Fair Is Fair

 

Over the last week, we have seen people in Texas, the surrounding states and even other states in the U.S. come together and kick ass to help those who needed it the most. Whether they call themselves the “Cajun Navy”, the “Monster Truck Brigade”, or “Militia” (I don’t know if any group involved in these actual rescue operations called themselves “militia”, but the “militias” out there should take notice of what these guys did and apply it to what they train for), it doesn’t matter, because their deeds have spoken for them.

Fair is Fair post2

If you call yourself a “Militia”, but all you do is play war games in your multicams and plate carriers, you are missing the big picture. You guys actually being able to operate as an effective, offensive military force is slim and none (I’m not talkin’ about your ability to protect your group). Operating as an effective rescue and logistics support group however, is well within your abilities, and has been demonstrated a number of times over the last week.

Fair is Fair post4

Does your group have , or have access to buildings/areas to house victims of a natural disaster? Do you have the means to give them basic bedding while they are in that housing area? What about sanitation?

I have had a number of less than complimentary things to say about a large portion of the people out there that are calling themselves “militia” these days, but in this instance, fair is fair. There are groups that have stepped up in a big way to help with everything that is going on in Texas. Whether they call themselves “militia” or not, they are performing a function that should be the primary focus of those groups that use that title, because the bottom line is that they’re supposed to be there for their community, right?

Fair is Fair post6

Yes, you should practice defending your group by getting as much training in group defensive tactics and techniques as possible. Practically speaking, you should train in rescue operations based on natural disaster scenarios that could effect your area, and also train in the real time and follow on logistics required in a support operation for those that were displaced, whether that be with the housing, proper sanitation, or food, water and clothing distribution.

Fair is Fair post5

Does your group have, or have access to vehicles to move large groups of victims during a natural disaster?

Should these guys that were involved in boat rescue ops have been armed? Obviously, they were shot at and had attempts made to steal their boats.  Does that mean they had to or did dress like a commando to effectively conduct the mission? No. (Imagine falling overboard with your 40 lb. plate carrier, having never practiced using the quick releases)

Fair is Fair post3

Considering that a number of the scenarios that are encompassed within the category of “Natural Disaster” involve large amounts of water (whether frozen or not). It would behoove you to prepare your clothing for these operations accordingly. this only applies if you are actually planning to do something, as opposed to just training for the “imminent” government takeover.

By the way, for you groups that have gone to the effort to collect food, water, clothing and other necessities for the victims of this storm, well done! One of the added benefits that this will do for your group is give you some real time experience in logistics. Logistics isn’t the sexy side of preparedness or military operations, but without it, you will fail.

Fair is Fair post7

Note the “obvious” racial tension present on everyone’s face in this pic.

Collecting money to support your “Protest attendance hobby” is obvious BS, but doing it for these types of events is a real world application of the correct reason to raise money. Oh, for God’s sake, if you are collecting actual money, make sure all collections are recorded, and appear correct and above board. That’s all you need is being questioned about “where did the money go?”, especially if you have no accurate records.

Fair is Fair post8

You want to get “authority” from the local LEO’s or NG to actually do something? Show up at a natural disaster prepared to help and have the proper equipment (in this case boats) and obvious competence to use it (in this case a worn “Bass Pro” hat, not a multicam plate carrier), and 9 times out of 10, I bet you’ll get it, and they’ll be glad to have you.

Fair is Fair post1

The “Organized Militia” (Texas National Guard), performing one of it’s primary missions, which is Natural Disaster Rescue and Recovery.

BTW, as a side note, I do know of a group that I’ve had dealings with in the past which has done rescue, support and protection operations in their community during natural disasters. That group is the Ohio Valley Minutemen. Knowing that, it would be unfair of me not to point out when someone gets it right.

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

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Part 2 Of “Are You A ‘Snowflake’ Or A ‘Meteor’?” Becoming A Meteor.

mdt-patches1-1

Last week a group of four Combat Arms Veterans contributed to a post I wrote concerning the premise that, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. Although the majority of the comments, both here at MDT, over at WRSA,  and in personal emails were positive, even though there were still those who are still unwilling to mesh reality with their delusions of grandeur, concerning their level of training, and it’s comparison to that of the experienced Infantry PFC.

I have mentioned a number of times (these highlighted links are just a few examples) a variation of this theme, “You are not a Commando/Infantry, but you do not need to be.”. I actually had a guy say, “YES! and if you had just said it this way from the beginning then you might not be getting any negative feedback.” to part of my response to another comment he had made. My actual comment to him consisted of this, “Here’s the thing, “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”.

Let’s talk about that phrase for a minute. “You can’t be what we are/were without doing what we do/did (BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO BE).”. The question I’d imagine most SAC’s (Situationally Aware Civilian) have is, 1) How do I put myself on par with a guy who has not only gone through a 4 month One Station Unit Training course (Basic and Infantry School)? 2) Do I need to put myself on par with that guy to have a chance at surviving what is coming?

This post is about some of the “What”, the “Why”, and the “How” of “Combatant/Survivalist Skills” needed for the Neighborhood Protection Team member, or Survivalist. You are not Infantrymen, you have to be much more. As I have said a number of times, “Be a Survivalist who is a ‘Jack of all Trades’, master of some (preferably the life saving and life protecting arts).”. Are there Infantry skills that you should master? Hell Yes! In this post I mentioned the Army’s “Everybody requirement” concerning Common Task Testing. This is not an “Infantry specific” requirement, but an “Everyone” requirement. Have you mastered the tasks in that post? Even the “Water Purification Specialist” in the Army has to show proficiency in those tasks.

