"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials."
- George Mason (1725-1792, An American Patriot and one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States)
FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad field manual provides the following definition for the military's obstacle reduction acronym called SOSRA (Suppress, Obscure, Secure, Reduce, and Assault). SOSRA is a time proven breach methodology and encompasses breaching fundamentals that must be applied to ensure success when breaching against a defending enemy. The following obstacle reduction fundamentals always apply, but they may vary based on the specific METT-TC (Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops and Support Available, Time
Available, Civil Considerations) situation.
Breaching Fundamentals (SOSRA)
1. Suppress - Suppression is a tactical task used to employ direct or indirect fires or an electronic attack on enemy personnel, weapons, or equipment to prevent or degrade enemy fires and observation of friendly forces. The purpose of suppression during breaching operations is to protect forces reducing and maneuvering through an obstacle. Effective suppression is a mission-critical task performed during any breaching operation. Successful suppression generally triggers the rest of the actions at the obstacle. Fire control measures ensure that all fires are synchronized with other actions at the obstacle. Although suppressing the enemy overwatching the obstacle is the mission of the support force, the breach force should provide additional suppression against an enemy that the support force cannot effectively suppress.
2. Obscure - Obscuration must be employed to protect forces conducting obstacle reduction and the passage of assault forces. Obscuration hampers enemy observation and target acquisition by concealing friendly activities and movement. Obscuration smoke deployed on or near the enemy’s position minimizes its vision. Screening smoke employed between the reduction area and the enemy conceals movement and reduction activities. It also degrades enemy ground and aerial observations. Obscuration must be carefully planned to provide maximum degradation of enemy observation and fires, but it must not significantly degrade friendly fires and control.
3. Secure - Friendly forces secure reduction areas to prevent the enemy from interfering with obstacle reduction and the passage of the assault force through lanes created during the reduction. Security must be effective against outposts and fighting positions near the obstacle and against overwatching units as necessary. The far side of the obstacle must be secured by fires or be occupied before attempting any effort to reduce the obstacle. The attacking unit’s higher headquarters is responsible for isolating the breach area by fixing adjacent units, attacking enemy reserves in depth, and providing counterfire support.
• Identifying the extent of the enemy’s defenses is critical before selecting the appropriate technique to secure the point of breach. If the enemy controls the point of breach and cannot be adequately suppressed, the force must secure the point of breach before it can reduce the obstacle.
• The breach force must be resourced with enough maneuver assets to provide local security against the forces that the support force cannot sufficiently engage. Elements within the breach force that secure the reduction area may also be used to suppress the enemy once reduction is complete. The breach force may also need to assault to the far side of the breach and provide local security so the assault element can seize its initial objective.
4. Reduce - Reduction is the creation of lanes through or over an obstacle to allow an attacking force to pass. The number and width of lanes created varies with the enemy situation, the assault force’s size and composition, and the scheme of maneuver. The lanes must allow the assault force to rapidly pass through the obstacle. The breach force will reduce, proof (if required), mark, and report lane locations and the lane-marking method to higher command headquarters. Follow-on units will further reduce or clear the obstacle when required. Reduction cannot be accomplished until effective suppression and obscuration are in place, the obstacle has been identified, and the point of breach is secure.
5. Assault - A breaching operation is not complete until:
• Friendly forces have assaulted to destroy the enemy on the far side of the obstacle as the enemy is capable of placing or observing direct and indirect fires on the reduction area.
• Battle handover with follow-on forces has occurred, unless no battle handover is planned.
FM 3-21.75 The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills field manual provides the following definition for concealment. Concealment is anything that hides you from enemy observation. Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire. Do not think that you are protected from the enemy’s fire just, because you are concealed. Concealment, like cover, can also be natural or Soldier made. Natural concealment includes bushes, grass, and shadows. If possible, natural concealment should not be disturbed. Man-made concealment includes Army combat uniforms (ACUs), camouflage nets, face paint, and natural materials that have been moved from their original location. Man-made concealment must blend into natural concealment provided by the terrain.
The following are actions individuals take that contribute to concealment: Light Discipline, Noise Discipline, and Movement Discipline, and the use of Camouflage.
1. Light Discipline - Light discipline is controlling the use of lights at night by such things as not smoking in the open, not walking around with a flashlight on, and not using vehicle headlights.
