Quantico Tactical

This Is What the Air Force Version of a CIF Looks Like

Army guys know what a Central Issue Facility is. With a few exceptions, the Air Force does it drastically differently. Everything is pre-packaged as much as possible and on the shelf, ready to go. Referred to as Mobility Gear, it’s much of the same stuff you’ll see from an Army CIF, except many Airmen pick up their bag on the way out the door.


This photo was taken by USAF Senior Airman Daniel Hughes for Instagram @airmanmagazine. It depicts SSgt Chasity Davis, a Individual Protection Equipment Journeyman at the 628th LRS, Charleston AFB, SC, as she walks through a storage bay of mobility gear.

28 Responses to “This Is What the Air Force Version of a CIF Looks Like”

  1. paste eater says:

    Do they have civilian workers there that give you a taste of bad attitude, disrespect and dressing downs during equipment issue? If not, I don’t approve.

    Half the fun of CIF is being treated like the piece of shit we know we all are by the civilians who issue the gear. I love it!

    • Philip says:

      My local CIF shop is all .mil folks as far as I can remember… but I’m sure each base is different.

    • Adam Burchfield says:

      True statement! I hate that place because of the people who work there…

    • Sean says:

      When we were returning our MTVs after coming back from Iraq in 08, the head lady at the New River CIF keep referring to our CO as “That T.A. O’Connell guy” and told us all he needed to get his head out of his ass because he was doing the missing/damaged gear statements all wrong. I’m pretty sure Condescending Wonka started his life at CIF.

  2. badjujuu says:

    My CIF is all run by Soldiers. The one I deal with has everything organized like they all have extreme cases of OCD. Just like me! They are do go out of their way to help you as long as you follow their clear cut rules on turn ins. Getting everything pre packaged is a pretty awesome idea.

  3. Timmay says:

    So then I went back to “TA-50 Alley” and got a poncho that did not have any of CIF’s masking tape on it to turn in at CIF so I could leave ” the land of the three man shovel”…sorry kimche flash-back.

  4. badjujuu says:

    My only question is about sizes.
    How do you pre package some equipment based on sizes?
    example “Soldier who wears a M/S top goretex wears a M/L goretex trousers due to short torso and long legs” etc etc. But he wears a Large ACH….

    • AFDefender says:

      Sizes are recorded beforehand as part of pcs newcomer checklist. Bags are built based on info given. Large helmet,Large long nbc pants, medium regular top, etc. Bag stored waiting for mobilization. Once mobilized another checklist of sizes and if anything changes just a quick exchange before shipping . Also once a year questionnaire check.

    • AMMOkan says:

      Most AF units issue out that stuff on the squadron level. LRS normally has stuff like JLIST and similar items in those bags as C Bags. The AF doesn’t really have a CIF in the same way the Army does.

  5. CAVStrong says:

    Sounds like a great idea to me.

  6. Desert Lizard says:

    One of the advantages I can see to not having it pre-packaged is it’s easier to inspect the items for correct size when you’re given them if they aren’t all tightly packed into a top-opening duffel bag.

    • badjujuu says:

      Not only that, but making sure they are in good condition upon receipt. I wouldnt sign for something that is dirty/NMC or missing components.

  7. Jonny_V says:

    well it doesn’t look like the ETDC at Manas :/
    That place was find a bin and grab it !

  8. matty says:

    To bad the big services don’t adapt SSAVIE/SPEAR. Measure your people for everything and then get it all in a bag brand new.

    • MATBOCK_CEO says:

      Brand new – yes, but usually 4-6 YEARS too late or outdated. Thanks for a bag of brand new and still useless stuff – the guys have already opened purchased their own kits.

      • matty says:

        Yeah. The biggest issue was the PEPSE kits. Half that shit was useless and the other half was just old. The newer ones at least have a bitching nemo coda tent.

        • BS says:

          Matty, can you write a bit more of current PEPSE?

          • matty says:

            Well the 2012 kits (WARCOM bought an extremely limited amount of 2013s) have the same rolling TT or Eagle Ind. rolling kit bag. The biggest change has been the tent. They went away from the sierra designs half dome tent to the Nemo Coda 1.5. By all accounts this is an extrememly welcome change due to the material and construction of the new tent. Guys were apparently having to wake up in the middle of the night with the old tent to wipe up moisture that had accumulated inside the tent during the night.

