During PCS Leave I have a few courses lined up, to include a carbine course, a breaching course, and two tactics courses. Being that I have to turn in my CIF Issue (and my unit not wanting soldiers to take body armor with them) I opted for my personal rig.
The objective is to have one rig that works for all the courses and mimics my current loadout and role (DM / Ballistic Breacher). I want to spend my time hydrating and relaxing to ensure the maximum is taken in and retained between courses, not threading MOLLE.
Helmet: Ops-Core Ballistic FAST Helmet.
Pardon my pale white hand. It would be tan like my neck and face, but I wore gloves the entire time I was in Romania.
Buy cheap, buy twice. I like the comfort, chinstrap, sweatband, and the fact it can configure to Peltors better than my ACH. Add to that the planned upgrades to it and the ability to mount lights/cameras to the rails, and it was a no brainer. I may experiment with different pads down the road, as these are a bit less pliable than I am used to. Sweated in it a bit which helps out.
Armor: MSA/Paraclete SOHPC
It's light, provides protection, and has integral side armor. I put 2 x Diamondback Tactical Level IV standalone plates for the front and back. Every few months I buy the EOD techs a fifth of their choice and they X-Ray them to make sure they are good.
If I have a buddy he can fit the the armor over me as I Superman it up and vice versa for call-out type instances which saves a lot of time.
ATS Triple Mag Shingle: I ran these in Iraq and they are superb. For Tactical Reloads I store them opposite the side in which I store Speed/Combat Reloads. I do this because I have a different grip / reload technique for each.
MSA/Paraclete Shotgun Pouch: 19 Shells of Boom for my Boomstick. I prefer the exterior channels and can bump interior shells to the exterior as needed...or open the flap and draw from the interior if the exterior shells have excessive debris on them. I've also used my dump pouch to store shells as needed.
Milspec Monkey Admin Pouch: A lot of people bitch about it being big, but I think they overload it. I have an Infantry Leaders Card I still need to laminate plus a bunch of other "cheat" cards, 2 bottles of lube, 1 Brunton Monocular, Surefire E2D, 4 x Chemlights, small weapons cleaning kit and a Gerber (I cannot tell you how many Leatherman Waves I have lost since enlisting.) I also plan on putting my razor knife there too. My informal callsign is Robocop due to my deep ass voice over the radio. Also, sometimes I get drunk and do the Michael Jackson Robocop dance move to boisterous applause.
BFG Trauma Kit Now! w/ Tourniquet Now! and SOFT-T: I am a firm believer in ambidextrous medical kits. This is accessable to either arm. In the kit I have two Asherman Chest Seals (in the event it's a through and through), Quikclot, 14 Gauge needle, Israeli Pressure Dressing, gauze, and tape. I also carry Muslin bandages in pockets and whatnot.
VTAC Manual Breaching Kit: This has a large central slot that currently fits my totally tubular 80's fluorescent blue Camelback bladder (which the packaging completely obscured, but whatever, cowabunga dudes) and two smaller slots left and right for manual breaching tools. I also want to experiment to see if they can hold upper receivers for DM purposes.
Attached to that are:
BFG Ten Speed Pouch: For either NFDD's or medical supplies. Or even bottled water. These are incredible for weight saving and profoundly durable despite their appearance. Excellent design.
Explosive Ops Gear Horizontal Charge Pouch: For use with either explosive charges or an IV bag, situation dependant. Or even both! I also attached another BFG Ten Speed Pouch in case I don't want a Camelback or manual breaching tools take up that area and I'm going to be out for awhile.
* EOG was a pleasure to deal with. I ordered this back in Iraq with the shotgun holter, a lockpick set and EOG NVG Counterweight - he didn't have the set in stock I ordered and upgraded to the next at no charge, and when the package came in ripped and missing the NVG Counterweight - replaced it at no cost. True class act and I cannot recommend him enough.*
Belt: BFG SOC-C Belt - Great piece of kit. I upgraded to this after I saw it was padded everyone had positive things to say here and had openings to feed a belt through. I plan on adding armor to it down the road after I PCS and hit stateside again. Prior to running this I used the ATS belt which was fine, but did not push out far enough to clear body armor for the pouches.
Eagle Industries Shotgun Scabbard: I first heard of this in Paul Howe's article about Shotgun Breaching
where he talked about having a shotgun configured in a cross-draw position. I have it mounted left and to the anterior of my leg (secured by a strap) so I don't mess myself up when I go prone. I keep the left side of my Plate Carrier slick so as to not interfere with the draw.
ATS Triple Mag Shingle / Blade-Tech M4 Pouch / Eagle Double FB MOLLE M9 Pouch / BFG Tourniquet Now! w/ SOFT-T: I like to run a dedicated speed reload on my hip and bump pouches to it when it's empty, but wanted a similar index point for more mags in case I needed to reload more than once from the belt. I like the setup and wish I had thought of it in Iraq. The tourniquet can be grabbed from the left hand easily under the belt. I plan on doing reload drills on the range to make sure all the magazines are readily accessable and to make sure what works in my head works in real life (I am kicking myself for not bringing my blue guns/mags back with me). The only thing I am worried about is the pistol mags.
Close-up of mag placement:
CSM Dump Pouch: I like it a lot, the roll-up ability is genius, and I can store three breaching rounds in the slots inside if needed.
MSA/Paraclete Signal Pouch: I threw a TAC PAC loaded with M4 spare parts, to include a spare mil-spec bolt from Larue, extractor and spring, ejector and spring, gas rings. Also, 2 x MGL bottles of lube for the crew served weapons (thanks Larue). I can also fit a 20 round PMAG, barrel patches, and one of those OTIS flexible barrel rods.
Blade-Tech Tek-Lok DOH RHS M9 Holster: It's decent, but I plan on upgrading to the Sarafiland ALS system after having had a chance to try it out. It's far enough back to clear the Trauma Kit Now!, but makes the draw awkward. Will hit the range and see what works better when I get home.
Emdom Grobes Dispenser: Takes too long to rip out a bag of gloves and put them on. This makes it easier.
Shot of stuff stored in kit, minus the weapons cleaning stuff and cheat cards stored in my locker/ACU's.
Kneepads: Arctery'x Kneepads. They're so comfortable I can't even tell I'm wearing them a lot of the time. No shit, I've fallen asleep with them in the field and didn't feel any discomfort. These are if I'm not ricking Crye's Combat Clothing line.
Gloves: Hatch Operator gloves. Most durable glove I've owned, half life of 4-6 months of daily use in non-garrison environment. I want to give the new VTAC gloves a spin, but I ain't paying a hundred bucks for a set of gloves with limited half life.
Goggles: Whatever is given via RFI. Nice fit under my Ops-Core, even if wearing glasses.
I'm sure I'll have to work out some gear situations, but hopefully visualizing / dry runs will work out most issues.