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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems

Dismounted Integrated Soldier Systems for the 21st Century Soldier Soldiering on‌ Lightening the Load Next Generation Load Carriage Technology The Future of Integrated Load Carriage Systems

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


www.cqc.co.uk

+44 (0)1271 345678

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design

by design by innovation by commitment by quality


SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems

Dismounted Integrated Soldier Systems for the 21st Century Soldier

SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Contents

Soldiering on… Lightening the Load Next Generation Load Carriage Technology The Future of Integrated Load Carriage Systems

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Dismounted Integrated Soldier Systems for the 21st Century Soldier

3

CQC Limited

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Osprey Man Worn Power and Data Lightning the Load Evolution of Load Carriage Excellence by Design

Soldiering on… 7 Mary Dub, Editor

The View from History of the 21st Century Loaded Soldier The American Research The Lesson of Omaha Beach, France 1944

Lightening the Load

9

Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

The Use of New Materials Moving to ALICE Medical Problems to be Avoided by Improving Load Carriage on Marches and Operations Foot Blisters Metatarsalgia Stress Fractures

Next Generation Load Carriage Technology

11

Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

ALICE and MOLLE MOLLE The Modular System Evolves The Critical Importance of Body Armour Osprey Body Armour

The Future of Integrated Load Carriage Systems

13

Mary Dub, Editor

The First Importance of Combat Effectiveness Weight Reduction in the Rifle Congressional Concerns About the Weight Reduction for Body Armour Robots and Vehicles

References 15

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Foreword T

HE TASK of load carriage has been a long term

blisters, foot pain or stress fractures, it is a much

issue for military forces over the centuries.

weaker fighting group. In today’s counter insurgency

Modern technology has come up with complex and

campaigns using asymmetric warfare, fighting against

sophisticated systems and materials to meet the

a lightly armed, but highly mobile opponent, a heavy

need. This Special Report looks at how this need

load of technology intended to enhance the fighting

has and is being met.The opening article examines

capability of a soldier, can actually do the reverse.

the development of integrated dismounted protection and load carriage systems.

The use of modules, vests, double packs and new fastenings are all the hallmarks of the 21st century

For over 40 years CQC Limited has been designing,

dismounted soldier’s carrying equipment. The

manufacturing, innovating and delivering bespoke

third article considers the range of American

solutions to individual customers’ unique requirements.

programms that have evolved to help ease the

But, while adding to forces’ combat effectiveness,

burden on the soldier.

these innovations have increased greatly the weight

Finally, the end piece addresses the future of load

burden. CQC are overcoming this problem using

carriage. There are a number of quite revolutionary

new technologies and building the equipment and

developments for the soldier and the industry to

connectivity of the ‘soldier platform’ to deliver a more

confront over the horizon. Tomorrow’s armed forces

seamless, integrated solution that enhances greatly

will include not only more reservists, but more women

overall effectiveness. The article goes on to describe

in every role, and they will need their own calibrated

the Osprey MK4A integrated load carriage and

equipment to ensure peak fighting capability. Robots

personal protection platform and Man Wore Power

will possibly play a larger role in load carriage than

and Data (MWPD) technology.

they do today, helping where vehicles, helicopters

The second article looks at the history of load

and other devices are inappropriate. The future for the

carriage and how the need to reduce the load to

industry will undoubtedly demand increased adaptive

ensure high performance and lethality by dismounted

and evolutionary designs.

soldiers has evolved. The piece entitled Lightening the Load addresses the consequences of not getting the issue of load carriage right. If a patrol or unit has significant incidence of

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub is the editor of this Special Report. She has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Dismounted Integrated Soldier Systems for the 21st Century Soldier

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design

CQC Limited

DISMOUNTED SILHOUETTE

C

QC HAVE a long-standing pedigree and history in the development and design of world class dismounted integrated soldier systems. For over 60 years CQC has been at the heart of military personal equipment and at the forefront of new dismounted capability and technology. CQC’s development around integrated soldier worn systems, supported by a wide range of partners is continually reducing the burden and enhancing capability. Innovative “Man Worn Power & Data” (MWPD) designs are consistently pushing the boundaries of soldier technology to further enhance capability and survivability. CQC’s award winning Osprey body armour system was designed to deliver maximum protection in the most dangerous theatres and environments in the world, yet still ensure maximum flexibility in the distribution of weight and integration of ballistic protection, without the need to compromise on combat effectiveness. Having delivered more than 300,000 Osprey systems, CQC continue to improve and evolve its solutions to further reduce weight and burden on the soldier while constantly seeking to improve comfort and capability. The launch of the next generation of integrated dismounted protection

