Counterinsurgency Team Equipment
I am asked regularly what equipment people should have or need to have for self-defense or tactical situations. I am not much of a gear-queer and tell people to make maximum use what they have in their everyday environment, there is no need for tactical knife, forks and spoons.
The below is taken from a manual I was putting together for counterinsurgency / tactical team in West Africa a few years ago and may give you a few hints on kit etc. They were a government team so had access to military weapons, in most places civilians will not be able to get AK’s and CS grenades, so make use of what you have. If all I had access to was a double barred shotgun I would be happy, it’s a very nice weapon and effective weapon if you know how to use it and have your strategies planned!!
Counterinsurgency Team Equipment
Operatives need to be carefully selected not only for physical abilities but also for social skills and their ability to bend in with other people. This means the best operatives are usually average height and weight and look like normal people. The operatives need to be physically fit and should be trained in light infantry tactics, first aid, communications etc. The operatives will need a high standard of self-discipline and intelligence; they will need to be mentally flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing situations. The operators will need to be able to work by themselves or in team with minimal equipment and support. Our suggested size for an operational team is six operatives, this size team should be able to handle most tasks and be able to be split into two three-man independent fire teams. The team should consist of a team leader, a second in command and four operatives.
The operatives need to be able to operate with minimal equipment and be able to adapt everyday objects to meet their needs. The operatives should be as lightly equipped as possible, too much kit will only slow them down. When on operations they should only carry what is necessary, if they don’t need it, don’t carry it. Below is a list of equipment the operative should have access to, they will not need everything for every operation.
1. Communications, radios, cell phones*
2. A reliable watch
3. Two good qualities high capacity 9mm pistols with 6 magazines.
4. One folding stock rifle/carbine with 5 magazines. We recommend AK-47 type platforms.
5. Plenty of ammunition for operations and training.
6. Waterproof flashlight
7. First aid equipment
8. A quality folding knife
9. A quality compass & GPS* (GPS are an aid to navigation, not a means of navigation)
10. Maps of operational areas
11. Quality pliers and bolt cutters
12. Water bottles, water purification tablets or personal filters.
13. A level 3A concealable bullet proof vest.
14. Smoke/CS grenades
15. Stills and videos cameras*
*Make maximum use of cell/mobile smart phone apps as long as they do not compromise operational security. All phones and computers used must be secured at all times.
Operatives should dress to blend in with their environments; civilian cloths should be used for tactical operations especially when working in close proximity of civilians. A simple green or brown shirt can blend in to bush just as well as camouflage if the operative is properly trained. Our preference for civilian cloths over military fatigues is because if you are performing an operation in a suburban/urban area you have to blend in with the public and if you are wondering around the streets in military fatigues and face paint you will draw attention.
Footwear will depend on the environment you are working but we suggest to wear what the general population is wearing, something light that is good for running and swimming in. Tactical boots can draw attention and their aggressive tread leave obvious ground sign.
The only specialist clothing we would recommend would be a fire proof balaclava and gloves. The balaclava can be used for concealing your identity and hiding the shine from you face on rural recce operations. Good gloves amongst other things gives you extra grip on your weapon and again hides the shine from your hands on rural recce etc. Tactical cloths for direct action operations should be fire proof and of a good quality.
International Defense Strategies LLC
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