the art, but the line difficult to define between what is useful, military grade kit and what was designed for hobbyists... I personally don't trust the military bureaucracy to be able to tell the difference... if they could, some of the junk sold in the PX would have never made it into the exchange system.

ALWAYS challenge authority.

I think you are spot on trying to size out options and needs for an unsupported 3 day vs. the "daypack" op . We are pretending like all ops are going to be well planned and well supplied, but that isn't true and should not be counted on. It was just over a year ago when some units were getting dumped into Logar for the MIA situation. The support side had its limits at that point and nobody could run to the trucks to get something because the trucks were in another province. Unfortunately too many of us have come to expect some sort of predictability and unlimited support in our current deployments. The 3-7 day patrol pack is something we should all wrap our heads around just for unplanned contingencies that could occur in a conflict. However, I also think we shouldn't limit ourselves and our equipment to current conflicts. What would a sustained all out war look like in a cold weather environment with a comparable force? What would your load carrying system be in that situation? Our military and society don't really embrace the all out war concept anymore, but there is a country that does and it has some damn cold mountain ranges.
That brings up another tangent on the whole discussion that is way beyond any pay grade I ever held: does logistics drive the way we fight or does the way we fight drive logistics? We all know the classic answer.

That's a big picture view, but the decisions do filter down to what makes it into what goes on your back (no matter what the size or form factor.) For example: could something like the MRE be made more efficient? Less packaging, smaller, better nutritional value? Wasn't there an initiative to do this earlier in the war? Is how much chow you carry limited by the weight and volume it takes up; could more calories be packed into a denser form? We've been doing this for a decade now so my guess would be if something better were available it would have come along already, no?

quote:
It was just over a year ago when some units were getting dumped into Logar for the MIA situation. The support side had its limits at that point and nobody could run to the trucks to get something because the trucks were in another province.


How did that work out logistically? Did it limit what those units were able to do or how long they were able to sustain themselves in the field?

ALWAYS challenge authority.

The expectation was 3 days unsupported dismount and then conditions permitting, resupply by speedballs. Imagine a unit with no water purification systems on hand. Tally up the weight of water, batteries, and ammo for those days and you get a picture. The area was not tranquil and there was no discretion on ammo. The only bright side was the introduction to 1st strike meals and the caffein gum. The other thing that blind sided some folks were the cold night rains in the dead of summer. There were rare but actual cases of trench foot and hypothermia. I heard a few of the joes wishing they had packs with frames because they had no time to arrange loads and they were carrying a lot of edges and corners (ammo and batteries). No real time for planning and tailoring your gear on personnel recovery. This was an unexpected contingency that we should always have in the back of our minds, because it could happen anywhere and anytime. I do embrace always having your own water purification and a wet weather jacket with you no matter what you think is in the mrap you left behind. That is less than a pound of heath insurance. With water purification and the right mind set it would be sustainable, but I'm not sure how some of the younger joes would of done if that lasted for weeks on end. It has been a long time since we have trained new troops with out the COP/FOB concept. There definitely would have to of been a DX system for trousers because of FRACU crotch blow out.
quote:
That brings up another tangent on the whole discussion that is way beyond any pay grade I ever held: does logistics drive the way we fight or does the way we fight drive logistics?


I'll see your tangent and raise you a tangent: How about the way we train others to fight, like the ANP. Those fuckers are out their riding around with no body armor in Ford ranger pickups with machine guns and we are training them to operate like us in MRAPS. The only things those guys got going for them is speed and stealth and we totally rob them of that advantage. They will never have route clearing, CAS, air evac,fire support, etc.... but we still train them with our doctirne, get real. I only saw one ETT running with Afghan's in their pickups and despite the risk I thought it was admirable, but then I think we have been hobbled by risk aversion.
quote:
The only things those guys got going for them is speed and stealth and we totally rob them of that advantage.


Another salient point.
We give 'em a little ECM coverage, right? Kidding.
I drove a civilian vehicle one time down an known IED alley. Oddly enough, I did have logistics on my mind... as in, if I ever have to do this again, I'm going to make damned sure I get issued a man diaper...

ALWAYS challenge authority.

Thinking out loud here. Do we expect we will ever fight without armor again? We have used it n most conflicts sInce Vietnam. If this is how we expect to fight then tailoring the load needs to start with the armor.

