Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE)
I am only going to cover the original 1997 issued Molle system here. It is in this configuration it is rarely seen. This is for several reasons. In 1998 the Interceptor vest was issued. This had the attachment webbing on it allready for the MOLLE pouch, so mostly the pouches were just added to that. Another reason was low budgets of the military during this era. Moreover, Molle II was issued in very late 2000. Many of the pre 2001 MOLLE NSNs were revised and issued in MOLLE II. Lastly, in late 2001, the MOLLE II system came out in the Desert coffee stain camo. What I want here to do is I want to describe here the ORIGINAL MOLLE system, in woodland camo, as it was rarely seen.
In this form the Vest and Belt were seperate. The vest was designed to be common to all setups. Unlike MOLLE II, the belt was a seperatable item. There were a couple of different belts. One, made in three sizes, was a molded belt made to work with the rucksack. The other was a utility belt with no rucksack capabillity. The various pouches, some of which directly of the type on the IIFS vest, were to be used in various setups. Indeed the various setups were made pre bagged with an overall NSN for that set. The rucksack was integrated into the system and made less seperate. The molded belt had a socket on the back the rucksack was to insert into. This proved less then sucessfull as the male socket part on the rucksack would often miss the socket and injure the back of the wearer.
There were a couple glaring omissions in this early system. There was no MOLLE entrenching tool pouch at this time and there was no MOLLE canteen pouch at this time. The replacements for these were not added until after 2001. The canteens were to have completely be replaced by the hyrdration bladder. The E-TOOL and the first aid pouch is less clear, but of course there was the ALICE to MOLLE adapter included.
Collecting this stuff can be tricky!!!! These NSNs were just reused in MOLLE II, so when looking these up you will often find the more modern components. The best way is to look at the NSN tag. First. You want the tag not to say "MOLLE II" but just MOLLE at the top. You also want the year to be before 2001. Look at the image below. The top box is around the MOLLE you should be looking for. The second box is around the contract year.
Also, Don't expect to find the original rucksack connection system. This was found to be a major issue, not only did it hurt people, but it broke a lot too. MOLLE II did away with this and it's common to find the MOLLE 1 molded waistbelts with this connection REMOVED to make them compatible with the MOLLE II rucksacks.
Also... the Butt Pack is actually nomenclatured that! "BUTT, PACK" It was quickly changed to "PACK, WAIST" in later releases.
I am still working on photos of MOLLE 1 versions of all these items, I know some of these are common in MOLLE II, but I want to post the MOLLE 1 items.
MOLLE, Waistbelt, Molded, Small 8465-01-465-2109
MOLLE, Waistbelt, Molded, Medium 8465-01-465-2110
MOLLE, Waistbelt, Molded, Large 8465-01-465-2111
MOLLE, Vest, Load Bearing (LBV) 8465-01-465-2056
MOLLE, Belt, Utility 8465-01-465-2082
This is the core of the original system here. The ALICE pistol belt was replaced with ether a simply utility pouch with webbing loops, or it was replaced with a molded belt with loops and the black rucksack frame connection. As seen from the photos, the black piece is often removed. Attached to one of the four belts was the vest with webbing loops. This was all hugely changed in MOLLE II
MOLLE, Pouch, Radio 8465-01-465-2057
Pouch for the radio on the rucksack. This was not changed in MOLLE II
MOLLE, Pack, Butt 8465-01-465-2058
This is really the same item as the IIFS/ALICE buttpack 8465-00-935-6825. Only it has a new NSN. The IIFS version was often found intermixed. The MOLLE labeled one makes me laugh. It is label "PACK, BUTT". Butt as a nomeclature term turned out to be very frowned upon. The redesigned MOLLE II version was renamed "PACK, WAIST" with the same NSN as this one.
MOLLE, Adapter, ALICE Clip 8465-01-465-2062
This item probably outnumbers the number of cockroaches on planet earth, and it may outlive them. These things are everywhere! People give them away for free. These of course adapt alice items to the MOLLE webbing. It's also got the ages old wire hook gromets on it too.
MOLLE, Pouch, Utility (100 Rnd SAW) 8465-01-465-2070
A nice little item! These by chance fit a number of items. Three M14 magazines fit perfectly. The plastic insert from the medical kit fits too.
MOLLE, Pouch, Magazine, M16A2, Single (30 rounds) 8465-01-465-2079
One of the three pouches lifted straight off the IIFS vest with added MOLLE loops. They didn't think this one out though. It was found that three double mag pouches did the job MUCH better than the original two double and two single pouches did. Three double pouches take up 75% of the MOLLE real estate and do the same job as the 2 and 2 setup. It's really weird since they issued a bandolier with three double pouches as well. This was dropped after the initial contract order.
MOLLE, Set, Buckles 8465-01-465-2080
A spare set of buckles for repairs with an NSN for easy ordering.
MOLLE, Pack, Patrol 8465-01-465-2088
A smaller rucksack with shoulder straps only.
MOLLE, Pouch, Magazine, M16A2, Double (30 rounds) 8465-01-465-2092
Lifted right off the IIFS vest, this is a double M16A2 pouch. This one was often used in threes or even fours for better use of the MOLLE real estate. The MOLLE II version is 100% unchanged from this one.
MOLLE, Pouch, Grenade, Hand 8465-01-465-2093
Again, lifted right off the IIFS vest.
MOLLE, Straps, Lashing 8465-01-465-2095
MOLLE, System, Hydration 8465-01-465-2154
MOLLE, Bladder, Hydration 8465-01-465-2096
MOLLE, Carrier, Hydration 8465-01-465-2131
These seem to be be the easiest to find of all the MOLLE 1 gear, plain OD green. If you going to use one of these bleach the hell out of the inside of the bladder and the tube. In Molle II the carrier was given webbing loops and made woodland.
MOLLE, Carrier, Sleep System 8465-01-465-2124
MOLLE, Straps, Shoulders, Frame 8465-01-465-2133
MOLLE, Pouch, Sustainment 8465-01-465-2152
A big pouch that goes on the side of the rucksack that holds MREs, it had D rings for a GP strap as well.
MOLLE, Pack, Frame 8465-01-465-2158
MOLLE, Pouch, 6 Magazines, Bandoleer, M16A2 8465-01-465-2144
MOLLE, Pouch, 9mm Magazine (single) 8465-01-465-2155
MOLLE, Pouch, 200 Round SAW Gunner 8465-01-465-2263
Same size as the ALICE 200 round saw pouch. HUGE
MOLLE, Adapter, K-Bar 8465-01-465-2272
MOLLE, Pack, Main 8465-01-465-2289
MOLLE, 40mm High Explosive Double 8465-01-465-4417
MOLLE, 40mm High Explosive Single 8465-01-465-4416
Single pouch for a 40MM grenade. Not much use for anything else as it has a hole in the bottom of the pocket.
MOLLE, 40mm High Pyrotechnic Double 8465-01-465-4445
Complete Bagged Sets
MOLLE, Rifleman, Complete pack Set 8465-01-459-6572
MOLLE, SAW Gunner, Component Set 8465-01-459-6580
MOLLE, Grenadier, Component Set 8465-01-459-6582
MOLLE, Pistolman Component Set 8465-01-459-6584
MOLLE, Combat Medic Component Set 8465-01-459-6585
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