Communications – Morse Code

Since the dawn of time, fighting units with superior communications have swept past those who would have otherwise been equals on the battlefield. The same holds true to your Zombie combat team.

Take for example a four man team on a recon patrol. Without any communications tools, any new information the team gathers will not make it to the rest of the force until they have returned. Depending on the nature of the mission, this could be days. If the team is lost, so is the information.

Using radios is definitely the most favorable of all options. However, it is not the only option. The knowledge of Morse code provides medium ranged communications options when radios fail. Also, when employed correctly, they can be incredibly difficult to detect. Best of all, it takes no batteries to use during the day time and uses a negligible amount of battery at night.

The Morse Code

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

Memorizing Morse code is desirable, but it is understandable that since it is not something one uses every day, it can be easily forgotten. Printing out the Morse code chart above, laminating it and keeping it with you at all times is essential.

Using Abbreviations and Acronyms

Because of the nature of the Morse code, the team will probably benefit most from having some kind of abbreviation or acronym system . Ensure that the team is clear on what acronyms are which and having a card with some “less obvious” ones can clear up a lot of potential for confusion.

Equipment

Basically two different kinds of equipment are required, one for the daytime and one for night time.

Daytime:

During the daytime, a signalling mirror will do.

Night time:

At night, a powerful flashlight will have to be used. However, the flashlight alone will make too large of a visual signature unless an attachment is made.

morse code light

Instructions:
The best material for the attachment is a PVC pipe.
The outside should be painted in a subdued color for camouflage purposes.
The inside of the pipe needs to be painted in flat black. A chalkboard spray paint does this job very well. Prevents “light pollution” that gives away the team’s position.

Communications in the Field

Usually the team in the field (referred to Fireteam Alpha below) will not be operating within direct line of sight with the main base (referred to Firebase Victory below). Even if it is, it is highly advisable to use a second team (Fireteam Bravo) operating out of an OP/LP to serve as a relay station. Refer to the diagram below:

Information flow

The advantage of using a relay team is twofold. First, it gives alpha team a great deal of flexibility in that they do not necessarily need to be in the line of sight of the main base, and second, it prevents the main base’s location from being compromised.

Conclusion

Even with the lowest level of technology, a sophisticated communications network can be achieved allowing the Zombie combat team unparalleled battlefield flexibility.

 

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Owning the Night – Night Vision

UPDATE: A slight update to the previous post regarding solar power. We have now concluded that a source of solar power would boost combat capability by a factor of ten. Having a solar power source is not a “good to have” but is borderline essential.

BACKGROUND

Since the earliest of times, the night has given a cloak of invisibility to any fighting force. Indeed, during the Korean War, the Chinese forces moved by night exclusively. As a result, they were able to move tens of thousands of soldiers and hit UN forces at the Chosin Reservoir with absolute thunderclap surprise. The ability to operate at night can give your Zombie Combat Team an edge. But by how much? Zombies by their nature have the absolute advantage at night. Not dependent on vision, they hunt by smell and sound. Night is their natural friend. They own the night by default.

Even a Human Wave Can Hide. Image Courtesy: http://blog.usamm.com/

NIGHT OPERATIONS DURING COUNTER-ZOMBIE OPERATIONS

Unfortunately, for those who envision conducting night raids in Zombie infested environments, the truth is that in a Zombie infested environment, outside-the-wire operations are a no-go. Even with the best night vision equipment, the effectiveness of the individual Soldier and the team is greatly reduced. The ability to be encircled, trapped, and annihilated is simply too great to risk any offensive operations at night. The only time night operations are feasible are when Zombie threats are currently low to zero and the main source of danger is other groups.

For Civilian Zombie Combat Teams that have no prior experience with working with night vision equipment, it is important to know that they do not work like night vision goggles from video games. The best night vision gear the Zombie Combat Command has ever used (aside from FLIR that obviously cost the government a LOT of money) was in fact a Sony digital camcorder. It provided excellent picture quality and quite a powerful zoom as well. The fact that you can record and it costs only about 10% the price of a Generation III night vision goggle such as the PVS-7 or PVS-14 makes it a great choice for any Zombie Combat Team.

UTILIZING NIGHT VISION EQUIPMENT IN COUNTER-ZOMBIE OPERATIONS

As a result of the fact that facing a Zombie formation at night is practically suicide, a team leader might decide that his Civilian Zombie Combat Team should not invest in any night vision equipment. After all, they are expensive. However, this could not be further from the truth. Night vision equipment makes for situational awareness while on the firebase at night infinitely better than not having one.