Most of you want to pick and choose what you want to learn, and what you want to avoid, and that doesn’t cut it if you are serious about surviving a combat scenario. This is what I said in the post, “If you can’t show proficiency in the common tasks of First Aid, Commo,  Land Nav, Movement as a Buddy Team and in a patrol, and be proficient and accurate in the use of your primary weapon, when even a Dental Hygienist in the Army has to do it every year, how do you plan on functioning in an ‘Infantry’ type role?”. Remember that? Probably not huh?

Something else of note that was “made clear” in one of the comments on the last post was that we apparently don’t explain terminology well enough. The terms in question were “Offensive” (you are taking the fight to the bad guys) and “Defensive” (you are defending what you already have secured against the bad guys) in the context of operations. My response was thus, “You make out like we treat you like you are stupid, then get pissed when I don’t explain simple terms like “Defensive” and “Offensive”. Make up my mind, are you guys a bunch of illiterate, dull eyed retards, or are you rational, generally above median, adults (like I believe you are)?”.

This type of juvenile criticism is one of the reasons many of you get grief from people that are knowledgeable and experienced in the craft you wish to learn. So here’s the deal,  if it is a term that is specific to the subject I am writing about, and not in common use, I will explain and define it. If it’s something simple like the two terms above, I expect you to look it up via google, a dictionary, or any of the following Field Manuals: FM 7-8, FM 21-75, ST 21-75-2 (presently the SH 21-76), or the ST 21-75-3.

What follows is the thoughts of the same four Combat Arms Vets who contributed to the first post. They all have a unique perspective, but you will notice, once again, a recurring theme. After the last contribution is complete, I will give some thoughts in closing.

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Where You Are, Where You Need to Be, and How You Get There…One Way

 Background of the Vet:  21 plus years active duty in the USAF; retired as a Senior NCO.  Of that time, 12 years in Air Base Ground Defense (Air Force for ‘Infantry’); comprised of 5 years teaching advanced ‘infantry’ training, rated “Master Instructor”, specialized in patrolling, 5 years on a RDT (Rapid Deployment Team) for 81mm Mortar & Hostage Rescue concurrently.  5 years as NCOIC of Air Base Ground Defense at field units building and conducting local unit training.  

 In relation to the previous post regarding training and capabilities from those wishing to increase their personal skills for defense of home and community, my perspective is the following based on my own interaction with people asking for training over the last 17 years:

Where You (or the group you’re in probably) Are:

Awake to the precarious position of our society, economy (over-inflated market reports notwithstanding), and culture (the ever-increasing lack of civility and respect for individual property and natural rights). 

  • Equipped, armed, and supplied to various levels from a minimum of a pistol, a rifle, and 500 rounds for the pistol and 1,000 rounds for the rifle, 6 months to a year of food for you and/or your family to the maximum of being able to arm your family and select friends, have a couple years of supplies, cases of ammunition, and a group of likeminded friends (some of which may or may not be former military with weapons and/or combat training/experience at one level or another).
  •  Steadfastly refusing to standardize weapons, equipment, and other important factors.
  • Able to use your weapons on various ranges to various levels of accuracy without added stress during the exercise.
  • Possess disposable income or the ability to save in order to pay for more advanced skill set training than you have.
  • The proper mindset regarding what you are willing to do to safeguard those you care about to one degree or another.
  • Varying levels of physical fitness; mostly on the lower end (upper body strength, cardio, etc.); much improvement needed.
  • Deficient in knowledge and ability to apply:

o    Realistic analysis of what training provides the largest return on investment for ‘real-world’ scenarios v. ‘cool guy’ training primarily centered on CQB or squad strength offensive operations.

o    An analysis of capabilities necessary for your local neighborhood defense

o    The ability to approach and persuade willing neighbors to join the effort

o    Finding which neighbors possessing specialized skill sets for SHTF scenarios (doctors, nurses, dentists, HAM operators, etc.

o    How to establish a secure defensive ‘pocket’ or area and keep it that way.

o    Leadership skills (not a shot; most people aren’t trained in effective leadership – leadership is a learned behavior – that is founded on the ability to subordinate oneself to the mentor leader, and then the respect from your group must be earned).

o    Intimate knowledge of avenues of approach into your personal AO by various organizations or entities (marauders, etc)

o    Networking with and participation in any local emergency response initiative (yes, that means local government entities, as they will be first responders when S does HTF and can use the help, so long as you or your group isn’t posturing as ‘wannabe operators’).

 Where You Need to Be

 In a nutshell, you need to be able to personally do or complete all those bullet points above as well as others that will be apparent when you get to that point.  Then, you need to get your group to buy in and do the same. The real trick is how you get to that point the most efficient and rapid way possible.

 How You Get There (One Way)

