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Get Home Scenario

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Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Lani Ringeisen with Cibolo Creek Tactical . If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


You are at work. You are 60 miles from your home and have one major obstacle (river) in between your house and work. Your work location is an office cubicle with a couple of file cabinets and a desk in a mid-sized city and you work on the second floor of the building. Your home is on 8 acres in a rural location about 30 miles outside of the closest urban built up area and there is a major city about 1 hour away that does not affect your routes home but can become an issue if the overall situation worsens. Choose any crisis situation, EMP, Civil Disturbance, Riots, Major Natural Disaster or total collapse. It does not really matter what happens, but you need to get home as fast as you can due to the deteriorating situation. The power is out at your office and people begin panicking.

You gather your level 2 kit (Get Home Bag) from under your desk. Double check that you have your Level 1 kit (EDC) on your person and you make your way to your Toyota 4Runner out in the employee parking lot. It is on the ground level of a parking garage attached to your building. You arrive at your vehicle and place your GHB (Level 2) behind your seat on the floor. You open the back of your vehicle and get some water and food to place up in front for the drive home which you think will be longer due to the traffic and detours. You also do a quick visual check of your Level 4 kit (Vehicle) you have in a small action packer container. Also, inside your rear cargo area is a tool kit with repair items for tires, hoses etc. Including an air compressor, extra tie downs (ratchet straps and 1 inch tubular nylon), a case of bottle water, another smaller container (food) with protein bars, tuna fish packets, etc. You added some tools to your kit in the last few weeks, a set of bolt cutters (small and large) and a Stanley fat max utility bar. On the back of your SUV you have a spare tire with 1 x 5 gallon fuel can.

Alley

Your Get Home Scenario Begins

As you start your SUV and prepare to drive out of the parking garage you realize that everyone is trying to exit and there is a small traffic jam on the first floor. You adjust your planned exit to use the entrance instead and it looks like some already have done the same since the drop arm barrier is broken off. You exit the garage and begin to take the most unused side streets to make your way north out of the city. Lucky for you it is not too far until you will have a couple of route options for the drive home. Since you planned your routes based off your Area Study you did when you moved out in the country, you are prepared. You have your Garmin GPS working along with a good city map and compass to keep you going in the right direction as you make detours to avoid being stuck in congestion. You decide to take a risk and use an unknown alleyway between two tall buildings. You take it cautiously, as it makes a left hand turn and you realize that the way is blocked by a 7 foot wooden fence just short of an empty side street. You stop and cut the engine, look and listen for a few minutes. Exit your vehicle, you get out your Fatmax utility bar and a folding handsaw, move to the fence. You pry off the 1 x 6 sturdy boards that make up the fence and cut the cross 2×4’s and the 4×4 post supporting them. You don’t want to pound on them to attract unwanted individuals or ram through it with your vehicle and maybe damaging your radiator. You know the width of your SUV and in 5-10 minutes of prying and cutting you have an opening. You exit the alleyway onto this side street which is on the outskirts of the city but you still need to go north to get closer to home.

You look at your map and make a decision to get away from the city as soon as possible but it will take you a little out of your way from your planned routes. So you adjust your plan accordingly. You need to make a security halt and do a good map check, so the first chance you find a concealed location in the country you take an old logging road that is overgrown and pull off into the trees. Again you look and listen after you turn off you SUV. You get out and do a quick look around your immediate area. Now you need to plan another route to one of your planned routes home. You noticed there is a power line easement that will lead you to the rail road tracks and the train bridge that crosses that river on your primary route. Good, so now you take a look at your vehicle to make it is good, tires, no leaks etc. While drinking some water and eating a protein bar you make marks on your map as reference points. You then take a quick look down the logging road where you came and are going to make sure no one is there, then start your SUV and head north to that power line easement.

