OPSGEAR® Blog

Preparing for an Earthquake

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time.

For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth’s surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release accumulated energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

While earthquakes are sometimes believed to be a West Coast occurrence, there are actually 45 states and territories throughout the United States that are at moderate to high risk for earthquakes including the New Madrid fault line in Central U.S.

The 2011 East Coast earthquake illustrated the fact that it is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.

BEFORE AN EARTHQUAKE

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
  • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
  • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
  • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
  • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
  • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
  • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

DURING AN EARTHQUAKE

 

If Indoors

 

DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.

Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.

Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.

Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

DO NOT use the elevators.

Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

If Outdoors

  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
  • If in a Moving Vehicle
  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.
  • If Trapped Under Debris
  • Do not light a match.
  • Do not move about or kick up dust.
  • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.

Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE

  • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
  • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
  • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
  • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home had been damaged and is no longer safe. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
  • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
  • After it is determined that its’ safe to return, your safety should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html
  • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
  • Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
  • Inspect utilities.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
  • Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

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David Burnell May 26, 2017 Add a comment 0 tags (show)

The Cause

Somewhere there is a TRUE BELIEVER that is Training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water, in austere conditions day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn’t worry about what workouts to do—his rucksack weighs what it weighs and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him. The TRUE BELIEVER doesn’t care how hard it is; he either wins or dies. He doesn’t go home at 1700; he is home. He only knows the “CAUSE”. 

Author Unknown

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David Burnell March 09, 2017 Add a comment 2 tags (show)

Color Code of Mental Awareness & Combat Mindset

The most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation, according to Cooper, is neither the weapon nor the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset, set forth in his book, Principles of Personal Defense. In the chapter on awareness, Cooper presents an adaptation of the Marine Corps system to differentiate states of readiness:

The color code, as originally introduced by Jeff Cooper, had nothing to do with tactical situations or alertness levels, but rather with one's state of mind. As taught by Cooper, it relates to the degree of peril you are willing to do something about and which allows you to move from one level of mindset to another to enable you to properly handle a given situation. Cooper didn't claim to have invented anything in particular with the color code, but he was apparently the first to use it as an indication of mental state.

* White - Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be "Oh my God! This can't be happening to me."

* Yellow - Relaxed alert. No specific threat situation. Your mindset is that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself." You are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that you are prepared to defend yourself, if necessary. You use your eyes and ears, and realize that "I may have to SHOOT today." You don't have to be armed in this state, but if you are armed you should be in Condition Yellow. You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods, as long as you are able to "Watch your six." (In aviation 12 o'clock refers to the direction in front of the aircraft's nose. Six o'clock is the blind spot behind the pilot.) In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner, like a continuous 360 degree radar sweep. As Cooper put it, "I might have to shoot."

* Orange - Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has gotten your attention. Your radar has picked up a specific alert. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat (but you do not drop your six). Your mindset shifts to "I may have to shoot HIM today," focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that goblin does 'x', I will need to stop him." Your pistol usually remains holstered in this state. Staying in Orange can be a bit of a mental strain, but you can stay in it for as long as you need to. If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.

* Red - Condition Red is fight. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. If "X" happens I will shoot that person.

The USMC also uses "Condition Black" as actively engaged in combat, as do some of Cooper's successors, but Cooper always felt this was an unnecessary step and not in keeping with the mindset definition of the color code since it is a state of action.

In short, the Color Code helps you "think" in a fight. As the level of danger increases, your willingness to take certain actions increases. If you ever do go to Condition Red, the decision to use lethal force has already been made (your "mental trigger" has been tripped).

The following are some of Cooper's additional comments on the subject.

"Considering the principles of personal defense, we have long since come up with the Color Code. This has met with surprising success in debriefings throughout the world. The Color Code, as we preach it, runs white, yellow, orange, and red, and is a means of setting one’s mind into the proper condition when exercising lethal violence, and is not as easy as I had thought at first.

There is a problem in that some students insist upon confusing the appropriate color with the amount of danger evident in the situation. As I have long taught, you are not in any color state because of the specific amount of danger you may be in, but rather in a mental state which enables you to take a difficult psychological step."Now, however, the government has gone into this and is handing out color codes nationwide based upon the apparent nature of a peril. It has always been difficult to teach the Gunsite Color Code, and now it is more so.

We cannot say that the government’s ideas about colors are wrong, but that they are different from what we have long taught here."The problem is this: your combat mind-set is not dictated by the amount of danger to which you are exposed at the time. Your combat mind-set is properly dictated by the state of mind you think appropriate to the situation. You may be in deadly danger at all times, regardless of what the Defense Department tells you. The color code which influences you does depend upon the willingness you have to jump a psychological barrier against taking irrevocable action. That decision is less hard to make since the jihadis have already made it."

"In White you are unprepared and unready to take lethal action. If you are attacked in White you will probably die unless your adversary is totally inept.

In Yellow you bring yourself to the understanding that your life may be in danger and that you may have to do something about it.

In Orange you have determined upon a specific adversary and are prepared to take action which may result in his death, but you are not in a lethal mode.

In Red you are in a lethal mode and will shoot if circumstances warrant."

about Lt. Colonel Cooper

Born John Dean Cooper, but known to his friends as "Jeff", Cooper was a Marine Lieutenant Colonel who served in both World War II and the Korean War resigning his commission in 1956.[citation needed] He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University and, in the mid-1960s, a master's degree in history from the University of California, Riverside.

In 1976, Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute (API) in Paulden, Arizona (later the Gunsite Training Center). Cooper also began teaching shotgun and rifle classes to law enforcement and military personnel as well as civilians and did on-site training for individuals and groups around the Free World. He sold the firm in 1992 but continued living on the Paulden ranch. He was known for his advocacy of large caliber handguns, especially the Colt 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge.

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David Burnell February 16, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

Escaping an Attack from the Back

These tips are FREE and provided by OPSGEAR® The Gear Superstore!

OPSGEAR® provided FREE training for military and police in close quarters and urban warfare from 2002-2012.

These tips are not intended to be used as offensive techniques but STRICTLY as defensive measures to BREAK CONTACT with an aggressor. This is not a simple liability statement, it is a statement of getting OUT of trouble and surviving an assault!

Don't forget our commercial Defensive Tactics DVD Available NOW

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David Burnell February 16, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

Heroes

According to the dictionary a hero is: a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.

For me this word has a few meanings that may relate to the official definition, but more importantly to me identifies a few actual faces.

I have personally been on hundreds of 911 trauma calls where lives hung in the balance off cliffs, open water, frozen lakes and burning structures. I am reminded of one of my very best friends from the Dive Rescue team and our annual “Ice Diving” certification. We were required annually to perform two under the ice dives and stay on the bottom for 10-15 minutes to maintain certification. Certified to do what you may ask? Certified to go under an ice shelf where the dead and dying are waiting to be brought home to family and loved ones. Certified to reach deep into an abyss alone as a single diver tethered on a line that is all that separates you in a zero visibility “black water” environment from the warmth and safety of the surface and natural air.

My good buddy and fellow diver would perform his annual dives with great courage and faith that if anything happened I would be there for him. He was right. Beyond that thought though is where the correlation to the word “Hero” comes in to me. My buddy did not like the water much. He performed his dives to do good and to make a difference because he believed then and still does now as a Captain in a full time fire department that saving lives is a worthy risk and comes before personal comfort or safety. Seeing him go into the water year after year in every environment from swift water to under the ice taught me the word hero in a more direct and less glamorous way. Doing the hard thing when no one else is present for a noble cause is being a hero in my book. Performing dangerous missions in training or under real word conditions when you are scared is being a hero. As a Public Safety Scuba Instructor I witnessed this humble behavior for many years and on many actual recovery calls. Never during these events did anyone in my circle use the word hero to define themselves... In fact tradition is that if you are caught in the news paper or singled out on TV you may be responsible to by drinks, shakes or dinner for ALL those who were on the call. This was just another way of keeping everyone in the mindset that a “Team” is more powerful than the individual. Nevertheless these men and women in my book were and are defined as true heroes.