  •  Acknowledge that you need to refocus your efforts from attempting to emulate various high profile paramilitary groups and organizations to that of a “Neighbor Hood Protection” function.  Keeping your efforts localized will help you protect that which is most important: family, friends, neighbors and your property.
  • Understand that learning never stops.  You must constantly read and study a myriad of subjects from history to teaching methodology focusing on the adult learner to military tactics and strategy to classics that underscore the importance of personal courage and honor (some people have never been taught these values, and you may have to be the example and mentor).  Buy, beg, borrow a copy of, “A Failure of Civility,” which is now out of print, and make it your personal blue print.  It lines out exactly how to do what you need to do.
  • Read and apply Dale Carnegie’s, “How to win friends and influence people.”  Doing so will go a long way in networking with your neighbors and persuading them to participate in any local preparations prior to a SHTF event.  This might mean taking off the Oakley’s and boonie hat while having a barbecue, and losing the ‘thousand yard stare’ when being asked questions.  Smile a bit.  Talk about light hearted things during social events.  There’ll be time enough during your Neighborhood Protection Meetings to be serious about setting up the defense.
  • Subordinate yourself to the most experienced/trained person in your group for training activities.  If you are fortunate enough to have someone you know that’s a former combat arms type and was at least a staff NCO in your neighborhood or group, be humble enough to let the subject matter expert lead the training selected for the group.  If you are lucky enough to be invited to a seminar given by a former SF troop (or even be involved in a social get together for coffee), especially the ‘old school SF troops (trained in unconventional warfare and force multiplication with indigenous troops) sit down, open your ears, take copious notes, and try to see how it applies to your situation.  Not everything might be useful right away, but you’ll get an education.
  • Read and apply, “Extreme Ownership,” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.  You’ll not be sorry, because this reference will provide you a very good set of leadership principles that work.  There are others, to be sure, but at $17, it’s the best money you’ll spend. 
  • Disregard information on anything from anyone who tells you they have, ‘the only way’ or ‘the best way’ to do something, especially if they are selling their services.  Be intelligent enough to know that there’s nothing new under the sun, and having many tools in the tool box provides more return than following one particular method because, well, ‘cool guy’.
  • Keep information on activities flowing to your group members, or ask for more information from your leadership on schedules, plans, etc.  Don’t make your people be ‘mushrooms.’ 
  • Train with your team regularly in all areas you have learned.  Make sure that some of the training involves being miserable, wet, tired, and cold if possible.  Nothing makes a team come together better than shared misery.
  • Encourage personal defense weapon standardization. Platforms and calibers are not so important as everyone having the same tools, or as close as possible.  It’s essential for increased survival odds during failed civility scenarios.
  • Get some people HAM qualified and licensed. Practice using the communications.  Get a good scanner that’s capable of listening to emergency response organizational transmissions.  You’ll be surprised what you can learn and what kind of warning you may receive on situations you might face.
  • Make sure that the scenarios you train for match your local area. If you’re not rural, you should concentrate on built up area tactics (defense, NOT kicking in doors…).
  • Understand that your training standards are absolute minimum acceptable performance measurements. There’s an old saying, “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.  Train right along side your people.  If you’re doing dry fire, then dry fire with them.  If you’re doing land nav, do the same course.
  • In planning your neighborhood protection plan, leave nothing to chance. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about your defense zone.
  • Get the group to volunteer for service projects in and around your neighborhood. Be helpful.  Be cheerful.  Be something people want to belong to, or at least, something people are glad is in the neighborhood.  One way to do this is to either join or form a “Neighborhood Watch Association” or a neighborhood association and hold events that promote preparedness without information dumping on attendees on the imminent end of the world as we know it. Got an old folks home?  Get some people to volunteer for visitations to lonely old people, clean their grounds, cut their lawn, etc.  Be service minded because that is a very good way to gain local credibility and allay any fears you and your group might be wacko.
  • Do not use rank! Use positions, innocuous names are best.  Stay away from paramilitary sounding names and/or acronyms when dealing with the public.  Don’t have multicam or military clothing making up your wardrobe.  Earth tone field clothing works, too.  Have gatherings where the ‘uniform of the day’ is business casual, such as a golf shirt and khakis.  Why?  Because you look ‘normal,’ that’s why.  Remember, you’re not a military unit, and you shouldn’t dress or act like one.  Drill and ceremonies have no place in what you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Rid yourselves of any conception that you are some sort of ‘unit.’  You’re a protection group.  End of transmission.

If you try the above, you will eventually get to where you need to be to protect your local area that you are capable of defending.  No, you won’t be, ‘Infantry’ trained, but you don’t need to be.  There are other ways – this is one way.

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Retired Infantry Captain

Apparently I was hard on PFCs, so here goes.

PFC used to mean you’d arrived at being a qualified Infantryman.  PV1, PV2 meant you were not yet fully functional.  Somewhere along the way, Recruiting Command was allowed to award rank for PT scores, bringing a friend, or making it through a semester of college without ending up with a “judicial enlistment.”  This was a mistake.

What makes PFCs are NCOs.  Full stop.  These are missing in JC’s scenario and, once upon a time, in Iraq.  Keep in mind the events below occurred concurrently, with lots of moving parts that don’t make for a logical narrative.

When I was a senior adviser to a newly formed Iraqi unit (2004-5), we had 68 guys in man dresses and flip flops.  We were issued Iraqi officers.  One company commander (Major) was outstanding and the lieutenants were surprisingly adequate.  That commander had fought Americans in Desert Storm and the first month of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His comment to me?  “I’m tired of having

my ass kicked by you guys.  Our [Iraqi Army] problem is we have no NCOs.  We must train NCOs.”  “Yes, sir.”

Selection went something like this.  (Mob of Iraqis.) “Who here has combat experience?”  (Hands go up.)  “Great: Stand over there.  Who fought Americans?” (Iraqi vets look at the ground.)  “Ok fellas, we’re on the same side now.” (A few hands.) “Great: You guys stand over there.”  First group

was made team leaders.  Second group was squad leaders and platoon sergeants.  Brevet NCOs, pending combat performance, which was not long in coming.  The learning curve was quite steep, as the training consisted of new tasks, rehearsals, and off to the two way live fire.  Initially, Iraqi squads were sent on confidence patrols with American units commanded by friends who agreed to

help while we sorted out NCO and officer training.  (This doesn’t even begin to address the logistical issues, which were fixed with an unpretty combination of horse trading, deception, lies, outright theft, and confidence targets. That is the subject of another paper.  Suffice it to say the US Army had not given Iraqi Army logistics any thought whatsoever.)

