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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:42 am 
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This thread will focus on how to defend your BOL with a small group. A small group will be 10-30 people. Ten is the smallest number you can have with any hope of securing a place of any size at all. By your BOL it is assumed it is something you have rights to and are not trying to lay claim to and swipe. You wish to exercise your rights and prohibit others from entering into the area so this would preclude any public areas like a National Forrest or a State Park.

The laws in your state may forbid any group defensive measures as they may fall under an anti-militia law. Check your state laws carefully. All defensive uses of deadly force apply within whatever your state laws allow and demand.

For reference I used FM 7-8, FM 3-21.8, The Ranger Hand book, Soviet Military Doctrine, and various open source TAC SOPS acquired over some 24 years in the military. Everything is approved for unlimited release, not copyrighted at all or otherwise in the public domain. The emphasis here is keeping it simple so every point in here is relevant.

Our tale will begin with your group deciding that things have gotten untenable wherever you may be and your group, extended family, band of brothers, college room mates or whatever have decided to pack it in. Things are starting to go all Mogadishu.

You all get together and convoy towards that deer lease, primitive cabin in the mountains, private island or whatever. You are getting ready to leave the public highway and want to move to secure that piece of paradise for yourselves and your posterity. Life will be so much better from then on. That site is currently unoccupied by any member of your group.

For our purpose we will assume a 200 acre deer lease site and a 20 person group. To make things easy we will assume everyone is healthy, 18-50 years old and armed with a rifle. Lucky for you, your group elected you leader of the group last year because they heard you did a couple of tours in the 'Stan as a radio operator.

When times were good your group had staked out a campsite on some high ground with good observation and field of fire all around. Your band stops on the drive into the land and determines that someone has recently been on the land. A decision is made to stop at the road entrance to the land and check it out. You think that you should probably do that anyway even if there is no evidence that anyone has been through there. After all if someone is laying in ambush for you then they will try to hide their movements as best as possible.

You decide to go personally and check it out and you take with you your three most trusted friends. You tell everyone where you are going, when you expect to be back, who is going with you, who is in charge while you are gone, what to do if you don't return in a timely manner and what to do if you (or the rest of the group) is attacked. You want everyone to stay on their guard.

You figure moving up the road is dumb so you decide to move through the woods and go up one side of the road and come down the other. Your luck holds and on arrival you can see the site is clear of anyone that should not be there. You call back on your digitally encrypted cell phone and let your #2 person know, who then quietly spreads the word. You are still uneasy so you decide to leave two guys to hide and over watch the area while you and your buddy go back and pick up half of the rest of the group.

For defensive purposes your group has split into three sub groups. This means there are six people in each sub group plus you and whoever is the #2 man. You pickup half the group making sure there is someone from each sub team. You tell them that you have decided to set up a triangular shaped defensive perimeter With six dug in positions. One position in each corner and one on each side. These will eventually be three man dug in positions. Your #2 person and the other half of your group will stay back and bring the vehicles up when everything is secure.

The move into the group position is uneventful. When you return you meet with the two guys you left behind who give you the thumbs up that no one has entered the area since you left. After taking the group and searching around within small arms range you determine that there are no trespassers in the immediate area. You show the appropriate people where the correct positions are for each of the six perimeter positions.

You know that the positions must be within sight and sound of the ones adjacent to each other. They must also be mutually supporting (more on that later). Everyone holds these positions while you then call the rest of the group forward and they move safely in. You count and double count to make sure everyone made it and no equipment was left behind by accident.

Once everyone is inside you have everyone be quiet and wait a few minutes keeping a good look out. If there is someone out there watching your group they might give themselves away. Once you are satisfied the coast is clear you tell everyone what you want them to start working on to make your place more secure. You want at least one third of the group looking out for bad guys and zombies. The most important thing being cover in case your group is attacked.

You decide to start setting up yourself near, but not in the exact, center. This allows you go to each easily side to help if needed. The #2 person will be nearby, but not in the same spot.

Congratulations you just made it through step one.

