Our boy Greg Grant passed this information down to us that he obtained from someone on the plane with SecDef Gates on his trip to the AO:
And I'll be asking about equipment in general. For example, one of the members of Congress told me offline at the hearings the other day that he heard some complaints from some of the soldiers about the straps on their backpacks being too thin and putting too much pressure on their shoulders in ways that leave their hands numb; so just little stuff like that. I'll be asking the soldiers what kind of equipment issues they have that we can do something about back in Washington...So, this is interesting; the issue of backpack straps has filtered its way down to the Gates level (had any of you heard about this?) and shows that the executive level is looking at these issues as much as the legislative likes to. Maybe some lessons were learned from the Iraq experience where seemingly innocuous Soldier requests become political clubs to batter the administration (body armor, vehicle armoring, MRAPs, drones, etc.). A little preemption on DoD's part?
Let us know through the TipUsOff line if you've heard anything about this pack strap issue...