Gear adrift is a gift

By now most folks should have heard my comment regarding gear and gear selection. The most important thing you can do is to “define your mission.”

I was talking to a friend and he was explaining a recent range day he had with another friend. They were heading to play with the big boys and he was talking about how streamlined and well thought out each piece of gear was along with it’s location. There was no frills or fluff, just all business.  I was explaining the process and it goes something like this.

First, you have to know what your mission is and then the mission essential equipment necessary to fulfill your mission. This is the uniform and equipment that will be common to all and it also goes by a standard loadout. Once you have your standard loadout next comes how you carry it. Things that I need to get to immediately I call the 3B’s, that is “blood, bullets and bombs”. I’ll need to get to my medical gear from any position and with both hands. My magazines have to be located and secured so as to have quick assess from any shooting position, but not to loose them as I’m running & gunning. My grenades or NFDD’s need preparation prior to deployment so they need to be carried so that can be completed quickly and safely. Everything else I fit in where it won’t interfere with my 3B’s.

My friend did a lot of running and gunning and after day one he quickly started deep six’ing needless gear. Stuff that the tactic-cool kids like to have, but have never really had to carry or fight with. It was an important lesson and reinforces the importance behind being quick and nimble.

In our classes I sometimes scratch my head at the loadouts some folks bring. I’m wondering if they really have a need for some of it and then if they really thought out it’s placement. I understand that not everybody has a legitimate obstacle course or surfzone to test their gear and gear placement, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing something that validates it all.

One of my favorite drills is 50 yard shuttle run. Using an 8″ target like the ones on our TCT-05 targets place your weak hand on it. Perform the first run slick with just your rifle, on the timer sprint to the 50 and fire 2 shots, then sprint to the target and back to the 35 and fire 2 shots, sprint to the target and back to the 25 and fire 2 shots, sprint to to the targets and back to the 15 and fire 2 shots and sprint to the target and back to the 7 yard and fire 2 shots to end the exercise. That’s your baseline, now do it with your gear and try to maintain the same speed. Keeping true to your baseline speed will show you how effectively you placed your gear and how secure it is under heavy exertion.

Oh-yeah, every miss is a 5 second penalty to your time so be honest with your performance. When you are putting out on an exercise like this and you spew gear all over the place just remember that gear a drift is a gift.