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Last edited by Stercutus on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:41 pm 
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You are feverishly working to get your PAW patrol base set up and running to protect your group's deer lease. The reports of factionalized fighting in St. Louis are getting worse as members of the SW side of the arch fight it with the North East faction out over the arch.

You have chosen a triangle to set up in as a triangle is a very strong geometric shape and you have divided your group into three subgroups making it easier to control allowing each subgroup to defend a side. If your group was much larger you could even form the corner of one triangle with your group while two other similar sized groups could form their defensive positions on a corner each. A smaller group could even just have three corners and no middle positions.

Every minute expended improving the place increases the surviviablility of your group by that much more so things are pretty urgent right now. The first thing you want to do is make a contingency plan of where to run off to if the group is suddenly attacked by an overwhelming force. Otherwise nobody will know what to do or where to go if you suddenly have to leave.

Because the road coming into the property is the most likely entry point onto the property and into your area you have oriented the triangle with two corners towards the road and one back. The people in the back corner can swing around to assist in repelling any attackers if needed.


The next thing you want to do is go around to each of the positions and discuss with each person the exact directions and areas that you want them to defend against potential attackers. A commonly misunderstood concept that is portrayed wrongly in movies and other media is that the best way to defend is to get in a foxhole and face towards the onrushing attacker coming from the front of an individual position. This really does not make much sense and would expose the defender to unnecessary risk and direct fire. A much better way is more like the US Army is to angle out from behind cover.

Image

This is wonderful as a someone who is an active threat and attempting to kill you or others in your group can be hit with flank shots where they will not be looking for you as the attacker comes rushing towards you. You might think this is cheating but remember they are trying to kill you and pose a deadly threat. A third person can be off to the side or even the rear looking for other threats.

The little logs that you see on the corners serve as safety devices. You have a "Y" stake to the rear where the person rests their rifle and then sticks on either side of the log. The person with the rifle can traverse the rifle back and forth on top of the log, stopping at the end where the sticks are. This is the area that they will be responsible for looking for attackers. If they go to far to one side they may end up shooting the person to their right accidentally. Too far the other way and they could expose themselves to fire.

It is very important since you are in charge to make sure that this ties in with and overlaps with the other positions to the left and right. You may even want to draw a diagram showing where everyone is defending and make sure there are no gaps. A compass and a laser range finder would come in handy here.

You tell everyone to walk out as far as they can safely shoot to look for depressions in the ground or other sources of cover an attacker may try to use. You would want to reduce or eliminate any sources of cover for bad guys. A heavy focus will be to have the road well covered in multiple places. If someone were to attack your group and then try to drive a vehicle into your area you would want to be able to disable it before it got to you.

Once everyone has verified the area that they are going to defend then everyone starts digging a hole like in the picture for two people or with a dog leg off it for three people. A "T" or "Y' shape may work as well. A backhoe is best for this task. It can do the work of 20 men in half the time. If you don't have one then you will need shovels. Just make sure everyone is in the right place, otherwise they will get really pissed off at you when you tell them they need to move after they have been digging half the day (if you can muster up the minerals to tell them).

You want to take the ex-fill dirt and pack it into sandbags that you can stack to the front, sides and rear. If you don't have sandbags then simply pile the dirt with the focus being on the front and sides. Throw some logs on top at least four inches thick using the sandbags or dirt piles to support them. If someone tries to throw an IED at the position than it may keep it from going in the hole. Once the hole is dug it needs to be hidden and someone needs to walk around the outside trying to locate the position and making sure that no one can see it until they are very close.

Some of the guys should be putting some barbed wire out away from the perimeter about 100' away from the positions in all directions to prevent people from entering the area or at least slow them down. The wire of course will be observable by whoever is covering that area.

Special focus should be made to the entry point as well. You don't want that in the front by the road. It should be off to the rear somewhere that is difficult to get to and well covered.

While you have been doing all of this the #2 person has been mapping and setting up a secure wireless router on an internal LAN to link everyone together. The laptop and the router use tiny amounts of electricity and will allow you to silently send messages to individuals or the entire group within range of the router.

