Guest Article: Where do long range shooters fit in FreeFor SUT?

Combat Patrol: Update
January 10, 2014
‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’
January 11, 2014
scout sniper
MV: The question of the role of a designated marksman (DM) within FreeFor is often raised in comments. Today, ‘Skittles’ addresses the question:
Where do long range shooters fit in FreeFor SUT?
That is a question I have been asked many times. I am by no means an expert. The following is how I see long range guys fitting in and making an impact in FreeFor teams using Small Unit Tactics (SUT). With that said let it be clear that this is in no way supporting or condoning the idea of a mountain retreat sniper. Shooting bad guys from 9 to 5 while drinking coffee then going home to eat some freeze dried food and sleeping in a comfy bed all on his lonesome. Honestly, that makes no sense… so fuck that guy. Instead, this articles purpose is to help show those persons willing to fight for their loved ones and for freedom how to best utilize long range shooting skills and weapons they or their group may possess.
To start, let’s classify what a long range shooter can be as referred to in this article. A long range shooter is someone with not only the skills and equipment to shoot far, but one who shoots accurately regardless of range. Be it 100 yards or a 1000 yards. We will assume that he is competent with battle rifles such as the AR or AK. He is also familiar with SUT as described by trainers such as Max Velocity and as illustrated in his book ‘Contact‘. He is also physically fit and cable of running and carrying his gear on patrol through rugged terrain.
Now that the abilities and skills are defined, the long range shooter’s roles need to be defined. The first thought that comes to everyone’s mind is sniper. So is he a sniper? No. Will he implement some sniper skills? Yes. (unless you went to sniper school you aren’t a sniper). Is he recon? No. Will he perform recon style tasks? Yes. Is he a forward observer? No. But again he will perform tasks associated with that position? Yes. Is he a rifleman? Yes. Will he be filling the traditional rifleman role? No.
So if our FreeFor long range shooter is partially all of those but not completely a single one of them, then what is he? Seems like he is a jack of all trades and master of none. Kind of like the shade tree mechanic of freedom fighters. Well to be honest, that’s exactly what he is. A guerrilla with a lot of skills in multiple areas. So what shall we call this magnificent little critter? The best term I can think of to describe him is an Assault Scout. The following will explain why.
Squad Setup and assignment
We all know the details of the aforementioned military professions, so there is no need to go into detail what they do here. The assault scout will encompass and perform parts and pieces of each of those professions. Instead we discuss how to integrate and implement the beautiful little bastard.
For this article’s intents and purposes, the squad will be compromised of 13 men. It will consist of three fire teams of two buddy pairs and a squad leader that is free floating and attached to the team he deems necessary at the time. Fire teams Alpha and Bravo will each be a fire team consisting of two rifleman buddy pairs. Fire team Charlie will consist of two buddy pairs made of one assault scout and one rifleman. The squad organization and number of assault scouts and rifleman can and will change according the squad leader’s discretion and the mission demands. For this article, however, this is our setup.
Now that we have classified our assault scout and established a baseline of skills and abilities, how do we utilize him? The following are examples of squad functions and how to utilize the assault scout in SUT. These are not all the squad functions, nor all the ways to utilize a squad or its members. It is important to note that team communication must be solid. Especially between the Charlie team fire leader and the squad leader. They must know how one another thinks. Kind of like what the other will say before he says it. The reason being that some of the intel passed by Charlie will be by comms only. The squad leader may not be able to get eyes on due to distance or time, etc. The information relayed will be used by the squad leader for things such as route planning, route changes, fight through or break contact scenarios. If at all possible the squad leader would set Alpha and Bravo in security positions and go to Charlie’s position. In case that is not possible, it is critical that he not only knows what Charlie team leader is saying, but what he is trying to say as well.
Area Denial and scouting patrol
This describes a typical area denial or recce patrol. Lets start by setting up our patrol formation. Alpha and Bravo will patrol in traditional bounding over watch. Charlie, however, will bound both Alpha and Bravo as a single unit. So Charlie goes out and performs over watch while Alpha and Bravo bound each other. Pepper potting in a 1 up to 2 up ratio if you will. Charlie being a satellite fire team. By maintaining separation from the main body they can provide over watch for the main body of rifleman with their enhanced optics. By doing so Charlie can recon the route and terrain ahead and forward observe for obstacles and enemy positions. As well as possible ambush positions and choke points. They will then relay that information back to the squad leader for him to use in his decision making process and combat assessment.
Recce Patrol
In a recce patrol an assault scout can be utilized to his fullest potential. Charlie can pull recon and gather intel with their enhanced optics and any available night vision/thermals available. Charlie could also go full on scout sniper and use ghillie suits. They could stalk in and remain as invisible as possible. While Charlie snoops and poops, Alpha and Bravo can provide rear security, reserve element, or quick reaction force. Depending what is observed, mission objectives, and a host of other variables, the patrol could roll into an assault. If there is indirect fire support options the assault scouts could provide forward observation and call for fire support while Alpha and Bravo assault.
Contact on Patrol
Should the squad come into a contact situation, the battle drills are the standard battle drills that have been taught. They will either fight through or break contact and bug out. What changes is the amount of options the squad leader has at his disposal. In a fight through decision the squad can use Charlie team in several ways. First, he could use the sniper style skills of the assault scouts to not only suppress the enemy but out right kill them with highly accurate fire. Charlie could go firm, relaying info on enemy numbers and positions to the squad leader, while Alpha and Bravo fight through. Remember that there are two riflemen in Charlie. While they suppress with battle rifles the assault scouts are taking well aimed and deadly shots. Especially against any heavy weapon positions. Since all are trained in SUT, Charlie could also fire and move with Alpha and Bravo. With the extra accuracy the assault scouts bring to the squad as a whole, the squads suppressive fire will be more formidable resulting in less friendly casualties. As well as give the squad leader the ability to perform flanks, envelops, etc with greater ease.
Now, should the squad need to break contact, all the options to the squad leader remain the same. Just going in reverse. Charlie team can perform the same as they did before with the addition of fire and moving back with the rest of the squad. Be it as a satellite fire team like before or as part of the whole, taking turns in succession. One other option is for Alpha and Bravo to break contact as trained, and for Charlie to take rapid bounds back in buddy pairs. Charlie can bound to a greater distance and faster than Alpha and Bravo, essentially getting behind them and at a great distance. They could then go firm, temporarily, and provide accurate suppressive fire for Alpha and Bravo, as well take down any enemy giving chase. This would give the squad some stand off distance and breathing room to bug out.
In an ambush an assault scout can be a force multiplier to the lethality of the squad. Lets say that the squad sets up to ambush and enemy patrol. At a bend in a road the squad sets up and “L” shaped ambush in accordance with the bend. Charlie is the short leg, Alpha and Bravo are the long leg. The enemy patrol is coming down the road in a direct line to Charlie’s position. Now what can Charlie do? First, they can observe the enemy patrol at a greater distance. They can determine if they are able to successfully conduct the ambush or if that enemy squad is suddenly an enemy platoon or if there are any unexpected heavy weapons in the enemy patrol. The squad leader can assess the information relayed to him and decide whether to continue the ambush or to bug out. Due to the greater distance of observation, they can inform the squad sooner of the enemy coming into position, giving him more time to analyze and decide. It also allows for more time for the squad to relay information and to get ready to ambush or to bug out. The assault scouts can also potentially locate any high value targets during their longer observation period. If the squad leader decides to spring the ambush he could set it to go after Charlie fires. The assault scouts could spring the ambush by taking out a high value target, heavy weapons operators, or by getting two kills of enemy rifleman right off the start. Any of which would help put the momentum for the FreeFor squad‘s favor. After Charlie initiates, Alpha and Bravo would use the shots as the signal for them to engage. When the squad leader decides to send the fight through fire team/ clean and sweep fire team, Charlie can provide over watch and highly accurate “over the shoulder” fire support. Also known as intimate support.
In an assault function, assault scouts can serve several key functions. Recon of the target being first and foremost. After the intel is passed to and made by the squad leader, Charlie can actually initiate the assault. If Charlie starts the assault from a further distance than the capabilities of the enemies weapons, they have the ability to take accurate, killing shots with the safety of distance. So the assault scouts initiate the assault while the two rifleman provide security and act as spotters calling out enemy positions, wind values, etc. Bravo at that point can do several things. If planned and prepared properly, they could be closer to the enemy than Charlie in a hidden position. They could serve as an ambush for any skirmishers that try to fire and move towards Charlie. Or if need be, could go firm and provide fire support for Charlie. Bravo could take a rapid suppressive fire role. Now that the enemy’s attention is on Charlie and/or Bravo, we still have Alpha to use. While the enemy is busy with the other two fire teams, Alpha can go to the flank of the enemy and prepare to fight through. Once the signal is given, Bravo would shift fire to another position in depth or take a reserve element role, Alpha would assault and fight through from the flank, and Charlie would provide intimate fire support for Alpha. Another scenario is for Bravo to initiate the assault and go firm providing rapid suppressive fire on the enemy. Charlie has remained hidden and with the use of suppressors and proper concealment, engage the enemy. There is a chance the enemy will not notice Charlie because of their covert measures. Alpha could then go to the flank as before.
So in conclusion, hopefully, some of the abilities and usefulness of long range shooters in SUT have been expanded in this article. Their skills and abilities can be force multipliers to solid tactics. There are numerous ways to integrate assault scouts into a squad, how to deploy them, how many to put into a squad, and the equipment they use. These are just a couple of examples integrated in with the basics of SUT. They are by no means the only way or the “Golden” way.
(For further discussion of the 12 (13) man squad, see this post: ‘The Squad: Size and Organization‘ and the follow up ‘More on The Squad & the Assault Cycle‘. This article by Skittles is a refinement of that concept)