            The biggest issues besides the tents would probably be the trekking poles and sleeping bags. The trekking poles I was told were garbage (please take that with a grain of salt, I have no experience with them). For the 2011 and 2012 sleeping bags they are using a sierra designs mummy bag and a combat sleeper system bag that comes with an OR wallcreeper bag in AOR2. The rumor was that for the 2013 they are going to a Nemo bag system. From issuing these a lot of guys said they wish they were just given the money that would have been used to buy the full kit to buy what they actually wanted. Though I’m pretty sure that would have just led to guys showing up to HEAT woefully unprepared.

  9. straps says:

    No picture of a USAF CIF is complete without the shopping carts.

    Army puts it in 2 duffels, a laundry bag and a flight bag–one worn in back, one in front, 2 carried (“Don’t worry, we’ll put the heavy stuff in the bags you carry.”)

    Air Force gives you a shopping cart.

    • AbnMedOps says:

      Bragg now has the shopping carts, and they even let us wheel them out of the building to our POVs! As far as employee attitudes, my last 3 CIF’s have been great – they replaced the surley, bitter government civilians with contract employees who were happy, helpful, and pleasant. It was so nice, I was suspicious it was some sort of trap..

      • straps says:

        Funny, I went through Bragg pre-shopping cart. Full on attitude for launch, much nicer crew awaiting us for redeployment.

        Might or might not have had anything to do with a community college dropout giving our (AC/RC–FROM BRAGG) BC a ration of shit.

      • Buckaroomedic says:

        I cleared Bragg CIF a few years ago and it was great. I was missing a couple of items and they just checked them off on the list! I wasn’t sure if it was my winning smile or calm demeanor . . . .

  10. killslowly says:

    Forgive me if I sound obtuse but… how do you train with packaged gear?
    Are you going to tell me that the Air Force does not do any field training?


    • Casey says:

      I can’t speak to the current process, as I’ve been out for a few years, but at Aviano we were issued a full set of training gear upon arrival at the unit (MOPP, LCE, ECWCS, etc.). Just prior to deployment we were issued DCUs, JSLIST, and desert-specific LCE. None of that stuff was packed up as neatly as shown above, though!

    • Manny Fresco says:

      I haven’t done a field exercise stateside since 2009, and that one wasn’t even supposed to happen. The exercise before that was in 2004. Both of those were at two different bases and two different commands (Training and Mobility respectively). In both cases, we were issued used gear marked for training and like chem suits and masks. Naturally we were issued ALICE web gear! You gotta keep in mind that we provide a different skillset and have a different mindset. Army are soldiers first and then their MOS second. The USAF doesn’t operate that way. The closest thing we have to an infantry is SecFor and my understanding is that their primary role is base defense, not seek and attack. Everyone else does their jobs in support of the flying mission. If we do perform contingency exercises, usually they’re limited to continuing daily operations in the event of a natural disaster, HAZMAT spill, and/or possibly a terrorist attack.

      AFDefender is right in that we have annual reviews of everyone’s mobility requirements and verify the size requirements of gear for each person. This is performed by mobility managers, either at the unit level or consolidated at the wing leve. The member’s requirements are filed in their folder and their “kits” are stored preassembled by name. If you’re a L/M top and L/L bottom chem suit, you’ll have brand new ones vacuum packed in your preassembled kit. When you do your review, you get your kit, pull it all out and verify the sizes. Any discrepancies get fixed on the spot and your folder/record is updated. The USAF as a whole doesn’t deploy as an entire unit like the USA does. Each unit will for the most part have onesies and twosies deploy to fill a specific need downrange. A few months before going out the door you get tagged for deployment and start the process of getting all refresher training done, verify you have all the kit you need and go TDY for any ancillary combat training you may need for your deployed location. My latest deployment I went down to Ft. Hood for 30 days just prior to shipping out to A’stan. Most folks store their kit under their bed and forget about it until they redeploy back to their home base after which you turn everything back into supply.

      We’re a smaller force, with a smaller budget and it works for us.

      • DGR says:

        AEF next, just wait till you get the briefing. The one and two people here and there is going to change.

        • SSD says:

          What’s old is new.

        • Cap'n Drew says:

          Maybe … I’m still trying to figure out how that’s going to work for test squadrons, SPOs, and all the other places that don’t fit into an operational wing.