Examining GW Tactics: Fire and Maneuver in Urban AO’s

From the Archives, 2016

07_black_hawk_down_blu-ray

In a recent Article, Law Enforcement told how they found a very large collection of ‘tactical writings’ in the home of Dallas Police Shooter and Army Panty Bandit Micah Johnson.

According to Police, the tactic of “Fire and Maneuver” or “Shoot and Move” was the tactic seen most often in Johnson’s “voluminous” notes.

Since Johnson’s MOS and military career was devoid of any real Combat training or experience while in Afghanistan, Where Johnson actually learned these tactics is up for debate. John Mosby in his superb Mountain Guerilla blog  makes the case that Johnson was taught these tactics possibly by somebody who had participated in Mil-Sim (Airsoft).

My personal opinion is that Johnson at some time or another, post-Army career, received training by Black Power militants within the BLM community, who are most likely, according to Robert Spencer from Jihad Watch connected with HAMAS through the help of CAIR, which is widely known to financially support Terrorism.

The student of history and Guerilla Warfare does not have to look very far back to see the deadly nexus between 1960’s  Black Power militant movements, like the Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam led by Louis Farrakhan, so the BLM/HAMAS-CAIR connection is by no means a conspiratorial stretch.

Below is a video of an Armed Black Panther Rally/March in Austin, Texas in 2015. Note the chants about how the streets are “Our Streets” and “Oink Oink, Bang Bang” (overtly alluding to how they will Kill Law Enforcement).

When one starts piecing together the Dallas attack, the “Shoot and Move” tactic used by Johnson was one of the main reasons police thought there were facing MULTIPLE shooters, instead of just one shooter, as the fire was coming from many different positions. Gunfire echo in an urban setting combined with the chaos and high stress most likely attributed to this confusion.

This is a very important lesson to learn, both in the study of Guerilla and Counter-Insurgency Warfare (COIN). The guerilla must use any and all “force multipliers” to his advantage to try to overwhelm the enemy (both mentally and physically.) One of the greatest force multipliers is the APPEARANCE that the Guerilla (or the Guerilla Force) outnumber the Conventional Force.

chimney

This tactic most often manifest itself as a psych-warfare tool first. Keeping the enemy confused and fearful creates hesitation in how they will respond both tactically and strategically, which gives the guerilla more time to plan and attack. We can understand this point better as we listen to the Police radio traffic from that day of the attack in Dallas.

Now that we have briefly touched on some of the offensive aspects of fire and manuever warfare, let’s talk about the DEFENSIVE aspects.

The armed citizen must understand that regardless if it is you and a perp facing off at 10 feet in a gas station parking lot or you pinned down in an urban shootout like the one in Dallas, MOVEMENT = LIFE!

I will be touching on some of the more detailed aspects of urban sniping and fighting in some later installments, but right now the key thing for you to remember is to ALWAYS MOVE TO SOLID COVER AND KEEP MOVING UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF THE KILL BOX.

In Combat Shooting you will often hear the maxim: “GET OFF THE X” (With the “X” Being the Kill box.) For those of you that understand how the OODA loop works (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) when you MOVE In a fight, regardless if it is empty hand, stick, knife or gun, you force your enemy to RESET their OODA Loop. Even something as simple as a side-step can buy you 1/2 a second of reaction time in a fight and that half-second may be all you need to neutralize your opponent  or escape.

S123

When we are talking about a situation like the Dallas shooting, where civilians were caught out in the open with a shooter in an elevated position, Movement can be a tricky thing. Depending on the shooter’s elevation, your cover may be of little use since the shooter may be able to position themselves to look OVER and DOWN onto your position. This is what I mean by having SOLID or COMPLETE cover. Remember, If you don’t have a solid roof over your head, it’s a possibility he can see you and consequently, shoot you.

Combine this fact with the shooter using “Fire and Maneuver” tactics and this is how you can end up being PINNED Down and eventually overwhelmed and killed. I cannot stress enough how important movement is in these situations. Staying “planted” in a kill box, regardless of how “safe” you feel, is a sure-fire recipe for a funeral.

Pictures from that day show how officers and civilians alike were “hugging” the ground, Getting as LOW as possible behind vehicles or any cover that was available.

PP01

Staying low as possible is a good tip anytime shooting is taking place, however in an urban setting where the shooter is elevated, it is mandatory. We will discuss more on “Urban sectors of fire” in another post, but for right now it will suffice for you to understand that in an urban setting, depending on how elevated the shooter is, he may be able to shoot farther on the “oblique” than he can straight on, it just depends. Of course what type of rifle he is armed with and his skill level play heavily into that equation. I recommend John L. Plaster’s The Ultimate Sniper and his chapter on Urban Sniping for more advanced reading on the subject.

