Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tactical Considerations for the ‘Lone Wolf’

 The genesis of the article is comments that I see on my blog posts and elsewhere from individuals who, to a certain extent, reject small unit tactics as a means for post-collapse survival and prefer to plan to operate as a ‘lone wolf.’ I see comments such as ‘I’ll be going hunting’ and criticism of small unit tactics on the basis of them being ‘for the military’.

Ok, so let’s take that at face value and examine some tactical considerations for such an operator. Let’s envision a post-collapse scenario where a father is protecting his family at a hidden retreat. I am going to put this in the woods/country rather than urban, just to make the article shorter and because that is where most retreats are located, but many of the considerations will apply across tactical environments.

Imagine that in your area there is an active paramilitary marauder gang who thus poses a clear and present threat to your retreat and family. They are conducting active operations in your area of operations (AO) and you therefore decide that the best approach for the tactical self-defense of your family is an active defense. Such an active defense will mean going out and disrupting the operations of this group in such a way that they will be deterred from operating in your area. Otherwise known as goin’ huntin’!

Your primary concern is stealth and concealment. If you are going away from your retreat you need to consider how that retreat is defended in your absence, and what will happen if you do not come back. The best defense of that retreat will be avoidance by concealment. Perhaps if you do deter the gang from your area you are also defending your retreat by preventing the enemy from moving in your direction and discovering your family/stash.

We are going to talk about a lone operator. Many of the disadvantages faced by a lone operator can be overcome by moving at a minimum in a pair, like a sniper team. But this is going to be a purist article, it is going to be about a ‘lone wolf’.

Your main defense will be stealth of movement and concealment. You will suffer from being unable to establish security and when resting you will be unable to maintain a watch/sentry. If you are compromised and contacted by the enemy you will not be able to conduct fire and movement. You will be limited to fire-move-fire–move or simply getting behind a terrain feature providing cover and running out of there (or both).

Such a situation is not unprecedented and I have heard anecdotal stories about operators, in places such as the southern African bush wars of past years, moving alone as scouts and simply crawling into a deep bit of brush/cover when needing to sleep. Be a light sleeper! So there are disadvantages but that does not mean you can’t make it work while taking some risks. The fact that you are a lone individual gives you advantages of stealth and concealment with a smaller signature. If you are only conducting short term operations then the need to rest up is reduced, but see below for reasons why you may need to work further afield from your retreat.

Some of these techniques are summarized here for brevity but you can find more information on everything discussed here in ‘Contact! A Tactical manual for Post Collapse Survival’



Area of Operations: you need to consider that if the enemy is in any way switched on, and are keeping any sort of incident map, then if you simply operate close to your retreat they will build up a picture that may well lead them to your home and family. Thus you should be unpredictable and move further away or from unexpected directions in order to prosecute your attacks.

Navigation: you will need to be able to accurately move by map and compass across rough back country terrain to get in and out of your objective. You will take separate routes in and out and use deception.

Movement: You must use cover and concealment to move. You will have to move slowly, at a jungle patrol pace, in order to effectively scan ahead and around. Cover means using the ground (hard cover) to conceal you, such as moving in draws or behind terrain features. Concealment means using vegetation to hide you from any observers. You will need to plan a route accordingly, also avoiding any settlements where there is an increased risk of compromise and where dogs will bark at you.

However, do not move on obvious features or along trails and tracks. You can handrail (parallel) them at a distance if you need to or if you need to use them for navigation. It is often best to ‘cross-grain’ the terrain thus making your moves hard to predict. Valley bottoms and trails/streams are good places for you to walk into an ambush. Use techniques for avoiding ambush such as hand railing and moving partway up a valley side (contouring), thus giving you the benefits of cover and concealment but avoiding natural ambush sites and places where others will travel.

You must be very careful at any kind of obstacle, vulnerable point, channelizing feature or linear danger area. Examples of a channelizing vulnerable point include crossing a bridge or moving through a track or trail junction. A linear danger area is any kind of open feature that you have to cross such as a road, river or trail, even a power line through the woods. You must be very careful to observe in detail prior to crossing and find a point where the crossing is best concealed, such as in a depression or even by crawling through a culvert, for example.

