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Field Pack, Combat M-1956
Vietnam War Era M56 (LCE) Load Carrying Equipment
Made in USA
Warning: Last items in stock!
The M-1956 Load-Carrying Equipment (LCE), also known as the Individual Load-Carrying Equipment (ILCE), replaced the M-1945 Combat Pack in the early 1960s. The M-1956 LCE came at a period when the United States Army was in the process of adopting a new service rifle, and thus the system is very general-purpose in nature, designed to accommodate ammunition and cartridge magazines for a number of standard issue small arms. The M-1956 LCE remained in service from the late 1950s through the 1980s and set the standard for future United States military load-carrying equipment.
The Field Pack was a square canvas pouch, just larger than a foot square, designed to hold a single day's Meal, Combat, Individual (C-Ration) as well as sparse personal implements like a shaving kit and extra socks. The bed roll was attached externally (see Sleeping Bag Straps). The Field Pack's placement at the rear of the pistol-belt led to it being referred to colloquially as the "butt pack." The first pattern featured a square top flap which closed with a pair of web straps and friction buckles. This design was modified slightly in the 1961-pattern Field Pack (See Modifications below). Common features of both including canvas construction, attachment to the pistol belt with two slide keepers and a pair of eyelets at the top of the pack for attaching the individual suspenders directly to the pack in order to keep it upright and help distribute weight to the shoulders. Both also included a web handle at the top for hand-carriage, web strap along the side with eyelets for the attachment of equipment with either slide keepers or wire hangers, and a pair of web straps at the bottom of the pack for attaching items like the poncho and poncho liner. Both also featured a clear plastic window on the inner side of the pack for inserting a card with name and service number, as well as cloth-taped edges.