Thursday, June 5, 2008

On Patrol

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
John Scott Rafoss

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

Over the next few days, at 4:30 pm, I will be posting an article titled "When You're On Patrol ..." from the quarterly publication "Special Warfare: Training the Special Operations NCO." The article appeared in the winter 1990 issue of the publication.

As you will see from the editor's note, this list has been around for over 40 years. It was recently, 20 years ago, updated for the current special operations non-commissioned officer (NCO) and his leaders.

Now, some of y'all are going to go all crazy on me and shout something like"Hey, I thought preppers were non-violent!" They might be, but the villains (I don't like using "bad guys" because you and your family are going to encounter men, women, and children that have ideas and intentions that don't include you and your family's continued survival as a top priority) may plan to kill you and your family.

Some other folks are going to ask "Aren't you being irresponsible publishing this super-secret military information?" Not really, the terrorists and enemy soldiers are taught this stuff by their trainers. They already know this stuff.

Plus, if you are planning to follow James Rawles advice and move to the boonies, you and your family are going to learn and practice this information because you, your family, and the neighbors are going to be running patrols. If you don't run patrols, from day one of the collapse, you and everybody you love might be toast.

Some different folks are going to go on about the militarization of prepping. Well, sorry to tell those folks, but the military has some pertinent information for the prepper and survivalist, and patrolling is one of those important subjects that we can learn from the military

Lastly, well almost lastly, I do have problems with publishing this information because there is the possibility that this information will be used against the folks that I love, but I believe that there are more "good" people than "bad" people on this world. Especially, if the "good" folks band together and kill the villains ; - )

Lastly, this information is not a magic talisman. There is no guarantee that you will survive using this information (or any other information provided on this blog), so be warned.

"Good" isn't an accurate term either. Because the "good" guys might show up at your door pointing a gun in your face asking for any spare food for the poor families down at the local church.

Leader Tips

• No individual or team can practice or train too much or too often.

• Teamwork is the key to success and will only come through constant training and rehearsal.

• While on a mission, minimize fatigue; tired men become careless.

• If you show confidence, your team will have confidence.

• Always have an alternate plan. Think ahead.

• If you lose your temper, it will effect your judgment. Keep cool.

• Don’t be afraid to take advice from your team members.

• Realism must be injected into all phases of training, such as zeroing weapons at targets in the jungle, using live training aids for prisoner-of-war snatch or ambush practice, etc.

• Conduct at least half of your training at night.

• Teams that have a good physical training program have fewer health problems.

• Have a pre-mission and post-mission checklist to ensure that nothing is left behind.

• Correct all personal, individual and team errors on the spot.

• Use tact when reprimanding your personnel, especially indigenous team members. If possible, take the man aside to criticize him. This enables him to react positively to the criticism, since he will not lose face, feel ridiculed or lose self-confidence.

• Conduct English classes for your indigenous personnel, especially interpreters. Conduct classes for your U.S. personnel in your indigenous team members’ language.

• Don’t set patterns in your operations.

• Never do the obvious.

• On patrol, stay alert at all times. You are never 100-percent safe until you are back home.

• Have team members write down tips and lessons learned, and collect and consolidate them at the end of each mission.

• Don’t arbitrarily make all “tips of the trade” your team SOP. Always consider METT-T (mission, enemy, terrain, troops and time available).

1) All of these tips are sound advice. The hard part will be implementing them.

Uniform and Equipment Common to All

• Wear lightweight BDUs on operations: even when soaking wet at night, BDUs are remarkably “invisible” to night-vision goggles. OG-107 jungle fatigues, however, appear completely black when wet, and a man’s silhouette can be clearly and easily seen by an enemy using night-vision goggles.

• Don’t use luminous tape; it’s easily spotted at long distances with NVGs.

• Wear loose-fitting and un-tailored clothing on field operations. Tight-fitting clothing often tears or rips, allowing mosquitoes and leeches easy access to exposed parts of the body.

