Equipment Series: 1st Line

1st lineTo start the 3-part series, it’s only logical to start with my 1st Line!

All lines are used to complete certain tasks.

Task

My first line is used to survive, escape & evade and fight. The “fight” part isn’t common for a 1st line but I have included it because I carry 2x 5.56 and 2x 5.7 magazines on my belt.

Location

Where do I put the items to survive, escape & evade and fight?

All the survive and escape & evasion items are in my clothing. The reason for this is that my pants and smock/combat shirt will be the last things I will drop.

although I really want to control naked one day…

My “fight” items are on my belt.

Contents

Survival, escape & evade

Survival tin/ E&E Kit
Waterproof Container
Signal mirror
Razor blades x2
Sewing kit (strong needles, cord)
Snare wire/string
Fishing kit (hooks,wire,weights)
Small candle
Waterproof matches
Condom
Magnesium & ferro rods (fire lighting)
Survival blanket
Cotton patches
 Medication (anti-diarrea, headache, …)
Pockets
Notebook and pencil
Lighter
Camo Cream
Small Air Marker Panel
Boonie hat
1:250 000 Map of Belgium
Sawyer Water Filter
Magnets (to hold up maps, air pictures)
Chalk
Extra Petzl headlight
Emergency Strobe Light
JFIRE

Fight

Belt (HSGI Suregrip)
5.7 Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
SCAR Mag x2 (HSGI TACO)
FNH 5.7
Dump Pouch (WAS)
IFAK (HSGI) NAR Field Dressing
Chest Seal x2
NPA
ARS
Nitrile gloves
Shears
Permanent marker
TCCC Card
Flat Duct Tape
Compressed Gauze x2
Leatherman (WAS pouch)
GP Pouch (Spiritus Systems)
Chem lights (x2 IR, x2 Vis)
Krill Light IR (Not shown)
PRC-152 Batt (Not shown)
Petzl Headlight
MS2000
Spare Batt (AA, AAA, CR123) in container
Gloves (Mechanix)

The setup

Escape & evade

C360_2017-06-27-09-40-06-992C360_2017-06-27-09-35-06-981C360_2017-06-27-09-36-02-155

Fight

IMG_20170626_135912_02620170626_12301920170626_12313920170626_122731C360_2017-06-27-09-45-10-079C360_2017-06-27-09-44-29-600C360_2017-06-27-09-49-53-37220170626_12274420170626_122801

So that is my current first line. The dump pouch is a new addition to my belt and I will see if I like it. My first impression is good, so I’ll let you guys know.

If you guys have any questions, please let me know.

Update on FMB: I have some exiting news! After becoming a contributor to Spotter Up, an amazing community of writers from all backgrounds, I might start working together with a tactical gear company in their T&E program.

In due time I will keep you guys updated!

~FMB

Gadsden Dynamics – Commanders Case 

On the modern battlefield, soldiers rely more and more on tablets and smartphones for targetting and Blue Force tracking.

In the civilian and airsoft world, people can find navigation and “tactical” Apps that can help them. Some examples are TacticalNav, Geo Tracker and Personal Eye System.

With the increase in use of these tablets, there has been a growth in demand for dedicated pouches to accommodate these devices. Not only for the protection of the electronics, but also for the ease of use and access.

In comes the Gadsden Dynamically Commanders Case. It is a pouch developed with USMC JTACs for their Kilswitch tablets. But, being available in several sizes, the pouch is suitable for a multitude of devices.

Gadsden Dynamics

Who is Gadsden Dynamics? From their website:

“Gadsden Dynamics manufactures 100% MADE IN THE USA tactical and survival gear. We are a family owned and operated, cottage industry business focused on providing high-quality, handmade gear for the prepared civilian.

We also teach Concealed Handgun License courses in Northeast Ohio (Geauga and surrounding counties).”

I found out about them trough Instagram and had my eyes on one of their cases for a while. When they were searching for reviewers, I saw my chance to test it out.

Commanders Case

The case is designed to hold a tablet and comes in several versions.

