View Full Version : Marine Corps Looks To Field 100,000 New Packs

Rocky C
12-08-10, 06:28 PM
The Marine Corps is moving forward with a plan to field at least 100,000 new packs beginning in 2012, replacing the existing Individual Load Bearing Equipment system that Marines have humped since 2004.

Marine Corps Systems Command, out of Quantico, Va., is evaluating potential ILBE replacements, and will call the next system the USMC Pack, officials said. The Corps recently accepted proposals from industry and wants 108,000 delivered within the first year of a contract award, with additional purchases likely.

The Corps has sought to replace the ILBE for more than a year after grunts graded it “completely unacceptable” in a recent survey. They said it doesn’t fit well on top of body armor and causes chaffing and pain in the back, knees and shoulders.

“The replacement system will strive to eliminate current integration issues between load carriage equipment and currently fielded body armor systems,” said 2nd Lt. Jamie Larson, a spokeswoman at SYSCOM. “The pack system will focus on the rifleman, emphasizing durability, comfort, ease of access and stability.”

This summer, the Corps conducted an evaluation at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with grunts from 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, recommending that the ILBE’s replacement include a larger assault pack, pouches that are removable and adjustable, an external frame and a simpler design.

“The bottom line is, Marines want a simple and effective load carriage system that can be easily customized to support their mission, with or without body armor,” Larson said.

Plans to improve or replace the ILBE pack were put in motion after the Corps surveyed 770 battle-tested Marines and corpsmen last year, seeking their opinions on durability, usage, fit and integration, among other things. Marines overwhelmingly panned the ILBE, officials said, although a breakdown of the survey results was unavailable because they are considered “acquisition sensitive material.”

In June 2009, the Corps conducted two weeks of workshops in which officers and enlisted personnel from fields ranging from scout sniper to combat service support and force reconnaissance weighed in. Marine officials decided they need a new pack that had adjustable suspension systems, allowing it to fit tightly 1/2 against a Marine’s body whether or not he is wearing body armor.

The Corps intends to field the pack to operating forces first, but the goal is to eventually replace all ILBE packs as funding becomes available, Larson said. The Corps has not determined which units will receive the new pack first.

Chad Leddy
12-09-10, 01:16 PM
I feel like the ILBE packs are awesome if you didn't have a flak jacket with plates inserted. If you are just wearing it straight on your back it is extremely comfortable.

12-09-10, 01:18 PM
Oh. So this isn't about cigarettes, huh? My bad.

Drill for life
12-10-10, 03:21 PM
The ILBE pack sucks when your wearing a dlak plain and simple no matter how tight it is your still be in pain halfway through a hump (in your shoulders and your hips because you make it so tight to keep the weight off your shoulders). Its a great pack for the field but it walways sucks to have to pack it up and put it over all your gear (with it being heavy with your clothes,gear,warming layers,mre trash,extra chow and tobacco) and have to hump a couple miles to reach the transpo because they cant come down the road to pick you up.