May 2016 Supplemental

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Recently found this site developed at Joint Base Lewis McChord near Lakewood, Washington, called Operational Environment  Training Support Center.  Looks to be two years old, maybe a little older.  Uses special software to make training modules for modern Army soldiers, recognizing that many new recruits spent way too much of their youth in the America’s Army videogame.   Probably works efficiently enough and nobody has to go outside in the fresh air and sunshine and get all dirty and sweaty actually doing anything.  The uniforms are always spotlessly clean and nobody has to die trying.    Since these modules are filled  with essential basic training concepts, and good enough for the Army to spend $145 million developing this training platform, maybe they deserve  a little looking at when they can be had for free and without any long-term contractual involvement with the Recruiter.  So there are a few links to YouTube videos over on the sidebar under the heading of OE TSC TRADOC G2.

May 2016 Notes

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May FTF will commence at 1400 on Sunday the 22nd at Training Area West.  Subjects to cover are Secure Comms  and RECON Patrols.  Summertime is here and we’re all out and about a lot more, so we’ll try making SPOT Reports again for a while.


NC PATCON starts 1JuneIf you can make the trip, even just for the Saturday session, we need to send our monies in by the 20th.



Meanwhile, a little further from home – –


Every year, more than a million pounds of illegal drugs pass over the U.S. border from Mexico. Arizona is one of the busiest sectors for marijuana seizures, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And now more than ever, groups of men and women from all over the country — including here in North Carolina — are taking it upon themselves to watch over the border.

It’s a trip sponsored by groups like the 3% United Patriots and OathKeepers, who rally support and funding online.

The men and women who make up the nongovernment organizations are from all across the country and motivated by many different reasons.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that North Carolina has about 325,000 “unauthorized” immigrants, giving the state the ninth-highest illegal immigrant population in the U.S.



From Small Wars Journal  on the war in Syria and 4GW in general:


The use of cyber capabilities has also facilitated the rise of 4GW in the Syrian conflict. Previously, it was difficult for a belligerent to directly communicate with, yet alone attack, the civilian population of their enemy. However, with social media, non-state actors like ISIL can directly publicize their message to global audiences and encourage internal lone wolf attacks on their enemies. The use of cyber capabilities has allowed these groups to directly target the enemy’s civilian population, which has made 4GW possible. The success of this strategy against Western nations will likely encourage other actors to employ 4GW in the future.


Lesson to be learned here concerning 4GW:  drop out of social media as much as you can and as quick as you can.  Our own government employs minions with the task of, for lack of a better term, Counter Intelligence, and just because you’re not interested in them, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in you.




 As a long-time user of Tails and Tor, it was always a nagging concern that there might be something basically wrong with using an internet tool designed by DARPA for use in the worst case scenario of getting your important data thru on a poorly performing internet, compromised  either by accident or by design, i. e. clandestine use by resistance groups in countries where the government has shut down or severely restricted internet usage.  This isn’t “Network Magic” or even something even slightly secret.  It’s all in the routing and the guys at DARPA know how that works and that’s why they came up with Tor.  Tails is just a stripped bare and clean environment that provide the platform to run Tor.


So it should be no big surprise that someone who worked on the Tor Project lucked in to a job with those data security experts at the FBI to develop software for them to exploit Tor.  You think the FBI might automatically see all Tor users as criminals?  Maybe we should just store all our important data on a cloud server (also known as the Utah Data Center) for safe keeping. 




Matt Edman is a cybersecurity expert who worked as a part-time employee at Tor Project, the nonprofit that builds Tor software and maintains the network, almost a decade ago.

Since then, he’s developed potent malware used by law enforcement to unmask Tor users. It’s been wielded in multiple investigations by federal law-enforcement and U.S. intelligence agencies in several high-profile cases.

By 2012, Edman was working at Mitre Corporation as a senior cybersecurity engineer assigned to the FBI’s Remote Operations Unit, the bureau’s little-known internal team tapped to build or buy custom hacks and malware for spying on potential criminals. With an unparalleled pedigree established from his time inside the Tor Project, Edman became an FBI contractor tasked with hacking Tor as part of Operation Torpedo, a sting against three Dark Net child pornography sites that used Tor to cloak their owners and patrons.

