January 2017 Notes


January FTX will commence at 1000 hrs on the 28th and end 1500 hrs on the 29th.  This covers most of the operating window for Winter Field Day.



This should be a good opportunity to test out our new antennas and radio gear.  And we already have an established ARES group in the county.



This falls in to the category of being technically and tactically proficient.  Story at ITS Tactical here.





More topics in the category of proficiency we need to work on this year than will be listed here right now.


Some bit of kit that would help keep our tactical electronics gear running  is the small solar panels made by Core Third.  A 10W solar panel coupled with a 10,000 mAh power bank would go a long way to maintaining some essential electronics charged up and running.  Might have to do something about the Ferrari Red accents on the solar panel frame, though, just to subdue the visuals while deployed.





Another excellent piece of gear, that Santa forgot to bring me this year, is the Load Bearing Chest Vest made by our good buddies at London Bridge Trading.  As with nearly anything from LBT, it’s a little expensive at $450.  Lifetime warranty might mean something to you optimists.   All pouches have both hook and loop closures and fastex buckles, so you could tape over the velcro when you needed to and still be GTG.  There are many good chest rigs for half the price, like the Special Operations Rig from Max just up the road.





Nor did Santa bring me the Rabbit Gun from Hell that we’d all love to have.






Also, something you can wear for those little shopping trips to town when a chest rig might not be appropriate is the new anti-surveillance clothing in the Face-Recognition pattern from Hyphen Labs.  This pattern was shown at the C3 conference in Hamburg.  Facial recognition software is running in many places these days, including that little smartphone you carry everywhere, and has evolved into a fairly mature product.  Thing is, it’s still pretty specialized to do just one job, and this type of fabric pattern should really give those surveillance cameras something to happily work on.





In the early 1960’s we were “involved” with a counterinsurgency effort in South Vietnam.  (Yes, that’s a crass over-simplification)  Some of this was directed towards improving village agricultural conditions in the Central Highlands,  while at the same time trying to collect information on VC and NVA infiltration into the mountainous border areas.  Heading up this program was the CIA and the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV).  To accomplish this, around 70 men from Fort Bragg’s 5th Special Forces Group set up operations in Saigon and later moved out into the country.  A lot of very specific information on how this progressed to setting up the MACV Recondo School located at Nha Trang in this Civilian Irregular Defense Group report.  Very good reading, and maybe only of interest to us “old guys with bad feet”, yet leads to the question “Could this be the basis for organizing a similar operation here these days?”  Read it here.







And while you’re reading, waiting for all this snow and ice to melt away (projected to be 67 degrees Thursday),  the Intelligence Community Assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections can be found in pdf form over on the sidebar.  It’s sad actually, because these kind of reports used to mean something, even in their unclassified and redacted forms.  This one is little more than a wild mix of whining and sour grapes.  Lacks the time stamps, and the IP addresses, and the trace routes, and the sample scripts that one might expect from all the hoopla pushed by the MSM pointing the finger at President Putin himself for directing hacking efforts to derail the presidential election process this past year.  Even with all the leaked information that has come out, not a bit of it has been implied to be incorrect as to names, places, times and dollar amounts.  Creates a lot of doubt as to the caliber of the current staff of bureaucrats sitting behind the Workstations (now A-Space).










Finally, a short article on 4GW, that details how plenty of 4GW operations are already underway, and we’re just on the receiving end.  Very important to survey current events before launching your own 4GW programs.  From there, a Kipling reference.


The Stranger within my gates,

He may be evil or good,

But I cannot tell what powers control–

What reasons sway his mood;

Nor when the Gods of his far-off land

Shall repossess his blood.


 –The Stranger, Kipling








December 2016 Notes

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No FTX this month.  It’s December and we’ll take the extra time to work on family and community.  Church and service.  Observing traditions keeps the connection between generations on common values.  Unwind from the election stress, and see where our inventories need a little re-supply. 






And remember, our role and mission parameters did not change with the general elections, but some of the possible scenarios might have to be re-prioritized.


Miyamoto wrote in his book,  A book of Five Rings, “If you do not look at things on a large scale it will be difficult for you to master strategy. If you learn and attain this strategy you will never lose even to twenty or thirty enemies. More than anything to start with you must set your heart on strategy and earnestly stick to the Way. You will come to be able to actually beat men in fights, and to be able to win with your eye. Also by training you will be able to freely control your own body, conquer men with your body, and with sufficient training you will be able to beat ten men with your spirit.”


