24 June 2012

August Class

If anyone who sent me a confirmation email for the AUG class and didn't receive an information email today, please let me know.

23 June 2012

Morality, the Law of Land Warfare, and a Mea Culpa

I plead guilty. I am guilty of an egregious sin of omission, for which I owe every reader of this blog (especially those SF veterans I know are reading it and critiquing their young protege), a profound apology. I am guilty of the sin of hubris. You see, one of the critical lessons pounded into young Special Forces candidates' heads during the Q-Course (at least when I went through JFKSWCS, and I assume still) is that, besides all the cool tactical training and gunfighter schooling, you have a moral obligation to make sure the host nation (HN) forces you are training/advising know, understand, and practice, the Law of Land Warfare. I placed too much faith in the inherent morality of the American patriot movement.

There is an old cliche that there are no rules in a war. That is, to put it as mildly as I am capable, utter nonsense. Every war, from Cain and Abel's sibling rivalry, until today, has been moderated by rules. Too often, throughout history, of course, there have been acts committed that, anyone but Satan himself would agree were crimes against humanity. Even our own nation's military has committed these. The legal crutch of precedence however, does not justify these acts, for they are unjustifiable. It certainly does not justify future actions of immorality by any so-called Liberty Resistance Movement, whose sole claim to legitimacy can be said to be the moral high ground.

There are seven basic legal principles that are supposed to bind any and all actions by contemporary U.S. military forces. They are:

  • Observances of fundamental human rights will recognize the dignity and worth of the individual and the fundamental freedom of all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. Human rights violations will not be tolerated. As with violations of the law of war, U.S. soldiers will report human rights violations when they become aware of them.
  • Civilians shall be treated humanely and may not be used to shield military operations.
  • EPWs (Enemy Prisoners of War) and civilian detainees will be treated humanely and IAW (In Accordance With) the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
  • U.S. soldiers are entitled to similar humane treatment should they fall into the enemy's hands.
  • Orders to commit war crimes are illegal and must be disobeyed.
  • Soldiers who violate the law of war will be held responsible for their actions. Superiors who order violations of the law of war are criminally and personally responsible for such orders, as are subordinates who carry out the orders.
  • Weapons, munitions, and techniques calculated to cause unnecessary pain and suffering are forbidden.

Sherman's March to the Sea:

A war crime, writ large, by any sane man's definitions. Sherman's men burned civilian homes, slaughtered livestock, and left an entire region of their non-combatant countrymen destitute and exposed to the elements and ravages of winter. Any "southron" knows the stories by heart, because they're still engraved, deeply, by the points of bayonets, on the soul of the South.

The firebombings of Dresden, atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, et al:

A war crime, albeit considered justified at the time, due to the limits of technology, and the fact that the actual targets were war-time industrial facilities. Nevertheless, any planner with sense should have anticipated the loss of civilian life that would occur. Any leader should have considered that and cancelled the operations. Would it have led to a harder fight, and more GIs lost in combat? Yes. Would it have lengthened the war, and required a larger expenditure of Allied human capital? Yes. Would it have been the more moral course of action? Yes. I would even argue that it would have been less costly in the long view of history, because the collective guilt we as a culture have felt since, led to 60+ years of propping up the defenses and economies of both Germany and Japan.

Do I expect regime security forces to adhere to the above rules in a case of armed civil war within the U.S? (Do I have "dumb motherfucker" tattooed on my forehead?)

The point is not that, "Well, they did it at Waco and Ruby Ridge, so we should be able to do it too!"

The point is not that "the ends justify the means," because they don't.

The point is that, there are several key issues that must be recognized, in regard to this specific topic, in an UW environment. All the pontificating by Walter Mitty's and armchair generals and keyboard commandos on the internet to the contrary, these are immutable realities in unconventional warfare.

  • You will not win if you abuse the sensibilities of the civilian populace. Yes, the regime will have the mass media on their side. They may even manage to "shut down" the internet (people who fear that eventuality give, I believe, the government entirely too much credit). They cannot stop people from talking however, no matter how Orwellian their systems become. People notice what actually happens, and they talk about it. If the good guys are playing by good guy rules, and the regime is stomping on puppies and smacking infants heads against door frames, people will talk about it, and it will lend support to the resistance in the long term. If, on the other hand, the "good guys" are murdering mothers and children, because "they support their stormtrooper dad/husband," people will notice that too, and it will rob the resistance of their moral high ground in the eyes of the public.
  • Killing family members does NOT "demoralize" the fighters. It pisses them off, and makes them want retribution. Look at our experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, for just the most recent examples. We inadvertently drop a JDAM on a village, and suddenly enemy recruitment numbers go through the roof. We piss on some holy books and every Mohammned, Salah, and Osama in the Islamist world is trekking across the mountains to strap Semtex to his chest and strike a blow against the infidel. It's not just a Muslim thing, folks. I'm a pretty laid back, chill kind of guy in day-to-day life. I walk away from fights every chance I get. Fuck with my wife or kid though, and it'll take a god-damn Abrams running me over to stop me from gouging your eyes out and skull-fucking you to death. What makes you think the local stormtrooper is any different? The fact that he doesn't recognize what he's doing is immoral and illegal, or doesn't care, doesn't mean he doesn't love his wife and kids.
  • It's immoral to target non-combatants. There is no belief system I know of, anywhere in the world (even orthodox Islam) whose religious doctrinal texts says it's okay to murder people. Targeting non-combatants is murder. Killing in self-defense? Perfectly moral, perhaps even a moral imperative (I believe so). Killing in pre-emptive self-defense? Still moral. If I know a guy is hunting me, why shouldn't I be allowed to hunt and kill him first? Killing some woman because she married a young man who grew up to become your town commissar? Murder. Hell, maybe she despises what he's become just as much as you do, and is looking for a way to do her part. You don't know.

I'm not going to make this into some long-drawn out lecture article. The men I know who have experienced war and violence outside of the movie screen, don't feel the need to shed blood needlessly. Our hands have enough blood on them. I don't have nightmares about the men I've killed, and I'll not hesitate to kill again if necessary. I'll even run to the sound of the guns to protect my family, friends, and community. I will not go looking for the fight though, and I will never condone, nor even entertain the notion, of killing innocents. In my experience, that is best relegated to the would-be tough guys who haven't experienced the reality of watching someone bleed out in the dirt, wondering why they drew the short straw that day. We all have a personal moral code we have to adhere to. Mine doesn't condone murder. Mine demands protection of the innocent, even when I despise someone they love. I'd rather "throw my life away" for a moral stand, protecting some douchebag's wife or kids, than live to be 110. At least my children will know I lived and died my beliefs, and stood up for morality.

Nous Defions!
John Mosby

20 June 2012

Resistance S4: The Logistics of Successful Cache Plan Development (Part Two)

(In the previous installment of this article, we discussed--well, I discussed, you read--a great deal of the art and science of locating and hiding caches, in an overview sort of way. In this installment, I will endeavor to get you thinking of methods of packaging the materials to be cached, the contents of the different types of caches, and how to develop a written cache report format. --J.M.)


In reference to caches, the term packaging refers not only to whatever container you decide to hide your goodies in, but also the additional processing needed to protect those items from adverse storage conditions. Proper packaging is absolutely crucial, because inadequate packaging, in the face of those adverse storage conditions (and let's face it, being buried in the dirt, or exposed to the elements, is generally adverse for most manufactured goods), WILL render the cached items useless in short order (how bad would it suck to be ten days into a planned four-day foot-mobile patrolling movement, dig up your food re-supply cache...and find out the cans of Spaghetti-Os had rusted through, leaking them all over the beef jerky, which had been gnawed on and shit on by mice?).

Determining Factors

All packaging needs to be tailored to the specific cache. The method of packaging, size, shape, and weight of the container need to be predicated on what items are to be included in the cache, as well as how you anticipate it being recovered (in MY dream world, all my caches would be in 24' CONEX boxes, would include a generator, refrigerator full of Coca-Cola, a month's supply of Copenhagen, a queen sized bed, and recovery would be accomplished with a Case backhoe...). For individual-specific caches, intended to be recovered by one person, the container should generally be no larger than a small suitcase or backpack, with an upper weight limit of around 30-40 pounds, to facilitate ease of recovery and the necessity of moving the cached goods. Obviously some equipment will automatically negate this as a possibility, but those should be the exception that prove the rule. If more than one person will be expected to recover the cache (i.e. a cache of ammunition re-supply for a 4-6 man paramilitary team), then the packaging should still be divided into separate packages that are readily portable by the individuals.

When it confronting the specter of those adverse environmental conditions, the logistics cell must recognize that any or all of the common threats to caches may be present: moisture, external pressure, freezing temperatures (in the northern Rockies? No way....), bacteria and chemical corrosive agents found in much soil, and even the threat of animals digging into the cache (insects or rodents...in larger caches, concealed in exterior sites, larger animals may pose a threat of damage. There's a reason Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks require bear-proof containers for food storage in the backcountry). The suitability of packaging typically depends on the care taken in analyzing the site-specific considerations during the planning process (Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance, remember?). The method of cache to be used (concealment, burial, submersion), must be determined in the earliest planning stages, long before any packaging is undertaken.

Even in typical, active UW scenarios, it is often difficult to know when a specific cache will be needed. In the case of the modern American resistance, most do not even know when the active phase of operations will begin, let alone how soon after that a specific cache will be called on. For these reasons, a doctrinally sound rule to follow is to design the packaging to withstand adverse storage conditions for at least the duration of the normal shelf life of the contents of the cache.

The Packaging Process

The exact process for packaging a specific cache will depend upon the unique requirements of the cache and on what packaging material is available. Typically however, there are certain steps that are almost always necessary:

  1. Inspection: Inspect any items to be included in the cache for serviceability. It would suck doubly bad to be running an E&E corridor, recover an arms cache to re-arm yourself, and discover that the dumb motherfucker who established the cache didn't know that the AKM he cached was missing the firing pin.
  2. Cleaning: All corrodible parts, such as unfinished metal, must be thoroughly cleaned immediately prior to packaging, before any final preservative coatings are applied. Any foreign matter, but especially any known or suspected corrosive agents, should be removed completely. It is a good idea, and generally accepted best practice, to handle any items to be cached, with rubber gloves between the cleaning stage and final packaging, to prevent corrosion from the salts and acids in human sweat from your hands (never mind the whole reality that any fingerprints inadvertently left on the materials would paint a giant target on your back if the cache was discovered by regime security forces!).
  3. Drying: Following the cleaning process, items should be thoroughly dried. While any one method might suffice, I suggest a three-fold process. Wipe the contents down with a dry, highly absorbent towel, then oven-dry or air-dry on a sunny day, and finally, add a desiccant packet inside the packaging. To oven-dry items, place them in an oven for at least 3 hours at a temperature of about 110 degrees F.
  4. Coat with Preservative: A light coat of preservative oil may be applied to weapons, tools, or other unpainted metal surfaces.
  5. Wrapping: Items should be wrapped in a suitable material for the added protection offered. The wrapping material should be as nearly waterproof as possible. Each item should be waterproofed individually, in order to prevent one un-noticed perforation exposing all the items in the cache. The wrapping needs to fit as tightly as possible, with little or no air remaining, and any seams or openings should be sealed with a waterproof substance.
  6. Packing: When final packing of the cache is conducted, all moisture should be removed from the interior of the container by heating or applying desiccant (again, there's no harm in overkill--do both). Air pockets should be eliminated, as much as humanly possible, by tight packing within the container. If nothing else is necessary, or desired in the cache, use clean, dried clothing, or other soft, dry padding material that might be useful to the recovery party, whenever possible, to fill in the extra space, and to provide extra protection against shock.
  7. Enclose Instructions: If necessary, or possibly necessary, enclose instructions in how to use the specific items in the cache to facilitate use or assembly by recovery party personnel. If a weapons cache, it might even be a good idea to enclose the technical manual for the particular weapon, including armorer's instructions for field-level repairs of the common shortcomings of the weapon(s) systems in the cache.
  8. Seal and Test: When packing is complete, the lid of the container must be sealed to make it watertight. Testing should be conducted to ensure that it is, in fact, waterproof. Testing should be conducted, if possible, by completely submerging the container in a hot water bath and watching for escaping water bubbles (hot water will reveal leaks that might not be revealed by cold-water. I don't understand the science behind it, but that's why I'm not a fucking scientist).

Wrapping Materials

The single most critical characteristic of wrapping material is that it is moisture-proof. Additionally, it should be either self-adhesive, or allow the use of an adhesive sealing agent. The material should be pliable enough to to wrap tightly, with close folds and it should be tough enough to resist tears or punctures during handling. The simplest way to ensure both pliability and durability, is to combine two layers: an inner, pliable layer, and an outer, more resilient barrier. The tough outer wrap is absolutely essential, unless the container and padding is adequate to prevent items from scraping together inside the cache. There are several generally recommended wrapping materials that are easy to use and readily available, and I've used everything from aluminum foil and trashbags wrapped with 100-mph tape, to Zip-Lock baggies, to Tyvek house-wrap that I taped tightly and then glued the seams shut on. For my use now, I stick to two methods, both of which I heartily recommend:

  1. For items small enough, the best wrapping available is a FoodSeal-type vacuum sealer. Simply place the item in the plastic, cut it to size, use the vacuum-sealer, and you have a waterproof wrapping, with little or no airspace left inside. It's idiot-simple.
  2. For larger, bulkier items, I wrap the item tightly in heavy-duty kitchen-grade aluminum foil (one of the most highly recommended wrapping materials, doctrinally. It's waterproof, unless it gets perforated or torn, self-sealing, and conforms tightly to the shape of whatever is being wrapped), then I wrap it in asphalt-type roofing felt, sealing the edges together with roofing tar. It seems to work like a charm, even for several years.

Container Criteria

While many items could theoretically be concealed in just the inner wrapping materials (especially when using the roofing felt method), the outer container helps to protect the contents from shock, pressure, moisture, animal depredations, and other hazards that the cache may be exposed to, especially when buried. The ideal container should be completely waterproof and air-tight after sealing, resistant to shock and abrasions, able to withstand crushing pressures, lightweight, and equipped with a sealing device that can be closed and reopened easily and repeatedly, and capable of withstanding highly alkaline or acidic soil conditions.

  1. instrument containers: high-end containers such as Pelican cases are resilient and waterproof enough to be used for caches, and they come in various sizes. The biggest drawback to the Pelican cases is, of course, the expense. A less expensive alternative would be to scour military surplus stores and government liquidation auctions to find the steel containers that aircraft and other precision instruments are shipped in. These have waterproof seals, for obvious reasons, and range from 1/2 gallon to 10 gallons in size.
  2. Ammunition cans: the standard favorite of "survivalists" and "militia" types everywhere, steel ammo cans with the rubber gaskets intact do work remarkably well, and are relatively inexpensive. The only potential drawback is the size limitations, which are negligible, since you can find anything from a small .30-caliber can, all the way up to the larger cans used for 40-mm grenades, or even rockets.
  3. Steel Drums: the other classic favorite, the steel 55-gallon drum, actually suffers from a couple of drawbacks. The obvious one is the sheer size. No recovery team is going to get that barrel out on a hurry, and depending on what the cache contents are, they might not even be able to carry all the shit that will fit inside. Secondly, the most common types available lack suitable sealing lids. If used, waterproofing sealant must be used around all openings (seriously, unless you're planning an arms cache to resupply a fucking platoon, I recommend staying away from 55-gallon drums. If you must use them, use the heavy-duty plastic type, since they will withstand corrosion better.
  4. Paint cans: Often overlooked by most, these are actually a recommended container in SOF literature on the subject. They do require a waterproofing seal around the re-closeable lids, and they are thin metal so they don't hold up to corrosion for very long, but they are almost a perfect size for a one-man pistol and ammunition re-supply, if placed for an evader who will be using it within a short period of time. It is highly recommended that you either paint the exterior of the can, or, better, treat it thoroughly with several coats of roofing tar compound.
  5. Five-Gallon buckets: What survivalist/prepper doesn't have a metric shit-ton of plastic, five-gallon buckets with resealable lids laying around for food-storage. As long as they are not buried too deep, where crushing from pressure becomes an issue, these are almost perfect cache containers. One bucket can hold almost an entire outfit of gear for one man (LC-2 type LBE, a can of ammunition in magazines, a change of clothes, some boots, and some food. Even a small carbine or rifle, broken down, can fit. A shop-built SMG would be a good fit here, after it had been thoroughly tested for function. I may have a couple of these with AR lowers, complete, and SBR uppers stashed away somewhere. Or I would, if it wouldn't be a violation of BATE fiat regulations...)

Types of Caches

(The following section is completely non-doctrinal. While it may have existed in SF doctrinal literature at one time, I am not aware of it. These are strictly my personnel concepts. --J.M.)

For an underground resistance, I envision three basic types of cache functions.
  1. The first is the guerrilla re-supply cache we've been discussing. These would be widely dispersed over an organization's entire projected area of operations, to facilitate re-supply on the move in the future. These may also, in the future, be short-term emplacements made by members of the subversive underground or the auxiliary, to facilitate operations by the subversive underground or the paramilitary guerrilla force, based on specific operational requirements.

  1. The second is the "storage" cache. This is a method of dispersing your normal preparedness supplies stockpiles. Instead of having everything in your basement or "doomsday bunker-retreat" where it is easy and convenient for regime security forces, foreign peacekeepers, or roving bands of criminal looters to locate and steal it, this would allow you to maintain control or possession of various critical elements of your preparedness items, even if you had to "bug out" into evasion mode.

  1. The third, and final cache function, as I see it, is the individual evasion cache. These would be small, one-man re-supplies, along planned evasion corridors (primary, secondary, and tertiary, at a minimum). Caches should be placed within one or two days' walking distance of each other, to act as en route waypoints for re-supply as the evader moves. This would allow him to minimize the load he carried in his "go-bag" evasion kit, facilitating faster travel during the evasion.

Potential Cache Contents Concepts

Caches typically contain certain combinations of items, based on the mission requirements of the recovery element unit, and the projected operational needs within the area. An alternative way of looking at possible cache contents is to consider the "go-bag" paradigm. What categories of items would you include in a "go-bag?" Include those categories in your caches, unless it is a specialized cache (such as an arms cache, or a water or food-resupply cache). These might include:

  1. Water: again, canteens, bladders, filters or other purification methods.
  2. shelter and clothing: sleep systems, clothing, tarps, tents, etc.
  3. Fire starting methods: matches, lighters, tinder, magnesium strikers.
  4. Food: MREs (the only application I still have for MREs, because I'd have to be dying to eat the fucking things!)
  5. Medical supplies: A feasability study should be conducted to determine the need for caching medical supplies. While some items, such as CAT-Tourniquets, bandages, and other non-perishables is self-evident, the expiration dates and the actual expiration of other medical supplies, from blood-expanding fluids in IV bags, to anti-biotics (tetracyclines, for example go toxic after expiration, instead of just losing potency), must be weighed against the projected time-table of recovery.
  6. Communications: GMRS/FRS two-way radios, HAM receiver, or complete radios.
  7. Light Sources: flashlights, candles, lanterns, batteries, fuels.
  8. Tools: knives, hatchets or axes, saws, wire, repair kits, pioneer tools.
  9. Money: silver, gold, or cash, depending on the projected scenario, and who exactly you expect to be spending it with. For use in the black-market, any of the above might be an option. For use with the civilian populace, cash will generally be the most readily exchangeable, since they will be able to turn around and spend it as well.
  10. Weapons: Whether complete weapons, critical parts, support supplies (cleaning kits, magazines, load-bearing equipment, etc), these are an obvious cache item (all three cache functions).