and load carriage continues to test the limits of technology and lead the way in further burden reduction and ever greater integration. The core of CQC’s approach to the “Soldier Platform” is our Research and Development team who are one of the most highly regarded teams within the load carriage and personal equipment industry. Our experienced R&D team has been designing, manufacturing, innovating and delivering bespoke solutions, specific to customers’ unique requirements for over 40 years. Prototypes are built from the same high quality materials and components as fully operational systems, allowing end users the ability to thoroughly test and refine each system to its full potential. R&D continues to deliver world class capability across a wide range of environments, climates and to specific requirements. The integration of technology and leading edge materials is at the heart of every design. These innovations, while adding significantly to DCC forces’ combat effectiveness, have, over time, increased the burden to extreme levels. CQC are leading the way in the integration of existing and new technologies and equipment to enhance capability while reducing burden.

by design by innovation by commitment by quality

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Our experienced R&D team has been designing, manufacturing, innovating and delivering bespoke solutions, specific to customers’ unique requirements for over 40 years

Building the equipment and connectivity of the “Soldier Platform”, CQC seek to deliver a more seamless, integrated solution that greatly enhances overall effectiveness At the heart of CQC is our ability to manufacture as well as design and to provide an uncompromising commitment to quality. CQC employ the latest skills and technology to ensure that our processes stand up to the highest standards of scrutiny and capability. CQC’s production team is committed to ensuring that every product, every system, every individual component item that leaves our door is built to the very highest quality . We are ISO9001 accredited and seek to continuously improve our processes and products.

Osprey The Award Winning Osprey MK 4A was conceived and designed as an integrated load carriage and personal protection platform. At the centre of its design was the need to deliver a bespoke solution capable of meeting the multi-role capabilities

and requirements of modern Dismounted Close Combat Troops (DCCT). The MK 4A, developed in close collaboration with the UK MoD and end users, was designed to ensure maximum flexibility in the distribution of weight and integration of ballistic protection without the need to compromise on combat effectiveness. Since personal protection for soldiers became an urgent requirement in early 2003, CQC have worked closely with partners and the end user community to design, develop and deliver a world class system designed to defeat rapidly evolving threats. Osprey has continually evolved to reduce weight and burden while striving to increase flexibility, modularity and capability. Further innovations continue to push the boundaries of modern technology through the integration of existing and new technologies such as Man Worn Power and Data (MWPD), taking Osprey to new levels of capability while continuing to reduce the burden. With over 300,000 systems delivered, the Osprey MK4A has earned a deserved reputation for quality and is a leading example of modularity and capability; designed to deliver maximum effectiveness in any configuration.

Man Worn Power and Data In May 2012 CQC undertook to support the UK MoD as part of the MWPD TDP (Technical Demonstrator Programme). The aim of the programme was to simplify connectivity and reduce the weight of soldier worn electronic systems. CQC were delighted to be part of a world-class team of companies tasked with not only designing a new system, but ensuring the design was fully integrated, without compromising on protection, and enhancing the wearer’s overall effectiveness, comfort and capability.

OSPREY PROFILE

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INTEGRATING SOLDIER TECHNOLOGY


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

The approach focused on reducing system complexity, removing exposed cables and preventing snagging. The flexible power architecture allows the soldier to tailor the battery weight carried to the mission profile, and to be fully informed of their electrical power status. A single high speed USB wiring system based around the USB standard, integrated into the Osprey body armour vest, replaces the ‘cable spaghetti’ currently used to link the portable devices carried by the soldier. This enables adaptive control of the power flow through the clothing so that a wide range of batteries can be recharged using power from any available power source, such as vehicle, APU, operating base mains supply or a solar panel. Low priority devices are automatically disconnected when power is running low. Innovations such as ‘stichable’ connectors and inductive charging are also incorporated. In Oct 2013 CQC were again asked to support the next stage in the evolution of the MWPD concept and are currently engaged in the design and production of the next generation of soldier worn power and data management system.

Lightning the Load Every user has very different interpretations of what is a “lighter load”. Different forces have different scopes of operations and naturally this means they have (in some cases) wildly different requirements and almost certainly opinions.

