How much stuff did you buy before deploying? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Biscuitsjam
07-17-2008, 18:30
When I deployed to Iraq in 2005, I bought a little bit of army-related gear: multitool, flashlight, pistol holster and lanyard, binoculars, knife, etc.

I also spent a fair bit on entertainment/comfort: laptop, portable DVD player, pillow, blanket, etc.


I'm heading over to Afghanistan in a few months and lots of guys in my unit are talking about buying ACOGs, Dragonskin Body Armor, and other big-ticket items. I doubt most of them will follow through, though you never know. I'll probably just get a handful of things this time around.


So, when you deployed to war, how much money did you spend on your own gear? Were your expenses related to entertainment or military?

GJ1981
07-17-2008, 19:10
I'm heading over to Afghanistan in a few months and lots of guys in my unit are talking about buying ACOGs, Dragonskin Body Armor, and other big-ticket items.

I'd feel sorry for whoever bought the DS, last I knew it was banned from use in the Army. That might have changed since I was in but the newer vests are much better than the IBAS, if you'll be issued those. Anyway when I went over I bought very little army-related gear: knife, multi-tool, LBV with decent pouches, nice boots, etc. I think I spent about 400-500 worth of stuff excluding entertainment items.

Rakkasan
07-18-2008, 10:19
The last deployment I bought some pouches to carry more ammo, a blackhawk riggers belt (I hate army issue belts), comfortable ballistic eyewear, an extra pair of flight gloves, a compact LED flashlight for looking through closets/etc after you clear a house and an MP3 player for down time.

tc556guy
07-18-2008, 11:36
I bought a middling laptop at the PX, one that I wouldn't feel bad about if it died during the deployment. I'd been having problems with buying used laptops over the past few years, and decided I wanted one that would last the deployment at least. make sure you buy a converter so you can plug into the local current. I found a world-wide unit at the PX in KAIA, and while it was about $30, its been worth it, as much as I've used it.
I asked for an Ipod with extra sets of earbuds for my birthday last year, as I knew I'd miss having music.
I picked up an Ok digital camera at the PX .
I bought a few equipment things like a drop leg and a Serpa holster for the M9, as I didn't like the stuff we were getting issued up til last year...then once we got here I found out that the unit had gone and ordered Serpas.I also picked up a decent strobe, although some units might issue those. I picked up a replacement camelbak in ACU pattern to replace the old Woodland one I had, as I don't like the issued "camelbak" ripoff the military gives you.
I bought several pairs of the 5.11 gloves while I was at Bragg. The issued flight gloves didnt last long and the .mil was slow to issue replacement pairs for what we had worn out in training. I also bought spare eye pro with corrective inserts.
I received as gifts several pair of the XGO underwear they sell in places like US Cav. I know the stuff is expensive, but having worn it for a few months now, I can't say enough good things about it. It never chaffs, cleans up well when you are stuck doing your wash in a garbage bag in a FOB, etc. The Dyne guys get it as part of their basic kit, and they love it as well.
I went over my weapons cleaning/repair kit and stocked up on a few minor tools and a spare spring/ pin kit from Bushmaster "just in case". One of our guys lost a simple pin at Bragg, and his weapon was out of commission the whole two months we were down there because they couldn't take ten minutes to pull a spare pin off of the shelf to put in the weapon.....after that happened, I sent an email to Bushmaster and had the spring/pin kit in hand before we shipped out from Bragg.
I picked up a TRX suspension training system because I knew I'd be at a remote FOB away from the fitness facilities that you find at FOBs like Phoenix in Kabul. The Army has since bought thousands of those for deploying units, BTW. Oh, and I'm looking for stuff to augment the TRX for our workouts ( other than the usual cinderblocks, etc...if any of you former deployed guys can suggest anything in that vein, say something).
Other than that, I picked peoples brains for about six months for ideas about what they had needed while overseas. My CO tasked me as a PSG with having enough stuff to be able to run a platoon TOC, so after picking brains I wound up filling a large Action Packer which went with us to Bragg and on to A-stan. The list of what that contained is too extensive to list here I think I chose pretty well, as I can't count the number of times I've had other PSGs, PL's, Dynecorp guys, Marines, etc that I'm working with come to me for something out of what they've come to call my "magic box".
Since I don't know what the OPs MOS is, where he will be in A-stan, etc, I don't know what to suggest to him in addition to what I've posted.

Biscuitsjam
07-18-2008, 13:27
Since I don't know what the OPs MOS is, where he will be in A-stan, etc, I don't know what to suggest to him in addition to what I've posted.I'm a cavalry scout (humvee/dismounted), and we'll be a part of Task Force Pheonix (training the Afghan army/police). No clue which part of the country we'll go to.

