Words and Pics: Milsimminded
“The Unit” goes by many names. It has been called 1st Special Forces Operations Detachment Delta (1st SFOD-D or Delta Force), Combat Applications Group (CAG), and Army Compartmented Element (ACE) – to name but a few. As part of JSOC, it has been known as Task Force Green.
Delta Force is said to have been formed in 1977, as a special operations unit. It was based on the British SAS, since at that time the US Army lacked the specialist capabilities the SAS remains renowned for. Delta Force was founded as a highly secretive organisation which specialises in reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence, security of VIP personnel (including embassy security), but also direct action.
1. The Modern CAG Loadout
The most modern reference pics tend to depict a Multicam 4-hole drilled Ops Core High Cut helmet, a JPC 2.0 or AVS, and an MRB 1.0. Apparel tends to be Crye G2/G3, mixed with other brands such as Wild Things.
However, each time frame will differ and what I love about CAG is the freedom of choice they have in their kit selection – as you often see in elite units.
Even in the current time frame, you see very old pieces of kit (linked to old reference pictures) pop back up. CAG also appears to mod some of their gear, which further allows for a unique loadout with tons of character. Consider, for instance, the Paraclete triple and JPC combination.
So, I do not think it’s necessary to be 100% constrained by reference pics. However, if you use too much handpicked gear, your kit will degrade to something pretty unrealistic, real quick. Balance is key.
As you can see by now, reproducing a kit perfect to the very last pouch is not a game I am into right now. I try to be as much in line with reference pics so as to present a coherent look, but for the field I remove what has little function for me and focus on what I will be doing.
2. The Modern CAG Blaster
The modern CAG blaster is typically a tan anodised HK416D, equipped with a DDC Geissele SMR, FDE Crane or Magpul CTR stock, tan Wilcox riser, a tan EOtech XPS (I’m using an EXPS), a tan LA5, a tan old gen Surefire M600C, and a tan Surefire 556RC can.
My rifle is a Systema PTW, based on a HAO HK416D V2 kit. It was originally black, but I’ve had it Cerakoted to mimic the look seen in pics.
You can read a more detailed article about the modern CAG 416 by Tan_Rifle, here.
C. Milsimmimded’s Modern CAG Assaulter Kit List
1. The Influences
For my assaulter kit I have three big inspirations:
- The heli pics
- The formation picture and, of course…
- The gentleman who looks like he covered himself in glue and ran through the gear room
2. The Methodology
Now, my assaulter kit will change for almost every event I go to. I have a large range of gear to choose from, depending on what I think I might encounter. And don’t be intimidated by what seems like a mountain to climb. That large range of kit didn’t just appear over night. It was built up over some years; and I’ve made both good and bad kit decisions in that time. It’s a learning curve we all go on – and I’m still on it.
3. The Apparel
- Crye G2/G3 Combat uniform
- Wild Things soft shell jacket 1.0 – for those colder days
- ESCWS Level 6 pants and jacket – for when its really pouring down
- Patagonia Level 5 jacket – for when I need something more breathable then a hardshell
- Arc’teryx Combat Jacket in Multicam – for when the weather is not optimal, but I need to stay ventilated
- Arc’teryx Rho base layers
4. The Plate Carrier
For the assaulter role I have two go PCs: AVS or JPC 2.0.
I pick the AVS most times. The frame distributes weight evenly over my torso. It also has the big advantage that it can be donned and doffed in seconds. This is nice for certain events, where you have to armour-up at a second’s notice.
The JPC – on the other hand – excels in situations where the lowest possible profile is required.
Often you will see me running a Crye 330D single M4 closed top mag pouch on my left side. this is mostly for the sake of magazine management. It will be the first mag in my rifle, and from there it will be used to stow a spent mag. I like to keep my dump pouch empty, so when I have the time I can re-index mags.
Other pouches are added as needs dictate: utility pouches of all sizes, bang pouches, Glock mags – whatever I need.
I run my backplate clean when I use a backpack or other carried equipment; or I use a zip on panel that suits my needs. The Crye “pack” zip on panel has become my all round favorite.
5. The Lid
My multicam dipped highcut helmet.
The shell is a good reproduction of the ballistic Ops Core High Cut. It is dipped in the official Multicam pattern. It has a 4 hole drill rather then a 3 hole. This is for mounting the iconic GSGM mount you always see with CAG guys.
The Arc rails are real; it took me a while to source them but I am very happy I made the change.
For retention I use the Team Wendy Camfit. This is in no way kosher, but it adds the best retention and comfort in my eyes. The lining is also from Team Wendy; the Epic Air set. Again, probably not kosher – but it makes the helmet feel like a baseball cap. I used both the retention and the lining in my Airframe, previously.
Other additions are the Helstar mounted on top, and a PVS 31 battery pack knockoff dipped in Multicam – as seen in reference pics.
My comm set is mounted with the Arc rail adapters, rather than a headband. This might change in the future, if I were using my BTAP (Eagle Industries Beaver Tail Assault Pack – with helmet carriage) on missions that would not always require a helmet.
6. The Belt
The belt will be an MRB 1.0 from now on. I had one, did not understand it back in the day and disliked it; and now I have sourced an old gen MRB once again and will be using it to get more in line with the reference pics,
The composition stays rather constant:
- 1 Eagle Industries FB M4 mag pouch
- 1 Eagle Industries FB glock mag (but will be replaced by an Esstac KYWI)
- Ronin pull away medkit
- Safariland 6354DO holster
- Eagle SFLCS dump pouch
I don’t like the look of the dump pouch, since you never see one in a reference pic. However, for our hobby it’s hard to go without one since the mags are often too fragile to throw around.
7. The Glock
For my sidearm, I run a Glock 17. It started out as a TM but – like every TM gun out there – it’s now more of a “Trigger’s Broom” (as my British friends say). That’s because nearly every part has been replaced for a third party item.
Now, the Glock 17 may not be the most accurate for the time period I’m observing, but at the time of the build it was impossible to get a milled Glock 22 slide.
My sidearm is modified in line with the reference pics. However, it has some personal twists on it like the frame that has finger grooves removed, an undercut, plus stippling. The slide is milled, so it fits an RMR. The irons are raised suppressor sights, and the magwell is an ALG clone.
The red dot is a blessing, but it took a long time to get used to. For a long while I was fishing for the dot every time I raised the gun. That, in combination with the rather large magwell, the magazine extenders and the tuning, makes a full-fledged handgun that I prefer over my rifle when in very tight places.
8. The Comms
For communication I use the TRI148 radio with an E switch as a PTT. The headset is a Comtac III in tan.
9. The Gloves
These also depend on what I do. If its lighter work, I like the PIG Delta utility glove; but I also have Outdoor Research Ironsight or Suppressor gloves when more protection is needed.
D. Further Questions?
Contact @Milsimminded on IG.
Inside Delta Force – Eric Haney
Delta Force – Charlie Beckwith