FRONT WORN TABLET

In the first instance, our approach is always to focus on the human being at the centre of the requirement. Human Factors is a discipline greatly undervalued by many (although growing in significance). The HF element of any dismounted solution is the cornerstone of our approach to our designs, materials and capability. In some instances, where the materials or the technology doesn’t exist to meet the

design needs, we have worked collaboratively with our supply chain to develop a solution to meet the need. This has ranged from new lighter-weight materials developed to save up to 30% weight without compromising on the inherent tensile strength or IR properties of the core fabric, to new technologically- based solutions for pair management and distribution. All of these areas and many in between have one common goal – to reduce burden and increase ease of use for the wearer which, in turn, increases their combat effectiveness. CQC have developed a range of capabilities to meet all types of environments and terrains. Modularity is the key to any design when building a system from the “man” outward. CQC’s capability has and currently is operating in every terrain and environment on the planet, from the sub-Saharan deserts to the mountains of the Arctic Circle.

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design

Evolution of Load Carriage The Osprey development provided CQC with a fantastic opportunity to learn and to adapt to the ever changing environment of the modern battlefield and to continue the evolution of protection, while striving consistently to defeat the ever changing threat. Osprey has certainly helped shape the future of dismounted protection systems over-all and, in the future, when looking back at the history of solider protection systems, Osprey may well be held up as the groundbreaking system that forced new technology and capability into the foreground. The biggest change in recent years has been towards body armour protection becoming a standard issue, rather than issued only on operations. Within many European and NATO solder Programmes, the cornerstone of requirements has been the permanent issue of body armour to their forces. The technology for lighter plates without compromising on protection levels is evolving quickly, but is also still expensive – therefore much focus is being placed on reducing weight wherever we can. Soldier worn technology is also a significant step change in dismounted capability and the integration of MOTS solutions is beginning to deliver fielded solutions in small quantities. Lighter technology will help to a point – integrated power management systems can rapidly and significantly reduce the burden. Technology is evolving, and it is true to say that today’s modern dismounted soldier has never been better connected and better protected. The trick now is to take that protection and connection and integrate it further, make it lighter, make it better and make it cheaper!

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

With over 300,000 systems delivered, the Osprey MK4A has earned a deserved reputation for quality and is a leading RIFLEMAN 30LTR JUNGLE PATROL PACK

example of modularity and capability; designed to deliver maximum effectiveness in any configuration

Excellence by Design Because CQC offer only a bespoke service, this has allowed us to work a lot closer with our end-users and customer base. By giving them the freedom to work collaboratively and to help design a system that is unique to their own specific needs and operations, the process is far smoother from concept to delivery and the end-user is entirely satisfied right from the outset that they are getting something that is not only unique to them, but built to their own specific needs and requirements.

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This model certainly has its challenges, but our end users and customers are much more engaged within the process and the relationship becomes far more of a partnership than a simple customer/supplier model. This is further enhanced by our in-country training and advisory team whose sole purpose is to help deliver the systems into service and support the respective end-user with the necessary training to ensure equipment is fielded effectively and quickly. CQC have built a wealth of expertise around integration and the development of lighter, more capable dismounted solutions. Utilising current and ground-breaking design techniques, we have delivered world class integrated solutions to further enhance end-user survivability and operational effectiveness. Ranging from fully integrated power management systems, to the development of bespoke carriage and protection solutions, using current and legacy dismounted C3i systems, CQC continues to lead the way in integrated modularity, capability and survivability. CQC is leading the world in the design, development and incorporation of new technology and capability to constantly deliver the very best enhanced integrated soldier systems for greater survivability, capability and lethality.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Soldiering on… Mary Dub, Editor

“When you get shot at, you move as fast as you can...but it wasn’t very fast. You are just tired. So tired.” Justin Kalentis, US Army, wounded in Afghanistan1 speaking in 2011

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design

T

HE WEIGHT and method of carriage of loads by the dismounted soldier have always been critical to his or her fighting ability. If the load is too heavy, or the design of the carriage system inadequate, the risk is reduced performance, reduced lethality and reduced mobility2. This is not just a 21st century problem. The carriage of equipment, weapons and ammunition has been an issue for fighters over the centuries. The carrying of loads by troops is an important aspect of military operations that can become critical in some situations. Overloading with ammunition and equipment can lead to excessive fatigue and impair the ability to fight. Military historians can cite numerous examples when heavy loads directly or indirectly resulted in reduced performance, unnecessary deaths, and lost battles. The experience of British troops in the Falkland Islands War (1982) and US Army troops in both Grenada (1983) and Afghanistan (1999–2010) emphasizes that overloading troops is still a problem in modern warfare3.

