Question regarding modern US Army backpacks 2001-2004

As the title says, what type and colors where used back in the early days of Afghanistan and Iraq? I assume Molle was pretty common, but I only find pictures in multi cam or UCP pattern. I’m especially interested in large back packs used by special forces during this time period (I guess they used whatever type they wanted…)

back during the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom, the CFP-90 was prety common-issue. But older ALICE packs would’ve been used as well…

SF-types probably used other brands, like Blackhawk, which was popular at the time.

At 3ID, we still had ALICE rucksacks and other gear in '03. I used a large one. I continued to use it until about '07 when we changed to the digital pattern gray UCP ACUs. I modified mine with quick-release black snap clips on all the straps though. The buttons were a PITA.

Shortly after, woodland MOLLE rucksacks stated being issued. They already come with teh black snap clips.

I personally used a large ALICE in both 2002 and 2007. Plain OG although I have one I spray painted black disruptive bands on.
MOLLE was crap for jumping in cold weather- it would often shatter. None of us ever really took to it.

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These backpacks are available in 1/35 scale in plastic or resin accessory sets: MENG, HobbyFan, DML modern US figure sets, Tamiya, Legend Productions, Jason Studio, etc.

I remember having a large LC-1 ALICE Pack when I was in-country in 2003-04 (Iraq). MOLLE was issued in limited quantities, since there wasn’t enough for everyone. I had a couple pouches, but not much else, and those I got while dumpster diving in Kuwait.

Funny story about dumpster-diving. My unit (Military Police) was in charge of the APOD at Camp Wolf/Champion in Kuwait and we ran the “Amnesty Boxes” around camp. Basically, therey were boxes where soldiers would put their contraband after returning from Iraq without getting busted trying to smuggle it in their equipment.

We would also drive to the marshalling yards to inspect vehicles prior to being loaded up on ships to return to the US. Needless to say, we always picked up weapons being smuggled inside gas tanks, under floor panels; inside connexes; you name it…

(I think that how I ended working for US Customs after the war. :grin: )

Anyways, a lot of soldiers dumped a ton of serviceable equipment into the camp’s dumpsters; so me and the boys always picked up good stuff for free from the units that rotated through the APOD. Also, picked up some sensitive stuff that was not meant to be dumped (OPSEC), like military maps with unit locations, explosives, ammunition, and weapons, etc…

So, whatever did not get turned over to EOD for disposal or to command, we kept.

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The was a couple of Marines back in 03 from one of the LAR Bn.‘s who got caught trying to smuggle an AK back inside a vehicle tire on an LAV. There was also the rocket scientist who brought a piece of UXO aboard a ship (I think it was a bomblet) that detonated in a berthing space. We heard about all that when my unit was going through our shakedown prior to going home - for all the bluster about how thorough they were going to be they didn’'t check my medical bag at all, the MP told me to just close it up he wasn’t going to know what he was looking at anyway…


I was a US Army Cold Warrior in the 80’s and 90’s, and never once tried to keep anything that was contraband - except that there is a big Zutritt Verboten sign in my basement from the fence of a (now-closed) facility in West Germany that remains heavily classified to this day. It came home with my household goods and I haven’t the slightest memory of how I acquired it in the first place.

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To straphang on 18Bravo’s comments, regulations for rigging personal equipment for airborne operations were changed around that time so that only the MOLLE was authorized for use, so many of us kept a MOLLE ruck stuffed with BS for jumps and hung onto whatever other ruck we personally preferred. (I kept and used one of the second gen Lowe rucks from when I got it issued ca. 1985 until I retired in '04.)

However, MOLLE with woodland pattern was the standard issue around the time in your OP. I deployed to both OEF and OIF (as well as all of the stuff that happened in the ‘90s) with my trusty ol’ Lowe pack. (Which I’m happy to say, I still have.)


If I remember properly the top pic in HeavyArtys post is what i had issued during this time frame in Korea. It was sometime in 05-06 when we got the new ACU pattern stuff with the plastic frame.