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SOCOM ACH?


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Just picked this ACH at my friend's shop today.  I was curious if anyone could match up this paint pattern with any specific unit?  The only info my friend had was a guy in the Army picked it up during his service as a gift.  Any help is appreciated!

 

Jacob

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DocCollector1441

It would be hard to say, I know in my last guard unit we had an influx of guys from the Ranger Regiment and many of them had personal ACHs they had painted in a similar manner. 

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During my last deployment to Iraq in 2008, the Rangers used a paint scheme just like this. Tough to say for sure without some other form of evidence...

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Cap Camouflage Pattern I

This general style of painting through net/mesh is widely popular in many military units aswell as with civilians. Unless someone recognizes these exact colors and size of net as particular to a certain unit it will remain a mystery.

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As mentioned above, it's almost impossible to ID a helmet paint job to a specific unit or for that matter is it is even painted while in service. I'd say at least 80% of the MICH/ACH helmets I see that are painted have been done for "fun" or to increase the coolness/sell-ability of the helmet. Very few units were simply allowed to paint their helmets and of those, most of the them were required to strip the camo paint off or repaint it to the regular grey/green color.

With that said, at a glance I don't like the helmet you posted. It's just too "new" looking, new chin strap, new pads, new paint job. There's a small chance it is authentic, but for me it would be a pass.

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19 hours ago, saxecoburg said:

I'd say at least 80% of the MICH/ACH helmets I see that are painted have been done for "fun" or to increase the coolness/sell-ability of the helmet.

With that said, at a glance I don't like the helmet you posted. It's just too "new" looking, new chin strap, new pads, new paint job. There's a small chance it is authentic, but for me it would be a pass.

 

The same issues I've seen and would have with this helmet.  For me, I'd have to have the guy's full story about when/why it was painted because as Saxecoburg pointed out, it looks too fresh.  I have one in my collection that the paint is pristine on because the guy got it ready for deployment, but then was issued a new lid and didn't use it.  Helmet has been all over the place, but without that history, I'd have passed on it.

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Thanks for the input.  I wish I had more info on it.  I attached some better pictures of the paint.  There are many scratches throughout the paint.  Some of the liner is faded as well.

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SOCOM typically used the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) which, in outward appearance looks identical to the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) but the MICH was SOCOM specific item, first tested in the late 90's and issued out in the early 2000's (SF and the Ranger Regiment were using them as of 2001). 

The pattern really is not a great indicator of SOCOM provenance. The Ranger Regiment used a variety of standardized patters, from the painted mesh pattern, to solid Ranger green and coyote brown colors.

 

SF was even more schizophrenic, with patterns different from individual on a single ODA, let alone an entire company. 

 

The MICH was originally issued with black gel pads, not the ACU green color in this helmet, though most of those were easily changed over time. I had both. Also, the helmet in this picture appears to be the ACU green (grey?) color, common to the ACH, while the MICH helmets were produced in woodland green. 

 

Finally, the NODs mount is the regular Army variant. The SOCOM variant was black, though this one does appear to have the SOCOM variant NODs elbow on it. 

 

That's not to say this isn't a SOCOM helmet. Later on, ACHs were issued to the support troops in an SF Group as the MICHs were issued only to 18-series soldiers. This helmet could very have belonged an SF soldier, painted either at the direction of his unit or by an ODA they were attached to. 

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My helmet is painted similar and so were a bunch of the guys in my unit. I’m not SF. Many many guys paint their ACH’s and it’s usually an individually done thing. None really match. The only common denominators usually is net and the type and color of spray paint. 

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On 8/12/2020 at 3:38 PM, elh1311 said:

SOCOM typically used the Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH) which, in outward appearance looks identical to the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) but the MICH was SOCOM specific item, first tested in the late 90's and issued out in the early 2000's (SF and the Ranger Regiment were using them as of 2001). 

The MICH was originally issued with black gel pads, not the ACU green color in this helmet, though most of those were easily changed over time. I had both. Also, the helmet in this picture appears to be the ACU green (grey?) color, common to the ACH, while the MICH helmets were produced in woodland green. 

 

Finally, the NODs mount is the regular Army variant. The SOCOM variant was black, though this one does appear to have the SOCOM variant NODs elbow on it.

 

A few issues here that need addressed, but some great solid info.

 

The MICH (TC2000 after acceptance) helmet was initially issued out to SOCOM, but they did eventually make their way into the regular supply. This is because as you mentioned, they're indistinguishable from the ACH and could be turned in as long as they were the correct size as what was on the record.  I've got a few TC2000's that were issued out and used by line units.

 

With the padding, all of these helmets had foam padding, not gel.  Some pads made from "Zorbium" do feel much different, but even those are listed as being made of foam.  The helmets were also came factory painted tan, with a variety of pre-drilled holes for mounts (one, three, or none).

 

The standard shroud was black for everyone until the tan/gold ones came out in 2007.

 

Credit for a lot of this information (less any errors I make of course) goes to Pump 150  and his encyclopedic knowledge he shares.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

On 8/21/2020 at 7:09 AM, RedLegGI said:

A few issues here that need addressed, but some great solid info.

 

The MICH (TC2000 after acceptance) helmet was initially issued out to SOCOM, but they did eventually make their way into the regular supply. This is because as you mentioned, they're indistinguishable from the ACH and could be turned in as long as they were the correct size as what was on the record.  I've got a few TC2000's that were issued out and used by line units.

 

With the padding, all of these helmets had foam padding, not gel.  Some pads made from "Zorbium" do feel much different, but even those are listed as being made of foam.  The helmets were also came factory painted tan, with a variety of pre-drilled holes for mounts (one, three, or none).

 

The standard shroud was black for everyone until the tan/gold ones came out in 2007.

 

Credit for a lot of this information (less any errors I make of course) goes to Pump 150  and his encyclopedic knowledge he shares.

 

 

The ACH I was issued in like Dec 2004 was the darker green with black pads. These were when they were still new in the box and even included the manual... I don't remember which it was though. The pads didn't feel like foam, and would harden when cold, and in high heat seemed to expand to the point of bulging. They felt like a gel insole to me.

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8 hours ago, Unicorn said:

The ACH I was issued in like Dec 2004 was the darker green with black pads. These were when they were still new in the box and even included the manual... I don't remember which it was though. The pads didn't feel like foam, and would harden when cold, and in high heat seemed to expand to the point of bulging. They felt like a gel insole to me.

 

My pads acted differently as well, but I never had issues with bulging.  From some of the earliest reporting in 2003, the pads are listed as foam from the guys trialing them. (https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2003/1/31/2003february-special-ops-helmet-to-be-fielded-armywide).  The patent itself listed them as foam as well and gel isn't mentioned (https://patents.google.com/patent/US7765622). 

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The pads are like a viscoelastic foam that sort of take shape to your head.   Made from similar material that Oregon Aero had been using for lots of applications including those helmet liner upgrade kits for the old PASGT Kpots.

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19 hours ago, mohawkALSE said:

The pads are like a viscoelastic foam that sort of take shape to your head.   Made from similar material that Oregon Aero had been using for lots of applications including those helmet liner upgrade kits for the old PASGT Kpots.

 

I was just looking it up when I noticed your post. 
Foam seems to be a fairly broad term and some types will feel different.
I was also just playing with a set of newer pads I have and I might have a bit of a faulty memory. When they weren't extremely hot they did seem like a memory foam. It was in the extreme heat that they reminded me more of a gel. Bulging might have been a bit of an exaggeration, but the fabric wrapping the foam seemed to be full, and all sides slightly rounded out. Kind of like a full air mattress. So slight bulging might have been a better term.

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