As a Former Soldier, schooled in policing and tactical combat I am disgusted by this Obvious as hell Murder. They were forced into a kill zone. Sickening.
Tear Gas, Flash Bangs Grenades, etc.
To Kill – Killing ambushes are focused on killing a specific group or individual within the kill zone with a secondary objective of destroying equipment. They’re usually conducted by larger groups, say, for example, a squad (10 to 13 people), but can be done with smaller or larger groups, up to a platoon (33 to 44 people, approximately). Destruction of the ambushed party is projected to be extremely fast and complete. It may be comprised of personnel, explosives, organic light machine guns, or all of these. There are many and varied formations for these ambushes, which will be described later. Successful reaction to these ambushes requires a high degree of repetitive training by a group simply because reaction time and routes out of the kill zone will be extremely limited.
I believe in being nimble. Being small and light allows you to move more fluently and act faster. Being light also allows you to be more efficient.
You don’t need a large team to be successful, you simply need the right team. The right people can perform at a higher level and be responsible for multiple tasks. Having a small team means that it can adapt faster, which also means that the momentum can be stopped if necessary. For example, if a 180 degree plan B needs to be executed, then the team dynamic won’t be affected.
Big teams committed to a plan are harder at adapting. Their weight alone makes this almost impossible. Think about SOF teams, which are small and agile. There’s a reason for that.
SOF teams worldwide tend to be small, autonomous and self-reliant. Because of this, they can operate at much higher level. Each team member provides valuable insight into his or her area of expertise. A good team needs to be both small and smart. The mindset of the team also needs to be geared toward this and have an adaptive mindset.
Rule 9: “A simple plan with a flexible blueprint will survive real world contact far better than a complex and rule-bound plan.”
This should be applied in all levels, from planning to execution. Every plan should be simple enough to allow a quick change on the fly, based on the environment and what’s on the field. No plan survives the first contact with the enemy and a good team needs this flexibility in order to change. If your team stays small and flexible, it will also reduce the resistance to change and adapt.
A small team comprised of the right people can communicate better, act & react smoothly and provide cleaner ideas.
Leveraging Team Strength
The first thing to understand are the individuals that comprise your team. It is a team, but without its members, a team is not much of anything.
Each member in the team has his or her own strengths. It’s the job of each and every team member to know the rest of the teammates and to know who can do what and under what situation. It’s also crucial to know how each of the members perform when it counts; under stress, without sleep or when time is really tight.
People tend to act differently when they’re in a team environment than when they work solo. Can they handle it? Can they take criticism? Can they give it?
Each member has a specific strength. One member might have a better touch when dealing with people, while another might have infinite patience and could sit in front of a list of hex numbers for hours while reverse engineering a piece of software. Another member may be mechanically inclined and able to fix anything, regardless of what it is. These are just a few examples.
While these strengths often derive from previous training and experiences, a lot of times this is just natural talent. Discovering these talents during the initial interview with a member or while on a project is critical for the team to evolve and become better. Sure, junior guys benefit a lot from being paired with a senior member on specific projects, however sometimes the opposite is true. A junior guy can bring a lot to the table and senior members need to be comfortable working under them. It keeps the team constantly learning and staying fresh.
To to fully accomplish this, you have to really know your teammates. One way of doing this is to put the person that might be best suited to lead a particular project or operation, in charge of planning. Pay attention to the other members, can anyone think differently on that specific subject matter? Maybe there’s someone that you thought had no knowledge of this specific subject but here he is, taking the expert for a ride. Maybe his talent resides in poking holes in a plan, he can then become the contingency guy.
You’d be surprised with the results you can get with these exercises, not to mention the team building that takes place. Experiment with this idea and have your team assess itself.
Adaptation is the name of the game, what worked once will not necessarily work twice. Essentially, you have to methodically discard the plans, possible solutions and schemas that would likely fail based on the analysis of the problem at hand. This works particularly well in small teams, when the plan has to be perfect. There aren’t many resources on a small team.
After collecting as much intelligence as possible and after you’ve performed recon and observed your target, either physical or digital, you then can red team your own solutions. Use proactive failure analysis to discard the solutions that might fail based on the intelligence you’ve just collected. You then adapt the remaining solutions to this same intelligence and prepare the primary, alternate, contingency and emergency plans.
This same technique is used by attackers. They adapt based on an analysis of their failed attacks and factor this into future attack plans.
When in Doubt, Develop the Situation
“Developing the situation is the common-sense approach to dealing with complexity. Both a method and a mind-set, it uses time and our minds to actively build context, so that we can recognize patterns, discover options, and master the future as it unfolds in front of us” – Pete Blaber, The Mission, The Men and Me, 2008
In any new situation, common sense and/or the Red Team Mindset should be used. It’s important to recognize patterns, discover possible alternatives and options, as well as prepare different solutions based on the analysis.
Developing the situation means innovation and new approaches. Skip the defaults look for new options. A team can truly come together through different ideas based on the intel from the ground or past experience.
The best information is real-time situational awareness based on what is actually happening on the ground right now. In order to accomplish this, you have to be open to new ideas. Once information is flowing from the field (by a team member or by direct collection,) you can begin to get a context of what’s going on. This collection of intelligence allows you to put the pieces together and plan accordingly.
