We’re introducing a new giveaway patch. Look for them soon.
This is your chance to not only help the Special Operations Care – Fund with your tax free donation, but also have the bragging rights of owning the new Arc’teryx LEAF Drypack 25 before it’s even officially announced.
A unique waterproof fuel used by British soldiers to heat their rations and warm their drinks is set to spark interest at next week’s EUROSATORY event in Villepinte, France (13-17 June).
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) have awarded a four year contract to the UK-based survival equipment specialists, BCB International Ltd (Hall 6 G798), for the supply of a new operational ration cooker and fuel. BCB’s ‘FireDragon’ fuel is an innovative solid biofuel made from ethanol.
The contract marks a move away from hexamine fuel which the British Army supplied to troops for over forty years for cooking in the field. Hexamine was a potentially dangerous and outdated substance.
As BCB’s Managing Director, Andrew Howell, explained the fuel had to meet the UK MoD’s robust and rigorous requirements: “The UK MoD were looking for a solution that amongst other things was lightweight, could boil 500ml of water in under 11 minutes, was easy to light and extinguish, burned cleanly and is easily transportable. Our solution which includes a new folding cooker and a fuel pack weighs less than 300g and the FireDragon fuel will boil 500ml of water in under 8 minutes.”
Mr. Howell confirmed that other Armed Forces that currently issue their soldiers with Hexamine are taking a close look at BCB’s FireDragon fuel: “More and more Armies are taking a long hard look at the drawbacks of Hexamine and a second look at the benefits of FireDragon. The ‘FireDragon’ fuel is good news for their troops. It will enable their soldiers to cook their ready to eat meals with a safer and cleaner fuel. Our fuel is non-toxic, non-drip and made from 100% natural ingredients, including sustainably sourced ethanol. FireDragon is patented worldwide. It burns cleanly and leaves very little residue; thereby allowing soldiers to spend less time on cleaning their cooking equipment and more time on their vital operational roles. The fuel can be packed with rations which will help reduce transport costs.”
“Wherever they operate, whether in driving rain, the freezing arctic or searing heat, the fuel will enable soldiers to heat their rations whenever required.”
Triple Aught Design displayed this hatchet from British custom knife maker Ben Orford. It’s called the Nordic Carver and combines Scandinavian styling with modern materials. It’s made from either 4.6mm, 5.6mm or 7mm unground 01 carbon tool steel with a 5.5″ cutting edge. The different blade thicknesses give a range of weights for the application.
TAD is considering doing a special collaboration with Ben. What do you think?
There’s a old adage in Special Operations, “Don’t confuse enthusiasm with capability.” I heard it used a lot over the years and was told it stemmed from the ill-fated Operation Eagle Claw, where an ad-hoc task force made up of different service capabilities was created to attempt the rescue of American hostages held by Iran. Truth be told, it’s probably even older than that. The point is, you can call yourself special all day, but that doesn’t mean that you are. With the Iran mission, everyone wanted a piece of the pie whether they were ready or not and the mission failed. Although the lessons learned from that mission led to the eventual creation of USSOCOM, don’t think this idea is solely the purview of SOF. It doesn’t matter what you do, or where you fit in the food chain, it’s applicable to everyone.
In more recent times, there were many new organizations stood up within DoD after 9/11. They were specialized in nature but not necassarily in capability. In each case, they were weighed in measured by the war. Some matured, others disappeared. The concept of enthusiasm being tempered by capability is an inescapable crucible.
Generally, SSD readers are a cut above. They care about their profession, or interest, and choose the best equipment. Others go a step further and seek out training to improve their capabilities. That is the sign of a true professional. However, such positive traits are not going to be true of everyone in an organization. We are truly as weak our weakest link and we all know someone who is all show and no go. Do not let them define you or your unit and don’t make promises you can’t deliver on.
Everything we do isn’t awesome. Accept criticism and reflect on it. That’s a trait of maturity. If you’re thin skinned, you’ve likely got maturity issues and aren’t very good at what you do. As an aside, don’t take criticisms of your profession in general, or of others in your profession personally. Every profession has plenty of room to improve. However, do deliver constructive criticism to your peers. Use it to grow professionally and personally and encourage others to do so as well. Make things better.
There is a current notion that everyone is a winner and gets a trophy. We must stop this concept from poisoning the profession of arms. Not everyone is going to be an Operator and we don’t need them to be. Figure out what it is you are supposed to do, and be awesome at it, both individually and collectively.
This isn’t meant as discouragement. To the contrary. Love what you do. Create enthusiastic capability and make sure that you can deliver on demand, no matter the job. Help others rise to the same level.
Despite assertions to the contrary, Lance Corporals are the backbone of the United States Marine Corps, especially those that have held the rank more than once. Who else is going to haze the Privates and PFCs? And, who else will ensure that dirty work gets done? Lance Corporals, of course.
Blue Falcon Awards knows the score and has developed this rank insignia to give the Devil Dog his due.
With the demise of Harris Publications last week, a lot of brands are finding that they have some advertising funds to reprogram.
Some have already come to SSD, realizing that they can secure up to a year’s worth of prime, focused advertsing at less than the cost of a single fullpage print ad.
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