View Full Version : Tactical gear for deployment

October 6, 2009, 05:48 AM
I've got a deployment coming up in the next 6 months, and I was wondering what gear/gadgets are a must, what gear is highly advantageous to have and what gear should be left at home...

I'm not a mall-ninja, and input from such individuals should be left in your head, not here, please. :cool:

Anyone with valuable experience??


chris in va
October 6, 2009, 09:50 PM
What branch and unit? Deployed to where?

October 6, 2009, 11:39 PM
I'm in the Army, currently reserves. My orders were for Iraq initially, but the COC put out some info telling us that the "theater is very fluid" right now. They say that it has flip-flopped a few times. The majority of us are expecting Afghanistan. I'm in a Med Co (I'm a medic). If we go to Iraq, we're supposed to be providing health care for detainees, in which case, I will have little need for any excess gear (that's not a mission I want). Rumor is that we'd be on PRT's in Afghanistan... Sounds like more my speed.

So... Once again, input would be appreciated.

October 7, 2009, 12:57 PM
The stuff they've been issuing lately isnt all that bad actually. Only thing I really had to get on my own dime was a good holster and a better rifle sling.

How much time you spend outside the wire will be the determining factor. If its not that much, then a decent shoulder holster will do the trick (shoulder holsters being nice so you can switch between uniform and pt uniform w/o messing w/ you holster). If youre out there a lot, it comes down to what your comfortable wearing for an extended period of time. Theres a lot of weaver-mount gadgets out there too, but the one thing youll always need is a good flashlight.

October 10, 2009, 10:15 AM
soupee, just like to say THANK YOU for your service !! my sons unit has been given a heads up on deployment next august. he is a combat engineer in the army. i am going to get him a surefire E2E defender flash light and a supply of batteries for xmas.

October 10, 2009, 12:05 PM

1. PETZL Headlamp
2. a good pair of sport sandals (Teva, Columbia, etc.)
3. Nomex Flight Gloves (Tan or Green)
4. Wrist Compass (Sunnto)
5. Casio G-Shock digital sport watch
6. Multi-tool (Leatherman, Gerber, etc.)
7. Lamisil or Cruex (Powder or Pump Spray)
8. Two shaving brushes (one dry for sand/dust; one for applying CLP)
9. Basic white tactical handheld light (CR 123 2-cell)
10. poncho liner
11. brass wire bristle brush for cleaning mud off boots


1. iPod & lots of music
2. personal laptop
3. lockable small Pelican or computer case for valuables (w/ extra set locks)
4. paperback books
5. digital camera
6. Garmin FORTREX wrist mounted GPS (for when you just need to know your position...right now)


1. Thigh Rig Holster
2. swords, tomahawks, any knife over 6" long


1. 1 x ACU pattern MOLLE single 5.56 shingle-type magazine pouch w/ bungi retention; for use as armored vest mounted pistol holster
2. a good CCW kydex, nylon, or leather holster (belt mounted or paddle; FOR WEAR INSIDE THE WIRE)


1. a decent MBTR (PRC-148) capable MOLLE radio pouch (can carry any smaller radio as well)


My single most often used item (on a daily basis and across multiple trips to both Iraq and Afghanistan) ...the PETZL headlamp.

Other priority items are highlighted in bold.

Hope this helps...

October 10, 2009, 02:02 PM
Im a medic currently in Iraq and the only things I bought that were necessary were two Serpa holsters, one for my leg and one for my IOTV. If you're not getting issued an M9 then this obviously wont be necessary. As far as other gear, there isn't really anything that's necessary. When you go through CIF they give you a lot of stuff, most of it I sent home realizing there was no need. My unit got tons of pouches for out IOTV's, Nomex gloves, and a gerber multi-tool. We were also issued a ton of other things, some necessary and some not. I would recommend waiting until you start your mobilization. See what you get issued and buy anything else that you still feel is necessary. There's no use wasting your money now and having a ton of useless equipment that you'll never use. I would recommend the Blackhawk Stomp II if you don't already have one. In my opinion this is a MUST for any Medic. Good Luck.

Al Thompson
October 13, 2009, 07:22 PM
All good suggestions. Some additions I'd make would be a good (Mini MagLite is fine) red lens flashlight for moving around your sleeping area - always good to keep from disturbing folks. Think walking to the latrine in a big tent at 0200.

I took a small container of weapons oil, needed it.

