August 2015 Notes

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August FTF will begin at 1400 on the 16th.  We’re making good progress with Land-Nav and Comm equipment.  And this month we’re going to work with  on that some more.   We’ll need both those skills (and more) for exercises in Scout Operations and SPOT Reports next month.    Hope to see a few completed IFAKs during September FTX.

 

 

 

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Oathkeepers has just notified us, via YouTube, that they have an Appalachian Regional Meeting on the schedule for the last weekend in August ,  the 28th thru 30th.  The event is to be held somewhere in West Virginia territory.  More details as arrangements get finalized.  One of the big topics for discussion will be how to set up your Community Preparedness Team.  They have a lot of background articles and a few videos on their site.  All good discussions without hype or buzzwords.  Go look now.

 

 

 

 

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Upcoming 88 Tactical SERE Class —  11November.  Tekamah, NE.

   

Traditional SERE is categorized as Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape.   However,  88 Tactical classifies their courses as Survive, Endure, Respond, Excel to better prepare those citizens who seek a survival foundation to build upon.

 

 

Civilian SERE Level 1 Objectives:
• Principles of evasion
• Camouflage techniques
• Communication protocols
• Land navigation
• Bushcraft
• Foraging
• Firemaking
• Intro to bunker survival
• Improvised shelters
• Rural water purification
• Off-grid medical care
• Weapon handling skills
• Live-fire drills

Two days, $600.  And yes, there is a Level 2 Class

 

 

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Over in Tennessee, there is an ammunition factory set up and operated by disabled vets.  Vet-Made Ammunition makes reasonably priced ammo in your favorite calibers.  Tested recently by our friends at BreachBangClear, who gave it a pretty good review here.

 

 

Civilian Close Combat

 And Max Velocity, up in West Virginia, is starting his new Civilian Close Combat Course starting this month, and once every month thru December.   A two-day weekend course aimed at home defense training with  those people who are most likely to be with you in that situation.  The $400 course will run you thru 100 rounds for your pistol and 1000 rounds for your rifle.  And home defense is a good way to put your square range training to practical use.

 

 

Homework for the Month:

A reference book for us all.  Should be another one on the “Required Reading” list.  (and you thought you had the summer off!)

 

 

ISBN  9780967175928

ISBN 9780967175928

 

 

July 2015 Notes

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July FTF will commence  at 1400 on the 26th in our local park.  Items to discuss are once again Land-Nav, IFAKs and other gear, and Training Standards.  We have even more new maps to go over so bring your compass and field books.

 

 

 

Recent regional events have quickly struck home here in Alamance county.  In the county seat of Graham, next to the old courthouse building,  is a Civil War Memorial which has been standing since 1914.  There has been a recent effort to have it removed, as has been the fate of many Civil War Memorials in the region.  To counter this effort, a petition to keep and preserve this memorial has been started over at Change.org.  If you would like to support keeping the history of the county in-tact, rather than selectively re-writing our history by those whom have taken some offense, then you’d do well to sign the petition there.  Currently, the Alamance Rangers don’t have a formal plan to actively be involved with preserving the monument in downtown Graham, beyond supporting the petition.  We will be watching these developments closely.

 

 

Mechanized Armor has been both best friend and worst foe to infantrymen since WWI.    As with most “what if?” scenarios, the time to think about them is not once they start driving up your road.  What are the chances you’ve made someone so angry they want to shoot you with a tank?

 

 

Probably the best tank in the world right now is the Stridsvagen 122 made and used by Sweden.  Basically an improved version of the German Leopard 2A5 tank, with a little more room inside and a tad more armor.  Better than an Abrahams?  Maybe.  But nobody is even thinking about invading Sweden, now are they?

 

And to combat well made Swedish tanks, BOFORS in Sweden (SAAB)  makes one of the best anti-tank weapons that an infantryman could ever want to carry, the AT-4.  A commonly stocked item in the U.S. Army as the M135 Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon.   Effective range –  200 to maybe 500 yards.  Rated for 400 mm armor penetration.  Priced at $1500 (plus inducement fee) from your nearest arms dealer.

 

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 Of course, anytime there is more than one armored vehicle prowling the countryside, there is a Command vehicle of some sort.  Probably have this Battlefield Computer in it, and it can be run off a laptop computer.  The FBCB2 Computer –  AN/GYK-55.  Go read the TM11 tech manual here.

 

 

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So, to get to the point, big fancy and expensive toys can be quite impressive, but their weakness seems to be little cheap toys and laser range finders.  These big toys get so jittery over just about any type of laser bouncing off them that they have an even more fancy laser detector and chaff/smoke canisters as protection to confuse any inbound missiles that might follow on from that laser.  And then they target that source.

 

Maybe you don’t want to be that laser range finder source,  but you have to make the SPOT Report when you’re way out there at the Remote Observation Post and the big noisy toys roll by.  Not a problem if you have one of these Optical range finders.  The Vortex Solo R/T.  User Manual here.