Those who did well kept their new rank.  The less functional were promptly returned to the ranks for further assessment.  The newly blooded NCOs were then turned over to veteran American NCOs who had orders to impart discipline, skills, and organization. Once the original 68 were sorted, recruiting began.  Initially, we did all training in house.  All of it.  All. Of. It.  Iraqi NCOs were drilled in the evening on the next day’s training, then put in front of their flip flop shod recruits, with American oversight.  Emphasis on discipline, marksmanship, and

battle drills.   Keep in mind while this was going on, officers were being trained on their tasks, then integrated into collective training and combat operations.  Later, the US Army got around to setting up basic training in the middle of the desert.  It was satisfactory and wholly based on input from operational units.  The Iraqis did not get around to marching for some time.  PT was brutal, by design.

Keep in mind that medics, commo guys, drivers, supply guys, clerks, cooks, intel, personnel managers, staffs, etc. were being trained concurrently as well.  We were rebuilding an army.  Die, Bremer.  Just. Die.

Some of you will recognize the preceding paragraph as the staff formation discussion that was conducted at JC’s a few years ago.  One hopes you at least compiled the recommended manuals.

Here’s the deal:

​You must have good NCOs to have good PFCs.

Bonus, guaranteed to aggravate everyone who isn’t already ticked off: You must have good NCOs to have good company commanders.  Lieutenants are there to learn to be commanders, coordinate, and be brave.  If you have bad commanders, there are two reasons: NCOs who failed to train lieutenants, and senior officers who failed to get rid of the unwilling, untrainable, and unskilled.

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Survivalist Tactics vs. The Infantry, II

This writer held every position on a Long Range Surveillance Team up to Assistant Team Leader (ATL) and on the Line as a Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader and Weapons Squad Leader, and had three deployments, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

In my last I identified why training and working under the assumption that you are an Infantryman and can conduct yourself as such is not only foolish but is likely a death sentence for you and your people. You do not have the material nor the support, and especially not the discipline nor the people. Perhaps that last one needs touching on again; what happens when your merry band of defenders say, “No.”? How do you compel a volunteer group to actually face death? Why would you want people who are generally blowhards and/or never-has-beens to do this anyway?

You know that type I’m talking about. That’s your average militia dud with a facebook or twitter page and his whole network on display posting circle-jerk memes. Enough of them, let’s get to you. Before we go anywhere or put on our cool guy kits, lets face reality:

  1. You Don’t Have an Army Behind You.
  2. You are your Own Logistics.
  3. You Can Only Defend What You Can Support (and you need to know how to support what you plan on defending).

These three are interdependent realities. You may not have an army behind you but you do have a community; they live there and know the area better than any occupying force will. Rural communities are better at self sufficiency.  Those same communities are far more likely to properly defend what they own as a means of ensuring posterity versus the house of cards that is modern suburbia. They’re leery of outsiders too; keep that in mind. What constitutes ownership, anyway?

The ability to enforce command over that which you claim; my the third point. The community and your standing within it, known as social capital, is what lays the foundation. It is the first tactic. With nothing to defend and no consent of those defended, you will be outcasts and killed off quickly as problems and not solutions.

Infantrymen as a cohesive unit have none of these concerns. Their supply line is theirs and the responsibility of an adjacent supporting unit. Their job is to close with and destroy an enemy; the consent to function is granted by that entity which feeds, trains and arms them. Nothing more. That’s why the Afghans call us ‘tourists’.

The second is planning. You must identify the objective before you can rock a mag into that sweet Kalashnikov you just bought. Community defense is exactly that; defense. You are not offensive troops and you lack the capability or tactical sophistication to be anything other than what you are.

Without overwhelming numbers, the use of converging routes, or the means to replenish significant losses you will remain defensive if you want to live. So if we’re planning a defensive posture, our biggest ally is terrain. All people are creatures of habit. We follow patterns and take the paths of least resistance generally. Some of the more experienced calls this ‘natural lines of drift’, meaning, paths people drift along, like roads, rivers, valleys, passes, etc.

The defender then, like a hunter, uses this reality to his advantage and can create natural choke points to create the maximum number of casualties among those he’s attacking. The faster the fight is over and the less material you’ve wasted, the better off you are. Using that AR-15 like a bullet hose is a bad idea- marksmanship matters, a bunch of noise doesn’t, and marksmanship out to longer distance (3-400m) then becomes another force multiplier.

Hit probabilities to those reacting to contact at 400m and from multiple angles is far less likely than those on the attack from pre-planned hides with the inclusion of other force multipliers. Once you’re in your positions, you should have the range to your killzone already known, drawn on an improvised range card (a piece of cardboard with hand drawn target references on it with distances) and

should train on coordinating fire from those positions.

The idea of an ambush is to quickly and efficiently kill everything in the trap, but in case you don’t, have a team watching the opposition’s march in, closing the trap once they pass by. Of course I have to know they’re coming first, which

​means my contacts in the community let me know one way or another…see the pattern here (more than just you or your ‘little group’)?

So the two most important tools to learn are terrain analysis and team marksmanship, coordinated over an area. These are called intersecting fires. Is there a time for the battle drill 1 stuff? Sure, absolutely, when you’re taken by surprise. You should rehearse this for that reason; what to do on unexpected contact, because the reality is that if you’re walking about with your band o’ bubbas and happen to forget the principles of concealment or quiet movement, it might happen. But you shouldn’t be bunched up to begin with, plan converging routes for your group members to get to their positions, and should be taking the path of MOST resistance to afford the maximum cover. Don’t forget the utility of crawling.

Once more we find our plan at the heart of staying alive. In order to plan, we have to know our terrain. In order to know our terrain, we have to be familiar with the lay of the land. In order to do any of the above, we have to have consent of our community. And you do none of the above, but parade about in a show of self importance, one will learn just how important they actually are.

