First super-nerdy question: where do equipment retention rules live for HALO/HAHO jumps?  Is there a document, or does a jump master get final say?  Can you do a freefall jump with Esstac KYWI pouches, stock or modified, and if the latter, what mods are needed?

Just to level-set: I'm 13 jumps into my civilian A-license progression, so it's safe to assume I know less than your family pet about airborne ops.

Original Post

Well there is actually an Airborne Board at Bragg that set these kinds of rules for Mil jump ops, not just MFF.  So you start with what's allowed by big army and you go from there.  Then you have your local units and what their additional SOP's are.  Then you have your team and what their SOP is.  

In this instance, an individual team may have their own SOP concerning mag pouches- in general- not just for airborne insertion.  For example, my buddy's first team had an SOP of top flap mag pouches only, so that's how they rolled- all the time.  Obviously you get a lot variation on this theme.  On subsequent teams they ran all sorts of stuff, including open top, kydex insert type pouches.

To answer the question, I think a KYWI would probably do just fine, based on my jump experience, and also from what my buddy has done.  It is probably not allowed, or encouraged, simply because institutional experience will err on the side of caution.  On a "normal" jump, you would probably have no issues.  If something did come up, then there is a chance you'd lose some mags.  If you went "Z" (out of control) which is very easy to do with ruck and rifle; if you bumped into a team mate; if you had a malfunction and had to cut away; if you had a hard/bad landing.  You would weigh the risks versus rewards, and plan accordingly.  If I thought it might be a hot DZ I might come down ready to fight.  If the chance of contact is low then maybe not.

Back around the '05 timeframe I know the LF "Warhammer" was jumped with just 1" squares of Velcro holding the mags in, and they did just fine.  Don't think it was ever approved by the Jump Board, but it worked.  

 

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

I jump MFF, and I would not jump an open top KYWI.

I like Esstac KYWIs. I'm still currently testing out some Esstac triple mag panels for my primary rig. But I know for a fact you should not jump them. You can maybe get away with the Esstac Tall pouches during a jump. Esstacs are great for flat range training, weekend warriors, and niche CQB situations, but think about it. You pull the mag out with a small amount of force - with your hand - so your mags are going on a field trip if some external object hits you at the right angle hard enough, if you have a hard parachute opening, etc... I had an opening one time that was so hard that my breakaway NODs mount fulfilled its purpose. If I was running KYWIs/TACOs/Scorpions, I would have landed with maybe 1 or 2 mags to fight with.

I don't think any mag pouch setup is perfect. I've been at this for almost a decade and am still on an ongoing quest to find the best combination of the speed and retention of a bungee/tab mag pouch and a flapped pouch, while ditching the extra weight and bulk of kydex inserts

NomadMS posted:

I jump MFF, and I would not jump an open top KYWI.

I like Esstac KYWIs. I'm still currently testing out some Esstac triple mag panels for my primary rig. But I know for a fact you should not jump them. You can maybe get away with the Esstac Tall pouches during a jump. Esstacs are great for flat range training, weekend warriors, and niche CQB situations, but think about it. You pull the mag out with a small amount of force - with your hand - so your mags are going on a field trip if some external object hits you at the right angle hard enough, if you have a hard parachute opening, etc... I had an opening one time that was so hard that my breakaway NODs mount fulfilled its purpose. If I was running KYWIs/TACOs/Scorpions, I would have landed with maybe 1 or 2 mags to fight with.

I don't think any mag pouch setup is perfect. I've been at this for almost a decade and am still on an ongoing quest to find the best combination of the speed and retention of a bungee/tab mag pouch and a flapped pouch, while ditching the extra weight and bulk of kydex inserts

It made me feel uncomfortable too, so I rigged up some custom bungee.  Sorry guys...should've shared earlier.

Esstac pouches rigged for MFF

NomadMS posted:
Thanatos posted:

2nd try w/ Imgur

I dig. How do they work?

So the middle pouch is in secondary retention config (primary retention being the kydex inserts).  When I'm done with the evolution requiring secondary retention, I slide that tab you see on top of the mag off the mag, running it wearer's forward along the bungee. I route the bungee around the pouch opening, and then I just tuck that tab under the top row of MOLLE (see left/right pouches for this endstate).  I installed the bungee in the *middle* row of pouch MOLLE to buy myself enough slack so that the bungee stays out of the way of the pouch opening when not in use.

I've only tested this on flat range so far, but it's worked very smoothly.  Mags come out and re-insert almost as if bungees aren't there at all.  I've developed a slight "sweep and rock" motion (it becomes pretty obvious if you have all this stuff physically in front of you) during mag re-insertion as an insurance policy against snagging on a bungee.  I tuck the slack bungee behind wearer's rear right corner of each mag pouch opening when the bungees are not in use.   These overlapping practices (sweep/rock and corner tuck) have a 0% incidence of snags so far.

Hope that was helpful!  Lmk if you have questions.

@Thanatos that looks like an awesome setup. I am trying to move away from kydex but this makes me want to try it out. I have a tall Esstac triple coming so I will rig something like that up and see how it works... so many options, it’s making my head hurt. 

I am a big fan of bungees, when they’re tensioned properly and set up right they’re perfect. Curious to see how that would work on a Mid Esstac. Going to give that a shot and also what Diz comes up with. I have him modifying a BFG triple flap pouch and a Tyr triple bungee pouch, as well as coming up with something from scratch. 

I know a guy who ran Esstacs and he said the velcro basically melted off in the Afghan summer and the Kydex slipped out. I’ve only heard of that once though, and I’m trying to keep myself from actively looking for reasons to not use Esstacs... ha 

@NomadMS if you want a setup that gives you options, C2R (British company) makes kydex insert mag pouches that give you the option to swap out bungees and Velcro flaps.  I have 3x and I like them, but they are *just slightly* too narrow for PMAGs (the PMAGs fit snugly, but the over-travel prevention tab on the magazine snags about a third of the time on re-insertion).  If you're only using USGI mags, they might be worth a look.

 Also, C2R is super-responsive on Instagram...if you wanted to ask for a set with slightly wider dimensions, they very well might alter their spec for you.

Thanatos posted:

@NomadMS if you want a setup that gives you options, C2R (British company) makes kydex insert mag pouches that give you the option to swap out bungees and Velcro flaps.  I have 3x and I like them, but they are *just slightly* too narrow for PMAGs (the PMAGs fit snugly, but the over-travel prevention tab on the magazine snags about a third of the time on re-insertion).  If you're only using USGI mags, they might be worth a look.

 Also, C2R is super-responsive on Instagram...if you wanted to ask for a set with slightly wider dimensions, they very well might alter their spec for you.

@Thanatos where did you pick them up? I looked on their site and seems like they aren't selling any pouches.

NomadMS posted:
Thanatos posted:

@NomadMS if you want a setup that gives you options, C2R (British company) makes kydex insert mag pouches that give you the option to swap out bungees and Velcro flaps.  I have 3x and I like them, but they are *just slightly* too narrow for PMAGs (the PMAGs fit snugly, but the over-travel prevention tab on the magazine snags about a third of the time on re-insertion).  If you're only using USGI mags, they might be worth a look.

 Also, C2R is super-responsive on Instagram...if you wanted to ask for a set with slightly wider dimensions, they very well might alter their spec for you.

@Thanatos where did you pick them up? I looked on their site and seems like they aren't selling any pouches.

I DMed the company via Instagram to place my order, and they emailed me an invoice.  Their ig is @c2rfast

NomadMS posted:

@Thanatos Do the detachable flap/bungee attach via velcro?

how do you feel about them vs. the Esstacs with bungees?

Instagram is blocked here and I don't have one anyways, I'll shoot them an email.

The flaps attach by threading the MOLLE attachment straps on the rear of the pouch through two slots in the flaps (they have a built-in MOLLE attachment system very similar to BFG Helium Whisper or Crye 152 pouches).  The bungees attach with a tie-off in the back, and a ~1-inch square of Velcro in the front (sort of like the radio bungee on the Crye 152 pouch).

I never had a problem with the flaps or bungees themselves.  The C2R bungees were actually much easier to keep clear of the pouch openings due to the velcro attachment in the front.  The only problem I ever had with those pouches was that the over-travel stop on PMAGs would snag sometimes.  If you can talk C2R into fixing that with a mod, they seem like a pretty darn good option.

