Fighting Light.. what is the problem?

Some blokes actually revelled in it. I never understood the pissing contest that was 'who can carry the heaviest webbing'.

At 1:28'ish - "I want you to make sure each round of ammo is counted and returned in the same way it was received"

That bit always reminds me of an Active Edge parade, and kit inspection, I witnessed in Bracht at dark o'clock one morning. Fortunately I was only a spectator and able to raise my eyebrows at the silly behaviour of some of the seniors.

 
That’s good to hear (the first bit, I meant!) Any discussion on this subject generally leads me to 2 points:

1. The sad reality is that, given the option, any credible risk assessment will usually go out of the window and blokes will do what is most comfortable, dressing their rationale up as a ‘need for mobility’.

2. Same people are never the ones who have to look a mother in the face and tell her her son would probably have lived if he’d had his body armour on.

Different role. Stumpy wasn't expected to go trotting around the shateen at speed chasing daleks. For his role I'd have been operating with all the armour I could find and poking the thing with barbecue tongs.

For those operating as mobile patrol infantry on foot, you only have what you can carry. Worth deciding if you need to be fast and light or slow and heavy. Armour or food. If you have good logs to cover your arse, a bit of armour may be the way to go with enough grub for an overnight and maybe a bag of gorp to nibble on to keep energy levels high. If you have to be self sufficient over a long period, ammo and food might be a better option, with light armour, Kevlar and a light plate for spalling.

No idea what the philosophy is these days, but would battle jackets be worth the trouble? Maybe oversized to fit over plate carriers with a single point release to ditch the lot if required.

P83_Chest_Rig_Battle_Jacket_Bundle_2021_2048x.jpg


Chest rig as a lightweight option operating from a battle taxi.
 
I ponder over many of the photos I see from WW2, in the realisation firstly that these lads were in for the long haul, they were on the advance over a period of months, carrying pretty much everything they needed or scrounging it from elsewhere along the way. Secondly that we see plenty of photos of these boys in combat carrying not a lot at all, certainly not bumbling around with daysacks full of kit or pouches full of jetboils… so my conclusion on both is that this must be down to the logistics train that supported them in battle meaning that if they needed more ammo etc, it was always following on close behind.
Plenty of pics from late WW2 of Brit guys cutting about carrying just a rifle and a cloth bandoleer of 50 rounds. Not even a waterbottle. You see footage of guys in Malaya post-war doing the same thing.
 
But yeah, there's a difference between that and "you need to be able to survive and fight for 24-48 hrs on what's in your beltkit" that seems to have been the basis of more recent doctrine.
 

itchy300

Old-Salt
We have the kit just not the mindset.

I've got a 'shooters' belt and a proper set of webbing plus virtus vest (which we'll always have to wear but can be scaled up/down if people grow a pair) and a proper day sack aswell as a jack sack. Depending on the nature of the exercise I pack accordingly, It's not exactly rocket science.

Where we do get it wrong is the institutional momentum of carrying everything just in case. I think things are changing slowly as afgan veterans are making their way up the chain. What also helps is that virtus with a shooters belt and Glock makes even the most rotund messtin repairman look warry and if it looks cool people will do it
 
One marvelous piece of kit you have now is the Goretex bivvy bag. In most situations I would suggest that is part of belt-order, not left in the main pack with the sleeping bag. Add a space blanket for where it is cold at night.
A very small weight addition - some shelter from wind, rain, cold when situation doesn't go as planned.
 
A point made by Project PAYNE: WW2 troops trusted the G4 train. Those conditioned by CORPORATE didn’t.

Because there was usually enough organic support to bring up the kit? As well as battalion level resources like the Carrier platoon (~13 carriers), each company had a few trucks to its name?



Also, as I've been reading with interest, but I don't know much about the leg stuff, I've seen a lot of talk body armour, and protection levels. Well can I interject with an interesting idea from ye olde days? Just to see if it shakes up the protection argument?