The first two versions are the Commanders Case and the Commanders Case – Lite.

The first having the following features:

• Clear, flip-down map case for notes and coordinates. This case is fixed inside of the pouch.

• Pen holder. Four elastic loops to hold pens or pencils.

• Flip-down “table” like functionality. The pouch is held open with a piece of paracord on both sides.

• Zippered for protection against sand, dust, etc.

• Industrial grade, high-strength velcro for securing tablet inside the pouch. The back “plate” has a full velcro lining, aiding in keeping the tablet secured in the pouch.

• Hard case for tablet protection.

The Lite version

• Does NOT include the clear map case.

• Does NOT include pen holder.
After choosing one version or the other, you can choose one of the six sizes:

Picture courtesy of Gadsden Dynamics

5″X7″ or 12.7 cm x 17.78 cm

6″X8″ or 15.24 cm x 20.32 cm

6.5″X8.5″ or 16.51 cm x 21.59 cm

7″X10″ or 17.78 cm x 25.4 cm

7.5″X9.5″ or 19.05 cm x 24.13 cm

8″X10″ or 20.32 cm x 25.4 cm

So for every tablet or smartphone you will find a pouch.
I received the Commanders Case 6”x8” for a 7” tablet.  It included all the options and the malice clips to attach it to my plate carrier, as well as a patch.

Overview of the pouch

Front

On the front there is a  5 x 5 Molle segment with Velcro on top. So you can attach IFF/Flag patches and/or Molle pouches.

The case is closed using a heavy duty zipper, with the standard metal zipper pulls. This is something I will change for paracord zipper pulls. I have never liked the metal ones because they are noisy, can’t be grabbed quickly and they are slippery. Hopefully this can be changed in an update for future pouches.

A second way of closing the case is via a strap on the top with velcro. This is a quick way to close it under stress and keeps the pouch secured with a tablet inside.

Back

On the back there are two Molle columns of three high. These might be enough for the USMC issued carriers, but on my Warrior Assault Systems DCS carrier they made the pouch sit either too high or too low. Using zip ties I was able to attach the pouch the way I wanted on my PC. Maybe in the future they will add more options or you could just ask, because they are really open for custom work.

Interior

Inside of the pouch there are several “levels”. Starting from the front:

The first “level” is for the tablet. On a rigid surface they attached a full velcro panel. If you attach hook velcro on your tablet you can secure it inside the pouch without fearing it will fall out.

The next “level” is a clear map case. It is however too small for a map, but be honest, nobody has ever carrier a map inside a command pouch. It might be used for a GRG, but I use it to hold Freq tables, codewords and general notes. This panel can also be secured using the velcro tab, making you able to use the tablet, without the map case falling on it all the time.

The last “level” is the back panel and includes some “admin stuff”. More specific, a larger pocket for a notebook, a smaller pocket for a compass or römer and four elastic loops to hold pens, pencils or permanent markers.

The pockets are a bit tight making it sometimes difficult to quicly get your notebook out or trying to pit a bigger item in them.

To be honest the whole pouch is a tight fit if I want to fit everything inside together with the tablet in a rugged case. But it was developed to hold a tablet WITHOUT a rugged case. So this explains the fit.

A small addition I suggest is an anchor point for dummy cord. As you can see on the pictures I attached my compass on the paracord at the sides.

Positive points

Dedicated tablet pouch

Heavy duty rigid construction

Fully adjustable when ordering

Keeps you in the fight, while being able to use your tablet for targetting/ troop tracking

Great customer service

Negative points

Tight fit for a tablet with rugged case – in all fairness it was designed for a tablet without case

Metal zipper pulls

Mounting options are somewhat  limited

Conclusion

I really like this pouch and it is one to look at when you use a tablet.

It does have some limitations but they are customizable when ordering.

I found that I regularly use it as a stand alone pouch for the tablet, without it mounted on my plate carrier. But I will be using it more, mounted on there.
Go check out this case and other great products by Gadsden Dynamics on their IG and their website.
FMB