Perimeter Security: Use of an Obstacle Plan

This article is intended to discuss ‘obstacles’ and their use as an aid to perimeter security. There are a number of factors and considerations regarding perimeter security, which will be discussed here. For specific information on home hardening, you will find some useful articles on such by Joe here on the MVT Forum.

It is essential to understand that any perimeter security measure that you use will only ever cause delay, by slowing down the ingress of an intruder. It is unlikely that you will be able to install a perimeter security feature that will permanently deny entry to a determined intruder, given sufficient time and determination. This is why in a military sense, any obstacle that is installed should be ‘covered by observation and fire.’  The obstacle is thus simply intended to delay the enemy, in order to be able to bring fire on them, the delay providing time in which to deploy forces to respond, thus regaining the initiative. This is why on the battlefield, obstacle planning and execution is an important engineer task, above and beyond what infantry or ‘assault pioneer’ specialists may do locally around their positions. The obstacle plan will be part of the overall defensive plan, in order to deny, slow, or channel the enemy and thus ‘shape’ the battle space.

We can apply these principles to an area of property which you may have an interest in defending. You should also read this in tandem with the article ‘A Discussion on Bugging Out‘ for considerations if, worst case, you do get attacked by an overwhelming enemy force. Any area of property that you have will come with natural features; terrain, vegetation, buildings, roads, rivers or streams, and fences. The overall acreage of the property will also be a factor, along with visibility (due to terrain features or lack of, and vegetation (i.e. trees) or lack of).  Terrain, along with the relationship of that terrain to the buildings on your property, will create factors of key terrain and vital ground. Vital ground is that ground which, if lost, would make the defense untenable. Key terrain will give one side a marked advantage. For example, it may be that you consider your house vital ground, which it perhaps is if it is on a suitable terrain feature (i.e. a hill). But if it is next to the hill, the hill may dominate it and thus be the vital ground. There may be other features, such as a wooded ridge, that may be an ideal support by fire location onto your vital ground, and as such is key terrain, offering a marked advantage for any side which holds it. This is a somewhat complex topic, which boils down to a defensive survey, which you should conduct with a view to both attacker and defender, and in conjunction with a view to enemy ‘most likely’ and ‘worst case’ courses of action.

The rest of the article is on the MVT Forum, along with a lot more information, and troll free rational discussion.