What that means is realistically the big bertha rucks of yore need to pass into the night. Thus I believe the way forward would be a ruck designed around a roughly 50-70lbs MAX load as a patrol pack. It be tailorable to be used by MTR men, RTOs, MG Gunners, ect through some sort of pouches. A "beaver tail" for shit like mortar rounds would be good (I think as I've never used one. Frame is a must, which works with a vest. The lower profile the better.

All that other crap we used to hump would go into a bag like the Eagle one I have and be carried forward by the "trains". If I could detach an even smaller rig to carry forward from the ORP with special equipment even better.
Then the trade off is in the JoeSnuffy factor and loading.

Whats the real load penalty? Strapping up mortarshell tubes in a beaver tail?

Then we can start talking COG issues, static and dynamic loads, moment arms etc.

******** EGG Sends *********

quote:
What would a sustained all out war look like in a cold weather environment with a comparable force? What would your load carrying system be in that situation? Our military and society don't really embrace the all out war concept anymore, but there is a country that does and it has some damn cold mountain ranges.


Although this is where it tends to get twisted and subject to bias, whims, and who shouts loudest in the conference room when the designs get cooked up, we have to prepare for the most likely contingencies, not the most dangerous.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

quote:
Originally posted by eggroll:
Then the trade off is in the JoeSnuffy factor and loading.

Whats the real load penalty? Strapping up mortarshell tubes in a beaver tail?

Then we can start talking COG issues, static and dynamic loads, moment arms etc.


My brain melted a little bit Egg. Care to elaborate a bit on those terms. Load penalty? Confused

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Egg,

I have to much distance now to nail down a lot of details. I know what I wish I had had/done, but the level of enablers has gone up so much it boggles the mind what a PL/PSG has to balance now in the current fight. Place them in an ambiguous new AOR and if the volume is there they will fill the cubes, and damn the weight.

For one LMTV based OP we followed the BN packing list, some of the terms BN used meant something different to us, winter boots meant "Rockies" to us, but Gortex Desert boots to the CSM. Never mind most of the company didn't have Gortex desert boots, myself included. THEN we added MTR rounds, ect for what was supposed to be a two weekoperation at "8,000" feet with average tempatures in the 30's.

The rucks SHOULD have been segregated into a follow on sling load, but we were sent out with them vs just A- Packs.

How the load is tailored starts with having a realistic support plan in place which will push equipment forward as required. I can live with less on my back if I know I will be resupplied as needed.

Back of the napkin layout of the ruck:

Frame for referance sake based on a a MR NICE or Downeast 1609 "like" frame.

Bottom to top lay out:
1. "Mission Module" similure in size to the TT First Responder bag or Ammo Bag Detachable to use as a "Butt Pack" docked on the back of the armor for Actions on the OBJ. This pouch might not issued as part of the ruck as Differant Specdial Teams would need specific pouches, only the CUBE would have a base line.
2. Approch Pack. Pack has PALS on the sides for varoius special equipment. A "Beaver Tail" on the back for bulky itmes like MTR, 84mm, M-72 rounds, tripods, base plates, ect. Out side of beaver tail has row of PALS for attaching a "Bivy" sack pouch and an ADMIN Pouch. No more.
3. Inside removable pouch for a radio that can be docked into the back of the armor. Again referancing TT like the ASIP Radio Pouch
3. Bag sized at about the size need to put the packing list you have posted above for the A-Pack, Minus the Ranger Roll which is mounted on the outside.

Any thing above that load is loaded to bring foward on call in a bag like the Eagle bag I have, seems its no longer made, so call it the TT Enhanced Duffle bag. Say a platoons worth in the back of an M-1101 Trailer or a Sling Load. Also in the trailer the Platoons could have special Equipment Sets like Defence Kits with Pioneer tools, the bulk of their TWS, ect.

Like I said back of the napkin from a retired guy, so take the concepts for what they are worth. If anyone uses them, please send me a pack in Coyote I already have the DownEast frame on the way.
quote:
That's a big picture view, but the decisions do filter down to what makes it into what goes on your back (no matter what the size or form factor.) For example: could something like the MRE be made more efficient? Less packaging, smaller, better nutritional value? Wasn't there an initiative to do this earlier in the war? Is how much chow you carry limited by the weight and volume it takes up; could more calories be packed into a denser form? We've been doing this for a decade now so my guess would be if something better were available it would have come along already, no?


I don't have a link or a pic, but I'm about dead certain that if we really wanted it, we could have a bar the size of a stick of butter that could last us all day, or a tube about the size of a tube of toothpaste that could squeeze out enough calories to sustain us for a day.

