In the first two parts of this article series, we have been talking about traveling to your safe haven during a without rule of law event. Part 2 began the overview on traveling by vehicle. We left off with discussion about roadblocks and multiple cars traveling a good distance apart so that the lead car could make a three-point turn in the reverse direction and warn the other cars in advance of a roadblock. Let’s continue with this scenario.
Over-watch Team Defending the Lead Vehicle
Now is the time for the first vehicle to better assess the situation and report. The second vehicle should immediately pull over as well, maintaining the 100 yard (night)/150 yard (day) separation (maybe even farther depending on your team’s abilities). The over-watch team in the second vehicle should deploy and take up positions that are adequate to support the lead vehicle. All other vehicles should pull over. It may be advisable for these vehicles to group closer together back along the road and maintain a defensive rear guard.
At this point the lead vehicle should report back to the leadership and request instructions, which might be to retreat or otherwise. One question will have to be answered quickly; is the roadblock hostile? Almost by definition, every roadblock is hostile. After all, it’s a roadblock. Those manning the roadblock want to halt your progress. Maybe they will take your supplies, firearms, vehicles, and let you live. That’s doubtful.
Leadership’s SOP Guidance
This is a good time to revert back to your leadership’s SOP guidance. A reasonable assumption is that the roadblock is hostile. If so, how many are manning the roadblock? What’s beyond the roadblock? Is it a city, a small town, reserve hostile forces? There is no good answer absent prior intelligence on the area.
If any of the vehicles are fired upon, retreat may be the better part of valor. If the mission is to get all the members to the safe haven, avoid fire fights if possible. The over-watch team from the second vehicle should lay down suppressive fire (both fire that suppresses the hostile units and fire from suppressed weapons). That’s right, it’s suppressor time.
Meanwhile, the leadership should decide whether to fight or retreat. Suggestions for fighting against a fixed position are beyond this article and are the responsibility of your group’s leadership. If the decision is to retreat, remember you have already scouted alternate routes. The first vehicle should head for the alternate route.
While the first vehicle moves off, members from those vehicles behind the second vehicle should provide over-watch and suppressive fire for the first and second vehicles. The second vehicle over-watch team should remount its vehicle and follow the lead vehicle. Remaining team members to the rear should lay down suppressive fire. Once the second vehicle nears the rear guard, the rear guard should mount their vehicles and the entire caravan should proceed to the alternate route.
What if the group runs into another roadblock along the alternate route? Well, now you have some practice. Maybe retreat once again to a second alternate route. If the roadblock is smaller, less well manned, maybe now is the time to fight. Your leadership will decide. Whatever the decision, it is critical for all members to follow orders and their training.
Keep in mind that in any roadblock situation, you are likely up against several scared individuals. They may not be as well trained or equipped. If so, the odds are in your favor. Also remember that your ROE authorizes the use of deadly force when you have been fired upon. Once you decide to fight, fight with fortitude and overwhelming force. It’s likely that the hostile forces are not looking to take prisoners.
Will your group have the ability to defeat the roadblock or should you retreat? If return fire is overwhelming, by all means retreat, scatter and meet up at a designated rally point along your route. Your goal is to make it to safe haven to live to fight another day with as many of your members as possible.
The Pull Over Scenario
The second scenario is the pull over. Your reactions should be somewhat similar to the roadblock scenario except the target vehicle will likely be one of the rear most in your caravan. Why? Because an enforcement official may be looking to confiscate vehicles and/or supplies. On a road, that official is more likely to come up on one or two of the rear vehicles in your convoy. They may not recognize the vehicles as belonging to a larger group until it’s too late.
As such, when your convoy is approached from the rear, expect trouble to occur with tail-end Charlie. If this last vehicle sees flashing lights, it should immediately notify all other vehicles and begin to slowly pull over to the right side of the roadway. The goal is to feign compliance.
Next Vehicle Should Also Pull Over and Deploy Over-Watch
The next vehicle in line should also pull over about 100 yards in front (night)/150-200 yards (day). Whether to pull over to the right or left side should be left to the driver and occupants. If a better defensible position is available on the left, and there is light or no oncoming traffic, pull to the left. The second vehicle’s team should immediately deploy in an over-watch configuration with respect to pulled-over vehicle.
