Road to Operation Lion Claws XII – Setting Up for Mil-Sim Ops

Mil-Sim, or Military Simulation, is a huge part of the airsoft community. Every year, there are numerous Mil-Sim events across the country where airsofters from all around the globe gather together, dressed in military camouflage and tactical gear, to go play airsoft with objectives. One of the famous Mil-Sim Series is Operation Lion Claws Military Simulation Series. Lion Claws Military Simulation Series has been around for about 11 years. Since 2002, the participants for Lion Claws have grown larger and larger. Last year, at Lion Claws XI, there were more than 800 participants. Compared to the first year of Lion Claws, there were only 80 players. Over the ten years time, the number participants have grown ten times.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the event Black Hawk Down. Mr. John Lu, the creator of Operation Lion Claws, decided to increase the player number to 1000 players. At first, it might sound a little optimistic, but at the last Lion Claws event, the sign up literally sold out within hours. Military Simulation events are gaining a lot of popularity among airsofters, law enforcement and military personnel. You can find every professional out there at Mil-Sim events.

Last year was the first Operation Lion Claws I ever went to. My good friend Josh, also known as the Predator of Airsoft GI, went airsoft military simulation event the first time. He never experienced something this big before, and he was super excited. Since it was a Military Simulation, Josh immediately went on the Airsoft GI’s website and started looking at Tactical Gear he would be using. He looked for weeks, and bought everything he thought he needed for this huge Military Simulation event.

To start out, Josh picked the PANTAC 1000D Cordura MOLLE MOD Tactical Vest in Coyote Brown. This vest is very well designed, and the materials used by PANTAC are ptop of the line. The craftsmanship and stitching of this vest is some of the best quality, as PANTAC as the reputation of doing so. This vest has MOLLE webbing on the front, and does not have MOLLE on the back. It has a chest rig style webbing on the back, keeping this vest firmly in place on your body.

To hold magazines, Josh purchased one PANTAC 1000D Cordura MOLLE M4 / M16 Tipple Magazine Pouch right in the middle of his MOD Vest. This pouch can hold up to six (6) M4 / M16 magazine in them. Since Josh heard the term “Military Simulation” and since Operation Lion Claws is a 3 day event, Josh purchased an additional pouch for his reserve magazines. He purchased a PANTAC 1000D Cordura MOLLE M4 / M16 Double Magazine Pouch, which can hold and additional 4 magazines. He mounted this double pouch on the left side of his west, where he could access them easily.

Josh printed out a map of the AO (Area of Operation), so he needed a pouch for his map. Josh also had some cool patches that he want to display, so he purchased the PANTAC 1000D Cordura Combat Admin Pouch. This pouch has a pocket for the documents, in this case the map, and a flashlight pouch. There is also hook and loop room so Josh can attach his favorite patch on this pouch. This pouch goes right in the top middle of the vest, where there is a chest panel for that pouch.

Josh purchased a PANTAC 1000D Cordura MOLLE Vertical Utility Pouch and he mounted it on his ride sidewhere he kept his “Dead Rag” and other tools that were essential to the operation. Josh also had a PANTAC 1000D Cordura MOLLE Radio Pouch. Unfortunately, he did not use a radio at the last Operation Lion Claws, and therefore, that pouch was just for aesthetics.

As I have mentioned before, the back of the vest is just webbing holding the vest on to the operator’s body. To cover his back and potentially carry more equipment, Josh purchased the PANTAC 1000D Cordura RRV Hydration Pack. This is a very interesting pack because not only can Josh wear it like an everyday backpack; but he can also combine this pack with the MOD Vest, making 2 items into 1. So in a nut shell, when going out to play, Josh can wear this set up like a plate carrier, and he will have all the necessary equipment he needs for the game.

Since Josh was worried that Lion Claws was a 3 day event, he thought that he needed additional magazines for the operation. He purchased a NC Star, and he mounted additional 2 PANTAC 1000D M4 / M16 Single pouches on the left side of the belt. He also mounted 2 NC Star Pistol Magazine pouches on the right front side, but he never used a pistol. Lastly, Josh had an OE Tech magazine dump pouch for his expended mid capacity magazines.

After purchasing this equipment, Josh purchased a Combat Shirt from Tru Spec and a Proper BDU pants and we head out to Operation Lion Claws. We played 2 games on Saturday and 1 game on Sunday. After 3 days of full on Military Simulation action, Josh found out that there are some things that he did not like on his set up. He continued to use this set up for awhilebut eventually decided to change it. Stay tuned for the second part of this article where I will show the changes he made since Lion Claws X. I am Andrew, Stay safe, and get out and play airsoft.

One Reply to “Road to Operation Lion Claws XII – Setting Up for Mil-Sim Ops”

  • Very interested in seeing how this setup evolved. It’s pretty similar to what I was thinking of pulling together myself.

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