500 years later, William Lind wrote nearly the same thing in 4th Generation Warfare Handbook, a reference to light infantry mentality.  “The light infantryman is characterized by his mental resourcefulness and physical toughness.  Light infantry’s inborn self-reliance, reinforced by hard training, convinces the light infantryman that he is capable of overcoming the most difficult situations that combat presents.  Light infantrymen do not feel defeated when surrounded, isolated or confronted by superior forces.  They are able to continue performing their duties and pursue their objectives for long periods of time without any type of comfort or logistical support, usually obtaining what they require from the land or the enemy.  They are neither physically or psychologically tied to the rear by a need to maintain open lines of communications.   Their tactics do not depend on supporting arms.  This attitude of self-confidence and  self-reliance provides light infantry a psychological advantage over its opponents.”


The 2017  training schedule is finally completed.  Let’s see what we find along the way.





Oh, and disregard the stories in the news about the Russians  hacking us.  Our buddy Vladimir says they are not.  “At least, not to the same extent that your own government is hacking you every day.” (Russian humor).  It’s a matter of scale.  It’s a matter of principle.  It’s a matter of time.










November 2016 Notes

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November FTF will be at 1400 on the 27th in the park. Items for discussion are Christmas dinner and the Training Schedule for next year.



There was a five-minute video that came out of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations University, produced by the U. S. Army, that again speaks of the “complexity” of ground operations in Mega-Cities. Not sure if they’re warning of the next stage in their games or promoting  specific programs they’d like to see implemented. But over all, any ground operation, regardless of size, had better plan on some major Divine intervention when they have to go into a city like everyone’s favorite Karachi, or Sao Paulo / Rio, or even Mexico City. Just look up Stalingrad – WWII. In the six-month battle, there was a total of nearly 2 million killed, wounded or captured, and over 5000 tanks destroyed along with 20,000 artillery pieces. Probably wouldn’t be the same today as no one has the belly for that level of fighting anymore. Note for the insurgency notebook: chaos can be a great equalizer and your friend.









Speaking of chaos, the 33rd Chaos Communications Congress will be held during the last week in December at the Congress Centrum in Hamburg. This convention is comparable to Black Hat 2017 in Las Vegas the last week in July, or DEFCON 25 being held at the same time. All three sites have links to information from last year’s convention, in case you didn’t get to go to any of them. They are surprisingly well-organized, with very well-behaved attendees, during the meetings anyway. After hours, they’re hackers. You figure it out. The global map of cyber attacks can be watched in real-time at Norse Corp’s website. And remember, sometimes Anonymous is our friend.







Homework for this month:

Someone out in Oregon convinced the TYR Group to come out and run the 5-day Small Unit Tactics Rural Reconnaissance & Surveillance course back in May, and then they made a 15 minute AAR video about it. Looks like that group almost didn’t need the training, they were already that good. The rural conditions out in Oregon isn’t that much different from around these parts. You need to watch this one several times.















Winter Camp Fire






October 2016 Notes

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October FTX will begin at 1000 on the 29th and end at 1600 on the 30th.  Bring your own pumpkin and goblin costume.  Topics to discuss are IFAKs, Land-Nav, long-term food storage, and disaster-preparedness communications.




Much has been written recently on Syria, Russia, and the possibility of WWIII.  It does look like we have a foreign policy conflict where we are wanting one thing but doing another.  And not just in Syria.  There is a problem there that needs fixing there.  It makes little sense to bring the problem here, not wanting to fix it here, then saying the problem is fixed back there.  Russia has a foreign policy that recognizes the problem there in Syria and they know if it’s not fixed there, it will come to them directly and it will be much more difficult to solve that problem when that happens in the near future.  The big problem is it looks like we can’t agree on how that gets done.  And if you look at the track record of our State Department, well, it’s not exactly confidence inspiring.




This of course leads to a lot of posturing and policy speeches as an effort at warfare by other means.  One really blatant item on that list is the story about some B-2 bombers making practice runs with dummy bombs over the test range in Nevada recently.  This is not news mostly because the B-2’s are (very expensive) bombers, and we should expect them to practice bombing runs with (cheap) dummy bombs in Nevada.  From time to time.  What makes this news is the propaganda twist of saying the dummy bombs are specifically modeled after the B-61 Mod 11 Thermonuclear bombs.  Saber rattling  with 1200 pounds of plastic and steel dummy bombs is one thing, but the actual mention of a real B-61 is not meant for domestic consumption.  Next to nobody inside the U.S. knows anything about our nuclear arsenal, and the reason we don’t mention those kinds of details is because we want everybody to sleep at night.


If the U.S. government wants to whip their B-61’s out and wave them around, maybe we should take a little peek at the real destructive forces behind these little jewels.  Maybe you should develop a little respect for exactly what we may be in for once these things get hitched up and sent off for a short ride.  Having spent some time, way, way back around these sorts of things, here is the nickel tour.




The best look at the B-61 (all variants) is at nuclearweaponarchive.org.  Nothing classified here.  Not enough detail to make you a weapons expert with these things, but you’ll learn a smidgen about oralloy, Lithium-6, and IHE.  You’ll soon learn the B-61 Mod 11 is not just the run of the mill bunker buster, but a smallish hydrogen bomb (no such thing) that targets “things” that might be several hundred meters below the ground level,  horizontal or vertical , with an equivalent  yield of up to 340,000 tons of TNT all in one spot for just a few microseconds.  The yardstick for nuclear bombs is always, Hiroshima, and that was just a speck under 15,000 tons and that whopper weighed 10,000 pounds.  Our little B-61 is only 12 foot long and weighs in at 1200 pounds.  That silvery pick-nick basket sized thing in the middle is 500 pounds of pure meanness just waiting to leap out.  All those other parts are there just to make it easy to deliver.  Technology sure is great, isn’t it!


So now we have our B-2 loaded up with 16 of these little B-61 thingies in both the rotary bomb dispensers and we’re cruising to bust up somebody’s party in just a little while.  Exactly what can we expect from our little toys once the lights start changing color and our special delivery is on it’s way?




Well, as it turns out, yes, there’s an app for that.  More or less. You can spend several hours playing with this thing.  Here is an example how it works.  Remember, we’re not actually planning large-scale destruction and loss of life on U.S soil here, just putzing around with the theory behind it all.  First, you’ll see that the main map is just google maps and you can navigate to any spot in the whole world.  Let’s pick someplace familiar though, just to bring things home.  Greensboro Coliseum.  Seating capacity – 23,000. 





Today, we’ll say it’s empty, along with the parking lot and everyone in the neighborhood is enjoying the last 30 minutes of their ethereal existence.  Over on the right column, you’ll see there is a short list of options. For Option 1, we’ve selected our empty coliseum.  In Option 2, we’ve selected an off the shelf B-61 unit.  In Option 3, we want to hit the ground (real easy if you know anything about gravity) and then check both those little boxes to see how big our paychecks will be, if we worked on commission. All that’s left is Option 4.  Click the big red button to get that little taste of Global Thermonuclear War in your neighborhood.  It should look something like this:







But wait, there’s more.  Not only did we make a 200 foot deep hole a quarter of a mile wide, as a bonus, one that you always get with surface detonations (air burst works entirely different),  we just lofted highly contaminated dirt and debris, covering a 30 mile wide swath, all the way to Richmond, Virginia.  Woo Hoo!  That ought to clean out the kudzu for the next 10,000 years.  And we can do that 31 more times while we’re flying the afternoon away.  Isn’t war great!




Well now, wasn’t that fun?  Let’s try something else.  It’s not that we don’t like having 1350 of these B-61′ sitting around, each waiting for their own “special day”.  Deterrence is a great thing.  A reminder that “Strength Thru Superior Firepower” is just the shadow of “Strength Thru Superior Diplomacy”.  And we can drop diplomats on your little foreign capital all day long.


Operation Plumbbob, Stokes test, 19 kt, August 1957

Operation Plumbbob, Stokes test, 19 kt, August 1957







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September 29th thru October 2nd was this fall’s PATCON in Tarboro.  The program was on various methods of communications and map reading and covered a lot of material.  The map and compass class was based on the story “The Patrol”, by Dan Morgan, and those nine chapters contain a lot of information on small team patrolling techniques and methods that make for good reading for everybody.   During the  demonstration on low power HF radio communication, by NC Scout,  we made contact with a local ARES network that was practicing emergency communications during and after a hurricane.  The demonstration on using as SDR radio showed how monitoring such transmissions could be done with minimal equipment.  Later on we had a brief demonstration of the use of a small Yagi antenna for direction finding and for directing your radio transmissions to a certain location.  The traditional B-B-Q luncheon was served right after another detailed demonstration of proper application of the CAT tourniquet.  The round table discussion covered other forms of communications and also what it takes to be properly prepared to live for the first 90 days after a disaster, where all help is cut off.  And one of the items won at the raffle was a backpack filled with food, water and survival equipment for 5 days.  Another was a Henry AR-7 .22 caliber survival rifle.  All very good and timely with Hurricane Matthew aiming straight for the coast of North Carolina.  Thanks to everyone that came and participated this fall, and to those that gave the presentations and made the event a success.  And special thanks to Brock for pulling it all together for the tenth time and hosting the PATCONS at such a great location as Dixieland.  Next spring, PATCON will again be the first weekend in June, so mark your calendars and start planning to attend.

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.






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.






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.






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.  




screenshot-lbtinc.com 2016-09-04 14-05-34


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.





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.






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.” 



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