The View from History of the 21st Century Loaded Soldier According to Dr. Knapick and Dr. Reynold’s review of the literature, until about the 18th century, troops carried loads that seldom exceeded 15 kg as they marched. Extra equipment was often moved by auxiliary transport, including assistants, horses, carts and camp followers. The extra equipment often consisted of weapons and protection used by troops when they went into battle (eg, swords and shields). After the 18th century, auxiliary transport was de-emphasized, and more disciplined armies required troops to carry their own loads. The latter-day service member often carried more equipment during the march and less when in contact with hostile forces.4 However, the burden of load carrying was a concern to commanding officers. In the United Kingdom the government researched the issue to maximise the fighting capability of the soldier. After the Crimean War, a British “Committee Appointed to Inquire

into the Effects of the Present System of Carrying Accoutrements, Ammunition and Kit of the Infantry Soldier” recommended that soldier loads be reduced to 21 kg through the elimination of “necessaries,” especially underclothing. Studies at the Frederick Wilhelm Institute, now the Humboldt University of Berlin, in 1895 showed that, if the weather was cool, soldiers could tolerate marching 24 km with a load mass of 22 kg. In warm weather, this test caused “minor disturbances,” from which the men recovered in one day. In 1908, a British “Committee on the Physiological Effects of Food, Training, and Clothing of the Soldier” developed a much-improved load carriage system that was used in World War I. In 1920, the Hygiene Advisory Board of the British Army recommended that the soldier’s load should not exceed 18 to 20 kg or one third of his body weight while marching.5

The American Research American research into the problems of load carriage are not well noted in the reviews of the literature, however, what work that was undertaken, provides the infrastructure of much of today’s thinking about optimising load carriage for dismounted soldiers.6 There is little information about US efforts to study load carriage formally before World War II, if these efforts even existed. Under the direction of the Quartermaster General, around the time of World War Two, Captain HW

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Although the impact of an overloaded soldier on his fighting and mobility were well known by commanding officers, there were examples during world War two of exactly how lethal an overloaded soldier could be to himself

Taylor developed a soldier “payload plan.” This was an attempt to unburden the soldier by providing him with only the items needed for combat. There were also attempts to develop segmented packs: if the tactical situation permitted, a portion of the pack containing nonessential equipment could be left behind.

The Lesson of Omaha Beach, France 1944 Although the impact of an overloaded soldier on his fighting and mobility were well known by commanding officers, there were examples during world War two of exactly how lethal an overloaded soldier could be to himself. And if the soldier is over burdened then the mission can be jeopardised. “In the initial assault waves at Omaha Beachhead there were companies whose men started ashore, each with four cartons of cigarettes in his pack,

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as if the object of the operation was trading with the French. Some never made the shore because of the cigarettes. They dropped into deep holes during the wade-in, or fell into the tide nicked by a bullet. Then they soaked up so much weight they could not rise again. They drowned. Some were carried out to sea but the great number were cast up on the beach. It impressed the survivors unforgettably – that line of dead men along the sand, many of whom had received but trifling wounds .... No one can say with authority whether more men died directly from enemy fire than perished because of the excess weight that made them easy victims of the water .... This almost cost us the beachhead. Since it is the same kind of mistake that armies and their commanders have been making for centuries, there is every reason to believe it will happen again.”7


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Lightening the Load Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design

I

T WAS the fighting experience in the heat and wet of the Vietnam War (19591963) that focussed American attention on the need to optimise soldier performance by improving load-carrying equipment. LINCLOE, Lightweight Individual Clothing and Equipment was introduced. The lightweight program was established in 1965 to reduce the weight carried by the combat infantryman and thereby conserve his energy. Natick Labs developed the LINCLOE Load Carrying Equipment (LCE) for many years before it was finally adopted as standard issue in January 1973. After adoption, its name was changed to All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE). What did this mean for the individual soldier? It meant a lighter load, as Army Materiel Command Technical Committee (AMCTC) on 27 April 1966, introduced lightweight load carrying equipment (LCB). This was a lightweight rucksack made of nylon fabric and an aluminium frame, which weighed 3 pounds (1.4 kg) as compared to the 7.5 pound (3-4 kg) cotton and steel Item which It replaced.8

The Use of New Materials There was a drive to lighten the weight of essential equipment using lighter materials. A goal was set a goal of 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) for the individual LCE and 3 pounds (1.4 kg) for the rucksack. The development of this lightweight rucksack led to an informal inquiry by
officers of the infantry community as to the possibility of reducing the weight
of the M-1956 cotton equipment (belt, suspenders, canteen cover, first aid/compass case, intrenching tool carrier, ammunition cases, and combat pack). As a result of this interest, a set of this equipment was made in 1962, substituting available nylon materials for the cotton. This set of nylon equipment weighed slightly more than 3 pounds (1.4 kg) as opposed to 5 pounds (2.3 kg) for the cotton Items. These two Items, the lightweight rucksack and the set of nylon M-1956 equipment, formed the basis for that portion of the LINCLOE. There was also a drive to substitute the steel and brass items with aluminium and plastic.9 The weight of carrying ammunition was acknowledged with the design of a vest for carrying the ammunition of the M-79

MISSION PACK

grenade launcher, but no attempt was made to lighten the load of the ammunition for the M-14 or M-16 rifles that soldiers had to carry.