Another humble and simple example is the voice of a four year old child to a veteran mother “you're the hero mom”. When ever I think of this or contemplate the context of those speaking and hearing it I get a little teary eyed. The little girl is right that her mother is a hero in every sense of the word. Risking it all, committed while aware of the danger and bold to speak out the things she believes in.

Often the “Hero” will deflect the attention. Some may think this is casual banter and perhaps superficial humility. To me it is the fact that if one acknowledges the hero word, they deny all the other critical participants that were present during the mission, operation, rescue or recovery. Perhaps they just do not want to buy a round of shakes for the team :) either way the dead in many cases are truly the heroes because they voted with their life and the vote was cashed in.

As I write this at my desk and in the company of many real bona fide heroes I can’t help but reflect on my long time buddy and fellow instructor in the Urban Warfare Center® “Bravo.” He was recognized for valor in Afghanistan at 12,000 feet while he and one other soldier assaulted a fixed mortar position and a bunker successfully. A-10 warthogs had attempted gun runs to suppress the threats, but because of the terrain and conditions they could not deliver their guns or bombs. A-10 pilots of all aviators are never unwilling to drop bombs... this place was hardcore. It finally took an old fashion assault of two guys with courage breathing heavy at altitude to unseat the mortar and the bunker. This kind of hero will say “I was just doing my job.” In fact as I spoke briefly with Bravo today thats exactly what he said.

Doing one's “job” is fine when you work at a lumber yard, restaurant or bakery. But when you carry a weapon in hostile terrain “doing your job” means killing, saving or anything else required to get you and the others home. It is by its very nature “above and beyond.”

While I sat in the basement of his parents a year or so after he came back from a very violent tour of Afghanistan I learned that he had not told his parents about his medal with a “V” for valor. I explained to them that he had been formally recognized for his contribution in a remote region of the world and he should tell them the story. Truth be told he did. He of course left out some of the more weighty parts of it as only another warrior would understand the complexities of taking lives to save them.

My father would leave our home in a little city outside of Los Angeles every day for 24 years and strap on his gun and leather to fight an ever increasing wave of crime as a policeman with LAPD. I witnessed this day in and day out knowing that he risked his life each time. This reality was brought home any time a graduating classmate or a partner of his were killed in the line of duty.

My dad is one of the most humble and simple men you will ever meet. He would never call attention to himself, especially if it was implied that he was a “hero.” He caught the number one bad guy on the top ten list in the 1960s and was given a bottle of champaign that sat on our shelf for 25 years. He saved lives and dealt justice to the bad guys. He is one of many of my personal heroes.

Heroes come in every color, shape, size, gender and walk of life. It can be the civilian who decides not to sit idly by and let someone else be victimized. It can be a kid saving another kid from drowning. The true mark of a hero is the person who has a steep and deep value system and lives a life based on liberty, involvement and protection of those very rights at the cost of popularity, safety, fortune and even life.

To all those “heroes” who read this article I (we) at OPSGEAR® say THANK YOU and may God Bless and keep you always safe. To all those who cannot read this and are forever gone, we think of you and salute you this day.

 

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David Burnell February 16, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

USAF TACP ROMAD

OPSGEAR® Presents:

United States Air Force TACP

 (pronounced TAC-P), is usually a team of two or more United States Air Force Tactical Air Controllers sometimes including an Air Liaison Officer (a qualified aviator), which is assigned to a U.S. Army combat maneuver unit, either conventional or special operational, to advise ground commanders on the best use of air power, establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic, act as an inter-service liaison, control naval gunfire, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support and other air-to-ground aircraft.

Along with being assigned to all conventional Army combat units, TACP airmen are also attached to Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and Army Rangers, as well as Joint Special Operations Command units and multi-national Special Operations task forces, primarily as communications experts and precision airstrike controllers.

