What Do You Carry In Your SWAT Gear?

I was rummaging through my very old SWAT ballistic vest the other day in the garage.  Some odds and ends in the main MOLLE pouch included:

A Gerber Multi-Plier, Benchmade A.F.O. autofolder, two AR-15 mags, two Sig .40 cal. mags, flex cuffs, Streamlight Stinger, two spare TASER cartridges, ballistic glasses, ear protection, Nomex gloves, Nomex balaclava, latex gloves, window punch/seat belt cutter, lensatic compass, AA Mini-Maglite with red lens, notepad and pen, about 50′ of black paracord, spare flashbang pin, chalk, and a black Sharpie marker.

Most of this gear, or older stuff just like it, had been my standard load-out for over twenty years of tactical operations.  Though I technically retired from the Team a couple of years ago, I am still the team coordinator and an advisor, so I still have my gear.  Looking back at my equipment, there are things that are missing.

Where’s the med kit?  We have had certified SWAT medics on the Team for over 15 years, but I know darn well they can’t get into every situation with us.  In my area, they are unarmed firefighter/paramedics, so we have to protect them on ops.  Having a medic does not preclude carrying self-survival medical necessities.   Funny that I have a 6X6 trauma kit on my street bailout vest in the cruiser trunk, but not on the old SWAT turtle.

Just two AR mags?  Hmmm.  Should be four.  The two pistol magazines I can live with.  A total of only three rifle mags seems too light nowadays.

No dedicated baton holder.  I carry a Monadnock Auto-Lock daily on duty.  I have used one to break out sliding glass doors on TAC callouts or fend off dogs on warrant services.  I usually added the stick when I knew I’d need it, though I do think it is the most basic of “multi-tools.”  It should ride along all the time.

I have a 10″ X 12″ Level III rifle plate upfront, but not one in back.  I was only issued the one.  And the carrier I have is a bit aged, so there’s no provision for the rear plate anyway.  Doubtful a Camelbak full of water will mitigate that high velocity threat.

Door wedges and something like the Blackhawk Small Pry tool would be nice.  I picked up a Small Pry on sale for $50.00 last year.  Probably should mount it on the vest.  Door wedges are just gravy and not needed often.

Wish list?  I would love to have a short-barreled pistol grip Remington 870 in a back scabbard, ala Cpl. Hicks in the movie Aliens. “I like to keep this handy…for close encounters.”  Clack, clack.   Oh, unfortunately, that’s about seven pounds over the top.  Well, there is only a remote possibility I’d need it for alien xenomorphs, anyway.


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