2010-2011 marine kit. отзывы морпеха. ENG
the following kit was worn from sept ’10 to april ’11 in sangin. i deployed as part of a 10 man sniper team attached to kilo 3/5 in the northern green zone. i spent the entirety of my deployment fighting out of a small patrol base located between route 611 and the helmand river. my gear shifted and evolved as did my teams tactics and habits throughout the 7 months we spent hunting. at the beginning, we moved out at nights or early mornings in our 10 man team, stalking through the corn and weed fields. we would set up so the loud grunts would attract attention, and we would decimate everyone trying to move on them. eventually with casualties and the amount of people to shoot, we split up into 2 and 3 man teams and spread out to go on as many patrols as possible to put our long guns in the fight. that said, depending on who felt like carrying what, my partner and i switched off between carrying the mk-11 while the other carried either a suppressed m4 with or without a 203.
top to bottom:
i wore a mich-2002 throughout my pump without ever catching flak from higher ups. with a cover on it and carrying a rifle with a supressor the pog 1st sgts simply didnt bother me. i wore the norotos nvg plate and elbow but found that for an $800 piece of aluminum it wobbled like hell, and ended up throwing on a bungie cord to help keep my nods in 1 place. the ops-core h-nape strap system worked flawlessly as advertised, but definately required some cleaning every month, it got greasy and disgusting very quickly. after some incidents at night i cut some squares into my cover so i could throw some iff patches on the sides and top, as well as my ms2000 strobe on the back.
my 1st gen oakley m-frames did me very well. if you’re going to be fighting your ass off every day theres two things i wouldn’t go without for your glasses. one would be a large micro fiber towel, which i kept in my left shoulder pocket at all times. without this i would have gone through twice as many lenses as i did. i deployed with 3 total replacement lenses, and ended up asking for 3 more being sent to me before i left. i liked my vision to be 100% unobstructed at all times, so i kept my blades fresh. the second thing for me that i had to have, was a set of ‘chums.’ simply a brain strap that has rubber attachments and a small plastic-coated wire. with this on, any time i was about to hit a house i would quickly tug my glasses away from my face and let them fall and hang down by my chin. the only other option would to have been taking them off every time you enter a dark room. i loved my chums and ended up having to jerry rig them to stick together by the end.
not often enough i would strap my gopro hero hd helmet cam and get some footage. i had a simple headband mount that was a little shaky when i ran, but recorded flawless, crisp video and audio of some really, really bad days.
the camera itself is small and extremely lightweight and easy to use, as well as completely waterproof and shockproof. anyone looking for a helmetcam i can stress enough how well my gopro has performed. i simply regret not taking it out on more patrols.
onto the steak and potatoes. plate carrier:
before we headed out i invested in a size medium lbt 6004 and standalone plates. this plate carrier fit me like a wet dream. with my stand-alones i was completely streamlined and minimalistic. i had to rig my shoulder straps a little funky as im only 5’6, but i cant stress enough how well the 6004 fit on me like a tailored suit. the shoulder straps had the perfect amount of padding in them, and i never burdened myself with anything that i could drink, patch a hole with, shoot or throw at people. i went with the philosophy that if i could run fast i wouldn’t need a whole batman kit to get me out of a sticky situation.
when i carried an m4, i would have my mags in the internal kangaroo pouch as well as one in a fast mag. i took off the mag retention straps before i got into country, and subsequently lost a mag my first firefight while diving for cover. upon gaining sa, i noticed i was short one magazine, and my fast mag retention band was broken and mia, as well as the mag inside the fastmag was pounded full of mud. upon returning back in the wire, i immediately replaced the missing retention straps with hair ties, the fastmag band with elastic from my poncho, and wrapped the holes in the bottom of the plastic with camo-form clingwrap. after these little tweaks i never again had either of those issues.
when i carried the mk-11, i simply dropped the fastmag, removed the kangaroo pouch and stuffed my 7.62 mags into the kangaroo and separated them with spare pieces of velcro i scavanged. although a tight fit, i had no problem reloading and remained completely streamlined, allowed me to prone out to avoid incoming machine gun fire and get as natural and comfortable as possible behind my longrifle.
working my way counter clockwise around my kit, i eventually moved an eagle industries single mag pouch between my fastmag and first tq. this way if i carried a 203 or a mk-11, i always had one 9mm mag in the exact same place. if i didnt have a 203 belt around my waist i always had two more 9mm mags on my riggers belt in a tag magnetic belt mounted pouch, with iso-mat wedges added between the pouch and belt in order to cant the mags away from my body so i could draw them without gear interference.
my left side cummerbund has a blueforce gear pouch on it that has one small and one large pouch on it. the one closest to the front had my garmin gps in it, tethered to a retractable cable cord doohicky that ment i would never lose my gps if i dropped it. unfortunately in january around the same time i had a very near drowning incident in the helmand river the retractable cable broke, but my gps was down for the count as well due to the puppy i had at the time chewing the crap out of the antenna and de-waterproofing it. the dummy-cord device was simply zip corded behind the bfg pouch.
inside the bigger part of the bfg, i kept in it my lockpicking kit (which got no use, as we shot or blew up every lock we came upon) extra 152 batts, cliff bars or a box of match grade 7.62.