 

 

 

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Mrads are used for range estimations on this $100 8×36 scope.  Vortex makes a bigger Recon R/T 15×50 with a tripod adapter if you’re “camped out”.  $700.  Works the same.    It has a few built-in human silhouettes for quick range estimation.  Most likely you’d see people standing around in the area of your interest, or at least the doors they would be using if the ever came out.

 

Target size (in meters) times 1000 all divided by the apparent size in mrads equals distance to target (in meters).  No batteries to run out on you at that critical moment either.  And no laser beam to attract those big noisy toys to your cozy little position.

 

Only the truly devious would bait a potential target with a cheap and expendable  laser designator beam flashlight. $250.  Maybe worth it depending on what you’re hunting.  Some critters aren’t too smart.

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Supplemental —

Sparks31 is trying to pull together another Comms class  at an undisclosed location in upstate South Carolina.  And there is a chance to squeeze in that Rasberry Pi SDR project at the same time.  This is too good an opportunity to pass up, so we need another volunteer to attend this class.  Anyone with an SDR dongle, feel free to step up.

 

 

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June 2015 Notes

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June FTF will be in the park on the 28th beginning 14:00.  Subjects to be covered are Land-Nav and Mapping, Hand Signals,  Radio Communications and  IFAk’s/First Aid.  If there is some subject you’d like to give a short lecture on, we can try to work it in.

 

Our Neighbor NC3B had their recent meeting this past week.  They’re working on a long list of skill sets and training, too.  We’ve met with them a few times and they seem to have a pretty good program underway.  We’re here to help when we can. 

 

 

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This is the week of the Centennial celebration of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow.  One hundred years of tradition is a pretty strong thing.  The Order of the Arrow as an honor society is clearly one of those great traditions.  The Boy Scouts as an organization have taken some pretty hard hits in the past couple of years, and maybe rightly so, as they are drifting away from their traditions under pressure from social changes.  Another case of people from outside the community dictating new rules.  The Girl Scouts are getting it too.  If someone wants to abandon 100 years of tradition in favor of making  something completely different, yet still try to leverage the historic value of the organization based on the old traditions, then they need to go start up their own and call it something else.   Once you start putting Chevy parts into that old Ford truck, you’re just not “It” any more.  The Order of the Arrow is all that’s left and I hope they will hold true to those traditions for another hundred years.  My two-cents.

 

 

 

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ITS Tactical recently did a story comparing various brands of freeze-dried foods and MRE’s.  Lots of pictures and taste-testing.  Something worthwhile when you don’t have to eat it if you don’t like it.  On your eighth day out in the field and on the run, you might wish you’d done your homework on good things to eat.  You really shouldn’t plan on eating your fill of the local bugs and berries because that saves weight and time.

 

 

 

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A second story from ITS Tactical is on the two-day long-range shooting class from US Optics Academy in Apple Valley, California.  This course is being run by Tyler Hughes, a trained Marine Scout Sniper.  Looks like 200 yards  in the photo and those targets are people sized.  The shot grouping is top-notch for someone equipped with an average rifle and good ammo.  Most of those holes in the 5-shot groups touch/overlap.  Pretty good shooting.  The two-day course runs $900 and has shooting exercises from 100 yards out to 1000 yards.  If you already have a $6000 rifle/scope combination and are  loading your own ammo, you’re likely to have a great time there.

 

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And yes, making that spine/crotch shot at 600 yards is a viable strategy.

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Advanced Scout/Tracker class is offered  in September by Nature Reliance School near Lexington, KY.  The $150 three-day class  goes over using camouflage and stealth to move unseen across the terrain while trying to follow someone else doing the same.   Very useful for things other than just deer hunting.

 

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 Randalls School of Survival has a similar one-day class in October.  This $100 one-day “Intro to Human Tracking” class is driven more at search and rescue operations is held at the Randall training site in Gallant, AL.

 

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Over at the Personal Security Institute, Grant Cunningham is teaching that section of Defensive Handgun called “Shoot – Don’t Shoot”.  Unlike in those video games you play, you just can’t go around blasting everything in sight.  See the definition for recklessness.  This is a skill not usually taught in a shooting class but it’s just as important to know when not to do that Mozambique Drill.  Maybe even more important for your buddies to know.  During hunting season, we wear that cheap orange vest so our buddies don’t shoot us in the face with a shotgun.  Not a very practical fashion accessory for your patrol uniform.

 

 

 

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And from Recoil Magazine, a short story on Kalashnikov USAThey will be making them in  Florida soon.

 

 

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And just in case those new AK’s made in Florida aren’t just as good as those old ones made in the factory back in Tula,   M+M, Inc. is starting to roll out their model M10XWhen you throw an AK and an AR into the chipper and wave the magic wand over the big pile of plastic and metal chips, you’d get something like this.  Romanian reliability mixed with American know-how in Colorado.  You do like making bigger holes, don’t you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 2015 Supplemental

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The Oathkeepers are in the Galice Mining District of Josephine County, Oregon, in an ongoing operation and are requesting volunteers for various duties for what may become a long-term operation (years). 

