As soon as the Bin-Laden raid went down we were getting questions on “what Navy SEALs carry into combat missions” or “what kinds of gear do Navy SEALs use in day to day operations?”.
Check out the gear that Team Six carried on the infamous raid on Bin-Laden and other raids in Somalia and around the world.
The gear the elite Special Forces groups like DEVGRU use have been tested and abused to make sure it works in all situations. If these guys can use it then it will work for you.
Boots are your first line of gear. If your boots are crap then your not going to go very far on the mission. Special Forces guys have been described as a team wearing all different uniforms.
So what works for one guy – another may pick something different. Many SEALs go with the Salomon Quest 4D GTX Boot in mountain terrain like Afghanistan. Others pick the BlackHawk, Danner or Bates.
During the infamous Bin-Laden raid, Team Six DEVGRU wore Vasque Juxt Multisport Shoe with a mid calf high gaiter to keep out debris and sand.
These shoes are light weight and are great for climbing walls, running quickly in back alleys and moving a medium weight ruck fast if needed.
Tactical Assault Pack
All Team members will carry a tactical assault pack on land missions. Sometimes the pack is small and light while longer missions require a larger pack.
This is where you carry food (MREs), extra ammo, water—along with anything you’re going to need for a successful mission. When I was on the teams, I was the radio man. That meant a lot of space in my pack was taken up by communication gear—which meant I had less room for other mission-required items.
Because of this, to make sure I was prepared buddies carried items I didn’t have room for in my pack.
The last thing you want on a mission is to get lost. The best thing you can carry is something like the Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof GPS.
These are also used by Army Rangers and most recently on the DEVGRU raid in Somalia. The Garmin Foretrex is also used at the #TurningSteel training course in Montana.
Get a device like this and you’ll never get lost.
Body armor plates are good to stop one AK-47 round but some say they can stop three. Would not want to test it and find out. At least it can stop some shrapnel which is good to know.
The Rangers who rescued the SEALs on Roberts Ridge took out the rear back plates to lighten up their load when hiking up the mountain.
Not every team guy wears a tactical vest on every mission. Distance, terrain and heat are factors.
Other brands of body armor you will see private contractors wear are Rothco and BlackHawk.
Question: What is a good book that tells about the the Bin-Laden raid?
Answer: The book Zero Dark Thirty gives a pretty good description of what happened during the raid and a general idea of gear used. The movie was pretty good too and showed good scenes taking down Bin Laden.
During the raid on Bin-Laden the DEVGRU guys wore helmets. These brain buckets have been known to stop shrapnel and even sniper rounds.
You can pick up a civilian version tactical helmet starting at $100 up to $1000 plus depending on the model and accessories.
One of the Rangers on Roberts Ridge took a direct hit to his helmet by enemy fire and survived.
Question: How do Operators use chem lights as I would think it would ruin their night vision?
Answer: Guys will tape up most of the chem light and leave the far end open so that they can use it like a pen light. If it is needed for a helicopter extraction then they will pull the tape off or break a new one without tape.
Night Vision Goggles
Night Vision Goggles can range in price from about $1,000 all the way up to $70k.
A good entry level civilian night vision goggle is the Armasight Gen 2 which you can find for about $1400. You can see out to 200 to 300 yards in clear weather but of course they have good resolution up close.
If your going to operate at night like the Spec Ops guys do – then you will have to carry night vision goggles aka NVG’s for short. NVGs are are a key component of all Special Forces night assault tactics.
You will not have the luxury of using the same NVGs, but you can pick up civilian versions out on the streets.
Question: How do Navy SEALs use night vision goggles on missions?
Answer: They train with the Night Vision Goggles on night ops many times in the year so when it is time to go then it is second nature. You don’t want to use a flashlight or stare into a beam of light when using NVG’s as it shows up as a big burst of light and can destroy your vision.
The Tier 1 Operators run with the baddest and most tricked out customized M-4 rifles known to man. Heckler and Koch (HK) is the the go-to manufacturer for DEVGRU as they are the Maserati of assault rifles.
