Got a note from a reader on our Kit Up! tip linesuggesting we discuss the benefits of the Garmin Foretrex wrist-mounted GPS.
I will say that I saw these things on the wrists of several small unit commanders and NCOs over in Afghanistan and I can surely understand their utility. As our reader says:
Got turned on to the [Foretrex] GPS last year (by a couple JTACs) before I deployed to Iraq...took the wrist clip connector off of it and put it in a standard MIL ID card holder...fits perfect... wear it on my arm... and the GPS is easy to use and takes up little to no space.Our JTAC in Paktika, 'Square,' wore one and I've seen other platoon and company-level leaders wearing them as well. I've never actually used one myself, so I have no first hand knowledge of their ins and outs, but I will say the system makes sense to me. Other, more sophisticated models have internal maps and other whistles and bells. But seems to me the Foretrex has the KISS method down pat. All you need at latlong or six-digit grid, altitude and bearing. And that's what the Foretrex gives you.
Our reader also suggests these units, which retail for about $200, should be "standard issue" and we at Kit Up! agree...at least for small unit officers and NCOs. Something this simple, functional and low profile that could prove the difference between life and death when it means a Medevac, fire mission or CAS shouldn't be an out-of-pocket expense.