Mike Haytack reviews the LIFT and Combat Carbon Poles by MATBOCK
Imagine you’re on a multi-day combat operation to confirm or deny the presence of enemy activity; enemy contact is expected. Initial method of infiltration is rotary wing, and you’ll then transition to foot. Your planned route takes you and your team over 35 kilometers (km) of high mountain terrain in 4 days. Needles to say, self-sustainment is priority, and external support will not be provided unless loss of life is expected. Helo infiltration and the first 18 hours of foot overland go without drama. At approximately 2100hrs local, you and your team come under small arms, RPG and heavy machine gun fire. After 20 minutes your superior tactics and firepower have thwarted an ass kicking. However, during team consolidation it is determined your JTAC suffered two gunshot wounds; one to the left tibia and one to the right femur. After initial assessment is made, an aerial CASEVAC is initiated. Your planned CASEVAC extraction point is 2 km to the north, PEDRO is 35 minutes out. You planned smartly, and decided to bring the LIFT and Combat Carbon Poles designed by a company called MATBOCK.
- Maximum carrying capacity: 400lbs
MATBOCK specializes in unique military gear designed to specifically meet deficiencies in current equipment. They do this by relying on their own tactical experiences, and they have developed a line of products that not only increases the operator’s effectiveness but also decreases individual load out. They work with American companies like Forespar and Arial Machine and Tool. Forespar focuses on marine products like spinnaker poles and whisker poles made of aluminum, carbon fiber or composite materials, and they produce the carbon pole for MATBOCK.
The Lightweight Integrated Field Transport (LIFT) System is actually a multi facet system. The LIFT compresses small enough to fit into a cargo pocket. In fact that is how most operators are carrying it. Once it’s deployed, the user opens the vacuum sealed pouch and the LIFT is configured to be used as an SSE or Multipurpose bag. This allows operators to collect items such as Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) Material or gear from a downed man. The bag is augmented with a single adjustable strap for easy carry when loaded, and a drawstring to secure the bag contents. With a few short zips the LIFT Bag is transformed into a a soft litter that has 5 handles per side to give each team a multitude of configurations for carrying a downed man. When paired with the Combat Carbon Poles (sold separately), you get the lightest semi-rigid expedient medical litter/stretcher available at only 3.5 lbs total weight. At 6.5 feet long, the stretcher is long enough to accommodate all operators and has a maximum carrying capacity of 400 lbs for both the operator and his/her gear. MATBOCK expects to introduce other uses soon.
Enroot to the CASEVAC extraction point, teams of two switch off carrying the casualty. You make it just as PEDRO flares. As your mate is handed off you realize the task would have been nearly imposable if you didn’t bring the LIFT system with Combat Carbon Poles. The systems not only made the task manageable, but help prevent further injury to the JTAC.
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