As you move, you need to stop regularly for listening and observation breaks. Scan and listen. Do this before moving through the next natural part of the terrain, cross it then stop again. A real game changer would be having a portable FLIR thermal imager (such as the FLIR Scout), with which you can scan around and into the brush to spot anyone concealed.

You have to decide whether to move by day or night. The balance of your and the enemies capabilities will determine this. Do you have night vision or FLIR? Does the enemy? You can move very well in the woods at night without any technology, but if the enemy has night vision capability you may be just as well moving during the day by concealed routes where at least they don’t have the night vision advantage over you and you can see better to observe. This also goes to the times you will be able to target the enemy. If you don’t have a night vision or optic capability for your weapon system, you may be restricted to daylight shots. Of course, if the enemy is illuminated, perhaps in a compound or similar, then you can take a shot from out in the darkness no problem. You need to know all this, which is why “Time spent in recce is seldom wasted.”

If you do invest in any night vision, you need to give thought to how it is rigged and used. A night sight on a rifle will allow you to take shots but will be limited for movement use and general observation, without bringing the rifle into the shoulder to observe. Using night vision goggles/monocle will allow you to see as you walk but will not transfer directly to your weapon sight. That is why the military use IR laser pointers on the rifle zeroed to the rifle, so you just point the laser and view through the night vision goggle and place it on the target. Such IR lasers are restricted to military/LEO use but you can buy visible laser systems. As soon as you flick that on it will be visible to the naked eye but may be used fleetingly before a shot, so long as it is accurately zeroed and the range is not too great. All this says that before you spend money on expensive equipment for night ops you need to give some thought as to the gear you will buy and how it will be set up.

Consider the use by the enemy of FLIR both from ground and airborne systems. Use terrain and vegetation cover as well as frequent observation and listening stops to counter this. Have a ‘thermal poncho’ rigged up so you can get under it, providing camouflage from both naked eye observation and also FLIR TI. You will need to be able to camouflage your heat signature.

As well as being covered in ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’ the subject of aerial thermal/FLIR observation and targeting is covered extensively as part of the story line of ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’ – my educational tactical novel.



Getting into position: ideally the place you will take your shot from will have a covered approach into which you can bug out afterwards or if compromised. An example would be coming up behind a ridge or along a ditch. You may have to be prepared to conduct a ‘stalk’ such as a sniper does by low crawling at the pace of a snail through cover and concealment. You have to give thought as to how you will get out once the place goes hot.

The concepts of enfilade and defilade will go a long way to help you. Enfilade is a side shot, from the flank. It is preferably taken from a defilade position. Defilade basically means being behind a terrain feature (even a small one) where you cannot be observed by the enemy until they are in your target area. Imagine that the enemy is using a track. You get into position to over-watch the track from a small draw running down to the track which provides cover to each side (correctly, defilade just needs to be to one side, the direction the enemy is coming from). This means that you have reduced your sectors of observation of the track, but you are protected from observation and fire from any enemy not directly in front of you on the track that faces your draw.

When the enemy moves along the track and into your sector of fire, you take an enfilade shot and then bug out back along the draw. Because you are alone, the lack or observation and early warning may be a problem but you could have two positions: be on the side of the draw observing over the lip and then move down and into position once you see the enemy coming.

When in position be aware of your thermal signature and the need for general concealment. See 'thermal poncho' or use a ghillie suit which will hide your thermal signature very well due to the thickness, just don’t try and move very far in it. Simply getting behind solid cover will block your heat signature, but beware of your head peering over the lip.

Logistics: you will need to consider the need to sustain yourself while you are out. This will mean rations and water. You will need to carry a patrol pack but keep it light as possible and consider caching it short of your firing point. You obviously can’t use white light or anything less than shielded pin prick flashlight while you are out and you can’t have a fire to cook or heat water. Consider what rations you will carry, for energy only. If you are out for a time and you do cook on a camp stove or similar, then you will need to pick a position for that, conceal your spoor, and then move on before considering stopping to rest or stay the night.

