Go to desktop

The "Navy Seals" from the Canary Islands

Who has not heard of the Navy Seals by now? The “frogmen” are one of the most popular special operations units among the general public due to all the media attention they have received in recent years. And yet, it is not just noise, these operators are ready for action in the most demanding situations on sea, land and air (hence the acronym: Sea, Air and Land). For the reenactors of this unit in the airsoft community that could be a problem, but not for the GRATs, they are prepared to display their love for this unit in any type of terrain, with the same level of demand with which the real unit executes its missions.

I think one of the first times I remember seeing you was at a “Geardos Party” back in 2009, could it be? In case there is someone who does not know about these gatherings, can you tell us what they were like?

In around 2008 we decided to focus almost exclusively on MILSIM and the modern "SEAL" reenactment. 

A member of our team was co-founder of the legendary GEARDOS.ES forum, which is why we had the opportunity to participate in on of the famous “Geardos Party” organized by the more than well-known “LordSex”, with people from the Barcelona area. That "Geardos Party", in particular, brought together people from Madrid, Barcelona and the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. 

It was a very positive experience and we have very fond memories of the event. It was the perfect opportunity to spend almost two weeks sleeping between surrounded by, literally, a hundred kilos of SEAL and DEVGRU gear. That room was a museum, it was madness.

You have a lot of wardrobe essentials, how many different types of kits do each of the team have? And is it all original? (If you do guided tours to see it, please get me tickets).

As for the kits, the truth is we do have a wide variety. Most of these kits are designed to be an asset as much as possible when we practice MILSIM, which is why we have preferred to prioritize some items over others.

The issue of the kits is something that, perhaps, I should admit that we have gone absolutely mad. Likewise, we have backpacks of various capacities depending on what we are going to operate, also in AOR1 and AOR2 patterns. 

In addition, practically most of the team mates have uniforms for maritime environments, such as the “MAS GRAY” by Bluewater Defense. Given where we live on an island, we live surrounded by water. It would have been a waste not to implement these very specific kits. 

I am sure the readers are now asking themselves two questions. First, where do they get the money to get all that material? And second, and a more difficult one where do they find all this material: eBay, operators, contacts in the DoD…?

Don’t worry! We are not in any shady business, hahaha. 

Luckily, we all have our respective jobs and we pay for all this madness with our own sweat and tears. We are ordinary people with different jobs: lawyer, gym instructor, carrier or naval and industrial repairs expert. The material has different origins, from eBay, other collectors/reenactors and, on some occasions, the gear comes from a retired operator.    

The truth is that you've been at this for a little while, do you think there are more teams in your area with your level or at least your vision of airsoft? How do you get along with them, are they colleagues or the competition?

In my opinion, having very expensive “gear” or a very elaborate kit merely makes you look better in the pictures, what they call today "posturing".  If you think about it carefully, this conception of “level” pivots only on the (high) financial capacity of that person and on their (good) circumstances and opportunities that have allowed them to access that gear.  I do not deny that this profile may be good for reenactment, to be honest.

Now, at a personal level, I understand that the perfect combination is the mentality of a person with sports skills (who likes to improve and excel, the value of commitment, who shows that respect for the game and for the players, being proactive and with a certain level of discipline), combined with someone who likes to recreate,
who knows and understands what he carries, who values it and who knows how to use it according to the circumstances and needs of each moment. Quality before quantity.

On the island of Gran Canaria and on the rest of the islands, luckily, we have a good community of MILSIM teams and also some teams that practice MILSIM and recreate at the same time. Personally, I’m glad to see that other groups of people take this seriously, and visually it's a treat. In particular, the G.R.A.T., together with other similar teams, have created a task force, that is, a group of groups, which allows us to train together. Also, whenever we are allowed we try to play as a single team in MILSIM events. It is not always possible and, sometimes, it is time to “shoot” each other, but it is always a healthy rivalry and does not go beyond what is implicit in this world:  it is a game after all. 

We are running out of space, but not out of questions, what would you like to say before finishing the interview and before we see each other again?

Some years ago we thought about contacting this magazine, but we were always wanting to do our best and we never felt fully satisfied. There was already good content to show something, visually attractive, but we are very nonconformist in general. With the pandemic, the circumstances, perhaps, have changed. It seems to me that this is the right time and a good opportunity to show our team and what we have been able to achieve in these almost twelve years in this exciting world. I hope you enjoy the article, its anecdotes and the pictures. See you next time!