Hopefully someone else is fixing dinner and making sure the food and water is straight and readily available for everyone.

If you have done everything correctly you now defend a very small chunk of your land and you have considerable influence over other parts of the land that you can see. So, if for example you wanted to send someone out to meet with some trespassers and to tell them to leave the people remaining inside the perimeter could observe you.

This completes Step 2....

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Last edited by Stercutus on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:32 am 
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A sun rises on a new day and you are dog ass tired. After "being in charge" all day you realized that you had not dug your own hole around 9PM and started working on it digging until about 1AM then pulled a couple of hours of watch. It is 6AM and you are functioning on about 3 hours of sleep in the last two days. Not good sleep either. People have started coming to you with their personal problems that you need to solve like; where can the girls go pee without being leered at? where to put the trash? and how the person at their position snores like a freight train and how they got bit by a spider on their nut sack and mostly how they want to go home.

You tell each of the subgroups to elect their own leader and then if there is a problem that he can't he solve then he or she needs to come find you. Your #2 guy shakes his head left right at you. You change your mind and tell the sub team leaders to go find #2 instead and then if #2 can't fix the problem come find you. You get an up down in return.

Things have gotten worse in St. Louis. The last functioning radio station reports that armed bands are moving house to house pulling people out of their homes and robbing them at gun point. No one has seen a policeman in a week. The bands are starting to move to the countryside. You figure you have a week or so before anyone should be able to walk all the way out in the boonies if ever.

Your PAW patrol base is now looking quite defensible. You are amazed by the amount of barbed wire that fits on four rolls of the the stuff. You decide to dig connecting trenches between the positions to allow people to move back and forth between them by crawling without being seen.

The first thing to focus on is making and practicing contingency plans for contact with people friendly and unfriendly who may stumble upon you. You will need a plan to defend from at least two places that are the most likely to be attacked from as well as a plan to safely run away if the force is too much for your band. You will also need a more detailed security plan, especially who is supposed to be on guard at all times. You may want to put someone outside the wire to hide, look and listen for anyone trying to sneak up on you. Then again you may not, it all depends on what makes the most sense. After you have your plan worked out then you want to practice it. Then practice it again. You want to focus on what to do before, during and after an attack.

Today you want to check out the rest of the 199 acres that you don't currently occupy and make sure it is as safe as it can be. You tell each of the sub team leaders to set up their guys for a patrol and which group will do patrols and at what times. Of course you vary the times and the routes that the patrols will take. You will never leave and come back the same way. You map it out to cover as much of the group's property as possible. A patrol is a bunch of guys walking around looking for shit. There are a million ways to do it and all of them are wrong.

You tell the team leaders what specifically you want them to look for while they are out walking around. You decide to go with each patrol to watch and see how each sub team behaves while walking around. The first team tries to leave right away without talking about anything. This is no good. They should talk about what they are going to do, where they are going to go and a million other details. You stop them and talk about stuff for a good thirty minutes.

Of course if everyone already knew what all the details were this would make it much easier. You decide that as soon as you get some free time you are going to write down some basic instructions that won't change much and then post it on the shared LAN drive for everyone to read.

The most important thing that you want to talk about is what to do if you find someone out on the group's property. They may not even know that they are trespassing. With current events they will probably be armed. The last thing you want is a murder charge hanging on you because someone does something stupid. Eventually you will want to go visit the neighbors as peaceably as possible. Keep in mind they may try to come visit you.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:59 pm 
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This is great stuff, but the title made me think of this

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Evan the Diplomat wrote:
This is great stuff, but the title made me think of this

Image




Ah, that would be defending with dummies. A whole other concept.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:47 pm 
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Again thanks for posting this, while there are no stupid questions; there are inquisitive idiots.

Your scenario assumes twenty adults. No kids? I also noticed that you were digging a sleeping hole for yourself. Does anyone sleep in a tent?

I understand that you wrote about each position to be able to see, hear and cover the position on either side. How far apart would you say that distance is in yds or mtrs?

