Category Archives: PLCE Webbing

PLCE Side Pouch Yoke

In the past we have looked at the standard PLCE yoke in the original olive green here. This however was not the only yoke issued with the set, and a second one was provided to allow the side pouches of the rucksack to be attached and carried as a small day sack. Visually the two yokes appear very similar at first glance, but have a different arrangement of clips to allow the side pouches to be attached. Like the rest of the PLCE set this was originally constructed in olive green, before being superseded by a DPM version that we have tonight:imageA large mesh panel is provided on the rear to help provide strength whilst not overheating the wearer:imageThe shoulder strap part of the yoke is made from DPM infra-red resistant Cordua nylon in a DPM pattern and is padded for comfort:imageThe two rucksack pouches attach using Fastex clips, which are position around the yoke in the appropriate positions:imageA waist strap is also provided:imageIn use this tended to be used to pass around the pouches to help hold them steady and prevent them from flopping around whilst the wearer was running.

This yoke is remarkably late, having been manufactured in 2014:imageI suspect that this yoke has never been issued as it appears as good as the day it was manufactured!

Assembling a rucksack from the side pouches was an involved process, and here is illustrated in the fitting instructions:Capture1Capture2Capture3This piece of PLCE is unbelievably cheap- I paid just £2.99 for an example posted to me from eBay. I now need to find a pair of the rucksack pouches and see how hard it is to actually assemble…

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DPM Second Pattern PLCE Rifle Grenade Pouch

Today we are used to the idea of an underslung grenade launcher for the SA80, this has been used very successfully in conflicts for the past fifteen years. Before this was introduced though, the SA80 was issued with a rifle grenade that fitted over the muzzle of the rifle and was fired by a cartridge from the breach of the gun itself:imageTo accompany this grenade, a special pouch was created as part of the PLCE webbing systems. Originally in olive green, this carrier was later produced in DPM:imageThe original design was a full pouch, this DPM version though is just a skeleton pouch. Two white plastic cups in the base of the carrier hold the noses of the grenades:imageTwo little lids are provided, one for each grenade:imageStraps underneath the lid help hold the tails of the rifle grenades secure:imageThe pouches are designed to be used in a number of ways and so the back of them is very ‘busy’:imageA flap is provided on the back for a belt to pass through so the pouch can be worn on the belt:imageUnder the flap are a pair of ‘T’ bar fasteners that lock into the belt of the PLCE system:imagePrimarily however it was expected that a pair of pouches would be zipped to a bergan in place of one of the standard side pouches. In order to do this a heavy duty zip is fitted round the outside rear of the pouch:imageFastex clips are also fitted to allow a shoulder strap to be fitted or to attach the pouches to the day sack yoke:imageThis particular pouch dates back to 1997:imageThe muzzle launched rifle grenade was only a short lived concept, the much smaller and more effective underslung launcher replacing it and rendering these pouches obsolete. As such they are readily available on the surplus market and a cheap addition to the collection.

PLCE Wire Cutter Pouch

As well as the standard infantry load bearing equipment, a number of specialist pouches were also developed for the PLCE set. Wire cutters have been issued to soldiers almost since the introduction of barbed wire as a defensive weapon in the mid-nineteenth century. Some of these designs of cutters were to prove exceptionally long lasting and the folding British army wire cutters had a very lengthy service life and I believe they are still in general use today, despite the design dating back at least as far as 1915- over a hundred years for a piece of kit is not a bad service life!

The PLCE frog for these cutters is a wedge shaped pouch in DPM Cordua nylon:imageThe cutters fit in like this:imageDue to the heavy duty nature of the contents, the top flap of this pouch is secured with both a press stud and a strip of Velcro:imageThis particular example was manufactured in 2004 as indicated on the label sewn onto the underside of the top flap:imageThe back of the pouch will be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of PLCE webbing:imageThe small loop is to pass a steadying string through. Above this is the main belt loop, secured with press studs. Lifting this flap reveals the plastic T-bars that engage with the small pockets on a PLCE belt:imageI don’t believe this pouch is too hard to find, but as with this example you might have to source the cutters themselves separately and then put the pair back together again!

MTP Medical Trauma Pouch

We seem to have had quite a number of medical items on the blog recently, and tonight is no exception, with an MTP Medical Trauma Pouch: imageYou might recall we looked at an earlier iteration of this pouch a few weeks back here. This pouch is clearly serving the same purpose, but is a more up to date design that has taken into account some of the shortcomings of the earlier design. One of the problems of the earlier design was that if it was opened whilst still attached to the belt, one of the smaller front pockets was upside down and potentially items could fall out when it was opened. To counter this problem, on the MTP version when opened out only the top half folds down, which then reveals the second smaller pocket with a top flap opening across the pocket so everything remains vertical for access: imageTwo small side pockets have been added to the pouch to separate out items that are needed for easy access. Judging by the shape I would think these were used to hold the morphine syringes: imageAs well as a change in colour from olive green to MTP (there is a DPM version in between that I don’t have yet), the fixings on the rear have changed to allow this pouch to be fully compatible with PLCE web gear: imageBeneath the top flap are two plastic ‘T’ bars for attaching to the belt: imageAnd on the top are the same fasteners you see on PLCE pouches allowing the yoke of the PLCE set to be attached: imageNote also the medical cross symbol on a printed label on the top flap. The top flap itself has a clear plastic liner that creates another small pocket to allow small items such as alcohol wipes to be easily stowed here: imageThe lid is secured with a black plastic ‘Fastex’ buckle on the front: imageInterestingly nearly all of these pouches I have seen have an incorrect label sewn to the rear. Although this is an MTP pouch, the labels frequently describe them as DPM: imageThis suggests that the manufacturer’s forgot to update the label printing when they updated the camouflage! The contents of this pouch would be similar to the example we looked at earlier. This is a suggested packing list from the contents card:

1 x Pouch, Medical, 3-compartment

1 x Suction Easy

1 x Resuscitation aid face shield

1 x Adult Triage Label Pack Individual 5 Triage labels 5 Dead

1 x Chest Seal Asherman single use

2 x Morphine auto injector 1 x Pencil, Skin marking

2 x Emergency Bandage Trauma

1 x Tourniquet System Self applied CATS

1 x Scissors bandage universal Tufcut

2 x Bandage triangular calico

4 x Gloves medical examination/procedure size medium

1 x Hemcon Bandage

Olive Green PLCE Entrenching Tool Cover

Tonight we come to the last part of our mini-series on the olive green PLCE set of webbing and we are looking at the entrenching tool cover. I would direct you back to this post here for more details on the entrenching tool itself and the rubberised case it fits into. The cover itself is made of olive green Cordua nylon and is in the same distinctive ‘shield’ shape as the DPM version we looked at previously:imageAs can be seen there are a number of plastic Fastex clips on the front of the cover. The clip right in the front and centre is used to hold the entrenching tool itself into the cover securely:imageThis clip is mounted on an ‘v’ of webbing which allows a waterbottle to be substituted, the cap fitting neatly in the notch of the webbing ‘v’. Two other Fastex clips are fitted inside the cover:imageThese are used to secure the cover to the belt of the PLCE set, simply clipping around the belt itself:imageTypically the entrenching tool was worn centrally mounted at the very rear of a set of PLCE as it was the most seldom used piece of equipment so could be tucked away in the most inaccessible part of the set.

Interestingly the rear of the cover is actually almost completely bare:imageA single loop is provided to pass a piece of para-cord through to help tie down the components of the webbing set so they don’t bounce around when the wearer runs.

This then concludes out little foray into Gulf War PLCE, as with many of the other components my thanks go to Michael Fletcher who helped hook me up with many of the pieces of the set.

Olive Green S10 Respirator Haversack

Tonight we are looking at another respirator haversack, that fits in between the olive green butyl nylon example here, and the DPM example here. This respirator haversack was developed as part of the olive green PLCE webbing set, and is made of the same fabric as the rest of the components we have been looking at over the last few weeks:imageThe haversack is made from a plain green Cordua nylon, with a large box lid, secured with Velcro and a press stud:imageThe underside of this lid has two elasticated straps for stowing the user’s NBC gloves. This example has just a single marking under the lid, with the words ‘MADE IN UK’ printed here:imageThe inside of the haversack has a front pocket for carrying nerve agent pens, nerve tablets etc. Two other pockets are fitted in the base of the bag to hold spare canisters:imageHere we see the rear of the haversack. As well as a belt loop at the top, we can see another smaller loop to allow a steadying strap to be passed around the waist to hold the haversack steady so it doesn’t flap around when slung over the shoulder if the wearer needs to run:imageNext to this is a green patch for the owner to put his personal details (although in this case the original user has ignored this and just written his name across the back in black marker!

One major area of difference between this haversack and later examples can be found under the belt loop flap:imageThe ‘T-tabs’ used to attach it to the PLCE belt are made of metal, rather than the plastic which can be seen on the DPM version.

My thanks go to Michael Fletcher for helping me add this interesting variant to my collection.

Olive Green PLCE Bayonet Frog

Continuing our ongoing look at the green PLCE set tonight we look at the bayonet frog. The later camouflaged frog has been covered here, but there are some obvious changes to the methods of attachment between the two designs beyond just their colour:imageThe SA80 was issued with a cast metal bayonet that had a plastic scabbard. This scabbard had a female Fastex clip at the top and this fastened to the male half on the bayonet frog to prevent the scabbard coming loose:imageThe back of the frog is where the most obvious differences between the two patterns lie:imageThese early frogs have two nylon tape loops to pass a belt through and a pair of brass c-hooks to secure the frog into position:imageThese allow a high and low belt position to be chosen by the wearer. Manufacturer’s details, NSN number and other information is printed directly onto the fabric:imageFrom this we can see the frog was made in 1990.

Clearly the fastening arrangements were inadequate as an updated green version of the frog, introduced in 1991, replaced the belt fixings with Velcro, poppers and T-bars. This in turn was replaced by an otherwise identical DPM version just a year later.

As with so much of the olive green PLCE I have been covering over the last few weeks, my thanks go to Michael Fletcher for helping me add this one to my collection.