Viper Lazer 24 Hour Pack Review

 

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The new Lazer 24 Hour Pack from Viper is a small, lightweight backpack made out of 600 Denier Cordura with a maximum carry capacity of 22 litres. On the front exterior of the pack is Vipers patented Lazer webbing system that allow you to customise the bag with additional molly pouches for multi tools, pyro or other quick to grab items. The pack comes complete with two V-locks and a D-lock located on the front pocket that will come in handy if you need to attach any extra accessories. The bag benefits from a large Velcro ID panel for unit calls signs and designations – viper even throw in a rubberised Viper Tactical patch to get you started!

 

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The shoulder straps are nicely padded so even when carrying a heavy load the straps will not dig into your shoulders and will sits nicely on the top portion of your back. All zips are protected by a cover flap to keep out dirt and dust and are accessible by using the nylon pull cords. The Lazer 24 Hour Pack is a perfect lightweight day carry bag with all the functionality of a larger field pack – perfect for players participating in Milsim or players that want keep a low profile rig whilst not sacrificing carry space.

 

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Frontlines and Equality

The role of a frontline Soldier has always been a duty of a man. Recently David Cameron has given the order to allow women into close quarter combat (CQC) roles and this has sparked both controversy and debate whether this effects the army’s combat effectiveness. As always, there are the Nay Sayers and Yay Sayers and both bring reasonable arguments to the table.

 

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For the Yay Sayers, they say women can be just as effective as men in combat and use the Israeli armed forces as an example. The Nay Sayers on the other hand stand on the grounds of the chances that the success of a mission will drop because of the physical and mental demands that is required of today’s modern Soldier and that women just might not cope.

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But in the grand scheme of things it all comes down to capabilities. If a woman can pass the exact same training and mental tests a man serving on the frontlines can then yes. But if training standards are lowered then there maybe cause for concern.

What do you think?

How does the Army 2020 restructuring review affect the numbers of our troops?

Government has announced that they plan to reduce the numbers of our troops by 2017 to just 82,000. This is a substantial reduction considering the numbers from 2010 were more than 102,000 and it will be less than half the size it was back in 1978 during the cold war.
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There is going to be substantial cuts to the Army but the government has consulted with them in order to try and create a tactical restructuring allowing the army’s resources to be used as strategically as possible. This doesn’t change the fact that many battalions will be completely wiped out including four infantry battalions such as the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, the 3rd Battalion the Mercian Regiment and the 2nd Battalion the Royal Welsh.
Scotland will also face cuts to the 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland and it will become the sole battalion in Scotland to carry out public duties.
The Armoured Corps will be condensed to two units the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 9th/12th Royal Lancers and the 1st and 2nd Tank Regiments.
The review will also see the Territorial Army (Reservists) increase from 15,000 to 30,000.  Reservists were expected to commit to between 19-27 days of training per year this is set to become 40 days per year meaning more opportunities are becoming available to them.
What do you think about these cuts?

Who are NAVSOG?

Did you watch Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week on BBC2 last night (I know we did!). The group were placed in the hand of a serving Navy officer Lieutenant Dante Membrere from the Philippines very own Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG). The show got us thinking – Who are NAVSOG?
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The Naval Special Operations Group (also referred as the Philippine Navy SEALs) is the smallest elite unit of the Philippine Navy trained in special operations, sabotage, psychological and unconventional warfare. It specializes in SEa, Air, Land (SEAL) operations ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support of overall naval operations.
The unit gained prominence in a number of terrorism operations, most notably against the Abu Sayyaf Group, and is known for its highly-demanding physical training program which is based on the United States Navy SEAL program.
The NAVSOG training program is known as Basic Naval Special Operations Course (BNSOC). The program is physically and mentally demanding and is regarded as one of the toughest military selection programs in the entire Philippine military. Candidates have to swim two miles and run 10 kilometres everyday. Furthermore, they must swim 27 kilometres from Roxas Boulevard in Manila to Naval Station Sangley Pointwithout any rest. They also undergo “Hell Week,” which is the most demanding weeks of NAVSOG training. Candidates have to carry out demanding physical team events with their boat crews with as little as a couple of hours sleep for the entire week. In one BNSOC class, only 21 students remained from 79 applicants who originally started the NAVSOG training program.
Did you watch the show? Would you have made it through or would you have been sent home?

