Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?
If you are a civilian contractor, you definitely want to pay attention to the tips that follow. Life in the field and on post can suck ass and inflict upon you long stints of boredom; plain and simple. The conveniences and ‘On demand’ lifestyle we are used to back home just doesn’t exist in the foreign Countries we are battling in today.
..But here’s the good news, there are electronics available that can make your life in the field a bit more sufferable.
I consider all of the electronics below essential gear and pack all of these items with me on the road every mission. I am always looking to cut corners when it’s a safe thing to do and create more enjoyable free time for myself as well as provide for some creature comforts. These tools and devices do just that.
MP3 Player or IPOD.
Music can drown out the madness of the third world and help you center before missions or shifts. I am constantly banging to tunes to get me in the right mood for work – Metal, Rock, Grunge…you name it. If it motivates me, I am all about it. My IPOD and headphones also helps me decompress when I come in off the road as well. I can’t tell you how many times I have passed out with ear buds stuffed in my head. If you don’t have a way to tune out the drama, buy an IPOD or the like and get it on.
The Black Berry Communications Device.
You’d be surprised at how affordable some service plans can be to get unlimited internet, email, and phone access in remote areas. I have a Berry and service plan that allows me to crunch out emails, and make essential calls all over Iraq with reception and service that’s reliable.
The Black Berry is an indispensible tool for those cruising the roads in the Red Zone. It’s a professional’s tool that allows you to keep in touch with command as well as the sweetheart you have at home. If you don’t dig Black Berries, look at an Android or IPhone of your choice. The point is – get a device and stay connected. Life can be a lot less complicated if you stay on top of things in a timely fashion.
NetBook or Laptop.
Access to reports, movies, pictures, and internet service can’t be had conveniently in a lot of places if you don’t carry your own computer gear. Netbooks are swimming in the $350.00 range these days so there’s no excuse to not be packing a computer on your journeys.
I have a netbook squared away with Microsoft Office that saves me tons of time by being able to write reports in the field as well a catch a movie when I have some down time. Computers are just as essential on the battlefield today as they are when you’re sipping a Starbucks coffee in a local bookstore.
For more info on laptops check out ELECTRONIC GEAR: Tough Laptops for Hard Use Environments
Media Storage Devices.
It’s amazing just how fast you’ll fill up a media storage device these days with things past porn, music, and mission records. Have a couple of these on hand to back up necessary files. You won’t be sorry. Data loss in the field is a fact of life due to hard use and environmental conditions. Be ready for this. (and back up your porn files 1st)
Camera or Video Recorder.
You can’t catch those ‘cool guy’ or ‘I was there’ snapshots without these tools. They are also good when documenting incidents and are useful for a number of other intelligence collection duties and routines. Have both. I carry a SONY Camera as well as a Flip Video.
What Electronic Gear do you consider essential in the field?
Editor at Large
Bubba G. is an active protective professional presently performing contract duties in the Middle East and has well over 15 years of military, high risk contracting, international training and martial arts experience.