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The Overburdened Infantry Soldier

daftandbarmy

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ballz said:
I'll give him that frag/plates/etc didn't slow him down, he was a pretty athletic guy and probably more tough than brain. He was only there for the first day and then legitimately had to fly out the next morning with the CSM for some Bde thing. It was all section training so none of the WOs and up were doing tasks, just managing the exercise and running the training. Myself and the Coy 2IC were running the dry exercise / live-fire range which were happening concurrently after that, but we weren't going to go back on what he directed just because he was no longer around.... I was, and still am, just pissed with anybody that thinks that "Dress" is in your orders to reiterate to you than you are wearing the same thing you always do no matter how stupid, as opposed to being derived from any actual thought towards the mission ahead.

Typical  ::)

Not that it is a direct comparison but, in NI, we wore frag vests in urban areas and ditched them in the countryside. In urban areas, because we were so close to various kinds of support, we could carry minimal other gear/ ammo. This meant we were fast and nimble enough to chase miscreants down and arrest them in the cities, even while wearing body armour, and we had far more endurance in the countryside because we could swap armour for food and ammo.



 

Haligonian

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ballz said:
Consider your equipment needs in your estimate process to ensure they are suitable for the mission? What a novel idea...

We did a week-long level 2 exercise in October 2016 in which each section had to do their level 2 live-fire by day and night and also spend 3 days on an OP. Those was the Sect Comd's two missions. That was a long time on the OP but I sold everyone on the idea that practicing for 3 days, "doing it right," would ensure far more was learned and retained than our typical one-hour lecture once per year.

The Sect Comd's were all planning to adjust their dress for the given task of an OP with no resupply for 72 hours.... the OC was in disbelief and became adamant that everyone wore frag vest / plates for the entire thing because "we're a rifle company, not a recce platoon."  :facepalm:

daftandbarmy said:
Let me guess....

Meanwhile, he wasn't doing what you were doing, right? ;)

ballz said:
I'll give him that frag/plates/etc didn't slow him down, he was a pretty athletic guy and probably more tough than brain. He was only there for the first day and then legitimately had to fly out the next morning with the CSM for some Bde thing. It was all section training so none of the WOs and up were doing tasks, just managing the exercise and running the training. Myself and the Coy 2IC were running the dry exercise / live-fire range which were happening concurrently after that, but we weren't going to go back on what he directed just because he was no longer around.... I was, and still am, just pissed with anybody that thinks that "Dress" is in your orders to reiterate to you than you are wearing the same thing you always do no matter how stupid, as opposed to being derived from any actual thought towards the mission ahead.

I just noted this thread and it's quite timely.  My Coy is about to step off on a three day patrol which includes an airmobile insert and two pl raids and a coy raid and we are pretty heavily burdened.  I'm wearing just over 100 pounds of kit (radio (522), tac vest, helmet, frag with plates, water, 3 x IMPs, sleeping bag, rain gear, puffy, front line ammo).  Prior to rehearsals I considered load carriage and made the decision that during the infil soldiers could put their frag and helmet in their ruck.  Prior to actions on the obj for pl and coy raids we'll don helmets and frag at the long halt prior to occupying the ORV. 

During rehearsals my decision has been validated.  In the case of those of us with radios and sp wpns we are weighing well over the suggested carried weight to body weight ratio and having the frag with plates on is pretty rough.  When I say pretty rough I don't just mean uncomfortable, but uncomfortable to the point where you start focusing on that vice what you're supposed to be doing.

I naturally had one naysayer who is not on the patrol tell me that we should be sporting PPE at all times simply due to the fact that we are a rifle coy and not recce or snipers.
 

GAP

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As opposed to...............
 

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ballz

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Haligonian said:
I naturally had one naysayer who is not on the patrol tell me that we should be sporting PPE at all times simply due to the fact that we are a rifle coy and not recce or snipers.

Haligonian to Ballz, on leaving the infantry: "Aren't you going to miss all this?"

Not yet... :cheers:
 

Jarnhamar

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I seen (saw?) some soldiers marching yesterday doing what I'm guessing is the new combat force test.  They had issued small packs attached to 64 pattern jump frame (like in Gaps pic).  I still can't quite understand what was going on there.
 

medicineman

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Jarnhamar said:
I seen (saw?) some soldiers marching yesterday doing what I'm guessing is the new combat force test.  They had issued small packs attached to 64 pattern jump frame (like in Gaps pic).  I still can't quite understand what was going on there.

Nijmegen team?
 

RocketRichard

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Jarnhamar said:
I seen (saw?) some soldiers marching yesterday doing what I'm guessing is the new combat force test.  They had issued small packs attached to 64 pattern jump frame (like in Gaps pic).  I still can't quite understand what was going on there.
Where was that at?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dapaterson

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If you're getting LDA, you're supposed to be doing Combat FORCE annually.  FFO + a 10kg small pack or a 5km march in 50-60 minutes, then a five minute cool down when you ditch the small pack.  Then you do all the FORCE events.  None are individually timed, but you have to complete them all within a specified window of time.

If you're in a field force unit getting LDA and not doing Combat FORCE at least once a year, your CoC isn't doing their job.
 

daftandbarmy

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The Overweight Infantryman

The Army field manual on foot marches, FM 21-18, which has not been updated since 1990, does not take into account individual body weight. It prescribes a fighting load of no more than 48 pounds and an approach march load of 72 pounds. There is, however, a caveat to those weights. The manual states, “The primary consideration is not how much a soldier can carry, but how much he can carry without impaired combat effectiveness—mentally or physically.” This essentially bases a determination about the amount carried on individual capabilities.

Soldiers today are consistently carrying loads into combat that weigh 70–100 pounds more than what Marshall or the Army field manual prescribes. This over-burdening has significantly hindered soldiers’ and Marines’ ability to effectively maneuver on the battlefield. So how do we get soldier loads closer to these prescribed weights?

https://mwi.usma.edu/the-overweight-infantryman/
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=daftandbarmy]

So how do we get soldier loads closer to these prescribed weights?

[/quote]

1. Aftermarket kit
2. Make kitlists come from the bottom and not the top.
 

MJP

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Jarnhamar said:
2. Make kitlists come from the bottom and not the top.

Troops can be dumb and carry dumb things.  Can't fix the kit weight gap fast (ie use new tech in short timeframe) so how about a unit make a kitlist that makes sense and allows for some variability due to role/posn and leaders lead and do inspections and ruthlessly culls kit not required. 
 

OldSolduer

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Jarnhamar said:
1. Aftermarket kit
2. Make kitlists come from the bottom and not the top.

Good start, and the priority should be ammo, water, rations. Just my thoughts.

MJP has hit the nail on the head. iPods aren’t required on ex.
 

daftandbarmy

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MJP said:
Troops can be dumb and carry dumb things.  Can't fix the kit weight gap fast (ie use new tech in short timeframe) so how about a unit make a kitlist that makes sense and allows for some variability due to role/posn and leaders lead and do inspections and ruthlessly culls kit not required.

Yup. Inspections are important but, too often, seem to be neglected. That, and we tend to ammo/ kit up as if we are all SOF Teams operating 100 miles away from B Ech for weeks on end.

One (small-ish) first aid kit per platoon, one/ two compasses per section, one litre of water per man, 1 x 50 rd belt of 7.62 per man.... sharing the load like that, and having an efficient resupply system, can really help save a lot in the long run.

 
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