I carried an M9 and was able to purchase some Beretta OEM magazines. I'd suggest doing the same. When I was going outside the wire a lot, I purchased some Pmags via the net. If your carrying an M4, they are worth it, IMHO. (Bravo Company has great prices and service)

I always had a good folder in my pocket - Benchmade Vex is cost effective and worked great.

I like commercial socks better than the issue ones - I took some Smart Wool socks that worked great. That depends on your individual tastes though.

Just FYI, always good to have internet access to your bank account. That helped me bunches - used a credit card to but stuff over the net if I needed it.

IMHO, get a yahoo or hotmail account so your friends and family can keep in touch. I found yahoo easy to check no matter where I was - MWR tents or just borrowing a PC some where.

October 13, 2009, 08:43 PM
I'm not a medic but what CMDrew6115 said is good advice. You will get a lot of stuff from CIF and after that you can go to a US Cav or some place like that to get anything else you think you might need. Good luck man.

October 14, 2009, 08:47 AM
Thank you for all of your suggestions! Some of them are things that I have been using for years, others I never would have thought of.

a good (Mini MagLite is fine) red lens flashlight for moving around your sleeping area - always good to keep from disturbing folks.
Al- I'm a big fan of the mini-mag. I wish more people were. I hate waking up in the middle of the night b/c some dirt bag is using a tac light to get to the john! Also- I'm a HUGE fan of Benchmade! I've got the 9052 and the 950. I believe it's always good to have a good blade (and a good back up!).

CMDrew- I used a predecessor to the StompII for years while I was active duty. Good for hauling a lot of stuff, but I'm going to pick my kit depending on my mission. I find that the bigger the bag you have, the more junk you haul. I used to have to carry a lot of sick-call type stuff, too (which I hope to avoid in the future).

Should be getting my RFI when I'm at Ft. Dix in November. I do enjoy getting new stuff from the Army!

Thanks again for the great input! I knew I could get it here!

Oh, and thanks for your service!

Al Thompson
October 15, 2009, 08:42 PM
Soup, I just looked at this item as recommended by Chindo. Agree completely with him, wish I'd had one myself. Beats a Mini Maglite all hollow - and uses AAA batteries. :cool:


October 16, 2009, 08:25 AM
I DO have a PETZL, and brought it with me to JRTC, but it never came out of my foot locker. I was working in a CSH (combat support hospital), so I didn't have much use for it at the time, but I can definitely see the benefit of having both hands free for certain field work (when light discipline isn't an issue). I mostly used my Phantom Warrior. http://www.phantomlights.com/

October 28, 2009, 04:49 AM
Wow, chindo18z's bold list hit the nail right on the head (especially the PETZL and the sandals). You will get a ridiculous amount of crap at RFI so don't worry about missing anything important. You're much more likely to take too much crap, break your back carrying your bags after RFI, and throw out/give away half your stuff before you leave just so you don't have to tote the bags. If you take a laptop (which I recommend), invest in a bag or case that will protect it well. Any internet access you have will be strictly filtered so bring an external hard drive if you have extracurricular entertainment materials.

October 28, 2009, 01:22 PM
"extracurricular entertainment materials"...

:D Love it! I think someone is bringing a 500Gig HD w/ so called "extracurricular entertainment materials".

I should find a better case for my laptop. I've heard that I should anticipate getting a new one when I return. I hear the dust just destroys computers. But I still want to keep it functioning as long as possible.

October 28, 2009, 07:28 PM
Oh yeah the dust is horrible in a lot of places. I'd come back in and have to brush it out of my teeth. It's not like beach sand, it's the consistancy of talcum powder. Your laptop will suck up a lot of dust so you have to stay on top of that. I always kept canned air around to blow the dust out of my laptop and out of my weapon between cleanings (I also had a small house-painting brush in my pocket for this, but I imagine a shaving brush like chindo suggested would be better). Also, do not over-lubricate your weapon or the excess lube will trap the dust and muck up your situation pretty badly. A lot of guys slather their weapon in CLP thinking in typical Army fashon "CLP good. More CLP better." but you pull their charging handle back and you can literally feel the sand grinding against the metal. Ugh, that's like nails on a chalkboard to me! Iraq is the worst for sand, but there are a lot of places in Afghanistan that are bad too (like Kandahar :barf:). Sounds like you don't know where exactly you're going yet, but it really makes a difference. A lot of people think Afghanistan is desert. Parts are desert, but a good majority of it is mountains with the full spectrum of seasons so don't forget that cold weather gear if you head to trashcanistan!

November 3, 2009, 01:37 AM
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