Effective training on tactics, from any trainer with real credentials including time actually doing it, begins with learning to plan. This is why Operations Orders and Troop Leading Procedures are emphasized from the first day of any military school. This is why you should seek out those with actual experience for training; they know the value of the basics and the consequences of forgetting them in lieu of something you learned playing airsoft. And while this may seem mundane to the uninitiated, running around shooting fast at targets makes you an easy one to the guy who knows what he’s doing.

Do not lose sight of your reason for being.

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From an 18F

Nobody said don’t take classes or train. All we said in the last post is don’t give yourself airs you neither earned nor can claim. A couple or half dozen weekend “SUT” classes (they are no such thing) may give you some confidence in weapons handling or impart some elementary level of “buddy team” cooperation [how much is debatable because the “buddy” you trained with probably lives over 100 miles away], but it will never make you a “squady.”

What whichever classes are available to you will do for you is give you a skill set that is above the skill set of the street shit you are most likely to encounter – and that is all you will need. And here is the thing… with your weekend “SUT” classes you are in a position to train others who live around you. I’ve said this many times, and it bears repeating: Be cadre.

But here is the other thing… When you are cadre, in necessity others will look to you. At first for technical guidance (weapons handling, etc), and afterward for leadership –   because you know how to handle weapons, etc.. And there, guaranteed, is where you will fall flat on your face and put everybody who has turned to you in peril.

Because of your “SUT” training, which has nothing whatsoever to do with small unit tactics and cannot help you in small unit tactical situations. So there is your dilemma. As a “SUT” trained cadre you can train a neighborhood guard to whatever standard you learned. Which will largely be sufficient against common street shit. But, inevitably, someday, somebody is going to show up with an army. What are you going to do, cadre, when all eyes turn in your direction?

And that is what separates the infantryman from the weekend “SUT” class tourist. Keep taking “SUT” classes. Learn what you can. Be cadre and help your neighbors. Fend off street shit. When somebody shows up with an army… take an oath of fealty.

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I read a post by Bill Buppert at Zero Hedge, and although I understand where he is coming from, I don’t think he has a realistic view of the average people he is talking about. He said, “There is a stream of consciousness modality currently coursing through the prepper and III% community that if you aren’t infantry, you can’t take the fight to the enemy no matter how competent you may be as men of the gun or whatever background you hail from.”

So let’s get some terminology straight. “I haven’t said “Can’t”, I’ve said “Shouldn’t”. Why is that my opinion? Reality and practicality. The majority I have encountered cannot even get their defensive preps squared away because they’re too concerned with doing the “Tacticool” “Operator” shit (CQB, Raid, Ambush). You’re first priority should be to your loved ones defense, correct? Post SHTF, Offensive Ops shouldn’t even be considered till your defensive ops are underway, and even then, probably not because most just will not have the appropriate manpower for anything but defense.

Start with the basics. Lay the groundwork for a solid defensive foundation, then MAYBE move on to the consideration of an offensive action if urgently needed. But keep in mind, depending on perspective, that offensive operation you conducted could come back to bite you in the ass legally. If you believe that’s BS, look at some examples from the former Yugoslavia, and tell me that possibility isn’t there.

Another post that WRSA put up today, reinforces the point we made in the last post about, “on a good day, a civilian that has taken 3 or 4 SUT type classes from a Tactical Trainer won’t even be at the experienced Infantry PFC level”. “SPC Slick” can shown proficiency in the CTT. Can you?

If you still wanna run Offensive Infantry Ops I’d say, “Show me your group commander and it’s NCO’s and tell me about their experience. As was said earlier by the Captain, the NCO’s are the core of the group in an operational setting, and any operation being conducted by the group is made to work by it’s NCO’s, and you don’t have any….do you?

Organization is critical. Figure out what scenarios you believe you should prepare for, and prioritize preparations according to the degree of immediate threat, the likelihood of the threat, and your realistic ability to prepare for the threat. Here is some things I posted in this post,

  • 1). Do you have general, realistic preps in place?
  • 2) Do you have a solid, well thought out and realistic plan to deal with the general and specific concerns you’ve identified?
  • 3) Are you physically and/or logistically equipped and able to carry out the planned responses to these threats.

If your answer is “No” to any one of the questions above, you need to address and correct that. As was said by at least one of the contributors, after you get training in something, pass it on to your group as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean you are now a professional trainer. What it means is that hopefully, you have the ability to take what you learned and immediately regurgitate it to your family, friends and group members (it is critical that you teach it as soon as you can, so the lessons are still fresh and clear in your mind, a three day tactical class will give you familiarity, not proficiency or mastery).

An issue I had with a couple guys who received their “Bushbastard” tabs was that they wanted to be able to confer the award to those that they taught, and I said, “Under no circumstances will that be allowed.” The comment I received was, “I thought you wanted us to go home and teach what we learned?” To which I responded, “Yes, teach what you learned, but the only people handing out “Bushbastard” tabs are me or a designee that I feel are not only trained well enough to teach the material I have put together exactly as it is supposed to be taught, but will also enforce the standards in testing that I require for the award.”

Any trainer that has an issue with a former student teaching what they’ve learned to their family and friends is probably more worried about the almighty dollars they are missing out on, than they are about helping people prepare for what’s coming.

To recap,

  • Decide whether “Preparing for doomsday” is a hobby or a conviction. If it’s a hobby, stop reading. If it’s a conviction, continue with this list.
  • Pick the Leader of your group if he hasn’t been selected already. ( or was it going to be a democracy….? Good luck with that).
  • Make a plan that covers the scenarios you’re concerned about.
  • Organize you’re logistics on hand and plan your future purchases based on the realistic needs required for the scenarios you’re preparing for.
  • Determine which logistical preps can be generalized to cover all scenarios, and make their acquisition a priority.
  • Organize the personnel in your group based on A) Abilities they already possess via employment or hobby (Former Infantry, EMT, HAM, etc.), or B) capabilities they plan on getting via training course or new hobby. Encourage furthering the education in those areas.
  • Organize the critical information about your area (maps, area sketches, etc.) into something that is detailed, easily accessible, and understandable.
  • Get as much realistic training in personal protection (both empty hand, and firearm) and area/ retreat defense from a proven source (I wrote about how to find and verify the bona fides of the non-professional ones here).
  • Get as much First Aid, TCCC, and Extended Care training as possible.
  • Do as much PT as you are physically capable of doing. You know if you are cheating yourself and those who will be counting on you.
  • Learn as much as you can about how the pioneers of the 1800’s did EVERYTHING!
  • After your group get’s organized, network with other local groups for support.

Defending your area (to include presence patrols) is a full time job and takes a number of personnel for round the clock security. I wrote about how to put together a schedule for security here. This post contains some good defensive area prep info, and in this post I wrote about the steps I recommend for the individual to get prepared. This post is in no way exhaustive, but the bottom line is that five people took of their precious free time to try and give suggestions to help you get ready for bad times. Whether you agree with them or not, take that for what it’s worth.

YOU ARE NOT AN INFANTRYMAN, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE. YOU HAVE TO BE MUCH, MUCH MORE!

JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

 

 

 

A Realistic Bug Out

Since there are a few out there just now giving their impressions of whether you should or should not “Bugout”, I figured I’d post some oldies but goodies.

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2 January, 2017

Bergmann Rock

Most who know me, know that I am staunchly against most people planning to just “Bug Out” to the mountains when the SHTF. I advise people to plan on “Bugging In” where they are, or “Bugging To” a pre-planned location. The are a number of reasons why I’m against a “Bug Out”, but chief among them is that most who plan to do this are doing it out of laziness and/or an overwhelming lack of reality.

Laziness, because it is a lot easier to plan to just throw the pack on and grab the rifle, than it is to prepare to stay put, stock up on supplies, and plan a realistic defense. It would be great if it was that easy (and cheap), but it is not. After approximately two weeks, you will go from being a “Survivalist”, to being a “refugee”.

I say “lack of reality”, because most who plan to “bug out” haven’t even carried a pack any distance, let alone carried the weight of gear and food necessary to sustain ones self for any length of time. As I said above, not planning correctly will abruptly shove the “would be Survivalist” into the “refugee” category relatively quickly.

If you’re gonna “Bug Out” to the mountains, the plan my friend Bergmann has is the way to do it. It’s not a perfect plan, but then again what is? For his situation and location, he has come up with the most realistic plan he can, and is putting effort into preparing for it for years. Watch and learn.

If you have the opportunity, go check out his blog, you’ll more than likely learn something.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE

Preconceived Notions: “The Bugout”

Since there are a few out there just now giving their impressions of whether you should or should not “Bugout”, I figured I’d post some oldies but goodies.

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3 October, 2015

When I was new to Survivalism, I believed that “The Bugout” was the only way to go. I have had a backpack ready to go since I was twelve, and the only things that have really changed were techniques of how I’d “Bugout”, and where “Bugout”it stands in the order of precedence. I use P.A.C.E. planning in all activities related to survival. It was something I was taught when I first went into the military, and continue to this day. “P” is primary, “A” is alternate, “C” is contingency, “E” is emergent or emergency.

Bergmann Rock

Through the years, my thought on “Bugout” have evolved, simply because it makes sense to not put yourself into that type of situational risk unless all other options are denied to you. Keep in mind, a “Bugout” is not the same as a “Bug to”. A “Bugout” is when you’re headed out of your primary home with no clear home/retreat to go to. Most say “We’ll set up in the national/state forest.” These types generally have never “Set up” for an extended period (most not longer than a week, some maybe two weeks of camping at most, but it’s all good training). A “Bug To” is when you are headed to a clearly defined home or retreat that has been planned out (if someone lives there, they know you’re coming) and prepared by you ahead of time, and has supplies already laid in for your stay because it was part of the “plan”. Although “Bugout” and “Bug To” are primary residence evacuations, one (Bugout) is way too open ended to not be the last option available to you.

Let’s talk about “Bugout”, and why it should be the “E” in PACE planning. First off, how is the “Bugout” going to take place? In other words, what event will trigger your “Bugout”? Are you leaving on foot? Are you leaving by vehicle, and what is the load capacity of the vehicle (impending “Survival Vehicle” post coming up) . Are you taking a trailer? Do you have more than one vehicle (Convoy op)? Do you have a fixed location, even if it’s an area in the state forest you’ve reconned prior? How many routes have you created to get there, since one is most assuredly closed? Have you acquired detailed maps of the area? Do you already have a cache of supplies hidden there? We’ll cover some of these in order.

Bergmann Shelter

What will trigger your “Bugout”? House to house searches by fedgoons in your town? If you wait that long, you’ll definitely need to go by foot, because vehicle traffic will be stopped through the “Cordon and Search” process. A plant accident or natural disaster (Katrina) with poisonous chemicals or severe weather headed your way? Well that’s a “no brainer” vehicle “Bugout” if there ever was one, but I’m fairly certain you won’t be headed to a state forest, right? Is it from a man made incident like what happened in Baltimoredore this year? Once again, even though leaving on foot might have to happen if it went off the charts insane (B-More was nothing compared to what’s coming when the EBT’s go down), but more than likely it’s a vehicle escape, and you’ll be headed to another home for temporary housing (an acquaintance had to do that with his mother during that incident, that was her CVS that burned down).

