Monthly Archives: November 2013

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In Solidarity

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

― Edmund Burke

thanksgiving

Giving thanks this year for the gift of more time to become prepared.

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“There IS no tomorrow!”

From the AI:

As an assistant instructor at DTG, I don’t normally post. That role is left to our much more qualified Chief. Generally my job is focused on learning to become a better instructor.

But I had to share this:  a clip of a movie our chief instructor reminded a few of us about today.  Sometimes cinema can get the point across better than anything else.

“There IS NO tomorrow!”
“Do what you can today to learn and become more prepared. PT. Dry fire. Skill Set Required Reading. So that if you DO get a tomorrow…..you have a plan on what you need to do.”

Underestimating the Opposition Ensures Disaster

There’s something we can’t afford as we move down the road of preparation and training: Becoming overconfident in our abilities against a potential or real enemy.  Doing so will invite disaster to your group.  How?  Well, it won’t matter much during training except for the fact that training sessions will get easier and easier to the point where not much is done at all except lots of bull shooting—skills won’t improve or get honed.  In terms of goods possessed, gloating over ‘what we got’ will lead to stagnation in rotation and lessen the desire to decentralize cache goods.

Where the group’s overconfidence will surface is when SHTF.

First denial will set in (there’s no way these people can hurt/take/beat us!), then, as the situation develops (how are they doing that??  we are losing too many people!!), then, if the group’s situation gets to the point the attackers begin to overrun them, they may start to realize the errors they made.  Depending on the outcome, the group may or may not have a chance to rectify their deadly mistake for the future.

There’s a lot of noise out in the preparedness/liberty blogosphere commentary saying no matter what our current enemies do, we will prevail and be victorious, most likely without paying much of a price.  That tendency, in and of itself, demonstrates underestimation of the opposition and overconfidence in capabilities (especially when putting it out on the web for the opposition to catalog…)

How?  Here’s a few examples:

  • The belief that once “they” see us aiming down the barrel of our favorite (insert weapon type here) they will pale and run, soiling themselves as they go.
  • The belief that that “they” are not up to a stand up fight with the well-armed American civilian.
  • The belief that “they” are not intelligent people because they do not embrace our ideology or use our logic.

As a case study, let’s use the general perceptions of Osama Bin Laden in how we might generally underestimate an enemy.  He was constantly demonized in the press and classified as a “monster”.  Here are a few emotionally based misconceptionswith very little foundation in fact:

  • He was a sociopath.
  • He was living in a cave, so he can’t be sophisticated.
  • He was a cold blooded murderer.
  • He was stupid and uneducated.
  • He was a traitor to Islam.
  • He did not have a large following.

The truth is far, far from the perception.  Careful study of his guiding source document, the Koran, historic Islamic tactics outlined in the book, “Tactics of the Crescent Moon”, by Ray L. Smith and H. John Poole, as well as the logical processes evidenced in his occasional tapes released for our viewing and listening pleasure, indicate he was a very devout Muslim and was following the requirements of his religion when making war.  He was also very educated and came from a wealthy Saudi family.  In short, he was nobody we should have underestimated.  Remember, the US was allied with him during the fight against the USSR in Afghanistan and the US trained him!  He was very, very good then, and was until he was taken down by our SEAL’s.

To be a murderer is a perception based upon one’s own values, cultural and moral.  According to his own morals born of his religion, he was not a murderer.  He was doing the bidding of his prophet.  The claims of his traitorousness to Islam is laughable when one reads information on the Hadiths (practices) that are aligned with the Koran.  For a great glimpse of what is acceptable to a Muslim following his religion, read the book, “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington”, by Paul Sperry.

Lastly, for this case study, the belief that he does not have a large following is also proven to be less than a logical conclusion.  Since 9/11, the amount of Muslim children named “Osama” has skyrocketed.  He was also called, “the Lion of Islam” by many Muslims.  Check it out for yourself.  You’ll see after your own research that Osama Bin Laden has a great following, numbering, most likely numbering in the millions.

So, that said, how do you fight overconfidence in our preparations and training?

  • First, we must learn about the enemy—how he thinks, where he comes from, what he wants, and most importantly, how willing is he to die for his cause.
  • Second, we must adopt a mindset of resolve—that is, no matter the cost (personally, professionally, culturally), we will do whatever it takes to learn those skills required to defeat an enemy if attacked.
  • Third, Take every opportunity to train that’s possible.  If work gets in the way one day, make arrangements and train with someone the next day.
  • Find sources of expertise that you don’t have, and glean every bit of knowledge you possibly can from them.  Don’t expect to get it free, either.  You get what you pay for.  Put ego aside on this one and objectively evaluate your skills, and then take steps to increase them.
  • If you don’t have a very organized group, get organized!!
  • Learn to shoot what you have extremely well!  Every round expended in training that is not aimed, deliberate and subsequently devastating to the intended target is a round wasted in relation to your purpose.  Hone your skills so that you can hit a 3 inch circle at 100 yards consistently from any position you can shoot from.  Don’t be satisfied when you can; start ‘running and gunning’ at courses designed to teach you how it’s done.
  • Study the enemy.  To know the enemy is to learn his weaknesses.  You can find many references, including the ones cited above that will help you understand who is coming to kill you and your family.  And make no mistake, they want you dead.
  • Take what you are doing seriously.  Keep the bull sessions to break time.  Use every minute you’re in the field training to its greatest benefit.

Remember, you don’t have to like or admire your enemy but you must respect his capabilities.  Historical examples abound of one nation or group that despised and didn’t respect the more poorly armed, technologically deficient, and smaller numbered group.  The American Revolution comes to mind.

We must have that same spirit today if we are to survive the coming onslaught.  And make no mistake, short of Devine intervention, we will see what has happened overseas happen here…..sooner than many think.

 

Trading Space for Time

Also known as a ‘Delaying Action.’  Recent discussions here, and WRSA and at Max Velocity’s place regarding react to contact drills (incorrectly termed, ‘ambush’) led to thinking about a comment left at this site that said, in part, “…What happened to the tactical retreat as a response to contact or ambush? “patrol being destroyed” is unacceptable, and if they clean up, prepares the ground for the next patrol to do it again without info (other than “where is Beta team?”).”

As we’ve not covered that particular tactic, this post will give you something to think about and practice.

Taken straight from the manual, “the intent of a delay is to slow the enemy, cause enemy casualties, and stop him without becoming decisively engaged. This is done by defending, disengaging, moving, and defending again.”

In our context, fighting a delaying action can be more simply defined – the element ordered to delay an enemy is simply trading space for time.  Let’s break that down even more:

  • Trading Space – Giving ground to the enemy, slowly, with tactical and operational goals in mind, like possibly getting away from them.
  • Gaining Time – Slowing the enemy advance to buy time for the main element or elements to conduct their particular mission, again, like possibly getting away from them to a more protected area or other friends who can help.

Group size is not relevant to the conduct of delaying actions.  These actions can be conducted by fire teams to battalions.  No matter the size of the delaying element, there are certain principles that must be adhered to for effective execution of the delay:

  • Delays are not usually conducted independently.  The delay element fights as part of the larger element, ie, a single fire team member closely coordinates his delaying action with the rest of the fire team and fights as part of the fire team.  This can get really tricky if you’re not training together regularly.
  • Delays can be done by a sector or by positions, that is, the delaying element may operate with varying degrees of latitude over an extended area that the enemy will be moving through, or may move away from the enemy from prepared defensive positions to other prepared positions.
    • Sector delay is usually conducted when multiple avenues of approach or a wide sector of operations is encountered and you have the people.
    • Position delay is usually conducted when there is only one or two avenues of approach the enemy can use to engage due to terrain, area denial initiatives, and enemy disengagement is not projected.  For SHTF/RWOL situations, and your numbers are limited, you might want to disengage as quickly as feasible in order to survive the contact.
  • When conducting delays along sector lines, times for occupation and holding can be pre-determined.  Delaying elements must keep the enemy forward of that line for the time specified.  That means the element in position has to hold, basically stay and fight.
  • Delaying actions are most successful when the primary threat faced is infantry—armored pursuit elements can only be engaged with appropriate anti-armor weaponry.  In which case, you and your team should un-ass the AO faster than you ever thought possible.  Unless, of course, you have anti-armor capability….but let’s get back to reality here.

The delay, however, must  be conducted over a front wide enough so that the enemy cannot bypass or envelop the delaying force or penetrate and subsequently prevent the successful execution of the delaying mission.  What this boils down to is the delaying element must be keenly aware of the enemy’s activity and remain able to break contact and move to another more viable delaying position with no notice to avoid being flanked or enveloped, especially when operating in a small team.  When planning a delaying action, include the following factors in the operational plan:

  • Make Maximum Use of Terrain. Use every terrain feature possible that will help delay the enemy. When battle positions must be used, they should be located on terrain that controls likely enemy avenues of approach.
  • Force the Enemy to Deploy and Maneuver. Use terrain to exploit firepower. Engage the enemy at the maximum range of all weapons. You may be able to trap the enemy if he moves within close range (don’t count on it; this will be one of those moments where seizing the initiative provides a tactical advantage, and is extremely rare). This causes the enemy to take time consuming measures to deploy, develop the situation, and maneuver to drive the delaying force from its position. Repeated use of this technique will slow the forward progress of the enemy and will trade space for time. 
  • Make Maximum Use of Obstacles. Use man-made and natural obstacles to canalize and slow enemy progress, and provide security to the flanks. To be effective, obstacles must be covered by observation and fire. 
  • Maintain Contact with the Enemy. Conduct continuous reconnaissance to establish and maintain contact with the enemy. Maintaining enemy contact requires visual observation of the enemy, observation and correction of fires (if at all possible with your organic firepower), and freedom of maneuver to avoid decisive engagement or to break contact on order. Enemy forces with freedom of maneuver and mobility will try to bypass or envelop the flanks, or penetrate between units conducting the delay. To prevent penetration or envelopment, maintain contact with the enemy forces. 
  • Avoid Decisive Engagement. In a delay, occupy positions long enough to force the enemy to deploy; then, develop the situation and maneuver to attack each position. A delaying force moves to the next delaying position before becoming decisively engaged. If it remains in position as the enemy launches his attack, it will become decisively engaged, the mission will fail, and the unit will sustain unnecessary losses.

Types of Delay

The types of delay are outlined below:

Delay in Sector. The team boss selects initial and subsequent delay positions for his teams. He defends and withdraws by teams, leap frogging (bounding) them to the rear. Delay positions should have long-range fields of fire to the front and covered withdrawal routes to the rear.  And that can be tricky, because when you get to the next line of delay positions, they need to have long-range fields of fire to the front and covered withdrawal routes to the rear, also.  So, this is going to take some poring over your topographical maps or intimate knowledge of the AO.

Delay from Delay Positions. The AO top kick assigns the smaller group the mission to delay from delay positions, when:

o   The primary threat is armor or motorized units and they have anti-vehicular capabilities!.

o   The AO network is delaying in an armor-restrictive area where the enemy can be canalized into selected areas.

o   Terrain is available that dominates armor avenues of approach, or the battalion sector is narrow.

The AO top kick (or leader, if you wish) assigns the smaller group a series of delay positions from which to delay. The group moves from one delay position to another as directed by the AO leader. The initial delay position is where most of the position preparation is made and where the AO leader normally wants to hold out the longest.

If a delay is conducted over a long distance, delay in sector or delay from delay positions may be used. The leader picks the team positions and the routes to them. If there is terrain that is defendable forward of a delay line (set by the AO leader), the team leader may decide to defend there for the required time stated for that line. The teams fires can be supplemented by supporting fires, smoke,  and obstacles in both types of delays, all depending on your manpower and resources available.

Notes:

o   Delay operations are often more decentrally executed than other defense missions. Because the team must gain an advantage to be successful, reconnaissance and the rehearsal of movements is critical. It is even more important because of the speed and depth of maneuver and less supporting fires will be available, especially if you have a small team.

o   Your team resupply points are located on the next subsequent delay position to ensure ammo/suply availability.

o   The company team field trains remain co-located with the battalion task force field trains.

You must also consider the time required to move to the next subsequent position, and alternate means of communications, both audio and visual, to be used in the event that radio communications is disrupted.

Gear Evaluation UPDATE: Apocalypse Gear Survival Sheath

UPDATE II: We still like the sheath a lot; we’ve had it out in the field for weekend classes since the initial report and it is holding up well, so no worries there. The one thing we have found is that while the pouch holds a multi-tool perfectly, the weight of the multi-tool (in my case, the Leatherman Super Tool) pulls the sheath in and down, making the tip of the sheath bump against your leg in an annoying manner. However, due to the great modular design by Apocalypse Gear, LLC, you can remove the pouch and its holder and use the pouch separately on your harness or vest. More updates to follow as more field time is spent.

UPDATE: Anyone deciding to try these sheaths out, when you contact AG, make sure you let them know you found out about them through DTG and you’ll get a 10% discount. This is a nice gesture; DTG is has no financial interest in AG and receives no benefit from our evaluation.

DTG found Apocalypse Gear, LLC, happily by chance, as we were looking for something a bit more ‘robust’ for our knife of choice, the Bravo 1.5. The leather sheath the Bravo comes with is fine quality, especially in this day of short cuts, but leather has its drawbacks, and so we were seeing how we could improve what we carry our blades with in the field.

Apocalypse Gear ( http://apocalypse-gear.com ), headed by Jonathan Cotton, is a small, serious shop dedicated to bringing quality gear to the field for hard use. After some communication back and forth, he sent us two test sheaths in Coyote Brown, the color of our choice. The sheath has a MSRP right under $100, so it’s not cheap. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it from what it does in the field. From the way it looks and feels so far, it might be just the ticket for the folks who want ‘a bit more’ from their sheath.

Here’s what it looks like right out of the box:

ApocSheath1

Interesting notes:

1 – The Multi-Tool/Spare Mag pouch is secured by a MALICE clip threaded through a retaining strap screwed to the sheath.
2 – The sheath comes with a firesteel and a striker (nice touch) that we don’t need as we use our Bravo 1.5 for the striker, but still, for those that want it because they don’t have one, it’s there. (The reason we do this is because we like our firesteel to be a bit longer than the sheath so we can put a small 550 cord loop around the bottom of the rod and then tied into the handle of the firesteel to prevent loss as the firesteel is used and loses diameter.)
3 – The sheath has a built in drainage hole at the bottom where the kydex was folded to form the sheath.

Rear view:

ApocSheath2

Side View with Striker:

ApocSheath3

View with author’s Bravo 1.5 and personal Firesteel with the handle painted Earth Brown:

ApocSheath5

The fit of my Bravo 1.5 is perfect. The sheath holds it in very securely; it’s easy to draw. It also has a special mount on the back that will let the user mount it horizontally on a belt. Nice feature!

So far, we give it a 5 out of 5 for Initial Inspection ‘Out of the Box’.

More to follow as we put it through its paces.