Anyone send flashlights to deployed soldiers?

We have a couple of young men who were just deployed to Afghanistan with our local National Guard A10 unit. One of them loves flashlights, so our men’s Bible Study group wants to send them a care package. In it I would like to include a couple of decent flashlights. Does anyone know if we will have trouble getting the CR123’s sent overseas, or should we stick with AA’s?

I appreciate any insight!

A fellow law student who was deployed in Afghanistan told me that they were issued CR123s for their Surefire lights on night patrols. That said, I would check with those particular young men to see what their situation is like.

Ask what is available in terms of batteries, or if rechargeables are a better option.

See if they have an outlet to recharge li ion, if they do i would recommend a constant current light, name brand li ion and a plug in charger

It’s easy to get both sizes. Many times batteries are swapped out before complete depletion because you don’t want it to fail when you really need it.

good point, there are many lights that will run on CR123 and li ion

I can’t imagine that it would be a issue shipping 123’s. You could always call the commanding officer. They can usually tell you what you can can can’t ship. It is also listed on the respective services website usually. I can’t find the Unit you listed.

It’s the 122nd fighter wing out of Fort Wayne.

IndyArcher, I am just guessing here but like RMM said I think they have CR123 primaries, for their for their issued sure fires, as usual I myself am a little short on cash , but I would find a way to try and contribute to such a get cause.kudos to you and your Bible group!

The X6 from the group buy may run on 2xcr123 primaries (not tried yet), that would be an awesome light for this purpose. (Afghanistan conquered thanks to BLF )

They generally use a light either to read buy or for normal use just like we do . A small AA light with a decent low is a smart light to give to these men and women . they are always asking for batteries as well. i'm not sure if that means they don't have the ability to charge or just don't want to bother . In real life a flashlight isn't a contest . it's just a flashlight . they appreciate a nice little light as much as we do .

Reading and clearing a room, in addition to anything that we would do - that’s probably what it will get used for. Easy to carry, dependable and really simple to operate.

I disagree slightly here, maybe with the majority of the population a flashlight isnt a contest, but young guys in the military are very competitive (they have to be). When my buddies come over to go caving / tunneling in small groups (guys who care nothing about flashlights and would be fine using crap from walmart) whoever gets here first always wants to know what lights are the brightest. Everybody, no matter flashaholic or not always wants the brightest light, it’s just fun. Like everyone wants the fastest car or the biggest gun.

That said I have a new Olight s20R on preorder for a non-flashaholic buddy this year for Xmas, built in 18650 (which I’ll be swapping to a 3400) but also able to run on 2x123’s if power can’t be found or if the charger is back at base. I like them cause they have enough modes to be fun (and operate) but they’re very simple to use.

As I said before, I vote for the CR123 for a soldier. Packaged CR123 batteries are not a problem to ship if they are with or within the equipment, as in checked baggage for instance. There are restrictions (cargo planes only) if shipped by themselves.


Not trying to call you out but are you sure about that? I havent done any research on flying with CR123’s (so you may be right) but I have flew with Li-ion before and you can not have ANY li-ion in your checked luggage (other than cells in NON-servicable devices like laptops or toothbrushes or camera equipment). All Li’ion’s that can be removed from the device (like a flashlight or like spare laptop pack’s) must be installed in its device (or in factory retail packaging, or sealed housing for pack’s) and kept in your carry-on so should a fire happen it can be dealt with.

When I fly I usually take 5-6 lights with 18650’s in them simply as spare’s, I will only use my one light but its easier to carry spare’s that way with less hassle.

edit: just checked your links, dont have tome to read them right now but apparently you did your research (thanks for that). Last time I flew was about 2 months ago and at that time I had no problems using the above described method for transporting Li-ion (again strictly Li-ion, not CR123).

I just talked with my buddy from school again about this. He said that their sourcing guys could get them CR123s, but that they weren't the Surefire/name brand batteries and that the battery life was abysmal. Some of the soldiers were also issued Pelican lights.

He said that they were allowed to run whatever gear they wanted on their rifle, but that the best thing to do would be to get in contact with them individually to find out what their restrictions are and what they have access to.

Best of luck!

International flying out of here at least (Australia), some airlines insist you carry your loose or torch type li ion batteries, others insist they are stowed in luggage in the hold. This was when I was looking into a gift for someone traveling OS at the start of the year. No idea if its changed since MH370 though.

Not a problem. There are FAA regulations and there are IATA regulations. FAA is more restrictive. In January, regs become even more restrictive. The regs say that:

Lithium metal batteries transported as cargo will be restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only from 1 January 2015. The prohibition on the carriage on passenger aircraft only applies to lithium metal batteries when shipped by themselves, and does not apply to batteries packed with equipment or contained in equipment.

But there is a procedure that must be followed for manufacturers to be certified as meeting the guidelines for packaging.