Late 1980s – early 1990s Ranger(ish) reconnaissance photoshoot

A while back I did a photoshoot with the theme of old school reconnaissance. Here are some of the images that came out that day. For more, please head out to my Facebook page. Link below. In addition, please check out my Instagram and Youtube sites as well and like and subscribe!

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Berget 13 – The Siege of Krasnovo

For the past five years, our airsoft group has traveled to Berget for some international airsoft action. Being one of the largest airsoft events in Europe, with people all over the world coming to play for a little over three days. With over a thousand players every year, Berget is something that cannot be described; it has to be experienced. For some, it is not what they want. For others like us, it is something we look forward to every year. It is a place where we meet old friends and make new ones, all over the world!

This year’s story was different from the last two Berget games. The self-appointed president Rico was captured last year, and this year the event focused on the country of Fadjikestan. The below caption has been taken from the Berget Events website (http://berget-events.com):
“Berget 13 will take place one year after the conflicts inside Lerando/Guyana and will unfold around the town of Krasnovo in the country of Fadjikestan. A military coup, funded by a so far unknown terrorist organization, has turned the country to chaos. GCT forces will be tasked for a spearhead operation into the country, in a swift attempt to liberate the people from its oppressors and freeing the international journalists being held as hostages.”

Our group played as reconnaissance troops in the Ikaros Corporation, in the Cerberus Recon and Sabotage unit. Our mission descriptions before the game was reconnaissance and sabotage of enemy logistics and troops concentrations. We succeeded in the missions and also got to do some resupply missions for our fellow comrades in the same unit, who stayed at close proximity of the enemy base for the duration of the game. Hats off to these guys!

Our faction had nationalities from various different countries, who all embrace the same thought; love for airsoft. Same is true for our rival faction, the GCT. Some friendly bickering could be seen on the forums leading up to the game, which is natural for building up the hype before we all meet on the large battlefield that Berget Events provided for us.

Härnösand was the location for Berget 9 and Berget 10 before this year’s game. The area is pitted with high hills and going around the game area can be quite demanding at times. Adrenaline keeps you going, naturally, and seeing the rest of your friends walking that extra kilometer keeps you right there with them until the end. Of course, if you at any point should feel that you cannot go any further, no one will look differently on you. After all, we are all there to have fun and have a good time, and it is a game after all!

For the past two years, we have been bodyguards for Rico, which had us doing close protection duties for the whole event. This year we wanted to do something different and go back to basics. In Berget 9 and 10 we were part of NAF 3rd Rangers and we spent most of the game time in the field. This year we did the same and it felt good to be back in the mix. I personally waited for something in particular this year. I bought a real LAW tube a while back, and ever since I got it I wanted to use it in Berget in a real capacity, more than just a prop to carry on my back. With some help from friends, they got the LAW to actually work with the BAVS system that Berget has. Better yet, it functions like the real thing. Reloading is done by putting it back into transportation form and then opening it up again. Working safety and everything! I happily carried the LAW on my back on every mission, just in case there were any enemy vehicles that needed some power from “The Lawmaker”.

Aside from the recon missions, we did some resupplying to friendly units behind enemy lines and also attacks across the border to the GCT base. For this attack, we left in the morning from our base so that we would be ready at the gates when the bases were allowed to be attacked once more (in Berget, main bases are off-game during 3am until 9am). We had three contacts on our hike to the base, but we managed to get behind the border without the enemy knowing we were there. We did not take any huge casualties, but the first chance contact was an interesting one. We were ambushed near the city of Krasnovo by an unknown GCT force. Few of our guys were hit but everyone got back up with the help of our medics and we continued our mission. We did not pursue any of the contacts we had. The ambush in question, we later learned, was a GCT Ranger unit which was tasked to debrief and extract a civilian spy, who was gathering intelligence on Ikaros forces operating inside and in the vicinity of the city. The contact we had was their rear security, who fled the contact area once we began to flank them. As said before, we did not pursue but broke contact after our wounded were back up. It was interesting to learn this after the game.

On the final day, as it is custom at Berget, there is a large battle for a few hours between the two opposing forces. This year it was in the city of Krasnovo, which was the old city of Janco from Berget 9 and 10, with even more buildings added to it. It was quite the city! During the game, there were less fighting inside the city to give the civilian players a chance to LARP, which in my opinion is a good move from Berget. There has to be civilians in the game to make it interesting not only for the LARPing players, but for the military factions as well. No one is forces to LARP, but it does give that extra spice to the game to see a LARP scene developing in the city. It makes the game feel real and like a real conflict, where the civilians are a part of it all.

