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.



 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.