Over the years the United States Military has utilized all sorts of back packs. Up until the Gulf War in 1991, our military equipment was sub standard to include our back packs. A military that settles for the cheaper gear and equipment is doomed to misery and failure. A soldiers back pack is his home. Everything that you have is in your back pack. Before the M.O.L.L.E. ( Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) System, the U.S. soldier used the Large A.L.I.C.E. ruck. The Alice ruck sacks were horrible. After marching over ten miles with a combat load, they became very uncomfortable. The design was a bad one. Besides being a bad design, there is not much room in them. To top it off, these Alice packs were not water resistant at all. I can remember several miserable, wet, cold field problems and missions.
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Someone figured out that our gear was sub standard just prior to the war in Iraq. I never could figure out why the military will not hesitate to send a soldier to schools that cost them tens of thousands of dollars each, but failed to properly equip them. The only units that have always had what they needed was the Special Operations units. That is, up until the United States was attacked on September 11th, 2001. Someone, somewhere dealt with this very serious issue before and during our deployment to the Persian gulf and Afghanistan. This new program call R.F.I. ( Rapid Fielding Initiative) was hastily initiated. This was one of the smartest things that the military has done in years. This equipment is invaluable in a combat zone. The new M.O.L.L.E. ( Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) is a part of the soldiers issue from the R.F.I. Station. It is an addition to your basic C.I.F. issue.
A Brief Overview of R.F.I. From The Armys Web Site
The Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) provides Soldiers with the finest state-of-the-art individual and small unit equipment to enhance their lethality, mobility, and survivability on the battlefield. The RFI program enhances our fighting forces? Capabilities in the daily performance of their missions, provides an equitable distribution of capabilities across our force, and modernizes our Soldiers in a systematic and integrated manner according to the principles of the Soldier-as-a-System philosophy.
Rapid Fielding Initiative
~ Personal Clothing
~ Ballistics and Personal Protection
~ Chemical Gear
Constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura and regular nylon
External pack frame
Shoulder strap assembly with quick release mechanism
Removable waist pack
Main ruck sack (3000 cubic inches)
Assault pack (500 cubic inches)
Sleep system carrier (designed for the modular sleep system)
Two sustainment pouches
One fighting load carrier
Three 30 round double magazine pouches
Two grenade pouches
Two 1QT general purpose pouches
Comes in Desert or Woodland camouflage
Weight: 23 LBS
The M.O.L.L.E. ( Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) system is a great set up. It is made with very high quality 1000 Denier Cordura and nylon material. The stitching is well done and very strong. I never had or even seen any seams come apart on any part of the MOLLY system during my deployments. The MOLLY is very large. Soldiers used to complain because they didnt have enough room in the old ALICE packs for the gear that they required. Now they complain because they have to carry too much gear and it all fits in the MOLLY system. I agree that some units have their soldiers packing entirely too much crap in their MOLLY systems. A soldier packing his basic combat load, weapon, body Armour, Kevlar helmet, sleeping system and other essentials in their MOLLY system can very quickly be carrying 180 LBS. Leave it to the military to go from one extreme, to the other.
Another good thing about this new MOLLY system is how comfortable it is. This pack has an external frame is comparable to any large commercial back-pack. You can pack a heavy load with this system and stay comfortable. There is a chest strap that connect the shoulder straps, this keeps them from digging into your shoulders under heavy loads. The padding in the shoulder straps is sufficient and long lasting. There is also quick releases for your adjustable shoulder straps. I like this for packing a heavy load. You can pop your quick releases and simply let your pack down. Another very handy feature with this system is the two pack set up. You have the main, large 3000 cubic inch pack for the majority of your gear and a smaller pack that attaches to the back/top of the main pack. Soldiers call the smaller pack, an assault pack. The assault pack what we carried on our daily patrols. The assault pack is 500 cubic inches and works great. I would carry extra ammunition, flares, grenades, batteries, Night Vision Goggles, a GPS, snivel gear and some 550 cord.
There is a lot of room in these smaller packs if you pack right and tight. Furthermore, the pack comes with several side mounted pouches, these pouches can be clipped on to carry even more supplies. These pouches are about 12 inches deep 6X6 wide. It also comes with a sleep system carrier, where you can store your sleeping bag. This carrier is set up to be easily attached to the bottom of the Back pack. In addition it comes with a waist and butt pack. Finally, it comes with a VHS tape to assist you in assembly. This system can be set up for a variety of uses. Overall, I would highly recommend this back pack. It is very durable, water resistant, well built, comfortable and very large. This is an ideal pack for the hunter or someone who packs into a deep wilderness for days at a time. This would not be the pack for a climber or day hiker. I give the M.O.L.L.E. ( Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment) System, five of five star rating!
Thanks for the read,
© Joe McMaster
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