Australian Tactical Loads and their Operational Impacts

Rob Marc Orr, Rodney Pope

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In general police officers there were no significant differences in absolute or relative loads across the four different load conditions, but female officers (mean ranges=13-17% BW) typically carried heavier relative loads than male officers (mean ranges = 10-14% BW).

For marksmanship tasks, soldiers considered that their loads had a small negative impact on their marksmanship ability.

Specialist police officers employing both primary and secondary weapons reported no significant differences in marksmanship, yet, individually, there was a weak to moderate negative correlation between perceptions of load carriage impacts on performance and actual marksmanship scores (primary r=-0.347: secondary r=-0.631) and this varied depending on marksmanship plane (x versus y-axis).

General police officers performed similarly in three different ILAV and in standard station wear (p=.118).

Of note, the officer’s perceptions that they shot better with ILAVB compared to all other conditions was accurate.

While soldiers perceived mobility to be the most impacted by load carriage, this was observed to be the case in a specialist but not general police victim drag. The loads carried by soldiers and law enforcement officers vary widely. The impacts of loads on occupational task performance also vary, with the available research suggesting heavier loads have greater performance impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2017
Event4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 20171 Dec 2017
Conference number: 4th (ICSPP Abstracts in the JSAMS (2017), Vol. 20, suppl. 2)


Conference4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance
Abbreviated titleICSPP2017
OtherThe ICSPP is the most important international conference in applied military human performance research and therefore attracts experts from all over the world. The congress covers a broad range of disciplines including physical training programs and adaptations, occupational and physical performance, testing and assessment, injury prevention, public health and health promotion, nutritional considerations, human factors, ergonomics, equipment design, biomechanics, load carriage, gender integration issues, thermoregulation and environmental issues, deployment considerations, and psychological and cognitive factors. The 4th ICSPP applied a lifecycle theme whereby symposia, poster sessions and featured science sessions by international experts were organized across key areas including recruitment, training, operational deployment and sustainment.
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