Moving to ALICE ALICE, the All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment introduced in 1973 was the end result of the LINCLOE (Lightweight Individual Clothing And Equipment) program that had began in 1965. But this was just one step in the path of frequent evolutionary changes to make the equipment modular, so items could be added or dispensed with at need, and easier to carry by putting less strain on the soldier’s body. Why was this effort so important? Part of the answer can be found in the physical effects of overburdening the body or presenting it with badly loaded burdens. Drs Knapick and Reynolds describe the research that has been done on why soldiers fail to perform on operations or are unable to continue through injury.

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Medical Problems to be Avoided by Improving Load Carriage on Marches and Operations Injuries associated with heavy weight load carriage, although generally minor, can adversely affect an individual’s mobility and thus reduce the effectiveness of an entire unit. The results of two studies recorded acute injuries during military road marching operations. Foot blisters, back problems, and metatarsalgia were the most

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Stress fractures are attributable to repetitive overloading of bones during activities, such as road marching

common march-related injuries. However, there was also incidence of stress fractures in the legs, low back pain, knee pain and rucksack palsy. All these were observed, researched and noted.

Foot Blisters Although even recreational walkers can and do get blisters, they are a serious matter to any army on the march. Foot blisters are the most common load carriage–related injury. They result from friction between the socks and skin, a product of point pressures exerted by the boot and the foot. Blisters can cause extreme discomfort, and prevent soldiers from completing marches and lead to many days of limited activity. If they are not properly managed, especially in field conditions, they can progress to more serious problems, such as cellulitis or sepsis. Carrying heavy loads increases the incidence of blisters. Lower fitness levels, tobacco use and ethnicity other than black increase the incidence of blisters in soldiers. Evidence suggests that carrying loads greater than 61 kg by a double pack lowers the occurrence of blisters. Regular physical training with load carrying also lowers the risk of blisters.

Metatarsalgia Blisters are not the only damage that is done to the foot by excessive load carriage. Metatarsalgia is the descriptive term for nonspecific, painful overuse injury of the foot. The usual symptom is localized tenderness on the sole of the foot

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under the second or third metatarsal head. Sutton reported a 20% incidence of metatarsalgia during a strenuous 7-month Airborne Ranger physical training program that included regular load carriage. One study reported a 3.3% incidence of metatarsalgia after a single, strenuous 20-km walk with soldiers carrying 45 kg.

Stress Fractures As recently as the campaign in Afghanistan, lower extremity stress fractures have been reported and are common in military recruits. They have also been reported in trained soldiers. Stress fractures are attributable to repetitive overloading of bones during activities, such as road marching. The most common areas of involvement are the lower extremities, especially the tibia, tarsals, and metatarsals. X-ray films of a metatarsal stress fracture do not show when the patient first presents in pain, but are obvious 3 weeks later. The critical issue with stress fractures is that they limit battle readiness, because, firstly, a period of time is necessary before stress fractures are apparent on X-ray films and, secondly, stress fracture treatment includes a long period of rest, use of ice packs, and anti-inflammatory medications. If the patient has to be mobile, crutches are necessary. Lower back injury from leaning forward to compensate for load carriage and poorly balanced rucksack loads all result in debilitating injury that limit soldier mobility and fighting effectiveness.10


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Next Generation Load Carriage Technology Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

“During Operation Desert Shield (2006), a brigade conducted a live fire training assault to seize a bridge. The brigade commander noticed that the equipment the soldiers were carrying was interfering with the mission. At the after action review he directed the battalion commanders to investigate the weight the soldiers carried. At the brief back, one commander indicated that the average soldier in his battalion carried more than 100 pounds.”11

T

HE ALL-PURPOSE Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) system was adopted as United States Army Standard A on 17 January 1973. ALICE was later adapted by the MOLLE (pronounced Molly, as in the woman’s name). MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and rucksacks utilized by a number of NATO armed forces, particularly the British and the United States Army.