2. Noise Discipline - Noise discipline is taking action to deflect sounds generated by your unit (such as operating equipment) away from the enemy and, when possible, using methods to communicate that do not generate sounds (arm-and-hand signals).
3. Movement Discipline - Movement discipline includes not moving about fighting positions unless necessary and not moving on routes that lack cover and concealment. In the defense, build a well-camouflaged fighting position and avoid moving about.
4. Camouflage - In the offense, conceal yourself and your equipment with camouflage, and move in woods or on terrain that gives concealment. Darkness cannot hide you from enemy observation in either offense or defense situations. The enemy’s night vision devices (NVD) and other detection means allow them to find you in both daylight and darkness.
FM 3-21.10 The Infantry Rifle Company field manual provides the following key concepts of sniper employment during tactical operations. Snipers and observers play a critical role in Infantry company operations. Since snipers are seldom employed below battalion level, each Infantry squad has one designated marksman. Well-trained snipers provide the commander accurate, discriminating, long-range small-arms fire, and direct observation of key terrain and avenues of approach. The two best uses of sniper fire or long-range precision fire are against key targets beyond the range of organic rifles and automatic weapons, or against any targets that other weapon systems cannot destroy due to range, size, location, visibility, or security and stealth requirements. Sniper Techniques, Tactics and Procedures (TTP) enable them to directly gather and relay critical, detailed enemy information. Sniper effectiveness is measured by more than casualties or destroyed targets. Commanders know snipers also affect enemy activities, morale, and decisions. Knowing snipers are present hinders the enemy's movement, and creates confusion and continuous personal fear. It also disrupts enemy operations and preparations, and compels the enemy to divert forces to deal with the snipers.
SNIPER TEAM - Snipers avoid sustained battles. They typically operate in three-Soldier teams, each with at least one sniper and one observer, normally cross-trained. The observer carries an M4 rifle; the sniper carries the sniper weapon system; and each member carries a side arm. Team members help each other with range estimation, round adjustment, and security. Sniper activity should be planned and controlled by the sniper employment officer (SEO).
SQUAD DESIGNATED MARKSMAN - The squad designated marksman can seldom perform as well as well-trained snipers, so commanders and platoon leaders should avoid employing them as such. However, the marksman is a valuable asset who can contribute in many ways. Leaders should remember the value of the marksman versus the sniper, and use each to the best of their respective abilities in any situation.
EMPLOYMENT - The commander or sniper squad leader controls sniper teams from a central location. Once deployed, sniper teams generally operate independently. To accomplish the assigned unit mission, they must understand the commander's intent, concept of the operation, and purpose for their assigned tasks. Snipers are effective only in areas with good fields of fire and observation. They must have the freedom of action to choose their own positions once on the ground. The number of sniper teams participating in an operation depends on their availability, on the expected duration of the mission, and on the enemy's strength and disposition.
SECURITY ELEMENT - Sniper teams should move with a security element (squad or platoon) whenever possible. Initially, sniper teams can also move with a mounted element, which allows them to enter an area more quickly and more safely than if they operated alone. The security element also protects the snipers during the operation. When moving with a security element, snipers follow these guidelines.
• The leader of the security element leads the sniper team.
• Snipers must appear to be an integral part of the security element. Whenever possible, based on METT-TC (Mission, Enemy, Terrain and Weather, Troops and Support Available, Time Available, Civil Considerations), snipers conceal their sniper-unique equipment, such as optics, radios, and ghillie suits, from view.
• Snipers must wear the same uniforms as the members of the security element. Snipers and element members maintain proper intervals and positions in the element formation.
1. Mission - The sniper's primary mission is to support combat operations by delivering precise rifle fire from concealed positions. The mission assigned to a sniper team for a particular operation consists of the task(s) the commander wants the sniper team to accomplish and the reason (purpose) for it. The commander must decide how he wants his sniper team to affect the battlefield. Then he must assign missions to achieve this effect.
• The commander assigns target priorities so snipers can avoid involvement in sustained engagements. Sniper teams are free to change targets to support the commander's intent.
• The commander describes the effect or result he expects and allows the sniper team to select key targets. Since nether the M24 or M107 weapon system is available to the sniper team, they can select the best one to use to achieve the desired effect.
• The commander may also designate the sniper to act as an observer of a target or an area rather than task conventional forces to do so. The sniper's ability to remain undetected for long periods may make this a more practical mission than dedicating other forces to do so.