17 June 2012

An Email Query on Suppressive Fire Rates Doctrine

 (I received the following question via email. While I'm pretty sure I've mentioned the answer in passing several times herein, I figured it can never hurt to pound the answers in a little better.....--J.M.)

From a reader:

"And now my question, which you may wish to elaborate on in your blog:  What is a good rate of fire for suppressive fire?  Is there a rule of thumb for determining rate of fire for the area being suppressed and the number of friendly troops available?"
My response, in its entirety:

I generally try to teach two standard answers, modified by METT-TC (obviously).

The first magazine spent during an engagement, whether a react-to-contact, or react-to-ambush, gets put downrange as fast as you can humanly put it downrange, with any degree of accuracy. Rounds are put into every known, suspected, or likely position of enemy concealment or cover. I tell guys to try and achieve 4-5 rounds per second, as long as they're getting two or three rounds into every hidey-hole. The whole purpose is to keep the enemy's head down while the maneuver element begins to bound around, and to keep the enemy from having any opportunity to accurately respond to your fire. It's all about fire superiority at that point. Obviously, if you're discussing a far ambush situation, at 300+ meters, that's going to be slowed way the fuck down, but as I've been trying to get across, the G has a need to get inside and fight at eye-gouging distance if he wants to win without losing the fight to supporting fires, so it's a relevant and realistic target to aim for.

After the first mag is dumped, the shooter(s) should perform a speed reload (again, to maintain continuity of fires, since everyone is going to be running out at the same general time), and re-engage, slowing his rate of fire to one round or so every two seconds. Here, the idea is still to target known, suspected, or likely enemy positions, but you HAVE to slow it down to conserve ammunition. As the base-of-fire element is providing suppressive fire, if one man runs dry, he needs to COMMUNICATE with his buddies to let them know he's changing magazines. This allows them to slightly increase their rate-of-fire, in order to pick up his slack. Everyone wants to blather about "conservation of ammunition," which is a solid, good consideration. The crux however becomes....."what are you saving it for, if not to kill the enemy?" and "Which is more important to you? A bunch of ammunition you're packing around, or killing the enemy so you can resupply?" If your buddies in the maneuver element die because you were so concerned about "precision" fire and "making every shot count," I hope the rest of your team, and the families of the deceased, cut your nuts off and feed them to you as you bleed out.

Now obviously, if I have a two-man element working alone and they're in contact, they're going to be dumping mags at the enemy a LOT faster, individually, simply because of the need to dominate the fight, despite the numbers game. On the other hand, a platoon-sized element is not necessarily going to have every swinging Richard bringing the hate, since some will be pulling the security detail, and some may not even see the objective.

I often get accused in this blog, of overlooking the MOUT considerations of any future engagements between the resistance and the Federales/UN/JBTs/etc....It's not true. While many have jumped to my defense by pointing out that I live in the rural mountain west, and while I am firmly convinced of the need for a highly refined level of operational expertise in rural alpine operations for those of us who live out here (look at the difficulties Big Green is facing in the mountains of the Hindu Kush to this day, compared to the urban enclaves of Iraq that we managed to finally smash when we decided to engage with armor and heavy weapons), I am fully cognizant of the requirements for any future UW resistance to possess highly refined AMOUT capabilities (I would argue, minimally, precision-level MOUT abilities, with surgical-MOUT being far more ideal for maintenance of goodwill within the local civ-pop). The thing that too many people overlook, generally out of sheer ignorance of the realities of the battlefield, is that the fundamentals of SUT (fire and maneuver, supporting fires, speed, surprise, violence of action, security, close and intermediate distance marksmanship, TC3, and fundamental battle drills) remain the SAME, regardless of the operational environment in which they are performed. A react-to-contact is the same IAD whether you're performing it in downtown Boise or out in the Hindu Kush. In fact, in many ways, urban and alpine combat share more similarities and peculiarities than either does with other environmental areas, due to the three-dimensional nature of the ground combat battle-space, due to the elevation factor. One critical difference between rural operational areas and urban areas is the obvious presence of non-combatant civ-pop. Too many in the Resistance movement talk about killing bystanders rather cavalierly, in a "if you're not with us, you're with the enemy" approach that the .mil has taken a long time in Iraq and Afghanistan learning is just not true. Too often, for right or wrong, people stand on the sidelines to discover "what's in it for me?" Indiscriminate supporting fires killing their friends, neighbors, and loved ones is a surefire way to show them which side they want to ally with (and it's not going to be the terror side). Targeting non-combatants, by any sane definition, falls under the political term "terrorism," and ultimately, always fails, contrary what too many want to believe, for whatever twisted reasons.

In AMOUT operations, whether by paramilitary guerrilla force elements, or the subversive underground, suppressive fire is going to have to be EXTREMELY precise. Want to make winning an UW conflict harder? Recruit FOR the enemy by killing innocent non-combatants, so their family members turn against you. Utter-fucking-brilliance, that one...Instead, you have to resort to more precise methods. SBF elements ONLY bring suppressive fires if they can POSITIVELY identify that the INDIVIDUAL they are shooting is carrying a weapon with which he intends to engage the friendly force unit, and then he utilizes more precise firing methods than dumping a quick burst at where he thinks the bad guy is hiding. I missed the Mog by a few months, but one of the lessons that was learned through the community by that fight was, just because they're not carrying a weapon doesn't mean they are a non-combatant. Women and pre-teen kids acting as spotters were still active enemy actors. I know MSG Howe has discussed this common discrepancy in U.S. ROE many times over the years. I'm not saying don't shoot anyone whose conspiring against you, I'm saying, "Make sure you know who you are shooting, and why, in a built-up area environment, rather than focusing on bringing that stormcloud of steel onto the enemy's positions. Get the distinction? In such a case, your SBF element's fires may be extremely sporadic, or even non-existent, at times. It's all METT-TC.

Nevertheless, I was taught these non-doctrine doctrinal answers over the years, by multiple mentors. They've worked for me, so I continue to teach them. Thanks!

Nous Defion!
John Mosby
Somewhere in the Mountains

(PostScript: Boys and girls. I only have three spots for blog readers remaining open for the open-enrollment class in August in the Black Hills. If you are interested in this, let me know ASAP. --JM)

12 June 2012

Reality Check for "Riflemen"

Someone pointed out that they didn't feel I understood the point behind being able to engage single targets at 500 meters with precision rifle fire. I actually understand the theoretical application of small teams of specialized riflemen extremely well. Hell, I even like the concept intellectually, because of the Revolutionary War-era/frontiersman mystique that surrounds the concept (Morgan's Riflemen, Francis Marion and his South Carolina irregulars, The Green Mountain Boys, etc). There is even a real place for it in UW, although, like a lot of "cool" ideas (suppressors, NODs, etc), their applications in UW/resistance operations tend to be much more limited than Joe Snuffy from the Block envisions.

I can ring steel silhouettes at 500+, with iron sights, all day long, under field conditions, in the wind and snow even. I've made one-shot stops, in combat, at 600+ (admittedly, running an ACOG), with an M4. Hell, HH6 can ring steel silhouettes at 400 and 500, with at least 75% hits.

The idea of hit-and-run sniper teams is fine. If you're a sniper, with the requisite fieldcraft, it might even work for some applications...route interdiction comes to mind. Harassing fire on fixed installations, and targeted assassination of specific regime personnel...you know, typical sniper missions. As a "normal" small-unit mission? I don't see it working in reality.

The concept that guys who front this idea are talking about is called a "far ambush." The responses from a conventional force light-infantry security forces element? Lay down a base of fire, maneuver, indirect-fire support, and close-air support.

So, yeah, there's some specific applications of sniper teams/squads in UW. Not as much as a lot of guys would like to think, but some.

Further, harassment by fire alone, even if you kill one or two out of nine or ten every time (HIGHLY unlikely, regardless of how bad-ass Gunny Hathcock you think you are), you're still not going to win an UW campaign like that, because at some point, in order to win, you're going to have to close with, engage the enemy with overwhelming violence of action, and shoot the motherfucker in the face.

A four-man team of guys who can hit single-shot first-round hits at 500M is going to hell for more effective, if they know how to apply that in the support-by-fire role, than a six-man precision rifle team, who only knows the one-shot method, because they're A) going to put a lot more effective rounds downrange, B) actually be capable of maneuvering against the enemy, and C) put enough EFFECTIVE suppressive fire downrange to keep the enemy's head down, so they can break contact.

One, two, or six rounds isn't going to phase me. I'm not going to stand on a fucking ridgeline, pulling a Patton, like a pop-up target on the qualification range, or some Cornwallis on an Appleseed range. If you get to see me, it's going to be as I kneel down next to one of my guys, to point out to him where to engage most effectively, then I'm going to be moving again, and trust me on this. I'm a decade older than I was in the 'Stan, have even more injuries, and worse arthritis than I did then, and I can STILL move faster, kitted up for war, in the field, than competitive athletes can (I prove it regularly). The precision rifle team isn't going to "pin me down" that way, and as soon as the first round comes in, my people are going to be maneuvering, FAST, to counter the threat, with adequate fire to keep you from getting away, while some of my guys move to get around you, out of sight (out of mind).

If you don't know, understand, and apply the fundamental individual and common tasks skills that centuries of armed conflict between humans have proven work and work well, you're not going to survive, let alone win. There's nothing new in the art and science of war, boys and girls. Quit trying to make it fancier than it is. A sublime master of the fundamentals is advanced skill in any physical discipline.

Nous Defions!
John Mosby

This didn't fit as a comment in reply to the open enrollment class post.....sorry.

