March 2017 Notes

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March FTX will begin at 1200 on the 25th at Training Area North and run thru the 26th at 1500. Subjects to cover are radio communications as a function of small unit tactics and movement, Recon Patrol, and of course more Map and Compass work with Land-Nav.  Bring your side-arm as our Aerographer is trying to conjure up some fair weather for the weekend.



Radio propagation has been pretty good on 40 and 80m this past month.  A good amount of traffic on the Coastal Carolina Emergency Net.  Have yet to check in to Tar Heel Emergency Net.  Both ideal for working NVIS on 75m. 




Band conditions are found on many places, but this one is quick and updates every five minutes.  Plus, it’s got a link to some web-based SDR sites, which is good when you’re away from your radio.





Last month,  the RSA security conference was held in San Francisco, CA.  One item of interest is the Yubi Key, a USB device made for two-factor authentication as an extra security measure on your log-in accounts. It contains your security key in either RSA-4096 or ECC p384 and has both FIPS 140 and FIDO  certifications.  Not bad for $40.



And speaking of extra security measures, Wikileaks released documentation, called Vault 7,  of a very extensive set of software tools used to breach  the smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers that everyone uses everyday.  There are real software companies that develop these little programs and sell them, and not just to the CIA and NSA.  Just another example of the massive collusion between the device manufacturers and these government and non-government organizations to collect every scrap of information that they can get to in the name of making the country safer. 







And even though the encryption of applications like Signal remains intact, some of these tools will access your information before it gets processed thru Signal.  How often does your device perform app and system updates, yet nothing looks or acts differently?  What really is in those updates?  Especially the ones that require you to reboot.  You should really be paranoid enough by now to be compartmentalizing your communications and data and taking measures to know what’s going on with your second favorite little friend.




Going to be a busy summer.  NC PATCON 11 is just three months away.  Long term,  in the worst case scenario, we have less than four years to prepare for a really wild time if the Progressives come back into power.  They are already organized in many ways to keep making the country unsettled and ungovernable.  It’s a very good time to inventory your “bullets, beans and bandages” and get on top of that training program that you know you’ve got to do.















February 2017 Notes


February FTF will commence at 1400 on the 26th in our park location. Items to discuss will mostly detail how to carry out the training schedule for the spring/summer. Bring your notebooks.


Sun Tsu was an early strategist on warfare and put his ideas into print around 500 BC. His book guides both strategists and practitioners of warfare even today.




1500 years later, events in feudal Japan lead to the rise of the Samurai. During a civil war, the Minamoto and Taira samurai clans rose to prominence. They fought one another in the Heiji Rebellion (1160). After their victory, the Taira established the first samurai-led government. The defeated Minamoto were banished from the capital at Kyoto.





Another 500 years later, The Book of Five Rings, a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, was written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi  (1645).





Two thousand years sounds like a long time for the distillation of what seems such a simple concept, doesn’t it?






Locally, the mind-set of Sun Tsu and Musashi are put into real-life practice in our Robin Sage FTX, already on the calendar. Details of the big “Who, Why, How, When, and Where” describes the extent of the exercise in the SFODA learning curve. Last year’s preview:



“The exercise’s notional country of Pineland encompasses Alamance, Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Davidson, Guilford, Hoke, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties. Throughout the exercise, Special Forces candidates and Robin Sage role-players not only conduct training missions such as controlled assaults and key-leader engagements, but also live, eat and sleep in these civilian areas.”





And a year has passed since last spring, when the DHS and FBI released an intelligence assessment on the Baseline Comparison of US and Foreign Anarchist Extremist Movements.





“(U//FOUO) The vast majority of US anarchist extremist attacks targeted property likely due to the location’s accessibility and as a symbol of capitalism and globalization. Most foreign anarchist extremist attacks targeted persons likely because of the cohesiveness of the movement and greater emphasis on issues that can be blamed on local, individual targets. US anarchist extremists targeted the banking/finance sector most often, as these perceived soft targets of capitalism are possible to attack with tactics that are non-lethal yet cause significant economic damage and pose significant public safety risks. Foreign anarchist extremists most often targeted government entities, likely due to the emphasis placed on local domestic issues by foreign anarchist extremists and their capabilities to commit attacks against hardened targets.”



How many attacks by extremist have taken place, domestically and over seas since then, and have they followed the same pattern? The real question being, “Is there an identifiable rise in domestic violence and acts of terrorism?  And is there a common source of funding and organizational support for those groups involved?”




Maybe the most telling graph –






Our scenario planning model that we’ve used for the past several years needs a little updating in light of events since November 2016.  As much as the SPLC makes its money exploiting information  of dubious value concerning Militias and White Supremacists groups (they equate the prevalence of both to the same factors), there is so far no equivalent place to discover all the various groups (largely funded by the same organizations) that are trying to emerge as major players in the general effort to cause disruptions for the edification of the Main Stream Media.  Here are but a few, but you might get the feeling they aren’t lacking for motivation and convictions, much like any other terrorist group.  And a few others that might be a source of training to counter those groups.   Keep in mind that there are still elements in the government that are enabling these groups despite having the responsibility to protect the public from these groups.







“You may think that, boisterous as these demonstrators are, and although they can draw a few thousand youngsters to their events, they are but a tiny fraction of the population and could never pose a serious threat to any government. But how wrong you would be.”





Paul Sperry wrote earlier this week in the New York Post how former president Obama is actively sabotaging President Trump.


“He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.

