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Dietrich Bonhoeffer




  "Action springs not from thought, but
   from a readiness for responsibility."

EQUIPMENT


Mandatory Equipment

The Kit lists the mandatory items members need to own, as listed below.

1. Rifle and associated equipment
1.1 Rifle with sling and spare parts kit.*
1.2 Five detachable mags or spare fixed mag spring.
1.3 1,000 rounds (ideally barrier penetrating rounds).
1.4 Cleaning kit (e.g., Otis Technology Defender).
1.5 Cleaner / Lube (e.g., Slip 2000 725 / Slip 2000 EWL).
1.6 Broken Shell Extractor (e.g., UTG).
1.7 Earplugs (e.g., SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders).
1.8 Protective eyewear (e.g., Fuglies ADF4 Ballistics).
1.9 Snap caps (e.g., Lyman A-Zoom Snap Caps).
1.10 Soft rifle case with pockets for accessories.


* Service rifle or sniper rifle commonly used by soldiers or a rifle that uses the same ammunition. Spare parts like those in the Red Army Standard Field Kit (for AK-47 type rifles) from Century Arms.

2. Miscellaneous equipment
2.1 Chest rig (e.g., Strike Hard Gear AK 47 Chest Rig).
2.2 Handheld transceiver (e.g., Yaesu VX-6R).
2.3 Binoculars (e.g., Steiner M830r).
2.4 Watch (e.g., Casio DW5600E-1V G-Shock).
2.5 Local map and compass (e.g., Silva 4-6400/360).
2.6 Notebook and pen (e.g., Rite in the Rain Kit).
2.7 Knife (e.g., Glock FM 81 Survival Knife).
2.8 Multitool (e.g., SOG PowerLock EOD Scissors).
2.9 Flashlight (e.g., Gerber Recon-M Flashlight).
2.10 First aid kit (e.g., TacMed Operator IFAK).
2.11 Gas mask (e.g., Duram Mask CHEMBAYO).

Weapons

Members must use a rifle chambered for the same ammunition used in the service rifles or sniper rifles commonly used by their nation's soldiers; ideally the same type of service rifle or sniper rifle. It is also highly desirable to obtain a 9mm handgun and other individual small arms commonly used by these soldiers like hand grenades, a 40mm grenade launcher, and an anti-armor weapon like the M72 LAW or RPG-7. The Weapons page has information sheets about individual small arms commonly used by soldiers and militia.

Hanna Bohman

YPJ fighter: Hanna Bohman pictured in Syria with an SVD sniper rifle. She travelled to the Middle East to help the Kurds in their fight against ISIS. The 2017 documentary Fear Us Women about the Women's Protection Units (YPJ) is told through her experiences. She first made contact with YPJ recruiters online and has served with the YPJ in Iraq and Syria. She had no prior military experience and only received weapons training after being smuggled into Syria in 2014.


Repair kit

Repair Kit: A field repair kit with the essential spare parts should accompany every firearm in the field (along with a multitool), like the one above from Century Arms for AK-47 type rifles. Namely springs for stressed firing group components, firing pin, extractor, and associated small pins (readily lost or damaged during an emergency field repair). Replace said springs with a spring kit every 5,000 rounds. Ideally one would also own an armorer's repair kit with a wider range of spare parts.

Communications

The best readily available two-way radios for militia use are the multi-band Yaesu VX-6 series transceivers which also have a superb scanner. These heavy duty waterproof transceivers can operate in duplex mode (using repeaters as they are CTCSS enabled) or simplex mode. They also have DCS which alerts users to incoming calls while ignoring transmissions without a tone code. They also have the EAI feature that allows people with CTCSS/EAI enabled transceivers to locate an injured person who cannot operate their radio.

For tactical use we recommend the TACK 1 headset and the Patrol II Single Comm Headset with the Tactical PTT for High Impedance Headsets switch from Tactical Command Industries (Vertex/Yaesu 1-Pin Threaded/Waterproof Interface - VXWTR). They leave the ear canals free to use mechanical earplug type hearing protection (like the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders) or electronic earplug type hearing protection (like the rechargeable 3M Peltor TEP-100 Tactical Earplug) that protect the ears while allowing near normal or enhanced hearing.