In addition to working on Operation Torpedo, Edman also did dozens of hours of work on the federal case against Silk Road, the first major Dark Net marketplace, and its convicted creator Ross Ulbricht. According to testimony, it was Edman who did the lion’s share of the job tracing $13.4 million in bitcoins from Silk Road to Ulbricht’s laptop, which played a key role in Ulbricht being convicted and sentenced to two life terms in federal prison. Edman worked as a senior director at FTI Consulting at the time.




But, all this doesn’t mean you should just give up.  No way.  You’re just going to have to work a little smarter.  And there’s an app for that, more or less.



GroundRod Primer

Yeah? So what.
Everyone here by now must realize that they will not stop. Learn how to use TOR bridges and OBFS4 proxies. Learn to run layered tunnels (VPN-Bridge-TOR-VPN). Learn to setup hardened access-points and run virtual routers that can be burned on demand.
Don’t let their shenanigans paralyse you…






And over at Radio Free Redoubt, there was some discussion on this same topic.  Getting pretty popular these days as we step things up a level or two or three.



Also reference a little of that same material in the  article below:



When using Tor with Tails in its default configuration, anyone who can observe the traffic of your Internet connection (for example your Internet Service Provider and perhaps your government and law enforcement agencies) can know that you are using Tor.

This may be an issue if you are in a country where the following applies:

1. Using Tor is blocked by censorship: since all connections to the Internet are forced to go through Tor, this would render Tails useless for everything except for working offline on documents, etc.

2. Using Tor is dangerous or considered suspicious: in this case starting Tails in its default configuration might get you into serious trouble.

Tor bridges, also called Tor bridge relays, are alternative entry points to the Tor network that are not all listed publicly. Using a bridge makes it harder, but not impossible, for your Internet Service Provider to know that you are using Tor.




UPDATE —  From The Intercept, not only is the FBI exploiting some weakness in Tor, but they recently took over one website and injected malware onto the computers visiting that site that made them traceable.  There is a lawsuit and the FBI is having to provide details on the exploit.  The more interesting thing is that Mozilla, the makers of Firefox browser, want to see those details first because, yep, you guessed it, Tor browser is based on Firefox code which means a vulnerability in one is an exploit in the other.



“Insurgencies are easy to make and hard to stop. Only a few ingredients need to combine to create an insurgency; like oxygen and fire, they’re very common and mix all too often. The recipe is, simply, a legitimate grievance against a state, a state that refuses to compromise, a quorum of angry people, and access to weapons.”

— Richard Engel


Cabin Fireplace

April 2016 Supplemental

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Been thinking some about Patriot’s Day this year and how long ago and far away it is back to the Rude bridge at Lexington Green.   Seems to be a real spate of good stories this spring addressing some of the basic topics that deserve more vigorous discussion in the Militia community.  Thought it would be useful to string a few together in one place.  These resources are available, for now, and well worth the five minutes or so it will take you to read them.  Hope you find some inspiration as to where we need to be today.  And a big “Thank You” to all these guys that are willing to spoon-feed us those things which we should already know.


First, from Ol’ Remus at the Woodpile Report (421), a short discussion on rifles of the type we should all have for that transition to Post SHTF times.


Let’s talk doomsday guns.‭ ‬You’ll not be shocked to learn my opinions are resolutely and firmly based on not much experience,‭ ‬even less technical expertise and wholly unsupported conjecture.‭ ‬As Groucho would put it,‭ ‬if you don’t like my opinions,‭ ‬I have others.‭



Guns can only be as good as the cartridge they shoot,‭ ‬so let’s start there.‭ ‬The‭ ‬.223/5.56‭ ‬of AR fame is a middling good tradeoff of cartridge size,‭ ‬case capacity and terminal effect.‭ ‬My opinion:‭ ‬it’s an okay short to medium-range cartridge but there’s little to recommend it other than the rifles it fits.‭ ‬It’s not particularly flat shooting,‭ ‬and as with all light bullets,‭ ‬it’s drifts a lot in not much wind,‭ ‬runs out of oomph quickly and is ineffective against even modest cover.



