By Angus Konstam
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A terrorist assault. A killer at the unfastened. And a last, determined undertaking . . .
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Extra resources for American Civil War Fortifications (I) : Coastal Brick and Stone Fort
Unlike the hydration system, which has a dual MOLLE/ILBE identity, the FLC and other items retain their MOLLE designation. Family of Improved Load-Bearing Equipment (FILBE) The ILBE main pack, despite its excellent quantities, was not designed to be worn over body armor, and did not integrate optimally with the existing OTV or new types of body armor that became available. In addition, a quick removal feature for pouches was sought to aid combat vehicle crewmen in the tight confines of their stations and dismounted troops needing to transfer pouches between MTV and SPC between missions (Marines in Afghanistan received both vests), a cumbersome process at best.
In addition to the load-bearing vest, made in separate versions for riflemen and grenadiers, the IIFS also included a new pack system and sleeping system. The former combined a main pack with an integral frame that gave much-improved support over the simple ALICE frame. A small patrol pack was provided for missions of short duration, and this could simply be “piggybacked” on top of the main pack for full marching order. Rather than a true replacement for ALICE, IIFS was a supplement. The vest did replace the ALICE suspenders and (nominally) the magazine pouches, but the other components of ALICE were retained – even the ALICE magazine pouches served on occasion to carry additional ammunition or other gear.
The throat armor is designed to fit more loosely, to allow the lower face to be tucked into it during indirect fire attacks for better protection. Initial excitement among Marines eager to receive the new vest soon turned to disappointment when they discovered that its advantages were offset by its considerable weight: 30lb with full armor – much heavier than the OTV, and even heavier than earlier systems that had been rejected for general issue for that reason. The weight of a fully-loaded MTV, when combined with that of a typical Marine’s other combat gear, greatly hindered mobility and accelerated fatigue.