Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Lone Wolf Terrorism

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Via SWJ, Georgetown University has published a report entitled Lone Wolf Terrorism.  In it you’ll find this rich bit of analysis.

… a University of Maryland study found that, while radical Islamic terrorism in the United States has increased since the attacks on September 11, 2001, there has also been a continued, if not greater, increase in individual radicalization from the far right.  Overall, homegrown radical Islamic terrorism poses no greater threat to the public than other forms of domestic radicalization, but by unfairly focusing on the Muslim community, the USG risks inciting further divisions.

You learn one thing, and you can suspect another.  As for what you can suspect (with a fairly high chance of being right) is that if you are a gun owner or believe in the constitution, you fall into that category they call the “far right.”

What you know with certainty is that the idiots at the “think tanks” still have no clue as to the dangers posed by Islam and Sharia law.  Thus they are an irrelevant feature to the national security apparatus, shouting nonsense with no one listening, sound and fury signifying nothing.  But we knew that before, didn’t we?

Tactical Considerations For The Lone Wolf

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 7 months ago

Max Velocity Tactical has an interesting and thought provoking article up entitled Tactical Considerations For The Long Wolf (hat tip Western Rifle Shooters).  This is must reading and well worth the time he has put into this.  I find it improbable that you read his article without picking up something that you need to think about.

The article sets the stage with a clear and present danger to your family, and rather than being coupled with other like-minded defenders and partners, you are alone in your quest for self defense and family safety.  A bit of his article is reproduced below.

Area of Operations: you need to consider that if the enemy is in any way switched on, and are keeping any sort of incident map, then if you simply operate close to your retreat they will build up a picture that may well lead them to your home and family. Thus you should be unpredictable and move further away or from unexpected directions in order to prosecute your attacks.

Navigation: you will need to be able to accurately move by map and compass across rough back country terrain to get in and out of your objective. You will take separate routes in and out and use deception.

Movement: You must use cover and concealment to move. You will have to move slowly, at a jungle patrol pace, in order to effectively scan ahead and around. Cover means using the ground (hard cover) to conceal you, such as moving in draws or behind terrain features. Concealment means using vegetation to hide you from any observers. You will need to plan a route accordingly, also avoiding any settlements where there is an increased risk of compromise and where dogs will bark at you.

However, do not move on obvious features or along trails and tracks. You can handrail (parallel) them at a distance if you need to or if you need to use them for navigation. It is often best to ‘cross-grain’ the terrain thus making your moves hard to predict. Valley bottoms and trails/streams are good places for you to walk into an ambush. Use techniques for avoiding ambush such as hand railing and moving partway up a valley side (contouring), thus giving you the benefits of cover and concealment but avoiding natural ambush sites and places where others will travel.

You must be very careful at any kind of obstacle, vulnerable point, channelizing feature or linear danger area. Examples of a channelizing vulnerable point include crossing a bridge or moving through a track or trail junction. A linear danger area is any kind of open feature that you have to cross such as a road, river or trail, even a power line through the woods. You must be very careful to observe in detail prior to crossing and find a point where the crossing is best concealed, such as in a depression or even by crawling through a culvert, for example.

As you move, you need to stop regularly for listening and observation breaks. Scan and listen. Do this before moving through the next natural part of the terrain, cross it then stop again. A real game changer would be having a portable FLIR thermal imager (such as the FLIR Scout), with which you can scan around and into the brush to spot anyone concealed.

He makes you consider whether you or your enemy have FLIR or night vision, he covers the concepts of enfilade and defilade, food, water purification, firearms, concealment while sleeping, etc.  Again, the article is well worth the time and if you don’t read anything else today you should read this article.

He discusses taking multiple weapons with you: “You may carry two rifles, a hunting rifle slung on your pack and an AR-15 style for while you are patrolling and for closer range self-defense.”

Here I break ranks with him.  It seems to me that you select a rifle, not two or more.  That one rifle needs to sustain your mission.  If you choose a bolt action scoped rifle, then ensure that your shots are stand off long range shots under concealment and that you have a means of egress and evasion.  If you choose an AR-15, then ensure that you have Travis Haley-like skills and you can make your shots count at 800 meters.

If you must take two rifles, one for long range and one for short range, then you’ve already planned poorly for the mission.  You are counting on a combination of stand off shots and CQB, and adding to the weight and ammunition you must carry.  My choice would be to choose your rifle well, and then carry your favorite CQB pistol or revolver.  If I carry more than two firearms, I might carry a backup handgun in an ankle holster.

My only other comment about this article is that the assumption behind some of the considerations is an abundance of wealth.  Who has the kind of money necessary for infrared capabilities, night vision, expensive firearms, optics (e.g., a high end EOTech Holographic sight plus shipping will run nearly $600), backup firearms, and so on and so forth?  You can even invest in fully body armor if you wish, including SAPI plates.  In contrast, hopefully I have given you an inexpensive option for cover if you need to be in the elements for a protracted period of time.

On the whole, though, I am really not a fan of the lone wolf paradigm.  I think such a defense needs two or more men, and I probably wouldn’t make the choice to leave my family alone in order to effect these kinds of operations.  The risk to my family would be too high.

That brings me to another article by Mike Vanderboegh on his fourth installment of William Diamond’s Drum.  As always, Mike is good reading and worth the time.  David Codrea weighs in with the following:

… it can be smart to have a hidden cache and it can be self-defeating to shoot it out when the team shows up at your door.

Living to fight another day, at a time and place of your choosing, not theirs, seems like an option we’d want to leave ourselves, and if we’re taken out of commission, it’s a legacy to leave our children.

Bottom line — there’s no one size fits all response, and different scenarios present different potentials.

David is referring to Mike’s opinions regarding burying weapons rather than fighting now.  Mike prefers the later and eschews the former.  I understand Mike’s point, but frankly, if gun confiscations ever do start, any team entering my home will find a few range toys to confiscate because “I forgot to turn them in.”  The rest were buried at the bottom of lake Keowee in that horrible boating accident several years ago.  I cried buckets of tears over that accident.  “Have a nice day, SWAT team.  I hope you enjoyed tea and crumpets.”

There is no virtue in engaging a SWAT team in your home, endangering your family for no good reason, and fighting a battle that you cannot win.  If gun confiscations ever start, believe me when I tell you that they will never find me again – but they will see the results of my handiwork.  They won’t know it’s from me, and they will never see it happen.

I agree with David.  A SWAT team at your doorstep means they’re dictating the terms.  Live to fight another day.  Do it at a time and place of your choosing, not on their terms.  And thus I see battling down a SWAT team at your doorstep as a fixture in the lone wolf paradigm.  I don’t like the lone wolf paradigm.  There are better ways to do this.

UPDATE: Thanks to WRSA for the attention.  Remember the swamp fox.  I will become a phantom.  As far as they know I will disappear from the face of the earth.  But I will ally with a few like-minded individuals, and they will know what the phantoms do.


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