Originally posted on 25 Nov 2013.
Here’s what the deal is going to be in a best case scenario in the typical liberty-minded citizen’s world when SHTF.
Four to six well-trained and armed (to one degree or another) people. The term ‘Neighborhood Protection Team’ (NPT) is what the military calls a ‘fire team.’ The first people to popularize it that we’re aware of are two former Spec Op types, Jack Lawson and Mike Garand, who co-wrote, “A Failure of Civility.” We will be reviewing their book here in a later post.
If couples are involved, that can mean up to 3 couples and a relative number of children involved in your NPT, with the children, of course, being ‘precious cargo’ and something to be protected. If each member of the NPT has a family and there are 6 members, it could be as many as 6 families or 24 people (2 parents; 2 children). That projection is one of the primary reasons the NPT needs to remain small. Extreme case of 24 people is a lot of folks to keep sheltered, fed, healthy and safe. Your work is cut out for you.
So, for now, forget a full 12 person squad; forget a 40 man or better ‘platoon strength’ organization. Forget squad or platoon drills. It’s generally not going to happen. There may be isolated instances of larger, more well-prepared and organized semi-official groups (private ‘militias’, homogenous prepper communities and so forth), but by and large, initially, at least, that’s going to be beyond the pale of reality. At least measured by the indicators we’ve seen in the training arena. That, coupled with the ‘rugged individualist’ ready to ‘die on his doorstep’, provides at least anecdotal support for the assertion.
Certainly, as circumstances develop, small groups will become ‘centers of gravity’ as they survive and thrive, adapting to new conditions not seen in this country since the 1860’s, and subsequently, survivors will find their way to them, asking for sanctuary. Some of these will be quick learning people with needed skills; but it is speculation at best until we’re at that point, God forbid.
Bringing this closer to home, you may consider limiting your initial ‘NPT’ to 4 to 6 people and work with other small groups in your larger neighborhood. This will have several advantages, so long as your several teams have the same objective and can work together. First, command is decentralized, which, when working with Decentralization of strength and command in your neighborhood is going to be keep to keeping the community relatively safe during SHTF scenarios.
Your NPT should be armed with rifles if at all possible. Pistols and shotguns are nice, but, as we know, are extremely range limited. Bottom line is whatever your NPT carries is up to the members, but try to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ (pun intended).
Your NPT should meet and train on something related to the actual defense of your neighborhood as often as harmonious life will permit. Marksmanship is extremely important; the keystone of the foundation of being able to protect one’s family, friends, and neighborhood. However, don’t ignore other vital areas:
- PT (Directly impacts marksmanship as well as the ability to move and communicate).
- Map studies.
- Go to www.mytopo.com and get a map made of your area in as large a scale as possible (1:10,000 is a good study scale) and if you can, get an aerial or satellite photograph. Make sure you have MGRS grid lines on the map. Yes, it’s going to cost you some cash, but take up a collection from the NPT and spread the ‘damage’ as you can. Make copies of the maps, or sections thereof, so you don’t have to mark on your ‘real’ map. Never take your marked up copies out with you during the ‘real deal’.
- Learn to plot 8 digit grid coordinates (that’s what the MGRS grid lines are for, if you don’t already know)
- Take TC3 a couple of times.
- Learn how to put a ‘mission pack’ together.
- Go somewhere you won’t be thought of as nutbags and practice moving as a team.
- Practice hand and arm signal communication.
- Learn effective area camouflage – what works in your particular area.
- If money allows, sign up for training with someone who doesn’t do ‘hoorah’ garbage. Moving in a ‘stack’ and popping of a couple mags into a target 10 meters away looks great on a video, but you want light infantry type training. Most reputable folks will offer basic courses that meet your needs, or, if your situation is very unique, don’t usually have a problem adapting the class to fit your circumstances. Talk to them and find out. All they can say is, ‘No, thanks!’
- Start to study Situational Leadership. If someone in your group has a lot of experience leading, let them do it. It’s not about ego, it’s about staying alive.
Once you’ve reached a level of training that the members are comfortable with everything you are doing and trust each other, you must ensure that you keep the NPT effective without burning them out. Try some exercises putting the normally quiet people in charge and have them run the training session, especially in the tactics area.
If you have several NPT’s in a larger neighborhood, great. Coordinate with them, but stay autonomous as long as is necessary. There’s no reason to be under a unified commander when performing as a NPT. However, there is a need to network and coordinate activities of each through communication and discussion of the NPT leaders. So long as the NPT leaders all agree on ‘Commander’s Intent’ (keeping the neighborhood safe and stopping attacks), working together toward that end will be fairly difficulty free (aside from the difficulties of daily life without a support network that we enjoy today…).
Something that also works well is decentralized NPT operations, where each team analyzes their own small area of influence and moves about with no set pattern but with set objectives, performing what is called, ‘security patrols,’ which are designed to find an enemy trying to infiltrate an area.
Back in my day we called it, “Distributed Area Defense.” Teams operated in concert but independent of each other in their assigned sectors, all with the leeway to do whatever they believed to be necessary at the time to ensure their area was covered in an effective, random manner.
Think about how that applies to your urban, suburban, semi-rural, or rural ‘neighborhood’. Then, formulate a plan. Be choosy on who you bring into your NPT. You want dependability above a warm body.
In the future, more on NPT employment.