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  1. #1
    Lower than a snakes balls Duffman's Avatar
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    Chest rigs, Assault Vests and Plate carriers.

    Attention all gucci whores and gear f@gs.

    Right time to make a change. I've been using assault vests for the last while. My current vest Israeli Marom Doplphin tac vest is still a nice bit of kit but does not really suit what I'm doing at the moment as its very role specific.

    I've a few quid put aside now and after looking at S&S's gucci thread I've a gear horn. I want to buy something new for the summers fun (cse + camp etc).

    In an infantry role how have people found chest rigs? The likes of the http://www.uktactical.com/acatalog/W-901_Delta.html

    I've found assault vests great in the past. So looking at buying a MOLLE vest base and getting patches myself. I want to have a look at the protac vest.

    I know very little about plate carriers http://www.uktactical.com/acatalog/W..._Carriers.html (obviously I will never be using plates in them!). They appear to be what most modern armies are leaning towards these days. What is the difference between a plate carrier without plates and an assault vest?! As the price difference is huge.

    Suitable or an Inf. NCO OG in pattern or Brit DPM at a push. Not mental money.

    PS: for the auld shweat bde. I've done my time in 58 ptn. and PLCE. Despite nostalgic pangs, I don't think it stands up. So save the "whats wrong with your issue PLCE" stuff, thank you please.
    "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

    "Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand next to the object you wish to view."

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  3. #2
    Commander in Chief RoyalGreenJacket's Avatar
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    i've seen some of our lads are using Plate Carriers now until Osprey comes into service - some still hang onto their Osprey:



    i think the days of getting as many full pouches onto your PLCE will be a thing of the past soon, but they do get the job done for training and have served us well over the years.

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  4. #3
    Lt General apod's Avatar
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    It all depends on what role you are filling.If you are a driver or Cav then a chest rig is probably the way to go.If you are infantry than belt order or battlevest.For dismounted infantry work chest rigs are a pain because all the kit is on your front.Battlevests are not too bad as you can tighten up the rear of the vest and loosen the front straps and this moves the load more to the sides.
    Stay away from webtex.Interesting that the BA are now issuing MOLLE belts for Op Herrick and have instructed their troops not to fit pouches to the front of their Ospreys.This is down to the risk of loose items becoming secondary shrapnel and causing facial injuries in the event of an IED strike.
    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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    Hey Duffman,

    Load carriage in the RDF is an eternal conundrum. Every Ex is different, and the tactics vary from the 40s to the contemporary. Sometimes, you're wearing CBA, most of the time, you're not. Sometimes you're not carrying CEMO, most of the time, you are. Sometimes you get a lift, most of the time you're on your toes.

    There's no one stop solution.

    I love my chest rig. It's low profile at the front, stores 8 mags without adding a pouch and carries all my essential kit. The problem I have with it is water carriage. I can carry water in a hydration pouch, but that makes carrying a bergan/daysack difficult. If I pack my water into my daysack, and I'm separated from it, I'm left with no water. The solution would be to add a small hydration/water bottle pouch (see below), but the problem is that the MOLLE on my rig doesn't go all the way around to the back. So the more pouches I add, the more I'm pushing gear around to the front of the rig, reducing the low profile.



    The solution there would be to get a plate carrier, and none are more top of the range than the JPC featured below. You'll be able to place pouches further round to the back, while still keeping your back clear for sitting down, and carrying a backpack. The problem arises when you need to wear issued CBA. Because the MA in their infinite wisdom, don't think that MOLLE integrated CBA is the way forward (contrary to most other NATO countries), you'll then be left with trying to put a plate carrier over a plate carrier. Which will be counter productive.


    The Jumpable Plate Carrier™ (JPC) is a lightweight and minimal vest designed for maximum mobility, weight savings, and packability. At just over one pound for the entire carrier, the JPC™ offers a variety of configuration options to suit an operator’s needs in terms of load carriage and comfort. It features our revolutionary new AirLite™ cummerbund system with our patent-pending integrated attachment system that allows pouches to be mounted on both the inside and outside of the cummerbund, shedding unnecessary weight and bulk while improving ventilation. It also features integrated admin and magazine pouches on the front of the carrier. Sizes are based on the size of the ballistic plate. For example, a large plate will fit best in a large JPC.
    http://www.trojantactical.com/produc...3&cat=0&page=1

    If I were to start again, or switch up, I'd probably go for this solution given the way we operate: MOLLE belt, Patrol yoke, Butt pack, and daysack. That way, I get the benefit of a modular belt kit while being able to interface directly with essential items to my front (Smoke, Nav/GPS, Admin, CQB mag pouches). The Butt Pack can float between the daysack and back of the belt kit, depending on whether I'm mounted or not. It'll also distribute the weight better. Costly though.








