Special Operations: Plan Z


March 13, 2013: The U.S. Navy SEALs are seeking a supplier for 300 new Personnel Recovery and Survival Kits. The SEALs and other special operations troops have been using these kits for over half a century. There are two containers for the gear in this latest version. One is a 170 gr (six ounce) container that is 101mm x 51mm x 30mm (4 x 2 x 1.2 inches), while the other is a roughly similar size soft container. Crammed into these two containers (the hard one must be rugged enough to be used for digging and cooking and able to keep contents dry when submerged) are dozens of small, but essential, items like a multitool (sort of a Swiss army knife device) a small compass, a fire starting kit, small signaling mirror, can opener, length of strong thread, and minimal fishing gear. There is also antibiotic ointment and some other first aid supplies. There are some chemical lights, a small hacksaw, a few sheets of paper, and a small pen and several other small but essential items if you find yourself on your own in hostile territory. With that in mind, each kit also includes lock-picking tools and a universal handcuff key.

For special operations troops it’s pretty standard to plan for things to go wrong and prepare many optional moves for those situations. Thus the survival kits are sort of a “Plan B” (or C, D, E, or Z).


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