In addition, TACP members can be assigned to AFSOC Special Tactics Squadrons to train Air Force Combat Controllers, traditionally responsible for austere airfield Air Traffic Control, in the tactics, techniques, and procedures of Close Air Support control.

Enlisted members are known as ROMADs (formerly "Radio Operator, Maintainer & Driver," from their time as assistants to officer-only Forward Air Controllers. The acronym is now widely accepted as standing for "Recon, Observe, Mark & Destroy" in reflection of the modern role of the TAC).

TACP members wear black berets, with a distinctive Red, Blue, and Green cloth flash and silver crest, as seen to the right. Air Liaison Officers are authorized to wear the black beret, flash, and rank while assigned to a TACP unit, but not at any other point in their career.

Contrary to old doctrine, TACP FAC's, now called "JTAC's", are enlisted men that provide Close Air Support. Only a few officers were grandfathered into the FAC program; those few are the only officers remaining capable of providing Close Air Support.

History

The Forward Air Control mission dates back to World War II. Unfortunately information from that time period is sketchy. During Korea and Vietnam the Ground FAC mission came unto its own. During the Vietnam conflict, the role of the Forward Air Controller was redefined. Not always were they flying low over the jungle looking for targets.

Now they were on the ground, attached to ground maneuver units (The Army, Grunts, Foot Sloggers, Crunchies .. take your pick). Their mode of transport was the M-151 Ford jeep with a heavy communications pallet in place of the back seats. To keep this radio equipment in good working order a maintenance tech, a Radio Repairman was assigned to the "MRC-108 System". This ROMAD (Radio Operator, Maintainer And Driver, an enlisted guy usually an E2 or E3) was to assist a FAC (an officer, usually a Lieutenant or Captain) in getting around the country and more or less stay out of harms way in order to call in air strikes in support of the Unit that was under fire.

During the early years of this mission, the personnel who did it were not chosen because they were Gung-ho or highly motivated. It was their turn. Pure and simple. Some of the enlisted ROMADs made a name for themselves and others were just faces in the crowd.

A ROMAD is an Air Force enlisted man (no females or officers in this career field) assigned to an Army maneuver unit. Here's how it works. The US Air Force assigns ROMADs to the TACP (Tactical Air Control Party Flight). Our mission is to advise, assist, and control air assets in support of the US Army, usually in close proximity to friendly troops. In fact, the ROMADs primary mission is CAS (Close Air Support). ROMADs will move forward with a Scout or COLT team, locate and mark the target, and 'control' the CAS aircraft on the target.

Once you pass the psychological evaluation and initial PT test, you're off to Hurlburt Field, Florida for 14 weeks of fun in the sun (and mud). Here you will learn all of the basics of being a 1C4x1. You will learn a little about how the Army works and how to interact with them on an operational basis. Extensive training is given on a wide variety of communications equipment, including portable radios, and the GRC-206 communications pallet. Without communications, a ROMAD is useless. You will spend a few days on the range at Eglin Air Force Base learning field skills such as: navigation (day/night, individual/group, foot/vehicle), site selection, camouflage, evasion, and the fine art of The Road March. As well as, working at each stage of a Close Air Support mission.

 

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David Burnell February 13, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

British Special Air Service (SAS)

The Special Air Service (SAS) was created by David Stirling in 1941. Conceived as a desert raiding force, the Regiment inserted behind German lines in Northern Africa, carrying out sabotage missions and wreaking havoc along Rommel's supply lines.
The British Army's special forces unit, the 22nd Special Air Service regiment. Roles include Counter-Terrorism and reconnaissance. The SAS is one of the most renowned and respected special forces organizations in the world.

Selection Phase 1 - Endurance

The first phase of selection is known as the endurance or 'the hills' stage. This is the endurance portion of selection and not only tests a candidate's physical fitness, but also their mental stamina. To pass this phase, a high level of determination and self-reliance is vital.