I'm unfamiliar with the Missouri terrain, but the East coast is pretty much second generation mixed hardwoods. Is your position in a clearing/meadow/thin spot or you are digging amongst the trees? Any special tool for roots?

OBTW, I've retired to South Florida where I can't dig a foot without hitting water. Do I dig to make a berm and enjoy the benefit of the resulting moat in front of me?

You mention barbed wire; is this the "I'm mending fences in Texas" barbed wire or the big loops of concertina/razor wire?

Laptops and routers? Wow, things have changed since we were using those GRiD laptops. Did your simulated group all get briefed to bring laptops/tablets or are you thinking of just using the Android and iPhone platforms? Solar recharges or plug them into the 12v socket in the vehicles?

One nit to pick - in step three you estimate it would take a week for someone to walk from the city to your neck of the woods, why wouldn't other people drive or bicycle?

Last question for now. This group of 20 has gone to an unprepared site, does that mean a plan to return to the greater metro area once public order has been restored? Or you have not gotten around to improving the location?

Thanks again, this is a good read.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:24 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:
This is great stuff, but the title made me think of this

Image




Ah, that would be defending with dummies. A whole other concept.


Whoa.. That second one from the right is kinda hot in a urban guerrilla,Sinaid O'Conner SOF type a way.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:35 pm 
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Lot to be said for some bald women.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
Lot to be said for some bald women.

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Yea well.... she's not in camo....

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:42 pm 
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Attach a cord to a dummy. Put that dummy 100 yards out. Make a decoy for attackers to draw their fire or attention and give up their positions. Even a dummy can, and has, serve a purpose (especially for countering snipers)!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Patiently awaiting the next installment.

...that chick from ST is hot.

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modustollens wrote:
Attach a cord to a dummy. Put that dummy 100 yards out. Make a decoy for attackers to draw their fire or attention and give up their positions.


Now not to derail the thread but rather more to the point.

There was a mention of 10 to 30 able bodied people as needed to defend the hypothetical 200 acres. In reality, to a point, the more abled bodies the better off you are.

To that end activities (including dummies and decoys) that give the appearance of a larger group and thus a more difficult target may indeed be useful. If nothing else, disinformation given to an opponent falls in the category of it rarely hurts and is more likely beneficial than not.

Decoys have been used in warfare and hunting forever. There are numerous stories of decoys being successfully deployed as force multipliers, distractions and even target sumps to attract hostile fire.

For instance lighting many campfires over a large area to convey the impression of large numbers of people. Painting logs black to resemble canon barrels at a distance. Playing recordings of a large crowd of people in an area that is not readily visible. These tactics have been use with varying success for centuries. They will likely continue to be useful to some extent.

Then there is camouflage. Many books have been written on the subject by far more knowledgeable people than me. However the combination of camouflage employed with decoys have proven time after time to be a useful (albeit by no means foolproof) combination.

All of these should be considered in such a situation.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:48 pm 
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I hadn't really considered more installments as we have covered the basics but ok....

The are a number of different ways to control ground. Regardless of how you do it how much territory you control is based upon terrain, weapons and equipment, the number of defenders and how much time you have to get ready. It is more of an art than a science.

Generally for a set defense the ratio of defenders is a 1:3 defender to attacker relative strength ratio. On a good day your group should be able to defend against 60 equal attackers, this is a huge number of people by most standards. By "strength" we mean the potential to apply force. 150 attackers armed with small pistols for example have practically no chance against 30 dug in defenders on open terrain armed with rifles; all else equal.

"All else is equal" is a phrase that is highly subjective as many of the elements to the problem are subjective. Superior training and leadership can allow a group of bowmen to defeat a poorly trained and led group of riflemen. Another aspect is how many people can actually defend an area vs how many attackers are actually attacking. If for example the attackers focus all of their efforts on on particular area in your defense they may achieve a relative superiority of 4 to 1 in one spot even though they only have an overall numerical superiority of 2 to 1. A good leader can counter that, a bad one will have a bad day. If one third of your people are not at your defensive area, incapacitated with cholera or whatever then the odds can shift fast.