Be prepared to lay down $4,000 for starters and another $3,000 for a customization kit.
All SEALs will carry an AR-15 with a flash suppresor which is important to keep SEALs from giving themselves away.
Check out AR-15 parts & accessories from Brownells.com
Question: Where can I find Navy SEAL combat gear for sale?
Question: Do navy seals use AR 15?
Answer: Yes; they use the M4/AR-15 weapon.
Tier 1 groups use the .45 caliber handgun has a ton of stopping power. Heckler and Koch creates some of the very finest weapons known.
The 45 Caliber Compact (M45C) weighs less than 2 lbs. with the magazine, which carries 10 rounds of 45 ACP ammunition. Small, light, and reliable.
Question: What is a good book to learn more about how Navy SEALs shoot?
Answer: Check out the book How to Shoot Like a Navy SEAL: Combat Marksmanship Fundamentals as this gives a good break down and how Navy SEALs are taught to shoot. Read through it and then take some time to go out and shoot at the range and put your skills to the test.
Team Six DevGru Somalia Rescue
Check out the Under Armour Valsetz 7″ Tactical Boots @ Amazon.com
The .45 handgun has a lot of stopping power and a Tier 1 operator is only a double tap away from dropping an enemy standing in his way. SEALs have been carrying the M79 Grenade Launcher for decades. This weapon is multi-faceted and can be used to knock down steel doors or lob grenades in a long arch over a wall.
Depending on the mission most guys will use some type of tactical glove. It is important to protect your hands during missions as you never know what your going to face that can shred them up.
Question: What do frogmen carry in their backpacks?
Answer: It all depends on the mission but usually they will carry a hydration bladder, extra batteries for communication and lights, a survival escape and evasion kit, a multi-tool, a digital camera (for intelligence gathering) and sometimes duck tape and zip ties for prisoner handling.
Every Frogman carries a knife. Always. Most of them carry your standard KAbar issue knife. After decades of use it is hard to improve on this basic but trustworthy design. The Navy also issues MK4 dive knives that see a lot of use. Team Six DEVGRU guys toss the general issue and grab Daniel Winkler fixed-blade weapons as it is cream of the crop.
Question: What tactical packs do Navy SEALs use?
Answer: SEALs uses variety of tactical packs depending on the mission. They may use something as simple as an ALICE pack or hi-tech like a Kelty Map 3500 3 Day Assault Pack. It all depends on the mission.
Question: Do SEALs wear plate carriers on all missions?
Answer: No; they wear plate carriers / body armor depending on the mission.
These can get operators into places like nothing else can. In the book No Easy Day, the DEVGRU guys carried bolt cutters to be ready for any situation.
You will want something compact and not too big so the Uline 36″ bolt cutter variety does the trick. These fit easily into a 3 day assault pack.
Question: What are the best water bladders that Spec ops carry?
Answer: The Source Outdoors Widepack Hydration Reservoir System is a good water bladder.
Question: how many rounds do Navy SEALs carry?
Answer: It depends on the mission as to how much ammunition the SEALs carry—but most of the time they travel light.
Special Forces gather intelligence at battle scenes – so having a good waterproof digital camera with optical zoom is a key piece of gear. These cameras are built to get banged around and moisture repellant and can take many hi-res photos quickly.
Question: Do you have a list of tactical gloves like the ones that Special Forces use?
Answer: Check out this list of tactical gloves here.
Question: What M4 scope do SEALs use in combat?
Answer: They use a variety of ACOG, EOTECH and even iron sights. Depends on the mission.
Chem lights and IR Chemlights are essential for marking territory. When needed they will break one of these when they need to illuminate themselves to show they are part of a team during an extract.
Infra red signal panels are now being used on Coalition forces. Friendly forces can then see these panels with Night Vision Goggles even in the black of night.
Question: What kind of tactical pants do navy seals wear?
Answer: Navy SEALs wear Rip Stop BDU Pants.
Question: What is a Navy SEAL combat kit?
Answer: That is the gear that the SEALs take into the field for an operation.