The hills stage lasts 3 weeks and takes place in the Brecon Beacons and Black Hills of South Wales. Candidates have to carry an ever-increasingly-heavy bergen over a series of long timed hikes, navigating between checkpoints. No encouragement or criticism is provided by the supervising staff at the checkpoints. SAS Directing Staff (DS) are fully-badged members of the regiment and leave each candidate to their own devices. This can be a marked contrast from the selectee's experience in their parent units. They would be used to their instructors shouting constant instructions at them, along with encouragement and abuse. The demands of life in a special forces unit require each member to be self-motivated.

The endurance phase culminates with 'the long drag', a 40 mile trek carrying a 55lb bergen, that must be completed in under 24 hours.

Selection Phase 2 - Jungle Training

Those who have passed stage 1 have to then pass jungle training. Training takes place in Belize, in the heart of deep jungles. Candidates learn the basics of surviving and patrolling in the harsh conditions. SAS jungle patrols have to live for weeks behind enemy lines, in 4 man patrols, living on rations. Jungle training weeds out those who can't handle the discipline required to keep themselves and their kit in good condition whilst on long range patrol in difficult conditions. Again, there is a mental component being tested, not just a physical. Special Forces teams need men who can work under relentless pressure, in horrendous environments for weeks on end, without a lifeline back to home base.

Selection Phase 3 - Escape & Evasion & Tactical Questioning (TQ)

The small number of candidates who have made it through endurance and jungle training now enter the final phase of selection. The likelihood of a special operation going wrong behind enemy lines is quite high, given the risks involved. The SAS want soldiers who have the wherewithal and spirit required to escape and evade capture and resist interrogation.

For the escape and evasion (E&E) portion of the course, the candidates are given brief instructions on appropriate techniques. This may include talks from former POWs or special forces soldiers who have been in E&E situations in the real world.

Next, the candidates are let loose in the countryside, wearing World War 2 vintage coats with instructions to make their way to a series of waypoints without being captured by the hunter force of other soldiers. This portion lasts for 3 days after which, captured or not, all candidates report for TQ.

Tactical Questioning (TQ) tests the prospective SAS men's ability to resist interrogation. They are treated roughly by their interrogators, often made to stand in 'stress positions' for hours at a time, while disorientating white noise is blasted at them. When their turn for questioning comes, they must only answer with the so-called 'big 4' (name, rank, serial number and date of birth). All other questions must be answered with 'I'm sorry but I cannot answer that question.' Failure to do so results in failing the course. The questioners will use all sorts of tricks to try and get a reaction from the candidates. They may act friendly and try to get their subjects chatting; or they stand inches away from their subjects and scream unfavourable remarks about the sexual habits of their mothers. Female interrogators may laugh at the size of their subject's manhood. Of course, a real interrogation would be a lot more harsh and the subject would not know that they get to leave alive when it's all over. That said, days of interrogations and enduring the stress positions and white noise break down a man's sense of time and reality. The SAS are looking for men who can withstand such treatment long enough so that the effects of revealing any operational information they might have can be lessoned by HQ.

After all that...

The small number of men who make it through selection receive the coveted beige beret with the distinctive winged dagger insignia. As a newly badged member of the Special Air Service they can feel justly proud. They are not out of the woods, however, as they are now effectively on probation. As brand new members of the regiment, they will be watched closely by the DS as they enter continuation training. Many SAS soldiers are RTU'd (returned to unit) during training.

Counter-Terrorism Training

One squadron (A,B,D or G) is designated for counter-terrorism (CT) duties. The role is rotated through the squadrons every 6 months. After getting up to speed with CT techniques, the active squadron splits into two sections. One carries out training at the various SAS training facilities and is on standby for immediate response to a terrorist incident. The other takes part in exercises and is on 24 hour warning to respond.
The Killing House

The SAS do much of their CT training in a specially constructed house at SAS Headquarters, called the 'Killing House'. Featuring movable partitions, rubber-coated walls to absorb live rounds and extractor fans to clear out the gun fumes, the killing house can be configured to emulate various scenarios. The Killing House is used to hone the SAS trooper's Close Quarter Battle (CQB) skills. CQB techniques are practised over and over until the various drills become second nature. Room entry techniques are perfected. The SAS troopers will learn how to deploy stun grenades, tear gas, door and wall breaching explosives, shotguns loaded with hinge-busting Hattan rounds - all designed to give the assault teams the edge in siege busting operations. Once the CT teams have developed the disciplines required, they will begin to train with live ammunition. Members of the assault teams will take turns at playing hostages whilst their colleagues burst into the room. firing live rounds into targets sometimes very close to them. The Killing House is wired with cctv cameras so the assaults can be watched back and analysed.