One way to control ground is to occupy it and deny anyone entry through the use of force and obstacles. This is what you have done with the area surrounding where your group is located. More people, time or whatever and you could expand the area up to a generous limit. Since you do not have the resources to control 200 acres of woodland another technique will be needed.

You can use other obstacles to control access to areas or even use dummy obstacles, riflemen, fake hazmat signs and or fake landmines to try to direct or limits access to an area. However any obstacle that is not under observation by your group runs the risk of being quickly reduced or eliminated.

Another way to control ground is to occupy adjacent territory and deny access through the threat of force. You don't have to signal hostile intention although it may help to. All you have to do is look dangerous enough and demonstrate the capability to affect the ground through fires. That will be enough for casual travelers and the less determined or lower relative strength potential adversaries to remain out of the protected area.

In order to apply the threat of force you must be seen and show the capability to apply force. Potential trespassers have to determine your actions as a threat to their well being otherwise the threat is seen for what it is, vacant. Short of being very powerful relative to whatever threats you face there is no point in exposing yourself. Protecting adjacent ground through fires is generally inadvisable and illegal for most civilian and police applications. There are very few instances where the use of deadly force is allowed legally to protect against trespassers. These certain exception are for areas such as nuclear facilities or some other property that would prove catastrophic if seized by an interloper.

A third way is to search and clear the area you do not occupy of any threats. This works until the moment you leave that ground. As soon as you leave the area it become open again to whomever tries to claim it. Repeating this task on a regular basis may discourage people from entering into an area if there is no strong incentive to enter the area. The advantages of searching and clearing is that increases security to wherever you are holed up and lets you know if anyone else has been in the area. Setting up a defense and then not searching and clearing the surrounding area is extremely dangerous. It allows anyone nearby the opportunity to plan and prepare a ways and means to attack you. Since we have to do this anyway...

Searching and clearing an area is a very detailed task well beyond the capabilities of anyone who is not thoroughly trained and practiced in doing it. It is a group task and unlike an individual task can not be taught in even a few days. Still, a poor approximation of it is better than nothing at all. For inexperienced people facing experienced intruders they may be laying on the ground next to you and you would never know.

Before you attempt such a thing you must first determine what actions you will take and how you will treat any trespassers that you may find. There will be powerful legal constraints that if you violate could resolve in you being sent to prison or executed.

The next thing you need to do is make a basic plan based upon the map of how you are going to search and clear the area. The plan should be simple and yet do everything you need it to do.

Once you determine that you will then have to reconnoiter the area prior to searching and clearing. These are two vastly different tasks that to the layman can appear near identical on the surface. To do a recon properly you need to make up a list of everything that you need to know about the area. These are the things you will be looking for.

A recon should be conducted with the smallest possible number of people and avoid contact with anyone if at all possible. This an observation, survey and assessment task. A good one requires lots of training and practice. Again, you don't have that. The most important thing aside from that is knowing what you are looking for and answering basic questions about things you don't know about the area you are going in to. If for example you are looking for ATV tracks then ATV tracks needs to be one of the things on the list of things you are looking for and everyone needs to know it. Telling people to look for "anything strange" or other such open ended questions is going to have poor results.

To do a recon you can either go yourself or you can send someone else to do it. A third less effective way is to use technology and maps. A drone, if available might be useful. Keep in mind that the drone's POV, radius of view and perspective are going to be vastly different than yours. A good operator might see something a person would miss and miss something that is obvious to someone on the ground.

The best way is to go yourself as you will be leading the search and clear of the property. So about four people, travel slow, quiet and light. Look for the things that you are looking for. Note terrain that might indicate an ambush or otherwise be used against you (or help your defense). Stay off roads, trails, lines of drift. The list is too long to cover here.

Once you return you should be able to flesh out or modify your plan based upon what you learned. If you did not learn anything than you did it wrong and need to do it again. You are almost ready to begin.

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Last edited by Stercutus on Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:19 pm 
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Thanks very much. I was wondering if you could expand on the rudiment of patrolling that you were alluding to in your third chapter.