Women Allowed To Join Elite US Navy SEALs

One of the toughest programmes in the US military is opening its doors to female applicants for the first time.
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The famed fighting force of the elite Navy SEAL will allow women to join for the first time since it’s formation 1962 as long as they pass the gruelling six-week assessment course.
Admiral Jon Greenert, chief of Naval Operations, said that as long as applicants can meet the required standards and pass the intense training, they should be granted the opportunity to join the unit regardless of their gender.
The US Navy’s chief operations officer said:
“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these standards be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason. So we’re on a track to say, ‘Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL.'”
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US Navy SEALs are an American Special Forces group created in 1962 that have achieved a near mythical status recently thanks to Operation Neptune Spear – the mission in which SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden.
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This major military milestone comes as the US Army also announces the first two female graduates from the prestigious Ranger School, a training programme that prepares soldiers for frontline combat roles.
Army officials have emphasised that as long as women meet the operational standards and pass the training, there was no reason to bar them from participation, a view adopted in the Danish Army since 1988.
Currently in the British Army Woman are not allowed to adopt a front line/combat roll. What do you think? Should Women be allowed to fight on the front line?

10 Facts about the SAS and the selection process you probably didn’t know…

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1. Terms borrowed from horse racing are used by soldiers during the gruelling Aptitude phase of Special Forces training – with “race-day” candidates referred to as “runners”, and those who drop out as “non-runners”.
2. March routes laid out for SAS students are measured as the crow flies and take in often impassable terrain, meaning soldiers typically cover far more ground than the official length listed by commanders.
3. The regular SAS unit has first pick of march routes during test week, usually held in either January or July, near the end of twice-yearly courses.
4. Army Reserve hopefuls attempting selection for either 21 or 23 SAS(R) – which recruit in different areas of the UK – join test marches alongside regular soldiers hoping to gain entry to a Special Forces Signals regiment.
5. Candidates who fail to meet march cut-off times but complete routes can “take a red card” and continue on the next test march. A second red card means candidates are “off the course” for good.
6. There are two methods of withdrawing from a test march. A soldier can voluntarily withdraw (known as a VW) or be medically withdrawn by march directing staff. If a candidate withdraws himself he is not allowed to re-attempt special forces selection on future courses but those who are medically withdrawn can have a second stab at joining one of the three SAS regiments. Students can also be shown the door for “unsafe behaviour” on the hills.
7. A rock-strewn stretch of the Brecon course on the approach to Beacons Reservoir, which reduces candidates to moving on their hands and knees, is known in special forces circles as “VW Valley” because of its high drop-out rate.
8. Formed in 1947 and 1959 respectively, 21 and 23 SAS(R) accept male applicants aged 18-32 who have no previous military service.
9. SAS Reserve selection has two parts – a “progressively arduous” Aptitude phase, and, for those who pass, intensive continuation training on Special Forces tactics, techniques and procedures.
10. According to the Army’s official website, the starting daily rate for anyone tough enough to become a fully-badged SAS(R) Trooper is £103 /day.
Do you think you would be tough enough to pass the SAS test?

