Thursday, December 19, 2013

RE: Max Velocities Considerations on Night Operations

Read the original post here. My thoughts in no particular order:

Everything is harder at night, fighting is no different.

When patrolling at night you really need to tighten up distances and formations to the point you aren't losing folks. The groups skill level as well as the percentage of illumination and vegetation dictate but sometimes the only option is a very shallow wedge or even a file. Losing people at night is a real bloody mess.

Accountability at night needs to be done by physically touching people. Like walking down a line (or moving people through a release point) and touching each one of them. Otherwise you will think you see somebody and it is actually a clump of brush or a figment of your imagination.

At night, especially low tech you need really simple plans. Like basic suppress and flank type stuff. A 7 phase plan with multiple fire control measures and supplementary support by fire locations is not going to work. Keep it super simple.

White lights on weapons are good for up close work. I favor them for CQB and clearing buildings/ caves/ etc. On the other hand hitting one in a fight in the middle of a field would be bad.

Parachute flares are an old school way to illuminate an area. They are great for defense and can be used under the right conditions offensively. A person in a covered position lighting an area up with flares right before a complicated final assault on a small compound might be a good idea.

I've talked prioritizing night vision in the past. I won't fault folks who cannot afford gen III night vision, let alone an IR laser and FLIR. Personally I do not have FLIR. I'd like it but do not really have a plan to make that happen.Will hav to think on that and maybe over the next year or two make it work.

If you don't have the money well, you don't have the money. There are things that are really important which cost money, more than some folks have, so I do not see a point in beating them up about it. I'd love to have a 50 foot sailboat ready to go on the gulf and an isolated off grid cabin in the PNW but I don't have an extra few hundred grand to make it happen. On the other hand I think a person who is buying extra guns they don't use to squirrel them away in the safe instead of getting night vision to maximize their effectiveness as a combatant is making a real mistake.

Fighting people who have better technology is hard. It is an uneven fight from the get go. Like Max said you need to maneuver the same way you would during the day. When it comes to being seen use terrain to your advantage. Maneuver up to a hill from behind, launch an ambush then get terrain between you and the enemy quickly. Wrap that into a simple plan and you've got a chance at success.

The low tech underdog really needs to have their ducks in a row before choosing to fight.  I would find a situation where by location or poor operating procedures (weak walls, lazy guards, etc all) the enemy was vulnerable AND I was confident I would be able to get in, execute the attack AND GET OUT. An underdog is better off doing a thorough recon and deciding against 3 attacks to get to the right one then getting massacred by air power. Better to choose selectively and LIVE then be less selective and more successful till you die.

As a final thought I would be sure to do full rehearsals AT NIGHT in comparable terrain whenever possible. Get used to dealing with all of the problems of operating at night while still in the planning phase. So those are my thoughts on that.

Edited to include an email from B
I found an interesting article over at Hackaday that may be interesting to you and your readers looking to get an advantage at a cheaper price. The Flir E4 Thermal Camera ($1000) has the same guts as their Flir E8 ($6000) which can then have the firmware upgraded to create a really good camera at a large discount. Link to article
Have a happy holiday!


1 comment:

riverrider said...

damn right, practice patrolling and reactions at night, not just once before the op but dozens of times until you prefer the dark. cold turkey night ops are total clusters. individually, i'm afraid of running around in the swamps/woods at night, terrified of snakes! but on patrol no problem, group mentality i guess. i have found nvd's to be a detriment in some cases, like when theres a bit of ambient light. nothing beats it on a total black night tho. i just take solace that with very rare exception the enemy hates night work too and are just as clustered as us. hey, anybody got a source for those para flares?

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