A typical night for a team and its non-combat element (often family members and the like) may involve silence, but it will also involve some level of activity. Kicking back and being able to read a book, chatting, playing board games and the like help maintain morale in a time of great uncertainty. Having night vision equipment takes the guess work out of what is going outside the walls of your firebase at night, and allows for a quick transition from normal night activities to complete silence.

Night vision equipment also provides itself as a useful asset in the ability to study Zombie or human behavior at night. It is highly probable that Zombies become much more active at night. Being able to study their movements and tendencies can make the difference between losing the night entirely, and being able to exploit openings to make use of darkness should the need and opportunity arise.

Human Threats

The fact that your team is ready and equipped to survive and thrive during times of great uncertainty can also make you a target. If Zombie activity is low in your area, hostile civilians may launch raids against your position. If they choose to use the cover of night, your ability to see at night will turn their perceived advantage (using the cover of darkness) into a fatal weakness.

Video Game Night Vision: No real NVG provides this level of detail and sharpness. Image Courtesy: http://www.moddb.com/

PVS-14 Gen III view. Image Courtesy: SnipersHide

 

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Research Faster – The Spritz App

Knowledge is survival. Any serious professional warrior and experts in any trade can tell you, there is a lot of knowledge out there to take in and many of them are written in print (like FM 999-3 and FM 999-4).

The list of material to read for the Zombie fighter is long and expansive which include material regarding:

- Leadership
- Equipment
- Conducting training
- Strategy
- Tactics
- Logistics
- Nutrition

OMG. SOURCE

OMG. SOURCE

And that’s just to name a few.
For many, the prospect of reading so much is just too much. Time is a commodity and sometimes leaders and Soldiers alike skimp on the study.

However, there is an app coming out called Spritz which promises to help reading become much faster by moving the words for you. So instead of your eyes scanning the page to read the word, the word is positioned so that you read it far faster. Intriguing to say the least.

Zombie Combat Command will be keeping a close look out for the app.

 

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Solar Power

Typical visions of a world overrun by Zombies (if at least temporarily) would include the loss of all utilities. Running water, electricity, telecommunications, and garbage disposal. However, the ability to keep electronic tools operational will provide your team the edge in every day operations as well as on the battlefield.

Tools such as refrigerators, LED lamps, and a video system can do wonders for force and morale sustainment whereas UAVs, video surveillance, and possibly even electric golf carts can provide key tools that give your team the edge on the battlefield.

Any kind of airborne video surveillance system can increase battlefield awareness. Image Courtesy: United States Air Force

Any kind of airborne video surveillance system can increase battlefield awareness. Image Courtesy: United States Air Force

So how does one generate electricity? Portable solar panel systems provide a wealth of options for generating power. In parts of the United States where there is reliable sunlight all year round, having a solar power system or not having one will greatly influence your strategy. Solar power can mean the difference between having one person watch a video screen linked to security cameras and having possibly up to eight people at a time on watch duty 24/7.

A Golf Cart can reduce the force required to carry supplies and equipment. Image Courtesy: http://www.bradleyssurplus.com/

In addition to installing solar panels in your home, a mobile package can also do wonders. First, if your main firebase in which your team operates out of is not a home owned by a team member, it would be unwise to install expensive equipment that can be stolen before an out break even pretends to occur. Second, having one in your inventory allows for your team to expand. In the event that a strategic location is secured during the event of a Zombie outbreak, that second firebase can also have its own electricity source improving its value as a force multiplier.


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Zombie Combat Marksmanship Drills 1 & 2

Making your team thrive in a Zombie infested combat environment takes a gargantuan effort on all fronts. Logistics, finance, nutrition, medicine, engineering, and even agriculture, just to name a few. However, a team that is not successful in actual combat will inevitably be overrun.

Combat marksmanship is the fundamental basis of a team’s combat capability. The more quickly, and the further a team can shoot, the greater the distance they are able to maintain with any Zombie formation. Plans and procedures are necessary, but are worthless if the team is not skilled enough to execute them correctly.

Welcome to the range

Welcome to the range

Drills 1 and 2 have something in common: they train your team to be able to transition from moving to aiming and shooting accurately very quickly. They also deal with the changing distances of the Zombie threat.

THE RANGE AND OTHER PREPARATIONS

Distances for both drills can be adjusted accordingly, but for the sake of readability, we will be dealing with a 100 meter (109 yard) range. It also needs to be done outdoors as no indoor range (unless privately owned by you) would allow you to conduct the drill.

