The individual load carrying equipment (ILCE) is intended for use in hot, temperate, and cold-wet regions of the world. It is not for use in cold-dry arctic regions.
The pistol belt helps to support the field pack and is used to carry the intrenching tool and carrier, ammunition pouches, canteen and canteen cover, and first aid or compass case.
The intrenching tool carrier is made of olive drab cotton duck material and is attached to the pistol belt by means of two attaching clips located on the back. An attachment for carrying the bayonet or bayonet knife scabbard is located on the front of the carrier.
The sleeping bag carrier is designed so that the sleeping bag and other sleeping equipment can be carried on the back above the field pack. By means of a quick-release system, sleeping equipment can be dropped quickly in case of emergency.
The first aid case is used to carry either a field dressing or an unmounted magnetic compass.
The ammunition case is a shortened version of the universal ammunition case. It is designed to carry four 20-round magazines used with the M-16 rifle.
The canteen cover accommodates a one-quart canteen and a cup. The lining on the inside of the canteen cover should be kept wet during hot weather in order to help keep the water in the canteen cool. The cover should be kept dry during cold weather, however, as the lining material provides limited protection in preventing the water in the canteen from freezing.
The field pack is used to carry individual rations and equipment that are essential during field operations. It is designed to permit certain items to be carried in a number of different ways to meet changing conditions. For example, the poncho, can be carried inside the pack under the expandable flap or it can be attached to the bottom of the pack by means of the two adjustable securing straps. Extra items of small clothing, such as underwear and socks, also can be rolled and placed under the expandable flap. Outer clothing not in use can be secured under the pack or under the flap, depending on the location of the poncho. In placing items in the field pack, hard objects such as ration cans should be placed on the outside, with softer items such as clothing on the inside toward the wearer's back. A series of eyelets at the edge of the pack flap will accommodate the double hooks used on old field equipment carriers for such items as wire cutters and machetes.
The ammunition pouch is designed to carry any of the basic loads of ammunition. But with special weapons, it may be necessary to carry more ammunition than the pouches will accommodate. When extra ammunition is necessary, bandoleers of ammunition may be carried in a cross-chest manner. To place bandoleers of ammunition in the ammunition pouches, make a neat bundle by folding the bandoleers accordion-fashion and placing them in the pouches with the bandoleer straps at the top. This method permits the bandoleers to be inserted and removed easily.
The pack adapter strap permits the field pack to be attached to the suspenders at a position high enough on the individual's back to provide lower space for carrying additional items of equipment, such as canteens and first aid kits, on the pistol belt. The adapter strap also allows the field pack to be carried high enough on the back to permit the carry of heavy loads, such as mortar base plates, ammunition, or radios.
The suspenders are used to support, the field pack and the pistol belt. The shoulder pads should be centered on the shoulders in order to distribute the weight of the load evenly. The suspenders may be worn without the field pack. When wearing the suspenders without the field pack, the suspender straps should be attached directly to the pistol belt. To keep the weight of the load evenly on both shoulders, attach the rear suspender straps at even spaces from the center of the rear of the pistol belt.