Military.com ran a story today about the U.S. Army fielding new, high-end, mountaineering gear to all infantry brigade combat teams.
The improved kit comes as U.S. forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan after more than a decade of deployments to the rugged, mountainous country. In the past, units have spent their own funds on commercial mountain gear.
This new gear will come in tactical colors and feature gear from proven brands such as Black Diamond, Petzl, MSR and Metolius. Units will receive the gear organized into the High Altitude Mountaineering Kit, the Assault Climber Team Kit and the Snow and Ice Kit -- all of which are designed to equip platoon-size units, or up to 40 soldiers, with ropes, ice axes, crampons and other climbing gear certified by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.
Now the Army has one, standardized set of equipment that has about 80 percent of the same mountaineering gear used by the Marine Corps, said Darren Bean, a retired Army sergeant major and instructor at the AMWS. Dean is now an engineer for Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment.Currently, there arn't many photos of the kit, but we will put more up as they become available. Here's a couple for now.
"In the past, units could buy whatever they wanted, and we have no control over that," he said. "This now provides one standard set of equipment, so both the Army and the Marine Corps have stuff that integrates well together."