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I doubt you will perform a “Bugout” for an economic disaster situation. What good would that do to go to the forest because the economy collapsed. One scenario that sticks in my mind, especially due to my NBC (nuclear Biological Chemical) military background is a pandemic. Of course timing in this (like many other evacs) is crucial. Better a day early than a minute too late.  They will drop the hammer of blockade hard when they decide to do it (a good example is the movie “The Crazies”).

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If you’re planning a “Bugout” after a nuke strike, you might want to do more research. If you’re still alive, but in a dangerous area (high radiation on site or in the path of impending fallout which usually goes downwind of the target, but winds aloft are tricky), you probably should shelter in place (hopefully you have a basement), because exposure outside will kill you quickly if caught in the fallout. This is one time when a “Bugout” would be a good option, considering living in the forest for a couple weeks away from the radiation zone would definitely be the optimal choice.  OK, so we’ve talked about what will set the “Bugout” plan in motion, now to the “means” of “Bugout”.

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Are you planning to “Bugout” on foot? Did you read the account of the couple that was ambushed in “Patriots, Survive the Coming Collapse”? Although they were “Bugging To” a retreat, it was across the country (Chicago to Idaho), and took them forever because they lost their vehicles in the city. How much food can you effectively carry with your other supplies in your rucksack? I’ve found two weeks is about it, and that makes for a heavy ruck. Have you tried carrying your ruck with the actual load you’ve placed in it? You know, the one sitting in the corner of your spare room? What happens after the food runs out? Although you can extend what you’ve got with you by using game carts, you still will run out of the expendable items rather quickly. Wait, don’t tell me….you’re gonna live off the land, right? I know very few that could do this in reality (military SERE prepares you to exist and/or do without till they can recover you), and two things to note about them. One, they would never plan it as anything but a “last ditch” option. Two, they would tell you it would be existing, not living.

Jeremiah Johnson with a kill

 

Jeremiah Johnson's Friend

Wanna live like Jeremiah Johnson (watchin’ it right now to get me in the proper mindset)? If you’ll take note, first, he was assisted by Chris Laughty (I believe that is the spelling), and probably would have died like so many others that went to be “Mountain Men” if it hadn’t been for his help. Are you gonna go to “Rendezvous” each spring and pick up the hundred pounds or so of supplies with your pack animals? Tell you what, ask my friend Bergmann what he thinks of that kind of never ending existence. On another note concerning the food and supplies thing. Do you have small (unable to carry their own supplies) children? Guess what? you just effectively halved your total “Per Individual” food carrying capacity.

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Are you “Bugging out” by vehicle? It’s definitely the better option, but still, if you you are headed to a remote undeveloped location with no other supplies on site. You’ll get by longer, but you had better figure how to extend what you have for a long period. The good thing about a vehicle, especially if it’s of decent size, is it’s ability to carry you, at least three of your loved ones, all your personal “Bugout” gear, and some extras (a 12×12 tent with woodstove comes to mind. Oh wait, that’s right, I forgot you’re “Bugging Out” during the summer, right?). What’s the range of a tank of gas in your “Survival Vehicle”? Do you have extra fuel ( I keep enough spare TREATED gas cans for one extra tankful)?

Are you using a trailer? If so, this needs to contain the “nice to have” survival supplies, but not the absolute, survival “Have to’s”, because you need to be able to ditch it in an emergency. What’s the trailer do to your vehicle’s fuel economy when you have the survival gear loaded up? Don’t know? How can you say “I have a plan” without knowing basic info about your “Survival Conveyance”, whether it’s your feet (how far, how fast, how much weight) or your vehicle (distance, capacity of personnel and equipment, etc)? A big downside to a vehicle is being required to at least stay of passable trails, and more than likely semi improved roads. Oh, I forgot, you have a Monster that will eat up cross country and make it’s own trail, right? The upside is that it makes a “Bug out” more palatable as an option when you do the math, as compared to “bugging out” on foot.

Might a “Bugout” be necessary? Yes. Should you plan on it being anything but the last ditch option? No. The figures just don’t add up to success and long term survival. When it comes to PACE for me, I organize this way. PRIMARY: “Bug In” at my home with all the supplies I’ve prepared over the years. ALTERNATE: “Bug To”, and am headed to a property that has prepositioned supplies and family, and I’m taking my vehicle and trailer. CONTINGENCY: Longer route “Bug To” same as above, but to property of friends, and using two vehicles (convoy op) for security. EXIGENT/EMERGENCY 1: “Bug Out” to a secure, private, semi improved property site with vehicle. EXIGENT/EMERGENCY 2: “Bugout” on foot to a State forest within 10 miles of home (some prepositioned supplies, with an alternate another 5 miles away.

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I read a lot of Ragnar Benson’s (among others) stuff when I was a kid. Some of it was BS, and some had some real pearls of wisdom in it. One of the most important things I ever gleaned from his writing is something to keep in mind when planning any of your options. NEVER BECOME A REFUGEE! In most instances ( a few are not) primarily planning to “Bugout” without weighing and prioritizing other options first is planning to be a refugee, whether you like it or not. Read some of what Selco has to say, or better yet, look at the refugees walking across Europe and tell me that is something you consider as a viable option if others are available.

What’s the bottom line? If you have no options to “Bug To” after your “Bug In” option is expended, by all means plan a “Bugout”. Hopefully it will be with a vehicle, but if not, go to my buddy Bergmann’s site (you have to sign up, but it’s free) and get some advice on planning and prepositioning for the eventual “Bugout” operation  implementation. Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance (7P’s), right? Being a Survivalist has been a rewarding, but at times daunting, task throughout my life from a youngster till now. In the end though, it’s more about those we care about than what it does for us that’s important. That’s why realistic assessments of the facts, not fantasy, is crucial to your survival.

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JCD

American by BIRTH Infidel by CHOICE

Brushbeater Talks “Survivalist Commo”

Here is some good advice from a guy who knows his commo.

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6 Meters: Survivalist Magic

1005161506These days, nearly exclusively, when someone brings up survivalist communications, the default always resigns to some sort of chinese dual bander with the added justification “because its cheap!” Nevermind the fact that the build quality is junk and the thing will likely fail the person using it sooner rather than later, they keep being bought because the personality cults of the Internet tell them to…only because they’re cheap. But if one thought critically, all those folks having the ability to listen to hi band VHF and UHF might be a bad thing- especially if you’re looking for any sort of security.

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The VHF/UHF Basic Bandplan. Note the pink sections are for CW operation on 6 and 2 (50-50.1 and 144-144.1 MC, respectively). Although a bit dated, the diagram gives a good breakdown of the frequency ranges. Consider what your equipment is capable of, the potential OPFOR, and how to maximize capability to both effectively communicate and intercept.

Your area may be different, but around here there’s next to no activity on some of the other bands…you know, the ones Baofeng doesn’t make a radio for. Especially interesting for Survivalists is the capability the 6M band offers- with little to no overall traffic, great capability in rural terrain and many older repeaters sitting idle, 6M really needs more consideration for those actually concerned with creating a capable net versus those just cosplaying. Also nicknamed the “magic band” for it’s unpredictable long range qualities especially on SSB, 6m is just below the FM radio broadcast band (88-108mc) and the VHF television broadcast band (54-88mc); 6m occupies 50-54mc, with 51-54mc supporting FM mode. The band’s properties make it a very good performer in the hills with simplex use, and with repeaters can cover a broad area networking Survivalists spread near and far. The best part? Little traffic and well built equipment.

Here in central NC, many of the 6m machines were built by the same great group of folks, mostly retired engineers, and emergency communications was a significant

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Most 6m repeaters are robustly built from older equipment. Even a motivated newcomer with a Tech license can garner the good graces of an older owner of such a machine, adding a huge capability to both your skills and your area of influence.

focus when the systems were designed. Favoring converted GE Mastr II  and other converted commercial mobiles, these have been hardened and are designed to function when everything else fails. Although our 2m and some 70cm machines are similarly constructed, those operators on 6m are likely to be more proficient and not of the Baofeng-bandit category. Making it work in the field with simplex and not relying on repeaters, 6m has lots of options for those looking to embrace it. The old Cherokee AH-50 handhelds are a great find for those browsing local hamfest fleamarkets, as are the excellent Yaesu VX-5R and 7R, the later being a strong candidate for the most versatile and durable Survivalist radio ever made. All of these sets mentioned are incredibly well built and durable units; for those more serious about having great capability for years to come, these are excellent choices. Since they’re usually much higher priced, even a decade old, than their chinese imitations, many dabblers get scared away in lieu of the material satisfaction of buying junk…er, inexpensive stuff. Mobile and base options are plentiful but curiously underutilized; three of the most popular Survivalist radios, the Yaesu 817, its bigger brother the 857d and the old workhorse the Icom 706,

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Even an inefficient antenna such as this Maldol 50/145/440 duck have their advantages. Keeping a signal within a mile or so in the terrain as well as on a band not in common use is a good, cheap way to keep things somewhat bubba-proof.

each include all-mode 6m support providing a built-in capability for an excellent all-mode 6m station. Keep in mind that every operating option you have on HF, be it CW, Phone or Digital, you can do on 6m base to base.

Working the “magic band” is not without its issues however- there are drawbacks despite all the positives. For one, efficient antennas are large. Carrying a much higher signature than their hi band VHF or UHF counterparts, the antennas can be more visible to onlookers or get snagged up while moving through the bush due to size. Compact antennas can be found for the handhelds while moving or working, but are severely limited in the efficiency department. Not to say they don’t perform, they simply are a compromise between size and efficiency that some brands accomplish better than others. In certain situations this is not a bad thing. Another drawback is the positioning of the band itself. 50-54mc sits right within the military ground VHF band, as any user of the PRC-77 to SINCGARS can attest, and may be prone to interference from those users. Good gear and experience can both mitigate and turn this into an asset.

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One cool thing about 6m being sandwiched right in the military VHF low-band is that all of those cool diagrams from FM 7-92 and 93 all work perfectly. Those are two Army FMs that serve potential irregulars a good bit better than just thumbing through SH 21-76.

Although looked upon as a fun band by experimenters, 6m signals sometimes, especially in summer mornings, can be heard at incredibly long distances due to sporadic-E propagation, tropo scatter and meteor scatter reflection. This might get confusing especially if you’re hearing stations from several states away randomly, even on FM. Because there aren’t that many users, often people will lose interest unless there’s an active net, and encouraging activity locally can be tough. It’s also tough to convince newer operators to jump on board with new equipment, especially if they took the advice of a few and bought a boatload of cheap 2m/70cm handhelds simply because…they were cheap. But that being said some of the radios previously mentioned are not going to break the bank used, quality gear is worth paying for, and great deals can be found for those actively looking.

Despite a few minor drawbacks, 6m presents an option off the beaten path for the Survivalist group looking for something different; it’s cool to do something others ain’t. While low-band VHF might not solve all your issues, it’s versatility definitely goes a long way. Anyone in your group can take advantage of it with only a Technician license and it doesn’t parallel any of the license-free paths others are likely to be trafficking along. Between much better quality equipment and better operators on the band itself with limited users and great rural coverage, it might just be a Survivalist’s “magic” option.

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JCD

American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE