September 2016 Notes

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September FTX will commence at 1000 on the 24th and run thru 1500 on the 25th. Topics to discuss are water purification methods and useful knot tying. This will be the weekend before NC PATCON. Anyone planning on attending needs to send Brock your monies today or sooner.

Hurricane activity has increased this month, so it would be a good time to review your emergency plans for your families. The Emergency Plan forms can be had from FEMA.  It’s a good thing to plan ahead.  Make a plan, and then practice that plan to make sure it works for you.

 

 

Fun23

 

 

Just last month, Germany’s Defense Minister called upon all Germans to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe. “The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days.”   A Concept for Civil Defense.  Great that things are going so remarkably well here that our government actually discourages anyone from keeping a supply of food and water.   Just a thought.

 

 

 

Germany Tells Citizens: Stockpile Food and Water

 

If you need some help figuring your way thru short-term preparedness, there is a good reference recently from George Patton.

 

 

 

huckleberry

 

If you think your best option is to just get as far away as possible from your part of the world that may be headed  into the mud, Matt Bracken wrote several years ago about why these times are the best ever to find you a good used sailboat and spend some time exploring your options on the water.  Potentially less stressful and no lawn to mow.  

 

Here’s a good place to start if you already have some skills.  40 footer, already in Florida.  $50,000.  Not perfect but good enough to get underway.

 

 

Morgan Out Island 41 foot

   

      

 

An important piece of gear to consider, if you’re about to go wandering about, is an upgrade to your precious and indispensable little smart phone.  Planning ahead dictates you take a look at a SatPhone.  Lots of uses and no roaming charges in the whole world.  A little iffy os signal as you travel nearer the poles.  You weren’t planning on camping out near McMurdo Bay anyway. A pdf put out for First Responders outlining the capabilities and sensibilities of carrying one of these little gems is worth the read.  Voice, text, and your own wi-fi hotspot when you’re in a tight spot.  They call them “Instant Infrastructure” for a reason, and well worth the small price as insurance against the unexpected.

 

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Just remember that events can unfold quickly and change for the worse, or the better, in a big way.

 

 

Original Assault Rifle

 

 

Even if you’re heading for other parts on a boat, it’s still a good idea to have a good pack to have your gear organized for that occasional overnight excursion ashore.  The current Gear Tasting video at ITS Tactical has a short review on the  LBT 1476A-V2 pack with a detachable sustainment pack  from London Bridge Trading.  A great place to shop when you have an unlimited budget.  

 

 

 

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For comparison, the new standard issue backpack that lets you carry even more of your stuff deep into third world hell-holes is the Improved Load Bearing Equipment backpack.    Might make surplus MOLLE equipment a little cheaper if everyone starts buying these new style packs.  Looks like it goes against current wisdom of packing less and gaining some mobility.  How much stuff do you really want to lug around for the next 20 km and then have to actually do something that requires your brain when you get there?

 

 

Speaking of training, our buddy Max is finally leveraging his extensive professional training and experience into  a premium, subscriber service on the web.  Pontificating  (for free) on the web takes a lot of his time that would be better spent training  at his camp.  Low level basic stuff can be had from a lot of good sources (for free).  We’ve done that here for years.  The premium, hands-on, and you might actually get dirty and sweaty and not get to play with your phone every ten minutes sort of stuff isn’t available just anywhere, anytime, for everybody with a RealTree camo hat.  Rural  Buddy Team training at Mason Dixon Tactical and Combat Team Tactics and Combat Patrol training from Max are pretty much the “Gold Standard”, short of going back to Fort Benning for a couple months.  Maybe not for everybody, but for those serious about their training, make this a priority while it’s still available.

 

 

 

 

Not an Assault Rifle

August 2016 Supplemental

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It’s  a bit hypnotizing to watch another big American city burn for three nights with race riots, and Europe implode under the pressure of the invading horde of Muslims, and the MSM totally spewing propaganda over the Presidential election.  This has all been in the making for quite some time.  The reason for Community Preparedness Teams, Mutual Assistance Groups, and Militias incredible growth over the past couple of decades has been because many people can see where this road leads  and want to be ahead of the curve of this country’s  disintegration.   The time to kick back and enjoy the ‘bread and circuses’ is long gone.  You probably will admit you don’t have enough ammo or supplies to get thru the next 10 years of revolution.  You can make the most of what you have by working on increasing your INTEL base and making good plans.

