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Thread: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

  1. #31
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Punisher2-2 View Post
    Steve, that LoPro IFAK looks perfect for a blast belt, doesn't stick out, only drawback is the wider space taken up. I'd like to see it in person though first. My IFAK has a pull handle that makes it fall to my feet once the "rip chord" is pulled so that I can still access it even when it's molle'd to my back panel. It was a gift from a buddy across the fence so I'm not sure if it has a manufacturer etc.
    Yeah Evan, I would mount it in the center of my belt. It's 9" wide, which is a bunch of space, but I already run a med pouch on the right rear of my belt (that I would be replacing with the new one) that butts right up to my holster, with the center of my back clear, so I have space... I agree though, I want to get my hands on one and play with it.
    Last edited by Steve O.; 06-30-2012 at 13:43.

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  3. #32
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    Warge - Started looking at your idea. It's good but hard to be thorough and not get complicated. A soldier's load out besides being personal preference is also impacted by weapon, position and unit. E.G. prior to the soon to be deployed NETT Warrior leaders down to the squad leader level are issued radios. A rifleman's pouches are different than a SAW gunner.

    Here's my straw man input to move the effort forward...


    US Army Infantry soldier 2012

    Boots: Varies. Right now (among many things) the regulation says the boot has to be over 8” tall and a non shine type material in the suede tan family (must be lighter than Marine issue boots). How they enforce this is beyond me I’m sure it causes confusion in the ranks. (Active duty guys chime in) An exception is the the Danner mountain boot in a dark brown leather. Authorized manufacturers for boots in use include Altama, Bates, Belleville, Rocky and Wellco.

    Uniform (pattern and type): ACUs inOCP pattern (Multicam)

    Gloves: OMG! The reg says they have to be a color that complements the uniform. Again, how this is enforced is beyond me. (Active duty guys chime in and give more details on the reg though we know enforcement is chain of command dependent). Manufacturers of gloves include hatch, mechanics, Oakley, wiley x but there’s easily a dozen I’m missing and most of these companies like the boots have multiple styles.

    Vest: IOTV and at last count four different plate carriers (eagle makes one but I don’t know the specific model). Issue items are in OCP

    Helmet: ACH w/helmet cover

    Helmet attachments: Besides the basic NVG mount (convention rectangular plate and hinge the troops refer to as a “Rhino” mount) very few are “issued” (I haven’t heard of any which doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened). Depends mostly on the individual. Bottom line is attachments are relatively rare. Never seen a norotos mount or rails though it’s not beyond reality that ONE grunt of a 100 might buy or scrounge them. Surefire lights are probably one or two per squad and more likely the higher the rank of the Soldier.
    Pouches: This is a book. I’ll try and get back to it later. You can pick up a catalog though from one of the better military suppliers and see what’s available. Most commonly issued are double mag pouches with a flap cover, three mag shingles, the IFAK. Soldiers augment as needed/desired. I believe one OCP rack has been issued but I have to confirm (guys do buy their own).

    Grenades: Definitely…

    Other equipment: Another catalog…

    Weapon(s): M3, M4, M9, M203, M240, M249, M320, AT4, Javelin, assorted knives (rarely issued outside the bayonet and even that is out of favor), tomahawk (personal purchase) and maybe a personally purchased club (I like the ASP… )

    Weapon attachment: depends on the weapon. M68s (Gen I & II), PEQ15s are always issued and most common on the M4. ACOGs and Eotecs I’ve discussed earlier. (Venivicivici can help with the M240 for sure). Never seen/heard a spectre issued but it may be and some guys actually buy their own $1000+ sights.

    Holster: Serpas are issued, (there may be other soft holsters issued but I don’t KNOW). Guys definitely supplement with purchase.

    Obviously a lot of holes but it’s a start…
    Thank you sir! Someone with a lot of experience in the field I see which is appreciated.

    What surprises me is that there is so much room for customization of one's equipment - almost seems like the only things used as issued would be the helmet and the weapon. For a collctor with little knowledge this is a godsend - very little can be done wrong.

  4. #33
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Here's a list with pictures and specific to duty position straight from army property...

    http://www.armyproperty.com/Resource...ings/MOLLE.htm

    http://www.armyproperty.com/Resource...E-Overview.htm

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  6. #34
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    @Punisher. Thanks! Good listings there.