The Killing House is also used by the Counter Revolutionary Wing to train for various close protection scenarios.
Building Assaults

When they need to practise getting into buildings, the SAS will use specially built buildings on which to play. Training includes :

  • Abseiling (rappelling) down buildings and from helicopters
  • Gaining access via ladders
  • Creating access holes into the side of buildings using explosives

    The SAS use a multi-story building nicknamed 'the Embassy' to practise assaults. On at least one occasion, the SAS have practised assaults on condemned buildings, including blocks of flats.
    Tubular Assaults

    Terrorists have been known to take hostages aboard trains, buses and coaches. The SAS train constantly in assaulting such targets. SAS training facilities include a stretch of railway tracks complete with railway carriages for which to practise storming hijacked trains.

  • Aircraft Assaults

    The SAS train for assaulting hijacked aircraft using a mock up of a passnger airliner at the training ground at Pontrilas, Herefordshire (see image below). The Killing House can also be configured to emulate the interior of airliners. Frequent exercises involving real-world aircraft (usually provided by British Airways) take place, complete with role-playing terrorists and hostages.

    Counter-Terrorism Exercises

    Training in the killing house and in aircraft mock-ups can only do so much. The SAS frequently stage full-scale counter-terrorism exercises. These often include all the players that would be present in the real thing - police, politicians, negotiators, actors playing terrorists and hostages and, of course, the SAS. Such exercises are designed to simulate as closely as possible the environment of a real incident so all the elements can be tested, procedures refined and lines of communications established. As with real-life, the SAS may find themselves sitting around for days whilst the civilian authorities attempt to peacefully resolve the situation. Patience is a skill that all SAS troopers have to learn.

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    David Burnell January 25, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

    Home Defense Shotgun Tips & Tricks

    These tips are FREE and provided by OPSGEAR® The Gear Superstore!

    OPSGEAR® provided FREE training for military and police in close quarters and urban warfare from 2002-2012.

    These tips are not intended to be used as offensive techniques but STRICTLY as defensive measures to BREAK CONTACT with an aggressor. This is not a simple liability statement, it is a statement of getting OUT of trouble and surviving an assault!

    Don't forget our commercial Defensive Tactics DVD Available NOW

     

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    David Burnell January 25, 2017 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

    Type I Malfunction Drill Presented by OPSGEAR®

    These tips are FREE and provided by OPSGEAR® The Gear Superstore!

    OPSGEAR® provided FREE training for military and police in close quarters and urban warfare from 2002-2012.

    These tips are not intended to be used as offensive techniques but STRICTLY as defensive measures to BREAK CONTACT with an aggressor. This is not a simple liability statement, it is a statement of getting OUT of trouble and surviving an assault!

    Don't forget our commercial Defensive Tactics DVD Available NOW

    Full article →

    David Burnell June 10, 2016 Add a comment 1 tags (show)

    Water Storage and Hydration Preparedness TIPS

    Your hydration needs are below:
    • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
    • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
    • A medical emergency might require additional water.
    • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
    • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.
    • If you need to purify water heat until a rolling boil - let cool and drink.
    NOTE: Alcohol and Caffeine do not provide appropriate hydration.

    HOW SHOULD I STORE WATER?
    It is recommended you purchase commercially bottled water, in order to prepare the safest and most reliable emergency water supply. Keep bottled water in its original container and do not open until you need to use it. Observe the expiration or “use by” date. Store in cool, dark place.

    NOTE: Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

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    David Burnell March 29, 2015 Add a comment 1 tags (show)