The anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment (対人立体機動装置 Taijin Rittai Kidō Sōchi?) is a set of equipment secretly created for the Military Police Brigade Anti-Personnel Control Squad specifically to combat the Survey Corps. The equipment itself is an adaptation of the traditional vertical maneuvering equipment, allowing the operator the advantages of three-dimensional movement, but with the use of firearms instead of blades. It is virtually useless against Titans, but extremely effective against humans.
Four years later, anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment combined with Thunder Spears is currently standard issue for the soldiers of the Survey Corps in combat against Marley. The combination of Thunder Spears and semiautomatic pistols enables the gear to be used for anti-infantry, anti-fortification, and anti-Titan warfare. The new gear also combines Marleyan technology thanks to the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers.
While the basic principles for maneuvering in it are the same, the design is drastically different: the main components of the equipment are worn on the shoulders and upper back instead of the hips and the user uses the pistol-shaped grips which fire grappling hooks and high-powered projectiles.
The movement of the equipment is very similar to that of the vertical maneuvering equipment. The user just has to aim their grapple hooks at an object, fire them and activate the gas mechanism to reel onto that position. Operators can also use their momentum to move not only in a rectilinear pattern but also doing other advanced maneuvers like navigating between objects.
Just like the vertical maneuvering equipment, it is less effective in open spaces where the wielder has almost no places where the hooks can be reeled. This fact added to the impossibility of killing Titans with the pistols makes the equipment specially suitable for man-hunting and urban warfare, quite useful for the Military Police Brigade as they focus their attention inside the Walls. However, it can be used in any place which has points to reel, like the crystal cave located under the Reiss Chapel.
Body of the Device - While in the ordinary vertical maneuvering equipment the body is located on the hips, in this model it is located on the upper back. It is attached to the user's body with harnesses on the torso and arms. The hooks are stored inside the body of two axles that can shoot independently and are fired from the operating device located in the user's arms, not the hip.
Compressed Gas Cylinder - The anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment has, instead of two small tanks, one slightly wider cylinder which is also strapped to the upper back. This is the part from where the propellant gas is expelled.
Operating Device - The operating device is used to control all the functions of the equipment. It is attached at the hands and bears some similarities to gun's grip. It has the triggers and levers used to control the movement and the trigger that is used to shoot the guns, which are shot from this part of the equipment. When it is unused, the operating device is holstered on the hips.
Guns - Instead of blades, the operating device allows the user to load single-use cartridges, allowing the operator to fire a maximum of two rounds at a time. The individual weapons can fire independently and can also be shot at great speed while the wielder is moving. Although they are virtually useless against Titans, these guns are very efficient against humans, even if they are armed with ordinary vertical maneuvering equipment. Every gun can shoot one single round with immense stopping power. This indicates that the rounds have an enormous caliber as these projectiles can blow up a human head like a watermelon. On the other hand, their penetrating power is limited as they can be blocked with something as simple as a corpse or with a blade made of ultrahard steel. When the rounds have been shot, the whole barrel has to be replaced. The users usually have extra barrels attached to their thighs.
By the year 854, the Survey Corps has replaced the previous single-load shotgun design of the anti-personnel equipment firearms with pistols able to fire multiple shots at once in a semi-automatic fashion. This technology is from Marley and was introduced to the Survey Corps by the Anti-Marleyan Volunteers. In addition, they have adapted the gear to be capable of equipping and launching Thunder Spears. Normally one spear is attached to each gun, but with additional modifications, up to four can be attached.
The actual training of the users is unknown, but it is believed that it is similar to training for vertical maneuvering equipment. The greatest difference may be that they are not trained to fight Titans, but instead they are trained to fight against people and shoot their guns while moving at great speed. Kenny Ackerman supervised the soldiers' training while training himself in the use of the device.
They were first used when the Special Operations Squad executed an operation to rescue Eren and Historia who were trapped in a hearse. Levi's squad was then attacked by surprise by a team of the Military Police Brigade, the Anti-Personnel Control Squad, that were using the new anti-personnel equipment inside the city.
After Squad Levi escaped the attack, the anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment was used again in a cave under the Reiss Chapel, keeping Eren and Historia away from the Special Operations Squad. The Special Operations Squad had to use complicated tricks, like explosives barrels and signal flares, as a way to protect themselves against the numerical superiority of the Interior Military Police Anti-Personnel Control Squad.
Some time afterward, anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment was repurposed for the Survey Corps' upcoming fight against Marley. During the Liberio festival after the Marley Mid-East War, this new equipment modified with new firearms and Thunder Spears made its debut when the Survey Corps launched a surprise attack against the Marleyan military. At this time, Mikasa Ackerman used the new equipment modified with eight Thunder Spears to take down the War Hammer Titan. She was also wearing the traditional variant of vertical maneuver gear; enabling her to switch and engage Porco Galliard in close combat with blades.
- Although the anti-personnel vertical maneuvering equipment grants superiority against humans on foot or equal maneuverability/mobility with the Survey Corps using traditional vertical equipment due to it is enormous range, Armin has detected flaws in the design. Due to the fact that both the barrels and the hooks are launched from the hands, a user cannot attack enemies approaching from behind.
- Another flaw is that while the guns may have incredible stopping power, if the two shots are fired, the wielder has to reload instantly. In contrast, the original vertical maneuvering equipment's blades are reusable until they begin to dull and break. This flaw was mitigated when the original guns were replaced with semiautomatic pistols.
- It is unknown if the rounds of the original equipment were shot by using regular gunpowder or compressed gas.
- In a desperate situation, the hooks can also be used as a weapon because they are launched at enough speed to pierce human flesh. This tactic can be used to fling them into solid obstructions or off tall buildings.
- The pistols present in the Survey Corps' improved anti-personnel equipment design bear strong resemblance to the German Mauser C96, which was the first truly successful self-loading pistol.