 

In William Lind’s 4th Generation Warfare Handbook, there is a short chapter called  “Light Infantry Training Objectives”.  The differences between standard Army Line Infantry and 4GW Light Infantry is described as mostly one of pacing.

 

Patience:  The need for patience is, perhaps, the greatest difference between light infantry and line infantry.  Light infantry operations proceed much more slowly, primarily due to the requirement for light infantry to operate stealthily.  It takes time to discover targets, reconnoiter suitable ambush sites, and move covertly.  Training must reflect this.

 

Speed:  While setting up a light infantry action requires patience, when action occurs, it must be over fast, before the enemy can react. The light infantry then normally goes covert again.  Decision-making in the light infantry is also characterized by speed.  Light infantry leaders must be prepared to react immediately to unforeseen situations with changes in their plans.  They seldom have the luxury of other forces coming to their rescue.  They cannot afford to be pinned down physically or mentally.  Snap decisions often mean the difference between success and failure.  Delaying a decision once action commences is usually dangerous.

 

“Jager” mindset:  Light infantrymen are hunters on the battlefield and every effort should be made to impress this upon new members of the unit.  All hunters require fieldcraft of a high order.  Light infantry should hunt enemies the same way they hunt game.

 

In a later chapter, Lind lists these light infantry training objectives as flexibility, weapons proficiency, learning to operate patiently, stealth and stalking, survival training, and physical fitness.  And also sections of land-nav, surveillance, and medical training.  Starting to sound familiar?

 

 

 

Russia is once again moving along the Ukrainian border and into Crimea.  Map and details over at Institute for the Study of War.  There is still the rumblings around Donbass area and separatists that Russia could care less about if they weren’t operating too closely to their important Black Sea bases in Crimea.   There is a whole lot of movement of men and equipment by air, land and sea.  Worked pretty well last time.   And when you get a look at the local militias, they are doing the same dumb things we see with militias here.  They make radio pouches for a reason.

 

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And not too far away from the Black Sea region, Russia recently made some arrangement with Iran for  temporary forward staging at the airfield in Hamadan.  From there the Tu-22M3 bombers fly less than 1000 km to get to Syria, flying straight over Iraq.  Round trip —  about an hour.  The Tu-22 is a little bigger than our old F-111 and a bit smaller than our old B-1B, that we still fly over there regularly.  Round trip — about 15 hours.

 

 

Backfire-C-MAKS-2005-Tupolev-1

 

 

But before you get too worried about the #2 competitor for the Super Power of the World title, there is this quick summary, from Russia, about how they’re not interested in risking their new-found successes in capitalism by starting any large-scale wars with the West.  Business is good when you’re swimming in a glut of oil.

 

And this is where this long-winded lecture is going:  our country has been sputtering around with an overall strategy plan from George Kennan based on a post WWII world view.  The military has castrated anyone that could clearly espouse the role of the U.S. military on the world stage.  What that has left is short termed political/special interest efforts to steer the small twists and turns of foreign policy and trade agreements that are not built with the purpose of positioning the U.S. on solid ground internationally.  Domestically, those same political/special interest efforts are working to dumb down the populace through a culture war.  This is the biggest threat to anyone wanting to preserve  American ideals.    What are we doing to stop that?   This is the time for 4th Generation Warfare and  we need to choose our battles wisely.  As Regan  pointed out back in the spring of 1961,

  

  

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” 

 

 

August 2016 Notes

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August FTX will commence at 1000 on the 20th at OP1, Training Area North.  We have some new maps to work with for Land-Nav and also will be continuing the FBI Pistol Qualification Drill that we started last month.  The FTX date has been moved up to accommodate those wanting to go Prepper Camp in Saluda on 16-18 SEPT, and NC Patcon 28 SEPT – 3 OCT, and feel it’s just too many weekends with meetings around Labor Day weekend.

