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Question for the Soldiers -- Combat Load

This is a discussion on Question for the Soldiers -- Combat Load within the U.S. Military Services & Veterans forums, part of the Protect & Serve category; Just curios, what is in a current soldier's combat load while on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan? What are you required to carry, what is ...


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Old 11-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
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Question for the Soldiers -- Combat Load

Just curios, what is in a current soldier's combat load while on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan? What are you required to carry, what is considered optional, how many rounds to you carry. What would you "never leave home without"?

How does this compare to what was carried by soldiers during previous time's of war?

Thank you all for your service to our country.
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
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Back when I was in (1994-2000), combat load was 210 rounds of 30 round magazines. Extra stuff depends on the mission, the chain of command, etc. for example, in bosnia, a convoy wasn't allowed to leave the camp without at least 4 vehicles (at least 2 people per vehicle) and at least 2 crew serve weapons (M60, SAW, MK19, etc.). plus everyone had to have a magazine in their weapon and their combat load with them, etc. Since the main threat was land mines there and not insurgents, we didn't keep one in the chamber, nor were we issued grenades, etc. although they did keep some in the armory just in case.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:00 PM   #3
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Marine Corps 04-08 in iraq our minimum combat load was 180-210rds(m16) 3qts water, all NV equip and serialized wpn gear, cleaning kit, some kind of food to last 24hrs, signaling gear, 50lbs of body armor....With radio I carried 95ish lbs of **** every day on foot patrols. The SAW gunners carried 4-600 rounds for their 20lb gun and they carried about 110-120lbs total.
You really dont carry anything extra because that **** gets heavy after a few miles of walking up and down hills, through heavy brush, etc. The most import things we carried was our rifle(duh) plenty ammo, signaling crap, radios and water. everything else we could do without indefinitely. (if you were near civilization that is)
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:03 PM   #4
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19D OEF 2003-2004 I carried the standard 210 rounds on me, a grenade or two, incendiary grenade next to the radio, AT4 up top with my gunner, and a bunch of other stuff we could fit in the Humvee.
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:13 PM   #5
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A "hundred years ago" in Vietnam when I worked in Special Ops a typical load for me was 300 rounds (15 20 round magazines) for my CAR-15; two M26 fragmentation grenades,; two M18 smoke grenades; and a three-day supply of water and homemade South Vietnamese field rations. Water, ammo, and food were the three essentials in that order. We wore neither helmets nor body armor. Traveling light was the "name of the game."
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Old 11-29-2008, 02:21 PM   #6
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Since the time of Rome the average foot solider has carried around 50-70 lbs of gear.

The gear has changed but the weight has not.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #7
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Being motorized Infantry we had tons of gear, but the essentials on our vests were minimum 6 mags rifle ammo, 4 mags pistol ammo, 2 grenades, first aid kit, escape and evasion kit, tourniquet attached to the outside shoulder loop, bayonet (or combat knife, but the Marine bayonet is freaking awesome for both!) and a camelback. In our dismount pack we had 2 canteens, a few extra mags of ammo, 2 mres (broken down) and batteries for a radio (someone also had a radio in their pack). The idea behind our gear setup and dismount pack was that we could pack into our sister section's vehicles, get dropped off for a limited duration Observation Post (no more than 12 hours of solid daylight without resupply or prior planning) or we could be a quick reaction and augmentation force to another unit that has taken casualties. Each truck had a convoy medical bag (with litter), probably 30 liters of water, 2 boxes of MREs, and lots of crew served ammo.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
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I carried anywhere from 300 t0 420 5.56...60 9mm outside the wire during my last tour, inside the wire I only carried 30 9mm. During most of my other tours, only 210 to 300 5.56 and 30 to 60 9mm, occasionally 2-4 frags. METT-TC dictated on all missions.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:34 PM   #9
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There is nothing light about light Infantry

minimal load
210-300 rounds of ammo for main weapon M4
water 1-2 gallons, heavy, but you drink most if not all.
NVG or other night peek a boo equip.
in my case an aid bag full of band aids and other life saving essentials(to open a small OR)
food, what ever you want or not
back up weapon and ammo
few other goodies, depending on mission

total weight......heavy as sh*&^

freeze night, pack light.

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Old 12-01-2008, 11:43 AM   #10
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As a poge com tech, I normally just carried some tools, radio spares, some pogey bait, four or five 10 round magazines of m-16 ammo, and a couple eight round .45 mags in my pack when I went out to a radio site. (bet you Grunts get a giggle out of that).

However, I volunteered to carry a radio with the Grunts a few times when they were short of radio operators. Then I carried a prc-25 and spare battery (30 lbs), a bandoleer of m-16 ammo (not sure how many rounds that was, but it was a few) and three magazines of .45 ammunition, an m-16 and .45 pistol, flack jacket and steel pot, and some food and water. All totaled about 80 lbs.... felt like 800.... Gave me a lot of respect for radio humpers.
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