We jumped all over the issues/problems that were coming up. First, we tried to let the responsible person/people solve the problem…or at least propose the solution. That worked fantastic! Many hands make light work.
The weapons issue wasn’t complicated. In a perfect world all Operations personnel would have the same style long gun and pistol. That would ensure that everything would be interchangeable (particularly magazines) among the members making it more efficient and safer. As it turned out Jim (as Logistics Chief) had already made an informal inventory of both long guns and pistols, and the accessories. We were very blessed with an abundance of weapons, both those we had individually, those that came from the bad guys that were here when we showed up, and a number of weapons that Bill and Linda had in the cabin. Each Ops person would have an AR-15 and a pistol. The pistols would not all match but we came close. Two of the three teams would each have matching pistols, the third team wouldn’t be so lucky, but at least they would have a pistol.
Jim also presented a new camp layout with tents being placed in specific locations, a common latrine area, the cabin would be used for the medical unit, and the medical unit would also be responsible for food safety. Food preparation would be Susie and internal security would provide the manpower for her. Ops would handle the set-up and clean-up for each meal.
I talked about Bill having more prepper items, I just knew it from the way he talked compared to what little he had showed me. But, they weren’t just laying around, we would have to find it. We needed more equipment, gear and supplies. But most of all we needed food…and quick. Feeding 31 people 3 times a day takes a lot of food. And we also brought that up as a Logistics issue for when it came time to head to AZ. And then that spurred Susie (Planning Section) to suggest she and I start discussing how we would get to AZ so she could plan for it. I bristled a little bit thinking I should plan that move, but I reminded myself that she was the Planning Section Chief. I remember feeling that I had my doubts of all of it…Mr. Skeptical.
Jared and I worked out the last of the training program for Operations. Our daily schedule would look something like this…
- Physical Training before breakfast.
- Field exercise covering the prior days’ classroom topic.
- Classroom topic
- Abbreviated physical training.
- Night training as needed
Come on!!!! I left the military 40 years ago, I left college 30 years ago…now I was right back into classes, training, learning, doing, listening to teachers, etc. That’s just wrong!
Actually, the training was fantastic and Jared is incredible training coordinator, class facilitator, and friend. He laid out a step-by-step training plan, complete with classroom learning, field application, and then real-life scenarios to test us. One thing…where does the classroom stuff come from?
Now look, we aren’t training Special Forces commandos or anything remotely close to it. But, we got pretty dang good at small unit maneuvers, various battlefield tactics like leapfrogging (cover and maneuver), counter-ambush, ambush, patrolling, tracking, etc. Actually we got so good that Ken’s team caught a couple of folks…more on that later.
After a couple of weeks everyone was doing better. We had found Bill’s stash…three stashes actually. It is amazing the amount of stuff he had squirreled away up there. We had radios, 3 notebook computers, portable solar charging units, water purifier systems, and food…food by the ton! And yes, our electronics worked. None of it had batteries installed in the electronics. All the different electronics has been wrapped in layers of bubble wrap and aluminum foil, and buried in a cave like structure, buried in metal ammo boxes. We put the batteries in the stuff and it all worked. We had to charge the batteries but that was about it. Mike did a great job of reprogramming the radios to ensure more secure communications. To my great pleasure each of our Ops teams has two radios. So I broke each team into two, 2-person units if the need ever arose to split up.
The OpsSection got together and we worked out some standard orders and some great immediate action drills (IMDs). That gives us the ability to react to certain situations without really thinking…just doing what we are trained to do. Kinda like operating on only instinct. The two most important IMDs were anti-attack and anti-ambush. It was actually fun going through the learning process. The anti-attack IMD was cool; we would always have one team on guard duty (SecFor: security force), another team would be the RIT (rapid intervention team), and the third would be off-duty sleeping or doing whatever they wanted like relaxing. If we were attacked the SecFor Team Leader would be in-charge, the RIT Team would immediately respond as needed. The off-duty team would gear up and be a reserve RIT. If all Teams were involved then I would take command of the teams.
The anti-ambush was cool too but a little more complicated. We had decided that we use a diamond formation for security while traveling. Point man, two flankers (right and left), and rear guard. The flankers would be out to each side as far as it would make sense…maybe 50 – 100’ or so, rarely more. The idea was they would help the group avoid, or fend off an ambush. So, if an ambush was not detected in time to avoid, and at the first shot, here was our protocol:
Since ambushes usually come from a flank, the flanker on that side would drop down to the ground and open fire as fast/furious as they could. The point and rear would to the same. The opposite flanker would then maneuver wide to the front or rear (depending on the situation). The concept was to pour as much initial return fire into the ambushers as possible to gain fire superiority. The RIT team would join on the flank of the ambush side providing additional fire support. Hopefully 8 people pouring out as much fire as possible would overcome the ambushers’ rate of fire and they would be killed or retreat.
While that was occurring the Day Care Unit would retreat to a safe location with their Security Unit providing close-in security. The third Ops Teams would provide rear guard protection for the Day Care Unit as they relocated. And then all three Ops teams would retreat using a reverse leap-frog action. Or, if called upon, we would fire and maneuver against the ambushers. But, we would do that only if absolutely needed. Our overriding mission/goal was to avoid contact, and avoid a firefight at all costs…even if we were a superior force.
For the last week we have been training those drills every single day, multiple times per day. Yesterday and last night we practiced them at night. We will do the same tonight. We make a racket because sometimes we do live-fire, but we do it a couple miles away so as not to draw attention to our camp.
Gotta break…Dinner time!
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