Military stuff (to get - $250):
Gloves with knuckle protection
Ballistic glasses (multiple pairs, either Uvex-XC or Oakley)
Knee and Elbow pads
Flashlight(s)
Helmet harness
Extra T-shirts, socks, underwear
One of those collapsible MOLLE pouches

And, on the comfort side (to get - $300):
IPOD
External hard drive
Reading lamp
Power transformer





I already have (military):
Extra boots and uniforms
Extra camelbak
Multitool
Image-stabilized binoculars
Boresnakes
Civvie walkie-talkies (hopefully not needed - no encryption)
Blackhawk rigger's belts
Lots of extra MOLLE pouches
GPS

I already have (comfort)
Travel-sized memory foam pillow
Fleece blanket
Laptop
12v Power inverter for vehicle
Small fans
Digital camera
Gameboy DS Lite (might sell to another soldier)
Portable DVD player (might sell to another soldier)



I'm thinking about these items but probably won't buy them (military):
GPS (don't like the one I have)
Sleeping bag (lighter weight than the military one)
Rucksack (I hate the MOLLE ruck)
ACOG (probably won't, since it is so expensive)
Safariland OWB pistol holster (if issued pistols)
New rifle sling (I like the 2-point slings, but with padding)
Rifle buttstock mag-holder (maybe)




It looks like a longer list than it really is, and, truth be told, I probably won't actually get much before we deploy. I'm not planning on getting anything before we see what new gear we're actually getting issued. I'm reluctant to spend too much money or commit myself to packing too much gear.

KG Dad
07-19-2008, 00:42
Biscuitjam,

Don't forget your will, POA, etc. And then come back and make all that paperwork unnecessary.

MJH

Biscuitsjam
07-19-2008, 01:15
Biscuitjam,

Don't forget your will, POA, etc. And then come back and make all that paperwork unnecessary.

MJHThose'll be taken care of before I deploy.

tc556guy
07-19-2008, 01:16
Military stuff (to get - $250):
Gloves with knuckle protection: My guys have found that the stuff with the hard knuckles aren't very durable
Ballistic glasses (multiple pairs, either Uvex-XC or Oakley): Yeah, without a doubt. The .mil will give you at least one or two pair, but you might want to see if there is a model that you like better. Our guys, and I assume that yours will be no different, are limited to eye pro thats rated at least Z87Knee and Elbow pads: You'll get issued some, but I went with after market knee pads that are more comfortable. You'll also have the soft foam pads to slip into your uniform pants
Helmet harness: The ACH is pretty comfortable as is. What were you thinking of getting?
Extra T-shirts, socks, underwear: I don't know where you'll be, but if you are at a remote FOB, you'll be wearing the same sets for days on end. Other than buying brand specific stuff like the UGOs I mentioned, i wouldn't overpack the number of sets.

And, on the comfort side (to get - $300):
IPOD: Go with more memory than you think you'll need. While you are over here you'll have more than enough opportunity to rip songs off of other peoples IPODs and externals, and you'll want to have enough memory to store the music.
External hard drive: ditto
Reading lamp: I'd wait til you get in-country
Power transformer: same. Sold in quantity at the Phoenix PX





I'm thinking about these items but probably won't buy them (military):
GPS (don't like the one I have): Go with a wrist model; most of those are more than adequate
Sleeping bag (lighter weight than the military one): if you are in Phoenix, you'll have a mattress and sheets. if you are remote, you'll be using one of the inner layers of your bag or, if you are down South, it'll be too damn hot to use your bag at all. I'd hold off.
Rucksack (I hate the MOLLE ruck). You DO know that you'll be issued a new one as part of your mob?
ACOG (probably won't, since it is so expensive): I can tell you that there is a long back order for civilian ACOGs because the company is filling so many .mil orders. yes, they are nice to have.
New rifle sling (I like the 2-point slings, but with padding): I'd go with a 3 point. i bought the super mambo from Spec Ops ..I think thats the name).Rifle buttstock mag-holder (maybe): Absolutely. I'd get a good American one before you get over here. I waited to get one til i was in Phoenix and had to settle for one of the Afghan models they sell in the PX. Not as well made. You'll want one in Phoenix because they have you carry in condition green with mag available . You'll get tired of that mag banging around your cargo pocket.

Biscuitsjam
07-19-2008, 02:13
Helmet harness: The ACH is pretty comfortable as is. What were you thinking of getting?I should have put this in the "maybe" column. The SF guys that we were training with gave some very strong recommendations:
http://www.optactical.com/opch.html

Last time around, in Iraq, we went to a remote FOB with no PX, no laundry service, no internet, etc. etc. I'm expecting the same thing but also hoping I'll be pleasantly surprised.

tc556guy
07-19-2008, 02:22
Biscuitjam,

Don't forget your will, POA, etc. And then come back and make all that paperwork unnecessary.