Depending on how this years Presidential Election goes, it might be wise to enjoy one last holiday that celebrates the “workingman’s holiday”, as an American.  That still has to mean something.

 

 

The funeral for Mike Vanderboegh was held on Saturday, 13 August, down in Leeds, AL.  Mike finally succumbed to cancer on the 10th.  He was a good friend and a Patriot.  The family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to the American Cancer Society.

 

 

MV at Gravelly Point RTC Rally

 

 

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There is a short article on a configurable water filter,  via KitUp, from Recoil Mag.  A little more complicated than your regular Survival Straw, the MUV Adaptable Water Filter from Renovo  would be useful when working in certain conditions.  Like Rio.

 

 

 

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And to carry your Survival Straw, and some other gear, discretely,  there is a very nice looking and functional bag from Grey Ghost Gear.  The Wanderer Bag.  From those  little guys at BreachBangClear.

 

 

 

BBC-Wanderer-1

 

 

That Wanderer Bag would make a good component in your Emergency Plans  for dealing with threats you might face in public places.  Lots of crazy things going on in the bigger cities these days, especially in those with lots of crazy rules “intended to reduce gun violence”.    A few good recommendations from ITS Tactical on the subject.  Think of it as  your most important  Personal Protection Detail.

 

 

Part of any PPD is most likely your favorite AR style rifle, which is really handy if you’ve trained with it a lot and know how to zero it for optimum use.  This story, also from ITS Tactical, tells you how to figure that out.  All without mentioning “maximum point blank range” is  almost 280 yards for XM855.  And in practice, anything over about 250 yards goes to OverWatch anyway.  Just to make sure.  Good stuff starts 7:00 minutes in to that video.

 

 

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Been re-reading “Brave New War” by John Robb here lately.  That book was written in 2006 and looks back on the  second Iraq War  in the Persian Gulf and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  Goes into a lot of depth describing the evolution of wars leading up to the current  proxy wars with insurgents and the basics of 4th Generation Warfare.  A more specific study comes from The Intercept, where a new batch of SIDToday were published.  This batch is from late 2003 and detail the struggle of the NSA and the military to understand and cope with Iraqi insurgent communications and deployment of IEDs.  The high-tech equipment and strategy of the West was initially a hindrance  and took quite a while to shift gears to deal with low tech.  A lot of those techniques developed by the NSA back then are still in use today and in use everywhere.  Can you say, “Utah Data Center”?

 

 

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And finally, from NCScout,  a story with local flavourBrocken Specter, II.  Quite likely a conversation we all will be having soon enough.

 

 

 

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brushbeater brocken spectre, II

July 2016 Notes

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July FTX will commence at 1000 hours on the 30th at Training Area North.  Come up early friday night if you can.  Subjects to be covered are IFAKs/Med Kits,  how to pack for a three-day security patrol, and recon techniques.  This will be our first shooting exercise in a while.  We will have a few NRA Certified instructors on hand and will be practicing the timed FBI  qualification shoot.  Review video at the middle of the training video list.  So bring your pistol bag, and bring a friend and their pistol bag, and we’ll see how this goes.  And yes, there will be a range safety briefing beforehand, thanks for asking.

 

For those of you using Signal for secure texting and phone calls, there is a story at The Intercept covering a few extra steps you should consider, just to ensure your OPSEC is as complete as you know it should be.

 

Although Signal is well-designed, there are extra steps you must take if you want to maximize the security for your most sensitive conversations — the ones that could be misinterpreted by an employer, client, or airport security screener; might be of interest to a snooping government, whether at home or abroad; or could allow a thief or hacker to blackmail you or steal your identity.

 

 

In the July 8th edition of the Appalachian Messenger, there is a story that was a guest post by John Meyers, also found at ZeroGov, about planning your training for less of the extreme SHTF scenarios and on more of the common everyday scenarios that you will be regularly experiencing when you’re not out fighting that Zombie Horde.

