Sunday, August 30, 2009

88 Lbs

Today we went out on a Mounted Patrol so that I could visit with my Afghan counterpart in addition to many other tasks. Thankfully the movement there and back was uneventful. Like our previous meetings we had a productive and cordial time. We are working towards a combined training class similiar to the Combat Life Saver program that the US Army has used for several years. We both look forward to Afghan personnel taking over the teaching of this type of class for the benefit of the Police in the Northern Region. We also made progress on several other more mundane topics. It is always a pleasure to visit with him.

I conducted a scientific experiment today as well. I weighed myself in my full combat uniform with weapons, ammunition, Body Armor, helmet and Medical Aid Bag. After we returned to base I weighed myself without all the gear. The difference was a staggering 88 pounds! No wonder I feel wiped out and have no desire to exercise today. I have been carrying the equivalent of a small child on my back all day! I also learned that I have lost a few pounds myself with all the good exercise I get here.

The photos are more of the veiw from the back while we were travelling.


  1. Doc: There has to be an inflection point where the increasing equipment load does more harm than good -- probably different points for differently tasked troops. But, at nearly 90 pounds, the point must be close at hand. I think of our troops in WW2. Except for the paratroops jumping, the loads seemed comparatively light. Of course, there was no body armor then; and I assume that body armor is a large component of today's total weight.

    Probably, it is a function of too few troops - each must carry and do more. Hopefully, advancing materials science will help, but it is certainly something to worry about.

    Paul Hirsch

  2. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/31/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  3. Update for Paul,
    I weighed some of the components of my combat gear:
    Weapons, ammunition, body armor, helmet- a little over 60 pounds
    Medical Aid bag (robust as a doctors bag should be)- almost 20 pounds.
    Incidentals, water, electronic gear, makes up the other 8.

    Certainly you cannot maneuver for extended periods of time in this gear or operate as light infantry, but you can mount and dismount a vehicle- although the site is ungainly at times.