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On field operations, the weapons and equipment employed by Military Police are very different from that worn on base or town patrol duty in Canada. Normally the standard issue load carrying equipment is worn. Between 1968 and about 1985 the 1964 Pattern Web Equipment was worn. 1964 Pattern Web was a failure in both concept and execution and was thoroughly despised by the troops.
Beginning in the mid 1970s several patterns of web equipment were developed and issued for user trials. These trials resulted in the adoption of Canadian 1982 Pattern Webbing (WE'82). WE'82 was a modular system based on a waistbelt (Utility Belt) supported by a padded shoulder Yoke attached by Hook-Straps. An assortment of pouches and equipment carriers could be attached to the Utility Belt by means of plastic hooks on the equipment and metal grommits on the belt. The type and location of equipment worn on the belt depended on the soldier's combat role, and to a lesser degree, personal preference. Unlike previous patterns of web equipment which were worn around the middle of the waist, WE'82 was worn with the belt secured around the fleshy part of the hips.
WE'82 was a moderate success. The only real problem with WE'82 was that the small plastic hooks tended to snap after some use or in extreme cold and the metal grommits were easily deformed. Although not perfect it was a huge improvement on the WE'64. WE'82 was used by many soldiers on early rotations in Afghanistan in preference to the Tactical and Load Bearing Vests. As of 2009, WE'82 was still in limited service in the Canadian army.
When WE'82 was adopted, the Canadian Forces were armed with the FN C1A1 rifle, FN C2 light machinegun and the C1 submachinegun, therefore magazine carriers and a bayonet frog for these weapons were adopted. In the mid 1980s these weapons were replaced by the C7 and C8 rifles and the C9 light machinegun, and new magazine carriers were produced. An improved pattern of bayonet frog was also adopted.
As of the late 1990s the 1982 Pattern web equipment was in the process of being replaced by Tactical Load Bearing Vests and Tactical Vests.
The 1982 Pattern Equipment was based on three sets: FIGHTING ORDER, BATTLE ORDER, and MARCHING ORDER.
Fighting Order was the basic set and consisted of the personal equipment, weapons and ammunition carried by a soldier immediately ready for combat.
For Military Police, Fighting Order usually consisted of the basic components:
Yoke with Hook-Strap Assemblies
Bayonet, Scabbard and Scabbard Holder
Magazine Pouch(s) (one for the SMG C1 or two for the C7 Rifle)
Canteen and Carrier
Carrier and Mask, C4 NBC
Carrier KFS (Knife, Fork, Spoon)
Depending on Unit Standing Orders and the rank/position of the soldier, a Utility Pouch, Compass Carrier, Pistol Holster or an Entrenching Tool Carrier might be added. Additional items of equipment not associated with WE'82 were included such as steel helmet, reflective traffic control cuffs, reflective vests, flashlights and body armor. A shell dressing was often taped to the left front of the yoke and another was worn under the helmet camouflage cover.
Battle Order consisted of Fighting Order and the ammunition, equipment and rations required to support a soldier in combat for a period not exceeding 72 hours. For practical purposes this consisted of the addition of the Small Field Pack.
Marching Order consisted of Battle Order and those items of equipment required to support a soldier in the combat zone for an indefinite period of time. For practical purposes this consisted of the addition of the Large Field Pack and it's contents.
The Combat Shovel or entrenching tool was an American pattern known as the "Tri Fold Shovel". There were two versions issued to Canadians: a short version with a short blade and handle, and a longer version. Each version had it's own carrier.
The WE'82 Compass Pouch was identical to the WE'64 Compass Pouch with the exception of the method of fastening it to the Utility Belt.