OldLoggingRoadAs you come closer to the easement you decide to drive slower and through the woods to enter the easement not at a known junction just in case people are in that area. As you are driving through the pinewoods you hear an audible pop and stop. You noticed that you have a puncture in your tire now. It is a solid stick poking into the sidewall near the tread. You shut off the engine and look and listen. You get out the air compressor and tire kit and plug the hole with 2 large plugs. You add air to the tire and continue on your way. Since the easement can be a natural line of drift for people walking or even driving like yourself, you take precautions by stopping before this danger area and taking a look. It looks clear and you are hoping most people are still stuck in the city or on the roads. You drive more aggressively along the established dirt road along the power lines. This road has been used by the power company’s maintenance vehicles so it is some what maintained. You notice you have to cross a hardball paved road up ahead, so you take the necessary security precautions. But as you approach the paved road on foot, you noticed it has a cable across the dirt road on both sides of the hardball road. This cable is attached to wooden posts and prevents you from easily bypassing it. So when you return to your vehicle you get out your large bolt cutters and have them ready. You cut the cables on both sides of the paved road before you cross it with your SUV. You again drive aggressively to make as much distance you can from that paved road.

You approach the railroad tracks cautiously and move up to where you can see the train bridge. You use your binoculars to see the other side and notice it is identical to this side. No obstacles to prevent you from driving across it. You scan the area for people or threats. None, so you adjust your vehicle straddling the left track and drive across the bridge. Once on the other side you look in your rear view mirror and noticed some movement in the trees behind you. All of a sudden your back window is shattered as you hear several gun shots. You drop off the tracks onto the side of the railroad embankment to avoid more rounds. You see an opening in the trees on your side of the tracks and noticed it is another dirt road. You immediately turn left onto it and drive fast to put distance between you and the ambushers. You also try to maintain your location on the GPS and map. It seems you are now in one of the many state game lands that stretch between your work and home.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

Your vehicle is having issues and you realize your fuel is almost empty. So you turn off the dirt road and pull up in a security halt and take a look at it. You come to the conclusion that a round pierced your fuel tank. As you look through your Level 4 gear and repair tools you realize you don’t have a plastic fuel tank repair kit yet. So you begin to improvise a plug out one of the thick branches, but no luck. You take in your situation by determining your location and the distance to home. You realize it should take you until tomorrow night to get home if you have to walk. So you begin to prioritize your gear/kit. You have your Level 1, your Level 2 (GHB) and your Level 4 (vehicle). You know need to take items from your Level 4 kit to augment your Level 1 and 2 Kit. You adjust the items in your GHB to accommodate the extra items from the Level 4. Primarily food and water, then Medical and Technical. You also take into account that there is a threat to your rear and want to make sure you have the extra mags for your EDC pistol. As you are getting this all together, you hear noises and movement back on the road where you turned off. So you expedite your departure from your vehicle. You move out quietly but rapidly to continue to put distance between you and the ambushers. You regret leaving your vehicle and some gear back there to be found but your family is the priority and you have extra gear at the house.

As you move, you look for a good defensible hole up site to work out your routes. You find a thickly vegetated knoll above a draw you just crossed and decide to hole up here for a short rest. As you look at your Garmin Etrex you pulled out of your GHB and the USGS Topo maps you packed in it, you calculate you have little over 30 kilometers to home. You know you can walk 4 MPH on dirt roads with 50 lbs, so if you did this walk accordingly, it would take you 5 hours on a straight line. But this is not on a road and it is not a straight path. When you include the possible threats and known threats you have to reduce your speed, move slower, take more security halts, use different directions, etc. You look at the time and it will be about to be dusk or EENT (Early Evening Nautical Twilight). As you plan the route, you know you can stay off any roads and natural lines of drift from here on out. You determine you should be home after dark tomorrow night. You check your signal devices in your GHB, you have a section of VS-17 Panel, a strobe light with IR cover, GMRS radio with extra batteries, Red lens flashlight and your cell phone. You already made your initial text to the wife when you departed from work. She received it and marked the time you departed. Knowing your plan and how long it should take to drive, she would expect you to be home in a couple of hours. But that is not going to happen. You try another text to update on your movement plans, but no signal. You are too far to use the GMRS so you turn them off and save the batteries. She knows to begin checking the cell phone and radio on the hour for 15 minutes once you fail to make your arrival time. You continue to move toward home.