Yaesu VX-6R

Yaesu VX-6R/E: The Yaesu VX-6R/E with the FNB-80LI Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Pack (7.4 v, 1,400 mAh), PA-48C/U 5-Hour Battery Charger (European User, 230-240 VAC), YHA-67 Antenna, Belt Clip (best carried in a pouch), Manual and Warranty Card. It is best to obtain at least one spare FNB-80LI battery, a FB-23 2 x "AA" Cell Battery Case, and a CMP460A Waterproof Speaker/Microphone. The VC-27 Ear piece/Microphone is desirable for covert use of this transceiver.

TCI headsets

TCI headsets: The TACK 1 headset (left) and the Patrol II Single Comm Tactical Headset from TCI are recommended for Yaesu transceivers. The Patrol II was designed for use by tactical teams engaged in prolonged missions and works best with British (Mk 5 and later) ballistic helmets and American (PASGT and later) ballistic helmets and most high cut ballistic and non-ballistic helmets, but not helmets like the Schuberth 826 with a headband that gets in the way of the earcup.

Load Carrying Equipment

Members must possess a chest rig for carrying the essential equipment needed for combat use; notably ammunition, handheld transceiver, IFAK, knife, water bottle, and small items like a flashlight, waterproof notebook and pens, multitool and earplugs. A low profile chest rig like those from Condor and Strike Hard Gear (made of Nylon) are ideal for vehicle use and can be readily concealed under a jacket, while some may prefer Chinese military surplus chest rigs made of cotton canvas like those used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.

Plate carriers can be worn under chest rigs and assault vests but are often fitted with pouches via MOLLE webbing and used as chest rigs for the sake of simplicity. They are heavy with level III or level IV ballistic plates and trap heat, thus are not suited to hit-and-run tactics. Concealable vests with soft body armor (e.g., Second Chance) provide some protection without the bulk and weight of plate carriers (may stop rifle bullets that have tumbled/fragmented after hitting intermediate objects) but trap a lot of heat.

Large assault vests like the Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops allow one to carry more gear than a chest rig and are well suited to use in vehicles and back packs (no rear storage pouches), though not as good for moving through small spaces as low profile chest rigs. Webbing like Pattern 58 is more comfortable with heavy loads than chest rigs or assault vests as the weight is distributed between the shoulders and hips, but are not well suited to vehicle use or moving through small spaces due to the positioning of the pouches.

Chest Rigs

Chest Rigs: The Condor MCR6 Rapid Assault Chest Rig (for 30 round AR mags) pictured on the left and the Strike Hard Gear AK 47 Chest Rig (for 30 round AK mags) store a single row of mags to facilitate discreet use. These Nylon chest rigs are available in black, while more pouches can be added via MOLLE straps. More kit can be stored in the central compartment behind the pouches. The Strike Hard Gear chest rig is more versatile as it can also be used to carry the smaller AR mags.


Viet Cong members during the Vietnam War

Chinese Chest Pouches: This Chinese AK47 chest rig (center) has three double mag pouches for 30 round AK mags and four small pouches for a variety of gear including hand grenades. The Type 63 chest rig (right) is designed for two 10 round stripper clips for an SKS rifle, but will accept one 30 round AR mag or 20 round AK mag - most have five mag pouches and two shorter pouches that can be used for a variety of gear like hand grenades. They are made of olive drab dyed cotton canvas.


Plate carriers

Plate Carriers: We favor the US Palm AK Defender (left) and the Ronin Assaulter Lite Plate Carrier. UHMWPE (polyethylene) plates like those from AR500 Armor and Tactical Scorpion Gear are best despite their bulk as they trap bullets (which tend to ricochet off steel or ceramic plates despite the use of bullet fragment trapping coatings) and are lighter than water by volume so will help you float. Level III plates will stop most threats and are much lighter than level IV plates.


Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops

Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops: This assault vest been used by the British military since 1995. It has eight pouches, two of them mag pouches optimized for 30 round AR mags (three per pouch) but can be easily modified to accept two 20 round AK mags. It has two huge zipped storage areas under the front pouches (the left one with a pistol holster). In addition to the original temperate DPM model pictured are desert DPM, US 3-color desert, green and black variants. Silvermans


58 Pattern webbing

58 Pattern Webbing: British 1958 Pattern Webbing is made of olive drab dyed cotton canvas (best waterproofed to prevent rot). Pictured is the belt, yoke, two conjoined kidney pouches and two mag pouches (will accept 20 and 30 round AR, AK, G3, FAL or SCAR rifle mags). There is also a Pattern 58 pistol holster, compass pouch, water bottle pouch, and a back pack that is attached to the suspender straps. It would benefit from the addition of a hippo pad to improve comfort. Silvermans

Uniforms

Branches are urged to adopt a uniform as they provide a sense of shared identity, purpose, dignity and status. It should be unlike those commonly used by soldiers for the sake of differentiation, such as black BDUs. Members should not use Islamic style black clothing commonly worn by Jihadist terrorists. If camouflage pattern clothing is desired it is best to use something readily available in both woodland and desert variants. The two recommended uniforms are pictured on the Members page with explanatory notes.

Cotton and cotton ripstop are much cooler in hot weather than synthetics or synthetic/cotton blends with a high synthetic content like polycotton (typically 35% to 65% polyester). Synthetics and blends like polycotton are popular for dress uniforms as they don't absorb as much water and are quick drying, and are resistant to shrinking, wrinkles and fading; but are hotter to wear and readily melt/drip when exposed to a flame bar those made of expensive material like Kevlar or Nomex (which are hot to wear like other synthetics).

Alberto and Marina Ginestà (1936)

Improvised BDU: A BDU does not have to be one designed specifically for military use, with militia groups having often used improvised uniforms like the black overalls worn by many militia members fighting for the Republican government and democracy during the Spanish Civil War, including Alberto and Marina Ginestà (siblings) and their comrades (1936). Black uniforms have been used by many guerilla movements, including the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.


NVA and VC soldiers

Vietnam War: The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldier has an AKM and a Chinese AK47 chest rig (three double mag pouches for 30 round mags), while and Viet Cong (VC) guerilla has an M1 Carbine with two double mag pouches for 15 round mags. The VC used readily available black clothing worn by many civilians as work clothes rather than waste time and resources obtaining military uniforms which could not be worn as ordinary civilian clothes when not engaged in military operations.


YPJ fighters

YPJ fighters: The use of the same style BDUs, vests, rifles and stance by these YPJ fighters projects unity and strength. This would increase if they wore the same type of headwear and footwear. This image reveals the desirability of branches adopting a uniform, while the standardization of equipment is in general a good thing. It is highly desirable that one type of rifle is commonly used so they all use the same parts, magazines, ammunition and accessories, which also simplifies training.

Protective Eyewear

It is important to have protective eyewear. Fuglies ADF4 Ballistics can be fitted with vision corrected polycarbonate lenses (clear, UV 400 tinted, polarized, photochromic) and have a removable vented foam gasket. If you want large goggles to fit over prescription glasses consider the Revision Desert Locust (with clear and tinted lenses), which can be fitted with prescription lenses via the Rx Carrier. The Rx Carrier will also fit Revision's Sawfly protective eyewear which are used by the armed forces of many nations.

People who need vision corrected lenses are advised to own Criss Optical MAG-1 Spectacles, if only for backup use, which are (unlike the vast majority of prescription and protective eyewear) designed to be worn under gas masks and diving masks. They are held in place with a thin elastic rubber strap, with the temple area of the strap, where a facemask seals, being paper thin. Use polycarbonate lenses with a hard scratch resistant coating and an anti-reflection coating. MAG-1 Spectacles are used by the armed forces of many nations.


MAG-1 Spectacle

Criss Optical MAG-1 Spectacles: These eyeglasses come in three eye sizes (46, 48 and 50 millimeter), two strap lengths (short or regular), and two frame colors (black or tan). They are designed to be worn underneath gas masks. Though primarily intended for people who need corrected vision, they also make very good protective eyewear for people who do not need prescription lenses and will not get in the way of a microphone boom mounted on top of an ear.

Vision Aids

We recommend lightweight binoculars like Bushnell's inexpensive but rugged 8x32mm Prime Binoculars and a laser rangefinder monocular like Bushnell's 7x26 Elite 1 Mile CONX (12.1 oz). The CONX uses a single CR123 battery as do many other battery powered tactical devices (such as white lights, NVDs and weapon mounted lasers), and can be connected with the Kestral device (bundled with the CONX in the 'Combo' package) to provide wind hold values, and allows users to input custom bullet trajectories via Bluetooth.