    I pulled a quick one and went to my favourite dealer monkey depot and whipped up a list of stuff that seems to be fairly correct (it probably isnt) for a army rifleman:

    Canteen: Playhouse Camelback ACU Pattern
    Hands: Soldier Story Mechanix Impact Pro Weapon Gripping Our Price:
    Pouch: Crazy Dummy Dump Coyote
    Pouch: Playhouse MLCS General Purpose - Coyote
    Pouch: Soldier Story 3 Cell M4 Magazine - Tan
    Pouch: Soldier Story Frag Grenade Coyote MOLLE (x2)
    Vest: Soldier Story Eagle CIRAS Maritime - Tan
    Helmet: BBi MICH 3 Color Desert Cover
    Boots: Soldier Story US Modern Brown (Socket Type)
    Uniform: Toys City Crye Combat AOR1 Camo
    Ammo: Playhouse M4 30 Round Magazine (x6)
    Grenade: Playhouse Baseball Frag (x2)
    Knife: Dragon US KBAR Brown Sheath
    Rifle: Toys City M4A1 Carbine
    Sight: Soldier Story EO Tech Tan

    How about it?

  7. #35
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    CIRAS vests would be used by Army SF, Navy EOD, or SEAL's. You're better suited with a UCP/OCP Army plate carrier or IOTV.
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  8. #36
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Warge - CCs right. The conventional guys don't have the leeway the spec ops guys do when it comes to vests. Private purchase is frowned upon (and EXPENSIVE!). Soldier's chain of command are responsible if a soldier is wounded/killed while wearing an unauthorized vest.

    Army started transitioning to the IOTV late in '07. IOTV in UCP/OCP are really the only realistic options for a grunt for the last four years. Plate carrier for the last 2-3 years IF you can find one. The 1:6 industry has been slow to pick up on it but that's for another thread/section.

    I'm going to "try" and suggest some EXISTING 1:6 solutions (I'm leary of opening the thread to a crapstorm). Let's not get into a discussion of who makes the best whatever, pretty please? That would be a great 1:6 discussion forum topic and you'll get tons of "help". Personally, I've found hqpham and Casual Collector as very helpful in IDing 1:6 solutions to me.

    IOTV - HT, VHT, Wild Work (UCP), (SS did one. Avoid it PM me for reasons) VHT does an OCP IOTV

    Plate carrier w/molle & cummberbund - Rare! WW (UCP), VHT(OCP)

    There's some mixing and matching of colors but not that much and coyote isn't the dominant color of Army equipment though the types of pouches you selected are a practical solution. You forgot an IFAK. The most common is the size of a 100rnd saw pouch. Some have special markings like a red strap, cross or buckle. Some have nothing and others have the redcross done with a sharpie. A canteen pouch is a possible substitue. Troops use them all the time for misc stuff, nvg pouch or a replacement med kit pouch if the original was lost/unserviceable.
    Last edited by major.rod; 06-30-2012 at 16:57.

  9. #37
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    I have to say fellas this is one of the most interesting threads on here....keep 'em coming, and stick some pics perleeaassee!

  10. #38
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    High praise hobbit. Thank you for taking the time to post. It's good to know there is genuine interest in the thread because visits can be a misleading statistic.

    What kind of pictures you looking for? There's TONS of stuff out there.

  11. #39
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    @casual, major.rod: Thanks for your input. You know, that is the kind of response I love.

    The list wasn't really made with a purchase right now in mind, but more of a trial of how much actually is available at the click of a mouse button - even if the list is ok, I might pick up on it later.

    Regarding the vest: I suspected the CIRAS to be some kind of SF item and I picked it more because it looked good. Yeah, shows how much I know.

  12. #40
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Glad I could help.

    There's very little available at the click of a mouse. I had to edit this post heavily because I started to get into 1:6 stuff.

    Good luck though and it seems like things are changingLet it suffice to say it isn't out there. Try finding a MICH with a multicam helmet cover.

    Good luck though it looks like there's good things on the horizon.