All purpose multi-tools like a Gerber multi-tools save lives in the battle zone. These often do the trick when you need to work on your weapon or fix an antennae for the communications gear.
Many multi-tools have several blades for cutting and sawing. This is one piece of gear that is worth its weight and comes in handy in many situations.
Question: What are the new balance hiking shoes the navy seals use?
Answer: Some Navy SEALs use the New Balance Tactical Bushmaster boot.
Question: Why do Navy SEALs wear different helmets?
Answer: SEALs wear different helmets on different missions. You may also have an op where they were different just because that is what they like to wear.
Water is obviously important to a SEAL as you will have to stay hydrated on a mission. There are horror stories of SEALs out on missions in the desert and running out of water and having to use an IV to get fluids back in your body. It is better to carry a little too much and pour it out than go light and not have it.
Most all SEALs carry a Camelbak hydration pack, which is a bladder-like water carrier often seen strapped to soldiers’ backs. Lately though, troops have been carrying hard plastic water bottles, because the rigors of combat have been damaging the soft-skinned camelbacks. With a hard bottle you will need to make sure it secure in your backpack.
SEALs also use Source Outdoor Tactical Gear WXP Hydration System because you can drink from the hose without having to take off your pack or have your buddy hand you a water bottle. Plus water bottles can get thrown out of your pack if turned upside down. This will not happen with a water bladder like the Camelback.
Question: In Special Forces, what is a “dead hooker bag”?
Answer: A dead hooker bag is the same as a load out bag for deployment. Guys show some black humor in that a Loadout Bag is big enough to stuff a dead hooker in it.
Question: What tactical light is used by the Navy SEALs on the M4?
Answer: SEALs use a variety of lights depending on the situation.
Escape and Evasion (E&E) kit
All SEALs carry an E&E kit.
This will include a passport, local currency, and other items. This is similar to the Urban Survival Bug Out Bags used to get out of dodge as fast as you can and have the gear you need.
Question: Where do the SEALS go for training for mountain desert warfare?
Answer: The SEALs train in many locations but mostly at Niland and Camp Billy Machen in California.
Question: How many lbs of gear does a Navy SEAL wear?
Answer: It all depends on the mission but an average load for a short mission maybe be as little as 20 lbs and up to 40 lbs or more if more equipment needed for surveillance.
All Navy SEALs will carry some type of small flashlight for map reading (with a red lens) and to signal in a boat or helicopter if needed. The flashlight must be lightweight, waterproof and dependable. The SureFire flashlight often gets loaded up on their body armor or in his pocket with a lanyard back to his belt.
Question: Where can I find a Navy seal desert top?
Answer: Check here: Military BDU, Desert Digital Camo Top.
Question: How many lbs does a navy seal m4 weigh?
Answer: A Navy SEALs AR15 platform weighs several pounds but really depends on what he adds to the weapon. Usually they will add a ACOG scope which is a few ounces. The stock will be retractable so that will save weight. If you add a grenade launcher then the weight goes up substantially.
This gear can literally mean the difference between life and death.
It should, at the very least, carry items for cleaning and covering wounds, but should ideally also have tourniquets, face masks, manual asperator/suction unit, eye wash and antiseptics.
What a Navy Corpsman carries in his medical bag
Question: Which model Juxt was used by seal team 6?
Answer: The guys used the Vasque Juxt Multisport shoe during the Bin-Laden raid.
Question: Do Navy SEALs really wear Mechanix Wear Gloves?
Answer: Yes; several SEALs do wear Mechanix gloves. They either use the Mechanix covert gloves or black out the white lettering. We know of several contractors that use these gloves while on board ship security.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness. After passing Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp at BUD/S, he failed a math test and was kicked out of training. A year later, he returned, graduated, and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams.
Today, he is one of the most sought after mental conditioning coaches in the world. SEALgrinderPT audios and ebooks have been downloaded in 20 different countries around the globe. Check out SEALgrinderPT Coaching to help you step up and take hold of your dreams and realize your goals.
Proceeds from this website go to help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation on CrowdRise.