September 2015 Supplemental


The Appalachian Redoubt is our backyard, and there are many fellow Militia groups within the region.  We have made contact with less than half and listed only a few as “Neighbors”.   There are just a few groups that currently are working on their outreach programs, in an effort to link up with the other groups and attract new members at the same time.  Many of them have a good training program and a cadre of capable members.  Between reading this story at Western Rifle Shooters and this one from Oath Keepers, you get a little look into how good some of this training can get.







This maybe reflects a change in the  Oath Keepers relationship with militias, or the militias’ relationship with the Oath Keepers.  Maybe both.  But most of those Militiamen in this picture, taken in front of the Oath Keepers helicopter, were at the Oath Keepers Summit at  Gilbert Creek, WV,  at the end of last month.  The relationship might have just been embryonic then, and still tenuous.  This is quite a remarkable development and shows perseverance does produce results.  Professionalism  can oftentimes open doors like nothing else can.


September 2015 Notes

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September FTX will commence at 1800 on the 18th at Training Area North.  This will be a whole weekend to get everybody back into the field and try out all that new gear you accumulated over the summer.  That means you need to repack your gear and oil up those firearms before coming out.  We will be hitting Rural OPS pretty hard the next three months so your gear needs to be ready.  Big items on the list are Small Unit Movements, Hand Signals and Land-Nav.  So Bring your compass, your notebooks and your good boots.  There is a lot of work to get done.


And during the summer, Dan Morgan has been continuing his training story, The Patrol.  Up to Chapter 7 now.  They are just about seven klicks west of the Appalachian Trail heading west-south-west across the ridges. Written so well, you’ll feel like you’re right there crossing the creek with them.  Links to the individual chapters down near the bottom on the Sidebar.  Read them as a training exercise, because that’s what they are.

Here’s the whole map.

nc_wayah-bald 1957 map for part-6



Another training site.  Pulse Fire Arms interestingly enough, has  a package course of on-line study designed just for groups that need a progression of training leading towards the defense of a neighborhood or community  Group access to these training modules on their website is  only $1800 a year for 18 men.  After completing that series of courses, there is the on-site 5 day training.  $3500 might be a bit pricey, but it is pretty much an “everything in one spot” training course.  Haven’t seen anything else covering this wide a spectrum of training with a single focus.  Not sure how much training someone can absorb in a such short training span without a good deal of prior background training.  And Practice.  There is the training manual, Unit Tactics Necessary To Defend A Neighborhood Or Community, that might be a good place to start looking at what their training might have to offer.







AAR Oath Keepers Summit, Gilbert Creek, WV, 29AUG.

The Oath Keepers hosted a weekend summit on Community Preparedness Teams over the weekend of 29 and 30AUG held at a fairly remote site near Gilbert Creek, West Virginia.  (USGS Wharncliffe Quad Map).   Location 17 203 583 or 37.5684 N  81.9022 W.   Approximately 150 people from a dozen different states in attendance.  Approximately 30 Militiamen from seven states also in attendance.

And when they say “Summit”, they mean summit.  This is the Ohio Valley Minutemen  sign directing you to the Militia camp site.  Elevation 1640 ft ASL.

Summit Morning


And not a very good photo of the Militia Campsite.


Militia CP Gilbert Creek


Photo of  Militia members heading up to stage area just before the arrival and speech of Oath Keepers.

Heading up for Speech



And the Oath Keepers preferred mode of transportation.



Oathkeepers Huey





The Oath Keepers flyer on Community Preparedness Teams.


Oathkeepers CPT Flyer 1B


Oathkeepers CPT Flyer 2B



The highlight of the event, for the Militiamen anyway, was the midnight patrol along the one mile  perimeter road around the stage and camping area Friday .  Several of the campers noticed and called in to the Oath Keepers that we made them feel uncomfortable.  The next day, after the Oath Keepers speech, we mingled with the discussion groups to assess their views on the Community Preparedness Team concept.  A good majority of them favored the CPT concept and would welcome the Oath Keepers training .  A few  said they didn’t see the Militia as a viable source of training because we were so far away.  Might have won some hearts and minds.  Public relations can be a tad difficult sometimes.



Video of the speech  (38 minutes) at the Oath Keepers Summit is up on YouTube.  Watch it while you can.  Looks like things are going to ramp up and maybe get dicey this fall.





August 2015 Supplemental

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Fire Team Delta Goes Squirrel Hunting

Fire Team Delta Goes Squirrel Hunting


Traditionally, everyone goes on holiday during August. Shops and offices close.  People quit answering the phones.  Things in general slow down and everyone gets a little break.  But that was back then, and this is now.  Nobody gets a break.  Nothing slows down.  No rest for the wicked, nor the pure.  There is a difference between not having much patience for meaningless events that are purposeful distractions and just not having the luxury of wasting precious time on anything that isn’t producing better skills and improving our positions.  Urgency isn’t the right word, but it’s close enough.


We’ve existed as a group for nearly ten years now, under one banner or another till we raised our own banner, and we’re doing okay.  The next three FTX’s we will be focusing on Rural Ops, even though all of you know that means more Land-Nav and Field Camp Skills mixed with a little Patrolling and Recon work.  (insert groans here).   Spot Reports and COMMs exercises get a little boring when all of you are so proficient.  But after all, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?


Defensive Training Group has an article made just to order to remind everybody why we do the basics over and over.



“The basics must be dealt with prior to going a bit more ‘high speed’, because it’s literally the foundation upon which your team will learn and perform.  A solid foundation helps ensure solid performance when it counts.”



When you see the logic behind this, you you’ll know why officers in the Marine Corps  still study a one hundred year old story called “The Defense of Duffer’s Drift”.  The control of a  strategic river crossing is the scenario, and Small Unit Tactics and Techniques are developed in the course of this 80 page book  in the style of “Groundhog Day”.  The day’s events are reviewed and improved upon, day after day, and eventually go thru a lot of bad decisions until arriving at a plan that succeeds.  PDF here.  Narrated by a British officer during the Boer Wars around 1900, it could just as easily be today in Afghanistan, or Somalia, or Syria, or North Carolina.  The book is a bit drawn out to demonstrate several points of strategy and tactics.  We would just use the sand table, kick around some “what-ifs” and probably come up with the same solutions.  But it all comes down in the end to having these basic skills down pat so when we are faced with a challenging situation, it can be broke down into familiar looking chunks and handled successfully.





What we really, really, really, don’t ever want to do is make a long chain of bad decisions like those three men down towards Charlotte.  Five counties worth of Police Officers and Sheriffs, along with the FBI and DHS Agents finally reeled in these guys after infiltrating and grooming them for six months, and all they really did is talk about doing things.  They have been arrested and charged with “conspiring to commit” because they talked about their fear of martial law and how the government was acting unconstitutionally in many areas even though they didn’t really have a coherent plan.  This is covered pretty well over at Radio Free Redoubt.


If you want a good short read about government over reach, here is the link to the original posting of “The Pig Trap“, from April of last year.  The little story leading up to the telling of The Pig Trap story is equally worthy and maybe even sound familiar.  And when the FBI informants come around again to ask if you want to learn about making your own explosives from scratch, just…. say…… “NO!”


So gather up your gear and get ready for three FTXs this fall.  We have some Group Gear that is available as needed.  And yes, we’re on live, rain or shine.  You think Fate will call upon you at a time of your choosing?


Fire Pit Echo

Fire Pit Echo





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.





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.






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





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


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  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.



 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.






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.








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.




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.










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. 




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.





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.





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.



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





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.




 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.



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.





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










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). 



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.


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.


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