Yes,‭ ‬when‭ ‬.223/5.56‭ ‬ammo is available it’s cheap and plentiful,‭ ‬but it also means it’s the first to get scarce in a shortage.‭ ‬In a Mad Max vs.‭ ‬Zombies scenario there’s likely to be a glut of ARs dying of starvation following orgies of suppressive fire,‭ ‬or described more correctly,‭ ‬filling the air with lead to no good purpose.‭ ‬Ammo may be more valuable than the rifles that shoot it.‭



If I find myself in a shootout it will be because I was inexcusably careless,‭ ‬not because I decided to take up the life of a partisan.‭ ‬A close-in dustup is an even more egregious failure to stay away from crowds.‭ ‬First place always goes to Not Being There,‭ ‬but a‭ ‬12‭ ‬gage loaded with full house double-ought seems an efficient way to redeem such a blunder,‭ ‬with an assist from a sidearm.‭



And a flamethrower.



The AR is a brilliant concept but compromised both by the‭ ‬.223/5.56‭ ‬and the‭ ‬.308‭ ‬round,‭ ‬each for different reasons.‭ ‬Something in the neighborhood of‭ ‬.25‭ ‬caliber with a bullet weight in the range of‭ ‬85‭ ‬to‭ ‬100‭ ‬grains would bring out all the platform has to offer.‭ ‬The AR-15‭ ‬could be a wonderweapon instead of a beauty queen stuck with a cheap date.‭ ‬This isn’t original with me,‭ ‬the same thing was argued about the M1‭ ‬Garand,‭ ‬by Garand his own self.



If it comes to an era of collapse into violent disarray,‭ ‬a good quality bolt action in‭ ‬.308‭ ‬is my survival rifle of preference,‭ ‬equipped with a rifleman’s sling and first-rate iron sights topped with a compact scope of modest power.‭ ‬No showpieces please.‭ ‬Simple,‭ ‬reliable and lovable.‭ ‬In stainless with a plastic stock it’s as impervious to weather and general corruption as can be managed.‭ ‬The‭ ‬.308‭ ‬will take down anything I’ll encounter,‭ ‬four legs or two.‭



Notice I said survival rifle.‭ ‬It’s not my intention or desire to live like an battlefield infantryman,‭ ‬getting involved in one firefight after another,‭ ‬but should lethal force be required against an armed opponent,‭ ‬front line soldiers did just fine with crank action Mausers or Springfields or Lee Enfields or Mosin Nagants.‭ ‬The idea is to avoid being drawn into,‭ ‬or stumbling into,‭ ‬situations where an opponent with a semi-auto has any advantage.‭


.308‭ ‬rounds take up much more space than an equal count of‭ ‬.223/5.56‭ ‬so my everyday carry would be less,‭ ‬but it’s a long range cartridge,‭ ‬meaning many hundreds of yards,‭ ‬even for merely competent shooters.‭ ‬In a full-on homicidal collapse it will reliably take out marauders at distances that all but defeat‭ ‬.223/5.56‭ ‬return fire from the likelier shooters.‭ ‬And cover for a‭ ‬165‭ ‬grain bullet is a whole different proposition than for a‭ ‬.223/5.56.‭



ARs are now so popular most owners are fad-‭’‬n-fashion urban people,‭ ‬not riflemen,‭ ‬certainly not hunters,‭ ‬usually not even casual shooters.‭ ‬Think of‭ “‬spray and pray‭” ‬trigger-pullers who had their rifle bore-sighted by the sales clerk and haven’t sighted it in since,‭ ‬much less used it in regular practice.‭ ‬Should they decide to augment their resources with those of a decent marksman,‭ ‬imagine their disappointment when they take a solid hit while knee deep in brass.‭



Basic shooting positions taught to‭ ‬1918‭ ‬doughboys look like advanced combat training to‭ ‘‬em because,‭ ‬in their experience,‭ ‬a shootout is something police and unfashionable miscreants do on a standup basis in a burger place or on the street outside,‭ ‬fully accessorized with freeze-frames and a voice-over delivering the official homily du jour.‭ ‬Exchanging lead while lying in the mud‭ ‘‬n weeds is outside their discomfort zone to even consider.‭ ‬For these guys it had better be a calm,‭ ‬comfortable day with their opponents tied to stakes reasonably nearby.


