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The Corps Finally Designed A Pack Frame That’s ‘Marine Proof’
There’s a common saying in the Corps: “Nothing is Marine-proof.” A determined lance corporal with enough time on his hands and limited supervision could find a way to break a ball bearing. Which makes Marines the perfect testers for new “rugged” gear, and explains why the Marine Corps seems so confident that it’s new pack frame is built to last — at least, until Marines get bored, and their SNCO walks away for a smoke break.
The new reinforced Marine Corps pack frame, which will replace the legacy frame that’s been in service since 2011, is scheduled to hit the fleet in fall of 2018. It was kicked; sat on; lugged through frigid temperatures in Norway; tossed from a cherry picker; and shot repeatedly with 7.62mm. Nevertheless, it persisted.
The decision to redesign the frame dates back to 2013, when issues with the legacy pack frame first emerged — meaning a bunch of a Marines at School of Infantry—West in California kept destroying their rucks. And issues with the frame continued from there, with breakages reported in 2015 and 2016 during cold-weather training in California and in Norway — the frames got so frigid, they simply snapped.
“We took the feedback we got and used it to inform how we could best reinforce the pack frame, while avoiding substantial weight increase or changes in fit and form,” Mackie Jordan, an infantry combat equipment engineer, said in a Marine Corps statement.
The new frames are being tested in extreme temperatures, where they’ll be assessed on fatigue, cracking, or stress marks in zero-degree conditions for up to one week. Assuming they pass muster, fielding of the new packs will begin in fiscal year 2018 and the legacy frames will be phased out.
Until then, Marines using the older frame (especially those out in the snow) should resist the urge to hurl their packs on the ground... or from cherry pickers.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.