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Showing posts with label survival tactics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survival tactics. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

More SHTF Ambush Tips

I received the following from Paco: “The ambush post was great! Can you have more information on ambushes, maybe some advanced ambush techniques?”

UrbanMan replies: I will eventually write a post with additional ambush formations and maybe some case studies, but the thing to remember is the basics which set the foundation for all ambushes. So I offer this:

§ The ambush site should be suitable,.....having a covered and/or concealed approach/withdrawal route for your group; allow for the placement of observation/listening posts (LP/OP’s), for early warning, which also should provide defensible positions with good observation on the approaching threat; and the LP/OP’s need to be within communications distance from the main ambush element.

§ The Patrol leader or ambush team leader should conduct a leader’s reconnaissance of the ambush site to ensure it is suitable and select positions for the ambush team; the Patrol Leader/Ambush Team Leader should actually emplace each member of the ambush element to ensure they have covered/concealed positions and can cover the ambush “kill zone” effectively - think inter locking fields of fire.

§ There should be a designated fall back or rally position in case the ambush turns bad or the ambush element becomes separated. This rally position should be easy to pickout or recognize, even in the dark, and should be defensible in case the ambush goes bad and the team is pursued by the threat. It may not necessary be back on the route to the main survival site. Everyone in your patrol should have some land navigation skills.

§ The Patrol/Ambush Team Leader should have communications (probably radio) with the deployed LP/OP’s and should have a method to alert each ambush team member of the approaching threat – a pull cord can work well. This is a string connecting each ambush position and a simply mode of communication such as one pull meaning threat is approaching and two pulls meaning the member has received that message.

§ It is important that the kill zone and the placement of the ambush team will effectively cover the entire threat. You would be wise not to ambush only half the threat then have the other half maneuver against you. This is true if the ambush is a “harassing ambush” where the purpose may be the just drive the threat away or otherwise make them pick a easier route or target, or if the ambush is a “destruction ambush” where the intent is to completely destroy the threat.

§ If the threat is in vehicles, it may be effective to initial disable the front and last vehicle to fix the threat in the kill zone. Use of spike strips or other obstacles can help keep the threat vehicles from escaping the kill zone. Ensure the placement of obstacles, such as spike strips, T-posts or log buried with 18 inches or so exposed, or anything else, is concealed or otherwise the threat may recognize the ambush before it is initiated.

§ Ambushes are best initiated using a casualty producing device, other than small arms fire. The military uses high explosive direct fire weapons such as anti-tank missiles, anti-personnel/anti-vehicle mines or explosives, or, at least a machine gun. You may not be able to rig field expedient devices if you don’t have the expertise. It may pay off to have some reference material just in case. To be clear, I am not advocating violating any existing laws governing explosives, but in a SHTF scenario, there may not be any law enforcement and the laws or what people are willing to do to protect their groups from threats may become a little “relaxed”.

§ The Ambush should have planned signals, visual and audible, to “lift” or cease fire; maybe a signal to assault the killzone if that what your plan is or intent is; and a signal to withdrawal.  Keep in mind that in a SHTF - total collapse where medical response may be gone and medical treatment relays on what you can do - taking risks such as assaulting a threat may result in an additional risk of wounds or injuries to your people.  Be prepared to treat injuries and wounds, and, maybe have the ability to move non-ambulatory wounded back to your safe site.  

§ If assaulting the kill zone on a destruction ambush, there are a couple things to remember: use two or three person teams with defined duties such as search or cover; do not put you back to any threat body that is presumed dead – last thing you want is to walk pass a body only to shot in the back; have a limit of advance so you don’t have your kill zone assault element all strung out – this would be bad if the threat counter attacked.

The post collapse or SHTF Survival Group should think clearly before committing their limited resources to a definitive action like an ambush. It must be necessary to the survival of the group first and foremost; have clearly established goals; be conducted by responsible members who won't put other team members at risk; and rehearsed,...from a chart talk, to a sand table exercise to a full mission profile rehearsal.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Basic Ambush

In a worse case collapse scenario survival groups will be faced with the threat of armed groups that will try to take resources by force. Imagine a suburban community based survival group gaining intelligence or otherwise being informed of a large group of well armed gang bangers going from street to street invading homes and killing people for their supplies and equipment. This was a scenario in Rawles' latest book, "Survivors" where an increasingly well armed and populated gang lived by going from community to community robbing and murdering for food and supplies.

The ability to protect yourself, your family and the bigger group from threats may require the survival group to be able to perform "offensive" type tactical operations such as an ambush.

The Ambush is a surprise attack from covered and/or concealed position upon a threat that is moving or temporarily halted.

Ambush can be hasty in nature or they can be deliberate.

Hasty Ambush. A good definition of a hasty ambush would be your patrol spots a threat group moving towards or near your patrol. Contact may be imminent so you take covered or concealed position and initiate the ambush from your covered/concealed position catching the threat unaware and unprotected. A hasty ambush is also associated with a withdrawal from the ambush positions and not the movement to and occupation of the kill zone. In other words in a hasty ambush you are not assaulting or closing with the threat. The kill zone being the area you project the threat to be in when you initiate the ambush and the area you can cover with your collective weapons.

Deliberate Ambush. This would be a planned action most likely requiring good intelligence on a threat group that will in the immediate or near future pose a sufficient threat to you and your group, and you have information on the routes (and possibly times) this threat is going to be moving on. This is the best type of ambush as you can plan the ambush better, prepare positions and most likely rehearse.

Many factors on setting up ambushes: how many people you can dedicate to the ambush against how big the threat group is; quality of shooters you have against the professionalism and organization of the threat; the type of terrain you will set up and execute the ambush is; type of weapons you have available - probably would not be a good idea for a survival group of ten with bolt action rifles to ambush a threat group armed with semi-automatics.

There are many different type of ambush formations with the linear ambush and the L shaped ambush being the most basic. Being the most basic, they are easier to control.

The basic linear ambush is easy to control; allows minimal chance of fraticide - that is shooting your own people;

The L shaped ambush allows for a cross fire into the kill zone. The short leg facing any vehicular traffic into the kill zone allows for fire into the front of the vehicle;s engine compartment and windshield. While a little bit harder to control, the L shaped ambush would be preferably if the group had to break contact under pressure from the threat they initially ambushed.

Ambush Tips:

o Use listening/observation posts (LP/OPs) to provide early warning of the threat group you are ambushing as well to warn of or delay threat re-inforcements or to prevent threat escapes.

o Make sure the kill zone does not offer any immediate cover and concealment for the threat group. You do not want to initiate an ambush then find yourself just in a fire fight from a threat under covered positions.

o If you are not going to assault through he kill zone, such as conducting a harassing ambush, then best case to have some sort of obstacles between your ambush positions and the kill zone to prevent the threat group from assault to your positions.

o The kill zone and coverage of the kill zone with your weapons has to be big (long) enough to contain the threat you are ambushing....or you will face the prospect of getting maneuvered on (getting flanked).

o If the threat is in vehicles and you are desiring to decisively engage the threat, then the ability to disable both the front and rear vehicle will at least momentarily fix the threat group in the kill zone so you can concentrate maximum firing.

o Mechanical devices such as spike strips, expedient incendiary and/or explosive devices are greatly enhance the ambush. And it is preferred to use a casualty producing device to initiate the ambush - worst case a gun shot, better for coordinated fire or use of mechanical devices. Do not use an initiation signal like a whistle.

o Plan for signals (visual and audio) to command a cease fire, withdrawals, and/or the assault of the kill zone (if this is what you are planning).

o You will have the best chance of success if you rehearse and once you establish the ambush position, assign areas of responsibility to each shooter so you have coordinated and overlapping fields of fire.