“Use your noggin!” A term we hear a lot growing up. It actually applies more than you think. The best thing we can do in any of life’s situations is to use our heads. Your mind is more powerful than any other tool you operate with. That being said, what are you doing to keep it safe? Hopefully protecting it with the best equipment you can get your hands on.
In the world of tactical use, there have been many advancements and upgrades in the helmet department over the years. As technology gets better, so does our gear, leaving us with more protection, but also taking away the extra weight and bulkiness. With that, we have also made many advancements on the attachments we put on our helmets. Just like with our weapon systems, it’s very easy to get carried away with putting on all the bells and whistles, some of which that can be essential and some that are completely unnecessary. When it comes to my helmet setup, one piece of equipment that is vital to the mission is the proper strobe light. Strobes have many different purposes, ranging from free fall operations with canopy illumination and identifying the stack leader, indoor and outdoor ground operations, to marking your teams position to any supporting drones and aircraft.
Back in the early 2000’s we were running the MS2000 strobe, which was big and bulky for helmet use. It wasn’t too heavy at about 4 ounces and it did it’s job, but at the time there weren’t a lot of better options out there. Fast forward to later years and we now have something that checks all the boxes and really gets the job done. The Hel-Star 6, by Core Survival is your one stop shop as far as strobes are concerned. It is a small, lightweight device coming in under 3 ounces with the battery installed (single CR123), built with an impact resistant polymer and a low profile curved frame to fit the contour of your helmet. The bottom of the casing has strong Velcro, but it also comes with 2 integrated tie down points for extra security. The whole unit is waterproof and is open water tested to 130 ft and tank tested to 300 ft. The Hel-Star 6 is also available in both black and tan color options. In such a small piece of equipment, it is really the total package. Cost-wise, depending on the distributor, the Hel-Star 6 ranges from $175 – $205. A bit on the higher end compared to other products on the market, but you get what you pay for. With the quality and functionality of this product, you won’t regret it.
The Hel-Star 6’s simple design makes it’s functionality user friendly. On the nose of the light, there is an easily accessible small switch which controls going from overt and IR settings. On the rear of the light, there is another on/off switch that changes between the different flash/steady modes. Within the 4 functions (2 modes for overt, 2 for IR), there are almost an endless amounts of configurations that Core Survival offers. Everything from changing the colors of your light (available in red, green, blue and white), to having steady or flashing lights, the flash rates (including a Morse code flash option), to the brightness of your lights as well (ranging from dim, standard, bright and extra bright options).
Now, there are many different applications when it comes to strobe lights. Whether you are using it for military use, law enforcement, search and rescue, or even as a personal outdoor survival tool, this is an important piece of life saving equipment. No matter what your application is, Core Survival has the right configuration for you. Light and strobe configurations can be requested on order, or if you and your team frequently change configurations, the Hel-Star 6 has field programming options available, but it does require a Programming Interface Module (PIM) which is sold separately.
Personally, I have been using the Hel-Star 6 LE Tactical model which comes in a standard configuration that may not need specific functions compared to military use. In the overt/visible setting, it is standard equipped with a flashing green strobe in mode 1 and a flashing red strobe in mode 2. Depending on your team’s SOP’s, these options can help identify and distinguish between Team leaders and other members. In the IR setting, mode 1 has a dim flashing strobe and mode 2 is a brighter steady strobe. When working under night vision, this is tremendously helpful when having to identify team leaders when its harder to visually see the faces of your other team members. This system is simple, but has been very effective when working with the local law enforcement agencies.
Core Survival has gone above and beyond to bring us a quality piece of equipment that is very user friendly and easy to operate without having to visually see the unit. The Hel-Star 6 is extremely versatile and the only strobe that offers personalized functionality to all users. For anyone in the tactical and shooting industry, I can’t recommend the Hel-Star 6 enough for all of your strobe uses. I know I will be a lifelong customer.
For more information on the the Hel-Star 6 and all of the other products offered by Core Survival, head to www.coresurvival.com.
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