The MNVD-51 night vision monocular from FLIR (10.9 oz, 1x AA or CR123) can be attached to a bump helmet via the Wilcox L4 G24 Low Profile Breakaway Mount (the 40° version as the wide angle 51° version is not suitable for CQB). It is essentially a smaller/lighter version of the AN/PVS-14 night vision monocular (12 oz, 1x AA) adopted by the US military in 2000. It is best mounted to a helmet and used in conjunction with an IR laser/illuminator weapon sight like the DBAL-I2 from Steiner (8 oz, 1x AA or CR123).

It is also desirable to have a thermal imager weapon sight for your rifle like Trijicon's REAP-IR (2x CR123), for use at night and during the day when vision is impaired by fog, smoke or glare, and will function in absolute darkness where light intensification NVDs are useless without an IR illuminator, with the lightest and least expensive variant being the IRMS-20-2 (16 oz). A thermal rifle sight is ideal for targeting the enemy passively in difficult lighting conditions without using a targeting laser. It is also excellent for handheld viewing.

The best scope for assault rifles are the tough fixed power ACOGs from Trijicon, with the best one being the 3x24 Compact (5.8 oz) which has the best combination of size, magnification and eye relief. They use an illuminated reticle that is lit by Tritium (low light) and a fiber optic tube that collects ambient light. We also recommend reflex sights for close range use like Trijicon's Dual Illuminated RMR (1.2 oz) and LED Adjustable RMR (1.17 oz, 1x CR2032) with the 12.9 MOA Triangle reticle, and Aimpoint's Micro H-1 (3oz, 1x CR2032).

The best conventional scope for general use and engaging dangerous adversaries is a low power variable (zoom) with an illuminated reticle, like Leupold's proven VX-R 1.25-4x20mm Riflescope (11.5 oz, 1x CR2032). It is much better to have a low power zoom than a high power zoom as high power scopes are much slower to use at close range due to the difficulty in quickly finding a target, even at the 4x setting of a 4-18x scope. You rarely need more than 4x while the 1.25x setting on a 1.25-4x scope is vastly better at close range than 4x.


Bushnell 8x32mm Prime Binocular and Elite 1 Mile ARC CONX laser rangefinder monocular

Binoculars and Rangefinders: Compact binoculars like Bushnell's 8x32mm Prime (16.9 oz) are essential, though you may prefer those with a rangefinding reticle like Steiner's M830r (18.7 oz). A laser rangefinder monocular like Bushnell's Elite 1 Mile ARC CONX (12.1 oz, 1x CR123) is the quickest and most accurate way to range objects, though you may prefer binoculars with this feature like the Bushnell 8x32 Fusion (30.8 oz, 1x CR123) or the Steiner M830r LRF (33 oz, 1x CR2).


MV-14 and DBAL-I2

Night Shooting: A NVD like the MNVD-51 (10.9 oz, 1x AA or CR123) from FLIR (formerly Armasight) is best fitted to a bump helmet and used in conjunction with a weapon mounted laser targeting module like the DBAL-I2 (8 oz, 1x AA or CR123) from Steiner which has an IR laser, IR laser illuminator, and visible lasers (red and green). The MNVD-51 has a small built-in IR illuminator to improve close-range viewing and allow map reading in total darkness.


Trijicon REAP-IR
black hot, white hot, edge effect

Thermal Imager: Trijicon's REAP-IR RMS-20-2 Mini-Thermal Riflescope (16 oz, 2x CR123) is mounted to a rifle via the Mini D-LOC Picatinny Rail mount. It has a fixed optical magnification of 1.5x (8x digital zoom). It has three viewing modes (black hot, white hot and edge detect) as well as simple and complex reticles which include a stadiametic rangefinder feature which works at any magnification as they work like first focal plane reticles in conventional telescopic sights.


Aimpoint Micro H-1 and Trijicon's 3x24 Compact ACOG

Combat Optics: Aimpoint's Micro H-1 reflex sight (3 oz, 1x CR2032) and Trijicon's 3x24 Compact ACOG scope (5.8 oz) are popular for assault rifles due to their robustness. The H-1 is ideal for CQB while the ACOG is superb for extended ranges. This ACOG has provision for mounting Trijicon's rugged RMR reflex sight like the Dual Illuminated model (1.2 oz) for emergency close range use, though some prefer to mount a reflex sight in an offset mount on a rifle's Picatinny rail forward of a scope.

Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x20mm

General Purpose Scope: Leupold's affordable VX-R 1.25-4x20mm Riflescope (11.5 oz, 1x CR2032) has all the features needed for general use. It has a very wide field of view at low magnification, which is essential for close range use, while the top magnification of 4x is as good or better than most scopes used on sniper rifles during WW2 (the Russian PU was 3.6x). It is fitted with the illuminated FireDot Duplex reticle. It can be fitted with CDS elevation dials to match your load/conditions.

Helmets

Heavy unvented ballistic helmets cause fatigue due to their weight and heat retention and provide no protection against direct rifle fire at normal engagement ranges, which is why some believe they are more trouble than they are worth. Light non-ballistic bump helmets with vents like those from Ops-Core cause much less fatigue, protect the skull from impacts (ground, walls, etc.), and are ideal for mounting a NVD monocular (use a counterweight) which allows users to see and target enemies in low light with rifles with IR lasers.

If you must have a ballistic helmet we advise something inexpensive, such as military surplus MICH/ACH helmets fitted with the Ops-Core ACH Head-Loc Chinstrap System (X-Nape for lighter NVDs). If you won't be attaching NVDs to ballistic helmets then unmodified MICH/ACH type helmets will suffice (available new from companies like HHV), though you might prefer a military surplus Schuberth 826, which is very comfortable but is not compatible with TCI's Patrol II headset as its headband obstructs the earcup.


Ops-Core FAST Bump High Cut Helmet with Agilite Mohawk Air Helmet Cover (ranger green)
Helmet chinstrap comparison

Ops-Core: The non-ballistic vented Ops-Core FAST Bump High Cut Helmet has a NVD shroud (base) molded into the polymer shell and is pictured with an Agilite Mohawk Air Helmet Cover (ranger green). A lighter carbon fiber variant uses a metal NVD shroud bolted to the shell. These helmets and the cover are available in black. The lower image shows the superiority of Ops-Core helmet chinstraps to those fitted to the ACH/LWH helmets used by the US military for mounting NVDs.

Gas Masks

Gas masks provide invaluable protection. It is desirable to own a conventional gas mask like the Israeli M15, and an easy to carry smoke hood style gas mask like the Duram Mask CHEMBAYO (250 grams) which stores flat in an airtight foil packet. The M15's large eyepieces provide a very good field of view while its voice meter facilitates verbal communication. They accept any standard 40 mm NATO filter, have compatibility with a drinking tube, while current production feature an upgraded exhalation valve for easier breathing.

Israeli M15 and Duram Mask CHEMBAYO

Gas Masks: A gas mask like the reusable Israeli M15 and the single use Duram Mask CHEMBAYO also protect the eyes from dangerous chemicals present in fires and the lethal and non-lethal chemicals used in many industries (which could be dispersed by a fire or explosion) and by the security forces. Enemy combatants have access to industrial chemicals used in many commercial products which can be weaponized. All first responders should possess a gas mask of some kind.

Individual First Aid Kit

A basic first aid kit like the Operator IFAK from Tactical Medical Solutions (TacMed) is essential. It contains components for the treatment of ballistic injuries and other types of trauma associated with combat operations. Its compact MOLLE adaptable pouch will fit inside a large utility pouch on the Waistcoat Mans General Purpose Ops assault vest or on a Pattern 58 Webbing belt. It is crucial that you also undergo a first aid course that includes treating gunshot injuries including upper torso wounds which require the use of a chest seal.

TacMed Operator IFAK

Operator IFAK: The TacMed Operator IFAK contains the following items: 1x SOF Tactical Tourniquet Wide; 1x 4 inch Olaes Bandage; 2x Hyfin Vent Compact Chest Seal (twin pack); 2x Pair of Gloves (nitrile, large); 1x CPR Face Shield; 1x Trauma Shears; 1x Casualty Card. It is best accompanied with a small plastic mirror (which can also be used for signaling and looking around corners without exposing yourself to enemy fire), 10 Leukostrip wound closure strips, and tweezers.

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