U.S. special operations troops showed their ability to use different technologies, ranging from some of the most recent special ops gear available to some of the oldest technology.
While some soldiers have handheld laser target designators, global-positioning systems and digital radios to help military operations; others rode into old equipment.
Some Army Rangers are dressed in standard khaki-colored desert camouflage battle dress with complete lightweight Kevlar helmets and body armor. They typically protect themselves with the newest small arms from the special operations arsenal. Others like Special Forces, SEALS and Delta Force are still adopting the traditional Afghan look, including long, flowing robes, turbans and beards. They often deploy with AK-47 automatic rifles, left behind by Soviet attackers more than a decade ago, and even swords that may have been much older than those firearms.
Soldiers did have more recent means of travelling the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan. In late December, for instance, the telescopic lenses of television news cameras captured pictures of Green Berets surveying around the mountainsides of Tora Bora, driving all-terrain vehicles. However, they have travelled in Soviet-era military vehicles, old Toyota pickup trucks and the sport-utility vehicles favored by local warlords.
Although soldiers used the newest technologies to call in close air support, that did not eradicate the chances of error on their part or the air crews receiving the coordinates. To reduce the possibility of error on their important missions, special operations troops are carefully selected and trained.
To learn to fight in cold weather conditions and mountainous places, soldiers attend a two-week course at the Army’s Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vt. At the school, soldiers learned that once your firearm is exposed to cold weather; they should keep it dry and cold because when they bring a cold firearm into a warm place, it can cause rust.
Another dilemma that soldiers have faced in Afghanistan is that signals between their GPS navigational special ops gearand satellites in space may be blocked by surrounding valleys and mountains. For this reason, the school teaches soldiers to use the altimeter that measures height as a backup gadget to GPS. The altimeter is better than a compass because the compass has dead reckoning and counting paces which is very hard to do in mountainous terrain.
Sand blowing is another common problem for weapons, special ops equipmentand soldiers. Many soldiers need to use goggles, masks and scarves to keep sand out of their eyes, mouths and ears. They also frequently clean their weapons and other gear in an ongoing effort to keep them from jamming. However, they were not always successful because sand brought down many of their helicopters.
Soldiers are trained to fire, disassemble, clean and reassemble a lot of small arms, ranging from the .45 caliber automatic pistol. They have also learned how to use AK-47 rifles which are widely used by their Afghan allies. A famous rifle among soldiers is the new M-4 carbine, made by Colt’s Manufacturing Company. The M-4 is a version of the standard M-16 rifle distributed to all military services.
The M-4 comes with an optional flat-top receiver, which accommodates an optional, removable carry handle, with built-in target-style rear sights, and a number of scopes. It also can be fitted with an M-203 grenade launcher, laser target designator and infrared illuminator.
Though the average law enforcement officer doesn’t need these types of special ops gear they may need other types of gear which they can find at the Range Master Tactical Gear online store. They will be able to find binoculars, concealed carry pouches and bags and much more.
Special Ops Gear: Newest—and Oldest