Essential Gear Issued to Military Special Forces, Delta and Navy Seals
We’ve been covering the top gear from various military branches in our blog posts over the past few weeks, and one topic that keeps getting suggested is the gear used for the special ops teams. While all military branches have their similarities and differences when it comes to roles, responsibilities and gear, the special ops teams are really unlike any other.
Not only is their training and responsibility more intense, but their missions are a little more difficult and challenging. So, while we will list out and go through the gear they use, it may be worthwhile to check out some of our other blogs and compare and contrast the special ops gear to what the army and marines are issued.
Let’s dive into it, shall we?
Roles and Responsibilities of the Military Special Forces
As always, before we dive into the gear of the special ops teams, we first want to outline and give clear understanding as to what special ops teams do and their exact roles and responsibilities. For the purpose of this blog, we will only be diving into the Delta and Navy seals and giving information pertaining to them.
So, what is it that they are expected to do?
Seals are like no other. Their training is difficult, their job is difficult, and they are expected to do the impossible. Because of this, it takes a special kind of person to commit and pass the training and become a seal. These teams are required to constantly be ready as they are always on call for last-ditch reconnaissance and are constantly put in harm’s way to overcome and complete challenging missions or operations that are deemed to have “never happened.” It’s also important to note that they mission, terrain and environment are always changing. One day they can be in the arctic the next in the desert. They truly have to be prepared and ready for anything.
This branch was established in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and were created as the nimble, elite military force that would be able to overcome all unconventional aspects of warfare. This means:
- Providing relief to crises around the world
- Conducting insertions and extractions by sea, air, or land to accomplish secret and covert missions
- Capture high-value enemy and personnel, as well as terrorists around the world
- Collect information and intelligence through special missions
- Carry out small-unit, direct action missions against military targets
- Perform underwater reconnaissance and deadly natural or man-made obstacles prior to any landings.
Now, we will note that the responsibility and role include all of the above but is not limited to it. Given that this is a team and section of the military that deals with top secret and important information, it is expected that not all roles and duties of the job are made public.
Gear that the Navy Seals Use
As we dive into the special gear that the navy seals will use, it is important to mention and point out that it’s not the gear that makes them special. It’s the training, mentality and pure skill of the Navy Seal and Delta Seal soldier that allows them to become the powerhouse that they are.
The Colt M4A1 Carbine with SOPMOD Kit
A standard for the special forces since it was released in 1994. It has a slightly heavier barrier compared to what the standard M4 may have, and it has a full auto capability, which has proved to be efficient given the tasks and missions that the soldiers go on.
The SOPMOD Kit, which stands for the Special Operation Peculiar Modification Kit provides additional support for the teams during their missions. It includes items such as the M203 Grenade Launchers, a Picatinny Rail System for attachments, a forward hand grip, Trijicon’s 4x ACOG sight, EOTech’s holographic sight, Aimpoint’s Close Combat Optic sight, Insight Technology’s PEQ-2 or the PEQ-15 Aiming Laser and lastly, the Insight Flashlight.
Now, we will say that it has been noted that a great deal of the sights issued in the SPOMOD Kit have been known to be left behind by the special force soldiers, as they have chosen to use only one sight in particular: the EO Tech 553. And if a soldier needs to see either further away or have more precision, they may use the EO Tech along with the LA-5, as these two items are smaller and easier to travel around with.
The MARSOC M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistol .45-Cal .1911
So, we will note that this is typically used by the Marine special ops teams but wanted to include it in this overview as it is an important weapon selection. Most of the other special ops teams will instead rely on shooting a Glock or a Sig Sauer pistol, especially those in Tier 1.
However, the MARSOC M45 has ranges that go out to 50 meters at a velocity of ~825 fps. The standard magazine for this item is 7 or sometimes 8 rounds and the ammo weighs about 2.5 pounds.
ITT Exelis i-Aware Fusion Spiral Enhanced Night Vision Googles
Now, this is the type of gear that we love to talk about, the gear that was pioneered and fused by the special ops teams. This pair of Night Vison Googles combines a thermal camera with night-vision light that is light enough to fit on a helmet. It’s able to receive imagery from an infrared heat sensor and take traditional images as well, which helps to develop an enhanced fused image.
The purpose of this item is to allow the operator to pick up heat signatures in the distance that could be hidden behind either a vehicle or a bush. Because of this, the wearer can identify targets and give the shooter more time to acquire and engage.
Plus, being in the special ops, you can image that your set and setting is going from day to night, from a well-lit field to a dark tunnel, and so these Googles help the shooter, allowing him or her to be able to easily track the enemy the entire time. Lastly, this item allows the wearer to transmit and receive real-time colour video, giving real time battlefield information. The possibilities and intel that the Fusion Spiral Googles have provided, is incredible!
Crye Combat Shirt, Jacket and Pants
These are the uniforms in which the soldiers wear when out on the field. While there are a few patterns available for use, most of the soldiers and special ops teams will use the Multicam Pattern. It has various levels of moisture wicking and temperature control and also allows for the insert of elbow pads. To note, the pants have about 10 pockets allowing for the soldier to be able to carry and store his necessary items.
CAMELBAK Impact Elite Gloves
Gloves are an item of equipment that we have touched on multiple times throughout various blogs. Needless to say, this item of equipment is essential to all teams and soldiers. The Impact Elite gloves are the perfect pair as they are lightweight, so they will not get in the way of other equipment, as well as are durable enough to keep a soldier’s hands protected.
Remember, seals are put through a variety of environments and terrains, and so it is essential that they have gear that will keep them protected while still allowing them to carry out their mission.
Emerson CQC-15 and ESEE-5
Starting off first with the CQC-15, this is a folding blade that is a combination of a well-known and used recurved blade and has the armor piercing point of the CQC-7. This allows the soldier to cut, slice and easily pierce through many things. It also is designed ergonomically, allowing the soldier to open it with one hand.
The ESEE-5 is a knife that started to be issued as soldiers put in a request for something strong and sturdy that wouldn’t break. The result was a ¼ inch thick steel with a 5-1/4-inch blade. This has actually become the standard for many units and teams.
As you can see, the special ops teams receive the same sort of gear that other branches and teams receive as well. However, the quality, benefits, and specific gear type differs, as seals have to be able to move between different terrains and environments, completing their mission at hand.
We highly encourage you to take a look at some of our recent blog posts to compare the gear specifics between the special ops teams and other branches such as the marines and army. As always, if you’re interested in shopping high-end, military grade gear, take a look at our website! We have a ton of equipment from various reputable brands, that are perfect for avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as those who require tactical gear.