• The commander may assign specific types of targets to achieve an effect. He may task snipers to kill bulldozer operators and other engineer equipment operators to disrupt enemy defensive preparations. Or, he may task snipers to disable enemy command or supply vehicles, or to engage enemy soldiers digging defensive positions.
• The commander may assign specific point targets such as bunkers, CPs, or crew-served weapons positions. These can include enemy leaders, command and control operators, antitank guided missile gunners, armored vehicle commanders, weapons crews, or selected individuals. Snipers may also be assigned countersniper roles.
2. Enemy - The commander must consider the following characteristics, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and disposition of the enemy:
• Is the enemy force heavy or light, rested or tired, disciplined or not?
• Is it motorized infantry or towed artillery?
• Is it well or poorly supplied?
• Is it patrolling aggressively or is it lax in security?
• Is it positioned in assembly areas or dug in?
The answers to questions like these help the commander determine the enemy's susceptibility and reaction to effective sniper operations. Obviously, a well-rested, well-led, well-supplied, and aggressive enemy with armored protection poses a greater threat to snipers than one that is poorly led, poorly supplied, lax, and unprotected. The commander needs to know if enemy snipers are present and effective, since they can pose a significant danger to his operations and his snipers. The commander must also consider the enemy's directed-energy weapons capability. Snipers' optical devices make them particularly vulnerable to this kind of weapon.
3. Terrain - The commander must evaluate and consider the terrain to and within the sniper's AO, the time and effort snipers will need to get into position, and the effects of weather on the sniper and his visibility. Snipers prefer positions at least 300 meters from their target area. Operating at this distance allows them to avoid effective fire from enemy rifles, while retaining much of the 800- to 1,000-meter effective range of the sniper rifle. Snipers need areas of operations with good observation, fields of fire, and firing positions.
4. Troops - The commander must decide how many sniper teams to use depending on their availability, the duration of the operation, expected opposition, and the number and difficulty of tasks and targets assigned. Commanders must consider the snipers' level of training and physical conditioning, and must remember the effects of these human factors on sniper operations.
5. Time Available - The commander must consider how much time the snipers have to achieve the result he expects. He must allocate time for snipers to plan, coordinate, prepare, rehearse, move, and establish positions. He must understand how the snipers' risk increases with inadequate time to plan or to perform other tasks such as moving to the AO. The length of time a sniper team can remain in a position without loss of effectiveness due to eye fatigue, muscle strain, or cramps depends mostly on the type of position the team occupies. Generally, snipers can remain in an expedient position for six hours before they must be relieved. They can remain in belly positions or semi-permanent hides for up to 48 hours before they must be relieved. The average mission takes about 24 hours. Movement factors for snipers moving with a security element are the same as for any Infantry force. When snipers move alone in the AO, they move slowly; their movement can be measured in feet and inches. The sniper team is the best resource in determining how much time is required for their movement.
6. Civil Considerations - Establishing OPs in populated urban areas require more preparation time than in rural areas. Reconnaissance for suitable OP locations can take two to four days. Some of that time is used to determine the local habits in the area such as patterns of foot traffic and where locals congregate. Every effort should be taken to establish positions off of natural lines of drift.
Source: FM 3-21.75
FM 3-21.75 The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills field manual provides the following considerations when camouflaging yourself, equipment and position: Movement, Positions, Outlines and Shadows, Shine, Shape, Colors, Dispersion, Preparation, and Individual Techniques. Both natural and man-made material can be used for camouflage. Change and improve your camouflage often. The time between changes and improvements depends on the weather and on the material used. Natural camouflage will often die, fade, or otherwise lose its effectiveness and expose a position when compared to foliage that is alive in the surrounding area. Likewise, man-made camouflage may wear off or fade and, as a result, individuals, their equipment, and their positions may stand out from their surroundings. Leaders must continually inspect individual, equipment and position camouflage throughout the mission to ensure strict adherence to security. To make it difficult for the enemy to spot you, individuals should remember the following when using or wearing camouflage.
1. MOVEMENT - Movement and activity draw attention. When you give arm-and-hand signals or walk about your position, your movement can be seen by the naked eye at long ranges. In the defense, stay low. Move only when necessary. In the offense, move only on covered and concealed routes.
2. POSITIONS - Avoid putting anything where the enemy expects to find it. Build positions on the side of a hill, away from road junctions or lone buildings, and in covered and concealed places. Avoid open areas.
