Small units and teams operate many times under the assumption that there may be circumstances in which specialized equipment will be necessary. Often only one piece of equipment carried by one individual will be required for the team to utilize not every member of the team. Usually small unit tactics and deployment call for lightly armed individuals who can move fast, and hit hard. Members of these units are understandably reluctant to carry more weight and bulk when the speed of movement and violence of action is so essential in their operations.

The equation of team gear is a complex one, to say the least, and is almost never a fit all. Time, weather, disposition, opposing force composition, as well as team training and experience, are just a few of the considerations when choosing team gear prior to deployment. Invariably no matter how well trained and prepared, murphy’s law will come into effect sooner or later. Selecting team gear can be a means of addressing those unforeseeable events.

The Hallagan Tool should be at the top of the list of equipment for consideration. It is perhaps the single most used forced entry tool law enforcement and fire departments alike. It can very quickly break or pry through doors, windows, locks and even knock out walls. They are made in a variety of shapes, sizes and of different materials.
If a Hallagan Tool is too cumbersome a set of bolt cutters should be considered. Depending on which you select, bolt cutters are smaller and weigh less that a Hallagan Tool. Bolt cutters are less versatile than most other tools, however, pad locks are commonly used both in residential and commercial areas.

Duct tape, also commonly referred to as 100 miles an hour tape is another item that should be considered. Although it does bulk a bit, a roll of it weighs very little, and its versatility is legendary.

Depending on breaching tactics, and the totality of circumstances involved portable spotlights of approximately 3000 lumens can be used as distractions, or to blind or hamper observation. Backlighting team members are possible and guarded against. In many situations, they can be used so team members situational awareness is increased while opposing personnel is degraded.
The speed required for a tactical team to achieve its goals may make it difficult to properly clear rooms on its way to their objective. Pepper spray or O.C. can be deployed into suspect areas, it is one of the few instances where probing by fire/spray may not only be legal, but effective. Even if the O.C. does not have a debilitating affect, the immediate reaction should alert team members to possible threats.

Team load out is always going to be dependent on mission, men, and situation. Taking every piece of equipment into every deployment doesn’t make sense. But training and becoming skilled with as many different specialty tools can tip the balance, and decide if the objective was reached or not, and at what cost.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Robert Schwenk

Robert Schwenk

Robert Schwenk began a law enforcement career by joining the U.S.Army's Military police corps in 1982.Over the course of his career, Schwenk graduated from four separate police academies, two investigative courses and numerous certificate and training programs.Schwenk served as an armed officer, with arrest powers with five separate law enforcement agencies. In 2009 Schwenk retired from federal service due to a medical disability.Schwenk currently has interests writing, consulting, investigating and internet services and security.
Robert Schwenk

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