If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve realized usCrow.org specializes in combat and survival skills. Whether you’re a prepper or a militia member, understanding the fundamentals for movement in hostile territories will save your life and better prepare your unit for combat. Those who have not yet experienced war assume it’s all firefights, this is not accurate, you’ll spend much more time moving than fighting.
These basic principles of tactical movement while traveling through hostile territory should be committed to memory, practiced often to develop essential survival skills that become second nature. While training, a constant theme should showcase likely threats, thus developing healthy contingency planning.
A common theme among our articles is domestic invasion and martial law on American soil. Therefor we outline the fundamental core of our survival training in our guides. These skills can be used for several other types of disaster, not just the ones highlighted by usCrow. Use rational deductive logic and commit to your planning.
Fire Team Tactical Movement
To increase your chances for survival we suggest forming a militia unit or survival group. This unit will be known as your ‘fire team’. A typical fire team should include ground recon, riflemen, gunners, medical personnel, scouts and a team leader. When traveling in hostile territory the most common fire team formation is known as the ‘fire team wedge’.
The fire team wedge is headed by the team leader with subordinates following no more than 10 meters apart with each unit member’s line of sight forming an immediate 180 degree field of vision. With trailing personnel observe the rear field of view for enemy combatants.
Temporary and permanent changes to troop formation can be made by the team leader when operational success is dependent upon that change. Another formation commonly used is the single file formation to assist movement through narrow passages.
One critical fact you must beat into your fire team is obedience. Those who have not served in the military might find such obedience not to their liking, anyone who does not respect the chain of command during training will do so in combat. Replace such members accordingly. The team leader leads by setting example, during combat the team leader has the standing order of ‘Follow me, do as I do.’. When team leaders move in a direction the subordinates should do the same, when he takes cover so should the rest of the fire team.
The use of luminous tape should be applied to parts of your equipment located at the rear of your body, use a specific pattern to distinguish between team members and hostile forces. These strips only need to be a couple of inches long to form these identifying patterns. The location of these identifiers should be the same for each fire team member.
CCD (Camouflage, Cover, and Concealment) Techniques
CCD is required for tactical operations and mission success while prioritizing its use with METT-TC military standards (mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and civilian considerations). In the military there are five techniques commonly used for CCD that include:
Environment and topography camouflaging. Camouflaging yourself and your equipment is a basic technique that almost all novice preppers and militia members utilize. It is a highly effective practice as long as the camouflage adequately matches the topography of the environment. Some effective solutions include ATAC-S / Multicam Camouflage Systems. You can use unconventional methods of camouflage such as the one described in our How to build a Ghillie Suit article.
Disguising your equipment to mislead enemies. A good example of equipment disguising for CCD is covering your equipment with tarps and foliage to resemble a large bush or blend into the landscape when seen from above. This method tricks the enemy into believing the target is something it’s not.
Decoying is the deployment of simulated targets within a scene. A mundane example of this can be seen in Afghanistan, where operators will affix a combat helmet to a stick, deviating the target’s attention and exposing himself, while a secondary operator or rifleman eliminates the target. Decoys may seem hoaky to non-operational personnel, but battle hardened veterans will quickly tout their use because decoys greatly increase your chances for survival and mission success.
Tactical Movement Techniques
Your survival unit or militia needs to be able to avoid enemies and engage them at will utilizing the element of surprise to control the theater. You can practice the following techniques;
Wear fatigues and other gear that’s comfortable, this includes rucksack weight and plate carriers. Unnecessary weight such as non-mission critical items should not be carried across hostile territory. Fatigues should generally match the terrain/topography.
Dogs tags, loose items, and other items that make noise while walking should be secured using duct tape and bindings. Failure to secure these items could potentially expose your location.
When aerial surveillance is available movement should be coordinated between ground and air units. When aerial surveillance is not available basic precautions should be taken. Stop, look, and listen before moving. Know your destination before moving to another position.
Use concealed routes and beaten paths intermittently, changing direction slightly from time to time, moving in and out of tall grass i.e. bush. Only roads and trails that provide concealment (low terrain, bush, culverts, bridges) should be crossed. Avoid traveling across terrain that will quickly exhaust your unit or pose an addition threat (steep slopes, muddy areas, areas with loose dirt).
Combat units should never proceed directly forward from a concealed position and movement should always employ the use of natural cover. Avoid kill-box areas with no concealment, a perfect example of an ambush site is a valley where enemy combatants can ambush your unit from higher ground (ridge-line).
Tactical Movement Positions
Combat units’ methods of movement should include walking, low crawling (used in low concealment areas where potential enemy fire prevents other movements), high crawling (used in moderate concealment areas where potential enemy fire prevents other movements) and rushing (used in high concealment areas to prevent tracking by enemy combatants).
Low Crawl Tactical Movement – Keep body on ground. Grasp upper weapon sling swivel with firing hand while letting the front handguard rest on your forearms. Keep the muzzle off the ground and let the butt drag. Push arms forward and pull with firing leg forward, while pulling with your arms and pushing with your legs.
High Crawl Tactical Movement – Keep your body off the ground while resting your forearms and lower legs. Cradle your weapon in your arms keeping the muzzle off the ground. Keep your knees behind your buttocks to keep your body low.
Rush Tactical Movement – This position allows your unit to move quickly from prone positions. Slowly raise head and identify your route and slowly lower your head when identified. Draw your arms into your body while keeping your elbows in. Pull right leg forward and raise your body by straightening your arms. Get up quickly and run to your next position. Ensure each movement ends in the prone position and utilizes topographical concealment.
Stealth Tactical Movement
Moving with stealth means moving quietly, slowly and carefully while exhibiting extreme caution during high risk movement operations. Moving with stealth requires holding your rifle at port arms (ready position) and being aware of your footing. Your footing should distribute weight evenly and should avoid dry timber and other natural elements that could potentially give away your position.
Moving at night should generally be avoided when not pertinent to mission success and survival. When moving at night through dense vegetation to engage enemy combatants; hold your weapon with one hand and keep the other hand forward, feeling for obstructions (when PVS-7 Night Vision Systems are unavailable). Feel for the ground, trip wires and other improvised devises with your free hand while lowering your knees one at a time until your body weight is on both knees, then roll into a prone position and engage your targets.
Tactical Movement for Indirect Fire
If your survival group or militia unit come under indirect fire (enemy riflemen unable to acquire a confirmed target, using wild/suppression fire to force an exposure), the unit leader should provide quick and decisive orders to maintain survivability. Militia unit leaders should advise either to evacuate the impact area to a certain position, or give orders to follow. If you can’t acquire your team leader coordinate with other unit members within your grid and act decisively, running away from incoming fire in an Z pattern. For further explanation read our evasion and survival techniques guide.
Fire Team Fire and Movement Technique
When your militia or survival unit makes contact with hostile forces (unlike surprise indirect fire), the fire team should acquire targets and begin firing while simultaneously moving towards the enemy. This technique is called fire and movement and is conducted to eliminate and/or close-in on hostile forces. Firing elements may be assigned to single survival unit members, buddy teams or the entire fire team. Regardless of the size of enemy combatants, the action should be fire and movement.
The firing element covers the movement element by engaging and firing upon enemy combatants while the movement element moves the fire team close to enemy combatants. This is the basic function of a fire team and should be done until the enemy can be eliminated. This action is to be ordered by the team leader verbally or by action.
During combat and/or patrols that require silence tactical hand signals and movements can be used to convey orders to the fire team. .
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