Certain units thought they were going to Ft. Bragg on an emergency deployment readiness exercise when they were alerted. They felt they would be deployed for only a few days, so soldiers modified the prescribed packing list because they felt there wasn't any need to carry everything on it. It was unusually cold at Ft. Bragg so most soldiers packed some cold weather clothing and only one extra set of BDUs and two sets of underwear. Soldiers took their shaving kit but didn't have time to replace their toothpaste and shaving cream. Most soldiers ran out of certain toilet articles by the end of the first week. Units gave the hungry people in the villages their MREs because they thought they had plenty of rations in the CDS bundles.
Commanders took care of soldiers by insisting that the system provide sundry packs. Strict compliance with packing lists and the care and maintenance of clothing and equipment can prevent the premature requirement for sundry packs and the emergency issue of uniforms and boots.
- Soldiers must comply with unit packing lists. Personal equipment has to be serviceable and in sufficient quantities to sustain soldiers for a reasonable amount of time. Pre-combat checks by squad leaders will ensure compliance and readiness.
- Uniforms deteriorate quickly in hot and humid conditions. Equipment near the end of its useful life will deteriorate at a faster rate. Extra sets of clothing are essential.
- Sundry packs must contain travel-size containers of soap, toothpaste, and other items. Current doctrine envisions sundry packs being available within 60 days of deployment because they are not maintained in depot system. Soldiers must deploy with sufficient toilet articles to sustain them for at least 15 days.
- Soldiers will have compassion for disadvantaged people and will give away clothing and rations. Commanders should monitor this and caution soldiers in austere conditions.
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