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Special Forces Gear -- Rolling with The Elite


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									Special Forces Gear -- Rolling with The
By: Michael Ruiz

                                                   Special Forces gear enables military and law
                                                   enforcement special forces teams to conduct
                                                   commando, long-range reconnaissance, training and
                                                   other special operations missions successfully and
                                                   with minimal casualties.

                                                   The gear used by military special operations
                                                   organizations like the US Army’s Green Beret Special
                                                   Forces and Army Rangers, and the US Navy Seals, is
                                                   generally more sophisticated and of higher quality
                                                   than the gear used by regular combat military forces.

Apparel and protective gear

The apparel used by Special Forces varies depending on the environment that the unit will face.
Generally, apparel should be able to “breath” so that moisture does not collect underneath the clothing.

However, the apparel should also provide sufficient insulation especially in cold weather environments.
Military special operations uniforms generally have a camouflage scheme that will vary depending on
the terrain involved. In many cases, the uniforms undergo special treatment with flame-retardants to
provide an extra degree of protection in combat situations.

The field uniform should have varying degrees of water resistance up to fully waterproof raingear
including waterproof boots.

In cold weather, heavy jackets or parkas may use polyester or down insulation to protect soldiers and
police officers from cold weather injuries. Other types of cold weather gear will include gloves,
facemasks, insulated headgear and insulated footwear

In combat situations, body armor utilizes Kevlar, a composite material with high tensile strength, to
provide protection against both direct and indirect fire. Police Special Forces units tend to use padded
protection for joints including knee and elbow pads. Riot police will use more extensive padded
protective gear.

Survival gear

Units like the Army Rangers and the Green Beret Special Forces often must stay in the field for long
periods without resupply. A whole range of special survival gear from knives to fire starters and cooking
accessories helps special operations units to survive in the most difficult conditions.

In many cases, Special Forces personnel must carry everything they need in a single back pack and on
their web gear. MREs and similar types of rations will provide nutrition although in some cases they may
need to hunt and forage to supplement their diet while in the field.

MREs are ready to eat meals that can last up to five years and they provide a full meal including main
course, dessert, beverage, utensils, seasonings and accessories:

• Water-resistant matches
• Toilet paper
• Towelette
• Chewing gum

Some typical types of survival gear that will help in managing environments ranging from rainforests to
Arctic tundra include:

• Canteens and hydration systems for carrying water and other fluids
• Water purification kits
• Fire starting equipment
• Solar chargers and solar energy panels for power generation
• Tents and other types of shelter
• First aid kits
• Shovels and other types of tools
• Lanterns, flashlights and other lighting
• Compasses, GPS and other navigational equipment
• Sleeping gear
• Cooking accessories and equipment
• Special survival kits
• Hunting equipment

In the modern battlefield, the troops with the most advanced sensor equipment have a distinct
advantage. Night vision goggles and other types of night vision equipment are important for operations
in low light conditions.

Nigh vision goggles use imaging infrared technology that allows the user to see objects based on the
thermal energy they radiate or reflect. Night vision binoculars and monoculars use the same type of
thermal imaging technique but with a more advanced zooming capability.

Another technology for use at night or in other low visibility situations is low light digital television.
Camera sets like the Monocam NEPVS-14, for example, allow surveillance and target acquisition in a
wide array of light conditions. This digital camera is capable of operating in all-weather conditions and
has special protection against shock, corrosion and exposure to dust and other elements.

Law enforcement special units often use concealed cameras that allow them to record video during
security operations for identification of suspects and documentation of events.

Climbing and Rappelling

Negotiating natural and manmade obstacles requires special training using climbing and rappelling
equipment. Special operations teams must often "drop in" with an element of surprise that requires
skillful handling of natural and urban environments.

Some of the equipment used for such operations includes ropes, anchors, grappling hooks, pulleys,
harnesses and rescue gear. A Special Ops full body harness utilizes a special design for rescue operations
by US Air Force helicopter crews.

Maritime gear

The Navy Seals and Green Beret Special Forces receive special training in sea operations that generally
includes scuba training. The Navy Seals often conduct operations from rigid inflatable boats or other
types of tactical sea craft.

Maritime special operations gear includes floatation devices, diving masks, air systems, first aid kits,
snorkeling equipment and wet suits. The TRAP tactical re-flotation assault pack is a back pack with its
own flotation device that allows the wearer to negotiate water obstacles.

Special Forces teams can use fully loaded packs as rafts while maintain low profiles during tactical
missions that involve navigating over water.
Airsoft Weapons and Accessories

Airsoft is a popular way of simulating military and police drills and exercises using the popular Airsoft
simulated weapons systems.

Airsoft replicas of a wide variety of contemporary Special Forces weapons fire 6mm or 8mm plastic
rounds for use during these military simulations. The weapons closely resemble their real life
counterparts and a wide variety of accessories is available including:

• Scopes and sights
• Lasers and flashlights
• Practice targets
• Face masks
• Slings
• Bipods and adapters
• Helmets

Other Special Forces gear

The items mentioned above, of course, involve only some of the wide range of Special Forces gear
available. Other popular items include radio and signaling equipment, law enforcement gear, uniforms,
eyewear, watches, flags, and books and manuals.

Many ex-Special Forces and other service members are interested in finding unit t-shirts and other gifts
with their special badges and symbols. These types of memorabilia provide a sense of pride in their past
service to the owner.

Special Forces gear represents the top-of-the-line equipment used by military and police forces. The
gear allows forces to handle extreme weather conditions along with most complex tactical problems.

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