• Tuck your jacket into your pants. You can’t use the lower pockets because of your load-carrying equipment anyway, and in a contact, you can temporarily stuff expended magazines inside your shirt.

• Gloves will protect hands from thorns, poisonous plants and insect bites, provide camouflage and aid in holding a weapon when it heats up from firing. Aviator’s gloves work well.

• Sew in a section of VS-17 panel to cover the inside top of your field hat for use as an emergency daylight position marking signal to friendly aircraft. In the center of that, sew a 2”-by-2” piece of USAF “burn tape” for use as a nighttime position marking signal to AC-130 gunships (2” by 2” is the size recommended by the AC-130 low-light/night-television operators). (Note: 1)

• Sew the same signal pattern inside your fatigue shirt, since hats are easily lost in firefights or pursuit situations. (Note: 1)

• Do not hang clothing on green bamboo if you plan on wearing it afterward; the fuzz on the bamboo is just like itching powder. Of course, clothing should not be removed or hung-out on patrol. (Note: 2)

1) The typical prepper/survivalist isn't going to have close-air support during a disaster, however; there is the possibility that you or your family will have to signal a search and rescue aircraft during and after a disaster.

2) Here in these United States, we don't have a lot of bamboo to hang your clothes on, however; the recommendation to keep your clothes on is a prudent idea during a disaster.

LCE/Ruck Tips

• Be sure that all snaps and buckles are taped. Do not use paper tape. (Note: 1)

• Always carry a sharp knife or bayonet on patrol.

• Always wear your load-carrying equipment buckled when not sleeping. If you’re wounded, your teammates can drag you by your LCE shoulder straps.

• For survival, each individual should carry a cut-down MRE in his pants cargo pocket, and one tube of bouillon cubes in the first-aid pouch on his LCE. One bouillon cube dissolved in one canteen of water will provide energy for one or two days. (Note: 2)

• Don’t use two-quart canteen covers to carry 30-round magazines. You can fit eight magazines in one, but once you take the first one out, the others rattle loudly and spill out easily. Use regular ammo pouches.

• Sew a long slim pocket on the side of your ruck to accommodate the long antenna, or use an accessory kit bag clipped and tied to the side of the ruck.

• Ensure that the snap link on your rucksack is snapped through the loop in the upper  portion of your rucksack-carrying straps or the frame, so you won’t lose it during exfil when you snap it on a ladder or extraction fast-rope. (Note: 3)

• Insect repellent leaks and spills easily, so put it in a zip-lock bag and isolate it from your other equipment in the rucksack. Also, squeeze air from the repellent container and screw the cap on firmly.

• Always use the water from canteens in or on your rucksack before using water in the canteens on your belt. This will ensure a supply of water should you ditch or lose your rucksack.

• Test the shoulder straps on the rucksack before packing it for patrol. Always carry some parachute cord to repair straps on patrol.

• Use a waterproof bag in the rucksack to protect equipment while on patrol. This is extremely important during the rainy season.

• Camouflage your rucksack with black spray paint. (Note: 4)

1) Make sure the tape that you use is dull, not shiny like typical green military tape.

2) Do Not, Don't, Never put anything, besides water, in your canteen/water bottle. Putting Kool-Aid, Gatorade, bouillon cubes, sugar, and ... will gunk up your canteen. It is a pain in the butt to clean the inside of a canteen once its had something, besides water, in the canteen. If you want to add something to your water, mix it in a canteen cup then drink it from the canteen cup.

Do Not, Don't, Never put anything in a first-aid pouch but first-aid supplies. It's for first-aid supplies not food.

3) If for some reason you need to put a snap-link on your rucksack/backpack, you have to tape it down because the snap-link will rattle giving away your position.

4) Spray paint eats cloth, so spray painting a nylon rucksack will shorten the backpack's life span. Use earth-toned dyes instead.