That reminds me that anytime you stop you should observe you back trail for a time to pick up if you are being followed. With a bigger force that may be in the form of a hasty ambush but in the case of one man you will want to just observe and slip away in a different direction.

Anything you do out there that creates any visual sign or smell could compromise you. You don’t want to smoke, spit gum, clean your teeth, use deodorant or anything that is a non-natural smell. You will need to be careful of any sign you leave, such as clearing leaves/brush to sleep. Carry out anything you defecate in a zip-lock bag along with any paper you use. Urinate somewhere that it will not leave an obvious stain. Clearly don’t leave trash.

Administration: you will need to wear and carry the right gear for the environment, whether that is snow covered hills or hot Louisiana swamp. Think about suitable clothing for the environment. A dry set of clothing and a change of socks: this applies to both cold and jungle environments. You won’t be doing anything elaborate for a camp, you will be on ‘dirty patrol’ and ‘travel light, freeze at night.’ If you do sleep it will be after crawling into a deep bit of brush. Carry some light sleeping gear, your thermal poncho and perhaps a thermally insulated  ground mat.

You will need sufficient food and water. How will you resupply water? From a creek? Then use puri-tabs to purify it in your canteen. You will need sufficient batteries for whatever equipment you have with you, such as night vision etc.

Wear appropriate camouflage: white sheeting in the snow, face cam cream for in the woods, hunting or military camo clothing are examples. Be aware of your equipment and tape it down or pack it away to prevent rattle and shine. Wear your gear squared away so it is not hanging off you and put retaining lanyards on anything you get in and out of your pockets such as compass etc. Give thought to how you gear up, with an essential survival  load in pockets, then any kind of tactical vest, then your patrol pack, so if you have to dump any of it you will first have your tactical vest and then at a minimum some survival gear on your person.

One of the arguments people bring up with the stealth thing is that it allows you to do away with any form of body armor or plate carrier and also reduce the amount of ammunition you are carrying. It depends on your mission, and your personal load is just that, it’s a personal thing. Just consider that with a plate carrier it may save you if you walk into a contact or things go pear shaped for any reason. It also provides a good base for carrying magazine pouches, and you can never have enough ammo if things go wrong! But yes, balance gear against weight and the need for stealth and to get in and out of your shoot position: stripping down and leaving stuff in a cache behind the objective is one way around this, best of both worlds. That ties in with a basic load on your person in case you are pushed away from the cache.

When carrying out the mission, be aware how the scene will change once you have put one of the enemy down, and the need for you to escape from the firing point. Think putting a stick in a hornets nest! You also need to know what means they have for QRF to follow up and detect you. That is one of the areas where counter-thermal comes in. You need a covered route out of the firing point and a rapid move back to pick up any cached gear before following a covered route out of the objective area. Then take a different route back. You need to rapidly evacuate the contact area before falling back into a more steady patrol pace and awareness of your surroundings. Consider the need to set up hasty ambush or booby traps on your back trail and also not going directly back home, in case you lead the bad guys there.

You need to have discussed with your home base what they will do if you are wounded captured or killed. They may never know, you simply may not return. Depending on the proximity of the AO to your base and how well that retreat is hidden they may feasibly stay in palace. Alternately, you may set time limits after which they will bug out via a series of emergency RVs, staying a certain time at each one. It may be that you simply stumble back into your house wounded. Or you may be dead in the woods or strung up from a lamp post. What then?

Clearly if you are going to engage in such operations you need to steel yourself for the implications. It’s not a game. Big boys rule apply. To take the step to move from a defense in place of your retreat to an active act of going out to target the bad guys will be based on an assessment of the threat and the best way to counter it. You would not take such a move lightly, but the conduct of this notional paramilitary marauder gang will determine the best response for tactical self-defense.

