OPSEC & Family/ Retreat Security
Recently there have been a couple of posts by Lizard Farmer and Mountain Guerrilla that I simply felt the urge to chip in on and expand in my own direction. I noted with wry amusement the comments by LF & Mosby about not usually commenting on others posts but feeling the need to anyway – I often find a post by another sparks a thought process that turns into one of my posts. Anyway, I enjoyed Mosby’s ‘Skull-Stomping Sacred Cows….Again: Unconventional Warfare and the Modern Militia Movement’ which was written in defense of a post by LF that I have been unable to locate.
This is what I want to talk about: OPSEC and related comments as they occur to me.
I simply don’t have any OPSEC, at least not in the way that many of you consider it. I use gmail. I blog. I don’t have any fancy internet encryption. Everything I do is out there.
Why is that, you may ask? Well, firstly, I haven’t got anything to be secretive about. I am completely within my rights to blog as I do, there is nothing seditious or criminal about it. I simply haven’t got anything to hide. But you will tell me that the current Regime will be out to get me – but isn’t that really the point – to stand up and exercise our freedom? I refuse to be scared by collectivist, statist intimidation. If someone tried to unlawfully constrain my freedom, then its time to fight. Right?
Simply put, I will not be intimidated by the thought police.
I utilize a pen name ‘Max Velocity’ – but if you find out who I am, which would probably take you about ten seconds if you wanted to, I am not overly worried. The pen name is not there to hide me from the Regime, it’s there to add a layer of protection to my family from crazies and idiots.
I am not a computer whiz, my technological knowledge is limited. I simply assume that the NSA spiders are crawling all over any technology I have. I see little utility in trying to utilize computer or technology OPSEC, and in fact I believe that the more you try and hide, the more you will generate interest from the Regime, because they will think you are trying to do some secret squirrel ‘domestic terrorist’ crap.
My assumption is this: if you use any technology at all, then the Regime spiders are crawling all over it, in it and through it. That goes for anything: computers, cell phones, radios, cars with computers, EZPasses, anything that has any means of connecting to anything else.
If we reach the stage that we have to fight a technologically superior enemy ‘foreign or domestic’, say for example one equipped with the technology that the United States military/surveillance complex has at hand, then you have to assume that anything you do with any technology is penetrated and tracked.
At that point, throw the cell phone in the creek. If your communication is anything other than a runner with a memorized message, or a coded note, then you are wrong. Utilize dead drops, caches, old school stuff. I’m an old school kind of guy – expect, as a resistance fighter, to be living out in the woods hot or cold. Communication will be slow and unreliable. Intel will be gathered by the auxiliary, but it will be low level stuff, like observed patterns and routes of enemy convoys. This will be passed via runner or dead drop, and operations will be planned, fighters will glide through the woods using terrain masking and concealed routes, the ambush will happen. Analogue, not digital. An exception might be using land-line field telephones for short range communication between defensive positions, LP/OPs etc.
I my novel ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’ this analogue no-tech level of communication is something that the Resistance struggled with and has to make work. At one point OP’s are established overwatching some Regime bases, prior to a raid being planned. Gathering Intel on the bases. But they could not use radios to communicate back, such as conventional troops may use. Such communications would be subject to intercept and direction finding (DF). Instead, they utilized a runner/agent system who would, every other day, visit a dead drop in dead ground to the rear of the OP, where he would pick up the OP report and run it back to HQ. Simple, no-tech answers. Yes, the runner could be intercepted, but there is always some risk of discovery in anything you do. The OP itself could be compromised.
Once you divest yourself of all your technology, you have to give thought to defeating the other types of Regime surveillance technology. Such as aerial thermal surveillance. I have blogged about that at length and it is also covered in detail in ‘Contact: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’ and ‘Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises’.
There is another aspect to this, and that is those of you who think you can somehow conduct a resistance operation by night from your home in the suburbs, like some sort of secret agent. If/when this goes down, you need to bug out to somewhere remote. Families need to be moved to a protected location where they cannot be subject to reprisals and Regime raids. I’m not talking about the old ‘grab your bug-out bag and run off to survive in the woods’ prepper thing. I’m talking about something planned. If you stay in your house and want to be a fighter, then sooner or later you will be hit. Most likely because someone used a cell phone or whatever. And it won’t even be a ‘no knock raid’ as is the subject of this POST. You will be treated as a domestic terrorist the same way that people are treated in Yemen or Pakistan. Either a hellfire missile will hit your house with your family sleeping around you, or a kill squad will arrive in the dead of night and assault the house. If they think there is any utility in capturing you for interrogation, they may attempt that, but if there is any fight then the house will be lit up and your family is at great risk.
That is why for resistance operations we have the whole idea of the band of fighters out there in the woods. You have the auxiliary who operate ‘clean’ and gather intelligence, support with logistics etc. The Resistance fighters conduct targeted raids and attacks as possible. I simply add to this the necessity of protecting your family, and for any kind of SHTF/civil war situation I advocate moving families to a hidden protected location. This is a strong feature of the storyline in ‘Patriot Dawn’ Hint: it’s like a manual that reads like a novel, utilizing the story to bring to life tactical concepts, bringing into play tactics that are described in the actual manual ‘Contact: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival’.
If you think about the movie ‘The Patriot’ the families were at risk when they stayed on their farms. The people of a village were portrayed being burned to death in a church – I don’t know how much that paret was based on events or just Hollywood. Mel Gibson’s family ended up escaping to a remote community hidden on a beach. The actual resistance band operated from an island in a swamp. You see what I am getting at…..
And this leads us to another point: you are the ultimate prepper, you have that isolated stocked retreat in the country side. You will get up in the morning, tend the tomatoes, collect eggs from the chickens, do a stint in an overwatch with your long-range rifle with which you can pick off any bad guys out to a range of 1000 meters. Then, its to bed with a cup or warm milk, from your cow.
You are not patrolling, you are not running day and night surveillance of approaches, you are not running a tactical team, you are not actively engaged in the defense of your retreat. You think that approaching enemies will announce themselves so you can shoot them down with your marksmanship skills. Maybe you think your killer bees will protect you?
You are not engaged in a resistance operation, you are simply looking after number one. However, as soon as your location is noted, it’s all over for you. It depends who comes – if its just rag tag marauders you may beat them off, fine. If its an infantry company, then you won’t. And then the psychological problem is exposed – all your eggs are literally in one basket. It’s all stocked in your retreat. What are your exfil plans for when bumped by enemy in the night? Do you have rucks packed for each member or your group, alternate caches, perhaps located on your property on your exfil routes so you can quickly stock up before moving on? Perhaps you have a foot route or maybe ATV’s that can head out the back and over the hill?
Many of those who are preppers rather than those with a resistance fighter mindset are psychologically imprisoned at their retreat. They will likely die there.
Even if you are not part of a large well organized resistance force, which is where most of us are, then you should at least think about grouping together with multiple families. What you want is enough people to tend the tomatoes, provide a stay at home defensive element, and also create tactical teams with a patrolling/raiding/ offensive capability. Even if you have a tactical team of four you could then go out and conduct operations against enemies foreign and domestic. Those enemies, in an SHTF situation, could be something like a raping cannibalistic biker gang that has taken over the local town, and you need to go down and raid them. Or it could be foreign troops, or whatever.
So, in summary:
1) If you are using any kind of technology, you don’t have OPSEC.
2) Don’t plan to stay at home, unless you are just squatting and hiding in place.
3) Organize into groups and secure the families first at a hidden secure location.
4) Create tactical teams that can conduct local defensive patrolling plus offensive operations as needed.
Live Hard, Die Free.