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Old 02-12-2018, 11:04 AM   #391
Kalzazz
 
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

If a Federal Employee goes to buy vests the safest thing is to buy whatever vest is listed on his agencies TOE since he can easily defend that choice 'our agency determined this is the appropriate vest'

Federal agencies will have contract security staff provided by GSA, buying whatever vest they issue is probably another safe bet
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:14 AM   #392
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

This should link to the body armor category so you can see variouus vendors and such

https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/Elib...mNumber=426+1B
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:26 AM   #393
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
If a Federal Employee goes to buy vests the safest thing is to buy whatever vest is listed on his agencies TOE since he can easily defend that choice 'our agency determined this is the appropriate vest'

Federal agencies will have contract security staff provided by GSA, buying whatever vest they issue is probably another safe bet
He is able to determine, from what his boss doesn't say, that there is some reason why they don't lend or transfer a vest from their stores to these people.

He guesses these must be federal informants or someone of that sort, who are being threatened or have for some other reason been able to argue that Homeland Security Investigations should provide them with some protection, but that the Department of Homeland Security does not want them to be caught doing the criminal things that they most assuredly still do, while wearing vests that are marked 'DHS', 'ICE' or something similar.

Actually, his boss probably mentioned that he should make a cash withdrawal and buy the vests in cash. He can show his appropriate ID and all, and obviously he needs a receipt, but he should get the receipt in his own name... or any damn name, just so long as it doesn't say ICE, HSI or DHS. Just don't leave a trail that reporters can follow and confirm easily. They've had enough of that, with Fast and the Furious, Project Gunrunner, Rodriquez Dorado and 'Lalo'.

Also, the concealable body armour that Homeland Security Investigations issues costs $1,500+ on the open market and is reputed to have cost them $5,000 at some point. It's a ridiculous mark-up, as will sometimes happen with government procuring, but it means that there is absolutely no way that anyone who cares about money at all will buy those vests commercially.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-12-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:53 AM   #394
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

I'm not sure how well marked vests are. My experience with thrust vests is they lack serial numbers and for inventory purposes are marked with a sharpie.

The government Does Not Like mysterious spending of money. Buying a keyboard, ink cartridge or bag of flour outside of the normal supply chain requires the moving of heaven and earth

If they are like thrust vests I'm used to, they eventually start to wear out, so the agency notes them as worn out, has a couple people destroy them and witness the destruction, and orders new ones per their TOE

So pick out two vests from inventory, file they were damaged/worn out, then witness there destruction but instead of destroying them just redact the inventory numbers etc

I would find that much more believable as a discrete off the books way of making vests happen then prying 1000 bucks off a credit card in straight cash
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:08 PM   #395
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

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I'm not sure how well marked vests are. My experience with thrust vests is they lack serial numbers and for inventory purposes are marked with a sharpie.

The government Does Not Like mysterious spending of money. Buying a keyboard, ink cartridge or bag of flour outside of the normal supply chain requires the moving of heaven and earth
We may consider Heaven and Earth moved, as unknown to the employee whose part you play, the government has authorised almost $50,000 in various other 'black' outlays of cash in connection to this operation. Of course, getting more is still like pulling teeth, whereas much more expensive things, like UAS flights, are easy to get, because they don't make accountants unhappy.

But, yes, the fact that no one likes to have to fiddle the books is one of the reasons why these vests need to be as cheap as is practical, without actually not working. Easier to hide $400 than $1,200.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
If they are like thrust vests I'm used to, they eventually start to wear out, so the agency notes them as worn out, has a couple people destroy them and witness the destruction, and orders new ones per their TOE

So pick out two vests from inventory, file they were damaged/worn out, then witness there destruction but instead of destroying them just redact the inventory numbers etc
Ah, you mean the previously issued vests? That could work, I just have to find out what they were issued before...

Even so, as the actual reason the boss wants this kept secret is that the operation may be entirely illegal and he doesn't want any paper trail leading directly to him, it's still possible that some poor flunky will be ordered to do something that ensures that in the worst case, he can be fired for misapprehension of funds, with anything he says losing all credibility.

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I would find that much more believable as a discrete off the books way of making vests happen then prying 1000 bucks off a credit card in straight cash
No one is getting $1,000. That would be a disappointment and you don't want to be a disappointment, do you? I thought you were a dedicated, resourceful employee.

If you could keep it down to under $500, that would great... mmmkay?

Another possibility is buying the vest from police impound stores or the federal equivalent, assuming that apparently undamaged body armour that is not active evidence in a crime suffers the same fate as seized automobiles and other things do with the government here, i.e. sold at auctions that appear to care only about receiving money and sometimes even forget to check any identification if you pay in cash, putting down almost any name you like for the transfer papers.

Buying something in the name of an entirely fictional company would be easy to do here, at least, as despite the theretical possibility of looking it up before processing the sale, I've never seen them do it if they've already gotten paid.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:20 PM   #396
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

Ideally the agency has enough vests that when an agent comes on shift he can get a clean, dry vest in the correct size

Less ideally he gets a vest that isn't the right size and is still steaming hot and soaked from last shifts sweat and a hasty dosing with cleaner

I can't confirm it to be true, but I have certainly heard stories that in order to try to help increase the chances of the first happy scenario, old and damaged vests that were technically written off as destroyed often make it back into the armory
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:35 PM   #397
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

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Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
Ideally the agency has enough vests that when an agent comes on shift he can get a clean, dry vest in the correct size

Less ideally he gets a vest that isn't the right size and is still steaming hot and soaked from last shifts sweat and a hasty dosing with cleaner
That... isn't how it works, I believe. Even police here, who wear much less expensive vests, which aren't really concealable, have personal vests issued to them, which they can keep in their lockers or take home, whatever. I can't imagine that the same doesn't apply to US Federal Law Enforcement Officers (1811). It's something they sign for, like their personal weapons, I imagine.

