HAMILTON, Ontario – The long awaited rucksack from the Clothe the Soldier (CTS) program will soon be making an appearance at a Quartermasters Stores near you. Fifty thousand two hundred and forty of these high tech load carriage systems are being manufactured by the Canadian company, Fellfab Limited.
The rucksack will be issued to dismounted soldiers required to wear fragmentation protection and carry combat supplies and sustainment items for up to 72 hours in the field. The rucksack is specifically designed to integrate with the CTS Load Carriage System, which also includes the Tactical Vest and the Small Pack System currently in service. It is also compatible with the CTS Fragmentation Protective Vest, CG 634 Soldier´s Helmet, and all in-service combat clothing.
Lieutenant Leigh Mathieson, Load Carriage Officer, Directorate Land Requirements, (DLR)-6 said, "Clothe the Soldier is going to deliver a state of the art pack that has a lot of features available in commercial packs."
Soldiers in Afghanistan extensively tested the rucksack in field trials and human factor evaluations, where it received very favourable reviews.
Afghanistan veteran Captain Ray Corby and two other members of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, visited the Fellfab plant to check out the manufacturing process and get a close look at the new equipment. "I think it´s a pretty big leap forward," Capt Corby said, "The soldiers are really excited to be getting it and they can´t wait for them to start arriving in Petawawa."
The Fellfab Company is no stranger to military contracts and has supplied the Canadian military with the Tactical Vest and the Small Pack System. David Chapman, an industrial engineer for Fellfab, was instrumental in setting up the line for production of the rucksack. He is very proud of the product that is now coming off the line and also for the fact that they are helping out Canadian soldiers deployed around the world. "It´s a real honour to make a product like this."
Article and photos by Warrant Officer Brad Phillips, a reporter for Army News.