So some things to look for would be footprints, signs of encampments, tire tracks.

What did you mean by drift lines? Deer runs and stream beds the paths of least resistance that humans are drawn to?

I was sincere in all my questions, but no need to rush.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:18 pm 
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Not to stray to far from topic, but the scenario of this training got me to wondering. If you bugged out to a legal deer lease . And it was not deer season ( or even if it was ) Nothing that you are attempting could be construed as hunting . In essence it would appear that you are squatting. My question would be what legal right do you have to stake out and defend that lease?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:22 pm 
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Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Thanks very much. I was wondering if you could expand on the rudiment of patrolling that you were alluding to in your third chapter.

I just did. Remember patrols are going around looking at/ for stuff.


So some things to look for would be footprints, signs of encampments, tire tracks.

Maybe. It really depends, those things might be important or meaningless depending upon the particulars of your situation. Everything has to be address towards what is relevant. I'm not trying to obfuscate just make it clear that nothing is really "standard".


What did you mean by drift lines? Deer runs and stream beds the paths of least resistance that humans are drawn to?


Yep. These are natural places for ambushes and the most likely place you will run into someone else. You may want to observe these areas but traveling on them during a recon is a bad idea.


I was sincere in all my questions, but no need to rush.

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flybynight wrote:
Not to stray to far from topic, but the scenario of this training got me to wondering. If you bugged out to a legal deer lease . And it was not deer season ( or even if it was ) Nothing that you are attempting could be construed as hunting . In essence it would appear that you are squatting. My question would be what legal right do you have to stake out and defend that lease?


I don't know about your situation. When I was member of a much larger deer lease pretty much anyone who was a member or a guest could go there and stay overnight and camp any time of the year. A lot of people hunted other game (such as hogs) that were legal to hunt year around. Of course they were selective about who was a member. Pretty much everyone had jobs and a family and wasn't interested in squatting.

In our scenario I am assuming that everyone there is a member or a legal guest and allowed legal access to the property and includes the entirety of the membership. As noted earlier this is in no way an implied or explicit plan for someone to try take something that does not belong to them.

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Could you expand some more on the patrolling.

Small recon vs the sub unit you halted in installment three? Intervals between men, how often do you radio in to base?

Would a larger patrol have more distinctive weapon array? I withdraw the question, since there are no grenade launchers or LMGs in the real world.

Assuming there is a fire trail or logging road in the 200 acres, how far off the road would you parallel the route? I've observed vegetation grows thicker there because of more sunlight. Go deeper in so as not to impede your rate of travel?

When the leaves fall off, do you go in even deeper?

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Stercutus wrote:
flybynight wrote:
Not to stray to far from topic, but the scenario of this training got me to wondering. If you bugged out to a legal deer lease . And it was not deer season ( or even if it was ) Nothing that you are attempting could be construed as hunting . In essence it would appear that you are squatting. My question would be what legal right do you have to stake out and defend that lease?


I don't know about your situation. When I was member of a much larger deer lease pretty much anyone who was a member or a guest could go there and stay overnight and camp any time of the year. A lot of people hunted other game (such as hogs) that were legal to hunt year around. Of course they were selective about who was a member. Pretty much everyone had jobs and a family and wasn't interested in squatting.

In our scenario I am assuming that everyone there is a member or a legal guest and allowed legal access to the property and includes the entirety of the membership. As noted earlier this is in no way an implied or explicit plan for someone to try take something that does not belong to them.


Hunting leases are typically site/owner specific. Typically off season access is permitted to build blinds, plant lawful bait crops, install feeders and game cameras.

In this case the OP stated an assumption of lawful access and occupation which is reasonable and permissible for the topic.

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Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Could you expand some more on the patrolling. Small recon vs the sub unit you halted in installment three?

Maybe in a bit.

Intervals between men, how often do you radio in to base?

Assuming there is a fire trail or logging road in the 200 acres, how far off the road would you parallel the route? I've observed vegetation grows thicker there because of more sunlight. Go deeper in so as not to impede your rate of travel?