Paula Burch - How To Hand Dye

Rit Dye - Color Formula Guide

Weapons Tips

• Never assume that your weapon is clean enough on an operation. Clean your weapon daily. (Note: 1)

• Always carry rifle-cleaning equipment on operations; i.e., bore and chamber brushes, cleaning rag and patches, cleaning rod with handle and tip, and a small vial of weapons oil. A shaving brush is very useful. (Note: 2)

• When you fire your weapon, shoot low, particularly at night; ricochets will kill just as well, and most people hit the ground when shooting starts. (Note: 3)

• Use one magazine full of tracer during infiltration and exfiltration. If taken under fire during infil or exfil, the tracers can be used to identify enemy positions to friendly air support.

• The last three rounds in each magazine should be tracer to remind the firer that he needs a fresh magazine. Alternate: The last eight rounds are three tracer followed by five ball.

• Quietly replace the cartridge in the chamber of your weapon each morning. Condensation may cause a malfunction.

• Oil the selector switch on your weapon daily and work the switch back and forth, especially during the rainy season. This will prevent the common occurrence of a stuck switch.

• Always carry your weapon with the selector switch on “safe.” (Note: 4)

• Use a plastic muzzle cap or tape to keep water and dirt out of the barrel.

• To improve noise discipline, tape all sling swivels.

• Rig the jungle sling so it is easily adjustable (for easy transition from rappel/fast-rope to carry/fire).

• Tape a spare field dressing to the sling at the stock, using a single strip of wide cloth tape with a quick-release tab. (Note: 5)

• Check all magazines before going on an operation to ensure they are clean and properly loaded and that the springs are oiled and functioning. Magazine problems cause the majority of weapons malfunctions.

• Place magazines upside down in their pouches to keep out dirt and water.

• Do not retrieve your first expended magazine during contact; it will consume valuable time.

• If you use a PAQ-4 aiming light on an M-16A2 rifle, you must modify the hand guard to allow the thumb switch to travel far enough to activate the light. Using the serrated edge of your bayonet, file down the area under the thumb switch (between the eighth and 10th ribs from the slip ring) about one-quarter inch. This is not a problem on the M-16A2 carbine, because the hand guard is smaller.

1) This daily cleaning is a quick cleaning usually it takes but a few minutes to wipe down your weapon, run a bore brush and patch through the barrel, and oil your weapon.

2) This is a continuation of #1 with a recommendation of what to carry. Plus, a shaving brush is used to quickly brush down your weapon, inside and out, this removes any stray dirt that could cause a malfunction.

Don't put oil on the shaving brush. It collects dirt. Plus, it puts too much oil on your weapon.

3) The first few times folks are shooting at people; they will aim high.

4) Duh!!!

5) Be careful, don't let the field dressing interfere with the use of your weapon.

M-203 Gunner Tips

• In dense jungle, carry a 3:1 ratio of buckshot to HE, with two star clusters and two star parachutes for signalling aircraft. (Note: 2)

• In the jungle, point and trail men should be M-203 gunners with buckshot in the chamber. (Note: 2)

• If you fire HE in the jungle at night, be ready to have it bounce off a tree limb right back at you and go off in your face. (Note: 2)

• Oil your M-203 with 30- or 40-weight motor oil, especially the trigger, safety housing and slide, due to rain and humidity in the jungle. (Note: 3)

SAW Gunner Tips

• Silence ammo in plastic drums by making inserts from tablet-back cardboard covered with acetate. Cut to fit two per drum.

• When moving, use a 30-round magazine in the SAW. Attach a drum once in position. (Note: 4)

• SAW drum pouches are tightly-fitted and tend to pop open when you drop into the prone; use cloth tape with quick-release tabs to prevent this. Two-quart canteen covers are acceptable substitutes.

1) Folks, more likely then not, you will never have these weapons during a disaster (unless you're in the military) but there is a possibility during a total collapse that these weapons would be available for use by the typical prepper and survivalist.

2) Change jungle to dense woods for these United States.

3) Use regular weapons oil like you would on your rifle.

4) 30-round magazines are very unreliable when used in a SAW. Plus, why would you want to walk around with only 30-rounds when you can have 200-rounds ready to use?

Claymore Tips

• Claymores are factory-packed “backward”; i.e., to be emplaced from the firing position to the mine position, with the excess wire left at the mine. Correct by removing all the firing wire from the plastic spool, discard the spool, re-roll the wire in an “S” or figure-8 fashion, and replace it in the bag so the mine can be emplaced first and the wire laid back to the firing position. The clacker with circuit tester attached is pre-connected to the firing wire and stowed in the mine pouch. (Note: 2)

The unit commander must make the decision whether to prime the mine before departing on the mission or only to put the shipping plugs on the electric and non-electric blasting caps to speed priming during emplacement.

• Dual-prime each claymore for both electric and non-electric firing. The time fuse should be pre-cut for 30-, 60-, or 120-second delay, for pursuit or break-contact situations. However, the burn time on the fuse becomes undependable the longer the fuse is exposed to wet or humid conditions.

• Waterproof your non-electric firing systems.

• Carry the claymore in the rucksack so it’s immediately accessible; after breaking contact it can be quickly armed and emplaced on the back trail (even while it’s still in the ruck) to delay pursuers.

• Claymores placed around your position (observation post, ambush, remain-overnight, etc.), should be emplaced one at a time by two men, with one man emplacing the mine and the other standing guard.

• Never emplace a claymore in a position that prevents you from observing it. (Note: 3)

• Because you only emplace a claymore where you can observe it, if you are operating in dense jungle, you may want to consider cutting your firing wire in half, since you won’t use more than 50 feet or 15 meters of wire. This makes emplacement and recovery easier
and cuts weight. (Note: 4)

• Claymores should be emplaced so the blast parallels the team and the firing wire does not lead straight back to the team position. If the claymores are turned around by the enemy, they will not point at the team. (Note: 3)

• Determine in advance who will fire each claymore and who will give the command or signal to fire.

Grenade Tips

• Make continuous daily checks on all grenades when on patrol to ensure that the primers are not coming unscrewed.

• Do not bend the pins on the grenades flat. The rings are too hard to pull when needed. (Note: 5)

• Fold paper tape through the rings of grenades and tape the ring to the body of the grenade. The paper tape will tear for fast use, while plastic or cloth tape will not. It also keeps the ring open for your finger, stops noise and prevents snagging. (Note: 6)

• All team members should carry a mixture of fragmentation, CS and white-phosphorous grenades on their belts for the following reasons:

- Fragmentation grenades are good for inflicting casualties.

- CS grenades are ideal for stopping or slowing down enemy troops and dogs pursuing your team, and are effective in damp and wet weather, whereas CS powder will dissipate.

- WP grenades have a great psychological effect against enemy troops and can be used for the same purpose as CS grenades. The use of CS and WP at the same time will more than double their effectiveness.

• Thoroughly train and test your indigenous troops in grenade-throwing, particularly WP. Not all of them will be adept at baseball-style throwing. (Note: 7)

• Violet and red are the smoke colors most visible from the air; however, in dense jungle or wet weather, use WP to signal aircraft.

• Notify aircraft before signalling with WP; gunships or fighter-bombers may mistake it for a marking rocket indicating an enemy position, and attack you.

• Camouflage smoke, CS and WP grenades, using black or OD spray paint. (Note: 8)

• Smoke grenades should be carried in or on the pack and not on the LCE. You don’t fight with smoke grenades, and if you need one, 99 times out of 100 you will have time to get it from your pack.

• Each team should carry one thermite grenade for destruction of either friendly or enemy equipment.

• Do not carry rubber baseball-style CS grenades; they were designed for riot control on city streets and are inadequate in the jungle.

1) Folks, more likely then not, you will never have these weapons during a disaster (unless you're in the military) but there is a possibility during a total collapse that these weapons would be available for use by the typical prepper/survivalist.

2) I think the military solved this problem, but I'm not sure.

Just in case, instead of discarding the plastic spool and re-rolling the wire in an “S” or figure-8, unwrap the firing wire from the spool then rewrap the firing wire back on the plastic spool. This will keep the firing wire from getting all tangled up if its re-rolled in an “S” or figure-8.

3) Very important because if you can't see it, someone may turn it around towards you and your family.

4) Don't cut the firing wire because cutting the wire might cause an electrical short then the claymore won't work

5) The pins are already a pain in the butt to pull out. Bending the pins will make it almost impossible to pull out when you need to.

Just so you know, using your teeth to pull the pin out of a grenade (like you see in the old war movies) might break your teeth.

6) Also add: Don't hang the grenade by its pull ring. The pin might pull out and the grenade will explode at your feet.

7) It's more like a throwing a football then a baseball

8) Now a days, they are already green. Only the top is coloured to indicate the colour of smoke the smoke grenade produces when ignited.

Communications Tips

• Commo is everyone’s responsibility, not just the commo sergeant’s. (Note: 2)

• Always inventory and inspect your radios, kit bags, secures and sensors before and after all missions. (Note: 3)

• Place a plastic cover over your PRC-77/KY-51 and wrap them in an additional waterproof bag.

• Pre-set frequencies on the PRC-77 so that a quick turn of the dials will put you on the desired frequency. This is especially helpful at night when you want to avoid a light.

• Carefully inspect your X-mode cable for bent pins and dirt in the female connectors.

• Take along secure hand-held radios with earphones and whisper mikes for internal in-position team commo during ambush and prisoner-of-war snatch missions. (Note: 4)

• Perform pre-mission radio checks:

- with your radio and secure packed in your ruck exactly the way you will carry them in the field;

- after your crypto has been loaded;

- with and without the secure hooked up;

- with your operational base, helicopters, fire support, the hatchet team, other teams operating adjacent to your area of operations, and your internal radios; (Note: 5)

- bending the X-mode cable while receiving/transmitting to check for excessive static and/or loss of commo.

• Before a mission, always place fresh batteries into your commo gear and sensors, especially the BA-1372 memory battery for the KY-57.

• Always carry spare PRC-77 and KY-57 batteries, but do not remove the spares from their plastic wrapping prior to use or they may lose power. (Note: 6)

• Carry the lithium BA-5598 batteries for the PRC-77; this cuts weight, and since the spare is in the battery cover, it speeds emergency replacement.

• Ensure the PRC-77 battery cover vent is operational, because of the gases produced by the lithium batteries.

• Ensure the cover vent is on the same side as the battery connector.

• After you put the battery in your TEMIG beacon, cycle the TEMIG to make sure it is “off” and not silently transmitting.

• Don’t try to weatherproof your hand mike with a plastic wrapper; water condenses on the inside anyway, the wrapper rustles loudly, and at night, it shines like a signal light when viewed through NVGs. (Note: 7)

• Always carry a spare hand mike in a waterproof bag.

• Don’t carry your spare hand mike where it might get crushed when you drop your ruck.

• Clean all contacts daily with the eraser end of a pencil.

• Waterproof your communications-electronics operating instructions, or CEOI, and authentication tables by laminating them with acetate or putting them in a plastic zip-lock bag.

• Constantly check your CEOI to ensure your authentication tables are folded open to the page showing the most current set. This will prevent dangerous delays when your AC-130 requests authentication, especially at night.

• Carry a single strand of claymore firing wire or WD-l cut to your operating frequency for use as a field expedient antenna. Secure one end (stripped of insulation) to the radio with an antenna base, then string the wire straight up to a branch (omni-directional), or
lay it on the ground in the direction of the receiving station (uni-directional). (Note: 8)

• Minimize radio traffic.

• Do not send “same” or “no change” when reporting team location. Always send your coordinates.

• Repeat grid coordinates sent to you to ensure accurate copy. (Note: 9)

• The operational base must avoid making unnecessary, unscheduled radio checks just because they haven’t heard from a team for a while. Be patient.

• Whisper into the hand mike while in the field. Exhale first, then speak, or your transmission will sound like a tire leaking air. To mask your voice, cup your hand over the hand-mike mouthpiece and your mouth. (Note: 10)

• Always remain calm and professional, no matter what happens. Screaming or speaking in emotional, angry or desperate tones will cause the operational base to doubt your judgment and the accuracy of whatever you’re saying. (Note: 11)

1) A lot of the specific communications equipment will be unavailable to the typical prepper or survivalist, but these are good pointers for the equipment that you will have during a disaster.

2) Everybody needs to learn how to use all of the radios that you and your family have.

3) Duh!!!

4) Cellphones aren't secure. Neither are any radios that you can buy at Radio Shack.

5) Make sure everyone can talk to everyone else.

6) Always carry spare batteries, even on a "short run to the store"

7) Our radio guy would put the mike in a wool sock before wrapping it in the discarded plastic bag from the battery. This was pre-NVGs (Night-Vision Goggles)

8) I'll say it again. Everybody needs to learn how to use all of the radios that you and your family have this includes how to make antennas

9) If you're able, repeat everything from your notes to make sure you wrote it down correctly

10) Plus, most folks press the talk button after they have already been talking, so no one hears what they said at first.

11) Not really. It just makes you easier to understand and it's just expected by professionals.

Night-Vision Goggle Tips (NVG)

• At night, carry night-vision goggles in a claymore bag around your neck on your chest. This allows easy access and protects the NVGs from the elements. (Note: 1)

• Always carry a spare battery for your NVGs.

• When in an observation post at night, scan with NVGs for only a few moments every five minutes or so. If you scan continuously, you increase the chance of the enemy spotting your position (when two persons using NVGs in the passive mode look directly at each other, they will see glowing “cat-eyes”). (Note: 2)

• When moving at night, only every other man should wear his NVGs. Point and trail always wear NVGs.

• “Starlight” NVGs and thermal viewers complement each other, and should be used in combination; e.g., the point should wear PVS-5/7 NVGs, and the slack (the man behind the point) should use the thermal-imaging sight.

1) This has changed for the military. They now have helmet mounts for the NVGs.

For us preppers/survivalists with older technology, we need to plan how to safely carry these expensive pieces of equipment.

2) If you use this technique, understand that your natural night vision will be ineffective for at least 30 minutes, every time, after you look through the night-vision goggles/sights.

On Patrol, ... A Warning

These last few days, I provided some tips on patrolling, the use of military weapons, communications, and night-vision goggles from a military publication. The information found in this publication is permitted to be distributed to nonmilitary folks (civilians), but the weapons, communications gear, and night-vision are restricted to members of the military (Note: 1)


If anybody shows up at your home, workplace, friend's house, or where ever and offers to sell you some of this stuff, report them to the police because they're criminals, cops, feds, narcs, informants, or ... and they are trying to send you to prison. (Note: 2)

So, you have been warned. (Note: 3)

1) Yes, I know that you and I can purchase M-16s, M-203s, M-60s, PRC-77s, PVS-5s, PVS-7s, PVC-14s, dummy grenades, smoke grenades, and a host of other expensive military equipment from proper and legal distributors and with the proper permits and licences, if required by law.


Yes, I also know that the Federal government has given/sold some of this military equipment to local and State police agencies. (Militarization of the Police)

2) I'm talking about the shady or illegal deals here. Not the "I personally know this guy who just bought the night-vision goggles from ATN and now he wants to sell them" kind'a deals.

3) In a total collapse, shot the dumb-f*ck and take his gear.


Remember, other folks might or will be thinking the same thing.

Other Articles, From GSIEP, You Might Be Interested In

GSIEP - Survival Vest

GSIEP - Military Skills: Rigging Your Gear: LBE

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