 

Caring for your Kit: Combat Shirts & Jackets

It’s important to keep your shirts and combat jacket clean to ensure that they have a long service life.
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Cleaning
Make sure you take everything out of your pockets – we have all accidentally washed some tissue before and no one like to have that in the pocket of their combat jacket for weeks. Shirts need regular washing with a warm (40 degrees) machine or hand wash with detergent. Try to avoid whiteners or stain removers as over time this will fade the pattern of your shirt. You can use a conditioner to keep the garment soft if you prefer. Combat jackets should be washed as little as possible to avoid removing the waterproof outer coating. They can be cleaned with a wet sponge to remove any mud or dirt.
Drying
Remove as much water as possible by machine spinning or squeezing the garment by hand. Avoid wringing or twisting as this can misshape and damage your shirt. Place the damp garments on a washing line or in a drying room (on a rust proof hanger of course) where there is a good flow of air.
Ironing
This step will depend on your unit. Some units prefer to have creases ironed into their trousers or down the back of combat shirts for example, where other would rather have just ironed trousers with no front creases – be sure to check with your unit first.
When ironing, use a steam iron if possible. Make sure the heat setting is not too high as this will burn your shirt or jacket and cause it to go shiny – a medium heat is best. Place an old handkerchief or pillowcase over the garment before ironing and keep the iron moving. Use lots of steam for removing stubborn creases.
Buttons and Fastenings
Trim off any hanging threads from buttons with a small pair of scissors – DO NOT PULL IT! Be sure to keep an eye on your buttons as if there is lots of thread coming loose then this will result in you loosing the bottom and then having to do a repair. Try and replace and missing buttons as soon as you can and keep all pockets buttoned/zipped up.
Is there anything extra that you do to take care of your kit?

Caring for your Kit: Boots

It is very important you take good care of your boots – after all you have invested good money into them and if you take good care of them, they are going to take good care of you (and your feet!). Providing you keep your boots clean, dry and well polished they should last you for years so it’s worth spending some time on them. The more you wear them (break them in), the more comfortable they get. The more you polish them, the easier wearing them becomes.  Remember cleaning boots takes a bit of time so plan ahead and don’t leave it until the last minute!
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Washing
If your boots are very dirty and caked in mud you will need to wash them before you can polish or treat them. First off remove the laces from your very dirty boots and using a bowl of warm soapy water and an old brush remove all the mud and dirt. Don’t forget to clean the soles and the areas inside the sewn in tongues. After your boots are free from mud and dirt rinse the suds off with fresh water – Don’t for get to wash the laces too! (if your laces are in a really bad state this might be an ideal time to replace them).
Drying
The outside leather of your boots can absorb some water during the cleaning process and they need to properly dry out before you can polish or treat them. Dry your boots naturally by leaving them outside or in a warm place (an airing cupboard is ideal). Never dry them by applying direct heat (hair driers or a heat lamps for example). This will damage or crack the leather and ruin your boots.
If the insides are wet then fill the boot with newspaper – If they are very wet inside you might need to replace the old soggy paper regularly until the inside of your boot is dry.
Polishing
Only polish a dry boot. Make sure you use a good quality black (or brown if your boots are brown) polish like Kiwi for example.
Apply a good layer of polish all over the outside of your boots with an old cloth or duster. Work the polish into the leather using a circular motion. Don’t forget to polish the tongues and the underneath of the flaps where the lace eyelets are. Leave the polish on the boots for as long as possible (overnight). Finally remove the polish by brushing vigorously with a soft brush.
Do you have any other sets that you follow? – How to you care for your boots?

 

The Cadet Manual

Cadets from 1407 sq on parade

Cadets from 1407 sq on parade

Here at Uniform Bravo our team have over 10 year’s experience dealing with cadets from all the services and the equipment they use on a day to day basis. We meet cadets and instructors everyday who have fantastic knowledge and experiences from their times with their units. We’ve also picked up a few handy tips and tricks along the way that have helped many of our customers save space, time and money and we would like to share them with you in The Cadets Manual series of blogs. Each blog with contain hints, tips, tricks and handy knowledge will help cadets and cadet parents alike!

