‘Ironman’ A game-changer on the battlefield

The Ironman system uses a MOLLE medium frame designed to carry up to 60 pounds. In addition to the cargo area for ammunition, Soldiers can carry at least two pouches for mission-essential gear. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

The Ironman system uses a MOLLE medium frame designed to carry up to 60 pounds. In addition to the cargo area for ammunition, Soldiers can carry at least two pouches for mission-essential gear. (U.S. Army photo by David Kamm)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MEHTAR Lam, Afghanistan — It all began during an intense 2 1/2-hour firefight with the enemy earlier this year in Afghanistan.

As members of the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, sat around later at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam and discussed the engagement, they talked about how three-man teams manning crew-served weapons struggled to stay together over difficult terrain in fluid battles.

Someone mentioned actor Jesse Ventura in the movie “Predator.” His character brandished an M-134 Mini-gun fed by an ammo box on his back. After the Soldiers had a good laugh over that thought, Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski asked why a gunner couldn’t carry a combat load of ammo. He decided to pursue the idea.

 

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