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Posts Tagged ‘Landry’

The Army’s New Modular Backpack Panel

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I knew Rich Landry before he was cool. Before he had that awesome mustache. But even then that guy knew load carriage. Today, if you say ‘Army’ and ‘load carriage’ in the same sentence, you’d better add ‘Rich Landry’ to it.

Landry is an individual equipment designer with the Load Carriage Prototype Lab, Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, at Natick Soldier Systems Center. Recently, Landry and another cool guy, but of the grey beard variety, Murray Hamlet began work on a device that would give Soldiers access to a packboard type of a platform. They took the frame and suspension from the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, or MOLLE, Medium rucksack and came up with a removable PALS panel.

“This is just a pack board, or a foundation for an entire range of tactical equipment beyond that of what we call the Soldier’s fighting load,” Landry said. “Anything that is MOLLE compatible, you’re going to have the ability to have a suspension system that’s designed to support upwards of 60 pounds that you can truly tailor specific to what your tactical mission is.”

The answer is the Modular Backpack Panel, or MBP, which increases the versatility of the MOLLE Medium. As it is, MOLLE Medium was developed to give the Soldier carriage for up to 60 pounds of essential gear for 72 hours.

“We’ve had calls from various organizations that carry all kinds of odd loads,” said Landry, adding that the rucksack sometimes was in the way. “Anybody who’s carrying large, crew-served weapons would find this application useful, the mortar guys, who are carrying a base plate, the tube, the various rounds, etcetera. They could utilize a modular setup to support those unusual loads.”

“It’s very basic load carriage capability,” Landry said. “They still need to carry their basic, critical individual equipment. So we will provide a set of larger pouches, which will attach to the panel but still allow the larger items to be carried.”

I saw a prototype months ago and look forward to hearing how the fielding goes and how Soldiers use it in the field.