When the leaves fall off, do you go in even deeper?



It depends upon what you are trying to do, where you are and a lot of other factors. You are asking about eaches. It is kind of like asking an electrician how to wire a house. The answer is; it is complicated and it depends. These are highly variable based upon the situation anyone who tells you there is only one answer is going to be fairly clueless. There may be a baseline but even that will have variation.

Let us take your paralleling the road question. If I needed to see the road for some reason then I would keep it just in sight. If I needed to make sure that there was nothing on the road then I would make sure I could see the opposite side of the road. IF I were just doing a point recon I might stay out of sight of the road altogether. (If I can't see the road then it is likely that someone on it can't see me either.) In our example you would want to make sure the road were clear before you brought vehicle traffic up it. It is a balance between what you need to do and the safest way of doing it.

So far as intervals between people normally you will want to be within sight of whoever is to your left, right front and back. This could be 3 feet or 33 feet. Military formations are partly setup the way they are because of the threats of indirect fire, landmines and machine guns. These are not necessarily reasonable threats to assume you would be facing in a weakening of ROL like scenario, although they could be.

I am just barely scratching the surface here. People who do these kinds of things for a living spend years training and practicing.

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Don't know how I missed this earlier.

Evan the Diplomat wrote:
Again thanks for posting this, while there are no stupid questions; there are inquisitive idiots.

Your scenario assumes twenty adults. No kids? I also noticed that you were digging a sleeping hole for yourself. Does anyone sleep in a tent?

I kept the group homogeneous for a baseline and to make it easier. Any changes increases the complexity of the problem. Kids are a big problem as they represent something that needs to be protected and provides little in return. In theory male/ female should also not make a difference. In practice there are some physical differences and more drama on the part of both genders when they are intermixed. Still, females mostly hold their own.

Holes are not for sleeping. Holes are for defending. People sleep where it is safe to do so. Out of the line of any fires. The hole may or may not be a good choice, probably not. I certainly would not want to do it for any length of time.


I understand that you wrote about each position to be able to see, hear and cover the position on either side. How far apart would you say that distance is in yds or mtrs?

In this example I would not go more than 50 feet and probably less than that. So you would have a triangle about 60-110' per side.

I'm unfamiliar with the Missouri terrain, but the East coast is pretty much second generation mixed hardwoods. Is your position in a clearing/meadow/thin spot or you are digging amongst the trees? Any special tool for roots?

A pickaxe, axe and shovel will dig any hole given enough time.

OBTW, I've retired to South Florida where I can't dig a foot without hitting water. Do I dig to make a berm and enjoy the benefit of the resulting moat in front of me?

I wouldn't. You would need a whole bunch of sand bags and fill them with sand. You could then make an elevated position in exactly the same way. You will need to do more research on how to safely build with sand bags. A berm might not be packed enough to provide any meaningful cover which s why sandbags are fist choice.

You mention barbed wire; is this the "I'm mending fences in Texas" barbed wire or the big loops of concertina/razor wire?

Barbed wire is much cheaper and weighs much less. It is easy to put up around trees and is not as dangerous as Concertina wire. Concertina wire is vastly superior, goes up really fast, does not require support. Depends upon what you want, need and can afford.

Laptops and routers? Wow, things have changed since we were using those GRiD laptops. Did your simulated group all get briefed to bring laptops/tablets or are you thinking of just using the Android and iPhone platforms? Solar recharges or plug them into the 12v socket in the vehicles?

The convenience of a personal device that everyone will have with them at all times anyway should really be exploited. Just remember it goes both ways. Solar chargers and vehicle power, whatever works.

One nit to pick - in step three you estimate it would take a week for someone to walk from the city to your neck of the woods, why wouldn't other people drive or bicycle?

They would. But if they are looting on the way it might take a while to get there, or not.

Last question for now. This group of 20 has gone to an unprepared site, does that mean a plan to return to the greater metro area once public order has been restored? Or you have not gotten around to improving the location?