Note I have not even covered the need to be able to actually hit the enemy with a shot from an effective weapon system! It just seemed too obvious to state, but it does need to be stated. Your rifle needs to be zeroed and effective at the range you intend to use it against the intended targets. You may carry two rifles, a hunting rifle slung on your pack and an AR-15 style for while you are patrolling and for closer range self-defense. Think about how best to do that. Train and have the competence to take the shot. and score a hit.

I have not covered everything, but that’s a good introduction.

43 comments:

  1. Hey Max, good piece....I would point out that IR aiming lasers are in fact available to civilians, in the class 1 (eye safe) variety. Mil variants (class 3) can run up to around 25mW, while class 1 is about 0.7mW....of course there is also ebay....just sayin...

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  2. Seems to me taking out one person out of a group of hostiles is going to piss the rest of them off more so than provide any sort of deterrence. Then they start patrolling from a central point in larger and larger circles until they find your location. Don't know what the answer is. Not sure that is it.

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    1. my instinct would be to pre-establish a proximate, deep hole-up fairly close to where I take the shot. Hunker down for several days until OppFor gets tired of looking.

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  3. Hey Max, what type of ar15 to you carry? Which one do you recommend, what do you say about the colt 6920?

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    1. I'm no firearm scientist! I'm not an aficionado, I just see rifles as tools and tend to stick to what I have been 'issued' and used in my service. For a commercial AR-15/M4 I like the Colt Law Enforcement model. Off the top of my head I think it is the A2 with the removable carry handle so you can fit optics. It has a 1:7 barrel twist and is chambered 5.56mm. You can change out hand guards and put picattiny rails and all the Gucci gear you want, flashlights and such. I just think it is a good buy from any gun store, you can get the 16 inch barrel without additional paperwork, 'back in the days' when rifles were in stock in gun stores you would often see them as an option.

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    2. Ok that's good, the colt 6920 is the law enforcement model so we're on the same page there. I just wanted to know from your perspective as a soldier. I've heard that the le6920 is as close to a military M4 you can get as a civilian.

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  4. When is the sequel to patriot down coming out!!!!

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    1. I really appreciate the demand for the Sequel. I have yet to write it. I will get onto it as soon as the opportunity presents, and I hope to publish it before the collapse is actually upon us! Its going to be at least six months before I get to write edit and publish it. Sorry!

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    2. Ditto, I really enjoyed the book and am really looking forward to the sequel.

      P.S. I got all of my friends in our preparedness group to buy contact as well.

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  5. Great post, hard to find any fault at all in it. Max really covered the bases very well in insertion, route planning, stealth and concealment etc. It's also a real whiff of reality for folks who imagine conducting Rambo-type singleton ops, when in reality it would take a rare individual to pull them off. One thing I might add is to consider, in addition to taking rifle shot, the possibility of infiltrating their camp and taking out a sentry or even more. Using your superior knowledge of the AO, you might literally catch them sleeping and cut some throats. Don't rule it out. In and out quiety, using the knife or a suppressed weapon. Don't forget the oil can adapters, grab plenty of 1/2" by 28 nuts while you can. The rest can be scrounged and adapted. Best case attacks leave a sentry "missing" when you have killed him silently and hidden his body in a creek or a crevice. Let them wonder if he went AWOL or was snatched. In for a penny, in for a pound, make your kills count. Get into bow hunting now: if you can get within arrow range of a deer, you will be able to stalk humans too. Practice stealthy day and night movement now in peacetime, it's just as important if not more so than your weapons and other gear. A true "ninja" will start with a knife and soon have plenty of kit "donated" to him by folks who never saw him coming.

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    1. Roger that, Matt. For everyone wondering how they will acquire those fancy (and prohibitively expensive) night vision goggles and thermal sights, this is how. You "liberate" them from the .gov/.mil.

      Having done some OPFOR duty at Ft. Polk and Ft. Irwin, I can tell you, there are opportunities aplenty to get inside their perimeter and do some real damage. Better done as a team than as an individual, but we work with what we have when the time comes.

