I have the permission to post this writing from the real world contractor. You already know, I dont like to post faces, so picture will stay this way unless Victor will ask to change it. This is his post from one closed group, about Contractors gear in Afghanistan. Have a good read.
One of the bigger concerns for Contractors is getting good quality tactical gear into the Country and to a lesser extent getting it back out. Now if you are Military this is not a problem, if you bring it in Mil Air, you can also take it back out and it is not a problem at all.
Depending on the Company you work for and whether it is contracted to supply security services to Government entities it may or may not issue good quality tactical gear and weapons. For most other companies it is hit or miss or not available at all and it is up the individual to procure the items necessary by other means.
If you bring your tactical gear in your luggage you take the chance of having it confiscated and getting a free vacation at the local jail. The main hub for Afghanistan is the Dubai International airport. If your bags are searched and this happens quite regularly and you get a private interview in a back room, your gear confiscated and could end up in jail. Your employer will not be pleased and you could also lose your job and pay for you own legal fees.
If you are lucky enough to make it past Dubai, then you have the Kabul International airport to deal with. Again, if your bags are searched they will confiscate your gear and you could end up in jail there… a lower star class of jail it is.
Then on your return trips you get to pass these gauntlets again. I have seen many contractors having their bags emptied with the local authorities taking whatever suited their fancy including taking the belts off of the contractors and putting it on themselves proudly showing it off while smiling at them. If you attempt to put up a protest, they will make you miss your flight and maybe go to jail, that will depend more on the mood they are in at the time.
If you are working with a US military contracting company or have access to an APO post office address then you can order online as long as it does not contradict ITARS, import and export laws. If you are mailing out your gear, again it will be checked by your National Post office and if there is no export/import paperwork you take the chance of having it seized at customs.
Most contractors will end up using rip off items easily available and a low price from local vendors. Some of it is not too bad, some of it is complete trash. You take what you can get and learn to work with it.
Many contractors lose thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment regularly, some just drop off of the radar so is it worth taking those chances? As much as we would all like the big brand names, the Gucci equipment, accessories, the reality is that it is just not as easy to get as most people think.
Now it is up to the individual to make what they have work, it is not an ideal situation but it is better than the alternative such as losing your gear, your job and your freedom.
Food for thought.
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