Prepare the range by marking off firing lines. The closest line to the target is at 20 meters (22 yards). The second closest is at 50 meters (55 yards). The third is at 100 meters (109 yards). If your range exceeds 100 meters, draw a line every 50 meters beyond the 100 meter mark.

All range safety procedures and practices must be exercised during training. Your safety is your responsibility. Since we are not at your range, we cannot be responsible for any accidents that may happen.

PERSONNEL

You need at least three different kinds of personnel to conduct this training. You need:
- A shooter
- A range safety officer
- An instructor

Everyone who occupies these respective positions must be qualified to conduct the tasks involved. Shooters must know and exercise firearm safety, as well as basic marksmanship skills. Range safety officers and instructors must know how to operate a range safely. If these conditions are not met, the team is not suited to conduct these drills.

WHISTLE COMMANDS

Once the drill begins, it will be difficult if not impossible for the shooter(s) to hear any vocal commands. Therefore whistles must be used. Whistle commands must be consistent and known to all parties involved even before range setup.

For example, one whistle to signal shooters to move to the next range line and three blasts of the whistle to signal cease fire and put weapons on safety with magazines out, chamber clear, and hammer down.

All personnel on range must have a whistle.

ZOMBIE COMBAT MARKSMANSHIP DRILL 1

This drill simulates a Zombie formation getting closer and closer to the team. Also, the movements involved will make shooters more accustomed to shooting while out of breath, especially if the drill is run several times or over a greater distance than 100 meters. This drill does not simulate a team moving in close to a formation of Zombies. A team must try to maintain at least a 100 meter distance between itself and the Zombie formation. Any closer than 50 meters and the team is in danger of being overrun.

1) Shooters line up on the 100 meter firing line in the prone position. Weapons on safe, magazines out, chamber clear, and hammer down.

2) Range safety officer checks for any immediate problems. If everything checks out clear, indicates a thumbs up to the instructor.

3) Instructor gives verbal commands to load, charge, and put weapons off safe.

4) Instructor blows whistle and the drill begins. Shooters fire at the targets 100 meters away in the prone position. After 5 seconds the instructor blows the whistle and the shooters quickly move to the 50 meter firing line.

5) The clock still runs while the shooters are running to the 50 meter firing line. At the 50 meter firing line, shooters will fire from the standing position. They will have 15 seconds to go from the 100 meter firing line to the 50 meter firing line before the instructor blows the whistle for the team to move to the 20 meter firing line.

6) Shooters will have 10 seconds to move from the 50 meter firing line to the 20 meter firing line and fire on their target. Shooters will engage in the standing position at the 20 meter firing line.

7) After ten seconds have elapsed, the instructor will blow the whistle three times to have shooters cease fire, put the weapon on safe, release the magazine and empty the chamber.

8) Each shooter will remain at their position until inspected and relieved by the range safety officer.

SIDEARM VARIATION: If also practicing with sidearms, it is possible to transition from rifle to sidearm at the 20 meter firing line.

If shooting beyond 100 meters, ensure 15 seconds between each firing line beyond 100 meters.

ZOMBIE COMBAT MARKSMANSHIP DRILL 2

It is basically the Zombie Combat Marksmanship Drill 1 but in reverse. This drill simulates a Zombie formation being pushed back by the volume of fire unleashed by the team and/or the team firing and making distance between the team and the Zombie formation. Keep in mind that this is a Zombie combat marksmanship drill and not a Zombie combat tactics drill.

1) Shooters line up on the 20 meter firing line in the standing position. Weapons on safe, magazines out, chamber clear, and hammer down.

2) Range safety officer checks for any immediate problems. If everything checks out clear, indicates a thumbs up to the instructor.

3) Instructor gives verbal commands to load, charge, and put weapons off safe.

4) Instructor blows the whistle and the drill begins. Shooters have 5 seconds to put rounds on target before the instructor blows the whistle indicating they need to move back to the 50 meter firing line.

5) Shooters have 15 seconds to move from the 20 meter firing line to the 50 meter firing line and engage targets in the standing position. After the 15 seconds have elapsed, the instructor blows the whistle.

6) Shooters have 20 seconds to go from the 50 meter firing line to the 100 meter firing line and engage targets while in the prone position.

7) After 20 seconds have elapsed, the instructor will blow the whistle three times to indicate cease fire and for shooters to put weapons on safe, release magazines, and empty the chamber.

8) All shooters hold position until inspected by a range safety officer and properly relieved.