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  8. #5
    Lower than a snakes balls Duffman's Avatar
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    Great post from our resident Tacticool consultant!

    I had similar problems with the Israeli Vest I currently have. Great if you were operating out of vehicles etc. but not if your out pounding the ground.
    . The pouches are all purpose built (hydration carrier permenantly mounted to the rear) which meant that I had to carefully plan the whole hydration thing as had it in the backpack. But when I dropped the pack I was left without enough water.

    Hmm interesting belt kit + mesh vest thingy combo. I wanted to get away from the webbing feel and switch to having everything to hand. But thats worth a look alright.

    At the moment I'm swinging towards Plate Carrier.
    "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

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  10. #6
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    The problem I have with it is water carriage
    is that a medical thing like water retention?

    Seriously though, vests / rigs Vs Webbing day sacks, I always thought of it as being mission specific. I 'm a great believer in rigs/vests for mounted ops or vehicle based ops, but if your out in the boonies on a 72 hr ex, good old PLCE in what ever form you build it is what you need. You can carry more and its more flexible in how it can be fitted out.

    Comes with the added bonus of being able to carry possibly two water bottles and all your bug out kit on you belt.

    Rigs are great for comfort or having it all up front, but the minute you go prone, your in the shit, everything you need is under you!

    I could get everything I needed into my Arktis rig... including a BAP in the inside holster, which was great while mounted in AFVS or Soft skins. I could operate from vehicles in comfort but I had to have access to a grab scak for all the extra bits. Lose the grab sack or become seperated from it, your in the shit.

    So again mission specfic, or if you are a car commander go real gucci double up on the kit and carry both, making a choice of what to wear as the mission changes.
    Just visiting

  11. #7
    Lt General apod's Avatar
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    Karrimor SF do a modular combat vest.Somewhat similar design to the issue battlevest.Might be worth a look.
    http://www.body-armour-protection.co...cal-vests.html

    On the water carriage issue we have the same problem in the PDF.If you are mounted in APCs etc and are only dismounting for short patrols you carry your camelbak in the rear of the BV.Problem arises though if you are wearing a patrol pack(nearly all the time) or bergen.The weight of the fully loaded packs can cause the bladders to burst.Not good.
    If you were doing FIBUA etc where you knew you would be dumping your patrol pack at the first window then you could carry the camelbak in the back of the BV,but if doing an Advance to contact over distance you couldn't.I reckon the DF f***ed up by withdrawing the issue waterbottle.We should have held onto them.Instead of issuing two camelbaks one would suffice and perhaps issue two waterbottles.One W/B in your bergen for resup.One in your BV in case you have to drop your patrol pack and a camelbak in your patrol pack or BV dependent on task.Simples
    Of course we DIDN'T do that.

    PS: Wearing plate carriers without plates IMHO just makes you look like a walt.
    Last edited by apod; 23rd May 2012 at 16:39.
    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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  13. #8
    Lower than a snakes balls Duffman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy View Post


    Rigs are great for comfort or having it all up front, but the minute you go prone, your in the shit, everything you need is under you!
    I've always queried this. When firing from prone even with PLCE you have to roll to one side to access the left pouches. You'll pretty much have to do the same amount of rolling to access the rig / vest. Only difference being the pouches in the middle of the vest. Same problem was encountered when having to access the right hand side ammo pouches with PLCE.

    Advantage of vests being you can stack most of your mags on the left hand side if you so desire. Obvioulsy you'd have to redistribute kit in order to balance weight.

    What I am now trying to grasp is the difference between chest rigs and plate carriers? As both seem to carry plates?? I thought chest rigs were so called as the didn't have a back but looking at some of them they have the option to attach a back panel?! Does one sit higher than the other?

