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Weight of soldiers gear -- 70 to 130 pounds

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Weight of soldiers gear -- 70 to 130 pounds
February 13, 2011 08:26AM
February 12, 2011

Weight of War: Gear that protects troops also injures them
Military studies acknowledge that combat soldiers are carrying too much weight — often more than 100 pounds. These loads have contributed to soaring numbers of injuries, and higher costs in disability payments.

By Hal Bernton

Before venturing out on patrol in Iraq, Spc. Joseph Chroniger would wrap his upper body in armor, then sling on a vest and pack that contained batteries for his radio, water, food, flashlight, ammunition and other gear. With his M4 rifle, the whole get-up weighed 70 to 80 pounds — and left him aching.

... When soldiers headed out on extended foot patrols, their average load ranged from 87 pounds to 127 pounds. When they came under attack and dropped their rucksacks, most of their fighting loads still exceeded 60 pounds.

... A 2007 study by a Navy research-advisory committee found Marines typically have loads from 97 to 135 pounds. The committee, citing information from the VA, stated that an increasing number of disabilities due to lower-back problems were a "direct result" of carrying excessive loads for long periods.

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