OUTSIDE THE WIRE
FOR SPECIAL OPS, AUSTRALIAN COMBAT VET ROBERTSON TURNED TO BENCHMADE’S AFO TANTO
Spanning the globe, we “landed” in Australia to bring you this installment of Outside the Wire. Our subject is Eddie Robertson, a combat veteran who served with the 2nd Commando Regiment, Australian Army—special Operations Command (SOCOMD). Robertson also served in Australia’s premier Counter-terrorism Unit—tactical Assault Group—east (TAG-E)—AND deployed several times to Afghanistan as a member of the Special Operations Task Group—task Force 66.
Robertson has also spent considerable time in Iraq and Afghanistan contracting in support of commercial and government contracts.
I Active Duty 01 WHAT KNIFE DID YOU CARRY ON ACTIVE DUTY AND WHY?
During my later time in the service, and also while contracting, my knife of choice was the Benchmade AFO II Tanto, which is black-coated and a triple-edged serrated blade. I found this to be an excellent knife, due to its ease of use, durability and sturdiness.
The knife features a chemically sharpened tanto blade, which was ideal for cutting anything from Det. cord to heavy-duty ropes and strapping. The base of the handle features a solidsteel strike piece, which also comes in handy for breaking glass or using as a blunt striking implement.
I purchased the knife as a gift to myself just before one of my earlier deployments and was happy to pay a premium, as it is a high-quality rescue knife that is not too big and ruggedized for austere environments. The mechanism has never let me down, and the occasional spray of WD-40 ensures a smooth and rapid deployment of the blade.
The button is perfect size, even when wearing gloves, and the safety switch is also easy to disengage/engage when required. I never used the pouch that came with the knife, as the clip on the side of the knife is perfect for stowing in a pocket or within another pouch on a plate carrier.
02 CAN YOU RECOUNT A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH YOU HAD TO USE THE KNIFE?
I never had to use the knife in an escalation-of-force situation (thankfully), but I have used the knife to cut parachute risers during an entanglement after conducting a water jump. I always used to carry the knife in a handy and easy accessible location when required and then slipped the knife in my trouser pocket on my strong-hand side when mobile.
While conducting PSD operations, I always kept the knife handy if the situation arose of having to cut seatbelts in case of a vehicle rollover; luckily, I have never had to use it for this purpose.
II Civilian Life 03 WHAT KNIFE DO YOU CARRY NOW AND WHY?
I carry a Gerber Ridge Black Serrated folder as my EDC. It is a nice, sturdy little knife, and the blade is bloody sharp!
One-handed operation is easy, and it fits nicely into any pocket. It can double as a money clip as well, so from a self-defense perspective, it has the potential to come in handy, if the situation allows for it.
Unfortunately, in Australia, we have some fairly draconian laws with regard to carrying knives in public. In fact, in most states it is illegal to carry a knife unless it is a small folding type/multitool and is carried in a pouch on a belt and is clearly visible. Otherwise you may face criminal charges for carrying a deadly weapon.
The Gerber is the perfect size to be secreted in a pocket without being clearly obvious. And on the slim chance of being searched by law enforcement, the small size of it doesn’t lend itself to being used for criminal purposes. It is a handy ultra-compact knife for everyday applications and is great for cutting through cardboard, tape, fishing line, etc. The only negative is that the serrations cannot be sharpened. I’ve had this little knife for five years now, and it is still going strong. I highly recommend it. KI