    This gucci world is wonderful yet confusing.
    "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

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  14. #9
    Lt General apod's Avatar
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    Chest rigs usually have all the pouches fixed to one large front panel and have either crossover shoulder straps or a H-style harness.They don't carry plates.At least any i have seen or used don't.The DF used to issue an IP-DPM version of the BA NI chest rig for use in Liberia,Kosovo and UNIFIL 2('06/'07).This was an interim issue until IPLCS went on general issue.
    Chest rigs tend to have limited carrying capacity.A few mags,maps,PRR, IFAK etc. Not designed to carry all the items you would normally carry in CEFO.
    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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  16. #10
    Lower than a snakes balls Duffman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Chest rigs usually have all the pouches fixed to one large front panel and have either crossover shoulder straps or a H-style harness.They don't carry plates.At least any i have seen or used don't.The DF used to issue an IP-DPM version of the BA NI chest rig for use in Liberia,Kosovo and UNIFIL 2('06/'07).This was an interim issue until IPLCS went on general issue.
    Chest rigs tend to have limited carrying capacity.A few mags,maps,PRR, IFAK etc. Not designed to carry all the items you would normally carry in CEFO.
    We were actually issued with the chest rigs for fibua a while back..load of arse for anything bar FIBUA. I dubbed mine a battle bra. Couldn't carry anything in the feckers. Horribly unbalanced.
    "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

    "Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand next to the object you wish to view."

  17. #11
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    the major failing of the issue chest rig is that it was designed with the idea that the user would be engaing from the kneeling or standing position and as some one mentioned the prone position is rare in modern combat , I'll go with that for short term actions.

    My own vest the, Arktis rig ,spread the load across the sides being front opening with the magazine pockets being more side on and over sized so it was possible to carry most of your mags on the left had side and could be extracted while prone but was too bulky when prone.

    For PLCE I just bought some over sized pouches and spread the load according to how I liked its as opposed to what the books say.

    Any idiot can be uncomfortable...takes a special idiot not to sort it to suit themselves!
    Just visiting

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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    PS: Wearing plate carriers without plates IMHO just makes you look like a walt.
    Yeah, I'd agree with that to a point. I'd imagine that even if you were rocking your own private purchase NIJ Lvl 111+ ballistic plates in a PC as part of your CEFO, that you'd be told that you still have to wear the issued CBA for insurance reasons. It's for that reason that I wouldn't use a PC in the RDF, there's just no compatibility. I use a back panel instead of straps for my chest rig because it distributes the weight better across my back. That said, the rig is balanced best when I have a hydration bladder on the back, but leads us back into the aforementioned problem of water carriage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    What I am now trying to grasp is the difference between chest rigs and plate carriers? As both seem to carry plates??
    I think the key difference is that PCs are designed to accommodate soft and hard armour; whereas most modern chest rigs are only capable of holding the hard plates as an added feature. Modern chest rigs are becoming hybrids of PCs and the chest rigs of yesteryear, meeting the demands of the big military, SOF, and PMCs.

    Personally, I think chest rigs are the way forward, but it's the RDF that are behind. I read somewhere before that the British trialled the belt kits against the chest rigs in the 1980s, and while the chest rig was considered to be more combat effective, it was also considered to look "too Soviet", so belt kit was procured in the end.

    A little while ago I submitted a design to a leading manufacturer for a bergan that acted as a docking station for a 50L daysack and could double up as a hauler for things like Jerry cans and other mission essential equipment. The design was inspired from my experiences on infantry Ex with the RDF. While the design wasn't too bad, it was turned down because:

    We feel that the basic concept your proposing is probably sound however from a viewpoint of what the MoD here is interested in currently it’s not something we need to develop.

    The current mode of operations does not include long duration expeditions without supporting vehicles or away from bases.

    That’s why the patrol pack size is now most common. I don’t think that the MoD has procured the old issue Bergen for some time now.

    Previously we were tasked by MoD to develop new load carriage which included a Bergen size pack, this was not progressed beyond initial design/sample stage for various reasons.

    We have seen various models of pack similar to the ones you show and the concept you propose however the day to day requirement to transport items such as Jerry cans etc is fairly limited we feel.

    There have been pack designs which would even allow the transport of 2 BBQ gas style tanks however this and similar concepts would now fall outside the health and safety guidelines that the MoD have to follow.
    You see, I was so blinkered by the fact that we're so used to tabbing everywhere, rocking around in CEMO, having never seen the inside of a DF Helo or APC, that I forgot that we'd probably never operate like that. It's the training for the sake of training mentality. The only people who need to carry their house on their back for silly distances, living in impromptu patrol harbours are SF, snipers, and recce teams. Even then, the chances are there's scope to insert them via more secure or clandestine transport means.
    If we haven't got the means to transport our troops into battle and sustain them while they're there, then how are we to extract them if it all goes wrong?

