Thursday, November 17, 2016

Still think Apple is a friend to privacy?

Feeling good about that iPhone in your pocket?

More Apple spying for .gov

Friday, November 11, 2016

*New Courses Added*

Home Defense Solutions / CQB course added to courses page. Email me to reserve class dates.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Vehicle Movements in Non-Permissive Environs - PART 2

Low profile

Method of Movement

Due to the fact that it is very difficult for a solitary vehicle to defend itself effectively we will create an SOP that all movements will consist of two vehicles, a lead/primary and a follow/secondary. The primary is tasked with accomplishing the "mission" (picking up a local supporter, etc) while the follow vehicle follows at a safe distance (will vary depending on road/traffic conditions) and provides overwatch.

As an example, lets say that your primary vic (vehicle) is heading down a lightly traveled rural highway with follow vic a quarter mile or so behind. On long straight stretches of highway, follow vic would drift back and increase distance, keeping primary in sight. If the road gets congested or starts winding around, follow would close the distance as needed. The goal here is to keep primary in sight (as well as maintaining comms - we will cover that later) without giving away the fact that you are supporting the primary. You also want to stay within the range capability of your weapon systems (not to mention the operator's expertise level).

Lets say that primary vic is stopped by a local gang's roadblock or perhaps a rouge government agent executes a "pull-over". Follow vic would make comms with primary so as to keep an ear on what was happening and either pull over and prepare to support by fire, or rapidly make approach as the situation dictates. Ideally you would have a minimum of two people in each vehicle. The driver focuses on driving and the passenger/TC deals with operations.

This order of movement can also be reversed with the primary in the rear if you have a high-value person or item inside the primary. The lead vehicle would act as a probe or pointman, keeping the primary vic buffered as needed.

Once primary reaches it's target it will notify home/base (using brevity codes unless you are lucky enough to have secure comms). Follow vehicle will park in overwatch or "satellite" the area, depending on the situation. A third vehicle with your QRF (quick reaction force) would be on standby at your home/base for the duration of the mission. In the event that the primary/follow teams need support or rescue the QRF team would launch. The QRF should have your largest vehicle and should be heavily armed. The QRF may need to fill multiple roles including that of ambulance and should have the necessary medical support equipment on board.

Equipping the Rig

We are assuming that you will have only soft-skin (non-armored) vehicles at your disposal as armored vehicles in the US are a rather expensive affair, both in initial cost and upkeep. With that in mind, remember that lacking armor - speed (or mobility) equals security.

This is a basic list for what we would keep in our rigs while operating in said environment:

- Fire extinguisher
- Fix-a-flat and puncture kit (x4)
- Spare tire w/tools
- 110ac power inverter
- binoculars
- seatbelt cutter/window breaker tool
- case of drinking water
- spare magazines for rifles/pistols
- weapons maintenance kit
- basic toolbox
- large bolt cutters
- tow strap/snap-strap
- medical bag
- VS-17 panel (you can make your own if needed)
- IR/WL strobe
- box of caltrops
- smoke grenades (HC and colored)
- road flares
- aerial flare
- spare batteries (for radios, GPS, flashlights, NVGs, etc)
- Jump pack w/air compressor
- compass
- GPS unit
- Radio (GMRS/CB/HAM whatever your unit is using)
- Scanner/Bearcat
- solar charger (for 12v system)
- shovel/pick/e-tool
- poncho liner (especially if in a cold climate)
- lighters/matches
- spare engine fluids
- come-along (if vic does not have a winch)
- gas can
- roll of dark fabric screen or mesh and clothespins
- windshield blocker/dash saver
- Optional - camo netting large enough to cover rig if you need to cache
- and of course, duck tape and 550 cord
Useful but overt bag - consider civilian bag with internal pouches
You can tailor this to fit your needs, but this will give you the basic necessities to keep the vehicle rolling in a bad situation. All "tactical" items such as magazines and long guns should be out of sight to someone walking around the outside of the vehicle. It goes without saying that tinted windows are a huge plus.

Keep in mind this list is separate from your personal go-bag, which may contain some of these items as well.


Next article will cover dressing for success.

- Dressing around your equipment
- Low profile fundamentals/establishing baseline
- Long gun storage and deployment
- Body Armor

Soft skin vehicle aftermath - bad day for them

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vehicle Movements in Non-Permissive Environs - PART 1

There could shortly come a time when a mundane task such as driving into town to pick up a family member could become a seriously dangerous activity. Some of us are used to this concept as we performed it routinely overseas as part of a military unit or a clandestine services unit.
The military unit will for the most part roll out in a heavy or overt-profile; meaning part of the psychological strategy is visibly projecting force....the "you don't want none of this" approach. This approach may work depending on the METT-TC or environmental/situational reality. As many a soldier has learned, in a warzone, this can make you a rather juicy target. This could also be applied to a domestic "grid-down/WROL/SHTF" scenario.  The clandestine operator will generally follow a policy of low-profile (or no-profile), meaning they seek to blend into the local environment as neatly as possible. This is for a couple of reasons, most of which should be obvious but lets examine a few.
Decidedly overt ODA gun truck

1. Unlike a military unit with air assets and support forces, the ClanOps generally have very limited, if any support (usually limited to other members of their homogeneous unit).

2. It is usually imperative to the successful outcome of their operation that they draw little if any attention to themselves.

3. A military vehicle patrol/convoy/truck team can have anywhere from 12 men to company strength, while the ClanOps will generally have 2 to 5 men.

4. Military units will move in armored vehicles whenever possible (almost exclusively anymore), while a low-profile armored vehicle may not be available for the ClanOps or fit within the mission parameters.

Where am I going with all this?

The ClanOps model is a logical model for the aforementioned SHTF scenarios we may face domestically. Most of us are going to be limited in manpower to our family/friends or neighborhood defense team members. We want to avoid drawing attention and avoid getting into pitched battles as much as possible. Where as before we could simply jump in the car and head into town for groceries, in this scenario we will need to start each movement with a plan and movement brief.

Your planning area should include large and small scale maps of your AO (area of operations) and extra maps for extended movements out of area. Ideally your maps would have overlays that indicate the following:

1. Heavy traffic areas
2. Dead ends and choke points (avoidance of likely ambush points)
3. Government/Military facilities
4. Traffic cameras
5. Medical facilities (hospitals, pharmacies, veterinary clinics)
6. Fuel points (public, government, commercial)
7. Resupply areas (stores, caches)
8. Known trouble areas (to be updated daily)
9. Lay-up points / safe-houses

It should also include a radio scanner tuned to all local emergency frequencies, base station units for your particular radio system, cell phones, computers with area webcam feeds/traffic cams and any other comms items you deem necessary.

As part of your pre-movement brief you would draw your primary route, as well as secondary and tertiary routes. You would also label your phase lines or check points as well as your timelines for departure/arrival/return. This gives your backup team/QRF a better idea of where to find you if lines of communication break down.

In the follow-on articles we will discuss:

- Equipping the vehicles
- Maintenance tasks
- Emergency action plans
- Communications
- Personal gear/weapons configurations for low-profile
- Quick Reaction Force duties

Configuring locally sourced vehicles to meet the mission