  13. #41
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    What do operators and grunts usually use for carting out captured items (i.e. webgear, ammo, IED-making materials, etc...)? Duffels, garbage bags, etc...?
    MK-23 believes that SASR uses trash bags, but I was curious as to what sort of leeway I'd have depicting operators "carting out the goods."
    Thanks!
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  14. #42
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Nothing to add...just de-lurking to say I'm following the thread with interest. Always good to hear about how to rig out figs properly, even if I end up ignoring it for the sake of "because it looks cooler," and there's only so much you can tell from the publicly available reference photos.

  15. #43
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    edwick - Than you for posting and glad we can serve as a reference whether you use the info or not.

    TOTALLY support your right to bash "because it looks cooler". Besides it being YOUR money, figure, time etc. it's not uncommon for servicemembers to request a certain "cool factor".

    I also appreciate you not arguing with folks that have done it or are getting the info first hand which was my biggest concern when I started this thread.

    CC - Trash bags and sandbags are very common. A lot depends on the mission and what's available. Troops often don't have the time, space or money to bring ready made bags on a mission. Not to mention Guys don't want to carry the extra weight/bulk.

    The advantage to trash bags is they're cheap/available. Sandbags even more so and serve a secondary purpose (back in the day soldiers carried sandbags inside or between the ruck and frame for building defensive positions). Multiple bags also allows one to segregate items based on the EPW and write details with a marker or sharpie. Delicate items might be placed in an assault pack. Its pretty safe to speculate a modern style duffle bag (handles & zipper for oversized items) on elaborate hits like the Bin Laden strike but even on that one the sheer quantity of stuff might have required garbage bags.

    It also wouldn't be beyond belief for troops to pile the stuff (maybe not the explosives) in an available box if they were exfilling by vehicle 'aircraft. Ref explosives, we doctrinely prefer to blow it in place after documenting it and maybe bring samples back for intel/media purposes. Make sense to blow so you don't have to lug it, the enemy has no chance of getting it back and . You can never really trust enemy explosives because of the questionable quality and the lack of knowledge about it (how was it maintained, age etc.).

  16. #44
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casual_Collector View Post
    Question: What would've been conventional issue for the Army back in '08, '09? AN/PRC-152's, correct?
    VVV writes: "148's on soldiers, 152's in vehicles"
    MBITRs or other similiar radios, 152s I think pretty much were gone after 2004/05. When I did OIF III we deployed with 148s or COTS (Motorola LMR type) equivalent.

  17. #45
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Bit of my background before I reply:

    AGR Senior Supply SGT (MSG/E8) with 86 IBCT (Mountain), in Jericho, VT. Been a 92A OPS NCO, 13B Firing Battery Platoon SGT, Chief of section, Unit Supply SGT and FS NCO at Battalion to Platoon level (even a little BDE Staff time as an E4-yick) over 20 years of service....

    OIF III/OEF X vet. I work right across the street from the Army Mountain Warfare School so I get to see a lot of 'different' kit from SOF and conventional bubbas going by my office everyday up to Castle Rock as part of the course. really cool to see some of what different SOF guys bring in for this course....anyways


    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post


    US Army Infantry soldier 2012

    Boots: Varies. Right now (among many things) the regulation says the boot has to be over 8” tall and a non shine type material in the suede tan family (must be lighter than Marine issue boots). How they enforce this is beyond me I’m sure it causes confusion in the ranks. (Active duty guys chime in) An exception is the the Danner mountain boot in a dark brown leather. Authorized manufacturers for boots in use include Altama, Bates, Belleville, Rocky and Wellco.
    Alot of units are going into the Common Table Of Allowances (CTA) t find different SOF/Climatic authorizations to buy COTS boots to fir their needs, especially for OEF AOR. A battalion from 4/82 BCT supposedly used the CTA to find a way to get their infantry guys Asolo for OEF, according to one of my instructor counterparts at AMWS. The past two BCT CSMs I've had basically advised their commanders to issue the following guidelines: Must meet AR 670-1/ALARCT messages for composition/material and be ether sand colored or brown tan leather for hiking boots. Hiking boots can only be worn on mission outside the wire. I know ISAF and USFOR-A CSMs were having a fit on the bates boots being worn off of COPS at established FOBS/CAMPS at one point when I was in Afghanistan in '10.