    Coming back into the thread. If you're looking to be all contemporary and more combat effective in your Gucci CEFO on a fighting patrol in the RDF, then chances are you can expect to be uncomfortable when you have to pack your life into your CEMO and hump it down the road, because the RDF hasn't caught up to the age that it might be expected to fight in.

    If you get a chest rig or PC, and you're given the pool issue non-compatible CBA at the last minute, you'll find the profile of your CEFO protruding out that bit too far to be comfortable in the prone with most loads. So you'll want little more than a single mag depth and an admin panel to your front, and a platform solution that houses everything to the sides and behind the elbows while not obstructing the back. It's for that reason that I'm leaning more towards the modular belt kit and patrol yoke for what we do. So long as it's not overloaded, it'll be just as effective as the chest rig.

    I really like the open mag/CQB pouches, but I reckon I'd only need two or three realistically cater for the initial reactive reloads. Other mags are best kept in closed pouches, ready to be reloaded or brought up to the CQB pouches whenever I get time to reorg.
    If you're going to go down the route of chest rig too, I'd also recommend getting a dump pouch. I wear mine on my trouser belt to the rear left, and I tie the bottom ties of my smock in around my waist so that my smock doesn't obstruct it.
    If you're going for the Warrior brand of chest rig too, I'd recommend the front opening 901 base over the centurion that I have. Just for the sake of configuration and getting as low profile as possible. Also, fitting the centurion properly can be a buddy/buddy job. The dividers in the mag bank can sometimes catch the hooks on the Steyr mags too, which means there's a knack to extracting them smoothly. I haven't experienced that with single CQB pouches, which is another reason to go for 901 over the Centurion as we're Steyr shooters.

    If you ever want to try before you buy, PM me and you can try my rig on for size to see if it's for you.

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  20. #13
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    The RDF could do with a brigade of SwiftandSure like men. Your tuned in booooooy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    We were actually issued with the chest rigs for fibua a while back..load of arse for anything bar FIBUA. I dubbed mine a battle bra. Couldn't carry anything in the feckers. Horribly unbalanced.
    One of the lads in my Platoon uses the Battle Bra and absolutely loves it, which is weird since FIBUA is the last thing we'd be doing unless sent on a raid.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftandSure View Post
    You see, I was so blinkered by the fact that we're so used to tabbing everywhere, rocking around in CEMO, having never seen the inside of a DF Helo or APC, that I forgot that we'd probably never operate like that. It's the training for the sake of training mentality. The only people who need to carry their house on their back for silly distances, living in impromptu patrol harbours are SF, snipers, and recce teams. Even then, the chances are there's scope to insert them via more secure or clandestine transport means.
    If we haven't got the means to transport our troops into battle and sustain them while they're there, then how are we to extract them if it all goes wrong?
    Even Recce heads are moving away from the "4 men can carry the world" mentality. We're looking at increasing the size of Recce Detachments due to the amount of kit being carried these days.

    As for vehicles, you're right. If the DF deploys anywhere, it's all mechanized these days... Even Recce and Snipers use vehicles upto the DOP before inserting. While the ability to drag ourselves over mountains, setup a harbour and patrol our life away should be maintained, there also needs to be an acceptance that it's not what we do while on Operations.

    Anyway, Duffer whatever you get, just make sure it looks the part. 90% of the job is looking good while doing it

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  24. #15
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    However a tcv isn't part of the f ech and we only have so many apc's

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    However a tcv isn't part of the f ech and we only have so many apc's
    Adapt and overcome.

    Everyone knows there's not enough APC's for every Unit in the DF to use them in training, doesn't mean you can't use a truck as an APC purely for Exercise purposes.

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  27. #17
    Lower than a snakes balls Duffman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Karrimor SF do a modular combat vest.Somewhat similar design to the issue battlevest.Might be worth a look.
    http://www.body-armour-protection.co...cal-vests.html
    Nice find apod, that looks like a decent bit of kit....anyone used it or heard reviews??



