If your goal is to achieve what Garand and Lawson have outlined in, “A Failure of Civility,” you know that everything you are doing is to achieve the goal of safeguarding your neighborhood and ‘precious cargo’ during times when your emergency services aren’t capable, for whatever reason, of doing so.
To reach that level of capability, your team has to become adept in more than shooting, moving, and communicating on a basic level. As essential as these three basic skills are, there will come a point when it’s time to go beyond universal ‘Small Unit Tactics’ (SUT) training apply those skills already possessed while learning active defense measures and techniques for your NPAO.
At the same time, ensure you include skills refresher training so that those attained previously do not atrophy. That includes endless personal PT, ruck walks of increasing length and decreasing time requirements, marksmanship, patrol exercises, land navigation, etc. Doing so will definitely lengthen your training cycle, but the dividends paid in skill attainment will be priceless should you find your neighborhood under siege in a WROL or SHTF scenario.
That said, consider adding these skills to your training plan:
- Establishing and Maintaining Perimeter Security for the NPA itself or while in a patrol base – the perimeter can be as small or as large as positions allow for a viable defense of the area the NPT is trying to secure. You most likely won’t be able to actively build choke or Entry Control Points, or lay in positions, but you can certainly site the positions on a NPAO map you should have gotten in an appropriate scale that might include Successful attributes of perimeter security are:
- 360o Security
- Interlocking Fields of Fire
- Mutual Support
- Defense in Depth
- Fall Back Positions to provide for Elastic Defense – If necessary, the perimeter security plan should include the ability for perimeter positions to fall back and give ground without allowing a perimeter breach. See H.J. Poole’s, “The Last Hundred Yards” for examples. (Employed differently in small team patrol bases – original positions may become the fall back positions used to delay OPFOR from ‘overrunning’ the patrol base while other members break contact.)
- NPOC (Neighborhood Protection Operations Center) – pronounced, “En-Pock” (This function is conducted by the Patrol Leader outside the NPA perimeter.)
- QRT (Quick Reaction Team) Employment – A lightly equipped (but with as much ammo as necessary to ensure sustained reinforcement) reserve team (can be as small as a buddy team if needs be) to reinforce ‘hot spots’ in an attack on the perimeter. Should only be committed when absolutely necessary. (Not used in a patrol base for small teams.)
- Security/Reconnaissance Patrol Essentials:
- Train on employing irregular patterns & routines – Predictability will cause the patrol to be discovered and possibly destroyed should the mutant zombie trolls get into your Area of Interest without your knowledge.
- Must communicate information ASAP to NPOC (radio or runner)
- Be invisible. (see Dan Morgan76, “The RON” series) – Unless no choice, no contact. Helps provide initiative for interdiction activities (ambush, designated marksman fire, etc.)
- Capability of interdicting OPFOR (mutant zombie whatevers…)
- Delay Operations
- Slow or stop OPFOR from moving to a position to attack the NPA. Basically ‘buying time’ by giving way, slowly as possible, to OPFOR, space, while gaining time.
- Delay missions are extremely dangerous to NPT patrols.
- Time buys
- Perimeter defense modifications to fit the real time threat at or beyond the perimeter
- Preparation time for possible evacuation to other safe areas
- Security of ‘precious cargo’ (non-combatants – elderly, children, etc)
- Patrol can break into buddy teams and conduct delays in series or individually
- Multiple patrols can coordinate actions via phase line code words and time engagement to leverage the most destruction of OPFOR capability as possible (Bolger’s, “The Battle for Hunger Hill,” provides excellent examples of small teams holding regular military battalions at bay.
- Delay tactics consist of:
- 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.
These folks did it….so can you.