ALICE and MOLLE These are the systems that the soldiers were carrying in Iraq; however, the ‘lightweight’ aspect seems to have been overlooked. Part of the issue is what the soldier is carrying and when. Over a long campaign and during holidays, soldiers acquire excess baggage. They can also have too much spare ammunition to carry. For example, at Christmas 1990 the 2d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division was conducting training far to the South of the front (in Iraq). During this relatively peaceful time, and especially as a result of the holiday, the soldiers had accumulated many items they could not take into combat. When the order came for the brigade to spearhead the French 6th Light Armored Division’s attack into Iraq, the chain of command took steps to care for the soldiers’ personal effects and excess baggage. They made a list of what a soldier would carry on his person (fighting load), what he would carry in his rucksack (approach march load), what he would carry in his A-bag (sustainment load), and what would go in his B-bag (contingency load). Items that did not fit into these categories, the soldier shipped home.12

MOLLE How does the MOLLE system work? The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS (Pouch Attachment Ladder System) webbing, as rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest to allow for attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. This method of attachment has become standard for modular tactical gear, replacing the ALICE system used in the earliest modular vest systems. Several contractors, such as Specialty Defense, Armor Holdings, Ehmke Manufacturing/High Ground Gear, as well as Eagle Industries, produce it for the United States government under contract13. There were a number of criticisms of the evolving system, which was adapted as weaknesses were identified. Most of these criticisms have centred on the sustainment-load pack and frame, due to the external plastic frame being too fragile and subject to breaking in the field – this has now changed. Another issue was that the zippers had a tendency to burst when stuffed full, and that the pack’s straps lacked sufficient length to accommodate body armor easily. Further, the first generation of this system utilized a “ball and socket” interface between the frame and rucksack belt (which in itself formed the waist belt of the MOLLE vest). This interface method led to numerous lower back injuries due to the ball (mounted on the frame) missing the socket interface on the waist belt and impacting the user’s body. Subsequent redesign of the SDS (Special Defence Systems) MOLLE led to the deletion of this “feature”, and thus the vest and ruck/frame became separate non-integral items.14

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design by design by innovation by commitment by quality

The Modular System Evolves Different parts of the US Army had different needs. The United States Marine Corps wanted a larger load-bearing capability, a smaller overall volume, the ability to carry 60 mm and 81 mm

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Over a long campaign and during holidays, soldiers acquire excess baggage. They can also have too much spare ammunition to carry

mortar rounds external to the pack, and a simpler overall layout and organization of the system’s parts. As of 2004, the Marine Corps has adopted a new off-the-shelf pack design by Arc’teryx and introduced it into the Fleet as the ILBE, or “Improved Load Bearing Equipment”. The ILBE is now being replaced with the USMC Pack. New technical materials, echoing the introduction of plastics and aluminium in the 20th century have sought to drive down the weight of the pack and at the same time improve its usefulness. Further recent adaptations include MOLLEminus systems. MOLLEminus is the proprietary name for a technology developed by Blue Force Gear to greatly reduce the weight, complexity and failure points of traditional MOLLE gear. MOLLEminus technology starts with ULTRAcomp™ laminate material which is half the thickness of a dime and 4 times as abrasion resistant as 1000d CORDURA® fabric. The ULTRAcomp laminate is laser cut to create a fully MOLLE compatible matrix of slots. This eliminates cuts or stitching that could weaken the integrity of the material.

The Critical Importance of Body Armour The lethality of IEDS and the extent of injuries from small arms fire has made body armour essential for ISAF forces working in Afghanistan. The body armour adds to the weight of the load carried by dismounted soldiers and has been integrated into the MOLLE system. Since the troubles in Northern Ireland, British Forces have used body armour and, like the load carriage

OSPREY AND HERRICK

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system, it has evolved as a result of criticism of its working during operations. The Osprey body armour system is designed and manufactured by CQC Ltd. The Osprey system is modular and built around a vest, which covers the torso. Protective elements that cover the upper arms, neck and throat can be added to the main vest. The vest has webbing tape, similar to the PALS Pouch Attachment Ladder System, stitched to the outside to act as the base for a series of pouches and accessories. This means it is unnecessary to wear a webbing harness or assault vest over the armour.

Osprey Body Armour The vest consists of a front and rear soft armour panel, which join the shoulders and waist sides. The panels contain a ceramic trauma plate in the front and rear. Version 4 of the armour introduces additional side panels designed to contain further trauma plates. Clips on the vest are available for the fitting of a British type Camelback or Bergen side pouches on the rear, and a respirator haversack on the bottom left. In the Mark 4 latest edition, the cover was made available in the modified camouflage pattern, multi-terrain, with modifications to the velcro coverage to improve fastening security and an outer cummerbund buckling at the front, rather than the sides. The outer cummerbund also has pockets for trauma plates at the sides. Finally, the most important change in the latest iteration is that the ballistic plates are now contained within the plate carrier, not an exterior pouch.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

The Future of Integrated Load Carriage Mary Dub, Editor

T

HE FUTURE of any technology is hard to predict in the 21st century, because disruptive technologies do just that, they disrupt the normal evolutionary pattern of development. There are numerous issues that will undoubtedly by of great importance: the structure of the army is changing - in the UK it is going to be smaller, more dependent on reservists and will reflect the make up of the normal population; and good practice in the United States, France, Australia, Canada and Israel allow women in combat roles. There is research moving forward on robotics, which may well assist in load carriage.

The First Importance of Combat Effectiveness If women have the physical fitness and the training to fight in combat on the frontline as well as being medical doctors, fighter pilots, engineers and logistical back up support as they are now, they will require body armour and load carriage equipment that is calibrated to their physique. The Australian Army has conducted research to minimise load carriage injuries in female soldiers. These are: structured physical conditioning, improving nutrition and hydration practices, and modification of load carriage equipment to meet female soldier requirements.15 The Australian authors of the study note that a study by Fullenkamp, capturing the anthropometric data of defence force soldiers from four NATO countries highlighted the fact that designing protective equipment to accommodate female soldier structure was not as simple as scaling down male-proportioned figures. Likewise, data collected by Harman led the authors to recommend that female soldiers required more specific sizing options than male soldiers due to greater variability in chestwaist-hip ratios. An immediate example is the failure of body armour designs to accommodate female breast tissue. As such, it is of no surprise that female soldiers raise concerns that body armour is not comfortable and restricts breathing. The Australian report notes that a lack of accommodation of female soldier requirements in equipment design may contribute to a

reduction in female load carriage performance and compromise soldier safety. They continue that, failing to do so, could impact on future force generation and sustainment. So although the MOLLE military backpack was created based on male anthropometric characteristics, with the female-specific fitting concerns and need for a greater range of sizes available to female soldiers identified, it would seem logical that these future warrior programs specifically tailor equipment to include female anthropometric features.16

Integrating the soldier platform, excellence by design by design by innovation by commitment by quality

Weight Reduction in the Rifle Few soldiers do not carry a rifle, and work is in progress reported by Cranfield University to reduce the weight of the standard issue rifle with optic. Cranfield University blogpost evidence suggests the rifle might weigh in as low as 5290 grams, a reduction in weight of over a kilogram for a SA80A2 standard issue assault rifle with optic.17

Congressional Concerns About the Weight Reduction for Body Armour The drive to reduce the weight of body armour while not compromising its effectiveness is a recurrent theme in the United States congress. However, the issue of weight for body armour is always a delicate balance between effectiveness and mass. Research to improve the protectiveness of body armour against new AP (armour piercing) weapons resulted in the XSAPI (Extra Small Arms Protective Insert), a development of the ESAPI the Enhanced protective insert. But the new insert meant a 20% increase in weight. So the new designs were rejected.

Robots and Vehicles Both American and European armies have developed systems that reduce the need for such heavy load carriage by dismounted soldiers. These are vehicles and helicopters. But some of these vehicles cannot cope with the rough terrain that a dismounted soldier can cover. However a new DARPA development is the three-legged robot called the LS3 – the Legged Squad Support System. Boston Dynamics reports that LS3 is a

www.cqc.co.uk

+44 (0)1271 345678

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

A lack of accommodation of female soldier requirements in equipment design may contribute to a reduction in female load carriage performance and compromise soldier safety

INTEGRATED C4I

rough-terrain robot designed to go anywhere Marines and Soldiers go on foot, helping carry their load. Each LS3 carries up to 400 pounds of gear and enough fuel for a 20-mile mission lasting 24 hours. LS3 automatically follows its leader using computer vision, so it does not need a dedicated driver. It also travels to designated locations using terrain sensing and GPS. LS3 began a 2-year field-testing phase in 2012. DARPA and the US Marine Corps fund LS3. Boston Dynamics has assembled an extraordinary team to develop the LS3, including engineers and scientists from Boston Dynamics, Carnegie Mellon, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Bell Helicopter, AAI Corporation and Woodward HRT. DARPA announced that an LS3 prototype

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has successfully completed several exercises, including the ability to follow a person using its sensors over rugged terrain outside. The next step in testing the LS3 is to add the ability to obey simple verbal commands, like “sit” or “come here.” Additionally, DARPA hopes that the LS3 will be able to carry a 400 pound load over the course of a 20 mile rugged terrain trek without re-fuelling. In essence, DARPA is looking for the LS3 to be a robotic “pack mule.”18 “If successful, this could provide real value to a squad while addressing the military’s concern for unburdening troops,” said Army Lt. Col. Joe Hitt, DARPA program manager in a press release. “LS3 seeks to have the responsiveness of a trained animal and the carrying capacity of a mule.”19


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

References:

Quoted in The Seattle Times (14 Feb 11) in a discussion of load carrying by US soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

1 2

Soldier Load Carriage: An investigation into the load carriage conditioning practices of the ARA

A/Prof Rob Orr, (Bond University) and DR Rodney Pope, Ass/Professor Julia Coyle (Charles Sturt University) DR Venerina Johnston (University of QLD)

http://epublications.bond.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1434&context=hsm_pubs&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com %2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dload%2520carriage%2520in%2520military%2520operations%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D6%26sqi%3D 2%26ved%3D0CEYQFjAF%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fepublications.bond.edu.au%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D143 4%2526context%253Dhsm_pubs%26ei%3D-hRqU__hHoGyPOfmgRA%26usg%3DAFQjCNHlYeMIVXdYjRTmBaw3a5xsyzrRxQ%26bvm%3Dbv.661 11022%2Cd.ZWU#search=%22load%20carriage%20military%20operations%22 JOSEPH KNAPIK, ScD*; and KATY REYNOLDS, MD http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo13946/LoadCarriagePDF.pdf

3

LOAD CARRIAGE IN MILITARY OPERATIONS: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL, BIOMECHANICAL, AND MEDICAL ASPECTS

JOSEPH KNAPIK, ScD*; and KATY REYNOLDS, MD http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo13946/LoadCarriagePDF.pdf

4

LOAD CARRIAGE IN MILITARY OPERATIONS: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL, BIOMECHANICAL, AND MEDICAL ASPECTS

JOSEPH KNAPIK, ScD*; and KATY REYNOLDS, MD http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo13946/LoadCarriagePDF.pdf

5

LOAD CARRIAGE IN MILITARY OPERATIONS: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL, BIOMECHANICAL, AND MEDICAL ASPECTS

JOSEPH KNAPIK, ScD*; and KATY REYNOLDS, MD http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo13946/LoadCarriagePDF.pdf

6

LOAD CARRIAGE IN MILITARY OPERATIONS: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL, BIOMECHANICAL, AND MEDICAL ASPECTS

7

Marshall SLA. The Soldier’s Load and the Mobility of a Nation. Quantico, Va: Marine Corps Association; 1950.

8

Metzger, E.: History Of The Development Of The LINCLOE Load-Carrying Equipment, July 1975

9

Metzger, E.: History Of The Development Of The LINCLOE Load-Carrying Equipment, July 1975

JOSEPH KNAPIK, ScD*; and KATY REYNOLDS, MD http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo13946/LoadCarriagePDF.pdf 10

LOAD CARRIAGE IN MILITARY OPERATIONS: A REVIEW OF HISTORICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL, BIOMECHANICAL, AND MEDICAL ASPECTS

11

Saudi Arabia and Iraq (1990) Porter SC. The soldier’s load. Infantry. 1992;May– June:19–22.

12

Saudi Arabia and Iraq (1990) Porter SC. The soldier’s load. Infantry. 1992;May– June:19–22.

13

Wikipedia

14

Wikipedia

15

WOMEN SOLDIERS http://jmvh.org/article/load-carriage-and-the-female-soldier/

Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health, A peer reviewed journal published by the Australasian Military Medicine Association

Volume 19 No. 3 Load Carriage and the Female Soldier By Venerina Johnson , Julia Coyle , Rodney Pope and Robin M Orr In

Review Article Issue Volume 19 No. 3 Poor Equipment Fit

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WOMEN SOLDIERS http://jmvh.org/article/load-carriage-and-the-female-soldier/

Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health, A peer reviewed journal published by the Australasian Military Medicine Association

Volume 19 No. 3 Load Carriage and the Female Soldier By Venerina Johnson , Julia Coyle , Rodney Pope and Robin M Orr In

Review Article Issue Volume 19 No. 3 Poor Equipment Fit

17

18

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http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-infantry-of-army-2020-lethality.html Wednesday, August 8, 2012 The Infantry of Army 2020: Lethality http://www.bostondynamics.com/robot_ls3.html LS3 - Legged Squad Support Systems TECH 2/08/2012 @ 1:13AM 9,045 views DARPA Robot Carries Heavy Loads So Soldiers Don’t Have To

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/02/08/darpa-robot-carries-heavy-loads-so-soldiers-dont-have-to/

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INTEGRATED LOAD CARRIAGE SYSTEMS

Notes:

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Special Report – Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems CQC  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems

Special Report – Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems CQC  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Integrated Load Carriage Systems