    Gloves: OMG! The reg says they have to be a color that complements the uniform. Again, how this is enforced is beyond me. (Active duty guys chime in and give more details on the reg though we know enforcement is chain of command dependent). Manufacturers of gloves include hatch, mechanics, Oakley, wiley x but there’s easily a dozen I’m missing and most of these companies like the boots have multiple styles.
    My last two IBCT CSMs have been more worried about guys wearing gloves as part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) then what they were wearing. The rules they came up with generally were: Leather and kevlar/nomex mix material, had to have a gauntlet that covered up to wrist bone, no cut off fingers and had to be black, OD/Ranger Green, Coyote Tan, or ACU/Gray color. We had guys using wieder tan weight lifting gloves for a long time until our BN CSM caught them using them-fingerless of course, but super comfortable padding wise.




    Helmet attachments: Besides the basic NVG mount (convention rectangular plate and hinge the troops refer to as a “Rhino” mount) very few are “issued” (I haven’t heard of any which doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened). Depends mostly on the individual. Bottom line is attachments are relatively rare. Never seen a norotos mount or rails though it’s not beyond reality that ONE grunt of a 100 might buy or scrounge them. Surefire lights are probably one or two per squad and more likely the higher the rank of the Soldier.
    Our CSM left this up to Soldier. I think I've had 5 different Petzel style headlamps issued to me now and the surefire clip on one (which I hardly use now unless I'm using my NVGs). BLUF is we issued surefires to everyone along with petzels, so we could mine for coal just as easliy as climb mountains I guess


    Pouches: This is a book. I’ll try and get back to it later. You can pick up a catalog though from one of the better military suppliers and see what’s available. Most commonly issued are double mag pouches with a flap cover, three mag shingles, the IFAK. Soldiers augment as needed/desired. I believe one OCP rack has been issued but I have to confirm (guys do buy their own).
    WOW! Uh....yeah. So if you want to get a good argument going on standards here is a great topic....the standing policy my IBCT commander and CSM have is that as long as it enhances a Soldiers ability to to carry ammo, water, first aid and job specific gear and meets the Black, OD, Coyote, ACU/OCP criteria (must match overall pattern on uniform) then you can buy it/wear it. Some units have dictated only the issue MOLLE sets will be issued. Maybe this is why some good idea fairies are talking about making AR 670-1 uniform violations punishable under UCMJ...


    Weapon(s): M3, M4, M9, M203, M240, M249, M320, AT4, Javelin, assorted knives (rarely issued outside the bayonet and even that is out of favor), tomahawk (personal purchase) and maybe a personally purchased club (I like the ASP… )
    LOL...I think I have a whole shelf of my wall locker at my unit dedicated to the 6 different fix blade and gerbers I've been issued from my units and CIF. And yes I was even issued the blackhawk 'tatical tomahawk' as part of my mountain kit. Personal observation: medics always seem to have like 10 knives on them, they are probably better armed then Al Capone ever was!

    Weapon attachment: depends on the weapon. M68s (Gen I & II), PEQ15s are always issued and most common on the M4. ACOGs and Eotecs I’ve discussed earlier. (Venivicivici can help with the M240 for sure). Never seen/heard a spectre issued but it may be and some guys actually buy their own $1000+ sights.

    Holster: Serpas are issued, (there may be other soft holsters issued but I don’t KNOW). Guys definitely supplement with purchase.
    So huge debate going on right now about M68s versus ACOGs in my IBCT. We've been RFI'd the Gen II M68, which in my opinion is a great optic for the average Soldier, yes even the 11Bs that thing they should be jumping off of little birds. But the ACOG does have the advantage of better magnification, and in theory, greater accuracy for a properly trained rifleman at greater ranges. So, now were in the process of trying to make all of our M4s based with the ACOG. Keep in mind this is one IBCT with a unique mission (again we're a Mountain IBCT-equipped, slotted for AMWS, etc...). Point here is the unit commander's can opt for other than what is normally issued with letters of justification, CTA interpretation, etc...