    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    PS: Wearing plate carriers without plates IMHO just makes you look like a walt.
    Agreed. So I'm hesitant to get one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Alaska View Post

    Anyway, Duffer whatever you get, just make sure it looks the part. 90% of the job is looking good while doing it
    Isn't there always that delicate balance of the two. Looking effortlessly tacticool whilst avoiding the waltish step too far! Its a hard look to perfect. It must be like the dilema suffered by wimminz on a saturday night when trying to balance "looking sexy vs looking like a thrashy slut".
    "Many a time a man's mouth broke his nose"

    "Don't waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand next to the object you wish to view."

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    Private 3* Jungle's Avatar
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    Like I mentionned earlier, I like to keep things simple. I was browsing through my pics from last year, and came across this one of my rig, which contained everything I needed to shoot, move and communicate:



    It is a Tactical Tailor 2-piece MAV with X-harness, 3 x 3-mag pouches, 2 x frag pouches, IFAK, combat knife, Gerber multi-tool, strap cutter, MBITR, PRR and accessory pouch (aide-mems, notebook, visual language aid, smoke gren, headlamp, energy bar, etc...). Inside the vest panels, I carried the survival essentials: foil blanket, signal mirror, fire-starting kit, water purif tabs, string etc...

    Anytime I carried out dismounted ops, I also carried a patrol pack with (minimum) 1 x ration, Softie jacket, spare mags & frags, 3-li bladder, IV kit and any other kit deemed necessary for that particular mission. And a slung M-72... 'cause they look cool.
    Last edited by Jungle; 28th May 2012 at 17:29.
    "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

    Never give up!!"

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    I'd give up my Oakley shades for a chance to strut around with an M-72 for a while.

    How did the MBITR work for ya out there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    Isn't there always that delicate balance of the two. Looking effortlessly tacticool whilst avoiding the waltish step too far! Its a hard look to perfect. It must be like the dilema suffered by wimminz on a saturday night when trying to balance "looking sexy vs looking like a thrashy slut".
    If all else fails and your rig isn't looking upto scratch... A shirt with no baselayer and the sleeves rolled up two folds, some stubble, Oakley gloves and a Steyr w/203 will keep you looking sufficiently cool until you fix the rig problem.

  33. #21
    Private 3* Jungle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Alaska View Post
    I'd give up my Oakley shades for a chance to strut around with an M-72 for a while.
    LOL !! Yeah, I understand !! Here's a pic from Feb 2011, I'm leaving a combined position (Afgs & CDNs) at the south end of Nakhonay village with some ANA for an operation. I'm carrying my patrol pack: an Eagle A-III with Molle (a classic):




    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Alaska View Post
    How did the MBITR work for ya out there?
    Very good actually; I was very familiar with it, as I had used it on my first tour. We are introducing a replacement for it (152), that I have used in Haiti in 2010 to communicate with a CDN Destroyer that was dispatching Troops to a beach; fantastic piece of kit !! Funniest story: some of the BDE Troops were flown into Jamaica, as the airport in Port-au-Prince was too busy, then it was decided to load the Troops onto a Destroyer and Frigate and land them in Haiti. I was tasked as Beachmaster. I was a Sgt-Maj at the time, and I had never seen so many Troops so happy to see me !!
    "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

    Never give up!!"

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    The MBITR looks like a handy piece of kit all right. How did you operate it Jungle, was it through a separate head/handset? Or did you route it through a dual PTT PRR?

  36. #23
    Private 3* Jungle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftandSure View Post
    The MBITR looks like a handy piece of kit all right. How did you operate it Jungle, was it through a separate head/handset? Or did you route it through a dual PTT PRR?
    We used a dual switch on the PRR.
    "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

    Never give up!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle View Post
    We used a dual switch on the PRR.
    Cool, I tried that with a 119C manpack before and it didn't work out for me. Wish we had something similiar to the PRC-148/152.

  38. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftandSure View Post
    Cool, I tried that with a 119C manpack before and it didn't work out for me. Wish we had something similiar to the PRC-148/152.
    We do, technically.

    In the East anyway, although there's only a few of them. Can't remember the exact model though. We tried getting them for our Platoon and were shot down.

    Anyway, they'd be **** all use to us... Since there's nowhere to put them on that wonderful Battlevest of ours.
    Last edited by Hello Alaska; 29th May 2012 at 17:19.

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