A good quality rifle like Ol’ Remus is talking about could be this $650 Howa 1500 in .243 Winchester.  Same price as a useable AR.  The cartridge  is basically a .308 case necked down a little to .243 and are available from 55  up to 110 grains, with 90 and 100 gr the most prevalent at Ammo Seek,  so you could pick the right size for the job, from shooting crow to deer, or whatever.  Maximum point-blank range for the 95 grain size is 300 yards.  Same as  your 130 gr .270 or my 180 gr .300 WSM.  Just too many hills and trees in these parts to shoot much beyond that.   Still too much gun for squirrels, but that’s what your .22 is for.  And with $20 worth of Conibear spring traps, you can save that .22 ammo for something else.





And a good inexpensive scope to go with it might be this $30 Simmons 4 x 32.  Fairly well-built, but if it does break, you can just replace it with another and you’re good to go.  Nothing like affordable spares.





Sam Culper of Forward Observer, this month writes on a USAID report on Latin America called , What Works in Reducing Community Violence.



Using the spectrum above, we can describe local conflicts during a SHTF scenario to help us better understand our security problem.  After we define the problem, we can begin actively working towards a solution.




In conclusion, I want to stress that community security starts now.  We have to be standing up our Community Protection Teams and identifying problems that our community could face in the future.  The more problems we can solve today are problems that don’t grow out of control tomorrow. 


Essential Elements of Community Security

The White Rose had a short story on learning how to run an operation by looking how the criminal organizations run theirs.  Not that we all want to be successful criminal organizations, but we really could use many of their practices and techniques, and for the same reasons they use them.  Many useful items there.  Plus we already pay a whole slew of State and Federal agencies to figure this stuff out so this information is nearly free for the asking.  We should ask.



Decentralized Cell Operations: Can We Learn From Criminals?

The difference between the person who ignores security practices and wants everyone to be loud and proud under one big banner,‭ ‬and the person who understands how to truly effectively operate,‭ ‬is the difference between the‭ “‬movement‭” ‬and the resistance.


John Mosby wrote a short one over at Forward Observer Magazine on the simple METL we should all have defined for our areas and be thoroughly tired of training for, just like Land-Nav.  Always good stuff from Mosby.  Always.


The Small Group’s Mission Essential Task List, Part One


The Mission Essential Task List (METL) can be most simply described as a composite, comprehensive list of the specific tasks necessary for a unit or group to master in order to complete whatever missions they may be assigned or believe will be necessary. The METL is absolutely crucial to the preparedness group security team and the trainer in order to provide focus to the on-going training of the security team.



In order to develop a solid, realistic METL, the trainer, the team, and the leadership of the preparedness group must sit down, determine what missions they will objectively and realistically expect the team to perform, and then determine what tasks are inherently necessary to the performance of those missions. This will keep the METL development focused on realistic, achievable missions that the security team can be expected to perform effectively.



For the purposes of this article, we will focus on a small-unit security team of 8-12 personnel, focused on conducting security operations for a retreat/community in a rural or semi-rural environment characterized by scattered farms and communities with agricultural ground and timber lands interspersed.  Thus, much like most of so-called “fly-over country” in the United States of America.

The operations our security team may have to perform might include:



Defense of the physical property

Reconnaissance and security patrolling to find, fix, and finish or deter hostile aggression

Attack hostile forces, including ambushes or raids.



The final two pieces are from J.C. Dodge at Mason Dixon Tactical.  He was at the NCPATCON once a few years back.  Recently been visiting some local units up his way.  Probably won’t be dropping in on us because he’s just inside the Pennsylvania border.  Maybe that’s a good thing, because we’re not nearly ready for that kind of inspection.  Or are we?   Anyway, he’s wrote on how we should be thinking more in terms of acting as good neighbors in our communities with a little less focus on playing army. 


To put it politely.

Get with those in your area, come up with a protection plan for the “When”, not the “If”. You can only count on those within walking distance (I’d say 50 miles or so at the most), or those who plan on evacuating to your site (for God’s sake leave a day or an hour early, not a minute too late). If you think you can count on the militia group that is 150 miles away, but it can’t support its own logistics requirement for a weekend training without having to half ass it and make excuses, you are deluding yourself. Keep emotion out of the equation.



