Rainstorms & Associated Tactical Thoughts

AAR on July 20/21 Training Weekend # 2
July 23, 2013
Photos from July 20/21 Training Weekend
July 24, 2013
I’m just back in front after the computer after an enjoyable training weekend with, as usual, a great bunch of people. In fact, it’s never been any different; at no point have I had anyone attend the course who was not a good decent person. I just posted a couple of AARs from the weekend, and I will publish any more that come in along with any more photos.

On Sunday afternoon a summer thunderstorm came through, and another came through on Monday afternoon around the same time. So it’s like monsoon season in West Virginia. These rainstorms, with accompanying thunder, are very impressive., The sky darkens and then before the rain hits there will be a sudden rush of wind and a visible wall of rain will come seething and hissing through the trees. If you are fast, you can get to cover!
Sam of the Guerrilla America blog attended the training and he has mentioned in his AAR the impromptu speech that I gave while we sheltered under the tarp on Sunday afternoon, waiting for the rain to blow through: “We all listened intently as Max gave one of the most forceful and convincing talks on resistance to tyranny that I’ve ever heard”. Well, thanks for the compliment Sam: you mentioned that you would have liked others to hear it. I did have my phone in my pocket, which I carry for safety purposes on the range, to dial 911 in an emergency. Perhaps we can call the NSA and ask them for a copy of the speech? Maybe they should listen to it themselves and give it a moments thought?
Anyway, the rainstorm gave me pause for some thoughts, which I mentioned to the students. Here are a couple, in no particular order:
1) If you are fighting tyranny or an invader, foreign or domestic, you are likely to be technologically the under dog. You will be without aerial surveillance assets and such. I have already covered that aspect in detail. I had to go out in the rainstorm to check that my pop-up targets in their pits were not getting flooded. As I returned, soaked to the skin, I felt the need to mention that such weather would be perfect. I was wet, but so what? 
Why?
Because severe weather like a thunderstorms will degrade enemy surveillance assets. Aerial assets will either be grounded or the surveillance capabilities will be downgraded. However, don’t be fooled, modern FLIR is not totally obscured by weather, depending on type, and is designed to see through things such as rain to a certain extent: The most effective conventional methods to avoid FLIR are through the use of weather (fog wreaks havoc on TIS/FLIR systems), by over-saturation (be it through fire, heat emitters, etc.), or terrain masking.

Heavy rain will mostly make the bad guys do what we were doing – huddling under our shelter. It will degrade visibility, morale and reduce the sound of your movement. It is a perfect opportunity to get in close, make a kill, and get out. Tacticool goons will be slowed down by the weather and vehicle follow up will be hampered. Eye pro will be misting up or covered with rain. The scrambling of ARF (airborne reaction forces) in helicopters may not be an option for the enemy. Flash floods will begin and water will be everywhere. It will be harder or impossible for dogs to follow you.

For you, as the Resistance fighter, you need to embrace the suck. Get wet, get dirty, crawl in down that ditch, take the shot, crawl out and run back to your gear cache. Keep moving using suitable terrain, defiles, forest canopy and anything that will obscure your exfil route from surveillance, follow up and ambush. Go on the difficult routes, cross-graining the terrain. Then, when safely away, hole up somewhere that will be obscured from aerial surveillance until the fuss is over. More HERE.

It should be an ongoing horror movie for OPFOR, called ‘The Rain’ or ‘The Weather” – when it gets bad, bullets come out of the rain, fired by obscure shadows who disappear into the murk. Let the horror begin.

2) Wet Kit/Dry Kit: If you are living out in the field, a useful technique to use is one that comes originally from jungle operations. In the jungle you will be constantly wet, either from humidity/heat and sweat, or from torrential rain forest downpours. Traditionally in the jungle, you don’t move at night, primarily due to the difficulty of moving over rough ground at a very slow pace and being heard crashing around for a long way. However, whether you are operating by day or night or a mix the wet/dry method is still usefully applied:

When it comes time for you to administrate yourself and sleep, you will change out of the wet clothes that you have been operating in into a dry set that you keep as dry as possible Granted, they will likely get damp just due to living in a humid environment but this technique works equally well in cold wet weather. When resting at your patrol base, you wear the dry gear. When you get ready to go out again, or when yo get up in the morning, you put the wet kit back on, which is really unpleasant but you need to do. Suck it up and drive on buttercup. If you don’t, and you keep your dry kit on, all your clothing will be wet and you will have to sleep in your wet gear.

3) This ties in closely with personal administration. On extended operations out in the field, there are things that are import Examples: security and logistics. However, don’t forget personal administration, which is vital. Wet/dry kit is an example of this. But even if you are working in a dry hot environment and you don’t feel the need to change into your spare pants/shirt, you will need to dry and powder your feet and change into dry socks. Powder your groin area. Check for ticks. Take care of any minor cuts and scrapes so they don’t become infected. You can wear suitable footwear in a sleeping bag such as TEVA sandals that will allow your feet to dry and recover but that will also allow you to fight if you are taken by surprise in your patrol base. Don’t go naked into your sleeping bag unless you want to fight in nothing but your battle belt if the enemy attacks in the night! And you have to get up and go on sentry duty anyway, so you need to be clothed at least to a basic level. Another technique is to powder your feet and put on dry socks, then put your boots back on but tie them loosely to allow blood to your feet while you sleep.

First your weapon, then yourself. Ensure that, particularly in a damp environment, your weapon is taken care of. ‘Battle clean’ the working parts, remove any rust, ensure it is lubricated. Your rifle should be with you in whatever you are sleeping in, woobie blanket or bag, so that not only is it kept out of the weather, secure, but it is also right there if you have to get up and fight. Your rifle should never be out of arms reach from you at any time. You can use your battle belt or PC as a pillow so that if you have to get up, or even for sentry duty, you can find it right there in the darkness without the use of light.

All your gear should be packed away at all times, with pouches closed, unless it is specifically in use. You should be able to find all your gear and pack it away in the darkness by feel without the use of any light. When you get up for sentry duty you pack away your sleeping gear. This means that if the base is contacted (‘bumped’) by the enemy, all you have to do is rip down the tarp, or pack away you sleeping gear if you are asleep in it when it happens. This is done in your buddy pairs, one covering and the other stuffing the gear away, before you bug out by fire and movement in your teams.

You should run a stand-to that straddles both the dusk transition to night and the dawn transition to day. This should be a 100% security with all gear, including tarps, taken down and packed away. The only time I would advise to keep the tarps up is if they are thermal shields and there is an aerial thermal surveillance threat. In which case, keep them rigged for quick deployment/take down with bungee cords attached. If you are facing a modern enemy ‘foreign or domestic’ equipped with current generation night vision gear, they are likely to attack to take advantage of night. They will seek to own the night. You should invest in PVS-14’s, DBAL IR targeting lasers for your rifles, and handheld FLIR equipment if you can push the budget far enough to allow that. This will allow you to compete on an equal footing on night operations. It will also give you the edge over criminal marauder types in a standard ‘SHTF’ situation, where you can just start killing off any gang threats under cover of night.

Live Hard, Die Free.

MV

14 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    BTW Max, when is your thermal poncho set to become available?

    • Max Velocity says:

      We ran into a hiccup with the tarp material supplier, which we are sorting out. We will be able to begin production once we have confirmed the alternative and final trials/prototypes with the material they will supply. I hope not more than a month or two more to wait.

    • Max.. I think you came up with another acronym for training: OTS. Own The Suck! 🙂

    • Gentlemen…I’ve never seen anyone mention the deadly threat of lightning. If you’ve EVER seen what lightning can do to a human body, you will never want to see it again. Standing in the open in the middle of a field…DUMB. Standing under large trees…DUMB. Get to cover, just like you would in an artillery barrage. Lightning is God’s artillery and you’d best be under cover as best you can. Max, your thoughts?

    • Semper Fi, 0321 says:

      Lightning?????
      I would assume a string of MG tracers to be more frightening than lightning.
      Like artillery, you’ll never know when lightning strikes you anyway. Or don’t go out in the woods!

  2. Anonymous says:

    DBAL IR targeting lasers for your rifles

    Source?

    ca
    wrsa

    • Max Velocity says:

      Yes and JRH Enterprises also does them.

      The DBAL is available in a couple of versions, red or green visible laser. They are civilian legal military grade. What is missing form the government version is the high power IR laser. So the one civilians can buy just has the low power IR laser. But this is sufficient for night combat ranges, 100 to 200 meters. It is high quality gear and the basic red visible version will set you back about $800. Use it with a PVS-14.

  3. That was recommended by Max. I bought one and mounted it about 2 months ago. Holding zero. No significant jolting yet.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Max.

    I’m curious why you seem to use British Military doctrine and terminology quite a lot as opposed to American Military doctrine from your time in the NG. I know being an ex British Army Para you will have far more experience and “muscle memory” from your British service (I was an LI/Rifles “hat”, yeah I know) than your American service, but why very little mention and use of American practices?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Something I’d like to add, I am from Eastern Kentucky and have hiked/hunted and lived in the woods all my life. DON’T move at night if you don’t know the terrain. It is common to come across vertical cliff faces without warning. We also have “sink holes”(vertical cave openings), and Barb wire fences every 50-200 yards. Night movement in the Eastern Hardwood Ecosystem is very dangerous. The upside to this is the “locals” almost never move in the forest at night, unless they know the terrain well(coon hunters and poachers)and most of them are far more likely to side with the “FREEFOR” than the FEDs. Anther thing to know about Appalacha- MUD is going to be your lot in life until freeze up(IF it freezes this year) and you are REALLY going to want that helmet come the winter ice storms, when the tree limbs(and trees) start to fall from the ice build up. As Max said “something dry to sleep in” AND LOT AND LOTS of SOX. Ray

  6. “…It should be an ongoing horror movie for OPFOR, called ‘The Rain’ or ‘The Weather” – when it gets bad, bullets come out of the rain, fired by obscure shadows who disappear into the murk. Let the horror begin.”

    This sort of crossed my mind the other day driving to work through tons of thick fog and rain. You know, when you’re out in the woods and the rain is coming down hard, you can’t hear a damn thing other than *rain*.
    And of course fog is one of those things where if you have a sense for the overly dramatic (and have the time/opportunity/skill/etc.) you could go full on mind games with any hostile forces moving through it. The way sounds carry and things just *appear* sometimes in fog can be quite unnerving….