Monday, May 28, 2012
The 16-17 June Carbine course in the Willamette valley is now full. If you were unable to get into this course drop me an email and I will try and schedule another one.
The 23-24 June Kidnap Defense - E&E course still has openings at this time and will be held in the central Oregon area. Check the Courses page for details...
Posted by K@CSG at 9:06 AM
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Thursday, May 10, 2012
December 1944....Private Kurt Vonnegut is captured by German troops during the Rhineland Campaign and is later interned at a Dresden work camp. His letter below describes one man's journey of survival....
Pfo. K. Vonnegut, Jr.,
12102964 U. S. Army.
I'm told that you were probably never informed that I was anything other than "missing in action." Chances are that you also failed to receive any of the letters I wrote from Germany. That leaves me a lot of explaining to do -- in precis:
I've been a prisoner of war since December 19th, 1944, when our division was cut to ribbons by Hitler's last desperate thrust through Luxemburg and Belgium. Seven Fanatical Panzer Divisions hit us and cut us off from the rest of Hodges' First Army. The other American Divisions on our flanks managed to pull out: We were obliged to stay and fight. Bayonets aren't much good against tanks: Our ammunition, food and medical supplies gave out and our casualties out-numbered those who could still fight - so we gave up. The 106th got a Presidential Citation and some British Decoration from Montgomery for it, I'm told, but I'll be damned if it was worth it. I was one of the few who weren't wounded. For that much thank God.
Well, the supermen marched us, without food, water or sleep to Limberg, a distance of about sixty miles, I think, where we were loaded and locked up, sixty men to each small, unventilated, unheated box car. There were no sanitary accommodations -- the floors were covered with fresh cow dung. There wasn't room for all of us to lie down. Half slept while the other half stood. We spent several days, including Christmas, on that Limberg siding. On Christmas eve the Royal Air Force bombed and strafed our unmarked train. They killed about one-hundred-and-fifty of us. We got a little water Christmas Day and moved slowly across Germany to a large P.O.W. Camp in Muhlburg, South of Berlin. We were released from the box cars on New Year's Day. The Germans herded us through scalding delousing showers. Many men died from shock in the showers after ten days of starvation, thirst and exposure. But I didn't.
Under the Geneva Convention, Officers and Non-commissioned Officers are not obliged to work when taken prisoner. I am, as you know, a Private. One-hundred-and-fifty such minor beings were shipped to a Dresden work camp on January 10th. I was their leader by virtue of the little German I spoke. It was our misfortune to have sadistic and fanatical guards. We were refused medical attention and clothing: We were given long hours at extremely hard labor. Our food ration was two-hundred-and-fifty grams of black bread and one pint of unseasoned potato soup each day. After desperately trying to improve our situation for two months and having been met with bland smiles I told the guards just what I was going to do to them when the Russians came. They beat me up a little. I was fired as group leader. Beatings were very small time: -- one boy starved to death and the SS Troops shot two for stealing food.
On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden -- possibly the world's most beautiful city. But not me.
After that we were put to work carrying corpses from Air-Raid shelters; women, children, old men; dead from concussion, fire or suffocation. Civilians cursed us and threw rocks as we carried bodies to huge funeral pyres in the city.
When General Patton took Leipzig we were evacuated on foot to ('the Saxony-Czechoslovakian border'?). There we remained until the war ended. Our guards deserted us. On that happy day the Russians were intent on mopping up isolated outlaw resistance in our sector. Their planes (P-39's) strafed and bombed us, killing fourteen, but not me.
Eight of us stole a team and wagon. We traveled and looted our way through Sudetenland and Saxony for eight days, living like kings. The Russians are crazy about Americans. The Russians picked us up in Dresden. We rode from there to the American lines at Halle in Lend-Lease Ford trucks. We've since been flown to Le Havre.
I'm writing from a Red Cross Club in the Le Havre P.O.W. Repatriation Camp. I'm being wonderfully well feed and entertained. The state-bound ships are jammed, naturally, so I'll have to be patient. I hope to be home in a month. Once home I'll be given twenty-one days recuperation at Atterbury, about $600 back pay and -- get this -- sixty (60) days furlough.