You’re preparing for a neighborhood group defense, not a martial offense. You want to know where the best “Substance” for the buck is? It’s in your realistic preps. It’s in your realistic assessment of your physical shape, and how to make it better if possible. It’s in you getting with family, friends, and neighbors to plan and train to protect what is important to you. There is no Damned exit strategy it is a “hold until relieved!” proposition. No matter what you might think about our nation, and the screwed up soup sandwich that we call our government, and all the other faults you want to name.  It’s still the beats the Hell out of anywhere else in this screwed up world, and I’m doing what I can to help secure and protect my little piece of it.



Train    Prepare    Pray


And,  in a later piece,  went on to assess the Militia community in comparison to some of the historical insurgencies in the past 50 years :




It’s a sobering thought to think that patriots have less support, less money and fewer friends than any of these historical insurgencies. It is all the more reason for us to be extremely critical of ourselves, our skills, our tactics and our tribe-building. This is not meant as a Chicken Little assessment, but rather a reason to motivate us to be serious. Things will not just work out, it will require planning and God-awful amounts of perseverance. We are Americans and we do it better, so let’s get to it…and for goodness’ sake get a pair of khaki or olive pants and quit being a gear queer!



So, well, there it is.  The yard stick of our unit readiness.  Any Militia or Patriot community unit would do well to carry out their training programs this year with these simple things in mind.  These principles of “WHAT” to be doing and “HOW” to do those things are secondary only to the “WHY” we train as a unit.




It truly is long ago and far away  back to the Rude bridge at Lexington Green.  Many changes have occurred in these United States and the American people since then.  But has the “WHY” really changed that much?







April 2016 Notes

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April FTX will commence at 1000 on the 23rd and run thru 1400 on the 24th at Training Area North, OP1.  Topics to be covered include First Line Gear and IFAKS.  Hopefully, we can start timed drills for the FBI Pistol Qualification test.  Video for that drill down on the list of Training Videos.



N.C. PATCON this summer is  1 – 6 JUNE.  Our participation this year will include a short course on maps and compass work at the beginners level.   Will be using the U.S.G.S Wayah Bald quad map that is referenced in Dan Morgans series, “The Patrol”,  just so there is a bit of realism to the navigation aspect.  Links to that series down at the bottom of the sidebar.




Brunton TruArc3 Compass

No, this isn’t even in  the slightest bit a Land-Nav course, except to help prepare people for that journey.  Not enough to even earn you that Boy Scout Orienteering Merit Badge.  Go buy yourself a good compass and sign-up for a beginners weekend course in Land-Nav after you get good with these basics.   There are several trainers throughout the state and even Dan Morgan himself runs a weekend course for a fair price.  There can be no reason for not getting good at this skill.  It is amazingly exciting when you’re really lost, even just for a little while, but it’s always just another opportunity to demonstrate your superior fieldcraft skills.




From Defensive Training Group on that subject:

Fieldcraft is a set of tactical skills and methods each NPT member requires to operate stealthily, which may be applied in various ways in hours of darkness or inclement weather throughout the year.
For NPT members, fieldcraft skills include camouflage, land navigation, knowing and being able to apply the difference between concealment from view and cover from small arms’ fire when choosing fighting positions, using the terrain and its features to mask NPT movement, obstacle crossing, selecting good firing positions, patrol base positions, effective observation, detecting enemy-fire direction and range, survival, evasion, and escape techniques.  Expertise in fieldcraft is only possible by spending the time, effort, and attention to detail in long hours of training and practice on a consistent basis.


Max teaches a good Land-Nav course at his hillside training camp too.  Short version here:


And a good enough compass would be something like this $35 Silva Ranger.

 Silva Ranger CL


Get outside and practice these skills every chance you get, then start teaching some one else.



That Other OP1 North





March Supplemental — A Path Forward

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Just finished reading NCScout’s  dissertation on “Leaderless Resistance”.  It covers the subject as well as you can ask for, and in simple English.  Should print out a few copies to keep in our Public Information Officer folders.  No matter where we came from, and no matter where we’re going to, this is the path we’ll all have to walk.  Most likely sooner than later.  The changes coming our way will be neither slow nor predictable,  so make the most of these “good old days” while you can.  We’ll all have some big stories to tell ’round the campfire when it’s over.