Does it taste good or have a consistency better than cardboard or greasy worm meal? Frack no, but it would get the job done. It doesn't seem that we design our field rats with light loads and combat in mind as much as we worry about making it taste good and look appealing so troops eat the full meal and don't become a casualty for not eating and hydrating right. What is in the realm of the possible is balanced against the reality that REMFs would have to eat it too, so you can imagine there are higher ups in those elements who aren't trying to hear that noise.

I think of the lift we could save with a smaller, lighter ration, but it would cause a drop in morale that would have to be considered, even among some of the line infantry. The obvious is sometimes too hard to do.

I haven't had a peek at nutritional sustainment systems that the higher Tier guys employ when they roll out. Does anyone recall say, for example, the packing list on RED WING, or anything about what was carried onto Takur Ghar?

This is an important tangent to consider. To get better, we have to change the way we do a LOT of things right now.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

quote:
Originally posted by jcustisredux:
quote:
Originally posted by eggroll:
Then the trade off is in the JoeSnuffy factor and loading.

Whats the real load penalty? Strapping up mortarshell tubes in a beaver tail?

Then we can start talking COG issues, static and dynamic loads, moment arms etc.


My brain melted a little bit Egg. Care to elaborate a bit on those terms. Load penalty? Confused


...........................

no problem...

COG - center of gravity

static and dynamic loads - Think "Sloshing" or uncompressed/unstabilized weight.

moment arms - distance from the CoG where at the end of which is the load center


Remember reading in your boy scout manual or similar document about how to pack your pack? Keep the HEAVIEST items right up against your back, lightest towards bottom and medium weight towards top of the pack?

thats all related to how the weight loads get distributed on the user

Take Snuffy standing at attention with just clothing and no equipment on. His center of gravity would be an imaginary point confined to a "volume" centered right behind his navel about 3 inches. ( Ideally you would not want to alter this location significantly as this represents his CoG for optimal performance read: unhindered)

Add Armor setup and you have likely raised his CoG up several inches due to change in "weight load" but is very likely still in the same vertical axis, add head gear and you alter this even more.

... now add a Pack // this pack laden with XXX weight has its own CoG

Snuffy with this pack now experiences an horizontal change in the overall CoG location.. which is very likely REARward, so now Snuffy has to fight this altered CoG, so add front "weight" to offset the pack, thus bringing the CoG forward again.

So far we've talked about the STATIC load, thus Snuffy standing still

Consider now Dynamic Load, or movement impact, this would be where loads are concentrated. Historically, its been Snuffys shoulders that bore this, that Packs CoG will be concentrated though those two straps, consider the weight of the pack... now impart a movement of that pack beyond normal range of motion and that works to "magnify" the felt stress at the shoulders...

now lets say we add a mass of 10 lbs to represent 3 x tootsie rolls on the exterior of this pack... this mass is say 6" from the packs center of gravity, thus even further back from the pack-snuffy CoG, this just adds additional weight penalty by means of allowing this mass to move independently of snuffy's movement.

Taking a step up terrain and having your mortars shells move in the opposite direction, adds additional unwarranted stress... the further out this additional mass lies, the greater the impact... 10 lbs x 6" out from pack CoG = moment arm of 60 lb-inches, but when worn to snuffy, this may translate out to 90-120 lbs inches (due to "system" considerations).. again doesnt sound like alot, but when you consider this moves each time you take a step... it matters.. now if you compress/stabilize the load, your are reducing the moment arm distance from the CoG, thus reducing your felt loading.

Weight penalty is the amount of weight that you lose carrying ability due to environmental factors

this topic can REALLY end up being that situation where HS calculus, geometry and physics comes in REALLY handy. Wink

******** EGG Sends *********

J

Regarding foodstuffs/caloric content/nutritional impacts... this is a never-ending quest to find that magic gumball sized "Wonka peanut butter"

I would venture to say that civilian camping foodstuff vendors really are leading the pack in content, where the Natick labs focus on in the compression of said articles into the smallest form factor possible.

Take look at the "FIRST STRIKE RATION" for content and you'd be surprised at what they packed in there

******** EGG Sends *********

No worries Egg. Thanks for breaking it out that way. Roger on what you are saying with the doctrinal terms. I've always known it as keep the load as close to your body as possible, and try to spread it out along your body, rather than let it sit as one large chunk of weight that hangs out far from your spine.