I don't foresee me doing a DVD. I take a lot of risks with my personal security anyway, doing classes on this subject, and writing this blog. While I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, I'd have to figure out a way to mask my physical identity, and it would only be sold/given to people who come to me for training, or have me come to them. It's not about making money for me (seriously. I do not exaggerate when I've stated in the past that I've lost money on most of the classes I've traveled to teach since starting this blog. The only reason I've started charging more is because HH6 was pretty much ready to, put the ka-bosh on me spending $300-600 out of pocket, to travel and teach a class to someone. I've committed to teaching this open-enrollment class and since I've already gotten a couple of people to commit to showing up for it, I'll teach it. If I don't get a minimum of 6-8 people in it, I'll eat a big chunk of the cost again. That's okay, because I do believe it is imperative to get the information out there, and too many guys with the knowledge and the right beliefs are still not willing to go out and put themselves on this wobbly, weak little limb I'm crawling on). It's about spreading the knowledge and philosophy, networking (almost acting as a conduit between different networks), and providing for the cause. As important as those things are though, the risks I take with showing up in some new town to teach a class to a "group" of people I don't know, any one of whom could work for the wrong government agency, are calculated risks. I spend as much time planning for escape and evasion corridors as I do laying out my class notes to teach these classes. There are already more people in my immediate networks who know my identity as the author of this blog than I'm particularly comfortable with, and I KNOW those people, or the people who vouched for them. The last thing I need is to walk into a gun store or surplus store in fucking Denver or Salt Lake, or Portland, or Billings, or Cheyenne, and have some guy eye-ball me and go, "Holy shit! You're John Mosby!" in front of the local SWAT commander who's picking up his custom Noveske....

So, I doubt there will be a DVD, and there will sure as shit not be a YouTube channel, because then it would be some goofy ass 14-year old Airsofter at the grocery store, while I'm standing there with HH6 and the morale officer, pointing me out to his FBI agent dad, going "Dad! That's that John Mosby guy showed you on YouTube! You remember!? The one who teaches the really cool ambush techniques for taking out pursuit vehicles?" Then, my part of the active resistance goes hot, in a fucking grocery store, with my family in harm's way. Not likely. Sorry. In my defense, I am working on the book, and I think I'm slightly more entertaining as a writer (and hell for more vulgar!) than DoD writers who write the Ranger Handbook and FM7-8....

As was pointed out in the above comments, everyone interested in learning the realities of this stuff should read, memorize, and understand the Ranger Handbook, FM 7-8 (Get the 1992 edition, not the new, differently numbered one that's ridiculously long and technical). Read everything, from first-hand accounts, to FMs, to that "Tactics for Small Teams" book. That having been said, reading alone, even if you and your buddies go out and practice what you think you understood from your reading, isn't going to get you there. People like to point out that the Muj in Afghanistan and AQ in Iraq didn't go to shooting and scooting classes, but they're wrong. The Muj had us teaching them in the 1980s, and the Chechens coming in through the 1990s teaching them (and the Chechens learned initially, in large part, from core cadres who'd served in the Soviet Army). AQ has Chechens and professional soldiers from other military forces teaching them. The VC had the NVA coming down south teaching them, and they in turn learned from the French and the Chinese, and even the OSS.

No Ranger ever grew up in the Regiment without memorizing all or most of the Ranger Handbook and FM 7-8, but no successful war fighter ever learned his trade from reading a book or watching a DVD. There are too many details that you will not pick up from a DVD or a book, no matter how well produced/written, by how expert an authority, that you HAVE to learn to be effective.

If you can't afford to come to the Black Hills in August, or another class soon, if this one works out well, or you're too far east for me to be willing to come to you, find a right-minded friend with real-world experience in UW, or Counter-Insurgency, have HIM study the information available and relate it to his experiences, so you can learn the important minutiae, and practice that shit until you not only CAN do it in your sleep, but you do perform it in your sleep (seriously, my ex-wife once woke me up, from a dead sleep, because I'd picked up my M4 from beside the bed, cleared it, performed a functions check, reloaded it, and set it back down...without waking up.....I don't sleep with the rifle quite so close to the bed anymore...)

Anon: I'd LOVE to do a MFF insertion to start a class. That however, would probably be largely unnecessary though....because who would be qualified to do a night, HALO insertion, over an unmarked DZ, with all their sustainment load strapped to them, land safely, in a team formation, and get to work performing the class tasks? Anyone qualified to do that is PROBABLY already going to have a pretty solid grasp of anything I'm going to teach in a class.....Static line might be a potential, but shit, that'd be boring, and I'd still need qualified jumpers, and a pilot, with a large enough aircraft, AND experience putting jumpers out, in the dark.....on second thought....I might know a pilot or two....

Email for this blog is nousdefionsranger@yahoo.com or nousdefionsranger@hushmail.com

11 June 2012

Unconventional Warfare Fundamental Skills--An Open Enrollment Class

Dates: 17AUG12-19AUG12 (I originally thought this would happen earlier in August, but the land owner/host informed me that was a really bad time of year to try and do it, since the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally happens 6AUG-12AUG......No one would get a room and traffic would be a cunt. So...it's the third weekend in August, pending enough interest and confirmations from potential participants)

Location: Black Hills on the South Dakota/Wyoming border area

Program of Instruction Overview:

This three-day class will begin at or about 1200 on Friday, 17AUG12, with a range evaluation to ensure safe firearms handling in a combative marksmanship environment, followed by a presentation of Tactical Combat Casualty Care/Care Under Fire and Tactical Field Care. The first evening will finish with a discussion of individual critical skills and a general overview of the philosophy and art of immediate action/battle drills.

Day Two (Saturday, 18AUG12) will begin at approximately 0600, with a crawl-walk-run approach to individual movement techniques and tactics, buddy team fire-and-maneuver, and the react-to-contact battle drill in fire team and squad-sized elements. Following a lunch break, the class will progress to other essential immediate action/battle drills, before finishing the evening with a discussion of the principles and art/science of small-unit irregular patrolling and troop-leading procedures (and, assuming an adequate level of safe firearms handling and skills development, a night iteration, crawl-walk-run of the react-to-contact battle drill.

Day Three (Sunday, 19AUG12) also begins at 0600, with a planning/TLP work session, as the class plans and prepares for a short-term/abbreviated patrol. The afternoon session will be the conduct of an actual patrol.

Equipment requirements:

semi-automatic or bolt-action magazine-fed fighting rifle
minimum of 4 magazines (if appropriate for the weapon)
500 rounds of rifle ammunition (minimum recommended). There is a Cabelas in Rapid City, SD which typically has 5.56/.223 available, as well as 7.62x39 (I haven't been there in well over a year, but the class host ensures me they typically have the common calibers in stock).
Rucksack or 3-day pack with your personal, typical load-out, including water and food for 3 days.

There are hotels available in Sundance, WY and Spearfish, SD. Otherwise, the housing available will be what you pack on your back. I will be living out of my ruck on this trip, so there will be plenty of BS time following the training time.

Class Costs:

Cost of the class is $500 for the weekend. This is less than the original estimate of $250/day, but will cover the anticipated expenses if the class is as full as it sounds like it will be. I am open to barter of equipment/gear/silver for part of the cost of the class......

If you are interested, let me know of any questions. If you are a go, I need a confirmation ASAP (NLT 30JUN12) in order to verify the set-up of range facilities with the land-owner/host and make sure my ducks are in a row to get to the class on time. Further contact information and instructions for travel arrangements will be forthcoming, following confirmation from participants.

I look forward to meeting you and training together!

Nous Defions!
John Mosby

04 June 2012

A speech by Patrick Henry March 1775

They tell us, Sir, that we are weak unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week,  or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a  British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
Three millions of People, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and iin such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Beside, Sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.There is a just God who presides over the destinies of Nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone. It is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest.  There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable. and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!
It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our breathren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery!  Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Critical Individual Skills Tasks--Small Unit Leaders

In order to help further your training, I'm offering more critical individual skills tasks...these are specifically for small-unit leaders. If you don't understand these, it's because you don't understand the critical skill level 1 tasks I shared in the recent article on developing training. Pay attention boys and girls, there's going to be a LOT more of these coming up....

Task: Control Tactical Movement of an UW Team
Conditions: As a team leader, while moving in a tactical environment, provided specific instructions by the higher unit leader (squad leader/platoon leader) as to the route to the overwatch position, and the actions to be taken there.
Standards: React immediately to your instructions. Keep the interval between your team and the next or preceding team appropriate to the given movement technique and the terrain. When moving to the overwatch position, use the terrain to provide cover and concealment for your team. Recognize the team members' use of the following (and correct them when necessary): camouflage, cover, and concealment, individual interval appropriate to terrain and visibility, while keeping all team members in sight, noise and light discipline, security measures (all shooters are alert and ready to act), and response to your lead-by-example actions (corrections may be made verbally, IAW METT-TC considerations, or via hand-and-arm signals).

Thoroughly understand your mission. Know the destination of your team, the general route your team should take, the actions to be taken when your team gets to the destination, the location of your next higher unit leader, and the location of your overwatch team (particularly important, if you hope to avoid masking his fires...generally a bad idea when his supporting fires are what is going to save your ass if you make contact with a numerically superior force).

Inform your team members of the mission. If they are "cool" enough to help you perform the mission, they are "cool" enough to know what the fuck the mission is. If you are worried about leaks, wait until they are in pre-mission isolation before doing so.

Ensure that your team is proficient in fundamental battle drills, and utilize your next higher unit leaders instructions, as well as established unit SOPs. Use camouflage, cover, and concealment techniques to maximize the classic light-infantry scout-woodsman stealth, keep individual intervals to reduce casualties from enemy crew-served weapons. Maintain light and noise discipline. Respond to lead-by-example actions. Respond to verbal and/or hand-and-arm signal commands and guidance.

Maintain a visual and/or radio contact with your next higher unit leader. Make quick visual reconnaissances of the next overwatch position you intend to move your team to, and lead your team through the terrain that offers the best cover and concealment available.

Whether you are working in a wooded alpine environment, jungle/swamp wetlands, or an urban enclave, these principles of leading and guiding an irregular small-unit element (which are the same used to lead a conventional fire team/rifle squad...), will allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your element. 

Task: Direct Fire and Maneuver of an UW Small-Unit Element Against an Enemy Position
Conditions: As the leader of a small-unit element that has just encountered an enemy position.
Standards: Fix the enemy with all available suppressive fires. Assault the enemy's flank or other weak points, using fire and maneuver and cover and concealment.

  1. Actions on Contact. When unexpected contact is made with an enemy force, the UW leader must instantly determine if his element is adequate to exploit any perceived weakness in the enemy security situation, or whether he needs to break contact and flee. The key concepts to remember are DEPLOY, SUPPRESS, and REPORT. Lead elements deploy into positions from which they can fire, observe, or maneuver against the enemy. If elements in contact receive direct enemy small-arms fire, they immediately suppress the enemy weapons with well-directed suppressive fire (first magazine as rapidly as possible into known, suspected, or likely enemy positions of concealment/cover, speed reload, then a sustained rate no slower than 30 rounds per minute--that whole "4 magazines is more than enough!" gets shot out the window in a hurry when you do shit the right way!). If the enemy was located but has not yet detected the UW patrol element (the ideal, of course), do not engage until friendly maneuver elements are in the best position to engage the enemy. Immediately report as much detailed information as possible to the patrol leader and continue to update him as new information becomes available.
  2. Determine Enemy Location, Disposition, and Strength. The element leader must strive to gain as much information as possible on the enemy situation, as the situation develops. That information not revealed by the initial contact should be determined by careful maneuver against the enemy to determine his weak points (a thorough knowledge of the terrain in your operational area may help this. If you know the location the enemy is ensconced in is overlooked by the small ridge to the left, that may allow plunging fire directly into his position, ensuring effective suppressive fires. In an urban environment, you may know that there is an underground tunnel entrance in the basement of the building he has occupied, allowing you uncontested entry into his rear). If the initial contact reveals an enemy who is clearly superior, the UW element does not risk maneuvering against him, but either holds in place, serving as a base-of-fire/support-by-fire element for the rest of the UW patrol, or intitiates a react-to-contact/break contact battle drill.
  3. Choose a Course of Action. The UW element leader must instantly choose a course of action, unless otherwise directed by a higher unit patrol leader.
  4. Fix the Enemy. To close with the enemy, the assault force must suppress the enemy's fire. Enemy suppression may be most effectively accomplished by irregular forces, equipped only with small arms, by shooting at him with enough accuracy and volume of fire to keep him more concerned with not getting shot than he is with shooting back. When the enemy is suppressed, the assault element can maneuver towards him without the risk of taking excessive casualties. The assault force always attempts to achieve a concentration of fires and effort on weaknesses on the enemy's flanks. The enemy will typically be aware of what these weaknesses are, and will move to reinforce them if he knows they will be assaulted. Adequate suppressive fire will prevent him from maneuvering to reinforce his weak points (seriously people, all talk of the 500-yard citizen-rifleman aside, the key to victory in small-unit combat is effective suppressive fire. I don't give a shit if you can ring steel at 500 yards, from the prone, sling-supported. If you can't bring the hate, and wreak havoc and discontent upon the enemy accurately, at a high rate of fire, all the "rifleman" merit badges in the world will not make you combat effective. Know how to shoot your weapon accurately AND effectively. Learn the fucking lesson already!) Remember, the enemy MUST BE FIXED BY EFFECTIVE SUPPRESSIVE FIRES!!!!
  5. Fight the Enemy. In open terrain (remember where I've repeatedly said I lived in high-desert mountain country? I kind of know a little something about open country), there are few significant natural or man-made features that severely restrict the fires or maneuver of the element. An example would be a sparsely vegetated area where a ten-man team may assault using fire AND maneuver. Elements of the team will alternate as fire support and maneuver elements as they close with the enemy. In restrictive terrain however, you confront significant natural or man-made features that severely restrict the fire and maneuver of the UW element (urban, alpine, thickly vegetated, etc). In restrictive terrain operational environments, UW elements will need to task organize into the assault element that closes with and destroys the enemy, and the support-by-fire element that fixes the enemy with effective suppressive fires. Conventionally, it may also require a breaching element that will clear or mark a path through enemy obstacles, or blow holes in walls for the assault element, but in UW, the assault element may be required to fill this role for itself.
  6. Assault Techniques. The assault element must move forward as quickly as possible, in consideration of METT-TC considerations, by crawling, short rushes (3-5 second rush), or a single rush (Fix Bayonets! Charge!...fuck that!). The team leader moves forward using the most appropriate method for the situation he faces, and the rest of his team follows his example/guidance, using every advantage offered by the terrain (when you move to maneuver around the enemy, use terrain to mask your movement as much as possible. It is imperative that you make your maneuver as rapidly as possible, in order to assault the enemy position while the SBF elements suppressive fire is still having an effect on the enemy. In many cases, this means, if the terrain will mask you from enemy observation, you need to sprint to a more favorable position. Speed is your friend, as long as the enemy isn't shooting directly at you!)
    a. crawling: this may be required when the assault team faces intense enemy fire and has little cover. Individuals use either the low crawl or high crawl, depending on their individual situation and the requirement for speed (in my experience, if you are taking fire from enemy small-arms, the intrinsic human need to hug the earth trumps any need for speed. The high crawl generally gets relegated to those times when the enemy hasn't spotted your assault element yet, and a short rush would draw their attention). Individuals should be ready to place fire on the enemy at any time they are not actively moving (movement still occurs at the buddy team level, so each buddy should be covering his partner's movement). If necessary, the assault element may move all the way to and through the enemy position using the crawl method.
    b. short rushes: fire and maneuver may be employed when using this method. Assault teams may advance using individual short rushes (generally even shorter than 3-5 seconds...2-3 seconds is more realistic here..."I'm up...he sees me...I'm down..." becomes, "I'm up/he sees me/I'm down!") between intermittent positions of cover, or simply to avoid accurate enemy fire.
    c. single rush: should rarely be used. It should be limited to: when the squad is receiving effective indirect fire, in which case immediate effective movement is necessary to prevent the team from being destroyed completely, or as the final maneuver to clear the objective, when there is no effective cover available for further protected movement forward. The squad uses the rush by standing up and moving directly to the enemy position, as quickly as possible, firing at known, suspected, or likely enemy individual positions, as it moves. This does NOT mean a parade-ground, Napoleanic-era line of advance. Instead, it refers to a staggered, and well-spread out line of advance that allows all members of the team to bring effective fires to bear on the objective as they clear it. Movement must be rapid (damned near a sprint, and certainly a run), and accompanied by a heavy volume of fire, to make up for the lack of suppressive fire by the now-lifted fires from the support-by-fire element. The assault should be conducted over a short distance (certainly inside 50 yards, and more probably within 25 yards...CQM ranges), and concentrated where the enemy's defenses can be quickly over-run.
  7. Control of Organic Fires. It is absolutely critical that fires be heavy enough to suppress the enemy. Although the pre-1950 doctrine of 30 rounds per second is a solid standard to strive for, the tactical situation may demand a much higher volume of fire. It would be fatal however, to allow the suppressive fire to use all of the SBF element's ammunition before the assault element could even get in place to begin its assault. Team leaders MUST guide and control the rate-of-fire and the targeting of the organic fires of their elements to maximize the benefits of suppressive fires.
  8. Teamwork, control, and leadership. A team or squad without teamwork and leader control is nothing more than a mob with firearms, running amok. Success depends on the level of teamwork and control within the element. Methods of control are generally established by SOP. They may include hand-and-arm signals, verbal commands, whistles (a personal favorite), pyrotechnics (smoke in the day, flares at night), radio communications, and a "do-as-you-see-me-doing" style of leadership (another personal favorite). Once the SOPs are established, only consistent, regular, disciplined training and practice will develop teamwork. Thorough teamwork training should cover reaction to as many different potential battlefield situations as possible. If a member of the element loses contact with his team leader or Ranger buddy, his intense training should provide him the guidance he needs to remember what he is supposed to do. It is the element leader's responsibility to maintain the control and leadership of his team in all situations.
Task: Conduct a Local Security Patrol
Conditions: Given an unconventional warfare element of 4-10 personnel, and a mission to conduct a local security patrol.
Standards: Conduct a local security patrol so that a)the patrol is organized, briefed, and equipped as necessary, IAW METT-TC, b) the patrol plan is developed to meet the mission requirements, and c) the patrol accomplishes the mission requirements.

The most common type of security patrol for an UW element will be to provide local area security by reconnoitering possible, likely, and/or suspected avenues of enemy approach, gaps in LP/OP security, and areas that cannot be observed otherwise, due to dead space/etc. This type of patrol is intended to prevent hostile forces from infiltrating the guerrilla base area and launching surprise attacks.

