Join Gear & Tactics host, Mike Haytack, as he showcases the leading manufacturers of outdoor and tactical products used on today’s modern battlefield.
When it comes to long overland treks through hostile territory, whether for reconnaissance or direct-action missions, one thing is certain. Ill-fitting gear that is not mission-pertinent distracts the operator from meeting the commander’s intent.
Early this December, I had the opportunity to test and evaluate a piece of gear that is based on the unique and specific requirements of the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). A JTAC is a qualified military service member who, from a forward position, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations. Getting to that forward position and bringing airpower to bear quickly and accurately involves hauling substantial communications equipment with a solid pack system. While body armor has made significant improvements over the past decade, the pack system that is carried over it has not. Now, an American brand called High Ground (HG) has designed a mission-specific pack called the JTAC HG3D.
The High Ground JTAC HG3D Pack System features an ultra-light carbon steel frame specially contoured for wearing over body armor. Pack integrity is not compromised and allows the user to sustain longer mission set. It is mostly made of 500 denier and has a load capacity of 2500 cubic inches. This makes for a strong, lightweight pack, ready for multiple combat mission sets.
The JTAC HG3D also features a ditching capability. In the event the operator needs to off-load the pack quickly, he simply squeezes the two front-side snap buckles, slides the waistband out of the modular battle-belt, and it’s off. The operator is left with the battle-belt and any associated life-support items. Another neat feature of the battle belt is the double back buckles. This allows the user to center the harness, keeping the belt in an optimal position. Additional mission specific battle-belts are available through HG.
A JTAC’s moneymaker is the PRC-117G, and it is secured by the interior straps. The straps accurately position the radio antenna ports to the exit point’s located on the topside of the pack. By keeping the radio high and close to the back, little interior capacity is lost and stability is maintained. For other operational requirements, HG offers this same pack minus the PRC-117G secure strap.
Other well thought-out features include a blow-out panel that stows a releasable and reversible rain cover, which doubles as friendly marker. Cable routing is designed into the shoulder straps that utilize north/south zippers. A large compression panel allows for quick stowing and extraction. The pack also has the capacity for up to three liters or 100 ounces of hydration.
Air-to-Ground operators and combat communicators take notice: I believe this pack is a valid option for modern combat operations, with the ability to fill multiple mission sets. Thanks to High Ground Gear for developing a product that breaks new ground.
Visit High Ground Gear at www.highgroundgear.com
Currently, two cuts, or configurations, are offered. The first is the concealable cut, which is used for traditional soft armor carriers. The second is the Tactical cut, which is designed for SAPI style plates. Both are secured to the back of either configuration using the supplied adhesive Velcro strips. To give you an example, the tactical cut is applied to Mayflower’s XL Assault Plate Carrier in the pictures. During SHOT Show 2013 CORTAC announced that the CTAV will be fully integrated into a Survival Armor® carrier system and available for purchase early spring 2013.
While minor issues where noted with wear characteristics, EAGLElement believes the CTAV will revolutionize the way body armor manufacturers view their current and future applications. Before long, it is expected the CTAV will be integrated into most popular tactical carriers. The evaluation concluded that the CTAV creates a safer op environment by allowing your body to regulate its temperature and enhancing your current protection capabilities. All this creates a more focused and confident operator. If you take your op capabilities seriously, CORTAC’s CTAV deserves a closer look.
Visit CORTAC at www.cortac.com.
Please also check out Survival Armor at www.survivalarmor.com.
EAGLElement believes the outdoor and tactical communities deserve original and professional reviews of applications that add value to their endeavors. With two decades of successful military operations and a lifetime spent in the outdoors abroad dealing with experiences beyond the norm, EAGLElement understands the specific necessities associated with the outdoor and tactical end user.
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Starring: Mike Haytack, Eaglelement LLC
Executive Producer: Botstik Collective
Executive Producer: Guns & Tactics Magazine