    As far as M249s and M240s, most of the time if units can't get ELCAN/M145s on thier M249/M240s they will use an ACOG, or CCO if in the AR mode for an M249-based on the idea that an AR rifleman won't shoot at distances beyond his M4 counterparts. We use the PEQ-15s (tan or gray one which is older I think and smaller) and every M4 we were RFI'd had the 'Tango Down' foregrip, some units did get the bi-pod fore grips as well thru COTS purchase (I had to turn mine in-it rocked! ).

    SLINGS- Stop the madness! Just like gloves, lights and knives I have a ton of different COTS slings i've been issued. 3-pt, 2pt, single pt, Blackhawk, Uncle Mikes, tactical tailor....lol....

    Just my observations on what I've seen and what my IBCT does.

    BTW the new CD 'leg' guy has Tora Bora Boots it looks like....we've bought a ton of those recently...

  18. #46
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    @Buck: Thanks for an interesting insight!

    Actually, the more I learn about the modern US military, the more confident I become that whatever a bash together in 1/U6, it will be 'correct' - perhaps not regarding the equipment charts, but well the real stuff the soldiers and marines equip themselves with - as long as its tan or brownish, it's ok seems to be the short and sweet of it.

    That even seems to go for the uniform - sure, the patterns and cuts change (almost every week I sometimes get the impression of) but there is always people who will wear the older stuff, or the stuff you are not supposed to wear because its actually from another branch, or... Am I right?

    I haven't studied in detail every little photo of every soldier or marine in Afghanistan, but I bet people are doing this on a regular basis. And the US forces are not even the worse offenders - just look at the Russians in Chechnya - or the Chechnyans themselves, sporting Russian M43 uniforms in some cases...

    A related question: shouldn't the US armed forces provide its troops with just everything needed? I got the impression something was kind of wrong(ish) the first time I watched Generation Kill, and that has kind of continued with the stories from you people... Armed forces not providing enough batteries for the troops' NVGs? Someone went home early from work, me thinks.

  19. #47
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Warge - Funding and the realities of manufacturing and supply impact acquisition. As much as folks and the media don't like to hear it, you do fight with the Army you have and not the one you want. In WWII the Marines didn't have M1 Garands until late '42 and it took a year to put Garands in all their hands. Meantime Soldiers and Marines trained with Springfield '03s stateside until '44. It just takes time to manufacture equipment.

    The great body armor shortage is another example of a manufactured controversy by the media. It wasn't the services fault. They did not expect nor were they funded to equip everyone with body armor and even if they were it takes time to manufacture over a million sets.

    The guys working on the acquisition side are doing the best job they can. They often get blamed for shortages that aren't their fault and the US does a better job than any nation in equipping our troops (quantity, quality, food etc.). It's always a question of limited resources (mostly money) and competing priorities. From a personal perspective I can tell you we always augmented our equipment and if you go back to the roman legions you'll find the same.

  20. #48
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warge View Post
    Actually, the more I learn about the modern US military, the more confident I become that whatever a bash together in 1/U6, it will be 'correct' - perhaps not regarding the equipment charts, but well the real stuff the soldiers and marines equip themselves with - as long as its tan or brownish, it's ok seems to be the short and sweet of it.
    While it's true that the American Fighting Man will augment his gear as much as his wallet and First Sergeant will allow, please don't use that fact as carte blanche to just throw together whatever you think looks cool (and to be clear, I totally agree with Will's quote below) and call it accurate. Do your research and put in the effort to ensure that what you produce does justice to the subject. I applaud you asking questions and getting the ground truth from guys who've "been there" and I look forward to your bashes!

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    TOTALLY support your right to bash "because it looks cooler". Besides it being YOUR money, figure, time etc. it's not uncommon for servicemembers to request a certain "cool factor".

  21. #49
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Well said Steve.

    BTW great contibution Buck.

  22. #50
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warge View Post
    @Buck: Thanks for an interesting insight!

    Actually, the more I learn about the modern US military, the more confident I become that whatever a bash together in 1/U6, it will be 'correct' - perhaps not regarding the equipment charts, but well the real stuff the soldiers and marines equip themselves with - as long as its tan or brownish, it's ok seems to be the short and sweet of it.

    That even seems to go for the uniform - sure, the patterns and cuts change (almost every week I sometimes get the impression of) but there is always people who will wear the older stuff, or the stuff you are not supposed to wear because its actually from another branch, or... Am I right?