Whats for Breakfast


March 2016 Notes

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March FTX will commence at 0900 on the 19th at OP1, Training Area North.  This may be our last exercise at TAN until October as we are transitioning out of Rural OPS.  Intelligence gathering means real-time data from the hot zones.  Maybe not as boring as camp-craft for all you high-speed operators that are already well up the curve on middle-of-nowhere ingress and survival.  This will be more like, “How to Disappear in the Crowd”.




URME Prosthetic+on+the+Street


This becomes more challenging when accomplished in bigger cities, and sometimes the goal is not to get as far away from the metropolis as quickly as possible.  On the other side of the coin is the new military assessments of tactics in Megacities. Trying to operate in Mumbai, or Sao Paulo, or even New York City, gets highly complicated, logistically and tactically, for even large forces with 5000 to 50,000 or more people when going into cities of 10 million or more.  A lot of territory filled with potential traps, a high risk of getting separated and cut off from reinforcements and resupply, and failing comms.







A fairly recent scenario is laid out in an article over at Small Wars Journal called Using the Internet of Things to Gain and Maintain Situational Awareness in Dense Urban Environments and Mega Cities”  A report from LTC Peeke, Chief of Innovation Branch at HQ TRADOC, US Army Capabilities Integration Center.  It talks about hostage taking and  rescue operations in a high-rise building in a typical Megacity.  The report is short and outlined as a best case scenario with no complications.  The lessons to be learned are to think from the opposite direction and how to make that hostage rescue mission as insanely complicated as possible by making those things they count on to simply not work.




But back to something more local,  the Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism Division of the Texas Dept of Public Safety received their copy of the “Small Unit Commands” training manual from the DEA back at Christmas, 2009.  The DEA stumbled on their copy when they took off some dead guy they believed was Los Zetas.  The English translations are a little rough but readable.  You can read it here for the value of the shooting drills, because that’s mostly what it contains.  Your Mileage May Vary.  Pretty creative though.


And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the first week in June to be at Brock’s for the 9th NC PATCON.  The schedule of events is getting finalized and we all hope to hold another Command Post Exercise similar to the one last fall.  Brock puts in a tremendous amount of effort into these events, as do others.  You’re really missing out if you don’t come on out.


Just for some added realism maybe somebody could bring their AAV.  Haven’t found any for sale around these parts (that run), but…..








….we know of a guy selling low mileage Russian made BTR-60’s and BTR-80’s, minus some of the goodies.  Would work just as well.






Test Drive My BTR-82A



The way this girl drives that BTR-82 makes you want to buy two.




You do remember your small animal tracking from camp-craft training, don’t you?   Mating season for these little guys should be over this month, but we keep an eye out for them anyway up here at OP1.




skunk tracks



February Notes Supplemental

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After listening to the podcast from Sam over at Forward Observer, we are reminded of the urgency to fill one of those billets that no one has officially volunteered  to take.  Namely, the job of Public Information Officer.  In the case of some major regional event where we get that opportunity to participate, there will eventually be curious people with many questions  that will require clear and thoughtful answers that would be best provided by a single point of contact.  This is the bread and butter job of a Public Information Officer, because, as is often the case, your CO and XO will already have their hands full. 


So in order to cultivate this skill among our ranks, and we each should have a minimum competency in this area, we have a recommended place to start working on this, at your earliest possible convenience.  Once again, our well-organized buddies at FEMA have a short online training class called IS-29.  And just to get those clear and thoughtful answers figured out a little in advance, an Emergency Operations Plan from Fictitious County contains guidelines for many possible scenarios.   Down load  and look it over.   We’ll go over this at the next FTX.  The good thing about being part of a large Militia is that we are loosely organized as disjointed and dispersed cells  and all share a common set of plans.  Public Information Officer can be thought of as RECON in possibly hostile territory, but with a high probability to win the  hearts and minds in our AO.  It’s just as important as all the other jobs we do and we need to do it well.


Sword of the Warrior


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