You might be able to teach us a thing or two! – If you have something that has really helped you and think it should be featured in our manual then why not email us at Shop@UniformBravoSurplus.co.uk

Gurkhas: A whistle stop history

In 2015, Gurkhas will have served in the British Army for 200 years. We look back at some of their fiercest battles and proudest moments over the past two centuries
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1814-1816: Anglo-Nepalese War
In 1815 the Gurkhas are first enlisted into the armies of the British crown.
1845-1846 & 1848-1849: First and Second Anglo-Sikh wars
Gurkhas helped to defeat the Sikhs in battles with heavy casualties on both sides.
1857-1859: Indian Mutiny
Gurkhas fought with the British to defeat the mutiny and the Sirmoor Battalion were awarded the Queen’s Truncheon in recognition of their bravery and loyalty at the Siege of Delhi.
1878-1880: Second Afghan War
Worried by Russian influence in Afghanistan, the British sent a force to invade, including five Gurkha regiments. After several major battles the Afghans were defeated.
1900: Boxer rebellion
Gurkhas fought against Chinese nationalist insurgents.
1914-1918: First World War
More than 90,000 Gurkhas served the British Crown, of whom more than 20,000 were killed, wounded, or missing in action in France, Gallipoli and elsewhere. Gurkha regiments earned hundreds of gallantry awards throughout the War.
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Gurkhas capture a German trench during the First World War (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
1930s: India
Gurkhas fought on India’s North West Frontier.
1939-1945: Second World War
More than 137,000 Gurkhas served the British Crown, from North Africa to Italy, Burma and beyond. More than 23,000 were killed, wounded or missing in action. They earned over 2,500 awards for bravery.
1947: Indian independence
Of the 10 existing Gurkha regiments, six stayed in the Indian army and four transferred to the British Army. These were 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) and 6th, 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles.
1948-1960: Malayan Emergency
This was the first conflict in which Gurkhas fought as part of the British Army. They were continually on active service, winning many awards for bravery.
1949-1959: New regiments
Three new regiments were formed, now known as The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, Queen’s Gurkha Signals and The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.
1962-1966: Borneo Confrontation
From bases in Sarawak, Gurkhas defended the country against Indonesian forces, engaging in long-range operations in dense jungle.
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Gurkhas patrol the Limbang River in Borneo in 1965 (Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images)
1965: Victoria Cross
Latest Victoria Cross is awarded. LCpl Rambahadur Limbu (left) of 10th Gurkha Rifles was awarded the VC for valour in Borneo, after storming an enemy position and rescuing fallen comrades under concentrated fire.
1969: Gurkha Welfare Trust
The Gurkha Welfare Trust is founded with the aim of relieving poverty and distress among ex-Gurkha soldiers and their dependants. Today it also delivers community aid such as water-supply systems, schools and medical camps.
1982: The Falklands
The Gurkhas’ fearsome reputation led to the Argentines deciding not to face the Gurkhas when challenged in battle.
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Gurkhas apply camouflage cream before setting out on patrol in the Falklands (PA)
1990s-2000s: From Kosovo to Sierra Leone
Gurkhas served in Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor and Sierra Leone.
2001-2014: Afghanistan
Gurkhas’ skills in hand-to-hand combat, peacekeeping skills and ability to build relationships with the Afghans proved invaluable. Cpl Dipprasad Pun (above) was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for single-handedly repelling a Taliban assault in Helmand Province.
2003-2011: Iraq
Gurkhas provided extensive medical and logistic support to the Allied forces while retracing their forebears’ routes from the First World War.
2007: Gurkha Pension Rights
All Gurkhas who serve post-1997 are awarded pension rights equal to other British servicemen.
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Gurkha veterans call for better pension rights in Parliament Square, London in 2007 (Christopher Pledger)
2009: UK Citizenship Rights
All Gurkhas who served four or more years after 1948 are awarded UK citizenship rights and have the right to settle in the UK, following a high-profile campaign fronted by the actress Joanna Lumley.
2014: Ebola
Gurkhas sent to Sierra Leone to help contain Ebola.
2015: Nepal earthquake
Now Britain has sent a contingent of these Gurkha soldiers back to Nepal to assist with relief efforts, after the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015
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 Information collected & credit to Annabel Venning