Park in Manner That Allows for Quick Egress
A few notes before discussing further. One, the vehicle pulled over should park in a manner that allows for quick egress towards any natural defensive position. Do not wait. The fire team should immediately deploy. Determine before hand whether your team SOP calls for immediate neutralization of the target.
Deploy Equipment Capable of Jamming Cellular, UHF, and VHF Signals
Two, if the official is observant, and sees a number of vehicles also pulling over, he/she may radio for backup. If your team has access to radio equipment capable of jamming cellular, UHF and VHF signals, deploy it, but be careful not to interfere with your own radio communications.
If your SOP is to initially communicate with the official, you may have a larger problem on your hands in a few minutes or later down the road. It may be possible to immobilize the pursuer’s vehicle and destroy its radio equipment with well-placed shots. It’s something to discuss if non-deadly force is initially pursued. However, understand that anyone attempting to pull you over during a WROL event is likely to be armed, scared, and hostile to your plans.
Invest in Multiple License Plates From Various States
Third, the team should invest in a number of license plates from various states that border the states along your route. Why states outside of those along your route? In an WROL situation, officials will likely still have access to their own state’s vehicle identification database. On the other hand, other states may not allow access to their computer networks. The goal is to avoid being positively identified. Such license plates can be purchased at any number of websites. Take the normal purchasing precautions and keep a set handy in each vehicle.
Vehicles Not Involved in Immediate Over-Watch Duties
All other vehicles not involved in immediate over-watch duties should pull over ahead of the over-watch vehicle and deploy their teams. Drivers should remain in their vehicles with the engines running and all lights off. As soon as the situation is addressed, it’s probably a good idea to seek an alternate route or backtrack until a safe alternative route is selected.
Coordination Between Local Jurisdictions and Government Organizations
Will there be coordination between local officials from different jurisdictions? In a WROL situation all bets are off. Local government organizations may be undermanned and operating in a limited enforcement capacity. If such is the case, take advantage of this fact. Push ahead, if you are close to a county or state line.
Practice Possible Situations
The above are only two possible situations your group may encounter while traveling to your safe haven. Some situations will require the use of deadly force. Others may only require disabling the pursuer’s vehicle and communications equipment. For either type of response, practice. Practice driving at night with the lights off, pulling over, identifying defensive positions, and managing radio communications. Draft and fully understand your SOPs and ROE. Practice exiting your vehicles with your carry firearms and moving to an over-watch position. The list of things to practice is almost without limit. Prioritize and practice. When the time comes to deploy and protect your team, you will be ready and that much more likely to make it to your safe haven.
Summary of Issue 3
A summary of Issue 3 actions for your group follows:
- Decide when to travel, day or night,
- Utilize an initial rally point to gather all vehicles before pushing ahead,
- If driving at night, employ night vision and thermal scopes to your advantage,
- Each vehicle should have a dedicated marksman (DM) capable of effectively engaging targets out to 600 yards during the day and 200 yards at night,
- Maintain effective vehicle spacing and communications,
- For night driving, identity your vehicles (front and back) with reflective IR patches or tape,
- Use license plates from other states to mask your vehicle’s identity,
- Discuss and walk through the two most common on-the-road scenarios– roadblocks and being pulled over, and
- Practice over-watch deployments, and
- Understand your SOPs and ROE, and decide beforehand when to use deadly force and when non-deadly force will be enough to protect your group.
The ideas presented above have been floating around in my head for several years and many were put into practice by my last group. I don’t like the idea of using deadly force indiscriminately. However, if anything, I am a pragmatic person. It is absolutely critical that groups discuss SOPs and ROE well before a WROL event takes place. People are creatures of emotion, and emotions can work to our disadvantage especially when faced with a catastrophic event.
Keep Things Simple
Keep things simple. We don’t work well with complexities under pressure. Instead, we tend to fall back on muscle memory. This is the main reason for walking through the various scenarios above and getting on the range for firearms training and on the road for vehicle training. Train as you fight, and fight as you train. The more you train, the less there is the think about when the SHTF.
Comment to Contact Me For Additional Advice
There are many more issues to address with respect to SOPs and ROE in response to a WROL event. With the exception of basic articles, I usually do not share my views in a public forum. Individuals or groups may comment in order to contact me for additional advice with respect to retreat organization, long-distance shooting, reloading, machining, electronics and/or radio-based communications.
- Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event- Part 1, by E.P.
- Traveling to Your Safe Haven During a WROL Event- Part 2, by E.P.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part three of a three part entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
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Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.