I’ve gotten a slew of emails over the last two Defense entries – Cover and Concealment. Some of the questions are very similar, valid, and should be addressed. I’m still working on breaking down the Obstacles entries so I’ll get this out of the way now.
I received several questions and comments about the “hasty fighting position” in the cover entry. Up front – this kind of position is not intended for you to sit and fight in. If you stay static in a firefight unless you’re in a built up position with interlocking fires and mutual support your survivability goes down greatly once the threat begins to maneuver (move around trying to gain your flank or rear). The intent is to give you a place to seek temporary cover while you gain situational awareness and develop the picture of the fight around you while denying the threat a significant source of cover. Why didn’t we add a grenade sump? Brother if the threat is that close you done screwed up – you should have already bounded (moved). The intent is to gain cover, develop your situational awareness, and move (hopefully with some supporting fire) towards a better position (i.e. your FDP) to fight from. Why don’t we build improved fighting positions everywhere? Remember I don’t want to give the threat any cover or concealment to use in their advance and assault. A properly constructed sandbag wall is typically bulletproof in both directions. Given that we assume we won’t have fire superiority during initial contact having clear zones of fire covering obstacles will help even the playing field a bit until our shovel ready friends arrive. The bottom line is the longer you hang out in the same position without support against a maneuvering threat the less likely your chances of survival. Key concept: Sit, fight, and die. Shoot, move, communicate and live.
A word about decoys: Decoys are a good idea. But when it comes to things like dressing dummies up you better use some brains. This was discussed during my recent road trip and I gave my host a few revelations about this kind of practice. In reality land any threat worth a dime is going to typically conduct some kind of surveillance or intel gathering for probably at least 24 hours prior to an assault. If you have a couple of dummies sitting in a position you need to take into account the threats ability to watch said position from a concealed location and observe the fact the dummies ain’t moving, aren’t getting out to piss, and don’t get relieved. Plus it’s pretty damn hard to make a believable dummy that can fool someone looking at it with a cheap set of binos. IMHO your efforts are better spent elsewhere.
Camo nets: Good or bad? My answer is “it depends”. A truck sitting in the middle of a field with a net draped over it looks like a truck with a net over it. A truck covered with a camo nets using some support systems to prop it up into a semi dome shape mingled into a couple of large bushes might be more feasible. An ATV covered in the woods sitting in a bunch of bushes? Yeah, it works. I received an email asking about nets with “radar scattering” tags on them. Folks that is for countering primarily things like GSR (Ground Surveillance Radar) and older aerial radar systems (i.e. AWACS Gen. 1) both of which are not the newest generation of threat surveillance technology. Nets won’t completely hide light (either in the visible or invisible spectrum – UV to IR) or heat (thermal signatures). What do these radar scattering nets do? They break up the return signature of those early radar systems. Used properly in conjunction with existing terrain they’ll mask against clear definite activity and objects but without background clutter it’s pretty easy for a threat to know something is there. I’ve got a couple of nets here and about the only thing I use them for is camo for my ATV, dirtbike, and jeep. I save the other ones for concealing the openings in the barn and garage when TSHTF if I have to work with the doors open. If it comes to a point we have to setup a manned checkpoint then they may come into play with that. For now they’re fallback material.
One again on the drones. Everyone’s pretty aware the tech is already available to civilians. There’s some little four rotor helo looking contraption that has remote video capability out to something like 100 meters with an unboosted signal being sold already (IIRC it’s called dragonfly or something). And there is also already vids of it being shot down by some hunters whom were being surveiled by an anti-hunting group using the damn thing. The bottom line is these (and their smaller .mil type counterparts) are fragile as get all. And with their onboard sensors they are already pushing their flight envelope so no you’re not going to see thermal systems or weapons on any of the current crop of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS) aka Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (TUAVs). Five more years? Probably. Someone sent me a link to a video of some Russian guy with one of those little four rotor jobs with a gun on it blowing shit up. Guys that was a lot of computer gen stuff. I don’t even think that guys Russian. I’ve read up on the helo UAS system Austin is trying to buy as well. That thing is so slow grammy can hit it with her old .410. And no I do not recommend dragons breath or any of that other specialty shotgun stuff. Use the fastest and flattest flying round ya got and lead. An email asked if I thought there would be a good way to practice leading. If you want to practice I suggest getting a skeet thrower and setting it up on top of a platform to get some additional elevation. Set it about 400 to 500 yards out and practice hitting those skeet as they cross. Don’t want to spend all of that money on clay? Then try getting some metal discs cut and using them. Deflection shooting is a skill that can be developed fairly easily and shooting skeet with a .22 is fun and challenging as hell. Even practicing tracking using an optic so you get comfortable with the elevation and windage offset is better than nothing. Don’t believe it’s possible? Hadji has done a pretty good job of smacking Ravens in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
We all need to realize this – there’s more than a couple of different scenarios that can go down to cause TSTHTF. Some folks think the name “Tribe” is a bit misleading. Maybe. Maybe “community” or “group” or “clan” is better for you. Personally I like tribe because to me it carries a bit more impact in its association with closeness among different families. Very few folks will survive any of those scenarios I mentioned alone. It’s going to take cooperation, teamwork, and a whole buttload of effort to make it. And then the odds are still going to be stacked against us. But some simple preparing and thinking ahead and outside the box can help bring those odds more in our favor. As Mosby stated you better have those “shovel ready” friends handy whatever you call them.
Religion. A touchy subject. You won’t see me talk about religion much (maybe later on) as I feel it’s a personal issue. If you’re religious good. If not, fine as well. I won’t degrade you for either – like I said it’s a personal thing. This blog isn’t about personal issues. IMHO everyone should keep your personal choice opinions to yourself and play like grown adults – because there’s a lot of folks out there that have no clue of that concept
About comments on the blog entries. I don’t censor them with an exception. Stuff might get lost in the spam filter but the only ones I will delete are the ones that either aren’t constructive (and there has been some excellent comments and further info posted by readers) meaning that if you comment with some crap like “This is a waste and you should be blogging about X” then yeah, it’s getting canned.
I’ve had a couple of emails asking if I could come out and “look things over” or “give some advice” and how much I would charge – the Louisiana road trip being an example. First up I don’t charge. Nothing beyond room and board. Second it’s hard for me to get away from this place for more than a day or two. This is a working ranch and the family ain’t up to running it by themselves yet (we’re working that). So if it’s more than a six hour drive I’ll probably shy away from it. The best I can do is que you up and hope to get to it eventually. In the meantime if you have questions or whatnot sure go ahead and send them. You’re likely not going to get a fast turnaround but I will eventually get a response out. Thanks to the folks that have left or emailed compliments. They’re appreciated.