The STABO harness was developed at the MACV Recondo School in Vietnam, The STABO rig was a machine stitched harness similar to a parachute harness and was quite expensive and time consuming to manufacture. The harness was made of similar nylon material as the A7A strap, and was worn in the field as load bearing equipment (LBE) until it was needed for a rope extraction. STABO harnesses were made in small, medium, and large sizes.
The STABO consisted of two separate lengths of strap, crossing at the midpoint through a extra loop affixed to one strap. On the front side of the harness on each side there was an adjustment buckle to enable the correct sizing of the shoulder straps. At the top of the harness there are places two D-rings, during extraction these are the clip points for the extraction ropes, a carabiner was normally attached to each one to ease in quick attachment to the extraction ropes. The bottom of the front straps forms a loop, on this loop there is another sliding D-ring. This loop should line up with additional loops on the back part of the harness, and a standard M56 Pistol Belt should pass through all these loops to create a waist strap. At the bottom on the harness the leg straps hang from the rear, these are adjustable in length by buckles at the bottom, the buckles also feature a hook clip to attach to the front D-rings. To ready a STABO harness for rope extraction, the two leg straps were brought from the back of the harness up between the legs and snapped into D rings mounted in the front of the harness. Equipped with a standard pistol belt, the harness was also designed in part to replace the M1956 / M1967 Load Carrying Suspenders.
These pictures show the manual for the STABO Extraction System.
Below is an example of a complete late war STABO harness setup.
On the M56 Pistol Belt with Davis fastener (from left to right) are an M1956 Canteen Pouch used to carry 3 30rd M16 magazines, an M67 Grenade, an M1956 Universal Pouch (containing 4 V40 mini-grenades and 4 mini-smokes) , an M1967 Canteen Pouch (note a sterilisation tables bottle taped to the cap of the water bottle), 12ft of rope and a snap-link followed by another M1967 Canteen Pouch. We then have a M1956 Canteen Pouch holding 6 20 rd M16 magazines follwed by a M1956 Universal Pouch (containing M14 “Toe Popper” mines and some “Soap Dish” AK47 rounds) with 2 M67 grenades attached to the side and then finally another M1956 Canteen Pouch holding 6 20 rd M16 magazines.
On the shoulder straps (from left to right) we have a Strobe Light and Pouch and then a reproduction SOG Bowie knife. And on the right we have a M1956 First aid pouch, an XM28 Mini-CS gas grenade and XM28 Gas Mask. You can also see some Shoulder Pads made by Alex Broumand.