Thanatos posted:
NomadMS posted:

@Thanatos Do the detachable flap/bungee attach via velcro?

how do you feel about them vs. the Esstacs with bungees?

Instagram is blocked here and I don't have one anyways, I'll shoot them an email.

The flaps attach by threading the MOLLE attachment straps on the rear of the pouch through two slots in the flaps (they have a built-in MOLLE attachment system very similar to BFG Helium Whisper or Crye 152 pouches).  The bungees attach with a tie-off in the back, and a ~1-inch square of Velcro in the front (sort of like the radio bungee on the Crye 152 pouch).

I never had a problem with the flaps or bungees themselves.  The C2R bungees were actually much easier to keep clear of the pouch openings due to the velcro attachment in the front.  The only problem I ever had with those pouches was that the over-travel stop on PMAGs would snag sometimes.  If you can talk C2R into fixing that with a mod, they seem like a pretty darn good option.

Sent them an email. Will see what happens.

First super-nerdy question: where do equipment retention rules live for HALO/HAHO jumps? 

 #1. For US ARSOF units and some rare Conventional Force Airborne elements that conduct MFF: United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Regulation 350-2  (Training Airborne Operations) and FM 31-19, Military Free Fall Operations. USASOC has Proponency for the Army... and I believe for USN/USAF MFF elements as well. USMC? Hell if I know.

Is there a document, (see #1 above).

or does a jump master get final say? 

#2. The JM gets the final say (IAW regulations and final decision from the mission's Primary JM and Airborne Commander). The Airborne Commander has a lot of latitude to approve/change things on the fly in an actual combat jump. Otherwise, for training jumps, the bibles are 350-2 & FM 31-19. Even unit SOPs have to comply with those documents.

If specific COTS gear is desired for employment & purchase by units, the items must generally be boarded/evaluated for approved usage. In other words, nobody at unit level is going to approve your using Gucci commercial gear unless it can be intelligently argued that it already meets the letter of the regulations. Kinda like the perennial question of whether a given boot is authorized for wear under 670-1.

If the reg is broad & general in wording... and doesn't specifically prohibit an item, that reg can often be generously flexed to allow things that function/look similar to already approved items. For instance... if the reg merely says that personal ammo pouches will feature a positive closure system and be additionally taped or banded down for the jump... then you can get away with most anything. If the reg says only pouch "X", "Y", or "Z"... then only X,Y, or Z are authorized.

I have no idea what the current versions say (2017 latest editions I believe), but ARSOF units (SF, 75th Rangers, etc.) have been issuing bungi shingles for years. I jumped all kinds of ammo pouches across the decades... and general guidance for load bearing gear was Big-Boy rules. Secure your shit, because if I have to stop training to perform a a lengthy DZ search for a sensitive item... one that flew away from your body/ruck upon opening shock... it's your ass. BTDT.

Can you do a freefall jump with Esstac KYWI pouches, stock or modified, and if the latter, what mods are needed?

If you are military and on MFF status... go see your Team Sergeant/Platoon Sergeant (first stop before seeing anyone else)... then your Bn Air NCO. Read the regs before you entertain them with your request. They'll get you that final decision. As to approved mods for that particular pouch, I've no idea. 

In the world of command Responsibility and Regulations... the reg wins. In the real world of I need to do this shit right now... exceptions are made. I've jumped a Walther MPK folding stock 9mm SMG strapped below my reserve. There was no Army reg that said that particular weapon was approved for jumping exposed in that manner. But there were ancient regs that described jumping exposed weapons or filled kit bags in that position (probably left over from WWII/Korean Eras). So... it was a Go with the JMs who JMPI'ed me.

Bottom line, ask the question long before you need to jump. In a pinch, you'd just put the rig into your ruck, kit bag, or weapons container and jump it that way. Don it after you hit the ground and get out of your harness. 

I'm not an MFF guy (done a little civilian sky diving). Just a long time Static JM ('79 - '11).  But I'd not trust a single bungi closure (by itself) on even a Static Line drop.

Hope some of the above helps with your question...

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The moral high ground is sometimes just a head on a long pike... - Astronomy

 

A new Plt Ldr is like a first time new mother. The Plt Sgt is a lifelong midwife and nanny. It's your baby, but he knows a lot about changing diapers and other ugly things. - Astronomy

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