Defenses are never complete until you are done with them. A truly proactive leader will always be looking for ways to improve them. The ultimate goal of any group should be to seek a return to a stable, secure society as soon as possible.

Thanks again, this is a good read.

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For those who have been following along you may have noticed onerous warnings throughout. The stakes are about to increase significantly. If your plan is to lead an armed band around your property in search of potential threats and trespassers and the sum total of your knowledge and legal reading of the subject is this thread than you are setting yourself up for a tragic failure outcome.

In my state for example someone may cross your property if it is not fenced and posted, while openly armed without breaking the law. I would not advise doing this as it would be in poor judgment. In most states pointing a weapon at someone is assault. So a thorough reading and understanding of the laws in your area is absolutely required.

Now that you have done that and made sure everyone with you does the same it is time to get ready to go.

When you did your first recon (when you first got to the lease way back in post #1 and went to check out the site) you left a specific set of instructions with your #2 man of what to do if certain problems came up. This is called a contingency plan. You are going to want to do that again, in fact every time you go somewhere. But since you are going to be gone longer and wandering around more you are going to want to prepare a lot more to be successful.

One of the things you are going to do is leave a map with your #2 showing the route you plan on taking. On that map you are going to highlight key, recognizable pieces of terrain that you plan on passing near. You can then number these and when you pass by that area you can contact your #2 (by whatever method) and then tell him the number so he knows where you are. Since your group is the only one who knows what the numbers are this is a neat way to make sure that even if someone else hears you they don't know what you are talking about.

If you disappear or need help than your #2 knows where to start looking for you or where to send help.

So a checklist might look something like this:
- Contingency plan given
- Route Recon plan completed and shared
- List of things that you are looking for during recon completed and shared
- What to do if you see anyone or anything

There are a million other details but if you just do the above your chance of having a good result increase a bit.

Since you are going with one of the sub groups and each sub group is six people you may as well split that group into two groups of three as well. The reason being it is safer. If you do bump into someone unintentionally they might just see one or a couple of your group. The group in the rear can help the group in the front by moving around to the side of where the attackers are.

Since a triangle is a strong shape just make two triangles, one in front of the other, of people with you walking in between them. They should be pointed the way you are going. Whoever is the leading tip of the lead triangle needs to know where the hell you are going and be completely alert. You want to make absolutely certain of that. You will want to spread out a bit so that if someone does take a shot at your group they will have a tough time with a follow up shot at a different target. How much depends, 30 feet is pretty standard.

Since you are trying to be quiet you are going to want to use hand signals as much as possible. Whatever hand signal technique you use everyone needs to know what it is and everyone needs to be looking around at everyone else so that they don't miss one. People need to know to look around anyway. This way no one gets separated from the group. The people in the rear need to look back frequently to make sure no one is sneaking up on you.

You will want to check everyone and make sure that they have everything they need to be out walking around in the woods for at least twice as long as you anticipate. Chances are good that it will take longer than you think even if nothing comes up. Checking everyone is whole separate issue. But if you write down what everyone needs and make sure everyone knows it then it will make it a lot easier. You also don't want them carrying a bunch of stuff they don't need as they may get fatigued and slow everyone down,

There are at least a dozen different techniques that I know of for a recon of an area. Various different shapes such as fans, boxes, loops, zig-zags and many others. These techniques are only important in that they work and find what you are looking for.

If while you are walking around you decide to stop somewhere for a few minutes for a rest, to get your bearings or some other reason it is best to form a tight circle with everyone pointing outward and behind cover. Therefore you need to pick your spot carefully. This is not a good time for a meal break or anything else unrelated to whatever you are doing.

We will assume for our purpose that you walked all over your land and found out everything that you wanted to know and di not encounter any problems. Everything just keeps going your way.

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Last edited by Stercutus on Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Thanks for all of the answers and the excellent post on the mechanics of conducting a patrol.

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flybynight wrote:
Stercutus wrote:
Lot to be said for some bald women.

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Yea well.... she's not in camo....


And also dead BTW... RIP Persis Khambatta.

-urban

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