Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat team of the 4th Infantry Division have been training at Fort Irwin, Calif., this month to prepare for possible deployment to Kuwait. More than 200 of those soldiers are testing a new lightweight mountain boots produced by the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts.
The Army in a news release said the experimental boots are up to a pound lighter per pair than boots now worn by soldiers. Sixteen ounces can be a big deal for already heavily-burdened troops. Soldiers in combat wear from 50-100 pounds of gear from body armor and rations to weapons and extra magazines.
The Army said Fort Carson soldiers were issued three styles of the boots to test at Fort Irwin, where they’ll spend a month practicing desert warfare in one of the hottest places in America. Forecasters predicted an unseasonably cold day at Fort Irwin Friday, with the high temperature only hitting 99 degrees. Temperatures are expected to return to normal at the desert training site next week, with highs reaching past 115 degrees.
The boots that Fort Carson soldiers prefer could wind up being issued to all soldiers heading to Afghanistan.