Since Donald Trump’s election, this little-known but well-funded protesting arm has beefed up staff and ramped up recruitment of young liberal activists, declaring on its website, “We’re not backing down.” Determined to salvage Obama’s legacy, it’s drawing battle lines on immigration, ObamaCare, race relations and climate change.”




“We’re Agency, an anarchist media relations project since 2013. During Occupy anarchist ideas also enjoyed greater coverage, but we noticed that most stories focused on the same few anarchist voices over and over. As anarchism is garnering more and more interest now, we want to broaden the voices and ideas that show up in the news.”




Learn how to execute Red Team Operations properly by converging Penetration Testing, Social Engineering and Physical Security tactics.



What you will learn –

Full-cycle Red Teaming from Operational Planning to Reporting phase
How to converge technical, personnel and physical vulnerabilities
Covert and overt methods of entry into a target location
Social engineering tactics, from telephone to face-to-face (see our book)
Evasion, lock picking and other bypass techniques
Physical security scouting and reconnaissance
Penetration testing for Red Team Operations



What you will do –

Full-training Exercises (FTX)
Plan, execute and report on a full-training Red Team Operation
Conduct target reconnaissance both offline and online
Clone RFID badges, steal/impress keys, pick locks or bypass security controls
Exploit system vulnerabilities on the target’s network
Use several social engineering tactics to gather information from targets
Make overt and covert entry into a target location and establish APT persistence





From the old REDTEAMS Website:


“Most people are starting to realize that there are only two different types of companies in the world: those that have been breached and know it and those that have been breached and don’t know it.”



Rule 1: Always have an escape plan
Rule 2: Never get caught.
Rule 3: Be aware of your surroundings.
Rule 4: Always have a backup plan.
Rule 5: Assumption is the mother of all fuckups.
Rule 6: Trust your gut.
Rule 7: Simple and light equals freedom, agility and mobility.
Rule 8: KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.
Rule 9: The solution is in the problem.
Rule 10: Don’t become predictable.
Rule 11: Never take the elevator.
Rule 12: Act, don’t react.





View story at

The more you hack in peace, the less you bleed in war

“Hacking takes time. Developing the tool chain takes time, recon takes time, sometimes systems get hardened and the optimal time to hack them was in the past, and so on and so on. The best time to collect intelligence about an adversary is before you need it.”



The road ahead promises to be full of challenges for the next few years.




January Supplemental

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Winter Field Day today.  Actually this whole weekend.  Put on by SPARS  in Ohio.  This is technically a field day type contest and some people might sweat the details in their electronic logs about how many contacts they can make in different modes on different bands into different counties, states and countries with different power levels using different antennas.  Some may do this more than once if they are using different radio rigs for different bands.  But basically, if you can drag your portable stuff out into the garage or onto the back porch and set up some quick and dirty antenna in the back yard to go with it, you are getting the flavor of emergency communications.  Any contact you can maintain for a minute or two, no matter where it is or how scratchy it might sound still counts in the end.






The reason we have field days, at different times of the year, is usually to set up and practice communications under emergency type conditions.  Wouldn’t be much of a test if you’re in a well-lit ham shack, surrounded by $30,000 of top of the line equipment feeding several computers and a couple humongous antennas up on 100 foot towers.  The challenge is to get as close to nothing equipment wise and still collect information (by listening) and get your message out as best you can.  This means probably using your mobile rig on low power running directly off some old car battery that might die in the next 15 minutes.  This means using an antenna slapped together from junk salvaged from the trash heap.  For added points, try doing it in the dark, and cold, while it’s snowing/raining with the wind howling, while wearing a leg splint and an arm sling, and an eye patch.  And your neighbor’s daughter is having her baby a little  early due to the storm.  And the looters are just starting to come up the street.   Just to make it fun.  There, now you have your hands full.  That’s why you do this.







Thing is, most ham radio operators, under normal, sunny-day conditions, are more interested in making contact with one of those tiny pacific islands, or McMurdo Station, or Tierra Del Fuego, or just about anywhere besides someone local within a 100 mile radius, that might be available, or that might know someone else  that is available, to help with your difficult situation during the current emergency.  Always nice to chat with the fine folks down at McMurdo Station (or even the International Space Station), but they ain’t coming by to help you get your emergency generator running any time soon.  But now, old Jim Bob, that hayseed  over in the next county that sold you his black rifle cause it’s just too finicky for him to keep around the farm, just might.  Remember, he’s got an antenna on every truck he owns and on a couple of his tractors.  How often do you make radio contact with him?


So now that you’re trying to figure this all out, here are some useful resources to look at to gauge what the communications conditions are.  Might save you from wasting 20 minutes on a frequency that is totally useless this time of day.  Just remember, this works a lot like fish finders.  Sure, the fish are out there.  Just  doesn’t mean they’ll bite.


First stop, check CONUS HF BAND CONX.  Breaks down the HF band conditions and updates every couple minutes.  A rough indication where people might be listening on their radios.




Next, you should look at the F-2 layer propagation map because you will be using an NVIS antenna and that signal you’re shooting straight up needs to make it right back down.





And just maybe, you’ve worked on developing your skills at digital modes, for just such an emergency where you have low power, high noise and bad band conditions coupled with crappy makeshift gear while wearing gloves and an eye pad. 




Some place to help you with that is another “Old Guy”,  W1HKJ.  Has just enough info to get you started and going crazy with digital.  The best is the Sights & Sounds of Digital Modes“, where you can hear sample transmissions, and read about the up and down sides of those various modes.  So start your homework now while the sun is out and the power is still on.  There’s no guarantees how long that will last.



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  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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