 

 

What this community needs is an accurate threat analysis.  Threats need to be defined and essentially listed out from the most likely to the least likely to occur. One is more likely to encounter a crime on the street, before ISIS shows up in your bedroom. You are going to encounter a home invasion or an active shooter before an insurgency against the United States or Mad Max II.

 

 

Our buddy Max also has a few words on how his training curricula fits in to this way of thinking.

 

 

So I think with some individuals out there, the training progression is misunderstood. I don’t expect the Chinese to be parachuting in over my house tonight. But I want to prepare you for threats with a holistic approach to training. Because the flip side of this is that if you don’t consider it possible that there is a chance of a collapse in some form, that may result in anything from Balkanization, Rhodesia, or a total zombie apocalypse, then you are living in a sad state of normalcy bias. The list of potential threats is a continuum, from what may happen exiting the movie theater tonight, to when that cyber attack turns the lights off. If you are armed with a handgun or rifle, and find yourself in an active shooter terrorist situation, which appear to be becoming more common, why would you not think that the lessons from CTT on cover and concealment, fire and movement, individual movement techniques, awareness, scanning etc are not relevant to you and your family having a chance of surviving?

 

 

These two stories should set you on the right path to think about another story by Justin King over at ZeroHedge on the 5 stages of an insurgency, and who says now, after the police shootings in Dallas, we are in stage four.  According to that story, every revolution that has progressed to stage 4 has gone on to stage 5, which is widespread rebellion and insurrection.

 

 

 

The timing of all these events just happen to be leading up to the political party conventions next week in Cleveland and Philadelphia.  For the background preparations for the Cleveland convention, there is a good ORGCHART from our buddies at NORTHCOM available at Public IntelligenceThis is planning on a scale that makes FEMA proud.

 

DoD-OhioRNC16_Page_15-768x576

 

 

 

Also, over at NC Renegade’s site, you’ll find this video from SouthernPrepper1.  Not so much a discussion of the FBI’s recommendation not to press charges for security breaches over her email scandal, but more to the point about the implications on the loss of governmental accountability and the further slide into WROL conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of prepping, we just missed the  Survival Expo in Raleigh this past weekend.    This is part of a country-wide series of expos so you have a chance to catch the next one at Columbia at the end of this month.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

 

 

And one last thing.  Something on the humorous and maybe a little ridiculous side is this article from Radio Master Reports.  Ignore the frequency charts, but maybe after looking at twenty pictures of all those militia types, you can tell me what they’re all doing wrong.

 

 

Yeah.  Don’t be “that guy“!

 

militia_missouri_wouxun_kguv6d_2015a

 

 

June 2016 Notes

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June FTF will begin at 1400 on the 26th . Location: Training Area West.  Items to discuss are PatCon 9,  Land-Nav, and upcoming July FTX.  Weather should be about perfect for this time of the year.

 

A story to read this month is over at ITS Tactical on the subject of medkits and medical training.  Not so much on what stuff to get but more how to think about the why you’re going to need medkits and training, and how you’re going to use them, then figuring out what stuff will work best to get that done.  Some things are just mission specific.  This is another one.

 

 

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PatCon 9 was a little different this time.  Only had about a quarter of the usual suspects show up.  But we still had a really good round table discussion and several  good equipment demos.  And the raffle included a couple great items like a Ruger 10-22 TacStar and a Uniden BCD436HP Home Patrol portable scanner.  Start planning now for PatCon 10 in the fall.  Most likely the weekend of 1-2 OCT.

 

Not the usual 100 person Big Top.

 

 

The Small Awning

 

The 100 meter walk for figuring pace count for the map and compass training.  Mine was 70, there and back both.  But that’s without any gear.

 

 

Hundred Meter Walk

 

And the family dog.  Real friendly, too.

 

 

The Pooch

 

May 2016 Supplemental

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 anmt_3

 

 

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.

https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/startup_options/bridge_mode/index.en.html

 

HIDING TOR FROM YOUR ISP – PART 1 – BRIDGES AND PLUGGABLE TRANSPORTS

 

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

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