Conduct planning and preparation in accordance with normal troop-leading procedures (if you don't own a copy of SH21-76 Ranger Handbook, get on Amazon right the fuck now and order one...if you can't find it, you're not trying hard enough, but the 1992 edition of FM7-8 will suffice).
  1. Mission: The local area commander, or the team leader, in the absence of a local area commander, will normally designate points, possible routes, and specific areas to be reconnoitered by the patrol. These should be determined using the OAKOC (observation and fields of fire, avenues of approach, key and decisive terrain, obstacles, and cover and concealment). (Too often, people in the "militia" movement focus on their preconceived notions of what unconventional warfare means, and completely disregard the fundamentals of conventional light-infantry operations. I've repeated it ad nauseum, but guerrilla warfare is nothing more than conventional small-unit tactics, conducted by irregular paramilitary forces. If you can't learn and master the fundamentals of conventional SUT, you're going to be fucked trying to play Gus the Guerrilla Man). The local security patrol should focus on avoiding contact if possible, instead trying to limit its actions to watching for and reporting enemy or terrain information. Only in specific instances should the guerrilla local security force allow itself to engage with enemy troops (generally limited to harassing fire/far ambush type engagements, used solely to prevent the enemy from accessing/controlling key terrain features until a quick-reaction force can arrive to decisively engage and destroy the enemy incursion, or as a delaying action while the guerrilla base is abandoned).
  2. Organization: Because of the limited range and firepower necessary for local security patrolling, the number of personnel should be kept limited to the bare essentials (generally no more than 4-6 personnel). This allows for enough personnel to effectively bring fires to bear to allow the patrol to break contact in the event of an unintentional contact, while also preventing the patrol leader from being tempted to engage when he shouldn't.
  3. General organization. Ideally, any reconnaissance patrol should consist of, minimally, a headquarters element (PL and RTO), a security element (point man and rear security man), and a reconnaissance element (buddy team). For the UW role, this can be reduced, if necessary, utilizing the HQ element as the reconnaissance element (generally, it's better trying to stick to the 6-man team format however).
  4. Special Teams. Because of the minimalist organization of the local security patrol, and it's extremely limited mission scope, special teams, such as PW handling teams, litter teams, and demolitions are not necessary.
  5. Selection of personnel for the local security patrol should focus on team integrity, whenever possible. If a squad or team must be broken up, for whatever reason, buddy team integrity must be maintained.
  6. Patrol Plan: The patrol leader should tailor his scheme of maneuver to fit the mission requirements. Standard area and zone reconnaissance techniques may need to be modified to fit the terrain. For example, in alpine or urban built-up areas, it may be conducive to patrol the military crest of ridges overlooking the deadspace in valleys, rather than walking through valleys, or along rooftops, to avoid street-level confrontations.
  7. Contingency Plans: Due to his extremely limited organic capabilities, the patrol leader must be extremely cautious in responding to enemy contact. The patrol must focus on stealth and avoiding or breaking contact whenever possible. Supporting fires from nearby LP/OPs and/or QRF elements at the guerrilla base headquarters must be available and planned for. In the event the enemy force contacted is small enough and the elements of surprise and fire superiority can be assured, then then PL may elect to conduct a hasty ambush, but only after reporting intelligence information to the guerrilla base headquarters element.

SOF Truths

In the military special operations world, some concepts are considered universal truths that must be recognized in order to maintain the fighting effectiveness of SOF. These are referred to as the Special Operations Forces Truths. They apply just as critically to the unconventional warfare paradigm. Take them to heart.

Humans are more important than hardware. It doesn't matter which side has cooler tech. It doesn't matter what kind of gun you run. It doesn't matter if they have armor and air support. You have to be better trained, more highly motivated, and more determined than your enemies. If you are, you win. If you aren't, you die.

Quality is better than quantity. There is a reason that an SF ODA can accomplish more than a conventional force battalion can. It's not the cool gear. It's the quality of the soldier. Do not be discouraged that you can't get more people to wake up to the need for preparedness and training. Take the people you do have and develop a training program that emphasize the quality of expertise. Make them masters of the fundamentals. Use them later to teach the newcomers, and you've created a force multiplier in each man.

SOF cannot be mass-produced. Don't think guys like myself or SFMedic, or Lizard Farmer can teach you a weekend course and you'll be ready to go to war. We can teach the fundamental skills and concepts, introduce you to teaching and training methodologies, and even impart some experiential wisdom, but ultimately, every individual has to go out and teach a small group of like-minded friends and neighbors, continue his and their education, and grow slowly.

Competent SOF cannot be formed after an emergency occurs. If we wait until TSHTF to start developing training cadres of right-minded people with the requisite knowledge and training, it'll be too late. You need to be training and learning NOW.
Special Operations require non-SOF support. Don't think that, just because you're old, crippled, lazy, or fat, female, or never been in the military, that you can't contribute. Get the training. Even if you have no future running commando-type direct-action raids, you will have the knowledge to pass on to younger, fitter folks. If you foresee yourself functioning as part of the subversive underground, get the training, so that you can understand the capabilities of the paramilitary guerrilla force, and know how to interact with them operationally. If you only intend to be an auxiliary...get the training, so you can understand HOW to support the needs of the more active resistance.

03 June 2012

Training Opportunity--Possibilities

Typically, the classes I teach occur when a group of concerned, prepared friends get together after one or more of them have read some of the blog, and decide maybe they could benefit from some professional training. That's great. That's what I'm here for.

Nevertheless, from email conversations with numerous people, it has come to my attention that lots of guys who recognize the need for this training don't have a network established yet, or cannot convince their buddies to pony up enough to cover my expenses (trust me boys and girls, I'm NOT making money on this. I wish I could). At a recent class, the landowner of the training area offered the possible use of his land for some future open enrollment classes, if I would help him design and develop range facilities (he's imagining a professional range facility where he can bring in outside trainers from various backgrounds).

If I were to offer an open enrollment class or classes, say in late summer, early fall (or even winter, if you can hack a northern Rockies winter...), would anyone have any interest in this? We would need a minimum of 10-15 people. Costs would be around 200 a day per person, for a three-day class, to cover my fuel for driving to the area, and to defray range fees for the landowner.

If you are interested, please email me through the blog.

IFAK/BOK Contents

I was asked, in the comments of my recent TC3 article, what I carry in my IFAK/BOK....Because I started out with basic Ranger Regiment "Combat Lifesaver" training before the advent of TC3, and because I no longer count on the logistics train and medical professional support I had as a serving SOF soldier, my views on medical care are not 100% in line with current TC3 guidelines, even though I believe they are near perfect. So, I don't use a standard issue IFAK. My IFAK/BOK is actually two parts (not counting my medic's aid bag, which is FAR more comprehensive...).
On my war belt, I have a double-mag pouch for an M4, with a flap, marked with a red paint pen as my IFAK. It contains nitrile surgical gloves, a 6" Israeli Battlefield Dressing, a 3.25-inch 14-gauge needle catheter (for needle decompression), a #28 nasopharyngeal airway, and a package of H&H compressed gauze. That's it. Next to the pouch, I keep a CAT-T tourniquet laced through the PALs webbing of my belt (I also have one 100-mph taped to the stock of my M4--If I need a tourniquet, I don't ever want to have to dig for it!).

On my ruck, I keep a small utility pouch (6"x6") off an Eagle Industries Medical rucksack, also marked with red paint pen. It contains two 6-inch IBDs, two packages of H&H compressed gauze, two packets of QuickClot Combat Gauze, another pair if nitrile surgical gloves, a vacuum-sealed packet with a "homemade" "combat pill pack" for analgesia and antibiotics, and a SAM splint. On the outside of my ruck, I keep a casualty blanket. Inside the top of my ruck, easily accessible, are two 500mL bags of Ringer's Lactate with "starter kits" (18gauge needle catheters, flowlines, rubber tourniquet, etc).

As far as the question of expiration dates, I suggest common sense...I'm not going to use a combat pill pack that's expired, unless I personally packed it from my own household medications. If Combat Gauze has the package perfectly intact, with no visible punctures of the outer package, I don't sweat it (I'm far more likely to use compressed gauze than QC anyway). Bandages and other dry goods in an IFAK/BOK only have expiration dates because the medical profession demands them. I'd LIKE them to remain sealed and sterile, but as long as they stay dry, I don't sweat it too much (I've got a couple of IBDs in my medic bag that have been opened. I use them for demonstrations and practical exercises in classes, then make sure they stay clean and they get re-wrapped in plastic to keep them useful. The important thing, in my mind, is to remember, sterility is the medical professional's friend, but nothing you are going to expose the casualty to is going to be more contaminated than the bullet that caused the injury...

A quick and simple IFAK/BOK lay-out. I would like to point out however, whether you do it with me, SFMedics, or someone else...do NOT expect to be able to use these tools properly unless you've actually had some training in TC3.

Nous Defions!
John Mosby
Somewhere in the mountains

01 June 2012

More Notes on Developing Training Programs

Your blog author moving the fuck out while engaging targets during a class/clinic.

Wars, battles, and fights are not won on the battlefield. They are won on the training field and in the classroom. It is great that we all have the ability (remarkably) to go out and spend ridiculous amounts of money on fighting rifles and MOLLE-compatible load-bearing equipment, and night-observation devices (NODs), and ballistic armor and plate carriers. Unfortunately, even those who talk about training, too often do not have any real concept of what skills they need to learn and master, nor how to develop an effective training program to learn and teach them.

It is incumbent upon each of us to not only learn to execute critical individual and collective combat skills tasks, but also to learn to TEACH these skills to others when it becomes necessary to expand our defenses beyond our close-knit groups of friends and neighbors, to create local civilian irregular defense groups (CIDG) to protect our communities. This article will discuss some conceptual theory behind developing training programs, as well as describe the most basic individual critical skills tasks that must be mastered by any irregular paramilitary resistance fighter, regardless of his/her operational area environment.

Like many military units, but even more so, resistance elements do not have the time or resources to achieve and sustain proficiency, let alone mastery, of every possible training task. Leaders and resistance cell trainers must identify those tasks that are their units critical wartime tasks. These then become the element's mission-essential task list (METL). It is then necessary to determine and train the individual skills tasks that will allow the element to accomplish their METL.

