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Old 04-07-2019, 07:03   #1
Longstreet
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Cellphone on tac-vest?

Jayson here and do guys wear cellphones on their tac-vests? Is this a good idea or should it be avoided? Why or why not? I am asking because of something I have seen frequently when on EX. First off, I am a Reservist with the Canadian Forces. I have never been deployed and have minimal experience with Reg Force troops. So my experience is from a Reservist perspective. Over the years I realized that most Reservists take their cellphones into the field - which includes both NCOs and Officers. In the CF, we are issued a tac-vest (an item one could argue is the dumbest design ever, but that is another discussion) which we must wear. What I have noticed is that when guys want to access their phones, getting to it can be tricky as they must unzip their tac-vest and then open whatever clothing they have on. Since I like to sew, I started coming up with some ideas how this problem could be solved. Last night I put together a simple pouch that attaches to the only MOLLE on our tac-vest. It is a padded pouch and makes use of Velcro to close it. And as it can been seen, the pouch adds two rows of MOLLE (this is where I add a single mag pouch for the fifth mag we are issued). I did some simple tests where I adopted a prone position with my cellphone in the pocket. The phone was fine and while I could feel it on my belly, it was not overly uncomfortable. Last night I showed my pocket to my PL last and it turned into a heated debate about its usefulness as some guys felt the pocket would do little as the phone would still be subjected to "belly bouncing" when in the field (their words not mine). Also the pocket is not waterproof. I countered that the only way to truly protect one's phone would be for it to be a Pelican type box placed on one's pack, but that this would then have its own problems as to ease of accessibility. So I am putting it to all of you. Any feedback, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

jaYson
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:58   #2
TOMAHAWK9521
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A cell/smart phone on your kit? The military radios are hardened for a number of reasons, none of which a cell/smart phone would survive. Are radios not available? Is the accessibility to your phone while your are kitted up that important? Why not carry it in a sleeve pocket or pant leg cargo pocket?

Being a gadget whore of the first order while I was in, and then going back over to A-Stan to do fabrication work for team guys in forward locations, this was never something I ever would have considered, nor got a request for. No team guy that I met carried or wanted to carry a phone on the outside of their kit. Some guys might have carried one but it was likely in a protective case of some kind inside an accessory pouch, but I never saw one.

Now then, from a gadget freak/mad scientist's perspective, I would forego the MOLLE strips on the outside of your pouch unless you want to carry pens or a small flash light or knife. That's a lot of wasted time and materials. A phone pouch is a lousy platform to mount items to. If you truly want to carry your phone on the outside of your kit, I would recommend you move it off to one of the sides so as to mitigate the effects of a direct impact from a "belly bounce" as you say, let alone the potential for rounds coming in your general direction. And I would also advise that you not locate that pouch in the area where your mags are carried because it will get in the way at the worst possible time. Looking at that picture of your vest, I can't determine where you carry your mags. Still, where you have it now would subject it to greater wear and tear, which will shorten the lifespan of your pouch's usefulness.

Perhaps you could at least locate it on the sides of the vest, like an inside-the-waist-band holster. That might create a bit of chafing, depending on how snug your vest is, but at least your phone is no longer located at "center mass".

If you are truly intent on carrying your phone on the outside of the kit and that location is the only area of real estate you have to work with, I strongly recommend you add a layer of 1/32" or even 1/16" of HDPE (high density polyethylene) to both the front and back of your pouch. If you have a heavy enough sewing machine, you can stitch the layers of HDPE to the inside of the outer fabric layers. That should provide enough protection against penetration for your pouch to protect your phone. I would then add neoprene or some other high density rubber padding between the HDPE and your inside fabric layer to round out the pouch's impact resistance.

I would also use a fairly robust, abrasive resistant Denier fabric with a silicone coating and then seam seal the seams to improve it's water "resistance". I would also put the pouch opening on the top. Making your pouch in this manner would allow you to include a neck to the pouch, much like a dry bag that you can roll down and keep it air tight. To finish it off, use a small side-release buckle to eliminate the tell-tale noise of Velcro when opening the pouch just like all the other pouches on your vest are designed.

IMHOO
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Last edited by TOMAHAWK9521; 04-07-2019 at 09:20.
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:05   #3
JJ_BPK
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As a NON-vest wearer, but w/some experience dragging my meager belongings into hostile environments...

1)most phones these days are IP (Ingress Protection) rated(c ref) but IP protection does not account for pressure at depth, like dive watches rated in atmospheres. So you need more than a zippered pocket.

2)if you are on an FTX, the speed of access to a personal phone is not needed. I had heard, a couple of yrs ago of apps that you can use on your phone that may be useful, but I think because of software security, the usage of these apps is frowned upon.

