Whenever existing prepper groups train as a group, one of two things happen. They either spend the entire weekend shooting and doing unrealistic tactics like practicing urban combat, or it just becomes a family camping trip, where a good time is had, but no actual training occurs.
As the law & order situation in the US continues to deteriorate at an increasing rate, you and your team can’t afford to waste valuable training time with unfocused training or training on things that actually won’t be used. Let’s begin there.
Let’s talk first about things we WON’T actually be doing:
- Conducting building clearing: While this is always fun training, it’s not very practical from a preparedness standpoint. Your objective is DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. If you need to force entry to one of your own buildings and re-take it, you’ve already lost and it’s time to move.
- Doing “camp-out” things: If you are living in a campsite in a WROL situation, you won’t be sitting around bonfires and singing camp songs, because those compromise your security and attract mouths to feed or fend off.
- Doing a lot of shooting: While possessing firearm skills is important, you shouldn’t be preparing to fight pitched battles, except as an absolute last resort.
Now that we’ve covered that, what’s a better use of our limited training time?
- Individual and team movement skills: In a WROL situation, you will spend a lot of time MOVING on foot. Knowing techniques to do that quietly, safely, and securely, both at the individual and team level, will be a great help. Like any physical skills, they are lost without practice. Tactical Wisdom Volume 2, “Fieldcraft” will cover these techniques in detail.
- Site Security: When you are in a static location, whether you are bugging in, at your bug out location, or at a temporary campsite, you will need people conducting security tasks, like manning an observation/listening post, manning an Entry Control Point, or just keeping watch over their own sector.
- Vehicle Movement: With any luck, you’ll be able to move as group in vehicles, rather than just solely on foot. Secure vehicle movement and convoy operations are a very specific skill set that require training and practice.
As discussed in my Base Line Training Manual, a great way to incorporate all of these things is in a weekend readiness exercise with your group.
First, you should plan on an overall scenario for the weekend. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make it something realistic, not far-fetched. It could be as simple as saying the power has been out for a few days and local riots are occurring, so the group is planning to temporarily bug out until the rioting ends.
Set a time and location for the group to meet. This could be a public park or something similar, but make sure it’s large enough to stage all the vehicles. As team members arrive, don’t let them just hang out and talk, like a regular camping trip. Immediately stage vehicles into a convoy for movement, and have the vehicle crews form a perimeter, watching outboard. We are going for real-world training.
Once everyone has arrived, conduct a radio check and move out, using an actual emergency route, rather than just driving the freeway. In an emergency, the freeway will attract bad people and traffic. Maintain radio disciple as the team travels, maintaining good distance between vehicles.
The parking area you arrive at should be some distance from where you are going to camp, to allow for foot movement and you would never just camp right next to your vehicles anyway. As you arrive, have half the vehicle crews pull security, while the other half unloads, then switch.
From there, move out on foot, in a good formation, and ruck tactically to the planned camp location. Ensure that the site is good, then have the team occupy the site, but do so securely. First, establish security sectors for each sub unit, and have them move to their own areas. Next, set up a watch schedule and ensure everyone sticks to it.
Ensure that everything done is done with TRAINING in mind. Have half the team eat while the other half pulls security, then switch. Do that same with setting up sleeping positions or tents.
In the morning, take down the tents or sleeping gear first, as you would in a real situation. Then have everyone eat, and conduct whatever training your have planned. You could do first aid in the morning, which is often overlooked, and then patrolling in the afternoon, which is more foot movement.
Use the same evening and morning routine, rounding out the weekend by having everyone move back to the vehicles tactically, and moving back to the original meeting area as a convoy.
As you can see, you can fit a lot of real-world training into a weekend, have fun with it, and keep it realistic with just a small amount of planning. This type of event is discussed in my Base Line Training Manual, available at the link below.
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