  1. Mark says:

    Thanks Max. This is the exact line of thought I was trying to get at a few weeks ago. From my admittedly limited knowledge I cannot find a down side. If someone can get a position outside the obvious fields of fire and have opportunity and time to pick and engage select and high priority targets the effects could and should be devastating.

    Assault Scout seems to be a very accurate description and term to use. In fact it would likely be an advantage to cross train several people in the team for such a designation and allow them to rotate in and out of the position. It would also mean if the person designated for that role were incapable of fulfilling it for whatever the reason then the next person could role into it without missing a beat.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Thank Skittles, he wrote it. And what’s more, as a former Marine, he wrote it in crayon 😉

      • Mark says:

        Still, thanks for posting it.

        Skittles must have really sharpened his crayon…with a chainsaw of course.

      • Border rat says:

        Excellent employment idea but consider- if you pop someone at extended range, the opfor knows an extended range shooter is operating in the ao. If you can mask the long ranger with a rain of wild fire, opfor may think it’s an accident but they still know there are folks out there willing to shoot at extended ranges. Since the longranger probably has no back up, using him to shoot stuff, equipment, vehicles, tires, genetators, etc. may not be discovered or associated with a time line.

        • Max Velocity says:

          Of course, none of this is really ‘extended range’ if we go back to the days when people could actually shoot….

  2. Skittles says:

    Damn right. It was in magenta and pink. Max’s favorite colors.

  3. Tom S says:

    I was thinking along the same lines. Say you have an older/experienced person an able rifleman and woodsmen. His mission is to be in advance of a patrol movement to scout terrain enemy forces/emplacements/vehicles.
    Communication would be necessary and he provides the assault /scout role as you describe.
    Along the lines of a lone rogers ranger. Providing advance warning/intelligence of the objective. And when contact occurs able to provide support.

    To be unseen able to operate unsupported but available to provide mid-long range support.

  4. RobRoySimmons says:

    And not in pictograph form that the Army relies on for training aids.

    Wouldn’t hurt to train with an AR set up for the 77grain match ammo and decent optic, trigger and barrel set up, and you can do this at a square range up to a point.

  5. Mt Top Patriot says:

    Awesome stuff.
    Another tool in the tactical kit.
    That’s what I call smart and practical use of resources.

  6. Mike says:

    Good thoughts, but let’s not forget two of the primary roles of the sniper team.

    1. Intel gathering

    2. Individual target elimination, either hasty or planned.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Sure, but they are not a sniper team.
      ‘Assualt Scouts’

      • Skittles says:

        Like i said unless you went to sniper school… you arent a sniper. Those guys are highly trained. Shooting is simple. being a true sniper is more about field craft than shooting.

      • Mike says:

        Understood, in the context of the discussion. But it is also possible that a unit does have a sniper team or teams within an operational area. It is also possible that you may want to train or employ such teams for specific tasks.

        Modern sniper school is, what, a six week class. EJ Land and Hathcock ran a two week class in Vietnam and I think that it was a week or so in Korea.

        I’ve always thought SDM’s or assault scouts are a good idea. We discussed this in the Labor day class. Armed with a scoped carbine, (1-4x or 1.5-6x) such a individual could deliver accurate fire past 500m. Because, of .223 terminal performance, the value may be increased in terms of total effect (care required for wounds vs. kills).

        But I also think that Freefor units stand a likelyhood of facing sniper teams and the ability to counter such a threat would be invaluable.

        • amphibspook says:

          USMC Scout Sniper School is a 6 to 8 week course, depending on location. There are advanced courses now available to the Graduates. Lets face it, this argument is almost as deep as Ford-Chevy, AR-AK, 5.56-7.62. Skittles (and Max throughout his blog) seem to stress adaptability. Mosby has addressed this in the past as well. Scouting skills are paramount. Tools and employment are dictated by situation. My tribe is currently broken into 5 man fire teams. This can be sub-tasked into a 2-man DMR team and a 3-man SAW/Rifleman/Fire Team Ldr element. 1/5 of this Tribe’s Combat Element has been to a Sniper School, and they will all admit they are DMs.