This year Berget also introduced their now BAPS grenades (Berget Anti Personnel System), which players could pre-order before the game and purchase on-site when they arrived. They could keep the grenades after the game. The concept was excellent, but since the grenades were a bit bulky, it was difficult to carry them and there were some cases where hit taking from the grenades was not clear to all the players. Nevertheless, it is a good system and with some tweaking an excellent addition to the game! It really made clearing the buildings and rooms in the city quite interesting.

Another new addition was the area control system. There were different control points around the game area that you could claim for your side. With the push of a button, you could in 30 minutes claim the area to yourself. You could then respawn at that control point, if it was still under your control. There was also a system at every headquarters at main bases where you could see the current situation of the control points. More missions for the players aside the Berget given missions, very cool and it worked quite well!

Overall this year was probably the best Berget I have personally been to so far. It was a nice change from the close protection duties we had last year and it felt good to be back in the field. We already have some good plans for next year as well, along the same lines as this year with something extra added to it. More on that later for sure. And before I start posting a few pictures, I’d like to say a few words on future posts. I will be making a post about the gear I used at Berget, since the post I made earlier about my kit did not actually come true. From lessons learned from the reconnaissance training we had before Berget, I changed my kit and it changed again after the first night we were at Berget. More on that in the later post. Since I did not take any pictures this year, I am using pictures that others took. Credit given to everyone where due, of course. Thank you all for an awesome game and I will see you next year!

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Hjot Mjeal!
(C) The Reverend

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“You know I’m all about your base, about your base…”
(C) S5 Airsoft

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In the Swedish jungle, behind the border. Featuring The Lawmaker!
(C) The Reverend

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Cerberus Recon & Sabotage, 1st Platoon + Cerberus 1IC and 2IC
(C) Lisa Janssen

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(C) Lisa Janssen

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(C) Lisa Janssen

Berget 13 kit

Decided to do something different this time around. Last post was  way too long ago and the blog needed an update. I have another idea for a photoshoot but I want everything to get a bit greener before I go ahead with that. Instead, I am doing a post about my kit which I will use at Berget 13 this year. Our airsoft team does the trip to Berget every year and we have had some very interesting roles there so far. We’ve been reconnaissance troops for NAF 3rd Rangers, bodyguards for a ruthless war lord Rico and this year, we will return to reconnaissance, enlisted with the Cerberus faction.

My kit is built around the kit that you have seen in the past posts, with some small modifications. I have acquired a few more LBV’s (now ranging from LBV-88 to LBV-E, along with some ALICE Load Bearing Harness’) and I have built one of them for Berget. Been spending most of my effort on that particular LBV and I love it. Always being a fan of that particular piece of kit, the choice was a no brainier when deciding for a base vest for Berget.

In the pics you might notice that my rucksack is missing. This was intentional, as it is basically the same (Medium ALICE) that you have seen in the past pictures. It will definitely be on my back if we do some longer recon missions that require longer stays in the boonies. On other occasions, my LBV is more than capable of sustaining me for longer missions as well. The buttpack holds two MRE’s, some spare clothing and other essential items (batteries, snivel gear etc…) plus my poncho and poncho liner rolled and attached to the bottom. I am not planning on using a Camelbak, since I have a straw system for my canteens that I will be using. Noise from the canteens? So far I have not had this problem in such an extent that it has proven to be a problem. I have about two liters of water on me plus I can add a third 1Qt canteen to the buttpack or go larger with a 2Qt canteen. An ideal solution would be to source a 5qt water bladder and store it in the buttpack or rucksack. I do not own one, though. Not yet, anyway.

My weapon is the G&P M653 with a G&P M203 Long Type grenade launcher. According to my research, this is the correct “old school” launcher for the gun, as used by, for example, by Army Delta’s during the first Gulf War. Not as heavy as I anticipated, and it certainly adds that cool factor for the gun. Though the grenades used in airsoft as not as effective as their real life counterparts, this launcher will be useful during Berget with their BAVS grenades. Taking out enemy vehicles will be fun! My sidearm is my Co2 powered KWC M1911, which has proven to be reliable as hell. My KJW M9 and WE P226 are both still in action as well, but the newly installed wood grips on the 1911 make it my current sidearm choice.

In addition to all this gear, I will have a two piece ghillie with me. Going with just the boonie with ghillie material added to it (with some AO natural vegetation) is also and option as it breaks the form, but using them both is always better. They go over my rucksack and cover it well and the bottom half is open from the front so reaching my magazines is not a problem, and neither is going prone. They are not present in these pictures since they were drying up after the weathering process I gave to them earlier.

Now that summer is coming along, I will do (I will try at least!) better with posting new content for the blog.

