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  • Newly issued gear

    I got issued all new equipment from Uncle Sugar last month. Hooray!

    The new MOLLE gear is OK, but really, I like the ALICE gear and know how to use it and have it set up just like I want it. That took me alot of years and literally hundreds (probably thousands) of miles of ruck marches, runs, tactical movements, and training missions.

    I like my gear and kept it, turning back in the stuff they gave me when I first joined my unit years ago but never used.

    The problem with new gear is that it takes time to figure out how to optimize it to you and develop confidence in it.

    I had a few hours and it wasn't enough.

    The RFI (still not 100% sure what that accronym means) gear has straps hanging from it all over the place and I kept getting it snagged on stuff.

    I tripped over the duffle bags of extra junk that I had to hang onto next to my rack in the barracks too many times to count.

    I had to bring all this stuff that I didn't want (like knee and elbow pads) and it was hot, uncomfortable and made it harder to move.

    What's the point? Well I knew this already, but I want to point out to everyone that you need to actually get out with your gear in a variety of situations and do stuff with it to work out the bugs. It's not enough to just wear it to the range when you go shooting. You need to try driving your truck/ATV while wearing it and practice getting your ruck and weapon in and out of your vehicle in a hurry. You need to spend time tweaking your gear by making adjustments and taping everything in place. That means bringing 550 cord, a lighter/matches, and electrical tape out to the field with you. It means paying attention to how other guys have their gear set up, trying it, and seeing if it works for you.

  • #2
    Re: Newly issued gear

    You will eventually find yourself liking the new stuff, unless maybe you were one of those guys who really liked to take some small bolt cutters and pliers to remove all of the metal from your Alice gear and replace it with green duct tape, paracord and zip ties then carry the minimum stuff you can get away with. You can't make the new stuff quite as light as that "stripped" ALICE gear, but you will find that once you get it configured, it is more ergonomic.

    What are you doing for armor? Most of the new stuff just attaches to the armor and then its done. I had not been using an Alice pack for actual ruck marches since some time in the mid-1990s when I started using a fitted civilian pack with a camo cover. Later on I got a CFP-90 that was pretty close in configuration to my civvy pack when the Plt Sgt was bitching more than usual about being "uniform".
    Life, Liberty and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

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    • #3
      Re: Newly issued gear

      I'm not completely sure what kind of armor I'll get. We were getting IBAs with plates handed to us at the range and certain training events, then we'd turn it back in after wewere done with it.

      I don't think I'll get all of my actual gear till we're at Ft Hood.

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      • #4
        Re: Newly issued gear

        Oh, yeah, that presents a problem when you can't set your armor up right because you have to keep handing it off. That means you have to put all of your stuff on an overvest, which adds more weight and bulk to the whole system. The HSLD way to get things done is that shirt which is camo on the sleeves and a thin fleece/spandex type stuff on the body, then everything attached direct to the armor. The tricky thing on all of that is your belt line since the new armor hangs a bit below the belt line, and if you put stuff on your trouser belt, you need some sort of drop leg extension to be able to reach the stuff.

        A few holsters have an extra long drop extension so you can attache the drop leg holster to your armor, but I personally never liked that configuration. I figured that if my unit ever did issue me a sidearm, I would have on me all of the time, even though my main weapon (usually something bigger than a regular rifle) was mounted on a pintle somewhere. You wear a MOLLE panel of some sort on your other leg with the bare essential stuff that you used to have attached to your trouser belt, and then most of the serious fighting knives now come with drop leg sheaths designed to get below the edge of the body armor, or the point that secures the knife to the sheath is mounted closer to the hilt, to allow the handle to ride outside the armor. I saved weight on that by just carrying a larger than average folder and if I were still in the NG or heading over for some security work, I would probably consider getting a couple of the larger Cold Steel folders and not even take a private purchase fixed blade knife with me, or at the most the old K-bar.
        Last edited by RT; November 19th, 2009, 03:34.
        Life, Liberty and the pursuit of those who threaten them.

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        • #5
          Re: Newly issued gear

          it's complicated by the nut guard and collar attatchments. Thse things seem to always be in the way.

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          • #6
            Re: Newly issued gear

            You'll probably be getting the IOTV. It goes over the head instead of opening in the front. It also has the side plates. And the neck and throat guards are built in, also. It's a pain to put on, but I think it's more comfortable than the old IBA.

            Our leadership decided that all of our gear should be 100% uniform, every pouch in the same place, etc. So forget about making things comfortable or putting something where you know you can reach it. Hopefully your leadership has more sense than that.

            The best thing we got issued was probably the little, um, wussy pads (use your imagination)...little foam pads that go in the elbow and knee pockets on the FRACUs.

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            • #7
              Re: Newly issued gear

              I think, at least for me, one of the problems with MOLLE gear is that you always keep tweaking with it, and It's hard to settle to a good configuration, plus removing and attaching the pouches is really a pain in the ass, especially with longer pouches.
              Also it's easy to get carried away with pouches, you can end up attaching layers and layers of pouches you don't really need, or utility pouches that have too many internal compartments that just makes your gear less organized (now where did I put those...)
              But, this is probably more of a problem for civilians like me than professional soldiers, whom are more task oriented, and actually HAVE a task
              "Not all of them are terrorists"..."No, not all of them, but most of them are, and all it takes is most of them." -Eric Cartman

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