Kit, Kit and More Kit…
Today, I started getting my extra kitting for my training course and for the deployment to Afghanistan in the New Year. And boy! as you can see from this picture, did I get some kit!
I ended up leaving the Stores with 5 bags full of gear, as well as two big boxes with boots in them and two sleeping bags. Oh and a helmet. It took me nearly two hours to sort it out and unpack them and get them into some sort of order ready for washing and ironing…It’s fortunate that I have a spare room with no real furniture in it here.
There is a LOT of stuff in there, and I would imagine that it’s worth a penny or two. Indeed there are a couple of hundred quids worth in there just with the pairs of boots I have brought back.
It’s all a lot different to my last deployment. That was out to Italy in the 1990’s as part of the Operation Deny Flight, when RAF and other NATO jets took part in policing the no-fly-zone over the former Yugoslavia. That was just a nice trip away to be honest. We lived in holiday compound apartments. I actually took a suitcase with me. I took a minimum of military kit – just a couple of sets of combats to wear to work and some warm weather stuff for working at night in. I concentrated on taking civvy gear!
Not so this time. As you can see.
A lot has been said and written about military kit and kitting and all sorts. I am not going to get into all that, it’s been said and done. But I am going to say that I have bought some of my own kit. A couple of extra pairs of the anti-microbial underwear. Lightweight plastic tent pegs. Some badges for my kit – a Union Flag or two to identify me as a Brit. Oh and a spare, lightweight, head-torch is on it’s way. I invested in a top of the range micro-fibre towel and I bought a heavy duty Gerber multi-tool. But this is all stuff I wanted to have. I don’t need it. It will make my life easier and more comfortable, but it’s not anything that I would HAVE to have.
The kit I have been given looks and feels the business. And there are a couple of nice items of ‘Gucci-gear’ in there too. The new ‘Black-bag’ comes with (as I said before) even down to underwear and socks to wear. I couldn’t believe it but there is even a pair of those post ‘all terrain’ sandal things – that will be nice to wear to and from the shower. There is a lightweight Silva headtorch in there too as well as a basic but very cool looking Gerber tool with a good knife on it. The boots (you get a choice of one from either a pair of branded Lowa’s or Meindl’s) are probably the most comfortable boots I’ve worn straight out of the box, and it even came with an issued Snugpak Sleeka jacket to keep me warm. Things have come a long way; this is seriously good kit. It’s named and branded and it’s top gear.
And it’s all laid out on the floor in my spare bedroom. Now I need to get the clothes washed, dried and ironed. But I have to buy my own soap powder…but I’m not complaining. Apart from about one thing…but if you’d like to pop round to do a bit of ironing…