    I haven't studied in detail every little photo of every soldier or marine in Afghanistan, but I bet people are doing this on a regular basis. And the US forces are not even the worse offenders - just look at the Russians in Chechnya - or the Chechnyans themselves, sporting Russian M43 uniforms in some cases...

    A related question: shouldn't the US armed forces provide its troops with just everything needed? I got the impression something was kind of wrong(ish) the first time I watched Generation Kill, and that has kind of continued with the stories from you people... Armed forces not providing enough batteries for the troops' NVGs? Someone went home early from work, me thinks.
    I just wanted to add a little supplement to Will's answer to this "supply shortage" issue especially involving the batteries. What most people fail to realize is how much equipment uses different types of batteries. Flashlights normally require 123A lithium batteries, optics (older model CCO to be specific) used watch batteries, and then everything else tends to run on AA. Another thing that must be accounted for is the number of pieces of equipment issued to X number of troops plus X number of spare batteries for each item. This becomes a logistical nightmare especially in consideration that supply routes sometimes close down due to too many IEDs, supply trucks get hit by IEDs, etc...

    Allow me to also give you an example on the sheer number of batteries required, perhaps by each individual soldier: Take into consideration items such as the AN/PAS 13. This thermal scope, depending on the model, usually takes 9, yes NINE, AA batteries. The approximate runtime is 7 hours. Granted, it wont always be turned on, but for missions that go into the 2 week timeframe, you must carry spare batteries and then some. The strobe light, IIRC, requires 2 AA batteries. The surefire hlemt light takes 1x 123A lithium and the weapon's light normally takes 2x. The PEQ15 takes 1x 123 lithium battery too I believe. Dont forget the radio batteries and spares. If you have an older model CCO, then that adds a whole new type of battery. If you have the newer model, then just add a few more AA to your list.

    Now, taking all this into consideration, and then adding into account the misuse of batteries by Joes to power up personal electronics, this is a lot of batteries for a lot of dudes. Lets assume for a moment that the supply guys took into account for all this, that doesn't mean that the supply routes will be open, nor does it mean that they will recieve the propper number requested.
    As an end user, I never blamed supply....or I atleast kept it to a minumum. Sometimes you simply have to make due with what you have as Will had stated.

  23. #51
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O. View Post
    While it's true that the American Fighting Man will augment his gear as much as his wallet and First Sergeant will allow, please don't use that fact as carte blanche to just throw together whatever you think looks cool (and to be clear, I totally agree with Will's quote below) and call it accurate. Do your research and put in the effort to ensure that what you produce does justice to the subject. I applaud you asking questions and getting the ground truth from guys who've "been there" and I look forward to your bashes!
    Don't worry - I do have an interesting in getting the items as correct as possible, and I kind of stretched that whatev's. But it still seems you can get away with a lot regarding US servicemen never the less. I made a mock-up purchase of uniform and equipment earlier in this thread, and someone (major.rod I think) tolld me the CIRAS vest was mostly assigned to SF people, whereas I had chosen it because it looked cool. So I do make my research I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeniViciVinci View Post
    I just wanted to add a little supplement to Will's answer to this "supply shortage" issue especially involving the batteries. What most people fail to realize is how much equipment uses different types of batteries. Flashlights normally require 123A lithium batteries, optics (older model CCO to be specific) used watch batteries, and then everything else tends to run on AA. Another thing that must be accounted for is the number of pieces of equipment issued to X number of troops plus X number of spare batteries for each item. This becomes a logistical nightmare especially in consideration that supply routes sometimes close down due to too many IEDs, supply trucks get hit by IEDs, etc...

    <snip>
    Wow - I mentioned the guys in GK and their complains of a battery shortage in passing, and gets a reply like this! Its like having the wikipedia articles come to you instead of going to them. Great reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    Warge - Funding and the realities of manufacturing and supply impact acquisition. As much as folks and the media don't like to hear it, you do fight with the Army you have and not the one you want. In WWII the Marines didn't have M1 Garands until late '42 and it took a year to put Garands in all their hands. Meantime Soldiers and Marines trained with Springfield '03s stateside until '44. It just takes time to manufacture equipment.

    The great body armor shortage is another example of a manufactured controversy by the media. It wasn't the services fault. They did not expect nor were they funded to equip everyone with body armor and even if they were it takes time to manufacture over a million sets.

