I was involved in a video conference call a while back, wherein several OPs NCOs, Superintendents and Chiefs of Security Forces squadrons discussed (among many other things) the need to address load bearing equipment and capacity for the DAFP personnel (Dept. of the Air Force Police, see below) the bases are going to. During that conversation, questions were asked about how the individual officers would carry the weapon and ammunition required of a sentry working ECPs. Though they were to be uniformed and equipped much as civilian officers, for instance, in "LA Police blue", with only civilian LE type duty belts to carry it all, at least some would need to wear gear requiring additional real estate (particularly during elevated FPCons). I suggested and later wrote a memo explaining the HSGI Double-Decker Taco (which I've used, and liked) and the CMI Integrated Mag Pouch (which I've used, and liked), either of which could be used alongside magazine pouches or shingles as necessary to meet the garrison load-out required by regulation. Six months later, during a similar conversation, I repeated the suggestion. Last week I spoke with a DAFP officer (and former SFS E6) from an active duty base, who was still dealing with the issue. Apparently their S4 shop, at the direction of a civilian supervisor and caught off guard by the implementation of a program that they've known about for at least a year and a half, just picked up a Gall's magazine and started ordering things without doing any research. Today, in the hopes of helping resolve this desperate and completely understandable bureaucratic drama (insert sarcastic tone here), and perhaps provide some S4 somewhere with the info he needs to get where he wants to go, we're going to discuss the High Speed Gear Inc. "Taco".
The Taco has got to be one my favorite pieces of LBE ever, and judging by its popularity with shooters from all over (including our allies), I'm not alone. What's not to like about a magazine pouch that will accept just about any rifle or pistol mags (respectively) with just a little adjustment? Now, many of you are already running Tacos, or have at least heard of them, but for those of you who haven't, it's a 3" modular mag pouch that will hold AR mags (including P-Mags) or AK, FAL, G3, M14 and other mags, an iPhone or the Saiga 12. It will also hold radios, bangs and smoke grenades. They're made of Cordura and kydex with adjustable shock-cords. It's a pain in the rear to put in place, but once it's on there you don't have to switch anything out if you're alternating long gun platforms. If you use the Double-Decker Taco, you have similar options with pistol magazines. (In other words, you could have one guy carrying an AR15 and a Glock 21 while his partner carries a Kalash and a 1911, both wearing exactly the same duty belt and pouches.) It has tabs sewn in the top for bungee retainers if you want them, and loop vecro sewn on the back of the pouch for those who really like to lock their kit in. Obviously there are a number of other things that could be done with the modularity and versatility: I imagine there are EOD techs and engineers that could benefit from this sort of set up as well.
There are reviews of the Taco all over the net if you want to look them up. You'll be hard pressed to find one that's negative. There are double mag Tacos, single rifle mag Tacos, single pistol mag Tacos and of course the Double Decker Taco,which is one pistol mag atop one rifle mag. (Photos in black courtesy of Triple Bravo.) Tacos of all varieties can be picked up in ATACS (including the new one here pretty quick), MC, Coy, OD and other colors as needed.
I hope you'll at least look at the Taco mag pouch if you've never run one. Who knows? Maybe some lucky DAF officers will even wind up with G-Code holsters on their gear. Stranger things have happened.
Note: If you are unfamiliar with the DAF program, the DAF cops will be replacing the contract security guards most bases have at their entry control points, which wouldn't be a bad idea if they were to be trained and certified by State or even Federal standards and commissioned as actual police officers. Unfortunately, AFI 31-128 aside, the program appears to be as vague and poorly standardized as one might expect in a service where each base is practically an individual fiefdom. The contract guards were originally brought on board to free up Security Forces personnel so they could spend more time doing more important things like CBTs (Computer Based Training) and fire extinguisher certification. Other times, they get to do CRTs (Combat Readiness Tasks) that will often be repeated during predeployment training. Alternately, this increases manning sufficiently to allow SFS personnel to attend Silver Flag Alpha, where they are able to learn one way of doing MOUT and convoys, then later go to Brave Defender (or another RTC/Regional Training Center) to learn an entirely different one. These are, of course, far more valuable investments in time and training resources than learning low light search techniques, effective MOUT TTPs, LE patrol tactics or anything resembling realistic live fire iterations. It's okay, though. It's not as though there were any real risks of a violent event on base, and the war's almost over, right?