Armasight Nyx7-ID Gen 2+ Night Vision Goggles

You pick up and move out to the north avoiding all danger areas as much as possible. For the first couple of legs you do extensive counter tracking to make sure the ambushers do not follow your route. It is pretty dark tonight since the illumination is low. The moon is waxing so it will increase each night. You planned your route using as many hand rails as possible. Making sure you establish a good attack point and backstop for your RON positions. You arrive at your first RON position just after midnight, it took you about 6 hours to move almost 4 miles closer to home. You moved at a tactical pace of 1 kph through the woods under the cover of darkness. You hole up for the night and plan on moving out before first light. You have about 16 more miles to get home and you want to get there in just as many hours. At a pace of 1 kph you know you won’t be able to make that distance in 16 hours, so you plan on moving at a faster pace for part of your movement tomorrow.

It is 4 a.m. And you are ready to move out before it gets light. You replenished your water last night from a small creek about 300 meters from your hole up site. You travel the rest of the day without any more problems from people or terrain. You managed to gain time on your route by using handrails along a railroad track that was heading in your direction. You made sure you stayed off the tracks a good 100 meters but maintained visual of it as you moved rapidly through easy terrain with less under brush. It is getting dark now and you know you are a few miles from your house. So you stop in a security halt and try to establish communications with your wife, your cell is not working still so you give the GMRS a try. You broadcast a couple of times at the top of the hour. You wait and hear her respond and you let her know how far you are out, from what direction you are coming and that you will give here a night-time signal for link up. She acknowledges it all. As you approach the clearing that is behind your house, you observe it for anything unusual. Seeing it is clear, you turn on your radio and establish common again with her. Your primary night-time signal, an IR strobe light for her to acknowledge. You have one set of NVGs and she has them at the house. You wait for her to acknowledge what she sees. But nothing….So you switch to the Alternate, a red lens flash light with 3 flashes. She sees that and comes across the radio with what she sees. You confirm and you arrive at your door. After the greetings, you realize you never taught your wife how to turn on the NVGs. But she defiantly knew the alternate signals.

Conclusion: As I try to detail in this scenario, you must have a flexible plan. Be prepared to change and adjust it according to the situation. Your kit levels aid you in maintaining the flexibility and ability to adjust and resupply on the go. Continue to maintain forward progress and avoid having to double back unless you have no other choice. You are dealing with time, distance and contingencies so having a good PACE plan to help you is crucial. The other part I try to emphasis is not everything goes according to your plan. If you rely on other people in your plan, make sure they know and understand it thoroughly. When it comes to special equipment, make sure everyone knows how to use it. Las note I want to make, ensure you cover all possibilities with your vehicle. Now some things you won’t be able to fix, but leaks, hoses, fan belts, etc are fixable on the road if you have the right things on hand.

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  • Maureen

    Be aware and be prepared for (almost) anything. In reading this scenario, I realize that my vehicle preps are sorely lacking! Guess what hubby and I are doing this weekend! Thank you for the great insight 🙂

  • Chris McCarty

    You paint a fairly grim scenario. I wouldn’t count on the Garmin working.

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Always have a map and compass

    • Derp

      Thinking GPS would be knocked out is going a bit far imo. Only an EMP would disable your Garmin, and odds of that are fairly low, and also easily preventable. If you’re that concerned about EMP, keep the GPS in a small faraday cage in the vehicle. Problem solved. There is NO WAY the satellites are going down. All antisat weapons are for low orbit military targets like rorsat or surveillance. GPS sats are in geosynchronous orbit 22,000 miles up, there’s nothing that can reach them to knock them out.

  • Bolofia

    Whether your intended route is for getting home or bugging out to another destination, I would urge that you take the time and effort to travel every foot of it before a SHTF situation arises. When that happens all bets are off, and everything that you thought you knew will have gone by the wayside. Find and test the alternate routes that diverge from the intended route. The less you know about route options, the more likely you are to run into trouble.

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      P.A.C.E. Plan, Primary Alternate, Contingency, Emergency

    • Huples

      Yes and consider small caches of water and food. Have a detailed map and mark the choke points. Bridges, tunnels, rivers. They maybe impassible due to collapse, flood, car jams, bad people. Police likely to be not letting you on to highways out of cities in many situations. Driving around your city and taking unknown short cuts, driving bug back routes and taking unknown roads. Totally avoidable with a bit of pre planning and possibly deadly in shtf.

      If, big if, taxis are running use the cash in the car pack to be driven out. You can go back for the car later if things stabilize. If traffic stops, pay very well and start the walk home. Obviously know routes and direct the driver

  • Bruce Fleming

    Interesting article, but I question using bolt cutters to cut through a couple of cables blocking a road. You might have better luck cutting down one of the posts the cables are attached to, or using a battery powered grinder with a cutting wheel.

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Cut the bolts not the cable. Take the path of “least resistance”. Never rely on a “Harbor Freight” quality cutter…

      • Cibolo Creek Tactical

        Yep, Always buy quality. When ever breaching, always attack the weakest point. Sometimes it is not right in front of you.

      • BobW

        I have to disagree with you on the harbor freight wheel grinders, Mike. They are certainly not for professional contractors, but for the price, pick up a couple. Rigging up an AC outlet in the car with ext cord would be quick. I’ve seen one cut through an expensive name brand cable bike lock in less than 2 seconds. Like biting through licorice.

        You’re not cutting I-beams, and certainly not doing it with regularity, so a cheapo, near throw-away HF wheel cutter is not a bad play.

        • Mike Lashewitz

          I was talking about bolt cutters not grinders. However still go after the bolts with a grinder not the cable. Me though I am laze and will just push the posts over…

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Bolt cutters are quick and quiet. The hard ball road is considered a danger area since it is a high speed avenue of approach. So you want to get across as fast as possible. The cutting wheel might a good choice if you are checking that the battery is charged at all times.

      • BobW

        I would think a battery powered unit would be insufficient for anything ‘heavy duty’, like a utility company barrier setup. Lacking in power.

  • Cruella DeVille

    Interesting..
    Conclusion: it’s never as easy as you think it should be.

    I did an overnight test run last weekend of one of my pre-planned routes on foot. In reverse, ie; from my home, and only for the first 10 miles of a 30 mile jaunt.
    This is a very informative exercise, and I would very strongly recommend everyone else do so.
    I carried my standard EDC and GHB, along with my normal vehicle complement of water, tools, and weapons. (See Ultralight GHB)
    My planned routes use power-line/pipeline easements as much as possible, along with skirting the wood side edges of farmed areas. I also have a number of water crossings to contend with, and several miles of bushwhacking through 2nd or 3rd growth woods.
    My pace was extremely varied as was the terrain.
    Following the maintained, or at least partially cleared utility cuts I was capable of maintaining a decent 2.6 mph average, (SportRate GPS app on my cell), cornfields let me cruise along at 3.6 mph. The bushwhacking however was a completely different story….
    A miserable mix of trees, conifer and deciduous, of all sizes, with the majority it seemed laying on the ground, directly across may path. There were also thorn bush thickets twice my height, which once hooked upon would take stopping and determined effort to unhook. Add in vines that ran everywhere, poison ivy with stalks as large as my bicep, sink holes large and small, and a couple of small streams, roughly 4 to 10 feet across that don’t show up on any of my maps. Also, because this particular stretch was farm land that had gone wild, there were sections of old barbed wire fencing that would appear seemingly from nowhere: still nice and sharp, but rusty and primed for tetanus.
    This section reduced my speed to less than 1 mph, and required far more exertion. Stepping over, ducking under, twisting, jumping, at one point a brief wade to cross a stream. I would never attempt this terrain in the dark unless absolutely desperate.
    It was in the middle of this that I decided to stop to test my overnight equipment.
    A small fire in front of a large flat rock was cake with a ferro rod. In spite of some serious rain the preceding few days, there was lots of tinder to be picked up along the way. Temps dropped into the upper 30s, but between the fire and the emergency bivy sack I was good to go. An MRE was dinner and coffee for breakfast.
    I finished up the 10 mile stretch around noon the next day. But: 10 miles on the map translated into 14.5 miles actually walked! You cannot go in a straight line off-road! My speed of advance also varied significantly from my planned pace: average for the complete trip ended up at 1.8 mph.
    Some conclusions: waist and sternum straps are absolutely required if you’re going to be bushwhacking! Otherwise your pack will be flopping all over the place, and messing with your balance. Get a decent walking stick, preferably about your height. I made one on the fly, and it was invaluable when vaulting the small streams. Something to seal up small cuts on your person, not in the pack. Those thorns ripped me bloody, and a spray-on bandage stuff would have been nice. The small folding saw proved worth the weight for firewood, shelter, and making the walking stick. I do not need to pack as much water in this particular area, springs, and flowing water in general is plentiful, but I’m upping the quantity of water purification tablets.