    The guys working on the acquisition side are doing the best job they can. They often get blamed for shortages that aren't their fault and the US does a better job than any nation in equipping our troops (quantity, quality, food etc.). It's always a question of limited resources (mostly money) and competing priorities. From a personal perspective I can tell you we always augmented our equipment and if you go back to the roman legions you'll find the same.
    And another great reply - I'm learning stuff here by the minute.

    Regarding the personal augmentation of equipment: yes, that happens in all armies. However, it seems to me that the larger the armed forces, the more of this we see - probably that its easier to equip an army of 1000 men than 1000 000 men with stuff that the people actually need.

    But I think the number if items needed is also a factor, and that goes higher all the time, the more technically advanced the troops become - on an average US army soldier you have the vest, the pouches, the different sights, the aforementioned batteries for these sights, weapons with a lot of parts that needs to be replaced - and on a 8th century warrior you basically had a coat, a sword and a shield. Someone once said that armchair generals studied tactics and strategy, whilst real generals studied supply...

  24. #52
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Warge - don't worry, you'll pick it up fast. Wait until you hear about strong side, weak side.
    What I've learned is that grunts have fairly specific sets of equipment depending on the branch they're in (ie Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) and WHEN they are. An Army grunt stationed in Afghanistan in 2001 would have a WILDLY different kit from an Army grunt stationed in Afghanistan in 2010. The camo changes that you mentioned aren't necessarily as common as you think and they've happened for a reason.
    Let's take Afghanistan - the original uniforms used by Army grunts were 3-desert BDU's, which were the standard since the '90's. When the Army decided to go to a new universal camo pattern, the soldiers transitioned in UCP (a pattern you might think of ACU) on an ACU-cut uniform. However, UCP proved to be an inadequate camo scheme in Afghanistan, so the Army transitioned again to a new uniform - OCP (OCP = multicam) on an ACU-cut uniform. That's three transitions in ten years - which IS a lot in Army terms. Add in that some SF units like to wear woodland BDU's because that's what the ANA wears and you've got even more of a mix.
    Regarding vests - I'd say go with what Will and Scott say. "Grunt" vests are pretty much mandated to be one of a certain selection of choices. SF gets away with using unique kit because of their status, but grunts don't have that luxury. There is a solution to getting around this - one I have employed before. If the kit I've got doesn't match the soldier I want to make, I change the soldier I want to make.
    As an example - I was trying to build an Army MP set in 2009 who would be based at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan. Talking with Scott and Will, I came to realize that my kit was - well - inaccurate for the kind of guy I wanted to build. His vest set was suited more for combat patrols and he was geared up like a soldier. Moreover, his vest was being transitioned out in 2009 and being replaced by the Army plate carrier, which would've been more accurate. So, I changed the guy's focus (outside the wire MP) and changed the date on the bash to make him more accurate. If the guy you're building isn't a grunt, just make him into something else, eh? And don't worry about it! Have fun! 'cause that's the big thing
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  25. #53
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    This has been one of the best threads. I mean the wealth of information is just great!
    Second place is first loser!

  26. #54
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casual_Collector View Post
    Warge - don't worry, you'll pick it up fast. Wait until you hear about strong side, weak side.
    What I've learned is that grunts have fairly specific sets of equipment depending on the branch they're in (ie Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force) and WHEN they are. An Army grunt stationed in Afghanistan in 2001 would have a WILDLY different kit from an Army grunt stationed in Afghanistan in 2010. The camo changes that you mentioned aren't necessarily as common as you think and they've happened for a reason.
    Let's take Afghanistan - the original uniforms used by Army grunts were 3-desert BDU's, which were the standard since the '90's. When the Army decided to go to a new universal camo pattern, the soldiers transitioned in UCP (a pattern you might think of ACU) on an ACU-cut uniform. However, UCP proved to be an inadequate camo scheme in Afghanistan, so the Army transitioned again to a new uniform - OCP (OCP = multicam) on an ACU-cut uniform. That's three transitions in ten years - which IS a lot in Army terms. Add in that some SF units like to wear woodland BDU's because that's what the ANA wears and you've got even more of a mix.
    Regarding vests - I'd say go with what Will and Scott say. "Grunt" vests are pretty much mandated to be one of a certain selection of choices. SF gets away with using unique kit because of their status, but grunts don't have that luxury. There is a solution to getting around this - one I have employed before. If the kit I've got doesn't match the soldier I want to make, I change the soldier I want to make.
    As an example - I was trying to build an Army MP set in 2009 who would be based at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan. Talking with Scott and Will, I came to realize that my kit was - well - inaccurate for the kind of guy I wanted to build. His vest set was suited more for combat patrols and he was geared up like a soldier. Moreover, his vest was being transitioned out in 2009 and being replaced by the Army plate carrier, which would've been more accurate. So, I changed the guy's focus (outside the wire MP) and changed the date on the bash to make him more accurate. If the guy you're building isn't a grunt, just make him into something else, eh? And don't worry about it! Have fun! 'cause that's the big thing
    Since I'm in the 1/6 hobby - I'm having a blast every day.

    OT: Part of the fun I think is to actually find and make just that exact figure I want. Admittedly I only have two US modern servicemen (modified Soldier Story Helmand Province figures), and the rest is mostly civilian or WW2, but the priniple is the same - if I want to make say a German soldier in the Italian campaign, I wouldn't end up with a German on the eastern front and call it a day, but that's me, and I strongly suspect building modern US servicemen are a lot harder, especially when it comes to both uniforms and those "#¤%& vests. /OT

    Speaking of uniforms, what types would a US marine or soldier wear in Afghanistan at a certain time and more importantly (for us bashers), are those uniforms available in 1/6?

    Operation Enduring Freedom was launched in 2001, and US troops are still in Afghanistan, 11 years later. With three changes in uniforms (for the army, and god knows how many for the marines) what would be appropriate for the different years?

    Hard questions?

  27. #55
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Conventional grunt uniforms OEF

    '01 - late '05: DCUs (generally available)
    LATE '05/'06 - late '10: ACU (combat shirts were introduced around '08 I think*) (generally avail)
    Late '10 - today: OCP (ACU cut uniforms in multicam NOT crye style uniforms) (relatively rare SS one figure, barracks sergeant limited production, VHT one figure)

    *could be off a year
    Last edited by major.rod; 07-09-2012 at 13:52.

  28. #56
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    I believe Marines only went from DCUs to Marpat (desert and woodland).
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  29. #57
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    The Marines started getting MAPRAT in 2002, with the changeover reaching its completion in 2004.
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  30. #58
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Warge,

    Yeah I guess in a lot senses there is no right or wrong, but my work always ends up looking way to heavy laden with gear lol. And that's based on research and what I think right looks like....no where near what CC, MAJ Rod ET al....works look like.

    I Agree with major rod, a lot of the crap you'll here about guys going down range without what they need is grossly distorted. Generally you leave terra firma USA with about a 90% solution because there is only so many ships,planes to cary everything, the rest is there waiting for you for the unit you replace or through other sources.....I mean if you look at numbers roughly we've sustained a much lower casualty rate in comparision to Vietnam, WW Ii ans the civil war...you tell me we don't have the gear we need to do our jobs. Cmon, really?!!

    Plate carriers: we had commanders in remote areas eschew plate carriers in favor of IOTV because of the additional protection that IOTV gives against snipers or a well placed DSHKA or PKM round. Food for thought.

  31. #59
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    Late 2010 is when OEF went OCP. I think the BCT from 1/34BCT and everyone else after them in DEC 2010 on showed up in OCP. aside from contractors and SOF guys that had some of the OCP ine early 10. My IBCT and most of the 101 still was sporting ACUs at that point.

    DCUs went out in Jan 05. The 48th IBCT was the first OIF unit to get them.I rember them rolling in to the little pile of dirt Iwas guarding in Kuwait in March 05....they looked ODD lol.

  32. #60
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    Re: What are grunts wearing in Afghanistan?

    I have found this graphic very informative when discussing the cost to equip a soldier and how it has gone up over time. Multiply those numbers by a million troops and you're talking some real money...



    It also implies some of the issues we've discussed in getting the equipment to the soldier. Bottom line is we're talking a lot of money, a lot of troops and often very far away.

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