Once you get in country, you get the opportunity to drag all your shit to some corner of the compound and make any last minute gear requests. And when I mean all your shit, it’s a lot. Multiple Pelicans and duffels jammed up til Christmas with any comm cord, dongle, power converter, etc., you could ever need. Some guys get sent out semi-hurriedly to very-hurriedly, and pack all their stuff cause they just don’t know where they will end up. When I deployed, it was a similar circumstance, and I brought everything I could. Including any weapon I could get my hands on. A SCAR-H, the EGLM (40mm grenade launcher that looks like the SCAR), Aimpoints, EO Techs, an M-4 with a short barrel, long barrel, and under barrel 203 attachment, and my trusty camp buddy, the Glock 19. Needless to say I came with some baggage.
You’ll spend a night or two getting some briefs on what was going on, and then, finally, get told exactly where you’re going. You’ll repack all your shit, this time maybe begging for a little extra cold gear, jam every mag you’ve got, and head out the next morning on a C-130 with the guys that are also heading to your region of the country, and maybe even your team. Ideally, the CCTs, PJs, or whoever you’re replacing will meet you at the airstrip, and will help you acclimate. I mean, after all, three days ago you were in Germany. Now you’re standing in some hot, dusty air field trying to orient North. And you’ve swapped out a t-shirt and jeans for your kit and rifle.