Yank ptl kit vs Brit ptl kit

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#1
Recently in the media I've noticed a bit of a difference between UK soldier kit compared to the yanks. Specifically the quantity. Compare these two shots:



And





And I guess my question is… Have the yanks given up the idea of lying prone completely now? Which is strange given their predeliction to doing it after three budweisers…

I remember a comment made by a USMC Soldier serving in Vietnam that "Charlie moves around with an AK, some ammo and a bag of rice, we've got to hump 30lbs gear all day around the jungle…" and I can't help but feel that the same is happening now. Its not as if urban conflict gives rise to long patrols but the kit carried seems to be plentiful to say the least. I know the new CBA is bulky but their chest rigs etc prevent anything useful happening once you are lying down (speaking from experience) unless ofcourse their chest rigs are spring loaded or some such gucci action…

Anyone else noticed this?
 
#2
I've been harassing my still serving buddies about this ever since it came to my attention. Going prone has apparently vanished from the litany since the IBA came into service. Guess it's an extension of what was occuring already. With the circa-90's LBV I used to wear a couple old magazine pouches on the pistol belt because the chest located ones built into the vest were a real pain to use in the prone.
 
#3
Assault vest great if vechicle mounted pants for crawling vica versa for webbing .Basic load is now 25kgs is what they are teaching at breacon I am told short of putting steroids in the rations dont know what the answer is .
 
#4
Not counting his ruck, the basic load of an American infantryman is 70 pounds now when you add the side and neck plates to the IBA... add even more weight if he's a SAW gunner or RTO. In my day, the load was 45 pounds...

Good book on the subject is The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation by S. L. A. Marshall
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Just to be pedantic though, i have a strong feeling the brit photo is from 1990-91?
Might be good to compare waht brits and yanks carried way back then as well, and compare to now. I have heard somewhere that the modern infantryman carries the same weight as a medieval knight into battle.
 
#6
Its not the kit on the man, its the man in the kit that counts.
 
#7
dingerr said:
Its not the kit on the man, its the man in the kit that counts.
And if the man is fatigued from his load, he will make errors in judgement...
 
#8
I like how since 1990/91 the US Army has gone through three sets of combat uniform, the chocolate chip stuff, the three coulour and ACU. The British photo looks no different to today...okay so PLCE webbing is not the favorite now with battle vests/osprey and the clothing is now CS95 (different buttons) but still...I suppose its a case of if it 'aint broken, dont fix it!



...jesus I can't spell to save my life!
 
#9
Parky_boy said:
I like how since 1990/91 the US Army has gone through three sets of combat uniform, the chocolate chip stuff, the three coulour and ACU. The British photo looks no different to today...okay so PLCE webbing is not the favorite now with battle vests/osprey and the clothing is now CS95 (different buttons) but still...I suppose its a case of if it 'aint broken, dont fix it!


...jesus I can't spell to save my life!
There's the Japanese term Kaizen in use by Japanese industry. Means 'continuous improvement' ie. don't rest on your laurels. Militarily, the US has a massive R&D program that continues to work whether there is conflict or not. Also, you've got competition between the services and off-the-shelf stuff.

Anyhow, you've got to look at the type of combat being done in Iraq. There's not many long marches - too dangerous etc.
 
#10
One of my old NCOs once told us: "I run you three miles each morning in your PT gear so you can sprint 100 yards in full combat gear."

With most firefights being short and vicious, all that US gear (while cumbersome and heavy) has more advantages than disadvantages, hence fewer deaths than would have been expected in an active battlefield.

As for prone, I would like to think it is not as necessary as before because, since it is urban warfare and there is so much cover available, you literally have to stand up to sight in on you target.
 
#11
Prone is always useful, it is the most stable firng position for one thing.

There is no way that you can justify goinginto a war and discounting the prone position.
 
#12
Praetorian said:
Prone is always useful, it is the most stable firng position for one thing.

There is no way that you can justify goinginto a war and discounting the prone position.
Of course you can't discount the prone position. But when the firefight is not about gaining ground but rather inflicting as much damage on the individual target as much as possible, and when the fight calls for moving from cover to cover as quick as possible, the prone becomes a liability.

While not being a total expert, I know that the enemy over there is not keen on holding their position because they know artillery or airstrikes are on the way. I would not be surprised if prone is not the most desired position for them either.

In this battlefield, long time hold of prone is for snipers, not grunts.
 
#13
chrisg46 said:
Just to be pedantic though, i have a strong feeling the brit photo is from 1990-91?
agread, me too.
 
#15
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the amount of kit grunts carry has a direct relationship to the length of time since an army last fought a war. Simply put, the greater the time frame since last war, the greater the load. And whilst I'm on that point, why do some people, who never used '58 pattern webbing, STILL load their PLCE webbing as if it's '58 pattern with large pack only?
 
#16
The fundamental sustainable amount of kit that soldiers carry hasn't really changed since the Roman legions, which is approx 60 lbs. Although there are famous exceptions to this (such certain units on the Falklands) the reason that they are famous is that they are exceptions.
 
#17
barbarasson said:
The fundamental sustainable amount of kit that soldiers carry hasn't really changed since the Roman legions, which is approx 60 lbs. Although there are famous exceptions to this (such certain units on the Falklands) the reason that they are famous is that they are exceptions.
Marching kit. That's not the real drama, but the amount of kit "needed" for battle.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#19
Yep, apologies for GW1 picture, bad skills on my part, personally I thought it was one of the images during the invasion of 2003.

Here's a more modern shot


As you can see, considerably less loaded up. Though I bet that coffee table is a bitch to squeeze into a day-sack..
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#20
Kitmarlowe said:
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the amount of kit grunts carry has a direct relationship to the length of time since an army last fought a war. Simply put, the greater the time frame since last war, the greater the load.
I've heard this too but I think that it refers to the US army... Seeing as the only year Britian hasn't been at 'conflict' for about 500 years was 1946... The Empire didn't build itself... Nor dismantle itself come to think of it...
 

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