 

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Ordinary Men: A Profile of the Chechen Insurgents and their Tactics

Dodge Billingsly’s work covering the Chechen Wars is well worth the time, as is his book, Fangs of the Lone Wolf.

via Ordinary Men: A Profile of the Chechen Insurgents and their Tactics — American Partisan

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’

 

I have emphasized the importance of understanding 4GW, aka “Hybrid” or “Asymmetrical” Warfare for some time on this blog.

Understanding how War can be waged in every strata of society without a bullet ever being fired is mind blowing to some but none the less a painful reality in the 21st Century.

Arm Yourself with Knowledge!

“The Final Weapon is the Brain, all else is Supplemental.” -Steinbeck

 

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

 

On War: Understanding the Importance of Doctrine

Doctrine is an important topic in warfighting, and perhaps the most important area for an intelligence officer to understand. Doctrine defined is The guiding principles that an adversary uses to plan and execute his operations. When we understand adversary doctrine, we’re better informed about what he might do in the future because we understand what…

via On War: Understanding the Importance of Doctrine — American Partisan

Learning from Insurgent Tactics: The Vehicle as a Weapon

From the Archives, 2015

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13

Armored Van used in Attack on Dallas PD 6/13. Bought on Ebay for $8K

The attack on Dallas PD this past Saturday by a man in an armored van represents a variation on a tactic that has not been seen since the DC Sniper Murders in 2002, where a man and his young accomplice, using a Chevy Caprice sedan and turning the trunk into a “mobile” sniper hide, killed 10 people and critically wounded three others. The two concepts, an Armored Wagon or Van and the Mobile Sniper Hide, have at their core, basically the same concept: To Use a vehicle as a platform for a shooter or shooters to engage civilians and law enforcement, attempting to kill as many as possible. The differences lay in HOW these methods are applied.

The Mobile Sniper Hide (MSH) is a covert weapon, meaning it’s strength lies in NOT being detected, as the shooter engages targets both quietly and quickly as possible, keeping the location of the shooter (and shot) both hid (in the DC Sniper Case, by shooting from the car’s trunk through a small hole). The Armored Wagon on the other hand, OVERTLY engages targets (through gun ports), purposely drawing fire as it rolls on, ie like the Dallas PD attack recently.

The critical keys to remember if the AV concept is to work effectively, is that the engine block must be further bullet proofed (a .50 Caliber round took out the engine block) the tires must be run flats and reserve fuel bladders added.  If the engine or tires get disabled, or you run out of gas at a critical juncture, you are no longer mobile and have no egress options available; you are dead in the water, literally.

car

As far as the two concepts go, the Mobile Sniper Hide is a much more effective tool for the lone or small unit of of Guerilla fighters who live in a civilian population that is not controlled by military forces. Less attention is drawn to the vehicle as a whole, making it easier to hit and run (in reference to the One Shot Sniper Method discussed in the book Fry the Brain by John West.)

If history is studied, armored vans (or improvised fighting vehicles) work well in WAR zones, where both the VOLUME of fire coming OUT of the vehicle and the expectation of SUPPORT (from other vehicles and infantry) can be expected to be large. The downside of course is ANTITank and Vehicle weapons such as Mines, IED’s, RPG’s, Javelins and Grenade Launchers. The evolution of the IFV is an interesting study for the CO. Although I typically steer away from Wiki-Pedia, their entry on this subject is quite extensive and for the most part, correct. Read it HERE.

ATF

Another element of the insurgents use of vehicles to achieve a desired aim can be seen currently with the situation in Iraq where a large number of American Humvees that had been given to the Iraqi Security Forces were stolen by ISIS and turned into VBIED’s (Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Devices). Read that story HERE

VBIED’s (or car bombs) have been a technique that has seen widespread use by insurgents and terrorist alike. Some of the worst attacks (as far a total number killed) have occurred on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. However, if you ask any American with a sense of history, they will tell you by far, the two attacks that are seared into their memory are The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, both car bomb attacks.

In 2010, a car bomb was detected and diffused in New York’s Times Square, thanks to some street vendors who were paying attention. Just another example of why AWARENESS is our first and primary weapon in self-defense.

 

Bibliography and Suggested Reading

  • Fry the Brain by John West

  • Buda’s Wagon by Mike Davis

  • Bandit Country by Toby Harnden

  • Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough

 

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!