Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Modern Militia: Equipment III, Adv Field Gear*

AKA stuff for those with lots of extra cash*.

This installment is going to get into squad level and/or expensive items. Like firearms, the military issue is mostly limited to, well, the military but there are civilian equivalents available. Some, if not most of it will beyond the wallet of the average individual but I'm going to put it in there since I think its cool. Squad level items are what I classify as not each individual needing which is why I didn't include them in Basic gear.

A good set of binoculars can range anywhere from $20 to several hundred. This would be a standard item for team leaders in both combative and non-combative rolls.

Mil-Spec Lensatic compasses go for about $40. Less expensive ones are available. Imperative for any rural activity.


A map is needed in any urban or rural environment for any situation. You can't help if you don't know where you are or how to get somewhere. A good hardcopy map book is the DeLorme series atlas's. These are detailed topographical maps of most individual states. So far it's the only one I've found that has my road on it. :) TopoZone is an online source where you can download and print not only topographical maps, but road and satellite maps as well.

In ADDITION TO (note that) a compass and map, GPS systems are also available. These units range from relatively inexpensive to close to a grand just for the ones I browsed. These are more accurate than traditional LandNav but also suffer from the traditional curse of technologies. They need to be supported. Batteries, weather conditions, and even satellite operation all become considerations.

Body Armor*/**:
Standard US Military issue is Class III Interceptor Body Armor w/ plates. This is not available to civilians from what I understand. Law enforcement standard is IIA. Civilian Body armor is available in all classes from Sub I to Class IV in concealable to full tactical styles. Prices average in the hundreds of dollars.

Night Vision:

Potentially the more obtainable of the pricey items. A Gen 1 monocular or non-image intensifying binocular can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Image intensifying units, Gen 2, Gen 3, or 3+/4 (designation varies) can range anywhere from $500 to $5000 dollars or more. These can be had in hand-held units, helmet/head mounted, or weapon scope configurations.


Forward Looking InfraRed*. The Holy Grail of modern optics. Available (if you can say that) also in hand-held units, helmet/head mounted, or weapon scope configurations. The cheapest man-portable unit I've found of any quality runs about $10K. I've seen large used cameras and surplus fire-fighting units at about $3500-$4000.

Current Military issue is the Frequency Hopping SINCGARS manpack. From what I've been able to discover, no civilian model uses the same bands but there are MilSpec units available in other ranges. Most I've seen run from $10K-$25K. A good portable CB radio system (each unit about $35 or up) would be a more realistic but limited option. Remember your ComSec.

NBC detection and safety*:

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical protection and detection is a serious concern. Even ignoring the terrorist aspect, many companies have hazardous chemicals on their properties that can seriously debilitate unprotected people if released due to fire or other natural disaster. Chemical/Gas and Dosimeters (radiation meters) would be the two most common groups of equipment for general use of detection. On the issue of safety, NBC suits of various types are available to the public. HAZMAT is one of those issues where, unless you are a specially trained individual, we can't do much to help. Get yourself and your family protected and GTFO of the contaminated area.

If there are categories/ideas you think I should add to this, find something factually incorrect, or disagree w/ anything above, feel free to E-mail me or comment. That doesn't guarantee I'll add or change it but it adds to the discussion.

Next up: Vehicles!

*NOTE: Check local laws before purchasing any potentially restricted item(s).

**NOTE: See NIJ Body Armor standards for definitions.

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Anonymous said...


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the sense from this series that you think a militia will suddenly spring into action out of nowhere and work hand-in-glove with the U.S. Army. Hence, the need to dress like them and carry weapons like theirs. This would be fine with two conditions: (1) that the threat to be dealt with is an invasion of CONUS by foreign OPFOR and (2) the U.S. military doesn't tell the local yokals wanting to play army to stay out of their way and stop impersonating a soldier, LEO, or other authority figure.

If you've been in the military, you know what a disaster it would be to suddenly expect people who have never operated together before to suddenly operate together as a team, especially if they have no recent training experience and the situation is life or death.

My point is, the militia needs to be "well regulated"--i.e., well trained and well equipped. So far, your posts are dealing only with the equipped part. It's fine to have the toys but, without the training, the toys are very nearly worthless.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel for the training aspect of the militia. It is already being done on a regular basis by existing militia units all across the country. Rather than trying to form up new units (which is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if there is no unit in one's area), would it not make more sense to plug in to an existing unit that has already acquired a notebook full of lessons learned from experience?

Right now, the legitimate militia across the country are bringing their training, equipment, commo, TTPs, etc. in line with the National Militia Standards (NMS). For a unit to do its own thing separate from the NMS, it means that that unit would be on its own when the PHTF.

My apologies if this comes across as a rant. This is a subject I care deeply about, particularly as our goverment hacks away at the tree of liberty (from both left and right).

The primary puropse of the Second Amendment was as a safeguard against a tyrannical U.S. government using its military against We the People.

Thirdpower said...

I understand your points. I'm not doing this as a guide for the "formal" militia's. I'm not trying to form new units or compete w/ existing units, or advocate specific ones. This is for everyone else.

My ideas on training will come later.

TheMinuteman said...

Body armor, depends on state and you can get it, just most wont sell to you without having duty orders or being an LEO.

As for radios, there is the eXRS radio from TriSquare. They are spread spectrum frequency hopping, and also support SMS group and person to person comms. At 80 bucks a pair, that's cheap. I've used them at about 4 mile separation without issues but that was on open highway. Good quality ham equipment is the best way to build up a good comm shack. Most will operate in the MARS section of the band, and free banding will allow you to operate anywhere you can receive.