I give you the MRC body armour:
mrc-armour-montage.jpg


Made from the same class of protection as the helmet (so thin armour steel), it weighed in at about 3.5lbs. The background and concept is the interesting bit.
When trying to work out how to protect an infantry man it was quickly realised that high-velocity stuff, like full calibre rifle bullets and shrapnel were going to get through the armour no matter what. You could make it bullet proof but the weight would be huge and limit mobility.
Thus the idea was forwarded, why not concentrate on lower velocity threats? it was quickly worked out where a low velocity threat impacting would kill a man, and the armour designed to protect those zones. This armour would stop pistol and SMG bullet hits.
I guess the idea was keeping a person alive, rather than making him immune to all incoming hazards.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I ponder over many of the photos I see from WW2, in the realisation firstly that these lads were in for the long haul, they were on the advance over a period of months, carrying pretty much everything they needed or scrounging it from elsewhere along the way. Secondly that we see plenty of photos of these boys in combat carrying not a lot at all, certainly not bumbling around with daysacks full of kit or pouches full of jetboils… so my conclusion on both is that this must be down to the logistics train that supported them in battle meaning that if they needed more ammo etc, it was always following on close behind.
A point made by Project PAYNE: WW2 troops trusted the G4 train. Those conditioned by CORPORATE didn’t.
Unfortunately, logistics is another area where the army has let things slide.

A still-serving friend was aghast at the absence of support for some of the things he saw being mooted.

As he put it, "It goes back to the old days of 'the troops shall make great efforts'."

It's not good enough - and once again you have to ask whether the 'cost savings' are just shuffled around into other places and aren't in fact savings. How many knackered backs and knees chew up pension money?

None of this is helped by the infantry mindset that sees being able to carry the world on your back as the only true expression of soldiering.

If we look back to CORPORATE, the guys there did it as they did because they had to, not because it was the best way. The loss of the Chinooks forced things onto people's shoulders. It wasn't how we were going to fight the campaign initially but it came to shape too much post-conflict.
 
Unfortunately, logistics is another area where the army has let things slide.

A still-serving friend was aghast at the absence of support for some of the things he saw being mooted.

As he put it, "It goes back to the old days of 'the troops shall make great efforts'."

It's not good enough - and once again you have to ask whether the 'cost savings' are just shuffled around into other places and aren't in fact savings. How many knackered backs and knees chew up pension money?

None of this is helped by the infantry mindset that sees being able to carry the world on your back as the only true expression of soldiering.

If we look back to CORPORATE, the guys there did it as they did because they had to, not because it was the best way. The loss of the Chinooks forced things onto people's shoulders. It wasn't how we were going to fight the campaign initially but it came to shape too much post-conflict.
Reference my above...
 
Unfortunately, logistics is another area where the army has let things slide.

A still-serving friend was aghast at the absence of support for some of the things he saw being mooted.

As he put it, "It goes back to the old days of 'the troops shall make great efforts'."

It's not good enough - and once again you have to ask whether the 'cost savings' are just shuffled around into other places and aren't in fact savings. How many knackered backs and knees chew up pension money?

None of this is helped by the infantry mindset that sees being able to carry the world on your back as the only true expression of soldiering.

If we look back to CORPORATE, the guys there did it as they did because they had to, not because it was the best way. The loss of the Chinooks forced things onto people's shoulders. It wasn't how we were going to fight the campaign initially but it came to shape too much post-conflict.
Exactly - it was a change of plan forced by ATLANTIC CONVEYOR sinking; it wasn’t the plan from the off.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
Out of interest did anyone ever use their “housewife” for it intended purpose either on Ops or exercise? I am struggling to think of any such instances.
Yes - close encounter with barbed wire had me sewing like a maniac when DS at RMAS to fix shredded combat kit - mostly to keep warmth in (was on Sennybridge) but also to look like DS, not beggar. My Guards C/Sgt was most impressed.

ETA Assuming you're not talking about 3 PARA version of housewife...
 

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