Guest Article: Effective Small Team Tactics for the Coming Collapse, by Max Velocity

I have been a soldier for all my adult life: infantry, special operations and as a civilian security contractor. More recently, I have got into prepping for the survival of my family. I have been working slowly at it, and reading and researching a lot of the publications and related blogs. Given my background, I have a head start in the security area, but many have huge head starts over me in the other desired and required skills that will be essential to survival. I have a lot to learn and a lot to catch up on. However, I would like to contribute my two cents worth where I can.

The more I read, the more I form the opinion that certainly not all, but perhaps “some” or “many” preppers out there are making the simple mistake of thinking that with the subject of security, they can simply “tick the box”. Preparing for the protection of your family cannot be simply taken care of by having guns; not in the same way that hunger can be taken care of by stocking food. It is simply not sufficient to exercise your right to bear arms and own guns, without being tactically proficient. Even for the good shots, that is not the same as being able to perform tactically. The kind of tactical challenges that you will face post-SHTF will be in a different league to, for example, confronting an intruder in the dead of night with your handgun or shotgun. Think marauding gangs of looters, going from house to house, raping and killing. Even if you have a remote retreat, you will need tactical know-how at some point. I also believe that there will not only be a need for family and friend units to protect themselves, but if the collapse is ongoing for some time there will be a need to create tactical teams to conduct necessary operations to protect your area of operations and retreat from whatever threats emerge.

Reading through forums and articles I see many of the same questions out there about what techniques to use, how to defend yourself, your loved ones and your home, and similar. I hope to answer these questions. Also, the book takes you from tactics for survival of yourself and your family, including vehicle movement and defending your home, through to small unit tactics. These small unit tactics require the training of tactical teams and would form the basis of a group that you would use to conduct operations post-SHTF to defend your location, compound or small town. This compendium of infantry, special operations and close protection tactics would also allow you to carry out an effective American Insurgency against invading enemies, foreign or domestic, into the post-SHTF vacuum.
As an example, as part of my career in the military and security, I spent five years serving as a security contractor in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This included working on contract for the US Government in Iraq, a year of which was based out of Fallujah, the rest variously based out of Baghdad and country-wide, and also two years working for the British Government in Helmand Province and Kabul, Afghanistan. These roles were operational security roles that included exposure to multiple training methods and operational schools of thought, as well as both high profile and low profile mobile operations across Iraq and Afghanistan. In my book, I have incorporated a lot of the techniques and experience that I learned in both high and low profile movement in these combat theatres into techniques that you can apply to moving your family and conducting any type of post-collapse vehicle movement.
If you find yourself packing up your family in a “get out of Dodge” situation, then there are a number of factors to consider. The number of vehicles and personnel in your convoy will have a knock on effect to tactical potential, which will is discussed in more detail. However, to introduce the concept here: one vehicle gives you limited load carrying ability and no redundancy. If you are a standard type family you likely have a couple of cars. Take both. If you have the ability to take three cars and have a driver and security in each, then take them because you will 1) spread out your personnel so that there is less risk with the destruction of one vehicle 2) increased redundancy if one vehicle breaks down or is immobilized 3) increased your tactical options, which we will cover in detail in the chapter on vehicle operations, and 4) greatly increased your load carrying ability, perhaps without having to use a trailer which will benefit mobility.
One of the big threats faced in Iraq and Afghanistan is the Improvised Explosive Device (IED). We hope that this will not be a primary threat in a WTSHTF situation in the Continental United States, and the manual does not concentrate on them for this reason, but they may either be used in a limited fashion by certain groups or become a widespread threat in an insurgency type situation if one develops, for whatever reason. Here are a few interest points on IEDs:
IEDs come in various sizes and the effectiveness of an IED depends on large part as a function of size and placement, as well as accurate targeting. IEDs can be connected in a “daisy chain” and usually placed to match the anticipated spacing of vehicles in convoys, to cause maximum damage. IEDs can be initiated in a number of ways:
• Command Wire (CWIED). A physical connection between the initiation point (Firing point (FP) and the CWIED itself (Contact Point)); the need for this connection can aid in detection of the device and the FP.
• Remote Control (RCIED). The RCIED is detonated remotely using any one of multiple options. It can be anything from a cell phone to a garage door opener. This increases the enemy’s options for placement and FP, without the need to be physically connected to the device. This can make it harder to detect the device.
Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). Simply put, the IED is inside the vehicle. This type of IED will usually be remotely detonated, or can be on a timer (exception: see SVBIED, below). The VBIED allows for mobility and placement of large IEDs. However, they can be detected: a simple example can be a car that is packed with Home Made Explosives (HME) and therefore the suspension is weighed down, making the vehicle suspicious as it sits parked at its placement point.
Off-Route Mine: (A targeted IED capable of defeating armored vehicles)
• The off-route mine is very effective and can defeat many types of armor. It uses the “Monroe effect”(shaped charge) to create a molten jet of metal that will pierce armor, causing damaging effects inside the vehicle as it passes through. The Monroe effect places explosives in behind a metal cone or dish: on detonation, the cone inverts and melts into a stream of metal. This is the same effect used by a standard RPG, with the exception that an RPG detonates on contact with a vehicle, whereas the Explosively Formed Projectile goes off several feet away by the side of the road.
• The effect of the device can be devastating but usually limited in scope. It will pass through armor, and there have been multiple circumstances of these devices causing traumatic lower limb amputation of personnel in the driver and front passenger seats of vehicles, but personnel in other compartments being left unscathed.

Victim Operated Improvised Explosive Device (VOIED). This type of IED is detonated by the actions of the victim. In order to be effective the IED will usually target a location that is known to be used by coalition forces. VOIEDs can be anti-personnel or anti-vehicle. The type of location targeted would usually be somewhere that locals could avoid, but that forms a channel for military personnel or vehicles. These devices, or the corresponding safe routes, may also be marked, often in unusual ways, similar to the way that mines are often marked in the Balkans i.e. piles of rocks, sticks, cloth tied to markers etc.
About The Author: Max Velocity is the pen name of a former Special Forces soldier and private security contractor. He is the author of the nonfiction book Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival.