Urban Defense in a WROL
I’ve been seeing a lot on this subject lately on Blogs and on YouTube. Most of the information being disseminated is sound, but because most of the people writing it have never encountered a WROL situation, and more specifically a situation where they would have to protect their family against prepared and determined attackers there is definitely a lot to add to the discussion.
Let me tell you a little about my experience in this subject. When I was eighteen I joined the U.S. Marine Corps. I spent four years in the Infantry as a Scout Sniper. I was taught standard U.S. tactics in subjects such as setting up a defensive position, patrolling, and assaulting a target. After the Marine Corps I moved to Israel. I live in one of the more dangerous areas of Israel, and I became a member of a Terrorism Response Team. Our team is extremely active and we respond at least once a week to some terrorism related incident. I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years about how terrorists operate, what they look for in planning their attack, and what factors disrupt their attack. I think that in a WROL the attackers will resemble terrorists far more than they will a military in their methods. Using standard Army tactics will not be very effective in that kind of scenario.
I live on an isolated hill surrounded by terrorist groups who would love to attack my family. When I first moved here I realized very quickly that my skills as a Marine were not sufficient to protect my family in this situation. Standard Military tactics do not work well against small mobile terror groups. This is the reason that Terrorism has been so successful.
Firstly, the reason that unconventional attackers usually succeed is that they place the utmost importance on the element of surprise. They will not attack if they lose the element of surprise. This is an extremely important point, because most people will not be able to enact any kind of defense in time. During the second Intifada, a mother and five children were murdered in my community. Two terrorists knocked on their door in the early evening. When the mother answered the terrorists stormed the house and began executing the family. By the time we got to the house it was too late. The terrorists were killed, but they succeeded in killing the entire family. This event shook our area, and many changes were made to prevent this kind of attack again.
The most significant change was that our security pushed out past the community border. The priority was early warning. You must know that you’re being attacked before they’re at your door. In my home I did the same thing on a smaller scale. My security starts with my outer fence. It is alarmed so that if it is cut it will trigger the alarm. Just inside of this fence I placed electronic eyes. If someone climbs my fence he will break the electronic beam upon landing. He then has to cross another fence which is alarmed. Within the second fence are my two dogs, their job is to bark and warn me and not to attack. It is important to keep your dogs well away from the perimeter fence. My neighbor’s dogs have been poisoned by intruders on multiple occasions. They simply throw a poisoned piece of meat over your fence. As you get closer to my house I have a series of motion detectors and IR cameras. Finally, it is essential that your house be hardened. Your priority is to slow down the attack so that you have time to prepare yourself and your family. You should put bars on all your windows and have strong multi lock doors. This will force most attackers to make noise and take some time to break into the house.
Every house in Israel has a bunker room; it is a room of reinforced concrete with a heavy metal door. It is essential that you have a safe place to put your children if you’re attacked. This room should have running water, a toilet, beds, food, and games to keep the kids calm. These incidents can take many hours (especially false alarms) until your security posture can be lowered.
Obviously it is essential that your tactical equipment be ready and always accessible. I divide my tactical gear into three levels. Level one is always on me, with no exceptions. It includes my pistol with Tactical light, my com, two spare pistol mags, and one spare m-16 mag which are always on my belt. Also, my rifle is always in the same room that I am in. Level two is my tactical bag. It is something I can grab quickly and throw on in a hurry. A tactical bag should include extra mags for both of your weapons, tactical first aid gear (accessible by you even if you’re wounded), optics for reconnaissance, and extra batteries for your com and all other gear. This is not a go to war bag try to keep this bag light; you need to be mobile and quiet. Level three is my tactical vest with bullet proof plates, and full gear. I will wear it when I respond to a terrorist attack where I may have to fight inside of a house, or if I have enough early warning of an attack on my house to get it on. I usually will not wear it when I am tracking or pursuing, because it decreases my speed and mobility.
Lastly, I want to talk about tactics. You can’t protect a house using western tactics. The incident at Waco is a prime example of that. Most homes will not be able to sustain a firefight. In most terror attacks that I have responded to the house was set ablaze during the battle. You can’t think of your home as Custer’s last stand. In Hue City, Vietnam the NVA defeated U.S. forces using an urban defense technique called the Urban Sprawl. This same technique was used by Hamas in the city of Jenin during operation defensive shield, and it is being used successfully today against U.S. troops in Iraq.
The concept is to develop multiple fighting positions in a star shaped matrix. All of these fighting positions are connected by protected trenches or tunnels. Also there is a protected avenue of escape from your fighting matrix. What this technique does is make your defense mobile and dynamic, instead of a static defense. Your attacker can not quite pin down your location, or any specific weakness in your position. This technique also eliminates the model of fighting positions surrounding your whole perimeter, and allows one team to cover multiple positions effectively. Lastly, you must never trust too strongly in your defense, and must always leave yourself and your family a protected escape.
You must use surprise against your attacker and keep him guessing. My experience is that the more you can slow them down the better your chances of success. Hopefully you’ll never have to use any of these techniques to protect your family, but it would be prudent to put some of these measures in place, just in case.
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