One way of making sure that everything needed for a mission is available and accounted for is to attach it to a pack or vest. This can be done through the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) system. This is a means of using woven straps to attach tactical gear to compatible pouches and apparel. The system is used on ops by both military and law enforcement personnel.
The MOLLE gear system makes it possible to carry heavier equipment and distribute the load better than simply putting it inside a backpack. This increases not only the comfort, but the durability of the individual using the system. It also improves accessibility to extra pockets, devices, weapons or ammunition. There are different configurations and designs of accessories, depending on the needs of the person using them. MOLLE systems can be present not only on the backs of packs, but also on the sides.
Any gear devised for the MOLLE system is compatible with either the webbing or the straps. Some items are usable with both; others have a clip that is compatible with the system to speed up the attachment and detachment process. Snaps are also available for certain items when security is of highest importance. The snaps are not meant to be used instead of the weaving method, but in addition to it so that it will not come off easily.
Straps are usually made of durable waterproof cloth. The rig or vest is generally made of a heavy-duty nylon woven material. Buckles are most commonly made of a tough, durable plastic. Elastic bands are available on some accessories, such as radio and communications pouches, to help secure the items without damaging them. Hook and loop closures are also offered as security measures with a quick release.
MOLLE pouches enable personnel to carry additional supplies both inside and outside the pouch, depending on its design. Bags and pouches are waterproof and can hold items such as weapons, ammunition, tactical goggles and tools. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the particular individual and operation. Some come with additional retention levels to prevent loss of the item carrying it, either by accident or by theft.
The MOLLE system, which was introduced in 1997, can attach items such as edged weapons, flashlights, bedrolls, first aid kits and communications devices. Not only for use on vests and rigs for backs and chests, there are accessory platforms also designed for vehicles, belts and legs.
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