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  6. If you are alone you are dead. Your family is dead....or worse. Those that think they can "go it alone" will not fare well or for long, urban or country. My 2 cents..............

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  7. Viet Nam showed us the effectiveness of booby traps. Pungis, deadfalls, and other types of devices can discourage marauders from a particular area, as well as weed out the stupid and inattentive.

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    1. Sir, you make a good point but, with todays silencers and affordable night vision scopes, a Lone Wolf can be VERY effective "IF" he has the combat experience folks like our generation had in 'Nam. We will be dealing with "Gender Normalized" troops at best.......... NOTHING like when WE went thru boot camp at Ft. Polk & Ft. Benning.

      CW-3
      MOS-153A
      101st. Airborne Ranger
      Helicopter Attack Company
      Pilot In Command (Flight Leader)
      UH-1G Gunship
      Vietnam 02-1971 to 11-1973
      Critically wounded 11-1973

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  8. a good piece, good info for stealthy recon and/or ambush, with friends, but i agree that to "poke a hornets nest" will only piss em off. Better to remain anonymous, blend in, if you go it alone against superior numbers you better not have family or friends that need you at home because you will need to keep moving, for miles, and miles, to draw em off so to speak. These "prepper" shows amuse me, "lone wolfs", go ahead and spend thousands on your "retreat", I'll have you out of there in 48 hours, by myself.

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  9. Although Max and Matt, both experienced SpecOp operators, covered it pretty straight forward, I must emphasize that operating alone is a very, very highly specialized, high risk task. The odds of a lone wolf operating for any effective length of time while inflicting serious damage on the enemy are stacked high against success.

    In real life lone operators are pretty much only found in reconnaissance or target painting deep behind enemy lines while doing everything possible to avoid contact or detection. Even then the odds against both success and survival for a lone operator is iffy. The guys who do that sort of operating are highly trained over many years.

    If you can't build a small team -- and practice small team tactics extensively -- your efforts may be more productive in flooding your AO with a wide variety of booby traps designed to both inflict serious damage on the enemy and alerting you of trespassers so you will know when to go to deep ground cover.

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  10. The Comanche Indians that ruled our area of the country for many years survived by being "mobile", and by having a "tribe". They eventually succumbed to superior numbers, and by not being "adaptable".

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  11. Use every tool at you disposal. The FLIR Scout is an incredible tool, compared to night vision it is far superior.

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    1. As a member of Sportmansguide.com you can get the FLIR Scout PS24 for $1890. Only has a 5 hour battery life though and an internal battery that needs to be recharged. I prefer the HS-324 Patrol 19 mm which uses 4 AA NiMH rechargable batteries and can detect a man at 440 yards for $4725. Buy what you can afford.

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    2. Yes if you can afford the investment now it may be worth people's lives when the time comes. With the FLIR Scout you have to make a plan for recharging it in a grid down situation. Car charger, generator, solar power or whatever. It would be ideal if you had one that took batteries and you had a stock of those plus rechargeable ones, but cost will balance this.
      For limited battery life here is the solution: you don't have it on scanning all the time. If you are in a static OP watching your perimeter, you will turn it on sporadically at intervals to scan, then turn it off. Listen and scan with naked eye or other night vision devices between FLIR scans.
      If you are moving as per the article, as an individual or small team, then keep it in a pouch pocket or on a lanyard down your shirt. Scan ahead, move over the ground, the get it out and scan again, turning the device off to conserve battery power. You don't need to walk around with it turned on and glued to your eyeball all the time.
      Don't forget that you can operate without this technology, but if you can afford it it could be a life saver. It can even be used to scan around the woods for dangerous animals if, for example, your dogs alert on something, and it can be used even to find lost or wounded team members or children out in the woods/backcountry.
      Yes please FLIR, I would like a free one for my endorsement of your product!

