‘The Day of Reckoning’ by Robert Henry

Well the time finally came, but thankfully you were prepared for it. Your group met up at your retreat and all but one of your eight guys and their families made it there safely.

Everyone is a bit rusty but thankfully your retreat is way out in the sticks so you have a little lag time because the riots are happening in the cities and suburbs. You use this time to rehearse tactics that you all have trained previously. Map studies are done regularly and the terrain is walked thoroughly for those that aren’t intimately familar with it.

You put out your MURS perimeter alarm sensors on some of the likely approach routes, and establish contact with a few neighboring farms that have people you know and trust. You give them some basic comms and spare batteries and do your best to try to get them to agree to some mutual defense and early warning of the area to looters.

A few weeks more pass, people start getting complacent. The initial adrenaline rush of it actually happening has started to wear off. Nerves are getting testy on little things.

You’ve been patrolling your property but you start pushing out a little farther as well. A team returns to tell you that off in the distance at a far waypoint they heard a short firefight and some yelling and screaming.

Walking to your map board, they show you their approximate position when they heard the gunfight in the distance. They tell you that immediately after taking cover they pulled out a compass and shot an azimuth towards the sound of the gunfight. They held position for a few minutes and listened. You draw out a rough azimuth from their position on the map and it intersects perfectly with a farm house about 800 yards north of their position at the time.

You discuss the shots heard, difference in sounds, etc. and ascertain that 2 or 3 defenders fought it out against a force approximately twice that size. Near the end it sounded as if the attackers let loose a large volley of fire, then a pause and just a handful of shots afterwards. The individual shots which probably came from the defenders were not heard past the heavy volley of fire.

“They got rolled up,” one of your team says. Suddenly this is all very real to everyone. Who used more hot water in the shower, who’s kids were whining more and all the little inconveniences and nonsense that goes with living in close proximity with others suddenly seems insignificant.

The team that was out patrolling is given a break, time to double check gear, check weapons and finally get some rest. These three will be left as the main retreat defense body while another patrol is sent out in roughly an hour.

The warning order is given for the 2nd patrol. Contact highly likely. We want to fight them away from the retreat, away from the families. This is WHY we train like this, this is WHY we have learned these things. Patrol out towards the property line, watch the likely avenues of approach from the general area of the farm house attack.

The 2nd patrol is just about ready to go, the team leader is double checking things, giving the point man the general area they are moving through and says “let’s move up first to that “finger” of the ridge and move through from there.”

Just then MURS perimeter alarm sensors on that edge of the property line start chiming in. “Alert Zone 1, Alert Zone 1.” The team leader glances back at the group leader, they look at each other for a minute and the group leader says “could be just deer.” The zone 1 alert sounds three more times. The 2nd patrol hurries in their preparations.

One of the cheap FRS radios you keep on to monitor comms breaks squelch. “Bill, Bill can you hear me?” Oh crap what is this? Sounds like one of the nearest neighbors that you gave an FRS to for early warning. You don’t answer right away. “Bill if you can hear me, I’m sorry, we just hid and they went right past us. I’m sorry..”

“Alert Zone 2, Alert Zone 2” sounds out. “Crap on a stick!” the team leader says and glances at the group leader who says “you better launch out now.” The sensors are set up in a stair case type manner, which is now showing you that whatever is out there, it’s moving towards the retreat. This is all happening so damn fast….

It’s snowing, cold as hell, the ground is wet. Only thing that could make this worse would be that it was at night with no night vision equipment.

Your patrol moves out, team leader says “guys we got to move quick but carefully and get to that finger on the ridge fast.” The team leader took a MURS HT transceiver with him and he’s getting real time alerts on the perimeter alarm sensors. So at least you have some heads up on the movement of the enemy.

Reaching the finger the point man takes a knee for a listening halt and double checks his bearing.

BANG, BANG, BANG! “CONTACT FRONT!” is shouted and the enemy is seen moving towards you. The four man team deploys in a skirmish line. The team leader is right of the pointman and the other buddy team is further on the right near a reverse slope of the ridge.

