By By Sgt. 1st Class Rhonda M. Lawson, 2ID Public Affairs Operations NCOAugust 27, 2008
The days of ACU-patterned uniforms mixed with BDU-patterned equipment are ending for Soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division.
Thanks to Program Executive Office Soldier, the nearly 10,000 Soldiers received the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System, and the Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. The fieldings, which began in late July, are ended Aug. 15.
Fielding for the ECWCS Generation III, according to Maj. Jake Swantkowski, DSTB Executive Officer and former Organization Clothing & Individual Equipment manager for the Division G4, has been programmed for 2ID for about a year. Korea was third on the list to receive the system behind Afghanistan and Alaska. It is a seven-layer system of 12 individual components with a functional temperature range of -50 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to the sleeping bag. It replaces the bear suit, which includes the black or brown fleece, as well as the wet weather and Gortex gear.
"The sleeping bags keep you warm at night, so the new outerwear is guaranteed to keep you warm," said Sgt. Rodolph Avalos, of HHB, 210th Fires Brigade.
"Individual preferences can be met by layering, which makes more sense," Swantkowski explained.
The MOLLE system, according to Swantkowski, was a recent addition to the fielding. He explained that it was fielded across the Army for Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, but the 2ID G4 coordinated directly with DA and enabled Soldiers across the peninsula to receive the new equipment.
"They were able to facilitate a quick, unforecasted fielding for the MOLLE," Swantkowski said. "The 2ID was the first to receive it, but eventually every Soldier in Korea will have it."
The MOLLE system was developed to replace the All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment and Integrated Individual Fighting System. It consists of a modular rucksack with removable components and a fighting load carrier that can accept pockets for riflemen, pistol, squad automatic weapon, medic, and grenadier configurations. For short-duration missions, there is an assault pack and waist pack.
"It's a huge improvement," said Sgt. 1st Class Ada Moore, the 579th Signal Company, 210th Fires first sergeant. "Before, we didn't have the compartments to attach to our IBA. We had to attach everything to our (Load Bearing Vests) and wear that. I wish I had that in Iraq."
Soldiers also received the new M4 Carbine Rifles in place of the M9 Pistol, M3 Submachine Gun and M16A2 Rifle. Fielding for 2ID began earlier this month.
Editor's Note: Some information for this story came from a PEO Soldier press release.