by, 10-18-2011 at 11:47 AM (389 Views)
In my random internet perusings, i sometimes come upon neat articles, pictures and the like. The following link is an article about a soldier in Afganistan that with a little American ingenuity, found a solution to a problem in the battlefield - not to mention it being a very cool one...
"When we first arrived in theater in late October (2010), we were issued the Mk 48 7.62 mm machine guns," Winkowski said. "This was a new piece of equipment for us, and we struggled to come up with a solution for carrying and employing ammunition for it due to our small size and the inability to have a designated ammo bearer, as is common doctrine with the M240B.
"The ammunition sacks that came with it made it too cumbersome and heavy to carry over long, dismounted patrols and especially when climbing mountains. Initially, we came up with using 50-round belts and just reloading constantly, which led to lulls of fire and inefficiency."
So Winkowski grabbed an old ALICE (all-purpose lightweight individual carrying equipment) frame, welded two ammunition cans together -- one atop the other after cutting the bottom out of the top can -- and strapped the fused cans to the frame. To that he added a MOLLE (modular, lightweight load-carrying equipment) pouch to carry other equipment.
The folks at NSRDEC substituted a MOLLE medium frame for the ALICE frame. The ammo compartment now uses polycarbonate plastic instead of the original tin. Until NSRDEC can come up with a simpler, more cost-effective substitute, the ammo will continue to move through a 27-inch-long, $1,710 feed chute designed for the CROWS, which the Guardsmen had employed.
As Roy pointed out, technology isn't always about the whiz-bang stuff.
"Sometimes," he added, "it's merely a simple application of existing technologies in a different format that provides an elegant way to fill a capability gap."