SIDEARM VARIATION: Shooters fire with sidearms at the 20 meter firing line before transitioning to rifles when moving to the 50 meter firing line.

For distances greater than 100 meters, allow each shooter 20 seconds to go from one firing line to the other.

CONDITIONS TO ENDING THE DRILL

Unforeseen circumstances can arise that will require the drill to be suspended prematurely. These include, but are not limited to:

- A shooter lagging behind the rest of his or her group dangerously. Drill must be suspended immediately. This may be caused by any number of variables such as slipping, falling, or the shooter not having the fitness or skill to keep up with the others.
- A malfunctioning weapon. In the event where a firearm will not stop firing or is firing unreliably, suspend the drill immediately. The distraction alone is enough to make the drill unsafe.
- If any person or animal wanders into the range, end the drill immediately.

In short, if something out of the ordinary occurs, err on the safe side. It is much better to be safe than sorry. You can always reset and restart a drill. You cannot reset and restart a dead person.

Anyone on the range has the authority to end a drill for any reason.

OTHER POINTS

Always remember to run through the drill without the actual weapons first, and then run through the drill without ammunition next before attempting any drill of any kind.

Before shooters are able to conduct the drill as a group, have the shooters run the drill individually (with the instructor and the range safety officer). When shooters are comfortable with the drill, group the shooters according to fitness and skill level. If individuals cannot be grouped because their fitness and skill level are too different, then one of two things can happen. If it is because their skill and fitness is way higher, they must slow down to stay with the group. If it is because their skill and fitness level is too low, then that individual must run the drill alone and must improve his/her fitness and skill.


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Urban Survival – The Parking Ticket

It’s true. Life can be expensive. The more expensive life gets, the harder it is to allocate resources to things that really matter, such as preparing for the Zombie apocalypse!

For those who make a living in a dense urban environment, the parking ticket might be one of those things that needlessly eats into your Zombie defense budget. Luckily enough, there’s an app to help you fight it.

Needless to say this will not work if you park next to the swings in the middle of you local public park… or will it?

The name of the App is: FIXED.

Check it out HERE!

NOOO!!!! (Image Courtesy: parkitnyc.com)

NOOO!!!! (Image Courtesy: parkitnyc.com)

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A Word About Underground Bunkers

Some of you may already be familiar with people who have underground bunkers like the ones featured on this show (Discovery Channel’s Doomsday Bunkers):

For those of you who did watch, here’s some things they talk about:

- Never tell anyone where your bunker is.
- Make it in a place where it is safe.

There’s only more than a few problems with their approach.

1) Your bunker will never remain a secret. This has been confirmed true by the man in Florida who had his generator stolen in one of the episodes. To move the supplies and equipment required to build or install an underground bunker, you will open up access roads etc. Your “secret” underground bunker will be ransacked before anything close to an “end of the world” scenario begins to happen. Your bunker is one drunken night away from being public knowledge. Before you know it, every kid in your kid’s school will know about it.

2) If the bunker is safe from everyone else (i.e. far away), it is also safe from you. Yes, safe from you, not for you. In any given disaster, you need to realize that the first thing that ever happens is that the roads will get jammed up. This is especially true when the event affects the entire country and is not just a locally affecting disaster. You need to have that bunker near you, and you need to be near that bunker. If the place you reside in is not safe territory, it is time to rethink the location of your residence.

Other flaws in the designs include but are not limited to:

1) Lack of situational awareness. There is a distinct lack of periscopes or other tools that help with telling what is going on around the bunker without actually opening it up.

2) Lack of a tunnel network. Your underground bunker needs a tunnel network or else if the situation does not go as desired, it becomes a death trap.

3) A 6 month’s supply is not enough. You need to be able to live off the land (mostly by farming and raising animals) or you’re just delaying death.

4) Some tools are woefully inadequate. Like the NBC filter which was featured on one of the episodes. That might fly for an armored vehicle operating for a few hours before moving to an uncontaminated area, but for a bunker that will stay in the same place for months on end, the small filter is not likely to last 24 hours.

5) A bunker made of nothing but steel is vulnerable. All it takes is a few people with shovels to dig, then pour gasoline and firewood and light it up. Then everyone in the bunker will either have to bake to death or open the hatch and eat lead.

CONCLUSION

Some things to keep note of:
1) People will know your plans and capabilities.
2) Your bunker is highly unlikely to ever see action in the way you intended it.
3) The bunker is not the protection. Use terrain and distance for protection.
4) The guys who made the show don’t know what they’re talking about.

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Outbreak Comic #7

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Outbreak Comic #6

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