In any case, it isn't as if detectives of Homeland Security Investigations always show up in a bull pen to collect uniform and gear belt in preparation for their shifts. They work office hours, when possible, and work late when required. It's investigative work, not patrol or guard duty.

They have their issue weapons with them where ever they are (or stored at home) and they usually store any tactical gear they are authorised to carry in their vehicles.

I've seen security firms where knife vests were passed around when people came on and off shift, but I've never heard of detectives doing it with their concealable body armour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
I can't confirm it to be true, but I have certainly heard stories that in order to try to help increase the chances of the first happy scenario, old and damaged vests that were technically written off as destroyed often make it back into the armory
I don't think that ICE/HSI has that kind of a funding problem. They've never had any problems getting their budgets approved by Congress, even with lots of fancy tactical gear in them every year.

DHS replaced an entire order of vests, some tens of thousands, due to a single failure which was traced to deterioration in sunlight or heat. It was early Ballistic Polymer, I believe, which is why they now use a vest made from a proprietory blend of Improved Kevlar or Kevlar and Ballistic Polymer.

It's a lot heavier than a NIJ Level IIIA vest designed with 'Cutting-Edge Armor Design' made from Ballistic Polymer, but it is supposed to avoid this potential flaw. Actually, the Armor Express Razor III also has a decent chance to stop rounds with velocities about 30-40% higher than the minimum to rate NIJ Level IIIA, so I reckon the vest has higher DR than the minimum for that NIJ rating. Perhaps DR 15/5 rather than DR 12/3 for many older or cheaper vests rated NIJ Level IIIA.

Even the best commerical models of body armour are usually significantly heavier than the 'CEAD' makes Ballistic Polymer and I've never seen anything even approach the ballpark of Improved Ballistic Polymer. I suspect the design system is anticipating current R&D and that some of the TL8 armours are not actually commercially available in 2015-2018, but may become so in the future.
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Old 02-12-2018, 02:00 PM   #398
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalzazz View Post
This should link to the body armor category so you can see variouus vendors and such

https://www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov/Elib...mNumber=426+1B
Thanks.

Know where I might start searching for DHS contracts in 2005-2013 or so?

If not, I'll massage Google some more. It usually comes through in the end, with sufficient refining of search parameters.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:36 PM   #399
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Default Stun Batons

One PC, Special Agent Ilana Rubio, already carries an arsenal of weapons. I don't think she has a TASER, but I might be misremembering. It wouldn't have been a problem to sign one out of stores on the way out of Fort Bliss, if she wanted to.

However useful for peace officer duties, TASERs significantly lack panache, pizzaz, je ne sais quoi. They are daytime reruns of 'Cops', not black ops technothriller supersoldiers.

Ilana is a formidable martial artist. She's a student of American Kickboxing, Kachin Bando, Kachin kickboxing (see Lethwei in MA) and Filipino Martial Arts (see Escrima). Among other things, she's an expert with a rattan stick... or baton. To that end, she's packing a high-quality expandable baton, an RCB Peacekeeper, tough enough to stand up to her supersoldier ST 20.

While blunt trauma inflicted with ST 20 will stop most any human threat, it will also tend to leave the subject crippled for life, if he survives. 3d+2 cr is the kind of damage that not only breaks bones, but shatters them into an unrecognisable mess. Sure, she can pull her blows, but with an old-school bludgeon, it's hard to stop a determined foe without potentially doing a lot of damage.

Electric stun weapons might have a miniscule percentile chance of causing a lethal heart attack, but it's orders of magnitude less than the risks involved in hitting people with hard sticks. Also, stun batons look awesomely cool.

One model that seems to show up a lot in visual media is the O-Mega Star Warrior, probably because it arcs elecriticity along the entire shaft, which looks sci-fi as dope. I don't know if it works outside movies, though, but I'm hoping it does. Or, if not, that some reputable model of stun baton can be found that is equally cool.

Most models of stun batons seem to cost between $15 to $60. I was wondering if there were any models that were $100+ and worth the extra money. Are there Fine quality stun batons?

Ilana would need a model that was rugged, very tough and reliable. After all, in a crisis, she just might be forced to hit someone with it. She'd also want a well-balanced and wieldy baton with a large enough charge surface to be able to use the stun setting with both swings and thrusts using FMA stick techniques, i.e. Saber skill in GURPS (I dislike using Smallsword skill for sticks and have changed it in any camaigns where I have responsibility for rules).

Being able to conceal it is good, but it might be nice to have two different models to choose from, a compact, concealable model that might use Knife, Main-Gauche or Shortsword (up to 12" long, I guess?), and a full-size, heavy duty, fighting stun baton (preferably 16" or longer), using Saber or Shortsword.

The compact one probably doesn't need to be able to use the stun attack along the entire shaft or even a particularly large charge surface, but it's kind of a must with the larger one, for coolness reasons. Unless all such models have dramatic real world drawbacks.

Does anyone have suggestions for brands or models of particularly high quality stun batons?
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:47 PM   #400
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Default Re: [Modern Firepower] Technothriller gear for secret DHS team in 2017

If I needed reliable body armor, and wasn't really expecting the fragmentation threat to be great, I'd just get a plate carrier and plates online. Rifle-proof kevlar with plates is damned bulky and difficult to move around in, so most people who have the option prefer a carrier and level IV+ plates.

Well, actually I already have both, of course, but as an answer to your question...
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