my ifak was mounted just within reach for me in a tag fold-open medical pouch, mounted on a tactical-tailor velcro tear away panel. i had it set up that if i had use of my left hand i could reach back and rip my ifak into my workspace and do my thing. the ifak itself never came off during anything crazy, except once when i was climbing out of a matv. i am looking into a all in one ifak at this time that isnt a pouch mounted onto a panel, as i believe theres better options than what i ran, but i would still trust my life with what i had all over again.
after going to live tissue course before deploying, i facepalmed at how terrible the issued ifaks were. i gutted a cls bag and ifak and put together in mine:
4 combat gauze
2 pressure dressings
2 needles for chest decompression
2 chest seals
2 sets of scissors
1 set gloves
1 nineline card
1 set of sutures
1 large pad of moleskin
a fuckton of bandaids
4 tq’s on the outside of my kit.
of all the amps and gsw’s out in sangin, the average grunt needs to know how to pack a wound, apply a tq, treat for tension pnuemothorax. my ifak was perfect for this, i simply wish more marines threw out the crap and kept the good stuff.
on my backside i had my eagle industries map, that i bought on lf, the entire deployment. this multi-purpose hydro pack was my most used and usefull piece of gear. i always stepped off with one full camelbak of water, a miox pen, baby wipes and enough food to not go hungry over 24 hours. the outside/lower compartment had either warming layers, or more frequently a set of vectors. whenever i was the primary shooter, i would always have the vectors in my lower compartment. this way when i hit the deck to set up and shoot, my spotter could grab the binos off my back while i dialed in and started popping nugs off at people. if i was the spotter the binos would go on the shooters back. this setup worked phenomenally well for my partner and i and resulted in the quick dispatch of a few stinkies. the picture posted above i have the surefire suppressor pouch mounted upside-down, as that particular operation i decided to go oldschool and try to get a bolt-gun kill.
if i wasn’t carrying the m40a5, my mk-11 suppressor would be mounted dangerous end down in the little secret compartment at the top of my map. this allowed me to, if i had the time and desire to shoot suppressed, draw my can like a sword with my off hand and have it attached in under 5 seconds, ready to acquire a target and dispatch it. i could pull it in and out myself without any help and it stayed out of its way until it got to come out and hurt people.
when carrying my m4, i had a magpul ms2 sling chopped down and attatched via a scrounged strap keeper behind my right shoulder and routed through my shoulder pad. other than a tq i kept my right side clear thin and comfortable. with it slick i had no problem drawing my pistol. being the lightest guy on every patrol i was constantly being boosted over walls and onto rooves. i couldn’t have stayed sane drawing my pistol without my right side slick.
continuing around towards my front, i had an eagle industries smoke pouch. no comments really, it did its job. sometimes it held smoke, sometimes a thermite if i was feeling destructive. next to that i had mounted a tag grenade elevator. the tag pouch worked as advertised. i only drew one grenade from it in combat. i immediately yanked the elevator and the next frag went in position just as advertised but i did not get to throw it. excellent space saver, but only wear it if you can sandwich it between other pouches as it will flop like crazy, as it only has one molle strap.
inside my cummerbund i 550 corded my strider in after i took the insert out of the stock pouch. the handle stayed in the crook of my armpit and never bothered me. it was held in by a boot band and never even thought about slipping out. to this day i still have never cut a single thing with the blade as i promised myself it would only be used on a human being. therefore its still got the strider factory edge on it… which is scary sharp. if i draw it without paying attention it will slice through the bootband like butter, but will come out fast and come out with a purpose.
my m4 was juiced up with a magpul acs stock, elcan spectre dr, kac suppressor, tangodown grip and an insight m3x weaponlight.
my elcan performed exceptionally. my zero remained the same throughout the deployment flipping through 1-4x several times a day. early mornings i would throw her on 1x with a very lowly illuminated reticule so i could keep both eyes open and simply put the red dot on what i wanted dead. as soon as we got sunlight i would throw it to 4 power and turn off the illum. any time i was about to hit a building or group of buildings i would go to 1x and crank up the illum. it’s taken a lot of wear and tear and still made me very happy with every penny (a lot of them) that i spent on it.
on my riggers belt i would always have the 2 9mm mags in the tag pouches, as well as a tiny tag pouch that held about 8 123a batteries. people gave me shit all the time about having a little baby pouch on my belt, untill thier shit died, because everyones shit always dies at the worst possible time, and had to borrow batteries from me. with my m4 i usually had an oldschool dump pouch with the lining cut out. nothing special, it did its job and more. behind my m9 was the leatherman ‘bit kit’ which allowed me to use the leatherman charge, that was always clipped into my left pocket, on 99 percent of screws that needed to be turned in afghan. if you have a leatherman with swappable bits, buy this bit kit. it’s only $12 and will be used more often that any piece of gear you own.
my 9mil was housed in a safariland 6004 mounted to a belt adapter i dont know the name of. my 9mil was condition 1 for 7 months and never left my hip unless i was taking a shower.
in conclusion, my kit took months and months of research and training to find out what would be practical in combat, and once in the shit, another few weeks to cut what fat was left and find my perfect setup. when i deploy again i will change nothing except maybe my ifak.
my hands were protected by or overlords. these gloves were extremely comfortable, dexterous and grippy. i cut off the little assisted donning straps as they just covered my watch and annoyed me.
well that’s it for now. let me know what you guys think.
all gunz blazing.
hunter of gunmen