The US troops deployed in Afghanistan have to carry a serious load on high altitude rugged terrain and it is taking its toll. The Washington Post reports:
Army leaders and experts say the injuries — linked to the stress of bearing heavy loads during repeated 12- or 15-month combat tours — have increased the number of soldiers categorized as “non-deployable.” Army personnel reported 257,000 acute orthopedic injuries in 2007, up from 247,000 the previous year.
Individual Marine combat loads — including protective gear, weapons, ammunition, water, food and communications gear — range from 97 to 135 pounds, well over the recommended 50 pounds, a 2007 Navy study found.
In Afghanistan, soldiers routinely carry loads of 130 to 150 pounds for three-day missions, said Jim Stone, acting director of the soldier requirements division at the Army Infantry Center at Fort Benning, Ga. In Iraq, where patrols are more likely to use vehicles, loads range from 60 to nearly 100 pounds, he said.
Emphasis mine. I will be thinking twice before complaining next time I am out on a hunt carrying a 9 lbs rifle. The below photo is a village at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountain Range in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. That is some nasty terrain.
There is a discussion about the article at ar15.com.
Thanks to Jay for the links.