I've too damned much to say, the rest will have to wait, I can't receive mail here so don't write.
May 29, 1945
Kurt - Jr.
.........much to be gleaned from his account.......
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
-- Thomas Jefferson
As any of my former students can attest to, Jefferson's point is something I strive to integrate into all my shooting courses. Gunfights generally take place under less than ideal circumstances and I feel training must reflect that reality. It is a difficult thing to maintain an acceptable degree of marksmanship while cold, tired, wet, dirty or injured. A couple concepts to ponder...
1. You rapidly exit your helicopter on a hot LZ and immediately find yourself up to your knees in soft mud. The barrel of your rifle is now packed with mud....do you have the tools available to punch the bore clear? How fast can you do it?
2. An assailant throws dirt in your face, ruining the vision in your dominant eye as you bring your weapon to bear. Have you trained with your non-dominate eye? With pistol and carbine? How fast can you make the transition?
3. You are shot in your support arm rendering it useless. Can you fix a malfunction and return effective fire? With carbine and pistol? What about if your primary arm is the one that goes down, can you perform these tasks with your support arm only?
4. What parts on your M4/AR15 are known to fail? What is the general life expectancy of said parts? Where exactly is your weapon in that timeline? Do you have spare parts? How fast can you change them out?
I bring these particular scenarios up because they actually do happen, and are show-stoppers if not dealt with most ricky tick............ask me how I know.
Posted by K@CSG at 12:47 PM
Friday, May 4, 2012
“We have problems . . . The federal government is preparing for civil uprising,” he added, “so every time you hear about troop movements, every time you hear about movements of military equipment, the militarization of the police, the buying of the ammunition, all of this is . . . they (DHS) are preparing for a massive uprising.”
Read the rest HERE
Whatever your political leanings are matters not. We are, as a nation, headed for trouble one way or another and you would be well advised to see that you are able to weather the storm.
Posted by K@CSG at 11:10 AM
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Bail Out Bag (or BOB, for short) has become a staple in an era of vehicle borne military and PSD operations. It is generally a small to medium sized pack or shoulder bag stuffed with the bare essentials to get you through a bad situation. It's specific contents can vary depending on your own operational concerns, but may include extra magazines, signaling devices, water, Escape & Evasion supplies and medical adjuncts; which would all be pretty typical for military or para-military needs.
When planning a BOB for personal use, I advocate taking a scenario based approach to deciding what goes in and what stays on the shelf. For example: if you periodically travel a mountain/wilderness area to visit relatives, you would want to envision a scenario where you perhaps have a vehicle breakdown - in the worst possible weather and at the worst possible hour - so, right away we can see some obvious needs to add to the list...
1) Signal devices (flashlights, road flares, chem-lights, whistle, VS-17 panel)
2) Water (more if you are in an arid region, water filter or purification tablets)
3) GPS, Compass, Maps ( GPS has screwed more people than I care to recount, it behooves you to know your way around a compass)
4) Ammunition (if you are carrying a firearm - I would hope - have some extra magazines)
5) Small binoculars
6) First Aid kit/ Blow-out kit ( I would recommend at a minimum, a quality pressure dressing, an airway adjunct, a tourniquet, some kerlex roll gauze and a cravat.
7) Fire starting supplies (lighter, flint & steel, some kind of all weather tinder)
8) Edged tool (knife, multi-tool, folding shovel)
8) Edged tool (knife, multi-tool, folding shovel)
Point being....the absolute minimum to keep you alive if you have to sit in the woods awaiting rescue, walk to help, fight off attackers or any other number of scenarios.
Understand, this is merely a very generalized list, you will need to build your bag to suit your own needs and environment. One thing to be aware of is the natural tendency to be a bit over zealous with your list. I advise you limit your bag size considerably , think diaper bag or camelback size. Rest assured, if you start with a large bag, you will find stuff to fill it with. The concept is to have an easily deployable, minimally burdening bag that you can grab and run with, and not a 100 pound mountain ruck.
I recommend the BOB concept for everyone, whether you are a soldier, a peace officer or a soccer mom. It can potentially change a bad situation from tragic to uncomfortable.