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Gear list for “1990ish Recon, Colombia, Clear and Present Danger”

I’ve had a few requests asking for a gear list of the previous post on the blog, the 1990ish recon kit. Took a while for which I apologize, but here it is. I’ve added a few bits to it after the pics were taken and they will also be listed here. I am still missing some stuff for it, as it is still a work in progress. I do not have a clear reference picture for it. I’ve been looking at a lot of images from that timeline and I have combined what I see fits my style of gaming and what I see as practical. Some may disagree with some of the choices that I have made, but hey, that’s cool! I took some liberties here and there, deal with it.

First, images!

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Alright, lets begin. My BDU is a regular US Army issue summer weight (rip-stop) BDU, complete with a patrol cap and a boonie. Under my boonie I had an OD bandanna. The BDU needs some usage for it to fade, but that is a work in progress. Boots are Jungle boots. They are actually German issue, which means they are not correct. I have not yet found a good alternative for them and these have been walked on so they fit my feet and are comfortable. No noticeable differences to the US Army ones, except the fabric used here is cordura and the soles are different as well. Gloves are regular US Aviator gloves. Absolutely love them!

Rucksack is a Medium ALICE rucksack with the frame removed. It carries all the essentials I need for a weekend game or a longer game. I use a poncho liner on the inside as cushion for my back since I do not have a frame for it. If you need to know the contents, there’s a green towel, shaving kit, medkit, gas for my sidearm, spare BB’s, cooking kit, more water, food for three days (I use either MRE’s or the British equivalent), some spare socks, t-shirt etc etc. I customize the contents depending on the game I am going to.

On one of my canteens I have a “straw kit” which is a good alternative for a Camelback, if you do not want to use one. It’s basically a cork that replaces the original.  You can make one of these yourself I am sure, but I bought mine from ebay. As you may notice, I do not have a cover for the 2qt canteen in the picture. I usually keep that in my rucksack. Still need to get a 5qt bladder…

Moving on to the LBV… The model is LBV-88. At some point I hope to replace it with an Adventure Specialist LBV, as seen on the Delta’s during Panama, for example. As you can see, I have modded the right side mag pouches with black elastic bands to hold two chemlights. I also have some of the elastic band on my left side, for routing comm wires. On the back straps I have two bicycle tire inner tubes. I use this to route the straw kit and other stuff that needs to be kept in order. Saves the trouble of taping and it is loose enough to allow free movement.

On the belt (which is an LC-1 pistol belt), working from left to right, I have two US issue M16 ammo pouches. The first one is used for 3 magazines (I have 9 mags on me, which may seem like a lot but I love to have some ammo with me) and the other one is used for my radio. I have a Puxing 888 radio which fits perfectly inside the pouch. I have a small hole for the antenna cut on the top flap and some elastic band on the inside (taken from my modified night camo parka) to keep it in place. This leaves room for items such as candy, pencils, notebook etc. Very handy. Both pouches have the grenade pouches removed from either side.

Moving on, I have two 1qt canteen covers on the belt. There’s room in the middle for a buttpack, which I have yet to buy. On the other cover I have sewn a first aid pouch, for extra carry capacity. Never know when you might need it.

Next up is my Bianchi holster for my M1911. Can’t go wrong with a Bianchi in my oppinion. I have two, OD and Black.

My primary weapon is a M653 with a regular US Army carry strap. I have removed the metal parts and replaced them with Paracord so it makes less noise. My sidearm is, as stated before, Colt M1911, Co2 powered. I also have a P226 that I can use if needed. The sling that I have for my M653 is just a regular US army carry sling. I modified it so that I removed the metal fasteners from either end and replaced them with Paracord. Makes it silent and gives me more room to adjust the sling how I want it. I currently run the sling a bit different than it is on the picture, but all in all it is the same still.

What is missing? Well, I would really like to purchase a buttpack for this setup. That or I will place the 2qt canteen on the belt once I get a cover for it. I would also love to have some Heavy Duty gloves and a few carabiners for the loadout to make it look ‘cool’. A STROBE light is a must as well, a working one if possible. I also need a mag pouch for my extra sidearm magazine, which I was planning on sewing on one of the M16 pouches I have on the belt. Ranger beads is also a must, plus a compass. These just from the top of my head; surely there are more that need to be bought that I will notice later on. Anyways, I hope this satisfies your curiosity about the kit, at least a bit!

1990’s oriented recon mission in Colombia

Did some recon in “Colombia” the other day. A break from the British kit that I have been posting lately. The attempt was to test my new M81 woodland loadout that is progressing rather well and get some “Clear and Present Danger” -style pics up for the blog. Most of these have already been spammed on various social networks but here they are once again and let them be seen once more! I will do a kitlist later with better pics of the kit that I used.

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