CF Getting Better Load Carrying Equipment
Here’s what Canadian soldiers have been using to carry ammunition, personal equipment and the like in Afghanistan (photo courtesy of CF) – a tactical vest, or TV:
They’re far from perfect, so the CF tested some other rigs to do the job:
Almost from its inception the currently issued Tactical Vest (TV) was outdated while most of the other components of CTS were state of the art. It featured fixed pockets and limited space for ammunition. In order to improve the ability of the individual soldier to reconfigure his vest based on role as well as increase carrying capacity 12 commercial Modular Fighting Rigs were evaluated at the Regimental Armory in Gatineau Quebec.
Now, under the title “Modular Fighting Rigs,” we see they’re down to three different combinations of gear, via MERX:
The department of National Defence has a requirement for three (3) different systems of modular fighting rigs with components and specialized pouches. The systems have to be military off the shelf or commercial off the shelf….
The bid document (highlights here) goes into more detail about what the TV’s problems were:
Recent operational experience has generated many observations concerning the inadequacy of the TV. The complaints have centered on the inability of the infantry soldier to configure pouches and pockets, and to personalize for ease of use for assigned tasks/roles (e.g. C7 M-203 gunner; C-9 gunner, etc) and on the capacity of the pouches.
Specifically, the TV has the following deficiencies:
- It does not provide soldiers the ability to carry the required amount of mission specific ammunition, in order to conduct mission specific tasks.
- It does not provide the modularity that soldiers require in order to prepare their equipment for mission specific tasks.
- It does not provide a platform that facilitates easy access to ammunition.
Plain English: It couldn’t carry enough, it wasn’t flexible enough to switch/swap pouches according to the job to be done, and it made ammo hard to reach.
The bid document lays out what pouches and straps and things each rig should have, depending on the job the soldier in question is doing (commander, marksman, rifleman, grenadier, etc.) – if you’re interested in exactly who gets what bits, you can download that section (~60 page PDF) here or check Milnet.ca here.
If all goes according to plan, the new systems (between about 1,600 and 1,800 of each of the three combinations requested) should be available soon – from the online MERX post:
23 Dec 09: One more try