Predator-Inspired Ammo Backpack Cobbled Together By Soldiers In Afghanistan


Verified Military
Verified Military
Oct 24, 2006

A group of Iowa National Guard, fresh from a harrowing two-and-a-half-hour firefight in Afghanistan earlier this year, found itself questioning the effectiveness of some of their new equipment. They had been issued M240B light machine guns for support fire, but they found themselves constantly reloading with new 50-round belts, which necessitated a ammo bearer with a bunch of belts at the ready. “The ammunition sacks that came with it made it too cumbersome and heavy to carry over long, dismounted patrols and especially when climbing mountains. Initially, we came up with using 50-round belts and just reloading constantly, which led to lulls of fire and inefficiency,” said Staff Sgt Vincent Winkoski.

While discussing the shortcomings of their setup (as you might do if your lives depended on it), someone mentioned the movie Predator, in which Jesse Ventura’s character had an ammo box for his minigun strapped to his back. They laughed about it, but Winkowski got to thinking, and with a can-do attitude that becomes of a soldier, decided to put something like it together.

He took some modular gear they had lying around (a carrying frame, all-purpose pouch), combined it with some parts from a remote weapons station, and with a little tinkering and glue, he had himself a working ammo backpack.

They tested it on the range, and it worked. And when their squad was ambushed in a valley by a group of enemy fighters, it proved it was more than just an experiment. Winkowski sent pictures and a description to science advisers in the Army’s research division. They loved it.

Within 48 days, they had redeployed a new, lighter, stronger prototype into the theater. “We were able to put everything together very quickly and were able to prove that with a combat load — that’s 43 pounds with 500 rounds, inclusive of the weight of the kit itself — that still gives the Soldier 17 pounds worth of cargo weight to attach to the frame and still be within the design specifications for the MOLLE medium,” said Dave Roy, who received the design and oversaw the prototyping.

I don’t post this just in the “cool new guns” spirit, though it’s certainly a neat gadget from that perspective. I just thought it was fantastic how the spirit of innovation pops up when you least expect it, and it seems that even within the tightly-regulated world of the Army, a good idea occasionally can take root and be on the ground fast enough to save a few lives. The freedom to create and hack is important and powerful, and providing the tools for people to do it (in this case, forward-thinking modular systems and a willingness to experiment) is an advantage in industry as well as battle.
Here you go "lazy" O...

That is way cool!!!


Original design.

Updated design.
This is a really cool story and I would not ever want to take away from the innovation of guys in the field, but MARSEC4's FB page just posted this very story with an interesting twist. Apparently this thing was already available and the Army just missed it. Maybe there was some other reason they didn't want to use it, such as it being made in China. Not sure, but an interesting story.
Source: SSD 7 July 2011
The Army developed he “new” High-Capacity Ammunition Carriage System in 45 days for use by troops in Operation Enduring Freedom. As soon as I saw it I raised an eyebrow. Unfortunately, it already existed in the form of the MICO from Tyr Tactical. The MICO was developed on Tyr’s own dime and debuted about a year ago. If time was of the essence, it sounds like the Army wasted 45 days to redevelop a commercial product that already existed.
Since we haven’t actually seen the High-Capacity Ammunition Carriage System, it might work entirely differently from the MICO. For instance the MICO uses a dedicated frame while the Government model attaches to a Down East frame. However, conceptually, they work the same way. Granted, it’s been done before to varying degrees of success, but something had to inspire the idea. We have been at war for nine years and no one asked for this until now? Was there at the very least some outside inspiration? Take a look at both versions and you be the judge.
I remember when Tyr brought this out.

Cool design but I'd hate to have a runaway gun with it on.

Reach up there and grab/hold the cocking lever to the rear, too easy....Come on Mac...:p:D

I think that rig looks cool as shit, I would not want to pack that with the 240B, but looks cool!