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    3. Max I would use it just as you suggested, but if you are on a long range patrol or operation you may not be able to charge it (the unit with the internal battery), that is why I prefer the NiNH option. You can carry an extra set or two of batteries and not worry about charging it. One question though. What is the military using? At what distance can they detect you with their thermal imaging devices (ground not air)? If they can detect you at 1000 meters and I only have a unit good for 350-400 meters I would be at a disadvantage. The FLIR Patrol model is good for 440 yards to detect a man. The PS32 is good for 500 yards but doesn't have video or image capture capability (not that i need that) but for around $5400 i can get a thermal imaging scope with 3x power and 2x digital zoom good for 1400 yards. Problem is that it is bigger and is heavier. What would you choose?

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  12. There are strengths and weakness in near anything. At some point while going it alone you have to sleep. You also will have a significant probability of being outflanked without someone or several to watch your 6 while out and about. Can it be done? Yes, but the limits must be completely respected. You are essentially all there is.

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  13. Great post as always. For the average "family guy" I would add two things. Once a target is located, circle around to the oposite side away from your home base. Take the shot then head away from that side of the target until you are sure you are not being followed. Point two, you probably have a 90 percent chance of not making it home.

    Weaver

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  14. I have never understood the argument for two rifles. If you have one 7 lbs 308 rifle (LesBaur PredatAR) capable of long range fire then why carry another 6 pound 223? Better to take all that weight in ammo. If you can't reach out and touch with your main weapon (AR platform,Garand,Ruger Scout rifle,etc) then for God sake, trade up.

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    1. Yes it was an option not a recommendation. I would personally only carry one rifle, but for example the post was about getting a rifle shot off and to do that the person may be (for example) carrying a bolt action hunting rifle. For potential contact situations I would rather be carrying a combat rifle. If you can snipe with your combat rifle then there is not need for both. It's just food for thought.

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  15. The Lone Wolf is the detrius of our politics, rugged individualism with a large slice of paranoia blended along with stories of extremely proficient snipers. I mentioned it a while back in the context of doing a bug out, where me the man takes his rifle and gear hits an opfor from a position while the home crew moves to a RV where I might be able to make. Lone Wolf might be able to make a pain of hisself in a built up area, and then this will cause over reaction, but that is inurgency and this thread is more about survival. robroy

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  16. Class 1 IR lasers are available to the general public for about 6-800 dollars. A PVS-14 runs for about 3-4K. I know if I had the cash, it would not even be a question!

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  17. IR lasers restricted to the military? Nonsense. Buy a regular weapon-mount laser, then go here and get an IR laser module to swap out:

    http://www.lasermate.com/GRImodule.htm

    Yes, the collimation won't be perfect, but so what? It's for CQB, right?

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  18. Where can somebody find good thermal ponchos and how much do they cost?

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    1. The 'thermal poncho' was a design I create for Patriot Dawn. How you do but varies but the idea was to use a military poncho to give it strength and so you could actually string it up as a tarp. Add a layer of Mylar to block h heat signature and on top put some camo cloth/gillie style rags to help with both visual camo ad reduce shine and contrast through a thermal viewer.
      The 'poncho' is really a tarp system you can get under; you could just crawl under or wrap yourself in it but contact can cause heat to seep and then you will be seen. Best to out it up like a tarp with separation from your body heat to mask that thermal signature

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    2. Appalling spelling and typos sorry I'm on my iPhone!

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    3. Max long before I read Patriot Dawn I had suggested the same idea to my group of friends as we were discussing evading thermal imaging from the air. I\we just didn't know how well it would work. In theory it sounds like it will, do you know for fact that it will defeat thermal imaging devices?

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  19. Max, I read Contact, very cool and helpful thank you.
    I also am a "Lone Wolf" insomuch as I really don't know anyone here. I have moved to this area recently and haven't met many people yet. I am in what I consider a good location and feel secure. I am well armored. Prepped as well as possible, food, power, security through dogs and perimiter security system. My biggest worry is sleep. My wife is valuable but may not see what's comming in. Being a "lone wolf" I pray friends come along to relieve my position.
    The hit and run lone would would be dead in less than a day after the "hit" I believe also.

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  20. Why yes, I'd love to go to India.... :D

    MAX, can you maybe explain a little more about this line:
    "Be aware of your equipment and tape it down or pack it away to prevent rattle and shine. Wear your gear squared away so it is not hanging off you and put retaining lanyards on anything you get in and out of your pockets such as compass etc".

    I've heard of and understand the reasoning behind taping/tying any floppy outer pieces of gear down, but I've never heard of using retaining lanyards for everything else..
    I'm not exactly picturing what you mean by this, but it sounds like it could turn into a real hassle if you've got every little piece of gear tied down everywhere incessantly getting all tangled up....
    Or what if you need to hand off a piece of gear to another person?

    Again, I don't have a frame of reference for this, as I've never seen anyone do this with their gear setup, so I'm a little confused.

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    1. iPhone answer: tape down and tidy away any equipment straps like on a ruck etc. attach any pouches on plate carriers or battle belts well so they are secure and not hanging off.
      Don't look like a camper with metal mugs and ancillaries hanging off your gear.
      Certain high value gear that you get in and out to use will need a lanyard. Example: compass: it will live in a pouch/pocket and will be in ad out to navigate. Put it on a lanyard and attach to pouch pocket. Another example would be a handheld flir or similar. Tie it down so you don't lose it.
      It shouldn't be spaghetti junction just with tucked away lanyards to such equipment.

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    2. If you think you will need to hand he item often attach with small karabiner clips.

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  21. I bought all of Max's books and they just came in today. Bought extra copies for friends and looking forward to reading them!! Thanks for the info, Max

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  22. max, great post. i agree teams, tribes, units beat lone wolf but don't discount it completely. look at the 'stan. one sniper taking a couple of shots and bugging out keeps whole battalions ducking. with good standoff and maybe even supressed, booby traps between the regime and multiple hides, you could become "the white death" II. and how many vc did carlos hathcock tie up? one ftx my scout platoon split up into two man teams to play opfor. we gave the bc migraines for two weeks, he ended the exercise when we cs'd his hq tent. i almost lost a stripe on that one, we weren't issued cs. only two teams were ever captured. besides, some of us have no family to worry about. one man is very hard to find, especially if he knows the terrain. note to all: brass catchers, not only to save the brass for reloading, but to deny the regime intel of ammo an/or thumbprints. sic semper tyrannis

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    1. Two points:

      One, I've been around the Army for nigh on two decades and have yet to see us crack the code on reacting effectively to OPFOR harassment from the flanks. By the time most units return fire, take cover, set up a base of fire and begin to maneuver on the (mostly unseen) OPFOR element, they are long gone. You can really wear out a heavily laden infantry unit this way in short order. Beware, though, where they end up paying you back is when you are smugly sleeping it off in your patrol base. Never sleep in the same place twice and never spend more than 24 hours in the same location (less if you can help it).

      Two, and this is a simple point: even if one very motivated lone wolf is effective, two men are at least twice as effective. A tribe of two is better than one lone wolf. Better yet, an operational cell of three or four men. I would argue in the early stages of an insurgency, anything larger than a four man cell is unwieldy and becomes an OPSEC risk.

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  23. I can see myself utilizing these tactics for foraging and gathering intel to form threat assessments when there is no communication with the outside world. My wife and I discussed this and she found that to be reasonable. I promised her I would not engage in offensive action unless there was a clear and present danger to our homestead. In that case I would do so in a way that lead the bad guys away from her and our child.

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  24. This reminds me of Jonathan's attack on the Philistines at Michmash. Defilade approach through a wadi gorge, need for a partner, etc. Of course, helps to have the Lord God on your side. See 1 Sam 14. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Sa&c=14&v=1&t=KJV

    This apparently was recalled by a British officer in WWI who the Michmash tactic successfully for an attack on an Turk forces in the same area.
    http://thevorpalsword.com/2008/03/09/a-strange-occurrence-at-michmash.aspx

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