  7. Mt Top Patriot says:

    You all know one reason that makes all this tactical training worthy?

    Why men like Max are leaders and teachers to other men?

    You get to learn how to give better than you take. You get to learn how to make those out to bend your knee or take what is yours, kill you, pay in blood.

    Rightfully so.

  8. Skittles says:

    Tom S… thank you. You made the connection i was hoping would be mqde. The older guys and what they can do. Most retreat snipers are those older guys with 40 years shooting experience who didnt think they could run with the young guys in SUT. Truth be told most of the people that get whays going on and why they need to prepare are the older guys. Now they can see that they can do something and do something great. Native american braves used to call all the older braves grandfather as a form of respect. So let me be the first to say… Welcome to the Infantry grandpa! Get some!

    • Thomas says:

      To quote CSM Basil Plumly, “Any of you Sons of Bitches call me grandfather and I’ll kill you.” Said with a smile and in no way a threat!

      I concur that you need to exploit experience. Sniper/ counter sniper will be difficult to counter when the tech advantage goes to opfor. That is very different than assault scout or DSM. Infantry units call thunder down on snipers and that is the experience most will bring with them. USMC experience during WWII island hopping campaign will shed some light on killing enemy snipers.

      This is a discussion I would like to have. Freefor will not have the luxury of killing with a radio.

  9. Goatey says:

    The Chechen rebels (Wolves) have developed an assault team concept; sniper/DM,MG,RPG,2-3 security. Ask the Russians how effective it is? 5-6 Wolves defeating company size elements; effective. Also, think about how effective DM were in Ireland? I think the signs are still up to remind the Brits.

    • F says:

      We really really need to study the Chechens more IMO… anyone have any good sources they can recommend?

      A small mixed assault Team EXACTLY like that is what I have been thinking of for sometime but because of my limited Infantry experience I dont always feel qualified to speak up.
      I did spend some time reading and trying to get a flavor of the bosnian war and a little Checheh Stuff.

      I think they are the most applicable to us on many levels.

      Also there is something in that article above that is tugging at my neuron strings that I am not sure I like about it.. but am not ready to post until I can put it into a coherent response (I’ll mull it over for a day or two)

  10. Duane says:

    An interesting thing to note is that at one time, every soldier had the skills to engage targets at long range.

    Read “Taking Back the Infantry Half-Kilometer” for a description of WWI era rifle training.

  11. Part of what was discussed is what I teach as “Sniper Overwatch”. Of course I also advise that the term “sniper” in this role is interchangeable with Designated Marksman/heavy rifleman, and students should not get wrapped up in the whole “Titles of nobility” crap, when it comes to duty positions within the team/squad.

  12. Sad Panda says:

    “(unless you went to sniper school you aren’t a sniper)”


  13. As far as the term “sniper” being used by an individual in a specific task assignment. There are plenty of historical examples of well known snipers, that had no formalized training, and were as much snipers, as any trained sniper on the battlefield today. I believe way to many “Legends in their own mind” call themselves snipers, that have not 1) been professionally trained to be a sniper, and 2) haven’t been on the battlefield for impromptu OJT (unless something has started in CONUS that I wasn’t aware of). I know this will piss off some “school qualified snipers” out there, but being a sniper is a job, not just a title that is won by attending an school from an accredited list (If that’s the case people better quit calling themselves Light Infantry). An Army sniper who goes back to an Infantry squad, is no longer a sniper, he’s a rifleman, and except for the ASI addition of B4 in his MOS, he’s the same as any other rifleman. Granted, if you’ve been to any of those schools, you are probably more efficient for the task at hand, but the schools are a means to an ends, and not the only right of passage to that end. As far as the term “Sniper Overwatch” it is a term in semi common usage (depends who you’ve trained with), and not an assignment of tab or title to the overwatching personnel.

    • Skittles says:

      I agree completely. My focus was to dispel the myth of the term sniper. Too many have a misconcieved perception of what that means. Its that misconception that i was going against. As well as the fact that military designated snipers operate semi independently and have indirect assests available should shit hit the fan. This making tjere independence possible. Assault Scout is like a sniper but without those extra assets. Thus he melds in with light infantry and performs SUT.

  14. Quietus says:

    Another role for the bolt rifle guy might be to expand a fixed perimeter put on by the bad folks, by longer range harassing fire. Multiples of this rifle, could cause a fixed perimeter to expand to the point that the other people run out of fat folks to man the roadblocks.

    Think Ruby Ridge, 1992 or so. In that rural place, there were roadblocks and denial of access, set at places of the other peoples’ choosing. If they were forced to expand the perimeter due to incoming fire, it would not take long before they could not do that sort of thing anymore, due to lack of manpower.

    A perimeter attacked from the outside of it, needs to expand in an exponential fashion in order to defend itself. It needs to get real big, especially if it is shot at from multiple places. The big-ness requirement hits the Opfor in a place that they can’t deal with.

  15. Goatey says:

    Reference: Sad Panda-“You’re not a soldier unless you have been to basic training/You’re not parachutist unless you have been through US Army Airborne School/You’re not a UDT unless you have graduated BUDs”. I know men that were recruited to the US Army, and PMC, for their shooting skills that their father/grandpa taught them, that a sniper school couldn’t touch. Don’t get caught up in a “Word” when the term or phrase of “an excellent shot under combat conditions” is more desired.

    • Max Velocity says:

      Let’s not turn this into an argument about the definition of a sniper. The article is about ‘assault scouts’ who, as it clearly states, may use elements of sniper skills in their role.
      Lets keep it on the topic.

  16. Skittles says:

    No offense meant by saying you arent a sniper if you didnt go to sniper school. Simply meant in a FreeFor team using SUT, that a sniper team, recon team, or forward observer team could better support their team by blending some of all those proffesions into one. Also, some of the older guys could perfom in this task. Not a pissing contest. Call em whatever ya want. Just remember to blend them into a squad size unit and capitalize on their strengths.

  17. Newly minted "Old Guy" says:

    For some good insight on what use a rifleman can be in the little side of 4G war read Fry The Brain by West. “The word “sniper” is loaded and has multiple uses and definitions. I am close to USMC HOG instructors and respect them. But they are not the only long range shooters out there. It is the skill set, not the scroll that matters. No matter how you use it rifle, field craft and scout skills are force multipliers.

    Thank you skittles!

  18. Skittles, no offense was taken, we probably all know the type of which we were speaking. I enjoyed the post, and agree with your assessment of some required capabilities for more efficient team/squad ops. The Assault Scout concept is a valid and “nice to have” addition to a freefor team. It’s kind of like a light infantry multi tool with an extra scalpel blade.

  19. nonyer business says:

    The first part of this is to the site admin, the second, if you decide to post it, is the part actually intended for the comments section. However, I’m not unduly worried if either, both of none of it appears.

    I am going through considerable effort to make this post to your comments section. This includes posting from a laptop computer, having a clean, non activated installation of the O/S. Travelling quite a distance from my “AO” (your terminology, mine is my funhouse) to access an unsecured wireless AP having a non dedicated IP, to send this to you. By the time you finish reading this I will be miles away and travelling further.

    I hope that though I’m taking umbrage with a portion of the posted article you will deign to share my comment.

    Thank you for the consideration.

    For general consumption:

    [quote MaxV:]
    Lets keep it on the topic.

    This may not be considered directly on topic, however it should be close enough to pass muster.

    About the only info about myself I’ll give you is that my DD214 is dated sometime in ’79 and it was Honorable. That means I’ll probably be considered an old fart by a lot of your readers.

    I have been reading some of your, and linked communities, site content for some time. I agree with much of what is posted. We are heading for bad times and it will get very ugly before it gets better. Our government is run amok and there are no practical means of reigning it, nor its abuses, in. May we prevail when put to the test.

    As regards the topic at hand, you had me right up until –

    With that said let it be clear that this is in no way supporting or condoning the idea of a mountain retreat sniper. Shooting bad guys from 9 to 5 while drinking coffee then going home to eat some freeze dried food and sleeping in a comfy bed all on his lonesome. Honestly, that makes no sense… so fuck that guy.

    Why doesn’t this make any sense? Why fuck that guy? Disregarding the “9 to 5 while drinking coffee” element of the above quote,

    If I may digress for a moment,

    I’m reminded of the old joke about what’s the difference between a pessimist, an optimist and a realist? The pessimist, he see’s the tunnel ahead. The optimist see’s the light at the end of the tunnel. The realist, he see’s the next tunnel.

    I consider myself a realist. To that end, while I may no longer be able to hump it all day, at a full run with an 80lb load, due to the aftermath of damage to a leg that precipitated the aforementioned DD214, I can go, and stay, operational all day long with my weapon of choice in my locale of choice.

    Be a player and step into my funhouse and my preferred modus operandi is to reach out and ma bell you and two or three of your compatriots, at up to six hundred to a thousand meters. By the time the recipients of my act of compassion, putting them out of their collective misery, get themselves collected enough to react to what has happened I have already faded away to re-engage at another time and place of my choosing.

    I travel light, a twenty five pound kit meets my needs for up to four or five days all on my lonesome, and during that entire time of engagement the dancers at the party have no idea when the next song will start. It puts a considerable damper on ones enthusiasm to continue the party when one’s buddy’s keep getting their brains spattered all over the ground.

    So here is my question, while I can accept your model of engagement and the value that entails, why do so many in “the movement” or III percent, or whatever feel it is necessary to dismiss or denigrate the efforts of those individuals like myself that chose to play by a different set of rules?

    The end result is the same, reducing the number of opposing team members, destroying their ability to mount effective operations and eventually running them back to the hell hole that spawned them.

    I learned a long time ago, in the really ugly jobs, whether its flushing a plugged sewer line or cleaning up the human refuse that wants to trample my rights, I take whatever help I can get, whenever it is offered, regardless whether the help looks, acts or plays like me.

    So I ask you again, why fuck me?

    • Max Velocity says:

      Well, I appreciate your efforts to comment, which were considerable 😉
      However, you are wrong, and no one wants to “fuck you”. I’ll tell you why. It is best explained with this quote from your comment:

      “I travel light, a twenty five pound kit meets my needs for up to four or five days all on my lonesome, and during that entire time of engagement the dancers at the party have no idea when the next song will start.”

      You are absolutely not the “retreat sniper” that Skittles is referring to. You claim to read the blog, but must have missed the parts where this discussion happened. The criticism is not over the employment of long range shooting skills; that would be madness. We are not trying to advocate CQB over marksmanship, by any measure. In fact, it sounds that what you are doing is getting out on ground domination activity (GDA) security patrols and combining that with marksmanship and experience. You are in fact, the old bastard ‘assault scout’ that Skittles refers to.

      So, you old bastard, you are our guy, we are on your side, so quit making trouble 😉

      The short story on the retreat sniper is that he is the guy who thinks he is squared away to sit on his ridge for a few hours, safe in the knowledge that he can hit bad guys out to 1000 yards. But he just doesn’t consider that they are not coming in that obvious way, they are not coming on when he wants them, and he is a fat lazy asshole. It’s a lit of a larger concept than this post, but it includes the (not shit) guy who wrote in about having killer bee hives and is going to shoot them to keep intruders away. It includes a lot of madness, stupidity, ignorance and self deceit.

      You, sir, from what you wrote, are not that guy.

    • THusar says:

      Although the principles in which you deign to operate are initially and on the surface relatively sound (if successfull, you absolutely will be able to disrupt enemy formations)the eventuality of it is that OpFor will get tired of losing assets at certain times and in certain areas and the Eye of Sauron will eventually start honing in on things.

      Simplest way to put this is to remember not to crap where you sleep.

  20. […] by ‘Skittles’ by Max Velocity Tactical […]

  21. RobRoySimmons says:

    Even highly trained .Mil screw the pooch, so playing .Mil over top of being a civilian engaging in tactical self defense seems a bit of a waste of time and more entertainment than productivity.

    Original article was great, having a man/team that can scout and snipe, cheerio good job. Trying to outdo one another who has what in the Service Record Book a waste of time.

    Seen the “Lone Survivor” movie also read the book, both great. But basically they gave these young men a million dollars of training then sent them into a hornets nest with a 5.56mm “sniper” rifle, shaky comms and a basic plan of exfil past all those patrols who were above them to begin with, OK. They too read too much into their quals and schools IMO. Too far from the basics and too much into fantasy Hollywood IMO.

  22. RobRoy said, “Even highly trained .Mil screw the pooch, so playing .Mil over top of being a civilian engaging in tactical self defense seems a bit of a waste of time and more entertainment than productivity.”
    Your right, .mil does screw up at times, but when you say “Tactical self defense” and then try to justify why a .mil trained person doesn’t have an advantage, well, that goes back to the “legend in ones own mind” theory. The .mil guy only has an advantage because as Max says “They know what they know.” There is no magic. Hard, realistic training generally produces hard, knowledgeable men. You’ve called yourself “An excellent deer hunter”, and I have no reason to think you are not. I would never assume a .mil guy would have a clue how to hunt deer, and efficiently bag one. Just like assuming a civilian without tactical training should not assume he knows what he’s doing in a tactical environment.
    As far as this comment ” But basically they gave these young men a million dollars of training then sent them into a hornets nest with a 5.56mm “sniper” rifle, shaky comms and a basic plan of exfil past all those patrols who were above them to begin with, OK. They too read too much into their quals and schools IMO.”
    In the .mil, sometimes you are sent into the “hornet’s nest” on purpose (sometimes because intel sucks), because there is a mission that needs completed (check out the full time mission of Army LRS), period! 5.56 sniper rifles on a recon mission makes sense from a size and weight of weapon and ammo standpoint, since they might have a long way to walk and are their own ammo resupply (btw, I’m not a fan of the 5.56). If you ask any vet, comms fails at an alarming rate, when you need it the most (reason for redundancy), exfil plans are basic sometimes, because certain aspects of your situation are unknown, and you should be flexible (knowledge of tactical options gives them that flexibility). As far as them reading to much into their quals and schools. Those quals and schools give them the needed expertise to conduct certain operations, and also tell their buddies on the left and the right that they have as much dedication to the task at hand as that guy does. Hell, the biggest thing I took away from that story was they did the right thing, concerning the sheepherders, even to their own hurt, and that’s something that is severely lacking these days.

  23. RobRoySimmons says:

    .Mil produces tools of use, but my point is that trying to produce Jr. .Mil is a waste of time.

    And I will stick to my thesis, Operation Red Wings was screw the pooch from inception, fucking total screw, I could write a thesis on it.

    Please, send four brave men on a high reward high risk job with shaky comms and then not have airborne repeater capability above them, effin stoopid if you ask me. A 500m shot then exfil thru patrols for a helo extract, and no doubt a hot one.

    Why, because the institution of .Mil produced a culture where you have to be in the “Game” and that is what they got an operation basically named after a crude sexual reference with half ass measures where there was no need for half ass measures.

    I don’t need a Jr. version of that culture

  24. RobRoySimmons says:

    Sorry for my rants using up your time and bandwidth.

  25. Skittles says:

    I don’t think there is a need for an apology for a rant. That’s the whole point of this forum. To discuss all points from all sides. Now, as far as the .mil being the greatest… it isn’t. the original comment said school. Be it military or civilian. I have trained with both. I still would not consider myself a sniper. Like I said without the whole bag of goodies when it comes to training and assets, you aren’t a sniper. I know I don’t have any indirect assets nor to I have a viable exfil scenario. Humping out after hitting the enemy all own your lonesome isn’t going to end well. so performing a solo sniper type mission isn’t viable. However, there may be some folks out there and even on this post that have assets and the skills to perform a sniper mission. The point I was trying to make that is that as a Freefor guy resisting tyranny you are going to need a team and need to know SUT. Call it a sniper, a long range shooter, or an assault scout. Semantics doesn’t matter. What maters is performing in a way that gives the best chance for success and survival.
    Below is a list of skills that make a true sniper and that they get in training.
    Marksmanship (1000 yds less than an MOA group and proper mechanical ranging with a mildot scope)

    • Skittles says:

      *sorry hit the enter button early*
      Stalking (crawling for days undetected to go 800 yds)
      Ghillie suit construction and proper concealment techniques
      Hide construction
      Land Nav
      Calls for fire
      …. and he list goes on. So without those skills and trying to perform a traditional sniper style mission I going to get you killed. But using those long range shooting skills and what training you do have or can make do with in conjunction with a a team covering you, you could bull a long range shot or sniper kill. By no means was I trying to say only .mil guys get it rigt and can do it. Not even close. Perhaps we could change the name from assault scout to assault scout sniper. Same role just different name. THe key take away I was aiming for in this article is SUT with long range capabilities blended in to force multiply the lethality of a FreeFor squad. Tha, and with the older guys in the positions the pace of that fire team could be tailored to there physical abilities. Instead of him sitting alone on the hill and taking out as many as he can before he gets killed.

      • Thomas says:

        You make multiple references to a slower pace for older fighters. This concerns me for many reasons, the least of which is to include them in the action least they die alone on their hill top. Or, to make them feel useful to the “cause”.

        If you intend to present this as a viable option, how do you intend to train them so that their skills provide them with the ability to survive on the battlefield? Do you expect this team to move at the same pace in to the AO or will they operate independently of the two four-man assault teams? Do they E and E out after the mission separate from the others? What happens to them in the event that the entire team is involved in a running gun battle to E and E from the area?

        In the event of a running gun battle or an opfor saturation of the AO in an effort to kill the team, this slow group would endanger the entire force. Unless they are superbly trained in the art of survival, they are extremely likely to die at the hands of their pursuers.

        Based on my understanding of your thoughts, this slow group will require advanced training in the use of cover, concealment, camouflage, and movement. There is also an assumption that their eyesight will remain keen after their mobility has begun to degrade.

        I like the concept of the assault scout and believe that it has merit. I counter that this team should be a stronger link vice a weaker link that is created by slow movement.

        So that we are clear, I am an old warrior.

        • Max Velocity says:

          Was he talking older and slower versus more mature with endurance? Endurance should increase with age, whereas VO2 max reduces. The old foxes may be less effective at fast paced fight through battles, but well able to keep up and stalk the flanks?

          • Thomas says:

            As he initially presented the concept, older and slower.

            Stalking the flanks is how the concept would likely produce the desired results. Hunter-killer teams are very effective at producing kills and degrading the morale of the opfor. This requires endurance and, more importantly, patience. Those characteristics tend to be found in the old foxes. The intel gathering capability should be balanced with the kinetic aspect of the team. Again, something the old foxes tend to excel at.

            Without resupply, the team is limited by how much they can carry or securely cache. Running this as a long range patrol on a 14 or 21 day cycle would be optimum.

            The idea of using teams like this to prep the battle space for freefor activity may provide for interesting discussion.

    • Border rat says:

      The whole blog uses military terms, calibers, skills, and equipment. This puts everyone and everything on the same sheet of music that the opfor is on. Wouldn’t you want to be completely off that sheet. The best freefor is an invisible, unpredictable, unidentifiable, unreadable, and unexpected force? Not outside the box, because the box is recognizable and identifiable. How about following a spiral thinking profile? If a freefor gets caught and can honestly answer no to any and all military related questions, he is better off. And using no “military” equipment in furtherance of freefor objectives would also help.

  26. RobRoySimmons says:

    Great piece on a great tool. My point being we have to forget trying to replicate Big. Military. As for Lone Survivor, pure Big Military and way too many people get wrapped into that culture in so many ways. Ironically the SEAL team in that op was set up like your Charlie team.

    BTW USMC 81-85 big arty

  27. There is no production of a Jr .mil here, at least not from the perspective of Max and I. What works, works, period. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel with tactics, and if your suggestion is that because we teach the tried and proven tactics the military taught us (and we’ve used), creates a Jr .mil atmosphere, well you missed the point, and don’t have a clue what we’re about. As to your reference to “Lone Survivor”, while I think I see where you were going with it, it really hasn’t got any relevance to the topic of the original article, except maybe for you to point out that you believe military training isn’t necessary, and to say “Look how bad these bad ass mofo SEALs screwed up, and they’re militarily trained (and they have an ego)!” There are a lot of ways to skin a cat, but tactically speaking, those ways are just variations of the same theme. If you think you’ve got a better way that has nothing to do with what the military endorses and teaches, be my guest (hate to be the first one to test those tactics) but make sure it’s completely different, cuz you wouldn’t want to be accused of being

    • RobRoySimmons says:

      Nope. Use the tools needed leave those not needed. Reread my posts actually quite clear in that regard.

      • THusar says:

        Whether you believe they are building a Jr .mil or not, there are some generally accepted theories of combat that have survived throughout history. The SUT of of today are a modern manifestation of that. If you want to go completely off the reservation on what you think is or is not relevant than be my guest. For myself: I typically prefer the high ground over the low, to maneuver over allowing myself to be fixed, and to hit where and when my enemy is weak. Many, many, many lives have been lost learning and relearning some of these tenets of SUT. Can you do something completely and totally out of the box and have it be succesfull? Absolutely. Can you do it by violating some of the clearest “rules,” of SUT? Sure. Do I expect those methods to give you the highest probability of success? Not really. These guys are talking and teaching concepts that have worked for them or for people they know. I have read most of the advice and doctrine being given on this and JM blog and can tell you from having real world experience that they are preaching it true. To the point that I’ve essentially stopped monkey-punching a keyboard in an attempt educate some people I know and have started directing them this way for the information. Max and others are far better with prose than I am.

  28. Chris says:

    The simplest way to handle this IMO is to simply think of a two-man DMR element (shooter/spotter, with the spotter also being a security man, a second rifle for maximum weight of fire, etc) as a variant on a gun group. M240:Platton as DMR:Squad.

    Max has written extensively about how to employ a gun group as an attachment to a typical squad.

    Treating the DMR+assistant as a gun group has the advantage of keeping it simple for the leader. Treating them as a gun group to be attached also allows more flexibility in task organization. I also don’t think it is entirely inconsistent with the original article, either… perhaps just a shorter way to summarize the role.

  29. […] recently had ‘Where do long range shooters fit in FreeFor SUT?‘ by Skittles, about the topic of the ‘Assault Scout’. Today, FormerSapper brings […]

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