Soldiers
have been complaining for over 30 years that their packs, which they
may be required to load to 40 plus kilograms, are causing injury.
Combat Clothing has finally released its “Combat Pack 2002”. It is
nothing more than a 50-year-old design with a new camouflage pattern.
Particularly galling to soldiers is that previous designs of this pack,
which had been on limited issue, had an aluminium frame in place of the
original steel frame to save weight. The ‘new’ pack design has reverted
back to the heavy steel frame.

Questioned as to why a modern
flexible polymer frame was not used, the official line from Combat
Clothing is that they “heard the Americans were not too happy with
them”. They have no study, no report, and no research to back this
statement. They have simply discounted 30 plus years of technological
advancement based on a rumour.

TOMORROW: Helmets and body armour

Peter Fray

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