MJH
Thats part of the SRC process, but that doesn't mean that an individual Soldier can't be stupid about it. I had one young guy who thought it was bad luck to do a will, so in the first SRC he opted not to get one. Several guys had issues with POA's, and even after mob the FRG had some wives who found out that their spouses hadn't given them power of atty for whatever reason. That got a little ugly for a while....

tc556guy
07-19-2008, 03:28
I typed this once and lost it after hitting submit...lets try again. here are a few things I brought that made life easier for me. You can decide if you'd like to get similar things.

Back in the day, I used to carry a spoon from the old mess kits in my pocket. You never knew when the MRE spoon was going to break, etc. when they did away with the mess kits, I got one of these:

http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4s.tam?xax=11202&pagenumber%2Eptx=1&M5COPY%2Ectx=7674&M5%2Ectx=3348&M2%5FDESC%2Ectx=Cooking%20Supplies&level3%2Ectx=results%2Etam&query%2Ectx=ka%20bar&backto=%2Fagcatalog%2Fresults%2Etam


You have access to chemlights, but I use one of these because it can be turned on/off at will, lasts a long time, and with the generator going out a lot, you never know when you'll need light:
http://www.kriana.com/pages/aalight.html

A small shortwave radio, if you're in the boonies. I saw my first issue of Stars and Stripes in two months last week. We get a mail drop once a month. If I didn't have access to Dynes satelite link, I'd be screwed for news without my shortwave radio.

If you are going to be in BFE, do yourself a favor. take a medium sized coleman cooler. Pack it with your favorite care package items. Box it and leave it with family with instructions to mail it if directed. If you don't need it, it'll be there when you get home. If you need it, get it mailed. Afghan coolers are small and dont keep stuff as cold as US coolers. When you have to buy ice on the local economy, you want it to stay cold as long as possible. They don't give you ice in the boonies here.


Get some US power strips over with you; if you have a lot of electronics it'll save having to swap out converters on the local power strips.

Go through your weapons kit and decide what sort of tools you'll need. Mine is a collection of dental tools, allen wrenches, punches, mirrors, lights, brushes, you name it. If you need it in the back 40, you can't run to walmart to get it.

A headlamp with red/white light capability. You pick the brand.

A small alarm clock. Yeah, you can use your watch, but I like a back up.

Maximize the memory on your Ipod, I think I mentioned that in the post that was lost, if not teh post before that.

Maps are tough to get here. They rely on BFT so much, that paper maps are almost an afterthought. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to using a paper map.

If you have access to the old style heat tabs and canteen cup stove, bring it. The new MRE water heaters aren't always handy.

White light for your weapon.

In my magic box I packed a personal camping mug to drink chai with the locals. They don't clean their cups between users, and a GI canteen cup is a bit too obvious that you dont want to use their cup. I wander into the meeting drinking out of my cup and refill out of their pot when appropriate.

Hopefully the second time will post; I feel like I'm forgetting something from my first list. I'll add to this list if I think of anything.

TxTech
07-19-2008, 04:01
My friend who is getting deployed looked into dragon skin and they told him they do a lease program for soldiers. I am not sure how it works but it is something to look in to.

tc556guy
07-19-2008, 10:02
Last I heard from the Army Times, if you are killed wearing DS, your life insurance doesn't get paid out.

GJ1981
07-19-2008, 10:11
That's still the case last I heard. Outside of "elite" units I don't know what COC would even allow it's use. It was banned from use, there was one guy who wanted to buy DS from my last unit. Our entire unit was told it was banned and we got the Article 92 speak.

Biscuitsjam
07-19-2008, 10:52
One of our guys is a Deputy Sheriff in his civilian job, and he said something about having worn Dragonskin at work. I mentioned that it was banned, but he just laughed and said that he'd wear it anyway.

He claims that he's going to buy the armor and that he's going to wear it over there. Says that the $4000 (or whatever it is) is worth it, because of comfort, protection, light weight (?!?!), and so on.

tc556guy
07-20-2008, 01:06
The Dragon Skin, according to last years Army Times side-by-side comparison, wasn't any lighter than the IOTV. The only benefit that I could see is that you wouldnt be stuck doing the PITA PMCS that you have to do on the IOTV.
Doesn't he think about his family not getting the 400K if he is killed?

Sprayr
07-23-2008, 16:23
Buiscuitsjam,

this might be of interest to you? http://bouhammer.com/wordpress/?p=572

Sprayr

ShelbyGoat
07-23-2008, 16:48
biscuitsjam, I am also a 19D, PM sent

KG Dad
07-24-2008, 01:21
Buiscuitsjam,

this might be of interest to you? http://bouhammer.com/wordpress/?p=572

Sprayr

I wrote the top last year when it looked like I was headed out. Nice guy and quick response. List was thorough. You may not have exactly what you'll need, but you have enough to get you started.