As I look back at that truism, it becomes more obvious how we shifted to the ILBE and that type of pack profile.

quote:
Take look at the "FIRST STRIKE RATION" for content and you'd be surprised at what they packed in there


Yeah, they are good. I've lived off of them for a few stretches of 5-7 days at a time. I'd almost forgotten about them when I was mentioning a DOS of chow and the weight of equivalent MREs. I can't recall the calorie count of some of the components though. You could for sure get away with a slimmed-down FSR for a lot of scenarios I think we are talking about in terms of Assault packs and 3-day bags.

During an op around the Fishhook area of the Helmand, I rolled out with everything I needed, including IIRC two FSRs, in my RAID. Granted, a lot of stuff was strapped to the outside, but I had a little shelter, clothing, spare batts, some xtra ammo/pyro. Mission-essential tools were in my Ambush and on my Down Range Gear-modded chest rig.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

Anyone used the MR Crew Cab? Closest thing I can think of to something that collapse's down to day pack size and expands up to ruck size with ease. Kinda wishing I'd gotten that instead of the SATL, may still happen, who knows.

MR CrewCab

Dude carrying a Robot on patrol in the main pocket.


The Advantage of being able to carry oddball objects such as this guys's doing. Only disadvantage I see is the lack of MOLLE on some of the parts. Betting I could get Chris to remedy that.

Cheers, Matt

"It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task."    Publius Vergilius Maro, The Aeneid

<Thread diversion>

You know you're going to get one.
When you rotate back home, I'm calling dibs on whatever you post on the Swap Meet.
You've got more cool guy gear than anyone I know...

<Back to pack discussion>

ALWAYS challenge authority.

Is there any merit to the BFG Overlord filling the "patrol" pack function, with a BFG Micro piggybacked into the beavertail to fill the "assault" pack function?

What about an aftermarket beavertail that would attach to most 3 day packs and allow a Micro to fit on there in that manner?
---------
"I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food." -- Ron Fucking Swanson
I'd say a reasonably stowable beavertail needs to be part of the standard from here on out for sure, for both assault and patrol packs.

It is better that they do it imperfectly than that you do it perfectly. For it is their war and their country and your time here is limited.

 

                                                                                                                        —T. E. Lawrence

 

 

POSREP: UAE

speaking on food being carried, we used the LRP meals in '08 instead of MREs. All we had to do was get with the army chowhall guy and he'd order us a pallet or two. They packed down super small and tasted a shitload better.

----

 

Ditch Medic

Joined: October 2009

Location: Washington State

Mountain House PRO PAK meals then, commercial label version of the MCW/LRP ration.. single serving dehydrated meals at about 4 ozs each

difference is the forming into a cube shape and "foldable" outer covering to allow for tighter packing

******** EGG Sends *********

quote:
Originally posted by Virgil:
Anyone used the MR Crew Cab? Closest thing I can think of to something that collapse's down to day pack size and expands up to ruck size with ease. Kinda wishing I'd gotten that instead of the SATL, may still happen, who knows.


I've been following this thread and glancing at my Crew Cab sitting in the corner, thinking it sounds a lot like what you guys are looking for.
Well speak up man! Personally, I used the SATL for long operations, and MR 3 day pack for shorter operations.

If I was just going out to do something with line squads for the day, typically I would just throw a tiny osprey mountain climbing pack that I spray painted into the back of someones truck.

I had a ton of stuff that I was always carrying (try building a good urban hide site out of what you can stuff into a "day pack" haha) which is why the big bags were necessary. Would've been nice to just have one bag that I could've expanded as I needed.
________________________________ Do not pray for lighter loads; strive for stronger backs.
I wouldn't want the crew cab as my only pack. The NICE frame is BIG.

I think it should be broken down into a few packs, the yote size hydro carrier with a little cargo capacity

A larger 3 daypack, that can hold: bivy, green bag/poncho liner, a skivy roll or two, at least 3 field stripped MREs, at least 3 liters of water(Or we start learning how to find, filter, and purify water) a bandoleer or two, batteries, gore Tex top.

And then the Ruck. Should be expandable to hold a whole slew of crap if need be, and compress into a relatively small pack( I'm thinking Kifaru ZXR)

And all 3 should be fully modular, IE you can add the hydro carrier to the 3day, and the 3 day to the ruck. And all of them are able to accept other pouches for mission essentials.

That's what I think anyways. I also think we almost always bring too much extraneous crap with us.

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