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Great comment, exactly what my article was designed to do, provoke thought and discussion about planning your get home, or bug out scenarios,

    • Bolofia

      Well said. I know my primary and alternates routes by heart, and I don’t need a map; even though the distance is over 50 miles.

  • no more shaking for me

    Lani, Very nice article. I also really like that multi use tool “Stanley 55-119 FatMax Functional Utility Bar = 4-in-1 tool for prying, splitting, board bending and striking jobs”
    I just added that to my next month wish list for my own ongoing preps for the truck & home.
    Gayle Cz

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Thank you, That one tool I have used for numerous projects and have a couple. I leave one in my vehicle at all times in my action packer that has several items. I am glad the article is helping you plan and build your preps.

  • Huples

    Technology is not the answer. A cheap off road bike would have been much faster and safer. Most cities have bike paths and cemeteries you can peddle or walk along. Rail lines, hydro ways, bus roads (we have roads only buses use, not every city has them) are good alternates. Highways are great if Emp hits but go along the lighter traffic side and after dark. By 3am everyone will have walked off the highways and be besieging the houses next to the off ramps.

    In terms of work to home evac leave work in the middle of the night (3am) and hit the rural bits at dawn. Travel light and fast. Avoid houses. Using a car from a city won’t work by the time everyone is fleeing. Roads barely passable in normal rush hour traffic, looking for magic clear ways in a city. Yes, there are none.

    Dudes shot you up from behind. They hit the vehicle multiple times. You drive on and then have to walk. You spend time at the vehicle? No, grab stuff and split ASAP. Even with your pistol and extra mags those shooters will end you if you try to be John Wayne. Luckily you are used to walking 20 miles in one go and do that every week or two. You are in good shape, right? Map check is done frequently while standing on the route of March. You are used to doing map checks on your regular local hikes. No knoll is safe from shooters that plugged your moving vehicle. The back tracking seems a total waste of time. Puts you at risk of meeting them and delays separating yourself from the threat. Get home and stop playing war

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      A lot of assumptions in your comment. Bike paths, Bus only roads, 3am everyone will be off the highway/roads. Highways are never good to avoid people, no matter what event. Waiting until 3 am to leave from work, might be good in some cities or it can leave time for authorities to establish cordons, road blocks, etc. It is funny how an article designed to provoke thought about planning, provokes assumptions about the authors abilities and credentials. Since I see several questions in your comment I will answer them. You spend time at the vehicle? I say situation dependent, in my article I do not discuss “distance” or “time” on how far and long I drove from the contact. So another assumption you make about needing too quickly, leaving valuable items in your vehicle (ammo, water, etc). You are in Good shape? Yes sir and I have walk more than 20 miles in my career plenty of times and know my limitations in varied environments. Your comments about the small unit tactics I mentioned in the article shows your lacking in that area also. And I “played war” for a living for over 26 years. Got a little experience in that area. I know when to stand and fight and when to break contact.

      • BobW

        Great explanation. I’ve walked a similar walk, and didn’t have any trouble following that bouncing ball.

        Several references to ‘checking your map’ vice ‘checking the GPS’ were give-aways. GPS is an awesome bit of tech, but consulting your favorite map gives far greater understanding of the local, intermediate, and ‘whole world’ terrain. GPS can come in to see that I’m going to hit/miss my way points I just plugged in, but should not be a primary means of navigation for multiple reasons.

        Setting aside the nice narrative you have laid out, the thing that jumped out at me was the ‘tier 4’ shopping list you outlined. I have a different fatmax prybar, but have found it about as useful as you find yours. I never thought to take it out of rotation and add it to the car bag/bin.

        • Cibolo Creek Tactical

          Bob, I always rely on my map, compass and pace count. The GPS is nice (if working) to have as a confidence item to ensure you are where you think you are. But if you are familiar with the area and have good navigational skills, you would not need one all the time. I have 4 levels of gear. I plan on writing another article detailing how I have my gear set up in the future.