3. OUTLINES AND SHADOWS - These can reveal your position or equipment to an air or ground observer. Break up
outlines and shadows with camouflage. When moving, try to stay in the shadows.
4. SHINE - A shine will naturally attract the enemy’s attention. In the dark, a burning cigarette or flashlight will give you away. In daylight, reflected light from any polished surface such as shiny mess gear, a worn helmet, a windshield, a watch crystal and band, or exposed skin will do it. Any light, or reflection of light, can help the enemy detect your position. To reduce shine, cover your skin with clothing and face paint. Dull equipment and vehicle surfaces with paint, mud, or other camouflaging material or substance. WARNING: In a nuclear attack, darkly painted skin can absorb more thermal energy and may burn more readily than bare skin.
5. SHAPE - Certain shapes, such as a helmet or human being, are easily recognizable. Camouflage, conceal, and break up familiar shapes to make them blend in with their surroundings, but avoid overdoing it.
6. COLORS - If your skin, uniform, or equipment colors stand out against the background, the enemy can obviously
detect you more easily than he could otherwise. For example, ACUs stand out against a backdrop of snow-covered terrain. Once again, camouflage yourself and your equipment to blend with the surroundings.
7. DISPERSION - This means spreading individuals, vehicles, and equipment over a wide area. The enemy can detect a bunch of Soldiers more easily than they can detect a lone Soldier. Spread out. Unit SOP or unit leaders vary distances between you and your fellow Soldiers depending on the terrain, degree of visibility, and enemy situation.
8. PREPARATION - Before camouflaging, study the terrain and vegetation of the area in which you are operating. Next, pick and use the camouflage material that best blends with the area. When moving from one area to another, change camouflage as needed to blend with the surroundings. Take grass, leaves, brush, and other material from your location and apply it to your uniform and equipment, and put face paint on your skin.
9. INDIVIDUAL TECHNIQUES:
a. HELMET - Camouflage your helmet with the issue helmet cover or make a cover of cloth or burlap that is colored to blend with the terrain. Leaves, grass, or sticks can also be attached to the cover. Use camouflage bands, strings, burlap strips, or rubber bands to hold those in place. If you have no material for a helmet cover, disguise and dull helmet surface with irregular patterns of paint or mud.
b. UNIFORM - The ACU has a jacket, trousers, and patrol cap in a new universal camouflage pattern. However, it may be necessary to add more camouflage to make the uniform blend better with the surroundings. To do this, put mud on the uniform or attach leaves, grass, or small branches to it. Too much camouflage, however, may draw attention. When operating on snow-covered ground wear overwhites/garments to help blend with the snow. If overwhites are not issued, use white cloth, such as white bed sheets, to get the same effect.
c. SKIN - Exposed skin reflects light and may draw the enemy’s attention. Even very dark skin, because of its natural oil, will reflect light. The advanced camouflage face paint in compact form comes both with and without insect repellent. The active ingredient of the repellant is N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (commonly known as DEET). The camouflage face paint provides visual and near-IR camouflage protection. The version with DEET also repels insects for eight hours. Both are furnished in compact form, and contain a full-sized, unbreakable, stainless steel mirror. Both compacts contain five compartments of pigmented formulations (green, loam, sand, white, and black). The compacts provide sufficient material for 20 applications of green, loam, and sand, and 10 applications of black and white. The compact is suitable for multi-terrain environmental conditions from arctic to desert. Face paints with insect repellent are supplied in a tan colored compact, while the non-repellent face paints are furnished in an olive drab compact for quick identification. When applying camouflage to your skin, work with a buddy (in pairs) and help each other. Apply a two-color combination of camouflage pigment in an irregular pattern. Do not apply camouflage paint if there is a chance of frostbite. The pigment may prevent other Soldiers from recognizing the whitish discoloration, the first symptoms of the skin freezing. Note: Advanced camouflage face paint with insect repellent, national stock number (NSN) 6840-01-493-7334, or without insect repellent, NSN 6850-01-493-7309. Paint shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, and chin) with a dark color. Paint shadow areas (around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin) with a light color. In addition to the face, paint the exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands. Palms of hands are not normally camouflaged if arm-and-hand signals are to be used. Remove all jewelry to further reduce shine or reflection. When camouflage sticks/compacts are not issued, use burnt cork, bark, charcoal, lamp black, or light-colored mud.
"It is the duty of the Patriot to protect his country from his government."