3)you really don't want your X calling you at 3AM when you are sitting on an ambush site in sub-zero weather(for Canucks) Leave the speakers off..

4)All watches will break when abused. Short of someone with a job in the admin shop, FTXs are not where you experiment with expensive toys

Net Net: spend a couple of loonies on an appropriate Pelican box, hang-stuff where convenient.


My FOG $00.00002 USD , which is $00.000002 C Eh?

ref: link: IP ratings for waterproof phones: what do they mean?
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Last edited by JJ_BPK; 04-07-2019 at 14:40.
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:34   #4
Longstreet
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Ahh man! There goes my plans of retiring early due to my new side hustle of producing my phone pouches . . .

Thanks to both of you for making many suggestions that I had no idea about. If I was to still go through with the idea of having the phone on the tac-vest, placing it on the side would be tricky. To clarify there are four non removable single mag pouches on the front of the rig. All other pouches are non removable too with the exception of the two canteen or C6 (SAW) 200 round ammo drum pouches. These two pouches can come off, but use some strange non MOLLE attachment points. I do have an aftermarket pouch that fits in between the the vest and the C6/canteen pouches. The problem is getting into it is a bitch - especially if one is wearing layered clothing.

Alright, back to the drawing board. Thanks again for your responses and help.

Quote:
My FOG $00.00002 USD , which is $00.000002 C Eh?
Oh man, that was low. I think you were overly generous though on your exchange rate and left off a few zeros . . . Luckily our "pretty boy" prime minister has recently fallen from grace on a rather grand scale. Hopefully he will be replaced in the fall and our dollar will begin to improve again.

jaYson
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Iíve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. Itís my personal approach that creates the climate. Itís my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a childís life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.
--Haim Ginott--

Last edited by Longstreet; 04-07-2019 at 09:43.
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Old 04-07-2019, 13:48   #5
Flagg
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Iím a Reservist with a fair bit of experience working with both Reservists and Regular Force folks out in the field.

I agree with Tomahawk and JJ.

Put it in a pelican/protective case, leave it off or on mute, and donít make it too accessible as itís a distraction that takes away from the purpose of being in the field.

Beyond that, I think itís worth every 5 Eyes/western coalition soldier to familiarise themselves with whatís happened recently in Ukraine.

Russian Cyber/EW folks identifying Ukrainian units in the field via individual soldier mobile phones and drawing indirect rocket and tube artillery fires is now the stuff of deadly reality, not just near future military sci-fi.

Peer and near-peer threats of the type are considerable.

Technology is awesome, and itís yet to be exploited potential is immense, but itís a two way street on the two way range.

Smart watches paired and unpaired with smart phones add another layer to it.

The recent Fitbit story of users wearing/sharing data to map out forward deployed FOBs is worthy of sharing in security briefs.

I wonder if anyone has come up with recognised best practice for managing individual soldier personally owned technology in the field for training?

Balancing staying connected with family, with not getting your unit destroyed from technological complacency.

Sorry if this is a bit of a rabbit hole, but outside of specialist units that take this issue more seriously, it feels like we need to do a better job here.
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Old 04-07-2019, 14:54   #6
Joker
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As what Flagg said, leave the phone off when in the field. If there is an emergency (as in PACE) turn it on and make your call then turn it off.

They can pinpoint to within an easy 100 meters your location, and in certain environments within 25 meters.
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Old 04-07-2019, 15:43   #7
Longstreet
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Quote:
They can pinpoint to within an easy 100 meters your location, and in certain environments within 25 meters.
Wow. I never knew that or even considered what the enemy could do with cellphone signals. I am surprised we have not been spoken to about this as I frequently see guys with their phones out during weekend EXs (hence me designing a pouch for a cellphone) and some guys even bring backup batteries to charge their phones. Until more recently I have kept mine turned off and stored in a small Pelican which was kept in my pack. I am going to go back to that method of carrying my phone as well as pass it up my CoC it may be something they want to consider.

Thanks once again everyone.

jaYson
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Iíve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. Itís my personal approach that creates the climate. Itís my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a childís life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.
--Haim Ginott--
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Old 04-07-2019, 15:54   #8
Joker
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See this.
The bad guys can do the same thing...
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Old 04-07-2019, 21:59   #9
Box
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well - you cant call dominos using an MBITR

and using a MARS operator to phone patch a 1-900 number can get pretty embarrassing
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Old 04-07-2019, 22:53   #10
G2squared
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Maybe you could market your great idea cell phone pouch to other groups that use MOLLE equipped vests or bags? search and rescue groups? police? Mall ninjas?
Although not every idea is a good idea at the time and place it's introduced, given the right time and place or market, it could be your "Pet Rock" invention...
Good Luck,
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