This is an ebay pick-up from a few months ago that I wanted to post here and finally made the time. From what I have been told there were a couple of O2 members here that were watching this auction. I was really fortunate and happy to add this piece to my collection. I am always looking for Al Qaeda, Haqanni, Taliban, and other insurgent and enemy forces items. This is an improvised combat vest captured from a Taliban fighter during 2007 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The captured vest is fashioned from a formal suit coat vest with multiple additional modifications. The front and side areas of the garment have been opened at the seams and a stiff blue in color canvas material has been inserted and sewn into place. Note the very crude stitching to the front areas of the vest where the material was re-sewn. This helps the vest to hang properly and assists in allowing access to the numerous added and modified pockets of the garment. Most of the pockets have zippers and they have been added to the exterior and interior of the vest.. The exterior of the vest has four pockets; two original larger slip pockets (lower) and two added zippered pockets (upper). The interior of the vest has been modified by adding five pockets, all zippered. It is actually very well made with all of the modified and augmented pockets fully lined in several varieties of scrap cloth. The original front buttons are retained but their matching holes were removed in the modification process. The back side of the vest is essentially unmodified, fashioned from the original thin pin stripe pattern fabric and still retaining the adjusting belt strap. There is a field repaired tear to the upper reverse side of the vest. The inside of the vest has the aforementioned additional pockets as well as an added color Sergeant's rank chevron which appears to be US military. Intriguing to find this US insignia on a piece of enemy uniform kit. The chevron has been hand sewn to the garment but does not go through the pocket lining. In other words, it was affixed while the vest was being assembled/modified and concurrent with the lining and stiffening material being added. The interior of the vest also contains the original manufacturers information "Made in for All Season Dormel England of Super Cashmere Wool." The vest was being sold by a third party on behalf of the veteran and included a 3x5 index card with the annotation "Taliban NCO Vest Captured in Musa Qalah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan 2007." Numerous US military units were involved in operations in this area during that period so I am still researching and hoping to gather further details from the seller. Numerous photographs of the vest are attached below. I have also attached several open source photographs of Taliban fighters wearing similar modified vests.
Obverse and reverse views with the vest on a clothing hanger:
Views of the added and modified pockets (exterior front - overall and in detail):
Interior view to show the vest's original tailor's information:
Overall view of the reverse:
Internal view with the original material adjusted and pulled away in order to expose the heavy blue in color canvas like stiffening material:
Another view of the front exterior with the veteran's annotated file card. Note the crude edge stitching:
As mentioned above, here are a few open source photographs of Taliban fighters wearing similar modified vests to the example I have shown. Please keep in mind that the use of various types of vests are ubiquitous with insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Just a few quick Internet inquiries will demonstrate this. I have only included photographs of vest examples similar to the piece from/in my collection. In other words, modified pieces made from suit coat material, their matching vests, or other men's dress clothing. Photographic evidence of these specific variation improvised combat vests proved somewhat more difficult to locate. Below are some examples:
Two views here of the same group of insurgents. Note the vests on the man in the cab of the "techincal" and the first fighter on the left. In the second pic the man on the left with suit coat vest and Kalashnikov is seen again.
Additional photographs of these Taliban insurgent's vests in wear:
Comments are always welcome. Thanks for looking .......