 

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In particular, we need:

HAM radio operators, medical personnel, tactical teams, do it yourself guys, logistics, IT people, patrol and security crews.

 

We run teams around the clock so we need hundreds of volunteers. It’s time to step up and serve your beliefs. You will learn skills as well that you can take back to your own community.

 

Why do we need help? It is critical that we protect the mine, and the cabin and equipment at the mine, because of the well documented history of BLM burning down cabins and confiscating property at whim, without due process. We have spoken to multiple miners and even retired BLM officers who have relayed past examples of BLM setting fire to cabins, including occupied cabins (with residents having to scramble out of a burning cabin to avoid being killed). The miners do not trust the BLM for good reason and they fear that once there are not enough security volunteers BLM will drop the hammer on them Burning their cabin and stealing their equipment which is common (which is then held for years, while the miners try to get it back – that is BLM’s standard M.O.). That is why they asked for help in the first place, and that need has not gone away.


It is critical that we support and protect patriotic Americans who are standing up for themselves and their rights. The miners are now making a brave stand against the pattern of BLM abuse that they have suffered for years. We need to stand with them, and you need to stand with them. Please volunteer to help them.

 

http://oathkeepersjoco.com/

 

Traveling 2500 miles to set up camp and volunteer for a few weeks might not be an option for a lot of you.  Sending donations could help fund somebody that can go. 

 

This is something we need to think more about.  The possibility of some group  needing help, like these miners, is getting to be more common and this type of information is quickly spread in our on-line community.  Being prepared and equipped to go, on short notice (maybe not 2500 miles) and to be able to offer a few useable bodies for whatever role is needed, is a lofty yet noble goal for any militia group.  This is pretty much Minutemen type work.  How does this scenario fit into our plans?  

 

Along different lines, a little peek into the future comes from Tyler over at Zero Hedge.  Once again we find the economic numbers set out for general consumption are being manipulated to “enhance your economic outlook”.  Economic collapse is just one of the doorways to so many other unpleasant events leading to that time when Training Phase is over and the actual doing begins.  It will be here sooner that anyone wants.

 

May 2015 Notes

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May FTF will be held at Training Area West at 1300 on the 17th.  There will be an AAR from the Spring PATCON of the week before.  Should have a presentation on reports from NPFD1 and CPX Black Swan.  Both exercises yielded useful results.  A lot of people contributed.  A lot of INTEL was gathered.  One of the most useful items I learned was about the VOCAP HF Propagation tools available that makes for quick “best useable frequency” predictions between two stations.  Lessons learned this time out to be applied to the next field day exercise.  Getting a better antenna might be a good start.

 

In addition to RECON practices this summer, we need to get back onto the subject of IFAKS and basic field medical practice.  Doc Grouch was kind enough to supply the packing list for the M5 medic kit.

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And any questions about selecting tourniquets is addressed in the NEDU Technical Report 07-07 where they compared 13 different styles of tourniquets under various conditions and on different body parts along with user feedback. 

 

Finally, a little pep talk from J. C. Dodge up at Mason Dixon Tactical on Leadership, Motivation and Support.  It’s a short read.  Something to keep in mind as we go thru this summer.

 

Leonidas

 

Patriot’s Day 2015

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Patriot’s Day has been all about remembering the Battle of Lexington and Concord and “The Shot Heard Around the World”.  It’s not remembered as “Tyrants Day” for a reason.

 

Free From Tyrants

 

This year, we have a schedule of events on a larger scale than ever before for all of you Militia and Minutemen.  There is National Patriot’s Field Day 2015 and a subset called CPX Black Swan.  Participation across the states is estimated to be in the thousands and there may be that many more participating on the local level only.  We will be working out the bugs as we go along in this exercise with an eye towards making this easier next time.  There will be a next time.

NPFD 2015/1 OPORD

CPX BLACK SWAN

 

Along these lines, I am reminded of a story from a year ago promoting the view from the gun control folks, that in today’s time period, an armed citizenry has no hope of wresting control of the country from a tyrannical government.  Seems the liberals of the gun control lobby have yet to meet any tyrannical governments that they didn’t like.  It would really be bad for them on the day they do if there were no “well-regulated militias” willing to save their little butts from the fire.

And some of us are spread out into other areas this Patriot’s Day.  Keep in mind the Oath Keepers and volunteers out at the Josephine County, Oregon gold mines.  Donate or volunteer on their site set up just for this event.

 

Flight of  The Wookies

 

 

 

 

 

April 2015 Notes

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April FTX will commence at 1100 on the 19th. Location TBD. This is part of NPFD 2015/1. 19APR is also Patriot’s Day, remembering the Battle at Lexington Green.  Bring your three-day rapid deployment gear.

There will be a second presentation on the details from the Grid-Down Comm Class and a debrief on the field trip to visit the NC 3rd BATTALION, 51st MOUNTAIN DIVISION.

An important topic for discussion will be NC PATCON that starts 6MAY. Remember, CPX Black Swan is coming up.

 

1 1 Freedom

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