It’s important that each team member have a say in the planning phase. This is key on small teams. Each member has his/her own interpretation of the information and these different views can provide the next level in developing the situation. Hear what each member has to say about the developing issues and have them state a plan of action and poke holes in your own plan. Develop the situation.
A Parting Thought
Problems will arise on a small team. There’s no way around it. Keep in mind that sometimes these problems have a reason. Take a step back, analyze this and continue forward.
“If you have the same problem for a long time, maybe it’s not a problem—it’s a fact” – Yitzhak Rabin
I will take the approach of a small modern infantry unit. There are many types of ambushes but the most effective is the L shaped ambush placed along an enemy's route. Place your support by fire position (machine guns) at the bottom of the L and your assault position at the side of the L. This allows your most casualty-producing weapons to fire down the length of the kill zone.
Place LP/OP's (Listening/Observation Posts) on either side of ambushing element to alert to enemy approaching the kill zone, and provide security. Place your Claymore antipersonnel mines with the assault force. When an enemy force enters the kill zone, initiate the ambush with your claymores, run your MG's for a 'mad minute', lift fire, and have your assault force assault through the kill zone. Presto! Maximum amount of casualties in the shortest period of time.
AR - Automatic Rifleman
TL - Team Leader
SL - Squad Leader
GRN - Grenadier
R - Rifleman
MG - Machine gun
RP - Rally Point
ORP - Objective Rally Point
EPW - Enemy Prisoner of War
Let’s start with team composition. Baseline fact: There is no room in an ambush team for non-team players. Everyone is dependent upon everyone else in the team to successfully complete the mission and return to the NPA alive. If you have folks in your NPT that have a hard time taking direction, it might not be the best choice to include them on one of these teams until such time, if any, they demonstrate the capability of following direction.
The most basic ambush team is the single shooter, or, ‘lone gunman.’ He can be very effective if the task is to delay or disrupt, he’s very good at camouflage, marksmanship, can operate on his own (meaning he can subsist without support), isn’t prone to panic, and does not let himself get enveloped (aka ‘surrounded’), and if finding himself in that position, does as much damage to the MZB’s as possible before being taken. It should be a matter of course that this individual has been highly trained in navigation, precision (as much as is feasible with his weapon) marksmanship, fire discipline, camouflage and concealment, is highly fit and can carry what he needs.
Small teams of up to four people can do wonders performing ambush, but they must all be highly trained as described above, and have the ability to work individually, in two man teams, and as a single unit. Further, they should have a chain of command and be used to following plans, directions, mission intent, and submit themselves to the team leader.
Beyond the one man team, in larger ambush teams of at least 11 people, there are three elements: Command (CE), Assault (AE), and Security (SE).
The CE has the team commander, primary communications team member, medic, and any ‘observers’ that may be along for a variety of reasons.
The AE is made up of the people who will perform the ambush once on site. The AE is further broken down into the primary assault team (PAT), the support team (SPT), and any ‘special task’ team (ST) such as prisoner handlers and others. The primary tasks of the three sub teams are:
PAT: The team that does the primary shooting and killing of the MZB’s.
SPT: Provides fire support for the PAT with belt fed weapons (if possible) or highly accurate and fast designated marksman fire.
ST: Prevents MZB escape by providing flank security and protects the rear of the PAT and SPT during the ambush and will cover the withdrawal of both the PAT and SPT sub-elements after the ambush is concluded.
The graphics below provide a good idea of what some of the teams will be occupied with while setting up and conducted a linear ambush. In the first case, the command element will have the Assistant Team Leader at the rear of the PAT along with the team medic or any observers present. The SPT will be interspersed in the PAT, and the ST’s will be deployed to protect both flanks and the rear of the Rally Point and PAT. In the second case, the SPT will be divided with the PAT, and the ST’s will be deployed to protect both flanks and the rear of both PATs.
An essential task to note is the required complete security of the selected ambush site until such time the ambush is initiated by the Ambush Team Leader or a man trap, such as an IED either passively or actively controlled. The ambush cannot be detected at all prior to initiation; if it is, the mission is a failure, and the team must withdraw as quickly as possible and elude any pursuers. Complete security is achieved when the ambush is set and its presence cannot be detected by the MZB’s passing through until it’s sprung. All around security must, without fail, be maintained by the ST. The following graphic demonstrates the security teams getting into position before anyone else.
If the ambush team is surprised by a flank or rear attack, the mission is a failure and the lives of the ambush team will be in jeopardy. Some have said, and I agree, the Security Team is the most important element on the Ambush Team, for without them doing their job extremely well, chances of the Ambush team making it home are slim. Last note: Any non-combatants that stumble on the ambush site are detained until after the ambush and then released after all elements have withdrawn.
It should be noted that to get to and from the selected ambush site, the team will need to employ effective patrolling techniques that utilize individual and team movement skills.
As to formations, simply do a Google search for ‘ambush formations’ to come up with hundreds of graphics that can be adapted to your particular NPT’s training needs. It doesn’t matter if you are urban, suburban, or rural, the same techniques can be employed.
http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/survival/infantry-platoon-tactical.shtml http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,79595,00.html https://defensivetraininggroup.wordpress.com/category/small-unit-tactics/
[Last edited Mar 09, 2016 17:54:03]