The 75th Ranger Regiment is Taking Gucci to the Operational Level

Back in February, photographs emerged of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army’s premier light infantry unit, utilizing some of the military’s coolest gadgets and gizmos in an operational environment.

While not the first time Ranger fans have seen these kit pieces, we’ve only spotted them in PR-directed photoshoots and the 75th’s inexplicably amazing recruiting videos plastered on YouTube. 

This kit isn’t particularly new, nor is it particularly stupendous, but it is cool.

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And it’s even cooler to see it out of the confines of the flat range and in the rough-and-tough world of combat operations. Twitter user @AbraxasSpa, a self-described all-source intelligence analyst, shared the photos and provided some excellent open-source insight as to what we’re looking at. I’m here to cover down on the rest.

New Thermal Imagers 

The first set of photographs shows the clip-on thermal imaging devices manufactured by Trijicon that have been in the United States Army Special Operations Command inventories for a few years.

What’s unique is that these systems are usually found mounted to long gun systems like the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle. In these photographs, we see them mounted to standard Mk18 M4s.

The UTM appears to be paired with a Spectre DR sight while the UTC is mated to a low power variable optic or LPVO

The switch to LPVOs within white-side special operations is a fairly new phenomenon. Black-side Special Mission Units have used them since the early days of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) but were expensive and specialized. With their popularity rising and lessons learned being handed down, many white side team guys used personally owned LPVOs on their rifles.

It should be noted that Nightforce was awarded a SOCOM contract for optics to be used on USASOC’s new URG-I uppers. 

IR Designators on LAWs

The next set of photographs shows an AN/PEQ-15 or LA-5 attached to an M72 Lightweight Ant-Tank Weapon LAW. While it seems counterproductive to attach a sensitive item like an infrared designator on a disposable weapon system, it should be noted that LAWs are never left on the objective as they can be used to create improvised explosive devices.

Even if the LAW is used, the tube is coming home with the Rangers. It’s also important to note that it is impossible to use the LAW sights with night vision devices, so the addition of an infrared designator on a nighttime mission would be the only way to utilize the weapon.

Israeli Kit

These photos also show the addition of a TriggerPouch on one of the Ranger’s war belts. 

A true step forward in kit, this holster developed by former members of Yamam preps and disengages the spoon of a flashbang or fragmentation grenade as it’s pulled from the pouch, allowing the user to deploy the grenade with one hand without losing situational awareness.

Undoubtedly a useful piece of kit that is fairly new to western SOF.

 

Mobile SATCOMs

The last pictures released from this operation are the most impressive, but the ones that I can least discuss.

An MRZR 2 that has been outfitted for SATCOM on-the-go.

Unlike other special operations units, the 75th is organized and fights much like a regular line unit. They have infantrymen, engineers, mechanics, cooks, and within the context of these photographs, communications specialists whose primary responsibility is just that…communications.

The MRZR is set up with a SOF deployable node SDN that provides an element with secure data links with far greater broadband capabilities compared to other tactical SATCOM systems like Harris’ High Performance Waveform platform.

Unfortunately, If I went any further into detail, I’d have to kill you. 

This set of photographs certainly stands out as an insightful look into current kit and tech in the postmodern Global War on Terrorism. Plenty of photographs and video evidence of the height of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi freedom exist to provide a look into how we fought our longest wars.

But few so detailed exist in the waning years of Afghanistan and even less exist of the relatively hushed war in Syria. Take advantage, as we’ll see less and less of this detailed documentation in the coming years. 

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Nick Guy

Nick Guy is a former cool guy with 5th Special Forces Group and current wanna-be cool guy with 19th Special Forces Group.


Nick Guy has 1 posts and counting. See all posts by Nick Guy

One thought on “The 75th Ranger Regiment is Taking Gucci to the Operational Level

  • May 16, 2020 at 6:23 am
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    You really don’t have a clue about Ranger Regiment and how they operate.

    Next time read a book or ten or interview a current Ranger.

    Reply

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