With the introduction of the Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) in the late 1990s, many new accessory items were introduced. For the one quart canteen, a general purpose pouch was fielded. Its design recognized the reality that troops often used canteen covers to carry magazines or other gear, not just the water flask. In fact, four 30-round magazines can fit easily in the MOLLE Canteen Cover. Therefore it replaced the 100 round SAW pouch and could be used in place of other MOLLE accessory pouches.
PFC Carlos Gonzalez, Scout Platoon, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, New York National Guard wears two MOLLE canteen carriers while training at Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area, Shiga-prefecture, Japan, 14 Oct 2009 as part of Exercise Orient Shield.
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U.S. Military MOLLE Canteen Cover
MOLLE Canteen Cover with poly canteen on MOLLE ruck, during training at U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany, 14 Aug 2008.
In 1997, a new canteen carrier was issued to be compatible with MOLLE II gear. The nomenclature was Pouch, Canteen-General Purpose or Pouch, Canteen Carrier/Utility. The pouch was made in several camouflage patterns with these NSNs:
USMC Coyote Brown
As the nomenclature indicates, the pouch is intended for use beyond just a canteen carrier. While it will hold the one quart plastic canteen, with its nested metal canteen cup, it will also hold ammunition (loose or in magazines), an MRE, small electronics, or many other items as needed.
The design of the MOLLE canteen/general purpose pouch includes a pocket for water purification tablets or first aid on each side, a drainage grommet in the bottom, and MOLLE attachment straps on back. The main strap starts as two straps in back which join at the top, front then threads through a loop on the top flap and locks into a quick release buckle at the bottom/front. This secures the inside contents with a complete cover. When used with a canteen, the top flap is disengaged from the flap loop, the flap is tucked inside, and the canteen neck fits between the two arms of the main strap as it is locked down. The canteen top is then visible outside of the pouch. An elastic draw cord can compress the pouch for more versatility.
The approximate size is 6 1/2 inches high, 4 1/4 inches wide, and 3 1/2 inches deep. The typical basis of issue is two pouches per soldier.
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