Land Navigation during beast

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by USMA $WAG, May 29, 2013.

  1. USMA $WAG

    USMA $WAG Member

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    I am assuming we will be doing Land Nav, both day and night, during Beast. If so are we issued a light for night Nav and is it recommended/allowed for us to bring our own red light headlamp? Thanks!
     
  2. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    There were changes in Land Nav for 2016, but DS (2015) did not have a red headlamp and did very well in CBT Land Nav. I don't recall him mentioning night land nav for CBT.

    For CFT they were using NVG for many of the exercises so you could not use them anyway. (But night movement / land nav was a big part of that)

    Things can change year to year though.
     
  3. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    2015 did not do night land nav during CBT because we lost a classmate during Land Nav training.

    That being said, I highly recommend a red light headlamp. You will use it for all sorts of stuff (digging through your ruck in the middle of the night, setting up a hooch after dark, checking weapons, etc.). Make sure you buy one that does not need to click through several white light modes before turning red (energizer). PETZL makes several great versions.
     
  4. lightfoot

    lightfoot Member

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    My company did night Land Nav...and we got to use our flashlights "sparingly."
    But as BigBear pointed out, you more than likely won't have to do night Land Nav.
     
  5. robinhood17

    robinhood17 USMA Cadet

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    Our year did night land nav...but some companies didn't (weather dependent)

    They issue you a flashlight with a "red Light"

    but I brought a headlamp that had a red light on it that could be adjusted for brightness, and a white light function. It came in handy when trying to set up gear that needed both hands, or during night land nav when you needed a very low light.
     
  6. RSR

    RSR Member

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    My DS had the same type of headlamp as Stephanie and he also told me that it came in very handy and he was glad he had it.
     
  7. USMA $WAG

    USMA $WAG Member

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    I have been looking at some made by PETZL, specifically the XP2. Have you ever used or known anyone with a Black diamond storm or ICON they are roughly the same price and the black diamonds seem better tech wise, but I have heard the PETZL have the best red light which would be the main thing I was using it for.
     
  8. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Doesn't using flashlight attract attention to you?
     
  9. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    It will attract an Arty sim from a lanewalker in later FTX's. At least that was the experience in DS's CFT company....

    As he was one of the (un)lucky ones stuck with NODs, the cause & effect relationship was quite clear!

    Might be ok for non-tactical stuff in CBT and general backpacking.... But don't count on using them around NVG's, or if your night vision is important to you!

    A too bright red light can be worse for night vision than a properly dimmed white or blue/green light. And with NVG's the typical backpacking red lights might as well be a flare! Petzl does make some that are supposedly NVG safe.

    Maybe others can comment on current regular army practice is, I'm more familiar with current Research from a pilots perspective.
     
  10. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

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    Hawk, sounds like good advice, but could you please translate for us civilians?
     
  11. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    • Arty Sim- Artillery simulator. Super loud firework the size of a shaving can used to simulate an incoming artillery shell including the whistle.
    • FTX- field training exercise... In USMA context things like CFT & CLDT
    • Lanewalker- Evaluator or referee in typically assigned to a unit during an FTX. At USMA its normally a regular Army senior NCO or officer keeping the cadets out of trouble and making the exercise realistic. (if they get a good one)
    • NVG- Night Vision Goggles (or glasses). About the size of a large pair of binoculars. Lets the user largely see in the dark. But is also vulnerable to bright lights like flashlights, even red ones if not extremely dim.
    • NODS-Night Optics Device. NVG when worn clipped on the front of the helmet. Really a double meaning as it makes you want to nod due to the weight. Think large binocs attached to the bill of a hat, very hard on the neck.
    • CBT- Cadet basic training (beast)
    • CFT- cadet field training ("Buckner" for rising yuks)

    Context: :unhappy: "the lanewalker threw an arty sim when some guy in 3 turned on his red light to get his woobie out of his ruck... Penalized us with a bunch of casualties and had to reposition, which really sucked at 0300"
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Hawk's a civilian, too, IIRC, though well versed in many things.

    NVG - night vision goggle (not glasses).
    NOD - night observation device. The term NOD is mostly a ground-pounder term, and is an all-encompassing term for any low-light vision device. It evolved in the early days of night optics when the devices were larger and not wearable (like a starlight or Nitehog scope).

    The term NVG was born out of the adaptation of night optics for pilots, which required dual monocular vision (one tube for each eye). This led to the first goggles, which later gave birth to the whole AN/AVS line (also called ANVIS).

    So if you hear someone say "NVD" or "NOD" they are almost certainly a ground soldier.
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I was being sarcastic. Typical Army Land Nav only allows flashlight use for map check during night land nav.

    The title makes it sound like using flashlight during movement . . .
     
  14. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Yep, and a decidedly low-speed one at that!! (Though I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express and took tour during PPW)

    Tried to make that clear in my earlier post: "Maybe others can comment on current regular army practice is, I'm more familiar with current Research from a pilots perspective."

    Scout has probably forgotten more about usage of Aviation oriented night vision systems than I will ever know. My insight is more around how they work technically, various generations, who makes them and where, etc.

    I will say that some of the terminology has taken on broader use. The technology also somewhat split now across aviation & infantry lines. AN/AVS is aviation centric. AN/PVS is soldier (non-aviation) centric.

    From DS's description what they used at USMA training was older tech PVS-7 "cyclops". (But maybe a cadet can comment) I'll just say that your average yacht or podunk police department has newer/better NVG. And even some civvy's.

    Hold or wear a PVS-7 and you'll see why the term NOD is a double entendre. It also has a distinct problem in that it's a monocular device, yet blocks both eyes. OK for some purposes, less than optimal for others. Newer PVS devices are monocular and much lighter/smaller. And scout is (as usual) right, officially NOD is army-speak for "Night Observation Device", though that's not as commonly known, nor universal across branches. You'll hear both in use.

    The problem with improper use of flashlights (even red ones) is that the PVS's autogate (blank) around bright lights. Which is not what you want to have happen when on watch, or similar. Since they are sensitive down into infrared ranges, the red lights might as well be bright white.

    But we've gone far afield. Next thing you know we'll have PVS-14's listed on the suggested Beast packing list!!!

    My point was mainly that while a headlamp may be handy early on, it's not required and will most likely not be that useful once into the later USMA field training phases.

    You can revisit when headed for ranger as recent grads are saying they found their headlamp invaluable.
     
  15. lightfoot

    lightfoot Member

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    Some "luckier" cadets get the NODS that only cover 1 eye (I don't remember what they're called.)

    If given the option, just say no to the NODS. They are not worth the trouble of having to constantly worry about breaking/losing them. Also, depth perception goes out the window. I think I found more branches and logs with my legs and ankles than I did with the NODS :yllol:
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Those would be PVS-14s, most likely.
     
  17. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    This is what I use: http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/headlamps/specialized/tactikka
    You don't really need much "tech"
     

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