Fundamental Concepts of Training Curriculae

  1. Train as you will fight! Combat is a harsh, unforgiving, unpredictable and deadly dangerous environment. Your fighting elements will only be effective if they have trained to adapt to undesirable and sometimes unforeseen contingencies. Loss of casualties and leadership, breakdowns in communications, plans being shot to hell by the enemy, whether deliberately or inadvertently...if your training programs do not deal with these, you are not training for real (this is not to say you need to throw monkey wrenches in training scenarios too fast. If you fuck your people every time they train, so they never learn to execute the fundamentals properly, there's no real reason to bother training them at all).
  2. Train for the real fight! Make sure your training is realistic and relevant. You do not need to worry about the doctrinal make-up of a conventional force rifle squad if you don't have access to automatic weapons and close-air support. While it's critical to know and understand the enemy order of battle, don't try to replicate it too closely. It won't work for you unless you have their equipment and logistics train.
  3. Train with who you have. Have trouble getting all of your people together for training every single training meeting? So what? You won't always have every swinging dick available for real-world missions either. In our current situation, people have jobs, family demands, and even vacations that must be taken. Deal with it by training with the ones who can make it. Pass on the newly acquired skills or lessons learned to those who were absent at the next training meeting, or at remedial training sessions.
  4. Concentrate on common skills first. Some individual skills tasks will be common to most, if not all, real-world missions. Focus on proficiency and mastery of those skills first, then worry about more specialized, less commonly employed skill sets. Focus on those common skills tasks that are relevant to your groups structure, ability, equipment, mission, and environment (there would be no reason for a group in East Moose Knuckle, Montana to practice high-rise building assault methods, when the tallest building in the town is the two-story county courthouse....for the record, if East Moose Knuckle, Montana is an actual town, I've never heard of it, despite having traveled all over the state. On the other hand, whether you live in Cow Feed, Colorado or Toad Suck, Arkansas, learning to operate as part of an armed vehicle convoy, or learning to establish an area defense will be critical).
  5. Use performance-based training methodologies. Determine what every skill actually involves (called the "task"), what conditions they will be required to be performed under, and what standards must be met, in the real-world, to make execution of the task relevant. Ensure that your people can perform the task, under the conditions required, to the standards established. Then ensure that they master those skills, so they can perform them, to or above the standards, under the most trying conditions you can possibly imagine having to perform them (it's one thing to be able to engage hostile targets on a static, known-distance range, in good weather, in broad daylight. Can you do it, from a field firing position, in the dark, when it's raining cats and dogs? After being injured or wounded? After humping a rucksack for the last week, while evading capture so you've not had time to cook a meal in that time?).
  6. Eliminate weak links. After determining which skills are relevant to your resistance unit, test your people for proficiency in performing those. Then focus your training on improving those skills in which they have the least proficiency. Don't take the lazy route and focus on your strongest skills...you've already gotten those (in most cases, if your people do have a strong point, it will be marksmanship or basic weapons handling. In my experience though, too many local "militias" have the tactical ability, regardless of skill set, of a bunch of fucking cub scouts).

How do you perform individual training?

  1. Prepare the training and gather the materials needed. Once you've decided on a particular individual skill to teach, or your group has assigned you a skill to teach, locate (and if necessary to meet your group's needs, modify) or write a standard for that particular skill. Ensure that YOU can meet the determined standard (do NOT be the douchebag that tries to teach a skill that even the dumbest motherfucker can see you are not capable of performing yourself! I don't give two shits if you were Danny Fucking Delta Force himself back in the day...if you're one hundred pounds overweight now, and can't walk a flight of stairs without getting smoked, don't try and teach CQB. No one with any sense will take you seriously). Make sure you have all of the material you will need to teach the skill, from presentation materials, such as dry erase boards or butcher block pads, to sand table model materials, to medical equipment and supplies such as IV starter kits and fluid bags of Ringer's Lactate, for teaching a TC3 class. Don't show up to teach a training session and have to stop halfway to wait while someone goes and finds you the needed materials. Make sure all of your personnel know beforehand what gear they need to bring with them.
  2. Present the training. State and explain what the task, conditions, and standards are for the training that will take place. People MUST know what standards they are expected to meet. Demonstrate the task as you explain it. Explain not only how to execute the skills, but also why and when to perform it. Have each fighter/trainee actually perform the task. No one wants to sit through a lecture if it can be avoided. No one is going to learn to perform a physical task without actually practicing it. Have them practice it, using the crawl/walk/run method of training. Perform it in a classroom environment, slowly. Then perform it in a classroom environment more rapidly, at full-speed. Then perform it under field conditions. Until your people can perform the task, to standard, under the conditions required, you have not trained them in it.
  3. Evaluate the training. Ensure that every member of the group has achieved the standards, understands the task and its purpose, and can execute it properly. Look at your performance as an instructor and determine what you did wrong and right and how you can improve for the next time you have to present training. Always strive to improve your abilities as an instructor/trainer.

Determining critical individual skills tasks

The U.S. Army's 2007 edition of the Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks, entitled Warrior Skills, for Skill Level 1 (in other words, every single soldier in the Army needs to know these skills) lists almost 200 individual skills. Fortunately for those of us who are time-challenged in our training opportunities due to the need to earn money to pay the government and to feed, clothe, and house our families, many of those will be largely irrelevant to our needs as irregular force fighters. As much as we'd like to, most of us do not have ready access to M249 SAWs or MK19 grenade launchers. It is incumbent upon us as "leaders" and trainers within the community, to determine which skills it is most important for our people to learn and master first.

When I initially spend time with a group, teaching them the fundamentals of small-unit irregular warfare, I focus on a few selected individual skills that are common to most missions and most operational environments, regardless of the modifications that need to be made depending on the operating environment. These include:
  1. Engage hostile targets with primary personal small arms
  2. Provide suppressive support-by-fire
  3. Move under direct enemy small-arms fire
  4. Move over, through, or under obstacles, except minefields
  5. Select a temporary fighting position
  6. Conduct tactical movement
  7. Camouflage self and equipment

Obviously, there are numerous others, of equal or even greater importance. For the purposes of teaching small groups in an accelerated atmosphere of training in the clinic/class environment, this gives them an idea of how much they actually do not know.

Critical Individual Skills Tasks

  1. Task Number One: Engage Targets with Personnel Primary Weapons
    Conditions: Fighters will be presented with multiple silhouette-type targets at various ranges from 3M to 400M, during daylight and reduced-light conditions. Fighters will be armed with their personal primary weapons, load-bearing equipment, and other fighting load gear.
    Standards: Students will successfully engage a minimum of 70% of silhouettes with appropriate firing techniques, including deliberate aimed-fire and close-quarters marksmanship techniques.
    Critical Notes: If you cannot hit what you are shooting at, you are simply making noise. Shoot as fast as you can make hits and no faster. "You cannot miss fast enough to win a gunfight!" On the other hand, remember that in a real fight, the targets will be moving, trying to hide from your sight, and shooting back. While it's critically important to be able to shoot accurately at all ranges, do not become so focused on the "one-shot, one-kill" mantra that you overlook this reality. Three fast rounds of which one hits the enemy, is better than four slow, deliberately aimed rounds all of which miss because the enemy has already ducked under cover, or was moving too fast for you to get a perfect sight picture.
  2. Task Number Two: Provide Suppressive Support-by-Fire
    Conditions: Fighters will be provided a maneuver element, a designated sector of fire, and the task of providing suppressive support-by-fire to the maneuver element, without causing a fratricide incident.
    Standards:Fighters will place 2-3 rounds of aimed fire into known, suspected, or likely positions of enemy concealment in their sector, at a minimum firing rate of 30 rounds per minute, based on METT-TC, covering all likely areas of enemy cover/concealment within their designated sector.
    Critical Notes: Suppressive support-by-fire is NOT "spray-and-pray!" It is deliberately placed fire, intended to prevent the enemy from engaging the maneuver element with accurate small-arms direct-fire. It is NOT the Third World Hajji method of holding the weapon overhead and dumping a magazine randomly in a direction that you "hope" will keep the enemy's head down. While there is currently no doctrinal definition of the rate of fire of suppressive fire for individual riflemen, prior to World War Two the rate of one round every two seconds was a doctrinal standard. Considering this was accomplished with bolt-action rifles with ten-round fixed magazines, it should be EASY for fighters armed with modern, semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles such as AR15s and AK47s. The METT-TC modifier is critical, since at shorter distances, the rate of fire may need to be increased to as much as 3-5 rounds per second (at a recent class, as I participated in one battle drill iteration with the class, I demonstrated this, at 50-75 meters, by executing suppressive support-by-fire at a rate at least double what anyone else was providing. This is CRITICAL, because you HAVE to keep the enemy's head down by putting enough rounds downrange that it is simply unsafe for him to peek up long enough to aim and fire. While it would be ideal for your rounds to kill the enemy, it is enough to keep his head down so your maneuver element can get close enough to do so. Contrary to the popular misconception amongst some self-proclaimed "combat riflemen," this is NOT "wasting" ammunition. It is ensuring the survivability of your element...as a related aside...when I come to your group to provide training and tell you that every rifleman will need a minimum of 500 rounds of rifle ammunition, I'm NOT exaggerating...).
  3. Task Number Three: Move Under Direct Fire

