I frequently talk with good buddy over at The Reptile House over the phone. Invariably to catch up, compare notes, or literally just shoot the breeze.
Whilst truly a kindred soul, I’m always amazed and in awe of content he puts out, it’s how we became good friend after all, so such a spotlight is no less an honor.
I was explaining an upcoming event, in such scale, size and ambition that I’d already put in motion a set of gears put together specifically for this MilSim.
TRH was sufficiently intrigued he asked if I’d be interested to essay this process, with the view of releasing it on his blog.
In truest tradition TRH’s editorial work has produced a sleek and high definition master, all esoteric synth, progressive new wave fidelity. however we were both intrigued to see it in raw demo form, all hardcore punk power chords, so here it is – S23
Reality Unfolds – Original ‘Demo Mix’ originally released in High Definition on The Reptile House
It seems like only yesterday, but in actuality, a few good months back I was invited to be apart of and attend, Operation Darkwater.
To be held at the inimitable and epically sized in scale, UCAP’s The Sandpit, I’ve been assigned to conduct joint operations with the platoon sized Task Force Voodoo, and a few guests, to conduct operations against the Russian Op For, who replete with a slew of vehicles, including two tracked Russian BMP’s and numbering at over eighty troops in full strength.
In the lead up to this event, discussing the terrain, weather, distance expected to traverse and the length of time in the AO, and that we’d be required to sustain, eat and sleep in the field as well as replenish and re arm in the field really, creatively started to encourage my mindset in preparation of possibly one of this years contemporary and immersive MilSims in scale and vision.
The anticipation, was certainly palpable and in part, the work up, preparation and planning was all part of the fun.
Considering several factors, that we’ll be conducting naturally short DA raids, patrols, SRR and Reconnaissance tasks, and this formulating our plans as a Task Force to effectively prosecute our mission, really influenced my decision making process.
Whilst additional heavier clothing, for inclement weather, was required. It’s intriguing, that The Sandpit, which on most days, particularly over spring, summer and autumn perpetuates its own reasonable topography, but at night, proximity to The Thames, and it’s own vast expanse of water certainly makes from dusk till dawn a cooler, fresher affair.
This, along with water, food, spare ancillary equipment, including sleeping systems was all to be carried and subsequently dropped off at an established LUP. Additional items, of more immediate primacy would be carried in my day sack whilst out conducting specific taskings.
This is my first time out, well in a very long time, out conducting operations within this type of immersive scenario.
To eschew and completely render such habits of old to one side proved to be a little harder than expected, so here in the form of the LV-MBAV as plate carrier, albeit a minimalist one has remained. It is the immediacy of being able to carry in the first instance comm’s, the TRI 152 PRC and two magazines for my primary that kept it in my kit bag.
This meant, I can conduct light patrols, low risk DA tasks, or generally ditch LBE and Assault packs at an LUP and have an enough ‘beer and dope’ (Ammo/Munitions) to punch my way out of any contact with the OpFor. Naturally, this is supported by belt load, here carrying my secondary, with its admin load and an additional four primary magazines.
HSP D3 CR
When ‘Jocking’ up, I’ve brought along the HSP D3 CR, this really steps up my LBE capability, increasing with which the spectrum to carry first aid in the form of the attached SOFLCS IFAK, NVG pouch, and naturally Flash Bangs, another four primary and two secondary magazines. This gives me a fairly comprehensive combat load, totaling in ten primary magazines and four secondary.
NVG’s & NIGHT FIGHTING
The addition of NOD’s, in this instance ACT in BLACK’s LUNOX, gives us the added ability, across the task force to prosecute roles and objectives naturally under the cover of darkness. Such an added capability, will truly ramp up a notch the suspension of disbelief. This will give an opportunity to employ a variety of DBAL’s, my newly acquired LA5, Strobes, IR torches and undoubtedly fight our foes whilst concealed amongst the shadows …
This, is a prospect I’m positively salivating at with almost child like glee.
NOD’s here will be run off my Air Frame, using a helmet regardless of AO or tempo has never proved problematic. When compared to former helmets in my inventory, either MICH, ACH, Op’s Core or even LWH variants this has proved to be a balanced, breathable affair, one that doesn’t restrict peripheral vision either. This provides a stable platform from which to operate my night vision from, without being either prohibitively cumbersome or unnecessary burden. It also serves as a platform for the obligatory Contour HD to capture all the action …
This maybe, and why I make excuses who knows, seems an overly immersive and incredibly peculiar mindset to adopt for ‘Cowboys and Indians’ but, it’s such a work up and preparation that truly lends a further level of suspension of disbelief to such events as these. It’s personally a cathartic, enjoyable process to tinker and tweak gear in advent of playing scenarios such as these.
A considerable amount of ephemera always gets brought along, such as note books, pens, chem lights, plus a plentiful supply of water.
TRI PRC 152 RADIO’s
Functional TRI radios allow I and my counterpart and very good buddy, ‘Blurry Out of Focus’ to have reliable, ranged, crystal clear comm’s. I’ve been using these for just over a year, despite a somewhat initially prohibitive outlay, these have for me and fellow players who also possess them a wide variety of communication solutions. Allowing us a whole new slew of tactical options opened by the ability to relay information, position, movements and observations freely and securely.
Camouflage here is quite simply, as per briefing Multicam, drawn from my locker is a set of Crye Gen 2 AC pants and combat shirt. Pockets invariably get stuffed with a wide variety consumables. I’ve a penchant for raiding my local stores world food aisle for Stateside sweets and chocolate. One or two bottles of water, gloves, and small torch.
For inclement weather, I’d gladly take a plethora of items, however, with neither time on site, opportunity or storage room to carry it I’ve opted to take a soft shell, a light weight PCU, and for general down time the venerable USMC Peckham ‘grid fleece’. Possibly in this instance, but the uncertainty ever changing climes of these shores dictate it’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it.
The Soft Shell and or PCU carried in the day sack gives me the opportunity to scale up my uniform to combat adverse weather without increasing the weight and bulk of kit carried.
Boots, possibly, without a decent pair of these, all of the above can become rapidly redundant. I’m a huge fan of Salomon’s 4D GTX‘ – lightweight, waterproof, and fully submersible. These give me the flight of foot, as would any high end trainer, but also the torque, grip and ankle support as you’d expect from any reputable combat boot.
Last but not least, blasters !!!
Here, the venerable ’08 PTW, this time out with an ACOG, just to have that magnification when observing OpFor movements, and for work in the dark the previously reviews IR functional Element LA5 and of Surefire M951 with IR filter. Secondary, is as it stands my Marui Gen 3 Glock 17, aside from the slide, and Guarder traded sights otherwise pretty much stock, but no less reliable.
I’ll be back later in the month with a full review, an AAR from the field and hopefully a few other surprises – S23