(This is part two of a three part series written by Max Velocity. You can find his bio and the first part of the series here.
Don’t forget to visit his website, Max Velocity Tactical to read more of his quality work!)
From the principles of defense it is clear that we need to establish a plan which provides early warning, all round defense and mutually supporting sectors of fire.
We also need to create depth, which is best utilized outside the building rather than with fall back positions inside the house.
We can create depth using external fighting positions to keep attackers away from the house, which will also aid mutual support. A key thing that will really help defense of a house is to have a second or more positions outside of the main building that can provide fire support, thus these positions support each other by keeping enemy away from the house and each other.
This position(s) could also be another house or cooperating neighbor if it works out that way. This creates a ‘cross-fire’ so you must enforce fire discipline and allocate sectors of fire to ensure you do not cause ‘friendly fire’.
Another very important concept is that of ‘stand-off’. This can be created with a combination of fighting positions in depth and cleared fields of fire with obstacles. If you have an obstacle, such as wire, it must be covered by fire to be effective.
Utilize stand-off distances to keep enemy away from the property, combined with obstacles to slow vehicle and dismounted approach. Examples like wire are good for dismounted personnel and also vehicles if it is correctly laid concertina wire.
Obstacles such as steel cabling, concrete bollards or planter boxes and felled trees will work well against vehicles. This will also have the effect of reducing the risk of attackers getting close to set the place on fire, which they are likely to try if they can’t get in to get your stuff.
If we expand this concept we can see how a mutually supporting neighborhood with checkpoints/roadblocks and observation/fighting positions will provide a great advantage.
Stand-off is also important in terms of engaging the enemy with accurate effective fire at the longest range that is physically and legally possible.
If you are competent and have the equipment for long range effective suppressive fire, this can have the effect of keeping the enemy at arm’s length and reducing the accuracy and hence effectiveness of their fire, which will prevent them successfully suppressing you and subsequently maneuvering onto your position to breach or burn the property.
In addition, consider the presence, placement and potential hard protection of any flammable sources on your property and close to your buildings, such as propane tanks and fuel supplies. Ensure they cannot be repeatedly fired upon by the enemy to cause a fire or explosion.
The ability to generate accurate effective long range defensive fire depends on skill, equipment, positioning of fighting positions, your policy for the use of force and also the way the terrain affects weapons killing areas and ranges. To engage at long range you have to reasonably fear that the enemy presents a threat of lethal force against your defended location.
However, if you are in a closer urban or wooded environment you may find some of your fields of fire are limited and you will have to plan and position accordingly.
Administration is a key factor. While you are maintaining your defense you need to look after the welfare of the team, equipment and the site itself.
Administration is what preppers usually concentrate on. This is your “beans, bullets and band-aids”. This is an area where those that are non-combatants can really pull their weight and make a difference.
You must maintain a watch system which will be tied in to ‘stand to’ positions and maybe some form of ‘Quick Reaction Force’ or reserve, depending on the resources and numbers available to you. Your watch system can be augmented by other early warning sensors such as dogs and mechanical or electronic systems.
Day to day you will need to keep the machine running and this will be the biggest challenge as time goes on.
Remember, Complacency Kills!
Depending on the extent of your preparations, stores and the resources within your property, this will have a knock-on effect to your ability to remain covert and the requirement to send out foraging patrols.
People will also start to get cabin fever, particularly kids, and you will need to consider how to entertain them. Consider that while mundane tasks are being completed, there is always someone on watch.
People that are not on watch need to have weapons and ammunition carrying equipment close or on their person while doing other things.
Consider carrying long rifles slung as well as handguns everywhere you go on the property, with at least a light bit of web gear with some additional magazines in pouches. Rifles should never be out of your arms reach if there is any kind of threat of attack.
You should put rifle racks or hooks/nails on walls in key rooms, out of reach of kids, so that rifles can be grabbed quickly if the alarm is sounded.
Regarding your noncombatants or protected personnel; what you do with them depends on who they are.
The younger kids will need to be protected in the safest location you have. Others will be useful to do tasks such as re-load magazines, distribute water and act as firefighting crews.
Note that you need to have fire-extinguishers and buckets of water and /or sand available at hand during a defense to put out any fires.
The more tasks you give people during a crisis, the more the activity will take their minds off the stress of the situation and the team will be strengthened.
Ammunition replenishment, water distribution, casualty collection point, first aid, watching the rear and looking after the younger kids are all examples of tasks that can be allocated to make people a useful part of the team when personnel resources are tight.