    Conditions:As a member of a two-man buddy team, given a tactical scenario, wherein fighters must approach a known enemy position, under direct fire, from a distance of 350-400 yards, while engaged with the enemy, across varied terrain; with their personal primary weapons and load-bearing equipment.
    Standards: Move within 50-100 yards of the enemy position, METT-TC dependent. Use the correct individual tactical fire and maneuver techniques dictated by the terrain features present. Coordinate movement with Ranger buddy and provide cover fire for each other.
    Performance Steps:
    - Select an individual movement route within your buddy team's projected axis of advance.
    a. search the terrain to your front for a wash, ravine, ditch, or hill at a slight angle to your axis of advance to provide cover and concealment while performing the low or high crawl.
    b. select a route that provides adequate cover from enemy observation due to thick vegetation.
    c. A route that is comprised of large trees, boulders or rock piles, stumps and deadfall timber, rubble, or other suitable terrain features may provide cover and concealment as temporary fighting positions. If no suitable cover or concealment is available between these available positions, use the rush technique to move between them.
    d. High grass or weeds may provide partial concealment while in static positions, but the rush should be used for movement, since the low or high crawl will move the bushes and provide a target indicator to the enemy.
    - Select your next position prior to leaving the last position of cover and/or concealment.
    a. Select a position that will minimize your exposure to enemy direct fire.
    b. Will not require you to move in front of other members of your element/patrol, masking their fire and risking a fratricide event.
    - Determine the appropriate movement technique.
    a. Select the high crawl when your projected route provides cover and concealment, poor visibility reduces enemy observation, and speed is required, but terrain and vegetation do not provide adequate cover or concealment for higher, more rapid movement techniques.
    b. Select the low crawl when your projected route provides cover or concealment no more than one foot hight, visibility exposes you to unimpeded enemy observation, and speed is not required.
    c. Select the 3-5 second rush when you must cross open areas, readily exposed to enemy observation and direct and indirect fire weapons, and/or speed is critical.
    - Communicate your plan(s) with your Ranger buddy, or other members of the patrol. If enemy contact is not yet initiated, use hand-and-arm signals. If the patrol or the enemy has already initiated fires, communicate verbally (“Cover me while I move.” “Got you covered!” “Moving!” etc). This communication is critical, so the buddy who is not moving can provide covering suppressive fire for the his moving partner. The best cover available on the battlefield, is well-directed outgoing projectiles.
  4. Task Number Four: Move Over, Through, or Around Obstacles (Except Minefields)
    Conditions: Given an individual primary weapon, load-carrying equipment, and a Ranger buddy, in daylight, in a field environment, and a route that encompasses man-made and/or natural obstacles.
    Standards: Approach a known or suspected enemy position, to within 100 yards, negotiate each obstacle encountered within the designated time-frame for the infiltration. Avoid being observed by the enemy, or becoming a casualty to a booby-trap device or early-warning device.
    Performance Steps: Always select an infiltration time that utilizes limited-visibility conditions if tactically feasible.
    - Ensure your Ranger buddy is covering you while traversing an obstacle, since doctrinally, obstacles are always protected by either direct-fire weapons or enemy observation.
    - Cross exposed danger areas such as roads, trails, or small streams.
    a. Select a crossing point near a bend in the road or stream. If feasible, select a bend that offers cover and concealment on both sides of the obstacle. Crawl up to the edge of cover/concealment closest to the obstacle and observe the other side, and both in both directions of the obstacle, to attempt to locate any enemy observation overlooking the crossing point.
    b. Move rapidly, but quietly across the danger area and take a covered/concealed position on the other side.
    c. Observe the area immediately around your position and the surrounding area for enemy observation overlooking the crossing point.
    d. If the area is clear, signal to your Ranger buddy or the next man in line that it is okay to cross.
    - Cross over a wall/elevated obstacle.
    a. roll quickly over the top, staying as low and close to the top as possible. Do not expose or skyline yourself when traversing the obstacle.
    b. Once across, stop and observe the immediate area and surrounding environment for enemy observation overlooking the crossing point before signaling to your Ranger buddy, or the next man across that it is safe to cross.
    - Cross a man-made wire obstacle (concertina wire emplacement, wire fence, etc).
    a. Inspect the wire at the crossing point and for several sections in either direction for booby-traps or early-warning devices (doctrinally, most organized military forces, or professionally-advised paramilitary forces will attach booby-traps or early-warning devices to wire obstacles).
    b. Carefully observe the surrounding environment for signs of enemy observation overlooking the crossing point, since wire obstacles should routinely be under direct-fire or observation protection by enemy forces.
    c. Cross over the wire obstacles if necessary, using wood, grass mats, or a body breach to protect personnel from the barbs and/or prevent entanglement in the obstacle.
    d. Cross under the wire obstacle is possible, if time is not critical, by sliding headfirst on your back, under the bottom strands. Push yourself with your head and heels, carrying your weapon lengthwise on your body and holding the barbed wire with one hand while moving. Allow the wire to slide on the weapon in order to prevent entanglement in the wire of your clothing and equipment.
    e. If necessary, cut through the wire, leaving the top strand intact to reduce the likelihood of casual enemy discovery of the breach. Wrap cloth around the wire between your hands and cut partially through the wire strands. Bend the wire back and forth in your hands to complete the break. Bend the wire back and out of the way carefully, to create the breach. Cut only the lowest strands, and no more than necessary to create a breach.
  5. Task Number Five: Select a Temporary Fighting Position
    Class participant firing from a temporary fighting position.

    Conditions:Given a tentative defensive position, at a halt during movement, or upon receiving direct fire.
    Standards: Select a position that protects you from enemy observation and fire, while allowing you to place effective return fire on enemy positions without exposing most of your body.
    Performance Steps: Choose a position that takes maximum advantage of available cover and concealment (Cover protects you from fast moving pieces of metal that will act like a can opener on your tender flesh. Cover can also conceal you from enemy observation. Cover may be natural or man-made. Concealment hides you from enemy observation but does not do shit to stop those flying can openers. NEVER make the fatal error of believing that concealment can protect you from enemy fire. If the enemy suspects you are present, he may very well use searching fire into positions of concealment. This means you end up looking like an opened can of spaghetti and meatballs).
    - Choose a position that allows you to observe and fire AROUND the side of the cover object while concealing and protecting most of your body.
    - Select a position that allows you to stay as low to the ground as possible while engaging the enemy, thereby reducing the risk of damage from ricochets and indirect-fire shrapnel, as well as providing a more stable firing position (all other things being equal, the lower firing position will always be more stable).
    - Choose a position that provides a background that does not silhouette you against the surrounding environment.
  6. Task Number Six: Conduct Tactical Movement
    Conditions: Given a route of infiltration to traverse, in order to move within 100 yards of an enemy position undetected, during daylight hours, as a part of a buddy team; provided a personal primary weapon, load-bearing equipment (including rucksack), and 30 minutes to prepare camouflage of self and equipment.
    Standards: Move within the designated limits of maneuver, undetected by a positioned, trained observer, using optics, to within 100 meters of the target position. Describe the target identifier to the observer/controller before being released from the exercise.
    Performance Steps:
    - Camouflage self and equipment, using face paint, natural vegetation from the surrounding environment, and man-made camouflage aids. Silence any likely source of noise on your personal equipment and weapon.
    - Use terrain features and vegetation to conceal movement from likely, known, or suspected positions of enemy observation. Stay in the shadows, do not silhouette or sky line yourself. Move slowly, and stop frequently to observe the surrounding environment. See before you are seen. Develop your route of approach in segments, ensuring you are stopping only in concealed positions that allow maximum opportunity for observation, while reducing your movement across exposed terrain.
    - When necessary, use the high crawl, low crawl, or other individual movement techniques to maximize the use of cover/concealment. Stop frequently, if necessary, to adjust/replace camouflage. Ensure your final observation point allows adequate concealment from enemy observation to avoid being detected by optically-equipped observer, while allowing you to use optics to correctly identify details of human identity.
  7. Task Number Seven: Camouflage Self and Equipment
    Conditions: Provided personal primary weapon, load-carrying equipment (LCE), local vegetation, and other man-made materials, including skin paint/camouflage grease paint. Wearing either camouflage patterned or earth-toned clothing.
    Standards: The fighter will camouflage self and equipment in order to prevent visual detection by enemy observation.
    Performance Steps:
    - Identify critical camouflage considerations and incorporate an analysis of the following considerations:movement (movement draws attention and darkness does not prevent observation. Minimize movement and move slowly and smoothly when movement is necessary), shape (nothing is as recognizable to a human as the human silhouette, and man-made military equipment is not far behind. Use natural and/or man-made materials to break up and disrupt the shapes and outlines of your silhouette, your weapon, and all other equipment. Stay in shadows when moving, if possible), light/reflections (cover or remove the following common tactical equipment items to prevent/eliminate light reflection: mirrors, eye glasses/sunglasses, watch crystals, plastic map cases, plastic garbage bags, dust goggles, flashlights, including red lens flashlights. Red lenses should be replaced with blue-green lens covers), and color (blend individual camouflage with the local surroundings through the use of appropriate camouflage-patterned clothing/uniforms, or the use of Krylon, mud, grease paint, etc, on earth-toned clothing, and the use of natural vegetation and/or man-made material to break up the human silhouette). Camouflage your skin (regardless of your skin tone, cover your exposed skin and oils with camouflage grease paint, or other substances to reduce the glare of light reflected of your face. Use darker colors to shade prominent surface areas that shine, including the forehead, cheekbones, ears, nose, and chin. Use lighter colors to brighten those areas of your face that are normally shaded, including around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin. Do not ignore the neck or the back of the head. Use earth toned tactical gloves or thin "mechanic's gloves" to cover your hands).
    - Camouflage your head and clothing. Wear long sleeved shirts and button all buttons to the collar. Attach grass, leaves, small branches, or burlap strips on netting to your clothing and headgear. These items will distort shapes and blend colors with the natural background.
    - Camouflage your weapon and personal equipment. Cover, remove, or paint over shiny items that might reflect light. Use Krylon or other paint materials to blend the colors of your equipment to the surroundings. Attach natural vegetation and/or burlap strips and netting to your equipment. Secure any items that might rattle or make noise when you are moving. (Do not be afraid to apply liberal amounts of Krylon to any of your gear to better match your operational environment. Paint your weapons! It's a fighting tool designed to help you kill bad people, it's not a fucking financial investment or a "safe queen." When I see people who refuse to paint their rifles any color other than black, I automatically assume they are more concerned with being able to sell their rifle, rather than being effective at killing bad people with it.)

While these are not the only critical individual skills tasks that an irregular resistance element needs to know and master, they do encompass a very solid foundation for learning critical collective tasks such as battle drills that will allow you to begin developing a training program so when necessary, you can protect your homes, communities, and freedoms. This is the way to begin developing a training program.

Nous Defions!
John Mosby
Somewhere in the mountains