Things change and so does your gear. With the way the defense industry is nowadays somebody or someone always has something better. For instance, I have dropped a lot of gear out of my kit and added a few pieces of gear. This is what happens over time as we adapt in the dark world we live in. one piece fo gear that was dropped was a weapon retention system. It wasn’t that it was bulky, it was just something I never used. I may add it based on the mission type and so on and so forth but for the most part, it was dropped. I also added 2 new knives, expanded on my IFAK, threw in a tomahawk, and a few other things.

A Private Military Contractor's Short Range Loadout

I was pretty primitive when I started my job as a military contractor working in maritime operations. I had gear that was issued but was excessively bulky and just all in all not worth carrying. For instance, my original plate carrier – I had to attach a mustang “horse collar” to it due to working in maritime environments. Safety first, kids, safety first. Well, the solution to that was the First Spear AAC Frog. Badass rig built specifically for those that get froggy. Yep, team guys. I AM NOT A TEAM GUY, but I work on the water so I wanted something that was lightweight and that got the job done. There were other options, but the frog had me sold. 2 built-in “water wings” that are activated by pulling a tab on each side which means it is dive capable. Kidney bladders aka water wings built into your side plates? I’m sold. Buoyancy plate compensators? Even more, sold (can you be more sold than sold? Idk but I’m rolling with it). I also chose the First Spear admin pouch, as well as the First Spear Multi-Mag Pocket, in case I’m feeling super bold and decide to run anything 7.62. You can read my review on the Multi-Mag Pocket here. Badass design that shows you where First Spear is heading.. hint: to the top of the defense industry). I still carry chemlights, Madison supply trauma scissors, zip ties, 2 Tourniquets and one of the greatest inventions out there, the BreachPen.

A Private Military Contractor's Short Range Loadout

Working our way down to my belt, I am still carrying 3 mags of .45 for my Sig Sauer p320. I am running the full-size barrel and slide on a compact grip. You can read why I am carrying that here. Total of 4 pistol mags, 4 m4 mags. I also carry my IFAK on my belt as well. Below the belt (wait not like that ladies, calm down) I have a badass Half Face Blades tomahawk for anything and everything – breaching, hatchet kills (just kidding.. is that sore subject to liberals still?) and all the cool guy things you do with tomahawks. Half Face Blades makes some of the best blades out there, I won’t even lie to you. I almost spent all my savings on every one of their knives.. until my girlfriend shut that down as soon as she got wind of it. If I ever break up with her and I’m broke and on the street with 40 blades attached to my clothing you now know why (is “will work for knives” a thing?). Speaking of knives, I am carrying a Helle Wabakimi. That name makes me smile every time. Badass knife, THE most durable blade I’ve ever used, review coming soon. I switch out between the Gerber LMFII and the Wabakimi a lot depending on the mission set. I also have a Kershaw Tanto folding knife I have as a backup to my primary knife.

A Private Military Contractor's Short Range Loadout

My weapons platform is a custom built and cerakoted Aero Precision M4E1 upper and lower. The BCG is classified as it is not out for production yet, SilencerCo Omega 30 suppressor, Magpul ACS and Magpul mags. For the cherry on top, I am running the most revolutionary optic out there, the UH-1 Huey by Vortex. BETTER than anything EOTech has ever come out with. Yes, you read that right, sorry L3. For shades or Clear glasses, I’m rocking Gatorz Magnums. Nothing beats Gatorz, period. I am running the Ops-Core FAST SF Super High Cut helmet with an S&S Precision manta strobe. I run White Phosphor NVG’s and I will never go back to green. We run ATN at work, so that’s who makes my NVG’s. Some guys like 2 tubes, but for driving rib’s at night I run a single tube NVG. I wear whatever feels best for clothing. I moved away from LBT, they are just overpriced and frankly behind the times in all aspects. In my opinion, they are still riding the train from 2008. I found there are better options out there. If I’m going with a jacket, I run an Arcteryx jacket that was built specifically for Naval Special Warfare Development Group. I got it from a close buddy of mine integrated into that community. The jacket is priceless, in my opinion, and has seen a lot of stuff. Lastly, I’m wearing Altama Maritime Assault shoes, aka the greatest thing my feet have ever stepped on. They dry within 6 hours, have ultra grip and are fin compatible. Best things in life are made for comfort and altama hit it right on the bullseye with their take on tactical boots (are they even boots? They feel like a pillow of comfort for your feet).

Like I’ve said things have changed as far as my gear goes and probably will continue to change in my loadout, but this is what I’m wearing and using these days in real-world maritime operations.

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