Pictured are sheets of Spectra ballistic fabric that can be used to cover AR500 steel armor panels to reduce bullet ricochet and spall and can be found at the following link: Spectra UHMWPE Bulletproof Ballistic Fabric Panel - NIJ IIIA. The 49" x 65" panel allows the user to cover a set of front plates and sides plates multiple times adding additional protection to capture bullet fragments. The fabric is an extremely durable waterproof material that can be layered as a standalone product that meets bulletproof NIJ IIIA protective requirements at 34 layers. If you prefer buying bulletproof fabric in pre-cut sheets the following is a link to another great product, 10 sheet pack Kevlar ballistic bulletproof fabric precut size 10"x14". As discussed in an earlier post, spalling occurs when bullets shatter when impacting steel armor sending pieces of metal along the armor plate face causing shrapnel injuries to the neck, arms and legs. To prevent such injuries a Kevlar fabric or thick coating of material can be applied to the plates to catch bullet fragments. Keep stocking up and be ready!
Do not become a bystander in today's fight to protect our individual freedoms. The "Three Percenter" motto has become a statement for gun owners who will not comply with more infringements of their right to bear arms, or any American who will not comply with further infringement of any of their rights. The "Three Percenter" motto aligns its background to the three percent of the colonists who took to the field against the King during the Revolution, and the expectation that at least three percent of today's Americans will make a stand to preserve liberty. Gadsden and Culpepper provides the following detailed definition behind the "Three Percenter" motto, "During the American Revolution, the active forces in the field against the King's tyranny never amounted to more than 3% of the colonists. They were in turn actively supported by perhaps 10% of the population. In addition to these revolutionaries were perhaps another 20% who favored their cause but did little or nothing to support it. Another one-third of the population sided with the King (by the end of the war there were actually more Americans fighting FOR the King than there were in the field against him) and the final third took no side, blew with the wind and took what came." Show your pride by purchasing Three Percenter apparel at Gadsden and Culpeper American Heritage Shop at the following link, www.gadsdenandculpeper.com. Make a stand, be part of the movement!
Pictured is a Rothco Plate Carrier and two of the four AR500 1/4 inch LEVEL III Body Armor plates (10x12 Front Plate and 6X8 Side Plate) I recently purchased. The complete AR500 plate set consists of the following plates: 1-Comfort Curve and Radius Cut 10x12 Plate, 1-Flat and Radius Cut 10x12 Plate, and 2-6x8 Comfort Curve Side Plates. These plates can be purchased from C.A.T.I. ARMOR on their Ebay store at the following link, AR500 Body Armor Complete Set 1 Curved Front, 1 Flat Back, and 6"x8" Side Plates . The plates are designed to protect the wearer from rifle fire up to 7.62. The plates I received were unfinished so I applied a base coat of RUST-OLEUM truck bed coating I purchased at Wal-Mart. Like all steel armor you'll need to wrap your plates in a kevlar fabric or add additional protective coating for spall containment. Spalling occurs when bullets shatter when impacting steel armor sending pieces of metal along the plate face causing shrapnel injuries to the neck, arms and legs. To prevent such injuries a Kevlar fabric or thick coating of material can be applied to the plates to catch bullet fragments. Steel Small Arms Protective Inserts (SAPI) are significantly cheaper than the ceramic SAPI plates fielded by the military, and are not subject to damage/cracking that results from rough handling.
FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad provides the following information on a Raid. A raid is a surprise attack against a position or installation for a specific purpose other than seizing and holding the terrain. It is conducted to destroy a position or installation, destroy or capture enemy soldiers or equipment, or free prisoners. A raid patrol retains terrain just long enough to accomplish the intent of the raid. A raid always ends with a withdrawal off the objective and a return to the main body.
Raids are characterized by the following:
• Destruction of key systems or facilities (C2 nodes, logistical areas, other high value areas).
• Provide or deny critical information.
• Securing of hostages or prisoners.
• Confusing the enemy or disrupting his plans.
• Detailed intelligence (significant ISR assets committed).
• Command and control from the higher HQ to synchronize the operation.
• Creating a window of opportunity for the raiding force.
Raids are normally conducted using the following Five Phases: (as outlined in the attached diagram).
1. Approach the objective.
2. Isolate the objective area by deploying security elements.
3. Set conditions for the assault element. Suppress or destroy the enemy.
4. Assault the objective.
5. Tactical movement away from the objective area.