      • Huples

        Sorry if you take critique personally. I find it makes me stronger. Still you failed to answer my questions so I will clarify.

        Anyone who on their own with a hand gun goes looking for a fire fight in the situation described really needs to question their tactics. That is not an assumption. Why go back and forth to see who you heard? What is the point of that move instead of getting out and travelling home faster? With your experience and a light pack you should easily out pace the people you heard and prevent tracking. Better that than wandering around and going backwards to figure out if you are being followed. Assume you are and evade. Assessing is only safe with a squad.

        Evac from the car is grabbing the bag and maybe spending one minute getting blankets and extra water. Pre plan this in advance as wandering around the vehicle in this situation to figure out what to take seems avoidable.

        You seem car focused. Dump the thing and get out of dodge. If not, then know the routes, all of them, out of town and to get home. Twice you take wrong directions but in both cases you should have known the route. Work to home so there’s no excuse for that.

        You are wrong about my 3am suggestion. I made it based on vehicle traffic having jammed exits. You cannot get out of parking and people have already started driving unsafely. Taking a car only works if you evac before the herd. For me, responding to your ideas, I am walking out if the city in this situation and leaving 3am to hit rural areas at dawn. I’m going to avoid roads as I feel they will be death traps in a wide panic.

        I am sorry if my humour went south. Text does this. I really meant no offence.
        We all have our own concepts and ideas but none of us have a clue. You are correct about tools and knowing their use if you plan to drive out of shtf to home. I just figure driving is done early or not at all. Vehicles like guns creat a false sense of security.

        • Cibolo Creek Tactical

          No I am good, I like constructive criticism. One thing to keep in mind about this scenario, it is designed to provoke thought, insight to ones own plans and preparations. The “mistakes”, “change of plans” etc are put in there to show that no ones “perfect” plan will go accordingly. To remain flexible and have the ability to adapt and FRAGO off your base plan. Everyone has their TTP’s and some work for them and not others. It is all based off Mindset and Skill Sets. If your plan works for you in your area then that is awesome. I like communication with others because that drives ideas and learning more tools for the tool box.

          • Huples

            Yes and thank you for that.
            It made me think through the sit rep but I always look for the worst outcome! I plan for the worst and get happy when it does not turn as bad 🙂

  • Jon

    Good story, but I’m pretty sure tire plugs will not work on the sidewalls of tire. Anyone have experience using them on sidewalls?

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Jon, I have used 3 plugs in the side wall of a Hummwv tire, we were doing a 1100 mile off road (Arroyo’s, Dirt trail, BLM Road) movement around NM back in 1999. Our rear tire got punctured by a stiff mesquite branch and we had to use a plug kit. It held up for the duration, but loss air everyday. So we had to use our air compressor to fill it up daily. But if it was more of a tear, i would not think it would have done as well as it did.

  • BobW

    I appreciate the thought provoking article. To me, the idea of such an article is to make the reader think. There is no one single universal evacuation plan. Unless your buddy lives next door and works in the cube next to you, everyone will have a slightly different plan.

    On first read, I thought it was nice piece. The commentary that followed made me realize it was a top notch, thought provoking piece of writing.

    The idea that mistakes will be made, and diversions can be forced upon a person in a disaster situation strikes a cord with me. In the military, they have an old saying that goes something like this, “no plan survives first contact..” We wrote battle plans and operations orders to be a comprehensive look at the op. We were all trained to understand and expect that things will come up that will require adaptation. Plans and directed actions could not be utterly rigid.

    Having a strip map of the route, or worse, a pre-plotted route on a GPS (OPSEC people!) are preps for disaster. You are planning for a worst case scenario, not a weekend nature hike. Know your route(s) well enough to not have a highlighted route for your destroyer to follow home to your people.

    Going off course, making mistakes, and unexpected contact with tangos force adjustments to the plan. Knowing your gear, how to use it, the area, your routes, alternates, alternates of alternates, and the like provide the depth of knowledge necessary to fight through adversity and accomplish your mission, be it attacking a fixed enemy, or just getting home.

    • Cibolo Creek Tactical

      Bob, Great comment. 100% accurate, too many times people make a plan and have to adjust when the enemy hits. It is the mindset, skill sets, tactics and kit that enable them to prevail.