In the last entry I oriented you to our notional homestead and we dissected a threat based zone system along with identifying what/how the threat could move and observe in our immediate Area of Operations (AO). The zone system is going to come into play heavily during our defense planning and during this entry we’re going to dissect those zones a bit. Still no countermeasures yet but it’s coming soon, trust me. For right now we have to get a seriously in depth grasp on the makeup of our terrain.
Below I have zoomed in a bit and show our immediate zone system map. Remember Zone A is out to 50 meters, Zone B is out to 150 meters, and zone C is out to 400 meters. These are the zones that will garner my immediate attention. Why these zones? From 400 meters in is what I call “carbine country”. Simply put that is the range that common rifles firing intermediate caliber cartridges( ARs, AKs, etc) are accurate at with nominal training by the shooter (and yeah I know an AR can hit yada yadas yada – I’m referring to what the average shooter is capable of not some guy that has thousands of bucks invested in a rifle and training). From Zone C in is our “fighting zone” and more than likely the extent of our rifles range as well. As usual the stars depict currently inhabited homesteads. The green lines represent existing fence lines.
Next I’m going to throw back up our zone map with some threat display on it.
The threat field of view capability for our homestead is the outline in red. The solid arrows running down the roads represent what is referred to as “High Speed Avenues of Approach” which are roads that can be used by a threat to insert into our immediate AO by at least a 2 wheel drive truck. The smaller single lined arrows represent possible avenues of attack by the threat and the large double arrows represent what I believe to be the most likely avenue of attack. Notice I’ve gauged the threat as being most likely to attack from the north, west, and southwest. This is due to a couple of reasons. First with the occupied homesteads to the northeast and east it’s less likely they would attempt to penetrate through those without engaging or being engaged although it’s always a possibility (don’t ever write anything off). Secondly the area to the west is quite a bit less densely populated which means the threat would have less a chance of encountering another homestead or activity that would alert to their presence. Additionally that area gives the threat the closest avenue of approach without being observed. In fact the threat would be able to marshal just outside of our normal viewing range and split up vehicles to hit from the northwest and north almost simultaneously after dropping dismounts to hit from the woodline due west and southwest. Due to the composition of the land and lack of vehicular ingress routes an attack from the south is still possible however I believe it as less likely.
Now we’ll look at the zones themselves. I’m going to point out a few strengths and weaknesses that we’ll begin to address in the coming entries but for right now I want you to be aware of what’s there. The first Zone we’ll look at is Zone A which is roughly 50 meters out from the house.
Zone A includes the house itself in the center which is our primary dwelling and is also going to be our final defensive position. The area marked #1 is our immediate north and contains the driveway and no fencing. Against a high speed insertion this is an open door. #2 is our pond. This is a strength in the zone in that no vehicle is likely to cross it and if it’s deep and muddy enough it will be pretty impassible by dismounts. It’s good in that it prevents the threat from gaining easy access to the household from the northeast to the southeast. #3 is the currently active barn and shop. These are pretty essential buildings with a few trees around them. They block our field of view to the southeast and that is going to be critical later on. #4 is an old inactive barn that has half of its roof already torn off. It’s currently just being used for storage and it partially blocks our view to the west. Remember as I stated in the last entry that the threat penetrating Zone A is a critical decision point – stay and fight or shag out. Shotguns, pistols, and hand thrown explosives and flammables are a big threat in this zone.
Next up is Zone B. Zone B goes from 50 meters out to 200 meters. This is the immediate fight zone in that we don’t want any threat penetrating to Zone A. Zone B is the beginning of where our planning will hit some challenges as it’s not entirely on our property. And unless you have one helluva relationship with that property owner you may just have to suck up some of its shortfalls.
Working from north #1 represents an area where the threat is capable of a high speed insertion into Zone A. In this Zone that area is a major issue that we absolutely cannot afford to miss addressing later on. #2 is our pond, still an asset as it blocks easy ingress. #3 is an open area leading to the barns that has small dirt mound in it. Those dirt mounds represent cover for an attacking force trying to make its way to the cover of the barns. #4 is a treeline of fast growing pine that runs along a fenceline. This is a pretty big issue as well. It blocks our field of view further into the zone and gives the threat cover to fire and maneuver from. #5 is the western woodline. A threat could literally approach from this area and using the cover of that old barn move to well within Zone A. In Zone B the threat to the immediate house comes more from rifle fire than smaller and shorter range weapons.
Next up is Zone C. Zone C goes from 200 meters out to 400. Remember I stated from 400 meters in is carbine country. If the threat is armed with normal tactical weapons (i.e. ARs, AKs, etc.) then this range is where the threat is going to be able to start pouring it on from.
Notice that we have another homestead at #1. This is a strength in that not only could they possibly provide supporting fire from cover at that location but it is also a possible fallback position if we need to shag. That homestead also has a pretty good field of fire along that high speed ingress route as well. Definitely a strength in that zone. #2 is an issue. That is the hayfield which normally contains huge rolls of hay stored from the end of cutting season through the winter. It’s a source of cover and ingress from the wooded area parallel to the eastern high speed avenue of approach. #3 is a small clump of trees that could provide excellent cover for a couple of shooter. #3 is also another source of cover which in this instance is a couple of old junk vehicles. #5 is once again that western woodline which provides cover and the ability to maneuver within observation and rifle range. And #6 is the northern area which as in Zone B gives a threat a high speed avenue of approach.
Is this the only way to do this? Absolutely not. You could expand Zone A to include the barn and shop (which makes perfect sense if they are critical to your survival). Zone B could be done away with completely. What I intend is for you to get an appreciate for the way your terrain is composed and from what ranges and locations a threat could target you while effectively firing and maneuvering.
Before we go further into the process I need to address one critical point. If push comes to shove and the fight is at your front door by having breached Zone A then IMHO it’s critical decision time. Are you going to stand and fight (possibly in a burning house) or are you going to Escape and Evade (E&E) to another homestead or Rally Point (RP)? Before you get overzealous with setting up defensive measures remember that the whole point of surviving is to live. Keep that in mind along with the old adage that anything that keeps the threat out is going to probably keep you in. Maintaining the ability to egress under pressure (which is going to increase as soon as you slacken fire and begin to bug out) while canalizing an attacking force requires a fine balance in defensive design. There’s not always to be a clear and concise answer or solution. Be creative but keep those things in mind.
In the next entry I’m going to look at Zones A through C in relation to basic defense taking into consideration what we’ve identified so far. I’ll also begin to tackle Zone C with some terrain modification and passive defensive measures. I’ll be working from the outside in which some folks will find bassackawrd. The logic behind that is Zone C is going to provide some funding for a few upgrades and preps later in the process.