The pointman is taking accurate fire in his area and cannot move. Your team is returning fire and you tell the buddy team on the right to push right and flank them on the right side.

Pointman gets killed, he lets out a short scream and rolls to his back- “DAMN IT!” This is all happening so damn fast.

You’re in danger of getting rolled up, first thought is to conserve your forces. You tell the buddy team on the right to push on the right flank. The pointman, your battle buddy is clearly dead. No heroics here, you got to leave him.

You’ve dropped a couple of the enemy for sure, maybe wounded a few more. Crap your not sure, this is all happening so fast it’s surreal. Your main concern is your guys and getting the initiative back.

The buddy team on the right gets the angle on the attackers and drops a couple more. Their momentum seems to break as they lose a couple of people. You’re not sure of much at this point. The buddy team on the right links up with you. Everyone is out of breath. You have “insured” all the enemy you got close to but there is no time to double check now. You heard a couple falling back up the ridge a little more. Quick pause.

Team leader calls out quietly- “quick LACE check, one at a time, top off your stuff.” One by one each man does a tactical reload, four deep breaths and checks himself over for wounds he might have missed due to adrenaline.

“I think we hit 5 or 6, we should have kept better count.”

John, one of your team mates says “I saw two run back up the ridge. Given their light equipment I bet their rally point is further up the ridge.”

As your finishing up the LACE check, the man facing to the rear quietly announces to the others that he sees movement from behind. Did we miss one? Hold your fire until he gets closer. The team leader uses the ACOG on his rifle to get a better look.

“Hold your fire, it’s Mike, he’s making the hand signal we mentioned.”

Mike approaches the team and is given a quick run down by the team leader, “We think their are just a few of them left, we hit them hard on the finger of the ridge but we lost Eric.”

Mike replies that Winston and Alan are back holding the fort with some of the kids and ladies also “no one is going to get past them. We scanned the top of the ridge with the FLIR and saw two moving back up the ridge. Your nephew put that little drone he has up for a few minutes and all he saw was two guys also.” Mike unslings a shoulder bag and starts passing out mags to the team, “kinda figured it might be good to bring this up given the amount of fire we heard.”

The team quickly tops off and forms up on a skirmish line. They move in a slow bounding overwatch with two moving up about 10 yards and taking cover while two cover, alternating with each buddy team moving.

As one buddy team starts cresting a small rise, John starts slowly going to ground and without a word the rest of the patrol starts to do the same. John signals 2 enemy seen, 50 yards, and the general direction they are in. He holds position with his buddy. Team leader tells them to hold position and his buddy pair will flank. The team leader and Mike start slowly creeping around the right flank.

They get within about 30 yards when one of the attackers turns to engage them. John opens fire putting the man down quickly. The second attacker opens up at John’s position, exposing his position to the flankers.

Mike and the team leader push up and get shots on the last man and put him down.

Not being sure if all of them were accounted for, the team continues to sweep the area in bounding movements. The team leader radios base and asks if they have seen or heard anyone else. A negative is replied. It is decided that two will be left in the general area as a stay behind just in case others are out there or this was just a recon as part of a larger force.

Thank God we took this training and preparing seriously all these years. I can’t even begin to imagine what a cluster fudge this would be with just a gaggle of untrained people thrown together at the last minute.



In the above story, no one actually died this time around, however the tactics, the lessons and their applications all really happened.

Much like taking a martial art but never sparring never really gives you a chance to see/confirm that the material your learning actually WORKS in real life, if we are not running exercises like this against live enemy, we don’t really know.

All of the real parts of the above story happened March 20th at Max Velocity Tactical’s Force on Force Team Tactics class. Thankfully, no one was actually hurt in the writing of this story this go around. However if/when TSHTF, the stakes will be much higher. We learned some good lessons that are applicable to our survival, the survival of our family and our “tribe” at this class. I for one, prefer to figure these things out now, where their is time and a chance to train further, to apply changes, etc. There won’t be time for OJT “on the job training” if TSHTF.

Learn your lessons and make your adjustments now, you will learn them at the Force on Force tactics class.

Robert Henry

JRH Enterprises